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1 The specific gravity of sea water varies from 1ċ0269 to 1ċ0285. The saline contents of the water of the English Channel are stated to be 27 grs. in 1000. Turner's Chem. p. 1289, 1290.
2 The modern names of the rivers and lakes here mentioned are the Liris, communicating with the Lago di Celano; the Adda, with the Lago di Como; the Ticino, with the Lago Maggiore; the Mincio, with the Lago di Guarda; the Oglio, with the Lago di Sero; and the Rhone with the Lake of Geneva. There may be some foundation for the alleged fact, because the specific gravity and the temperature of the lake may differ a little from that of the river which passes through it.
3 According to Brotier, "fons ille olim nobilissimus, nunc ignobile est lavacrum, cujus aqua marino sapore inficitur." He conceives that there is no actual foundation for this so frequently repeated story; and conjectures that it originated from the similitude of the names, the fountain in Sicily and the river in the Peloponnesus being both named Alpheus. He goes on to mention some examples of springs of fresh water rising up on the sea-coast; Lemaire, i. 438. The allusion to the fountain of Arethusa, by Virgil, in the commencement of the 10th eclogue, is well known to all classical scholars. The lines of Virgil have been elegantly imitated by Voltaire, in the Henriade, ix. 269, 270.
4 This is mentioned by Ovid, Met. xv. 273, 274.
5 This is again referred to by our author, vi. 31; also by Strabo, and by Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 26.
7 The river here referred to is the Tanager, the modern Rio Negro. See the remarks of Hardouin and Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 439.
8 From a note in Pomsinet, i. 302, we learn that there has been some doubt respecting the locality of this river. It is mentioned by Virgil, Æn. i. 244, and it forms the subject of Heyne's 7th Excursus, ii. 124 et seq. Virgil also speaks of the Timavus, Ec. viii. 6; and Heyne, in a note, gives the following description of it: "Timavus in ora Adriæ, non longe ab Aquileia fluvius ex terra novem fontibus seu capitibus progressus, brevi cursu, in unum alveum collectus, lato altoque flumine in mare exit." i. 127, 128.
9 This remark is not to be taken in its full extent; the water of these lakes contains a large quantity of saline and other substances dissolved in it, and, consequently, has its specific gravity so much increased, that various substances float on it which sink in pure water.
10 According to Hardouin, this is now called the Lake of Andoria, near the town of Casalnuovo; Lemaire, i. 439. Poinsinet calls it Anduria, i. 303.
11 The petrifying quality of this river is referred to by Ovid, Met. xv. 313, 314; Seneca quotes these lines when treating on this subject, Nat. Quæst. iii. 20.
12 Aristotle, Strabo, and Silius Italicus, viii. 582, 583, refer to this property of the Silarus; but, according to Brotier, it does not appear to be known to the present inhabitants of the district through which it flows. Lemaire, i. 440.
13 In a subsequent part of the work, xxxi. 8, our author remarks, "Reatinis tantum paludibus ungulas jumentorum indurari." We may presume that the water contained some saline, earthy or metallic substance, either in solution, or in a state of minute division, which would produce these effects. It does not appear that anything of this kind has been observed by the moderns in this water.
14 The coral beds with which the Red Sea abounds may have given rise to this opinion: see the remarks of Alexandre in loco. Hardouin informs us, that this clause respecting the Red Sea is not found in any of the MSS. Lemaire, i. 441. A similar observation occurs in a subsequent part of the work, xiii. 48.
15 There are thermal springs in the Alpine valleys, but not any in the elevated parts of the Alps themselves.
16 The volcanic nature of a large portion of the south of Italy and the neighbouring islands may be regarded as the cause of the warm springs which are found there.
17 This river may be supposed to have been principally supplied by melted snow; it would appear to be colder, because its temperature would be less elevated than the other streams in the neighbourhood.
18 The statement, if correct, may be referred to the discharge of a quantity of inflammable gas from the surface of the water. The fact is men- tioned by Lucretius, vi. 879, 880, and by Mela.
19 "Quasi alternis requiescens, ac meridians: diem diffindens, ut Varro loquitur, insititia quiete." Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 443. He says that there is a similar kind of fountain in Provence, called Collis Martiensis.
20 There has been considerable difference of opinion among the commentators, both as to the reading of the text and its interpretation, for which I shall refer to the notes of Poinsinet, i. 307, of Hardouin and Alexandre, Lemaire, i. 443, and of Richelet, Ajasson, ii. 402.
21 We have an account of the Troglodytsæ in a subsequent part of the work, v. 5. The name is generally applied by the ancients to a tribe of people inhabiting a portion of Æthiopia, and is derived from the circumstance of their dwellings being composed of caverns; a τρωγλὴ and δύνω. Alexandre remarks, that the name was occasionally applied to other tribes, whose habitations were of the same kind; Lemaire, i. 443. They are referred to by Q. Curtius as a tribe of the Æthiopians, situated to the south of Egypt and extending to the Red Sea, iv. 7.
22 Q. Curtius gives nearly the same account of this fountain.
23 The Po derives its water from the torrents of the Alps, and is therefore much affected by the melting of the snow or the great falls of rain, which occur at different seasons of the year; but the daily diminution of the water, as stated by our author, is without foundation.
