Electric ...
Ben Franklin

NOTE: Some of the transcriptions of The Courant given here have not had the proofreading corrections completed.


New-England Courant.

Issue 28

From Monday February 5. to Monday February 12. 1722.


Renovat pristina bella.

'TIS the Misfortune of many a good Man, to continue all that is said against his Opinion (in Matters of Indifference) to be against Religion, which is in Effect to derive it from the Power and Pleasure of Men; and tends (in its Consequences) to destroy all Religion, and to bring Men at last to no Religion. 'Tis a sure Presage of Atheism: for let Men once be condemn'd as irreligious, for opposing only the Humours of those who profess Religion, they will naturally be tempted to say That Religion is nothing but Humour. Religion derives its Authority from GOD alone, and will not be kept up in the Conferences of Men by any Humane Power.

If the Author of a late Pamphlet (publish'd under Pretence of vindicating the Ministers ) had turn'd his Thoughts this Way, he would never have wrote a Thing so much to the Dishonour of GOD, the Discredit of our holy Religion and the Ministers of it. But he has thrown Praise in his own Face till he is blind to his own Failings; and (to speak like him self) quarrels with his Neighbors because they do not look and think just as he would have them. He calls my self and several others, Profane Sons of Corah, Children of the old Serpent, Abjects daringly profane, & c. And, without proving any thing criminal against us, earnestly calls on his dear Friends and Neighbours to depart from the Tents of these wicked Men, lest they perish with them.

If the Courant is indeed notoriously prostituted to a Hellish Servitude, (as he insinuates on Page 3.) then there is reason for this Advice to his Friends; but what he recites from No 23 ( which he takes to be the worst Charge against the Ministers, by distinguishing the Words in the Black Letter) will no ways prove it. The Words he recites are, Most of the Ministers are for it, and that induces me to think it from the Devil; but he purposely omits the latter Part of the Sentence, viz. For he often makes use of good Men as Instruments to obtrude his Delusions on the World.

By this unfair Way of writing, we may perswade those who are Strangers to this Gentleman, that he often speaks Blasphemy in the Pulpit. As thus: I with some others go to hear him, and he mentions that Place of Scripture, The Fool hath in his Heart, there is no God. We (designing to ruin his Reputation and the Success of his Ministry) publish it to the World, That he Said, There was no God. But There has been nothing of this Nature in the Courant, and until there is, let him reserve his cruel invectives for those who deserve them, (If any such there be, which I much question, ) otherwise his warning of Sinners will be Labour in vain, and in preaching the Gospel, he will Spend his Strength for nought.

These Things consider'd, let any one judge, whether that the Author of this Pamphlet has not done more

towards making the Ministers despicable and detestable to their People than any thing in the Courant, which he calls a scandalous Libel. I doubt not but it wou'd grieve him to hear that his abusing his Neighbours under Colour of Religion, has been such a stumbling Block to some, that they were even tempted to think religion to be nothing but a cheat or contrivance, impos'd on the World upon politick Grounds: But this I assure him I have often heard of late; and this, if any thing, will perswade me to be silent to any other Pieces of this Nature publish'd against me, unless the Authors first endeavour to prove what they assert, before they pronounce Judgment against me as a Castaway, which if they had done, the Town would more easily have believ'd a false and groundless Report, lately rais'd to my Disadvantage.


To Jack Register Esq; on his Letter in the last Week's Gazette.

Brother Batchelor,
Muzzey may now Couranto's Art defy;
His Head is fix'd by your Authority
'Tis good Advice you give your drooping Friend;
His Want of Wit forbids him to contend.
Or none but Fools will ever count him wise.
And you my Friend, whose known and native Stile
Is incoherent, blundering and vile;
May you to School-boy's Latin, ever keep,
For all your English is a murder'd Heap.
Yet if your own Advice you mean to take,
And be as silent as your churlish Mate,
Couranto's Friends can write on Subjects new,
Without contending with such Fools as you.
Their biting Satyr will each Fop expose,
And every Vice their boyling Anger rouse
By Dreams and Visions they'll detect the Great,
And show th' Oppressors Politick Deceit.
No Stingless Lashes (such as your's) presage
Couranto's Downfal. Your confined Rage,
But imitates your Lion, growling in his Cage.
Cease then, thou grovelling Soul, nor strive in spite
Of Nature and unlucky Stars to write.

