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geologists, all which are rendered nugatory, by referring sand upon one part of a coast, all equal in grain, and perfecttheir present locality to the powers of the deluge, the extent ly free from earthy particles: on another part of the same of which no one can reasonably doubt, who has considered coast, and, perhaps, at no great distance, we find a similar the instances of mechanical force constantly exhibited by the extent of rolled gravel, almost entirely free from sand: on a ocean when in a state of agitation.

third, a bed of the purest clay, perfectly free from both; and, Some recent and remarkable instances of the great mechan- perhaps, on a fourth, an immense accumulation of sea shells. ical force of the waves may be interesting, on a subject | If, then, we allow for the action of those laws in the depth which has occasioned so much theoretical discussion amongst of the ocean, only on a scale infinitely more enlarged, and philosophers. In the Isle of Eshaness, in Shetland, which proportioned to the extent, both of the material and the agent, is exposed to the full fury of the western ocean, huge blocks we shall find a much more easy and rational means of accountof stone are removed far from their native beds, and hurried up ing for the geological phenomena on the surface of the globe, an acclivity to an almost incredible distance. In 1802, a mass than all the wild theories yet formed by philosophy have been eight feet by seven, and five feet thick, was dislodged from able to produce; and having this high additional value, that its bed, and removed to a distance of about 90 feet. The bed instead of opposing both history and reason, we follow the from which another block had been removed, in 1818, was well defined track of both. seventeen and a half feet by seven, and two and a half feet The most common source of error in forming our ideas on thick. This mass had been borne to some distance, and then the formation of secondary rocks and soils, is our measuring shivered into many lesser, though still large, fragments, the works performed by the unceasing action of the laws of nawhich were carried more than 120 feet further. A block nine ture, by the small and contracted scale of our own actions. feet by six and a half, and four feet thick, was carried up a Thus we almost instantly conclude, on observing a calcareous slope a distance of 150 feet. A mass of rock, the average formation some hundreds of feet in depth, that it must have dimensions of which may be rated at twelve or thirteen feet required some prodigiously long period of time to accumulate square, and five feet thick, was first moved from its bed, to a such a mass; whereas, when we consider the action of one distance of upwards of thirty feet, and has since been twice great river, such as the Amazon, or the St. Lawrence, (returned over. But the most extraordinary scene is in a breach markable, as all the American rivers are, for its muddiness, of porphyry called the grind of the Navir, where the waves and tinging the ocean for 60 or 70 leagues from its mouth,) have forced a passage, separating huge stones from the

rock, for a hundred years, and bearing, night and day, its prodigious and forcing them to a distance of nearly 200 feet. These load of mud into the sea, from whence it never returns; we fragments are accumulated in immense heaps, like the pro- must perceive that our ideas on such subjects are, in general, duce of a quarry.

much too confined, and stand greatly in need of revision and In Lunna, several large detached rocks, called the stones of correction. It is not yet ascertained to what depth it may be Stephouse, are found at some distance from the sea, having evi- necessary to probe, before we come to the primitive surface; dently been transported by the waters, and are the transported but it is highly probable, if not certain, that if we allow a mean stones of geologists. The largest is about 23 feet high, and thickness of one mile, for the whole secondary formations of 96 in circumference.

our present dry lands, we shall be considerably over-rating Amongst the remarkable features of the mountain ridges of their actual extent. We know that the most lofty peaks the earth, are the naked primitive summits of the highest are not more than five miles in height, and we have good reapeaks, which from their freedom from secondary formations, son to presume, that the greatest depths of the ocean are not and other marks of the sea, we may, with much probability, widely different in extent. Now, in the four thousand years suppose to have been in the form of islunds in the antedilu- that have taken place since the deluge, during which a fresh vian ocean: and as all islands are but the summits of sub- series of secondary formations has been going on in the postmarine elevations, it is natural to expect to find the lower diluvian ocean, we must conclude that a much greater change parts of these mountains, which must have long been cover- has taken place than could have occurred in the sixteen ed with the sea, bearing the same marks of secondary and centuries previous to that event; and yet we cannot discover sedimentary formations, mixed with sea shells, that are found changes to have taken place either on the lands, or in any in the lower levels of the earth.

part of the ocean, to lead us to the conclusion that formations As we descend from the higher grounds towards the plains, to such an extent have occurred, even during this longer pewe are every where struck with the hills of various heights riod. How then can we subscribe to those theories of phia and forms, entirely composed of these secondary rocks, and losophy, which attribute immense periods to the formation of often formed of nothing but rounded gravel, or dry sand, each stratum, and which would imply, from a view of a few precisely in the state we now find these substances on our hundred feet of diluvial stratification, in such a chalk basin present sea-shores, and under the continued action of the as that of Paris, a succession of revolutions, and of salt and waters.*

