Page images
PDF
EPUB

have the coldest weather when the sun is nearest to us, It is further worthy of remark, that the Sun's rays are viz. in the winter ; for as the eccentricity of the earth's so much refracted, or bent down towards the Earth, by orbit bears but a trifling proportion to the distance of the atmosphere, at its rising and setting, as to bring it in the Earth from the Sun, and therefore of itself can oc- sight every clear day before it reaches the horizon in the casion no great difference of heat and cold to us in the morning, and to keep it in view for some minutes after it different seasons, it will follow, that the remarkable dif- has descended below it in the evening. At some times ference we experience must be owing to the relative di- of the year, we see the Sun ten minutes longer above rection of the solar rays.

the horizon than we should do if it were not for this Thus in winter, the Sun's rays fall so obliquely upon circumstance, and about six minutes every day at a mean us, that any given number of them will not only fall with rate. It is the atmospbere also which is the cause of less force, but must be spread over a greater portion of Twilight, which may be explained thus : when the our part of the Earth's surface. Besides, the Sun's con- Earth, by its diurnal rotation, has withdrawn the Sun tinuance above the horizon is considerably shorter in the from our sight, it still continues to shine upon the at. winter, and the nights are much longer; which must mosphere above us, from which the light is reflected to further contribute to increase the cold.

us, till it is 18 degrees below the horizon : after which, Some may imagine from hence, that as the sun al- the part of the atmosphere above us, which is dense ways gives most heat when his rays are most perpendi-enough to reflect its rays, loses them entirely, and it becular, the hottest part of our summer should be when comes dark. As the refraction of the Sun's rays will the Sun is in the first degree of Cancer; that is, towards always be greatest where the air has the greatest density, the latter end of June. But experience tells us, that the that is, where the climate is coldest, the Sun will apweather is commonly hottest in the latter part of the pear longer above the horizon in such diameter; and summer. This may easily be accounted for as follows: the duration of Twilight will also be longer than it is When any part of the Earth's surface has been fairly usually computed with us. heated, it will retain the heat for some time; and as the As the Sun at his rising and setting is seen through nights, which in the middle of summer are very short, a greater quantity of atmosphere and more vapours, increase but slowly, and the days are proportionably thereby being seen more indistinctly, and yet without long, the heat of the Earth must be continually aug- any diminution of his disk, he is naturally imagined to mented in the day-time more than it is diminished in the be much further off than at other times when he is at a night, till the Sun has declined considerably from the considerable height above the horizon, when he will aptropic in its return to the equinoctial. For this reason, pear much larger, as well as of dim and fiery aspect. the month of July and great part of August will be hot It is likewise observable, that just after his rising, and ter than Juue, unless prevented by winds and rains; in l before his setting, he will appear of an oval figure. The the same manner as we generally find it hotter in the af- reason is, because the refraction of his rays being always ternoon than in the forenoon. On the contrary, those greater at the horizon than at any distance above it, his places which have thoroughly cooled will require some lowermost limb will appear to be proportionably more time to recover their heat; so that the weather will be elevated than the uppermost, and by that means will colder a month or two after the winter solstice than be cause his vertical diameter to appear shorter than his hofore it.

rizontal diameter.-Guide to Knowledge.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

The term museum is derived from the Greek name of epitome of nature ; it should contain collections of prethe Muses, one of whose attributes was, to preside over served beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles, and, in fact, a specithe polite and useful arts. It signifies in the present men of every creature that moves on our globe; herbaday a building in which are deposited specimens of riums containing dried specimens of the vegetable king every object, natural or artificial, that is in any degree dom, as also specimens of minerals ; it should be "a rezurious, or which can tend to illustrate physical science, presentative assembly of all the classes and families of and to improve art. A complete museuin should be an ! the world; it should also contain collections of ancient

