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by uprights fixed into the ground. It was sometimes carried along the faces of the most rocky eminences; sometimes it went under ground; and again it crossed the deepest ravines, where it was supported by scaffoldings 120 feet high. The skill and ingenuity which were displayed, and the difficulties which were surmounted, in this vast undertaking, gained a just tribute of admiration to the enterprising individual who projected and carried it through. Before the work could even be begun, it was necessary to cut down many thousand trees, to obtain a passage for the laborers through the impassable thickets; and M. Rupp was himself frequently obliged to descend the steepest precipices, suspended by ropes, at the imminent hazard of his life; and though he was attacked by a violent fever, yet his ardor was so great that he had himself conveyed every day, on a barrow, to the mountain, in order to superintend the operations of his workmen. The expense attending this undertaking was, according to one account, £9000 or £10,000; but according to another, only £4250. Before the trees were launched into the slide, some previous preparation was necessary, which consisted in lopping off the branches, and stripping them of the bark, that they might descend with the greater ease. Every thing being prepared, the tree was introduced into the trough, with the root foremost; and it descended with such velocity as to reach the lake in six minutes, a distance of about three leagues, or nine miles; but the largest trees performed the same distance in about three minutes. In order to prevent the accidents which might take place if the tree was let off before every thing was ready at the lower end, a regular telegraphic communication was established between the two extremities of the slide; and workmen were posted at regular distances of about a mile from each other, and so arranged that every station should be visible from the ones both above and below it. When the tree was launched, the workmen at the upper end hoisted their telegraph (which consisted of a board turning at its middle on a horizontal axle; the board, when placed upright, was visible from the two stations above and below it, but when it was turned horizontally, it was not perceptible from either); the same signal was repeated by all the rest in succession, so that the workmen at the lower end of the trough received intimation of the approach of the tree almost instantaneously.
rocks and crags, in pursuit of the chamois. It was from these bold adventurers that the first intelligence was derived concerning the size of the trees, and the extent of the forests, until a foreigner, who had visited their sequestered glades and gloomy recesses, in pursuit of the chamois, was struck with amazement at the sight, and pointed out to the attention of several Swiss gentlemen the vast extent and superior quality of the timber. The project of making use of these rich natural stores was, however, rejected as chimerical, by persons whose experience and skill made them competent to judge; and it was, consequently, abandoned. This attempt having failed, these immense and valuable forests would, in all probability, have been suffered to flourish and decay, without ever being applied to the use of man, if it had not been for the enterprising genius and the unwearied exertion of M. Rupp, a native of Wirtemberg, who, owing to some political changes which had taken place in his own country, had settled near the lake of Lucerne. His curiosity being strongly excited by the accounts he had heard of the forest, he was induced to visit it. He was so much struck by its wonderful appearance, that he entertained the idea of being able to convey the trees into the lake of Lucerne, solely by their own gravity. During his long residence in Switzerland, his character and talents were so much appreciated, that, with the assistance of three Swiss gentlemen, he soon formed a company from among the proprietors, with a joint stock, to enable them to purchase the forest, and to construct a road or slide, down which it was intended the trees should be precipitated in the lake of Lucerne, an arm of which washed the bottom of the mountain, from which they could be easily conveyed by the Rhine to any part of the German ocean. This stupendous undertaking was finished in 1816. The slide of Alpnach was composed of between 25,000 and 30,000 large pine trees, squared by the axe, and formed into a sort of trough, about six feet broad, and from three to six feet deep. In the bottom of the trough there was a groove for the reception of a small stream of water, let in over the side of the trough every now and then, in order to keep the whole structure moist, and thereby to diminish the excessive friction occasioned by the rapidity of the descent of the tree. The slide was sustained by cross timbers; and these cross timbers were themselves supported
