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that she would not start again in a light wind. Hence it is necessary to allow a limited amount of pushing.
When an ice-yacht capsizes, which very rarely occurs, the movement is quite unlike her usual motions in being very gradual. As she "lifts" or "rears" and eases the sail, she slows up and heels over more and more, while the stern remains on the ice, and she quietly spills the crew out of the box, or lets them hang by the shrouds till they drop on to the ice. An ice-yacht often runs many rods on the leeward runner and the rudder, while the skillful captain keeps her poised in the wind. This "rearing " is an exciting maneuver. Sometimes the boom dragging on the ice steadies her a little. If she be beating up, she may at once be eased by luffing; if she be running free, she may
be eased by paying off, and the man who then stands for the first time on the windward plank when it is up in the air and descends as she wears away at that lightning speed, feels a new sensation,-a chill creeping over him, and his breath stopping; and, indeed, it seems as if one might be flying off to another world. This movement of wearing away before a strong wind tests the balance of an ice-yacht's sails and the helmsman's judgment and nerve. As she beats up to round a stake and turns it, she loses headway; then, when she wears away, the wind lifts her before she can get under way, and the question always is whether she shall be saved from capsizing by bearing off or by luffing. Then when the windward runner comes down on the ice, the rudder must be straightened just in the
nick of time, to save her from spinning around. Even good helmsmen are sometimes flung out of the box by this maneuver. In wearing away, or in sailing free, a strong wind bears on the after half of the mainsail very strongly, and sometimes slues the stern around and heads her into the wind in the twinkling of an eye. When she runs through windrows, broken loose ice, or snow, the skates do not get solid bearings, and her motions are often very unexpected. Almost all ice-yachts carry a weather-helm, and no two have exactly the same balance. Breaking in is not a very serious matter. As the lee runner makes a long gash or crack in the ice, she slows up and capsizes before she runs the stern off the sound ice. The crew, if on the windward plank, are not slid into the water under the sails, but go aft, and get off at the stern with the captain. The sails are lowered, if practicable, and one of the halyards is unreeved from its thimble at the mast-step. The stern is swung around till the upper runner, when lowered, will rest on good ice. The halyard-fast at the masthead-is passed over the upper runner, and then she is righted by hauling down this upper runner. If the ice be weak, it is well to place a board or a ladder on it, to prevent the runner from breaking in.
When the lower runner has been raised above the ice, it is held up while she is run off on to good ice. She is righted after a capsize by the same use of the halyard; the stern is swung around till the wind is spilt from the sail; if she be a small boat, she may be swung around till the wind helps to lift her, but if she gets too much wind, she will come down so forcibly as to break the runner-plank. It is dangerous for yachts to follow one another closely on the same track, or run in high winds very near together, for a captain may not foresee the movements of another, or a yacht may slide a little and become unmanageable for a moment, and thus produce collisions. The only fatal accident recorded from iceyachting on the Hudson occurred several years ago, when the handling of ice-yachts was less systematic. One yacht followed another pretty closely; the head one, instead of crossing a small crack in the ice, ran parallel with it, and caught her rudder in it so firmly that she almost stopped, while the second yacht came on too suddenly to avoid running her bowsprit against the man in the box of the head yacht. The by-stander on the ice is in more danger than the crew, unless he understand his rôle. When ice-yachts are darting about him, he should not lose his wits
and attempt to dodge the fleetest thing that moves on the earth; he should stand still, that the yachtsmen may know where he is, and may avoid mowing off his legs with the runner-plank. One man, however, who found that the captain did not see him, had the presence of mind and agility to jump up at the critical moment and let the plank pass under him.
Ice-yachting, of course, has the disadvantage of a very short and uncertain season. The past winter afforded an unusual amount of sport,-about thirty-six days; but usually we enjoy perfect conditions of wind and ice on not more than sixteen days per year. We have, however, many other days of passable sport, when the enthusiastic sail, as well as they can, in spite of a few inches of light snow, rough ice, or light winds. The weather is never too cold for the ice-yachtsman, for the excitement and the motion help circulation. His suit includes arctics, a fur skullcap covering the ears, linen drawers over woolen ones, a calf-skin coat, or else cardigans, under a warm pea-jacket. The trowsers are tied about the ankle or tucked into the legs of woolen hose. When sailing in a driving storm, fine wire goggles are sometimes worn, or a wire covering for the mouth. But after securing even the best protection, you may some time have to study the best treatment of frosted parts.
