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of plants, to supply the place of those which die of age, must be able to reach the soil beneath this accumulation, and root in the soil in order to become trees; and this they could not do, if the accumulation exceeded a few inches in depth. But in a preceding page, speaking of the anthracite of the Bear Mountain, it is said:-"The vegetable matter, which is represented by this enormous mass of anthracite, must, before it was condensed by pressure, and the discharge of its hydrogen, oxygen, and other volatile ingredients, have been probably between two hundred and three hundred feet thick. accumulation of such a thickness of the remains of plants, so unmixed with early ingredients, would be most difficult to explain on the hypothesis of their having been drifted into the place they now occupy; but it becomes intelligible if we suppose them to have grown on the spot." (i. 86.)


We do not so much refer to this for the contrast it presents to the above extract, as for the purpose of expressing our dissent from it in toto. We had thought it an established fact, from Sir James Hall's gunbarrels, that the effect of pressure was to prevent the escape of the volatile ingredients, and that thus only could vegetable matter be converted into coal; and the accumulation of drift is only inexplicable by those who will think of nothing more than the drift of a river, and have made no account of the effects of an universal deluge. Then how is it easier to conceive the vegetable matter to have been so unmixed, by supposing the trees to have grown on the spot? Surely, they did not grow in the air! Surely, they did not grow in mere dead leaves! They must have had a soil to root in, and increase, and multiply.

In examining the footprints in the red sandstone of the Connecticut river, which is supposed to belong to the triassic group, or occupy a place between it and the coal, and which are in successive layers at different intervals, to a depth of twenty or thirty feet, with a dip of eleven to fifteen degrees, Mr. Lyell "cannot conceive such markings to extend through a thickness of twenty-five feet, without supposing a subsidence of the ground to have taken place from time to time during the deposition of the layers on which the birds walked." (i. 253.) We think the supposition would only solve one of the difficulties suggested by these footprints, even if we allowed that to be a difficulty which is merely the consequence of a particular theory of stratification; but we quote it on account of the sensible remarks which follow :

"This sandstone is of much higher antiquity than any formation in

which fossil bones, or other indications of birds, have been detected in Europe. Still we have no ground for inferring from such facts that the feathered tribe made its first appearance in the western hemisphere at this period. It is too common a fallacy to fix the era of the first creation of each tribe of plants or animals, and even of animated beings in general, at the precise point where our present retrospective knowledge happens to stop. The discoveries in Connecticut ought to teach us extreme caution in deducing general conclusions from mere negative evidence, especially when we infer the non-existence of land-animals from the absence of their remains in contemporaneous marine strata."

Would that the words we have printed in italics stood as the motto for every treatise on geology! Would that geologists had borne in mind that man is one of those animate beings, concerning whom we should exercise extreme caution in deducing conclusions from mere negative evidence! Above that of all other land-animals, the caution applies to the era of the creation of man.

Many passing remarks in these volumes tend to inculcate similar caution—as speaking of the difference in the fossils of strata, which in other respects seem to be contemporaneous, he says:

"When we consider how remarkably the species of the Suffolk crag differ from the shells of the contemporaneous faluns of the Loire, the geologist will not be surprised to learn that I have only met with nine American miocene shells, agreeing with fossils of the same period in Europe. It is also worthy of notice that the shells identified with recent species agree with testacea, now living on the western side of the Atlantic, some of which are forms peculiar to America. In like manner, the fossil shells found in the miocene strata of Europe, which agree with recent kinds, belong to species inhabiting the British seas, the Mediterranean, or the African coast of the Atlantic. Hence it follows that, at the remote period called Miocene, the seas were not only divided as now into distinct geological provinces, but already that peculiar distribution of the living mollusca, which now exists, had began to prevail. This conclusion is remarkable, when we recollect that, at the geological era alluded to, the fauna was so distinct from the present that four-fifths of the species, now living, had not yet come into existence." (i. 138.)

This does not state the contrast strong enough; for nearly all the plants found in the strata of Europe belonged to a flora only found at present between the tropics, and nearly all the animal remains are in climates where such animals could not now exist-elephants, along the shores of Siberia, as well as in England and America; crocodiles and hyænas, in our gravel beds and caverns; horse-bones in America, and elks in Ireland. It is not easy to reconcile these palpable diversities

of climate, which the hypothesis of plants growing, and animals living, where their fossil remains are found, necessarily involves with the idea of the seas being divided, as now, into distinct geographied provinces-with their living mollusca distributed, as at the present time; but looseness of thought in all respects slips in, through the loose manner in which they are accustomed to speak of time; for when they speak of recent species, it means, at the very least, thirty-five thousand years ago, which is said to be "a much more probable conjecture" than that of Bakewell, which was only one-third of the time that would be required for the retreat of the falls of Niagara from the escarpment of Queenston to their present site (34). Whether we take twelve thousand or thirty-five thousand years thus vaguely, it produces a vague idea that, during such a length of time, things may have happened which we should at once perceive to be incompatible, and therefore impossible, if they were fixed to any one definite point of time. The land it is which divides the sea into distinct geographical provinces; and, if the distribution of the inhabitants of the sea was the same as at present, at any given time, this infers the temperature, depth, and other physical requisites were the same; and it ought to follow that the inhabitants of the land, and their physical requisites, were also the same as at present, and the land must be under the same laws of temperature and climate as the sea.

