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 137

concerned in the pieces of personal abuse,
so scandalously common in our newspapers, that I am afraid to lend any
of them here till I have examined and laid aside such as would disgrace
us, and subject us among strangers to a reflection like that used by a
gentleman in a coffee-house to two quarrellers, who, after a mutually
free use of the words rogue, villain, rascal scoundrel, &c., seemed as
if they would refer their dispute to him: 'I know nothing of you or your
affairs,' said he; 'I only perceive _that you know one another_.'

"The conductor of a newspaper should, methinks, consider himself as in
some degree the guardian of his country's reputation, and refuse to
insert such writings as may hurt it. If people will print their abuses
of one another, let them do it in little pamphlets, and distribute them
where they think proper. It is absurd to trouble all the world with
them, and unjust to subscribers in distant places, to stuff their paper
with matter so unprofitable and so disagreeable. With sincere esteem and
affection, I am, my dear friend, ever yours,


* * * * *

"_Samuel Huntingdon, President of Congress._

"Passy, March 12, 1781.


I had the honour of receiving, on the 13th of last month, your
excellency's letter of the 1st of January, together with the
instructions of November 28th and December 27th, a copy of those to
Colonel Laurens, and the letter to the king. I immediately drew up a
memorial, enforcing as strongly as I could the request contained in that
letter, and directed by the instructions, and delivered the same with
the letter, which were both well received. * * *

"I must now beg leave to say something relating to myself, a subject
with which I have not often troubled the

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Williamson, of Grandview-on-the-Hudson, to whom they had come from Vienna.
Page 1
The letter dated November 30, appears never to have been printed and whereas Smyth reproduced the letter of November 21 from the University of Pennsylvania draft, this or another draft (or possibly this copy) was in the possession of the French aeronaut, Gaston Tissandier, about 1887.
Page 2
One of 38 feet Diameter is preparing by Mr.
Page 3
Please to accept and present my Thanks.
Page 4
We have only at present the enclosed Pamphlet, which does not answer the expectation given us.
Page 5
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.
Page 6
Multitudes in Paris saw the Balloon passing; but did not know there were Men with it, it being then.
Page 7
This Balloon of only 26 feet diameter being filled with Air ten times lighter than common.
Page 8
Beings of a Rank and Nature far superior to ours have not disdained to amuse themselves with making and launching Balloons, otherwise we should never have enjoyed the Light of those glorious objects that rule our Day & Night, nor have had the Pleasure of riding round the Sun ourselves upon the.
Page 9
) PASSY, Nov.
Page 10
great Balloon was near, and a small one was discharg'd which went to an amazing Height, there being but little Wind to make it deviate from its perpendicular Course, and at length the Sight of it was lost.
Page 11
Tuesday Evening.
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" in my copy; also a note dated Sept.
Page 13
_ Smyth states that he reproduced this letter from my press-copy but he omits the capital letters and the contractions in spelling, as well as the references "A" and "B," which are given by Bigelow with the remark that the drawings were not found.
Page 14
10, "chearfully" is possibly an older spelling for "cheerfully"; p.