I am, Sir,
Your Friend and Brother,
Timothy Turnstone.

To The Author of the New-England Courant.

Reading the Boston Gazette of Monday last, I find a long and blundering Epistle, dated Portsmouth Feb. 1. the Author or Authors of which have jumbled their wild and undigested Notions together, as Boys usually do Syllables. 'Tis neither good Latin, nor good English; But a mere Heap of Hodge-podge. If the Authors themselves know the meaning of it,

Click for Ben Franklin Posters


'tis more than any of their Readers are able to do. I will not throw away Time in making Remarks on all the blundering Flirts and Suppos'd Witticisms contain'd therein; but shall only take Notice of two or three Hints, and leave it to you, who are the most proper person to encounter this new and swaggering Adversary; and I doubt not, if you draw your generous Pen, he will soon be forc'd to retreat to the smoaky Ken from whence he spew'd his late Grubstreet Malice. If you will please to convey the following Letter to the Author of said Epistle by your next Courant, it will highly oblige,
Your Humble Servant,

    Can weave fine Cobwebs fit for Scull,
    That's empty when the Moon is full:
    Such as take Lodgings in a Head
    That's to be let unfurnished.
    His Wit was sent him for a Token,
    But in the Carriage crackt and broken.


Honest Jack,
I Perceive you have been a great Traveller: Have you ever been at the World in the Moon? or do you affirm on the Credit of your old Friend Gonzales, that 'tis not determin'd whether there are Apothecaries there, and then say the whole Tribe of them live worse than the Wretch describ'd in the Play. You have not given us any Account how the Officers belonging to their Courts of Ad-----ty live; nor have you told us whether they suffer Lawyers or Usurers to live in those Regions. I remember when I was there t' other Day, I heard a bitter Complaint against these Kind of Vermin. But prithee honest Jack, what should be the Reason why Poetry is no more in Request there? I think they have pretty tollerable Poets among them, as you may see by the following Lines made on a Foppish upstart Fellow, Clerk to a Gentleman's Kitchen, and given me by the Author.

    Short-neckt and stubbed shankt he is by Birth,
    And rarely does he raise his Eyes from Earth:
    With rusty Hair he hides his Beetle Scull,
    And the whole Lump is both deform'd and dull.
    He has noble spacious Platter Face,
    And stor'd with Impudence instead of Grace.
    His Eye-Lids they are soar'd above their Pitch,
    His Face with Carbuncles and Rubies rich.

By this you may see they have a take of Poetry in the upper Regions. However Jack to use your own Words I know not whether there be any Person in Town that this Description will fit, unless it be your Self. But by the way, how long have you been a Conjuror, or Fortune Teller? I find you have predicted the Downfal of Couranto, and reveal'd many other Secrets never before known ; and all this ( you say ) without the Help of a single Star. I suppose (you are so cunning) you can tell when we shall have a new Judge of Ad, (for the old one stands tottering,) where to find run Goods, and when they'l be seiz'd. You have also told us, that the Lion now in Town, is the first of his Kind that ever was in America; that he grows daily, and is the Wonder of all that see him; (but have not told us when he will roar) You can, I doubt not, tell how many Pound a Piece of Meat weighs before it goes into the Pot; How much your fellow Servants can eat, and how much will be left; as also who imbezzzles it in your Absence, and can call the Offender by Name, and punish him for it. These and many other surprizing Things you can do, and all by the same Art that you know how many Sheeps-Heads will keep the Lion for a Week, Month or Year.

