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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 220


"Given at Potsdam, this twenty-fifth day of the month of August,
one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, and in the
thirty-third year of our reign.

"By the king, in his council.


Some take this edict to be merely one of the king's _jeux d'esprit_:
others suppose it serious, and that he means a quarrel with England:
but all here think the assertion it concludes with, "that these
regulations are copied from acts of the English parliament respecting
their colonies," a very injurious one; it being impossible to
believe, that a people distinguished for their love of liberty; a
nation so wise, so liberal in its sentiments, so just and equitable
towards its neighbours, should, from mean and injudicious views
of petty immediate profit, treat its own children in a manner so
arbitrary and tyrannical!


[116] This _intelligence extraordinary_, I believe, first appeared in
the Public Advertiser. I have reprinted it from a copy which I found
in the Gentleman's Magazine. B. V.

[117] _A tous presens et à venir._ ORIGINAL.

_Preface by the British Editor [Dr. Franklin] to "The Votes and
Proceedings of the Freeholders, and other Inhabitants of the Town
of Boston, in Town-Meeting assembled according to Law (published by
Order of the Town), &c[118]._"

All accounts of the discontent, so general in our colonies, have
of late years been industriously smothered and concealed here, it
seeming to suit the views of the American minister[119] to have it
understood, that by his great abilities, all faction was subdued,
all opposition suppressed, and the whole country quieted. That the
true state of affairs there may be known, and the true causes of that
discontent well understood, the following piece (not the production
of a private writer, but the unanimous act of a large American city)
lately printed in New England, is republished here. This nation, and
the other nations of Europe, may thereby learn, with more certainty,
the grounds of a dissention, that possibly may, sooner or later, have
consequences interesting to them all.

The colonies had, from their first settlement, been governed with
more ease than perhaps can be equalled by any instance in history
of dominions so distant. Their affection and respect for this
country, while they were treated with kindness, produced an almost
implicit obedience to the instructions of the prince, and even to
acts of the British parliament, though the right of binding them by
a legislature, in which they were unrepresented, was never clearly
understood. That respect and affection produced a partiality in
favour of every thing that

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

Page 1
Page 6
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Of the disposition and application of which wheels, and the various phaenomena resulting, I could, if I had time, fill you a sheet.
Page 14
_ we may take away part of it from one of the sides, provided we throw an equal quantity into the other.
Page 15
The plates may also be discharged separately, or any number together that is required.
Page 17
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 thro' a small hole in a thin brass plate, keeps the shaft truly vertical.
Page 21
_April 29, 1749.
Page 22
Friction between a non-electric and an electric _per se_, will produce electrical fire; not by _creating_, but _collecting_ it: for it is equally diffused in our walls, floors, earth, and the whole mass of common matter.
Page 24
Page 26
As the air between the tropics is rarified by the sun, it rises, the denser northern and southern air pressing into its place.
Page 27
In passing along leaf-gilding 'tis visible: for the leaf-gold is full of pores; hold a leaf to the light and it appears like a net; and the fire is seen in its leaping over the vacancies.
Page 30
So is the case between the electrical and common matter.
Page 34
Thus a pin held by the head, and the point presented to an electrified body, will draw off its atmosphere at a foot distance; where if the head were presented instead of the point, no such effect would follow.
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 40
fire must leap over the vacancies; there is a certain distance which it is able to leap over according to its strength; if a number of small vacancies, though each be very minute, taken together exceed that distance, it cannot leap over them, and so the shock is prevented.
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 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 47
And, 2dly, that the electrical fire freely removes from place to place, in and through the substance of a non-electric, but not so through the substance of glass.
Page 51
Page 53
[1] We suppose every particle of sand, moisture, or smoke, being first attracted and then repelled, carries off with it a portion of the electrical fire; but that the same still subsists in those particles, till they communicate it to something else; and that it is never really destroyed.