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authority, and expose the folly of Hymen's pretensions to independence. As the quarrel was carried on in silence the company were not interrupted by it. The procession began to set forward to the temple, where the ceremony was to be performed. The lord of the manor led the beautiful Ruralinda like a lamb devoted to sacrifice. Cupid immediately dispatched a petition for assistance to his mother on one of the sun-beams, and the same messenger returning in an instant, informed him that whatever he wished should be done. He immediately cast the old Lord and Ruralinda into one of the most extraordinary sleeps ever known. They continued walking in the procession, talking to each other, and observing every ceremony with as much order as if they had been awake; their souls had in a manner crept from their bodies, as snakes creep from their skin, and leave the perfect appearance of themselves behind. And so rapidly does imagination change the landscape of life, that in the same space of time which passed over while they were walking to the temple, they both run through, in a strange variety of dreams, seven years of wretched matrimony. In which imaginary time, Gothic experienced all the mortification which age wedded to youth must expect; and she all the infelicity which such a sale and sacrifice of her person justly deserves.
In this state of reciprocal discontent they arrived at the temple: Cupid still continued them in their slumber, and in order to expose the consequences of such marriages, he wrought so magically on the imaginations of them both, that he drove Gothic distracted at the supposed infidelity of his wife, and she mad with joy at the supposed death of her husband ; and just as the ceremony was about to be performed, each of them broke out into such passionate soliloquies, as threw the whole company into confusion. He exclaiming, she rejoicing; he imploring death to relieve him, and she preparing to bury him; gold, quoth Ruralinda, maybe bought too dear, but the grave has befriended.— The company believing them mad, conveyed them away, Gothic to his mansion, and Ruralinda to her cottage. The next day they awoke, and being grown wise without loss of time, or the pain of real experience, they mutually declined proceeding any farther.—The old Lord continued as he was, and generously bestowed a handsome dowry on Ruralinda, who was soon after wedded to the young shepherd, that had so piteously bewailed the loss of her. The authority of Cupid was re-established, and Hymen ordered never more to appear in the village, unless Cupid introduced him.
TO A riUEND IN PHILADELPHIA.
Paris, March 16, 1789. I Leave this place to-morrow for London: I go expressly for the purpose of erecting an iron bridge, which Messrs. Walkers, of Rotheram, Yorkshire, and I have constructed, and is now ready for putting together. It is an arch of one hundred and ten feet span, and five feet high, from the chord line. It is as portable as common bars of iron, and can be
Eat up and taken down at pleasure, and is, in fact, rendering ridges a portable manufacture. With respect to the French revolution, be assured that every thing is going on right. Little inconvenieucies, the necessary consequences of pulling down and building up, may arise; but even these are much less than ought to have been expected. Our friend, the Marquis, is like his patron and master, General Washington, acting a great part. I take over with me to London the key of the Bastile, which the Marquis intrusts to my care as his present to General Washington, and which I shall send by the first American vessel to New York. It will be yet some months before the new Constitution will be completed, at which time there is to be a procession, and I am engaged to return to Paris to carry the American flag.
In England the ministerial party oppose every iota of reformation: the high beneficed clergy and bishops cry out that the church is in danger; and all those who were interested in the remains of the feudal system join in the clamour. I see very clearly that the conduct of the British government, by opposing reformation, will detach great numbers from the political interests of that country; and that France, though the influence of principles and the divine right of men to freedom, will have a stronger party in England than she ever had through the Jacobite bugbear of the divine right of kings in the Stuart line.
I wish most anxiously to see my much loved America. It is the country from whence all reformation must originally spring. I despair of seeing an abolition of the infernal traffic in negroes. We must push that matter further on your side of the water. I wish that a few well instructed could be sent among their brethren in bondage; for until they are enabled to take their own part, nothing will be done. I am,
With many wishes for your happiness,
TO SIR GEORGE STAUNTON, BART.
As I know you interest yourself in the success of the useful arts, and are a member of the society for the promotion thereof, I do myself the pleasure to send you an account of a small experiment I have been making at Messrs. Walker's' iron works at this place. You have already seen the model I constructed for a bridge of a single arch to be made of iron, and erected over the river Schuylkill, at Philadelphia; but as the dimensions may have escaped your recollections, I will begin with stating those particulars.
The vast quantities of ice and melted snow at the breaking up of the frost in that part of America, render it impracticable to erect two bridge on piers. The river can conveniently be contracted to four hundred feet, the model, therefore, is for an arch of four hundred feet span; the height of the arch in the centre, from the chord thereof, is to be about twenty feet, and to be brought off on the top, so as to make the ascent about one foot in eighteen or twenty.
