Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 139

and had rejected all
their bills for not having such an exempting clause, now redoubled his
attacks with more hope of success, the danger and necessity being
greater. The Assembly, however, continued firm, believing they had
justice on their side, and that it would be giving up an essential
right if they suffered the governor to amend their money bills. In one
of the last, indeed, which was for granting fifty thousand pounds, his
proposed amendment was only of a single word. The bill expressed that
all estates, real and personal, were to be taxed, those of the
proprietaries not excepted. His amendment was, "for _not_ read
_only_"--a small, but very material, alteration.

However, when the news of this disaster reached England, our friends
there, whom we had taken care to furnish with all the Assembly's
answers to the governor's messages, raised a clamor against the
proprietaries for their meanness and injustice in giving their
governor such instructions; some going so far as to say that, by
obstructing the defense of their province, they forfeited their right
to it. They were intimidated by this, and sent orders to their
receiver-general to add five thousand pounds of their money to
whatever sum might be given by the Assembly for such purpose.

This, being notified to the House, was accepted in lieu of their share
of a general tax, and a new bill was formed, with an exempting clause,
which passed accordingly. By this act I was appointed one of the
commissioners for disposing of the money,--sixty thousand pounds. I
had been active in modeling the bill and procuring its passage, and
had, at the same time, drawn a bill for establishing and disciplining
a voluntary militia, which I carried through the House without much
difficulty, as care was taken in it to leave the Quakers at their
liberty. To promote the association necessary to form the militia, I
wrote a dialogue,[175] stating and answering all the objections I
could think of to such a militia, which was printed, and had, as I
thought, great effect.

While the several companies in the city and country were forming, and
learning their exercise, the governor prevailed with me to take charge
of our northwestern frontier, which was infested by the enemy, and
provide for the defense of the inhabitants by raising troops and
building a line of forts. I undertook this military business, though I
did not conceive myself well qualified for it. He gave me a commission
with full powers, and a parcel of blank commissions for officers, to
be given to whom I thought fit. I had but little difficulty in

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
In general it may be said that, whereas Bigelow gives the text without paragraphs, capital letters or the old spelling,[2] Smyth follows the originals more closely.
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
Page 3
I just now learn, that some observers say, the Ball was 150 Seconds in rising, from the Cutting of the Cord till hid in the Clouds; that its height was then about 500 Toises, but, being moved out of the Perpendicular by the Wind, it had made a Slant so as to form a Triangle, whose Base on the Earth was about 200 Toises.
Page 4
The Duke de Crillon made a feast last week in the Bois de Boulogne, just by my habitation, on occasion of the Birth of two Spanish Princes; after the Fireworks we had a Balloon of about 5 feet Diameter filled with permanent inflammable Air.
Page 5
If I am well at the Time, I purpose to be present, being a subscriber myself, and shall send you an exact Account of Particulars.
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
The other Method of filling a Balloon with permanently elastic inflammable Air, and then closing it is a tedious Operation, and very expensive; Yet we are to have one of that kind sent up in a few Days.
Page 8
We should not suffer Pride to prevent our progress in Science.
Page 9
Dear Sir, In mine of yesterday, I promis'd to give you an Account of Mess^rs.
Page 10
I am the more anxious for the Event, because I am not well inform'd of the Means provided for letting themselves gently down, and the Loss of these very ingenious Men would not only be a Discouragement to the Progress of the Art, but be a sensible Loss to Science and Society.
Page 11
Charles voulant profiter du peu de Jour qui lui restoit, pour.
Page 12
" Both Bigelow and Smyth give another paragraph in the Postscript, beyond the signature "B.
Page 13
25th" is not in the press-copy, contrary to Smyth's statement, but I have a press-copy of the French _Proces-Verbal_, therein referred to, in Franklin's handwriting with his name and eight others affixed as witnesses.
Page 14
Pilatre de Rozier"; p.