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As scarcely any of our readers are unconnected with, or uninterested in individuals, who are occasionally exposed to the perils of shipwreck, we give a sketch of the Cliff Waggon for communicating with persons who have been wrecked, or have reached the shore, at the bottom of high cliffs, to whom there is not any access from the summit, or by boats, on account of the heaviness of the sea, and the rocky nature of the coast.
Attention was very painfully excited to the best means of rendering assistance on rocky and precipitous coasts, to shipwrecked persons, when it was found, in the case of the Wilhelmina, a foreign vessel, that the Life-Boat, and Captain Manby's mortar apparatus, could not afford succour. The Wilhelmina, after a fearful suspense of many hours, in which there were occasional gleams of hope that she might escape, struck, and was speedily broken up against a detached rock, at some distance from the main cliffs, considerably to the southward of the entrance of the river Tyne. The labourers of the adjacent farms, and others, were watching her, with such ropes as they could procure. A portion of the wreck conveying five persons, drove in shore, and •was brought by the wind into a bay: they seemed to have escaped: a subsequent wave carried them back into destruction. Though the cliff was not very high, there was not any path or descent, and the ropes were not strong enough, to allow of lowering by them the men, amongst the anxious bystanders, who earnestly desired to make the dangerous experiment. In their sight, the whole crew of the Wilhelmina, including a woman and an infant child, perished*.
The Cliff Waggon was invented by Mr. James Davison, master mariner, of Whitburn, near Sunderland, who was for some time very active in charge of the Life-Boat, at Redcar, near the mouth of the river Tees, and has since been in the superintendence of the establishment at Whitburn, for the preservation of life from shipwreck. The machine here described, was built under the direction and at the expense of the Whitburn Establishment for the preservation of life from shipwreck.
"Their bodies were eventually 'found, and buned with the rites of the Church of England, in >Yhitburn Churchyard
It is a"platform a a, 14 feet 9 inches, by 6 feet, made of IrV inch deal planks, guarded by rails Bb at the sides and one end, moving on four wheels, by one or two horses, with a shaft like a common waggon. Three strong uprights, Ddd, on each side, each 10 inches by 2$ thick, support an inclined beam E E, 17 feet long, and 6 inches by 5, on rollers, upon which works a sliding lever Ff, 21 feet long, of the same dimensions as the supporting beam E E; they are connected by hoops dd, and pass through the tops of the uprights D 1, D 2, and through the bottom of D 3. At the extremity F of each lever, is suspended, by means of blocks and the strongest patent rope, made of whale-line, a sling or seat; the ropes connected with which, pass through a sheaf or block in the end, F, of each lever, and of the upright D 3; and thus, by the assistance of a few men, four or more persons with ropes, life-buoys, &c. &c., may be lowered down at the same time, from the top of the inaccessible cliff, to the aid of the unfortunate mariners below. One swing may remain down, if required, for the security of the men, when the sea beats upon the base of the cliffs; into the other swing, they can put each person as they rescue them from the waves. For women and children, or men who may be injured or exhausted, a strong wicker basket has been provided, to be substituted for the swing, in which they may bo laid at length, and carried, when raised to the summit of the cliff, without the pain of further removal, to the nearest house. The ordinary sling is provided with a strong strap to buckle round the waist, and will with the person saved, convey a man to take care of him.
