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ing that one of their sergeants had returned From these notes, it appears that there on the preceding night cruelly wounded, no had been something singular and abnormal body knew how, and had been conveyed to about him from the time he was seven or the Val de Grace, which is a military hospi- eight years old. It was not so much in acts, tal. A little inquiry now soon cleared up as in his love of solitude and his profound the mystery; and it was ascertained that Ser- melancholy that the aberration was exhibited; geant Bertrand was the author of all the and it was not till two years ago that his profanations, and of many others of the same frightful peculiarity fully developed itself. description previous to his arrival in Paris. Passing a cemetery one day, where the
Supported on crutches, wrapped in a gray gravediggers were covering a body that had cloak, pale and feeble, Bertrand was now just been interred, he entered to observe brought forward for examination; nor was them. A violent shower of rain interrupted there anything in the countenance or ap- their labors, which they left unfinished. “ At pearance of this young man indicative of the this sight,” says Bertrand,“ horrible desires fearful monomania of which he is the victim; seized me: my head throbbed, my heart for the whole tenor of his confession proves palpitated violently; I excused myself to that in no other light is his horrible propen- my companions, and returned bastily into sity to be considered.
town. No sooner did I find myself alone, In the first place, he freely acknowledged than I procured a spade, and returned to bimself the author of these violations of the the cemetery. I had just succeeded in exdead both in Paris and elsewhere.
huming the body, when I saw a peasant “What object did you propose to your watching me at the gate. Whilst he went self in committing these acts ?" inquired the to inform the authorities of what he had president.
seen, I withdrew, and retiring into a neigh“I cannot tell," replied Bertrand: "it boring wood, I laid myself down, and in was a horrible impulse. I was driven to it spite of the torrents of rain that were fallagainst my own will: nothing could stop or ing, I remained there in a state of profound deter me.
I cannot describe nor under- insensibility for several hours.” stand myself what my sensations were in From this period he appears to have tearing and rending these bodies.”
given free course to his inclinations; but as President. And what did you do after he generally covered the mutilated remains one of these visits to a cemetery ?
with earth again, it was some time before Bertrand. I withdrew, trembling con- his proceedings excited observation. He vulsively, feeling a great desire for repose. had many narrow escapes of being taken or I fell asleep, no matter where, and slept for killed by the pistols of the guardians; but several hours ; but during this sleep I heard his agility seems to have been almost supereverything that passed around me! I have human. sometimes exhumed from ten to fifteen To the living he was gentle and kind, and bodies in a night. I dug them up with my was especially beloved in his regiment for hands, which were often torn and bleeding his frankness and gaiety! with the labor I underwent; but I minded The medical men interrogated unanimously nothing, so that I could get at them. The
it as their opinion, that although in all guardians fired at me one night and wounded other respects perfectly sane, Bertrand was me, but that did not prevent my returning not responsible for these acts. He was senthe next. This desire seized me generally tenced to a year's imprisonment, during about once a fortnight.
which time measures will doubtless be taken He added, that he had had no access of to complete bis cure. this propensity since he was in the hospital, In relating this curious case of the Vambut that he would not be sure it might not pyre, as he is called in Paris, where the return when his wounds were healed. Still affair bas excited considerable attention, eshe hoped not. “I think I am cured,” said pecially in the medical world, we have omithe. “I had never seen any one die ; in the ted several painful and disgusting particuhospital I have seen several of my comrades lars ; but we have said enough to prove that, expire by my side. I believe I am cured, for beyond a doubt, there has been some good now I fear the dead.”.
foundation for the ancient belief in goulism The surgeons who attended him were and lycanthropy; and that the books of Dr. then examined, and one of them read a sort Weir and others, in which the existence of of memoir he had received from Bertrand, this malady is contemptuously denied, have which contained the history of his malady as been put forth without due investigation of ar as his memory served him.
| the subject.
From the Quarterly Review.
BRITANNIA AND CONWAY TUBULAR BRIDGES.
General Description of the Britannia and Conway Tubular Bridges on the Chester
and Holyhead Railway. Published, with the permission of Robert Stephenson, Civil Engineer, by a Resident Assistant. Pp. 34. London. 1849.
