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on his back to his home at a considerable distance, | altissimo-extending, in fact, as high as the warble and there proceeded to reduce them to the shape he considered necessary, and to put to the test their varied tones. This involved an amount of effort not easily estimated; it was made after many a hard day's work in the mountains, and often did Richardson deny himself the repose he required, and pass whole nights after his family had retired to rest; pursuing the object on which his heart was set. A considerable share of disappointment must still have been his lot; the stone which promised well, would not answer the purpose if hammered and chiselled beyond a certain point; and it may be supposed there were times in which his heart failed him, particularly as a family of eight children were dependent on his daily labour for support, and his task was continued amidst much weariness and trial.
of the lark; down to the deep bass of a funeral bell. The tones produced are equal in quality, and sometimes superior in mellowness and fulness, to those of a fine piano-forte, under the hand of a skilful player. Difficult chromatic ascents and descents are performed with a truly extraordinary brilliancy and crispness. A professor of music at Liverpool produced, in conjunction with the sons of the inventor, and also alone, some very pleasing and striking effects. M. Costa, addressing the inventor, says, "I have been very much gratified with the performance of your three sons on your very ingenious instrument, and sincerely wish you may be recompensed for your wonderful discovery." Sir George Smart also writes, "I am happy to offer my testimony in favour of your very clever invention, and think the production of the 'Rock Harmonicon' does infinite credit to your perseverance and musical feeling; the tones of the instrument are powerful and beautiful, and I was highly pleased with the performance of your three sons upon it. I sincerely hope your labours will be rewarded as they richly deserve."
It would be a pleasing occupation to trace, at considerable length, the obligations under which society is placed to the invention and perseverance of men in humble life. Joseph Richardson has shown by what he has done in circumstances ap
At length, however, his skill and perseverance were rewarded, and after more than thirteen years' incessant labour, he succeeded in constructing a musical instrument of a very extraordinary character, which is properly called "The Rock Harmonicon." It consists of rough stones, the longest of which is four feet six inches in length, about three inches in breadth, and about an inch and a half in thickness; and the shortest of which is about six inches in length, an inch in breadth, and half an inch in thickness: these are placed across a pair of wooden bars, covered with twisted straw,parently hopeless-for the visitor is as much asand form the keys, like those of a piano-forte; the tonished by the singular originality of the design material of them all being the mica schist, or as it as its extraordinary results-that in a different is commonly called, in Cumberland and other places, situation, he might in some other way have been whinstone. The means employed to extract their as strangely and signally successful. But the.catasounds are wooden hammers; small, and of lignum-logue of such claims is, happily, too long for us to vitæ, for the treble; larger, and of elm or ash, for the middle notes; and larger still, and covered with leather, for the bass. Sometimes for the centre keys, hammers are used with two knobs on each, in the form of a crutch-handle, to strike thirds. Those who are acquainted with the toy harmonicon, consisting of pieces of glass laid on tapes, to be struck with a cork hammer, will readily form an idea of this singular instrument, and the mode in which its sounds are elicited *.
The pieces of stone, it should be remarked, are arranged in two rows; the lower one being tuned in the diatonic scale, and the upper one containing the flats and sharps. A piece of music may therefore be played in any key, with the greatest facility and fidelity. Three sons of the inventor-simple, well-looking Cumberland lads, perform on the instrument pieces of music in three distinct parts; one playing the melody, the next executing a clever working inner part, and the third the fundamental bass. Its power extends to a compass of five octaves and a half, accompanied by all the semitones, tuned from F below the bass stave to C in
It is now exhibiting at the Royal Musical Library, 75, Lower Grosvenor Street, Bond Street.
furnish, within the space we can properly occupy, anything more than a brief glance.
It is now more than half a century since one of our countrymen, John Harrison, received the parliamentary reward of 20,000l. for the invention of an admirable timepiece, by which the longitude at sea might be ascertained. This man was brought up as a carpenter, but early discovered a taste for mathematical science; in consequence, it is said, of his accidentally meeting with a manuscript copy of some of the lectures of the celebrated Saunderson. Even before he was twenty-one years of age, he had made two wooden clocks, without any instruction in the art, or assistance in the work. Living for some time within sight of the sea, he first thought of constructing marine chronometers; to prosecute his object he proceeded to London, but he had to devote to it the anxious labours of nearly forty years before his inventions were perfected, or their general merit fully allowed.
