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But it was quite swept by all the masses were unequal to resist the northerly and north-westerly winds, violence of the winter storms, and and heavy swells rendered the that the waves, washing and surging anchorage unsafe, and at times im- betwixt them, had such powerful possible. This was then the posi- effect as to overthrow and overwhelm tion which art and policy deter- them utterly, so that after a while mined on. There was ample space, they lay heaped at the bottom in a an anchorage with good firm bot- sloping mound. The defeat of one tom, but no protection, and offering design only suggested another. It no natural facilities for a port or was now decided to erect a solid arsenal, in which ships of war could mass, by depositing stone" à pierre be constructed or fitted. The advan- perdue," on the foundation furnished tages, however, were too great to be by the wreck and rubble of the cones, abandoned without an effort, and a and it was thought that the immense great one too, at overcoming the deposits beneath might be consolidifficulties and obstacles. The first dated by raising on them large blocks step was evidently to shelter the of masonry. Å fort, too, capable of Rade, to give it an artificial protec- holding agarrison, and being mounted tion from the winds, especially those with twenty guns, was also to be of the north and north-west-the constructed in the centre. This was most dangerous and most frequent effected, and the success seemed apon those coasts. The idea of a break- proved, when, in 1808, the great water was accordingly projected. As storm of the 12th February tried its this structure, to effect the required strength and solidity, and once more purpose, would be extended across the the sea was conqueror. The waves, base of the roadstead from Querque- driven by the fury of the north-west ville to Pelée, leaving intervals suf- wind, broke and swept with irreficient only for entrances and pas- sistible violence against the parapet. sages, and must be sunk in a depth Every shock became fiercer and heaof from six to seven fathoms, in the vier; the waters at every surge grew midst of a sea ever turbulent and mightier and more terrible, until the tempestuous, the undertaking ap- yielding masonry gave them an enpeared stupendous from its vastness trance, and then they burst furiously and novelty, and the government through the breach, destroying and hesitated long before they entered overwhelming everything in their on it. The energy and the convic- course. Huge blocks of stone were tions of men of talent at last inspired hurled from one side of the Digue to confidence in the enterprise. The the other ; buildings and ramparts names of the workers should live were borne away like trees in a whirlever with their work—it is unjust to wind, and the destruction of_the separate them. MM. de la Breton- whole work seemed impending. Durnière, Capitaine de Vaisseau, was the ing this storm the Digue was the first who gave real form and purpose scene of a little romance of peril and to the idea of a breakwater. It was heroic daring. At its commencement the project of M. de Cessart, engineer, there were more than two hundred which originated its creation. His workmen and soldiers there, who design was to lay down a line of were surprised and overtaken by the caissons of the shape of cones filled suddenness and violence of the temwith stones, at certain distances pest. Hour by hour they saw the from each other, under the supposi- danger growing greater; the waves tion that these would so break and swept nearer and nearer; every modivide the action and force of the ment a roar, louder and deeper, sea as to produce within a harbour- told of a breach in their rampart, or age sufficiently calm and smooth for a shock to the foundation of their vessels to lie there in safety. This houses. Then a comrade was swept was begun in 1784. Eighteen cones away; then others fell crushed by had been laid, each having a diameter falling ruins; then little bands, driven of one hundred and twenty feet at from point to point, seeking one rethe base, and sixty feet at the top, fuge after another, sunk worn out by when it was found that even these the cold and the struggle. No help

on,

could reach them-no aid was at was begun when mechanical applihand—no vessel could approach-as ances were less powerful, and conthe strongest were driven from their tinued through revolutions and anchors. In the direfulness of this changes of dynasties ; and then the distress, three bold fellows, three perseverance with which it was carheroic hearts, taking advantage of a ried on, and the resolution with slight lull, contrived to reach, by which it was accomplished, will have swimming, a craft which was used their due appreciation, their due sig, to convey the workmen to and from nificance of persistent motive and the Digue, and was moored at a intent. The Digue made the Rade short distance. This, by incredible of Cherbourg. Extending to a disexertion, they brought near enough tance of 4060 yards betwixt Pelée to the battery to embark many of and Querqueville, it entirely shelters their companions. Some found safety the roadstead “from N.W. round by clinging to the higher blocks, the northerly to N.E," and insures all greater part perished. Such disaster the requisites of a secure anchorage, seemed fatal to the attempt; but the a sure refuge, and a good startingwill of Napoleon urged on the work point. It lies about W.N.W., and --the contest with the ocean went does not run in a straight line, but

