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was a long dissertation, which Dr. Franklin sent them, on a method of remedying smoky chimneys. Now I have mentioned this veteran Philosopher, I must tell you they say he has another communication to make, respecting the anchoring of ships at sea, to keep them from drifting with currents in a calm. The anchor is to be in the form of an umbrella. He has also a lamp, which, with only three small wicks, gives a luster equal to six candles. A pipe is introduced into the midst, which supplies fresh and cool air to the lights. This might suggest an improvement to the lamps in Light-houses, and perhaps save oil. I tell you things just as they come up in the vortex of my memory, and, if you look for any other method in my letters, you will be disappointed. It is to be wished, for the benefit of mankind, that the old Don would disburilen himself of all his philosophical hints, experiments, and conjectures, before he makes his exit, which must be soon, as he has completed four-fifths of a century, and is obliged to use the warm bath every day to ease the pain of the stone. This bathing vessel is said to be a curiosity. It is copper, in the form of a Slipper. He sits in the Heel, and his legs go under the Vamp; on the Instep he has a place to fix his book, and here he sits and enjoys himself. About the time I left the city of Philadelphia, they chose him President of the Executive Council. His accepting the office is a sure sign of senility. But would it not be a capital subject for an historical painting—the Doctor placed at the head of the Council Board in his bathing slipper?... You ask whether the Society are about printing another Volume. I asked the same question, and was told that, though their papers had been scattered and some lost in the course of the War, yet they have enough for another volume, but nobody puts it forward. Probably, the publication of ours may give them a jog, for they will not like to be rivaled by the New Englanders, especially as they think themselves before us in point of improvements. In some respects, there is a foundation for this opinion, and the most candid New Englandman must subscribe to it. ...
Our worthy friend Little has sent me an extract from his Journal, accompanied with a plan of the upper part of Penobscot River, in one crotch of which is a mountain, which the Indians call Tadden, i, e., the highest, and say it is bald-pated like our Saconian Mountains, and exceeds them in altitude. Asking their pardon, however, I think them very poor judges, as it is well known they have no mode of mensuration, and are afraid to ascend high mountains, lest they should invade the Territory of Hobomocko...
Now I am on the subject of mountains, I remember Mr. Rittenhouse told me that he had lately returned from beyond tha Ohio (where he has been surveying); that the Alleghany Mountains are not more than half a mile perpendicular, as he judges, on the Eastern side, and that on the Western, the land is so high that they scarce appear to be mountains. This corresponds with Dr. Meyer's theory, who says that the Eastern sides of all mountains are steepest, owing to the descent of the waters of the deluge. This is the case with our White Mountains, as I told him, and, as far as I recollect, with all the mountains that I am acquainted with. But I rather suspect the Andes are an exception, and, if so, there must be some other cause assigned. This, however, by the by. Mr. Rittenhouse gave me a stone full of petrified sea-shells, which he brought from beyond the Ohio. Ile also showed me a sample of Alum ore from thence, and two immense crystals, hexagonal and pointed, and very transparent, the largest of which, I judge, weighed as much as seven or eight pounds. They were found in Virginia. In that country are many curiosities, but the most valuable are coal mines. From one in the neighborhood of Richmond, coals are brought by sea to Philadelphia, and are well esteemed at the forge. In the neighborhood of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is an oil spring, lately discovered; the quality and medical virtues unknown at present. I inclose you the seeds of the Persimmon, a fruit natural to Pennsylvania, and the Pomegranate of Carolina. I know not whether this climate will suit them, but I am sure they will stand the chance of a fairer trial in your garden than mine. ... But I have done, and 'tis time I should. Your sincere and affectionate friend,
IPSWICH, rev. 10, 1100.
My Dear Sir:-You have involved me in a prodigious debt by your repeated favors, and you must lose it, for I have nothing to pay. I have had the pleasure of receiving three letters from you since I have had opportunity of writing to you. Yours of the 18th November, in which you have been so kind as to give me the history of your tour to Philadelphia, has afforded me and many of my friends much entertainment. . . .
The list of the members of the Philosophical Society, at Philadelphia, I sent on to Cambridge, but I believe it did not arrive in season, for I find several members of it are not noticed, as such, in the list printed in the Volume of the Memoirs. The volume is yet in the brew-tub, and when it will be got out I can not say. The printers have once supposed that they had completed their work, but upon a careful revision of the sheets, it was found necessary that they should do some of their work over again. The errors that have escaped the notice of those who were to inspect the press, and the printers, are more than I expected they would have been. In two or three sheets their inattention was intolerable. Those will be corrected ; but there will be considerable errata after all. We have this, however, for our consolation, it will not exceed what we find in several of the volumes of the Transactions of the R. S.
