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betrayed in a love affair by his bosom friend, retires in disgust to a wild waste, called Mucklestane Muir, where he builds himself a hut, and from the singularity of his person, dress, and deportment, is taken by the ignorant country-people for a supernatural being, who holds converse with the devil and familiar spirits, and has unlimited power over the fortunes and fates of all who live in his neighbourhood. Indeed, there are several parts of his conduct that bear a very ambiguous appearance, until they are afterwards explained.
Near to the place where the Dwarf has settled his habitation, resides a Mr. Vere, in a sort of feudal castle, whose beautiful daughter is in love with a young man named Earnscliff, who has a rival in the person of Sir Frederick Langley. Mr. Vere is, in truth the friend who had injured the Black Dwarf, whose real name is Sir Edward Mauley; and, by his interposition, a midnight match between Sir E. Langley and Miss Vere is prevented. The discovery is made in the chapel; and Vere, who had been concerned in some treasonable plots, flies to France, while young Earnscliff and Miss Vere are married with his consent, and with the approbation of the Black Dwarf, who, retiring into undiscovered seclusion, bestows upon them the bulk of a very large fortune. This story possesses considerable capabilities; but the fault is, as in the former, the multiplication of characters, by which are rendered imperfect: the following specimen is taken from that part of the story, in which the Dwarf interrupts the ceremony where Vere is endeavouring to compel his daughter to marry Sir P. Langley
“ The clergyman opened his prayer-book, and looked to Mr. Vere for the signal to commence the service.
“ Proceed,' said the latter.
“ But a voice, as if proceeding from the tomb of his deceased wife, called, in such loud and harsh accents as awakened every echo in the vaulted chapel, “ Forbear!
« All were mute and motionless, till a distant rustle, and the clash of swords, or something resembling it, was heard from the distant apartments. It ceased almost instantly.
“ What new device is this?' said Sir Frederick, fiercely, eyeing Ellieslaw and Mareschal with a glance of malignant suspicion.
“ 'It can be but the frolic of some intemperate guest said Ellieslaw, though greatly confounded; "we must make large allowances for the excess of this evening's festivity. Proceed with the service.'
« Before the clergyman could obey, the same prohibition which they had before heard, was repeated from the same spot. The female attendants screamed, and fled from the chapel; the gentlemen laid their hands on their swords. Ere the first moment of surprise had passed by, the Dwarf stepped from behind the monument, and placed himself full in front of Mr. Vere. The effect of so strange and hideous an apparition, in such place and circumstances, appalled all present, but seemed to annihilate the Laird of Ellieslaw, who, dropping his daughter's arm, staggered against the nearest pillar, and, clasping it with his hands as if for support, laid his brow inst the column.
“"Who is this fellow!' said Sir Frederic; and what does he mean by this intrusion?"
“ 'It is one who comes to tell you, said the Dwarf, with the peculiar acrimony which usually marked his manner, that in marrying that young lady, you wed neither the heiress of Ellieslaw, nor of Mauley-hall
, nor of Polverton, nor of one furrow of land, unless she marries with my consent; and to thee that consent shall never be given. Down-down on thy knees, and thank heaven that thou art prevented from wedding qualities with which thou hast no concern-portionless, truth, virtue, and innocence.And thou, base ingrate,' he continued, addressing himself to Ellieslaw, "what is thy wretched subterfuge now?' Thou, who would'st sell thy daughter to relieve thee from danger, as in famine thou would'st have slain and devoured her to preserve thy own vile life! Ay, hide thy face with thy bands; well may'st thou blusb to look on him whose body thou didst consign to chains, his hand to guilt, and his soul to misery. Saved once more by the virtue of her who calls thee father, go hence, and may the pardon and benefits I confer on thee prove literal coals of fire, till thy brain is seared and scorched like mine.
“Ellieslaw left the chapel with a gesture of mute despair.”—p. 334— 337. vol. i.
We do not think the state in which these volumes are written, by any means so good as that of Guy Mannering, or even the Antiquary; the author becomes a little careless as he gains confidence by approbation; and, for merely English readers, too much of the Scotch dialect is introduced into the speeches. It is sometimes employed, however, with admirable effect; according to the character of the individual who speaks, it seems to add characteristic ferocity to the ruffian, or simplicity to the innocence of youth, and tenderness to the effusions of love. On other occasions it not a little heightens the comic effect of rustic humour.
While exhibiting the manners, the author has endeavoured also to employ something of the language of the times; he describes, but he has now and then gone too far back into antiquity, and has brought forward words that had even then been long obsolete. The error was, however, on the right side, and it would be advantageous, if, instead of the prevailing fashion of importing French terms, we resorted more to the wells of undefiled English, afforded by our elder writers.-Critical Review.
ON THE COMPARATIVE MERIT OF HIGH AND LOW
PRESSURE IN STEAM ENGINES.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE PORT FOLIO.
