Imatges de pÓgina
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“3. 48 joists, each 12 feet long, 3 by 5 inches. •4. 120 ditto, each 12 feet long, 1 by 5 inches. 65. 100 half-inch screw bolts, each 10 inches long. 66. 100 inch-and-half planks, each 12 feet long, I wide. 67. 50 two-inch planks for the ends, same dimensions. 68. 10 triple blocks, sheaves 12 inches diameter, brass cogged

and iron pinned. 9. 10 double ditto, ditto. • 10. 10 double blocks, sheaves 6 inches diameter, for working

tackles and guys. 11. 10 single ditto, ditto. • 12. 450 fathoms 6. rope, for great net and bridge bearers. • 13. 200 ditto 4 rope for falls, for bridge tackles. • 14. 200 ditto 2, rope, for working tackles and guys. •15. 100 ditto 4) rope, for straps round the beams. • 16. 1000 ditto 3 and 4 yarn, spun yarn. • 17. 140 yards strong tarred canvas. * 18. 500 weight bars of iron, for cramps and bolts. * 19. 200 lbs. of lead.

• Tar, rosin, grease, marling spikes, fids, old canvas for par

celling, salvages, straps, tail tackles, twine needles, a portable forge, blacksmiths', masons', and carpenters'

tools, drill hammers, scrapers, and needles. •Two pontoon carriages.

· Four crabs or small capstans. The rope-work was put together in the pontoon house at Elvas, in the following manner :- two beams (1 in the preceding list), laid on trestles 4 feet high, placed 90 feet asunder, were first secured to the end walls of the house by tackles and braces. The 64-inch cable was then stretched in eighteen lengths, or rows, round the beams with a uniform, moderate strain, such as to admit of the parts or rows of the cable being drawn together by strong lashings, at alternate points, and formed into a body of net-work ; the two outside rows of the cable being first steadied by tackles to the side walls of the house, to resist the inward strains resulting from the process and to retain the net-work of uniform width throughout.

• Cross beams having channels cut in them, and seared to smooth. ness with a heated iron (the arm of an axletree) were then laid on the net-work, each notch receiving its corresponding portion of rope, and firmly lashed by spun yarn at all the crossings.

· The beams were prepared in a novel and ingenious manner, with the materials mentioned in the preceding list. At each end of a beam, two of those of the narrower dimensions were connected with it by screw bolts, and in this manner jointed beams, formed alternately of single and double pieces, were easily set up, and prolonged to the full length of the floor of the intended communication when required for use.

Several important objects were accomplished by this ingenious contrivance. The individual parts were of very convenient length for being transported on carriages, easily put together, and readily adjusted as the work proceeded. The beam of the larger dimension in breadth was used for the single part, whilst two of half that dimension were applied to form the link which connected it with the next single beam, and these gave to the whole a sufficient and nearly uniform strength. Joints resting upon cross pieces permitted the beams to confirm, by their flexibility, with the curvature of the bridge: and the bearing of the double portions of the beams on each cross-piece, being nearly 8 inches, was more favourable to the solidity of the whole than could have been effected in any other manner. The beams, thus formed and laid athwart the cross-pieces, had their joints adjusted to lay exactly on those bearers, and were then firmly lashed at each end of the bridge.

• Planks for flooring were provided, with holes bored in the end of each, to admit of their being lashed to the beams, and to each other.

* This vast net, when completed, with its end beams, was rolled up, firmly bound together, and loaded on a pontoon carriage. The means of transport for the whole apparatus were two pontoon car. riages, each drawn by six oxen ; eight large cars, each drawn by four oxen ; and the lighter materials in seventeen cars, drawn by two oxen each.

* At a sufficient time previous to the removal of the materials for application, an intelligent officer, Lieutenant Perry, was sent to superintend the cutting of channels in the masonry of the bridge, to receive the straining beams, to which tackles were to be fixed.

• To facilitate the laying of the bridge, two strong hawsers, represented by the lines drawn longitudinally under the floor of the

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors]

bridge, were stretched across the gap as conductors, upon which the further end of the net-work might be hauled over.

'A tarpaulin, 4 feet wide, was stretched along the outside ropes, as a blind for cattle and horses; and tackles fixed to two of the cross beams and to ring-bolts set in the masonry below, to brace and steady the bridge. A railing, formed of posts and ropes, completed this extraordinary work; and the whole was finished in time to open a passage across the Tagus for the column of siege artillery, under Colonel Sir Alexander Dickson, who crossed it on the 11th, and arrived at Salamanca on the 20th of June.'

Here, then, we bring to a close our analysis of Sir Howard's very able work. The extent to which our remarks have been carried—not less than the nature and length of our quotations - sufficiently vouch for the degree of estimation in which we hold it. But we should be untrue to our craft were we to let it pass out of our hands absolutely scatheless. We think that Sir Howard is not always happy, either in his style or in the arrangement of his subjects. The former is loose, sometimes obscure, not unfrequently tautological. The latter would be very much improved were the order in which he has placed his sections less involved, and in some striking instances inverted. We allude especially to that section or chapter with which the treatise opens; and which, if received into the volume at all of which we are doubtful — would have stood better at the end of the book than at the beginning. However, these are defects which indicate rather lack of skill in the author than of intelligence in the man.

