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vigias of navigators in different parts of the greater oceans. From this and other evidence, I am very well satisfied that not only the Pacific, but also the North and South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean?, are areas of depression.
Having thus roughly mapped out the world, it becomes an intereslin^ problem to correlate the distribution of volcanoes with that of the rising and sinking land. If the older theory of volcanoes be the true one, that they are the direct results of the eruptive forces of the interior of the earth, we ought surely to meet with them in profusion in those large areas where we know the earth to be relatively rising, where in fact the eruptive force of which volcanoes are the supposed violent proofs is concentrated. Is this so? On the contrary ; and it is this that forms the burden of my present letter. The fact is that we shall search in vain among the large areas of upheaval except along their boundaries and fringes for any active volcanoes. Take the northern circumpolar region, the most typical area of rising land in the world, and there is absolutely no volcano in it. The Iceland volcanoes and Jan Mayen happen to be outside the area of upheaval, and in a part of the Atlantic which is notoriously sinking. North America, another large area of rising land, is similarly bare of volcanoes. So is South Americi, save on the very verge of the Pacific, and that part of the Pacific which I believe to be sinking most rapidly. Australia is probably now rising faster than any area in the world save Spitzbergen, and there we have no volcanoes. Europe is similarly free except in that part of it which is sinking, namely, the Mediterranean border. Lastly, there is the vast continent of Asia, a large part of whose northern surface seems, from all the evidence we can collect, to have been quite recently under water and to be still rising. About Asia I wish to enlarge somewhat.
It was one of the peculiar fancies of Alexander Humboldt, the great authority on the Physical Geography of Asia, that there was a large active volcanic region in the Altai Mountains, &c, and he brought together a great deal of plausible matter to support this view.
As this volcanic region would be in the midst of one of the largest areas of elevation on the earth's surface, it would conflict materially with the evidence elsewhere and with the theory of the distribution of volcanoes for which I am arguing. Luckily for me it has been recently shown, so far as the negative results of those who have been to find Humboldt's volcanoes and have not found them, goes, that is, so fir as the only scientific witnesses who have surveyed the region may be allowed to dogmatise, that 11 umboldt was entirely mistaken. I will quote the accounts of the Russian surveyors as they have been translated for the Geographical Society.
"It now remained for me," says Semenof, "to prove by actual observation the existence or otherwise of volcanic phenomena in Djungaria and in the Celestial Mountains, to which Humboldt in his works so often alludes. I started on my journey, firmly persuaded that I should find the conjectured volcanoes, or at all events some volcanic forms, and sought diligently (as Schrenck did on Lake Ala-kul) to establish the correctness of Humboldt's surmises with respect to the existence of volcanic phenomena in Central Asia, by which confirmation I knew a traveller would gain greater credit than by any incomplete refutation of the supposition. I was even aware that Humboldt was rather displeased with the researches of Schrenck, who clearly showed that the island of Aral-Tube on Lake Ala-kul was not of volcanic origin. The opinions entertained by Humboldt on the subject of the existence of volcanoes in Djungaria were favourite ones with him, and I regret that I was not able to confirm his cherished theory. Kulloic Peak, another of Humboldt's mistaken volcanoes, was found to have no volcanic origin whatever. The hot springs and the non-congelation of Lake Issyk-kul were not accompanied by any volcanic forms in the Tian Shan; and furthermore, all the native accounts of phenomena which from their description might be supposed to be volcanic proved unfounded, and were at once disposed of on my examination of the localities where they were declared to occur. The result, therefore, of my researches on this point was that I became convinced ol the complete absence of volcanoes, typical volcinic phenomena, or even volcanic forms, throughout the Celes'.ial Mountiins. It is true that there existed in Djungaria at one period •one solfatara, or smoking apertures, from which there was a discharge and deposit of sulphur, and that some of these fissures, out of which the Chinese obtain sulphur, emit smoke even at the present day. But a careful inspection of one of the extinguished pits satisfied me that, at all events in that case, there was no volcanic affinity. In the neighbourhood of the pits discovered by
