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ing twenty, thirty, or fifty pounds per night for ten or twenty nights, and exacting that their names should be printed in large letters. It never occurred to the censors that it was the managers who invented the system-who commenced the flattering distinctions, and penned the tempting offers-who, to serve their own purposes, bribed, in the most unblushing manner, actors to break their engagements with a rival establishment-held out every inducement to dishonesty, ingratitude, and insolence; and, having "made the giants first," took fright when they found they could not "kill them afterwards." Like Frankenstein, they constructed a monster that spread ruin and desolation around them. They positively pointed out to the actor the advantage they had given to him, and he naturally availed himself of it; but the bubble has burst at last, like all the rest that have been blown by modern managers. Great letters and scarlet paragraphs have lost their influence on the public, and " an extra pit-door" is opened now in vain. The puffing has become more desperate with the state of the theatre, but it excites ridicule instead of curiosity; and until some manager is wag enough to announce that "such a drama or such an actor, having totally failed, will be withdrawn immediately, and its or his place supplied by something more worthy of public patronage," the assertion that such formances," notwithstanding their unabated attraction, must positively give place to others in preparation," will have the same effect, of keeping people out of the theatre, without the charm of truth or novelty to recommend it. While folly and quackery have been ruining the theatres, vice and vulgarity have laboured hard to degrade them. The association of the directors of theatres with the baser portion of the press-the mean truckling to its satellites the admission of such persons behind the scenes, and the consequent initiation of them into "the secrets of the prison-house" as they call it, have driven away in disgust the true friends and patrons of the drama, and filled the columns of sundry weekly journals with all the petty squabbles and intrigues of the green-room. These caterers for the worst appetites of the public have laid bare the weaknesses and published the errors of those to whose company they have been admitted, with malicious glee, and bespattered with vulgar abuse, or still more vulgar praise, every name connected with the drama. Whatever respect the thinking portion of the public may entertain for those who have provoked the enmity of such writers, there is no hope for those who are insulted by their friendship. The "Tom," "Dick," or " Jack," whom they delight to honour, must naturally be set down as their pot companion, and therefore forfeit all claim to admission into decent society. The town insensibly imbibes a prejudice against " theatrieal people." The virtuous and the honourable are confounded with the wanton and the base; and though professional merit will make its way despite of even the support of such persons, the respectability of the stage is destroyed, and to be connected with it has become almost a reproach and a by-word amongst the higher, though, perhaps, in point of fact, not better classes.

We are in strong hopes that this evil will, with many other minor mischiefs, be crushed in the general downfall of the present system, now tottering to its foundation, -that honour, honesty, and liberality are not dead, but sleeping, and that common sense will ere long point out to managers the impolicy of listening to any less worthy counsellors. Let good taste and true gentlemanly spirit actuate the directors of dramatic establishments, and the beneficial results will speedily be felt throughout the profession. The drama has declined not so much from want of talent, as from want of enlarged and liberal views in those who have influenced its destinies; for in England it is not studied as an art, but pursued as a speculation. Provided a bidder can be found with sufficient property to secure the rent to the proprietors, a theatre is let without the slightest consideration of the lessee's capability or desire to promote the true interests of the stage. Immediate profit is all that is looked to by all parties; and if a dancing-dog will bring one guinea more than the finest tragic actor, who is to blame if the cur be engaged in preference to the artist ?

MR. DENVIL.-THE NEW TRAGEDIAN. IF anything could rouse the town from the apathy with which it has hitherto regarded the proceedings at our patent theatres, it would surely be the appearance of an actor who has thrown the whole critical portion of it into a state of perplexity.

A Mr. Denvil, after playing all sorts of parts-good, bad, and indifferent-at such theatres as the Fitzroy, the Pavilion, the Garrick, and the Kensington, for several months, unnoticed, was at length, while acting at the latter, recommended to the attention of Mr. Bunn, who, struck by the originality of his manner, immediately engaged him; and on Monday, October 6th, a new Shylock made his bow to a very scanty audience in Drury Lane Theatre. Mr. Denvil has played the part three times, and confirmed the favourable impression he had already made upon the public by his subsequent performances of Richard III.,' and Bertram.' But while the public, and the public press, have almost unanimously come to the decision that he is an actor of considerable merit, the diversity of opinion, not only as to the extent of his abilities, but respecting almost every scene of his performance, is perhaps scarcely to be equalled in the annals of criticism.

