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surrounding houses; scaffoldings of various forms and contrivances, are crouded with well dressed people; and forma  singular, and to me very interesting spectacle. They have viewed for hours with fixed and silent attention, the bustle around the apparatus and the gradual expansion of the Balloon. On my left, in a square, or rather parallelogram, the largest I know in Europe, a part of the populace of this immense place, is collected into one compressed and impenetrable mass. The whole would suggest to a tyrant the idea of a pavement of human heads; but I conceive the risqué of going up in my Balloon trifling, compared with that of attempting to walk in the living surface I now contemplate. One hundred and fifty thousand countenances have all one direction; but I have reason to be anxious not to disappoint such a multitude, every one of which has been wedged in a painful situation the whole morning. You will think me whimsical, perhaps, in fixing my imagination, at this time, on public institution of any kind. The principal area which contains the populace, is bounded by an extensive and noble building, devoted to the most compassionate and affecting of all the offices of benevolence. It is a retreat for the insane, who are judged incurable; and it is called Bedlam. The arrangement, extent and wholesomeness of the apartments, the assiduity and care of the governors, physicians and apothecaries, and the unabating liberality with which it is supported, render it an object of universal respect. The figures of frenzy and melancholy at its gate are celebrated throughout Europe, and are deemed barely inferior to the admired productions of Greek sculpture. Which of these allegorical beings the people have assigned as my patron, I have not learned. I [E2] suppose
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suppose they may be divided; but agree in the propriety of making my attempt near Bedlam, as the event, in their opinion, will render it necessary to convey me there. How happy should I be, if some kind spirit would instruct me, to emulate Astolpho* on his flying horse, and to explore those regions where the straying wits of mortals betake themselves! But this is not a time for even benevolent reveries, and I indulge them in any degree, to repel the unwelcome apprehensions.

Half after One.
The time fixed for my departure has elapsed; but the Balloon is not sufficiently filled for the purpose. The populace have given some intimations of impatience; and I may yet be pre-judged before I make my attempt. The presence of the Prince of Wales; and the obvious satisfaction with which he views the progress of the preparations may remove the suspicion of deceit, and restrain the impetuosity of the people. The condescending affability of the Prince, and the interest he deigns to express, by repeated wishes for the safety of Mr. Biggin and me, are pleasing alleviations if my anxiety. His Royal Highness remains near the Apparatus, without going to the company house. Those who attend him, pay their court, and I dare say, express their real sentiments by anxieties for his safety. The apprehend dangers from the apparatus and from tumults- his Royal Highness apprehends none, for he is really better informed. 
* Vide Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, where the English Knight is said to have mounted to the Moon, to bring back the wits of Orlando--Query, Are not the fables of flying horses, dragons, &c. presumptions that the principle of Air Balloons is not a modern discovery?
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asks questions with more judgment, and directs his curiosity in a better manner than is useful to persons of his high rank and early years. He seems, now and then to express his wishes for our safety, as if not destitute of doubt; Indeed the whole company view us with a  kind of regret, as devoted persons, whose return is at least problematical. This is pleasing to us, only as it is a proof of polite humanity. We are not under the slightest apprehensions of danger, when once committed to the Balloon. I must own, the concern betrayed by the looks of my friends, though I know it to be without reason, has considerable effect on me. Prince Caramanico, my kind patron and benefactor, is evidently under some apprehension; and I shall remember my whole life this unequivocal proof of his friendship. As those who interest themselves in my fate, bid me adieu, in the most expressive, though silent manner, I thus take my leave of you. Whatever becomes of me, I know this testimony of my respectful regard will be affectionately received by you. Adieu, my honoured friend. I will conclude my letter upon my return. 
Friday Evening, 24th September. 
I was this morning to have been presented the King, but the anxiety and fatigue I had endured, exhausted my strength and spirits, in such a manner, as to occasion a violent fit of sickness, which confined me to my bed, and deprived me of the honor and satisfaction I had promised myself on the occasion. 
This is the first moment since my excursion, I have been able to take up my pen with the probability of giving you an account of it; and I am determined the post shall not go out this evening without it. A 
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A little before two o'clock on Wednesday, Mr. Biggin and myself were prepared for our expedition. His attention was allotted to the philosophical experiments and observations, mine to the conduct of the Machine, and the use of the vertical oars, in depressing the Balloon at pleasure. 
The impatience of the multitude made it unadvisable to proceed in filling the Balloon, so as to give it the force it was intended to have. On balancing that force with weights, it was supposed incapable of taking us up. When the gallery was annexed, and Mr. Biggin and I got into it, the matter was beyond doubt; and whether Mr. Biggin fest the most regret in relinquishing his design, or I in being deprived of his company, it may be difficult to determine. But we were before a Tribunal, where an instantaneous decision was necessary; for hesitation and delay, would have been construed into guilt; and the displeasure impending over us would have been fatal, if in one moment he had not had the heroism to relinquish, and I the resolution to go alone. 
This event agitated my mind greatly; a smaller gallery was substituted; and the whole undertaking devolved on me, I was preparing accordingly, when a servant brought me word, that an accident had befallen the Balloon, which would prevent my intended voyage. I hastened down, almost deprived of my senses, and though I was instantly convinced, that the injury was trifling, I could not recover the shock in time, to recollect that I should supply myself with those instruments for observation which had been appointed to Mr. Biggin. I threw myself into the gallery, determinded to hazard no further accidents that might consign me and the Balloon to the fury
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