To the same individual the art of horology owes several valuable improvements; among which may be particularly mentioned the gridiron pendulum, serving to equalize the movements of a clock, and an ingenious compensation-apparatus to
RAILWAYS AND CANALS OF THE UNITED STATES.
regulate those of a watch, under all changes of temperature. They both depend on the alteration under change of temperature of two different metals, which are so arranged, in forming the rod of the pendulum and the circumference of the wheel, that the contraction of the one exactly counterbalances the expansion of the other.
Or to take a similar case. His aunt sitting with him one evening at the tea-table said, " James, I never saw such an idle boy! Take a book, or employ yourself usefully. For the last half-hour you have not spoken a word, but taken off the lid of that kettle and put it on again, holding now a cup, and now a silver spoon, over the steam; watching how it rises from the spout, and catching and counting the drops of water." But in this idle time he was studying the condensation of steam.
In dwelling on similar facts, it ought not to be forgotten that the Cornish miners have often been pointed out as a remarkably observant and intelligent race of men. The colliers have been less noticed; but between them and the actual labourers there have existed several gradations of rank, the humblest often rising to range with the highest.provement, altogether incalculable. The late celebrated Dr. Hutton was originally hewer in Old Long Benton Colliery; Mr. Stephenson, the far-famed railway-engineer, was originally a coal-miner, and so was Thomas Bewick, the father of modern wood-engraving. "I have heard him say," remarks a friend, "that the remotest recollection of his powerful and tenacious memory was that of lying for hours on his side between dismal strata of coal, by a glimmering and dirty candle, plying the pick with his little hands-those hands afterwards destined to elevate the arts, illustrate nature, and promulgate her truths, to the delight and instruction of the moral and intellectual world."
Such was the childhood of one whose genius has exerted, and is still exerting, an amount of influence on society, and in many respects for its im
To conclude these details, we cannot refrain from adding to the instances of ingenuity in humble life now given, the illustrious name of James Watt. M. Arago, in his celebrated memoir, has told us that "Watt attended the elementary public school at Greenock," and adds, "so that the humble grammar-schools of Scotland may boast of having educated the celebrated engineer, in the same way that the College de la Flèche was wont to enumerate Des Cartes." He afterwards states that habitual indisposition interfered with young Watt's regular attendance at this public school, and that for a great part of the year he was confined to his chamber, where he devoted himself to study without any extrinsic aid.
The fact is, that from being so delicate, he was left at home very much to the choice of his own employments. Who will not admire the power of intellect in such a fact as the following?
A gentleman one day calling on Mr. Watt, observed the child bending over a marble hearth, with a piece of coloured chalk in his hand; "Mr. Watt," said he, "you ought to send that boy to a public school, and not allow him to trifle away his time at home." "Look how my child is employed before you condemn him,” replied the father. And what was the result? The visitor then discovered that he had drawn mathematical lines and circles on the earth; and on questioning the boy, he was gratified and astonished at the simplicity, quickness, and intelligence he displayed. Young Watt had been trying to solve a problem in Geometry.
Deeply interested as we are in the improvement of our race, we have taken this brief survey with emotions of indescribable pleasure. Here are some of the triumphs of mind-of mind quickened and invigorated by circumstances of apparently insuperable difficulty. What encouragement is there then to labour for its advancement and enlightenment! Nor, in the contemplation of its struggles and successes, should we fail to derive a powerful stimulus to task to the utmost our own energies and perseverances, when we feel that the path of philanthropy is, as it has always been, rugged, and that sometimes its reward is very long delayed.