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The Morning Post,' the least favourable of his judges, has done him the honour, in its notice of his Richard III., to quote Quin's remark upon Garrick ;-“ If this young fellow is right, then all the rest have been wrong"a strong testimony, at least, to his originality, and we hope a happy omen of his eventual triumph. The Examiner' calls him a most puzzling actor; and the conflicting evidence of the Times,' Herald,' Chronicle,' and Post,' on the morning after his appearance in Richard,' was amusingly summed up by the True Sun' in the evening.

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We cannot forbear quoting a few of these contradictions ourselves. The Times commences by stating that Richard III. "is a part of less intrinsic difficulty than many, perhaps most, of Shakspeare's chief characters;" while the Chronicle' declares that "the character of Richard is one of the most difficult for an actor to venture upon at the present moment." The Times' says, first soliloquy was enunciated with skill and effect;" while the Morning Post' asserts that," in the opening soliloquy, Mr. Denvil's deficiencies were at once apparent." The Times thinks he was " not equally happy in the death scene;"" while the Chronicle' remarks that "the dying scene was well managed, and exhibited a new reading of the action of the part, which we think rather an improvement." The Times' acknowledges that, in “his scene with Lady Anne, he was equal to any of his predecessors of the present generation, Kean excepted." the Chronicle' tells us it "was badly managed throughout, and was perhaps the worst part of his performance, which the Herald" flatly contradicts, by placing it amongst "the best part of his performance;" ranking it even above that of Mr. Kean, who, they "always thought, sacrificed nature to effect" in it!


"Mr. Denvil's manner," says the Herald,'" was all humility, tenderness, and contrition. It was the genuine wheedling of the devil." Yet the Post' contends that "the description But I've a tongue shall wheedle with the devil' was never justified." The Chronicle' backs the Post' by observing, "If Lady Anne could be deceived by Richard's protestations when delivered in such a tone and with such a manner, she deserved the misfortunes that followed her folly;" while the Herald' as roundly asserts, on the contrary, that Lady Anne appeared to have some plausible excuse for yielding to such a seemingly sincere and penitent lover. The Times' says, " It would have been a miracle if Mr. Denvil, with his capabilities, could have failed;" but the Morning Post' says the attempt was a decided failure," and all the others say he succeeded! Let us see if we can pluck out the heart of this mystery. What is the secret of Mr. Denvil's success? What is the reason that those who acknowledge it to be success scarcely know why it is so, or that those who deny it have come to so harsh a conclusion? In our opinion, it is simply this ;-Mr. Denvil is the first tragic actor in our recollection since Mr. John Kemble who has disdained trick of every descriptionwho has put everything to the homely but certain test of


common sense-who, having formed his own conception | suddenly surprised into applause by a truly natural burst of the character he is about to represent, has never vio- of passion, or touch of tenderness, endeavour to qualify lated it, even for a second, to obtain an extra round of ap- their praise by asserting that he is "a very unequal actor." plause. He would be content, apparently, to walk on and It would be, unfortunately, but a poor compliment to Mr. off the stage all night without making what is called " a Denvil to say, that with the exception of Mr. Macready point," unless it could be made naturally, as well as effec- we consider him the best tragedian now on the stage. tively. Those, consequently, who have been used to the We will go further and say, that he possesses qualifications exaggerated style of Mr. Kean, and accustomed to hear which, despite his faults, (for he is not "that faultless a roar of approbation anticipate even the point it was in- monster which the world ne'er saw,") may place the rarest tended to distinguish, consider Mr. Denvil's quiet, straight-laurels of his profession within his grasp, and that we forward, sensible delivery, tame and inefficient. They are have sanguine hopes of seeing him speedily gather, and thinking only of what Mr. Kean did, not what Richard honourably wear, them. would have done, or what Mr. Denvil is doing; and when

of matter.


