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success of this experiment, very considerably lessen the quantity of iron I had proposed.
The Academy of Sciences, in their report upon this construction, say, "there is one advantage in the construction of M. Paine's bridge that is singular and important, which is, that the success of an arch to any span can be determined before the work be undertaken on the river, and with a small part of the expense of the whole, by erecting part on the ground."
As to its appearance, I shall give you an extract of a letter from a gentlemen in the neighborhood, member in the former parliament for this county, who, in speaking of the arch, says, "In point of elegance and beauty, it far exceeds my expectations, and it is certainly beyond any thing I ever saw." I shall likewise mention that it is much visited and exceedingly admired by the ladies, who, though they may not be much acquainted with mathematical principles, are certainly judges of taste.
I shall close my letter with a few other observations, naturally and necessarily connected with the subject.
That, contrary to the general opinion, the most preservative situation in which iron can be placed is within the atmosphere of water, whether it be that the air is less saline and nitrous than that which arises from the filth of streets, and the fermentation of the earth, I am not undertaking to prove; I speak only of fact, which any body may observe by the rings and bolts in wharfs and other watery situations. I never yet saw the iron chain affixed to a wellbucket, consumed or injured by rust; and I believe it is impossible to find iron exposed to the open air in the same preserved condition as that which is exposed over water.
A method of extending the span and lessening the height of arches has always been the desideratum of bridge architecture. But it has other advantages. It renders bridges capable of becoming a portable manufacture, as they may, on this construction, be made and sent to any part of the world ready to be erected; and at the same time that it greatly increases the magnificence, elegance, and beauty of bridges, it considerably lessens their expense, and their appearance by re-painting will be ever new; and as they may be erected in all situations where stone bridges can be erected, they may, moreover, be erected in certain situations, where, on account of ice, infirm foundations in the beds of rivers, low shores, and various other causes, stone bridges cannot be erected. The last con
venience, and which is not inconsiderable, that I shall mention is, that after they are erected, they may very easily be taken down without any injury to the materials of the construction, and be reerected elsewhere.
I am, sir,
Your much obliged,
And obedient humble servant,
PREFACE TO GENERAL LEE'S MEMOIRS.
THE following Memoirs and Letters of the late Major-General Lee have been in the possession of the Editor since the year 1786. They were transmitted from America to England by the gentleman whose name is subscribed to the Memoirs, and who was a member of Congress for the state of Georgia, for the purpose of publication. In their manuscript state they have been seen by several persons in England, who expressed a strong desire of putting them to press, which the avocations of the person to whom they were entrusted, and his not being acquainted with such undertakings, had caused him to neglect.
As the subject of Revolutions is again renewed by what has occurred in France, it is presumed, that whatever relates to the Mother-Revolution, that of America, will, at least, afford entertainment to the curious, and contribute to increase the general stock of historical knowledge.
The reader may expect to find, in almost every thing that relates to General Lee, a great deal of the strong republican character. His attachment to principles of liberty, without regard to place, made him the citizen of the world rather than of any country; and from his earliest youth to the end of his career, this general trait in his character may be traced.
So little of the courtier had he about him, that he never descended to intimate any thing. Whatever he spoke or wrote was in the fullest style of expression, or strong figure. He used to say to Mr. Paine, the author of Common Sense, in America, and since of Rights of Man, in England, (of whose writings he was a great admirer,) that "he burst forth upon the world like Jove in thunder;" and this strength of conception, so natural to General Lee, had it not been mixed with a turn equally as strong for satire, and too much eccentricity of temper, would have rendered his conversation perpetually entertaining.
Though the Memoirs and every letter in this publication are most faithfully printed from the copy transmitted from America,
the Editor has omitted many whole letters, and also his trial before the court-martial, as not sufficiently interesting to balance the expense to which they would have extended the work. But if any of the particular friends or relations of General Lee should be desirous of seeing them, they may be indulged with the opportunity, by leaving a line at the publisher's, directed to the
London, Feb. 1792.
From "the Castle in the Air," to "the Little Corner of the World."
MEMORY, like a beauty that is always present to hear herself flattered, is flattered by every one. But the absent and silent goddess, Forgetfulness, has no votaries, and is never thought of: yet we owe her much. She is the goddess of ease, though not of pleasure.
When the mind is like a room hung with black, and every corner of it crowded with the most horrid images imagination can create, this kind speechless goddess of a maid, Forgetfulness, is following us night and day with her opium wand, and gently touching first one, and then another, benumbs them into rest, and at last glides them away with the silence of a departing shadow. It is thus the tortured mind is restored to the calm condition of ease, and fitted for happiness.
How dismal must the picture of life appear to the mind in that dreadful moment, when it resolves on darkness, and to die! One can scarcely believe such a choice was possible. Yet how many of the young and beautiful, timid in every thing else, and formed for delight, have shut their eyes upon the world, and made the waters their sepulchral bed! Ah! would they in that crisis, when life and death are both before them, and each within their reach, would they but think, or try to think, that Forgetfulness will come to their relief, and lull them into ease, they could stay their hand, and lay hold of life. But there is a necromancy in wretchedness that entombs the mind, and increases the misery, by shutting out every ray of light and hope. It makes the wretched falsely believe they will be wretched ever. It is the most fatal of all dangerous delusions; and it is only when this necromantic night-mare of the mind begins to vanish, by being resisted, that it is discovered to be but a tyrannic spectre. All grief, like all things else, will yield to the obliterating power of time. While despair is preying on the mind, time and