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on with boat-hooks when the squall struck us, and embayed and driven on the French coast. Dowling capsized her. A great misfortune!'
and his skilful mariners had fortunately at length * The sudden destruction of so many men is indeed succeeded, spite of the half-crippled condition of the a sad misfortune.'
brig, in clawing her off, and she was then rounding the "No doubt; but it is not of that I am just now projecting headland known as Cape La Hogue, though thinking: besides, a ticket for Davy Jones may at any at not more than half a league to seaward. Close to moment be drawn from the seaman's lottery-bag. The Cherbourg as we were, such near proximity to the misfortune I had and have in my mind is that the French shores was doubly dangerous; but to bear Columbia, whose crew, judging by her tonnage, cannot up for Portsmouth, or even half a point nearer to the be much under forty men, has been taken possession of wind than we were sailing was, with our make-shift by only eighteen of our fellows young Webbe counting foremast—already severely strained and shakenfor nothing, or worse.'
impossible. Still, if the wind continued to blow from 'I have not seen the American ship since the the same quarter, and with no greater violence, we hurricane burst upon us; have you?'
might hope to bring up in the Downs, if we were “Yes, more than once or twice. The last time, she lucky, one day within a week. was far away to windward, and seemed to be making We shewed no colours, either English or French : tolerably fair weather of it. The Columbia should by the former would have caused us to be pursued as this time,' added Dowling, "have brought up in the 'enemies;' and the latter might have brought more Guernsey Roads, under the guns of Castle Cornet; 'friends' to our assistance than would have been quite would have done so were I on board in place of young agreeable. Dowling's hope was, that before there was Webbe. As it is, I'd take less than a thousand pounds sufficient light to make us clearly out, we should have for my share in her.'
gained such a distance from the French war-port, as, "About where, allow me to ask, may we ourselves be combined with the chance of meeting with a British just now?'
cruiser, would indispose the light gun-craft, kept there Getting back to Britain by the way we came from in readiness for such purposes, to attempt seeking our it, except that we are more closely hugging the French nearer acquaintance. coast. If the gale had not slackened, we should be An essential condition of that doubtfully hoped-for now driving through the Alderney race as if Old Nick piece of luck was that the dawn should be a dark, was kicking us endwise. I must on deck again. cloudy one; and so, precisely speaking, it was; the You need not come,' he added; we shall manage to coming day, as it slowly broke in the east, being as keep the Scout afloat without your taking another dull and gloomy as could be wished. Unfortunately, spell at the pumps.'
the light, as it stole on, shewed us that the weather Dowling had not been gone five minutes when Mr was clearing rapidly to windward ; and the yet stiff Tyler entered the cabin. I offered him a change of gale—or half a one in seamen's estimation-drove the apparel from my own wardrobe-a courtesy which he breaking clouds before it with such velocity, that met by a glum refusal; though he accepted the mute before the sun was half an hour high, it was shining tender of restorative schnapps. I was quite sure that in unveiled brightness over land and sea; and espehe had recognised M. Jean Le Gros; but as he chose cially, as it seemed to us, lighting up for general to be silent upon the subject, and no explanation was inspection our crippled, creaking, labouring, laggard possible on my part without violating the oath Webbe Scout. had exacted from me, I gladly followed his example. By that time, we were nearly two leagues past We conversed with some effort-on his side, with an Cherbourg, which was something, though not enough, overdone show of