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Full text of "Sparks from a geologist's hammer"




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SPARKS --3F^-: 
FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER '(/ 

BY 



ALEXANDER WmCHELL, LL.D. 

Author of " Preadamites.''' etc. etc.. and Professor of Geology and 
Paleontology in the University of Michigan 



Das wichtigste Resnltat des sinnigeu physischen Forschcns ist dieses, den 
Geist der Natur zu ergreifen, welcher unter der Decke der Erscheinungen ver- 
hiillt liegt. A. v. Humboldt 

I think it wise sometimes to shnt up shop and walk in the twilight, and look 
lip at the stars or down unon the sea. J. P. Lesley 



SECOND EDITION 



CHICAGO 
S. C. GRIGGS AND CO' 

1882 




Copyright, 1881, 



By S. C. GRIGGS AND COMPANY 



I KHIGHT a LEONARD . i 



TO 



LOTIE, 

vox, VITA, VIS. 

18681874. 



PEEFACE. 



The present work consists of descriptions, essays and 
discussions on such themes as may be conceived suited to 
occupy the attention of a geologist who tries to contem- 
plate his vocation in the whole breadth of its relations. 
The themes range from descriptive and literary to scientific, 
historical and philosophic, while the style of their treat- 
ment is intended to suit the general reader. They present 
the results of some of the collateral and recreative occu- 
pations of science, rather than of its most serious and 
characteristic efforts, and should possess, therefore, a gen- 
eral interest. The scientist on his vacation becomes very 
much like other people. He feels, thinks, imagines, and 
enjoys, only with an intenser action in consequence of 
penetrating a little deeper into the nature, relations and 
significance of things around him. In the intervals of his 
serious work his attention is engaged by the subjects which 
interest other men; and if his intelligence is many-sided, 
he must feel that he has something to say on many topics. 
His scientific habits, acquired under the rigorous exactions 
of his profession, confer upon him a peculiar aptitude for 
observation, and a safe facility in reaching conclusions. 

For many reasons, indeed, it is desirable that men 
engaged in science should turn their attention frequently 
to the subjects which interest their fellow scientists and 
fellow men. Such a course will save them personally from 
entertaining narrow views of the world. It will also tend 
to identify them with the society in which they move, and 



PREFACE. 

will conciliate toward them and the sciences which they 
pursue the respect and consideration of those who have it 
in their power to determine, to a large extent, the position 
and influence which scientific men shall enjoy. This end, 
which all scientific students must recognize as desirable, 
will be further promoted by the employment of a style 
inspired by that warmth and animation which the great 
truths of science are so well adapted to impart, and which 
even the inexpert are so capable of appreciating. 

It is especially desirable that persons of the requisite 
aptitudes should seek to possess themselves of a wide range 
of scientific knowledge; since it is only by this means that 
the connections of the sciences can be discovered, and their 
relations to a system of universal truth adequately under- 
stood. Only by such means can the jealousies and bigotries 
which have sometimes defaced the pages of the history of 
science be avoided. Most of all, it seems desirable to infuse 
into scientific thought a more philosophic spirit; since all 
the great problems propounded by modern science are 
essentially philosophic in character, and rapidly lead the 
analytic mind into the domain of metempirical phenomena 
and conceptions. It is hoped, therefore, that the meta- 
physical turn which the author's thoughts have sometimes 
taken will be recognized as sustaining most legitimate 
relations to the system of science. 

Some parts of the present work will be found conceived 

in a spirit of playful irony, at which, it is hoped, no reader 

will discover occasion for off'ense. Certain errors have 

seemed to call for animadversion, but no word has been 

recorded wherein has been inserted any intentional sting. 

The Author. 
AxSN Arbor, September 6, 1881. 



COISTTENTS. 



ESTHETIC. 

PAGE 

I. Mont Blanc and the Mer de Glace, . . 13 

II. Ascent of Mont Blanc, _ . _ . . 59 

III. The Beautiful, 100 

CHRONOLOGICAL. 

IV. The Old Age of Continents, _ . . .122 
V. Obliterated Continents, _ - - - . 134 

VI. A Grasp of Geologic Time, . - - . 152 

CLIMATIC. 

VII. Geological Seasons, 175 

VIII. The Climate of the Lake Region, . _ 200 

IX. Mammoths and Mastodons, , . . . . 234 

HISTORICAL. 

X. Salt Enterprise in Michigan, . . _ 255 

XL A Remarkable Maori Manuscript, _ . _ 282 

PHILOSOPHICAL. 

XII. The Genealogy of Ships, _ _ _ - 301 

XIII. Huxley and Evolution, 319 

XIV. Grounds and Consequences of Evolution, . 332 
XV. The Metaphysics of Science, _ _ . . 358 



LIST OF ILLUSTEATIONS. 



1. Mont Blanc as seen from Geneva, _ , Frontispiece. 

See description, page 24. 

PAGE 

2. Clock in tee Cathedral at Strasbourg, . . 15 

3. House of Gutenberg, the Inventor of Printing, 17 

4. Erratic Blocks on the Glacier of the Aar, . 18 

The spot where Agassiz and his companions encamped, 
for investigation of the Glaciers. 
From a pTwtograph on glass iy J. Levy et Gie.^ Paris. 

5. Difficult Passage on the Mer de Glace, . _ 44 

From a photograph on glass ly J. Levy et Cie.^ Paris. 

6. Ice Needles op Glacier des Bois, the lower part 

of the Mer de Glace, 47 

Fi'om a photograph on glass hy J. Levy et Cie.^ Paris. 

7. Chamonix and Mont Blanc, from near the foot of 

the Glacier des Bois, 49 

The Arve and the village of Chamonix, with the base 
of the Montanvert, on the left. Beyond is the Gla- 
cier des Bossons, descending from the summit of 
Mont Blanc (not shown). To the right of Mont 
Blanc is the Dome du Gouter, and next the Aiguille 
du Gouter. In the valleys beyond the Glacier des 
Bossons are the Glacier de Tacouuay and the Glacier 
de la Gria. 

From a photograph hy J. Lhy et Cie., Paris. 

8. General Structure of the Alps, _ ... 54 

From Studer's Geologie der Schiceiz. 

9. View of Mont Blanc from the Brevent, . - 65 

From a photograph hy J. Levy et Cie., Paris. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATION'S. 

10. Seracs near the Junction of Glaciers des Bossons 

AND DE TaCONNAY, ON THE AsCENT OP MONT BlANC, 74 

From a pJwtograph hy J. Levy et Cie.^ Paris. 

11. Incipient Crevasses at Junction and Plateau. As- 

cent OF Mont Blanc, 75 

From a pliotograph hy J. Levy et Cie., Paris. 

12. Cabins op the Grands Mulets, with Aiguille du 

Midi in the background (seen from above), _ 77 
From a 'pliotograiith hy J. Levy et Gie., Paris. 

13. Grand Crevasse at the farther border op the 

Grand Plateau. AsceiJt op Mont Blanc, _ . 83 

From a plwtogra'pli hy J. Levy et Cie., Paris. 

14 Summit op Mont Blanc, as seen from the Grand 

Plateau. Ascent op Mont Blanc, ... 85 
From a photograph hy J. Levy et Cie.^ Paris. 

15. A QuASi-CoiN, said to have been taken from an 

artesian boring in Marshall county, Illinois, 

at a depth op 114 feet, 171 

From a photograph furnished hy J. W. Moffat. 

16. The Hairy Mammoth Restored, .... 235 

From a restoration in the Establishment of Prof LI. A. 
Ward, RocJiester, iV". Y. 

17. Grinder op the African Elephant. Plan of enam- 

el plates on the crown, 249 

18. Grinder of the Indian Elephant. Plan op enamel 

plates on the crown, ..-.__ 249 

19. Grinder of Mammoth. Plan op enamel plates on 

the crown, 249 

20. Grinder of Mastodon. Perspective view from the 

SIDE, -. 250 



SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 



MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 



rr^HE Alps, towering a present reality before our eyes 
-*- the glaciers, opening their dark crevasses at oiir feet, 
and lifting their crystal pinnacles above our heads, these 
are the scenes which the reader is invited to enjoy. I 
do not propose to treat him to a dry description of a 
range of mountains four thousand miles away. He will 
go with me at once to the land bristling with rocky 
" needles," and proud in its hoary mountain-tops, which 
glisten with the ancient rime of a thousand years, the 
land of Mont Blanc and the Jungfrau, of the Wetterhorn 
and the Matterhorn and the Finsteraarhorn, and many 
another sonorous mountain " horn." 

We set out in the mornincc from Brussels another 
Paris on a smaller scale, and passing within sight of the 
historic field of Waterloo " the grave of France, the 
deadly Waterloo" traverse the Grand Duchy of Lux- 
embourg, wedged in among the greater nationalities like 
an imperiled skiff in an ice-floe, and then run down 
through those beautiful provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, 
which to-day are weeping with heads bowed low, like lov- 
ing daughters torn from an affectionate mother. At Metz 

13 



14 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

we view the vast and magnificent circumvallation of earth- 
works from which arose in recent times that roar of can- 
nonry which jarred the ears of the world. Winding 
through the rugged region of the Vosges mountains, we 
arrive at Strasbourg, where we s^^end the night. Here 
we pay a visit of curiosity to the most famous clock in 
the world, and gather some fragments of the Cathedral 
tower, which rises over it, brought down by the missiles 
from the German camp. 

This celebrated astronomical clock was constructed by 
Schwilgue, and completed in 1842. The globe beneath 
shows the course of the stars; on the left is a piece of 
mechanism exhibiting christian chronology; on the right, 
the geocentric opposition and conjunction of the sun and 
moon; above it, a dial determining the intervening time; 
still higher is shown the course of the moon. As noon 
approaches, an angel on the first gallery strikes the quar- 
ters on a bell in his hand; higher up, a skeleton, repre- 
senting time, strikes the hour of twelve. Figures around 
it strike the quarters, and represent man's progress 
through boyhood, youth, manhood, and old age. Under 
the first gallery, the symbolic deity of the day steps out 
into a niche, Apollo on Sunday, Diana on Monday, and 
so on. In the highest niche, the Twelve Apostles move 
around a figure of the Savior, bowing as they pass. On 
the highest pinnacle of the side-tower is perched a cock, 
which fiaps its wings, stretches its neck, and crows, awak- 
ening the echoes of the remotest nooks of the Cathedral. 

Here in Strasbourg the art of printing w^as invented 
in 1440, by Johann Gutenberg, and the house in which he 
is said to have lived still remains standing. The art of 
using reversed letters carved on wooden tablets had been 




CLOCK IN THE CATHEDRAL AT STRASBOURG. 



15 



16 SPARKS Fil03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

previously practiced, but Gutenberg first introduced mov- 
able types. The Bible was the first book printed. It 
appeared at Mayence in two folio volumes in 1456. 

As we sweep around the city, on our departure, the 
form of the grimy old Cathedral rises so grandly and 
loftily above the Alsatian capital that it seems to hold 
possession of the plain in a sort of solitude, that solitude 
which those experience whose loftiness of character finds 
no companionship in the common herd of men. The total 
altitude of the tower is 524 feet, this being the loftiest 
building in Europe. St. Martin's, at Landshut, in Ger- 
many, is 483 feet ; St. Peter's, at Rome, 455 feet ; St. 
Paul's, in London, 340 feet. 

At Basel, the rushing Rhine is turbid and cold with 
the contributions of a hundred glacier torrents. As its 
restless waters hasten from our presence, thought follows 
them, spinning a thread of storied recollections from end 
to end of the classic Rheingau. At Basel is a most ven- 
erable cathedral, founded in 1010, the seat of the great 
Council of 1431, convened to effect a reformation in the 
church. 

Leaving Basel we ascend the valley of the Aar, whose 
roaring torrent babbles of a recollection of the mountain 
and the glacier, and whose turbid waters and pebbled 
borders proclaim our advent in the region of the Jura 
Alps. The name of the river and of the two Aar glaciers 
in which it takes its rise is memorable. It recalls the name 
of the illustrious savant Agassiz, who in 1841 erected his 
hut upon the glacier, and studied, with a few chosen com- 
panions, the laws of glacier motion, laying the foundation 
of the bold theory, since accepted as a doctrine of science, 
that a general glaciation once visited the whole northern 




THE HOUSE OF GUTENBERG, THE INVENTOR OF PRINTING. 



17 



18 



SPARKS FR031 A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 



hemisphere.* From this spot was fittingl}^ brought a huge 
mass of Alpine granite, to commemorate the final resting- 
place of his mortal body in the beautiful cemetery of 




ERRATIC BLOCKS ON THE GLACIER OF THE AAR. THE SPOT WHERE 
AGASSIZ AND HIS COMPANIONS ENCAMPED FOR THE INVESTIGA- 
TION OF THE GLACIERS. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH ON GLASS BY 
J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 



* The eminent Swiss naturalist, Hugi, in 1827 caused a hut, now in ruiii^;, to 
be constructed on the ice at the junction of the two glaciers the Ober and the 
Unter-Aar glaciers. This, in 1840, had been transported by the glacier to the 
distance of 5,900 feet. It was on the same glacier that Agassiz, then professor at 
Neuchatel. erected, at the expense of the King of Prus!>ia, the hut from which his 
celebrated observations were made. He was accompanied by Messrs. E. Desor. 
C. Vogt, Wild and others. The accounts of their observations, published in the 
Augsburg Allcjemeine Zeifung, were dated from " Hotel des Neuchatelois." On 
the summit of a rocky projection, near the same spot, a "pavilion" has been 
more recently erected by M. Dolfuss-Aussct, of Miihlhausen (in Alsace), and 
here he passes some weeks of every summer. 



MONT BLAIfC Ai^D THE MER DE GLACE. 19 

Mount Auburn, a rude but eloquent monument, in its ex- 
ternals as unlike the imposing sculptures which surround 
it as in the interest it awakens more touching, more 
inspiring and more catholic. On one side is engraved: 

Jean Louis Rudolphe Agassiz. 
On the other: 

Born at Motier, Switzerland, May 28, 1807. 
Died at Cambridge, Mass., December 14, 1873. 

And on the edge: 

Boulder from the Aar Glacier."^ 

Winding through the gorges, often vineyard- fringed on 

either hand, we come out at length into the broad valley 

of Switzerland, resting between the Jura and the Bernese 

Alps. The Alpward glimpses and nearer landscapes be- 

* In according to Agassiz the great credit of placing the '' Glacier Theory " 
on a firm foundation, we must not overlook the work of his predecessors. In 
1815 Playfair attributed to glaciers the transportation of erratic blocks. In 1821 
M. Venetz advanced the opinion that the glaciers of Valais and adjacent regions 
had formerly a vastly greater development than at present (Venetz, Mhtioire sur 
la temperatttre dans les Allies, 1821, in Mt'moircs de la socie'te' helvetique des sci 
ences naturelles, vol. i, pt. 2). M. Venetz does not in this memoir attempt to 
explain by the same means the general phenomena of the boulder formation, but 
it IS reported that some years later he gave this extension to his views. In 1829 
Goethe clearly shadowed forth the same theory in Wil/ulm Meister's Wancler- 
jahre, vol. ii, ch. 10. In 1834 M. Jean dc Charpentier, in a memoir read before the 
"Helvetic Society of Natural Sciences," at Lucerne, on the probable cause of the 
transport of erratic blocks in the valley of tlic Rhone (See Aniiales des M'uies, 
viii; also in German, in Froebel and Heer's Mitlheiluiigen, aus devi Gebiete der 
theoretischeu Krdkinide,\y 482 s^r/.), presented substantially the modern theory of 
glacier transportation. This paper was the occasion which directed the attention 
of Agassiz to the same investigation, and hence, in 183(5, he si)ent some months 
in Charpciiticr's vicinity for the purpose of making observations for himself 
(Charpentier, Essal, p. 1). 

In 1837 M. Agassiz, as president of the same society, delivered at Neuchatel 
an opening discourse on this subject. It gave rise to a discussion which occupied 
a large part of the time of the session. 

In 1840 appeared Agassiz' great work. Etudes sur les Glaciers^ with an atlas 
of thirty two plates. In the same year appeared works by others Godeffroy, 
Notice sur les Glaciers, les moraines et les Blocs erratiques des Alpes, Paris and 
Geneva; Le Chanoine Rendu. T/ieorie des Glaciers de la Savoie, Chamhvry. M. 
Jean de Charpentier's Essai sur les Glaciers was then written, but it seems not 
to have been publisked till 1841. 



20 SPARKS FR03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

gin to infuse" in us an unwonted inspiration. The lake 
of Biel and the lake of Neuchatel stretch their skiff- 
dotted surfaces before us in summer serenit}^ as if to 
rest the eye which must climb the weary steeps of the 
stupendous mountains rising in the far horizon. Now 
and then a glistening spectacle is briefly revealed through 
the rifts in the clouds, and we strain our eyes and wrench 
our necks to make the most of this first revelation of 
eternal snows. Now, by irresistible association, we recall 
those lines in the " Childe Harold" where, posted in this 
very valley, the wanderer thrills at the spectacle pre- 
sented by the sublimities of Nature. 

* * "Every mountain now hath found a tongue, 
And Jura answers through her misty shroud 
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud.'' 

Vines, vines, on every hand. At Neuchatel we have 
reached the early home of Agassiz, We look down on the 
little city from the high grade of the railroad, upon the 
brown tiles of the housetops and the classic lake beyond, 
and warm with sentiments of interest and affection for 
the sake of a sinc^le name. We have chosen the route 
through Neuchatel for the sake of this inspiring moment. 
Down by the lake rises the new college edifice, in which 
is preserved the old collection of specimens gathered by 
Agassiz while professor here. 

But now all this is left behind. Vines, vines, on every 
hand lean upon little stakes, which bristle all over the 
steep hill-sides. The name of Concise from the train- 
conductor's lips turns our attention to a quaint old town, 
whose enterprising scientists have dredged from the lake- 
bottom a larcfe collection of curious relics of the habita- 



o 



. MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 21 

tions of our prehistoric ancestors, erected upon piles in 
the lake. 

Grandson, which the conductor announces as " Grasso," 
wears a still more ancient look, and sucforests that it is in 
reality the grand/rr^//^r of all these Swiss towns, having 
been built during the Roman occupation. At Yverdon, at 
the foot of the lake, we pass the former home of Pestalozzi, 
the great reformer of primary education and the inaugu- 
rator of that system of "object teaching" now grown into 
general acceptance. 

Coursing rapidly over a region of peats, dug by squalid 
rustics, and spread out like the grass of New England 
meadows, to dry in the sun, we plunge down upon one 
of the prettiest little cities that eye ever rested upon 
Lausanne, perched upon the steep slope which overhangs 
the lake of Geneva. Toward the left, the blue water 
carries the eye as far as Vevay and the historic Castle 
of Chillon; toward the nght, the shimmering surface 
stretches to the city of Geneva, our immediate goal, a 
name redolent of varied reminiscences of mediseval and 
modern times; while in front of us, beyond the placid 
breadth of the lake, roll up in receding grandeur the 
dark mountain summits of Chablais. Behind them, we 
know that the snow-mantled pinnacles of the Mont Blanc 
range rise in cold serenity, but the jealous clouds enwrap 
them from human eyes, as if fearful that the home of 
frost and cloud and ether would be desecrated by the 
too familiar gaze of mortals. So expectation recedes 
from weary tip toe, and we glide down into the city of 
Calvin and Servetus, and " the self-torturing sophist 
wild" Rousseau, and the " Joint High Commission," and 
the ticking of a million watches, and the polyglot sounds 



22 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

which emanate from a thousand hotels and boarding- 
houses. 

Geneva, for beauty of situation, stands first in the list 
of cities; and of all the lakes in the world, there is not 
one so enchantingly framed in mountain magnificence, 
so sweetly toned down to the grassy beach on which it 
ripples, as the historic and richly storied lake of Geneva. 
The amphitheater which surrounds the lake is dotted 
with manv a classic and luxurious villa. The villa Dio- 
dati, on the southern shore, was once the residence of 
Lord Bvron. On the north shore is Fernev, a villa(?e 
created by Voltaire; and his unostentatious chateau may 
still be visited there. At Pregny is the magnificent new 
villa of Adolf Rothschild, from which the welcome visitor 
enjo3^s a view of Geneva lake and city and of the am- 
phitheater of mountains, backed in the far southeast by 
the snowv ranofe of Mont Blanc, displavingr a charm of 
landscape which causes one to wonder if any resources 
of beauty or magnificence are reserved for the enchant- 
ments of the heavenly land. 

At the eastern extremity of the lake, on an isolated 
rock connected by a bridge with the shore, stands the 
Castle of Chillon, now only a military arsenal, but for 
nearly a thousand years a stronghold in whose gloomy 
dungeons have been incarcerated the victims of petty 
tyranny and religious bigotry. Here, in 830, Louis le 
Debonnaire imprisoned the Abbe of Corcier. Here many 
of the early reformers were chained to the dungeon 
walls, and in more recent times prisoners of state have 
trod the stony fioors; and here are shown, to this day, 
the footprints of Bonnivard, consigned to six years of 
imprisonment by the tyrannical duke of Savoy in 1530. 



- MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 23 

" Chillon ! thy prison is a holy place. 

And thy sad floor an altar, for 'twas trod 

Until his very steps have left a trace, 
Worn, as if the cold pavement were a sod, 

By Bonnivard! ma}'^ none those marks efface ! 
For they appeal from tyranny to God." 

Frisoner of CMUon. 

The old city of Geneva is separated from the new by 
the Rhone, whose deep blue waters shoot beneath the 
six connecting bridges with the swiftness of an arrow. 
The Rhone enters the lake at the opposite extremity 
turbid with the sediments brought down by the torrents 
born of a hundred dissolving glaciers. These sediments, 
settling in the lake, have filled it up for a distance of 
thirteen miles, to Bex, from its ancient limits. The ge- 
ologist can scarcely resist the reflection that this work 
is not of such magnitude as to defy the powders of imagi- 
nation to grasp the time required for its performance; 
and yet this is all that the river has accomplished since 
the last geological revolution. To the prophetic eye of 
science it appears equally certain that the work of filling 
the lake completely must be accomplished in some finite 
period. 

The Rhone itself issues as a gray torrent of snow- 
water from an ice-cavern at the foot of the great Rhone- 
glacier, above which rises the Galenstock to the height 
of nearly twelve thousand feet. In the language of the 
ancients, this river was said to issue " from the gates of 
eternal night, at the foot of the pillar of the sun." From 
this spot it pursues a journey of five hundred miles to 
the Mediterranean. 

Never to be forgotten is the first full view of a range 



24 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

of mountains capped with eternal snows. It would be 
a calamity not to gain this first view from the city of 
Geneva. We may have been in the place three days, or 
a week; but thousfh we know the Mont Blanc rancre 
should be visible, the jealous clouds have interposed an 
impenetrable veil. To-day, however, a purifying influ- 
ence has gone through the air, and the vapors have 
seemed to dissolve before it. The sun has now just dis- 
appeared behind the Jura range. We saunter from the 
dinner-table down to the Quai, which faces eastward 
toward Mont Blanc. There the long-sought vision of 
glory is revealed.* This is indeed the first view of moun- 
tains mantled in perpetual snow. Nothing like it have 
we ever seen. There is no other terrestrial glory with 
which to compare it. Exclamations there are none. The 
instincts of the mind and soul consign all adjectives to 
contempt. We can only gaze, and wonder, and enjoy. 
We are transfixed. Our most expressive language is 
silent admiration. 

Must we mock this transcendent scene with a descrip- 
tion? Yonder in the distant horizon stretches the ser- 
rated crest of the Mont Blanc range. It is all luminous 
with the light of the setting sun. Its brilliancy is more 
dazzling than crystal. It looms up behind the darkened 
intervening hills like the very parapet of heaven above 
the earthly horizon. It is so unlike everything else seen 
upon the earth that it seems to be not of the earth a 
very vision of supernal glory. 

Among these Alpine summits it is not possible to 
mistake the sovereicfn mountain. At the right, Mont Blanc 
lifts his regal front highest, and stands at the head of 

* See Frontispiece. 



- MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 25 

the column. Next to the left are the Aiguilles du Midi, 
and next come the Grandes Jorasses and the Dent du 
Geant. Some distance below these crystal summits still 
blazing in sunlight, float fleeces of cloudy drapery, like 
vestments dropped from the balconies of heaven. In 
front of this range, and at a lower level, shoot up the 
pinnacles of the Aiguilles Rouges; and still more in the 
foreground, wrapped in sunset shadow, rise the Mole, 
like a pyramid from the plain, the snowy summits of 
the Aiojuilles d'Ar^ventiere and the broad Buet. 

Now pausing to breathe, we notice the long ridge 
of the Voirons closing in upon the extreme left, as the 
Great and Little Saleve uplift their rock-ribbed forms 
upon the right. Still nearer is the dark mass of foliage 
which shelters the city suburbs and fringes the farther 
border of the lake; and here, immediately before us, 
stretches lake Leman, clear and placid, whose very name 
is redolent of poetry, and whose darkening surface is 
now animated with the movements of a hundred pleas- 
ure-skiffs which 

" Drop the light drip of the suspended oar," 

while their merry occupants drink in the music of each 
other's souls. 

But while we ejaze the twilicjht shadows thicken. 
See! Not only are the Mole and the Buet sunken in 
shadow, but the broad line of night has crept up the 
snowy flanks of the higher mountains. Their summits 
are still smiling sunset adieus; but the shadow of Jura 
glides steadily up the Alps. Lo! now the glory of Mont 
Blanc is dimmed. An ashy paleness steals insensibly 
over the gem-lit brow of the mountain monarch. His 



26 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

form fades by degrees into tlie dull hue of the back- 
ground sky. The snowy range is no longer discernible 
vanished from mortal eyes into the very heaven to which 
its supernal glories seemed to belong. It is sunset 
it is twilight it is evening; and we turn with a feel- 
ing of revulsion and discontent from the splendors of 
Nature to the jargon of the babbling throng in the 
street. 

The highway from Geneva to Chamonix is a finely 
macadamized turnpike. Communication is maintained 
during the summer by means of lines of daily stages 
known as " diligences." Between the proprietors of 
these a sharp competition exists for the patronage of 
the traveling public, whose plethoric but ever-bleeding 
purses sustain not onl}^ the lines of diligences, but also 
half the other business of the city. English-speaking 
travelers are a chief reliance of Genevese tradespeople 
and proprietors of means of conveyance. But of all 
nationalities, the American is reg^arded as the fattest 
and most lawful game; and the vultures of trade gather 
around him with an attentiveness which may be very flat- 
tering, though certainly very expensive. The idea ob- 
tains that the purse of the American is always aching 
with distension, and that he is perfectly willing to re- 
ceive politely offered relief. It is naively admitted by 
Genevese tradespeople that they have four prices in as- 
cending order: the first for citizens; the second for 
Germans and Italians; the third for the English, and 
the fourth for Americans, whom they declare it right 
to tax one hundred per cent above the citizen. 

Accordingly, the agents of the several lines of dili- 
gences posted before the doors of their offices, along 



1 



mo:n't blaxc and the mer de glace. 27 

the Grand Quai, ply every stranger who ventures through 
their precincts. The fare to Chamonix and back, if you 
are quartered in a hotel, is thirty-six francs, of which six 
go to your landlord. There is little difference in the ac- 
commodations of the different lines. In front, under- 
neath the banquette where the driver sits, with room 
for two others, is a closed coupe with a seat for three. 
The body of the vehicle is occupied by three other seats, 
each with room for three. Underneath the rear is a 
capacious repository for baggage. 

At seven o' clock in the morning we repair to our dili- 
gence and take possession of the seats previously engaged. 
Six horses whirl us out of town at the top of their speed. 
The route lies up the valley of the Arve. The scenery 
at first is lacking in features of striking interest. At 
Bonneville, 15 miles, we pass, to the left, the pyramidal 
mountain of the Mole, over 6,000 feet high (6,128 feet). 
At Balme two cannon are planted by the road-side, which 
for a fee of one franc will undertake to wake the echoes 
in the high cliffs opposite. 

The mountains now rise in loftier grandeur upon the 
right and left, and flocculent clouds hang on the red crags 
or drip down their precipitous slopes. One cannot help 
remarking how these wisps of vapor love to cling to the 
solid earth. The open atmosphere above the valleys may 
be free from clouds, but they seldom cease to hover about 
the high-lifted forms of the mountains. I am inclined to 
think they are drawn to these masses by what we call 
gravitation, as light particles, floating on the surface of 
a vessel of water, are drawn from all directions toward a 
larger floating body. 

Approaching Magland, a striking phenomenon bursts 



28 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

upon us. A stream of water gushes from the vertical 
rock wall on the left, and plunges down 500 feet, as if 
an immense tank had been tapped and the plug drawn 
out. Above rise the Aiguilles des Varens, nearly 9,000 
feet (8,900) high. These, undoubtedly, gather the pre- 
cipitation which supplies the flow, a small lake (lac de 
Flaine) upon the heights, probably serving, as De Saus- 
sure suggested, as a reservoir to maintain the constancy 
of the supply. 

Glancing ahead, we soon descry, at the distance of a 
quarter of a mile, another cascade, the cascade 'of Arpe- 
naz. This pours from the brink of the precipice, plung- 
ing sheer into the atmosphere at the height of 860 feet, 
and separating into vapor before reaching the solid ground. 

Alpine characteristics grow more emphasized. The 
muddy Arve rushes past us with a noisier utterance, 
rippling, eddying, plunging about the rocky fragments 
which have invaded its bed. The bottoms are strewed 
with the traces of a recent flood, stones, gravel, and 
mud gathered in winrows and deposited at elevations 
several feet above the present level of the stream. The 
whole valley is in a state of devastation. Man has here 
yielded dominion to the caprices of torrent and flood. 

At St. Martin the highway makes a sharp curve to 
the left, and the valley gorge opens a vista in a new 
direction. Suddenly Mont Blanc stands up before us, 
white, lofty, majestic, and overpowering. It is like an- 
other apparition from the celestial regions. We at once 
recocfnize a difterence between our emotions and those 
experienced at Geneva. There, the scene was grand and 
exhilarating; but beauty and softness and distance were 
so blended with it that the soul preserved a comparative 



. MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 29 

calm. Here, the monster mountain rises apparently in 
our immediate presence, lofty, brilliant, vast, majestic, 
and mighty. The sentiment of sublimity is mingled with 
a feeling of nascent fear. Even the heart begins to leap, 
sympathetic with the external incitements. The impres- 
sion is so different from the former one that the scene 
appears new. But there is the same supernal glory in 
it. The white, immaculate, luminous mass is so unlike 
anything earthly which we have seen that it appears as 
an appurtenance of the blue sky against which it rests. 
T think, if I had not first seen Mont Blanc under the 
mellowinf? cruise of distance, and the vision had first burst 
upon me at this spot, I should have bowed to the ground 
before it. The power of that presence can only be felt. 
I wonder not that uncultured nations pay adoration to 
mountains. I wonder that any cultured man can come 
into the presence of Mont Blanc without being crushed 
to the earth by the weight of the sentiment of worship. 

Still, the appearance of proximity is deceptive. Mont 
Blanc, though seemingly within half a mile, is removed 
not less than 12 miles in a direct line; and Mont For- 
claz, itself nearly 5,000 feet high (4,911 feet), rises almost 
unnoticed in the inter venine^ distance. This is a char- 
acteristic deception experienced from the colossal dimen- 
sions of the features of Alpine scenery. First views sel- 
dom respond to our preconceptions in respect to measure- 
ments. What seems a half hour's walk will prove to be 
a wearisome five hours' climb. The cascade which, at 
home, you would give, by estimate, a height of fifty or 
a hundred feet, you will find, by measurement, to fall 
five hundred or a thousand feet. 

At the Baths of St. Gervais we pause for a repast. 



30 SPARKS FR03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Sulphur springs and a fine cascade (cascade de Crepin) 
are near. The mountains now crowd down upon the 
highway. The deep, narrow gorge through which the 
Arve comes, with shouts and summersaults, down from 
the valley of Chamonix, serves only for the torrent's ac- 
commodation ; and the French government has chiseled 
a giddy roadway along the face of the perpendicular cliff 
of the Little Tete Noir (5,800 feet), giddy, but secure, 
and worthy of France. The nose of the mountain, how- 
ever, is at length pierced by a tunnel, the exit of which 
happens to be within a few feet of an old Roman tunnel, 
recently exposed to view. The latter is about eight feet 
high and as many in width. 

Soon we have reached a miserable village, called Les 
Ouches (3,143 feet). The village of Chamonix lies before 
us. At oar right is uplifted the tremendous form of 
Mont Blanc, dazzling in the afternoon sunlight. It seems 
incredible that these immaculate and shinim^ solitudes 
are still so remote. But there hang the clouds, half way 
down the mountain sides. Now, for the first time, a real 
glacier greets our eyes. The long coveted gratification 
is at length granted. This is the glacier of Taconnay, 
half hid in its deep excavated valle}', but revealing itself 
as a white snake like form crawling down from the home 
of perpetual snows. A further advance, however, reveals 
the existence of an intervening valley, which holds the 
shrunken form of another ancient accumulation of ice. 
This is the Glacier de la Gria. A few minutes further 
and the long, swelling form of the Glacier des Bossons 
comes into sight. 

Are these, then, the glaciers? We thought them broad 
fields of almost impassable ice, and here they lie revealed 



MOifT BLAI!^C AKD THE MER DE GLACE. 31 

merely as snowdrifts in Alpine valleys but a few rods in 
width. No deception could be more complete. It is our 
apprehension that disappoints us; it is enlarged. Let us 
reserve our opinions till we have laid our hand upon the 
cold nose of the glacier, and made the attempt to scramble 
over its back. 

As we pass the village and Glacier des Bossons, our sat- 
isfaction increases. The lower extremity of the glacier 
lies across the river bottom at the distance of about a mile. 
It seems to have come down to the homes of men to de- 
mand apology for intrusion upon its ancient domain. 
And yet this terminal point is at half the altitude of 
Mount Washington above the sea. We can here discern 
distinctly the tremendous pile of detrital material which 
the glacier has brought down and piled about its lower 
termination. We see these rocky ruins stretched all the 
way across the mile which separates the village from the 
glacier; and thus make our first note on the evidences 
of glacier diminution. 

The next glacier to come in view is des Bois, which 
likewise creeps quite down among the habitations of men. 
But the village of Chamonix lies between us, and we at 
length dismount from the diligence, after a magnificent 
ride of fifty miles in seven hours and a half. Chamo- 
nix (3,445 feet, 2,500 inhabitants) is a bright and cheerful 
village on the surface, but with a great deal of antiquity 
just beneath the whitewash and paint. Fifteen thousand 
visitors annually ask for shelter beneath the spreading 
roofs of its numerous but modern and entirely comforta- 
ble hotels. The needs of these visitors supply almost the 
sole occupation for the inhabitants. Of the eight first- 
class hotels, seven belong to a single company. The 



32 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

charges are uniform, and when we aggregate all the par- 
ticulars, are rather high. The business of the guides is 
also reduced to system, uniformity and certaint3\ Charges 
for various trips, with and without mules, are specifically 
regulated by law, and the Chief of the Guides is charged 
with its execution. There is, even here, however, one un- 
certain element in all calculations, and that is the " pour 
boire," or gratuity which the employe always expects in 
addition to the legal allowance. The lavish practices of 
American travelers have ^ swollen this tax from a few 
centimes to one, two or five francs, an^ has educated the 
guides to a degree of trained ingenuity in devising pre- 
texts for extra charges. About three-fourths of the vis- 
itors to Chamonix come from Great Britain and America, 
the remainder are most!}' French with an admixture of 
Italians, Russians and Spaniards. The English language 
is quite universally spoken in the hotels, though the 
French is the language of domestic intercourse, and, 
strangely enough, the exclusive dialect of the guides. I 
did not meet a person in Chamonix who v.^as able to trans- 
act business in the German laui^fuasfe. 

The snowy summits of the high Alps now hedge us in 
on every side. On the southeast is the Mont Blanc range, 
rising from our very door-steps, with Aiguille da Gouter 
and Dome du Gouter resting on the shoulder of Mont 
Blanc. Dome du Gouter, from our position, simulates the 
character of the monarch himself, for it stands between 
us. On the northwest side stand the Flegere (5,957 feet) 
and the Brevent (8,284 feet), bold buttresses of the 
Aiguilles Rouges, which rear their red pinnacles in the 
distance behind these mountains. 



MONT BLAIS'C AND THE 3IER DE GLACE. 33 

* * "Above us are the Alps, 
The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls 

Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps 
And throned eternity in icy halls 
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls 

The avalanche the thunderbolt of snow! 
All that expands the spirit, yet appals, 

Gather around these summits, as to show 
How earth may pierce to heaven, yet leave vain man below." 

Childe Harold^ ///, Ixii. 

Following the prevailing custom, our first excursion 
shall be to the Montanvert (6,302 feet). This is a buttress 
of the Aiguille de Charmoz (11,293 feet), and is visited 
exclusively to obtain a view of the Mer de Glace. For 
this ascent a guide is unnecessary, and should we need one 
for the continuance of the trip, we may take the risk 
of engaging him upon the mountain. Our vigor is so 
exuberant in the youth of our experience, that we shall 
scorn equally mules and guides. 

The well constructed bridle-path leads in a perpetual 
zigzag up the mountain. Passing first, the debris of a 
series of avalanches, which have mown long avenues 
through a forest of firs, we pause for refreshment at the 
Fontaine de Caillet. Here we obtain ice-cold water 
which the guides around declare to be unsafe for a bev- 
erage, having less regard, we suspect, for our health 
than for the sale of the bottled beveracjes within the 
cabin. At any rate, we conclude again to take the risks. 
Here is a rude chalet from which the traveler may rein- 
force his energies on red raspberries, vin ordinaire or 
cognac, according to his disposition. Here, also, is kept 
a living chamois, which is shown to visitors for a trifling 

consideration. 
3 



34 SPARKS FR03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Kefreshed, we resume our march. The sun has crept 
around on our side of the mountain, and the extract of 
muscle begins to ooze copiously through the pores of the 
skin. Spruce Americans ride past us on their donkeys, 
intelligibly conscious of the awkwardness of their atti- 
tudes and movements. The characteristic English wom- 
an, thick, gelatinous and dowdy, planted on a saddle 
two feet broad, capers along in the procession, while her 
John, whiskered after the stereotyped mutton-leg fashion, 
clad in his Scotch jeans, with a wild flower in his button- 
hole, and lorgnette swung from his shoulder, perspires 
along the mule-path in her rear. But every situation 
has its compensations. Even now approaches a lad whose 
mien, and whose very position in the company which he 
leads, proclaim that he has crossed the Atlantic from a 
country which has celebrated the centennial of its inde- 
pendence. He is full of centennial. Fellow countryman, 
a salutation! Just behind is "pa," upon his mule, full 
of pride over his young American; and alongside is a 
pretty, jaunty young lady, whose profusion of smiles and 
conspicuous defiance of lookers-on proclaim her ready for 
anything prohibited to European girls. There is no mis- 
taking it; this is the daughter. This is the "American 
young woman abroad." There is nothing so fresh, so 
charming, so inspiring, so satisfying, in all the breadth 
of the continent, as the American young woman. The 
man that could see this sylph float past him, or listen to 
the music of her prattle, so full of nonsense, and yet 
so full of meaning, without feeling moved to throw 
his hat in the air and hurrah for the American girl, is 
only fit to lead a mule by the bridle. Young man 
old man you will never appreciate your blessings until 



MONT BLAKC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 35 

you find yourself in Switzerland, surrounded by those 
Swiss peasant women, thick-set and nut-brown as the 
cows with which they consort, with form like a bag of 
meal, and gait like that of a Muscovy duck. 

Outstripped so easily by our travelers on mule-back, 
we almost regret our resolve to walk; but should we 
pause a few minutes in the shade of the firs which bor- 
der our path, many a pedestrian would also come up 
to report as a companion. 

At length the stone-built house of refreshment, at the 
end of the path, shines through the trees. We stand 
upon the brink of a deep, rocky valley, and look down 
upon the surface of the world-famed Mer de Glace. We 
survey it for a moment, and our throats choke with dis- 
appointment and chagrin. How painfully beneath our 
anticipations! A pocket affair, indeed! And it seems 
incredible that anyone could need a guide to cross this 
piece of ice. We, at least, will assert our independence. 

But the general perspective is grandiose and satisfac- 
tory. The steeple-like pinnacles of the mountains on 
either hand are overpowering in magnificence. On the 
right, as we look up the Mer de Glace, is the Aiguille 
de Charmoz (11,293 feet), eleven thousand three hundred 
feet high; on the left, the Aiguille du Dru (11,527 feet), 
eleven thousand five hundred feet high; and directly before 
us, but more remote, the enormous masses of the Grandes 
Jorasses (13,786 feet), thirteen thousand eight hundred feet 
in height. From this direction we gather a more adequate 
idea of the mag^nitude of the orlacier-field before us. Two 
miles up the stream of ice it seems, indeed, but half a 
mile the glacier widens and bifurcates. The tributar}^ 
from the right, visible only at its termination, is the Giant 



36 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Glacier, whicli stretches five and a half miles to the sum- 
mit of Mont Maudit, gathering into itself all the snows 
over a vast expanse. The tributary from the left bifur- 
cates again into Glacier de Lechaud, whose axis is nearly 
a prolongation of that of the Mer de Glace, and Glacier 
de Talefre, in the midst of which rises a soil-covered 
mass of rock (9,143 feet) nine thousand one hundred and 
fifty feet above the sea, walled in on all sides by moun- 

ft 

tains, and adorned in August with a display of several 
species of Alpine flowers. It is hence named the Jardin, 
or Garden. 

From our position we now take a more contemplative 
survey of the features of the Mer de Glace. " Its surface," 
says de Saussure, " resembles that of a sea which has 
become suddenly frozen, not during a tempest, but at 
the instant when the wind has subsided, and the waves, 
although very high, have become blunted and rounded. 
These great waves are nearly parallel to the length of 
the glacier, and intersected by transverse crevasses, the 
interior of which appears blue, while the ice is white on 
its external surface." Montanvert has always been a favor- 
ite point of observation and study of this glacier. The 
illustrious Goethe visited the spot in 1779; and he men- 
tions in his Journal the fact that an Ensflishman named 
Blaire erected here a hut, from the window of which he 
and his guests could survey the sea of ice. This hut 
still exists, and affords accommodation for the guides. A 
projecting rock is still shown where two other English- 
men, Windham and Pococke, as early as 1740, found shel- 
ter durincf the nit^ht. 

We are now rested from our weariness, and, follov/ing 
the established fashion, we should proceed to cross the 



- MONT BLAJ^C AI^D THE MER DE GLACE. 37 

Mer de Glace. But our ambition is not satisfied to ac- 
complisli what everybody else is capable of achieving. 
Above us shoots the needling pinnacle of Charmoz, the 
flutings of whose precipitous slopes are laden with drifted 
snow. We dare not think of scaling this mountain spire, 
but here is a moderate acclivity clothed with grass and 
low bushes, which tempts us in that direction. Who vol- 
unteers for a scramble up a more considerable height? 

There is no pathway here, save occasionally a goat- 
path zigzagging aimlessly, and our goal, if we have one, 
leads over a field which it would be temerity, if not an 
impossibility, for anyone to traverse encumbered with 
those entanglements known as female apparel. The ladies, 
perforce, must remain behind. They may amuse them- 
selves with collecting Alpine flowers and putting them in 
press. 

To relieve the ladies from wearisome waitinef, and from 
the anxiety of a prolonged absence, we scramble hastily up 
the slope, to accomplish as soon as possible all that we 
shall dare undertake. Alas, how soon breath fails when 
man attempts to kick against the force of gravitation! 
Almost at the outset we find ourselves excessively disa- 
bled. We stretch ourselves out on the ground like dead 
men, and pant with all our might. Lying with our faces 
turned toward heaven, a raven black as nis^ht sails over 
us and calls out Kaw ! and sails on in disdain. A few 
minutes suffice to revive us. Then we rise, and foolishly 
repeat our scramble and our exhaustion. But we make 
rapid headway. 

For some distance we find the surface covered with 
dwarf huckleberries (Vaccinium), Alpine roses {liliododen- 
dron), and heaths (Erica), with a scattered intermixture 



38 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

of grasses and a few other plants. Trees we left at 
Montanvert. These shrubs continue to diminish in size 
as we ascend, until the hucklel3erries form a low, thick, 
fur-like mat. These still grow shorter and shorter, and 
then abruptly disappear. We are on the limit of flower- 
ing vegetation. A desolate region of naked rocks sur- 
rounds us. These are not boulders or transported blocks, 
but the solid framework of the mountain shattered as if 
smitten by a colliding world, and hurled all over the 
surface. Smaller at the lower level, they grow more 
massive as we ascend. Some attain the dimensions of a 
dwelling-house, huge, angular blocks chipped out of the 
mountain mass. They are all strongly laminated, and 
belong to the class known as mica-schist. At length we 
near some frowning cliffs, and observe that the stratifica- 
tion of these rocks is nearly vertical. Their thin, sharp 
layers sometimes present their edges at the surface like 
an array of knives. Over these angular rocks we clam- 
ber with great difficulty and danger of bruised shin-bones. 
The sloping crest of the mountain is not far at our right. 
This we succeed in scaling, and now the panorama of the 
valley of Chamonix is spread out before us. A fresh 
breeze meets us on this crest. The clouds are kissing 
and embracing the unresponsive rocks on ever}'" hand. 
They are beneath us and above us. They hasten past us 
as if unconcerned at our presence. Nay, they have em- 
braced us. Avaunt! cold fog. Thou art not the rosy 
cloud which from the valley we have seen sleeping on 
the bosom of the mountain. 

" 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view." 
But here, with all the exhilaration of the situation, we 



% 



-MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 39 

make one clislieartening observation. This rude monument 
of stones proclaims the fact that others have preceded 
us. From what direction, or within what period, no re- 
cord reveals. This, then, is not the satisfaction of our 
ambition. Onward to Charmoz! Charmoz stands now at 
our left. On our front the form of the mountain slopes 
rapidly down toward the valley of Chamonix. Behind us 
is the steep slope which we have ascended, and which 
stretches down to the border of the Mer de Glace. This 
crest on which we stand is " The Angle," and, ever nar- 
rowing, leads up to the pillared and snow-flecked heights 
of Charmoz. That is our direction. But mighty rocks 
and towering precipices obstruct our path. Some of the 
precipices we have to scale. Sometimes we crawl along 
the face of an escarpment upon a shelf of rock gradu- 
ally ascending to the summit. Sometimes from such a 
situation we are compelled to retreat. Could we see each 
other in these hazardous attitudes, I fear we should be 
led to practice eloquently the art of dissuasion ; and could 
those patient ladies, pressing Alpine flowers at Montanvert, 
be once endowed with the gift of clairvoyance, I am sure 
that some of us would make excuses to return. 

But adventure acts as an intoxicant. We often per- 
form deeds without fear, the very thought of which after- 
ward produces a shudder. We have the madness not 
the malady of the mountains. And so we continue to 
climb toward Charmoz. Ice on the rii^ht hand ; ice on 
the left ; clouds above us and clouds below. The rasfored 
crest grows narrower, its downward slopes more precipi- 
tous. Charmoz is in front of us and winks approval of 
our hardihood. Stiff-necked, haughty pinnacle, uplifted in 
the serene air! what power upbore you to that un- 



40 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 

approachable altitude? Ab, tbe answer to our question is 
recorded on your grey, pilastered sides. If we can- 
not place foot upon your bead, we are near enougb 
to read your record. We can see your vertical sbeets of 
rock, witb tbeir projecting angles running up tbe giddy 
spire like tbe lines of masonry on tbe bigb-towered catbe- 
dral at Strasbourg. Old Cbarmoz, after all, is not erect, 
but prostrate on bis side. Weatbered and battered and 
wasted by tbe wear of centuries, tbese salient pinnacles 
are but tbe protruding rib of a mountain skeleton. 

We bave discovered tbe way to Cbarmoz, but, like 
Jacques Balmat, on tbe discovery of tbe patb to Mont 
Blanc, we sball not travel over it tbe first day. Our 
mountain crest wbicli leads to Cbarmoz bas tbinned to a 
knife-edge. On eacb side we look down, almost vertically, 
about two tbousand feet, upon some rocks wbicb would 
bave a tendency to abate too suddenly our agreeable ex- 
citement. We know tbat we could scale tbe pinnacle of 
Cbarmoz, but we ougbt to go back and inform the ladies 
wbere we mis^bt be found in case of anv inadvertence. 

But we sball not travel tbe same road twice. We de- 
scend a declivity as steep as possible, directly to tbe Mer 
de Glace. Getting in tbe track of an old avalancbe, we 
go plunging, sliding, jumping, rolling, and so, literally, 
" we go rolling bome." Reacbing tbe glacier, we mount 
its tremendous lateral moraine rising one bundred feet 
above tbe swelling ice-sea ; and over boulders, and along tbe 
sbining faces of cliffs scoured b}^ tbe moving ice, we pick 
our way down to tbe spot wbere we left tbe ladies pressing 
flowers. 

We now feel competent to cross tbe Mer de Glace with- 
out tbe intervention of a guide. Declining many proifers 



MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 41 

of succor from this source, we make our zigzag descent 
two hundred feet (210 feet) to the glacier. Half way down 
we encounter a cabin, wherefrom, with further proffers of 
guidance, is exposed a collection of pretended minerals of 
Mont Blanc, quartz and tourmalines and amethysts and 
beryls. Assured again of the utter impossibility of cross- 
ing without a guide, we persist in suspecting the disinter- 
estedness of the counsel. 

The border of the glacier presents an array of obsta- 
cles which had been concealed from view. It is a great 
mistake to suppose that the entrance upon a glacier is 
like stepping from the sidewalk into the street. Here is 
a belt some rods in width, possessing features which defy 
description. It is strewed with immense rounded frag- 
ments of alpine granite, with intervening piles of sand 
and mud and ice and smaller rocks. To thread our 
way between the boulders is impossible, we must leap 
the chasms from boulder to boulder, or climb directly 
over them. Considering that these impediments are breast 
high, and sometimes eight and ten feet high, and round 
and smooth, the degree of agility demanded is as extraor- 
dinary as it is real. Next we leap upon a boulder 
which proves to be a mass of ice coated with sand and 
mud. Nay, the very soil on which these boulders rest is 
underlaid by ice as solid and clear as crystal. Down we 
leap, upon the grim}^ surface of the glacier at last, but 
only to find ourselves in a corner. Across our path 
stretches an open chasm which is almost too broad to 
leap, and which is overhung on right and left b}' huge 
boulders. There is no alternative ; we must mount 
another boulder ; and so, finally, after a wearisome strug- 
gle, we are in a position to begin our work. 



42 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Well, the glacier is under our feet at length. It is 
the Mer de Glace. We read of this wonder of nature 
when we were boj'S in school, and puzzled over the poor 
uninterpretable pictures of it in our text-books. It is 
not so roucfh and rent with fractures as we had thougrht. 
The path winds over its wave-like swells and around its 
yawning crevasses; and we march on, thinking of the 
depth of the river of ice on which we walk; of its slug- 
gish, crawling movement down toward the valley of 
Charaonix; of the years which have rolled by since the 
ice under our feet was fresh-fallen snow on Mont Man- 
dit; of the terrific winter storms which howled about 
the cradle of the glacier; of the deliberateness of all of 
Nature's operations. And then we reflect how all this 
work was going on before we were in existence; and 
how, when we shall have ceased to appear among men. 
Nature's operations will experience no check, but con- 
tinue to move on in their appointed ways, steadily, pa- 
tiently, while other generations of men may come and 
go. Here, far from the glacier's border, are fragments 
of rocks riding in state upon the glacier's back, down 
from the region of some high alpine cliff, toward the 
precincts of human habitation. These, like the boulders 
of the border, are formed of that peculiar species of rock 
which constitutes the core of the Alpine chain. Here, 
now, are those crevasses which create so much of the 
peril of glacier adventure. The crevasse is a fissure in 
the mass of ice. Its direction on the surface is gener- 
ally transverse to the axis of the glacier, or approxi- 
mately so. In length it may vary from twenty feet to a 
mile. Its downward direction is originally vertical; but 
as the surface of the glacier moves more rapidly than 



MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 43 

the lower portions, it assumes, after awhile, an inclina- 
tion which gives it a dip np the valley. Its depth may 
be ten or a hundred feet, and its width, which is a few 
inches at first, may grow to fathoms.* The two walls 
generally approach each other downward, and we may 
sometimes safely descend to the bottom. The wall-ice is 
absolutely immaculate, with a greenish-blue transpar- 
ency. Down in the crevasse we hear the rills coursing 
through the substance of the glacier, and sometimes the 
central torrent rumbling along the bottom. The sur- 
face of the glacier is w^hite and granular from the action 
of the sun. Pools of water rest here and there, pure, 
cold and refreshing, and numerous rills flow over the 
surface, discharging themselves through perforations in 
the ice-mass, into some subglacial stream. 

All goes well. Now we reach the median moraine, 
which, from Montanvert, we had mistaken for the oppo- 
site side. This is a longitudinal ridge of icy fragments 
and commingled boulders and sand. Tlie remaining half 
of the glacier is strewed with rocks and glacial debris. 
Now the real difficulties begin. The crevasses grow into 
immense yawning chasms, and the ice-masses between 
them rise up like mere knife-edges, on which one must 
balance himself in the transit. The mutual intersections 
of these crevasses continually interrupt the pathway, 
and we are compelled sometimes to descend by a series 
of ten or twenty steps cut in the ice by the guides, and 
then to ascend by as many more. We cannot disguise 
the fact that the element of danger enters into the pas- 

* In 1824, Forbes measured a crevasse at the base of the Glacier du Ge'ant 
;vhich had a breadth of not less than 1214 feet (370 metres). Payot, Guide 
Itineraire, p. 146, note. 



44 



SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 



sage of the Mer de Glace; but with it comes the exhila- 
ration and the determination to accomplish the transit 
without a guide. If worst comes, there is a man hang- 
ing upon our heels, expecting that the next moment will 
find us suing for his assistance. The peril arises from 
the absence of any discernible path, and our ignorance 
of the route indicated as easiest by the continued ex- 
perience of the guides. 




DIFFICULT PASSAGE ON THE AUEIl DE GLACE. FROM A riIf)TO- 
GRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 

The farther border is reached in safety, if there be 
any border-line between the ice and the earth into 
which it graduates by insensible degrees. Another con- 
test with huge boulders of protogine, and we strike a 



MOi^T BLANC AliTD THE MER DE GLACE. 45 

path which leads us steeply through a mire of sand and 
dust to the crest of the great lateral moraine, from 
which we look down a hundred feet upon the billow- 
ing glacier with a feeling of exultation not unmingled 
with gratitude. The Mer de Glace is, after all, a mile 
and a quarter in width at this place; and we feel di- 
vested of some portion of the contempt with which we 
greeted its first appearance from the inn at Montanvert. 
Instead of recrossing the glacier, we descend along 
the moraine. Soon the sound of water reaches us. Sud- 
denly we stand in the presence of a most magnificent 
cascade. The Nant-Blanc, a mountain torrent from a 
glacier of the same name (lying between Aiguille Verte 
and Aiguille Bochard), comes literally bounding, skip- 
ping, leaping, summersaulting down the steep ravine a 
mile in length, and at last jumps madly ofi' the preci- 
pice at our right, and, striking on the chaos of rocks, 
breaks itself into millions of pieces. I have seen no- 
where a more satisfactory performance of aquatic gym- 
nastics. Irresistibly one recalls Southey's description 
of " The way the water comes down at Lodore." 

"Recoiling, tm'moiliug and toiling and boiling 
And thumping and flumping and bumping and jumping 
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing, 
And so never ending, but always descending, 
Sounds and motions forever and ever are blending. 
All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar, 
And this way the water comes down at Lodorc." 

We had seen this torrent of foam from the opposite 
side, lying upon the steep slope of the mountain like a 
white line. It is said that sometimes boulders disengaged 
by the melting ice of the glacier, which feeds the torrent, 



46 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HA3IMER. 

ricochet along in company with it, and leaping from the 
precipice, endanger the safety of the rapt spectator of the 
scene, 

A short distance below we encounter another '* nant " 
dancing down in a gentler mood. 

The moraine on which we travel is an immense ridcre 
of boulders and pulverized rocks. On our right it de- 
scends from thirty to fifty feet, forming a little valley 
between us and the contiguous mountain. On our left 
the descent is from fifty to one hundred feet to the sur- 
face of the glacier. On this side the elements are caus- 
ing the moraine to crumble away, and many a land-slide 
has made it necessary to change the location of the tour- 
ist's path. The material is deposited upon the glacier, 
and enters into the formation of a new and smaller mo- 
raine, corresponding to the present stage and condition 
of the glacier. It is evident that this great moraine is 
gradually disappearing. It is equally evident that when 
it was formed the glacier filled the valley a hundred feet 
higher than at present. And the polished rocks of the 
mountain wall further evince that at some period ante- 
cedent to the creation of this great moraine the ice 
rubbed the sides of the mountain at altitudes a hundred 
and fifty or two hundred feet above the existing ice-level. 

Our moraine, as we advance, grows thinner, and now 
it fades out against a steep sloping wall of (schistose) 
rock, along which we pass, rapidly descending, by means 
of steps cut by the guides. To add to the voyager's se- 
curity, an iron rod, bolted at intervals to the cliff, ex- 
tends from end to end of this descent. This is the Mau- 
vais Pas. Midway of the passage, a flock of goats skips 
past us as if wholly unconscious of any difficulty in the 



MONT BLANC AND THE MEE DE GLACE. 



47 



path, and after them skips the shepherd-boy, with a similar 
unconsciousness. 

Before reaching the Mauvais Pas, the Mer de Glace 
changes its name to Glacier des Bois. The slope of its 
bed becomes more rapid, and the crevasses 3^awn more 
deeply, more numerously, and more irregularly. The 




ICE NEEDLES OF GLACIER DES BOIS, THE LOWER PART OF THE 
MER DE GLACE. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., 
PARIS. 

huge crests of ice, cut across by other crevasses, become 
converted into immense pyramids and needles of ice, 
which bristle like porcupine quills over the greater part 
of the surface. Those which assume a more columnar 
form are locally known as seracs. Looking down upon 



48 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

the Glacier des Bois from the Chapeau, the whole aspect 
of its surface is wild and chaotic beyond expression. Im- 
mense boulders lie scattered up and down, and the whole 
surface is gray with gravel and sediment. Here and 
there large pools of water have accumulated in the de- 
pressions of the ice, and numerous streams descend into 
the depths of the crevasses, gurgling, rumbling and 
rushing on to join the great trunk drain of the valley. 
We stand and gaze with admiring amazement at the tre- 
mendous features of this icy melee. We ask the glacier's 
pardon again for our depreciatory greeting. 

The Chapeau is found hanging on the cliffs at the foot 
of the Mauvais Pas. It is a mere cave-like recess under 
an overhanging rock. Here is a beautiful spring, which 
is utilized by the occupants of a miserable cabin, a cabin 
not too miserable to extend its offer of rafraichissements 
to the passing tourist. 

At the Chapeau we strike a path practicable for mules. 
After traversing a forest of firs (Bois du Bouchet), we 
burst upon an outlook as charming as it is unexpected. 
Mont Blanc and his companions stand out in sunset illu- 
mination, presenting a spectacle different from any yet 
witnessed. We are still several hundred feet elevated above 
the vale of Chamonix. On the side opposite us rise the 
Flegere and the Brevent, and back of these the Aiguilles 
Rouges. The shadow of these mountains has spread its 
gray mantle over the valley, but the silver forms of the 
monarch domes on the side facing the declining sun 
are dazzling in a radiance which is brilliant but majestic- 
ally serene. Glancing up the valley of the glacier, the 
white pinnacles of ice first arrest the eye, and then it 
rises to the illumined spires of Aiguilles du Dru, de 



MONT BLANC AND THE MEH DE GLACE. 



49 



Charmoz and de Greppon, and to the right of these 
loom up the bright summits of the Blatiere, the Midi, 
the Mont Maudit, which from this point masks the crest 
of Mont Blanc, and the Dome and Aiguille du Gouter, 
lifting themselves upon the shoulders of Mont Blanc. 

We pause here to enjoy the changing aspects of this 
maijjnificent scene. The Mont Blanc mass rises before us 




CHAMONIX AND MONT BLANC FKOM NEAR THE FOOT OF THE 
GLACIEll DES liOIS. THE ARVE AND THE VILLAGE OF CHA- 
MONIX, WITH BASE OF THE MONTANVEllT ON THE LEFT. BE- 
YOND IS THE GLACIER DES BOSSONS DESCENDING FROM THE 
SUMMIT OF MONT BLANC (NOT SHOWN). TO THE RIGHT OF 
MONT BLANC IS THE DOME DU GOUTER, AND NEXT THE 
AIGUILLE DU GOUTER. IN THE VALLEYS BEYOND THE GLACIER 
DES BOSSONS ARE THE GLACIER DE TACONNAY AND THE GLACIER 
DE LA GRIA. FROM A rilOTOGRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 



50 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

majestic, lofty, silent and serene. Its ponderous form 
reaches downward into the evening obscurity of the val- 
ley. The boundary' line between the light and shade is 
concealed by a belt of carmine-tinted clouds, sleeping 
lazily on the bosom of the mountain. The effect is to 
isolate the glorious heights from the dusky terrene land- 
scapes lying below. The mountain rests in its frame of 
clouds, as beautiful as Clytie in her sunflower. Its snowy 
surface gleams with a luster of brilliant silvery white- 
ness. But while we gaze we discern a change. It is like 
the changes which pass over the aspects of the heavenly 
bodies. The sable brush of night has dulled the roseate 
tinge of the wreath of clouds. A golden 3^ellow film has 
been drawn over the silvery whiteness of the mountains. 
Now a rosy flush displaces the tint of gold, as if some 
evening camp-fire had been lighted to replace the warmth 
of the retiring sun. Sooner than our thought, a cerulean 
tint steals over the scene, which, dissolving with the red, 
throws over the gigantic form of the mountain a robe of 
imperial purple. But immediately the luster of the purple 
mantle fades into a dusky, silver-gray; then an ashy pale- 
ness flits for an instant over the scene, and the light of 
day has left Mont Blanc to his proper complexion, a 
pure snow-whiteness veiled in evening shadow, and rest- 
ing against the deep cerulean beyond. 

The glacier which we have visited presents still one 
scene of impressive and suggestive grandeur. We must 
visit the glacier at its termination. Devoting an after- 
noon to the trip, we find the little hamlet des Bois situ- 
ated at the foot of the stupendous terminal moraine, the 
outer slope of which is occupied by scattei*ed firs. Pass- 
ing through an opening excavated by the Arveiron, which 



MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 61 

takes its rise from the glacier, we are ushered into an 
amphitheater, the vastness of whose proportions and the 
utter chaos of whose aspect create a feeling of oppression 
in the mind. The moraine is at least eighty feet high, 
and sweeps around in front of us to join the. lateral mo- 
raine. It is a desolate pile of clay and sand and rounded 
boulders. Its inner slope is interrupted by another mo- 
raine thirty feet high, which, like a bench, extends from 
end to end of the circuit. This immense terraced wall 
incloses an area nearly half a mile in each diameter, and 
strewed with a wilderness of granitic blocks, among which 
we pick our way. The white water of the rushing stream, 
which deafens us with its din, pours out from beneath a 
dark majestic vault of ice in the lofty terminal wall of 
the glacier. This is the source of the Arveiron, an in- 
significant though noisy river, blending, in the course of 
a mile, with the equally turbulent Arve. But how mag- 
nificent is its cradle! With difficulty, and not without 
danger, we climb over the debris to the very foot of the 
glacier and lay our hand upon the cold ice. Beyond and 
above us stretches the icy river, with its bristling pyra- 
mids and needles projected against the sky. A chilling 
current of air from the surface of the glacier settles 
down upon us. Rocks of granite and rocks of ice are 
mingled in indiff"erent confusion beneath our feet, upon 
our right and upon our left, while, from moment to 
moment, the blocks which have completed their long jour- 
ney upon the back of the glacier, dismount with a plunge 
which startles the visitor and prompts him to reflect 
upon his danger. A few years ago one of these missiles 
crushed the cranium of a young English lady and threw 
her into the torrent. Two other fatal accidents of this 



52 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

kind have occurred, besides several severe contusions. 
Some years ago three tourists tried the experiment of 
exploding a bomb beneath the vault of ice. The arch 
came tumbling about their heads ; one was crushed to 
death, and the two others were very severely wounded. 

The movements of the glacier are among its greatest 
marvels. It marches and it retreats. The Lower Glacier 
of the Aar, which was the scene of Agassiz' observations, 
moves downward at an average rate of 250 feet per 
annum (Dolfuss-Ausset). Rugi's hut, according to Agassiz, 
had been carried 5,900 feet in 13 years. A' record bot- 
tled up by Hugi, stated that it had traveled 197 feet in 
three years and 2,345 feet in 9 years. The Mer de Glace 
travels better. Forbes demonstrated by observations that 
at Montanvert it moves 822 feet per annum, and at the 
source of the Arveiron 209 feet per annum. The stream 
of ice, pressed into a narrower channel, moves with in- 
creased velocity. 

This march of the glacier, unless counteracted, would 
result in a rapid encroachment upon the cultivated lands 
of the valley. The compensation is found in the sum- 
mer's warmth. The ice undergoes a rapid dissolution, 
as the river testifies which issues from its base. This 
causes a diminution of the glacier in a longitudinal as 
well as a vertical sense. The advance of the lower ex- 
tremity is melted off during the summer. If the season 
prove unusually warm, the dissolution exceeds the ad- 
vance, and a retreat is the net result. If the season 
prove cooler than usual, the advance exceeds the amount 
of dissolution, and the resultant is a net advance. 

Now, it is ajiparent that this glacier before which we 
stand, has formerly occupied a more advanced position. 



MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 53 

A record on a stone at the outer moraine informs us that 
this epoch was 1826. At that time, says Payot,* the ter- 
minal moraine had been crowded close to the little ham- 
let des Bois, to the great consternation of its inhabitants, 
and some huge blocks, still to be seen, were hurled down 
among the houses. From that date to 1869 the retreat 
had amounted to 1,640 feet. In the same time, the ver- 
tical thickness of the glacier has diminished 98-i feet. 
There rises before us an immense protrusion of rock, 
standing exactly in the natural course of the glacier. 
Its surface is planed completely smooth, and the guides 
tell us that within their memory the river of ice flowed 
triumphantly over it. Now it turns to the right, and de- 
scribes a semi-circle to avoid the obstacle. 

Let us now view these objects from the opposite side 
of the valley of Chamonix. The ascent of the Flegere is 
one of the favorite excursions. It is only six thousand 
feet high, being a little less elevated than Montanvert. 
The path is similar, and the scenes are similar. From 
the inn on the summit we obtain magnificent views of 
the whole chain of Mont Blanc. The Mer de Glace winds 
snake-like down its valley, and the needled pinnacles sur- 
rounding its upper course stand forth in characteristic 
boldness. We have more than once remarked the con- 
trast in form between the aie^uillated summits and the 
rounded dome of Mont Blanc. A difference in geological 
structure is, of course, the cause of this. A geological 
section, across any part of the Alpine chain, shows it to 
be constituted of three portions, a Middle Zone, a North 
Lateral Zone, and a South Lateral Zone. The rocks of 
the Middle Zone stand almost vertical, while those of the 
* Payot, Guide Itineraire au Mont Blanc, p. 153. 



54 



SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 



Lateral Zones are much less tilted, and seem to have been 
displaced by the up-thrust of the Middle Zone. All the 
rocks which we have observed belong to the Middle Zone; 
but in this zone is a huge central mass of unstratified Al- 
pine granite, or protogine, constituting the loftiest summits 
of the chain, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Bernina, Jung- 
frau, Finsteraarhorn, and others, while the contiguous 
portions, on either hand, consist of masses of vertically 
stratified schists, as we have seen in Aiguille de Char- 




Jiorin iMteroi Zone 



Middle Zonp 



South Lcttral Zone 



GENERAL STRUCTURE, OF THE ALPS. 



MONT BLANC 



Aicuiucs. noucrs 



LA SAXC CORMEr 




a 

ai Protogine c', Felelspat Kic Seliists 

u', Ci;ystiilline Schists di Dolomitie. Limestone 

t . Anthracitic SfhJsts e .Black Limestone and Schists 

c^ Verrucano r> Gypsum 

StuJer; Ceotooie den jScAneiii 

STRUCTURE OF THE ALPS OF CE^:TRAI. EUROPE. 

moz, Aiguille du Dru and other pinnacles.* By weath- 
ering, these projecting strata assume the castellated forms 
so magnificently displayed from the Flegere. The un- 
stratified protogine, on the contrary, weathers into the 
class of rounded forms of which Mont Blanc is the type. 
It is from the loftier " central mass " that the boulders 
of protogine so abundant along the paths of the glaciers 
have been transported. 

* Studer, GeologU der Schweiz. 



MOKT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 55 

From the Flegere there is a path to the Br^vent, with- 
out descending to the valley of Chamonix. We must visit 
the Brevent, because from that position we obtain the 
most intelligible view of Mont Blanc and its surround- 
ings, and look down upon the Glacier des Bossons, as, from 
the Flegere, we look down upon the Mer de Glace. Here, 
from the summit of the Brevent, how magnificent a pano- 
rama is spread before us If Directly in front is Mont 
Blanc; on the right is the Dome du Gouter with the 
little protuberance called the Dromedary intervening. 
Further to the risfht is Aiofuille du Gouter. To the left 
of Mont Blanc is Mont Maudit, separated by a depres- 
sion called the Corridor. The ancrular summit to the 
left of this is Mont Blanc du Tacul. *This wide expanse 
of mountain summit is deeply covered with ancient snows 
in the granular condition called neve by the French and 
Firn by the Germans. This exists everywhere at eleva- 
tions above 10,000 feet. The firn-fields are the aliment 
of the glaciers. When they descend below the altitude 
of 10,000 feet the softening influence of the sun causes 
the firn to be converted into ice. Above the firn-fields 
rise dark masses of rock whose slopes are too steep to 
retain the snows. We note in particular the Grands 
Mulcts, two rocky pyramids, on one of which the guides 
have erected an inn for the accommodation of voyagers 
in the ascent of Mont Blanc. 

From this enormous firn-field two great glaciers are 
seen to descend, separated by the " comb " of the moun- 
tain. We have seen both of these when first entering 
the valley of Chamonix. The larger one on the left is 
the great Glacier des Bossons, and the other is the Glacier 

t See the view, p. 65. 



56 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

cle Taconnay. Note, from this point, the terminal mo- 
raines which have accumulated about their lower extremi- 
ties. No arorument is needed to convince us that this 
work was accomplished by a more developed condition of 
the glaciers than we witness to-day. Payot* tells us that 
the maximum advance of the Glacier des Bossons, in 
modern times, was in 1817. From that date to 1869 it 
had retreated 1,800 feet, and had suffered a lowering of 
at least 300 feet. In 1817 the terrified inhabitants of 
the little village at its foot held devotional processions, 
and planted a cross in the path of the glacier to impede 
its march. Happily the advance was checked, and the 
devout bourgeoisie have room for the belief that proces- 
sions and crosses have turned the course of Nature. 

As we stand contemplating the grandiose features of 
the scene before us. we feel arisino- a stronsf ambition to 
be among the number of those whose feet have rested 
upon that white mountain dome. We must undertake 
this thrilling experience on some other occasion: but, lest 
we be wholly defrauded of this pleasure, we will make a 
preliminary ascent over the first section of the route. 
This will take us to the upper reaches of the Glacier des 
Bossons. 

Ascending from Chamonix, our first halt is at the Cas- 
cade du Dard. A small stream of ice-cold water breaks 
itself in pieces in coming down a cliff some 60 feet in 
height. The path leads past another fine cascade (des 
Pelerins) and along the brink of a precipice overhanging 
the valley of the glacier, from which, five hundred feet 
below us, we look down on the stream of ice. Passing 
the upper limit of trees, we pursue our zigzag path to 

* Payot, Guide, p. 149. 



MONT BLANC AND THE MER DE GLACE. 57 

Pierre Pointue, 6,722 feet above the sea. Here is a com- 
fortable little inn, whose keeper, Sylvain Couttet, has be- 
come well known to ascensionists. 

After rest and refreshment, we press on toward the 
border of the upper Glacier des Bossons. Overcoming 
the difficulties which everywhere beset the entrance upon 
a glacier, we traverse the plateau of the glacier, and pro- 
ceed as far as its junction with Glacier de Taconnay- The 
expanse of ice and snow is wild and chaotic beyond de- 
scription. Enormous crevasses, precipices to be scaled by 
means of ladders, towering pyramids, beetling seracs and 
bristling needles of ice, succeeding each other mile after 
mile, these must be seen to be appreciated or under- 
stood. 

But here, for the present, we check our roaming, and 
take leave of the majestic forms and sublime silences of 
these awful Alps. There is much more here than the 
material lineaments which address themselves to the lit- 
eral eye. To him who has cherished and cultured the 
divine gift of penetrating beyond the visible forms of 
Nature, there is a realm of meaning revealed by these 
stupendous features wliich, to grosser eyes, they completely 
obscure. It was in this vale of Chamonix that Coleridcre 
penned his " Hymn before Sunrise," so full of the spirit 
which transfuses Nature. To the poet, realities unseen 
and truths unutterable are proclaimed by "those five wild 
torrents fiercely glad," called forth from the " icy caverns 
of night and utter death"; by their "unceasing thunder 
and eternal foam"; by the "living flowers that skirt the 
eternal frost"; the "wild goats sporting round the eagle's 
nest"; the "lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds," 
and first and chief, the snow-clad " sovran of the vale," 



58 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

with sunless pillars sunken deep in earth, and counte- 
nance filled with morning's rosy light. 

"Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks, 
Oft from whose feet, the avalanche, unheard, 
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene 
Into the depths of clouds that veil thy breast, 
Thou too, again, stupendous mountain! thou 
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low 
In adoration, upward from thy base 
Slow traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears 
Solemnly seemest, like a vaporing cloud, 
To rise before me, Rise, oh, ever rise. 
Rise like a cloud of incense, from the Earth! 
Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills. 
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven, 
Great hierarch ! tell thou the silent sky. 
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, 
Earth with her thousand voices, praises God." 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 



rriHE ascent of Mont Blanc is an achievement which 
-'- constitutes an epoch in a human life. It is one of 
the most glorious and memorable experiences which it 
is possible to gain. The conditions of this consummation 
are fatigue and danger; but these are also the condi- 
tions of that inspiration which scorns obstacles and is 
blind to everything but its object. 

I cannot assert that, to all who make the ascent, a 
love of nature's sublimities is the source of this inspi- 
ration. Some scale the c^laciers and the snows of the 
mountain because it has become somewhat of a fashion; 
and to follow the fashion there is no extreme of discom- 
fort or fatigue they will not endure. Some make the 
journey because, wearied with the common-places f 
travel, there is no other place to go, Mont Blanc is 
their refuge from ennui. Such persons climb over eter- 
nal snows, to the voiceless solitudes of mountain sum- 
mits, in the spirit of the teamster, who undertakes to 
haul you a hundred perch of quarry-stone. It is a job 
which must be accomplished, tluit is all. 

