« ForrigeFortsæt »
well, happiness !— farewell, home!—fare. It may seem almost superfluous to point well, Alphonso, for ever!” and saying out the intimate connexion between geology these words, they hastily parted, not to and mineralogy; if the former is conversant meet again.
with the grand features of nature, the latter Next morning, with aching heart, Al- examines the details of her workmanship, phonso left his guardian's mansion, to avoid and pursues her to the innermost recesses of the pain of witnessing the Count's departure. her vast laboratory. Musing on his disconsolate situation, his Nor is the aid of chemistry less necessary steps unconsciously directed him towards in unravelling her secrets. It teaches us the fountain he had left on the night before: that, to form that endless variety of phenosuddenly a heavy hand was laid on his mena which the geologist meets with in shoulder, and looking up, he encountered his tours, she has employed less than the stern gaze of Count Leon. “An un- twenty simple substances, and, in by far welcome intruder on your thoughts, young the greater proportion, much fewer; and man," sneered the Count.
“ Too often,"
it is even doubted whether some of those thought Alphonso. My retinue is ready, hitherto accounted simple, may not, hereand I shall quickly sail for the Brazils, so after, be discovered to be compound. So my words must be brief.” Alphonso sur- various and yet so simple are the works of veyed his rival's countenance with surprise nature's God! and anxiety. “ You have dared to aspire Hardly less obvious is the connexion of to the hand of the noble Donna Maria geology with zoology in all its branches. Padilla; and, though you have lost it, your In examining the ancient records of past presumption has torn from me my happi- changes in the surface of the earth, the ness and her repose.” Alphonso answered naturalist at every step meets with the imnothing. “ Your silence then is the con- bedded remains of former inhabitants of fession of your guilt: we part; but remem- our planet, consisting of all the great ber your rash wish last night, when you classes of animals, man excepted. Of insolently whispered to a bride that was not these the aquatic tribes are by far the most yours
s— -If your image were left reflected on numerous, as we should naturally expect the fountain's bosom, though the wide ocean them to be, in strata evidently formed at divided us, this consolation would make me the
bottom of the seas, lakes, or rivers. happy.' Go, then," continued the Count, The conchologist especially will find as he approached the water, “and if it so- most ample employment in studying the laces thus, behold there, not the vain shadow, immense variety of fossil shells which have but the reality itself—the wretched Maria been brought to light by the labours of Padilla surrendered to the more wretched geologists, a number little, if at all, inferior Alphonso.
to that of known living species. The reaHe ceased : the youth drew near to the son is obvious; what was the bed of the water's edge, and there beheld the pale ocean when these animals lived and died, features and lifeless form of the object of is now high and dry in air, and accessible his infatuated love. He stepped back with to man; whereas the present depths of the horror-the blood of his throbbing heart sea are necessarily almost wholly unknown ceased to flow: then, swooning, he fell to him. headlong, and the dashing waters closed The remains, too, of land animals, prinover his breathless corpse !
cipally quadrupeds, have been found in Beaconsfield.
J. A. BODDY. considerable abundance in some localities,
particularly the neighbourhood of Paris. The bones also of amphibious reptiles, of
the lizard kind, but of enormous dimenGeology may well be called the science sions, have been found in various parts of of nature ; for there is, perhaps, no branch our own island, and of the continent of of human knowledge which embraces or Europe. brings into consideration so many kindred Of birds and insects 'indeed, comparasciences : and it may not be deemed unin- tively few fossil remains have been disteresting, if I endeavour briefly to trace the covered, which we might expect when we connexion between them; premising, how- consider the frail and slender nature of the ever, that by the term geology, I under- harder parts, (which are the only portions stand, not the mere study of fossil remains, ever preserved,) in both these classes. but the consideration of the structure of the Beautiful specimens of birds have, neverearth, and of the changes, ancient and theless, been found, both in our own modem, which have taken place on its country and in France, and of insects in surface.