SIR-In a “ Review of the life of Robert Fulton,” published in the Analectic Magazine for last September, there are some remarks on the subject of high and low pressure in engines worked by steam, on which I beg leave to make some observations. I fatter myself that I can view the question with an impartial eye, as my opinion has been slowly changed; and I have no other interest in the matter, than that which every man feels for his personal safety and that of his fellow beings. I am equally unwilling to be scalded to death to promote the fortune of Mr. Evans, or blazon the reputation of Messrs. Bolton and Watt. In quitting the ranks of the English mechanics for those of our fellow citizen, I may have avoided Scylla, only to be thrown on Charybdis, but the measure was adopted after mature deliberation, when conviction indicated the high pressure to be the safer engine.
The writer of the “Review” has stated the arguments on both sides of the question, without fully expressing his own opinion; but still in such a way, as to impress the mind of the reader with the opinion that he thinks unfavourably of the high pressure engines; and that, in his judgment, those upon the construction of Bolton and Watt, are perfectly safe.
To his right to inculcate this opinion, it would be ridiculous to object; and the fact is only mentioned to strengthen the inference that, the arguments which he has adduced in favour of engines of low
ure, are the most solid which could be produced; and that the objections to those of high pressure, of course including that of Mr. Evans, construction, are stated with equal care. It is readily admitted, that dreadful explosions have taken place with high pressure engines, and that, when constructed upon erroneous principles, they are extremely dangerous. The question, therefore, is not whether such engines may be dangerous, but whether they can be so constructed as to enable us to derive all the advantages from elastic steam without any increase of danger by their use. As both engines have been long employed, we have the advantage of experience to aid us in the inquiry,-a safer guide than the most ingeninus deductions from theory. It is asserted by the writer of the “ Review,” (page 189) “ that the ac
cidents on board Fulton's boats, by which life or limb were lost, or'even jeopardised, have not been recorded, nor have we heard of a single accident arising from Bolton and Watt's engines in · England, during the forty-five years' practice throughout the
kingdom;" and he asks, (page 190)“ where are the accounts of « lives lost on board his (Fulton's) boats by explosions, during the 'ten years they have run; fourteen now running in New York * state?” As" Fulton never pretented to have invented the steam • engine he used, or any part of it,” (page 184) but purchased the first engine from Bolton and Watt, and had the others constructed upon the same principle, it is not necessary to confine the answer to the accidents which have happened to the boats in the state of New York, but only to those which are similar in principle. Most of the accidents which the writer is about to state, are per fectly within his own recollection, and the others, he is assured, can be substantiated, if necessary. All of them occurred on board of boats constructed on the Bolton and Watt, or low pressure principle.
5 Atalanta-New Jersey,
6 Rariton-New York,
11 Nor is it difficult to account for these accidents on board steam boats, although the engines of Bolton and Watt, have worked on land with perfect safety during forty-five years. In the latter case they are rarely worked with a pressure greater than four or five pounds upon the square inch; the labour they have to perform is uniform, nor is there any objection to the making them as ponderous as may be deemed necessary. But when placed in boats, all their circumstances are changed. Those persons who have travelled much by these boats, and are well acquainted with the steam engine, know that it is very common to maise the steam to a pressure of 9 or 10 pounds on the square inch, and sometimes higher, in order to increase the speed of the boat. To this there is a strong temptation, from rivalship, adverse winds, or the necessarily circumscribed power of the machine. The boilers, from their construction, are usually incapable of bearing this high pressure, and, consequently, burst. Will
the writer of the “ Review” inform us how many accidents he has heard of, arising from the steam engine as made by Mr. Evans? There is a much greater number of them in use in the United States than there are steam boats in its waters; and let it be recollected, that ihese engines are as likely to explode on land, as on board steam boats, as they are worked in both cases with a pressure equally high. We are told (page 190)“ that if an explosion takes place by overloading a condensing engine, it will
only make a rent in the boiler, and the steam will escape:" Numerous rents of this description have taken place in the boilers of Evans' engine, and the steam or water has escaped without injur ing any person. The rents which have been made in the boilers of the condensing engines, it appears have not been equally harmless. A much larger rent is likely to be made in the boiler constructed like those of Bolton and Watt, than in the cylindrical boiler of the Columbian engine, because the former changes its form before it bursts, and this evidently offers an unequal resistance, even where the metal is of equal strength. In the cylindrical boiler there is no tendency to this change of form; whenever a rent takes place it must be only in that point where the metal happens to be weakest, and this of course must be a very small one, as it cannot be weakest, over any considerable portion of its surface. As soon as such a rent occurs, the pressure is instantly lessened on every other part, and the whole danger is over. There is not the slightest analogy between the operation of gunpowder, and of steam, with which it has been compared; in the explosion of gunpowder, an immense quanty of elas. tic fluid, is instantaneously generated, possessing a force which may rend the strongest as well as the weakest part of the containing vessel; in steam, the elasticity is slowly augmented, and when confined in a vessel of considerable tenacity, and unequal strength, as in copper or wrought iron boilers, cannot possibly tear to pieces, but merely rend it in the weakest part. This, it is believe ed, is a reasonable deduction from theory; and it has been the uni. form experience in the numerous instances in which the cylin, drical boilers have burst. We are told (page 190) that " it is manifest at once to every man, whether he be an engineer or not, that a boiler cannot be so much forced by a pressure of less than