politeness—for perhaps eight or ten as it soon proved. Dowling's anxious glance detected minutes, and then Mr Tyler retired to his sleeping- one-two-three gun-boats, impelled by sweeps and place. A naturally taciturn, but far from an ungentle- sails, leaving Cherbourg in pursuit, and it was quickly manly person, was Mr Tyler; he seemed to be a fair plain, even to my unpractised eye, that they were specimen of the American skipper tribe, of whom I coming up with us hand over hand. have since known hundreds at Liverpool, who, accord If the Scout had not lost ten of her teeth, growled ing to my experience, whilst distinguished for greater Dowling, she would have made no bones of the little nervous energy than their British rivals, are nothing spitfires; and as it is, she may perhaps manage to like so physically robust, nor, I think, so healthily crunch up one or two. She shall, at all events, have developed, mentally. This opinion of mine, a wider a snap at them.' experience might perhaps considerably modify; and As the privateer-brig could not luff, it seemed, be that as it may, I was favourably impressed by without danger of carrying away her shaky jurymast, Mr Tyler, and-saving the personal security of the and it would hardly do to yaw with the Rochers de English seamen on board the Columbia-I was heartily Calvados on her lee, Dowling gave orders to hew hopeful that his richly freighted ship might have been away sufficient space on each side of the helm to rescued from the ravenous sharks that had thought to enable the Scouts two remaining guns to be used as make her their prey. And I could not help fancying stern-chasers. That was quickly done; the guns were that that same hope glittered vengefully in the sharp loaded, run out, trained, and directly the pursuing gray eyes of the American captain-very naturally so, gun-boats were thought to have come within range, if he knew the relative number of captors and captives fire was opened upon them. Without effect; the balls on board the Columbia to really be as Dowling feared for some time fell short; and so small a mark did the they were.
French craft present, that the chance of striking them I was awake and up before daybreak; the uneasy till they were very close indeed, seemed a desperate working of the brig, the incessant jerk of the pumps, one. The Scout, on the other hand, could not well be and frequent tacking during the night, which, as my missed, and we had not been more than ten minutes cot-hammock happened to be lashed athwart-ship, within reach of the boats' heavy guns, before she was caused me to be now head, now heels upwards and hulled half-a-dozen times, and we had three men downwards, and the general bustle and trampling over wounded and one killed. I remarked, however, that head, effectually preventing sound sleep, tired, worn since the firing began, the venomous little spitfires, as out as I was when I turned in.
Dowling rightly named them, had not gained upon us What the sailors called half a gale of wind was in speed. blowing when I went on deck, from the westward, "They know a trick worth two of that,” said and the Scout, I was informed, had been, during the Dowling. 6“ Strike or sink,” is what they are saying to previous three or four hours, in great danger of being / us in better French than they often use; and unless a
cruiser heaves in sight, and one never does when par- the Scout and her crew. The brig was fast settling ticularly wanted—or our practice wonderfully improves down by the head; and from the uproar upon deck, the --that will be about the English of it before we are tumult of shouts and curses, momently increasing in much older. Ha! by jingo, Rawlings, that was a near volume and fierceness, it was evident that Dowling, shave! Missed the centre boat by a few inches only! whose stern voice could still be heard above all the Try it again; there's a good fellow. D - it, man, we others, had lost his authority over the crew, who must never say die till our toes are fairly turned up seemed to be struggling, fighting with each other for to the daisies.
