The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 39

is one way a proof of my hypothesis, viz. as
whirlwinds do not come under a cloud.

I forgot to mention, that the increase of cloud, while the spout
subsists, is no argument of an ascent of water, by the spout. Since
thunder-clouds sometimes encrease greatly while it rains very hard.

Divers effects of spouts seem not so well accounted for any other way
as by descent.

The bush round the feet of them seems to be a great spray of water
made by the violence of descent, like that in great falls of water
from high precipices.

The great roar, like some vast inland falls, is so different from the
roar of whirlwinds, by all acounts, as to be no ways compatible.

The throwing things from it with great force, instead of carrying
them up into the air, is another difference.

There seems some probability that the sailors traditionary belief,
that spouts may break in their decks, and so destroy vessels, might
originate from some facts of that sort in former times. This danger
is apparent on my hypothesis, but it seems not so on the other:
and my reason for it is, that the whole column of a spout from the
sea to the clouds, cannot, in a natural way, even upon the largest
supposition, support more than about three feet water, and from truly
supposeable causes, not above one foot, as may appear more plainly
by and by. Supposing now the largest of these quantities to rise, it
must be disseminated into drops, from the surface of the sea to the
region of the clouds, or higher; for this reason it is quite unlikely
to be collected into masses, or a body, upon its falling; but would
descend in progression according to the several degrees of altitude
the different portions had arrived at when it received this new

Now that there cannot more rise upon the common hypothesis than
I have mentioned, may appear probable, if we attend to the only
efficient cause in supposed ascending spouts, viz. whirlwinds.

We know that the rarefaction of the lower, and the condensation of
the upper region of air, are the only natural causes of whirlwinds.
Let us then suppose the former as hot as their greatest summer heat
in England, and the latter as cold as the extent of their winter.
These extremes have been found there to alter the weight of the air
one-tenth, which is equal to a little more than three feet water.
Were this case possible, and a whirlwind take place in it, it might
act with a force equal to the mentioned

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 3
to America by Great Britain 243 Minutes to the foregoing, by Dr.
Page 12
Page 30
That the counsellors in most of the colonies, being appointed by the crown, on the recommendation of governors, are often persons of small estates, frequently dependent on the governors for offices, and therefore too much under influence.
Page 79
Let him compare the ancient, with the present state of our towns on or near our western coast (Manchester, Liverpool, Kendal, Lancaster, Glasgow, and the countries round them) that trade with any manufacture for our colonies (not to mention Leeds, Halifax, Sheffield, and Birmingham,) and consider what a difference there is in the numbers of people, buildings, rents, and the value of land and of the produce of land; even if he goes back no farther than is within man's memory.
Page 122
But in the mouth of the proprietaries, or their creatures, "contrary to his duty, and to every tie of justice and honour" means, his passing laws contrary to proprietary instructions, and contrary to the bonds he had previously given to observe those instructions: instructions however, that were unjust and unconstitutional; and bonds, that were illegal and void from the beginning.
Page 156
I think they will generally trade where they can get rum, preferably to where it is refused them; and the proposed prohibition will therefore be a great encouragement to unlicensed traders, and promote such trade.
Page 179
_ Was it an opinion in America before 1763, that the parliament had no right to lay taxes and duties there? _A.
Page 185
_ No; the money paid for the postage of a letter is not of the nature of a tax; it is merely a _quantum meruit_ for a service done; no person is compellable to pay the money, if he does not choose to receive the service.
Page 216
This commerce consisted principally of superfluities; objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without; and the resolution we have formed, of importing no more till our grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our infant manufactures to take root; and it will not be easy to make our people abandon them in future, even should a connection more cordial than ever succeed the present troubles.
Page 229
"His majesty, taking the said report into consideration, was pleased, with the advice of his privy-council, to approve thereof; and to order, that the said petition of the house of representatives of the province of Massachusett's Bay be dismissed the board--as groundless, vexatious, and scandalous; and calculated only for the seditious purpose of keeping up a spirit of clamour and discontent in the said province.
Page 248
Your manuscript _Idée sur le government et la royauté_, is also well relished, and may, in time, have its effect.
Page 274
They are pleased with the observation of a negro, and frequently mention it, that Boccarora (meaning the white man) make de black man workee, make de horse workee, make de ox workee, make ebery ting workee; only de hog.
Page 284
I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad.
Page 301
I have but this to answer: the money or possessions, I presume, are nothing to the purpose; since no man can claim a right either to those or a good name, if he has acted so as to forfeit them.
Page 314
So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.
Page 326
My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth.
Page 340
_--Your confession is very far short of the truth; the gross amount is one hundred and ninety-nine times.
Page 389
of electricity, difference in the action of, 200, 303.
Page 395
recovers its fluidity by combustion, _ibid.
Page 396
Staffordshire, 285.