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ton for a present made him by Mr. Varey, his lordship's agent, in his name, which the editor thus explains :

* The present referred to was a douceur of 101., with which Mr. Varey bespoke the assistance of Mr. Vernon in passing Lord Lexington's bill of extraordinaries. Neither of the parties engaged in this transaction seems to have thought that there was any impropriety---and there certainly was nothing uncommon—in the attempt to propitiate an officer of the Government by a present of money. It

appears one of Mr. Varey's letters to Lord Lexington, that Mr. Ellis, the under secretary in Sir William Trumbull's office, received a similar present on a similar occasion ; and indeed it was the common custom of the day to offer and to receive such fees.'—p. 12, note. There is no doubt a distinction to be made between perquisites and corruption-between the regular acknowledged fees of office -and such douceurs as were paid-sometimes, no doubt, only to accelerate the doing what was right-(and this may have been Mr. Vernon's and Mr. Ellis's case)-but too often for assisting in, or at least conniving at, what was known to be wrong—as was that of Mr. Guy's and of several other persons detected at this time, Addison, at his outset in office as secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, made a law to himself, as Swift has recorded, never to remit his regular fees in civility to his friends, 'for,' said he, ' I may have a hundred friends, and if my fee be two guineas, I shall, by relinquishing my right, lose 200 guineas and no friend gain more than two: there is therefore no proportion between the good imparted and the evil suffered.'-(Johnson's Life.) Mr. Pitt commenced, and subsequent governments have carried out, the gradual abolition of fees in all the departments of the State as regards the emoluments of individual officers :--a system, about the advantages of which- and especially as regarded the convenience of men of business-great doubts were at one time entertained, but which we think experience has shown to be most advantageous to all parties, in every point of view, but especially in that in which it was most problematical--the facilities of transacting all kinds of public business.

Among Lord Lexington's correspondents was an anonymous informant in Paris-a spy, it would seem, of the British government, but how it happened that his information was addressed so circuitously to Lord Lexington at Vienna does not appear. It must have been either that he had some special knowledge of and confidence in Lord Lexington--or that, for the purpose of secrecy, an out-of-the-way channel was preferred-or, which may be the most probable, that these letters were only copies, transmitted to Lord Lexington from home. This correspondent, whoever he may have been, was certainly well informed, and his communications must have been important, and the extracts from them are still interesting. They are particularly so on the point of the intended invasion of England contemporaneously with the plot for assassinating King William; and from a comparison of facts and dates, it seems, as the Editor remarks, hardly possible, notwithstanding the disclaimer of the courts of both Versailles and St. Germain's, but that they must have been aware of the plot, that the invasion was projected with a view to the success of that conspiracy, and that it was abandoned on its detection and failure. Of these, and the proceedings against the criminals, as well, indeed, as of several other important matters of domestic history, Lord Lexington's correspondents gave him a more lively anecdotal, and at the same time authentic account, than can be found in any of the professed histories. But it is too extensive and too scattered to be collected into our limits.

We intimated at the outset the impossibility of giving within the compass of one of our articles anything like a full account of all the topics which such a work embraces. We have now done all we could well undertake-namely, the exhibiting a general view and a few specimens of the contents of the volume-such as will, we hope, recommend it alike to the mere readers for amusement and to the more serious notice of those who may wish to study authentic details of foreign and domestic affairs during an interesting epoch. To both these classes the diligent research and judicious observations of the Editor will, we can venture to promise them, be of infinite advantage; and if the leisure which the vicissitudes of political life now give him is to be continued, we do not see that it can be more usefully or honourably employed than in such literary exercises and historical researches.

Art. VII.—Principles of Geology; or the Modern Changes of the

Earth and its Inhabitants considered as illustrative of Geology.

By Sir C. Lyell. Eighth Edition, entirely revised. 8vo. 1850. 2. A Manual of Elementary Geology; or the Ancient Changes of

the Earth and its Inhabitants, as illustrated by Geological Monuments. By Sir C. Lyell. Third and entirely revised

Edition. 8vo. 1851. 3. Anniversary Address to the Geological Society, February, 1851.

By Sir C. Lyell, M.A., F.R.S., President of the Society. 8vo. THE CHE Treatise which twenty years ago established Sir Charles

Lyell's reputation included both the history and the philosophy of his favourite science; but he by and by saw the

expediency

an

expediency of separating the two classes of its materials; and we have now before us the Eighth Edition of the Principles, with the Third of the Elemental Manual of Geology. These numerous editions of each have all had the character of new works impressed upon them to an extent remarkable-perhaps unique; but this is only saying in other words that the author has kept pace with the most rapidly advancing of the mixed sciences—a advance, let us add, which has itself been very largely accelerated by the masterly epitomes of it thus from time to time prepared by the same highly-gifted and indefatigable hand. The character of novelty belonging to the various editions has resulted wholly from the growth of geological data-the necessity of constantly incorporating or substituting fresh details, proofs, or illustrations. The leading theory according to which the data are explained and arranged continues the same. Startling as it sounded to most geologists when, twenty years ago, it was affirmed that *the existing causes of change in the animate and inanimate world might be similar not only in kind, but in degree, to those which have prevailed during many successive modifications of the earth's crust,' that fertile and guiding Principle of Sir Charles Lyell's Geological Philosophy seems to have gained a deeper and wider basis as the facts of the science have gone on accumulating.

