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It is more probable that it is brought down the rivers from the interior of America.' But where are the rivers on this coast, which can possibly communicate with the interior of America? None such have yet been discovered; and even if the case had been otherwise, the existence of rivers communicating with the interior of America, would scarcely have accounted for the fact of so many floating trees being met with at sea to the southward of Kamtschatka. This wood is of almost all kinds, although pine and birch predominate, and is found in almost all states upon the coast. Why were the different varieties not examined, and their respective habitats, if possible, ascertained? The subject is one where minute investigation was obviously required, and where it might have led to important results.
Again, we are by no means satisfied with Captain Beechey's proceeding at Elephant Point. The cliff from which the fossil bones, collected by Mr Collie, appear to have been detached, has undergone a great change since it was visited by Kotzebue, and supposed by him to be an entire formation of ice; nay, in the short interval of five weeks, during the autumn of 1826, the edge of the cliff in one place had broken away four feet, and in another two feet and a half, while a further portion was on the eve of being precipitated on the beach. Might it not, then, have occurred to Captain Beechey to try the effect of a few cannon-shots on this brittle mass of frozen gravel and mud? Had he done so, there is every probability, we think, that a large portion of the cliff might have been brought down by the concussion, and some interesting discoveries effected. Blasting with gunpowder is another expedient which might have been resorted to, with certainty as to the result, and the greater part of the cliff might thus have been disrupted. There can be little doubt that the bones found on the beach were primarily embedded in this frozen mud, from which they were afterwards detached by the falling down of part of the cliff. But it would have been more satisfactory, had some been discovered in their original situation; and it cannot be denied that there might have been a chance of this, had Captain Beechey employed the means which he had in his power. Lastly, no experiments seem to have been made by Captain Beechey while in the Arctic Seas, on the relative intensity of light, which it would have been so desirable to ascertain by a series of accurate and continuous observations. If he was provided with a photometer, and made no use of it, he is very much to blame; if he was not, the omission reflects but small credit on those chargeable with it.
The most valuable portion of the present work, in a scientific point of view, is Professor Buckland's able paper, inserted in
the Appendix, on the occurrence of the remains of elephants, and other quadrupeds, in the cliffs of frozen mud, in Esch'scholtz Bay, within Behring's Strait, and in other distant 'parts of the shores of the Arctic seas.' In this contribution, which, of itself, would require an article for the adequate developement of the interesting matter it contains, Professor Buckland-after arranging and describing these animal remains-examining the condition, circumstances, and situation in which they were discovered-and comparing both with the state and position of analogous remains which have, from time to time, been found in other remote parts of the Arctic seas-proceeds to consider the important question as to the climate of this portion of the globe, at the time when it was inhabited by animals now so foreign to it as the elephant and rhinoceros; and also as to the manner in which not only their teeth, and tusks, and dislocated portions of their skeletons, but the entire carcasses of these animals, with their flesh and skin still perfect, became entombed in ice, or in frozen gravel and mud, over such extensive and distant tracts in the northern hemisphere. We have no room for attempting even the most meagre abridgement of the details into which Professor Buckland enters; but we may observe that, in our opinion, the key to the solution of this interesting question is furnished by the condition and circumstances in which the great fossil elephant of the Lena was discovered.
Of all the fossil animals that have been ever discovered,' (says Professor Buckland,) 'the most remarkable is the entire carcass of a mammoth, with its flesh, skin, and hair, still fresh and well preserved,
*The term mammoth,' (says Professor Buckland,) has been applied indiscriminately to all the largest species of fossil animals, and is a word of Tartar origin, meaning simply "animal of the earth."' Not being acquainted with any of the Tartar languages, otherwise than through the medium of the works of MM. Abel Rémusat and Klaproth, we cannot take it upon ourselves to affirm that this etymology is erroneous, although we strongly suspect that such is the case. The word mammoth,' we conceive to be a corruption in the first syllable of behemoth,' from the Hebrew and, bestia, pecus, jumentum, the plural of which, , behemoth, ‘etiam singulariter capitur (says Buxtorf) pro Elephante, propter ingentem magnitudinem, quâ instar plurium est;' and we are confirmed in this opinion by the collocation which occurs in Isaiah vxiii. 6, where we meet with the very words, , bestia terræ, 'animal of the earth,' by which Professor Buckland explains the supposed Tartar term, mammoth.' Bochart, followed by Scheuscher, Shaw, and others, contends that the behemoth'
which in the year 1803 fell from the frozen cliff of a peninsula in Siberia, near the mouth of the Lena. Nearly five years elapsed between the period when this carcass was first observed by a Tongusian in the thawing cliff, in 1799, and the moment when it became entirely disengaged, and fell down upon the strand, between the shore and the base of the cliff. Here it lay two more years, till great part of the flesh was devoured by wolves and bears: the skeleton was then collected by Mr Adams, and sent to Petersburg. Many of the ligaments were perfect, and also the head, with its integuments, weighing 414 pounds without the tusks, whose weight together was 360 pounds. Great part of the skin of the body was preserved, and was covered with reddish wool and black hairs: about 36 pounds of hair were collected from the sand, into which it had been trampled by the bears.'-P. 607.
