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 47

My brother-in-law, Holmes, being now at Philadelphia, advised
my return to my business; and Keimer tempted me with an offer of large
wages by the year, to come and take the management of his
printing-house, that he might better attend to his stationer's shop. I
had heard a bad character of him in London from his wife and her
friends, and was not for having any more to do with him. I wished for
employment as a merchant's clerk, but not meeting with any, I closed
again with Keimer. I found in his house these hands: Hugh Meredith, a
Welsh Pennsylvanian, thirty years of age, bred to country work; he was
honest, sensible, a man of experience, and fond of reading, but addicted
to drinking. Stephen Potts, a young countryman of full age, bred to the
same, of uncommon natural parts, and great wit and humour, but a little
idle. These he had agreed with at extreme low wages per week, to be
raised a shilling every three months as they should deserve by improving
in their business; and the expectation of these high wages to come on
hereafter was what he had drawn them in with. Meredith was to work at
press, Potts at bookbinding, which he, by agreement, was to teach them,
though he knew neither one nor the other. John Savage, an Irishman,
brought up to no business, whose service for four years Keimer had
purchased from the captain of a ship; he too was to be made a pressman.
George Webb, an Oxford scholar, whose time for four years he had
likewise bought, intending him for a compositor (of whom more
presently), and David Harry, a country boy, whom he had taken

I soon perceived that the intention of engaging me, at wages so much
higher than he had been used to give, was to have these raw, cheap hands
formed through me; and, as soon as I had instructed them (they being all
articled to him), he should be able to do without me. I went, however,
very cheerfully, put his printing-house in order, which had been in
great confusion, and brought his hands by degrees to mind their
business, and to do it better.

It was an odd thing to find an Oxford scholar in the situation of a
bought servant; he was not more than eighteen years of age; he gave me
this account of himself: that he was born in Gloucester, educated at a
grammar-school, and had been distinguished among the scholars for some
apparent superiority in performing his part when they exhibited plays;
belonged to the

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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Although the American owners of these copies did not allow them to be transcribed, Mr.
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Charles, Professor of experimental Philosophy at Paris.
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With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant B.
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Some think Progressive Motion on the Earth may be advanc'd by it, and that a Running Footman or a Horse slung and suspended under such a Globe so as to have no more of Weight pressing the Earth with their Feet, than Perhaps 8 or 10 Pounds, might with a fair Wind run in a straight Line across Countries.
Page 4
The Night was quite calm and clear, so that it went right up.
Page 5
This Balloon was larger than that which went up from Versailles and carried the Sheep, &c.
Page 6
Probably while they were employed in keeping up the Fire, the Machine might turn, and by that means they were _desorientes_ as the French call it.
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Charles propose to go up.
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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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Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great Balloon's rising so high as might indanger its Bursting.
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When the Tickets were engraved, the Car was to have been hung to the Neck of the Globe, as represented by a little Drawing I have made in the Corner A.
Page 12
In paragraph three, for "Post," in Smyth, read "Port;" in paragraph six for "Adventures," in Smyth, read "Adventurers;" in paragraph thirteen.
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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.
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There are two occurences of "&c" for "&c.