Puslapio vaizdai



No. III.

We will now put the question, where were / upon which no rain falls; there are others upon these supplies not wanted ? Á will of the which it falls in exceptional large quantities. It Creator had to be carried out: the earth had has been found that, on denuding a district of brought forth grass, herb, and tree, and as its timber, its rainfall decreases, while a growth we find in the “Circle of Light,” p.33 : "Every of timber increases the supply of water; thus, rock that grew above the waves was clothed, then, when our great productive portions of the and from that time forth, each point as it grew earth had nothing else to do but to furnish their upwards contributed its mite to the making of vegetation, we may imagine that such tracta the law.” Vegetation had more than one duty were thickly clothed, that in consequence the to perform, but our history refers chiefly to its rain fell, not as it does here, scarcely as it does burial and its rising again. There was a lux- at present times even within the tropics, but in uriant growth, and a plentiful residue: over all, great and regular torrents, washing off the the winds of heaven blew in olden times as they sloping surfaces of the soil, and everything blow to-day-we will not say that they raged moveable upon it. Great rocks were loosened with greater violence, for of this we should have from the hill-tops, and rolled headlong down ; no proof: we cannot say that climates varied great prostrate trees were washed away by the then from what they are at present, because we once modest rivulet, now a turbid and a heaving should then be wandering into the regions of torrent; and even as these torrents rolled along, imagination, and it is our desire not only to there were quiet spots behind some great rock, avoid so great a temptation on this imaginative some angle, or some deep hole, where the subject, but to adhere to the world, its climates, water-carried materials stopped. In some rivers and its temperatures, as we find them now-to great natural dams are formed, by the debris be guided in our little tale by what is before and timber, which turn aside the currents of the us, around us, and to accept nothing for granted. water never to come back again. In some these There are sign-posts in the earth, the ocean, stoppages are only temporary. We see in our and the air, and we must endeavour to find our river courses, boulders, and great pebbles, fine way through nature's labyrinths by these sim- gravel, and finer sand, and everything finds its ple means," The winds blow now with strength own resting-place. Page tells us, at p. 308 : sufficient for our purpose : they destroy our " The farther we descend the river towards its English roofs, our thatches, our trees, and our mouth, the finer becomes the texture of the ships ; we hear of the destruction by cyclones sediment." All these things are wanted where in the east, of the hurricane ravages in the we find them, and every atom which is left beWest; imagination could scarcely picture to bind aids in the building, and in the shaping of itself a greater force than has been displayed in this earth. There is no builder but nature; the some of these tempests; we require none sands lay together, the gravels work with a beaugreater for the duty they perform to-day, or for tiful method into their beds, the silt forms the the labours they performed of old, when, in Delta, and in its very softness gradually expels their yearly currents, they fell upon the plen. the sea; this receives the yearly tribute of Hoattiful herbage of the earth, and dashed, as they ing vegetation in tangled masses from every do now, the weakest members to the ground. river, which has at any time run into it, and it We look out of our glazed windows upon our then wasts it onward to its destination. neatly planted woods, our carefully fenced corn Our geologists have told us that we are very fields, and upon our beautiful gardens full of ignorant regarding the currents of the ocean; delicate and of charming flowers : in the days and this ignorance has hitherto prevented their we go back to, this was not; all was waste (as we giving that credit to ocean labours, which we call it now when not applied to man's use) and now propose to do. We are not ignorant of naturalluxuriance-but there is not, and there was its older actions; they are proved all over the not a waste, every place has its use in nature. earth, in Central Asia, down the entire line of Of all the tangled mass thrown yearly on the North and South America, in Africa, in Europe, earth by old age, natural decay, or violence, and here at home, in England. There is, as we some staid where it fell, and contributed its have before said, a regular formation of earth due decaying substances to the soil, for various to the currents of wind and water, and

