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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 17:  We believe this is really all that is known of the general stratification, and although little that is positive has been revealed, writers have made up for the deficiency by any amount of negative description.  Such writers as Aurelian and Obedenare simply deplore the paucity of information, whilst Fuchs, an able and industrious geologist, says:  ’It is difficult to describe the country because there are such vast tracts which have a character of despairing monotony; because fossils are rare and badly preserved, if not entirely wanting; and the different elevations present exactly similar petrographic appearances;’ in fact, he says that the prominent data are wanting to enable a geologist to make a classification of the various strata.]

[Footnote 18:  See Obedenare, 16-19.  Also Cantacuzeno, Cenni sulla Romania, Bucarest, 1875; and Ansted.]

[Footnote 19:  Copper exists at Baia d’Arana.]

CHAPTER II.

GEOGRAPHICAL—­ARCHAEOLOGICAL.

The river system of Roumania—­The ’beautiful blue Danube’—­Appearance of the Lower Danube comparable to the Humber or Mississippi—­Floating mills—­The Danube in the Kazan Pass—­Grand scenery—­The ‘Iron Gates,’ misconceptions concerning them—­Their true character—­Archaeological remains—­Trajan’s road—­His tablet—­His bridge at Turnu-Severin—­Its construction and history—­The tributaries of the Danube and towns upon them—­The fishes of the Roumanian rivers—­Lakes—­Mineral waters of Balta Alba—­Roman roads—­Bridge of Constantine—­Roman streets, houses, temples—­Statue of Commodus—­Gothic and prehistoric remains—­Climate—­Great extremes of heat and cold—­Beautiful autumn—­Rainfall-Comparison with other countries—­Russian winds—­Sudden daily alternations—­Comparison of the country generally with other European states—­Resume of its productions, resources, and attractions for visitors.

I.

The river system of Roumania constitutes one of the most remarkable features in its geography, has played an important part in its past history, and promises to exercise a powerful influence on its industrial and political future.  This system comprises the great main artery, the Danube, with numerous confluents which take their rise in the Carpathians, and, rushing at first in torrents, then How as sluggish, often as half-dry streams, across the country before they empty themselves into the parent river.

The ‘beautiful blue Danube’ has been so bepraised that to a traveller who visits it for its scenic attractions it is likely to prove a bitter disappointment.  It is not blue, although during certain seasons it is said to have a blue tinge, but a great part of the way from Vienna to the defile of Kazan, and the whole distance from Orsova to the Black Sea, it resembles in colour and appearance our river Humber, and we have heard American travellers

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