precedence in the boats, not one of which had-no Rawlings did try again, and again, but without doubt in consequence of that insane fight or struggle success; and Dowling was once more about to essay -touched the water ! what he himself could do, when the last ball intended Suddenly, and simultaneously with a yet mightier to be fired by the mortified gunner struck the centre shout-this time of despair as well as rage-the Scout's boat low down on her bow quarter. She filled instantly, stern rose in the air-her bows sinking at the same and weighted by her heavy gun, disappeared before moment, as if she was about to take her final plunge. one could count twenty. The other boats hastened to With ready presence of mind, Mr Tyler cut the pick up their consort's crew, we, the while, as may be painter with a knife he held ready in his hand for supposed, cheering and firing with wild delight. As that purpose, and then seizing one of the oars, called soon as the half-drowned seamen had been hauled out upon me to ship the other, and pull for dear life. of the water--if, indeed, they were all saved, which we I pulled for dear life, and we were perhaps fifty had no means of knowing—a consultation appeared to yards from the privateer-brig when that fearful shout take place between the commanders of the two boats, of agony and despair again arose, higher, wilder, than the result of which was that, after favouring us with a before ; a crowd of men rushed aft, madly beckoned parting salute from their guns, they turned tail, and and cursed us, and then down, down went the doomed made the best of their way back to Cherbourg, followed ship, with her shrieking, howling freight of death; by our full-throated cheers, and an asthmatic Rule her mighty downdraught drawing us towards her, Britannia, extemporised by an amateur clarionet that spite of our frenzied rowing, which happily, however, happened to be on board the always lucky Scout. held us back till the sea-sepulchre had closed over the
Not so fast with your "lucky' Scout! The attention privateer-brig, and the breadth and buoyancy of our of the officers and crew had been so absorbed by the frail skiff sufficed to keep us on the surface of the cannonade, that the pumps had been abandoned ; and entombing waters ! when, in reluctant obedience to Dowling's command, We were able to rescue seven only of the hapless more than once sternly iterated, the men returned to crew, amongst them Dowling, who had in some way that disagreeable duty, it was found that the pumps sprained or twisted his right ankle and foot, and was were choked. The next minute a cry arose that the suffering intense pain in consequence. brig was foundering ! She was, visibly so, it could As for us, though the wind was high, and the sea not, after a brief, breathless examination, be doubted rough, we were tolerably safe, unless a change for the or denied !
worse in the weather should take place. Our boat "The brig has been hulled between wind and water, was a stout one, and we had enough to eat and drink or a butt has started,' said Dowling. “Steady, men; for at least eight-and-forty hours. To be sure, we had let us have no womanish panic, if you please. Clear neither mast nor sail-no means of propulsion whatand let fall the boats, smartly and steadily. Place in ever except two oars; but as we had plenty of hands each of them a bag of biscuit and a barrel of water. to take turn and turn about at the rowing, we should There will be plenty of room for all; and plenty of be pretty sure of making the Wight or some part of time too, if you go quietly to work, as seamen should. the English eastern coast, if we did not fall in with a Now, then!
friendly sail, before those forty-eight hours expired. Look alive, Linwood,' said Dowling, coming swiftly To this effect, after the first horror excited by the aft to where I stood with Mr Tyler, who had been catastrophe we had just witnessed had in some watching the progress of the fight-not its termination degree subsided, we talked with and encouraged each -with saturnine satisfaction ; Look alive, Linwood; other. A sense—a selfish sense, no doubt, of goodthe water is coming in like a sluice; and though I do fortune, and present comparative security, aided to not tell the men so, the Scout may take her final keep our spirits up to a hopeful, almost cheerful point. plunge at any one of the next ten minutes. There is a Mr Tyler and I took the first spell at the oars, and boat astern which we lowered during the night to pick pulled away lustily, soon, however, finding that the up a lad that had fallen overboard. You can reach the force and direction of the wind- probably also currents painter through the cabin windows : draw her up close, of which we were ignorant-would prevent us from and drop a keg of spirits, a jar of water, and some obtaining a greater offing; and since better might not biscuits into her. I must remain here till the last; be, we were fain to content ourselves with shaping the and if the men do not rush into the boats, all may same course as the Scout was sailing when attacked be right-if they do, and I fear they will, all will by the French gun-boats, not one amongst us assuredly be wrong. Cast off in that case, and I must hinting, that I remember, at the desirableness of jump overboard, and endeavour to reach you. Be exchanging the dangers of such a voyage in an open quick and silent: present moments stand for future boat for the security of a French prison. Mr Tyler years.'
would, no doubt, have preferred making for the This was said in a rapid under-tone. I needed no nearest French harbour or practicable landing-place, second bidding, and hurrying below, seized, first my but he was wise enough to keep his wishes to himself. St Malo prize; and was turning to the spirit-locker, Our progress was slow, much slower than we had when I found that Mr Tyler had followed, and was anticipated. The boat was far too heavy for one anticipating me in that particular.
