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which has yielded so much wealth to Liverpool ; but had he, or Drake, Raleigh, Frobisher, or Cooke, been as distinguished in the annals of war, as they are in those of commerce, it may safely be presumed, that some town, or people, would have done honour to themselves by a grateful acknowledgment of the benefits derived from such daring enterprize. The ruling principle of commerce—the love of gain-of course ignores all such gratuitous appreciation of the services conferred upon her.
Turning from the past, is there no hope that in the future commerce may be more propitious to the arts than the records shew that she has been ? Faint traces of a change may, I think, be discerned. It must be remembered, that, with the exception of the department of electricity, most of the mechanical improvements of the day, by which commerce is more directly benefitted, are but refinements upon inventions and machines originated during the war. The locomotives on railways, for example, were originally introduced by Trevithick, on a coal tram in South Wales, as far back as 1808. But I would fain hope that we may discern a growing desire to nurture a more kindly interest between the several classes of the community; to render less rigid and impassable the icy barriers that divide the employed and the employer, that they may cease to regard each other merely as instruments of personal advantage ; and to unite all in bonds of friendship and good feeling. Now the peaceful arts, especially the fine arts, depend for their perfect development upon active sympathy; and it cannot be doubted that had more enlightened views prevailed, much greater progress in the arts would now be obtained. But commercial men have applied too often the test of pecuniary return; to have been betrayed into the unguarded patronage of objects which fill no line on the credit folio. The advancement of knowledge, the improvement of mankind, the encouragement of fine arts and poetry, or the study of abstract science, have usually been alien to the genius of commerce.
The suggestions of science have only been deemed worthy of adoption when they facilitate the acquisition of wealth, or the economy of expense. Frequently advantages of either kind have been neglected through ignorance: the test of pecuniary return having been applied to education, and occasioned a very imperfect acquisition of knowledge. There now appears to be a growing suspicion that the hitherto prevailing test is not altogether infallible; that there is much of value to which it cannot be applied ; and that intellectual study and consideration for others should have their portion in every man's life, in order that he may worthily act his part as a citizen, without reference to higher
and more enduring relations. As the intellect and sympathies are allowed freer action, the sordid influence of commerce will be counteracted and refined ; and knowledge and philanthropy, aiding genius, may civilize the world.
Very different has it been in times past! Very different is it now! The hardworking, toiling inventor, the ore of whose unmatured conception is rich with benefit to present and future generations, whose earnest study of his one idea has grown almost into a monomania with the unrequited toil of twenty years, how often must he faint in his iron task! how often require the kindly word and look, or the substantial assistance of enlightened and sympathising capitalists !
And he, perhaps, of finer mould, rich in the great gifts of imagination and study, who links in harmonious verse the noblest deeds or highest aspirations of our race, — or his brother poet, who, on canvas or in marble, gives shape to the poet's dream, and records the hero's achievement,-how often do these tire and faint in the turmoil of life's fierce fight, and sigh for the sustaining hand, or friendly glance, that shall nerve them to continued conflict ! nay, how often are they utterly cast down and forsaken, because the unheeding votaries of commerce, wanting in the finer sensibilities, crushed out of them by ceaseless efforts to make a living or amass wealth, cannot understand the works submitted to their patronage, and “pass by on the other side !"
No! beautiful and attractive as is the dream that peace and successful commerce minister to the triumph of the peaceful arts, the most eloquent attempts to support such a conclusion from history will only half persuade, so long as the “merchant princes” of the “living present" give no general indication that their hearts are stirred within them by the graces of poetry and art; nor evidence the humanizing influence of commerce by grateful commemoration of those enterprising heroes “with souls thrice bound in brass," who dared so many dangers, endured so much hardship, and opened so many highways for the peaceful arts. Let us not have to wait until all those highways are profaned, even more than they are, by the tread of hideous war; let us not have to wait until they are paved with the slaughtered dead, nor until some other bloodstained, but magnanimous conqueror, shall again show that in the train of successful war is the triumph of the peaceful arts !
Mr. J. B. YATES read extracts from a paper, on the “ Palati
Mr. J. T. Towson read the first part of a paper on “ Great C Sailing."
ROYAL INSTITUTION.—December 12, 1853.
TSTR GREAT CIRCLE SAILING. GREAT CIRCLE Sailing is the art of navigating a ship by the shorte possible route. A straight line is absolutely the shortest track betwee any two points; but a straight line cannot be projected on the surfac of a globe. It must either touch it at one point, passing off from th surface as a tangent; or, if two points on such a surface be united by < straight line, it must be effected by tunnelling below the surface; the use straight line in this last case being the chord of the arc between the two points. Since then we cannot sail over the surface of the ocean in a straight line, let us inquire what route is practicable, which differs less than any other from a straight line. This we shall find to be what we denominate the arc of a great circle. If we slightly bend a straight rod