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I ask not the pleasures that riches supply,
I love the fair face of the maid in her youth,
Remember the moment when Previsa fell,*
I talk not of mercy, I talk not of fear;
He neither must know who would serve the Vizier :
Dark Muchtar his son to the Danube is sped,
Let the yellow-hair'dt Giaourst view his horsetails with dread;
Selictar!†† unsheath then our chief's scimitar;
The remainder of the poem is dedicated to that enchanting country, Greece, and every line of it will be felt by the scholar and the man of taste; but to which, we must again say, our limits compel us to refer our readers; who, indeed, will eventually be pleased with a reference that shall induce them to peruse the whole of a poem calculated to diffuse delight.
It is followed by notes relative to the subjects introduced, and by a few short miscellanies, chiefly written abroad, of which several are on similar topics; and some are translations of Romaic songs. The volume concludes with an appendix, containing a catalogue of Romaic authors, with specimens of that language. In some future number, and at a more leisure moment, we may return with pleasure to their contents. Some of the notes, particularly those written at Athens, furnish matter for observations, which the calls of our printer warn us to postpone.
*It was taken by storm from the French. to the Russians. + Infidel. Horse-tails ** Horsemen, answering to our forlorn hope.
Yellow is the epithet given are the insignia of a Pacha. tt Sword-bearer.
SPIRIT OF MAGAZINES.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA,
BELL ROCK LIGHT-HOUSE.
AMONG the works which have done the greatest honour to the persevering skill and intelligence of the British nation, the Eddystone Light House has always been considered as holding a distinguished place. With the difficulties attending the progress and completion of that structure, we are familiar by means of Smeaton's History of the work, which is copied into all books of travels in the West of England. A work, so far as we can learn, not less arduous has been accomplished on the Bell Rock in the Firth of Forth: it has engaged our attention several times ;* and the history of it displays such a persevering and unabated struggle with difficulties, and such a happy and cheap victory over them, that we cannot but congratulate our age and country on the spirit and skill displayed in the undertaking.
The Cape, or Bell Rock, lies about eleven miles in a southwest direction from the Red Head, in Forfarshire, and thirty miles north by east, from St. Abb's Head, in Berwickshire. These two head-lands form the boundaries of the estuary, or Firth of Forth, which is the principal inlet upon the east coast of Great Britain for vessels overtaken with an easterly storm while navigating the German Ocean or North Sea.-This dangerous Rock is not usually inserted in general maps of Scotland; but we have the pleasure of referring our readers to that admirable one of the Parlimentary Commissioners inserted in LITERARY PANORAMA, Vol. III. p. 1, and annexed to our account of the "Report to Hon. House of Commons, relative to Improvements in Roads, Bridges, &c. forming in the Highlands, &c. &c. of Scotland." In this map the Bell Rock is distinctly marked.
This rock is almost one entire or continuous mass, having only a very few detached or separate pieces. It is a red sand-stone,
Comp. Panorama. Vol. H. p. 649; VII. p. 167-Eddystone L. H. Vol. IV,
very hard, and of a fine grit, with minute specks of mica. At low water of neap tides, the rock is only partially left by the tide ; but its dimensions, as seen at low water of spring tides, are about 2000 feet in length, with an average breadth of 230 feet; and then the height of the north-east part, where the light house is built, may be stated at four feet above the surface of the water; but the south-west or opposite end of the rock, is lower, and its surface is never left by the tide. The surface of the rock is very uneven, and walking upon it is difficult and even dangerous. Those parts which are higher, and consequently oftener left by the tide, are covered with mussels, limpets, whelks, and numbers of seals occasionally play about the rock, and rest upon it at low water. Those parts which appear only at spring tide, are thickly coated with sea weeds; as the great tangle (fucus digitatus), and baaderlocks or hen-ware (fucus esculentus), which here grows to the length of eighteen feet. The red-ware cod is got very near the rock, and as the water deepens, the other fish common in those seas, are caught in abundance.
Such being the position of this fatal rock, appearing only a few feet above the low water mark of spring tides, and being wholly covered by the water when the tide has flowed but a short time, its dangerous effects have been long and severely felt, and the want of some distinguishing mark to point out its place, has been lamented with the occurrence of every shipwreck upon the coast. But until commerce had made considerable advances towards its present state, the erection of a light-house could not be undertaken, as the ships frequenting those seas, were not sufficiently numerous to afford the probability of raising an adequate revenue, by a small duty or tonnage upon each vessel. Tradition, however, informs us, that so long ago as the fourteenth century, the monks of Aberbrothwick caused a large bell to be hung upon the rock, in such a manner that the waves of the sea gave it motion, by which means warning was given to the mariner of the vicinity of the rock. In this way the name of "Bell Rock," is said to have arisen. Such a bell must soon have been swept away by the raging sea: and centuries elapsed without any effectual steps being taken for distinguishing the rock.
