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for the appearance of petrifaction, in every part of the globe. It will equally explain the elevated calcareous strata of Jura and the Calcaire ostrée of Communipaw, as it has been recently described in Silliman's journal. Chrysologue de Gy, who published, about the year 1804, a theory of the earth, which, like that of Mr. Ira Hill, is fondée uniquement sur les faits, has settled the transition series" in an equally satisfactory manner, but neither theory will, we apprehend, account for the following phenomenon. We state it with some reluctance, as it rests on the homely ground of fact, in opposition to brilliant philosophical reasoning. In the superb cabinet of our friend the Count Gazzola, at Verona, we have seen some petrified fish from Monte Bolca, which were quiet enough when we examined them, but they bore evident marks of having been at one period very active. A pike is seen, with its mouth widely extended, in the act of swallowing another fish, which, by the peculiar wriggle of its tail, seems not particularly pleased with its situation, or, at any rate, far from being in “a quiescent state.”
a It is possible, however, that these may have been of a more recent formation, and geologists are aware that this cuts every knot, and solves every difficulty. But
66 Passons au deluge,” and we are the more disposed to take this leap, as the world seems to have gone on in a very tame mauner, for the space of one thousand six hundred and fifty years. As we before stated, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Isle of Man, are alone elevated above the surface of the water. America, for reasons which will presently appear, is kept in
We must have a little patience, and as we are “perhaps several miles under water," we are bound in honour to keep cool. The critical moment at last arrives ; the heat changes its focal point, and rages violently, but as it has no safety valve, like Perkins' generator, it rages in vain. It receives à fresh accession of caloric from electricity, oxygen or pit coal, and flashes out slam, bang! Hey presto! and here we are, occupying that extent of territory, usually comprized between Cape Horn and the 40th degree of north latitude.” This little affair, of course, could not reasonably be expected to take place without some bustle, as the sequel will abundantly prove. All the rocks above, primitive, transient and secondary, were pushed on one side to make way for us ; and hence arose currents and tides and whirlpools and eddies, and all the et cetera of a complete geological theory. The sea, it is true, exceeded its usual limits, but it hardly covered the ancles of our transatlantic brethren. They had passed the perils of the Deucalion
food and the flood of Ogyges, and laughed in scorn of this last flood of Mr. Ira Hill.
The author has now redeemed the pledge held forth in his title page.
He has exhibited in a clear and concise manner, “ to the general mass of community," the principal features of his new theory. With Sneer in the play, we may possibly think " that we have met with something like this before," but we have no wish to detract from the well-earned reputation of Mr. Ira Hill, by any injurious suspicions, founded on mere recollection. We refer the curious reader to the book itself, and to the XXV proofs there set forth in goodly array. His deductions follow as naturally as a corollary of Euclid, and even bis boldest hypotheses have the force of axioms. Thus, p. 75:
“ The torrent moved over the New England states in awful grandeur, rolling rocks from the mountains, and driving them in broken fragments along the plains. Hence we have a cause of the many rounded stones being strewed over that part of the continent, hence also we have a cause of the alluvion of Long Island being composed chiefly of rounded pebbles."
Although, in the main, Mr. Ira Hill answers every possible objection, in a mild and gentle manner, yet be sometimes turns shortly upon his antagonists and murders them in a single line. We select, as a warning to others, this appalling sentence.
“Some pretend that the density of the earth is constantly in
creasing, as we descend from its surface. Of such theorists ." I would inquire, where cities, plains and mountains have reti"red to, when during an earthquake they have sunk from our 66 view ? Where ? indeed! we triumphantly repeat. Let geologists, in their future essays, indulge in graphic descriptions of mountain scenery; let them mistake the heights of Brooklyn for a second Pisgah ; and heedless of the interesting alluvial deposit on which they stand, babble about the surrounding
“ Hills and dales and flowery meads;" but let them beware of crossing the path of this keen and powerful disputant.
The graces of style will hardly be sought for in a work professedly scientific ; and yet Mr. Tra Hill has managed to display, in the course of his Abstract, much vigorous diction, and no slight acquaintance with our best old American writers. If we were called upon to say what author he most resembled, we should, without hesitation, pronounce the Rev. Mr. Weems, of Virginia, to be his favourite model. We have no room for comparison, but quote the following, as a specimen of his general manner.
