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The contraction of the tube in a marine barometer ought to be carried only so far as to allow the utmost freedom of action of the mercury without pumping.
When the ship is in a heavy sea,—when first suspended,-thescrew at the bottom of the tube being withdrawn as far as possible, --the mercury should fall in the tube through the first inch in 40 seconds to 60 seconds. It should fall through the second inch in less than two minutes, and should be at its true reading within or about 15 minutes from the time of first suspension. Such an instrument, however quickly atmospheric changes may be taking place, will take up its truer reading within 0.01 in. within one or two minutes, and this degree of accuracy is practically correct. On removing such an instrument before packing, it should be taken down without touching the screw at the bottom, and inclined with its cistern downwards, at an angle of 45° to 60°; the tube will be filled in this position in three or four minutes; then hold the instrument horizontally, and drive the screw at the bottom nearly, but not quite, home. With these precautions, the instrument will continue good for many prus -in fact, till broken. During the last few months I have had frequent interviews with Mr. John Browning, of 111 Minories ; Mr. F. Pastorelli, of 208 Piccadilly, and Mr. Zambra, of 1 Hatton Garden, who have undertaken to make marine and upright barometers of this character for my examination ; and I have also undertaken to examine every one made by these makers, and to give a certificate with every instrument which complies with the above conditions.
I feel confident that if our seamen had been provided with truthful instruments during the recent storms, the terrible disasters in Torbay and elsewhere would not be nearly as disastrous as they have been to life and property. More than 40 wrecks took place on the 10th and 11th of January in that bay alone, and out of their crews 73 men are supposed to have been drowned.
Fiually, in corroboration of my remarks, I may mention one or two cases.
Some four or five years ago Her Majesty's steamer Porcupine was cruising off St. Kilda, in the Hebrides. Captain Otter, R.N., carefully observing the gradual fall of the mercury to the extent of 14 inch between 8 a.m. on one day and 3.26 a.m. on the following day, at once ordered his ship to be made as snug and tight as possible. The hurricane at the latter hour burst out with fearful violence, swept off the little island nearly the whole of the agricultural produce of the poor people, and caused lamentable havoc amongst the shipping and fishing-boats that happened to be out in those seas at the time. But the Porcupine weathered out nobly the storm; and in lieu of being in a thousand pieces, the good ship was engaged a few days afterwards in a mission of mercy in bringing food to the poor islanders.
Paris, January 24. The opposition is likely to find itself stronger in moral influence if not in numbers, by the difficulty in which France is involved with the United States in consequence of the intervention in Mexico. There is little fear of the impatience of the Americans carrying them so far as to cause a breach of the good relations between the two countries, especially as the Americans are not nearly so sore on the subject as they are represented. The fact appears to be that for some reason the United States Government is pressing the French hard, what this reason may be, I am not sufficiently acquainted with American politics to discover, but it is probably connected with the struggle in which it is engaged with the friends of the negro. On this occasion, we inay be certain that the arguments of the opposition against continuing the assistance hitherto given to the Emperor Maximilian will be received with greater favour than they were last session, with the object of furnishing the Government with an excuse for hastening the withdrawal of the French troops. As I have said before, there are so many foreign soldiers in the service of the Emperor of Mexico that if he cannot, with the assistance of native support, put down the scattered bodies of republicans who are still wandering about the country waiting to be bought, he will never be able to do so, and he may as well come away with the French troops at once, and leave the Mexicans to cut each other's throats and plunder one another as they have been in the habit doing for the last half century. But threatening France is not the way to basten the recall of her troops. In the domestic affairs of this country there is nothing of particular interest to write about. Prince Napoleon is said to be partially reconciled to the court; probably he finds that the court can get on better with. out him than he imagined it could, and that people care very little whether he is pleased or displeased. The subject in which they take the greatest interest is the reduction of the expenditure ; in comparison with this the hard treatment which several of the journals have met withi, is looked upon with indifference. The only circumstance in the way of a sensation which has occurred during the month has been the preaching of Father Hyacinth. The crowds who went to hear bim sent seats in the church where he clelivered his addresses up to unexampled prices; it was no uncommon thing for a chair for a single sermon to realise as much as forty francs.
The decree of the 15th of November for the reduction of the army is already being carried into effect; but it will be less radical in practice than it appeared on paper. The various Ministers have been very earnest in finding places for the othicers and non-commi:sioned officers who have consented to resign previous to the period
at which they are entitled to half-pay, in order to make place for their juniors.
The consequence bas been that at the beginning of the present month the greater number of superior officers of the infantry of the Imperial Guard, those of the cavalry of the Guard, of the infantry of the Line, and of the artillery forming part of the regiments reduced, will immediately be appointed to similar rank in the existing battalions, companies, and batteries. Some of the captains have yet to wait for commissions, and about half of the lieutenants and second-lieutenants. It is expected that before the end of the year the reduction will have been completed without any officer having suffered in his pro notion. It is said that the brigade of Carabiniers and that of Cuirassiers, which are to be amalgamated and form the brigade of reserve of the Imperial Guard, are to be organized in sixteen squadrons, eight for each regiment, although the other cavalry regiments of reserve are formed in five squadrons only. Moreover, in order to prevent married officers in the two regiments of Carabiniers who bave a right to enter into the Guard from profiting by this favour, and although it is not permitted that any but the superior officers of the Guard should be married, the married officers of the Carabiniers are to be exceptionally adınitted.
