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Qf the checks proper to be established against the abuses of power m those courts.
Hitherto there are none. But since so much has been written and published on the federal constitution ; and the necessity of checks in all parts of good government, has been so clearly and learnedly explained, I And myself so far enlightened as to suspect some check may be proper in this part also; but I have been at a loss to imagine any that may not be construed an infringement of the sacred liberty of the press. At length, however, I think I have found one, that instead of diminishing general liberty, shall augment it; which is, by restoring to the people a species of liberty, of which they have been deprived by our laws—I mean the liberty of the cudgel! In the rude state of society, prior to the existence of laws, if one man gave another ill language, the affronted person mightreturn it by a box on the ear; and, if repeated, by a good drubbing; and this without offending against any law: but now the right of making such returns is denied, and they are punished as breaches of the peace, while the right of abusing seems to remain in full force; the laws made against it being rendered ineffectual by the liberty of the press.
My proposal then is, to leave the liberty of the press untouched, to be exercised in its full extent, force, and vigour, but to permit the liberty of the cudgel to go with it, pari passu. Thus, my fellow-citizens, if an impudent writer attacks your reputation—dearer perhaps to you than your life, and puts his name to the charge, you may go to him as openly, and break his head. If he conceals himself behind the printer, and you can nevertheless discover who he is, you may, in like manner, waylay him in the night, attack him behind, and give him a good drubbing. If your adversary hires better writers than himself to abuse you more effectually, you may hire as many porters, stronger than yourself, to assist you in giving him a more effectual drubbing. Thus far goes my project as to private resentment and retribution. But if the public should ever happen to be affronted, as it ought to be, with the conduct of sue a 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 cudgel; 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 hit reputation.
Some wit of old—such wits of old there were—
Mechamcs, servants, farmers, and so forth,
The wretch, whom av'rice bids to pinch and spare,
Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys
The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,
What are our poets, take them as they fall,
One instance more, and only one I'll bring;
ON THE ART OF SWIMMING.
IN ANSWER TO SOME INQUIRIES Or M. DTIBODRO *
I Am apprehensive that I shall not be able to find leisure for making all the disquisitions and experiments which would be desirable on this subject. I
nust, 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 pallets. 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 acaphandrt of M. de la
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 progressive motion.
*vTwt he is seized with the cramp in the leg, thti tPkihocJ tf driving it away is to give to the parts affo.-cd a audden, vigorous and violent shock; winch lu may do in the air, as he swims on his bark.
Durmg the great heats of summer, there is no danger 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 draught 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