THE PARIS REGATTA.
THOUGH the French cannot row so well as the English, they
seem to he more venturesome in experiments than we are. Once they
taught us the best forms for seagoing sailing vessels. Perhaps we have
a lesson yet to learn from the same quarter in the build of our boats;
and at any rate if we come to see that a French boat with an English
crew in it would beat an English boat manned by a French crew, we shall
ask whether there is not a limit to our present mode of adding minute
and vexatious items to the manner of rowing, beyond "good time" and
"strong pull," until at length half a man's energy is wasted in the
process, and only half is left for the propulsion-like the lessons of
writing-masters which bother you most about holding the pen.
The success of the four New Brunswick men in Paris against
good English crews, as well as French, may be useful in calling our
attention to the needless encumbrance of a coxswain for four oars, to
the liability to reform and improvement possessed by an oarsman's
stroke (like all things else), and to the flat floor of boat as opposed
to the narrow round one now in vogue, though there is no department of
mechanical construction we can point to that is so persistently
conservative (in its worse sense) as that of boatbuilding.
This arises partly from the fact that boats for the
Universities are often designed by men who cannot row, or by good
oarsmen who cannot build; but it seems to be principally owing to the
fact that a new boat cannot really be tried for speed except in a race,
and if this race be between " duffers" the experiment is not decisive,
while if it is between first-rate men there is (naturally and rightly)
great reluctance to risk the race by adopting for the first time any
For speed, the English had used the same form in a canoe,
which succeeds in a skiff-great length, and they could thus also use a
long paddle, which it was thought would be of great advantage.
This was to forget that the stroke of the canoe-paddle is
only on one side at a time, and if it be applied far from the side of
the boat it tends to turn the boat round.
Thus the long paddle, while affording a long stroke, was
also expending part of the power in causing the canoe to swerve
alternately right and left ; and though the effect of this was much
counteracted by the great length of the boat, it was a counteraction
gained only by neutralizing some of the muscular effort.
The Frenchman built his fast canoe on an opposite
principle. It was short, narrow, and light to an extraordinary degree,
and razée down to the water's edge. His paddle was short, and
its blades of a heart shape with the broader part inwards,and thus
working with the centre of effort as near as possible to the gunwale of
the boat. The stroke with this had to be short and quick, and though it
would distress the "wind" of a man at least as soon as his muscles, in
a short race this is the very thing we expect if all the powers are to
be taxed to the utmost. There were good reasons therefore for the
French canoes being faster than the English.
Each person may have his own taste as to the particular
kind of boat or gee, or horse, he may like, and the special purpose he
wants it for. One prefers a fast clipper yacht, a repeating rifle, or a
racer horse ; while another likes better a good sea-boat, a strong
single-barrel, or a safe hunter.
In the matter of canoes we happened to design one that
would do to travel in water, and to carry on laud, one that would sail
and hold luggage, would bear hard thumps and heavy seas; and if these
qualities are all combined, we cannot wonder that positive speed must
Rowboats now and then have journeyed on foreign rivers,
but a crew would scarcely take an "outrigger eight " to go down the
Danube in, nor would a French fast canoe be comfortable for a cruise in
the Swedish lakes.
Therefore it was not because rowboats were to be
superseded that the Rob Roy canoe was devised, but to open a new field
of land and water hitherto untraveled, if not utterly inaccessible to
A little pardonable jealousy was, however, to be
anticipated at first from captains and coxswains of rowing crews who
saw their best oar absent from the usual monotonous parade up and down
the same identical mile of water, working like a lever in a machine in
silence, and at the year's end learning only to "pull," and when he
found that the truant member (whose absence has spoiled his boat for
the day) had gone away by an early train and launched his Rob Roy on
some winding stream, had paddled, sailed, and waded, and shoved,
dragged, and carried his craft, though all alone, and now proclaimed
the proceeding as at any rate a variety.
Ah, but that word "alone "-it is seized on at once as if
it were a necessary feature of canoeing, whereas the fact is that five
canoeists, if they choose to paddle in company, can easily do so very
much nearer to each other than five men rowing in separate boats, and
can moreover still maintain that perfect freedom to go separate, which
is totally surrendered when we enter a four-oar.
Such matters, however, are not to be settled by argument
on the side of the canoe, nor by jeers from the rowboat. They must be
submitted to trial, and then it will be found that while rowing is as
noble a pastime as before, there is a new water companion afloat with
new charms and capabilities, and quite able to weather a laugh as well
as a wave.
The speedy appreciation of the paddle was shown by the
fact that hi its first year the Canoe Club enrolled 100 members, each
with a canoe, and some with two or three, and if the few who aimed at
speed have not been at first successful, the many who desire to develop
other qualities have had most happy days with the paddle.
