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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 115

common courts; and required, that the trial should be
by a court-martial, composed of officers of his own sole appointing,
who should have power of sentencing even to death; the house could by
no means consent thus to give up their constituents' liberty, estate,
and life itself, into the absolute power of a proprietary governor;
and so the bill failed.

That you may be assured I do not misrepresent this matter, I shall
give you the last-mentioned amendment (so called) at full length; and
for the truth and exactness of my copy I dare appeal to Mr. Secretary
Shippen.

The words of the bill, p. 43, were, "Every such person, so offending,
being legally convicted thereof, &c." By the words _legally
convicted_, was intended a conviction after legal trial, in the
common course of the laws of the land. But the governor required this
addition immediately to follow the words ["convicted thereof"] viz.
'by a court-martial, shall suffer DEATH, or such other punishment
as such court, by their sentence or decree, shall think proper to
inflict and pronounce. And be it farther enacted by the authority
aforesaid, That when and so often as it may be necessary, the
governor and commander in chief for the time being shall appoint
and commissionate, under the great seal of this province, sixteen
commissioned officers in each regiment; with authority and power to
them, or any thirteen of them, to hold courts-martial, of whom a
field-officer shall always be one, and president of the said court;
and such courts-martial shall, and are hereby impowered to administer
an oath to any witness, in order to the examination or trial of any
of the offences which by this act are made cognizable in such courts,
and shall come before them. Provided always, that in all trials by
a court-martial by virtue of this act, every officer present at
such trial, before any proceedings be had therein, shall take an
_oath_ upon the holy evangelists, before one justice of the peace
in the county where such court is held, who are hereby authorized
to administer the same, in the following words, that is to say, "I
A. B. do swear, that I will duly administer justice according to
evidence, and to the directions of an act, entitled, An act for
forming and regulating the militia of the province of Pensylvania,
without partiality, favour, or affection; and that I will not divulge
the sentence of the court, until it shall be approved of by the
governor or commander in chief of this province for the time being;
neither will I, upon any account, at any time whatsoever,

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Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 1
_London_.
Page 3
The fire takes the shortest course, as Mr _Watson_ justly observes: But it does not appear, from experiment, that, in order for a person to be shocked, a communication with the floor is necessary; for he that holds the bottle with one hand, and touches the wire with the other, will be shock'd as much, though his shoes be dry, or even standing on wax, as otherwise.
Page 4
Touch the top first, and on approaching the bottom with the other end, you have a constant stream of fire, from the wire entering the bottle.
Page 5
A suspended small cork-ball will play between these books 'till the equilibrium is restored.
Page 6
The first is the wonderful effect of pointed bodies, both in _drawing off_ and _throwing off_ the electrical fire.
Page 7
--If you present the point in the dark, you will see, sometimes at a foot distance, and more, a light gather upon it like that of a fire-fly or glow-worm; the less sharp the point, the nearer you must bring it to observe the light; and at whatever distance you see the light, you may draw off the electrical fire, and destroy the repellency.
Page 8
1.
Page 9
And we daily in our experiments electrise bodies _plus_ or _minus_ as we think proper.
Page 11
the fire appears every where upon the gold like a flash of lightning: not upon the leather, nor, if you touch the leather instead of the gold.
Page 23
For when vapours rise into the coldest region above the earth, the cold will not diminish the electrical fire, if it doth the common.
Page 32
The form of the electrical atmosphere is that of the body it surrounds.
Page 35
is it of much importance to us, to know the manner in which nature executes her laws; 'tis enough if we know the laws themselves.
Page 38
If one strip of gold, the length of the leaf, be not long enough for the glass, add another to the end of it, so that you may have a little part hanging out loose at each end of the glass.
Page 39
I send you enclosed two little pieces of glass with these metallic stains upon them, which cannot be removed without taking part of the glass with them.
Page 40
From the before mentioned law of electricity, that points, as they are more or less acute, draw on and throw off the electrical fluid with more or less power, and at greater or less distances, and in larger or smaller quantities in the same time, we may see how to account for the situation of the leaf of gold suspended between two plates, the upper one continually electrified, the under one in a person's hand standing on the floor.
Page 41
Take care in cutting your leaf to leave no little ragged particles on the edges, which sometimes form points where you would not have them.
Page 44
When the glass has received and, by its attraction, forced closer together so much of this electrified fluid, as that the power of attracting and condensing in the one, is equal to the power of expansion in the other, it can imbibe no more, and that remains its constant whole quantity; but each surface would receive more, if the repellency of what is in the opposite surface did not resist its entrance.
Page 45
surface than the glass would naturally draw in; this increases the repelling power on that side, and overpowering the attraction on the other, drives out part of the fluid that had been imbibed by that surface, if there be any non-electric ready to receive it: such there is in all cases where glass is electrified to give a shock.
Page 46
So the air never draws off an electric atmosphere from any body, but in proportion to the non-electrics mix'd with it: it rather keeps such an atmosphere confin'd, which.
Page 49
And indeed, as that smell so readily leaves the electrical matter, and adheres to the knuckle receiving the sparks, and to other things; I suspect that it never was connected with it, but arises instantaneously from something in the air acted upon by it.