fresh water deluges, occurring during an unnameable lapse of One cannot but be sensibly struck with the close similarity, time? of these elevations, both in substance and in form, to those Amongst the remarkable secondary formations of our Euminor elevations, and valleys, formed by the present sea, in ropean continents, there are few more worthy of our attention many parts of its shores. One can even trace, on a minute than the celebrated rock of Gibraltar, in which we find prescale, in those recent beds of sand and gravel, the principles sented to our consideration a close connexion between diluviof stratification and arrangement which we remark in many of al animal remains, and the extensive fissures and cavities with the great secondary formations, and in the great beds of up- which that rock has become intersected. per alluvial rocks and soils : and as we have already had oc- This mountain is completely isolated; having the sea on casion to remark, those principles are founded on the laws of three sides, and, on the fourth, a low sandy plain

or isthmus, gravitation, and of fluids, by the combined action of which, of several miles in length, and about 900 yards in width near the raw materials of secondary formations, when once indis- the rock, though its breadth increases towards the Spanish criminately brought into the ocean by the rivers, in the man- continent; whilst its greatest elevation, above the level of ner before described, are sifted and arranged ; and the vari- the sea, is not more than about ten feet. ous classes separately deposited, according to the action of the The rock of Gibraltar is of an oblong form, and lies in the currents, and the eddies of the waters. It is by the action direction of north and south. The craggy ridge of which its of those laws alone, that we can account for the great beds of summit is formed, is somewhat higher at the two extremities

than in the centre. The whole rock is about seven miles in * The hills of Palestine are almost all formed of calcareous rocks, circumference, and forms a promontory of about three miles remarkable for their natural cavities. Those wonderful stones of in length. Its breadth varies according to the indentations abounding in fossil shells. The pyramids of Egypt are also built of the shore, but it no where exceeds three quarters of a mile. of a species of polite, which is full of small fossil shells, which The most elevated point of this promontory towards the south, were once thought to be petrified lentils, and other seeds, left by is called the Sugar Loaf, and is about 1440 feet above the the workmen employed on these stupendous fabrics. This is nearly sea ; that towards the north is called the Rock Mortar, and is as philosophical a way of accounting for them, as the idea of Vol- 1350 feet high ; the signal house, which is nearly in the taire, who thought the fossil fish found in Italy were the refuse centre, is 1280 feet above the level of the sea. thrown away by the Roman epicures. + We familiarly make use of these same laws, on many occa

The mountain of Gibraltar consists of a reddish grey calsions of every day occurrence. If we wish to separate any dry ar-careous rock, in regular strata, which may be examined with ticles in the form of a powder, but of irregular grain, we naturally shake it with a lateral motion, when the different sizes and weights gravity, as it is well demonstrated in the accidental mixtures of of the particles become arranged; the finer always being found at both powder and shot of different grains, which it is often necessary the bottom. Every sportsman must be familiar with this law of to separate.

great accuracy in the north front, where there is a complete similar to the one in which we then stood ; and beyond these section of upwards of 1300 feet of perpendicular height. The were other descents which never yet have been explored. strata are from 20 to 50 feet in thickness; and the whole “We now retraced our steps, highly gratified with what mass is cavernous, presenting some of the most remarkable we had seen; and as we emerged once more into the light of caves, adorned with magnificent stalactites.

day, our agreeable sensations were much increased by the I have been favoured with the perusal of a MS. account of exhilarating contrast, Upon looking upwards towards the the celebrated cave of St. Michael, in the rock of Gibraltar; summit of the rock, I perceived the smoke which our flamand with the kind permission of its author, I cannot hesitate beaux had occasioned, issuing out from among the shrubs; in presenting it to my readers, as it will serve to give a very and being led by curiosity to climb up to the spot, we found just idea of the numerous similar instances of lime-stone a fissure in the rock, which, no doubt, communicated with caverns, which are to be found in so many other parts of the those remarkable labyrinths, and through which aperture the world.

currents of air were now clearing away the smoke produced The following extract is from a MS. journal kept by Cap- by our lights. tain Martin, while in the command of the late sir William 6. What a wonderful natural monument of former events is Curtis' yacht, the Emma, on a pleasure cruise to the Medi- this extraordinary rock! A pyramid of huge stony strata terranean, in 1823 and 1824.*

completely honey-combed with caverns of this description. “Having determined to explore St. Michael's cavern, 1 Its inaccessible and perpendicular face to the eastward, comtook ashore part of the crew, with a supply of signal lanterns, monly called its Levant side, is perforated with innumerable lines, Roman candles and blue lights: and Captain Paterson, fissures, opening, no doubt, into its interior recesses, and an officer of the garrison, who had before made the excursion, forming the habitation of swarms of apes and sea-fowl; while joined our party, and was a great acquisition. We landed to the northward it is completely isolated from the main land at the dock-yard, and immediately commenced our march to-by a long extent of sand, called the neutral ground. wards the summit of the mountain. In about three-quarters “ The view which we also had of this remarkable rock from of an hour we reached the stone platform in front of the the sea, was in the highest degree imposing. The swell of cavern, which forms an esplanade for artillery.

