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Spirit of the lonely vale,
With the long-lash'd dewy eye
'Neath the melancholy sky;
Where the rills laugh, sing the bowers,
To thy vale of sunless flowers.
Who beside the streamlet dwells,
With the merry sylvan song
Little heeds, or heeds not long:
Sun that smiles, and cloud that lowers,
For the vale of sunless flowers!
The Comparative Strength of different kinds of Wood.—Mr. PeTer Barlow, jun. has communicated to the Philosophical Magazine, a statement of various experiments made at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, to ascertain the strength of various sorts of wood. The experiments originated in an investigation of the comparative properties of acacia and oak, hy W. Withers, Esq. of Norfolk, whose object appears to have been to encourage the planting of the former in many situations, instead of the latter, as a wood of great durahility and of quicker growth. At the Royal Arsenal there were in store many woods not in common use; but which are grown abundantly in some countries, and from the appearance of which great strength was anticipated. Mr. Bossey, foreman in the carriage department, was requested to prepare specimens, which were submitted to the same test as the former ones. The apparatus made use of in the experiments consisted simply of two upright posts, fixed securely at one end in the ground, and at the other to the tie-beam of the roof of a shed ; on each of these were firmly attached two pieces of hard wood formed to an edge, on which the specimens to be experimented upon were placed, and a scale suspended from the centre to receive weights. To ascertain the relative stiffness or elasticity, the weight which caused a defection of one inch was registered, which was denoted by a rod attached to the tie-beam, so as to point downwards in front of the specimen, and one inch below the upper surface—so that when one inch of defection had taken place, it was shown by the rod just passing clear of the piece under experiment. The pieces were each accurately cut and planed two inches square and five feet in length, and the distance of the props on which they were broken was exactly fifty inches ; they were selected with great care by Mr. Bossey, who assisted at the experiments. The results of the oak experiments seem certainly to be in favor of the fast-grown. 'These experiments, Mr. Withers observes,' throw new light upon the subject, and lead to the most important conclusion. They prove not only that fast growing timber is superior in quality to that of slower growth; but that by the constant application of manure to the roots of trees, planted even in
same period, while its strength (instead of being diminished) will be thereby increased.
The invaluable advantages enjoyed by Lake Erie from its geographical position and relative connexion with surrounding navigable waters, and the scene of commercial animation it exhihits, are so correctly described in a journal published at Buffalo, that we cannot do better than give the following extract from it:—'It is peculiarly gratifying to notice the annual increase of business upon the waters of Lake Erie. The lake navigation commenced this spring (1830) much earlier than usual, and it has already assumed a degree of importance and activity unequalled by that of any former period. Besides the numerous schooners that constantly crowd our wharfs, waiting their several turns to load and unload, seven fine steamboats have full and profitable employment; one of these boats now leaves our harbor every morning, crowded with freight and passengers destined to the fertile regions of the west. It is impossible to reflect on the almost incredible increase of business upon Lake Erie for the last five or six years, without indulging in what, to some, may appear extravagant anticipations of the future.
• The map of the entire globe does not present another sheet of water more strikingly peculiar than that of Lake Erie. It literally commands the navigable waters of North America. From the south a steam-boat has already ascended the Allegany to Warren; and a trifling improvement of the Chatauque outlet will enable steam-boats from New Orleans to approach within three miles of Portland harbor. From the north the vessels of Lake Ontario have already visited Lake Erie, through the Welland Canal and river. The same spirit of enterprise that produced the Welland Canal, it is believed will soon be enabled to overcome the natural impediments to the navigation of the St. Lawrence, and open an easy and uninterrupted communication from Lake Erie, through Lake Ontario, to Montreal and Quebec. The ease with which a canal of sufficient capacity to pass steam-boats can be opened between Lake Michigan and the navigable waters of the Mississippi is well known. This enterprise has been long agitated, and will, it is believed, soon be accomplished. But this will not be the only channel of intercourse between Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico. From the southern shores of Lake Erie, the Ohio, and Pennsylvania, canals will open a communication through the Ohio river to the Mississipi.
