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respecting electricity. At this time, the subject of electricity was a new science; and the. philosophers of Europe wero much interested in it.
2. Dr. Franklin, in his studies and reasonings on the subject, took up the idea, that the thunder and lightning of the heavens were caused by electricity; and he conceived the bold idea, that the electric fluid might be conducted by sharppointed iron rods, raised upon houses, ships, and other buildings, to the ground or water, and thus preserve them from injury.
3. The plan which he had originally proposed was, to erect, on some high tower or other elevated place, a sentry-box, from which should rise a pointed iron rod, insulated by being fixed in a cake of rosin.
4. He conceived that electrified clouds passing over this rod would impart to it a portion of their electricity, which would be rendered evident to the senses by the emission of sparks when a key, the knuckle, or any other conductor, was prasented to it.
5. Philadelphia* at this time afforded no opportunity of trying an experiment of this kind. While Franklin was waiting for the erection of a spire, it occurred to him, that he might have more ready access to the region of clouds by means of a common kite.
6. He prepared one by attaching two sticks crosswise to a silk handkerchief, which would not suffer so much from the rain as paper. To the upright stick was affixed an iron point. The string was, as usual, of hemp, except, the lower end, which was of silk. Where the hempen string terminated, a key was fastened.
7. With this apparatus, on the appearance of a thundercloud approaching, he went out into one of the public squares,
* Phll-a-del'phi-a, the second city in size in the United States, is situated in the State of Pennsylvania, between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, about five mile! above their junction. The city was founded by William Peon, in 1682. Its popula tion in I860 was about 583,000.
accompanied by his son, to whom alone he communicated his present intentions; for he well knew the ridicule which, too generally for the interests of science, awaits unsuccessful ex. periments in philosophy.
8. He placed himself under a shed to avoid the rain, and then raised his kite. A thunder-cloud passed over it; but no sign of electricity appeared. He almost despaired of success; when suddenly he observed the loose fibers of the string to move toward an erect position. He now presented his knuckle to the key, and perceived a strong spark.
9. On this experiment seemed to depend the fate of his theory. If he succeeded, his name would rank high amongst those who have improved science; but if he ultimately failed, he must inevitably be subjected to the derision of mankind, or, what is worse, to their pity as a well-meaning man, but a weak, silly projector.
10. The anxiety with which he looked for the result of this experiment may easily be conceived. Doubts and despair had begun to prevail, when the fact was ascertained in so clear a manner, that even the most incredulous could no longer withhold their assent.
11. Sparks were repeatedly drawn from the key. A vial was charged, a shock given, and all the experiments made, which are usually performed with electricity. Franklin's theory was thus established in the most convincing manner.
12. When it became known to the scientific societies of Europe, that an American, an inhabitant of the then obscure city of Philadelphia, had been able to make discoveries, and to frame and establish theories, which had eluded the investigation of their enlightened philosophers, it was quite humiliating to their pride.
Questions. — 1. When did Franklin make his discovery respecting electricity? 2. What bold idea did he conceive? 3. What was his original plan? 5. What is said of Philadelphia at this time? What is said of it in the note? 5. How did Franklin make this discovery? 6 -8. Relate the circumstances attending it. 9. What seemed to depend on this experiment? 10,11. Was it successful? 12. How did this discov. ery affect the societies of Europe? What practical benefits have resulted from it to tho world?
Articulate the. consonant combinations in the following words: — grasps, depend, understand, implements, fields, learned, articles.
DRAWING. — G. B. Emerson.
1. The practice of this art exercises the eye and the hand, rendering the one observant' and the other exact, while it trains that inward faculty which guides them both. It helps to comprehend whatever is delineated by art or represented by nature.
2. It gradually enlarges the mental grasp, by exercising the mind to judge of distance, size, shape, and relation, and cultivates the taste by quickening the perception of the beauty which depends on harmony, proportion, and color. It furnishes a safeguard against idleness by giving a pleasant and innocent occupation for leisure hours.
