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for I heard and understood tnem very well.' And the Earl of Salisbury also rehearsed them to me in French, and another aged knight, who was one of the council of Duke Henry. He told me, as we rode to Chester, that Merlin and Bede had, from the time in which they lived, prophesied of the taking and ruin of the king, and that if I were in his castle he should shew it me in form and manner as I had seen it come to pass, saying thus:—
"There shall be a king in Albion who shall reign for the space of twenty or two-and-twenty years in great honour and in great power, and shall be allied and united with those of Gaul; which king shall be undone in the parts of the north in a triangular place.' Thus the knight told me it was written in a book belonging to him. The triangular place he applied to the town of Conway, and for this he had a very good reason; for I can assure you that it is in a triangle, as though it had been so laid down by a true and exact measurement. In the said town of Conway was the king sufficiently undone; for the Earl of Northumberland drew him forth, as you have already heard, by the treaty which he made with him, and from that time he had no power. Thus the king held this prophecy to be true, and attached thereunto great faith and credit; for such is the nature of them in their country, that they very thoroughly believe in prophecies, phantoms, and witchcraft, and have recourse to them right willingly. Yet in my opinion this is not right, but is a great want of faith.
6. Thus, as you have heard, came Duke Henry to the castle, and spake unto the king, to the Bishop of Carlisle, and the two knights, Sir Stephen Scroope and Ferriby; howbeit unto the Earl of Salisbury he spake not at all, but sent word to him by a knight in this manner: 'Earl of Salisbury, be assured that no more than you deigned to speak to my lord the Duke of Lancaster, when he and you were in Paris at Christmas last past, will he speak unto you.' Then was the earl much abashed, and had great fear and dread at heart, for he saw plainly that the duke mortally hated him. The said Duke Henry called aloud with a stern and savage voice, 'Bring out the king's horses;' and then they brought him two little horses that were not worth forty francs: the king mounted one, and the Earl of Salisbury the other. Every one got on horseback, and we set out from the said castle of Flint about two hours after mid-day.
"In form and manner as you have heard, did Duke Henry take King Richard his lord; and he brought him with great joy and satisfaction to Chester, which he had quitted in the morning. And know, that with great difficulty could the thunder of heaven have been heard for the loud bruit and sound of their instruments, horns, buisines, and trumpets, insomuch that they made all the sca-shore resound with them. Thus the Duke entered the city of Chester, to whom the common people paid great reverence, praising our lord, and shouting after their king, as it were in mockery. The duke led him straight to the castle, which is right fair and strong, and caused him to be lodged in the donjon. And then he gave him in keeping to the son of the Duke of Gloucester, and the son of the Earl of Arundel, who hated him more than any one in the world, because King Richard had put their fathers to death. There he saw his brother the Duke of Exeter, but neither durst nor was able to speak to him. Presently after, the duke sat down to dinner, and made the Archbishop of Canterbury sit above him, and at some distance below him the Duke of Exeter, brother of King Richard, the Earl of Westmoreland, the Earl of Rutland, the Earl of Northumberland, and Sir Thomas Percy,-all these were seated at Duke Henry's table. And the king abode in the tower with his good friends the Earl of Salisbury, the Bishop of Carlisle, and the two knights; and from thenceforth we could never see him, unless it were abroad on the journey; and we were forbidden to speak any more to him, or to any of the others."
The interest of the Frenchman's narrative ends here, for he ceases to be an ear and eyewitness, and the melancholy journey of the king to London is described better by other Chroniclers. He returned to France without waiting the issue of the proceedings in Parliament which placed the crown of England on the head of Henry Bolingbroke. He gives sequel and conclusion to the sad story, but merely on the report of "a clerk whom Duke Henry [Bolingbroke] had taken with him when he departed from Paris," and who had remained in London until some short time after the announcement of the death of King Richard. Upon that mysterious and much-debated fact, the authority of this French clerk does not appear to be entitled to much weight. His notion is that Richard died broken-hearted and selfstarved in prison. His friend the knight is of a contrary opinion; believing the the king was yet alive and well, though most secretly immured in some prison or castle.
142. THE SLIDE OF ALPNACH.
[THE following interesting account of a remarkable work of art was originally published in Gilbert's 'Annalen' in 1819; and a translation appeared in Brewster's Journal.' Mr. Babbage, who has extracted the description in his valuable work, The Economy of Machi nery and Manufactures,' introduces it with the following observations:
"Amongst the forests which flank many of the lofty mountains of Switzerland, some of the finest timber is found in positions almost inaccessible. The expense of roads, even if a were possible to make them in such situations, would prevent the inhabitants from deriving any advantages from these almost inexhaustible supplies. Placed by nature at a considerab elevation above the spot on which they are required, they are precisely in fit circumstances for the application of machinery; and the inhabitants constantly avail themselves of it, th enable the force of gravity to relieve them of some portion of their labour. The inclined planes which they have established in various forests, by which the timber has been seti down to the watercourses, must have excited the admiration of every traveller; and these slides, in addition to the merit of simplicity, have that of economy, as their construction requires scarcely anything beyond the material which grows upon the spot. Of all these specimens of carpentry, the Slide of Alpnach was by far the most considerable, both from its great length, and from the almost inaccessible position from which it descended."]
For many centuries, the rugged flanks and the deep gorges of Mount Pilatus were covered with impenetrable forests. Lofty precipices encircled them on all sides. Even the daring hunters were scarcely able to reach them; and the inhabitants of the valley had never conceived the idea of disturbing them with the axe. These immense forests were therefore permitted to grow and to perish, without being of the least utility to man, till a foreigner, conducted into their wild recesses in the pursuit of the chamois, was struck with wonder at the sight, and directed the attention of several Swiss gentleman to the extent and superiority of the timber. The most intelligent and skilful individuals, however, considered it quite impractica ble to avail themselves of such inaccessible stores. It was not till November, 1816, that M. Rupp, and three Swiss gentlemen, entertaining more sanguine hopes. drew up a plan of a slide, founded on trigonometrical measurements. Having purchased a certain extent of the forests from the commune of Alpnach for 6000 crowns, they began the construction of the slide, and completed it in the spring
The Slide of Alpnach is formed entirely of about 25,000 large pine trees, deprived of their bark, and united together in a very ingenious manner, without the aid of It ocenped about 160 workmen during eighteen months, and cost nearly 100,000 frames, or 4,230% It is about three leagues, or 44,000 English feet long and terminates in the lake of lucerne. It has the form of a trough, about six feet bad, and from three to six feet deep Its bottom is formed of three trees, the
middle one of which has a groove cut out in the direction of its length, for receiving small rills of water, which are conducted into it from various places, for the purpose of diminishing the friction. The whole of the slide is sustained by about 2,000 supports; and in many places it is attached, in a very ingenious manner, to the rugged precipices of granite.
The direction of the slide is sometimes straight, and sometimes zig-zag, with an inclination of from 10° to 18°. It is often carried along the sides of hills and the flanks of precipitous rocks, and sometimes passes over their summits. Occasionally it goes underground, and at other times it is conducted over the deep gorges by scaffoldings 120 feet in height.