several parts of Europe. So that in every
THE SCIENCE OF NATURE,
department of natural history there is an
sion strengthened by the tropical character extensive field of research laid open to the of the animal remains which accompany student, in examining the nature, habits, the vegetable. and characteristics, of generation after Cotemporary with this change of species, generation of living creatures, that were and probably in some measure the cause of the former tenants of this globe : and he it, there seems to have taken place a great who has most acquaintance with living alteration in the physical geography of species will be best qualified to rea the these regions; for the geologist can prove history of those which have for ages pe- to demonstration, that the various tranrished from the face of the earth.
sition, secondary and tertiary strata, of In the same way has geology called in which our own island is mainly composed, the aid of comparative anatomy, to do were deposited at the bottom of seas, nature's work, as it were, over again, and lakes, or rivers, some under very deep to reconstruct the perfect skeleton from the waters, but are now raised into dry land of scattered fragments of its bones. It was every elevation, from the level of the sea to by the aid of this science that Baron Cuvier the height of three thousand feet. succeeded in recruiting the remains which Here then is introduced another kindred were so abundantly found in the Paris science; and the geographer who traces basin, and in placing before our eyes the the present outline of terra firma, and meagigantic monsters of a former world. By sures the height of its mountains, may very comparing the structure of the bones, naturally inquire, “Was this always the teeth, &c. of living animals, with their state of things ?' Have no changes taken known habits and character, he reasoned place in the contour of the continents, or from the observed construction of the fossil the distribution of land and water? I apremains, to the habits of their original peal to the history of six thousand years, owners; and has thus laid open a new which tells me that at least one great page of natural history, hardly less inte- catastrophe has happened in that time, and resting than the contemplation of living that local changes, sınall, perhaps, indispecies.-- But it is not my intention to vidually, but collectively important, have pursue the subject further, but having thus continually occurred, and are still going on. briefly alluded to it, leave it to the reader I appeal to geology, and there I find, in to follow out a subject so fraught with inte- nature's indelible hand-writing, the history rest in every branch of science.
of mighty revolutions, which have been In pursuing his researches through the carried on through untold ages of past various strata, particularly of our own time, for ends and purposes, mysterious island, the geologist soon finds himself indeed to man, and known only to Him compelled to call in the aid of another
at whose bidding the foundations of the department of natural science, namely, world are discovered, and the fountains of botany. The strata of the coal districts, the great deep broken up, who looketh especially, abound in the remains of the upon the earth and it trembleth.?.”. vegetable kingdom, in a more or less per- Since, however, he is pleased to make fect state of preservation, and the coal itself use of secondary agents to work his purevidently consists of nothing else; and poses, we cannot deem it an unprofitable these, not the flora of the temperate zone, employment to trace the working of the but entirely tropical vegetation. Enormous laws which He has imposed upon nature, tree-ferns, gigantic reeds, and other plants, investigating the phenomena which are which now are only found on the banks of going on before our eyes, and the changes the Amazon or Ganges, once flourished in consequent upon them, that we may apply the latitude of England, nay, on the now the results to decipher the obscurer indifrozen regions of the Arctic ocean, and the cations of former revolutions. And this mouth of the Mackenzie.*
brings under consideration another and It was by the aid of the botanist that quite distinct science, meteorology, by this interesting and curious fact was dis- which is meant, the consideration of all the covered, and the no less curious inference phenomena connected with our atmosdrawn from it, that the climate of this part phere, and the changes they are capable of of the world was once much hotter than at producing. present, and that, whatever
The meteorologist, who has examined secondary causes which produced it, a into the mutual effects which the land, great physical change has taken place in water, and air, "produce on each other, the temperalure of this climate ; a conclu- finds the result to be of far more import
ance than the unthinking or superficial ob* See Lyell's Geology, vol. i. chap. viii.
server is apt to imagine. He finds that a 2D. SERIES, NO. 19.
