Imágenes de páginas

· There is an undulating motion or tumult in the air, certain signs of fine weather is the loftiness of the canwhich is excited by the heat of the sun, that indicates an opy of the sky. immediate change of the weather. The humidity raised *As the rays of light which pass from the sun, moon, from the earth by the heat of the sun is sustained in the or stars, to the earth, are certainly affected in their colatmosphere by its heat and the agitation of the air. our by the state of the vapours through which they pass, Though this motion is not always visible to the naked those colours may be considered as indications of the eye, yet by the help of a good telescope it becomes emi quality and nature of those vapours. nently conspicuous; every object appears to be in vio When the clouds in the east about sunrise appear of lent agitation, and the boundary line of the sensible | a gay orange-colour, it is generally and not improperly horizon, which would otherwise be clear and well-defin supposed to be a sign of rain. ed, is waved like a field of corn agitated by the wind, or Virgil, the first of Roman poets, and not the last of the surface of the sea in a fresh gale. While these un natural philosophers, observes, that a pale moon is a dulations continue in the air, the vapours remain there; sign of rain,- that a red one forebodes wind, and that but when the sun departs, and they subside, these when she wears her own natural whiteness, with a aqueous particles become condensed, and descend to the serene sky, it is a sign of fair weather. ground during night, and in the morning assume the The flowers, or corolla, of many plants, close or shut appearance of dew,

up when rain is impending. This is particularly true of When the air is fully saturated with moisture, too, the common weed called pimpernel, which on this acdistant objects appear much nearer and larger than count has got the name of the poor man's weather-glass. they usually do, from the increased magnifying medium The down of the dandelion is also much affected by of the dense air. There is also in this state of the air a moisture in the atmosphere. most distinct image of objects reflected from the water, Birds are furnished with an oil-bag near the tail, which the Italians have called fata morgana.

which supplies oil for their feathers to protect them Several prognostic signs of the weather may be col from wet. Birds and fowls of all kinds may therefore lected from the various appearances of the clouds. be observed, previous to rain, to be very assiduous in When they appear to dissolve suddenly into air, and be distributing this oil over their feathers, in order to precome invisible, it may be considered as a strong indica pare them for the approaching change. tion of fair weather; but, on the contrary, when they Martins and swallows, and such birds as feed upon seem to form themselves into masses from the surround insects on the wing, are remarkably active previous to ing air, and to increase in density and magnitude, rain rain, and fly near the earth in search of their food. may reasonably be predicted. Upon the approach of Several species of insects, those of the snail kind heavy rain, every cloud rises larger than the preceding especially, come abroad on the approach of rain. Some one, particularly when a thunder-storm is near, when other kinds, as the winged insects, are shy of venturing small fragments of clouds collect, and in a little time out when foul weather is expected. Bees have a pecu. cover the whole face of the sky. Fishermen by this rule liar instinctive knowledge of the approach of rain; for frequently prognosticate a storm, from a small point of however far they wander from the hive, they never a cloud appearing on the visible horizon at sea.

allow themselves to be overtaken even by the most sudWhen the clouds appear like fleeces, deep and dense den shower. towards the middle and white at the edges, with a bright Cattle feed with remarkable avidity on the expectancy blue sky about them, either hasty showers of rain, hail, of bad weather, and retire under trees, or hedges, or or snow, may be expected.

other shelter, as soon as they are satisfied. In settled When the clouds, as they come forward, appear to fine weather they graze more slowly, and lie abroad, diverge from a point in the horizon, a wind may be pre dispersed in the field, as more careless and at their ease. dicted either from that or the opposite quarter.

Finally, even from the inanimate world prognosticaWhen the sky is covered with clouds above, and there tions of rain may be gathered from the swell and exare small black fragments of clouds like smoke flying pansion of timber, and the nauseous effluvia from drains underneath, rain is generally near, and frequently last and common sewers; for the air, when charged with

moisture, seems to be a better conductor of volatile The most certain sign of rain, however, is two differ matter than when dry. ent currents of clouds, especially if the lower current flies past before the wind; when two such currents ap

METEORS pear in hot weather, they forebode a thunder-storm. Are those luminous balls which are occasionally