we will purposes into which we cannot now inquire. refer to Page (p. 292-3) to explain fully what we There is, however, a change in nature, which we mean : "Most of the hills, as in Britain, present a may touch on here, to enable us to bring before bare, bold, craggy face, to the west and southour readers a force of which the inhabitants of west, as if worn and 'denuded by water, while these islands are comparatively ignorant. There their slopes to the east and south-east are HP® on the face of this earth large barren tracts' usually masked with thick accumulations of


clay, sand, and gravel.” This character of readers the very latest and the best authoricountry is, he tells us, “known by the name of ties on the subject, and will then continue crag and tail.” and after a description of the our history, leaving the reader to judge working of these currents, he te!ls us, “ It is the

We refer first to Page, as evident that in Britain the transporting currents embracing the opinions of the most eminent passed from north and west to south and east.” men up to 1859, and as the authority pow Without consenting to this doctrine as bearing placed in the hands of the students of geology upon the whole formation of our islands, we at our royal military college. He tells us that will use the partial fact as a proof, that the the surface temperature of the earth“ is mainly present aspect of the earth offers evidence of derived from the sun;" that “the temperature the forces used in its building, and that where- of the crust, as depending on extreme heat, is ever we find one side of a mountain almost also variable to the depth of from 60 to 90 feet ;" scarped and broken, while the other extends in that downwards “ the temperature increases at a more gradual slope, we may feel assured that the ratio of one degree for every 50 or 55 feet, the same agencies of wind and water produced and that at this rate" "a temperature of and shaped them, as produced or shaped the 2,400 Farenheit would be reached at a depth of hills alluded to by Page.

25 miles or thereby, sufficient to keep in fusion There are other proofs of the directions of cur. such rocks as basalt,” &c.; p. 29 he tells us that rents, perhaps more conspicuous than these, and “this high internal temperature is apparently leading more direct to the point we are con- the cause of hot springs, volcanoes, earthquakes, sidering. We cannot exemplify this agency and other igneous phenomena which make thembetter than by referring to the maps of the Gulf selves known at the surface.” Going on to of Mexico and the Caribbean sea. Taking the page 117, “Theories of volcanic action," we Isthmus of Panama as a land formed from the find that lava is ejected from the volcano by the wash of the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, contraction of the rock crust within the earth we find that the great rivers Mississippi and as it cools, as shown by Page in our first paper. Oronoco empty themselves into the space be- The next authority that bears upon the subtween them. The promontory of Yucatan, ject may be found in the Chemical News, of 23rd Cuba, and other islands, represent the meetings October, 1868, where we are told that the direct of the northern with the southern currents on evidence of the "molten liquidity' of the inthe west. The Balama islands tell us where terior is “afforded by the frequent and great the Mississippi waters

met the tides and outbursts of molten lava, which, in every quarter currents of the Atlantic. While from Jamaica to of our globe, are met with, breaking through Trinidad we can trace the effects of eddies and the surface of the land and disturbing the botwbirls between the currents from south and tom of the sea'— leading to "the very natural north. Accepting these agencies as the con- inference that these eruptions must proceed structors of these islands—not as

from some vast accumulation of molten matter, вее them, clothed in beautiful herbage, situated at comparatively no very great distance and rich in cultivation, but as burying beneath below the surface.” And then the author their eddying water their yearly burdens, we come (Mr. David Forbes), after many careful and at once to the great cause of the deposition of well-reasoned arguments, concludes that “the igneous or gaseous matter within the earth, as hypothesis of the internal Audity of the earth" shown in the island of Jamaica.

may be regarded as “posted up to date." In We have had a picture of the ex. the Atheneum of the 3rd of April

