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to allow more than the passing visit of a vessel of war to the ports of Japan. The other Treaty Powers still more seldom gave any tangible sign of interest. The diplomatic agents must have seemed abandoned by their own governments, and left, in the most distant and isolated region of the far East, to maintain an arduous conflict, if not a losing cause. They seem to have held their ground manfully, however, and to have reaped a fair reward for so much constancy in the face of the most discouraging circumstances; and long ere this we may trust the returning wave of success and victory from the Chinese coast will have brought new forces to their aid. If we can only by extreme reserve and prudence allay the fears of the Japanese as to the subversive tendencies in regard to their own institutions, political and religious, to all foreign intercourse, and convince them that no Treaty Power contemplates, or will permit, in those subject to them a propagandism in either direction dangerous to the ruling classes, and menacing revolution and change, half the battle will be won; and if we could succeed in convincing them that the development of trade, which is our chief aim, must in the end be mutually advantageous, and enrich not the foreigners alone but the whole Japanese nation, instead of impoverishing the country by raising the prices, which they fear at present, there can be no doubt the greatest obstacles to a good understanding and the rapid development of a most valuable trade would be removed, and far more effectually than by any display of force, or the conviction even of our ability to exact by such means those treaty rights they now dispute more or less openly, from both selfish and patriotic motives. In these two directions alone can we achieve any permanent success. All our efforts, therefore, and the efforts of every other Treaty Power, should be concentrated upon these lines of advance, as the only course by which victory can be secured in this conflict of different races and civilisations.
Art. III. - Construction of the Victoria Bridge at Montreal in
Canada, elaborately Illustrated by Views, Plans, Elevations, and Details of the Bridge, together with Designs of the Machinery and Contrivances used in the Construction, with a Descriptive Text. Dedicated to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and presented to His Royal Highness on the Opening of the Bridge, August 25th, 1860. By JAMES HODGES, Engineer to the Contractors. Imp. folio, Lon
don : 1860. MA
ANY auspicious circumstances and events concurred to give
the highest degree of splendour and of success to the visit paid, in the course of last autumn, by the Heir Apparent of the Crown, to the great continent of North America. The Prince of Wales himself, entering upon his public career, surrounded by the representatives of his magnificent inheritance, and by all the gifts of fortune, laid the foundation of that essential portion of his future greatness and welfare which depends on his own judgment, character, and patriotism. He was received with enthusiasm as the son of the Queen of England and the first Prince of the Blood Royal, but before he left the shores of America, that enthusiasm was heightened by the attachment and respect he had himself inspired. In Canada he found a colony rising by its own power, industry, energy, and population, to the dignity of a State; in the United States he learned that the representative of the British Monarchy is the head not only of a nation but of a race. The ties of kindred, of tradition, and of a common freedom between England and America, were incorporate in his person ; and no man who witnessed those scenes of ardent excitement, could doubt that there are sympathies between the two countries more powerful than the ocean which divides them, and the revolutions which have dissevered their political connexion. No other man would have been so received by the people of the United States; the Prince of Wales would not be so received in any other country. The autumn of 1860 will remain memorable for this visit, not only in the life of the young Prince, who was the hero of it, but in the annals of the great race which has established an irresistible and enduring sway over the northern half of the Western Hemisphere.
These gratifying and important results originated, to a certain extent, in a circumstance which is recalled to our minds by the magnificent volume now before us. As the prodigious work of the Bridge over the St. Lawrence at Montreal approached its completion in 1859, the Canadian people expressed an earnest desire that the opening of this structure should be solemnized by the presence of a direct representative of the Sovereign whose name it bears. The time coincided with the regal majority of the Prince of Wales, and one of the express objects for which this voyage was undertaken was to inaugurate an edifice of altogether unparalleled magnitude and grandeur. The present volume was prepared by Mr. Hodges, the engineer to the contractors, who was in fact the true Pontifex Maximus of this stupendous tube, for the purpose of being presented to his Royal Highness on the occasion. The work has been printed and illustrated with almost unexampled magnificence. It bears the same relation to ordinary books that the Victoria Bridge itself bears to ordinary bridges; and as the unusual size and cost of the work must necessarily render it of somewhat difficult access to the majority of readers, we think that we shall be doing a service to them, and no more than justice to the authors of this publication, by reproducing in some detail, the narrative of the marvellous undertaking they have accomplished.
The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada traverses British North America from the shores of the Atlantic to the prairies of the Far West, by one unbroken line of 1200 miles in extent, opening the fertile lands of Upper Canada and the valley of the great lakes, down to the sea coast, throughout the year, and connecting the British territories with the vast expanse of the American Union. In summer Canada possesses the finest river in the world perfected by an admirable chain of artificial navigation. But for the other six months in the year the broad stream of the St. Lawrence and its tributaries is interrupted or barred up by frost, and until the construction of the Grand Trunk Line was resolved upon and executed, mainly by the energy of the Colonial Government, no permanent highway could be said to exist, open at all seasons, to the produce and the intercourse of the British North American Provinces. But this great work would still have remained incomplete, if it had been confined to the north shore of the St. Lawrence. To connect it with New Brunswick and the harbours of Nova Scotia, and to command a direct communication with the United States, it became necessary to span the river by a bridge capable of bearing railway traffic across one of the broadest and swiftest currents in the world. For some years, the subject had been attentively considered by the Canadian engineers, but we believe the conception of the colossal structure, which has just
been completed, was chiefly due to Mr. A. M. Ross, C.E., a native of Dornoch. It was approved by Mr. Stephenson, who visited Canada for the purpose in 1853, and the work was begun and ended under the immediate direction of Mr. Hodges, to whom we are indebted for the very full, elaborate, but unassuming account of it, which is now before us.
