« 前へ次へ »
“And call they this improvement ? to have changed,
My native Clyde, thy once romantic shore,
Glasgow is the commercial metropolis of Scotland, and, in wealth, population, manufacturing and commercial importance, the third city in Great Britain. It stands on both sides of the Clyde, about twenty miles from the Atlantic. A. range of fine hills, at the distance of about eight miles, forms a screen around it from north-east to north-west. The climate is temperate, but, owing to its proximity to the sea, is moist. An anecdote illustrative of this is told of a gentleman riding in the neighborhood of Glasgow on a rainy day, who met a little herd boy, of whom he inquired if it always rained there ? " Na sir," was his reply, " it whiles snaws."
The city claims to have been founded in the year 560, though the first fact of any importance which emerges from the obscurity of its early history, is the erection of the Cathedral, in 1136. This massive, imposing, and venerable pile, in consequence of recent repairs, has all the perfect appearance of a recent structure.
Glasgow, in many points, strongly resembles New York. There is the same bustle, active energy, and unwearied perseverance in the pursuit of commerce, which characterizes our American metropolis. The ratio of its increase in population, too, is very striking for a European city. In 1651 it contained 14,000 souls; in 1831, 202,426; in 1841, 257,592; and now, upwards of 300,000. When I first came up the Clyde, in a small steamer from Greenock, I was surprised to find that river, of which I had heard so much, a mere canal, I had almost said a brook ; so narrow, that it seemed difficult at low water, as it then was, for two steamers to pass each other; and yet on the Broomielaw, (the name given to the Glasgow quay,) lie vessels from China, Calcutta, California, and in fact from every port and every sea. This river in its present condition furnishes the most
striking example of the pursuit of commerce under difficulties, which I have ever seen. By the enterprise of Glasgow merchants, it has been so deepened, that what was once scarcely sufficient to float a sloop, now bears upon its bosom the man-of-war, the merchantman, and the ocean steamer. Up and down the river for miles, all is activity and business.
Here is the celebrated manufactory of Napier, where the engines of the Cunard line of steamers are built. Glasgow has nearly twenty thousand steam looms, which in a year produce 100,800,000 yards. Assuming twelve cents per yard as the average value, this branch of cotton manufacture amounts annually to upward of twelve millions of dollars. As a city, it has not the architectural beauty nor panoramic excellence of position of Edinburgh, but, notwithstanding this, it possesses a fair share of both. Though but fifty miles apart, the two cities could scarcely be more dissimilar—the one the fountain of learning, the other of wealth—the one fostering literature and the fine arts, the other commerce and manufactures. At the extremity of the city, opposite the cathedral, lies the Necropolis, a very beautiful
cemetery, formed on the slope of a somewhat steep hill. It contains monuments to many of Scotland's mighty dead. A fine statue of Knox stands on the summit of the hill. From his elevated position, two hundred and fifty feet above the level of the Clyde, the great Reformer looks down on one of the most striking scenes that can well be imagined. The huge mass of the old cathedral, surrounded by the crumbling remains and memo. rials of twenty-five generations, stands still and. solemn at his feet, like the awful Genius of the Past; whilst the vast city stretches away in long lines and perpective in every direction, intersected by the river Clyde, with the uplands of Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, and the Dumbartonshire and Argyleshire hills forming a noble frame to the picture.
Glasgow is quite celebrated for its manufacture of thread. I had the pleasure of being shown through the extensive establishment of the Messrs. Clark, whose thread is used in every part, I had well nigh said, of the civilized world. It was curi. ous to see the thousands upon thousands of spindles, all moving with amazing rapidity, and enabling each person engaged to accomplish the labor of
hundreds. The manufacture of spools was, to me, peculiarly interesting. Great logs of wood in their rough state were brought in at one end of the room, and, after going through the row of machines arranged around, coming out perfect spools, without being touched by human hand, except in applying the wood to the machinery,