Imágenes de páginas
PDF

ST. DUNSTAN'S IN THE WEST,
Fleet-street, London.

Dunstan, from whom this church is called, was, if we may judge from the many religious edifices in this country that bear his name, a favourite saint among our Roman Catholic ancestors. He was born, some time in the tenth century, at Glastonbury, Somersetshire, a town not more famous for its ancient abbey than for the Christmas-blossoming thorn, which Joseph of'Arimathea was fondly alleged to have stuck, as a dry staff, into the ground, on founding there the first Christian church in Great Britain. Dunstan, like some others on record, paid a tax for his reputation in science and art during a period of thick darkness: he was accused before King Athelstan of practising magic; and from his skill in music, probably, arose the serious charge of his harp (which might have been an jEolianJ playing of itself!

St. Dunstan's harp, fast by the wall,

Upon a peg did hang-a;
The harp itself, with ly and au,

Untouched by hand did twang-a.

Banished from court in consequence of this foolish accusation, he retired, according to the monkish legend, to a solitary cell at Glastonbury, carrying with him his taste for the black art. But his talents lay not only in music and painting: he is said to have been an admirable worker in iron and brass,—a circumstance which may have furnished materials for the story of hia having seized the arch-fiend, who came to see him in female disguise, by the nose, with a pair of red-hot tongs.

The real history of Dunstan is, that he became abbot of Glastonbury; was received at the court of Edgar at the death of Athelstan and Edmund; was made Bishop of London and Worcester together, and, subsequently, Archbishop of Canterbury, where he died in 987. Fiction, however, followed the holy man into his grave; for when the son of Earl Harold was buried near him, in the church of Canterbury, St. Dunstan, unable to find rest, is said to have got up from under the high altar, to complain of the affront.

The church which forms the subject of our present memoir, is of Very ancient foundation; but the first mention of it is in 1237, when the abbot and convent of Westminster bestowed it on Henry the Third. That monarch assigned the profits to the Domus conversorum, or house for converted Jews, which afterwards became the Rolls in Chancery-lane. Many of our readers recollect the late church of St. Dunstan, Fleet-street, with its large projecting clock, so useful in that busy part of the town; the imposing statue of Queen Elizabeth, in a niche in the eastern wall; and above all, the two grim figures of "Hercules's," as they are called in an old account of London, "or wild men, appearing as big as life, with each a knotty club in his hand, wherewith they alternately strike the quarters; not only their arms, but even their heads, moving at every blow. They are placed so as be visible to such as pass on the south side of the street, whence they are more admired by many of the populace on Sundays, than the most eloquent preacher from the pulpit within. They were set up in 1671."

These giants did not escape the notice of Sir Walter Scott, who, however, gives them their being more than fifty years too early, when he mentions Richie Moniplies as entering Fleet-street when "the twa iron carles yonder, at the kirk beside the port, were just banging out sax o' the clock." These once

familiar objects have been removed to the Marquis of Hertford's house, in the Regent's Park.'

We are told that "■ St. Dunstan's was a fair and beautiful church in 1632." It narrowly escaped the ravages of the fire of London in 1666, as well as a dreadful conflagration which happened in the neighbourhood in 1730. Owing to this exemption from the almost universal fate of city churches by fire, St. Dunstan's in the West was rich in old monuments, which are transferred to the present building, and are well worthy the notice of the curious. As lately as 1820 this church underwent considerable repairs, there being then little prospect of the alterations which have since taken place. These, namely, the widening of that part of Fleet-street by an addition of thirty feet, and the erection of a spacious and elegant church in place of the old one, which, certainly, never struck us as remarkably "fair or beautiful," we consider as among the most valuable and important improvements that have been made in London. The view of such obvious benefits to the public is gratifying to every Englishman who loves his country.

