Obrazy na stronie

to him, on which he fared sumptuously. I suspect however that his vigour that day had not been proportioned to his expectations, as I never observed him express wish for such another breakfast. He was our cashier; paid all our bills, freights, and attendants: these last, too, were all commonly left to his discretion, and they of this house, as well as all others who waited for their reward in silent expectation, never had cause to complain.

were at length persuaded to set out, but not until we were obliged to promise them sixpence for each passenger, which were now seven, over and above the common freight. This they charged on pretence that they could not get back that night, and that they would be obliged to pay for their lodging: yet mark the rogues, they were home before we got out of their sight. Amongst our fellowpassengers were two country girls of the better order from Lorn: the day being very rough, we ran down to the dock, and seeing a boat half filled with vernal birks, and not doubting but it was the same in which we should pass, I stepped into it; laid me down on the bieldy side, desiring the prettiest of the girls to take up her birth in my bosom.-She compli ed without hesitation, and I screened her with my mantle. O! how my companions envied my situation: but when the sailors came, how great was my mortification, to find we had all taken up our stations in a wrong boat. We were all obliged to shift, and I being farthest in, was last in getting out, and lost not only my dearest bosom-friend, but every tolerable seat in the boat, being forced to sit grinning with my face in the weather all the way.

After taking a short view of the scenery on the banks of Loch-Ruel and the adjacent glen, we mounted the great hill towards the ferry of Ochter on Loch-Fine. As our unlucky stars would have it, some person on the preceding day had been telling me of a Bearer road over a hill than the common one; and while ascending this mountain, at a short turn of the road, we perceived a foot-path which led straight over the hill. Not doubting in the least but this was the road I had been informed of, we took to it; though not without violent opposition from Mr G. ; and happy had it been for us. all had we hearkened to his voice; for after a rough and fatiguing march, instead of landing at Ochter, we came in upon Loch-Fine opposite to the end of the Crinan canal; when turning to the right, we joined the shore road, which at length brought us to Ochter after having gone many miles about seeking the nearest, on a most tempestuous day. At Ochter we were obliged to tarry some time, for although the wind was perfectly fair for our passage, being S. E. yet the skipper refused to venture out. Being ushered into a room, we asked for strong ale, which the house at first denied; but seeing that we did not call for any thing else, a boy at last came into the room, and creeping into a hole of the wall out of sight, pulled out two or three bottles of it by the neck. I observed to him that that was the smuggler's hole, which he positively denied. Our ferry-men Sept. 1808.

I remember of little more worth mentioning hereabouts. The scenery of the country, as well as the culture, is much the same in the Knapdale side as in Cowal. The hills incline most to heath in appearance, but on a nearer survey are intermixed with a darkcoloured prie, and sundry other salutary herbs. The attention of the farmer is divided too much perhaps to admit of excellence in any one thing, as there are few who possess land to any extent who have not each a share of corn, cattle, and sheep; altho' on the Cowal mountains the sheep are ra ther the prevailing party. The tillage, which on the shores of Loch-Fine, and in some of the more inland vallies is considerable, consists mostly of de


tached pieces.

Potatoes, bear, and oats, are their only crops; and the laiter looked very poorly in the braird. We had a very disagreeable walk to Lochgil head, for, as usual, it rained most furiously. We arrived at the inn in our old state, and though extremely hungry, I thought of nothing but going away without dining, late as it was, such a violent heat arose betwixt Mr G. and the house. He pretended, as his grounds for this animosity, the huge impropriety of showing us into the bar instead of the dining-room; but the truth of the matter was this: The dialect of the country differed widely from any that he had been acquainted with; and as you know the tone of the voice is understood to be more expressive of the state of the mind, and the exact feel ing of the speaker with regard to you, than the words which accompany it; so, the sharp key in which they talked, did not accord with the musical ear of my friend, especially the last syllable of each sentence which was not only lengthened out to a minum; but in the beginning also rose to a fifth, and descended with a rapidity, and cadence, so abstracted from all precedent in Italian music, that it raised in him a belief, that the people were not only in a high passion, but treating him with the utmost disdain: and he being resolved to be nothing behind with them, wrought himself into such a strain, that if I had not remained obstinately fixed on my dinner, we had certainly danced off without it. Here we laid in considerable stores for our voyage, being determined to treat for à passage in the first vessel that left the canal for the north. Accordingly about mid-way we spoke with the Johnson of Greenock, bound for the isle of Sky with a valuable cargo of luxuries and as the owner made us very welcome to such accommodation as he bad, we thought this extremely lucky; but in the event it turned out but mo

rived at Kilmahunock, near the harbour in Loch-Crinan, and hard by the entrance from that into the canal, where we called the people from their beds, and took up our lodging. Although this was but a poor despicable inn, the woman was civil and discreet, and we agreed very well. The next day being Sunday, we were obliged to remain here; as the people will not open the locks to let vessels through on that day, although I wish they may never do a worse turn. Our anxiety to get forward increased with every opposition: and we felt very impatient during the Monday, which continued so windy, that the vessel could not be moved for fear of being dashed against the rocks; while we were cooped up in our little public house, and could not stir abroad for the rain.

On the Sabbath-day we climbed to the highest point in South Knapdale, from whence we had an extensive view of the Atlantic, and of all the islands and headlands that lie between the paps of Jura and the dark rocks that wall the coast of Mul, besides a good extent on the eastern shore of Isla. But as I have described a considerable part of that country already, I shaй take my leave, after subscribing myself

Yours, &c.
J. H.


I. A General View of the Coal Trade

of Scotland, chiefly that of the River Forth and Mid Lothian, as connected with the supplying of Edinburgh and the North of Scotland with fuel; to which is added, an Enquiry into the Condition of those women who carry coals under ground in Scotland, known by the name of Bearers. 8vo. pp. 173. Edinburgh, 1808.


derately so. At a late hour we mo- I is perhaps surprising, that more

should not have been written on


the subject to which this volume relates. Few topics connected with political economy seem more interesting to this country. The great extent of the trade, its subserviency both to the uses of domestic economy and to various important manufactures, joined to peculiarities, both in the nature of the supply, and the mode of working, combine to make it deserving of a very ample discussion. The present work does not quite display that extensive information, and those luminous views, which might be desired; but it contains a great deal of good sense and observation: it is that of a plain practical man; and tho' it can bardly be said to exhibit a General View of the coal trade of this country, contains many detached hints which may be of material use. Our author begins with some pariculars relating to the coal antiquities of Scotland. The first authentic accounts of coal wrought in this country are in 1291, when it is mention ed as taking place on some lands belonging to the Abbey of Dunferm



Scotch machine, on the contrary, raised water, at once, to the height of forty fathoms. This machine has since been advantageously superceded by the water wheel, with cranks and beams, working with pumps.

After some curious particulars relating to the introduction of the steam engine, our author proceeds to give a comparative view of the mode of supplying the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow with coal; and this part of his work seems indeed very important. It appears that the price of coals in Edinburgh is nearly double that of Glasgow; that while the former is 1s. per cwt., the latter is only 7d. Now, our author undertakes to prove, and seems fairly to have proved, that this difference of price arises chiefly from ignorance and bad management. It is true, the pits are somewhat nearer at Glasgow; the average distance being four miles, while in Edinburgh it is stated to be five and a half. But, on the other hand, wages are higher in the former, and the carter will not work without an assurance of greater gains. The first superiority of the Glasgow system, our author states to consist in the quality of their carts and horses, which are so much preferable, as to be in the constant practice of carrying 24 cwt., whereas the Edinburgh carts carry only from 12 to 15 cwt. This greater burden will much more than compensate the difference, though great, which takes place in the prime cost. The remedy of this evil is difficult, as it rests with the carters, who may not possess capital or enterprize sufficient for the adoption of a more liberal system. The coal-proprietors, however, might, we conceive, find it their interest to interfere, and advance to them the means of doing so. A still greater error, however, consists in the manner in which the coals are conveyed. In Glasgow, each colliery has an agent in town, who receives all orders for

The only mode of draining the collieries, was by forming a communication with lower grounds. This precarious plan was succeeded by water wheels and buckets, which performed the same operation in all situations, but with great trouble and inconveniHalf the water was spilt in its ascent upwards; and when any of the bolts gave way, the whole machinery fell to the ground, with a tremendous crash, in which every bucket was splintered into a thousand pieces. Several public-spirited proprietors sent to Newcastle in hopes of obtaining better machinery; but there it seems to have been still more defective; for their machines could not act above Efteen fathoms, so that when the mine was to be sunk lower, it became necessary to form detached pits, and transmit the water from one to the other, till it reached the top. The


coals, and transmits them to the ma- laid aside, and sold separately at an

nager. This person then arranges
with each carter the precise time when
he is to receive his load, for which,
therefore, he never has occasion to
wait. In Edinburgh, on the contrary,
the carters receive the orders, or bring
in the coals upon chance. When
there is a great demand, they go in
crowds to the hill, and have to wait a
long time, sometimes a whole day,
before they are supplied. Here the
superiority of the Glasgow system is
evident, and the remedy so obvious,
that we cannot but consider it as a
reproach upon the coal proprietors in
our neighbourhood, that it should not
before this have been applied. The
consequence is, that while the Edin-
burgh carter usually makes only one
journey a day, carrying 12 cwt., the
Glasgow carter makes three journeys,
24 cwt. each, or 72 cwt. in
all. It is true, the one is paid 10s.
6d. the other only 4s. 9d.; still the
former amounts only to 8 d. per ton,
for each mile, while in Edinburgh,
we pay 1s. 5d. Thus every one suf-
fers by this blundering system; the
proprietor, the carrier, and most of
all, the public. That all parts of the
operation may be equally ill conduct-
ed, the weighing is performed on com-
mon beams, by 4 cwt. at a time; in-
stead of by weighing machines, as in