We offer to our readers a short descriptive don, along the sides of which, or through outline of the aërial passages through which which, the future railroad, sometimes in it is proposed by the Directors of the Chester bright sunshine and sometimes in utter darkand Holyhead Railway, that the public shall, ness, was either to meander or to burrow. without cuneiform sustentation, fly across the Beneath him were the deep Menai Straits, Menai Straits.
in length above 12 miles, through which, We shall divide our subject into the fol- imprisoned between precipitous shores, the lowing compartments:
waters of the Irish Sea and of St. George's 1. The principle upon which the Britannia Channel are not only everlastingly vibrating Bridge is constructed.
backward and forward, but at the same 2. The mode of its construction.
time, and from the same cause, are progres3. The foating of its tubes.
sively rising or falling from 20 to 25 feet 4. The manner in which they were subse- with each successive tide, which, varying its quently raised.
period of high water every day, forms alto5. Mr. Fairbairn's complaint that Mr. gether an endless succession of aqueous Robert Stephenson has deprived him“ of a changes. considerable portion of the merit of the con- The point of the Straits which it was destruction of the Conway and Britannia sired to cross--although broader than that Bridges."
about a mile distant, pre-occupied by Mr. I. PRINCIPLE OF THE PROPOSED Passage. Telford's Suspension-bridge—was of course -In the construction of a railway from one of the narrowest that could be selected ; Chester to Holyhead, the great difficulty in consequence of which the ebbing and which its projectors had to contend with was flowing torrent rushes through it with such to discover by what means, if any, long violence that except where there is backtrains of passengers and of goods could, at water, it is often impossible for a small boat undiminished speed, be safely transported to pull against it; besides which, the gusts across that great tidal chasm which separates of wind which come over the tops, down the Carnarvon from the island of Anglesey. To ravines, and round the sides of the neighborsolve this important problem the Company's ing mountains, are so sudden, and occasionengineer was directed most carefully to re- ally so violent, that it is as dangerous to sail connoitre the spot; and as the picture of a as it is difficult to row; in short, the wind man struggling with adversity has always and the water, sometimes playfully, and somebeen deemed worthy of a moment's attention, times angrily, seem to vie with each otherwe will endeavor to sketch a rough outline like some of Shakspeare's fairies—in exhibitof the difficulties which one after another ing before the stranger the utmost variety of must have attracted Mr. Robert Stephenson's fantastic changes which it is in the power of attention, as on the Anglesey side of the each to assume. Menai Straits he stood in mute contempla
But in addition to the petty annoyances tion of the picturesque but powerful adver- which air, earth, and water could either sesaries he was required to encounter.
parately or conjointly create, the main diffiImmediately in his front, and gradually culty which Mr. Stephenson had to rising toward the clouds above him, were counter was from a new but irresitible elethe lofty snow-capped mountains of Snow- ment in Nature, an orbis veteribus incog
VOL. XIX. NO. II.
i.itus,” termed in modern philosophy The | nance for ever, for the purposes of War
” First Lord, or, generically, The Admiralty. and Commerce, of an uninterrupted passage
The principal stipulation which the re- for vessels of all nations sailing through the quirements of War, and the interests of Com Menai Straits; and secondly, the forcing merce, very reasonably imposed upon Science an eminent engineer to seek until he found was, that the proposed passage across the that which was required; in fact, just as a Menai Straits should be constructed a good collision between a rough flint and a piece of hundred feet above high-water level, to en- highly-tempered steel elicits from the latter able large vessels to sail beneath it; and as a spark which could not otherwise have apa codicil to this will it was moreover required peared, so did the rugged stipulations of the that, in the construction of the said passage, Admiralty elicit from Science a most brilliant neither scaffolding nor centering should be discovery, which possibly, and indeed proused—as they, it was explained, would ob- bably, would never otherwise have come to struct the navigation of the Straits.
light. Although the latter stipulation, namely, But to return to the Anglesey shore of that of constructing a large superstructure the Menai Straits. without foundation, was generally considered When Mr. Stephenson, after many weary by engineers as amounting almost to a pro- hours of rumination in his London study, hibition, Mr. Stephenson, after much writhing beheld vividly portrayed before him the of mind, extricated himself from the difficulty physical difficulties with which he had to by the design of a most magnificent bridge contend in the breadth and rapidity of the of two cast-iron arches, each of which com- stream ; when he estimated not only the ormencing, or, as it is termed, springing, 50 dinary violence of a gale of wind, but the feet above the water, was to be 450 feet paroxysms or squalls which in the chasm broad, and 100 feet high-the necessity for before him, occasionally, like the Erle King centering being very ingeniously dispensed | terrifying the “poor baby,”-convulsed even with by connecting together the half arches the tempest in its career; and lastly, when on each side of the centre pier, so as to cause he reflected that, in constructing a passage them to counterbalance each other like two so high above the water, he was to be alboys quietly seated on the opposite ends of lowed neither centerings, scaffoldings, nor at plank, supported only in the middle. This arches, it occurred to him, almost as intuiproject, however, which on very competent tively as a man when his house is on fire at authority has been termed “one of the most once avails himself of the means left him for beautiful structures ever invented,” the Ad-escape, that the only way in which he could miralty rejected, because the stipulated effect his object was by constructing in some height of 100 feet would only be attained way or other, at the height required, a under the crown of the arch, instead of ex- straight passage, which, on the principle of a tending across the whole of the watercourse. common beam, would be firm enough to alIt was also contended that such vast cast- low railway trains to pass and
withiron arches would take the wind out of ves- out oscillation, danger, or even the shadow sels' sails, and, as a further objection, that of risk ; and it of course followed that an they would inevitably be much affected by aërial road of this description should be alternations of temperature.
