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the course of their hundred and eighteen As every grain of sand tends to check miles of transit under the cloud of night ? the advance of the ocean, so every moveAnd what is the practice, in general, of ment of animal life tends to promote the the company, on this head? Are any circulation of the universe. Heat and of their other trains suitably provided cold are, as every one knows, sensations; with buffers ? Or if not, what experi but they are sensations caused by differments or trials have they made, with a ent dispositions of matter, as we may see view to ascertain the best plan of so by their effects on substances which are protecting them ? All these are ques devoid of sensation. The sensation of tions which ought to have been put at heat is caused by the motion of matter in the inquest on the bodies of the persons the form of heat; and the sensation of killed, but were not ; and it is the more cold, by the presence of more of the firnecessary, therefore, that they should be mamental fluid, or “medium of space," put now, and distinct answers obtained. than the vital energy can convert into If we might give full credence to an heat with sufficient rapidity. assertion made by Mr. Saunders, that If animal life were extinct, the motion "every precaution that could be thought of the universe would cease, although the of to ensure punctuality and safety, has time for its entire cessation might be of been adopted by the directors," there long duration. Of course I mean mewould be no need to push enquiry, any chanically—that is, without reference to farther ; but we have just mentioned two the power of the Almighty. Surely all very necessary and excellent "safety” sensations are the effects of the action of plans which have been “thought of," matter, or the recollection of the effects but neither of which has, to a certainty,

of such action. It is useless in this world been “ adopted ;” and we doubt, exceed to pretend to frec ourselves from matter; ingly, whether it is in the power of the matter must be the stepping-stone to anGreat Western Directors to show that other sphere, whatever other assistance any better plan, or indeced any plan we may require. The immaterial I prewhatever, has been "adopted" by them, sume not to discuss. A white leaf and a having the same essential object in view black dye might express all the wonders --namely, the protection of passengers of creation. The firmamental fluid, or from destruction or injury in cases of “medium of space,” with an atom, can collision. We believe that it is quite account for them. Under this view of within the limits of mechanical practi things Alfonzo “the Wise" would never cability, to render all such collisions have said, “If he had been consulted in harmless; and we can never hold any the creation, he would have made the company free from serious blame, which universe more simply." does not use its best exertions to do so.

Your obedient Servant,

E, A. M.

Dec, 22, 1841. MEDIUM OF SPACE.” Sir,-So many disputes arise from a want of agreement in the meaning of terms, that I am induced to make the following

STEAM NAVIGATION OF THE ATLANTIC

ТИЕ RIVAL BRISTOL AND LIVERPOOL observations respecting the term, “Me.

LINES. dium of space," in Mr. Pasley's last communication. Practician may be a better [We copy the following historical retroterm than practitioner, and Medium spect from our excellent provincial contemof space" may be a better term than porary, the Bristol Magazine. Although not firmamental fluid,but in both cases,

free from the exaggeration of colouring com

mon to all local effusions having for their do not both terms imply the same things ?

object the exaltation of local achievements Is not “the medium of space" " the

and interests, we consider it to be true in the freezing principle," so long inquired

main, and eminently deserving, on public about by philosophers? Would it be

grounds, of the attention of the public at possible for motion to occur within it, if

large. To say how cordially we assent to all it did not itself undergo a chemical that is here said, in praise of the Great change? And is there in nature any Western and her performances, would be only thing capable of producing this physical to repeat what we have before more than change, but the friction attendant on life? once said on the subject; but we may be ex.

66

THE TERM

STEAM NAVIGATION OF THE ATLANTIC.

9

cused, perhaps, for reminding our contemporary, who claims for Bristol exclusively the entire merit of all this vessel has accomplished, tbat her machinery, to which, more than any tbing else, her pre-eminent success has been owing, were of London make, and, (at first, at least, if not to this day) worked by London engineers.-ED. M. M.]

