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circumstances, done it in terms which went to make a pro- | Charles I. When Merchiston first published his logarithms digy of her illustrious brother. A modern Pascal-a name Mr. Briggs, then reader of the astronomy lectures at hardly less honoured perhaps among the savaus of the Insti. Gresham College, in London, afterwards of Oxford, was so tute than it is familiar in the academic halls of our own surprised with admiration of them, that he could have no country-has no miracle of his infancy to point to; and quietness in himself till he had seen that noble person whose yet Chalmers is not surely the less conspicuous in the walks only invention they were. He acquaints John Marr there. of science and literature, or less wonderful in the breadth with, who went into Scotland before Mr. Briggs, purperly and comprehensiveness of his majestic imagination, because to be there, when these two so learned persons siuvaid meet. the spark of his mathematical and intellectual genius was Mr. Briggs appointed a certain day when to meet in Edinonly struck out in the third term of his college life, and burgh, but failing thereof, Merchiston was fearful he would when he had attained his thirteenth year. No less, it is
It happened one day, as John Marr and the conceived, can Newton be thought to inherit the title of Lord Napier were speaking of Mr. Briggs,— Oh, John!' immortal, becanse only in his thirteenth year did he begin said Merchiston, “Mr. Briggs will not come now;' at the to astonish his playfellows at Grantham, by the effects of very instant one knocks at the gate. Joha Marr hastened that passion for the mathematics, which soon became with | down, and it proved to be Mr. Briggs, to his great contenthim irresistible. The endaring frame of the great Watt ment. He brings Mr. Briggs into my lord's chamber, needs no adventitious aid from the marvellous in dealing where almost one quarter of an hour was spent, each bewith the facts of his early life; and he whose little finger holding the other with admiration before one word was is thicker than the loins of any ordinary man, may surely spoken. At last Mr. Briggs began, 'My Lord, I have unafford to hear without being disconcerted, the boastful jargon dertaken this long journey purposely to see your person, and of the pigmies around him. At thirteen years of age, young to know by what engine of wit and ingenuity you came first Watt, like that other giant Timnath, when the Philistines to think of this most excellent help unto astronomy, namely, were upon him, awoke up into something of his real the logarithms; but, my lord, being by you found out, I strength on being put to the study of mathematics. This wunder nobody else found it before, when being found, it we conceive to be the true date of his intellectual birth,
appears so easy.' He was nobly entertained by Lord Napier, the happy moment when he took into his hands the mystic and every summer after that during the Lairds being alive, key of all scientific knowledge with which, in after years, he this venerable nao went purposely to Scotland to visit him." was successively to unloose so many of the secrets of nature. The only other preceptor was Robert Errol, the first master and lead manhood to the participation of some of her most appointed to the grammar school of Greenock, his nominaprecious treasures.
tion having taken place as early as the year 1727, in which of the mathematical preceptor of so apt and promising a year he is mentioned for the first time in the town records. pupil, too little is unfortunately known that could be very It is not known at what age our young geometriciau was interesting to the reader. In regard to few particulars in sent to the grammar school, or how long he continged under the memorials of Watt's youth, is one disposed to lament the instructions of its zealous and lenrued pedagogue. the scantiness of information more sincerely than in this. There is, however, the best reason for believing that he His name was John Murr, a name not unknown to historical
made good progress, and attained to a creditable proficiency record. He would seem to have been retained in some capa- in Latin, and, most probably, the elements of Greek. And city in the household and family of the lord of the manor, although we are not in a position to hazard in regard to Sir John Schaw. We have seen his subscription as a wit- him what the great lexicographer said of his own classical ness to some characters granted by Sir John in 1751. In attainments, -"That he should never have learnt Latin if it these deeds he is designated John Marr, mathematician, in had ro: been flogged into him," —
-We know that our young Greenock. He appears to have had a salary from the town, | philosopher learned his so well, that he is found in his eighty. as in the years 1750 and 1751 there are found in the accounts second year, notwithstanding the contrarieties aod occa pa. of the town treasurer more than one payment made to him. tions of a long and busy life in very different departments of Nothing further is known of him than what appears in the study, makin use of his classics with as much discrimination records of the society of freemasons, known as the Lodge as taste, and delighting even the circles of Edinburgh Greenock Kilwivning, No. 11, of which he was a brother, literati, daring its most brilliant epoch, with the extent and and in which he acted in some official capacity, having been correctness of his critical and philological attainments. initiated into the mysteries of the craft in the City of Glasgow. To be able to record more of James Watt's ma
This volume is printed in a very tasteful style, thematical preceptor would be gratifying, not less on his account than that of his pupil, and the gratification would be worthy of its subject. The illustrations are curious proportionately heightened could a relationship, by no means or valuable.
