Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

"One morn, I miss'd him on th' accustom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree;
Another came, nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he ;

“ The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou can’st read) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send :
He gave to Mis'ry all he had—a tear ;
He gain'd from Heav'n, 'twas all he wish'd--a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode ;
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.

GRAY.

THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.

ARVELLOUS indeed have been the productions of modern scientific investigations, but none surpass the wonder-working Electro-magnetic Telegraphic Machine ; and when Shakspeare, in the exercise of his unbounded imagination, made Puck, in obedience to Oberon's order to him

“Be here again Ere the leviathan can swim a league." reply—

“I'll put a girdle round the earth

In forty minutes" how little did our immortal Bard think that this ligh

fanciful offer of a "fairy" to " the King of the Fairies" would, in the nineteenth century, not only be substantially realised, but surpassed as follows :

The electric telegraph would convey intelligence more than twenty-eight thousand times round the earth, while Puck, at his vaunted speed, was crawling round it only ONCE !

On every instrument there is a dial, on which are inscribed the names of the six or eight stations with which it usually communicates. When much business is to be transacted, a boy is necessary for each of these instruments; generally, however, one lad can, without practical difficulty, manage about three ; but, as the whole of them are ready for work by night as well as by day, they are incessantly attended, in watches of eight hours each, by these satellite boys by day and by men at night.

As fast as the various messages for delivery, flying one after another from the ground-floor up the chimney, reach the level of the instruments, they are brought by the superintendent to the particular one by which they are to be communicated; and its boy, with the quickness characteristic of his

age, then instantly sets to work. His first process is by means of the electric current to sound a little bell, which simultaneously alarms all the stations on his line; and although the attention of the sentinel at each is thus attracted, yet it almost instantly evaporates from all excepting from that to the name of which he causes the electric needle to point, by which signal the clerk at that station instantly knows that the forthcoming question is addressed to him; and accordingly, by a corresponding signal, he announces to the London boy that he is ready to receive it. By means of a brass handle fixed to the dial, which the boy grasps in each hand, he now begins rapidly to spell off his information by certain twists of his wrists, each of which imparts to the needles on his dial, as well as to those on the dial of his distant correspondent, a convulsive movement designating the particular letter of the telegraphic alphabet required. By this arrangement he is enabled to

[graphic]

transmit an ordinary-sized word in three seconds, or about twenty per minute. In the case of any accident to the wire of one of his needles, he can, by a different alphabet, transmit his message by a series of movements of the single needle, at the reduced rate of about eight or nine words

per minute.

[ocr errors]

а

While a boy at one instrument is thus occupied in transmitting to —say Liverpool, a message, written by its London author in ink which is scarcely dry, another boy at the adjoining instrument is, by the reverse of the process,

attentively reading the quivering movements of the needles of his dial, which, by a sort of St. Vitus's dance, are rapidly spelling to him

message, via the wires of the South Western Railway, say from Gosport, which word by word he repeats aloud to an assistant, who, seated by his side, writes it down (he receives it about as fast as his attendant can conveniently write it)

a sheet of paper, which, as soon as the message is concluded, descends to the "booking-office." When inscribed in due form, it is without delay despatched to its destination by messenger, cab, or express, according to order

Sir F. B. HEAD.

[graphic]

on

OEKINO THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.

THE RAINBOW.
How glorious is thy girdle cast

O’er mountain, tower, and town,
Or mirror'd in the ocean vast-

A thousand fathoms down!
As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark

First sported in thy beam.
For faithful to its sacred page,

Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
Nor let the type grow pale with age,

That first spoke peace to man.

[graphic]

A LUNAR RAINBOW. The moon sometimes exhibits the extraordinary phenomenon of an iris or rainbow, by the refraction of her rays in drops of rain during the nighttime. This appearance is said to occur only at the time of full moon, and to be indicative of stormy and rainy weather. One is described in the Philosophical Transactions as having been seen in 1810, during a thick rain ; but, subsequent to that time, the same person gives an account of one which perhaps was the most extraordinary of which we have any record. It became visible about nine o'clock, and continued, though with very different degrees of brilliancy, until past two. At first, though a strongly marked bow, it was without colour, but afterwards became extremely vivid, the red, green, and purple being the most strongly marked. About twelve it was the most splendid in appearance. The wind was very high at the time, and a drizzling rain falling occasionally.

[graphic][subsumed]

66

THOMAS CAMPBELL, THE BARD OF HOPE."
At summer eve, when Heaven's ethereal bow
Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below,
Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye,
Whose sunbright summit mingles with the sky?
Why do those cliffs of shadowy tint appear
More sweet than all the landscape smiling near ?
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
Thus, with delight, we linger to survey,
The promised joys of life's unmeasured way;
Thus from afar each dim-discovered scene
More pleasing seems than all the past hath been ;
And every form that fancy can repair
From dark oblivion, glows divinely there.
Auspicious Hope! in thy sweet garden, grow
Wreaths for each toil, a charm for every woe.
Won by their sweets, in nature's languid hour,
The way-worn pilgrim seeks thy summer bower ;
Then, as the wild bee murmurs on the wing,
What peaceful dreams thy handmaid spirits bring !

P

« AnteriorContinuar »