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Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for its splendor ; but a general enquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable thing to lefsen, if possible, the expence of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expence was so much augmented.
I was pleased to see this general concern for economy; for I love economy exceedingly.
I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject. An accidental sudden noise waked me about fix in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with light ; and imagined at first, that a number of those
lamps had been 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 negligently omitted the preceding evening to close the fhutters.
I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but fix o'clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanack, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward too, and found he was to rise still carlier 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 noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanack, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early ; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this.
I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precise. ly 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 philosopher, has assured me, that I must certainly be mistaken as to the circunstance of he light coming into my room ; for it 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 accidentally left open, instead of letting in the light, had only served to let out the darkness : and he used many ingenious arguments to thew me how I might, 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 ine in my first opinion.
This event has given rise, in my mind, to several serious and important reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept fix hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light ; and the latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my love of æconomy induced me to mufter up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing, that utility is, in my opinion, the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.
I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition that there are 100,000 families in Paris, and that these families consume in the night half a pound of bougies, or candles, 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 quantity between the time of the sun's rising and ours, he rising during the fix following months from fix to eight hours before noon, and there being seven hours of course per night in which we