163.- VOL. XIV,
country covered with forests, or one inter- It was this disposition to theorize on insected with lakes or rivers, will have a far sufficient data, perhaps on no data at all, different climate from one more cultivated which formerly brought geology into disreor more hilly, though under the same lati- pute with many serious and well-meaning tude; that an island has a much more persons, who, mistaking the abuse of it for agreeable temperature, and a moister and its natural tendency, decried the science warmer air, than a large continent under altogether, as leading to free-thinking and the same parallel. Indeed, if lines repre- infidelity: and now, when philosophers senting the limits of equal average heat at have begun to leave off making theories, different places be drawn round the globe, and to rest satisfied with accumulating it will be found that different parts of the facts, they find themselves obliged, at every same line will vary in latitude as much step, to combat objections which were only as 130*
just when applied to their predecessors, in The geologist then takes up the key thus the very infancy of the science. given him, and applies it to unlock some Nor let the reader suppose, that because of the hidden records of former changes; this science includes within its pale so and, observing how much alterations of many others, it is therefore necessary to climate affect both the animal and vege- acquire a thorough knowledge of the latter, table population of a district, he learns how before he enters upon the study of the some at least of those important change former; it would not be desirable, were it of species which he meets with may have possible, for every individual to aim at a taken place. He sees how the corroding general acquaintance with them all : but influence of the elements wears down the geology draws them, as it were, after it, highest peaks, and leaves their fragments and renders some information on the differin the plains below; how the billows of the ent branches of knowledge, not only useful, ocean, unceasingly preying upon the land, but highly interesting ; and is calculated to reduce to pebbles the hardest rocks; and induce the study of them, when all other infers whence came the beds of similar attractions fail ; probably for this reason, ruins which he meets with in exploring the that by this means we see the application surface of the earth.
of the science before we are disheartened Nor are the observations of the geologist by its difficulties, and learn the practical confined entirely to our own sphere, for and experimental part before the theoafter remarking with wonder the effects of retical. volcanic action on the surface of his own I would hope, therefore, that so far from planet, he turns the telescope of the astro- any one being discouraged from this study nomer to our attendant satellite, and sees by the numerous collateral sciences which there traces of igneous action far more it includes, this circumstance may rather violent, and destruction far more universal. form an inducement than otherwise to the He sees streams of lava, beside which, consideration of it, as a science which, those of Iceland or Auvergne appear above all others, is calculated to direct the small and insignificant, and, however he well-disposed mind to look beyond its may speculate concerning the actual con. more immediate object, to Him“ whose dition of her surface, he learns at least that hand hath made all these things ;" and some of the causes which affect our own to lead him in admiration to exclaim, globe, have also been at work on others. “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in
Let not, however, the reader imagine wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth that when he enters on the study of this is full of thy riches.” universal science, he is instantly set afloat in the regions of hypothesis and conjecture. The true business of a geologist is, to gather facts, not to frame theories ; to learn,
This was shown in trenching for a plantawhat nature has done, not to tell us what tion in a part of Bushy Park, which had she might have done. Conjectures will,
probably been undisturbed by a spade or no doubt, force themselves upon his mind plough since, and perhaps long before, the as he proceeds; but he should remember reign of Charles I. The ground was turned that they are but conjectures after all, which up in the winter, and in the following summay be overthrown in an instant by some mer it was covered with a profusion of the more fortunate one, while the facts on tree-mignionette, pansies, and the wild raspwhich they are founded, however he may berry, plants which are nowhere found in a may misapply them, are indisputable and
wild state in the neighbourhood; and in a certain.
plantation recently made in Richmond Park,
a great quantity of the foxglove came up * Lyell's Geology, vol. i. chap. vii.
after some deep trenching.
LONG VITALITY OF SEEDS.
BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.
