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 94

dancing; by
preserving them from losses by imposition of crafty men, and enabling
them to continue, perhaps, a profitable mercantile house, with
established correspondence, till a son is grown up fit to undertake and
go on with it, to the lasting advantage and enriching of the family.

I had begun in 1733 to study languages; I soon made myself so much
master of the French as to be able to read the books in that language
with ease. I then undertook the Italian: an acquaintance, who was also
learning it, used often to tempt me to play chess with him: finding this
took up too much of the time I had to spare for study, I at length
refused to play any more, unless on this condition, that the victor in
every game should have a right to impose a task, either of parts of the
grammar to be got by heart, or in translations, &c., which tasks the
vanquished was to perform upon honour before our next meeting: as we
played pretty equally, we thus beat one another into that language. I
afterward, with a little painstaking, acquired as much of the Spanish as
to read their books also. I have already mentioned that I had only one
year's instruction in a Latin school, and that when very young, after
which I neglected that language entirely. But when I had attained an
acquaintance with the French, Italian, and Spanish, I was surprised to
find, on looking over a Latin Testament, that I understood more of that
language than I had imagined, which encouraged me to apply myself again
to the study of it; and I met with the more success, as those preceding
languages had greatly smoothed my way. From these circumstances, I have
thought there was some inconsistency in our common mode of teaching
languages. We are told that it is proper to begin first with the Latin,
and, having acquired that, it will be more easy to attain those modern
languages which are derived from it; and yet we do not begin with the
Greek in order more easily to acquire the Latin. It is true, that if we
can clamber and get to the top of a staircase without using the steps,
we shall more easily gain them in descending; but certainly, if we begin
with the lowest, we shall with more ease ascend to the top; and I would
therefore offer it to the consideration of those who superintend the
education of our youth, whether--since many of those who begin with the
Latin, quit the same after spending some

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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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A hollow Globe 12 feet Diameter was formed of what is called in England Oiled Silk, here _Taffetas gomme_, the Silk being impregnated with a Solution of Gum elastic in Lintseed Oil, as is said.
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S.
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Please to accept and present my Thanks.
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It lodged in.
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I send you enclosed the Proposals, which it is said are already subscribed to by a considerable number and likely to be carried into execution.
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but there was at the same time a good deal of Anxiety for their Safety.
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But the Expence of this Machine, Filling included, will exceed, it is said, 10,000 Livres.
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In this Country we are not so much afraid of being laught at.
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) PASSY, Dec.
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Several Bags of Sand were taken on board before the Cord that held it down was cut, and the whole Weight being then too much to be lifted, such a Quantity was discharg'd as to permit its Rising slowly.
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Robert etant sorti du Char, et aide de quelques Paysans, se disposoit a remplacer sa Pesanteur avec de la Terre; mais M.
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NOTES CONCERNING THE LETTERS.
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_ This has never been published so far as I know.
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16, there are several missing accents that might have been in the original French document, in "desorientes", "operation", "deja", "depart", "detache" and "extremites".