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76

EXPERIMENTS ON STEAM.

very vulgar taste, coarsely written, without or-' naments of any kind, and altogether at variance with the other division of this elegant volume, and on this account most unlikely ever to have formed a part of that which, from its admirable finish,

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LETTER TO HARTLIB. was, probably, placed in the hands of King Louis.

From this, however, he appears also to have been acquainted with the experiment in the “Century of Inventions,” of bursting a cannon by steam. He further describes vapour, when governed, to bear itself quietly under the harness like good horses ; a turn of expression not very different from the Marquess of Worcester's. These coincidences would almost, in the absence of every other fact, establish a knowledge of his predecessor's experiments, even supposing that the water-commanding-engine itself, which was employed for a public purpose, and in action a few years before, adjoining the garden wall of Sir Samuel's house at Vauxhall, was unknown to him.

About the middle of the seventeenth century, a pamphlet* was published at London, which contains, in the form of a letter to Hartlib, the celebrated farmer, an enumeration of the uses to which a machine could be applied, which the anonymous author states he had invented. “ Whereas, by the blessing of God, who only is the giver of every good and perfect gift, while I was searching after that which many, far before me in all humane learning, have sought but not yet found, viz. a perpetual motion, or a lessening the distance between strength and time; though I say, not that I have fully obtained the thing itself, yet I have advanced so near it, that already I can, with the strength or helpe of four men, do any

P.9. Invention of Engines of Motion lately brought to per fection; "whereby may be despatched any work now done in England, or elsewhere, (especially works that require strength and swiftness,) either by wind, water, cattel, or men, and that with better accommodation and more profit than by any thing hitherto known und used." London, 1651.

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ENGINE OF MOTION.

work which is done in England, whether by winde, water, or horses, as the grinding of wheate, rape, or raising of water; not by any power or wisdome of mine own, but by God's assistance, (and, I humbly hope, after a sorte,) immediate direction, I have been guided in that search to tread in another pathe, than ever any other man, that I can hear or reade of, did treade before me; yet, with so good success, that I have already erected one little engine, or great model, at Lambeth, able to give sufficient demonstration to either artist or other person, that my invention is useful and beneficial, (let others say upon proof how much more,) as any other way of working hitherto known or used.” And he proceeds to give “a list of the uses or applications for which these engines are fit, for it is very difficult, if not impossible, to name them all at the same time. To grind malt, or hard corne; to grind seed for the making of oyle; to grind colours for potters, painters, or glasse-houses; to grind barke for tanners; to grind woods for dyers; to grind spices, or snuffe, tobac. co; to grind brick, tile, earth, or stones, for plaster; to grind sugar-canes; to draw up coales, stones, ure, or the like, or materials for great and high buildings; to draw wyre; to draw water from mines, meers, or fens; to draw water to serve cities, townes, castles; and to draw water to flood dry grounds, or to water grounds; to draw or hale ships, boates, &c. up rivers against the streame; to draw carts, wagons, &c. as fast without cattel; to draw the plough without cattel to the same despatch if need be; to brake hempe, flax, &c.; to beat hempe, flax, &c.; to weigh anchors with less trouble. and sooner; to spin cordage, or cables; to bolt meale faster and fine; to saw stone and timber; to polish any stones or mettals; to turne any great.

ENGINE OF MOTION.

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works in wood, stone, mettals, &c., that could hardly be done before ; to file much cheaper in all great works; to bore wood, stone, mettals; to thrashe corne, if need be; to winnow corne at all times, better, cheaper, &c. For paper mills, thread mills, iron mills, plate mills; cum multis aliis."

If this extraordinary “engine of motion”, was not some kind of a steam-engine, the knowledge of an equally plastic and powerful motive agent has been utterly lost. And if the author of this anonymous tract was not the Marquess of Worcester, some equally great mechanical genius existed in his time, whose labours were turned to the same point; who used the same modes of expression when describing them; who applied his invention to the same purposes, but whose very name has perished.

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