I observed, a few years ago, the same had begun on the preceding evening. His occurrence in a plantation in Devonshire, chief design was, to establish, by experithe surface of which was covered with the
ments, the possibility of discovering the dark blue columbine, a flower produced in thickness of subterraneous dikes, walls, &c. our gardens by cultivation, but I believe not by means of a magnetical apparatus ; and known in this country in its wild state. A this he did very satisfactorily. From his field also, which had previously little or no account, the accuracy of his theory was Dutch clover upon it, was covered with it established in different instances, by calcuafter it had been trampled upon, and fed lations arising from the magnetic apparatus down by horses; and it is stated, from coinciding within the decimal part of an good authority, that if a pine forest in inch with admeasurements made by the America were to be cut down, and the rule. ground cultivated, and afterwards allowed The theory is inductive. He takes it for to return to a state of nature, it would pro- granted, that the magnetic influence of any duce plants quite different from those by body is in proportion to its bulk, and that which it had been previously occupied. the needle is acted upon in the same ratio. So completely indeed is the ground impreg- That in proportion as the thickness or bulk nated with seeds, that if earth is brought to of any body decreases when measured lonthe surface, from the lowest depth at which gitudinally, so the magnetic influence de. it is found, some vegetable matter will spring creases in the same ratio. Upon this prin. from it.
ciple he has constructed a formula, by I have always considered this fact as one which he calculates algebraically, and obof many of the surprising instances of the tains his accurate results. power and bounty of Almighty God, who It ought to be mentioned here, that Mr. has thus literally filled the earth with his Scoresby, in the month of December 1819, goodness, by storing up a deposit of useful communicated to the Royal Society of seeds in its depths, where they must have Edinburgh, the “Description of a Magnelain through a succession of ages, only re- timeter, being a new instrument for meaquiring the energies of man to bring them suring magnetic attractions, and finding the into action.
dip of the needle; with an account of exIn boring for water lately, at a spot near periments made with it.”—A description of Kingston upon Thames, some earth was the magnetimeter may be seen in the Edinbrought up from a depth of 360 feet; this burgh Philosophical Journal, vol. iv. earth was carefully covered with a hand- and an account of the Experiments, in glass, to prevent the possibility of any other the Transactions of the Royal Society of seeds being deposited upon it; yet, in a Edinburgh, vol. ix. short time, plants vegetated from it. If Mr. Phillips then read a Memoir, by quick lime be put upon land which from Dr. Brewster, “On the Structure of the time immemorial has produced nothing but Crystalline lens in the Eyes of Fishes.” heather, the heather will be killed, and The author illustrated the subject, first by white clover will spring up in its place. models, afterwards by diagrams. He A curious fact was communicated to me, shewed that the eye of the fish is nearly in respecting some land which surrounds an the form of a hemisphere, the plane part old castle formerly belonging to the Regent being directed forward, and the convex Murray, near Moffat. On removing the backward : that the flatness of the anterior peat, which is about six or eight inches in part is compensated by the spherical form thickness, a stratum of soil appears, which of the crystalline lens: that the lens in the is supposed to have been a cultivated gar. eye of a fish is more dense than that in the den in the time of the Regent, and from eye of a land animal : that it projects which a variety of flowers and plants sprung, through the pupil, and leaves little room some of them little known even at this time for the aqueous humour. It may be menin Scotland.- Jesse's Gleanings in Natural tioned here, that Dr. Monro, in his work History.
E. G. B. on the Structure and Physiology of Fishes,
found the crystalline lens of an ox to
be 1104, while that of a cod was 1165, OF SCIENCE, HELD AT YORK,
water being reckoned at 1000. Dr. BrewFIFTH DAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1831. ster pointed out to the audience, that by
the great convexity of the crystalline lens in (Continued from p. 272.)
the eye of the fish, it was enabled to take The business of this morning commenced in a wide field of vision, and to perceive with Mr. Scoresby giving a lengthened de- its enemies and food from all points. tail of his magnetical researches, which he R. J. Murchison, Esq., President of the
BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCE
BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.
