Imágenes de páginas

with the neatness of a surgical operation. Very fre- supply of brandy and hot water-had been placed quently this form of leprosy is arrested in its progress, upon the table. and the patient recovers with a maimed foot or hand.

* Take a cigar,' said Mr Kirke Webbe, 'if only In other cases, again, the disease goes on to develop to oblige me; it may prevent that quite sufficiently itself in more vital parts.

There is no especial age at which either variety shews open countenance of yours from yawning insufferably, a tendency to appear. The disease has been noticed and, moreover, shade, in some degree, its inquisitive alike in childhood and at advanced age. In the West brightness, which might else dazzle and confuse my Indies, the white population is much less liable to it ideas.' than the natives or the Jews. Women also seem to 'I daresay, captain, you think that very clever possess a greater immunity than men.

-I don't. Nevertheless, I shall take a cigar-two or Leprosy is a disease essentially dependent upon a three, possibly, if you are especially tedious. And blood-poison, belonging to the large class of which now, if you please, go ahead.' scrofula, cancer, and rheumatism are representatives. It unfortunately further resembles these in the diffi

'Nay, I must first go back, and a long way, toomas culty of its cure. Almost every article of the phar- far back as 1792—in the autumn of which year two macopeia has been employed for this purpose, yet a gentlemen and bachelors, of about the same agespecific remains to be discovered. But although twenty-five, namely — who had never met beforė, incurable, it is satisfactory to be assured that the great made each other's acquaintance whilst shooting over source of terror in earlier ages--namely, dread of its the Lord Petre's well-stocked covers in the vicinage communication by contagion—is completely ground of the market-town of Romford, Essex. One of those less. Repeated observations have established this gentlemen-bachelors was William Linwood, only son important fact. At the same time, the hereditary and heir to Robert Linwood, hide and skin merchant character, or as medical men say, the hereditary tendency to the disease is not denied.” It is not unfre -- who had departed this life in Leadenhall Street, quently seen to pass over one generation, reappearing London, about three years previously—and Margaret with fresh vigour in the next.

his wife, who, since her husband's death, had withWe are quite as ignorant of the causes of leprosy drawn to Wales, where she found exercise for her as of its treatment. With respect to other diseases, constitutional activity in the superintendence of a whose cure frequently baffles medical science, we have large dairy-farm, the profits whereof were to aid her almost invariably some acquaintance with their predis- son in achieving the high social position to which, in posing causes. We know that exposure to infection, her fond opinion, his personal and mental gifts so deficiency of certain articles of food, breathing a well entitled him. I speak too rapidly, perhaps ?' polluted atmosphere, predispose respectively to typhus fever, scurvy, and cholera. But no peculiarity of

Not at all. Allow me, however, to remark, that climate, atmosphere, or diet satisfactorily accounts for your speech would be pleasanter if it were less sarthe decay in one age or the development in another of donic-jibing; but that is, I fear, a confirmed habit, the leprous poison.

and one which you take perverse pains to cultivate.' That this disease, like all others, has its own natural If that, Master Linwood, is your serious, welllaws which, though undiscovered, we cannot regard as considered opinion,' drawled Captain Webbe through capricious, is undoubted; and we trust that the his nose, simultaneously with the ejection in the increasing attention to it now excited among medical same way of two jets of smoke from a fresh cigar, men and physiologists, may lead to an early discovery "I must lose no time in endeavouring to mend my of them. Meanwhile, with all our uncertainty, we may confidently assert, that attention to the general manners in that particular. To resume, nevertheless, principles of hygiene will be found by communities a narrative to which a deeper interest attaches just and individuals the most effectual preventives, should now than to wisest words of babes and sucklings. the apprehended outbreak of this disease unhappily The other youthful sportsman, I was going on to say,

was Mr Kirke Webbe, at that time, and in a social, pecuniary sense, an indefinite gentleman, whose parents

had both died during his legal infancy, and whilst he KIRKE WEBBE,

was undergoing the preliminary ordeal of midship

manship, consisting chiefly of mast-headings, on board THE PRIVATE ER CAPTAIN.