The style is clear and distinct. The improbable, be happily traced up from him to another John statements seem all to be carefully weighed. Even Marr, who was mathematician in the household of King the gossip is really excusable and pleasant gossip. James VI., and friend of the great Napier, of Merchiston.
Most probably the work will get generally into The following anecdote, in which the latter John Marr acts
mechanics' institutions and libraries. It would be so dramatic a part, is so interesting in itself, and so graphically narrated, that we cannot resist the opportunity of
a strange circumstance if it did not.
And a quoting it. Lilly, in his “Life and Times,” thus relates the series of such works, other towns doing for their circumstances to Elias Ashmole:-"I will acquaint you notables wbat Greenock has done for Watt, would with one memorable story related to me by Johu Marr, an
form a splendid addition to our biographical literaexcellent mathematician and geometrician, whom I conceive
ture. you remember. He was servant to King James I. and,
Our old Saxon or Scotch proverbs embody vast is the man ?- who rebelled against the Emperor of risdom. They avoid the verbiage of the present China. Then, here is the man who begot the man day, and come straight to a point. They are, as who rebelled, &c. Next, here is the ship that carproverbs must be, experimental or practical, and ried the man who begot the man that rebelled, their numbers wonld furnish the texts of papers &c. Then, here is the flag and the register which on all topics.
covered the ship which carried the man who beyot A little spark
the man, and so on. So, here is Commissioner Breeds ineikle wark.
Yeh, who despised the flag which covered the ship The condition of Britain and China illustrates which carried the man--and onwards as before. the couplet. Some time within the last three to Next step, bere are the policemen who served four years a young boatman or labourer on the Yeh, who depised the flag which covered the ship, banks of the Canton river decided to join the rebels. &c. Then we have Bowring, next Seymour; The cause of this impulse in the young fellow's Palmerstou following, and followed by Cobden, mind, like his appearance, his preserit existence, by the Parliament, by the Queen, and closed up bis influence, name, or prowess is alike unknown. by the electors of Great Britain—a powerful body There was a man, a young man probably, for his indeed to be disturbed in their buying and selling, father was alive in October last—and he was one their ploughing and sowing, by this insignificant of twenty to thirty millions of rebels in China. person. The story reads thus in extenso :--Here There was a man-and the man was a rebel--but are the electors who obeyed the Queen, who all beside these bare facts relating to the man is sought new representatives to displace the Parliaunknown here. In the western world we might ment, who voted with Derby to turn out Palmersuppose that there was a maiden as there was a ston, who vindicated Bowring, who requested man, and that the generous heart of the former, Seymour to terrify Yeli, who ordered the policebeing impressed with admiration for the chivalry of men, who trampled the flag which covered the Tæ. Pæ-Wing, she had induced the man to swerve lorcha, which carried the man who begot the man, from his allegiance to the Mantchoos.
