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    DANIEL PRATT

    The next step in the increase of means of traffic was the construction of canals. The rivers had previously been rendered more navigable by removing obstructions, deepening channels, and making good towing-paths along their banks; but now it was projected to make artificial rivers. In this scheme, Richard Brindley, under the patronage of the Duke of Bridgewater, was the great engineer; and his intrepid genius dictated to him to carry these canals over hills by locks, over rivers by aqueducts, and through the heart of hills by tunnels. These enterprises at that moment appeared, to the ordinary run of civil engineers, as rash experiments, which were sure to prove abortive. As all new ideas are, these ideas, now so commonplace, were ridiculed by the wise ones as little short of madness. Mr. Brindley's first great work was the formation of the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, from Worsley to Manchester. In this he at once proved all his plans of locks, tunnels, and aqueducts. He conducted his canal by an aqueduct over the river Irwell, at an elevation of thirty-nine feet; and those learned engineers who had laughed at the scheme as "a castle in the air," might now see boats passing over the river at that height with the greatest ease, while other boats were being drawn up the Irwell against the stream and under the aqueduct with five times the labour. At Worsley the canal was conducted into the very heart of the coal-mine by a tunnel, with branches, which conducted the boats up to the different parts of the[191] mine, so that the coal could be loaded on the spot where it was dug. The immediate effect of this canal was to reduce coals in Manchester to half the former price; and the canal being extended so as to connect it with the Mersey, at Runcorn, it reduced the freight of goods from Manchester to Liverpool to the same extent, from twelve shillings to six shillings per ton, the land carriage having been forty shillings. Brindley was next engaged to execute the Grand Trunk Canal, which united the Trent and Mersey, carrying it through Birmingham, Chesterfield, and to Nottingham. This was commenced in 1766, and exhibited further examples of his undaunted skill, and, as he had been laughed at by the pedants of the profession, he now in his turn laughed at their puny mediocrity. One of his tunnels, at Harecastle Hill, in Staffordshire, was two thousand eight hundred and eighty yards long, twelve feet wide, nine high, and in some parts seventy yards below the surface of the ground. This tunnel, after half a century's use, was found too confined for the traffic, and a new one, much wider, was made by Telford. By this time the art of tunnelling had made great progress, and whilst Brindley required eleven years to complete his tunnel, Telford made his much larger one in three. Many causes intervened to check for a time the progress of canals, so that from 1760 to 1774 only nineteen Acts were passed for them; but in the two years of 1793 and 1794 no fewer than thirty-six new Bills were introduced to Parliament, with others for extending and amending rivers, making altogether forty-seven Acts, the expenditure on the canals of these two years' projection amounting to five million three hundred thousand pounds. The work now went on rapidly, and investments in canal shares exhibited at that day, in miniature, the great fever of railway speculation at a later period. Lines of canals were made to connect the Thames, the Tweed, the Severn, and the Mersey; so that the great ports of London, Liverpool, Hull, and Bristol were connected by them, and put into communication with nearly all the great inland manufacturing towns. In 1779 a ship-canal was completed from the Forth to the Clydea work proposed as early as the reign of Charles II. This canal, thirty-five miles in length, had thirty-nine locks, which carried the canal to a height of one hundred and fifty-six feet above the sea, and it crossed the river Kelvin by an aqueduct eighty-three feet from the bed of the river to the top of the masonry. A few years later a much larger ship-canal united Gloucester to the Severn, and wonderfully increased the trade and growth of that city.

