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A Journal of a Voyage from the Channel between France and England towards America.
August 10. Moonlight, which prevents the luminous appearance of the water.
11. A strong southerly current. 12. Ditto. From this date the temperature - 16. Northerly current. - 19. First saw gulph weed. - 21. Southerly current.
22. Again saw gulph weed.
– 24. The water appeared luminous in a small 2. The temperature of the water is taken at of the air and water was taken at noon, as well
degree before the moon rose. July 31. Atone P. M. the Start bore W NW.
August 1. The water appears luminous in the eight in the morning and at eight in the evening. as morning and evening.
6. The water appears less luminous. -7.
Formegas SW. dist. 321 deg. St. Mary's - 8. From this date the temperature of the water is taking at eight in the morning and at distant six leagues. ship's
wake. SWIS. 33 leagues. sis in the evening.
N. B. Longitude is reckoned from London, and the thermometer is according to Fahrenheit.
August 29. No moon, yet very little light in tion that by the valves being both open when the water.
going down, and both shut when coming up, it - 30. Much gulph weed to-day.
would keep within it the water received at bottom. - 31. Ditto.
The upper valve performed its office well, but the September 1. Ditto.
under one did not shut quite close, so that much - 2. A little more light in the water. of the water was lost in hauling it up the ship's
– 4. No gulph weed to-day. More light in side. As the water in the keg's passage upwards the water.
could not enter at the top, it was concluded that 5. Some gulph weed again.
what water remained in it was of that near the - 6. Little light in the water. A very hard ground, and on trying this by the thermometer, it thunder-gust in the night.
was found to be at 58, which was twelve degrees - 7. Little gulph weed.
colder than at the surface. - 8. More light in the water. Little gulph This last Journal was obligingly kept for me weed.
by Mr. J. Williams, my fellow-passenger in the 9. Little gulph weed. Little light in the London Packet, who made all the experiments water last evening.
with great exactness. (The late colonel Williams 10. Saw some beds of rock-weed; and we of the U. S. Engineers.) were surprised to observe the water six degrees colder by the thermometer than the preceding noon. The chart in this edition, was constructed with a
This day (10th) the thermometer still kept de- view to a more comprehensive idea of the course of the scending, and at five in the morning of the 11th, siteu by the gulph stream S. E. of Newfoundland, has it was in water as low as 70, when we struck formed the great banks; and that the accumulation soundings. The same evening the pilot came on there, has given the stream a new or more eastwardly board, and we found our ship about five degrees direction. The chart also serves to illustrate the long of longitude ahead of the reckoning, which our May not the glutinous matter seen on the water, and captain accounted for by supposing our course to which all persons who have been across the line must have been near the edge of the gulph stream, and have noticed to be luminous at night, be another cause thus an eddy current always in our favour. By of the phenomena of fish shoals. May they not come the distance we ran from Sept. 9, in the evening, water in such abundance affords ? The writer of this till we struck soundings, we must have been at
note has observed, that on entering the trade winds, the western edge of the gulph stream, and the the seamen have judged of the change of wind apchange in the temperature of the water was pro- proaching, by the direction of the bonetta and other bably owing to our suddenly passing from that fish, which pass in shoals in the South Atlantic and
South-eastern seas, in a direct opposition to the wind; current, into the waters of our own climate.
and when not opposite to the prevailing wind, they On the 14th of August the following experi- conclude a change to be at hand from the direction toment was made. The weather being perfectly wards which the fish go. The appearance of luminous calm, an empty bottle, corked very tight, was floating matter at night is often followed by shoals of sent down twenty fathoms, and it was drawn up taken up in a bucket, has been often found as large as still empty. It was then sent down thirty-five two inches diameter, and frequently induced an opinion fathoms, when the weight of the water having that it was a species of maritime cocoon or egg of an forced in the cork, it was drawn up full; the wa
animal. An inquiry into the periodical appearance of ter it contained was immediately tried by the ward, and remarks on the usual direction of the shoals
these luminous substances on voyages to the souththermometer, and found to be 70, which was six of bonetta and other fish, might perhaps lead to interdegrees colder than at the surface: the lead and esting discoveries; it might be assumed as a ques. bottle were visible, but not very distinctly so, at tion worthy of examination, whether the direction of the depth of twelve fathoms, but when only seven periodical winds or currents move the waters; and
shoals of fish is not towards those points from which fathoms deep they were perfectly seen from the that the shoals of fish which move from the north ship. This experiment was thus repeated Sept. poles, by the British isles across the Atlantic, are led 11, when we were in soundings of eighteen fa- by their instincts in search of these periodical supplies thoms. A keg was previously prepared with a
of food; and if the deposits so made by the gulph
stream on the banks of Newfoundland is not the true valve at each end, one opening inward, the other cause of the great abundance of fish found there. outward; this was sent to the bottom in expecta
To Oliver Neale.