who rebelled against the Emperor of China. often the course of love and rebellion in our own This sorry business has agitated the country, country one hundred and twenty years ago, and and we are inclined to believe has made our conmore; but as in China females are not visible be- stitution anything else than the admiration or the fore marriage, and in point of fact courtship with envy of surrounding nations; because a certain all its diplomacy, excitement, and romance is re- portion of the peace-at any.price party—even at duced to the most miserable vulgarity of buying a the price of seventy thousand leads in twelvewife—we can hardly impute blame respecting months within one city or province -fraternised, this man to woman, since it is not probable that by an unavoidable accident, with the simple the Chinaman's mother incited him to revolt. Derbyites, in the plan devised by the subtle
A knowledge of the cause of this unknown's re- Peelites to "eject the Palmerstonians from the bellion would be most interesting, because it is Treasury benches, and share the seats with the that little spark which has caused nominally the Russellites. The Derbyites expected to rule in dissolution of the British Parliament. It is the conjunction with Gladstone, Graham, and Herbert. romance of the house that Jack built, put into The Russellites cherished a similar expectation in modern practice. There is the man--only, where the same conjunction. The Peelites alone knew
their game. Being nothing in the present Par- Viscount Palmerston will obtain a majority; but liament, these cherished knights of the late Sir it might have been a larger one than any minister Robert's round table could be little less in the has had for twenty-five years if he had evinced Parliament to come; whereas, if they had gained reforming purposes, and if he had not opposed Mr. office for twelvemontlis, they might have swelled Locke King's bill for the reduction of the County into importance, and done something to arrest that Franchise. The new Parliament will be decidedly change in the dispensation of ecclesiastical patron- favourable to his foreign policy, but determined age that galls them so that they wince; and they to extend the franchise at home, and opposed to might have crippled the power and lowered the domestic obstructions. prestige of the empire—which seems to be their Sir John Bowring has been abandoned by his ruling passion ever since they landed the army in personal friends in this country on this subject. the Crimea without knapsacks, and left them to He has been assailed in bitter language by Messrs. pass the winter without clothes, food, or fuel. Cobden and Roebuck, who do not generally run The Derbyites were misguided as usual. They together, but who were both intimate and personal trust their astute Earl; too quick this year as he friends of our representative in China. The was too slow in 1855. They are the natural ene- coarse invectives of political opponents are not mies of the Liberal party; and, therefore, they remarkable, for they are not unnatural; but the acadopt any plan that may be presented of disor- quaintance of the politicians whom we have named ganising them. They have been deceived in this with the gentleman whose proceedings they ceninstance, and have disorganised themselves, for sure, should have imparted a tone to their critithey will be fewer by fifty in the next, than in the cisms which they do not possess. They both past Parliament. Forthe humanitarian party, as some know that Sir John Bowring when resident in this wag basinhumanly dubbed the class of politicians who country opposed war, except in the last extremity. are erroneously styled the Manchester school, we He acted, we believe, as Secretary to the Peace admit their inability to make any personal gain by Society, and advocated their principles. He opchange ; and their sincerity in apologising for the posed the employment of force until kindness and atrocious Commissioner Yeh, exactly as a year or persuasion were exhausted. Probably he even two since they found excuses for the despotic went farther, and advocated passive obedience, Emperor of Russia. The phenomenon is unac. which is the root of slavery. He was connected countable ; but similar phenomena are not uncom- with all the measures taken to obtain a complete mon. Able and honest men in every particular enfranchisement of our own people. He held except one, are occasionally defective in one. It opinions on some subjects which we reject, but is a flaw at which the axle breaks, or the cannon they are principally of a non-political character; bat bursts.
no man who has observed his career would say, Lord John Russell and his few friends are less up to this Chinese question, that he was addicted excusable than either of the other classes of atoms to war. His conduct and his principles rebut the which formed the perfectly fortuitous concourse charge. If he be liable to the imputations of his against the Government upon the 3d current. They friends, a singular alteration in his character and are not morbid politicians, but men thoroughly feelings has occurred. versed in the tactics of parliamentary life. They Even since his official residence in the East, he say that hey could not deny the errors charged bas been charged with leniency to the Chinese. against Sir John Bowring, and were obliged to His decisions were opposed to the interests of the vote consistently with their consciences. We do British merchants, between whom and the Chinese not refuse the word of gentlemen. Their con- authorities differences had arisen.
