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affronted, as it ought to be, with the conduct of such writers, I would not advise proceeding immediately to these extremities, but that we should in moderation content ourselves with tarring and feathering, and tossing in a blanket.
If, however, it should be thought, that this proposal of mine may disturb the public peace, I would then humbly recommend to our legislators to take up the consideration of both liberties, that of the press, and that of the endgel; and by an explicit law mark their extent and limits: and at the same time that they secure the person of a citizen from assaults, they would likewise provide for the security of his reputation.
SOME wit of old-such wits of old there were Whose hints show'd meaning, whose allusions cate By one brave stroke to mark all human kind, Call'd clear blank paper ev'ry infant mind: When still, as opening sense her dictates wrote, Fair virtue put a seal, or vice a blot.
The thought was happy, pertinent and true;
Various the papers various wants produce, The wants of fashion, elegance, and use. Men are as various; and if right I scan, Each sort of paper represents some man.
Pray note the fop-half powder and half lace-
Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth,
The wretch whom av'rice bids to pinch and spare,
Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys
The retail politician's anxious thought
The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,
What are our poets, take them as they fall
Observe the maiden, innocently sweet,
One instance more, and only one I'll bring, "Tis the great man who scorns a little thing, Whose thoughts, whose deeds, whose maxims are
Form'd on the feelings of his heart alone :
ON THE ART OF SWIMMING.
IN ANSWER TO SOME INQUIRIES OF M. DUBOURG ON THE SUBJECT.
1 AM apprehensive that I shall not be able to find leisure for making all the disquisitions and experi ments which would be desirable on this subject. I must, therefore, content myself with a few remarks.
The specific gravity of some human bodies, in comparison to that of water, has been examined by M. Robinson, in our Philosophical Transactions, volume 50, page 30. for the year 1757. He asserts, that fat persons with small bones float most easily upon water.
The diving bell is accurately described in our Transactions.
When I was a boy, I made two oval pallets, each about ten inches long, and six broad, with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand. They much resemble a painter's pal lets. In swimming, I pushed the edges of these forward, and I struck the water with their flat surfaces as I drew them back: I remember I swam faster by means of these pallets, but they fatigued my wrists. I also fitted to the soles of my feet a kind of sandals; but I was not satisfied with them, because I observed that the stroke is partly given by the inside of the feet and the ancles, and not entirely with the soles of the feet.
We have here waistcoats for swimming, which are made of double sail-cloth, with small pieces of cork quilted in between them.
I know nothing of the scaphandre of M. de la Chapelle.
I know by experience, that it is a great comfort to a swimmer, who has a considerable distance to go, to turn himself sometimes on his back, and to vary in other respects the means of procuring a progressivt motion.
* Translator of Dr. Franklin's works iate French
When he is seized with the cramp in the leg, the method of driving it away is to give to the parts affected a sudden, vigorous and violent shock; which he may do in the air, as he swims on his back.
During the great heats of summer, there is no dan. ger in bathing, however warm we may be, in rivers which have been thoroughly warmed by the sun. But to throw one's self into cold spring water, when the body has been heated by exercise in the sun, is an imprudence which may prove fatal. I once knew an instance of four young men, who, having worked at harvest in the heat of the day, with a view of refreshing themselves, plunged into a spring of cold water; two died upon the spot, a third the next morning, and the fourth recovered with great difficulty. A copious dranght of cold water, in similar circumstances, is frequently attended with the same effect in North America.
The exercise of swimming is one of the most healthy and agreeable in the world. After having swam for an hour or two in the evening, one sleeps coolly the whole night, even during the most ardent heat of summer. Perhaps the pores being cleansed, the insensible perspiration increases, and occasions this coolness. It is certain, that much swimming is the means of stopping a diarrhoea, and even of producing a constipation. With respect to those who do not know how to swim,or who are affected with a diarrhoea at a season which does not permit them to use that exercise, a warm bath, by cleansing and purifying the skin, is found very salutary, and often effects a radical cure. I speak from my own experience, frequently repeated, and that of others, to whom I have recommended this.
You will not be displeased if I conclude these hasty remarks by informing you, that as the ordinary method of swimming is reduced to the act of rowing with the arms and legs, and is consequently a laborious and fatiguing operation when the space of water to be crossed is considerable; there is a method in which a swimmer may pass to great distances with much facility, by means of a sail. This discovery I
fortunately made by accident, and in the following
When I was a boy, I amused myself one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching the back of a pond, which was near a mile broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the kite ascended to a very considerable height above the pond, while I was swimming. In a little time, being desirous of amusing myself with my kite and enjoying at the same time the pleasure of swimming, I returned, and loosing from the stake the string with the little stick which was fastened to it, went again into the water, where I found, that, lying on my back, and holding the stick in my hands, I was drawn along the surface of the water in a very agreeable manner. Having then engaged another boy to carry my clothes round the pond, to a place which I pointed out to him, on the other side, I began to cross the pond with my kite, which carried me quite over without the least fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure imaginable. I was only obliged Occasionally to halt a little in my course, and resist its progress, when it appeared that, by following too quick, I lowered the kite too much; by doing which occasionally I made it rise again. I have never since that time practiced this singular mode of swimming, though I think it not impossible to cross in this mun ner from Dover to Calais. The packet-boat, how. ever, is still preferable.
NEW MODE OF BATHING.
EXTRACTS OF LETTERS TO M. DUBOURG.
London, July 28, 1768.
I GREATLY approve the epithet which you give, in your letter of the 8th of June, to the new method of treating the small-pox, which you call the tonic or bracing method; I will take occasion, from it, to mention a practice to which I have accustomed my