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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 270

only to a certain quantity of merchandize. If merchants
calculate amiss on this proportion, and import too much, they will
of course find the sale dull for the overplus, and some of them will
say, that trade languishes. They should, and doubtless will, grow
wiser by experience, and import less. If too many artificers in
town, and farmers from the country, flattering themselves with the
idea of leading easier lives, turn shopkeepers, the whole natural
quantity of that business divided among them all may afford too small
a share for each, and occasion complaints, that trading is dead;
these may also suppose, that it is owing to scarcity of money, while,
in fact, it is not so much from the fewness of buyers, as from the
excessive number of sellers, that the mischief arises; and, if every
shopkeeping farmer and mechanic would return to the use of his plough
and working tools, there would remain of widows, and other women,
shopkeepers sufficient for the business, which might then afford them
a comfortable maintenance.

Whoever has travelled through the various parts of Europe, and
observed how small is the proportion of people in affluence or easy
circumstances there, compared with those in poverty and misery;
the few rich and haughty landlords, the multitude of poor, abject,
rack-rented, tythe-paying tenants, and half-paid and half-starved
ragged labourers; and views here the happy mediocrity, that so
generally prevails throughout these states, where the cultivator
works for himself, and supports his family in decent plenty, will,
methinks, see abundant reason to bless Divine Providence for the
evident and great difference in our favour, and be convinced, that no
nation known to us enjoys a greater share of human felicity.

It is true, that in some of the states there are parties and
discords; but let us look back, and ask if we were ever without them?
Such will exist wherever there is liberty; and perhaps they help
to preserve it. By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of
truth are struck out, and political light is obtained. The different
factions, which at present divide us, aim all at the public good: the
differences are only about the various modes of promoting it. Things,
actions, measures, and objects of all kinds, present themselves to
the minds of men in such a variety of lights, that it is not possible
we should all think alike at the same time on every subject, when
hardly the same man retains at all times the same ideas of it.
Parties are therefore the common lot of humanity; and ours are by
no means more mischievous or less beneficial than

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

Page 1
_ _He shews, however, that if an unequal distribution is by any means brought about; if there is a coacervation in one part of space, a less proportion, vacuity, or want, in another; by the near approach of a body capable of conducting the coacervated part to the emptier space, it becomes perhaps the most formidable and irresistible agent in the universe.
Page 3
But here we have a bottle containing at the same time a _plenum_ of electrical fire, and a _vacuum_ of the same fire; and yet the equilibrium cannot be restored between them but by a communication _without_! though the _plenum_ presses violently to expand, and the hungry vacuum seems to attract as violently in order to be filled.
Page 5
Page 6
The first is the wonderful effect of pointed bodies, both in _drawing off_ and _throwing off_ the electrical fire.
Page 8
But if the persons on wax touch one another during the exciting of the tube, neither of them will appear to be electrised.
Page 12
In this experiment the bottles are totally discharged, or the equilibrium within them restored.
Page 14
Yet when the situation of the electrical fire is thus altered in the glass; when some has been taken from one side, and some added to the other, it will not be at rest or in its natural state, till 'tis restored to its original equality.
Page 16
If the picture were highly charged, the consequence might perhaps be as fatal as that of high-treason; for when the spark is taken through a quire of paper laid on the picture, by means of a wire communication, it makes a fair hole through every sheet, that is, through 48 leaves, (though.
Page 20
Take a bottle in each hand, one that is electrify'd through the hook, the other through the coating: Apply the giving wire to the shot, which will electrify it _positively_, and the cork shall be repelled: Then apply the requiring wire, which will take out the spark given by the other; when the cork will return to the shot: Apply the same again, and take out another spark, so will the shot be electrify'd _negatively_; and the cork in that case shall be repelled equally as before.
Page 24
Hence clouds formed by vapours raised from fresh waters within land, from growing vegetables, moist earth, &c.
Page 25
Page 27
_ in the most northern part, and the appearance proceeds southward, tho' the fire really moves northward.
Page 29
Page 30
But tho' the particles of electrical matter do repel each other, they are strongly attracted by all other matter.
Page 33
The extremities of the portions of atmosphere over these angular parts are likewise at a greater distance from the electrified body, as may be seen by the inspection of the above figure; the point of the atmosphere of the angle C, being much farther from C, than any other part of the atmosphere over the lines C, B, or B, A: And besides the distance arising from the nature of the figure, where the attraction is less, the particles will naturally expand to a greater distance by their mutual repulsion.
Page 36
The horizontal motion of the scales over the floor, may represent the motion of the clouds over the earth; and the erect iron punch, a hill or high building; and then we see how electrified clouds passing over hills or high buildings at too great a height to strike, may be attracted lower till within their striking distance.
Page 37
If any danger to the man should be apprehended (though I think there would be none) let him stand on the floor of his box, and now and then bring near to the rod, the loop of a wire that has one end fastened to the leads, he holding it by a wax handle; so the sparks, if the rod is electrified, will strike from the rod to the wire, and not affect him.
Page 41
Thus the difference of distance is always proportioned to the difference of acuteness.
Page 44
The quantities of this fluid in each surface being equal, their repelling action on each other is equal; and therefore those of one surface cannot drive out those of the other: but, if a greater quantity is forced into one.
Page 54
[10] In the dark the electrical fluid may be seen on the cushion in two semi-circles or half-moons, one on the fore part, the other on the back part of the cushion, just where the globe and cushion separate.