Abbildungen der Seite

sheet of water. In the midst of dipping the nail of his finger in the hese aquatic scenes lives, in peace curare, a very active poison ex. ind liberty, the nation of the Qua. tracted from a species of the phy!. anis, on the tops of the maritia, lanthus, and the least laceration r palm trees with fantailed leaves, produced by that nail is mortal. n hammocks formed of the fibres Thus the visions of primitive iono. of the leaves, plaited and overlaid cence vanish before the discoveries vith clay. In these frail fabricks of travellers. Men become genelo the women light their fires and rous only in proportion to the de. Tress their vegetable food. The gree of their civilization. . rec on which each family is sus. There have been lately pob. rended, furnishes it with the whole lished some numbers or deliveries of its food. The pith of the ma. of the Allas Pittoresque, which itia, which resembles sago, and was to accompany the Relation ts shelled fruit, furnishes this sin. Historique, &c. under the title of ular people, according to their views of the Cordilleras and Mo'espective ages, with nonrishment numents of the People of America, voth salubrious and pleasant. The by Alexander de Humboldt. vine of the palm is refreshing Irink, and can even produce that tate of inebriation which consti. ates the supremnc happiness of the

the Travels in the North of Europe, lavage. But although the mem.

containing Observations on som. bers of this aërial republic enjoy

Parts of the Coasts of the Bal. constancy of undistorbed repose,

tic and the North Sea. By his is by no means the case with

J. A. De Luc, F.R.S. Truns. other savage tribes. Agitated by

luted from the French NISS. he most malignant passions, they

illustrated with a lap and ire always ready to wathe them.

Drawing. elves in blood. Those niserable wretches have no pleasure butia TIE investigations of philoso. murder and rapine. When a tribc, phers in the present period, ap. Feaker than its neighbours, ver. pear to be directed clictly to two Cures to traverse the plains, the opposite extremes : Nature in her individuals use the precaution of grandest operations, and in her lefacing their footsteps to escape most subtle, minute, and secret being surprised and massacred. resources : The kindred studies of Nature seeins to have seconded the astronomy and geology, and the ferocions propensitics of those sa properties of light and heat. It vages, in producing, in the burn. was observed in the last article, ing climates of the torrid zone, the that some remarks have been most active poisons. The darts made by Humboldt, in his Travels and arrows impregnated with thesc in the cquatorial regions, that carry with them igevitable death. might perhaps occasion somc em. And, when these instruments are barrassment to geologists, Gcowanting to the savages, their fe. logy is the youngest of the sciences; rocious industry finds means of it is but lately that the exact figure supplying their place. The fright- of the earth was ascertained ; and ful Ottomaque is in the habit of later still that men were tolerably


3 M 3

acquainted with physical geogra, concurrence, to the Hattoaia phy. Geology is, perhaps, yet system, Mr. Playfair judias too young to afford complete salis. remarks, is the greater, that is faction on the complicated subject was extorted by the nature of of which it treats. But the most things, notwithstanding an appe probable of its general results or sition from theoretical principia conclusions, as far as it has hitherto This, he says, ought to be cobi, advanced, in our opinion, are ex. dered as a strong proof that the kibited 10 Professor John, (not phænomena known to mides Principal \ames) Playfair's lilus. ogists are sufficient to justify is trations of the Huttonian system: attempts to form a theory of two and that in a very perspicuous, earth, being such as lead to the pleasing, and masterly manner, same conclusions, where there ru How far the observations made by not only no previous concert, but Mr. Humboldt, concerning the se. even a very marked opposition. condary formations of nature in Of the two great systems which the equatorial regions, may invali. at present divide geologists, the Val date, or appear, at first sight, to canic and he Neptunian, Dk invalidate, the Huttonian system, Hutton belongs much more to the Professor Playfair will judge, and former than the latter; though, as will conduct bimself on his usual he employs, in his system, tz maxim of being equally candid to agency of both fire aod water, be acknowledge, and resolute to de. cannot, with strict propriety, bu fend, the truth. Some of the re- classed with either, lo his system, marks on this volume of De Luc's water is first employed to deposis too, though not very many, scem and arrange, and then fire, to con to be of a nature to attract the at, solidate, mineralize, and, last(s, to tention of the professor, and to elevate the strata. But with re. draw a reply ; whether in any fu. spect to unstratified or chrystal. ture edition of his Illustrations of lized substances, he recognizes oply the Huttonian System, or in a se. the action of fire. parate publication.

