Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 21

Places this stone.
J. F. born 1655, died 1744, AEtat 89.
A. F. born 1667, died 1752,----85.

[15] This marble having decayed, the citizens of Boston
in 1827 erected in its place a granite obelisk,
twenty-one feet high, bearing the original inscription
quoted in the text and another explaining the erection
of the monument.

By my rambling digressions I perceive myself to be grown old. I us'd
to write more methodically. But one does not dress for private company
as for a publick ball. 'Tis perhaps only negligence.

To return: I continued thus employed in my father's business for two
years, that is, till I was twelve years old; and my brother John, who
was bred to that business, having left my father, married, and set up
for himself at Rhode Island, there was all appearance that I was
destined to supply his place, and become a tallow-chandler. But my
dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensions
that if he did not find one for me more agreeable, I should break away
and get to sea, as his son Josiah had done, to his great vexation. He
therefore sometimes took me to walk with him, and see joiners,
bricklayers, turners, braziers, etc., at their work, that he might
observe my inclination, and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other
on land. It has ever since been a pleasure to me to see good workmen
handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learnt so
much by it as to be able to do little jobs myself in my house when a
workman could not readily be got, and to construct little machines for
my experiments, while the intention of making the experiment was fresh
and warm in my mind. My father at last fixed upon the cutler's trade,
and my uncle Benjamin's son Samuel, who was bred to that business in
London, being about that time established in Boston, I was sent to be
with him some time on liking. But his expectations of a fee with me
displeasing my father, I was taken home again.



From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came
into my hands was ever laid

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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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.
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The great one of M.
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The Night was quite calm and clear, so that it went right up.
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This Paper was drawn up hastily, and may in some Places appear to you obscure; therefore I shall add a few explanatory Observations.
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_ When they were as high as they chose to be, they made less Flame and suffered the Machine to drive Horizontally with the Wind, of which however they felt very little, as they went with it, and as fast.
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It is a Globe of 26 feet diameter.
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In this Country we are not so much afraid of being laught at.
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I did hope to have given you to day an Account of Mr.
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great Balloon was near, and a small one was discharg'd which went to an amazing Height, there being but little Wind to make it deviate from its perpendicular Course, and at length the Sight of it was lost.
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--I hear farther, that the Travellers had perfect Command of their Carriage, descending as they pleas'd by letting some of the inflammable Air escape, and rising again by discharging some Sand; that they descended over a Field so low as to talk with Labourers in passing and mounted again to pass a Hill.
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However, other changes were introduced in the _Proces-Verbal_ when reprinted in the second volume of M.
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