Geological Society, next gave an account His opinion is, that the heat is caused by of some extensive deposits of Marine Shells some chemical process carried on within on the Lancashire coast, and near Preston the bowels of the earth. in Lancashire. Specimens of the shells This opinion was combated by some of were produced by Mr. Gilbertson, the origi- the sçavans present, who thought that minal observer of the deposits. Mr. Murchi- neral substances in a state of ignition, or son illustrated the position of the said volcanic matter, produced the high tempedeposits by etchings upon a large scale. rature in the water. The last opinion is There were occasional breaks in the stratum, evidently sanctioned by the hot springs in for which Mr. M. did not satisfactorily Iceland, rising from the neighbourhood of
He was inclined to think that Mount Hecla ; by streains of hot water the pressure of some superincumbent strata sometimes issuing from Mount Ætna ; and had been the cause. This gave rise to by the hot springs of Furnas in the Island some interesting remarks from Mr. Phillips of St. Michael, issuing from the precincts and Mr. Greenough. The former thought, of a crater. See the Edinburgh Philosothat the different deposits of marine shells phical Journal, vols. ii. and vi. had been made by some sudden eruptions In the afternoon, the Archbishop of York of water which had mixed marine and ter- entertained a numerous party of gentlemen, rene bodies and animals together. He also including the scientific visitors, at dinner. thought that marine shells being found in consequence of this, the lectures did not upon the summits of mountains was a pre- commence till nine o'clock. The theatre sumptive proof that these mountains had of the Museum was crowded with a brilonce been inundated with sea-water. liant assemblage of fashionables, ladies hav
Mr. Greenough objected to this theory, ing been admitted in the evening. and said, it was not improbable that sea- Mr. R. Potter, jun. commenced by readfowls might have carried most of the ing a paper on the Aurora Borealis, and shells which have been found upon the tops attempted to account for it upon the prinof mountains near the sea, to eat the meat ciples of electricity. He also made some which was in them; and endeavoured to experiments on electricity in vacuo; but a sanction his opinion by a fact which he small glass tube breaking, his apparatus related :
became imperfect, and he desisted from Some years ago he and a few friends any further attempts. Though Mr. Potter's being in one of the southern counties of short lecture was interesting, yet he did not England, they ascended a considerable hill establish bis theory so plausibly as St. upon the sea-coast.
When at the summit, Pierre did another, by ascribing the Aurora they found a considerable quantity of ma- Borealis to the effects of the sun's rays being rine shells. A discussion arose among
reflected from fields of ice. them about their age, and the manner how Dr. Warwick next delivered an interestthey had got there ; some of the shellsing lecture on Electro-Magnetism. His settled the dispute, by beginning to move. experiments were on a large scale, by a All came to the conclusion, that they had costly apparatus, which was so powerfully not been many days out of the water; and magnetic as to suspend some stones' weight. that they had in all probability been con- He made a beautiful experiment by covering veyed thither by sea-fowls.
a magnet with thick paper, and scattering Perhaps, at the next scientific meeting, steel-filings upon it. And after attempting Mr. Greenough will be prepared to inform to blow them off, some were removed, but the audience, why some sea-fowls have all those directly over the magnet remained been so squeamish in their choice of moun- firm, and presented the appearance of a tains, as to fix upon some, more than a horse-shoe. The doctor would have given hundred miles from the sea; and whether some experiments upon a larger scale, but they used their bills or their webbed feet, in his apparatus was unfit for them. digging some half score of yards below the Dr. Daubeny followed, in making some surface, to deposit their pilfered shells. neat experiments on capillary attraction,
The next subject was upon Hot Springs, and satisfactorily accounted for the manner by Dr. Daubeny; or rather, on the “Phe- in which moisture is conveyed through nomena of Hot Springs.”. The doctor ob- the roots, stems, branches of vegetables, served, that most of the hot springs which trees, &c. he had visited were situated at the heads The business of the day was concluded of valleys, in the neighbourhood of which by Mr. Phillips, who read the report of were generally minerals, and sometimes Mr. Osburne, on the formation of Graham volcanoes. Yet he does not suppose that Island on the coast of Sicily. As an any of these produce the heat in the water. account of this newly-formed island has