When the dew appears plentifully upon the grass after seen to shoot so beautifully across the evening and a fair day, another fair day may be expected; but if midnight sky, and which are vulgarly known as “ falafter such a fair day there is no dew upon the ground ling stars." and no wind, it is a sign that the vapours ascend, and These meteors, in ancient times, were regarded as that there will be accumulation above which must ter something supernatural, and were beheld with awe and minate in rain. When the dew or hoar-frost abounds terror. The nature of the electric fluid was not then at an unusual season, and the barometer is low, it is known, and such striking and unnatural appearances usually a sign of rain.

were always looked upon as the forebodings of some As the sky indicates the state of vapours in the at dire event. Pliny makes mention of several of these mosphere, its colour may be considered as an index to appearances. When the Lacedemonians lost the methe weather.

morable battle which deprived them of the empire of the When the vapours which appear red in the evening sea, a meteor of amazing length was seen in the heavens. are dispersed, the sky in the morning in general becomes At noon-day, too, during the fight of the gladiators, exclear; but when they continue to float in the atmosphere, hibited by Germanicus, a similar appearance passed rathe morning sky becomes red also, and rain frequently pidly across the faces of the numerous spectators. follows.

Pliny also mentions a meteor, red as blood, which fell When a lowering redness spreads far upwards from from the heavens, about the 107th Olympiad, during the horizon, whether in the morning or evening, it is the period which Philip of Macedon was plotting the succeeded frequently by either rain or wind, sometimes downfall and subversion of the Greek republic. He reby both.

lates, too, a meteoric appearance seen by himself while When a redness in the sky extends towards the he kept watch in the Roman camp at midnight. zenith in the evening, the wind may be expected to pro In tropical climates, meteors, as well as hurricanes ceed from the west, or south-west, accompanied with and other violent agitations of the atmosphere, are rain in considerable quantity. Perhaps one of the most much more common than in this country. “ As I was


riding in Jamaica,” says Mr Barbham, “ one morning | scended and disappeared. It was visible about half a from my habitation, situated about three miles north minute, and was seen in all parts of Great Britain, and west from St Jago de la Vega, I saw a ball of fire, ap in France and other parts of the continent, and is suppearing to me about the bigness of a bomb, swiftly fall posed to have passed at least one thousand miles over ing down with a great blaze. At first I thought it fell the surface of the earth. It appears to have burst and into the town; but when I came nearer I saw many reunited several times. When the meteor was observed people gathered together, a little to the southward, in at Brussels, the moon appeared quite red, but when it the savannah, to whom I rode up to inquire the cause was passed, recovered its natural light. The body of of their meeting. They were admiring, as I found, the the fire ball, even before it burst, which took place while ground strangely broken up and ploughed by a ball of passing over Lincolnshire, did not appear of a uniform fire, which, as they said, fell down there. I observed brightness, but consisted of lucid and dull parts, which there were many holes in the ground, one in the middle were constantly changing their respective positions, so of the bigness of a man's head, and five or six smaller that the effect was like an internal agitation, or boiling round about it, of the bigness of one's fist, and so of the matter. The height of the meteor seemed to vary deep as not to be fathomed by such implements as were from 50 to 60 miles. at hand. It was observed also, that all the green her A report was heard some time after the meteor dig. bage was burnt up near the holes, and there continued appeared in Lincolnshire, and its progress was accoma strong smell of sulphur near the place for some time panied with a hissing noise. Judging from the height after."

of the meteor, its bulk is conjectured to have been not Dr Blagden gives a most minute description of two less than half a mile in diameter, and its velocity must meteors which appeared in this country in the year have been more than 40 miles in the second,-an asto1783. The first was seen on the 18th of August, and nishing speed for such a large body. was in appearance a luminous ball, which rose in the | The other meteor, which was much smaller, and N.N.W., nearly round. It soon, however, assumed an which was visible only a few seconds, was first seen to elliptical shape, with a tail, and as it ascended, seemed the northward, about seven in the evening, as a stream to undergo a remarkable change, compared to bursting; of fire, like the common shooting stars, but larger than after which it proceeded no longer as an entire mass, but they generally are. It suddenly burst out into an inwas apparently divided into a cluster of balls of differ tensely bright bluish flame, and then disappeared, leav. ent magnitudes, and all carrying or leaving a train be ing behind it a dusky-red streak of fire, but no tail. hind, till, proceeding towards the south, it gradually de- | Its height was computed at from 40 to 50 miles.

Dear as the dove, whosa wafting wing

The green leaf ransomed from the main,
Thy genial glow, returning Spring!

