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of benjamin count rumford.

Sir Benjamin employed the
four first years of his abode at Mu-
nich in acquiring the political and
statistical knowledge necessary for

realizing the plans which his phi-
lanthropy suggested to him for im-
proving the condition of the lower
orders. He did not neglect in the
meantime his favourite studies and
it was in the year 1786, in a jour-
ney to Manheim, that he made his
first experiments on heat. Politi-
cal and literary honours poured in
upon him during that interval. In
1785 he was made Chamberlain of
the Elector, and admitted a mem-
ber of the academies of science of
Munich and Manheim. In 1786 he
received from the King of Poland
the order of St. Stanislaus; in 1787
he made a journey to Prussia, dur-
ing which he was elected a member
of the academy of Berlin. In 1788
he was appointed major-general
of cavalry and privy counsellor of
state. He was placed at the head
of the war department, and parti-
cularly charged with the execution
of the plans which he had proposed
for improving the state of the Bava-
rian army.

At last, the following year (1789)
witnessed the accomplishment of
the numerous projects meditated,
during those which preceded. The
house of industry of Manheim was
established; the islands of Mulhan
near Manheim, which till that time
had been nothing but a pestilential
morass, useless for culture and per-
nicious to the health of the inhabit-
ants of the city, were joined toge-
ther, surrounded by a mound and
ditch, and transformed into a fertile
garden, consecrated to the industry
of the garrison. The fine esta-
blishment of the military academy
of Munich was founded; a scheme
of military police was founded to
deliver the country from the nume-
rous gangs of vagabonds, robbers,
and beggars, who infested it: schools
of industry, belonging to every regi-
ment, were established, to employ
the wives and children of the sol-
diers; a veterinary school was in-
stituted, and a stud of horses pro-
vided for improving the breed of
the country.

At the beginning of the year 1790
the house of industry at Munich,

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that fine establishment, which the
Count himself has described at
length in his essays, was formed,
for bettering the condition of the
poor; and mendicity was complete-
ly abolished: nor has it again made
its appearance in Bavaria since that
memorable epoch. The beautiful
English garden of Munich was be-
gun, and military gardens establish-
ed in all the garrisons. The sove-
reign expressed his obligation for
these numerous services, by confer-
ring on Sir Benjamin the rank of
lieutenant-general of his armies,
and giving him a regiment of artil-

In 1791 he was created a Count
of the Holy Roman Empire, and
honoured with the order of the
White Eagle. He employed that
year and the following in complet-
ing his projects, in removing the
obstacles by which attempts were
made to interrupt their progress;
in a word, since the truth should be
spoken, in resisting the attacks of
enemies who envied his success.
This species of labour, and the anx-
iety of mind inseparable from it,
impaired his health to such a de-
gree, that his physicians declared
that his life was in danger, unless
he retired for some time from busi-
ness, and had recourse to a change
of climate. He obtained permis-
sion from the elector to take a jour-
ney into Italy; and before leaving
him, communicated, in a detailed
account, the principal results of his
four years administration, compar-
ed with the four years which had
preceded his entrance into office.

The journey lasted sixteen months.
Count Rumford, after having tra-
velled over all Italy, and a part of
Swisserland, returned to Bavaria in
the month of August, 1794. He had
been attacked with a dangerous ill-
ness in Naples, and his slow reco-
very did not permit him to resume,
on his return, the transaction of the
business of his department, over
which he contented himself with
exercising a general superintend-
ance. He laboured in his closet;

and it was at this time that he pre-
pared the first five of the essays
which he has published.

In the month of September, 1795,
he returned to England, after an
absence of more than eleven years.
The principal object of his journey
was to publish his essays, and to
direct the attention of the English
nation towards the plans of public
and domestic economy which he
had conceived, and realized in Ger-
many. One of the most respectable
men in England, lord Pelham, now
one of the ministers, was then secre-
tary of state in Ireland. The Count
complied with his invitation in the
spring of 1796, and took that occa-
sion of visiting that interesting coun-
try. He introduced, at Dublin,
several important improvements
into the hospitals and houses of
industry, and left there models of a
number of useful mechanical inven-
tions. They were the first objects
that struck my attention when I
visited the Society of Dublin.

Every testimony of honour and
gratitude was lavished upon him in
this country. The royal academy
of Ireland, the society for the en-
couragement of arts and manufac-
tures, both elected him an honorary
member: and after having left the
country, he received a letter of
thanks from the grand jury of the
county of Dublin, an official letter
from the lord mayor of the city. and
one from the lord lieutenant of Ire-
land. These pieces, all of which I
have seen, are filled with the most
flattering expressions of esteem
and of gratitude.

On his return to London, he di-
rected the alterations, which had
been adopted, on his recommenda-
tion, in the foundling-hospital, and
he presented to the board of agri-
culture several machines, as models
for imitation.

