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-range of hills. The common people of Teesdale have long known it by the name of the spring violet. N. J. W. GENti ANA amarella. On Boxhill and Ryegate hill, Surrey. Var. 8. About Settle, Yorkshire; Mr. Windsor. Var. Fl. Alb. Crag close, near Barwesford, Northumberland. N. J. W. GENTIANA campestris. On St. Anthony hill, Bath; Mr. Thompson.--About Giggleswick Tarn, Yorkshire; Mr. Windsor. -o-onTo the Editor of the Monthly Magazine, SIR, REVIOUS to the opening of the late show of fat cattle in Goswell-street,

Mr. William Geeves, grazier, of Hendon, Middlesex, Mr. William Giblett, grazier, of Mickleford Hall, Hertfordshirs, and Mr. John Harrison, butcher, of Great Tower-street, London, the three judges appointed by the Smithfield Club, ininutely inspected all the animals, and the certificates of their breeds, ages, and feeding, and awarded the prizes; and since then the butchers who killed these animals have made their return to me as follows," viz.

* See a similar account last year, vol. 35, p. 31.

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The premiums offered by the club for the show next December, do not differ in number or amount from those of the last : but they will be distributed, not in money, but in such articles of ornamental, or useful plate, as the candidates may chuse, and on which appropriate inscriptions will be engraven. The certificates are to be sent to my house, eight days before the show, from which a part of the first day is to be curtailed, in order that the animals may not stand so long in the yard, which in some cases injures them. All these regulations are fully stated, in bills that are left for distribution with Mr. Mitchel, draper, No. 7, Cloth Fair, Smithfield Market; and at the new Agricultural Repository in Winsley-street, Oxford-street. Feb. 9, 1814. Joh N FAREY, Sec. -*rosFor the Monthly Magazine. On so EAM ENGINE PASSAGE BOATs, or PACKETs; by MR. RALPII DoDD, Engoneer. HAT is it that cannot be effected by steam, when scientifically applied, where power is wanted As to the public convenience and utility of steam-boats, or ackets, it is a 'most unnecessary to make any remark, for the use of well-informed persons; because it is one of those things that must strike and claim the attention of any intelligent mind; any one travelling on the line of country where used, that wishes to pass reasonably and expeditiously, at less expence than by and carriage, and without fatigue; for, of all other modes of traveiling, this is the most pleasant and comfortable. No danger of breaking down carriages; no dusty roads in summer, nor dirty in winter. In short, their cabins below are like sitting rooms; their tables are strewed with papers, monthly publications, and books of amusement; so that no one can duly appreciate their comfort and convenience, but those that have travelled in them. For the information of those who are unacquainted with it, it may be necessary to state, that most of the principal rivers in North America are navigated by these steam-boats:–one of them passes 2000 miles, on the great river Mississippi, in 21 days, at the rate of five miles an hour, against the descending current, which is perpetually running down. This steam-boat is 126 feet in length, and carries 460 tons, at a very shallow draft of water, only 2 feet 6 inches, and carries, from New Orleans,

Mr. Dodd on $eam-Engine Passage Boats.

