Imágenes de página

Leap of Tequendama, derived from the farm or seat where it is found; which has become famous on account of this wonder, as scarcely any of the viceroys whom the sovereign has destined to the government of that kingdom, have failed to visit it. It may easily be supposed what numbers join in those excursions. Nature appears to have contributed to facilitate the examination of this her wonderful work; it being but a short distance from the capital, and the ground so favourable, that with all ease, and without risk, you may ride to the farm in a carriage. There you find a spacious and handsome country-house, capable of containing a great many people: thence you go on horseback to the falls, after you have passed the river on a balsa*, and your horses by swimming, you enter on a mountain as umbrageous as it is delightful. The whole road offers the most agreeable prospects. The exquisite perfume of plants, the harmonious and varied songs of numerous birds, the delightful temperature of the air, and finally, every thing unites to render the jaunt most agreeably amusing.

The cataract is about six miles from the house. Before you arrive at the distance of one hundred steps from it, there is a plain, where the declivity of the road, which is of easy descent, terminates; it is less than half a quarter of a league in circumference, of a circular form, and skirted with trees, whose elevated tops form natural umbrellas, that shelter you from the sun, and even from the rain. In this rural spot, it is customary to gratify the appetite by partaking of a repast; to which every thing around seems to invite you. Hence you go down to the falls on foot, amidst trees as heretofore; when, after a few steps, you are suddenly struck with a dazzling light, occasioned by the small particles of water reduced to vapour by their concussion on the rocks. The father Alonzo de Zamora, speaking of the river of Bogota, which forms the cataract, says, "With the impetus that the compressed waters of the river descend, they come dashing by innumerable cliffs covered with beautiful trees, and sweeping over rocks, flow rapidly on until they are precipitated down the famous Leap of Tequendama, celebrated as one of the wonders of nature. Confined to a single channel, it is propelled as water poured out of a pitcher, forming a portion of a circle, which is said to be two hundred and twenty fathoms in height, with as frightful a noise as those of the Nile are said to make. It falls into a beautiful basin, that is more than a league in circumference: generally it cannot be seen very late in the day, because the fall of such a vast body of water forms mists that embarrass the sight; but in the morning it is delightfully entertaining; for the fluid,

Balsa is a raft or float, made of large rushes and gourds, which the Indians propel by paddling with their hands, their bodies being partly in the water.

in passing through the air, is divided into minute particles, on which the rays of the sun produce many rainbows: these, in the basin, add further to its beauty. Our admiration is augmented by the prodigious walls of stone, that art could not have rivalled in regularity; their heights are every where covered by towering and leafy trees, filled with beautiful flowers of various kinds; a natural paradise, inhabited by different species of birds, who mingle their songs to celebrate this wonderful work of nature."

The following more accurate account and measurement of Tequendama, was taken by the colonel-commandant of the royal artillery, Don Domingo Esquiaqui, and sent, with the plan of the falls, to the King of Spain, in 1790.

"From the surface of the river above, to the first shelf, five fathoms;* from the first to the second shelf, thirty-nine fathoms; from the second to the bottom of the basin, eighty-nine and a half fathoms: total, one hundred thirty-three and a half fathoms; from which, deduct the depth of the basin from the surface of the water, twenty fathoms, which leaves the height of the falls, from the natural bed of the river above, to the inferior current, where it flows in the valley, one hundred thirteen and a half fathoms. From this statement it indubitably appears, that our Fall of Tequendama is the most beautiful and stupendous cataract yet known in the world; and that the writers who described it, have justly applied to it the title of a wonder."


Spanish ft.


Cataract of the Cohoes, near Albany, State of New York do. Niagara (including the upper contiguous pid) 184 do. Terni, in the road to Rome


do. Tequendama, in the river Bogota


[ocr errors]

This must have been measured by the French foot, as it then agrees with the annexed scale.



M. CLAUDIUS has lately made at Berlin, a promising experiment with his machine for flying. He raised himself several times to the height of fourteen feet in thirty seconds of time, by means of twenty-three strokes of his wings, carrying a weight of thirty-three pounds. He afterwards let himself down from the same height, by means of twenty-five strokes of his wings, in twenty-five seconds, having a force of ascension of twenty-two pounds. The wings are furnished with pipes, which close when the air is struck, and open by their own weight when the air is allowed to pass freely. There are powers of different action in the machine, for rising and descending. The pipes of one set are quiescent, while those of the other are in activity. The motive powers for descent are smaller than those for elevation; that for elevation has a surface of one hundred and sixty square feet. This machine, applied to a balloon, which possesses but feeble powers of rising, permits the aeronaut who conducts the balloon, to rise to a certain height, to remain stationary at that height, and to descend at pleasure, without emitting, and consequently losing any gas; but the inventor does not pretend to work it against the wind, as has been reported.


