Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 151

and fir'd it as soon as fix'd, to let
the Indians know, if any were within hearing, that we had such pieces;
and thus our fort, if such a magnificent name may be given to so
miserable a stockade, was finish'd in a week, though it rain'd so hard
every other day that the men could not work.

[105] Here the pole connecting the front and rear wheels
of a wagon.

This gave me occasion to observe, that, when men are employ'd, they
are best content'd; for on the days they worked they were good-natur'd
and cheerful, and, with the consciousness of having done a good day's
work, they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were
mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their pork, the bread,
etc., and in continual ill-humour, which put me in mind of a
sea-captain, whose rule it was to keep his men constantly at work;
and, when his mate once told him that they had done everything, and
there was nothing further to employ them about, _"Oh," says he, "make
them scour the anchor."_

This kind of fort, however contemptible, is a sufficient defense
against Indians, who have no cannon. Finding ourselves now posted
securely, and having a place to retreat to on occasion, we ventur'd
out in parties to scour the adjacent country. We met with no Indians,
but we found the places on the neighbouring hills where they had lain
to watch our proceedings. There was an art in their contrivance of
those places that seems worth mention. It being winter, a fire was
necessary for them; but a common fire on the surface of the ground
would by its light have discover'd their position at a distance. They
had therefore dug holes in the ground about three feet diameter, and
somewhat deeper; we saw where they had with their hatchets cut off the
charcoal from the sides of burnt logs lying in the woods. With these
coals they had made small fires in the bottom of the holes, and we
observ'd among the weeds and grass the prints of their bodies, made by
their laying all round, with their legs hanging down in the holes to
keep their feet warm, which, with them, is an essential point. This
kind of fire, so manag'd, could not discover them, either by its
light, flame, sparks, or even smoke: it appear'd that their number was
not great, and it seems they saw we were too many to be attacked by
them with prospect of advantage.

We had for our chaplain

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons BY ABBOTT LAWRENCE ROTCH Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society Volume XVIII WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS THE DAVIS PRESS 1907 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE FIRST BALLOONS.
Page 1
It was brought early in the morning to the _Champ de Mars_, a Field in which Reviews are sometimes made, lying between the Military School and the River.
Page 2
Montgolfier himself, at the Expence of the Academy, which is to go up in a few Days.
Page 3
Some think Progressive Motion on the Earth may be advanc'd by it, and that a Running Footman or a Horse slung and suspended under such a Globe so as to have no more of Weight pressing the Earth with their Feet, than Perhaps 8 or 10 Pounds, might with a fair Wind run in a straight Line across Countries.
Page 4
as fast as that Wind, and over Hedges, Ditches & even Waters.
Page 5
This Paper was drawn up hastily, and may in some Places appear to you obscure; therefore I shall add a few explanatory Observations.
Page 6
I was then in great Pain for the Men, thinking them in danger of being thrown out, or burnt for I expected that the Balloon being no longer upright the Flame would have laid hold of the inside that leaned over it.
Page 7
_Aiant encor dans leur Galerie les deux tiers de leur Approvisionement.
Page 8
If we do a foolish thing, we are the first to laugh at it ourselves, and are almost as much pleased with a _Bon Mot_ or a good _Chanson_, that ridicules well the Disappointment of a Project, as we might have been with its Success.
Page 9
With sincere & great Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obed^t humble Serv^t B.
Page 10
Charles, Professor of Experimental Philosophy, & a zealous Promoter of that Science; and one of the Messieurs Robert, the very ingenious Constructors of the Machine.
Page 11
Ils y ont ete accueillis par Mrs.
Page 12
On evalue qu'il a ete 50 minutes en l'air.
Page 13
Faujas' work, published in 1784.
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"; p.