Comes to our shores again.
For thou hast been a wanderer long,

On many a fair and foreign strand;
In balm and beauty, sun and song,

Passing from land to land.
O'er vine-clad hills and classic plains,

Of glowing climes beyond the deep;
And by the dim and mouldering fanes

Where the dead Cæsars sleep: And o'er Sierras, brightly blue,

Where rest our country's fallen brave; Smiling through thy sweet tears, to strew

Flower-offerings o'er each grave.


Thou bringest the blossom to the bee,

To earth a robe of emerald dye,
The leaflet to the naked tree,

And rainbows to the sky:
I feel the blest, benign control,

The pulses of my youth restore,
Opening the springs of sense and soul,

To love and joy once more.
Then, while the groves thy garlands twine,

Thy spirit breathes in flower and tree,
My heart shall kindle at thy shrine,

And worship God in thee;
And in some calm, sequestered spot,

Whilst listening to thy coral strain,
Past griefs shall be a while forgot,

And pleasures bloom again.-MALCOLM.

SUMMER IN SOUTH AMERICA. Summer was in its prime;- the parrot flocks

There, through the trunks, with moss and lichens white, Darkened the passing sunshine on the rocks;

The sunshine darts its interrupted light, The chrysomel and purple butterfly

And 'mid the cedar's darksome bough, illumes Amid the clear blue light are wandering by;

With instant touch, the lori's scarlet plumes. The humming-bird, along the myrtle bowers,

Just heard to trickle through a covert near, With twinkling wing, is spinning o'er the flowers;

And soothing, with perpetual lapse, the ear, The woodpecker is heard with busy bill,

A fount, like rain-drops, filtered through the stone, The mock-bird sings—and all beside is still.

And, bright as amber, on the shallows shone. And look! the cataract that bursts so high,

Intent his fairy pastime to pursue, As not to mar the deep tranquillity,

And gem-like, hovering o'er the violets blue, The tumult of its dashing fall suspends,

The humming-bird, here, its unceasing song And, stealing drop by drop, in mist descends;

Heedlessly murmured all the summer long; Through whose illumined spray, and sprinkling dews, And when the winter came, retired to rest, Shine to the adverse sun the broken rainbow hues,

And from the myrtles hung its trembling nest. Chequering, with partial shade, the beams of noon,

No sounds of a conflicting world were near; And arching the grey rock with wild festoon,

The noise of Ocean faintly met the ear, Here, its gay net-work, and fantastic twine,

That seemed, as sunk to rest the noontide blast, The purple cogul threads from pine to pine,

But dying sounds of passion that were past; And oft, as the fresh airs of morning breathe,

Or closing anthems, when, far off, expire Dips its long tendrils in the stream beneath.

The lessening echoes of the distant choir.-BOWLES.


