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in the neighbourhood of West Chester. Westward there are immense ridges of porphyry, of several different kinds, some of these are beautiful when cut and polished. Appearing only at the summits of the loftiest mountains, the granite is confined to narrow limits, and is insufficient to render improper the appellation of Primary District to the south side of the country.
"Northward of Economy and Parrsborough, the Cobequid Chain consists chiefly of greywacke, greywacke slate, and porphyry.
"Covered with a thick and pathless forest, the mountains defy the labours of the geologist, and the minerals they contain are so perfectly concealed beneath the rubbish on the surface, that many years will elapse before the progress of cultivation will admit of their discovery. Often has an attempt been made to examine the rocks at the sources of rivers flowing between the oval crests of the hills, and almost as often has disappointment followed from rafts of trees and windfalls, which have been plunged from the steep sides of the ravines into the narrow channels below. More than once has the carriboo been alarmed by our footsteps, and darted away with bounding speed. Not so the lazy and sulky bear-he has either stood his ground, or carelessly stalked among the underbrush upon the approach of a solitary visitor. Notwithstanding the difficulties attending geological pursuits in all new countries, the length of the winter season, and the violent freshets common in the spring and autumn, several interesting facts have been discovered in regard to the Cobequid Chain."
But the fossils of Cumberland Coal Basin are particularly calculated to attract geologists and awaken their wonder. The following are some of the facts collected, as our author states, by himself, within the district in question.
"Often have we gazed in astonishment upon the precipices of the Joggins shore, and beheld the beach on which the broken trunks and limbs of ancient trees are scattered in great profusion-the place where the delicate herbage of a former world is now transmuted into stone.
"The Cumberland coal field may justly be called a vast fossil valley, where plants from the lowly iris, up to the majestic palm, have been buried by some great and sudden change on the surface of our planet. The area included within the limits of this singular event, is by no means narrow or confined to the petrifaction of a few lignites: it reaches at least fifteen miles along the shore, and more than twenty into the interior of the country. The banks of rivers and creeks, the sides of ravines and cliffs, have been examined, and the same fossils are every where exposed, over several miles on the surface: and even among the common rocks of the field, the remains and impressions of antediluvian plants are yearly overturned by the movements of the plough and hoe. These facts should be remembered, as they plainly show that no common causes could have produced effects so wide in their operations, and powerful in their results.
Between the Bank Quarry and the coal veins, there are sections of two large fossil trees, standing perpendicular by the side of the cliff, and penetrating the strata in their way upward: but as the precipice is constantly yielding before the action of the elements, its strata have fallen, and in their descent carried downwards large portions of these trees,
which may now be seen among the numerous relics of the shore. roots of the largest tree may be observed as they enter the rocks, and a sudden swell is spread out at the base, reminding the visitor of the cocoanut tree of the West Indies. Mr. Brewster, in the Edinburgh Phil. Trans. for 1821, has figured a stem with roots, found at Niteshill. Count Sternburg has also figured a magnificent specimen of this species of tree, which is called Lepiododendron Aculatum: neither of those specimens, however, equal these of the South Joggins in their size, for the tree to which we now refer, is upwards of three feet and a half in diameter; and although only about fifteen feet of its stem remains, it must have been more than a hundred feet high. Trunks and branches of other plants are abundant; their stems are frequently perpendicular in the rocks, except near the coal veins, where they lie parallel to the strata, a fact of considerable importance.
"A few miles southward of the King's Vein,' we discovered an immense fossil Lepiododendron Aculatum; the violence of the sea had removed the adjacent shale and sandstone, and the majestic plant remains erect by the side of a vertical cliff. This tree stands perpendicular, passing through and crossing the strata, according to the angle of their dip. Its roots are seen branching out, and penetrating the rock beneath. At the base it measures two feet eleven inches, and forty feet of its trunk were exposed at the time of our last visit to the spot. Sections of a still larger growth may be seen along this unfrequented shore, and pieces of smaller dimensions may be observed, from fifty to a hundred feet up the embankment.