satisfied you that your body is lighter than waOn the Art of Swimming.
ter, and that you might float in it a long time
with your mouth free for breathing, if you I CANNOT be of opinion with you that it is would put yourself in a proper posture, and too late in life for you to learn to swim. The would be still and forbear struggling; yet till river near the bottom of your garden affords you have obtained this experimental confia most convenient place for the purpose. And dence in the water, I cannot depend on your as your new employment requires your being having the necessary presence of mind to reoften on the water, of which you have such a collect that posture and directions I gave you dread, I think you would do well to make the relating to it. The surprise may put all out trial; nothing being so likely to remove those of your mind. For though we value ourselves apprehensions as the consciousness of an abi- on being reasonable knowing creatures, reality to swim to the shore, in case of an acci- son and knowledge seem on such occasions dent, or of supporting yourself in the water till to be of little use to us; and the brutes to a boat could come to take you up.
whom we allow scarce a glimmering of either, I do not know how far corks or bladders appear to have the advantage of us. may be useful in learning to swim, having I will, however, take this opportunity of renever seen much trial of them. Possibly they peating those particulars to you, which I menmay be of service in supporting the body tioned in our last conversation, as, by peruswhile you are learning what is called the ing them at your leisure, you may possibly stroke, or that manner of drawing in and imprint them so in your memory as on occastriking out the hands and feet that is necession to be of some use to you. sary to produce progressive motion. But you 1. That though the legs, arms, and head will be no swimmer till you can place some of a human body, being solid parts, are speciconfidence in the power of the water to sup- fically something heavier than fresh water, port you; I would therefore advise the ac- yet the trunk, particularly the upper part, from quiring that confidence in the first place; es- its hollowness, is so much lighter than water, pecially as I have known several who, by a as that the whole of the body taken together little of the practice necessary for that pur- is too light to sink wholly under water, but pose, have insensibly acquired the stroke, some part will remain above, until the lungs taught as it were by nature.
become filled with water, which happens from The practice I mean is this. Choosing a drawing water into them instead of air, when place where the water deepens gradually, a person in the fright attempts breathing walk coolly into it till it is up to your breast, while the mouth and nostrils are under water. then turn round, your face to the shore, and 2. That the legs and arms are specifically throw an egg into the water between you and lighter than salt water, and will be supported the shore. It will sink to the bottom, and be by it, so that a human body would not sink in easily seen there, as your water is clear. It salt water, though the lungs were filled as must lie in water so deep as that you cannot above, but from the greater specific gravity of reach it to take it up but by diving for it. To the head. encourage yourself in order to do this, reflect 3. That therefore a person throwing himthat your progress will be from deeper to shal- self on his back in salt water, and extending lower water, and that at any time you may, his arms, may easily lie so as to keep his by bringing your legs under you, and standing mouth and nostrils free for breathing; and by on the bottom, raise your head far above the a small motion of his hands may prevent turnwater. Then plunge under it with your eyes ing, if he should perceive any tendency to it. open, throwing yourself towards the
and 4. That in fresh water, if a man throws endeavouring by the action of your hands and himself on his back, near the surface, he canfeet against the water to get forward till not long continue in that situation but by prowithin reach of it. In this attempt you will per action of his hands on the water. If he find, that the water buoys you up against uses no such action, the legs and lower part your inclination; that it is not so easy a of the body will gradually sink till he comes thing to sink as you imagined ; that you can- into an upright position, in which he will connot but by active force get down to the egg. tinue suspended, the hollow of the breast keepThus you feel the power of the water to sup- ing the head uppermost. port you, and learn to confide in that power; 5. But if, in this erect position, the head is while your endeavours to overcome it, and to kept upright above the shoulders, as when reach the egg, teach you the manner of acting we stand on the ground, the immersion will, on the water with your feet and hands, which by the weight of that part of the head that is action is afterwards used in swimming to sup- out of water, reach above the mouth and nosport your head higher above water, or to go trils, perhaps a lit:le above the eyes, so that a forward through it.
