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Cause shattered and rent in two, so as to leave an Opening, whose Surface is lower than the Surface of the Ocean, the Water naturally gusheth in between the Cliffs, and is not stopped till it meet with more elevated Ground, by which it is bounded, and formed into a Bay.
STREIGHTS are from this Cause also produced.
THE reason why these Parts are now and then so miserably torn in Pieces, as to admit Inundations (by which Bays and Streights are formed) is the impetuous Motion and violent dashing of the Waves against the Shore, being forced by Winds, or some other Cause, almost daily, to wash away and waste them: whereby, in process of time, the · Earth is broken and disjoined, and made unfit to resist the rushing of the Ocean. But this is more likely to happen if the Shore be low, and consist of loase and crumbling Earth, easy for the Sea to work upon, which will with small resistance burst, and make room for a whole Bay of Water. :
IT is manifest, that some new Bays and Streights are thus produced, but we must not thence conclude, that all which are at this Day found in the Earth were so generated : for it is very likely, that a great many of them are of the same Date with 'the Earth and Ocean; and the rather, because none, nor any thing like them, have been produced in the memory of Man. Tho' the ancient Grecians have such Fables ; and tell us, that the Mountain Calpe upon the Spanish Shore, and Abyle in Africa were formerly joined, but afterwards separated by Hercules ; from whence these Mountains were called Hercules's Pillars, and the Streights, Hercules's Streights(a).
IT (a) There are a great many , veral other Reasons, to induce Testimonies of Authors, and re- f us to believe, that Britain was
IT was a common Opinion of the Ancients, that the Streights between Italy and Sicily, were made by the Irruption of the Sea, which we do not so much doubt of: nor do we think it impof. fible, that the like small Streights have been and are still generated. Streights also may be turned into Bays, and Bays into Streights ; as if, for Example, the Mouth of the Streights of Magellan or Manilha, should be stopped on the one side or the other, they would be changed into long Bays: or if (on the other hand ) the Isthmus between Africa and Afia, should be removed, then the Red-Sea would be joined to the Mediterranean, and they both become Streights, and afford a Passage to the Indian Ocean,
PROPOSITION V. Whether the Ocean be every where of the same
IT appears from the first Proposition, that the Face of the Ocean in it's natural Situation, and when no Obstacle hinders, is every where of the same Altitude, having, as was there proved a spherical Surface, and being concentrical with the Earth : but it may be here doubted, whether for some Reasons, it may not in one place be higher than in another; which is very worthy of Observation, and of great Moment to be well understood, by
not an Island from the Beginning, but was formerly joined to France by an Isthmus, be tween Dover and Calais, and that this Irbmus, in process of Time, being continually beat upon by two impetuous Tides
every Day on both sides, was wore away and wasted. The great Dr Wallis was of this Opinion, and so was Dr Musgrave. See both their Arguments in Philos. Trans. abridged by Motte. Part 4. Page 35, 40.
those that propose the cutting thro’ of Isthmus's, and joining one Part of the Ocean to another...
SEVERAL will have both the Sea and Land to be higher towards the Northern Parts, than about the Equator, and this was Aristotle's Thought (in Lib. 2. Cbap. ii. de Cælo) (c). The Reason they bring for it is, that the Ocean seems to flow from the Northern Parts as from a Fountain ; but this does not prove it's superior Altitude there : for whether the Northern Countries, or rather the Northern Chanels, be higher or lower than the Chanels near the Equator (as is yet doubtful, or at least not sufficiently proved from that Motion which is not generally found in all the Northern Parts) it does not follow, if they were so admitted, that the Ocean is there higher; because that to lower that superior Height, and to make the other equal with it, the Ocean is constantly flowing towards the Equator. Aristotle in the forecited Place adds another fabulous Reason, taken from the Poets, which is not worth an Answer, viz. that the Sun when it sets, hides itself beyond the great Bulk of the Northern Regions.
THIS Opinion of the superior Altitude of the North Pole, seems to arise from hence; that when we turn our Faces that way, we imagine the Pole to be raised above the Horizon of the place we are in, and therefore judge the Countries thereabouts to be elevated above us,
SOME think the Indian Ocean to be higher than the Atlantic, which they endeavour to prove from the Flux of the Sea in at the Streights of Gi. bralter, and of the Arabian Gulph: but then, this doubt is to be considered, whether the Altitude of Bays, especially in their extreain Parts, be the fame
(6) The Earth and Ocean are highest about the Equator. See thc Note (6) on Chap. iii.
with that of the Ocean, or less; and chiefly those Bays which are joined by very narrow Streights to the Ocean.
THAT the Atlantic and Indian Ocean are higher than the extream Parts of the Mediterranean, near Egypt and Asia minor, none need doubt ; for unless the Streights of Gibralter (where the Atlantic floweth into the Mediterranean) were something lower than the Ocean, there would not be such a strong Current there as it is. Perhaps at the Streight's mouth there may be but little difference; but then further, to continue the Flux all over that large Tract between Europe and Africa, the depression of the Bay must by Degrees be greater, otherwise the Water could not flow when it is so often obstructed by Rocks, Isands, Peninsula's, and other Obstacles, which repel the Current of the Wa. ter, and diminish the Force of the Influx. We need not doubt of this, if it be true what is recorded of Sefoftris, Darius, and other Kings of Egypt, by some Authors of good Credit, how they attempted to cut a Chanel between the Red-Sea and the Nile, that out of the Indian Ocean and thro the Red-Sea, they might fail that Way from the Mouth of the Nile into the Mediterranean; which would be of great Advantage to Egypt and other Countries upon the Coast of the Mediterranean. But they were forced to desist from this Enterprise, when the Red-Sea was discovered by the Artificers to be much higher than the Inner Égypt. If therefore the Red-Sea be higher than the Land of Egypt, it will be also higher than the Water of the Nilc and the Mediterranean itself, into which the Nile flows, and consequently the Red-Sea, and also the Indian Ocean, are both higher than the Mediterranean, especially the furthest Parts of it about Egypt, Romania, and the Archipelago, VOL, I,
MOREOVER, other Kings of Egypt of old, and of late the Egyptian Sultans, and Turkish Emperors, had frequent Consultations about cutting through that Isthmus that joins Africa to Asia, and separates the Mediterranean from the Red-Sea; but the Reason, as we are told, why they did not set about it was, that the Indian and Red-Sea were found to be much higher than the Shores of the Mediterranean: and therefore it was feared, that the RedSea should overflow them, especially Egypt, which is reckoned by every one to be a very low Country.
THAT the Red-Sea is higher than the Mediterranean appeareth from these Observations ; but this, not without Cause, may be doubted by some, because they are both Bays, the one of the Atlan. tic and the other of the Indian Ocean. Therefore to give a plausible Reason, why the one should be higher than the other, it will not be amiss to consider, that tho' they are both depresied more than the Seas from which they flow; yet the Difference is less sensible in the extream Part of the Red-Sea, which is nearer the Indian Ocean, than the extream Parts of the Mediterranean are to the Allantic. For I cannot think that the Indian Ocean is higher than thic Atlantic, as some imagine.
IF therefore the Isthmus was cut through, no doubt but a great Quantity of Water would flow from the Red-Sea into the Mediterranean ; but I cannot think so much as to bring Egypt, and other Places about the Levant, into danger of being overflowed: because if the Indian Ocean poured in more Water, the Ailantic, would very likely emit less, that so they might each retain the same Altitude in Proportion.
BESIDES this, I suppose the Sultans of Egypt and the Turks, were induced by other Political