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an early age,“ to step,” as he expressed it,“ over the bounds “ of his profession,” and to communicate to Dr. Beddoes the ideas he entertained on the employment of “pneumatic “ medicines.” It appeared to him that if poisons could be carried into the system of the lungs, remedies might be thrown in by the same channel; and that, although there seemed to be objections to the introduction, in that way, of powders, such as of Peruvian bark, &c., however finely they might be mechanically divided, yet that if the virtues of such substances could be obtained by solution or suspension in air of some species, they might have their full effect when inhaled and respired. With the view of aiding medical practitioners, as well as private patients, in their experiments and researches on this subject, he contrived a convenient apparatus for the preparation and inhalation of the various airs, which was extensively manufactured for sale at Soho. He also in many ways greatly aided Dr. Beddoes in his establishment of the Pneumatic Institution at Clifton, near Bristol : an establishment famous for having early profited by the services, and developed the chemical talents, of Humphry Davy. The system from which Beddoes hoped so much, although it has never yet realised his large expectations, seemed at first to produce some remarkable results; and it is impossible to despise the importance of facts, or to overlook the ingenuity of deductions which were contributed by men such as Beddoes, Jenner, Edgeworth, Humphry Davy, and Watt, and which led all of them to expect effects of an extensively sanative and beneficial character.*

It was always a favourite wish of Mr. Watt's heart to promote the attainment by others of that spirit of industrious research and invention by which he had himself been so entirely governed ; and, in 1808, he founded a prize in Glasgow College, as some acknowledgment on his part of “the many “ favours” which that learned body had conferred upon him, and of his sense of the importance of promoting the special

See the Considerations on the *Quantities,' &c., by Dr. Beddoes and • Use of Factitious Airs, and on the Mr. Watt, published at Bristol in • Manner of obtaining them in large 1794, 1795, and 1796.

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study of the sciences of natural philosophy and chemistry. In a letter addressed to the Rev. Dr. William Taylor, the Principal, he says ;

Entertaining a due sense of “the many favours conferred upon me by the University of “ Glasgow, I wish to leave them some memorial of my grati“ tude, and, at the same time, to excite a spirit of inquiry “ and exertion among the students of Natural Philosophy “ and Chemistry attending the College ; which appears to “ me the more useful, as the very existence of Britain, as a “ nation, seems to me, in great measure, to depend upon her “ exertions in science and in the arts. I had at first “ intended that the subjects for the prize-essay should be “ taken from any branch of Natural Philosophy or Chemistry; “ and now think it proper to restrict them to the following branches, and in the following rotation :

“ First Year, to any branch of Mechanics, or its dependent “ Arts.

“Second Year, to Statics, and the Machines and Arts “ dependent.

“Third Year, to Pneumatics, Statical or Chemical Ma“ chines and Arts.

“Fourth Year, to Hydraulics, Hydrostatics, their Machines “ and Arts.

“Fifth Year, to Chemistry, its Arts and Apparatus.

“The Sixth Year, the rotation to begin with Mechanics, as “ before, and so on by five years' rotations.

“I should request a copy of the successful essay to be sent “me annually, and, after my decease, to my male representa“tive; and I request that no public mention may be made “ of this donation, by paragraphs in the newspapers, or other“ wise, until a prize come to be adjudged ; [I] not being, as “ far as I know, actuated by vanity, but by a desire to stimu“ late others to do as I have done."

