Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
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41
ham, which served for foot-passengers.
The principle of suspension-bridges was
naturalized in England, but their utility
was not in reality much greater than the
frail constructions of South America, or
Eastern Asia. ^It was just,' observes Dupin,
'that this noble application of art should
be first adopted on our continent by the
nation which had surpassed all others in
the execution of those great works in which
iron was the principal element;' and there
now only required minds whose genius was
fitted to direct the suspensive principle of
bridge-building on a scale commensurate to
the wants of the time. These soon arose:
the Menai Bridge is one of the most magni-
ficent specimens of engineering talent yet
in existence. It was constructed under the
directions of the late Mr. Telford. In
1818, this gentleman was surveying the im-
provements which could be effected on the
extensive line of roads from London to
Holyhead, — the point of the Welsh coast
nearest to Ireland. Holyhead is situated
in the island of Anglesea, which is separat-
ed from Caernarvonshire by a celebrated
strait, or arm of the sea, named the Menai,
through which the tide flows with great
velocity, and, from local circumstances, in
a very peculiar manner. The intercourse
of the inhabitants with the opposite portion
of Wales was thus circumscribed. There
were five or six ferries, but the navigation
was often difficult, and sometimes dangerous.
One of the staple productions of the island
is cattle, and they were generally compelled
to swim across the Strait. The importance
of obtaining more rapid means of inter-
course with Ireland occasioned Mr, Telford
strongly to direct his attention to the pos-
sibility of throwing a bridge across the
Menai. The obstacles were a rapid stream
with high banks. To have erected a bridge
of the usual construction would have ob-
structed the navigation; besides, the erec-
tion of piers in the bed of the sea was
impracticable. Mr. Telford therefore re-
commended the construction of a suspension-
bridge, which was completed in 1826. 'The
bridge is partly of stone and partly of iron,
and consists of seven stone arches, exceed-
ing in magnitude every work of the kind
in the world. They connect the land with
the two main piers, which rise 53 feet above
the level of the road, over the top of which
the chains are suspended, each chain being
1714 feet from the fastenings in the rock.
The top-masts of the first three-masted
vessel which passed under the bridge were
nearly as high as those of a frigate, but
thev cleared twelve feet and a half below
the level of the roadway. The suspending
power of the chains is calculated at 2016
tons; the total weight of each chain is
121 tons.
This bridge occasioned Mr. Telford more
intense thought than any other of his
works. To a friend, a few months before
his death, he stated that his anxiety for a
short time previous to the opening was so
extreme that he had but little sound sleep;
and that a much longer continuance of that
condition of mind must have undermined
his health. Not that he had any reason
to doubt the strength and stability of any
part of the structure, for he had employed
all the precautions that he could imagine
useful, as suggested by his own experience
and consideration, or by the zeal and ta-
lents of his able assistants, yet the bare
possibihty that some weak point might
have escaped his and their vigilance in a
work so new, kept the whole structure con-
stantly passing in review before his mind's
eye, to examine if he could discover a
point that did not contribute its share to
the perfection of the whole.
The idea and execution of chain suspen-
sion piers is due to Captain Brown. They
are of great value in ports where ships are
unable to approach the shore for a con-
siderable distance, in embarking or disem-
barking troops and baggage, and in faci-
litating the arrival and departure of passen-
gers. The chain-pier at Leith was con-
structed by Captain Brown in 1822. In
order to reach, from the shore, the place
in the Forth where steam-boats and other
ships could keep afloat at high or low
water without danger, and in very bad wea-
ther, it was necessary to advance 233 yards
into the sea, reckoning the distance from
the high-water mark on shore. To fill up
this long space, three arches of suspension
chains were formed, each having 209 feet
in span; thus the pier is held by four sup-
ports only, — one on shore, and three upon
piles in the middle of the sea. In order
to try the power of the chain-pier, Captain
Brown loaded it with 210 tons which he
suffered to remain a considerable length of
time, notwithstanding the casual burden
occasioned by passengers, and the shaking
produced by their movement. Such a fact
affords a satisfactory proof of the solidity
of the system on which the pier was con-
structed. The Brighton chain-pier is on a
larger scale than that at Leith, being com-
posed of three inverted arches, each 230
feet in span; its breadth is 12 feet.
In France it has been proposed to con-
vey water across narrow and deep valleys