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paper, with a press, a few types, and a huge pair of blacking balls, may commissionate himself, and his court is immediately established in the plenary possession and exercise of its rights ; for if you make the least complaint of the judge's conduct, he daubs his blacking balls in your face whenever he meets you ; and besides tearing your private character to splinters, marks you out for the odium of the public, as an enemy to the liberty of the press.
Of the natural support of this court. Its support is founded in the depravity of such minds as have not been mended by religion, nor improved by good education.
There is a lust in man no charm can tame,
Of loudly publishing his neighbour's shame.
On eagle's wings immortal scandals fly,
Whoever feels pain on hearing a good character of his neighbour, will feel a pleasure in the reverse, And of those who, despairing to rise in distinction by their virtues, are happy if others can be depressed to a level with themselves, there are a number sufficient in every great town to maintain one of these courts by subscription. A shrewd observer once said, that in walking the streets of a slippery morning, one might see where the good natured people lived, by the ashes thrown on the ice before the doors : probiably he would have formed a different conjecture of the temper of those of whom he might find engaged in such subscriptions,
Oj the checks proper to be established against the abuses
of power in those courts.
Hithertu there are none. But since so much has heen written and published on the federal constitu. tion; and the necessity of checks in all parts of good government, has been so clearly and learnedly explained, I find myself so far enlightened as to suspect some chieck may be proper in this part also; but I have been at a loss to iinagine 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 auginent it; which is, by restoring to the people a spe, cies 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 inight return it by a box on the ear; and, if repeated, by a good dribbing; and this without offending against any law: but now the right of making such returus is ilenied, and they are punished as breuches of the peace, while the right of abusing seems to remain in full force, the laws made against it being rendered ineflectual by the liberty of
My proposal then is, to leave the liberty of the press untouched, to be exercised in its full extent, force, and vigour, but lo permit the liberty of the cudgel to go with it, parri passu. Thus, my fellowcitizens, if au impudent writer attacks your repu.tation-clearer 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 bim 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, 10 assist you in giving him a more effectual drubbing. Thus far goes my project as to privute resentment and retri. butivn. But if the public should ever happen to be
affronted, as it ought to be, with the conduct of such writers, I would not advise proceeding immediately to these extremities, but that we should in mode. ration 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 cndgel; 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 his reputation.
SOME wit of old-such wits of old there were
The thought was happy: pertinent and true;
Various the papers various wants produce;
Pray note the fop-half powder and half lace-
Mechanics, servants, farmers, and so forth,
The wretch whom av'rice bids to pinch and spare,
Take next the miser's contrast, who destroys Health, fame, and fortune, in a round of joys. Will any paper match bim! Yes, throughout, He's a true sinking-paper, past all doubt.
The retail politician's anxious thought
The hasty gentleman, whose blood runs high,
What are our poets, take them as they fall
Observe the maiden, innocently sweet,
One instance more, and unly one I'll bring,
ON THE ART OF SWIMMING:
IN ANSWER TO SOME INQUIRIES OF M. DUBOURG
ON THE SUBJECT.
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 inust, 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 thuinb, in order to retain it fast in the palm of my hand. They much resemble a painter's pallets. Iu 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 nut 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 scuphandre of M, de la Chapelle.
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 morica,
* Translator of Dr. Eranklin's werks into French.