the waves rolling against its base, and rushing into its dark “From this platform we overlooked the extraordinary line caverns, produced a melancholy sound; and I amused myself of fortifications, together with the villas and gardens, the as we passed close in shore, in prying with my telescope into town, the parade, the mole, the shipping at anchor in the the mouths of these gaping chasms, within which I should bay, the city of Algesiraz, La Roche, and the distant moun- suppose a boat could seldom enter, as the restless waters are tains, the Ape's hill on the coast of Barbary, and the whole agitated by the slightest breeze.” line of the two bold shores forming the straits, along to From the consideration of the mountains and the hills, in Ceata : these objects, together with the deep blue pass, both of which we find strong corroborative evidence in supstudded with white sails, completed the bird's-eye view, port of what has been advanced, we now descend to the plains and formed one of the most splendid pictures that can possi-l of the earth; and we there find, as might naturally be exbly be imagined.

pected, so many additional traces of a former ocean, that “We now commenced our descent into the cavern; and every shadow of doubt ought to be removed from an unprehaving proceeded about a hundred yards we halted to look judiced mind. We have before remarked, that by far the about us. The roof of this apartment is supported in the greater proportion of the present dry land consists of plains midst of a stupendous pillar of stalactite irregularly fluted. but little elevated above the present level of the sea. We The water, clear as crystal, but loaded with calcareous mat- find no exception, in this particular, in any of the continents ter, was seen dropping from various parts, and exhibited the into which geographers have divided the earth; but in order manner of this continual, but gradual formation, as, wherever to form a better idea of this part of our subject, we may refer it fell, a round knob of stony matter was upon the increase, to the descriptions given us by some of the most enlightened instead of the hollow which would have been produced, had travellers of those scas of land, as they have sometimes been the rock from which it falls, been of the sand stone formation. called.

“ The rays of light from the cavern's mouth, fall on a Humboldt has given us, in his valuable book of travels, number of broken crags, and detached parts of pillars, plainly so interesting an account of the great plains of South America, indicating their having experienced some severe shock as of that I shall here lay it before my readers : an earthquake, as the points from which they have been shat- “ In the Mesa de Paja," says he, " in the ninth degree of tered are distinctly visible.

south latitude, we entered the basin of Llanos. The sun was “We now followed Captain Paterson into the second almost at the zenith; the earth, wherever it appeared, was cavern, which was larger than the one just described ; and I sterile and destitute of vegetation. Not a breath of air was here lighted a Roman candle, which brought into view two felt at the height we sat upon our mules; yet, in the midst most beautiful arches, the columns of which much resembled of this apparent calm, whirls of dust incessantly arose, driven the pipes of an organ. Through the termination of one of these on by the small currents of air that glide only over the surface arches an aperture presented itself; and having made fast the of the ground, and are occasioned by difference of temperature, end of a line, and left one of the crew at the entrance, we which the naked sands and the spots covered with herbs, acproceeded on our hands and knees, extending our line as a quire. These sand winds augment the suffocating heat of the clue to our return. We thus crawled along a very considera- air; every grain of quartz, hotter than the surrounding air, radible distance, till we found ourselves once more in an open ating heat in every direction. All around us the plains seemed space, but in darkness so thick that the rays of our lantern to ascend towards the sky, and that vast and profound solitude extended but a very short way, and above our heads was a appeared to our eyes like an ocean covered with sea weeds. void of indefinite extent. As we now stood in a groupe, Through a dry fog, and the strata of vapours, palm-trees afraid of venturing further, or of being precipitated into some were seen from afar, the stems of which, stripped of their horrible abyss, 1 suddenly lighted one of our blue lights, foliage, but with verdant tops, appeared like masts of ships when the whole dome of this magnificent cavern burst at discovered in the horizon. once upon our sight, tinged with the sulphureous hue of the “ There is something awful, but sad and gloomy, in the brilliant flambeau I held in my hand. Pillar upon pillar, uniform aspect of these steppes. I know not whether the supporting mimic galleries, arch upon arch rising in Gothic first aspect of them excites less astonishment than that of elegance, seemed as if the sudden work of a magic spell, and the chain of the Andes itself. sparkling with crystal and stalactite far beyond our reach." “ Mountainous countries, of whatever variety of height, (Simulaverat artem

have always an analogous physiognomy; but we accustom Ingenio naturo suo : nam pumice vivo

ourselves, with difficulty, to the view of the Llanos of VeneEt levibus tophis nativum duxerat arcum.)

zuela and Casanary, and to that of the Pampas of Buenos Ayres “A few feet from us was a well-like aperture, which Cap

and of Chaco, which recall to the mind incessantly, and dur. tain Paterson now invited me to descend by the aid of a rope;

ing journeys of twenty or thirty days successively, the smooth but this I thought it prudent to decline, satisfied with the surface of the oceun. I had seen the plains or Llanos of La magnificent scene before me. That gentleman had, however, Mancha, in Spain, and the heath lands that extend from the formerly explored this cavity; and he described it as being extremity of Jutland, through Luneburg and Westphalia to about 50 feet deep, and terminating in a range of caverns

Belgium. These last are real steppes, of which man, during

many ages, has been able to subject only small portions to Should the author of this interesting MS. ever be induced to cultivation. But the immense plains of South America are offer it to the public, it will exhibit the workings of a poetic mind but feebly represented by those of the north and west of and a graphic pen, such as have seldom appeared in our naval annals. Europe.