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    D?rnberg escaped to Great Britain. Katt, another patriot, assembled a number of veterans at Stendal, and advanced as far as Magdeburg, but was compelled to fly to the Brunswickers in Bohemia. Had the Archduke Charles marched through Franconia at the opening of the campaign, as he proposed, all these isolated bodies might have been encouraged, and knit into a formidable army. But the most powerful of all these independent leaders, the Duke of Brunswick, was too late to join Schill, Katt, and D?rnberg. The son of the Duke of Brunswick who had been so barbarously treated by Buonaparte had vowed an eternal revenge. But the French were in possession of his sole patrimony, Oels, and he went to Bohemia, where he raised a band of two thousand hussars, which he equipped and maintained by the aid of England, the home of his sister Caroline, the Princess of Wales. He clothed his hussars in black, in memory of his father's death, with the lace disposed like the ribs of a skeleton, and their caps and helmets bearing a death's-head in frontwhence they were called the Black Brunswickers. He advanced at their head through Saxony, Franconia, Hesse, and Hanover, calling on the populations to rise and assert their liberties. He defeated Junot at Berneck, and the Saxons at Zittau, but it was the middle of May before he entered Germany, and by that time the enemy had widely separated Schill and the other insurgents. He managed, however, to surprise Leipsic, and thus furnish himself with ammunition and stores. But the Dutch, Saxons, and Westphalians were all bearing down on him. He defeated them at Halberstadt and in Brunswick, but was finally overpowered by numbers of these Dutch and Germans disgracefully fighting against their own country, and he retreated to Elsfleth, and thence sailed for England.
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    The first transactions of the campaign of 1795 which demand our attention, are those of Holland. To the British army these were most disastrous, and came to an end before the winter closed. The Duke of York had returned to England early in December, 1794, leaving the chief command to General Walmoden, a Hanoverian, second to whom was General Dundas. Walmoden had gone quietly into winter quarters in the isle of Bommel, forgetting that the firmness of the ice would soon leave him exposed with his small force to the overwhelming swarms of the French, under Pichegru, who, in the middle of December, crossed the Waal with two hundred thousand men, and drove in his lines. General Dundas advanced against him with eight thousand men, and, for the time, drove the French back, on the 30th of December, across the Waal. But this could not last with such disproportionate forces, especially as our troops were left with the most wretched commissariat, and an equally wretched medical staff; in fact, there were neither surgeons to attend the greater part of the wounded, nor medicines for the sick. On the 4th of January, 1795, the French came back with their overpowering numbers, and on the 6th the British were compelled to retire across the Leck, and continue their retreat, suffering indescribable miseries from the want of food, tents, and proper clothes, in the horrors of a Dutch winter. Notwithstanding this, the British repeatedly turned and drove back the enemy with heavy slaughter. But on the 11th of January Pichegru attacked them in a defile between Arnhem and Nimeguen, with a condensed force of seventy thousand men, and took every measure to destroy, or compel the surrender of, the whole British army. They, however, fought their way through and continued their march for the Elbe, the only quarter open to them. During this retreat they were less harassed by the French, who fell off to occupy Utrecht and Rotterdam, than by the fury of the winter and the hostility of the Jacobinised Dutch, who cursed them as the cause of all the sufferings of their country. Such was the end of Britain's campaign for the defence of her Dutch allies. Holland was proclaimed a free Republic under the protection of France, and Britain immediately commenced operations for indemnifying herself, by seizing the ships and colonies of her late ally in every quarter of the globe. They intercepted the homebound Dutch Indiamen, and when the Council of Government sent deputies to London to reclaim them, Lord Grenville, the Foreign Minister, asked them in what character they came. They replied, that they came as representatives of the sovereign people of Batavia. The Foreign Minister said he knew of no such Power, and declined to receive them. No time was lost in seizing the Dutch colonies and factories. On the 14th of July Admiral Sir G. Keith Elphinstone appeared in Table Bay, and landed a considerable force under command of Major-General Craig. They possessed themselves of Simon's Town and the strong fort of Muyzenberg, and in the beginning of September, being reinforced by another body of troops, under Major-General Alured Clarke, on the 23rd of that month they were masters of Cape Town. A similar activity was displayed in the East Indies; and in the course of the year, or early in 1796, all the Dutch possessions in Ceylon, Malacca, Cochin, Amboyna, and other places were surrendered to the British. The same seizures were in course of execution on the settlements of the Dutch in the West Indies, and on the coast of South America. [See larger version]

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