He always sciences were extremely sharp and troublesome no appeared to give the Chinese the benefit of any doubt on that occasion, but consciences will some.. doubts. He did not intersere in favour of the times speak tartly ; yet they might have been revolutionists, whom he might have essentially quieted by a middle course. The forms of the served. He even has been accused of indirectly House of Commons admitted an amendment that aiding the Imperialists. We might ask his late might have been a salubrious opiate to these con- friends with confidence, whether any British official sciences. A man might have come with clean exists whose antecedents would render a charge of hands out of the trial, who believed Commissioner cruelty and oppression on a grand scale against Yeh to be an innocent, and Sir John Bowring a him less likely to be true. They say that their rollicking savage, without voting against or for charges are supported by the papers produced in Mr. Cobden's resolutions.
Parliament. We think that they are not; bu; It is true, we fear, that not many members ex- even if they were, we dislike the condemuation pected a resignation of the Ministry in consequence expressed in certain quarters. The crimes or of the vote. Lord John Russell described the dis- errors of an old friend who has long followed a solution as a penal measure. The dissolution was satisfactory course should not be overlooked in not considered easy. The Court party were silence, but they should be treated in sorrow. reckoned upon to thwart the minister, but if there The papers contain all the inculpatory evidence be a Court party the Queen is not one of its num- that exists ; for the private information from China ber, and therefore Parliament was dissolved. is in Sir John's favour. He is supported by all
THE CHARGES AGAINST SIR JOHN BOWRING.
those gentlemen who are connected personally I been occasioned under a false pretence (and both letters with China, or by all who know anything directly cannot be true) I put it to you as Englishmen, as men of of the matter; and he is opposed by those who,
common sense, conversant with the arrangements of your
own business, whether such a mode of managing the affairs if they entertained any doubt relating to these
of this country in a large Empire at a distance merited the affairs, were bound to give it in his favour. unqualified approbation of the Government. The attacks made upon Sir John Bowring have
And now we beg the reader carefully to con over been not only ungenerous, but they are wretched the following extract from the despatch of the falsehoods. The charges would, if true, justify 11th of October, and learn that both letters are true. any man of honour and integrity in declining his We take all that relates to the Arrow's register :friendship, and yet those old and professed friends of our representative in China hear without in.
It appears, upon examination, that the Arrow had no vestigating, and greedily repeat these scandals with right to hoist the British fag, the license to do so expired
on the 27th of September, from wbich period she has not out ascertaining their veracity. His position been entitled to protection. But the Chinese had no know. required forbearance from his foes, and especially ledge of the expiry of the license, nor do they profess to from his friends. We removed nearly
have had any other ground for interference than the suppo. eighteen thousand miles, and two months in sition that the owner is not a British subject ; that, how.
ever, is a question for this Government, who granted the time, from the scene of action. Acquaintance register, and it is clear that the Chinese authorities have with Chinese affairs and character is not dif- violated the 9th article of the Supplementary Treaty, which fased largely among us.
