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LTHOUGH thesubject has in this series and useful in itself, but a necessity for the life of
been accidentally jostled ont of its men upon the earth. No philosophical speculation proper place, springs cannot with pro- can rob me of the conviction based on these facts,
priety be omitted in any sketch of this that a Being wise enough to conceive a universe, world as a habitation prepared for men ; for they and strong enough to create it, meant in his love constitute a link of the great circular chain which to produce this result, and took measures in his keeps the cosmical machinery in motion. The wisdom fitted to obtain it. Neither myself nor any springs supply the rivers, and the rivers supply other man is able to pluck that conviction from the sea, and the sea supplies the clouds, and the my mind and heart. The philosophy which clouds supply the springs.
proposes to accomplish this must perform the Although we can trace, with a considerable miracle which it declares impossible,—that is, degree of precision, the instrumental and second- it must make me a new creature
ma creature other ary causes of springs, these facts in the foreground than I now am. should not conceal from view the evidence of If one who had no personal experience of the beneficent design which lies behind them. We world's surface should learn from others the main know that the clouds are attracted to the moun- facts that emerge in the evolutions of nature, and tain-tops,—that the mountains are composed of the main laws by which they are regulated ; and strata, not horizontal, but occupying all possible if then he were asked to give his opinion of the positions between the horizontal and perpen- ordinary site of springs, he would certainly dicular,—that in the commotions in which the answer, that they would be found in the bottom mountains were upheaved, cavities of various sizes of the valleys. The contrary is the fact. While and shapes were left in the interior,—and that springs may be found in the lowest places of a the rain-water, percolating through the seams into continent, they are found chiefly on its mountain some capacious subterranean cavern, overflows by ranges. Of course any one can perceive that the most convenient openings as springs on the springs are far more useful when they flow from earth's surface for the refreshing of a neighbour-the ground on the shoulder of the mountain, hood. But behind all these facts a question rises, than if they were situated in the plain ; but How came all these separate laws and tendencies, certainly the system that is least useful is the in earth and sea and air, to conspire together for system that, without information as to the facts, the production of the beautiful and beneficent phe- we should have been led to expect. That which nomena of water-springs? By chance ? You may is at once eminently improbable, and eminently as well try to persuade me that a man's garments precious, is precisely the thing that happens. If contrived to come from a sheep's back and fit them- we recognize the Maker and the Ruler of the selves to his body of their own accord. In the world, we shall meet here a delightful evidence union and co-operation of the physical causes of his presence
and power. that go to produce a spring, I see a far-reaching Although we may know, without risk of serioas combination of means successfully employed to mistake, the natural history of springs, in a rough produce a result which is not only picturesque and general outline, we are very much at sea
regarding details, because we have no opportunity are much prized, because the water is cool in of examining particular cases. The interior
But when the source of the spring lies mechanism of a well is a somewhat mysterious in greater depths, the water is affected by the affair. Those that are intermittent, especially if internal heat of the globe, and issues at a temperatheir intervals are proportional and regular, have ture which, except in volcanic regions, varies with attracted a good deal of attention ; and the pheno- | the depth. On this principle, the depth of the menon has, by the supposition of a naturally spring may be estimated by the warmth of its constructed syphon, been satisfactorily explained. water. The artesian well at Grenelle, in the But it is in some respects more difficult to account neighbourhood of Paris, has been bored to a depth for those that are not intermittent. A spring of nearly 1800 feet. It throws up 516 gallons that flows all the year round, without change of per minute to a height of 32 feet, and at a temvolume, in a region that is subject to periodic or perature of 81°. Now that the strata of the occasional droughts, presents a problem of con- earth's crust can be examined and ascertained by siderable complexity. One would like to see a geological methods, the number and uses of section, not from fancy but by photograph, of the artesian
artesian wells may be indefinitely extended. whole system- from the disappearance of the Efforts made in recent times by the French rain on an elevated surface, to the modest bub-Government in Algeria open up prospects of bling up of the pure water from the rocky ground regeneration for the most barren regions of the on the wayside, where the weary traveller bends earth. The artesian well seems capable of conhis knee to drink. At some part of the interior verting the Sahara into a fruitful field. At the concatenation of cavities, the water must stand first attempt their engineers, by a few weeks' at certain seasons much higher than the orifice of labour, produced a spring that constituted a little exit, in order to provide a constant outflow river. Already groups of natives have settled during a period of drought. But in that case, around these new-born streams, and, abandoning what becomes of the great pressure, and why does their nomadic habits, have betaken themselves to it not in flood seasons force another passage the cultivation of the irrigated soil. This is one of through another seam? I am groping in the dark. the most beautiful applications of science to the I am writing on a subject which I do not under- utilization of the earth. As man advances in knowstand; and I doubt whether anybody is able to ledge, he advances in power to occupy and enjoy teach me. The way of the water as it sinks into the rich inheritance which the Creator has prothe earth's crust at one place, and breaks forth vided for him. This planet has manifestly been from it at another, is more secret than that of a planned and constructed in all its qualities and serpent on a rock, or a bird in the air. The relations as a residence for man ; and man, with passages are too narrow : no philosopher is small his capacity for gradual advances in the knowenough to creep through and note the pheno- ledge of nature, has manifestly been conceived mena for the information of the curious.