In a few minutes, the tree came thundering past the men, and plunged into the lake. The lowest board was then turned down, which was followed immediately by all the rest; and thus the workmen at the top were informed of the safe descent of the tree. The same operation was repeated during the rest of the day; and it was so arranged that a tree should descend every five or six minutes. When the progress of the tree was impeded by any obstacle, or when it started out of the trough, the board was only half depressed; and as the workmen knew by this signal that something was wrong, those who occupied the stations above and below the place where the tree had struck, came and assisted in removing the obstruction, which was generally occasioned by the springing of a beam in the trough. In order to prove the enormous force which the trees acquired by the rapidity of their descent, M. Rupp caused some of them to spring from the trough. The result was, that they penetrated the earth by their thickest ends to the depth of eighteen and sometimes twenty-four feet; and one of them having accidentally come in contact with another, cleft it from top to bottom, with the violence and rapidity of lightning. In order that none of the small wood might be lost, M. Rupp constructed several extensive manufactories in different parts of the forest, for the purpose of reducing it to charcoal. He also built magazines for preserving it when made. The trees, after having reached the lake, were made up into rafts, and floated down the Reuss, by the Aar, into the Rhine. By this rapid conveyance, they generally arrived at Basle a few days after they had left Lucerne. At Basle they passed out of the hands of the company. They were still floated down the Rhine in rafts to Holland; and thus performed a journey of about 4000 miles, in less than a month from the time they left Pilatus, until they arrived at the German ocean. We are sorry to add, that this stupendous work of art is now totally destroyed, and that almost every trace of it is obliterated on mount Pilatus. The great demand which formerly existed for the timber having entirely ceased, owing to political causes, the cutting and transporting of the timber was necessarily discontinued, and the slide was suffered to go to ruin. (See Playfair's Works, vol. i, Appendix, No. 2, p. 89.)
SLOE. (See Plum.)
SMALLEY, John, doctor of divinity, an eminent Congregational clergyman of Connecticut, was born at Lebanon, in
that state, June 4, 1734. He took his degree at Yale college, in 1756, and, in 1758, was ordained pastor of the second society in Berlin, a situation which he retained until his death, June 1, 1820, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. In 1760, he published his Sermons on Natural and Moral Inability, which were soon after republished in England. A translation of them also was made, it is believed, in Germany. His other works are two Discourses on Universal Salvation; a Concio ad Clerum; an Election Sermon; and Sermons (in 2 vols., 8vo.).
SMALLWOOD, William, a governor of Maryland, served with great distinction in the revolutionary war. In 1776, he received the appointment of brigadiergeneral, and was present, with the brigade of Maryland troops under his command, at the battles on Long Island, near Camden, and at Germantown. In 1785, he was elected a delegate to congress, and, the same year, governor of the state. His death occurred in February, 1792.
SMEATON, John, an eminent civil engineer, was born May 28, 1724, at Austhorpe, near Leeds. The strength of his understanding and the originality of his genius appeared at an early age. His father was an attorney; and being desirous to bring up his son to the same profession, he carried him to London, in 1742, where he attended the courts in Westminster hall; but, after some time, finding that the law was not suited to his disposition, he wrote a strong memorial to his father on the subject, who immediately desired the young man to follow the bent of his inclination. In 1751, he began a course of experiments to try a machine of his own invention, to measure a ship's way at sea, and made two voyages, in company with doctor Knight, to try the effect of it, and also for the purpose of making experiments on a compass of his own construction, which was rendered magnetical by doctor Knight's artificial magnets. In 1753, he was elected a fellow of the royal society; and a number of papers which he published in their Transactions, show how highly he deserved the honor. In 1755, the Eddystone lighthouse was burnt down, and Mr. Smeaton being recommended to the proprietors of that building as an engineer in every way calculated to rebuild it, he undertook the work, which was completed in 1759, much to the satisfaction of the parties concerned. (See Light-House.) After this, Mr. Smeaton was employed on many works of great public utility. He made the river Calder navigable—a work