My engagements have been such, that I have not been able yet to attend to the scale of your barometer. I hope to do it in a few days, and will write you on the subject. The cold here, from the 17th to the 20th ult., was excessive, considering its duration. On the 18th (Wednesday) the quicksilver in my barometer, at half after 8 A. M., out of doors, ranged at 12° below 0. I presume it would have ranged much lower a little before sunrise. I thought of it, but my curiosity was not strong enongh to rouse me out of a warm bed. I afterward, however, regretted the sacrifice I had made to laziness and ease. By the papers, we find it was much colder at Hartford, in Connecticut. How are we to account for it? Dr. Holyoke and Brother Prince were highly gratified with their have seen in the newspapers. I had thought of making the attempt, the same evening, but could not muster an apparatus sufficient for the purpose, and so gave it up.
You have much obliged me by your kind attention to my wish of obtaining a hotanical correspondent at the Southwari. I made the same request to Mr. Hazard, who has favored me with a very complaisant letter, and says he mentioned it to the Count, who told him if he should meet with any gentleman in the botanical way, at the Southward, he would propose the correspondence. By the last ship from London, I received a saddle and bridle for my Hobby, and hope in the spring to get well mounted. Dr. Stokes, who has done me the honor to engage in a botanical correspondence, has sent me a very fine botanical microscope (an instrument I very much wanted), and has accompanieil it with a long and very agreeable letter. This gentleman is engaged with Dr. Withering (they are the two most distinguished botanists in Great Britain) in publishing the history of all the British plants. They have been at the labor of investigating their characters while in a growing state, without depending in any instance on dried specimens. This is far the greatest work of the kind that has been undertaken in England since the Linnean system has been established. It is to be published in the spring. The Dr. has sent me a sheet. The plan, though Linnean, is new. The work, I am persuaded, is well executed. In a former letter he informed me of this undertaking, and I proposed his including American plants, But he thinks it will be best to keep our floras distinct, as the uniting them in one work must render it too bulky; and, besides, he wishes American plants may be carefully investigated. and described from living specimens, in the manner they have described the British. He has generously offered any assistance he can afford, and has given me information in many particulars, which I could not have obtained in this country. Dr. Stokes speaks highly of our Italian Count, and thinks him not inferior in botanical knowledge to the famous Scopoli (the Count's preceptor), whom he visited in a late tour he has made to Italy and Vienna. So much for botany.
Dr. Stokes wishes me to inform him “ whether any of the pothesis of migration,” he says, “ has been much weakened in Europe by the doubts which have been raised respecting the assertion of M. Adanson, of his having seen the European swallow at Senegal.” If you are acquainted with any facts respecting this matter, I shall be much obliged to you for them. I have pretty good evidence of their having been found here in the mud in the winter, and of their being seen to come out of it in the spring, but I wish for further information.
The Transactions of the R. S. for 1784, and the first part for 1785, have lately come to hand. No small part of these volumes are taken up with disquisitions on the several kinds of air. Among others, is a very ingenious paper by a Mr. White, who asserts, from a course of accurate and very curious experiments, which he gives at large, “ that dephlogisticated or pure air is entirely composed of water deprived of its phlogiston, and united to elementary heat and light.” We then must be animals of the watery element. Philosophers are certainly making us a kind of fish, swimming about lobsterlike, with the aid of our two setting poles.
Mr. Herschel has several very interesting papers. This great astronomer has made discoveries in the heavens that are truly astonishing. By his improvement of telescopes, he has been able to penetrate the immense fields of the starry regions far beyond what any human eye (unless when unembodied) has ever reached before. He describes those distant regions as a naturalist would a rich extent of ground, or chain of mountains, containing strata variously inclined and directed, as well as consisting of different materials. In the via lactea he found the whitish appearance completely resolved into a glorious multitude of stars of all possible sizes. The case was the same with respect to all the nebulæ that were heretofore discovered. But, what is more remarkable, he found all those clusters arranged in strata in different forms. He has found immense starry beds of unequal breadth, some straight, some curved, and some showing a motley kind of nebulosity. One of these nebulous beds was so rich that, in passing through a section of it in the time of only 36 minutes, he detected no less than 31