Front Page Titles (by Subject) XCVII: TO JARED ELIOT - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. II Letters and Misc. Writings 1735-1753
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XCVII: TO JARED ELIOT - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. II Letters and Misc. Writings 1735-1753 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. II (Letters and Misc. Writings 1735-1753).
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TO JARED ELIOT
Philadelphia, 12 April, 1753.
I received your favor of March 26th, and thank you for communicating to me the very ingenious letter from your friend, Mr. Todd, with whom, if it may be agreeable to him, I would gladly entertain a correspondence. I shall consider his objections till next post.
I thank you for your hint concerning the word adhesion, which should be defined. When I speak of particles of water adhering to particles of air, I mean not a firm adhesion, but a loose one, like that of a drop of water to the end of an icicle before freezing. The firm adhesion is after it is frozen.
I conceive that the original constituent particles of water are perfectly hard, round, and smooth. If so, there must be interstices, and yet the mass incompressible. A box filled with small shot has many interstices, and the shot may be compressed, because they are not perfectly hard. If they were, the interstices would remain the same, notwithstanding the greatest pressure, and would admit sand, as water admits salt.
Our vessel, named the Argo, is gone for the northwest passage; and the captain has borrowed my Journals of the last voyage, except one volume of a broken set, which I send you. I enclose a letter from our friend, Mr. Collinson, and am promised some speltz, which I shall send per next post.
The Tatler tells us of a girl who was observed to grow suddenly proud, and none could guess the reason, till it came to be known that she had got on a pair of new silk garters. Lest you should be puzzled to guess the cause, when you observe any thing of the kind in me, I think I will not hide my new garters under my petticoats, but take the freedom to show them to you, in a paragraph of our friend Collinson’s last letter, viz.—But I ought to mortify, and not indulge, this vanity; I will not transcribe the paragraph, yet I cannot forbear.
“If any of thy friends,” says Peter, “should take notice that thy head is held a little higher up than formerly, let them know: when the grand monarch of France strictly commands the Abbé Mazéas to write a letter in the politest terms to the Royal Society, to return the King’s thanks and compliments in an express manner to Mr. Franklin of Pennsylvania, for his useful discoveries in electricity, and application of the pointed rods to prevent the terrible effects of thunder-storms, I say, after all this, is not some allowance to be made, if thy crest is a little elevated? There are four letters containing very curious experiments on thy doctrine of points and its verification, which will be printed in the new Transactions. I think, now I have stuck a feather in thy cap, I may be allowed to conclude in wishing thee long to wear it. Thine, P. Collinson.”
On reconsidering this paragraph, I fear I have not so much reason to be proud as the girl had; for a feather in the cap is not so useful a thing, or so serviceable to the wearer, as a pair of good silk garters. The pride of man is very differently gratified; and had his Majesty sent me a marshal’s staff, I think I could scarce have been so proud of it as I am of your esteem, and of subscribing myself, with sincerity, dear Sir,
Your affectionate friend and humble servant,