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 146

as to conceit that every offence
against our imagined honour merits _death_? These petty princes, in
their own opinion, would call that sovereign a tyrant who would put one
of them to death for a little uncivil language, though pointed at his
sacred person: yet every one of them makes himself judge in his own
cause, condemns the offender without a jury, and undertakes himself to
be the executioner.

"With sincere and great esteem, I have the honour to be, sir, your most
obedient and humble servant,


* * * * *

"_Sir Joseph Banks._

"Passy, July 27, 1783.


"I received your very kind letter by Dr. Blagden, and esteem myself much
honoured by your friendly remembrance. I have been too much and too
closely engaged in public affairs since his being here to enjoy all the
benefit of his conversation you were so good as to intend me. I hope
soon to have more leisure, and to spend a part of it in those studies
that are much more agreeable to me than political operations.

"I join with you most cordially in rejoicing at the return of peace. I
hope it will be lasting, and that mankind will at length, as they call
themselves reasonable creatures, have reason and sense enough to settle
their differences without cutting throats: for, in my opinion, _there
never was a good war nor a bad peace_. What vast additions to the
conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the
money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility. What
an extension of agriculture even to the tops of our mountains; what
rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts,
new roads, and other public works, edifices and improvements, rendering
England a complete paradise, might not have been obtained, by spending
those millions

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
The documents which I publish are copies of Franklin's letters, made on thin paper in a copying press (probably the rotary machine invented by Franklin), and all but one bear his signature in ink.
Page 1
[3] [1] The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, collected and edited by Albert Henry Smyth, Volume IX, New York, 1906.
Page 2
Page 3
Please to accept and present my Thanks.
Page 4
8, 1783.
Page 5
Enclosed is a Copy of the _Proces verbal_ taken of the Experiment made yesterday in the Garden of the Queen's Palace la Muette where the Dauphin now resides which being near my House I was present.
Page 6
_Planant sur l'Horizon.
Page 7
This Balloon of only 26 feet diameter being filled with Air ten times lighter than common.
Page 8
A few Months since the Idea of Witches riding thro' the Air upon a Broomstick, and that of Philosophers upon a Bag of Smoke, would have appeared equally impossible and ridiculous.
Page 9
I did hope to have given you to day an Account of Mr.
Page 10
The Persons embark'd were Mr.
Page 11
Le Chevalier de Cubiere qui a suivi la marche du Globe est arrive chez M.
Page 12
Il a ete ramasse par des Enfans et vendu 6_d.
Page 13
" Since Franklin's copy of the _Proces-Verbal_ differs only in his spelling the word "_sang-froid_" instead of "_sens-froid_," I do not print it.
Page 14
2d" corrected to "Sept.