For us, the inspiration which we feel proceeds from 
a kindled imagination, inflamed by the pleasing but ter- 
rible majesty of the forms of Nature which surround 
us, and which seem scarcel}^ to veil the personal maj- 
esty of the Supreme Creator himself. It is not so much 

in the view from the summit of the mountain; for this 

59 



60 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

is disappointing. The entire landscape lias been spread 
before us for hours before attaining the highest dome. 
There is something in standing where so few feet have 
stood before; and one can enter fallj into the ambi- 
tion of the Englishwoman who compelled her guides to 
hoist her on their shoulders, that her head mio-ht be 
higher than any other mortal's who ever stood on the 
summit. There is a fullness and completion in the sat- 
isfaction felt by one who has reached the very dome; 
but all which thrills, all which swells, all which enno- 
bles the soul, is met and felt long before the final con- 
summation of the ascent. The summit, therefore, brings 
a flush of disappointment. The landscapes beneath are 
distant, and flat, and dim. The object which inspired 
your veneration and fixed your ambition no longer 
rises before you; it has ceased to exist; your ardor sub- 
sides, and you feel almost impatient to descend. De 
Saussure relates that such was his own chagrin, on 
reaching the summit after years of effort, that he 
slumped his foot in a sort of anger. Forewarned, we 
shall not be disappointed. 

Mont Blanc, I have said, is a sort of fashion; but, 
to say it is the fashion, is to say it has not been long 
in vogue. As a fashion, it may be said to have taken 
its rise in 1861; though the first ascent was three-fourths 
of a century earlier; and the first tour of the Alps for 
the observation of Nature was in 1741. The Alps, 
indeed, have been imperfectly known since the time of 
the Romans, who have left many traces of their occu- 
pancy in the form of tunnels, and excavations for high- 
ways, and half-obliterated exploitations for the useful 
metals, and even a single inscription found in the de- 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 61 

scent from the Col de Forclaz to Saint Gervais. In 
1090 a priory or convent of Benedictines was founded 
in the valley of Chamonix, which, in 1330, made laws 
against foreigners, and which, after 1443, received fre- 
quent visitations from the bishops of Geneva. In the 
seventeenth century it seems that the glaciers were in 
process of advancement; and the simple and pious peo- 
ple of the valley then, and a century afterward re- 
puted a set of brigands felt a strong anxiety that 
their aged bishop should exorcise them. As the Bishop, 
Jean d'Arenton, was very aged, and lived at Annecy, 
forty miles distant, they grew apprehensive that death 
might deprive them of his services. They therefore sent 
a deputation and implored him, in all sincerity, to come 
and intervene in their behalf. Touched by their simple 
faith, the aged bishop went and " exorcised and blessed 
those mountains of ice." The historian states that from 
that time the glaciers retreated; and a hundred years 
afterward (1767) had left an interval of a third of an 
Ensjlish mile between them and their ancient limits.* 

As the English have always been the most numer- 
ous frequenters of the valley of Chamonix, so it was a 
company of Englishmen who first visited the valley in 
the character of tourists. In 1741, two Englishmen, 
Windham and Pocoke, with seven compatriots and a 
large number of servants, set out from Geneva, " armed 
to the teeth," and supplied with tents and provisions 
for a long and hostile campaign. After three days they 
entered the valley, found the inhabitants unexpectedly 
peaceful, accepted their hospitalities and offers of aid, 
and ascended the Montanvert and surveyed the great * 
* Vie de Jean d'Arenton d'Alex, Lyons, 17G7. 



62 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

glacier which flows at its feet. Windham, in a subse- 
quent account, compared its surface to that of an ice- 
floe in a Greenland sea; and from that time it has been 
known as the Mev de Glace. This company, it amazes us 
to learn, now felt their curiosity gratified, and marched 
back to Geneva. Another expedition was made the follow- 
ing year, by Martel of Geneva, who eftected an approxi- 
mate measurement of the height of Mont Blanc. 

The apathy of some souls in the presence of Nature's 
sublimities is to me as incomprehensible as the darkest 
of Nature's mysteries. Windham had discovered a new 
world, I had almost said he might have become the 
apostle of a new worship. But he goes home from the 
august presence of Mont Blanc and its gigantic glaciers 
and writes: "However savage these regions may be, one 
does not fail to find here at times some very beautiful 
landscapes." I quote from one of Durier's lectures on 
Mont Blanc, delivered in Paris, the comment of a suscep- 
tible mind on such a degree of coldness. " Clearly,'' he 
says, " this is not the tone which the subject demands. You 
feel that, at this distance. There exist here many shabby 
glaciers, of villainous aspect; rocks which reveal nothing 
of value; precipices to make one shudder; torrents on 
whose borders one cannot hear himself speak. But, God 
have mercy! you find here and there some villages agreea- 
bly situated; fine meadows; fields well cultivated, and 
clusters of trees producing happy efl'ects. Ah! my friends, 
I have waters, and meadows, and hamlets and woods at 
my very door, why go so far to seek them?" 

In Horace Benedict de Saussure was a difi'erent soul. 
Born in Geneva, the spirit of the Mountains seems to 

* Uuricr, Hlstoire du Mont Blanc, p 32. 



ASCE:N^T of MONT BLANC. 63 

have been inherited in him. From gathering wild flowers 
to soothe the weary hours of a sick mother, the child be- 
gan to stroll to the neighboring mountains. He had 
looked upon them with an inspiration, a longing, a wor- 
ship. While yet a boy, he had scaled the cliffs of the 
Great and Little Saleve; he had wandered over the ranges 
of the Voirons; at nineteen, he spent fifteen days among 
the loftiest summits of the Jura, and, the same year, as- 
cended the Mole. From all these altitudes, the majestic, 
snow-covered summits of the Mont Blanc range were ever 
before him, and he burned with a desire to scale them. 
In 1760, at twenty years of age, he proceeded on foot 
to Chamonix. Thereafter, for many years, he performed 
an annual pilgrimage to the Alps. He ascended most of 
their lofty summits, as well as those of the Apennines, 
the Jura, the Cevennes, the Cote d'Or, the Vosges, the 
mountains of Sicily, the Auvergne, England and Germany. 
But Mont Blanc impressed him more profoundly than 
all these. And yet its dazzling dome had repelled all at- 
tempts to scale it. De Saussure was a scientist. What 
aid micfht be derived from its summit in determininsr the 

O O 

general configuration of the Alps! What interesting 
studies of the world of glaciers! of the temperature, 
and the effects of atmospheric rarefaction at such an al- 
titude! De Saussure felt that he must reach the summit 
of Mont Blanc. He cherished the purpose for twenty- 
seven years. He made repeated efforts to overcome the 
obstacles of nature, but always failed. And yet, from 
every hill-top from his very study window at Geneva 
the calm, mild visage of the unsubdued monarch smiled 
triumphantly upon him. He nourished his defeated am- 
bition till he gazed upon Mont Blanc with a sort of 



64 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

frenzied, painful pang of disappointment. Bat this was 
not despair. He offered rewards to the peasants of 
Chamonix for the discovery of the way to the inaccessi- 
ble summit. There were many whom the hope of gain 
impelled to perilous endeavors, one whom the spirit of 
de Saussure had inspired with a noble and strenuous am- 
bition. The force of soul succeeded where cupidity had 
failed. Jacques Balmat, in 1786, climbed bravely to the 
summit, and stood where human foot had never been 
placed before. It was only during the next year, how- 
ever, that De Saussure himself was enabled to follow Bal- 
mat to the summit and institute the lonsf-soui^ht scien- 
tific observations.* 

I shall not detain the reader with further prelimina- 
ries. I hope his appetite is keen for the experiences to 
which I invite him. Will he go with me over those 
frightful fields of ice, those yawning gulfs, those dizzy 
cliffs, those glassy slopes'? Will he venture on those 
broad plateaux of eternal neige; and, braving cold, and 
clouds, and snows, and lack of breath, aspire to i)lace his 
feet where Balmat stood, before the eves of four na- 
tions France and Switzerland, Germany and Italy? 

Let us, then, seek first a panoramic view of the region 
which is to be the scene of our labors. A hundred sum- 
mits gaze full in the face of the snowy monarch of moun- 
tains; but there is none which faces him so squarely and 
so boldly as the Brevent. This mountain belongs to the 
range of the Aiguilles Vertes, on the side of the valley 
opposite the Mont Blanc group, and the visit to it is one 
of the favorite excursions from Chamonix. If a view 
more magnificent or awe-inspiring exists on any part of 
* De Saussure, Voyages 'dans les Alps, 4 vols., 4to, 



ASCEiq-T OF MONT BLAXC. 



65 



this planet, I have no idea where it lies. We are look- 
ing southeast. Here, in the center of the field, rises the 
majestic dome of Mont Blanc. Though remoter than any 
of its neighbors, it overtops them all. To our right are 
two principal summits swelling from the mountain mass. 
The first of these is the Dome du Gouter, separated from 




VIEW OF MONT BLANC FROM THE BREVENT. FROM A PHOTO- 
GRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 



Mont Blanc by a minor swell called the Hump of the 
Dromedary. The other principal summit is the Aiguille 
de Gouter, with a sharp crest striking obliquely down 
the mountain. To our left of Mont Blanc are two prin- 
cipal summits. The first of these, with the brown ragged 



66 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

front turned toward . Mont Blanc, is the Mont Maudit or 
Cursed Mountain. This entire range, in the middle ages, 
was known as the " Montagues Maudites." They were 
cursed with eternal snows and sterility in punishment of 
the sins of the inhabitants of the region. So, at least, 
other people alleged. Thus, also, in the Pyrenees, the 
loftiest summit is " Maladetta." 

The principal summit to the left of Mont Maudit, and 
apparently separated from it by only a shallow depression, 
is the Mont Blanc du Tacul. Close observation will show, 
however, that the mass to which this summit appertains 
is quite separated from Mont Maudit by a col or de- 
pression, and that its right-hand termination, instead of 
being Mont Maudit, is an obtuse mountain angle between 
the two. This is Aiguille de Saussure. Farther to the 
left, and more in the foreground, are the Aiguilles du 
Midi. On the northern slope of Mont Blanc we notice 
two dark ranges of rocky cliffs. These are the Rochers 
Rouges or Red Rocks. 

From right to left this extensive field is mantled with 
ancient snows, which have mostly assumed the granular 
condition known as " firn " or " neve." These are the store- 
house of glacier material. In places where the mountain 
surfaces are too precipitous the bare rocks protrude. The 
field of neve in creneral undulates in conformitv with 
the conficruration of the mountain face; but in some 
places we trace perpendicular cliffs of snow, one or two 
hundred feet in height. One of these, starting from near 
the crest of the Aiguille de Gouter, angles like the bas- 
tions of a fortification across the upper limit of the great 
Glacier de Taconnay. Another snow-wall is revealed, 
stretching from the foot of Mont Maudit, and still others 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 67 

overhang the cliffs of the Rochers Rouges. The larger 
of the two enormous glaciers which constitute the out- 
lets of this vast sea of neve is Glacier des Bossons, which 
is separated from the other by a wedge-shaped crest of 
rocks, terminating upward in the spires of Aiguille de 
la Tour. Rising from the firn-field, in the direction 
pointed out by this rocky crest, we see a series of senti- 
nel-like pyramidal rocks standing in dreary isolation. 
These are the " Grands Mulcts " or Big Mules. On the 
lower one the guides of Chamonix have erected a couple 
of cabins, which serve as inns, plain, and even rude; 
but never was inn entered with fewer questions asked 
than this, after a desperate scramble of six hours' dura- 
tion. 

In gazing upon this panorama of glaciers, one cannot 
fail to remark the immense moraines accumulated about 
their lower reaches. The great elevations of these mo- 
raines are due to the agency of a flood-time in the glacier 
stream. Sixty-four years ago (1817) the valley of Bos- 
sons was 300 feet fuller than at present, and the ice- 
stream stretched a third of a mile farther down the val- 
ley. It will be noticed that these moraines continue far 
up the sides of the glacier. Let me ask the reader to 
note what seems a vast notch in the northern margin of 
Glacier des Bossons. A huge protuberance of rock deflects 
the glacier to the south. Formerly the ice river flowed 
over this obstacle. I have stood on the polished surface 
which bears this testimony. A vast amount of moraine 
material has been piled up at the foot of this huge preci- 
pice, for huge it is, though at this distance appearing 
somewhat insignificant. Farther up is another notch, of 
smaller dimensions, produced by a similar cause. Tame 



68 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

as ilie features of that spot may appear from the Brevent, 
eight miles away, I assure the reader that here exists a 
spectacle of awe-inspiring sublimity. A lateral portion 
of the glacier terminates here abruptly. Below is a 
smoothed slope of rocky surface, at the foot of which 
yawns a profound transverse gulf, beyond which, looking 
down the mountain, rises, to t?ie altitude of fifty or sixty 
feet, the rocky mass which obstructed this section of the 
glacier. A torrent rushes from a cavernous opening at 
the foot of this glacier segment, and, roaring down the 
smoothed declivity, plunges with headlong madness into 
the dark gulf, dashing itself into a white mist, which 
rises like a liberated spirit toward heaven. While we 
stand here, awed by the tremendous voice of the waters 
and the majesty of the bristling mountain of ice which 
rises above us, huge boulders, loosened from the glacier's 
front by the afternoon sun, come crashing and ricochet- 
ing past the spot on which we stand, notifying us that 
other positions may be more secure. 

Escaping to the nearest bank, we find ourselves in the 
vicinity of a spot called Pierre a T^chelle, to which we 
shall again refer. A little to the left of this descends a 
spur of Aiguille du Midi, which is known as Mont Mi- 
mont. On its flank, overlooking the glacier, is Pierre 
Pointue, one of the halting places in the ascent of Mont 
Blanc. This is the limit of the mule-path and about 
three or four hours from Chamonix. 

The customary path from Pierre Pointue leads to the 
border of the glacier, in the vicinity of the great gulf, 
and thence aloncf its margin to Pierre a TEchelle. Here 
the traveler strikes diagonally across Glacier des Bossons 
to the Grands Mulcts. Deflecting toward the right, he 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 69 

reaches the head of Glacier de Taconnay ; then, looking 
up the mountain, scales the " Petites Mont6es," or Lesser 
Ice-Cliffs, and reaches the Little Plateau ("Petit Plateau"), 
which is succeeded by the Middle Plateau (Plateau du 
Milieu). From this, deflecting slightly to the left, he 
proceeds to climb the Grandes Montees, or Greater Ice- 
Cliffs, which brings him to the Grand Plateau. From 
here are three routes. The old one leads directly toward 
the dome of Mont Blanc; another turns to the right, to- 
ward Dome du Goiiter, and thence, by the Dromedary's 
Hump, to the Summit. The third, and most frequented, 
turns to the left, and, leading up the terrible ascent of 
the " Grande Pente," brings him to the Corridor, thence 
past the Rochers Rouges, the Petits Mulcts, the Mur de la 
Cote and the North Calotte to the summit. 

The feelings which this scene inspires almost force our 
attention from the relative positions of localities. It is 
not alone as students of geography that we gaze upon 
the vast panorama of mountain and glacier which spreads 
before us like a map. If we have souls still blessed with 
the power of communion with the soul of Nature, they 
swell with the inspiration of the scene. It is not alone 
the ragged outline of the precipice or the grandly sinu- 
ous form of the stream of ice which occupies our atten- 
tion, but even more than these, the spirit and meaning, 
nay the divine revelation breathed by these gigantic forms, 
which absorbs chiefly the attention of the beholder. One 
inhales the spirit which moved Coleridge when he penned 
the " Hymn in the Vale of Chamonix." 

"Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow 
Adowu enormous ravines slope amain, 
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice, 



70 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 


And stopped at once, amid their maddest plunge! 

Motionless torrents! silent cataracts! 

Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven 

Beneath the keen fall moon? Who bade the sun 

Clothe 3'ou with rainbow ? Who, with living flowers 

Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet? 

God! Let the torrents like a shout of nations 

Answer, and let the ice-plains- echo, God!" 

Starting from Chamonix, our path leads for half a mile 
through a grove of firs, without much change of level; 
then ascending in the usual zigzag fashion, we soon reach 
the beautiful little Cascade du Dard, which we contem- 
plate from a pavilion or chalet which offers us refresh- 
ments and photographs of the scenes around us. A lit- 
tle distance beyond, we reach the torrent des Pelerins, 
which issues from a glacier of the same name, and has 
the interesting peculiarity of increasing and diminishing 
without regard to the weather, sometimes descending 
with a devastating flood in the drj^est periods. Here 
until 1853 existed a first-class cascade, when, in a time 
of flood, the blows of the descending blocks were so power- 
ful as to batter down a cliff" 200 feet high; and thus this 
natural curiosity, yielding the keeper of the rude inn a 
valuable revenue annually, was reduced to a fifth-rate 
affair. The chalet still stands, however, and the oppor- 
tunity is still open to spend a few francs for refreshments. 

The ascent next bring^s us to the brow of a ridge over- 
looking a ravine strewed with shingle, and noisy with the 
headlong rush of the Torrent des Praz, which gushes from 
the upper portion of the Glacier des Bossons. The voy- 
ager here looks down at least 500 feet into a gorge which, 
in times not geologically remote, must have been filled 



ASCEXT OF MONT BLANC. 71 



with a spur of the great glacier which still lives in the 
next valley. 

We now rise above the limit of trees, and begin to en- 
joy a vast and magnificent landscape. Under the shadow 
of the last trees stand the chalets of Paraz. We are now 
two hours from Chamonix and more than 5,000 feet (5,264) 
elevated. Between here and Pierre Pointue the broad, 
unshaded acclivity is held in about equal parts by heaths 
and angular blocks precipitated, in the progress of ages, 
from the pinnacles of Midi, which tower almost directly 
above our heads. 

Pierre Pointue is 6,700 (6,722) feet high, a little 
higher than Mount Washington. Here stands a truly com- 
fortable little inn, kept by one of the most intelligent and 
enterprising guides of Chamonix, Sylvain Couttet. Stand- 
ing on the terrace of the inn, we look back upon the tree- 
tops long since past, and down into the quiet valley of 
Chamonix. On the opposite side rises the Brevent, from 
which we obtained our panoramic view of this situation. 
A little farther to the rig-ht is the Flesfere: and behind 
and above both rise the red pinnacles of the range of the 
Aiguilles Rouges. Above us, and almost over our heads, 
shoot up the spires of the Aiguilles du Midi. Not far 
off to the south flows the rus^cred river of ice which we 
are soon to cross; while far up, over the fields of firn, 
rise the Aiguille and the Dome du Gouter. Mont Blanc 
is hid by Mont Mimont. We are already in the realm 
of the clouds, and their damp, pale forms ride past us like 
the spirits of the mountains. 

We press on around the steep slope of Mont Mimont, 
which dives down like a Gothic roof from the craggy 
crest projected against the blue sky, and almost crowds 



72 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

our path into a dark chasm awful to stand over. On the 
sunny slope of this mountain Alpine flowers flourish in 
equal beauty and abundance. I gathered here twent}^- 
three species, among them, the white gentian. In an 
hour we have reached the station called Pierre a T^^chelle. 
This is a block of granite twenty feet high, over which 
hangs the Aiguille du Midi. The guides call to the rocks 
on the opposite side of the glacier, and Aiguille de la 
Tour echoes back a distinct response. Vegetation con- 
tinues beautifully developed. Rhododendrons, or Alpine 
roses, are plentiful. 

A little beyond this spot we take leave of the solid 
land, to grapple with the difficulties of ice and snow. As 
in all cases, the boundary line of the glacier is a belt of 
disputed territory. Ice, rocks, gravel and earth promis- 
cuously mixed, form an obstacle requiring strength and 
agility to pass it. Even at the outset, real dangers threaten 
us, for avalanches of ice and stones are almost perpetu- 
ally precipitated from the heights of the crest running 
from the Aio-nille du Midi to Mont Maudit. 

These dangers and difficulties passed, it is customary 
to attach the whole party together by means of a com- 
mon cord. Thus, an individual so unfortunate as to slip 
on a dangerous slope, or to drop into a concealed crevasse, 
will be held up by his companions. At the same time, 
the rope is liable to convert the accident of one into the 
disaster of the whole party. But the good chances out- 
weisrh the bad; and, as anv individual m?cV be the one to 
meet with an accident, all are willimr to take the risk of 
beincr made the sharer of some other's misfortune, a 
sort of life insurance on the mutual plan. 

The mass of ice is cleft by crevasses running in every 



ASCEJ^TT OF MOXT BLANC. 73 

direction. Some of these we leap across with a vivid con- 
sciousness that our foothold, on either brink, is but ' the 
slippery ice. If too broad to leap, a light ladder is thrown 
across to serve as a bridore. Over this the timid crawl 
on hands and knees. The thought of being suspended 
by the rung of a ladder over a dark abyss without visi- 
ble bottom is well calculated to arouse the nervousness 
of the most stolid. The snows of winter bridge many 
of the crevasses, and when these bridges are softened by 
the sun they become pitfalls, requiring the skill of ex- 
perienced guides to detect them. The danger is greatly 
increased when the crevasses are concealed by freshly 
fallen snow. 

The intersection of the crevasses cuts the ice into vast 
prismoidal masses, standing vertically. The increasing 
separation of the walls of the chasms gives these blocks a 
sort of isolation. Very often, the lateral pressure, or some 
subglacial protuberance of rock, suffices to thrust such 
ice-masses into the air. These effects occur especially in 
the neighborhood of the junction of Glacier des Bossons 
with Glacier de Taconnay. This recrion is rather the 
parting of the broad field of ice by the protruding rocky 
ridge called Aiguille de la Tour. Striking against this, 
the ice-field is terribly wrenched. Outliers of this ridge 
crop out through the ice, from a quarter of a mile to two 
miles above, and other protuberances must exist, under- 
lying the ice and heaving it up into the chaotic aspects 
which it presents. The very entrance upon this tre- 
mendous cataract of ice is through a sort of natural tun- 
nel. Once in the region of the Junction, a fearful laby- 
rinth lies before us. It seems at a glance impossible to 
cross. Here are some of the greatest difficulties encoun- 



74 



SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 



tered in the route to Mont Blanc. Pyramidal towers of 
ice "are uplifted before us to the height of 20 to 50 feet. 
S^racs, rising in glittering columns, seem tottering from 
their base. Some, even, by the thawing action of the sun, 
rest on bases less in diameter than themselves, ruined 
pillars of gigantic fairy palaces, a very Persepolis of ice. 




SERACS NEAR THE JUNCTION OP GLACIERS DES BOSSONS AND DE 
TACONNAY. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 

All about us are effects on a scale of masfnitude which 
almost staggers the understanding. It seems as if a sea 
had been solidified, then lifted up into the air and dashed 
upon the rocks. 

These tremendous effects, however, have been achieved 
by the agency of forces at work before our eyes, and be- 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 



75 



neath our feet. Even while we stand here the Titanic 
forces are cracking- and crunchino; the srlaciers, and the 
deep thud which we hear makes us crawl with appre- 
hension. Even before our eyes the great unfathomed 
stream of ice is marching on. While we stand gazing 
upon it the huge serac rises or topples. At our verv feet 
the dark crevasse opens its jaws wider and wider. 




INCIPIENT CREVASSES AT JUNCTION AND THE PLATEAU. ASCENT 
OF MONT BLANC. FltO.M A PHOTOGRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., 
PARIS. 

But, like so many of the grandest operations of Nature, 
like the uplift of mountains and the building of con- 
tinents, these operations are slow, resistless though 
slow. The stream of ice moves but two feet in 24 hours. 



76 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

The snow which falls on the summit of Mont Blanc re- 
quires 50 3'ears to reach the foot of Glacier des Bossons. 
Like a stream of water, its velocity is slackened when its 
valley is widened, and accelerated when it narrows. When 
it reaches the brink of a steeper descent it breaks, often 
with a report like the bass voice of the mountain calling 
to the sky. The fissure at first is but an inch or two, 
but it widens sometimes to a hundred feet, and acquires 
a depth of a thousand. If the declivity is steep, the 
glacier is parted at intervals of a few feet. A short dis- 
tance above the chinks are narrow. Approaching the brink 
of the decline they grow wider. On the steep slope the 
whole stream, like water, is thrown i^^to a state of wild 
confusion. 

We escape from this labyrinth of ice by clambering up 
an almost vertical ascent called the Montee de la Cote. It 
is rifted in all directions by yawning crevasses, and the 
only practicable passage from block to block is by means 
of ladders. Sometimes we are suspended over a frightful 
chasm. Sometimes we are compelled to scale a vertical 
cliff of ice. Sometimes there is no alternative but to 
travel at the foot of an icy precipice over piles of snow 
and ice hurled down from the long slope above. 

The rocks of the Grands Mulcts now appear in sight, 
tne pinnacles of a mountain protruding 660 feet above 
the field of ice. Perched up on the side of the lower 
one can be seen the two cabins ere'cted by the guides of 
Chamonix for the accommodation of voj^'ageurs. The best 
view of these is from a position beyond and above. From 
this position the pointed architecture of the Aiguilles du 
Midi may be seen rising in the background. From a 
somewhat higher position we obtain an enchanting view 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 



77 



of the valley of Chamonix and the cloud-wreathed moun- 
tains which rise on the other side. Chamonix and the 
other villages are distinctly seen, as well as the fields, the 
highways and the rivers Arve and Arveiron. 




CABINS OF THE GRANDS MULETS WITH AIG. DD MIDI IN THE BACK- 
GROUND (seen from above), ascent of MONT BLANC. FROM 
A PHOTOGRAPH BY J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 

To the best of these two cabins we are onl}^ too eager 
to turn in search of rest for our wearied limbs. No 
charge for shelter, and for meals and rude lodgings no 
exorbitant demands. The best of these cabins is divided 
into two apartments, in one of which the ladies of a 
party enjoy a comfortable seclusion. We are now eight 
hours from Chamonix eight working hours, and 10,000 



78 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

feet above the sea-level. The sun is sinking behind the 
needles of the Aicruilles Roucres, and our dav's toil is 
ended. Here we must endeavor to gain such sleep as the 
place affords, and make an early start on the morrow. 
We retire as soon as the bars of slanting sunlight have 
been lifted from the head of Dome du Gouter, which rises 
under the calm sky above us. It is already dark in the 
valley. 

Following the custom, we repose without removing 
any clothing. The night is chill, and three blankets are 
not refused. 

It is always the case that when most anxious to sleep 
we sleep the least. Another party occupies the adjoin- 
ing apartment, and, having no purpose to ascend farther, 
they feel no need of devoting the early hours to sleep, 
But we must turn out at two in the morning. Our 
neighbors' conversation is but partially deadened by the 
board partition, and, though carried on in low tones, is 
but too audible. We make most desperate efforts to sleep, 
but our heads are like beehives when the inmates swarm. 
Instead of sleeping, we perform triple work at thinking. 

At length all is quiet, and the poppy has sweetly com- 
posed our eyelids. 

Rap! rap! it is the guide calling us to another day's 
work. 

We set out at one or two o'clock in the morning, by 
the light of lanterns. Traveling mechanically, and half 
asleep, we traverse an expanse of ice which forms the up- 
per limits of the Glacier de Taconnay, and encounter an 
almost vertical escarpment of ice, about 300 feet high, 
called the Petites Montees. Gazing in dumb amazement 
at this tremendous ice- wall, we notice that the clear but 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 79 

rugged ice below is surmounted by an entablature of 
stratified snow, giving us architrave, frieze and cornice, 
in due succession. We halt for the chief guide to cut 
steps; and then follow in a zigzag path to the Little Pla- 
teau, after a march of three hours. x\n hour later we 
reach the Middle Plateau. This is bounded by another 
glacier cascade called the Grandes Montees, shattered ice 
and vawnincf crevasses, and duskv caverns with icicles 
hanging from their snowy eaves. This slope escaladed, 
we are on the borders of the Grand Plateau. The giant 
domes of the mountains now rise above our horizon. 

The Grand Plateau is a vast plain of snow, or rather, 
a broad, shallow firn-valley, about 13,000 feet above the 
sea-level. It is bounded bv the dome of Mont Blanc, 
which lies directly in front of us. Dome du Gouter at our 
right, and Mont Maudit at our left. The old route pur- 
sued by Balmat and De Saussure lies directly across the 
Plateau; but the labors of the final ascent are terrible 
and the dangers imminent. Another route more fre- 
quented leads to our right, by the Dome du Gouter, and 
thence across the narrow crest connectingr with the bosses 
of the Dromedary and Mont Blanc. This route is joined, 
at Dome du GoCiter, by the path from St. Gervais. The 
third and most frequented route diverges to the left into 
the col or depression, separating Mont Blanc from Mont 
Maudit, and known as the Corridor. 

We are now approaching what has been styled " the 
region of accidents.'' The Grand Plateau is detached by 
a series of Grand Crevasses from the mountain slopes 
which rise on the farther side of it. These crevasses are 
of such width and depth as to be absolutely impassable 
except in places where filled by avalanches of snow de- 



80 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

scending from above. The first catastrophe resulting from 
adventure upon Mont Blanc left three guides buried in 
the Grand Crevasse. It was in 1820 (August 19). Dr. 
Hamel, a Russian naturalist, accompanied by two En- 
glishmen, Messrs. Durnford and Henderson, and eight 
guides, had imprudently forced his guides to proceed from 
the Grands Mulcts on the morning of a da}^ threatening 
stormy weather. They pursued the direct route, and had 
safely crossed the Grand Crevasse. They were climbing 
the last ascent. They were pursuing a zigzag course, in 
single file, about 600 feet above the Grand Crevasse. The 
freshly fallen snow was about 15 inches deep. Suddenly 
it began to slide down the steep descent. One of the guides 
had the presence of mind and muscular strength to force 
his baton in the old snow underneath the new and main- 
tain his position, while the avalanche passed by. The oth- 
ers were thrown from their feet and borne aloncr with 
accelerating velocity toward the pit which opened at the 
foot of the slope. Three of the guides were buried there, 
beneath 200 feet of snow which poured in upon them. 
The others escaped. 

The unfortunate guides lost in the Grand Crevasse 
have furnished mournful testimony to the steady march 
of the glaciers. Forty-one years afterward (in 1861), on 
the lower part of the Glacier des Bossons, some dark ob- 
jects were observed in the ice, gradually approaching 
nearer and nearer the surface. At length they were re- 
moved and found to consist of a portfolio, a piece of a 
pocket diary, a fragment of a bottle, the remains of a 
spiked alpenstock and a lantern. The entries in the diary 
remained perfectly legible, and testified to a certainty 
that these debris had belonged to the unfortunate guides 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 81 

of the Hamel expedition. Two years later some of the 
remains of the bodies of the victims came to the surface; 
and from time to time numerous other fragments have 
appeared and been identified by the clothing which ac- 
companied them. Thus it appears that these bodies trav- 
eled from 26,000 to 29,000 feet in forty-one years, or about 
680 feet a year. As they were buried 200 feet beneath 
the surface, it seems that 200 feet of ice had been melted 
from the surface of the glacier in the same interval. 

A similar accident occurred in nearly the same spot in 
1866 (October 13). Captain Arkwright, of the English 
army, was ascending Mont Blanc with three guides and a 
porter. His sister accompanied him to the Grands Mulcts, 
and there awaited his return. His party was followed 
by Sylvain Couttet and a German gentleman, Winkart, 
whom he was guiding to the summit. The two caravans 
had crossed the Grand Plateau, and were scaling the ter- 
rible steeps leading up to the crown. Arkwright's chief 
guide was in advance, cutting steps in the ice. Couttet 
insisted on relieving him; and so Winkart and Couttet 
passed in advance. This change of positions had hardly 
been effected when a terrific crack was heard in the ice 
above. Couttet, comprehending the situation, cned out, 
"Save yourselves! To the right! To the right! Lie 
down ! " He and Winkart instantly crouched beneath a 
precipice of ice, while a terrific avalanche of huge blocks 
of ice, crashing down the slope above, accompanied with 
clouds of snow and pulverized ice, leaped over them from 
the brink of the ice-cliff which sheltered them. Couttet 
and Winkart were safe, but the other four were hurried 
into an abyss from which no trace of them has ever been 

recovered. 
6 



82 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

What a messacre was left for Couttet to carrv to Ark- 
Wright's sister! He returned to the Grands Mulets, but 
could not summon the courage to enter. He narrated 
the catastrophe to some brother guides, and implored them 
to break the sad news to the young lady, but they could 
not be persuaded. Finally he took courage and opened the 
door. She was seated at the farther side of the apart- 
ment by a window, with an album in her lap, making a 
sketch of the Dome du Goiiter. Sylvain, seeing her so 
tranquil and unsuspecting, -was overpowered by the sad- 
ness of the message which he came to deliver. He paused; 
he remained motionless, without the power to pronounce 
a word. She turned her head; she saw him and cried, 
"My brother, Sylvain!" "I was unable to speak," said 
Sylvain to M. Durier, who relates the incident. '" My 
throat was choked; I could only throw up my arms. She 
turned as white as the snow; she arose; she went to the 
window; she kneeled; she uttered a prayer with her 
eyes toward heaven, then came directly to me and in- 
quired, ' How did it happen?' As soon as I could speak 
I said to her, ' We will look for him to-morrow.' " * 

The Grand Crevasse has been the scene of an accident 
of a different kind. On the 9th of August, 1864, two 
Austrian Counts, Schonkirchen and Wurmbrand, had 
safely effected the ascent, and were returning in the af- 
ternoon, by the same route, across the Grand Plateau. 
They had crossed the Grand Crevasse in the morning by 
a snow-bridge, which, though appearing less secure than 
desirable, carried them safely over. They reached it on 
the return at one or two o'clock in the afternoon. The 
day was mild, and the sun had softened the snow to an 

Durier, ITistoire du Mont Blanc, pp. 84, 85. 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 



83 



unusual extent. The leading guide was proceeding cau- 
tiously over this bridge. He had reached the middle of 
it, when, to the consternation of his companions, he 
dropped suddenly out of their sight. The bridge had 
yielded, and he had disappeared in the icy abyss. They 
tied together the ropes which they carried with them. 




GRAND CREVASSE AT THE FARTHER BORDER OF THE GRAND 
PLATEAU. ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. FR0:M A THOTOGRAPH BY 
J. LEVY ET CIE., PARIS. 

and let the line down into the crevasse, but no hand 
seized it. No voice, no moan arose from the darkness 
which concealed the bottom. The next day a rescuing 
party, brought from Chamonix, lowered one of their num- 
ber 160 feet into the crevasse, but without the discovery 



84 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

of the victim or the bottom. Hair and blood were seen 
on the walls of the chasm, but the remains will only be 
recovered at the end of a funeral march of forty years. 
These accidents all transpired on the direct route. Let 
us turn to the left, and make an ascent b}^ the Corridor. 
We cross the Grand Crevasse and scale the fearful slope 
which borders the Grand Plateau on three sides. We are 
in the Corridor. We have gained an elevation from which 
we look over the Alps into the land of Italy. A stiff 
breeze is drawn through this depression, which penetrates 
to the moistened skin. Such a breeze, in this very spot, 
was the occasion of the first lady victim in the history 
of ascensions. It was on the 2d of August, 1870. Mrs. 
Mark and Miss Wilkinson were on the way to the sum- 
mit in company with Mr. Mark and a couple of guides. 
Arrivincr in the Corridor, the strencrth of the ladies crave 
way, and they resolved to remain with one guide while 
Mr. Mark and the other proceeded to the summit. But 
the frigid wind induced the ladies to seek a position a 
little lower and more sheltered. Mrs. Mark was nearlv 
exhausted and leaned upon the arm of the guide. Sud- 
denly both sank through the snow into a concealed 
crevasse, of which no sign presented itself at the surface. 
Miss Wilkinson's shrieks broucrht back Mr. Mark and 
his guide. Nothing could be heard, and nothing seen, 
except the hole in the snow perforated by the united 
weight of two persons. The guide's politeness had cost 
them both their lives. The next day Sylvain Couttet 
was let down by a rope to the depth of 65 feet. Here 
the walls of the crevasse were so much approximated 
that he was unable to descend farther. By means of his 
staff he ascertained that the fissure enlarged six feet be- 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 



85 



low this strait, and lie could feel there the pile of snow 
which descended with the victims, and beneath which they 
lay entombed. The momentum of their fall had crushed 
them through the narrows of the crevasse, and their 
blood had been left upon its walls to record the terrible 
tale. 




SUMMIT OF MONT BLAXC AS SEEN FROM THE GRAND PLATEAU. 
ASSENT OF MONT BLANC. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY J. LEVY 
ET CIE., PARIS. 



Turning to the right from the Corridor, we ascend, by 
steps cut in the hard snow, the steep which leads to the 
summit of the Rochers Rouc^es. The last rocks seen are 
the Petits Mulets. Thence we ascend another acclivity 
called the Mur de la Cote. This has been also the scene 



86 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

of a dreadful catastrophe. On the 5th of September, 1870, 
a successful trip to the summit had been effected by two 
American gentlemen, Mr. Randall, of Nevvbur^'port, and 
Dr. Bean, of Baltimore, accompanied by Mr. Corkindale, 
of Scotland, and eight guides, in all eleven persons. Not 
one of these ever returned. They were seen from Cha- 
monix to have begun the descent. In a few minutes 
they were concealed from view by thick clouds, which 
were followed by a violent tempest of snow. At evening 
they had not returned. Two days after an effort was 
made by a rescuing party to reach the summit, but the 
unchained tempest compelled them to return. It was not 
till the 17th of September that relief could reach the 
spot where the party had been seen enwrapped in the 
whirlwind of snow. Relief, of course, was unavailing. 
At the summit of the Mur de la Cote were found the 
bodies of Corkindale and two of the guides; a little above 
were the bodies of Dr. Bean and another guide. These 
corpses were completely congealed. The six remaining 
victims could not be found. Some notes in a pocket 
diary of Dr. Bean impart all the further knowledge in 
our possession respecting the last anguish of these unfor- 
tunates. 

" Tuesday, September 6. I have made the ascent of 
Mont Blanc with ten persons, eight guides and Mr. 
Corkindale and Mr. Randall. We reached the summit at 
half-past two o'clock. Immediately after having quitted 
it we were enveloped in clouds of snow. We have passed 
the night in a grotto dug in the snow, which affords us 
only a very imperfect shelter, and I have been sick all 
nicrht. 

September 7, morning. Cold excessive ; much snow, 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 87 

wliicli falls without cessation. The guides are very un- 
easy. 

Septemher 7, evening. My dear Hessie, we have been 
two days upon Mont Blanc, in the midst of a terrible 
tempest of snow. We have lost our way [they were 
only a few steps from the usual line of descent], and we 
are in a hole dug in the snow, at a height of 15,000 
feet. I have no hope of descending. Perhaps this note- 
book will be found and sent to vou. We have nothingp 
to eat. My feet are already frozen, and I am exhausted. 
I have only the power to write a few words. [All this 
was written in characters larger and larger, and almost 
illegible]. Tell C. that I have left the means for her 
education. I know that you will employ them properly. 
I die in the faith of God, and in thoughts of love for 
you. Adieu to all. I hope we shall meet again in 
heaven. Yours forever." 

A catastrophe still different from any which I have 
related transpired in nearly the same situation upon the 
Xorth Calotte of the mountain dome. Three young Scot- 
tish noblemen, brothers, by the name of Young, resolved, 
against all remonstrances, to ascend Mont Blanc without 
the assistance of guides. Following the tracks of a pre- 
ceding caravan, they made the ascent with complete suc- 
cess, on the 28d of August, 1866. The weather was fine, 
and they were watched with telescopes from Chamonix. 
On commencing their descent, it was observed that they 
were pursuing a course a little too far to the north. The 
slope was very steep and very smooth. The hindermost 
brother was seen to slip and commence a glissade. His 
connection with the two others by means of a cord was 
the cause of their fall. Within a few seconds the three 



88 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

brothers had slid 800 feet to the brink of a vertical 
precipice of ice. Ov^er this they shot, and landed 50 feet 
below upon a pile of snow and ice, which carried them 
150 feet farther. All seemed dead for some instants, but 
the oldest was only stunned; the second brother w^as both 
stunned and oppressed by the stupor often experienced in 
ascending high mountains ; the youngest, however, was 
lifeless. 

All this was seen from Chamonix. In ten minutes a 
caravan of eight persons was on its way to the rescue. 
The next day news came from the Grands Mulets con- 
firming all that had been apprehended., The tw^o surviv- 
ins[ brothers had arrived there at nine o'clock in the 
evening, the younger blind. A storm coming on, an- 
other caravan set out to rescue the first, and, at a later 
hour, still a third. The first rescuers had become envel- 
oped in a blinding storm, and could not pick their way. 
They had reached the region of imminent dangers, and 
dared not advance. One of the following caravans found 
them on the brink of that terrific precipice, 500 feet high, 
which stretches from the Mont Maudit to the Rochers 
Rouges, known to the guides as the Grand Pente. All 
arrived safely at Chamonix after the storm, bearing the 
body of the unfortunate youth, whose neck had been 
broken in the terrible glissade.* 

From these narratives it appears that the great dan- 
gers of the ascent lie between the Grand Plateau and 
the summit, and that they consist of five classes: 1. Pro- 
tracted snow-storms accompanied by severe cold. 2. The 

* For the particular? of this and other catastrophes occurring previous to 
1869 1 am indebted to the admirable Guide Itineraire c(u Mont Blanc, by Ve- 
nance Payot, naturalist, at Chamonix For particulars of later accidents I 
have consulted Durier's Histoire da Mont Blanc. 



ASCENT OF MOKT BLAN^C. 89 

disengagement of avalanches of freshly fallen snow. 3. 
The precipitation of avalanches of snow and ice. 4. The 
loss of foothold and a fatal glissade. 5. The treachery 
of snow-bridges over crevasses. 

This catalogue is too long to be very comforting, but 
I think it may be safely asserted that the Chamonix guides, 
if well selected, and allowed to exercise their own judg- 
ment, will not lead the voyager into any very extraordi- 
nary dangers. They are generally an intelligent, truthful 
and honest class of men. Their services are regulated by 
a system of public ordinances, and only guides of knowl- 
edge and experience are permitted to conduct parties to 
the summit of Mont Blanc. 

We complete now our last ascent, and enjoy the fruits 
of the labors and dangers of the past two days. I do not 
like to affirm an exact equation between tlie fruits and the 
labors. It is true that we can turn about and look down 
on the clouds wdiich hover over Chamonix^ and toss our 
heads in disdain over the summit of the terrible Mont 
Maudit. It is true that we can turn upon the heel and 
see below us the summits of the Aicfuille du Geant and 
the Grandes Jorasses, and look down in the dish- shaped 
ice-field which forms the great Glacier de Talefre, with 
the Jardin blooming in its midst. It is true that we can 
discern in the dim distance the conical form of the grim 
and solitarv Matterhorn, and the frosted heads which 
look up to it from the neighborhood. It is true that we 
can turn still farther on our heel and see the fleecy backs 
of clouds which float over the glacier of Ruitors and the 
valley of Aosta, on the Italian side of the Great St. Ber- 
nard. But in all truth and candor it must be admitted 
that the realization is not commensurate with the antici- 



90 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

pation. Even a less impulsive and less sentimental trav- 
eler than De Saussure would feel moved to stamp his 
foot in a sort of impatient disappointment. 

But the situation, though less abounding in spectacu- 
lar interest than we may have anticipated, is plentiful 
in suggestions and reminiscences. This spot has been 
the goal of a great deal of ambition. Besides the idle and 
fruitless ambition of the mere curiosity-hunter, science, in 
the person of De Saussure, labored a quarter of a century 
to accomplish what is now accomplished by not less than 
50 tourists and 100 guides annually. De Saussure made 
a sojourn of two weeks on the rocks of the Col du Geant 
for the purpose of scientific observation. MM. Charles 
Martins, Bravais and Lepileur, more daring, planted their 
tent upon the snow-fields of the Grand Plateau, at an ele- 
vation of 13,000 feet, and there passed several days. They 
improvised a floor of fir boards laid upon the snow. One 
may form an idea of what devotion to science means 
when informed tliat in that situation the rarefaction 
of the atmosphere is such that charcoal ceases to burn 
the moment one ceases to blow it, and that consequently 
these men, assailed by a terrific snowstorm, had only the 
flame of a spirit-lamp to keep them company during the 
night. Their example was followed by Dr. Pitschner, in 
1859 and in 1861; but he placed his tent at the Grands 
Mulcts 3,000 feet lower. In 1859 Tyndall and Frank- 
land, also, spent twenty hours upon the summit, including 
one entire night. They slept with six porters and three 
guides under a light tent upon the snow, the tempera- 
ture of which was but five degrees above zero. Tyndall 
tells us that though the north wind blev/ fiercely, they 
sufiered nothing from cold during the night. They had 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 91 

with them six candles, which they burned one hour. These 
on returning to Chamonix, they weighed, and, after burn- 
inof there another hour, weif?hed acrain. The loss of weicrht 
in each instance was the same. This was a surprise, since 
the liofht of the candles was much feebler on the moun- 
tain than in the valley. The sound of a pistol was found 
to be short, like the pop of a champagne cork. On this 
occasion, posts were planted in the snow at several sta- 
tions, one of which was the summit. To these, register- 
ing thermometers were attached, for the purpose of mark- 
ing the extremes of temperature during the year. Others 
were planted in the snow. In 1860 Professor Tyndall 
made efforts to ascend to the summit to examine his ther- 
mometers, but was repelled by the " execrable weather." 
In 1861 he succeeded. The post remained on the sum- 
mit, but the thermometers were broken.* He states, how- 
ever, that a thermometer left at the summit of the Jar- 
din during^ the winter of 1858 recorded a minimum tem- 
perature of eight degrees below zero. 

Life is not wholly extinct in these glacial solitudes. 
On the most elevated rocks, but a few hundred feet be- 
neath the summit, are found certain species of mosses and 
lichens, and even microscopic animals. There is also an 
insect which makes its home upon the glaciers, and hides 
in the crevices and pores which permeate their mass. 

I must not leave Mont Blanc without giving briefly 
the storv of Balmat. De Saussure had awakened amonof 
the cantoniers of Chamonix a lively interest in the dis- 
coverv of a route to Mont Blanc. He had ofi:ered a re- 
ward to the first who should succeed. Jacques Balmat 
entered into a lively sympathy with the aspirations of 
* Tyndall, Hours of Exercise in the Alps, p 58. 



92 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

the Genevese scientist. " The project," says he, as reported 
by Alexander Dumas, " was alwa^^s in my head, by night 
as well as by day. By day I ascended the Brevent and 
spent hours in searching for a route. By night I could 
scarcely close my eyes before I dreamed that I was on the 
way." One day he told his wife he w^as going to search 
for crystals. He took a baton doubly ironed, and longer 
and stronger than usual, put a bit of bread in his pocket, 
and set out. He had tried the route by the Mer de Glace, 
but the terrible Mont Maudit barred the passage. He 
had gone by the Aiguille de Gouter, but the crest which 
connects it with the Dome du Gouter was found only one 
or two feet wide, and the precipices on either hand were 
1,800 feet deep. "Merci!" He determined, therefore, to 
pursue, this time, another course. He went by the Gla- 
cier des Bossons as far as the Grands Mulcts. Niofht 
overtook him, and he wrapped himself in his blanket and 
sought repose upon the rocks. " Toward nine o'clock," 
says he, " I saw approaching the shadow which mounted 
the valley like a thick fog, and advanced slowly toward 
me. At half-past nine it reached me. Meanwhile I saw 
above me the last rays of the setting sun. They disap- 
peared, and the day was gone. Turned, as I was, toward 
Chamonix, on my left was the immense plain of snow 
which mounted to the Dome du Gouter; on mv right, 
within reach of my hand, a precipice of 800 feet descent. 
I was unwilling to sleep, through fear of rolling off my 
bed while dreaming. I seated myself on my sack and 
commenced beating hands and feet to restore warmth. 

" Soon the moon rose pale in a circle of clouds. At 
eleven o'clock I saw, descending from the Aiguille du 
Gouter, a rascally fog * * * Every minute I heard 



ASCENT OF MOXT BLANC. 93 

the fall of avalanches rumbling like the sound of thun- 
der. The glaciers cracked, and at each crack (craque- 
ment) I felt the mountain move. I was neither hungry 
nor thirsty, and I experienced a singular pain in the head, 
which began at the top of the cranium and descended to 
the eye-brows. The fog was still floating around me. My 
breath froze upon the handkerchief which I had tied about 
my face. The snow wet my clothes; it seemed to me that 
I was naked. I redoubled the rapidity of my movements 
and set myself to singing, to chase away the horrid thoughts 
which came into my mind. My voice lost itself in the 
snow; no echo made response to me." 

Thus he passed the uneasy night. Day dawned at two 
o'clock. Sunrise brought premonitions of storm. Bal- 
mat must not attempt Mont Blanc. He spent the day in 
exploring the glacier, and slept the next night upon the 
solid land. On the third day he descended to the first vil- 
lage, and met some fellow cantoniers, who persuaded him 
to join in an expedition in search of a path to the summit. 
He was entirely reticent about his own undertakings. He 
went home and put on a change of clothing, replenished 
his sack, and at eleven o'clock at night joined his compan- 
ions on a journey to the unapproachable dome. They 
reached the Dome du Goiiter. It was the fourth day of 
Balmat's efforts. He started in advance to cross the crest 
which connects with Mont Blanc. It was so narrow that 
he mounted it astride. Success seemed about to crown 
his gigantic endeavors, but alas! the crest itself was cut 
by crevasses, and he was obliged to retreat. 

His companions had abandoned him in despair. He 
took his sack and descended to the Grand Plateau. He 
was piqued at the treatment of his comrades. He re- 



94 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

solved on desperate adventures. He climbed the terrible 
slope to the Corridor and passed over to the Glacier de 
Brenva. He looked down on Courmaver and the vallev 
of Aosta in Piedmont. He looked toward Mont Blanc 
and thought he saw a way to ascend, but would not, be- 
cause his companions would not be witnesses. It was 
night, and he stood in a wilderness of snows and frosts 
and storms. He descended ; he encountered the Grand 
Crevasse. Darkness enveloped him, and he found no way 
to cross. Xothing but the dire and untried alternative 
of a night upon the ice was before him. Alpine snow 
shot through the air like needles. It was a fearful fate, 
but Balmat's heart never felt fear, nor despondency. 
We must imagine how the night was passed. He looked 
down on the liafhts of Chamonix and thoui^ht of his com- 
panions in their warm beds. He wondered if they would 
think of him. The " craquement " of the glaciers sounded 
from minute to minute. In the intervals of silence he 
heard the barkingf of a docf at Courmaver, " That,'' he 
said, "diverted me; it was the only sound from the earth 
which reached me. Toward midnio-ht the evil cur was 
silent, and I fell again into that devil of stillness which 
one experiences in cemeteries; for I took no account of the 
noise of the glaciers and avalanches which startled me. 
At two o'clock I saw appear in the horizon the same line 
of light as on the two previous nights. The sun fol- 
lowed as before. Mont Blanc also donned his perruque; 
he does this when in bad humor, and then there's no use 
meddling with him. I was acquainted with his character, 
and I determined to leave him undisturbed. ' When he 
smokes his pipe,' as they say in the valley, ' there's no 
use trying to extinguish it.' " 



ASCEKT OF MOKT BLAi^C. 95 

It was the fifth day with Balmat on the mountains. 
He had noticed the steep ascent to the summit of the 
Rochers Rouges. He ascended it ; he looked toward the 
dome of Mont Blanc, and had discovered the long-sought 
ivay of approach. He returned to Chamonix and slept 
forty-eight hours. 

It was two weeks, however, before the weather favored 
the final undertaking. He had confided his secret to Dr. 
Paccard, who liad consented to accompany him in the next 
ascent. They left Chamonix by stealth. None but three 
women knew of their plans. They were to watch for 
the adventurers on the dome at a certain hour on the 
following day. They slept the first night on the borders 
of the Glacier des Bossons. The next dav Dr. Paccard 
was overcome bv the fatigue and somnolence which ac- 
company mountain climbing. He reached the Corridor, 
and a gust of wind blew his hat over the crest toward 
Piedmont. At the foot of the Calotte, or cap of Mont 
Blanc, he refused to advance. Balmat pushed forward 
alone, iron-hearted, iron-framed. The pelting snow 
caused him to keep his head bowed down for protection 
of his face. He noticed a change in the nature of the 
surface. " I raised my head," he says, " and perceived 
that I had conquered at last the summit of Mont Blanc. 
Then I turned my eyes around me, trembling lest I were 
deceived and should discover some new pinnacle, for I 
felt that I had not the strength to climb it. The joints 
of my limbs seemed to hold together only by the aid of 
my pantaloons. But no ; I was at the end of so many 
explorative and fruitless marches. I had arrived where 
no person had yet been, not even the eagle or the 
chamois alone, without other reliance than that of my 



96 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

strength and my will. All which surrounded me seemed 
to be mine." 

He turned toward Chamonix and waved his hat in the 
air. All the village had assembled to witness a human 
beincr on the summit of that white and eternallv solitarv 
dome. All the village! They had confided their secret 
only to three women! 

We leave Balmat to get himself and his half-dead doc- 
tor back to Chamonix as best he may. The doctor was 
blind, and Balmat was equally so on the following day. 
At the end of four days he went to Geneva to notify De 
Saussure of his success; but he tells us curtl}^, " The En- 
glish had got the start of me.'' Brave Balmat! "Bal- 
mat of Mont Blanc," as the King of Sardinia titled him. 
He sleeps at length in a crevasse. Fifty years afterward, 
at the age of 72, he fell from a shelf of rock into the 
depths of a fissure, from which his body was never recov- 
ered, a grandiose and fitting sepulcher for the first in- 
vader of the drear solitudes of Alpine snows and ice. " The 
ancients would have imagined that this conqueror of the 
mountains had disappeared in an apotheosis." 

Balmat's success was in 1786. De Saussure was unable 
to effect his long-desired ascent till 1787. Six days later 
he was followed by an Englishman, Col. Bagle}^ The only 
ascent in 1788 was by another Englishman, Mr. Woldlej'. 
No more ascensions occurred till 1802. From that vear 
to 1853 there were, in all, but 63 ascensions. In 1860 
there was but one reported, though in 1861 there were 39. 

In 1869 we have a record of 54: in 1870. the vear 
of the Franco-German war, 14. The maximum number 
has been 58, in 1873. In 1874 there were 41. 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 97 

The nationalities of the ascensionists are noteworthy. 
From 1819 to 1834 they were all English, except two 
Americans. From 1847 to 1858, inclusive, all were En- 
glish and Americans, except eight. The total number of 
English ascensionists has been 457; of Americans, 82. 
The French have had 75 representatives; Savoy and 
Switzerland, 42. The total number of ascensions has been 
775. Of every nine ascensionists, five have been English 
and one American. English-speaking people have consti- 
tuted two-thirds of the whole. The total number of lady 
ascensionists has been 30; of whom 4 ascended in 1874. 
One was a Spanish lady, who only succeeded on the third 
attempt. Chamonix gave her an ovation for her bravery. 
The first lady ascensionist was Mademoiselle Paradis, of 
Chamonix, in 1809; the second, Mademoiselle H. d'Ange- 
ville, of France, in 1838. The third was an English lady, 
Mrs. T. Hamilton. The first American lady to make the 
ascent was Miss Brevoort, of New York, in 1865. The 
first Americans were Howard and Rensselaer, in 1819. 
There have been six fatal accidents attending ascensions 
from Chamonix. Six tourists have been lost, including 
one lady, only one in 129 persons. No accidents have 
occurred on the Chamonix side since 1870. In 1874, 
however, there occurred a catastrophe on the Courmayer 
side, in an attempt to ascend by the Glacier de Miage. 
Night overtook the party while in the upper region of 
the glacier. They were compelled to keep in motion 
to avoid being frozen. Tliey proceeded with caution, 
cutting steps in the ice; but the voyageur missed his 
footing, slipped, and drew with him his two guides into 
a profound crevasse. One guide only escaped, and the 



98 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

unfortunate tourist now rests in peace in the cemetery 
at Courmayer.* 

These narratives and statistics illustrate a grand fact 
in the experience of mankind. It is further illustrated in 
the connection of mountains with epochal events in the 
world's history. Ararat, Sinai, Horeb, Calvary, Atlas, Ida, 
Pindus, Olympus, Parnassus; these are names with which 
the profo.undest history of our race is inseparably con- 
nected. There is more in mountains than the novelty 
of the outlook from their summits. They stir the higher 
susceptibilities of the intellect by their magnitude, their 
loftiness, their grandeur, the unapproachableness of their 
summits, their symbolism of power and eternity. No 
man can contemplate the aspects presented by a nobly up- 
lifted mountain pinnacle or dome without feeling that his 
thought is expanded, unchained and newly-gifted; and 
that a new birth has been given to the sentiment of the 
sublime within him. There is more than this in the in- 
fluence of mountains. They elicit and exercise the morale 
of the soul. " Hie^h mountains are a feeling^." The 
dweller among mountains has always been free he must 
be free. He in whose soul have been knit the impres- 
sions of wide extended landscapes and noble mountains 
is himself a scion of nobility. Mountains fire the soul 
with a spirit of veneration. They are the symbols of in- 
finite power; they command our worship; whether we 
reason or not, they force us to bow the spirit in their 
presence. They are the homes of frost, and silence, and 
mystery, the brows which bear the wreath of the clouds, 
the eyries of the lightning and the thunder, the pal- 

* These facts, with others in reference to 1874, have been kindly communi- 
cated to me by M. Payot, of Chamonix, since my return to America. 



ASCENT OF MONT BLANC. 99 

aces of infinite power and majesty. They restrain us 
from their presence like august monarchs. They reach 
up to heaven and reflect a celestial radiance down to us, 
while we, in our weakness, must remain below. 

" Net vainly did the early Persian make 

His altar the high places, and the peak 
Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take 

A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek 

The sph'it in whose honor shrines are weak, 
Upreared by human hands. Come and compare 

Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek, 
With Nature's realms of worship, earth and air; 
Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer." 



THE BEAUTIFUL* 



WHATSOEVER is true is beautiful; whatsoever is 
good is beautiful; whatsoever is beautiful is both 
true and good. The world is delightful because it is beau- 
tiful, not because it yields us food and raiment, warmth 
and ease. Science and philosophy delight us, not be- 
cause they afford us knowledge, but because the true in 
the world external to the soul attunes so beautiful a har- 
mony with the soul itself. The truths of science and 
philosophy we apprehend and utilize; it is the beauty and 
sublimity of the truth which we enjoy. The sight of 
spotless virtue, or of a great and noble deed, sends through 
the heart a thrill of pleasure; but not because some bene- 
fit comes to the world; it is because there is something 
in the human soul which stirs in sweet response to a 
thing which is sweetly and grandly good. 

How large a volume of pure enjoyment is conferred 
upon man in the existence of the beautiful! The beauti- 
ful seems created for no other purpose than the enhance- 
ment of the happiness of sentient beings. Blot out of 
existence all which appeals simply to the aesthetic sense, 
and we should still live, and eat, and think, and wor- 
ship, but how would the rewards of thought and wor- 
ship shrink in our esteem! Erase from the soul the power 
to discern the beautiful, and the result would be the same. 

* A commencement address before the State Female College, Memphis, Tenn. 

100 



THE BEAUTIFUL. lOl 

The sky, blue, serene, immaculate, would no longer 
awaken an emotion. The distant star would send its an- 
cient light to eyes leaden as those of the hound upon the 
porch. The exquisite colorings of violet and rose; the 
universal bloom of spring; the fire in the sunset cloud; 
the spirit hum of the breezy forest; the many- voiced 
chorus of morning birds; the dark green depths of the 
ocean, brooding over the wrecked argosies of a human 
race, these all would be mere plain facts to apprehend, 
not inspirations on which to soar. The cloud might water 
the scorching crop without diffusing a radiance of super- 
nal light from its brow, or hanging the love-tinted bow 
upon its bosom. The hill-side stream might convey its 
comfort to the thirstv beast without making^ all the air 
vocal with a music which causes the human heart to leap 
for joy. Man would be able to subsist without pansies, and 
mocking-birds, and rainbows, and stars. If every object 
were brown and square to the visual sense, if every taste 
were bitter as aloes, and every sound the grating of a 
file, and every fragrance the fetor of putrescence, man 
would still be able to live; family relations might sub- 
sist; science might not become extinct, and religion might 
linger as a sapless tree in a rainless clime. 

But such a world is not ours. Such a world does not 
exist. God loves beauty, and because he loves it he has 
made everything beautiful, and because we are like God 
we love the beautiful, and participate in the happiness of 
God. 

The beauty which fills the world is as abundant and 
as free as the sunlight, nay, sunlight and starlight in 
all their infinite wanderings are the very vehicles of 
beauty to every world and to every intelligence. There 



102 SPAEKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

is no monopoly of the world's beauty, no preemption, 
no petty sovereignty to curtail the absolute rights of every 
intelligence to enjoy it. You cannot destroy it, you can- 
not conceal it. Even destruction and death put on hues 
of beauty, and stir our souls with exquisite emotions. 
There is none so poor that he is not a proprietor of 
the world's beauty; none so unlearned that he does not 
understand and discern and enjoy the beautiful. The 
beauty which blesses life does not depart when sun- 
light retires behind the mountain, and leaves the voice- 
less stars glinting down, like Raphael's cherubs from the 
casements of heaven ; nor when the blazing sun arouses 
us to the labors and cares of real life, with the sights 
and sounds of the landscape to cheer us, or the tender 
evidences of some beautiful love to kindle a heaven in 
our hearts. Not when our eyes are closed, even with 
the seal of blindness, can we be robbed of all the beauty 
of the world, for love, which so often enters through the 
eyes, will find some other avenue to our souls; and the 
mind's eye will not be blind, but will contemplate the 
serene beauty of truth; and the eye of religious faith will 
even grow clearer, and the strings of the soul will become 
more perfectly attuned to the influences of heaven, and 
the whole nature will be pervaded by a harmony which 
is both music and light. Nay, when we pass from the 
light of the heaven of stars, do we not enter the light; 
of the serener heaven of blessed spirits? 

The world has been made beautiful to make man 
happy, and art is the translation of the world's beauty 
to man's intelligence. The soul, with its wonderful play 
of faculties and its consummate system of interactions 
with the material world, has been made beautiful, to at- 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 103 

tract us to the study of it and affiliate us to our heavenly 
Father. Virtue has been made beautiful because we pos- 
sess a capacity of admiring and seeking virtue, and we 
have been gifted with this capacity to stimulate us to 
the encouragement and the practice of virtue. The 
genial lisfht of love irradiates our households, not to lure 
us to the service of the individual or the race, but to 
make such service tributary to our happiness. 

Shall we not attempt to secure some glimpse of the na- 
ture of beauty, the sources of beauty, and the faculties 
by which we apprehend the beautiful? Far from us be 
the phrases of metaphysics and the subtleties of the schools. 
I think the nature of aesthetic perception is exposed to 
common sense. There are ideas of reason, thoughts, 
ideals, models of the beautiful uncreated, ideas of order, 
harmony, fitness, symmetry, unity of plan. We cannot 
define them or describe them. The more we attempt to 
bring them forward into consciousness, the more fugitive 
they seem ; but we know such ideas, principles, rules or 
standards are there, in reason. Then the forms or re- 
lations of things, or attributes of characters or lives, come 
to our knowledge, this is an exercise of the understand- 
ing. Next, judgment compares these cognitions of the 
understanding with the imperishable ideals in the reason, 
and pronounces an agreement or disagreement of the ob- 
jects with those standards or criteria of the beautiful. 
Lastly, if the judgment affirms a conformity of the ob- 
ject with the standard of beauty, a peculiar sensibility is 
awakened, which gives us pleasure ; if it is a disagree- 
ment affirmed, the sensibility is painful. Tliis sensibility 
is the cesthetic feeling, and this is the only thing in the 
complete process of aesthetic perception which is peculiar. 



104 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

The beautiful thing is cognized in the same way as a 
mathematical figure is cognized. It is compared with a 
primary datum of reason by the same facult}^ as makes 
comparisons in other cases, and the rational element is 
simply one of the body of regulative principles which 
tacitly, and with most persons, unconsciously, control all 
thinking. The feeling only is peculiar. This, however, is 
immutably distinct from every other power of the soul, 
and proclaims a purpose of the Creator to correlate man 
with the beautiful Avith which he has garnished the world 
of forms, the world of thoughts, and the world of feelings. 

Let this suffice for a search after the faculty by which 
we seize hold of these glorious gifts of God. Let us see 
if we can ascertain 2vhat the heautiful is. If we are un- 
able to define it, we may certainly discover where it re- 
sides, and how varied are the circumstances under which 
the beautiful unveils its face. 

High authorities have ranged the appropriate themes 
of philosophical research under the three categories of 
" The True, the Beautiful and the Good.'' These, it is 
thought, cover the whole ground. There is reason in 
such an analysis; but I, who am not a philosopher, shall 
venture to deny that anything can exist which is beauti- 
ful only. The very concejition of the beautiful is insepa- 
rably coupled with the conception of the good. You feel 
it absurd to affirm the possibility of a beautiful thing 
which does not confer a happiness. 

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." 

So of the true. Contemplate it as a thought to which 
some reality corresponds. Here is a harmony between 
the ideal and the actual which, like all harmonv, awakens 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 105 

an emotion of pleasure. It is beautiful. The true is 
beautiful. 

Think of the spotlessness of infancy. It is a character 
perfectly coordinated with our idea of innocence. We 
apprehend the beaut/ of the moral harmony and experi- 
ence delight. The good is beautiful. 

Think of anything beautiful, a beautiful statue. Be- 
ing beautiful, it conforms to the standard of beauty exist- 
ing in the reason; it is therefore true. TJie beautiful is 
true. In being beautiful it awakens delightful emotions 
and confers happiness. It is so far good. But that true 
beauty which inculcates by example, fidelity to a divine 
idea established in reason, is a moral influence. The 
beautiful is moralUj good. 

It is impossible, then, to contemplate the beautiful 
abstracted from the true and the good. Everythinsr or- 
dained to exist discloses the beautiful in ever-varying 
guise. We must range through the universe and note 
where this spirit from heaven has made her dwelling- 
places. 

First, there is physical beauty, the beautiful in visi- 
ble things. Nature is beautiful. In every realm and in 
every element, the aesthetic sense is feasted on a luxuri- 
ance of forms, and colors, and relations, in which beauty 
is superadded to provisions which seem to occupy the pri- 
mary place. We find nothing which is useful alone; or- 
nament, grace, coloring, finish, are lavished everywhere. 
The variety in nature's beauty is not less striking than 
its universality. It amazes us with its vastness; it con- 
founds us with its minuteness. It is the beauty of su- 
pernal and infinitely blended colors; the serene majesty 
of uplifted mountains, carrying thought to the very heaven 



106 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

with their pinnacled summits, and to the very heart of 
the earth with their deep-rooted bases. Nature's beauty 
is as exquisite as it is universal and varied. The complete- 
ness of nature's attempts at beauty is consummate. Here 
are no signs of limitation of skill, or taste, or power. 
Scan the finest work of a human artisan, and beyond a 
certain limit you detect its imperfections. You gauge 
and measure the possibilities of his skill. But subject 
the workmanship of nature to a similar scrutiny, and 3'ou 
discern an astonishing contrast in the perfection of de- 
tails. Every minutest line and feature is as exquisitely 
executed as the principal ones. Apply the microscope, 
and penetrate deeply the infinitesimal parts; to the ut- 
most limit of your scrutiny, the same perfection of finish 
continues; and when you desist from the search for a 
measure of nature's skill, you leave 3'our task convinced 
that the same careful and beautiful workmanship contin- 
ues on and on, down through the ranks of the infinitesi- 
mals, beyond the power even of reason or imagination to 
penetrate. 

Lift up your ejes on one of nature's landscapes. We 
transport ourselves in thought to Switzerland, the land 
of lakes and glaciers and needled mountain heights.* 
We seat ourselves upon a shaven lawn. Behind us, in re- 
treating order, are flower-plots, and trained shrubbery, and 
proudly ancient oaks; and from the midst of the verdure 
rises dazzlingly the balconied and majestic chateau of a 
Rothschild, a banker king. In front of us is a panorama 
such as no eye can rest upon without a regeneration of 
heart. The grassy turf descends till it loses itself in the 
dark forest, on whose tufted summits we look, over whose 

* See the illustrations to the two preceding chapters. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 107 

summits we look, to the lake of Geneva, with waters as 
blue as the sky which bends over it, and as serene. Far 
along, to right and left, this obverse of the summer sky 
sends up its celestial sheen, and we seem almost to place 
our feet upon the floor of heaven. Beyond is the shining, 
grass-bordered shore, in the rear of which the rounded 
forms of a young forest uprise in expanding succession, till 
the plain is all a-bubble with emerald swells. Toward the 
left, the dark, straight back of the neighboring Voirons 
rises up to bound the plain, and project a line along the 
soft expanse of the sky.* Toward the right the plain is 
strewed with the fields and villas and suburban seats 
which skirt the charming city that crouches behind the 
forest screen erected this side of the lake; while beyond 
the suburban landscape rise the Great and Little Saleve, 
whose parallel courses of mountain masonry may be sat- 
isfactorily studied by the young geologist from the win- 
dow of his school-room in the city. But directly in front 
are the chief objects of the picture. The Voirons and 
the Saleve approach each other in the distance. Through 
the interval which separates them the green and dusk}^ 
mountain-tops emerge in succession into the upper air, 
and the massive Mole lifts its pyramidal form highest of 
all from their midst. Bevond the dark-swellincr moun- 
tain-tops beyond the Mole rises the stupendous form 
of Mont Blanc, his snow-wreathed crown and glacier- 
mantled shoulders radiant as the glory of heaven in the 
afternoon sunlight. * * * From grassy bank and 
mirror lake to rock-ribbed hills and Alpine domes glisten- 
ing in the splendor of eternal snows, what an array of 
beauty is here! What a range of beauty is here! And 

* See Frontispiece. 



108 SPAKKS fro:m a geologist's hammer. 

to this array of natural beauty is added tlie associated 
interest which clusters all about this paradisiacal valley 
and lake. Near this spot, at Ferney, is the picturesque 
old villa of Voltaire. At the left extremity of the lake 
is the mediseval castle of Chillon, redolent of historic lore, 
and preserving still the footmarks of the chained prisoner, 
Bonnivard, worn in his dungeon's ston}' floor. At the 
right extremity of the lake is Geneva, the city of Cal- 
vin, and Servetus, and Rousseau; and directly across the 
lake is Deodati, once the residence of Byron, whose stormy 
genius wrestled with the lightnings which leaped from 
the peaks of Jura in the rear, while he heard 

" Jura answer from her misty shroud 
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud." 

Or, let us ascend the cliffs which break the ocean 
surges at Nahant, and look down upon the towering bil- 
lows as they roll upon the shore frothing with rage and 
sending up a continuous roar along the beach, or howl- 
ing in the windings of the long clefts which split the 
beetling escarj^ments of rock. 

Or, let us ride upon a ship at sea, when sunset gleams 
illumine the summer sky, and the phosphorescent fires 
mark the trail of the vessel till it blends with commingled 

CD 

sea and heaven. The brave ship rises and sinks with the 
dying swell of yesterday's storm, and steams onward 
toward her port. There is no sound in heaven or earth, 
but that which ascends from our little world. The infi- 
nite depths of space are populous but voiceless. The un- 
searchable depths of ocean are populous also, and voice- 
less. There disport the mute monsters whose dominion 
has never yet been invaded by man. There swarm the 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 109 

microscopic inhabitants whose tiny structures are as studi- 
ously and tastefully elaborated as if each were to be ex- 
hibited at the world's millennial exposition. There pass 
to and fro the unspoken messages which weave the web 
that binds the continents in amity. * * * B^t let the 
winds arise from their slumbers. * * * Midnight drops 
her murky mantle on the deck. The sea rolls and heaves 
and groans in an agon3^ Fierce spirits of the air howl 
among the cordage, and flap their rain-soaked pinions 
against the fluttering shrouds. The good ship leaps in 
air, then plunges with a groan beneath the curling, angry 
lip of a wave. The water boards the deck, and again re- 
treats from the well battened hatchways. The flashes of 
an angry heaven make visible the tumult of sea and ship, 
and the threatening thunders, louder-voiced than the ter- 
rific howl of the waves, descend upon the terror stricken 
inmates of the cabin. Terrible, but glorious, is the storm 
at sea. The man who remembers a storm in mid- Atlantic 
possesses a fortune of aesthetic and moral influences. 

Such beauty, such sublimity, are spread over land and 
sea to awaken the aesthetic sense and ensphere us in a 
medium of inspiration and joy. Happy is he who is sen- 
sitive to the myriad revelations of beauty which blos- 
som from land and sea and sky. Were no other reward 
of culture attainable, all our pains would be compen- 
sated in a spirit trained to interpret nature and drink 
the inspiration of her beauty. Hear what one of the ac- 
knowledged ornaments of your sex is reported to have 
said of the beauty of the world: "To me it seems as if, 
when God conceived the world, that was poetry; he formed 
it, and that was sculpture; he varied and colored it, and 
that was painting; and then, crowning all, he peopled it 



110 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

with living beings, and that was the grand, divine, eter- 
nal drama.*' * 

The beauty of humanity is another sort of physical 
beaut3^ It is bathed, however, and suffused and lighted, 
in its full development, by beauty of soul. There is no 
presence which mute and motionless speaks with such 
subduing power as the human mien. In its different 
moods, as terrible as the stormy sea, or as placid as the 
summer lake, or fathomless and suggestive as the blue 
depths of the sky. Here is my dark-eyed bo}^ in his fourth 
summer;' look on him in sleep; in outline what a master- 
work of the divine artist; but within the gracefully chis- 
eled form is all the mystery and the beautv of life warm- 
ing his tinted skin, throbbing visibly through all his 
frame. ^ ^ ^ Now his lids are parted; those dark 
eyes look out from the land of the spirit avenues to a 
mysterious world a depth too deep for even imagina- 
tion to explore. Oh, who has not gazed into those deep, 
melting, trustful eyes of childhood, and tried to penetrate 
their soft, bewitching, spiritual haze? There is a light 
and warmth of heaven in them still, and I feel it, and 
I sigh to think the fire of heaven is destined to be smoth- 
ered by the ashes of a mortal life. I could worship as 
well as love the boy, for I feel that he is yet a divinity. 

I know not whether the spiritual is so inseparably 
blended with the material in man that it becomes impos- 
sible to contemplate beauty of form apart from the beauty 
of the informing spirit; but I am of the opinion that 
the perfect human figure is the most beautiful blending 
and interfusing of lines of beauty Avhich nature has ever 
produced. An ascetic theology may affect to despise the 

* Charlotte Cushman. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. Ill 

body, may even learn to contemn it with profane and 
lamentable sincerity, but it is the workmanship of a di- 
vine artist, which he has pronounced suited to be the 
casket of his own likeness. I would not dare yield to 
the Greek in admiration of its divine beauty. I accept 
the verdict of the cultured intelligence of all the ages. 
The perfect human form we shall never cease to admire. 
The beautiful face or figure sheds a gratuitous joy on all 
beholders. 