his majesty's ship Gladiator. A worthy, most worthy couple, continued Webbe, with sudden seriousness,

who, from prudential motives, did not marry till late AFTER saying “Grace,' as described in the last chapter, in life, after a courtship of twenty years, lived in perCaptain Webbe suggested, that as it was a tough fect harmony, and died within four days of each other, yarn he had to spin, it might be as well to ascertain leaving to their idolised boy something over a thoupreviously how my grandame was doing, and so arrange sand pounds, scraped together by ceaseless industry that we might be secure from interruption. I agreed, and inflexible self-denial — one life, one hope, one

tomb! ! and hastened to the Crown Tavern. Mrs Linwood was,

‘A striking proof, Master Linwood,' resumed Webbe I found, considerably better, but still lamentably weak more briskly, after emptying

his tumbler at a gulp, and nervous. A fly was at the door, in which, accom- 'a striking proof, I say, Master Linwood, that virtues, panied by Mr Beale and Nancy Dow, she was about unlike certain diseases

, are not always hereditary; to be conveyed to Oak Villa. I placed my mother's unless, indeed, they are governed by the same law as letter in her pocket, and, having seen her safely off

, transmitted insanity and gout, which are said to rejoined my new friend at the Royal Hotel.

skip usually over one generation, in order to fasten Captain Webbe had made preparation, during my

more certainly on the next: according to which brief absence, for a cozy as well as lengthened sitting. hypothesis, my son should be a model youth.?

You have a son?' The fire had been replenished, and heaped up on the

• Truly, I have. Harry is a few months, I think, hobs; and a bundle of cigars, decanters filled with older than you, and about the same height and figure. ruby and amber coloured wine-no doubt, for my But my good young friend, we are steering a very especial delectation, as there was besides a plentiful zigzag course with the story. Let us endeavour to



keep a little closer to the wind. Kirke Webbe, I was You now know, Mr Linwood,' resumed Captain telling you, having scrambled through the preliminary Webbe, after another gulp of the fiery liquid, which six years of midshipmanship, would, there could be no had no more visible effect upon him than water upon a doubt, have creditably passed for lieutenant-he would duck's back — you now know how it happened that be a very sorry lubber that did not-when a difficulty the king's service and I parted company. I was then occurred between him and Old Blueblazes, captain of close upon twenty-one years of age: the day after the Gladiator

attaining my legal majority, I obtained possession of Old Blueblazes!'

the before-mentioned thousand pounds odd; and the His ship sobriquet, of course, derived from the next four years were passed in acquiring a knowledge flaming hue of his proboscis. A grim old salt was he, of the ways of mankind, as displayed in London ; fit for nothing upon earth but fighting and drinking, an interesting study, which the limitation, rigidly in both of which accomplishments it is but doing him adhered to, of my expenditure to two hundred pounds justice to say he was Al. The difficulty with me fell a year, greatly hampered, as you may suppose. out thus. But first please to understand, young sir,' Nevertheless, I may say without vanity that I had continued Webbe, that I go over these matters with made progress by the autumn of 1792. Moreover, my you, forasmuch that as it is certain some good-natured thousand pounds odd having by that time diminished friend will inform you, if he has not done so already, to two hundred, I bethought me that it would be that I was kicked out of the royal navy, it is well with prudent to delay no longer an endeavour to turn that reference to the copartnership we have entered into knowledge to practical account; and it was more for that you should be acquainted with the true version of the sake of being able to ask myself quietly a few the affair. The difficulty, I repeat, between Blueblazes important questions, than any love of sport, that I and me fell out thus: the Gladiator lay at anchor in accepted leave to beat up the Lord Petre's Essex Plymouth Sound. The old fellow was, I supposed, in covers. There fate willed it that William Linwood his cabin sleeping off the fumes of his after-dinner and I should meet for the first time; be mutually grog; the lieutenant of the watch, a moony sort of pleased with each other, and swear eternal friendship; chap, was perched upon one of the guns about midships, or rather, we should have done so, but for an untoward reading a book, with his face towards the bows, when accident which befell us both.' the devil, who so delights in finding work for idle boys “What accident?' and men, suggested to me and another promising 'Falling in love with the same damsel—the young youth to have just one quiet turn at leap-frog upon and charming Emily Waller, sole daughter and heiress the sacred quarter-deck.'

presumptive of Anthony Waller, Esq., of Cavendish 'A turn at leap-frog upon the quarter-deck !' Square, London, and then upon a visit at Hare Park,

Just that, my ingenuous young friend. I am not not far out of Romford.—Touch the bell, if you please ; surprised that, landsman though you are, your hair the fire is getting low.' stands on end at the bare mention of such an enormity. 'Pray go on; you tantalise one terribly.' Mine did whenever I afterwards thought of it, gradually William Linwood and I fell into bondage instanter; falling off in consequence, till I was left, as you see, he irredeemably—whilst I was a much less willing and nearly as bald as a coot.