By JAMES NICOL, Esq. One of the most important branches of industry in of England. The vessels which brought down the ore, Scotland is that connected with the manufacture of returned loaded with pig.iron, timber, and oak-bark, iron. All the other metallic minerals found in this and the trade is said to have been both profitable to the country are of small importance compared to this, either parties, and highly beneficial to the country. It is, in regard to the value of the produce, or the number of however, chiefly interesting, as showing how little was people whom it employs. Iron ores are found in nature then known of the real wealth of this country, as the in two very distinct positions,—either as veins intersect vessels bringing this ore from the south must have ing other rocks, or as beds alternating regularly with passed along the shores of Ayr, and up the Firth of certain strata. Most of the Russian and Swedish iron Clyde, and thus within sight of a mineral field, containis procured from ores disposed in the former manner, ing iron ore in perhaps greater abundance than any or forming veins in the older rocks. In Scotland, such other portion of the British islands. The real foundaveins are not uncommon, and have been wrought in a tion, therefore, of the Scottish iron manufacture, may be few places; but the ores are generally very difficult to placed in 1760, when Dr Roebuck, from Sheffield, Mr fuse, and have never come into general use. Almost Garbet, from Birmingham, and Mr Cadell, founded the the only mine of this kind, now in operation, is at Carron works, on the river of the same name, near Auchinleck, near Auchencairn, in Kircudbright, where Falkirk. Besides the vicinity of the materials, the a vein of red hematite is wrought in the granite. It water-power, and the convenience of carriage by sea, produces about three thousand tons of ore annually, seem to have determined the choice of this situation, at which is sent to Birmingham. Far more important, in that time a barren moor, with scarcely a house upon it. an economical point of view, are the iron ores found The workmen were at first brought from England. In interstratified with the rocks of the coal formation, The 1773, the company obtained a charter, and for a long ore is the carbonate of iron, but mixed with a variable period, with the exception of those mentioned in the proportion of clay, and carbonaceous matter. It most west, was the only iron work in Scotland. In 1780, and frequently occurs in flattened, elliptical, or irregular the five or six following years, furnaces were erected at 'nodules, dispersed through the beds of shale, or slate Wilsontown, Omoa, and Clyde, in Old Monkland parish. clay. These masses of ore seem often to have collected Before the close of the century, similar works were esround a shell, a fish, or other organic body, and some tablished at Muirkirk in Ayrshire, and at Devon in of them are divided in the interior, by veins of white Clackmannanshire, the introduction of improved steamspar, into numerous irregular prisms. In some cases engines for draining the pits having given a great stithe nodules unite, and form beds, either compact, or mulus to the coal-trade, and enabled the proprietors to divided into rectangular masses. In some parts of the work many seams, formerly impossible from the water. Scottish coal-field, these beds 'of ironstone are very About the commencement of this century, several other numerous, twenty to thirty of them being not uncom furnaces were erected, but the increase was very slow mon in one section; and in a pit near Paisley, no less till the introduction of the hot blast, in 1828. In 1796, than sixty-six are known, from three inches to a foot when Mr Pitt had an intention of laying a tax upon thick each, the total amount of workable ore being esti coal, the number of furnaces in Scotland was ascer. mated at twenty feet in thickness. One of the most tained to be seventeen; in 1814, they were stated at important beds of ironstone is, however, that known as twenty-one; and, in 1827, the number is said to have the Black Band. This is found in the district round been only eighteen, though, in consequence of various Airdrie, chiefly in New Monkland parish, and does not improvements, the produce of iron had more than seem to extend beyond a space of eight or ten square doubled from the first period. In the nineteen following miles. It is from fourteen to eighteen inches thick, and years, to 1845, the increase was very rapid, in the end contains from thirty-four to thirty-nine per cent. of iron. of 1843 there being no less than sixty furnaces in blast, Its value may be understood from the fact, that the mines and thirty-eight out of blast; in October 1845, they had of it on the property of Rochsolloch, in New Monkland, I again increased to eighty-six in blast, forty-two out, and some time ago, yielded 4500 tons of ore per month, fifteen building, the number actually working being thus producing an income of L.12,600 per annum, from a five times more than fifty, or even twenty years earlier, piece of ground which, if let for tillage, would not be existed in the whole country. The most extensive worth a twentieth part of the sum. Though the true works are now those of Gartsherrie, though Carron still black band has not been found in other parts of the retains its ancient pre-ensinence in manufacturing cer. coal-field, yet there are beds of ore little inferior in tain articles. This is especially true of artillery, for value, and it may be safely affirmed, that the central which it has long been celebrated, and about ten years district of Scotland contains an amount of iron ore, ago it was visited by some French military engineers, which it will require many centuries to exhaust.

sent to superintend the manufacture of some guns, for The history of the iron manufacture in Scotland does which they had obtained permission from the British not extend back a century. Before 1750 no cast iron government. was made, and the plates of this metal, used for the The amount of iron produced has increased in a still backs of grates, were usually brought from Germany, higher proportion. In 1788, it was 7000 tons, of which some of which may still be seen, ornamented with curi. 1400 tons were made by wood-charcoal, at Goatfield and ous figures, cast in relief. In 1753, or 1754, a company Bunawe, leaving thus 5600 tons as the real produce of from Lancashire took a lease of the forests on the Argyil Scotland. In 1796, it was estimated at 16,086 tons, and estate, and seem even to have formed plantations, for the General Report on Scotland gives the amount, prothe purpose of melting iron ore by wood charcoal. It bably for 1811, at 32,760 tons, worth, at L.7 per ton, took the name of the Argyll or Lorn Furnace Company, L.229,320 sterling. Carron, one of the largest works, and erected works in various convenient situations, as then produced about 6500 tons of iron annually. In at Goatfield, in the south of Inverary parish, and at 1 1827, the produce has been estimated at 36,000 tous, Bunawe, on Loch Etive. The furnaces at the former but this is probably too low. In 1843, the produce place continued for upwards of forty years, and at the lat should have been about 330.000 tons; and, in October ter are still in operation, the lease of the woods not expir. 1845, it was 9180 tons a-week, or 477,360 tons annualing for some years. This company can, however, scarcely ly. Instead of importing iron, Scotland now exports a be considered asconnected with the mineral wealth of very large quantity. In 1845, there were shipped, ol Scotland, the iron ore being all imported from the west pig-iron from the Clyde, coast-wise, 89,876 tons; and to

