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ayowing that he alone was the person who obtained and tranf. mitted to Boston the letters in question.

To mark the politics of the times, and the nature of the censures passed in England upon Dr. Franklin's conduct, the Editor has collected into one page, the most licentious parts of Mr. Wedderburn's shameful Philippic, pronounced on this occafion before the Privy Council, Dr. Franklin being all the time present. Here are some traits of this intemperate oration.

“ I hope, my Lords, you will mark [and brand] the man, for the honour of this country, of Europe, and of mankind.

-" He has forfeited all the respect of societies and of men. Into what companies will he hereafter go with an unembarraffed face, or the honest intrepidity of virtue? Men will watch him with a jealous eye; they will hide their papers from him, and lock up

their escrutoires. He will benceforth esteem it a libel to be called a man of letters; bomo trium literarum ?" [FUR, or thief.]

Alluding to the duel, and Dr. Franklin's subsequent printed Jetter above mentioned, he exclaims-“ It is impoffible to read his account, expreffive of the coolest and most deliberate malice, without horror Amidst these tragical events, of one perfon nearly murdered ; of another answerable for the issue; of a worthy Governor hurt in his dearest interests; the fate of America in fufpence; here is a man, who, with the utmost infenfibility of remorse, Itands up, and avows himself the Author of all. I can compare it only to Zanga, in Dr. Young's Revenge :

Know then, 'twas-1:
I forged the letter, I disposed the picture ;

I hated, I despised, and I destroy." « I ask, my Lords, whether the revengeful temper attributed, by poetic fiction only, to the bloody African, is not surpassed by the coolness and apathy of the wily American ?"

These horrid charges are refuted by the Editor— ficft; with regard to the duel- by observing, that the letter of provocation appeared in the morning, and the parties met in the after

Dr. Franklin was not then in town: it was after some interval that he received the intelligence. What had passed he could not foresee; he endeavoured to prevent what ftill might follow.'

With respect to his procuring the letters, he informs us, that • Dr. Franklin afterwards took an oath in Chancery, that at the time that he transmitted the letters, he was ignorant of the party to whom they had been addressed; having himself received them from a third person, and for the express purpose of their being conveyed to America.'— It was not perhaps singular, the Editor afterwards adds, that, as a man of honour, Dr.

Franklin

noon.

Franklin fhould furrender his name to public scrutiny, in order to prevent mischief to others; and yet not betray.his coadjutor, (even to the present moment) to relieve his own fame from the leverest obloquy: but perhaps it belonged to few besides Dr. Franklin, to possess mildness and magnanimity enough, to refrain from intemperate expreflions and measures, against Mr. Wedderburn and his fupporters, after all that had passed.'

Quitting these contentious scenes, and this unworthy treatment of so venerable a character, we shall relieve the indige nant reader, and introduce him into better and more edifying company; by instantly transporting him into a club-room in Philadelphia; where whilom, in more ferene and happy times, a fociety met, governed by such regulations as, to use nearly the words of the Editor, carry indeed along with them an air of singularity ; but accompanied with such operative good sense and philanthropy, as characterise them to be the production of Dr. Franklin. This club is said to have been composed of men confiderable for their influence and discretion. Previous to admiffion, the candidate was to stand up, lay his hand on his breast, and answer the four following questions :

'1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members ! Answer. I have not.'

2. Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general ; of what profession or religion soever?

-Anf. I do.' • 3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name, or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship? - Anf. No.'

? 4. Do you love truth for truth's fake ; and will you endeavour impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others? - Ans: Yes.'

The rules of this institution are perfe&tly congenial to fo fenfible and liberal a test as the preceding. 'They appear in the form of queries. The following may ferve as specimens :

• Have you met with any thing in the Author you last read, remarkable, or suitable to be communicated to the Junto? para ticularly in history, morality, poetry, phyfic, travels, mechanic arts, or other parts of knowledge ?

• Hath any citizen in your knowledge failed in his businefs lately; and what have you heard of the caufe?

• Have you lately heard of any citizen's thriving well, and by what means ?

• Do you think of any thing at present, in which the Junto may be serviceable to mankind? to their country, to their friends, or to themselves?

« Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that you heard of? and what have you heard or observed of his character or mesits; and whether think you, it lies in

the

the power of the Junto to oblige him, or encourage him as he deferves ?

• Do you know of any deserving young beginner, lately fet up, whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to en courage ?

• Have you lately observed any defect in the laws of your country, of which it would be proper to move the legislature for an amendment ? Or do you know of any beneficial law that is wanting?

• In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, alift you in any of your honourable designs ?

• Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice and injustice, which you would gladly have discussed at this time?'

The fifth and last division of this valuable collection contains the miscellaneous, principally philosophical, pieces of Dr. Franklin. The first, which is a Scheme for a new Alphabet and reformed Mode of Spelling,' will not admit of abridgment. The second is a letter to a friend, witten in 1748, on peruling Mr. Baxter's Treatise on the Soul; in which Dr. Franklin opposes the common doctrine of the vis inertie of matter, as in. consistent with the phenomena of bodies in motion. An idea of the Author's reasoning on this subject may be collected from the following case.

It is acknowledged, that if a body, 4, moving with the celerity 1 1, and the force 1 f, impinge against another equal body, B, at reft; the two bodies will move on together after the Stroke, each with half the celerity and force of the first body; or each will move with {c, and if: but the celerity and force of both bodies added together is i c, and 1 f; that is, precisely the celerity and force of the body A, before the stroke. In this case, there is no abatement of velocity or force :—Where then is the vis inertiæ ? What does it, or how does it discover itself?''

The next paper contains · Experiments, Observations, and Facts, tending to support the Opinion of the Utility of long pointed Rods, for securing Buildings from Damage by Strokes of Lightning ;'-and was read at the Committee of the Royal Society, appointed to consider the erecting conductors, to secure the magazines at Purfleet, in August 1772. The experiments, though valuable on account of that luminous fimplicity which distinguishes all the productions of this great man-in politics, as well as in philosophy, cannot easily be described without the assistance of the plate that accompanies them. An observation, however, of a more popular kind, and more generally intelligible, may be here inserted with propriety.

In opposition to the advantages expected to be derived from she use of high pointed rods, it may be alleged, that the means are

Hot

not adequate to the proposed end :--that though, in our small experiments, a fine pointed needle will filently, and almost inftantly, discharge the electric matter from a charged prime conductor, or even an electrical battery, at the distance of a few inches; no such advantages are to be hoped for, in any confiderable degree, from a pointed rod opposed to a charged cloud, many acres in extent, at the distance of half a mile, or a mile, or more. But that high pointed rods may rob a cloud of very great quantities of elearic matter; and thereby posibly difárm it of the power of doing mischief, is rendered evident by the following fact :

The Author's house at Philadelphia, was furnished with a rod extending nine feet above the top of the chimney. To this rod was connected a wire of the thickness of a goose quill, which descended through the well of the stair-case; where an interruption was made, so that the ends of the wire, to each of which a little bell was fixed, were distant from each other about fix inches ; an insulated brass ball hanging between the two bells. The Author was one night waked by loud cracks, proceeding from his apparatus in the stair-case. He perceived, that the brass ball, instead of vibrating as usual between the bells, was repelled and kept at a distance from both; while the fire fometimes passed in very large quick cracks directly from bell to bell; and sometimes in a continued dense white fream, seemingly as large as his finger ; by means of which the whole stair-case was enlightened, as with fun-fhine, so that he could see to pick up a pin._From the apparent quantity of electric matter of which the cloud was thus evidently robbed, by means of the pointed rod (and of which a blunt conductor would not have deprived it), the Author juftly conceives, that ' a number of such conductors must considerably lessen the quantity of electric fluid contained in any approaching cloud, before it comes so near as to deliver its contents in a general stroke.'

The last piece in this collection, is a paper under the modest title of " Suppositions and Conjectures towards forming an Hypothesis, for the Explanation of the Aurora Borealis.' Some idea of the Author's attempt to form an hypothesis on this subject, may be collected from the following Thort sketch of it:

The air, heated between the tropics, and containing a great quantity of vapour, replete with electric matter, is rendered light, and accordingly rises into the upper parts of the aimosphere; and after spreading northwards and southwards, on the different sides of the equator, it finally descends near the two poles : from whence an opposite current of cool and dense air is, at the same time, put in motion towards the equator, to

• Twelve were proposed on and near the magazines at Pusfleet.

fupply

Yupply its place. This circulation of warm and cool, i. e. of light and heavy, air, is easily rendered visible, in a room where there is a fire, by means of a little smoke.

In the passage of the electrified vapour to the northward, for instance, in the form of clouds, great part of it is precipitated, before it arrives at the polar regions, in rain, snow, or hail. That these contain electric matter, is rendered evident by receiving them in insulated vessels; to which they communicate their electricity.

In the temperate regions, this electricity is readily received and imbibed by the earth; which, in those climates, is a good conductor; and which will receive it either silently, conveyed to it by the rain, &c. or suddenly, in the explosions attending thunder storms.

In the cold polar regions, however, the case will be different. That part of the electrified vapour which reaches them, and descends with the snow, does not fall on a conducting eartb; but on a vitriform cake of ice, with which the earth is there eter. nally covered ; and which (particularly when the cold is extreme +) will not conduct electricity. The ele&tric matter there. fore not being able to penetrate through this non-conducting ftratum, will be accumulated on the surface of it, as on a plate of glass.

This plate of ice thus becoming overcharged, the electric matter will, at different times, burit from it, as happens when a Leyden vial has been overcharged ; and will break through the fuperincumbent atmosphere (lower here than at the equator) till it arrives at the vacuum, or highly rarefied air, above, which is a good conductor; where it will run along towards the equator, diverging as the degrees of longitude enlarge; and exhibiting appearances resembling those which the electric matter is known to present, in our experiments made on it, in vacus.

These are the principal outlines of the Author's hypothefis. The paper itself is thort, and aphoristical; and is faid to have been read to the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, at their meeting after Eafter last year. The Editor has added to it several ingenious notes, consisting of illustrations, queries, fpeculations, &c. and has hazarded a new conjecture on the subject.-For this, however, as well as many other pieces of the Author not noticed by us, we must refer our Readers to the volume itself; not without expressing our hopes that the ingenious

+ The Author had long ago observed, chat ice, in America, would not conduct a shock. He does not seem to have been acquainted with the late fingular experiments on this subject, made by M. Achard; who found that, in a very confiderable degree of cold, ice acquired electric qualities nearly approaching those of glass ; fo as even so bear a charge, &c.

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