페이지 이미지

so many brave and gallant enterprises, ending in such important results. It was on the 9th of September, after having received the refusal of the Pacha to accept of terms that had been offered to him, that Sir Robert Stopford arrived before Beyrout, and without the loss of a single day, he might almost say of a single hour, launched Commodore Napier on that career of victory and success which he had continued to pursue undiminished to the last. It was on the same day, the 9th of September, that Commodore Napier was landed at D'jouni, and succeeded in taking the place in spite of a much superior force; and on the 3rd of November the contest was brought to a glorious termination by the reduction of the fortress of Acre. In the meantime the mountaineers had been armed, magazines put in readiness, and post by post-every town throughout the whole line of coast, from Tripoli to the extremity of Syria,-reduced by one or other of the detachments of our naval force. Commodore Napier, besides his purely naval services, had twice marched on shore to oppose the Egyptian forces, on both of which occasions he had defeated and dispersed the enemy; and between these two actions he had succeeded in landing at Sidon, at the head of scarcely a thousand men, Austrian and British, being opposed by about 20,000 men, and took the place by storm, bringing away in his train about 3,000 prisoners-(cheers.) He, (Lord Minto,) had dwelt a little on the extraordinaay rapidity with which these operations had been conducted, because in this contest time was every thing. It was not only most important to the success of the operations themselves, but it must be obvious to their lordships that, if the contest had been protracted to another campaign, it might have been attended with the utmost peril to the peace of Europe. If he wanted another example of the promptitude and skill which had characterised those operations, he would refer their lordships to the despatch of Sir Robert Stopford, of the 3rd and 4th of October, in which the gallant admiral stated that he had just received the instructions of the government, for the reduction of the fortress of Acre, an enterprise on which, he said, he had already been engaged; that the resolution so to do was taken on the 29th of October; and that on the 31st, the admiral wrote all his arrangements were completed, that he was prepared, and, in fact, that he actually did sail on that day; and in three days from that date this important fortress had yielded to the talent and power arrayed against it. The admiral was most ably and gallantly seconded in all his operations by Admiral Bandeira, commanding the Austrian squadron, as well as by the Archduke Frederick, and also by the Turkish officers. In his account of the affair at Sidon, Commodore Napier spoke in the very highest terms of the conduct of the Archduke, who, at Acre, landed during the night, along with the marines of the squadron, in order to secure the safety of the town and fortress. "To Admiral Walker, too, much credit was due. He had been in every action, and in all he had exhibited most distinguished abilities, and sustained that high reputation which had ever attended British valour, and had proved himself eminently qualified for that high post which he occupied at the head of the Turkish fleet.

He (the Earl of Minto) felt certain that it was unnecessary for him to add one word more in order to induce their lordships to concur in the vote of thanks which it would be his duty to conclude by proposing; he would only once inore state, that throughout the whole of the operations, and more especially in the last, the attack upon St. Jean d'Acre, the precision and accuracy of the British fire had proved that we had added a new element of strength to the British navy, in the talents and skill of every inan employed in it. He trusted that their lordships and the country would receive what had been done on this occasion as an earnest of what could be effected by our fleet should it unfortunately be on any future occasion called upon to enter into operations with more formidable opponents : and he thought the bravery and energy of our officers and sailors had given the best answer to all those cavils and complaints of the degeneracy and decay of the British navy which had been made in many quarters during the last year. On that head he would not add one word more; all must feel that the brave men in the fleet had given a better answer to the calumny, originating, he believed, in jealousy, than any which he could do. He had no doubt but their lordships would willingly concur in giving the thanks of the house to Admiral Stopford, and the officers and men employed under him on the coast of Syria, for the bravery displayed by them in the operations terminating on the 3d of November last. The noble lord concluded by moving successively the following votes of thanks :- 1st, the thanks of this house to Admiral Sir Robert Stopford, G.C.B., for his gallant conduct during the operations carried on on the coast of Syria, terminating with the successful and decisive attack upon Acre on the 3d November, 1840.—2nd, thanks to Sir Charles Napier, K.C.B., and the several officers of the fleet, for their brave and active co-operations in those operations.-3d, that this house acknowledges and highly approves of the services of the seamen and marines employed on this service. -4th, thanks to Major-General Sir Charles Smith, and the officers of the Royal Artillery and Engineers, employed on the coast.-5th, that this house acknowledges and highly approves the conduct of the men of the Royal Artillery and Engineers so employed.-6th, thanks to Rear-Admiral Baron Bandeira, commander of the Austrian fleet, for his valuable assistance and active co-operation in this expedition.—7th, thanks to Admiral Walker, in command of the naval force of the Sultan, for his gallant co-operation. The concluding resolution was, that the Lord Chancellor communicate the said resolutions to Admiral Stopford, with a request that he would signify them to the officers and men under his command.

