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In hot countries, exercise of body with the heat of the climate create much of this putrid perspirable matter, which ought to be discharged. A check is in those countries very pernicious; putrid malignant violent fevers, and speedy death, the consequence.

Its discharge is also checked another way besides that of closing the pores, viz. by being in an air already full of it, as in close rooms containing great numbers of people, playhouses, ballrooms, &c.

For air containing a quantity of any kind of vapor, becomes thereby less capable of imbibing more of that vapor, and finally will take no more of it.

If the air will not take it off from the body, it must remain in the body; and the perspiration is as effectually stopped, and the perspirable matter as certainly retained, as if the pores were all stopped.

A lock of wet wool contained in a nutmeg-grater, may dry, parting with its moisture through the holes of the grater.

But if you stop all those holes with wax it will never dry. Nor, if exposed to the open air, will it dry when the air is as moist as itself. On the contrary, if already dry, and exposed to moist air, it would acquire moisture.

Thus people in rooms heated by a multitude of people, find their own bodies heated; thence the quantity of perspirable matter is increased that should be discharged, but the air, not being changed, grows so full of the same matter, that it will receive no more. So the body must retain it. The consequence is, that next day, perhaps sooner, a slight putrid fever comes on, with all the marks of what we call a cold, and the disorder is supposed to be got by coming out of a warm room, whereas it was really taken while in that room.

Putrid ferments beget their like. - Small-pox. -

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Wet rotten paper, containing corrupt glue. The cold fever communicable by the breath to others, &c.

Urine retained, occasions sneezing, &c.

Coughing and spitting continually, marks of intemperance.

People eat much more than is necessary.

Proportionable nourishment and strength is not drawn from great eating.

The succeeding meals force the preceding through half-undigested.

Small meals continue longer in the body, and are more thoroughly digested.

The vessels being roomy can bear and receive without hurt, an accidental excess.

They can concrete more easily.

There is less quantity of corrupting particles produced. Putrid fish


bad. Black Hole in the Indies.


Stoves for Public Buildings.

London, 7 July, 1773. I congratulate you on the finishing of your new meetinghouse. I have considered, as well as I can, without being on the spot, the intention of warming it by some machine in the cold damp seasons. It must be a matter of difficulty to warm sensibly all the air in so large and so lofty a room, especially if the fire is

* Dr. Samuel Cooper, an eminent clergyman of Boston, with whom Dr. Franklin held a correspondence for many years. — EDITOR VOL. VI.


not kept up in it constantly on the week days as well as Sundays. For, though the machine is very large and made very hot, yet the space of air and quantity of wall to be warmed is so great, that it must be long before any considerable effect will be produced. Then it will descend by the walls and windows, which being very cold by the preceding week's absence of fire, will cool that descending air so much in so long a descent, that it will fall very heavily and uncomfortably upon the heads of all that happened to sit under it, and will proceed in cold currents along the floor to the warming machine wherever it is situated. This must continue till the walls are warmed, for which I think one day is by no means sufficient, and that therefore a fire kindled in the morning of the Sabbath will afford no comfort to the congregation that day, except to a few that sit near it, and some inconvenience to the rest from the currents above mentioned..

If, however, your people, as they are rich, can afford it, and may be willing to indulge themselves, should choose to keep up a constant fire in the winter months, you may have from this country a machine for the purpose, cast from the same patterns with those now used at the Bank, or that in Lincoln's Inn Hall, which are placed in the middle of the respective rooms. .

The smoke of these descends, and passing under ground, rises in some chimney at a distance. Yours must be a chimney built, I suppose, without the house; and, as it ought to draw well to prevent your being troubled with smoke (as they often are at the Bank), it should be on the south side; but this I fear would disfigure your front. That at Lincoln's Inn Hall draws better. They are in the form of temples, cast ire iron, with columns, cornices, and every member of eldgant architecture.

And I mention casting them from the same patterns or moulds, because, those being already made, a great deal of work and expense will thereby be saved. But if

you can cast them in New England, a large vase, or an antique altar, which are more simple forms, may answer the purpose as well, and be more easily executed. Yet after all, when I consider the little effect I have observed from these machines in those great rooms, the complaints of people who have tried Buzaglo's stoves in halls, and how far your meetinghouse must exceed them in all its dimensions, I appre

I hend, that after a great deal of expense, and a good deal of dust on the seats and in the pews, which they constantly occasion, you will not find your expectations answered. And, persuaded as I am, from philosophic considerations, that no one ever catches the disorder we call a cold from cold air, and therefore never at meeting, I should think it rather advisable to those who cannot well bear it, to guard against the short inconvenience of cold feet (which only takes place towards the end of the service), by basses or bearskin cases to put the legs in, or by small stoves with a few coals under foot, more majorum.




Colds produced by Contagion. - Various Causes of


London, 14 July, 1773. DEAR SIR, I received your favor of May 1st, with the pamphlet, for which I am obliged to you. It is well written. I hope that in time the endeavours of the friends to

liberty and humanity will get the better of a practice, that has so long disgraced our nation and religion.

A few days after I received your packet for M. Dubourg, I had an opportunity of forwarding it to him per M. Poissonnière, physician of Paris, who kindly undertook to deliver it. M. Dubourg has been translating my book* into French. It is nearly printed, and he tells me he purposes a copy for you.

I shall communicate your judicious remark, relating to the septic quality of the air transpired by patients in putrid diseases, to my friend Dr. Priestley. I hope that after having discovered the benefit of fresh and cool air applied to the sick, people will begin to suspect that possibly it may do no harm to the well. I have not seen Dr. Cullen's book, but am glad to hear that he speaks of catarrhs or colds by contagion. I have long been satisfied from observation, that besides the general colds now termed influenzas, (which may possibly spread by contagion, as well as by a particular quality of the air), people often catch cold from one another when shut up together in close rooms, coaches, &c., and when sitting near and conversing so as to breathe in each other's transpiration ; the disorder being in a certain state. I think, too, that it is the frouzy, corrupt air from animal substances, and the perspired matter from our bodies, which being long confined in beds not lately used, and clothes not lately worn, and books long shut up in close rooms, obtains that kind of putridity, which occasions the colds observed upon sleeping in, wearing, and turning over such bedclothes, or books, and not their coldness or dampness. From these causes, but more from too full living, with too little exercise, proceed in my opinion most of the dis

* See remarks on this translation, Vol. V. p.


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