It will be fresh in the remembrance of many persons, tbat, previous to the starting of the Great Western on her first Trans-Atla stie trip, the idea of establishing steam communication regularly with the United States was held, very generally, to be a pure cbimera ; and a high scientific authority was understood to have stated in his lectures, that it never could be accomplished. During the time the Great Western was on the stocks, however, other parties, seeing the grand scale on which the attempt was to be made in Bristol, resolved to endeavour to eclipse it, by enlargiog on the same plan in London, Thus the British and American Steam Navi. gation Company was formed; and, in order to deprive Bristol of the honour of being first in the field, they chartered one of the largest and most powerful steamers then in the world—the Sirius, of 700 tons, and 320borse-power-a proportion, be it observed, which by ordinary calculation ought to have given her greater speed than the Great Western. This vessel was ostensibly put on to pre-occupy the ground for the British Queen, which was then building, and being seot round to Cork at the latter end of March, 1837, under the command of Lieut. Roberts, R.N., who was subsequently lost in the President,-she sailed thence for New York on the 4th of April, with a fine N.E. wind, and three days afterwards the Great Western started from Bristol for the same port, with a gale of wind " in her teeth," and with 240 miles further to run than the Sirius. Under these circumstances, it was not within the bounds of probability, in the absence of accident to either, that the Great Western could overtake the Sirius, and accordingly the latter did reach New York first, having arrived on the evening of the 22nd of April at New York, after a passage of eighteen days from Cork, and early the following morning the Great Western was reported, having arrived from Bristol in fifteen and a half days. Thus establishing her superiority so triumphantly, that the interest of the enterprize was speedily transferred to her; and it was evident to all, that no kiod of comparison could be made between the suitableness of the two vessels for traversing the Atlantic. The voyage of the Sirius proved little or nothing; the distance between Ireland and New York had often been run by sailing vessels in less time tban eighteen days, though perhaps scarcely

ever on the outward passage. But, outward or homeward, no one ever heard of the distance between Bristol and New York being accomplished in fifteen days; and it was the Great Western atone, therefore, which even tben established the entire success of the attempt.

Several competitors, entered the field, and two other steam-boats besides the Sirius started about the time of the Great Western, and managed to get across the Atlantic; but these either never repeated the attempt, or they gradually dropped off, while the Great Western still pursued “ the even tenor of her way." Public attention, however, was in some measure diverted from the Great Western by the gigantic preparations of the British and American Steam Navigation Company, who appeared determined that her glories should be speedily eclipsed, or lost in the splendour of their own achievements. Wbat Bristol had accomplished with such apparent facility, must be still more easy to London and Liverpool ; and shortly afterwards the British Queen, and then the Great Liverpool, and the President, successively entered the lists, and disputed with her the supremacy of the Atlantic Ocean. In the mean time the attention of tbe government was attracted to the importance of establishing a mail communication by steam with the British Possessions in America ; and it is understood that the Great Western Steam Ship Company offered for the contract, on terms very favourable to the Post Office Establishment. Whether it arose from the difficulty of impressing the government with the idea that any thing excellent, in the way of enterprise, could originate io Bristol or not, we cannot say, but without, we believe, any intermediate communication with the proprietary of the Great Western, some addi. tional conditions were tagged to the proposals, which probably if they had been made aware of them, they would cheerfully have complied with, and the contract for the transmission of the British Mails, by way of Halifax and Boston, was given to a Liverpool house-who were to build vessels we know not how much superior to the Great Western—at an expense to the country of fifteen thousand a-year more than the Great Western Company required, and which bas since been increased to thirtyfive thousand a-year.

While these vessels are in preparation the competition on the Atlantic takes place, and the proprietors of the proud steam-ships, who scarcely thought it a compliment to hear them spoken of as rivals of the Great Western, were not long in discovering that to build a steam-vessel that should successfully contend with ber for the palm of excellence, was not quite so easy as they had imagined.

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The government contractors proceeded to carry out the terms of their agreement, and four large steamers, on the most approved models, were constructed for the purpose, with less bulk and greater power than the Great Western, from which it was expected that an increase of velocity and more punctuality would be secured ; and against these vessels, wbich run to Halifax and Boston, with eighty thousand Q-year of the public money to back them, the Great Western has had to compete singlehanded for the last two seasons.