The philanthropic activity which
distinguished this epoch of his life
manifests itself in every form. It
was at this time he placed in the
English and American funds, two
sums of 1000l. sterling each, to

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establish a premium to be given eve-
ry two years to the author of the most
useful discovery, made respectively
in Europe or America, on light or
heat. The premium is a gold medal
worth 1500 francs. It must be ad-
judged in Europe by the royal so-
ciety of London, and in America by
the academy of sciences of Ame-

Nothing seemed sufficient to with-
draw him from these tranquil and
important occupations, when the
events of war called upon him to
display his military talents for the
service of his adopted country.
General Moreau having crossed the
Rhine, and defeated several bodies
of soldiers, who disputed him its
passage, advanced by quick marches
to Bavaria. Count Rumford, on re-
ceiving this intelligence, immedi-
ately 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 cir-
cumstances; they were not long in
requiring his interference. After
the battle of Friedberg, the Aus-
trians 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 the 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 inter-
preted 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 town 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 par-
ties; neither the French nor the
Austrians entered Munich; and
that city escaped all the dangers
with which it had been threatened.

On the return of the elector, he
was placed at the head of the de-
partment of the general police in
Bavaria. The services which he
rendered in that capacity, though
less brilliant than his military ex-
ploits, have been neither less valua-
ble, nor less conspicuous. But the
excessive labour to which his zeal
and activity betrayed him, the op-
position which he often experienced
in the exercise of his office, again
affected his health to such a degree,
as threatened his life. The elec-
tor impressed with esteem and gra-
titude towards him, wished not to
allow him to sink under a labour too
severe for him, and desired to find
the means of procuring him the
repose which he required, without
altogether depriving himself of his
services: he appointed him his en-
voy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary at the court of Lon-
don. But the rules of England not
permitting a subject of the king to
be accredited as a foreign minister,
the Count has not exercised that
office, and has lived, since his re-
turn to England in 1798, as a private

Meanwhile it was reported in
America that he had quitted Bavaria
forever, and the government of the
United States addressed to him,
through the medium of the Ameri-
can ambassador at London, a formal
and official invitation to return to
his native country, where an honour-
able establishment was destined for
him. The offer was accompanied
with the most flattering assurances
of consideration and confidence.
He replied, declaring at the same
time his profound gratitude for such
a mark of esteem, “That engage-
ments, rendered sacred and invio-
lable by great obligations, did not
permit him to dispose of himself in
such a manner as to be able to

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accept of the offer which was made
to him.” There remains not, sure-
ly, in that reciprocal language, the
least mark of enmity; and the His-
torical Society of Massachusetts, on
electing Count Rumford a member,
communicated to him, by their pre-
sident, about the same time, their
unanimous desire of seeing him re-
turn 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.

Towards the autumn of 1800,
Count Rumford went to Scotland.
The magistrates of Edinburgh paid
him a visit of ceremony; gave a pub-
lic dinner on his account, and to these
marks of distinction added the free-
dom of the city, conceived in terms
the most flattering. They consult-
ed 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 enterprise was
finished in a few months with com-
plete success. In Edinburgh, beg-
gars are no longer seen, and all the
poor fit for work are become indus-
trious. The royal society of Edin-
burgh, and the college of physicians,
elected him at the same time, re-
spectively, an honorary member,
and the university bestowed upon
him the degree of doctor of laws.
The diploma was inserted in the
Edinburgh newspapers; it is writ-
ten in the most elegant Latin, and
recounts shortly and truly the obli-
gations of humanity towards my
industrious friend.

He employed himself during his
stay in that city in superintending
the execution, in the great establish-
ment of Heriot's hospital, of the
improvements which he has invent-
ed with regard to the employment
of fuel in the preparation of food.
I myself have heard the high appro-
bation with which the cook of this
hospital speaks of these improve-
ments. I have before me a more
respectable testimony and in appro-
bation of which the grounds are

better expressed, on the same sub-
ject. It is a letter lately received
from Mr. Jackson, one of the chief
managers of the hospital, to the
author of these improvements. The
following is a copy of it:

Edinburgh, July 21, 1801.

my dear sir,

“IN order to afford you the most
exact information with regard to the
result of the preparations made
in Heriot's hospital, I have thought
it better to let a considerable time
elapse, that their utility might be
the better confirmed. I have now
the satisfaction of informing you,
that an experience of six months
proves with certainty, that the
same operations are executed with
a sixth part only of the fuel which
was employed before. The sav-
ing, however, will be only two-
thirds, because the price of char-
red coal (coak) is nearly double that
of the fuel which was used before.
I assure you too, with much plea-
sure, that the victuals are much
better dressed than before, and
with one half less trouble to the
servants. In a word I cannot ex-
press to you the convenience, the
neatness, and the saving, which
distinguish the improvements intro-
duced into the hospital under your
direction. The kitchen, the wash-
ing-room, and the drying-room, are
so admirably contrived, that in my
humble opinion, it would be impos-
sible to improve them.

The Lord-Provost and the Ma-
gistrates join me in acknowledg-


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