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conveyance of goods only. Here, the excavation is to be made large enough to admit of two boats passing, with a tracking path. The interior is to be lined, where necessary, with masonry, so that the Tunnel will be as dry as the arching of bridge work. The Large Tunnel will likewise admit of being lighted at different places from above. The boats will also carry lights upon their decks, and be made with an awning on the top, rendering them both cheerful and comfortable. Some have even thought that the whole Tunnel might be light ed with gas, so as to produce a very fine effect. It may further be observed, that if, as has been supposed, the travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow is to be conducted along this navigation very generally under night, the tunnelled part will be no objection whatever; and there being no locks to pass through, the boats may be made of any convenient length, so as to afford ample accommodation for night travellers, who, as is customary in the trekschuyts of the Netherlands, may choose to enjoy their usual repose.
The construction of navigable Canals in Great Britain is but of recent introduction; and as the first attempts of mankind in the works of art are generally rude and incomplete, so we find the early works of the Engineer, in preserving his level, and avoiding lockage in Canal works, have been in many instances very imperfect. It was indeed after much practice, and the experience of the evils attendant upon numerous locks, that Tunnelling was introduced to any considerable extent. Even the aqueduct constructed by the famous Brindley, over the river Irwell, on the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal, was long beheld with admiration by the curious. It was also to the powerful mind and inventive genius of this celebrated engineer, that we were indebted for the first Navigable Tunnel in this country, which was completed
in the year 1776, at Herecastle in Staffordshire; it is upwards of a mile in length, and was excavated, to avoid a circuitous navigation and numerous locks. To be relieved from lockage, and to save distance, extensive digging and tunnelling are now always resorted to: as for example, in the Canal which joins the Severn and the Thames, a tunnel was cut through a hill, under the direction of the late Mr Whitworth. Here the subterranean navigation measures about two miles and a half in length, and about two thirds of this distance is lined with masonry. Upon the Grand Junction Canal there are three Tunnels; one of these, at Blisworth, is nearly two miles in length, about seventeen feet in width, and is entirely lined with brick-work. Upon the Huddersfield Canal, conducted by the late Mr Outram, Engineer, there is a Tunnel excavated at Marsden Hill, which is three miles and thirty yards in length about one-third of this great work is lined with masonry; in the other two-thirds, the opening being cut through solid rock, remains in the state in which it was left by the miner. The Reporter might notice several other works of this kind, of smaller extent, in various parts of England. On the Tavistock Canal, in the Duke of Bedford's estates, a Tunnel, intended chiefly for mining operations, has been cut under the direction of Mr Taylor, Engineer, which is a mile and a half in length, requiring shafts or pits in the course of its formation, of no less than from 120 to 140 yards in depth. But on the Duke of Bridgewater's Canalworks alone, the total aggregate length of the different tunnels has been estimated at no less than eighteen miles. At present, there is a Tunnel for the Regent Canal of considerable extent, cutting through the rising ground on which Pentonville stands, in the vicinity of London. Even in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, so far back
Mackenzie, whom, on his way to Woodhouselee, be met returning from thence. Mr Mackenzie said, "I am happy you are going to Woodhouselee; for no one ever went there without being happier, or returned without being better." As a judge, he was characterized by a profound admiration of the laws of his country, and unshaken integrity in the interpretation of them. The repeated panegyrics pronounced by the late President Blair, upon his conduct on the bench, might be considered as fixing his reputation in this capacity. He had acted in some of the most important stations in human society.In all these his successful ambition had been to be found equal to his situation, without rising above it.— The "Lectures on History," and "Principles of Translation," Mr Alison seemed to consider as the most valuable of his works. The life of Lord Kames imposed a task which scarcely any individual was equal to fulfil. The immense variety of the pursuits of that eminent man could not be duly followed and appreciated by almost any other individual; and the want of unity necessarily arising from this circumstance, could not fail to diminish the interest of the narrative. Lord Woodhouselee, who was averse to metaphysical inquiry, could not, in this respect, estimate the ta
Proceedings of the Royal Society of lents of Lord Kames. At the same EDINBURGH. time, the work contains much curious and valuable information. Lord Woodhouselee foresaw his death for some time, and met it with truly patient and Christian resignation, expressing particular gratitude and satisfaction in the lot which he had enjoyed throughout life. We hope, on a future occasion, to be able to present a more copious analysis of this interesting memoir.
as 1739, a Tunnel of considerable extent was cut through the hill or great bank on which the village of Inveresk stands, under the direction of William Adam, Esq. one of the celebrated architects of that name; the object of this work being to drain the coal-field at Pinkie.'
