Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 27

set many of the facts
in a very ridiculous light, and might have hurt weak minds if his work
had been published; but it never was.

At his house I lay that night, and the next morning reached
Burlington, but had the mortification to find that the regular boats
were gone a little before my coming, and no other expected to go
before Tuesday, this being Saturday; wherefore I returned to an old
woman in the town of whom I had bought gingerbread to eat on the
water, and asked her advice. She invited me to lodge at her house till
a passage by water should offer; and, being tired with my foot
traveling, I accepted the invitation. She, understanding I was a
printer, would have had me stay at that town and follow my business,
being ignorant of the stock necessary to begin with. She was very
hospitable, gave me a dinner of ox cheek with great good will,
accepting only of a pot of ale in return; and I thought myself fixed
till Tuesday should come. However, walking in the evening by the side
of the river, a boat came by, which I found was going toward
Philadelphia, with several people in her. They took me in, and, as
there was no wind, we rowed all the way, and about midnight, not
having yet seen the city, some of the company were confident we must
have passed it, and would row no farther. The others knew not where we
were; so we put toward the shore, got into a creek, and landed near an
old fence, with the rails of which we made a fire, the night being
cold, in October, and there we remained till daylight. Then one of the
company knew the place to be Cooper's Creek, a little above
Philadelphia, which we saw as soon as we got out of the creek, and
arrived there about eight or nine o'clock on the Sunday morning, and
landed at the Market Street wharf.

I have been the more particular in this description of my journey, and
shall be so of my first entry 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 stuffed 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

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
The documents which I publish are copies of Franklin's letters, made on thin paper in a copying press (probably the rotary machine invented by Franklin), and all but one bear his signature in ink.
Page 1
There it was held down by a Cord till 5 in the afternoon, when it was to be let loose.
Page 2
Since writing the above, I am favour'd with your kind Letter of the 25th.
Page 3
Montgolfier's Way will not cost more than half a Crown.
Page 4
And that to get Money, it will be contrived to give People an extensive View of the Country, by running them up in an Elbow Chair a Mile high for a Guinea &c.
Page 5
It is to carry up a Man.
Page 6
_ That is against the Trees of one of the Walks.
Page 7
_Developpant du Gaz.
Page 8
We should not suffer Pride to prevent our progress in Science.
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
Between One & Two aClock, all Eyes were gratified with seeing it rise majestically from among the Trees, and ascend gradually above the Buildings, a most beautiful Spectacle! When it was about 200 feet high, the brave Adventurers held out and wav'd a little white Pennant, on both Sides their Car, to salute the Spectators, who return'd loud Claps of Applause.
Page 11
I suppose it may have been an Apprehension of Danger in straining too much the Balloon or tearing the Silk, that induc'd the Constructors to throw a Net over it, fix'd to a Hoop which went round its Middle, and to hang the Car to that Hoop, as you see in Fig.
Page 12
" Both Bigelow and Smyth give another paragraph in the Postscript, beyond the signature "B.
Page 13
The plate forming the frontispiece to this volume shows the balloon as seen from Mr.
Page 14
" "Aiant encor" might be "Ayant encore", as printed in the "Journal des scavans" of January 1784, but was not corrected here; p.