24 "Fontem ibi intermittentem frustra qusæsivit cl. Le Chevalier, Voyage de la Troade, t. i. p. 219." Lemaire, i. 444.
25 Strabo, in allusion to this circumstance, remarks, that some persons make it still more wonderful, by supposing that this spring is connected with the Nile. We learn from Tournefort, that there is a well of this name in Delos, which he found to contain considerably more water in January and February than in October, and which is supposed to be connected with the Nile or the Jordan: this, of course, he regards as an idle tale. Lemaire.
26 Hardouin informs us, that these warm springs are called "i bagni di Monte Falcone," or "di S. Antonio." They are situate so very near the sea, that we may suppose some communication to exist, which may produce the alleged effect. Lemaire.
27 According to Hardouin this is the modern Torre di Pitino; he conceives that the river here mentioned must be the Vomanus. The effect here described is, to a certain extent, always the case with rivers which proceed from mountains that are covered with snow. Lemaire, i. 445.
28 Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 25, makes the same remark: the fact would seem to be, that in certain districts the cattle are found to be for the most part white, and in other places black; but we have no reason to suppose that their colour has any connexion with the water which they employ.
29 This is asserted by Aristotle, Hist. Anim. iii. 12. We have a similar statement made by Ælian respecting the Scamander; viii. 21.
30 "Annonæ mutationem significans."
31 The peculiar nature of the water of the Lyncestis is referred to by many of the ancients: we may suppose that it was strongly impregnated with carbonic acid gas. See Ovid, Met. xv. 329–331; also Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 3, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. iii. 20.
32 Vitruvius and Athenæus.
33 Calenum was a town in Campania; this peculiar property of its water is referred to by Val. Maximus, i. 8, 18.
34 Literally, Jovis cultus; as interpreted by Hardouin, "tanquam si dixeris, divinum Jovis munus hunc fontem esse." Lemaire, i. 447.
35 Seneca affirms its poisonous nature; Nat. Quæst. iii. 25. Q. Curtius refers to a spring in Macedonia of the same name, "quo pestiferum virus emanat." x. 10.
36 There appears to be some uncertainty respecting the locality of this district; see the remarks of Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 447.
37 "Hunc fontem describit eximie Plinius jun. lib. iv. epist. ult. Est ad orientalem Larii lacus plagam, Lago di Como, x mill. pass. a Como." Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 448.
38 Our author, in a subsequent passage, v. 39, speaks of Cydonea, "cum fonte calido."
40 Tacitus gives an account of this oracle as having been visited by Germanicus; Ann. ii. 54.
41 Our author refers to this history in the First book of the present work.
42 "Comparatos scilicet cum aëris externi temperie." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 448.
43 Thin leaves or films of metal have little affinity for water, and have, generally, bubbles of air attached to them; so that, when placed upon the water, the fluid is prevented from adhering to them, and thus they remain on the surface.
44 Depending not upon their absolute, but their specific gravity.
45 Being partly supported by the water.
46 The stone may have floated in consequence of its being full of pores: these are more quickly filled with water when it is broken into small pieces. It was probably of the nature of pumice or some other volcanic product.
47 This is well known to depend upon the commencement of the decomposition of some part of the viscera, by which there is an evolution of gaseous matter.
48 This is an erroneous statement; it is not easy to ascertain what was the source of the error.
49 Rain, as it falls from the clouds, is nearly pure; and rivers, or receptacles of any kind, that are supplied by it, are considerably more free from saline impregnations than the generality of springs.
50 This statement is altogether incorrect.
51 When salt water freezes, it is disengaged from the saline matter which it previously held in solution; a greater degree of cold is therefore required to overcome the attraction of the water for the salt, and to form the ice, than when pure water is congealed.
52 "Celerius accendi." We can scarcely suppose that by this term our author intended to express the actual burning or inflaming of the water, which is its literal and ordinary meaning. This, however, would appear to be the opinion of Hardouin and Alexandre; Lemaire, i. 449. Holland translates it, "made hot and set a-seething," i. 46; Poinsinet, "s'éhauffe le plus vîte," i. 313; and Ajasson, "plus prompte à s'échauffer," ii. 217.
53 The temperature of the ocean, in consequence of its great mass and the easy diffusion and mixture of its various parts, may be conceived to be longer in becoming raised or depressed than any particular portion of the land, where contemporary observations may be made.
54 The evaporation that is going on during the heats of summer, and the heavy rains which in many countries fall during the autumn, may produce the effects here described, in confined seas or inlets.
55 The statement is true to a certain extent, as is proved by the well-known experiments of Franklin and others; but the degree of the effect is considerably exaggerated. See the observations of Hardouin, Brotier, and Alexandre; Lemaire, i. 450, 451.
56 In the Mediterranean the warm vapours rising from the water and its shores may melt the snow as it descends; but this is not the case in the parts of the main ocean which approach either to the Arctic or the Antarctic regions.
57 The theory of springs is well understood, as depending upon the water tending to rise to its original level, so as to produce an equilibrium of pressure.
58 When we consider the great extent of the base of Ætna, and that the crater is in the form of an inverted cone, we shall perceive that there is ample space for the existence of springs in the lower part of the mountain, without their coming in contact with the heated lava.
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