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talks in Edinburgh and its Vicinity, &c.

[13th Sept. 1817. are stayed together at proper lengths, by.screw bolts across : on only serves for the security of passengers, but contributes to the these planks are laid boards, two inches thick, forming the road strength of the bridge. way: each board is shifted six inches, so as to form a block cornice The bridge is 18 feet above the level of the water : and as the at the ends, which serves as an ornament; and a small space is left greatest rise of the Tweed at this place was never known to exceed between each board, to allow the rain water to pass through. A 13 feet, it must, exclusive of the advantages of the want of piers, trussed parapet railing, well secured to the planks on each side, not be perfectly secure from the effects of the river.

Chain Bridge over the Tweed at Dryburgh.

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TO THE EDITOR OF THE EDINBURGH OBSERVER.

Scale of feet. 10 50 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Walks in Edinburgh and its Vicinity.

ter, so as to form a commodious road, which would at once
be more direct and more level than any other, is a pro-

ject which must appear altogether visionary to a native, APPROVING, as I most cordially do, of the plan of your wbo, for the first time, bears any thing of the proposal.publication, which I think must be bighly acceptable to a But the enormous sum of £.25,000, which is to be paid numerous class of readers, I shall be glad to contribute for the feu of seven houses in the vicinity of the bridge, occasionally to their amusement or instruction, if, with sufficiently bespeaks the value of the improvement; and this view, my rensarks on the recent improvements, the as these houses are to be finished in about twelve months, antiquities, natural history, or other topics, as they sug- I presume it is expected that the entire line of road will gest themselves to my observation, shall be deemed wor- be completed before the expiration of that period. thy of a place in your Miscellany; and with your per The gates of the new prison, I understand, ar mission they may be introduced under the above title, but, opened on Monday first, for the reception of its unfortuat the same time, I do not promise to observe any strict nate inhabitants. As on every other topic of a public methodical arrangement. As my walks are often of a nature, the situation, design, and other circumstances rambling nature, my reflections will probably appear un connected with this edifice, have been the subject of great connected and desultory.

diversity of opinion; but on some points, I think, all The view which has lately been opened up, by the re must agree, and particularly with regard to the elegant moval of the houses on the east-side of Shakespeare simplicity of the structure, and the admirable internal arSquare, has attracted very general notice. In place of rangements, so well calculated for the security and comthe abrupt and awkward termination of Princes-street at forts of those whom depravity or misfortune has destined this busy spot, we shall have now a continuation of the to occupy its cells. For all this they are indebted to the same line forming the principal access into the city.- anxidus care of Sir William Rae, sheriff of the county, The approach by the great London road is at present by who was at the greatest pains in collecting information the irregular and narrow course of Abbey-hill and Ca. on the subject, and, if I do not mistake, formed the denongate, or by the circuitous route of Leith ; but now a sign from personal inspection of the chief prisons in direct communication is effected between Musselburgh, England. Portobello, and the environs on the east and the centre On approaching the prison at this time, one is struck of the city. I scarcely know which to admire most, the with astonishment at the depth of rock wbich has been original conception of this magnificent design, or the cut through, and at the comparative facility with which promptness and ability with which it bas been carried in this arduous work has been accomplished. The elevated is execution. To connect Princes-street by means of a part, which was occupied as a burying ground, presented bridge with the Calton-bill, and cut down part of the lat. I the greatest difficulty; for here the rock is from fifteen

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récian Hopican 13th Sept. 1817] Letters from Edinburgh on Men and Manners.