tractable captive. In fact, between you and


I • Well, I had my leap, and was making a back doubt that I was really a captive at all. My fancy or for my friend, when the captain suddenly seized me imagination was no doubt considerably dazzled by the by the neck, and had I not clung to him like grim young lady's personal charms and graces; but much death, would, I verily believe, have pitched me into more, I am pretty confident, by the reflected lustre of Plymouth Sound. Finding, however, that if I went her reputedly large fortune.' over the side, he must follow, he dropped me on 'I can easily believe that, Mr Kirke Webbe.' my feet, at the same time favouring me with a couple “Which shews, Mr William Linwood, junior, that of tremendous cuffs in the ear, that set my brains you can appreciate character. Well, having then a spinning like a top. But for that, I could never have very good opinion-which has really improved upon had the inconceivable audacity to up fist, and deal a better acquaintance—of my worthy self, I saw no post-captain a blow on the chest, which knocked him reason why I should not compete with Mr Linwood clean off his pins, and laid him sprawling upon the for the favour of the amiable heiress presumptive; and quarter-deck.'

thus it came to pass, as before intimated, that the 'Are you serious in saying that you knocked down flame of friendship received a damper. the captain?'

“Very absurd that, you will say, presently continued “As sure as you sit there, I did—impossible, preter- Captain Webbe, when I inform you that the lady did natural as it sounds. No great thing, either, to do not condescend to honour either of us with the slightest in itself; one of the captain's legs being crippled with notice, except by carefully avoiding the paths and the gout, and the other a wooden one.

places we usually frequented! I, for my part

, bore "Imagine, if you can, Master Linwood, the wild con- the pangs of despised love with a noble equanimity; sternation, the hurricane-uproar that arose as it passed but poor Linwood, having fallen into a state of semithrough the ship that that devil's cub, Kirke Webbe, distraction, finally hit upon the remarkable expedient had floored Old Blueblazes! Officers and men seemed of endeavouring to obtain access to Miss Waller’s to think the world had come to an end; and death, or presence, by striking up worse punishment, was unanimously awarded to the with her demoiselle de compagnie,

Mademoiselle de sacrilegious culprit.

Féron.' 'Blueblazes himself, who at bottom was as placable *Louise Féron, the Frenchwoman we saw to-day!' and generous as he was bibulous and brave, was the ‘Louise Féron, the Frenchwoman whom your gran. least excited and angered of them all; and, though I dame so viciously assaulted a few hours since; but at was no favourite of the rough old salt, it was his the time I am speaking of, a handsome young person, cockswain

that, in the dead of night, released me from calling herself Mademoiselle de Féron, and pretendedly confinement, led me past the sentry-who had suddenly the sole remaining scion of a recently extinguished become deaf as well as blind, the cramp in my legs and noble French house. She had been engaged to causing me to stumble heavily when within a yard of perfect Miss Waller in the French language, and her him-lowered me from a port-hole into a shore-punt youthful mistress was much attached to her. Let me alongside, and cast off the painter with a curse-his see-where was I?' own, and a purse—the captain's-containing ten 'Speaking of my father's flirtation with De Féron— guineas, which he flung after me.

or Féron.'


innocent flirtation

Right! To continue, then. How the unfortunate her disengaged right hand. The child's suspended misapprehension on the demoiselle's part arose, I can- breath would, I can scarcely doubt, have been for ever not say—her bad English and Linwood's worse French stilled but for the exclamation which betrayed my had no doubt much to do with it—but it is certain presence. Féron turned sharply round, confronted me that she fully believed the young Englishman to be with a face of flame; rallied, assumed as well as she madly in love with her, and dying to make her his could, an air of indifference, and left the apartment.' lawful wife.'

