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hy experiments of a most painful nature. I who have died by the explosion ; as is shown Even coal-ships at sea have been the scenes in the following extract, which likewise proves of these demonstrations. For instance: - that dangers, perils, and heroisin are not con“On the 5th August, 1816, the ship Flora, fined to battle-fields or the raging deep. It of London, having just taken a cargo of coal relates to the explosion of the St. Hilda pit, in on board in Sunderland harbor, blew up 1839 :-" The deadly gas, the resulting prodwith a terrible explosion; the deck-beams uct, became stronger and stronger as we were broken, and the decks torn up. On the approached. We encountered in one place 4th July, 1817, the Fly, of Ely, lying at the bodies of five men who had died from the Brandling-staith, on the Tyne, with a cargo effects of the gas, and had apparently died of coal just taken in, the gas from it exploded, placidly, without one muscle of the face disburned the captain in the cabin, tore up part torted. Then there were three more that of the deck, threw a boat from the hatches, had been destroyed by the explosion ; clothes and did other serious damage. Upon the burned and torn, the hair singed off, the skin 21st July, 1839, the sloop Enterprise, when and desh torn away in several places, with at sea, with coal, from Pembroke to Newport, an expression as if the spirit had passed away Isle of Wight, had an alarming explosion, in agony, Going with a single guide, we enwhich fortunately only frightened, but did countered two men, one with a light, the not injure, the crew. And the schooner Mer- other bearing something on his shoulders. maid, of Guernsey, upon the 29th August, It was a blackened mass — a poor dead burned this year (1842), lying at South Shields, boy he was tuking out. A little further on, sustained an explosion; she had been laden we found wagons that had been loaded, overthat day with Hilda coal, and the hatches turned, bottom upwards, scattered in different immediately battened down, when, six hours directions; a horse lying dead, directly in the after, the gas from the coal exploded at the passage, with his head turned over his shoulforecastle-lamp; one man was knocked down, der, as if, in falling, he had made a last effort and much burned in the face, another injured, to escape; he was swollen in an extraordinary the mate struck dowu in the cabin, and a
At one point, in another passage, hatch started."
we suddenly came amongst twelve or fifteen It is very remarkable, that it is only with a men, who, striving to reach the places where certain quantity of atmospheric air the fire- bodies or survivors might be found, had been damp explodes ; minus or plus that quantity, driven back by the surcharged atınosphere of and the danger vanishes. In three or four this vast common grave; their lamps were parts of atmospheric air to one of carburetted burning dim and sickly, with a dying red hydrogen, there is a slight explosion; but light, glimmering as if through a fog!” the inost terrible calamities happen when the How, then, are these dread casualties to be mixture is seven parts of carburetted hydrogen prevented? Firstly, the miner has been furto one of atmospheric air. The margin of nished with a lamp, with the flame so shielded explosive quantity appears to be froin about that it cannot come in contact with the five to thirteen; above or below these points, dangerous atmosphere ; secondly, the foul air and there is no explosion. Hence we see the has been swept away by ventilation; and, necessity for a thorough ventilation in mines; lastly, it has been proposed chemically to defor any system by which an imperfect quanti-compose the noxious gases, and thus prevent ty of air is diffused, so far from diminishing, explosion. Of the two first methods, we shall only increases the danger. Another striking immediately speak; of the last, suffice it to anomaly is, that, dreadful and terrible as the say, that although Mr. Blakemore has offered, explosion itself is, it is only the means for the through the Royal College of Chemistry, a elimination of an agent of destruction still premium of 10001. for the discovery of some more fatal. The miner may not have suffered simple practical means by which the explosive the mechanical violence of the explosion, but gases may be decomposed or neutralized, still frequently he escapes only to die placidly and science has as yet been unable to obtain this surely by the fatal after-damp. A principal desirable object. ingredient is the deadly poison, carbonic acid; Many safety-lamps have been proposed, and so fatal is it, the committee inforın us, but, as our readers know, the favorite has that it was stated in evidence, that 70 per been that of Sir Hurophry Dav Some