“ The course of the rivers in these vast plains, all branches In Asia, we are equally struck with the great plains of of the Oroonoko, had once led me to think that they formed China and Hindostan, which are of immense extent; but, table lands, raised at least 100 or 150 fathoms above the level from their richer soils, they constitute, in point of fertility, of the ocean.


supposed, in like manner, that the deserts of the most productive portion of the habitable globe. Some interior Africa were also at a considerable height, and that parts even of these, however, being composed of sand, or of they arose one above another, like stages, from the coast to indurated clay, are also completely barren: and the plains of the interior of the continent. With regard to the Llanos of the Cambul territory, extending four hundred miles in length, South America, however, I found, by barometical measure- are of this desert description. The great salt desert of Perments at various points, that their height is only from 40 to 50 sia stretches over an extent of about 500 miles, and is comfuthoms above the level of the sea. The fall of the rivers is so posed of a rcddish sand, so fine as scarcely to be perceptible, gentle, that it is often imperceptible; so that the smallest and producing nothing but a few saline and succulent plants. swell of the Oroonoko causes a reflux in those rivers of the Arabia contains deserts of not less extent, composed of plains which run into it.

barren sands impregnated with sea salt, and totally destitute of “ The chief characteristic of the savanahs, or steppes of rivers.* The very low level of these deserts, would cause South America, is the absolute want of hills and inequalities, them to be again

inundated by the sea, by a very slight rise and the perfect level of every part of the soil. This resem- in its waters. The sub-soil, like that of most deserts, is a blance to the surface of the ocean strikes the imagination most grayish clay, with a large proportion of sand, and containing powerfully, where the plains are altogether destitute of palm marine exuviæ. trees, and where the mountains of the shore and of the Oroo- We find the following descriptions of the plains of Mesonoko, are so far distant that they cannot be seen. This potamia, in Buckingham's travels in that country. “The asequality of the surface reigns, without interruption, from the pect of the country was dull and uninteresting; as there was mouths of the Oroonoko to Ospinos, under a parallel of 180 neither mountain, valley, nor even plain: the whole being an leagues in length (540 miles), and from San Carlos to the unequal surface, like the high and long waves of a deep sea, savanahs of Caqueta, on a meridian of 200 leagues, or 600 when subsiding from a tempest into a calm: not a tree was miles. The planters who inhabit the southern declivity of any where in sight to relieve the monotony of the scene.” the chain of the coast, look down upon the steppes, which The description of these plains by Xenophon, in his Anabasis, extend towards the south as far as the eye can reach, like an 2200 years ago, is strikingly correct. “The country," says ocean of verdure. They know that they can traverse the he, “was a plain throughout, as even as the sea, and full of plains for 380 leagues, (or for 1140 miles), to the very foot worm-wood : if any other kind of shrubs or reeds grew there, of the Andes of Pasto!""

they had all an aromatic smell : but no trees appeared. Of The generally low level of North America is scarcely less wild creatures, the most numerous were wild asses, and not a remarkable than that of the South; but that country is so few ostriches, besides bustards and roe-deer (or antelopes) much more broken and irregular in the line of its sea coast, which our horsemen sometimes chased.”+ and so much indented by gulfs and inland lakes, that the Mr. Buckingham, in another place, proceeds: “The peoplains are no where of such vast extent. However, the ple here have a particular and characteristic name for the desgenerally level state of that country is shown by the naviga-lert, similar to that which we use for the wide expanse of ble rivers with which it is every where intersected, and from the ocean, when we call it the open sea. In these extensive which the greatest riches of North

America are derived: plains, minute objects are seen at quite as great a distance In the extensive low plains of Carolina, marks of the for- as on the ocean; and the smallest eminences are dismer occupation of the sea are every where displayed. Ex- covered by degrees, just as islands and capes are at sea, first, tensive beds of oystershells are found at considerable depths, showing their tops, and then raising them gradually above the alternating with strata of blue clay; and the bones of mon-horizon, till their bases appear on a level with the observer. strous animals are often discovered in cutting canals; these The bearings and distances of wells are noted and rememberare the remains of the mastodon, and the mammoth, found in ed from such objects; and they are seen by caravans, slowly so many other parts of the world in similar situations. crossing the great desert, for many days in succession, as