records, medals, iind coins, which attest and explain laws' workmanship, and antiquities, than productions of naand customs ; also paintings and statues, that, by imita- | ture. Private collections, however, appear for the first ting nature, seem to extend the limits of creation ;" as time in the sixteenth century; and there is no doubt also every thing that can exhibit the manners and cus that they were formed by every learned man who at that toms of inen in distant ages and nations. In ancient period applied to the study of natural history. About times, the word museum had no such extended signifi- ihe same period, collections began to be formed in Encation ; it simply implied a building in which scientific gland; but not till the seventeenth century did the pubmen assembled to discuss matters of science and litera- lic derive any benefit from them, when Elias Ashmole ture. Such appears to have been the museum of Alex- left his valuable collection of rarities, which he had in andria, a splendid building ornamented with porticos, part inherited from the Tradescants, to the university of galleries, and large and spacious apartments; but it | Oxford, upon the condition that they erected a building does not appear to have contained any thing like the to receive it, which they consented to, and commenced collections of our museums. It is rather to the temples it in the year 1679, and it was completed in 1683. It is of the ancients that we must look as the first repositories known as the Ashmolean Museum. From that time to of rare and curious things; as any rare production or the present, it has been continually receiving additions. natural object extraordinary for size or beauty, was con- The collection of Martin Lister was added to it, as also secrated to the gods. When Hanno returned from his the manuscripts of Aubrey, Dugdale, and Wood, the distant voyages, he brought with him to Carthage two collections of natural history of Dr. Plott, Edward skins of the hairy women whom he found on the Gor Lloyd, and Borlare, the historian Cromwell. From gades Islands, and deposited them as a memorial in the a list of the curiosities contained in this museum we setemple of Juno, where they continued till the destruc- lect the following: tion of the city. The monstrous horns of the wild bulls, The scull of Oliver Cromwell, or a fragment of morwhich had occasioned so much devastation in Macedo tality supposed to be such ; a jewel of gold, once belongnia, were by order of King Philip hung up in the tem ing to King Alfred, found in 1639 in Newton Park, a ple of Hercules. The crocodile, found in attempting to short distance northward of the Isle of Athelney, in Sodiscover the sources of the Nile, was preserved in the mersetshire, where King Alfred found shelter when the temple of Isis, at Cæsarea. A large piece of the root Danes had overrun the country. The jewel is enamelled of the cinnamon tree was kept in a golden vessel in one like an amulet, and in Saxon characters is circumscriof the temples at Rome, where it was examined by bed, “ Alfred ordered me to be made.” A figure sitting Pliny. The skin of that monster which the Roman ar- crowned, appears on one side, probably Alfred himself, my attacked and destroyed, and which probably was a holding two lilies; on the other is a rudely engraved crocodile, was by Regulus sent to Rome, and hung up flower. This relic was given to the university by Thoin one of the temples, where it remained till the time of mas Palmer Esq. of Fairfield, Somersetshire, in 1718. the Numantine war. In the temple of Juno, in the island | A head of the bird called a Dodo, the species of which of Melita, there were a pair of elephant's teeth of extra- is extinct. Dr. Shaw, the celebrated naturalist, discovordinary size. The head of the basilisk was exhibited ered it in the museum, before which, he considered the in one of the temples of Diana; and the bones of that accounts of this extraordinary bird to be fabulous Besea-monster, probably a whale, to which Andromeda sides a good collection of objects of natural history, was exposed, were preserved at Joppa, and afterwards there are also many Egyptian antiquities and a few good brought to Rome. Many other instances of this custom pictures. are given by Beckmann, from whom we have gathered This is perhaps the earliest museum formed in Enthe foregoing, and many of the following particulars.— gland, and probably coeval with most of those on the In the course of time, these natural curiosities became continent; but they have left us far behind in the es$0 numerous as to form large collections; and though tablishment of institutions for the advancement and fosit is certain that all these articles were not properly kept tering of the arts and sciences. Private individuals have there for the purpose to which our collections of naturai generally undertaken what could, perhaps, be only fully history were applied, yet at the same time it must be al- | accomplished by the state. Our principal collections of lowed that they might be of important use to natural- natural history have been chiefly formed by the exerists.