that required talents of the very first order, owing to the impetuous floods in that river; and planned and attended to the execution of the great canal in Scotland, for conveying the trade of the country either to the Atlantic or German ocean. Mr. Smeaton was appointed engineer to Ramsgate harbor, and brought it into a state of great utility by various operations, of which he published an account in 1791. He constructed a variety of mills, built a steam-engine at Austhorpe, and made a vast number of experiments with it to ascertain the power of Newcommen's engine (see Steam-Engine), which he improved and brought to a far greater degree of perfection, both in its construction and powers, than it had before. During many years of his life, he was a frequent attendant upon parliament, his opinion on various works, begun or projected, being continually called for. He died in 1792. He was fond of science for its own sake, and spent much of his leisure in the study of astronomy; for which purpose, he fitted up an observatory, in his house, furnished with curious contrivances of his own invention. He was a friend and encourager of merit wherever he discerned it; and many persons were indebted to him, for important assistance on entrance into life. Mr. Smeaton was the institutor, in 1771, of a society of civil engineers, which was dissolved at his death, but afterwards renewed. They published, in 1797, a volume of his Reports. (For his labors in constructing bridges, mills, harbors, engines, &c., see his Reports, in 3 vols., 4to.) Of his inventions and improvements of philosophical instruments, an idea may be formed from the list of his writings, which is inserted in Hutton's Dictionary.
SMEW. (See Merganser.)
SOLWAY Moss; a tract of land in Cumberland, celebrated for an eruption of a very remarkable kind, which is thus described by Mr. Gilpin :-"Solway moss is a flat area about seven miles in circumference. The substance of it is a gross fluid, composed of mud and the putrid fibres of heath, diluted by internal springs, which arise in every part. The surface is a dry crust, covered with moss and rushes, offering a fair appearance over an unsound bottom, shaking with the least pressure. Cattle, by instinct, know and avoid it. Where rushes grow, the bottom is soundest. The adventurous passenger, therefore, who sometimes, in dry seasons, traverses this perilous waste, to save a few miles, picks his cautious
way over the rushy tussocks as they appear before him. If his foot slips, or if he ventures to desert this mark of security, it is possible he may never more be heard of. On the south, Solway moss is bounded by a cultivated plain, which declines gently, through the space of a mile, to the river Esk. This plain is lower than the moss, being separated from it by a breastwork formed by digging peat, which makes an irregular, though perpendicular line of low, black boundary. It was the bursting of the moss through this peat breastwork, over the plains between it and the Esk, that occasioned the dreadful inundations that destroyed so large a district. The more remarkable circumstances relating to this calamitous event, were these: On the thirteenth of November, 1771, in a dark, tempestuous night,* the inhabitants of the plain were alarmed with a dreadful crash, which they could no way account for: many of them were then in the fields, watching their cattle, lest the Esk, which was then rising violently in the storm, should carry them off. In the mean time, the enormous mass of fluid substance, which had burst from the moss, moved slowly on, spreading itself more and more as it got possess.on of the plain. Some of the inhabitants, through the terror of the night, could plainly discover it advancing like a moving hill. This was, in fact, the case; for the gush of mud carried before it, through the first two or three hundred yards of its course, a part of the breastwork, which, though low, was yet several feet in perpendicular height; but it soon deposited this solid mass, and became a heavy fluid. One house after another it spread round, filled, and crushed into ruins, just giving time to the terrified inhabitants to escape. Scarcely any thing was saved except their lives; nothing of their furniture, few of their cattle. Some people were even surprised in their beds, and had the additional distress of flying naked from the ruins. The morning light explained the cause of this amazing scene of terror, and showed the calamity in its full extent; and yet, among all the conjectures of that dreadful night, the mischief that really happened had never been supposed. Lands which, in the evening, would have let for twenty shillings an acre, in the morning were not worth sixpence. On this well-cultivated plain, twenty-eight families had their dwellings and little farms, every one of which, except, perhaps, a few who lived
*Three days' rain, of unusual violence, preceded the eruption.