In 1807 the Club had 130 members, and a twelve mile race
on the Thames on December 7 had six entries of canoeists eager to
paddle even in a frosty air.
THE BIBLE AT
WHAT will result from this Bible-giving and tract-giving
first, to the receivers? has any tumult or scandal or jest offense been
caused by it, as was so much dreaded? None has been mentioned. Will any
good be promoted, as is so much hoped? Much, if there be any reality in
what we know of seed thus sown elsewhere. Nay, it does seem impossible
that the message of God to man, and the words of the Lord Jesus Christ
to sinners, and the pleadings of the Holy Spirit with a fallen world,
should he entirely fruitless on so many thousands; and if but a few
seeds fall on good ground there, then all the work is well repaid.
But, besides the actual first recipients of these books,
let us recollect the many and far-off families and towns to which they
are carried, even if only as souvenirs of the Exhibition. If the Welsh
drovers who carry books to Wales which they have received at a London
cattle-fair, come back next year with money to buy more, as they have
often done, surely the little Testament from the Bible Society, given
in Paris, will be shown and read in many distant parts of Europe; and
the Emperor number will be opened out in French garrisons to see what
news for soldiers is in the 'British Workman' brought by a comrade from
the Champ do Mars.
Rebuke and ridicule often fall upon those who dare to give
a paper to a stranger, however good are its contents, and however much
good they may do the reader. This is, to a certain extent, a salutary
check upon indiscriminate, ostentatious, or wasteful distribution,
though, of course, nothing can wholly prevent these, any more than yen
can tie men's tongues from silly words or their hands from foolish
actions in public.
But it is almost as amusing to see the nervous timidity of
some people in this matter, as it is distressing to see the thoughtless
action of others.
Men who are scandalized to see a gentleman speaking to a
group of workingmen near some thoroughfare-whatever be the subject of
their talk, will not hesitate to make a speech themselves on the open
hustings to the most noisy crowd, and to brave a shower of eggs in
return ; but then they have a point to gain, a great purpose in hand,
and they are in earnest . The remarks already made as to the
distribution of books at the Exhibition apply specially to the building
first described, and where my attention was at first arrested. The
separate building, however, occupied by the British and Foreign Bible
Society was another fountain from which the Truth flowed freely, and
the following are extracts from a very interesting account of what was
done there published by the Society in October : "Our issues last week
were 5554 copies, while, up to the present time, they amount to about
65,000 copies, of which about 12,000 copies have been sold. In
addition, nearly a thousand copies of the New Testament in French and
English, and French and German, have been placed in the Hotels and
Pensions of Paris, and already- many have spoken with joy of finding
the Word of God when entering their bedrooms ill this gay and
pleasure-loving city. The military and police still; come flocking to
our depot in the Park in large numbers ; and the eagerness with which
they receive the sacred Volume, often commencing to read it once they
depart, shrews that our large and liberal grants to them are duly
appreciated. Strange to say, the number of priests coming to us, so far
from diminishing, has of late considerably increased; and I must
record, to the credit of many of them, that they have expressed warm
sympathy with our object.
"A few days ago an English Roman Catholic priest came and
asked for an English Bible, which he received, his friend, a French
priest, receiving another in his language; and thus it is that those
who profess to belong to the only true Church come to those whom they
have been taught to regard as heretics, to obtain that which their own
Church does not supply, and without which there can be no true Church
at all. Roman Catholic priests, doubtless, may have the Vulgate, the
only authorized version of their Church; but for vernacular
translations they must look elsewhere, for their Church does not
encourage them, and we never hear of Roman Catholic missionaries in any
part of the world translating the Word of God.
"Up to this time, 500 Roman Catholic priests have received
the Word of God from us, and, on the whole, those who have come to us
have been far from showing an unfriendly feeling. As far as the
metropolis is concerned, this is doubtless, in a great measure, owing
to tire liberal and enlightened sentiments of the Archbishop of Paris,
who, in his last charge, urges men to study God's three great
books-Nature, Conscience, and Revelation ; and who, I believe, is far
from looking with disfavor on the work of Bible distribution in France."
THE ROB ROY CUISINE.
This has been designed after numerous experiments with the
various portable cooking-machines which I could procure for trial, and,
as it succeeds better that any of them, and has been approved by trial
in my own voyage, and in another to Iceland, besides numerous shorter
trips, it may be of some interest to describe the apparatus here.
The Canoe Cuisine 
object proposed was to provide a light but strong apparatus which could
speedily boil water and heat or fry other materials in wet and windy
weather, as well as in fine days, and with fuel enough carried in
itself for several days' use.
