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95 feet wide at low water, and 15 feet deep. An Act of Parliaiment was obtained for this canal in 1825; but this enterprise, as well as many others, was arrested by the depression which followed the wild spirit of speculation by which that year was di: tinguished.
In his simple and modest narrative, Mr Telford has not made any reference to the institution of Civil Engineers; a most important association, of which, if he was not the founder, he was the ardent promoter and liberal benefactor. In the year 1818, a number of young men who had been professionally educated under Mr Telford, several able mechanicians, and other friends of practical science, formed themselves into a society for promoting the knowledge of their professions. In 1820, they invited Mr Telford to be the president of the institution; and, having accepted of the office, he not only gave the society the most regular attendance, but obtained a charter for it, and enriched the library with many important works, and with a mass of professional documents of the most valuable character.
When Mr Telford was engaged in the improvement of Dover Harbour, which he had been requested to undertake by the Duke of Wellington, as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was seized with the illness which finally carried him off. Though a man of robust frame, he was, after his return from Sweden, attacked with a pulmonary affection which alarmed his friends. After some time, however, he recovered his usual strength, and he retained his wonted health till 1827; when he was afflicted at Cambridge with a severe and painful disorder, which left him without his usual energy, and subject to biliary derangements of a dangerous character. These unfavourable symptoms recurred in the spring and autumn of 1832 and 1833, and also in the spring of 1834; but his constitution was no longer able to withstand them, and when a fresh allack commenced on the 23d August of the same year, he sank under its severity, and expired on the 21 September 1835, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. Although Mr Telford had intended that the parish cburch of St Margaret, Westminster, should be his final resting-place, yet the Institution of Civil Engineers urged upon his executors the propriety of interring him in Westminster Abbey. This last act of duty to the memory of their friend, whose services to his country well merited so appropriate a tribute, was cheerfully paid; and his funeral was attended by his friend Sir Henry Parnell, and by Mr Walker, his successor in the presidency of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Mr Telford bequeathed the moderate fortune which he had accumulated, chiefly to those with whom he had been most intimately connected through life ; and L.4000 for public purposes. Of this, L.2000 was left for premiums to be expended under the direction of the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers; the interest of L.1000 for a parish library in Westerkirk; and a similar sum for the same purpose in the parish of Langholm.
It is not easy to convey to those who did not know him, a correct idea of Mr Telford's social and moral character. His friend Mr Rickman, has, in his brief appendix to the narrative, entered into some details on this subject, without intending to exhaust it. The leading features were integrity and sincerity-virtues which were accompanied, as they generally are, with an apparent sternness and severity of manner, resulting no doubt from that part of his professional duty, which often forced him to interfere summarily when the selfish views of corporations or of individuals were arrayed against the public interest. To those who knew him well, however, this peculiarity was either not seen at all, or was eclipsed in the genuine benevolence and kindness of his nature; in the hilarity of his jocund and happy temper; and in acts of true and considerate benevolence. In his intellectual character there was much to admire. He had greatly improved his mind by extensive reading, and acquired an amount of knowledge seldom possessed by the most eminent of his profession. He never pretended to acquirements which he did not possess, and he loved to detect the greatest of all impostors—the pretenders to knowledge. It is impossible to study Mr Telford's magnificent undertakings, or to peruse the account which he has left of them, without being struck with the great mental sagacity under the guidance of which they were planned and executed. It is difficult to analyse that peculiar faculty of mind which directs a successful engineer who is not guided by the deductions of the exact sciences ; but it must consist mainly in the power of observing the effects of natural causes acting in a variety of circumstances; and in the judicious application of this knowledge to cases where the same causes come into operation. But while this sagacity is a prominent feature in the designs of Mr Telford, it appears no less distinctly in the choice of the men by whom they were to be practically executed. His quick perception of character, his honesty of purpose, and his contempt of all other acquirements, save that practical knowledge and experience which was best fitted to accomplish, in the best manner, the object he had in view--have enabled him to leave behind him works of inestimable value, and monuments of professional celebrity which have not been surpassed either in Britain or in Europe. Were our public institutions thus directed, and the public service thus
advanced; were the hands that raise our monuments of legislation as wisely selected as those that rear our fabrics of iron and stone—the social edifice would stand forth in its just and harmonious proportions;—and discontent, and misery, and vice, the necessary fruits of misgovernment, would speedily disappear.
The great services of Mr Telford have been appreciated by the public-but by the public alone. He received the honour of knighthood from the King of Sweden ;- but no mark of distinction from the King of England---no memorial from a country whose scientific eminence he illustrated, and whose commercial power he enlarged!