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foreign parts, 21,918 tons, making in all, 111,792 tons. I been so enormously increased by the formation of railFrom Grangemouth, the principal port for the iron works in the eastern division of the country, 37,000 tons! It is a remarkable fact, that with all this production were shipped in the same time, making a total of iron of iron, and an exportation of it and steel of the declarexported from Scotland last year, of nearly 150,000 ed value, in the year ending 5th January 1845, of uptons. The price of Scottish iron varied considerably, wards of three million's sterling, Great Britain should having been L.3 per ton in January, and so high as still be under the necessity of importing iron for various L.5, lls. in April; but, averaging it at L.4 per ton, the purposes. In 1833 to 1835, the average annual imporiron produced in Scotland last year must have been tation of bar-iron, principally the produce of Sweden and worth L.1,900,000, and that exported from the Clyde Russia, was upwards of 17,000 tons; and in 1841 to and Forth about L.600,000. Even that sent to foreign 1844, it was still above 13,000 tons. The mere money countries should have been worth L.120,000.

carried out of the country for this material is of small This most important national result has arisen, in a importance, as it will be restored in some other way; great measure, from the introduction of the hot blast. but this fact appears in another light when we regard it The first bint of this improvement seems to be contained as a proof, that even in this great national manufacture, in a paper by a Mr. Sadler, in Nicholson's Journal for Britain is still surpassed, in certain respects, by other 1799. In 1816, a patent was actually taken out by Mr countries. The British isles produce considerably more Stirling, minister of Kilmarnock, for throwing “a con than half the iron manufactured in Europe; Scotland stant stream of heated air” into the furnaces, and by alone more than any of the continental kingdoms; and this means effecting a saving of fuel. This patent seems yet certain of the finer kinds of iron must be introduced never to have come into operation, and practical men from abroad. No doubt the quantity is rapidly dimicontinued of the opinion that the colder the air the nishing, as, previous to 1785, above 70,000 tons were better and more abundant the iron produced. In 1824, | imported; yet the fact remains, that in strength, coheMr Neilson, manager of the Glasgow Gas Works, had sive power, and other properties, Swedish and Russian his attention turned to this subject, and by a simple ex iron is superior to British, and can compete with this periment with a common smith's forge, proved that even in our own markets. This superiority, we have heated air produced a more intense temperature than no doubt, arises partly from the nature of the ores, partly cold. In October 1828, he took out a patent for his in from the fuel employed in smelting. Common coal is vention, having, however, been obliged to give up a frequently deteriorated by sulphur in various forms, share of the profits to certain friends, in order to secure which always exercises an injurious influence on iron. the necessary capital, and the successful trial of his pro- | From this the wood charcoal employed in the north of cess. It was first introduced at the Clyde and Calder Europe is wholly free. But wood is not now to be proiron works, but its merits were soon so evident that be cured in sufficient quantity for this purpose in Britain, fore the expiry of the patent in 1842, it was used in and unless some method of using peat instead can be deevery furnace in Scotland with the exception of one at vised, no improvement in this respect can be looked for Carron, at half the furnaces in England, and very com- in British iron. In reference to the ore, we conceive monly in America and on the Continent. Mr Neilson and that the hematites or oxides of iron chiefly used in Swehis partners in the patent, charged for its use the mo- den and Russia, furnish metal of better quality than the derate sum of one shilling a-ton on the iron produced by earthy carbonates of the coal formation. One cause of it. This, however, did not prevent certain parties from this is probably the small portion of alloy of other medisputing their rights, but after a long litigation, in tals the former contain. Berzelius ascribes the superiwhich the law expenses on each side could not have been ority of Swedish to British iron, to the manganese mixed less than L.20,000, a compromise, favourable to the with it. Perhaps also a slight admixture of some of the patentees, was effected, by which they received in some rarer metals, rhodium, iridium, platina, may adapt it betcases, ten, in others fifteen times the sum originally ter for cutting instruments. Whatever be the cause, it charged. The whole profits of the proprietors have is worthy of consideration whether some of the veins of been estimated at L.300,000, of which Mr Neilson's iron ore dispersed through the primary and transition share would be L.90,000.

