« AnteriorContinuar »
NOTICE RESPECTING SOME CURIOUS
MECHANICAL INVENTIONS BY
Gratitude is a prominent feature in the ferocious, and untameable savage." character of the New Zealander; and Tip With these views, he strongly urges pahee, on his return to his own country, the establishment of a colony in New did not fail to evince it, for he rendered Zealand ; a measure which would not, essential services to the different ships that he conceives, be attended with any afterwards touched at the Bay of Islands."
difficulty. Whether, however, ExTippahee died some time after, and ropeans could feel themselves much was succeeded by a relation of the at ease in such a neighbourhood, name of Duaterra. This person was where they would be liable, on the endowed with the same active curio- slightest umbrage, to be lodged in sity as his predecess He actually the stomach of these furious cannidetermined to visit England for the bals, is a point which we shall leave sole purpose of seeing King George. to the serious consideration of such of He entered as a common sailor on
our readers as may be inclined to emiboard one of our ships, and reached grate to this part of the world. Spithead, but could not effect his purpose of seeing the king; and he had suffered such scandalous ill treatment from the sailors, that he considered himself much obliged to Mr Marsden,
JOHN SPENCE, IN LINLITHGOW. who was going out as principal chap Most of our readers have heard lain to Port Jackson, for undertaking of John Spence, the ingenious indivito convey hiin back to New Zealand. dual at Linlithgow, who has applied Mr Marsden laid hold of this opening the magnetic power to the production to obtain permission to send a mis- of a perpetual motion.
We are ensionary establishment into New Zea- abled to give a short sketch of his land. Duaterra, on his return to history and invention. his native country, made the ut He was, in early life, put by his most efforts to improve and civilize parents an apprentice to a shoemaker
, it. He said to Mr Marsden with tri- but the natural bent of his genius umph, “I have now introduced the leaned towards mechanics, and he cultivation of wheat into New Zea- never liked the employment. He says land; New Zealand will become a that wheels and levers occupied his great country in two years more ;- mind from his earliest recollection, I shall be able to export wheat to and that he was happy only when he Port Jackson, to ex hange for hoes, was inventing, or constructing what axes, spades, tea, sugar," &c. He he had invented. As soon as his aphad actually laid down the plan of a prenticeship was expired, he left his town, to be built after the European native town, and went to Glasgow, Manner, when he was unfortunately not with the view of following out the taken ill, and died.
trade of a shoemaker, but in the hope Mr Nicholas gives a picture of the of getting into an employment which domestic character of the New Zea- would place him near some of the landers, quite similar to that drawn magnificent machines used by the maby Captain Cook. He assures us that nufacturers of that city. Uninstructed Mr Marsden and he felt such full as an artist, however, and utterly igconfidence in the friendship of the na- norant of spinning and weaving, it tives, that, on the first night of their was difficult for him to find a situaarrival, after hearing the above horrid tion about a manufactory, which he narrative from the mouth of George was fitted to fill. At last he thought himself, they slept amid this horde of himself qualified for the humble sicannibals with as perfect a sense of tuation of the keeper of an engine, security, as if they had been in the and, accordingly, engaged himself in heart of their friends in England. He that capacity. For two years his sums up their character by observing, daily occupation was to feed the furthat, in his peaceful pursuits, tho nace, and to oil the machinery of a New Zealander appears social, cheer- steam-engine; and he felt happy in ful, friendly, and hospitable,-dispos- the employment, for it afforded him ed to kind 'offices, and faithful to his an opportunity of looking upon
wheels engagements; but war effects a total in motion. Tired, at last, of the transformation in the man, and it is sameness of the scene, he returned to then only that he becomes a cruel, Linlithgow, and endeavoured to fol
low his original trade. But the me. applicability to useful purposes, howchanical powers still haunted his ima- ever, there can be no doubt, for it is gination, and he continued to invent neither more nor less than a contiand construct, till he sometimes nually operating power equal to the brought upon himself the admoni- attraction of one of the magnets emtions of his friends, and the scoffs of ployed. It is probable that its first his enemies, for devoting so much application will be to chronometry; time to visionary inventions, as they and the inventor himself has in view called them, instead of attending to to construct a time-piece, of which it his trade. The invention of the long- shall be the moving power. sought-for perpetual motion appeared The invention was known in Linto him a splendid enterprise, attractive lithgow a considerable time before it by the difficulty which attended it, was known to the public; but it was and it excited his ambition by the despised there in the usual way, for a very obstacles which it presented. prophet hath no honour in his own He directed his ingenuity to that ob- country. The voice of fame, howject, and at length he produced the ever, at length taught the good folks piece of mechanism which we are now that a genius was among them, and to notice.
