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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 48

be the same, whether suspended by the middle or by the

I make no doubt but that ridges of high mountains do often interrupt,
stop, reverberate, or turn the winds that blow against them,
according to the different degrees of strength of the winds, and
angles of incidence. I suppose, too, that the cold upper parts of
mountains may condense the warmer air that comes near them, and so by
making it specifically heavier, cause it to descend on one or both
sides of the ridge into the warmer valleys, which will seem a wind
blowing from the mountain.

Damp winds, though not colder by the thermometer, give a more
uneasy sensation of cold than dry ones; because (to speak like an
electrician) they _conduct_ better; that is, are better fitted to
convey away the heat from our bodies. The body cannot feel _without_
itself; our sensation of cold is not in the air _without_ the body,
but in those parts of the body which have been deprived of their
heat by the air. My desk, and its lock, are, I suppose, of the same
temperament when they have been long exposed to the same air; but
now if I lay my hand on the wood, it does not seem so cold to me as
the lock; because (as I imagine) wood is not so good a conductor,
to receive and convey away the heat from my skin, and the adjacent
flesh, as metal is. Take a piece of wood, of the size and shape of
a dollar, between the thumb and finger of one hand, and a dollar,
in like manner, with the other hand; place the edges of both, at
the same time, in the flame of a candle; and though the edge of the
wooden piece takes flame, and the metal piece does not, yet you will
be obliged to drop the latter before the former, it conducting the
heat more suddenly to your fingers. Thus we can, without pain, handle
glass and china cups filled with hot liquors, as tea, &c. but not
silver ones. A silver tea-pot must have a wooden handle. Perhaps it
is for the same reason that woollen garments keep the body warmer
than linen ones equally thick; woollen keeping the natural heat in,
or, in other words, not conducting it out to air.

In regard to water-spouts, having, in a long letter to a gentleman
of the same sentiment with you as to their direction, said all
that I have to say in support of my opinion; I need not repeat the
arguments therein contained, as

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 21
There is no happiness, then, but in a virtuous and self-approving conduct.
Page 33
Sleep, when it follows, will be natural and undisturbed; while indolence, with full feeding, occasions nightmares and horrors inexpressible; we fall from precipices, are assaulted by wild beasts, murderers, and demons, and experience every variety of distress.
Page 34
This fidgetiness (to use a vulgar expression for want of a better) is occasioned wholly by an uneasiness in the skin, owing to the retention of the perspirable matter, the bedclothes having received their quantity, and, being saturated, refusing to take any more.
Page 38
It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.
Page 48
Pharmanes the philosopher told the Romans that truth was the centre on which all things rested: a chart to sail by, a remedy for all evils, and a light to the whole world.
Page 63
They ought to be repressed; but to whom dare we commit the care of doing it? An evil magistrate, intrusted with power to _punish for words_, would be armed with a weapon the most destructive and terrible.
Page 78
There is also another custom peculiar to the city of Philadelphia, and nearly allied to the former.
Page 132
For a thousand leagues have nearly the same effect with a thousand years.
Page 134
The spelling-book in question was, I think, written by a German.
Page 138
" * * .
Page 139
He was author of some elegant verses on the death of Queen Caroline, and published besides some poems and sermons, and died 1788.
Page 152
What was the consequence of this monstrous pride and insolence? You first sent small armies to subdue us, believing them more than sufficient, but soon found yourselves obliged to send greater; these, whenever they ventured to penetrate our country beyond the protection of their ships, were ether repulsed and obliged to scamper out, or were surrounded, beaten, and taken prisoners.
Page 168
Page 177
Philosophical Society, November 22, 1782.
Page 178
The original movement of the parts towards their common centre would naturally form a whirl there, which would continue upon the turning of the new-formed globe upon its axis, and the greatest diameter of the shell would be in its equator.
Page 182
Has the question, how came the earth by its magnetism, ever been considered? Is it likely that _iron ore_ immediately existed when this globe was at first formed; or may it not rather be supposed a gradual production of time? If the earth is at present magnetical, in virtue of the masses of iron ore contained in it, might not some ages pass before it had magnetic polarity? Since iron ore may exist without that polarity, and, by being placed in certain circumstances, may obtain it from an external cause, is it not possible that the earth received its magnetism from some such cause? In short, may not a magnetic power exist throughout our system, perhaps through all systems, so that if men could make a voyage in the starry regions, a compass might be of use? And may not such universal magnetism, with its uniform direction, be serviceable in keeping the diurnal revolution of a planet more steady to the same axis? Lastly, as the poles of magnets may be changed by the presence of stronger magnets, might not, in ancient times, the near passing of some large comet, of greater magnetic power than this globe of ours, have been a means of changing its poles, and thereby wrecking and deranging its surface, placing in different regions the effect of centrifugal force, so as to raise the waters of the sea in some, while they were depressed in others? Let me add another question or two, not relating indeed to magnetism, but, however, to the theory of the earth.
Page 193
The consequence of the earthquake was a general sickness, from the noisome vapours belched forth, which swept away above three thousand persons.
Page 211
B B, the bush described by Stuart, surrounding the foot of the column of water.
Page 236
Between the deepest and shallowest it appears to be somewhat more than one fifth.
Page 238
water is clear.