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Let us now forgive and forget. Let each country's seek its advancement in its own internal advantages of arts and agriculture, not in retarding or preventing the prosperity of the other. America will, with God's blessing, become a great and happy country; and England, if she has at length gained wisdom, will have gained something more valuable, and more essential to her prosperity, than all she has lost; and will still be a great and respectable nation. Her great disease at present is the number and enormous salaries and emoluments of office. Avarice and ambition are strong passions, and separately act with great force on the human mind; but when both are united, and may be gratified in the same object, their violence is almost irresistible, and they hurry men headlong into factions and contentions dstructive of all good government. As long therefore as these great emoluments subsist, your parliament will be a stormy sea, and your public councils confounded by private interests. But it requires much public spirit and virtue to abolish them; more perhaps than can now be found in a nation so long
5 corrupted. - B. FRANKLIN.
Dean Sir, Passy, July 27, 1783. I received your very kind letter by Dr. Blagden, and esteem myself much honored by your friendly remembrance. I have been too much and too closely engaged in public affairs since his being here, to enjoy all the benefit of his conversation you were so good as to intend me. I hope soon to have more leisure, and to spend a part of it in those studies that are much more agreeable to me than political. operations. - -
I join with you most cordially in rejoicing at the return of peace. I hope it will be lasting, and that mankind will at
length, as they call themselves reasonable creatures, have
reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats: for in my opinion, there never was a good war, or a bad peace. What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of living might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of public utility! What an extension of agriculture, even to the tops of our mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads, and other public works, edifices and improvements, rendering England a complete paradise, might not have been obtained by spending those millions in doing good, which in the last war have been spent in doing mischief; in bringing misery into thousands of families, and destroying the lives of so many thousands of working people, who might have performed the useful labor! I am pleased with the late astronomical discoveries made by our society." Furnished as all Europe now is with academies of science, with nice instruments and the spirit of experiment, the progress of human knowledge will be rapid, and discoveries made, of which we have at present no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born so soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known one hundred years hence. * ..." e I wish continued success to the labors of the Royal Society, and that you may long adorn their chair; being with the highest esteem, dear sir, &c. - B. FRANKLIN.
"Tuk Royal Society of London, of which Dr. Franklin was gratuitously and without solicitation elected a Fellow, in consequence of his discoveries in Electricitry. See Memoirs of his Life. PART 11.
Dr. Blagden will acquaint you with the experiment of a
vast globe sent up into the air, much talked of here, and which, if prosecuted, may furnish means of new knowledge.
- Passy, near Paris, Sept. 16, 1788. MY DEAR FRIEND, Having this opportunity by Mr. Bingham, who has the honor of being known to you, I seize it to thank you for your excellent book and other favors, and let you know that I continue well, except a little gout, which perhaps is not more a disease than a remedy. Mr. Petric informed me of your being also well, with Mrs. Price lately at Brighthelmstone, which gave me great pleasure. Please to present my affectionate respects to that good lady. All the conversation here at present turns upon the balloons filled with light inflammable air, and the means of mamaging them so as to give men the advantage of flying.— One is to be let off on Friday next at Versailles, which it is said will be able to carry up 1000 pounds weight, I know not whetheriuclusive or exclusive of its own. I have sent an account of the former to Sir Joseph Banks, our president, and shall be glad to hear if the experiment is repeated with success in England. Please to forward to him the enclosed print,
or inflammable air puts me in mind of a littlejocular paper I
wrote some years since in ridicule of a prize question given
out by a certain academy on this side the water," and I en
close it for your amusement—on second thoughts, as it is a *
* The academy of Brussels.
mathematical question, and perhaps I think it more trifling than it really is, and you are a mathematician, I am afraid I have judged wrong in sending it to you. Our friend Dr. Priestley, however, who is apt to give himself airs,' and has a kind of right to every thing his friends produce upon that subject, may perhaps like to see it, and you can send it to him without reading it.”
We have at length signed our preliminary articles as definitive; all the additions we have been so long discussing, being referred to a future treaty of commerce. I have now a little leisure, and long to see and be merry with the club, but doubt I cannot undertake the journey before spring. Adieu, and believe me ever, my dear friend, &c.
r B. FRANKLiN.
P.S. They make small balloons now of the same materials with what is called gold-beaters leaf. Enclosed I send one which, being filled with inflammable air by my grandson, went up last night to the ceiling in my chamber, and remained rolling about there for some time.—Please to give it also to Sir Joseph Banks. If a man should go up with one of the large ones, might there not be some mechanical contrivance to compress the globe at pleasure, and thereby incline it to descend, and let it expand when he inclines to rise
again * * * * To BRAND Hollis, Esq.
* Bulogium of Thomas Hollis. ". Si R, Passy, near Paris, Oct. 5, 1783.
I received but lately (though sent in June) your most valuable present of the Memoirs of Thomas Hollis,
i. e. Fixed, deflogisticated, &c. &c. * This piece is a plaisanterie of too light a uature for publication.
Esq., who was truly, as you describe him in your letter, “a good citizen of the world, and a faithful friend of America.” America too is extremely sensible of his benevolence and great beneficence towards her, and will; ever revere his memory. These volumes are a proof of what I have sometimes had occasion to say, in encouraging people to undertake difficult public services; that it is prodigious, the quantity of good that may be défle by one man, if he will make a busimess of it. It is equally surprising to think of the very little that is done by many; for such is the general frivolity of the employments and amusements of the rank we call gentlemen, that every century may have seen three successions of a set of a thousand each, in every kingdom of Europe, (gentlemen, too, of equ-l or superior fortune) no one of which set, in the course of their lives, have done the good effected by this man alone! Good, not only to his own nation, and to his cotemporaries, but to distant countries, and to late posterity: for such must be the effect of his multiplying and distributing copies of the works of our best English writers, on subjects the most important to the welfare of society. I knew him personally but little. I sometimes met with him at the Royal Society and the Society of Arts, but he appeared shy of my acquaintance, though he often sent me valuable presents, such as Hamilton's works, Sydney's works, &c. which are now among the most precious ornaments of my library. We might possibly, if we had been more intimate, have concerted some useful operations together; but he loved to do his good alone and secretly; and I find besides, in perusing these memoirs, that I was a doubtful character with him. I do not respect him less for his error; and I am obliged to the editors for the justice they have done me. They have made a little mistake in page 400, where a letter which appeared in a London paper, January 7th, 1768, is