The Treatise on Military Bridge-making has obtained, as it deserves, a European reputation. And we recommend it to the officers of the army, as a work which will prove to them not the less useful, that it will demand from them, while studying it, their best and most concentrated attention.

ART. VII. - 1. Report from the Select Committee on Newspaper

Stamps; together with the Proceedings of the Committee, and Minutes of Evidence. Printed by Order of the House of

Commons. 2. Speeches of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, Chancellor of

the Exchequer, April 18th, July 1st, and July 21st, 1853. 3. Speech of Richard Cobden, Esq., M.P., at Holmfirth, Fe

bruary 2nd, 1853. IF F Mr. Tadpole had politically survived as a member of the

present generation, on whom the latter days of the world of party seem to have come, he would certainly, to his profound remark about the utility of good cries,' have added a lament

[ocr errors]

ation over their scarcity. Whether or not it be that, in the lapse of time and the progress of reform, we are really running short of grievances — that is, of popular and exciting grievances - there has of late been manifest a great eagerness to seize, and a greater reluctance to part with, any epithet at all serviceable in political agitation. Complaints are kept up after the grievances have been redressed; names are retained after the things have ceased to be; and the phrases, arguments, and machinery employed against one thing are sometimes transferred to another without much regard to connexion or resemblance. With all respect to many well-motived men who have implicated themselves in the transaction, we have still to say, as the result of a careful and, we hope, impartial inquiry into a subject the importance of which has hitherto perhaps been insufficiently appreciated — that an impermissible license in this practice of transferring epithets, arguments, and agitation has been taken by those who, since Lord Monteagle's budget of 1836, have been keeping up the cry about 'taxes on knowledge,' and that it will be scarcely possible to devise any decent excuse for those who may persist after Mr. Gladstone's budget of 1853.

Is there not a primâ facie improbability in the case of the agitators ? A tax on knowledge! What party or class in this country, at this time of day, has any interest, or can rationally be suspected of any desire, to perpetuate such a folly and iniquity? And we put the question with no mental reservation or quibbling, but with the full admission that a tax on newspapers would be a tax on knowledge, and on very wholesome and useful knowledge. There might have been a time for such a charge - nay, we confess with shame that there actually was, · at no more ancient period than 1836. But in all such matters there has been an utter revolution of opinion and feeling even among the most inveterate votaries of the old political régime : there is not now a man in Parliament who would not be both ashamed and afraid to utter the doctrines with which Mr. Spri Rice was encountered by the Tory members, when he constructed the present admirable system. To imagine that there are any who think they would profit by having the newspaper press fiscally burdened, is in fact at least as absurd as to think that there still linger some who desire (or at least would dream of avowing or acting on a desire) to see it politically trammelled. Not more rational is the insinuation we have occasionally seen, that public men--the previous, present, or expectant holders of office — find the press as it exists so subservient to their ends as distinguished from the public good, that they selfishly and corruptly resist a

very much

'A tarpaulin, 4 feet wide, w

on is drawn as a blind for cattle and horse

lously learned beams and to ring-bolts set

ven in such an steady the bridge. A raili: this extraordinary work ; il

site and morally

so popularity is not a passage across the Taga Colonel Sir Alexander

proportion of them arrived at Salamanca on

y of naught, naught,' Here, then, we br

und everybody that pro

ve said to have had even very able work.

! carried — not less í

vrter among the London - sufficiently vos

uies, merely as such, now hold it. But w

.. not the least likely or inpass out of our

ess to do injustice, on their

je British newspaper press not Sir Howard i arrangement

Lope, but undeniably the best obscure, no*

to keep calling on us to help

tened? Yet so much is there in his sectio

2. Us, that there are people who, at verted.

ja knowledge,' are always ready, which t'

ur what the Americans call - indigvolume

un any manner of petition — forbetter

cute, not looking at what is, and taking

wome. ever,

vasiderations seem to point out the the

- juncture for attempting to get the

popularly understood. A committee of th

s has made an inquiry and pronounced a

ven, on the part of the agitators, has ex1

lature of the results they aim at accomplishxes passed during the late Session have some

xpect of the question, and cleared away some ructed, or were used so as to obstruct, a fair

and no press in the world to be compared to when we have it, as we shall see, officially an#gitators, that what they seek is an entire reis plainly enough to convince us that the ques

light public concernment. i have occasion to challenge the decision at which persy of the Committee of the House of Commons

seek to show that they not only set aside the preeitt on entirely insufficient grounds, and on almost no

But that their substitute is in all respects bad, and in wawal demonstrably impracticable,- it will tend to lessen sent presumption, and to explain how men of ability titly lent their names to such a document, if we sacrifice



[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinua »