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lime, for the reasons you have just This is the usual style of the work given, I, in the same way, call Geolo- in those parts where the more argugy romantic, because it not only leads mentative topics of the science are not us to travel among the wildest scenery the subject of discussion. In that of nature, but carries us back to the case, though the style admits of fewer birth and infancy of our little planet, ornaments, the interest is kept up by and follows its history of deluges, and apt illustrations, curious facts, and unhurricanes, and earthquakes, which expected transitions in the argument. have left such numerous traces of their More than two-thirds of the volume devastations. Would you not think are devoted to the two leading Geologiit romantic to travel, as must be done cal Theories of Hutton and Werner, by the geological inquirer, among the advocates severally for the agency mountains and valleys, where tempests of fire and water, whose followers are have bared and shattered the hardest usually designated Vulcanists and rocks, and where alternate rains and Neptunists. Our readers may not be frosts are crumbling the solid materi- displeased to see a brief outline of als of mountains, while the springs these celebrated theories, as we shall and rivers wash away the fragments, attempt to redact it from the luminous to deposit them again in the various sketches in the “ Conversations.” stages of their course? And would For the purpose of making a globe you not think it romantic to dream like the earth, the seas, continents, about the young world emerging from and islands, diversified with hills and darkness, and rejoicing in the first valleys, and productive of food for dawn of created light? To think of various animals, Dr. Hutton considerthe building of mountains, the hollow- ed it as indispensable that other ing out of valleys, and the gathering globes should have previously existed, together of the great waters of the from which materials for the structure ocean? And will it not be romantic might be derived. These supposito discover the traces of the ancient titious worlds being acted on by the world before the time of Noah, in eve- moist atmosphere, by rains, and by ry hill and valley which you examine the frost and thaws of winter and
“ Edward. This will, indeed, be spring, would, in a long course of romantic and interesting, though I am years, be crumbled down, or, as the not sure I shall understand it so well Geologists say, disintegrated, and as Astronomy.
gradually carried by rivers, in the “ Mrs. R.-On the contrary, I form of sand, clay, and gravel, to the think Geology is, perhaps, better fit. sea. At the bottom of the sea these ted for our limited comprehensions materials would arrange themselves in than Astronomy; for it is more within beds, differing in thickness, according our reach to examine the structure and to the circumstances by which they formation of mountains, than that of might be affected. But those beds the sun or of the stars ; and it is ea- would have continued in the soft state sier to bring the mind to rest on of sand or clay for ever, unless somethe comparative littleness of the earth thing occurred to harden them. It is at its creation, than to let our thoughts here that Dr. Hutton brings in the travel abroad through the boundless agency of fire, and tells us, that there fields of infinite space. When we is at the bottom of the sea sufficient descend to the earth, we feel our- heat, from a great central fire which selves more at home; we are not so he conceives to exist in the centre of overpowered by sublimity as in the the globe, to melt all the clay, sand, contemplation of astronomy; we can and gravel, and to form them into think more calmly and reason more rocks. He provides for the appearat ease ; and we can trace the finger ance of these above water, by supposof God more visibly,-perhaps be- ing that the central fire occasionally cause more nearly."
expands itself, and elevates the newlyformed rocks into islands and conti- salt, which he called Level or Floetz nents, diversified by hills and valleys, Rocks. these being destined in their turn to Since that period, the wearing the same changes of destruction and down of the rocks, by the action of renovation, as those from which they the weather and other causes, and the took their origin. .
