The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 329

hear them exclaiming against the Americans, and for every
little infringement of the acts of trade, or obstruction given by a
petty mob to an officer of our customs in that country, calling for
vengeance against the whole people as REBELS and traitors, I cannot
help thinking there are still those in the world who can _see a mote
in their brother's eye, while they do not discern a beam in their
own_; and that the old saying is as true now as ever it was, _one man
may better steal a horse, than another look over the hedge_.

F. B.


[90] This letter is extracted from the London Chronicle, for November
24, 1767, and is addressed to the printer of that newspaper. B. V.

_Observations on War[91]._

By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the
punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery
instead of death: a farther step was the exchange of prisoners
instead of slavery: another, to respect more the property of private
persons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why
should not this law of nations go on improving? Ages have intervened
between its several steps: but as knowledge of late increases
rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened? Why should it
not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war
hereafter the following description of men should be undisturbed,
have the protection of both sides, and be permitted to follow their
employments in security? viz.

1. Cultivators of the earth, because they labour for the subsistence
of mankind.

2. Fishermen, for the same reason.

3. Merchants and traders in unarmed ships, who accommodate different
nations by communicating and exchanging the necessaries and
conveniences of life.

4. Artists and mechanics, inhabiting and working in open towns.

It is hardly necessary to add, that the hospitals of enemies should
be unmolested--they ought to be assisted. It is for the interest of
humanity in general, that the occasions of war, and the inducements
to it, should be diminished. If rapine be abolished, one of the
encouragements to war is taken away; and peace therefore more likely
to continue and be lasting.

The practice of robbing merchants on the high seas--a remnant of
the antient piracy--though it may be accidentally beneficial to
particular persons, is far from being profitable to all engaged in
it, or to the nation that authorises it. In the beginning of a war,
some rich ships are surprized and taken. This encourages the first
adventurers to fit out more armed vessels, and many others to do the
same. But the enemy at

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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Page 1
It is supposed that not less than 50,000 People were assembled to see the Experiment.
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
The great one of M.
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It fell the next Day on the other side of the same Wood near the Village Boulogne, about half after twelve, having been suspended in the Air eleven hours and a half.
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.
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Probably while they were employed in keeping up the Fire, the Machine might turn, and by that means they were _desorientes_ as the French call it.
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I was happy to see him safe.
Page 8
In this Country we are not so much afraid of being laught at.
Page 9
1, 1783.
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
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Il avoit perdu son air inflammable par le Robinet qu'on avoit laisse ouvert expres pour empecher l'explosion a trop grande hauteur.
Page 13
"The Manuscript, containing some Particulars of the Experiment, which I enclose," mentioned in the Postscript, is a two-page account in French, in Franklin's handwriting, by an eye-witness of the voyage, M.
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16, "Bart.