The British officials requires that all Chinese malfaisants in British ships should in China before this war, were considered, in their be claimed through the British authorities. several positions, not more likely to break the
The difference made by the additional paragraph peace than any other men who could have occu- in the despatch of the 11th of October will be pied them. Therefore they should be judged le- observed. Sir John Bowring places the breach of niently
, while we are prepared to prove that there treaty with China by Commissioner Yeh, not upon have been scandalous falsehoods promulgated re- a fiscal arrangement at Hongkong, but upon the specting their conduct from both Houses of Parlia. broad ground that the Arrow was known to them ment. Sir John Bowring was charged by his as a British ship, and in no other capacity. Conopponents in the lower House with lying, in refer sul Parkes-in a note of which no notice is taken ence to the Arrow; and they quoted his own by Mr. Burroughs, because none was taken by the letters in proof. Many of them, we believe, sinned political leaders whom he followed—Consul Parkes in comparative ignorance, because they had not says, regarding this matter, on the 12th of Octoread the blue book; and it is curious that his friends ber :did not defend him with all the materials in their I also forward, as directed by your Excellency, the regispossession. The audacity and boldness of the ter of the “ Arrow.”. When the document was deposited charge placed very neatly by Mr. Burroughs, late
with me on the 3rd inst., the year for which it was granted a Conservative member for East Norfolk, in his the master is to be believed, it was because the lorcha was
had expired a few days previously, but if the statement of leave-taking from his constituency, of which we then at sea, and has not been in the waters of the colony quote a paragraph, takes away one's breath. It is since the 1st of September last, that timely application had so circumstantial that the reader feels there must
not been made for its renewal. He states that on the day be something in it. We quote from Mr. Burroughs, thence for Macao, where he lay for a fortnight, painting
named he sailed in her for Canton, and proceeded from because we believe bim to be a very honourable and re-fitting; then loaded again outside Macao, re-entered man-although he should have read the blue that port, discharged a portion of his cargo there, and book before, being deceived himself, he com- brought the remainder, consisting of rice, on to Canton; menced to deceive others, He, doubtless, took after the delivery of which he was to have left, on the day the word of the distinguished Commoners and on which his crew was seized, in ballast for Hongkong, prior roble Peers who harped upon this string, and will to proceeding, as he believes, in charter to Ningpo. now regret that he bore false testimony against a
We are informed that the circumstances of the gentleman engaged in the discharge of onerous
Arrow at the date of the seizure are usual. The responsibilities. We quote Mr. Burroughs :
lorchas make long voyages, and the license for
their register may often expire during their abFor myself I can solemnly declare, that in giving my
The owner should renew that, and therevote I had no desire to displace Lord Palmerston's Govern. ment. : . My object in voting as I did was to induce fore, in a despatch of the 13th of October, to Con. Lord Palmerston to do that which I thought he ought to
sul Parkes, Sir John Bowring says: have done in the first instance, and which he has done since. I will consider the re-granting the register of the “ Arrow," The public documents upon China are voluminous, but I if applied for; but there can be no doubt that after the ex. will give you an extract from them. On the 11th of Octo- piry of the licence, protection could not be legally granted. ber, Sir John Bowring wrote to the English consul, Parkes :"The Arrow had no right to hoist the British flag. The
This letter refers to the claim of the owner of license to do so expired on the 27th of September, from the Arrow to protection, wbich had ceased ; but which period she was not entitled to protection.” On the the right of the British representive to concede 14th of November following, he wrote to the Chinese protection remained. The Commissioner Yeh :-" The Arrow lawfully bore the Bri: nothing to do with the other. If the owner of
one question had tish flag under a register granted by me.” believe to be the case, the bloodshed and misery to the the Arrow had scught protection to his ship, it English residents in China, as well as to the Chinese, have might have been declined in strict conformity with
MR. BURROUGHS AND SIR JOHN BOWRING,
the law. If the British representative chose to and has been repeatedly used in and out of Paroverlook this irregularity, he had the power. liament. It was a schoolboy crime. Sir John was
With respect to the short extract from the dis. not sorry for what had occurred. He did not adepatch of Sir John Bowring, dated on the 14th quately express grief at the necessity—if a November, we prefer to precede it by an extract necessity arose-of appealing to Sir Michael Seyfrom the letter of Commissioner Yeh, to which Sir We had hoped that the governor of any John Bowring's of lith November, is a reply :- British colony might reckon safely upon credit
It was shown on trial of the prisoner, that the lorcha for regretling the loss of life in any operation, was built by Sooaching, a Chinese ; a register was purchased without expressing sorrow in his despatches
, for her of the merchant Block for 1,000 dollars, and that which are, or should be, concise documents. This she assumed the British flag without being entitled to it (or hope was, however, founded in error, and our fraudulently). She was lying at the time of the seizure off diplomatists are expected to have extracts from the Datch folly; and, as has been clearly proved, with no ensign flying, it being, as it appears, an established law
our moralists ready for use. The time allowed to with British vessels to haul down their ensign when they elapse after the men on the Arrow were seized drop anchor, and not to hoist it again until they get under before the employment of force to recover them, weigh.
