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a striking change has taken place within the period of authentic history. Where are the rich tributes of the Lydian king? the spoils of Marathon and Salamis? the sacred hall of the Amphictyonic council? the temple of Apollo? the city of Delphi, whose buildings are mentioned, in the records of its former magnificence, as covering two miles of ground? There is not a vestige to be identified; but Parnassus still exhibits its bold heights and transparent waters, unaffected by the passage of ages.
"The shrine hath sunk! but thou, unchang'd, art there!
Or golden cloud, which floats around thee, seems
As with its mantle veiling from our gaze
The mysteries of the past, the gods of elder days!"
The Castalian spring is now dedicated to St. John; a pretty chapel bearing his name is by its side; pendent ivy, moss, brambles, flowering shrubs, and a large fig-tree, throw a cool and refreshing gloom over the spot. Upon a buttress of the chapel, the inscription occurs, "Byron, 1806." But the poet has left another memorial of his visit.
"Happier in this than mightiest bards have been,
Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave."
Dr. Chandler speaks of the excessive coldness of the water of Castaly. "I began," he states, "to wash my hands in it, but was instantly chilled, and seized with a tremor, which rendered me unable to stand or walk without support. This incident, when Apollo was dreaded, might have been embellished with a superstitious interpretation. Perhaps the Pythia, who bathed in this icy fluid, mistook her shivering for the god."
It is in the sandy deserts bordering on the tropics that springs acquire their highest importance and value, owing to the rarity of water, and the increased demand made for it by the heat of the climate. Here they are frequently connected with verdant spots, similar to that of the interview between the Scottish Knight and the Emir in the brilliant tale of the "Talisman." "It was a scene," says Scott, "which, perhaps, would elsewhere have deserved little notice; but as the single speck, in a boundless horizon, which promised the refreshment of shade and living water, these blessings, held cheap where they are common, rendered the fountain and its neighbourhood a little paradise. Some generous or charitable hand, ere yet the evil days of Palestine began, had walled in and arched over the fountain, to preserve it from being absorbed in the earth, or choked by the flitting clouds of dust with which the least breath of wind covered the desert. The arch was now broken, and partly ruinous; but it still so far projected over, and covered in the fountain, that it excluded the sun in a great measure from its waters, which, hardly touched by a straggling beam, while all around was blazing, lay in a steady repose, alike delightful to the eye and the imagination. Stealing from under the arch, they were first received into a marble basin, much defaced indeed, but still cheering the eye, by showing that the place was anciently considered as a station, that the hand of man had
been there, and that man's accommodation had been in some measure attended to. The thirsty and weary traveller was reminded by these signs that others had suffered similar difficulties, reposed in the same spot, and, doubtless, found their way in safety to a more fertile country. Again; the scarcely visible current which escaped from the basin, served to nourish the few trees which surrounded the fountain; and where it sunk into the ground and disappeared, its refreshing presence was acknowledged by a carpet of velvet verdure." Some of the wells that occur in the wilderness of Arabia were halting-places to the descendants of Jacob in their migration through it, and appear under the same character now as then, shaded by a few palms, often supplying brackish and bitter water, capable of being sweetened by artificial means, and claimed as valuable property by the parties having territorial right to the soil. "And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters, for they were bitter;" but the juices of a plant thrown into them, rendered them palatable. There is every reason to suppose this spot to be the fountain Hawârah, a basin of unpleasant, saltish, and somewhat bitter water, near which Dr. Robinson found many bushes of the shrub Ghurkŭd in blossom, a low thorny plant producing a red berry, which ripens in June, which is juicy and slightly acidulous, capable of correcting the bad qualities of the spring by mingling with it. "And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees." This is identified upon good grounds with Wady Gharandel, a valley about seven miles from the former station, a mile in breadth, with date trees, tamarisks, acacias of different species, and a copious fountain producing a small rivulet. The non-existence at present of twelve wells is no evidence, as Burckhardt remarks, against the conjecture, for water here is readily found by digging for it, and wells are frequently formed which the drifting sands fill up. Drawing water has ordinarily been the employment of females throughout the East, without distinction of rank, from a remote antiquity,— -an onerous duty, as the wells are often at considerable distances from their habitations. "The daughters of the men of the city came out to draw water," is a remark which refers to a period separated by two thousand years from the time of a similar record, "there cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water." Equally ancient and general is the oriental practice of making the neighbourhood of a spring the scene of occasional festivity and mirth, a usage which was primarily a tribute of gratitude for its waters. "When I was at Ain, in Palestine," says Maritis, "a young Arab woman, at whose wedding I had been present on the first day of our arrival at the village, came hither to draw water. She was accompanied by some other women who were singing a song allusive to her marriage." We have a song of the Israelites, of the recitative kind, commemorating a spring, encountered soon after their emergence from the dry and thirsty desert.
