Page:Omniana.djvu/320

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302
OMNIANA.

the rain water on its surface, gave it time to evaporate, particularly in summer, before it could penetrate the ground. At present this bed of leaves not existing, and the bosom of the earth being opened by the plough, the rain, which is enabled to sink into it, establishes in it more durable and abundant reservoirs. This particular case, however, does not overturn the more general and more important doctrine, that cutting down woods, more especially on heights, in general diminishes the quantity of rain, and the springs resulting from it, by preventing the clouds from stopping and discharging their waters on the forests. Kentucky itself affords a proof of this, as well as all the other states of America; for a number of brooks are pointed out, which were never dried up fifteen years ago, and now fail every summer. Others have totally disappeared, and in New Jersey several mills have been relinquished on this account. It must be observed too, that formerly,