composed of the strongest and lightest mateAlthough this stern and unanticipated de rial; that its form should be that best suited mand, that the passage throughout ils whole for averting the wind; and lastly, that no length should be of the specified height, ap- expense should be spared to protect the peared to render success almost hopeless, it public from the awful catastrophe that would was evidently useless to oppose it. The result from the rupture of ibis " baseless man of science had neither the power nor fabric” during the passage over it of a train. the will to contend against men of war, and It need hardly be stated that, whatever accordingly Mr. Stephenson felt that his best, might be the result of Mr. Stephenson's aband indeed only, course was
little stract calculations on these points, his practiOliver Twist when brought before his parish cal decision was one that necessarily involved guardians—"TO BOW TO THE BOARD;" and the most painful responsibility; which inwe beg leave to bow to it too, for, gnarled as deed, if possible, was increased by the reflecwere its requirements, and flat as were its re- tion that the Directors of the Chester and fusals, it succeeded, at a cost to the Company Holyhead Railway placed such implicit conto which we will subsequently refer, in effect-fidence in his judgment and caution that they ing two great objects :—first, the mainte- were prepared to adopt almost whatever ex.
pedient he might, on mature consideration, reposing at the requisite elevation upon three recommend.
massive and lofty towers. Of these one was In war, the mangled corpse of the projec- to be constructed at high-water mark on tor of an enterprise is usually considered a each side of the Straits. The third, no less sufficient atonement for his want of success; than 210 feet in height, was to be erected as indeed, the leader of the forlorn-hope, who nearly as possible in the middle of the dies in the breach, is not only honorably re- stream, on a tiny rock, which, covered with collected by his survivors, but by a glorious 10 feet of water at high tide, although at resurrection occasionally lives in the History low water it protruded above the surface, of his country ; but when a man of science had long been considered as a grievance by fails in an important undertaking involving boatmen and travelers incompetent to forethe capital of his employers and the lives of see the important service it was destined to the public, in losing his reputation he loses perform. that which never can be revived !
The four lengths of each of the twin tubes, Unawed, however, by these reflections, when supported as described, were to be as Mr. Stephenson after mature calculations, follows :in which his practical experience of ironshipbuilding must have greatly assisted him From Carnarvon embankment, terminat-confidently announced, first to his employ
ing in its abutment, to the tower at highers and afterward to a Committee of the From the latter tower to Britannia tower,
274 House of Commons, by whom he was rigidly
situated upon Britannia rock in the examined, that he had devised the means of middle of the stream
472 accomplishing that which was required ; From Britannia tower to that at highand further, that he was ready to execute water mark on the Anglesey shore 472 his design.
From the Anglesey tower to the abutThe great difficulty had been in the con- ment terminating the embankment
274 ception and gestation of his project; and
which approaches it thus his severest mental labor was over be
Total length of each tube
1492 fore the work was commenced, and while the stream, as it hurried through the Menai
Total length of both tubes 2984 Straits, as yet saw not on its banks a single workman.
