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 159

me from my
birth to the present hour. Wherever I am, I always hope to retain the
pleasing remembrance of your friendship; being, with sincere and great
esteem, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,


"We all join in respects to Mrs. Shipley."

* * * * *

"_Mrs. Hewson, London._

"Philadelphia, May 6, 1786.


"A long winter has passed, and I have not had the pleasure of a line
from you, acquainting me with your and your childrens' welfare, since I
left England. I suppose you have been in Yorkshire, out of the way and
knowledge of opportunities, for I will not think you have forgotten me.
To make me some amends, I received a few days past a large packet from
Mr. Williams, dated September, 1776, near ten years since, containing
three letters from you, one of December 12, 1775. This packet had been
received by Mr. Bache after my departure for France, lay dormant among
his papers during all my absence, and has just now broke out upon me
_like words_ that had been, as somebody says, _congealed in Northern
air_. Therein I find all the pleasing little family history of your
children; how William had began to spell, overcoming by strength of
memory all the difficulty occasioned by the common wretched alphabet,
while you were convinced of the utility of our new one. How Tom,
genius-like, struck out new paths, and, relinquishing the old names of
the letters, called U _bell_ and P _bottle_. How Eliza began to grow
jolly, that is, fat and handsome, resembling Aunt Rooke, whom I used to
call _my lovely_. Together with all the _then_ news of Lady Blunt's
having produced at length a boy; of Dolly's being well, and of poor good
Catharine's decease. Of your affairs with Muir and Atkinson, and of
their contract for feeding the fish in

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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The recent bi-centenary of Franklin's birth, which coincided with the revival of interest in balloons, makes this a timely topic, especially since Franklin's descriptions of the first balloon ascensions are almost unknown and do not appear among his philosophical papers.
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Montgolfier himself, at the Expence of the Academy, which is to go up in a few Days.
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Pilatre du Rozier has seriously apply'd to the Academy for leave to go up with it, in order to make some Experiments.
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Some say water was thrown into the flame, others that it was Spirits of Sal Volatile.
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_Planant sur l'Horizon.
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_ That is their Provision of Straw; of which they carried up a great Quantity.
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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.
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Charles's grand Balloon, which was to have gone up yesterday; but the filling it with inflammable Air having taken more time than had been calculated, it is deferr'd till to-morrow.
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I hope they descended by Day-light, so as to see & avoid falling among Trees or on Houses, and that the Experiment was completed without any mischievous Accident which the Novelty of it & the want of Experience might well occasion.
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" _Letter of October 8.
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_Letter of November 30.
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2^d", for 2nd.