, 1869, the tent of these supplies, our own coal-fields same author tells Mr. Malet that he is “not prehave exhibited their continuous nature, there is pared to attribute the issuing of molten matter nothing beyond our most common ideas in the from volcanoes solely to this cause,” (viz., contransaction, there were constant growths, con- traction of the crust), and as he refers Mr. M. stant deaths, and constant burials; and now we Vesuvius,” we may suppose that he (Mr. have, and have had from undated time, a fre. Forbes) endorses the conclusions arrived at by quent resurrection. No place upon earth that Professor J. Phillips in that book. This is the we know of has been more notorious for its latest and the most authoritative work that we igneous phenomena than Jamaica; it has no have : it gives a careful and a well-digested hisvolcano, but there are many evidences of igneous tory of the Italian volcano, and the 12th chapter action, and Page tells us (p. 56): "its harbours places before usin elaborate reasoning his“general have been sunk, towns destroyed, and rivers views leading to a theory of volcanic excitement." changed from their former courses.” These we all know that there are many conditions of visitations have come at intervals, each testifying this, that the conditions of no two localities are to the fact of an outburst of a powerful force similar, and, further than this, we know that through the envelope of some particular stratum, the conditions of the same locality vary in the or deposit of vegetable matter. This is the character of their excitements. The author puls point at issue: is an earthquake, or is any other the question : "What are the general condiphenomenon of like nature caused by the escape tions ? What are the causes of particular diverof gaseous matter from the buried productions sity?" In these questions he includes the past of the earth, or from the causes assigned by and present phenomena of "any particular volour great geologists? At the risk of some re- cano,” and “the general terrestrial or cosmical petition, we will endeavour to place before our conditions of such pbenomena,” He then

we now

to so

[ocr errors]

evinces his anxiety to fall into the natural course ; closed it, the whole revolving together just as if
of things, and to observe the laws of nature, by the liquid had been congealed, and, along with
saying, "a co.nplete theory of volcanoes should its retaining envelope, actually forming one en-
contain a real account of the consolidation of tirely solid body." This was a universal sys-
matter, and be in harmony with the general his- tem, while the system of Mr. Phillips would
tory of the cosmos.” This point of harmony only produce liquid deposits in such spots as
is one which we are endeavouring to reach, and the melting condition of the rocks allowed. But
though we could at once give answers full and the harmony of the theory is utterly destroyed
explicit to the above questions, we must first by what follows. The Chemical News tells us,
examine if the desired harmony is to be found that “the late Professor Hopkins, of Cam-
in the theory of Mr. Phillips. The first sen- bridge, was the first who brought forward any
tence which we shall quote confirms a previous serious objection against” the doctrine of a
one from Page. At p. 329, we are told,“ at this molten liquidity in the interior of the earth, and
depth (20 miles) we should have a temperature bis mathematical genius showed “that the ex-
of about 2,000®," in which heat“ a great portion ternal crust of the earth should possess a thick-
of our rocks and metals, taken singly, would be ness of not less than 800 to 1,000 miles.” Then
in fusion.” And then he admits that “the re- says Mr. Phillips, p. 331, Can anyone believe
ality of an interior fluid is the natural result of that lava is pressed up through channels of that
correct reasoning on the distribution of heat in length ?” The question is immediately replied
the exterior solid coating of our planet.” With-to-" It is not in the least degree necessary that
out stopping to inquire whether this reasoning it should :" but the condition "may be secured,
is correct, or whether the doubts which have as Mr. Hopkins himsell thought, by the exist-
been cast upon it are supported by trustworthy ence of separate liquid basins (as under separate
evidence, we will come to a very serious point volcanoes), so confined within solids as to com-
as connected with the harmony of the system. pel them to yield as a mass in sympathy with
If the heat is sufficient at 20 miles (Phillips), or the solid crust. Such a state of things is in no
25 miles (Page) to fuse a portion of our rocks, degree unlikely, and it leaves the geologist quite
and supposing that there are within, as we see free to adopt any suitable depth for lava, with-
there are on the surface of the earth a great va- out fear of the mathematician."
riety of rocks, then we find that, if some are and Here, then, we stop for the present, having
soine are not melted, that there must necessarily fully proved that the first quotation used in these
be many inequalities in the interior, in which papers is still as true as it was in 1859, viz.,
places the molten liquid would move about ac- that geologists are as yet by no means agreed as
cording to its melting, instead of obeying the to the phenomena of volcanoes, earthquakes,
supposed harmonious arrangement of Mr. and other subterranean movements.
Forbes, in the Chemical News above quoted (viz.,)
“The liquid interior of the globe would be car-

