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appointed for me would not have been changed, without a better reason than could have been assigned from the competition.  I therefore waited, with as much patience as I could command, the event of Moret's experiment; imagining, however it would fail, from a view of the Balloon; but having no apprehension of such consequences as might involve my disappointment, or my ruin.  

On the 11th of August, his advertisments assembled a company of three or four hundred persons in a Garden at Chelsea; and unfortunately for me, at a small distance from the Hospital where I was permitted to exhibit.  The gardens and field around the place were crouded with fifty or sixty thousand people, not so much from OEconomy, as incredulity and suspicion, of the undertaking.  That was greatly owing to his manner of anticipating my design, which threw on him and me, undeservingly, the imputation of imposture.

From one to four o'clock the company waited with patience, the filling and ascension of the Balloon; and when every effort was seen to fail, and the Ballon sunk into the fire which expanded it, the mob rushed in; tore it in a thousand pieces; robbed many so the company; levelled with the ground all the fences of the place and neighbourhood; and spread desolation and terror through the whole district.

I saw into many of the consequences which would affect my own undertaking.  Through the people of England are comparatively well informed and enlightened; yet the multitude in all nations is nearly alike.  The missortune or Moret was attributed to imposture; and suspicion of similar nature was extended to me.  I felt all the imme ^[[diate]]
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diate inconveniences of guilt; you will see by the following copies of letters; though nothing could be farther from my thoughts than any intention to be concerned in an imposition.

Chelsea-Hospital, August 14, 1781.

It having been represented to the governor of this place that a riot was occasioned by an attempt to raise an Air Balloon in this neighbourhood on Wednesday last; I have his orders to acquaint you, that it is impossible he can on any consideration, subject this College, to the insults of a mob, and at the same time, he directs me to say how disagreeable it is to him to refuse his consent, but that his determination is unalterably fixed.  I have the honour to be 


Your most obedient,

And most humble servant,


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On the receipt of this letter I waited on Major Bulkeley and describing the hardship of being involved in the consequences of the faults or misfortunes of another, I prevailed on him to represent my situation to the governor.  In consequence of which I received this final resolution of Sir George Howard.

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SIR, Chelsea College, August 17th, 1784
"I have this moment received a letter from Sir George 
"Howard, in answer to one I wrote to him on Monday 
"last, after I had the honour of seeing you, and he de 
"sires me to acquaint you, that he must again repeat the 
"impossibility of his consenting to the exhibition of 
"your Air Balloon in any place belonging to Chelsea 
"College; his duty absolutely forbids it, and no consi
"deraton shall make him do it after what happened last 
"week.  That he is very sorry you should meet with any 
"disappointment, but that nothing shall make him do 
"what he cannot justify, and that, at all events, it cannot 
"take place at Chelsea College, and, therefore, that it 
"is abfoutely necessary you should look out for some 
"other place, and give notice of it in the public papers.

"I have the honour to be, Sir, 
"Your most obedient humble servant, 


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I am now sunk into the utmost depth of distress. Though I I may be said to have no reputation to lose in a kingdom where I am scarely known, I yet experience the most poignant mortification of seeing my hopes destroyed, and myself, in the slightest degree suspected of anything inconsistent with honour, and an ardent love of science.

You will say, it is an imputation on the character of an enlightened kingdom, to pre-judge an experiment which has not made, especially as I propose to do only what has been proved to be practicable in France.  I have already told you that every thing respecting Air ^[[Balloons]]

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Balloons has been admitted here with reluctance; the pompous accounts of French voyages are credited, after making large allowances for Gallic vanity; and all hypotheses respecting a certain and useful application of the discovery are considered as romantic visions.  This prepossession, however, does not prevent philosophers and men of letters here from discerning the practicability of every thing that has been effected in France.  But they are not much more numerous in this than in other nations; they do not always regulate the opinions of the people, and, in this case, they are not very desirous of undeceiving them.  The national prejudice of the English against France is suffered to have its full effect, on a subject from which the literati of England expect to derive but little honour; an unsuccessful attempt had been made by a Frenchman; and my name being that of a foreigner, a very excusable ignorance in the people may place me among the adventurers of that nation, which are said to have sometimes distinguished themselves here by ingenious impositions.
I am apprehensive, therefore, I must relinquish my undertaking, after an expence which my circumstances can ill bear, and when the satisfaction and glory of accomplishing it are just within my reach.
Adieu, my dear friend, I regret the necessity of leaving on your mind, the melancholy impressions which this letter must make.  You may depend on it I shall conduct myself in every event with a proper recollection of your solicitude and regard for me.  For I shall ever remain, most sincerely your's,

London, Aug. 18, 1784    VINCENT LUNARDI.