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 125

France, but
all Europe, yourselves included, most certainly and for ever, would
despise us if we were weak enough to accept your insidious
propositions.

"Our expectations of the future grandeur of America are not so
magnificent, and, therefore, not so vain and visionary, as you represent
them to be. The body of our people are not merchants, but humble
husbandmen, who delight in the cultivation of their lands, which, from
their fertility and the variety of our climates, are capable of
furnishing all the necessaries of life without external commerce; and we
have too much land to have the slightest temptation to extend our
territory by conquest from peaceable neighbours, as well as too much
justice to think of it. Our militia, you find by experience, are
sufficient to defend our lands from invasion; and the commerce with us
will be defended by all the nations who find an advantage in it. We
therefore have not the occasion you imagine, of fleets or standing
armies, but may leave those expensive machines to be maintained for the
pomp of princes and the wealth of ancient states. We propose, if
possible, to live in peace with all mankind; and, after you have been
convinced, to your cost, that there is nothing to be got by attacking
us, we have reason to hope that no other power will judge it prudent to
quarrel with us, lest they divert us from our own quiet industry, and
turn us into corsairs preying upon theirs. The weight, therefore, of an
independent empire, which you seem certain of our inability to bear,
will not be so great as you imagine. The expense of our civil government
we have always borne, and can easily bear, because it is small. A
virtuous and laborious people may be cheaply governed. Determining as we
do to have no offices of profit, nor any sinecures or useless
appointments, so common in ancient and corrupted states, we can govern
ourselves a year for the sum you pay in a single department, or for what
one jobbing contractor, by the favour of a minister, can cheat you out
of in a single article.

"You think we flatter ourselves, and are deceived into an opinion that
England _must_ acknowledge our independence. We, on the other hand,
think you flatter yourselves in imagining such an acknowledgment a vast
boon which we strongly desire, and which you may gain some great
advantage by granting or withholding. We have never asked it of you. We
only tell you that you can have no treaty with us but as an independent
state; and you may please yourselves

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
They were purchased by me from Dodd, Mead & Co.
Page 1
30, 1783.
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With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant B.
Page 3
A Philosopher here, M.
Page 4
The Basket contained a sheep, a duck, and a Cock, who, except the Cock, received no hurt by the fall.
Page 5
) PASSY, Nov^r 21st, 1783 Dear Sir, I received your friendly Letter of the 7th Inst.
Page 6
When it went over our Heads, we could see the Fire which was very considerable.
Page 7
It is a Globe of 26 feet diameter.
Page 8
This Experience is by no means a trifling one.
Page 9
Never before was a philosophical Experiment so magnificently attended.
Page 10
Charles, Professor of Experimental Philosophy, & a zealous Promoter of that Science; and one of the Messieurs Robert, the very ingenious Constructors of the Machine.
Page 11
le Duc de Chartre et Fitz James, qui apres les avoir embrasses, ont signe le Proces verbal de lieu et d'heure.
Page 12
faire encore quelques observations, impatiente de la Lenteur de cette operation, a repris son Vol a 4 heures et 1/4, avec un excedant de Legerete d'environ 100 Livres par une Ascension droite et une rapidite telle qu'en peu de tems le Globe s'est trouve hors de vue.
Page 13
As this interesting document has never been published, to my knowledge, I have given it here _literatim_ from my press-copy.
Page 14
" "Aiant encor" might be "Ayant encore", as printed in the "Journal des scavans" of January 1784, but was not corrected here; p.