THE ancient city of Veia, in Italy, as is known, was taken by the Romans, in the year of Rome 360: it was re-peopled, and afterwards embellished by the emperors. M. Giorgi, an agriculturist and owner of the soil, having discovered in February last, at twelve feet deep in the earth, a number of columns, employed thirty workmen to prosecute his researches. He has lately found the most beautiful statue of Tiberius known, of heroic size, sitting the head resembles the medals perfectly, and is sublime both in execution and expression; the arms, the knees, the hair, the drapery, are excellent. It is of Greek marble, and the work of a Greek artist. A fine bust, supposed to be of Lepidus; a Phrygian slave; a caryatides; a beautiful head of Flora; the lower part of a figure of a priestess, the drapery in the highest

style; other fragments, an immense dolium, many capitals of columns, &c. were found at the same time. What renders this discovery truly remarkable, is, that the capitals of columns were ranged in an orderly manner, one row on another; the columns were laid along; the head of the statue of Tiberius was placed between his feet. Hence there is every reason to conclude that this edifice was destroyed in an orderly manner; and so that the separated parts might be concealed from the barbarians, perhaps with a view to subsequent re-union.


MR. BERROLLAS, watch-maker, has invented a most useful article, for which his majesty's letters patent have been obtained. It is called a warning-watch. The characteristic quality of this watch is to remind the wearer, by its striking, of any appointment he may have in the course of twenty-four hours, without twice winding up, or even opening the case to set the warninghand to the proper hour. The mechanism of this alarum is of so simple a nature, as not in the least to injure or prevent the wellgoing, or performance, of the other parts of the watch; and this invention deprives the wearer of fear of deranging it, and even allows him no opportunity for mismanagement.-In short, it offers every desirable convenience at a very moderate The simplicity of its construction is a matter of peculiar consideration, since it can be applied to watches of every description. A mechanism, performing the part of a monitor, by reminding us of any hour at which we may wish to awake in the morning, or any appointment we may have to attend in the course of the day, is incontestibly one of the most convenient and useful objects that can be wished; indeed, to many persons, it is of absolute necessity, and will be found particularly adapted for gentlemen in the army and navy, to many of whom it has already proved of very great utility. These watches are manufactured by Mr. Viner, of Red Lion-street, Clerkenwell.



The following circumstantial account of three Meteoric Stones, which fell near Orleans, is translated from M. de la Metherie's Journal.

"On the 25th of Nov. 1810, at half past one in the afternoon, three atmospheric stones fell perpendicularly at Charsonville, in the department of Loiret. Their fall was accompanied with a succession of thunder-claps which preceeded them, and lasted some minutes. The noise of these explosions, in number three


or four, followed by the roll produced by the echo, was heard as distinctly at Orleans, as at the place where the stones fell. It is even said the noise was as loud at Montargis, Salbri, Vierzon, and Blois, as in each of these places it was the cause of some alarm, and was attributed to the explosion of a powder-mill. It is concluded, that, in consequence of the great distances in the circle in which the noise was heard, the explosion took place at a height in the atmosphere almost incalculable. The stones were found within an extent of half a league of each other; and their fall, in a perpendicular direction, was without any apparent light or globe of fire attending them. One of the stones, which fell at Mortelle, it seems had not been found. Another fell at Villeroi, and the third at Moulinbrûlé. One of them weighed twenty pounds, and made a hole in the ground, in a vertical direction, just big enough to bury itself, at the same time that it threw up the earth eight or ten feet high. This stone was taken out about half an hour afterwards, being still hot enough to be held in the hand with some difficulty. of gunpowder, which it retained till it was perfectly cold. It diffused a strong scent like that second stone made a hole similar to the other in a vertical direcThe tion, and being found eighteen hours after its fall, was quite cold. These stones were irregular in their shape, and their angles in general obtuse: they contained rather more globules of iron than those that fell at l'Aigle, in Normandy; these globules are also rather larger, and the colour of the stone, when first broken, is somewhat clearer; it may be speedily oxyded, and is sufficiently dense and heavy to write upon glass. It is broken with difficulty, and comes to pieces very irregularly, and is very fine in the grain. Its exterior is about a quarter of a line in thickness, and its colour of a darkish gray. These stones are also traversed by some irregular black lines, strongly marked, from a half line to two lines thick, and which traverse them in a manner similar to the veins of certain rocks. Does not this fact seem to indicate that they existed prior to their fall, that they have been produced in the same manner as rocks, and were not formed in the atmosphere?"


THE trade in wooden clocks, which had long been considerable among the Germans, is now at a stand. The principal manufactories were in the Black Forest, and were supposed to produce 70,000 clocks per annum. Some were sent to America. Two brothers only, after an ambulatory journey in Europe, were known to return with a fortune of 42,000 florins. One of them after


2 Y

« AnteriorContinuar »