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Peers and princes mark I,
Monarchs, on guarded thrones,
Ruling Earth's southern zones,
the wrathful archers of Gehenna; Charioteers from Hades, land of Gloom,
How gleam, affrighted Lords of Europe's crowns, Gigantic thrones, and heathen troopers, whom
Their blood-red arrows o'er your bastioned
Go bid your Prophets watch the troubled skies !
“Why through the vault cleave those infernal Lo! Night's barbaric Khans,
Why, ye pale Wizards, do those portents rise,
Rockets and fiery shafts and lurid lances ?”
In deep-ranked squadrons gird the glowing cars Of Lucifer and Ammon, towering Idola
Still o'er the silent Pole
Numberless armies roll,
Still girdled nobles cross the snowy fields
In flashing chariots, and their crimson shields
Kindle afar thy icy peaks, Cordillera !
See the tall regiments whose spears incline,
Beyond the circle of that steadfast sign, Which to the streams of Ocean never leaneth.*
On, Lords of dark Despair !
Prince of the Powers of Air,
Wave, all ye Stygian hordes,
Through the black sky your swords;
Startle with warlike signs the watching nations.
What bright centurions, what blazing Earls, Far shine the battlements on Heaven's steep. In mail of Hell's hot ores and burnished pearls, Dare ye again, fierce Thrones and scarlet Powers, Alarm the kingdoms with their gleaming harness Assail with Hell's wild host those crystal towers!
Tempt ye again the angels' shining blades,
Ithuriel's spear, and Michael's circling truncheon, "Αρκτον .... "Αμαξαν .... The seraph-cavalier, whose winged brigades, Οίη δ' άμμορός έστι λουτρών Ωκεανοίο. Drove you in dreadful rout down to the Night's
ILIAD, xvüi. 489.
vast dungeon ?
G, H, N.
EARTH AND MAN.*
This is one of a class of subjects which of in a centre, they establish a rotary motion? latter years has grown out of and been laid was formed our planetary system, rou h open by the growth of Jther sciences. As the hewn and formless, but with all its magnifi visible world has been mapped out, explored, cent purposes fully engermed within it. The and defined, and the harlequinism of the same law of matter that drives the little youthful sciences has given place to the greater eddy of dust and straw along the highway, marvels of the truth, every form in which na- or covers the bosom of the streamlet with ture manifests herself to us shows an increas- dimples, guides the course of suns and ing mutual dependence, and a convergence planets and astral systems, and, we have to one centre-man. From this connection every reason to believe, of the whole maand newly-discovered unity, the whole range terial universe. The nebulous sphere thus of human knowledge has received an in- formed, filling up the space inclosed within creased and increasing impulse, while on what is now the orbit of the outermost some of its paths a most unexpected blaze planet, was a vast heated furnace, torn with of light has been shed. Among others, the flaming tornadoes that raged and Geography-or Geology, as it should rightly howled through its depths, but still followbe called, were not the term already appro- ing the same path that its chaotic materials priated to a portion of it—is no longer the pursued while yet a fire-cloud. Its rotary dry, unmeaning science it once was held to motion, a product of the conflict between be, involving no great principle and tending this original movement and the mutual atto no great purpose; but it is at last felt to traction of its particles, marks the natal be, in its growth and perfection, a foreshad- hour of our planetary system. In the owing of the physical destinies of mankind. struggle between the contending centrifuAstronomy and Geography, as Laplace and gal and centripetal forces, the outlying porHerschel, Humboldt and Ritter have un- tions of the mass have become cooled, partly folded them, are now history—the history by radiation of their heat into space, and of the material universe and of created life; partly in consequence of their condensation. covering, not thousands of years, but thou- | The least excess of the centrifugal over the sands of cycles; and not stopping with the attractive force would now suffice to detach present, but prophesying of futurity. this ring from the central body, preserving,
Let us go back to those far-off scenes however, its rotary motion, as well as the which their latest and most brilliant dis- primary onward movement of the whole coveries have laid open. “The earth was mass. The condensation of the inner nebwithout form and void.” Vaporiform, shape- ulous matter still goes on; the space beless, glowing with combustion, a thousand tween the ring and the sphere becomes a times more rarefied than the atmosphere vast abyss; the ring, of varying proportions around us, huge volumes of the ultimate and materials, breaks up and becomes itself particles of matter filled the firmament, a sphere; its rotary motion becomes its orbitfleeting though space before the breath of ual, and we at last behold the eldest-born of the Almighty. As the billows of this fire- the planets careering through the ether, and mist rolled on to their common centre, huge hailing, as the ages float by, the successive whirlpools would be formed from its ap- births of its younger brethren. proaching currents, and thus, from the well- And now, in its turn and due time, our known law in physics that, when streams of own globe takes its place in the winged fluid matter converge in their course or meet | phalanx. Its satellite is thrown off by the
* The Earth and Man: Lectures on Comparative Physical Geography, in its Relation to the History of Mankind. By Arnold Guyot. VOL. VIII. NEW SERIES.
