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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 287

acquainted with
my name and character. As I do not aim at public praise, I design
to remain concealed: and there are such numbers of our family and
relations at this time in the country, that, though I have signed my
name at full length, I am not under the least apprehension of being
distinguished and discovered by it. My character indeed, I would
favour you with, but that I am cautious of praising myself, lest I
should be told my trumpeter's dead: and I cannot find in my heart, at
present, to say any thing to my own disadvantage.

It is very common with authors in their first performances, to talk
to their readers thus, If this meets with a suitable reception,
or, if this should meet with due encouragement, I shall hereafter
publish, &c.--This only manifests the value they put on their
own writings, since they think to frighten the public into their
applause, by threatening, that unless you approve what they have
already wrote, they intend never to write again; when perhaps it
may not be a pin matter, whether they ever do or no. As I have not
observ'd the critics to be more favourable on this account, I shall
always avoid saying any thing of the kind; and conclude with telling
you, that if you send me a bottle of ink and a quire of paper by the
bearer, you may depend on hearing further from,


Your most humble servant,


_The Busy-Body._--No. II.


All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain would be upon the laughing side.--POPE.

Monsieur Rochefocault tells us somewhere in his Memoirs, that the
Prince of Condé delighted much in ridicule, and used frequently
to shut himself up for half a day together, in his chamber, with
a gentleman, that was his favourite, purposely to divert himself
with examining what was the foible, or ridiculous side, of every
noted person in the court. That gentleman said afterwards in some
company, that he thought nothing was more ridiculous in any body,
than this same humour in the prince; and I am somewhat inclined to
be of this opinion. The general tendency there is among us to this
embellishment (which I fear has too often grossly imposed upon my
loving countrymen instead of wit) and the applause it meets with
from a rising generation, fill me with fearful apprehensions for the
future reputation of my country: a young man of modesty (which is the
most certain indication

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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
It was afterwards filled with the inflammable Air that is produced by pouring Oil of Vitriol upon Filings of Iron, when it was found to have a tendency upwards so strong as to be capable of lifting a Weight of 39 Pounds, exclusive of its own Weight which was 25 lbs.
Page 2
Montgolfier himself, at the Expence of the Academy, which is to go up in a few Days.
Page 3
The great one of M.
Page 4
It lodged in.
Page 5
This Paper was drawn up hastily, and may in some Places appear to you obscure; therefore I shall add a few explanatory Observations.
Page 6
but there was at the same time a good deal of Anxiety for their Safety.
Page 7
This Method of filling the Balloon with hot Air is cheap and expeditious, and it is supposed may be sufficient for certain purposes, such as elevating an Engineer to take a View of an Enemy's Army, Works, &c.
Page 8
I wish I could see the same Emulation between the two Nations as I see between the two Parties here.
Page 9
Faujas's Book upon the Balloons, which I hope you have receiv'd.
Page 10
Several Bags of Sand were taken on board before the Cord that held it down was cut, and the whole Weight being then too much to be lifted, such a Quantity was discharg'd as to permit its Rising slowly.
Page 11
is altered by the Pen to show its real State when it went off.
Page 12
La Chute du Jour l'a determine a redescendre une lieue et 1/2 plus loin, aux environs de Fouroy.
Page 13
_Letter of December 1.
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Pilatre de Rozier"; p.