From the new world we turn our eyes to the deserts and they approach to, or recede from them."I-Buckingham's sands of Africa, of an extent and character not less remarka- Travels, vol. i, p. 237. ble. They have been described by Bruce, Park, and other In Europe, the most extensive plains are in Hungary, betravellers. Pure sea sand is there the prevailing soil, (if it tween the Danube and the Theiss. These plains have been deserve the name:) and though their elevation, above the sea, computed by Humboldt to be about 3000 squarel eagues ; and has not been so accurately measured as those of Europe, or the line of division constituting the ridge between these of Asia, we may yet judge, from the currents of the Nile, two rivers, has been ascertained by accurate survey to be only and other rivers of Africa,

flowing from the interior, that that 13 toises (or 78 feet) above the level of the Danube. "Thus, it is continent is not, generally, of greater elevation than that of plain, that a rise of from 200 to 300 feet in the waters of the America, being crossed, however, by ridges, of very consid- Mediterranean, would overflow all the steppes of Russia, erable height, in various directions.

and connect that sea with the Baltic. The extensive peninM. Cailliè, the enterprising French traveller, who, in 1824 sula of the Crimea, is in great part occupied by a vast unduand 1825, succeeded in penetrating to Timbuctoo, and was lating plain, or steppe, without wood, and mostly composed of the first European who has ever returned to give us a distinct sand, more or less mixed with clay. This plain abounds in idea of that mysterious city, has thus described the desert of salt lakes and marshes, from which salt is obtained during the Sahara, which description will be found intimately connected dry season, for the supply of a great extent of country, and with our present subject.

all the shores of the Euxine. Petrifactions, and marine. “A boundless horizon,” says he, “ expands before me; exuviæ, are every where found in great abundance. The salt and we can distinguish but an enormous plain of shining sand, mines of Armenia have also long been celebrated. and, over it, a burning sun. We come occasionally to deep, wells, full of brackish water. At a depth of four feet from

* The camel is emphatically called by the Arabians the Ship of the

Desert. the surface is found a gray sand, mixed with a little clay of

+ In considering the diluvial nature of this portion of the world, the same colour. At the bottom of these wells there is often in which the Paradise of our first parents is described to have been, found a white kind of earth, resembling chalk, and mixed, oc- it must be obvious to every one, that no such local descriptions of casionally, with some black or gray rounded pebbles. As far Paradise, as is found in our translations of the Book of Genesis, as the eye can reach there is no trace of vegetation ; for can consist with the total destruction of the antediluvian earth, and hours in succession we did not see one blade of grass. The with our now inhabiting the bed of the antediluvian sea. That the plains had the precise appearance of the ocean ; perhaps, such our subject, in this place, it may be satisfactory to the reader to know,

discussion of this question may not now interrupt the general line of as the bed of the sea would have, if left dry by the waters. In that so great an inconsistency is not left unexplained, but that the fact, the winds form in the sand undulating furrows, like the 14th Chapter is entirely occupied by it. waves of the sea, when a breeze slightly ruffles its surface. {"Travelling in Mesopotamia seems, even in the earliest ages of

“At the sight of this dismal spectacle, of this dreadful which we have any records, to have been little less dangerous than at and awful abandonment and nakedness, I forgot, for a moment, present. Josephus, in his Jewish Antiquities, in relating that part of all my hardships, to reflect upon the violent convulsions the history of Abraham, when he sent his chief servant from Canaan

to Haran, to betroth a wise for his son Isaac, says : it was a considwhich appeared to have dried up part of the ocean, and upon erable time before the servant got thither;

for it requires much the catastrophes which have thus changed the face of our globe.time to pass through Mesopotamia, where it is tedious travelling in

This traveller states, that the trade of Timbuctoo, and, in winter, from the depth of the clay, and in summer, from the want great part, of all the interior of Africa, consists of salt, from of water ; and, besides, it is dangerous, on account of the robberies the mines of 'Tondeyni, and of Waden.

there.committed, which are not to be avoided by travellers, except by caution before-hand.'”

If we turn our view nearer to our own shores, and contem-four own country, and of the north of France, which broad explate the level plains of rich cultivation occupying almost the tent of country, though now intersected by the channel, is obwhole of Russia, Poland, Germany, France,* and Holland, viously one great continuous secondary formation of the antewe shall be satisfied of the correctness of the statement with diluvian sea, presenting a rounded and varied outline, withwhich we set out; that the appearances which present them- out any naturally abrupt form. selves on the plains of every quarter of the globe, prove be- Let us then consider this great extent of chalk, (which, in yond a doubt, that they have, at no very distant period, form- France alone, is calculated at 16 millions of acres,) at the ed a part of the bed of the ocean; and that a change of a very period of the deluge, when, as has been above explained, the few hundred feet, in the comparative level of the present sea interchange of level was to take place, either by the depresand land, would once more destroy by far the greater propor-sion of the old lands, the elevation of the foundations of the tion of the habitable parts of the globe. We are not, how-old seas, or, perhaps, by the action of both these effects. ever, from hence to imply that the mode by which the deluge This chalky accumulation of many centuries, continued below was effected, was less the agency of a supernatural power. the surface during the early period of the deluge, the waters We are only to guard ourselves against the ideas of some the- of which, turbid as they naturally must have been, deposited orists, who, in treating of this great revolution, lose sight of more or less of the new soils, over every part of it, both high the comparative extent of the whole globe, and of its aqueous and low, but, probably, to a greater depth in the hollows; the covering; and who think it necessary to break up the solid finer particles sunk, as usual, to the boitom; the grosser were sphere of 8000 miles in diameter, in order to produce the moved about by the currents on the upper parts of these new. means of immersing a few thousand feet of its surface. formations, as they were deposited ; the depression of the