When called into service, the waggon is backed as near to the edge of the most perpendicular part of the cliff, as may be deemed sufficiently solid to bear the weight of it. It is made fast by letting down the spur-shores, or stays, o, 7 feet long and 2J inches thick, at each side of the platform, and which must work deeper and deeper into the earth, if the waggon moves. The wheels are sunk, and it is moored by two strong grapnells, or devil's claws, from the tops of D 3, carried out as far as may be necessary, 11, and by loading it with stones &c. If any cause of apprehension exist, the horses, which drew the waggon may remain attached to the shaft, and the men employed in raising and lowering the swings, may stand on the grapnell ropes. ,
The uprights D, at the lever ends F, are each 7 feet 6 inches high, the two others on each side, are 5 feet high. The levers F F, may not only be extended so as to allow for unseen projecting parts on the face of the cliff but may be drawn in again, merely by the continuance of the same pull, which raised the swing from the bottom of the cliff, so as to land the persons brought up. Each lever is projected by means of a block at the inside of the upper part of D 1, the rope from which passes through a sheaf in the lower end /of the lever, and is made fast at the outside of
The Cli£f Waggon possesses almost every quality which can recommend any invention destined to a similar purpose. That built at Whitburn was completed and painted for about 40/., ropes included; it was made by the village workmen. There is not in it any thing intricate,—any springs or nice mechanism which may be deranged,—any thing which rapidly decays, or cannot be readily replaced;—not any thing, in short, which is not available for the exertion of the simple physical power of any men who can be brought together. If the materials of which the Cliff Waggon is formed be substantial, no caution is required beyond that of securely fixing it in its position on sound ground, at the edge of the cliff, and steadiness and slowness in lowering and raising the slings; too great exertion of strength in pulling, causes the levers to play too much, and materially increases any previously unseen danger from projections on the face of the cliffs.
A model of the Cliff Waggon, made, as well as many others, by the inventor, now in his eightysecond year, is to be placed in the National Gallery, in Adelaide-street, Strand, where it is hoped it will attract the attention of those friends of humanity, who may have it in their power to recommend it to the Committees and Associations for the preservation of life from shipwreck, within whose districts are portions of steep cliffs, on which vessels have been lost.
Pot a Monument to the Memory of those Sailors whose bodies were (after the Wreck of the Royal George, which sunk at her anchors « Spithead, in 1782), cast up on the beach at Ryde, in the I»'e of
Wight, and buned in a small meadow, under the Woods of St. John's, near that place.
Tnou! who dost tread this smooth and verdant mead.
Viewing, delighted, the fair hills that rise
On either hand a sylvan theatre •
While in the front, with snowy pinions closed,
And thunders silent, Britain's guardian fleet,
On the deep bosom of the azure sea,
Reposes awful; pass not heedless by
These mould'ring heaps, which the blue spiry grass
Scarce guards from mingling with the common earth.]
Mark! in how many a melancholy rank
The graves are marshall'd;—Dost thou know the fate
Disastrous of their tenants! Hushed the winds,
And smooth the billows, when an unseen hand
Smote the great ship, and rift her massy beams—
She reeled and sunk. Over her swarming decks
The flashing wave in horrid whirlpool rushed;
While from a thousand throats one wailing shriek
Burst, and was heard no more.—
Then day by day
The facts above mentioned are historically true. The ship when first she filled, fell over so as to dip the flag at her mast-head in the sea; then, rolling back, she fell over to the other side till her yard-arms touched the water; she then righted, and sunk nearly upright. While she was sinking, nearly every soul on board came on deck; and I was told by Admiral Sotheby, then a lieutenant on board the next ship, that, as she went down, this mass of people gave a cry so lamentable, that it was still ringing in his ears. It was supposed that, at the time of the accident, above 1000 persons, men and women, were on board;— not 400 were saved. The eddy made by the sinking ship was so great, that a large victualling-barge, which lay along-side, was drawn in, and lost with her.—-Sir H. C.
A TALE OF HUMBLE LIFE.
A Highly interesting scene occurred at a recent meeting of the Bath and West of England Society, when a labourer, eighty years of age, and who had brought up fourteen children, without any assistance, was introduced to receive the Society's premium. A narrative of circumstances relative to this individual, was given in nearly the following words, by the Rev. William Lisle Bowles, the Minister of the parish to which the worthy labourer belonged.
John Harding, my old parishioner, having received your bounty, I feel it a duty, having brought him here and set him before you, to narrate some circumstances in his exemplary life, not on his account, but on account of the Christian example, particularly in times like the present.
