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vessels. Whilst the sailing vessel is rolling about in the calms, the steamer is making a quick passage through the tropical regions.

But I hope that the evil influence of calms may be greatly reduced on board of sailing vessels. By the reports we have received of vessels that have passed the line by Lieut. Maury's route, calms are very little felt. It appears that the regions on which these calms exist being of a wedge form, with the sharp edge on South America, he recommends that the line should be crossed at 30° west, instead of further east; and I have no doubt, from the data by which he supports this advice, that vessels from England to Australia will be benefitted by taking this route. Several Liverpool ships have started with the intention of making this route; amongst them the "Australia," spoken in 8° north under most favourable circumstances. I am anxious to hear of her arrival. To cross the line at 30° of west longitude was not usual in modern passages to the Horn or the Cape previously to its being advocated by Lieut. Maury. There is no advice more strongly enforced in Horsburgh than to give Cape St. Roque a wide berth. This advice, and many other remarks made in this work, must be disregarded by modern mariners, although they were well suited for the day in which that work was compiled. With such ships as were built some 50 years since, no better advice could be given than to avoid falling into the current that runs round this cape, by which many a ship was carried back towards the West Indies. But what was the condition of our mercantile marine at that time? In order that no vessel should escape the supervision of the British cruisers, and thus infringe our fiscal regulations, the custom-house enforced a law that no British merchant vessel should be longer than three and a-half times her breadth. The tonnage laws co-operated with this regulation to swaddle our mercantile navy into such a state of deformity, that well might the mariner of that day be scared at the idea of approaching St. Roque, although in the present day, with our clippers, we may treat such a fear as a bugbear. We hope the time is passed when the government endeavoured by every means to cripple our mercantile marine, in order that they might keep pace with our ill-formed ships of the British navy.

In concluding the subject I have had the honour of bringing before this Society, allow me to remark that I hope I have proved one point to your satisfaction-that the commanders of Australian emigrant ships are required to be men of superior skill and quick perception, of good natural abilities, and possessing a full amount of that class of education which is best qualified to place a shipmaster at the head of his pro

fession. That line of ships can only attain a high standing in the estimation of the public whose commanders are men of such abilities. Above all, the captain of an Australian ship should cultivate a clear notion of this earth as being a globe and not a plane. I would not do one of them the injustice to insinuate that he does not assent to the truth of the hypothesis that this earth is a sphere. But we often assent to the truth of a proposition, and yet fail in carrying out its principle in practice. So it is with the mariner. He is so accustomed to regard places to be situated as they appear on his chart, that he ceases in practice to regard the earth as a sphere. I do not recommend him to cast aside his chart, but as frequently as possible to compare it with the globe, and by so doing to acquire the power of discerning in the distorted shadow the substance intended to be represented. To young men who desire to rise in their profession there is every inducement to energy. Never was there a greater demand for talented master mariners, nor was there ever such an opportunity offered to those who wish to avail themselves of the advantages afforded. Fifty years ago, the government exerted their utmost power to cripple the mercantile marine. Now, on the contrary, the Board of Trade have afforded an establishment at this port for the instruction of those who desire to advance in their profession-such as they have never previously possessed. To all present I would say, do your utmost to advance science; do not look too narrowly to the subjects that come within your notice in a utilitarian sense. Although the observations of the gentleman who lately so worthily filled the civic chair of this borough, and those of one of the gentlemen who now represent us in parliament, are true, that science should produce utilitarian results; still, unless we cultivate science for the sake of science, we shall not keep up with the spirit of the age. There are branches of science the utilitarian value of which is not at first seen. I have endeavoured to show you instances in which meteorological observations are calculated to be of great practical value to the mercantile interest of this port. I hope the suggestions of Lieut. Maury regarding a record of meteorological observations at sea will be carried out. Liverpool can afford as much valuable information on this subject as any other port. Its extended commerce takes its ships to every part of the globe. For observation in the Australian tracks, the means that Liverpool possesses cannot be surpassed by any other port. But beyond all, if we were to search every port in the world, I would defy you to produce an individual better qualified to superintend such investigations than Mr. Hartnup. I never met clearer illustrations of

series of meteorological observations than such as have been arranged by him. The solution of the problem of the shortest route to and from Australia is reserved, I believe, for Liverpool; and I see no reason why we should go out of Liverpool for the arrangement of data so important in connexion with the solution of this problem.


ROYAL INSTITUTION.-January 9, 1854.