tions and at the expense of private individuals ; and, unThe ancients appear to have had no private collec- til within a very short period, our national collection tions, though perhaps we must except that formed by was little better than a national disgrace. No country Aristotle at the command of Alexander, as also a col- in the world has such opportunities of rendering her collection of natural curiosities forined by the Emperor | lections in natural history the most perfect of any. The Augustus. The principal cause of their being unable power of England extends to the two hemispheres ; her to form collections, must have arisen partly from their colonies are to be found in every part of the habitable ignorance of the proper means of preserving such bodies globe; yet, with ihe greatest means, her museums are as soon spoil or corrupt. They employed for that pur- found to be the most defective to such a degree that pose either salt, wax, or honey.

our writers on natural history are necessitated to go to There is no account of any collections during the Paris for that information which they ought to be enamiddle ages, except in the treasuries of princes, where, bled to find at home. besides articles of great value, curiosities of art, aatiqui- A taste for natural history has become more prevalent ties, and relics, there were occasionally found scarce and amoag all classes of society, as may be collected from singular foreign animals, which were dried and preser- the support given to the Zoological Society and other ved. Such objects were to be seen in the old treasury institutions of a similar nature. Our national museum at Vienna ; and in that of Si. Denis were exhibited the has already felt the impulse given by the advancing knowclaw of a griffin, sent by the king of Persia to Charle- ledge of the people. Let us hope that, in a few years, magne, the teeth of the hippopotamus, and other things it may rival those of the continent; and then we shall of the like kind. In later times, we find menageries | doubtless adorn our scientific anpals with names as great were established to add to the magnificence of courts, as Buffon, Daubenton, Cuvier, and Lamarck. and stuffed skins of rare animals were hung up as me

ne: The British Museum, which will soon be one of the morials of their having existed. Public libraries also most splendid institutions of our metropolis, contains were made receptacles for such natural curiosities as under its roof our national Library, which is peculiarly were from time to time presented to them. At a later rich in MSS.; a collection of Greek and Roman sculpperiod, collections of this kind began to be formed by tures; Egyptian antiquities and sculptures; Terra Cotprivate persons. The onject of thein was rather to gra- tas and Roman antiquities ; a splendid collection of coins tify the sight than to in prove the understanding; and and medals ; a very fine collection of prints ; as also the they contained more rarı ies of art, valuable pieces of collections of natural history.The Tourist.

1

his recent pursuits. “No!" said the Black tiawk, ap. parently indignant at the proposal, “no spear for me! I have forever done with spears!"

It may not be amiss here to relate an anecdote of Nah-pope, another Sauk chief, notorious for his bitter, implacable, and unforgiving hatred of the white Americans. This chief (who was also a prisoner at Jefferson barracks) it was deemed necessary to confine in chains. The painter above spoken of, when about to commence the likeness of Nah-pope, asked bim if he chose to have his pipe (as the Black Hawk had done) represented ?The chief stooped down, took up his chain, wound it round his arm, and struck it two or three times violently. “There,” said he, “paint that! and let the Americans see that they have Nah-pope-a prisoner, and in irons!” The commanding officer (General Atkinson) answered that there could not be the smallest objection to this, so that the painter also placed in the other hand a representation of the scalps of women and children taken by him during the war.