Every experiment had given stands on the harbour side at an knowledge, every failure experience; angle of 45°. It was thought more every engineer improved on the at- expedient that it should be formed tempt of his predecessors, and it of two arms. “These are of unequal remained for M. Fonques Duparc to lengths, the western being nearly complete the design by proposing one-third longer than the other, each that a vertical wall of masonry should diverging 50 towards the harbour.” be built on the rubble foundation, The broad line of polished masonry rising high above the level, which rising above the waters gives little should present a long solid barrier, idea of its vastness. Lying on a massive in its structure and firm at base of upwards of one hundred its base.

yards,“ with a long fore-shore to seaThis plan was adopted in 1832, wards,” the solid wall rises from a and reached completion in 1853. breadth of thirty-three feet, gradually Thus the idea which had been con- diminishing to twenty-seven at the ceived in 1668, had then floated about top, to the height of twenty-three for years amid bureaux, counsels, and feet, with the parapet, above the commissions, assuming different high-water mark. The effect which shapes and destinies, then took a it creates after that of vastness is definite form and purpose in 1775, completeness. The musoirs at either and in 1784 was embodied in actual end, the central forts, the parapet material work, after sixty-nine years bordering and ramparting the broad of labour and expense, after long causeway, all give it an exterior of contest with difficulties and delays, finish which corresponds fully with changes of construction, and vicissi- the minuteness and perfectness of tudes of disaster and failure, ap- the details. From the terre-plein peared perfected and fulfilled in the the eye sees nought save finish- in Digue--an achievement which must the fineness and smoothness of the rank high among the monuments masonry, in the slope of the parapet which the art and science of the age by which it is adapted as a breasthave raised. It was long in doing, work for guns, and in the snug sheland the great time occupied in its tered cambres at the forts, where construction may detract from its boats can enter and keep up the comvalue as an effort of national will, munication at any tide and in any and contrast with the more rapid weather. We were certainly witness and continuous progress of our own to a landing under difficulties at low breakwater ; but it must be remem- water, when the struggles and poses bered that it was undertaken as an of cocked-hats and swords, epaulettes experiment; that the principles of and spurs, in the ascent of a steep shutting out the sea most effectually iron ladder, would have given Chariwere as yet undetermined; that it vari or Leech many an attitude. VOL, LXXXIV.NO. DXVII.

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This was, however, an eccentricity design. The port militaire would of debarkation. Under all circum- be still incomplete—still without stances, except those perhaps of arsenals and docks for the construcactual tempests or very heavy gales, tion and armament of vessels of war. the access is easy and well provided The genius of Napoleon comprefor. These great works of utility, hended what was needed to perfect these great mechanical triumphs, the creation, and his will resolved it. have seldom much of the picturesque. Then was issued the decree in April There were, however, here points of 1803 : “Qu'un port serait creuse view often striking and peculiar. pour les grands vaisseaux de guerre The fore-shore of the base, with its dans le roc de Cherbourg à cinquante broken, rugged masses, encrusted pieds de profondeur au-dessous des with shells, and here and there tan- hautes marées." A bassin-de-flot and gled with sea-weed, over which the an arrière-bassin were to follow, and blue waters ripple, taking from them constitute Cherbourg as a first-class a darker hue, the figures of the towers port of war. This sounds almost like ending or breaking a vista, the frown- the mandate of an eastern despot, ing battlements of the fort on the Ile which, in the plenitude of power, Pelée beyond, the jagged steps and thousands of slaves would execute, points of the rocky shore on which or which, in the absence of it, would it stands, the breaking of the surf on be proclaimed as the outward expresits shoals, all made pictures out of sion of empire, the vaunt and asthe vast materialism around.

sumption of sovereignty. The forts we shall speak of in their “ Ce magnifique programme” was, order as parts of the defence. however, no idle vaunt; it was a

