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pany's servants we were conducted in a small / which we stood as an humble but affecting boat half way across the rapid currents of tribute of regard to some half-dozen of their the Menai Straits to the Little Rock, then comrades, who-poor fellows !—had been completely beneath the water-upon which, killed in the construction of the Britannia under the able direction of Mr. Frank Fors- Bridge. ter, engineer of the line from Bangor to On the south the horizon appeared boundHolyhead, there had been erected (on a ed, or rather fortified by that range of mounbase embedded in pure Roman cement of tains, about forty miles in length, which bear 62 feet by 52 feet) the Britannia Tower, the name of Snowdon, and among which, the which, still surrounded by its scaffolding, loftiest, stands the well-known Patriarch of majestically arose out of the middle of the the group. Between the base of these hills stream to a height of 230 feet.

and the Straits was the little wooden city This enormous structure, which weighs built for the artificers and workmen, its biue upward of 20,000 tons, and which, from slates and whitewashed walls strongly conbeing roughly quarried or hewn, displays ontrasting with each other. In this vicinity the outside the picturesque appearance of we observed, in large masses and patches, natural rock, is a conglomeration of 148,625 the moving multitude through which we had cubic feet of Anglesey marble for the exte- just driven, and who, unsatiated with enjoyrior—144,625 cubic feet of sandstone for ment, were still swarming round oņe object the interior—and 387 tons of cast-iron beams after another, like bees occasionally dispersand girders worked in, to give strength, so- ing only to meet again. lidity, and security to the mass. The only Lastly, close to the shore, on their wooden way of ascending was by a series of ladders, platform, from which the erowd, by order of communicating, one above another, with the Captain Moorsom, R. N., was very properly successive layers of horizontal balks, of which strictly excluded, there stood, slightly sepathis immense pile of well-arranged scaffold- rated from each other, the sole objects of our ing was composed—and accordingly, hand journey--namely, the two sets of bollow tubes, over hand and step by step, we leisurely four in number, which, under the sole superinarose until we reached a small platform 15 tendence of Mr. Edwin Clark, had been confeet above the pinnacle of the tower. structed as the aërial passages for the up

The view was magnificent. On the east down trains across the Straits. Being each and west were to be seen glittering in large 472 feet in length, and being also of the masses the Irish Sea and St. George's Chan- height of an ordinary two-storied dwelling, nel, connected together by the narrow Straits, they all together appeared like a street or whose silvery course, meandering in the row of chimneyless houses half a mile long, chasm beneath, was alike ornamented and built on the water's edge ; indeed, if winimpeded by several very small rocks and dows and doors had been painted upon them, islands, round and about which the impri- the resemblance would have been perfect. soned stream evidently struggled with great of the four lengthy compartments the two violence. Upon two or three of these little on the eastern extremity, and that on the islands was to be seen, like a white speck, western end, had been painted red; the the humble cottage of the fisherman, who remaining one, which in a few hours was alone inhabited it. About a mile toward not only to be launched but floated down the the Irish Sea there gracefully hung across stream to the very foot of the tower on the stream, in a festoon, which, in the annals which we stood, had been finished in stoneof science, will ever encircle the name of color. Telford, bis celebrated Suspension Bridge, We would willingly conclude our slight over which a couple of horses, appearing panoramic picture by describing the appearlike mice, were trotting.

ance of the moving water gliding past the On the north lay extended a verdant foot of the tower far beneath ; but on going country, surmounted in the direction of the to the edge of the masonry to look down at new railroad by the great Anglesey column, it, we must confess that we found it to be erected by the surrounding inhabitants to utterly impracticable to gaze even for a mothe noble Commander of the Cavalry at ment at the dizzy scene. Waterloo. About two hundred yards be- In descending from the eminence we had neath this splendid testimonial, and adjoining been enjoying, we paused at 50 feet from to a little isolated church, there modestly the top to inspect the steam-engine and boiler peeped up a very small free-stone obelisk, therein inserted for working two hydraulic erected by the workmen of the tower on presses, which principally reposed upon a