“You of course informed Mr and Mrs Linwood of Could that be her serious conviction?'

what you had seen?' Her serious conviction! I should think it was, 'I did not; for several reasons. In the first place, indeed; and a trifle over. I had abundant proof of I might have misjudged the woman's intention ; and in that. Finding I had quite recovered from love-fever, the next, I felt quite sure she would not try it on a a very mild attack, as I have said-Linwood gave me second time after a hint I quietly gave her, that the a letter one fine day for Miss Waller, which I under- child's death, under any circumstances, should be took to place for delivery in Mademoiselle de Féron's followed by an investigation that would probably only hands. I met that volcanic individual in Hare Park, terminate at the Old Bailey.' and fulfilled my commission. Fire leaped from her You acted, Mr Webbe, with unpardonable weakdark eyes at sight of the direction in Linwood's ness, if not with'-- I checked with difficulty the hand, and you should have seen the rage and hate words upon my tongue, and substituted for themthat blazed in them as, having instantly torn open Yes, with unpardonable weakness, as the catastrophe the letter, she devoured its contents. That done, she of your narrative, plainly foreshadowed by what I have tore it to shreds, flinging the same at innocent me, already heard, too clearly proved.' and accompanying that demonstration by a shower of “That which you have already heard does not foreepithets and imprecations, which was quite decisive of, shadow the catastrophe of my narrative,' retorted her birth and status in French society.

Webbe. Clearly as you may be able to see through • The next day but one, Miss Waller left Hare Park a millstone, it is hardly possible you can discern a for London with her demoiselle de compagnie; and I catastrophe which has not yet occurred.' lost sight of Mademoiselle de Féron for nearly three "You speak riddles; but go on.' years, during which, Linwood, having managed to · Could I have foreseen the lamentable consequences obtain a proper introduction to the family in Cavendish of interrupting Mademoiselle Féron's manipulation of Square, had wooed, won, and married Emily Waller; the child's mouth and nostrils,' continued Webbe with and you, Master William, were passing with promise acrid humour, 'I should have been strongly tempted through the first of man's seven ages. Have you yet to have turned noiselessly away, and left her to the reached the third, may I ask?' added Captain Webbe quiet accomplishment of her purpose.' with keen abruptness.

* Upon my word, that is cool, Captain Webbe!' “The third! What the deuce do you mean?'

“It would have been a blessing to all parties had I "That of the lover, to be sure

done so,' said the privateer captain. “To you, who, With a woful ballad,

dying in your innocence, would be at this moment an Made to his mistress's eyebrow.'

angel in heaven-a contingency which must now be

booked as extremely doubtful at the best: to your "No; my time is not yet come.'

father, who-the Féron's instinct of vengeance having 'I am rejoiced to hear that,' exclaimed Webbe; "it been satiated—would not have had the best years of almost insures the success of our bold venture.' his life rendered miserable by an accusation which to “The plague it does! As how, pray?'

this hour he has found it impossible to repel. But we Anon,-anon, my dear fellow. I was saying,' con are all poor short-sighted mortals; and, unconscious tinued Webbe, that three years elapsed before I again of the mischief I was doing, I, as before stated, saved sighted Linwood after we left Essex. The same fate your life.' that had befallen him, had overtaken me. I also was *For which piece of mischief, many thanks, Captain a husband and a father. Mademoiselle Féron—she Webbe. I drink your health.' had modestly dropped the de'-was still languishing 'I, yours; hoping as I do so, that we may yet in single blessedness-at least she said so then, and I succeed in discovering a remedy for that unfortunate believe she spoke the truth—and had lately re-entered mistake of mine. But to make sail again. Anthony your mamma's service as nurse, or nursery-governess, Waller, Esq., of Cavendish Square, finding himself to your infant highness. What her motive could be for lonely after his daughter's marriage-which he had accepting a menial situation in your father's family, never very cordially approved of, you must knowpuzzled me. Poverty might be one compelling motive; espoused a lovely young widow, and the mother of one but I wronged her grossly if some vague but abiding only child, Lucy Hamblin, then in her third year, and purpose of working mischief to the man by whom—to really quite a miniature angel. Mr Waller not only the woman for whom—she had been, in her own belief, doted upon his handsome young wife—that, like scornfully slighted and wronged-was not another and reading and writing, comes by nature—but upon his more powerful one.

little step-daughter; so that your nose, which, without 'A circumstance that occurred during my visit to flattery, it is difficult to believe can be the natural South Audley Street, where your father then resided, development of the unpromising little pug Mademoiselle confirmed that impression or belief; albeit it is, I Féron took such liberties with, was quite put out of admit, barely possible that I misinterpreted that joint. incident or circumstance.

"This vexed your mother, and, let the truth be told, You were suffering from hooping-cough, and a mightily exasperated your father. There had been paroxysm of that distressing malady had left you no pre-nuptial settlement; and it was feared that the exhausted, apparently dead, when I softly entered the lion's share of Mr Waller's wealth would be diverted drawing-room where Louise Féron was standing with to his new wife and “her intrusive brat”—a frequent her back towards me, and holding you in her arms. colloquial amenity of my friend Linwood, duly reported She did not hear my footfall, and her face and person, in the proper quarter by the Féron, who, having manreflected in a lofty pier-glass, fronted me. I stopped aged to transfer her services to the Wallers, was now suddenly short, shocked, though never a man of super- little Lucy's nursery-governess. sensitiveness, by the fiendish expression of the woman's "Thus stood matters in Mr and Mrs Waller's seventh countenance, immediately explained by her sudden, honey-moon—a mellifluous phase of the earth's sateldeadly grasp of the infant's mouth and nostrils with lite, which the observation that with extensive view

surveys mankind from China to Peru, will have noticed really made a movement as if about to run for it, to be of indefinite duration when the poor and pretty “seize--bind the assassin! Help-help !" bride happens to be about half the age of the rich and * As for me,' resumed Captain Webbe, after a senile bridegroom.'

consolatory drink-as for me, I was knocked overWhich was not the case in that particular instance, Aabbergasted; and it was hours before I could get my I beg to say.'

ideas into any kind of order or ship-shape. And Very nearly the case, I should say ; but we will so confused now is my recollection of the different not discuss that fact in natural history just now. The versions given by Linwood and Féron; so mixed up Wallers, I say, were residing, towards the close of are they in my mind with the outrageous inventions their seventh honey-moon, at Clarence Lodge, near and distortions of the newspapers, that, if my life Gravesend. At that time, I was in personal communi- depended upon it, I could give you no intelligible cation with Mr Waller, with the hope of inducing digest of the conflicting statements. Enough to say, him to make one of a company for organising privateer- that on the morrow, no doubt remained that Lucy ing enterprise upon a large scale. I did not succeed; Hamblin had been drowned-her hat was cast ashore but before I received a final “No,” Linwood came with a mass of sea-weed-and public opinion gradually down, unaccompanied by either his wife or son. That, settled down into a conviction that your father, for however, though made a great deal of subsequently, obvious purposes, had compassed the death of the was easily explained: your mother, as doubtless you child—a conviction which his flight, in violation of his are aware, having suffered much from ill-health during pledged word, seemed to affirm beyond controversy. the first six or seven years of married life. I think He was pursued and apprehended, as you are perhaps she gave birth to four children, certainly three, who aware, at Llanberris farm. Take a pull at the brandy all died under a month old—a fatality which was the and water, Master Linwood'main reason that you remained in Wales with grand- Go on, will you? Do you think I am made of stone?' mamma. Be that, however, as it may, Linwood came “There is little to add, except that Féron absconded, alone, uninvited, and his reception was glum as winter. leaving a note to the effect that she could not, would Nevertheless, he seemed to have made up his mind for not, upon reflection, appear as a witness against the a lengthened stay; and, which certainly looked_odd, husband of the best friend she had ever known. seemed anxious to conciliate the favour of little Lucy Your father was ultimately liberated without trial; Hamblin. Your mother explained to me the other and after striving for several years to bear up against day that he did so by her advice, she thinking that a almost universal obloquy, took ship for America, and better feeling might be thereby brought about between was captured in the Channel by a French privateer. the families.

So ends the story.' “The eighteenth of August-a date branded upon * And with it the hope you have so wantonly kindled, the memory of all of us—found William Linwood still merely, it should seem, to trample it out! What a guest, and an unwelcome one, at Clarence Lodge. purpose can be answered by the fast-and-loose game, The day had been sultry, thunderous, and Mr Waller which, as far as words count, you seem to be playing?' and I, towards evening-fall, after a cool walk in the 'A great purpose will be answered by the game garden, were seated in the arbour, and enjoying some I propose to play, if you have the pluck and skill to prime cigars.

perform your part in it. I tell you again that the • Mrs Waller had been uneasy for some time on catastrophe which will either acquit or finally condemn account of the prolonged absence of Louise Féron, who your father has not yet come to pass. The last decisive had taken the child out for a walk early in the after- act of the drama has yet to be played; and the noon; and when the day began to decline visibly, and curtain rose upon that last decisive act, after an no Féron, no Lucy appeared, Mr Waller grew fidgety interval of nearly fifteen years, about three months also. He had asked very often for Linwood, and was since only. Scene the first : Rue Dupetit Thouars, St for the twentieth time remarking upon his non-appear- Malo, Brittany. Enter from opposite sides, a lady and ance at the dinner-table, when we saw that gentleman gentleman, who, upon seeing each other, exclaim at enter the garden by the back-gate.

the same instant: His hair, we could not but remark, was wet and “Mademoiselle Féron!" disordered, his face pale, his aspect generally furried, “Le Capitaine Webbe !” ill at ease.

