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all this vast apparatus safely, on the wings of the wind, across immense seas.
These majestic floating structures are the result of the ingenuity and united labour of many hundred of hands, and are composed of a great number of well-proportioned pieces of timber, nicely fastened together by means of iron nails and bolts, and rendered so tight with tow and pitch, that no water can penetrate into any part.
To give motion to these enormous machines, lofty pieces of timber called masts, have been fixed upright in them; and sails of linen cloth are placed for the purpose of catching the wind, and receiving its propelling power. It has been requisite also to add vast quantities of cordage and tackling. Yet all these would be insufficient for the perfect government and direction of the vessel, if there were not fastened to the hinder part of it, by means of hinges and hooks, a moveable piece of wood called the rudder, very small in proportion to the whole machine, but the least in-. clination of which to either side is sufficient to give immediately a different direction to the enormous mass ; so that two men may direct and govern this floating town, with the same or with greater ease than a single man can direct a boat.
Even the vaulted part of the fabric, together with its sharp termination underneath, is proportioned according to the nicest calculations; and the length, width, and strength of the sails and tackling, are all in due proportion to one another, according to certain rules founded upon the principles of the art of ship-building.
A large ship carries at least 2200 tons burden, that is, 4,500,000lb., and at the same time is steered and governed with as much ease as the smallest boat. And yet if such a ship sailed along the coast only, and, like the navigators of old, never lost sight of the shore, we might still look on navigation as an easy business. But to find the shortest way across an ocean from 4000 to 6000 miles in width, sailing by day or by night, in fair weather or in foul, as weil when the sky is overcast, as when it is clear, with no other guide than the compass, or the height of the sun, the moon and stars, with exactness and precision, is the extraordinary and surprising task of him who is skilled in the science of navigation. A violent storm of wind will make us tremble with fear in.
a well-built house, in the midst of a populous city; but the seaman, provided he has a good ship, rides with unshaken courage, amidst the enraged waves, when the whole surface of the ocean presents to the eye an awful scene of immense watery mountains and bottomless precipices.
Architecture. Amongst the various arts cultivated in society, some are only adapted to supply our natural wants or assist our infirmities; some are instruments of luxury merely, and calculated to flatter our pride, or gratify our desires : whilst others tend at once to secure, to accommodate, delight, and give consequence to the human species.--Architecture is of this latter kind; and when viewed in its full extent, may truly be said to have a very considerable part in almost every comfort or luxury of life. Houses are among the first steps towards civilization, and have great influence both on the body and mind. Secluded from each other, and inhabitants of woods, of caves, or of wretched huts, men are generally indolent, dull, and abject, with faculties benumbed, and views limited to the gratification of their most pressing necessities ; but wherever societies are formed, and commodious dwellings are found, in which, well sheltered, they may breathe a temperate air, amid the summer's heat or winter's cold ; sleep when nature calls, at ease and in security; study unmolested; converse and taste the sweets of social enjoyments; there they are spirited, active, ingenious, and enterprising ; vigorous in body, speculative in mind; agriculture and arts improve ; the necessaries, the conveniences, and soon even the luxuries of life become abundant.
The immediate and most obvious advantages of building are, employing many ingenious artificers, many industrious workmen, and labourers of various kinds; converting materials of little value into the most stately productions of human skill; beautifying the face of countries; and multiplying the comforts of life. But these, however great, are not the most considerable: that numerous train of arts and
manufactures, contrived to furnish and adorn the works of architecture, which occupies thousands, and constitutes many lucrative branches of commerce; that certain concourse of strangers, to every country celebrated for stately structures, who extend your fame, and create a deniand for your productions, are considerations of the highest consequence. Nor is architecture less useful in defending, than prosperous in adorning and enriching countries; she guards their coasts with ships of war, secures their boundaries, fortifies their cities, and by a variety of useful constructions, controls the ambition and frustrates the attempts of foreign powers; curbs the insolence, and averts the danger, and the horror of internal commotions.