'Lake Erie, therefore, may be regarded as a great central reservoir, from which open in all directions the most extensive channels of inland navigation to be found in the world; enabling vessels of the lake to traverse the whole interior of the country, to visit the Atlantic at the north or in the south, and collect products, the luxuries and wealth of every clime and country.'
good soil, nearly double the
BY THE AUTHOR OF NEWTON FOSTER.
When I began to wake the next morning I could not think what it was that felt like a weight upon my chest, but as I roused and recalled my scattered thoughts, I remembered that in an hour or two it would be decided whether f was to exist another day. I prayed fervently and made a resolution in my own mind, that I would not have the blood of another upon my conscience, and would fire my pistol up in the air. And after I bad made that resolution I no longer felt the alarm which 1 did before. Before I was dressed, the midshipman who had volunteered to be lny second, came into my room and informed me that the affair was to be decided in the garden behind the inn ; that my adversary was a very good shot, and that I must expect to be winged if not drilled.
'And what is winged and drilled,' inquired I; * I have not only never fought a duel, but I nave not even fired a pistol in my life.'
He explained what he meant, which was, that being winged implied being shot through the arm or leg, whereas being drilled was to be shot through the body. 'But,' continued he, ' is it possible that you have never fought a duel?' 'No,' replied I, ' I am not yet fifteen years old.' 'Not fifteen? why I thought you were eighteen at the least.' (But I was very tall and stout for my age, and people generally thought me older than what I was.)
I dressed myself and followed my second into the garden, where I found all the midshipmen and some of the waiters of the inn. They all seemed very merry, as if the life of a fellow creature was of no consequence. The seconds talked apart for a little while, and then measured the ground which was twelve paces; we then took our stations. I believe that I turned pale, for my second came to my side and whispered that I must not be frightened. I replied that I was not frightened, but that I considered that it was an awful moment. The second to my adversary then came up and asked me whether I would make an apology, which I refused to do, as before ; they handed a pistol to each of us, and my second showed me how I was to pull the trigger. It was arranged that at the word given, we were to fire at the same time. I made sure that I should be wounded, if not killed, and I shut my eyes as I fired my pistol in the air. I felt my head swim and thought I was hurt, but fortunately I was not. The pistols were loaded again, and we fired a second time, The seconds then interfered, and it was proposed that we should shake hands, which I was very glad to do, for I considered my life to have been saved by a miracle. We all went back to the coffee-room, and sat down to breakfast. They then told me that they all belonged to the same ship that I did, and that they were glad to see that I could stand fire, for the captain was a terrible fellow for cutting out and running under the enemies' batteries.
The next day my chest arrived by the waggon, and I threw off my 'bottle-greens' and put on my uniform. I had no cocked hat, or dirk, as the warehouse people employed by Mr. Handycock did not supply
* Continued from p. 25.
those articles, and it was arranged that I should procure them at Portsmouth. When I inquired the price, I found that they cost more money than I had in my pocket, so I tore up the letter 1 had written to my mother before the duel, and wrote another asking for a remittance to purchase my dirk and cocked hat. I then walked out in my uniform, not a little proud I must confess. I was now an officer in his Majesty's service, not very high in rank certainly, but still an officer and a gentleman, and 1 made a vow that I would support the character, although I was considered the greatest fool of the family.
I had arrived opposite a place called Sally Port, when a young lady very nicely dressed, looked at me very hard and said , ' Well Reefer, how are you oft' for soap ?' 1 was astonished at the question, and more so at the interest which she seemed to take in my affairs. I answered, 'Thank you, I am very well oft"; I have four cakes of Windsor, and two bars of yellow for washing.' Site laughed at my reply, and asked me whether I would walk home and take a hit of dinner with her. I was astonished at this polite offer, which my modesty induced me to ascribe more to my uniform than to my own merits, and as I felt no inclination to refuse the compliment, I said that I should be most happy. I thought I might venture to offer my arm, which she accepted, and we proceeded up High Street on our way to her home.
Just as we passed the admiral's house, I perceived my captain walking with two of the admiral's daughters. I was not a little proud to let him see that I had female acquaintances as well as he had,and as 1 passed him with the young lady under my protection, I took off my hat and made him a low bow. To my surprise, not only did he not return the salute but he looked at me with a very stern countenance. I concluded that he was a very proud man, and did not wish the admiral's daughters to suppose that he knew midshipmen by sight; but I had not exactly made up my mind on the subject, when the captain, having seen the ladies in the admiral's house, sent one of the messengers after me to desire that I would immediately come to him at the George Inn, which was nearly opposite.
