Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/135

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? Blac? Sea. lO? we there find a depth of forty-eight fathoms French immediately off it? opening, and an equalor greater depth all around, with a �bottom of sand and ?hd?, except on the coast trendiug towards the north-west and the mouths of the Danube, where the bottom i? indeed mud, but the soundings are from forty-five to fifty-five fathoms; while at a distance of about thirty-six miles from the opening, the sounding? are marked at one hundred and sixty fathoms, and no b?ffom, upon the French chart; and in the track of the Blonde it appear? she sounded in thirty-five fathoms in the mouth of the channel, in fifty fathoms at eighteen miles north-ea.?t of the opening, and after?ar? six times in her run to $ebastopo! with one hundred, one hundred and twenty, and one hundred and forty fathoms of line, and found no bottom,--the last of these ?oundings being only sixteen miles from the lighthouse on the point of land bet?re making the harbour. It must fully appear, therefore, that however plausible may be the theory of Polybius, his melancholy anticipation is in no assign- abl? degree likely to be realized in any imaginable thne; but that the depth of the Euxine itself, and the constant and vigorous rush of water through the comparatively straight, narrow, and deep pas- sage of Constantinople, even though the surface water may there sometimes be found, in strong southerly winds, to set a little to the northward (as was actually experienced by our enterprising countryman Dr. Clarke, as well as observed by the master of the Blonde), will always be sufficient to contain, or rather to carry off, any deposit however large, which the Danube, the vent of so large a portion of Europe, or the Phasis, the Halys, and other Asiatic streams, or the mighty rivers of the north, can bring down from the countries through which they flow. The notion, indeed, so confidently stated by Polybius, was not in his own time altogether new. We find recorded in Strabo* the opinion of $trato of Lampsacus to the same effect, who died two hundred and seventy years before Christ, and therefore wrote about one hundred years before Polybius. He says indeed more: that the Euxine is very shallowS'; that it was then filling up wkh mud from the deposit of the rivers; that its water was perfectly fresh?; that it would shortly be choked up; and that its western side was already nearly in that state. M. Gosselin seems to be of opinion that Polybius derived his facts and inferences altogether from this passage of Strato; but althoug. h we cannot pretend to nay that he was wholly ignorant of it, since it remained to the days of Strabo?, who wrote long after Polybius, and are of neces- �Lib. i. pp. 49, � �Mr. Fyue? Clin?on'? elaborate and a?curat? ?mlnatlon of the date of [?ig,tiz?d by Google