pair of oars; and when evening fell upon a day of Pull the boat up close astern,' said the American great exertion, Havre de Grace, which we had hoped skipper. "The sailors will be less likely to notice her. to pass during daylight, was still considerably ahead I will attend to other matters.'
on our starboard bow. It was past midnight when we I complied; and in less, I should think, than three were abreast of that port, and not more than a mile, minutes, we two were safely in the boat, into which if so much, to windward-scarcely sufficient offing to we had conveyed sustenance for a week at least. enable us to clear Cape La Heve, about a league
Those three minutes, more or less, had wrought a further north, whose two lofty light-houses had been fearful aggravation of the position and prospects of our guiding-stars since the night set in.
The street-lamps or lanterns of Havre threw up dim what assistance they can, so that it's upon the cards lines of light, which doubtfully indicated the number that we may all yet live to be buried in an elm suit, and direction of the principal streets; and it was with all the honours.' with filled eyes and a beating heart that I thought of And you,' I exclaimed—how, with that crippled two mournful dwellers in one of those faintly traced limb, will you be able to manage ?' thoroughfares—asleep, no doubt, at that hour, and Like yourself—the best way I can. And now be dreaming perhaps of their son, and the fulfilment of silent, if you please, and prepare for a race with King the precious hope of late associated with bim-in my Death.' mother's mind at least; of their son who was then so The boat, urged by wind and sea, drove swiftly near to them, and they knew it not! It was well they towards the shore, and was dexterously guided by did not. Even to a sailor's imagination, as I knew by Dowling to an opening between rocks, towards which the silence of my companions since night—moonless, we were directed by the gestures of the people on starless night-had fallen, there was something appal- | the shore. Ten or more fearful minutes passed, and ling in being afloat upon the wide, dark, solitary sea then we were lifted and borne along upon the back of in a slight shallow boat which the eye could hardly a terrific surf-wave, which receding, dropped the boat distinguish from that sea, the only sounds meeting upon the shore with a force that smashed in its bottom, one's ear the measured jerk of our own oars, the and threw us all out upon the pebbly sand. What moaning swash of waves, and the hoarse roar in the immediately followed, I do not distinctly remember. distance of the wrathful surf for ever spurned back I know that I ran landward the moment I regained in its ceaseless assaults upon the unconquerable shore. my feet; that I was caught by the boiling flood, and How much more appalling, then, would the vague, smashed upon the sands: then followed a sense of undefined imagination of such a scene be to a woman's suffocation, of despair, and, finally, spasms of excru- to a mother's heart! Better, then, infinitely better, ciating pain, from which I recovered to find myself that they slept on unconscious of my actual where still on the rude shore, but beyond reach of the waves, about, and continued to dream of the speedy fulfilment and sedulously ministered to by a number of halfof the great hope which, I had never doubted, save peasant, half-fisher French men and women, directed during a few tumultuous distracting moments, would, by a podgy, bustling little clerical gentleman, whom I in God's good time, be fully realised.
afterwards knew to be the kind and good Father I crave pardon of the reader for this digression from Meudon, parish priest of Monvilliers, a village not the direct current of my narrative. I do not, it will very far inland. be conceded, often offend in that way, which, perhaps, As soon as I had sufficiently regained consciousness, if I do not linger upon it, will be my sufficient excuse. and felt the assurances of the good people about me To resume, then, we laboured through the night at that I had suffered no serious injury to be true, my the oars with less and less success in the way of pro- thoughts and inquiries reverted to my boat-companions. gress: the tide, which about there flows like a torrent, Two of them, I found, had been carried out to sea, and was for several hours dead against us, so that we could of course drowned. Dowling had been rescued with barely hold our own; and at day-dawn we had but life, after incurring frightful injuries; Mr Tyler had just passed the lofty headland of La Heve.