We shall find, that the more we study geology and min- old continents gradually continued; until we at length arrive eralogy, on an enlarged scale, and under the impression of the at a period of this interchange, when the tops of the round historical view, which informs us not only that the old earth heights, in the chalk formation, came gradually to the surface was to dissappear, but that it actually did become overwhelmed of the waters, and were washed over by the waves. The by a flood of waters, and that we are consequently now inhabit-operation proceeds; they gradually become more and more ing a new earth, the very nature of which assures us, without elevated above the level of the waters, which, as they sink, the evidence of history, that it formerly was the bed of the wash off any of the new soils which might have been deocean; the more easily we shall be enabled to account, in a posited on the heights, and carry them again into the gulfs, natural manner, for the secondary formations and effects, now to undergo a fresh deposit in a lower level. The tops and every where presented to our view. When we have once ad-sides of the chalky elevations were then left nearly bare, us we mitted that the primitive rocks were created without any con- now find them; while the whole moveable matter of the diluvial nexion or assistance from the sea, of which they bear no waters became deposited in the basins or hollows. In tracing marks; that the depression for the “gathering together of the the sections of the chalk, which are visible on the sea coasts, waters” must naturally have given rise to the earliest second- we often discover such hollows similarly filled up;* and we ary formations, in which no fossil remains are found ; that in can have no reasonable doubt, that the extensive districts now the course of upwards of sixteen centuries, many strata of a contained in the well-known basins of Paris, London, and the sandy and calcareous nature must naturally have been form- Isle of Wight, &c., are precisely of the same character, and ed, with which the entire bed of the antediluvian ocean must owe their formation, and their richness of soil, to the very have been encased ; and forming heights and hollows of an same cause and period. easy and rounded form, as at the present day; and that at this If any further proof of this were required, we should find particular period of the world, an interchange was to take it in the fossil remains of quadrupeds, birds, fish, plants, and place, between the level of the old sea, and of the old land, shells, found in the lower strata of the Paris basin ; similar, by which preternatural operation, ordained for an especial in many instances, to those found in the upper soils of the purpose by the great ruler of the universe, these secondary earth, which latter are unanimously admitted to have been heights and hollows were to become visible; from the mo- lodged there by the diluvial waters.f. ment we take this view of the subject, every thing on the A section of this basin, (which has become more remarkearth becomes consistent, which was before confused, and in able than numberless similar basins, merely from its situation darkness : we can trace in our minds, the whole operation of near Paris, and its having been so minutely scanned by the mineral secondary formations, although we cannot be expect-distinguished Cuvier, whose theories, erroneous as they are, ed, always, to account for the various characters impressed have been founded upon the phenomena there displayed), upon different rocks, in the course of passing under the in- presents a numerous succession of distinct strata of sand, fluence of the chemical processes of nature. When we thus sand-stone, clay of many sorts and colours, marl, lime-stone, acknowledge the period and the mode of the deluge, we have gypsum, burr-stone, and alluvial earths. In all these we only then to discover, in our present rocks, what the particular formations were, which formed the actual bed of the sea, * There is an interesting section of a somewhat similar

basin, preat that destructive period. When we have been enabled to do sented to our view, on our own shores. On the coast of Kent, the this, as we often can do most distinctly, (as, for instance, in chalk cliffs of the Isle of Thanet dip beneath the diluvial deposits

about half a mile west from Pegwell, and they do not appear again the chalk basins of geologists,) we may be satisfied, that upon the coast till a little way beyond Deal, in the neighbourhood of every thing we find above them, is the result of the action of Walmer Castle. The borough of Sandwich stands in the centre of the deluge, in the slow and gradual progress of which, during this diluvial section of a basin ; and a branch of it, of a long, narrow one whole year, the sea would continue to arrange and deposit form, divides the Isle of Thanet from the main land, and connects the substances of every kind submitted to its action, in the the diluvial formations of Sandwich with the Isle of Sheppey and same manner as at other times, only to a prodigiously greater productions, are constantly found in such abundance. The wells extent, from the preternatural supply of the whole moveable sunk at Sandwich, and in other parts of this plain, to the depth of soils and productions of the antediluvian continents. Nor from 50 to 130 feet, indicate many of the same species of diluvial must we permit our minds to be misled by the depth and ex- strata to be found in London and at Paris. Blue clay, sand stone of tent to which these diluvial formations are frequently found. various kinds, and many fossils, in the strata of clay and marl, inFor though in our low lands we often cannot penetrate the to-dicate a succession very similar to that found in all such situations. tal depth to which they extend ; yet we must keep in mind, the prevailing formation, without observing, in the section presented