(To be continued.)
ried round along with the solid shell which en-

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

Chap. XII.

be joinings of stones into lines or marks in the

general mass. Our Arab guides were utterly The Sphinx, The Caves, Pompey's Pil- ignorant of the history of this wonderful figure, LAR, CLEOPATRA's Needle, and the mere repetition of the word " Spinkis,'

and readiness to assist those who were most After we had completed the inspection of the adventurous in mounting on to the back of it, greater and more important Pyramid, we next were but poor substitutes for any item of turned our attention to the colossal figure of information as to the construction, &c. of the the Sphinx. Abdallah duly directed our figure. Subsequent research on this subject wanderings in the proper direction, by pointing was to me most disappointing. In vain I and repeating the word “Spinkis;" so that we searched in public libraries, encyclopædias, had but to follow his guidance to reach the &c., for some particulars as to this statue, locale of this, no smaller wonder in its own way and could only find accounts of tbc than its more gigantic neighbours the Pyramids. sphinx of classical fable. I turned to the A distant view of the Sphinx gives the im- word "Sphinx”in more than one encyclopædia, pression that the figure is composed of five and found only “A monster with the head and masses of stone; nearer inspection, howerer, breasts of a woman, the body of a lion or dog, corrects this, and dissolves what appeared to paws of a lion, tail of a serpent, wings of a

[ocr errors]

bird, and with human voice.” Then followed much of the history of this wonderful figure, a pedigree : "It sprang from the union of little as the information be, it may yet be not Oribos with the Chimæra, or of Typhon with universally known. To return, however, to the Echidna, or of Typhon with Chimæra ; that thread of my personal narrative: we duly it was sent by Juno into the neighbourhood of inspected as much of the Sphinx as is visible Thebes to punish the family of Cadmus, which above ground, and, although a great part is she persecuted with great batred ;" that the still hidden by sand, a much greater portion of Sphinx proposed riddles, devouring the inbabi- the body is now visible than was the case at tants in default of guessing them; that the the time described in the rare and curious work most famous riddle was, “What anima! is it that of Mr. Greenbill, from which I have quoted. first walks on four feet, then on two, and finally The features, which are of course colossal in on three?" That Creon, King of Thebes, was size, have been much injured by time and the 80 distressed at the wholesale devouring of his action of the weather, if not by some more people consequent on the non-discovery of insensate and mischievous action. The face, these riddles, that he promised his crown, and however, still retains enough of its original his sister Jocasta in marriage, to anyone who expression to vouch for its having been a could answer the enigma. The people of pleasant one. Besides the Pyramids and the Thebes meanwhile bad in their dire need con- Sphins, there is in their locality a further object sulted the oracle, and learned, not the answer of interest presented by the famous rock-cut to the riddle, but the very comforting infor- caves. These caves, or as Abdallah called mation that, “should the answer be discovered, them, “ Colonel Campbell's Tombs," were the Sphinx would destroy herself." Here, then, evidently intended for the purposes of sepulture, was a most favourable chance for adventurers! and in some cases were ornamented with hiero& crown and a wife prizes for the victor, and glyphics. Our first impression on hearing certain destruction to the Sphinx as a conse- Abdallah's invitation, Come see Colonel quence of success. Edipus was equal to the Cambell tombs," was that we were about to emergency, and solved the riddle by declaring visit the last resting-place of some distinguished that it was man who walked first on all fours compatriot who had perhaps met his death in in childhood, then on two feet in full age, and the vicinity. A moment's inspection, however, finally on three feet, two being supplemented served to remove our first impression, and to by a staff in old age. No doubt Edipus substitute for it the conclusion that this Colonel gained his crown and wife, and history further Campbell must have been the most recent adds that the Sphinx at once dashed out her excavator. brains against a rock. Another authority in- Having at length completed our examination formed me that there were several statues of the of the wonders in this locality, it was resolved Sphinx in Egypt; and that “the Sphinx was a to begin