near the skirts of it, had the world totally to begin again. Who could have imagined that a breast work which had stood for ages should at length give way? or that these subterraneous floods, which had been bedded in darkness since the memory of man, should ever have burst from their black abode? This dreadful inundation, though the first shock of it was most tremendous, continued still spreading for many weeks, till it covered the whole plain, an area of 500 acres, and, like molten lead poured into a mould, filled all the hollows of it, lying, in some parts, thirty or forty feet deep, reducing the whole to one level surface." (Gilpin's Observations on the Mountains and Lakes of Cumberland.)—In order to clear the arable and pasture land of this accumulation of moss, Mr. Wilson, from Yorkshire, adopted a very ingenious plan. He formed, in the higher grounds, two large reservoirs, which he filled with water, the whole force of which he directed against a large knoll in front of Netherby house, and afterwards against the accumulated masses, which he succeeded in washing away into the channel of the Esk. Doctor Graham, of Netherby, had sent for a person to survey the ground, and estimate the expense of removing the moss in the ordinary way. The estimate was £1300; but while the matter was under consideration, Wilson suggested that it might be done cheaper; and by the method which we have mentioned, he effected it for less than £20.-Another account of the eruption of this moss, by Mr. J. Walker, of Moffat, will be found in the Philosophical Transactions for 1772, vol. lxii, p. 123. According to Mr. Walker, the mossy ridge was reduced no less than twenty-five feet; but what is not easily explained, he makes the eruption take place on the sixteenth of December, 1772, whereas Gilpin places it on the thirteenth of November, 1771. Mr. Walker mentions the remarkable case of a cow, the only one, out of eight in the same byre, that was saved. It had stood sixty hours up to the neck in mud and water; and when it was taken out, it did not refuse to eat, but it would not taste water, nor even look at it, without manifest signs of horror. It was soon, however, reconciled to it, and was then likely to recover.
SORBETTO. (See Sherbet.) SPANISH BLACK. (See Oak.) SPASM (from σnaw, to draw); a cramp, or convulsion. An involuntary contraction of the muscular fibres, or that state of the contraction of muscles which is not spontaneously disposed to alternate
with relaxation, is properly termed spasm. When the contractions alternate with relaxation, and are frequently and preternaturally repeated, they are called convul sions. Spasms are distinguished by authors into clonic and tonic spasms. In clonic spasms, which are the true convulsions, the contractions and relaxations are alternate, as in epilepsy; but in tonic spasms, the member remains rigid, as in locked jaw. (See Convulsion, and Tetanus.)
SPASMODIC CHOLERA. (See Cholera, in this Appendix.)
SPECTRES. (See Visions.)
SPINNING FRAME. (See Cotton Manufacture.)
SPIRITS. (See Visions.)
SPURZHEIM, Gaspard. Since the publication of the eleventh volume, which contained an imperfect notice of this distinguished man, he has visited this country, and paid the great debt of nature in the midst of us. He arrived in the U. States in August, 1832, with the intention of remaining about two years in the country, lecturing in the principal towns, and visiting the different tribes of Indians within our territory. He began his lectures in Boston, where he delivered one course on the anatomy of the brain, designed principally for medical men. He had nearly, likewise, completed two popular courses of lectures on phrenology, one in Cambridge, and the other in Boston, when death interrupted his labors, Nov. 10, 1832. From the beginning of his popular course in Boston, the number of his hearers continually increased, and, towards the latter part of the time, had become so great that it was found necessary to change the room in which they were commenced for a larger hall. Doctor Spurzheim had, during his short residence in Boston, won the affection of a large number of his hearers, by the urbanity and gentleness of his manners. and the benevolence and enlarged philanthropy of his sentiments and disposition, while his elevated morality and scientific acquirements commanded the general respect. His funeral obsequies were, therefore, solemnized in one of the churches of that city; and a eulogy was pronounced over his remains by professor Follen, of Harvard university. His body, which had been embalmed, was deposited in such a situation that it might be transmitted to his friends in Europe, if desired, with the intention that it should