3 5.2 psg to twenty feet above the level of the road. On removing Indulging in the reflections which the contemplation the soil, several graves were found sunk down into the of such scenes naturally inspire, I perceived two of the rock itself, a narrow bed having been excavated by the grave-diggers, who were resting on their spades, as if operation of mining. It is not easy to describe the feel. waiting for orders to proceed in their calling. I observed ings with which an observer must contemplate this scene; to them, that I supposed this had been a busy season with The mutability of human life is a subject familiar to them : they admitted that it had been tolerably so, espeevery one, but of all those whose ashes were consigned cially among the young, on account of the prevalence of to this spot, I believe no one could have doubted, that those diseases to which childhood is particularly liable. the asylum which be had found in such a place, would Curiosity led me to make some enquiry about the state have been equally permanent with the world itself:- in wbich the bodies were found which had been removed. that the foundation of these rocky cells should only give One gentleman, I was informed, who had taken an acway to some grand convulsion of nature, must have been tive part in opposing the line of road, attended one the conviction of every one who had ever seen them laid morning early, to witness the removal of two near rela. open, and had allowed a single reflection on the subject tives to a spot some hundred feet distant ; and al. to occupy his thoughts. A clergyman, whose remains though the bodies had been seven years in the grave, are deposited here, seems to have secured, as far as hu- the coffins were still entire ! On observing that this was man foresight could reach, an undisturbed possession : a circumstance which must have been very consolatory on a large dat stone is recorded, that the person under to the feelings of the gentleman on such a melancholy neath had left a bursary to the College of Edinburgh, occasion, they emphatically added, and to us too, Sir. burdened with a feu-duty of one penny for his grave, Though it is probable that the warmth of sympathy has and the expence of keeping the stone in repair ! Such is been long extinguished in the breast of the vanity and uncertainty of our best and wisest calcu.

“ Yonder maker of the dead man's bed lations. But while we cannot avoid thinking, with painul The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle,

Of hard, unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole and regret, on this violation of the sanctuary of the dead,

A gentle tear ; we must readily admit the expediency and propriety of the measure on the present occasion. The feelings and get the expression of it could not fail to be gratifying

to those kindred emotions which the scenes before me and prejudices of individuals, however honourable and natural they may be, must give way to the accomplishment the events alluded to naturally excited. of plans of general utility. But it will not excite any

Sept. 6th. Continriced 6.25. surprise to learn, that those whose bosoms cherished the warmth of kindness and affection for relations and friends while alive, should not be altogether indifferent Letters from Edinburgh on Men and Manners ; written

in 1814. From the North-American Journal. to their memory. Considerable opposition was accordingly made to the line of road passing through the bury. THERE is every circumstance to make the society in ing ground; but the legislature, as might be expected, did Edinburgh interesting. It is not so splendid and so scru. not yield to the natural suggestions of private feelings. pulously free from occasional affectations as that of the

In traversing a spot in which the ashes of the dead biglier classcs in London. There is not in Edinburgh repose, nothing serves to make a deeper impression on that assemblage of ancient and opulent families which we the mind of the vanities of life, than the reflection of the find in the west end of London, to give a sort of solid, indiscriminate groups of all ranks, ages, and sexes, which rich, and permanent dignity to society, and to put down lie below. Here we observe the honest heel and last. | its little eccentricities and absurdities. But the New naker, and the aged smith, members of the ancient in- | Town, which contains about 30,000 people, is the winter corporation of Calton, placed beside a gentleman, native residence of a greater part of the rich families in Scotof Belfast, who died after a few days illness wbile on a land. The seat of a university, to which 1800 or 2000 visit to Edinburgh : but nothing can excite a deeper in students annually resort, many of them young noblemen terest than the numerous instances of a fatal mortality and men of fortune, wbo add something to the gaiety, and which had taken place in particular families. The re little to the industry, of the place. This is also the porcord on one stone, I observe, announces that five chil- tico in which several of the most distinguished literary dren, who died young, occupy the mansion below; the men in Great Britain assemble their disciples. There is inscription on another bears, that six are interred under moreover annually produced here several bulky poems, it; on a third, that seven are deposited in the same grave; besides numerous small effusions, various histories, learned and in two different places, I find the melancholy fact re treatises, lots of books of travels, scores of new plays, peated, that eight children repose, the parents of whom, abundance of journals, reviews, a few novels, editions of in one case, still survive to deplore their loss: an obe black letter and encyclopædias, besides registers, almalisk, close to the side of the path, informs the passenger, | nacks, catechisms, &c. &c. that a youthful mother had been interred, with her two The society is then reckoned very literary-it is no children, at the same time, and in the same grave : pedantry to talk about books—Lord Byron's monthly the death of one a few days before the birth of the other muse makes conversation for the next month's routes had probably led to so mournful an event-so overwhelm- the young men walk up and down the street with an ele. ing a calamity, as the sudden and unexpected decease of gant book under their arm instead of a small stick-thechabree members of one family.

racter of the place betrays itself in various other symp.