escaped with even less of mishap than myself; and the That lofty headland, as many readers know, is four other sailors with not at all serious hurts and formed of chalk-cliffs, and the sinuous shore at its bruises. base strewed with jagged, fantastic rocks. This was We were all carried to farmhouses, the owners once, it is said, the favourite resort of Bernardin St or habitants of which if, according to our notions, poor Pierre, the author of Paul and Virginia, and a native in purse, were abundantly rich in generous feeling. of Havre de Grace, who there studied the elemental Mr Tyler had said he was an American, and the conphenomena which he, in after-life, embodied in his clusion, which I did not contradict, was, that we were description of the wreck of the San Geran.
all of the same nation, though I am quite sure our I knew nothing of this at the time I am writing of; treatment would not have been one whit less kindly and if I had, Bernardin St Pierre would assuredly had our entertainers known from the first that, except have found no place in my thoughts, which were pain- Mr Tyler, we were all their natural enemies' - to fully pre-occupied by two paramount facts-namely, quote an atrocious popular phrase of that time and age. the rapid increase of the wind, and the existence It was all over with poor Dowling! He had been of a current, which helped the wind not only to drive injured internally to such a degree, that he could not us upon the shore, but upon the most rocky part of possibly survive more than a few hours-perhaps not the shore, whereon the surf was leaping at a gigantic one. This was communicated to him as tenderly as height, and with the sound of thunder.
possible through me by the doctor whom Father An accident capped the terrors of the situation. Meudon had summoned in great haste from Monvilliers. The extra strength exerted by one of the seamen to The first officer of the Scout received the announcekeep the boat at sea, had the effect of snapping the ment with a smile-brave, though feeble. 'I would blade of his oar short off, and we were at the mercy rather,' he murmured, ' have died in battle, than thus of the furious elements.
faint out of life, as one may say: it, however, comes Dowling, who had scarcely spoken since we hauled to the same thing at last.' him into the boat, and who was still acutely suffering Father Meudon, with tears in his round, beady black from the injury to his foot, now interfered in his usual eyes, entreated me to explain to the moribund that he, stern, decisive manner.
Father Meudon, prayed him to have heed, whilst there ‘Hand here the oar still left," he said: 'place it in was yet time, to the salvation of his immortal soul; the stern rowlock, and I will endeavour to beach the only to be assured, Father Meudon declared, through boat as favourably as may be, since nothing better can the instrumentality of the Holy Roman Catholic be done. Remember, all of you to leap out, if you are Church, into the bosom of which he was ready and not thrown out of the boat, the instant it strikes the anxious to admit the dying sinner even at the eleventh shore, and then run swiftly ahead. Should the surf hour. overtake you, fall down flat on your bellies, and cling to I translated what the kindly intending priest said; anything you can lay hold of—to the sand, by digging and Dowling, with a slight glimmer about his eyes of your fingers into it, if nothing better offers; and so the old reckless privateer spirit, bade me tell the good on, ditto repeated, till you find yourself high and dry little gentleman that he would do more than that to There are, I see, people, either fishermen or peasanis, oblige him, only he must let him, Dowling, have some on the shore observing us. They will, no doubt, render five minutes' previous conversation with me.
Father Meudon was delighted with my paraphrase capital shot! You 'll shave the Frenchmen's whiskers of the dying seaman's reply, and after earnestly yet. Ha, ha, ha! what a confounded splutter they impressing upon me the vital necessity of quickly make in the water. Be ready, Englishmen, to board despatching any merely mundane business I might in the smoke. FIRE!' have to arrange with his penitent, left the room.
That was the last word audible to mortal ears 'I must be quick and brief,' said Dowling as the Robert Dowling uttered. door closed; 'life, I require no doctor to tell me, is ebbing fast. In the first place, Linwood, take this pocket-book. I appoint you my executor. Will you
THE MONTH: undertake the trust?' Most willingly.'