same laws to which it owed its own exist- | fossiliferous remains, there must have been a
At this period the mass of the earth remarkable sameness and tranquillity of cliwas upwards of 482,000 miles in diameter, mate over the whole surface of the earth. and its time of rotation about twenty-nine The heat of the almost seething waters must and a half days. This rate of speed—the have gone far to counteract the climatic day and night of those primeval years—its inequalities. There was no dry land to satellite still preserves in its revolutionary disturb the equilibrium of the atmosphere, period; while the parent globe, by continued by producing different degrees of rarefaction, condensation, is reduced to the sixtieth of or deflecting from their regular and gentle that diameter, and its rotation accelerated course the great wind-currents ; while the to its present fixed rate of twenty-four hours. marine currents swept equally unobstructed It now assumes its three most marked around the earth's circumference. The natural appearances, the gaseous envelope great density of the atmosphere must also or atmosphere, the liquid or the waters of have contributed to this effect. This was the ocean, and the cooled and hardened the period of the earlier sedimentary rocks, crust. Within this mighty caldron still and the hour before the dawn of animated roars the original and central heat, intensi- creation. “ And darkness was on the face of fied by its narrowed limits, and ever strain- the deep.” The sun's rays struggled feebly ing against the rock walls of its dungeon. through the thick, murky atmosphere. The
And now we come to that era in this gloomy sea was undisturbed by storms, great history which shows more immediate and in silence the rains were gathered and marks of the preparation of the earth for the returned to its bosom. No life breathed, no home of man; a time inconceivably remote, voice was beard in those dreadful solitudes. but which seems but as yesterday when But far and near, wheresoever the eye could compared with those immense cycles through rest, was the vague, illimitable main. which its previous course must have run. As the cooling of the planet continued, The newly-formed crust must have been in new changes took place. Slowly upheaving, great part, perhaps wholly, covered by the the sunken continents reared their crests,
The waters themselves were proba- and dry land appears. The earth, the air, bly at a temperature nearly approaching and the waters, now act and react on cach the boiling-point. We have no reason to other, and become prolific under the lifethink that the solid parts were otherwise giving rays of the sun. The rains, which than irregular in their contour and group- / before fell in the barren lap of the ocean, ings, nearly as much so, in fact, as at the now pour down on the peaks and jagged present hour, though not possessing the same sides of the mountains. Disintegration elevation. The marine currents doubtless rapidly goes on. Soils and alluvial deposits existed. The sharp outlines of these sub- are formed, and marine and land vegetation marine mountains and continents must thus is now seen. At first, animal life is found have been subjected to a violent chemical in a few types, but little varied, and belongand mechanical action, and must have been ing to the lowest grade in the scale of aniworn away with a rapidity unkuown since. mated creation ; but in the succeeding The turbid seas would hold these materials epochs, the traces of life become more abunin suspension or chemical solution. A de- dant, and the number of species extended. posit would then take place of the heavier Before, however, nature has put forth all particles first and the lighter afterwards, her strength, and given to land, and sky, while those substances held in solution would and ocean their thousand forms of life, let be precipitated according to their chemical us look at the map of the globe of those combinations. Each successive layer, which, early years, as the earth has preserved it for when first deposited, would be protected us in the rock-tablets of her autobiography, from the effects of the internal heat by “The largest domain above the surface of rapidly radiating it into the superincumbent the water, in the regions of the future conocean, would, in its turn, when covered by tinent of Europe, was Scandinavia and a part new strata, be exposed to the full intensity of Russia. England and Scotland are only of its fires. Thus were formed the aqueous marked by a few islands along the existing rocks. At this period, and even at later western coast; Ireland, by a few others placed epochs, judging from the uniformity of their | at the corners of the present island. All
