Among the Forces eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 129 pages of information about Among the Forces.

No wonder that the Chinese, as they look at the solid and enduring character of that bridge, name it, after the poetic and flowery habit of the country, “The Bridge of Ten Thousand Ages.”


Years ago, before there were any railroads, New York city had thousands of tons of merchandise it wished to send out West.  Teams were few and slow, so they asked the moon to help.  It was ready; had been waiting thousands of years.

We shall soon see that it is easy to slide millions of tons of coal down hill, but how could we slide freight up from New York to Albany?

It is very simple.  Lift up the lower end of the river till it shall be down hill all the way to Albany.  But who can lift up the end of the river?  The moon.  It reaches abroad over the ocean and gathers up water from afar, brings it up by Cape Hatteras and in from toward England, pours it in through the Narrows, fills up the great harbor, and sets the great Hudson flowing up toward Albany.  Then men put their big boats on the current and slide up the river.  Six hours later the moon takes the water out of the harbor and lets other boats slide the other way.

New York itself has made use of the moon to get rid of its immense amount of garbage and sewage.  It would soon breed a pestilence, and the city be like the buried cities of old; but the moon comes to its aid, and carries away and buries all this foul breeder of a pestilence, and washes all the harbor and bay with clean floods of water twice a day.  Good moon!  It not only lights, but works.

The tide in New York Harbor rises only about five feet; up in the Bay of Fundy it ramps, rushes, raves, and rises more than fifty feet high.

In former times men used to put mill wheels into the currents of the tides; when they rushed into little bays and salt ponds they turned the wheels one way; when out, the other.


  “We for whose sake all Nature stands,
  And stars their courses move.”

Do the stars, that are so far away and seem so small, send us any help?  Assuredly.  Nothing exists for itself.  All is for man.

Magnetism tells the sailor which way he is going.  Stars not only do this, when visible, but they also tell just where on the round globe he is.  A glance into their bright eyes, from a rolling deck, by an uneducated sailor, aided by the tables of accomplished scholars, tells him exactly where he is—­in mid Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, or Antarctic Ocean, or at the mouth of the harbor he has sought for months.  We lift up our eyes higher than the hills.  Help comes from the skies.

This help was started long since, with providential foresight and care.  Is he steering by the North Star?  A ray of guidance was sent from that lighthouse in the sky half a century before his need, that it might arrive just at the critical time.  It has been ever since on its way.

Project Gutenberg
Among the Forces from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.