Egypt.-The French paper, called the Moniteur Egyptien,' which was published at the expense of the government, and edited by a Frenchman of the name of Turle, has ceased to appear, in consequence of want of sale, chiefly arising from the impediments thrown in the editor's way with regard to choice It is likely to be succeeded by another paper, for which a capital is raising by private subscriptions at Alex. andria; but in spite of the Pasha's sanction to its appearance having been obtained, its days will probably be short and undistinguished. Better fortune promises to attend the new paper which has just come out at Cairo, in the Arabic, Turkish, and French languages: for independently of domestic and foreign intelligence, it contains regular prices-current of all imports and exports, and whatever regulations are laid down by the Pasha in respect of the navigation of the Red Sea and Mediterranean, as well as the trade of Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. It is the Pasha's intention to set a great institution, on the plan of our European universities, on foot. The principal mosque in this town has long had an excellent college attached to it, on the improvement of which great pains have been of late years bestowed. The subjects of instruction, to which it at present extends, are the Arabic, Turkish, French, and Italian languages; mathematics, history, geography, and drawing. Mehemet, sensible at last of the abuses and defects which render the existing system of government so inimical to the prosperity of his subjects, is said to have commissioned several intelligent individuals, including two Europeans, to inquire into the means of equalizing the public burthens, putting an end to the extortions and other malpractices of his agents, and introducing such measures as may inspire the people at large with confidence in his government, and provide a wholesome safeguard for persons and properties. The revolt in Syria, and the overt disaffection which has manifested itself in the province of Yemen, are believed to be at the bottom of this sudden determination.-Cairo, the 1st September.

New Zealand—The New Zealand chief Moyetera, to whom the Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land lately sent a sword, cloak, &c, was very highly elated with the notice thus taken of him, and sent several curiosities to his Excellency in return. We regret much that this interesting people are so much given to war and contention, and that guns and ammunition continue to be by far the best articles of profitable traffic with them. On a fair computation it is not probable that the whole population of both islands exceeds 200,000 souls, although on a recent occasion it was calculated that no less than half that

number had assembled on the banks of one river. Their unceasing warfare must, however, gradually lessen their numbers; and it appears probable that, before any great number of years have elapsed, this interesting race of men will, as in all other colonized countries, give place to the new comers, and totally disappear. Two horses were lately imported into New Zealand from Van Diemen's Land: they are intensely admired by the natives, and the chief Moyetera takes daily lessons in riding. Abridged from Hobart Town Courier.

Port Arthur Philosophical Society. The civil and military officers at Port Arthur, Van Diemen's Land, have been induced by the new and interesting features of that almost unexplored portion of the island, to form themselves into a little "philosophical society." As a commencement of their labours, a rich vein of copper ore has been discovered; a portion of which has been analyzed by Dr. Casey, the assistant-surgeon at the station, who obtained a beautiful specimen of the metal. The members are collecting a museum of all the natural productions of the neighbourhood which appear worthy of preservation, or seem calculated to throw light on the researches of science. One of the members takes drawings of the different plants, animals, &c. that come under examination, which are deposited in their little library.-—Hobart Town Courier.

A Non-Plebeian Village.-The extensive village of Broesen, near the town of Behrendt, in Western Prussia, does not contain a single individual of vulgar blood. Its inhabitants consist wholly of the descendants of noble Polish families.

Harp-alley School. (From a Correspondent). August 13, seven o'clock, P. M.-We were present at the half-yearly examination of this admirably-conducted school. The whole number of boys belonging to the school is 278; of whom 217 were present. We found a numerous and highly-respectable company assembled to take part in the proceedings; among whom we noticed Mr. Grote, M.P., Mrs. Austin, and several others. Mr. Grote officiated as chairman. The boys, whose excellent appearance gave great satisfaction to the company, were examined on several subjects, but more particularly in arithmetic, geography, and scripture. Questions were put to them by their own masters, by the head boys, by the chairman, and by the company present. We observed many of these questions which demanded considerable knowledge and sharp intelligence; the boys answered them with remarkable aptitude, and generally with correctness. The chairman in particular, seemed highly gratified with the proficiency of the boys. This proficiency is mainly due to their excellent director, the Rev. Mr. Wood, whose exertions to promote their welfare have made a deep impression upon his young pupils, and must be a source of the most pleasing reflections to himself.

Machinery. It was stated, at a public meeting, lately held in Birmingham, by Mr. W. Pares, in proof of the increase of the powers of production by the improvement of machinery in Great Britain, that the machinery in existence in 1792 was equal to the labour of 10,000,000 of labourers; in 1827, to 200,000,000; aud, in 1833, to 400,000,000. In the cotton-trade, spindles that used to revolve fifty times in a minute, now revolve, in some cases, 8000 times in a minute. At one mill in Manchester there are 136,000 spindles at work, spinning 1,200,000 miles of cotton thread per week.