The instinct to seek to appear beautiful is universal. 
Some of us are obliged to content ourselves with ap- 
proaching the beautiful only so far as to become pleas- 
ing. None need fall short of this. But whosoever can 
become beautiful may regard himself divinely called to be 
beautiful. Beauty and duty chime as well in substance 
as in sound. The ambition to be beautiful is not only 
right, it is ennobling, it is obligatory. Bji^it beware 
of counting mere personal beauty the cliief end of life. 

The jDrerogative of supreme personal beauty belongs 
to the sex which, by unanimous impulse, we pronounce 
gentle. I have beforehand the undivided verdict of my 
own sex when I pronounce a beautiful woman the most 
perfect expression of the ideal of physical beauty. Beauty 
of person spiritualized by a quick responsive intelligence, 
beaming and sweet with a transparent benignity of soul, 
crowned with the queenly mien, and sceptered with the 
regal gait which are her birthright, makes woman the 
mightiest moral power in existence. The history of the 
world is mv voucher for the statement. 

"The power o' beauty reigns supreme 
O'er all the sons of men." 

James Hor/g. 



112 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

The most exquisite attempts of the painter have not re- 
produced her tints and tones and shadows. The most 
ideal efforts of the sculptor have not conferred warmth 
and softness and life upon the cold marble. The most 
divine eloquence has not portrayed the depth of feeling 
and purpose in the fathomless spirit of her eyes. The 
most angelic muse has not given expression to the native 
poetry of her movements. She is the spirit of painting, 
and sculpture, and eloquence, and poetry, incarnate. She 
is the arch-triumph of all the arts in a single achieve- 
ment. 

It seems to me that such a creature should be happy 
with her possessions and her prerogatives. 

This supreme expression of beauty, it must be observed, 
is not, after all, the product of purely physical qualities. 
This highest beauty is never discovered save when the 
reflex of a cultured soul blends in the features of the 
face. Mere physical beauty of person we recognize and 
admire, but supreme, commanding beauty receives its 
crown and halo from the radiant soul within. A cul- 
tured mind gives charm to the face, and a gentle and 
disciplined and benignant heart shines winningly through 
features which are not of classic mould. 

Hear what one of the closest of modern observers of 
human nature writes of one of his ideal characters: 

" There is a beauty too spiritual to be chained in a 
strins: of items : and Julia's fair features were but the 
china vessel that brimmed over with the higher loveli- 
ness of her soul. Her essential charm was, what shall 
we say ? Transparence. 

" You would have said her very body thought." 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 113 

Modesty, Intelligence, and, above all, Enthusiasm, shone 
through her and out of her, and made her an airy, fiery, 
household joy. Briefly, an incarnate sunbeam." * 

Beauty of person, then, is something which may be cul- 
tivated. Hence the aspiration to be beautiful is not a 
vain one ; were it so, kind nature would not have im- 
planted it in our hearts. I do not speak at random when 
I affirm that women with cultured minds and hearts 
excel in beauty those who remain ignorant and perverse. 
From the day when a course of intellectual and spiritual 
training begins, you may detect an improvement in per- 
sonal attractions. I appeal to every teacher for con- 
firmation. And now I wish to say more: culture confers 
not alone spiritual beauty, but also plvjsical beauty, which 
in turn becomes a more perfect vehicle for the beauty 
which is spiritual. Mind and body act and react. The 
cultured daughters of the city and the town are more 
comely than the unlettered drudges of the alleys and of 
the frontier. This condensed lesson I would have pla- 
carded in illuminated letters upon the wall of every lady's 
boudoir: As you would he beautiful, he intelligent, he 
good. 

How vain, then, are rouges and dyes and other 
cosmetic inventions! Beauty is not made of paint 
and powder; it is the temple which health builds for a 
pure, bright spirit; or, as St. Clement of Alexandria 
says, " Beauty is the free flower of health." f The 
tricks of misguided vanity cannot be passed unnoticed. 
They have woven a thread continuous through the web 
of feminine history. Hear what Aristophanes catalogues 

* Charles Rcade, Hard Cash, Boston ed., p. 6. 
Clemens Alex. Pied., Bk. ill, cli xi. 



114 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

among the artifices of his Greek countrywomen two 

thousand years ago: 

"Snoods, fillets, natron and steel, 
Pumice-stone, band, back-band, 
Back-veil, paint, necklaces. 
Paints for the eyes, soft-garment, hair-net, 
Girdle, shawl, fine purple border, 
Long-robe, tunic. Barathrum, round tunic, 
Ear-pendants, jewelry, ear-rings. 
Mallow-colored, cluster-shaped anklets. 
Buckles, clasps, necklets. 
Fetters, seals, chains, rings, powders, 
Bosses, bands, olisbi, Sardian stones, 
Fans, helicters." * 

We have no such cataloc^ue to offer as suited to our 
own times. There is but one item on which the female 
mind seems generally agreed as essential to the adorn- 
ments of the present day, which is not in some sense 
tolerable to the fairly balanced masculine judgment. That 
one thing, I am pained to sa}^, strikes more fatally at 
female beauty than would be possible for all the "snoods" 
and " fetters " and " helicters " enumerated b}^ Aristopha- 
nes. This one thing is "banged hair," a style to be 
seen in perfection among Eskimos and Australians, and 
one wliich contributes materially to impart to the women 
of tliose races their characteristic expression of unmiti- 
gated idiocy, a fashion which ought to disappear from 
civilized society as fast as nature permits the hair to re- 
turn to its divinely appointed condition. 

Manly beauty is, even more than womanly, a reflex of 
the inner adornment. Homer, speaking of the true origi- 
nal beauty of man says, 

"At first, he was a lion with ample beard." f 
* Aristophanes, Tliesmox)horiazous(X. t Odjjsseij, iv, 457. 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 115 

Physically he seems adapted to command respect rather 
than admiration. His beauty is symbolical. As the knit 
muscle expresses strength, we fear it as a foe, or trust it 
as a friend. The strong chest expands like something 
safe to lean upon. The capacious front is the natural 
symbol of god-like wisdom for command and security. 
The features acquire interest as they become interpreters 
of the calm or the tumult, the tenderness or the rage, the 
joy or anguish, which reigns within the temple. The 
manly models of Greek sculpture excite our admiration 
only as they recall the beauty of heroism, or fidelity, or 
patriotism, or some other noble virtue. The Apollo Bel- 
videre, so often assumed as the type of manly beauty, 
has neither the moral symbolism, the proportions, nor 
the mien of the manly ideal. What beauty the statue 
possesses is feminine, a good Apollo, but not a man. 
The stalwart strength and intellectual resolve of manly 
character are not expressed. In the famous cartoons of 
Raphael we have the opposite extreme. Muscle is de- 
veloped to brutal proportions. The rayless, prehistoric 
countenances above such extravagant frames are the most 
fitting harmonies which I have been able to discover, for 
instance, in the " Miraculous Draught of Fishes." How 
much truer an instinct has Raphael disclosed in his fSis- 
tine Madonna. 

Age has its own beauty. True is it, indeed, that the 
beauty of old age is also, to a large extent, symbolical. 
It is a picture of a time grown venerable. It is a 
symbol of experience and wisdom. It is our admoni- 
tion of the decay and silence which come to all of us. 
It is a sunlight gleam from another world through a 
rift in the clouds which obscure our mortal vision. But 



116 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

old age cannot be all of this unless it follows a cultured 
and virtuous life. The old agje of the is^norant and the 
hard-worked degenerates into decrepitude, and wrinkles, 
and imbecility. A peasant woman of seventy or eighty 
years, with face cross hatched with wrinkles, and antique 
coif drawn down over her time-blasted brows, with no 
past memories worthy to rehearse, and no present inter- 
ests to inspire a gleam in her withered eye, and lift her 
bent form for outlook into the affairs which stir the world 
to-day, is not an object of beauty, whatever of interest 
or domestic aftection may hallow her presence. But what 
a different picture is presented by such octogenarians as 
Mary Somerville, Caroline Herschel, William Cullen Bry- 
ant, Peter Cooper, Victor Hugo, or Guiseppe Garibaldi. 
Ah, it is intelligence and serenity, and urbanity, the 
memory of life improved, the expectation of heavenly 
welcome, which make old age beautiful. It is the well- 
developed brain which blossoms as a century plant when 
the light of another world begins to descend upon our 
heads. 

Still other forms of beauty enter our souls through 
the senses, the beauty of motion and the beauty of 
sounds. Those curves which agreeably impress the aesthetic 
sense impress it with a livelier sentiment when they be- 
come the paths of moving objects. The swaying of a 
willow in the wind; the undulations of a field of grain; 
the circling movements of the quadrille or waltz; the ser- 
pentine course of a rivulet across the plain; the spray 
rising from a waterfall; the course of a ship on the 
water, or of a bird in the air, these are familiar ex- 
amples of the beauty of motion. Music is the beauti- 
ful addressed to another sense. The occasion does not 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 117 

permit me to raise the question, What is the subjective 
nature of music? Has music an existence independent 
of sound? Would music exist if there were no precipi- 
ent beiniTs to receive harmonious vibrations? I venture 
the opinion that the rhythm of music is one element 
of its pleasing effect; and then, as tone, the product of 
synchronous vibrations, is but another sort of rhythm, 
it ma}^ be that musical rhythm and melody and harmony 
yield us aesthetic gratification for the ultimate reason 
that all are measured, harmonious impressions upon the 
sensorium, like the equal intervals in a file of soldiers 
or other objects regularly repeated. This would be one 
step toward a generalized expression of the nature of 
the beautiful in sound and in certain forms, and I think 
that in its broadest signification the beautiful may be 
formulated under the principle of harmony or correspond- 
ence; but the discussion must be passed by. 

It is not alone in formal music that sound assumes 
the character of the beautiful. From the chimes of 
cathedral bells to the jingling of the merry sleigh-bells, or 
the "drowsy tinkling" of the cow-bell in the distant field; 
from the solo of a Lucca to the warblinof of a wood- 
thrush, or the purling of a mountain trout-brook; from 
the majesty of a sacred chorus to the distant bleating of 
the homeward herd at sunset, or the cheery chattering 
of a bevy of school-girls on a picnic; from the deep bass 
of the organ to the hoarse voice of the thunder, or the 
moaning of the south wind in the pine trees, these all 
are easy transitions to forms of sound which in them- 
selves are beautiful, and are often doubly pleasing from 
the fond associations with which they renew our pleas- 
ures past. 



118 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

I must pass from forms of beauty which reach us 
through the sensuous perceptions; and lest I should seem 
to leave the treatment of the subject too incomplete, I 
must remind you of two modes of the beautiful which 
reach us through the internal perception. The first is 
the BEAUTY OF TRUTH. It is giveu especially to the scholar 
to discern and enjoy it. To look out beyond the little 
sphere which bounds our personal life, and discern a uni- 
verse so designed that every feature strikes a responsive 
chord in us ; to discover a God, a heavenly father, as 
the reality after which our human souls had longed ; to 
consider the admirable system of correspondences and 
adaptations through which every object which exists con- 
tributes to the well being of every other; to contemplate 
the unity of truth, as in the science of quantity, where 
the same result comes out whether sought by logarithms 
or by sines, by trigonometry or by equations; to think of 
the majestic unity of the system of worlds, all knit indis- 
solubly in a cosmic organism, so that, whether sun or 
planet, star or nebula, each is a living picture from the 
life-time of every other, such revelations of the unity, 
the grandeur, the vastness, the unchangeableness of truth, 
enter the soul which opens its portals for them, and at- 
tune every fibre to a song of ecstacy. This is the Te 
Deum of the intellect. This is the beatitude of science. 

The second mode of the beautiful revealed to the in- 
ner sense is moral beauty. Wherever right maintains 
a manful conflict with wrong ; wherever the stout and 
brave arises for the defense of helplessness and innocence; 
wherever the martyr for freedom of intellect or conscience 
hurls defiance at his persecutors, or reveals a fortitude 
stronger than the fear of death ; wherever friend sacri- 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 119 

iices himself for the love of his friend ; wherever the 
mother watches and waits in anxious vigils by her sick 
child's bedside; wherever the father, for his family's sake, 
welcomes the care and labor which waste his powers and 
sap his life-blood; wherever a stricken heart pours its 
libation of tears and rekindles a tender memory over 
the tomb of buried love, in all these acts of blessed and 
beautiful human life we feel that there is drawn up from 
the deep susceptibilities of humanity something which is 
divine and infinitely beautiful. Oh, how blessed to attain 
such beauty as this! 

In the reason of every one exists the idea of perfect 
virtue, unspotted purity We think of that ideal purity 
with a feeling of admiration, with a feeling of aspira- 
tion. Oh, who has not sighed for a nearer approach to 
that ineffable excellence? 

"Nearer, my God, to thee." 

Who has not wept that with all his aspirations and aims 
he has fallen so far short of this standard? I never en- 
countered a pure and guileless character but I felt like 
falling in worship before it. And my reverence is height- 
ened when sinlessness has been won in the conflict of 
temptation and the storm of passion. 

Our human life is embellished and beautified' witli pic- 
tures of immaculate purity blended with helpless inno- 
cence. The little children which throng our pathways and 
cling to our necks, beautiful messengers which come 
out of heaven throusrh the clouds which settle about the 
celestial heights, touch our hearts and melt them with 
the sweet radiance of their innocent faces, utter a few 
phrases which live more imperishably in our memories 



120 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

than the aphorisms of the wise, and then unclasp our 
necks, close their eyes and return to heaven, are they 
not the very person of beauty revealed in the flesh? 

I remember, I shall always remember, the heart- 
moan of a dear friend, a stalwart friend, but touched 
with the tenderness which bereavement brings, sheddinor 
his tears over the buried remains of his little daughter: 
" She was not transformed,'' he said, " she was translated. 
She was always an angel ; how she came from heaven I 
never knew, but she was amongst us; she spoke our lan- 
guage, but always with a meaning moi'e than the words 
conveyed. We gave her a name, but she was never called 
by it. She named herself. Undoubtedly she remembered 
the name she bore in heaven. There was always a fra- 
grance of heaven about it. No one could take it upon 
his lips but in love. She bears that name in heaven 
again. In my nightly roamings," he said, "through that 
other world, which is not beyond the stars, but just be- 
hind the veil of life, I have heard that name uttered by 
gentle lips, sisterly lips, in whose every accent I rec- 
ognized voices I had once known in my waking hours." 

Oh, there is a beauty in tears, whether of the widow 
pleading with heaven, or the stout heart crushed in a 
mysterious bereavement. 

The world is redundant in beauty. Human life is radi- 
ant in beauty and redolent of heaven; and the invisible 
world, whose threshold only thought can cross, and whose 
fabric is built of the eternal truth, is the apocalypse of 
the beautiful to the eye of intelligence. Wheresoever 
beauty abides, there is cause for human joy. I love to 
forget the toils and sorrows of life, exultant in the bliss 
of glimpses which come from a life on the sunny side of 



THE BEAUTIFUL. 121 

all earth's gloom, for even the clouds, when they must 
weep, are still radiant with the light of heaven. 

You will pardon a few parting sentences, such as 
manhood may speak to youth. I would leave you these 
words of encouragement. I would they might be words 
of inspiration. Hard trials will come, but be beautifully 
brave ; be beautifully resigned ; be beautifully hopeful. 
Seek for the brightness of the world. You have placed 
open the doors of your souls for the admission of knowl- 
edge, and culture, and discipline, and gentleness. These 
guests of your soul have garnished it, and added beauty 
is shining from your eyes and beaming from your fea- 
tures. Let the doors stand open. Give generous hospi- 
tality to these angel agencies of loveliness of character. 
Press into the presence of the beautiful and hold living 
communion with it, the harmonious, the graceful, the 
brave, the faithful, the devoted, the patient, the hopeful, 
the pure. Think on them. Learn chief of all to admire 
and strive after the beauty of character exemplified in 
Him who knew no guile, and who offered his life for 
love of a world which had rejected him. Then, after 
having enjoyed the beauty of God's world, you will leave 
behind you the memory of a beautiful life, and renew 
existence in the smile of Him whose unfailincj love, in 
earth and sea and heaven, in song and smiles and tears, 
in life, and even in death, reveals itself in the Beautiful. 



THE OLD AGE OF CONTINENTS. 



" rrilME writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow," said 
-^ Byron, as he laid his hand upon old ocean's mane, 
" Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now." Byron 
had wandered in poetic reverie among the vestiges of an- 
cient empires, and sighed to think how the greatest works 
of human genius dissolve to dust. He had saddened, per- 
haps, at the thought of his own inevitable fate, and fancied 
that in the " deep and dark blue ocean " only could be 
discerned " the image of eternity." Had Byron learned 
that the seven hills themselves, on which had sat imperial 
Rome, were but the vestiges of an older order of things, 
and that even solid continents have crumbled like the 
Coliseum, a deeper tinge would have colored his habitual 
melancholy. Happy had it been for Byron could he have 
practiced the belief in the existence and eternity of his 
own spirit, which he sometimes confessed, for there is 
nothing but spirit which bears " the image of eternity." 

The "everlasting hills," the fancied types of solidity 
and endurance, are but a passing phase in the history 
of terrestrial matter. The mountain's sullen brow has 
frowned where quiet vales expand themselves to the morn- 
ing light, and fields and cities smile where rugged cliffs 
and abysmal gorges long delaj^ed the advent of a race 
that had been heralded through the geologic ages. 

Even continents have their life-time. They germinate; 
they grow; they attain to full expansion and beauty; they 



123 



THE OLD AGE OF CONTINENTS. 123 

fulfill their mission in the economy of matter and of life; 
the furrows of senescence channel their wasted faces, and 
they return to mud and slime whence they were born. 
The very substance of the solid floors which underlie the 
soil of American freedom, is but the dust of continents 
decayed. As modern cities are sometimes built from the 
ruins of ancient temples on whose sites they stand, so 
the dwelling place prepared for man by the hand of Na- 
ture is but the reconstructed material of a more ancient 
continent, the work of N^ature's " ' prentice hand." The 
vertical thickness of fifty thousand feet of sedimentary 
strata measures the depth of the rubbish accumulated 
from mountain cliffs and continental slopes that have 
been transformed by the wand of time. We sometimes 
forget thnt the total volume of our stratified rocks is 
but an index of the denudations and obliterations that 
have been wrought. Much calcareous material has, in- 
deed, been yielded by the sea, but the sea first filched 
it from the land. 

The revelation made by every formation which we 
study, from the liottom to the top of the Palseozoic series, 
points to the north and northeast as the origin of the 
stream of sediments that spread over the bottom of the 
American lagoon which stretched as a broad and shallow 
ocean from the rising but yet submarine slopes of the AUe- 
ghanies on the east, to the embryonic ridges of the Rocky 
Mountains on the west. Northeastward of the present 
continent have undoubtedly existed supplies of incalcula- 
ble magnitude of which the merest vestiges remain. The 
geologist leads us to the region north of the great lakes 
and the St. Lawrence river, and points out the Lauren- 
tide Ridge as the nucleus of the eastern portion of our 



124 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

continent. Around its bases have been wrapped layer upon 
layer of accumulating sediments, till the ocean has been 
banished from a broad belt of his ancient dominion. But 
this, instead of being the real nucleus of the American 
continent, is but the vestige of that nucleus. How vastly 
inferior in height and breadth, and especially in north- 
eastward prolongation to that primordial continent whose 
crumbling shores and denuded slopes afforded material 
for the broad sheets of Silurian, Devonian and Carbon- 
iferous strata which stretch a thousand miles in every di- 
rection! Where lay the dissolving lands which furnished 
substance for the ponderous Alleghanies? It must be 
that vast areas have disappeared from view. Though I 
believe, with Dana, that the modern continents were out- 
lined in primeval time, and the ocean still reposes in his 
ancient bed, we must not be too exact in the enuncia- 
tion of our faith. The Aleutian Islands, stretching from 
Alaska across the North Pacific, are but the protruding 
vertebrse of an eroded ancient ridge which welded the Ori- 
ent to the Occident. New England, Gaspe, the Labrador 
elbow, these all reach toward the site of an obliterated 
prolongation, a friendly arm of the American conti- 
nent stretched out to greet the continental arm of Europe 
extended from the British Archipelago toward America. 
Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Prince Edward's, Anticosti, 
these are but the highest summits of that wasted ridixe, 
as Ireland and Great Britain are the relics of the ridore 
responsive to this upon the European side. The subma- 
rine plateau, along whose back creeps the great Atlantic 
cable, though sunken ten thousand feet beneath the reach 
of further denudation, is but the stump of an ancient 
continent that has been gnawed to the very foundations. 



THE OLD AGE OF COKTIXEKTS. 125 

It is interesting to reflect that advancing civilization has 
at last reestablished the amicable intercommunication 
of two continents which had been embraced, perhaps, in 
the ordinations of primeval time. 

Such are the reminiscences of a wasted continent of 
which the Laurentide nucleus is but a trace. We stand 
upon this venerable relic of long- forgotten lands, and the 
current of time sweeps by, bearing upon its dark bosom 
the wrecks of other continents born of earthquake and 
flood in the later ages of terrestrial history. But though 
we intend to rescue from oblivion the tales inscribed upon 
these disappearing ruins, thought lingers fondly and rev- 
erently and inquiringly around the scorched and beaten 
brow of this Laurentide Ridge. What was its mother? 
And where was its birth-place? These ancient granites 
and thickly-bedded gneisses, thrice baked and crystal- 
lized by the fiery ordeals through which they have passed, 
bear, nevertheless, the ineff'aceable traces of old ocean's 
work. Here are the lines of sediment which betray the 
parentage of these hardened and storm-beaten rocks. 
Back into another cycle of eternity imagination plunges 
in search of that more ancient land that was recon- 
structed in this " primordial '' ridge. To say that it did 
not exist is to say that old ocean could pile up masonry 
without a supply of bricks and mortar. In the realm 
of thought that earlier land looms up, but its bounds 
and borders are obscured by the overhanging fogs which 
haunt the earlv twilight of time. The skies themselves 
are strange, and our science gropes for the data which 
shall fix the latitude and longitude of this undiscovered 
country. Was it still another pile of rocks reared by the 
labors of water? Or was it a mass of ancient slag, the 



126 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

first-born products of primeval refrigeration of a molten 
globe? There was an earliest land, a dome of lava just 
cooled from the fiery ab^^ss of molten matter, a film of 
frozen dolerite or pophyry stretched around the fluent 
globe, a solid floor on which descended from the gath- 
ered clouds the waters which formed a sea without a 
shore. There must have been a time when the surges 
were first summoned to their work. To assert, with Hall, 
that it is idle to dream of such a beginning, because, for- 
sooth, the traces of the morning's work have been ob- 
literated by the operations of mid-day, is to plunge into 
the fallacies of a philosophy fashionable in some quar- 
ters, and narrowly assert that there is no knowledge but 
that which the senses certify. 

We turn now our thoughts down the stream of time, 
and note the relics of later revolutions. Not for eternity 
were laid the floors of the Old Red Sandstone strata which 
once stretched, perhaps, from the Catskills to Massachu- 
setts Bay. Not for eternity were reared the Appalachian 
summits whose elevation celebrated the close of Palaeozoic 
time. The Catskills are but a pile of horizontal strata; 
spared by the gigantic denudations which scraped the 
face of New England to the bone, and washed away a 
third of the Empire State. The continuation of the Cats- 
kill strata is discovered again in Pennsylvania, Western 
New York, Ohio, and Michigan. Who shall undertake to 
delineate the topography, the drainage, the vegetation, the 
populations of that ancient New England surface which 
now lies strown, perhaps, from the bottom of Long Island 
Sound to the farther shore of New Jersey? Who shall 
write an epic on the fortunes of that mythical forefather 
land? The summits of the Alleghanies, geologists tell us, 



THE OLD AGE OF CONTINENTS. 127 

have settled down some thousands of feet. . Their huge, 
protruding folds, plaited together in comj^act array, have 
been planed down to their innermost core; and from the 
chips have been produced the lowlands of the south At- 
lantic border, like the waterfront raised in a modern 
city by carting down the sand-hills in the rear. The very 
coal-beds interwoven in their stony structure are but the 
fossilized swamps of an ancient continental surface that 
has disappeared, clothed once by forest trees whose fam- 
ily types have dropped from the ranks of existence, and 
populated by those strange amphibians, half fish, half rep- 
tile, which, like the fabled Colossus, bridged the chasm 
between two dominions. 

There was a long and mediaeval time in American 
history of which our records are mostly lost. The coal 
lands had been finished; the atmosphere had been purged; 
the Appalachians had been raised, and from their bases 
stretched westward beyond the destined valley of the Mis- 
sissippi an undulating upland but lately redeemed from 
the dominion of interminable bogs. The western border 
of this land skirted a mediterranean sea throucrli which, 
probably, the Gulf Stream coursed, in certain cycjes, at 
least, from the tropics to the frozen ocean. Here was 
accumulated a soil; here descended genial rains; here 
flourished tropical plants, and here wound majestic riv- 
ers, fed by their hundreds of tributary streams. All traces 
of this continental surface have disappeared. Terrestrial 
animals must have populated the spacious forests; insects 
uttered their sleepy hum amid the luxuriant foliage of 
evergreen conifers; sluggish Labyrinthodonts crawled from 
beneath the shade of perennial Cycads, and mailed and 
armored fishes fought against the invasion of more modern 



128 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAM3IER. 

types in waters bordered by forests of plane-trees, poplars, 
and a multitude of other forms already assuming the as- 
pects of the finished age of the world. This ancient home 
of vegetable and animal life spread over the States of Ohio, 
and Indiana, and Illinois, and Kentuck}^, and all the re- 
gion contiguous to these. River channels were dug whose 
very locations we seek in vain. Cities and villages and 
verdant farms now stand upon sites above which waved a 
somber forest whose every trace has been wiped from the 
face of the continent, while the very soil in which their 
roots were bedded has been transported to the Gulf of 
Mexico. Those broad and fertile plains performed their 
part in the history of terrestrial preparations, and like 
the pictures on the lithographer's stone, they have been 
completely erased, to be succeeded by the next scene in the 
succession of continental landscapes. 

There was an ancient surface on which was growing 
the cinnamon, the plane-tree, the magnolia, and other 
tropical and sub- tropical forest-growths. It stretched 
from the borders of the Atlantic to the slopes of the Pa- 
cific, and from the Mexican Gulf to the shores of the frozen 
ocean. It was the American continent now first extend- 
ing its limbs after a protracted embryonic growth. We 
are not positively informed whether to the east of the 
Mississippi this continent was the continuation in time of 
that which resulted from the chans^es closinsr the Carbon- 
iferous Age; but we well know, since Dr. Newberry's 
explorations, that in the far west, over the Colorado plains, 
was a vast region which had but recently emerged from 
the bed of ocean waters.* Here lies the " o-reat central 

*J. S. Newberry, in Ives' Colorado ErxiedUion. See later and more de- 
tailed information in the government reports, especially the Atlas of Colorado, 



THE OLD AGE OE CONTIIS'ENTS. 129 

plateau " of the continent, formed of the vast stony sheets, 
piled one above the other, which have never been tilted 
from their approximate horizontality since the beginning 
of Palaeozoic time. And here, again, we are led to inquire: 
Whence so vast an amount of sedimentary material, strewed 
through Palseozoic, Mesozoic, and Tertiary ages, over the 
bottom of that broad continental ocean? Where now those 
wide-extended lands or towering mountain ridges whose 
dissolving substance yielded sand and cement for the Ti- 
tanic masonry of a new-made continent?* Wherever it 
was, and vv^hatever it was, the " tooth of time " has gnawed 
it to a skeleton. It is a continent of the past, worn out by 
the uses to which nature has subjected every continental 
area in turn, and which to-day are wearing out and de- 
stroying the land on which, for the passing time, the hu- 
man race, like those which have preceded it, has found 
a momentary foothold. 

But the great central plateau, once freshly formed from 
the older lands which were exhausted in its formation, is 
in turn but the ruins of a former fruitful and smiling 
region. For nearly a thousand miles in breadth, and 
probably two thousand miles in length, stretching from 
the Mormon monarchy southward far into the republic 
of Mexico, a frightful desert reigns. Naked rocks and 

compiled under the direction of Dr. F. V. Hayden, and the accompanying text; 
also Capt. C. E. Button's Geology of the High Plateaus of Utah, prepared under 
the direction of Maj. J. W. Powell. 

* INIr. Clarence King, in his Survey along the Fortieth Parallel, has shown 
that a groat western continent existed during Palaeozoic time in the western 
portion of the Great Basin or present Nevada plateau, which was mostly sub- 
merged at the end of Carboniferous time. By the end of Jurassic time, the Sierra 
Nevada and Basin Ranges to the east had become uplifted. At the end of the 
Cretaceous, the Uinta and Wahsatch ranges appeared, together Avith some new 
portions of the Rocky Mountains. It is probable that the denudation of these 
regions supplied a large part of the sediments which went to build up the vast 
plateau regions in Colorado and Utah. 
9 



130 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

thirsty sands, and slirubless, treeless wastes are only di- 
versified by yawning chasms and dismal canons and Cy- 
clopean walls rising in the distance from height to height, 
.like the gigantic steps by which the monster Typhon 
scaled the realm of Jove. Once on a time a thousand 
mountain streams leaped down upon this plain, and gath- 
ered themselves by degrees together, and grew into the 
majestic Colorado, which glided quietly, or by occasional 
falls, into the gulf of California, itself now shrunken to 
half its former dimensions. At intervals, expanded crys- 
tal lakes, turning their mirror surface toward the sun as 
cheerfully as ever smiled Lake George. The incumbent 
atmosphere drank copiously from the abundant waters, 
and returned its deluo^es of thanks in coolinof summer 
showers. Thus herb and shrub and forest tree rejoiced, 
alternately, in smiling sunlight and refreshing rain. The 
great central plateau was the prairie region of the con- 
tinent. It was this, perhaps, while the region east of the 
Mississippi was lying a worn-out desert waste, unreno- 
vated since the age which witnessed the elevation of the 
Alleghanies. But the ceaseless erosion of running streams, 
for thousands of years unnumbered, has sunken the water- 
courses of the central plateau to the depths of hundreds 
and thousands of feet ; every lake is drained ; the local 
supply of moisture has disappeared ; the streams have 
withered in their ancient channels ; vesretation has re- 
treated to the mountain slopes; the giant Cereus alone 
rears its specter form like a ghostly visitant to the graves 
of its former kindred. 

There is reason to believe that before the advent of 
the glacier epoch nearly the whole of North America was 
a worn-out continent. It is possible, however, that most 



THE OLD AGE OF COKTIJ^ENTS. 131 

of the denudation of the central plateau has occurred 
during and since the prevalence of glaciers over the 
northeastern portion of the continent. As to the region 
east of the Mississippi, however, we know that it was an 
upland continental area, while even the rocky foundations 
of the great plateau were accumulating in the bottom of 
an ocean. It is difficult to conceive how this eastern 
region, on the advent of the glacier epoch, could have 
presented a surface greatly less eroded and desert than 
that which the Colorado valley presents to-day. Vegeta- 
tion, undoubtedly, held possession of the borders of the 
water-courses; and it must be remembered tha conditions 
of atmospheric precipitation were, even at that time, as 
much superior to those of the arid western plains as they 
now are. Nevertheless, the local sources of humidity 
had mostly dried up, and the ancient rivers had sunken 
hundreds of feet into dismal gorges that were destined to 
be their graves. Traces of these fossil river-channels are 
frequently encountered. Dr. Newberry has pointed out 
their existence in Ohio ; General Warren has indicated 
their presence in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Dakota. The 
latter has also shown that a depression of the northeast- 
ern region of the continent, which is even now in prog- 
ress, has turned northward and eastward the drainage 
of Winnipeg and other lakes which once poured their 
surplusage through the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. 
The great glacier, in its movement over the surface of 
the Northern States, together with changes of level and 
the action of torrents of water springing from the bosom 
of the dissolving ice-field, has totally transformed the 
face of this portion of the continent. The ancient river- 
courses have been filled ; the rugged, eroded and naked 



132 SPAEKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

rocks have been reclothed with fresh materials for vesfeta- 
ble sustenance; the surface is again strewed with vapor- 
making lakes, and plants and animals, and man himself, 
find in the renovated continent the fitting conditions of 
their prosperity. 

But this last stage of things can no more be perma- 
nent than that which has preceded. The present conti- 
nent is destined to experience the symptoms of senescence 
and decay. Every year the untiring streams transport 
new portions of the land into the bottom of the ocean. 
The AUeghanies mingle their tribute to the sea with that 
which is yielded by the distant Rocky Mountains. 

'^The Father of Waters 
Seizes the hills in his hands and drags them down to the ocean." 

From age to age the mountain-tops are descending to the 
plain; the rounded hills are shrinking; the gorges are deep- 
ening; the changing vegetal growths are responding to 
the changing conditions; the present is passing away; once 
more the wrinkles of age will furrow the face of the con- 
tinent, and the populous organisms which had found a 
fitting home upon it will exist no more. The valley of 
the Mississippi is no more fertile than was once the valley 
of the Colorado. We read in the present condition of the 
latter the destiny which awaits the former. The slow but 
inevitable steps are in progress before our eyes. The 
" image of eternity " can be discerned neither in the ocean, 
which is but an instrument for the accumulation of solid 
land, nor in the rocky foundations of the land, which 
from cycle to cycle are re-wrought into the masonry of 
renovated continental surfaces. Man himself, who popu- 
lates but one of these successive " time-worlds," is destined 



THE OLD AGE OF CONTIKENTS. 133 

to yield to impending revolution. Human history is but 
a scene in the moving panorama of life, and its term is 
no less certain than that of the Mesozoic saurians. It 
may be the last scene, but it will not be perpetual. Its 
limitations are inscribed upon the scroll of the geologic 
ages, and proclaimed in the events of the passing hour. 

Neither can the series of continental renovations con- 
tinue without limit. The time must come when the earth 
itself will be " in the sere and yellow leaf." The forces 
which hoist a continent dripping from the depths of a re- 
cent ocean will be weary of their labors. Already they 
act with greatly lessened energy. These, like all other 
forces, are seeking rest. Equilibrium and stagnation are 
the goal of all mechanical activities. Uplifted mountains, 
denuded continents, obliterated seas, appearing and dis- 
appearing races, these are all but the incidents of the 
progress of all terrestrial forces to a state of ultimate re- 
pose. Not only has nature fixed the limits of our race; 
slie has equally staked out the duration of the present ter- 
restrial order, and proclaimed in the ears of all intelli- 
gences that the flow of events which we trace so clearly 
to a remote beo-inning^ is destined, in the distant future, 
to be merged again into ancient chaos. So the perpetu- 
ity of the cosmical order is not insured by the laws of 
matter alone. An omnific Arm begins, sustains, controls 
the evolutions of the successive cycles of material history. 

The indications of continental decay at which we have 
glanced are worthy of further study. I shall, therefore, 
resume the theme and point out other cases of continental 
wastage which have resulted in obliteration. 



OBLITERATED CONTINENTS. 



THE mute and inanimate rocks, to one who questions 
them, are rich in teaching and suggestions. They 
speak not; they bear no record in any human language; 
yet, in reason's ear, they are vocal with instruction; to 
reason's eye they are all luminous with the thought which 
beams from the hieroglyphics inscribed upon their pages. 
It is a further lesson of wastage which we propose now 
to study. The rocks are not imperishable; and theii 
very disappearance is a text for reflection. I stand be- 
neath a beetling cliff, perchance the beetling sandstone 
cliffs of Chautauc[ua county, in New York, or of the " Pict- 
ured Rocks " at Lake Superior, or, perchance, those banded 
and variegated courses of crumbling masonry which wall 
in the valley of the Upper Mississippi, and there I per- 
ceive not only that a portion of the rocky mass has been 
removed, but also that which remains is merely the de- 
bris, the ruins, of some former rock or rocks which were 
ground to fragments to build up the foundation which 
constitutes these massive walls and these overstretching 
shelters. If I scrutinize any of these cliffs, I find them 
composed of grains of sand. It is a quartz sand. In those 
words I imply that a quartz rock has at some time been 
broken into fine fragments. Some agency has assorted the 
fragments and brought the finer ones together here, in 
these magnificent ranges of sandstone precipices, in these 

134 



OBLITERATED CONTINEKTS. 135 

extensive sandstone formations, which underlie whole coun- 
ties,-^ which underlie, or have underlaid, states broad 
enough for an empire. 

How few of us have reflected in this direction. The 
very rocks which underlie Chicago or New York are a pile 
of ruins. Everywhere, the rocks are almost universally 
old material made over, who can say how many times 
made over? The geologist formerly discoursed of fire- 
formed rocks; and regarded granite and its associates as 
rocks that had assumed their present condition from a 
state of fusion. Now we are persuaded that granite, like 
sandstones, has had a sedimentarv oriorin. It was once a 
mass of sand and mud upon a sea-bottom. Heat has sub- 
sequently baked the materials, and almost obliterated the 
ancient lines of stratification. The rocks now admitted 
to be of igneous origin are few. Only ancient and mod- 
ern lavas are fire- formed rocks. 

How vast, then, has been the destruction of the land in 
ancient times! The entire mass of the solid crust of the 
earth save only the lavas must be taken as the meas- 
ure of the wastage or denudation of the older lands. 
Reflect upon the thickness of these strata, reaching, per- 
haps, a hundred thousand feet, and enwrapping the entire 
globe. Only the oldest layers or formations are absolutely 
continuous; and the very newest occur in patches of limited 
extent; but the newer as well as the older underlie all the 
seas, and the mean thickness is so vast as to convey a vivid 
idea of the amount of work which has been done by geo- 
logical agencies in diminishing, or even obliterating, conti- 
nental masses whose sites are now lost, or known only 
from survivingf vesticres. 

Tt is an interesting thought, an impressive thought, 



pf" -"- 



. I V 



-^ them, are 

not; they I 

yj't in f'^SOn*!) 

tM.-iims iroin ti 
It i> ii further 

to sti. The 

yy disa|)|)earai 
ith a l>cetli: 
h of Chant. 
id \l 

1(1 variegated ( 
ii the vallrv ' 
ceive not oni\ ; 
removed, but , 
f'ris, the ruii 
ground to li 
consti 





I 



\'TIN"E''S. 



137 



extensive 
ties, ^v ; 
enougli 

How 
very i 
of r; 
Ohi 
mau'j 



1, arid Ir 1. formed of the 
This I- disappeared by 
from bene;ii. It is possible 
ue portion of ils primitive lava- 
level of thniicient ocean. Tt 
in land iiiuilt of the ruins 
But I dee it more probable 
rials have bei more than once 
ver the truth i ay lie in this re- 
on of the oldt rocks which we 
ence of an olterated continent, 
in continent I self. On its own 
of enorniou magnitude. The 
uiaterial rest li? lumber piled on 
'S of the Lanntide region tlje 
ling place sonn thousands of feet 
f^vels as they now \ist. Clearly, the 
.la at one time a mcntain chain which 
vn to moderate levs by the action of 
Turn toward the ea^vard prolongation 
of Canadian hills noli of the St. Law- 
ent land abuts again the coast of Lab- 
the navigator brings s new suggestions, 
immet has felt of thncean's bottom all 
vfoundland to Irebd. There is the 
On this Y< great Atlantic 

n this shallow water, a;ng this submerged 
^ not discover the stumpjf the ancient pro- 
he Archiean land? Areiot Newfoundland, 
New Brunswick, and th -rualler islands of 
f, remaining patches of aontinent^l prolon- 
b has been worn down Ir + be waves? And 



f 



138 SPAEKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

are not Ireland and the smaller contiguous islands on the 
European side the vestiges of the remote extremity of the 
Archaean land of America? And were not Great Britain 
and America once united in bonds of granite? And is 
not the telegraphic cable which reunites them an instru- 
ment for the fulfillment of a destiny? 

Who can declare whither the substance of the Archeean 
continent has gone? Where are the cubic miles of stuff 
which have been taken from the hisrher altitudes of the 
Laurentide range, and from that Atlantic prolongation 
which is now reduced to a submerged stump? I think we 
may safely say the sandstones of Potsdam, in New York, 
are formed from Archsean material. The cliffs at Little 
Falls and Albany are formed of materials contributed b\^ 
the older land. I think we may say that the vast beds of 
Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous strata account for 
some of the material missinsj from the ArchEean continent. 
There are the Alleghany mountains, or better, the entire 
Appalachian chain, built out of coarse materials brought 
from the northeast. We know thev came from the north- 
east because the materials grow coarser in that direction. 
The lighter fragments the sands and clays are trans- 
ported farthest from the shore. It was the sea which per- 
formed this work of transportation. It was the sea which 
conspired with the storms of heaven in tearing down the 
old land to convey it into the territory of the United 
States. There, in a long stream, stretching from New 
Eno-land to Alabama, the " dust of a continent to be " was 
laid down in the bottom of the ocean. 

Now, in this search for continental relics, turn south- 
ward. There are the West India islands, composed also 
of ancient rocks, perhaps mostly, certainly not altogether. 



OBLITERATED CONTINENTS. 139 

of rocks of the same age as those forming the Lauren- 
tide hills. I think it probable another continent spread 
over the Caribbean Sea at the time of the continental 
connection of America and Europe. There, where that 
primitive continent la}^ are Cuba, now, and Jamaica, and 
the lesser Antilles, hundreds in number, the rags and 
tatters of a land once continuous perhaps beautiful 
perhaps enduring until the middle ages of geological his- 
tory, and then populated by the grotesque forms of rep- 
tiles, which were, in that time, the highest and the dom- 
inant type of beings upon the earth. That West Indian 
continent overlapped a small portion of South America. 
Guiana was annexed to that which has become the West 
Indies. All other parts of South America were beneath 
the sea. The Andes ah! the Andes were building re- 
ceiving, probably, the self-same material which was dis- 
appearing from the West Indian continent. Stretching 
from Cuba northward was the ocean, whose northern shore 
was in Canada, in later times in central New York. 
Here, where rise the cliffs which we ignorantly style 
" everlasting," was then the empire of the ocean. There, 
where Neptune now holds almost undisputed sway, rose 
ranofes of granitic mountains, w^iicli have melted into sedi- 
nient. Tennyson has happily rendered the thought: 

" There rolls tlie deep where grew the tree. 
O earth, what changes hast thou seen ! 
There where the long street roars, hath been 
The stillness of the central sea. 

" The hills arc shadows, and they flow 

From form to form, and nothing stands; 
They melt like mist, the solid lands, 
Like clouds they shape themselves and go." 

In Memoriam, cxxi. 



140 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Turn next to the opposite side of the globe. Southeast 
of Africa is a group of islands which Milne-Edwards first 
desii^nated as the remnant of a wasted continent. Mada- 
gascar, the Isle of France, the Isle of Bourbon, and their 
associates, seem to be the vestiges of an obliterated land, 
which the French zoologist proposed to call the Mascarene 
continent. Lemuria is a name now generally employed 
to designate an obliterated land which embraced the Mas- 
earene continent, and stretched eastward over a portion 
of the site of the Indian ocean, perhajDS far enough east- 
ward to embrace the East India Islands. There, at least, 
seem to be the remnants of an ancient land which fulfilled 
its destiny before the broad plains and stupendous moun- 
tain chains of Asia had first received the sunlight. This 
lost continent is named Lemuria, because there is evidence 
that it was the original, the central home of the Lemurs, 
the lowest of the monkeys, from which all higher types 
of four-handed animals are descended. Lemuria was a 
central land for animal and vegetable life. Here, it is 
fancied, the human species began its existence, its diverg- 
incr streams extendinsr themselves to all other lands, and 
developing upon them the various races of men as we 
know them. In Africa, human beings became Negroes 
and Hottentots; in Australia, Australians and Papuans; in 
Hindustan, Dravidians; in Eastern Asia, Mongoloids; in 
central and western Asia, the Mediterranean race. The 
theory implies that the progenitor of the Mediterranean 
race made his appearance long, ver}^ long, after the first 
human being appeared in Lemuria. In consequence of 
these speculations, the lost continent of Lemuria possesses 
a high degree of interest. There organization first reached 
its culmination. Thence, as a center, the modern tribes of 



OBLITERATED CONTIi^EKTS. 141 

plants and highest animals have diverged into other parts 
of the world. 

But let us return now to America. On our northwest 
coast we reach a point within 39 miles of Asia. Beh ring's 
strait, which separates the two continents, is a channel 
geologically modern. There was a time when an isthmus 
connected the lands now dissevered by a strait. America 
was then, like Africa, the prolongation of Asia. Over this 
isthmus traveled the Hairy Mammoth from Siberia, and 
left his teeth and bones all the way from Asia to the Gulf 
of Mexico. Over this isthmus came the Mongoloid man, 
who settled America, and developed the Mexican and Yu- 
catese and Peruvian civilizations; and, in other regions, 
became the red Indian, the Eskimo, and the Aleut. Yet 
we have evidences of a wider communication between Asia 
and America. The whole of Beh ring's sea is formed of 
shallow water. On its southern boundary we find a pre- 
cipitous descent into the bed of the great Pacific. Here 
is another continental stump. Here is another telegraphic 
plateau. May the time soon arrive when human enter- 
prise will take nature's hint and reunite the mother land 
with our own. But there are the Aleutian islands; what 
means that wonderful chain arching from the Alaskan 
point across the north Pacific to Japan? Are not these 
the vestiges of the mountain barrier which bounded the 
ancient continent of the north? What are these volcanic 
islands but the smoking chimney-tops of another Andes, 
sunken in the watery depths? 

These are the relics of continents which have disap- 
peared. Their substance has entered into the upbuilding 
of other lands, as the pyramids have yielded material for 
the construction of modern cities. There rise the Hima- 



142 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

layas, whose very bricks bear the records of the Lemurian 
age. There rise the Rocky mountains, enriched by the 
pillage of a land whose misfortune it was to perish be- 
fore human pens existed to celebrate its beauty. There 
tower the Alleghanies, only as a majestic dirt-heap result- 
ing from the destruction of the North Atlantic continent. 
There rises the Andean rampart of South America, reared 
for the benefit of the human age, but at the cost of a pre- 
human land of verdure and beauty whose very rags we 
style " the beautiful Antilles." 

There was an ancient land whose name has loni? sur- 
vived in tradition as Atlantis. It has been lost to human 
eyes and to human knowledge for more than thirty-five 
centuries. Plato, in the Timceus and in the CrifJas, has 
preserved for us a tradition said by him to be embodied 
in a lost poem by Solon, who lived two hundred years 
before Plato, in the sixth century before Christ. Solon 
pretended to have learned the tradition of Atlantis from 
the Egyptian priests, from whom he received much of the 
learning which made him one of the " Seven Wise Men " 
of Greece. This lost land was situated beyond the Pillars 
of Hercules, and was the seat of a civilization far supe- 
rior to that of the cave-dwellers who inhabited Europe. 
It possessed, according to Plato, cities and palaces and 
temples. It supported a vast army, and, nine thousand 
years before Plato, dispatched a military expedition for 
the conquest of northern Africa. Only Egypt successfully 
resisted. Plato's date of 9600 b.c. must be taken in an 
oriental sense. The Athenian kings, Cecrops and Erech- 
theus, mentioned as contemporaries of this campaign, are 
known to have flourished 1582 and 1409 b.c. Theopompus 
tells us a similar story respecting the people of Atlantis; 



OBLITERATED CONTINENTS. 143 

but it varies sufficiently to indicate a distinct source of 
information. The priests of the ancient inhabitants of 
Gaul, also, known as Druids, and the successors of the 
Cyclopes, or cave-dwellers, possessed traditions collected by 
Timagenes and preserved in the " Fragments of Greek 
History," by Ammienus Marcellinus, according to which 
that country was invaded by a numerous people who came 
from a distant island. Marcellus also informs us that there 
were formerlv seven islands in the Atlantic ocean near the 
European continent, which we now recognize as the Cana- 
ries. He adds that the inhabitants of these islands pre- 
served the memory of a much larger island, Atlantis, 
which for a lonsf time exercised dominion over all the 
other islands of the Atlantic. Other historical mention 
might also be cited tending to convince us that, at a re- 
mote period, a large island existed to the west of the straits 
of Gibraltar, and which, by some convulsion of nature, or 
by the slow erosion of the elements, has been extinct for 
3,500 years. 

Now the soundincf-line of the mariner comes ac^ain to 
contribute its data to the solution of the puzzle of Atlantis, 
"the fabled Atlantis," as we please to call it. Some of 
my readers will recall the newspaper announcement, a few 
years since, that Commander Gorringe, of the U. S. sloop 
Gettysburg, had discovered a bank in the Atlantic ocean, 
thirty-two fathoms beneath the surface of the water, which 
was covered with a growth of living pink coral. The Get- 
tysburg Bank is less than a hundred miles from the coast 
of Portufjal. A hundred miles west of this is the Jose- 
phine Bank, in 82 fathoms of water. These observations 
led to the collation of soundings by other government 
vessels. In January, 1873, the British ship Challenger 



144 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

sounded over the same and contiguous regions; and in 
July, 1874, the German ship Gazelle. The result is the 
discovery of another continental stump. It stretches from 
the Madeira islands to the coast of Portugal, and from the 
Canaries to the African coast, and thence to Gibraltar. 
The Canaries and the islands of Madeira, Desertas, and 
Porto Santo, are undoubtedly the relics of a former conti- 
nent. 

Behold the fable of Atlantis converted into modern fact! 
as Schliemann has made the mvths of Homer solid his- 
tory. This sunken land lies exactly in the position of the 
ancient Atlantis. The Guanches, or original inhabitants 
of the Canaries, were the remnants of the nation which 
sent its conquering armies against the Berbers and the 
Tyrrhenians and the Gauls. But the Guanches had lost 
all memory of the warlike deeds of their ancestors; they 
were even icrnorant of the existence of the continents of 
Europe and Africa, and declared to the discoverers of their 
islands, " God placed us on these islands, and then forsook 
and forgot us." These Atlantidean people were known in 
Europe as Iberians. They belonged to the family of Ham- 
ites, and were members of the Mediterranean race, to which 
we belong. 

We have no need to plunge beneath the sea and explore 
for fossil continents to be convinced that continents have 
their old age. The records of wasted areas are illuminated 
by the daily sun. The Alleghanies have been lowered nine 
thousand feet. When, at the close of the Coal Period, the 
crust of the earth yielded to the long-increasing strain, 
huge folds were uplifted from Vermont to Alabama; and 
some of them attained an altitude of 15,000 feet. Since 
that fearful throe of nature, the elements have been busy 



OBLITERATED CONTIN'Ei^TS. 145 

taking down what the forces of upheaval had reared. 
Cubic miles of the Alleghanies have been reduced to sand. 
The proud summits of the mountains lie strewed along 
the humble shores of the Atlantic States. 

There stand the Catskills, a pile of horizontal leaves 
of red sandstone. Abruptly, on either slope, the rocky 
strata terminate. There was a time when they continued 
eastward across the valley of the Hudson. The wear of 
chiliads of years has carted the formation away. There 
was a time when they continued westward across the en- 
tire southern border of the state. Those cliffs at Panama, 
in Chautauqua county, are a remnant left as a specimen 
of the formation, for the edification of the student of na- 
ture. The huge blocks of the " Rock Cities " of Alleghany 
and Cattaraugus counties in the same state are samples left 
for the encouragement of geologists in those regions. 
Other specimen rocks of the Catskills may be seen in places 
from Delaware county westward. It is fearful to contem- 
plate the immensity of the mechanical power which could 
carry away the surface of half a state to the depth of a 
thousand feet. Here, at fifty cents a cubic yard, would be 
a perennial job for the contractor of the " New York ring." 

Without leaving the same state, let me take the reader 
to the ridsfe road which runs aloni? the south shore of 
Lake Ontario. Here the broad sheets of sandstone, lime- 
stone and shale which underlie the state come to the sur- 
face and terminate in an abrupt cliff. Beyond is Lake 
Ontario. What has become of the missing continuation 
of these formations? 

Go to the Niac^ara sroreje: see how the faithful indus- 
try of an agent "as weak as water" can accomplish re- 
sults which defy the capacity of human engineering. Here 



146 SPARKS FR03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

was the Niagara, as busy in Mesozoic time as to-day as 
busy in Cenozoic time as if its work were just begun. 
There is the living gorge, and there is the old gorge, 
buried in its grave. Buried with materials obtained by 
tearing to pieces some other land, buried b}^ that agency 
which piled up these hills of gravel and sand which 
everywhere diversify the surface of our northern states; 
which brought these acres of loose deposits from the 
worn and wasted sides of aiorthern hills ; which dipped 
its flinty plow-share in the back of the surface rocks of 
every northern state, and ripped up the rubbish which 
has filled many an old river channel, and plastered over 
many an unsightly scar which the wear of time had cut 
in the face of the land ; the same agency which scooped 
out many of the lake basins, and scalped the hills for a 
booty to bestow on a desolated and sorrow-stricken coun- 
try. It was the continental glacier which did this work; 
and the desolated country was a land that had been 
weathered and worn by the erosions of unknown cycles 
of time, a land gashed with the deep-cut gorges of long- 
wearing streams; gullied by the summer torrents of many 
geologic periods ; robbed of its slender soil by the pro- 
longed denudations of the surface; a worn-out continental 
expanse, a land exhausted in the service of the beasts 
which had held dominion here through Cenozoic time, 
but a land destined to receive a higher being, and now 
renovated by such thorough-working agencies for his re- 
ception. 

He who has visited the flourishing city of Nashville 
finds it situated in the bottom of a basin, a great natural 
basin, scooped in the rocks of central Tennessee, whose 
sides are layers of Lower Silurian, Upper Silurian, De- 



OBLITERATED CONTINENTS. 147 

vouiaii and Carboniferous rocks. It is a basin a hundred 
miles in diameter and a thousand feet in depth. On the 
east and the west, on the north and the south, the same 
succession of rocks rises in the bounding wall. There 
can be no error in my conclusion that these formations 
were once continuous from side to side. Here, then, is 
another example of the wastage of the land. The central 
mass of Tennessee was needed to build up the Cretaceous 
and Tertiary formations as a foundation for Alabama and 
Mississippi. 

Still, the most gigantic examples of denudation occur 
in the far west. The canons of the Colorado, made famous 
by the explorations of Newberry and Powell, are river- 
gorges cut six thousand feet deep through the rocky forma- 
tions of the country. All the lateral affluents of the 
Colorado have dug similar trenches. They intersect the 
surface in every direction, and render it almost impassa- 
ble. Of these gorges Joaquin Miller writes: 

" Down in a canon so cleft asunder 

By saber stroke in the young world's prime 
It looks as if broken by bolts of thunder, 
Riven and driven by turbulent time." 

So/igs of the Sierras. 

The soils are washed away; the naked rock bakes in the 
summer sun, and no cooling shower mitigates the fervor 
of the climate. This desert of the continent was once its 
garden. The ruin has been wrought by the same agen- 
cies which have desolated Palestine till the white bones 
of the hills protrude where vineyards once blushed, and 
olive trees cast their delicious shade. It was the same 
agency which is preying to-day upon the farms of New 
York and New England, and is planning to skin the soils 



148 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

again from the sterile rocks, and leave the continent as 
lean as before the " reis^n of ice." 

In that western country, but farther north, in W3^o- 
ming, Major Powell has discovered an enormous fault or 
break through the rocks. On one side the ponderous 
crust of the earth was uplifted 25,000 feet, more than 
four miles. The reader may picture a vertical wall four 
miles in height. He may imagine himself standing at its 
base and looking upward. Its summit is dimmed by the 
smoke of distance. Its summit is half the time immersed 
in the clouds. He need not imagine such a cliff; it is 
not there; it has been planed down; the leveling tendency 
of nature would not tolerate such inequalities. Twenty- 
five thousand feet of solid rocks have been moved awav. 

These are examples of erosion on the existing conti- 
nents. I could point to many others, to the dissolution 
of the hills of Texas, and their distribution over the plains 
nearer the Gulf-border; to the wearing away of the east- 
ern coast of the United States ; to the isolated hills ris- 
ing 800 feet along the valley of the Amazons, standing 
as vestiges of an extensive formation, which, in times 
geologically recent, has covered the valley ; to the enor- 
mous erosion of the continental mass in the neisrhborhood 
of the mouths of the Amazons and Para; to the evidence 
that the North Sea has been dry land since Tertiary 
time, and that the Thames was then a tributary of the 
Rhine ; to the proof that the English channel has been 
excavated since the advent of man in Europe ; to the 
Chinese record of hydrographic changes in China, which 
have shifted the positions of great cities hundreds of miles 
in relation to the sea. 

But I must close the citation of these evidences of the 



OBLITERATED COIS'TINENTS. 149 

invasion of old age upon the beauty, the symmetry and 
the habitability of continents, by raising the question of 
the rate of erosion of their surfaces. If we look about 
us, we discover the evidences of i?reat change in the con- 
figuration of the hill-sides within a few years. One sum- 
mer's rains plow unsightly gullies in our cultivated fields 
and across our streets. These changes, resulting from 
local transfers of earthy material, are filling lakes and 
draining marshes, and transforming the hills ; but it is 
only the transfer of the continental substance to the 
ocean's bed which threatens the total obliteration of con- 
tinents. The sediment carried down by rivers is an ex- 
ponent of the efficient wastage, and the rate of disap- 
pearance of the land. The sediments of the Mississippi 
have been carefully measured by Humphreys and Abbott, 
government engineers. The river discharges annually 
sufficient earthy material to form a mass one mile square 
and 268 feet deep. In other words, it is sufficient to 
extend the bar at the mouth of the river 338 feet annu- 
ally. They also estimate that the material of the entire 
delta of the Mississippi may have been deposited within 
5,000 years. These quantities of sediment are vast, and 
impress us with a conviction that the solid land is disap- 
pearing at a rate which is almost alarming. But these 
volumes of sediment are gathered up from so vast an 
area that the lowering of any particular square mile is 
insignificant in any limited time. New York contributes 
something to this deposit through the Alleghany and 
Ohio rivers. The Rocky Mountains send their quota 
to mingle with the mud floated from New York and 
Pennsylvania; and all the great tributaries of this great 
artery of the continent reach out their myriad fingers 



150 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

over the farms and plantations, the hillsides and the 
mountain gulches, to filch, as fast as they can, the fleeing 
soil from the possession of the cultivator and owner. 

" The Father of Waters 
Seizes the hills in his hands, and drags them down to the ocean, 
Deep in the sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth." 

Eoangeline. 

Professor Croll estimates the lowering of the lands 
through denudation to amount to one foot in G,000 years. 
The basin of the Ganges, however, has lowered one foot 
in 2,300 years. On the contrary, Mr, Reade, a civil en- 
gineer, estimates that England is lowered by denudation 
onl}'- one foot in 13,000 years. He calculates that 500,- 
000,000 of years must have elapsed since the first sedi- 
mentary rocks were laid down in Europe, an estimate 
evidently absurd, and throwing suspicion over his other 
estimates, since Sir William Thompson has shown from 
physical principles that 100,000,000 of years are all the 
time allowable since the beofinninsf of incrustation on the 
earth. Similarly, Col. Forshey calculates that the Missis- 
sippi river would fill the Gulf of Mexico in 1,000,000 of 
years. 

All calculations are merely approximate. I am per- 
suaded, however, that the conclusions of Croll and Reade 
respecting the rate of denudation are quite below the 
truth ; while, on the other hand, I suspect that the esti- 
mated age of the Mississippi delta by Humphreys and 
Abbott is quite too small, as I would hold that the opin- 
ion of De Lanoye, who assigns 6,350 years as the age of 
the Nile delta, is also too moderate in its allowance of 
time. 

From this outline of the facts we perceive that conti- 



OBLITERATED CONTIN'ENTS. I5l 

nents are wearing out. Each continental area abides its 
time, and gradually yields to the destructive agencies 
which are always at work. Each period of the world's 
history has had its continental surfaces for the accommo- 
dation of its appropriate populations. When the period 
lias reached its close, the continents have been exhausted, 
and renovatinsf ao-encies have been summoned to restore 
their pristine condition. When impaired beyond recu- 
peration, the powers of nature have been invoked for the 
uplift and utilization of new continental masses, which 
througrh acres had been building^ under water, out of the 
stolen materials of older lands. So our own farms and 
mountains will ultimately disappear, and the footing of 
the human race will vanish beneath their feet. A wasted 
continent and a wasted world must cease to retain its 
organic populations. Thus we see a promise of release 
of our race from the planet to which it is now confined. 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 



~[ row shall the mind obtain relief from the oppressive 
-^ *- idea of eternity which confronts it on every page of 
geologic history? 

We seize upon a thread of relations, and follow it back 
through the whirl of terrestrial revolutions till the head 
swims and the vision grows dim, and the symbols of dura- 
tion cease to excite any adequate emotions, as when words 
of eloc[uence fall upon ears of lead. We lift the veil which 
conceals the future, and cast our glances down the vistas 
of coming time; but again our thought is paralyzed, and we 
sink into the depths of eternity as stupidly as the reptile 
withering in his rocky crevice. 

Oh, for an expanse of thought that shall permit us to 
seize upon the years of God! This world of ours, we have 
been told, instead of being the result of creative energy 
put forth six thousand years ago, is the product of revolu- 
tions that have exhausted millions of vears in their con- 
summation. The twenty or thirty populations which have 
passed like shadows over the surface of our planet, have 
each had a duration at least equal to that of the existing 
population, whose beginning stretches back into the fogs 
of mystery and myth. When imagination has wandered 
back to the beginning of this succession of life, it finds 
itself at the conclusion of an older history, during which 
the powers of fire and water were struggling with each 
other for supremacy upon the globe. Still back of this 

152 



A GRASP OP GEOLOGIC TIME. 153 

elemental contest we behold the scenes of the undisputed 
reign of fire, when the terrestrial globe was a self-lumi- 
nous orb. And yet deeper in the infinitudes of the past we 
are forced to contemplate the matter of the earth and of all 
her sister planets a blended blaze of ethereal flame. While 
we stand paralyzed and wondering in the presence of such 
unmeasured flights of time, the geologist, the astronomer 
and the physicist open their mouths in unison to assure us 
that, from the beginning to the end, this mass of matter 
has been wasting its heat in infinite space as fast as the 
wings of ether could bear it away; and that every phe- 
nomenon of terrestrial history, from primordial light to 
the last spring tempests, has been only a consequent or a 
concomitant of this progressive cooling. And when we ask 
how long the duration of this work, they reply that the 
earth has cooled only one- fourteenth of a degree in the 
last twenty-five centuries. 

Even when we narrow our observations down to the 
compass of the closing events of terrestrial history, we 
stand amazed before the revelation of eternity. The reno- 
vation of the continental surface by the great glacier, and 
the floods which attended upon its dissolution, marked the 
last great revolution which passed over the surface of the 
land. Yet of all its vicissitudes, nothing has been pre- 
served to us by the history or traditions of our race. It 
lies back in the unmeasured realm of the geologic aeons. 
Since the disappearance of the glacier, geological results 
which, to the eye of a generation, seem stationary, have 
been accumulated in aggregates of stupendous magnitude. 
The gorge of Niagara, seven miles long, one thousand feet 
broad, and two hundred and fifty feet deep, is thought by 
some geologists to have been worn out by an agency which, 



154 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

save in extraordinary cases, demands a century to render its 
results perceptible. Even if we only claim that portion of 
the gorge below the whirlpool as the record of post-glacial 
work, and then reflect upon the almost stationary position 
of the falls since first observed by civilized man, we re- 
ceive a profound impression of the length of the passing 
geological period. Much of the peninsula of Florida, within ' 
times geologically modern, has been undergrown by a coral 
reef and added to the domain of the land. The delta of 
the Mississippi has taken the place of a broad estuary which 
penetrated deep into the heart of the land. There are 
those who would have us believe that even the monuments 
of human activity date back a thousand centuries, while 
the decline of the continental glacier, the extinction of the 
last fauna, the wastage of the pre-glacial surface of North 
America, these are events which stretch aeons upon aeons 
into the remoter past. 

Now let us gaze the ages steadily in the face. Let us 
see if it be impossible to take in the compass of a geological 
period. Let us seek for a unit of measure with which we 
may gauge the cycles of terrestrial evolutions. Let us 
grope for a parallactic base-line of known dimensions, from 
which we may take the bearings of events gleaming down 
upon us from primeval time. 

Not all great geologic events date back to a high antiq- 
uity. Here has been the first error in our premises. Man 
did not come upon a world in which history had closed. 
He came in the midst of the progress of events. Man him- 
self was one in the series of events. Great vicissitudes pre- 
ceded his comincr; orreat vicissitudes have even followed 
his coming. We have thought that when man appeared, 
the work of geologic agencies had been completed, and 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 155 

that bis race was destined to contemplate things in a state 
of fixity, or moving in ever-repeated cycles; hence every 
moAentous revolution in terrestrial affairs of which we 
trace the records must have antedated the advent of man 
into Europe and Asia, must have antedated the first ap- 
pearance of man on the earth. It must stretch back into 
a remote antiquity. When, therefore, we discovered, as 
we must discover, that man bad been the witness of vast 
geologic changes, we first, as by an impulse, declared that 
man's existence mounts also to an antiquity measured by 
scores of thousands of years.* 

We have learned another lesson in the primer of science. 
The great tide of events which we have witnessed sweeping 
down through the ages of palaeozoic and later geologic 
time is now sweeping past our very doors. It is the same 
tide: we ourselves are borne upon its bosom. In our brief 
day we may note a few of the vicissitudes which swell and 
perpetuate the current. 

What man of adult years does not know some reedy 
bog which in his boyhood was a skating pond? Who that 
has attained the years of grandsire has not seen meadow- 
land in spots which he once knew as reedy bog? The al- 
luvial meadow has grown from the reeking marsh; the 
marsh emerged from the shallow lake-bottom by the slow 
filling of the depression. The whole work is one within 
the grasp of human comprehension. But the little lake 
was a vestige of the last inundation of the ocean, which 
followed the glacial visitation. So the great glacier almost 
looms into view. 

Tlie traditions of the Greeks preserved the memory of 
an ancient submergence of the Scythian plains. The vast 
* Compare the author's Preadamites, ch. xxvii. 



156 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

steppes of Russia and Siberia, like the prairies of the 
Mississippi Valley, were once the bottom of comparatively 
shallow seas or lakes. The tundras of northern Sil!feria 
appear to have been inundated since the period of gen- 
eral glaciation. This is also true of the polders along 
the coast of the German Ocean. The Magyar puszta and 
the regions of the tchornosjom or black earth of Russia 
seem to have been produced by a former extension of the 
waters of the Black Sea. The black earth or prairie re- 
gion of southern Russia covers an area twice the size of 
France. It appears that an obstructed outlet of the Black 
Sea dammed the waters to such an altitude that the Black 
and Caspian and Aral were one, a greater Mediterra- 
nean spreading over the most fertile areas of the Orient, 
which were thus preparing, as the American prairies 
were at the same time preparing, to become the garden 
of the continent to which thev belonec. This lacustrine 
region is the ancient Lectonia. In the progress of events 
an earthquake-throe shivered the barriers of the Thracian 
Bosphorus, and the Oriental prairie-land was drained. 
The fable of the floating Symple'gades perpetuates the 
memory of the relative transpositions of land and water. 
History preserves but an imperfect record of this great 
hydrographic revolution. The story which tradition bore 
down to the reach of history had grown vague and de- 
fective. But tradition, which ever delights to reproduce 
the marvels of the past, not only retained its hold upon 
the great fact, but yielded to history some data which 
have found a permanent record. Herodotus, the "father 
of history," has supplied such geographical details as 
enable us to trace the limits of land and water about 
the northern shores of the Black Sea, as they existed sev- 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 157 

eral centuries before our era. Any one who will take 
the trouble to consult Rawlinson's Herodotus will find a 
map of the Scythian plains in which the Sea of Azof pos- 
sesses still an extent approaching in area even that of 
the Euxine itself. History has not brought us equally 
explicit tidings of the contraction of the Caspian and Aral 
Seas; but geological and topographical evidences proclaim 
with unmistakable clearness the recent retreat of the 
Caspian on the north, over a distance of 240 miles of 
country depressed below the present sea-level, and many 
hundreds of miles of territory but little elevated above 
it. Indeed the opinion prevails that in times geologically 
recent the Caspian was joined to the White Sea and the 
Sea of Obi, and the Aral formed part of the same body 
of water. When the Caspian flooded the valley of the 
Volga the Euxine filled the valleys of the Don and 
Dnieper. The plains between these two rivers were then 
sea-bottom as well as the Ponto-Caspian flats north of the 
Caucasus and stretching from the Sea of Azof and the 
Don to the Caspian Sea. Thus, in times comparatively 
modern, a vast region stretching from Turkestan to the 
Danube and from the Elburz Mountains to the White 
Sea and the Sea of Obi has constituted a part of the 
water-surface of the earth. Here has been a geological 
emercrence of almost half a continent, the later stagjes of 
which mankind stood by to witness, and the recollection 
of which lingered in tradition and then in history till 
science has arisen to bring full confirmation.* 

There are indications not a few that the delta of the 

* See Von Baer. Kaspisrhe Studien, and Wood, Tlie Shores of Lake Ara', 
1876 ; Sir R. Murchison and Sir H. Rawlinson, Jour. Hoy. Geogr. Soc, 1867; 
Roesler, Die Aralseefrage, 1873. 



158 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Nile and a greater part of the desert of Sahara have 
been the bed of the Mediterranean witliin the human 
epoch. Aristotle refers to the growth of the Nilotic delta 
in his own times ; and Strato and Strabo recognize the 
probability that it had been covered, in times not very 
remote, by the waters of the Mediterranean. Herodotus 
says that in the time of Menes the valley of the Nile 
was a swamp below Thebes, and he expresses the opinion 
that "the country above Memphis seems formerly to have 
been an arm of the sea." All this is sustained bv the 

ft/ 

salinity of the water still retained in the deeper deposits 
of the delta. Not only the delta but extensive sand-cov- 
ered regions to the west are generally admitted to have 
been in comparatively modern times the bed of the sea. 
When recently drained, many parts of this ancient sea- 
bottom probably presented, like ancient Leetonia and the 
prairies of Illinois, a soil of high fertility, which sustained 
human populations during the lifetime of a nation; but, 
like other continental surfaces which have fulfilled their 
part in the sustentation of a race, the Egyptian and 
Libyan plains have deteriorated to a limit beneath the 
needs of civilization, and civilization has sought out fresher 
areas on which to continue its march. 

The traditions of every nation preserve the memory of 
a widespread and destructive deluge. One such deluge 
occurred in the Oiient, and swept off the contemporary 
populations. Our biblical records assert that " the waters 
prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days," 
that they covered elevated mountains, and that all living 
creatures in the countr}^ {hddrets, the whole region) per- 
ished. Berosus, the Chaldee historian, speaks of a general 
deluge in the time of Xithuthrus; and this testimony is 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 159 

confirmed by the cuneiform inscriptions of the Izdubar 
legends, as deciphered by the late George Smith, a story 
which must have had a common origin with the biblical 
narrative. The sacred books of the Hindoos preserve the 
record of a great deluge which occurred about the time . 
of the Mosaic flood. Among the Chinese, also, are records 
of one or more floods. Confucius represents the Emperor 
Jas as exercising his authority or power in effecting the 
retreat of a deluge which completely inundated the plains 
and lesser hills, and washed the feet of the highest moun- 
tains. We have no assurance that this was the same 
deluge which exists in the mythology of Greece, but it 
may have been. Thus Ovid, in his beautiful account of 
the Deluge of Deucalion, says: 

" Jamque mare et tellus nullum discrimen habebant; 
Omnia pontus erant. Deerant quoqiie littora ponto."* 

Even the Mosaic narrative of Noah, and the Chaldean 
stor}^ of Xithuthrus, reappear in the Metamorphoses: 

"Jupiter, ut liquidis stagnaque paludibus orbem, 
Et snperesse videt de tot modo millibus imum, 
Et superesse videt de tot modo millibus unam, 
Innocuos ambos, cultores numinis ambos, 
Nubila disjecit."! 

This deluge was occasioned by the " opening of the 
windows of heaven," and the breaking up of the '* foun- 
tains of the great deep," or, in the highly poetical words 
of the Metamorphoses^ Neptune, coming to the aid of Jove, 

Here is a translation for the unclassical reader; "Now sea and land pre- 
sented no distinction. All places were sea; nor had the sea anywhere a shore." 

t '" Jupiter, when he sees the world covered with stagnant pools, and sees one 
man surviving of so many thousands, and one woman surviving of so many thou- 
sands, both sinless, both worshipers of divinity, disperses the clouda.'" 



160 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGISTS HAMMER. 

summoned the rivers to his palace, and commanded them 
to pour forth their strength. 

" Hi redeimt, ac fontibus ora relaxant, 
Et defrtxnato volvuntur in sequora cursu. 
Ipse tridente sue terram percussit ; et ilia 
Intremuit, motuque sinus patefecit aquarum."* 

There can be no doubt that a destructive inundation, 
general throughout the East, occurred in the early history 
of the Mediterranean race. Neither is it to be doubted 
that well-known natural causes have been adequate to 
the production of such an inundation. As the upheaval 
of some portion of the Alj^s, in the period just before the 
advent of man, sent a destructive inundation over a large 
part of Europe, so the uprising of some portion of the 
mountains of the Caucasus f may have been accompanied 
by the emission of such quantities of water}^ vapor as by 
condensation to deluge half a continent. Such a visita- 
tion, by whatever natural cause effected, has been wit- 
nessed, if we may trust abundant traditional and semi- 
historical evidence, by the early representatives of our 
race in western Asia. 

The hydrographic changes which have transpired in 
northern. China are amoncr the most extensive and re- 
markable that have been witnessed by man. On all except 
the most recent maps of China, the Hoang Ho, or Yellow 
River, is represented as having its outlet in the Yellow 
Sea, near the city of Hwaingan, in latitude 34. During 
the Taiping rebellion, a few years since, the course of this 

* " They return and open the mouths of their fountains, and roll in a torrent 
unrestricted to the sea. Himself, with his trident, strikes the earth; it trembles, 
and by the motion opens the secret place of the waters." 

t According to Dr Abich. the upheaval of all the higher portion of the chain 
has involved strata of Tertiary age. 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 161 

mighty river was changed from the neighborhood of Kai- 
fung, three hundred miles above its mouth, and a new 
channel was established, leading into the Gulf of Pe-chili, 
three hundred and eio-htv miles in a straisrht line north- 
west of its old outlet. But this channel hg^s not been 
established without the most terrible inundations of the 
low and level delta of the Hoansf Ho. This delta covers 
all the northeastern portion of China south of the " Great 
Wall " and north of Hangchau and Honan. 

