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 149

"Passy, May 12, 1784.


"I received your kind letter with your excellent advice to the people of
the United States, which I read with great pleasure, and hope it will be
duly regarded. Such writings, though they may be lightly passed over by
many readers, yet if they make a deep impression on one active mind in a
hundred, the effects may be considerable. Permit me to mention one
little instance, which, though it relates to myself, will not be quite
uninteresting to you. When I was a boy I met with a book entitled
_Essays to do Good_, which I think was written by your father. It had
been so little regarded by a former possessor, that several leaves of it
were torn out: but the remainder gave me such a turn of thinking as to
have an influence on my conduct through life; for I have always set a
greater value on the character of a _doer of good_, than on any other
kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful
citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book. You mention
your being in your 78th year: I am in my 79th; we are grown old
together. It is now more than sixty years since I left Boston, but I
remember well both your father and grandfather, having heard them both
in the pulpit, and seen them in their houses. The last time I saw your
father was in the beginning of 1724, when I visited him after my first
trip to Pennsylvania. He received me in his library, and on my taking
leave showed me a shorter way out of the house through a narrow passage,
which crossed by a beam over head. We were still talking as I withdrew,
he accompanying me behind, and I turning partly towards him, when he
said hastily, _Stoop, stoop!_ I did not understand him till I felt my
head hit against the beam. He was a man that never missed any occasion
of giving instruction, and upon this he said to me, _You are young, and
have the world before you_; STOOP _as you go through it, and you will
miss many hard thumps_. This advice, thus beat into my head, has
frequently been of use to me; and I often think of

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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.
Page 2
It diminished in Apparent Magnitude as it rose, till it enter'd the Clouds, when it seem'd to me scarce bigger than an Orange, and soon after became invisible, the Clouds concealing it.
Page 3
Pilatre du Rozier has seriously apply'd to the Academy for leave to go up with it, in order to make some Experiments.
Page 4
The appearance of the light diminished gradually till it appeared no bigger than one of the Stars, and in about twenty minutes I lost sight of it entirely.
Page 5
Fond acquainted me yesterday that a Book on the Subject which has been long expected, will be publish'd in a few Days, and I shall send you one of them.
Page 6
_La Machine poussee par le Vent s'est dirigee sur une des Allees du Jardin.
Page 7
But the Expence of this Machine, Filling included, will exceed, it is said, 10,000 Livres.
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
I had a Pocket Glass, with which I follow'd it, till I lost Sight, first of the Men, then of the Car, and when I last saw the Balloon, it appear'd no bigger than a Walnut.
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
_ The hand-writing is in a more flowing style than the subsequent letters.
Page 13
Some superscripts were silently converted to regular characters (i.
Page 14
Robert, two Brothers,"; p.