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Count Rumford, an ingenious philosopher, was born in 1753, in North

, Count Rumford, an ingenious philosopher, was born in 1753, in North America. His family, of English origin, had long been settled in New Hampshire, at the place formerly called Rumford, and now Concord; and possessed there some land previous to the war of the revolution. From his infancy his attention appears to have been directed towards objects of science. The father of one of his early companions, a clergyman, of the name of Bernard, took a liking to him, and taught him algebra, geometry, astronomy, and even the transcendental part of mathematics. Before the age of fourteen, he had made sufficient progress in this branch of study to be able, without assistance, to calculate and to trace graphically the phases of an eclipse of the sun. He had been destined to business; but from the period of this little event his passion for learning became irresistible, and he could apply himself to nothing but to his favourite objects of study. He attended the lessons of Dr. Williams; afterwards those of Dr. Winthorp, at the college of Havard; and under that able master he made considerable progress.

several bodies of soldiers who disputed with him its passage, advanced by quick marches to Bavaria. Count Rumford, on receiving this intelligence, immediately set out

Nothing seemed sufficient to withdraw him from these tranquil and important oc-cupations, when the events of war called upon him to display his military talents fur the service of his adopted country. General Moreau, having crossed the Rhine, and defeated several bodies of soldiers who disputed with him its passage, advanced by quick marches to Bavaria. Count Rumford, on receiving this intelligence, immediately set out to join the elector. His arrival at Munich was eight days previous to the epoch when the sovereign was called upon to quit his residence, and to take refuge in Saxony. Rumford remained in Munich with instructions from the elector to wait events, and to act according to the exigency of circumstances: they were not long in requiring his interference. After the battle of Freidberg, the Austrians, repulsed by the French, fell back upon Munich: the gates of the city were shut against them. They marched round it, passed the Inn by the bridge, and posted themselves on the other side of die river on a height which commanded the bridge and the town. There they erected batteries, and firmly waited for the French. In this situation, some inconsiderate transactions which happened in Munich, were interpreted by the Austrian general as an insult pointed against himself, and he demanded an explanation of them from the council of regency, threatening to order the towq to be fired upon if a single Frenchman entered the city. At this critical moment the count made use of the eventual orders of the elector, to take the command in chief of the Bavarian forces. His firmness and presence of mind awed both parties; neither the French nor the Austrians entered Munich; and that city escaped all the dangers with which it had been threatened.

The historical society of Massachusets, on electing count Rumford a member, communicated to him, by their president, about

The historical society of Massachusets, on electing count Rumford a member, communicated to him, by their president, about the same time, their unanimous desire of seeing him return to his own country, and take up his residence among them. His answer, which is to be found in the American papers of that time, was very much admired.

Toward the autumn of 1800, count Rumford went to Scotland. The magistrates of Edinburgh paid

Toward the autumn of 1800, count Rumford went to Scotland. The magistrates of Edinburgh paid him a visit of ceremony; gave a public dinner on his account, and to these marks of distinction added the freedom of the city, conceived in terms the most flattering. They consulted him on the means of improving the existing charitable institutions, and on the measures proper for abolishing mendicity. The work was undertaken without loss of time, and that great enterprize was finished in a few months with complete success. The royal society of Edinburgh, and the college of physicians, elected him at the same time, respectively, an honorary member; and the university bestowed upon him the degree of doctor of laws. During his stay in that city he employed himself in superintending the execution, in the great establishment of Heriot’s hospital, of improvements which he invented with regard to the employment of fuel in the preparation of food; and the managers, to shew their gratitude, sent him a silver box, with a very flattering inscription, having on one of its sides a representation, in relief of gold, of the principal front of the building to the improvement of which he had so eminently contributed.

 Count Rumford quitted England for the last time in the month of May

Count Rumford quitted England for the last time in the month of May 1802, for Paris. He went that summer to Munich, and returned to Paris in the winter. In the summer of 1803, he made a tour of part of Switzerland and Bararia with the widow of the celebrated Lavoisier, a woman of highly cultivated mind and capacious understanding; whom shortly after their return to Paris he married; but their union proved unhappy, and they at length separated, the count retiring to a house at Auteuil, about four miles from Paris, where he passed the rest of his days in philosophical pursuits and experiments, almost secluded from the world; for after the death of his worthy friend, the illustrious Lagrange, he saw only his next-door neighbour, the senator Lecoutejux Caneleux, Mr. Underwood, the member of the royal institution, who assisted him in the experiments, and an old friend, Mr. Parker, a learned American. He ceased to attend the sittings of the National Institute; but for the perpetual secretary Cuvier, he always preserved the highest admiration and esteem. One object of his latter occupations was a work not finished, “On the Nature and Effects of Order;” which would probably have been a valuable present to domestic society. No man in all his habits had more the spirit of order: every thing was classed; no object was ever allowed to remain an instant out of its place the moment he had done with it; and he was never beyond his time in an appointment a single instant. He was also latterly employed on a series of experiments on the propagation of heat in solids. He had by him several unpublished works, particularly one of considerable interest on Meteorolites, in which he demonstrated that they came from regions beyond the atmosphere of the earth. This very ingenious philosopher died August 21, 1814, when on the eve of retiring to England. The literary productions of count Kumford have obtained a wide circulation, having been translated into various languages. His papers in the “Philosophical Transactions,” chiefly on matters connected with the object of his beneficent investigations, were rather distinguished for the useful application of which they were susceptible, than for their number. Among them are, 1. “Experiments on Gun-powder, with. a method of determining the velocity of projectiles, and the force of gun-powder.” 2. “Experiments on Heat; by which it is proved to pass more slowly through the Torricellian vacuum, than through the air.” 3. “Experiments on the production of dephlogisticated air (oxygen gas) by different substances, exposed under water to the action of light.” 4. “Experiments on the relative and absolute quantities of moisture absorbed by different substances employed as garments.” 5. “Experiments on the communication of heat in air.” This memoir procured to the author the gold medal of the royal society. 6. “The description of a photometer, and experiments on the relative quantity of light furnished by different combustible substances, and their relative prices.” 7. “Experiments on coloured shades, and the optical illusions produced by the contrast of colours actually present.” 8. “Experiments on the force of Gunpowder, by which it is proved that this force is at least 50,000 times greater than the mean weight of the atmosphere, and that it is probable that the force of gun-powder depends chiefly on the elasticity of the vapour of water.” 9. “A letter to sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, offering a capital of 1000l. sterling destined for a fund to furnish a premium every two years to the author of the most useful discovery made in Europe with regard to light or heat.” 10. “Inquiries into the cause of heat excited by friction, &c. &c.