3. It makes the child quick to comprehend all' illustrations upon the blackboard, and prepares him for his own exercise of map-drawing. It should be considered absolutely necessary in a boys' school; for it will be a most valuable assistance in almost every occupation in which men are employed.
4. It helps the mechanic understand every piece of mechanism which is figured, and enables him to represent to others what he has himself conceived. It is an essential help to almost every one engaged in directing or practically occupied in doing the work of life; and it is an elegant accomplishment to him whom fortune raises above these necessities.
5. It is indispensable to him who would plan a house, and to him who would e'xecute the plan. It is valuable to the ship-builder, and to the seafaring man; to the husbandman who would represent the buildings, inclosures, and implements af his farm, and to the student of nature who would delineate the plants or animals of the woods or fields.
6. The smith who has learned to draw, uses the hammer more skillfully than he who has not. The engraver in metal must be in like manner benefited by early discipline of the eye and the hand.
7. To the carpenter, the joiner, the worker in stone, the carver in wood, the art of drawing is not less useful, while to all those, especially, who. are to be occupied in producing articles of ornament and taste, it is almost indispensable.
Questions —What is the subject of this lesson? 1. What is said of the practice of this art? 2. How does it enlarge the mental grasp? 3. How should it be considered? 4. What does it help the mechanic understand? 5 - 7. To whom is it valuable', and to whom almost indispensable ? — What is the character of this piece? What exampies in the second paragraph illustrate the second clause of Rulo 2, page 56? Point out the words in the fifth paragraph which require the rising and falling inflections, and tell what rule they illustrate.
Errors. —Whwth'er for wheth'er; puM&Mna for pumj/Alns ; chlm'6/yybr chiw'ney serv'Ile for serv'tle; de-grad'in for de-grad ing:.
WHITTLING. —S. A. Goodrich.
1. This is generally represented as a sort of .idle, frivolous use of the penknife, and is set down by amiable, foreigners and sketchers of American manners as a peculiar characteristic of our people. No portrait 'of an American is deemed complete, whether in the saloon or senate-chamber, at home or on the highway, unless with penknife -and shingle in hand.
2. ' I feel not the slightest disposition to resent even this, among the thousand caricatures that pass for traits of Ameiv ican life. For my own part, I can testify that, during my youthful days, I found the penknife a source of great amusement, and even instruction.
3. Many a long winter evening, many a dull, drizzly day, in spring, and summer, and autumn, — sometimes at the kitchen fireside; sometimes in the attic, amid festoons of dried apples, peaches, and pumpkins; sometimes in a cosy nook in the barn; sometimes in the shelter of neighboring stonewalls, thatched over with wild grape-vines, — have I spent in great ecstasy, making candle-rods, or some other simple article of lwusehold goods, for my mother, or in perfecting toys for myself and my young friends, or perhaps in attempts at more ambitious achievements.
4. This was not a mere waste of time, mere idleness and dissipation. I was amused: that was something. Some of the pleasautest remembrances of my childhood carry me back to the scenes I have just indicated, when in happy solitude, absorbed in my mechanical devices, I still listened to the rain pattering upon the roof, or the wind roaring down the chimney; thus enjoying a double bliss, — pleasing occupation, with conscious delight in my sense of security from the rage of the elements without.
5. Nay, more, these occupations were instructive: my mind was stimulated to inquire into the mechanical powers, and my hand was educated to mechanical dexterity. Smile if You please, — but reflect! Why is it that we in the United Stales surpass all other nations in the excellence of our tools of all kinds? Why are our axes, knives, hoes, spades, plows, the best in the world?
6. Because, in part at least, we learn in early life this alphabet of mechanics, theoretical and practical, — whittling. Nearly every head and hand is trained to it. We know and feel the difference between dull and sharp tools.
7. At ten years of age, we are all very fond and tolerably well skilled in the use of cutting instruments. This is the beginning, and we go on, as a matter of course, toward per