RAILWAYS AND CANALS OF THE
PERHAPS hardly any more striking illustration could be produced of the progressive spirit which forms so remarkable a feature of the American character, than the achievements of the people in those classes of public works which tend to increase the facilities of communication from place to place. Located in a country of vast extent, and, compared with our own, of very limited population, the American people are not content to await the ordinary and gradual development of its resources; but, with a rapidity unparalleled elsewhere, they are supplying themselves with those conveniences of civilized life which, in older countries, have not been attained without a long and laborious state of transition. Railways and canals, which, in this country, are seldom formed until the exigencies of traffic appear to call for them, and even then not without many tedious preliminaries, are made in America to anticipate and call into existence the traffic by which they must be supported; and are often projected, commenced, and completed, in little more time than would be requisite, in England, to comply with the formalities of Parliament, and to obtain legislative sanction for the project. The surprise naturally excited by the rapid execution of such works will be increased by taking into consideration the high price of labour, and the comparatively limited amount of capital which our
Transatlantic brethren employ in their formation. | discovery; for at the date of this table-after the In England, an expenditure of from 20,000l. to lapse of barely ten years-they had no less than 50,000l. per mile is usual in the construction of 3,430 miles of railway in operation, and 5,948 miles passenger railways; while, in America, lines are in progress, of which near 2,000 miles were on the laid down, fit for working at a speed not greatly eve of completion; making a grand total of 9,378 inferior to our own, at a cost of usually not more miles of railway in operation and in progress. Of than 4000/., and very rarely exceeding 10,000l. per the lines now in operation by far the greater part mile. That the American railways are very inferior are worked by locomotive engines; the portion to our own in finish and durability, is evident from worked by horse power being stated at 206 miles. this fact alone; but this circumstance is not out of On the remaining 3,224 miles, 475 locomotive encharacter with the state of rapid progress which gines were in use at the commencement of 1840; distinguishes so wonderfully the people by whom being at the rate of one engine for every 68 miles they are made. The surprising part of the matter of railway. Of these engines it is stated that less is, indeed, not that the great engineering works of than 100 were imported from England; while from North America are as slight and temporary as they 1837 to 1840, during which period one-half of the are, but that many of them should ever have been railways in operation were completed, the number undertaken at all. In allusion to the temporary so imported was not more than ten. To this we character of these works, and the inconsiderate may add the curious fact that American locomocomparison sometimes instituted, apparently to tive engines have been purchased and brought their disadvantage, with those of our own country, into use by one English railway company-the a contemporary has well observed-" Where trade Birmingham and Gloucester. is small, population scattered, capital limited and in urgent demand, the sole object is to open channels of communication at the least possible cost, and in the shortest possible time; solidity is even inconsistent with progression, and tends to check development. But the wooden quay will serve to land the stone with which a pier may be built, and the rough wooden lock enables the projector to fill the canal which then carries at easy cost the materials for more perfect and durable construction, and raises the revenue to pay for it*."
The latest, and apparently the most accurate account of the railways of the United States, with which we are acquainted, has been recently pub- | lished in this country, in a journal devoted principally to railway intelligences. It contains a tabular view of 179 railways; being all that were in progress or in operation in all the states of the Union at the commencement of 1840; showing the dates of their charters, the time of opening, length, cost, and several other particulars. The table itself is too long for transferring to our pages; but some of the accompanying notes will assist in conveying an idea of the energy displayed by the Americans in this department of national industry. From these we learn that the first railway charters in America were granted in 1826; and that the first railway constructed a short line for the conveyance of granite from the quarries of Quincy, Massachusets, was opened for use in 1827. It was not, however, until our own successful experiments on the Liverpool and Manchester railway had established the practicability of rapid locomotion by steam power, that by far the largest and most important class of American railways were called into existence. Since that event the Americans have lost no time in availing themselves to the utmost of the splendid * Athenæum, Sept. 22, 1838.
↑ Herapath's Railway Magazine, May 22, and 29, 1841.
As regards the geographical distribution of railways in the United States, it appears that they have been introduced, more or less, in all the states excepting Missouri and Arkansas. It has been observed that in this, as in all measures of improvement, those states in which slavery exists are far behind the others. Owing to the peculiar circumstances under which many of them have been formed, the construction of railways and canals has been more frequently aided by government in America than elsewhere; yet, out of the whole number of 179 railways, only 16 have been undertaken by state governments; the remainder being made, either with or without the aid of the governments, by about 160 different corporations. The longest line of railway undertaken by a single company is the New York and Erie, which is proposed to be 454 miles long; and the longest completed by a single company is the Wilmington and Raleigh railway, of 161 miles. But in America, as in this country, the railways of several companies are connected, so as to form continuous lines of great extent. Of these the line from Boston to Buffalo, of 517 miles, is described as nearly completed; while another of 544 miles, interrupted only by 60 miles of steam navigation upon the Potomac, extending from New York to Wilmington, is entirely finished.
