您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 文学与艺术 > 散文 正文
  • 站内搜索:

瓦尔登湖:The Pond in Winter3

2006-07-29 18:53

  A factory-owner, hearing what depth I had found, thought that it could not be true, for, judging from his acquaintance with dams,sand would not lie at so steep an angle.  But the deepest ponds are not so deep in proportion to their area as most suppose, and, if drained, would not leave very remarkable valleys.  They are not like cups between the hills; for this one, which is so unusually deep for its area, appears in a vertical section through its centre not deeper than a shallow plate.  Most ponds, emptied, would leave a meadow no more hollow than we frequently see.  William Gilpin, who is so admirable in all that relates to landscapes, and usually so correct, standing at the head of Loch Fyne, in Scotland, which he describes as "a bay of salt water, sixty or seventy fathoms deep,four miles in breadth," and about fifty miles long, surrounded by mountains, observes, "If we could have seen it immediately after the diluvian crash, or whatever convulsion of nature occasioned it,before the waters gushed in, what a horrid chasm must it have appeared!

  "So high as heaved the tumid hills, so low Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,Capacious bed of waters."

  But if, using the shortest diameter of Loch Fyne, we apply these proportions to Walden, which, as we have seen, appears already in a vertical section only like a shallow plate, it will appear four times as shallow.  So much for the increased horrors of the chasm of Loch Fyne when emptied.  No doubt many a smiling valley with its stretching cornfields occupies exactly such a "horrid chasm," from which the waters have receded, though it requires the insight and the far sight of the geologist to convince the unsuspecting inhabitants of this fact.  Often an inquisitive eye may detect the shores of a primitive lake in the low horizon hills, and no subsequent elevation of the plain have been necessary to conceal their history.  But it is easiest, as they who work on the highways know, to find the hollows by the puddles after a shower.  The amount of it is, the imagination give it the least license, dives deeper and soars higher than Nature goes.  So, probably, the depth of the ocean will be found to be very inconsiderable compared with its breadth.

  As I sounded through the ice I could determine the shape of the bottom with greater accuracy than is possible in surveying harbors which do not freeze over, and I was surprised at its general regularity.  In the deepest part there are several acres more level than almost any field which is exposed to the sun, wind, and plow. In one instance, on a line arbitrarily chosen, the depth did not vary more than one foot in thirty rods; and generally, near the middle, I could calculate the variation for each one hundred feet in any direction beforehand within three or four inches.  Some are accustomed to speak of deep and dangerous holes even in quiet sandy ponds like this, but the effect of water under these circumstances is to level all inequalities.  The regularity of the bottom and its conformity to the shores and the range of the neighboring hills were so perfect that a distant promontory betrayed itself in the soundings quite across the pond, and its direction could be determined by observing the opposite shore.  Cape becomes bar, and plain shoal, and valley and gorge deep water and channel.

  When I had mapped the pond by the scale of ten rods to an inch,and put down the soundings, more than a hundred in all, I observed this remarkable coincidence.  Having noticed that the number indicating the greatest depth was apparently in the centre of the map, I laid a rule on the map lengthwise, and then breadthwise, and found, to my surprise, that the line of greatest length intersected the line of greatest breadth exactly at the point of greatest depth,notwithstanding that the middle is so nearly level, the outline of the pond far from regular, and the extreme length and breadth were got by measuring into the coves; and I said to myself, Who knows but this hint would conduct to the deepest part of the ocean as well as of a pond or puddle?  Is not this the rule also for the height of mountains, regarded as the opposite of valleys?  We know that a hill is not highest at its narrowest part.

  Of five coves, three, or all which had been sounded, were observed to have a bar quite across their mouths and deeper water within, so that the bay tended to be an expansion of water within the land not only horizontally but vertically, and to form a basin or independent pond, the direction of the two capes showing the course of the bar.  Every harbor on the sea-coast, also, has its bar at its entrance.  In proportion as the mouth of the cove was wider compared with its length, the water over the bar was deeper compared with that in the basin.  Given, then, the length and breadth of the cove, and the character of the surrounding shore, and you have almost elements enough to make out a formula for all cases.

  In order to see how nearly I could guess, with this experience,at the deepest point in a pond, by observing the outlines of a surface and the character of its shores alone, I made a plan of White Pond, which contains about forty-one acres, and, like this,has no island in it, nor any visible inlet or outlet; and as the line of greatest breadth fell very near the line of least breadth,where two opposite capes approached each other and two opposite bays receded, I ventured to mark a point a short distance from the latter line, but still on the line of greatest length, as the deepest.  The deepest part was found to be within one hundred feet of this, still farther in the direction to which I had inclined, and was only one foot deeper, namely, sixty feet.  Of course, a stream running through, or an island in the pond, would make the problem much more complicated.






相关热词:英语 文学 散文
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
趣味英语速成 钟 平 18课时 试听 179元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语预备级 (Pre-Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语一级 (Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语二级 (Movers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语三级 (Flyers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
初级英语口语 ------ 55课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
中级英语口语 ------ 83课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
高级英语口语 ------ 122课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,国内某知名中学英语教研组长,教学标兵……详情>>
钟平 北大才俊,英语辅导专家,累计从事英语教学八年,机械化翻译公式发明人……详情>>

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。