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in the night-time, to a distance of many miles. materials are supplied from above, and through an opening at the bottom the melted iron is, from time to time, run off into moulds of sand. Here it cools in the form of short bars called pigs. This pig iron is also called cast iron, and may be again converted, by various processes of melting and hammering, into malleable iron, which differs from cast iron in being softer and more tenacious. Steel is a compound of iron with carbon; it is prepared by embedding bars of malleable iron in powdered charcoal, and exposing them for many hours to an intense heat.
Of the importance of iron in commerce and the arts it is not easy to form an adequate conception. It is extensively employed in war as well as in the pursuits of peace. Swords, sabres, and bayonets, are made of iron in the form of steel. Showers of iron shot and shell, discharged by cannon and mortars of iron, spread death on many a battlefield. And on the sea, if not on land, it affords also the chief means of defence. Iron monsters of invulnerable strength are fast taking the place of our "wooden walls." But the same substance is also formed into many objects tending to unite mankind into one great community of friends. Railways are now so numerous, that the quantity of iron required for these extraordinary creations of our time is immense. Add to this the thousands of miles of iron pipes for the distribution of water and gas in our towns; the bridges, pillars, railings, and balconies; the chains, wire-ropes, and wire for every conceivable purpose; the iron bedsteads for hospitals, barracks, and private houses; the grates, stoves, fire-irons, and culinary vessels; the ploughs, scythes, spades, and agricultural implements of every variety; machinery of all kinds; tools for every species of handicraft; horse-shoes and tires of wheels; springs of all sorts, from the ponderous and powerful springs of railway carriages to the feather springs of our chronometers and watches; and the countless myriads of nails, screws, needles, and articles of cutlery of every description.
It is a very fortunate circumstance, that in most cases
the ironstone, and the coal necessary for smelting it, are found in the same locality. The coalfields of central Scotland, Staffordshire, and South Wales, supply a large proportion of the iron produced in the United Kingdom. Indeed, these two minerals, coal and iron, form together one of the chief sources of our country's greatness. If Providence has denied us mines of gold, there is ample compensation in these rougher substances, and in the admirable sagacity, a much richer present of the Creator, which enables us to turn His gifts to so good account.
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION.
When are metals said to be native? What is an ore? an alloy? an amalgam? Name the most important metals. Where do we get platinum? Describe it. What is it used for? Where do we get most of our gold? For what qualities is gold remarkable? Why is it well suited for coinage? What is the principal ore of mercury? Where does silver occur native? For what purposes is it used? From what ores is silver obtained? How is it separated from them? Why is it suitable for domestic articles? Does copper occur native? Where? From what ores is it obtained? What is it used for? What alloys of copper are important? Where are there tin mines? What is the chief ore of lead? What is lead used for? Which is the most important of the metals? Describe its ores. Which ore of iron is chiefly worked in Sweden? in Russia? in Britain? How is the iron separated from its ores? Distinguish between cast iron, malleable iron, and steel. What are meant by pigs of iron? Show that iron is very useful.
HORATIO NELSON, England's greatest naval hero, was the fourth son of the Rev. Edmund Nelson, rector of Burnham Thorpe, in Norfolk, where Horatio was born in 1758. He received his early education first at Norwich, and next at North Walsham; but in his twelfth year he became a midshipman under his uncle, Captain Suckling, of the "Raisonable." Soon after this he sailed to the West Indies in a merchant ship, and on his return was admitted on board the "Carcass," one of the vessels sent on an expedition to the North Pole, under the orders of Captain Phipps. In 1777 he obtained the rank of lieutenant, and in 1779 that of post-captain.
At the commencement of the war with France he was nominated to the "Agamemnon" of 64 guns, on board of
which he sailed to the Mediterranean, and was at the taking of Toulon. He was also present at the siege of Bastia, where he served at the batteries with a body of seamen; and while thus employed he lost an eye. While on that station his daring intrepidity and unceasing activity were such, that his name was dreaded throughout the shores of the Mediterranean. In 1796 he was appointed commodore on board "La Minerve." Soon after this he descried the Spanish fleet, and steered with the intelligence to Sir John Jervis, off St. Vincent. He had scarcely done so when the enemy hove in sight, and a close action ensued, in which Commodore Nelson greatly distinguished himself, having boarded and captured no fewer than three of the enemy's ships. For his share in this glorious victory, the commodore was honoured with the order of the Bath; and having soon afterwards hoisted his flag as rear-admiral of the blue, he was appointed to command the inner squadron at the blockade of Cadiz.
