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 109

the town. In the evening, hearing a
great noise among them, the commissioners walked to see what was the
matter; we found they had made a great bonfire in the middle of the
square: they were all drunk, men and women, quarrelling and fighting.
Their dark-coloured bodies, half naked, seen only by the gloomy light of
the bonfire, running after and beating one another with firebrands,
accompanied by their horrid yellings, formed a scene the most diabolical
that could well be imagined; there was no appeasing the tumult, and we
retired to our lodging. At midnight a number of them came thundering at
our door, demanding more rum, of which we took no notice. The next day,
sensible they had misbehaved in giving us that disturbance, they sent
three of their old counsellors to make their apology. The orator
acknowledged the fault, but laid it upon the rum; and then endeavoured
to excuse the rum by saying, "_The Great Spirit, who made all things,
made everything for some use, and whatever use he designed anything for,
that use it should always be put to_: now, when he made rum, he said,
And, indeed, if it be the design of Providence to extirpate these
savages, in order to make room for the cultivators of the earth, it
seems not impossible that rum may be the appointed means. It has already
annihilated all the tribes who formerly inhabited the seacoast.

In 1751, Dr. Thomas Bond, a particular friend of mine, conceived the
idea of establishing a hospital in Philadelphia (a very beneficent
design, which has been ascribed to me, but was originally and truly his)
for the reception and cure of poor sick persons, whether inhabitants of
the province or strangers. He was zealous and active in endeavouring to
procure subscriptions for it; but the proposal being a novelty in
America, and, at first, not well understood, he met with but little
success. At length he came to me with the compliment, that he found
there was no such a thing as carrying a public-spirited project through
without my being concerned in it. "For," said he, "I am often asked by
those to whom I propose subscribing, _Have you consulted Franklin on
this business? And what does he think of it?_ And when I tell them that
I have not (supposing it rather out of your line), they do not
subscribe, but say, _they will consider it_." I inquired into the nature
and probable utility of the scheme, and, receiving from him

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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Smyth, the editor of the last and most complete edition of Franklin's Works,[1] who made careful search for the original documents.
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But possibly it may pave the Way to some Discoveries in Natural Philosophy of which at present we have no Conception.
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Several Gentlemen have ordered small ones to be made for their Amusement.
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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.
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) PASSY, Nov^r 21st, 1783 Dear Sir, I received your friendly Letter of the 7th Inst.
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The Gallery hitched among the top Boughs of those Trees which had been cut and were stiff while the Body of the Balloon lean'd beyond and seemed likely to overset.
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They say they have a contrivance which will enable them to descend at Pleasure.
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When we have learnt to manage it, we may hope some time or other to find Uses for it, as Men have done for Magnetism and Electricity of which the first Experiments were mere Matters of Amusement.
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Faujas's Book upon the Balloons, which I hope you have receiv'd.
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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.
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Since writing the above, I have receiv'd the printed Paper & the Manuscript, containing some Particulars of the Experiment, which I enclose.
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Elle perdoit legerement par une petite ouverture qui existoit deja quelques heures avant son Depart aupres de l'appendice, et dont le Morceau de Taffetas que l'on y avoit applique au moment de l'experience, s'etoit detache.
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_ Smyth states that he reproduced this letter from my press-copy but he omits the capital letters and the contractions in spelling, as well as the references "A" and "B," which are given by Bigelow with the remark that the drawings were not found.
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" "Aiant encor" might be "Ayant encore", as printed in the "Journal des scavans" of January 1784, but was not corrected here; p.