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Englishmen ut Puris. - On the Origin of the word Lady. (13th Sept. 1817. toms; and, while the fashion of some towns is the most frequent presence of literary men in society has had a approved arrangement of a dinner party or a drawing considerable share in the meritorious undertaking of baroom, the prevailing fasbion of Edinburgh is for litera-nishing political discussions. tore. Not that this makes them ceremonious, or takes away a relish for the thousand brilliant trifles and elegan. cies of life: but Nature, which has given these bonest

Englishmen at Paris. Caledonians a country hardly able to raise the common

Ir an Eoglisbman confers a favour on a Frenchman, means of subsistence, and producing nothing nearer the says a private letter,) there is not an object on earth fruits of most other climates than a raw turnip, never de. who will render bim a more ungrateful return for it. He signed that they should have much wit or humour ; nor

will receive the favour with a bow, but, it is likely, he that they should much abound in the endearing, affection will curse the hand that gave it. The English, notwithate qualities of our nature. She has given them tough, standing their open heartedness and liberality, are only inflexible, indefatigable heads; but their hearts are none despised and ridiculed in Paris. Every Englishman, of the softest

, or most animated. The Scotch.of the bigher that passes along the street, is pointed at' as an object of classes, however, are among the most hospitable in the derision, and every print-shop is filled with caricatures world : they are enlightened, well educated, and it is

upon the national character. Nor do I wonder much to very seldom that the part of the world from which one

see the English ridiculed and caricatured as they are, may happen to come ever creates a look of surprise, or a

when I consider the objects that have promoted it. The cool reception. Nationality in the senate may be the Parisians, without doubt, derive their ideas of English highest virtue, but in the drawing-room it is the lowest manners, and of English fashions, from the English wbo prejudice. T'he carnival begins in the middle of January, and lasts them from an improper source. The genteeler part of

visit that capital, and by doing so, they certainly draw to the middle of March. This is only two months for the English but seldom exhibit themselves to the public, the whole year of routs, balls, dinners, theatres, and mas

and as, when they are abroad, they are almost continuquerades; but they thus accumulate, into two months, all ally in their carriages, they rarely become objects of the wit, vivacity, spirit, and splendour of the whole public observation. It is that part of our countrymen twelve ; wbich, to some tastes, is infinitely more interest- who lounge about the promenades of the Boulevards and ing, than to be obliged to group through the never-ending of the Champs Elysées, that the French have fixed upon winter of a northern climate, by the faint glimmering of

as objects of derision. It is the fat butlers, and clumsy an occasional tea-party, or a monthly dance given for chambermaids, who are seen eternally lolling about those the benefit of some young lady. This sort of scattered, places of amusement, and devouring, with unseemly. vostrangled dissipation, which lasts for ever, is the necessary racity, melons, and other fruits, in prodigious quantities : consequence of a state of society where people

bave nei- butchers, tallow.chandlers, and others, who, desirous ther a superfuity of wealth nor leisure. But in Edinburgh, of getting a month's respite from the smoke of London, making parties is a profession, and, as making any thing conie to Paris, to enjoy that popularity wbich their moa profession is really half the charm of every thing, these

ney could not procure for them at home ; and young men two months pass off with great animation, and numberless

who, with more money than good taste, and from the af. assemblies. Now the society of Edinburgh is composed fectation of singularity, have arrayed themselves in cosevtirely of the nobility, men of fortune, and professional tumes which set everything like decorum at defiance :-men. Ás Edinburgh is not a sea-port, gentlemen who have it is these that furnish the subjects for the Parisian caribusiness are obliged to live principally at Leith. In this catures, some of which are undoubtedly very droll- but respect the society is a little different from that of Lon there is always a dash of malignity intermixed,--and, in don, where merchants and bankers are occasionally found the most barnless of them, one may easily perceive that in the ranks of fashion, and also possess considerable in

amusement gives way to spite. Auence in Parliament.

But those to whom the brilliant bagatelle of mere fxshionable life is insipid and wearisome, have still a delightful resource in the eminent literary men that we

On the Origin of the word Lady. meet scattered about in all these crowded routes. It is BUTLER has recorded of bis bero, that an idea truly worthy a German annotator of the “

Whatever sceptic could inquire for, cient régime," that literature and science inhabit only For ev'ry why he had a wherefore ; convents and colleges; and learned men, for steep- and indeed it may be laid down as an axiom, tbat there ing in port and prejudice,” or dozing and mouldering be is a wherefore to every why, if we could always find it out. between Greek particles and Hebrew points, must never Some are very ingenious in tracing the wherefores; but wander forth from their cells, to catch a little of the pro- in general, it'is much easier to propound the whys. I sperity, gaiety, and smile of life ; and, what is more im- hope, bowever, to shew that it is often practicable to disportant, to enlighten and enliven their fellow-pilgrims. || cover the former. But it is not only in the cloisters of Cambridge and Ox Grave dissertations upon words are seldom any thing ford that we now meet the learned, and it is no doubt better than pompous inanity : I shall, therefore, be brief very true, that some of the best bred men, and most ele as woman's love."-The term lady (wbich Johnson negant gentlemen, are among “ the men of letters.” The gligently derives from the Saxon) was sometimes be

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13th Sept. 1817.]
History and Progress of Gas from Pit coal.

5 stowed upon'women of fortune, even before their husbands | Murdoch, who made the first successful attempt in Cornbad received any title which could confer that distinction | wall, about the year 1792, while he was engaged in su. upon them. The cause I apprehend to have been this : perintending the machinery erected in that mining disIt was formerly the custom, and a custom more“ bonour-trict by Messrs Boulton and Watt; and six years

aftered in the observance than the breach,” for those whom | wards constructed an apparatus on a larger scale at their fortune bad blessed with affluence, to live constantly at extensive works at Soho, near Birmingham. The public their manor houses in the country, where, once a-week, rejoicings for peace in 1802 afforded an opportunity for or oftener, the lady of the manor distributed to her poor the first grand display of the gas lights at these works. neighbours, with her own hands, a certain quantity of In 1805 an apparatus for the production and applicabread. She was hence denominated, by those who shared tion of gas for lighting up the extensive cotton-mills of her bounty, the leff-day, wbich, in Saxon, signifits the Messrs Philips and Lee, at Manchester, was constructed bread-giver. A gradual corruption, in the mode of pro- on a much larger scale. Nearly a thousand burners of nouncing this word, has produced the modern lady; and various forms were employed, the light of which was perbaps from this hospitable custom arose the practice found to be equal to 2500 candles of six to the pound. still universally existing, that ladies serve the meat at their The whole works, as well as some contiguous bouses, own tables.

were illuminated with the inflammable gas, and every other kind of artificial light was excluded. The peculiar

softness and clearness of the light, and its uniform intenHistory and Progress of the application of Gas from Pit-sity, brought it into great favour with the work men in the coal to Economical Purposes.

manufactories where it was introduced ; and as no sparks

are thrown off in the burving, and no snuffing required, The application of Gas, or inflammable ait, obtained by the danger of fire to which cotton-mills are peculiarly distillation from pit-coal, as a substitute for candles or oil exposed, is nearly precluded, or at least greatly dimiin lighting up private houses, manufactories, and streets, nished. bas become of such importance, that a brief detail of its About this time several attempts were made by private origin and progressive improvements can scarcely fail to individuals to introduce the gas-lights into their shops in give some interest to the general reader. But before | Glasgow and Edinburgh ; but the method of separating proceeding to the proposed rapid sketch of its history, it the different ingredients obtained from coal in the promay be gratifying to those who are not familiar with the cess of distillation, and of purifying the gas to render it chemical nature of this gas, to be able to exhibit its in- fit for burning without offensive smell

