Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

charity-old Fritz had heard the band one great rejoicings in the village, to welcome the night, when he pretended to be asleep in a cor- returning party, and the Wessers rose higher ner of the kitchen, making merry over the rob- than ever in public estimation. Next week all bery of the Baron, and the arrest of the peasant their neighbours, excepting the Roskins, were girl; and happening to meet young Krantz, he invited to witness the betrothal of Hubert and related the whole, and they laid a plan for sur- | Casilde; but from old Maud downwards, there prising the robbers. The evidence was clear; was nobody unsurprised, when Karl, at the and on the petticoat which Hubert so uncere- close of the ceremony, quietly remarked that he moniously presented appeared the crest of the thought himself and Bertrude might arrange Lady Elåeda. Albert of the Magazin's story matters too. was also found to be substantially true, and, “ Bertrude, you never told me that,” said readers, it at least is no fiction. Casilde was of Casilde, when the matters were arranged, and course honourably discharged from custody, she met her friend in private. and all returned'in triumph to Warrensberg. No, dear,” said Bertrude; “ Karl and I The Baron and his daughter, whose high rank had agreed on it five years come Midsummer, had prevented them from appearing, shewed but we thought three women in one house their sense of justice, for the Lady Elfeda en- would be too many, and there was no use in dowed Casilde with the once coveted, but now making a fuss about ourselves. You will be unregarded petticoat, crest and all. Albert car- my niece now, Casilde, and sister too. See ried home the other, and told its tale to every what good has come out of our Christmas new customer for many a year. There were / Wish."

A RIDE AMONG THE CLOUD S.

BY ONE WHO IS OFTEN THERE.

We cannot tell how long ago man first con- the possibility of success : we may suppose that ceived the idea of obtaining for himself the means he did so at least, or he would not have chosen of rising above this little planet, and of cleaving his spectators among a people so proverbially a pathway to the stars. Perhaps some dreamy acute as the Scotch. This worthy, having by shepherd-poet in antediluvian ages, watching some means contrived to advertise his vast scithe flight of the birds, first longed for wings, to entific powers, was presented by the king to the rise from earth's surface, and behold the beau. Abbey of Furyland, in order that he might have tiful panorama which lay spread around him. leisure for research and study. Whether grati“ To ride upon the wings of the wind,” is an 'tude prompted his offer we are not told; but he expression enveloping much majesty of concep- shortly after announced that he would, in pretion. So far out of man's power was its realiza-sence of the court, start on wings from the walls tion found to be, that the sublime imaginations of Stirling Castle, and make a trip into France. of the scripture poets assign the cloudy pathway The offer was accepted, and the worthy Abbot to the Creator himself.

set about manufacturing a pair of wings, on What was more natural than for a troubled whose surface he crowded every kind of spirit to share these desires of poetic fancy? plumage, and with which he launched according “Oh that I had wings like a dove,” cries the to his engagement. Of the futility of his atpoet-king of Israel ; " then would I fly away tempt he received a convincing proof in the cirand be at rest!”

cumstances of an ignominious fall and a broken In almost every age we may find traces of thigh. His presence of mind, however, did not man's longing for the dominion of the at- fail him : like Goldsmith's schoolmaster, who mosphere; many and lamentable were the “e’en when conquered ” could "argue still,"; failures of the bold spirits who in early times he apologized for his untoward descent, and adventured their lives and scientific reputations accounted for it as follows : “My wings being in trials of skill in this department: so many composed partly of the feathers of dunghilldisappointments we may presume awoke their fowls, they, by a certain sympathy, were disgust, and the air was abandoned to witches, attracted to the dunghill: had they been comwho were supposed to perform on broomsticks, posed of eagles' feathers alone, the same prinwonders, which all the savants in Christendom ciple would have attracted and kept them up(many of them priests too,) could not achieve. ward.” But we are not told that the Abbot

Not the less did the said savants study the made a second attempt. subject in secret, and now and then burst forth In 1628, another trial was made at Tubingen, with a Eureka cry, which invariably proved a in Holland. The rector of the public school false one. A rapid sketch of a few of the early there was named Keyder, and stoutly maintained attempts in aëronautics will perhaps furnish the possibility of flying. He does not appear some amusement to the reader.