me in the Kater Mountains and in the Hi Valley, I could trace no volcanic forms. . . . The whole process of the formation of sulphur can then in my opinion be reasonably explained by the combustion of some coal seams in this basin, which would at once set at rest the question of supposed volcanic agency. . . . The observation of a single portion of the Tian Shan visited by me cannot serve as positive evidence of the absence of volcanoes and volcanic forms in other parts of this mountain chain. My conclusions on this question generally have already been made public in the letter referred to, but I must likewise observe in addition that all Asiatic accounts of phenomena which might be volcanic in appearance should be treated by men of science with great circumspection, as many of these accounts have already proved fallacious. I would here also remark that the impression produced on me personally by Djungaria and the Tian Shan leaves great doubts in my mind as to the existence of volcanoes in this part of Asia; and as I am the only traveller who has visited the Tian Shan, I cannot accept the belief in their existence as an axiom requiring no proof or confirmation. My conclusion on this point, though only negative, is one of the most important results of my journey." (" Djungaria and the Celestial Mountains," by P. P. Semenof, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 35-213 ) Again, I will quote a later traveller, Mr. Severkof. He says—" There are no volcanic formations in the western portions of theTian Shan which I surveyed. From eastern sources, Humboldt refers to evidences of volcanic action farther south in the Ak-tan, but even these are doubtful. Fire may be produced in the mountains even by the ignition of the seams of coal as well as of the carburetted hydrogen gas filling the caverns ol the seams. This conjecture is supported by the circumstance that Messrs. Bagaslouski and Lehmaun discovered, on their journey to Bockliara, a burning seam of coal in the mountains of the upper Zaraphan, a little to the south of thetAk-tan. Speaking generally of volcanic action in the Tian Shan and the surrounding regions, the geological surveys hitherto made from Khantengir (east of Issyk-kul, near the sources of the Tonta, Djergalan, Tekes, and Kegen) to the extreme western limits of the system, have given only negative results. To the east of Khantengir there are again seams of coal—for instance, at Kuldja, and perhaps also at Urumchi—the ignition of which is quite sufficient to create explosive gases. Whether the seams of coal were ignited at Urumchi by volcanic agency, or accidentally at their denudations, is a question that cannot be settled without close observation. It can only be said that the demonstrations in favour of volcanic action adduced by Humboldt arc not sufficient proof of the volcanic origin of the Tian Shan, excepting only as regards the lava which, according to Chinese records, flowed from the Peshan mountain during the 6th century. But a single crater—even if the fact of its existence in an extensive mountain system extending, as the Tian Shan does, for 3,000 versts, can be proved—does not make the whole of the range volcanic. (Severkof's "Journey to the western portion of the Tian Shan," Royal Geographical Journal, 40, 395-6.)
This evidence, to my mind, completely refutes Humboldt, and makes it very clear that his volcanic region is non-existent. With the disappearance of this, disappears the only exception I know to the rule that volcanoes, instead of being found chiefly on areas of elevation, are invariably found in areas of depression, or on or close to the boundary lines which separate them from the areas of elevation. The meaning of this lesson, as I read it, I will reserve for another letter.
In conclusion, I wish to thank one of your correspondents in Tasmania for the fact he communicated to you about the rise of that island. I shall be very gratiful to anyone who will send me other facts about areas ot upheaval and subsidence, and their communications shall be cheerfully acknowledged when I publish them.
Derby House, Eccles Hbi.ry H, Howorth
Spectra of Shooting Stars
It may interest observers of shooting stars who attempt to obtain views of their spectra by the use of suitably adapted meteor-spectroscopes to inoieate a peculiarity which seems to distinguish the larger meteors of the December star-shower, radiating annually from the direction of a point near 0 Geminorum on the nights of the 10th, nth, and 12th of December. Two such small bolides of this stream which appeared to me on December 9th, 1864, and on Thursday night last, the nth inst, were characterised by a beautiful pale-green colour, like that of the thallium flame in purity of tint, but perhaps of a slightly paler or lighter hue, and it remained uniform like the brightness of these meteors as long as they remained in sight, strongly suggesting that either copper, barium, thallium, silver, or some other element giving, in some of its combinations, an intensely green spectrum, was undergoing vivid ignition in their flame. As each of these bright meteors presented a sensibly round disc I (the first several times brighter, and the second a little brighter than the planet Jupiter), without visible sparks or train ol any other colour than that of the head which could give rise to the green colour by the effect of contrast, and yet the green hue was much more distinct than I have noticed in any other meteors, not omitting some bright ones accompanied by very ruddy streaks in the principal displays of Novembjr 14, it appears to be a distinguishing feature of" the brighter meteors of the annual starshower of December, to which it would be very useful on occasions of its future return to direct particular attention. The meteors of this star-shower are, however, seldom of very considerable brightness, and the occurrence of one such during its recent appearance not improbably marked its return during the present year with somewhat more than ordinary intensity. The meteor was simultaneously observed at Glasgow and at Newcastle upon Tyne, and its apparent paths among the constellations at those places, directed from the usual radiant point in Gemini, with the duration of its flight, will enable the real height and the speed of motion of one of the principal meteors of the shower to be pretty exactly ascertained.
