Excerpt from Travels and Sketches of Scenery: From Chambers's Repository and Miscellany
Middle, and Lower Rhine - all differing considerably in character. The U per Rhine extends from Reichenau to Basel, a length of 300 es, and in this distance it has fallen 2750 feet. At Bas... el the Rhine is, therefore, only 860 feet above the level of the sea; and from this point to Cologne, in which is comprehended the Middle Rhine, a distance of 350 miles, the river has fallen 750 feet: but the principal part of this fall is above Mayence; from this last-mentioned place to Cologne, the descent is only 164 feet. At Cologne, where the Lower Rhine begins, the river is no more than 110 feet above the sea-level; and this, dispersed over 300 miles, gives a generally steady current. From Basel downwards, the aspect of the Rhine is grand and its waters placid yet forcible. In point of breadth, it maybe described as v from 500 to 1500 feet. In a large part of its course - it is om 1000 to 1200 feet in breadth, and its depth is from 10 to 20 feet. Here and there, however, there are spots in which the waters run with considerable impetuosity, a circumstance which limits the naviga tion to moderate-sized steam-boats and other vessels; those craft which are not provided with steam-power, being under the necessity of being towed by horses or by steam-tugs. At present, there are probably 200 steamers on the river of one kind or other, and an incalculable number of other vessels, towed upwards against the stream, or dropping down with the current. The introduction of steam may be said to have giv a new aspect to the general traffic, and to have Opened the R to tourism. On our first acquaintance with the river, fourteen years ago, there were no steam-tugs. All the goods-craft, consisting of decked and masted vessels, were dragged by horses from Rotterdam to the upper country, a distance of 600 miles. The usual prao tice was to employ twelve horses and four men in each vessel; the horses, with ropes attached to them, w within the edge of the water, with the drivers seated sidewise on their backs; and the booting, yelling, splashing, and cracking of whips, may be more easily conceived than described. The expense of this species of traction was very great, and enormously raised the price of every article of import. Now, all this is changed. Smart steam-tugs are seen drawing a number of vessels behind them, and ascending the stream at the rate of six to eight miles an hour.
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