Now, from the circumstances here detailed as to the condition in which this carcass was found, one thing seems tolerably certain, viz. that the Siberian mammoth became imbedded in the matrix of ice or frozen mud, from which it was not long ago disengaged in the manner here described, recently after its death, or at least before its flesh had undergone any sensible decay; and that, whatever may have been the climate of the coast of Siberia in antecedent periods, not only was it intensely ⚫ cold within a few days after the mammoth perished, but it has also continued cold from that time to the present hour.' But the elephant, and the rhinoceros, the remains of which are nearly co-extensive in these northern regions, could never have existed in a living state under a climate so intensely cold as that of Siberia has been from the time when this carcass was first embedded in its matrix of ice to the present day. They are animals native to the torrid zone, and could only have lived under a temperature equal to that which prevails within or near the modern tropics. Hence, we must either suppose, with Pallas, that these carcasses were drifted northward from the southern regions by means of some violent and sudden aqueous catastrophe; or adopt the more modified opinion of Professor Buckland, that, in remote periods, when the earliest strata were deposited, the temperature of a great portion of the northern hemis
of Scripture is the hippopotamus, or river-horse; a notion which could never have been for an instant entertained, had these learned persons attended to the words of Job, xl. 15, Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. As far as we know, it has never been understood that river-horses are graminivorous animals; and, accordingly, Schultens, Buxtorf, and all the more recent lexicographers and commentators, without exception, render behemoth' elephant.
phere equalled or exceeded that of the modern tropics, and that it has been reduced to its present state by a series of successive changes. In support of the former hypothesis, as well as in proof of the violence and suddenness of the catastrophe, Professor Pallas instances the phenomenon of an entire rhinoceros found with its skin, tendons, ligaments, and flesh, preserved in the frozen soil of the coldest part of Eastern Siberia; while, according to Professor Buckland, the evidence of the high temperature, and the successive changes which he supposes, consists in the regular and successive variations in the character of extinct plants and animals which we find buried one above another in the strata which compose the crust or shell of the globe. But these opinions are in reality less divergent than on a first consideration might appear; although Professor Buckland has complicated his hypothesis by the introduction of elements which seem foreign to the precise point to be determined. It is admitted, on all sides, that the elephant and the rhinoceros could not exist under the present climate of Siberia. It appears demonstrably certain that that climate has undergone no material change since the carcasses of these animals were first embedded in their matrices of ice or frozen mud. And, from the state in which these carcasses were found, it seems equally manifest that they must have been frozen up into the masses of ice and congealed mud, whence they have been latterly detached, very soon after they had perished, and before the skin, flesh, and ligaments had undergone decomposition. The question which here arises, therefore, does not embrace a succession of changes, but only one change; and that change, as Professor Pallas assumes, must have been violent and sudden—from a very high to a very low temperature. Professor Buckland candidly admits, it would be a violation of existing analogies to suppose that any extinct elephant or rhinoceros was more tolerant of cold than extinct corallines or turtles;' and hence, even if this northern region of the globe had really undergone successive changes, it is only with the last of these that the extinction of the mammoth must have been contemporaneous. But how was this last change produced? Sudden and violent it must have been ; and such revolutions are not conformable to the ordinary laws which regulate physical changes on the surface of the globe. The assumption of an alteration in the earth's axis of rotation, however occasioned, appears to us, we confess, rendered almost inevitable by the terms of the question, no less than by the consideration that such an hypothesis would serve to explain the greater part of the phenomena, and to reconcile the jarring theories to which we have thus shortly directed the attention of our readers.
ART. XI.-Corrected Report of the Speech of the Right Honourable the Lord Advocate of Scotland, upon the motion of Lord John Russell, in the House of Commons, on the 1st of March, for Reform of Parliament. 8vo. London: 1831.
INCE we last had occasion to discuss the great questions which agitate this country with regard to its domestic affairs, an event has happened, which we may, without any exaggeration, say, has given to them a new aspect. The honest and able Ministers to whom the King has intrusted the affairs of these realms have, upon mature consideration of the whole subject, deemed it expedient to redeem the pledge given by them upon taking office, and to bring forward a plan of Parliamentary Reform at once bold, comprehensive, and judicious.
The public expectation had been kept intensely fixed upon this measure ever since it was announced. The veil of mysterious secrecy which enveloped it, has now been penetrated. It was only known to the country that the government had for some time been actively engaged in maturing a plan, which would, before long, be proposed to Parliament. As early as could reasonably be expected-we believe, somewhat earlier than any one did expect-it was formally intimated, that on the First of March the measure would be laid before the Legislature. The attention of the country was kept anxiously directed towards the subject. Every quarter of the kingdom was agitated with meetings to petition, and the prayers of the people for an effectual reform of the Representation poured in from every corner. As the petitions were severally presented, slight discussions arose, and various attempts were made to obtain information from the Ministers which might throw some light upon the nature of their design. Not the least approach, however, was made to any such discovery. The statesmen who preside at the helm, knew too well their duty, and were too well aware of the mischiefs which must result from premature and partial disclosures, to give the least information of their intentions. They went on to digest their plan, and reduced it into the shape of Bills for the three several kingdoms that compose this Empire; and both in their places in Parliament, and in their offices, they so arranged matters as to defy the invasions of the most prying curiosity. Nothing, we will venture to say, was ever more admirable than the effectual secrecy which was maintained upon every part of this great measure.
Not only the details were utterly unknown, but the general outline was as much kept in the dark as the most minute of the shadings and fillings up. No man could tell in what direction