Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 137

contest, and we often din'd together.

[Illustration: "One afternoon, in the height of this
public quarrel, we met in the street"]

One afternoon, in the height of this public quarrel, we met in the
street. "Franklin," says he, "you must go home with me and spend the
evening; I am to have some company that you will like;" and, taking me
by the arm, he led me to his house. In gay conversation over our wine,
after supper, he told us, jokingly, that he much admir'd the idea of
Sancho Panza,[93] who, when it was proposed to give him a government,
requested it might be a government of _blacks_, as then, if he could
not agree with his people, he might sell them. One of his friends, who
sat next to me, says, "Franklin, why do you continue to side with
these damn'd Quakers? Had not you better sell them? The proprietor
would give you a good price." "The governor," says I, "has not yet
_blacked_ them enough." He, indeed, had laboured hard to blacken the
Assembly in all his messages, but they wip'd off his colouring as fast
as he laid it on, and plac'd it, in return, thick upon his own face;
so that, finding he was likely to be negrofied himself, he, as well as
Mr. Hamilton, grew tir'd of the contest, and quitted the government.

These public quarrels[94] were all at bottom owing to the
proprietaries, our hereditary governors, who, when any expense was to
be incurred for the defense of their province, with incredible
meanness instructed their deputies to pass no act for levying the
necessary taxes, unless their vast estates were in the same act
expressly excused; and they had even taken bonds of these deputies to
observe such instructions. The Assemblies for three years held out
against this injustice, tho' constrained to bend at last. At length
Captain Denny, who was Governor Morris's successor, ventured to
disobey those instructions; how that was brought about I shall show

[93] The "round, selfish, and self-important" squire of
Don Quixote in Cervantes' romance of that name.

[94] My acts in Morris's time, military, etc.--_Marg.

But I am got forward too fast with my story: there are still some
transactions to be mention'd that happened during the administration
of Governor Morris.

War being in a manner commenced with France, the government of
Massachusetts Bay projected an attack upon Crown Point,[95] and sent
Mr. Quincy to Pennsylvania, and Mr. Pownall, afterward Governor
Pownall, to New York, to solicit assistance. As

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Page 1
Sir, On Wednesday, the 27th Instant the new aerostatic Experiment, invented by Mess^rs.
Page 2
A Note secur'd from the Weather had been affix'd to the Globe, signifying the Time & Place of its Departure, and praying those who might happen to find it, to send an account of its State to certain Persons at Paris.
Page 3
Pilatre du Rozier has seriously apply'd to the Academy for leave to go up with it, in order to make some Experiments.
Page 4
The appearance of the light diminished gradually till it appeared no bigger than one of the Stars, and in about twenty minutes I lost sight of it entirely.
Page 5
Most is expected from the new one undertaken upon subscription by Messieurs Charles and Robert, who are Men of Science and mechanic Dexterity.
Page 6
They say they had a charming View of Paris & its Environs, the Course of the River, &c but that they were once lost, not knowing what Part they were over, till they saw the Dome of the Invalids, which rectified their Ideas.
Page 7
It was well that in the hurry of so hazardous an Experiment, the Flame did not happen by any accidental Mismanagement to lay hold of this Straw; tho' each had a Bucket of Water by him, by Way of Precaution.
Page 8
I am sorry this Experiment is totally neglected in England where mechanic Genius is so strong.
Page 9
I did hope to have given you to day an Account of Mr.
Page 10
I hope they descended by Day-light, so as to see & avoid falling among Trees or on Houses, and that the Experiment was completed without any mischievous Accident which the Novelty of it & the want of Experience might well occasion.
Page 11
is altered by the Pen to show its real State when it went off.
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faire encore quelques observations, impatiente de la Lenteur de cette operation, a repris son Vol a 4 heures et 1/4, avec un excedant de Legerete d'environ 100 Livres par une Ascension droite et une rapidite telle qu'en peu de tems le Globe s'est trouve hors de vue.
Page 13
" Minor discrepancies between this and the other press-copies and the letters as printed by Bigelow and Smyth also occur.
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14, "Carr" corrected to "Car" in "on both Sides their Car,"; p.