In the eighth edition of the Principles, as in the first, the author, after giving a definition of geology and some observations on its nature, objects, and relations to other sciences, premises a sketch of the progress of opinion, particularly as exemplified in successive cosmogonies ; ascribing the visionary systems of his earlier predecessors to the prevalence of the theory directly opposed to his own leading Principle; and tracing this prevalence to prepossessions in regard to the duration of past time, to our peculiar position as inhabitants of the land, and to our not seeing the subterranean changes actually in progress. He then endeavours to show that neither the different climates which formerly prevailed in the northern hemisphere, nor the former changes in physical geography (chap. VIII.), nor the alleged progressive development of organic life (chap. IX.), lend any real support to the opinion which he impugns.

In chap. X. the supposed intensity of aqueous forces at remote periods is considered, and the slow accumulation of strata is proved by their fossils. Attention is called to the evidence of lapse of time afforded by the vast masses of sedimentary deposits that have been removed from igneous rocks by the action of

It has been recently shown in the Memoirs of the Survey of Great Britain, that a series of palæozoic strata, not less than 10,000 feet in thickness, has been stripped off considerable areas in South Wales and some of the adjacent counties of England. But the rate of denudation, it is contended, can only keep pace with that of deposition. The gain must always have equalled the loss, and vice versâ ; a truism which Sir Charles Lyell apologises for insisting on, in his Anniversary Address for 1850, because in many geological speculations, he observes, it is taken for granted that the external crust of the earth has been always growing thicker, in consequence of the accumulation of stratified rocks, as if they were not produced at the expense of pre-existing rocks, stratified or unstratified.

than

water.

Perhaps one of the most remarkable triumphs of the Philosophy which explains geological phenomena by the operation of existing causes, is that of its application to the transport and arrangement of the erratic blocks, which lie scattered, often of enormous size, over the northern parts of Europe and North America. Each year's experience has added to the confidence in the author's original suggestion of the transporting power of ice in regard to these blocks and boulder stones.

In the XIth chapter, which handles the more difficult question of the supposed former intensity of the igneous force, we have a most striking specimen of the writer's acuteness and logical powers. Subsequent investigations into the evidences of the geological periods during which the upheaval of mountain chains has been accomplished, have added singular and unexpected force to his line of argument against the peculiar intensity of the expansive power of heat during the ancient periods of this planet. When the granitic basis and other plutonic constituents of the Alps were ranked amongst the earliest monuments in geology, the formation of so stupendous a range of mountains naturally engendered corresponding ideas of the intensity of the assumed primeval forces by which their summits were lifted up. M. Desnoyers, however, had stated, some years ago, in his Address to the French Geological Society, • that the more the Alps are studied the younger they grow ;' and it is now determined, chiefly by the researches of Sir Roderick Murchison in 1847, that the whole of the inighty operation of their upheaval was effected during the tertiary epoch. As Sir Charles Lyell pithily remarks, the clay of London was in course of accumulation as marine mud at a time when the ocean still rolled its waves over the space now occupied by some of the loftiest Alpine summits.'

In former editions of the Principles,' Sir Charles ably argued against the hypothesis of M. Elie de Beaumont, relative to the elevation of the Pyrenees, viz., that they were due

to

to a single upthrow (à un seul jet), and which the accomplished French sçavan regarded as one of the most violent that the land of Europe ever experienced. The course of discovery, aiding the force of our author's reasoning, has since led M. de Beaumont to frankly confess his error: and he and M. Dufrénoy now agree with M. Durocher, that in the Pyrenean chain, notwithstanding the general simplicity of its structure, six, if not seven, systems of dislocation, each chronologically distinct from the other, can be made out.

Amongst the most important of the recent additional evidences of the gradual movements of the earth's crust during periods long antecedent to the formation of the Alps or Pyrenees, are those which have resulted from the assiduous and unbiassed labours of the distinguished geologists occupied in the Ordnance Survey. In one of their late Memoirs we are informed that in Wales, and the contiguous parts of England, a maximum thickness of 32,000 feet (more than six miles) of Carboniferous, Devonian and Silurian beds, has been measured, the whole formed whilst the bed of the sea was continuously and tranquilly subsiding. These and the like observations help to realize our conceptions of the enormous lapse of past time which our author invokes as his chief aid in illustrating, by reference to actual causes, the immense operations of which we now contemplate the completion in various parts of the earth's surface.

The imagination,' says Lyell, after adverting to analogous instances of slow depression and upheaval, may well recoil from the vain effort of conceiving a succession of years sufficiently vast to allow of the accomplishment of contortions and inversions of stratified masses like those of the higher Alps; but its powers are equally incapable of comprehending the time required for grinding down the pebbles of a conglomerate 8000 feet in thickness. In this case, however, there is no mode of evading the obvious conclusion, since every pebble tells its own tale. Stupendous as is the aggregate result, there is no escape from the necessity of assuming a lapse of time sufficiently enormous to allow of so tedious an operation.'

We can only briefly allude to the delightful contents of the 2nd Book, treating of the changes in the inorganic creation, such as are known to have taken place within the historical era. In it an account is given of the observed effects of aqueous causes, such as rivers, springs, tides, currents, torrents, and floods—the carrying power of river ice—the origin and transporting power of ground-ice, glaciers, and icebergs. Afterwards the effects and probable causes of the volcano and earthquake are considered. The third and concluding Book, in the present modified form of the · Principles,' is devoted to the changes of the organic world

now

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