mountains of Scotland might not be wrought with adIn using this patent, several improvements have been vantage, either for smelting by themselves for a finer successively adopted. One of these was the use of com species of iron, or to mix with the common ore, in order mon coal instead of coke, by Mr Dixon of Calder Iron to improve the quality of the produce. Mines which a Works. Another important improvement was, substi. few years ago were of no value on account of their distuting small pipes cased in brick-work, for the large ves tance from coal, are now placed in very different circumsel in which the air was formerly beated. This, we be stances, in consequence of improvements in the mode of lieve, was first done by the Messrs Baird, and enabled transport. Roads are now formed where formerly even them to give the air a temperature of 6000 to 6120, or a foot-path hardly existed, and railways are penetrating that at which lead would melt, instead of 240°, the high to the wildest Highland glens and the most retired valest formerly attained. The result of these various im leys of the southern mountains. In this way the mineprovements on the cost of producing iron is very strik ral wealth of the country is becoming available to an ing. In 1788 the average annual produce of each fur extent which a few years ago could have scarcely been nace was from 800 to 1000 tons; in 1827 it had in conceived. As in the end of last century, the iron ores creased to 2000 tons; and last year to 5550 tons. The of England were brought to Scotland to be melted, in igsaving on coal and limestone, by using the heated air, norance of the true wealth of both countries, so it is not has been estimated at from L.1, 3s. 6d. to L.1, 9s, 6d. improbable that before long ore may be exported from per ton, to which the saving in wages and in capital, the primary mountains of the latter to the rich coal-fields each furnace now doing more than the work of two, of the former country. must be added. How much this has operated in favour The chromate of iron, found in considerable abundance of the consumer, will appear from the fact mentioned in in the serpentine rocks of the most northern of the Zetthe Mining Journal, that the price of Scotch pig-iron in land islands, may be mentioned in this connection, the ten years 1821-30, was L.7, 2s. 6d. per ton; in the though it is valued, not as an ore of iron, but of chrome, years 1835 to 1844, only L.3, 17s. 6d., or a saving used as a colouring material. It was first discovered by of more than L.3, 5s. a-ton. This, the same autho Dr Hibbert, scattered in loose masses over the surface rity states, cannot have saved less to the country in of the hills north-west of Balta Sound. In the native these ten years, than three and a quarter million rock it is disseminated either in granular particles like pounds sterling. Of how much greater importance gunpowder, or in large masses weighing an hundred must it be at present, when the demand for iron has pounds or more. It is also found in veins, though less

commonly than in concretions. The loose fragments are | rescue them from destruction. But before this cart probably the remains left during the decomposition of take effect the migratory unsettled condition of the pothe rock. After its true value was pointed out, some l pulation must be corrected. At present the people thousand pounds' worth of this mineral was collected and have no security of remaining in one place beyond a exported. Though now less abundant, cargoes of it are few weeks, or days. At the end of a month or a fort. still occasionally procured.

night they may be sent out to seek a new master and a This picture of material prosperity is darkened by the new home. They are thus almost like savages, without moral condition of the people, by whose labour it is any local attachment, or any fear of the consequences produced. Whilst the commercial condition of the of losing their character, so as to be obliged to seek em. country has been flourishing in the extreme, and our ployment in another place. In accounting for the highi iron masters and manufacturers reaping profits surpass character of the miners at the Leadhills, too much im. ing the revenues of princes, the character of their work portance can hardly be ascribed to the fact, that each ing people has been sinking lower and lower, their phy of them had a cottage he could call his own, a home sical welfare has not advanced, their moral and social from which he was in no danger of being removed condition greatly retrograded. In New Monkland par against his will. It will almost invariably be found that ish, the population in the present century has increased the comfort and character of the labouring classes demore than ten-fold, but with no corresponding addition pends less on the amount of their wages, than on the to the means of moral and religious instruction. In certain nature of their employment and the length of many countries the miners are distinguished as a moral | the period for which they are engaged. Hence we conand intelligent class of men, and in a previous article | ceive that the first step to promote the welfare, and elewe mentioned the high character which the miners of vate the character of the population employed in this op the Leadhills have maintained for more than a century. | other branches of manufacture, would be to substitute But the collier population have never attained this engagements for six months, or a year, in place of those rank, and they have always been regarded as the most | for a week or a fortnight as is the present practice. By ignorant, vicious, and lawless part of the community, | this we believe the true interests both of the masters Down to 1775, they were little better than slaves or and work people would be promoted, and the moral imserfs, attached for life to the property on which they | provement and physical welfare of the latter rendered were born, and when it was sold, transferred with it to far more easily attainable. * a new master. In the year mentioned they were declared free by act of Parliament, and entitled to “enjoy the same privileges, rights and immunities with the rest

