Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 178

their _giving too much for their whistles_.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider,
that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain
things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John,
which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by
auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase,
and find that I had once more given too much for the _whistle_.

Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely and
with unalterable affection,

B. Franklin.


Passy, May 12, 1784.

Revd Sir,

It is now more than 60 years since I left Boston, but I remember well
both your father and grandfather, having heard them both in the
pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your father
was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first trip
to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library, and on my taking leave
showed me a shorter way out of the house through a narrow passage,
which was crossed by a beam overhead. We were still talking as I
withdrew, he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him,
when he said hastily, "_Stoop, stoop!_" I did not understand him, till
I felt my head hit against the beam. He was a man that never missed
any occasion of giving instruction, and upon this he said to me, "_You
are young, and have the world before you; stoop as you go through it,
and you will miss many hard thumps_." This advice, thus beat into my
head, has frequently been of use to me; and I often think of it, when
I see pride mortified, and misfortunes brought upon people by their
carrying their heads too high.

B. Franklin.



The last and most complete edition of Franklin's works is that by the
late Professor Albert H. Smyth, published in ten volumes by the
Macmillan Company, New York, under the title, _The Writings of
Benjamin Franklin_. The other standard edition is the _Works of
Benjamin Franklin_ by John Bigelow (New York, 1887). Mr. Bigelow's
first edition of the _Autobiography_ in one volume was published by
the J. B. Lippincott Company of Philadelphia in 1868. The life of
Franklin as a writer is well treated by J. B. McMaster in a volume of
_The American Men of Letters Series_; his life as a statesman and
diplomat, by J. T. Morse, _American Statesmen Series_, one volume;
Houghton, Mifflin Company publish both books.

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
None of the letters appear in Sparks' edition of Franklin's Works, and while all but one are included in the collections compiled by Bigelow and Smyth, there are numerous inaccuracies, some of which will be specified hereafter.
Page 1
A hollow Globe 12 feet Diameter was formed of what is called in England Oiled Silk, here _Taffetas gomme_, the Silk being impregnated with a Solution of Gum elastic in Lintseed Oil, as is said.
Page 2
It is said that for some Days after its being filled, the Ball was found to lose an eighth Part of its Force of Levity in 24 Hours; Whether this was from Imperfection in the Tightness of the Ball, or a Change in the Nature of the Air, Experiments may easily discover.
Page 3
Please to accept and present my Thanks.
Page 4
It carried under it a large Lanthorn with inscriptions on its sides.
Page 5
Its bottom was open, and in the middle of the Opening was fixed a kind of Basket Grate in which Faggots and Sheaves of Straw were burnt.
Page 6
As the Flame slackens, the rarified Air cools and condenses, the Bulk of the Balloon diminishes and it begins to descend.
Page 7
Montgolfier the very ingenious Inventor.
Page 8
In this Country we are not so much afraid of being laught at.
Page 9
I send you herewith a Paper in which you will see what was proposed by Mess^rs Robert who constructed the Machine; and some other Papers relative to the same Subject, the last of which is curious, as containing the Journal of the first Aerial Voyage performed by Man.
Page 10
Several Bags of Sand were taken on board before the Cord that held it down was cut, and the whole Weight being then too much to be lifted, such a Quantity was discharg'd as to permit its Rising slowly.
Page 11
is altered by the Pen to show its real State when it went off.
Page 12
On evalue qu'il a ete 50 minutes en l'air.
Page 13
28th and first printed in the _Journal de Paris_ but was republished by Faujas de Saint-Fond in his second volume.
Page 14
2^d", for 2nd.