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of the boors of the Peak, or as one of his own carters; yet, when he spoke all ears listened, and every mind was filled with the wonders which he pronounced practicable." The duke knew this, and had therefore sent for him. I can imagine that the duke would say, Now, Mr. Brindley, I have heard of your astonishing perseverance; I have heard of the great water-engine you made for draining the coal-mine at Clifton; I have heard of the new silk-mill you erected at Congleton, in Cheshire; and of the steam-engine you erected at Newcastle-under-Lyne for saving one-half of the fuel;do you think you can apply your ingenuity to the making of a canal?"
Brindley, you must remember, never had made such a thing; but that mattered not to a man of his spirit; he undertook to survey the ground, and see whether it could be done. Accordingly you might soon after have seen a rough-looking man, with lines and surveying instruments, hard at work
measuring the ground from the Worsley coal-mines to Manchester. He found that there were some tremendous difficulties to get through; yet, as I told you last week, he reported to the duke that he would undertake to surmount them.
The duke then resolved that in making the canal every part of the work should be done in the most perfect manner. One great difficulty seemed to be that of getting a supply of water.
When the country through which the water flows is uneven, it is usual to divide the canal into sections of different levels by means of locks. But as this plan causes some waste of the water, it was decided that there should be one level throughout, without any locks. This plan, however, increased the other difficulties of Brindley, as he would have to carry the canal under high hills, and across wide and deep valleys. Many people, therefore, said, as before, when they heard of Brindley's plans, "Oh, he cannot possibly do it." Many laughed, and thought that the duke was only going to waste his money.
The surprise of the people was not lessened when they saw how Brindley commenced his work. Having found out which was the proper level for the canal, he began in the heart of the coal-mountain at Worsley: here he formed a large basin for a supply of water, and he then bored a tunnel three-quarters of a mile long, from the basin to the other side of the hill. How he continued the canal across the country, I cannot tell you; you must go to Lancashire to see the work itself, to understand its merits. He had fixed the level of the water, and to that level he kept it, either by cutting or boring, or making high banks, or brickwork on which the water could flow. He not only directed the workmen, but helped them by inventing new machines; he also took care to have everything done
in the cheapest way. For instance, having excavated gravel and clay from one place, he used it for making embankments, or for making bricks, in another. These materials were carried in boats which opened at the bottom, and dropped their load into the place where it was required, without trouble. So great was the care of the great engineer, that he seemed ready for every difficulty that he met with; and so great was his forethought, that he made no blunders; he never had to undo anything that he had done.
Yet with all his power of invention for getting through the work easily; with all his calculations to save expense; with all his care and forethought, the work was a very heavy one; the difficulties were gigantic, and what was worse, so was the expense. The duke was a very rich man, and he gave up his money freely: he spent thousands upon thousands of pounds; and instead of living like a rich noble, he devoted all his money, except £400 per annum, for the purpose. All the people of England knew how poor he had made himself, for every one was watching and talking about the wonderful work; and when the duke tried to borrow £500 at the Royal Exchange, no merchant would trust him. They said that he had ruined himself, and that they should never get their money back again if they lent it him, because his fine canal scheme must all come to nought. So the people of Lancashire laughed at Brindley
more. Indeed all people made a great outcry-they ridiculed Brindley for attempting impossibilities, and the Duke of Bridgewater for being so extravagant.
But the duke was, fortunately, as unflinching and determined as his engineer. He had made up his mind that the thing should be done, so he shut his ears to the peoples' remarks, and set about raising more money in every possible way. His agent, Mr. Gilbert, was kept constantly employed in riding up and down the country offering the duke's "promissory-notes" in exchange for money. Thus more money
was raised; and the work was carried on.
But when the undertaking was nearly finished, the greatest difficulty of all presented itself
-the canal, to be brought into Manchester, must be carried over the river IRWELL, on which Manchester is situated. So, when the people heard that this was to be done, they all laughed again. They asked, "How can you carry a canal over a river?" and many said 'twas impossible. Even the duke began to wonder how it was to be done; but as for the daring Brindley, nothing could dismay him. He said he would rear an immense bridge of three arches across the river, and that his canal should flow over this bridge, while the Irwell flowed under it. Such a bridge we call an aqueduct. The duke, however, was staggered at the idea; the centre arch was to rise forty feet above the
river. The ridicule of the people, too, was increasing; and they still cried-"Pooh! impossible!"
Brindley, therefore, thought he would convince the duke that the design was practicable, before he ventured to ask for so large a sum of money as the bridge must cost; so he procured another engineer to examine his plans, and give his opinion upon them. Brindley brought him to the spot, by the side of the river where the aqueduct was to be built, and explained how he meant to do it; but, alas! the engineer was as hard to persuade as the people-he only shook his head, and remarked that "he had often heard of castles in the air, but never before was shown where any of them were to be erected."