During many hours of repeated observations under the most favourable conditions of the sky on the nights between the 23rd and the 30th ult., and again on the 5th of this month, when observers for the return of the shower of meteors belonging to Biela's comet were on the watch for its appearance at different! places in England, Scotland and Ireland, the reports of their observations which have hitherto been communicated to the Luminous Meteor Committee of the British Association have been entirely negative, scarcely a single meteor of the few which were observed being recognised as belonging to the well-known radiantpoint of the shower, which was so conspicuous last year in Andromeda. At various times during the night of the 27th of November itself, when the sky was generally clear, no! meteors of this description were visible, and their absence on all j the other nights when the state of the sky permitted a watcli to be kept for them scarcely leaves any reasonable grounds for the supposition that even a comparatively insignificant return of last year's meteor-showers of the 24th and 27th of November has this year been visible in England on the same or on any very nearly adjacent dates. A. S. HKRbCHSL |
From the reported weather in England it seems improbable that the Geminid meteor shower was well observed in England, and as the return was rather above the average a few particulars of what was seen here may at least be interesting.
The nights of the loth and nth, when the watch was kept, were exceedingly clear. Except for a quarter of an hour at the commencement of the first watch there was only one observer, then there were two. The position taken was a window, N. E., whence all was visible from about 3° from the zenith to the hills opposite (perhaps lo° or 150), behind which only one meteor disappeared, whilst only one was noticed whose course was part hidden by the roof. The average per hour on the IJ hours watch on the 10th must have b;en about 38, and on the 2 hours' watch on the nth, 60. But the rate in the second hour was much in excess of the first ; taking the two thus the result is, from 10-11, about 30, from 11-12 about 88. In all probability the rate would have not been much below in the morning hours, but having a cold I did not stop longer.
The brightness was, I think, rather below the average, but as tabulated it was as follows :—
Bright as Jupiter I
4 .. 23
5 .. 2
A comparison with the radiant points in Mr. R. P. Grey's list makes it seem that the meteors were distributed over at least nine,
and that two of these are ones not included by him. Of these one seems pretty certainly fixed about R.A. 570 N.8 6°, and to this I have assigned 14 on the two nights. The other is more doubtful, two nearly parallel meteors appeared on the 10th, opposite in direction to the others ; their point may be about R.A. 275° N.5. 60°.
An apparent discrepancy in the total seen and the tabulated numbers is explained by the fact that some meteors were not well enough seen to be entered. But on the regular watch of the nth I had the unusual success of entering every one seen, in consequence I believe of the position I had assumed, i.e. seeing less than half the heavens and lying on my back. Several cases ol almost, or perfectly, simultaneous meteors appeared, but of these only 4 pairs were from the same radiant.
J. Edmund Clark
Heidelberg, Dec. 16
THE LATE PROFESSOR DE LA RIVE
O WITZERLAND has in one month been shorn of two ^ of her most distinguished ornaments. De La Rive and Agassiz have died within a fortnight of each other, and the "Acaddmie des Sciences" has thus been deprived in the same month of a fourth of its Foreign Associates. Agassiz will no doubt find, both in Switzerland and America, more than one pen competent to describe his labours in the field of science; but a few lines on the life and researches of de la Rive are due to this distinguished philosopher, and will be read with interest in this country, which he has often visited, and in which he had many friends.
