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with so much expense and art, lose our freshness in the briny wave? Were we mighty Rivers like the Danube, the Nile, the Ganges, and the Plata, we would soon teach the Ocean to be a little more reasonable and polite; and instead of converting everything to its own filthy purposes without acknowledgment, we would make it know to whom it is indebted for the consequence it assumes. For our parts we are ashamed of such tameness. Does not the Ocean deprive us of our sweetness and purity, and yet monopolize the gratitude of surrounding nations, which is due to us alone? If it will not allow us to assert our natural rights in the scale of social union, we are determined immediately to withdraw our support from the thirsty abyss that swallows us up, without mercy and without thanks."
From this mean source the murmurs of discontent arose, and the collected puddles had influence enough to spread their disaffection among the noble streams. Some of the Rivers hoped to usurp the dominion of the whole, and therefore sided in the quarrel. Each had his private views in what he did or wished to do. Committees were formed, resolutions were passed, and deputations appointed. Memorials, remonstrances, and all the usual modes of attack, were determined to be played off against the venerable head of the water.
The Ocean heard of these meditated attacks; but heard them unmoved. It knew the general good; even the order of nature had sanctioned and would maintain its supremacy; and on this account it did not fear the blind malice of ignorant and vain opposition. When deputations, however, arrived from the principal Rivers to state grievances and to demand redress, they were respectfully received. The firmness that will not yield to idle murmurs of discontent, and the pride that despises them, are very different qualities, and should be differently appreciated.
Having patiently listened to useless and unmeaning complaints, the mighty chief thus attempted to silence them: “Gentlemen," said the Ocean, "after having so long enjoyed the uninterrupted liberty of falling into my bosom-where, by my chemical power, I preserve you from corruption, and render you not only harmless, but useful in promoting the intercourse of nations—it is with surprise I hear your claims. Were I to refuse taking you under my protection what would be the consequence ? You must in that case overflow your banks, and deluge the countries you now beautify and delight. Your streams would run counter one to the other—you would soon become tainted—and mankind would be destroyed by your unbridled violence, or by your pestilential odour.”
“What is mankind to us?” exclaimed stream. “Hold !” replies the Ocean, “it is useless, I see, to waste words. If argument and mildness cannot bring you to reason, force, however unpleasant to me, must. Till you agree to flow in your accustomed channels, I will cut off every secret communication that supplies your springs, and thus feeds your pride. Know, ye are entirely in my power: the favours, I receive from you, are amply and gratefully repaid. From me at first you come; and to me you must again return.”—Dr. Maror,
DESCRIPTION OF MENAI BRIDGE, NEAR
The suspension bridge erected over the Menai Straits, and which unites the island of Anglesey to the mainland, is one of the most attractive objects, as a work of art, that now adorn the British dominions.
At the edge of the water are erected two towers 160
feet high, one on each side; they are about 40 feet wide at the height of 100 feet from the surface of the water. At this point two archways are left in them, through
which the passengers and carriages pass to the roadway. The distance between these two towers or piers, or that space which, in ordinary bridges, would be called the span of the bridge, is 550 feet or nearly four times as wide as the largest stone arch ever yet built.
From the top of one of the towers, to the top of the other are suspended very massive iron chains, which hang in a gentle curve, forming between the pillars an inverted arch. The chains are continued in the same elegant festoon, or curving form, from the top of each pillar, to a considerable distance over the land, and the ends of them are firmly secured many feet deep in the solid rock.
These chains form the main support of the roadway, and the principle upon which they are made to keep their position may be illustrated by the tight-rope used for dancing upon in the theatre; the only difference between them is, that the chains of the bridge are so large and heavy that it would be impossible to pull them as tight as in a theatre.
To the main suspension chains are fastened a number of iron rods, five feet apart, which hang down perpendicularly, dividing the whole line of the bridge into separate pathways. These rods are of different lengths, the short ones being, of course, fastened to that part of the chain that hangs the lowest, and the longer rods to the other parts of it, in such a manner that the lower ends of these rods are all level with each other. To these ends is attached a wooden platform, that constitutes the roadway of the bridge, which is therefore nearly level.
The roadway, that unites the suspended platform to the mainland, is supported by stone arches of great size and beauty, in a similiar manner to the arches of an ordinary bridge; but notwithstanding this, there are here also rods of iron hanging down from the main suspension chains, and which are fastened in the stonework above the arches. These rods serve as a balance to those in the suspension part of the bridge, and add greatly to the uniformity and general beauty of the structure.
There are four different main suspension chains, and consequently four different rows of hanging rods; these divide the platform into three pathways, the one in the middle is a narrow path, four feet wide, for foot passengers, and the two others on the outside are each twelve feet wide, for carriages and cattle; and of these two, one is meant for carriages going in one direction, and the other for those going the opposite way.
Although the roadway is suspended at so great a height from the water, that a large vessel in full sail can pass under it, yet the fence of iron work on the sides of each pathway gives such a perfect idea of security, that the most timid pass over without the slightest fear. * In conclusion, it may be said, that no description
* Saturday Magazine. S. IV.
however vivid, can give any adequate idea of the grandeur and beauty of this magnificent structure, which is happily praised in the following lines :
Fairest of rocky England's channel-gates!
AFRICA, as we have before seen, is a smaller continent than Asia, and is shaped like a leg of mutton, and attached to Asia by a narrow isthmus at its north-eastern
So it is a peninsula; its broadest side running along the south of Europe, from which it is separated by the Mediterranean Sea, and at the north-west point it almost touches the south-west corner of Europe, but the Straits of Gibraltar keep them apart.
As all Africa is south of Europe, and so nearer the equator, even the north parts of Africa are hotter than the south parts of Europe; and over the central regions of Africa the sun's rays fall perpendicularly, as they do over the extreme south of Asia. The middle of Africa, therefore, is hotter than its southern parts; for, as I have