Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 34

into that city, that you may in your
mind compare such unlikely beginnings with the figure I have since
made there. I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come
round by sea. I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuff'd out
with shirts and stockings, and I knew no soul nor where to look for
lodging. I was fatigued with traveling, rowing, and want of rest, I
was very hungry; and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch
dollar, and about a shilling in copper. The latter I gave the people
of the boat for my passage, who at first refus'd it, on account of my
rowing; but I insisted on their taking it. A man being sometimes more
generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty,
perhaps thro' fear of being thought to have but little.

Then I walked up the street, gazing about till near the market-house I
met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring
where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to,
in Second-street, and ask'd for bisket, intending such as we had in
Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia. Then I
asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So not
considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater
cheapness nor the names of his bread, I bade him give me three-penny
worth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy rolls. I
was surpris'd at the quantity, but took it, and, having no room in my
pockets, walk'd off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other.
Thus I went up Market-street as far as Fourth-street, passing by the
door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; when she, standing at the
door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward,
ridiculous appearance. Then I turned and went down Chestnut-street and
part of Walnut-street, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round,
found myself again at Market-street wharf, near the boat I came in, to
which I went for a draught of the river water; and, being filled with
one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came
down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther.

[Illustration: "She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made,
as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance"]

Thus refreshed,

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
They have corrections in the author's hand-writing and, except for a few words, are quite legible.
Page 1
view of the historic and scientific interest of these letters, they are now printed exactly according to the press-copies.
Page 2
It diminished in Apparent Magnitude as it rose, till it enter'd the Clouds, when it seem'd to me scarce bigger than an Orange, and soon after became invisible, the Clouds concealing it.
Page 3
Montgolfier's Way will not cost more than half a Crown.
Page 4
Some say water was thrown into the flame, others that it was Spirits of Sal Volatile.
Page 5
Enclosed is a Copy of the _Proces verbal_ taken of the Experiment made yesterday in the Garden of the Queen's Palace la Muette where the Dauphin now resides which being near my House I was present.
Page 6
If those in the Gallery see it likely to descend in an improper Place, they can by throwing on more Straw, & renewing the Flame, make it rise again, and the Wind carries it farther.
Page 7
Charles propose to go up.
Page 8
Your Philosophy seems to be too bashful.
Page 9
With sincere & great Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obed^t humble Serv^t B.
Page 10
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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As this interesting document has never been published, to my knowledge, I have given it here _literatim_ from my press-copy.
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