Frequently the bark of these trees is converted into coal, constituting the true lignite; in other instances the bark, with the tree itself, is changed into compact sandstone. Great care should be taken in removing pieces of the former, as sometimes a whole tree, having its cortical portion carbonized, will slip through the bark, and come headlong to the beach. this way we were in danger of being killed from the unexpected launch of a huge fossil.
"Since a recent visit to the Joggins, our agent in fossil affairs, a sturdy miner, has informed us that a portion of the cliff has lately fallen, and exposed another tree of great size. But few days have elapsed since we found a gigantic plant imbedded in the sandstone at low water mark, opposite the Bank Quarry: it had been exposed by blasting the rock for grindstones, and the miners suffered some loss and disappointment, in consequence of its passage through a profitable layer of stone. At this place, a cactus, beautifully figured on the surface, and measuring fifteen feet in length, had been broken by the workmen, and rolled off the reef. Such are some of the ponderous fossils of this valley, to which months might be devoted in collecting and describing the remains of a former world, and where more fossils of large dimensions, more perfect in their preservation, and interesting in their postures, occur perhaps, than in any other part of the world, so far as they have been discovered."
The least scientific of our readers require not to be led to engaging trains of reflection and questions for study by such phenomena as have now been pointed out. We therefore proceed
to extract a notice or two connected with the Trap District, the last division under which our author has considered the geological characteristics of Nova Scotia. Here, we are told, some of the most rare and beautiful crystals are to be found. The amethyst found along the shore, is seldom surpassed in beauty. A crystal from Blomidon is said to be now in the crown of the King of the French. On the south side, for instance, of the largest of what are called the Two Islands, where the cliff reaches its greatest altitude, we are told a vein of beautiful jasper winds its way through the compact rock. A circumstance connected with the finding of this precious stone on the border of a lake fifteen miles distant from the Two Islands, where it was impossible that it could ever naturally occur, led to a discovery worth being quoted.
"Pursuing our inquiries still farther, we discovered that on the side of the lake the aborigines of the country had manufactured their 'arrow points,' and the fragments of jasper now found upon the spot had been brought from the Islands, and were the discarded splinters from the points of their weapons. We have now in our possession perfect spear-shaped arrow points, composed of jasper, identical with that in the vein near Swan Creek, and others which have been made of pieces of chalcedony from Blomidon. The Indians, in these instances, certainly selected the hardest of stones for cutting instruments; but by what means they could have broken them into such regular lances, it is not easy to determine. There are now before us several stone axes which, like the arrow heads, were used by the natives of Nova Scotia previous to the introduction of iron and steel by the Europeans. These relics illustrate the great advancement of useful knowledge, since their proprietors pursued the bounding moose over our mountains; and happy would it have been for our red brethren, if the necessary implements of husbandry and the chase had been put into their hands unaccompanied with habits and vices, which have so nearly annihilated their race."
At low water, we learn that a visitor may drive his gig to each of the Two Islands. The smaller one is by far the most remarkable, one of its features being a grotesque opening that runs through it a distance of thirty yards, and while under its archway minerals are abundant, some of them extremely rich; the passage would admit a coach and four. About six miles eastward, the Five Islands are stationed, three of them composed of trap. These may be visited at low water on horseback, but when the tide is at the highest the channel is boisterous and rough; it is then that the islands appear in all their curious and defined forms. Our author has some particulars to communicate respecting this group, which, though not directly bearing upon his particular researches, must be acceptable to every reader. We extract them, and then dismiss the volume, satisfied that it will be read extensively both within and beyond the colony described, by many attached to very different pursuits.