SCIENCE AND ARTS. * Thanks, thanks! The old couple--my father True to custom and the autumnal equinox, savans and mother-live at Camberwell. You will find the and philosophers have found their way back to town, address amongst the papers. The money is of course as well as ordinary folk-the officers of the scientific for them. Webbe, to whom I have ever done my societies are determining whose salaries shall be raised, duty, will, there is no fear, do his by me. I think he and what shall be the order of ineetings for six will have to hand you over about three hundred busy months to come—and publishers are ready with pounds, supposing the Columbia to have slipped through supplies for the thousands who, having recreated our fingers. Let him state the amount himself: if he themselves in idleness during the vacation, are now, cheats anybody, it will be himself, not me. That also as the long evenings come on, eager to read anything will be for the old couple. And if,' said Dowling with amusing. In no former year has there been so much a perceptible tremor of voice, you will see them, and attention paid to marine natural history by amateurs say their son died as a British seaman should, it would and students, as in the present: from all parts of the be kind.'
coast we hear of researches which will advance science I promised to see his parents ; and the poor fellow, more or less, and help to fill the pages of scienhaving first swallowed a glass of wine-he was sink. tific journals. One party-comprising a well-known ing fast-proceeded :
naturalist, and a brace of professors, Scottish and And now, having squared the yards as regards German—had a rare philosophical holiday on the myself
, let me speak of something which, from certain Firth of Clyde, catching all sorts of queer sea-animals words I have heard drop, I believe concerns you, off the shores of Arran, and converting them into though how or why I cannot understand. I allude to subjects for drawings and dissections, and ultimately Maria Wilson, who'
for papers, which can hardly appear anywhere else Ha!I beg pardon ; go on, pray.'
than in the Philosophical Transactions. Among those “What I have to say about her is shortly this: who took flight to the Alps were Dr Tyndall and Somewhere about fourteen or fifteen years ago, the Mr Huxley, whose interesting inquiries into the Wasp privateer took on board off Deal a French- structure of glaciers we noticed some months ago. woman and a child. Madame Broussard the woman Desirous to test their views by a second examination, called herself. I suspected the child, which I do not these two gentlemen have made such a survey of think I saw during the voyage out, to be Webbe's. some of Mont Blanc's glaciers as fully to confirm their That, however, was no business of mine, and I may be former conclusions. The doctor, accompanied by a wrong. Another sip of wine; and don't, Linwood, friend and one guide, ascended to the top of the glare at me so. My brain feels dull and swimmy- mountain, while Mr Huxley waited their return all give me the wine.'
alone at the Grands Mulets. He waited seventeen "It is in your hand. Let me hold it to your lips.' hours, so long were the adventurers delayed and
* Better, clearer, stronger now! We sailed to wearied by soft and treacherous snow. This inquiry Madeira, where we had often been before. One is believed to involve certain consequences important Wilson, a good fellow, with odd ways about him, lived to geological science. Important in another way, there. His brimstone of a wife-a Frenchwoman and regarded with much satisfaction, is a recent event died soon after giving birth to a daughter, the Maria at Glasgow: we refer to the appointment of an Wilson now in Jersey. Well, Wilson himself had American geologist, Mr H. D. Rogers, as Regius slipped his cable suddenly some time before we arrived Professor of Natural History in the university of that at Madeira, and had left a will appointing Webbe his city.—The talk about what was done by the British executor, and the guardian of his child. The property Association has not died away, when news comes that was to be invested in the British funds-only two the meeting of the Canadian Association at Toronto hundred a year to be drawn out for the daughter's surprised every one, even the Canadians themselves : maintenance and education till she reached her seven- they knew not till this gathering took place that teenth birthday, at which age she might marry, and Canada could muster so many real representatives of the accumulated money with interest was to be hers science. absolutely. Wilson, as I told you, was a queer
Among the resolutions passed by the British Assostick This faintness again'
ciation at their late meeting, one commends itself to Wine once more brought back light to the darken- general attention-namely, that government should be ing eyes—strength to the fluttering speech :
