« AnteriorContinuar »
26. At Culchena, Mrs Ann Campbell, wife of Duncan Campbell, Esq.
27. At Greenwich, Lieutenant-Colonel William Frederick Macbean, formerly of the 6th regiment of foot, youngest son of the late General Forbes Macbean of the Royal Artillery.
Lately, While passing from India to Arabia, Captain James Irving of the 2d Native infantry, and late of Annan.
- Killed in the engagement with the Arabs, at the capture of Beni Bocali, in the Persian Gulf, Mr John Gordon, assistant-surgeon in the service of the Honourable East India Company, son of the Rev. W. Gordon, minister of Elgin.
At Conanore, East Indies, Captain Gilbert James Blair, of the 25th Native infantry.
- In the parish of Kenmore, Mrs M'Laren, aged 106. This venerable matron retained her faculties to the last. The oldest people in Perthshire, who have of late closed their eyes on life's sleeping scene, have died nearly of the same age. Thus James Stewart of Graysmount, and Stewart the tinker in Aberfeldy, were both gathered to their fathers at the mature age of one hundred and five years.
At Warsop, Nottinghamshire, George Wragg, and Grace, his wife, aged about 80. They both expired within the short space of half an hour of each other.
Lately, At his house in Cecil Street, Limerick, David Stevenson, Esq. Mr Stevenson was a native of Mauchline, and, during a number of years, in which he had been extensively and successfully engaged in business in that city, he uniformly upheld the reputation of a most upright and respectable merchant.
At Cullumpton, Devonshire, of voluntary starvation, Mortimer. He had a small property by which he had been supported for some years; but finding he was likely to outlive it, as it was reduced to about £150, and feeling the apprehension of want more than the natural love of life, he came to the resolution of ending his days by starvation. To effect this dreadful purpose he took nothing but water for a month before he died; at the end of three weeks his body was wasted to a skeleton, and a medical gentleman was called in, who advised him to take some nourishment; but this he refused, and even discontinued the use of water. In this way he subsisted another week, when nature yielded the contest.
-In three contiguous parishes in the county of Aberdeen, viz. Logan, Buchan, Ellon and Cruden, widow Hutcheson, aged 92, Jean Brown, 100, and John Tawse, 106, all, particularly the two last, retaining their faculties unimpaired till very nearly the time of their decease.
JOHN RENNIE, ESQ.
Oct. 4. At his house in Stamford Street, London, in the 64th year of his age, John Rennie, Esq. the celebrated engineer. Mr Rennie had been complaining for some time, but appeared to be recovering, when, on the morning of the 4th inst. he suffered a severe relapse, which carried him off the same evening at seven o'clock.
The death of Mr Rennie is a national calamity. His loss cannot be adequately supplied by any living artist, for, though we have many able engineers, we know of none who so eminently possess solidity of judgment with profound knowledge, and the happy tact of applying to every situation, where he was called upon to exert his faculties, the precise form of remedy that was wanting to the existing evil. Whether it was to stem the torrent
and violence of the most boisterous sea-to make new harbours, or to render those safe which were before dangerous or inaccessible-to redeem districts of fruitful land from encroachment by the ocean, or to deliver them from the pestilence of stagnant marsh-to level hills, or to tie them together by aqueducts or by arches, or by embankment to raise the valley between them-to make bridges that for beauty surpass all others, and for strength seemed destined to endure to the latest posterity, Mr Rennie had no rival. Every part of the united kingdom possesses monuments to his glory, and they are as stupendous as they are useful. They will present to our children's children objects of admiration for their grandeur, and of gratitude to the author for their utility. Compare the works of Mr Rennie with the most boasted exploits of the French engineers, and remark how they tower above them. Look at the Breakwater at Plymouth, in comparison with the Cassoons at Cherburg-any one of his canals with that of Ourke, and his Waterloo-bridge with that of Neuilly. Their superiority is acknowledged by every liberal Frenchman. He cultivated his art with the most enthusiastic ardour, and, instead of being merely a theorist, he prepared himself for practical efficiency by visiting, and minutely inspecting every work of magnitude in every country that bear símilitude with those which he might be called on to construct, and his library abounds in the richest collection of scientific writings of that of any individual. The loss of such a man is irreparable. Cut off in the full vigour of his mind, his death seems to suspend for a time the march of national improvement, until the just fame of his merit shall animate our rising artists to imitate his great example, and to prepare themselves by study and observation to overcome, as he did, the most formidable impediments to the progress of human enterprize, of industry, and of increased facility in all the arts of life. The integrity of Mr Rennie