John Harding, now standing before you, is the son of a person who rented a farm in the parish of Brcmhill, and who was enabled, at his death, to leave to twelve children one hundred pounds each, and no more. John, one of the children, was eighteen years of age when he received his humble share of fortune, and was a carter working on his father's farm. Now his having, at this early age, possession of sueh o sum, I trust you will think, redounds the more to his credit, as it Biiows his temperance and attention to those religious duties in which he was carefully bred up, and which he has preserved through his long course of lifej for what would be the language of most young men in the same situation? Why,'I can but follow the plough when my money is gonel' On the contrary, never forsaking his honest, laborious employment, he prudently resolved to put out his money ' to use, as it is called, and save it till it was more wanted.
John bad his village sweetheart, whom he married at the age of twenty-five, when he had saved enough to begin humble houBe-keoping. He laboured on the farm as a carter to his eldest brother, and continued in his service three-and-twenty years, when his brother died. He then went into service on another farm in the same parish, possessed by two brothers of the name of Crook. One of these brothers is yet living, and John Harding continued to work on the same farm from that time till the present year, living on one farm in the parish of Bremhill twentythree years, and on the other farm thirty-seven years, and (with his original hundred pounds laid by for what is called a rainy day,) breeding up, industriously and religiously, fourteen children!
Jocund to drive his team a-field, till his increasing family began to press hard upon him, for having had one—two—three—four—five—six—seven —eight—nine—ten children, it might be thought, that with not one penny besides what he gained by his weekly labour, six shillings a week when he began, and the interest of his one hundred pounds, he and bis wife must have had enough to do to get on. Still they kept on contentedly; and he was never absent from his church on Sundays, where I have been, what is the fashion in these days to call working clergyman, for cight-and-twenty years.
Behold him now, the father of fourteen children, seven of whom are now living, and these fourteen children were at one time pressing on his affectionate anxieties; and when he looked on the faces of his 'little ones," as he returned from his daily toil on the winter's evening, he looked on them with a prayer to God, and sometimes with tears in his eyes, before he went to rest. It will be conceived that, at this time, the thought must often have arisen that it would be for their advantage to take a small sum from his original stock; but no! God had hitherto befriended him—he never had a day's sickness, and he had weathered, in his journey of laborious life, many a wintry day. He still, therefore,,laboured on, and had now saved up so much from the interest of his own money, that, with a little lent him by his old and affectionate master, he was enabled, not long ago, without any parochial assistance whatever, to purchase two small tenements, for three lives, of the lord of the land, being still resolved to keep what he had saved so long, for the evening of his days, when his work should be done.
Now, Gentlemen, I would beg your attention to what follows. Be assured there is nothing poetical in what I have related, but plain and bare matter of fact. You have Been his mild features, his gray hairs and his erect form, though now in his eightieth year! "When his strength for
labour was declining, his numerous family being now settled or dispersed, his aged wife and himself lived in a small cottage; and if I might here indulge in one word of poetry, I would set before you that interesting picture of an old couple from the affecting lines of poor Burns— who cannot repeat them:—
John Anderson my Jo, John,
"We climb'd life's hill together,
We've had with one another;
But now let us change the scene. The sum which had been preserved so long through the storms and sunshine of village life, at this time, when it was most needed, John had been persuaded, for greater security, to place in the hands of one of those heartless—I will not debase the name by calling such a being a man,
For what man knowing this,
And having human feelings, would not blush
But in an evil day, the savings of a long life were intrusted to the hands of one Who left the country in debt three hund'ed thousand pounds. Among thousands of other sufferers, my poor friend was one. His money was gone to the winds, in the time of the greatest need; but he was riot desolate entirely, for though his hundred pounds with which he set out in life were gone, he had two cottage tenements still remaining, now, indeed, held only bv one life. Alas t in less than three years this one life dropt, and he and his aged wife were, after so industrious and so long a life, left to the reluctant dole of a parish, and their last asylum, a parish Workhouse 1 What did he do? He came to the parson of the parish—the poor man's general friend, notwithstanding the obloquy and insults to which in the present day he is exposed. He came to me; he told the plain and simple facts; and those facts, which I have now detailed, I stated, ftom his own mouth, in a petition to the lord of the land, under whom his cottages were held. He was unable to pay for a renewal. The plain statement thus taken from his own mouth, was sent, in the poor man's name, to the great landed proprietor. What did this lord of tbe land the instant he had read the statement? Hear, ye revilers of our generous aristocracy! He instantly called on the poor old gray-headed labourer, shook him cordially by the hand, and told him 'to make his mind quite easy,' for the cottages were his for his own life and that of his wife, which he hoped would yet last for many years.
