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[[image-three men filling small  balloon]]

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Extract of a letter from Lisle, in Flanders, dated Sept. 18, 1784.
"Messrs. Charles and Roberts are just arrived at the Prince of Ghistelle's villa, about three miles from this town. They came from Paris in a vehicle attached to a balloon, without once descending to the earth till they reached the Prince's. As the distance is at least one hundred and thirty miles, it is by far the longest aerial journey that has yet been taken with a balloon, and from the adroitness with which they conducted their vehicle, this is little doubt but this new sort of conveyance may be rendered essentially useful. The two brothers intended mounting again, and making an aerial voyage to London, but all their inflammable air was spent, and the expence of re-charging the balloon, would be full five hundred pounds; their tour to Great Britain is therefore, deferred for the present."
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Extract of a letter from Paris, Sept. 23 [[1784]]
"On Sunday, the 29th inst. a Balloon, of an oblong shape, ascended from the Thuilleries at a quarter past twelve o'clock; there were about 18,000 of the first people in France, who paid three livres each for a place in the Thuilleries, and about four thousand people who assembled to see it. Its length was about 100 feet round, and in breadth about sixty. It was constructed by the Messrs. Roberts, who ascended in it with another gentleman; it descended at five minutes after six o'clock, near a place called Betherne, about 140 miles from the Thuilleries. The day was hot and clear when they departed, but a thunder-storm arose about three o'clock;--yet it did them no harm, though they were in it. M. Roberts never suffered it to go higher than about 70 yards above the highest houses. It had a noble effect, and went with astonishing rapidity." ^[[1784]]
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^[[Sept. 1784]] THE LON[[DON CHRONICLE]]

THE Messrs. Robert and their fellow traveller M. Hullin returned to Paris on Thursday the 24th instant. They have given notice that they will in the course of a few days publish a detail of their experiments and observations. In the mean time we have the following particulars: they descended exactly at forty minutes past six, at the village of Beuvry, near Bethune, 150 miles from Paris. They went this very long journey in six hours and forty minutes. Beuvry is the residence of the Prince de Ghistelles, and of the Prince de Richebourg, his son. It so happened that the Prince and his son had been engaged that very afternoon in giving a splendid entertainment to their tenantry and neighbours, in which, among pleasurable circumstances, they had launched a [[italics]]Montgolfiere[[/italics]], a balloon filled with rarified air 30 feet high, and which had been attended with compleat success. The company were beginning to separate when the Roberts came in sight. This unexpected spectacle excited the most general shout; and with the most clamorous voices they called out to the travellers to alight in that spot. The brothers thought it an eligible place, and they descended; in coming down they were near striking their machine against a mill, and to avoid this, they exercised their oars, and with an admirable manoeuvre made a semi-circle in the full view of the assembly, and within thirty feet of the ground; by this means they landed in the centre of the field. When the people heard that they had come from Paris since noon, they exclaimed with one voice, [[italics]]vive Robert![[/italics]] and they conducted them to the castle of the Prince de Ghistelles, by whom they were received with marks of the greatest delight. They were crowned both in the castle of the Prince, and in the city of Bethune. At the latter place the Marquis de Gouy, who was there with his regiment in the garrison, gave a grand [[italics]]fete [[/italics]] on the Monday in honour of the brothers. 
   They procured the following certificate of their descent:
   By the Royal notaries of Artois subscribed Mgr. Philippe--Alexandre--Emmanuel--Francois--Joseph, Prince of Ghistelles--Richebourg, Grandee of Spain of the first rank--Seignior of Beuvry, &c. &c. and Mgr. Philippe--Alexandre--Louis--Marie--Joseph--Charles--Florent de Ghistelles--Prince of Richebourg, his son, de [[sic]] certify and attest, that the Messieurs Roberts and Monsieur Hullin descended with perfect ease and facility in their presence on the right of Beuvry Plain, distant from Paris 50 leagues; that on approaching a mill, which stands near the high road, leading from Bethune to Lisle in Flanders, they agitated their oars, and described a semi-circle, by which they descended in the middle of the plain yesterday, the 19th 
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[drawing of four men inflating a balloon from a smoky barrel]]