We do not wish to institute any invidious comparisons ; but something is due to justice, and there are a few statistical facts connected with this subject which might form the ground of a curious enquiry. In the first place, the Great Western proprietary might reasonably have expected, without the slightest approach to anything like presumption, that our own government would feel some interest in the success of an undertakiog which appeared to have attracted the sympathies of the whole civilized world. When it was understood that the Great Western had finally departed for America the press of Europe was occupied with the sub. ject, and as the time approacbed for her return, nations stood on tip-loe awaiting the event. We need not dwell on the enthusiasm which seemed to pervade society at large on her successful returo: it was like a national congratulation,—the wioning of another battle of Waterloo, without its horrors. Again and again the experiment was repeated, and always with the same success; and when in the wide world she had not a competitor, and the Government saw the expediency of dispatching our North American mails by steam, what was more to be expected than that it would rejoice to throw in its powerful aid in support of an undertaking which had already earned “ golden opinions from all sorts of people?" On the contrary, however, not only the Great Western Company obtained no preference, but they were not even allowed to carry the mails at less than any other Company could undertake them; and instead of receiving encouragement from the Government, a premium of 15,0001, a year was ab. solutely given for the building of vessels to oppose them, and as this, it

appears, was not enough, a sop of 20,0001. a year has since been added to keep up the spirit of the thing.

We are well aware that the wisdom of Go. vernment is easily arraigned by taking a onesided view only of a question ; and it will na. turally be inferred that its objects were such as could not be carried out by the Great Western proprietary, aod that Liverpool was the most suitable port for the station of the ves. sels. We come, then, to inquire what the

exigencies of the Post-Office service particularly demand,-evidently speed and punctuality; apd, as far as these are concerned, it will not be difficult to show that, so far from gaining by making Liverpool the American mail station, it is a positive disadvantage to the country, and that in respect to the speed of transmission, the Goveroment pays its thirty-five thousand a year extra for less thad nothing.

We have not space, nor is it indeed necessary, to go into a regular analysis of the voyages of the Great Western, and the Liverpool and Halifax line of steamers. It is well known, that for speed the former has never, on any occasion, been surpassed on the Atlantic; while for punctuality, no kiud of comparison can be made between the Great Western and any of her competitors. What, for ipstance, is more common than to see in the London papers sucb paragraphs as the following :-"No account of the Caledonia yet, now three days over-due."

« Some anxiety is felt respecting the Colomlria, which ought to have arrived on Tuesday last," “ We are still unable to give our readers any account of the arrival of the Arcadia." Aod

are sure the vigilant gentlemen con. nected with the London press in this city will bear us out in saying that nothing is more uncommon than their being kept waiting at Pill six hours for the arrival of the Great Western. And as to the general question of the relative merits of the Great Wester, and Bristol, versus Liverpool and the Halifax steamers, the last voyage will afford a very good criterion for estimating the whole.

The Britannia left Liverpool for Halifax and Boston on the 21st of October ; and the Great Western, two days afterwards, left Bristol for New York, having to pass Halifax and Boston ; from the latter of which there is railway communication with New York, notwithstanding which she delivered her letters in New York nine hours before the arrival of the mail per Britunnia,

On the return voyage, the Britannia got home io fourteen days, (exclusive of delay at Halifax,) to Liverpool ; and the Great West ern, with a day's steaming farther to run, in thirteen and a quarter, to Bristol, the latter delivering her news in London within thirty hours of the time of passing Cape Clear; a period in which, without fear of falliog into the error of Dr. Lardner, we may safely assert it never was, nor ever can be done by way of Liverpool. Nothing, therefore, can be more certain than that at the present time the New York letters, posted per the Great Western, are delivered in Liverpool sooner, ria Bristol, than they could be by their own mails direct, if sailing at the same time ; and it is equally easy of denoustratioo, that even

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if the Great Western had no advantage over them in point of speed, the same end would be secured in a general way, were the Glou. cester and Bristol railway completed.

