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I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was about six o'clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanack, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o'clock. Your readers, who with me, have never seen any signs of sunshine till noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanack, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assured them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.
Yet it so happens, that when I speak of this discovery to others, I can easily perceive by their countenances, though they forbear expressing it in words, that they do not quite believe me. One, indeed, who is a learned natural philosopher, has assured me, that I must certainly be mistaken as to the circumstance of the light coming into my room; for it being well known, as he says, that there could be no light abroad at that hour, it follows that none could enter from without; and that of consequence, my windows being accidentally left open, instead of letting in the light, had only served to let out the darkness: and he used many ingenious arguments to show me how I might, by that means, have beeen'deceived. I own that he puzzled me a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the subsequent observations I made, as above mentioned, confirmed me in my first ́opiniou.
This event has given rise, in my mind, to several serious and important reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning,. I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and the latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my
love of economy induced me to muster up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing, that utility is, in my opinion, the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.
I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition, that there are 100.000 families in Paris, and that these families consume in the night half a pound of bougies or candles, per hour. I think this is a moderate allowance, taking one family with another; for though I believe some consume less, I know that many consume a great deal more. Then estimating seven hours per day, as the medium quantity between the time of the sun's rising and ours, he rising during the six following months from six to eight hours before noon, and there being seven hours of course per night in which we burn candles, the account will stand thus:
In the six months between the twentieth of March and the twentieth of September, there are Nights
Hours of each night in which we burn
Multiplication gives for the total number
An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.
If it should be said, that people are apt to be obstinately attached to old customs, and that it will be difficult to induce them to rise before noon, consequently my discovery can be of little use; I answer, Nil desperandum. I believe all who have common sense, as soon as they have learnt from this paper that it is day-light when the sun rises, will contrive to rise with him; and, to compel the rest I would propose the following regulations:
First. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.
Second. Let the same salutary operation of po lice be made use of to prevent our burning candles, that inclined us last winter to be more economical in burning wood: that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitied to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.
Third. Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, &c. that would pass the streets after sunset, except those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives.
Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set a ringing and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true interest.
All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days; after which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present irregularity; for ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute. Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than probable he shall go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four the following morning. this sum of ninety-six-millions, and seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my economical project. You may observe
that I have calculated upon only one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left unconsumed during the summer, will probably make candles much cheaper for the ensuing winter, and continue cheaper as long as the proposed reformation shall be supported.
For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither place, pension, exclusive privilege, or any other reward whatever. I expect only to have the honour of it. And yet I know there are little envious minds who will, as usual, deny me this, and say, that my invention was known to the ancients, and perhaps they may bring passages out of the old books in proof of it. I will not dispute with these people that the ancients knew not that the sun would rise at certain hours; they possibly had, as we have, almanacks that predicted it: but it does not follow from thence, that they knew he gave light as soon as he rose. This is what I claim as my discovery. If the ancients knew it, it must have been long since forgotten, for it certainly was unknown to the moderns, at least to the Parisians; which to prove, I need but use one plain simple argnment. They are as well instructed, judicious, and prudent a people as exist any where in the world, all professing, like myself, to be lovers of economy; and from the many heavy taxes required from them for the necessities of the state, have surely reason to be economical. I say, it is impossible that so sensible a people under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing. I am, &c.
SKETCH OF AN ENGLISH SCHOOL.
For the Consideration of the Trustees of the Philadelphia Academy.
Ir is expected that every scholar to be admitted into this school, be at least able to pronounce and divide the syllables in reading, and to write a legible hand. None to be received that are under years of age.
FIRST, OR LOWEST CLASS.
Let the first class learn the English grammar rules, and at the same time let particular care be taken to improve them in orthography. Perhaps the latter is best done by pairing the scholars; two of those nearest equal in their spelling to be put together. Let these strive for victory; each propounding ten words every day to the other to be spelled. He that spells truly most of the other's words, is victor for that day: he that is victor most days in a month, to obtain a prize, a pretty neat book of some kind, useful in their future studies. This method fixes the attention of children extremely to the orthography of words, and makes them good spellers very early. It is a shame for a man to be so ignorant of this little art, in his own language, as to be perpetually confounding words of like sound and different signification: the consciousness of which defect make some men, otherwise of good learning and understanding averse to writing even a common letter.
Let the pieces read by the scholars in this class be short; such as Croxal's fables and little stories. In giving the lesson, let it be read to them; let the meaning of the difficult words in it be explained to them: and let them con it over by themselves before they are called to read to the master or usher; who is to take particular care that they do not read too fast, and that they duly observe the stops and pauses. A vocabulary of the most usual difficult words might be formed for their use, with explanations; and they