man cannot long remain suspended in water I would the more earnestly press you to the with his head in that position. trial of this method, because, though I think I | 6. The body continuing suspended as be
fore, and upright, if the head be leaned quite pushed the edges of these forward, and I back, so that the face looks upwards, all the struck the water with their flat surfaces as I back part of the head being then under water, drew them back. I remember I swam faster and its weight consequently in a great mea- by means of these pallets, but they fatigued sure supported by it, the face will remain my wrists. I also fitted to the soles of my above water quite free for breathing, will rise feet a kind of sandals; but I was not satisfied an inch higher every inspiration, and sink as with them, because I observed that the stroke much every expiration, but never so low that is partly given by the inside of the feet and the water may come over the mouth. the ancles, and not entirely with the soles of
7. If therefore a person unacquainted with the feet. swimming and falling accidentally into the We have here waistcoats for swimming, water, could have presence of mind sufficient which are made of double sail-cloth, with small to avoid struggling and plunging, and to let pieces of cork quilted in between them. the body take this natural position, he might I know nothing of the scaphandre of M. de continne long safe from drowning till perhaps la Chapelle. help would come. For as to the clothes, their I know by experience, that it is a great additional weight while immersed is very in- comfort to a swimmer, who has a consideraconsiderable, the water supporting it, though, ble distance to go, to turn himself sometimes when he comes out of the water, he would find on his back, and to vary in other respects the them very heavy indeed.
means of procuring a progressive motion. But, as I said before, I would not advise you When he is seized with the cramp in the or any one to depend on having this presence leg, the method of driving it away is to give of mind on such an occasion, but learn fairly to the parts affected a sudden, vigorous and to swim; as I wish all men were taught to violent shock; which he may do in the air as do in their youth; they would, on many oc- he swims on his back. currences, be the safer for having that skill, During the great heats of summer there is and on many more the happier, as freer from no danger in bathing, however warm we may painful apprehensions of danger, to say no- be, in rivers which have been thoroughly thing of the enjoyment in so delightful and warmed by the sun. But to throw oneself wholesome an exercise. Soldiers particularly into cold spring water, when the body has should, methinks, all be taught to swim ; it been heated by exercise in the sun, is an immight be of frequent use either in surprising prudence which may prove fatal. I once knew an enemy, or saving themselves. And if I an instance of four young men, who, having had now boys to educate, I should prefer those worked at harvest in the heat of the day, with schools (other things being equal) where an a view of refreshing themselves, plunged into opportunity was afforded for acquiring so ad- a spring of cold water: two died upon the vantageous an art, which once learned is never spot, a third the next morning, and the fourth forgotten.
B. FRANKLIN. recovered with great difficulty. A copious
draught of cold water, in similar circum
stances, is frequently attended with the same On the same subject, in answer to some In- effect in North America. quiries of M. Dubourg *
The exercise of swimming is one of the most
healthy and agreeable in the world. After I Am apprehensive that I shall not be having swam for an hour or two in the evenable to find leisure for making all the disqui- ing, one sleeps coolly the whole night, even sitions and experiments which would be de- during the most ardent heat of summer. Persirable on this subject. I must, therefore, haps the pores being cleansed, the insensible content myself with a few remarks.
perspiration increases and occasions this coolThe specific gravity of some human bodies, It is certain that much swimming is in comparison to that of water, has been ex- the means of stopping a diarrhea, and even of amined by Mr. Robinson, in the Philosophical producing a constipation. With respect to Transactions, volume 50, page 30, for the those who do not know how to swim, or who year 1757. He asserts, that fat persons with are affected with a diarrhæa at a season which small bones float most easily upon the water. does not permit them to use that exercise, a
The diving-bell is accurately described in warm bath, by cleansing and purifying the the Transactions. When I was a boy, I made two oval pallets, radical cure.
skin, is found very salutary, and often effects a
I speak from my own expeeach about ten inches long, and six broad, rience, frequently repeated, and that of others with a hole for the thumb, in order to retain to whom I have recommended this. it fast in the palm of my hand. They much You will not be displeased if I conclude resembled a painter's pallets. In swimming these hasty remarks by informing you, that as * This and the four following extracts of letters to M to the act of rowing with the arms and legs,
the ordinary method of swimming is reduced Dubourg, are retranslated from the French edition of Dr. Franklin's works.
and is consequently a laborious and fatiguing
operation when the space of water to be crossed whatever resulting from it, and that at least is considerable ; there is a method in which a it does not injure my health, if it does not in swimmer may pass to great distances with fact contribute much to its preservation. I much facility, by means of a sail. This dis- shall therefore call it for the future a bracing covery I fortunately made by accident, and in or tonic bath.