I apologised to the young lady, and promised to return immediately if she would wait for me ; but she replied, that, ' If that was my captain, it was her idea that I should have a confounded wigging and be sent on board.' So, wishing me good bye, she left me and continued her way hoofe. I could as little comprehend all this as why the captain looked s;i black when I passed him ;but it was soon explained when I went up to him in the parlor at the George Inn. '1 am sorry, Mr. Simple,' said the captain when I entered, ' that a lad like you should show such early symptoms of depravity ; still more so, that he should not have the grace which even the most hardened are not wholly destitute of—I mean to practise immorality in secret, and not degrade themselves and insult their captain by unblushingly avowing, I may say, glorying in their iniquity, by exposing it in broad day, and in the most frequented street of the town.'
* Sir,' replied I, with astonishment, ' 0 dear! O dear! what have I done?'
The captain fixed his keen eyes upon me, so that they appeared to pierce me through and nail me to the wall. 'Do you pretend to say Sir, that you were not aware of the character of the person with whom you were walking just now?'
'No, Sir,' replied I,' except that she was very kind and good-natured;' and then I told him how she had addressed me, and what subsequently took place.
'And is it possible, Mr. Simple, that you are so great a fool?' I replied, ' that I certainly was considered the greatest tool in our family.' 'I should think you were,' replied he, drily. He then explained to me who the person was with whom I was in company, and how any association with her would inevitably lead to my ruin and disgrace.
I cried very much, for I was shocked at the narrow escape which I had had, and mortified at having fallen in his good opinion. He asked me how I had employed my time since I had been ut Portsmouth, and I made an acknowledgment of my having been made tipsy, related all that the midshipmen had told me, and how I had that morning fought a duel.
He listened to my whole story very attentively, and I thought that occasionally there was a smile upon his face, although he hit his lips to prevent it. When I had finished, he said, ' Mr. Simple, I can no longer trust you on shore until you are more experienced in the world. I shall desire my coxswain not to lose sight of you until you are safe on hoard of the frigate. When you have sailed a few months with me, you will then be able to decide, whether I deserve the character which the young gentlemen have given me, I must say, I believe, with the sole intention of practising upon your inexperience.'
Altogether I did not feel sorry when it was over. I saw that the captain believed what I had stated, and that he was disposed to be kind to me, although he thought me very silly. The coxswain, in obedience to his orders, accompanied me to the Blue Posts. I packed up my clothes, paid my hill, and the porter wheeled my chest down to the Sally Port, where the boat was waiting.
'Come, heave-a-head, my lads, be smart. The captain says we are to take the young gentleman ou board directly. His liberty's stopped for getting drunk and running after the Dolly Mops!'
'I should thank you to be more respectful in your remarks, Mr. Coxswain,' said I with displeasure.
'Mister Coxswain! thanky Sir, for giving me a handle to my name,' replied he. 'Come, be smart with your oars, my lads!'
'La, Bill Freeman,' said a young woman on the beach, ' what a nice young gentleman you have there. He looks like a sucking Nelson. I say, my pretty young officer, could you lend me a shilling?'
1 was so pleased at the woman calling me a youtig Nelson, that I immediately complied with her request. 'I have not a shilling in my pocket,' said I, * but here is balf-a-crown, and you can change it and bring me back the eighteen-pence.' 'Well, you are a nice young man,' replied she, taking the half-crown. 'I'll be back directly, my dear.'
The men in the boat laughed, and the coxswain desired them to shove off.
'No,' observed I, 'you must wait for my eighteen-pence.'
'We shall wait a devilish long while then, I suspect. I know that girl, and she has a very bad memory.'
'She cannot be so dishonest or ungrateful,' replied I. 'Coxswain, I order you to stay—I am an officer.'
'1 know you are, Sir, about six hours old; well, then, 1 must go up and tell the captain that you have another girl in tow, and that you won't go on board.'