Gentlemen, this was the language of that kind lord, and you will instantly feel that language would be inadequate to express my own feelings, who for twenty years have been the friend of that lord, when I now inform you that lord was our most noble and benevolent president, the Marquis of Lansdowne.
After a pause, Mr. Bowles continued; Gentlemen, you have all heard, I have no doubt, of the celebrated Mrs. Partington, who attempted to mop out from her little par lour the great Atlantic Ocean. I barely allude to the subject, lest it might be thought I could, in such a society, venture to say a word which might be deemed political, but I may say, I hope that whilst such charities are exhibited as this day we have witnessed, and whilst the rich and the poor thus meet together, we need not fear that any revolutionary waves will sweep away the fabric of the British constitution; and thanking you, in behalf of my poor parishioner, for your attention, and the time I have taken up, it only remains for me to pray, with him, for the increasing prosperity of the Bath and' West of England Society wdien our days shall be numbered.
Accustom your children to a strict attention to truth, even in the most minute particulars. If n thing happened at one window, and they, when relating it, say that it happened at another, do not let it pass, but instantly check them; you do not know where deviation from truth will end.—Dr. Johnson.
The march of intellect is proceeding at quick time; and if its progress be not accompanied by a corresponding im provement in morals and religion, the faster it proceeds, with the more violence will you be hurried down the roud to ruin,—Southky,
THE PESTILENCE AT ALEXANDRIA.
In a former volume* there was an account of the Pestilence at Athens, from the historian Thucydides; some part of it is here repeated, as forming with the account of the same disease at Alexandria, an impressive contrast, and illustrating the peculiar influence of Christianity on the characters of men. The two cases here described, are, in their external circumstances, exactly similar, and both are of such a nature, as to call forth the undisguised expression of real feelings; the difference of them being entirely moral, and created by the difference of religious sentiment. Tlie latter of the two representations may, in the noble contempt of death which it portrays, be thought to discover something of excess: but it is to be considered, whether, in any possible state of man, we are warranted in expecting to find even the most sublime virtue unaccompanied by a tincture of human infirmity f.
Thucydides describes the total dejection and despair of those who felt themselves attacked; they save themselves up, and sunk without a struggle. Most men, through fear, forbore to visit the sick, and thus they died forlorn and destitute of attendance, by which means whole families became utterly extinct. In some places the corpses lay stretched out upon one another, both in the streets, and about the fountains, whither their rage for water had hurried them. The very temples, too, were full of the corpses of those who had expired there; for men fell alike into a neglect of sacred and social duties, and totally disregarded the rites of decent burial. This pestilence, too, gave rise to the most unbridled licentiousness, for when men saw the rich hurried away, and those who were before worth nothing, coming into immediate possession of their property, they began to live solely for pleasure; and seeing a heavy judgment hanging over their heads, they thought it ■wise before it fell on them, to snatch some enjoyment of life; nor did they allow any fear of their guds, or respect for human laws, to be a check on their licentiousness. Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, gives a very different account of the plague which visited that city in the third century.