to begin our homeward journey. Little symbol of religion.” Research, however, as to occurred in the way of incident such as to the history of the particular Sphinx situate in distinguish our return journey to Cairo from close proximity to the Pyramids, utterly failed that of the early morning's ride. The day, was me till I alighted on an old work on "The Pro- still young when we reached Shepherd's Hotel, cess of Embalming," by Thomas Greenhill, and, as the sun was at its greatest heat, we chirurgus, proposing a better method of embalm- resolved to have luncheon and remain witbin. ing, and published in 1705, A.D. From this doors for a couple of hours. Our dragoman, learned work I beg leave to extract the following meanwhile, applied at the office of the Consul before resuming the thread of my personal for the permission in writing required for narrative: “At some distance south-east of admission to the country palace of the Pacha. the biggest Pyramid stands the Sphinx, so The “Pacha's Gardens," as this luxurious famous among the ancients. 'Tis a statue or retreat is called, lie but a short way from the image cut out of the main rock, representing city, and furnish an objectfor a pleasant carriagethe head of a woman with half her breast, but drive. As soon as the fierce heat of the sun is at present sunk or buried in the sand to the had abated, we found the dragoman in waitvery neck. It is an extraordinary great mass, ing, and were soon seated in comfortable open but withal proportionable, although the head carriages, and enroute to the country palace. of itself be 26 foot high, and from the ear to the We had scarcely got over the first half-mile or chin 15 foot, according to the measure the so of our drive ere the cavalcade was broken, by Sieur Thevenot took of it. At a distance it the refusal of one pair of horses to draw their seems five stones joined together, but coming carriage any further. Now, as the road was nearer one may discover what was taken for level, and a good one, this interruption was most the joinings of the stones was properly nothing unexpected and annoying. We had no time to but the veins in the rock. Pliny says that this waste in prolonging the fruitless endeavours of served for a 'tomb to King Amasis* * * the driver to coax his horses into obedience ; so, Some will have it a certain Egyptian king caused unharnessing them, we caused him to ride this Sphinx to be made in memory of Rhodope back “post haste" for another pair. These of Corinth, with whom he was passionately in latter at length arrived, heralded by the usual love." My only apology for inserting the cloud of dust, and were soon hurrying us after above lies in the probability that, from the our more fortupate companions in advance. difficulty I experienced in learning even so 'Finally, after a very dusty drive, we reached the beautiful gardens, the extent and magnifi- , of the first water had, undoubtedly, by thus cence of which might well cause the visitor to adscribing his’illustrious name, sought to achieve envy the lucky possessor. Subsequent history, imperishable fame. The unavoidable feeling, however, could we have had a knowledge by however, produced by sight of this signature anticipation of its plots, &c., might have of a Goth, is one of unmixed disgust. G. Bulton, tempered that feeling.

however, would not, I am certain, either underAfter traversing the tastefully-laid-out stand why this should be or appreciate the grounds we were conducted into the palace feeling, so I gladly leave him to his notoriety, itself. This consists of a quadrangular range such as it is, without inquiring further as to of buildings, enclosing in the centre an who he may have been. The only remaining extensive marble fish-pond. We passed through lion now to be described, is the far-famed several magnificently-furnished saloons and obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle. This chambers, and spent considerable time in really wonderful shaft is covered with hieroexamining the rich and costly Parisian meubles glyphics, and stands in the middle of a slate they contained.