The Digue leaves two channels of mandate which was obeyed, not, inentrance. The chief is that to the deed, with the rapidity of slaves westward. The space here betwixt fulfilling a master's will, but was rethe musoir at the extremity and the sponded to firmly and surely by the Querqueville Point is divided by the energies of a great people. Chavagnac Rock, which just shows The spot chosen was the mass of darkly above the water in the midst. rock on the western side of the bay. The entire distance across is about This had been called Le Pré-du-Roi, 2500 yards ; but this rock straitens in consequence of its having been the main channel to a width of rather fixed upon in former times by Vaumore than half a mile. This is acces- ban, under the direction of his massible and safe both to sailing.ships ter Louis, as the site best adapted for and steamers. The inner one be- the construction of an artificial port. tween Chavagnac Rock and Querque- The name through many intervening ville is also practicable for large ves- years bad marked the purpose. No sels at certain states of the tide. other site was available. All others The other entrance is by the east- offered the objections of exposure and ward, betwixt the eastern musoir openness, of insecure foundations and and the edge of Pelée Island Flat, uncertain entrance. This presented and is much narrower and more diffi- only the difficulty of labour-the cult, in consequence of being “crossed toil of a long and stern struggle with obliquely by the tide-streams." The the rock. It was accepted as the haven thus enclosed is divided into lesser difficulty. The work of excathe Rade and La Petite Rade. The vation was begun, and the basin Rade is the outward space beyond of Napoleon commenced the series the bay, and has two anchorages, which now lie complete and perfected one near the eastern, and one under within the enceinte of the port milithe western arm of the breakwater- taire. The space thus occupied and both safe, and affording good holding; enclosed has an area of about 220 the western having a depth of from acres ; and from its situation on the six to eight fathoms everywhere. La level ground at the foot of the hills, Petite Rade_is to the southward, and from its forming a sort of irreguwithin Fort Hommet.

lar promontory jutting on the Rade, The roadstead was achieved. It was especially capable of being isoalone, however, could not fulfil the lated and kept distinct from the

[graphic]

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town and neighbouring country. Its the representative of her great lord, north side looks forth on the break- who was absent at the head of his water and western entrance, and is armies. This basin is faced all fronted by rocks which render it un- round with granite. At its southern approachable by boats, and unfit for end are four building-slips, and one landing. The more extended front “forme de radoub." The slips are is the western, which faces the Petite enclosed by sheds with high massive Rade, and offers the best and easiest walls, and bomb-proof roofs. Beaccess to the port; an irregular semi- hind these are the different workshops circular line, running from the south-'-dull, grim buildings, dark, and ern point along the foot of the hills almost silent, not enlivened even (at to the northern, connects the enceinte. least when we saw them) by the The avant - port, the first of the bustle and din of labour. On the series, was cut out of the granite-bed right are long, ranges of forges and at the southern end of the western smithies. It is capable of receiving side, and is a large floating basin or eight first-class vessels. with a superficies of sixteen acres, This was the initiation. The extenhaving a length of about nine hun- sion of the design, a bassin-de-flot, dred feet, and a breadth of seven or wet dock, was to be dug in a hundred and fifty. Its depth is direct line to the northward of the about thirty-two feet below the level avant-port. The difficulties of excaof low-water, and upwards of sixty vation, and the diversion of the na"en contre-bas des terre-pleins” of tion's energies by changes of masters the arsenal. Its entrance from the and councillors, made this work slow roadstead is a short channel opening and protracted. The year 1829 had to the eastward, in which there are come, the Bourbon dynasty was refrom thirteen to sixteen feet at low- established, the decreer was gone, water. This is the only access to when the immersing of the basin was the system of basins, and is not avail- inaugurated in the presence of royalty, able for large-class ships, except at and another part of the programme certain times of tide. Before the magnifique,” was achieved. The completion of the eastern end of the bassin-de-flot has the same depth as breakwater, this channel and basin the avant-port, with which it comwere much exposed to winds from municates by a lock, or gates, fiftythe eastward, and though more shel- nine feet wide, for the passage of tered now, are still affected by the vessels from one to the other. It heavy surf during strong gales from has no “cales or formes," and being that quarter. To the southward of quite clear, is well adapted for holdthis is another entrance which opens ing vessels of war, though its capacity into a port or cambre for boats and in this respect has been much overlumps, and then into a smaller bassin- rated, both in the French and English de-flot for the smaller steamers, and accounts. On the right, towards the for the loading of lighters with pro- sea, stands a range of building, convisions, &c. Around stand buildings stituting the “Arsenal de l'Artillerie for the salting and storing of provi- de Marine.” In front of it is a large sions. This supplementary little space, where guns of every kind and port is called the Bassin-de-Flot de calibre for service afloat are laid, Chantereyne, from its being con- and shot of every size piled, ready structed on the supposed site of the for transport. These two, the avantchapel built by Maude in commemo- port and the bassin-de-flot, occupy ration of her deliverance, and where the westeru side of the environ of the thanksgivings might be chanted dockyard. continually for the escape of the Still there was more to be done. queen.

