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his own ingenuity, which was very considerable, we know not), seems to have made a wonderfully near approximation to the real secret which alone was wanting to bring the whole system into activity, when he wrote, in 1813, “ I have always thought that steam would become the universal lord, and that

we should in time scorn post-horses. An iron railroad would be a cheaper thing than a road on the common construction.”

Mr. Edgeworth’s reflections may, not improbably, have arisen on his perusal of Sir Richard Phillips' Morning • Walk to Kew, published in the same year, 1813; in which the following remarkable passage occurs :-“I found “ delight in witnessing at Wandsworth the economy of horse “ labour on the iron railway. Yet a heavy sigh escaped me, “ as I thought of the inconceivable millions of money which “ had been spent about Malta, four or five of which might “ have been the means of extending double lines of iron rail

way from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Holyhead, Mil“ ford, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Dover, and Portsmouth. A “ reward of a single thousand would have supplied coaches, “ and other vehicles, of various degrees of speed, with the “ best tackle for readily turning out; and we might, ere this, “ have witnessed our mail coaches running at the rate of ten “ miles an hour, drawn by a single horse, or impelled fifteen “ miles an hour by Blenkinsop's steam-engine. Such would “ have been a legitimate motive for overstepping the income “ of a nation ; and the completion of so great and useful a “ work would have afforded rational ground for public triumph “ in general jubilee." +

As a pendant to these annals of some of the earliest attempts, in this country, to effect locomotion on land by steam, we may here record the curious coincidence that, in 1841, the subject prescribed for the Latin Epigram for Sir William Browne's gold medal at Cambridge having been Vehicula vi vaporis impulsa,the prize was gained by Matthew Piers Watt Boulton, of Trinity College, the grandson of Matthew Boulton of Soho. The following is the prize composition, with some slight variations since made by its author:

* To Mr. Watt, 7th August, 1813. + Smiles' • Life of Stephenson,' p. 156.

“ O invidenda cæteris præ gentibus,

“ Dilecta Dis Britannia,
" Quantis beavit incolas donis tuos

“ Scientiæ progressio !
“ Ne jam Sabæa terra veloces equos,

Nec jactet Hellas Dedalum ;
“ Perniciorem machinam invenit tibi

“ Vis ingeni sublimior.
“ Ecce ut vaporis currus impulsus flabris

" In ferreâ cursum viâ
“ Tenet, per arva, trans fluenta, viscera

“ Per perforata montium ;
“Quàm gaudet intus rapta fulmine ocyor

Stupetque plebs motum novum !
“ Heu ! cum repente illisa desilit rota,

“ Excussa recto tramite,
“ Tum dira clades; civibus cives simul,

“ Nasique nasis corruunt.
“ Hic crura fracta, hic mæret obtusum caput,

“ Hic oris amissum decus.
" At insciens nos turba, crassa pectora,

“ Cur rem queramur tantulam,
“ Planctuque vano gloriis scientiæ

“ Obstemus ? Annon convenit,
“ Cum citius omnes itur in terras, viâ

“ Citiore ferri ad Tartara ?”

The sense of which may be rendered,—though its elegance is not equalled, -by this English translation :

“ Above all nations, great and free

“ Britannia, lov'd of Heaven !
“ What mighty blessings hath to thee

“ The march of Science given !

“ Let Greece not boast her Dædalus,

“ Nor Araby her horses :-
A higher wit invents for us

“ Machines of swifter courses.
“ Its iron way athwart the plain

“ O'er brooks and rivers steering,
“ Through mountains piercing, and again
“ From tunnell’d gorge appearing,

“ Lo, onward speeds the flying car,

A steaming, puffing wonder; “ How folks do stare and smile, as far

“ They distance thus the thunder! “ But ah! an axle breaks, and then

“ Off line the train goes crashing ;“ With dire destruction, men on men,

“ Noses on noses dashing. “ Some, broken legs,-some, fractur'd skulls,

“ Bewail;—some, loss of beauty :“ But not of us,-poor, stupid gulls,

“ Is censorship the duty :“ Of such mere trifles, who complains ?

May Science reign eternal, And,-in these railroad days,-run trains

Express to realms infernal ! ”

CHAPTER XXVI,

NEW LAMPS - GRAVIMETER CAOUTCHOUC TUBES ARITHMETICAL MACHINE - ARTICULATED WATER-PIPE - MACHINE FOR COPYING SCULPTURE

- ITS GRADUAL PROGRESS, AND ITS PERFORMANCES —DATES AND EXTRACTS FROM MSS. CONCERNING IT - INTENDED SPECIFICATION OF A PATENT FOR ITS INVENTION RELATIVE DRAWINGS TIME EMPLOYED IN ITS OPERATIONS - PERFECTION OF THE WORK DONE — LATER PROCESSES OF A SIMILAR KIND.

By another of what may be called his mechanical recreations, practised soon after the date of the last of his steam-engine patents, Mr. Watt seems to have realised the idea, made classical by the story of Aladdin, of “ New lamps for old.” His letters to Mr. Argand, famed for manufactures of that sort, contain various ingenious suggestions on the subject of better reading-lamps than had before existed; and for a long time lamps were made at Soho on Mr. Watt's principles, which gave a light surpassing both in steadiness and brilliance anything of the kind that had appeared in those comparatively dark ages; and which, indeed, we have seldom, if ever, seen equalled by the elaborate contrivances so much vaunted in our own days of more general illumination.

In 1788, he made a pretty instrument for determining the specific gravities of liquids; having, he says, improved on a hint he had taken. * It consists of a syphon of “ two equal legs, with a tube joined to the bend of it, “ and a little water in that tube. One leg being im“mersed in water, and the other in the liquid to be “ examined, by sucking at the pipe the liquors will “ both rise to columns proportioned to their specific gravities; and, if it is about 13 inches long in the legs, his own ingenuity, which was very considerable, we know not), seems to have made a wonderfully near approximation to the real secret which alone was wanting to bring the whole system into activity, when he wrote, in 1813, “ I have always " thought that steam would become the universal lord, and that we should in time scorn post-horses. An iron railroad would be a cheaper thing than a road on the common construction."

Mr. Edgeworth’s reflections may, not improbably, have arisen on his perusal of Sir Richard Phillips' • Morning • Walk to Kew, published in the same year, 1813 ; in which the following remarkable passage occurs :—"I found “ delight in witnessing at Wandsworth the economy of horse “ labour on the iron railway. Yet a heavy sigh escaped me, “ as I thought of the inconceivable millions of money which “ had been spent about Malta, four or five of which might “ have been the means of extending double lines of iron rail

way from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Holyhead, Mil

ford, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Dover, and Portsmouth. A “ reward of a single thousand would have supplied coaches, “and other vehicles, of various degrees of speed, with the “ best tackle for readily turning out; and we might, ere this, “ have witnessed our mail coaches running at the rate of ten “miles an hour, drawn by a single horse, or impelled fifteen “miles an hour by Blenkinsop's steam-engine. Such would “ have been a legitimate motive for overstepping the income “ of a nation ; and the completion of so great and useful a “ work would have afforded rational ground for public triumph “ in general jubilee." +

As a pendant to these annals of some of the earliest attempts, in this country, to effect locomotion on land by steam, we may here record the curious coincidence that, in 1841, the subject prescribed for the Latin Epigram for Sir William Browne's gold medal at Cambridge having been Vehicula vi vaporis impulsa,the prize was gained by Matthew Piers Watt Boulton, of Trinity College, the grand

* To Mr. Watt, 7th August, 1813. † Smiles' Life of Stephenson,' p. 156.

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