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devoted to the danger of the Pretender's gaining the English throne. The greater part of the fourth column is given to marine news, the latest being only three days old!
A False Alarm
The 18 Currant, came in a Sloop to the Port from Virginia, the Master informed Governour Cranston Esq. he was Chased by a Topsail Shallop off of Block-Island, which he judged to be a
Published by Authority.
From Monday April 17. to Monday April 24.
London Flying-Poft from Decemb. 2d to 4th. 1703. Etters from Scotland bring us the Copy of a Sheet lately Printed there, Inftituted, A feafenable Alarm for Scotland. In a Letter from a Gentleman in the City, to his Friend in the Country, concerning the prefent Danger of the Kingdom and of the Proteflant Religion.
This Letter takes Notice, That Papifts fwarm in that Nation, that they traffick more avowedly than formerly, & that of late many Scores of Priests and Jefuites are come thither from France, and gone to the North, to the Highlands & other places of the Country. That the Minifters of the Highlands and North gave in large Lifts of them to the Committee of the General Assembly, to be laid before the Privy-Council.
From all this he infers, That they have hopes of Affiftance from France, otherwife they would never be fo impudent, and he gives Reafons for his Apprehenfions that the French King may fend Troops thither this Winter, 1. Because the English Dutch will not then be at Sea to oppofe. them. 2. He can then beft fpare them, the Seafon of Action beyond Sea being over. 3. The Expectation given him of a confiderable number to joyn them, may incourage him to the undertaking with fewer Men if he can but fend over a fufficient number of Officers with Arms and Ammunition.
He endeavours in the rest of his Letters to anfwer he foolish Pretences of the Pretender's being a Proteftant, and that be will govern us according to Law. He, fays, that being bred up in the Religion and Politicks of France, he is by Education a
FACSIMILE OF BOSTON NEWS-LETTER
French Privateer, and that there was two other Vessels in her Company, which he judged to be her Prizes. Whereupon his Honour being concerned for the Publick Weal and Safety of Her Majesties good Subjects, immediately caused the Drum to beat for Voluntiers, under the Command of Capt. Wanton, and in 3 or four hours time, Fitted and Man'd a Brigantine, with 70 brisk young men well Arm'd, who Sail'd the following Night, returned last Evening, and gave his Honour an Account that they found the aforesaid Shallop, with one other, and a Ketch at Tarpolian Cove, who were all Fishing Vessels belonging to Marblehead or Salem, who were Fishing off Block Island, one
of them was a French built Shallop with a Topsail, which gave the great suspicion that they were Enemies.
This News-Letter is to be continued Weekly; and all Persons who have any Houses, Lands, Tenements, Farmes, Ships, Vessels, Goods, Wares or Merchandizes, &c. to be sold or Lett; or Servants Run away; or Goods Stoll or Lost, may have the same Inserted at a Reasonable Rate; from Twelve Pence to Five Shillings, and not to exceed : Who may agree with Nicholas Boone for the same at his Shop, next door to Major Davis's, Apothecary in Boston, near the Old Meeting-House.
All Persons in Town and Country may have said News-Letter Weekly upon reasonable tearms, agreeing with John Campbell Post-Master for the same.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN OF BOSTON AND PHILADELPHIA, STATESMAN AND PHILOSOPHER
Whoever reads Franklin's writings can hardly fail to be struck by two facts: first, that he wrote on a great variety of subjects; and, second, that whatever he said is interesting. He wrote on uniting the colonies, on "Toads found enclosed in solid stone," on getting possession of Niagara Falls, on brotherly love, electricity, and the morals of chess; and always on economy of time, money, and labor. The special charm of his writings is that they are so frankly himself. To read them gives one the feeling that he has not been poring over printed pages, but has been listening to an interesting person who has talked of what he himself has seen and thought.
Written in Paris, February 8, 1777, to Mrs. Thompson at Lille. Franklin in Paris: his own Description of Himself could see me; but, as you can't, I will Figure me in your mind as jolly as
I know you wish you describe myself to you.
formerly, and as strong and hearty, only a few years older; very plainly dress'd, wearing my thin gray strait hair, that peeps out under my only Coiffure, a fine Fur Cap, which comes down my Forehead almost to my Spectacles. Think how this must appear among the Powder'd Heads of Paris! I wish every gentleman and lady in France would only be so obliging as to follow my Fashion, comb their own Heads as I do mine, dismiss their Friseurs, and pay me half the Money they paid to them. You see, the gentry might well afford this, and I could then enlist those Friseurs, who are at least 100,000, and with the Money I would maintain them, make a Visit with them to England, and dress the Heads of your Ministers and Privy Counsellors; which I conceive to be at present un peu dérangées. Adieu, Madcap; and believe me ever, your affectionate Friend and humble Servant,
A letter to Peter Collinson, read at the Royal Society, December 21, 1752.