and

wall 10 feet 6 inches thick, the other three | iron frames deposited on the land towers and walls being 7 feet 6 inches in thickness. At abutments—so that the tubes, like the tide 107 feet from the top, and at 103 feet from beneath them, may freely flow forward or ebb the water, we again stopped for a few

minutes backward at their free will and pleasure, or to enter the immense passage in the Britannia rather according to the immutable laws of Tower, through which-strange to think the Omnipotent Power by which they have trains full of up and down passengers at been created. railway speed are to pass and repass each On crawling upon our hands and knees other. The ends of the tubes from the through a gap or hole in the masonry of the Anglesey and Carnarvon Towers, now repos- Britannia Tower, which had been kept open ing far away on the beach, meeting at this for the purpose of passing through it a stout point on immense cast-iron plates interposed hawser for hauling to its destination the on the masonry to secure an equal pressure, floating tube, we suddenly perceived at its are not only to be firmly connected together, base lying prostrate immediately beneath but are to be substantially riveted to the us-on a large platform, latticed like the fabric. To the opposite ends of these tubes, grating of a ship, and under which the deep the extremities of those passing from the stream was rushing with fearful violence, embankment to the two land towers just boiling, bubbling around, as well as dimpling named are also in like manner to be firmly along the piles that obstructed it—what at connected; by which means each aërial the first glance very much resembled the gallery will eventually be composed of a main-sail of a man-of-war stretched out to single hollow iron beam 1513 feet in length, dry, but which we soon discovered to be a far surpassing in size any piece of wrought conglomeration of the earth-stained fustian iron-work ever before put together—its jackets, fustian trowsers, dusty stockings, weight, 5000 tons, being nearly equal to that hob-nailed shoes, red sun-burnt faces and of two 120-gun ships, having on board, ready brown horny fingers of a confused mass of for sea, guns, powder, shot, provisions, crew, over-tired laborers, all dead asleep under flags, captains, chaplains, admiral, and all ! the stiff extended bars of the capstan which

Lastly, to bring the component parts of they had constructed, and at which they had this not only extended but ittenuated mass been working. of iron into vigorous action, or in other Although they were lying, what in counwords, to enable it to exert its utmost possible try parlance is termed “top and tail," jamstrength, Mr. Stephenson has directed that med together so closely that in no place could after the component parts of each of the we have managed to step between them, not two parallel tubes have, by the process a single eye was open, or scarcely a mouth already described, been firmly riveted into shut. The expression of their honest counone continuous hollow beam, the extremities tenances, as well as of their collapsed frames, thereof shall be lowered about 15 inches, by plainly told not only how completely they taking away the false keels or foundations, had been exhausted, but how sweet was the on which in their construction they had pur- rest they were enjoying. In the right hands posely been raised. By this simple opera- of several of them, old stumpy pipes of differtion it is estimated that the tube will receive ent lengths, also exhausted, were apparently a strength of 30 per cent. in addition to that just dropping from their fingers, and while which it possessed in separate lengths, and the hot sun was roasting their faces and without the precise amount of tension so bare throats, a number of very ordinary scientifically devised. When thus finally blue-bottle flies in search of some game or completed, its total length will amount to no other were either running down their noses less than 1841 feet.

and along their lips to the corner of their To enable this enormous mass of thin plate- mouths, or busily hunting across the stubble iron—(the middle of which, as we have of their beards. stated, is to be firmly riveted to that passage Although for some time "we paced along through the Britannia Tower to which we the giddy footing of the hatches” on which have descended) --- comfortably to expand they were snoring, gazing sometimes at them, itself and contract according to the tempera- sometimes at the wild scenery around them, ture of the weather-a yawning enjoyment and sometimes at the active element that was which requires the space of about 12 inches rushing beneath, no one of the mass awa. -a number of cast-iron rollers, as well as kened or even moved, and thus, poor fellows ! of balls of gun metal, all six inches in diam- they knew not, and never will know, the eter, have been placed on immense cast. pleasure we enjoyed in reviewing them!