And now my Friend John, seeing you have been so kind as to tell us what you can do without Book,

I shall take the Freedom to acquaint you, that I am an old Starmonger, and pretend to some Skill in the Art of Astrology, and that I have just now erected a Scheme, according to the Rules of Ptolemy, that Prince of Astrologers, and the famous Dr. John Whalley, (whose Works are now in my Hands) by the help of which and a good Pair of Spectacles, I have found out, that there were Two or three of you concern'd in patching up your late Production; and that one of them is great Usurer, who deals much in Bonds and Mortgages, and is but too well known in his Country ; that the Stars are propitious to Couranto, and that he is like to survive all his neighboring Publishers, his Customers daily increasing while theirs decease ; that the Shadow of a Man whom you would seem to defend, is in a languishing Condition; his Head begins to melt; he is weak in Body, but weaker in Mind; and by the present Face of the Planets, and a Conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon, and another of Saturn and the Moon, which will happen the latter End of this Month, which will my Opinion keep his present Station above Three Months longer. I have also found out (by poring on my Books) that Apothecaries live better in the Lunar World, than Lawyers, Usurers, or Clerks of the Kitchen, or even than corrupt Judges, or persidious Counsellors, and that they prefer a House of their own building before ten got from their poor oppressed Neighbors, who have forfeited them by not paying their Mortgages to a Day. I do likewise predict, that this Year will prove fatal to the Officers of a certain Court of Ad---ty; that the Lion will eat his own Head off; that a famous Lawyer will be presented next Court for a new Crime, and found guilty; that there will be good Living for honest Men, when all the meddling Fools and Crafty Knaves are starv'd or whipt out of the Country.
Your Humble Servant,

P. S. Out of respect to my good Friend John and his Readers. I desire them to accept of the following Errata to his Letter, which he will do well to mend in the second Edition.


For adjuc, read adhuc. for his read lis. for Boteus read Proteus, &c. &c. &c.

The following Account of the Hell Fire Club, &c. (printed in London) I lately receiv'd from a Gentleman, who by his Office is oblig'd to make Enquiry, whether any of his Majesty's Subjects here are guilty of the like horrid Impieties, as has been insinuated of late, by the sworn enemies of the Courant; and, to do some Justice to the Country, and conclude ( I hope) the present Quarrel, shall here insert it.

The Hell-Fire Club consisted of about forty Persons of both sexes; fifteen of them were said to be Ladies of considerable Quality: They blasphemously assumed to them-selves the tremendous Names of God the Father, God the Holy Ghost, St. John the Baptist, the Prophet Enoch, Elisa, Samuel, Jeremiah, Joshua, Isaiah, the Twelve Patriarchs, Moses, Aron, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalen, St. Martha, King David; and the Twelve Apostles, Joseph the Father of Jesus.


The Parts acted by the Demi Red Dragon Club, were Belzebub of Hell, Old Pluto, the old devil, old Aeacus, the young Devil, the old Dragon, the Serpent, Lady Envy, Lady Malice, Proserpina Queen of Hell, the Three fatal sisters.

The Parts acted by the Sulphur Club were Sodom and Gomorrah, Pride, Lust, Anger, Revenge, Poligamy, Incest, Adultery, Fornication, Self Defiler, & c.

Under these Distinctions did they abuse all Piety, and ridicule, the Attributes and Perfections of the Blessed Trinity, in a manner very unfit to be related.

Their chief Place of Rendezvous was some Time in Conduct Street, Near Hanover Square, or else at a House in Westminster, or at Somerset House, where they erected an Altar dedicated to the Devil having Two Devils on the Frame thereof. They usually set round an Oval-table, and each having assum'd Such Names as above mention'd, began with an Impious Health to the Devil.

Four of these daring Wretches were, ('tis to be fear'd) cut off in the midst of their Impieties, by the Hand of Divine Vengeance. Two of them in a Debauch is Somerset House on the Lord's Day, who caused Musick to be play'd to them in the Time of Divine Service, one of whom, who then drank a most Blasphemous Health, dy'd the same Evening, and the other soon after. A young Lady, who, as 'tis Said, call'd herself the Blessed Virgin, dy'd in the Flower of her Youth. The other a Woman of Distinction, dy'd at Dinner.

These Impious Cabals soon reach'd the Ears of his most sacred Majesty, who out of tender Regard to the Spiritual Welfare of his People, order'd his Ministers of State to take proper Methods to suppress such Detestable Practices, Whereupon an Order of Council was issued out for that purpose.

I shall make no other Remarks upon this Account, than what I find in a paragraph of the London Journal May 13, on the same Occasion, and leave those who have stigmatiz'd the suppose'd Authors of the Courant with the Name of a Hell-Fire Club to apply it.

These Societies must certainly he as distracted as they are impious: I have indeed been in doubt till now, whether there really were any such; but am in no doubt about the Punishment they deserve: I think it ought to be the most severe that is due to such raving Wickedness, which is such, as neither Youth nor Wine can excuse, nor indeed extenuate; and until they are further Punished, I think the darkest Holes in Bedlam ought to be their Portion. But, outrageous and godless as they are, they do not merit more Detestation and severity, than do those who inhumanely give out,

that Gentlemen, who abhor such Clubs are Members of them: The Authors of so dreadful a Calumny, are much worse than Murderers, because they endeavor to take away from Men something much dearer than Life: They are therefore in the Class with Demons, and earn such mighty Vengeance as God only can inflict.


Venice, Sept.13. By an English Vessel come from Alexandria and Cyprus we hear, that when the fail'd from the last of those Places the Plague rages violently in that Island, and chiefly in the Capital Nicosia.

St. Sebastian, Sept. 9. Since the the 25th of last month, on which day the French evacuated this Fortress, nothing new has happen'd nor any Alteration been made here; only that our Captain General Don Gonzales Chacon publish'd on the 7th Instant a strict Ordinance, importing in Substance, That his Excellency was commanded by the King to order all the Merchants to give in one by one particular Inventories of all the Goods they receiv'd, as well before as since the taking of this Place: This they are enjoyn'd To do Three days, and to specify the Places from whence, and Persons from whom, as also the Times when they receiv'd them. There are some who seem alarm'd at this new Order, which nevertheless cannot, 'tis generally believ'd, have been issued in any other View, than by Way of Precaution against the Contagion.

Gibraltar. August 27. On the 25th arriv'd an English Man of War from Tetnan, with Advice that Capt. Stewart was return'd thither from his Embassy to the king of Morocco at Mequinez, togeher with all the English and other Slaves that were set at Liberty. The Captain of that Man of War reports, that four Algerine Rovers have pas'd the Straights into the Ocean; and that five others from 30 to 50 Guns, came on the 22d Instant into the River of Tetuan, to take in fresh Water; but that the Moors, refusing to permit them, they failed towareds Berion, where they furnish'd themselves, and this Afternoon those five Rovers have failed by in fight of this Place, standing for the Straights, in order to go into the Ocean.

Tarissa, Aug. 30. This Morning came in sight of this Place five Algerine Rovers, three of whom had with them a Spanish Bark, with 8 Seamen and four Passengers, that came out of the River Palmon, and were going with Straw to Ceuta; they had likewise taken a Felucca, that came also out of that River, and was likewise bound for Ceuta, and a third Vessel from Estapona. A fourth Vessel to Whom they gave Chase, that was going also to the same Place, laden with Bricks and Tars, threw most of her Lading over-board, and escaped by running herself ashore. The two other Rovers sailed through into the Ocean. The least of these Vessels carry'd 36 Guns, and seem'd to be Dutch Built.