, was then very imflammable properties by a simple experiment.

perfectly known, and consequently they were soon aban. Take a common tobacco pipe, and fill the bowl with doned. pit-coal reduced to powder, stop it up with clay, and In 1809 a company was established in London for the when the clay bas dried gradually, expose it to beat in purpose of lighting the streets, and as opposition was the open fire. When it is red hot, apply a lighted body made to the legislative enactment for which the company to the opening of the tube, and the air which is evolved applied to carry their plan into effect, the whole subject during the distillation of the coal will continue to burn was fully elucidated in the examination of witnesses bewith a bright flame till the whole is exhausted. By this fore a Committee of the House of Commons, and with very easy process the effects of the gas from pit-coal may the aid of practical ingenuity in improving the construcbe exhibited.

tion of the apparatus for the production and application The first notice of this kind of inflammable air appears of the gas, the system reached a degree of perfection of in a memoir by the Rev. Dr Clayton, which was publish- which in the first attempts it seemed scarcely susceptible. ed in the Philosophical Transactions for the year 1739. The first brilliant display of gas-lights in the metropolis In the examination of pit-coal, according to the me was in Pall Mall, which afforded the most satisfactory thod which was then commonly pursued, and which, from evidence of the advantages and superiority of this mode i'ie nature of the process, was called destructive distilla- of lighting up streets. This splendid illumination was tion, the first substances wbich came over in the opera. | conducted by Mr Winsor, a native of Germany, who had tion were phlegm, and a black oil. A spirit next arose, long turned his attention to the subject, and had succeedwhich forced the lute or broke the glasses into which it ed in forming an association for the purpose under the was received, and could not by any means be condensed. name of the Light and Heat Company. More than half The method of collecting gas or permanently elastic Auids, of London is now lighted with gas; the same method bas, with the pneumatic apparatus, it may be observed, was it is understood, been adopted in some of the towns in the then unknown. When the flame of a candle was brought south of Ireland; a company for the same purpose has near the current of air, as it issued out, it caught fire, been formed in Glasgow; private individuals have lighted continued burning with violence, and was blown out and their houses and sbops in Dundee in this manner; and lighted again alternately for several times.

similar establishments are in a progressive state of acti With this distinct view of the nature and properties of vity in Paris and Vienna. the gas

obtained from pit-coal, it may be a matter of sur In the course of the last and present years, manufacprise, that more than 50 years elapsed before any useful tories, shops, and private houses, in Edinburgh and its application of it to economical purposes was thought of. vicinity, have been lighted up with the gas from pit-coal; For this valuable discovery the world is indebted to Mrl and extensive gas-works are now in progress for the pur

B

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15

History and Progress of Gus from Pit-coal.

(13th Sept. 1817. pose

of lighting the public streets. Mr Gutzmer, the, the Royal Institution in London. In the first, four pounds proprietor of the Foundry on Leith Walk, was the first of Newcastle coal were introduced in a shallow iron pan, who erected an apparatus on the improved construction, into the retort previously heated sed , and from this quan for the purpose of lighting up his own works and dwell

. tity six cubic feet of gas, composed of the following proing-house." His successful experiment induced others to portions, obtained : one hundred parts consisted, ot ole. follow his example. He constructed an apparatus for fiant gas eight parts, of carburetted hydrogen seventy-two Mr Haig's extensive distillery at Lochrin ; a smaller one parts, of carbonic oxide and hydrogeu thirteen, of carfor Mr Black wood's shop in College Street ; another on a bonic acid four, and of sulphuretted bydrogen three parts. larger scale for furnishing light to the spacious shop und But the same quantity of coal introduced into the cold large warehouses of Mr Henderson, grocer, and the shop retort and gradually heated, yielded only twenty two cuof Mr Scott, apothecary, both of which have exbibited bic feet of gas, and the proportions of the products were during part of last winter, and the commencement of the somewhat different. From these experiments it would present season, a most brilliant illumination, wbich every appear, that a chaldron of good coal would afford from evening attracts multitudes to witness and admire its 17,000 to 20,000 cubic feet of gas ; but in the large essplendour and beauty; and the same apparatus is destined tablishments in London, it is supposed that the average to furnish light to the elegant shops of Messrs Black- produce rarely exceeds 12,000 cubic feet of gas. wood, Messi's Gibsons, Thomson, and Craig, and two the improvements in the construction and management of others in the immediate vicinity. Mr Gutzmer has also the apparatus, the highest produce may be expected, and erected a very commodious and efficient apparatus for proceeding on this calculation, the following are the reMessrs Lizars, engravers, St James's Square ; from sults and value of the products of a chaldron of Newcaswhich, not only their dwelling house and extensive con- tle coal, estimating the average price at £.3. certs are supplied witla light, but their Copper-plate Print- 1* chaldrons of coke, at 31s............

