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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 supposi. tion, that there are 100,000 families in Paris and tha: 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 buio
candles • • • • • • • • • •
Multiplication gives for the total number
of hours . . . . . . . . . . 1,281 These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000,
the number of inhabitants given - - 128,100,000 One hundred twenty-eight millions and
one hundred thousand hours, spent
gives the weight of . - - ...64,050,000 Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of
pounds, which, estimating the whole at
the medium price of thirty sols the . pound, makes the sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres tournois :".. . . . . . 96,075.000 An immense sum ! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instcad 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, conse. quently 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 contriv to rise with hiin; and, to compel the rest I wou. propose the following regulations :
First. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, an 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 permitted 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 sun. set, except those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives.
Fourth. Every mnrning, as soon as the sun ri. ses, let all the bells in every church be set a ring. ing; and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectu. ally, 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 natu ral and easy as the present irregularity: for a n'est que le premier pas qui coute. Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is inore than prn. hable he shall go willingly to bed at eight in the even. ing; and, having had eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four the following morning. But 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 bonour of it. And yet I know there aro 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 use but one plain simple argument. 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 notking. I am, &c.
SKETCH OF AN ENGLISH SCHOOL. For the Consideration of the Trustees of the Phila:
delphia Academy. It 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.
TIRST, 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 fue ture 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 significations; the conscious. ness 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 ho 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
might daily get a few of those words and explanations by heart, which would a little exercise their memo. ries; or at least they might write a number of them in a small book for the purpose, which would help to fx the mcaning of those words in their minds, and at the same time furnish every one with a little diction, ary for his future use.
THE SECOND CLASS, To be taught reading with attention, and with pro per modulations of the voice, according to the senti ment and the subject.
Some short pitces, not exceeding the length of a Spectator, to be given this class for lessons (and some of the easier Spectators would be very suitable for the purpose.) "These lessons might be given every night as tasks, the scholars to study them against the inorning. Let it then be required of them to give an account, first of the parts of speech, and construc. tion of one or two sentences. - This will oblige them to recur frequently to their grammar, and fix its principal rules in their memory. Next, of the intention of the writer, or the scope of the piece," the meaning of each sentence, and of every uncommon word. This would early acquaint them with the meaning and force of words, and giving them that most neces sary habit of reading with attention.
The master then to read the piece with the proper modulations of voice, due emphasis, and suitable ac. tion, where action is required ; and put the youth on imitating his manner.
Where the author has used an expression not the best, let it be pointed out; and let his beauties be particularly remarked to the youth.
Let the lessons for reading be varied, that the youth may be made acquainted with good styles of all kinds in prose and verse, and the proper mauner of reading cach kind sometimes a well-told story, a piece of a sermon, a general's speech to his soldiers, a speech in a tragedy, some part of a comedy, an ode, a satire, a letter, blank verse, Hudibrastic, heroic, &c. But let Buch lessons be chosen for reading, as contain some