But geologists seem to think that they can deal with a whole continent as a plaything-can change its climate at pleasure, and lift it up and down, and dispose of its mountains and vallies, and lakes, and rivers, according to their own convenience. Mr. Bakewell handled the district between lakes Erie and Ontario, with the Falls of Niagara, in one mannerMr. Lyell handles the same little toy in another.

"Some geologists have considered these facts as very difficult to reconcile with the glacial theory. To me they appear to indicate the following succession of events :-First, the country acquired its present geographical configuration, so far as relates to the outline of the older rocks, under the joint influence of elevatory and denuding operations. Secondly, a gradual submergence then took place, bringing down each part of the land successively to the level of the waters, and then to a moderate depth below them...... Thirdly......the clay, gravel, and sand of the drift were deposited, and occasionally fragments of rock, which had been frozen into glaciers, or taken up by coast-ice, were dropped here and there at random, over the bottom of the ocean, wherever they happened to be detached from the melting ice. During this period of submergence, the valleys in the ancient rocks were filled up with drift, with which the whole surface of the country was overspread.

Finally, the period for re-elevation arrived, or of that intermittent upward movement, when the ridges...... were formed in succession, and when valleys, like that of St. David's, which had been filled up, were partially re-excavated." (ii. 101.)

We leave this without comment to the good sense of our readers; but we congratulate them on learning, from the same authority, that the earth is cured of these intermittent fits, and has had no relapse for thirty-five thousand years. For we are told concerning the "big bone lick," that, "it is impossible to view this plain, without at once concluding that it has remained unchanged, in all its principal features, from the period when the extinct quadrupeds inhabited the banks of the Ohio and its tributaries." (ii. 67.)

But, though we speak thus lightly of the crochetty parts of these volumes, we would not have our readers conclude that they are worthless. They are, on the contrary, full of valuable observations, and sustain the character which Mr. Lyell has acquired as one of the most able and indefatigable of geologists: these are but specks and blemishes, which do not materially lessen the general value of the work. We wish that they were not there; but, as inseparable from a system, we tolerate them—if that pursuit of a favourite system has imparted zeal, and perseverance, and a collection of minute facts, which, but for it, we might never have known. And to part with Mr. Lyell, under favourable impressions, we commend the following most important passage to our readers :

"In regard to the rarity of marine vertebrate animals in the oldest rocks, it may perhaps be no greater than is observed in strata of more modern date, formed in seas of equal depth, or at points as remote from the land. Many years have not elapsed since the old red sandstone was thought to be barren of ichthyolites; but now, in addition to the numerous genera found in Scotland, by Mr. Hugh Miller, M. Agassiz has announced that nine genera of sharks, of the division cestracion, occur in the Devonian beds of Russia, examined by Messrs. Murchison and De Verneuil. The appearance of fish so highly organized, in some of the oldest formations, is strongly opposed to the theory of progressive development advocated by some writers, and imagined by them to derive support from recent geological discoveries.

"Professor E. Forbes, after acquiring much experience by dredging in the Mediterranean of the fauna which characterises the sea at different depths, has inferred that the Silurian seas in these areas, hitherto examined, were at first very deep and tranquil, although, in parts, they after grew shallower. The following are the principal grounds of this conclusion :-first, the small size of the greater number of conchifera; secondly the paucity of pectinibranchiata (or spiral univalves); thirdly, the great number of floaters, such as Bellerophon,

Orthoceras, &c.; fourthly, the abundance of brachiopoda; fifthly, the absence of fossil fish; sixthly, the deep water forms of most of the sea-weed; and seventhly, the absence of land plants.” (ii. 57.)

All these facts we shall have occasion to use on a future occasion, but to a purpose very different from that to which they are at present applied, and in connection with other facts which are not yet fully developed; and, in the meanwhile, thank Mr. Lyell for the varied and important information contained in his volumes, which we have read both with pleasure and profit.

ART. II.-Perfect Peace.

Letters-Memorial of the late John Warren Howell, Esq., of Bath, M.R.C.S. By the Rev. DAVID PITCAIRN, Minister of Evir and Rendall. Eleventh Thousand. London: Seeleys.

ABSURD, or hacknied, or ill-chosen names have damaged many a good cause, by seriously offending superficial refinement. It may be true that, as shabby clothing would not convert a prince into a beggar, nor the purple and fine linen change the beggar into a prince, no more can badly-chosen words turn philosophy into folly, nor the choicest flowers of the dictionary change folly into wisdom; yet is it nevertheless true that the prince ought to appear in dress which the usages of society have appropriated to his rank, and the philosophy in language which cultivated minds have prepared for it. There may be a fickle fashion in words as well as in dress. But yet, as there are certain kinds of dress which, though obsolete, can never appear vulgar, so there are words which, through all changes of time and language, retain their dignity. The poet truly asks, "Who hath not felt the magic of a name?"—and this is undoubtedly true, both for evil and good. In fact, words hold in powerful slavery the minds of the great portion of mankind. It is more often than not the sounding title, and not the man who wears it, that awakens the diffidence and awe in such as have not been behind the scenes to ascertain how little it implies. Two names which, in a case of real vice, are all but convertible, will awaken-the one, emotions of loathing or contempt-the other, forbearance, or dangerous sentimentality. Let a tale of some bloody pirates' deeds be mixed with such qualificatives as daring, chivalrous, (because he may not happen to have butchered the wife as well as the husband) heroic, and the like; and instantly the veil is thrown over the blood of his murdered victims, and the

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