Nor has this been the first nor the greatest occasion 
when this unbridled ^nd destructive river, fed by the 
melting snows of the Mongolian plateaus, has deserted 
its bed and souo-ht out new outlets to the sea. Accord- 
ing to the oldest Chinese records, the Hoang Ho, previous 
to the time of the " Great Yu," which was about 2,200 
years before Christ, pursued a totally different course from 
the place of its crossing the northern boundary of China 
into Mongolia. At this place it emptied into a vast lake 
half the size of the Persian Gulf, which, in turn, connected 
eastwardly with another vast lake, stretching to Peking, 
from which the drainage found an outlet into the north- 
western angle of the Gulf of Pe-chili, near Tien-tsin. The 
" Great Yu " whether this be the name of a monarch or 
the personification of a great nation turned the river 
southward four hundred miles, between the provinces of 
Shensi and Shansi, to Fuchau, whence he conducted it 
eastward two hundred and seventy-five miles to Kaifung. 
At Kaifung the river divided, one main outlet stretching 
east-southeast to the Yellow Sea, and several others wind- 
ing toward the northeast and debouching in the Gulf of 
Pe-chili. The area included between the new and the old 

channels was not less than 280,000 square miles, or about 
11 



162 SPARKS FEOM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

equal to all the New England and Middle States of our 
Union. 

Since the time of Yu, the Hoang Ho has made exten- 
sive changes in its bed not less than eight times previously 
to the last change. The great delta has been cut in every 
direction. Sometimes the exclusive outlet of the river 
has been by one or more mouths in the Gulf of Pe-chili; 
at others it has been exclusivel}^ in the Yellow Sea; and 
at still others the river has had outlets in both directions. 
The Yang-tse has participated to some extent in these 
wanderings. In the meantime the Yellow Sea and the 
Gulf of Pe-chili have been filling up with sediments. In 
many places the shore-line has traveled one hundred feet 
per year for the last two thousand years. In other places 
the change is not over thirty feet per year. A recent 
writer calculates that the sediments of the three great 
rivers of China would fill the Yellow Sea and the Gulfs 
of Pe-chili and Lian Tung in 24,000 years.* 

The increase of land is probably in part due to a slow 
rising of the eastern border of the continent. Such a ris- 
ing is felt at numerous places. The island of Tsung-Ming 
at the mouth of the Yang-tse, which now has a population 
of half a million, did not exist in the fourteenth century. 
Beaches of recent shells are seen in the south of China, 
many feet above the present sea-level. Similar beaches 
are found on the Japanese islands from fift}^ to one thou- 
sand feet above the sea. On the island of Formosa, such 
beaches occur at an elevation of 1,100 feet. A Dutch fort, 
built in 1634, upon an island detached from Formosa, is 
now some distance inland, and stands in the center of a 
large city. 

*H. B. Guppy, Nature, xxii, 448. Mr. A.Woeikoff thinks this period should 
be extended to 28,000 years. {Nature, xxiii, 9,) 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 163 

Such are indications of a gradual emergence of the east- 
ern border of the continent, producing a very considerable 
extension of the land. The growth of the land is, however, 
only approaching a condition which has heretofore existed. 
The records and traditions of the Chinese carry us back to 
a time when Corea was continuous westwardly with the 
mainland. The Gulf of Pe-chili and the Yellow Sea had 
no existence. The great delta-plain extended to the Japa- 
nese islands. Indeed, the hydrographic maps of the Chi- 
nese waters demonstrate that the continental surface ex- 
tends strictly to the submerged ridge running from Nipon 
through the Liu-Kiu islands to Formosa. Here is the 
proper rim of the basin of the Pacific. Traditions exist 
of the former extension of the continent far toward this 
limit. Here, then, is an area equal to the half of Europe, 
over which the forefathers of the Chinese extended their 
migrations, on which they built cities and founded dynas- 
ties, and which mankind have lived to see sunken beneath 
the Pacific, and the memory of which had been almost for- 
gotten.* 

The geological history of eastern Asia diverts our at- 
tention to great hydrographic changes which have taken 
place in the region southeast of China, and not improbably 
since man has been an occupant of the earth. Southeast 
of Asia lies the great Malay Archipelago. It includes the 
great islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, the Philippines 
and New Guinea. Still farther southeast is the continent 
of Australia. The numberless islands of this archipelago 

* Accessible information on geographical and hydrographical changes in 
China is contained in Professor R. rumpelly's memoir in the Smilhsonian 
Contributions to Knoirledr/e, xv, art. iv; Am^?'. Jour. Sci.^ ii, xlv, 219; and in 
papers by A. S. Bickmore, Amer. Jour. Set., xlv, 209, and Martin, Anifr. Jour. 
Sci., xlvii, 100. See, also, Von Richtholen, China., 12, 85-87. 



164 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAM3IER. 

are mostly but the higher eminences of an ancient prolon- 
gation of the Asiatic continent that has been sunken by 
volcanic action or wasted by the agencies of erosion. 
Southeast of the Indo-Chinese peninsula there are no 
soundings until we reach the line connecting Celebes with 
Java. This is a distance of twelve hundred miles from 
the mouth of the Cambodia river. The v/idth of these 
shallow soundings is seven hundred miles. From Java the 
zone of shallow soundings extends north-northeast to a 
point beyond Luzon, a distance of about two thousand 
miles. Now, all around through Sumatra and Java to 
Mindinao and the Philippines is a chain of active and ex- 
tinct volcanoes from whose craters incalculable volumes 
of molten matter have been ejected, even during the his- 
toric period of our race. The island of Java alone is the 
site of forty-seven of these volcanic vents. To supply erup- 
tions of such magnitude has undermined the solid crust 
throughout all the neighboring region. The southern 
angle of the continent has sunken till its valleys lie from 
fifty to one hundred fathoms below the level of the sea, 
while its mountains stand even up to the chin in water. 
The sunken area is four thousand miles in lencrUi from 
east to west, and thirteen hundred in breadth from north 
to south. 

This subsidence, accelerated by atmospheric and oceanic 
erosions, has taken place during the modern epoch of geo- 
logical history. Not only birds and insects, but reptiles 
and ponderous quadrupeds, that once had libert}'' to range 
over the continental surface, are now restricted to isolated 
islands, whose limits are even yet becoming narrower. 
The eastern portion of the Malay archipelago, however, 
is separated from the western by a deep ocean channel. 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 165 

New Guinea, Ceram and Timor present the same alliances 
with Australia as the other islands do with Asia. As the 
species of the Indo-Malayan archipelago exhibit affinities 
which reveal their derivation from t^^pes occupying the 
Asiatic shore, so those of the Austro-Malayan archipelago 
declare their descent from Australian progenitors. Even 
the human races reveal the same affinities and bespeak the 
same migrations. We are led thus to the following con- 
clusion. 

At some period in the history of our species, after the 
brown stock of races had become differentiated from the 
black, the older black race or races held possession of the 
Australian continent in all its former extent. At the same 
time the brown Malayan Mongoloid wandered down the 
Asiatic peninsula as far as Borneo, and found its further 
progress intercepted by the deep sea dissevering the two 
continents. Each race continued to occupy its own conti- 
nent, and as the ocean gradually encroached, held posses- 
sion of the emergent elevations, till science opened its eyes- 
upon questions of geolog}^ and race and distribution, and 
reproduced the vicissitudes of a continental history which 
man, though a spectator of the whole, had long since for- 
gotten. 

This account undoubtedly holds true for the central 
masses of faunas and races. But no human race has been 
completely barred by the intervention of channels, however 
deep or broad. We find accordingly that representatives 
of the black stock of men found their way to the islands 
of the Indo-Malayan archipelago, and survive, crowded 
and dominated by the Malays to this day. These are the 
Aeta of the Philippine islands. To these we should add the 
Mincopies of the Andaman islands. In the opposite direc- 



166 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

tion the brown stock survives in the natives of Madagascar. 
The conjecture is admissible that their ancestors mi- 
grated from the Malayan peninsula over a land connection 
then existing. The evidences convince us that the move- 
ment was in this direction, and do not permit us to assume 
that the Malagasies are survivals of the primitive Malayan 
stock. 

Mankind have lived in the midst of the grand phe- 
nomena of terrestrial revolutions. There was a time 
when the Orient was united to the Occident by an isth- 
mus which then held the place of Behring's Strait. This 
may have been at the time when the bottom of the Yel- 
low Sea was dry land. Then the Siberian Mammoth 
wandered into North America. Then probably the ances- 
tors of the Aztecs made the discover}'- of the continent, 
and in the lapse of ages wandered down the whole length 
of the coast to Cape Horn. The vicissitudes of ages 
brouQfht extinction to the mammoth, but the American 
Indian perpetuates his memory in tradition. 

Since man first appeared in Europe the North Sea has 
been dry land, and Great Britain has been joined to the 
continent twice or more. According to Professor James 
Geikie's interpretation of the facts, man was present be- 
fore the beginning of continental glaciation, and Great 
Britain was then a part of the continent. Then followed 
a subsidence of 1,200 or 1,300 feet, which isolated Great 
Britain from the continent as at present. With a reele- 
vation general glaciation of all the northern and middle 
portions of Europe came on. Then another subsidence 
occurred, which in turn was followed by an elevation which 
joined Great Britain to France and Holland. The bot- 
tom of the North Sea became dry land, and Scandinavia 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 167 

also was connected with the British islands. Most of the 
Baltic Sea constituted a great lake. The land had even 
a greater northern extent. Continental Europe stretched 
to Spitzbergen, Iceland and Greenland, and now, as the 
climate was genial, European types of plants and animals 
rancred to those far northern shores. The Rhine and the 
Weser discharged into the ocean in the latitude of the 
FarQe islands ; the Thames, the Great Ouse, the Humber, 
the Tyne, the Tweed and the Dee were all tributaries of 
the Rhine. At this epoch man found his way into Great 
Britain. This was the period immediately following the 
dissolution of the continental glaciers. It was succeeded 
by a subsidence and a colder, humid climate. Great 
Britain became insular. Marshes and bogs prevailed 
throughout northern Europe. Another elevation was at- 
tended by the return of a milder climate and a luxuri- 
ant growth of forests. Bronze found its way into Great 
Britain. Then still another subsidence occurred, and a 
period of wet weather. Iron was introduced. Thus with 
increasing dryness of climate prehistoric times passed into 
historic* 

It may be that northern Europe has not experienced 
so great a number of oscillations in Post-Tertiary times; 
but all cfeolosfists are acrreed that since the be^innincr of 
the Glacial Acre Great Britain has been twice continental 
and twice insular. It is generally agreed also that within 
the same interval the North Sea has been dry land. That 
Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen have been joined to 
Europe is a firm doctrine of science, and the only ques- 
tion is whether the connection occurred in Post-Tertiary 
time or earlier. In any event, most of the great changes 

* J. Geikie, Prehistoric Europe, ch. xiv, xxi and xxii. 



168 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

enumerated have taken place during the present geolog- 
ical period; and man, short-lived as his species has been, 
has witnessed geological revolutions which have trans- 
formed a continent, and rise in magnitude and impor- 
tance to an equality with any which have visited the 
surface of our earth in the whole progress of geological 
cycles. 

It can hardly be doubted that man was present in 
Europe while yet the continental glacier stretched into 
central France and northern Italy. ^Ye must admit so 
much, though denying his preglacial advent. We con- 
template in our own time the Alpine glaciers as a fine 
spectacle displayed in the midst of the populous homes of 
European civilization. We do not shrink from their 
presence, but most profoundly enjoy their novelty and 
sublimity ; but could we adequately realize the historical 
fact that these modern centers of frost and winter are 
but the vestiges of the reign of a perpetual winter which 
buried nearly the whole of Europe beneath a mantle of 
snow and ice, which imposed the silence and solitude of 
central Greenland for a term of unknown centuries, we 
might contemplate these Alpine strongholds of frost and 
desolation rather with the grim satisfaction which one 
experiences at the fallen fortunes of an implacable enemy. 
But our predecessors in Central Europe found themselves 
on the borders of an ice-cap which to them seemed as 
changeless and eternal as the glacier sheets of the Arctic 
zone. Generation after generation came and disappeared, 
and the glaciers almost imperceptibly retreated. European 
man, accompanied by the reindeer and other northern 
types of animals, followed the retreating glacier to the 
shores of Lapland and the slopes of the Alps. In the 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 169 

north his ethnic characteristics have been perpetuated 
from age to age; and while we wonder over the mystery 
of the apparition and migrations of our species, the rep- 
resentative of prehistoric man still gazes as of old upon 
the retirinor crlacier which now hovers over the Arctic 
borders of Finland. Farther south, a more enlightened 
type of the species has absorbed the lingering communi- 
ties of prehistoric men, and is watching the disappearance 
of the last vestiges of the great continental glacier van- 
ishing up the slopes of the Alps. The history of man 
has not gone back to the reign of ice. The reign of ice, 
like the mammoth, has come down to the age of man. 
American man has been the witness of similar transfor- 
mations. He dwelt on the Pacific coast before the epoch 
of general glaciation. He saw his hunting-grounds buried 
beneath floods of lava which spread themselves over ter- 
ritory vast enough for half-a-dozen states. His remains 
lie inclosed in a sarcophagus of lava. He survived the 
molten inundation which enkindled to luminosity the sur- 
face of a planet. He has seen the storms of heaven at 
work on the erosion of these lava-sheets, and watched the 
growth of caiions which are a thousand feet deep. All 
these events, vast and destructive and transforming as 
they are, have been grasped by the observation of a race 
which still lives and holds intercourse with ourselves.* 

*The evidences of the Pliocene age of the human remains of California 
have been gatliered together by Professor J. D. Whitney in his work on The 
Auriferous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California, 1819. Flint implements 
occur also in the auriferous gravels where not covered with lava. These gravels 
contain plants pronounced Pliocene (or partly Miocene) by so good an author- 
ity as Lesquereux. Some of the aniuial species found in the same association 
are also Pliocene types. The conclusions of Whitney, Winslow, and other dis- 
coverers, are undisputed by J. D. Dana, Manual of Geology, 3d. ed.. pp. 577-8, 
and Joseph Leconte, Elements of Geology, p. 567. But Mr. James C. Soiithall 
says, " We cannot accept such monstrous conclusions, even if advanced by our 



170 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

In the Mississippi valley we have some evidence of the 
existence of man while yet Illinois was flooded by the high 
waters of Lake Michigan. I had in my possession for 
some time a copper relic resembling a rude coin, which 
was taken from an artesian boring at the depth of 114 
feet at Lawn Ridge, Marshall county, Illinois. Mr. W. H. 
Wilmot, then of Lawn Ridge, furnished me, in a letter 
dated December 4, 1871, the following statement of de- 
posits pierced in the borii;g: 

Soil, 

Yellow clay, 

Blue clay, 

Dark vegetable matter, 

Hard purplish clay, 

Bright green clay, 

Mottled clay, 

Soil, 

Depth of coin, 
Yellow clay. 
Sand and clay, 
Water, rising 60 feet. 

In a letter of the 27tli of December, written from Chil- 
licothe, Illinois, he stated that the bore was four inches 
for eighty feet, and three inches for the remainder of the 
depth. But before one hundred feet had been reached the 
four-inch portion was " so plastered over as to be itself 
but three inches in diameter,'" and hence the " coin " could 
not have come from any depth less than eighty feet. 

most eminent scientific aufhonfies'''' (Mefh. Quar. Fev., April 1881, p. 2281. One 
cannot help wondering what sort of evidence would convince Mr. James C. 
Southall. 



3 


feet. 


17 




44 




4 




18 




8 




18 




2 




114 




1 





A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 171 

" Three persons saw the ' coin ' at the same instant, and 
each claims it." This so-called coin was about the thick- 
ness and size of a silver quarter of a dollar, and was of 
remarkably uniform thickness. It was approximately 





A QUASI-COIN SAID TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM AN ARTESIAN 
BORING IN MARSHALL COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AT A DEPTH OF ONE 
HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN FEET. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH FUR- 
NISHED BY J. W. MOFFAT. 

round, and seemed to have been cut. Its two faces bore 
marks as shown in the figure, but they were not stamped as 
with a die, nor engraved. Thev looked as if etched with 
acid. The character of the marks was partly unintelligi- 
ble. On each side, however, was a rude outline of a 
human figure. One of these held in one hand an object 
resembling a child, while the other hand was raised as if 
in the act of striking. This figure wore a head-dress, 
apparently made of quills. Around the border were un- 
decipherable hieroglyphics. The figure on the opposite 
side extended only to the waist, and had also one hand 
upraised. This was furnished with long tufts, like mules' 
ears. Around the border was another circle of hiero- 
glyphics. On this side, also, was the rude outline of a quad- 
ruped. I exhibited this relic to the Geological Section of 
the American Association, at its meeting at Buffalo in 
1876. The general impression seemed to be that its ori- 
gin could not date from the epoch of the stratum in which 



172 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

it is reputed to have been found. One person thought 
he could detect a rude representation of the signs of the 
zodiac around the border. Another fancied he could dis- 
cover numerals, and even dates. No one could even ofter 
any explanation of the object, or the circumstances of its 
discovery. The figures bear a close resemblance to rude 
drawings executed on birch bark and rock surfaces by the 
American Indian, But by what means were they etched? 
And by what means was the uniform thickness of the 
copper produced? 

This object was sent by the owner to the Smithsonian 
Institution for examination, and Secretary Henry referred 
it to Mr. William E. Dubois, who presented the result of 
his investigation to the American Philosophical Society.* 
Mr. Dubois felt sure that the object had passed through 
a rollincf-mill and he thouofht the cut edg^es sfave further 
evidence of the machine-shop. " All things considered," 
he said, " I cannot regard this Illinois piece as ancient, 
nor old (observing the usual distinction), nor yet recent-, 
because the tooth of time is plainly visible.*' He could 
sucrcrest notliiue^ to clear up the mvsterv. Prof. J. P. Les- 
ley thought it might be an astrological amulet. He de- 
tected upon it the signs of Pisces and Leo. He read the 
date 1572. He said " the piece was placed there as a 
practical joke." He thought it might be Hispano-Ameri- 
can or French- American in origin. The suggestion of " a 
practical joke " is itself something which must be taken 
as a joke. No person in possession of this interesting 
object would willingly part with it ; least of all would 

*W. E. Dubois. Proceedings Amer. Phil. Soc.^sW, 224, December !. 1871. 
Mr. Jacob W. Moffat, who sent the coin, accompanied it with a statement of for- 
mations passed through, which differs slightly from that supplied to me by Mr. 
W. H. Wilmot. He also makes the depth 12.") feet. 



A GRASP OF GEOLOGIC TIME. 173 

he throw so small an object into a hole where not one 
chance in a thousand existed that it would ever be seen 
again by anij person. 

If this object does not date from the age of the stra- 
tum from which obtained, it can only be a relic of the 
sixteenth or seventeenth century, buried beneath the allu- 
vium deposited more recently by the Illinois river. The 
country is a level prairie, and " Peoria Lake " is an ex- 
pansion of the river ten miles long and a mile and a 
half broad. It is certainly possible that in such a region 
deep alluvial deposits may have formed since the visits 
of the French in the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. But it is not easy to admit an accumulation of 
114 or 125 feet, since such a depth extends too much 
below the surface of the river. In Whiteside county, 50 
miles northwest from Peoria county, about 1851, accord- 
ing to Mr. Moffat, a large copper ring was found 120 
feet beneath the surface, as also something which has 
been compared to a boat-hook. Several other objects have 
been found at less depths, including stone pipes and pot- 
tery, and a spear-shaped hatchet, made of iron. If these 
are not " ancient," their occurrence at depths of 10, 40, 
50 and 120 feet must be explained as I have suggested 
in reference to the " coin." An instrument of iron is a 
strong indication of the civilized origin of all. 

I do not present these facts as evidence that the Indian 
roamed over Illinois before the prairie soil was deposited. 
I do not conclude that these objects may have been lost 
from Indian canoes at a time when the prairies of Illinois 
were under water. I think it proper, however, to put 
them on record, and leave the subject for future elucida- 
tion. 



174 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Nevertheless, it is well ascertained that the American 
Indian dwelt in the Mississippi valley before the disap- 
pearance of the Mammoth and Mastodon; and it is highly 
probable that he saw Lake Michigan spreading over Peo- 
ria and Marshall and Whiteside counties, and that he 
paddled his canoe over the regions where these mysterious 
relics of copper, iron and clay have been discovered. We 
thus apprehend that the present order of things connects 
itself by an intelligible continuity with a former set of 
conditions identified with the origin of a great geological 
formation; and we feel that we command a unit of meas- 
ure for a genuine geological aeon. 

Thus, when we look attentively upon the phenomena 
occurring in the presence of our species, we find ourselves 
living in the midst of geological history. Grand geolog- 
ical events no longer recede into the infinite past. Though 
earlier events reach back over ages uncomputed, the grand 
revolutions which have made the surface what it is are 
brought down within our grasp. We feel that we have 
a hold upon geologic time. We can compass the requi- 
sites of stupendous events that transform continents. We 
feel relief in emerging from the mysteries of the unfath- 
omable past, and setting our feet upon geologic intervals 
which reveal their limits and their bounds. Man rises 
to a higher altitude. He grasps a larger thought; he feels 
his way closer to the Infinite purposes; he is conscious of 
it, and exults anew in his intelligent existence. 



GEOLOGICAL SEASONS. 



A CCORDING to the accepted theory of terrestrial refrig- 
-^-^ eration, the inherent temperature of the earth is 
continually diminishing. So far as its climates are influ- 
enced by inherent temperature, they must continually grow 
colder. Before the earth began to be incrusted a circula- 
tion of its constituent parts must have been active. Loss 
of heat in the peripheral portions would result in a sink- 
ing of those condensed portions toward the center. More 
highly-heated portions would rise to supply their place. 
Thus, as in the sea, and in the atmosphere, a circulation 
would result from the unequal temperatures of different 
portions. 

But after the commencement of incrustation those por- 
tions fixed in the crust would no longer enter into the cir- 
culation. The superficial portions would remain continu- 
ally exposed to the cooling action of external space. The 
effect of this would be to depress the superficial tempera- 
ture below what it would be if all the parts were free to 
circulate. The crust would become disproportionately 
cooled, and would continually thicken. The cooling of the 
interior would be proportionally slackened. The time 
would arrive when the cooling of the interior would be so 
much obstructed as to be almost imperceptible. That 
period seems to be the present. If we may trust the re- 
sults of mathematical calculation, based on the known 

175 



176 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HA3IMER. 

conductibility of heat possessed by the rocky materials, 
the earth's internal heat is so securely imprisoned that it 
yields but one-fortieth of the actual temperature of the 
world's surface. This is a calculation of Pouillet. Pro- 
fessor Vogt estimates that if the earth were completely 
cooled, its surface temperature would be eleven-twelfths 
as high as at present. These figures show, at least, that 
the present influence of internal heat upon the climates of 
the earth is so slight that it may be neglected. 

But it is evident that in the earlier periods of crust- 
formation the earth's internal heat was an important fac- 
tor in climate. The condition of the atmosphere conspired 
with the internal heat to raise the mean temperature of 
the earth's surface. Charged with gaseous impurities, and 
a superabundance of aqueous vapor, it served as a blanket 
wrapped around the earth to arrest radiation. The first 
general principle thus deduced in reference to geological 
climates is that they have suffered a secular and continuous 
depression of temperature. 

But we have much evidence of grand secular fluctua- 
tions of temperature. It would involve us in too great 
detail to enter upon a general discussion of these fluctua- 
ions, but I propose to offer an exposition of the most im- 
portant, and, as we now understand the subject, the most 
regular of all the climatic fluctuations which our world 
has felt. 

The northern hemisphere has been visited, at a period 
geologically modern, by a remarkable depression of tem- 
perature. "The Great Ice Age" had barely passed when 
man first made his advent in Europe. The traces of a 
geological winter repose everywhere throughout northern 
America and Europe. The very hills of gravel and clay 



GEOLOGICAL SEASONS. 177 

which so agreeably diversify the general surface of the 
northern states are records of the last geologic winter, and 
of the spring-time which followed. The rounded bosses of 
the rocky outcrops; the grooved, striated and polished rock- 
surfaces which everywhere underlie the soil and subsoil; 
the deep-cut gorges of some of the rivers, and the broad ero- 
sions of certain lake-basins, these and other familiar phe- 
nomena find their explanation in the activities of a secular 
winter, which clothed the northern hemisphere as far as 
the latitude of 36 with a mantle of ice and snow. This 
ice-period is one of the recognized epochs of geologic 
history. 

Some of the most salient phenomena attributed to the 
reign of glacier ice are smoothed and striated rock-surfaces, 
and accumulations of rounded pebbles. Precisely these 
phenomena have been detected among the rocks of remoter 
ages of the world's history. More than thirty years ago, 
the New York freolos^ists called attention to the smoothed 
surfaces of the Medina Sandstone in the western part of 
that State. They did not then dare to utter the conjecture 
that these are glaciated surfaces; though recent opinion 
strongly inclines in that direction. Foreign geologists 
have made similar observations in numerous other forma- 
tions.* In the Miocene System, that vast Swiss formation 

* Besides the cases cited in the text, we may mention tlie Cambrian or Lau- 
RENTiAN (James Thomson, British Association, 1870, 88; A. C. Ramsay, Sivati- 
aea Address^ 1880; Nature, xxii. 388; A. Geikie, Nature^ xxii, 402, in northwest 
part of Scotland); LowEH Silurian (J. Carriclc Jloore, Quar. Jour. Geol. 
Soc, Lond., V, 10; Philosopk. Mag., April 1865, 289; Geikie, Great Ice Age, 
512; iivike'^. Manual of Geol., Ail \ Haughton m'Slc^C\m\.o(i\i's, Narrative of Arc- 
tic Discoveries; Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, xi, 510; A. C. Ramsay, -S/mnsm Address.^ 
1880^; Upper Silurian, in Colorado (C. D. Walcott, Anier. Jour. ScL, III, xx, 
222, 225); Devonian (A. C. Ramsay, Header, 12 Aug. 1865; Cumming, History 
of Isle of Man, 86; Sclwyn, Phys Geog. and Geol. of Victoria, 1866. 15, 16; Tay- 
lor and Etheridge, Geol. Surv. Victoria, Quarter-Sheet 13, NE; J. P. Lesley, 2d 
Geol. Surv. Pa., i, 86, Portage Group; C. D. Walcott, A7ner. Jour. Sci., lU, xx, 
13 



178 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

known as the Molasse, seems to be but an older bed of gla- 
cier pebbles, extremely similar to those accumulated upon 
the existing surface along the slopes and flanks of the Alps. . 
Mr. Croll, a distinguished Scottish geologist, is of the opin- 
ion that most of the shingle formations, through the whole 
series of rocks, are but ancient glacier accumulations. If 
so, the evidences of oft-repeated epochs of glaciation are 
abundant and familiar. The conglomeritic deposits of the 
Coal Measures are regarded by Croll as of this character, 
while the coal-beds intervening between the fragmental 
strata are regarded as the records of interglacial periods. 
These phenomena of alternating coal-beds and fragmental 
strata are generally explained on the hypothesis of alterna- 
tions in the relative levels of land and sea, not necessarily 
accompanied by great changes of climate. Personally, I do 
not accept, as yet, Mr. Croll's view. I consider it a plain 
error to resrard all shino^le-beds as evidence of grlacial ac- 
tion. Pebbles imply attrition, long continued attrition; 
but the force of moving water is adequate to the produc- 
tion of beds of pebbles. This is exemplified upon the shores 

222) ; Permian {Amer. NatitJ'alist, iv, 560; Ramsay, Quar. Jour. Geo!. Soc, xh 
197; Swansea Address; Sutherland {Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, xxvi, 514; H. T. 
Blanford, ib. 1875, 519; Daintree, Geol. Dist. Ballan Victoria., 1806, xi; C. D. Wal- 
cott, Amer. Jour. Sci., Ill, xx, 222); Triassic (T. A. Conrad and H. Wiirtz. 
1869; Jas. D. Dana, Atner. Jour. Sci. .,111, ix, 315, xvii, 330; Fontaine, Amer. 
Jour. Sci., Ill, xvi, 236) ; Jurassic (Fontaine, loc. cit. ; Judd, Quar. Jour. Geol. 
/S'oc.,xxix; Phil. J/ar/., xxix, 290); between Middle Cretaceous and Lower 
Eocene (J. W. Dawson, Princeton Rev., March 1879, 284. Compare also Lycll. 
Quar. Jour. Geol. -Soc. Lond., 11,280; Travels in N. America, 1st Visit, ii. 68; 
M. Tuomey, Geol. Ala., 116; W. B. Rogers, Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., xviii. 101 
seq. 1875, Amer. Jour. Sci., Ill, xi, 61); in the English Cretaceous (Godwin 
Austen, Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, xiv. 262, xvi, 327; British Assoc. Rrp. 1857, O-^; 
Geologist, 1860, 38); m the Cretaceous of India (A. C. Ramsay, Sn-asea Ad- 
dress); a. cold period at base of Eocene {Nature. July 10, 1879, 258); in the 
Flysch of Switzerland (Lyell, Principles) ; in the Miocene (Gastaldi, Mem. 
Acad. Sci., Turin ii, xx; A. C. Ramsay, loc. cit.); on CroH's extension of the 
idea to the Coal Measures, see Climate and Time, 296-8, and ch. xxvi. Opposed 
to the doctrine of recurrence of glacial periods, see A. R. Wallace in Island 
Life. 



GEOLOGICAL SEASOI^"S. 179 

of every river and lake ; and still more unequivocally along 
the ocean's beach. 

I am of the opinion, nevertheless, that the northern 
hemisphere has been repeatedly visited by glaciation. In 
seeking, therefore, the explanation of the last great ice- 
age, we must seek a theory which will explain the suc- 
cession of ice-ages. This the older theories failed to ac- 
complish. It was, for instance, suggested long ago as one 
of the most obvious theoretical expedients, that perhaps 
the poles and the equator had changed places, bringing 
tropical climates into regions which are now frigid; or 
that, at least, the axis of the earth had changed its posi- 
tion, resulting in the location of the north pole somewhere 
in the north temperate zone. But these hypotheses are 
opposed by the stability of the movements and conditions 
of the earth and the solar system. Indeed, changes of 
the kind mentioned would disturb the harmony of the 
planetary realm.* Moreover, the displacement of the pole 
to any extent admissible by possible changes in the figure 
of the earth, would be an insignificant cause of climatic 
changes. Mr. G. H- Darwin has shown that to displace 
the pole 1 46', one-twentieth of the surface of the earth 
must be lifted ten thousand feet. All the physical changes 
in distribution of the earth's mass which have taken place 
since the glacial epoch could not have shifted the place 
of the pole more than six miles. Since Silurian Time no 
terrestrial chans^es have occurred which would varv the 
place of the pole to any perceptible extent. Any change 

*Sir W. Thomson, Brit. Assoc. Rep., 1876, pt. ii, p. 11; Trans. Geol. Soc. 
Glasgow, iv, 313; Haughton, Proc. Roy. Soc, xxvi, 51; G. H. Darwin, Trans. 
Roy. Soc, clxvii, pt. i; I. F. Twisdcn, Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc. Lond.. Feb. 1878; 
James Croll. Geological Magazine Sept. 1878; G. B. Airy, Athenceum, Sept. 22, 
1869. See, also, Laplace, Systhne da Monde, ed. 1824, p. 392. 



180 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAM3IER. 

in the position of the pole must accompany a change in 
the position of the compressed and protuberant regions of 
the earth. This would change to a great extent the rela- 
tive location of water and land areas. But the strati- 
fied rocks demonstrate that no considerable changes of 
this kind have taken place since Silurian Time. And 
finally, the indications of both warmer and colder climates 
exist on opposite sides of the polar zone; but a change 
in the position of the pole, while conferring a milder 
temperature on one side, say the American Arctic archi- 
pelago, would bring a severer climate to the opposite 
side, say in Nova Zembla and Bear Island. 

Again, it was suggested by Poisson,* and maintained 
by the elder Agassiz, f that perhaps the earth, in the 
journey of our system through space, passes occasionally 
throusfh regions of excessive cold. Others have susccjested 
a diminution of the sun's heat, but restored again in later 
times, t Both suppositions imply that all parts of the 
earth's surface suffer a depression of temperature at the 
same time. This would require that traces of glacier 
action should exist in tropical as well as temperate regions. 
The facts, in spite of Agassiz' supposed moraines in the 
empire of Brazil, do not answer to the expectation. 

A theory which enjoys considerable popularity supposes 
that such distributions of land and v;ater have existed in 
former times as would change the location of ocean cur- 
rents to an extent which would revolutionize terrestrial 
climates. That profound climatic characteristics of cer- 

* Tlieorie math, de la chaleur, Comptes Rendiis, Jan. 30, 1837. 

t L. Agassiz, A Journey hi Brazil, 399, 4-25. 

X Lyell, Prin. Geol. 128; Sir John Herschel, Proc. Roy. Aslron. Soc, No. iii, 
Jan. 1840. 

Lyell. Principles of Geol., ch. vii, viii; J. W. Dawson, Princeton Review, 
March 1879; A. R. Wallace, Island Life ; Nature, -^-sm, 124. 



GEOLOGICAL SEASONS. 181 

tain regions are determined by the existing distribution 
of oceanic currents is a fact wliicli all admit, and whicli 
will be further mentioned in another part of this chapter. 
But to be an adequate cause of the existence of an arctic 
climate in regions now temperate there must have been 
a transposition of land and water much more extensive 
than is allowed by the admitted persistence of the oceanic 
basins, and the great continental areas. Moreover, it is 
very difficult to conceive a distribution of land and water 
which would bring an arctic temperature to New Eng- 
land, New York and Ohio. Most of all, such a theory is 
not adapted to the explanation of a succession of ice-periods. 
Again, northern elevation has been cited as' a cause ade- 
quate to effect the glaciation of the northern hemisphere. 
Professor Dana, with his usual insight into the symmetry 
and coordination of things, has directed our attention to 
the fact that the crrowth of the continent of North America 
was, for many ages, toward the southeast and the south- 
west. When these borders seemed complete the work of 
development was transferred to the north, and the north- 
ern border of the continent was worked out. The develop- 
ment of the land was always effected through a succession 
of elevations. When considerable elevation had been pro- 
duced in the northern regions, the climate of the zone 
felt the effects ; just as southern Austria and northern 
Italy receive a chill from the Alpine ranges which lie 
on the north of them, and render the winters of Verona 
and the Tyrol much severer than those of Berlin and 
Hamburg. It cannot be denied that northern elevation 
would materially influence the climate of the temperate 
zone, but it may be doubted whether the influence would 
amount to universal glaciation, even if we assume north- 



182 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

ern elevation throusfhout all the arctic and sub-arctic 
resfions. It is indeed manifest that the northern rei^ions 
have undergone great changes of level. All the United 
States north of the Ohio, and all Canada, have stood at 
a lower level since the present surface was finished; and 
there is ground for the belief that just before this subsi- 
dence they stood at a higher level than at present. But 
these oscillations can hardly be conceived an adequate 
cause of continental glaciation. Thev do not seem to 
possess the requisite efficiency; nor have they been timed 
to suit the relations of causal antecedence to the great 
phenomenon. It is more probable that the elevation which 
has taken place is to be regarded as an incident or effect 
of general glaciation, rather than the cause of it. 

Finally, scientists have turned their attention again to 
the search after an astronomical cause of the great ice- 
age. That the cause was astronomical seems indicated by 
the proofs of a succession of ice-ages. Astronomical move- 
ments describe great cj^cles. At the end of a certain 
period the old conditions are reproduced, and the old 
results are reenacted. The principal ones of these astro- 
nomical causes I shall attempt to explain in outline, es- 
pecially that based on variations in terrestrial eccentricity. 
The subject, however, will demand the thoughtful attention 
of the reader. It is a subject not always rationally com- 
prehended, even by geologists who accept the authority for 
an astronomical origin of ice-periods. 

There are three values in connection with the earth's 
movements, changes in which must affect the earth's cli- 
mates to some extent. These values are: 1. The inclina- 
tion of the earth's axis to the plane of the ecliptic; 2. 
The precession of the equinoxes, or position of the peri- 



GEOLOGICAL SEASONS. 183 

helion and aplielion points (apsides) in reference to the 
equinoctial points; 3. The eccentricity of the earth's orbit. 
These elements are all changing. They do not, however, 
change indefinitely in one direction. They pass through 
a cycle of values. Each has, in the course of ages, its 
maximum and its minimum. All these astronomical 
causes were long ago considered, but were successively 
pronounced inadequate. The search for an adequate as- 
tronomical cause was undertaken by Humboldt, Arago, 
Lyell, Sir John Herschel, and others, but without success. 
It is not difficult to perceive that the three causes named 
must produce severally some eff'ect upon the climates of 
the northern and southern hemispheres respectively; but 
in each case it has been generally considered unimportant. 
As to increased obliquity of the axis, it is obvious that 
it would render the sun's rays more vertical in the hemi- 
sphere turned toward the sun, that is, the width of the 
torrid zone would be increased. During summer this in- 
creased verticality of the rays would diminish polar glacia- 
tion. During winter the sun would be permanently below 
the horizon ; but that is its condition with the present 
obliquity. When below the winter horizon, it is imma- 
terial whether one or many degrees below, the solar in- 
fluence is simply wanting. Therefore, increased obliquity 
would not increase fdaciation during^ the winter, thoucjh it 
would diminish glaciation during the summer. The re- 
sultant annual eff'ect would be a dimimition of glaciation; 
and, correspondingly, diminished obliquity would cause an 
increase of glaciation. This cause would not produce alter- 
nating effects in the two polar regions during a succession 
of secular intervals, but would operate alike in both re- 
gions during the whole cycle of changes in the obliquity. 



184 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

The glaciating action would alternate annually, and only 
as the seasons alternate.* 

As to the precession of the equinoxes, this results in 
a chancre in the attitude of the earth's axis when in the 
apsides. At present, when the earth is in perihelion, the 
north pole is turned away from the sun, and the north- 
ern hemisphere has winter. Suppose that in the course 
of ages the north pole should become turned toivard the 
sun at time of jDerihelion: then, the obliquity remaining 
the same, the force of the sun's rays would be increased 
in the polar regions during the winter by all the amount 
of the difference in the sun's summer and winter dis- 
tances from the earth. If, for instance, the sun is now 
three millions of miles nearer the earth in winter than 
in summer, in the case supposed the sun would be three 
millions of miles nearer the earth in summer than in 
winter. That is, it would be six million miles nearer the 
earth than at present in summer, and the same amount 
remoter in winter. But it is in summer that the sun's 
effects are produced on polar glaciation. The result would 
therefore be to diminish northern glaciation. During 
winter, as the sun is permanently below the horizon, or 
near the horizon, it is comparatively immaterial whether 
three millions of miles more remote or not. Half a cycle 
in the precession of the equinoxes would therefore di- 
minish northern glaciation and correspondingly increase 
southern glaciation. The complete cycle of precession is 
about 21,000 years ; hence from this cause we should 
have in the northern hemisphere a secular winter every 
21,000 years, followed, after 10,500 years, by a secular 
summer. The southern hemisphere would have secular 

* See a paper by James Croll in Geological Magazine. London, Sept. 1878. 



GEOLOGICAL SEASON'S. 181 



winters and summers alternating with those of the north- 
ern hemisphere.* 

Whatever the climatic effect of this astronomical cause, 
it is now generally regarded as insufficient. Mr. CroU 
indeed pronounces its efficiency null.f 

Lastly, let us consider the effects of increased eccen- 
tricity of the earth's orbit on the climates of the northern 
hemisphere, understanding increased eccentricity signi- 
fies an elono-ation of the earth's orbit, so as to brino- the 
perihelion point nearer the sun, and remove the aphelion 
point to a greater distance. This subject was investigated 
by Sir John Herschel,:}: and after him by Arago and 
Humboldt ; but their conclusion showed that neither in- 
crease nor diminution of eccentricity could directly influ- 
ence, to any material extent, the amount of heat received 
by the two hemispheres respectively in the course of a 
year ; or so disturb the annual distribution over either 
hemisphere as to result in a permanent and general 
glaciation. Tliis results from the fact that just in pro- 
portion as the earth's perihelion distance from the sun is 
diminished, the earth's orbital velocity in that part of its 
orbit is accelerated, and thus the perihelion effect upon 
climate is shortened in duration; and just as the aphelion 
distance is increased the earth's aphelion velocity is re- 
tarded, and the diminished solar intensity is continued 

*Adhemar, Revolutions de la mei\ 2d. ed., 18G0 ; Le Hon. reriodicite des 
Grandes Deluges, 1858; A. R. Wallace, Island Life. Mr. J. J. Muri)hy maintains 
that the occurrence of the summer solstice in perihelion would tend to increase 
northern glaciation {Quar. Jour. Geol. Sac, xxv, 350). 

t Croll, Climate and Time, 83 ; Phil. Mag., Sept. 18G9. See, also, Arago, 
Edinb. New Phil. Jour., vi, 1834. 

t Sir J. Herschel. Geological Transactions, \Si2; Treatise on Astronomy, %Z\b; 
Outlines of Astronomy, 368; Arago, Annuaire dn Bureau des Longitudes, 1834, 
p. 199; Edinb. New Phil. Jowr., April 1834, p. 244; Humboldt, Cosmo*, iv, 459, 
Bohu's ed. ; Phys. Descrip. Heavens, 336. 



186 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

enough longer to compensate for its feebleness. M. Ad- 
liemar subsequently subjected the question to a more 
thorough investigation, and announced that increased ec- 
centricity concurring with the precession of the equinoxes 
would so modify the climate of the northern hemisphere 
as to produce, once in 21,000 years, the geological winter 
to which I before referred. Nevertheless, the general 
opinion of physicists has been opposed to Adhemar's con- 
clusion in reference to the amount of the modification. 

The subject has been more recently taken up by Mr. 
Croll, of Glasgow ; and he has shown by an ingenious 
course of reasoning that though the direct effect of an 
increased ellipticity in the earth's orbit might be incon- 
siderable, still the eft'ect produced would so modify the 
oceanic currents as to greatly increase the precipitation 
of snow in the northern hemisphere, and diminish the 
amount of snow and ice in the southern.* 

The calculations of astronomers have shown that when 
the eccentricity is at a maximum the earth will be 14,212,- 
700 miles farther from the sun in aphelion than in peri- 
helion. As the periods of high eccentricity continue from 
50,000 to 75,000 years, the precession of the equinoxes, 
which completes its cycle in about 21,000 years, will 
bring the winter solstice of either hemisphere to coincide 

*Jamps Croll, Climate and Time. See a brief statement of the theory by 
Mr. Croll in the Geological Magazine^ Sept. 1878, extracted in Amer. Jour. Sci., 
Ill, svi, 389, and a fuller statement by the present writer in Inter national 
Review, July-August 1876. See criticisms of CroU's work, by S. Newcomb, 
Amer. Jour. ScL, III, xi, 263; J. J. Murphy, Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc, xxv, 350, 
1869, abstract Amer. Jour. Sci-.U, xlix, 115-18; Ch. Martins, Revue des Deux 
Mondes, 1867; W. J. McGee, Popular Science .Monthly, xvi, 810; C. B. Warring, 
Penn Monthly, 1880. Further on this subject the reader may consult Le Hon, 
U Homme Fossile, pt. ii; Col. Drayson, Phil. Mag., 1871, abstracted in Amer. 
Jour. Sci., Ill, ii, 304; Sir W. Thomson, Geologiccd Climxde, Trans. Geol. Soc, 
Glasgow, February 1877, vol. v, pt. ii; James Geikie, Prehistoric Europe, 1880; 
G. Pilar, Ueber die Ursache der Eiszeiten. 



GEOLOGICAL SEASONS. 187 







with the earth's aphelion once or more during the con- 
tinuance of a period of high eccentricity. At the present 
time the winter solstice of the northern hemisphere oc- 
curs in perihelion. When brought to occur in aphelion 
during a cycle of extreme eccentricity, the earth would 
be 8,641,870 miles farther from the sun in winter than 
at present. This difference would cause the sun's inten- 
sity to be one-fifth less during winter than at present. 
It is true that it would also be one-fifth c^reater during 
summer; and thus the annual constant of the solar heat 
would not be diminished. To speak more precisely, it 
would actually be increased by one three-hundredth part, 
since the annual amount of heat is inversely proportional 
to the minor axis of the earth's orbit. It is also true 
that while the sun's intensity during the northern winter 
would be diminished one-fifth, the duration of the season 
would be prolonged forty-four days beyond its present 
length, and would be thirt3'-six days greater than the 
duration of the summer. Thus not only would the win- 
ter heat be diminished, but the diminution would be pro- 
longed. This would, indeed, secure the same absolute 
aggregate of winter heat as at present; and this conclu- 
sion is as far as Mr. Croll's predecessors went in the in- 
vestigation of this problem. The total amount of winter 
heat being the same, its total effect, they argued, would 
be the same. Mr. Croll's merit consists in takincr into 
account the effect of a diminished daily intensity, and of 
the extension of this through a longer period. In all 
climatic investigations, as is shown in another chapter of 
this work, the means of short periods are quite as im- 
portant as the means for long periods. It is the extreme 
cold of winter which conditions the growth of vegetation, 



ciiL-t 



le i-. jii 
:imini<!l 



.hown f t w 
14,2 

! I in p< 

...mue fi' 
01 t!.') equinoxt 
" years, w 

to coinci' 

rnrnt of the theory i 
;n Amer. Jour. <' 
writer in JnUrnati 
F work, by S. Xewc : 
Jo'' '"'"V. .SOC, XXV, . ' 

:h. Martih-. Bevue des Deux 
.. /y, XTl, 810; C. B. Warrinr 
iie reader may consult Le Hoi 
,r . . 1C-1 ibstracted in Arneri 
V . Trans. Geol. Soc.,j 

1. ikie, Pn'.istoric Europe, 1880; 



191 



ritll 



be equatorial 

ny. 2. The 

< are not 

Ii like that 
'ents, mod- 
j influence 
theast and 
ately over 
and the 
;east and 
lator) in 
[s, how- 
^harac- 
lower 
)tions 
)hys- 
iter- 



redec--- 
The touJ 
total effe^ 
.oil's merit coansts h 
a diminished <u,i. jj,v 
lis through a Ion.' 
ions, as is shown in i: 
eans of short perioc 
iieans for long period? 
which conditions the gi 



190 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

The answer to the first question involves the determi- 
nation of tlie physical causes of ocean currents. Since 
the appearance of Maury's Physical Geograplnj of the Sea 
it has been generally conceded that the circulation of the 
waters is simply an interchange between the arctic and 
inter-tropical regions, resulting from a difference in densi- 
ties. Mr. Croll, however, has pointedly demonstrated that 
this h3q^othesis is untenable, and that Maury's own rea- 
sonings result in mutual nullification. Increased density 
(resulting from greater saltness) in intertropical regions, 
caused by excess of evaporation, would equalize diminished 
density (rarefaction) caused by excess of heat. Hence no 
resultant diminished density in the intertropical regions 
exists to initiate a flow of denser (colder) water from the 
arctic regions ; and the circulation, which certainly is a 
fact, cannot be explained by the theory of Lieutenant 
Maury. 

Dr. W. B. Carpenter has more recently propounded, and 
defended with characteristic positiveness and persistence, 
a theory somewhat different from Maury's. He appeals 
chiefly to the expansive efi'ect of the excessive heat of the 
intertropical regions. The expansion of the intertropical 
waters creates, as he maintains, a sort of protuberance. 
The waters, seeking always a statical equilibrium, would 
flow, superficially, down a gentle slope, from the equator 
toward the poles; while this flow would be compensated 
by an undercurrent setting from the polar to the inter- 
tropical regions. This much vaunted theory seems to me 
inadequate, untenable and contradictory. 1. It takes no 
account of the influence of excessive evaporation in the 
intertropical regions, which, in a general way, may be 
assumed to reduce the volume of the water quite as much 



GEOLOGICAL SEASO]!^S. 191 

as expansion would increase it ; so that the equatorial 
protuberance of the waters is quite imaginary. 2. The 
directions of the superficial and deep currents are not 
such as would result from a normal circulation like that 
in the atmosphere. That is, the out-going currents, mod- 
ified by terrestrial rotation, and neglecting the influence 
of continental barriers, should be toward the northeast and 
southeast (with an eastward direction immediately over 
the equator) in the upper portion of the film; and the 
returnino- currents should be from the northeast and 
southeast (with a westward direction over the equator) in 
the lower portion of the film. Observation shows, how- 
ever, that the upper portion of the watery film is charac- 
terized by movements coincident with those of the lower 
portion of the atmospheric film. The two sets of motions 
cannot, therefore, be traced separately to the same phys- 
ical cause. 3. The amount of expansion of the inter- 
tropical waters would not be adequate to cause a tendency 
to flow toward the poles. As Mr. Croll has shown, the 
difference between the equatorial and polar temperatures 
of the waters would disturb the equilibrium by only the 
triflinsc amount of four and a half feet. Distribute this 
between the equator and the poles, and the descent would 
not be sufficient to overcome the viscidity of the water. 
4. Should any intertropical protuberance exist as a result 
of the cause assigned, and should it produce a flow toward 
the poles, the process would only continue until the pro- 
tuberance should be removed. No cause can be assigned 
why the deeper, colder and heavier water should rise into 
the lighter, and reproduce the protuberance. That is, 
the water, however rarefied, would reach a state of statical 
equilibrium, and remain so thereafter. It may fairly be 



192 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

infei'red, therefore, from the four considerations just pre- 
sented, that the circulation of the ivaters of the sea is not 
caused directly, as the circulation in the atmosphere is 
caused. We might, of course, recognize the existence of 
a necessary tendency to a circulation of the waters, iden- 
tical with that of the air, and proceeding from the same 
cause. But the actual circulation is one which demon- 
strates the existence of some influence which more than 
countervails such a primary tendency, and establishes 
identical, instead of conti^ary, movements in the films of 
water and air which are in contact with each other. On 
physical principles, however, it does not appear that a 
circulation would be established in a body of water through 
the simple application of a warming influence at the upper 
surface. 

This coincidence between oceanic currents and prevail- 
ing winds is, indeed, so complete as to suggest a causal 
relation between the atmospheric and oceanic movements. 
The suggestion is further sanctioned by all we know of 
the power of winds to move the surface of the ocean's 
waters. Who has witnessed a storm at sea without being 
convinced of this power? Within a few years an easterly 
wind has so piled up the waters of the Gulf of Mexico 
alonsj its western border as to inundate and devastate 
entire cities and villages. We seem quite justified, es- 
pecially in view of the demonstrated inadequacy of the 
causes urged by Maury and Carpenter, in pronouncing 
the sijsteln of prevailing ivinds the phijsical cause of the 
sijstem of currents. 

Now, it is apparent, in the next place, that the force 
of the winds the " trades," for example is determined 
by the difference of temperature between the polar and 



GEOLOGICAL SEASONS. 193 

the equatorial regions. If, furthermore, the cold of the 
arctic regions equals that of the antarctic, the northern 
trades will meet the southern trades at the equator, and 
the equatorial current will flow westward midivay between 
the tropics. If, as at present, the cold of the southern 
hemisphere is in excess, the southeast trades will possess 
greatest force, and pass to the north of the equator, de- 
termining the position of the equatorial current somewhat 
nearer to the northern tropic than to the southern. If, on 
the contrary, the cold of the northern hemisphere should, 
as we have supposed, under the influence of high eccen- 
tricity, become considerably in excess of the cold of the 
southern hemisphere, the equatorial current would be 
shifted to some latitude south of the equator. 

The configuration of the continents is such that the po- 
sition of the equatorial current exerts a most important 
influence upon the direction of its trend out of the torrid 
zone. At the present time, for instance, with this current 
a few degrees north of the equator, the larger portion of 
it is deflected northward by the shore of South America; 
and passing through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of 
Mexico, issues as the Gulf Stream, which diagonally crosses 
the North Atlantic, and impinges upon the shores of West- 
ern Europe. Its movement across the Atlantic is aided, 
and we may well believe is caused, by the prevailing 
westerly winds of the North Temperate Zone. With the 
equatorial current flowing as far south of the equator as 
would be implied in the extension of the persistent snow- 
cap of the northern hemisphere, the contact of the current 
with the coast of South America would take place to the 
south of Cape St. Roque, and its deflection would be into 

the South Atlantic. Whatever influence the Gulf Stream 
13 



194 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

at present exerts upon the climate of the northern hemis- 
phere would, on the hypothesis of an extended northern 
snow-cap, be completely withdrawn. 

To what does this influence amount? Mr. Croll has 
shown that about one-fifth of all the heat possessed by 
the waters of the North Atlantic, within the limits of the 
North Temperate Zone, is derived from the Gulf Stream. 
According to Dove, the mean temperature of London is 
10 above the normal tem2:)erature of that parallel of lati- 
tude. This excess has been justly attributed to the influence 
of the Gulf Stream. But this by no means measures the 
absolute influence of the Gulf Stream. This current, with 
the other outgoing currents from the tropical zone, raises 
the general temperature of the North Temperate Zone, 
so that the normal temperature of the London parallel i.s 
30 above the temperature which would he normal were 
all the ocean currents arrested. The absolute influence 
of the Gulf Stream upon the climate of London is repre- 
sented, therefore, by 30+10 = 40. A depression of the 
mean temperature of London to this extent would consti- 
tute a serious modification of its climate. 

Now, in accordance with the theory here under con- 
sideration, the reduction of London temperature which 
must result from the arrest of the Gulf Stream would 
take place precisely when the intensity of the solar radi- 
ation would be diminished one-fifth, and the winter season 
prolonged 36 daj^s. Let these three causes of a climatic 
chill concur, and it becomes easy to admit that the wintry 
precipitation of Great Britain and all northern Europe 
must be in the form of snow, and in such amounts as to 
outlast, like the living Alpine glaciers, the dissolving ac- 
tion of the intensest summer sun. We seem, therefore, to 



GEOLOGICAL SEASOi^^S. 195 

have discovered, in high eccentricity, a cosmical cause ca- 
pable of putting in action such terrestrial agencies as must 
necessarily lead to the extensive glaciation of the north- 
ern and southern hemispheres alternately. 

This conclusion affords us a glimpse into the possible 
future of the course of civilization. When, in some re- 
mote coming age, the softening influence of the Gulf 
Stream shall be transferred from the western shores of 
Europe to the eastern shores of Patagonia, the climate of 
Great Britain will return to the condition determined by 
the fundamental astronomical factors of climate. What 
this condition is may be understood from the present cli- 
mates of other regions in the same zones of latitude, and 
not influenced by oceanic currents, Athabasca, Labrador, 
Tobolsk in Siberia, and Central Kamtchatka. Then the 
Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego will acquire the 
present climate of Great Britain. London will have dwin- 
dled to a whaling station in the icy seas of the far north. 
Another London will have sprung up on the genial shores 
of Falkland; another Paris will have been built on the 
Straits of Magellan, and all the centers of human civili- 
zation and industrial activity will* have been transferred 
to the southern hemisphere. The lands of the north will 
have been borne down by a load of arctic ice, beneath the 
cold waters of the North Atlantic, and the now submerged 
continents of the south will have been disburdened of their 
secular glaciers, so as to rise up and offer a new theater 
for the activities and further progress of the human 
species. 

The present theory of glacial periods affords us a clew 
to the solution of the difficult problem of geological time. 
The epochs of high eccentricity are susceptible of deter- 



196 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

mination by mathematical analysis.* The results of cal- 
culation show that a period of high eccentricit}' termi- 
nated about 80,000 years ago, and another period about 
720,000 3'ears ago. To which of these shall we refer the 
Glacial Period of Post-Tertiary time? Certain geologists, 
impressed by the vastness of geological intervals, would 
decide promptly in favor of the remoter epoch. But, as 
we have stratigraphical evidence of the occurrence of an 
earlier glacial period in Miocene time, the date of this 
would be removed back to the next preceding period of 
high eccentricit}^ 2,500,000 years ago. The admission of 
such an interval since Miocene time would set back the 
commencement of sedimentation beyond 100,000,000 years, 
which, as Sir William Thomson has demonstrated, is the 
largest interval vv^hich can be admitted, according to the 
laws of cooling, since the commencement of terrestrial in- 
crustration.f 

We have then to examine whether an interval of 80,- 
000 years is sufficient for the whole amount of denuda- 
tion which the continents have suffered since the Glacial 
Period. An ingenious investigation, instituted by Mr. Croll, 
shows that the actual* denudation is not less than one 
foot in six thousand years. If we assume the Glacial 

* See especially Stockwell, Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge,, xviii ; 
Croll, Climate and Time. ch. iv, xix; R. "W. McFarland, Amer. Jour. Sci., Ill, 
xi, 456. 

tThe interval since the last decline of continental glaciers, judging from 
the comparative amount of sedimentation and other geological results, is not 
over four tenths of one per cent of the whole time since the beginning of m- 
crustation. Authorities differ widely as to the possible length of that time. 
Professor Newcomb says the total mass of the sun would cool from its present 
condition to a body as dense as the earth in twelve million j'ears; and that not 
over ten million years can have elapst-d since the heat of the sun was too great 
to permit water to exist on our planet. With such views it is improbable that 
Post Tertiary time amounts to more than 61,000 years, or Post Glacial time to 
more than 30,000 years, 



GEOLOGICAL SEASON'S. 197 

Period to have terminated 720,000 j^ears ago, the denuda- 
tion in the inter venino- time must have amounted to 120 
feet, which Mr. CroU thinks would imply the removal of 
all the detrital deposits of the continental glacier. They 
have not been thus removed, and consequently 720,000 
years is too high a figure. If we assume the Glacial 
Period to have terminated 80,000 years ago, then 13 feet 
of rock, or 18 feet of drift, must have been removed from 
the whole face of the continents ; and this, according to 
good authority, is all that has been done. My own judg- 
ment of the evidences is that the rate of denudation is 
greater than has been assumed ; and hence I must con- 
sider 80,000 years as abundantly adequate for all the 
post-glacial erosions. This opinion is confirmed by what 
we have observed of changes in progress before our eyes; 
in the recession of glaciers, the transportation of soils, 
the filling of lakes, and the shifting of river-channels, as 
well as in the disappearing relics of the continental 
glaciers, hidden in mountain gulches and rocky crevices, 
or slowly wasting beneath accumulations of common 
drift.* 

I stated that northern oscillations of level are to be 
regarded rather as consequences than as causes of north- 
ern glaciation; and I have alluded already to a submer- 
gence of northern lands as an accompaniment of the next 
general glaciation of the north temperate zone. Let us 
return to this for a moment. The formation of an ex- 
tensive ice-cap about either pole, and its relative diminu- 
tion about the other, must have a tendency to displace 
the earth's center of gravity toward the loaded pole. 
Beneath a film of water free to adjust itself as the ocean 
The author has more fully considered this subject in Preadamites^ ch. xxvii. 



198 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

is, with reference to the preservation of the old center of 
gravity, the displacement would not actually occur. The 
protruding polar ice would press the unyielding core of 
the earth through the spheroidal shell of water suffi- 
ciently to conserve the position of the center of gravity. 
But the incidental result would be a relative subsidence 
of the loaded pole and an emergence of the opposite one. 
These deductions are in perfect accordance with observed 
geolosfical facts. These show that a general northern 
subsidence was associated with the glaciation of the 
northern hemisphere. The deduction is also in accord 
with the present condition of the south polar regions. If 
the northern hemisphere is at present in the enjoyment 
of its geological summer, the southern must be in the 
midst of its geological winter. The southern hemisphere 
must be now in a state of glaciation; and, in accordance 
with what I have just said of the displacement of the 
earth's center of gravity by the accumulated ice, the 
south polar regions must be many feet lower, relatively 
to the sea-level, than they were during the southern geo- 
logical summer; that is, the lands of the southern hemi- 
sphere must be extensively submerged. That they are 
actually submerged is a fact of observation. Commander 
Wilkes, of the United States Exploring Expedition, coasted 
seventeen hundred miles along a barrier of ice-clifts l3'ing 
under the Antarctic circle. These cliffs must rest on solid 
land; and some thousands of years hence, when the Ant- 
arctic summei-^ returns, the burden of ice may be removed; 
those submerged lands may rise again above the surface; 
the southern extremity of South America may extend it- 
self to the Falkland and other contiguous islands; Wilkes' 
Land, Victoria Land and Graham's Land may become as 



GEOLOGICAL SEASOKS. 199 

accessible as Alaska ; a new continental connection may 
stretch across the South Pacific. On the other hand, the 
American Arctic archipelago may become submerged; the 
sea may cover the larger part of British America and 
Siberia, and the civilization which for four thousand years 
has distinguished the northern hemisphere may be trans- 
ferred to the southern. 

Another outcome of this cosmical theorv of terrestrial 
glaciation possesses, at least, a scientific interest. As the 
periods of high eccentricity must continue from 50,000 
to 75,000 years, the coincidence of the winter solstice with 
the aphelion must occur at two or three epochs during a 
term of high eccentricity; and these epochs would alter- 
nate with coincidences between winter solstice and peri- 
helion. That is, two or three epochs of intense glaciation 
must occur during one term of high eccentricit}^ separated 
by interglacial epochs of milder temperature. Phenomena 
precisely answering to this deduction are believed to pre- 
sent themselves in connection with the deposits of the 
Glacial Period of geology. To say no more, geologists 
now genei'ally recognize at least one interglacial period 
during the progress of the last great ice-age. 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION.* 



/"CLIMATE is constituted chiefly of temperature, hu- 
^-^ inidity and winds. Under average conditions, tem- 
perature is by far the most important of the three. So 
far as our bodily organs are concerned, it is chiefly the 
sensible temperature which is afl'ected by changes in the 
humidity and movements of the atmosphere. In warm 
weather an increase of humidity is equivalent to an in- 
crease of heat; in cold weather it produces the sensible 
effects of a diminution of heat. The extremes of tempera- 
ture are, consequently, most felt in humid climates. 

Winds, by promoting evaporation, and a consequent 
drying of the soil, though they tend primarily to the 
production of humidity, result speedily in a partial ex- 
haustion of the sources of moisture, and a consequent 
aridity of the atmosphere, which diminishes the sensible 
effects of temperature. Their direct influence upon sensi- 
ble temperature is far greater. A movement of the 
atmosphere is always cooling, even though the tempera- 
ture be nearly that of the blood. This eff'ect is produced 
largely by the promotion of evaporation from the skin. 
In cold weather it is due partly to the penetration of our 
clothing by portions of air impelled through every pore 
by the pressure of other portions behind them. At all 
temperatures winds also exert an actual cooling influence 
by the promotion of evaporation, during which large 

* Based, in part, by permission, on an article contributed to Harper''s Magazine. 

200 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 201 

quantities of heat pass into the " latent " state. In treat- 
ing, consequently, of the climate of the Lake Region it 
is the temperature element to which we invite especial 
attention. 

The climate of the Lake Region presents some pecu- 
liarities of extreme interest. They originate in the pres- 
ence of vast bodies of water in the midst of a wide conti- 
nental area. The Great Lakes of the interior have long 
been recos^nized as exertini? a certain climatic influence. 
Allusion has been made to this in the meteorological papers 
of the late Secretary Henry, of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, by Mr. Loren Blodget, in his great work on the 
Climatology of the United States, and at an earlier period 
by Humboldt and others. This knowledge, however, has 
heretofore been little more than a deductive conclusion or 
presumption. Mr, Blodget's isothermal lines march across 
the peninsula of Michigan, and across the entire lake 
region, as if the whole surface were one unbroken land 
area. Still cruder is the isothermal chart of the United 
States, " as determined by the Smithsonian Institution," * 
and published a year or two earlier than Blodget's work- 
It will be understood, as a necessary inference, that the 
charts based on the army observations, f as well as all 
previous attempts at isothermal charts, fail totally to detect 
the local climatic influence which, as we now know, bends 
the isothermal lines of the Michigan peninsula in the most 
extraordinary manner. Before the investigations made 
by the present writer, almost no exact comparative obser- 
vations had been made in such form as to reveal the ^reat 

* Patent Office Report for 18f>6. Agriculture, Plate iv. 

t Aryny Meterotogical Register, 1855. It is impossible to overestimate our 
obligations to the army officers who planned and executed the extended series 
of observations taken at the military posts of the United States. , 



202 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

influence of the lakes. Dr. Jared P. Kirtland, of Cleve- 
land, had published a note on the influence of Lake Erie; 
but, aside from the phenomena connected with the growth 
of vegetation, and the presence of southern birds and in- 
sects, he recorded no exact data bej'Ond a few single obser- 
vations.* He states that killing autumnal frosts are about 
a month later on the lake shore than in the interior, and 
that, in a case of extreme cold, the thermometer marked 
about six degrees higher at Cleveland than at points some 
miles back from the lake. Until within a few years ob- 
servations did not exist from which the influence of the 
lakes could be deduced in any numerical form. But un- 
der the Smithsonian system continued for many years, 
and more lately adopted, to some extent, by the Agri- 
cultural Bureau, an aggregate of data has resulted which, 
combined with the observations of the United States Lake 
Survey, and with meteorological tables in the possession of 
private parties, Liis enabled the writer for the first time 
to eliminate, and express in a series of isothermal curves, 
the proper influence of the Great Lakes especially Lake 
Michigan in modifying the climate of each season, of the 
whole year, and of each month in the jeciY. It is believed 
the general purport of the tables and charts can be made 
intelligible to the general reader. f 

* J. p. Kirtland, Amer. Jour. ScL, II. xiii, 215 and 294. 

t Memoirs on this subject by tlie present writer maybe fonnd as follows: 
" The Grand Traverse Region: a 'report on ike Geological and Industrial Re- 
sourxes of the Counties of Antrim, Grand Traverse, Benzie and Ltelanuiv in the 
Lower Peninsula of Michigan^ 8vo, 82 pp. with Map and an Appendix of 16 pp. 
on PaUeontology, 18(56; The Fruit-be a7'ing Belt of Michigan, Proc. Anier. 
Association, 1806, pp. 84-89; The Isothei'inals of the Lake Region, Proc. 
Amer. Assoc., 1870, pp. 100117: Report on the Progress of the State Geological 
Surveij of Michigan, Lansing. 1871 ; Walling's Atlas of Michigan. 1873 ; Michigan : 
being Condensed Popular Sketches of the Topography, Climate and Geology of 
the State, 8vo, 121 pp. 1873; Zeitschrift der osterreichischen Gesellschaft fiir Me- 
teorologie, vol. vii, p. 351 and viii, p. 40, February 1, 1873; The Climate of Mich- 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 203 

The temperature of the earth's surface, and all those 
incidents of climate conditioned by temperature, are de- 
termined by the solar energy. It is indeed true that the 
earth's interior exists in a highly-heated condition, and we 
must probably admit that parts of the central portion still 
remain in a molten state. In any event, the interior can 
only be in a solid state as the consequence of pressure 
sufficient to counteract the liquefying tendency of intense 
heat. But notwithstanding the intensity of the internal 
heat, very exact experiments seem to have proved that the 
central heat is escaping to the surface with such extreme 
slowness that the superficial temperature is affected to a 
barely appreciable extent from this cause. 

The total amount of heat received by the earth from 
the sun varies with the distance between the two bodies. 
As the form of the earth's orbit is an ellipse instead of a 
circle, while the sun occupies one of the centers or foci, 
the earth approaches considerably nearer the sun in one 
extremity of its orbit than in the other. The difference 
in the distances is about three millions of miles, while the 
mean distance is about ninety- two and a third millions of 
miles. In consequence of the diminished distance of the 
earth from the sun at perihelion, the intensit}^ of the sun's 
rays is three and one-third per cent greater than the mean 
intensity. At aphelion his intensity is three and one-third 
per cent less than the mean. 

It is an interesting fact, and one of momentous conse- 
quence to our race, that the annual period of greatest 
intensity occurs during the whiter of the northern hemis- 

if/an, in Annual Report of the State Horticultural Society for 1880. See, also, 
S. B. McCracken ; The State of Michigan, emby^icing sketches of its History, Posi- 
tion, Resources and Industries, 1876, 8vo, 136 pp.; and Dr. H. F. Lyster, Sixth 
Annual Report of the Secretary of thi State Board of Health of the State of Mich- 
igan, pp. 167-250. 



204 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

phere, and the period of least intensity during our sum- 
mer. The effect must be to mitigate the extremes of both 
seasons. As the southern hemisphere experiences the re- 
fricreratinff effect of diminished distance during its winter, 
the limits of the uncultivable and uninhabitable zone would 
be removed considerably farther from the south pole than 
they are from the north pole, were it not for the fact that 
the larger proportion of watery surface in the southern 
hemisphere prevents that hemisphere from accumulating 
or losing heat as rapidly as the broad continental surfaces 
of the northern hemisphere. In the course of some thou- 
sands of years, however, all this will be reversed.* The 
effects of such a cosmic change of climate upon the popu- 
lations of the northern hemisphere must be literally of a 
revolutionary character, like that of which a faint remi- 
niscence is retained in the Zend Avesta. 

The foregoing considerations concern only the aggre- 
gate amount of heat and lit^ht received by the earth as a 
whole. The actual heatinsf and illuminatincr effects of the 
sun at any particular spot on the earth's surface vary also, 
with the angle at which the solar rays strike the spot. 
This angle varies with the seasons and the hours of the 
day. From whatever cause a variation in the altitude of 
the sun is produced, his heating power is always propor- 
tional to the perpendicular let-fall from the position of 
the sun upon the horizon. 

Every one knows that the mid-day sun is less vertical 
in winter than in summer. There is always some lati- 
tude, however, at which the mid-day sun is exactly in 
the zenith. About the 21st of June it is the tropic of 
Cancer. From this time the sun recedes toward the south, 

* See " Geological Seasons." 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION. 205 

i 

becoming vertical at the equator about the 21st of Sep- 
tember, and reaching the tropic of Capricorn about the 
21st of December; pouring his vertical rays upon that 
tropic at about the time when, from our increased prox- 
imity to the sun, they possess the greatest inherent in- 
tensit}^ The equator, being the half-way station in the 
annual journey of the sun from tropic to tropic and back 
again, receives a greater average verticality of the solar 
rays than any other parallel. The mean heat produced 
at the equator by the sun's influence has been ascertained 
to be about 82. The mean temperature at any parallel 
of latitude north or south of the equator is proportional 
to the diameter of that parallel; or, in the language of 
science, it is proportional to the co-sine of the latitude. 
From this law we calculate that the normal annual tem- 
perature of New York is 62. 51; that of Chicago is 
61. 5; that of Mackinac is 57. 12. 

The altitude of the sun varies also with the hour of the 
day, and the solar intensity varies accordingly. From 
sunrise to mid-day the intensity continually increases, and 
from mid-day to sunset it diminishes. The total heat of 
the day is the sum of all the intensities from instant to 
instant between sunrise and sunset. The value of the 
total depends both on the magnitude and, as we may ex- 
press it, the number of the intensities during the da/. 
In other words, the total amount of heat received during 
a day is determined both b}^ the intensity of the solar 
rays and the length of the day. At the equator the length 
of the day is always twelve hours. In consequence of this, 
the total daily heat received at the equator is less than 
the total daily heat received at places in the northern 
hemisphere, where, though the solar intensity is less, the 



206 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

day is much longer. On the 15th of June, for instance, 
the diurnal intensity at the equator is 72, while in the 
latitude of forty degrees it is 90. 1. At the north pole, 
where the day may be regarded as twenty- four hours long, 
the daily intensity on the 15th of June is 97. 6. The 
amount of heat received at the pole is in excess of that 
received at a point on the equator from the 10th of May 
to the 3d of August, a period of eighty-five days. On 
the parallel of forty degrees the excess of diurnal heat 
extends from the 24th of April to the 20th of August, 
an interval of one hundred and eighteen days. 

These contrasts, however, it must be remarked, apply 
only to the upper stratum of the atmosphere. 

TJie sun's intensity at the earth's surface is materially 
diminished by atmospheric absorption, and this effect is 
peculiarly experienced by the slanting rays of the polar 
res^ions. 

So far we have considered the temperature of a locality 
only in its relation to astronomical conditions. The nor- 
mal astronomical temperature is almost always disguised 
by numerous perturbating influences of a local character. 
The influence of winds and moisture upon the sensible, 
and also upon the actual, temperature has already been 
mentioned. There are other local conditions, however, 
which exert a permanent and more important influence. 
The most efficient of these are altitude above the sea- 
level and proximity to great bodies of water. It is well 
understood that the temperature falls as we ascend above 
the level of the ocean. The rate of diminution of tem- 
perature varies with the hour of the day, the season and 
the latitude. In temperate latitudes it may be taken at 
one degree for every 333 feet of ascent. Lake Superior, 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE KEGIOX. 207 

being 627 feet higher than the Atlantic, must experience 
a diminution of temperature of nearly two degrees. At 
the level of Lake Michigan, whose altitude is 587 feet, 
the temperature should be one and three-fourths degrees 
less than at the sea-level. As the mean height of the 
lower peninsula of Michigan is about 750 feet above the 
sea-level, its mean temperature is diminished two and 
one-fourth degrees. 

Of all local influences affecting climate none are more 
efficient or more interesting to study than the relations 
of a locality to extensive continental areas, to oceanic 
currents, and to large bodies of water. The ocean is the 
great equalizer of temperatures. By a providential ar- 
rangement, watery surfaces absorb and radiate solar heat 
less rapidly than land surfaces. Continental areas, con- 
sequently, become more heated in summer and in trop- 
ical latitudes, and more refrigerated in winter and in 
arctic latitudes, than the oceanic areas, in the same sea- 
sons and latitudes. These unequal temperatures affect 
unequally the superincumbent masses of atmospheric air. 
From this source arise movements of the air, which, com- 
bined with the rotation of the earth on its axis, generate 
trade- winds and the other prevailing winds of different 
reofions. Prevailins^ winds movine^ over the surface of 
the sea set its waters in motion. Thus ocean currents 
are established which, reflected northward and southward 
by continental shores, serve to transfer tropical warmth 
to the polar regions and polar cold to the tropical re- 
gions. From these causes it happens that in tropical 
latitudes the open sea is cooler than the land, while in 
polar latitudes it is warmer than the land. In the tem- 
perate zones the temperature of the sea exceeds that of the 



208 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

land in winter and falls below it in summer. Winds blowing 
from the sea upon the land carry with them somewhat of 
the temperature of the water. At Boston, consequently, 
or at New York, or Savannah, a sea-breeze exerts a coolingf 
influence in summer and a warming one in winter. 

The amount of equalizing influence exerted by the 
ocean must obviously depend on the proximit}^ of the 
water and the relative amount of wind blowing from the 
water over the land. The interior of large land areas, 
like North America, Europe or Australia, must preserve 
nearly the temperatures due to the common astronomical 
conditions, and the capacity of the land alone to absorb 
and radiate solar heat. Hence the British Islands have 
a more equable climate than Eussia. The winters of 
New York are less severe than those of Saint Louis, thoug^h 
the latter is nearly two degrees farther south ; and the 
summers also are less excessive. But the direction of 
the prevailing wind is a circumstance of the utmost im- 
portance. A location by the ocean's shore would experi- 
ence extremely little of the equalizing influence of water 
if the movement of the atmosphere were always from the 
land. Now, it results from the rota.tion of the earth that 
the prevailing winds in the temperate zone are westerly. 
Those localities, therefore, which lie upon the eastern 
shores of the oceans experience more the ameliorating in- 
fluence of situation than those upon western shores. The 
climate of AVestern Europe is accordingly less subject to 
extremes than that of Eastern North America. Western 
Europe is more equable than Central and Eastern Europe; 
as our Pacific shores possess a less rigorous climate than 
our Atlantic States in the same latitudes. 

