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disappointments and errors are often the means of instruction. I proceeded in a different method, and conceived the design of interesting generosity and humanity, in the patronage of an experiment of some hazard, particularly in the hands of a foreigner. 
At the distance of two miles from this metropolis, stands a monument of liberal and prudent charity, first suggested (as it is said) to Charles II. by a licentious woman. It is the hospital of military invalids at Chelsea ; an object of national attention ; and managed with a respect to the intentions of the successive Princes who have patronized it, and to the health and comfort of the meritorious veterans who inhabit it, which are not common in national institutions. 
This building consists of three sides of a spacious quadrangle : a garden sloping before it to the shore of the Thames ; the vale extensive and fertile, and bounded by hills gently rising, highly cultivated, and beautifully marked with villas, churches and villages, all indicating the opulence and felicity of the inhabitants. 
This I have fixed upon, in my mind, as a picturesque and propitious spot ; and I wish, as it were from the altar of humanity, to ascend the skies.
I have, therefore, addressed the following request to Sir George Howard, governor of the hospital. 

"Mr. Lunardi has the honour to acquaint Sir 
"George Howard, that he intends to construct an Air 
"Balloon, in which he will ascend for the purpose of 
"making some interesting experiments. But previous to
"his engaging in so expensive an undertaking, he wishes
"to be assured of a place for launching it, to which none
B2  "but
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"but subscribers can be admitted. If Sir George How-
"ard will indulge him with his permission to launch it
"from Chelsea gardens, Mr. Lunardi purposes to devote
"whatever may exceed the expense of the undertaking to
"be divided among the Invalids of the hospital. Mr. 
"Lunardi requests the favour of an answer from Sir
"George Howard."

The King of England is distinguished for an attention to the minutest variations in the state of science of the arts, as he is for an unblemished character, and the most scrupulous practice of all moral and religious obligations. The innumerable concerns of an empire, to which extent and unweildiness alone have been an inconvenience, do not prevent his personal notice of any remarkable character, or his correct examination of any scientific event.
He has had the condescension to attend to the first probable intimations of a successful experiment with Balloons, and the governor, with his Majesty's approbation, has granted my request.
I know your friendly and parental bosom will have some emotions at the opening of a design, by a youth whom you have so long cherished and loved, which leads to glory, through some uncertainty and some danger. But my resolution is taken, and you know, within the bounds of life, nothing can shake it.
When I write to you, though at such a distance, I discharge a duty. It seems to have the effect of my usual methods of consulting you. I obtain my own approbation, and collect firmness and resolution, where perhaps I had my difficulties and doubts, and I take you
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with me in every thing I do. This habit is favourable to my slumbers, which I find to be a little interrupted by the magnitude of my design. I will therefore avail myself of its influence.
Good night, my dearest and best friend, communicate my intelligence to my sisters, &c. and believe me to remain, 
Your obliged and affectionate, 
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I Know your anxiety to learn the progress of my undertaking.
Neither my fortune nor my oeconomy have ever allowed me to be in affluence, I therefore enter on any business requiring expence, with some disadvantage. In Italy I should have sought the patronage and generosity of my Sovereign, or of some liberal and opulent nobleman, to enable me to sustain the expence of my present undertaking. Here wealth is more equally diffused ; and by any contrivance that can gratify the curiosity of the people, sums of money are immediately collected, without the anxiety and mortification of petitioning the great. This has, in some measure, banished patronage from England ; but ingenious men are perhaps the better rewarded, and are not rendered slaves to the purposes and caprices of patrons. Hence are innumberable exhibitions, which are always open in London, and which are means of circulation, convenience, information and utility, almost unknown in every other country.
To proceed in my design, I have been obliged to adopt this custom. You will not be offended that a secretary to an embassy exhibits his Balloon, when you know that the first artists in the nation, under the immediate protection of the King, and incorporated into an academy, exhibit their pictures yearly, and that the price of admission is one shilling. This expedient adds two or three thousand a year to the income of the academy, and is neither an inconvenience or a dishonor, where the diffusion of