The distance between the Bristol and the Liverpool courses, in favour of the former, calculated to a point of junction off Cape Clear, we will only estimate at forty miles, though we find that, when it is a question of the distance run, they call it seventy io Liver. pool; and we will allow this forty to be run, on an average, in four hours. Now we know it for a fact, from the best autbority, that there is occasionally only nine feet, at low water, in the Victoria Cbavnel, at Liverpool, and that a steam-vessel, drawing twelve and a half feet, may be detained five hours outside. All the Halifax line have been detained the Britannia was detained three and a half bonrs her very first voyage-aod allowing, on an average, that this disadvantage will make the difference six hours in favour of Bristol, it is not too much to say, that when the Gloucester and Bristol railway is opened, we shall be enabled to deliver the American letters in Liverpool, via Bristol, sooner than they could get them by sea direct.

rived by both classes—but more particularly my own-from the greater intimacy and better understanding which has grown up between them. While this is progressing, in a manner which must gratify all lovers of knowledge, up starts Mr. Cheverton, and does his best to persuade the less educated class that it is the superior of the two ; that the science which is more general in its application, and more extensively useful than any other, is a noxious science; that it produces something worse than “baneful effects;" that it is a science“ feeble" in means, but “ arrogant of pretension,” &c. &c. ; and I did his paper the undeserved honour of getting angry with it.

I did not expect that my remarks, which appeared in No. 958, would be particularly pleasing to Mr. Cheverton; but he was not considered when they were written. I attacked his statements and his arguments; and, by way of defence, he, in No: 959, attacked me and my manner; neither, it seems, is to his taste, which is a misfortune about which your readers will probably not feel any great concern, and which I have not leisure to deplore. As to whether I have shown an inclination to “ distort and misrepresent Mr. Cheverton's statements, your readers can judge for themselves, if they choose to take the trouble.

Almost all the rest of Mr. C.'s paper, in No. 959, is personal, and I shall take no further notice of it; not because I wish to show any contempt for such remarks, which are of a nature that I believe Mr. C. does not often indulge in, but because I think your readers will not derive much benefit from such discussions, Yours, &c. &c.

S. Y. (an Engineer.) December 27, 1841.

P.S.- Perhaps Mr. Cheverton will perceive that, after the objection I raised has been obviated by the alteration of Professor Moseley's machine, it will not be exactly the same machine that he eulogized so highly in No. 956 ; and possibly he will enlighten your readers by describing one of the “ "many expedients" he mentions at page 510.

PRACTICE AND PRACTICIANS, V. MATHE

MATICS AND MATHEMATICIANS.-S. Y. IN REPLY TO MR. CHEVERTON

Sir,- If what somebody said of me “many, very many years ago,” had been as unimportant to Mr. Cheverton as it is irrelevant to the present discussion, he would not have quoted it. It is with my remarks he has to contend ; what somebody said I should be, or what I am, it is impertinent on his part to observe upon. But if Mr. C. wrote the paper from which he quotes, (for I have entirely forgotten both it and the occasion of it,) he may console himself by imagining that, whatever I may be, I might have been something worse, if the “ censure" he has treasured in his memory for the aforesaid

very many years " had not "alighted” on my devoted head.

If Mr. Cheverton's paper, in No. 956, had explained and enforced the necessity of caution in the application of mathematical theories to practical purposes, I should not have found fault with it; but its tendency appears to me to be widely different, and also to be utterly pernicious; and I read it with feelings of great indignation. I am old enough to remember the time when practical men regarded theorists with a feeling nearly allied to contempt and dislike; I have seen this feeling gradually give place to a better one, arising from more enlightened views; and I have seen with delight the benefits de

AMERICAN TIMBER. [From a paper on the Building Materials of the

United States of North America. By David Stevenson, C. E., Edinburgh. From the Transactions of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts. Session 1841.]

The forests, to the British eye, are perhaps the most interesting features in the United States, and to them the Americans are indebted for the greater part of the materials of which their public works are constructed.