J. B. YATES, Esq., F.S.A., &c., VICE-PRESIDENT, in the Chair.

THE Secretary read a letter from the Rev. Dr. Hume, in which he regretted his inability to be present at the meeting, and stated that he had requested his friend, the Rev. Thomas Moore, M.A., to read his Paper on English Dialects," in the event of such arrangement meeting with the approbation of the Society.

At the conclusion of the meeting the thanks of the Society were voted to Dr. Hume, for his valuable Paper; and also to Mr. Moore, for his kindness in reading the Paper in the author's absence, and for the able manner in which he offered explanations on some of the passages of the Paper.


ROYAL INSTITUTION.-January 23, 1854.

JOSEPH DICKINSON, M.D., F.L.S., &c., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.

AT an EXTRAORDINARY MEETING, held this evening, the following recommendation of the Council was read and adopted, viz.: "To consider the propriety of voting the sum of £50 to the funds of the Local Committee of the BRITISH ASSOCIATION."

Mr. JOHN JONES was ballotted for, and duly elected an Ordinary Member.

Mr. R. M'ANDREW exhibited three specimens of a remarkably large species of prawn, found on the west coast of Ireland, and bearing a similarity to the African species.

The Rev. Dr. HUME exhibited a mineral from the Coal Measures of Edinburgh, regarding the nature of which considerable doubt


Mr. JOHN LEIGH CLARE exhibited, from the tertiary formations upon the south bank of the Tagus, near Lisbon, fossil specimens of "Panopaa Aldrovandi," &c.

The Rev. Dr. HUME offered some explanations on his Paper on "English Dialects," read at the last Ordinary Meeting.

Dr. WILLIAM IHNE read the first part of his Paper on "The Paradise Lost of Milton."


ROYAL INSTITUTION.-February 6, 1854.

JOSEPH DICKINSON, M.D., F.L.S., &c., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.

MR. WILLIAM BENNETT, Mr. WILLIAM REES, RORERT GEE, M.D., Mr. WILLIAM LIDDERDALE, Mr. F. D. FLETCHER, and Mr. F. PRANGE, were ballotted for, and duly elected Ordinary Members.

Mr. WILLIAM BURKE exhibited a Manuscript Work on Book-keeping: also in Manuscript, "The whole Art of Measuring, Practical Geometry, and Mensuration." Both works were very beautifully executed by Mr. J. T. Creighton.

Mr. THOMAS SANSOM, Secretary, exhibited fossil specimens of Catillus, or Inocenamus mytiloides, from the cretaceous or chalk


PROFESSOR GRIFFITH exhibited a series of fossils (including a specimen of Orthocera calamiteum?), from the Aberuddy Slate, a deep

Cambrian formation, in which very few fossils of any been found.

Dr. W. IHNE concluded his Paper

kind have ever


"In the vast field of criticism on which we are now entering, innumerable reapers have already put their sickles. Yet the harvest is so abundant, that the negligent search of a straggling gleaner may be rewarded with a sheaf."

Macaulay's Essay on Milton.-Edin. Rev., 1825.

AN age is characterised not only by its literary productions, but also by the degree of esteem, in which it holds the productions of former times. The enthusiasm or the coldness shown to them indicates, like the rising or falling mercury, the condition of the intellectual atmosphere, and is a tolerably safe criterion of the prevailing spirit of the age. Shakspeare has gone through periods of comparative neglect and admiration, so have Homer and Dante, Horace, Virgil and Cicero, Voltaire and Rousseau, the Niebelungen and Wolfram von Eschenbach, in proportion as the character of their works was congenial with, or adverse to, successive ages. Shakspeare is now all-ruling, Milton is quite in the "dust and silence of the upper shelf." Perhaps our investigation into the composition and style of the "Paradise Lost" may help us to understand the causes, and to appreciate the justice of this extraordinary neglect.*

Before entering upon the detail of my investigation, I think it will be necessary to acknowledge and record my veneration for the nobleness of mind, the moral courage and the sublime genius of the blind poet. I do this to shield myself from the odium, to which a frank and unreserved criticism might otherwise expose me. I feel the force and bearing of what Dr. Johnson says in his life of Milton (p. 171): "What Englishman can take delight in transcribing passages, which, if they lessen the reputation of Milton, diminish in some degree the honour of our country?"

But the reputation of Milton is too firmly established, either to need any adventitious support and eulogium, or to suffer much, if at all, from the searching analysis of the critic. If, therefore, I shall be found to dwell chiefly on what appear to me to be blemishes, I trust I shall not, on that account, be ranked among the mean herd of

* Johnson, (Life of Milton, p. 173) already says:- "Paradise Lost' is one of those books which the reader admires, and lays down and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is. Its perusal is a duty rather than a pleasure."

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