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instant, at forty minutes past six in the afternoon.-- That after their descent, at our desire, they raised themselves again to a height of about 200 feet, and descended again immediately, having at the same time several bags of sand in their car--That the subscribers having engaged to see their aerostat carried to Beuvry Castle, they were obliged,  on account of the intervening trees, the houses, and the coming on of night, to empty the machine of the inflammable air.
Given and attested at the desire of the Messrs. Robert and Hullin, at Beuvry Castle, this 20th of September 1784. (Signed) 
[[italics]] Le Prince de Ghistelles Richbourg,
 Le prince de Richebourg,
 Lereux et Leroy.[[/italics]] 
  (Attested)[[italics]]  Gottran, Grand Bailli.[[/italics]]
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Paris, Sept. 25. The Messrs. Robert and their fellow-traveller M Hullin returned yesterday to this city. they will publish in a few days a detail of their experiments and observations. They travelled, attached to an air-balloon, from Paris to the village of Beuvry, near Bethune, a journey of 150 miles, which they performed in six hours and forty minutes. Beuvry is the residence of the Prince de Ghistelles, and of the Prince de Richebourg, his son. The two Princes had that day given a splendid entertainment to their tenantry and neighbours, and the company were beginning to separate when the Roberts came in sight. The Travellers, in descending at the entreaties of the people, were very nearly striking their machine against a mill, and to avoid this they exercised their oars, and with an admirable manoeuvre made a semi-circle in the full view of the assembly, and within thirty feet of the ground; by this means they landed in the centre of the field, from whence they were conducted, amidst the shouts of the people. to the Princes castle, by whom they were received with marks of the greatest delight. They were crowded both in the castle, and in the city of Bethune. At the latter place the Marquis de Gouy, who was there with his regiment, gave a grand fete on the Monday in honour of the brothers. ^[[1784]]
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Sept. 28, 1784 Postscript

[[italics]] An Account of Messrs. [[/italics]] Roberts Third AEROSTATIC EXPERIMENT [[italics]] at [[/italics]] Paris.

THIS experiment took place on Sunday the 19th instant, in the Royal Garden of the Thullieries, and it was attended with complete success.  The balloon was an oblong form, and much larger than any heretofore sent up; three days before it was launched, it was filled with common air in which state it remained until Saturday afternoon, during which time, the apparatus for making the inflammable air was preparing, as likewise the net which covered the upper part of the balloon.  About 40 small ropes were fastened to the net, unto which was suspended a car.  At half past seven o'clock, the common air was let out, and the apparatus being complete, M. Vallet, to whom the brothers Robert committed the charge of filling the machine, began to fill it with the inflammable air.  He employed new apparatus, constructed on the most ingenious and simple principles; by means of which the balloon was amply filled in three hours.  The operation would not have required more than an hour and a half, if the workmen had been accustomed to the new method.  

As it was the intention of the brothers to make this voyage useful to science, they took great pains to establish a set of signals between themselves and those appointed to observe them.  It was settled that persons should be stationed at different places for the purpose of observation; and that they might all communicate together as to time, and to measure the angles of vision, it was agreed, that at nine o'clock in the morning a red flag should be hoisted at the top of the dome of the castle of the Thuilleries, which, after remaining for a time, that the observers might take the height, should be lowered on the firing of a cannon, exactly half an hour before the departure of the balloon -- that five minutes after this a small quantity of powder should be flashed from the top of the dome, as a signal for them to observe their watches -- and that this should be repeated twice at the interval of a minute, lest the first should not be perceived.-- That at the second discharge of the cannon, which was to be the signal for the ascension, the red flag should be hoisted again; and that when the travellers had brought the machine to an equilibrium in the air, they should suffer it for some minutes to be borne along in the atmosphere by the direction of the wind -- and that then, on a fresh signal, they should put their oars and wings in motion, and use their utmost efforts to navigate the machine against the wind, and to see how many points they could steer from it.
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These preliminaries being settled, at half an hour after eleven o'clock, on Sunday, the aerostatic globe was conducted with great pomp by the gate of the grand walk to the terrace prepared for it opposite the castle.  The four cords were held by four of the most distinguished persons in the kingdom,

