Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/148

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forsaken the spot, the probable cause of its whiteness would have vanished with them; but, bearing in mind what we have said of the dimensions of the island, and its distance from the shore, and examining the coast nearer to the actual mouths of the river. we find the town of Kills still existing a short way up the stream, and au older Kills at its mouth, while the northern mouth of the Danube is called, upon the French chart, the ' bouche Kills ;' and as we found the memory of the Dromus Achillis preserved in the modern name of Kilburun, so, without any great stretch of the imagination, we may here trace the ancient name of Achilles, de-. noting that the real island so called was either one of those now found lying close off that mouth; or that, in the alteration of the line of coast, it may now form part of the main land, and have ceased to exist as an island at all. At all events, it is a desidera- tum, which has not to my knowledge been accomplished by any person competent to the task, to ascertain, by actual inspection,' whether there exist or no npon the Isle of Serpents any remains at all which can be ascribed to the ancient Temple of Achilles. After passing Serpent's Island, which is of that degree of height as to remain in sight during a run of twelve miles only from it, the Blonde stood in towards the mouths of the Danube and the lighthouse at its principal entrance; having regular soundings still on shells and small stones, till at only three miles and a half from the lighthonse, in ten fathoms water, the strength of the breeze, accompanied by a snow-storm, compelled her to haul off to a greater distance. What then must, we ask, have become of the great bank, the ?'g,yb,, which Polybius describes as havi?g been one thousand stadia long, more therefore, at least, than one hun- dred miles, and at one day's sail frown the mouth of the river? Upon which, he states it as a well-known fact, the sailors, while they thought themselves still out at sea, very often ran aground by night, and which was familiafly called by them ?,,?, orthe breast; as in Latin, the term dotsum, or the back, was applied to the same formation. It is clear, from the French chart, and from our own frigate's track and soundings, that no vestige of it now remains in lhat sea. Polybius ascribes its existence to what we see conti- nually taking place upon a small scale in a mill-stream; namely, that the impetns of the water carries out the alluvium, which it brings down from the interior of the country, to a certain distance into the sea; and that when that impetus begins to slacken, the deposit of sedimcnt commences, and forms a bank, not continuous with the land at the mouth of the river, but at a certain distance from it, according to the propelling force of the stream. Nor is the notice of this bank confined to Polybius alone: Strabo also mentions it by the name of ?-,il?, as a thing publicly and familiafly known to his readers; although Arrian? who enumerates the mouths Dig,tized by Google