On rowing from Britannia Rock, we had, it assumed its proper bearing, it should beof course, a full view of the remainder of come perfectly straight—which it did. the masonry, containing all together no less During its formation, a portion of the than 1,500,000 cubic feet of stone, of which wooden platform under each of its ends was this stupendous work is composed. As, cut away, and the rock beneath excavated, however, it would be tedious to enter into its until on either side there was formed a dock details, we will merely, while our boat is just large enough to admit four pontoons, approaching the shore, state, that the towers each 98 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 11 feet and abutments are externally composed of deep. When these docks were completed, the gray roughly-hewn Anglesey marble we the eight pontoons,--scuttled at the bottom have described ; that the land-towers, the by valves, which could either let in or keep bases of which are the same as that of the out the water at pleasure,—were deposited Britannia, are each 198 feet above high-wa- at their posts; and though their combined ter, and that they contain 210 tons of cast- power of floatage amounted to 3200 tons, iron girders and beams.

the weight of the tube with its apparatus The four colossal statues of lions-We being only 1800 tons, yet, in consequence of must not compare them to sentinels, for they the valves being kept open so as to allow are couchant—which in pairs terminate the the tide to flow in and out, they lay on their land ends of the abutments that on each side bottoms like foundered vessels ; and thus it of the straits laterally support its approaching was curious to see crouching, as it were, embankment—are composed of the same in ambush beneath the tube a dormant marble as the towers. These noble animals, power, only waiting for the word of comwhich are of the antique, knocker-nosed, mand, up and at 'em, to execute the duty pimple-faced Egyptian, instead of the real they were competent to perform. Numidian form, although sitting, are each Besides these arrangements Mr. Stephen12 feet high, 25 feet long, and weigh 30 tons. son, in pursuance of a plan which had been Their appearance is grand, grave, and im- deliberately committed to paper, had ordered posing--the position they occupy being 180 the construction, on the Anglesey and on feet in advance of the entrances into the the Carnarvon shores, as also on stages two tubes, which so closely resemble that constructed on piles at the Britannia Rock, of over the drawbridge into a fortress, that one a series of capstans, communicating with the looks up almost involuntarily for the port- pontoons by a set of ropes and hawsers cullis.

more than two miles in length. Of these the The net-work of scaffolding, nearly 100 principal were two four-inch hawsers, or feet high, upon which the short tubes com- leading-strings, between which, like a capmunicating from the Anglesey abutments to tive wild elephant between two tame ones, the land-tower, had been permanently con- the tube was to be safely guarded, guided, structed, not only appeared highly pictur- and conducted from its cradle to its position esque, but was very cleverly composed of at the feet of the Anglesey and Britannia large solid balks of timber from 12 to 16 towers. inches square, and from 40 to 60 feet in These preparations having been all comlength.

pleted, and every man having been appointThe Floating of the Tube.-On landing ed to his post, the valves in the eight ponwe, of course, proceeded to the long range toons were closed, in consequence of which of tubes, or streets, we have described. they simultaneously rose with the tide, until

The arrangements which Mr. Stephenson their gunwales, like the shoulders of Atlas, had devised for floating the first of them to gradually received their load. its destination were briefly as follows:

At this moment the few who had been As soon as this portion of the gallery was admitted to the spot watched with intense finally completed, the props upon which it anxiety the extremities of the tubes, which, had rested at a height above the wooden from the severe pressure they had been inplatform sufficient to enable artificers to work ficting, had, in a slight degree, forced their beneath it, were removed, so as to allow it way into the wooden balks that supported to be supported only at its two extremities. them. By degrees this pressure was ob The result of this trial satisfactorily demon- served perceptibly to relax, until a slight strated the accuracy of the calculations upon crack, and then a crevice, was seen to exist which the tube had been purposely con- between the old points of contact. In a few structed circular at bottom to the height or seconds this crevice was converted into daycamber of nine inches, in order that when light, amidst a general whisper of exultation VOL XIX. NO. II.

14

announcing, “It's AFLOAT !" The tube, stans on the opposite shore, were cheerily however, was still firmly retained in its dock hauling in the hawsers upon which, for the by two conflicting powers-namely, one set moment, the thread of our destinies deof hawsers, maternally holding it to the pended. quiet home on which it had been constructed On arriving at Position No. 2, it became —and another set from the shore diametri- necessary to exchange the mechanical power cally opposite, hauling it outward to its by which the tube had been forced forward, destiny.

fór that of the tide, which was to carry it At this moment we ascended, by a long end foremost down the stream to its goal. ladder, to the top of the tube, and had As, however, this latter power—to say scarcely reached it when Mr. Stephenson nothing of a strong breeze of wind which very quietly gave the important word of drove the same way-would have propelled command-Cut the land attachments! Some the lengthy mass more than twice as fast as carpenters, all ready with their axes, at a it had been declared prudent it should profew strokes nearly severed the strands, and ceed, a very strong power, by means of a the tension from the opposite hawsers burst- small capstan, was exerted in each set of ing the remainder, the long street, upon pontoons, to compress between wooden conwhose flat roof we stood, slowly, silently, centric clamps, the guide hawsers, by which and majestically moved into the water. contrivance the pace was regulated with the

As the two extremities of the floating tube greatest possible precision. This most imhad been in alignment with those of the portant duty was confided to, and executed tubes on each side, which of course remained by, two volunteer assistants, Mr. Brunel and stationary, and whose roofs were loaded with Mr. Locke (we rank them alphabetically); well-dressed spectators, its advance was as and, although the whole scene of the flotaclearly defined as that of a single regiment tion was one of the most interesting it has when, leaving its division to stand at ease, it ever been our chequered fortune to witness, marches by word of command from the there was no part of it on which we gazed, centre out in front of its comrades.

and have since reflected with such unmixed Upon the deck or roof of the tube, which pleasure, as the zeal and almost over-anxiety we may observe had no guard or railing, with which Mr. Stephenson's two competithere was nailed Mr. Stephenson's plan, ex- tors in fame, stood, during the whole operhibiting the eight positions or minuet at- ation, intently watching him, until by either titudes which the floating monster was to mutely raising his arms horizontally upassume at different periods of its voyage; ward, or in like manner slowly depressing and, as it had 100 feet to proceed before its them, he should communicate to them his first change, we had leisure to gaze upon the desire that the speed might be increased or strange, interesting scene that surrounded diminished.

But besides regulating the speed, it was From the lofty summit of the Britannia repeatedly necessary, especially at the points Tower, surmounted by the Union Jack, to we have enumerated, slightly to alter the those of the Anglesey and Carnarvon Towers position of the tube by means of capstans, on either side of it, were suspended, in two often working together with combined immense festoons, flags of all colors and of powers on different points of the shores. all nations. Every vessel at anchor, every Orders to this effect were silently commusteamer under weigh, as well as several nicated by exhibiting from the top of the houses on shore, were similarly ornamented. tube large wooden letters, and by the wavAt different points on each coast, and es- ing of flags of different colors, in consequence pecially upon every eminence, were congre- of which, the men of the distant capstans gated large variegated masses of human belonging to the letters telegraphically beings. The great green woods of Carnar- shown, were, at the same moment, seen viovon seemed literally swarming alive with lently to run round as if they had suddenly them, and, to add to the audience, a large been electrified. Indeed, at one point, the steamer — arriving almost too late — as it poor fellows were all at once thrown upon scuffled to a safe position, exhibited a dense their backs, in consequence of the rupture of mass of black hats and showy bonnets, en- the capstan-stop. livened by a brass band, which was not un- The duties of Captain Claxton-whose appropriately playing “Rule Britannia," scientific and nautical acquiremeuts had the breeze wafting along with it the manly, previously been evinced by floating the Great joyous song of the sailors who, at the cap- Britain at Dundrum-were highly important. Besides the experienced opinions be bad The seventh movement brought the forecontributed, he had sole command of the most end of the tube about 12 feet past the whole of the marine force, and accordingly Anglesey Tower, and the rear end being now from the top of the tube he continually close to its destination, the hook of an immense communicated through his trumpet his crab or pulley-block passing through a hole orders to various small boats which, as float- purposely left in the masonry of the Britannia ing aide-de-camps, attended upon him. Tower was no sooner affixed to it than the

us.