Nor can we examine any great length of coast where the chalk is on the other hand, that, on our higher grounds, the rocks, in to our view, numerous smaller instances of hollows or valleys on numberless instances, present at once the secondary forma- the old surface of the chalk, which have been filled up with soil, or tions which formed the bed of the sea at the deluge: and, strata of sand and gravel ; 'all of which are to be attributed to the consequently, that the whole moveable soils of the old world, same diluvial action on a small scale. Several such small

basins may are accumulated deeply in the hollows, or spread more thinly be seen between Ramsgate and Kingsgate in the Isle of Thanet, and over the plains of the new. As a familiar instance of this ar

also at the village of Pegwell.

+ “We shall conclude our account of this basin (of Paris) with rangement, we may take the chalk formation of the south of

an enumeration of some of the most remarkable organic remains

which have been found in its various strata. Skeletons of unknown The enormous collections of sea shells that exist in France, in birds, elephant's bones, fish, and fish skeletons ; leaves and parts of Touraine, and at Grignon, have always attracted much attention. vegetables changed into silex : large trunks of palm trees converted In the former instance there are said to be about nine square leagues, into silex : skeletons of various quadrupeds : tortoise bones : bituwith a depth of about 18 feet, the whole consisting, almost entirely, minous wood ; and nearly throughout all the various formations, of fossil shells. It is also said, that at Grignon, upwards of 600 spe- oyster shells.”—Edin. Encyclop. France, p. 686. cies have been discovered.

The above enumeration is surely sufficient, of itself, to demon+ " The bones of quadrupeds, already mentioned, are never found in strate the deposition of so extraordinary a mixture of land and sea the strata below the chalk, but always in the clay over the chalk."- productions at one and the same period, and by the action of one Edin. Encyclop. England, 713.

and the same agent.

find no formation of the same exact character, as the older We come to the same conclusions in considering the great sand-stone formations, or chalk, or other calcareous gradual deposits of rock salt and of coul, in every part of the world; deposits, which formed the bed of the antediluvian sca. on each of which it may be necessary to make some observa

Cuvier remarks, that the quantity of bones embedded in tions : for nothing more strongly marks the former presence the gypseous strata of Paris, is such as to be scarcely credi- of the sea upon our present lands, than the immense strata ble. In some parts of these strata there is scarcely a block of rock salt now found in all secondary districts. that does not inclose a bone; and millions must have been In England, beds of from 20 to 30 yards thick, are found destroyed, in the course of the old excavations, before these in Cheshire, and in other parts. Spain possesses the celeobjects began to attract attention. The depth of the entire brated rock-salt mountain at Cordova, which is nearly 300 basin has never been ascertained, but it is calculated at feet high. The salt alternates with parallel beds of clay, about 500 feet.

gypsum, or sand. Near the same place is a promontory of Of the numerous species of fossils found in these various red salt, 660 feet high, and nearly solid throughout. The strata, we need only enumerate a few of the most remark-whole Island of Ormuz, in the Persian Gulf, is said to be a able, and coming from the most opposite latitudes, to show solid mass of fossil salt. In South America the salt mines that this, and other such hollows, became the general de-are numerous; and some are found in Peru, at an elvevation posits of every sort of diluvial debris, arranged, however, of 10,000 feet above the sea ; but even in these elevated according to the mode universally prevalent, within the influ- regions, it is always associated, as in other countries, with ence of the waters of the ocean. We find, then, a vast num- secondary and diluvial formations of lime-stone, clay, sand, ber of marine fossil shells, of which oysters form a prominent sea shells, &c. part. Some other shells, found in a formation where vege- As to the origin of these remarkable deposits, we may lable fossils also were, have been called fresh water shells; conclude, from the accompanying phenomena, that the salt and thus, the two together, have given rise to one part of has been deposited in hollows, on the retreat of the diluvial Cuvier's theory of fresh wuter deposits.* There can be no- waters, and that the moisture has been evaporated or drained thing surprising in finding fresh water shells, even if well off in the course of subsequent periods. ascertained to be such, in an accumulation of so varied a That the waters of the ocean are found to be more richly character; but their presence alone cannot support the extra-impregnated with salt, the greater the depth from whence they ordinary ideas of the above distinguished individual: and, are taken, is a fact which has long excited the remark of philobesides, it is admitted, that the exact character of such sophers; and it appears highly probable that, from the greater shells is by no means clear. We find, amongst many vege-specific gravity of salt water, a very extensive deposit of solid table fossils, the stems of palm trees in a petrified state. salt may take place in the greatest depths of the ocean itself. Of large quadrupeds, birds, and fish, there are many most The reflux current in the Mediterranean sea is easily accountinteresting specimens found in the gypsum formation; and, ed for on this principle, that, as the waters are forced into it by also, the bones of elephants, tortoises, crocodiles, and other the winds and the tides, and a great evaporation takes place tropical animals, similar in character, and in species, to many from its inland surface, the impregnated salt water sinks, and of those fossils found in lime-stone rocks in England, and being constantly supplied by the entering current, the lower elsewhere; and in the basin of London.”'t