According to the table before us, the most expensive railway, per mile, yet constructed in America, cost 31,8021. per mile; this being a short line of 7 miles, from New York to Harlem. Taking an approximate estimate of the cost of lines then unfinished, the compiler of this statement gives the total cost of all the lines, finished and in progress, as about 35,500,0001.; or, on an average, 3,7851. per mile. This calculation is, however, probably too low; the estimates of engineers on the other, as well as on this side of the Atlantic, being too fre
quently erroneous. Up to the end of 1839, the sum actually expended was about 20,000,000; being probably less than half the sum expended at that time on the railways of Great Britain, although they extend to little more than 2,000 miles. This great difference may be accounted for by the inferior gradients and curves of the American railways; the circumstance of many of them having but one track; the low value of land; the extensive use of timber in their construction ; and various other circumstances.
many grand works have been executed for improving the navigation of natural channels, by damming up and deepening rivers. To show the immense extent of the water communication obtained by a judicious combination of artificial channels with the rivers of the United States, we need only refer to a continuous line of inland navigation from New York to New Orleans, a distance of 2,702 miles; of which 672 miles consist of canals.
Can we contemplate these wonderful exertions of human energy without the feeling that they are at once the produce and the instruments of a high degree of civilization? North America is indeed a country highly favoured by natural advantages; but in how many other parts of the world are the
cause man himself needs to be improved-to be civilized! A striking contrast is instituted in the "Athenæum," in the article previously quoted from, between the condition of the northern and southern divisions of the New World. "The rivers of South America," it is observed, more than rival those of the North; the soil is more fertile, the climate superior." Let the reader contrast the misery and desolation on the shores of the Parána and the Paraguay, as exhibited by the Messrs. Robertson, with the busy, stirring, enterprizing life on the Ohio and the Mississippi. "The broad surface of the river," says Mr. Robertson, "was undisturbed by any bark; the land was fertile as nature could make it; the climate most salubrious-yet all was still as the grave." "There are," says Mr. Stevenson, "between 40 and 50 steam-boats, varying from 200 to 700 tons register, constantly plying between Buffalo and the several ports on the shores of the lakes." Yet the one country has been for three hundred years in the undisputed possession of the Spaniards, and the other little more than half-a-century under the controlling influence of civilized man. May not the explanation of the difference be looked for in the fact that the one country has been overshadowed by the clouds of ignorance and superstition, while the other has been colonized from a land of Gospel light and Y. civilization?
Respecting the canals of America our information is neither so recent nor so minute; yet it is sufficient to indicate the restless enterprize which urges the people constantly to break up new ground; to develop new sources of wealth; and to do all that art can accomplish for the improve-like capabilities allowed to lie unimproved, bement and extension of the means of intercourse through the length and breadth of their noble country. In Stevenson's "Sketch of the Civil Engineering of North America," published in 1838, the aggregate length of the canals in operation in the United States is shown to be more than 2,700 miles. Of these and the railways Mr. Stevenson observes that their extent appears the more wonderful from the circumstance that many of them "are carried for miles in a trough, as it were, cut through thick and almost impenetrable forests, where it is no uncommon occurrence to travel for a whole day without encountering a village, or even a house, excepting perhaps a few log-huts inhabited by persons connected with the works." The most extensive independent line of canal in North America is the Erie canal, which was commenced about 1817, and finished in 1825. It is 363 miles long, and cost about 1,400,000l.; or, including its branches, 543 miles, and total cost 2,300,000l. When this gigantic work was projected, only two small undertakings of similar character had been executed in the United States; and the scheme was considered by many to be quite chimerical. Even Jefferson pronounced it to be "at least a century in advance of the age." This work was executed by the state of New York; and, four years after its commencement, the prospective revenues were estimated by the comptroller of the state at 150,000 dollars annually for the first ten years; whereas the actual income during that period exceeded 10,000,000 of dollars! Even its far-seeing projector, Gouverneur Morris, in a memorial to the legislature, asked if it would be deemed extravagant to predict that the canal would, within twenty years, bring down 250,000 tons annually. In 1836, the canal actually brought down 696,347 tons; and the total tonnage, both ways, was more than 1,300,000. The still rapidly increasing traffic on the Erie canal was considered, in 1838, to justify its enlargement from 40 to 60 or 70 feet in width, and from 4 to 7 feet in depth. In addition to the still-water canals of America,
BISHOP OF WINCHESTER'S ESTIMATE OF THE NIGER EXPEDITION. THE Niger Expedition is certainly one of the most interesting expeditions which ever sailed from this land, and to which, perhaps, we may look with more of hope and Christian interest than to any other in ancient or modern times. There are three points which impart to this expedition some peculiar and appropriate distinctions.
