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was not sufficiently awakened to lead me to make the enquiries which would have been proper on such an occasion. Like you, I am not enough of a theorist to speculate with propriety upon this event, and therefore must leave it. I will only add that the darkness was so great here that our friends were forced to dine by candle-light, and the night was "darkness visible." Some people who were going home from a public meeting could hardly get their horses to stir. From this circumstance it appears as if every thing like light had been absolutely banished.

I am obliged to you for your account of the kind of land in which you found the Lapis specularis, and for the paper respecting the tornado. Such land as you mention I think I have frequently met with, and have often seen stones containing small pieces (or specks) of talc; but, having no idea at those times of any thing so capital as has been since discovered, I gave them barely a superficial glance, and left them. This will not be the case in future. Your mentioning the difficulties attending your prying into the works of Nature hurt me much, as it recalled a number of very disagreeable ideas I had had on thinking of my own situation with reference to the same subject. Equally unprovided with books and instruments, and hurried through life on horseback, it is impossible for me to make any great proficiency in this useful branch of science. However, let us not be .discouraged. We can do something; more than we can is not expected from us; and perhaps our feeble attempts may be useful to others. They will, at least, be pleasing to ourselves; and, I trust, not unprofitable either. Would they only gratify an idle curiosity, I should not think them worth the making; but I never critically contemplate any of the works of Nature without such views of the wisdom, the power, and the majesty of God, as are rapturous and transporting. These views often carry me quite beyond the creature. I get lost in the Creator; come back to earth, and despise myself. They are worth having, notwithstanding they produce this consequence.

I never heard of Siberian wheat in Pennsylvania, but there is a kind of grain in that State which I never heard of anywhere else. It is raised principally by the Germans, who call it spelts. It appears to me to be a species of wheat; is of a different green from other wheat, is bearded, and has a short plump grain which is so very closely covered as to make it difficult to clean it properly. This is a winter grain. The flour made of it is very white, and either alone or mixed with wheat flour makes better bread (in my opinion) than wheat flour alone. The bread is not so apt to dry as wheat bread, having more moisture in it. The spelts make excellent feed for horses, being more hearty than oats, and not so apt to founder as corn, wheat, or rye. The mess usually given is two quarts. I am now writing directly in front of about an acre and a quarter of Siberian wheat, which Dr. Gordon has had sown for the purpose of making an experiment*. I got it from New Hampshire for him, but it does not answer either his expectations or mine, owing to the very unfriendly season, and an amazing quantity of pernicious weeds which have grown up with it. I fear he will get but little, if any, more than he sowed. However, if it does not blast, the main point will be obtained, after all. I am glad it succeeds so well with you. Will it not be proper for those who have it to exchange seed with persons at some distance from them, and that pretty frequently, to prevent its degenerating. A friend in Philadelphia will procure Chesterfield on Politeness for me. I have wrote to him for the purpose, and as soon as the pamphlet comes to my hands it shall be sent you. Having gone through your letter, I will now endeavour to entertain you with some things my late journey furnished. You have doubtless heard of the Falls of Pasaic, in New Jersey. I went to see them. The road runs within a hundred yards of the Falls, and'yet you can see nothing more of them from thence than the vapours which arise, although no trees nor bushes intervene. The river lies low: it appears to me to be about thirty yards wide; the bed a solid rock, which seems to have been cleft in several places by an earthquake. The whole body of water falls into one of these clefts, about sixty feet deep; and the opposite side of the cleft obliges the river to change its course, and run off almost at a right angle from its former channel. In this direction, at a very small distance, it meets a mountain, and is turned round a high rocky point (I suppose formerly a part of either the bed or shore of the river) into its natural course again. Near the cleft into which the river falls, and cross-wise of the stream, is another so narrow that I stepped across it, and yet, as near as I could judge, a hundred feet deep. This is quite dry, the river being turned before it comes so far. You walk here upon bare craggy rocks. The sight is grand, and the scene amazingly romantic. These Falls lie but about twenty miles from the city of New York.

At Philadelphia I met with the most striking instance of Catholicism I ever saw. A Spanish gentleman of eminence, called Don Juan de Mirallez, died at Morristown, whither he accompanied the minister of France on a visit to General Washington and the army. Soon after the minister's return to Philadelphia, he (not the Spanish gentleman) sent cards to a number of gentlemen, informing them that, on such a day, "there would be a Divine service at the Romish Church, for the rest of the soul of Don Juan de Mirallez." As I had never seen even the inside of a Popish Church, and the ceremony was to be performed on a Monday, I determined to attend; and, upon going into the church, I found there not only Papists, but Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Quakers, &c. The two chaplains to Congress (one a Presbyterian and the other a Churchman) were amongst the rest. I confess I was pleased to find the minds of people so unfettered with the shackles of bigotry. The behaviour of the Papists in time of worship was very decent and solemn, vastly more so than among the generality of Protestants; there was not a smiling nor even a disengaged countenance among them. Some of the Protestants behaved irreverently. The pageantry and pomp of Popery is admirably calculated ad captandum vulgus; but it is to be lamented that human reason should be so weak, in any instance, as to prove an insufficient guard against such delusions. Above the altar in the Romish chapel in Philadelphia is the picture of a crucifixion, which appears to me a very fine piece of painting. The mention of this reminds me of a collection of excellent paintings by Peale, which I went to see. They consist of pictures of General Washington, Baron Stuben, Monsieur Gerard, and a number of others, admirably executed. Having heard of a diamond rock (so called) about twenty-four miles from Philadelphia, I took my horse and went to see it. It is not so properly a rock as a mountain of rocks, interspersed with a great number of large clusters of brilliant crystals, which in their natural state are highly polished, and have very regular sides and angles. They are so fixed in the rock as not to be got out without a hammer and chizels. Being unprovided with these tools, I could not get any of the best of them, but'was obliged to content myself with some of a coarser kind, a specimen of which I now send you.

I gave Mr. Rittenhouse the Lapis specularis you sent me. He says it will not do for common specula, for, though the transparency is sufficient, the surface is not even enough. In return, he gave me a piece of the asbestos, or cotton stone, found in Pennsylvania, which, he informs me, he could pull into shreds when he first got it, but, having been long out of the earth, it is now become hard. He made wick for a lamp with some of it. I send you part of what he gave me. The pyrites I promised you in a former letter accompany this. They are in their natural state, and contain sulphur. I picked them up at Lancaster, in Pennsylvania.

Enclosed are a few newspapers. That from the city of New York will, perhaps, be a curiosity. The tables are the product of a leisure hour in which records were scarce, or perhaps they would not have existed. Accept them as a tribute due to friendship. During my absence from hence, the General Court has instituted the "American Academy of Arts and Sciences." The title is neither modest nor proper, but I hope the institution will be useful. I intend to give them some of the asbestos and pyrites to speculate upon.

Martial law is proclaimed in Pennsylvania. The Assembly of Connecticut have invested the Governour and Council of Safety with dictatorial authority, pro tempore; and Charlestown is certainly in the hands of the enemy. What the consequences of all this will be, Time, the grand tell-tale, must determine. I believe we have no other news besides what is in the papers.

From reading the foregoing, you will see the state of my ideas, — jumbled all together by my journey, like the blanks and prizes in a lottery-wheel. You know how to sort them.

Remember me affectionately to Mrs. Belknap, and be assured of the warmest esteem of

Your friend, Eben. Hazard.


Jamaica Plain, July 11, 1780.

Mr Dear Sir, — I expected to have been in New Hampshire ere this time, but have been unavoidably detained here. But business will compel me to visit your

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