Growth of Plants.-M. Meyer, superintendent of the botanical garden at Koenigsberg, in Prussia, has endeavoured to ascertain at what hours of the day plants have the most considerable growth. To this end he made choice of a certain number of the roots of the belladona (Amaryl'is Belladona), a plant well known to be of the most rapid growth; and he measured the stalks regularly three times a day-namely, at six in the morning, at noon, and at six in the evening, taking note also of the temperature by hibited in tables, which show at the first view, that the plants grow twice as much during the day as in the night; and this circumstance is attributed by M. Meyer to the combined influence of warmth and light. This observer also remarked, that the growth of the plants was in proportion to the elevation of the degree of influence which the light exercised upon the growth, temperature; but it was found to be impossible to ascertain the because the total privation of light, by lowering the temperature and injuring the health of the plant, precluded any result in which much confidence could be placed.

means of a thermometer. All the results obtained have been ex

Correcting the Press. The publishers of the French Dic tionary of French Dictionaries' have adopted a plan somewhat similar to that followed by the Stephenses and Elzevirs. The proof-sheets of the work will be open to general examination for seven days previously to the operation of pulling off the copies; and a premium of fifty cents (5d.) is offered for every typogra phical error which may be detected. Twenty errors discovered in one or more numbers of the work will entitle the discoverer to a gratuitous copy of the whole dictionary.

Tricks upon Travellers.-A correspondent, who has lately returned from Sicily, but without having succeeded, like so many preceding fellow-tourists, in discovering the far-famed oil-spring near Girgenti, affords us the best of reasons for his disappointment; to wit, that neither the Duke of Serradiferro, nor any initiated subordinate, was then and there at hand to replenish the aforesaid spring, at the foot of the Colle di Vulcano, with oleaginous



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No. 22.]


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before us. It is true the Huttonian theory rigidly excluded all causes not supposed to belong to the present order of nature; but, besides other objections, it assumed alternate periods of general disturbance and repose as part of the economy of nature, for which assumption there is neither proof nor probability. When we consider that it is only by a knowledge of the actual operation of physical causes, that we can safely speculate on their former action-(it being agreed by all that these causes are similar in kind, in all times, though modified in degree and intensity, at different periods, by the varying conditions under which they have been called into operation)—it is wonderful that the study of these causes should have been so long neglected. Much of this neglect is no doubt to be ascribed to the vicious methods of physical inquiry which prevailed up to a comparatively modern period, and much to the imperfect state of those sciences to which geology is particularly allied; but there still remains a large residuum to be traced to other sources. To the tracing these sources, Mr. Lyell has devoted the first book of his work; and though we could have much wished that he had adopted a better arrangement of his materials, particularly the historical portion, his observations, on the whole, deserve our warm commendation.

THIS is a new, and-what is better-an improved and cheap edition of a work which may fairly be considered as the most valuable treatise on geological science that has appeared since Playfair's Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory. Like that admirable work, its merit consists not less in the elegance of its style, and clearness of its arrangement, than in its power of riveting the reader's attention, and exercising his judgment. No man can read either work without adding considerably to his know"We must admit," says Mr. Lyell," that the gradual proledge, even though he should be led to withhold his gress of opinion concerning the succession of geological phenothat assent from some propositions, by arguments derived from mena, in very remote eras, resembles, in a singular manner, the works themselves. In one point-and that of no little in regard to the economy of nature in their own times. In an which has accompanied the growing intelligence of every people, moment-Mr. Lyell's book has far higher claims upon early stage of advancement, when a great number of natural apour respect than that of the eloquent defender of the pearances are unintelligible, an eclipse, an earthquake, a flood, or Huttonian Theory:' it is less one-sided-less the work the approach of a comet, with many other occurrences, afterwards of a partisan-and is immeasurably richer in facts, ascer- found to belong to the regular course of events, are regarded as tained from personal observation. Indeed, in this last prodigies. The same delusion prevails as to moral phenomena, particular alone, Mr. Lyell's volumes present strong claims and many of these are ascribed to the intervention of demons, upon our notice. Mr. Lyell has not based his work ghosts, witches, and other immaterial and supernatural agents. on hearsay evidence; nor has he, like Mr. Playfair, By degrees, many of the enigmas of the moral and physical world contented himself with collating and generalizing the are explained; and, instead of being due to extrinsic and irrefacts and opinions of other observers, but has devoted the gular causes, they are found to depend upon fixed and invariable labour of years to examining for himself the geological viating uniformity of secondary causes, and, guided by his faith laws. The philosopher at last becomes convinced of the undeconditions of the earth's surface; and, in the course of his in this principle, he determines the probability of accounts transinvestigations, has left few districts of the Continent-mitted to him of former occurrences, and often rejects the fabufrom the Gulf of Bothnia to the Mediterranean-unex-lous tales of former times, on the ground of their being irreconplored; having visited some twice and others oftener. Such extensive observations, it is hardly necessary to add, could only be made under a favourable combination of the goods of fortune with scientific zeal.

The motto, taken from Playfair's Illustrations,' which Mr. Lyell has prefixed to the first volume of his work, well expresses its leading object :—

"Amid all the revolutions of the globe, the economy of Nature has been uniform; and her laws are the only things that have resisted the general movement. The rivers and the rocks, the seas and the continents, have been changed in all their parts; but the laws which direct those changes, and the rules to which they are subject, have remained invariably the same."

Now, that the physical agencies at present in operation have produced, and will continue to produce, great changes in the geological conditions of the earth's surface, is a doctrine as old as Strabo, and-as Mr. Lyell has clearly shown-was taught by several of the Italian geologists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; but that the operation of these agencies is sufficient to account for all the geological phenomena which an examination of the shell of our planet unfolds, has been nowhere so steadily and systematically put forth as in the volumes VOL. II,

cilable with the experience of more enlightened ages."

But this love of the marvellous-as universal as the

human race-was not the only source of error in the changes that had taken place in the earth's crust. In earlier speculations of geologists with respect to the his history of the progress of geological theory-that history of human folly on the large scale-of genius labouring to be ridiculous-and learning and ingenuity arrayed in motley-Mr. Lyell has pointed out the many absurdities into which a conscientious anxiety to accommodate all observed phenomena to the scriptural account of the creation and deluge betrayed men of the highest order of intellect. That the Mosaic revelation had far higher objects than inducting the chosen people in physical science, and that those who would identify its divine origin with the conjectures and opinions of physical inquirers, only degrade it by the alliance-is a truth the growth only of modern times. To the physico-theologian of the school of Woodward and Ray, Whiston and Burnett, we would, once for all, apply the strong censure of Bacon :

"This vanity merits castigation and reproof the more, as from the mischievous admixture of divine and human things there is L

a compound at once of fanatical philosophy and an heretical | bulæ hypothesis, refers the whole matter to the varying religion *."

Another of the sources of the disbelief in the want of conformity in the causes by which the earth's crust has been modified by ancient and modern periods, was the universally-prevalent delusion with respect to the age of the world, and the date of the first creation of animate beings. The consequence of this delusion was the crowding into one short period of events which must have occupied myriads of ages in their progress, and which could only have succeeded each other at long intervals.

eccentricity of the earth's orbit. To all these piecemeal workshop observers, the sarcasm of Cicero against the musician who explained all things by the doctrine of harmony, strongly applies:-" Hic ab artificio suo non decessit." It were indeed a good precaution, as Mr. Playfair has well observed, for a man who studies nature, to distrust those things with which he is particularly conversant, and which he is accustomed to contemplate with pleasure.

We have thus somewhat minutely enumerated the sources of the errors and prejudices which have so long retarded the progress of sound geology, because a consideration of them will be found of the highest practical import

"Another liability to error, very nearly allied to the last-mentioned, arose from the frequent contact of geological monuments, referring to very distant periods of time. We often behold at one glance the effects of causes which have happened at times incal-ance, not only in geology, but in every other combination of culably remote, and yet there may be no striking circumstances to mark the occurrence of a great chasm in the chronological series of Nature's archives. In the vast interval of time which may really have elapsed between the results of operations thus compared, the physical condition of the earth may, by slow and insensible modifications, have become entirely altered; one or more races of organic beings may have passed away, and yet have left behind, in the particular region under contemplation, no traces of their existence."-vol. i. p. 116.

physical and natural science, and because the chief merit of the work before us consists in the sagacity with which the principles and methods of philosophy to which such consideration leads have been followed out to their last results. It must not be inferred from this commendation that we subscribe to all Mr. Lyell's doctrines and opinions, or that we even go so far as to affirm unqualifiedly that he has established his main proposition, namely, the general sufficiency of the physical causes now in operation to solve all the geological phenomena of the earth's crust. In the absence of sufficient data, for example, we can only receive his theory of a decreased temperature of certain portions of the the relative positions of land and sea, as a probable hypoearth's surface (of, say the north of Europe, since it became the habitation of animated beings) by a change in thesis. And while we are prepared to commend his happy