The boldness which characterizes this work, the sagacity displayed in all its arrangements, and the skill of the engineer, have excited the wonder of every person who has seen it. Before any step could be taken in its erection, it was necessary to cut several thousand trees to obtain a passage through the impenetrable thickets; and, as the workmen advanced, men were posted at certain distances to point out the road for their return, and to discover, in the gorges, the places where the piles of wood had been established. M, Rupp was himself obliged, more than once, to be suspended by cords, in order to descend precipices many hundred feet high; and, in the first months of the undertaking, he was attacked with a violent fever, which deprived him of the power of superintending his workmen. Nothing, however, could diminish his invincible perseverance. He was carried every day to the mountain in a barrow, to direct the labours of the workmen, which was absolutely necessary, as he had scarcely two good carpenters among them all; the rest having been hired by accident, without any of the knowledge which such an undertaking required. M. Rupp had also to contend against the prejudices of the peasantry. He was supposed to have communion with the devil. He was charged with heresy, and every obstacle was thrown in the way of an enterprise, which they regarded as absurd and impracticable. All these difficulties, however, were surmounted, and he had at last the satisfaction of observing the trees descend from the mountain with the rapidity of lightning. The larger pines, which were about a hundred feet long, and ten inches thick at their smaller extremity, ran through the space of three leagues, or nearly nine miles, in two minutes and a half, and during their descent, they appeared to be only a few feet in length. The arrangements for this part of the operation were extremely simple. From the lower end of the slide to the upper end, where the trees were introduced, workmen were posted at regular distances, and, as soon as every thing was ready, the workman at the lower end of the slide cried out to the one above him," Lachez" (Let go). The cry was repeated from one to another, and reached the top of the slide in three minutes. The workman at the top of the slide then cried out to the one below him, 'Il vient' (It comes), and the tree was immediately launched down the slide, preceded by the cry, which was repeated from post to post. As soon as the tree had reached the bottom, and plunged into the lake, the cry of Lachez was repeated as before, and a new tree was launched in a similar manner. By these means a tree descended every five or six minutes, provided no accident happened to the slide, which sometimes took place, but which was instantly repaired when it did.
In order to show the enormous force which the trees acquired from the great velocity of their descent, M. Rupp made arangements for causing some of the trees to spring from the slide. They penetrated, by their thickest extremities, no less than from eighteen to twenty-four feet into the earth; and one of the trees having by accident struck against the other, it instantly cleft it through its whole length, as if it had been struck by lightning.
After the trees had descended the slide, they were collected into rafts upon the
lake, and conducted to Lucerne. From thence they descended the Reuss, then the Aar to near Brugg, afterwards to Waldshut by the Rhine, then to Basle, and even to the sea, when it was necessary.
In order that none of the small wood might be lost, M. Rupp established in the forest large manufactories of charcoal. He erected magazines for preserving it when manufactured, and had made arrangements for the construction of barrels for the purpose of carrying it to the market. In winter when the slide was covered with snow, the barrels were made to descend on a kind of sledge. The wood which was not fit for being carbonized was heaped up and burnt, and the ashes packed up and carried away during the winter.
A few days before the author of the preceding account visited the slide, an inspector of the navy had come for the purpose of examining the quality of the timber. He declared that he had never scen any timber that was so strong, fine, and of such a size; and he concluded an advantageous bargain for one thou sand trees."
[Such is a brief account of a work undertaken and executed by a single individual and which has excited a very high degree of interest in every part of Europe. We regret to add, that this magnificent structure no longer exists, and that scarcely a trace of it is to be seen upon the flanks of mount Pilatus. Political circumstances have taken away the principal source of demand for the timber; and no othe market having been found, the operation of cutting and transporting the tree necessarily ceased.]
143 & 144.-JOHN ELWES, THE MISER.
[THE life of a mere miser can afford so little general instruction, and excite so lit general interest, that had Mr. Elwes been one of that unhappy class his biography would all probability, so far as Mr. Topham was concerned, have remained unwritten; but X: Elwes was not a mere miser, he possessed qualities that might have entitled him to the lo and reverence of his friends, and to the respect and admiration of his countrymen, had they but been freely developed: they were, however, during a considerable portion of his life, me or less checkered by the unfortunate desire of amassing money, and they may be said to han ultimately disappeared altogether beneath the hateful influence of that ail-absorbing passice "During the life-time of Mr. Elwes, I said to him more than once, I would write his His answer was, 'There is nothing in it, sir, worth mentioning.' That I have been of i different opinion, my labours will show." Thus speaks Mr. Elwes's biographer, in the pre face to his very interesting little work, which was at first published in portions in a periodio. paper called the World,' and received by the public with so much approbation that th whole was afterwards issued in a collective form, and ran through several editions. As of the interest of the publication results from the author's close personal intimacy with Mi Elwes, and from the easy agreeable style of the narration, the following account is given nearly as possible in Mr. Topham's own words.]