As he was getting ashore in the morning, workmen at the capstan on piles, whom we we happened to see one of his crew, by sud- described as asleep, instantly ran round, until denly pulling in the bow.oar, strike him so the tube was by main strength dragged—like severely on the forehead, that the blood the head of a bullock in the shambles—to a instantly burst forth, as if to see who “so'ring from which it could not possibly retreat. unkindly knocked." In half-a-dozen seconds, By a combination of capstan-power on the however, his pocket-handkerchief was tied North shore, the foremost or opposite end over it, and he was giving his orders, if pos- was now drawn backward until it came to sible, more eagerly than before.

the edge of the Anglesey Tower ; and al"Jack !” said a sailor from another boat, though we were aware that the measurements as with a quid in his cheek he slowly walked had of course been accurately predetermined, up to the coxswain, what's the matter with yet it was really a beautiful triumph of Science the Cappen's head ?"

to bebold the immense tube pass into its A hoar struck him," replied the sailor to place by a windage or clear space amounting, his brother “blue-jacket,” who at once ap- as nearly as we could judge it, to rather less peared to be perfectly satisfied, as if he than three quarlers of an inch. professionally knew that it was in the nature The tube having now evidently at both of an oar to do so.

ends attained its position over the stone ledge When the tube was about the middle of in the excavation that had been purposely its transit, a slight embarrassment occurred, constructed for it, a deafening-and, to us, a which for a few minutes excited, we after- deeply-affecting-cheer suddenly and simulward were informed, considerable alarm taneously burst out into a continuous roar of among the spectators on shore. In one of applause from the multitudes congregated in the most important of our changes of po- all directions, whose attention had been so sition, a strong hawser, connecting the tube riveted to the series of operations they had with one of the capstans on the Carnarvon been witnessing, that not a sound had previbeach, came against the prow of a small ously escaped from them; nor had they, in fishing-boat, anchored in the middle of the any place, been seen to move from the spots stream by a chain, which so resolutely re- at which they either stood or sat. sisted the immense pressure inflicted upon it, Mr. Stephenson took no notice whatever of that the hawser was bent into an angle of 100 this salute; indeed we much question if he even degrees. The coxswain of a gig, manned by heard it, for his attention was intently occupied four hands, seeing this, gallantly rowed up in giving to his able and confidential assistant, to the boat at anchor, jumped on board, and Mr. Wild, directions respecting the final adthen with more zeal than science, standing justment of the temporary fastenings by which on the wrong side of the hawser, immediate- the tube was to be retained ; but the crowd ly put a handspike under it to heave it up. of spectators—like that at a theatre when the That man will be killedsaid Mr. Stephen curtain of the after-piece drops—were already son very quietly. Captain Claxton vocifer- seen hurrying away in all directions, by steam, ously assailed him through his trumpet, but by boats, by carriages, and on foot, until, in the crew were Welsh, could not understand the brief course of an hour, both coasts were English, and accordingly the man, as if he clear. The tide, however, during the operahad been applauded, exerting himself in all tions we have described had become high, attitudes, made every possible exertion not had turned, and was now beginning to be only to kill himself, but his comrades astern, violent; the valves therefore having been who most certainly would also have been partially drawn up, the pontoons, as they nearly severed by the hawser, had it been gradually filled, sank, until the widely-sepaliberated; but a tiny bump or ornament of rated ends of the tube slowly descended to iron on the boat's head, providentially made their respective shelf or ledge on each tower ; it impossible, and the hawser having been and the discarded power that had successveered out from ashore, the tube instantly fully transported the vast gallery across the righted

water then floating away with the stream

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