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of our young hunters having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to broil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger they beheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds, and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder among the blue mountains. They said to each other It is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiled venison, and wishes to eat of it ; let us offer some to her. They presented her with the tongue : she was pleased with the taste of it, and said-Your kindness shall be rewarded. Come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing your children to the latest generations. They did so; and to their surprise found plants they had never seen before, but which, from that ancient time, have been constantly cultivated among us to our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground, they found maize; where her left hand had touched it, they found kidney-beans; and on the spot where she had sat, they found tobacco.' The good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said, 'what I delivered to you were sacred truths, but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood.' The Indian, offended, replied—'My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education ; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practise these rules, believed all your stories, why do you refuse to believe ours.'”
An account of Indian hospitality, which is esteemed among these savages as a principal virtue, is then given. Conrad Weiser had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke very well the Mohuck language. In going through the Indian country he called on one occasion at the dwelling of Canasselego an old acquaintance, who embraced him and otherwise showed great kindness to the traveller. At length the Indian said, “Conrad you have lived long among the white people, and know something of their customs ; I have been sometimes in Albany, and have nbserved there once in seven days they shut up their shops, and assemble all in the great house, tell me what it is for. What do they do there?” “They meet there,” said Conrad, “ to hear and learn good things.” “I do not doubt,” says the Indian, “ that they tell you so, they have told me the same; but I doubt the truth of what they say, and I will tell you my reasons. I went lately to Albany to sell my skins and buy blankets, knives, powder, rum, &c. You know I used generally to deal with Hans Hanson ; but I was a little inclined this time to try some other merchants. However I called first upon Hans, and asked him what he would give for beaver. He said he could not give more than four shillings a pound; but, says he, I cannot talk on business now: this is the day when we meet together to learn good things, and I am going to the meeting. So I thought to myself since I cannot do any business to-day, I may as well go to the meeting too, and I went with him. There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people very angrily. I did not understand what he said: but perceiving that he looked much at me and at Hanson, I imagined he was angry at seeing me there ; so I went out, sat down near the house, struck fire, and lit my pipe, waiting till the meeting should break up. I thought too that the man had mentioned something of beaver; and I suspected it might be the subject of their meeting. So when they came out I accosted my
merchant. "Well, Hans,' says I, 'I hope you have agreed to give more than four shillings a-pound.'' No,' says he, 'I cannot give so much ; I cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence.' I then spoke to several other dealers, but they all sung the same song—three and sixpence—three and sixpence. This made it clear to me that my suspicion was right; and that whatever they pretended of meeting to learn good things, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians in the
price of beaver. Consider but a little, Conrad, and you must be of my opinion. If they meet so often to learn good things they would certainly have learned some before this time; but they are all ignorant. You know our practice. If a white man, in travelling through our country, enters one of our cabins we all treat him as I do you ; we dry himn if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, and give him meat and drink that he may allay his thirst and hunger, and we spread soft furs for him to rest and sleep on-we demand nothing in return. But if I go into a white man's house at Albany and ask for victuals and drink, they say, 'where is your money ?' and if I have none, they say, 'get out you Indian dog. You see that they have not learned those little good things that we need no meetings to be instructed in, because our mothers taught them to us when we were children, and therefore it is impossible their meetings should be, as they say, for any such purpose or have any such effect; they are only to contrive the cheating of Indians in the price of beaver.'"
We must with the slightest notice, pass over our philanthropist's services in founding the Pensylvanian Hospital; his plans for cleaning, paying, and lighting the streets of Philadelphia, as well as his project for cleansing the streets of London ; his appointment of Post-master General for America ; and also the honours of receiving the degree of Master of Arts from Harvard and Yale Colleges, in consideration of his improvements and discoveries in the electric branch of Natural Philosophy. He had already taken into partnership in the printing line, Mr. David Hall, who removed the onerous care of that business from his shoulders, and consequently he was enabled to apportion his time in other pursuits. Above all he entered with even more than his wonted eagerness into the department of plıysics already specified; for he declares that he never had been so wholly engrossed with any object of study before ; and that being willing to diffuse the information he obtained as fast as he made it his own, his house was for some time continually full of friends and acquaintances, crowding to witness the wonders of the new science.
ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENT. Franklin modestly dismisses his great attainments and discoveries of a philosophical nature in his personal narrative; and especially in relation to electricity, no single name was so largely connected with the science even in Europe as his. To cite the words of Dr. Priestley, he “bids fair to be handed down to posterity, being equally expressive of the true principles of electricity, as the Newtonian philosophy is of the true system of nature in general.". • It was in 1746, that he entered with all the ardour and thirst for dis, covery which distinguished the philosophers of that day, upon a course of electrical experiment. This he was prompted and enabled to do, by means of certain apparatus which he had purchased from Dr. Spence, who was a lecturer on electricity. He was further tempted and encouraged in consequence of Mr. Peter Collinson, a gentleman of scientific attainments in London, having presented the Library Company at Philadelphia with a glass tube suited for the exhibition of electrical phenomena, at the same time communicating to Franklin some interest." ing intelligence of what had lately been done in this department of physical philosophy; and these circumstances were sufficient to excite the ardour of the American inquirer, who for about two years eagerly exercised himself in endeavouring to explore the hidden principles of electrical action. ' At length, about the year, 1747, he made the important discovery, that there are two kinds, conditions or affections of electricity, one of which he called the positive and the other the negative and that it is by first disturbing the natural balance subsisting between these two states, and then restoring the equilibrium by bringing them into connexion, that an explosive effect is produced. In 1749 he first suggested his idea of explaining the phenomena of thunder gusts, and of the aurora borealis, upon electrical principles. He points out many particulars in which lightning and electricity agree; and he adduces many facts and reasonings cogent in support of his position. In the same year, he conceived the astonishingly bold and grand idea of ascertaining the truth of his doctrine, by actually drawing down the lightning with sharp-pointed rods raised into the region of the clouds. Even in this uncertain state, his passion to be useful to mankind, displays itself in a striking manner. Admitting the identity of electricity and lightning, and knowing the power of points in repelling bodies charged with electricity, and in conducting their fire silently and imperceptibly, he suggested the idea of securing houses, ships, &c., from being damaged by lightning, by erecting pointed rods that should rise some feet above the most elevated part, and descend some way into the ground, or water. The effect of these, he concluded, would be either to prevent a stroke by repelling the cloud beyond the striking distance, or by drawing off the electric fire which it contained ; or, if they could not
effect this they would at least conduct the electric matter to the earth, without any injury to the building.
It was not until the summer of 1758, that he was enabled to complete his grand discovery by experiment. The plan which he had originally proposed was to erect on some high tower or other elevated place, a sentry-box, from which should rise a pointed rod, insulated by being fixed in a small cake of resin. Electrified clouds passing, would, he conceived, impart to it a portion of their electricity, which would be rendered evident to the senses by sparks being emitted, when a key, the knuckle, or other conductor, was presented to it. Philadelphia at this time afforded no opportunity of trying an experiment of this kind. While Franklin was waiting for the erection of a spire, it occurred to him that he might have more ready access to the region of the clouds by means of a common kite. He prepared one by fastening two cross sticks to a silk handkerchief, which would not suffer so much from the rain as paper. To the upright stick was affixed an iron point ; the string was as usual of hemp, except the lower end, which was silk. Where the hempen string terminated, a key was fastened. With this apparatus, on the appearance of a thunder-gust approaching, he went out on the common accompanied by his son, to whom alone he communicated his intentions, well knowing the ridicule which too generally for the interests of science awaits unsuccessful experiments in philosophy. He placed himself under a shade to avoid the rain ; his kite was raised; a thunder-cloud passed over it; no sign of electricity appeared. He almost despaired of success, when suddenly he observed the loose fibres of his string to move towards an erect position. He now presented his knuckle to the key, and received a strong spark. How exquisite must his sensations have been at this moment! On this experiment depended the fate of his theory. If he succeeded, his name would rank among those who had improved science; if he failed he must inevitably be subjected to the derision of mankind, or what is worse, their pity as a wellmeaning man, but a weak silly projector. The anxiety with which he looked for the result of his experiment may be conceived. Doubts and despair had began to prevail, when the fact was ascertained in so clear a manner that even the most incredulous could no longer withhold their assent. Repeated sparks were drawn from the key, a phial was charged, a shock given, and all the experiments made which are usually performed with electricity.
Franklin now wrote an account of his experiments and theories in the