praccent. of the deaths from explosions were occa- tical miners, indeed, prefer the lamps of Dr. sioned by this after-damp: So speedy is its Clanny and of Stephenson ; but as these are action, that Mr. Mather, about two years ago, used in but few collieries, we will confine our entering a pit where it preponderated, was remarks to the Davy-lamp. Its illustrious taken out insensible in a few minutes. He author, after a visit to the Newcastle coalsays : “You are struck down, and you scarcely mines in 1815, began a series of beautiful exknow how or why; you naturally sink down periments on the properties and structure of asleep.” Those who have suffered from its Hame. From these he was led to conclude, influence may easily be known from those that it could not pass through minute metal
lic tubes, and therefore wire-gauze, consisting amined by the coroner, they were found to be of a congeries of these tubes, was a safe prison perfect - only, as if they had been intensely wherein to confine it: a miner, therefore, hot, and “ bad been passed through a smith's with a lamp whose name was thus separated fire.” The lamps found after the explosion from the explosive atmosphere, could pursue at Haswell Mine, where 95 people were killed his avocation in perfect' safety. In every in 1846, were in a precisely similar state, and chemical handbook there are noted many the catastrophe could be traced to no other striking experiments regarding this peculiar source; as were also several similar, though property of wire-gauze ; and in the new cal- smaller accidents happening only last year, oric-engine, the heated air is cooled and con- Besides all this, we find that while, during the ducted into the regenerator by means of this twenty years previous to the introduction of the substance. Nothing can be more beautiful in Davy-lamp, 679 lives were lost, the number theory than Sir Humphry's instrument, and was increased to 744; thus leaving a balance in the laboratory or the lecture-room it truly against the safety-lamp of 65 lives. This may seeins perfect. All praise and honor to the in- be accounted for by the increased extent of tellect that labored so well for the service of works, and greater number of mines ; but humanity; and let the commendations of the every witness concurred in stating, that the many it has saved from destruction, and the recent fearful increase of accidents could not many more it has redeemed from penury, be the be thus explained. everlasting monument of their noble benefac Who can wonder, then, at the general tor! But let us beware of even scientific adoption of the opinion, that to get rid of the idolatry. And let us not take for perfect, gas altogether is preferable to guarding against that which even its inventor pronounced in it? The evidence now before us testifies, that some degree faulty. Be it always remein- however our leading mining engineers and bered, that the mine presents conditions often capitalists may differ as to the method, they totally different from those of the quiet labo- all consider ventilation as the sheet-anchor ratory of the chemist. In a still atinosphere, of the safety of the mines. The committee radiation will destroy the flame ere it has whose labors we have been considering, have time to pass through the wire-gauze. But principally occupied themselves in investigatshould there be also a current of air at the ing the inerits of the two rival systems of time, its operations may be counterbalanced, ventilation — the furnace and the steam-jet : and there is then no security. Moreover, we have not now the space, even bad we the particles of carbon, oil, dust, sulphur, are inclination, to follow them in their inquiries ; always Aoating about the mines, and lodge suffice it to say, that while the furnace acts themselves on the Davy-lamps. The wire- by rarefaction, the steam-jet acts in a strietly gauze then red-hot, and the lamp in such a mechanical manner, propelling the air before state, explosion is alınost inevitable. So dir- it through the mine, like the piston of a ty are the lamps often, after being brought up steam-engine in the cylinder. The committee from work, that one of the witnesses says no state that
- “ The furnace-system, under practical man would go into an explosive favorable circumstances that is, of the area mixture with them." This being the case, of the shafts being large and deep, the airwe can well sympathize with another witness, courses sufficient, the goves (or old workings) who thinks it a safe lamp in cautious hands, well insulated, and the mine not very fiery but lately I have got a little nervous about appears to be capable, with strict attention, it."
