Vie de Franklin, écrite par lui-même - Tome I Suivie de ses œuvres morales, politiques et littéraires

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 29

avec ses
caractères d'imprimerie, à mesure qu'ils couloient de sa verve. Or,
comme il travailloit sans copie, qu'il n'avoit qu'une casse, et que
l'élégie devoit probablement employer tous ses caractères, il étoit
impossible de l'aider. J'essayai de mettre en ordre sa presse, dont il
ne s'étoit point servi, et à laquelle il n'entendoit rien; et après lui
avoir promis de venir tirer son élégie aussitôt qu'elle seroit prête, je
retournai chez Bradford. Celui-ci m'occupa, pour le moment, à faire
quelque bagatelle, et me donna la table et le logement.

Peu de jours après, Keimer m'envoya chercher pour tirer son élégie. Il
s'étoit alors procuré d'autres caractères, et il avoit à réimprimer un
pamphlet sur lequel il me mit à l'ouvrage.

Les deux imprimeurs de Philadelphie me parurent dénués de toutes les
qualités nécessaires dans leur profession. Bradford n'avoit point appris
son état, et étoit absolument illétré. Keimer, quoique moins ignorant,
n'étoit qu'un simple compositeur, et n'entendoit rien au travail de la
presse. Il avoit été un des convulsionnaires français, et savoit fort
bien imiter leurs agitations surnaturelles. Au moment de notre
connoissance, il ne suivoit aucune religion particulière, mais il
professoit un peu de toutes, suivant les circonstances. Il ne
connoissoit absolument point le monde; et il avoit l'ame d'un fripon,
ainsi que j'ai eu, depuis, occasion de l'éprouver.

Keimer voyoit avec beaucoup de peine que, travaillant avec lui, je fusse
logé chez Bradford. Il avoit bien une maison; mais elle n'étoit pas
meublée, et conséquemment il ne pouvoit pas m'y recevoir.

Il me procura un logement chez le propriétaire de sa maison, ce M. Read,
dont j'ai déjà parlé. Ma malle et mes effets étant alors arrivés, je
songeai à paroître aux yeux de miss Read, avec un air de plus de
conséquence, que lorsque le hasard m'avoit offert à sa vue mangeant mon
pain et errant dans la ville.

Dès ce moment je commençai à faire la connoissance des jeunes gens qui
aimoient la lecture, et je passois agréablement mes soirées avec eux,
tandis que je gagnois de l'argent par mon industrie, et vivois
très-content, grace à ma frugalité. Ainsi, j'oubliois Boston autant
qu'il m'étoit possible, désirant que le lieu de ma résidence n'y fût
connu de personne, excepté de mon ami Collins, à qui j'écrivois, et qui
gardoit mon secret.

Cependant un incident me fit retourner dans ma ville natale beaucoup
plutôt que je n'y comptois. J'avois un beau-frère, nommé _Robert
Holmes_, qui commandoit une corvette et fesoit le commerce entre Boston
et la Delaware. Se trouvant à Newcastle, à quarante milles au-dessous de
Philadelphie, il entendit parler de moi. Aussitôt il m'écrivit pour
m'informer du chagrin que mon

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

Page 0
_) The PREFACE.
Page 4
4.
Page 5
Lay two books on two glasses, back towards back, two or three Inches distant.
Page 6
FRANKLIN.
Page 7
--The light of a bright coal from.
Page 9
Hence have arisen some new terms among us: we say, _B_, (and bodies like circumstanced) is electrised _positively_; _A_, _negatively_.
Page 12
But if a man holds in his hands two bottles, one fully electrify'd, the other not at all, and brings their hooks together, he has but half a shock, and the bottles will both remain half electrified, the one being half discharged, and the other half charged.
Page 13
But suspend two or more phials on the prime conductor, one hanging to the tail of the other; and a wire from the last to the floor, an equal number of turns of the wheel shall charge them all equally, and every one as much as one alone would have been.
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21.
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When it is well charg'd it begins to move; the bullet nearest to a pillar moves towards the thimble on that pillar, and passing by electrifies it and then pushes itself from it; the succeeding bullet, which communicates with the other surface of the glass, more strongly attracts that thimble on account of its being before electrified by the other bullet; and thus the wheel encreases its motion till it comes to such a height as that the resistance of the air regulates it.
Page 21
[4] Spirits, at the same time, are to be fired by a spark sent from side to side through the river, without any other conductor than the water; an experiment which we some time since performed, to the amazement of many.
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20.
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For if an electrified cloud coming from the sea, meets in the air a cloud raised from the land, and therefore not electrified; the first will flash its fire into the latter, and thereby both clouds shall be made suddenly to deposite water.
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s 1.
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But in common matter there is (generally) as much of the electrical, as it will contain within its substance.
Page 39
We once took two pieces of thick looking-glass, as broad as a Gunter's scale, and 6 inches long; and placing leaf gold between them, put them betwixt two smoothly plain'd pieces of wood, and fix'd them tight in a book-binder's small press; yet though they were so closely confined, the force of the electrical shock shivered the glass into many pieces.
Page 40
Were these two points perfectly equal in acuteness, the leaf would take place exactly in the middle space, for its Weight is a trifle, compared to the power acting on it: But it is generally nearest the unelectrified plate, because, when the leaf is offered to the electrified plate at a distance, the sharpest point is commonly first affected and raised towards it; so that point, from its greater acuteness, receiving the fluid faster than its opposite can discharge it at equal distances, it retires from the electrified plate, and draws nearer to the unelectrified plate, till it comes to a distance where the discharge can be exactly equal to the receipt, the latter being lessened, and the former encreased; and there it remains as long as the globe continues to supply fresh electrical matter.
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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.
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I placed a glass plate under my cushion, to cut off the communication between the cushion and floor; then brought a small chain from the cushion into a glass of oil of turpentine, and carried another chain from the oil of turpentine to the floor, taking care that the chain from the cushion to the glass touch'd no part of the frame of the machine.
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For if it was fine enough to come with the electrical fluid through the body of one person, why should it stop on the skin of another? But I shall never have done, if I tell you all my conjectures, thoughts, and imaginations, on the nature and operations of this electrical fluid, and relate the variety of little experiments we have try'd.