to have goue beyond the theory of the matter During the reign of the Scottish James IV., himself; but the warmth of his eloquence in there arrived from Italy, at his court, a philoso- public lectures on the subject so fully conphical speculator, who appears to have believed in vinced a monk of the neighbourhood, that he made a pair of wings-probably under the in. might be made large enough to carry divers structions of the more prudent Keyder--and men at the same time, together with food for started from a high tower in Tubingen. The their viaticum and commodities for traffic. It monk was a martyr to science; for he, too, came is not the bigness of anything in this kind that down to mother earth sooner than he intended, can hinder its motion, if the motive faculty be broke both his legs in the descent, and died answerable thereunto. We see a great ship from the injuries he received.

swims as well as a small cork; and an eagle flies The monks, especially, seemed to have envied in the air as well as a little gnat.” the witches' supreinacy, for in the fourteenth The serious project of carrying to the moon century Albert of Saxony, an Augustine brother, “commodities for traffic” is 'irresistibly ludicame forward with a theory on our subject. crous; and one can hardly wonder that such He suggests that, if any being could bring speculations as those of Wilkins excited the down a quantity of that light ethereal air which satire and contempt of the wits of the age-of floats above our atmosphere, and enclose it in a Butler among the rest, who, in an episode of ball or vessel, that vessel might be raised, or great brilliancy, ridicules in his “ Hudibras kept suspended in common air, at any height. the then newly-formed Royal Society, of which No onc took any notice of Albert's theory until Wilkins was from the first a member. the beginning of the seventeenth century, when Contemporary with the English divine was a Francis Mendoza, a Portuguese Jesuit, main- Jesuit named Francis Lana, who imagined that tained that the combustibility of fire was no ob- hollow balls of metal might be exhausted of jection to its being made to ascend in proper their air, and that thus they would ascend. The vehicles, as its extreme laxity and the exclusion experiment was tried, and it was made evident of the air would preserve it from inflammation, that a vessel sufficiently thin to float in the air Caspar Schott, also a Jesuit, published the same would be unable to resist the external pressure theory in Germany about the same time. of the atmosphere.

In 1670 a death-blow was given to the absurd In 1709 a certain Friar Guzman constructed speculations about the possibility of flying with a flying machine, whose appearance was someartificial wings, by the learned Borelli, a Neapo- thing like that of a bird, with tubes through litan mathematician, professor of philosophy which the wind was to pass, to fill the wings inand mathematics at Florence and Pisa. Nine tended to raise it. The priest applied to his years before his death, this great man published sovereign for assistance, and ridiculous as his his work, “ De Motu Animalium ;” in which, design may appear to us, he was rewarded with from a comparison between the muscles which a college professorship and a liberal pension. move man's arms and those by which a bird In the year 1766 an Englishman, named moves his wings, he proves that the former are Cavendish, made the important discovery that utterly insufficient to strike the air with such inflammable air (or hydrogen gas) is seven times force as to raise the owner from the ground. lighter than common air. Mr. Cavendish sug

In 1672, Bishop Wilkins, husband to a sister gested to Dr. Black that perhaps a thin bag, of Cromwell, and father-in-law to Tillotson, filled with hydrogen, might be buoyed up by came forward with his whimsical treatise, “ The the common atmosphere.* As a medium to Discovery of a New World; or, a Discourse enclose the hydrogen, bladders were found too tending to prove that it is probable there may be heavy; Chinese paper proved permeable to the another Habitable World in the Moon : with a vapour, and soap-bubbles inflated by the breath Discourse concerning the possibility of a Pas- were the only balloons that met with success. sage thither.”