NEW BOOKS. Trotter's MANUAL OF LOGARITHMS, and Practical Mathematics.-Edinburgh,

Oliver and Boyd; London, Simpkin and Marshall. A useful little set of Tables intended for students, engineers, navigators, and surveyors, but more calculated for the civil engineer and surveyor, than the seaman. It contains an epitome of mensuration and mechanics, and many useful miscellaneous tables. The Practice of NavigATION AND NAUTICAL ASTRONOMY.—By H. Raper,

Lieut. R.N., Secretary to the Royal Astronomical Society.--Bate, London,

1840. (Concluded from p. 138.) Professor Lax, in his "Requisite Tables,” published in 1820, remarks, "that few are aware of the great labour which is required to construct a table of this kind,* and how much care and consideration are necessary, to determine what authority ought to be selected.” Lieut. Raper, avowedly, under the same imprese sion, prepared a paper divided into five sections, which was read at the evening meetings of the United Service Institution, and afterwards appeared in the pages of the Nautical. In that paper, the reader will find the principles which ought to guide him in his choice of authorities, ably discussed, and directions given, which will be hereafter found useful, both to those who have the determining of longitudes, as well as those who have to construct such a table. In the fourth section some appropriate remarks are made, upon the superior advantages that a steam vessel properly provided with chronometers, has over a sailing vessel, for ascertaining the meridional difference of longitude between any two places, by affording a rapid transit from one place to another. And although we are not without our doubts as to the deranging effects on chronometers of steam-vessels generally, still, if such effects do exist, they should be ascertained, and some favorable opportunity might be taken of following out the the suggestion, of supplying a steam man-of-war with about seven good chronometers as a preliminary experiment to further results.

It appears to us, that the advantages which may be derived from ascertaining correct differences of longitude, have not been as yet sufficiently appreciated. For instance, how often that knowledge might be useful for the purpose of rating chronometers. As an example, we shall take the West Indies, and suppose between any two of the islands, say Trinidad and St. Thomas, the difference of longitude was known within two seconds of time. This might easily be the case, as determining the difference is a far simpler matter than

• Maritime Points.

determining with the same degree of accuracy, the actual longitude of two places. Now, a vessel touching at St Thomas, with merely sufficient time to get an observation with the artificial horizon, and then to do the same at Trinidad, would obtain a difference of longitude between these two islands, which being compared with the true one, the rates of the chronometers would be ascertained, although the actual longitude of neither places were accurately known. The rates here found would be far preferable to what could be obtained while lying at anchor, for the going of the watches when actually at sea has been already ascertained, and this it is well known in general differs from the rate when in harbour. Under these circumstances, we would recommend, that in future editions of this treatise, the author should insert a table of meridional differences of longitude, between those places that bave much direct communition with each other, and where it has been ascertained within two seconds of time. Such a table as we have already shown, would be of considerable utility to seamen, and would also excite those who are supplied with the requisite instruments to furnish data, to increase our knowledge of the relative positions of maritime places.

While we are urging Lieut. Raper, to devote still more of his time to these discussions and tedious compilations, we do think that every seaman will join with us, in thanking him for what he has already done in this important matter. Whether it is exactly fair in a great commercial country like this, whose ships may be said almost to cover the seas, to throw the construction of a table that can only be derived from actual observations, (and those often taken by the officers employed by government,) upon a private individual, who may conscientiously desire to render his work as perfect as possible, is a point which does not fall within our province to discuss.