There are prejudices arising from our peculiar position as inhabitants of the land, and from our not being able to witness subterranean changes, which also have had their influence in diverting attention from the operation of the earth's surface. As dwellers on the land, we inhabit existing physical agencies in modifying the condition of about a fourth part of the earth's surface, and that portion is almost exclusively the theatre of decay, and not of repro-and satisfactory application of actual physical causes to duction. We know, indeed, that new deposits are annually formed in seas and lakes, and that every year some the solution of the geological phenomena of the tertiary new igneous rocks are produced in the bowels of the earth; epoch-that is the period, the physical conditions of which but we cannot watch the progress of their formation; and approximated most closely to the conditions of the present as they are only present to our minds by the aid of reflec-day, we must with Mr. Conybeare and others (Report tion, it requires an effort both of the reason and the ima-ciation') be permitted to doubt whether the same identity on Geology,' 'Transactions of the British Scientific Assogination to appreciate duly their importance. If we were inhabitants of another element,-if the great ocean were our domain, instead of the narrow limits of the land, our difficulties would be considerably lessened; while, on the other hand, there can be little doubt, observes Mr. Lyell, although the reader may perhaps smile at the bare suggestion of such an idea, that an amphibious being, who should possess our faculties, would still more easily arrive at sound theoretical opinions in geology, since he might behold, on the one hand, the decomposition of rocks in the atmosphere, or the transportation of matter by running water; and, on the other, examine the deposition of sediment in the sea, and the imbedding of animal and vegetable remains in new strata.

can be predicated of the general physical condition of the surface of those earlier primordial periods, when the series of rocks with which we are acquainted were only beginning extensive observations should lead to the conclusion, that to be deposited. But if even multiplied data and more Mr. Lyell has strained his analogies between the past and the present operations of nature too far-that circumstance cannot derogate from his great merits as a benefactor to geological science. The great service which Mr. Lyell has conferred upon this science, and indirectly upon natural history at large, has been the calling the attention of geologists to the magnitude of the various forces which are still modifying, and always have modified, the external form of the earth. By a generalized examination of the various changes actually in progress, he has incontestably established, that be the relative value of these forces what it may, their aggregate effect has been hitherto greatly tion of the scope and designs of his work, we shall prounderrated by geologists. With this general commendaceed to notice briefly its leading propositions: and first with regard to the inorganic world."

To these sources of error as to the causes, or antecedent conditions of geological phenomena, Mr. Lyell might, with great propriety, have added the no less fruitful sources of false reasoning, which come under the head of what Bacon calls the "idols of the den"-that is, the bias which the understanding so often receives from those various circumstances of education, local position, and temperament, which form the character of the individual, and still more frequently from an exclusive attention to inorganic world under the obvious and natural classes of Mr. Lyell classes the two great agents of change in the favourite studies, and from professional habits of thinking. the aqueous and igneous agencies. To the former belong Thus local circumstances have so far influenced the Italian rivers, torrents, springs, currents, and tides; to the ig geologists, as almost to confine their observations to volcanic agencies; while the Germans have, speaking gene-be regarded as antagonist forces-the aqueous incessantly neous, volcanoes and earthquakes. These two classes may rally, as exclusively directed their attention to the strictly labouring to reduce the inequalities of the earth's surface mineralogical or crystalline conditions of the earth's crust; to a level; while the igneous are equally active in restoring and the English and French to the phenomena and organic the unevenness of the external crust, partly by heaping remains of the coal and tertiary formations. Then the mere chemist would have you believe- one class, of the Kirwan up new matter in certain localities, and partly by depressand De Luc school, that all rocks are precipitates from ing one portion, and forcing out another, of the earth's aqueous solution; another, with Sir Humphry Davy at each of these classes of forces, we shall quote his account envelope. As an illustration of the aggregate magnitude of their head, that they are metallic oxides, formed by of the action of the Mississippi River on the soil through the union of the oxygen of decomposed water with the which it flows, and his account of the great earthquake

metallic bases of the earths and alkalies. The mineralogical crystallographer, on the other hand, affirms that the whole of the phenomena depend on crystallization-that the globe, in fact, is one huge crystal, the mountains being the slope of its facets, and the different strata planes of cleavage; while the astronomer, with his condensed ne