[April 1, whole ships’ cargoes into the interior of the country, as well as passengers. The city of New York alone possesses seven steam-boats, for commerces and passcngers; to name only one or two of theti, that from thence to Albany, on the north river, passes 130 miles, then (after about 45 miles of land carriage) to Lake Champplain, you may enter another steam boat, that will take you about 200 miles, to near Montreal, between which place and Quebec, a British steam-boat, 140 feet in length, is constantly passing, and usually goes down in 28 hours, but sometimes in only 24, although the distance is 180 miles; and, in returning, she is seldom more than 12 or 15 hours additional time, although the stream is almost constantly running against her, with great velocity, so peculiar to the river St. Lawrence, in North America. This boat, in the last year, was found of the greatest service to the British government, in carrying troops and stores, with greater ease and dispatch than possibly can be effected by land. And it is here certainly worthy of remark, that in the late expedition of Admiral Sir John Borlas Warren, up the Potomac river, chasing the enemy, they, keeping their ships at a prudent distance from ours, sent one of their steamboats, directly against the wind, so as to be just without gun shot, and reconnoitred our fleet. This fact is mentioned, because it is presumed that it is the first instance where they have been applied to such purposes. The steam-boats used at present in our own island, are a sufficient demonstration of their utility : it will only be necessary to mention those working on the river Braydon, between Yarmouth and Norwich ; and on the river Clyde, between Glasgow and Greenock, which boats, on this latter station, often beat the snail between the two places, and arealways certain to time, let the wind or tide be what way it may. It would occupy too considerable a space in your Magazine, to enter into the merits of those steam-boats, now building and preparing in the rivers Tyne, Thames, and Medway; particularly those with patent, simplified apparatus, for the use of rivers, to pass coastwise, and for short runs of passages over to the Continent; but it is necessary to state, from most mature and deliberate experiments, that some of these steamboats, or packets, with patent apparatus, are so constructed, that they can carry , - soil,

1814.1

sail, and perform all the manoeuvres of other vessels at sea, when the wind is in their favour, and when against them, by furling all their sails, pass right in the wind's eye with velocity; thus continuing their passages in a straight line, while other vessels are obliged to tack, to and fro, and make but little progress to their desired point; and these possess the best accommodation for passengers, and are always certain to beat other vessels only under canvas, because they can use both their sails and machinery at one time, giving them additional velocity through the water; which, to a reflective mind, must evince their great utility ; because, except in storms and gates of wind, they can always pursue their passages straight forward, rendering them shorter and more certain than the present system, which is of the first importance to coinmercial countries. r I cannot help stating what once occurred to me, in my return from the Continent of America, in a swift-sailing packet; we made the entrance of the British channel in twenty-one days; but, detained by light, contrary winds, we were nearly as long in gaining a port. Here a few hours scientific application of steam would have given the muchdesired port of safety, and have saved the expence of near three weeks wear and tear to the labouring vessel. Intelligent minds and lovers of their country’s improvements will say, Then, surely, all our packets ought to possess patent steam apparatus, that, in times like these, they might use them, as well as add to the speed of their sailing, when applied, making their passage by sea 'more certain, and of less duration; thereby rendering the intercourse between our own island and other countries more easy, frequent, and inviting. I have much pleasure in seeing, what I more than two years since wrote and published, on the adoption on the rivers in this country of packet-boats, is now beginning to be realized on many of them. Batson's, Cornhill, Feb. 28.

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Hints for the general Diffusion of Science.

219

ing, when the ignorance and superstitiou of former ages shall be dispelled, and the gates of the temple of science be thrown open to all ; when the great mass of mankind shall no longer gaze on the sublime phenomena of nature with timid and superstitious emotions, but shall investigate their causes and contemplate their effects with the calm dignity of the philosophic sage; when they “bail no longer consider the world as extending little farther than the range of their visihe horizon, but shall extend their views to distant nations, and continents, and even to distant worlds; contemplating this earthly ball, as only an inconsiderable part of the fabric of the universe, where worlds unnumbered are dispersed throughout the immensity of space;— when, in fine, they shall apply their knowledge of the laws and operations of nature, to the improvement of the liberai and mechanical arts, to the promotion of agriculture and manufactures, to a greater extent than has hitherto been attempted; and to the general amelioration of human life and society. In one word, when they shall conduct thenselves in all the offices and relations of life as rational thinking beings. Notwithstanding the numerous associations for the diffusion of general knowledge, peculiar to our age and country, it has always appeared to me matter of regret, that scientific and literary societies have been chiefly confined to the capitals, and a very few of the principal towns of the British empire. Though most of the societies to which I allude are highly respectable, and have long enlightened the world with their researches and discoveries, yet their influence has, hitherto, been too much colifined to the higher circles of society, to the learned professions, and to those individuals who have acquired a certain degree of iterary same. The persons admissible as members into such societies, are circumscribed within a very narrow circle; the ingenious tradesman and mechanic, however desirous they may be of prosecuting scientific pursuits, and however well qualified they inay sometimes be for adding to the store of useful knowledge, are seldom admitted into such associations, And, if report be true, several of the oldest and most respectable societies have, of late years, paid more respect to the rank of the persons proposed as members, than to their scientific acquirements. It is therefore an object much to be desired, that literary and philosophical societies be - formed