washing away of the worn materials According to the rival Geological by rains and streams of water, have Theorist, Werner, all the substances formed soil, gravel, sand, peat, and which now constitute rocks, mountains, the various other beds which are calland soil, on the earth's surface, were ed Alluvial. originally existing in a state of solu- Besides alluvial strata, however, tion in the waters of the great Chaos, there are several others of recent forwhich he supposes at the beginning to mation which are not comprehended have surrounded the globe to a vast in this outline of the Wernerian sysdepth. The substances or materials tem, such as volcanic rocks, and those of rocks, thus swimming in the primi - which are composed of coral, and tive ocean, he conceives to have gra- are at this moment progressively indually fallen to the bottom, sometimes creasing. Of volcanic rocks Werneby chemical, sometimes by mechani- rians take as little notice as possible, cal means, and sometimes by both to- inasmuch as the very name is inimical gether; and in this manner, he thinks, to their water theory; for, like all all the rocks have been formed which theorists, they carry their notions to a we now find on digging into the earth. ridiculous length, as a plain man, The inequalities of mountains and though ignorant of Geology, may well valleys on the surface of the earth, understand, when we tell him that which were thus produced as soon as some of the disciples of Werner the waters began to subside, (and have exerted their ingenuity to prove this subsidence is an important point that lava rocks, the chronology of in the system,) gradually rose out of whose formation is ascertained and the primitive sea, forming the first recorded, have never been melted by dry land. The rocks which were in fire, but are genuine aqueous deposits this manner first formed, Werner calls from the Wernerian waters! Of the the Original, or Primitive Formation: coral rocks and islands, we have a they consist of granite, greiss, differ- most lively and interesting account in ent species of slate, marble, and trap. the work before us; and, though it is
The formation of these rocks, how- not quite so short as to render it suiterer, did not, it seems, exhaust the able for an extract, we think our readmaterials floating in the waters, for ers will be pleased to see so much of the deposition went on, and a class of it, as we can spare room to insert. rocks were formed consisting of grey " Mrs. R.-The polypus zoophytes wacké, limestone, and trap, which which manufacture coral and build rested on the primitive, and are called islands, are minute and delicate in by Werner the Intermediate or Tran- structure, and seem to have the power sition Rocks ; because, on their ap- of encasing themselves with a hard pearance above the waters, the earth, crust for the purpose of protection. he conceives, passed into a habitable " Edward.—More, then, it would state.
appear, like a snail or a shell-fish After the formation of those primi- than an insect. tive and transition rocks, Werner al “Mrs. R.—You are right; and leges that the water suddenly rose you may judge of the number of a coover them to a great height, covering ral colony, from the extraordinary them in many places, as it again sub- facts related by voyagers of unquezsided, with a new formation of rocks tionable credit. Captain Flinders, consisting of sandstone, conglomerates, for instance, tells us that the quantity limestone, gypsum, chalk, and rock- of coral reefs between New Holland, New Caledonia, and New Guinea, is made into trinkets ; but they all consuch that it might justly be called the sist of lime, carbonic acid gas, and the Coraline sea, there being here, for slimy substance of the polypus for a three hundred and fisty miles in a cement. straight line, a coral reef or barrier, “ Christina. I can understand this uninterrupted by any large opening perfectly, and I am quite delighted into the sea; and this reef is connect- with this history of coral; but I had ed with others so as altogether to no notion that I should meet with such make an extent of nearly one thou- things in Geology. sand miles in length, and from twenty “ Edward.—I cannot, however, to fifty miles in breadth.
conceive well how such animals con“ Edward.—I should like very cert together to form a reef or an much to see the little creatures at island, as I presume they are no less work upon such an immense mound. stupid than snails seem to be.
"Mrs. R.—That would be impos- « Mrs. R.-With respect to their sible, as their work is slow and gradu- intelligence, we can derive our inforal; you might as well say you would mation only from their works; and, like to see a snail at work in making from what I shall tell you, it must be its shell, or a rose-tree at work in concluded, either that they are very making its flower.
wise and skilful, or that they are im“ Edward.—The process of the co- mediately directed in their operations ral polypus, at least, has been ex- by an all-wise Providence. plained, I presume.
