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brought into it : but, rubbing my eyes, I perceived the light came in at the windows. I got up and looked out to see what might be the occasion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber, my domestic having Degligently omitted the preceding evening to close the fute
I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found It was but fix o'clock : and still thinking it something exe traordinary that the fun should rise so early, I looked into the almanack; where I found it to be the hour given for his sising on that day. I looked forward too, and found he was to rise fill earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o'clock. Your readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before soon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanack, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising to early; and especially when I afsure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am cer. tain of the fact. One cannot be more ceptain of any fact, I saw it with my own cyes. And having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.
Yet so it happens, that when I speak of this discovery to others, I can easily perceive by their countenances, though they forbear expressing it in words, that they do not quite believe me. One indeed, who is a learned natural philoso. phes, has assured me that I must certainly be mistaken as to the circumstance of the light coming into my room : for is being well known, as he says, that there could be no light abroad at that hour, it follows that none could enter from without; and that of consequence, my windows being accio dentally left open, instead of letting in the light, had only served to let out the darkness : and he used many ingenious arguments to sew me how I right by that means, have been deceived, I own that he puzzled me a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the subsequent observations I made as above mentioned, confirmed me in my firft opinion.
This event has given rise, in my mind, to several serious and important reflections. I considered that, if I had not
been awakened fo early in the morning, I should have slept
Ax hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have ho lived fix hours the following night by candle light ; and the
latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my love of economy induced me to muler up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculatioas,
which I Mall give you, after observing, that utility is, in w my opinion, the test of value in matters of inveation, and
that a discovery which can be applied to ao use, or is nog food for something, is good for nothing.
I took for the bases of my calculation the supposition that there are 100,000 families in Paris, and that these famai- lies consume in the night half a pound of bougies, er cap.
dles per hour. I think this is a moderate allowance, *
taking one family with another; for though I believe some consume less, I know that many consume a great deal more. Then estimating seven hours per day, as the medium quadrity between the time of the sun's rising and ours, he rising during the fix following months from fix to eight hours be. fore
noon, and there being seven hours of course per night in which we burn candles, the account will Atand thusa In the six months between the tweg
tieth of March and the twentieth of September, there are Nights
183 Hours of each night which we burn candles
Multiplication gives for the total number
3,282 There 1,281 hours multiplied by
100,000, the number of inhabitants,
128,100,000 One hundred twenty eight millions
and one hundred thousand hours, spent az
64,050,00 Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of
pounds, which, eftiinating the whole at the
An immense fum! that the city of Paris might save every: year, by the economy of uang sunshine instead of candles.
If it should be said, that the people are apt to be obstinately attached to old customs, and that it will be difficult to induce them to rise before noon, consequently my dií. covery 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 the sun rises, will contrive to rise with him ; and, to compel the rest, would propose the following regulations :
First 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 candles, that inclined us last winter to be more æconomical in burning wood : that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.
Third. Let guards be posted to stop all the coaches, &c. that would pass the streets after sun-set, except those of physicians, surgeons and midwives.
Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing ; and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street; and 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 morning, and it is more than probable he shall 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-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my econoniical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left unconsumed during the summer, will probably make candles much cheaper for the çn
fuing winter, and continue cheaper as long as the proposed teformation 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, exclusive privilege, nor any other teward whatever. I expect only to have the honour of it. And I know there are little envious minds who will, as usual, deny me this, and say that my invention was known to the cients, 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 role. This is what I claim as my discovery. If the ancients knew it, it must have long since been 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 exift 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 furelý reason to be ceconomical. I say it is impossible that so sensible a people, under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome. and enormousa ly expensive light of candles, if they had really known that they might have had as much pure light of the fun for noe thing. I am, &c.
ga*** s ON MODERN INNOVATIONS in the ENGLISH
LANGUAGE, and in PRINTING.
To Noah WEBSTER, jun: Esq. at HARTFORD.
Philadelphia, Dec. 26, 1789.
RECEIVED, some time since, your Differtations 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 honor 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 puricy 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 poslibly they may
already have occured 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 beiter, except once in a very old book of Dr. Mather's, entitled, Remarkable Provia dences. 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 the printer, who had mistaken a short l in the writing for an 1, and a y with too short a tail for a o, whereby employed was converted into improved: but when I returned to Bofton in 1733, I found this change had obtained favour, and was then become common ; for I 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 inproved 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 ima prove is peculiar to New-England, 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 absence in France, I find that several other new words have been introduced into our parliamentary language. For example, I find a verb formed from the fubftantive notice. I hould not have noticed this were it not that the gentleman, &c, Also another verb, from the substantive advocate; The gentleman who advocates, or who has advocated that motion, &c. Another from the substantive progress, the most awkward and abominable of the three : The comimi. tre having progressed, resolved to adjourn. The word opposed