Bourdeaux, Sept. 16. We begin to be allarm'd at the Contagion that rages in several Parts of this Kingdom, and an Order is publish'd forbidding to bring in any Goods either Foreign or Domestick, without good Certificates of Health; to prevent which a very strict Watch is kept at all our Gates; and some Days ago eight Bales of thread that came from Rennes were burnt, the Owners not having taken Care to provide the requisite Attestations. We have Letters from Rochel of the 14th Instant which say, that they have put a stop to all Commerce with the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.

Hague, Sept. 30. Yesterday Earl Cadogan arrived from England, as did also the Earl of Peterborough and Albemarie; and the first of those Earls was this


Morning in Conference with the Deputies of the States General. Yesterday there was a congress of the Foreign Ministers as usual; and M. Davolles, Minister of Great Britian, notify'd on the 28th to the Regency and Foreign Ministers, the welcome News of the Conclusion of the Peace between the Czar of Muscovy and the King of Sweden, which he received on the 26th by an Express from Admiral Norris, who pass'd that day through this Place in his Way to the Court of Great Britain.

Ratisbon, Sept. 22. The Protestant Ministers have resolved to resent a new Renostrance to Cardinal Saxe-Zeits, on Account of Dr. Moch, who was taken out of his Bed at Heidelberg, and imprison'd in the Cattle of Dilberg, three Leagues from that City, for having had a Hand in drawing up the Remonstrances of the Lutherans. The same Ministers have reconciled the Differences that happen'd between the Lutherans and Calvinists of the Palatinate, on Account of some Ecclesiastick Estates. The Elector, our Prince, has publish'd a new Placard, commanding under severe Penalties, to perfect without Delay the Redress of the Protestants, Grevances, since the Peace of Baden, according to the Emperors Mandates: 'tis hoped this Placard will be better obey'd than the former.

Hambourgh, October 3. Our Letters from Stockholm of the 14th of September say, that the Articles of peace with the Czar were not then made Publick, and would not be till the Return of the young Count Lielensted, who was gone to carry the Ratification to Nystad. Admiral Norris was preparing to sail for England, and the English Seamen were employ'd in cutting Wood to load their Ships, at which the Swedes were disguised, because it had rais'd the Price. His Swedish Majesty had sent Orders to Gottrembourg, not to give entrance to any vessels coming from France, till they had perform'd Quarentine.

Mr. Franklin, Rhode-Island, Feb. 9, 1721

Yesterday came to my Hand a Letter from a Gentleman of good Credit in Barbadoes, which gives us a sad and melancholly Account of the Loss of the Royal Ann Gally, and upwards of 250 Persons that were on Board her, upon the 10th of November last, off the Lizard, as the she was coming out, bound to Barbadoes with my Lord Belhaven Govenour of that island, on board whom he, with Sir William Savage and Mr Whatley (two gentlemen of the Law,) were lost, as well as upwards of 30 young Scotch gentlemen who were bound for Barbadoes with my Lord to seek their Fortune. The Ship was lost merely by Carelessness, it being very good Weather; for she had her Top-Gallant Sails abroad when she struck upon the Rocks, which was about Midnight, and they were not apprehensive of any Danger till about a Minute before; and before they could hoist out their Boats, her Larboard Side tumbled in, and there escaped but Two of the Foremast Men and a Boy with Life to tell the story. My Lord had, it seems, large Power committed to him by his Majesty as to the Government of Affairs in Barbadoes, Mr. Cox, the President of that Island, his Reasons for turning out the Council and all the Officers put in by Mr. Lowther, being to be scann'd by him, and to be justify'd or condemn'd according as his Sentiments of the Matter were. My Friend writes me also, that Col. Frere, late President of that Island, died of the Small Pox on the 4th of October last, not being then of His Majesties Council of Barbadoes, by reason of His Disobedience to his Majesty's Orders. Col. Hart, Governour of the Leward Islands is arrived at Antigua: He came out in Company with my lord Helhaven, but it looking like bad Weather, my Lord put back again.
Your Constant Reader,
And Humble Servant,

J. C.

Custom-House, Rhode-Island, Entered Inwards. Williams Burn from Martinico, Charles Bordin from Barbadoes, Shubael Norton from Surraham Several vessels are Cleared out for Barbadoes. Sr. Christophers, and North Carolina.

