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“ Mr. Dennie learned immediately and the elevation of the arches of this from Smeaton the art of directing hy. bridge, and the enormity of the eledraulic constructions; he formed him- ments of which it is composed, we acself by the counsels and example of quire a higher idea of the force of man, that great engineer, and by the study and we exclaim involuntarily, in our of the works of a master whom he was admiration of this chef d'ouvre, this to equal in some respects, and surpass is the Bridge of Giants !'” in many others.”
M. Dupin then alludes to the East “If, from the incalculable effect of India, the London, and the West India the revolutions which empires undergo, Docks, and observes,
the nations of a future age should de6 At the very moment he was snatch- mand one day what was formerly the ed from us by death, he was busied in New Sidon, and what has become of finishing a new construction, equally the Tyre of the West, which covered ingenious for its architecture and its with her vessels every sea ?-the most mechanism. Vast roofs, supported by of the edifices, devoured by a destruclofty colnmns of cast iron, present in tive climate, will no longer exist to anthe middle of their structure aërial swer the curiosity of man by the voice roads, on which are made to run car- of monuments; but the bridge built by riages, whose mechanism is so contriv- Dennie, in the centre of the commered, that by their means enormous ma- cial world, will subsist to tell the most hogany trees, kept in these fine maga- distant generations, here was a rich, zines, may be raised and let down at industrious, and powerful city. The pleasure. By means of this ingenious traveller, on beholding this superb system, a few workmen now execute in monument, will suppose that some great a few minutes what required formerly Prince wished, by many years of lawhole hours, and a number of work- bour, to consecrate for ever the glory men.”
of his life by this imposing structure. Our limits will not allow us to fol. But if tradition instruct the traveller low M. Dupin through his account of that six years sufficed for the underthe various works of Mr. Dennie. We taking and finishing of this work; if cannot, however omit the following ob- he learns that an association of a numservations, with which he concludes ber of private individuals was rich his notice of the Break water of Ply- enough to defray the expense of this mouth :
colossal monument, worthy of Sesos6. This unalterable solidity, secured tris or Cæsar, he will admire still more by the judiciousness of the forms and the nation in which similar undertakthe prudence of the dimensions, ap- ings could be the fruit of the efforts of pears to us to be the essential and dis- a few obscure individuals, lost in the tinctive character of the great works of crowd of industrious citizens.” Mr. Dennie. This character is partic M r. Dennie cultivated his art with ularly remarkable in the two most the most enthusiastic ardour, and inbeautiful bridges which adorn the me- stead of being merely a theorist, he pretropolis of the British Empire.
pared himself for practical efficiency, i The Southwark Bridge is the first by visiting and minutely inspecting exin which the bold idea of using cast ery work of magnitude in every couniron in solid masses, and of an extent try that bore similitude with those which greatly supassing that of the largest he might be called upon to construct. stones employed in arches. The arches His library abounded in a richer colof this bridge are formed by metallic lection of scientific writings than that of masses, of a size which could only be almost any individual; and we repeat, cast in a country in which metallurgy that the loss of such a man is irreparais carried to the highest degree of per- ble. Cut off in the full vigour of his fection. Mr. Bennie derived from this mind, his death would almost seem to advanced state of industry all the ad- suspend for a time the march of nationvantages which it could furnish to his al improvement, until the just fame of talents. When we consider the extent his merit shall animate our rising artists to imitate his great example, and to those which, before his time, depended prepare themselves by study and ob- solely on the impetus of the current. servation to overcome, as he did, the His largest mills thus work as smoothmost formidable impediments to the ly as clock-work, and by the alternate progress of human enterprise, of indus- contact of wood and iron, are less liatry, and of increased facility in all the ble to the hazard of fire by friction. If arts of life. The integrity of Mr. Ben- the death of such a man is a national nie in the fulfilment of his labours, was loss, what must it be to his private equal to his genius in the contrivance friends, and to his amiable family? of his plans and machinery. He would Endeared to all who knew him by the suffer none of the modern subterfuges gentleness of his temper, the cheerfulfor real strength to be resorted to by ness with which he communicated the the contractors employed to execute riches of his mind, and forwarded the what he had undertaken; and every views of those who made useful discothing he did was for futurity. An en- veries or improvements in machinery gineer, unlike an architect, has no com- or implements, procured him universal mission on the amount of his expendi- respect. He gave to inventors all the ture, or Mr. Bennie would have been benefits of his experience, removed difone of the most opulent men in Eng- ficulties which had not occurred to the land; for upwards of forty millions author, or suggested alterations which have been expended under his eye. adapted the instrument to its use. No But his glory was in the justice of his jealousy nor self-interest ever prevented proceedings, and his enjoyment in the the exercise of this free and unbounded success of his labours. It was, indeed, communication ; for the love of science only as a millwright that he engaged was, in his mind, superior to all mere himself to execute the work he planned, cenary feeling. and in this department society is in- In the active exercise of these virdebted to him for so economizing the tues, and of these talents, Mr. Dennie power of water, as to give an increase was suddenly seized with a long and of energy by its specific gravity, to the lingering illness, and died at his house in natural fall of streams, and to make his Stamford-street, Blackfriars, on Thursmills equal to four-fold the produce of day, October 4th, 1821.
