Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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 105

that empty
houses, barns, &c., should be hired for them; and that the respective
provinces where they were should pay the expense, and furnish firing,
bedding, drink, and some other articles to the soldiers, _gratis_. There
is no way for any province to do this but by the Assembly's making a law
to raise the money. Pennsylvania Assembly has made such a law; New-York
Assembly has refused to do it; and now all the talk here is, of sending
a force to compel them.

"The reasons given by the Assembly to the governor for the refusal are,
that they understand the act to mean the furnishing such things to
soldiers only while on their march through the country, and not to great
bodies of soldiers, to be fixed, as at present, in the province; the
burden in the latter case being greater than the inhabitants can bear;
that it would put it in the power of the captain-general to oppress the
province at pleasure, &c. But there is supposed to be another reason at
bottom, which they intimate, though they do not plainly express it, to
wit, that it is of the nature of an _internal tax_ laid on them by
Parliament, which has no right so to do. Their refusal is here called
_rebellion_, and punishment is thought of.

"Now, waving that point of right, and supposing the legislatures in
America subordinate to the legislatures of Great Britain, one might
conceive, I think, a power in the superior legislature to forbid the
inferior legislatures making particular laws; but to enjoin it to make a
particular law, contrary to its own judgment, seems improper; an
assembly or parliament not being an _executive_ officer of government,
whose duty it is, in law-making, to obey orders, but a _deliberative_
body, who are to consider what comes before them, its propriety,
practicability, or possibility, and to determine accordingly; the very
nature of a parliament seems to be destroyed by supposing it may be
bound and compelled by a law of a superior parliament to make a law
contrary to its own judgment.

"Indeed, the act of Parliament in question has not, as in other acts,
when a duty is enjoined, directed a penalty on neglect or refusal, and a
mode of recovering that penalty. It seems, therefore, to the people in
America as a requisition, which they are at liberty to comply with or
not, as it may suit or not suit the different circumstances of the
different provinces. Pennsylvania has, therefore, voluntarily complied.
New-York, as I said before, has refused. The ministry that made the act,
and all their adherents,

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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The recent bi-centenary of Franklin's birth, which coincided with the revival of interest in balloons, makes this a timely topic, especially since Franklin's descriptions of the first balloon ascensions are almost unknown and do not appear among his philosophical papers.
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It was afterwards filled with the inflammable Air that is produced by pouring Oil of Vitriol upon Filings of Iron, when it was found to have a tendency upwards so strong as to be capable of lifting a Weight of 39 Pounds, exclusive of its own Weight which was 25 lbs.
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Since writing the above, I am favour'd with your kind Letter of the 25th.
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A Philosopher here, M.
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) PASSY, Nov^r 21st, 1783 Dear Sir, I received your friendly Letter of the 7th Inst.
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There was a vast Concourse of Gentry in the Garden, who had great Pleasure in seeing the Adventurers go off so chearfully, & applauded them by clapping &c.
Page 7
_Aiant encor dans leur Galerie les deux tiers de leur Approvisionement.
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If we do a foolish thing, we are the first to laugh at it ourselves, and are almost as much pleased with a _Bon Mot_ or a good _Chanson_, that ridicules well the Disappointment of a Project, as we might have been with its Success.
Page 9
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Thus it would sooner arrive at that Region where it would be in Equilibrio with the surrounding Air, and by discharging more Sand afterwards, it might go higher if desired.
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Tuesday Morning, Dec.
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2^d, which contains calculations in French relating to the balloon.
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"The Journal of the first Aerial Voyage," here mentioned, was written by the Marquis d'Arlandes to M.
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les deux tiers de leur Approvisionement.