and timber yard. Its shape is quadrangular, On returning to our hotel, we found that and slightly larger at the base than at top. It one carriage-load of our companions had failed seems merely to rest upon the earth, without any altogether in reaching the palace; and had, counter-sinking, or foundation. Near to the through the obstinacy of their horses, to return site of the needle lies another similar but reingloriously to Cairo. Next morning we began cumbent pillar, said to be the property of the our return journey to Alexandria; as the scenes Crystal Palace Company. The juxta-position however, through which we steamed along, were of 'slates and rubbish exercises, it must be similar even in the chance groupings of the admitted, a depreciating influence upon these wandering Arabs to those I have already de- stone-book vouchers of a by-gone age. The scribed, I shall not weary the reader by any neglected state in which the fallen pillar is left, reiterating description of them. Instead of any being, as we were told, the gift of the Pacha to such course, I shall take the liberty of transport. the British people, contrasts unfavourably with ing bim at once to the sites of Pompey's Pillar the care taken of its sister, the third of this and Cleopatra's Needle in succession. The trio, now set up in the Place de la Concorde in pillar, so much associated with the name of Paris. Pompey, is said by modern savans to have been The Needle was the last of our sights, so dedicated, if not originally at all events even without making any bad puns on the eye, I may tually, to the Emperor Dioclesian. In proof go on to say that we now at once returned to of this, an inscription interpreted in modern our carriages and drove to the transit wharf. days is adduced. Be the origin or first pur. Boats were here easily obtained, and our party pose what it may, the existence of a pillar of was soon duly embarked. An hour's pull, howupwards of one hundred feet in height is in ever, was rather damping to our enthusiasm, and itself an object of great interest, and presents I we were not sorry to perceive signs of approachperhaps the most ornamental record of | ing the ship. Our boatmen pulled lustily to antiquity. The base of Pompey's Pillar | their own songs' time. Of the song I cannot measures 12 feet; the shaft, which is of one un- , say much in commendation, seeing that it was a broken stone, measures 90' feet in length and mere repetition of the words "Allah Anabin." is 9 feet in diameter. The stone of which the The translation of these words I am not, I shaft is composed is porphyry, and not granite, regret to say, able to subjoin; and the reas is sometimes stated. The capital adds 10 iteration of them lasted till we got alongside. feet to the general height. This latter is said Thus ends the account of an excursion, pleasant to be of sufficient area to bave once accommo- at the time, and living still greenly in the minds dated a dinner-party of twelve persons. Without of all who took part in it. pausing to remark upon the trite saying " there ia no accounting for taste," one can scarcely believe in any dozen diuers being so hardy as to venture on a banquet there. We were told AN IDEA -TRUE AND BEAUTIFUL.-"I cannot that a British sailor did on one occasion believe that the earth is man's abiding place. It canascend this pillar to hoist a Union-Jack upon not be that our life is cast up by the ocean of eternity it; but the feat, however flattering to the to float a moment upon its waves and sink into national hardihood of the" tar,” led to an inter nothingness ! Else why is it that the aspirations dict upon any subsequent feat of the same sort. which heap like angels from the temple of our hearts Some writers have suggested that Pompey's that the rainbow and the cloud come over us with a

are forever wandering about unsatisfied? Why is it Pillar was originally one of four, constituting beauty that is not of earth, then pass off and leave part of a temple. For this opinion, however, so far as corroborative evidence is concerned, that the stars who hold their festival around the mid

us to muse upon their faded loveliness? Why is it there is little ground, inasmuch as there are no night throne are set above the grasp of our limited remains of any of the pillars, and history is faculties, forever mocking us with their unapproachsilent as to the existence of any such temple. / able glory? And, finally, why is it that bright forms On the base of the pillar were, at the time of of human beauty are presented to our view, and then my visit, and perchance yet remain, painted the taken from us? We are born for a higher destiny characters " G. Bulton," in black. Some snob than that of earth.”

« AnkstesnisTęsti »