France is represented merely by an island cor- / favored of the tropical latitudes. Plants responding to the central land of Auvergne, that now hardly raise their humble beads and by some strips of land in Vendée, in above the ground, then attained the size of Brittany, and in Calvados. In Germany, our forest trees. Such was the lycopodium, Bohemia, forming a great island, the Harg, or club-moss family, seeking, even at this and the plateau of the Lower Rhine; small day, hot, humid situations at the tropics, portions of the Vosges, and of the Black For- and especially in small, low islands, but est, and some low lands on the spot occupied never exceeding the height of two or three by the Alps, between Toulon, Milan, and Ty- feet, and of flimsy and weak structure. But rol, compose an archipelago which is to be in the ultra-tropical climate of those far-off come the centre of the continent. All the years, and under their watery skies, this regions of the south, except, perhaps, a few lowly plant reached the imposing growth of small portions of Spain and of Turkey, do not seventy or eighty feet, and spread to such yet exist. North America, at the coal epoch, an immense extent that it is thought to which, though a little more recent, belongs have composed a larger proportion of the almost to the same age, is in like manner entire coal formation than any other of its made up of a few islands only, analogous to vegetable compeers. Almost rivalling these Scandinavia, but less numerous, less parcelled in size and importance was the equisetum, out than we find them in Europe at the or common horsetail
, a plant which is now same period. A large island occupies all the found in ditches and rivers in most parts of present north-east of the continent, with the the world, within and without the tropics. region of the Alleghanies and the Apala- From the researches of M. Brongniart, it chian, and all the region north-west of the appears indisputable that plants, very nearly Valley of the Mississippi, and forms a species the same as these in their organization, of small continent, in the interior of which formed a considerable part of the original are three inland seas, or three large swamps, vegetation of the globe; not the diminutive where the plants are vegetating that com- species of the present day, but towering pose the great coal deposits of the present vegetables, many yards in length; and inday. A similar sea doubtless lay between deed, if certain striated fossils of the coal Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, bordered fields should be referable to this family, it perhaps by lands which have disappeared will be found that some of them must have beneath the waves. All the great belt of been vast trees. The ferns too played an low lands along the Atlantic coast and the important part in this early flora. From Gulf of Mexico, including Florida, did not these facts, less disputable than aught reexist; the ocean formed a deep gulf, run- corded by the pen of human historian, we ning up the Valley of the Mississippi one can form a tolerably accurate idea of the half its length. The vast plains west of the appearance of nature—the nature whose Mississippi, the Rocky Mountains, the table- gentler face now fills the heart of man with lands, and the high snow-capped chains from delight, then sorrowful, sombre, pale, with California to the Frozen Ocean, were still at the agonies of her mighty travail. Archithe bottom of the sea.”
pelagos, the germ of continents, almost lost The coal epoch, or the era of the carbonifer- in the immensity of ocean, and darkened by ous formation, was the triumph of vegetable perpetual mist; mountain ranges, of no nature. The insular forms of the newly-cre- great height or extent, but dangerous with ated continents, the ocean permeating and gorges and precipices and jutting cliffs ; encompassing them in every direction, and rivers, swollen with floods and surcharged the consequent universal humidity of climate; with detritus, heaving mournfully through the large proportion of morasses and low- the silence of primeval forests"; endless lying lands, hardly raised above the surface fens, where the children of nature stand in of the waters; and, above all, the heated ranks so close and impenetrable, that no atmosphere, surcharged with the peculiar bird could pierce the net-work of their food of plants-carbon-gave birth to a branches, nor reptile move through the Titanic vegetation, of a low rank indeed in stockade of their trunks. But neither bird the vegetable kingdom, but surpassing in nor quadruped had yet started into being, luxuriance and extent any thing that is for no living creature could breathe for a found at the present day, even in the most / moment the noxious air, from which vege. tation drew in safety the sustenance of its that so many escaped to be imbedded in rocks, gigantic development. The leafy Titans and, after the lapse of ages on ages, to tell the
tale of their existence as former inhabitants of our waved over a world that was yet their own; planet. And strange inhabitants they undoubtedly from the reservoirs of the sky they drank / were ; for, as Cuvier says, the Ichthyosaurus has in the liquid carbon; they drained off the the snout of a dolphin, the teeth of a crocodile, the poison and locked it in the bowels of the head and sternum of a lizard, the extremities of earth; they filled the estuaries and water- cetacea, (being, however, four in number,) and the courses and shallow seas with their prostrate the same cetaceous extremities, the head of a liz
vertebræ of fish; while the Plesiosaurus bas, with forms; the purification of nature was the ard, and a neck resembling the body of a serpurpose of their creation, and for unbroken pent."* ages the work went on. This was the twilight of the morning.