Born at Geneva in 1801, of an old family closely connected with Cavour, Auguste de la Rive inherited from his father the love of science in general, and more especially of electricity. After going through the usual course of studies with brilliant success, he was, at the early age of twenty-two, called to the Chair of Natural Philosophy in the Academy of Geneva, and took his seat amongst the distinguished men of that city.
Although de la Rive devoted his time principally to the study of the different branches of electricity and their numerous applications, his acquirements were not limited to that department of science. During the earlier part of his career the subject of specific heat, more particularly applied to gases, and a series of experiments on the temperature of the crust of the earth, were published by him conjointly with a friend and colleague. But electricity remained his favourite study to the end of his life. The treatise he published between the years 1853 and 1858, in three large octavo volumes on the subject of electricity, translated into English by Mr. C. Walker, F.R.S., and the numerous original articles which appeared in the well-known monthly journal, Lcs Archives <TElcciricite, for many years under the direction of de la Rive, afford ample proof of the extent of his information on all subjects connected with his favourite pursuit. His original memoirs on electro-dynamics, magnetism, the connection of magnetism with electricity, the nature of the voltaic arc, and on the propagation of electricity in the interior of bodies, more especially through extremely rarefied media, and others too numerous to be quoted, ensured him a high European reputation, to which was soon added the title of Member or Correspondent of almost every scientific body in Europe. In 1840 he was named Correspondent of the French Acade'mie des Sciences; in 1846, Foreign Member of the Royal Society, and finally in 1864 he was elected Foreign Associate of the Academic des Sciences, the highest honour to which a man of science can aspire.
It was de la Rive who first conceived the idea of applying the force of electricity, through the means of alkaline solutions, to the gilding of silver and brass, and he thus laid down the groundwork cf the principle by which thanks to the practical improvements introduced soon after by Messrs. Elkington and Ruolz, electric gilding has gradually superseded the deleterious process of gilding by mercury. It was on this occasion that the grand prize of 3,000 fr. was awarded to de la Rive by the French Academic des Sciences.
A long and patient study of the phenomena which accompany the aurora borealis, and of their apparent connection, both with the properties exhibited by the flame of the Voltaic arc when under the influence of a magnet, and with the passage of the electric fluid through extremely rarefied gases, gradually led de la Rive to a new theory on the electric origin of the aurora. His theory was illustrated, and to a certain extent rendered plausible, by a series of beautiful experiments, reproducing in the lecture-room, through artificial means, the varied phenomena which characterise the aurora. These experiments were made first at Geneva, and some time after repeated at Paris before some of the most distinguished members of the French Institute.
But de la Rive's acquirements were not limited to science. The noble use he made of his fortune, the wellknown hospitality which rendered his country house near Geneva for nearly forty years a centre of attraction to the most distinguished scientific and literary society of Europe, the high tone of his character, and the many services he rendered his country, more particularly when called upon in i860 to use the influence of his name and position in obtaining from the English Government an effectual support for Switzerland against the threatened danger of French aggression, have secured to his memory a popularity which will long survive him.
THE advance of culture has brought with it an increased tenderness, and a more solicitous regard for the feelings of others, a regard extending slowly but surely to the feelings of animals also. It is to Science that this advance is mainly due. Only by gaining clear conceptions of natural sequences can men be brought to repress their native tendency to inflict pain as an exertion of power, or to feel ashamed of their thoughtless indifference when they 6ee pain inflicted by others. It is demonstrable that Ignorance has ever been the most potent ally of Cruelty—on the small scale of boys torturing animals, and on the large scale of priests torturing heretics. The boy can only be made to feel that his act is vicious by having a vivid imagination of the fact that the animal organism is constructed like his own, and that the animal suffers as he suffers. The holy inquisitor, or enthroned persecutor, can only be made to see that his attempt to combat heresy by an attto-da-fl, is flagrantly at variance with all psychological experience. If the vast cruelties of persecuting "fanatics " have become intolerable in modern society, it is assuredly from no dogmatic teaching, no insistence on charity and love, but wholly from a moral enlightenment coming with a larger and more accurate understanding of natural sequences.