These forests are understood to have origin. is required for home consumption and exally extended, with little exception, from the portation, is a source of employment and sea-coast to the confines of the extensive emolument to a great mass of the populaprairies of the western states; but the effects tion. It is carried on to a greater or less of cultivation can now be traced as far as the extent on all American rivers, but the Misfoot of the Alleghany Mountains, the greater sissippi and the St. Lawrence are more espepart of the land between them and the ocean cially famous for it. The chief raftsmen, having been cleared and brought into culti under whose direction the timber expeditions vation. It is much to be regretted that the on these rivers are conducted, are generally early settlers, in clearing this country, were persons of great intelligence, and often of not directed by a systematic plan of opera considerable wealth. Sometimes these men, tions, so as to have left some relics of the for the purpose of obtaining wood, purchase natural produce of the soil, which would a piece of land, which they sell after it has have sheltered the fields and enlivened the been cleared ; but more generally they purface of the country, while at the same time chase only the timber from the proprietors they might, by cultivation, have been made of the land on which it grows. The chief to serve the more important object of pro raftsman and his detachment of workmen moting the growth of timber. Large tracts repair to the forest about the month of No. of country, however, which were formerly vember, and are occupied during the whole thickly covered with the finest timber, are of the winter months in felling trees, dressnow almost without a single shrub, every ing them into logs, and dragging them with thing having fallen before the woodman's teams of oxen on the hardened snow, with axe; and in this indiscriminate massacre which the country is then covered, to the there can be no doubt that many millions of nearest stream. They live during this period noble trees have been left to rot, or, what is in temporary wooden huts. About the middle scarcely to be less regretted, have been con of May, when the ice leaves the rivers, the sumed as fire-wood. This work of general logs of timber that have been prepared and destruction is still going forward in the hanled down during winter are lanched into western states, in which cultivation is gra the stream, and being formed into rafts, are dually extending; and the formation of some floated to their destination. The rafts are laws regulating the clearing of land, and en furnished with masts and sails, and are forcing an obligation on every settler to save steered by means of long oars, which project a quantity of timber, which might perhaps in front, as well as behind them : wooden be made to bear a certain proportion to houses are built on them for the accomevery acre of land which is cleared, is a sub modation of the crews and their families. I ject which I should conceive to be not un have several times, in the course of the worthy of the attention of the American trips which I made on the St. Lawrence, Government, and one which is intimately counted upwards of thirty men work. connected with the future prosperity of the ing the steering oars of the large rafts on country. But should population and culti. that river, from which some idea may be vation continue to increase in the same ratio, formed of the number of their inhabitants. and the clearing of land be conducted in the Those rafts are brought down the American same indiscriminate manner as hitherto, an rivers from distances varying from one hunother hundred years may see the United dred to twelve hundred miles, and six States a treeless country. The same re months are often occupied in making the marks apply, in some measure, to our own passage. When it is at all possible, they provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, in moor them during the night in the still water many parts of which the clearing of the land at the edge of the river ; but when this canhas shorn the country of its foliage, and no not be done, they continue their perilous thing now remains but blackened and weather. voyage in the dark, exhibiting lights at each beaten trunks.

corner of the raft to warn vessels of their The progress of population and agricul approach to them. The St. Lawrence rafts ture, however, has not as yet been able en vary from 40,000 to 300,000 square feet, or tirely to change the natural appearance of from about one to no less than seven acres the country. Many large forests and much in surface, and some of them contain as valuable timber still remain both in Canada much as 50001. worth of timber. If not and in the United States ; the Alleghany managed with great skill, these unwieldy Mountains, as well as other large tracts of specimens of naval architecture are apt to go country towards the north and west, which to pieces in descending the rapids, and it not are yet uninhabited, being still covered with unfrequently happens that the labour of one, dense and unexplored forests.

and sometimes two seasons is in this way The timber trade of the United States and lost in a moment. An old and experienced of Canada, from the quantity of wood which raftsman, with whom I had some conversa

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