and created, both in mental and bodily constiThe only thing that one can thoroughly compre- tution, to be the occupier of such a world. hend and firmly grasp is the final cause. Instru- A few years ago I spent some days in solimental and efficient causes are partly concealed, tude among the gay crowds of Baden-Baden. As and partly ascertained; but the loving purpose and I sauntered out and in, weary in spirit, and somethe beneficent result are manifest. He may run what faint physically in the heat, I was wont to who reads in the motions of the bubbling well an drink freely at a cool spring that flowed from anthem to our Father in heaven.
an artificial spout shaded by trees, at one extremity When the source of a spring is very near the of the broad street near the hotel. Passing one surface the temperature of the water varies with day across the middle of that street, instead of the seasons; when it is a little deeper, the changes its lower end as I was wont, I saw a stream flowof the atmosphere take no effect on it, and con- ing in the same form from a spout of the same sequently it maintains a uniform temperature dimensions,—the two, indeed, in all things seemthroughout the year. These wells accordingly ing to be a pair. Thinking this was only another
branch of the same spring that had so often hamlet in the lowlands of Perthshire, a well on refreshed me, I stretched out my hand, rather the side-walk nearly opposite the school-house suplistlessly and sleepily, to get it bathed in the cool plied the wants of the few permanent inhabitants, ing stream. On coming in contact with the water, and the more numerous juvenile population that my
hand was smartly scalded. I drew it back flocked into the capital by day for the sake of the with more vigour than I had stretched it out, learning that it supplied. The well, which was and I suspect a slight scream escaped me at the covered by rude slabs of red sandstone, seemed moment. I soon perceived that it was a hot very dark and deep when we knelt down and spring. I made no inquiry as to the exact tem- peeped through the joints of the covering on a perature of the water ; but it was so hot that I sunny day, and saw a shimmer of light on the was unable to hold my hand on the metallic pipe surface of the water. The pump-handle was through which it flowed. While I was meditating busily plied during the mid-day hour of school on my discovery, a thin little old woman ap- vacation, and we clustered round the spout like proached, and quietly filled her pitcher at the bees about their hive. Sometimes the thirst was spout; here is a boon to the poor,-they obtain genuine; and sometimes it was feigned, that the warm water in any quantity without fires. Ad-larger boys might throw handfuls of the pure dressing the little woman, I inquired, “Does the element over the heads of the smaller fry, and water from this well flow always hot?” “Always enjoy a laugh to see them scampering away as if hot," answered the little woman, echoing my attempting to escape from a shower of grape-shot. last words, without looking up or taking the least In some exceptionally warm seasons, however, interest in the question.
