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is in contemplation, though not yet come
other persons, obtaining an act for a canal from the Trent to the Mersey, to
communicate between the towns of Hull NA. and Liverpool, the Duke of Bridgewater.
agreed with them (under authority of Parliament) to vary the course of his intended canal, and meet theirs half way, between Preston-brook and Runcorn, and then the two canals, united, to be carried to the Mersey at Runcorn.
Since that Mr. Brindley has viewed the river at Runcorn, and is of opinion, that the navigation might be carried over it on an aqueduct, and then forwarded directly to Liverpool. And we may expect, in a few
ġears, to hear that his Grace has completed Statham his navigation this way, by reaching the
Mersey at Runcorn Gap; after which, this räjärta, bet canal will undoubtedly be the easiest, Zym a cheapest, and best way of sending goods of
all kinds from and to Liverpool and Man
. It is to that period the Duke looks for a. reimbursement of the immense sums. this navigation has and will cost him: The benefit of water carriage for his coals at Wars Hey to Manchester, Altringham, &c. is certainly a great advantage; but not near fuffi
cient to repay
of such vast uria dertakings; but when two such confiderable trading and manufacturing towns as Manchester and Liverpool communicate, by means of this navigation, at a cheaper and eafier rate than by the old one, there is no doubt but his Grace will meet with that profitable return his noble fpirit to truly deserves.
This scheme is a vast one, and worthy so bold and daring a genius. The river Mer-fey, at that place, is five hundred and fixty yards wide; and at spring tides the water flows near eighteen feet perpendicular. The masts of vessels, which navigate the river itself, are said to be seventy feet high; add to all this, that the river is sometimes rough and boisterous: It is planned, notwithstanding these tremendous difficulties, to carry the canal across the river. The greatest undertaking (if executed) that ever yet was thought of, and will exceed the noblest works of the Romans, when masters of the world; or the legendary tales even of Semiramis herself.
The excellency and utility of the plan are, however, indisputable: If the canal was carried directly to the town of Liverpool, there would at once be a complete, easy, safe, and cheap navigation from that great sea-port directly to Manchester, and all the other towns and places near which
goes. The present navigation is that of the river Mersey, or, in other words, an arm of the sea for several miles, which is at best but an insecure navigation for inland boats, not to say a dangerous one, and occasions such precautions of the expensive kind, that the carriage of goods can never be half fo cheapor regular as upon a canal. This river partakes, with others, of disadvantages, to which canals are not subject, such as tides, foods, working one way against a stream, &c. &c. from all which the new navigations are perfectly free; add to this, the old navigation here is cramped with ten times the number of locks, that the canal would be.
But something sure is due to the execution and possession of works, which command the attention and admiration of all Europe : The number of foreigners who have viewed the Duke of Bridgewater's prefent navigation, is surprizing; what would it be if his Grace was to extend it over a boisterous arm of the fea:---To exhibit a navigation afloat in the air, with ships of an hundred tons failing full maited beneath it. What a splendid idea! *
* In some of the controverfial writings, published on the proposition of a navigation from Hull to Liverpool, the prejudiced, or rather interested people, who were Itaunch friends to the old navigations, and, by the by, ridiculed canals, in a manner which must now, while such great success attends them, turn, I think, to their
Upon the whole, the uncommon spirit which actuated his Grace the Duke of Bridgwater in designing and executing such noble works, can never be sufficiently admired: At an age when most men aim only at pleasure and diffipation, to see him engaged in undertakings, that give employment and bread to thousands; that tend to greatly to advance the agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, of an extensive neighbourhood; in a word, that improve and adorn his country, is a fight so very uncommon, and so great, that it must command our adiniration. Nor was it less to his Grace's honour, that, in the execution of these spirited schemes, he had the
penetration to discern the characters of mankind so much, as to fix on those people who were 1hame, among other arguments asserted the fufficiency of the navigation to Liverpool already existing; a stroke in one of their answerers is excellent:--
- The delays " and inconveniences render this (the old) navigation “ ineffectual for the conveyance of the produce even of
the county of Cicfier; as far the most considerable
part of the cheese produced in that county is now car" ried by larid, parallel with the whole length of this
EXCELLENT navigation, to Frodfram- bridge, and. “ Bank-quay; from which places it is conveyed by flats “ to Liverpool, there to be re-fhipped for London, and “ other markets; and Salt, the other staple article of " this county, is sent, in great quantities, all by land car"riage, from Nort!wich to Manchester, for the supply of rs that town, and a very extensive and populous neigh6 bourhood, notwithstanding the present navigable com"munication between those places
formed by nature for the business; to draw forth latent merit; to bring from obscurity one of the most useful genius's that any age can boast; to throw that genius at once into employment; to give a free scope to his bold ideas; to be unsparing of money in supporting them; and to keep him conftantly in a situation of rendering his talents useful to his country; all prove that his Grace has a mind superior to common prejudice; that he is one of those truly great men, who have the soul to execute what they have the genius to plan.