The Black Hawk is (or was) the chief of a band of Sauks and Foxes, consisting of about four hundred warriors, and previously to the cession of the country, residing on the Rock river, about three miles from its mouth. This land was, in 1821, sold by the Indians to the Americans, with the understanding that the Indians were to be suffered to remain there until the land was placed in market by the American government. In 1829 or 30, the land was sold to individuals who settled on it, and the Indians lest it and moved across the Mississippi. In 1831, they recrossed and attempted to retake possession of the site of their old village and corn-fields-committed many acts of violence and insolence, and were only prevented from doing much mischief, by the movement of General Gaines and a military force to the spot. This difficulty was settled, by the Indians again signing a treaty in July, 1831, at Rock-Island, one article of whiclı is, that they would never, on any pretext, recross the Mississippi again, without the consent of the government of Illinois, and the President of the United States. In violation of this, the Sauks attacked the Menomipes at Prairie des Chiens in the fall of 1831, and refused to surrender the aggressors—and finally, after attempting in vain to induce every other Indian nation to join them in a war of extermination against the Americans, asserting that the English had promised to join the Indians, they

resolved to commence the war themselves. This they MUCK-A-TAY MICH-E-KAW-KAIK,

did, by invading our country in April, 1832, in numbers, seven or eight hundred warriors, headed by the Black

Hawk, Nah-pope, Wesheet, the l-o-way, and other We herewith present the only correct likeness yet pub- chiess; and they were joined by Waw-be-ga-zick, (the lisbed of this individual. It was sketched by an officer Winnebago prophet,) with his band, after crossing.of the army, who served with General Atkinson during General Atkinson, the officer commanding our troops, the whole of the recent campaign on the frontiers of Il- after mildly but positively urging their immediate return, linois, was in the action in which the Indians were finally and receiving nothing but outrageously taunting and indefeated, and was subsequently stationed at the military solent messages in return, advanced on the Indians.post where the captured chiefs were for a long period The campaign was an exceedingly arduous one, but imprisoned.

was prosecuted amidst many difficulties, with the utBlack Hawk is a man of near sixty years of age, agree- most perseverance, energy, and skill. The Indians being ably to his own statement, though he does not appear all well mounted and armed, were enabled to scatter quite so old; he is about five feet eight inches in height, their war parties over the country, by which means they and well proportioned-of a dignified and majestic man- succeeded in destroying many lives and doing much ner, though, since his misfortunes, manifestly much de- mischief-breaking up the settlements, and killing whole pressed in spirits. His dress as represented, is that families--waylaying the roads, and cutting off travellers which he wore during his confinement, and the pipe and -until the army reached their neighbourhood. After fan which he holds in his hand, he was, for a long time, a very severe pursuit through the country north of Rock never seen without-believing, probably, that carrying river, and across the Wisconian, over mountains and these, rather than any thing like a weapon, would be rivers, through woods and marshes almost impassable, thought by the officers under whose charge he was, as the rear guard of the Indians was attacked and defeated an evidence that he considered himself and his nation no by the troops under General Henry on the bank of the longer at war with us. As a proof that this is his idea, Wisconian; and their main body was finally defeated the following fact is stated : recently, while a painter of (with great loss) by the army under the immediate comsome celebrity (Catlin) was, with the permission of the mand of General Atkinson, on the bank of the Missiscommanding officer, engaged in painting the likenesses sippi, opposite the mouth of the upper I-o-way river, on of the principal chiefs who were confined at Jefferson the 2d of August, 1832. The Black Hawk escaped barracks, he proposed Black Hawk, that he should be from this fight, but subsequently surrendered himself to represented with a spear, as being more emblematical of the commanding officer at Prairie desChiens.

w

لبيع

THE BLACK HAWK.