The present St. Dunstan's, as represented in the engraving, was finished in 1832, from the designs, and under the superintendence, of the late John Shaw, Esq., who was suddenly called hence at the very period of its completion. The gothic tower, together with the beautiful stone lantern with which it is surmounted, is of a commanding height, and is seen from various points to great advantage. At the foot of the tower is an ornamented doorway, in front of which runs an iron railing, so near to the building, as to impair the general effect. The tower is square, but at the height of nearly ninety feet, takes an octagon shape: its summit is embattled, and surmounted with four lofty octagonal pinnacles. The rich and elegant lantern springing from the tower, and formed of beautiful freestone, is crowned with a florid and delicately-wrought parapet, the height of which is 130 feet from the ground. The body of the church is connected with the tower by a passage, and built of brick: it is an octagon about 50 feet in diameter, capable of seating 800 persons, there being, by Act of Parliament, 200 sittings for the use of the poor. The windows are filled with richly-stained glass, "casting a dim religious light" upon the walls and monuments, and giving that mingled aspect of gravity and beauty so appropriate to the place where God's honour dwelleth. As the front range of the building has a southern aspect, the communion-table is at the northern end of the church instead of the east.

It will be perceived, on reference to the engraving, that a suitable character of antiquity has been imparted to the house adjoining the church westward. This fabric has been erected for the Law Life Assurance Society, established in 1823.

Immediately beyond, on the same side, is Clifford's Inn, so entitled from having formerly belonged to Robert Clifford, to whom the estate was given by King Edward the Second: at the death of this Robert, his wife Isabel granted it to students of law. Further on is Chancery Lane, once called New Street, but which, some centuries since, received its present name from the places it contains for the despatch of Chancery business; amongst others, the Rolls. This is a repository for all rolls in Chancery, and other records since the year 1377. It was first a house of converted Jews, founded by Henry the Third in 1233, when a chapel was erected for their use, and they were instructed in the Christian faith; but in 1290, all Jews were banished this kingdom; and, the object not answering, Edward the Third gave the house to E. Burstall, clerk, the first master of the Rolls, whose successors in that office have had a residence there ever since. Jenny, in the year 1767, by James Hargreaves, a weaver at Stanhill near Church, a few miles from Blackburn, in Lancashire.

As Temple Bar, to which the parish of St. Dunstan's extends, is included in our engraving, we cannot close this paper without some mention of that famous gate. Before the fire of London, the liberties of the cities of London and Westminster were divided only by posts, rails, and a chain; as was the case with Holborn, Smithfield, and Whitechapel bars. Hence the terms, Holborn bars, Paul's chain, &c. The editor of Stow's Survey, describing the present Temple Bar, upwards of a hundred years since, says, "It is a stately gate with two posterns, one on each side, for the convenience of foot-passengers, with strong gates to shut up in the nights, and always good store of watchmen, the better to prevent danger. It is built all of Portland stone, and of rustic work below. Over the gateway on the east side, are the effigies in stone of Queen Elizabeth and King James, and on i he west side are Charles the First and Charles the Second in Roman habits. The statues are good, the only disadvantage being, the hurry of the place where they are to be viewed, which makes it dangerous to be curious, and prevents the attention to them which they would otherwise command. Temple-bar is the handsomest gate about town, and deserves some degree of applause." On Temple Bar it was customary to fix the heads of men who had been executed for crimes against the king and government. The last dreadful display on this gate was in 1746 and 1747, when the Lords Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Lovat, and Charles Ratcliffe, suffered on Tower-hill, for their treasonable attempts in favour of the prince-pretender.

The houses in this district were formerly in great request; in proof of which, we extract from a faithful work, entitled, A New View of London, 1708. "One house is let near Temple Bar for 360/. sterling per annum, with 1400/. fine; and few or none let under 40/. or a ()/. I find it recorded that one James Farr, a barber, who kept the coffee-house, which is now the Rainbow, by the Inner Temple gate (one of the first in England), was, in the year 1657, presented, by the inquest of St. Dunstan's in the west, for making and selling a sort of liquor called coffee, as a great nuisance and prejudice of the neighbourhood, &c. And who would then have thought London would ever have had near three thousand such nuisances? and that coffee would have been (as now) so much drank by the best of quality, and physicians?" M.

Jupge Buller, when in the company of a young gentleman of sixteen, cautioned him against being led astray by the example or persuasions of others, and said, " If I had listened to the advice of some of those who called themselves my friends when I was young, instead of being a judge in the court of King's Bench I should have died long ago a prisoner in the King's Bench."