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formed on a more extensive scale, and on , liberal and enlightened principles, which shall have for their object, not only the discovery of new facts and prineipies, in arts and sciences, but also the more extensive diffusion of those discoveries which have already been made; and to which ingenious persons in the middling and lower ranks of life may be admitted ; where the only qualifications for admission shall be a certain portion of intellectual capacity and acquirements, and an ardent desire after knowledge. Till this object be in some measure accomplished,—till societies for the promotion of science become far more numerous than they are at present, and persons of every rank have access to mingle in such associations, we can scarcely expect that knowledge will be generally diffused among the great body of mankind. In order to the extensive establishment of such societies, little more is requisite than that the attention of men of learning and intelligence be directed to this object, and a conviction of its utility he produced in their minds. As in most towns and populous villages there are generally some persons of respectability devoted to the interests of science, their recommendations and exertions might have great influence in leading to the formation of such institutions, and although, at first, the number attending such meetings would be small, and their operations feeble, yet in the course of time, when their objects and advantages became generally known, they would soon encrease in respectability and in number. It is well known, that most of the scientific associations which now exist, arose from small beginnings, to that elevated rank which they now hold in the learned world. Even the Royal Society of London, which has contributed so much to enlarge the boundaries of science, at first consisted of only a few individuals who met in a private lodging, and were for some time known by the appellation of, “The Invisible or Philosophical College;” yet its fame has now extended to almost every quarter of the civilized world. Nor need there be any fear of a competent number of persons being found in every considerable town and village, to compose such societies; as there are, in the present day, numbers in the middle, and even in the lower ranks of the community, who privately prosecute literary and scientific objects unknown to the bulk of mankind around them, and who only require the existence

Iliffusion of Knowledge by Literary Societies. [April 1,

of such institutions as a stimulus to their further progress and exertions. Much might, perhaps, also be done in accomplishing the object now proposed by enlightened clergymen, and the members of these respectable societies which have already been formed, by their patronising such establishments, presiding at their organization, suggesting regulations to direct their procedure, and by occasionally honouring them with their presence. Nor would it be unworthy the attention of government to patronise such societies, and even to advance a simall sum towards their establishment; for an enlightened population is certainly the most solid basis of a good government, and the greatest security for its permanence. Though an enlightened people will never be slaves, nor tamely submit to tyrannical measures, they will always form the strongest bulwark around a wise and upright administration. In the event of a general peace, which we now anxiously expect, it would be a happy consummation of those political contests which have so long desolated the surrounding nations, were the rulers of Europe to turn their attention from the pursuits of war, to the extensive establishment of those institutions which have for their object the enlightening of the minds, and the melioration of the morals and the domestic comforts of mankind. It might, in some measure, compensate for the numerous train of evils which has flowed from the protracted system of warfare in which they have been engaged, and be the happy mean of ushering in that period foretoid in ancient prophecy, when “the nations shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and learn the art of war no more.” The following, among other advantages, would, in all probability, arise from the extensive establishment of such societies as now suggested. 1. They would serve to unite and concentrate the scattered rays of genius, which might otherwise be dissipated, and enable them to act with combined vigour and energy in the discovery and the propagation of useful knowledge. 2. They would tend to the rapid promotion of general science. For if the labours of those societies which already exist, have produced a powerful effect on the progress of science, much more might be expected were their number encreased to sixty or an hundred fold. As science is chiefly founded, on facts, in proportion to the number of persons engaged in the * of