they then crowded to see it with as It is difficult to convey an idea of much eagerness as they had formerly the invention by description. Suffice displayed indifference about it. A con it to say, that a wooden beam, poised siderable number of strangers have alby the centre, has a piece of steel at so seen it, and all have expressed their tached to one end of it, which is al- admiration of the ingenuity, and, at ternately drawn up by a piece of mag- the same time, the simplicity of the net placed above it, and down by an contrivance. Encouraged by such a other placed below it; and that, as the favourable reception, the inventor is end of the beam approaches the mag- now constructing two pieces of menet, either above or below, the ma- chanism upon this new principle, the chine interjects a non-conducting sub- machinery of which will be made by stance, which suspends the attraction tradesmen, and he means to exhibit of the magnet approached, and allows them in Edinburgh about the middle the other to exert its powers.
Thus of June. the end of the beam continually as We may add, to save those who cends and descends betwixt the two may wait upon the inventor from magnets, without ever coming into being disappointed with his appeara contact with either; the attractive ance, that he is a plain, but shrewd power of each being suspended pre- and sagacious, Scotsman. He is a cisely at the moment of nearest ap- person of very sober and industrious proach. As the magnetic attraction habits, and has as little of the enthus is a permanently operating power, siastical visionary in his composition, there appears to be no limit to the but with as full a reliance on his own eontinuance of the motion, but the powers, as any genius we have met endurance of the materials of the ma- with. His genius is of Nature's forchine.
mation entirely. His education has The machine which he at present been no higher than that of the opeshows is the first which he construct- rative mechanics of Scotland in geneed. It is made of timber, and fa- ral, viz. reading, writing, and arithshioned by his own hands ; of course, metic; but he has an intuitive percepe it is rather a practical developement tion of every principle connected with of the principle, than an application mechanics, which, he says, is better of it to any purpose of utility. Of its than knowledge derived from books.
It was he who invented the car exhiWe have observed a similar invention in which the person travelling sup
bited some time ago in Edinburgh, lately announced in London ; but if the plies the moving power by pressure principle of the two be the same, it only with his feet. He came from Linadds another instance to the many already on record, of men of genius making similithgow to Edinburgh in it himself, lar and simultaneous discoveries unknown and passed the mail-coach on the way. to each other, for we are persuaded that He has also made several other inven. this individual had no knowledge of any tions, which we are unable, at presimilar attempt. Edit.
sent, to particularize.
TRICT ASYLUMS IN SCOTLAND.
on their report, the justices may grant OBSERVATIONS ON LORD BINNING's
warrant for conveying the said person BILL FOR THE ERECTION OF DIS
to the asylum of the district.
Such seem to be the leading provi. Most of our readers are no doubt sions of the law proposed by Lord aware, that a bill has been introduced Binning, the progress of which is for into Parliament by Lord Binning, the the present so properly stopt by the object of which is to make provision general disapprobation of those to for the care and maintenance of pau- whose consideration it has been subper lunatics in Scotland. This bill mitted. In matters of this nature, has been submitted to the considera- where new laws are to be framed af tion of the Scotch counties, all of fecting the general interests of a large whom have decidedly objected to it, class of the community, and introduce on grounds more or less comprehen- ing the strong hand of authority sive, some opposing the principle of where it was never known before, we the measure, while others confine their cannot be too cautious. Every step objections to its particular clauses. we take should be scrupulously ex
In the plan, which has been made amined. Every inch of ground, public for the consideration of those if we may so express ourselves, who are to be affected by it, it is pro-, should be disputed, and it is only posed to divide Scotland into four dis- after we see every objection antricts, in each of which an asylum is swered, and every difficulty removed, to be ereeted, the expence of which that we can with propriety agree to is to be defrayed by a county rate. the restraints necessarily imposed by For the purpose of carrying this act such laws on the general freedom of into execution, the different counties the community. The motive of the belonging to each of the districts are author of this scheme may be laudato elect commissioners, to be called ble and benevolent, and we have no district commissioners. In addition doubt that it is so. But, in addition to these, three other commissioners are to this, we must be satisfied, that his to be appointed, one by the district benevolence is wisely directed, seeing commissioners, who must be a free that examples are unfortunately not holder or justice of the peace for the wanting of laws originating in the district, and two by his Majesty's Se- purest intentions, having nevertheless cretary of State for the Home Depart- been the occasion of most extensive ment. They are to be called general and irreparable mischiefs. commissioners, their business being to 1st, Ās to the principle of the superintend generally the execution measure, to which, in many cases, of the act in the four districts into strong objections have been made, we which the country is to be divided. greatly doubt whether there is any These two sets of commissioners are necessity for applying in this matter to consult together on the most pro- to the Legislature for authority to en. per place for erecting the asylums, of force upon the people of Scotland the which a plan is to be sent to the gene- duties of benevolence. The act, inral commissioners for their approba- deed, sets out with declaring, “ That tion. The whole power of regulating great distress has been experienced in the internal management of these asy. Scotland from the want of fit places lums, of arranging the number of me. wherein to confine and take care of fadical assistants