Were we to run a line westward from New York 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGIOl^. 209 

through all the places which have the same winter tem- 
perature as that city, we should find that in receding 
from the coast it would gradually deflect southward. 
Toward the center of the continent the amount of the 
deflection would be considerable; but in approaching the 
Pacific coast we should observe a very remarkable deflec- 
tion toward the north. In the elevated regions of the 
Allegheny and Rocky mountains would, indeed, interpose 
the disturbing effects of increased altitude, so that our 
isothermal line would be abruptly deflected southward in 
passing both these mountainous belts, but would turn 
northward again to its normal position after passing 
them. The winter isothermal of 30 passes through New 
Haven in latitude 41 18'. In Kansas this isothermal is 
as far south as Fort Riley (39), whence it bends north- 
ward to beyond the latitude of Fort Laramie (42 40'). 
Experiencing there a sudden southward flexure to Santa 
Fe (35 30') in crossing the Rocky Mountains, it then 
resumes its northward trend upon the Pacific slope, and 
reaches the Pacific shore only within the limits of Alaska. 

The climatic influences of vast bodies of salt water, like 
the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, have long been under- 
stood. The effect of small inland bodies of fresh water 
in averting early autumnal frosts has also been gener- 
ally remarked. But, as before intimated, meteorologists 
do not seem to have observed till recently that great 
lakes, like Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, exert an 
influence in deflecting the isothermal lines which is quite 
comparable with that exerted by the great oceans them- 
selves. 

These lakes, in truth, are no inconsiderable representa- 
tives of the ocean. Lake Superior is 460 miles long and 
14 



210 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

160 broad, with a mean depth of 988 feet. It has a super- 
ficial area of 32,000 square miles. The State of Massa- 
chusetts miojht stretch herself out at full lensfth and bathe 
in its waters. Even then there would be room enough 
for Rhode Island at her feet and Connecticut at her head, 
with Vermont stretched along her right and New Hamp- 
shire on her left. You may take all New England, except- 
ing Maine, and hide it bodily beneath the waters of this 
single lake. Lake Michigan is 360 miles long, 108 broad, 
with a mean depth of 900 feet, and a superficial area of 
20,000 square miles. It contains 18|- millions of cubic 
yards of water, or, in other words, 3,400 cubic miles. 
You could sink in this lake the three states of New Jersev, 
Delaware and Maryland. Lake Huron, with a length of 
270 miles, and a breadth equal to that of Lake Superior, 
has a mean depth of 300 feet, a superficial extent equal 
to that of Lake Michigan, and would swallow up the 
whole kingdom of Denmark, including the Prussianized 
duchies. 

You may embark on a sea-worthy steamer at Chicago, 
and travel for thirty hours without a sight of land; and, 
after having passed the Straits of Mackinac, and entered 
Lake Superior, you may steam for two days more without 
reaching Superior City or Duluth. The voj^age from 
Bufi'alo to Chicasfo around the lakes is a thousand miles; 
from Bufi'alo to Duluth is eleven hundred miles, or three- 
fifths the distance from Newfoundland to Ireland. 

The majesty of the tempest is little less on the lakes 
than on the Atlantic, and the low, perpetual moan of the 
breaking waves along the beach transports the imaginative 
listener to Lone? Branch or Nahant. Durinsf a summer 
day they breathe, like the ocean, a cooling atmosphere on 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 211 

every shore, while at night the direction of the breeze is 
frequently reversed. These are our interior land and 
sea-breezes. To complete the analogy, our great inland 
seas exhibit the fluctuations of a diminutive but genuine 
lunar tide. 

It is impossible that such enormous masses of water 
should be materially elevated above the mean temperature 
of the year by three months of summer weather, or de- 
pressed materially below it by three months of winter. 
The land surfaces in the same latitudes attain far jxreater 
extremes of cold and heat than the lakes. Two reasons 
exist for this: first, watery surfaces absorb and radiate 
more slowly; and secondly, the continued stirring of the 
waters by the winds mixes the surface temperature through 
a depth of several hundred feet, while on the land the 
entire effect is confined to a superficial zone of about 
seventy to ninety feet. The normal mean annual tem- 
perature of the land in the neighborhood of Milwaukee 
is 44, and this should be about the mean temperature of 
the water of Lake Michigan. In summer the Milwaukee 
mean rises to 67, while in winter it sinks to 22. The 
water of the lake, meanwhile, rises in summer only to 
46, and sinks in winter only to 40. Winds from the 
lake, therefore, partaking largely of the temperature of 
the water, must exert a material influence in equalizing 
the land temperatures of summer and winter. Still more, 
in cases of extreme weather, when the land temperature 
rises to 95 or sinks to 30 below zero, must the amelio- 
ratinf? influence of such a vast bodv of water, holdim? 
itself steadily at a somewhat uniform temperature, be 
most conspicuously and most beneficently experienced. 

Observations have shown that even the annual means 



212 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

of the regions contiguous to the lakes are somewhat 
raised by the lake influence. The cooling effect in winter 
is not equal to the warming effect in summer. In other 
words, the mean temperature of the lake is a few degrees 
higher than that of the land. As this fact cannot be 
attributed to an influx of river water from more south- 
ern latitudes, and would seem to be only partially ex- 
j)lained by the probably higher temjDerature of river waters 
in the same latitudes, it remains to seek an explanation 
of the higher mean temperature of the lake. Now, let it 
be remembered that the waters of the lake penetrate 900 
feet toward the heated interior of the earth; and that it 
has been ascertained that on the land every fifty-five feet 
of descent beneath the plane of constant temperature 
brings us one additional degree of heat. It will thus 
appear that if the depth of constant temperature in the 
mean latitude of Lake Michigan is 60 feet, the water of 
the lake reaches a depth where the terrestrial temperature 
should be 15 higher than the constant temperature be- 
neath the land, which would probably be about the mean 
annual temperature of the locality. The writer has ven- 
tured heretofore to suggest that, though the cooling influ- 
ence of the local annual mean mast have been felt by 
the earth in the bottom of the lake, it must be still true 
that the bottom of the lake has felt somewhat the warm- 
ing influence of the normal terrestrial temperature at 
that depth. It seems, therefore, entirely reasonable to 
maintain that the heat of the earth's internal fires con- 
tributes somethinsc to the excess of the lake's mean warmth 
over the mean warmth of the land. The great lake 
may, therefore, be conceived as held in a vast natural 
dish, which is warmed over the imperishable fire which 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION. 213 







we know to be imprisoned within the earth. When the 
temperature of the land sinks to 20 or 30 below zero, 
that of Lake Michigan is 60 or 70 higher ; and the 
vapor which ascends from its surface is the literal si- 
militude of the steam rising from a kettle heated over 
a domestic fire. 

Two local factors enter into the rational explanation 
of the peculiarities of the climate of the lake regicn. 
One of these is the equable temperature of great bodies 
of water, the other is the prevailing direction of the wind. 
To illustrate the latter more precisely than has been done, 
let us consider the peninsula of Michigan. Were the at- 
mosphere perpetually calm, the contiguous land and super- 
incumbent atmosphere would only be very feebly warmed 
during winter by direct radiation from the lake; and this 
effect would be more than counterbalanced by a perpetual 
land breeze as loner as the lake should remain warmer 
than the land. But the general atmosphere is always in 
motion. Warmed in winter, while passing over the sur- 
face of the lake, it conveys some part of the lake-warmth 
to the land, and the rio-or of the cold becomes amelio- 
rated, on the principle of a hot-air furnace. As the wind 
by turns moves from all directions, the lake exerts some 
warmincr influence on all the surroundincr land. This is 
illustrated by the isothermal lines for the cold months, 
which are bent northward on approaehing the lake from 
either side. Evidently that side of the lake which re- 
ceives most wind from the lake-surface will be most im- 
pressed by the lake-influence. Now it happens that the 
Michicran side of Lake Michicran receives most lake winds 
during the cold season, because, as is well known, the 
cold winds of the region approach from a westerly direc- 



214 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S I^MMER. 

tion. Thus in January, at Chicago, according to eleven 
years' observations, the winds from the west of the me- 
ridian are to the winds from the east of the meridian as 
72 to 5 ; at Milwaukee, for thirteen years, as 60 to 18; 
at Manitowoc, for eleven years, as 67 to 11; at Grand 
Haven, for one and a half years, as 34 to 16. A similar 
excess of westerly winds is shown for all the months of 
the year except April and May, and especially the month 
of May. 

In consequence of this prevalence of westerly winds 
the east side of Lake Michigan is warmed in winter and 
cooled in summer. While, therefore, the winter mean at 
Chicago is 24^, that of New Buffalo, in the same latitude, 
is 28. While that of Milwaukee is 22, that of Grand 
Haven is 26. While the winter mean of Fort Howard 
is 20, and that of Appleton 19, the winter mean of 
Traverse City, farther north than either, is 23|-. In 
autumn, also, the preponderance of westerly winds raises 
the mean temperature one or two degrees along the south 
half of the lake shore, and three to four degrees along 
the northern half of the shore. This is strikingly shown 
on an isotherm^al chart where continuous lines are drawn 
from east to west through places having the same au- 
tumnal means. To the west of the lake region the lines 
conform approximately to the parallels of latitude, but 
over and east of Lake Michigan they bend abruptl}^ north- 
ward. The autumnal isotherm of 46, which passes 
through Fort Winnebago, bends northward nearly to the 
extreme point of Lake Michigan, a difference of latitude 
of about 185 miles. The isotherm of 47, which passes 
through Fort Atkinson, bends northward to the Beaver 
islands 192 miles. The isotherm of 48 is deflected north- 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGIOJS". 215 



r 



ward an equal distance. The isotherm of 49 sweeps 
from Evanston, near Chicago, to the mouth of the Manis- 
tee river, a difference of latitude of 152 miles. The iso- 
therm of 50 bends from Kensington, south of Chicago, 
to Grand Rapids, a difference of latitude of 97 miles. 
The favorable contrast diminishes in the southern portion 
of the eastern shore, since in November the cold south- 
westerly winds either miss the lake entirely or are held 
at a lower temperature by mingling with wind which has 
not traversed the lake. These statements relate to the 
mean autumn temperature of the two sides of Lake 
Michigan. They show that the autumn temperatures 
alonfj the west side are found on the east side from one 
to two liunch'ed miles farther north. To put the subject 
in another light, an investigation of the monthly means 
on the opposite sides of the lake during autumn shows 
that the temperature attained at Milwaukee October 15 
is not reached at Grand Haven until October 20. The 
Milwaukee temperature of November 15 is only reached 
at Grand Haven November 23. The Chicago temperature 
of September 15 is the same as the New Buffalo temper- 
ature of September 21. These compai^isons show that the 
warm season is lencrthened on the east side about six to 
eight days in the autumn. In 1865 the first killing frost 
in the Grand Traverse region was December 2; in 1866, 
November 15 ; in 1867, November 18. These particular 
facts are cited because they fell under the writer's obser- 
vation. 

By a singular and happy exception in the prevailing 
direction of the wind, we find that during the month of 
May winds from the east of the meridian preponderate. 
This is shown asain from an extensive series of meteor- 



216 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

ological tables, since at Manitowoc the easterly winds in 
May are to the westerly as 37 to 26 ; at Milwaukee as 
62 to 24, and in April as 52 to 33; at Chicago, including 
north winds, which are here lake winds, the ratio of lake 
and land winds is in May as 44 to 40. Now, in May, a 
lake wind is a chilling influence, except when the ther- 
mometer is sinking below the growing temperature for 
vegetation. It is then an influence which prevents frost. 
It follows, therefore, that during the mild days of May 
the eastern shore of the lake is exempt from the chilling 
and retarding influence of westerly winds; while, during 
a cold period, when, as a rule, the wind is westerly, the 
eastern shore receives the benefit of protection from frost. 
Thus, on the 16th of May, 1868, a destructive frost oc- 
curred throughout Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, but did no 
damage in the Grand Traverse region. It is a frequent 
occurrence to read of killing autumnal or vernal frosts 
in any of the states south or west of Michigan, while the 
Michigan peninsula remains completely exempt. This 
unique arrangement of the prevailing winds seems 
prompted by a beneficent regard for the interests of 
early vegetation on the eastern side of Lake Michigan. 
Westerly winds cease to predominate only in that month 
when they cease to be beneficial to Michigan. And yet 
even in that month they exist whenever the interests of 
vegetation demand. Not only do westerly winds cease to 
predominate at the juncture when they cease to be bene- 
ficial, but at the same juncture, the warmer land winds 
from the east of the meridian become predominant. Both 
causes accelerate vegetation on the east side of the lake. 
A study of the means for a series of years, at places on 
opposite sides of the lake, shows that the temperature of 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGIOJf. 217 

Grand Haven March 15 is equal to that of Milwaukee 
March 21; that of Grand Haven April 15 is equal to that 
of Milwaukee April 24; that of Grand Haven May 15 is 
equal to that of Milwaukee May 28. These are not sin- 
gle instances, but comparisons of results of many years 
of accurate instrumental observation. They show that in 
May Grand Haven is thirteen days in advance of Milwau- 
kee. Add the thirteen days of growing weather gained 
in spring to the five days gained in October, and we per- 
ceive that the ejrowincr season is eighteen davs lons^er at 
Grand Haven than at Milwaukee. Every practical culti- 
vator knows that eighteen days often make all the differ- 
ence between a crop well ripened and perfect and a crop 
immature and savorless, if not ruined by an untimely 
freeze. 

This contrast is the same in kind as exists along the 
whole length of the two shores; b*ut we find it qualified 
by two influences. First, the northern portion of the 
western shore receives a warming influence from northerly 
winds approaching over Green Bay ; but, at the same 
time, the greater expanse of water passed over by westerly 
and southwesterly winds approaching the Grand Traverse 
region imparts to that region a greater relative influence 
than is felt by the Grand Haven region. Secondly, the 
southern portion of the Michigan shore of the lake is 
exposed to the unmitigated sweep of southwest winds, 
which, in the northwestern states, are often the coldest 
of all; but, on the contrary, this region receives north- 
westerly, and even north, winds which have swept over a 
vast expanse of lake surface. 

I have thus far referred onlv to annual and seasonal 
means. The longer the period embraced in the compu- 



218 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

tation of a mean, the more the salient features of the 
climate are discfuised. The annual mean in the Lake 
Region approximates that of other districts in the same 
latitude, since the cooling effect of the lakes in sum- 
mer is neutralized in the annual mean by the warming 
effect in winter. We approach nearer an expression of 
the local peculiarities of the climate by comparing, as we 
have done, the seasonal means. But we approximate still 
nearer an exhibit of the special climatic conditions by 
making comparisons of monthly means especially for 
those months whose temperatures depart most from the 
annual mean, and from the mean temperature of the 
lake water. These months are July and January. 

If we inspect the isothermal chart for July we shall 
observe a series of lines drawn through localities of equal 
mean temperatures, within the limits of the region affected 
by lake influence, and extending far enough westward to 
reach the general continental conditions. The first thing 
which impresses one is the extreme southward deflection 
of all the lines in the vicinity of Lake Michigan, and a 
similar, though less abrupt, deflection in the vicinity of 
Lake Huron. Tracing, for instance, the line of 70, we 
find it entering from the west on the parallel of 48. Its 
course is southeast, under the influence of continental 
conditions, as far as Fort Ripley, in Minnesota, whence 
it passes nearly eastward to the valley of the Menominee 
River. Here it comes under the decided influence of 
Lake Michigan, and rapidly bends southward, passing 
through Green Bay and Milwaukee, in Wisconsin. Re- 
appearing at Grand Haven, in the peninsula of Michigan, 
it trends almost directly northward to Traverse City, 
whence it arches across the peninsula till, coming within 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 219 

the influence of Lake Huron, it bends southward again 
and passes into Canada, near the southern extremity of 
that lake. It passes thence in a northeasterly direction 
to Penetanguishene, on Georgian Bay. This isothermal 
is deflected, through the influence of the lakes, to the 
extent of 5 of latitude, or 350 miles in a straight line. 
The general course of all the isothermals from 67 to 75 
is extremely similar to that just traced. 

It follows, from these indications, that an almost 
identical July temperature stretches along the two shores 
of Lake Michigan from Chicago to Mackinac. It appears, 
however, that the immediate western shore is somewhat 
more cooled than the immediate eastern. This results, 
as a careful investigation has shown, from a slight pre- 
ponderance of winds in July from points east of the 
meridian. At Chicago this preponderance, including north 
winds, is as 60 to 33; at Milwaukee, as 48 to 37. But 
at Milwaukee and northward, northerlv and even north- 
westerly winds feel the influence of Green Bay. 

Further inspection of these isothermals discloses the fact 
that the July temperature of the peninsula of Michigan 
is about the same as that of the interior of Wisconsin in 
the same latitudes; but the heat of the Mackinac region 
is considerablv less than that of Wisconsin and Minnesota 
on the same parallels. This accounts for the popularity 
of Mackinac as a place of healthful summer resort. On 
the contrary, the heat of the central and southern portions 
of the peninsula is ec^ual to that experienced through the 
northern half of the states of Indiana and Ohio two or 
three degrees farther south. The July temperature of 
Marietta, Ohio, is 73^, which is the same as that of 
Flint, and less than that of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 



220 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Another effect of the perturbating influence of the lakes, 
reacting upon topographical and continental relations, is 
to cause certain isothermals to divide and, by reuniting, 
to inclose detached areas, which stand like islands of cold 
or heat. An example of the former exists in the penin- 
sula of Michigan, and one of the latter in Iowa. The 
greater part of Ohio, however, seems to constitute an 
island of uniform temperature in July, since from Cleve- 
land to Marietta and Portsmouth, the mean is not far 
from 73i. 

The distribution of the January isothermals possesses 
still greater interest. It is the severity of our winter 
climate rather than the character of summer which, in 
our northern states, conditions the growth and health of 
most of our perennial exotics, as peaches, apples and im- 
proved varieties of grapes. With a glance at the chart 
of January isothermals, the eye is first arrested by the 
general northward deflection of the lines in the vicinity 
of Lakes Michisfan and Huron. This direction is the re- 
verse of the July inflection. The isothermal of 23, for 
instance, which passes through Peoria, Illinois, enters the 
southern extremity of Lake Michigan, and proceeds di- 
rectly to Northport, at the mouth of Grand Traverse 
Bay. It thence sweeps southward to Lansing, when it 
returns northward, under the influence of Lake Huron, to 
Thunder Bay Island and finally bends eastward, passing 
forty miles south of Penetang*uishene in Canada. 

Similarly, the isotherm of 27 sweeps from southwest- 
ern Michigan through Springfield, Illinois, and thence to 
Fort Riley, in Kansas, near the latitude of 39. East- 
ward, the same isotherm strikes through Central Indiana 
and Ohio. The January climate of New Buffalo is a^ 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 221 

mild as that of Cincinnati. Traverse City corresponds, in 
this respect, with Omaha, Muscatine, Ottawa and Aurora. 
Mackinac and Marquette compare with Green Bay, Fort 
Winnebago and Prairie du Chien. The isotherm of 22 
is deflected by the influence of Lake Michigan over a 
belt of four and a half desfrees. This is more than 300 
miles in a straight line, and is equal to the distance from 
Mackinac to Fort Wayne. 

Another fact strikingly exhibited is the diff'erence be- 
tween the January temperatures along the opposite sides 
of Lake Michigan. The mean at Chicago is 22^, while 
that of New Buffalo, directly opposite, is 30. The mean 
of Milwaukee is 204^, while that of its vis-a-vis, Grand 
Haven, is 25. The mean of Green Bay is 19, and that 
of Appleton 15i, while that of Traverse City is 22. 
Greatly as the January climate along the western shore 
is ameliorated by the influence of the lake, that along the 
eastern shore is still further ameliorated to the extent 
of four to seven dei^rees. This contrast results from the 
prevailing direction of the cold winds, which, in the North- 
western States, is from the west and southwest. The re- 
sults of observations made in January have already been 
given. These results embody all January winds except 
those directly from the north or south. 

At the same time the January climate along the east- 
ern border of the peninsula of Michigan is not much 
more severe than that along the western, though the 
prevailing winds along the eastern shore, as in Wisconsin 
and Illinois, are from the west of the meridian, and 
carry the influence of Lake Huron away from the land. 
This state of things is accounted for by three considera- 
tions. First, the influence of Lake Michigan is distinctly 



222 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

felt across the entire peninsula. The mean of Flint, for 
instance, is four degrees above that of Prairie du Chien, 
on the same parallel. The narrowing of the peninsula 
northward emphasizes this consideration. Secondly, Lake 
Huron exerts its proper influence upon the western 
shore, which reinforces that brought from Lake Michigan. 
Thirdly, the intrusion of Saginaw Bay into the interior 
throws a large area to the east and southeast of this 
body of water. It may also be mentioned that the po- 
sition of this bay, and the peculiar bend of Lake Huron 
toward the west, are such that even north winds must 
come somewhat tempered by these great natural stoves. 
It is certainly a singular circumstance that, while Mani- 
towoc, Milwaukee and Chicago, on the west shore of 
Lake Michigan, have lake-winds during Januar}^, repre- 
sented by the numbers 11, 18 and 7 respectively, Thun- 
der Bay Island, Ottawa Point and Fort Gratiot, on the 
west shore of Lake Huron, have winds from that lake 
during January, represented by the numbers 51, 86 and 
35. These numbers embrace north winds at Chicacfo and 
the points on Lake Huron, and southwest winds at Ot- 
tawa Point, as these sweep along the axis of Saginaw 
Bay. 

The isothermal chart of the lake region for January 
exhibits in the country south and southwest of Lake Su- 
perior a series of remarkable loops. The great isotherm 
of 14, for instance, coming down past the head-waters of 
the Minnesota river, passing near Saint Paul, and con- 
tinuing southeastward to the 44th parallel, begins to feel 
the influence of Lake Michigan, and bends northeast 
through the region west of Green Bay to the narrow 
peninsula north of Lake Michigan, where, under the in- 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 223 

fluence of Lake Superior, it loops west again, passing 
south of Marquette and Ontonagon to Bayfield and Du- 
luth, whence, bending east a second time, it passes near 
Beaver Bay in Minnesota, and crossing Keweenaw Point 
emerges upon Canadian soil some forty miles to the north 
of Sault Ste. Marie. The loop which opens westward de- 
notes the position of a zone of cold located along the 
elevated district which forms the water-shed between Lake 
Superior and the Mississippi. The axis of this zone, in- 
stead of lying along the head-waters of the streams flow- 
ing north and south, is crowded southward, apparentl}^ by 
the influence of Lake Superior. The other loop, which 
opens eastward, is a zone of warmth stretching along the 
south shore of Lake Superior from Ontonagon to the 
Sault Ste. Marie. An island of cold seems to be located 
in the southern portion of the lower peninsula of Michi- 
gan, and another in northern Iowa. An area of uniform 
temperature stretches across middle Ohio, as we have al- 
ready seen to be the case also in July. 

There is a method of obtaining a still more precise, 
and therefore more correct, expression of the distinctive 
characteristics of the climate of the lake region. Aver- 
ages of months and seasons suffice, indeed, to indicate the 
length of the growing period and the average severity of 
the winter. But there is another aspect of climate which 
possesses at least equal importance ; though in climatic 
discussions it has been largely overlooked. Published 
tables give us means of the year and of the several sea- 
sons, and their authors seem to think that in this they 
have brought to view all the important elements of cli- 
mate which bear on health and production of crops. A 
little reflection, however, shows that the extremes of climate 



224 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

are of equal importance with the means. It signifies 
little that the growing season begins in March, if liabil- 
ity to killing frosts continues to the middle of May, as in 
Tennessee. A mean October temperature of 60 is com; 
paratively valueless after a September freeze. The mean 
temperature of a season may be mild, or even delightful, 
at the same time that one or two days have brought de- 
structive cold. One killing frost is as bad as a dozen, 
for vegetation has but one life to destroy. It is the 
liability to these exceptional temperatures wdiich we must 
know before forming final judgment on the adaptability 
of a district for a particular crop. A winter which aver- 
ages mild may be marked, like the climate of Saint Louis, 
by one, two or three mornings destructive to everything 
which would triumphantly survive all the rest of the 
season. Every fruit-raiser knows that it is not the aver- 
age weather of winter or spring which endangers his buds 
or his trees. It is the one or two nights of the whole 
season which brings him apprehension, especially if ac- 
companied by high wind. It is of no consequence that 
the winter mean of Saint Louis is 33 and that of Grand 
Haven 21, or of Traverse City 24, if the thermometer 
falls sometimes 22 below zero at Saint Louis and never 
sinks more than 16 below zero at Grand Haven or 
Traverse City. It is precisely against these exceptional 
extremes that the great lakes exert their most striking 
influence. 

There are two ways to consider extremes of climate. 
We may consider the mean minimum of a locality, or its 
extreme minimum, for a series of years. There is a low- 
est point reached by the thermometer at each locality 
every winter. DijQferent winters may vary greatly in 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION. 225 

the severity of the coldest day, but we may take the 
average of a series of winters. This is the mean mini- 
mum. It indicates the lowest temperature which the 
locality is as likely to experience as to escape. Now, 
from this point of view, the climate of the lake region 
stands forth singularly favored. If on a map of the 
Northwest we draw lines through all the places having 
the same mean minimum, we shall be surprised to notice 
to what an extent all the lines are bent northward along 
the immediate vicinity of the lake. They do not trend 
east and west, as they must under the normal influence 
of latitude, but they run literally north and south in the 
vicinity of Lakes Michigan and Huron. The isotherm of 
the mean minimum of fifteen degrees below zero strikes 
from Mackinac through Manitowoc, Milwaukee and New 
Buffalo, to Fort Riley in Kansas, near the parallel of 39. 
Here is a deflection of nearly seven degrees of latitude, or 
about 480 miles in a straight line. The meaning of 
this is that the most excessive cold at Mackinac, for a 
period of twent3^-eight years, is not, on the average, 
greater than at Fort Riley, 480 miles farther south. It 
is one degree less than at Chicago for a term of eleven 
years. The coldest days of winter are, on an average, 
no more rigorous at Mackinac than those of Peoria, Illi- 
nois, or of northern Missouri. If we add to these equal 
quantities of cold the amount of ivincl characteristic of 
each region, it is at once apparent that the balance of 
sensible and damaging cold turns promptly against the 
more southern localities. There is no point along the 
eastern shore of Lake Michigan where the mean mini- 
mum is lower than minus 6. 

One is led to remark, m this connection, the impor- 
15 



226 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

tant bearing of the facts disclosed upon a great enter- 
prise so vigorously advocated a few years since by Hon. 
Edgar Conkling, in reference to the founding and endow- 
ment of a national university at Mackinac. They furnish 
the exact and inductive basis of the reputation for 
salubrity which has long been enjoyed, to some extent, 
by the region of the northern lakes. They demonstrate 
that Mackinac possesses, both in its summer and its 
winter climate, those conditions of comfortable equability 
of temperature, freedom.^ from violent winds, and entire 
exemption from malarial influences, which constitute the 
medical man's ideal of a resort for invalids, and a 
region suited to the rearing of vigorous, strong-bodied and 
strong-minded men and women. Though the university 
project never advanced beyond the stage of energetic 
advocacy, one can clearly perceive that with the open- 
ing of railroad communication and the dissemination of 
a knowledge of the facts, Mackinac is destined speedily 
to assume the character of a summer resort more de- 
lightful than Long Branch, and only less frequented in 
consequence of the latter's proximity to New York. But 
no one can anticipate at Mackinac, that unpleasant and 
expensive herding of so many thousands within limited 
quarters, which characterizes some seaside resorts, since 
the region of Mackinac extends on the east to Cheboy- 
gan, and on the west to Grand Traverse Bay. Already, 
at the head of Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey has be- 
come the summer Mecca of thousands fleeing from tropic 
heats, and exhausting business, and annoying hay- fevers, 
and pernicious malaria. 

Suppose we note the lowest point reached by the ther- 
mometer in a series of years at each of fifty localities. 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGIO^q". 227 

These points are the extreme minima of the several local- 
ities. Now, drawing a line on a map through all the 
localities which have the same extreme minimum, we 
have an isothermal chart for extreme minima. Its fea- 
tures are similar to those of a chart of mean minima, 
but still more pronounced. Here we see the lake influ- 
ence exerted under its most exaggerated and astonishing 
aspects. The line of extreme minimum of minus 25, for 
instance, strikes from Leavenworth, in Kansas, to Ottawa 
and the vicinity of Chicago; thence along Lake Michigan, 
a few miles east of Milwaukee, to the immediate vicinity 
of Mackinac. The isotherm of minus 24 strikes Saint 
Louis, and passes thence through Central Illinois and In- 
diana, and thence northward through Michigan at the 
distance of thirty-five or forty miles from the lake shore 
to the latitude of Thunder Bay, whence it descends along 
the eastern slope of the peninsula, and continues south 
even to the Ohio river. 

To put the facts in a different light, it appears that the 
lowest point reached at Mackinac in twenty- eight years is 
but two des^rees lower than the extreme minimum of Saint 



o 



Louis. Extreme weather at Chicaofo is twelve deofrees 
colder than at New Buffalo. The lowest extreme of Mil- 
waukee is fourteen degrees below the extreme minimum 
of Grand Haven, while the extreme of Fort Howard is 
twenty degrees below that of Northport. In general, while 
the mean minimum along; the west side of Lake Michisfan 
is minus 16, that along the east side is minus 6; while 
the extreme minimum on the west side is minus 22 to 
minus 30, that of the east side is minus 10 to minus 
16 as far north as Little Traverse Ba^^ On that day of 
memorable cold, January 1, 1864, the thermometer sank 



228 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

to minus 30 at Milwaukee, but only reached minus 14 
at Northi^ort and Traverse City. At the same time it 
was minus 29 at Chicago and minus 20 at Kalamazoo. 
It sank to minus 24 at Saint Louis and minus 16 at 
Memphis, Tennessee. This point was two degrees colder 
than Northport, 640 miles farther north in a direct line. 
The isotherm of minus 24 bends from the latitude of 
Alpena, through Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and Cold- 
water, and thence to Saint Louis, 452 miles farther south. 
Cincinnati is reported to have an extreme minimum of 
minus 29, a degree of cold not known in the peninsula 
of Michigan, and but little exceeded along the south shore 
of Lake Superior. At Ann Arbor the lowest point reached 
in twenty-eight years is minus 24. On January 1, 1864, 
it was minus 18 at Ann Arbor. The area of the ex- 
treme minimum of minus 24 seems to cover all the 
central portion of the peninsula east of Grand Rapids, 
west of Bay City, and south of Otsego Lake, and stretches 
southward into central Kentucky. Compared with Trav- 
erse City, the extreme minimum of Hazelwood, Minnesota, 
is 22 lower; that of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, 28 lower; 
that of Gardiner, Maine, w^ithin thirty miles of the ocean, 
19 lower, and of Montreal 26 lower. 

A few more specific illustrations may be added. On 
the 18th of November, 1880, while the thermometer was 
5 at Milwaukee, it stood at 18 at Grand Haven and at 
10 at Port Huron. At the same time it was 8 at Saint 
Louis, 2 at Denver, 4 at Dodge City, Kansas, and 6 as 
far south as Fort Gibson, Lidian Territory. On the 19th 
of November, while the thermometer marked 29 at Grand 
Haven, it was 13 at Port Huron ; and farther south it 
marked 14 at Chicago, 2 at Indianapolis, 11 at Louis- 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGIOJf. 229 

ville, and 8 at Saint Louis. But lest it be thought such 
contrasts between the extreme cold of the lake resjion 
and that of other points, taken simultaneously, may arise 
from the progressive character of cold centers, let us take 
the cycle of December 28-29, 1880, and compare, without 
regard to simultaneousness, the lowest points reached at 
difterent places. The thermometer during this cycle 
reached minus 30 at Duluth and minus 16 at Mar- 
quette, in nearly the same latitude, but protected by Lake 
Superior. It was minus 37 at Saint Vincent and minus 
41 at Fort Garry. In a lower latitude the mercury 
sank to minus 25 at Saint Paul and minus 20 at 
Escanaba, while at Alpena, in the shelter of the lakes, it 
only attained minus 10. Still farther south we found it 
minus 20 at Lacrosse and minus 19 at Milwaukee, while 
only minus 8 at East Saginaw. Finally, on the parallel 
of Ann Arbor the thermometer stood at minus 16 in 
the peninsula of Michigan, while west of the lakes it 
stood minus 23 at North Platte, minus 12 at Indian- 
apolis, and minus 13 at Saint Louis. 

The peninsular situation of Michigan between the lakes 
is somethincf which arrests the attention of the most 
casual observer of the map of the Northwest. It is not 
apparent to observation, however, that Michigan is also a 
climatic peninsula ; and yet the facts which have been 
cited in this paper show that its climate, in its seasonal 
means, is a patch taken from the latitude of Ohio; while 
in the moderation of its extremes it bears an analogy to 
the Floridian peninsula. Its climate is cut off from that 
of Wisconsin and Iowa by a barrier as abrupt and as 
real as that which limits its territory. That which consti- 
tutes the barrier in the one case creates it in the other. 



230 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

While the whole eastern shore of Lake Michigan enjoys 
the combined advantages of lake influence, and peculiar 
arrangement in the prevailing direction of the wind, 
there seemed to be still another expedient by which these 
advantacres could be enhanced and distributed over a wider 
belt. There is a singular, and, one could almost believe, 
providential, conformation of this shore of the lake which 
greatly augments its ameliorating influence on climate, 
and, at the same time, creates important facilities for 
shipment and transportation of the products of the soil. 
Anj'one looking at an ordinanj map of Lake Michigan 
would at once conclude that the rigid continuity of the 
coast-line excluded the possibility^ of all harbor accommo- 
dations from Chicago to Grand Traverse Bay. It is true 
that we find few harbors in a state of preparation for 
occupancy; but it is a singular and interesting and most 
important fact that there is not a stream, however small, 
emptying into Lake Michigan from the east which does 
not first discharge its waters into a small lake which 

O 

communicates almost immediately with Lake Michigan. 
Looking at a representation of this hydrographic singu- 
larity, one can hardly resist the fanc}^ that we have here 
a real litter of lakelets nestling alongside of the great 
maternal lake. These babv lakes are bodies of clear 
water, with clean, sandy shores, and abound in delicate 
fish. Toward the north they contain the speckled trout 
in abundance, while many of the streams which debouch 
through them are stocked with that game-fish whose 
pursuit is so exhilarating to anglers, the " grayling," first 
described from the waters Michigan. We find over thirty 
of these lakelets between St. Joseph and Little Traverse 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION". 231 

Bay, while at least a dozen of them furnish depth of 
water sufficient to float the largest lake steamers. 

The geological explanation of this phenomenon is not 
difficult. The surface sands of the peninsula have for 
ages been in process of transportation by the moving 
waters from the interior to the great lake. The stream 
of sand is met by the waves, and a bar is formed which, 
in time, obstructs the outlet. In some cases the water 
is dammed, and the lakelet is formed directly; in others 
the stream passes off laterally between the bar and the 
mainland, the current gradually wearing away the bar 
and widening the water-way on the eastern side, while 
the action of the waves in throwing up the sands widens 
and develops it into a high barrier on the lakeward side. 

The climatic effect of these numerous smaller bodies 
of fresh water stretched like a string of pearls along 
the skirt of the peninsula is to widen the belt of lake 
influence, and to temper the cold approaching from almost 
every direction. They also multiply many fold the length 
of coast-line, and furnish innumerable sites enjoying a 
Avater aspect. As the banks of all these lakelets are 
elevated and dry, the lengthening of the line of lakeside 
situations is a circumstance of very great moment. 

It is worthy of remark that when we look along the 
ivestern shore of Lake Michigan for the counterpart of 
this string of lakelets it is not there. The eastern shore 
monopolizes again all the advantages. Blessed be the 
west wind, which, though it pinches the squatter on the 
prairie, and by the hands of its servants, the waves, digs 
down the eastern borders of Wisconsin, heaves up piles 
of sand upon the shore of Michigan, making unwearied 
additions to the land, and building up the terraces of our 



232 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

crystal lakelets to furnish a "lake view" for every home- 
stead along the border of the " beautiful peninsula." 

The climatic peculiarities of the eastern shore of Lake 
Michigan, in the neighborhood of Saint Joseph, began to 
be understood many years ago. At least, it had been em- 
pirically discovered that the region is favorable for the 
growth of the peach. But it is certain that no one 
would have believed, before 1866, that an almost identi- 
cal winter climate stretches as far north as Grand Trav- 
erse. In 1866 the present writer set forth the statistical 
evidence of the fruit-producing capacity of the whole lake 
shore; and in 1867 the incredulity of the Secretary of the 
State Board of Agriculture for Michigan prompted him 
to an official investigation, which ended in a complete 
vindication of all the claims set up for " The Fruit Belt 
of Michigan." At the present time it is demonstrated 
from experience that all the way from New Buffalo to 
Northport, a distance of 225 miles in a right line, fruit- 
trees and shrubs which escape destruction through the 
winters of central Illinois and Missouri enjoy complete 
immunity. During the period of verdure, the genial 
influence of the lake secures them from the early and 
late frosts, which are not unfrequently felt as far south 
as Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. The growing sea- 
son is consequently as long, and very nearly as warm, as 
that of central Illinois. The equability of the climate is 
considerably greater ; while the persistent and chilling 
and destructive winds which frequently visit the south- 
west are comparatively unknown. At the same time, 
the soil of the entire belt, from Indiana to Grand Trav- 
erse Bay, is worthy of the climate. Though decidedly 
sandy, and at first view uninviting, it is proved, both 



THE CLIMATE OF THE LAKE REGION. 233 

by investigation and experience, to abound in those alka- 
line substances requisite for the highest luxuriance of 
ordinary vegetation. 

In accordance with these conditions, the entire lake 
shore, for a breadth of twenty to forty miles, is becoming 
rapidly converted into orchards and plantations for the 
rearing of all the diiferent fruits known in the temperate 
zone. 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS. 



A LMOST every one is aware that the mammoth was a 
-^'-^ quadruped of huge dimensions. The name has been 
transferred to other objects of extraordinary magnitude. 
The mammoth is generally understood to have been an 
elephant-like creature, possessing the majestic mien and 
ponderous tread of the living proboscidians of Africa and 
India. But no one could fail to stand acfhast with amaze- 
ment at the magnitude of the truthful restoration of the 
creature, as first exhibited in this country, three years 
ago, in the Natural Science establishment of Professor 
Henry A. Ward, of Rochester. Menageries have made us 
all familiar with the bulky and graceless grandeur of the 
modern elephants. We have seen in America a number 
of mounted skeletons of the extinct mastodon: while the 
bones and teeth of this elephantine predecessor of man 
have fallen under the observation of almost ever}^ child. 
But nobody had adequately conceived the astonishing mag- 
nitude to which the old mammoth of Europe, Asia and 
America sometimes attained. AVithin a few years the 
monster has been carefully reconstructed, and Professor 
Ward's enterprise has introduced him to the notice of 
American geologists and the American public. Permit me 
to recall the impressions made by a visit to the Rochester 
establishment. 

As the visitor enters the door of the building, which 

2U 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS. 



235 



has been erected for the accommodation of this antedilu- 
vian, a dark mountain of flesh rises before him. He had 
gauged his apprehension to the familiar bulk of the ele- 
phant, but here his eye must be lifted to a higher alti- 
tude ; his whole thought must swell to take in the idea 
of the towering form which looms above him and frowns 




THE HAIRY MAMMOTH KESTORED. FROM A RESTORATION IX THE 
ESTABLISHMENT OF PROFESSOR H. A. WARD, ROCHESTER, N. Y. 



darkly and severely down upon him. The monster's brow 
rises like some old granite dome, weather-beaten and 
darkened by the lapse of geologic ages. Two winding 
streams of ivorv descend like crlaciers from the base of 
the dome, while the corrugated and beetling proboscis 
swells between them like the embattled crest which di- 



236 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

vides two Alpine glacier-torrents. Behind expands and 
uprises the mountain mass of which these are the acces- 
sories. Serene and motionless as Mont Blanc this majes- 
tic form stands awaiting our wonder and adoration. No 
astonishment disconcerts it; no exclamations stir a feature. 
Unlike the dumb mountain, however, this form seems in 
a mood of contemplation. All this dark and towering 
mass is conscious. There are eyes which open on us and 
take cognizance of our movements; there are ears which 
take in the sounds of our voice. This creature contem- 
plates us ; he throws a spell over us ; he has us. in his 
power. 

The mammoth! aye, the mammoth of mammoths! With 
a long breath, after this suspense of amazement, we ex- 
tricate ourselves from his spell, and meet his overpower- 
incr stare with the force of intellio-ent will. He is but a 
beast, let us analyze the sources of his power over us. 
He stands sixteen feet in height. His extreme length is 
twenty-six feet, and the distance between the tips of his 
tusks is fourteen feet. His body is thirty feet in circum- 
ference close to the skin. The sole of his foot is three 
feet in diameter. His tusks are fourteen feet long and 
one foot in diameter at the base. Between his short, 
post-like fore-legs a man can stand upright with his hat 
on without touching the animal's body. The whole ex- 
terior is clothed with dark, shaggy hair, quite unlike the 
modern elephants, and under the throat it attains a length 
of twelve to fifteen inches. There is a gallery in this 
building, and the monster's eye is nearly on a level with 
it. We ascend to the gallery to obtain a more command- 
ing position, and there experience a sensible relief in 
finding this formidable creature partially beneath us. 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS. 237 

But this may be all a pure fabrication, in conception 
as well as in construction, like the "Trojan Horse," or 
the bronze statue of Bavaria at Munich, whose hollow 
head will receive six men and women at once. What 
evidence have we that such a beast ever lived? Aye, 
there's the important point. Now, I have examined this 
question. I have some personal knowledge, alid I have 
received some reliable testimony. First let me give a 
little history of this Wardian mammoth. 

This specimen was manufactured in Professor Ward's 
establishment, itself a worthy object of national pride, 
since no equal establishment of the kind exists in the 
world. But it was modeled after an original restoration 
purchased at Stuttgart. The original was made b}" the 
distinguished preparator L. Martin, who worked under 
the direction and advice of Dr. Oscar Fraas, the celebrated 
geologist and comparative anatomist of Stuttgart. The 
Royal Museum at Stuttgart is one of the richest in the 
world, and in certain departments it surpasses all. Here 
had been preserved for some years various bones of the 
extinct elephant which once roamed over Europe. Here 
was a thio^h-bone and there a vertebra; here a tooth and 
there a portion of a skull; here a tusk and there an ulna 
or a metacarpal. I well remember how these numerous 
huge bro^n relics of an extinct world commanded my 
attention when formerly making a study of this museum. 
Now, every bone sustains a certain relation to the entire 
bulk of the animal to which it belonged. Indeed, so great 
is the uniformity of correlations of parts that we safely 
affirm that if one elephantine bone was twice the bulk 
of another of the same name, the animal which used it 
was twice the bulk of the other, exactly as the Greek 



238 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 

sculptor proceeded to model a colossal figure from the 
known proportions of the normal one. The living ele- 
phants from different regions, and of different varieties, 
ages and sexes, have long been known to comparative 
anatomists. There is little variation among them in the 
ratio of a given bone to the whole length or height of 
the animal. Now, as the mammoth was an elephant, the 
known ratio of thigh-bone to the animal w^ould enable 
the anatomist to construct the animal from the bone, 
from a sinsfle bone. But in the case of the mammoth, 
every bone of the skeleton had somewhere been discov- 
ered. With such knowledge the Stuttgart specimen was 
reconstructed. The left tusk, with all its enormous 
magnitude, was literally moulded over a real tusk, and 
the right is simply made to correspond. Dr. Fraas, in 
Vfriting on this subject, after saying he felt " homesick " 
for another sight of the old Colossus, the erection of 
which he had superintended, personally guarantees the 
accuracy of the reproduction as to size and proportions, 
and states that Herr Martin took accurate measures for 
every part from original bones. He admits, however, 
that some doubt may exist as to the color of the hair, 
and its length upon the tail and the throat of the animal. 
The very conditions of the case preclude absolute certainty 
here. But in respect to these points, as in the^ form and 
pose of the creature, the reconstructor has been guided 
by actual specimens, including a nearly complete skeleton 
preserved in the Imperial Museum at St. Petersburg, to 
which I shall presently refer. 

The framework of the restoration was of timber. Over 
this the contour of the body was skillfully shaped, and the 
whole was covered by a skin. To this was applied an 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS. 239 

artificial covering of hair of proper length, and dyed the 
appropriate color. And thus was reproduced, as nearly 
as science and art could accomplish it, the verisimilitude 
of the livincf mammoth which once thundered throusjh 
the forests and jungles of the Old World and the New. 

This extraordinary product of human skill arrested 
the attention of Professor Ward. He was on his way to 
Egypt, Abyssinia, and the Red Sea, in search of the treas- 
ures of the animal and mineral kingdoms to stock his 
collection and supply the demands of American colleges 
and universities. He endeavored to purchase the speci- 
men, and the reader may like to know that it was held 
at the exorbitant price of 60,000 marks, or $15,000. On 
his return, however, he telegraphed from Paris the offer 
of a sum which was accepted. Repairing to Stuttgart, he 
subjected the beast to a process of dissection, and after 
much labor reduced it to a condition suited for trans- 
portation to America.* 

The present specimen was built by Professor Ward and 
his imported preparators after the model of the original, 
but with several minor improvements. It consists of 
thirty-two separate pieces, and is specially adapted to dis- 
mounting for transportation. The hair is rendered in- 
combustible by steeping in a solution of tungstate of 
soda. 

A reproduction so unique of a prehistoric monster 
whose relics, scattered over the breadth of our continent, 

* It will contribute some nnmerical values to our apprehension of the bulk 
of this monster to read the following statements : Ten workmen were occupied 
six days in taking the creature to pieces and packing it in fourteen enormous 
boxes for shipment. The total weight was 1 1.(594 pounds, and so bulky was it 
that it loaded four German freight cars. The freight charges from Stuttgart to 
New York were $682, and from New York to Rochester by canal $86. 



240 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

have excited the wonder and inquiry of every American 
citizen, possesses much more than a commercial impor- 
tance. Here, at length, is the full embodiment of the 
creature whose teeth and bones our bogs have been yield- 
ing up for a couple of centuries past. Some of us have 
seen the ponderous bones of his near relative, the masto- 
don, bolted together in due 'order, in the museums at 
Boston, Albany, Chicago and elsewhere, but this mightier 
proboscidian has never furnished us a complete skeleton. 
Still stranger to American eyes is the towering shaggy 
form of the mammoth as clothed in flesh and ele^Dhantine 
fur. This and the mastodon are the beasts of which our 
Indians preserve some distinct traditions. This is the 
beast once hunted by the prehistoric inhabitant of Europe. 
It was the figure of such game that European man in 
the Stone Age sometimes etched on plates of ivory. It 
is a coincidence of great interest that palaeolithic man in 
America was a co-tenant with the same quadruped, and 
executed similar sketches upon the animal's own ivory; 
for in at least two instances such outlines, traced on ivory, 
have been taken from " mounds " in the Mississippi valle}^ 
By our relationship to the primitive populations of two 
continents, therefore, our interest impels us to learn more 
of the life and times of the colossal game which was once 
pursued with rude implements of flint and bone. 

History has preserved no mention of the existence of 
the mammoth in the living state; but its bones are scat- 
tered over the whole of Europe and northern Asia as far 
as Behring's Straits ; even on the American side of the 
straits they occur in similar abundance. But it was, ac- 
cording to prevailing scientific opinion, a somewhat diifer- 
ent species of mammoth which left its remains throughout 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODOKS. 241 

the United States, and even as fai' as Mexico and Central 
America. Still another species ranged from Honduras to 
Peru. Scientists have desiafnated the first mentioned the 
"primeval mammoth" {Elephas ])rimigenns)^ and our own 
species the " American mammoth " {Elephas Americanus). 
The other species is the " Andean mammoth " {Elephas 
Andium). Like modern elephants, the mammoths proba- 
bly delighted in water and mire, and sometimes indulged, 
like the rhinoceros and the well-known pig, in the dirty 
habit of "wallowing" in the mud. This instinct tempted 
the huge creatures into treacherous bogs, in which they 
seem sometimes to have sunk beyond recovery; for their 
bones are frequently preserved in beds of peat, and the 
skeleton is occasionally found in an erect position. Their 
tusks occur in northern Russia in such abundance as to 
supply an important part- of the ivory of commerce. It 
is said that Siberian ivory constitutes the principal ma- 
terial on which the Russian ivory-turner works. Alaska 
also affords considerable supplies. 

Strange as it may seem, the mammoth, whose congener, 
the elephant, is remarkably sensitive to cold, once abounded 
throughout the arctic latitudes of the two worlds. More 
than a hundred years ago not only their ivory but their 
carcasses were known to exist in Siberia, imbedded in 
solid ice. The first discovery was on the borders of the 
Alaseia river, which flows into the Arctic ocean beyond 
Indigirska. The body was still standing erect, and was 
almost perfect. The skin remained in place, and the hair 
and fur were still attached in spots. In 1772 the body 
of a perfect two-horned rhinoceros, covered with hair, was 
found preserved in frozen gravel near the Vilhoui or 

Wiljui, a tributary of the Lena, in latitude 64. The 
16 



242 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

head and feet of this animal, also related to tropical 
species, are preserved in St. Petersburg. The most cele- 
brated discovery was made in 1799. A Tungusian fisher- 
man named Schumachoff was exploring along the coast 
of the frozen ocean for ivory. He was near the mouth 
of the Lena river, in latitude 70, when he noticed, in a 
huge block of clear glacier ice, a dark object imbedded 
too deeply to permit a half savage curiosity to feel tempted 
to explore. In 1801 the melting of the ice had exposed 
a portion of the very carcass of the animal whose ivory 
was strewed along those frozen shores. In 1803 it had 
become completely disengaged by the dissolution of the 
ice. In 1804 the Tungusian cut the Tusks, weighing 300 
pounds, from the head, and disposed of them for fifty 
roubles to an ivory merchant. In 1806 Mr. Adams, who 
was collecting for the Imperial Museum at St. Petersburg, 
found the carcass still on the shore, but greatly mutilated. 
It appeared that the Yakutski had actually regaled their 
dogs upon the flesh ; and bears, wolves, wolverines and 
foxes had gladly feasted upon it! Fresh elephant steaks 
preserved ten thousand years in Nature's unequaled re- 
frigerator! Thus this priceless relic of a prehistoric world 
was allowed to waste away. But it was not completely 
lost to science ; for, except one foreleg, the skeleton re- 
mained perfect. A large part of the skin had also 
escaped destruction, together with one of the ears, which 
still preserved its characteristic tuft of hairs. The skin 
was of a dark tint, and was covered with reddish wool 
an inch in length, interspersed with reddish-brown hairs 
four inches long, and sparser black bristles twelve to six- 
teen inches long. Dampness, however, had destroyed large 
portions, and others had been trodden into the earth by 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS. 243 

bears. Everything of value was now collected, including 
more than thirty pounds of fur ; the tusks were repur- 
chased, and the whole was transported to St. Petersburg, 
where the mounted skeleton at present stands, in the Im- 
perial Museum, the skin still remaining attached to the 
head and feet. This individual was nine feet his^h and 
sixteen feet long, exclusive of the tusks. Some portions 
of the skin and hair were sent by Mr. Adams to Sir 
Joseph Banks, and they may now be seen in the Museum 
of the Royal College of Surgeons, in London. 

Other discoveries have been made more recently. In 
1843 a mammoth was found bv Middendorf, a Russian 
naturalist, on the Tas, between the Obi and the Yenesei, 
in latitude 66 30', in so perfect a state that the bulb of 
the eye is still preserved in the museum at Moscow. 
Another carcass, together with a smaller individual, was 
discovered the same year, imbedded in clay and sand, near 
the river Taimyr, as far north as latitude 75 15'. 

These sources of information have been fully utilized 
in the restoration of which a view is given above. This 
Stuttgart-Rochester restoration mav therefore be resfarded 
as embodying, for scientific and popular inspection, all 
that has been learned in a hundred years, and recorded 
in a hundred volumes, concerning the external aspect of 
the primeval mammoth or his American relative. 

It is the extinct Siberian elephant which has given us 
the word "mammoth." It comes from the Russian mam- 
ant, a name applied by the native tribes to a huge beast 
supposed to burrow underground, and to perish whenever 
by chance it becomes exposed to the light. Some, how- 
ever, think it is derived from the Hebrew heJiemoth. 

It is impossible to refrain from speculating on the 



244 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

nature of the events which resulted in the burial of 
entire mammoths in glacier-ice. That the climate in 
which they had lived was not tropical, like that of Af- 
rica or India, may be regarded as proved by the presence 
of the fur in which these animals were clothed. That it 
was not similar to the existing climate of northern Si- 
beria is apparent from the consideration that such a* 
climate would not yield the requisite supply of vegeta- 
tion to sustain their existence. More especially would 
forest vegetation be wanting, which seems to have been 
designed as the main reliance for proboscidians. North- 
ern Siberia must, therefore, have possessed a temperate 
climate. If the change to an arctic climate had been 
gradual, the herds of mammoths would probably have 
slowly migrated southward; or, if no actual migration oc- 
curred, the extinction of the mammoth population would 
have been distributed over many j^ears, and the destruc- 
tion of individuals would have taken place at tempera- 
tures which were still insufficiently rigorous to preserve" 
their carcasses for a hundred ages. Whole herds of mam- 
moths must have been overwhelmed by a sudden invasion 
of arctic weather. Some secular change produced an un- 
precedented precipitation of snow. We may imagine ele- 
phantine communities huddled together in the sheltering 
valleys and in the deep defiles of the rivers, where, on 
previous occasions, they had found that protection which 
carried them safely through wintry storms. But now, 
the snow-fall found no pause. Like cattle overwhelmed 
in the gorges of Montana, the mammoths were rapidly 
buried. By precipitation and by drifting, fifty feet of 
snow, perhaps, accumulated above them. They must 
perish; and with the sudden change in the climate, their 



MAMMOTHS AN"D MASTODONS. 245 

sbroiid of snow would remain wrapped about them through 
all the mildness of the ensuing summer. The fleecy snow 
would become granular; it would be neve or frn, as in 
the glacier sources of the Alps. It would finally become 
solid ice, compact, clear and sea-green in its limpid 
depths. It would be a glacier; and so it would travel 
down the gorges, down the valleys toward the frozen 
ocean, sweeping buried mammoths bodily in its resistless 
stream. -Thus, in the course of ages, their mummied 
forms would reach a latitude more northern than that 
in which thev had been inhumed. It mav even have 
been the case that livino- mammoths lingered in the coun- 

t_) CD 

try which had witnessed the snowy burial of herds of 
their fellows. Some must have escaped the first great 
snow-deluge, and there must have been a return of sunny 
days, during which they could seek to resuscitate their 
famished bodies; and spring must have come back at last, 
and another hope-inspiring summer, cheering, but short 
and illusory. And if a secular pause in the severity of 
the climate ensued, a few survivors may have lingered 
for many years. But winter, dire and permanent, was 
on the march, and the record which it has left declares 
that the mammoth population struggled in vain against 
the despotism of frost, and that the empire which was 
set up has crumbled only under the attacks of man}^ 
thousand summers. 

There has been a time in the history of the Ar^^an 
family of men when they seem to have suffered from a 
sudden change of climate which compelled them to mi- 
Efrate southward. When we trace the movements of the 
European nations backward, we find, in the remote past, 
a point of divergence from the nations which crossed the 



246 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Hindu-Kush into the peninsula of India. In Central Asia 
the ancestors of the Hindus, Iranians and Europeans were 
one people. There arose the Brahmanic and Zoroastrian 
religfions. But the sacred books of the latter contain allu- 
sions to a remoter time, when the ancestors of the Ar- 
yans dwelt in a country blessed with seven montlis of 
summer. This was Aryana-Yaejo, a land of delight, given 
by Ahura-Mazda, and su25posed to have been located in 
Southern Turkestan, upon the Plateau of Pamir, or some- 
what farther east in the beautiful valley of Cashgar. 
But lest this paradise should tempt all nations to crowd 
in and overpopulate it, the " evil being, Angra-Mainyus 
(Ahriman), full of death, created a mighty serpent, and 
winter, the work of the Devas." Now ten months of 
frost prevailed, succeeded by only two months of sum- 
mer. Of this transformed resfion, the Vendidad savs: 
"There is the heart of winter; there all around falls 
deep snow; there is the worst of evils." So the ances- 
tors of the Zoroastrians migrated from Ar3^ana-Vaejo, 
or Old Iran, southward into New Iran within the modern 
Afghanistan.* 

The Vendidad, indeed, seems to contain reminiscences 
of remoter migrations, stretching from the Caucasus to 
the " Five Kivers," or Punjab, interrupted by fourteen dif- 
ferent stations or pauses, like those of the Israelites 

* Is there no analogy between the Aryana-Vaejo of the Zend-Avesta and the 
Eden of the Hebrew sacred books? In both, the primitive home of tlie white 
race was a country of spontaneous productiveness and a delightful climate. 
Both lands were given by a beneficent Deity for human occupation. From both 
lands our ancestors were driven through the machinations of the Evil One. In 
both narratives the power of evil is personified in a serpent. The consequence 
in both narratives is the necessity of resort to cultivation of the soil for the pro- 
duction of bread. May both narratives be pictures reproducing from national 
memory the same encroachment of physical severities upon the same land of 
edenic delights? 



MAMMOTHS AKD MASTODONS. 247 

through the wilderness which separated them from their 
" land of promise." 

Geological evidences of a great and somewhat sudden 
change of climate throughout the North Temperate Zone, 
in times geologically recent, are too familiar to require 
more than a mere mention. The greater part of Europe, 
and all America, to the latitude of 36, were once buried 
beneath sheets of glacier ice. In Europe we have the 
evidence of the presence of man while the continental 
glaciers were flooding the rivers of France by their rapid 
dissolution. At the same time the mammoth was there. 
While thousands of his fellow-mammoths were lying frozen 
and stark in the icy cemeteries of the North, a few of 
the giants of a former age had chanced to dwell in lati- 
tudes which perpetual snow had not invaded. These were 
a part of the game which the primeval inhabitants of 
Europe pursued. Of his ivory they made handles for their 
implements and weapons. On his ivory they etched fig- 
ures of the maned and shaggy proboscidian, of which 
neither history nor tradition has preserved the memory.* 
The bones and teeth of the mammoth are strewed through 
all the cavern homes and sequestered haunts of the oldest 
tribes who hunted and fought upon the plains and along 
the valleys of Europe. 

The reader will irresistibly inquire: "How many years 
have elapsed since Siberian elephants were encased in ice? 
How manv since their survivors thundered through the 

* The entire absence of such tradition from Europe, so far as known, seems 
to imply that the present race exterminated or expelled their predecessors, in- 
stead of becoming consolidated with them, as has been sometimes conjectured. 
The Indians of America, on the contrary, retained some tradition of the elephant 
and mastodon. In view'of the supposition that the Finns and Lapps represent 
the premediterranean population of Europe, it would be extremely interesting to 
know if they retain any national recollections of the hairy mammoth. 



248 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

forests of England and Central Europe before the cliase 
of the human hunter?" To answer these questions we 
must ascertain the remoteness of the epochs of continental 
glaciation, and of the disappearance of the continental 
glaciers. These are unsolved problems in science. If 
continental glaciation was caused by a state of maximum 
eccentricity in the earth's orbit, as Mr. Croll maintains, 
the last secular midwinter probably occurred about 80,000 
years ago, and the Siberian carcasses have lain preserved 
for eighty or a hundred thousand years; and the decline 
of the glaciers which witnessed the presence of (Mongol- 
oid?) man in Europe was probably not later than 50,000 
years ago.* If continental glaciatioil was caused by the 
precession of the equinoxes, as M. Adhemar contends, the 
last geological midwinter may have been about 10,500 
years ago, and the pluvial condition of Europe was some- 
what less remote. Regardless of these theories, the pres- 
ent writer is of the opinion that the geological events 
which have taken place since the epoch of general glacia- 
tion do not demand over ten thousand years ; and he 
inclines to think that the pluvial epoch of Western Europe 
may correspond with those cataclysms of Europe and 
Western Asia known as the deluges of Ogyges, Deucalion, 
Noah, and perhaps of the Great Yu in China.f 

Only two species of elephants have survived to our 
day. These are the African and the Indian {EJephas 
Africanus and FAephas Indicus). The former is distin- 
guished by the rounded skull, the immense ears and the 
lozenge-shaped figure presented by the outcropping plates 

* An exposition of Croirs glacial theory will be found in chapter vii, p. 186. 
t See more particularly in chapter vi, p. 158 seq. 



MAMMOTHS AN"D MASTODON'S. 



249 




GRINDER OF THE AFRICAN ELE- 
PHANT. PLAN OF ENAMEL- 
PLATES ON THE CROWN. 




GRINDER OF INDIAN ELEPHANT. 
PLAN OF ENAMEL-PLATES ON 
THE CROWN. 



on the crowns of the molar teeth (see cut). The Indian 

elephant has an elongated 
or pyramidally elevated 
skull, small ears, and nar- 
row, elongated figures, in- 
closed by the plates of the 
molars. Both species pos- 
sess five toes on each foot, 
but the Indian has only 
four hoofs behind, and the 
African three behind and 
four anteriorly. The mam- 
moth was larger than eith- 
er. It differed from both 
in the possession of a dense 
clothinsf of hair. It resem- 
bled the African species in the size of its tusks, and the 
Indian in the figure of the vertical plates of the grind- 
ers, and its smaller ears. 
The tusks, however, were 
larger, more widely 
spread, and more exten- 
sively curved, than those 
GRINDER OF MAMMOTH. PLAN OF of any living elephant, 

ENAMEL-PLATES ON THE CROWN. i 4-1 1 

and their enormous sock- 
ets produced a marked elongation of the head. The occiput 
was largely developed, and the forehead was concave_ and 
nearly vertical. V 

The mammoth must not be confounded with the mas- 
todon. The size and general aspect of the latter were 
extremelv similar, though we have no evidence that it 
was clothed with hair save the discovery of a few dun- 




250 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

brown tufts, two to seven inches long, in connection with 
the Shawangunk skeleton. The entire structure was truly 
elephantine, and it lived as a contemporary of the mam- 
moth. Peculiarities of the grinding teeth, however, led 
Cuvier to establish a distinct genus for its reception. 
The molar or grinding tooth of the elephant, in its usual 
condition, consists of a group of hollow, flattened cylinders 
of enamel-covered dentine, standing vertical to the grind- 
ing surface, and arranged in a rather close series, extend- 
ing from the front to the back of the molar, and all 
cemented in one huge mass by a substance called cemen- 
tum (see Figures, page 249). Each flattened cylinder, 
while unworn on the crown, is closed up, but by wearing 
it soon becomes open. The cylinders, moreover, ultimately 
coalesce at the base of the crown, forming a common body 
from which the roots proceed. Now, in the mastodon 
(see cut) the vertical flattened cylinders begin to de- 




GRINDER OF MASTODON. PERSPECTIVE VIEW FROM THE SIDE. 

velop on the crown in a similar way; but they are fewer, 
smaller and less compressed, and coalesce with each other 
much nearer the surface of the crown. Hence no cemen- 
tum is required to hold them together, and this substance 
is scarcel}^ discoverable except upon the roots of the tooth. 



MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS. 251 

Moreover, the mastodont molar is smaller, and eight of 
them may be fully in use at one time, while in the ele- 
phant but four. It is an exceptional circumstance that 
the succession of molars in both genera is from behind, 
save that in the mastodon the first two molars are suc- 
ceeded vertically, according to the law of other mammals. 
The great mastodon which once roamed over North 
America is known as the American mastodon {Mastodon 
Auieyicanus). It seems to have been the dominant pro- 
boscidian of the New World in the same as^e when the 
primitive mammoth was dominant in the Old World. 
Yet another species of mammoth roamed here at the 
same time as another species of mastodon {Mastodon an- 
gustidens, the narrow-toothed mastodon) roamed in Eu- 
rope. Evidence exists that the American mastodon con- 
tinued in America to as late a date as the primeval mam- 
moth in Europe, and was, like that, contemporary with 
the human species. Barton and Kalm both give accounts 
of discoveries in which some outline of the soft parts of 
the animal was still preserved. The Indians, moreover, 
retained very positive and vivid traditions of the masto- 
don, calling it " the bison's grandfather,*' and related that 
they had all been slain by the Great .Man because they 
were destroying the Indians' game. The skeletons of 
the mastodon are found sometimes standinij erect in beds 
of peat, marl or mud ; and the writer has observed a 
skeleton, in one instance, within eighteen inches of the 
surface, where it would seem it might have been deposited 
within five hundred years. These remains, like those of 
the Siberian mammoth, occur under such circumstances 
as to constrain us to believe that their inhumation has 
been geologically very recent. And yet it seems probable 



252 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

that the primeval mammoths, which were contemporary 
with the oldest men in Europe, were the survivors of 
those encased in Siberian ice. 

I must now allude to some facts of extraordinary in- 
terest. There were once living^ in India, but before the 
period of the primeval mammoth, proboscidians which were 
intermediate between the mastodon and the elephant in 
the structure of their grinders. We know a gradation 
of at least four connecting links. First, there was the 
wide-toothed mastodon {Mastodon latidens), which had the 
ridges across the crown (corresponding to the unworn, 
flattened cylinders of the elephant), more numerous than 
in the American mastodon, less distant, more tuberculated, 
Avith the intervals between them deeper. Secondly, there 
was the elephantoid mastodon {Mastodon elej)hantoides), 
which had a molar twelve inches long, with ten trans- 
verse ridges ; in both respects resembling the elephant, 
but still, unlike the elephant, having very little cementum 
between the ridges. Thirdly, there was the flat-faced ele- 
phant {Elephas planifrofis), which, though styled an ele- 
phant, and having a supply of cementum between the 
transverse plates, was nevertheless mastodon-like in the 
shallowness of the clefts between the plates. Fourthly, 
there was the Hysudric elephant {Elephas Hi/sudricus), in 
which the divergence from the mastodon type was car- 
ried still farther. But lastly, it is carried farthest of all 
in the living Indian elephant, which has the most com- 
plex molars found among existing animals. Now all these 
proboscidians, together with the primeval mammoth, dwelt 
in successive periods upon the same continent ; and it is 
a fair inquiry whether they were genealogically related 
to each other. Venturinfy to arrancre them in a linear 



MAMMOTHS Al^D MASTODONS. 253 

series, we should have a succession somewhat as follows : 
(1) Mastodon angustidens; (2) Mastodon latidens; (3) Mas- 
todon elephantoides ; (4) Elephas planifrons ; (5) Eleplias 
Africamis; (6) Elephas Hysudriciis; (7) Elephas Indicus. 
This at least represents the order of divergence of the 
molar from the mastodont t^^pe, and this is the historical 
order of existence of the species now extinct. The Afri- 
can elephant thus seems to be a survivor of times as re- 
mote as those in which the Hysudric elephant flourished, 
and its remains have been actually discovered in the 
Newer Pliocene deposits of the island of Sicily, in associ- 
ation with those of another elephant {Elephas antiquus), 
which came down from the preceding epoch. Here we 
have a successional order and a parallel structural rela- 
tionship exactly like those which have been traced in the 
geological history of the horse-type, though not by any 
means extending over a geological interval of equal length. 
The mastodon preceded the elephant in both the Old 
World and the New; and this is in accordance with their 
respective degrees of divergence from still older mammals. 
In North America the mastodon is known both in the 
Older and Newer PJ'.ocene. In Europe it made its first 
appearance at an epoch generally placed, but perhaps 
erroneously, a little earlier. Mastodon longirostris and Mas- 
todon tapiroides being referred to the Miocene or Middle 
Tertiary. As the mastodon, on the one side, graduates 
into the succession of elephants, on the other, one of the 
oldest mastodons of Europe {M. tapiroides) reveals affini- 
ties with the more ancient types of tapir and dinotherium; 
and the oldest mastodons of America were associated with, 
or immediately preceded by, other enormous, many-hoofed 
quadrupeds, so far resembling the mastodon that authori- 



254 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

ties are divided on the question whether they do not really 
belong to proboscidians. All these facts accord with the 
theory of a g'enealogical descent from the older types, 
through the mastodons and transitional mastodons to the 
most divergent elephants. 

The Wardian restoration, therefore, carries our thoughts 
backward directly to the epoch when Europe and America 
became wrapped in a permanent mantle of snow ; and to a 
later epoch, when it was the companion of the rude ancestors 
of our species; and then, by association, backward into more 
distant ages, when the plastic influence of time was slowly 
evolving the elephantine type from the mastodon and from 
still older and stranger forms. In these prehuman ages the 
fair surface of our states and territories was populated 
by herds of quadrupeds as strange as they were gigantic. 
They grazed and browsed over regions which are now 
the sites of waving crops and populous cities, and prob- 
ably of navigable lakes. Here were nursed the primeval 
horses, and rhinoceroses, and tapirs, and camels, and pigs, 
and deer, and perhaps mastodons, whose descendants wan- 
dered by the northwest passage to Asia, Europe, and 
Africa. Here was the real Old World spread continent- 
wide and populous, while Europe was merely an archi- 
pelago. The relics of that wonderful extinct population 
have been studied by Leidy, and Cope, and Marsh; and 
through their labors we are permitted to live, as it were, 
a million years ago. Still more real and present appear 
the scenes of those primitive times when we stand in the 
midst of the restored and rehabilitated creatures of the 
Occident and the Orient which Professor Ward has spread 
before the eyes of the curious and inquiring in his vast 
museum at Rochester. 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN MICHIGAN. 



HAVING had occasion recently to draw up a state- 
ment of ray connection with the establishment of 
existing conceptions respecting the geology of salt and 
brine in the State of Michigan, I was first led to realize 
that some obligation might rest on me to leave on rec- 
ord, from personal experience and knowledge, a chapter 
on the historical development of these conceptions. The 
salt manufacture in Michigan has, in twenty years, at- 
tained proportions which are truly enormous. Every fact 
connected with the record of such a development possesses 
a permanent interest. The magnitude of the salt busi- 
ness in the state, and the large number of persons con- 
nected with it, either in production or consumption, create 
a wide-spread popular interest; while the geological posi- 
tion, attitude and productiveness of three separate salt- 
producing formations give the subject also an unusual 
degree of scientific interest. 

The existence of salt springs at numberless points in 
the lower peninsula of Michigan has been known from 
its earliest settlement; and here, as in other states, the 
Indians, no less than the elk and the deer, supplied their 
wants from the natural salines. Numerous reservations 
of lands supposed to contain salt springs had, at an early 
day, been made by the United States; and several unsuc- 
cessful attempts had been instituted by individuals to 

255 



256 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

manufacture salt. Michigan became a state in 1835, and 
in 1836 seventy-two sections of salt-spring lands were 
patented to the state by the general government.* A 
geological survey of the state was instituted by act of the 
legislature, aj^proved February 23, 1837. Douglass Hough- 
ton, M.D., was appointed State Geologist, and his first 
report was dated January 22, 1838. f One of the first 
objects contemplated by the legislature which organized 
the survey, as well as by the superintendent himself, was 
the determination of precise facts in reference to the 
value and distribution of the salt springs of the state. 
Accordingly, about two-thirds of the State Geologist's First 
Annual Report was devoted to an exposition of the results 
of his observations upon the brine springs of the state, 
made during the previous year. He found the salines 
of the state distributed in five groups: first, those upon 
the Grand Eiver, near Grand Rapids ; second, those on 
Maple River, in Gratiot county; third, those on the Titta- 
bawassee, in Midland county; fourth, those of Macomb 
county; fifth, those on the Saline River, in Washtenaw 
county. No saline indications of importance were known 
south of a line drawn from Monroe to Grand Rapids. 
Dr. Houghton gave analyses of twenty samples of brine 
from as many different localities within the peninsula. 
These localities were sjenerallv on marshes, circumstanced 
similarly to the salines of New York, or on the imme- 
diate banks of streams subject more or less to overflow. 
As the result of the observations of this year, Dr. Hough- 
ton advanced the opinion that the brine supplied at the 
surface, at any of the localities examined, would prove 
too weak and too limited in quantity to justify the expec- 
* Act of Congress, June 23, 1836. t House Documefits, pp. 276-316. 



SALT ENTERPRISE li^ MICHIGAi^-. 257 

tation of remunerative manufacture. At the same time, 
he announced " a general resemblance between the geology 
of the valley of the Ohio and that of Michigan," and stated 
his belief that " the rock formations of our saliferous 
district are somewhat lower in the series than those occur- 
ring in the principal salines on the Ohio," and from this 
" inferred that the salt- bearing rock would be nearer the 
surface here " than in Ohio. The similarity of circum- 
stances, as he erroneously conceived, attending the occur- 
rence of brine springs in Michigan and Ohio, led him to 
advance the opinion that in this state, as well as Ohio, 
success might follow the boring of artesian wells in the 
vicinity of the salines. 

This report led to the passage of an act approved 
March 24, 1838, " To provide for the improvement of cer- 
tain State Salt Springs," directing the State Geologist to 
proceed to make explorations by boring at one or more 
of the springs, and appropriating three thousand dollars 
to defray expenses. 

It marks the intelligent and liberal spirit of the early 
statesmen of Michigan to note that, by an act approved 
March 23, 1838, the first organization of the Geological 
Survey was abolished and an enlarged organization adopted. 
This established four departments: 1. Geological and Min- 
eralogical; 2. Zoological; 3. Botanical; 4. Topographical. 
Twelve thousand dollars were appropriated for each year 
between March 1, 1838, and March 1, 1841.* 

On the 1st of Januar}^, 1839, the State Geologist re- 
ported that he had visited the various salines of Penn- 

*When, in 1859, the legislature of the state determined to establish a new 
Geological Survey, they adopted the law of 1837, instead of that of 1838, and ap- 
propriated five thousand dollars for the expenses of two years. 
17 



258 SPAEKS FEOM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

sylvania, Virginia and Ohio, with the view of collecting 
information to guide his procedure, and had commenced 
the sinking of two shafts, one on the Tittabawassee 
near the mouth of Salt River, and the other on the Grand 
River, about three miles west of Grand Rapids. Before 
the close of the month the legislature made further spe- 
cial provision for the prosecution of these two enterprises. 
The work, however, was conducted under great difficul- 
ties. The surface materials were first penetrated on the 
Tittabawassee, by a shaft eight feet square, to the depth 
of forty-five feet, when fresh and brackish water over- 
powered the pumps, and an attempt was made to sink a 
drill at a neighboring point. From May to November, 
1841, the drill penetrated but 139 feet, when a rock was 
struck (supposed by Dr. Houghton to be quartzite) which 
the drill entered but half an inch in eleven hours, though 
loaded with a weight of 270 pounds. At this obstacle 
the work was abandoned. 