We have now given some general account of Lieut. Raper's work, and although want of room, (for the subject is really almost interminable,) has prevented us from explaining many parts and from doing full justice to its peculiar merits, yet we hope that enough has been said to enable every one interested in the subject, to form some idea of the important boon which has been presented to the public.

It is we think due to ourselves to state, that we should consider it our business to point out any errors or faults in a treatise, which professes to teach a science on which the lives of thousands depend; and we should have done so in regard to Lieut. Raper's work, if we could have detected any which called for our particular notice. No doubt there are some minor points in which we differ from the author,- for instance, he gives the table of the sun's declination which is hardly necessary, as the Nantical Almanac is now so generally used, and there are a few other arrangements where perhaps improvements might be introduced. Of absolute mistakes we have detected none, otherwise we should have pointed them out;-and further than this, had we found any want of simplicity or clearness, any practical question not fully answered, or any attempt to evade a direct solution of a difficulty, we would assuredly have been most anxious to call attention to any such defects. Those who are in the habit of reviewing, if they act candidly and fairly, will have inuch difficulty in proving statements to be erroneous in treatises, which like the one now before us is composed by an author, not merely competent by previous study, but having every advantage that the happiest combination of circumstances can possibly give. Whatever fair and honourable pride we may and do feel, because the author of this work is a sailor, yet we must distinctly state that so far from having any improper bias on that account, it only rendered us the more inclined to be critical and severe, from the consideration that, all treatises which relate to nautical affairs, if undertaken by seamen, ought from their superior opportunities, to be more correct and perfect than those which have been generally given to the world :-on this subject a few further observations will not be out of place.

Those who have only witnessed our seamen when emancipated for a short time, from the regular routine of their lives on board of a ship, and plentifully ENLARGED SERIES.—NO. 3.–VOL. FOR 1841.

2 E

supplied with money, are apt to form unfavourable ideas of their utter reckless. ness and want of reflection. But nothing can be more erroneous than to suppose that “ They that go down to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters,'' can ever be really and permanently thoughtless. So far in general from those who have passed their youth at sea having such a turn, observation and experience prove the very reverse to be the case. When the general peace arrived, and great numbers of our naval officers were thrown out of their proper occupation, and deprived of that employment which they had been accustomed to from their boyhood, there were few who were content to live in thoughtless idleness, victims of discontent and ennui ; the greater part turned their minds and talents into some new channel.

One portion of our naval officers have taken a high walk, having sedulously given themselves to study, and to the scientific avocations connected with professional knowledge. Some of these officers are now reaping their reward, by holding important situations, highly to their own honour and with great advantage to their country; whilst others, again, are receiving that credit which their useful labours have gained for them. Of this class Lieut. Raper is one of the brightest ornaments, and he has clearly shown in this work that the mere science of the mathematician, however profound, cannot accomplish what has now been achieved by the scientific and practical sailor. In the preface to the work that we have been examining, we are promised by the author another volume, in which the mathematical theory from which the present treatise is derived will be entered upon, and laid down, in order that the whole subject may be fully studied by those who have sufficient elementary knowledge. This is proceeding upon the right principle, and such a volume will be a most valuable acquisition to all those, who not content with working by what is vulgarly called “ the rule of thumb," wish to be enabled to understand the processes by which they do work. Thus we shall have the important departments, of the theory and practice of navigation and nautical astronomy systematically treated, and in all their bearings fully and clearly explained. There is, however, a large field as yet unoccupied. The nautical steam engine still wants an author; a thorough investigation into the new system of naval warfare by the aid of steam is a desideratum.-Marine surveying, and many other subjects are in the same predicament, none of which can receive full justice, except from a professional author, and if he brings some of Lieut. Raper's deep study and acquirements, adopting the same systematic principles for his guide, he will most assuredly succeed, and will send forth to the world something very different, from the superficial works which have as yet been produced on these subjects. “Of this kind of half knowledge we have had too much, the present state of science which affords such ample means, seems to demand, that whatever is now done, should be well done.

