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over poor James Augustine Wade's "Meet Me
by Moonlight alone." Those were the two
great songs of the time; though I ought to add
a third— "Cherry Ripe"—which, having been
made popular by Madame Vestris, brought an
air of pastoral freshness into London streets,
till use destroyed it.

How rapidly the stream of change has flowed
since then! Surely, I ought to be grey-headed
for recollecting such antiquated facts. Yet I
could recollect others, but that I fear to tire
all fast young readers. Let me conclude, then,
by taking one of those readers down to the spot
we now call Trafalgar Square. What does he
see? The "King's Mews" standing where the
National Gallery now stands; and in the open
space, where the column and the fountains
are, a squalid heap of odds and ends, with a
large booth in the middle, dignified by the name
of "The Pavilion of the Gigantic Whale," on
account of a Bartlemy Fair exhibition inside.
There, young gentleman! be thankful for the
age you live in, and don't revile the fountains
any more.


master mariner, with twenty years of seafaring
experience in the East and West India trades,
and late Member of the Legislative Assembly of
Victoriahas lately invented an instrument that
will enable sailors to ascertain the true course of
a ship, bearings and distances of a lighthouse rock
or point of coast, and generally to know how with
certainty to steer clear of any object, shifting
or stationary, visible within a distance of seven
miles, the greatest distance at which a ship's
lights can be seen in the night. The first person
to add Perry's Dial to a ship's instruments, was
Captain Seymour, of her Majesty's ship Pylorus,
lately in Australian waters. We have never
willingly missed any opportunity of calling attention
to the sore need of every help that can be given
towards lessening the frightful number of the
shipwrecks and accidents at sea. Shipping
companies and shipowners may at once inquire for
themselves into the exact merits of Perry's Dial,
and perhaps, some day, it will obtain attention
from the Admiralty as it is, or more probably
from the Navy Department as it is hereafter to
be constituted.

Three in five of the worst mishaps at sea come
of collisions. By collision, a hundred and ninety-
nine lives were destroyed suddenly in the
Favourite, off the Lizard. By collision, four
hundred persons suddenly perished in the Arctic.
Husbands and fathers are left solitary men,
their wives and little ones all swallowed by the
sea. Wives and children ashore, while they are
rejoicing in calm weather for love of the
housefather who moves in peril of the deep, are
suddenly made widows and orphans by a terrible
disaster, of which the cause was, perhaps, only a
wrong figure in calculation. On the coast of
the United Kingdom, fifty or sixty ships are sunk
every year by collision, and there are two or
three hundred seriously damaged. On the seas
at large, nearly a thousand ships are sunk or
crippled seriously by collision every year. If
both vessels that strike together become total
wrecks, they go to swell the sad, mysterious
list of "missing ships," whereof there are fifty
a year from among those that sail out of British
ports alone. It has been found also and this
is a point of great importance in the question of
preventionthat "by far the larger number of
collisions take place in the open sea, and in clear,
bright weather."

A ship at night carries a light at her masthead,
a green light on the starboard side of her
hull, and a red light on the port. It is not easy
to know from shore the exact, direction in which
a single speck of light visible several miles away
at sea is moving. It is still less easy from on board
another moving vessel. According as the green
or the red light is seen under the light at the
masthead we may know which side of the vessel
is presented to us, but not within very wide
limits how it is presented, and it is only within
these wide limits that we may know, therefore,
the direction in which she steers. One has only
to sketch on paper the hull of a ship sailing, say
due northward, and represent all the positions in
which the hull of an approaching vessel would
present the same coloured light to view, to find
that such a ship may be steering south, or may
be steering even west-north-west, and may be
steering towards any point between those two
extremes. It is because of these uncertainties,
uncertainties that can be and are overcome by
the science of some commanders, but of some
( and a few) only, that a seaman is never quite
happy when he has to pass close to another ship
at night, until the passing is well settled by the
event. It may be, and it generally is the case,
that if the two ships hold to their course, they
would pass within not less than a mile of one
another. But, if one could be only sure of that!

The object of Perry's Dial is to enable any
ship's officer, whether mathematician or not, to
apply such principles of trigonometry as will
enable him to answer the important question by
two easy and simple observations taken at a few
minutes' interval, and neither of them
necessarily occupying a whole minute.

There is a certain Rule of the Road at sea;
a good and necessary rule, although it is said
hitherto to have caused more collisions than it
has prevented. It is contained in Section 296
of the Merchant Shipping Act, and this it will
be well to give in its own words, parting off and
printing in italics the proviso hitherto practically
a dead letter as a thousand of the dead might
tell us, could they speak:

   "Whenever any ship, whether a steam or
sailing ship, proceeding in one direction meets
another ship, whether a steam or sailing ship,
proceeding in another direction, [so that if both
ships were to continue their respective courses they
would pass so near as to involve any risk of
lision,] the helms of both ships shall be put to
port, so as to pass on the port side of each
other; and this rule shall be obeyed by all