It sets out from our shores with something of a national character attached to it; for if its expenso
be not entirely defrayed by the nation, it is an important feature in the undertaking, that it has been projected as it were under the national sanction.
Again, it goes forth from our land not simply as an expedition of colonization, nor as an expedition
of commerce, nor as an expedition of inquiry, nor as an expedition for conquest or for aggrandizement, nor with the view of promoting any of those other objects on which men in general love to spend their time and money, but for a higher object and with a holier design-for the purpose of spreading the knowledge of the Gospel of liberty
But there is yet another feature, which, in my mind, especially commends this expedition to the interest and prayers of every Christian. It goes forth, led by commanders and manned by crews whose hearts are in entire sympathy with its object. In that simple fact, we have the best ground for hoping for the highest and holiest results from this expedition, and I cannot neglect this opportunity of commending it, in an especial manner, to the prayers of every friend of our beloved country, of this institution, and of Christianity.
FRENCH BIBLE SOCIETY.
THE issues of the French Bible Society, in the course of the last year, have been 18,999 Bibles and 41,268 Testaments. The Society has carried through the press, in the same period, 17,593 Bibles, and 38,362 Testaments; its receipts have amounted to little short of £4000 sterling, and its expenses have been a little above that sum.
The Society has begun to print the Bible in the Sechuana language, translated by their missionaries in South Africa; it has also produced this year, for the first time, trying to imitate what is so common in this land, a very small pocket Bible. The word of God has been distributed to various classes of persons, to the Spanish who have come over as exiles into France, to the seamen in our ports, to prisoners both under condemnation and those waiting trial, and to the military.
In one of the great towns, when the young conscripts were ready to go into garrison, an agent of the Society asked permission of the officer to distribute Testaments to his men: the permission was granted, the Testaments were distributed, and the young soldiers went off, each with a New Testament in his knapsack. It has also begun printing the Bible for the blind; it was felt incumbent upon it to try to enlighten them with that light which is better than the light of day-the light of Him who calls himself the light, the truth, and the way. The Gospel according to St. Mark is finished.
"WE very much want the quickset here to make our fences; there is no thorn to substitute for this valuable plant indigenous to New Zealand; and the post and rail, the only effectual fence for keeping out cattle, is too expensive to be used to a great extent. I have requested a friend to send me a bushel of the seed of the quickset, and you would confer a benefit on the colony by promoting its introduction. If every colonist intending to farm were to provide himself with a good supply of the seed, we should soon naturalize the quickset here; its growth is very rapid, and in two years it would make a sufficient hedge. The missionary house at the Bay of Islands is surrounded by a hedge of sweetbriar, grown from seed; and I am told its growth is luxuriant.”
THE NELSON COLONY.
Extract of a speech by the Rev. Dr. Hinds, delivered to the emigrants previously to their departure, on the 17th September: "You are on the point of quitting your old country, your old
homes, your old friends, to find, I trust, in that New World to
which you are going, more than enough to repay you for all the sacrifices which you have the courage to make. But pray recollect, that there is at least one sacred tie which I do hope will always bind you to all of us whom you are leaving behind you -the religion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.-You are not going to an uninhabited country; you are taking with you the light which God has given you to the poor benighted heathen, who are the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand. Fulfil God's intention, and endeavour to civilize and to Chris tianize them. Do it by the Christian life you lead amongst them. Do it by showing them that Christ does not make men spirit-sellers, and spirit-drinkers, debauched and reprobate ; but sober, honest, and industrious. Your responsibility is very great; you are going forth to be the founders of a new country; and as your settlement is to be called by the name of our illustrious Nelson, let me say to you in his words, “England expects that every man will do his duty." Let me say-" CHRISTIAN England expects that every one of you will do his duty to God as well as to her."
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