He was attended by his two sons (also prisoners) with | lady came down in great state into the great chamber, the most exemplary filial respect and affection during which was full of gentlemen, and as soon as Sir Walter his imprisonment.

cast his eye upon her, “Madam," said he, " are the pigs By an article in the recent treaty of peace, concluded served ?" The lady answered, “You know best whether by General Scott with the Indians, the nation agreed that you have had your breakfast.Cabinet of Curiosities. the imprisoned chiefs should be kept in confinement during the pleasure of the President of the United States,

ITEMS OF NEWS. who referred the case to Congress. On their liberation from Fort Moultrie, by command

A recent attempt at Revolution in Mexico has been foiled. The of the President, they were placed under the care of President, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, was made prisoner in

the town of Juchi, by the very men who, to flatter the army, had Major Garland, to be conducted on a tour through the proclaimed him Dictator. He succeeded, however, in making his country, that they might comprehend the folly of any escape, and restoring order. war waged against the United States. Their journey The cholera is ravaging the great valley of the Mississippi. has excited much attention.-New York Mirror.

Secretary Cass is on a visit to Lower Canada. Black Hawk has by this time probably reached his

Mr. Webster, in his late western tour, has been received with wilderness home in the West, and is perchance narrating the most marked attention. A paper called the Examiner, recentto his wondering tribe the great power and resources of ly commenced at Washington, has announced its intention to suphis Union.-Ed. Fam. MAG.

port him for President of the United States, on the ground of his anti-nullification principles.

The Legislature of Rhode Island have passed an act requiring POETRY.

the Masonic Lodges in that state to show cause at the next session

why their charters should not be revoked. THE CORAL GROVE.

Miss Crandall, a teacher of a school for coloured children and DEEP in the wave is a coral grove,

youth in Canterbury, Ct. has been prosecuted for instructing puWhere the purple mullet and gold-fish rove,

pils of that description, and, for the want of bail, has been commitWhere the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue,

fed to prison. That never are wet with falling dew,

The American Peace Society, in behalf of two individuals, havo But in bright and changeful beauty shine

offered a premium of $1000 for the best Dissertation on the subFar down in the green and glassy brine.

ject of a Congress of Nations for the settlement of international The floor is of sand, like the mountain drift,

disputes without recourse to arms. The Dissertation must conAnd the pearl shells spangle the flinty snow

tain from 60 to 150 pages octavo, or thereabouts, and must be From coral rocks the sea plants list

transmitted free of expense to the office of the Peace Society, 129 Their boughs, where the tides and billows flow;

Nassau street, New-York, previous to June 20th, 1834, directed to
The water is calm and still below,

L. D. Dewy, Recording Secretary of said Society.
For the winds and the waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of upper air:

ONE HUNDRED AGENTS
There, with its waving blade of green,

Could be advantageously employed in different sectiocs of the
The sea-flag streams through the silent water,

Union, in obtaining subscribers for this Magazine. It is not of And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen

a local character, but is calculated for general circulation; and To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter:

hence subscribers may as well be obtained in one part of the counThere, with a light and easy motion,

try as another. Good encovragement will be given to agents, The fan-coral sweeps through the clear deep sea; and a number to the amount of one hundred at least, could be And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean

fumished by us with profitable employment.
Are bending like corn on the upland lea :
And life, in rare and beautiful forms,
Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,

PUBLISHED AT 222 WILLIAM STREET.
And is safe, when the wrathful Spirit of storms,
Has made the top of the waves his own:

TERMS.
And when the ship from his fury flies,
Where the myriad voices of Ocean roar,

ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS PER ANNTM, IN ADVANCE.
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies,

Should an order for the Magazine be received, unaccompanied by And demons are waiting the wreck on shore;

advance payment, one number will be sent, showing our terms; Then, far below, in the peaceful sea,

after which, no more will be forwarded till payment shall have The purple mullet and gold-fish rove,

been received. Where the waters murmur tranquilly,

Companies of four individuals, sending FIVE DOLLARS, current Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.

here, free of postage, will be furnished with four copies for one Percival.

year. Companies of ten, sending TEN DOLLARS as above, will

be furnished with ten copies. HEAD WORK.

As the sum of $1 50, which is the price of the Magazine to a

single subscriber, cannot conveniently be sent by mail, it will be Soon after the settlement of New England, Governor necessary that two subscribers at least send payment in a letter Dudley, taking a walk, met a stout negro begging, and together. saying he could get no work. The Governor told him

Dr Schools adopting the Magazine will be supplied at one

DOLLAR per annum for each copy. to go to his house, and he would give him work. “But,”

The postage on the Magazine is 3-4 of a cent under one hundred said the negro, " why you no work, massa ?” “0," said miles, and 1 cent and 1-4 for any distance over. the Governor, “my head works.” He, however, turned We would have it distinctly understood, that our terms are not out an idle, good-for-nothing fellow, and his master published as a mere matter of course. We shall adhere to them to found it necessary one day to have him flogged. With the very letter. Experience has taught us their necessity. The

credit system is the bane, the ruin of periodicals. Prompt pay. this view, he gave him a letter, desiring him to carry it ment is absolutely indispensable to their prosperity, nay, to their to the keeper of the workhouse. The negro, suspect- very existence. Scattered as is their patronage over a wide extent ing its contents, committed it to the care of one of his of country, their proprietors, for the want or promptitude on the comrades, who got a sound whipping for his trouble. part of their subscribers, are compelled to resort to loans, and to The Governor having learned this, asked Mungo why he and not unfrequently are they forced to wind up their concerns

purchase their paper and hire their printing at a heavy advance. • 0, massa,” said he, "head work."

altogether. Now we view our object to be altogether too impor

tant to be jeoparded thus; and we shall therefore require payment SERVING THE PIGS.

in all cases IN ADVANCE. Our expenses are heavy, and those

who have our paper must pay them, seeing we have no money to A lady of the west country gave a great entertainment throw away. Every reasonable man will at once perceive the at her house to most of the gallant gentlemen there-porpriety and necessity of these terms. abouts, and, among others, to Sir Walter Raleigh. This Magazine, 222 William Street, New York.

Letters should be addressed thus : Editor of the Family lady, though otherwise a stately dame, was a notable good housewife; and in the morning betimes she called

Book and Job Printing to oñe of her maids who looked to the swine, and asked, Are the pigs served ?" Sir Walter Raleigh's cham

EXECUTED WITH NEATNESS AND DESPATCH ber was close to the lady's. A little before dinner, the

did so.

AT TRIS OFFIOL.

OR

WEEKLY ABSTRACT OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.

VOL. I.

NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JULY 27, 1833.

NO. 15.

EARTHQUAKES.

being diverted from its ordinary course by some accidenHaving been disappointed respecting an expected ascend to the surface, becomes, by such means, preter

tal obstruction in the pores through which it used to work on History, we reluctantly suspend that depart- naturally assembled in a greater quantity than usual in ment once more, but hope to resume it next week.

one place, and thus causes a rarefaction and intumesIn its place, we substitute an interesting article on

cence of the water of the abyss, throwing it into greater Earthquakes, from the “ Hundred Wonders of the

commotions, and at the same time making the like ef. World.”

fort on the earth, which being expanded on the surface Towers, temples, palaces,

of the abyss, occasions an earthquake. Mr. Mitchell Flung from their deep foundations, roof on roof

supposes these phenomena to be occasioned by subterCrushed horrible, and pile on pile o'erturned,

'Mallet. Fall total.

raneous fires, which, if a large quantity of water be let

loose on them suddenly, may produce a vapour, the The globe around earth's hollow surface shakes, quantity and elastic force of which may fully suffice for And is the ceiling of her sleeping sons.

the purpose. Again, M. Amontus, a member of the O'er devastation we blind revels kecp; Whose buried towns support the dancer's heel.