Thus in 1782 the English philosophers could The learned Bishop of Chester contends thus, not go beyond the child's play.regarding a flight to the moon :-1, " It is not

Sometimes through hollow hole impossible that a man may be able to fly, by the Of pipe amused we blow, and sent aloft application of wings to his own body,* as angels The Floating bubbles, little dreaming then are pictured, as Mercury and Dædalus are To see, Montgolfier, thy silken ball feigned; and, as hath been attempted by divers, Ride buoyant throughout the clouds, so near apparticularly by a Turk in Constantinople, as proach Busbequius relates.” 2. “ If there be” (ominous The sports of children and the toils of men.” if,) "such a great ruck in Madagascar, as Mar- Before the close of 1782, the true theory of cus Polo the Venetian mentions, the feathers in aëronautics was propounded and illustrated by whose wings are twelve feet long, which can soop Stephen and John Montgolfier, brothers, natives up a horse and his rider, or an elephant, as our of Annonay, in France, and proprietors of a kites do a mouse : why, then, it is but teaching

paper manufactory there. one of these

to carry a man, and be may ride up * The idea of the Montgolfiers was to form bither as Ganymede does upon an eagle. Or, an artificial cloud, by enclosing smoke in a bag, if neither of these ways will serve, yet I do se- and making it carry up the covering along with riously, and upon good grounds, affirm it pos- it.” The experiment was tried at Avignon, in sible to make a flying chariot, in which a man the year mentioned above, and the air being may sit, and give such a motion unto it as shall rarefied by the application of burning paper to convey it through the air: and this, perhaps,

An account of such experiments may be found in * Probably Wilkins had not seen Borelli's work. the “ Philosophical Transactions for the Year 1766.”

[ocr errors]

the aperture of the balloon, the bag ascended to those organs, as well as to the external cold. a height of 70 feet,

The beauty of the prospeci he enjoyed, however, The first step being now achieved, public cu amply atoned for these inconveniences. Before riosity-an active thing in France-was soon on his departure the sun had set on the vallies ; but the alert, and the brothers tried a second expe- the height to which he rose rendered that lumiriment. A linen bag, lined with paper, contain- nary again visible, though but for a short time. ing upwards of 23,000 cubic feet, was filled with By the light of the moon he perceived that hiz rarefied air. In ten minutes it rose 6,000 feet, machine turned round with him in the air, and and when its force was exhausted, fell to the he observed contrary currents which brought ground at a distance of 7,668 feet from the point him back again. Ile observed with surprise the of ascension.

effect of the wind, and that the streamers of his The Academy of Sciences now offered to bear banners pointed upward, which he says could the expenses of an experiment, if the Montgol- not be the effect of ascent or descent, his movefiers would undertake the construction of a bal- ment at the time being horizontal. loon. One of the brothers, in answer to this The next improvement sought was the power offer, made a balloon of an elliptical form, and to direct the course of the machine; but we beafter some disappointments the machine rose, lieve we are correct in saying this desideratum carrying a burden of nearly 500 pounds weight. remains yet unattained. Could this difficulty be It is stated that, during a preliminary experi- fully mastered, the science of aëronautics might ment, the balloon nearly carried off the eight assume a position it has never yet taken. persons who were holding it, and would have Blanchard, and several others, constructed mounted with them, had not others come to wings, oars, &c., with the view of guiding the their assistance.

balloon, but met with unequivocal failure. On the 19th September, 1783, M. Montgol- Blanchard, however, was an intrepid aëronaut; fier performed his experiment before the royal and on the 7th January, 1785, in company with family of France, at Versailles. To the balloon Dr. Jeffries, an American, he launched his balwas attached a wicker-cage, containing a sheep, loon, with a boat attached to it, from Shaka dog, and a duck, the first animals ever sent on speare's cliff' at Dover, with the intention of such a voyage.

crossing the Channel, which hazardous feat they The French public appeared so highly de- performed in safety, alighting in the forest of lighted with these experiments, and the machines Guiennes, not far from Calais. The magistrates seemed to ascend and descend so gradually, that of that town received the travellers very hosM. Pilatre de Rosier, anxious for fame, volun- pitably, and the King presented M. Blanchard tarily undertook to ascend in a balloon, and one with 12,000 livres, and a pension of 1,200. was constructed for him in a garden in the The first aërial ascent in England was made Faubourg St. Antoine. “ It was of an oval by Vincent Lunardi, an Italian, on the 21st Sepform, forty-eight feet in diameter, and seventy- tember, 1784. In October of the same year four in height, elegantly painted with the signs Blanchard ascended from Chelsea, carrying the of the zodiac, ciphers of the king's name, and first English adventurer in this line in the perother ornaments. A proper gallery-grate, &c., son of Mr. Sheldon, Professor of Anatomy to enabled the aeronaut to supply the fire with fuel, the Royal Academy. Mr. Sheldon alighted and thus keep up the machine as long as he after a trip of fourteen miles, and Blanchard repleased.