Not only has Science been a great agent in evolving the sympathies, and creating the intense desire to avoid giving pain, it has also created the means of alleviating pain. Is not the whole skill of the surgeon and the physician devoted to this end? How comes it, then, that physiologists who have to supply the surgeon and physician with accurate data, which they can only reach through Experiment, are supposed to be less sympathetic, less careful of the feelings of animals, than other men? A candid person would at once admit that this was not so ; would admit that physiologists are quite as unwilling to inflict unnecessary pain as men of other classes. But
because Vivisection is one of the branches of physiological Experiment, and -because when the details of such vivisections are reported, the public reading these, and wholly unacquainted both with the purpose and the procedure, is shocked at what seems needless cruelty, a cry of indignation naturally escapes, and the experimenter is regarded as indifferent to the sufferings of animals.
Every thinking man will admit that the feeling which prompts this indignant cry is highly laudable, and every man who understands the real case will declare that this feeling is misguided by ignorance. For what is the fact? The fact is, that in the vast majority of experiments no pain is inflicted, the operations that are painful being performed under chloroform, and thus the animal which has undergone an operation which would have killed it, had it not been insensible, awakens from the coma and begins tranquilly eating the food before it, as if nothing but a sleep had gone before! In some cases, indeed, pain is unavoidable ; in some it is part of the phenomenon investigated. But this procedure is not chosen in wantonness, or the thoughtlessness of cruelty. The operation is justified by its purpose. If the tender surgeon inflicts pain, it is to save pain; if the physiologist inflicts pain, it is to widen knowledge, and thus alleviate pain on a wide scale. This is very different from the pain inflicted for the sake of sportj very different from the measureless misery of wars, inflicted to gratify national vanity or commercial greed. The physiologist does not inflict pain for his own pleasure; he overcomes his repugnance to it, as he overcomes his repugnance to the sights of the amphitheatre and hospital, nerved by a sense of ulterior good.
Here we meet the question raised by " X.," whether man is justified in inflicting pain on animals to secure the good of fellow-men? I unhesitatingly answer, Yes. It is quite certain that man does assume and assert supremacy, eating, subduing, and exterminating animals, according to his needs; and I would ask whether human life would be practicable on this globe on other conditions? Why, there is seldom a spade thrust into the earth that does not cut some worm into writhing halves. If this be excused as a painful necessity, then also must vivisection be excused as a painful necessity; if the one is necessary to food, the other is necessary to knowledge. The physiologist is the judge of the necessity; on him rests the responsibility.
And now a word on the particular experiments which called forth X.'s protest. Obviously, since testing sensibility was the very purpose in view, Prof. Goltz, Prof. Foster, and myself were forced either to forego the inquiry, or to inflict more or less pain, and (if need were) excessive pain. Perhaps X. will say that such an inquiry ought not to have been pursued at such a cost. We thought otherwise. The point cannot be argued now; but I would illustrate what has been just said, by informing X that even here anaesthetics were used where they could be used—when I removed the skin from the legs or the body of the frogs, or took out their brains, the animals were wholly insensible; and dreadful as it may seem to read of their limbs being pricked, and burned, we are assured that no pain whatever, not even the feeling of contact, was felt by the frogs.
In conclusion, I would urge upon the opponents of Vivisection, that it would be but fair to credit physiologists with the same repugnance to the infliction of pain as animates all enlightened classes; and to consider that if the repugnance is overcome in the pursuit of physiological knowledge, it does not the less exist, nor the less guide their conduct in other cases. For myself, I may be permitted to add that so far from acknowledging indifference to the feelings of animals, my sympathies are unusually active in the direction of animals; and it was my inability to witness pain which prevented my pursuing the profession of a surgeon. Nevertheless, I have performed hundreds of experiments; and in the very rare cases where great pain was inevitable, the performance has been very distressing; but in all cases I should vehemently protest against the accusation that it was indifference or cruelty which enabled the experiments to be performed.
It is but right that I should acknowledge that Prof. Foster's communication of December 11 has shown me the error of my interpretation of his hypothesis.