French Acadeiny of Sciences, endeavours to prove, that Youxa. on the principle of experiments made on the weight and

spring of the air, a moderate degree of beat may bring That fires to a very great extent, and produced by ihat element into a state capable of causing earthquakes. various causes, exist at different depths beneath the sur Modern electrical discoveries have thrown much light face of the eartlı, must be evident to those who have at on this subject. Dr. Stukely strenuously denies that tentively perused what has been given under the head earthquakes are to be ascribed to subterráneous winds, of Volcanoes ; and recent experiments have shown, that, fires, or vapours, and thinks that there is not any eviwbere the substances in which such fires occur lie at adence of the cavernous structure of the earth, which considerable depth, and are surmounted by a very deep such an hypotheses requires. Subterraneous vapours, he and heavy superincumbent pressure, wore especially thinks, are altogether inadequate to the effects produced when they contain large portions of elastic gases, the by earthquakes, more particularly in cases where the effect of such fires will be much greater and more di- shock is of considerable extent: for a subterraneous versified than where these circumstances are absent. power, capable of moving a surface of earth only thirty

Among the most powerful and extraordinary of these miles in diameter, must be lodged at least fifteen or effects, earthquakes are to be reckoned. They are un- twenty miles below the surface, and move an inverted questionably the most dreadful of the phenomena of na cone of solid earth whose basis is thirty miles in diameture, and are not confined to those countries which from ter, and axis fifteen or twenty miles, which he thinks abthe influence of climate, their vicinity to volcanic moun-solutely impossible. How much more inconceivable is tains, or any other similar cause, have been considered it, then, that any such power could have produced the as more particularly subject to them, their effects having earthquake of 1755, which was felt in various parts of oft been felt in the British isles, although not in so ex- Europe and Africa, and in the Atlantic ocean ; or that tepsive and calamitous a degree. Their shocks and the which in Asia Minor, in the seventeenth year of the eruptions of volcanoes have been considered as modific Christian era, destroyed thirteen great cities in one cations of the ettects of one common cause; and where night, and shook a mass of earth three hundred miles the agitation produced by an earthquake extends further in diameter. To effect this, the moving power, suppothan there is reason to suspect a subterraneous commo- sing it to have been internal fire or vapour, must have tion, it is probably propagated through the earth nearly been lodged two hundred miles beneath the surface of in the same manner as a noise is conveyed through the the earth? Besides, in earthquakes the effect is instanair. The different hypotheses which have been imagin- taneous; whereas the operation of elastic vapour and ed on this subject may be reduced to the following : its discharge must be gradual, and require a long space

Some naturalists have ascribed earthquakes to water, of time; and if these be owing to explosions, they must others to fire, and others again to air; each of these alter the surface of the country where they happen, depowerful agents being supposed to operate in the bowels stroy the fountains and springs, and change the course of of the earth, which they assert to abound every where its rivers:-results which are contradicted by history and with huge subterraneous caverns, veins, and canals, some observation. filled with water, others with gaseous exhalations, and To these and other considerations the Doctor adds, others replete with various substances, such as nitre, that the strokes which ships receive during an earthsulphur, bitumen, and vitriol. Each of these opinions quake must be occasioned by something which can has its advocates, who have written copiously on the communicate motion with much greater velocity than * subject.

any heaving of the earth under the sea caused by the In a paper published in the Philosophical Transac- elasticity of generated vapours, which would merely protions, Dr. Lister ascribes eartlıquakes, as well as thun- duce a gradual swell, and not such an impulsion of the der and lightning, to the inflammable breath of the py- water as resembles a violent blow on the bottom of a ship, rites, a substantial sulphur capable of spontaneous com or its striking on a rock. Hence he deems the combustion ; in a word, as Pliny had observed before him, mon hypothesis insufficient, and adduces several reasons he supposes an carthquake to be nothing more than sub to show that earthquakes are in reality electric shocks. terraneous thunder. Dr. Woodward thinks, that the To confirm this opinion, he notices among other phesubterraneous fire which continually raises the water nomena, that the weather is unusually dry and warm sor from the abyss or great reservoir in the centre of the some time before they happen. earth, for the supply of dew, rain, springs, and rivers,

(To be continued)

« PreviousContinue »