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the many facts and proofs in my possession, and that too done with the view of serving the public, and promoting the best interests and preeminence of our country, by its mercantile marine, I would further desire to enlighten my countrymen upon an important point of law which I feel convinced is too little known, and has hitherto been legally denied and resisted, viz., the liability of judges and other public functionaries to be sued for erroneous judgments or injuries, caused by them in their official capacities; but the recent decision of the Privy Council in a case of appeal, sets that point at rest; it will be found in Fisher's Colonial Magazine, for April last, pages 430 to 436; and cannot fail to be read with interest by all who will take the trouble to peruse attentively and observe the very general bearing and applicability, as laid down in the elaborate and able judgment delivered by Lord Brougham; and in consequence whereof, four other important cases of civil action are about to be brought forward; two being upon marine and two upon colonial matters.
G. T. WHITINGTON.
The master of the “Susan," on arriving in port, was displaced for bare-faced robberies of cargo, stores, passage-monies, and freights, suppressing papers, and other bad conduct; he leagued with six of the crew, signed a certificate for wages double those for which the men had signed articles, and in an hour six monitions for arrest, &c., were issued against the ship, at an expense of £60, though it appears the ship's husband had asked the long-shore attorney to summon the owner before any magistrate he chose.
In the case of another ship, after Alderman Pirie had dismissed a summons granted to two of the crew, they went to Doctors Coinmons and obtained citations; the proctor for the owner advised payment to save greater loss by expense; the court besides holding it law that, if the crew deny or resist the deductions from wages, for slops supplied at sea, such must be proceeded for by action at law.
In another case, the ship was heavily bottomreed, &c., and on her arrival was seized by the court, and two officers put into possession for the bottomree holders and crew; the latter in conjunction with a Jew who had purchased the wages of the crew at £5 per head; the captain and the jew arranged matters, and wages, for three times the real amount, decrees were obtained by default of owner's pleading thereto, and the ship of 200 tons, A 1 for nine years, coppered, and copper fastened, &c., was sold for 400 guineas; not sufficient to pay the wages and law expenses,--the owner declining to interfere, because he would thus become liable, in addition to the loss of his ship, &c., although he had taken advice, and made private representations of the nefarious proceedings; but was told nothing could be done, unless he came into court, paid all the costs incurred, and appeared to the dozen different actions in the names of the crews, who had actually no interest, and who had shipped and sailed elsewhere. The owner might then have indicted the master at the Old Bailey; but could not bring him before the court.
N.B.-As so many arrests are admitted against the Ship upon the exparte statement of the seamen, without magisterial authority; why should not 1500 weavers be permitted each to issue process of seizure against the manufactory of their employer, and that without summons ?
July 3rd, 1842. SIR.-In consideration of your kindness in allowing me to take my baggage, and in not punishing me for the plunder of the ship's cargo, in which I was concerned with others, I purpose and desire to tell you all I know, and likewise to abandon, as against your ship “ Susan " all claims for wages and otherwise, which Capt. Alley agreed to allow me, notwithstanding I was under articles to you.
Capi. Alley, whilst at Rio, never but once came on board the Susan, during the many weeks she was there undergoing repairs; he resided with Capt. Johns part of the time, (whom he brought home as cabin passenger,) and partly at Pharent's Hotel. When we left for England he had on board about £100 in sovereigns and doubloons; he had not a farthing when we went into Rio. He also received from an English gentleman £10 for freight of plants, and signed a bill of lading, which you are not likely to find, any more than the sextant, quadrant, charts, and many other things which were on board. Capt. Alley likewise sold things in Rio to Mr. Grundy, which he had obtained in barter at the Falklands; he also sold, and brought home a quantity of merinoes, silks, velvets, linen, broad cloth, &c., which he had obtained from the wreck of the “ Galston."
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) Charles YOUNG.
Concussion SHELLS AND FIELD ARTILLERY.-Captain Norton has made application to the Master-General and Board of Ordnance to be permitted to adapt his Concussion Shell to Field Artillery, believing ihat such shells may be used with good effect against an enemy posted in block-houses, farm-houses, mills, &c. These shells have been already tested from the eight and ten inch guns, otherwise called the 68 and 130 pounders, and the Select Committee of Artillery Officers at Wool. wich in their official report to the Master-General, dated Oct. 15th, 1842, have pronounced them “ simple, safe, and efficacious.”
EURYDICE.-Portsmouth, May 20.-The Eurydice, 26 guns, built according to the plan of Rear-Admiral the Hon. George Elliot, was launched on Tuesday. The ceremony of naming her was performed by a daughter of the gallant Admiral. A numerous assemblage of persons had collected, and a few minutes before high water she left her semi-aërial position for a more natural and graceful one upon the surface of that element over which she is hereafter to move. The following are her principal dimensions ;
908 tons. She is to be taken forthwith into dock to be coppered, and to be got ready for the pendant; and it is expected she will be commissioned in a few days. From her appearance there is every probability of her proving a fast sailer.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT Yacht.-Portsmouth has been selected as the future
head-quarters of the Royal Yacht, and a depot will be established here for the coals she will use. It is her Majesty's wish that the equipment and rigging of the yacht should be completed as speedily as possible, so that she may be brought round here by the end of June. It is, however, very doubtful whether she can be got ready by that time. The is to be fitted with Smith's paddleboxes, which are now being prepared for her at Chatham. Her figure-head consists of a double shield surmounted by the crown, that on the starboard side being the shield of the Queen, and the one on the port side the shield of his Royal Highness Prince Albert. The shields are surrounded by the rose, thistle, and shamrock, and the motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense." Below the stem is some handsome frieze work, and two splendid medallions of Her Majesty and Prince Albert, the Queen on the starboard, and Prince Albert's on the port side.- Hants. Advertiser.
