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received with greater pleasure, as the thought had never entered my mind. But, unluckily for me, honors of this kind, like civil and military preferments, become real honors only where there is a capacity of honoring them. The obligations, however, to those who procure, or bestow them, are not at all lessened by the unworthiness of the person on whom they are conferred.
Your bill of mortality is selected for publication, and is now in my hands. I think it is suficiently particular for the purpose for which it will be published. If you wish, however, to make any additions, I can send it to you, though the time will be short before the printers will want it, as they have already made considerable progress in their work.
Dr. Hill says the tree-toad, or tree-frog, as he calls it, is peculiar to North America, and to some few places in the North of Europe. His description, I suppose, was taken from those in Europe, and does not well agree with the animal we call by that name. Catesby mentions a green tree-frog in the Southern States, which, he says, “sings in the night, chit, chit, chit.” I suspect this animal to be quite different from our tree-toad. I have seen so few writers on Zoology, that I am unable to say whether our tree-toad has been described, but I very much doubt it.
Nothing has been published on Animal Magnetism that I have heard of. I have been an unbeliever, but some late experiments have converteri me. I now believe, at least, that there is a certain somewhat, which produced a rotary motion in a sword. I have very often felt the motion so powerful as almost sufficient to remove the guard from off the end of my fingers, and that some degree of resistance would not prevent its tuning. I have thought that, after the same person has continued the experiment with little intermission for a considerable length of time, the effects became more evident, and have fancied that I felt something, like a very gentle breath of air, on the back of my fingers and hand next the sword. The same effect may be produced with a shovel, or tongs, but in a much less degree. The same sword, suspended by two threads, with the fingers very near but not in contact with the sword, will not produce any effect. Bars of iron, steel,
Nuwe experimeu upon glass ave puzzleli me, but I mean to make further trials. The sword I have used has a large silver guard, and when supported by the rim, the fingers are at some distance from the blade. What effect has magnetism on silver? Why is it called magnetism? Why not electricity? Or why is it called either? I am totally ignorant of the matter. Pray be so kind as to enlighten me.
I have tired you with my long letter. I can not see you, and
you must indulge me the pleasure of writing, and as much as my paper will admit. Dr. Fisher desires his most respectful compliments to you. Ile says he still feels the good effects of the shower-bath, but does not know but it may be best to repeat it next summer. He retains his White Mountain airs, and even our good friend Mír. Heard is strongly tinctured with them.
Mrs. Cutler joins me in kind regards to your lady and family. I am, with much affection and esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient, humble servant.
M. CUTLER. [ To Rev. Dr. Belknap.]
IPSWICI, April 11, 1785. Rev. and Dear Sir:-Since I wrote you last, I have had the pleasure of receiving two letters from you—one of March 1st, the other, the 26th. My obligations to you are greatly increased by your kind care to give me the earliest notice of the late vote of the Philosophical Society, at Philadelphia. When I receive official information from the Secretary, I shall not fail of acknowledging the high sense I have of the honor conferred, and particularly to express my obligation to Mr. Ilazard, who, in compliance with your friendly request, has interested himself in this matter.
The distance, which you tell me our mountains are seen north-westward, much exceeds what I should have apprehended, and increases my desire for another visit. I expect soon to know whether there will be any prospect of it this summer, and will give you the earliest information.
I am pleased with your intention of presenting specimens of the colored strata in Lebanon to the Museum. It is cer
tainly the most probable method for exciting attention to those valuable articles which the kind Author of Nature has so liberally scattered around us. How unhappy that there is no encouragement, from any quarter, for exploring and making experiments upon those natural productions, which might be improved as the greatest national advantages, and when we so greatly need them, too. When you have made your collections, pray remember an old friend, and throw by two or three pieces.