otherwise be permanently entombed at Mount Auburn, and that a monument should be erected over it at the public expense. The following works of doctor Spurzheim have been republished in Boston:-Phrenology, or the Doctrine of the Mental Phenomena (2 vols.); Outlines of Phrenology; Elementary Principles of Education; and Philosophical Catechism of the Natural Laws of Man. From doctor Follen's Funeral Oration (published in Boston, in 1832) we extract the following additional notices of doctor Spurzheim's life:-He was the son of a farmer, and received his classical education at the college of Treves, being destined, by his friends, for the profession of theology. In consequence of the war, in 1795, the students of that college were dispersed, and Spurzheim went to Vienna. Here he devoted himself to the study of medicine, and became the pupil, and afterwards the associate, of doctor Gall, who was at that time established as a physician at Vienna. (See our articles Gall, and Phrenology, in the body of the work.) It was here, in 1800, that Spurzheim first attended a private course which doctor Gall had repeated from time to time, during the four preceding years, in order to explain, to a select audience, his new theory of the organs and functions of the brain. The dissection of the brain itself still remained very imperfect until 1804, when Spurzheim became his associate, and undertook especially the anatomical department. From that time, in their public as well as in private demonstration of the brain, Spurzheim always made the dissections, and Gall explained them to the audience. The great interest excited by these lectures in Vienna, and throughout Germany, roused the fears of that inveterate enemy of all innovations, the government of Austria. An imperial decree, which prohibited all private lectures unless by special permission, silenced the two teachers, and induced them, in 1805, to quit Vienna. They travelled together through Germany, explaining and demonstrating their physiological discoveries in the principal universities and cities, particularly in Berlin, Dresden, Halle and Munich. Their anatomical demonstrations excited, every where, great interest and applause. The peculiar physiological doctrine on the organization of the brain being adapted to various innate qualities of the mind, found many opposers, but also some warm adherents, and gave rise to a great number of publications, in which the subject was discussed. In the year 1807, Gall
and Spurzheim went to Paris, where they demonstrated their theory of the brain, in the presence of Cuvier, and before many other distinguished men. Cuvier, at first, expressed his approbation of the general features of the new doctrine, but, in a report to the institute on the subject, in 1808, spoke of it with less favor. In Paris, they published their great work on the Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System (1810), and continued to lecture and labor together till 1813, when Spurzheim went to England, and began to lecture in London. Mr. Abernethy acknowledged the superiority of his anatomical demonstration over the previous mode of dissecting the brain. After lecturing in several cities of England and Ireland, doctor Spurzheim went to Edinburgh, where he was particularly desirous of exhibiting his demonstrations and explaining his doctrines, in consequence of the appearance of an abusive article on phrenology, in the Edinburgh Review (June, 1815). During the three years which he spent in England, he published several of his works on phrenology, among which was one under the title of the Physiognomical System. In 1817, he returned to Paris, where he gave lectures on the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the brain, and also devoted himself to the practice of medicine; and, in 1821, became doctor of medicine of the university of Paris. In 1825, he again visited England, where he lectured to crowded audiences; and, in 1828, once more returned to Paris. There he again renewed his lectures; and he remained there till his visit to this country.
STARS, FIXED. (See Fixed Stars.) STEENWYCK. (See Stenwyck.) STIRRUP. The ancients were acquainted with the use of this convenient article of equestrian costume, the emperor Mauritius, who flourished towards the end of the sixth century, being the first writer who makes mention of it, in his Treatise on the Military Art. The Roman youth were accustomed to leap upon their horses sword or lance in hand. A jasper, explained by Winckelmann; a basso-rilievo, engraved by Roccheggiani; and the painting of a Greek vase, published in Millin's Recueil de Monumens, all exhibit warriors mounting on horseback by the help of a cramp-iron attached to the pike or lance. Distinguished persons and old men had servants to place them on their horses, and conquered sovereigns were often compelled to perform this office for their vanquishers. Caius Grac