" Edward.-In the formation of « Mrs. R.-As to that, it is the shell, at least, there is no intelligence same with the process of forming the manifested on the part of the little snail-shell. The sea-water always manufacturer ; it is only the result of contains lime, as do the vegetables a natural chemical process, over upon which the snail feeds; now, you which it seems to have little, if any, know that, when lime meets with car- control. bonic acid gas, it unites with it and “ Mrs. R.-Right : but what I reforms chalk, or lime-stone, or marble. fer to is a union of purpose and design
“ Edward.--All this is obvious; but in all the individuals of a coral colony, I cannot conjecture where the coral which you will confess to be surpriszoophyte, or the snail, gets - the car- ing, when I tell you that most, if not bonic acid gas to unite with the lime. all, of the coral reefs are built in the
« Mrs. R.-So you have forgot form of a crescent, and sometimes of your pretty chemical experiment of a circle, with the back to the sea, as blowing through a glass tube into lime- if the coral animalcules were aware of water?
the properties of the arch, and knew « Edward.—Oh, no! but I did not that it would resist the dashing of the know that a coral zoophyte, or a snail, waves better than a straight line. breathed as I do.
" Edward.-- This is indeed most « Mrs. R.-It seems to be a gene- wonderful. ral law of all living things to produce “ Mrs. R.-The wonder is increascarbonic acid gas in a way similar to ed when we find that the back of the ourselves; and it is probable, that in coral crescent is generally directed the snail and the coral zoophyte this towards the quarter from which gas passes off from the surface of the storms most frequently come. Now, body, where it meets with the lime these are circumstances which cannot that forms the basis of the shell; and be explained otherwise than by the this is cemented into a firmer sub- operation of intelligence and design ; stance by the slime of the animal for the sea would naturally beat in the which is present at the same time. back of the crescent, and, by reversing Some sorts of coral, you know, are so it, turn its bosom to the waves in the hard as to take a fine polish, and are form of a bay.”
This is followed by details in the cuity and plainness of style, and acsame narrative style, of the coral curate knowledge of science, to the islands described by Flinders and “ Conversations on Chemistry,” &c., Cooke, in the South Seas, and by which have become so deservedly Salt and Bruce in the Red Sea ; but popular. The volume before us is, for these we cannot spare room, and besides, the first attempt to exhibit must refer such as are interested in the fashionable science of Geology in the subject to the work itself.
a familiar dress, adapted to general We have only to add, that the readers and those who have not lei“ Conversations on Geology" are not sure to dipinto more ponderous inferior in pointed illustration, perspi- works.
Said I in vain that sky and earth
The turf, whose sweets are fed with showers, Are gushing o'er with many a tale?
Their nature's cool and dewy boon; And that this silent night gives birth
The flakes of cloud that mount the breeze To thoughts whose memory ne'er should Light as the foam of azure seas; Said I in vain, there breathes a story
It folds them all, the gentle Eve! Through yon blue tracts of star-lit glory?
Beneath its wide and purple wings,
Too softly, gladly hushed to grieve No, Lady, no ! Thou, too, has felt
For the broad lights that morning brings;
And welcomed all its influence.
And if, amid this glorious time,
This thrilling silence, mingle aught
Of less aspiring and sublime, The broad and solemn shades are scat Of troubled dream and selfish thought; tered
If recollections, strange and foul,
If thus it be-this seraph night
And from each far etherial height The glow of heaven on Eden's sod.
Breathes down the peace which lives
aboveThe world is not asleep, but fillid
God never sent to man an hour With that unbroken, happy calm
Of purer hope, of bolier power. Wherein each hastier pulse is stillid,
And every breath a voiceless psalm ; But, Lady! in thy gentle breast And e'en the soul, in memory's spite,
The skies no jarring contrast see; Drinks from the skies their starry light. The world whose storms are all at rest,
In gladness is at one with thee ; The trees, whose spires, and tufts, and bowers Thou feel'st what I can but believe, Glimmer beneath the journeying moon; That the heart need not always grieve.