Mr, de Luc is altogether a Nep. The systems of geologists, Mr. tunist, and consequently adverse Playfair remarks, are usually re- to the Vulcanic system. The whole duced to two classes, according as of his present volume is a contro they refer the origin of terrestrial versy with Mr. Playfair, whom he bodies to the agency of fire or of treats in a very respectful and get water; and that, conformably to tlemanlike manner, about the er this division, their followers have roncousness of the Hutiopian, and of late been distinguished by the the truth and certainty of his names of Vulcanists and Neptun. own system. “This work, (* ists. He thinks that the leading are told in an advertisement) cos. facts in zoology are now knowo; tains only the latest of his journeys. and he remarks that a tendency He has not yet been able to pre. may be observed in geological pare for publication his earlier systems to approach to one an. travels in Switzerland, and in Ger. other, and all of them to the Hut. many, from the year 1792 to tonian system. The countenance 1799. But he considers the pro and support that is given, by this sent volume (marked in the title.



ige 1.) containing his observa. treated on the subject ; no other ons on some parts of the Baltic course having appeared to me so id North Seas, and in different proper for determining the points irts of England, as sufficient to requiring particular examination. tablish all the propositions of the And since, among the theories eory, of which the critical dis. * which I do not admit, that of Dr. ission forms the subject of his Hutton, defended by Mr. Playfair,

Elementary Treatise on Geo. has appeared to me most methodi. gy;" and the descriptions con. cal, and at the same time that ined in the last of these travels which, in its exposition, embraces ill, he thinks, in this country the greatest number of the true England), be attended with the characters of our continents, I articular advantage of being easily have taken it principally as my erified.

object in these critical discussions. The nature, object, and preten. As a solid geological theory ons of his work are set forth in must nccessarily be founded on le following introduction :

facts, which form a basis exposed 66 In the Elementary Treatise to general view, it may seem at

Geology' lately published, I first surprising that controversies ave set forth and discussed all the respecting this science have been Indamental points of natural phi. carried on so long; I ought there.

sophy and natural history which fore to shew what, in the course of oncern the history of the carth, my study, has appeared to me to resentiog them in such a manner be the cause of their protraction. s I have thought most proper for In discussing so extensive a theory, learly pointing out the most es. it would be impossible, at every ential monuments of that history, step, to enter into all the details of midst the crowd of less important the phenomena of each class; the henomena which surround them. deduction of consequences, whe. 'he natural intermixture of these ther direct or critical, would then jonuments creates, at first view, be too much impeded in its course,

certain confusion; in conse. For this reason, those geological uence of which a traveder cannot works which contain theories, al. e fully sensible of their impor. ways present facts under general ance, till long observation has forms; I was myself often obliged Lught him to arrange them in dif. to employ them in this manner in erent classes, as produced by my late work; but I was careful a uses, which have operated at dif. to shew, from the very beginning, erent times ; unless he has already that to oppose thus one generalizaeen instructed by those who have tion of phenomena to another, pade this the object of their study. was, in fact, only opposing asser.

The method which I hare fol. tion to assertion, until sufficieot owed, in order to direct the at. details should be adduced, to deention towards geological phenocide which was the true represen. nena, has been, in every class of tation of the correspondent objects hemi, to compare together the va. of Nature; and these details, the ious opinions of those who have first foundation of every thing in

3 M4


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

geology, can be furnished only by to be proved by each class of per travels, made for the express pur. nomena. From such a dekniir pose of observation.