The speed of an ice-yacht seems incred
ible, for a literal statement of it is the para dox that she sails faster than the wind driving her. This interesting problem lately brought to print many letters from diverse sources. The people inquired about the facts and their explanation. Some professors of science explained why the speed of a yacht could not equal the velocity of the wind. Ice-yachtsmen replied by giving the recorded speed of their yachts as a mile a minute in a stiff breeze blowing at about twenty miles an hour. Then the professors reconsidered the problem, and sought for an explanation of the fact. Some of the contributors give long equations to demonstrate the relations between the rate of the wind, the amount of friction, and the speed of the yacht. One of the most elaborate studies-in Van Nostrand's "Engineering Monthly " of December, 1879, and January, 1880-shows that the yacht tacking before the wind goes a little more than twice as fast as the wind. This estimate seems, however, below the facts. But as the average reader prefers a more popular explanation than x = y, it is better to present here some of the most evident facts and principles connected with an ice-yacht's motion.
First. An ice-yacht meets with very little friction in moving on ice-less than that met in the very best mechanical appliances. The runners move on the ice with such ease that a yacht weighing eight hundred and sixty pounds can be kept moving with two strands of common cotton wrapping-cord. Moreover, in even the greatest velocity, the
little heat generated by the friction is absorbed at once by the ice. Hence, so far as the running friction is concerned, she might run, perhaps, a thousand miles an hour, without much increase in the force of the driving power. Second. She never loses any of the effective power of the wind, or the sail-push, by making leeway. For the runners hold her from any side-motion, and allow her to move only forward or backward-unless, of course, when the wind is so strong as to heel her over or make her slide. Third. She meets the most resistance in the air-friction; that is, when beating to windward, or sailing in such a direction that the sails and other surfaces receive the wind from ahead. Fourth. Her great speed changes the effective direction of the wind or the sail-push; for, if the wind blow twenty miles an hour from the north, and if the yacht sail twenty miles an hour to the west, the wind will strike her on the starboard bow, as if it came from the north-west. Fifth. Hence she cannot sail with the wind without running ahead of it during the lulls, and thus not only meeting air-friction from a wind apparently ahead, but also losing the force of the wind on her sails. In this direction, she cannot go much faster than the wind; it is her worst course. A wind on the beam is much better, for in this course, in going at right angles to the wind, she loses none of its force by her own speed; she cuts across it, but does not go with it. However, she meets some air-friction, which diminishes her velocity.
The practical results of these peculiarities are, that she never swings off the boom, but always trims her sails flat aft, and always beats to leeward, as well as to windward. It is easily foreseen that she will make the greatest speed on that course in which she meets with the least air-friction, receives the strongest push of the wind in a forward direction, and yet does not lose the wind too much by her own speed. This course is running free, with the wind on the quarter, or about one hundred and thirty-five degrees off her course. Suppose the boat heads north-east, while the wind blows from the west. Now, her speed diagonally across the wind causes her to receive the wind on the beam, as if it blew from the north-west. She practically has a wind on the beam; this offers but little air-friction against her forward motion. The running-friction is so slight that the boat keeps her way; the direction of the sail-push is sufficiently forward to be advantageous; and, lastly, her
DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATING THE SPEED OF AN ICE-YACHT.