Since a few minutes can turn the healthiest bodies into breathless carcasses, and put those very things which we had principally relied on, into the hands of our enemies, it were little less than madness, to repose a distrustless trust in these transitory possessions, or treacherous advantages, which we enjoy but by so fickle a tenure. No; we must ne\er venture to wander far from God, upon the presumption that death is far enough from us; but rather, in the very height of our jollity, we should endeavour to remember, that they who feast themselves to-day, may, themselves, prove feasts for the worms to-morrow.—Boyle.

THE FLESH-FLY.

The history of the Flesh-fly (musca carnaria) is better known than that of the common one. It deposits its eggs on flesh, and then the latter is said to be fly-blown. It is a law of nature, that the particles which form an organized body, shall, on its dissolution, serve for the sustentation of others; and hence, when an animal dies, it is taken possession of, in one way or another, by those which are living.

In hot weather a dead body runs rapidly into putrefaction, and in that state attracts, by its odour, those flies which lay their eggs in flesh, and the carcass is very soon occupied by myriads of maggots, which are hatched from those eggs, and are flies in the larva state. When we think of the horrible odour which a putrefying animal emits, we cannot but admire the wise arrangement by which its very odour is made agreeable to multitudes of living creatures; for, as Paley remarks, maggots revel in putrefaction. We observe, also, that the odour is most powerful at those times when flies are most numerous and active, that is, in hot weather.

In the egg itself there is the very wise provision, that it is hatched in a few hours, and the maggot arrives at its full growth in a week; and thus we see how divine wisdom is displayed in every thing, even in what, to ordinary comprehension, is most disagreeable or disgusting. If the fly's egg did not hatch in a very short time, and the larva soon attain its full growth, the object in view would not be gained.

In some other species of flies whose larvae feed on flesh, not a single moment is lost; for, instead of an egg being laid, the larva is deposited in the living state, the egg having been previously hatched within the body of the parent; this, indeed, is stated to occur very often with the common flesh, or blowfly.—Letters to a Young Naturalist.

In riding from Portrush to . the Giant's Causeway with some company, we had occasion *» ford the river Bush, near the sea; and as the fishermen were going to haul their net, we stopped to see their success. As soon as the dog perceived the men to move, he instantly ran down the river of his own accord, and took post in the middle of it, on some shallows, where he could occasionally either run or swim, and in this position he placed himself, with all the eagerness and attention so strongly observable in a pointer dog, who sets his game: we were for some time at a loss to apprehend his scheme, but the event soon satisfied us, and amply justified the prudence of the animal, for the fish, when they feel the net, always endeavour to make directly out to sea. Accordingly, one of the salmon, escaping from the net, rushed down the stream with great velocity, toward the ford, where the dog stood to receive him at an advantage. A very diverting chase now commenced, in which, from the shallowness of the water, we could discern the whole track of the fish, with all its rapid turnings and windings. After a smart pursuit, the dog found himself left considerably behind, in consequence of the water deepening, by which he had been reduced to the necessity of swimming. But instead of following this desperate game any longer, he readily gave it over, and ran with all his speed directly down the river, till he was sure of being again sea-ward of the salmon, where he took post, as before, in his pointer's attitude. Here the fish a second time met him, and a fresh pursuit ensued, in which, after various attempts, the salmon at last made its way out to the sea, notwithstanding all the ingenious and vigorous exertions of its pursuer.

Though the dog did not succeed at this time, yet I was informed, that it was no unusual thing for him to run down his game; and the fishermen assured me, that ho was of very great advantage to them, by turning the salmon toward the net; in which point of view, his efforts in some measure corresponded with the cannonade of stones, which I mentioned at Carrick-a-rede.—Hamilton s Antrim

141—2

Fig. 1.

[graphic]

COTTON. No. II.

The first process which the cotton-wool has to undergo on reaching British ground, is that of Batting,- this is only a more perfect separation of the seeds from the wool, than has as yet taken place, and is performed by what is called a batting machine. The batting machine consists of two rollers, moved by machinery, through which the cotton is passed. It is at the same time struck with a series of scutchers, which act like flails, while the seeds, being loosened, are driven off by a number of fanners.