the pump ran dry, and then the people were ex. “Ever hot,”—the words returned, and remained posed to some straits. One perennial spring came
I was arrested and absorbed. My to the surface at no great distance from the village; informant had never known any cooling of but its site was on the property of a neighbouring the temperature, or any diminution of the flow. laird, who was not always on kindly terms with From generation to generation the inhabitants the villagers. It happened one summer, when the had obtained hot water from this spring, and still well in the village was exhausted, that the laird it flows, unwearied, unchanged. And yet the was in bad humour over some act of trespass or present order of the world is not eternal. Pro- breach of the game-laws; and at the very time bably the stream is cooling, although no change when the poor people were deprived of their emay be perceptible during the few centuries that dinary supply, he erected a post on the edge of have passed since such phenomena began to be in his spring, with a painted inscription intimating telligently observed. How deep in the earth's crust that all approach was forbidden, and that treshangs the kettle that supplies the town of Baden passers would be prosecuted without mercy. The with hot water, and what sort of a fire is it that villagers were thrown into amazement. burns so steadily beneath it? Well may the exte- women went along the foot-path with their rior strata of the globe be called a crust, although pitchers, looked up and read the terrible threatthe word is ominous. A very little way beneath, ening, and returned with their vessels empty. as well as above, the surface of the earth, the A council of the men was summoned in the conditions of vegetable or animal life do not evening to consider what should be done in this exist. It is only on a very thin belt along the dire extremity. The schoolmaster could give surface that any creature can live. A little higher advice; the publican was at his wits' end; the than our position it is too cold, and a little lower, skill of the carpenter was of no avail. At length it is too hot. Here another evidence emerges, a labourer, hair grizzled and thin, legs twisted that a wise and kind Father has arranged for with rheumatism like oaken boughs, lower visage benevolent purposes the relations of the material much marred by pinches of snuff aimed at the world.
nostrils at intervals during the day, but missing When I went first to school, at five years of for the most part, and adhering in patches to the age, in Forgandenny, a small but very beautiful skin, announced that he knew a plan that would
prove adequate to the emergency. The eye of a slight intermixture of triumph over a fallen Willie Roughbrow twinkled and flashed that foe. moment with a mixture of childlike mirth, and The event did not happen in my time. It bemanly self-reliance. He shouldered a mattock, longed to the preceding generation; but I learned and counselled his compeers to snatch every man it from the lips of contemporaries, if not actual his weapon and follow to the spot. They obeyed eye-witness of the fact. implicitly; for all the village had secretly come This incident has frequently recurred to my to know, although none confessed as much articu- memory since; and it persistently presents itself lately, that Willie's head, notwithstanding the as a typical act. Its meaning is not exhausted by shagginess of his exterior, was longer by half than one application. These things are an allegory, any other cranium in the whole parish. Led by these things that happened under the lead of old the redoubtable Willie, the extemporized gang of Willie Roughbrow in Forgandenny two generanavvies, appropriately armed, soon arrived on the tions ago.
tions ago. The parable is meant for the instrucscene of action. A small ravine, water-course in tion of working-men. The laird's well is the public. winter, but dry in summer, separated the laird's house. If the working-men go there to drink, property from the land belonging to another owner they will suffer very heavy penalties. Multitudes on which the hamlet stood ; and the well with of them do go there to drink; fines, imprisonment, its green fringe appeared temptingly a few yards and ruin are the consequence.
