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THE FIRST LOCOMOTIVE.
"IF I stand here, I saw it!' SHAKSPEARE.
It is now very generally conceded, that of all the inventions of man, none holds any comparison with the steam-boat. The mind can scarcely combine a calculation which may measure its importance. Some vague estimate may indeed be formed of it, by imagining what would be the state and condition of the world, at the present day, were there no steamboats; were we still to find ourselves on board sloops, making an average passage of a week to Albany, exposed to all the disasters of flaws from the downscomer,' and discomfiture of close cabins ; or ascending the Mississippi in a keel-boat, pushed every inch of the way against its mighty current, by long poles, at the rate of 'fourteen miles in sixteen hours.'
It is now just thirty years, since the first steamboat ascended the Hudson, being the first practical application of a steam-engine to, water-conveyance. Then, no other river had ever seen a steam-boat; and now, what river, capable of any kind