George Henry Lewes
T WISH briefly to point out the grounds upon which * persons who are every bit as tender-hearted and as sympathetic with Nature as any ante-vivisectionist may claim to be, justify what X. condemns. In order that a part of the order of Nature may be ascertained, it is necessary that vivisection be largely practised. Those who practise it do so under a sense of solemn and even sacred responsibility. To suggest the word "cruelty" in connection with their proceedings is an injustice which only profound ignorance and inability to realise the motives of other men can excuse. There is no lack of sympathy with the probable sufferings of animals experimented upon in the mind of the physiologist. He suffers with them, and, as I know of one eminent experimenter, is sometimes disabled by emotion from continuing a research. But the recognition of a higher duty than regard to his own transient impulses or the brief sufferings of a lower animal usually completely controls the experimenter's thought and action, and the mutual suffering of both vivisector and vivisected becomes a sacrifice offered up on the altar of Science. My conviction is that, especially in dealing with such animals as the dog, the experimenter is no less constrained to inflict suffering at which his feelings revolt, by the presence of a noble ulterior motive, than is the surgeon who does not flinch from subjecting his brother-man to the certainty of the direst pain and the imminent risk of death.
No one has a right to assume that any other man, still less a whole body of men, is so fiendish as to take any pleasure in the evidences of an animal's sufferings, or so dull as not himself to feel distress when viewing those sufferings. If man is willing to suffer this mental pain for a high end, may he not exact some contribution from the animal world, who after all will benefit as well as he by the progress of Science. It is futile to bewail " the tremendous cost" at which such progress is made. Nature is inconceivably costly, if we choose to put things in that way, for no progress is made without endless suffering and immense destruction. Our very dinner-tables reek with the evidences of "the tremendous cost"—the pangs of slaughtered sheep, the groans of over-worked horses, the disfigurement of Nature's sacred face by agriculture— by which our corporeal means of progress is attained. And are we to be so inconsistent as to refuse to undertake the very highest occupation of humanity, the ascertainment of the order of Nature, because it adds to this "cost" of our existence?
The attempt to raise the question of the "rights " of the animal world in this connection seems to me to involve a very large assumption. I am not prepared to admit that animals have any "rights " in the sense that men have them. I could never subject a human being to vivisection for the purposes of scientific progress for much the same reason that, if starving among the Arctic snows, I should feel bound to starve with my companion, rather than kill and feed on him. The recognition of the inviolability of one's fellow-man except under conditions authorised by the community, is the very foundation of human society, and our relations to animals cannot in the remotest degree be assimilated to the relation thus established between man and man. Our conduct towards animals, as towards other living and even inanimate things, must be determined in quite
a different way, and by very different reasons. It is, I am inclined to believe, solely the consideration of how we ourselves are affected—whether injuriously or beneficially—by any particular line of conduct towards beings other than men, that can be allowed to guide us in such matters. Anything of the nature of cruelty is obviously thus condemned, and alt wanton disrespect to the persons of both living and inanimate things, no less so.
Whilst thus refusing to admit anything like the " right" claimed by man from man, for lower animals, we are not led to regard them with less affection, nor to treat them with diminished tenderness. The conviction that they are ours with which to do what seems good to us, must even increase our disposition to kindly treatment.
Let cases of cruelty, whether from man to man, to woman or child, to horse, fox, or dog, rabbit or frog, be searched out, exposed, and the perpetrator condemned; but unless such persons as X. are prepared to accuse such men as Michael Foster and George Henry Lewes of specific acts of cruelty, they are not justified in making physiology the text for heart-rending appeals to a public imperfectly acquainted with the facts.
E. R. L.
7 HE THIRTY-TON STEAM-HAMMER AT THE ROYAL ARSENAL, WOOLWICH
FOR the past two years a stupendous undertaking has been in course of development at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, which bids fair to rival in point of solidity and grandeur of dimensions the works of ancient Egypt itself. We allude to the gigantic steam-hammer which is being erected in the gun factories, for the purpose of welding more swiftly and efficaciously than can possibly be done at present the coils of which such massive pieces of ordnance as ourmodern ''Woolwich Infants" consist. The first phase in this undertaking, viz. the laying of an appropriate foundation for the hammer, has now been accomplished, and will be the subject of the present paper. The hammer itself, which is still in an unfinished condition, although rapidly approaching completion, will be treated of subsequently. It is out of the question, in the compass of a brief sketch, to give an adequate idea of all the labour and thought that has been expended upon these foundations, but an endeavour will be made to condense as far as possible the most interesting part of their history into a few words.