requested to send out an exploring expedition to that We sailed for England with Madame Broussard great river of Eastern Africa, the Zambesi.-And on and two children, both, it was said, of about the same the western coast, geographers and merchants have age, and we got wrecked on the Galway coast. The been for some time agreed that an annual expedition vessel was not the Wasp, mind you. Wilson's child,' should be sent to the Niger. The one for this year, he faintly proceeded after a pause, will come into under Dr Baikie and Lieutenant Glover, was heard of something like twenty thousand pounds, and it would a few weeks since. The party had left Brass River be a thousand pities that that poor poltroon Harry for the Niger, with fifty Kroomen and twenty-five Webbe should-should'
natives of the river banks, and used to the climate. He stopped, and presently I could hear what is called A botanist is with them, and they have the means the rattle in his throat. I once more gave him wine; of instituting scientific inquiries. Mr Macgregor Laird and the expiring flame of life leaped up for a moment is making arrangements to run several steamers brightly in the socket.
periodically to trading-ports on the coast and up the It's no fault of mine, Webbe,' he exclaimed, 'that river; and “as by his contract with the Admiralty he the Columbia was recaptured! Bravo, Rawlings, a is bound to convey deck-passengers of the negro race
who can read and write English, from Fernando Po must, in accordance with this law, expand, and tend to all parts below the Niger and Chadda, it is hoped to elevate or burst up the solid crust. Of which a that a new element of civilisation will be introduced striking confirmation is revealed to us by the lunar into the interior by the return of liberated Africans to surface, as seen through powerful telescopes.'—Mr their native country in considerable numbers.' Dr Robert Mallet, in his Fourth Report on Earthquake Livingstone is of opinion that the rivers of Africa Phenomena, discusses the catalogue of 6000 earthquakes will be crowded with vessels before fifty years are published by the British Association. Among importover. Apropos: the doctor has given to the Chamber ant facts, he finds that earthquakes in either hemiof Commerce at Manchester a statement concerning sphere respectively, are most numerous in winter. the resources of that continent; and Edinburgh The place where most convulsion is at present felt is and Glasgow have given to him the freedom of the island of Luzon, in the Indian Archipelago. He their cities. Mr Laird has sent to the same Chamber describes a new seizmometer, or earthquake-measurer, specimens of woven cotton-cloth from Africa, soft, of his own invention, in which four heavy balls, one though coarse, and of various colours; among which for each quarter of the compass, set in motion by the the red and blue dyes are remarkable. And with all shock, describe its direction and intensity. To arrive this, we must not omit a highly interesting fact from at satisfactory conclusions as to the extent and propaNorth Africa: the French have bored artesian wells gation of the disturbance, he has made experiments in various parts of the Sahara, in the province of during the great blasting operations at Holyhead, in Constantine, with marked success. All the borings- some of which eight tons of powder have been fired at seven or eight in number—yield water; some about once. In one instance, “the shock was so great as to a hundred quarts a minute; but from two the dis- be felt at a distance of two miles, and even to throw charge in a minute is more than 4000 quarts. The crockery off a shelf at a distance of eight miles.'-Dr temperature is said to be 21 degrees; if centigrade is Daubeny has read a final report on the Vitality of meant, it corresponds with 69 degrees of Fahrenheit. Seeds, summing up the results of experiments carried It is impossible to exaggerate the results that may on for seventeen years. These contradict the popular follow from these borings. No greater benefit could notion that seeds possess an unlimited vitality. The be conferred on the natives. We are told that when a experiments were started with a given number of shout from the soldiers announced the outburst of the seeds, and continued with them year after year; and water, the Arabs crowded round; some stooped to as all except four lost their vitality, he considers the drink, to wash their hands and face, mothers dipped trial at an end. "The greater number of seeds,' he their children into the gushing element; and many says, “lose their vitality at eight years, and forty-three falling on their knees, gave thanks to Allah and the years is the longest period to which they retain it.' French. What will be the further effect on the natives, The statements concerning the growth of seeds found remains to be seen; but already a tribe had given up in mummies he holds as not supported by satisfactory their wanderings, and settled and built a village, and evidence. Dr Hofmann, Professor of Botany at Giessen, began to till the land near one of the wells. Since has published a book, Witterung und Wachsthum, Solomon set his famous wells flowing, there has been Weather and Growth, or Elements of Climatology as no happier application of science in the desert; and affecting Plants,' a large book, filled with details in we see no reason why artesian wells should not be which the student may glean valuable information. The numerous in the wilderness, and along the line of our author takes the year 1854, gives a table of its climate, overland route.