In the tertiary formation, the continents Succeeding epochs present a continuous have assumed very nearly their present outupheaving of the bed of the ocean, and a lines, while the superior class of animals—the nearer approach of the dry land to the pres- mammifers—have become abundant. Spain, ent forms of the continents. Animal life at France, Central Europe, the British Isles, are last appears in shapes fitted to the gradual well defined ; Scandinavia has reached alpreparation of the earth for the reception of most its present limits. Italy, the Morea, the highest types. Heretofore, fishes and Barbary, the Levant are there; while, from mollusks had found protection in their proper the north, Russia already hangs like a cloud element from the deadly impregnation of the over the future realms of civilization. With atmosphere. But now, reptiles are found—a the increase of dry land and the continued class of animals, from their slow respiration, diminishment of the surface-heat of the earth, peculiarly fitted for a medium yet wanting is lost the uniformity of temperature that has its due proportion of oxygen. Each era of the hitherto prevailed through the whole course world's history seems to have brought its of these elementary wars. From these two especial form of life to its maximum size, changes follow the most momentous results. and we accordingly find these animals to Climates are established somewhat as they assume a magnitude and variety of attri- exist at the present day, and the various butes no longer possessed by the similar spe- forms of the animal and vegetable kingdoms cies of the present day.
become localized. Living nature is hence
forth parcelled out according to its natural " It does not seem unphilosophical to infer that affinities, and individualized by geographical the bays, creeks, estuaries, rivers, and dry land and climatic barriers. Each type finds itself were tenanted by animals
, each fitted to the situa: in the sphere in which alone it can reach tions where it could feed, breed, and defend itself from the attacks of its enemies. That strange
perfection. Nature becomes more prodigal reptile, the Icthyosaurus, species of which, 7. of creative power, and more avaricious of platyodon, was of large size, the jaws being strong, space. Animals analogous to existing speand occasionally eight feet in length,) may, from cies are now found in the greatest abundance. its form, have braved the waves of the sea, dash- The Saurian still possessed the muddy maring through them as the porpoise now does ; but the Plesiosaurus , at least the species with
the long gins of the seas, and the early vegetation neck, (P.dolichodeirus,) would be better suited to still continued under the equatorial sun. have fished in shallow creeks and bays, defended But, in more temperate latitudes, a nobler from heavy breakers. The crocodiles were preba- and higher life bursts forth tumultuously. bly, as their congeners of the present day are, lovers on the hill-slopes it basks and sports ; in the of rivers and estuaries, and, like them, destructive and voracious. Of the various reptiles of this
wooded valleys it flutters, and sings the
period, the Icthyosaurus, particularly the I. platyodon, morning-song of creation.
The uplands seems to have been best suited to have ruled in tremble beneath the tramp of bovine myrthe waters, its powerful and capacious jaws being iads; and in the desert prowl the felinæ. an over-match for those of the crocodiles and plesiosauri. Nor are we unacquainted with some of
Thus, step by step, from its earliest baptism the food upon which these creatures lived;
their of flame, through convulsions when the cenfossil fæces, named coprolites, having afforded evi- tral fire fought for its ancient dominion, dence not only that they devoured fish, but each through alternate cycles of rest and agitation, other; the smaller becoming the prey of the larger, we come to the final chapter in this wonderas is abundantly testified by the undigested remains of vertebræ and other bones contained in the coprolites. Amid such voracity, it seems wonderful
* De la Bèche's Geology.