The well near Grand Rapids (Sec. 3, T. 6 N, 12 W.) was 
begun in July 1838, and ended in 1842, at a depth of 
473 feet. It was afterward carried to a depth of 876 
feet, and somewhat beyond.* This well passed 40 feet 
through superficial materials; 21 feet through the Mich- 
igan Salt Group; 280 feet through the Marshall Group, 
from which a weak brine flowed copiously; and 535 feet 
through the Huron Group. f 

According to iuformatioii furnished by Jolin Ball, Esq., of Grand Rapids, 
December 22, 1862. It was bored by Hon. Lucius Lyon, under contract with Dr. 
Houghton, for the State. Mr. Ball himself made the measurements of depth, and 
payments accordingly, while Dr. Houghton was engaged in the Lake Superior 
region. " The last measurement ^vas 876 feet, and they bored a short time after, 
and got jammed, as they express it, and gave it up." 

t These determinations and designations are of later date, and made by the 
present writer. 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN MICHIGAN. 259 

In these two costly and protracted experiments no 
brine was obtained materially better than that previously 
occurrino^ at the surface. 

In the meantime, in January 1840, Mr. Lyon began 
boring for salt on his own account. His location was 
near Bridge-street bridge, in the village (now city) of 
Grand Rapids, and by July 18-11, he had penetrated to a 
depth of 661 feet. This well began upon the Carbonifer- 
ous Limestone, which was found 19 feet thick, and passed 
171 feet through the Michigan Salt Group, 253 feet 
through the Marshall Group, and 214 feet into the Huron 
Group. It furnished an enormous flow of brackish wa- 
ter, amounting to one hogshead per minute; and by means 
of an ingenious contrivance brine was brought up un- 
mixed with the flow of fresh water, which proved to be 
one-fifth saturated, or at least equal in strength to brine 
at that time used on the Kanawha and Ohio rivers. 
With salt selling at three dollars per barrel, Mr. Lyon 
was enabled to manufacture a limited amount without 
loss. The want of brine of adequate strength, however, 
led to an early suspension of the business. 

After the failures of 1838-42, the " Salt Spring Lands" 
came into the market as little superior to ordinary agri- 
cultural lands. In 1849 (March 28), on the organization 
of the State Normal School, twenty-five sections were set 
apart for the creation of a Normal School Fund, at the 
minimum price of four dollars an acre for the unimproved 
tracts; and in 1855 (February 12) twenty-t\Vo sections 
were set apart for the endowment of an Agricultural 
CoUes-'e. 

A lingering belief yet survived, however, that Mich- 
igan was still destined to become a salt-producing state; 



260 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

and citizens of Grand Rapids, still remembering how near 
to the verge of success Mr. Lyon had reached, seriously 
agitated the resumption of explorations. Through the 
personal exertions of Dr. George A. Lathrop, of East Sag- 
inaw, and James Scribner, Esq., and others, of Grand Rap- 
ids, a law was passed, which was approved February 15, 
1859, offering a premium of ten cents a bushel for all 
salt made from brine obtained by boring within the state, 
and exemption from taxation of all property employed in 
the manufacture, the bounty to be paid when not less 
than 5,000 bushels should have been manufactured. On 
the same date an act was approved for the completion of 
the geological survey of the state; and on the 9th of 
March the present writer was commissioned by Gov. Mo- 
ses Wisner to conduct the survey. As soon as the season 
permitted he began an examination of the outcropping 
rocks in southern Michigan. His principal work this sea- 
son extended from the Detroit River across the southern 
portion of the state, and north to Newaygo count}^ These 
observations, together with those reported by an assistant 
from Genesee and Saginaw counties, and some less syste- 
matic original studies in Shiawassee, Genesee and Saginaw, 
furnished the data on which it was concluded that the 
formations of the peninsula presented the arrangement of 
a nest of wooden dishes. The most important determina- 
tion was the identification of an additional group of rocks, 
not hitherto noted in the state or elsewhere in the United 
States. Tllis was intercalated between the limestone, then 
first ascertained to be the great Carboniferous Limestone 
of the United States,, and the ferruginous sandstones 
which outcrop extensively in the southern counties. It 
was designated provisionally at that time the " Gypseous 



SALT ENTEEPRISE IN MICHIGAN". 261 

Series"; but a little later, the "Michigan Salt Group/' 
It has a thickness of 180 feet, and consists of argillaceous 
shales, clays, magnesian limestones and beds of gypsum.* 
Here is the origin of the brine which escapes in a circle 
of springs marking the contour of the formation. This 
group of strata underlies 17,000 square miles in the cen- 
tral portion of the state. It is dish- shaped, and consti- 
tutes an immense reservoir or saliferous basin. The 
edges are sufficiently elevated to prevent the efflux of 
water which finds its way into it; and hence the saline 
particles have never been washed away, as would have 
been the case if the formation possessed any continuous 
dip from border to border, or even had a depression on 
one side sufficiently deep to drain its contents. Beneath 
this series of shales is a porous sandstone the Napoleon 
sandstone of the Marshall Group which, within the cir- 
cumference of the basin which it forms, becomes saturated 
with brine from above. From the nature of the case, it 
is evident that the strongest brine must accumulate in 
the deepest part of this basin. 

In April, 1859, an artesian boring for salt was begun 
at East Saginaw, under the direction of Dr. G. A. Lathrop. 
I am not informed of the creoloofical reasoninc^ which led 
to the selection of that location. There were no brine 
springs in that vicinity, nor were there any outcrops of 
the underlying rocks. The result showed that the rocks 
were buried a hundred feet deep. Dr. Lathrop had trav- 
eled extensively in the regions about Saginaw Bay, and 
possessed a large amount of exact information on the 
geology of that part of the state. At Bay City, moreover, 

* W^ithout doubt these strata correspond to rocks which, in other states, con- 
stitute some of the lower part of the great Carboniferous Limestone series. 



262 SPARKS FRO^^r A geologist's hammer. 

Mr. James Frazier had found brine by sinking a common 
well to the depth of eighty feet; and a similar result had 
been reached at Banc^or. 

On the 12th of August, 1859, a well was begun at 
Grand Rapids by the "Grand Rapids Salt Manufacturing 
Company, " under the direction of James Scribner, and 
this was completed October 14 to the depth of 258 feet, 
with brine not exceeding 20 in strength. The impelling 
motive for this location was the traditional belief that 
the springs of that vicinity issued through fissures from 
a deep-seated supply. In October, 1859, I visited Grand 
Rapids, after completing the tour just indicated, and first 
declared, through the public prints of the city, that the 
salt springs of that vicinity were supplied by an overflow 
at the margin of the " salt basin "' which lay eastward 
from that point ; and hence all expenditures at Grand 
Rapids must jDrove comparatively unproductive. I stated 
on that occasion that the configruration of the strata 
pointed to the Saginaw valley as the position of the prin- 
cipal synclinal, and added that the very presence of the 
Saginaw bay and river indicated that region as overlying 
the deepest depression of our formations. Meantime, 
however, other wells were begun by the " Grand River 
Salt Company " and by Mr. R. E. Butterworth, but they 
led to no satisfactorv results. The same must be said of 
three other wells bored at a still later date, all of which 
reached over 400 feet.* 

* On the very day on which these words are penned, I have received infor- 
mation of a simiUar demonstration of the wisdom of heeding scientific advice. 
Some years ago I was commissioned by Governor Austin, of Minnesota, to 
make a survey for salt in the vicinity of Belle Plaine on the Minnesota river. 
A land bounty had been offered for defrayment of expense of boring, in case 
competent geological authority should approve the venture. Though my re- 
port to the Governor was unfavorable, I have been informed that the company 



SALT EKTERPRISE IN" MICHIGAN". 263 

In November, 1859, I paid Saginaw and vicinity a geo- 
logical visit. The East Saginaw well was then (Novem- 
ber 10) down 445 feet, and Dr. Lathrop submitted to my 
examination a complete series of rock samples brought up. 
Comparing these with the rocks already studied at their 
outcrops on three sides of the peninsula, I perceived that 
a very satisfactory correspondence existed, and announced 
that the bottom of the Marshall Sandstones, the reservoir 
of the brine, would be reached at about 800 feet, and 
that there would be no need of continuing to a greater 
depth, unless it were decided to penetrate to the Onondaga 
salt formation. 

In February, 1860, I made further examinations of the 
geological situation at Grand Rapids. These fully con- 
firmed former conclusions. There was furnished at this 
time, by A. 0. Currier, a detailed list of borings brought 
up from the Grand River Salt Company's well, then (Feb- 
ruary 11) 156 feet deep. Mr. R. E, Butter worth's well 
was 146 feet down, and he supplied me with a register 
of rocks pierced, subsequent information being added by 
Mr. Martin Metcalf, to the depth of 490 feet. I gave a 
public address in Lyceum Hall, on " Salt and its Geological 
Relations," in which I set forth my conception of the 
geological situation in Michigan. On returning home I 
addressed a communication to the superintendent of the 
Saginaw Salt Works, on " The Salt Borings of Saginaw," 
with the vievv" of making clear my views, as State Geolo- 
gist, of the geological conditions and prospects under 
which his enterprise was conducted. It was published in 

interested persuaded the legislature to make over the grant, when they bored 
a hole and left it as a record of successful business management. The com- 
pany never informed me of this procedure, nor did Governor Austin. 



264 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

the Saginaw Enterprise in February. The East Saginaw 
salt well was completed February 24. It was 669 feet 
deep, and yielded brine of 94. It had reached the solid 
rock at the depth of 92 feet, and after passing through 
the coal measures, with their initial and terminal sand- 
stones, pierced the carboniferous limestone, and found the 
Michigan Salt Group of strata 169 feet thick, and emi- 
nently saliferous, though from the compact nature of the 
formation the brine was very limited in amount. In the 
Napoleon sandstone beneath, 109 feet thick, the reservoir 
of the brine was struck which furnished an abundant 
supply, and was obtained at almost precisely the point 
which geology had predicted. The well terminated near 
the middle of the sandstone. On June 12 I ac^ain visited 
the salt works. Preparations were making to bore a sec- 
ond and larger well. This was subsecjuently carried to 
806 feet, extending through the sandstone and penetrating 
the underlying shale 64 feet. By July, 1860, a "block" 
had been erected, and boiling commenced. Before the 
close of the year 4,000 barrels of salt had been manufac- 
tured, and four other companies had commenced boring 
at diiferent points along the river. 

During the season of 1860 careful geological explora- 
tions were conducted around the Michicjan shores of Lake 
Huron and the islands at the head of the lake. Thus the 
correct view of the geology of the peninsula was more per- 
fectly defined, and more permanently settled. The most im- 
portant determination in this connection was the identifi- 
cation of a great development of the gypseous formation of 
the state in a high ridge which approaches near the lake 
about four miles south of Tawas. The gypseous series 
had been traced in the salt-boring at East Saginaw, and 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN" MICHIGAN". 265 

here was seen a ridge correspondincr to the proper place 
of outcrop of the formation, immediatel}^ below the car- 
boniferous limestone seen at Point au Gres. There had 
been a strolling explorer in the vicinity in search of lead, 
copper, coal, and anything else whatever in the minera- 
logical series, he seemed to have no idea of the orderly 
arrangement of things, and he had already bored in 
this ridge. This " Professor "' found nothing which seemed 
to reward his efforts, but I discovered among the debris 
left bv him some small fraorments which I at once iden- 
tified as belonging to the gypseous series. This entirely 
confirmed the induction already reached. When Mr. C. 
H. Whittemore, of Tawas, assured me that several fruit- 
less explorations had been made in the ridge, I assured 
him, in return, that tliere was the place for the great 
gypsum formation of the state. Indications of the out- 
crop of the formation had already been detected on the 
east side of Saginaw Bay, near the mouth of Pigeon 
Eiver. 

Gypsum had been reported many years before in the 
bed of the lake off Whitestone Point, but the high wind 
which prevailed when I was there prevented obtaining a 
view of it. This point is several miles south of the ridge 
in which I identified the gypsum formation. " Plaster 
Point," in the same vicinity, which really presents an 
exposure of the gypseous formation, with most of the 
gypsum dissolved out, is also some miles from the proper 
place of outcrop of the formation, at such elevation above 
the lake as to afford practicable working. 

In November, 1860, a resume of results of the geolog- 
ical survey was published in the Detroit Tribune by Henry 
Barns, who took an active interest in the work. 



266 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

In December the Chicago Academy of Sciences made 
an excursion to the University, and the State Geologist,, 
by request, devoted an hour to an exposition of the results 
of the geological survey. A report of this lecture was 
contained in the Chicago papers. 

The First Biennial Report of the Progress of the Geo- 
logical Survey was presented to the governor, and by him 
to the legislature, on the 31st of December 1860. Some 
later developments connected with the salt interest were 
added during the printing of the report. The Detroit 
Advertiser published, in January 1861, a copious resume 
of the results, and the Tribune published, during the same 
month, very extended extracts, including everything re- 
lating to the production of salt. An advance copy of the 
geological portion of the report was sent to the American 
Journal of Science, August 14, and was noticed in Sep- 
tember. The complete report w^as distributed between 
November 16 and November 30, 1861. 

In this report the following estimate was recorded of 
the importance of the salt interest, then just emerging 
into notice : " If the sjeolocfical indications on w^iicli I 
found my opinions are not fallacious, we have the most 
magnificent saliferous basin upon the continent east of 
the Mississippi" (p. 165), "The vast geographical extent 
of the salt basin of Michio-an, too-ether with the extraor- 
dinary strength of the brine, furnish strong reasons to 
anticipate that at no distant day Michigan will be the 
leading salt-producing state in the Union" (p. 193). This 
was said ten months after the success of the first well. 
In 1880 Michigan produced more salt than any other state 
in the Union, the official inspectors reporting 2,678,598 
barrels. 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN MICHIGAN". 267 

The outbreak of civil war interfered with the organized 
prosecution of field work during 1861 ; but the State 
Geologist found abundant occupation, an important part 
of which consisted in the office and laboratory investiga- 
tion of the materials accumulated during the two pre- 
ceding years.* 

Let us understand now what the researches of 1859-61 
succeeded in establishing. They showed that the forma- 
tions of the lower peninsula of Michigan constitute a series 
of successively overlying dish-shaped structures, with mar- 
gins approximately concentric with each other and with 
the boundaries of the peninsula. The uppermost rock 
formation occupies nearly the central part of the penin- 
sula, and has less geographical extent than any of the 
others. This is the Coal Measures, consisting of a sand- 
stone at or near the top, and another named the Parma 
Sandstone at the bottom. Next below is the Carbonifer- 
ous Limestone, the outcropping border of which is some- 
what farther from the center of the peninsula. Next is 
the Michigan Salt Group, which actually underlies the 
whole central part of the peninsula, and outcrops at 

* Some of these scientific results were published as follows: Notice of the 
Rocks lying between the Carboniferous Limestone of the Loicer Peninsula of 
Michigan and the Limestones of the Hamilton Group, xvith Descriptions of some 
Cephalopods supposed to be neiv to science, Amer. Jour. Science, II, xxxiii, 352- 
Sfifl, Ma\' 18G-2; Sa't Manufacture of the Saginaw Vcdley, Hunt's Merchants' Mag- 
azine, 209-223, Sept. 1862; On the Saliferous Rocks and Salt Springs of Michigan, 
Amer. Jour. Science, II, xxxiv, 30T-316, Nov. 1862; Descriptions of Fossils f7'0m 
the Marshall and Huron Groups of Michigan , Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Pliiladelphia, 
405-430, Sept. 1862; On the Identification of the Catskill Red Sandstone with tJie 
Chemung, Amer. Jour. Sci. II, xxxv, 61-2, Jan. 1863; Descriptions of Fossils from 
the Yelloio Sandstones lying beneath the " Burlington Limestone " at Burlington, 
Iowa, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci.. Philadelphia. Jan. 1863. pp 2-25. These articles all 
related to the formation which serves as the reservoir of the brine supplying the 
principal wells along the Saginaw River, and were contributions toward fixing 
its geological age and characteristics. Other investigations were published at 
later dates. 



268 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Grand Rapids on the west, and on the shores of Saginaw 
Bay on the east, and underlies Washtenaw and Jackson 
counties on the south. Next, in descending order, comes 
the Marshall Group, consisting chiefly of sandstones wdiose 
outcrops create the most elevated and hilly belt of the 
whole peninsula. The other formations follow downward 
as shown in the followincp table: 

o 

C 1. Woodville Sandstone. 
I. Upper Carboniferous. - 2. Coal Measures proper. 

( 3. Parma Sandstone (" Conglomerate ") 

f 1. Carboniferous Limestone. 
IL Lower Carboniferous J 2- Michigan Salt Group. 

I I (a) Xapolcon Sandstone. 

Is. Marshall Group. -J (6) Red Shale 

( (c) Marshall Sandstone. 



Fl Huron Group... i ^f ^^^^^^e and Chemung. 
} ' ( (6) Black Shale ("Genesee"). 



III. Devonian -J 

j 2. Hamilton Group. 

Ls. Corniferous Limestone. 

( 1. Lower Helderberg or Water Limestone. 

IV. Lpper Silurian -2. Salina Group. 

( 3. Niagara Limestone. 

This definite exhibit of the geological succession in the 
lower peninsula had never been made before. The Car- 
boniferous Limestone had never before been identified in 
the state, but had been generally confounded with the 
Monroe and Mackinac limestones. The Michigan Salt 
Group was a totally new and previously unsuspected 
formation. It is repeated in no other state in the Union, 
and is known elsewhere only in New Brunswick, Nova 
Scotia and Cape Breton, where later researches have shown 
it to possess a still greater development. The fact that 
the formation underlies all the central part of the state 
was not only unsuspected, but was a fact out of harmony 
with the theory then prevailing respecting the origin of 
gypseous deposits. Geologists generally had held gypsum 



SALT ENTERPEISE IIS" MICHIGAi^. 269 

to be a secondary product, resulting from chemical reac- 
tions in the rocks, and especially from the action of sul- 
phuric acid on limestones or dolomites.* The conception 
of a continuous gypsum formation having a sedimentary 
origin had probably seldom if ever been entertained. 
That view resulted from the present writer's researches, 
and at this day scarcely any other finds defenders. Salt 
basins, therefore, are the sites of ancient areas of salt water 
which have gradually dried up.f 

Before these investigations the gypsum of Mackinac 
and Grand Ranids had been resjarded as of the same 
geological age. It was now shown that the Mackinac 
gypsum is of the age of that in central New York and 
on Sandusky Bay. It followed that the whole peninsula 
is underlaid by a second and deeper salt basin, the 
Salina formation, and that quite probably this basin 
would also be found a source of brine supplies. The re- 
port showed that the salt springs of the peninsula follow 
especially the lines of outcrop of the principal salt basin 
and mark the geographical boundary of the formation. It 
showed that the area of the peninsula had never been 
subjected to disturbing agencies ; hence the strata were 
but little fissured, and few opportunities existed for the 

* Sec Reports on the Geology of New York. This improbable view is even 
still held, in reference to the gypsum of central New York, by James D. Dana 
{System of Mineralogy, 614, 639; Manual of Geo'ogy, 3d. ed., 234.) Without donbt, 
sulplinric acid may result from the action of oxygen on sulphuretted hydrogen. 
Without doubt the reaction of sulphuric acid and limestone produces gypsum. 
But sulphuric acid may also result from the decomposition of gypsum, and, as 
a fact, native sulphuric acid is not found in any connection with sulphuretted 
hydrogen except where evidences of the presence of gypsum also exist More- 
over, the lenticular nuisses of gypsum, inclosed in regular beds in the clays of 
the Salina group, present vastly more the appearance of the relics of a once con- 
tinuous formation dissolved away than of the products of chemical action in 
place. 

t See the writer's Sketches of Creation, ch. xxvi. 



270 . SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

ascent of brine from deep underlying formations. It 
raised the query liow brine, which is heavier than water, 
should be made to ascend several hundred feet through 
fissures accessible to shallower fresh waters, even if such 
fissures existed, and showed that of necessity the undi- 
luted brine from any deep-seated formation must be 
pumped up; and that if salt water overflows at an arte- 
sian boring, it results simply from a head of fresh water 
mingled with some accidental supply of brine. It showed 
that the marginal salt Springs of the state are simply 
drippings from the salt-bearing formations, prompted by 
the descent of fresh waters into them, and greatly diluted 
by rains falling near the locations of the springs. It 
showed that the salt springs of Michigan, which had been 
the object of so much exploration, legislation and expendi- 
ture, possess no importance except as " licks " for wild 
animals, and that the sevent3^-two sections of " salt spring 
lands " patented to the state never possessed any value 
above that of ordinary agricultural lands.* 

In July 1862, in consequence of some new facts com- 
municated by Dr. Lathrop, I revisited the Saginaw region, 
and studied all the new developments. Dr. Lathrop sup- 
plied, in addition to previous information, specimens of 
chips from the "Orange County Company's" well, and Mr. 
Sutherland furnished borine^s from the " Ann Arbor and 
Saginaw Company's " well. I had also tlie opportunity . 
of consulting a complete register of the " Carrollton Mill 
Salt Company's" well, and got some infornmtion from 
Davis & Co., of Zilwaukee, and other facts concerning the 

* Most of these points were brought out in the Report submitted December 
31, I860, and printed in 1861. Sec especially pp. 165-6. 



I 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN MICHIGAN. 271 

wells of J. H. Hill, and Paine and Briggs. Combining, 
now, all the information accumulated to this date, and 
making careful comparisons and tabulations, I was led to 
the conclusion that the Bay City wells (Bay City, Clark's, 
Braddock's and Fitzhugh's), which were much shallower 
than the wells farther up the river, found their supplies 
of brine in the Parma Sandstone, at the base of the Coal 
Measures. This added a third productive salt basin to 
the outfit of the peninsula. T had indeed stated in my 
official Report, tha.t " Brine is found issuing at the out- 
crops of the Coal Measures, the Gypseous Group, the Na- 
poleon Group, the Marshall Group, and the Onondaga 
Salt Group (p. 165). I had also stated (pp. 97, 152) that 
brine of 14 strength had been obtained at the bottom of 
the Coal Measures. But it was now shown that the 
Parma Sandstone at the base of the Coal Measures is 
actually a productive brine reservoir supplied from the 
Coal Measures, as the sandstones of the Marshall Group 
constitute a brine reservoir supplied from the Michigan 
Salt Group. A paper was drawn up giving an exposition 
of the new views, and published in the Saginaiv Courier, 
in the latter part of July 1862. It was stated, as an in- 
ference from the new determination, that Dr. Fitzhuo-h, 
in the well at Bay City, then in process of boring, "ought 
to strike the Napoleon Sandstone at 996 feet, and the 
Red Shale at 1,105 feet. "These distances," it was added, 
"may be lessened to the extent of 30 feet," in conse- 
quence of some indications of an error in the records of 
the well, as kept by the person in charge. The subse- 
quent result showed that the Napoleon Sandstone was 
struck (in consequence of a great thinning of Michigan 



272 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Salt Group) at 916 feet; but the brine obtained at this 
point possessed 96 of strength.* 

A subsequent year witnessed another confirmation of 
what had been only a geological inference. I had all 
along pointed out the existence of the Onondaga Salt 
Group underneath the peninsula, and expressed the be- 
lief that it must prove more productive than in central 
New York. I advised the enterprise of boring into that 
formation to test its productiveness; but it was onl}^ when 
the Port Austin well became a success that the theory 
received its verification. Rock salt was subsequently dis- 
covered at Alpena, and at Goderich in Ontario, where it 
has become an important article of commerce. Still later 
experiments have developed an excellent supply of brine 
at Manistee, and also at Muskegon. 

The geological inference of gypsum in the ridge south 
of Tawas has been also fully confirmed. During the war, 
a srentleman wrote to me for an indication of favorable 
localities for speculative explorations. I directed him to 
the ridge in question. An inexpensive boring determined 
the existence of a heavy bed of gypsum. He took a claim, 
as I have been informed, in exchange for an old rifle. 
After a little excavation the gypsum was fully exposed, 
and he sold his claim for a large sum of money.f 

* This discovery, was embodied in the articles written this year (1862) for the 
Merchants'' Magazine and the Amer. Jour, of Science. It has been shown by later 
artesian borings that all the formations of the peninsula are somewhat saliferou^, 
while in the Huron Group, those substances known as " bitterns " exist in pre- 
dominating abundance, and give origin to the celebrated *' mineral wells " of 
Michigan. 

+ It is of course necessary to say that the speculator neglected several things. 
He never compensated the author of his good fortune. lie never thanked him 
for the advice. He never even reported to him the result. He did not even 
inform the purchasers of his claim who had guided him to the discovery. Finally, 
the present owners of the quarry, it is to be supposed, arc not oppressed with 
anxiety over the toil and study which guided to the development of the valuable 
property. 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN MICHIGAN. 273 

The gypsum business at that point grew into an indus- 
try of large importance. 

I proceed now, from a sense of duty to the interests 
of truth, to make some statements aimed at a certain 
little popular delusion. Soon after the successful issue of 
the salt enterprise in the Saginaw valley, certain ancient 
wiseacres gave it out that Dr. Houghton had always held 
the Saginaw valley to be the center of the salt basin of 
the peninsula. They had been personally intimate with 
Dr. Houghton. He was the orif^inal discoverer of the 
existence of salt underneath the valley. So they dwelt 
on the far-seeing sagacity of Dr. Houghton, and dilated 
on the interest of the delayed fulfillment of his predic- 
tions. The pseudo-tradition went into the newspapers. 
Then it was copied into the pamphlet histories of salt 
development. Then it outcropped in official reports, and 
went on record from the pens of men who only knew 
that such claims were afloat. 

Now Dr. Houghton was a man of superior scientific 
sagacity and attainments. He held an honorable position 
among the scientific men of his time. His name reflects 
luster upon the history of the state. Moreover, he was 
industrious. He was abundant in feasible and plausible 
projects. He had a wise tact in the management of men, 
and in gaining success. He never seemed to give utter- 
ance to all he knew. He left the impression that he 
held an immense reserve of knowledge, which his inter- 
viewer was at liberty to magnify according to fancy. It 
was undoubtedly a prudent spirit which restrained pre- 
cipitancy in the enunciation of opinions or ""conjectures, 
and kept his counsels to himself until completely prepared 

to put them into execution. It left every person at liberty 
18 



274 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

to attribute to Dr. Houghton very much more than he 
ever directly expressed, and gave his methods an air of 
mystery which really set imaginations to work. But, in 
fact, he was chiefly bent on enterprises which had an eco- 
nomical outlook; though in the upper peninsula he ac- 
complished a large amount of careful stratigraphical and 
mineralogical work. It is not to be taken as any dis- 
paragement of Dr. Houghton that he had no such concep- 
tion of the geology of the lower peninsula as would render 
possible the theory which has been attributed to him. 

In the first place, h.p. had no conception of the existence 
of any '"'salt basin''' ivhatever in the peninsula. He held 
the opinion that there existed a general strike of the 
rocks from northeast to southwest. In his Report, 1839 
(p. 9), he says: ''The line of bearing of the members con- 
stituting this group of rocks, not only in the northern 
but in the southern portion of the peninsula, is regularly 
northeasterly and southwesterly. * * * j^jy examina- 
tions would lead me to infer that the coal of the central 
portions of our state, and that upon the Illinois River, is 
embraced in a rock which belongs to the same portion of 
the great basin [the Mississippi valley]. * * * j am 
also led to conclude that the portion of the rock series 
which in Illinois and Wisconsin embraces the ores of 
lead, is identical with a portion of the rock formation 
which occurs in the northern part of our own state, a 
circumstance which misrht fairlv have been inferred from 
the general line of bearing of the rock" (p. 10). * * * 
"A slight glance at the map of our state will sufticiently 
explain the relation which Saginaw Bay, of Lake Huron, 
holds to the line of bearing already mentioned. This 
great arm of that lake stretches in a southwesterly direc- 



SALT ENTERPRISE I]Sr MICHIGAJq". 275 

tion, making a deep indentation in the peninsula, and 
occupying a denuded space in the sandstones just at that 
point where the latter conies in contact with the lime- 
stone of the north" (p. 10). * * =^ "These hills [the 
hio-hlands of the Au Sable] follow the line of bearino- of 
the rock formations, and no doubt extend diagonally com- 
pletely across the state " (p. 6). 

These, and numerous similar expressions in his reports, 
are entirely inconsistent with that dish-shaped conforma- 
tion which we have found to exist, and inconsistent with 
any conception of a " salt basin " in the state. The first 
foreshadowings of any basin arrangement are found in 
the reports of Mr. C. C. Douglass and Mr. Bela Hubbard, 
dated January 4 and January 24, 1841. Mr. Douglass 
remarks that " the same rocks, with one or two excep- 
tions, occur on both sides of the state, having the same 
geological position ; also, they have very nearly parallel 
and uniform positions" (p. 103). This seems to contem- 
plate the existence of a synclinal trough running north 
and south across the peninsula. Mr. Hubbard, however, 
traces the outcrop of the Coal Measure rocks from east 
to west across the southern part of the peninsula, and 
thus more distinctly shadows forth the conception of a 
basin structure (p. 125). He says, moreover, " All the 
rocks on the eastern slope of the peninsula south of Sagi- 
naw Bay have a general dip northwesterly, while the dip 
along the southerly and westerly border of the basin of 
coal-bearing rocks is such as to indicate the counties of 
Clinton and Gratiot as occupying nearly the central part 
of the coal basin" (p. 137). This, indeed, is a recognition 
of a basin structure, but it locates its center more than 
fifty miles southwest of the Saginaw valley. Moreover, 



276 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

this was not Dr. Houghton's, but Mr. Hubbard's, idea. 
Following Hubbard's suggestion, the basin-structure was 
represented upon the geological map of the Western States 
contained in Professor James Hall's Report on the Fourth 
District of New York, which appeared in 1844. 

In the second place, Dr. Houghton had an erroneous 
conception of the mode of occurrence of the brine spriitgs 
of the peninsula. In his Report, dated January 22, 1838,* 
after enumerating a large number of salt springs, he says: 
" We can only hope to obtain a permanent supply of brine 
of sufficient strength from the springs of our state by 
sinking shafts through the rocky strata until the salt- 
bearing rock be reached, be the distance more or less" 
(p. 297). These shafts were to be sunk at " the points 
enumerated." Here we see no indications of a salt basin 
and an origination of salt springs by an overflow at the 
margin. In his Report dated January 1, 1839,t concern- 
ing the improvement of the State Salt Springs, he says: 
" The brine springs of our state, like those of Ohio, Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia, emanate from a rock which lies 
deep, being covered with a mass of rock and earthy matter 
which (in order to procure salt water that can be eco- 
nomically used) it is necessary to penetrate " (p. 39). 
Speaking of the situation in Virginia, Ohio and Pennsyl- 
vania, he says: "The salt rock lies at considerable depth, 
and is overlayed by strata of sandstone, limestone, slate, 
etc., and through fissures in these overlying rocks the 
salt water, much diluted by influx of fresh water, origi- 
nally rose to the surface (p. 40). 

Mr. Bela Hubbard, also, in his Report of 1840, retained 
the same belief. He says: "By reference to a map of the 

* House Documents, 1838, 276-316. t House Documents, 1839. pp. 39-45, 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN" MICHIGAN. 277 

state, it will be apparent that the strongest brines (among 
which are included those in the vicinity of these borings) 
make their appearance along a line which will be found 
to corresi3ond with the synclinal axis, or axis of the dip 
of the rocks composing the great peninsula basin, a 
circumstance which would be looked for from the fact 
that the ordinary law of gravitation would conduct the 
stronc? brines to the lowest levels of the rock strata " 
(p. 139). Commenting on the geology of Lucius Lyon's 
well, at Grand Rapids, he also says: "The brine now 
obtained at a depth below the above of about 230 feet 
may be supposed to proceed by veins from the lower salt 
rock lying at a still greater depth, and from which the 
strongest and best supplies of brine in our state may be 
expected to be obtained" (p. 140). 

In the third place, he had an erroneous conception of 
the geological succession in the j^eninsnla. In his special 
Report on salt springs, dated 1839, he states his plan to 
be to sink a shaft on the Tittabawassee to the " bed rock." 
The " salt rock " he supposed " to be at a depth of 500 
to 700 feet" from the bottom of the shaft (p. 42). Then, 
speaking of the well near Grand Rapids, he says: "The 
amount of rock-boring required will not vary much from 
that at the Tittabawassee salines" (p. 42). Thus, he sup- 
posed both situations to be geologically similar, while, in 
fact, the location on Grand River was at least 360 feet 
below the other, and was separated by all the thickness 
of the coal measures and the carboniferous limestone. 
With similar inaccuracy he considers that " the rocks of 
this northern portion of the peninsula may be regarded 
as referable to the great carboniferous group of the state " 
{Report^ Feb. 4, 1839, p. 2). So he is " led to conclude 



278 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

that that portion of the rock series which, in Illinois and 
Wisconsin, embraces the ores of lead, is identical with a 
portion of the rock formation which occurs in the north- 
ern part of our state" (p. 10). Now, the lead ores referred 
to are found in the lower silurian, while the Michigan 
rocks are Hamilton and Corniferous, in the Devonian. It 
is not pretended that such errors of identification reflect 
the least discredit upon their author ; but, being facts, 
they show the impossibility of a truthful conception of 
the geological relations of the brines of the peninsula. 

Messrs. Hubbard and Douglass devoted their attention 
to the lower peninsula, while Dr. Houghton was mostly 
occupied with the upper peninsula. The assistants, there- 
fore, acquired a more thorough acquaintance with the 
lower peninsula, and I never look over their reports with- 
out a feeling of admiration for the general accuracy at- 
tained, in the face of the gigantic difficulties presented 
by the unsettled and unimproved condition of the country. 
But these assistants never attained an entirely correct 
correlation of the formations on the eastern, western and 
southern slopes of the peninsula. 

The first attempt at a systematic general account of 
the stratification of the peninsula was made in 1840, by 
Mr. Hubbard.* In this he reached several important 
conclusions, which, under the authority of certain later 
geologists, were ignored, but which, with a more thorough 
acquaintance with Michigan geology, have been admitted 
as sound. The northern outcrops of the formations of the 
peninsula were not reported on by him until 1841.t In 
his attempt to assign them to their proper stratigraphical 
positions he fell into singular errors, and introduced into 
* Mich. Geol Rej). 1840, p. 87. t Mich. Geol. Bep. 1841, pp. 115, 136. 



SALT ENTERPRISE IN MICHIGAN". 279 

the most elaborate account of the peninsula which was 
destined to be published for twenty years a confusion of 
facts which rendered the geology of Michigan an enigma 
to everyone who attempted to parallelize the rocks with 
those in the surrounding states.* The following is Mr. 
Hubbard's tabular statement of the succession of groups 
embraced in the peninsula: 

A. Erratic Block Group, or Diluvium. 

B. Tertiary Clays. 

C. Coal Measures, I and 2. 

D. Sub-carboniferous Sandstones, II, 'S. 

E. Clay and Kidney Ironstone Formation, III, 1. 

F. Sandstone, of Point aux Barques, II, 3. 
G; Argillaceous Slates and Flags of Lake Huron, III, 1. 
H. Soft, Light-colored Sandstones, II, 3. 

I. Black, Aluminous Slate, III, 1, b. 

K. Limerocks of Lake Erie, III, 2 and 3. 

In this table the numerals affixed at the ricrht indicate 
the equivalents given in the table of formations as now 
established (p. 268). It will be seen that Mr, Hubbard's 
table makes no separate mention of the formation known 
as the Michigan Salt Group. But, on the contrary, other 
formations are three times repeated. The groups marked 
D, F and H are but different outcrops of the Marshall 
Group (known in Ohio as the Waverley Group) ; and those 
marked E, G and I but different outcrops of the Kidney 
Iron, or Huron Group. Following Dr. Houghton in the 
report of 1838, Mr. Hubbard regarded the Point aux 
Barques sandstones and conglomerates as occupying a 
position beneath the Kidney Iron formation of the south- 

* See, for instance. Professor James TTalPs RepoH on the Geol. of the Fourth 
District of Neio York, p. 519. The present writer explained the causes of this 
confusion in an article in the Proceedings of the Amer. Phil. Soc, xi, 59,60, 
March 5, 1869. 



280 .SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

ern part of the state, and consequently failed to identify 
the underlying shales. In the next place, Mr. Hubbard 
identified with the Point aux Barques shales the shales 
of the Michigan Salt Group struck in the salt wells at 
Grand Rapids, although these latter actually occupy a 
position above the Marshall sandstones. When, therefore, 
these sandstones and the underlying Huron shales were 
struck in the boring of the salt wells, they were supposed 
to constitute the third couplet of similar strata, and are 
set down as groups H and I in the above table.* 

It is manifest from these documentary proofs that there 
were not in existence at the period when Dr. Houghton 
gave personal attention to the geology of the peninsula, 
and formed his judgments on the geological relations of 
the salt springs, any such correct conceptions of the basin- 
structure of the peninsula, the geological origin of the 
brine, the mode of occurrence of the brine springs, or the 
general geological constitution of the peninsula, as ren- 
dered possible the belief that the lowest depression of the 
salt basin (or basins) of the peninsula would be found 
under the Saginaw valley. Dr. Houghton's procedures in 
locatinof the two state artesian salt wells are in accord- 
ance with the evidence cited, and are of themselves suffi- 
cient to prove that he did not entertain the belief ascribed 
to him. If such beliefs were held, why did he not con- 
centrate his efforts in the Saginaw valley? Why locate 
one well on the Tittabawassee and the other on the west- 
ern slope of the peninsula? I have heard one solution 
of the mystery, which no friend of Dr. Houghton, and in- 
deed no person cognizant of his personal integrity, would 
feel disposed to urge or to credit. I have heard that 

* Reiiort, p. 133. 



SALT ENTERPKISE IN MICHIGAN". 281 

one survivor of the period when the "wild cat" was very 
troublesome in Michigan, one of the fourteen or fifteen 
hundred who have claimed that they were associated with 
Dr. Houghton in his public work, now asserts that Dr. 
Houghton privately whispered in his ear that he put the 
state wells on the Tittabavvassee and Grand rivers for the 
purpose of diverting attention from the Saginaiv, the real 
center of the salt formation! 

With profound respect for the real ability of Dr. Hough- 
ton, with an unreserved recognition of the importance of 
his services in the upper peninsula, I feel compelled to 
record the opinion that the time has arrived for dispell- 
ing some of the myths which have lingered about his 
memory, and for denying, with the proofs, that he had 
any correct knowledge of the geology of the brines of 
Michigan, or ever imagined that the most promising re- 
gion for salt enterprise was located in the Saginaw val- 
ley. The existing conception respecting the geology of 
Michigan brines, on which an immense and widespread 
industry has been built up, have been originated in later 
times, and by other investigators. The author regrets, 
nevertheless, that his own connection with the later de- 
velopments, and his personal relation to facts and their 
bearings upon each other, have been such that a correct 
and adequate exposition of the historical data could not 
have been offered from some other pen. A full history 
of the progress of ideas and the succession of projects 
and enterprises connected with salt development in Michi- 
gan, placed on record and published by authority, would 
constitute a document of deep interest to the people of 
Michigan, and a record whose value to the general public 
would increase with every passing decade. 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 



rriHE following remarkable manuscript was discovered 
-*- by the agent of the Public Parsimony Society of New 
Zealand in March of last year. There is a cavern, the 
entrance to which is about eight miles from Mt. Pollux, in 
Otacfo, in which the asrent was huntincr for diamonds to 
sell to Mesdames Vand Erbuilt and Makke, with a view 
to paying oft* the British national debt. In one of the 
dry and dust-covered clefts of the cavern, about a hun- 
dred and thirty-four miles from the entrance, he came 
ujoon a roll which, on examination, proved to be covered 
with characters of a very peculiar kind, and which, vvhile 
they seemed to be a form of writing, were totally unin- 
telliii^ible to the most learned Encrlishmen in Duncdin and 
Auckland. It occurred to the Governor, however, that it 
might be possible the New Zealanders had formerly pos- 
sessed a written language, all -traces of which had hith- 
erto escaped discovery. He therefore summoned the old- 
est and gravest of the native arikis of Maui, and demanded 
whether he could give any account of the document, or the 
characters in which it was written. The old man at first 
seemed desirous to deny all knowledge of either; but after 
urging, and the stimulus of some British threats, he 
consented to make a revelation of what had for many 
years been his nation's great secret. The Maories, he 
said, had formerly employed a written language. They 

282 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 283 

were an educated people, and had numerous libraries; 
but when the British took possession of their islands, hav- 
ing heard that they were devourers of books, their great 
ariki made a decree that all books and manuscripts should 
be totally destroyed, with the view of starving the Brit- 
ish and driving them back to their own islands. The 
decree was faithfully executed, but this one document 
seems to have escaped destruction; and this old Maori re- 
luctantly lent his aid in translating it into English. 

It will be noticed that the ancient civilization of the 
Maories was exceedingly analogous to that of the modern 
United States -many of the facts stated presenting a 
most astonishing parallel. This circumstance gives new 
plausibility to Mr. A. H. Keane's recently propounded the- 
ory that the Polynesian race is really a modification of 
the Mediterranean.* 

The British have a forebodine^ that the New Zealander 
will one dav stand on the ruins of London Bridsfe and 
moralize over the mafrnitude of the civilization efone to 
decay; but here the visitor from London Bridge maj^well 
contemplate with astonishment these traces of a vanished 
Maori civilization, which only by a mere chance has es- 
caped from absolute oblivion. 

.The sfovernor of New Zealand havino; sent me the 
translated document, I have the honor of being the first 
to bring it to the attention of the world. It possesses 
great archaeological and ethnological interest. It reads 
as follows: 

*0n this, sec Journal of the Anthropolocjical Institute, London, February 
1880, Nature xxiii, 199-203 et seq. 



284 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

THE KEWAHWENAW METHOD. 

BY AN OPPONENT OF THEM LITTI RAEEFEL HERZ. 

Of all intellectual advances made in recent times, none 
surpasses in importance the introduction of the Kewah- 
wenaw method; none promises more for the well being of 
properly regulated science, education in the three arz, 
and free (and easy) institutions. The whole range of re- 
cent history scarcely furnishes a parallel now standing in 
full tide of beneficent success, unless it be the manufact- 
ure of ensilage, or Per-redavy spanekil-her. True we 
have had high expectations concerning other modern ideas, 
which have been doomed to disappointment. I need only 
mention Stefensbat Terry and the Winanseeg arsteemer, 
to call to mind national calamities. The world was not 
prepared for advances so great. Madam Hau's Bah-stun 
bank promised a great deal, more, indeed, than any 
other financial enterprise which has been set afloat; but 
it could not contend against the envy and malignity of 
those who had ideas of their own to promote. Madam 
Hau's gift-enterprise was , crushed out in the most en- 
lightened pah of Maui; and Madam Hau herself has been 
followed by the most relentless legal persecution. This, 
however, only shows that the Kewahwenaw method has 
not 3"et thoroughly taken in all parts of our country. 

Of other great fruits of modern civilization still in the 
shell, none promise more than the Kiele moat-her and the 
Deless Epse bridge connecting the islands of Te ika a 
Maui and Te wahi Punamu. It is to be hoped that the 
rapid extension of the Kewahwenaw metliod, which is 
more a great moral conception than an invention, will 
save the Kiele moat-her and the bridge from that neglect 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MA:N^USCRIPT. 285 

which an over-brainy public is apt to visit on new en- 
terprises which do not prove successful. 

I shall not attempt to define the Kewahwenaw method 
too suddenly. I shall first make some statements con- 
cerning its merits, and furnish some illustrations of its 
useful application. It might tend to raise expectation 
too high to say it is a scheme for superseding the ex- 
travagance, inconvenience and aristocratic tendencies of 
the antiquated idea of personal competency for any duty. 
While this is true, it is obvious the whole import of the 
truth has not yet been adequately apprehended, since it 
is plain to any person who observes closely that the crowds 
who press for places demanding responsibility and intelli- 
gence are not yet altogether of the least responsible and 
least intelligent class. Still, it is gratifying to perceive 
a constant improvement in this respect. 

Let us take a particular field for illustration; I refer 
to field-geology. Years ago, when our country had been 
but recently settled, the idea sprang up that the public 
territory might be carefully examined for the discovery 
of valuable mineral gums. Nu-Jerk, happily, was one 
of the first provinces to act upon this suggestion; but 
Nu-Jerk, unhappily, was under the chieftainship of that 
distinguished old fogy, Wilyum Elmarsee, who thought 
he could do no better than to commission four so-called 
scientific gentlemen (for science was then held in high 
esteem) to enter upon an elaborate plan which would 
require a decade for its accomplishment. The province 
once committed to such extravagance, it had to be sub- 
jected to the humiliation of seeing successive chiefs lend 
themselves to its indefinite continuance. It is some satis- 
faction to know, however, that they were men of no more 



286 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

worth or distinction than Wilyum Aitchswird, Si Lusrite, 
Hammil Tun-Fish, Horay Shoseemer, and the like, peace 
to their ashes. It is probable the people of Nu-Jerk have 
been oppressed with taxes to defray the expenses of this 
survey to an amount exceeding a fiftieth of a mill for 
every man, woman and child in the province since the 
survey was inaugurated. This may seem an incredibly 
onerous burden, but I am in possession of certified docu- 
ments to bear me out in the statement. 

By the Kewahwenaw method these things are done 
without inflicting the least financial burdens on the un- 
taxed poor. In the province of Kewahwenaw little value 
is placed, save in a surreptitious way, on the circuitous 
and fanciful processes of science, so-called. A man with 
a forked stick is better than a geologist with a hammer 
and pocket lens. He is cheaper ; his method is more 
direct; he walks immediately to the bed of gum or vein 
of oil and puts his finger on the spot, and that is the 
end of it I mean the end of your anxiety. Your fortune 
is now made, and it costs but seventy-five cents. Such a 
man can walk over the province and point out all its 
locations, while the man with a hammer would be crack- 
ino- out a few fossils. He has another advantao-e; he 
wears a respectable sj^stem of tattoo, while the man with 
a hammer may be dressed in a suit of plain black skin. 
He speaks the language of the people ; he finds coal in 
"veins," and fixes everything in "ranges;" the man with 
a hammer talks about chlorastrolites and pol^^glottophyl- 
lums, and idles away weeks in his roundabout methods, 
and all this time under pay! 

It will interest posterity to learn what were some of 
his old methods, now happily superseded in Kewahwenaw. 



" A REMxVRKABLE MAORI MAi^USCRIPT. 287 

The information ought to be put on record, as it is likely 
to become an unauthenticated tradition. Well, in the 
first place, the old gentleman of fuss and fossils used to 
entertain a number of superstitious beliefs concerning 
geological structure. He talked with frightful sonority 
and ostentation about " groups," and " systems," and 
" dips," and " strikes," and " unconformabilities," and 
" faults." He believed that the different minerals were 
most likely to be found in particular formations, and he 
set himself to work so he said to ascertain what were 
the formations underlying the province, and what was 
their order of superposition ; so he built the phrases. 
What do the people care about formations which lie a 
hundred or a thousand feet beneath their yam-patches ? 
What they want more to know is what part of their 
farm conceals a coal mine or a kauri-gum mine. What 
do they care for " superposition," as long as they can see 
for themselves that a fortune in oil is revealed by the 
film on the creek, Or by the rank aroma which stimu- 
lates their pituitary membranes and their cupidity? But 
the old-fashioned man with a hammer in his hand and a 
note-book in his pocket must proceed to make out a cata- 
logue of formations in due order of " superposition. " 
This, he told us, was the central problem to be resolved. 
How did he go to work? 

I will tell you. He pretended there was a necessity 
for knowincc somethino* about the relative elevation of 
difierent parts of the province. The underlying strata, 
he said, are not placed horizontally and in regular suc- 
cession. They have been tilted up, so that the edge of a 
stratum seen at the surface at a given point runs along 
near the surface for a considerable distance, and this he 



288 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HA3IMER. 

called the " strike." But, from the outcropping edge the 
sheet of rock descends in a direction nearly at right an- 
gles to the strike, and disappears beneath the loose super- 
ficial materials and the other formations. It is of first 
importance, he pretended, to ascertain in what directions 
the rocks "dip" in different parts of the province; for if 
a formation dips, for instance, toward the west from 
Oamaru, then it passes under all points situated west of 
Oamaru, and does not underlie points to the east of 
Oamaru. This is something of no earthly utility, but I 
am making a record of superstitions, and will proceed. 
If the man with a hammer desired to know the direction 
of the dip of a formation, one would suppose the most 
economical way would be to go and look at it. But he 
was not content with a method so direct and so cheap. 
He pretended that the dip was often so gentle that it 
could not be detected by a single observation. He pre- 
tended that it varied considerably from point to point, 
so that the position of the formation at widely separated 
points must be ascertained in order to know the general 
direction and average amount of the dip. Well, suppose 
all this was necessary, why not go to the two widely 
separated points and see what difference of elevation they 
have? As might be expected, the man with a hammer 
had new objections to the direct and economical method. 
He pretended it to be necessary to hunt up all the old 
road and canal surve^^s of the province, and transcribe 
their records of elevations, arrange them in tables, and 
lay them down on a map of the province. This was a 
long labor, the man with a hammer all the time under 
pay. So he obtained the altitudes of all the principal 
points in the province. Now he argued that if the same 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 289 

formation was at the surface at two points, Wainui and 
Porongahu, twenty miles apart, and one of these points, 
Wainui, was a hundred feet higher than the other, then 
the formation dipped one hundred feet in twenty miles, 
or five feet a mile in the direction from Wainui to 
Porongahu. If by any means he could ascertain that the 
formation occurred at some point near Wainui, but at 
an elevation fifteen feet higher or lower than Wainui, 
then the dip between the two points would be fifteen feet 
more or less than a hundred feet. So he undertook to 
ascertain, what he called the "dip" of the underlying 
formations in all parts of the province. Having come to 
a knowledge of the dips, he was able, he said, to calculate 
what formations underlay each locality. For, supposing 
Pipi-riki and Peri-riki to be twenty miles apart, and Peri- 
riki to be seventy feet higher up the river than Pipi-riki; 
and supposing the dip from Peri-riki down the stream to 
be five feet per mile, then the formation on which Peri- 
riki stands must pass under Pipi-riki, because the dip is 
more rapid than the descent of the stream ; but if the 
dip is but two feet per mile, then the formation on which 
Peri-riki stands thins out and disappears before reaching 
Pipi-riki, and there would be no propriety in sinking a 
shaft at Pipi-riki to strike the formation which at Peri- 
riki may bear a valuable bed of kauri-gum.* The ex- 
travagance and inutility of this mode of operation are so 
apparent that I shall make no effort to expose them. 

But the man with a hammer had a still worse crotchet 
in his head, and one much more wasteful of the people's 

* These explanations are said to have been graphically illustrated in the 
margin of the manuscript, but the Governor of New Zealand did not transmit 
copies of the illustrations with the translation. 
18 



290 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

money. Sometimes, as he pretended, it was impossible to 
get the difference of level of two points, as, for instance, 
Ateamari and Opepe; and therefore it was impossible to 
determine the dip of the rocks. Or, if the difference of 
level was known, the rocks in the two places were differ- 
ent, and it was necessary to know which held the highest 
stratigraphical position. Suppose he found the Ateamari 
rock to hold a position known by observation in other 
places to be fifty feet above the position of the Opepe 
rock, while Ateamari and Opepe occupy the same topo- 
graphical elevation. It would be inferred that Opepe is 
fifty feet lower, geologically, than Ateamari. That is, go- 
ing from Ateamari to Opepe, strata lower and lower in 
the geological series come to the surface. This means 
that from Opepe to Ateamari the rocks dip toward Atea- 
mari to the amount of fifty feet. So he reasoned, and so 
he wasted his time, all the while spending the people's 
hard-earned money. But how to know that the Ateamari 
stratum was fifty feet higher than the Opepe stratum, 
that was the frivolous problem which he set himself to 
work out by means of what he called " palaeontology." 
He pretended that each formation contained certain so- 
called fossil remains which were peculiar to it, and as 
soon as he could identify any fossil remains in the Atea- 
mari formation he would know what stratum it is ; and 
having determined the identity of the Opepe stratum in 
a similar way, he was in possession of a knowledge of the 
interval between them. Posterity will think all this very 
occult and extremely far-fetched. What the man who 
owns a kumara plantation desires to know is the depth 
to which he must dig to get soap or oil ; and all the 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 291 

money spent in collecting and identifying fossils is en- 
tirely wasted, and this the dear people's money. 

I have not reached the end of this system of scientific 
spoliation. Under such pretexts the man with a hammer 
went all over the province with his hammer in one hand 
and a leather bag in the other. He strolled along the 
courses of the rivers and smaller streams, gazing at the 
blank rocks, making diagrams of the cliffs, describing the 
strata, collecting, assorting and labeling the fossils, so as 
to know afterward what locality and stratum had yielded 
each one. He loitered about all the stone-quarries, both- 
ering the workmen with idle questions; he knocked stone 
walls to pieces ; he sauntered , across the fields ; he boated 
aloncf the shores of the lakes: he clambered over the cliffs 
of the mountains, and everywhere, with hammer and 
bag, he gathered fossils and samples of the rocks. It was 
a vain and frivolous expenditure of the people's money. 
Any inanga-catcher could have told him where all the 
cliffs were along the river or lake shore; and could have 
told him there was not an ounce of coal or a pint of oil 
in the whole valley of the Waitangi ; and any hapuku- 
spearer could have given similar information about the 
whole west coast of Ota^-o. 

What did he proceed to do with these collections? He 
took them home, and occupied himself through the win- 
ter in handling them over, placing them here and there, 
and then placing them back again, as a child forever re- 
arranges its playthings. He sawed them into thin slices 
and examined them with microscopes ; he turned them 
over and over, he studied every point, and made every 
imaginable comparison ; he drew innumerable pictures, 
and wrote books full of descriptions, and had the audacity 



292 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

to present them to the provincial authorities for publica- 
tion at the exjDense of the dear people. That was the 
old established method. In Nu-Jerk the authorities have 
published such books in sufficient quantity to build a 
causeway across the straits from Otea to Moe-Hao. But 
did the authorities of Kewahwenaw acquiesce in such ex- 
travagance? Never. They learned a precious lesson at 
Nu-Jerk's expense. The plethoric treasury-sucker had 
almost succeeded in attaching himself to the public coffer. 
All disinterested patriots were watching for the oppor- 
tunity to raise the cry of economy in behalf of the hard- 
worked and untaxed but numerous and heavy-voting yeo- 
manry. It was a crisis in the history of Kewahwenaw. 
All eyes were rolling wildly for the martyr who should 
spring into the breach and rescue the money-box. Now 
rose majestically and patriotically from his' seat the great 
Rangatira* Sammiheel. He stood up bravely and boldly 
in his place, in the grand council of the province, and 
most virtuously exposed and denounced the impending 
outrage. " I have traveled," he said, " by wheelbarrow 
express all the way from the mountains of Kewahwenaw 
to shake my greenstone tommyhawk in the face of this 
imbecile and fraud, and drive him to the solitudes of 
Rakiura. We have no use for him in Te wahi Punamu. 
He wants us to print seven or eight costly volumes of 
detestable trash about all crea.tion, and ornamented with 
pictures and charts. It would bankrupt the province. 
It would cost a cent for every ten persons in Kewahwe- 
naw. All we want is a simple volume giving a cata- 
logue of yam-patches, kiwi-roosts and gum-beds, a cheap, 

*This was explained by the old Maori as the title of one of the inferior 
chief s, perhaps equivalent to "Sir" or " Supe," 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 293 

practical manual, in which every tutua and ware can find 
his name in dictionary order. Away with this gigantic, 
pedantic, romantic and satanic dun-seadd." Now, Ranga- 
tira Sammiheel was a nobleman of purest blood. He had 
himself carried the forked witch-hazel stick. His patriot- 
ism was tried and proven ; no selfish motive ever found 
place in his expansive vest, and the breath of suspicion 
had never reached him. To this day his reputation re- 
mains as spotless as the sky of Maui. His heroic effort 
on this occasion ripped open the dark cloud which hung 
over the council and over Kewahwenaw, and by the gleam 
of lio-ht which fell through the rent could be seen Ran- 
gatira Harrihowlt rising like Tangaroa from the sea. 
Rangatira Harrihowlt also took his reputation in his 
hands and swung it over the heads of his fellow council- 
men. "The day has dawned," he exclaimed, "when this 
scientific humbuggery must be stamped into flindereens. 
I have looked over the documents submitted by this 
strolling and conceited pedant and find nothing useful to 
our people. Here are some hundreds of rolls on the 
topography of the province, what has that to do with 
the development of our soap-mines?* It is all bosh. 
Here is an equal number of rolls on our paradisiacal 
climate, which amounts to an invitation to all the hordes 
of Tonga, Viti and Papua to sail in on us and hold the 
fort. We don't want an immiofration. We have sent an 
agent to Hawaiki to keep immigrants away. We have 
had to kill off" thousands already in Maui, faster than we 
could eat them. This matter is all bosh. There are other 
rolls of infertile and infelicitous flummagery among these 

* The learned councilman evidently alluded to soapstone quarries, which 
have been utilized to a great extent in increasing our supplies of butter, sugar 
and flour. 



294 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

documents wliicli I have not had the patience to hore 
through. They possess no practical use for our people. 
There is nothing here which could stand alone if wrapped 
in t3qD0graphy and put on its feet. It is all bosh." 

These were brave and ringfingf words. Such words had 
never before been uttered in Kewahwenaw. Gratitude 
soon raised their author to the rank of ariki. This was 
the natal day of the Kewahwenaw method. Rangatira 
Sammiheel was its father and mother; Rancratira Harri- 
howlt was its nurse. As soon as the event was accom- 
plished, Masters Hairybald and Witterbacks, who had 
been sitting in an adjoining apartment, opened the door 
sufficiently wide to protrude their heads, and with hands 
covering the exposed angles of their mouths, called in a 
loud whisper to Sammiheel, " Magnificently done, Ranga- 
tira Sammiheel!" Xow the power and effectiveness of 
Rangatira Sammiheel's eloquence is manifest from the 
fact that Masters Hairybald and Witterbacks had always 
aided and encouraged the man with a hammer, and, 
before they discovered his trick, had been strongly com- 
mitted to the methods which he had pursued; but when 
Rangatira Sammiheel blew his blast, and turned the tide, 
they perceived themselves likely to be swamped, and called 
out wildly in unison, " Lord Sammiheel, we want to get 
into your boat! " 

But the prescriptive power of science was not 3^et 
completely destroyed in Maui. Two chapters of later 
history show that the scientific disease still lurks in the 
blood of our tutua. The man with a hammer retained 
an influence over the ariki * of Hauraki. He persuaded 
the ariki to furnish his fossils a home. The ariki built 

* This is explained as meaning the higher class of chiefs. 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 295 

cases and cabinets for him, made of totara wood, and 
adorned with ti. The Haurakians at length were per- 
suaded that the arrangement of his specimens symbolized 
something in the order of events in times long past. 
They imagined the history of the past became reproduced, 
and that they obtained glimpses of the order and method 
of the world. They took in the scientific fanaticism so 
deeply that the}^ even claimed there was something cul- 
tural in the contemplation of a stack of old bones. Of 
old bones collected at the people's expense he had an 
attic fall. We all know how, when our ancestors first 
came to Maui from Hawaiki, the mountainous jDarts of 
our provinces were inhabited by gigantic birds, whose 
flesh served for subsistence during many generations. One 
of these species was of enormous magnitude, and when 
one tall man stood on the head of another, his eye was 
barely on a level with the moa's e3*e. The eggs of the 
bird were as large as the head of Rangatira Sammiheel. 
Unfortunately the 'big birds were hunted out of existence, 
and their bones now lie scattered from one end of Maui 
to the other. Well, the man with a hammer gathered 
forty tons of the bones of the moa, and got permission of 
the authorities of Hauraki to build a complete skeleton 
in the public place; and there it stood for six months 
an old, black skeleton of a dead animal. This was more 
than our tutua could bear. The thins; was fricfhtful; it 
terrified the children and the women. It was aggravating; 
it recalled pictures of savory moa steaks, and excited appe- 
tites which the dry bones only mocked. Our prisoners 
of war did not suffice to glut the anthropophagous long- 
ings of our people. Lovers began to tell their sweethearts 
they felt as " if they could eat them up." The thing, too, 



296 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

was brown; its color was human. It was an insult as 
well as an aggravation and a terror. At length the keeper 
of the public place yielded to the dictates of his better 
sense and the clamor of the people, and had the thing 
whitewashed. But though the color was much improved, 
it was only a hateful, bloodless skeleton. It cost mone}^ 
even to keep it. So he finally knocked it to pieces and 
threw it on the rubbish heap outside of the palisades. 

Even in Kewahwenaw the influence of science still 
steadily exerts itself. There was another man with a 
hammer who came some time before from Hawaiki, the 
fatherland. Now the Maories always entertained a re- 
gard for the fatherland, which consisted of a mixture of 
reverence and affection. They considered everything from 
the fatherland superior to the productions of Maui; and 
especially was a scientific man from Tonga the object of 
flatteries and attentions. The Tongesan of whom I speak 
was a wise man. He never spoke of his plans. He seemed 
to be not only a fatherlander, but also one of the strictest 
of the Maories. He was tattooed Maori fashion; this 
pleased their fancy. He, too, began to go about with a 
hammer, and Master Witterbacks was mightily pleased 
with him. He opened a hole in the top of Master Witter- 
back's head, and projected it full of science. He then 
closed the hole with a plug of puriri-wood. The stuff 
worked like vaccine matter; and Master Witterbacks began 
to pass himself for a man of science head full of knowl- 
edge; heart large enough to undertake any duty the prov- 
ince might impose on him. Master Witterbacks kept his 
eye on the Tongesan. He told him where to go and 
what to do. The Tongesan was gentle as a Kiwi; but 
he was cunning as a Kou-kou. He had all the time a 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 297 

sly purpose which Master Witterbacks did not understand. 
He was getting up a picture-book this pampered Ton- 
gesan plotter against our Maori institutions. And when 
the picture-book was ready he said to Master Witterbacks, 
" Master Witterbacks, now let us print this book, and 
never say a word to Rangatira Sammiheel about it." So 
the book was printed, and Master Witterbacks' name was 
set down in the book as hisfh scientific eno^ine-driver. 
And it was paid for out of the people's money; and the 
people never uttered a howl to this day, for they never 
knew anything about it; and Rangatira Sammiheel is in 
the mountains, and thinks science is killed as dead as a 
moa. 

This is a true history of the origin of the Kewahwe- 
naw method, and of its application to geological surveys 
in Kewahwenaw. But it is by no means local in its ap- 
plications. Men with hammers have been among the rocks 
in other provinces. The application of the Kewahwenaw 
method to them varies with the circumstances, and with 
the disposition of the arikis, rangatiras, masters and coun- 
cilmen in the different provinces. In the province of Ma- 
koketa they permitted a man with a hammer, who came 
from Nu-Jerk, to amuse himself a couple of years in 
collecting stones and getting up a picture-book; and the 
prototype of Sammiheel arose in council and told him to 
go home; they would not be nu-jerked; they would not 
pay the costs of his vagrant excursioning. So he went 
home howling, and howled for six years. Some time 
afterward another man with a hammer arose from amons^ 
their own citizens. They told him they had use for him. 
They had a quantity of quarry stones to crack. They 
had a council-house to build, and would like to employ 



298 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

him in selecting and getting out the stone. They wanted 
him also to work in their gypsum quarries, and hunt 
up coal deposits. They would not publish any picture- 
books, but the}'" would let him write letters to the news- 
papers; and thus he could ease his mind and relieve the 
editors, and all the expense of printing would be paid by 
the subscribers to the newspapers. As long as the peo- 
ple's burdens cannot be charged on the councilmen, in 
the political account, they are of no political value or 
importance. He was a good-natured man; but that was 
not the reason why he complied with their conditions. 
He actually hoped the Makoketans might, within a couple 
of years, be led to discern their own interest their 
intellectual and educational interest in having the his- 
tory of past events in their province clearly portrayed 
to the intelligence of all. He hoped that he might be 
permitted at least to pursue a scientific method for de- 
termining the complete succession of their strata, and the 
economical products which they contain. But the Mako- 
ketans were too shrewd for him. They were ready for 
the economical products, but what did the}^ want of " suc- 
cession " ? So the man with a hammer walked toward 
sunrise, and never stopped till he had gone as far as 
possible without leaving the shores of Maui. 

The province of Mok-chehunk devised a muc)i more 
ingenious and paying expedient. That province had long 
been infested with hammer-men, great and small. The 
people of the province had long been celebrated for their 
business sagacity. In the olden time they permitted a 
man with a big hammer to go about and explore the 
situation of their gum-beds. They induced him to com- 
municate the " practical " results of his observations, fiat- 



A REMARKABLE MAORI MANUSCRIPT. 299 

tering him with the promise to print a handsome pict- 
ure-book for him, in which he could attempt to explain 
by what circuitous and wonderful processes he had at- 
tained those results, and how he had overturned the 
mountain rancfe of Te wahi Punamu. But when his book 
was ready they justly refused to touch it. They ban- 
ished him to a small island in the North Atlantic, where 
the villagers, who were all a body of refugees, took pity 
on the impostor, and got out his book in such cheap style 
as they could afford. He lived many years among them, 
a good riddance to Mok-che-hunk. But the Mok-che- 
hi;nkites, on the later occasion of which I speak, surpassed 
themselves. They turned the opportunity to publish, to 
their own advantage, in another way. There are among 
them extensive sellers of paper-rags and waste paper. 
These parties induced the grand council to print the 
books of the hammer-men. But it was not their purpose 
to allow these books to get into the hands of the ham- 
mer-men of other provinces. They kept them all in 
Mok-chehunk. They divided them up among the council- 
men, rancjatiras and arikis themselves, and the council- 
men, ransfatiras and arikis transferred them to the old- 
rag-men, and the old-rag-men sold them, and thus turned 
an honest penny; and there was no pandering to the 
vanity and ambition of the hammer theorists; and the 
old-rao--men swore that the same councilmen. rancratiras 
and arikis should always rule over the province, and keep 
on publishing picture-books for the hammer- men, as long 
as the Waitangi should flow into the sea. So the Kewah- 
wenaw method, varying its application with the circum- 
stances, has spread through the remotest provinces of Maui. 
I have given so full a description of the application 



300 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

of the Kewahwenaw method to the suppression of men 
with hammers, that it will be readily understood how 
great is its utility in extinguishing brainy pretenders in 
other fields of aspiration. There are always persons who 
think themselves qualified for positions of responsibility, 
but who are totally deficient in that tact, alertness, cun- 
ning, bluff and brass which are the true qualifications 
for getting into position. Brainy people, moreover, have 
the vanity to think their services more valuable than those 
of bullet-heads and plumbiputs. Their pay-day has ar- 
rived. We have banished them from many judicial po- 
sitions, and put men in their places who are content 
without robbing the people with extravagant salaries. 
We have generally secured cheap ferule-men and women 
to train our youth in the curricula; and even the high 
trainers in the grand currus, who style themselves proffy- 
sawers, are given traveling-papers in Kewahwenaw when- 
ever their aspirations rise above fair Kewahwenaw mod- 
eration. We are aiming to crush out the whole breed 
of so-styled " experts." In a country like Maui all men 
are truly equal; and the person who sets himself up as 
superior to his fellow-men in any respect is immediately 
taken down and packed away in a row with his fellow- 
citizens, or banished from the country. There is nothing 
more beautiful than a civil society in which all men 
possess exactly equal power and privileges, and are recog- 
nized as equally qualified for all duties, and all, conse- 
quently, receive the same compensation for services, a 
community which is not preyed upon by an over-cere- 
brated aristocracy, and in which the ancient superstition 
of special competency for any duty is a by-word and a 
joke. 



THE GENEALOGY OF SHIPS. 



A FEW years ago, on the breaking up of a meeting 
-^-^ of the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science, we found ourselves, by the courtesy of the 
Chicago and Northivestern Railroad,'^ in possession of free 
passes to Omaha. Such a send-off for a body of low- 
salaried scientists was truly a god-send; and all who were 
truly wise used their passes. I well remember the eager- 
ness with which my friend. Professor 0. C. Marsh, packed 

*The government of this road has habitually manifested a generous appre- 
ciation of the needs, not to say the claims, of scientific enterprise. On this 
occasion (1868) members of the Association had their choice of three extensive 
trips,- to Rock Island, to Omaha, and to Lake Superior. Natural History in all 
its branches must be prosecuted by observation. This requires, many times, 
extensive journeys on the part of the naturalist. There is a double reason why he 
should not be taxed to the serious extent of bearing all the expenses of such sur- 
veys. 1. He is not in pursuit of a selfish end ; he makes no material gains ; all the 
results go into possession of the world; he expends his own time and employs 
the results of years of preparation without the least material compensation. 
2. He is generally a low- salaried man; our colleges and universities pay less 
than business-houses to a good book-keeper or head-clerk; he is engaged in no 
profitable business; he can take advantage of no speculations; all his energies 
are withdrawn from money-making; his country taxes him on the books he im- 
ports for the extension of his knowledge; his generally scant resources must 
fatally restrict the field of his observations, and cause the world to feel the con- 
sequent loss, unless the intelligent appreciation of railroad superintendents shall 
lirompt them to grant traveling favors, which cost their roads comparatively lit- 
tle. Since I have mentioned one generous corporation. 1 ought to say that most 
of our roads have granted important reductions in fare to members attending 
scientific meetings; and, in many instances, extensive excursions have been 
freely offered, which have proved of incalculable benefit to the interests of 
science. Some of the most noteworthy excursions offered the American Asso- 
ciation have been from the meetings at Chicago. Indianapolis, St. Louis and 
Nashville. The authorities would be gratified, I am sure, to know what imme- 
diate and what indirect results have proceeded from these opportunities. 

301 



302 SPAIIKS FliOM A geologist's HAMMER. 

his traveling-bag for a trip to the Missouri river, and the 
urgency with which he pressed me to join the excursion. 
There was an ulterior purpose lurking beneath his drab- 
colored hat which did not animate the others of the small 
company, who were intending simply to ride to Omaha 
and back. Perhaps this was one of those critical junc- 
tures in human life where to choose "leads on to fortune," 
and to refuse leads, well, nowhere in particular. The 
fact is, Professor Marsh chose to go, and the present writer 
refused to go. The results illuminate the aphorism. 

Not long after this the American Journal of Science"^ 
contained an announcement of the discovery, by Professor 
Marsh, of the remains of a diminutive extinct equine en- 
tirely new to science. Beyond Omaha, Professor Marsh 
had proceeded over the Union Pacific railroad as far as 
Antelope Station, where the debris thrown out of a well 
contained the relics of this remote predecessor of the 
" prancing steed." It was at Antelope Station, in Ne- 
braska, four hundred and fifty-one miles west of Omaha, 
that his destiny was revealed to him. From this happ}^ 
stroke of good luck he had the tact and sagacity and in- 
dustry to win the undivided affections of the goddess so 
generally reputed "fickle"; and a few years later the 
metropolitan dailies were enriched with voluminous ac- 
counts of his extensive and important discoveries; and all 
the world had heard that the ancestral horse had arisen 
in America, and that an American scientist had traced 
the pedigree of Hambletonian back to Oroliippus of the 
Rocky Mountains. Professor Huxley had before this in- 

*Amer. Jour. Sci., II, ^Ivi, 374, Nov. 1868. The discovery announced was 
Equus parvulus from the "later Tertiary of Nebraska." This was afterward 
thought to be gonerlcally distinct from Equus, and was named P/'otohij)23us par- 
vulus Mh. {Amer. Jour. ScL, III, vii, 251, March 187i). 



THE GENEALOGY OF SHIPS. 303 

terested himself sufficiently in horse-lore to fit together 
some fragments of equine genealogy, and make an exhi- 
bition of them before the Geological Society of London.* 
I believe that he and Albert Gaudry and Paul Gervais 
had nearly convinced the geological savans of Europe that 
their continent was the native land of the domestic horse, 
and the whole line of his ancestry was European through 
and through. But it is certain that Professor Marsh came 
now to be regarded as fully demonstrating that the role 
which the equine played in Europe was merely by-pla}^, 
and that America was both his primitive home and the 
chief scene of the exploits of the whole line of equidse. 
True it was that from time to time the existing repre- 
sentatives of the equine lineage had wandered off to the 
European extremity of the North Atlantic continent,t and 
left their bones to stimulate the inquiries of "Old World" 
o-eoloo-ists. True it was that the domestic horse had been 
known through Europe and Asia during nearly the whole 
stretch of human history, while he was wholly unknown 
in America at the epoch of Columbus. But it appeared 
also true that the real domestic horse had lived in Amer- 
ica and become extinct here. And it was apparent that 
representatives of the horse family had dwelt here in 
times much more remote than the epoch of the oldest 
known horses of Europe, and that the family had been 
represented by a much greater diversity of specific forms. 
It looked, in fact, as if America had been the original 
home of the horse family, and the domestic species had 
disappeared before historic times, simply because it had 
already been so long a familiar and characteristic Ameri- 
can form. 

*T. n. Huxley. Critiques and Addresses, 181-'21T. Anniversary Address, 1870, 
tSee chapters iii and iv, especially the latter. 



304 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

This, I say, was the conviction which became wide- 
spread among palaeontologists in consequence of the chain 
of discoveries announced by Professor Marsh, from which 
it appeared that at least seven generic modifications of 
the horse-type had lived successively upon our continent.* 

The very fact of the reality of so gently graduated a 
succession was deemed by Professor Marsh adequate ground 
for assuming that all these horse-types belonged to one 
line of descent, with some lateral ramifications. f To me, 
while admitting the high probability that the genealogical 
relationship was a fact, it seemed that the simple circum- 

* These were: 1. Orohippus, of the Middle Eocene; size of fox, and with 
four toes before and three behind; 2. Epihipims (a later discover}', however), 
from the Later Eocene, resembling Orohippus generally, but differing in the 
teeth; 3. 3Iesohippi/s, from the Oldest Miocene; size of sheep, having three toes 
before and three behind, and with large "splint" bones before; 4. Miohipims, 
from the Late Miocene; size of sheep, with three toes and small splints before, 
and three unequal toes behind, the lateral being diminished; 5. Protohippus, 
from the Early Pliocene; size of ass, having the lateral toes in each foot reduced 
to dangling hooflets; 6. PHoMppus, of Middle Pliocene; size of small horse, and 
having single toes with large lateral splints; 7. Eguus, the genus of the domestic 
horse, known in America {Equus excelsus, at least) as early as the Later Pliocene, 
and in Europe {Equus fossilis, probably not distinct from the domestic species) 
in the Cavern Epoch of the Quaternary. In Equus the functional toes are re- 
duced to the middle digit on each foot, but the rudiments of the two contiguous 
ones still remain as " splints." At a later date (1876) Professor Marsh discovered 
a still older equine, Eohippns, from the Oldest Eocene ; size of a fox, with four 
functional toes before and three behind, like Orohippus., but with rudiments of a 
fourth toe behind, and hence, it is inferred, the rudiments of a flflh toe in front. 
The hoofs were mere thick, broad and blunt claws. The Anchippus and Euro- 
pean Hipparion {Hippotherinm in America) were closely related to Protoliippus^ 
while Merychipjms was probably identical. Anchippus, Hip2iarion and Stylonus 
constituted a collateral series diverging from the equine stem. Anchither'iimi, 
from the older Miocene, and the oldest equine known in Europe, is similar to our 
Miohippus, but a little less specialized. It, or its immediate predecessor, proba- 
bly carried this type from America in early Miocene times, after equines had 
been flourishing in the " New " World for a whole geological period. 

t The same weight was afterward given to this class of evidence in Marsh's 
address as Vice-President of the American Association, at the Nashville meeting, 
in 1877. It may also be here stated that Professor Huxley had similarly assumed 
that this single line of evidence closed the door to all future argument or dubita- 
tion. This was in his New York lectures, in 1876, of which I have something 
further to say in another chapter. 



