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rise to a very different feeling, and is
confounding, if not somewhat humiliating. As
I compare my body and strength for a moment
with this single piece of timber, which serves,
as one among many, to shore up the vessel's
sides, and keep it in an upright position, I am
obliged to feel that it would need at least ten
or fifteen like me to carry it on our shoulders
to the edge of the cradle, and drop it into
its place. This being the case, supposing I
had worked three years at the structure of
this ship, how very small and insignificant
would be the share I could claim in the
production of the whole. Yet, there is a
shipwright, hard at work, and singing as he works ;
he is just about my height, and of my strength,
his craft is not a difficult one, and by his
means, and that of others like him, the edifice
before me is absolutely and completely built.

What a scene is inside! By narrow bridges
of planks I make my way within. It is
dusky and full of noise. There is a strong,
racy, and not disagreeable smell of clean timber
shavings and turpentine. The ship I am
now within is in an early state of its fabrication,
and I see on all sides the bare ribs and
foundation bones. As yet, it has no decks;
but where these will be is indicated by the
means of transit from one part to the other,
which is effected by an endless number of
flying platforms, often of only a single plank,
which are supported by spars, attached to
ropes, and all swinging about in the air
and answering to every motion of the foot.
The different series, or ranges of these
above your head, and below your feet, are
enough to confuse the steadiest visitor.
I leave this vast skeleton (the " Hood," to
whom eighty guns are promised
commenced in 1849), and approaching another
ship in an advanced state, I ascend a series
of wooden slants and ladders, and finally
arrive at a port-hole through which I step
upon the quarter-deck. Bare of all rigging,
and all appurtenances, what a field of
woodwork it presents! How solid it feels
beneath the feet! A man is as a fly upon
it. Nevertheless, flies like these built it, and
made it all that it is, and will be. But what
a noise surrounds me, whether I stand on
the quarter deck, or go down upon the lower
decks. The hammer is sounding incessantly,
and the adze, and the voices of men. It is
an uproar, — a Babel of work; but no, not
really so, for the confusion is only apparent,
and that which sounds and seems to be
madness, is in fact order and reason. This is the
secret of the whole thing, the solution of the
problem of so vast a structure being the work
of flies, perched about it, as I am now; it is
the work in accord and harmony, the well-
devised combinations of men that produce
this majestic result. It is a very curious
psychological fact, that this power of
combination is lost by lunatics. On some occasions,
they have formed subtle designs for a rise
against the " Doctor " and his men, and have
begun to put their plans into execution ; but
presently, it was found that instead of acting
in concert, each was following his own wild
will, which usually terminated in several
fighting together, while others yelled or
danced with purposeless fury, and were soon.
" put down " by the combined force of the

I may become reconciled, here, to feeling so
minute an object before so mighty a structure;
and to the consciousness that my share
of work would be so very small a fraction in
the aggregate of its completion. I know that
I can agree and combine with others for a
reasoned object, and I am content to do such
modicum of the world's work as falls to my
allotted share.

But I must add in one word, by way of
conclusion, that I certainly am not content to
have such tricks played in the execution of
public work as have been played for years
upon years, in this and every " Yard" in
England, by the eminent personages who have
condescended to do the public the great
honour of directing such operations. More
obstruction of good things and patronage of
bad things, more extravagance, jobbery,
ignorance, conceit, saving of cheese-parings
and waste of gold, have been committed in
these Dockyards (as in everything connected
with the misdirection of the Navy), than in
every other branch of the public service put
together, including even the Woods and
Forests. And however conscious I may be
that an individual can do little, I very heartily
protest that I mean to do all the little I can,
to have England governed by men of merit,
and not by fine gentlemen. An individual
opinion is of small consequence, I know; but
my opinion may possibly be held by others
and it is, that no privileged class is, by
a direct dispensation of Providence, born to
the broad arrow. Many people are born with
silver spoons in their mouths, many more
with wooden ladles, but I never did hear of
two or three genteel families being expressly
born to the broad arrow. They may have
taken possession of it as a matter of course,
but that is another thing. It shows us, the
people, the effect of a little combination on
their part; and I think it is almost time for
us to show them the effect of a little
combination on ours.


KARL HERWITZ is a German. He is about
fifty years of age, and one of the most original
of characters. Since I have known him, I
have passed whole nights in listening to his
adventures, which are in general as instructive
as they are amusing. Married at a very
early age, he left the military career for that
of inventions. He had a most marvellous
talent for conceiving novel machines, often of
practical utility; but his soul was set upon
perfecting a flying machine. To this he had

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