in the fulfilment of his labours was equal to his genius in the contrivance of his plans and machinery. He would suffer none of the modern subterfuges for real strength to be resorted to by the contractors employed to execute what he had undertaken. Every thing he did was for futurity, as well as present advantage. An engineer is not like an architect. He has no commission on the amount of his expenditure; if he had, Mr Rennie would have been one of the most opulent men in England, for many millions have been expended under his eye. But his glory was in the justice of his proceeding, and his enjoyment in the success of his labours. It was only as a mill-wright that he engaged himself to execute the work he plan ned, and in this department society is indebted to him for economising the power of water, so as to give an increase of energy, by its specific gravity, to the natural fall of streams, and to make his mills equal to four-fold the produce of those which, before his time, depended solely on the impetus of the current. His mills of the greatest size work as smoothly as clock-work, and by the alternate contact of wood and iron, are less liable to the hazard of fire by friction. His mills, indeed, are models of perfection.
If the death of such a man is a national loss, what must it be to his private friends and to his amiable family? Endeared to all who knew him by the gentleness of his temper, the cheerfulness with which he communicated the riches of his mind, and forwarded the views of those who made useful discoveries or improvements in machinery or implements, procured him universal respect. He gave to inventors all the benefits of his experience, removed difficulties which had not occurred to the author, or suggested alterations which adapted the instrument to its use. No jealousy or self-interest ever prevented the exercise of this free and unbounded communication, for the love of science was superior in his mind to all mercenary feeling. Mr Rennie was born in Scotland,
from his earliest years devoted himself to the art of a civil engineer. He was the intimate friend and companion of his excellent countryman, the late Mr Watt; their habits and pursuits were similar. They worked together, and to their joint efforts are we chiefly indebted for the gigantic power of the steam-engine in all our manufactories. He married early in life Miss Mackintosh, a beautiful young woman, whom he had the misfortune to lose some years ago, but who left him an interesting and accomplished family. They have now to lament the loss of the best of parents, who, though possessed of a constitution and frame so robust as to give the promise of a very long life, sunk under an attack at the early age of 64.
Printed by James Ballantyne & Co. Edinburgh.
In a few days will be Published,
Beautifully printed in one Volume Octavo,
DRAMAS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.
By DAVID LYNDSAY.
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH; AND
T. CADELL, LONDON.
ON THE PROBABLE INFLUENCE OF MORAL AND RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION ON THE CHARACTER AND SITUATION OF SEAMEN.
THERE are few anticipations more common among naval men in these times, than that the best days of their profession are at an end. Their own number, they observe, in consequence of the unusual length and feverish activity of the late war, is become so great, so disproportioned to any demand which their country can ever again have for their services, their commissions are mere honourable retirements, and scarcely one in twenty can hope to survive until the course of seniority shall bring each in succession to the top of the list. Opportunities, meanwhile, of acquiring personal distinction are become so rare, it is a matter of necessity that merit should remain in obscurity, and interest alone distribute the few prizes yet remaining in the wheel. There is no more chance of prize-money, at least for the present; and worse than all this, while the navy is thus a toy during a long peace, a spirit of insubordination is creeping in among its lower ranks, and of injudicious lenity among its upper, subversive of all those principles of discipline on which its efficiency has hitherto been maintained. On the other hand, a certain class of religionists on shore, when they talk of the navy, at the same time that they seem to delight in picturing its past history in the blackest imaginable colours, array the future with regard to it in unmingled VOL. X.
brightness. The moral excesses of which its members have been hitherto currently guilty, they represent as enormous, inexcusable, scarcely illustra ted, and in no degree redeemed, by a reckless bravery and profusion disguised under the specious names of skill, courage, and generosity. Now, however, these things are to disappear, and a new era is to commence. They themselves, the good people to whom we allude, are about to go forth among this people with the modification of Christianity which they profess, conquering and to conquer in its might. The wilderness is to become a fruitful field under their ministrations; and sailors, hitherto the outcasts of religious society, and still, for aught which appears in these anticipations, doomed to remain surrounded by precisely the same circumstances of temptation as before, are yet henceforth to become its ornaments, a peculiar people, the converse, as it were, of the Jews, zealous of good works and principles under every disadvantage with which frail human nature can contend. And although the chief difference between these two sets of anticipations seems at first sight to consist in the different interests and spheres of action contemplated in each; when extended to all the particulars which they severally embrace, they will be found on some points very directly to conflict, and 2 Z
on all to stand in an opposition, which it would be very difficult completely to reconcile.
For our own parts, we think them both wrong, though with a cast of right in each; and as, in the order in which we have now stated them, they coincide with the distribution of our subject, which destined our concluding communications under the present head, to the consideration of the existing prospects of seamen on board and on shore, it is our intention to sift them pretty closely. The first will furnish us with more matter for this article than we shall be able to overtake; we admit its premises, but contest its conclusions; considering, on the contrary, the best prospects of the navy as identified with what it represents as its present hardships. We fear that we are still more at issue with the second, for we neither admit the past depravity of seamen, nor entertain hopes of any so great improvement in them in time to come, as it anticipates. Of this, however, in its own time and place; we now consider, first, the circumstances which, as we think, are at present working a great change in the constitution of the navy as hitherto developed, and which are generally indicated in the above tissue of complaints; and, next, the consequences of that change, with their consequences again, either as already manifested, or likely progressively to appear.
It is certainly very true, that, at no period of our history, did the naval force kept in employment bear so • small a proportion to that restored to civil life as at present. In former times, a fraction has been dismissed, not more than the increased demand for seamen in the merchant service, Consequent on the return of peace, rendered necessary; or than was expedient besides this, to enable all to relax the bow a little, that it might recover its elasticity. But now the fraction only has been retained, the great mass dismissed, and, from a variety of circumstances, not even any considerable demand for men created in the merchant service. The consequence is, that all ranks are daily turning their thoughts more and more into extra-professional channels; the officers, particularly, are all becoming civilians in some department or other, farming, studying, talking politics or
religion; and daily acquiring new cha racters, which must materially influence their views and conduct whenever they return to the duties of their profession. And it is probable that the surface of the mirror, thus under course of polishing, will never again refuse to reflect the hue of surrounding objects; in other words, that the navy will never again be the peculiar profession which it has hitherto been, distinguished from others not less, by its manners than pursuits.
It is equally certain, that opportunities of acquiring personal distinction are infinitely more rare now, than they were during the course of an active war; but this, at the same time, is generally understood somewhat more literally than the facts will bear out. It is a different kind of merit which is now in demand in the navy, from what was then required; and we think that naval officers are scarcely yet sufficiently aware of this. Several names have shot up to distinction among them since the peace; need we instance those of Tuckey, Basil Hall, and Parry; none of them, we believe, very materially supported by interest; all, certainly, upon grounds which no interest could supply. Where these have led, others may follow; a first opportunity may be wanting, but not more. Besides this, however, we noticed the other day the name of a first lieutenant, (Lieutenant Peake, of the Euryalus,) who had received a present of a sword and silver cup from the ship's company with which he had served, in acknowledgment of his judgment and attention. There can be no distinction more honourable than this at any time; but, as we shall presently shew, it never was more difficult to deserve it than now; at the same time that we cannot help thinking that the means of doing so would be materially facilitated, were naval officers to form a matured opinion on the subjects which we are now about to bring before them: our own thoughts on which, we confess, we submit here rather for their use who can understand and appreciate them at just their value and no more, than for the amusement of general readers, to whom, with all our care, we can scarcely hope to make them uniformly interesting or intelligible.
The next topic of lamentation above adverted to, is the present lack of