Before concluding, we would again call attention to the general state and condition of practical navigation ; notwithstanding its great importance, and notwithstanding the thousands of British vessels that constantly navigate the ocean, the knowledge of many who are actually engaged in the business, is we fear at a low ebb. There have been various speculations and calculations made to ascertain the number of merchant vessels which are yearly lost, by the ignorance of the art of navigating in those to whose charge they have been entrusted, and in the pages of the Nautical Magazine that subject has been often treated. We believe that the lowest computation assigns one-third of the shipwrecks to this cause ; even in the navy, where the officers have in general the advantages of a better education, and more leisure than the great body of mariners, many instances of gross ignorance have fallen under our own cognizance; and we could mention some that should scarcely be credited, of islands being sought for and missed.

Now, we would ask, to what cause are we to refer these deficiencies; hydrography is rapidly progressing under able superintendence,-our surveying

• Instructions of Capt. Fitzroy, from the Hydrographical office.


vessels are employed in every direction, determining longitudes, and fixing the relative positions of points on coasts hitherto almost unknown, and with a precision not before even attempted ; above all, the government plans and charts, thus almost daily arriving, are published as soon as possible, and may be obtained at the price of the paper, and the expense incurred by printing them. Nautical instruments are not only better but cheaper than formerly; a chronometer that used to cost one hundred guineas, may be now purchased for fortyfive pounds; and the Admiralty are aware of the necessity of improving the scientific education of our young officers. This is all right, and there can be po doubt it will ultimately produce due and proper effects; but, unfortunately in the mean time, except to the well educated, good charts themselves are of little avail, and the chronoineter itself, however excellent, is yet to him who cannot fully avail himself of its advantages, frequently calculated to mislead. In short, it appears to us, that this ignorance must be ascribed to that which we have already alluded to at the commencement of this article, namely, the defects of our treatises on navigation. It is no argument against our statement to refer to the number of excellent navigators to be found both in the navy and commercial marine. Those who have had good teachers, and those who have joined to habits of industry some preliminary knowledge of mathematics, must always, if they do themselves common justice, acquire a competent proficiency. But the great mass of our seamen are either totally or partially without these advantages ;-their excuse for professional deficiency may often be the want of proper books. That excuse no longer exists, for by the aid of the work which has been the subject of this notice, all are to a certain extent put upon an equality; all may now not only acquire a sufficiency of that knowledge, which is requisite in order to conduct with safety their ships from port to port, but they may acquire as great a precision in their navigation, as those who have had the opportunities of studying the theory from which this science is derived. But there must be no mistake on this point, Lieut. Raper's book is not intended to supersede, but to call forth personal diligence. No royal road to proficiency in navigation, either has or will be discovered,-industry and application are as necessary as ever. What is to be had without labour, the mariner may be assured is not worth having when obtained. This difference certainly existsformerly all the diligence of the seaman, if unassisted, might turn out unavailing; now, it is his own neglect if he fails in acquiring that knowledge of navigation of which he is in search, and of which he stands in need.

One word of parting advice to those who intend to take advantage of Lieut. Raper's work, and then we have done. To all such we would say, do not merely look out for some problem that you find here solved with fewer logarithms than you have been in the habit of employing; recollect it is a systematic treatise that is now before you, adopt it therefore as a whole, adopt it as a system, pay the same attention to its slightest injunctions as to its most elaborate rules, and if a long experience has given us any right to judge, we can with safety say, that with you at least the opprobrium of ignorance need no longer remain, and that being thus enabled fully to master the subject, you may be confident in taking charge of the lives and properties of others, that there will be no deficiency on your parts, in a perfect knowledge of the science of practical navigation.


(Published by the Admiralty.) PENING or Prince of Wales Island. -Surveyed by Lieut. Woore, R.N. 1832.

A chart of this island on a scale sufficient for navigating the channel inside of it, is an important addition to our eastern hydrography. The scale of the present chart an inch to a mile, is sufficient for this purpose, and our men-ofwar need no longer be apprehensive for their safety with it on board.

« 이전계속 »