the effect produced thereby on thirteen plants specially Another item from the tropics is, that a scientific chosen for trial; shews the daily development of party has set out from Demerara, to ascend the river, leaves, stems, and blossoms, by a scale of coloured and explore for gold in the mountains of the interior. curved lines; and from all this he deduces the effect Proof has been given that gold exists there ; indeed, of the main conditions of weather on the growth of that it is the Dorado which Raleigh meant to discover. plants.
- And further—to some readers the most interesting of A successful application of the steam-jet to ventilaall—the Dutch government have made arrangements tion has been made in a mine near Bradford, Yorkand sent out the necessary preliminary instructions shire. The jet turned on at the upper end of a series of for the abolition of slavery in all their" West Indian pipes, drew off the foul air, and in thirty minutes, the colonies.
miners could descend into passages which before were We hear that the Niagara and Agamemnon are to fatally filled with choke-damp.--Boydell's 'traction discharge their coils of Atlantic telegraph cable into engine and endless railway' has proved its capability a receptacle prepared for the purpose at Plymouth; by drawing four trucks laden with forty-two tons of and so for another year or two steamers must still timber from Thetford to Woolwich at the rate of four continue to be the messengers between us and the miles an hour, some part over bad country-roads. The United States.- The French government are consider- engine lays down the pattens' or endless rail for ing a line to pass under sea from Marseille to Hyères, itself, and travels on the ordinary highways. It is the thence to Corsica, thence to Constantinople. — The second which the government have purchased for cable for completing the Mediterranean line from dock-yard service; we hear that it will do the work France to Algeria, is laid from Sardinia to the African of sixty horses, and that an officer was appointed to coast, 125 miles, excepting a length of fifteen miles. watch it while on the way from Norfolk with a view The greatest depth between the two points was found to purchase for use in India.-We learn from Captain to be 1000 fathoms for a space of ten miles. Owing Galton's annual report, that 8506 miles of railway to this and other accidents, the 162 miles of cable were open at the end of 1856, employing twelve persons paid out fell short by the number above mentioned. to the mile. The number of passengers carried in that A telegraph to India is now the prime desideratum. year was 129,347,592, nearly 11,000,000 more than in
Among miscellaneous scientific facts, we notice Mr 1855-that an astonishing development has taken place Nasmyth’s proposition that all substances in a molten in goods traffic'—that, in the captain's opinion, low condition are specifically heavier than the same sub- fares are most profitable to the company--and that he stances in their unmolten state. He recommends a recommends the adoption of measures for protecting conclusion derivable therefrom to the attention of shareholders from the delinquencies of directors.- The geologists, as 'an explanation of many phenomena of Lancaster and Ulverstone Railway is noteworthy for eruption or upheaval of the earth's crust-namely, tangible advantages in addition to the traffic, as the that on the approach to the point of solidification, line is carried across Morecambe Bay, protected by molten mineral substances below the crust of the earth a sea-wall which protects 20,000 acres in its rear