Page images
PDF
EPUB

be at the same thne very simple and extremely eff cacious. Necessity, in this case, as in many others, was the mother of invention. He had a small, fat, il-built boat, which was so ill constructed as scarce ly to admit of carrying a bit of sail on any occasion, and which was at the same time so heavy to be row. ed, that he found great difficulty in using it for his ordinary occasions. In reflecting on the means thao might be adopted for giving this useless cable such a hold of the water as to admit of his employing a sai when he found it necessary, it readily occurred tha a greater depth of keel would have this tendency. But a greater depth of keel, though it would have been useful for this purpose, he easily foresaw, would make his boat be extremely inconvenient on many other occasions. To effect both purposes, he thought of adopting a moveable keel, which would admit of being let down or taken up at pleasure. This idea he immediately carried into effect, by fixing a bar of iron of the depth he wanted, along each side of the keel, moving upon hinges that admitted of being moved in one direction, but which could not be bent back in the opposite direction. Thus, by means of a small chain fixed to each end, these moveable keels could be easily lifted up at pleasure; so that when he was entering into a harbour, or shoal water, he had only to lift up his keels, and the boat was as capable of being managed there, as if he had wanted , thern entirely; and when he went out to sea, where there was depth enough, by letting them down, the lee keel took a firm hold of the water, (while the other floated loose) and gave such a steadiness to all its movements, as can scarcely be conceived by thoso who have not experienced it.

This gentleman one day carried me out with him m his boat to try it. We made two experiments. As first, with a moderate breeze, when the moveable keels were kept up, the boat when laid as near the wind as it could go, made an angle with the wake of about thirty degrees; but when the keels were let down, the same angle did not exceed five or six do. grees; being nearly parallel with the course.

. At another time, the wind was right a-head, a brisk breeze. When we began to beat up against it, a trading sloop was very near us, steering the same course with us. This sloop went through the water a good deal faster than we could: but in the course of two hours beating to windward, we found that the sloop was left behind two feet in three; though it is certain, that if our false keels had rot been let down, we could scarcely, in that situation, have ad vanced one foot for her three.

Itis unnecessary to point out to seafaring men the be oefits that may be derived from this contrivance in certain circumstances, as these will be very obvious to thein.

KORTH-WEST PASSAGE.

Notwithstanding the many fruitless attempts that nave been made to discover a north-west passage into the South Seas, it wouid seern that this important geographical question is not yet fully decided; for at a meeting of the Academy of Sciences, at Paris, held on the 13th of November last, M. Bauche, first geographer to the king, read a curious memoir concerning the north-west passage. M. de Mendoza, an intelligent captain of a vessel in the service of Spain, charged with the care of former establishments favourable to the marine, bas made a careful exami. nation of the archives of several departments: there he has found the relation of a voyage made in the year 1598 by Lorenzo Herrero de Maldonada. There it appears, that at the entry into David's Straits north lat. 60 degrees, and 28 of longitude, counting from the first meridian, he turned to the west, leaving Hudson's Bay on the south, and Baffin's Bay on the north. Arrived at lat. 65 and 297, he went towards the north by the Straits of Labrador, till he reached 76 and 278; and finding himself in the Icy Sea, ho turned south-west to lat. 60 and 235, where he found a strait, which separates Asia from America, by which he entered into the South Sea, which he called the Straits of Auian. This passage ought to be, ao

cording to M. Bauche, between William's Sound ana Mount St. Elias. The Russians and Captain Cook have not observed it, because it is very narrow. But it is to be wished, that this important dis;overy should be verified, which has been overlooked for two centuries, in spite of the attempts which have been made on these coasts. M. Baiche calls this massage the Straits of Ferrer.

POSITIONS TO BE EXAMINED.

1. All food, or subsistence from mankind, arises from the earth or waters.

2. Necessaries of life that are not foods, and all other conveniences, have their value estimated by the proportion of fcod consuified while we are employed in procuring them.

3. A smiali people with a large territory, may suh. sist on the productions of nature, with no other la. bour than that of gathering the vegetables and catchang the animals..

4. A large people with a small territory, find these insufficient; and, to subsist, must labour the earth,

to make it produce greater quantities of vegetable - food, suitable to the nourishinent of men, and of the animals they intend to cat.

5. From this labour arises a great increase of vegetable and animal food, and of materials for clothing; as flax, wool, silks, &c. The superfluity of these is wealth. With this wealth we pay for the labour em ployed in building our houses, cities, &c. which are therefore only subsistence thus metamorphosed.

6. Manufactures are only another shape into which so much provisisons and subsistence are turned, as were in value equal to the manufacture pro. duced. This appears from hence, that the manufac. Lurer does not, in fact, obtain from the employer. fus Ais labour, more than a mere subsistence, inclus ing raiment, fuel, and shelter; all which derive thon value from the provisions consumed in procuring them.

7. The produce of the earth, thus converted into manufactures, may be more easily carried into distant markets, than before such conversion,

3. Fair commerce is where equal values are ex. changed for equal, the expense of transport included Thus, if it costs A in England, as much lat charge to raise a bushel of wheat, as it cc. France to produce four gallons of wine, then. zallons of wine the fair exchange for a bu wheat, A and B meeting at half distance wi coinmodities to make the exchange. The ado of this fair commerce is, that each party increases the number of his enjoyments, having, instead of wheat a.one, or wine alone, the use of both wheat and wine.

9. Where the labour and expense of producing both commodities are known to both parties, bargains will generally be fair and equal. Where they are known to one party only, bargains will often be uue equal, knowledge taking its advantage of ignorance.

*10. Thus he that carries a thousand bushels of wheat abroad to sell, may not probably obtain so great a profit thereon, as if he had first turned the wheat into manufactures, by subsisting therewith the workinen while producing those manufactures, since there are many expediting and facilitating inethods of working, not generally known, and strangers to the manufactures, though they know pretty well the expense of raising wheat, are unac. quainted with those short methods of working; and hence, being apk io suppose more labour employe) n the manufacture than there really is, are more easily imposed on in their value, and induced to allow more for them than they are honestly worth.

11. Thus the advantage of having manufactures in a country does not consist, as is commonly sup. posed, in their highly advarcing the value of rough inaterials, of wnich they are formed; since, though sixpennyworth of flax may be worth twenty shilings when worked into lace, yet we very cause of its being worth twenty shillings is that, besides the fax, it has cost nineteen shillings and sixpence in subsistence to the manufarturer. But the advantage of inanufactures, ang chat, under their shape, provisions may be more easily carried to a foreign market; and by their means our traders may more easily cheat strangers. Few, where it is not made, are judges of the value of lace. The importer may demand forty, and perhaps get thirty shillings for chat which cost hiin but twenty.

12. Finally, there seems to be but three ways for · a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbours; this is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating.--The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein a man re. ceives a real iscrease of the seed thrown into the ground in a k nd of continued miracle, wrought by the hand of ind in his favour, as a reward for his Dporn si rad his virtuous industry.

B. FRANKLIN.

« PreviousContinue »