WONDERS OF THE NETHERLANDS-THE HILL OF PETERSBERG.
VOYAGE SOUTERRAIN ; OU, DESCRIPTION DU PLATEAU DE SAINT PIERRE DE MAESTRICHT.
PAR LE COL. BORY DE SAINT VINCENT. 1821. THE author of this interesting work building ; but principally for manure,
is one of the French exiles who and for this double purpose it has been sought refuge in the Netherlands, after excavated from the most remote ages of the second restoration of the King of antiquity. In the symmetrical galleries France. Tossed to and fro by the po- of Petersberg the Roman pick-axe has litical storm, he at length landed at imprinted a kind of monumental charMaestricht. The following particulars, acter, and the feudal spade ha's left its collected from the author's account of Gothic traces. Workmen have, from the curious subterranean vaults of Ma- time immemorial, been employed in estricht, will be the more acceptable as extracting the bowels of the earth to ferthey are not very generally known. tilize its surface. Forages the pick-axe
Petersberg, or the Hill of St. Peter, and wheelbarrow have worked passais situated between the Jaar and the ges in every direction, and the traveller Meuse, and extends along the distance in this subterraneous labyrinth is hapof nearly a league. The earth which py, if, with the aid of his torches, he is contained in the cavities in the inte- can return the way he entered. Streets, rior of the hill furnishes materials for squares and cross-roads appear on ev
3F ATHENEUM VOL. 10.
Wonders of the Netherlands-The Hill of Petersberg.
ery side ; in short the vaults of Peters- sion of the fort of Petersberg, discoverberg present the appearance of a town, ed a secret communication with the in which there are only wanting hous- vaults of the hill, of which the French es, inhabitants, theatres, carriages and troops guarded some of the entries. gas-lamps. M. Bory de Saint-Vincent With torch in band and fixed bayonets draws the following picture of this the Austrians attempted to surprise the gloomy region :
French, but the latter, warned by the “ If any thing,” he says, “ can add subterraneous lights, rushed upon the to the horror of the perfect darkness, it enemy, who were dazzled by their own is the total silence which reigns in these torches, and a conflict ensued which dismal vaults. The voice of man is resembled a combat of the infernal descarcely sufficient to disturb it ; sound ities, is, as it were, deadened by the thick. The following story is of a less seriness of the gloom. Echo itself, which ous nature. Maestricht had fallen into the bewildered traveller may interro- the power of the French, and long congate in the desert, dwells not in these tinued a most formidable garrison. A silent cavities.”
portion of the Austrian population filed It may naturally be conjectured, that to the vaults beneath the bill of St. Pesuperstition has peopled these subter- ter. They took their cattle with them, ranean vaults with demons and hob- and in the subterraneous cavities they goblins. Tradition has even allotted hastily constructed rooms and stables. a hell and a paradise to the cavities of The French were unable to account Petersberg. The huge pieces of coal, for the miraculous disappearance of a which an equal temperature has pro- portion of the conquered inhabitants, tected from the ravages of time, imagi- when a pig, which had escaped from nation has converted into monsters its sty, rushed along the subterraneous with claws, long tails, and horns. In galleries squeaking tremendously. It various places, names, inscriptions and was heard by the French centinels, remote dates record the history of ex- and this circumstance led them to suscavations, and relate numerous adven- pect the retreat of the Austrians. They tures and unfortunate deaths of which adopted means to make the pig squeak Petersberg has been the theatre. In still louder, in the hope of attracting the one part of the vaults a workman, whose fugitives, when, to the great surprise torch became extinguished, perished of the French soldiers, several pigs amidst the pangs of hunger and the rushed out to answer the summons of horrors of darkness ; his hat and some the imprudent deserter. In ancient fragments of his clothes still remain to times the Roman capital was saved by attest his melancholy fate. In another geese, and on this occasion a pig causpart the walls present the history of ed the destruction of the little republic four friars, who purposed to erect a of Petersberg. The Austrians were chapel at the remotest point of these routed from their retreat, and their cattle cavities. The thread by which they and pigs, as may well be supposed, were to trace back their way to the were speedily roasted and devoured. opening of the vaults, broke; the un- One of the most curious phenomena fortunate men perished, and their bode of the vaults of St Peter is the formation ies were subsequently found at the dis- of geological organ-pipes. These are tance of a few paces from each other. a kind of wells, the orifices of which However, catastrophes of this terrible are on the upper part of the hill, and kind presented fewer horrors to the con- which extend, like funnels, to its base. scripts of the Lower Meuse than the They serve as drains, which intercept pursuits of the gendarmerie, and, ac- the subterraneous galleries, and contincording to the testimony of the author, ually destroy their architecture. The many preferred dismal retreats to the origin of these geological phenomena laurels of WAGRAM and JENA.
