SUPERIOR

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SUPERIOR; the largest lake in North America, and the largest body of fresh water that has been discovered in any part of the globe. Its length is differently estimated by travellers and geographers: some make it 490 or 500 miles long,and 1700 in circumference; others, 350 miles long, and 1500 miles in circumference. Its widest part is said to be 190 miles. This is the most western of the great chain of lakes, which discharge their waters by the St. Lawrence. Its surface is 641 feet above the Atlantic. It is 900 feet deep. Its waters are very pure and transparent; and it abounds with trout, white fish and sturgeon. The names of these fish are likely to convey diminutive ideas both as to numbers and quantity; but we must think of trout quite equal in size to the cod of the Newfoundland banks, and of white fish and sturgeon comparatively large. The average weight of the trout exceeds twelve pounds, and many weigh forty, and some even fifty pounds. These fish exist in such numbers, that there can be no doubt that they will supply the whole country in the northwest section of the U. States, and Upper Canada, with dried fish, when that country shall be; peopled by many millions. Lakes Huron and Michigan also abound with them. This lake, and the others, also, abound with pike, pickerel, carp, bass, herring, and numerous other kinds of fish. The great lakes, from the comparative shallowness of their beds, and the circumstance that their waters possess Jess specific gravity than those of the ocean,and it may be from other causes,when swept by the winds, raise waves more rough and dangerous than those of the sea, though not quite so mountainous. It has been often asserted that they have diurnal and septennial fluxes and refluxes. This, however, is not an established fact; and we are certain that, even if they exist, they are irregular and inconsiderable. The waters of lake Superior are partly derived from the marshes and shallow lakes, covered with wild rice, which supply the upper waters of the Mississippi. These are slimy and unpalatable until they find their level, and undergo the action of the lake, where they become transparent, and lose their swampy taste. The lower strata of the waters of the lake never gain the temperature of summer. A bottle sunk to the depth of a hundred feet, and there filled, in midsummer, feels, when brought to the surface, as if filled with icewater. The shores of this lake, especially on the north and south, are rocky and nearly barren. In some places, the coast is very rough, and highly elevated. The lake is of difficult navigation ; but there seem to be no insurmountable obstacles to its becoming a pathway for all vessels of strength and good size. It contains many islands. Isle Royal, the largest, is said to be one hundred miles long, and forty broad. It receives more than thirty rivers, and discharg s its waters into lake Huron by the river or strait of St. Mary. The pictured rocks, so called from their appearance, are on the south side of the lake, towards the east end. They are an extraordinary natural curiosity. They form a perpendicular wall 300 feet high, extending abou t twelve miles. They present a great variety of forms, having numerous projections and indentations, and vast caverns, in which the entering waves make a jarring and tremendous sound. Among the objects here which attract particular attention, are the cascade La Portaille and the Doric arch. The cascade consists of a considerable stream, precipitated from the height of about seventy feet by a single leap into the lake. It leaps to such a distance, that a boat may pass dry between it and the rocks. The Doric rock, or arch, has the appearance of a work of art, consisting of an isolated mass of sandstone, with four pillars supporting an entablature or stratum of stone, covered with soil, and a handsome growth of pine and spruce trees, some of which are fifty or sixty feet high. The only outlet to this lake is St. Mary's strait. This extends to lake Huron : others connect the other lakes; and the combined waters of all find their way to the ocean by the St. Lawrence. It is not, however, to be imagined, that the St. Lawrence discharges an amount of water that is at all comparable with what the lakes receive. They spread over so great a surface, that the evaporation from them must be immense. They are scarcely affected by the spring floods of the hundreds of rivers which they receive ; and their outlets have no such floods. Like the ocean itself, these mighty inland seas seem to receive without increase, and to impart without diminution.