As yet there was neither water-space, The avant-port was six years in nor' means of construction enough progress, and (as has been before for a first-class port, and after many said) was inaugurated on the 27th years of discussion and survey, the August 181 th great pomp and third part of the decree was enacted. circumsta

wreat triumph In 1836, th Tière-bassin was comand exult Louise, as menced

3 to exceed each of

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This was, however, an eccentricity design. The port militaire would of debarkation. Under all circum- be still incomplete still without stances, except those perhaps of arsenals and docks for the construcactual tempests or very heavy gales, tion and armament of vessels of war. the access is easy and well provided The genius of Napoleon comprefor. These great works of utility, hended what was needed to perfect these great mechanical triumphs, the creation, and his will resolved it. have seldom much of the picturesque. Then was issued the decree in April There were, however, here points of 1803 : “Qu'un port serait creuse view often striking and peculiar. pour les grands vaisseaux de guerre The fore-shore of the base, with its dans le roc de Cherbourg à cinquante broken, rugged masses, encrusted pieds de profondeur au-dessous des with shells, and here and there tan- hautes marées.” A bassin-de-flot and gled with sea-weed, over which the an arrière-bassin were to follow, and blue waters ripple, taking from them constitute Cherbourg as a first-class a darker hue, the figures of the towers port of war. This sounds almost like ending or breaking a vista, the frown- the mandate of an eastern despot, ing battlements of the fort on the Ile which, in the plenitude of power, Pelée beyond, the jagged steps and thousands of slaves would execute, points of the rocky shore on which or which, in the absence of it, would it stands, the breaking of the surf on be proclaimed as the outward expresits shoals, all made pictures out of sion of empire, the vaunt and asthe vast materialism around.

sumption of sovereignty. The forts we shall speak of in their “ Ce magnifique programme" was, order as parts of the defence. however, no idle vaunt; it was a

The Digue leaves two channels of mandate which was obeyed, not, inentrance. The chief is that to the deed, with the rapidity of slaves westward. The space here betwixt fulfilling a master's will

, but was rethe musoir at the extremity and the sponded to firmly and surely by the Querqueville Point is divided by the energies of a great people. Chavagnac Rock, which just shows The spot chosen was the mass of darkly above the water in the midst. rock on the western side of the bay. The entire distance across is about This had been called Le Pré-du-Roi, 2500 yards ; but this rock straitens in consequence of its having been the main channel to a width of rather fixed upon in former times by Vaumore than half a mile. This is acces- ban, under the direction of his massible and safe both to sailing.ships ter Louis, as the site best adapted for and steamers. The inner one be- the construction of an artificial port. tween Chavagnac Rock and Querque- The name through many intervening ville is also practicable for large ves- years had marked the purpose. No sels at certain states of the tide. other site was available. All others The other entrance is by the east- offered the objections of exposure and ward, betwixt the eastern musoir openness, of insecure foundations and and the edge of Pelée Island Flat, uncertain entrance. This presented and is much narrower and more diffi- only the difficulty of labour-the cult, in consequence of being "crossed toil of a long and stern struggle with obliquely by the tide-streams.". The the rock. It was accepted as the haven thus enclosed is divided into lesser difficulty. The work of excathe Rade and La Petite Rade. The vation was begun, and the basin Rade is the outward space beyond of Napoleon commenced the series the bay, and has two anchorages, which now lie complete and perfected one near the eastern, and one under within the enceinte of the port milithe western arm of the breakwater- taire. The space thus occupied and both safe, and affording good holding; enclosed has an area of about 220 the western having a depth of from acres ; and from its situation on the six to eight fathoms everywhere. La level ground at the foot of the hills, Petite Rade_is to the southward, and from its forming a sort of irreguwithin Fort Hommet.

lar promontory jutting on the Rade, The roadstead was achieved. It was especially capable of being isoalone, however, could not fulfil the lated and kept distinct from the

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