............1 , 189 ing establishment is conveniently furnished with heat for 12 gallons of tar, at 10d.

O, 10, 0 the plates; and thus the use of stoves or small furnaces 18 gallons of ammoniacal liquor, at 6d. ...... 0, 90 for the same purpose, a necessary but uncomfortable and 20,000 cubic feet of gas, at 15s. per 1000 oppressive appendage for the workmen, is now entirely cubic feet.........

0,0 superseded. In all the cases enumerated in which the Hystem of lighting with gas bas been adopted, the most

£.17« 17,9 complete success has attended the experiments ; while From tbe value of the products tbus obtained the value every circumstance connected with the process demon- of the common coal employed in heating the furnaces strates its advantages in point of economy, safety, and must be deducted, as well as the wages of labourers, the cleanliness.

expense of tear and wear of materials in the apparatus, of the progress of the great pablic gas-works now and the interest upon capital. According to Mr Murerecting at the North back of Canongate, come notice doch's comparative statement of the cost of the two modes will be communicated to our readers on a future occa of lighting the Cotton-mills of Messrs Philips and Lee at sion.

Manchester, the price of 120 tons of coal required to furIn some of the instances above alluded to of the appli- nish the gas amounted to £.125; forty tons of coal to cation of gas-lights, the apparatus is on a very small scale. heat the retorts cost £.20; and for the expence of repairs Mr Blackwood's, we understand, cost about £.30. A small || and the interest of capital sunk, £.550 is allowed. "But apparatus constructed and described by Mr Cook, a hard. deducting the value of 70 tons of coke at £.93, the total ware manufacturer at Birmingham, in 1808, when it was annual expence is reduced to £.602, while the expense much less perfectly understood than it is at present, af of candles to furnish the same quantity of light would not fords the most satisfactory evidence of the superiority of be less than £.2000; thus affording the most unequivocal the gas-lights to the use of candles or oil. From 25 tb proof of the superiority of the gas-lights in point of ecoof coal he obtained about 600 gallons of gas; and this nomy. But in the later improvements the saving is much cost about fourpence, supplying 18 or 20 lights during greater. the winter season. The expence of candles, burnt for the With these advantages, it can scarcely be doubted, same time and to the same extent, used to amount to three that the use of gas-lights will soon become general in all shillings. But beside this remarkable saving, the gas- places where coal can be had in abundance; and as other Name is found peculiarly useful for the purpose of solder- substances are found to yield a gas of a similar nature, it ing. According to Mi Cook, the saving on the whole is is probable they may be introduced where that most va. not less than £.30 per annum out of £.50, which his luable fuel is wanting. But objections have been adduced lights from oil or candles formerly cost him.

against their use, partly arising from the offensive smell To those who are little acquainted with the process, it of some of the products of the distillation or of the gas may be worth while to notice the amount and proportion itself

, when it accidentally escapes unbarned, and parily of the different products obtained by the distillation of from the danger of explosions in apartments which are pit.coal; and the comparative results of two experi- lighted with the gas. 'A future communication will be ments strikingly shew the advantage of using the coal devoted to the consideration of these objections, to the riter being previously dried, extended over a large sur construction of the apparatus, the nature of the process, face, and suddenly exposed to a red heat. The experi- and the methods employed in separating the different proments alluded to were made in a small gas apparatus at I ducts of the distillation.

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