P.S. June 19. Since writing the above we have received the following account: Monsieur Pilatre de Roziere, who had been waiting for some months at Boulogne for a fair wind to cross the channel, at length took his ascent with a companion. The wind changed after a while, and brought him back on the French coast. Being at a height of about six thousand feet, some accident happened to his balloon of inflammable air; it burst, they fell from that height, and were crushed to atoms. There was a montgolfier combined with the balloon of inflammable air. It is suspected the heat of the montgolfier rarefied too much the inflammable air of the other, and occasioned it to burst. The montgolfier came down in good order.
LETTER LXV.—TO CHARLES THOMSON, June 21, 1785
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Paris, June 21, 1785.
Your favor of March the 6th has come duly to hand. You therein acknowledge the receipt of mine of November the 11th; at that time you could not have received my last, of February the 8th. At present there is so little new in politics, literature, or the arts, that I write rather to prove to you my desire of nourishing your correspondence than of being able to give you any thing interesting at this time. The political world is almost lulled to sleep by the lethargic state of the Dutch negotiation, which will probably end in peace. Nor does this court profess to apprehend, that the Emperor will involve this hemisphere in war by his schemes on Bavaria and Turkey. The arts, instead of advancing, have lately received a check, which will probably render stationary for a while, that branch of them which had promised to elevate us to the skies. Pilatre de Roziere, who had first ventured into that region, has fallen a sacrifice to it. In an attempt to pass from Boulogne over to England, a change in the wind having brought him back on the coast of France, some accident happened to his balloon of inflammable air, which occasioned it to burst, and that of rarefied air combined with it being then unequal to the weight, they fell to the earth from a height, which the first reports made six thousand feet, but later ones have reduced to sixteen hundred. Pilatre de Roziere was dead when a peasant, distant one hundred yards only, run to him; but Romain, his companion, lived about ten minutes, though speechless, and without his senses. In literature there is nothing new. For I do not consider as having added any thing to that field, my own Notes, of which I have had a few copies printed. I will send you a copy by the first safe conveyance. Having troubled Mr. Otto with one for Colonel Monroe, I could not charge him with one for you. Pray ask the favor of Colonel Monroe, in page 5, line 17, to strike out the words ’above the mouth of Appamatox,’ which make nonsense of the passage; and I forgot to correct it before I had enclosed and sent off the