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deemed the Coal-master's observations worthy of notice. We mean not by this to insinuate, that the pamphlet is not ably written. The ingenious author is evidently interested; at least to us he seems deeply interested, in preserv ing to the coal-owners of Mid-Lothian, the monopoly which they now enjoy of supplying the city of Edinburgh with fuel; and with a good deal of address he throws dust in the eyes of his readers, to prevent them from perceiving the force of the arguments by which Dr. Steuart proves, that by means of the canal by the Batten Moss, the metropolis of Scotland might be more cheaply supplied with coals from the county of Lanerk, than from the mines in its more immediate vicinity. In labouring for his own interest, we cannot blame him; for we have long been of opinion, and we wish to impress that opinion upon others, that exertions which have no respect whatever to self interest, can be made only by a being more perfect than man. But controvertists should never forget that justice, at least, is due to all-to their antagonists as well as to their friends; and they should not hazard, from the press, assertions relating to facts, which they would not, upon oath, utter in a court of law.
That the Old Coal-master had been inattentive to this rule, we were led to suspect, by perusing the bare title of his pamphlet; for Dr. Steuart's ac count professes to give no plan, as he says it does, for the better supplying of the city of Glasgow with coals. Notice indeed is incidentally taken of the probable advantages that would accrue to Glasgow, as well as to many other places, from the canal, if cut in the line of Batten Moss; but the profest object of the account is, to prove the very great importance of that line to the city of Edinburgh. Incidentally its importance is shewn likewise to the east coast of England; and the title of the Coal-master's pamphlet would have been nearer to accuracy, had it been, Observations on the Account of a Plan for the Better supplying the Cities of Edinburgh and London with Coals!
Having got over this stumbling-block thrown in our way, we entered upon the perusal of the pamphlet itself, and were very soon enabled to form an estimate of the entertainment prepared for us by the unknown aus thor. Dr. Steuart begins his pamphlet with some references to the earliest accounts that we have of pit-coal used as a fuel, and gives a quotation from Theophrastus, to prove, that about two thousand years ago it was in use among smiths, or workers in metals. This quotation has, doubtless, little tendency to decide the question concerning the merits of the two lines proposed for the intended canal between Edinburgh and Glasgow; but it is interesting as a matter of liberal curiosity to the classical reader, and was therefore inserted, surely with no impropriety, in a work calculated for the perusal, not of mere colliers, but of gentlemen. The old Coal-master, however, seems to think it very impertinent, and attempts to make his readers merry, by professing himself ignorant what kind of coal-master Theophrastus was, or whether he learned it (learned what?) from his predecessor Aristotle." For purselves we can only say, that we should have been glad of the relief of many such quotations from our anonymous author's intolerable jargon of "oncast below," and other such phrases, intelligible only to miners. We beg leave likewise to assure him, in vindication of our old friend Theophrastus, that pit-coal has been found much farther south than Greece; even so far as New South Wales: but perhaps by south, our coal-master means a low latitude!
After this witticism, and others similar to it, the author enters upon his business, and begins, by candidly admitting, that the coal district in La
nerkshire, is richer than even Dr. Steuart had represented it. This, however, he contends, is of no manner of importance, since, in certain situations, a thick seam of coal is not more valuable than a thin! Not satisfied with this, which one would think sufficiently paradoxical, he affirms, that a colliery of any extent can be wrought with greater advantage at the depth of thirty fathoms than at that often; and that thirty fathoms is the very least depth at which such a colliery can be worked to any advantage! (PP. 10, 11., Nay, he goes so far as to say, and attempts to prove, that the water carriage of heavy goods must be more expensive than the land carriage, if the distance exceed not six miles; and he even assures the citizens of Edinburgh, that they must pay as much for coals brought by water thirty miles, as for coals brought by land six miles; though the water-born coals cost at the pit month only one shilling and six-pence per cart load, and the land-born coals cost four shillings and six-pence!
In mentioning these paradoxes, we are far from thinking that he has not displayed ingenuity; but his reasoning, though in the form of arithmetical demonstration, will be found extremely fallacious, by him who shall closely examine the principles from which he sets out. The suppression of so small a sum as even 101, for instance, in one case, and the addition of the same sum in another, must produce mighty effects on the conelusion, when that conclusion is the result of multiplying by any figure, the expences from which, in the one case 101. are taken, and to which in the other they are added. It cannot be expected, that we are to fill pages, devoted to more important objects, with instances of our Coal-master's address in this way. pamphlet is in the hands of the public, who will do both him and it justice; and as it contains several details which may prove useful to Coal-owners, we recommend it to the perusal of all such; though with respect to the subject of controversy between the author and Dr. Steuart, it begins with petulance, and concludes with misrepresentation.
Supplement to an Account of a Plan, for the better supplying the City of Edinburgh with Coal; comprising an Examination of an anonymous Pamphlet lately published, under the signature of an Old Coal-Master. By Henry Steuart, L. L. D. F. R. S. and F. A. S. E. 8vo. Pr. 204. Longman and Rees, London; and Hill, Edinburgh.
