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 69

and situation of a _rising_ people; and in this respect
I do not think that the writings of Caesar and Tacitus can be more
interesting to a true judge of human nature and society.

"But these, sir, are small reasons, in my opinion, compared with
the chance which your life will give for the forming of future
great men; and, in conjunction with your _Art of Virtue_ (which you
design to publish), of improving the features of private character,
and, consequently, of aiding all happiness, both public and

"The two works I allude to, sir, will, in particular, give a noble
rule and example of _self-education_. School and other education
constantly proceed upon false principles, and show a clumsy
apparatus pointed at a false mark; but your apparatus is simple,
and the mark a true one; and while parents and young persons are
left destitute of other just means of estimating and becoming
prepared for a reasonable course in life, your discovery, that the
thing is in many a man's private power, will be invaluable!

"Influence upon the private character, late in life, is not only an
influence late in life, but a weak influence. It is in _youth_ that
we plant our chief habits and prejudices; it is in youth that we
take our party as to profession, pursuits, and matrimony. In youth,
therefore, the turn is given; in youth the education even of the
next generation is given; in youth the private and public character
is determined; and the term of life extending but from youth to
age, life ought to begin well from youth; and more especially
_before_ we take our party as to our principal objects.

"But your biography will not merely teach self-education, but the

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
It is certainly remarkable that Franklin, in the midst of diplomatic and social duties, could have found time to investigate personally this new invention of which he at once appreciated the possibilities.
Page 1
The Champ de Mars being surrounded by Multitudes, and vast Numbers on the opposite Side of the River.
Page 2
It is suppos'd to have burst by the Elasticity of the contain'd Air when no longer compress'd by so heavy an Atmosphere.
Page 3
The great one of M.
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
Page 6
The Persons who were plac'd in the Gallery made of Wicker, and attached to the Outside near the Bottom, had each of them a Port thro' which they could pass Sheaves of Straw into the Grate to keep up the Flame, & thereby keep the Balloon full.
Page 7
They say they have a contrivance which will enable them to descend at Pleasure.
Page 8
But the Emulation between the two Parties running high, the Improvement in the Construction and Management of the Balloons has already made a rapid Progress; and one cannot say how far it may go.
Page 9
Some Guns were fired to give Notice, that the Departure of the.
Page 10
I hope they descended by Day-light, so as to see & avoid falling among Trees or on Houses, and that the Experiment was completed without any mischievous Accident which the Novelty of it & the want of Experience might well occasion.
Page 11
Charles hier a 10 heures 1/4 du Soir et a dit, Que les Voyageurs etoient descendus lentement et volontairement a trois heures 3/4 dans les Marais de Nesle et d'Hebouville, une lieue et demie apres l'Isle Adam.
Page 12
" Both Bigelow and Smyth give another paragraph in the Postscript, beyond the signature "B.
Page 13
Page 14
unchanged: p.