of the characters of these poit. “At the first glance, however, the particular phenoteca respe:we seem to be here replunged into tively belonging to that way that confusion of objects, pre. "easily distinguished, sheretes, a sented to our view by Nature her. the course of the descriptions, the self ; for we find, in the same shall occur. places, phenomena which may be “ This plan, of giving at bata assigned to different periods of the general view both of the per history of the carth; and it is by which are to be proved by fact, the different judgments formed re. and of the manner in which fa specting those periods, that the are to effect the proefe will com contrariety between geological the. tainly require constant attention ories has been chictly produced, from my readers; but to be and is still maintained. Froin this science is not attention pecessarı: consideration, I was at first under If this method be duly coasidered some difficulty, with regard to the it will, I hope, be allowed, that form which I should give to the provided the facts generalized 15. relation of my trarols. For, if to der each head be certified by the prevent this confusion of periods, whole assemblage of the descrip I had been obliged to interrupt my tions which respectively concern account of every place, in order to them, all the conclusions thesd point out the different characters deduced are incontestible. Thi of the objects there found toge. then, is what must be constante ther, and to what different times, kept in view ; since, when the notwithstanding their present unic importance of these different head on, they ought respectively to be shall have been sufficiently consreferred, I should have fallen into dered, and the heads themselres a tediousness, equally fatiguing to committed to memory, each of my readers and to myself. And them, by a sort of afhoity, ou if, to avoid that inconvenience, I attract to itself those phenomesa, had abridged my descriptious, I which properly belong to it, with should have acted in direct opposjout interruption of the course el tion to my own views; since it is my observations, for the purpose only by the accumulation of parti- of pointing out such relations cular phenomena, always the same wherever they occur. under the same circumstances, that 6. There is one theoretical point, an exact generalization of each of which I have treated at consider. class of phenomena can be ob. able length in my late work, D.! tained.

which I must again introduce here " These considerations have led in a formal manner, on account of me, as the means of avoiding com. its fundamental importance in the ments continually repeated on the history of the earth. It consists objects successively obscrved, to in the following question : Can arrange, at the beginning, under the state of our continents at their certain heads, the points which are birth be certainly determined?"

" The

66 The importance of this ques. these is undoubtedly a geological tion will be fully perceived, if it point, which it is very important be considered that we cannot ob. to determine; and kere I may tain any information respecting the again set out from a proposition, history of our globe, but from the agreed to by all those who have continents themselves; since from sufficiently studied them ; namely, the sea we can learn nothing, ex. that they have been successively cept by the relations which it bears formed, one above another, on the to them. But even the continents bottom of the sea, in a situation could afford us 00 instruction, nearly horizontal and continuous ; were it not at present admitted by and that all the fractures and dis. the most distinguished geologists, locations observed in them are the among whom I piace Dr. Hutton cffects of catastrophes subscquent ind Mr. Playfair, that their birth to their formation. On this par. is to be ascribed to some revolu. ticular, my opinion is the same as tion on the globe, and not to any that of Mr. Playfair; excepting successive and slow cause, as had when, with Dr. Hutton, he ex been supposed in several systems, cludes, from the rank of mineral before observations had been car- strata, granite and other con. ried to their prescut extent. If, then, temporary substances, considcring it can be determined with certain them as products of fusion, poste. ty, what the state of the continents rior to those to which he reserves was at the time of their first pro. the name of strata. But, for the luction; that is to say, if, among present, I lay aside this object, as the phenomena which their surface not essential; and I shall introexhibits, we can distinguish those duce it only when, in the course of which originally belonged to them, my travels, I shall come to places the epoch of their birth becomes a where we have both made observa. point, which divides the history of tions on granite, the earth, by well-known monu. " Considering here, then, only ments, into two very distinct pe. the strata of which the successive riods, one prior, the other postc- formation at the bottom of the sea rior, to that epoch; and through. is not questioned, it is certain that put the whole course of this his. these strata, and their catastrophes, tory, these monuments will be are the only archives in which we come our faithful guides. Having may read the history of the earth, fully developed this subject in my previously to the birth of our pre former work, my present purpose sent continents. Now the most s to point out in what manner ob. striking features of the latter arc, ervation must be directed, in or. with respect to their surface, ier to discover these monuments, mountains, aud valleys, hills and imidst the variety of phenomena vales, and the sinuosities of plains ; belonging to the surface of the and, with respect to their outline, earth.

capes, gulphs, and bays, and ine " Since the whole mass of our steep cliffs on some of their coasts ; continents consists of what are we must therefore examine whecalled mineral strata, the origin of ther these features originally be.


« ZurückWeiter »