"The largest of the chain is called Moose Island, which probably supports an area of one hundred acres: it has recently received an inhabitant, a poor industrious fellow, who is quite safe from the attack of the midnight invader, but not so from the humid peltings of the south-east gale. A second island is inaccessible on all sides, and rises perpendicularly from the sea about two hundred feet. Two others are less elevated and of smaller dimensions. The most westerly island consists of several needleshaped spires of greenstone, rising from fifty to a hundred feet. These are called the Pinnacles,' and greatly embellish the romantic scenery of this part of the coast. These islands contain but few minerals. Such as have been discovered are inferior in beauty to those belonging to other localities. Our last visit to the Pinnacles was in the season when the gulls are hatching their broods. The ferocity of the male birds was surprising. Darting with great rapidity at the unexpected intruder, and within a few inches of his head, their open beaks were brought together with a devouring snap, by no means pleasing to our auricular organs. Leaving the subjects of Geology and Mineralogy for a moment, the reader it is hoped will pardon a short account of a natural curiosity at this place, which is introduced from our manuscript pencilling upon the spot, and appeared in the Novascotian in 1834. There is at Five Islands, in the Township of Parrsborough, a pond between two islands, of considerable extent. Three of its sides are formed by a small cul-de-sac, penetrating the shore; the other sides have evidently been created by the violence of the sea, throwing up a barrier of sand in front, so that an hour before low tide a perfect basin filled with water, clear as crystal, remains.
"Great numbers of fish, of different kinds, have been incarcerated in this decoy. While they are in search of food, or depositing their ova, the tide leaves them enclosed in the pond, and in water about two feet deep. It is curious to observe the inhabitants repairing to the spot at low water, with pitchforks and other implements of husbandry; they make a deadly charge upon the bewildered prisoners, and a great many cod, halibut and pollock are caught without hook or bait. Seven hundred codfish were taken at one tide; at the same time a boy threw a barrel of herrings out of the pond with his hands. Although this kind of fishing might not afford much amusement for the scientific angler, nor furnish matter for a treatise on cod fishing, nevertheless the flakes of the inhabitants of the adjacent village declare that their amusement has not been unprofitable."
ART. VI.-Edinburgh Portraits, being Original Engravings of about Four Hundred Various Personages. By JOHN KAY, Caricaturist, Engraver, and Miniature Painter. With Biographical Sketches. Part I. Edinburgh: Hugh Paton.
FOR several centuries London has laboured under one disadvantage which cannot yet be charged against the capital of Scotland, although it is fast verging to a condition when the same fault may there be found; viz., an overgrown size, so that its countless multi
tudes can have nothing like a familiar acquaintance with the faces of one another, much less with the characters and eccentricities of every one. At the period when John Kay, caricaturist, engraver, and miniature painter, flourished, (he was born in 1742,) Edinburgh offered subjects for his observation and the exercise of his humour, to which nothing is equal, even in that city of primitives, at the present day. In every village and town of the North at the period to which we refer, and in many of them down to a much later date, a certain number of originals, in the shape of human character, were to be seen or heard of constantly, which the caustic and strongfeatured wit of the Scotch took continual delight in quoting and playing upon. But, we believe, nowhere was ever congregated or understood such a variety of these landmarks of society, and of the progress or state of civilization, as in Auld Reekie, and never did any community possess such a faithful and discriminating remembrancer or biographer as John Kay.
In the course of our sojournings in Edinburgh, it has often struck us that Caledonia had reason to be proud of her metropolis, on account of its containing, in one quarter or another, genuine representatives of the Scottish nation, whatever quarter of the land might be mentioned-whether the heaths and the mountains which the kilted sons of freedom trod were understood, or the valleys and the undulating territories where the blue-bonnets studied and exercised the habits of industry and civilization. Whether dialect, garb, prejudices, or personalities were regarded, this observation held true.
We are reminded by a contemporary journal, besides, that the age and community which Kay has illustrated with remarkable truth and force-a force kindred to the strong-featured period he had to deal with-stood in the gap where transition could be much more definitely and strikingly detected than at any other which precise knowledge can now refer to. It was not only an age of transition where "refinement was struggling to gain the ascendancy in a society hitherto compounded of feudal barbarism and rude slovenliness," but when, happily for Scotland and for mankind, some of the most illustrious personages flourished in the North to which the finger of history can point. The author of Waverley has, in several of his works, done justice to fragments and sections of the age we allude to; but even he has not brought out more happily the expression and intellectuality of the time than our limner has done, and of which the specimens before us form a most amusing and instructive proof.
Besides the idiots and the wildly eccentric that may be met with in every town, which is not too large for the mind to converse with, Edinburgh had at the period which John Kay pitched upon, an aristocracy unaffected by those conventional manners of fashion, which, at later times, have rounded and polished every one into a