The changes that have been made in the Hotel des Invalides, similar to those made in the case of Greenwich Hospital, led to assertions that it was the intention of the Government to suppress it altogether. This, however, is not the case; and infirm soldiers who are without friends are to be adınitted. as hitherto, but as a good part of the building would otherwise remain unoccupied, soldiers have been quartered in it until such time as a war inay render it necessary to restore it to its original use.
The French Government is exerting its influence to put down gambling abroad, but considering the extent to which it prevails in Paris, in places which are very much the same as public places it would have been well if they had prevailed on the members of such associations to prohibit play altogether. It is true that they have for their own protection inade a regulation that the money played for shall be staked, but the rule would have been much iinproved if it had contained the further provision that nobody should lend money to a player to enable him to continue his play when his own funds were exhausted.
Just now when the public mind is so painfully affected by the loss of the steamship, London, the following little episode in seafaring life will be read with interest. A lad named Michel SaintJulien, serving as a novice, or as we might term it apprentice, on board the “ Admiral Magon,” a French vessel which had taken in a cargo of coal at Swansea, and was bound for Lisbon.
This vessel was run into by an English vessel, and so much damaged that the crew took refuge on board the latter, and it was not discovered until too late that the boy was inissing. The fog was very dense at the time, and when it had cleared away no trace of the Admiral Magon was visible, and it was assumed that she had gone down This, however, was not the case. The boy, finding himself abandoned, at first began to cry; then he betook himself to the pump, having first lighted a lamp, and passed the night in pumping, stopping occasionally to ring the bell
. Twice during the following day vessels came in sight, but they either did not perceive the signal of distress he had hoisted, or disregarded it. For three days he continued his labours at the pump, and then a Bremen steamer came alongside and rescued him from his perilous situation.
In the movement of troops to a considerable distance, a few minutes delay on one of the lines might be productive of very serious inconvenience by compelling them to remain in a town for a whole night instead of being taken on to their destination at once. In France, they are very strict in such matters, as the following judg. ment delivered a few days ago will show. The case was that of a fariner who was going to Brienon to buy corn, but who, in consequence of the train being twenty-six minutes late found the market closed when he got there. Seeing, says the judgment, that the company can in no way justify this delay of twenty-six minutes. That its responsibility is as much the greater that having a munopoly of the conveyance of passengers it ought to be held more strictly to its engagements towards the public who are compelled to travel by it, and that is is proved to the satisfaction of the court that such delays are of daily occurrence, and arise from an insuffi. ciency of rolling stock, and in the number of servants employed. For these reasons, the court condemns the Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean Railway company to pay the plaintiff twenty-five francs and the whole of the costs.
The Zouaves who were guilty of such scandalous misbehaviour at Martinique, on their arrival in Mexico were marched up to the open space in front of the citadel, the guys of which were loaded and directed towards them. Here they were ordered to stack their arms and advance a sufficient distance to allow the entire garrison to take up their position behind thein. Twenty-five of them were then picked out and manacled, and marched off to prison. The others were quartered in an old convent, where they are to remain until after a court-martial has been held on them. The Mexican government is not likely, however, to suffer the culprits to be visited with very severe punishment, though it would not surprise me to hear that the corps had been disbanded, and that would be punishinent enough; for as they would not have the means of paying their passage back to Europe, most of them would have no other resource ihan taking service in the Mexican Army; though considering the flagrancy of their conduct from a military point of view they deserve a far severer chastiseinent.
Considering the large number of emigrants from different parts of Germany to America, there can be no doubt that if facilities
U.S. Mag. No.417, Fr. 1866.
were given them to embark at Hamburgh, and make the voyage at an equally cheap rate to Mexico, many thousands might be drawn to the latter country who now go to the former. These are exactly the class of emigrants who are wanted—they are industrious, intelligent, they form themselves into colonies, and are therefore very unlikely to quit the country after realising a competence. They have given evidence of this in Brazil, where they have become in some districts so numerous and strong that they have given a heavy blow to the continuance of the slave system.
The withdrawal of the French troops from Rome, of which nobody now seems to entertain a doubt, will not leave the Papal Government in such an unprotected condition as many have persisted in saying it would. From fifteen hundred to two thousand men have already been recruited in France, and provided the pay continues to be as good as it has hitherto been, I see no reason, except the weakness of the Papal Exchequer, why this number should not be increased to ten thousand, or even more. These men, as well as the Spaniards and Belgians in the Papal service, may be thoroughly relied on in the event of an invasion of Rome by Italians to act against the latter with vigour; they having no love for the latter, on the contrary, they have a good deal of the opposite sentiment.
The readers of the United Service Magazine must occasionally have found it difficult to decide whether to accept the statements therein on the subject of Italy, or the very different opinions expressed on the subject of that country by the English news. papers; but they will now perceive from the statements these latter are now forced to make that it was not the Magazine that was in error. The Italian journals themselves contain charges against the members of their Legislature which nobody who knows Italy will deny to be well-founded. They are charged with being influenced in the first place, and above all other considerations, with studying their own interests and that of their relations and friends, and caring for the good of their country only as far as it can be made subservient to these. It is this which makes it 'so difficult for a Minister of Finance to reduce the expenditure. Every department of the Government is crowded with officials who have nothing, or next to nothing to do, but whom he cannot dismiss, for if he were to do so to the extent to which it might be done without detriment to the public service, he would excite such opposition that his continuance in the post of Minister would be of short duration, and no good would result from his patriotic attempt, inasmuch as the succeeding government would, in all probability, fill up the vacated posts with their own friends. It is this self-seeking which splits the Chamber into so many sections, and renders a strong government impossible. The mass of the members seem to have just so much desire that the expenditure should be reduced, or the revenue increased, as to give a lax