THE reader perceives that this is an answer to the pamphlet reviewed in the preceding article; and we venture to assure him, that he will find it a complete answer. He may indeed be of opinion, that the flippant assertions of the Coal-master, without name, were hardly entitled to any answer; and we surely agree with him, that Dr. Steuart was not called upon to take the slightest notice of such an antagonist. When a gentleman publishes a disquisition founded on facts, for the truth of which he pledges his name and character, no man of honour will controvert those facts, without giving to the public the same pledge for his own veracity; and therefore, as the Coalmaster vouches for the facts, which he brings forward in opposition to those of Dr. Steuart, neither by his own name, nor by the name of any other unexceptionable witness, our author might, with perfect safety, have trusted his cause to the judgment of his enlightened readers. He had, however, courted disquisition; and perhaps he might think that many persons interested in the line of the projected canal, are little acquainted with the laws of literary warfare. By such persons silence might have been construed into an acknowledged defect; and as the canal cannot be cut in either line but at an enormous expence, the interests of Edinburgh, and of
the public at large, (for in the present case they are inseparable,) might. have been materially injured by an anonymous pamphleteer.
Whether our author reasoned in this manner, we know not; but he seems sufficiently sensible, that nothing was due to him from an adversary who fights from behind a bush. There is one condition of the contest," says he, of which I have cause to complain. While I fairly and openly dis play my name before the public, I am called forth into the arena against a asked gladiator, who, like Jack the Giant-killer, has his invisible cap, and wraps himself up in his coat of darkness. That such conduct is attribu table to one of two motives, is abundantly plain. Either the observer is af aid, or he is ashamed, on account of his book; and I leave it to his coal-. friends or himself, to make choice of the alternative. What his real name or character may be seems of little moment to the question, and is of still less to the public. A coal-owner of Mid-Lothian, an able advocate of Edinburgh, and a certain merchant, and formerly a land-holder in Lanerkshire who is now in lack of other occupation, have been seriously suspected by prying curiosity. As to the two first, their talents, as writers, and still more, their respectability and candour as men, wholly forbid the idea. For there is, throughout the performance, a wilful mis-statement, a determined petulance, and self-sufficiency, incompatible alike with liberal attainments and solid knowledge; not to mention the counting-house phraseology with which it is filled, and the defective grammar and provincial barbarisms with which it is disfigured."
By this passage, and another, in which the Coal-master is said to have obtained otium cum dignitate, we are led to suppose that Dr. Steuart's antagonist is not completely concealed by the mask which he has put on; and if so, he has reaped the reward which all deserve, who put on a mask that they may insult with impunity, individuals by whom they have not been injured. From the beginning to the end of the Account of a Plan for the better Supplying the City of Edinburgh with Coal, there is not one expression un becoming a gentleman, or a single reflection upon any individual, except two mineral surveyors, who are expressly named, as having discharged their duty in a careless manner. This being the case, the coarse ridicule which the Observer attempts to throw over Dr. Steuart and his cause, was wholly unprovoked; and his internal conviction of this was probably the reason that he sent his Observations into the world without his name. But, if he be known in the metropolis of Scotland, his vain attempts at concealment must co-operate with the wit of his antagonist, to raise the laugh against him. That wit, though not so rough as his own, is infinitely more keen; and though it mangles not like a saw, it cuts like a razor.
Were there nothing, however, but wit in Dr. Steuart's book, it would, on such a subject, be of very little value. With much patience he examines the Coal-master's reasonings on deep and shallow pits, and on the compara tive expences of land and water carriage; points out the fallaciousness of the principles on which his calculations are built, and then makes for his misre presentations the following apology:
"When we candidly consider the acuteness of his feelings, and the very petuliar nature of the ground he had here to tread, some allowance, perhaps in charity, should be made, even for such misrepresentations. Great as we know the aversion of the canine race to be to water, when afflicted with that deplorable disease, which has from thence derived its appellation; yet far greater, I am persuaded, and far more deep-rooted, is the abhorrence that
the thorough-bred monopolist involuntarily feels to fair competition, and to every scheme for diffusing the equal benefits of trade. Like the lean hound in the fable, though shut up in his kennel, and disqualified for the chace, he still continues with violence to give tongue at the starting, and pants. after the game he is now unable to pursue, and which it has fallen to the lot of his followers to participate. Let us, however, not forget, in the midst of a due consideration for infirmity or misfortune, that our Observer's uniform design has already been to mislead the ordinary reader; to surprize hin with paradoxes; to perplex and confound him with technical details; and thus to withdraw his attention from the main object of my book, which was. to shew the vast difference in the price, as well as the extent of the coal, so remarkable in Lanerkshire and Mid-Lothian; and the absolute certainty. on that account, with which a judicious water-carriage would preserve it to the metropolis, at an expence far inferior to the present rates."
Without entering into the calculations of either pamphlet, which can much engage the attention of coal-owners alone, our readers must perceive the truth of this last assertion in the facts admitted by both writers. Both admit, that there is an immense field of coal in Lanerkshire, and that such coal lies near to the surface of the ground; both admit, that the line by the Batten Moss, for which Dr. Steuart contends, passes through the heart of that coal district, while the other line proposed only skirts it; both admit that, for some time, at least, coal could be brought by water from Lanerkshire to Edinburgh, at less expence than it is at present brought from the mines of Mid-Lothian; and though it may be true, as the Observer affirms, that the coal-owners of Mid-Lothian could afford fuel to the metropolis of Scotland cheaper than they now do, it follows incontrovertibly, that it is by a judicious water-carriage alone that it can be procured to that city, at an expence inferior to the present rates, because nothing else will induce the MidLothian monopolists to lower the price of that necessary article of life.
The Statistical Obferver's Packet-Companion: being a fyftematical fet of Queries calculated to affift Travellers, and all Inquifitive Men at large in their Refearches about the State of Nations, Tranflated from the French of Julia, Duchefs of Giovane, Baronets of Undersbach, I ady of the Starry Crofs, Honorary Member of the Royal Academies of Berlin and Stockholm, and of the Humane Society, London. 24mo. PP. 152. Booker. 1801.
TO give to laudable curiofity a proper direction, and to point out to the inquifitive mind proper objects of research, is to perform an useful and meritorious fervice to fociety. The plan of this work is novel and ingenious, and its execution displays a depth of reflection and a folidity of judgment that have a direct tendency to prepoffefs us very ftrongly in favour of the author. It is but a poor compliment to fay, that it is, indifputably, the beft Pocket-Companion which has ever fallen into our hands; it has the much higher merit of being a judicious guide to profitable reflection.
Of the Shoe-maker, Schrodter, the Printer, Taurinius, and the Cabinet-Maker, D'amberger, three Travellers who never travelled at all, but fabricated their Accounts in one Manufactory. 8vo. PP. 20. Price 1s. 6d. Geilweiler. London. 1801.
THIS small tract contains an account of three of the most impudent forgeries which have yet been attempted in the Republic of Letters;-we
do not except poor Chatterton's Poems of Rowley, nor yet Horace Walpole's famous Castle of Otranto. The first of these forgeries was "A Voy age and Journey to the Eaft Indies and Egypt, Mount Sinai, and Bethlehem, &c. during the years of 95 and 99; announced and authenticated by his Editor Pet. Pb. Wolf at Leipzig, as facts related by an eye witness of the Conqueft of Egypt by the French;" by Jofeph Schrodter, a "mechanic from Saxony."--The fecond was, " A Voyage and Journey to Afia, Africa, and America, of which the first part made its appearance in 99, at Jacobaer's in Leipzig, and was afterwards followed by a fecond." This was the work of " a pretended Egyptian, named Zacharias Taurinius, who worked as a Printer at Wittenberg."-The third was the Travels of D'amberger, noticed in our Review for January 1801; our readers, by refering to the article, will find that we had strong doubts of the author's veracity, and even queftioned his having been at the places which he undertakes to defcribe; though, we confefs, our fufpicions did not lead us fo far as to fuppofe that any man would have the impudence to compose such a book in his garret without any original materials whatever. The account of this forgery, and of its detection, we shall extract.
«On a fudden, an offer of the copy-right of fome new travels, by a cabinet-maker, named Chrift. F. D'amberger, a native of Suabia, who now refted from his wanderings at Wittenberg, was made to Martini, publisher of the new Travels of Pallas, at Leipzig. This wonderful man, who pretends to perform more than Major Haughton, Mungo Park, Hornemann, or any other travellers ever did, or ever will, who went for the express purpofe of making discoveries in the interior of Africa, prefented himself to the bookfeller Martini, who afterwards went to Wittenberg for the purpose of converfing more at large with him on the fubject. During the careful examinations which he underwent at the inn, D'amberger conducted himself so adroitly, and reprefented his fituation in fo artful a manner, faying he was unable to eat meat, and to go with less than two waistcoats and small-clothes to defend himself from the cold in the month of Auguft, that the bookfeller took the copy-right with great joy, and invited him to Leipzig for farther deliberations. Here the artful D'amberger continued his fraud fo dexterously, as not to betray himself in the leaft by his anfwers to the quef tions put to him by Mr. Goldbach, the geographer, who refides at Leipzig, and was to defign the maps for his travels in Africa, and Mr. Tillefius, to whom the manufcript was given to revife; and departed joyfully from Leipzig with part of his bonourably-gotten pay, which, indeed, was rather fmall.
"In a fhort time this fabrication* was advertised in feveral news-papers, and excited much of the public attention. On the frontispiece of the work is a portrait of the author with his gun and knapsack, as travelling in Caffraria. The report of this extraordinary tour fpread univerfally; fpeculations were immediately commenced upon its tranflation. A Paris bookfeller fent for the work before it was completely published, and had it conveyed by post in wet fheets to Paris, in order to begin the translation. The
C. F. D'amberger's Journey into the interior of Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope, through Caffraria, the Deferts of Sahara, and the North of Barbary, as far as Morocco. In Two Parts. Leipzig, 1801.