The next branch of the manufacture is the operation of Carding; that is, of placing, by the assistance of a kind of iron combs, or cards, all the fibres of the cotton in one direction, parallel to each other. The mode in which these cards act, may be understood by reference to the annexed engraving. If the lower card, A, is loaded with a quantity of cotton-wool, and the upper card is moved in the direction B C, a certain portion of the wool will be removed from the card A, and the fibres will be partially drawn out into parallel rows; this operation is repeated several times until it is sufficiently disentangled.

If the upper card is turned round, as in fig. 2, it is evident, from the disposition of its teeth in reference to those of the lower card, A, that if it is drawn in the direction c B, it will remove the whole of the wool from the lower card, in the form of a well combed and uniform fleece. This operation was originally performed by hand-cards, such as those represented in the engraving, the hands of the operator being passed through the loops D and E. This mode of carding being very laborious and inconvenient, the lower card was at first fixed to a strong upright beam of wood, and was then called a stock-card; the workman thereby had both hands at liberty to manage the upper card, and was consequently able to work with greater rapidity and less exertion; subsequently, when machinery began to be applied more extensively to this manufacture, the carding-machine was invented. The engraving shows a section of such portions of this machine, as are necessary to explain the principle on which it acts.

Fig. 3.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

carding-teeth. These teeth, however, do not cover the whole of its surface, but form, as it were, a broad belt, bound in a spiral manner round the roller, which acts the part of the lower card in the handcards j B, the upper card, is in this case a fixture. The cylinder, loaded with cotton-wool, being put in motion, the wool is quickly disentangled; at certain intervals, the smaller roller D, also covered with card-teeth, approaches the roller A, and, its teeth being properly inclined for that purpose, removes the carded cotton from it. This small roller is called a taker off, and having received the cotton in the form of a long fleece or belt, passes it between the rollers E and F, which draw it out into a long roll, and deposit it in the tin box G.

These rolls are now, by a process called drawing, or roving, drawn out into greater lengths, and rendered more fit for the purpose of being spun into a thread.

Spinning, or converting cotton-wool into thread, is the next process in the manufacture of this useful material. The rudest, and at the same time, the most ancient implements employed for this purpose, were the distaff and spindle. It is worthy of notice, that the same plan has been resorted to, by the early inhabitants of every country yet discovered, and that the natives of India, and of some other parts of the world, still employ this simple invention.

[graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small]

"He was a plain, industrious, but illiterate man, and possessed little mechanical skill or talent. An anecdote is still recorded in the neighbourhood, which ascribes to accident, the parent of so many useful discoveries, the first invention of the Jenny. A number of young people were one day assembled at play at Hargreaves's house, during the hour generally allotted to dinner, and the wheel at* which he or some of the family were spinning, was by accident overturned. The thread still remained in the hands of the spinner, and as the wheel itself was prevented by the frame-work from coming in contact with the ground, the velocity it had acquired, still gave motion to the spindle, which continued to revolve as before. Hargreaves surveyed this with mingled curiosity and attention. He expressed his surprise in exclamations which were long remembered in the neighbourhood, and continued again and again to turn round the wheel as it lay on the floor, with an interest which was at the time taken for mere indolence. He had before attempted to spin two or three spindles, affixed to the ordinary wheel, holding the several threads between the fingers of his left hand, but the horizontal position of the spindles rendered the attempt ineffectual. It is not improbable, that this circumstance paved the way to his subsequent improvements."

The engraving will explain the principle on which

the Spinning Jenny acts. A and B are two pieces

c

[graphic]

of wood, between which the rovings are drawn; these, when pressed together, act like the finger and thumb, and allow the thread to be drawn out by the spindles, c c, which are turned round by machinery; of course the annexed diagram must not be supposed to represent the machine itself, or even any part of it accurately, it is merely an illustration of the principle. It has already been stated, that Hargreaves possessed but little mechanical skill; his first machine, therefore, was naturally clumsy and imperfect; it is said to have been almost wholly made with a pocketknife, and the clasp by which the thread was drawn out was the stalk of a brier cut in two. The secrecy with which he was obliged to work, prevented his obtaining the assistance of a good mechanic. Rude, hosvever, as this first attempt was, and although it only worked eight spindles, still the improvement upon the old system was very manifest. The great advantage of the Spinning Jenny consists in one hand being able to spin a great number of threads at once, and although at first that number was small, yet it was materially increased as the machine became more perfect.

