Слике страница

enced-perceptibly-by the earth. Its magnetic power also is stationary so as not to be moved or influenced by any other magnetic force, but its influence on the compass must vary with every change of the ship's position. All other magnetic influences in and about the ship are affected by the earth's magnetism and liable to be, or are, changed or varied by the changing movements of the ship, and its change of course or position.

The Law of Magnetism by which similar poles of magnetized bodies repel each other and opposite poles attract, the greater body influencing the less, is still at work.

That all moveable bodies, such as the iron ship, are continually changing their magnetic force, by changing their position, may be proved by a simple experiment.

Take a piece, or bar, of soft iron and (without either striking it with a hammer or allowing it to stand for a length of time in one position) as directed by our scientists-place it horizontally near a compass needle, and little if any influence upon the needle will be observed, now raise the distant end of the bar to a vertical or perpendicular position over the needle-still keeping the same end in its position near the needle-the south point of the needle will be immediately attracted towards the bar, now depress the same end to a vertical position under the needle and the north point will be immediately attracted towards the bar. Those varied and different actions of attraction by the bar will result when at the like distance, or space, between the bar and the needle.

("The inverse ratio of the square of the distance, commonly called the law of gravity,' does not seem to apply in such cases, or agree with the true law of attraction.") The attracting and repelling force will be observed to be in proportion to the length of the bar, and according to its vertical or horizontal position, the measured space, or distance, between the bar and the needle continuing the same.

Towards the equator the influence of earth (as with all other magnets) or of iron upon the needle gradually diminishes. South of the equator the influence with its effects has a reversed action, and a gradual increase of power towards the south pole. South of the equator of the earth, as of the middle of a magnet-the vertical position under the needle attracting the south, and the same end with position over attracting the north pole of the needle. 'This influence and action is the same with any bar of "soft" iron,

how much greater then must it be with iron ships, and the various iron bodies of which they are composed.

The defect and deception with regard to the fixed magnet is this. The compass is free to be acted upon by all magnetic influences, while the fixed magnet is supposed to counteract all other influences, except that of the compass, all receiving their influence from the earth except the magnet, although they are continuously changing with the changes of positions of the substances acting upon the compasses. Yet when the fixed magnet is placed sufficiently near the compass to influence it at all, it cannot in all positions of the ship have the like influence upon the compass. Thus, a magnet placed fore and aft upon the deck of the Atlantic, with its north point towards the prow of the ship and adjusted for east and west courses, should, when the ship steers north have the magnetic influence parallel with the needle of the compass, and its north point will have the same direction with the north point of the magnet. But the compass needle being free to motion and subject to all influences, and being the least or smaller magnet, its north point must be repelled by the north pole of the fixed magnet, the greater, or rather the latter, would show its influence according to its position with the compass. This would be quite sufficient to alter the course westward, apart from the supposed current.

But it may be said this influence has been noticed and provided for in the adjustment, and the officers are acquainted with and make due allowance for it. If so, can they, with fixed magnets, provide against that changeable influence shown to be in all iron, hence also in the ship and other iron bodies on board? That must, of necessity, exhibit that force continuously changing by every change of position, as seen in the experiment with the bar of iron, but proportionally, with greater force in the larger body of the iron ship.

Those considerations evidently prove to any thinking mind not only the correctness of that theory referred to, but the "scientific" fallacy of making use of fixed magnets to correct or counteract such a conditionally fluctuating and universal force, instead of seeking to be acquainted with the nature of that influence and its action.

Those facts also show a grand "scientific" deception in the theory that "All bodies are attracted or gravitate with a force

according to the inverse ratio of the square of the distance," and not of like substances being magnetically attracted according to their condition and position.

In the case of the Atlantic disaster, assuming the calculations of reckoning by the Captain and officers to be correct, will not the principles of magnetism here referred to as operating upon the compass needle of an iron ship, when changing her course, sufficiently account for westwardly deviation not properly accounted for by the usual coast currents of the ocean or otherwise.


Halifax, N. S., April 26, 1873.



EVERAL leagues north of the Lake Van on one of the ways leading from Tauris to Erzeroum, one meets with a little plain watered by a stream and shadowed by old oaks. Some European travellers, coming from Persia, arrived one day in this solitary plain during the autumn of 1860, and halted there at midday. One was an English officer, of the Royal Engineers, named Meredith Gordon Stewart. He was bringing to England his cousin, Miss Lucy Blandemere, under the protection of an elderly lady named Mrs. Morton. An Ottoman functionary of the Armenian nation accompanied them, besides a considerable number of servants of various countries.