"Tanto magis hæc vanitas inhibenda est et coercenda,quia ex divinorum et humanorum malesana admixtione, non solum educitus philosophia phantastica, sed etiam religio hæretica."

in Chili in 1822:

"The hydrographical basin of the Mississippi displays, on the grandest scale, the action of running water on the surface of a vast continent. This magnificent river rises nearly in the fortyninth parallel of north latitude, and flows to the Gulf of Mexico in the twenty-ninth-a course, including its meanders, of nearly 5000 miles. It passes from a cold arctic climate, traverses the temperate regions, and discharges its waters into the sea in the region of the olive, the fig, and the sugar-cane. No river affords a

more striking illustration of the law beforementioned, that an augmentation of volume does not occasion a proportional increase of surface, nay, is even sometimes attended with a narrowing of the channel. The Mississippi is half a mile wide at its junction with the Missouri, the latter being also of equal width; yet the united waters have only, from their confluence to the mouth of the Ohio, a medial width of about three quarters of a mile. The junction of the Ohio seems also to produce no increase, but rather a decrease, of surface. The St. Francis, White, Arkansas, and Red rivers, are also absorbed by the main stream with scarcely any apparent increase of its width; and, on arriving near the sea at New Orleans, it is somewhat less than half a mile wide. Its depth there is very variable, the greatest at high water being 168 feet. The mean rate at which the whole body of water flows is variously estimated: according to some, it does not exceed one mile "Waste of its Banks.-After the flood season, when the river subsides within its channel, it acts with destructive force upon the alluvial banks, softened and diluted by the recent overflow. Several acres at a time, thickly covered with wood, are precipitated into the stream; and large portions of the islands formed by the process before described, are swept away.

an hour."

"Some years ago,' observes Captain Hall, when the Mississippi was regularly surveyed, all its islands were numbered, from the confluence of the Missouri to the sea; but every season makes such revolutions, not only in the number, but in the magnitude and situation of these islands, that this enumeration is now almost obsolete. Sometimes large islands are entirely melted away-at other places they have attached themselves to the main shore, or, which is the more correct statement, the interval has been filled up by myriads of logs cemented together by mud and rubbish.'

The prodigious quantity of wood annually drifted down by the Mississippi and its tributaries is a subject of geological interest, not merely as illustrating the manner in which abundance of vegetable matter becomes, in the ordinary course of Nature, imbedded in submarine and estuary deposits, but as attesting the constant destruction of soil and transportation of matter to lower levels by the tendency of rivers to shift their courses. Each of these trees must have required many years, some of them many centuries, to attain their full size: the soil, therefore, whereon they grew, after remaining undisturbed for long periods, is ultimately torn up and swept away. Yet, notwithstanding this incessant destruction of land and uprooting of trees, the region which yields this never-failing supply of drift wood is densely clothed with noble forests, and is almost unrivalled in its power of supporting animal and vegetable life.

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"On the 19th of November, 1822, the coast of Chili was visited by a most destructive earthquake. The shock was felt simultaneously throughout a space of 1200 miles from north to south. St. Jago, Valparaiso, and some other places, were greatly injured. When the district round Valparaiso was examined on the morning after the shock, it was found that the whole line of coast, for the distance of above one hundred miles, was raised above its former level. At Valparaiso the elevation was three feet, and at Quintero about four feet. Part of the bed of the sea remained bare and dry at high water, with beds of oysters, muscles, and other shells, adhering to the rocks on which they grew, the fish being all dead, and exhaling most offensive effluvia.'

"I have been informed by Mr. Cruckshanks, who resided in the country during the earthquake, that for several days after the event, fishermen dug out certain burrowing shells from sands above low-water mark, which previously they had only procured below that level. The same gentleman found that some rocks of greenstone at Quintero, a few hundred yards from the beach, which had always been under water till the shock of 1822, have since been uncovered when the tide is at half-ebb; and he states that, after the earthquake, it was the general belief of the fishermen and inhabitants of the Chilian coast, that the ocean had permanently retreated, not that the land had risen.

"An old wreck of a ship, which before could not be approached, became accessible from the land, although its distance from the original sea-shore had not altered. It was observed, that the water-course of a mill, at the distance of about a mile from the sea, gained a fall of fourteen inches in little more than one hundred yards; and from this fact it is inferred that the rise in some parts of the inland country was far more considerable than on the borders of the ocean. Part of the coast thus elevated consisted of granite, in which parallel fissures were caused, some of which were traced for a mile and a half inland. Cones of earth, about four feet high, were thrown up in several districts, by the forcing up of water mixed with sand through funnel-shaped hollows-a phenomenon very common in Cala

Those houses in Chili of which the foundations were on rock were less damaged than such as were built on alluvial soil.