One party sung these words, and called upon another band to reply; and they replied"The well! The princes searched it out."
And the chorus was,—
"The nobles of the people have digged it,
Dr. Clarke informs us that the Eleusinian women practised a dance about a well, that was called Callichorus; the dance was also accompanied by songs in honour of Ceres; and these songs of the well are still sung in parts of Greece and Syria. There is a similar practice in our own country, which will be adverted to upon a subsequent page.
The origin of springs, a subject invested with considerable obscurity, has been referred to the rains and melted snow which the earth absorbs; to the subterranean combination
of the oxygen and hydrogen gases, which decompose each other, and produce water; and to the filtering of water from the sea into internal cavities and reservoirs prepared by nature, from whence they make their way to the surface. Some writers contend for the former cause exclusively. Marriotte has examined the point, whether the quantity of rain water is sufficient to feed all the springs and rivers, and so far from finding a deficiency, he concludes upon the amount being so great as to render it difficult to conceive how it is expended. According to experiments which have been made, there falls annually upon the surface of the earth about 19 inches of water, but to render his calculation still more convincing, Marriotte supposes only 15, which makes 45 cubic feet per square toise, and 238,050,000 cubic feet per square league of 2300 toises in each direction. Now the rivers and springs which feed the Seine, before it arrives at the Pont-Royal at Paris, comprehend an extent of territory, about 60 leagues in length, and 50 in breadth, which makes 3000 leagues of superficial area; by which, if 238,050,000 be multiplied, we have for the product 714,150,000,000, for the cubic feet of water which falls, at the lowest estimate, on the above extent of territory. Let us now examine the quantity of water annually furnished by the Seine. The river, above the Pont-Royal, when at its mean height, is 400 feet broad, and 5 deep. When the river is in this state, the velocity of the water is estimated at 100 feet per minute, taking a mean between the velocity at the surface, and that at the bottom. If the product of 400 feet in breadth, by 5 in depth, or 2000 square feet, be multiplied by 100 feet, we shall have 200,000 cubic feet for the quantity of water which passes in a minute through that section of the Seine above the Pont-Royal. The quantity in an hour will be 12,000,000; in a day 288,000,000; and in a year 105,120,000,000 cubic feet. This is not the seventh part of the water which, as previously stated, falls on the extent of country that supplies the Seine, the large remainder, not received by the river, being taken up by evaporation, besides a prodigious quantity employed for the nutrition of plants. A further calculation has been made by the same writer, of the water which ought to be furnished naturally by a spring that issues a little below the summit of Montmartre, and which is fed by an extent of ground 300 toises in length, and 100 in breadth; making a surface of 30,000 square toises. At the rate of 18 inches for the annual quantity of rain, there will fall on that extent an amount equal to 1,620,000 cubic feet. A considerable part of this water, perhaps three-fourths, immediately runs off, so that no more than 405,000 forces its way through the earth and sandy soil, till it meets with a bed of clay at the depth of two or three feet, from which it flows to the mouth of the fountain, and feeds it. If 405,000 therefore be divided by 365, the quotient will be 1100 cubic feet of water, which it ought to furnish daily, or about 38,500 French pints. This makes about twenty-seven pints per minute, which is nearly the produce of the spring.
It appears from this and other calculations, that the rain which falls in particular districts is more than sufficient to account for all their springs and rivers; and some very obvious circumstances show that the origin of springs is almost, if not entirely, owing to the rains which continually moisten the surface of the globe. In seasons of long drought, the greater part decrease in a considerable degree, and some absolutely fail, while they are renewed in the same progression as the descending showers are abundant. It is possibly the case, indeed, that the ocean filtering through pores of the earth-the salt particles being lost in the passage—may give rise to many springs; but as the preceding cause is amply sufficient to explain their formation, we need not recur to any other. The rains and melted snow which the earth absorbs, percolate through crannies, or ooze through the strata, and collect in vast internal reservoirs in mountainous regions, from which the superabundant water finds its way again to the surface, breaking out through fissures in the side and at the bottom of the hills. Copious springs thus issue from the
mountain limestone of England, through the fissures of the rocks, produced in the course of the consolidation and shrinking of the mineral masses. They seldom appear, however, on the sides of limestone hills, but break out in great numbers, and often with extraordinary impetuosity, around their bases. In other conditions of the surface, the water percolates through the masses of sand, gravel, or chalk, that compose it, till it meets the solid rock, or a bed of impervious clay, which arrests its further descent, and springs are then formed at the point of the lowest level, on the edge of the rock or clay that dams it up. With few exceptions, the lower beds of the chalk formation are completely saturated with water which has percolated through the superior strata to the base, where its downward course is stopped by a subsoil of blue clay, which occasions the accumulation in the lower regions of the chalk, and the springs and rivulets which issue near the foot of every chalk hill. It is more difficult to account for springs where the country is neither hilly nor uneven, but constitutes a great level or plain. The water in these instances reaches the surface by ascension, or flows in a direction contrary to that produced by the force of gravitation. There can be little doubt, however, that many of these springs derive their supply from distant elevations, and are produced by the natural tendency of liquids to find their level. Other examples are perhaps due to capillary attraction, in consequence of which water ascends through the pores of the earth in the same manner as it rises in capillary tubes-in sponge or sugar-loaf-so long as the latter remains undissolved. In order to give a distinct though general view of the curious and complicated phenomena of springs, they may be advantageously considered under different heads.