shows the indisposition of our authorities to violent Had it been shown upon the trial that her flag was boná fide that of a British merchant vessel, it would have been proceedings. On the 16th of October, Sir John doubtless correct to follow some other course than the one Bowring writes to Conimissioner Yeh :-"I regret parsued; but the fact being that a Chinese had assumed to find that your Excellency did not comply the flag without title, what need was there for Mr. Consul with my reasonable requirements, and that, in Parkes to put himself forward as his advocate ?
consequence, an imperial junk has been capIt will be observed that Commissioner Yeh says tured,” &c. that the Arrow “had assumed the British flag On the 23rd October, he writes : “Every prewithout being entitled to it," or, as translated by caution will be taken to show the people that a foot-note, “fraudently"-a matter entirely un- any misfortunes which may happen are attributable connected with the expiry of the register. In to the mandarins.” On the 27th, the present answer to the statement of the Commissioner Yeh calamities would never have occurred, “if the that the Arrow was not entitled to use the British Chinese authorities had not shamefully violated flag, or that it was fraudulently assumed, no answer their engagements." Upon the 29th, a copy of was more natural than the words written by Sir Commissioner Yeh’s proclamation, calling upon John Bowring on the 14th of November :- the householders “ to exterminate the troublesome
Whatever representations may have been made to your English villains," and "offering a reward of thirty Excellency, there is no doubt that the lorcha “ Arrow," dollars for every life taken,” was received at lawfully bore the British flag under a register granted by Hongkong. The 30th brought more copies of me, and that Treaty obligations were violated by the seizure of her crew, without the intervention of the consal, by Canton, calling upon the people to destroy the
incendiary placards posted against the walls of your officers, and that this violation required a reparation as public as the outrage. I have undoubted evidence that English barbarians." How were these placards the British flag was flying when it was pulled down by your received ? By refusals upon the same day to officer, and I quite approve of the conduct of the Consul in receive the co-operation of the rebels, or to allow the whole of this affair.
a person holding an admiral's commission from the This explanation and these extracts show how Nankin insurgents to enter the port with his fleet. easy it is to make a falsehood, and how difficult If the port of Canton be meant, we consider the to undo the web; but Mr. Burroughs will regret British authorities censurable for interfering in the that he placed garbled extracts in his valediction case. They should allow the insurgents a fair to East Norfolk, and that, while gracefully retiring field, for they may be successful, and cannot be from a constituency whom he had represented in Par altogether grateful for our intermeddling against liament for some time, he attempted to take away them ; but the refusal iu the peculiar circumstauces with hin the good name of an official who is of the 30th October does not indicate a bloodguiltless of the charge against him.
thirsty disposition. After rewards bad been offered Those persons who originated this admirable for the assassination of British subjects on the specimen of garbling, will not be ashamed of the 31st of October, Sir John Bowring writes : "I matter. It answered their purpose for a time, lament to report that no evidence is yet given of and no more was required.
any disposition on the part of the viceroy to enter The space we occupy in dealing with a specific upon amicable negotiations.” More decisive evicharge will not be grudged to the vindication of a dence that the governor of Hongkong sought to British official, whose character as an eminent prevent the loss of life and property, is supplied politician, as a literary man, a scholar, and our on the 2nd of November. Sir Michael Seymour representative in a distant quarter of the globe, is received agreeable testimonials of character for a matter of consequence to all, except our “do- generosity and humanity from all parties during mestic enemies," or to his “candid friends," and the discussions in the Commons.
Sir James to them also in the present crisis.
Graham was peculiarly fervent in praise of his Another charge against our governor at Hong- absent friend. The Admiral, we believe, would kong originated with some parties in Parliament, I have dispensed with the compliments in return for