The family name of Mr. Elwes was Meggot; and, as his Christian name was Jet.. the conjunction of 'Jack Meggot' made strangers sometimes imagine that his int mates were adressing him by an assumed appellation. His father was a brewe eminence, who died while Mr. Elwes was only four years old; little of the charact of Mr. Elwes was therefore to be attributed to him: but from the mother it be traced at once: for, though she was left nearly one hundred thousand pou by her husband, she starved herself to death. At an early period the boy was st to Westminster school, where he remained ten or twelve years. During that t he certainly had not misapplied his talents, for he was a good classical scholar the last; and it is a circumstance not a little remarkable, though well authenticate that he never read afterwards. His knowledge of accounts was very trifling, what may in some measure explain the total ignorance he was always in as to his afford
From Westminster school he removed to Geneva, where he soon entered upon pursuits more agreeable to him than study. The riding-master of the academy there had to boast of perhaps three of the best riders in Europe-Mr. Worsley, Mr. Elwes, and Sir Sidney Meadows. Of the three, Elwes was reckoned the most desperate; the young horses were always put into his hands, and he was the rough rider to the other two. During this period he was introduced to Voltaire, whom he somewhat resembled in point of appearance: but, though he has mentioned this circumstance, the genius, the fortune, the character of Voltaire never seemed to strike him, they were out of his contemplation and his way; the horses in the riding-school he remembered much longer, and their respective qualities made a deeper impression on him. On his return to England he was introduced to his uncle, Sir Harvey Elwes, who was then living at Stoke, in Suffolk, perhaps the most perfect picture of human penury that ever existed. Mr. Elwes, being at that time in the world, dressed like other people. This would not have done for Sir Harvey: so the nephew used to stop at a little inn at Chelmsford, the expense of which he did not much like, and began to dress in character; a pair of small iron buckles, worsted stockings darned, a worn-out old coat, and a tattered waistcoat were put on, and onwards he rode to visit his uncle, who used to contemplate him with a miserable kind of satisfaction, and seemed pleased to find his heir attempting to come up with him in the race of avarice. There they would sit, saving pair! with a single stick upon the fire, and with one glass of wine occasionally betwixt them, talking of the extravagance of the times; and when evening shut in they would retire to rest, as going to bed saved candle light." But the nephew had then, as at all other times, a very extraordinary appetite, and this would have been a monstrous offence in the eyes of the uncle, so Mr. Elwes was obliged to pick up a dinner first with some neighbour in the country, and then return to Sir Harvey with a little diminutive appetite that was quite engaging. I trust, continues Mr. Topham, a small digression, to give the picture of Sir Harvey, will not be thought unamusing or foreign to the subject. He was, as may be imagined, a most singular character. His seclusion from the world nearly reached that of a hermit, and could the extremity of his avarice have been taken out of the question a more blameless life was never led. His life shows that a man may at length, so effectually retire into himself, that he may remain little else but vegetation in a human shape.
Providence perhaps has wisely ordered it that the possessions of estates should change like the succession of seasons: the day of tillage and the seed-time, the harvest and the consumption of it, in due order follow each other, and, in the scale of events, are all alike necessary. This succession was exemplified in the character of Sir Harvey Elwes, who succeeded to Sir Jervoise, his grandfather, a very worthy gentlemen, who had, however, involved, as far as they would go, all the estates. On his death, Sir Harvey found himself nominally possessed of some thousands ayear, but really with an income of one hundred pounds per annum. He said on his arrival at Stoke, the family seat, "that never would he leave it till he had entirely cleared the paternal estate ;" and he lived to do that, and to realize above one hundred thousand pounds in addition. But he was formed of the very materials
to make perfect the character of a miser. In his youth he had been given over for a consumption, (though, such is the power of temperance, he lived till betwixt eighty and ninety years of age,) so he had no constitution and no passion; he was timid, shy, and diffident in the extreme, of a thin spare habit of body, and without a friend upon earth. Next to his greatest delight, the hoarding up and counting over his money, was that of partridge-setting, at which he was so great an adept, and game was then so plentiful, that he has been known to take five hundred brace of birds in one season. He lived upon partridges, he and his whole household, consisting