and other officers and tuous and furious persons.” That inservants, of making appointments, and dividual cases of hardship may have of fixing all salaries, is to be vested occurred from this cause, we do not in the general commissioners. When question ; but that the distress expeany district asylum is reported to be rienced has either been great or genecomplete, the minister of the parish, ral, we cannot believe, otherwise prion due notice of this from the district vate benevolence would have multicommissioners, is to lay the same be- plied those asylums in proportion to fore the kirk-session, who are there- the wants of the community. To sucupon empowered to order every pau cour the afflicted of whatever condie per lunatic to be taken before two or tion is unquestionably one of our more justices of the peace, by whom most sacred duties. We accord he is to be remanded to the examina- ingly find, that, as society gradually ton of physicians fully qualified, and improves in civilization and know
ledge, new and more perfect institute in many cases, been placed under tions spring up for assuaging the mi- such excellent management, as to series of our common nature; and all have been of the most signal utility. those glorious establishments, which Now, why may not the same exare the most solid monuments of hu- cellent principle of private exertion be man improvement, and distinguish, to made subservient to a similar purpose his advantage, civilized man from his in other places, and thus the necessavage brethren, have chiefly origi- sity of complicated and expensive innated in private benevolence. All stitutions, to be supported by heavy the institutions which have arisen for assessments on the property of the the healing of the sick,-for the care country, would be superseded. Manof the infirm,—for the cure of those kind have manifested, in all ages, a infirmities to which human nature is propensity, which cannot be too nare subject, have flourished under the su, rowly watched, to a system of busy perintending care of individuals, and officious legislation in matters which have been supported by voluntary be are far better left to individual pruquests and donations. It has never dence; and, in general, the devices been found necessary to resort to the which arise from the influence of this authority of law in such cases. The intermeddling spirit, will be found funds have been raised by voluntary more shewy than useful. They are contributions, and this first difficulty always imposing and magnificent in being surmounted, there can be no theory, but, in practice, they are raredoubt that all establishments of this ly so beneficial as those more humble nature are better managed under the institutions which arise from the licare of individuals, than under the mited means of private benevolence. authority of law. If, then, we have The reason of this is plain; legislabeen enabled to provide funds for the tors proceed always upon great gesupport of the institutions which have neral rules, which they apply indisbeen already described, and which, criminately to all objects, however from their nature, must comprehend different; they sketch out their prosuch a numerous class of sufferers,—if jects upon paper in all the beauty of private benevolence has been found ideal perfection, without condescende equal to such extensive objects, the ing to examine all the minute and funds for the support of a charity ne troublesome details to which indivicessarily more limited, might surely duals are forced to accommodate their be raised upon the same principle, plans. What they produce, thereand thus the authority of law, with fore, is generally nothing better than all its imposing apparatus of district a specious bauble, beautiful to look at, and general commissioners,--and with but wholly unfit for use. Individuall its positive and peremptory rules, als, on the other hand, having no momight be dispensed with. There is ney to squander, and being backed by soinething in the regulations of law no authority, are debarred from all which does not harmonize well with that is systematical and magnificent, plans of benevolence. The law con and they aim, therefore, at what is fers authority, -it proceeds mainly merely useful. Having no power of upon compulsion, and compulsion en- compelling individuals into an acquigenders terror. But if our purposes cscence with their schemes, they are be purely benevolent, we have no need forced to convince them of the utility of of compulsion. No man, more espe- what they propose. They must produce cially it he is poor and destitute, will their reasons,--they must shew their require to be compelled to receive
and their probenefit, and, in plans of this nature, jects, whatever they may be, are thus therefore, far from considering the thoroughly sifted, and brought down, authority of law as any bencfit, it if they require it, froin the altitude of seems, if not a positive evil, at least theory, to the standard of sober wholly unnecessary.
practice. In every view, therefore, In various parts of Scotland the ob- it would be preferable, if the object ject of the plan has been already at- proposed in Lord Binning's bill could tained by the joint efforts of benevo- be attained, without resorting to the lent individuals; houses on a small authority of law. A county tax for scale have already been built for the the maintenance of pauper lunatics reception of lunatics, and these have, is a species of poor-rate; it seems to be
the beginning of a system against not be derived from houses of a larger which we cannot be too much on our description, and placed at a greater guard, seeing that we have before us distance; tiongh this, no doubt, would such lamentable experience of the un- not have made so fine a figure on pahappy effects which it has already per. It might happen that a poor luproduced in England, and for which natic might be at the distance of forty political wisdom has not yet been able or fifty miles from the asylum to which to devise any adequate remedy:
he would have to be sent. Of course, Such seem to be the chief objections the warrant of the justice to deport to the principle of the bill; and, if him to this place, might operate as we examine its details, it will be found effectually to separate him for ever fully to bear out the general character from his friends, as a sentence of transof these legislative devices, which are portation to Botany Bay; and when calculated more for shew than for use. it is considered that the present bill The bill provides for the election of proposes to fill those houses, not by district commissioners, and general the voluntary application of poor percommissioners; and in these last, two sons, who may desire to have their of whom are appointed by the Secre- friends taken care of in these recep tary of State, and only one by the tacles; but that those who are thought county, is vested the whole manage proper objects of this (it can scarcely ment and control of the establish- be called) charity, are to be carried ment, the appointment of officers, the before a Justice of the Peace by the fixing of their salaries, and the regu- kirk-session; and, after undergoing an lation of all the internal details of the examination by physicians, are to be house. This clause is in the highest forcibly taken away from the care of degree objectionable, as it wholly su- their relations, to be transported to persedes efforts of individuals, and the general asylum of the district, vests the regulation of a private es- possibly never more to be seen, --when tablishment for private purposes in it is considered that this is the harsh the officers of the crown. For what process by which these houses are to purpose should the superintendents be filled, all the objections to the plan of a lunatic asylum be clothed with are aggravated tenfold. There is a this character of political authority? want of all delicacy, not to say huThere is no danger that their regula- manity, in those arrangements, and it tions for the management of the asy- is easy to conceive that, under such a lum would be resisted, and the inter- system, the most cruel cases of oppres, ference of the crown, or any of its sion may occur. How many absurd members, seems, therefore, wholly and meddling people are there, who, unnecessary
violent propensity to tyo There are other clauses, however, ranny, but from the mere officiousness which are of equally dangerous tens of their dispositions, might, under dency, and equally absurd. The such a scheme, be rendered the inwhole country of Scotland, it appears, struments of great vexation and cruelis to be divided into four large dis- ty. There ought clearly to be no tricts, with an asylum in each. Now, compulsion, for it is manifest, that, if this provision, of which the disadvan- the poor are burdened with a relation tages are obvious, completely exem- who is insane and furious, they will plifies that passion for system to which gladly avail themselves of the opporlegislators are generally so much ad- tunity of having him taken care of, dicted. Such adistribution of the coun- On these and other grounds, the protry would not have occurred to indi- posed measure is highly objectionable; viduals; they would not have had the and it seems highly desirable, if the power ; and thus they are obliged to distress occasioned by the want of reyield to circumstances, in place of ceptacles for lunatics in Scotland has vainly endeavouring to bend circum- been so general and so great, that instances into a compliance with their dividual exertion should first be tried views. In place of four large houses to accomplish the object wanted, and in distant parts of the country, for the that only in the event of this failing, reception of lunatics, they would have Parliament should be applied to for erected a greater number of smaller some legislative measure on the subhouses, which would have afforded ject.
B. accommodation and facilities that can Edinburgh, March 1818.