THE GENEALOGY OF SHIPS. 305 

* 
stances of graduation and consecutiveness were not com- 
plete proof of the proposition; and to illustrate the fallacy 
of that mode of reasoning I sent the following jeii cVesprit 
to the journal which had been enterprising enough to 
keep the popular reader posted in the progress of Pro- 
fessor Marsh's discoveries: 

The intelligent public is placed under great obligations 
to the Tribune for earlv and extended accounts of the 
progress of American science. I have been extremely 
interested in the bulletins of Professor Marsh's explora- 
tions in the far West. The Tribune s re-presentation (in 
the number for May 4) of the subject of extinct equine 
quadrupeds on the American continent is entertaining 
and instructive, and made intelligible by the reproduc- 
tion of the striking cuts showing the progressive historical 
changes in the foot of the equine animal, i: These, and 
other similar facts, are often cited as evidence of the 
ffenealosfical descent of the domestic horse. The writer 
of the article of May 4 seems to view them as evidences 
that may sustain Mr. Darwin's theory, as he suggests 
certain physical conditions which may have given few- 
toed horses an advantage over many-toed horses. 

Now nobody can be insensible for a moment to the 
beautiful exemplification of fundamental plan which we 
discover in these forms; no one can deny that the series 
constitutes an evolution; but some may question whether 
Orohippus, Miohippus^ Hippario}i and Equus stand in genea- 
logical relationship to each other. To clear up all doubt on 
this question, and establish Darwinism on a scientific basis, 

* An excellent set of illustrations niaj' be consulted by the reader in the 
Popular Science Monthly, Iv, 295, Jan. 1877. These have been reproduced in the 
third edition of Dana's Manual of Geology, plate x. 



306 SPARKS FKOM A GEOLOGISTS HAMMER. 

I desire to direct the attention of readers of the Tribune 
to another set of facts with which they are all familiar. 
I suppose the first notion of a vehicle for transporta- 
tion by water may have been suggested to primeval 
man by the discovery that a floating log would bear his 
weight. Astride of such a ship, our ancestors may have 
paddled from shore to shore of their inland waters. We 
find an atavistic recurrence, or perhaps persistence, of 
this mode of navigation among the modern Australians. 
The discovery could not have been long delayed, however, 
that the buoyancy of the log would not be diminished by 
scooping out its interior and giving it improved capacity 
for passengers and freight. So the " dug-out" came into 
existence, a form of water-craft so well adapted to the 
"conditions of [naval] existence" among many tribes of 
our North American Indians, that it survives as the fit- 
test form of naval architecture. From the dug-out to the 
seal-skin kijak or the bark canoe, is but a step, and this 
step is an advance which seems to grow out of surround- 
ing conditions. The Eskimo has no logs, but many skins; 
and the Chippewayan has, from the birch, a bark (whence 
certain vessels are still called " barks ") more serviceable 
than logs or skins. These modifications of the primitive 
craft are obviousty determined by the conditions of ex- 
istence. And so the skiff on the mill-pond comes into 
existence in correlation with the lumber pile on tlie 
bank; and the brave, stout life-boat is bred by the many 
bufifetings of a stormy surf; just as the biremes and tri- 
remes of the ancients came from the lonsf-continued 
strain of the smaller boats by excessive loading and fre- 
quent swampings. All these forms of rowing craft sus- 
tain, admissibly, homological relations to each other, and 



THE GENEALOGY OF SHIPS. 307 

teleological relations to surrounding circumstances, and 
show a regular developmental series. That is admitted, 
but the point which I wish to enforce as so happily illus- 
trating and demonstrating Darwinism is that they sustain, 
also, a genetic relation to each otiter. Obvious as this is, 
many good people seem to doubt it. I shall therefore 
extend the argument. 

How came the simple sail-boat into existence? Evi- 
dently the wind made it. Had there been no wind, there 
would have been no sails; therefore the wind is the cause 
of sails. But the simple sail-boat or Mackinac boat, 
this is an obvious modification of the skifp. Here is only 
a marked divergence, an incorporation of a new idea in 
water-locomotion, generated by an external condition of 
a marked character. But the divergence once established 
is likely to continue toward perfection. The little sail- 
boat grows into a sloop, with increased bulk, speed, com- 
plexity, efficiency and accommodations. The one-masted 
sloop develops into the two-masted schooner, and this into 
the three-masted brig, with ever-increasing differentiations 
and complexities. The reader will at once perceive the 
analogy between these masts and the toes of horses. The 
domestic horse is a sloop; the Hipparion is a brig. It 
disproves nothing that in naval craft the numerical 
progress is the reverse of what we see in equine craft. 
This corresponds with the different conditions presented 
by land and water for locomotive purposes. On the land, 
decrease in the number of organs; on the water, increase 
in the number of ors^ans, is the condition of c^reatest 
efficiency; and we see in both cases how beautifully the 
result is correlated to the condition. Now, from the 
floating log up to the three-masted brig, we notice a 



308 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

series of forms representative of a series of ideas, and 
these sustain an evolutionary relation to each other in 
each series. These forms have evidently been evolved 
generatively. How else should they be found consecu- 
tive? The ancestors of the horse are found in PUohip- 
pus, Mesohippus and Orohippus, and it seems quite as 
clear that the saw-log is the great-great-great-grandfather 
of the brig. Thus the ship, which rolls like a log (hence 
its record is called a " log-book "), has inherited an an- 
cestral trait, like the man with a sharp tip to his ear. 
Now, if the reader has followed me to this point with- 
out being convinced, I desire him to follow me on an- 
other departure. Just as the Ascidian from which man 
is descended, presented, in the course of generations, di- 
vergences which became class-types, viz., fishes, reptiles, 
birds and mammals, so the ascidian ship, in the course 
of generations, has developed three classes of vessels, viz., 
rowing-vessels, wind-vessels, and steam-vessels. The row- 
ing-vessels answer to the sluggish reptiles; the sailing- 
vessels are probably birds, and the steam-vessels are New 
Yorkers, of whom the Chicagoan is clearl}^ a more fully 
developed species. It is probable that the vessels answer- 
ing to the class of fishes are those like " monitors," 
" steam-rams," or torpedo-boats, or, perhaps, like those 
Atlantic passenger steamers which go under water. But 
I leave the fish-ships out of the argument. Now, I have 
shown that the genera and species of the rowing-class 
sustain genetic relations to each other, and that those 
of the sailing-class sustain similar relationships to each 
other and to the rowincj-class. A few words will show 
that this relationship runs through the steam-class, and 
thus the whole subkingdom of water-craft. Look at the 



THE GENEALOGY OF SHIPS. 309 

steam-tug, strong, indeed, like a rhinoceros, but holding 
a low position in its class, a position little elevated above 
that of a sailing-craft, and, in fact, incorporating all the 
fundamental ideas of that craft, except that engine is 
substituted for sail. The ferry-steamer is an improve- 
ment, but as the tug responds to a peculiar demand, so 
does the improved steamer; and each is the product of 
circumstances. The tug is all muscle; the ferry-boat 
is broader-shouldered, for bearing its load instead of pull- 
ing it. The river steamer is the outcome of the fluvia- 
tile duties of the ferry-boat. It arose in the epoch be- 
fore the ocean-steamer, and must, therefore, have been 
its progenitor; and the Great Eastern is the "Kentucky 
Giant'' of the whole class. Only this and nothing more, 
but there have been divergences from the straight line of 
descent, as we get aberrant m^ammals like the ornitho- 
rhynchus, the armadillo and the sea-lion. The urfrencv of 
surrounding conditions has called into existence such col- 
lateral types as Stevens' battery and the steam dredge, 
all showing, by their fundamental plan of structure, 
derivation from the ancestral puffer. 

I think the idea must protrude visibly. It is not that 
these forms in naval anatomy exhibit an evolution of the 
idea of a water-vehicle. It is not that they all sustain 
relations of fundamental plan to each other. It is not 
that they all show adaptation to special ends, suggesting 
to the minds of the credulous the notions of desisfn and 
desicrner. This is the focus of the locfic : Thev have all 
descended from an ancestral saw-log, and this appearance 
of common plan is not a plan, but only a family resem- 
blance necessitated by the laws of inheritance; this gradual 
improvement comes from the struggle for existence, where- 



310 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

by the skiff robbed the k3^ak or the dug-out of the means 
of subsistence, the schooner robbed the slo()p, and the brig 
the schooner, and finally the capabilities of these various 
craft have been developed by the demands of the circum- 
stances under which thev existed, the intervention of 
intelligence and purpose is not to be thought of. Just as 
the proboscis of the elephant comes from the necessity of 
reaching beyond the ability of his short neck, and the 
reduction of the toes of Mesohippns from the desiccation 
of an ancient marsh (and the imagination of a modern 
one), just so a continual breeze developed the first sail; a 
longing for more rapid transit begat engine and paddle- 
wheel ; habitual butting resulted in a steam-ram, and 
much hittincT hardened the ocean-steamer into a monitor. 

CD 

I hope now the case is clear.* 

It would seem that the irony of the foregoing sally 
was sufficiently patent to any but a Jurassic Swabian. 
Manifestly, the reality of the genealogical succession of 
equine types is not denied, but only the assumption that 
the simple fact of succession (in connection with gradua- 
tion of structures) proves that it must have been a genea- 
logical succession. Yet, of the half-dozen or more responses 
called forth, several indicate that their authors had " failed 
to see the point,'' however protrusive. One signed " Direct 
Creationist," and conceived in a similar ironical vein, pre- 
tended to den}^ the relation of parent and offspring alto- 
gether, because, as he suggested, such relation could not 
be admitted in the graduated series of aquatic vehicles. 

*I am sure that Professor Marsh must have appreciated the entire good na- 
ture witii which this little satire was aimed at a weakness in the claims set up 
for the palfeoutological evidence of derivation of species. He knows full well 
that I have always been in accord with all the world in conceding him the highest 
honor for the ability of his researches. 



THE GENEALOGY OF SHIPS. 311 

This was a pungent and capital rejoiner (I am not writ- 
ing ironically now, an explanation intended for Boeotians), 
and at first view seems to expose a weakness in the rea- 
soning of my article. Here, he says, in effect, are two 
parallel graduated series: 1. A structural gradation in 
aquatic vehicles ; 2. A structural gradation in successive 
equine types. Now, the author of " The Genealogy of 
Ships," turning his irony into direct speech, tells us 
that because there is no Gfenealoc^ical relation in the first 
series it may be there is none in the second series. " Di- 
rect Creationist,"' however, takes the other alternative, 
and maintains (ironically, with the first writer) that be- 
cause there is no o-enetic relation either in the first series 
or the second, there is no such thing as genetic relation 
anywhere. Or, converting his irony to direct speech, it 
means that inasmuch as we are certain that cfenetic rela- 
tions exist in the actual world, we must admit that in 
the horse series, where family resemblances exist similar 
to those in the actual world, they imply similarly some 
real i^enetic relation. This is the arsjument of the re- 
joinder reduced to its simplest terms. But now, this is 
the very same old pretense whose validity I had chal- 
lenged. " Direct Creationist " had simply masked the old 
non-sequiUir and presented us a view a posteriori. The 
family resemblance in the succession of water vehicles is 
fully as exact and real as in the equine succession ; and 
therefore, so far as the fact of succession is concerned, 
proves just as conclusively a genetic relationship. So af- 
ter the two writers had grappled and completely rolled 
over once, it appears that the author of the " Genealogy 
of Ships " must be recognized as the upper layer in the 
scrimmage. 



312 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

But it might be suggested that each term in the equine 
series belonged to one of the kingdoms of organic nature, 
in which genetic relationships constitute an eminent char- 
acteristic; while the forms of naval structure are known 
to possess no such characteristic. This was the purport 
of the replies of "Pikestaff;' "I. J. K.," and " G. K. G." 
But right here lay the gist of my irony. It was because 
we could conclude the same thincf concerninc? inorsfanic 
structures as had been inferred concernincr orfjanic struct- 
ures that that mode of reasoning became reduced ad 
absurdum. Not that the inference concernincf the organic 
series was Impossible; it was simpl}^ not what was claimed 
demonstrated. Admitted, with the utmost alacrity, that 
the genetic relation is a jDOSsibility in one case, and an 
impossibility in the other; yet, even in the possible case, 
there is another explanation which is also possible, I 
need not say equally probable, and that is the possibiUtij 
of a series of independent origins. This is so far from 
absurd that it was almost the unanimous opinion of man- 
kind till within a few years. It was defended by Linnseus 
and Cuvier and Agassiz. The latter stood up in the midst 
of the storm of opposition, and almost on his dying day 
fluncp fact after fact and inference after inference in the 
faces of the confronting army of Darwinists. So far is 
another explanation possible, not to say i:)lausible. It is 
perfectly easy to conceive that each new type may have 
been a separate origination. Even if this were the case, 
we should expect that each new origination vv'ould be 
based on a plan of structure having all its fundamentals 
in common with preceding t^qDCS. For why does any 
organism have such structures as it has unless to be 
suited to the conditions in which it is placed? And if 



THE GEN"EALOGY OF SHIPS. 8l3 

the conditions remain essentially unchanged, why should 
a new origination he expected to have a structural con- 
formation fundamentally different from its predecessors? 
The structure must remain fundamentally similar, even 
if it he a new origination; and thus, as Agassiz used to 
argue, a relationship of thought would be seen to run 
through the whole series, binding it in a unity as real 
as if threaded on a genealogical line. If, then, a series 
of independent originations 'is something so possible, and 
so defensible, is it not plainly a petitio j^f^iiicipii to assume 
that genetic relationship is the only possible explanation 
of the graduated successions revealed in the history of the 
equine type? 

There was another ground of hesitation to accept ge- 
netic relation as the necessary explanation of equine suc- 
cession. So far as conclusive evidence had gone, genetic 
relationship was one of approximate identity. Inheritance 
meant reproduction or continuance of the same specific 
type. True, indeed, tliat susceptibility of variation co- 
existed; but all observed variation among individuals of 
the same ancestry exhibited but narrow structural range, 
and seemed to tend to disappearance. But the range of 
structure from Oyohippus to Eqiius was great. They 
were not only different species, but different genera. Who 
had ever known generation to wander so far away from 
a primitive pattern? There existed, in truth, a real tvant 
of analogy between the relationships in the terms of the 
equine series and those in the generations of an estab- 
lished lineage. 

One point only was suggested by the respondents which 
tended positively to turn attention toward genetic descent 
as the true explanation of equine relationships. " M. B. B." 



314 SPARKS FEOM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

raised the question of the significance of " rudimental 
organs.*' Now, the rudiments of a " row-lock " upon a 
sail-rigged vessel would be entirely inexplicable; but the 
rudiments of eyes in the blind fish of the Mammoth Cave 
become explicable, because we know they might be the 
effete remnants of functional eyes in some remote pro- 
genitor. Rudimental organs, then, it must be admitted, 
add a separate probability to the theory that equine re- 
lationships are relationships of consanguinit3^ The horse- 
series itself offers in its "splint bones" and other struct- 
ures admirable examples of rudimental organs. 

In this connection, it onlv remains to direct the reader's 
attention to the fact that the original article not only 
does not deny the probability of a genealogical descent 
along the equine succession of past times, but it does not 
deny the efficiency of the Darwinian principle of " natural 
selection." It implies that this is not an adequate and 
all-sufficient principle. Nor does it imply, in offering a 
parallel between a series of structures resulting from 
human contrivance, and a series of structures appearing 
in the natural world, that therefore the true and only 
conception of " designs " in nature is typified by the lim- 
ited, groping contrivances of man. This was charged in 
the reply signed by " Pikestaff."' In fact, the point of 
my satire did not depend on any assumption concerning 
designs in nature. If, however, it were needed to offer 
a reply to the Pikestaffian objection, for it possesses a 
generic character, I should point simply to the line of 
thoucrht set forth in the last article of this volume. The 
Pikestaffian objection has become quite threadbare. I 
think the owners would do well to throw it now upon 
the pile of old rags. 



THE GEN"EALOGY OF SHIPS. 315 

There are many apt illustrations of the invalidity of 

arguing a material continuity in a series of terms con- 

* 

nected by morphological relationships. One of the re- 
spondents to the article on the " Genealogy of Ships," 
" S. H. M.," regarded it " a good case of atavism in jokes," 
since, many years before, some writer in one of the Eng- 
lish reviews had contemplated the articles of furniture in 
his study, chairs, tables, bureau, etc., as only a series 
of modifications of the three-legged stool. Another re- 
spondent, and this is Pikestaff, again, recalled Pro- 
fessor Morse's humorous lecture before " Section Q,'' in 
which an old hat was made to undergo, crayonically, a 
transformaiion by successive differentiations into all the 
types of head-gear known to man or woman. This was 
fanny, as much cachinnation testified; but suppose Pro- 
fessor Morse had begun with the foot of Eohippus, and 
manipulated it in a corresponding way, he would have 
shown that horses, as well as hats, might be separately 
orio^inated. 

In another place I have instanced the history of the 
evolution of " wheeled vehicles," * and this, it appears, 
has been taken up also by Mr. E. B. Tylor.f A kindred 
example, quite admirable in its completeness, is furnished 
by the historical and ethnical development of the plovr. 
This has lately been discussed by Mr. Tylor,t and the 
general purport of it, so far as this point is concerned, 
may be condensed into the following statement of success- 

* The Doctrine of Evolution, pp. !)0-l. See, also, Reconciliation of Science 
and Religion, !72-3. 

tE. B. Tylor, Journal of the Anthropological Institute^ London, 1880. Mr. 
Tylor had previously mentioned other cases, such as the evolution of lire-arms, 
the cross-bow. fire-drill, metallic axes, etc. Primitive Culture, i, 13-14. 

X Tylor, Journal of the Anthrojwlogical Institute, 1880. The article is repro- 
duced in Popular Science Monthly, xviii, 448-53. See, also, Tylor's Anthropology. 



316 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

ive stages in the evolution. These, while taxonomically 
successive, do not, it will be seen, present absolutely a 
chronological successiveness. These facts, therefore, offer 
exactly the same phenomena as are frequently met with 
in palseontological studies. 

STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLOW. 

1. A sim2)Ie digging stick, the katta of Australia. This 
primitive type, like the foraminiferal one in palgeontolog}^ 
still survives. 

2. A two-pointed stick. Still used by the Bodo and 
Dhimal of northeastern India. 

3. A hent (or angulated) digging stick or "hoe." The 
tima of the Maories. Also the hacker of Sweden, from 
ten centuries back to within a generation. A similar 
but more finished tool was used in ancient Etruria and 
in Syracuse. 

4. Bent piece of ivood, three fingers wide, fixed to a 
handle. American Indians in modern times. Something 
similar in early Rome. 

5. Shoulder-blade of an elk or buffalo (or a shell) af- 
fixed to a handle. Modern American Indians. The Ameri- 
can Mound Builders used a stone blade affixed to a handle.* 

6. Implement with metal blade fixed to a handle. The 
Kaffir axe. 

7. Furrotv - crook or large hacker., drawn by hand. 
Sweden, within ten centuries. 

8. Plow-crook, or furrow-crook with share and handles 
separate. Sweden, within ten centuries. A similar im- 
jjlement, drawn by men, with' rope attached, was used in 
ancient Egypt. 

* C. Rau, Smiihsonian Annual Report, 1863, 379. 



THE GEiJ^EALOGY OP SHIPS. 317 

9. Flow-crooJc, with share sJiod with a three-cornered 
hill, Sweden, after the last. 

10. Flow-crook^ like the last, but drawn bij snares or 
cows. Sweden, after the ninth. Similar implement drawn 
by men in ancient Egypt. Plow with metal share and 
bent pole shown in an early manuscript of Hesiod. 

11. Common i)low with share, mouldboard, beam and 
handle. Fifty years back. 

12. Modern plow tvith coulter. Something very similar 
was used in the time of Pliny. 

13. Modern ploiv tvith coulter and wheel. The same 
was used with two wheels in the time of Pliny. 

14. Self-acting plow. Recent times. 

15. Steam plow. Recent. 

Similar fundamental relations without cjenetic connec- 
tion are exemplified in series of chemical homologues, 
where from one end to the other the contisfuous terms 
differ simply by an arithmetical common difference. Ed- 
ward von Hartmann has directed his attention to the 
defect in Darwinian argumentation on which I am here ani- 
madverting.* In referring to " the ideal and the genea- 
logical relationship of types," he says, " it would be alto- 
gether too hasty to argue in the case of palseontological 
data from a simple post hoc to a propter hoc'' (p. 11). The 
relationship of types in the mineral kingdom, he says, is 
purely ideal, not genealogical. Even in a case where the 
transitions proceed by insensible degrees, we are not au- 
thorized to argue, for this reason, that the successive terms 
have a common orisjin : for otherwise " one misjht assert 

*Von Hartmann, Wahrheit und Irrthum in Darivinisms. Eine Krilische 
DaisteUunri derorganischen Entivickelungstheorie. Berlin, 18T5. See especially 
pages 11, 12, 13, 15. 



318 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGisrs ham:5j:er. 

that the hyperbola had descended from the parabola, and 
this from the ellipse, and this from the circle or even, by 
disappearance of the minor axis, from a straight line " 
(p. 13). So again, speaking of the works of human art, 
he says : "If, for instance, it be said that the Gothic 
cathedral was developed from the Romanic, and this from 
the basilica, and this again from some sort of Roman 
market-hall ; and if, further, it be possible to point out 
an insensible gradation from one structure to another, no 
one would consider himself, for these reasons, authorized 
to conclude that any given structure in the Gothic style 
had been produced by an actual transformation of the 
circular arch into the pointed arch. True, there exists 
here a genetic outgrowth of one type out of another, but 
yet only in an ideal sense, not in the actual structure. 
That is, the genesis is a fact, not as something external, 
but as a psychological genesis of thought and artistic 
ideal, one conception becoming historically developed out 
of the other"(pp. 15-16). 

The palseontological evidence as proof of the derivative 
origin of species has been publicly discussed by Professor 
Huxley, and I invite the reader's attention to an examina- 
tion of his method, as presented in the following chapter. 



HUXLEY AND EVOLUTION, 



Tlw Direct Evidences of Evolution : Three Lectures in New York, 
September 18, 20 and 22, 1876. I. The Untenable Hypotheses; II. 
Circumstantial Evidence of Evohition; III. The Demonstrative 
Evidence. New York Tribune Extra, No. 36.* 

FOR the complete, authentic, and accessible form of 
the lectures cited above, we are indebted to a phase 
of newspaper enterprise which is purely and creditably 
American. It is a pleasure to make acknowledgment 
of the crreat service rendered to science and literature 
in America by the cultured editorship of the New York 
Tribune, which discovers so large resources of " news " 
in the events and utterances of the world of science and 
letters. 

The lectures themselves were widely heralded; every 
movement of the distinc^uished foreigfner was made a 
sensation, and the whole country had been lifted to the 
tip-toe of expectation. The theme announced was one 
which had already agitated every thinking circle of two 
continents. Professor Huxley had long been distinguished 
as a bold leader in the advocacy of a hypothesis which 

* The report of the JVeiv York Tribune was " carefully revised by Prof. 
Huxley," and republished in The Popular Science Monthly, Ivi, 43-72, 207-25, 
285-98, November and December 1876, and January 1877. The titles given in this 
edition are I. The Three Hypotheses of the History of Nature; IT. The Noi^ativc 
and Favorable Evidence; TIT. The Demonstrative Evidence of Evolution. 
Much of the two following articles is reproduced substantially froui the Meth- 
odist Quarterly Review for April 1871. They will be found, however, to contain 
very extensive changes and additions 

319 



320 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

required a reinterpretation of some passages of scripture; 
and a vague expectation had been awakened that some 
sort of a skirmish between science and theology was im- 
pending. 

It is fair to record the fact, however, that no conflict 
with the fundamental principles of religious faith was 
anticipated by any holding representative positions in 
science; nor were corresponding representatives of theo- 
logical learning fearful, to the least extent, that any 
phase of science so sustained by evidence as to be gen- 
erally accepted by the scientific, could contravene the 
accepted fundamentals of religious belief. The popular 
apprehensions existed, as they have always existed, in the 
minds of one class who have no adequate knowledge of 
the nature and force of scientific evidence, and of an- 
other class who rather enjoy the spectacle when theology 
gets a pelting, even if with mere " tufts of grass." Un- 
doubtedly it is the depraved heart which prompts to a 
larcje share of the satisfaction felt in such a case; but 
there seems to be also a semi-humorous element in our 
nature which enjoys, as a mild sensation, any discom- 
posure manifested by theology at being even unjustly 
accused of jealousy toward science. 

It is fair, also, to record the fact that the three lect- 
ures of Professor Huxley do not contain a single expres- 
sion avowing or intimating an atheistic belief; and all 
assertions to the effect that " he more than suf^cfested 
that his aim was atheistic" have no other foundation 
than the opinion of their authors that the doctrine of 
evolution means atheism. On the contrary. Professor 
Huxley has expressed himself in such terms as to clearly 



HUXLEY AKD EVOLUTIOIs^ 321 

indicate that he reserves a place for original creative 
agency. He says: 

" Though we are quite clear about the constanc}^ of 
nature at the present time, and in the present order of 
things, it b}^ no means follows necessarily that we are 
justified in expanding this generalization into the past, 
and in denying absolutely that there may have been a 
time when Nature [evidence] did not follow a fixed [first] 
order, when the relations of cause and effect were not 
[fixed and] definite, and when external agencies did not 
intervene in the general course of nature."* 

And again: 

"My present business is not with the question as to 
how nature has originated, as to the causes which have 
led to her origination, but as to the manner and order of 
the appearance of natural objects [her origination]. * * 
This is a strictly [an] historical question. * * But the 
other question about creation is a philosophical question, 
and one which cannot be solved or even approached [or 
touched] by the historical method." 

The first of the above quotations is not wholly unam- 
biguous. It seems that the lecturer must employ the 
term " cause " in a physical rather than a metaphysical 
sense. He directs our attention to a time when the pres- 
ent order of nature had not begun to exist, and the 
orders of sequence of physical effects had not been or- 

* The words in brackets are contained only in the Tribune report; the words 
in italics are contained only in the revision as it appeared in the Popular Science 
Monthly. It would seem that the word "not" in the last clause is inadvertently 
employed, since it makes the idea incongruous with the one immediately pre- 
ceding. The author apparently intended to say that " we have no right to deny 
that there may have been a time when external agencies did intervene in the 
general course of nature," or " that we have no right to affirm that there never 
was a time when external agencies did not intervene. ' 
21 



322 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

dained. He must have contemplated an adequate efficiency 
for the inauguration of the present order. In admitting 
the conception and possibility of a different order he at 
least implies the conception of a power superior to the 
present order adequate to begin, and therefore to end, 
its existence. The second quotation means clearly that 
the evolution hypothesis may be established, and yet leave 
every person free to satisfy himself in reference to both 
the efficient and the final cause of evolution. It means 
that the theist may posit a Creator at the beginning, 
and the scientist has no evidence to array against the 
position. This is clearly indicated by the nature of the 
change in phraseology introduced by the author in the 
revised edition. This quotation interpreted in its impli- 
cations means, we think, even more. If natural history 
cannot reveal the nature of causal efficiency at the begin- 
ning of the series, it can no more reveal the nature of 
the efficiency which manifests itself at every term of the 
series; that is, the hypothesis of evolution authorizes the 
believer in immanent divine power to posit such a power 
in every term of the evolution. If the lecturer recog- 
nized such legitimate inferences from his language, it is 
greatly to be regretted that he was not more explicit. 
It would, indeed, have been a departure from strictly 
scientific method (in distinction from philosophical), but 
it would have been a courtesy appreciated, if not de- 
served, by the religious public. If, however, a scientist 
chooses to disguise his opinions on a theological question, 
or to refrain from forming any, it is probably his right 
to do so. There may be, nevertheless, a degree of re- 
serve amounting to an affectation. The " science " of com- 
parative religion teaches us that religious beliefs are part 



HUXLEY AND EVOLUTIOX. 323 

of the mental furniture, even of savages; and the infer- 
ence from this is, that when a scientist studiously con- 
ceals his religious beliefs he is suppressing a part of his 
nature to copy a fashion, or to gratify a fancy for making 
an exhibition of an unsymmetrical mentality, as Chinese 
women pride themselves in half-suppressed feet, and our 
own women used to fancy a half-developed waist. It is 
not, of course, necessary for a scientist to make a parade 
of his religious beliefs; it sometimes becomes an unpleas- 
ant spectacle; but when he has never once made an 
unreserved avowal of such belief; when he has been ex- 
tensively misconstrued, and half the world is on tip-toe 
of curiosity to learn his real opinions, persistent conceal- 
ment looks so much like a desire to pique curiosit}^, or 
defy misconstruction, or court public mention, that indeed, 
public impatience must be excused. But it is to be hoped, 
in any event, that American dissentients from Professor 
Huxley's scientific or theological or non-committal positions 
will afford him no ground to complain of contemptuous 
criticism and misquotation.* 

Before proceeding to the consideration of the " Direct 
Evidences of Evolution," as presented by Professor Hux- 
ley, we desire to enter our dissent from some of his pre- 
liminary positions. 

1. The MiUonic conception of the creatio)i is not entirely 
the biblical one. Professor Huxley, in his first lecture, 
has presented us two " hj'potheses " concerning the origin 
of the existing order of nature, which he pronounces 

* Those who feci curious to know more of Professor Huxley's theology 
may discover some faint light in a perusal of the article entitled " Scliool 
Boards/'' in Criliqiies and Addressee. It will be noticed hy the readers of Hux- 
ley's writings that he employs the word *" theology " to signify a body of ecclesi- 
astical principles and practices, and not the science of God. 



324 SPARKS FR03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

"untenable." The first is the theory held by many of 
the Greek philosophers, though not by the greatest of 
them, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, nor by the Stoics 
and Eleatics, nor indeed bv Xeniades, Democritus and 
Epicurus, that the order of the world is eternal. The 
lecturer showed, as has been done time and again by 
others, that the succession of events in the past history 
of the world, as revealed by geological science, is such 
as necessarily implies a commencement, a beginning of 
its organic history, and a. beginning of its cosmical his- 
tory. The second " untenable hypothesis " is that of " cre- 
ation." For the purpose of making known his conception 
of the " creation hypothesis " he assumes that which is 
set forth in the epic of John Milton; and, after presenting 
Milton's graphic though grotesque picture of the origin 
of animal forms, proceeds to show that it is not scienti- 
fically exact. This was no difficult undertaking, since 
there was probably not an intelligent person in his audi- 
ence, or in the city of New York, who would maintain 
that Milton's picture is a representation scientifically exact. 
It is doubtful if the poet himself regarded it as a literal 
history of events in detail. Milton employed a warm 
and productive imagination, and it might be affirmed in 
advance that the poet's pen would produce a picture whose 
exuberance of metaphor would prove eminently distasteful 
to cold and rigorous science. 

Now, we cannot refrain from expressing wonder that 
a scientific gentleman, entering upon a scientific examina- 
tion of theories of the origin of things, should pass by 
every scientific or philosophic exposition of the " creation 
theory," and go complacently to the glowing picture of a 
poetic imagination for the most rationally stated form of 



HUXLEY A^D EVOLUTION". 325 

that theory; and that, too, a picture painted more than 
two centuries previously, when biological and geological 
science were scarcely in embryo. By the side of that 
picture, however, he placed the latest aspect of the evo- 
lution theory. The disingenuousness of such a compari- 
son is grotesque. It is not asserted that Professor Huxley 
felt the comparison to be disingenuous. It must be as- 
sumed that he intended to be fair and just. We will 
admit, then, that he did not know the Miltonic picture 
to be a mere burlesque of the science of those holding 
the " creation theory." We will admit, in other words, 
that he had not informed himself concernincf the theorv 
which he publicly proposed to overthrow, but succeeded 
only in ridiculing. 

But the lecturer attempted also to show that the Mil- 
tonic order of creation is not sustained by palaeontology. 
Well, if the language of Milton means and implies what 
the lecturer claimed, we must admit that the scientific 
record diverges. But what was the necessity of setting 
up blind old John Milton and knocking him down again 
amid the jeers of such an audience ? It would have 
been an equal feat to indict and convict old Thomas 
Burnet for the showing of his " Sacred Theory of the 
Earth." We can discover no explanation of this exploit, 
save the lecturer's belief that the Miltonic conception of 
creation " is that which has been instilled into every one 
of us in our childhood" [and that it is generally accepted 
as the most consistent form of the creation theory].* 
He does not pretend that in extinguishing the Miltonic 

* The words in brackets were omitted froni the " carefully revised " edition. 
From this it might be inferred that the lecturer was aware that the Miltonic the- 
ory is ?iot generally accepted as ^scientifically authentic. 



' -TITX 



7rf 



s 




s siek 



B 





b A UtCia. 




a vinn 
ht afiraed in 
ft HClire vbose 




HUXLEY AXD EVOLUTIOX. 



325 



tli.'ory; and that, too, a picture paiiid more than 
. ruries previously, when biological nd geological 
ce were scarcely in embryo. By th side of that 
n'^\ however, he placed the latest aspt of the evo- 
Ji theory. The disingenuousness of siii a compari- 
!s grotesque. It is not asserted that P)fossor Huxlev 
the comparison to be disingenuous. must be as- 
d tliat he intended to be fair and j-t. Wo will 
t, then, that he did not know the Mtonic picture 
a mere burlesque of the science ofthose holding 
'creation theory."" We will admit, iu.tiicr words. 
^ lie liad not informed himself concern ir the theory 
" - he publicly proposed to overthrow, )ut succeeded 
V ill ridiculing. 

But the lecturer attempted also to showiiat the Mil- 
order of creation is not sustained b>i)alieontology. 
11, if the language of Milton means andimplies whit 
lecturer claimed, we must admit thatthe scienti^c 
ord diverges. But what was the nc^ of setting 

blind old John Milton and knocking hii down again 
id the jeers of such an audience ? I would hair 
in an equal feat to indict and convk Id Thomas 



irnet for the showing of his " Sacr 
rth." We can discover n 
V? the lecturer's belieC 
eation "is that^^fc ha 
f* lis in our ch^^^^K fn 

.be mrt^t 
te doe 



* The wo- 



not 






of Uw 



r^ 



A 




328 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

good against the " creation theory " which he combats, it 
is the very foundation of another creation theory more in 
accord with the Sacred Scriptures. This parallelism of 
Genesis with science is a fact, whatever may be held re- 
specting the supernatural origin of the record. 

But now I cannot resist the temptation to return to 
Professor Huxley's starting point and attempt to ascer- 
tain what he proposed and what he accomplished. He 
set out with a promise to present certain " untenable " 
theories, and to argue them down. One of these is what 
he styled the " creation theory." Now creation refers to 
primordial origins. That which appears as a term in a 
series of physical causation ma}^ be said, in the language 
of science, to be " caused," but it cannot be said to be 
created. If evolution, as Professor Huxley maintains, is 
a self-operating process (however begun), then any new 
organism springing into being is not "created"; it is 
produced by evolution. In this view of evolution noth- 
ing in the course of natural events can be called created; 
and the lecturer argued logically from his assumptions. 
But then, if nothing in the course of natural events is 
created, it is quite clear that creation refers to something 
not in the course of natural events. That there must 
have been causal activity not in the course of natural 
events is obvious from the lecturer's arsjument that the 
course of events must be finite and not eternal. It there- 
fore had a beginning, and some adequate power caused 
that beginning. The exertion of the power requisite to 
install a course of natural events was not an event in 
the course of natural events. It was an event incalcula- 
bly greater than any natural event. It was a primordial 
origination not depending on any antecedent term, or 



HUXLEY Ais^D EVOLUTION^. 329 

uniform succession, or secondary or evolutionary cause. 
It was " creation." Why could not Professor Huxley as- 
sume that the defenders of the " creation theory " were 
logical enough to seek creation in an act which is crea- 
tion, and not in something which one holding his view 
of evolution could not rationally denominate creation? 
And then, getting his eye once on that which can be rec- 
ognized as creation, why did he not proceed to show that 
no such creation ever took place? 

Happily the lecturer has himself supplied the answer 
to this question. He recognizes the eertainty that the 
present course of events had a beginning; and he admits 
that we have no" authority to deny that there was " a 
time when Nature did not follow a fixed order," and (if 
we understand him) " when external agencies did inter- 
vene in the creneral course of nature." Well, we believe 
this position to be sound; we also hold that an "external 
agency " acted before the " general course of nature was 
established"; and it must be this "external agency" which 
stands as the alternative of an eternal series in the ex- 
planation of the existence of the " course of nature." 
This relation of thinc^s brings to view a }'eal creation. 
This is a creation which Professor Huxley suggests first 
by implication and then by declaration. Now why, I ask 
again, having brought the conception of a true creation 
clearly into view, did he not proceed to "demonstrate" 
that belief in such creation is an "untenable hypothesis"? 
Why did he turn from that which lie had shown to be 
a fact, answering the requirements of creation, to some- 
thing which, on his own assumptions, could not be viewed 
as creation? Did the sight of the enemy against whom 
he had registered an oath drive his courage away? 



330 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Let the lecturer stand up and testify again. " My 
present business is not with the question as to how na- 
ture has originated! The question * * * about crea- 
tion is a philosophical question, and one which cannot be 
solved or even approached by the historical method!" 
Well, we can hardly find terms in which to characterize 
this procedure. The lecturer is promising to demonstrate 
that the " creation theory " is " untenable," and then, first 
of all, coolly tells us his present business is not with cre- 
ation, since this is a philosophical question, and cannot 
be even approached by his methods. He then directs his 
artillery against something which he knows and admits 
is not creation, and at the end turns to us and says: "I 
told you I should demolish the ' creation theory,' and you 
see how handsomely I have done it!" 

Now, I demand the reader's verdict that this proceed- 
ing has not accomplished what the distinguished lecturer 
claimed; that it is a proceeding little creditable to scien- 
tific discernment, and that Professor Huxley's whole treat- 
ment of the " creation theory " is perverted, disingenuous, 
illogical and farcical. 

2. The evidences adduced in support of the evolution hy- 
pothesis are not demonstrative, as claimed. We think Pro- 
fessor Huxley has been carried away by enthusiasm in af- 
firming evolution inductively " demonstrated," or in any 
way demonstrated. Still less is it demonstrated by a simple 
appeal to palaeontological evidence. The final conclusion 
is even beyond the reach of inductive evidence; and if it 
were not, the inductive argument could never amount to 
a demonstration. The data of induction may justify the 
conclusion that gently graduated series of animals have 
succeeded each other in past time ; but this is no proof 



HUXLEY AND EVOLUTIOJ^. 331 

of a derivative relationship between them. The only pos- 
sible inductive evidence of relationship would be a large 
number of examples of actual transition from species to 
species; but these, taking no account of merely inferential 
transitions, are facts of almost unparalleled infrequency, 
and at best are not of such observed frequency as to 
justii}^ a generalization covering the whole field of life 
past and present. 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 



TN spite of the objections presented in the last chapter 
-- to the breadth of Professor Huxley's claim, we are 
strongly persuaded that the doctrine of the derivative de- 
scent of animal and vegetal forms represents the truth. 
We discover no conflict between it and the " creation 
theory." We even maintain that a philosophic scrutiny 
of the doctrine will disclose the activity of creative power 
not alone in the region of " external agency," and inau- 
gurative eflficienc}^ but in every stage of that derivation 
which guides and employs biological forces with reference 
to preconceived results. 

We have not been hastv to reach this conviction. We 
have pondered many a difficulty and raised many a query, 
but we have seen old difficulties vanishing and new proofs 
perpetually arising. We have learned more of the won- 
derful resources of the h3?'pothesis in explaining the current 
and the exceptional phenomena of life and organization.* 

* Professor Huxley himself has undergone a similar change of opinion. In 
his address before the London Geological Society for 1862 he reviewed the palte- 
ontological evidences of progressive modification of types and concluded with 
the following inquiry and answer: ''What, then, does an impartial survey of the 
positively ascertained truths of palaeontology testify in relation to the common 
doctrines of progressive modification which suppose that modification to have 
taken place by a necessary progress from more to less embryonic forms, or from 
more to less generalized types, within the limits of the period represented by the 
fossiliferous rocks? It negatives those doctrines; for it either shows us no evi- 
dence of any such modification or demonstrates it to have been very slight; and, 
as to the nature of that modification, it yields no evidence whatsoever that the , 
earlier members of any long-continued group were more generalized in structure 

332 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 333 

We now think it far safer to accept the hypothesis than 
to reject it. If it is safer for the scientist it is safer for 
religion. It is therefore time for the theologian to seek 
how to coordinate his essential faith with the impending 
finality of science. 

It is not our purpose in this place to attempt any 
presentation of the facts which, in our judgment, as in 
that of the majority of scientific men, afford a strong 
balance of evidence in support of the doctrine of evolu- 
tion through a material continuity. We may, however, 
indicate, in a synoptical way, the nature of the argument. 

There is first, what may be called the morphological 
evidence^ or evidence furnished by structural relationships 
and family resemblances among living animals and plants. 
Everyone understands what is mea.nt by saying one per- 
son bears a family resemblance to another. It implies 
that there is a blood -connection between them. In some 
generation more or less remote their lineage converges, 
and the same parents stand as common ancestors to both 
persons. Precisely the same thing is involved in the state- 
ment that the dog, the wolf and the jackal have a family 
resemblance, or the cat, the lynx, the ounce and the 
panther. The resemblances in these families are not so 

than the later ones.'" Zay Sermons and Addresses, pp. 225, 226. In his address 
before the same society in 1870 he says: "When I come to the propositions 
touching progressive modification, it appears to me. with tlie help of the new light 
whicli has brolven from varions quarters, that there is much ground for softcniug 
the somewhat Brutus-lilvc severity with which, in 1862, I dealt with a doctrine 
for the truth of which I should have been glad enough to find a good foundation. 
* * * When we turn to the higher vertcbrata, the results of recent investiga- 
tions, however we may sift and criticise them, seem to me to leave a clear bal- 
ance in favor of the doctrine of the evolution of living forms, one from another." 
Critiques and Addresses, pp. 186, 18T. In 1870, after the presentation of the 
geological history of the horse-type to a New York audience, he concluded by 
saying: "That is what I mean, ladies and gentlemen, by demonstrative evidence 
of cwolwMon.''' Popular Science Monthly, Ivii, 296. 



334 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

close as in a human family; but they are of the same 
kind, and they impress themselves on us in the same way 
and with the same effect. We have not been accustomed 
to thinking of the members of the cat-family as having 
a common descent; but we universally recognize a close 
relation of structure, form, movements and instincts. 
Any one who should ask himself how resemblances of 
structure, form, movements and instincts arise, would at 
once perceive that they probably imply common ancestry. 
It is conceivable that separate, species so characterized 
should have had separate origins; but our intelligence 
inclines to the other explanation. The reason of this is 
the fact that we are familiar with examples of more in- 
timate family resemblance in cases of known consanguin- 
ity. The children of John Smith are quite certain to re- 
semble their parents, and may reproduce predominantly 
traits of their grandparents or remoter progenitors. It is 
not needful to sucrgest similar illustrations throuc^hout 
the animal and vecretable kincrdoms. All our observation 
and knowledge, therefore, point to consanguinity as the 
cause of all family resemblances; and we have no knowl- 
edge of any other cause of them. There is no ground of 
hesitation to accept consanguinity as the true explanation, 
save our preexisting assumption that all distinct specific 
forms are independent originations; and if we scrutinize 
this assumption, we perceive that it is held simply be- 
cause it has been taught us in our childhood. That 
opinion has been thought demanded by our intuition and 
traditional belief concerning the relation of creator and 
the world; but when it is shown that the demands of this 
intuition and belief are better satisfied bv the admission 
of a consanguineous relation among animals, it would seem 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 335 

that no ground whatever remains for the old assumption 
that each species is a separate creation. It is certainly 
safe, on the grounds of natural evidence, and, as I will 
attempt to show in the sequel, on the ground of religion, 
to admit that family resemblances among animals, as 
among mankind, imply community of descent. 

This principle achieved, very much is found involved 
in it. Resemblances of the same nature as those called 
family resemblances exist between groups of animals and 
plants quite widely differentiated from each other. We 
do not say the mouse and the rhinoceros possess a family 
resemblance, but it is demonstrable that they do possess 
profound resemblances aggregating vastly more than all 
their differences. Their differences relate to size, cover- 
ing, habits and other trivial circumstances; while their 
resemblances include skeletal frame-work, circulatory, di- 
gestive, respiratory and reproductive organization, as well 
as the general plan, arrangement, juxtaposition, connec- 
tion and coaction of these systems, and all the minuter 
plan, substance, structure, development and action of 
bone, nerves, skin, fibres, membranes, etc. Finally, both 
have warm blood, respire air, and nourish their young 
with milk. How can we escape the conviction that these 
animals, also, owe their amazing similarity of constitution 
to their common descent from some remote ancestor? 

But, if we compare the ox and the alligator, and free 
our minds from the customary impression made by their 
external contrasts, we shall find that almost the same 
identical catalogue of resemblances must be made out. 
The alligator is. cold-blooded (comparatively), and does 
not nourish its young with milk. Its circulation is not 
completely double, though the rudiments of the same cir- 



336 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

culatory structures exist. If we extend the comparison 
to the fish, we have only to drop, in addition, the structure 
and function of aerial respiration, and all the rest presents 
a complete correspondence between the fish, alligator and 
ox. Thus, in short, the entire world of backboned animals 
is shown to be united by profound structural and func- 
tional relations. 

If we stray from our starting point so far as to bring 
an insect or a worm into the comparison, we find still 
an immense preponderance of resemblances. All the in- 
vertebrates, like the vertebrates, possess the faculty of 
voluntary motion; they hunger and feed; they perceive; 
they have relations to each other and to the inanimate 
world; they breathe; they digest; they reproduce; they 
provide for, protect and defend their young; their whole 
system of physiological activity and coordinated structure 
is the same; they have mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intes- 
tine, liver; they digest by secretion of gastric juice, and 
imbibe the nutritive products of digestion; they appropri- 
ate the oxygen of the air, and aerate a fluid answering 
to blood; they have nerves which ramify to the various 
organs; they move by means of contractile muscular fibers; 
they rest from their labors at certain intervals, and sleep. 
Certainly, if a genetic relationship unites the different 
classes of vertebrates, it must also embrace the other ani- 
mals which possess such a preponderance of resemblances 
with the vertebrates. 

All classification is based on these resemblances. Classi- 
fication, if true and correct, is therefore nothing more 
than the building of a genealogical tree. 

There are numerous independent features of the mor- 
phological evidence. The heart of the warm-blooded verte- 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 337 

brate is divided by a septum into two ventricles. In the 
alligator the rudiment of a septum exists, as if either it 
were in a stage of development from the condition of the 
fish, or else of disappearance from the condition of the 
mammal or bird. The splint-bones of the horse's foot 
are, beyond all question, the rudiments of additional dig- 
its, either digits in process of development, in the course 
of generations, or digits in process of disappearance. So 
the bird has a rudimentary thumb attached to the angle 
of its wing. Of the same nature is the stumpy caudal 
extremity of the bird's spinal column, the styloid pro- 
longation of that of the frog, or even the os coccygis of 
the human subject. Here, as in many other instances, are 
structures which are rudimental, and perform no function, 
or only a greatly modified function, in the economy of the 
animal; Avhile they are manifestly the same morphological 
elements or combinations as in other animals execute 
important and often essential functions. What do they 
mean? On the hypothesis of independent specific crea- 
tions, it is necessary to suppose the Creator has introduced 
again and again certain parts which are functionally use- 
less. On the principle that structures are adapted to 
ends, how are structures ivithout an end to be brought 
under the rule of special creation? But now, if the 
theory of common genetic descent is admissible, all mys- 
tery vanishes. With progressive changes in the physical 
surroundings and necessities of the line of generations, 
some structures became more important, more exercised, 
and more developed, while others became less important, 
less exercised, and less developed; and some finally shrank 
to mere non-functional rudiments of their former selves. 

Thus the world of contemporaneous existence affords 
22 



338 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST S HAMMER. 

ground for the inference that all existing animals are 
bound in a genetic system by the bonds of universal 
cousinship. It is of no import that we revolt at the 
thought. Perhaps the revulsion has no more rational 
foundation than taboo among savages. Perhaps the rela- 
tionship, on reflection, will enhance to a sublime degree 
our comprehension of the system of organic life, and of 
the unity of all the world under the method of one 
intelligence. Perhaps it will appear that man's structure 
was not embraced in the scheme of derivative orif^ihs. 
Perhaps, if it was so embraced, he will be found to possess 
some distinct elements in his psychic nature which cannot 
be traced to lower existences. In any event, having felt 
the force of the evidence, it is manly to stand by it, and 
let the unity of truth determine the adjustment of the 
consequences. 

We have, in the second place, what may be styled the 
palceontological evidence. The discovered records of extinct 
life upon the earth, it must be admitted, are extremely 
defective, and offer many instances which, in the present 
state of our knowledge, appear to conflict with the doctrine 
of descent, though there are no facts irreconcilable with 
it. That the record is incomplete, and must always remain 
incomplete, is obvious from a few considerations. The 
calcareous secretions of marine animals are the principal 
relics preserved. All animals without hard secretions 
have perished. The greater part of the hard secretions 
of animals has been destroyed by the action of sea-water 
and other agencies. Nothing of the terrestrial popula- 
tions of the globe has been preserved except as chance 
transported them into bodies of water to be buried be- 
neath their sediments. In the oldest rocks, moreover. 



GROUNDS AXD C0NSQUE:N^CES OF EVOLUTIOX. 339 

metamorphic action has caused the disappearance of all 
species of fossils. Further, the fossiliferous rocks them- 
selves have been but very partially explored. No region 
or locality has been exhausted, while the greater part of 
the earth remains totally uninvestigated. As a conse- 
quence of these imperfections in the data, it should be 
anticipated that the record would present many impassaole 
gaps and apparent anomalies. 

In spite of all this, palaeontology has been able to es- 
tablish the following principles: 

1. There has been a gradual impyovement in the struct- 
ural rank of the leading types of animals as the histor}'- 
advanced from a^ie to a<?e. 

2. The earlier condition of each animal type was a 
compyehensive one, in which certain characteristics of two 
or more later families or orders were united in one 
species. 

3. The tendency of change has been toward the reso- 
lution of comprehensive tDpes^ so that the characteristics 
of each separate familv or order should finally be embodied 
in separate species. 

4. While this process of resolution of comprehensive 
types has been in progress, still further differentiations 
and specializations, both in the comprehensive and the 
resolved forms, have taken place. 

5. The progress of discovery, has gone so far that we 
have established not only a steady progression upward 
in the animal-' series at large, but also in several separate 
ramifications of the series. 

6. Thus we trace tolerably continuous lines of succes- 
sion, {a) From typical land saurians upward through 
Pterosaurs, Arclueopterijx and Hesperor'nis to Carinate 



340 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Birds ; (b) From typical land saurians upward through 
Iguanodon, Hadrosaiirus, Coinpsog)iathus and Brontozoilm 
to Struthious Birds ; though in both these series (only 
given in part) the types structurally consecutive are not 
always chronologically ranged in the same order; (r) The 
Camel series, ranging from Poebrotheriuin through Proto- 
lahis^ Procconelus, Pliauchenia and Camelus to Atichenia; 
(d) The Rhinoceros series, ranging from Tyilopus through 
Coeiiopas Aphelops and CeratorJilntis to Ehinoceros; (e) The 
Horse series, ranging from Eoliippus^ through Orohippiis^ 
Epihippiis^ Mesohippus, MioJiippits, Protohippus^ PUoJiippus 
to Equus, all these chronologically as well as systemat- 
ically arranged. Also several other series quite fully 
made out, such as those leading to the Elephant, the Hog, 
the Deer and the Ox. 

7. The tendency of fresh discovery is continually to 
fill up preexisting gaps. Serial successions are being 
completed from year to year; connecting links are com- 
ing to light; terms once thought misplaced are found, 
through new discoveries, to be in proper successional 
order. < 

In this state of the facts it is perfectly legitimate to 
forecast results. Induction has established a law from 
which we may deduce anticipated results. We may reason 
then from what we expect to know, as well as from what 
we know. 

We anticipate, according!}', that in the course of time 
it will be shown that our earth has been the abode of 
complete successions of animal types, leading backward 
from each of our modern generic or family groups, by 
ever converging lines, toward ancestral centers; and from 
these centers, other lines pointing toward some common 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 341 

center in the remoter past. We expect to see the con- 
secutive terms in these various series graduating structu- 
rally into each other, and every characteristic conformed 
and arranged as if there had been a gradual descent of 
all our modern mammals, along a set of diverging lines 
from some primitive, plantigrade, five-toed ancestor. 

This is the generalization which the known facts and 
the known tenor of the facts authorize us to draw. But 
when we shall have become convinced of the existence of 
such a complete series of successional lines, we shall not 
yet have the demonstration of a genealogical connection 
between any two terms in any series. It will still be 
supposable, as stated in a previous article, that each term 
is a separate origination. We shall not yet have the 
demonstration that one specific or generic type has ever 
passed by modification, in the course of generations, into 
another specific or generic type. We shall have no 
demonstration that it is in the economy and plan of na- 
ture to permit specific transmutations. We may fairly 
argue that the facts accord with the theory of derivation, 
and are best explained bv that theorv, and lend it a high 
degree of probability ; but we should feel our confidence 
materially strengthened if we could detect nature in the 
act of effecting a transition from species to species. 

We have therefore, in the third place, the variational 
evidence. This consists of a bodv of facts tending to show 
that a species is not a primordial and permanent organic 
form, but only the existing phase presented by a line of 
progressive changes. Much light has been thrown upon 
this subject within a few years. Some cases of transmu- 
tation have been actually traced, and evidence has been 
gained that the gradational series connecting species of 



342 SPAEKS PROM A geologist's HAMMER. 

animals and plants, long regarded distinct, are in truth 
only transitional states of one of these species in its 
passage over to the other. More properly, intermediate 
states which have arisen simultaneously with the extreme 
states. In many cases the varied states seem to sustain 
relations to geographical position. Thus among plants, 
peculiarities of situation have given us varieties of the 
Juniper, Paper Birch, Chestnut Oak, Hackberry, Beach 
Plum, Black Thorn, June Berry, Wild Rose, etc. Among 
animals, extensive chorographical variations have been 
noted among Echinoderns, by L. Agassiz, A. Agassiz and 
E. Haeckel; among Molluscs, by Cooper, Barber, Weatherby, 
Lewis and others ; among insects, by Packard, Edwards 
and Walsh ; among fishes, by Jordan, Putnam and L. 
Agassiz ; among birds, by Baird, Allen, Ridgeway and 
Coues; among mammals, by Baird, Allen, Coues and Yar- 
row. In other cases the variations seem to be due to 
marked changes in the physical environment of the ani- 
mal. In a few cases it now appears that hybridity has 
resulted in the establishment of intermediate and other- 
wise variant forms.'* 

Among fossil Brachiopods the variations and connect- 
ing links are so numerous as to give rise to much per- 

* For h3-brids amonj? trees consult Gray, Man. Bot., N. U. S. ; A. de Candolle, 
Treatise on Oaks; Naudin, Hybridity in the Vegetable Kingdom. But compare 
Naudin. on the nature of heredity and variability in plants, in Comptes Eendus, 
Sept. '21 and Oct. 4, 1875, and A. Gray, in Amer. Jour. Sci., Ill, xi, 153. On fer- 
tile hybrids of common and Chinese geese, see Youmans, in Quatrefages, Xat. 
Hist, of Man ^ 143; C. Darwin, Nature, xxi, 207, Jan. 1, 1880; Kosmos. April 1880, 
77. On fertile hybrids of the mallard and muscovy ducks, see T. M. Brewer, 
Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., Jan. 2\, 1874. On fertile hybrids of hare and rab- 
bit, see Gindre, Bull, de la Soc. imjJ. Zool. d' Acclimation, 1870, 059-67. On fertile 
hybrids of goat and steinbock, see Von Tschudi, Thierleben der A/penicelt, 555; 
C. Vogt, Koh'erg'aube u Wissenschaft, G6. On fertile hybrids of fox and dog, 
see Von Tschudi, il>. 413; C. Vogt, ib. (j7. On fertile hybrids of wolf and dog, see 
C. Vogt ib. 60, seq. ^ff 



grou:n"ds an'd consequen"ces of evolution. 343 

plexity and embarrassing synon3miy. Mr. Meek described 
a common Cincinnati fossil as OrfJiis hlforata with four 
varieties.* Professor Nicholson has taken our old Chcetefes 
hjcoperdon, a common coral of the Lower Silurian rocks, 
and enumerated no less than twenty-five distinct variations. f 
Spirifera disjuncta is a brachiopod abundant in Chau- 
tauqua count}^, New York, and neighboring regions, and 
of this Professor Hall has fissured no less than eisrhteen 
' varieties. J Of Atnjpa reticularis he gives us, similarly, 
sixteen varieties. These technical names are edifying to 
the general reader only so far as they demonstrate that 
great variability has existed in the history of extinct 
forms, whether we attribute this to hybridity, geograph- 
ical position or other causes, and furnish additions to the 
stock of evidence that it is the economy of nature to 
effect transmutations of species. The sum total of the 
variational evidence shows us that the derivative origin 
of types in palseontological history is a natural possi- 
bilit}'. We are not in conflict w^ith nature, therefore, in 
inferring that the terms of the palaeontological series sus- 
tain a consanguineous relation. 

But in the fourth place we have the emhryological 
evidence. This seems to us to bring all the other evidence 
to a focus and complete the conviction that the deriva- 
tive origin of species is a fact. It affords not only a 
picture of the succession of extinct forms, but it is a 
picture in which the successive terms are knoirn to be 

*Meek, Palosontology of Ohio, pi. x. Compare Hall, Palceontology of New 
York, i, 133, pi. xxxii D. 

tH. A. Nicholson, PalxontoJogy of Ohio, ii. 

i J. Hall, Palaeontology of New York, \\\ pi. xli, xliii. 

J. Hall, Palaeontology of New York, pi. li-liii. Compare Wliitlield, XIX 
Rep. N. Y. Regents. 



344 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGISTS HAMMER. 

derivatively related to each other. Trace any higher ver- 
tebrate man himself, if you will from a jDrimitive 
condition in the ovum. How marvelous, how awe-inspir- 
ing is the unfolding! We have first the yolk, with its 
" germinative vesicle " and " germinative dot." Then both 
undercfo a succession of segmentations until there results 
a crowded mass of cells ("' morula" or "mulberry" stage). 
Some of these dissolve, and the remainder arrange them- 
selves as a hollow spheroid consisting of a single layer 
of cells (" planula " stage). The single layer becomes 
double, with an opening at one pole of the spheroid (" gas- 
trula" stage); and now appears a thickening on one side, 
in the midst of which is disclosed the " primitive furrow," 
afterward to be inclosed and become the spinal marrow. 
An enlargement is seen at one extremity; this is the 
formincr brain; and the various sesfments of the brain 
appear as gentle swellings. At the opposite extremity 
is a tail. Transverse marks in the middle of the neural 
furrow indicate the approaching vertebral structures; while 
certain segments along the place of the neck are seen to 
receive blood-vessels from the provisional heart, and to 
sustain completely all the structural relations of the 
branchial or gill arches in the type of fishes. Arms and 
legs bud out, as yet without digits, or they may be 
viewed as unidigitate, like the limbs of Lepidosireri. 
Stumpy digits afterward appear, like those of the so- 
called Cheirotherimn of Triassic times. The face goes by 
degrees through the conditions seen in low sharks, am- 
phibians and higher vertebrates. Step by step the in- 
ternal structures advance toward their destined forms, 
functions and positions. Thus, by a process of repeated 



GBOUI^DS AND C0N"SEQUE:N^CES OF EYOLUTIOX. 345 

differentiations, the complications and special adaptations 
of the higher vertebrate come into existence. 

But what of all this? Very much indeed. This mar- 
velous evolution which we see the higher vertebrate pass 
through is ahsolutelif identical with the embryonic history 
of ever}^ other animal down to a certain point in its de- 
velopment. Every animal begins in the Qgg^ and the eggs 
of all animals (we exclude shell and other accessories) are 
completely undistinguishable in structure. Every animal, 
except some of the very lowest, presents us, in its de- 
velopment, the morula stage. Every animal, with a few 
additional exceptions, passes also through the planula and 
the gastrula stages. Thus every vertebrated animal pre- 
sents us the same primitive furrow, the same cerebral 
enlargements, the same segmentation, the same caudal 
continuation, the same vascular area, the same one-cham- 
bered heart, the same branchial arches and blood-vessels, 
the same progressive changes in the development of the 
brain, the same mode of formation of the enteric and 
abdominal cavities, the same beofinninsrs of the formation 
of the face. This identity in embryonic histories may be 
unexpected; it may be amazing; it may be humiliating; 
but there is nothing better established in science.* 

This is not all. There are living creatures which rep- 
resent these successive stages of embryonic development. 
There are some so low that they never pass beyond the 

* The reader will find the subject discussed in E. Haeckers NatilrUche Schopf- 
nnrisgeschichte^ xi Vortrag, and Anfhropogenie, xiii-xix Vortriigc (translated 
and rcpiiblislicd in New York as Natural History of Creation and The Origin of 
Mar)); A. K5lliker, Entivlckeliingsgeschichle des Menschen u.der hoJieren Thiere, 
2d ed., Leipzig, 1870; F, M. Balfour, A treatise on Comparative Embryology^ 
London, 1880. A general synopsis in A. S. Packard's Life -histories of Animals, 
including Man, New York, 18T(i; and a particular account of the history of the 
chick, in M. Foster and F. M. Balfour, The Elements of Embryology, Part I. 



346 SPARKS PROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

structure of the egg, simple cells, often, like some eggs, 
capable of movement by means of prolongations of their 
substance. There are some which attain to the morula 
condition, and then are adult. Others pass to the jDlanula 
stage, and still otliers to the gastrula. Certain worms 
(TurheUana) represent a succeeding stage, as the Ascid- 
ians are believed to picture a still later one. Thus on, 
from the lancelet and the lampreys to the sharks, Am- 
phibians, Monotremes, Marsupials, and Lemurs at the 
bottom of the four-handed animals, we discover living 
forms which stand forth in the museum of Nature as 
pictures of the embryonic stages of the highest vertebrate. 

Finall}^, the embryonic series finds its parallel not only 
in the embryonic history of other animals, and in the 
adult forms of animals presented as we range up and 
down the scale of life, but the succession of extinct types, 
as far as we have read it, presents us with another par- 
allel. 

Now, while we knotv the stashes of the embrvonic series 
to stand derivatively related, it seems reasonable to infer 
that the corresponding forms in the realms of actual and 
extinct life are also derivatively related. It would appear, 
at first view, that the nature of the derivation must be 
fundamentally different in the two cases; but even this 
does not impair the meaning of the fact that, in both 
cases, we should have a material confimiity from form to 
form and this is all which evolution requires. On re- 
flection, however, the mode of the continuity in the case 
of the embryo appears substantiall}^ identical with the 
assumed mode of continuity in the succession of geolog- 
ical types. Ordinary embr^^onic development proceeds 
through the multiplication and specialization of cells 



GROUNDS AIs^D CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 347 

stimulated by the nutritive plasma in which they are 
bathed. Generative or genealogical development begins 
in the multiplication and specialization of a cell stimulated 
by contact with a cell specialized spermatically in the 
same individual or in an individual sexually different. 
Propagation, moreover, may be viewed as simply a mode 
oi perpetuating or renewing an individual which is bisexual, 
either monoeciously, as in lower animals and most plants, 
or dioeciousl}^ as in most animals and certain plants. The 
progress noted in the succession of extinct forms is assumed 
to have resulted from some influence exerted upon embryos 
in the progress of their development. The development 
accelerated or prolonged would end in an organism more 
advanced. This would be a new specific form appearing 
as a stage of embryonic history; and though many gen- 
erations mav have intervened while the embrvo was arriv- 
ing at this new specific type, we may view these genera- 
tions as simply nature's expedient to continue the being 
in existence in spite of the wastes of physical life. So 
what seems at first a mere analogy resolves itself into a 
profound biological identity. 

To sum up, we have, it appears, an identical order of 
succession of organic forms three times repeated. The 
first appears in the successive transformations of the indi- 
vidual being before it reaches maturity. This succession 
is ontogenetic and rapid. It is repeated for every individual 
which comes to maturity. The second succession is pre- 
sented in the creolosrical historv of extinct life. It is not 
yet observed to be parallel in all details, but the progress 
of discovery tends continually to complete the parallel. 
This succession is palceontological and slow. The third 
succession is presented by the serial order of living ani- 



348 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

mals according to rank. All the terms of the series are 
coexistent. This succession is taxonomic and simultaneous. 
The first succession represents the grand march of the 
animal kingdom as a whole; it is executed but once. The 
second succession is an epitome of this, continually re- 
hearsed in the life march of individuals. The third succes- 
sion is one without relation to time or place; it is ideal; 
it is a survival of traditions of the past, and condenses 
the evolutions of ages into one present and perpetual 
expression. Pal^oxtologiCal history exhibits a series in 
which the continued interpolation of newly discovered 
terms produces the suspicion of a perfectly graduated and 
genetic line. It suggests material continuity as a possi- 
bility and a jjromise. Morphological relations present such 
continuity as something which, within the range of obser- 
vation, is a fact, and beyond the range of observation is 
a prohal)iHty. The phenomena of variability reveal a dis- 
position and an aptitude on the part of nature to fulfill 
the " promise," and make the " probability " completely a 
" fact." The data of embryology demonstrate that the de- 
rivative relation of such terms as palaeontology presents 
is an ever-repeated actualit3\ Now, with the work com- 
pleted in the ontogenetic epitome, and with this proof 
of nature's vtetJiod, and the variational proof of nature's 
method and means, it is little stretch of belief to grant 
that nature pursued the method of derivative originations 
during the whole period of palaeontological history. 

Now suppose it granted: (1) That geological history 
presents us universally, series of nicely graduated forms; 
(2) That these forms are all genetically related to each 
other, and that consequently all living forms are genetic- 
ally connected. We have thus come to a knowledge of 



GROUi^DS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 349 

certain facts. We have only reached the determination 
of a certain order of succession, and a certain derivative 
relation. We have not yet discovered the agencies through 
which the derivation is effected, and the conditions under 
which those agencies are operative. Nor have we dis- 
covered the efficioicy which operates the agencies, nor the 
mode of its activity, nor the reason why all these things 
are brought to pass as they are. In brief, after we have 
discovered what takes place, it remains to learn through 
what it takes place, and hy what it takes place, and for 
what it takes place. These are the ulterior questions 
which were not touched by Professor Huxley in his lect- 
ures. He did not completely ignore them, but he waived 
them.* 

Now, while the present occasion is not one for discuss- 
ing these ulterior questions, it may be profitable to bring 
them into view for the purpose of enabling the reader 
to appreciate the vast breadth of the theme, and the sepa- 
rate subdivisions which must be clearly recognized in 
forming judgments about it. 

I. What are the Physical and Physiological Conditions 
(mediate or scientific causes) of Variative Derivation? 

It is in the domain covered by this question that the 
various theories of derivation have sprung up. At the out- 
set a fundamental discrimination must be made. There 
are the organic activities appropriating material within 

* He says : " The cause of that production of variations is a matter not at all 
properly understood at present. Whether it depends upon some intricate ma- 
chinery if I may use the phrase of the animal form itself, or whether it 
arises through the influence of conditions upon that form is not certain, and the 
question may for the present be left open." Pop. Sci. Monthly., No. Ivi, 210. 
'My present business is not with the question as io how nature has originated, 
as to the causes which have led to her origination."' Ih. Iv, 51. Our present 
inquiry is not ivhy the objects which constitute nature came into existence, but 
when they came into existence, and in what order. lb. Iv, 51. 



350 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

reach, and building tlie organism according to a certain 
pattern; and there are the external conditions in the 
presence of which these activities are carried on. What- 
ever influence the environment mav exert, it can obvi- 
ously be no more than a conditioning influence, since 
whatever is done with the organic structure is done in 
the organism and through physiological processes and in- 
strumentalities. Now, whatever mav be the nature of 
the forces acting within, it is conceivable that they may 
be conditioned or determined in their activity by the 
quality and quantity of food, water, air, warmth and rest. 
These belong to the environment. Variations in the sup- 
ply of these requisites depend on two classes of influences. 
These are the natural influences arising from daily, sea- 
sonal, periodical and secular changes in the supplies 
and from the movements and migrations of the animal. 
These variable factors have been taken into the account by 
the older transmutationists, Lamarck and St. Hilaire, and 
by the later Darwinists. Then there are the artijicial 
influences (as we may style them) arising from the con- 
tests of individuals for the possession of the requisites of 
life. They might be styled the volitional conditions, in 
distinction from the non-volitional or cosmical conditions. 
These contests constitute the " struggle for existence," 
which is the peculiar feature of Darwinian derivative 
doctrine. The outcome of this struggle is always the 
" survival of the fittest," and a concomitant tendency of 
the specific type to improve. It is thus that the envi- 
ronment of cosmical or volitional concomitants ma}' deter- 
mine, promote or limit the organic activities of animals 
that have come into the world and entered upon the 
struggle for self-support. Undoubtedly the outcome of 



GliPUiJ^DS AND COXSEQUE^nTCES OF EVOLUTION. 351 

the Darwinian principle is of the nature claimed. We 
can only deny that it is a full and adequate explanation 
of all the facts. 

But the most impressible period of life is the embry- 
onic. To what an extent must requisite supplies during 
ovarian and uterine existence condition the physiological 
activities which are making the being what it is to be. 
It is certainly quite conceivable that favorable conditions 
should so accelerate embryonic development that higher 
results should be reached at full term, or that unfavora- 
ble conditions should so retard development that lower 
results should be reached. The influence of the struggle 
for existence upon the development of the embryo has 
not been entirely overlooked by Darwin, but acceleration 
or retardation as the consequence of a struggle maintained 
by the parent in the outer world is a conception which 
characterizes the derivative theories of Hyatt and Cope. 
It really seems to have struck upon a more fundamental 
and productive condition of derivative variation than the 
strucfo-le for existence. The latter is a remoter condition, 
while the former exists close by the seat of operation 
of efficient cause. It accounts for regress as well as 
progress. It addresses itself to the tissue-making forces 
at the time when the foundations of the tissues are being 
laid and not when the organic structure has been already 
cast in its mould. 

But now, independently of all external conditions, it 
is conceivable that the organism may be the subject of 
an inherent and unremitting nisus, a tendency, in spite 
of obstacles, to accomplish certain results, and attain to 
fitter conditions. It is our own conviction that here lies 
the secret force which works out the multifarious phe- 



352 SPARKS FR03I A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

nomena of organic life. Such a nisus was appealed to 
by Lamarck; and Professor Huxley has more than once 
hinted the probability that it is a potent factor in vital 
phenomena. But it will be remarked that the admission 
of such a nisus is not a final explanation. An inherent 
nisus is causal, but not ultimately causal, unless we can 
attribute to it all the characteristics which manifestly 
belong to the efficiency which produces results in the 
organism. 

When the question of fact has been answered ; when 
the conditions under which the fact arises have been ascer- 
tained, and the ph3'Sical or physiological actions in the 
organism which, under the conditions, work oat the fact 
have also been determined, this is as far as natural science 
can go. The pure scientist may not care to extend his 
inquiries farther. But assuredly this is not the ultimate 
limit of rational inquiry. The human mind, in the com- 
plete scope of its symmetrical activity, discerns other ques- 
tions and makes iurther demands. Let us glance at 
them. 

IL What are the Efficient Causes of Variative Deri- 
vation of Species? 

Plainly, it may become shown that the mode of activity 
of the organism, either conditioned or unconditioned by 
the environment, is the means through which the vital 
phenomena of the world are brought to pass, and we may 
still be isfnorant of the efficient cause of that activitv, or 
of the subject exerting the activity. Now, even though 
an indwelling and persistent nisus should appear to be 
the principal impulse to physiological activities, we have 
to seek after the source of the impulse. Does it originate 
in the tissue in which it acts? Is it a product of the 



grou:n^ds akd consequences of evolution. 353 

tissue? These are the bottom questions, the solution of 
which possesses the highest interest for theology, and 
indeed for every seeker after fundamental truth. We do 
not propose here to enter into any argument ; but for 
our part, it seems perfectly clear that the efficient cause 
of physiological changes, though active in the organism, 
is metaphysically objective to the organism in which they 
are revealed. Our conclusion is grounded, first, on our 
necessary conception of efficient cause; secondly, on the 
discernment reflected in the mode of activity of ph3^si- 
ological causes. Efficient, that is, primitive, original, 
real, causation is the direction of adequate efficiency, 
through appropriate instrumentalities (if needed), toward 
a preconceived and desiderated result. If any supposed 
cause acts in any other way, then it is itself an effect, 
or an instrument, or a condition, and the real cause re- 
mains to be sought. If physiological force does not thus 
act, then, in tracing results to such force, we have not 
found their cause. Of such nature may be the " causes " 
with which science deals, but they are not rational causes. 
In this case we have to seek for the volition and p7'econ- 
ception and motive back of physiological force. But if 
physiological force does thus act, then volition and pre- 
conception and motive are revealed in every vital change. 
Thus we argue, even when force acts without adapt- 
iveness. But vital forces act tvitJi reference to external 
conditions, and tcitli reference to ideal concepts. Here 
is double proof, then, of intellectual discernments. What- 
ever results, therefore, are produced by the slow, perpetual 
activities of physiological forces, conditioned, to whatever 
extent, by the environment, are the results of an ever- 
present, discerning efficiency ; and the more we see the 
23 



354 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

organism moulded to the environment, the more clearly 
we see reflected the intellectual element of that efficiency. 
If the existing world is the genealogical result of primi- 
tive conditions, then the efficiency which the cycles of the 
past have witnessed in the transformation of successive 
terms has been enlightened by intelligence, directed by 
choice, and impelled by will. We cast our glances back 
over the awful chasm of cosmic seons, and contemplate 
it as the theater of the display of an infinity of miracles, 
revealed in an unbroken, sustained, adaptive and all- 
embracing system of evolution. 

