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^[[Morn. Chron. Oct. 15. 1784]]

Mr. SMEATHMAN's Account of the Balloon at
Paris, concluded from our paper of yesterday.

The Duke, accompanied by the two Roberts'
and another assistant, entered the gallery with as much gaity as he could have mounted his carriage, amidst the clappings and plaudits of the wondering multitude. The gallery was retained a minute or two, at three or four feet distance from the earth, while a fine active old Abbe, fixed a balance to a staple at the balloon in the centre and weighed the degree of levity with which they were going to ascend.  This done, the machine was suffered to depart.  The Duke saluted the company with his hat and great good humour, while his attendants were busy in arranging their apparatus.

The Balloon took an oblique direction, and the aerial travellers seemed aprehensive of being entangled by the trees which surrounded the amphitheatre, and began to throw over the ballast, which consisted of sand and gravel.  The Duke appeared to have discharged a pretty large bag, all at once, on the heads of some unfortunate spectators who, as you may imagine, were instantly put to the rout, and in great confusion.  In consequence they ascended with too much rapidity, and, as I had foretold, in about three minutes, entered the fog, using their oars, but without any apparent effect, and quickly disappeared.  You connot perhaps imagine a more extraordinary sight.  A stranger just arrived from some distant land, to have entered at the moment of a cension, would have begun to believe in the heathen mythology.  He might very naturally have thought the Duke some Deity, who, like Jupiter or Bacchus of old, had been taking a scamper upon earth, and having declared himself was receiving personal worship from his votaries; most of these surrounding his aerial car, kneeling in the most graceful posture of adoration.  The crowd stood some minutes, contemplating, and as it were astonished at what they had seen.  Others, however, rushed out as fast as possible, and took the same direction as the Balloon, on horseback or in carriages.  We happened to follow the same course, in going to our country breakfast again at Seve. We had indeed sauntered a good deal in examinaing the paintings in the Castle, where we met Mons. de Beaumarchais, the famous Poet, to whom I had the honour of being introduced with other gentlemen.  Before we arrived at Seve, we were erronously informed, that the machine was descended at the Castle of Mendon; that the Prince had quitted it, and others were ascended again.  Soon after we had begun our breakfast, we had a mere exact and a more serious piece of intelligence, which was that the Balloon had burst, and fallen; that the gallery was broken in pieces, but none of the travellers injured.  The Chevallier de Cubieres now expressed the highest satisfaction, that his brother had not ascended, for we were not without some apprehension for the travellers, although repeated accounts seem to confirm the former that they were in safety.  We got into the coach and went up to the castle of Mendon, passing by Bellevice, the residence of Mesdames, of France.  We saw the gallery included in one of the halls of the Castle, but not in so ruinous a state as we expected.  The Balloon itself was shut up out of sight.  We there learned that after the Balloon had burst, the machine fell with great rapidity at first, but slower at the last, and on the side of a lake in the park, where a little boy, a cowkeeper, having more courage or more curiosity than two of his companions, who fled from our modern phaeton, ran to their assistance, and drew them to the shore.  That the Duke had borrowed a horse from some gentlemen who arrived first, and without saying anything to his to his unhappy shipmates, had set off full gallop to Paris, accompanied by some of his friends, whom he soon picked up on the road. - Various were the reports spread abroad on that day by the babblers of Paris, not a few of them invented against the Duke de Chartres, who from his spirited contempt of some impertinent neighbors, has incurred the hatred of many of the ignorant and the vulgar. The encouragement, however, which he has given in many instances, as well as in this I have just related, to the arts and sciences, entitle him  to a very different treatment. Among others, he has within these three or four years, built one of the most magnificent squares, perhaps in the whole world, round the garden of his palace, and in which all the conveniences and all the luxuries of that city are assembled.
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In fact his aerial voyage does him immortal honour, whether we consider it as protecting the sciences by his purse or his example. The experiment must have cost him two or three thousand pounds, and from the conceit and vanity of the persons he employed, he ran the risk of his life, if in fact there was any danger from mounting in Balloons.  This and other accidents which have happened, demonstrate almost to a certainty that no danger is to be apprehended from the bursting of balloons, and that it is much safer embarking in one of them than in a packet boat.  I believe there is is no doubt the Duke preserved his presence of mind better than the rest of his companions, who, according to their own accounts, as I am informed, almost gave themselves up as lost.  I shall now give it to you, as nearly as I can recollect it, from the Marquis de Cubieres, who related it at my apartment the next day to the Duke de Chaulines, Baron Nolkens, his Swedish Majesty's Ambassador at this Court, Mr. Vigarous, and myself.

As the Marquis had come directly from the Duke de Chartres, where he had been at breakfast, and had the relation from his Highness himself, you may guess it is pretty authentic.  Before I can relate the fact, it will be necessary to give you some idea of the interior construction of the Balloon, of which the Roberts, among other things, made also a mystery.  It having been found by experiment, as well as in theory, that the inflammable air expands in proportion as the balloon rises in the atmosphere, and that unless some of it is discharged, or room left or provided for it, it will inevitably burst the Balloon; in order to prevent such an accident, and the loss of the inflammable air, which is, at present, exceedingly expensive, they contrived a smaller balloon to be placed within the larger, which being filled by means of a pair of bellows with common atmospheric air, might, by means of a cock, be emptied and leave the space which it occupied, when full, to be filled by the elastic gaz or inflammable air.  For this purpose there was also contrived a long tube or trunk of varnished silk, which reached from the interior balloon, through a perforation properly closed into one end of the gallery.  There was also a long trunk of the same materials, which was made to descend into the other end of the gallery, that in case the room obtained, in the great balloon by the elastic air, comprising all the atmospheric air, out of the small balloon, was not sufficient, they might be able to let some of it off to waste.  This was their great secret, of which, however, a Member of the Academy also claimed the invention.