The judgment of the Academy of Sciences at Paris has been given on the principles and practicability of the construction. The original, signed by the Academy, is in my possession ; and in which they fully approve and support the design. They introduce their opinion by saying,
"11 est sur que lors qu'on pense au projet d'une arche en fer de 400 pieds d'overture, et aux effets qui peuvent resulter d'une arche d'une si vaste etendue, il est difficile de ne pas 61ever des doutes sur le succes d'une pareille enterprise, par les difficulty qu'elle presente au premiere appercu. Mais si telle est la disposition des parties, et la maniere dont files sont reunis qu'il result de cet assemblage un tout tres ferme et tres solide, alors on n'aura plus les memes doutes sur la reussite de ce projet."*
* It is certain that when such a project as that of making an iron arch of four hundred feet span is thought of, and when we consider the effects resulting from an arch of such vast magnitude, it would be strange if doubts were not raised as to the success of
The Academy then proceed to state the reasons on which their judgment is founded, and conclude with saying,
"Nous concluons de tout ce que nous venons d'exposer que la pont de fer de M. Paine est ingenieusement imagine, que la construction en est simple, solide, et propre a lui donner la force necessaire pour resister aux effets resultans de sa charge, et qu'il merite qu'on en tente l'execution. Enfin, qu'il pourra fournira un nouvel exemple de I'application d'un metal dont on n'a pas jusqu' ici fait assez d'usage en grand, quoique dans nombre d'occasions il est peut etre employe avec plus grand succes."*
As it was my design to pass some time in England before I returned to America, I employed part of it in making the small essay I am now to inform you of.
My intention, when I came to the iron works, was to raise an arch of at least two hundred feet span, but as it was late in the fall of last year, the season was too far advanced to work out of doors, and an arch of that extent too great to be worked within doors, and as I was unwilling to lose time, I moderated my ambition with a little common sense, and began with such an arch as could be compassed within some of the buildings belonging to the works. As the construction of the American arch admits, in practice, of any species of curve with equal facility, I set oS in preference to all others, a catenarian arch of ninety feet span, and five feet high. Were this arch converted into an arch of a circle, the diameter of its circle would be four hundred and ten feet . From the ordinates of the arch taken from the wall where the arch was struck, I produced a similar arch on the floor whereon the work was to be fitted and framed, and there was something so apparently just when the work was set out, that the looking at it promised success.
such an enterprize, from the difficulties which at first sight present themselves. But if such be the disposition of the various parts, and the method of uniting them, that the collective body should present a whole both firm and solid, we should then no longer have the same doubts of the success of the plan.
* We conclude from what we have just remarked that Mr. Paine's Plan of an Iron Bridge is ingeniously imagined, that the construction of it is simple,solid, and proper to give it the necessary strength for resisting the effects resulting from its burden, and that it is deserving of a trial. In short, it may furnish a new example of the application of a metal which has not hitherto been used in any works on an extensive scale, although on many occasions it is employed with the greatest success.
You will recollect that the model is composed of four parallel arched ribs, and as the number of ribs may be increased at pleasure to any breadth an arch sufficient for a road-way may require, and the arches to any number the breadth of a river may require, the constructing of one rib would determine for the whole; because if one rib succeeded, all the rest of the work, to any extent, is a repetition.
In less time than I expected, and before the winter set in, I had fitted and framed the arch, or properly the rih, completely together on the floor; it was then taken in pieces and stowed away during the winter, in a corner of a workshop, used in the mean time by the carpenters, where it occupied so small a compass as to be hid among the shavings, and though the extent of it is ninety feet, the depth of the arch at the centre two feet nine inches, and the depth at the branches six feet, the whole of it might, when in pieces, be put in an ordinary stage waggon, and sent to any part of England.
I returned to the works in April, and began to prepare for erecting; we chose a situation between a steel furnace and a workshop, which served for butments. The distance between those buildings was about four feet more than the span of the arch, which we filled up with chumps of wood at each end. I mention this as I shall have occasion to refer to it hereafter.
We soon ran up a centre to turn the arch upon, and began our erections. Every part fitted to a mathematical exactness; the raising arm arch of this construction is different to the method of raising a stone arch. In a stone arch they begin at the bottom, on the extremities of the arch, and work upwards, meeting at the crown. In this we began at the crown, by a line perpendicular thereto, and worked downward each way. It differs likewise in another respect. A stone arch is raised by sections of the curve, each stone being so, and this by concentric curves. The effect likewise of the arch upon the centre is different, for as stone arches sometimes break down the centre by their weight, this, on the contrary, grew lighter on the centre as the arch increased in thickness, so much so, that before the arch was completely finished, it rose itself off the centre the full thickness of the blade of a knife from one butment to the other, and is, I suppose, the first arch of ninety feet span that ever struck itself.
I have already mentioned that the spaces between the ends of the arches and the abutments were filled up with