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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 91

contained in
the surface of the globe has made it capable of becoming, as it is,
a great magnet; that the fluid of magnetism perhaps exists in all
space; so that there is a magnetical north and south of the universe,
as well as of this globe, and that if it were possible for a man to
fly from star to star, he might govern his course by the compass;
that it was by the power of this general magnetism this globe became
a particular magnet. In soft or hot iron the fluid of magnetism is
naturally diffused equally; when within the influence of the magnet
it is drawn to one end of the iron, made denser there and rarer
at the other. While the iron continues soft and hot, it is only a
temporary magnet; if it cools or grows hard in that situation, it
becomes a permanent one, the magnetic fluid not easily resuming its
equilibrium. Perhaps it may be owing to the permanent magnetism of
this globe, which it had not at first, that its axis is at present
kept parallel to itself, and not liable to the changes it formerly
suffered, which occasioned the rupture of its shell, the submersions
and emersions of its lands and the confusion of its seasons. The
present polar and equatorial diameters differing from each other
near ten leagues, it is easy to conceive, in case some power should
shift the axis gradually, and place it in the present equator, and
make the new equator pass through the present poles, what a sinking
of the waters would happen in the present equatorial regions, and
what a rising in the present polar regions; so that vast tracts would
be discovered, that now are under water, and others covered, that
are now dry, the water rising and sinking in the different extremes
near five leagues. Such an operation as this possibly occasioned
much of Europe, and among the rest this Mountain of Passy on which I
live, and which is composed of limestone, rock and sea-shells, to be
abandoned by the sea, and to change its ancient climate, which seems
to have been a hot one. The globe being now become a perfect magnet,
we are, perhaps, safe from any change of its axis. But we are still
subject to the accidents on the surface, which are occasioned by a
wave in the internal ponderous fluid; and such a wave is producible
by the sudden violent explosion you mention, happening from the
junction of water and fire under the earth, which not only lifts
the incumbent earth that is

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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 16
Beware of little expenses; _A small leak will sink a great ship_, as Poor Richard says; and again, _Who dainties love, shall beggars prove_; and moreover, _Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them_.
Page 23
' "'There is another way to enrich a state,' said Glaucon, 'of which you take no notice; and that is, by the ruin [spoils] of its enemies.
Page 36
Those who do not love trouble, and can afford to have two beds, will find great luxury in rising, when they wake in a hot bed, and going into the cool one.
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 88
These irregularities, occasioned by mistaking the time, convinced me that it was absolutely necessary _to buy a clock_, which my spouse observed was _a great ornament to the room_.
Page 89
LETTERS.
Page 94
* * * * * "_To Mrs.
Page 109
, 28.
Page 115
Lavoisier, to show that the strongest fire we yet know is made in charcoal blown upon with dephlogisticated air.
Page 125
We therefore have not the occasion you imagine, of fleets or standing armies, but may leave those expensive machines to be maintained for the pomp of princes and the wealth of ancient states.
Page 140
Will you permit me to express another hope that, now your friends are in power, they will take the first opportunity of showing the sense they ought to have of your virtues and your merit? "Please to make my best respects acceptable to Mrs.
Page 145
Percival.
Page 151
In so great a nation there are many rich enough to afford giving their time to the public; and there are, I make no doubt, many wise and able men who would take as much pleasure in governing for nothing, as they do in playing of chess for nothing.
Page 160
, &c.
Page 198
It is still safer to bring two or three mattresses or beds into the middle of the room, and, folding them up double, place the chair upon them; for they not being so good conductors as the walls, the lightning will not choose an interrupted course through the air of.
Page 202
The higher regions, having only the direct rays of the sun passing through them, are comparatively very cold.
Page 217
an account of the effects of the same storm in those parts, I found the beginning of the eclipse had been well observed there, though Boston lies N.
Page 220
You will likewise observe, that the leaden bar, as it has cooled the melted lead more than the wooden bars have done, so it is itself more heated by the melted lead.
Page 228
But can one imagine, that if all the water of those vast rivers went to the sea, it would not first have pushed the salt water out of.
Page 243
First, he was the architect of his own fortune.