Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/354

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and of the mayors of the two cities, aggregating over two millions of inhabitants? In the place of stillness and solitude, the footsteps of these millions of human beings; instead of the smooth waters, "unvexed by any keel," highways of commerce ablaze with the flags of all nations; and where once was the green monotony of forested hills, the piled and towering splendors of a vast metropolis, the countless homes of industry, the echoing marts of trade, the gorgeous palaces of luxury, the silent and steadfast spires of worship!

To crown all, the work of separation wrought so surely, yet so slowly, by the hand of time, is now reversed in our own day, and "Manahattaa" and "Seawanhaka" are joined again as once they were before the dawn of life in the far azoic ages.

"It is done!
Clang of bell and roar of gun
Send the tidings up and down.
How the belfries rock and reel!
How the great guns, peal on peal,
Fling the joy from town to town!"

"What hath God wrought!" were the words of wonder which ushered into being the magnetic telegraph, the greatest marvel of the many marvelous inventions of the present century. It was the natural impulse of the pious maiden who chose this first message of reverence and awe, to look to the Divine Power as the author of a new gospel. For it was the invisible, and not the visible agency, which addressed itself to her perceptions. Neither the bare poles nor the slender wire, nor even the small battery, could suggest an adequate explanation for the extinction of time and space which was manifest to her senses, and she could only say, "What hath God wrought!"

But when we turn from the unsightly telegraph to the graceful structure at whose portal we stand, and when we contrast the airy outline of its curves of beauty, pendent between massive towers suggestive of art alone, with the overreaching vault of heaven above and the ever-moving flood of waters beneath, the work of Omnipotent Power, we are irresistibly moved to exclaim, "What hath man wrought!"

Man hath indeed wrought far more than strikes the eye in this daring undertaking, which, by the general judgment of engineers, stands to-day without a rival among the wonders of human skill. It is not the work of any one man or of any one age. It is the result of the study of the experience and of the knowledge of many men in many ages. It is not merely a creation; it is a growth. It stands before us to-day as the sum and epitome of human knowledge; as the very heir of the ages; as the latest glory of centuries of patient observation, profound study, and accumulated skill, gained, step by step, in the never-ending struggle of man to subdue the forces of Nature to his control and use.