“Kirke Webbe, captain of the Scout privateer, met “ Hollo, Linwood !” I exclaimed, as he was passing walking openly in the streets of St Malo! Come, that the arbour; "what is the matter ? Have you seen a is a bold flight, even for a modern dramatist !' ghost ?”

It is a positive fact that I was so met! And as to “Eh !-eh !-what?” he stammered; "a ghost- walking openly in the streets of St Malo, there is no stuff! Has—has," he added—“has Louise Féron wonderful daring in that: I was playing at rouge et returned ? "

noir, in the Palais Royal, Paris, last Sunday three “No," said Mr Waller ; "and-By Heaven ! here weeks. Just, however, to bring back colour to those she comes by the same way that you entered, Mr white cheeks, and give you an appetite for the dinner Linwood, and without the child!”

I have ordered, and which ought to have been served “Without the child !" echoed the woman, sweeping by this time, I will give you a hint of some one else up. “Why, Mr Linwood has brought home the child, I met with in St Malo-to wit, a charming damsel of has he not ?"

some seventeen years of age, whom I propose that you “No-no !” exclaimed Linwood, in great agitation. shall marry.' “ She left me on the sands, and rejoined you, did she Let us have no untimely jesting, if you please.' not ?"

'A charming damsel, whom it is part of my plan, “Rejoined me!” screamed Féron. “Why, I saw and may be essential to its success, that you should you with my own eyes take her into a boat, and sail marry: a most amiable damsel, who calls herself out upon the river."

Clémence Bonneville ; but whose true name, if I am “No-no-no!” vehemently rejoined your father. not the dullest blockhead that ever breathed, is “I meant to do so, but Lucy gave me the slip.” Guess ?'

“Liar-assassin!” shouted the woman. “I saw the Tut! How should I be able to guess ?' child with you-alone with you in the boat: you have * Whose true name is, I say, not Clémence Bonnedrowned-murdered her! A la garde !” shrieked the ville, or De Bonneville, but-Lucy Hamblin-the child seemingly frantic creature, as she rushed upon and supposed to have perished fourteen years ago in the grappled poor Linwood, who, in his bewilderment, had | Thames!'

All-merciful Powers! Can this be true?'

rate of some four or five miles over the ocean, and the 'If it prove not so, write me down an ass, in capital cable will be gently drawn out from behind, and letters. Ha! dinner at last!'

tenderly laid down in the profound recesses of the

deep, as if it were still under the careful management THE OCEAN TELEGRAPH-CABLE ON

of its black-fingered attendants, the tar-begrimed men

who have so patiently and assiduously arranged the ITS WAY TO THE BOTTOM.

spires of its growing coil in the yard during its That longest yarn that has ever been spun—that manufacture. newest sea-serpent which out-herods and puts to The cable will come up from the hold, as it is shame all the old ones so carefully chronicled by drawn out of the ship, round a central block designed penny-a-liners—that fact so much more wonderful to keep its spires from fouling, or interfering with than fancy, that not even the shadow of it was con- each other as it runs along. It will then be turned ceived by the brain which invented fictions for a over four grooved sheaves, placed one in front of one thousand-and-one consecutive nights in the imagin- another, and geared together; and will finally pass ative surroundings of the Happy Arabia—the Atlantic three or four feet above the poop-deck, and make its telegraph-cable is actually just about to be deposited last plunge from a fifth sheave firmly planted by in its still oceanic bed. Several different ingredients arms over the stern. One of the mid-deck sheaves enter into the composition of this beautiful fabric, will also have a friction-drum geared with it, and as has recently been described. There is copper revolving with about three times its own velocity; to carry the message; gutta-percha to confine the the axle of this drum will be griped, by two blocks same to its intended route; rope-yarn and tar to pro- of hard wood being drawn together whenever a tect the yielding gutta-percha from the iron gripe of screw is turned. As the cable runs out, an electrical the metallic greatcoat that is firmly twisted round the current will be passed through it from end to end, carrying and insulating core; and the iron itself in and will give a signal every second, to intimate that its outer eighteen-times sevenfold whorl of tenacious the electrical continuity of the cable remains perfect. wire. The entire diameter of this composite and many- At the side of the ship there will be a log, composed plied cable is a little more than half an inch ; and the of a spiral vane turned round by the resistance of diverse substances, with their varying densities, are so the water as it is dragged through the liquid ; this apportioned and distributed within these dimensions, will register electrically the speed of the vessels prothat if a mile-length of the structure were hung up in gress by making and breaking a voltaic circuit at the air, and balanced in some sufficiently capacious each turn. The amount strain actuating the cable pair of scales, it would be found to weigh just nineteen at any instant will also be electrically indicated by hundredweights. In sea-water, the same length would | wheel-work geared with the paying-out sheaves, weigh only thirteen hundredweights, because there the when the speed of this wheel-work is compared with pressure of the water, displaced by its bulk, deducts the speed of the vessel's progress through the water. so much from its downward tendency. The specific The wary breaksman will lend a constant eye and ear gravity of the Atlantic cable is about three times as to the indications of these tell-tale instruments, and great as the specific gravity of sea-water.