We cannot close this account of Mr Telford's life and labours, without adverting to the singular advance which has recently been made in several departments of civil engineering. The steam navigation of the Atlantic in twelve days, in opposition to the predictions of some of our ablest engineers; and the rapid extension of railway communication through every part of England—are two of the most striking instances of the triumph of the scientific arts, and of the blessings which these arts confer upon the community. London and Edinburgh will speedily be brought within less than a day of each other. The luxuries and benefits which characterise each spot of the island, will be concentrated within the reach of all; and, in this abridgement of space and time, the whole habits of our social being will suffer a corresponding change. The mutual affections and mutual interests of individuals, as well as of communities, will be brought within the sphere of their mutual actions. New occupations will be held out to the industrious; new and better pursuits to the idle; and fresh objects of sympathy to the benevolent. We shall tbus see more of our own country, and know more of our fellow-citizens of their opinions, their feelings, their sufferings, and their aspirations; and, in thus becoming better acquainted with the lot of others, we shall learn to be better content with our own. If famine should light upon any corner of the land, the commissariat of more fortunate districts will speedily arrive with abundance. If pestilence should waste it, the genius of humanity will be quickly summoned to its relief. If insurrection should alarm it, the arm of justice and of law will soon be at the rescue. The concentration of space and time, in short, will add to the security, the wealth, and the grandeur of the nation.
ART. II.-I. A Brief History of Church Rates. By the Rev.
William Goode, Rector of St Antholin. London : 8vo. 1838. 2. A Reply to the Article on Church Rates in the Edimburgh Review, No. 124. By the Same. 8vo. 1838.
P these two performances, the first is in substance, and the time ago on Church Rates. It is true, there is no mention of our article in the Brief History;' but there are several pages of it devoted to an examination of the authorities we had used, none of which are omitted; though many of thein had not been noticed by those who bad preceded us in the controversy.
It is but justice to Mr Goode to acknowledge, that in his History of Church Rates,' he maintains the side he has espoused with better temper, and with more skill and discretion, than had been done by his predecessors. If, in his Reply to us, he has departed from the urbanity he had preserved in bis historical essay, we regret his intemperance; and, profiting by the lesson he has given us, we shall carefully abstain from following his example. Idle
rodomontade, the produce either of party prejudice or of want • of information, in the highest degree reprehensible'— tam• pering with every important authority we had adduced—ig
norance of the real nature and bearing of these authorities'• slippery translations and loose paraphrases, which give to false • conclusions an air of truth, and deceive readers who will not care to search after the ponderous volumes from which they are derived'-assertions contrary to common sense’-are some of the mild phrases and courteous expressions he has applied to
We are sorry theological bitterness should have led him to forget the decencies of literary discussion. He
He may be assured that a good cause does not suffer from the modesty and moderation of its defenders, and that zeal and good manners are not incompatible. But, without adverting further to his petulance and presumption, we shall proceed to his arguments.
It is admitted on both sides that church rates, for the reparation of churches and the expenses of religious worship, have beer levied in England since the thirteenth century;through assessment imposed on the parish by the parishioners assembled in vestry. The question in dispute is, at what time was this practice introduced? We have contended that there is no proof of its existence before the thirteenth century; and that in the course of that century it was completely established as it now exists. Mr Goode, in support of his opinion, that early in the thirteenth century
it was already an established and acknowledged custom, cites the authority of John de Athon, or, as he chooses to call him, John of Acton, who wrote Commentaries on the Constitutions of Otho-a papal legate that held a national council at London in 1237-and on those of Ottobon, another legate who held a similar council in 1268. John de Athon unquestionably tells us (and we were quite aware of the fact), that though the canon law imposed on the rector the reparation of bis church, and exempted the laity from that burden, the laity in England were nevertheless bound by custom to keep their parish church in repair, and ought to be compelled to the performance of that duty. The question is, at what time did John de Athon write his Commentary? If it was early in the thirteenth century, it would be a proof that we were in the wrong ; and that the custom he commemorates, had been established before the time we had assigned for its first introduction. But if he wrote, as we contend he did, in the middle of the fourteenth century, his testimony is of no weight in the present controversy; because it is admitted on both sides, that in the fourteenth
century, the system or abuse of church rates was completely established.
Mr Goode tells us that John de Athon was contemporary with the legatine constitutions on which he comments_ihat he was one of Otho's chaplains in 1237; and for this piece of history he refers us to Duck as his authority, who asserts,' as Mr Goode assures us, 'from Matth. Paris, that the commentator upon the • Legatine Constitutions of Otho and Ottobon was one of Oibo's
chaplains, who is mentioned by Matth. Paris as having spoken • at the national council held at St Paul's in 1237.'
Duck's volume is not very ponderous; but, duodecimo as it is, we suspect Mr Goode has never looked into it. If he had done so, he would have found there is no such passage in Duck, who was too well informed to have fallen into so gross an error.
Mr Goode seems to have borrowed his knowledge of Duck, from the Oxford edition of John de Athon's Commentaries; to which the editor has prefixed a short character of John de Athon from Duck --inserting an interpolation of his own, which Mr Goode has unwarily copied. The words within brackets ['quem Matthæus • Parisiensis nominat Othonis clericum ;] are not in Duck.
Matthew Paris, the innocent author of this mistake, informs us, that doubts having arisen whether constitutions made by the Papal legale would have force in England after his departure from the kingdom, and these doubts having been communicated