The problem to be solved was indeed one of matchless difficulty, for the obstacles to be surmounted were of the most opposite and variable nature. From the month of January to that of April the St. Lawrence presents the appearance of a huge plain of rugged ice, tossed into the wildest forms, and forced by the pressure of the stream to an elevation of sixteen feet above the summer level of the current.
The temperature descends to more than 20° below zero Fahrenheit—a degree of cold at which iron burns the naked hand, and it is scarcely conceivable that manual operations can be carried on. In summer, on the contrary, an intolerable excess of heat succeeds to an equal intensity of cold; between the months of April and June the temperature passes from 9° to 90°; the gallant workmen, who met without flinching these terrific variations of climate, were alternately exposed to frost-bite and to sun-stroke, both sometimes alike fatal. The tremendous current of the St. Lawrence scoured away at the foundations of the piers and the cofferdams at the rate of eight miles an hour, with an overwhelming force of mighty waters which threatened incessantly to crush the engines and annihilate the audacity of man. Twice in each year, by the formation of ice in the autumn and by the breaking up of the ice in the spring, the scene changed, and the whole course of operations had to change likewise ; so that the works were carried on in brief periods of from three to four months, after each of which the unfinished structure and the preparations for completing it were necessarily exposed to what may without exaggeration be termed a convulsion of nature. Mr. Hodges shall describe it in his own words:
Undoubtedly the most serious difficulty to be guarded against, both in the design and in the execution of the Victoria Bridge, was that operation of nature which occurs twice in the year, and which is known in North America as the “ Shoving” of the Ice.
Ice begins to form in the St. Lawrence about the beginning of December. Then, along the shores and in the shallow, quiet places where the current is least strong, a thin ice begins to make its appearance, gradually showing signs of increasing strength and thick
Soon after pieces of ice begin to come down from the lakes above; and then, as winter advances, anchor, or ground ice, comes down in vast quantities, thickening the otherwise comparatively clear water of the river.
"A word as to the “ Anchor Ice.” It appears to grow in rapid currents, and attaches itself to the rocks forming the bed of the river, in the shape of a spongy substance, not unlike the spawn of frogs. Immense quantities form in an inconceivably short space of time, accumulating until the mass is several feet in depth. A very slight thaw, even that produced by a bright sunshine at noon, disengages it, when, rising to the surface, it passes down the river with the current. This description of ice appears to grow only in the vicinity of rapids, or where the water has become aërated by the rapidity of the current. It may be that the particles or globules of cold air are whirled by the eddies, till they come in contact with the rocky bed of the river, to which they attach themselves; and, being of a temperature sufficient to produce ice, become surrounded with the semi-fluid substance of which anchor ice is formed. Anchor ice sometimes accumulates at the foot of rapids in such quantities, as to form a bar across the lake (similar to bars of sand at mouths of rivers) of some miles in extent, lifting the water in its locality several feet above its ordinary level. This frequently happens at the foot of the Cedar Rapids at the head of Lake St. Louis, where a branch of the Ottawa empties itself into the St. Lawrence. Upon such occasions the water at this point is dammed up to such a height as to change its course, and run into the Ottawa at the rate of some four or five miles per hour. From thence it eventually finds its way back into the St. Lawrence by the rapids of St. Anne's (celebrated by Moore in the “Canadian Boat-Song"), after performing a circuit of some ten or twelve miles. The accumulation of ice continues, probably, for several weeks, till the river is quite full, and so thickened as to make the current sluggish, and cause a general swelling of the waters. The pieces, too, become frozen together, and form large masses ; which by grounding and diminishing the sectional area of the river, cause the waters to rise still more (there being always the same quantity of water coming over the rapids). Then the large masses float and move further down the river, where, uniting with accumulations previously grounded, they offer such an obstruction to the semi-Auid waters, that the channels become quite choked, and what is called a "jamb” takes place.
• The surface ice, arrested in its progress, packs into all sorts of imaginable shapes ; and if the cold is very intense, a crust formed, and the river becomes frozen over till many square miles' extent of surface-packed ice is formed. As the water rises, the jamb against which this field rests, if not of sufficient strength to hold it in place, gives way; when the whole river, after it is thus frozen into one immense sheet, moves en masse down stream, causing the “shovings,” so much dreaded by the people of Montreal. The edges of the huge field moving irresistibly onwards, plough into the banks of the river, in some instances to a depth of several feet, carrying away everything within reach. In places the ice packs to a height of twenty or thirty feet, and goes grinding and crushing onwards till another jamb takes place, which, aided by the grounded masses of packed ice upon the shoals and shores, offers sufficient