Thursday, June 30 1757

Paid Joseph Miller 2d for half a pound of suet. Today in reading the London Magazine for May, I find the following description of the comet [Halley’s] that is shortly expected to appear; viz., that it has appeared 6 times already; viz., in the years: 1305, 1380, 1456, 1531, 1607 and 1682, and that it revolves about the sun at intervals of 75 and 76 years alternately, and since the last period; viz, in 1682, was 75 years, it is presumed the present period will contain 76 years, and therefore its next appearance will probably be in 1758. But the time of its appearing is uncertain, and it may happen the latter end of the present year 1757, or the beginning, middle or latter end of the next year. After 85 days it will obtain to its perihelion, or be nearest of all to the sun, and alter 130 days it will come to its descending node, at which time it will be very near the earth’s orbit; and should that happen the 12th of May, we should then be in a dangerous situation as the denser part of its blazing tail would envelop the earth. It seems to be of those that rise to the least height from the sun, its greatest distance being only 35 times greater than the distance of the earth from the sun, so that at the farthest it does not run out four times farther from us than Saturn.

We dined on a bullock’s kidney and some pork fried and a raisin suet pudding and green salad. In the evening my brother and I walked to Richard Jenner’s and looked upon his wool for my mother, and accordingly he gave us the promise of it when the prices were more known. From thence we went to Thomas Durrant’s and asked him for a small debt due to me, but could not get it. We called at Master Diplock’s and John Browne’s and came home about 8:45.

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