strata, heavily charged with salt, are forced out again into the We can, thus, have no hesitation in attributing similar ocean, at a depth far beyond our observation. effects to similar causes all over the world: and if it may be We have a most interesting illustration of this fact, in an safely laid down as a general principle în geology, that no account given (in the 18th number of the Edinburgh Journal remains of terrestrial animals or vegetables are to be found of Agriculture,) of the opening of the lake of Lothing, at in formations previous to the Mosaic deluge, it must natu- Lowestoft, in Suffolk, on the 3d of June, 1831, when the new rally follow, that all formations in which such fossils are harbour was first entered by sea-borne vessels. The salt now found, are of diluvial origin. We are, of course, to water entered the lake with a strong under current, the fresh distinguish between such formations, and the animal and water running out, at the same time, to the sea, upon the survegetable remains found so abundantly in the more partial face. This fresh water was raised to the top by the irruption deposits of marshes or lakes, which have taken place in the of the sea water beneath, and an immense quantity of yeastcommon course of things, and are now going on under our eyes. like scum rose to the surface. The entire body of water in

the lake was elevated above its former level; and on putting * “Those terrestrial organic remains which may be considered down a pole, a strong under current could be felt

, bearing it as properly terrene, are presumed to be so, from their natures, and from the sea. At one place, there was a perceptible and clearnot from their situations ; as they are found embedded in strata of ly defined line, where the salt water and the fresh met, the aquatic origin, as well as in alluvial deposits, and occasionally in former rushing under the latter ; and upon this line, salt company with aquatic, in some cases, indeed, even with marine re-water might have been taken up in one hand, and fresh in the mains. They comprise quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, insects, and

other.* plants; and they bring us down to the last periods of the earth's change, which connect the most ancient living beings with those

Mr. Cox, in describing the salt mines of Wielitska, near which are actually in existence.

Cracow, in Poland, says, that the latter city is completely “ Remains of quadrupeds of various extinct genera or species, undermined, and stands, as it were, on pillars of salt. The together with those of some birds and reptiles, are found accompa-strata of the whole mine are described minutely by M. Guenying fishes and shells in the fresh water deposits of the Paris basin. tard, who says, that the upper surface, like a great part of These are also accumulated in caverns, or fissures, more or less Poland, is sund; then follows clay, occasionally mixed with entangled in earthy matter. Under the same head may be also in- sand and gravel, containing fossil animal remains; and the cluded the animals entangled in ice.Edin. Encyclop. Organic Remains.

third straturn is calcareous rock, or gypsum; from all which We here find, in the able article, of which the above is an extract, circumstances he very naturally concludes, that this spot was a distinct admission of analogy between all such fossils, wherever formerly covered by the sea, and that the salt was deposited they are found in a mixed state: and it may be, perhaps, with con- from its evaporated waters. All the above extraneous forfidence concluded that no fossil, quadruped, bird, or plant, has yet mations being evidently diluvial, like those at Paris, guide been found, which may not be considered a deposit from the diluvial

us to the exact period of this, and all other salt deposits. + In the above quoted able article on organic remains, in the It only now remains for us to take a general view of the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, amidst the general obscurity which una- coal formations, and endeavour to discover whether there is voidably

overhangs this subject, when viewed under the influence of any analogy between them and those we have already been existing theories, we find many gleams of light, all of which tend considering. The first striking circumstance in the coal towards the very points for which we are now contending: The fields, is, that they have no connection with primitive rocks, but, blindness of theorists to the imperfections and contradictions of their own conceits, is often exposed by the able author of that ar- on the contrary, are always found in secondary and plain ticle : and the geological theories of Cuvier have not escaped countries. They lie amongst sand-stones, clay-slates, and remark, and able animadrersion. After giving an account of some calcareous rocks, but have, in no instance, been found below fossil fish found in a calcareous shale near the village of Stein, chalk, which is one of the best defined secondary formations (where the Rhine issues out from the Lake of Constance,) 500 feet immediately preceding the deluge, as has already been above the level of the lake, and which have been called fresh water shown. It is true, that in the unreasonable systems of genfish by Saussure, probably from the vegetable remains also found in the same deposit, this author makes the following remark, which eral and continuous stratification over the whole globe, which might be equally applied to many other parts of that article: “We so much prevail in the geology of the present day, coal is can only say, that if this intermixture of marine and fresh water fish exists in this place, and if there is no error in the assignment * Great quantities of fresh water fish perished on this occasion; of species, the geology of this district requires to be more carefully one pike, however, of 20lbs. weight, had found time enough to deexamined."-Edin. Encyclop. Organic Remains, p. 717.

vour a herring, which was found entire in his stomach.


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