ERRATA IN THE PRACTICE OF NAVIGATION,
Continued from p. 279.
268, line 8, alter P. P. 58' to H. P. 58'.
The Voice of the TROPICAL HURRICANE.
And I keep in the midst of my wrathful breast,
By laws never changed and acknowledged divine.
Tho' frightful in aspect, as aspect can be, (8)
Notes. (1) Those who have experienced a tropical hurricane, though in the mid-day, are aware of the extremely angry and wild appearance assumed by the clouds, so threatening, indeed, as to make a sensible, though perhaps a silent impression, on the mind of the most firm and resolute. It is scarcely possible to afford a sufficiently clear idea by using the term " gloom" of the extraordinary and terrific appearance of the weather on the approach, and during the continuance of a storm of this nature within the tropics: the severity of its character is much subdued in temperate latitudes ; although, if cold be superadded to its other relieved features, the consequences of its effect may become equally dreadful.
(2) Equaliy impossible is it to describe in adequate terms the peculiar sounds which accompany the storm. “There's music in its roar!" The word “minstrelsy," however, is scarcely applicable but in a figurative sense the impetuous rush of the aërlal current, as if issuing from a tube, is so overpowering as during the squalls to absorb all other sounds; but it assumes at times such a chorus of yells, screeches, and shrill whistles, probably from its action among the cordage, as to be quite indescribable.
(3) The progressive rate of a storm varies; the cause of which is unknown. Althongh conjectured, the cause of the remarkable regularity of their curves has not been clearly determined; that this is governed by a fixed law of nature may, however, be inferred, and hence the term “ destined" may be admited. The “ soap bubble" is here alluded to. The analogy is not inapplicable, as the meteor is known to swell its bound, or expand. The limit of a circle is continued (its periphery) hence we use the singular. The precursor wind, if any, generally comes from the north, and its melancholy moanings precedent to the coming or “ advent" of the storm has often been described ; also the “hollow roar" of the waves as if driving into caverns. These are the “heralds” to the land, the precursor swell, and fluctuating winds announce the approach of the tempest at sea.
(4) If it were possible to see the entire meteor, it is highly probable that, it would appear as a black mass of vapour cone shaped "Rainy blast,” this expression of course is mere poetic licence. One of the remarkable features of the hurricane is the prodigious quantity of rain which accompanies it, especially between the tropics. Tough generally unaccompanied with thunder at sea, that phenomenon is extremely awful at times when the storm passes over land, and this perhaps usually occurs when there is little or no rain falling.
(5) It must be evident upon the least reflection that on the open ocean the full force of the gyrating current of air will be felt; whilst on land the violence may be often modified by friction, and the interception of elevated lands. “The weak, &c.,” the idea intended to be expressed here is that, mere strength or power does not always prevail against the might of the storm, the strong man, and the sturdy giant of the forest, alike with the weak, and the mere shrub succumb to the blast.
(6) The central calm is here alluded to, the similies may be allowed. The calm central space, although passive, is borne along with the progressive mass, and the renewal of the "mad career is certain, from the peculiar disposition of the meteor. Seriously dwelt upon, it is one of the most curious of Nature's " handy works".
(7) “The path of the sun" westward ; in less than a week the meteor passes to the point of change," a law of creation," this is no doubt unquestionable.
(8) To the eye of the seaman, the appearance of the heavens on the approach, and during the continuance of a hurricane is indeed " frightful," perhaps more so than any other single phenomenon. “ Searching throuout," this is a licence, in allusion to the searching property of the wind from its rotary motion, no part escapes.
(9) “ My purposes done." Upon the presumption which none will doubt, that a wise purpose is intended in its presence, "all partial evil is universal good?" therefore however dreadful the immediate consequences may be, the visitation in its ulterior effects is good, the air is purified, the seeds of disease scattered, and the soil has a fair chance of renovation from the relief (fallow) afforded to its continued efforts in production. The rest is intended as a poetic picture of that which succeeds a storm.
(10) The thunder has poetically been termed the “ voice of the Almighty" and the rarity of death ensuing from the vast amount of the electric fluid in action during a storm of this nature is surprising, and is to be rightly considered as emanating from the mercy of God. And whether so or not it has been considered that electricity clears the atmosphere, and restores its balance. Besides, it is well known that when the thunder is heard the danger has passed ; and the hurricane's departure is the signal of reprieve to those who may be expecting momentary death
The lines, upon the whole, are poor and uninspirited, but may serve to amuse. The subject requires a master's hand.
STATEMENTS OP Lipe Boats On The Coasts of Great BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
ABBREVIATIONS.-RHS. Royal Humane Society; RNI. Royal National Institution for Saving
Lives from Shipwreck ; 18. Improvement in Boat suggested ; G. Boat of good character: