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cases, as opposed to that of Canals or other Inland

Navigation ? XVIII. What is the time, expense, and damage, accruing

in conveyances in the above cases by sea, both in winter and summer; and also the estimated sea-risks in

peace, and in war ? XIX. What convenience or inconvenience, of a general,

local, or particular nature, has been found to attend Canals and Inland Navigation, especially with respect to health, population, and employment; also the drain

ing or otherwise of the soil, &c. XX. Whether Canals cannot be made convenient and use

ful sluices through bogs ? and to enquire, How far the experiments making in Ireland have succeeded ? with the

general observations from them. XXI. How far Canals can be made subservient to the

purposes of agriculture, by flooding of meadows or turning

of mills, &c. ? XXII. What contrivances, implements, or machinery, have

been employed for constructing Canals and improving Inland Navigation; and what species of boats, barges, bridges, cranes, and other machinery, are now used

upon them, or in connexion with them? XXIII. What curious or instructive incidents have occur

red during the course of these undertakings; or what curious and instructive anecdotes respecting the parties

in any way concerned in them. XXIV. What is the best system for management and in

spection of the concerns of a Canal or Inland Navigation, whether formed or forming ; and what particulars are most to be attended to or guarded against upon

this occasion ?

XXV. To invite communications of plans, drawings,

models, or explanations of projected or of executed Canals, sluices, locks, inclined planes, boats, bridges, or Canal machinery and implements; and in order to have information conveyed by them as perfect as possible, deviations made, or likely to be made, should be particularly noticed. In Canals there can be little danger of rivalships in communications of this nature, as they are always attached to particular spots, and for particular objects: the advantages of them are local; and when communicating with other Canals, the advantages become more general, both of a public and of a private nature. By a freedom in communication we may gain experience and improve advantages. Even a knowledge of defects, and of the causes of the failure

of projects, may not be without their uses. XXVI. Whether a good map of England may not be

made, shewing the state of Inland Navigation, that would be simple in its construction without deranging other objects; the lines between the counties to be plain, and the counties to be distinguished by a few plain simple colours ; rivers to be described how far they are navigable by an anchor; and the Canals with three strong colours, to distinguish those executed, executing, and projected. If the mountainous parts of the country were added, with local mineralogical remarks, &c. &c. the attention of the public might be directed to proper objects with

some success.

London, September, 15, 1790.

A. B.

NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS.

[Continued from page 8.]

To the Editor of Papers on Naval Architecture.

ON THE PRESERVATION OF TIMBER, ETC.

Sir, I have read your little collection on Naval Architecture with pleasure, and though no theoretical or professional man, I have annexed what occurred to me on the occasion. If it gives hints to others I shall be happy in the opportunity of drawing out the sentiments of those better informed.

The art of building of vessels has been, in one shape or other, general and common to all nations and ages. Necessity has been the mother of invention; and what accident has discovered, design may have improved. The floating of trees on the surface of the waters may have given birth to the use of boats, and the hollowing of them fit for passage or burden has been an after invention.

Throughout the globe we discover a promptness and similarity of manners that is singular. Man differs but little from man in his inventions for the common purposes of life: climate and products may vary, but he soon learns how to adapt them to his wants and uses. liarly verified in the art of ship-building in all its various gradations of pettiaugers, proas, boats, sloops, &c.; the knowledge and use of them is general. In many countries or islands we find vessels used that have been only

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scooped or burnt out of single trees. The ribbing and planking of vessels, with the use of sails and oars, and their size, construction, and materials, have varied and improved in proportion to the conveniences and accommodations of the several climates in which they have been found, and they have been well adapted to the occasions and wants of man in his most untutored state.

Though this system and principle has been the same, it has belonged to civilization and to commerce, among the more enlightened nations, to extend their ideas as their wants have increased; and ship-building, with all its improvements, is now become one of the greatest efforts of man in his most cultivated state. Notwithstanding our skill, we have yet much to learn, by the application of general principles to many points that have a near relation to the art of ship-building. It is not perhaps so much a question how to invent or make a floating body, as how to govern that floating body in all its varied forms by some common principles, under all given circumstances of burden and despatch in the elements they have to contend with.

From the want of uniting theory more with practice, the inquiries of our men of science have been very limited and much confined to the speculations of the closet. To become more useful, their pursuits and knowledge should be applied more to the result of experience. Our practical men have neither leisure or ability to follow up abstruse or abstracted speculations; and it may be admitted as a doubt, whether inventions and discoveries, with the improvements upon them, have not been more rapid from among practical men than from those who have had no experience beyond a speculative and theoretical education. A time may come when our attention to the higher classes of mathematics and philosophy may lean more to points of practical utility; and perhaps none is more capable of study and inquiry than ship-building and navigation, with all their collateral branches dependent upon utility, health, and accommodation. The French have employed some of their best Academicians to write on these subjects, and with much success; and the ships they have built are strong proofs of the attention they have paid. We have built from their models, and improved upon them.

No ships have differed more from each other than those which have been built upon the same models; and so much do little causes frequently produce the greatest effects, that the same vessels have been made fast or dull sailers only by a difference in the size and positions of masts, sails, and yards, the mode of stowage, and of carrying of sail. Ships are like men, and their tempers are to be managed alike; they are tossed to and fro, the one by the elements, and the other by the caprice of passion. In ships, much will depend upon the construction, but much more perhaps upon management.

Each size will be found to have a proportion peculiar to itself, and adapted to the nature of the service to which it is intended. Fishes are of all sizes, forms, and constructions, each class having its own proportion, and yet all enjoying the same common properties for the element for which they were intended. Ships are of a more complicated construction, and have at all seasons to contend with two elements, which are often at variance with each other, and are then more the governed than the governing power.

Though much attention has been paid to the choice, age, cutting, and seasoning of timber, and the mode of preservation, both in the primitive state of timber and

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