| diagonal course, partly with and partly across the wind, saves her from losing too much ofthe wind's force by her own speed. Suppose that a twentyknot breeze blows from B to C, and that she heads toward D; while the wind, represented by the arrow A, blows in a given time to C, it carries the boat with it, in nearly the same time. But, as she heads diagonally across the wind, she is obliged to run the long distance from B to D, while the wind blows only from B to C. She therefore beats the wind. Her wonderful freedom from running-friction is the important element in the problem. Her speed is limited only by the loss or change of the wind through the effects of her own velocity. The greatest velocity of an ice-yacht is not recorded, because her finest runs occur either at unexpected moments, or when she sails over unmeasured distances. But the time over short and long courses has often been taken. The distance from New Hamburgh to Poughkeepsie is over seven miles. Snow-Flake ran this course in seven minutes. This is the quickest time on record; but many winters the trip has been made in from nine to ten minutes. This speed is attained with a stiff breeze on the beam or on the quarter, and when the ice is tolerably smooth and clear of impassable cracks. But an iceyacht very seldom runs a straight course for even a mile. Various obstructions have to be avoided; the wind changes direction very often, and also comes and goes in fitful puffs over the hills. The consequence is that she makes a very crooked course at very uneven speed; she goes more than seven miles, and sails at her full speed during much less than seven minutes. Probably she flies at times from eighty to one hundred miles an hour. The speed of an ice-yacht, in working to windward, which is her poorest course, is from ten to fifteen miles an hour, against an eight to ten knot breeze.
POETRY IN AMERICA.
TO TRACE the current of poesy, deepening and widening in common with our streams of riches, knowledge, and power; to show an influence upon the national sentiment no less potent, if less obvious, than that derived from the historic records of our past; to watch the first dawning upon an eager people of "the happy, heavenly vision men call Art"; to observe closely and to set down with an honest hand our foremost illustrations of the rise of Poetry in America, this is my purpose, and I deem it not a mean one. We think of power and wealth as things in themselves, but they are strong and rich only in their relations to the life of man. The essential part of that life is in his spirit, of which imagination is the king,—and the sister arts, with poetry at their front, are to be accounted its highest forms of expression.
The song of a nation is accepted as an ultimate test of the popular spirit; as the earliest form of speech and the ripest, whether the utterance of feelings common to all, or of the fine and daring speculations of the noblest minds. Examine it, and form opinions of the country's general literature, of the hold upon art and action and scientific achievement. If we have seen a true poetic movement in America, we may be sure that we have had marches in other fields of progress. The inquiry concerning the genuineness and value of such a movement affords a title to these essays, and a review of the conditions that have helped or hindered it must be included. Upon the method chosen for a study of the recent period in England, my present researches are devoted chiefly to the careers and productions of leading poets whose reputations are long-established, and who, upon the whole, fairly represent the various tendencies of American song. And thus, inci.dentally and with fresh opportunities, we may extend our knowledge of "the aim and province of the art of Poetry," and obtain under a new atmosphere further illustrations of the poetic temperament and life.
The subject cannot be lightly entered upon, and as if for entertainment merely. Properly considered, there is no more sug
gestive undertaking than to review the first displays of lyrical genius in a land as notable as any upon earth. These may seem crude and familiar to ourselves, and possibly are not fully estimated by older nations whose very age and glory make them selfcontained. But, if the future is to have a greatness of its own, a study of new-world poetry is of equal importance with that devoted to the earlier or contemporary verse of the mother-land. The reader, then, will do well to bear with the details of a prefatory analysis, though they lack that interest which adheres to the lives and works of the various poets to whom his attention has been and will be invited. The points which I shall make will not be wholly novel, but by grouping them newly, and in a logical manner, we may get some notion of the real quality of the first genuine awakening of our home song.
For that there has been such an awakening is the very cause and foundation of these essays, and if I did not perceive this fact I should have no excuse for their general endeavor. It is true that a nation's literature will not appear out of season. Poetry, its most spontaneous form, is a growth rather than an artifice, or it does not come to strengthen and to stay. Let me acknowledge, as heretofore, the bearing of the conditions under which it is produced, and that a poet must be viewed in the light and shadow of his environment; furthermore, that when a time is ripe there are found both idealists and men of action to represent it,
springing up as when, in the physical world, the pines and fir-trees of a virgin forest have been cleared away, and a novel flora suddenly appears, whose germs have been hidden in the under-mold, awaiting their own season of room and light and air. But let me also, and at present no less than in our foreign excursions, include a factor which the new criticism often overlooks. Too little allowance is made for the surprises of genius. We forget that now and then some personage comes without a summons, like a stray leader from the skies; that works appear under adverse circumstances, so new, so strong, so revolutionary, as to seem inspired creations,―men and works that overleap the stages of develop