For this month or two past, I have been busily engaged in comparing the minutes I have made of our vegetable productions with those that have been described by botanical writers. The turning over of old folios, bringing them to the Linnæn system, and comparing them with our productions, has been a tedious job. Patience has had its perfect work. I have found myself sufficiently perplexed in distinguishing with certainty the indigenous vegetables that ought to be considered as a new genera, especially as it has long been supposed that every genus in the vegetable kingdom was known. May we not wonder that so much labor and expense should have been bestowed in examining almost every petty island in the seas,
and yet so extensive a part of this continent as lies between the latitudes of 40 and 50, exceedingly diversified in soil and surface, should remain at this day unexplored? It reflects no great honor, I think, upon us, that, after all our pretensions to science, and the actual progress we have made, natural history should have been so totally neglected. Natural productions ought to be the first object of attention with an infant country. They afford us materials for all the arts and manufactures, most of the delights and ornaments of life, and the most important articles of commerce. We, as individuals, can do but little, but let us, at least, show it is not for want of dispositions.
The gentleman who brought your letter is now waiting for this, and will be so kind as to leave it with Mr. Parker. Pray write by every opportunity. Please accept our sincere regards to you and Mrs. Belknap. I am, dear sir, most affectionately yours,
Dear Sir :- . . . I feel anxious to make another attempt for measuring the White Mountains, but find so many difficulties in the way that I have given up the thought of going this year. The thought, however, has been a little revived within a few days, occasioned by the Count Castiglioni, an Italian gentleman from Milan, who is on his tour through the United States, principally with a view of examining their natural productions. He is very desirous of a tour to the White Mountains, and would make us a most valuable as well as very agreeable companion. He has done me the honor of spending a day or two with me. He is a perfect master of Botany, and is preserving specimens of every vegetable he finds in blossom. Ilis manners are easy, aftable, and engaging. lle speaks English well-am told he is possessed of an immense fortune. Ile is now gone to Portsmouth. I should have given him a letter to you, if there had been any probability of his having time to go to Dover before he sets out for Penobscot, which he expected to do in a few days. After his return from the Eastward, will be the time, if at all, for the journey to the White Mountains. Dr. Dexter, of Boston, and several other gentlemen, propose to be of the party, should it be attempteil.
· The gunsmith at town has made some trials on our friend Place's ore, and can get no copper of consequence out of it. I fear it will turn out of little worth.
Please make Mrs. Cutler's and my compliments agreeable to your lady and family.
I am, dear sir,
P. S.--I am, at present, very much out of health, but hope it will not prove to be more than a long and tedious cold. I have been exceedingly exercised with an inflammatory sore throat, though it is now considerably abated.
[From Rev. Dr. Belknap:]
DOVER, Nov. 18, 1785. Dear Sir :-Yours of the 15th, received yesterday by Mr. Low, has cut me out a day's work to answer it. " The history of my tour is an object of your curiosity, and I am disposed to gratify it, but should rather do it vira voce, if it were in my power. If air balloons were as common hackney coaches, and as easily managedl, you might call and spend a day with me once a week, and I could do the same with you. This would save the trouble of writing. But, till this movle of traveling is more improved, we must be content to go on in the old way and converse by paper. My tour, like our ultramontane excursion, has just taught me how to go again, for, though I minuted down in my pocket-book every object that I could previously judge worth seeing, or hearing, or inquiry, and did not omit any thing which, from those hints or from after knowledge, I thought material, yet, now I am returned, I think I might have seen, and heard, and learned more than I did; and I suppose, if I were to go again, I should come home in much the same state. This is like rising from table with an appetite, which Physicians say is a sure way to preserve health.
I know but little of the “Agricultural Society," and believe there is but little to be known of it, for it is yet in an infantile state. . Colonel Pickering told me they were endeavoring to form connections and correspondence and get information, and were in hopes, by and by, of doing something in the way of encouraging experiments by premiums; but, to speak in the sea phrase, they are not yet "got under way.” “The Philosophical Society” is neglected by most of its members; scarce ten can be got together, unless upon some very special occasion. One meeting came in course while I was there, and I signified my desire of being present to my worthy friend, Dr. Clarkson, who is a member, and gave me some reason to hope that he would go with me; but when the hour arrived, I found his indifference so great that could not urge the matter, and was prevailed upon to stay and spend the evening with him, which, he said, was much more agreeable. Thus I sacrificed my Philosophy to Friendship, for that time, and I