A word in your distant on the further slope. Fixing on a spot on ear, ye working-men of Britain, now while the their own side, exactly opposite the rival pro- ball is at your feet, and you have a good opporprietor's well, but a little lower, Willie directed tunity of improving your position. Desert the all hands to fall in and dig. In half an hour, laird's well; and not only so, dig within your own although they met rock very near the surface, borders. Break ground at the savings-bank, they had sunk their shaft to a depth of two or right opposite the adversary; persevere a few three feet, and to their great delight discovered a weeks. You will find water; and the water you stream of water oozing from the stratified sand find there will be all your own. More still: when stone—“Hold on, lads," cried Willie in much ex- a number of the men in any neighbourhood dig ultation, “another foot down to make all sure; on their own side, and get water, the laird's well never mind though your feet get wet.” Down will run dry,—the public-house must close its they went, and the water flowed abundant. Now doors, and seek occupation elsewhere. the men paused and wiped their brows and ex- Another incident of the same date in connection changed congratulations over their success. Mean- with a well in Strathearn, authentic down to the time Willie, as behoved the engineer-in-chief of minutest details, although these fifty years it has the work, took advantage of the pause to recon
had no other record than my memory, may be noitre in the neighbourhood. Looking stealthily hung up here as a companion picture. I received up to the painted board, denouncing in large well-it as in the former case from trustworthy conformed letters the last penalties of the law against temporaries and intimates of the actors in the transgressors, Willie took courage, notwithstanding, to scramble up the steep on the opposite About a hundred years since, a well belonging side to examine the condition of the spring, which to a proprietor in the parish of Dunbarney behitherto had never been known to fail. Perched came silted up by sand oozing gradually through on the lip of the rival reser
servoir, and with a look the seams of the mason- 2-work, and refused to of indescribable glee, the triumphant Willie ex- supply the laird's family any longer with the claimed across the miniature chasm to his com
necessary element of life. The farm-labourers panions, "Ho, lads; the laird's well is dry !" were called together, and without any skilful The villagers had struck the vein which supplied superintendence proceeded with the operation of the other spring, and intercepted its supply for clearing out the sand from the bottom of the themselves. There was great rejoicing in the well. One man, let down by a rope, filled sucvillage that night; with, it must be confessed, cessively the buckets, which others on the surface
drew up. Desiring to do the work thoroughly, so desist from their attempt at a rescue,—for he that it should not be necessary to repeat the heard them already beginning to dig their way operation for a long time, they continued to scoop down. He had calculated how long it would out the sand under the foundation of the mason- require by their utmost efforts to reach the spot, work, deeper than the original bottom of the shaft. and satisfied himself that by the time they reached As a matter of course-although the unskilful it they would find only the cold clay; believing labourers could not foresee the consequence of their labour therefore to be labour lost, be retheir action—the stones, deprived of their founda- quested them to give up the digging, and betake tion, suddenly collapsed. As the opposite seg- themselves to prayer in his behalf. It would ments of the circular wall fell at the same instant comfort bim to know that their prayers were inward upon each other, they accidentally arched ascending with his own for a peaceful departure themselves rudely but substantially over the head and an abundant entrance. But his brothers of the poor prisoner. To the surprise of all on above ground, warm-hearted, strong-armed Scotthe surface, who believed that their companion tish men, disregarded, -most lovingly and rightly must have been instantly crushed to death, they disregarded his injunctions, and continued to dig heard his voice distinctly rising through the as they had never dug before, each man striving loosely compacted stones, intimating that as yet as for his own life. The progress made by he was unburt. The arch was formed so low such men in such circumstances was more rapid that he could not stand altogether upright; but than any calculation could have anticipated in a bent posture he was perfectly free, and there Keeping all their breath for the work, the diggers was no lack of fresh air. After considering his said little but toiled much. After a short time position and prospects for a few minutes, the the prisoner perceived that the sound of their prisoner announced to his distracted friends that tools was becoming clearer-nearer. As yet the the water was rising, and that as his head was water had not reached his face, and it seemed to bent down, he must be drowned long before rise now more slowly. Hope of life came back they could take any effective measures for his to his heart, like the dawn of day. Now in the relief. This man had been in no way dis- altered circumstances, with the same simplicity tinguished from his neighbours ; in ordinary and gravity as before, he sent up a codicil to his circumstances he seemed only an ordinary man; former instructions, which, like some other but in extremities he emerged both a Christian codicils, was substantially equivalent to a new and a hero. Reasoning calmly on the facts as will. “There is now some hope," he said, " that far as he knew them, he concluded that his days, you may reach me in time; therefore, men, you his hours, were numbered. He believed that
may all dig, except John Robertson ; let hiu in an hour or less the water would take away his pray.” John Robertson was aged and feeble : breath, and his spirit would be called to the final | he could do very little with his spade now;
bat account. The last messenger, when very near, all the neighbourhood knew that he was great did not seem very terrible to this simple Scottish in prayer. It was a naïve example of that grec: peasant. He was indeed in the valley of the instrument of modern progress,—the division of shadow of death; but the old, old song sprang to labour. his memory, and he could make it all his own : The rescue was accomplished ; and bright sun“I will not fear, for Thou art with me." shine burst out again on that portion of the
Having made up his own mind on the whole case, beautiful Strath, over which a lurid thunderhe directed his friends in an unfaltering voice to cloud had lately hung.