After saying that there was no house were there was not one dead, he adds, "Oh that I could say, there is only one dead in every house, but the city is filled with lamentations, by reason of the multitude of corpses, and the daily dying." Yet they thought they ought not to account it a calamity, but an exercise and trial, in no way inferior to those of wars and persecutions from which they had lately suffered. His account proceeds thus: "Most of the brethren, by reason of their great love, and brotherly charity, sparing nqt themselves, cleaved one to another, visited the sick without weariness, and attended upon them diligently, administering to them in Christ, and most gladly dying with them. In this sort the best of our brethren departed this life: whereof some were presbyters, some deacons, and others laymen, held in great reverence; so that this kind of death, for the great piety and strength of faith, seems to diffcj in nothing from martyrdom. Moreover, they took the bodies of the departed saints into their uplifted arms, wiped their eyes and closed their mouths, carried them on their shoulders, and laid them out: they embraced them, washed them, and wrapped them in shrouds: and shortly after, these persons obtained the same kind offices from others: for the living continually traced the steps of the dead.
"But among the heathen (in the same city), all fell out on the contrary. They drove the sick out of their houses, as soon as the first symptons of disease were observed: they shunned their dearest friends and relations: they threw out the sick, half dead, into the streets: they threw their dead, without burial, to the dogs: thus did they endeavour to evade partaking in the general fate, which notwithstanding the many expedients they used for that purpose, they could not easily escape."
Cleanliness maybe defined to be the emblem of purity of mind, and may be recommended under the three following heads: as it is a mark of politeness, as it produces affection, and as it bears analogy to chastity of sentiment. First, it is a mark of politeness, for it is universally agreed upon, that no one unadorned with this virtue, can go into company without giving a manifold offence; the different nations of the world are as much distinguished by their cleanliness, as by their arts and sciences; the more they are advanced in civilization, the more they considt this part of politeness. Secondly, cleanliness may be said to be the foster-mother of affection. Beauty commonly produces love, but cleanliness preserves it. Age, itself, is not unamiable while it is preserved clean and unsullied; like a piece of metal constantly kept smooth and bright, we look on it with more pleasure than on a new vessel cankered with rust. I might further observe, that as cleanliness renders us agreeable to others, it makes us easy to ourselves, that it is an excellent preservative of health; and that several vices, both of mind and body, are inconsistent with the habit of it. In the third place, it bears a great analogy with chastity of sentiment, and naturally inspires refined feelings and passions; we find from experience, that through the prevalence of custom, the most vicious actions lose their horror by being made familiar to us. On tho contrary, those who live in tho neighbourhood of good examples, fly from the first appearance of what is shocking: and thus pure and unsullied thoughts are naturally suggested to the mind, by those objects that perpetually encompass us when they are beautiful and elegant in their kind.
In the East, where the warmth of the climate makes cleanliness more immediately necessary than in colder countries, it is a part of religion; the Jewish law, (as well as the Mohammedan, which in some things copies after it,) is filled with bathings, purifications, and other rites of the like nature; and we read several injunctions of this kind in the Book of Deuteronomy. Addison.
"Let me tell you," says Iznak Walton to his scholar, "I have a rich neighbour that is always so busy, that he has no leisure to laugh; the whole business of his life is to get money, and more money, that he may still get more and more money; ho is still drudging on, and says that Solomon says, 'the diligent hand maketh rich;' and it is true indeed, but he considers not that 'tis not in the power of riches to make a man happy. It was wisely said, by a man of great observation, 'that there be as many miseries beyond riches as on this side of them;' and yet God deliver us from pinching poverty, and grant that, having a competoucy, we may be content and thankful. Let us not repine, or so much as think the gills of God unequally dealt, if we see another abound with riches, when, as God knows, the cares that, arc the keys that keep those riches, hang often so heavily at tho rich man's girdle, that they clog him with weary days and restless nights, when others sleep quietly. Let us, therefore, be thankful for health and competence, and, above all, for a quiet conscience."