Franklin's Electric Kite
[PHILADELPHIA,] 19 October, 1752.
As frequent mention is made in public papers from Europe, of the success of the Philadelphia experiment for drawing the electric fire from clouds by means of pointed rods of iron erected on high buildings, &c., it may be agreeable to the curious to be informed, that the same experiment has succeeded in Philadelphia, though made in a different and more easy manner, which is as follows:
Make a small cross of two light strips of cedar, the arms so long as to reach to the four corners of a large thin silk handkerchief when extended; tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities of the cross, so you have the body of a kite; which, being properly accommodated with a tail, loop, and string, will rise in the air, like those made of paper; but this being of silk is fitter to bear the wet and wind of a thunder-gust without tearing. To the top of the upright stick of the cross is
to be fixed a very sharp-pointed wire, rising a foot or more above the wood. To the end of the twine, next the hand, is to be tied a silk ribbon, and where the silk and twine join, a key may be fastened. This kite is to be raised when a thundergust appears to be coming on, and the person who holds the string must stand within a door or window, or under some cover, so that the silk ribbon may not be wet; and care must be taken that the twine does not touch the frame of the door or window. As soon as any of the thunder-clouds come over the kite, the pointed wire will draw the electric fire from them, and the kite, with all the twine, will be electrified, and the loose filaments of the twine will stand out every way, and be attracted by an approaching finger. And when the rain has wet the kite and twine, so that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your knuckle. At this key the phial may be charged; and from electric fire thus obtained, spirits may be kindled, and all the other electric experiments be performed, which are usually done by the help of a rubbed glass globe or tube, and thereby the sameness of the electric matter with that of lightning completely demonstrated.
From Poor Richard Improved," 1757.
A Striking Sun Dial
How to make a STRIKING SUN DIAL, by which not only a Man's own Family, but all his Neighbours for ten Miles round, may know what a Clock it is, when the Sun shines, without seeing the Dial.
Chuse an open Place in your Yard or Garden, on which the Sun may shine all Day without any Impediment from Trees or Buildings.
On the Ground mark out your Hour Lines, as for a horizontal Dial, according to Art, taking Room enough for the Guns. On the Line for One o'Clock, place one Gun; on the Two o'Clock Line two Guns, and so of the rest. The Guns must all be charged with Powder, but Ball is unnecessary. Your
Gnomon or Style must have twelve burning Glasses annex't to it, and be so placed that the Sun shining through the Glasses, one after the other, shall cause the Focus or burning Spot to fall on the Hour Line of One, for Example, at One a Clock, and there kindle a Train of Gunpowder that shall fire one Gun. At Two a Clock, a Focus shall fall on the Hour Line of Two, and kindle another Train that shall discharge two Guns successively and so of the rest.
Note, there must be 78 Guns in all. Thirty-two Pounders will be best for this Use; but 18 Pounders may do, and will cost less, as well as use less Powder, for nine Pounds of Powder will do for one Charge of each eighteen Pounder, whereas the Thirty-two Pounders would require for each Gun 16 Pounds.
Note also, That the chief Expense will be the Powder, for the Cannon once bought, will with Care, last 100 Years.
Note, moreover, that there will be a great Saving of Powder in Cloudy Days.
Kind Reader, Methinks I hear thee say, That is indeed a good Thing to know how the Time passes, but this Kind of Dial, notwithstanding the mentioned Savings, would be very Expensive; and the Cost greater than the Advantage. Thou art wise, my Friend, to be so considerate beforehand; some Fools would not have found out so much, till they had made the Dial and try'd it. . . . Let all such learn that many a private and many a publick Project, are like this Striking Dial, great Cost for little Profit.
A letter to Joseph Priestley.
The Mathematics of the Revolution
I am to set out to-morrow for the camp, and, having but just heard of this opportunity, can only write a line to say that I am well, and hearty. Tell our dear good friend, [Dr. Price,] who sometimes has his doubts and despondencies about our firmness, that America is determined and unanimous;