« PreviousContinue »
wise spend their time in idleness, or live on the pittance of charity, or else expire in poverty. Diligence and skill are exerted to discover the retreats of prized fish; to trace them in their wanderings ; to learn the season of their reappearance and highest excellence, and to offer them, when caught, as uncommonly large or savoury, to the scrutinizing epicure. In like manner the nature of birds is made a subject of diligent inquiry. The month, in which birds of passage visit a country, the time of their continuance, and the best modes of entrapping them are investigated ; and in consequence the industrious and ingenious sportsman has been recompensed by the rich purchaser, according to the rarity of the bird, and the celebrity of its flesh. Thus labor is provided with bread, and science itself has sometimes been enriched by the discovery of facts, which respect the nature, modes of living, and other mysteries in the history of animals. Who does not know, that many hundreds of men are yearly employed in catching those kinds of fish in our rivers and on our coasts, which are bought solely by the rich and luxurious ? Many are the Dutchmen, who gain a most ample living by the turbot fishery; and their success is rewarded by the rich burgher of Amsterdam, and the opulent English nobleman, Thus, in the period of Roman magnificence, the bays, shores, and rivers of the Mediterranean were explored for oysters, mullets, sturgeon, schar, &c. to please the taste of an illustrie ous senator, or to gratify a hero, who had returned from the coarse and scanty fare of a camp. Thus also the island of Sicily, the Baleares, the banks of the Euxine, and its feeding streams, the coasts and the interior of Asia and Africa were diligently searched to procure the fine pheasants, peacocks, francolins, nightingales, &c. which adorned the banquets of imperial majesty. Surely no one will deny, that labor so various and unremitted was productive of solid advantage to those, who engaged in it; particularly, as the inducements were great, and as success was crowned with noble rewards. We are not sufficiently acquainted with the minute regulations of the Roman empire to know the number of men, ema ployed in exertions so various and multiplied ; but we may reasonably conclude, that thousands were continually active in such researches, and that millions of pounds were expended to purchase the rarities; as we well know, that generals, senators, princes, and emperors were the able and delighted purchasers of the choice productions of distant lands and
By the formation of the numberless delicacies, which exist in the air, the water, and on the earth, nature evidently intended them for the service of man. They could not have been created merely to play, to sing, or to sleep. They were designed to subserve the necessities, or contribute to the pleasures of our species. By them we are incited to industry, and by them we are partly rewarded for the discharge of our duties. They are made by their numbers to promote the general good of life, by furnishing a plentiful subsistence to millions of mankind, or by their sweetness and rarity to gratify the feelings of a few, and so to teach them to be grateful for the happiness, they enjoy. If this be the evident de sign of nature, there can be no harm in applying the secrets of cookery to enhance their excellence, by rendering them agreeable or exquisite to the taste.
The connoisseur may indulge himself in his turtle or canvass-back duck, without any fear of being reproached by his conscience, provided he does not spend too much time in such pleasant trifling, to the neglect of cultivating his mind, and to the forgetfulness of his duties to his neighbour and his Maker. I should hope, that every gentleman, who feels much correctness of Epicurean taste, may also be distinguished for eminence in literature, and ardor of piety; and the extenuator of dainty living, while he congratulates him on possessing the sensitive palate of Pope, hopes, that he may also be renowned for poetry and wit, and trusts, that he will never experience a death, like that of the bard, occasioned by the full enjoyment of potted lampreys ; and, while I wish, that every lover of nice morsels may have the glowing religion as well, as the keen appetite and disfriminating judgment of Johnson, I earnestly pray, that he may never be forced to acknowledge, like that hero in morals and learning, that he has passed a day without a dinner.
Newington Green, near London, Nov. 14, 1784. HAVING
AVING an opportunity to send to Boston, I transmit to you a set of Bishop Hoadly's works, which I hope the University of Cambridge will acccept, as a small offering to testify my respect and good wishes. His name, as a divine, stands very high ; but among the writers on civil and religious liberty it stands next to the names of Sidney, and Locke, and Milton.*
In a former lettert I gave you an account of all, that had been determined here concerning the new planet. This discovery, together with the American revolution, and the progress, made in France in the power of Aying by the Areostatic machines, render the present time a new epoch in the affairs of mankind. I
The Royal Society have this winter disposed of two prize medals, one to Mr. Hutchings for the discovery of the congelation of Mercury, when the thermometer falls 46 degrees below nought ; and the other to Mr. Goodrick, a gen
This is a favorite subject with Dr. Price. His philanthropy led him sometimes almost to overstep the bounds of loyalty, and to forget his country in his ardor for the general diffusion of liberty.
+. This letter, as it contains nothing but what appeared in the philosophical journals of the time, in which it was written, we omit publishing.
* This is one of the Doctor's airy flights. We believe the power of Aging was soon brought to its highest perfection, and its pratical utility is about Commensurate to that of subterraneous navigatior.
tleman in Yorkshire, for discovering a variation in the light of the star, Algol, which it goes through every three days, its light in this time gradually diminishing, till, from a star of the first magnitude, it becomes a star of the fourth or fifth magnitude, and afterwards recovers itself again. Since the disposal of these medals two ingenious papers have been read to the Royal Society, one by the Honorable Mr. Cavendish, containing some new facts concerning inflammable and deplogisticated air, and the other by Dr. Bladger, on the meteors of the last year, and the nature and causes of meteors in general. But the greater part of our time this winter has been spent in a manner very unsuitable to the design of our institution ; I mean in violent altercations and disputes, occasioned by complaints of misconduct in Sir Joseph Banks, our president, and attempts to oblige him to resign. These attempts have not succeeded, and at present he seems to be confirmed in the chair, and the society has returned to its usual business.
I have for sometime been confined by a wound in my leg, from a fall. This confinement, together with the very low and sad state of my wife's health, has pressed upon my spirits. But I have great reason to be thankful ; for indeed my life has hitherto been a happy life, and my heart is full of gratitude to the giver of it.
Wishing you, dear Sir, all possible happiness, I am, with great respect, Your obliged and very obedient servant,
P.S. I hope you have received the new edition of my treatise on annuities, which I request the favor of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to accept.
ORIGINAL MEMOIRS OF BENJAMIN, COUNT
[Continued from page 164.] THE
HE delightful fields of philosophical investigation, through which Rumford has so usefully ranged, he was now to leave for more active scenes, where we can view him, as a soldier.
General Moreau, having passed the Rhine, notwithstanding the opposition, which he met from various bodies of soldiers, whom he defeated, was marching into Bavaria. Count Rumford, then in England, hearing of these transactions, immediately set out to assist the Elector, whither his duty and his attachment to his adopted country called him. rived eight days before the Elector was required to leave his residence, and seek security in Saxony. Before quitting his capital, the Elector gave Rumford particular instructions what part to act, leaving him direction to take the command in chief, when he should find circumstances required it.
After the battle of Friedburg, in which the Austrians were repulsed by the French, they fell back upon Munich, with intent to enter ; but the gates were shut against them. They then marched round the town, passed the Inn, and posted themselves on the opposite side of the river, on an eminence, commanding the bridge and city, on which they erected batteries, fortified themselves, and boldly waited for the French. In the mean time “ some disagreement or confusion, or per“haps both," taking place among the Bavarian officers within the city, caused much concern and alarm among the inhabitants, and the inconsiderate conduct, resulting from their fears and the irregularity of the troops, was construed by the Austrian General, as a personal insult, offered to himself.