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1814.] them, with a view to establish scientific principles, in a similar proportion might we-expect that the number of such facts would be encreased, from which new and inportant conclusions might be deNor ought it to be objected, that little could be expected from the observations of persons in the lower ranks of life, who are chiefly engaged in manual labour; as they have frequently opportunities of making observations on certain natural phenomena and processes of art, which often escape the notice of observers of a superior rank; and I am fully convinced, that many useful observations of this kind have been lost to the scientific world, for want of being communicated and recorded. 3. They would tend to produce an extensive diffusion of rational information among the general mass of society, particularly among those in the inferior walks of life. By the discussion of interesting questions, and the occasional delivery of popular lectures in those societies, to which the public at large might be occasionally admitted, much useful information might

be disseminated among the general body

of the community. By this means, those narrow conceptions, those superstitious notions and vain fears, which so generally prevail among the lower classes, might be gradually removed; and a variety of useful hints and rational views suggested, which would tend to elevate and ennoble the mind, and promote domestic convenicnce and comfort. Hence would naturally follow, 4. That a taste for intellectual pleasures, and much rational enjoyment would be produced, in which those hours generally spent in Histlessness, in foolish amusements, and in the pursuits of dissipation, might be profitably employed; and consequently the sum of general happiness would be greatly augmented. In fine, they could not fail, if properly conducted, to produce a benign influence on the state of morals and of general society. When the inhabitants of a country are taught to employ their rational powers on ebjects worthy of their pursuit; when, by this means, ignorance retires, erroneous opinions vanisii, and the rays of truth irradiate the mind, the most important results may be expected to take place. As vice is the natural offspring of ignorance, so true virtue can only flow from elevated and enlightened principles; and where such principles exist, their operation, in a greater or less degree, will always appear. The habits of order,

inctuality, and politeness, which would

Monthly MAs, N9, 353.

Omission of true Time in Almanacks.

221 prevail in such associations, would naturally be carried into the other relations and departments of life, and produce their corresponding effects. The frequent intercourse of ocn of different parties and professions, associated for the purpose of promoting one common object, would gradually vanquish those mutual prejudices and jealousies which too frequently exist, ever, in cultivated minds; and a fiberal, a candid, and humane spirit, would be cherished and promoted. Society would thus acquire a new polish, and wear a different aspect from what it, now exhibits in the inferior ranks of Hife; more especially, if the means above suggested be combined with the operation. of Christian principles. Though the beneficial effects now stated, could not be expected to take place all of a sudden on the accomplishment of the object now proposed, yet in the course of time they would undoubtedly be realised to a certain extent, and would form a new aera in the progress of knowledge and of civilization.—Should the above general thoughts be acceptable, some more specific details in reference to such societies as above suggested, shall afterwards be communicated. Methven, Perthshire,

March 4, 1814. T. DICK. -orTo the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

SI R, Yo: correspondent Mr. Mars wishes to be informed the reason why our aimanack-writers continue to make use of the apparent time for the Sun's rising and setting, instead of the true : i\,, or that shown isy a well-regułated cock cr watch. He very justly censures this practice, and clearly points out the impropriety of continuing it in our commich alonahacks. Although, as Mr. Marsh well observes, oost of these onhual publications contain f.o.bies of the equation of tone, yet very few readers know any thing of the proper oppiication of the in ; and if they did, I see no reason why the public should have the trouble of correcting the calculations of astronomiers, when it could be more easily done by the coopilers.

Co. sidering into whose hands such publications sail, they ought to be written in the plainest manner, and alj the calcolatiotis should be adapted to the measure of time in common use. But the sale of most, if not all the almānacks i.eing monopolized by the Stationers’ Company, who, he supposed, are chiefly guided by pecuniary views; and the per2 G 50 a

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