For some time Hargreaves contrived to conceal his invention, and only employed it for his own purposes. It soon, however, became known that he had invented a spinning-machine; and his wife, or some of his family, imprudently boasting of having spun a pound of cotton during a short absence from the sick-bed of a neighbour, the minds of the ignorant and misguided multitude became alarmed, and they shortly after broke into his house, destroyed his machine, and also part of his furniture. He soon

after removed to Nottingham, whither he was invited by the stocking-weavers, and where he assisted in the erection and management of a mill.

Hargreaves appears to have been little qualified, either by education or address, for the sphere of life into which he was now removed; and after having assisted various persons in the construction of machinery, and communicated to each, by turns, the whole of what he knew, he died in poverty, illrequited by his employers, and little known to the country which has since reaped such important benefits from his discovery. After the death of Hargreaves his invention received many improvements, which rendered the Spinning Jenny a much more manageable and useful machine.

The next great improvement which took place in the art of spinning was the invention of Mr. (afterwards Sir Richard) Arkwright. The improvement of Hargreaves may be considered as, in a great measure, the result of accident; that of Arkwright was brought about chiefly by unwearied application and experiment. It is said that the sight of a red-hot bar of iron being lengthened by passing it between two rollers, gave a hint for this improvement, but the mode of drawing out a thread by Arkwright's plan, and of lengthening the bar of iron by the rollers, are perfectly distinct in principle.

If a roving, or loosely-twisted cord of cotton

[graphic]

wool is passed between the rollers A and B, and c and D, and these two pair of rollers are moved with the same velocity, the only effect produced on the cotton-cord will be that of flattening it; but if the rollers c and D are made to revolve with twice the rapidity of A and B, it is clear, that if a yard of cotton-cord is passed between these last rollers, it will, in passing through c and D, be extended to twice that length; and if c and D had revolved three times faster than A and B, to three times its original length. In this consists the principle of Arkwright's improvement, and by different modifications of this principle, the cotton-wool can be drawn out into the most delicately fine cotton-thread, and with the greatest certainty as to equality of thickness.

The power of this machine may be well understood by the fact that, by its assistance, one pound of cottonwool has been drawn out into a sufficient length to form 356 hanks, each hank containing 840 yards of thread, so that one pound of cotton would form a thread 1681 milcs and 280 yards m lenglb- The usual average number of hanks is, however, from 200 to 250 to the pound.

The system of spinning introduced by Arkwright, was found more particularly applicable to the production of thread for warp, while the Jenny of Hargreaves was chiefly employed in spinning the woof, or weft, for the coarse kinds, for which it was better adapted indeed than the more perfect machine of Arkwright's.

Sir Richard Arkwright was originally a country barber, who by dint of bis indefatigable perseverance, combined with considerable mechanical skill, raised himself to rank and eminence, and acquired a large fortune.

In 1767, Arkwright came to Warrington, where, relying on his mechanical acquirements, he endeavoured to construct a machine to produce a perpetual motion. Luckily for himself and his country, his attention was diverted from this impracticable project, by the representations of Kay, a clockmaker in the town, who advised him, rather to apply himself to the improvement of machinery for spinning cotton. Kay, it seems, had already made some progress in an invention of this description, and he and Arkwright made a joint application to P. Atherton Esq., of Liverpool, for assistance to carry their plans into practice. Mr. Atherton, deterred by the homely appearance of the two projectors, was afraid to hazard his property in the undertaking, but agreed to send a smith and a watch-tool maker, to construct the heavier parts of the machinery.

The clockmaker's work was performed by Kay, to whom in reality belongs a great share of the invention, although the subsequent improvements of Arkwright brought it to a perfect state. When the machine was completed, Arkwright, in 1769, took out a patent, and soon after entered into partnership with Mr. Smalley of Preston; the speculation, however, failed, and they both went to Nottingham, where, with the aid of several opulent individuals, they erected a large cotton-mill turned by horses. Having succeeded in this undertaking, he gradually enlarged his views, and in his hands, the carding and spinning of cotton became a great national manufacture. During five years, in which time the machinery was being brought to perfection, upwards of 20,000/. was expended without any return of capital, but the undertaking soon became extremely lucrative, and with the advantages of his patent-right, Arkwright soon became one of the greatest manufacturers in the kingdom.

