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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 ip 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 bave been spent in doing mischief; in bringing misery into thou, sands 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 huznap koowledge 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,
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.
" The Royal Society. OF LONDON, of which Dr. Franklin was gratuitously and without solicitation elected a Fellow, consequence
of his discoveries in Electricitry. See Alemoirs of his Life. PART ]
: 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.
To DR. PRICE.
On air balloons—Prize question ridiculed, &c.
Passy, near Paris, Sept. 16, 1783. 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 affeetionate respects to that good lady.
All the conversation here at present turns upon the balloons filled with light inflammable air, and the means of managing 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 whether inclusive 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.
Inflammable air puts me in mind of a little jocular 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 enclose it for your amusentent.-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.
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 res mained 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
To BRAND Hollis, Esg.
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. 2 This piece is a plaisanterie of too light a nature 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 done by one man, if he will make a business 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 equal or superior fortuve) no one of which set, in the course of their lives, bave 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 coocerted some useful operations together ; but he loved to do his gond 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 7t, 1768, is
said to have been written by Mr. Adams. It was written by me, and is reprinted in Mr. Vaughan's collection of my political pieces, p. 231. This erratum is of no great importance, but may be corrected in a future edition.
I see Mr. Hollis had a collection of curious medals. If he had been still living, I should certainly have sent him one of the medals that I have caused to be struck here. I think the countenance of my Liberty would have pleased him. I suppose you possess the collection, and have the same taste. I beg you therefore to accept of one of these medals as a mark of my respect, and believe me to be with sincere esteem, &c.
To His EXCELLENCY JOHN JAY, Esg. DEAR SIR,
Passy, January 6, 1784. I received your kind letter of the 26th past, and immediately sent that enclosed to Mrs. Jay, whom I saw a few days since with the children, all perfectly well. It is a happy thing that the little ones are so finely past the small pox, and I congratulate you upon it most cordially.
It is true, as you have heard, that I have the stone, but not that I have had thoughts of being cut for it. It is as yet very tolerable. It gives me no pain but when in a carriage on the pavement, or when I make some sudden quick movement. If I cap prevent its growing larger, which I hope to do by abstemious living and gentle exercise, I can go on pretty comfortably with it to the end of my journey, which can now be at no great distance. I am cheerful, enjoy the company of my friends, sleep well, have sufficient appetite, and my stomach performs well its functions. The latter is very material to the preservation of health. I therefore take no drugs lest I should disorder it. You may judge