Their other secrets were the method of directing, above-mentioned, quite unphilosophical and ridiculous, their method of varnishing and joining the silk, which proved defective, as they lost incessantly a great quantity of gaz; and their method of making and introducing the gaz, by which they melted their tin tubes, hurt themselves, and endangered the balloon.  These gentlemen however were too wise to be advised, and therefore consulted nobody; and the consequence was nearly fatal to the Prince and themselves.

Having thrown out a great deal of ballast as they went off, they had lightened their machine too precipitately and ascended with a vast rapidity.  Some mismanagement or some accident prevented them in their hurry, from opening the tube which was to let out the atmospheric air inclosed in the interior balloon, and to add to their embarrassment, they had set off in the very worst moment which could have been chosen.  Within ten minutes after they were gone, we observed the thick fog, which hung over our heads at about two hundred feet from the earth, began to break and to separate, and inn consequence our adventurers found themselves involved amidst a great number of broken clouds just rising by the influence of the sun's rays, and dispersing with great violence, they found themselves suddenly involved in clouds of rain, and higher up of sleet and snow, and whirled about in various directions with great velocity and bustle.  In this confusion, the interior balloon not being evacuated burst, with a report, the Duke said, equal to that of an eight pounder, and immediately the great balloon began to swell and strain with great noise; at the same time ascending with great rapidity.  The danger then began to be very great and very evident.  The Roberts endeavoured to let off the inflammable air, but when they tried they found the tube was stopped, by the ruins of the interior balloon which had fallen upon the interior orifice.
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They had some small flags in the boat fixed to gilt staves with pikes upon the heads, and with one of them endeavoured to remove the obstruction but without success.  The swelling and straining of the balloon encreasing, and there being a certainty of its bursting sooner or later, the elder Roberts cried out that their lives depended upon piercing the balloon.  The Duke with great coolness told them not to be rash, and to be very clear of the necessity of the operation before they put it in practice.  They repeatedly assured him of the necessity of it before he would consent.  He was equally deliberate in choosing the place where he was to give the fatal stroke, it being the point of honour as Commander in Chief for him to perform it.  They told him that it was quite immaterial, that any where over his head, where he could most conveniently reach it would be equally proper.  He accordingly thrust the pike if the colours into the part nearest.  At the very instant the breach rent, on each side, from end to end seventy-two feet in length and discharged the whole contents.  They immediately fell with great rapidity, but the upper part of the balloon remaining sound, became converted into an immense parachute (or safefall) and felt such a resistance from the column of air underneath, as to retard their descent considerably.
In this situation the Duke proposed taking a parting bumper, but having forgot a cork screw,they were obliged to return the bottle to its place, and so were they from imminent danger, that out of half a dozen bottles, only one of them was broken by being jolted against another. They had also time to call a boy, as I observed, to throw him a roper or cord to tow them off of the lake, and discharged a bag of sand at but a little distance from the earth, by which means they escaped falling into the middle of the lake. I am informed since, that the Duke has ordered it to be repaired, meaning to have some further experiments tried, and it is much to be wished that he may have the gratification of being successful. In the mean time report says, he has settled a handsome annuity on the young herdsman. He has since made a trip to England, and again returned to France, where he is probably meditating another aerial journey. 
I remain very respectfully, 
Your most obliged and
Faithful humble servant
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M. Charles, who was the first aeronaut to ascend at Paris for a regular aerial voyage, enjoyed through the munificence of Louis XVI., apartments in the Tuileries, where he prosecuted his chemical and philosophical studies. When the palace was attacked onthe 10th of August, 1792, the assailants penetrated to his apartments, and were about to assassinate him, when he declared who he was, and pointed to the car of the balloon in which he made his first ascent, and which was fortunately in the room. The crowd, remembering with delight the impression which his bold attempt has made upon them, left him, not only without doing him personal injury, but also respecting his property. 
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We hear from Paris, that the monument talked of in 1783, to perpetuate the memory of the departure Messieurs Charles and Robert, from the Thuilleries, in their aerial machine, is now under consideration, and an obelisk is to be erected for the above purpose, in the Cours-la Raine, between the river Seine and the Champ-elysees. The building of a new bridge from the place Louis XV. is also resolved upon. ^[[1785]]
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on hearing it remarked that no Englishman had as yet either attempted, or improved on the [[underlined]]Air Balloons.[[/underlined]]
France has been deem'd a land of slaves,
But let the Grand Monarque beware,
His subjects swear they wilt be free, 
And seek for freedom in the air.

See Roberts and Montgolfier lead
All Paris in a dance;
Those airy journeys well become
The light-heel'd sons of France.

The foggy Dutchman(strange to think!)
The stars already reaches,
In Air Balloon se smokes his pipe, 
An mounts in spite of - breeches.

Tho' Spain the madness quickly spread,
And journies to the moon
By new Don Quixotes now are plann'd, 
Perform'd in Air Balloon.

Tho' Albion's sons for easy faith
Throughout the world are known, 
No Briton yet sublime has soar'd
Or thro' the AEther flown.

Let Holland, France and Spain unite
New regions to explore,
and let them fight, and conquer, where
They never fought before.

Britannia, when their toil is done,
Will then begin her wars,
And rifle all the spoils they gain'd
In Sun, or Moon or Stars.
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