of producing a current of air that will afford Were miners to receive proper instruction reasonable security from explosion ; but when as to the nature and properties of the danger- the workings are fiery and numerous, as well ous gases they constantly inspire — did they as remote, and the intensity of the furnace or possess a staid, scientifico deportment, instead furnaces requires to be raised, in order to inof their noted recklessness, then we might crease, in any particular emergency, the trust them with this delicate scientific instru- amount of ventilation, then the furnace not ment. But all these they deplorably want. only refuses to answer the spur and to inAs it is, we must therefore believe with the crease ventilation, but from a natural law committee, that “under circumstances of ex- (discovered by Mr. Gurney, and scientifically citement, when danger is threatened, it is not and practically confirmed before your comimprobably, far oftener than imagined, the mittee) there arises a dangerous stoppage to very cause of the explosion which it was in the ventilation going on throughout the tended to prevent.” Many instances are on mine. Your committee are unani. record, where the explosion was alone trace- mously of opinion, that the steam-jet is the able to the Davy. It was so at Wallsend, most powerful, and at the same time least exwhere, in 1835, 102 people were killed. For pensive, method of ventilation for the mines. two days previous, they were working under Previous to 1848, when Mr. Foster introduced red-hot lainps, the flame filling them to the the steam-jet into the Seaton Delaval Mine, top; and when these were afterwards ex- the fire-damp was constantly seen playing
around the face and edges of the goaves and rejoicing, and carrying branches of cherry: other parts of the workings. Since that peri- trees, laden with their handsome fruit, instead od, the mine is swept so clean, that it is never of the former funereal emblems. The Naumobserved, and all danger of explosion seems burgers, in commemoration of their deliverremoved in a very fiery mine. The increase ance, ever after celebrated a festival, called of ventilation is from 53,000 cubic feet per Kirschenfest, or the Feast of the Cherries, on minute under the furnace-system, to 84,000 the 20th of July, the day of the infant deputaunder the steam-jet; and to double that quan- tion. At the commencement of the festivities, tity, which Mr. Foster considers sufficient, troops of children, gayly dressed and crowned would, he says, only require the application with flowers, paraded the streets in procession, of some extra jets. Mr. Foster states the carrying branches adorned with cherries. original outlay for the steam-jet to be less The cherry was introduced into Ireland by than for the furnace by 391. '15s. 6d.; and Sir Walter Raleigh, and first planted at Affine, the annual cost to be less by 501. 12s. 1d. ; near Cappoquin, county Waterford, on lands while the power of ventilation is increased granted to him out of the forfeiture of the Desnearly double."
monds, the most celebrated house in Irish Additional inspectors, increased power history, to one of whose most renowned ladies vested in them, a central board of control, a cherry-tree of Sir Walter's proved fatal, acmining-schools, a special coroner, a prelim- cording to local tradition. The famous old inary examination of managers and over men, Countess of Desmond was born about 1465; and the other topics touched on, all invite she danced with Richard III. at court, just comment, but we forbenr; and that the more before the battle of Bosworth, in 1485, and willingly, since Lord Palmerston has stated lived to see the vicissitudes of the Desmonds, that he may perhaps be able, this session, to and the fall of their vast power and wealth in introduce a bill on the subject. Let us hope the attainder of 1586. She went to London, that he may do so, and thus a little time will being then over one hundred and twenty, to be spared from polemical discussions and de- plead for the preservation of her jointure, and voted to the cause of practical humanity.
succeeded, and returned to live at her birth
place and usual abode, Dromana (near Affane)
a castle of the Desmonds, and now the seat of From the Dublin University Magazine. a noble descendant of that house, Lord Stuart THE CIERRY.
de Decies. One day, when she was (accord
ing to the tradition) a hundred and forty The bright, round, shining Cherry, the years old, she saw some very fine cherries on favorite plaything with children (who has not one of the trees at Affane, and, having no atloved bob-cherry ?) has a pleasing reminiscence tendant at hund to gather them, she 'atconnected with it. After the early reformer, tempted to climb up to them, but fell, and John Huss, had perished at the stake, his fol- soon after died from the effects of the fall. Her lowers, the lussites, or Bohemian Protestants, picture, painted when she was extremely old, took up arms in their self-defence. During is preserved at Dromana. the prolonged war, they besieged the city of Extremes meet; our ceresial reminiscences Naumburg (in Saxony) in 1482 ; and Proco- began with childhood, and end with old age. pius Nossa, their general, declared his inten- But as the cherry is especially child's fruit, we tion to raze the place, and exterminate the will place as its associate an inhabitants, in revenge for the people having formerly voted for the death of John Huss, at
EPITAPH ON A CHILD. the Synod of Kernitz. The Naumburgers,
FROM THE GERMAN OF MATHSSON. seeing themselves on the verge of destruction,
(Sanft wehn im Hauch der Abendluft. -- U. S. W.) were in despair, when a citizen, named Wolf, proposed an experiment to mollify the fury of
The vernal grass and flowrets wave the general. At Wolf's suggestion, all the
In evening's breath, where o'er thy grave children from the ages of seven to fourteen,
Weeps sorrow, wan and faded;
Oh! ne'er till death has set us free were dressed in shrouds, and each holding a
From earth, can thy sweet image be green bough and a lemon (which it was cus
By dim oblivion shaded. tomary for mourners at German funerals to carry), were sent into the Hussite camp, to in Thou 'rt blest, though short thy opening bloom ; tercede with the general for the safety of their From worldly joys, from pride, from gloom, relatives and their native city. Procopius was From sense delusive parted ; moved by the tears of the young suppliants ; Thou sleep'st in peace ; in care and strife he granted their petition, treated them with We wav'ring tread the maze of life, kindness, and ordered them refreshment, and Too rarely tranquil-hearted. in particular regaled them with a quantity of cherries (it was then the month of July). The The Poet of Magdeburg, at the close of last delighted children returned home singing and century.
