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One or two observations more will conclude this little piece. Care must be taken, when you lie down, to dispose your pillow so as to suit your manner of placing your head, and to be perfectly easy ; then place your limbs so as not to bear inconveniently hard upon one another; as for instance, the joints of your ankles : for though a bad position may at first give but little pain, and be hardly noticed, yet a conti. nuance will render it less tolerable, and the uneasiness may come on while you are asleep, and disturb your imagination.
These are the rules of the art. But though they will generally prove effectual in producing the end in tended, there is a case in which the most punctual observance of them will be totally fruitless. I need not mention the case to you, my dear friend : but my account of the art would be imperfect without it. The case is, when the person who desires to have the pleasant dreams has not taken care to preserve, what is necessary, above all things- A GOOD CONSCIENCE.
DUELLING. It is astonishing that the murderous practice of duelling, which you so justly condemn, should con. tinue so long in vogue. Formerly, when duels were used to determine law-suits, from an opinion that Providence would in every instance favour truth and right with victory, they were excusable. At present, they decide nothing. A man says something, which another tells him is a lie. They fight, but whichever is killed, the point in dispute remains unsettled. To this purpose they have a pleasant little story here. A gentleman in a coffee-house desired another to sit fur. ther from him. “Why so?” “ Because, sir, you stink.” “ That is an affront, and you must fight me." “ I will
fight you, if you insist upon it; but I do not see how that will mend the matter. For if you
kill shall stink too; and if I kill you, you will stink, if possible, worse than you do at this present." How can such miserable sinners as we are contain so much pride, as to conceit that every offence against our imagined honour merits death? These petty princes in their own opinion would call that sovereign a tyrant, who should put one of them to death for a little uncivil language, though pointed at his sacred person : yet every one of them makes himself judge in his own cause, condemns the offender without a jury, and undertakes himself to be the executioner.
AN ECONOMICAL PROJECT.
A translation of this letter appeared in one of the
daily papers of Paris about the year 1784. The following is the original piece, with some additions and corrections made by the author.
To the Authors of the Journal. Messieurs,-You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility.
I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of Messrs. Quinquet and Lange was in. troduced, and much admired for its splendour; but a general inquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable
thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so much augmented.
I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I love economy exceedingly.
I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject. cidental sudden noise waked me about six in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with light; and I imagined, at first, that a number of those lamps had been brought into it: but, rubbing my eyes, I perceived the light came in at the windows. I got up, and looked out to see what might be the oa casion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber, my domestic having negligently omitted the preceding evening to close the shutters.
I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was about six o'clock; and still thinking it was 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 eatlier 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 before 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 assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. 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 happens, that when I spcak 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 been deceived. I own that he puzzled me a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the subsequent observations I made, as abovemen. tioned, confirmed me in my first opinion.
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 follow. ing night by candlelight; 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 supposi. tion, that there are one hundred thousand 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
183 Hours of each night in which we burn 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 at Paris by candlelight, which at half a pound of wax and tallow per hour, 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 li. vres tournois
An immense sum ! that the people of Paris might