The foundations were commenced in a soft, spongy soil, which is the substratum upon which all the Arsenal has been built. A hundred piles of pine-wood shod with iron a foot square each, were driven into the earth so as to form an area of thirty feet square ; and when the heads were sawn off to an even surface, their average length was 18 feet 4 inches. Concrete was then filled in all round to the top of the piles, and three cast-iron plates, weighing respectively 30, 55, and 30 tons, were placed upon the heads of the piles. Hut before proceeding further with the building up of the foundations, we must describe the nature of the castings alluded to. They were all run in the foundry of the Royal Gun Factories, and consisted of about one-fifth of Calder pig-iron to four-fifths of scrap metal containing old broken-up shell, and shot, &c. The metal, after being taken from a number of cupolas in which it was melted, was collected in huge reservoirs, called "sows," and kept in a liquid state during the time necessarily occupied in filling the sows by a quantity of firewood being piled on top, which of course was continually in a state of ignition. This process occupied some eight or ten hours. At a given signal the sows were tapped, and the iron run out into open sand moulds in the floor of the foundry. The removal of these gigantic castings to their destination was a matter involving considerable difficulty. Two sets of worn-out gun-trucks were laid down upon either side of the road, and planks
of African oak, placed longitudinally upon these, thus forming a rude railway. Rollers consisting of the unworked tubes of guns were then obtained from the gun factories, and laid across the planks. A sleigh, composed of two massive bars of wrought-iron turned up in front, and attached together by baulks of timber, was then placed upon the rollers, and surmounted first by the cast-iron plate to be carried, then by a movable or revolving crane. The sleigh being drawn forwards by a crab-winch and tackling, as the rollers were successively passed over the crane lifted up those that were behind, and, swinging round, deposited them in front, presenting a fresh rolling surface upon each occasion. Thus the plates were each slowly moved from the foundry to the foundation pit. But there was another difficulty. As it was necessary to have "joggles," or projections npon the summit of several of the plates for the superincumbent ones to rest within, and
in open castings it was impossible to cast them upon an upper surface, the joggles had to be formed upon the lower surface, and the plates to be reversed in position afterwards. This was done by casting trunnions upon the edges of the plates, nearer one end than the other, and then swinging the plates over the foundation pit by these trunnions, until the heavier half descended, drawing back the heavier portion by a crab-winch, and finally permitting the lighter portion gradually to descend, the trunnion supports being withdrawn, and the edge of the plate resting on the ground forming a fulcrum. The trunnions do not appear in our engraving, but the joggles may be seen upon the three upper sets of castings.
We will now revert to the laying of the foundations. Over the whole extent of the lower plates a thin layer of rock-elm planks was laid, this being the most indestructible kind of wood known, it being necessary to
produce a perfectly even surface for the baulks of timber which come next. These were of oak, thirty feet long, and a foot square. Upon the baulks of oak rest two more plates of cast-iron, twenty-seven feet long, and thirteen feet six inches wide, and weighing each seventyfive tons. They are connected by huge dove-tails cast into the metal itself, as are also the two lower ones, and all the other plates which are in the same horizontal plane. A liquid called "grouting," formed of very thin watery concrete, is poured in between the joints of the plates so as to fill up all interstices, and holes are made in several places through the castings, so as to admit of the grouting freely percolating everywhere. Upon the two plates are more planks of rock-elm, and then a layer of oak stumps two feet three inches long, placed upright, and surrounded by a band of wrought-iron, six inches wide by two inches thick. All the remainder of the foundation pit was filled in with concrete as the work gradually proceeded upwards. Upon the oak stumps are two plates,
weighing each sixty-five tons, and forming a square of twenty-four feet. A thin layer of rock-elm planks separates them from a huge single casting, twenty-two feet square, and weighing very nearly 100 tons. Wedges within the joggles of the 65-ton plates fix firmly the single one above, and it in its turn supports the enormous anvil block weighing 103 tons, over which will come the anvil itself, but that is not yet in position. The anvil block was cast in a closed mould, which rested upon a substratum of coke and bricks with passages left filled with straw for the exit of the gas generated; it took, nevertheless, six tnonlhs to cool, and could not be removed until after the manufacture and removal of several subsequent castings. Such is a short review of the principal features in the construction of these foundations; all other information as to details in dimensions, &c, may be obtained from the accompanying engraving. About 660 tons of metal have been made use of in completing them.