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night in which we burn candles, the account will
Itand thus

In the fix months between the twentieth of
March and the twentieth of September, there
are
Nights
Hours of each night in which we

burn candles

183

Multiplication gives for the total number of hours

1,281 Thefe 1,281 hours multiplied by

100,000, the number of inhabitants, give

128,100,000 One hundred twenty-eight milli

ons and one hundred thoufand 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 thou.

fand of pounds, which, eflimating the whole at the medium price of thirty fols the pound, makes the sum of ninety-fix millions and seventy-five thousand livres fournois

96,075,000 An immenfè fum! that the city of Paris might fave every year, by the æconomy of using fun. thine instead of candles.

If it fhould be said, that people are apt to be obstinately attached to old cuftoms, and that it will be difficult to induce them to rise before noon, consequently 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 thie fün rises, will contrive to rise with him; and,

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to compel the rest, I would propose the follow. ing regulations.

Firft. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.

Second. Let the fame falutary operation of police be made use of to prevent our burning can. dles, that inclined us last winter to be more peconomical in burning wood; that is, let guards be placed in the fhops of the wax and tallow-chand. lers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.

Third. Let guards alfo be posted to stop all the coaches, &c. that would pass the streets after sunfet, except those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives.

Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the sun ri. ses, let all the bells in every church be fet ringing: and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the fluggards effectually, 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 natural and easy as the present irregularity: for, ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute. Oblige a man to rise at four in the inorning, and it is more than probable he hall go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four the morning following. But this sum of ninety-fix millions and seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my oeconomical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only one half of the year, and much may be faved in the other, though the days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left unconsumed during the summer, will proba

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bly make candles much cheaper for the ensuing winter, and continue cheaper as long as the pro. posed 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, exclufive privilege, or any other reward whatever. I expect only to have the honour of it. And yet I know there are 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 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 ancient 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 by 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, unwholsome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the fun for nothing.

I am, &c.

AN ABONNE.

ON

ON MODERN INNOVATIONS IN THE ENGLISH

LANGUAGE AND IN PRINTING.

To Noah WEBSTER, JUN. ESQ. AT HARTFORD.

Philadelphia, Dec. 26, 1789.

DEAR SIR,

I RECEIVED, some time since, your Dissertations on the English Language. It is an excellent work, and will be greatly useful in turning the thoughts of our countrymen to correct writing. Please to accept my thanks for it, as well as for the great honour you have done me in its dedication. I ought to have made this acknowledgement sooner, but much indisposition prevented

me.

I cannot but applaud your zeal for preserving the purity of our language both in its expression and pronunciation, and in correcting the popular errors several of our states are continually falling into with respect to both. Give me leave to mention some of them, though possibly they may already have occurred to you. I wish, however, that in some future publication of yours, you would set a discountenancing mark upon them. The first I remember, is the word improved. When I left New England in the year 1723, this word had never been used among us, as far as I know, but in the sense of ameliorated, or made better, except once in a very old book of Dr. Mather's, entitled Remarkable Providences. As that man wrote a very obscure hand, I remember that when I read that word in his book, used instead of the word employed, I conjectured that it was an error

of

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of the printer, who had mistaken a short l in the writing for an r, and a y with too short a tail for a v, whereby employed was converted into improved: but when I returned to Boston in 1733, found this change had obtained favour, and was then become common; for 1 met with it often in perusing the newspapers, where it frequently made an appearance rather ridiculous. Such, for instance, as the advertisement of a country house to be sold, which had been many years improved as a tavern; and in the character of a deceased country gentleman, that he had been, for more than thirty years, improved as a justice of the peace. This use of the word improve is peculiar to NewEngland, and not to be met with among any other speakers of English, either on this or the other side of the water.

During my late abfence in France, I find that feveral other new words have been introduced into our parliamentary language. For example, I find a verb formed from the fubftantive notice. I should not have noticed this, were it not that the gentleman, &c. Alfo another verb, from the subkantive advocate ; The gentleman who advocates, or who has advocated that motion, &c. Another from the fubftantive progress, the most aukward and abominable of the three : The committee baving progrefled, resolved to adjourn. The word oppojed, though not a new word, I find used in a new manner, as, The gentlemen who are opposed to this measure, to which I have also myself always been opposed. If you should happen opinion with respect to these innovations, you will use your authority in reprobating them.

The Latin language, long the vehicle used in clistributirg knowledge among the different nations of Europe, is daily more and more neglected; and one of the modern tongues, viz. French,

feems,

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