From the New Monthly Magazine. does little more for the service of the muse
than melt down our English gold and recast AMERICAN AUTHORSHIP.
it in British forms." Again and again we No. II. — RICHARD HENRY DANA.
hear it charged on the American bard, that
he is a dealer rather than a producer; an echo AMERICA is a great fact. Even the dim- rather than a voice ; a shadow rather than a eyed, bespectacled Old World can see and reality ; that what he exports he can hardly acknowledge that — crabbed and purblind as be said to grow; that he lias no faith in his the aged witness is thought over the water. A native muses; that Europe is the Mecca of greater fact, measured by square inches, it might his poetical superstition - England the Jerube hard to find. Equally great, perhaps, if salein of his iinaginative worship; and that considered as the theatre of scenes of struggle when, at length, the barp is taken down from and acts of enterprise, present and advent, in the trees where for centuries it has hung the drama of the world's progress, in the tuneless, it is but to sing the old songs of his working out of interests, and the solution of poetical Zion in a strange land. - How is problems, on a gigantic scale, material, moral, it,” asks an eloquent critic, “ that America's social, political. But one thing American children, who wear the new costume of their there is, which we cannot yet regard as a condition with an ostentation so preposterous, great fact; one thing, which, at best, is only put on the old threadbare garments of the a fiction founded upon fact; and that is, its past whenever they sit down to the lyre? poetical literature. Hitherto the national While the prosaic American is acting poetry genius has sought-or rather has found ready without knowing it, building up new cities in to hand - other modes of expressing its char- a night, as the poet in the old time reared acter and asserting its power. It has been his fabrics, the bard, his brother, is haunting occupied with the task of ordering the chaos the ruins of the European past. The transof elements, colossal and crude, rich with atlantic muse is an exile, as much as in the teeming germs of promise, amid which its lot days of the pilgrim fathers. Her aspect is is cast; it has been too busy to sing, though that of an emigrant, who has found no seitlenot to talk ; it has had too many urgent calls ment; her talk that of one who fain would on its physical faculties, its bread-winning be hame to her ain countree.' In a word, all arts and money-making appliances, to “go things that creep on the face of the earth courting" the coy muses, or to build model have gone up with the American to his new stables for Pegasus. The young Titan's in- ark of refuge, and naturalized themselves stinct has been to exercise his muscular frame there ; but again and again the dove is sent in turning prairies into parks, and forests forth to bring in the olive-branch of song from into cities, and rivers into inill-streams, rather a strange land." This indictment is conthan haunt the pine-woods in quest of aborig- firmed by America herself. Says one of her inal dryads, or invoke primeval silence in the shrewdest sons to his loving brethren, depth of sylvan wilds, with hymns inspired by the ecstasy and attuned to the large ut- The most of you (this is what strikes all bebolders) terance of the elder gods of song. . Compared Though you ought to be free as the winds and the with her other attainments, America's poetry is backward, stunted, unshapen. It is, coin- You’ve the gait and the manners of runaway paratively, a lisping speech. Its stars are slaves ; many in number, but pale in lustre ; not Thougḥ you brag of your New World, you don't much differing from one another in glory, and
half believe in it, altogether comprising a sort of milky way, And as much of the old as is possible weave in with a soupçon of water in it; whereof the You steal Englishmen's books and think English. constellated members, though forever singing men's thought, as they sbine, have not yet caught the rolling With their salt on her tail the wild eagle is caught; music of the spheres. American poetry is not Your literature suits its each whisper and motion of its mother earth, earthy. It is rather of To what will be thought of it over the ocean, the Old World, worldly.
Imitation is, in effect, the vice of transat- Emerson, again, utters his aspirations for a lantic verse; the very head and front of its day when his country's long apprenticeship offending. Not yet has it learned to walk to the literature of other lands shall draw to å alone on the steeps of Parnassus, bold as is close ; when the millions who are there rushthe national mien, and firm as is its step, on ing into life shall find they can no longer feed the level of this work-day world. Again and on the sere remains of foreign harvests; when again we hear the complaint, that American poetry shall revive and lead in a new age. poets give us back our own coin, thinned and And so with almost every literary "power** deteriorated by the transit -- "as if America among his countrymen. Nowhere is the had not the ore of song in all her rivers, and charge, such as it is, ignored — by grand or a mint of her own in every mountain, she petty jury.