"Extent of country elevated. The area over which this permanent alteration of level extended was estimated at 100,000 square miles. The whole country, from the foot of the Andes to a great distance under the sea, is supposed to have been raised, the greatest rise being at the distance of about two miles from the shore. The rise upon the coast was from two to four feet: at the distance of a mile inland it must have been from five to six, or seven feet.' The soundings in the harbour of Valparaiso have been materially changed by this shock, and the bottom has become shallower. The shocks continued up to the end of September, 1823; even then, forty-eight hours seldom passed without one, and sometimes two or three were felt during twenty-four hours. Mrs. Graham observed, after the earthquake of 1822, that, besides the beach newly raised above high-water mark, there were several older elevated lines of beach one above the other, consisting of shingle mixed with shells, extending in a parallel direction to the shore, to the height of fifty feet above the sea.

"Innumerable herds of wild deer and bisons feed on the luxu-bria, and the explanation of which will hereafter be considered. rious pastures of the plains. The jaguar, the wolf, and the fox, are amongst the beasts of prey. The waters teem with alligators and tortoises, and their surface is covered with millions of migratory water-fowl, which perform their annual voyage between the Canadian lakes and the shores of the Mexican Gulf. The power of man begins to be sensibly felt, and the wilderness to be replaced by towns, orchards, and gardens. The gilded steam-boat, like a moving city, now stems the current with a steady pacenow shoots rapidly down the descending stream through the solitudes of the forests and prairies. Already does the flourishing population of the great valley exceed that of the thirteen United States when they first declared their independence, and, after a sanguinary struggle, were severed from the parent country. Such is the state of a continent where rocks and trees are hurried annually, by a thousand torrents, from the mountains to the plains, and where sand and finer matter are swept down by a vast current to the sea, together with the wreck of countless forests and bones of animals which perish in the inundations. When these materials reach the Gulf, they do not render the waters unfit for aquatic animals; but, on the contrary, the ocean here swarms with life, as it generally does where the influx of a great river furnishes a copious supply of organic and mineral matter. Yet many geologists, when they behold the spoils of the land heaped in successive strata, and blended confusedly with the remains of fishes, or interspersed with broken shells and corals, imagine that they are viewing the signs of a turbulent instead of a tranquil and settled state of the planet. They read in such phenomena the proof of chaotic disorder and reiterated catastrophes, instead of indications of a surface as habitable as the most delicious and fertile districts now tenanted by man. They are not content with disregarding the analogy of the present course of Nature, when they speculate on the revolutions of past times, but they often draw conclusions, concerning the former state of things, directly the reverse of those to which a fair induction from facts would infallibly lead them."

The quantity of mud and sand annually carried down by this great river is immense. Some notion of the amount may be formed when the reader is told that the Ganges carried down not less than 339,413,760 tons weight of solid matter during 122 days of the rainy season. Now there is no limit of time to the operation of this extensive and constant power; so that it requires no great stretch

"In order to give some idea of the enormous amount of change which this single convulsion may have occasioned, let us assume that the extent of country moved was correctly estimated at 100,000 square miles-an extent just equal to half the area of France, or about five-sixths of the area of Great Britain and Ireland. If we suppose the elevation to have been only three feet on an average, it will be seen that the mass of rock added to the continent of America by the movement, or, in other words, the mass previously below the level of the sea, and after the shocks permanently above it, must have contained fifty-seven cubic miles in bulk; which would be sufficient to form a conical mountain two miles high (or about as high as Etna), with a circumference at the base of nearly thirty-three miles. We may take the mean specific gravity of the rock at 2.655-a fair average, and a convenient one in such computations, because at such a rate a cubic yard weighs two tons. Then, assuming the great Pyramid of Egypt, if solid, to weigh, in accordance with an estimate before given, six million tons, we may state the rock added to the continent by the Chilian earthquake to have more than equalled 100,000 pyramids.

"But it must always be borne in mind that the weight of rock here alluded to constituted but an insignificant part of the whole amount which the volcanic forces had to overcome. The whole thickness of rock between the surface of Chili and the subterra

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