Still, however, the price of coals, even at the hill, is considerably lower at Glasgow than at Edinburgh. In the former, it is only 8s. 4d. per ton, in the latter, 11s. 8d. A considerable part of this difference, however, Mr B. imputes to the groundless and exclusive predilection, which the inhabitants of this city entertain, for what is called great coal. To accommodate themselves to this taste, the miners are at incredible pains to divide the coal only into large pieces; while the chews, or small coal, which are necessarily produced, to the amount of about one third of the whole, are

inferior price. The Glasgow colliers, on the contrary, make no distinction of this kind, but accommodate their customers with a mixture of both, as produced in the course of working.Now, this mixture appears to be the only way in which Scots coal can produce a comfortable fire. Chews afford the strongest heat, but burn too fiercely and rapidly; while large coal form a lasting, but dull and dead fire. It is only by mixing the two, that a fire, at once strong and durable, can be produced. Upon this subject, Mr Bald makes the following pertinent remarks, which entirely accord with our own observation.

To burn such masses of coal as are in the cellars is quite impossible, as they would not kindle by any ordinary means. If, therefore, in a winter morning, attention is paid to what is going on in the coal cellar of each family, where a number of fires are to be put on, nothing is to be heard but hard blows; and u ment of those who have attended to the pon entering, what must be the astonishwhole detail of keeping the coal in large masses, to see them at last violently attacked with every kind of destructive implement, such as heavy cannon balls, double and single-headed shot, hammers of all descriptions, axes, crows, po

kers, picks, and pieces of whinstone, or

by one piece of coal dashed with violence against the other; all with a view to reduce part of them to chews, which was previously so much avoided, and which could be bought 30 per cent, chea per than the great coal. Of the above coal, not one is adapted for the purpose implements actually used for breaking except the pick all the rest not only break the coal into chews, but absolutely bruise much of it into a powder of no use; and therefore, while the predilection for great coal continues, no family ought to allow their coals to be broken by any other implement than a light sharp pick,


Upon the whole, though the coal of Mid Lothian appears, even in the first instance, to be somewhat higher than that of Lanarkshire, it seems fair


to infer, that by proper management, and by merely following the example set by Glasgow, we may reduce our coals 20 or 30 per cent., to the great benefit of the proprietors, and the public. The former might thus be enabled to undersell their maritime competitors, and to check that propensity to the use of English coal which seems rapidly gaining ground. We must remark, however, that the use of mixed coal does not promise to produce any augmentation of the supply, since all the chews appear to be at present consumed in our our manufactories.

With regard to the use of coal in families, our author advises a fire of chews in the morning, to heat the house, and then recommends that, after breakfast, a large coal should be laid above them, which will keep up a comfortable fire during the day. He censures the use of gathering coals, and recommends, that both the kitchen fire, and the others in the house, should be lighted every morning by means of wood. We doubt, however, that in this country there would be a deficiency of the article, unless the purpose could be answered by shav ings, or thin flakes separated by carpenters in the operation of sawing.

We are next presented with some important facts respecting the mode of procuring labourers for the coalmines. Till the year 1775 the colliers were slaves, adscripti glebe; and upon the abolition of this degrading system, it was expected that the trade might attract labourers from other professions. This expectation has not been realized. So uncomfortable and laborious is the trade, that not even the allurement of double wages has yet induced any one to enter into it, who has not been, from infancy, habituated to its hardships. Indeed Mr Bald seems to think, that no other would be capable of enduring them. On the other hand, persons are daily seen passing from it to other less lu

crative, but more agreeable employments. Under these circumstances, we really think that Mr Bald's proposal deserves consideration, of exempting colliers from the militia ballot, which would both remove a constant drain upon their numbers, and would act as a bounty upon a trade ́ so necessary, and, at the same time, so disagreeable. Our author insists, that they "fight a much better battle for their country, when driving vigorously at the coal wall, than when charging the enemy sword in hand."

Another important point which occupies the attention of the author, is respecting the free exportation of coal. To this he is decidedly inimical; and really, with all our attachment to the principles of commercial freedom, we must own ourselves somewhat staggered by his arguments, and at least admit, that if such a prohibition be admissible in any instance, it is in the present. In the first place, he maintains that the coal field of Scotland is limited; that the drain from it is immense and continually increasing, and that therefore it must, in a certain period of time, be exhausted. With regard to theories of its reproduction, our author insists that this process, if it really takes place, has been imperceptible for the space of five hundred years, (though we hardly see how the thing can be traced quite so high;) that the completion of it must therefore belong to a period indefinitely remote. He enquires what we are to do in the interval between the exhaustion of the present beds and the formation of the new; and alledges that our posterity will think the transmission of an ingenious system, a poor substitute for the comforts of a good coal fire. When in addition to this we consider the manifold uses of coal in agriculture (for lime,) in machinery, and in directly promoting the accommodations of life; when we consider the serious blank which its cessation would leave in this country, we must


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