RHINE, the third river in Europe in point of size, has its origin in the part of the Grissons called the Upper League. Mount Adula, which occupies all the country called Rheinwald, and which stretches its roots into all the districts around under different names, form three small rivers, one of which, from the west, issues from Mount Crispalt, and is called by the Get mans Forder-Rhrin, and by the French the Low Rhine. The second, which issues from Mount Si. Barnabas, is called Luckmanirrberg, and the Middle Rhine, and the third, which flows from St. Bernardin, is called the Vogalberg, and the Upper Rhine.
A little to the west there rise four considerable rivers, viz. the Rhone, the Tessino, the Reuss, and the Aar.
The Rhine separates Suabia from Alsace, waters the circle of the Upper Rhine, and that of Westphalia. It afterwards divides itself into two branches, the left of which is called the Vahal, and the right preserves its name. At eight leagues below Arnheim it divides itself again into two branches, the principal one of which takes the name of Leek, and joins the Meuse. The other, which preserves the name of the Rhine, is only a branch, and falls into the sea below Leyden.
The Rhine becomes navigable at Coire, in the Grissons, and receives in its progress several navigable rivers. It receives the Aar above Zurich ; the Necker at Man helm ; the Mein at Mayence ; the Lahti near Ober Lahristein ; the I\ loselle at Coblentz ; the Roer at. Duis bourg, and the Lippe at Wesel. The Rhine enters into the Lake of Constance a little below Rheinegg, and it flow s out of it at Stein. At Lauffen, below SehalThau aen, it forms a grand cataract about 150 feet high, and another of less magnitude below the bridge at Lauffen bourg. Near Binjen, in the states of Mayence, and near Gourshausen, in the states of I lcsse, it forms gulfs or whirlpools of great danger.
The scenery on the banks of this fine river is charac terized in some places by great picturesqc beauty ; in other places by sublimity and grandeur, and in others by the interest of historical associations. The first class of beauties occur principally, though not solely, during its course through Switzer land ; the second appear in the grandeur of its falls and its gulfs; and the third are particularly displayed in that beautiful portion of its course from Mentz to Cologne. Isere it rolls its waters
through the finest part of Germany. Ancient castles, and wealthy towns, and thriving villages, mark its pro gress; hills clothed with rich vineyards rise in luxuriant beauty from its banks, and the strong holds of feudal and barbarous ages frown in ruined grandeur over its precipices and its floods.
The waters of the Rhine are considerably pure, and are of an olive-green colour, while those of the Danube are yellowish, and those of the Rhone sky-blue.
Small scales of gold have been found occasionally in the sand of the Rhine after its floods, and are carefully collected by the inhabitants of the islands on the river. The proprietors farm this well as that of catch ing the fish which abound in the Rhine.
The course of the Rhine is about 700 miles. In the early part of its course it flows with great rapidity, but it afterwards becomes deep, and slow in its motion. The navigation of the Rhine is by no means easy. The boats of the first size between Strasburg and Cologne, carry from 2600 to 3000 quintals ; one of the second size from 1200 to 1500; and one of the third, called an Anhang, from 600 to 1000 They are generally drawn by horses, and in favourable winds they use the sail. Steam boats have been recently introduced in the lower parts of the Rhine.
From a variety of accurate experiments made by the celebrated engineer M. Esher. the annual discharge of the Rhine at Basle is, 1,046,763,676,000 cubic feet, which is more than ten times the quantity which the river Tay discharges at the Bridge of Perth. Sec PHY SICAL GEOGRAPHY.
A full and interesting account of the navigation of the Rhine from Mayence to Coblentz, will be found in Reichard's Guide des Voyagrur,v, torn. ii. p. 197 ; and in Voyage su• le Rhin dpuis Mayence jusqu'a Dusseldorf, 2 tom. Neuwied, 1791.