St. Winifred's Well.
1. Perennial. Some springs are ever-flowing, and answer to the expression of sacred poetry-the "fountains of living water." They do not dry up during the longestcontinued drought, and suffer little or no diminution in their volume. These are obviously quite independent of the last showers that have fallen, though their supply may primarily proceed from the rain and melted snow. It is reasonable to suppose that they gush from a body of water collected in subterranean cavities, so vast as not to be drained off by the constant stream during the most protracted season of dry weather, before the interior basin is replenished. Of this nature is the celebrated spring of St. Winifred, at Holywell, in Flintshire, one of the finest in the world, which appears to be situate at the point where the limestone first comes in contact with the coal measures. The quantity of water thrown up
is estimated at eighty-four hogsheads, or twenty-one tons, in a minute. It has never been known to fail, but is subject to reduction during drought. The stream never
freezes; and though its course is little more than a mile before it arrives at the sea, yet eleven mills are put in motion by it. The spring issues from the rock into a beautiful polygonal well, over which the Stanley family erected a chapel about the time of Henry VII. Upon the windows the chief events of St. Winifred's life are painted. The saint is reported to have been a virgin martyr who suffered upon this spot, the spring miraculously rising from her blood; and hence the veneration for the well in popish times. Pennant says of his own time: "The custom of visiting this well in pilgrimage, and offering up devotions there, is not yet entirely set aside. In the summer a few are still to be seen in the water, in deep devotion, up to their chins for hours, sending up their prayers, or performing a number of evolutions round the polygonal well. In the year 1686 James II. visited this well, and received as a reward a present of the very shift in which his great grandmother, Mary Queen of Scots, lost her head." There are springs similarly powerful along the confines of the limestone district, which vary very little in their quantity of water, either in drought, or after the heaviest rains. About Denton, in Yorkshire, the roaring of the waters is incessant.
2. Intermittent. Many springs gush with vehemence, then subside, shrink away, and disappear, renewing their tide in its full strength at irregular intervals. They clearly derive their supply from the last rains, and hence fail altogether in dry seasons. On the chalk downs of the south of England, in Wilts and Dorset, it is a very common circumstance for the valleys to be quite dry in one part of the year, and very fully watered in another; and hence a Wiltshire proverb says,
"As the days lengthen, the springs strengthen."
But we may suppose such a cavity in a hill as a in the diagram, a reservoir fed by rain percolating through the superior rocks, and communicating with the surface by an arched channel, like BC D. As long as the water in the cavity is above the level of the channel
at c, it will escape through it, and gush out at D; but the spring will cease when the water of the interior basin has been reduced to that level, and not be renewed until it rises above it. The flow of the spring will also be more impetuous in proportion as the water of the cavity accumulates above the vertex of the siphon-formed arch. This is the principle of the Artesian wells, which have been constructed with signal success near many large cities occupying level sites, and formerly inconvenienced by the want of natural springs, or by the
bad quality of the surface water. The action of these wells, puits Artésiens-so named from the province of Artois, where they have been long in use-is due to the constant endeavour of liquids to find their level. If we suppose a basin-shaped country, or a plain enclosed with heights, the rain which falls on the circumjacent hills being absorbed among the rocks, may be conducted through one of the underlying strata of the plain, completely occupying it, and yet be prevented from sinking lower, and also from reaching the surface, by inferior and superincumbent beds of solid rock or impervious clay. In such circumstances a perpendicular perforation or boring into the ground is made, penetrating the superior impervious bed, and reaching the saturated stratum through which the water rises to the surface. Thus suppose a town situated upon a bed of clay