has given rise to old conjectures. M. The interior of the Hill of St. Peter Mathieu, who has devoted great attenhas given rise to anecdotes worth col- tion to the subject, supposes them to lecting; the Austrians, having posses- have been dug by some monstrous an
imal ; but M. Bory de Saint-Vincent mentions an experiment which is suited very reasonably wages war against M. to the understanding of children: he Mathieu's enormous moles, and ascribes let fall some water, drop by drop, on the geological organ-pipes to the filtra- bits of sugar, and thus produced little tion of water. In support of this con- artificial wells similar to those on the jecture, M. Bory de Saint-Vincent hill.
SONG OF THE TEMPEST.
“ Stern eagle of the far north-west,
"Enough of woe hast thou wrought on the ocean,
" Eagle of the far north-western waters,
BY LORD BYRON.* THE arrival of three new Tragedies ecution of their laws, without respeet
1 in this country, from Lord Byron, either to the rank or situation of the has already been announced by us in supposed delinquent; and, in order our literary notices, but whether or not that they might be carried into effect they be intended for immediate publi- with the utmost rigour, they appointed cation, is a point which we are quite magistrates, whose particular province unable to decide. The names of these it was to see that the judges did not exdramas have not as yet publicly tran- hibit, towards the presumed culprit, the spired, although they have been whis- slightest marks of clemency or indulpered abroad during the last fortnight, gence. In the case of the council pretty generally, in fashionable blue- from whom Foscari received his constocking routs and select literary cote- demnation, however, the situations of ries. The hero of one of these pieces these superinducers of relentless sever. is said to be Foscari, son of the Doge ity would seem to have been sinecures;* of that name, who was unjustly ban- for the inflexibility of the Venetian ished by the Venetian senate, after hav- senate needed no spur on this memoraing been cruelly tortured, for a crime ble occasion. of which he appears to have been en- Foscari, son of the Doge of that tirely innocent. Rogers, in his Pleas- name, having offended the senate of ures of Memory, thus alludes to the Venice by the commission of some jucatastrophe :
venile imprudences in that city, was, “ Hence home-felt pleasure prompts the patriot's
by their orders, put into temporary sigh,
confinement at Treviso; when Alnor This makes him wish to live, and dare to die; Donato, one of the Council of Ten, For this young Foscari, whose hapless fate
was assassinated on the 5th of NovenVenice should blush to hear the Muse relate; When exile wore his blooming years away,
ber, 1750, as he entered his own house. To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey ;
A reward, in ready money, with parWhen reason, justice, vainly urg'd bis cause, don for that and any other crime, and For this he rous'd her sanguinary laws;
a pension of two hundred ducats, reGlad to return, tho' hope could grant no more, vertible to children, was promised to And chains and torture hail'd him to the shore.”
any person who should be the means Aware that a notice of any subject of bringing the perpetrator of this which has employed the pen of Lord crime to justice. No such discovery, Byron cannot fail of proving inter- however, resulted from this proposal. esting to our readers, we hasten to lay The apprehension of Foscari and before them some account of the cir- one of his servants, upon the slightest cumstances from which his Lordship's, and most unsatisfactory evidence, was tragedy of Foscari will, in all proba- the next step of the council. This bility, have been constructed. A mul- young nobleman's footman had been tiplicity of allusions to this melancholy observed loitering near Donato's palstory are to be met with in the volumes ace on the night of the murder ; conof the various historians and travellers scious, probably, that this solitary cirwho have made Venice the subject of cumstance would give rise to his aptheir disquisitions ; but the most copi- prehension, and, dreading the unapous and correct version of the circum- peasable fury of his judges, Oliver stances will be found in Dr. Moore's (for that was the man's name) fled from Travels in Italy, from which we have Venice the next morning. This act, principally derived the materials for combined with other trifling coincidenthe following notice :
ces, created a strong suspicion, that The government of Venice have ev- Foscari had employed his servant to er been proverbially severe in the ex- commit the murder.
* These works have been received and published by Munroe and Francis--forming an. additional volume to the Works of Lord Byron.