Science. of his majesty's subjects." But even this law did not THE PETRIFIED FOREST NEAR CAIRO.-The specimens set them wholly free, and another act was required for consisted of about forty-five pieces of wood;-trunks, this purpose in 1799. But this legal freedom did not roots, knots, and branches, from three inches to three at once bring with it moral freedom; and the colliers feet in length; some were exhibited sliced and transparare still distinguished among the population of Scotland ent, showing the sap vessels and the medullary rays; for rudeness and ignorance. No one who has looked some cut into bracelets and brooehes. In explaining the into the Government reports can entertain a doubt on peculiarities of these, Dr Buist stated that few things this subject, even should we allow that the worst fea were more remarkable-few less noticed (considering tures of their character and condition were brought out! how worthy it was of examination than the petrified there in rather too strong relief. Some have ascribed forest near Cairo. From the city you proceeded, by the this condition of this class to the nature of their em Caliphs' Tombs, to the south-east. Passing for five ployment-shut up in the dark and dingy mine, exclud. miles through an arid valley, through which a river tored from the salutary influence of light and free air, with rent appeared to have flowed, skirted on both sides by little intercourse with other portions of the community, | low, brown, rocky ridges, the traveller turps suddenly and with scarcely the possibility of personal cleanliness off to the right, and beyond the first range of sandhills

and were this the case, then their condition would be finds, spreading far as the eye can reach, a vast expanse truly hopeless. That it is not so, a little intercourse of rolling hillocks, covered with prostrate trees. At first with them soon shows. On matters connected with sight these wear exactly the aspect of rotten wood dug their own employment, I have found them intelligent out from a Scottish or Irish peat-bog. The colour and and inquisitive, perhaps more so than other classes in the amount of decay seem the same. They are lying in the same rank of life. Many individuals among them all positions and directions on the surface of the burning are also equal to the best class of the Scottish peasant sand-some forty or fifty feet in length, and one or two ry, both in intelligence and morals, and what has been feet in thickness; not continuous or entire, but in a line attained in these instances might at least be approached broken across, left in their places like sawn trunks. Op in all were the proper means taken.

touching them, instead of proving mouldering and deThe evil qualities of the mining population have ap cayed, they turn out to be hard and sharp as flints. peared in the strongest light in the vicinity of Airdrie, They ring like cast-iron, strike fire with steel, and scratch where a vast mass of human beings has been suddenly glass. The sap-vessels and medullary rays--the very congregated from all quarters with no regard to charac bark and marks of worms and insects, and even the spiral ter, and no attention to sufficient means of intellectual vessels-remain entire; the minutest fibres of the vegeor religious instruction. As Mr Tancred states, these table structure are discernible by the microscope. Here things have been left to accident or chance, and “ in the you have the carbon-the most indestructible matter meanwhile, a population has been growing up, immersed known to us-entirely withdrawn, and substituted in its more deeply than any I have met with in the most dis place a mass of silica-a matter insoluble by any ordingusting habits of debauchery. I feel that my powers of ary agent, and at any common heat. Yet so tranquilly description are wholly inadequate to convey the feeling has the exchange been accomplished that not one stolu inspired by a visit to these localities. Every thing that I has been disturbed; the finest tissues remain entire; the meets the eye or ear tells of slavish labour united to most delicate arrangements uninterfered with. The brutal intemperance.” The evidence of the Catholic limits of the petrified forest are unknown; it clergyman and other respectable persons residing in the extends over an area of many hundreds, perhaps thouvicinity is no less strong and decided. The results of

* In preparing this account of the iron manufacture of Scotland, the investigation which then took place, may have produced some improvement, but much still remains to be

with appendix, the articles on iron making and smelting in the Excadone. A well organised home mission, with schools and

also an article in No. VII. of the North British Review. Faller details churches open to the mass of the people, is needed to

of the geological character, and the amount of ironstone in various po basins will be found in my Guide to the Geulogy of Scotland.

have consulted the Reports on the Employment of Children in WIDOS,

pordia Britannica, and various numbers of the Statistical Reports. Se

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