The next exploit in which he was engaged was an attempt to take possession of Teneriffe; which design failed, and Nelson lost his right arm by a cannon-shot, and narrowly escaped with his life by the devotion of his step-son, Captain Nisbet, who carried him off on his back to a boat, after lying senseless and exhausted for several hours upon the ground. In 1798 he was sent up the Mediterranean, to watch the progress of the armament at Toulon, destined for the conveyance of Buonaparte and his army to Egypt. Notwithstanding the strictest vigilance, this fleet found means to escape, but was followed by Nelson, and, after various disappointments, traced to the bay of Aboukir. Here he commenced an immediate attack, and by a manœuvre of equal boldness and ability, sailed between the enemy and the land, though exposed to a double fire. The result was a victory so glorious and decisive, that all the French vessels, with the exception of two men-of-war and two frigates, were taken or destroyed. This achievement was rewarded with the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile, and an additional pension of £2000, besides the estate and duke
dom of Bronte in Sicily, and high honours conferred by the Turkish Sultan. On his return to England he was received with enthusiastic joy, and was created Viscount.
In 1803, hostilities again recommencing with France, he sailed for the Mediterranean, and took the command of that station on board the "Victory." Notwithstanding all his vigilance, the French fleet escaped from Toulon, and was joined by that of Cadiz; of which being apprised, he pursued them to the West Indies with a far inferior force. The combined squadrons, struck with terror, returned without effecting anything; and Admiral Nelson, after visiting England, again joined his fleet off Cadiz. The French under Admiral Villeneuve, and the Spaniards under Gravina, ventured out with a number of troops on board, Oct. 19, 1805, and on the 21st, about noon, the action began off Cape Trafalgar. Lord Nelson ordered his ship, the "Victory," to be carried alongside his old antagonist, the "Santissima Trinidada," where he was exposed to a severe fire of musketry; and not taking the precaution to cover his coat, which was decorated with his star and other badges of distinction, he became an object for the riflemen placed purposely in the tops of the "Bucentaur," which lay on his quarter. In the middle of the engagement, a musket-ball struck him on the left shoulder, and passing through the spine, lodged in the muscles of his back. He lived just long enough to be acquainted with the number of ships that had been captured, and his last words were, "I have done my duty; I praise God for it."
The mighty spirit of Nelson was epitomised in the signal which he hoisted on commencing this action-" England expects that every man will do his duty!"-a sentence that not only testified the pure Spartan love of country which animated his own breast, but proved the philosophical tact which inspired him to strike upon the strongest chord that could vibrate in every surrounding bosom. His remains were brought to this country, and buried with unprecedented honours in St. Paul's cathedral, where a suitable monument has been erected to his memory.
DEATH OF NELSON.
THE death of Nèlson' was felt in England! as something more than a public calamity; mén started at the intélligence, and turned pale, as if they had heard of the loss of a dear friend. An object of our admirátion and affèction, of our pride and of our hópes, was suddenly taken from us; and it seemed as if we had never till then known' how deeply we loved and rèverenced him. What the country had lost in its great naval héro-the greatest of our own and of all fórmer times-was scarcely taken into the account of grief. So pèrfectly, indeed, had he performed his párt, that the màritime war, after the battle of Trafalgar, was considered at an end. The fleets of the enemy were not merely deféated, but destroyed; new návies must be built, and a new race of seamen réared for them, before the possibility of their invading our shores could again be contemplated. It was not, therefore, from any sèlfish reflection upon the magnitude of our lóss that we mourned for him: the géneral sorrow was of a higher character. The people of England grieved that funeral ceremonies, and public mònuments, and posthumous rewards, were all that they could now bestow upon hím' whom the king, the lègislature, and the nation' would have alike delighted to honour; whom every tongue would have blessed; whose prèsence, in every village through which he might have passed, would have wakened the church-bells, have given school-boys a holiday, have drawn children from their spòrts to gáze upon him, and old men from the chimney-córner' to look upon Nélson ere they died. . . . There was reason to suppòse, from the appearances upon opening his body, that, in the course of náture, he might have attained, like his father, to a good old age. Yet he cannot be said to have fallen prematurely, whose work was done; nor ought hè to be lamented, who died so full of honours, and at the height of human fàme. The most triumphant death' is that of the màrtyr; the most áwful, that of the martyred patriot; the most spléndid, that of the hero in the hour of victory ;-and if the chariot and