Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 101

but I, who was
intimately acquainted with him (being employed in printing his sermons,
journals, &c.), never had the least suspicion of his integrity, but am
to this day decidedly of opinion that he was in all his conduct a
perfectly _honest man_; and methinks my testimony in his favour ought to
have the more weight, as we had no religious connexion. He used, indeed,
sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of
believing that his prayers were heard. Ours was a mere civil friendship,
sincere on both sides, and lasted to his death.

The last time I saw Mr. Whitefield was in London, when he consulted me
about his orphan-house concern, and his purpose of appropriating it to
the establishment of a college.

He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words so perfectly
that he might be heard and understood at a great distance, especially as
his auditors observed the most perfect silence. He preached one evening
from the top of the courthouse steps, which are in the middle of
Market-street, and on the west side of Second-street, which crosses it
at right angles. Both streets were filled with his hearers to a
considerable distance: being among the hindmost in Market-street, I had
the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backward
down the street towards the river, and I found his voice distinct till I
came near Front-street, when some noise in that street obscured it.
Imagining then a semicircle, of which my distance should be the radius,
and that it was filled with auditors, to each of whom I allowed two
square feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty
thousand. This reconciled me to the newspaper accounts of his having
preached to 25,000 people in the fields, and to the history of generals
haranguing whole armies, of which I had sometimes doubted.

By hearing him often I came to distinguish easily between sermons newly
composed and those which he had often preached in the course of his
travels. His delivery of the latter was so improved by frequent
repetition, that every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of
voice, was so perfectly well-turned and well-placed, that, without being
interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the
discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an
excellent piece of music. This is an advantage itinerant preachers have
over those who are stationary, as the latter cannot well improve their
delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals. His writing and printing

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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They have corrections in the author's hand-writing and, except for a few words, are quite legible.
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There it was held down by a Cord till 5 in the afternoon, when it was to be let loose.
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to forward the Transactions, as well as to the Council for so readily ordering them on Application.
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The Basket contained a sheep, a duck, and a Cock, who, except the Cock, received no hurt by the fall.
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a tree, and was torn in getting it down; so that it cannot be ascertained whether it burst when above, or not, tho' that is supposed.
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They say they had a charming View of Paris & its Environs, the Course of the River, &c but that they were once lost, not knowing what Part they were over, till they saw the Dome of the Invalids, which rectified their Ideas.
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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.
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Thus the great Bulk of one of these Machines, with the short duration of its Power, & the great Expence of filling the other will prevent the Inventions being of so much Use, as some may expect, till Chemistry can invent a cheaper light Air producible with more Expedition.
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Balloon we now inhabit.
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I had a Pocket Glass, with which I follow'd it, till I lost Sight, first of the Men, then of the Car, and when I last saw the Balloon, it appear'd no bigger than a Walnut.
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Il a ete ramasse par des Enfans et vendu 6_d.
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28th and first printed in the _Journal de Paris_ but was republished by Faujas de Saint-Fond in his second volume.
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