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commerce and traffic have decreased since the
French war ended, and Harwich will some day,
unless it looks out sharper, become as Orwell,
over whose decay it once triumphed. No one,
nevertheless, can yet crow over Harwich, for it
still boasts one hundred vessels and a considerable
fleet of wherries that ply to Manningtree
and Ipswich. In the Harwich docks seventy-
four gun ships have been built. The harbour
has a fine opening, is deep and generous, and
is, and probably always will be, the only safe
sheltering roadstead between Yarmouth and the
Thames, although Lowestoft is a dangerous
rival, and Yarmouth is more convenient for
Holland, Germany, and Sweden. Now the
garrison and government works are gone,
Harwich shows signs of age. Its ruin began in
its own greediness as early as 1742, when the
townspeople and innkeepers were so rapacious
with strangers from Holland and Germany that
sloops were started to go direct between London
and Holland; it was just the same short-sighted
greediness, in the latter case for dock dues,
that ruined Bristol irreparably, and made

There was a day when old Burleigh shook
his wise head over a chart of our east coast,
and said, in his sententious way, " Harwich
must be fortified against the Spaniard." Sure
enough in 1625 a Spanish fleet did swoop
round Harwich, and rather scared the marsh
people. In Queen Anne's time the town was
fortified against the sailors of Louis Quatorze.
The blockhouses have now disappeared, and so
have the ancient gates, St. Austin, Barton's or
the Watergate, Castle Gate, and St. Helen's
Port; but there is Landguard Fort, built by
James the First on the Suffolk Point still, with
its twenty heavy traversing guns, to protect
the passage from the sea.


SOME readers may be inclined to think
it an act of presumption to attempt to treat
so vast a topic as the constitution of the
universe in a slight sketch comprised in one
short paper. It would be so were the universe
a chaos, a heterogeneous medley, a system of
independent and uncurbed anarchies. But the
universe, on the contrary, is symmetry, order,
law. The most recent discoveries of science
tend to prove that the universe is one, a unity,
made up of like co-ordinate parts, and of similar
when not identical materials.

It has been often said that the mind of
man is incapable of comprehending the infinite.
This may be true in a certain sense, because we
may entertain reasonable doubts whether we
really and fully understand anything. But for
my own part, as far as the visible universe is
concerned, I feel much less difficulty in
comprehending its infinity than in conceiving that
it can possibly be finite.

As to space: Can we by any effort imagine
the existence of a boundary, a blank wall, an
impassable limit, where there is no further
extension of space? Where a winged messenger
or angel, sent on the errand of penetrating
deeper into space, would have to turn back
because there was no more space to penetrate?
No ; we cannot figure to ourselves such a final
limit to the extent of the universe, such a ring-
fence enclosing all things created. It is far
easier both to grant and to understand that
space must be infinitely extensible.

Then again, as to time: We cannot conceive
its actual stoppage. The events by which we
measure time, the motions of the heavenly
bodies might alter, nay, might even cease; the
planets might all fall into the sun, suns might
coalesce or group together, making new
heavens and new earths, still there would be a
change, a progress, which is only another mode
and manifestation of time. Even supposing
(what is impossible to suppose) that no more
motion or event took place in the universe
that the great All were still, stagnant, and
deadtime nevertheless, that is to say eternity,
would not cease. Immortal beings would yet
possess and enjoy an everlasting NOW of life
and happiness. Here also we can more readily
admit the infinite than conceive the finite.

We have now a clear and comprehensive
knowledge of what, to our forefathers, was
impenetrable mystery. The early inhabitants of
the earth would naturally take it to be a flat
surface spread out in all directions. The sun,
moon, and stars would be simple luminaries
hung in the heavens for their convenience to
afford them light. Travel might teach them
that this flat surface was considerably larger
than they at first suspected; but a moment's
reflection must soon convince them that it could
not extend in all directions indefinitely. They
would witness regularly, every day, the sun
rising on one side of the earth and setting on
the opposite side; and, moreover, not rising
and setting at the same points of the horizon
for an observer stationed at one and the same
spot. At one season the point of emergence
would advance, day by day, towards the north;
at another time of the year it would gradually
shift towards the south. The sun's setting
would present exactly similar circumstances.
The same of the risings and settings of the
moon. A great number of the stars would
be observed to rise and set in the east and
the west, like the sun and the moon, with
the difference that each star would rise and
set always at the same points of the horizon,
if observed from the same spot on the earth's

Now, no doubt could be entertained that
the heavenly bodies which reappeared daily
by rising in the east, were the same bodies
which had previously disappeared by setting in
the west. They must therefore have passed
either beneath the earth or through it, during
the interval of time between their setting and
their rising. The latter alternative being
impossible, it followed, as a necessary
consequence, that the earth could not spread, in the
direction of the horizon, as far as the stars.
There must be a free passage, all round the