Now, imitation in poetry is ipso facto es- those who claim for him this bright particular communication from the inner circle of the star-shine. His verses are distinguished by ecclesia of song. It strips the imitator of his meditative calın ness, religious aspirations, and priestly vestments. It cuts off the candidate manly simplicity. This simplicity, indeed, from first-class honors. The world declines trenches on the bald and barren, and has to recognize a revised edition of Homer's been called morbid in its character. His " Achilles," or a modernized version of Shak- diction is often common-place and prosaic, speare's “ Hamlet," or a corrected proof of but occasionally indulges in abrupt, and often Milton's “Satan.” Imitation in such cases spasmodic, intervals of “strong endeavor." implies either the feebleness of self-distrust, Sometimes unruffled and musical, it is at or the boldness of piracy, and, either way, others rasping, rugged, grating, to "ears pronounces its own doom.
polite.” That Mr. Dana specifically and of Has America, then, no poets? We are not set purpose imitates any one particular bard, sophistic enough to set about proving a ne we do not believe ; wbatever of the initative gation of that sort. But if it be asked, "Hlas feebleness just referred to may attach to his she any great poets ?". then we, who love poems, is there rather implicitly, and by America much, but truth more -- who like to " spontaneous generation” (if that may be read Bryant and Longfellow, but not in for- said of anything, imitative). Ilis tendency, getfulness of Shakspeare and Milton – then however, is to the reflective stand-point of we venture to answer, “Surely not.” Here Wordsworth and Coleridge ; and his doctrines again we are not called upon to prove a nega- of idealism and super sensual insight, now tive. Let the New York Dante appear ; let widely and earnestly affirmed, and often exthe Boston Chaucer arise ; let the Charles- aggerated, at Boston and other nests of the town Wordsworth come forth — each in the singing birds, were once scouted as heretical spirit and power, not merely in the mantle, by haters of paradox, and by cui bono men of of the respective bards — and forth with the letters. oracles of criticism are dumb, only to find For his prose writings as well as his verse, new speech wherein to welcome the new a permanent place is assured to him, by Griscomers. Understand what you may by the per- wold, in the literature of America. As a haps indefinite expression great poets, we prose writer (though malicious detractors simply imply that America has not yet produced may affect to see nothing but prose in him) he an **Iliad," or a “ Divine Comedy, or a is almost wholly unknown in England. “ Jerusalemn Delivered ;' not yet a “ Prome- His “ Paul Felton” and “ Tom Thornton” theus Bound,” or a Macbeth,” a Faery have been heard of; voilà tout. Yet bis Queene," or a “ Paradise Lost ;'' not yet, to doings in romance, politics and criticism, approach more debatable ground, a “ Marmi- have been considerable, though far from sucon," or a “ Childe Harold," an "Excursion,” cessful in a pecuniary sense ; — - his son's or a “ Gertrude of Wyoming.” We will add, graphic narrative of “ Two Years before the however, that in the matter of living poets, Mast” has had a run to which he is quite a we have anything but a crushing majority of stranger. It is nearly forty years since he merit. And doubtless the day will dawn - began his contributions to the North American it may be soon when the American iinag- Review, in the editorship of which he afterination hall
prove its creative power. And wards took part. It was in this journal that her first great poet - one of her living proph- he excited the opposition of the “ Queen ets hath prophesied it — will take his in- Anne's Men” and reigning arbiters in poetispiration * from those very themes and ob- cal criticism, by his eulogy of the Lake poets. jects from which, in her young and imitative He “thought poetry, was something more time, the transatlantic muse seeks to escape. than a recreation ; that it was something He will teach truth by American parable. superinduced upon the realities of life ; he The wisdom which is of all time, and of every believed the ideal and the spiritual might be land, will be presented by him in the especial as real as the visible and the tangible ; form and striking aspects which she has thought there were truths beyond the underchosen for herself in the country wherein he standing and the senses, and not to be reached sings." America's future will have its poe- by ratiocination."* In a periodical of his try uttered,” as her past has its poetry own, called the Idle Man, he published his unexpressed”
novel of “ Tom Thornton,” which an able
reviewer has pronounced “interesting, and For though no poet then she had to glorify her written in á style of earnestness which holds
fame, Her deeds were poems, that could light dead words adorn vice with a veil of beauty.” This
truth paramount even to taste, and refuses to with living flame.
periodical ceased with the first voluine, which The time has been when Richard llenry did not pay its expenses, owing, it is said, to Dana was regarded as America's brightest the absence of laws of protective copyright; orb of song. And there are probably still