B. FRANKLIN. the following manner.
When I was a boy I amused myself one day with flying a paper kite; and approaching
On the Causes of Colds. the bank of a pond, which was near a mile
March 10, 1773. broad, I tied the string to a stake, and the -I SHALL not attempt to explain why kite ascended to a very considerable height damp.clothes occasion colds, rather than wet above the pond, while I was swimming. In a ones, because I doubt the fact; I imagine that little time, being desirous of amusing myself neither the one nor the other contribute to with my kite, and enjoying at the same time this effect, and that the causes of colds are the pleasure of swimming, I returned ; and totally independent of wet and even of cold. loosing from the stake the string with the little stick which was fastened to it, went again ject, the first moment of leisure I have at my
propose writing a short paper on this subinto the water, where I found, that, lying on disposal. In the meantime I can only say, my back and holding the stick in my hands, I that having some suspicions that the common was drawn along the surface of the water in a notion, which attributes to cold the property very agreeable manner. Having then engaged of stopping the pores and obstructing perspianother boy to carry my clothes round the pond, ration, was ill-founded, I engaged a young to a place which I pointed out to him on the physician, who is making some experiments other side, I began to cross the pond with my with Sanctorius's balance, to estimate the difkite, which carried me quite over without the ferent proportions of his perspiration, when least fatigue, and with the greatest pleasure remaining one hour quite naked, and another imaginable. I was only obliged occasionally warmly clothed. He pursued the experiment to halt a little in my course, and resist its pro- in this alternate manner for eight hours sucgress, when it appeared that, by following too cessively, and found his perspiration almost quick, I lowered the kite too much; by doing double during those hours in which he was which occasionally I made it rise again. I naked.
B. FRANKLIN. have never since that time practised this singular mode of swimming, though I think it not impossible to cross in this manner from Dovery
To Francis Hopkinson. to Calais. The packet-boat, however, is still On the Vis Inertiæ of Matter. preferable. B. FRANKLIN.
PAILADELPHIA, 1748. ACCORDING to my promise, I send you in
writing my observations on your book ;* you TO M. Dubourg.
will be the better able to consider them;, On the free Use of Air.
which I desire you to do at your leisure, and set
me right where I am wrong. LONDON, July 28, 1760.
I stumble at the threshold of the building, I GREATLY approve the epithet which you give, in your letter of the 8th of June, to and therefore have not read farther. The aú.
thor's vis inertie essential to matter, upon the new method of treating the small-pox, which the whole work is founded, I have not which you call the tonic or bracing method; been able to comprehend. And I do not I will take occasion, from it, to mention a prac- think he demonstrates at all clearly (at least to tice to which I have accustomed myself. You know the cold bath has long been in vogue me he does not) that there is really such a prohere as a tonic; but the shock of the cold water perty in matter.
He says, No. 2. “ Let a given body or mass has always appeared to me, generally speaking, as too violent, and I have found it much of matter be called a, and let any given ce
That celerity doubled, more agreeable to my constitution to bathe in lerity be called c. another element, I mean cold air.
With this tripled, &c. or halved, thirded, &c. will be 2 view I rise almost every morning, and sit in 9,3 c, &c. or cc&c. respectively; also
the body doubled tripled, or halved, thirded, my chamber without any clothes whatever, half an hour or an hour, according to the sea. Thus far is clear.—But he adds, “ Now to
will be 2 a, 3 a, ora, fa, respectively.” son, either reading or writing. This practice is not in the least painful, but, on the contrary, move the body a with the celerity c, requires
a certain force to be impressed upon it; and to agreeable; and if I return to bed afterwards, before I dress myself, as sometimes happens, that force to be impressed upon it, &c.” Here
move it with a celerity as 2 c, requires twice I make a supplement to my night's rest of one or two hours of the most pleasing sleep that
* Baxter's Inquiry into the Nature of the Human can be imagined. I find no ill consequences Soul.