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 133

which long fair weather and sunshine had
enfeebled and discoloured, and which in that weak state, by a
thunder-gust of violent wind, hail, and rain, seemed to be threatened
with absolute destruction; yet the storm being past, it recovers fresh
verdure, shoots up with double vigour, and delights the eye not of its
owner only, but of every observing traveller.

"The best wishes that can be formed for your health, honour, and
happiness, ever attend you, from yours, &c.,


* * * * *

"_To M. Court de Gebelin,[22] Paris._

[22] Antoine Court de Gebelin, born at Nismes in 1725, became a
minister of a Protestant communion in the Cevennes, then at
Lausanne: he quitted the clerical function for literature, at
Paris, where he acquired so great a reputation as an antiquary and
philosopher that he was appointed to attend one of the museums. His
reputation suffered by his zeal in favour of animal magnetism. He
died at Paris, May 13, 1784. His great work is entitled, "Monde
Primitif, analyse et compare avec le Monde Moderne," 9 tom. 4to.
The excellence of his character may be appreciated from the fact,
that, on quitting Switzerland, he voluntarily gave to his sister
the principal part of his patrimony, reserving but little for
himself, and relying for a maintenance upon the exercise of his

"Passy, May 7, 1781.


"I am glad the little book[23] proved acceptable. It does

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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
) PASSY, Aug.
Page 2
I thought it my Duty, Sir, to send an early Account of this extraordinary Fact, to the Society which does me the honour to reckon me among its Members; and I will endeavour to make it more perfect, as I receive farther Information.
Page 3
Several Gentlemen have ordered small ones to be made for their Amusement.
Page 4
I send you with it some prints.
Page 5
With great esteem and respect, for yourself and the Society; I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant, B.
Page 6
If those in the Gallery see it likely to descend in an improper Place, they can by throwing on more Straw, & renewing the Flame, make it rise again, and the Wind carries it farther.
Page 7
_ That is, in plain English, _burning more straw_; for tho' there is a little Mystery made, concerning the kind of Air with which the Balloon is filled, I conceive it to be nothing more than hot Smoke or common Air rarify'd, tho' in this I may be mistaken.
Page 8
It may be attended with important Consequences that no one can foresee.
Page 9
--I purpose being present to-morrow at the Experiment, and shall give you an Acc^t of it by the Wednesday's Post.
Page 10
Between One & Two aClock, all Eyes were gratified with seeing it rise majestically from among the Trees, and ascend gradually above the Buildings, a most beautiful Spectacle! When it was about 200 feet high, the brave Adventurers held out and wav'd a little white Pennant, on both Sides their Car, to salute the Spectators, who return'd loud Claps of Applause.
Page 11
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
Page 13
_Letter of December 1.
Page 14
" "Aiant encor" might be "Ayant encore", as printed in the "Journal des scavans" of January 1784, but was not corrected here; p.