ascended to so great a height that he found The ciumsy and unsafe method of inflating great difficulty in breathing. At this altitude the balloon by means of a fire in the gallery was (he does not give it in figures) he let loose a soon felt to be a nuisance; in fact, M. de Rosier bird, which had great difficulty in supporting and the Marquis d'Arlandes on one occasion itself, and after a few turns came and settled on narrowly escaped having their balloon entirely the machine, afraid to venture into the bound. consumed ; and to remedy the defect it was less ocean around it. proposed to fill the balloon before ascending, a A voyage of nearly twelve hours was made plan which seemed much more advantageous from Paris by M. Testu, in June 1786, in a than the other. Two brothers, named Robert, balloon furnished with wings and inflated with and the philosopher Charles, were the first who gas. He started at four o'clock, P.M., the baroexperimented in this way. A bag of lutestring meter standing at 29.68 inches and the thermowas varnished over with caoutchouc, and inflated meter at 84 degrees. The machine had been with hydrogen; it remained in the air three-only five-sixths filled, but gradually swelled as quarters of an hour, and travelled fifteen miles. it rose into a warmer, drier atmosphere, be

A height of 10,500 feet was attained by M. coming fully distended at a height of 2,800 feet, Charles, in December 1783, an altitude some when, to avoid the waste of gas and the danger what exceeding that of Mount Etna. The ac- of a rupture, M. Testu tried to lower the machine count of this voyage cannot but be interesting. by means of his wings : he was unsuccessful in He rose 9,000 feet in twenty minutes, and earth this design, and obliged to descend in the usual was soon, of course, quite out of sight. In ten manner. He alighted in a corn-field in the minutes he felt a great variation in the atmo- plain of Montmorency. The proprietor of the sphere; his fingers were benumbed, and he ex- field and a troop of peasants rushed about him, perienced violent pains in the right jaw and ear, and insisted on compensation for the damage which he ascribed to the expansion of the air in done to the wheat. The wily Testu told them

men.

his wings were broken, and he and his balloon reached the ground in perfect safety. The paraquite at their mercy; they drew both along chute has been, since then, much used, particutriumphantly by cords attached to the car, until | larly by Garnerin, who in 1802 visited London, M. Testu, discovering that the loss of wings, and used this novel assistant. He fell into a &c., had consideralıly lightened his inacbine, field at St. Pancras, and was considerably hurt, suddenly cut the strings and mounted imme- owing to the breaking of one of the stays of his diately, leaving the enraged peasants staring at slender conveyance. him from below.

When the first flush of success in aeronautics Mr. Lunardi, who had the honour of making gathered large crowds of spectators at Paris, all the first ascent in England, claimed a similar the learned men in Europe shared the enthudistinction in Scotland in the year 1785, when, siasm of the French, and looked to the Academy during the months of November and December, of Sciences for new and important discoveries he ascended twice from Heriot's Hospital Gar- by means of the balloon. We cannot but think, dens, Edinburgh. On the first occasion bis however, although science uwes the discovery of balloon, for some time before it was lost to some facts, and the establishment of others, to right, presented a remarkable appearance owing the use of the Montgolfier discovery, that the to the reflection of the sunbeains: it appeared results have fallen very, very far below the exat first like the full moon, and subsequently like pectations raised by its first appearance and a star of the first magnitude. His second trip success. Darwin thus addresses the lucky was almost fatal to him; for, a strong wind Frenchman :-blowing from the west, he was carried easterly; and his gas being almost exhausted he fell into

" Rise, great Montgolfier, urgo thy venturous flight the sea near the Isle of May; there was just

High o'er the moon's pale ice-reflected light;

High o'er the pearly star, whose beaming horn gas enough left in the balloon to prevent it