Mr Stevenson proposes to make the dimensions of the canal-in breadth, 20 feet at bottom, and from 25 to 40 feet at top; and the depth five feet. This would fit it for craft of from 30 to 40 tons burden, being the most commodious for inland navigation. He estimates the expense at £.491,999; of which £.88,331 is for the cut between Leith and Edinburgh. He expects £.74,358 of revenue, which, deducting £.10,358 for expences, leaves a clear profit of £.64,000.
Upon the whole, the plan appears to be highly ingenious and creditable to Mr Stevenson; yet, on considering the great increase of present expense, and the prejudice which, well or ill founded, certainly exists in this country against tunnelling, we still conceive the Union Canal to be the best or the only advantageous practical plan, and should be sorry to see any obstacle raised against its accomplish
Monday, 6th January 1817.
part of his memoirs of Lord Woodhouselee. At the close, he observed that this life was distinguished as being at once a virtuous and a happy one. The annals of this Society contained the record of greater men, but never of one more truly good. His domestic habits and enjoyments are represented as having formed a truly delightful picture.— Mr Alison recalled a speech of Mr
Monday, 13th January.
A meeting was held for the election of office-bearers. Lord Glenlee was
The Rev. Dr Brunton read a paper, written by Dr Craigie, on the analogy between the Persian and the Greek and Latin languages. This analogy had already been often observed, so far as related to the resemblance of single words. The object here was rather to exhibit it in those points which were connected with the general structure of the language. Thus, no circumstance seems more characteristic of the Greek and Latin languages, than the termination of the neuter plural in A. In Persian, in like manner, it was always terminated in ha. The future tense, in the first and second Latin conjugations is formed by the interposition of the letter B. This letter has, in Persian, a similar futurizing effect.
The Latin gerunds and supines bear also a strong resemblance to the Persian; and from these and other examples, no doubt seems to remain of the strong affinity between the two languages.
Dr Brewster read a paper detailing some experiments made by him, in conjunction with Dr Gordon, on the optical properties of the human eye. Dr Gordon having procured an eye in a state peculiarly recent, being not more than half an hour after death, Dr Brewster was enabled, by a diligent examination, to detect some important properties which had before passed unobserved.
Sir George Mackenzie read an extract of a letter from Thomas Allan, Esq, giving a sketch of the mineralogical structure of the country around Nice. It is composed almost entirely of limestone, the strata of which are disposed in the most irregular manner which it is possible to conceive. They enclose within them shells of the same description with those which are found in the sea beneath. The thermometer at Nice was generally above 50.
Monday, 17th February.
Sir George Mackenzie read the first part of an Essay on the Theory of Association in matter of Taste.
Sir George stated, that the doctrines which he meant to controvert were contained in Mr Alison's Essay on the Nature and Principles of Taste, and in the article Beauty, in the Supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica. He paid a high tribute to the ingenuity and ability of those excellent writers, to whom he modestly professed his own sense of inferiority. As he was unable, however, to concur in some of their opinions, he trusted to the indulgence of the Society in being allowed to state his own impressions on the subject.
Sir George conceived, too little attention had been paid to the circumstance,
cumstance, that the objects of sight and sound made very different impressions upon different individuals. Each author had reasoned from the impression made upon his own mind The term beauty had also been too much extended, and used in too vague a manner. The word beautiful was merely one of a class; lovely, pleasing, delightful, agreeable, &c. expressed each a different degree of the same impression. In this impression the grand distinction he conceived to be in its conferring pleasure or pain in various degrees, of which beauty expressed one of pleasure, ugliness one of pain; and the above terms, as well as others which might be mentioned, each of which seemed as deserving of a theory as that of beauty, expressed merely various other degrees of pleasurable emotion. The question is, whether this emotion be inspired directly by the objects themselves, or merely by some others with which they were accidentally or purposely associated. The former of these opinions was supported by Sir George, in opposition to the eminent writers above mentioned, and upon this subject he conceived it necessary to enter into some details. He classed impressions on the senses, under the heads of form, colour, and sound. We are sorry that our limits allow us to follow Sir George in a very few only of his illustrations.
