Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Great Britain struck the death blow to the marine of her only rival, France, on the memorable first of June, 1794. Her fleets have since that time rode triumphant in every sea. Yet then the United States were poor and feeble. : Their navigation amounted to about three hundred thousand tons their revenue was seven millions of dollars

per annum. Since Great Britain has chased France from the ocean, this country has advanced with giant pace. Her tonnage has quadrupled; her revenue, before it was affected by our own national policy, had doubled in twelve years. Her cities were filled with abundance, and her commerce made some approach to that of the mistress of the waves. These are facts, which cannot be contradicted, and they are facts, which, in regard to the dispositions of Great Britain toward neutral nations, will not deceive us.

How then has it happened, that our government has been so eager to be at enmity with this nation—a nation, whose whole captures, since the origin of our present complaints, do not, according to official statements, amount to one tenth part of the spuiiations of France, and even fall short of those of the petty state of Denmark. How has it happened, that they have been so eager to enter into the views, to support the projects, and to defend the usurpations of the oppressor of Eu. rope?

But we forbear-we do not know what will be the situation of our country, when that which we are now writing will be read. We return for a moment to the work before us to men. tion a circumstance worth notice that the translation has internal marks of not being the work of one to whom our lan

Some account of its original author, very different from that given by his translator, may be seen in a note below.*

* We have, while writing, received the following information respecto ing M. de Montgaillard, from a gentleman lately in the service of France, and the author of several political works. We place reliance on his authority.

“ This publication of M. de Montgaillard was probably designed by

guage is native.

[ocr errors]

ARTICLE 2.

A Treatise on Bridge Architecture; in which the superior ad

vantages of the Flying Pendent Lever Bridge are fully proved. With an historical account and description of different bridges erected in various parts of the world, from an early period down to the present time. By Thomas Pope, architect, and landscape gardener. New-York, Alex

ander Niven, 1811, 8vo. At what period, and in what nation the arch was first made. use of in the construction of bridges, and whether among the ancients it was ever built upon those scientific principles, which have afforded such ingenious mathematical speculations, and have produced such magnificent structures in modern times, are subjects of curious and difficult reseårch. The importance of these questions, however, is not confined to a treatise upon bridge architecture, but is connected with the

Bonaparte to delude the people of the continent, and to prevent their revolt against his cruel system, by sbewing them that all hope of aid from England is fallacious. Fortunately however he has employed a man too well known, and too infamous to be believed by those who are acquainted with his history, and his former conduct. Though a person of obscure birth, M. de Montgaillard pretended to have shared as a sufferer in the proscription of the French nobility; though in fact he was a Septembrizer, as they were called in France, or Robespierrean, as they were denominated here. He arrived in England in 1794, giving out that he had escaped from the guillotine. He published in London “The State of France in 1794,” containing, with some truths, many false and exaggerated accounts of the misery of France. Being suspected to be what he was, a spy of France, he went to Germany, and offered his ser. vices to the prince of Condè, commanding the royal emigrant army; acted afterwards as a double spy for the Bourbons, and the usurpers of their throne. After the arrest of Pichegru, Georges, Moreau, and oth. ers, in 1804, he published in the Moniteur a long account of the discov, ery of the real or pretended conspiracy, in which they were accused of being engaged. In this he publicly avowed a sort of double espionage, and imputed the most false and absurd crimes to these victims of Bonaparte. Such are the outlines of the morals and honor of this author."

and

history of the art of building from the earliest ages. Among those stupendous ruins now remaining upon the banks of the Nile, which are well known to have been erected long before the Greeks or Romans were acquainted with Egypt, there are no traces of it to be found. Thick walls, massive pillars, and ponderous lintels are generally discovered, the expense and labor of which would certainly have been avoided, if the nature and properties of the arch had been understood. In Grecian architecture it is seldom seen, while it makes a very essential part in that of the Romans. Domes and arches are sometimes met with in the ruins of Greece, but the aqueducts, bridges, theatres, and temples, constructed by the Romans, many of which have continued, and are in use at the present day, clearly show that they were acquainted with its theory, and displayed great skill in its application. 1