Materials in architecture are like words in phraseology. They have separately but little power, but they may be so arranged, as to excite ridicule, disgust, or even contempt; yet when combined with skill, and expressed with energy, they actuate the mind with unbounded sway. An able writer can move even in common language, and the masterly disposition of a skilful artist, will dignify the meanest materials; while the weak efforts of the ignorant render the most costly materials despicable. To such the compliment of Apelles may justly be applied, who, on seeing the picture of a Venus magnificently attired, said to the operator, “Friend, though thou hast not been able to make her fair, thou hast certainly made her fine."
The five orders of architecture were successively invented in ancient Greece and Italy; they are called the Tuscan, the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, and the Composite ; and are to be found in all the principal buildings of the Christian world. The Saxons had a simple style of architecture, distinguished by semi-circular arches and massive plain columns; The Normans too invented a beautiful style of architecture, called the Gothic; distinguished by its lightness and profuse ornaments ; by its pointed arches, and by its pillars, carved to imitate several conjoined. A knowledge of the several species of architecture may be conveyed more effectually by engravings, than by any verbal descriptions.
QUESTIONS.—1. To what objects are the arts adapted?. 2. What is man in a state of seclusion ? 3. Of society? 4. Describe the advantages of architecture. 5. Why are materials in architecture like words in phraseology? 6. What are the five orders of architecture ?
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Constitution of the United States.
As all the youth of America ought to be well acquainted with the constitution of the country in which they live, and to which they must be subject, it will be proper to exhibit its general outlines.
A strong sense of the value and blessings of union induced the people at a very early period to institute a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence; (1778) nay, at a time when their habitations were in flames, when many of them were bleeding in the field, and when the progress of hostility and desolation lest little room for those calm and mature inquiries and reflections which must ever precede the formation of a wise and well balanced government for a free people. It is nat to be wondered at, that a government instituted in times so inauspicious, should, on experiment, have been found greatly deficient, and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer.
The people perceived and regretted these defects. They observed the danger which threatened their union, and more remotely their liberty; and being persuaded that ample security for both could only be found in a national government more wisely framed, deputies from the several states met in convention at Philadelphia (1787,) to take the important subject into consideration. In the mild season of peace, with minds unoccupied with other subjects, they passed many months in cool uninterrupted and daily consultations; and finally, without having been awed by power, or influenced by any passion except love for their country, they presented and. recommended to the people the constitution or form of government produced by their joint and very
The government of the United States is called republican. It is a representative democracy. All power resides ultimately in the people; but they exercise it by means of their. representatives, or persons chosen by them for that purpose. All the departments of the government are bound to conform
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
to the provisions of the constitution, and the act of any one of them, even an act of Congress, if contrary thereto, is void.
The most fundamental article in every form of government is the legislative branch, which has the power of making all the laws and regulations to which the whole community must be subject. This, in the United States, consists of a senate and house of representatives, jointly called the Congress, which must be assembled at least once every year. The senate consists of two members from each of the separate states, chosen by the legislatures of each state to serve for six years. The seats of one third of the senators are vacated every two years. The senate tries all persons impeached by the house of representatives ; but they can only punish by deprivation of office, or disqualification in future; and the conviction must be by the votes of two thirds of the members present at any trial. The Vice-president presides in the senate, but without a vote, except in case of an equal division of the votes of the other members. No person can be a senator who has not attained to the age of thirty years.
The members of the house of representatives must be twenty-five years of age, and they are chosen by the people at large every two years. The number of the representative body varies according to the number of the separate states, and the population of each state. For this purpose an enumeration of all the people must be made every ten years, and the number of representatives must never exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one representative. The senators and representatives receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. All bills for raising revenue must originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.
The judicial power is vested by the constitution in a supreme court, and such inferior courts as Congress shall from time to time appoint; and all the judges hold their office during good behaviour, Besides the ordinary exercise of its power of deciding controversies, it is incident to the judicial power of the United States to pass upon the acts of Congress and decide upon their constitutionality; a power essential to the rights of the people, but not known in any of the gas vernments of Europe.