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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 47

reason of breaking
those spouts, by firing a cannon-ball through them, as thereby a
horizontal vent is given to the wind. When the wind is spent, which
dilated the cloud, or the fermentation ceases, which generates the
air and wind, the clouds may descend in a prodigious fall of water
or rain. A remarkable intestine motion, like a violent fermentation,
is very observable in the cloud from whence the spout issues. No
salt-water, I am persuaded, was ever observed to fall from the
clouds, which must certainly have happened if sea-water had been
raised by a spout.


[10] Mr. Cadwallader Colden. _Editor._

_Answer to the foregoing Observations, by B. Franklin._

Read at the Royal Society, NOV. 4, 1756.

I agree with you, that it seems absurd to suppose that a body can act
where it is not. I have no idea of bodies at a distance attracting or
repelling one another without the assistance of some medium, though
I know not what that medium is, or how it operates. When I speak of
attraction or repulsion, I make use of those words for want of others
more proper, and intend only to express _effects_ which I see, and
not _causes_ of which I am ignorant. When I press a blown bladder
between my knees, and find I cannot bring its sides together, but my
knees feel a springy matter, pushing them back to a greater distance,
or repelling them, I conclude that the air it contains is the cause.
And when I operate on the air, and find I cannot by pressure force
its particles into contact, but they still spring back against the
pressure, I conceive there must be some medium between its particles
that prevents their closing, though I cannot tell what it is. And
if I were acquainted with that medium, and found its particles to
approach and recede from each other, according to the pressure they
suffered, I should imagine there must be some finer medium between
them, by which these operations were performed.

I allow that increase of the surface of a body may occasion it
to descend slower in air, water, or any other fluid; but do not
conceive, therefore, that it lessens its weight. Where the increased
surface is so disposed as that in its falling a greater quantity
of the fluid it sinks in must be moved out of its way, a greater
time is required for such removal. Four square feet of sheet-lead
sinking in water _broadways_, cannot descend near so fast as it
would _edgeways_, yet its weight in the hydrostatic balance would,
I imagine,

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 0
Page 30
I followed the prescription, was in a profuse sweat for the greater part of the night, and the fever left me.
Page 42
In the account of my first voyage from Boston to Philadelphia, I omitted, I believe, a trifling circumstance, which will not, perhaps, be out of place here.
Page 80
Grey afterwards found, that, by suspending rods of iron by silk or hair lines, and bringing an excited tube under them, sparks might be drawn, and a light perceived at the extremities in the dark.
Page 97
Hence would ensue perpetual disagreements between the council and the president-general, and thus, between the people of America and the crown of Great Britain:--While the colonies continued weak, they would be obliged to submit, and as soon as they acquired strength they would become more urgent in their demands, until, at length, they would shake off the yoke, and declare themselves independent.
Page 102
After his death some improvements were made upon his plan.
Page 132
--Magical Picture.
Page 168
But thus it may: after every stroke, before you pass your hand up to make another, let a second person apply his finger to the wire, take the spark, and then withdraw his finger; and so on till he has drawn a number of sparks; thus will the inner surface be exhausted, and the outer surface charged; then wrap a sheet of gilt paper close round the outer surface, and grasping it in your hand you may receive a shock by applying the finger of the other hand to the wire: for now the vacant pores in the inner surface resume their quantity, and the overcharged pores in the outer surface discharge that overplus; the equilibrium being restored through your body, which could not be restored through the glass[55].
Page 177
Perfect conductors of electric matter are only metals and water.
Page 188
In September 1752, I erected an iron rod to draw the lightning down into my house, in order to make some experiments on it, with two bells to give notice when the rod should be electrified: a contrivance obvious to every electrician.
Page 200
When the insulated tin tube is not electrified, bring the excited glass tube towards the middle of it, so as.
Page 226
_Proposal of an Experiment to measure the Time taken up by an Electric Spark, in moving through any given Space.
Page 227
If the tube be filled with water, and I inject an additional inch of water at one end, I force out an equal quantity at the other, in the very same instant.
Page 230
is founded, may be well enough accounted for without it.
Page 232
K is a glass tube, with a small bore, open at both ends, cemented in the brass tube L which screws into the top part C.
Page 243
Opinions are continually varying, where we cannot have mathematical evidence of the nature of things; and they must vary.
Page 276
_ _Craven-street, Dec.
Page 308
Page 311
prospects of future ability, _ibid.
Page 339
of light and heat, 122.