* This letter has been already lege and University of Glasgow,' printed in a volume prepared for 4to., 1850, pp. 216-218. It is there private circulation, entitled Deeds stated, that the Faculty having . instituting Bursaries, Scholarships, gratefully accepted this donation, ' and other Foundations, in the Col- " on the terms proposed by Dr. Watt

Some years later, also, (in 1816), he made a donation to the town of Greenock, for the purpose of purchasing scientific books for the use of the mathematical school of the place, under the care and guardianship of the magistrates and towncouncil : his intention being “ to form the beginning of a sci“ entific library for the instruction of the youth of Greenock, “ in the hope of prompting others to add to it, and of ren“ dering his townsmen as eminent for their knowledge as

they are for their spirit of enterprise.” This design, carried out (as he wished) by his townsmen, with the munificent aid of his son, the late Mr. James Watt, has been at last completed; and a large and handsome building, containing the library and a beautiful memorial statue of its founder, by Chantrey, is now a principal ornament of that busy and prosperous seaport, which boasts that James Watt was born in her.

Nor, amid such donations, given as aids to the promotion of sound and useful learning, were others wanting on his part, such as true religion prescribes, to console the poor

and relieve the suffering. But those his benefactions, which were

“ himself, no further Deed of Founda- and when signed,” adds Mr. W., “ tion seems to have been considered you will please to get it registered." “ requisite."

On the 23rd October he writes to Mr. We have, however, ascertained, on H.-“I am glad that the business examining Mr. Watt's correspondence, " with the College is at last settled. that, on the 1st of July, 1808, he en

When you are more reclosed to Mr. G. Hamilton, to be put “ covered I shall be glad to have an into proper form by Mr. Reddie, one “ extract of the deed from the Town of the town-clerks of Glasgow, the “ books." And on the 11th Nov. he draft of a contract, in which the thanks Mr. Hamilton for his attention principles set forth in his letter of “ in procuring" the extract of the 3rd June to the Principal of the Col. trust-deed to the College. lege were carried out on the one This was not very many days bepart, and on the other part the Prin- fore the death of Mr. Hamilton, cipal and Professors of the said Col- “ than whom," writes Mr. Watt, on lege bound themselves to perform all the 4th Dec., “I never knew a more the conditions of the contract, under friendly or worthy man, nor one penalty of forfeiture of the said sum more useful to society;" and on of 3001., with all accumulations of the 24th of the same month he writes interest. On the 14th of July, Mr. to his cousin, Mr. Robert Muirheid, Reddie had received the draft, and “ I had named Mr. Hamilton as one promised to do what was required as “ of the judges, in deciding the speedily as he could. On the 15th “ merits of the prize-essays to be of August, Mr. Watt sends to Mr. given [in] in consequence of my Hamilton the Deed of Gift,' which “ donation to the College; but he he had executed, desiring that Mr. having vacated the place unforReddie might get a proper receipt tunately, I shall appoint you, if you written on it, and direct who should please to do me the honour of acsign it, (on the part of the College); “ cepting it."

also secret, being usually accompanied at the time by an injunction not to make known the name of the donor, we shall not here seek farther to disclose; preferring to dwell on the comfortable truth, that “there be some persons that will “ not receive a reward for that for which God accounts Him"self a debtor: persons that dare trust God with their charity, “ and without a witness.”*

Izaak Walton, Life of Dr. John Donne,' p. 54, ed. Oxford, 1824.


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A SUBJECT which naturally excited a deep, and, indeed, at one time, rather an anxious interest in the breast of the great engineer, when resting in his latter days from the severer labours of his life, was that of steam-navigation. With every confidence in the probable success of such a system, he seems never in any very especial manner to have directed the force of his own mind to the details requisite for carrying it out; a circumstance which is quite explained by the constant demands on his time and attention made by other branches of the steam-engine business, so long as he continued to be actively engaged in its prosecution. He is also said to have observed that “wind was cheaper than steam." But, in times widely different from those in which he had asked his memorable question as to whether “a spiral oar” or “two wheels” were to be preferred for navigation by steam, he lived to know of the first complete and practically useful steam-boat being successfully employed in America ; as well as of the British Channel being crossed, and the Rhine navigated by another, under the personal direction of his own son; both vessels,—the American and the British, having been impelled by engines manufactured at Soho, constructed on the principles invented by himself, and not without the benefit of his own inspection and counsels.

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