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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 96

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.

Is not the finding of great quantities of shells and bones of animals
(natural to hot climates) in the cold ones of our present world,
some proof that its poles have been changed? Is not the supposition
that the poles have been changed, the easiest way of accounting for
the deluge, by getting rid of the old difficulty how to dispose of
its waters after it was over? Since if the poles were again to be
changed, and placed in the present equator, the sea would fall there
about fifteen miles in height, and rise as much in the present polar
regions; and the effect would be proportionable if the new poles were
placed any where between the present and the equator.

Does not the apparent wreck of the surface of this globe, thrown up
into long ridges of mountains, with strata in various positions, make
it probable, that its internal mass is a fluid; but a fluid so dense
as to float the heaviest of our substances? Do we know the limit of
condensation air is capable of? Supposing it to grow denser _within_
the surface, in the same proportion nearly as it does _without_, at
what depth may it be equal in density with gold?

Can we easily conceive how the strata of the earth could have been
so deranged, if it had not been a mere shell supported by a heavier
fluid? Would not such a supposed internal fluid globe be immediately
sensible of a change in the situation of the earth's axis, alter its
form, and thereby burst the shell, and throw up parts of it above
the rest? As, if we would alter the position of the fluid contained
in the shell of an egg, and place its longest diameter where the
shortest now is, the shell must break; but would be much harder to
break; if the whole internal substance were as solid and hard as the

Might not a wave, by any means raised in this supposed internal ocean
of extremely dense fluid, raise in some degree, as it passes, the
present shell of incumbent earth, and break it in some places, as in
earthquakes? And may not the progress of such wave, and the disorders
it occasions among the solids of the shell, account for

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 15
preserved its attachment to the Church of England till towards the close of the reign of Charles II.
Page 16
Under him I soon acquired an excellent hand; but I failed in arithmetic, and made therein no sort of progress.
Page 21
We frequently engaged in dispute, and were indeed so fond of argumentation, that nothing was so agreeable to us as a war of words.
Page 24
Charmed to a degree of enthusiasm with this mode of disputing, I adopted it, and renouncing blunt contradiction, and direct and positive argument, I assumed the character of an humble questioner.
Page 52
This custom appeared to me abominable; but he had need, he said, of all this beer, in order to acquire strength to work.
Page 89
Franklin; who, notwithstanding the multiplicity of his other engagements and pursuits, at that busy stage of his life, was a constant attendant at the monthly visitations and examinations of the schools, and made it his particular study, by means of his extensive correspondence abroad, to advance the reputation of the seminary, and to draw students and scholars to it from different parts of America and the West Indies.
Page 114
I am sensible that much must inevitably be lost; but I hope something considerable may be recovered.
Page 116
The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the select men, united with the ministers of the oldest episcopalian, congregational, and presbyterian churches in that town, who are to let out the same at five per cent.
Page 125
This I mention, because the European papers on electricity frequently speak of rubbing the tube as a fatiguing exercise.
Page 137
A small upright shaft of wood passes at right angles through a thin round board, of about twelve inches diameter, and turns on a sharp point of iron, fixed in the lower end, while a strong wire in the upper end, passing through a small hole in a thin brass plate, keeps the shaft.
Page 150
When the quantity of common fire in the body is small, the quantity of the electrical fire (or the electrical stroke) should be greater: if the quantity of common fire be great, less electrical fire suffices to produce the effect.
Page 162
When the upper plate is electrified, the leaf is attracted, and raised towards it, and would fly to that plate, were it not for its own points.
Page 205
Keep it there a few seconds, and the threads of the tassels will diverge.
Page 261
Tall trees, and lofty buildings, as the towers and spires of churches, become sometimes conductors between the clouds and the earth; but not being good ones, that is, not conveying the fluid freely, they are often damaged.
Page 268
In Philadelphia I had such a rod fixed to the top of my chimney, and extending about nine feet above it.
Page 273
Indeed we have nothing to form a judgment by in this but past facts; and we know of no instance where a _compleat_ conductor to the moist earth _has_ been insufficient, if half an inch diameter.
Page 306
332, 344, 345.
Page 317
common and electrical, exist together, _ibid.
Page 318
Page 324