Fig 1 is a section of the cuisine as it is made up for
carrying. There is a strong waterproof bag about one foot high, and
closed at the top by a running cord. At the bottom is the cuisine
itself, a, which occupies a space of only six inches by three inches,
and has the various parts packed inside except the drinking-cup b.
Provisions, such as bread and cold meat or eggs, may be
stowed in the bag above the cuisine, and if the string be attached to a
nail fixed in the boat, the whole will be kept steady.
For use, when it is desired to boil water, the cuisine
being opened the lower part is a copper pan, C, fig. 2, with a handle,
e, which can be fixed either into a socket in the side of the pan, or
another in the side of the lid, as represented in figs. 2 and 6.
Three iron legs also fix into sockets and support the pan
over the spirit-lamp, f, by which the pan, two-thirds full of liquid,
will be boiled in five minutes.
lamp is the main feature of the apparatus, and it is represented in
section in fig. 3. It consists of two cylinders, one within the other.
The space between these (shaded dark) is closed at top and bottom, and
a tube 6, fixed through the bottom rises with an open end inside, and
another (a small nozzle) curved upwards in the open internal cylinder.
Another tube, A, opens into the annular chamber between the cylinders,
and it has a funnel-shaped mouth at the outer end, through which the
chamber may be filled, while a screw in the inside allows a handle,
fig. 4 (in section), to have its end, j, screwed in. Through this
handle is a small tube open at both ends until the outer one is closed
by a little cork, which will be expelled if the pressure within is so
high as to require escape by this safety-valve.
The outer cylinder of the lamp, being larger than the
inner one, has a bottom, k fig. 3, which forms a circular tray of about
two inches wide and half an inch deep.
The original form of the lamp which was first brought to
notice by the cook of the Canoe Club (Mr. F. F. Tuckett, of Bristol),
had a detached tray for the bottom, and this has some advantages, but
for the admission of air into the lamp two saw-cuts are made, each
about an inch long, one of them is shown below f, fig. 2, and thus the
lamp and tray are united in one compact piece while still there is
access for air.
To put the lamp in operation, unscrew its handle from the
position in fig. 2, so that it will be as in fig. 3 and 4. Then from a
tin flask (which has been packed with the rest of the things in the
inn) pour spirits of wine--or, if the odor is not objected to,
methylated spirit, into the measure m, fig. 5, and from that into the
interior of the lamp through the opening at h. Next screw on the
handle, and place the lamp level under the pan, and pour nearly another
measure full into the tray. Set fire to this, and shelter it for a few
seconds if there be much wind.
In a short time the flame heats the spirits in the closed
chamber, and the spirituous steam is forced by pressure down the tube,
and inflames at the nozzle, from which it issues with much force and
some noise in a lighted column, which is about one foot in height when
This powerful flame operates on the whole of the bottom
and lower edge of the pan, and it cannot be blown out by wind nor by a
blast from the mouth, but may be instantly extinguished by placing the
fiat bottom of the measure upon it.
The cover may be put on so as to rest with the flat bottom
downwards, and with or without the handle. If tea is to be made with
the water when it boils, the requisite quantity is to be placed in the
tea vessel n, fig. 5, which has perforated sides, and, its lid being
closed, this is placed in the water, where it will rest on the curved
side, and can be agitated now and then for a minute, after which insert
the handle in the socket of the pan and remove the lamp, allowing the
tea to infuse for four minutes, when the tea-vessel may be removed and
the made tea may be poured out into the cup. The dry tea can be
conveniently carried in a paper inside the tea-vessel. Salt is carried
in a box o, and the matches are in the box p. A clasp-knife and fork
and a spoon are also supplied. Coffee may be best carried in the state
of essence in a bottle.
If bacon is to be fried, or eggs to be poached or cooked
sur le plat, they may be put into the lid and held by hand over the
lamp-flame, so as to warm all parts equally, or the slower heat of a
simple flame may be employed by lighting the measure full of spirits
and then placing it on the bottom of the upturned pan as shown at fig.
6, where it will be observed that the three legs are placed in their
sockets with the convex curve of each turned outward, so that the lid,
as a frying-pan, can rest upon their three points.
The spirit-flask contains enough for six separate charges
of the lamp, and the cost of using methylated spirits at 4£ 6d. a
gallon is not one penny a meal. The lamp-flame lasts for fifteen
minutes, and the weight of the cuisine, exclusive of the bag and cup,
is about two pounds.
These cuisines, improved by the suggestions obtained in
their use, are made by Mr. Hepburn, of 61, Chancery Lane, London, of
the best materials and workmanship, and at the price of two and a half
The lamp above described was used daily in my yawl, but
the other fittings were on a more enlarged scale, as extreme lightness
was not then required.
THE CANOE CLUB.