The instruments of war had been supposed to produce the impression of sublimity, merely by the formidable uses in which they were employed.In opposition to this idea, Sir George compared the cannon and the mortar; the latter ought to have the preference, as spreading a much wider and more terrible destruction. Yet no one could hesitate to prefer a handsome 18 pounder to the ugly form of a mortar. A victorious and a defeated general too ought to have very opposite impressions upon this subject; yet both would agree in
the above comparative estimate.— In considering the forms of trees, the birch, from the grandeur of the mountain scenery in which it usually grows, ought, on the principle of association, to rank above the oak, which is found usually on the plain. The contrary is the case. The oak, indeed, has associations connected with its employment in the British Navy. The pine, however, is equally employed in this service; and it does not appear, why the tall mast should not be equally honoured with the oaken hull. The linden and horse chesnut were universally admired for their forms, without any association which could throw a lustre over them. That the form of trees made an impression altogether distinct from association, Sir George considered evident from this circumstance, that out of a great number of trees, all of the same age, all of vigorous growth, and all capable of rousing ideas of duration and strength, one might be chosen by a draftsman, or any other person, as having the most picturesque form. Sir George had known a man who had never seen a tree till he came to this country. The first he discovered was a very indifferent clump of fir trees; yet so delighted was he with these new objects, that he climbed up one of them and slept upon it. Afterwards, on seeing different trees, he pronounced readily on the beauty of their respective forms, with none of which he could have formed any previous association.
Sir George observed, that no beauty could attach to the stump of the pen with which he had written the present essay; yet a similar instrument having been employed in committing to writing the immortal works of Bacon and Shakespeare, a degree of grandeur ought, on the principle of association, to have attached to it; nor could a pen be considered a disagreeable object, though association should remind us of all the trash and mischief
mischief which have spread around by such means.
Sir George delayed till next meeting the further illustration of this subject.
To be continued.
MONTHLY MEMORANDA IN NATURAL HISTORY.
WHAT the summer and autumn of
the past year were dismally wet and cold, is a fact that will not soon be forgotten; the effects of their inclemency being now practically felt, and aggravating, in no slight degree, the distresses consequent on the general stagnation of trade in the country. The winter commenced early, and seemed to set in with unusual severity. Since the middle of January, however, the scene has changed, and exhibited a striking contrast with the preceding months. The weather has been generally mild, and westerly winds have prevailed in a degree quite unusual at this season. They have often, indeed, risen to gales, accompanied with rain and hail, sometimes with much lightning, and with occasional thunder; but they have not failed to be attended with that comparative warmth which characterizes
By the end of January the sweet coltsfoot and the winter aconite were in bloom; and the white coltsfoot, the snowdrop, and hepatica, were beginning to shew their flowers. The skylark was heard towards midday, uttering his short preparatory song; and the bat was seen flitting about in the afternoons.
By the middle of January, the flowers of the more early species of crocus (particularly C. susianus, or cloth of gold) were expanded. On the 17th of the month, in a small sheltered garden at Canonmills, a hive of bees, which had been regularly fed during
the autumn and winter, was observed to be busily at work; numbers were seen returning home loaded with a yellow substance, which, on examination, appeared to have been procured partly from crocus flowers, and partly from a field of winter-turnips in the neighbourhood, in which many stems which had sprung up late in the preceding autumn were now in full flower.
Greater Spotted Woodpecker.
A specimen of this beautiful bird (Picus major, Lin.) was shot by the gamekeeper at Melville-house in Fife, in the beginning of February. This kind of woodpecker is less common in Scotland than the green species (P. viridis). It appears that a few pairs breed yearly in the old woods of Melville and Rankeillor. The individual shot at this time was a male of full size and in perfect plumage, distinguished by a patch of crimson feathers on the back part of his head. The young female has, at first, a similar patch of red; but this, it has been found, disappears, and is succeeded by black feathers as she approaches maturity. It was this puzzling circumstance chiefly, which induced Lin næus to constitute a species which he called Picus medius. Colonel Montagu suspected that the appearance was not sufficient for establishing a specific distinction; and the point has lately been settled by Lord Stanley, who has the most extensive and curious aviary in England. Having procured several young woodpeckers, just as they were about to leave the nest, he found them to possess all the characters of the Linnean P. medius. At the same time, the old birds attended and fed them for some time, and were evidently the male and female of the species P. major. Lastly, as the young birds grew up, they gradually assumed the plumage of their parents. CANONMILLS, 2 25th Feb. 1817.