Notwithstanding the bare proposal of this The outline or principle of his invention magnificent conception was unanswerable was, that the required passage of passengers evidence of the confidence which the projecand goods across the Conway and Menai tor himself entertained of its principles, yet, Straits should be effected through low, long, in justice to his profession, to his employers,
, hollow, straight tubes—one for up-trains, the to the public, as well as to himself," Mr. other for down ones-composed of wrought. Stephenson deemed it proper to recommend iron “boiler-plates," firmly riveted together. that, during the construction of the towers He conceived that, in order to turn aside the and other necessary preparations, a series of force of the wind, these tubes ought, like searching experiments should be made by common water-pipes, to be made oval or the most competent persons that could be elliptical, and that they should be construct- selected, in order to ascertain the precise ed at their final elevation on temporary plat- shape and thickness of the immense wroughtforms, upheld by chains which—notwith- 'iron aërial galleries that were to be constanding the evident objection, in theory as structed, as also the exact amount of weight well as in practice, to an admixture of move they would practically bear. In short, the able and immoveable parts—might of course object of the proposed experiments was to subsequently be allowed to give to the bridge insure that neither more nor less materials an auxiliary support, although Mr. Stephen- should be used than were absolutely reson's experience enabled him to declare to quisite, it being evident that every pound of the Committee of the House of Commons unnecessary weight that could be abstracted very positively that no such extra assistance would, pro tanto, add to the strength and would be required. He proposed that the security of the structure. extremities of the tubes should rest on stout Although it was foreseen, and very can. abutments of masonry, terminating the large didly foretold, that these experiments would embankment by which from either side of be exceedingly expensive, the Directors of the country each was to be approached; the the Company readily acceded to the requisiintermediate portions of the aërial passage I tion, and accordingly, without loss of time,
the proposed investigation was, at Mr. creatures may have undergone in procuring Stephenson's recommendation, solely con- for them the luxury in question. Dives somefided to Mr. William Fairbairn, a shipbuilder times extols his coals, his wine, his food, bis and boiler-maker, who was justly supposed raiment, his house, his carriages, and his to possess more practical experience of the horses, and yet how seldom does he either power and strength of iron than any other allude to or ruminate on the hardships and person that could have been selected. Mr. misery which, for his enjoyment, have been Fairbairn, however, after having conducted endured in coal-pits, lead-mines, sugar-planseveral very important investigations, deemed tations, cotton-fields, manufactories, smeltit necessary to apply to Mr. Stephenson for houses, in horticultural and agricultural lapermission to call in the aid and assistance bor, by the sons and daughters of Lazarus ! of Mr. Hodgkinson," a powerful mathema- -and if this heartless apathy characterizes tician, now professor in the University of human beings with reference to each other, London, and whom Mr. Stephenson, in his it may naturally enough be expected that, report to the Directors, dated Feb. 9, 1846, provided inanimate objects answer our purdeclared to be “ distinguished as the first sci- pose, we think not of them at all. For inentific authority on the strength of iron- stance, if a beam without bending or crackbeams.” To these two competent authori- ing bears—as it usually does—the weight ties Mr. Stephenson subsequently added one which the builder has imposed upon it, who of his own confidential assistants, Mr. Edwin ! cares how it suffers or where it suffers ? Clark, a practical engineer of the highest For want, therefore, of a few moments' mathematical attainments, who regularly re- reflection on this subject, most people, in corded and reported to Mr. Stephenson the looking up at a common ceiling-girder, conresult of every experiment—to whom the sider that the corresponding upper and lowconstruction and lifting of the Britannia gal- er parts thereof must at all events, pari pasleries were eventually solely intrusted,—and su, suffer equally; whereas these upper by whom an elaborate description of that and lower strata suffer from causes as diamework is about to be published. *
trically opposite to each other as the climates The practicability of Mr. Stephenson's of the pole and of the equator of the earth; hollow-beam project having thus, at his own that is to say, the top of the beam throughsuggestion, been subjected to a just and out its whole length suffers from severe rigid investigation, we shall have the plea- compression, the bottom from severe extensure of briefly detailing a few of the most sion, and thus, while the particles of the one interesting and unexpected results ; previous, are violently jammed together, the particles however, to doing so, we will endeavor to of the other are on the point of separation ; offer to those of our readers who may not be in short, the difference between the two is conversant with the subject a short practical precisely that which exists between the opexplanation of the simple principle upon posite punishments of vertically crushing a which a beam, whether of wood or iron, is man to death under a heavy weight, and of enabled to support the weight inflicted horizontally tearing him to pieces by horses!
Now this theory, confused as it may ap; If human beings can but attain what they pear in words, can at once be simply and desire, they seldom alloy the gratification most beautifully illustrated by a common they receive by reflecting—even for a mo. small straight stick freshly cut from a living ment--on the sufferings which their fellow- shrub.
In its natural form the bark or rind * “ With the sanction, and under the immediate around the stick is equally smooth or quiessupervision of Robert Stephenson, Civil Engineer. cent throughout; whereas, if the little bough A Description of the Britannia and Conway Tubular firmly held in each hand be bent downward, Bridges; including an Historical Account of the so as to form a bow, or, in other words, to Design and Erection, and Details of the Prelimina- represent a beam under heavy pressure, ry Experiments, with the Theories deduced from
two opposite results will instantly appear; them. Also, General Inquiries on Beams, and on the Application of Riveted Wrought-Iron Plates to namely, the rind in the centre of the
upper Purposes of Construction; with Practical Rules and half of the stick will, like a smile puckerDeductions, illustrated by Experiments. By Ed. ing on an old man's face, be crumpled up; win Clark, Assistant Engineer. With Diagrams while on the opposite side, immediately beand a folio volume of Plates and Drawings, illus- neath, it will, like the unwrinkled cheeks of trative of the Progress of the Works. London : Published for the Author, by John Weale, 59, High Boreas, be severely distended—thus denoting Holborn, 1849."
or rather demonstrating what we have stated,