The truest courage is always mixed with circumspection , this being the quality which distinguishes the courage of
the wise from tho hardiness of the rash and foolish.
Jones Ov Nayland.
For every ill beneath the sun.
SNOW STORMS ON THE ANDES.
On the passage over the Andes, are many brick huts, which are built to shelter travellers from the dreadful storms to which they are often exposed.
These storms, says Captain Head, are so violent, thai no animal can live in them; there i3 no warning, but all of a sudden, the snow is seen coming over the tops of the mountains in a hurricane of wind; hundreds of people have been lost in these storms; several had been starved in the hut where we stopped to rest, and only two years before, the winter, by suddenly setting in, had shut up the passage across the mountain, and had driven ten poor travellers to this hut. When the violence of the first storms had subsided, the courier came to the spot, and found six of the ten lying dead in the but, and by their sides, the other four almost dead with hunger and cold. They had eaten their mules and their dog; and the bones of these animals were now before us.
These houses are all erected upon one plan, and are extremely well adapted to their purpose. They are of brick and mortar, and arc built solid, ten or twelve feet high, with a brick staircase outside. The room, which is on the top of this foundation, in order to raise it above the snow, is about twelve feet square; the walls are extremely thick, with two or three small loop-holes, about six inches square; the roof is arched, and the floor is of brick.
A building so small, and of so massive a construction, necessarily possesses the character of a dungeon; and as one stands at the door, the scene around adds a melancholy gloom to its appearance, and one cannot help thinking how sad it must have been, to have seen the snow, day after day, getting deeper and deeper, and the hope of escaping hourly diminishing, until it was evident that the path was impracticable, and that the passage was closed I
Even without these reflections, the interior is melancholy enough: the table, which had been fixed into the mortar, was torn away; and to obtain a momentary warmth, the wretched people who had been confined there, had, in despair, burnt the very door which was to protect them from the elements. They had then, at the risk of their lives, taken out the great wooden lintel, which was over the door, and had left the wall above it hanging merely by the adhesion of the mortar. This had evidently been done
with no instrument but their knives, and it must have been the work of many days.
The state of the walls was also a melancholy testimony of the despair and horror they had witnessed. In all the places I have ever seen, which have been visited by travellers, I have always been able to read the names and histories of some of those who have gone before me; but I particularly observed, that in these huts on the Andes, not a name was to be seen, nor a word upon the walls. Those who had died in them were too intent upon their own sufferings; the horror of their situation was unspeakable, and thus these walls remain the silent monuments of past misery. Head's Rough Notes.
Waterton, in his Wanderings in South America, gives the following account of his catching a snake. He had sent his Indian servant, Daddy Quashi, to look for something he had lost in the forest, and during his absence, he says, I observed a young Coulacanara, ten feet long, slowly moving onwards; I saw he was not thick enough to break my arm, in case he got twisted round it. There was not a moment to be lost. I laid hold of his tail with the left hand, one knee being on the ground; with the right hand I took off my hat, and held it as you would hold a shield for defence.
The snake instantly turned, and came on at me, with his head about a yard from the ground, as if to ask me, what business I had to take liberties with his tail. I let him come, hissing and open-mouthed, within two feet of my face, and then, with all the force I was master of,' I drove my fist, shielded by my hat, full in his jaws. He was stunned and confounded by the blow, and ere lie could recover himself, I had seized his throat with both hands, in such a position, that ho could not bite me; I then allowed him to coil himself round my body, and inarched off with him as my lawful prize. Ho pressed me hard, but not alarmingly so.
In the mean time, Daddy Quashi having returned, and hearing the noise which the fray occasioned, was coming cautiously up. As soon as he saw me, and in what company I was, he turned about and ran off home, I after him, and shouting to increase his fear. On scolding him for his cowardice, the old rogue begged I would forgive him, for that the sight of the snake had positively turned him sick.
LONDON- Published by :OHN WILLIAM PARKER, West Strand; and sold r / all Booksellcn.