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steam-vessels, the casualties relating to which
were seventy-one in 1847, and one hundred
and eight in 1850.

Amongst the casualties, there were in the
year 1847, not less than forty-nine ships
reported as having put to sea, of which no
further tidings were heard; these must, of
course, have gone down with all hands.  To
estimate the value of property thus totally
lost in each year would be a matter of
considerable difficulty; yet we may arrive at an
approximation.  If we value each of the eight
hundred total losses in 1847, with their
cargoes, at an average of only three thousand
pounds each, we shall find the loss to amount
to about two millions and a half sterling!
Continuing this estimate to 1850, we might,
by a similar mode of calculation, make the
total of losses sustained by the underwriters
at Lloyd's and elsewhere, on the three
thousand six hundred casualties in that year,
amount to between four and five millions
sterling!

Vast, however, as is the amount of property
in constant jeopardy, and heavy as are the
yearly losses on the high seas, the Committee
of Lloyd's give not all their care to these
things: human life claims their frequent
sympathy, and these gentlemen find the time
and the will, amidst their many duties, to
bestow kindly aid to sufferers of many classes.
Not only do they contribute to hospitals for
the relief of seamen, and to the maintenance
of life-boats along our dangerous coasts, but
they extend rewards to such as, at risk to
themselves, save, or attempt to save, life from
shipwrecks.  In some cases money is given,
but where that would be unnecessary, or when
some more lasting memorial of courageous
humanity would be more highly esteemed, a
medal is awarded.  This is cast in bronze and
silver, and given according to the station in
life or degree of merit of each particular case.
Since the first award of these medals in 1837,
forty of them have been thus bestowed.

From the sketch attempted to be given,
it may be seen of what importance and value
is this body of underwriters.  How it has
grown with the growing wants of the age,
and anticipated every new or larger demand
upon its energies.  How governments and
chartered bodies look to it for faithful, early
news.  How none concerned in commerce
can live or thrive without its aid.

Like the human body with its many veins
and nerves, it feels the least disturbance in
the distant corners of the earth.  Not a
storm can rage in the wide oceans of the
South, without a record at Lloyd's.  No
hurricane can rush through eastern seas,
without a chronicle at Lloyd's.  Every gale,
every squall, let it be where it may, is felt at
Lloyd's.  The smallest craft that tempts the
mighty seas leaves those at home who track
it on its way with anxious, throbbing hearts;
and when in some fierce storm it founders far
from land, and its lost sailor sinks with
bubbling groan, it is not soon forgotten: there
are those who, hoping against hope, look long,
though vainly, in each coming mail for tidings
which will never come; and, when long
months have passed, the name is scored from
off the books at Lloyd's.

THE PRESENT HOLLOW TIME.

THE golden age, whensoever it may have
had existence on the face of the earth, was an
age of solid gold, there is no kind of doubt.
It has been observed by innumerable
philosophers and moralistssometimes a little
disappointed or misplaced, may be, but sound
sages and impartial judges none the less
that every succeeding age, in its turn, has
been hollow.  The last has always been the
hollowest.  We must admit of the present
time that it is a very hollow time indeed,
though not a worse time than another,
perhaps, in the sage and moral sense
aforesaid.

It is an undoubted and an instructive fact
that hollowness now plays an important part
in engineers' and mechanical constructions;
and that it is one mode of carrying out a vast
economy of materials.  A sheet of iron and a
few rivets now perform the duty of ponderous
castings or huge erections of brick, or stone,
or timber.  A beam of timber or a mass of
iron may be treacherous within-side, owing to
some inequality of structure which escapes
the eye of the workman; and in such case
the interior portion is not merely useless: it is
a positive burden and incumbrance, a delusion
and a snare, an income-tax of a very annoying
kind, a bottomless pit in which the pay-
master loses his money and the engineer
loses his temper; it renders no service itself,
and prevents the sounder portions from
rendering their service.  It is, on the
contrary, one of the characteristics of the plate-
and-rivet system (if we may coin a phrase to
designate it), that there is no waste material,
no neglected material, no material so far
beneath the surface as to escape its due share
of preparation and annealing.  None of the
iron particleslike individuals in an Exeter
Hall chorus of seven hundredcan hide their
defects by being buried among a mass of
others; they are all brought near the front
row, and must bear a fair amount of scrutiny.

If we watch the making of these plates or
these rivets, we shall soon see that the iron
passes through an ordeal which must greatly
toughen and strengthen it.  The molten iron,
liberated from its stony companions by the
heat of the blast furnace, flows in a golden
stream from an aperture in the lower part of
the furnace, and fills up a series of channels
in the sandy floor of the foundrya big
channel being the sow, and sundry little
channels the pigs.  These pigs, when cold,
form oblong masses of crude, brittle, and very
imperfect iron, quite unfitted in this state
for any engineering or mechanical purposes;

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