Hangs in the east, gay harbinger of morn; sinking, and after some considerable time the

Leave the red eye of Mars on rapid wing, unlucky aeronaut was taken up by some fisher- Jove's silver guards, and Saturn's dusky ring;

Leave the fair beams, which issuing from afar, The method of ascending by throwing out Play with new lustre round the Georgian star; ballast, and of descending by the escape of the Skim with strong oars the sun's attractive throne, gas, is of course attended with considerable ex- The sparkling zodiac, ard the milky zone, pense, and in 1784 the Duke de Chartres, after

Where headlong comets with increasing force wards Duke d’Orleans, endeavoured to improve

Through other systems bend their blazing course; upon this plan. His balloon contained within

For thee Cassiope her chair withdraws,

For thee the Bear retracts his shaggy paws; it a smaller one, by inflating which with common

High o'er the North thy golden orb shall roll, air he conceived the machine might be made

And blaze eternal round the wondering Pule.” sufficiently heavy to descend, especially as by the inflation of the internal or common air Allowing something for poetic imagination, it balloon the gas in the outer bag would be con- is clear that Darwin, as a philosopher, expected siderably compressed, and thus rendered spe- great things from the balloon. As a means of cifically heavier. The balloon, however, was so philosophical observation it was frequently used, blown and torn about by a whirlwind that no about the year 1803, by Mr. Robertson and means of guiding it could be tried, and several others. In the year mentioned, Mr. Robertson mishaps occurring, the Duke himself tore the and another gentleman ascended from Hamballoon in two places to enable descent possible. burgh, and attained such an altitude that "the

M. Pilatre de Rosier, who was, as our readers elasticity of the air alarmingly distended the will recollect, the first person to ascend in a balloon.” They allowed some gas to escape, balloon, now came forward with his plan for and subsequently rose to a height where the cold navigating the machine; and his first experiment was scarcely endurable. The rarefaction of the proved, unhappily, fatal to this distinguished air causing 'all fluids to expand, Mr. Robertson's man, as well as to a M. Romaine, who accom- veins became swollen, and blood streamed from pranied him on the trip. De Rosier's plan was his nose; while his companion's head swelled so to carry up with him a second balloon, to be much that he could not retain his hat. Numbfilled with rarefied air, by ineans of an aërostatic ness was also experienced, and a great desire to machine placed at a sufficient distance from the sleep. gas balloon to prevent any danger to the latter In the following year Mr. Robertson went up from the fire used in inflating the former ; but from St. Petersburg, with M. Sacharof. They at an altitude of three-quarters of a mile the carried numerous philosophical instruments, machine took fire, and the balloon soon col with the view of making experiments. The lapsed; the unfortunate travellers therefore de- aëronauts ascended at a quarter-past seven P.m. <cended with it so rapidly that de Rosier died At about half-past nine M. Sacharof directed his before reaching the earth, and Romaine imme-speaking-trumpet to the earth, and called as diately afterwards.

loudly as his voice permitted. His words reThe invention of the parachute (guard for turned in distinct echo after a lapse of ten falling), a separate machine to facilitate the safe seconds, so that, reckoning from the velocity of descent of the traveller, is due to Blanchard, sound, M. Sacharof concluded that they were who first used one in 1785 at Lisle, in France; about 5,700 feet from the earth. on this occasion he let down a dog, which Some of the aëronautic observers having stated that the magnetic power altogether ceased means laid aside the idea ; and it must be conat a certain height, and M. de Saussure having fessed that they have had great temptations. thought, in observations made on the Col du The balloon—"the most showy and least useful Géant, that there was at great altitudes a consi- of modern inventions”-has had its fair share of derable decrease in the magnetic attraction, it was ridicule. Our old comic magazines are adorned thought advisable to undertake a scientific aëro- with squibs innumerable on the subject; the nautic trip, to try this and other experiments. Ac- pencil of Cruikshank traced one which is among cordingly M. M. Biot and Gay Lussac, two young our very earliest nursery remembrances. The philosophers educated at the Polytechnic School balloons, if we recollect distinctly (our years in Paris, undertook the task. They were fa- were not above four or five at the time, so we voured svith the patronage of the French Govern- cannot speak too positively), were grappled to ment-a government which, however fickle in the tops of our great monuments and churches