M. le Marechal de Richelieu,
M. le Marechal de Biron,
M. le Bailli de Suffrein, and
M. le Duc de Chaulnes.

When it came to the terrace, the three travellers, viz. the brothers Robert, and M. Colin Hullier, their brother-in-law, took their seats in the car; and the balloon at that time ascended about twenty feet from the ground, to give room for the necessary instruments being placed in and over the car, which consisted of a barometer, thermometer, a seaman's compass, and a watch; five poles, each about ten feet long, with umbrellas at the end of them, were taken into the car, and placed in the following manner, two on the larboard, and two on the starboard quarters, and one at the head; the car, with the balloon over it, was then drawn, amidst the acclamations of many thousand people of the first rank, about 200 yards, to a scaffold which was formed over the bason of water, and in a very short time the whole of the apparatus was properly adjusted; two smoke guns were then fired from the top of the Thuilleries in order to shew the way of the wind.  It being then about twelve o'clock the gentlemen waved their flags as a signal for their departure, and on a cannon being fired, two ropes which held the balloon were immediately cut, and the whole together began to ascend in a perpendicular direction, to the height of about 400 yards.  After having continued at this height about 45 minutes, the travellers descended near the apparent horizon, almost to the earth, and ascended again immediately.  At 57 minutes past 12 they descended again, and mounted in an instant.  At 13 minutes past one they descended a third time, and were for a minute lost behind the hills which bound the horizon towards St. Prix.  They were observed on their re-ascension; and it was ascertained that on every new elevation they mounted higher than in the preceding one.  At this time they appeared about a degree and a half above the horizon, which, estimating their distance at 10 or 12 leagues, states their actual height to be between five and six hundred toises*.  At 50 minutes past one they disappeared from the best glasses.  The wind at their departure was S.E. but it became soon after more Southerly.  The balloon evidently went with the wind, both at first and after its change.  They bore at first to the left from the observer at the Thuilleries, and afterwards veered considerably to the right.  The travellers seemed to have the power of navigating their aerial vessel according to their desire; in the space of an hour they were over Chantilly, 30 miles from Paris; near Clermont they lowered the balloon at the villa of Mons. Fitzjames, who wished the Gentlemen to alight and refresh themselves, but they declined his invitation, declaring it was their intention to steer for England; they thereupon re-ascended and seeing a thunder storm coming on, they kept above it and escaped its effects; to the people of Chantilly the balloon did not appear larger than a hat.  They were observed over the village of Ravenal, 20 leagues from Paris, at three o'clock in the afternoon, and they kept in view of the same observers, and saluted them with their flags over the village Reye, which is seven leagues farther.  They were seen also by M. de Saint Fussian, near Montdidier.  At four minutes after six o'clock in the evening, they came down at Bethune, between Lisle and Arras, above 140 miles from Paris; they descended in a field, and threw out a rope to some peasants, who laid hold of it, but it broke, upon which the balloon went up with great velocity, but upon the adventurers letting out some gaz, they came down again, and were safely landed on [[italics]] terra firma. [[/italics]]

*A toise is a fathom, or six feet.
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In September, 1784, the Duke of Orleans, accompanied by Messrs. Robert, ascended in a balloon furnished with oars and rudder; to this a small balloon was attached, for the purpose of being inflated with bellows, and thus supplying the means of descent without waste of the hydrogen gas.  Having attained the altitude of fourteen hundred feet, they were greatly alarmed at the sombre aspect of the horizon, and the reverberation of distant peals of thunder; being also, for a considerable time, exposed to the fury of a whirlwind; from a sudden change of temperature they began rapidly to descend, but, on discharging some ballast, they reascended to the height of six thousand feet, the balloon continuing to be greatly agitated.  Having surmounted the stormy region, the rays of the sun, unobscured by a cloud, caused so great an expansion of the gas, that they entertained serious apprehensions of a rupture of the balloon.  In this exigency the duke pierced it in several places with a sword, to facilitate the escape of the gas, and, having narrowly escaped falling into a lake, they descended unhurt, after an excursion of five hours.
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Sept 1704

THE Brothers, Robert, have procured leave to make their grand experiment in the Royal gardens of the Thuileries.  The price of their subscription is six livres for the admission of two persons.
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