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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 249

et les colonies, &c._ being a very
concise and clear statement of facts, will be reprinted here for the
use of our new friends in Canada. The translations of the proceedings
of our congress are very acceptable. I send you herewith what of them
has been farther published here, together with a few newspapers,
containing accounts of some of the successes providence has favoured
us with. We are threatened from England with a very powerful force,
to come next year against us. We are making all the provision in our
power here to oppose that force, and we hope we shall be able to
defend ourselves. But, as the events of war are always uncertain,
possibly, after another campaign, we may find it necessary to ask
aid of some foreign power. It gives us great pleasure to learn from
you, that _toute l'Europe nous souhaite le plus heureux succes pour
le maintien de nos libertés_. But we wish to know, whether any one
of them, from principles of humanity, is disposed magnanimously to
step in for the relief of an oppressed people, or whether, if, as
it seems likely to happen, we should be obliged to break off all
connection with Britain, and declare ourselves an independent people,
there is any state or power in Europe, who would be willing to enter
into an alliance with us for the benefit of our commerce, which
amounted, before the war, to near seven millions sterling per annum,
and must continually increase, as our people increase most rapidly.
Confiding, my dear friend, in your good will to us and our cause,
and in your sagacity and abilities for business, the committee of
congress, appointed for the purpose of establishing and conducting
a correspondence with our friends in Europe, of which committee
I have the honour to be a member, have directed me to request of
you, that, as you are situated at the Hague, where ambassadors from
all the courts reside, you would make use of the opportunity that
situation affords you, of discovering, if possible, the disposition
of the several courts with respect to such assistance or alliance,
if we should apply for the one, or propose the other. As it may
possibly be necessary, in particular instances, that you should, for
this purpose, confer directly with some great ministers, and show
them this letter as your credential, we only recommend it to your
discretion, that you proceed therein with such caution, as to keep
the same from the knowledge of the English ambassador, and prevent
any public appearance, at present, of your being employed in any such
business, as

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
Page 1
Montgolfier, of Annonay, was repeated by M.
Page 2
Montgolfier himself, at the Expence of the Academy, which is to go up in a few Days.
Page 3
It is said the Country People who saw it fall were frightned, conceiv'd from its bounding a little, when it touched the Ground, that there was some living Animal in it, and attack'd it with Stones and Knives, so that it was much mangled; but it is now brought to Town and will be repaired.
Page 4
Some say water was thrown into the flame, others that it was Spirits of Sal Volatile.
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
Multitudes in Paris saw the Balloon passing; but did not know there were Men with it, it being then.
Page 7
It was well that in the hurry of so hazardous an Experiment, the Flame did not happen by any accidental Mismanagement to lay hold of this Straw; tho' each had a Bucket of Water by him, by Way of Precaution.
Page 8
Air, will carry up a greater Weight than the other, which tho' vastly bigger was filled with an Air that could scarcely be more than twice as light.
Page 9
30, 1783 Dear Sir, I did myself the honour of writing to you the Beginning of last Week, and I sent you by the Courier, M.
Page 10
Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great Balloon's rising so high as might indanger its Bursting.
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--I hear farther, that the Travellers had perfect Command of their Carriage, descending as they pleas'd by letting some of the inflammable Air escape, and rising again by discharging some Sand; that they descended over a Field so low as to talk with Labourers in passing and mounted again to pass a Hill.
Page 12
In paragraph two of the Postscript "mov'd out," in Smyth, should read "being moved out," and in the last line but one "upon" should read "up in.
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Neither Bigelow nor Smyth print this document, which was first reproduced in the book mentioned by Franklin in the first paragraph of his letter, viz: "Description des Experiences de la Machine Aerostatique par M.
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" corrected to "Bar^t.