1760, it was begun, and on the 17th July following, it was finished. On that day the people who had said "Pooh," and those who had said "Impossible," were silent. They were silenced by the sight of a noble aqueduct, 600 feet long. They gazed at it with wonder, and they were awed into silence once more when the first boat passed over it, floating on THE BRIDGEWATER CANAL. Over the new canal it glided in silence, yet it spoke-ah! it spoke with a power which all people felt; it gave them a silent lesson on the sure triumph of industry, of determination, and of perseverance. Oh, it was a beautiful sight! What thoughts of James Brindley must the workmen, the Duke of Bridgewater, and the spectators have had then! It was novel Never mind! Such oppo- and pleasant, too, as the boat sition did not discourage Brind-glided over the canal, to see a ley-it only called forth more of his determination-he declared the more loudly that he could do it, and that it should be done. The duke believed him, and the bridge was therefore put in hand. In September,
great vessel with all its masts and sails standing undisturbed, directly under the boat's keel.
There were other triumphs, too. I wish there was time to tell you of them now, but they must be left until next week.
THE STORMY PETREL.
Up and down! up and down!
From the base of the wave to the billow's crown,
The stormy Petrel finds a home;
A home,-if such a place can be,
For her who lives in the wide, wide sea,
On the craggy ice, in the frozen air,
And only seeketh her rocky lair
To warm her young, and teach them to spring
P. You heard last week how Henry acquired power for himself, and depressed that of the nobles; but you did not hear how he sought to improve the people.
After rendering the people more free from the influence of the nobles, Henry's third plan was to teach them industry, and improve their commerce. He therefore tried to This latter object was partly remove the towns from the gained by the means taken to neighbourhood of the castles to destroy the feudal system. You situations more convenient for know, from your previous His- trade-such as the vicinity of tory lessons, that most of the some river or of the sea. Here towns were in the neighbour- he taught them the advantages hood of some great castle, where of industry; he also taught a powerful baron resided as them to be frugal, and to pay their lord and protector. You their debts-in both of which have heard, too, that this was points he set them an example. not always the case; and that At the same time, in his treaties in many instances, where the with foreign princes he made castles had been destroyed, the provisions for the advantage of nobles had built themselves commerce, and for securing the large wooden mansions, or halls, rights of the British merchants. instead. The greater number of The active people of the comtowns, however, were still under mercial towns thus depended the control of some baron; his on themselves, the laws, and castle was not only a fortress the king; therefore, they soon for protection, but a prison for presented a favourable concriminals. It was often fre-trast to the towns dependent quented, too, by a host of idle on the barons. guests. But as the nobles were rendered less powerful by Henry, the people became less dependent, and could act more according to their own wishes, or the king's.
A second step to the establishment of order was the institution of the Court of Star Chamber. It was intended to put down certain associations of individuals under a chief, whose livery they wore; while they bound themselves by oath to maintain his private quarrels.
Let me stop here for a moment to tell you that even in the present day these baronial towns are not all extinct. Last year, I visited a town in Sussex, in which the most important place was the great castle of the duke who lived there. I found that a large number of the houses belonged to the duke, and that the tradesmen depended chiefly for custom upon him, and other families in the neighbourhood. But there was little industry or commerce in the
procure a certificate to that effect from some lawyer, may enter an action in formâ pauperis.
town; it was a quiet sleepy place: the week-days were as quiet as the Sundays. There was only one inn, and its sign was the duke's arms. The duke By the removal of the towns, even professed the ancient reli- the encouragement of industry, gion of the feudal times, but he and other means, the race of has since become a Protestant."serfs," the lowest order deHe is, however, very different pendent on the nobles, became from the ancient barons; for almost extinct. One great when I talked about him, the people spoke of him as a kind man. He not only tried to help them, but he cared for the poor, and did them good. There is a railway-station within three or four miles of the town, but it has not done much to rouse the people to activity. There is more than one such town still to be found in England.
reason for this was that the barons did not want them. There were scarcely any wars except the civil wars and insurrections, which the cautious Henry could not prevent. A second reason was, that there was no need for them to depend on the barons. In those times of peace, the useful arts made rapid progress: tilers, bricklayers, and glaziers, were much sought after; and there was plenty of work to do. Wages were nearly four times as high as in the century before, and every serf was thus able to get his own living.
But the commercial towns which Henry promoted must have been very interesting objects to him. In this king you may see how contradictory is human nature; for although he was selfish and unjust; yet he took delight in the good of the The king, moreover, deterpeople. He even took care to mined that all who were able help the poor, that they might should work. He not only enobtain justice from their supe-couraged industry, but enforced riors. This had never been it. A law was made, that if any easy to obtain from the rich unemployed person refused to because of their great power, work he might be imprisoned. and because of the expense of But, sagacious as Henry was, the fees to the lawyers. Henry he made another mistake; therefore provided that those although, in this case, he acted who were very poor might sue with a good intention. His for justice without paying the mistake was in attempting to law-fees. They were said to regulate the price of wages by sue in forma pauperis, which law; for it has since been found means "in the manner of a poor that such matters should be left man. This practice is still in to regulate themselves. force; any poor man who takes following is a copy of the rate an oath that he does not pos- of wages in the statute of 1496, sess five pounds, if he has a and according to this table all just cause to be tried, and can were compelled to work: