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saw such things in Germany, and when
we were only just beginning to think about
them in England. In 1830 he wrote: "A
great road will be carried through our
country from east to west, which will pass
through the forest of Bodelschwing. On
this road, carriages will run without horses,
and cause a dreadful noise." There was
Van Etten, already mentioned, who put
forth schemes bearing a remarkable
resemblance to real inventions of later date: such
as the air-gun, the steam-gun, the hydraulic
press, and raised letters for the use of
the blind. The differential thermometer,
quite a modern invention as to actual
construction, was very correctly pre-figured
by the Jesuit Lana in 1675. Daniel
Schwenten, who wrote a thick quarto volume
of descriptions in 1636, may assuredly be
credited with a kind of pre-invention of
the centrifugal pump, the diving-bell, and
the diving-dress. Defoe's Captain Singleton,
in his imaginary journey in Africa,
sketches a central lake which bears a
strong resemblance to one of those which
Grant, Speke, Baker, Burton, and Livingstone
have been exploring during the last
few years. But this, if worth noting at all,
was a pre-discovery, not a pre-invention;
and it is surmised that some Jesuit had
previously marked down some such lake
on a map, either as a mental creation or as
the result of investigation.

The story of the steam-boat is so well
known that we need do little more than
advert to it. There were several suggestions
between 1476 and 1618, for moving boats
on rivers by means of paddles or wheels;
and some of them were acted upon; but
the revolution of the paddles was brought
about by mechanical means, not by steam
power. Papin, the French inventor,
certainly had the true idea in his mind, in
1690, when he said, "Without doubt
paddles fixed to an axis could be most
conveniently made to revolve by air cylinders.
It would only be necessary to furnish the
piston-rod with teeth, which might act as
a toothed wheel, properly fixed to it, and
which, being fitted at the axis to which
the paddles were attached, would
communicate a rotary motion to it." Jonathan
Hulls actually did make a small steam-
boat in 1736, or at least a model of one; it
failed, but he may have had the germs of
the true idea, nevertheless. There is said
to have been a popular versified joke at
Campden. in Gloucestershire, where Hulls
lived, and where his great-grandson was
living in 1851, to the effect that:

    Jonathan Hulls,
    With his paper skulls,
    Invented a machine
    To go against stream;
    But he, being an ass,
    Couldn't bring it to pass,
    And so was ashamed to be seen.

The civility and the poetry of this production
are about upon a par.

There was a bit of jocularity in one of
the monthly magazines, about half a
century ago, which told of wonderful
inventions likely to be published in the papers of
(say) the year 4797. The news-writers
are supposed to have to speak of a war
between the Northern and the Southern
States of America, in which the former
invaded the latter with an army of one
million four hundred and ninety thousand
men. The reality, eight years ago,
approached nearer to the actual wording of
the extravagant idea, than the joker could
have possibly supposed. But he goes on
to quote, from the supposed newspaper of
4797, the following paragraph: "General
Congreve's new mechanical cannon was
fired last week at the siege of Georgia. It
discharged in an hour eleven hundred and
forty balls, each weighing five hundred
pounds. The distance of the objects fired
at was eleven miles; and so perfect was
the engine that the whole of these balls
were lodged in the space of twenty square
feet." Of course, in the year 1821, it was
mere reckless fun to talk of such calibres,
weight of metal, repetitive or revolving
action, range, and accuracy; but our
Armstrongs, Whitworths, and Pallisers could
tell us how steadily and wonderfully we are
advancing towards results which are at
least analogous, if not exactly similar.
Again: "Dr. Clark crossed the Atlantic in
seven days." A fiction. But how near our
Cunard steamers constantly bring it to a


THE whole Red River territory consists of
an immense extent of prairie land to the
east of the Rocky Mountains, and within
the British boundary line North and West
of Minnesota. Originallyand still to
some extentthe home of countless herds
of buffalo, it was only settled by a few
forts of the North-West Fur Company,
which in those days was the great
opponent of the Hudson's Bay monopoly.
About the year 1813, the late Earl of
Selkirk, a benevolent and active minded
Scottish nobleman, conceived the idea of