Boston, Feb. 12. Last Week his Excellency receiv'd a Letter from the Forces at the Eastward, giving an Account, that as they were marching to seize Father Ralle, he made his Escape out of the House with so much hast, that (being then writing) he left his Papers on the Table, among which was found a Letter from the Governour of Canada, directing the Indians to use their utmost Force to keep the English from set-

tling at the Eastward, and promising to supply them with Powder and Ball for That End, at the same Time charging the Jesuit to keep the matter Private. 'Tis said his Excellency has wrote to England of this Affair.

By a private Letter from Nantucket, we have Advice, That since May last, 36 Persons have had the small Pox there, 20 Whites and 16 Indians; out of which Number, 5 of the English are dead, and 10 Indians. The same Letter adds that but two Persons on that Island are now ill of that Distemper.

We hear from Sandwich that 33 Persons have had the small Pox there, 9 of which have dy'd; and that the Town has been for some Time past clear of that Distemper.

Custom-House, Boston, Entered Inwards.

Samuel Northy from North Carolina

Cleared Out.

John Hardison from New Hampshire, Jonathan Rowse, Thomas Copping, and George Hill for North Carolina, John Kent for Virginia, John Venteman, and John Green for West Indies, William Maxwell for Portugal.

Outward Bound.

John Braddick for New York, Matthias Bant, and Robert Burnet for Barbadoes.

To Dr. C. M.

Your Remarks &c. in a little Pamphlet Published last Wednesday requires no other Answer but this, Ill Language and brutal Manners reflect only on those who are guilty of them. Yours,
W. D.


On Thurday next the 15th Instant, will be exposed to Sale by Publick Vendue, at the Sun Tavern in Dock-Square at Five of Clock in the Afternoon, sundry Sorts of English and India Goods, Sugar, &c. N.B. The Goods to be seen at the Place of Sale.

Just Publish'd

Some further Account from London, of the Small Pox Inoculated. The Second Edition. With some Remarks on a late scandalous Pamphlet, Intitaled, Innoculation of the Small Pox as Practis'd in Boston, &c. By Increase Mather, D. D. Sold by J. Edwards, at the Corner Shop on the North Side of the Town-House.

A Maid Servants Time for Four Years to be disposed of on reasonable Terms. Enquire of the Printer hereof.

All Persons indebted to the Estate of Oliver Noyes Esq; Deceased, are hereby Notised to ballance their Accounts by the first of March next, or without fail they may expect to be Arrested to April Court. Any Persons may settle their Accompts with said Estate at the Warehouse next adjorning to the Golden Ball in Merchants Row, where daily Attendance is given.

N.B. The Dwelling House near the Town Dock in Corn-Market, belonging to said Estate to be let on reasonable Terms. Servant Maid's Time for three Years and an half to be dispos'd of on reasonable Terms. Esquire of the Printer hereof. All Persons indebted to the Estate of Robert Calef, late of Roxbury, deceas'd are desired, to pay their respective Debts to Joseph Calef in Water-Street, Boston, Administator: to whom those who have any Claims on the said, Estate may apply themselves for Payment.

This Paper (No 28) is the 2d, of a new quarter; & those who have not paid for the last, are desired to send in their Money, or pay it to the Bearer. Those who incline to take it, are desir'd to signify it at the Place of Sale, or at the Blue Bull over against the Star Tavern in Union Street. The Price is no more than to 10s. a Year in Town and 15s. in the Couuntry, if seal'd up and directed.

Boston: Printed and Sold by J. Franklin in Queen Street, over against Mr. Sheaf's School, where Advertisements and Letters are taken in by J. Edwards at the Corner Shop on the North Side of the Town-House.

Click for Ben Franklin Posters