THE YOUNG ARAB SHEIK.
A TALE, ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE ARABIAN MANNERS.
“ Free as the mountain air."
The heat of the mid-day sun was steed, and seek out his temporary scorching the desert plain of Arabia home. At a distance were seen the Petræa, and the intensity of its rays mountains of Horeb and Sinai ; bewarned the pilgrim to rest himself be- tween them and the traveller of the neath the shady palm, and induced desert, appeared one of those delightthe wild Arab to put spurs to his fleet ful spots on which the eye of the Arab
19 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
looks with peculiar pleasure. He is ger as he approached, and when he the child of enthusiasm and romance, had come up within a bowshot, sudand though his life is one continued denly wheeled his horse round, and scene of predatory warfare, he bounds charged him at full speed. The over the plains with the rapturous stranger drew his sabre, but the imfeelings of a superior being, and for petuous attack of the Arab could not him alone is “ Eden raised in the be withstood; and though the former waste wilderness.” The palm-tree, received no wound, by reason of the the tamarind, and the pomegranate, spear alighting on the saddle, yet the were towering over this garden of the force of the charge overthrew both desert. It gladdens the weary pil- man and horse, and, before they could grim when he first beholds it from recover themselves, the Arab was at afar, and his heart leaps with delight the spot with his firelock pointed on when he is sheltered in its bosom his fallen adversary. “I want a gift from the fierceness of the sky, and his for Cora,” exclaimed the Arab; feet relieved from the insupportable « give me your gold, and do not oblige heat of the burning sands. He sits me to shed your blood; it is counted in this grateful shade, and refreshes a curse among us to take away the himself with the fruit of the tamarind life of a traveller in the desert." and the Indian fig-tree, and drinks the « Metbinks (answered the other) milk of the cocoa-nut.
your scruples are somewhat too nice; An Arab flew along the desert, on after upsetting me so unceremoniously, his beautiful courser. His long it cannot be necessary to preach molance was in his right hand, and his rality whilst you are robbing me.” sabre hung by his side ; his firelock “What have the sons of Ishmael !" was fixed at the saddle-bow. He said the Arab : “ by fraud our propassed along with the swiftness of an genitor was deprived of his inheriarrow, but the easy motion of his tance, and by force we may recover beast roused him not from the luxury our right. Nothing was left for us, of his imagination. His eye was but what our arms might obtain from lifeless, and a settled gravity over the hands of the spoiler; we have no spread his features, but his mind was home but the desert." actively employed in scenes of ro- “ If you will remove that old rusty mance. He was thinking of the fair firelock from my nether jaw,” said Cora, the delight of the desert, and he the traveller, “ I shall feel much more had separated himself from his tribe, at home than I do at the present mothat he might search out the tent of ment. Here are two bags filled with the old sheik, her father. He bent gold sequins of Cairo-take them, and his way towards the oasis, nor would be satisfied.” The Arab stretched he have been long in reaching it, but out his right hand to take them, still his attention was at this moment di- holding his firelock in the left, steadirected to an object which appeared on ed on the pommel of the saddle, and the horizon : at sight of it he abated directed towards his prisoner. “I his speed, and somewhat altered his should judge by their weight," said course.
he, poising the bags as he spoke, The dark speck had motion, yet " that it is as you say, and I shall exwhat it might be, a common eye could amine thein at my leisure. There is not have determined ; but the eye of a no necessity,"continued he, slowly reBedouin is seldom deceived. The placing his firelock in its rest, « for Arab placed his spear in rest, and you to remain longer on the ground, passed on at an easy pace. The ob- the heat of the sand may incommode ject now hegan to assume a determi- you.” « Your courtesy is rather ill nate form, and a horseman might be timed,” said the traveller, rising, and perceived, advancing rapidly across clearing his disordered dress from the the plain. The Arab eyed the stran- sand, “and I can very well dispense