Although the arch has been in use ever since the time of the Romans, beyond which period it is difficult accurately to traee its history, yet the semicircular form, or circular curve only was adopted; and this prevailed until the Gothie architecture arose, about the beginning of the twelfth century. The great changes introduced at this time into all the ornamental parts of churches, monasteries, and religious houses, to which the expense of building and the science of architecture were alone confined, were so dissimilar from the Grecian and Roman, as well as from the Saxon style, which immediately preeeded it, that artists and antiquaries have not been able to discover its origin. The transition from the Roman to the Gothic, or rather from the round to the pointed arch, was very natural, and might have been produced by the accidental in. terseetion of two semicircles. But the clustered columns, the hatched mouldings, and the delicate traeery, which embel. lished ecclesiastical architecture during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when the pointed arch was first introduced into England, Justify the supposition, that this most distinguishing character of what is called the Gothic style, was the result of design. Nor can it be satisfactorily shown, whether this form was first used in Europe, or whether it was brought from Asia. Few well established facts of its existence at all in Asia are to be found, but the instances of its having been very common in Europe, and particularly in England, are innumerable. The magnificent bridge at Ispahan, in Persia, called the Alla-werdie-chan, over the Zenderoet, is a Gothie structure, but it is not known when or by whom it was builta It is five hundred and forty paces long, and has thirty three pointed arches. This, however, is supposed to have been erected long after the Gothic architecture prevailed in Europe, because there are many publie buildings in this style at the same place, which are evidently the works of the fifteenth or sixteenth century. London bridge has pointed arches, and was built in the twelfth century, instead of the old one of wood; and the first stone bridge in England was erected a few years earlier, with cireular arches, and from this cireumstance called Bow bridge.

The next and most important change in the form of arches was made in modern days by the application of the elliptical eurve, and that compounded of segments of circles having unequal radii. The Pont Royal, over the Seine at Paris, is an example of the former, and Blaekfriars tridge, over the Thames, is a beautiful strueture with arches composed of cir. eular segments.

In the construction of wooden bridges, the history and the remaining works of the ancients afford nothing either for in struction or for imitation. How the centers, or supports, upon which the Romans turned their arches, were contrived, we have no means of determining. Carpentry, as a seienee, was probably little studied, and from the importance which seems to have been given to Cæsar's celebrated bridge over the Rhine, we cannot presume they had any theoretic knowledge of timber trusses. Even in Europe, at this time, there are few bridges of wood which display much skill in carpentry; and those few do not far exceed some works of the kind that have been erected in the United States. Our numerous bridges have sprung from the hazardous spirit of enterprize which distinguishes American architects, and their execution exhibits the nicest skill of the workman, as well as the ingenious invention of the artist. In proof of this we may adduce the few failures' which have occurred, and those few in almost every instance have happened from the natural decay of the materials, or from the violence of the freshes, loaded with masses of ice, logs, and trees, in our rivers, over which great breadth of timber trusses are required.

As the beauty, strength, and cheapness of framed bridges depend upon the judicious distribution of the forces with which the struts and ties in every complicated system of carpentry are charged, engineers cannot bestow too much time and study upon this important subject. For all problems in earpentry may be considered as dependent upon one fundamental maxim, which is, that every piece of timber used in a frame or truss, must be made to connect or sustain its thrust or load in the direction of the grain or fibres which eompose it. If the scantling is to bear a compressing force, it is called a strut, and if it is to resist a strain in the opposite direction, it is called a tie. Now it is evident that the operation of these two forces-whether they are to aet in a horizonal, perpendieular, or oblique direction-comprehends the whole science of earpentry; but td adjust it so that each piece of the proposed truss shall have its just proportion of the load to which it is subjected, requires a correct knowledge of the doctrine of the composition and resolution of forces.

We have made these introductory remarks to the review of Mr. Pope's “ Treatise on Bridge Architecture," for so he has ventured to call it, with a view to supply some hints to our readers, which they have a right to expect from the title, but which they will look for in vain in this work. Indeed we at first intended to have gone more fully into the history of the origin and progress of bridge building, but we have reflected that we owe something to a book of this size, and that we shall have opportunities enough to show the importance of the subject, as well as the disrespectful and trifling manner in which our author has treated this valuable and interesting art. Mr. Pope, fall of his own new invention, (of

« EdellinenJatka »