The gale from the N.E. still continued so strong, accompanied with a heavy sea, that the PATRIOT could not approach her moorings; and although the tender still kept her station, no landing was made to-day at the rock. At high- water it was remarked that the spray rose to the height of about sixty feet upon the building. The SMEATON now lay in Leith loaded, but, the wind and weather being so unfavourable for her getting down the Firth, she did not sail till this afternoon. It may be here proper to notice that the loading of the centre of the light-room floor, or last principal stone of the building, did not fail, when put on board, to excite an interest among those connected with the work. When the stone was laid upon the cart to be conveyed to Leith, the seamen fixed an ensign-staff and flag into the circular hole in the centre of the stone, and decorated their own hats, and that of James Craw, the Bell Rock carter, with ribbons; even his faithful and trusty horse Brassey was ornamented with bows and streamers of various colours. The masons also provided themselves with new aprons, and in this manner the cart was attended in its progress to the ship. When the cart came opposite the Trinity House of Leith, the officer of that corporation made his appearance dressed in his uniform, with his staff of office; and when it reached the harbour, the shipping in the different tiers where the SMEATON lay hoisted their colours, manifesting by these trifling ceremonies the interest with which the progress of this work was regarded by the public, as ultimately tending to afford safety and protection to the mariner. The wind had fortunately shifted to the S.W., and about five o'clock this afternoon the SMEATON reached the Bell Rock.
The artificers had finished the laying of the balcony course, excepting the centre-stone of the light-room floor, which, like the centres of the other floors, could not be laid in its place till after the removal of the foot and shaft of the balance-crane. During the dinner-hour, when the men were off work the writer generally took some exercise by walking round the walls when the rock was under water; but to-day his boundary was greatly enlarged, for, instead of the narrow wall as a path, he felt no small degree of pleasure in walking round the balcony and passing out and in at the space allotted for the light-room door. In the labours of this day both the artificers and seamen felt their work to be extremely easy compared with what it had been for some days past.
Captain Wilson and his crew had made preparations for landing the last stone, and, as may well be supposed, this was a day of great interest at the Bell Rock. `That it might lose none of its honours,' as he expressed himself, the HEDDERWICK praam-boat, with which the first stone of the building had been landed, was appointed also to carry the last. At seven o'clock this evening the seamen hoisted three flags upon the HEDDERWICK, when the colours of the DICKIE praam-boat, tender, SMEATON, floating light, beacon-house, and lighthouse were also displayed; and, the weather being remarkably fine, the whole presented a very gay appearance, and, in connection with the associations excited, the effect was very pleasing. The praam which carried the stone was towed by the seamen in gallant style to the rock, and, on its arrival, cheers were given as a finale to the landing department.
The ninetieth or last course of the building having been laid to-day, which brought the masonry to the height of one hundred and two feet six inches, the lintel of the light-room door, being the finishing-stone of the exterior walls, was laid with due formality by the writer, who, at the same time, pronounced the following benediction: "May the Great Architect of the Universe, under whose blessing this perilous work has prospered, preserve it as a guide to the mariner."
At three p.m., the necessary preparations having been made, the artificers commenced the completing of the floors of the several apartments, and at seven o'clock the centre-stone of the light-room floor was laid, which may be held as finishing the masonry of this important national edifice. After going through the usual ceremonies observed by the brotherhood on occasions of this kind, the writer, addressing himself to the artificers and seamen who were present, briefly alluded to the utility of the undertaking as a monument of the wealth of British commerce, erected through the spirited measures of the Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouses by means of the able assistance of those who now surrounded him. He then took an opportunity of stating that toward those connected with this arduous work he would ever retain the most heartfelt regard in all their interests.
When the bell was rung as usual on the beacon this morning, every one seemed as if he were at a loss what to make of himself. At this period the artificers at the rock consisted of eighteen masons, two joiners, one millwright, one smith, and one mortar-maker, besides Messrs. Peter Logan and Francis Watt, foremen, counting in all twenty-five; and matters were arranged for proceeding to Arbroath this afternoon with all hands. The SIR JOSEPH BANKS tender had by this time been afloat, with little intermission, for six months, during greater part of which the artificers had been almost constantly off at the rock, and were now much in want of necessaries of almost every description. Not a few had lost different articles of clothing, which had dropped into the sea from the beacon and building. Some wanted jackets; others, from want of hats, wore nightcaps; each was, in fact, more or less curtailed in his wardrobe, and it must be confessed that at best the party were but in a very tattered condition. This morning was occupied in removing the artificers and their bedding on board of the tender; and although their personal luggage was easily shifted, the boats had, nevertheless, many articles to remove from the beacon- house, and were consequently employed in this service till eleven a.m. All hands being collected and just ready to embark, as the water had nearly overflowed the rock, the writer, in taking leave, after alluding to the harmony which had ever marked the conduct of those employed on the Bell Rock, took occasion to compliment the great zeal, attention, and abilities of Mr. Peter Logan and Mr. Francis Watt, foremen; Captain James Wilson, landing-master; and Captain David Taylor, commander of the tender, who, in their several departments, had so faithfully discharged the duties assigned to them, often under circumstances the most difficult and trying. The health of these gentlemen was drunk with much warmth of feeling by the artificers and seamen, who severally expressed the satisfaction they had experienced in acting under them; after which the whole party left the rock.
In sailing past the floating light mutual compliments were made by a display of flags between that vessel and the tender; and at five p.m. the latter vessel entered the harbour of Arbroath, where the party were heartily welcomed by a numerous company of spectators, who had collected to see the artificers arrive after so long an absence from the port. In the evening the writer invited the foremen and captains of the service, together with Mr. David Logan, clerk of works at Arbroath, and Mr. Lachlan Kennedy, engineer's clerk and book- keeper, and some of their friends, to the principal inn, where the evening was spent very happily; and after `His Majesty's Health' and `The Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouses' had been given, `Stability to the Bell Rock Lighthouse' was hailed as a standing toast in the Lighthouse service.
The author has formerly noticed the uniformly decent and orderly deportment of the artificers who were employed at the Bell Rock Lighthouse, and to-day, it is believed, they very generally attended church, no doubt with grateful hearts for the narrow escapes from personal danger which all of them had more or less experienced during their residence at the rock.