In 1806, a bill passed in both houses of parliament, under the auspices of the then lord-advocate, the honourable Henry Erskine, aided by Sir John Sinclair, bart. By this bill, the northern light duty, of three half-pence per ton upon British, and threepence per ton upon foreign bottoms, was allowed to be extended to all vessels bound to, or from any of the ports between Peterhead in the north, and Berwick-upon-Tweed in the south, and the commissioners were empowered to borrow £25,000 from the 3 per cent consols, which with 20,000 which they possess ed, made a disposable fund of £45,000 to go on with the work.
The bill for the erection of the light-house, passed late in the sessions of 1806, and during the following winter, materials were ordered from the granite quarries in Aberdeenshire, for the outside casing of the first or lower 30 feet of the building; and blocks of freestone for the inside work and high parts, were brought from the quarry of Mylnfield, near Dundee. At Arbroath, the stones were collected and hewn, previous to their being taken off to the rock.
As the work could only be proceeded with, at low water of spring tides, and as three hours were considered a good tide's work, it became necessary to embrace every opportunity of favourable weather, as well in the day tides, as under night by torch light, and on Sundays; for when the flood tide advanced upon the rock, the workmen were obliged to collect their tools and go into the attending boats, which often, not without the utmost difficulty, were rowed to the floating light, where they remained till the rock began to appear next ebb-tide. Happily no accident occurred to check the ardour of working, and by the latter end of October, the operations were brought to a close for the season. A beacon was now finished, consisting of 12 large beams of timber ranged in a circle, having a common base of 30 feet, and rising to a height of 50 feet; at the top the beams were gathered together and terminated in a point; below they were strongly connected with the rock by iron batts and chains. The upper part, which in moderate weather stood above the reach of the sea, was afterwards fitted up, and possessed during the working months as a barrack for the artificers, a smith's shop, and other necessary purposes; and being situated near the stone building, it was at last connected with it by a bridge, or gangway; which, in the progress of the work, was likewise of great service in facilitating the raising of the materials. Unless such an expedient as this beacon-house had been resorted to, the possibility of erecting a light-house upon the rock, is extremely doubtful; it must at any rate have required a much longer period for its accomplishment, and without the beacon-house, there would in all probability have been the loss of many lives.
The operations of the second year were commenced at as early a period as the weather would permit ; and to avoid the great personal risk, and excessive fatigue of rowing the boats to the floating light, an additional vessel was provided solely for the purpose of attending the work. This vessel could be loosened from her moorings at pleasure, and taken to the lee-side of the rock, where in foul weather, she might take the artificers and attending boats on board, which could not be done by the floating light. This tender was a very fine schooner of 80 tons, named the Sir Joseph Banks, in compliment to the illustrious presi
dent of the Royal Society, who, ever ready in the cause of pub. lic improvement, had lent has aid in procuring the loan from government for carrying on the work. Thus provided with a place of safety on the rock in the beacon-house, and a tender always ready in case of necessity, the work went forward even in pretty blowing weather, and by struggling both during day and night tides, early in July, the site of the light-house was cut sufficiently deep into the rock, and wrought to a level. Part of the cast-iron rail-way was fixed for conveying the large blocks of stone along the rock, and other necessary preparations being made, the foundation stone was laid upon Sunday the 10th July, 1808. By the latter end of September, the operations of a second season were brought to a fortunate conclusion, by the finishing of the four first and heaviest courses of five feet six inches.
In the spring of the following year, the operations were again resumed, and it was no small happiness to those concerned, to find, that of the four courses built upon the rock, not a single stone had in the least shifted, after a long and severe winter. The arrangements previous to the landing of any materials on the rock, were to lay down moorings for the various vessels and praam boats employed in the service of the rock; to erect machinery for receiving the stones from the praam boats, and cranes for taking them from the rail-ways, and laying them into their places on the building. With an apparatus thus appointed, the light-house was got to the height of 30 feet by the month of September 1809, which completed the solid part of the building, and in this state, things were again left for the winter months.
The work was therefore begun as early in the third season as possible; and, by unremitting exertions, and a train of fortunate circumstances, the building of the light-house was brought to a conclusion in the month of December, 1810, and lighted up for the first time on the evening of the 1st February, 1811.
The foundation stone of the light-house is nearly on a level with low water of ordinary spring tides, and consequently at high water of these tides the building is immersed about fifteen feet; but during the progress of the work, the sea-spray has been observed to rise upon the light-house to the height of ninety feet, even in the month of July. The building is of a circular form, composed of blocks of stone, from one half ton to between two and three tons weight each. The ground course measures forty-two feet diameter, from which it diminishes as it rises; and at the top, where the mason work finishes, and the lightroom commences, it measures thirteen feet diameter. Here the cornice forms a walk or balcony round the outside of the lightThe stone building measures an hundred feet in height; but the total height of the light-house, including the light-room,