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SEINE. This, one of the chief rivers of France (Lat. Seguana), rises on the eastern slope of the plateau of Langres, 18 miles to the north-west of Dijon. It keeps the same general direction (north-westwards) throughout its entire course, but has numerous windings : between its source and its mouth in the English Channel the air distance is only 250 miles, but that actually traversed (through the departments of C6te-d'Or, Aube, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-et, Oise, Seine, Eure, and Seine-Inferieure) is 482. Though shorter than the L9ire and inferior in volume to the streams of the Rhone system when these are at their fullest, the Seine derives an exceptional importance from the regularity of its flow. This feature is due to the geological character of its basin, an area of 19,400,000 acres, entirely belonging to France (with the exception of a few communes in Belgium), and formed in three-fourths of its extent of per-meable strata, which absorb the atmospheric precipitation to restore it gently to the river by perennial springs. It is believed that the Seine never attains a volume so high as 90,000 cubic feet per second. At Paris its average per second is 9000, and after it has received all its tributaries it ranges between 24,000 and 25,000 cubic feet. At Paris it falls as low as 2650 cubic feet and in exceptional droughts the figure of 1200 has been reached. During the flood of 1876, which lasted fifty-five days, the volume between the quays at Paris rose to 58,600 cubic feet per second.
Rising at a height of 1545 feet above sea-level, at the base of the statue of a nymph erected on the spot by the city of Paris, the Seine is at first such an insignificant streamlet that it is often dry in summer as far as to Chadlion (722 feet). At Bar (531 feet) its waters feed the Haute-Seine Canal, so that there is uninterrupted navigation from this point to the sea (395 miles). At Troyes it has descended to 331 feet. It next passes Mery, and at Marcilly receives the Aube (right), from which point it becomes navigable ; here it is deflected in a south-westerly direction by the heights of La Brie, the base of which it skirts past Nogent and Montereau, at the latter point receiving tho Yonne, its most important left-hand tributary. It then resumes its general north-westerly direction, receivin,(7,, the Loing (left) at 3Ioret, then passing Melun (121 feet), being joined at Cornell by the Essonne (left), and after its junction with the Marne (right), a tributary longer than itself by 31 miles, reaches Paris. From this point to the sea its channel has been so deepened by recent works that vessels of 9 to 10 feet draught can reach the capital. The river then winds through a pleasant cham-paign country past St Cloud, St Denis, Argenteuil, St Gerrnain, Conflans (where it is joined from the right by the Oise, 56 feet above the sea), Poissy, Mantes, Les Andelys, and Poses, where the tide first begins to be perceptible. It next receives the Enre (left), and passes Pont de l'Arche, Elbeuf, and Rouen, where the sea naviga-tion commences. The river has been dyked to Rouen so as to admit vessels of 20 feet draught, and large areas have thus been reclaimed for cultivation.' At every tide there is a " bore " (Lorre or mas-cara), ranging usually from 8 to 10 feet. Between Rouen and the sea there are numerous windings, as in the neighbourhood of Paris ; after Caudebec and Quillebceuf (where the Rille is received from the left) the estuary begins, set with extensive sandbanks, between which flows a narrow navigable channeL At Tanearville (right) is the commencement of a canal to enable river boats for Havre to avoid the sea passage. The river finally falls into the English Channel between Honfleur on the left and Havre on the right. The Marne brim's to the Seine the waters of the Ornain, the Ourcq, and the Monn ; the Oise those of the Aisne ; the Yonne those of the Arman-con. The low elevation of the bounding hills has rendered it com-paratively easy to connect the Seine and its affluents with adjoining river basins by means of canals. The Oise and Somme are connected by the Picardy or Crozat Canal, which in turn is continued to the Scheldt by means of the St Quentin Canal and the Oise, and to the Sambre by that of Oise and Sambre. Between the Aisne and the Meuse is the Ardennes Canal, and the Aisne and the Marne are united by a canal which passes Rheims. The Marne has similar communica-tion with the Meuse and the Rhine, the Yonne with the Sa8ne (by the Burgundy Canal) and with the Loire (by that of Nivernais). The Seine itself is connected with the Loire by the Loing Canal dividing at Montargis into two branches, - those of Orleans and Briar's.