“ The majestic Hudson, elated by the conquest of the firm bar“riers that confined him, armed with the soil and fragments of 5 the mountains he had conquered, in awful grandeur, over
spreading the country, dared dispute the power of the ocean. “Accelerated by the numerous auxiliaries from the moun“tains, and strengthened by arming himself with every rock 4 that opposed his passage, the ocean himself retired at his
“But from (for) the attack of the powerful Hudson, who mo
ved from the mountains of freedom, the tyrant ocean would * have held his dominion over the most luxuriant parts of the 56 middle and southern states. But Hudson turned the proud "currents of the ocean to the south, removed the sands and 16 rocks which would have united the Island to the main, and “preserved a harbour unequalled in the world !!" p. 97.
Occasionally he collects his whole strength, and throws it out with a startling effect;-thus : “The God of nature never formed a nobler stream than the Susquehannah." p. 102.
In conclusion, we may observe, that although the new theory meets with our decided approbation, yet justice and a due regard to the interests of our country, require that we should point out one capital error, (to give it no harsher name,) which disfigures the work. We allude to that part of his theory, where he keeps America in the background, until we had almost imagined she was to be left out of the world altogether. We put it to Mr. Ira Hill as a patriot, and an American, how he could so far sacrifice his country, to the unballowed ambition of being the leader of a new sect in the geognosie. Has he not read our own revered historian, (of course we allude to Knickerbocker-) has he not found in that grave and erudite work, sufficient facts to make him pause in his hasty career, to renounce this aristocratical idea? Where were the friends to whom “ the most of the ideas” in his book were communicated? They are declared to be an honour to their country, and a blessing to the age which is illuminated by the splendour of their talents. We call then upon those southern lights, “ Dr. Samuel K. Jennings, and James Gray, and all the distinguished literati of the northern section of our country," who approved of his theory, and recommended its publication, to give satisfactory reasons why they suffered such gross partiality to appear. Even after he had elevated a part of this continent, his sectionad feelings so far prevail, as to induce him to keep the norths
ern and middle states still under water. They do indeed appear at last, but in such a questionable shape, that it had been better for them to have remained“ perhaps several miles under water” to this day. We consider sentiments like these as dangerous to our union. They will, at no distant period, undermine the pillars of our glorious national fabric.
But we have extended our remarks beyond our assigned limits. We cheerfully recommend this interesting volume to our literary and scientific brethren. Those trifling inaccuracies
-quas aut incuria fudit,
Aut humana parum cavit natura, find no place in this New Theory. Every idea is original, every illustration apposite, every argument unanswerable. But praise is superfluous. The author will make his own way, and after having formed two continents with such apparent ease, it will be hard indeed if he does not stand his own ground.
FOR THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE.
The following touching narrative from the seventh Canto of the Jerusalem Delivered, may be considered as one of Tasso's happiest efforts. It breathes the spirit of nature in its tale of unaffected love and pastoral simplicity; and there is no conceit to mar its language, to put us out of temper with its descriptions, and drive all the charm of a possible reality from the picture.
The author in this little piece has drawn pretty copiously from the stores of ancient poetry. The imitation of Horace's Ode X. book II, at line 63, is too striking to pass unobserved. But by the operation of transplanting, these beauties of classic antiquity lose nothing in Italian hands; and adorned with new lustre and life, they have successively passed from this second ground into the soil of good old English poetry, of Milton and of Spenser, in days when our verse had equal richness and greater strength.
The Italian, like poets of other climates, borrow occasionally from one another. Perhaps an illustration of this remark may be drawn from a comparison between Petrach's 27th Canzone, and the last ten lines of the present story.
From the Gjerusalemme Liberata' of Tasso; Canto VIK
Meanwhile Erminia, by the charger led,
As the hounds panting from a tiresome chase
She dozed, till wafted to her ears were borne
Amid the maid's lament, a clear sound floats,
And her gold ringlets from their bandage shook :