. purpose, or feeble or cruel in action, is generally Some purported to be seiting off with parties on alive to the claims of science and of literature, pleasure-trips to the Great Desert, &c.; others to an extent which our better organisation might ivere “express to carry the mails to India and emulate with advantage. The greatest altitude China.” “Another satire was in form of a diary they reached on this occasion was 13,000 feet; kept by an aëronaut, who made several great and from various experiments tried at different discoveries; one was that the mercury in his heights, they concluded that the magnetic force thermometer had sunk so low that it had escaped does not at all diminish; but at the same time altogether—whether from the rarefaction of the they confessed that, owing to the rotary motion air, or in consequence of his having sat upon of the balloon, strict nicety of observation was the instrument and damaged the tube, he was impossible. Gay Lussac subsequently ascended not certain ! to an altitude of 20,150 feet, and declares that A lively writer in “ Blackwood's Magazine" he found no sensible difference; he therefore some years back, discoursing pleasantly on balconcludes that magnetism is the same even at loons, has the following :—“ If this balloon is the greatest altitude. Some exhausted air-flasks powerful enough to carry twenty people, which which he carried with him proved useful in is said, we shall probably soon see some little establishing the fact that the atmosphere, at a steam apparatus superseding the crowd, and a height above the earth, is composed like the air steersman and a stoker urging their swift and on the surface. M. Gay Lussac, on descending, solitary way with the mail bags from Dover to bastened to the Polytechnic School, and analyzed Dalmatia, while a branch balloon carries the the air he had brought down. It was precisely news of the world from Calais to Constanlike that at the surface of the earth, each 1,000 tinople, Caffraria, Coromandel, Cochin China, parts being 215 of oxygen.

and, with a slight bend to the south, to CaliOne of the few fatal ascents was that of M. fornia and home. This would be a glorious Mosment, in 1806. He dropped a dog with a sweep. But what would become of the wisparachute, which came safely to the ground. dom of the world below? What would be the Some hours after, M. Mosment's body, fright- consternation of all the little German highfully mangled, was found in one of the fosses of nesses on finding that all their little precautions the city (Lisle). It is supposed that he over- against the entrée of books, papers, and politibalanced imself in throwing out the animal. cians were set at naught by a new steam-coach

We must not forget that the French ascribe to travelling five miles above their heads, and the use of a balloon, the victory they gained over sending down trunks and travellers every five the Austrians at Fleurus, in 1794. The balloon minutes per parachute? What would become was under the management of M. Contel, who of the thousands of meagre clerks, who sit shicarried up with him some officers. He rose twice vering all day in their little dingy offices, living in the same day to a considerable height, and on the fees which they can extort in the shape communicated the movements of the Austrian of passports? A flying castle in the clouds army to the French general by means of military would extinguish them and their captious trade signs. The enterprise was discovered, and a altogether, sweep over boundaries and ramparts fire opened upon the aëronauts; but they soon at the rate of forty miles an hour, and require rose beyond its reach. We believe this to be nothing but a basket and a rope to hoist the the only occasion on which the balloon has been victim of the Alien Office beyond the reach of of practical use in military operations, though all the gens-d'armes of the Continent. Yet is the French, after the above-mentioned victory, all this to be a dream ?" frequently prepared and sent aëronautic ma- It appears so at present. The sixteen years chines with the army; as, for instance, into which have elapsed since the article above quoted Egypt.

was written, have not brought any such results The machine in which M. Lussac ascended in ballooning as are here hinted at. was one which had been sent to Egypt with a The “ London Magazine” for 1825 contains view of this kind; but we think was never of an amusing prospectus of a proposed Aërostatic any real use there, if indeed it were employed Company, which the writer is sure would "take" at all.

wonderfully. Speaking of balloons as means of The wits, who, as we have seen in the days of conveyance, consider," he says, “ the great Bishop Wilkins considered science and scientific advantage with regard to meals on the road : experiments their fair game, have not by any | the landlord of the inn of a country town, where

« ПредишнаНапред »