Lucy Blandemere was entering on her twenty-second year. While very young she had lost her mother. Her father, a Colonel in the East Indian army, seldom was seen in England. Young Lucy had grown up in the family of her uncle, a nobleman, in Westmorland, who left her almost her own mistress. Happily, Mrs. Morton, a distant relative, had been found to become the willing governess of the child and to superintend her education. In 1859 Lucy was a beautiful person, grand, fair; sensible and haughty by turns, with a dreamy imagination and a determined spirit. She loved the old music, accounts of foreign voyages, and the poems of Moore. Her father, an Adjutant-General, had been

charged with a political and military mission in Persia, and resided at Tauris. She had gone with Mrs. Morton to pass some months with him. The country displeased her at first. It was not the Orient of books. But she consoled herself soon for the disappointment, by discovering, in place of the conventional beauties which they described, other beauties more vivid, more satisfying, which she had not anticipated. Lieutenant Stewart, son of the great lord with whom Lucy had passed her infancy, had preceded her to Tauris, whither he had gone as aide-de-camp to General Blandemere. He could not separate himself from his beautiful relation. She neither encouraged nor repulsed him. It did not enter into the views of Miss Blandemere to declare herself at once. Meanwhile, as the Lieutenant had been recalled to England at the same time that Lucy was necessitated to return, she consented to make the journey in company with her cousin.

No untoward incident marked their first movements. Till the caravan came to the Turco-Persian frontier the weather was uniformly beautiful.

The day on which we find them on the afore-mentioned little plain the voyagers were just finishing their breakfast. Mrs. Morton prepared for her daily nap. The Lieutenant had taken from his baggage, a fowling-piece which some one had given him a little before his departure from Tauris, and, in company with the Turkish Armenian, called Tikraine-Effendi, had gone out to try the range of the rifle. Whilst the old lady was buried in her cushions, Miss Blandemere seated herself at the opening of the great tent. She saw a high pole in the distance surmounted by a plank as a target. The Armenian fired first, and missed. The Lieutenant was alike unfortunate. Either his ordinary skill was at fault, or the target was too far off, for he could not put a single ball in the plank, and he was mortified with his unsuccessful attempts.

Turning her eye to the opposite side of the plain, Lucy saw a small group of voyagers who stopped by the side of the way. One of them wore the fez and riding-coat of Constantinople. The others were poorly clad as peasants. They regarded curiously, and with a little irony, the unsuccessful efforts of the officer. At an order of the master, one of the peasants went to the horses which fed in the distance, and detaching from a saddle a long gun inlaid with mother of pearl, brought it to him. The master opened the powder pan, cleaned it with his nail, and renewed the priming,

waiting till Stewart and Tikraine suspended their fusillade. Then kneeling on the road he made a little heap of stones on which he rested his piece; then stretching on the ground he aimed, and fired. At the first shot he struck the mark though placed at an enormous distance.

Such address was wonderful. The travellers turned to look at the shooter. Without moving he introduced with his ramrod a rag into the barrel of his gun, and cleaned it cautiously, charged anew, and shot again. The second ball struck as the first.

"These balls of the Turk must have been made by the Devil,” said Stewart to the Effendi, at the same time throwing his gun on the grass.

"That man has not the air of a Turk,'" answered Tikraine. "Despite his dress, he is a mountaineer and a Kurd."

"Kurd or Turk he is a clever fellow, and I go to compliment him," answered the Lieutenant; who as a true sportsman mingled admiration and esteem for such merit.

He had no time to felicitate his rival, who immediately resumed his journey. He vaulted lightly into his saddle, followed by his companions. A bend in the road caused him to pass the tent where Lucy sat spectatress of the scene. She now saw him near. He was twenty-four or twenty-five years of age, spare, nervous, with an eagle nose and piercing eyes. Those eyes of the bird of prey which at the distance of a league can distinguish one stone from another in the torrent's bed. He carried no arms, a strange thing in that country, where the most peaceful never leave the town but with the sabre at the side, and his Turkish vestments were of a rude simplicity. But his horse, of pure Arab blood, appeared swift, vigorous, full of ardour. The men who composed his escort were armed with guns, and large poniards like the Roman sword. He did not perceive Lucy till within two steps of her; but the sight produced on him an effect as strange as unexpected. His look, when he fixed his eyes upon her, expressed surprise and enthusiastic admiration. The prophet of the legend, for whom God opened for a moment the iron wall which engirdles paradise was not more dazzled by the view of the wonderful heaven than was that Kurd in contemplating the radient beauty of the stranger. The impression was as rapid as vivid. The cavalier could not restrain a violent movement which frightened his horse and made him bound. With quick and vigorous hand be brought

« ПретходнаНастави »