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will goad and provoke us. You'despise us too much ; and you are insensible of the Italian adage, that there is no little enemy.'

We meet with no personalities in our Author's productions respecting the American contest. Indeed a candid looker on will perhaps infer, that the measures that have been pursued, in this country, with respect to America, are not to be wholly ascribed to any particular set of men, in or out of place ;--- for persons of both these descriptions have contributed to the bringing matters to the present formidable crisis :--but to the monopolising fpirit of a rich, proud, warlike, and commercial NATION, operating with the spirit of their rulers for the time being. The nation will perhaps, to a philosophic eye, appear to have been equally criminal with the ministers of the day, in anticipating a catastrophe which must, however, probably have taken place, under any management whatever, though at a later period. In fact, we are now little more than commenting on a passage contained in a letter of Dr. Franklin's.

Speaking of the British nation, in the letter to Lord Howe above alluded to, the Author fays-- I know too well her abounding pride and deficient wisdom, to believe she will ever take such falutary measures' (meaning the repairing the mischiefs done to America, previous to, and during the course of, the war.)– Her fondness for conquest as a warlike nation; her luft of dominion as an ambitious one; and her thirst for a gain, ful monopoly as a commercial one (none of them legitimate causes of war) will join to hide from her eyes every view of her true interest, and continually goad her on in these ruinous distant expeditions, so destructive both of lives and of treasure, that they must prove as pernicious to her in the end, as the croisades formerly were to most of the nations of Europe :'He then adds-- I have not the vanity, my Lord, to think of intimidating, by thus predicting the effects of this war; for I know it will in England have the fate of all my former predictions; nor be believed till the event Mall verify it.'

But enough of these gloomy and mortifying politics :- yet before we quit the political part of this collection, we owe an act of justice to their Author ; whose moral character has long suffered moft severely, on account of certain tranlactions in the year 1773, while he relided here as agent for the colony of the Massachusete's Bay. We allude to his having, by some means or other, procured and transmitted to his constituents at Boston, certain letters of Governor Huchinson, &c. :-to the fublequent duel fought, in consequence of misapprehensions on both lides, between Mr. Whately and Mr. Temple ;--and to Dr. Franklin's afterwards declaring the perfect innocence of these two gentlemen, in a letter printed in the Public Advertiser; and

avowing avowing that he alone was the person who obtained and tranfmitted to Boston the letters in question.

ir To mark the politics of the times, and the nature of the cenfures paffed 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 unem barraffed 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 henceforth 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 letter 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 suspence; 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-l:
I forged the letter, I dispoled 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--firft, with regard to the duel-by observing, that the letter of provocation appeared in the morning, and the parties met in the afternoon.

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 fingular, the Editor afterwards adds, that, as a man of honour, Dr.

Franklin

Franklin should surrender his name to public scrutiny, in order to prevent mischief to others; and yet not betray his coadjuton, (even to the present moment) to relieve his own fame from the leverest obloquy: but perhaps it belonged to few befides Dr. Franklin, to poffefs mildness and magnanimity enough, to re-frain from intemperate expressions and measures, against Mr. Wedderburn and his supporters, after all that had passed.'

Quitting these contentious scenes, and this unworthy treat: ment of fo venerable a character, we fhall relieve the indig. 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 sociecy 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 considerable for their influence and discretion. Previous to admission, 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 profeffion or religion foever! -_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 com. municate it to others? -- Ans. Yes.'

The rules of this inftitution are perfe&tly congenial to so sensible and liberal a test as the preceding. They appear in the form of queries. The following may serve 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 business lately; and what have you heard of the cause?

• 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 serviccable to mankind? to their country, to their friends, or to themselves ?

· Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meet. ing, that you heard of ? and what have you heard or observed of his character or merits; 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 encourage ?

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

• In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist 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 laft divifion 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 perusing Mr. Baxter's Treatise on the Soul; in which Dr. Franklin opposes the common do&rine of the vis inertiæ of matter, as inconsistent 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, A, moving with the celerity 1 c, and the force i f, impinge againft 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 {, and if : but the celerity and force of both bodies added together is i c, and if; that is, precisely the celerity and force of the body 1, before the stroke. In this case, there is no abatement of velocity or force :—Where then is the vis inertie - 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 allistance of the plate that accompanies them. An observation, however, of a more popular kind, and more generally intelligi. ble, may be here inserted with propriety.

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

not

not adequate to the proposed end: --that though, in our small experiments, a fine pointed needle will filently, and almost instantly, 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 considerable degrec, 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 electric matter; and thereby possibly disarm 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 brats ball, instead of vibrating as usual between the bells, was repelled and kept at a distance from both; while the fire sometimes passed in very large quick cracks directly from bell to bell; and sometimes in a continued dense white fircam, seemingly as large as his finger ; by means of which the whole fair-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 justly conceives, that ' a number of such conductors muft considerably lefsen 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 Hypothefis, for the Explanation of the Aurora Borealis.' Some idea of the Author's attempt to form an hypothesis on this subjedt, 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 atmofphere; 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 Purfleet.

supply

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