FOUNTAIN

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FOUNTAIN, or ARTIFICIAL FOUNTAIN, in hydraulics; a machine or contrivance by which water is violently spouted or darted up; called also a jet d'eau. There are various kinds of artificial fountains, but all formed by a pressure, of one sort or another, upon the water; viz., either the pressure or weight of a head of water, or the pressure arising from the spring and elasticity of the air, &c. When these are formed by the pressure of a head of water, or any other fluid of the same kind with the fountain, or jet, then will this spout up nearly to the same height as that head, abating only a little for the resistance of the air, with that of the adjutage, &c, in the fluid rushing through; but, when the fountain is produced by any other force than the pressure of a column of the same fluid with itself, it will rise to such a height as is nearly equul to the altitude of a column of the same fluid, whose pressure is equal to the given force that produces the fountain. In Greece, every principal town had public fountains or conduits, some of which were of handsome design and of beautiful execution. In the city of Megara, in Achaia, there was a public fountain established by Theagenes, which was celebrated for its grandeur and magnificence. The Pirene, a fountain at Corinth, was encircled by an enclosure of white marble, which was sculptured into various grottoes, from which the water ran into a splendid basin of the same material. Another fountain in Corinth, which was called Lerna, was encircled by a beautiful portico, undei which were seats for the public to sit upon during the extreme heats of summer, to enjoy the cool air from the falling waters. In the sacred wood of iEscula pius at Epidaurus there was a fountain that Pausanias cites as remarkable for the beauty of its decorations. At Messina there were also two elegant fountains, one called Arsinoe', and the other Clepsydra. Pausanias also alludes to several other fountains in various parts of Greece, celebrated for the grandeur and beauty of their architectural and sculptural decorations. The ancient fondness for fountains still exists in Italy and the East The French are celebrated for their fountains, but Italy, more particularly Rome, is still more so. The fountains of Paris and of the Tuileries, of the orangery at Versailles, at St. Cloud, and other places m the neighborhood, are splendid structures. The principal and most admired fountains at or near Rome are those in front of St. Peter's, of the Villa Aldobrandini at Frascati, of the Termini, of mount Janiculum, of the gardens of the Belvedere, in the Vatican, of the Villa Borghese, which has also in the audience chamber a splendid fountain of silve*, five Roman palms in height, ornamented with superb vases and flowers; the fountains of Trevi, the three fountains of St. Paul, of the Acqua Acetosa, and many others described in the numerous works on that ancient city. Sir Henry Wotton describes, in his Elements of Architecture, a fountain by Michael Angelo, in the figure of a sturdy woman wringing a bundle of clothes, from whence the water issues that supplies the basin.