while all is proportioned correctly, will leave well The weight and density of the Atlantic cable are alone; but whenever one element is shewn to be such, that when it is payed out over the stern of the acquiring undue preponderance, his screw will be depositing vessel, it will sink in the salt water, and called into immediate requisition, and a compensatory find its position of final rest at the bottom of the sea. adjustment of machinery made. The electrical logs, Its weight, however, is not sufficiently great to carry it and indeed nearly the whole of the engineering down with any inconvenient force. The several ingre- arrangements, are due to the ingenuity and skill of dients of the structure, indeed, have been so selected Mr Charles T. Bright, a gentleman who was assoand adjusted as just to secure the requisite alacrity ciated to a considerable extent with Mr Wildman in sinking, and avoid any dangerous impetuosity in the Whitehouse in his early electrical experiments and act. The cable will indeed 'float to the bottom,' rather investigations, and who will now be the tricksy prethan sink. It will be in a measure buoyed up as it siding spirit of the operations on board the Niagara ; falls, first by the static pressure of the water, and while Mr Whitehouse sits in the centre of his web secondly by the influence of friction, exerted by the on board the Agamemnon, in a snug cabin, feeling watery particles against the uneven side of the twisted there the vibrations of his electrical web, and ponderstrands of the rope. Some alarm has been entertained ing fiery mysteries and subtile things. lest there should be strain enough to injure the mole- Considerable care has been given to the selection cular texture of the cable, if five or six miles of its of the most auspicious season of the year for the sublength hang down in the mid-Atlantic, in consequence of mergence of this wonderful cable. By examining the the great weight of this extent. The alarm, however, is records of more than 260,000 observations, Lieutenant entirely based upon a misconception of the conditions Maury has determined that between the 20th of July in which the rope will be placed during its deposition. and the 10th of August there is less to fear from either It will not hang upon the stern of the ship on this storm, fog, or drifting iceberg, in the mid-Atlantic, than occasion; it will be drawn out from it, as the silky at any other season of the year. The vessels will filament is drawn out from the spinneret of the silk- accordingly be despatched upon their mission as near

Considerable force is used in winding the to this period as will be found practicable. But suppose frail, almost invisibly fine thread of the silk-worm that, in spite of this precaution, some erratic hurricane from the cocoon in which the caterpillar has deposited - either uninstructed concerning, or indifferent to, the it, when the reels are set whirling to take off the requirements of marine engineering-should encounter golden cord; yet the fine and frail thread does not the cable-laden ships, and should persevere in its selfbreak: the force of the revolving reel goes to draw willed and vexatious interference with the arrange: off the silk from the cocoon, instead of to stretch its ments of the waves, what does the reader think will material. So will it be with the ocean-cable as it be done with the precious rope ? It will be simply seeks its deep-sea repose; the force of its own weight slipped,' as the tempest-caught sailor slips his cable and of the hold which the sea-bottom will acquire when he is riding in some dangerous and threatening upon its strands, will go to draw its protracted length roadstead. Upon the deck of the paying-out ships out from the hold of the advancing ship, over the there are two large auxiliary drums, containing each revolving sheaves, and not to pull upon the cohesive two miles and a half of a strong supernumerary iron grasp of its particles. The vessel will move at a cable, sufficiently stout to bear with impunity a direct


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