On the 22nd of December, 1786, Arkwright received the honour of knighthood, on the occasion of presenting an address to His Majesty, from the hundred of Wirksworth. He died on the 3rd of August, 1792, at his works at Cromford in Derbyshire.

In 1/76 another machine was invented, called a mule, in which the two principles of the spinning Jenny and of Arkwright's plan are combined.

Having already noticed the art of weaving at page 188, Vol. III., in an article on the silk manufacture, we shall not again revert to the subject, the methods employed for the weaving of cotton fabrics being very similar.

SOCIETY. VII. Effects Of The Conduct Of A Miser, In DifFerent States Of Society.

The tendency which the conduct of individuals, in pursuing their own private and selfish ends, has towards promoting the interests of the community, is more and more developed as Society advances. Take, for example, the case of a Miser; one whose selfishness shows itself in a love of hoarding. Such a person, though his individual character is of course every where the same, is yet, as to the effects of his conduct on others, very different in different stages of Society. In a community where commercial affairs are yet in a rude and infant state, the conduct of a miser is mischievous to the public; while, in one that is in a more advanced stage, he is, though he does not intend it, benefiting others by the sacrifice of his own comforts.

In former times, the miser withdrew from use, such articles as constituted the wealth of the community; such as corn, clothing, furniture of various kinds, and above all, as the least perishable, and least bulky, gold, and silver, and jewels. All these things, even if not kept till spoilt, or hidden, so as to be altogether lost, were at least withdrawn during his life-time, from the enjoyment of the community. But the community would supply the want, either directly, by the labour of its own members, or by exchanging with other nations the produce of that labour. Some few instances occur, even in such a state of society as ours, of this kind of hoarding, but they are very rare, and generally on a small scale.

On the other hand, in countries as far advanced in commercial transactions, as almost the whole of Europe, it may be said, that with hardly any exceptions, hoarding withdraws nothing from the public use. If the miser is engaged in any kind of business, he lives himself, indeed, (as in the other case,) on a very miserable pittance: but his desire of gain naturally prompts him to add continually his profits to his capital. Now, his capital is a part of the capital of the country, namely, of the stock that is employed profitably in producing more commodities; these commodities being used by others, though the owner will not indulge himself with them. If he is not himself engaged in business, it comes to the same thing; for, in that case, he lewis to others, for the sake of increasing his store; and he continues to invest, in like manner, the interest they pay him. And it makes no difference, whether he lends to individuals, or invests in government-securities: for since in the latter case, the total amount of the government securities is not increased, (the national debt remaining the same,) every purchase he makes, sets free an equal amount, which is sure to find its way into the hands of some private borrower; and, generally speaking, of one who will employ this borrowed capital productively, in trade, agriculture, and manufactures. Whereas, if he had lived in what is called a liberal style, most of what he has thus laid by, would have been spent unproductively in grand dinners, the employment of livery-servants, race-horses, hounds, &c, all of which would have left behind no increase of the capital of the country.

The individuals, however, who borrow the miser's money, not only owe him no thanks, as he had not their benefit in view, but are unable, in most instances, to refer the benefit to him. We can no more trace the actual progress of each sum that is thus thrown into the general capital of the country, than of the drops of water of each shower that falls into the ocean. Though it may be proved, that the wholemass of waters must be increased by just so much.

This slight notice of the subject has been introduced, as affording a striking instance of the manner in which, by the wise arrangements of Providence, not only self-interest, but, in some instances, even the most sordid selfishness, are made, in au advanced stage of society, to conduce to public prosperity. Not that, as Mandeville holds, private vices conduce to public prosperity. The spendthrift diminishes it: and the miser, though his evU disposition is generally turned by an over-ruling Providence, to a good end, yet might lay out his money much more beneficially, if he possessed right feelings, and were moved by judicious public-spirit. D.

A Good man is the best friend, and, therefore, soonest to be chosen, longer to be retained; and, indeed, never to l* parted with, unless he cease to be that for which he was chosen.—Jeremy Taylor.

« AnteriorContinuar »