III. What is the Final Cause of Variative Derivation 
of Species? 

We are properly reminded by the agnostic school that 
we must not presume to know fully the motives which 
actuate an infinite will. At the same time we feel fully 
persuaded that no intelligence acts without some motive 
not even an infinite intelligence; for motive stands corre- 
lated to intelligence as such, and not the greatness of 
intelligence. We feel it, therefore, perfectly legitimate to 
inquire after the motives which have controlled divine 
activity in the ordering of the world. It is only the dis- 
closure of motive which brinsfs us into anv relation of 
sympathy or mutual interest with another being. Absence 
of motive implies absence of feeling. The conception of 
activity without motive is the conception of a grim, heart- 
less necessity. As to motive in the world, we shall not 
attempt to point out all which may be suggested. We 
are certain, in the first place, that the accomplishment 
of a result was a motive for the exertion of cosmic effi- 
ciency. And we are certain that coordinated parts of the 
cosmos have never assumed their places without the help 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 355 

of intelligent intention, no matter what human or higher 
uses the coordination may subserve. In the second place, 
the natural reason can never divest itself of the conviction 
that complicated and slowly maturing results which re- 
spond to the wants of sensitive beings were designed so 
to respond. Among the wants of intelligent beings are 
appropriate stimuli to mental activity, and appropriate 
rewards for mental effort. One of the highest and noblest 
stimuli to mental activity is the hope of attaining to the 
higher laws or modes of change and succession in the 
natural world, and thus approaching as close as possible 
into intelligent relation with the unseen and mysterious 
Power which sustains the world. The law of evolution 
discloses itself as the highest generalization of the phe- 
nomena of the cosmos. If we discover that this law in- 
volves not only an ideal, but a physical, continuity, we 
seem to have attained in cosmical dynamics to that unity 
which has been the aspiration of all science and all philoso- 
phy. This, then, is the highest possible disclosure of the 
Supreme Intelligence which nature can yield ; and we 
shall expose ourselves to no just charge of credulity in 
thinking such a revelation of the Supreme Mind to be one 
of the final causes of the all-embracing scheme of evolu- 
tion by continuity. 

The world and its parts may be compared to a stately 
dwelling ; and the scientist who investigates its constitu- 
tion and the mode of its origin is like a visitor from 
some realm where houses are not built. This intelligent 
visitor studies inquiringly every accessible part. He cata- 
logues the parts as the naturalist catalogues the members 
of the animal kingdom. He discovers a unity in the 
conception of the edifice, and says that its style is 



856 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

" gothic " ; as the zoologist says the stjde of a large por- 
tion of the animal kincjdom is " vertebrate." But our 
stranger has never seen an edifice in process of construc- 
tion, and he conjectures the method in accordance with 
which its features might have been originated and com- 
bined. Evidently, he says to himself, one method would 
be the full completion of each portion of the building 
before beginning another portion, as a mud-wasp builds 
its cell. At length, however, he discovers an edifice in 
process of erection ; as the biologist studies the building 
up of an animal from the egg. An excavation is first 
made for the foundations; this is the "primitive furrow." 
The basement walls are raised around it; the sills and 
the floor-timbers are laid ; these are the " protovertebrae." 
Next the side walls are raised and the roof is closed in. 
This is the median junction of the body walls in the em- 
bryo. Thus the most general features of the structure 
first appear. The places of partitions and stairways are 
indicated by rough timbers, and the plan of the house is 
outlined. As the work proceeds the rough timbers are 
covered with flooring and lath ; then the walls receive 
coats of brown mortar, and, lastly, a white finish. Still 
remain the casings and mouldings, and paint and varnish. 
Now the house is complete, and our gratified stranger 
concludes that the stately edifice, the cathedral, the town 
hall, were all constructed according to a method of " evo- 
lution," the most fundamental parts first, the details 
successively filled in. He has discovered the method, the 
order of succession of the parts. Now he knows that all 
buildings are constructed according to a law of evolution; 
as the biologist has learned in reference to animals, and 
the cosmologist in reference to worlds. But our stranger 



GROUNDS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EVOLUTION. 357 

could not for a moment imagine that the method or law 
of construction did the work of construction; nor can the 
biolosfist hold that the law of evolution accounts for the 
existence of the animal. The work in the edifice has 
been done bv mechanics, with the use of tools and ma- 
chinery. These are the physiological activities which 
build up the tissues and members of the animal. These 
mechanics act under the bidding of another will, and, in 
this relation, they are only a part of the mechanism 
which performs the work. Their hands are not the prime 
cause of the building, they are not the real cause. The 
building would never exist if there were not a prime 
mover in the will of the proprietor. That will is the 
cause of the edifice ; but this will has not ordained this 
structure without motive. Whatever the motive, for 
residence, for display, for a monument, for some caprice, 
or for some motive undisclosed, there has been a wlnj 
for his determination. 

Thus, in the contemplation of the universe, it is the 
part of science to catalogue phenomena and learn their 
mode and order of occurrence, and the physical agencies 
concerned in their production. But there are profounder 
inquiries propounded by reason, and deeper longings felt 
by the soul. After science has accomplished her Inst 
work in her especial domain, reason draws aside the veil 
which obstructs the vision of science, and discovers the 
Supreme Efficienc}^ working in all things, and working 
out the welfare of sentient beings ; and the soul arises 
and adores the God whose presence it before had felt, but 
now rationally cognizes. 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE.* 



OCIENCE, taken in its modern and restricted sense, is 
^^ a knowledge of phenomena and of their orders of 
succession. 

Sensible phenomena are qualities or changes existing 
in relation to our faculty of external cognition. The 
relation is only that mode of existence, as to time, place 
or nature, which awakens in us a consciousness of power 
exerted upon us, and a reference of the impression to an 
external phenomenon as its concomitant. Qualities or 
changes which exist without such relation are not phe- 
nomena capable of constituting material of human science. 

An order of succession or mode of sec^uence among 
phenomena may be cognized as invariable or variable. 

* The following discussion, reproduced by permission, with certain changes 
and additions, from the North American Review for January 1880, is intended as 
a protest against the assumptions made by a certain school of modern science. 
The pretense that any valid science can be constituted out of purely empirical 
material is a claim which exerts a predisposing influence upon those who feel 
averse to abstract thinking; and it has acquired a temporary popularity through 
connection Avith certain brilliant reputations. But the reader is requested to 
note the fact that the representatives of the school of scientific philosophy here 
criticised feel themselves irresistibly led, more and more as reflection is ex- 
tended, into a recognition of those underlying principles of knowledge which, 
in their full application, vitiate the grounds of all purely empirical science. 
He is reminded also that those representatives of science, either in the present 
or the past, who have created the most substantial and enduring reputations are 
those who have united the philosophic spirit with the strictly scientific; while 
the utterances of those who deny or ignore the validity of all metempirical 
grounds of reasoning excite more the astonished admiration of the populace by 
loud and dogmatic affirmation than the respect and approbation of the thought- 
ful who make up the final verdicts on reputations. 

858 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIEl!?^CE. 359 

When a certain mode of sequence is cognized as repeat- 
edly and continuously occurring, we generalize by calling 
it fixed and invariable. The invariable order of succes- 
sion of two or more phenomena is the law in accordance 
with which the occurrence of the sequents is regulated. 
The law being ascertained, we feel confident, whenever 
the antecedent is cognized, that one or more sequents 
will come into existence. We thus predict events on the 
strength of our confidence in the uniformity and irrepeal- 
ability of the law induced. Whenever a mode of sequence 
is cognized which is not repeated, or is repeated only in 
such a manner that no regularity or uniformity is dis- 
covered, we record it, for the time, as a variable mode 
of sequence. We fail to induce the laiv under which the 
phenomena come into existence. 

Yet we are psychically so constituted as to believe in the 
uniformity of nature. Even orders of succession which 
seem capricious or chaotic must imply some law under 
which they succeed, and in the eye of which they are in- 
variable. In this intuitive faith we seek to discover the 
law. 

The method of the search is the mental juxtaposition 
of two or more series of successions judged to be funda- 
mentally cognate, and the selection of such terms in the 
juxtaposed series as exactly coincide with each other. 
These terms, thus observed to recur in fixed order, yield 
the law of their recurrence. The intercalated terms re- 
main apparently adventitious, and must occur in accord- 
ance with one or more different laws which may remain 
undiscovered, or may be discovered, one by one, by means 
of the juxtaposition of a larger number of series, and the 
exercise of a broader mental power of holding phenomena 



360 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

before attention, and selecting the like and neglecting the 
unlike. This is well illustrated by the method of astron- 
omy in selecting from an apparently chaotic mass of ob- 
servations such as agree in time and position with a 
given set of observations, and thus afford ground for the 
elimination of the law of the motion of a newly investi- 
gated planet or comet; or the law of correlation between 
sun-spots on the one hand and auroral displays, magnetic 
disturbances or Indian famines on the other. 

It is the work of science to extend as far as possible 
the knowledge of phenomena. It is its higher work to 
arrange phenomena into homogeneous groups, that is, 
into series of successions in which the terms appear to 
possess some fixed relations of time, space or nature to 
each other. It is the highest work of science to loerfect 
the classification of phenomena and induce the laws under 
which they occur. 

The work of science has proceeded so far that innumera- 
ble phenomena, which were once regarded as isolated, are 
known to occupy fixed places in invariable sequences which 
come into existence under laws of nature. 

Isolated phenomena, that is, those not apprehended as 
sustaining relations of effect to antecedent phenomena, 
were regarded in unscientific ages as occurring by chance, 
or through the momentary volition of beings possessing 
control of particular departments of nature, or of the 
whole of nature. A sentiment universal, and undoubt- 
edly innate in humanity, prompts intelligence to recog- 
nize the existence of one or more superior beings, to 
whom the direct or indirect causation of phenomena may 
be ascribed, and toward whom a feeling of veneration 
may be directed. As fast as science has succeeded in 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 861 

relegating under law any of these supposed isolated phe- 
nomena, they have been viewed as accounted for and 
explained without recourse to the volition of superior 
beings. To such extent these beings have seemed to be 
retired from participation in the affairs of the world, and 
the religious feeling has been robbed of occasions for its 
exercise. Hence the progress of science has seemed to 
antagonize the religious sentiment. Science has, there- 
fore, been denounced as atheistic, while, on the other 
hand, the religions of men have been despised as ignorant 
and superstitious.* 

The immediate work of science, as just stated, consists 
of observation, comparison and induction. Obviously, a 
law reached by induction from facts is a principle from 
which other facts may be deduced; and this is one of the 
legitimate and characteristic processes of science. Science, 
in the full exercise of all its functions, is not, therefore, 
exclusively inductive. 

Without observation, the material of science would not 
exist. There could be neither comparison, induction, nor 
deduction. Without comparison, no affiliated juxtaposi- 
tions of phenomena would become known; and we should 
reach neither the laws which regulate them, nor an anti- 
cipation of other phenomena coordinated under the same 
laws. Without induction, the observation of phenomena 
would only create a mass of undigested material, like that 

* These thought? are here only collateral, but the writer believes that they 
lie very near the true solution and peaceful determination of the "conflict be- 
tween religion and science." He has elsewhere viewed these relations simply 
as a normal and not destructive interaction between the rational and the relig- 
ious powers of man; and has offered an exposition which sets both religion and 
science in the character of forces exercising a natural, harmonious and benefi- 
cent interplay, like the mutual actions of the other polar forces in the universal 
dualism of the world. See Reconciliation of Science and Religion, 12mo, pp. 403, 
1877, chapters I-III. 



362 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

which accumulated in the observatory of T3^cho Brahe. 
Without deduction, the universe of phenomena would pre- 
sent the order and sj^nmetry of a perfect machine, the 
products of whose activity we could know only as they 
were wrought out. Anticipation, prediction, and all 
the plans and operations based upon expectation, would 
have no place among human activities if science could not 
descend from principle to fact. All conceptions of phe- 
nomena that have not been objects of cognition must be 
based on deduction, proceeding from general principles 
established by induction from cognized phenomena. By 
such means science has affirmed the internal solidity of 
the earth, or predicted the eccentricity of her orbit at 
an epoch a million years in the future, or pictured her 
physical condition in a past removed from us by millions 
of years. 

Such seem to be the scope and prerogatives of that 
department of science whose data are sensible phenomena. 
The term science, in its modern, popular acceptation, 
signifies the science of sensible phenomena. When the 
term is employed without qualification it is generally 
understood to signify i)hysical science. 

There are, however, other fields of phenomena using 
the term in an extended but legitimate sense cognizable 
through internal, instead of external, perception. The 
phenomena of the mind have an existence as certain, and 
orders of succession as fixed and cognizable, as the phe- 
nomena of the external world. The reality of mental 
phenomena is absolutely unquestionable. The}^ are, in 
fact, the only data of demonstrable knowledge. Sensible 
phenomena are only names which we ascribe to assumed 
external manifestations believed to be coordinated with 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 363 

cognized internal phenomena. Hence the certainty of 
external phenomena is conditioned on the validity of this 
belief. External phenomena, therefore, cannot become so 
immediately, even if they are so certainly, the materials 
of valid knowledge, as those phenomena which arise in 
the mental field. 

Among the phenomena of consciousness we have to 
make, therefore, the following discriminations : First, 
Mental states, or psychic modes, without regard to their 
sources, occasions or coordinations to any other facts than 
mental states; Secondly, Those among the mental states 
w^hicli we irresistibly refer to external phenomena as their 
correlates and causes. But there is also a tJiird category 
of mental states, or inner perceptions, which we irresistibly 
refer to abstract and necessary truths. 

The truths thus cognized as having a necessary, uni- 
versal and eternal existence are truths concerninof neces- 
sary being and necessary relations. Space and time are 
existences which must be held necessary in the same sense 
as other truths are necessary; and the relations of por- 
tions of them are relations of quantit}^, which are formu- 
lated in well-known axioms and theorems, embraced among 
the necessary truths which stand as correlates to the third 
class of mental states. Other truths are the inseparable- 
ness of quality and substance, attribute and being, effect 
and cause, order and intelligence, continuity of existence, 
universality of law, ultimate unity and ultimate primordi- 
ality of existence. Some of these principles have generally 
been omitted from enumerations of necessary truths; and 
the reader, if he think proper, can omit them here, as the 
main purpose is simply to adduce illustrations, and not 
to establish a catalogue. 



364 SPAKKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

Finally we discern a fourth class of mental states. 
These are the assumptions which we irresistibly make of 
an absolute causal relation between certain conscious 
states and realities external to consciousness. We find in 
existence an assumption that certain states are caused b}^ 
sensible phenomena ; and an assumption that other men- 
tal states are caused by the disclosure of certain abstract 
truths; and an assumption that these abstract truths have 
a necessary existence in the universe of which we are a 
part. We find here, also, the assumption of personal ex- 
istence and personal identity. This fourth group of con- 
scious states impresses a belief in the reality of sensible 
phenomena; in the reality of existence behind these phe- 
nomena ; in the reality of supersensible existence under- 
neath all psychic phenomena, and in the reality of truth 
apprehended as universal and necessary. These subtle, 
instantaneous and irresistible assumptions are the only 
bond of connection between us and any realm outside of 
our own minds. Invalidate them, and all which seems to 
exist, either in a world without or a world within, re- 
solves itself into a phantasmagoria of forms without sub- 
stance, a succession of mental states which seems to have 
a cause and correlative, but has none; a succession which 
seems to be concatenated and orderly, but is absolutel}^ 
chaotic and fortuitous; a succession of states which, after 
all, are not states, but onl}^ the alluring and deceptive 
images of states, and not even images, for the seeming 
must be as fanciful and illusory as the seeming of sub- 
stance. Deny the validity of the assumption of causal 
correlations between mental states and realities, and all 
knowledge is annulled. We float only in a glittering 
realm of empty forms, we cannot say we float, but we 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 365 

seem to float, we cannot say we seem to float, but we 
seem to seem to float. All predication is annihilated. We 
are conscious at first of existing in a world of realities; 
then we float in a realm of unsubstantial visions ; then 
everything, visions and realities alike, sinks into abso- 
lute nihility. Such denial is the end of all philosophy 
and all science alike. What do we say? All science and 
all philosophy depend for their validity on the validity 
of our reference of certain mental states to causal corre- 
lates external to the mind. 

That the reference is valid, no one can doubt in a 
practical manner. Denial, even of the speculative kind, 
is impossible. The utmost which speculative thinking has 
ever been able to do is to affirm the possibility that such 
reference is invalid. The history of philosophy has shown 
that the most eminent propounders of this possibility 
have found, in after life, satisfactory ground for holding 
that the reference is valid ; and that, therefore, a realm 
of reality exists, and that it is such as reported in con- 
sciousness. 

Every argument between two parties must proceed on 
the fundamental admission that those states of mind which 
have been here described as announcements of a correla- 
tion between other states and external realities are truth- 
ful announcements. If either deny this, he deprives him- 
self of all ultimate ground for either affirmation or denial; 
and his attempt to reason is like the effort to move the 
world without the basis for a fulcrum. 

After this conspectus of the situation, let us examine 
more attentively the foundations underneath the fabric 
of physical science. 

The current conception of physical science presents it 



366 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

as a body of knowledge. It is commonly regarded as the 
most certain of all knowledge, and the safest foundation 
for belief, expectation and action. Men stand firm on the 
conclusions of science, however they falter on the isolated 
propositions which science subsumes. They formulate 
their creeds on the dicta of science, though they may pro- 
fess to doubt or be ignorant in the presence of the naked 
principles which authenticate the dicta of science. 

That science attains to valid knowledge cannot be ra- 
tionally denied. Instead of denying, it is our purpose to 
demonstrate that it is valid; and that it is valid because 
certain underlying principles which science never men- 
tions are the firm foundations on which it rests. 

I. All science begins in the assumed existence of a 
real, thinking being. But what is the ground of the 
assumption of our personal existence and personal identity 
from moment to moment and from day to day? The 
conviction is grounded in our inmost consciousness; we 
are unable to resist it; but it is only a belief a valid 
belief the ultimate elemental utterance of mind, speak- 
ing with the authority of its very being. Nothing, of 
course, can validate its utterance; but, if we choose to 
admit a speculative doubt, we negative at once all possi- 
bility of science and all possibility of a scientific basis 
for anything. 

All trustworthiness of memory rests in the presuppo- 
sition, not only that the representative faculty is a true 
witness, but that we are the same being as yesterday. 
The scientist records his notes after hours, days or weeks 
have passed; and he builds most serious reasoning on the 
assumption that it was he who made the observations 
which he seems to reproduce. If he is mistaken in this, 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 367 

his reasoning is illusory; but he builds, sometimes un- 
mindful of the fact that his fabric rests upon a purely 
and deeply metaphysical subsumption. 

II. Admitting the evidence of personal existence suffi- 
cient, other queries immediately arise which must be dis- 
posed of. Science we have defined as beginning objectively 
in a knowledge of phenomena. Now, how do we know 
that phenomena exist? or that they exist as they seem? 
or that any reality lies behind them? or that the reality 
is such as it seems to be? Plainly, all these things are 
assumed on the naked testimony of the mind. Conscious- 
ness reports phenomena, and we believe. Consciousness 
represents them thus and so, and we believe. And then 
we find disclosed in consciousness a confidence that all 
phenomena are grounded in real existence, and that such 
phenomena as these are grounded in a mode of existence 
sustaining an exact correlation to these particular phe- 
nomena. This confidence is only belief in the ultimate 
verdict of our being. All science, to he substantial, must 
assume the validity of all these ultimate beliefs. The most 
logical conclusions of science must necessarily imply that 
there are some propositions which do not admit of logical 
proof, but which must be received with absolute unreserve. 
These ultimate propositions are simply believed without 
reasonine^; but our belief is so strong? that we feel it to 
be knowledge. If it is not knowledge, the fabric of propo- 
sitions which we build upon it is not knowledge. If it 
is knowledge, then the plain, simple, ultimate utterances 
of our minds are the indestructible molecules of all our 
systems of science; and the testimony of consciousness re- 
specting the coordination between any of its states and 
external realities is a direct intuition of truth. 



368 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

This conclusion cannot be avoided. The reality and 
genuineness of our knowledge of the phenomena assumed 
as the material of science is absolutely conditioned on the 
veracity of consciousness in certain of its testimony. Im- 
pugn this veracity in any respect, and the genuineness of 
the materials of science is correspondingly impaired. The 
more valiantly we affirm the indestructibility of scientific 
knowledge, the more explicitly we admit the unimpeach- 
able veracity of the testimony of consciousness. If con- 
sciousness is not admitted ^s a veracious witness thus far, 
it is impossible to hold an argument with the reader. If 
consciousness is admitted veracious, so far as to validate 
the phenomena from which science proceeds, we may next 
inquire what are the further implications of scientific 
knowledge. 

III. Supposing the facts of observation to stand in 
every respect unchallenged, some principles of relation 
must be tacitly assumed to serve as the ground and au- 
thentication of any classification. Whether we associate 
them wath reference to time or place, concomitance or 
succession, quantity or quality, it is in every case a basis 
of resemblance. Without some kind of mutual resem- 
blance, no homogeneity or community would be present 
to justify any general predication. But when we adopt 
any kind of resemblance as the basis of classification, we 
tacitly assume that likeness among phenomena proceeds 
from community or identity of cause ; in other words, 
that " like effects proceed from like causes. '^ This is a 
principle which must be validated by pure reason to ac- 
quire that character of certainty, universality and necessity 
which we assume it to possess in the use which we make 
of it. If it be thought a principle resting on a general 



THE METAPHYSICS OP SCIENCE. 369 

induction from observation, then admitting (contrarj' to 
the fact) that the same absolute certainty could be reached, 
the very process of generalization assumes still the same 
principle, that homogeneity of phenomena implies simi- 
larity of cause. Hence, when we look to general induction 
for the validity of the principle that like results proceed 
from like causes, we find that the induction itself assumes 
beforehand the validity of the principle; and our effort 
is simply a case of reasoning in a circle. As general in- 
duction cannot, therefore, validate the principle which 
validates general induction, it follows that the principle 
is validated either by deduction or by the direct sanction 
ofv pure reason. But it is not a deductive conclusion, for 
the principle itself, possessing the highest degree of gen- 
erality, is not the result of an analysis. We discover no 
account of the validation of the principle except in the 
sanction of the same rational authority as speaks to us in 
affirming a correlation between certain conscious states 
and external realities. Here, then, in the first step which 
science takes in formulating a general concept or scientific 
doctrine, it is absolutely necessary to rely on the universal 
validity of a principle which cannot be established by sci- 
entific processes, nor indeed by any formal logic whatever. 
So, it may be added, the whole search after general 
laws, or the unification of human knowledge, is prompted 
and guaranteed by the intuitive conviction that tinitij 
exists among the diversified phenomena of nature. K no 
ulterior unity existed, or if reason were not furnished 
with the knowledge of its existence, the search for general 
laws and deeper causes would never be undertaken, or, 
if undertaken, would be fruitless. 

It is extremely easy for the scientific investigator to 
24 



370 SPARKS FEOM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

overlook a metaphysical principle involved in the com- 
parison and classification of concrete phenomena; but since 
the principle clearly reveals itself to critical attention, 
we must frankly acknowledge that the entire fabric of 
physical science rests upon a truth grounded in the realm 
of metaphysics; and that this is not for such reason a 
truth " merely speculative " in the reproachful sense, but 
a truth which is self-evident, and surer than any scien- 
tific conclusion. To a certain class of minds such a 
statement may not address itself with all the cogency of 
a concrete proposition, but it may impress the necessity 
of caution in vaunting scientific conclusion from sensible 
phenomena as the most certain kind of knowledge, and 
incomparably more substantial than the ethereal abstrac- 
tions of metaphysics. 

IV. When, in the progress of our scientific investiga- 
tions, we reach the stage of inductive inference, the pro- 
cess of concluding from a part to the whole is based on an 
assumption of the uniformitj of nature, which is only 
the concrete form of the principle that like results pro- 
ceed from like causes. If unobserved phenomena belong- 
ing to the same group with those on which the infer-, 
enee is based are not ascribable to the same cause, or 
same kind of cause, we have no right tO' extend the in- 
ference from observed data to these. But the principle 
of the uniformity of causation is accepted as more valid 
than any inference which we may induce from any array 
of phenomena, however extended. The inference may 
express a bond of connection running through the phe- 
nomena observed, and no others; it is therefore not a 
causal bond. It may express a causal bond, but not the 
deepest and strongest bond. In any such case the infer- 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 371 

ence is liable to fail in its application to new phenom- 
ena. The inference, therefore, can never be unreservedly 
accepted except when the facts sustain quantitative and 
therefore mathematical relations to each other. But 
however qualified the inference, the metaphysical princi- 
ple on which it proceeds is never accepted with reserve. 
Uniformity of causation is felt to be absolute. The com- 
mon process of inductive conclusion, which is the staple 
method of science in the evolution of doctrine, requires, 
consequently, an underlying metaphysical principle to 
give it any semblance of validity. 

To avoid misconception it may be desirable to state 
that the phrase ''uniformity of nature'' as here employed, 
does not signify simply a continuous recurrence of iden- 
tical cycles of phenomena, like those of a day, or the 
orbital revolution of a planet, since such uniformity is 
merely a generalization from observation, and must be 
conceived capable of interruption. AVhen this uniformity, 
however, shall have been interrupted, it will be a result 
proceeding from a higher principle of uniformity, which 
requires that difi"erent effects under changed conditions 
shall proceed from the same causal activity. 

So, it may be -added, the uncertainty which, in any 
case, or in all cases, hangs over a conclusion from in- 
ductive data, arises not from any possible distrust of the 
principle of uniformity of causation but from the possi- 
bility that our imperfect judgment has admitted into the 
comparison facts belonging to different categories of causa- 
tion, and therefore connected only by superficial or casual 
instead of fundamental relationships. Here lurks the falli- 
bility of inductive conclusions; and here arises the demand 
for profounder perceptions than finite minds possess. 



372 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

V. Granting the highest attainable validity to the suc- 
cessive steps taken by science in attaining its ultimate 
generalizations, these are expressions of laws under which 
successions of phenomena come into existence. The order 
and method of the cosmos are so far revealed. Its phe- 
nomena become intelligible in their mutual relations. 
The flow of events is systematic, certain, predicable. 
Nothing happens capriciously, or with any regard to 
interjected emergencies. No variation in the established 
order of events can be expected under any supposable 
circumstances. This is the " reigrn of law." No orround 
exists for denying that this reign embraces all the events 
which make up the history of the irrational world. Nor 
can it be denied that all rational activities proceed ac- 
cording to some law; for otherwise there would be no 
evidence that they are rational. But the laws of rational 
activity inhere in rational spontaneity; those of ph^^sical 
events are imposed by external authority. 

But the reis^n of law means nothini:^ more than the 
universal prevalence of methodical successions of events. 
Law is the formula under which events are coordinated; 
but law does not produce events. A phenomenon is scien- 
tifically explained when we refer it to the law under 
which it takes place; but it is not exhaustively explained. 
For the purposes of science it is adequate to ascribe 
events to law, because law is the ultimate stadium of 
scientific ratiocination. It lies on the remotest frontier 
of scientific territory. Physical law is itself an abstrac- 
tion, and constitutes the connecting link between the 
physical and the metaphysical. But when we say, in the 
language of science, that events " come by law," we must 
take care not to conclude that law is their cause. Law 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIEITCE. 373 

explains their order of succession, but does not explain 
how the law came into existence, nor how events are 
generated, nor how tliey are coordinated so methodically. 
Law is simply the rule of coordination ; efficiency pro- 
duces them and coordinates them. 

Law viewed scientifically is merely a rule of succession; 
viewed philosophically it is an expression of power and 
intelligence, a synthesis of force and mind. Li the pur- 
view of science, law is the key to unlock the methods of 
nature, a clew to guide through the labyrinth of phe- 
nomena; in the eye of philosophy it is a preconceived 
plan of action, purposeful of results. While science rests 
on law as a finality, philosophy seeks the power which 
ordains law; and, viewing law as the expression of will, 
it insists on the reality of will by all the evidence v/hich 
science summons to establish the reality of law. Science 
claims law as an intelligible principle of coordination 
among phenomena; and philosophy claims an intelligible 
principle of coordination as the exclusive product of in- 
telligence. The cosmos is comprehensible by thought, be- 
cause it is the product of thought. Grant the mechanical 
nature of the processes of the world, the existence of a 
mechanism which does not express mind is something un- 
thinkable. 

Science is under no oblicration to assume a stranere 
garb and make affirmation of the predicates of philosophy. 
Such freedom ma}^ authorize science to ignore the predi- 
cates of philosophy, but it confers no privilege to deny 
them. As long as, maintaining its own character, it ig- 
nores the principles, postulates or axioms of philosophy, 
it cannot antagonize philosophy ; but when it offers an 
argument ex ignorantla against the verdict of philosophy, 



374 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER; 

all right thinking recognizes it as sophistical. It is im- 
possible to grasp the meaning of law with the whole 
breadth of the intelligence, without apprehending it both 
as a rule and as an expression of ordaining will. 

VI. As law, in its existence, proclaims necessarily a 
purposive ordination, so the correlation of events under 
law must necessarily be regarded as a result purposed in 
law. If law exists as the result of purpose, there must 
be a reason why it has been purposed ; and the reason 
why can exist nowhere but in the results impressed by 
the law, that is, in the results which take place accord- 
ing to the law. The coordination of results, therefore, is 
as much the expression of purpose as the law which em- 
bodies the principle of coordination. The fact that events 
take place according to law, instead of proving their dis- 
connection with purpose, is the very circumstance which 
demonstrates their dej)endence on purpose. Caprice and 
confusion are not the marks of intellicfence ; hiofh con- 
trolling intelligence always seeks its ends by fixed methods 
of action. The more clearlv we discern the reij^n of uni- 
versal law, the more clearly we discern the evidence of 
general design in the phenomena of the universe. The 
question whether events take place through law or through 
design is destitute of rational meaning ; because, firsts 
events are produced neither by law nor by design ; and, 
secondly^ if they are produced by design, it is, as we see, 
according to law; and if they are produced by law, it is 
according to design in the law. Law and design are so 
far from being mutually exclusive that, in truth, they 
are mutually inclusive. There is no law without design; 
and in nature the design of the law is worked out un- 
der the law. 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 375 

VII. Passing from general design to special design, or 
the design supposed to be revealed in particular events, 
or particular correlations of material parts, the foremost 
question arising concerns the meaning of the metaphysical 
principle of design. Now, when parts are coadjusted, as 
in any mechanical combination, like a watch or a human 
hand, the instructive verdict of mankind is an affirmation 
of intention. This affirmation is prompted by the adjust- 
ment of 2Mrt to part, and by the adjustment of the whole 
to its result. These two conceptions must be kept dis- 
tinct. Let us for the moment leave out of consideration 
the question of design in the result, and note what is 
implied and what is not implied in the affirmation of de- 
sign in the parts. We say instinctively that the coad- 
justment of parts implies design; but 1. It does not 
imply that the action of the parts was designed to pro- 
duce any result. 2. It does not imply that the result, 
if any, is useful, beautiful, or any otherwise characterized. 
3. It does not imply that the result, if any, is either 
comprehended or comprehensible. 4. It does not imply 
that the adjustment is something wholly comprehensible. 
5. It does not imply that the cause of the adjustment is 
either finite or not finite. 6. It does not imply that the 
conformations and collocations in the adjustment have 
been effected by any particular instruments, or according 
to any particular method. They may have been molded, 
hewed, carved, turned, or grown, it is all the same. 

These eliminations are of the utmost importance ; but 
a careful appeal to consciousness demonstrates that our 
verdict is rendered without the least regard to any con- 
sideration save the fact of coadjiistment, mechanical co- 
adjustment, in which the action of one part is continually 



376 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

reciprocated by the action of another part. Isolating the 
question of design from these customary entanglements, 
it is apparent that, when a case of mechanical coadjust- 
raent is presented, it is not pertinent to consider whether 
it is a product of man or of nature. It either implies 
design absolutely, or it does not imply design at all. The 
same combination cannot imply design when viewed as a 
human product, and have no significance or allowable in- 
terpretation when viewed as a natural product. The con- 
sideration that it has come^ into existence by a method of 
evolution, or by any other method, is as alien from the 
question as if the method had been by an envelope-making 
machine, or by carpentry, or smithery. It does not add 
to the conclusiveness of the statement to suofcrest that a 
method of evolution may and must have been established 
by design, and that consequently the ends which it at- 
tained may and must have been designed, both in general 
and in particular. The suggestion, however, is valid, and 
is perfectly in parallelism with the inference of design 
directly from adjustment. If the recognition of design, 
therefore, is legitimate, without any regard to the teleo- 
logical significance of the products of adjustment, the 
most radical profession of nescience of the " designs of 
Nature" may admit that some design is revealed in the 
simple fact of structural adjustment, even if it were not 
designed to produce what it produces. 

This is not that remote and hypothetical admission of 
design which recognizes simply the possibility that the 
whole system of nature may exist for some design; but 
it is an affirmative and necessary recognition of design 
as the logical antecedent of all coordinations interpreta- 
ble in terms of intelligence. 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIEN'CE. 377 

VIIL Besides mutual adjustment of structural parts, 
we may consider the meaning of adjustments to a gen- 
eral concept. All that we know of fundamental plans 
of structure in the organic world is but a body of facts 
exemplifying adjustment of parts, not alone to each other, 
but to an archetypal conception, an intelligential stand- 
ard. It is frequently suggested that fundamental rela- 
tionships have resulted from the law of heredity, with 
progressive divergence. That, probably, is a valid scien- 
tific account to give of what have been styled j;/rt?z.s of 
organization; and every one is free to rest in the finality 
of science. Bat if our minds are so constituted that we 
irresistibly conclude design from coordination, regardless 
of the instrumentality or means by which the coordina- 
tion becomes expressed in matter, then heredity with di- 
vergence is not an ultimate explanation, and every man 
is at libert}^ without reproach, to pass beyond the pale 
of science, and recos^nize hereditv as a thouo-htful deter- 
mination fixed for the purpose of introducing order and 
method into the organic world as we find them. So the 
mathematical order of the solar system is explicable in 
scientific terms by ascribing it to the cooling of a primi- 
tive nebula; but the forces encracred in the evolution of a 
planetary system must be rationally conceived as merely 
the instruments which work out symmetrical results co- 
ordinated to a general concept or plan. If, finally, the 
deepest law of nature is the law of evolution, we may 
recognize that as the all-embracing principle under which 
events emerf?e into beincr; but reason can never be di- 
vested of the simple conviction that events coordinated 
on so comprehensive a scale, and coordinated to so vast 
a scheme, give expression to purpose equally vast and 



378 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

comprehensive. The explanations of science are held to 
be valid, but they do not go far enough; they are not 
ultimate explanations. By the inherent principles of our 
mental being we postulate and posit motive and agency 
behind the last explanation of science. 

IX. As design is the necessary implication of parts co- 
ordinated to each other, or to a general concept, so meta- 
physical cause is the only rational explanation of those 
ultimate physical antecedents which belong to the cate- 
gory of sub-causes or scientific causes. Of metaphysical 
cause science professes to have no knowledge, holding that 
invariable antecedence is the scientific conception of caus- 
ation. But, manifestly, no phenomenon comes into ex- 
istence because another phenomenon precedes. The pre- 
cedence is the sign of antecedent efficiency. So the law 
under which a phenomenon arises is modal, not causal, 
and implies prior ordination, as the subordinated event 
implies transcendent causation. The conditio sine qua non 
of a phenomenon is not its essential cause, but the condi- 
tion of the operativeness of a certain law which expresses 
a method of activity of essential cause. The notion of 
metaphysical cause is therefore the underlying ground of 
all the ultimate conception of science. 

It is well understood that even metaphj^sical that is, 
ultimate and essential cause becomes efficient and actual 
only under the concurrence of certain conditions, which, 
because they contribute to the result, may be denominated 
concauses. We may define cause, if we please, as the 
whole body of coexistences without which a result would 
not exist. This is a complex but perfectly intelligible 
conception. It may be best to employ the true cause in 
such a sense. But then we have no name for that one 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIEN"CE. 379 

of the coexistences which is the ultimate, self-sustained 
and direct efficiency in the effectuation. For instance, a 
seed placed in the ground germinates and grows into a 
cabbage. Of course the totality of causation concerned 
embraces all the causes, concauses and conditions which 
have to coact and coexist during the process of germina- 
tion and growth. They consist, in part, of a duly organ- 
ized and living seed, a location in the soil, the presence 
of moisture and light, and the activity of certain physio- 
logical forces in the seed and developing tissues of the 
plant. In a certain sense moisture is causal and light 
is causal, and vegetable aliment is causal. Their caus- 
ality becomes active, however, only on the condition of 
an organized seed, and on the condition that it finds 
lodgment in the soil, and on tlie condition that the grub 
is kept away. While thus certain concurrences are con- 
causal, others are conditioning. More immediately causal, 
but conditioned on all the concausation and conditions 
just mentioned, is the physical or physiological action 
which reveals itself in the absorption of solutions and 
gases from the soil and the atmosphere, the chemical 
compounding and preparation of them in protoplasm and 
the various juices, the conveyance of them to the various 
parts of the growing plant, and the exhalation of vapor 
and gases which are useless to the plant. It is certainly 
in these activities that we approach nearest to the seat 
of operation of efficient cause. But while these involve 
such causation as is expressed by capillarity, endosmose, 
chemism and exhalation, a moment's consideration shows 
that, after all, these are but instrumental agencies or sub- 
causes. These phvsioloo^ical movements and changes are 
not self-maintained; they are not ultimate causalities; 



380 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

they are caused; they have to be explained and accounted 
for; they imply some real cause whose bidding they exe- 
cute. Still more manifest is this when we note the plan 
and method and correlation of their activity. They build; 
they create mathematical forms and mechanical structures; 
they fit part to part; they think, they foresee, they pur- 
pose, unless they are the mere servants of some intelli- 
gent cause. Tliat is the cause, therefore, ultimate, self- 
sustained, voluntary and discerning, and working toward 
ultimate and thinkable ends, which employs these instru- 
mentalities under the concurring conditions and coactions, 
to select, move and dispose material with reference to the 
organized result, guided while it acts physically on mat- 
ter, by a clear conception of a structural end, and an 
intellio-ent selection and arrangement of material suited 
most perfectly for the realization of the end. 

The notion of metaphysical cause, in spite of the formal 
restriction of the logic of science, has found constant ex- 
pression in scientific language under the name of force. 
This, like the assumed atom and molecule of physics, the 
ethereal medium and the ultimate incompressibility of 
matter is a purely metaph3'sical conception. It is a name 
which the necessities of thinking have impelled us to adopt 
for the efficiency transmitted from or through the phe- 
nomenon which stands in the place of invariable antece- 
dent. Yet the ordinary use of this term in the pages of 
science leaves questions still deeper which offer themselves 
as subjects of analytic thought. Is force an entity or an 
attribute? If an entity, is it self-acting or subordinated? 
If subordinated, what is the nature of the power which 
subordinates it? If self-acting, then the discernment and 
design revealed in the results of its activity are attri- 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIEJiCE. 381 

butes which characterize a demiurge. But if we say force 
is an entity which produces results, what is the means 
by which it produces them? Are not all results produced 
by force, and is not our reasoning thus reduced to the 
proposition that the entity force employs force to produce 
results? This proposition is unintelligible, and shows that 
the conception of force as an entity is absurd. Force is 
an attribute. 

But if force must be conceived as an attribute, what 
is the nature of its subject? What is it which exerts 
or manifests force? To say that the attribute force exerts 
itself is to make it both attribute and subject. Something 
which is not force, but which is capable of exerting force, 
is therefore necessarily implied in the conception of force. 
Is matter the subject? Then, first, it is a subject which 
thinks, and selects, and purposes; for the results of force 
are thoughtful, and selective, and purposive, and matter 
does thus possess a " power and potency " of psychic results. 
But, secondly, we are not certain that matter possesses a 
special subjective nature. We only know matter phe- 
nomenally, and it may easily be that phenomena constitute 
all there is of matter in itself. Yet phenomena are mani- 
festations of something possessing the power to produce 
them. The phenomena which we cognize as matter are 
manifestations of force. If there be no subject-matter 
there must be some other subject revealing itself in the 
phenomena, which we group under the designation of 
matter. There must be somewhere a matter-subject. We 
are driven, then, to the recognition of an intelligent sub- 
ject as the ground of the attribute of force, manifesting 
its activities in the being of what we call matter, as well 
as in the changes which are impressed upon matter. 



382 SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

The inquiry does not end even here; for it remains to 
ascertain what is the mode of origin of force from its 
subject. What is the method by which the subject reveals 
the attribute of force? Is forceful emanation from the 
subject an unconscious and continuous necessity'- of its 
being, or is it a conscious and voluntary activity? If 
necessary, then some higher power has imposed the ne- 
cessity, and the supposed force is an effect, instead of a 
prime efficiency; if unconscious, then some higher intelli- 
gence directs according to the laws of conscious thought, 
and the supposed subject has not the attributes of the 
force-subject; for coordination of products implies at least 
two things consciously apprehended, both in their sepa- 
rateness and in their relation ; unconscious intelligence 
is a nugatory expression, for consciousness is the prime 
moment of intelligence ; intelligential action in an uncon- 
scious agent implies the control of a conscious intelligence. 
If, on the contrary, forceful manifestations are effected 
through the method of volition, then the subject which 
constitutes the ground of all cosmical force is possessed 
of will as well as intellect and susceptibility to motive, 
and is consequently a personal entity, an entity thinking, 
feeling and willing with reference to that which is object- 
ive to itself. 

At this ultimate stadium of analytic thought, we are 
confronted by a truth which staggers and awes us by its 
import. Instead of finding ourselves authorized by science 
to remand the supernatural beyond the limits of the mate- 
rial world, we are constrained by philosophy to recognize 
in the material world only that efficienc}^ which has been 
designated supernatural. Natural efficiency is only the 
dream of ignorance. All force is intelligential. The sys- 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 383 

tern of Nature is merely the theater of its activity in 
human times and before human eyes. If the words " super- 
natural" and " creative " possess any significance, they mean 
only an extraordinary, or hitherto unnoticed, mode of action 
of supreme efficiency, and not an intervention in a scheme 
of events sustained by some diverse and independent causa- 
tion. The contemplations of science are suited, therefore, 
to awaken not alone the imagination, and sentiments of the 
beautiful and sublime, but feelings, also, of awe and rever- 
ence. The world, as the elder Agassiz so eloquently taught, 
is the theater of a divine activity, and an intelligent and 
perpetual revelation of the divine Being and attributes. 

Thus all the distinctive doctrinal enunciations of modern 
science carry implications which reach beyond the peculiar 
domain of science. This, as I have shown, is true of the 
assumption that, in any case, observations have been act- 
ually made; that phenomena have been actually cognized; 
that there is any objective reality concerned in the cogni- 
tion of phenomena; that principles of classification underlie 
phenomena ; that the search for the unification of phe- 
nomena is not vain; that the progress of natural events 
may be safely traced into the future and the past; that 
like effects may be expected to proceed under similar 
conditions, from like causes; that natural law possesses 
validity, and secures order and persistence in the flow of 
events. These universally accepted doctrines of science 
can be admitted only on the admission that all the testi- 
mony of consciousness is valid; that the truths intuitively 
apprehended in reason are absolute and eternal; that the 
government of the world rests on a rational basis, and 
that events are to be interpreted in terms of intelligence; 
that law and order are the expressions of intelligence; 



384 gPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAMMER. 

that uniformity of succession is only the phenomenal sym- 
bol of underlying efficiency; that in the midst of all the 
concausation accompanying an effect there is one coexist- 
ence which must be viewed as efficient, metaph3''sical 
cause; that all force rests back ultimately in a subject 
which possesses the attribute^ of intelligent personality. 
The principle of continuity is a metaphysical principle, 
but it underlies the deepest and broadest of the funda- 
mental doctrines of modern science. The phenomena cor- 
related in so-called evolutionary series rest on and express 
this principle. It guides us in tracing the forms of inor- 
ganic matter from a primitive homogeneous state, and 
also the forms of organic matter from a primitive vitalized 
plasma. The evolutionary arrangement of phenomena 
may, indeed, be ascertained empirically, but the principle 
of continuity points to the rule of arrangement and the 
bond of union. So science may empirically search out and 
ascertain the place and mode and material causation of 
origins, but essential causes lie quite within the region 
of the metaphenomenal. 

It appears, therefore, as Lewes states, that " the funda- 
mental ideas of modern science are as transcendental as 
any of the axioms of ancient philosophy," and that " every 
physical problem involves metempirical elements." Be- 
sides the metaphysical implications of the current doctrines 
of science, all its fundamental conceptions self, substance, 
cause, force, life, order, law, purpose, relation, unity, iden- 
tity, continuity, evolution, natural selection, species, genus, 
order, class are purely metaphysical concepts or ideas. 
These are not the objects of sensible perception, like the 
phenomenal data of science, but are apprehended by the 
rational insight. They have no legitimate place in that 



THE METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCE. 385 

narrow sphere which science sometimes mistakenly allots 
to itself. Many of them are the logical antecedents and 
necessary conditions of the possibility of experience. They 
precede and legitimate all our cognitions and judgments 
concerning the sensible world, and act as the constitutive 
and coordinating principles among our perceptions. They 
render possible the logical contemplation and intelligent 
penetration of nature. They constitute the bond of consist- 
ence and coherence in the fabric of science, and illume the 
system of the cosmos with the supernal light of thought. 

The foregoing suggestions are intended to reveal clearly 
to the intelligent reader the existence of a realm of legiti- 
mate thought deeper than the data of physical science; 
presupposed, indeed, by all the logic of science, and sole 
sponsor for all the validity which the principles of science 
can ever acquire. The effect is not to impair the authority 
of science, but to rationalize it, and purge it of empiricism 
and dogmatism. The moral is that science, from its plat- 
***^i,*^rm, is not competent to utter conclusions on themes 
which lie over in the realm of metaphysics ; but when 
it gives utterances, either affirmative or negative, on ques- 
tions essentially metaphenomenal, it must proceed from 
the axioms of metaphysics, and not from the inductions 
based on sensible phenomena. 
25 



INDEX. 



Aar glacier, 16, 18, 52. 

Aar valley and river, 16. 

Acceleration of development, 
351. 

Adhemar cited, 185, 248. 

Afcta, 165. 

Agassiz, A., on echinoderms, 
342. 

Agassiz, L., 16, 18, 20, 52, 342; 
burial and epita{)h of, 19; on 
ice periods, 180; on Darwin- 
ism, 312 ; on the interpretation 
of the vrorld, 383. 

Age, beauty of, 115. 

Age of the world, 196. 

Agricultural college, 259. 

Aiguille, or Aiguilles, 25, 32, 48 ; 
des Varens, 28; du Gouter, 32, 
49; de Charmoz, 33, 35, 37, 49 ; 
du Dru, 35, 48 ; de Talefre, 36, 
89 ; Verte, 45, 64 ; Bochard, 45 ; 
de Greppon, 49; de Saussure, 
66; du Midi, 66, 68, 76; de la 
Tour, 72 ; of Ruitors, 89 ; du 
Miage, 97 ; cause of, 40. 

Airy, G. B., cited, 179. 

Alabama, 138, 144, 147. 

Alaseia river, 241. 

Alaska, 124, 141. 

Albany, N. Y., 138. 

Aleut, 141. 

Aleutian, 124; continent, 141. 

Alleghanies, 123, 130, 142; low- 
ering of, 127, 144, 145; sedi- 
ments from, 132; climate of, 
209. 

Alleghany river, 149. 

Alpine glaciers rich in sugges- 
tions, 168; resist summer heat, 
194. 

Alps, geology of, 53 ; Roman rel- 
ics in, 30, 60 ; upheaval of, 
160. 



Altitude and temperature, 206. 

Amazons, river of, 148. 

America, South, 139. 

American Arctic Archipelago, 
199. 

American Association, 171, 301. 

Americans abroad, 34. 

Ammienus Marcellinus, 143. 

Andaman Islands, 165. 

Andes, 180, 141, 142. 

Angeville, Mademoiselle H. d', 
97. 

Antarctic continent, 189. 

Anticipation, scientific, 362. 

Anticosti, 124. 

Antilles, 139. 

Aosta, valley of, 89, 94. 

Apennines, 63. 

Apollo Belvedere, 115. 

Appalachians, 127. See, also, 
"Alleghanies." 

Appleton, 214. 

Appropriations for Michigan sur- 
veys, 257. 

Arago, cited, 183, 185. 

Aral Sea, 156, 157. 

Archaian land, 137, 138. See, 
also, " Laurentide" and " Lau- 
rent! an." 

Arch at foot of Glacier des Bois, 
52. 

Architecture and evolution, 318. 

Arenton, Jean d', 61. 

Aristophanes quoted, 114. 

Aristotle cited, 158, 324. 

Arkwright, Capt., 81. 

Arpenaz, cascade of, 28. 

Arve, 27, 28, 51, 77. 

Arveiron, 50, 51, 77. 

Arvans and glacial period, 245. 

Arj'ena-Vaejo, 246 ; compared 
with Eden, 246. 

Ascensionists, 96, 97. 

Ascent of jMontanvert, 33, 34; to- 
ward Charmoz, 37. 



387 



388 



IFDEX. 



Ascent of Mont Blanc, 56, 59 
seq. ; motives to, 59 ; efforts to- 
ward, (i3, 64,79, 91 ; repetitions 
of, 96. See, also, " De Saussure " 
and " Balmat." 

Assumptions intuitively made, 
364 seq., 383, 884. 

Astronomical causes of glacia- 
tion, 182. 

Athabasca, 195. 

Atheism not attributable to Hux- 
ley, 320; nor to evolutionists 
in general, 327, 332; supposed 
promoted by science, 361 ; a 
logical impossibility, 382, 383. 

Atlantis, 142. 

Auburn cemetery, 18. 

Australians, 140, 165. 

Austria, 181. 

Avalanche, 80. 

Azof, Sea of, 157. 

Aztecs, 166. 



Baer, von, cited, 157. 

Bagley, Col., 96. 

Balmat, Jacques, 40, 64, 79 ; story 
of, 91 seq. 

Balme, 27. 

Baltic Sea, 167. 

Barns, Henry, 265. 

Bar of Mississippi, 149. 

Basel, 16. 

Basin of middle Tennessee, 147. 

Basin ranges, 129. 

Bean, 86 ; diary of, 86. 

Bear island, 180. 

Beautiful, the, is good, 104; is 
true, 105. 

Beauty promotes human happi- 
ness, 100, 101 ; fills the world, 
101, 383; nature of, 103; where 
found, 105 seq. ; of nature, 105 ; 
of storm at sea, 108, 109; of 
humanity, 110 ; of woman, not 
wholly physical, 112; may be 
cultivated, 113 ; vain appli- 
ances of, 113; of man, 114; of 
age, 115; of motion, 116 ; of 
sounds, 116; of truth, 118; of 
virtue, 119; of sorrow, 120. 



Beaver islands, 214. 

Behring's strait, 141, 166, 240. 

Belle Plaine, 262. 

Bells, beauty of sounds of, 117. 

Berbers, 144. 

Berlin, 181. 

Bernina, Monte, 54. 

Berosus cited, 158. 

Bex, 23. 

Biblical story of creation, 327. 

Bickmore, A. S., cited, 163. 

Biel, lake of, 20. 

Birds, variations among, 342. 

Black races, wanderings of, 1 65. 

Black Sea, 156. 

Blaire and the Mer de Glace, 36. 

Blatiere, 49. 

Blodget,L., cited, 201. 

Bois, Glacier des, 31, 47; village 

of, 50. 
Bonneville, 27. 
Bonnivard, 22. 
Borneo, 175. 
Bosphorus, 156. 
Bossons, Glacier des, 30, 31, 57, 

67, 68, 70, 73, 80 ; motion of, 56. 
Boston, 208. 
Brachiopods, variations among, 

342. 
Bravais, 90. 

Brazil, glaciation in, 180. 
Br(^vent, 32,48, 71. 
Brevoort, Miss, 97. 
Brewer, T. M., 342. 
Brines, origin of, in Michigan, 

201, 263, 271; Houghton's 

views on, 276; Hubbard's 

views on, 276. 
Bronze in Great Britain, 167. 
Brussels to Strasbourir, 13. 
Bryant, William Cullen, 116. 
Buet, 25. 
Buffalo, 210. 
Butterworth, R. E., salt well of. 

262. J-. 

BjTon, Lord, quoted, 20, 23, 33,- 

122; villa of, 22. 



Cabins of the Grands Mulets, 77. 
Caillet, fountain of, 33. 



INDEX. 



389 



Calms, equatorial, 192. 

Calotte, North, 09, 87 ; of Mont 
Blanc, 95. 

Calvin, 108. 

Cambodia river, 1G4. 

Canada, 136. Sec, also, "Lauren- 
tide," etc. 

Canaries, 143, 144. 

CandoUe, A. de, 342. 

Cape Breton, 124, 137, 2G8. 

Carboniferous Age, 128. 

Caribbean Sea, 139, 193; conti- 
nent, 139. 

Carpenter, W. B., cited, 190, 192. 

Catastrophes on Mont Blanc, 80 
seq. , 84, 8G, 87, 97. 

Catskills, 126; denudation 
around, 145. 

Caucasus, 157, 160, 246. 

Causation, supernatural, 360. 

Causes, efhcient, of evolution, 

352, 377, 378, 379, 380; impli- 
cations of, 353. 

Causes, final, in evolution, 354, 

375, 376. 
Causes, scientific and rational, 

353, 372, 378. 
Cecrops, 142. 
Celebes, 161. 
Ceram, 165. 

Cereus giganteus, 130. 

Cevennes, 63. 

Chablais, 21. 

Challenger, 143. 

Chalmers on Genesis, 327. 

Chamonix, travel to, 26, 27, 30 ; 
description of, 31; seen from 
I'Angle, 38. 

Chapeau of Mer de Glace, 48. 

Charmoz, Aiguille de, 33, 54; 
ascent toward, 37, 38, 39. 

Charpentier, Jean de, 19. 

Chautauqua clifis, 134, 145. 

Chemical homologues and evolu- 
tion, 317. 

Chicago, 135, 205; Academy of 
Sciences of, 266. 

Childhood, beauty of, 110. 

Chillon, Castle of, 21. 22, 108. 

China, 148 ; hydrographic 
changes in, 160. 

Chinese records of floods, 159. 



Chronology, geological, 169, 248, 

251. 
Climate, constituents of, 200. 
Climate, influenced by Lake 

Michigan, 202; by Saginaw 

Bay, 222; by Lake Superioi-, 

223. 
Climate of lake region, 201, 207. 
Climates, geological, 175 seq. ; 

secular fluctuations in, 176. 
Clock in Strasbourg Cathedral, 

14. 
Clouds, attracted by mountains, 

27; enveloping the tourist, 38. 
Coadjustment implies design, 

375. 
Coal period, 144. 
Cognition in relation to beauty, 

104. 
Coin, quasi, from Illinois prai- 

ries, 170. 
Coleridge, S. T., quoted, 57, 69. 
Colorado, plains, 128, 129, 131, 

132, 147; river, 130. 
Concause, 378, 379. 
Concise, 20. 
Conditions of evolution, 349, 378, 

379. 
Conditions of knowledge, 364. 
Confucius, 150. 
Conglomerates and glaciation, 

178, 179. 
Conic sections and evolution, 

318. 
Conklinsr, Edirar, 226. 
Conrad,'T. A.','cited, 178. 
Continent, primordial, 124,125; 

American, worn out, 130. 
Continents, old age of, 122; 

slumps of, 124, 141 ; materials 

of, worked over, 125, 132, 134; 

renovated, 131, 153; obliter- 
ated, 134, 139, 140, 141 ; erosion 

of, 148; rate of erosion of, 149, 

196. .9?<?, also, ''Denudation." 
Converging palaiontological 

lines, 340. 
Conviction, grounds of, 364. 
Cooling of earth. 153. 
Cooper, Peter, 116. 
Cope, E. D., 254. 
Corcier, Abb6 of, 22. 



390 



IJ^DEX. 



Corea, 163. 

Corkindale, 86. 

Corridor on Mout Blanc, 54, 69, 
79, 84, 94, 95. 

Cote d'Or, 63. 

Conrmaver, 94. 

Couttet, Sylvain, 57, 71, 81 , 82, 84. 

Creation a necessary concept, 
329. 

Creation compatible with evolu- 
tion of idea, 312, 313; and of 
material forms, 327, 332, 383. 

Creation theory as presented l)y 
Huxlej', 323 ; criticism of, 328. 

Crepin, cascade of, 30. 

Cretaceous, 147. 

Crevasses, 41, 42, 57; effects of, 
72; sounds from formation of, 
75, 93 ; on Mont Blanc, 79. 

CroU on continental denudation, 
150; on pebble beds, 178; on 
cause of glaciation, 185 seq. 

Crust, influence of, on climate, 
175. 

Cuba, 139. 

Cumming, cited, 177. 

Currents, oceanic, theories of, 190 
seq. ; caused bv winds, 192 seq. 

Currier, A. O., 263. 

Cushman, Charlotte, quoted 109. 

Cuvier, George, 250. 

Cycads, 127. 

Cyclopes, 143. 



D 



Daintree cited, 178. 

Dakota. 131. 

Dana, J. D., cited, 124, 169, 269. 

Dangers from glaciers, 51, 72, 79 

seq.; region of, 88. 8ee^ also, 

" Catastrophes." 
Danube, 157. 
Dard, Cascade of, 56, 70. 
Darwin, C, cited, 342. 
Darwin, G. H., cited, 179. 
Darwinism, weak points of, 307. 
Dawson, J. W., cited, 178, 180. 
Delaware, 210. 
Delta of Mississippi, 149, 150; of 

Nile, 150. 
Deluge, 158, 248. 



Democritns on creation, 324. 

Denmark, 210. 

Denudation, amount of, me:.s- 

ured, 123, 135; evidences of, 

134, 145, 146, 148; rate of, 149, 

196. 
Descent of elephants, 252. 
Desertas, 144. 
Designs in nature, 314, 354, 374, 

375 ; metaphj'sical principle ol, 

375, 376. 
Desor, E., 18. 
Deukalion, deluge of, 159. 
Diligence, 26, 27. 
X>iodati, 22, 108. 

Dish-shaped formations, 267, 272. 
Dnieper, 157. 
Dolfuss-Ausset, 18, 52. 
Dome du G6uter, 32. 
Don river, 157. 
Dove cited, 194. 
Dravidians, 140. 
Drayson, Col., cited, 186. 
Drift materials, 146. See, also, 

" Moraines." 
Dromedary, hump of, on Mont 

Blanc, 54, 65, 69, 79. 
Dru, Aiguille du, 35, 48, 54. 
Druids, 143. 

Dubois, W. E., cited, 172. 
Dug-out, 306. 
Duluth, 210. 
Dumas quoted, 92. 
Durier, quoted, 62 ; cited, 82, 88. 
Durnford, 80. 
Dutton, C. E., cited, 129. 



East India islands, 140. 

Eccentricity at maximum, 180. 

Eccentricity of earth's orbit and 
glaciation, 185. 

Echinoderms, variations among, 
342. 

Elburz mountains, 157. 

Eleatics, on creation, 324. 

Elephants, Ibssil, 240 ; living, 
248; genealogy ot, 252 

Embr3'ologicar evidence, 343; 
clinches the argument for evo- 
lution, 346. 



I^^DEX. 



391 



Embryonic stages, 344; paral- 
lel in different species, 345; 
parallel in living adults, 345 ; 
parallel in extinct succession, 
346. 

Empire State, 126. 

Empirical data not sufficient to 
constitute knowledge, 358. 

English people abroad, 34. 

Environment considered, 350. 

Epicurus on creation, 324 

Ereclitheus, 142. 

Erosion in Wyoming, 148 ; rate of, 
149. See, also, " Denudation." 

Eskimo, 141. 

Eternity of world not admissible, 
324. 

Euxine, 157. See, also " Black 
Sea." 

Evauston, 215. 

Evolution, morphological evi- 
dence of, 333; palaeontological 
evidence of, 338; variational 
evidence of, 341 ; embryologi- 
cal evidence of, 343; summa- 
tion of evidence of, 347; does 
not reach ulterior questions, 
349. 

Evolution of i)roboscidian type, 
252; of horse type in America, 
304; of w^ater-vehicles, 306; of 
idea, in distinction from mate- 
rial continuity, 309, 312, 315- 
318; compatible with creation, 
327, 332, 383 ; conditions of, 349 ; 
efficient causes of, 352; volition 
and intellect in, 353; final 
cause in, 353; ethical influence 
of doctrine of, 355, 357 ; only a 
scientific explanation of phe- 
nomena, 377. 

Exhilaration of adventure, 39. 

Expenses of travel in investiga- 
tion, 301. 

Experts to be suppressed, 300. 

Extreme minima, 227. 

Extremes of climate important, 
223. 



Falkland islands, 195, 198. 
Faroe islands, 167. 



Faults, geological, 148. 

Ferney, 22, 108. 

Final cause in evolution, 354. 

Finite duration of world, 133. 

Finland, 169. 

Finsteraarhorn, 13, 54. 

Fire-formed crust, 126, 135. 

Firn, 55, 66, 245. 

Fissures as outlets for brine, 262, 
276. 

Flegere, 32, 48, 71 ; ascent of, 53. 

Florida, 154. 

Fontaine cited, 178. 

Forbes, J., 43. 

Force a metaphysica. concept, 
380; nature of, Vlemancled, 380, 
381 ; subject of, demanded, 381 ; 
how revealed by its subject, 
382. 

Forclaz, Mont, 29 ; col de, 61. 

Formations in Grand River Salt 
Well, 258 ; in Lyon's Salt Well, 
259, 277; new determinations 
of, 260, 264; in Saginaw Salt 
Well, 264; of Michigan, 267, 
268 ; Houghton's views of, 277 ; 
Hubbard's views of, 279. 

Formosa, 162. 

Forshey, Col., 150. 

Fort, Atkinson, 214 ; Howard, 
214; Riplev, 218; Winnebago, 
214. 

Foster and Balfour, cited, 345. 

Fraas, Dr. Oscar, 237, 238. 

France, 156, 166; glaciated, 168. 

Frankland, Dr., 90. 

Frosts, autumnal, 215; vernal, 
217. 

Fruit-bearing belt of Michigan, 



G 



Fuchau, 161. 



Galenstock, 23. 
Ganges, 150. 

Garibaldi, Guiseppe, 116. 
Gaspe, 124. 
Gastaldi cited, 178. 
Gaudry, Albert, cited, 177. 
Gazelle ship, 144. 
G^ant, dent du, 25; col du, 90; 
glacier du, 35, 43. 



392 



INDEX. 



Geikie, A., cited, 177. 

Geikie, J., cited, 166, 186. 

Genealogical connection of types 
examined, 301 seq. ; criticisms 
answered, 310 scq. 

Geneva, 21, 22, 23, 107. 

Geological history progressing in 
human times, 155, 166, 167. 

Geological quackery, 265, 286, 
287. 

Geological seasons, 175, seq., 247. 

Geoloirical surveys, in Michigan, 
257 r methods of, 285, 287, 288, 
289, 290, 291, 295, 296 ; ignorant 
interference with, 286, 292-4, 
296, 297, 298; results of, un- 
published, 297, 299. 

Geologic time, 152. 

Gervais, Paul, 303. 

Gettysburg bank, 143. 

Glacial period, remoteness of, 
196, 197, 247, 248. 

Glaciation and obliquity of axis, 
183: and precession oi equi- 
noxes, 184 ; and eccentricity of 
orbit, 185. 

Glacier, continental, 131, 247; 
reached human times, 168 ,245 ; 
formation of, in Siberia, 244. 

Glacier of the Aar, 16, 18, 52 ; of 
the Rhone, 23 ; de la Gria, 30 
des Bossons, 30, 56, 67, 70, 92 
du Taconnav, 30, 56, 66, 69 
78; du Geant, 35, 43; de L6ch- 
aud, 36; de Talefre, 36. 

Glaciers, study of, 16, 18; theo- 
ries of, 19; first view of, 30; 
blend with the border-laud, 41 ; 
motions of, 52, 56, 75, 80; dis- 
solution of, 52; advunce and 
retreat of, 52; vestiges of pre- 
historic times, 168;"formation 
of. 244. 

Godeffroy, 19. 

Godwin-Austen, cited, 178. 

Good, the, is beautiful, 105. 

Gorringe, Commander, 143. 

G6uter, Aiguille and Dome du, 
32, 49, 54, 65, 69, 71, 78, 82, 92. 

Graham Land, 198. 

Grande, crevasse, 80, 82, 84, 94 ; 
pente, 69, 86. 



Graudes Mont(:?es, 69. 

Grand Haven, 214, 215, 218, 221. 

Grand Rapids, 215, 258; Lyon's 
Salt Well at, 259, 262. 

Grand River Salt Well 258. 

Grands Jorasses, 35. 

Grands Mulcts. See "Mulcts." 

Grandson, 21. 

Grand Traverse, 216. 

Grasp of geologic time, 152 seq., 
174. ^ 

Gray, A., cited, 342. 

Great Britain, 124, 166, 167; geo- 
logical changes in, 167 ; climate 
of, 194, 208. 

Greenland, 167, 168, 189. 

Greppon, Aiguille de, 49. 

Gria, Glacier de la, 30. 

Grounds, for affirmation and de- 
nial, 365; of validity of sci- 
ence, 366. 

Guanches, 144. 

Guiana, 139. 

Guides of Chamonix, 32, 76, 89. 

Gulf Stream, 193; influence of, 
on climate, 194, 195. 

Guppy, H. B., cited, 162. 

Gutenberg, 14. 

Gypsum, origin of, 268, 269; at 
'Mackinac, 269; at Sandusky 
Bav, 269; in Central New 
York, 269 ; near Tawas, 272. 

H 

Haeckel, E., cited, 342, 345. 

Hair of mammoth, 242; in Lon- 
don, 243. 

Hall, J., cited, 126, 279 ; on varia- 
bility, 343. 

Hamburg, 181. 

Hamel, Dr., 80. 

Hamilton, Mrs. T., 97. 

Hamites, 144. 

Haugchau, 161. 

Harbors on east shore Lak3 
Michigan, 230. 

Hartmann, E. von, cited, 317. 

Haughton, cited, 177, 179. 

Hayden, F. V., cited, 129. 

Henderson, 80. 

Henrj', Joseph, 20. 



INDEX. 



393 



Heredity, opposes evolution, 
313; a scientific explanation 
of plans, 377; a thoughtful 
determination, 377. 

Herodotus cited, 156, 158. 

Herscliel, Caroline, 116. 

Herschel, Sir John, cited, 180, 
183, 185. 

Himalaj^as, 142. 

Hindu-Kush, 246. 

Hindu, records of deluge, 159. 

History of salt enterprise in 
]\[icliigan, 256. 

Hoang-ho river, 160, 161, 162. 

Hogg, James, quoted. 111. 

HoUand, 166. 

Homer ciuoted, 114; cited, 144. 

Homology in water-craft, 306. 

Honan, 161. 

Horse-type in America, 302 seq. ; 
ranging into Europe, 303; 
enumeration of representatives 
of, 304. 

Hottentots, 140. ' 

Houghton, Douglas, geological 
researches of, 256; views as- 
cribed to, 273; incomplete 
knowledge of, 274, 280. 

Howard, 1)7. 

Hubbard, Bela, on salt basins, 
275 ; on ]\Iicliigan geology, 279. 

Hudson river, 145. 

Hugi, 18, 52. 

Hugo, Victor, IIG. 

Humanity, beauty of, 110. 

Humber river, 167. 

Humboldt, A. von, cited, 183, 185, 
201. 

Humphrevs and Abbott, 149, 150. 

Huxley, t. H., cited, 303, 304; 
lectures of, in New York, 319 
seq; touching creation in the 
true sense, 321, 322; concern- 
ing the " creation theory," 323; 
criticism of, 324, 328; change 
of views of, 332 ; on nisus, 352. 

Hwaingan, 160. 

Hybridity, fertile, examples of, 
342. 

Hydrographic cliano:es, 157. 160, 
161. 



Iberians, 144. 

Ice Age, 176 ; relics of, 177 ; re- 
moteness of, 196, 197. 

Ice ages of earlier times, 177; 
succession of, 179, 181 ; causes 
of, assigned, 180. 

Ice cap about pole, 197. 

Iceland, 107. 

Illinois, 128. 

Inclination of earth's axis, 182. 

Indian, American, 141, 166, 174; 
traditions of mastodon and 
elephant, 251. 

Indiana, 128. 

Indo-Chinese peninsula, 164. 

Indo-Mala3'an Archipelago, 165. 

Induction and principle of caus- 
ality, 369. 

Inheritance opposes change, 313. 

Insects, variations among, 342. 

Instrumental agency in causa- 
tion, 379, 380. 

Intellect in evolution, 353. 

Intensity of sun's heat varied by 
distance, 187, 203 ; and by ob- 
liquity, 204. 

Interghicial periods, 199. 

IntuiTions trustworthy, 364. 

Ireland, 124, 137, 138.^ 

Islands of cold or heat, 220. 

Isothermal chart for July, 218, 
for January, 220; for mean 
minima, 225; for extreme 
minima, 227. 

Italy, northern, glaciated, 168; 
chilled by the Alps, 181. 

Ivory from extinct mammoths, 
241 ; etched by prehistoric 
men, 247. 

Izdubar legends, 159. 



Jamaica, 139. 

January temperatures, 220. 

Japan, 141, 163. 

Jardin, in the Alps, 89, 91. 

Jas, emperor of China, 159. 

Java, 164. 



394 



INDEX. 



Josephine bank, 143. 
Judgment, relation of to beauty, 

108. 
July temperatures, 218. 
Junction in ascent of Mont 

Blanc, 73. 
Jungtrau, 13, 54. 
Jura, 63. 

K 

Kaifung, 161. 

Kamtcliatka, 195. 

Keane, A. H., cited, 283. 

Kensington, 215. 

Kentucky, 128. 

Kewaliwenaw method, 284, 292, 

293, 294, 297-300. 
Kidney-iron formation, 279. 
King, Clarence, cited, 129. 
Kirtland, J. P., cited, 202. 
Knowledge, authentications of, 

ultimately metempirical, 358, 

304. 
Kolliker, A., cited, 345. 
Kyak, 306. 



Labrabor, 124, 137, 195. 

Labyrinlhodonts, 127. 

Lakelets on east shore of Lake 

Michigan, 231. 
Lakes and climate, 202, 207. 
Lakes, relative extent of, 210. 
Lake temperatuie and internal 

heat, 212. 
Lamarck, 350, 352. 
Landscape, beauty of, 106. 
Lanoye, de, 150. 
Laplace cited, 179. 
Lapland, 108. 
Lapps, relics of prehistoric men, 

169. 
Lathrop, Dr. G. A., connection of 

with salt enterprise, 260, 261, 

263, 270. 
Laurentide, ridge, 123, 125, 136, 

137, 138, 139; nucleus, 125. 
Lausanne, 21. 
Law, natural, defined, 359,372; 

method of search for, 360; 

reignof,372 ; not causal,372 ; the 

expression of mind, 373, 374. 



L^chaud, glacier of, 36. 

Leconte, Joseph, cited, 169. 

Lectonia, 156, 158. 

Lehman, 25. 

Le Hon cited, 186. 

Leidy, Joseph, 254. 

Lemuria, 140, 142. 

Lemurs, 140. 

Lena river, 241, 242. 

Lepileur, 90. 

Lesley, J. P., cited, 172, 177. 

Les Ouches, 30. 

Lesquereux, Leo, 169. 

Lewes cited, 384. 

LianTung, Gulf of, 162. 

Little Falls, 138. 

Liu Kiu islands, 163. 

London, climate of, 194 

Long Branch, 210, 226. 

Longfellow, H., quoted, 150. 

Long Island Sound, 126. 

Louis le D^bonnaire, 22. 

Luzon, 164. 

Lyell, Sir Charles, cited, 178, 180, 

'183. 
Lyon's Salt Well, 259, 277. 
Lyster, H. F., cited, 203. 

M 

Mackinac, 205. 

Madagascar, 140. 

Madeira islands, 144. 

Magellan, Straits of, 195. 

Magland, 27. 

Maladetta, 66. 

Malayans, 165, 166. 

Malay Archipelago, 163, 164. 

Mammals, variations among, 342. 

Mammoth, hairy, 141, 166,235; 
Rochester specimen of, 239; 
buried in ice, 241, 243; cir- 
cumstances of burial of, 244. 

Mammoths, distribution of, 241 ; 
origin of name of, 243. 

Man a w-itness of geological 
events 154. 

Manistee Salt Well, 273. 

Manitowoc, 216. 

Maoi'i document, 283. 

Marcellus, 143. 

Marks, Mr. and Mrs., 84. 



INDEX. 



395 



Marsh, O. C, 254; trip of to An- 
telope Station, 302; discov- 
ery of Americaa horses by, 
302 seq ; views of on evohitiou, 
304; views of criticised, 8U5. 

Martel, G2. 

Martin cited, 163. 

Martin, L., 237, 238. 

Martins, Charles, 90, 186. 

Maryhmd, 210. 

Mascarene continent, 140. 

Massachusetts Bay, 126. 

Mastodon, 249 ; American species 
of, 251 ; European species of, 
253. 

Material continuity sometimes 
impossible, 315. 

Matterhoru, 13, 89. 

Matter not the subject of force, 
381. 

Maudit, Mont, 36, 42, 49, 54, 66, 
72, 79, 88, 89. 

Maury, M. F., cited, 190, 192. 

Mauvais Pas, 46. 

McCracken, S. B., cited, 203. 

McGee, W. J., cited, 186. 

Mechanism the expression of 
mind, 373. 

Medina sandstone eroded, 177. 

Mediterraneans, 140, 100. 

Mediterranean Sea, 158. 

Meek, F. B., 343. 

Memphis, Egypt, 158. 

Meues, 158. 

Mental phenomena, 362, 364. 

Mer de Glace, first impressicms 
of, 35 ; nearer view of, 36, 62 ; 
crossing- of, 40, 41 seq. ; motion 
of, 52. 

Metai)liysical conceptions in 
science, 380, 382, 383, 384, 385. 

Metcalf, Ma.tin, 263. 

Mexico, Gulf of, 128, 141, 148, 
193; republic of, 129. 

.triage. Glacier of, 97. 

Michigan, 126. 

Michigan, Lake, former extent 
of, 170; influence of on cli- 
mate, 209. 

Michigan Salt Group, 268, 279. 

Middeudorir, 243. 



Midi, Aiguilles of, 25, 49, 66, 68, 
71,72,76. 

Miller, Hugh, on Genesis, 327. 

Miller, Joaquin, quoted, 147. 

jMilne-Edwards cited, 140. 

Miltouic picture of creation, 323, 
325. 

Milwaukee, climate of, 211, 215. 

Mimont, Mont, 68, 71. 

Mincopies, 165. 

Mindinao, 164. 

Minerals of Mont Blanc,41. 

Minimum, mean, in climate, 225. 

Minnesota, 131. 

Mississippi valley, 132, 134; riv- 
er, 132, 149; bar, 149; delta, 
150, 154; state, 147. 

Moa, 295. 

Motfat, J. W., on quasi-coin, 171, 
172, 173. 

Molars of proboscidians, 249, 
250, 252. 

Molasse of Switzerland, 178. 

M61e, 25, 27, 107. 

Molluscs, variations among, 342. 

Mongoloids, 140, 141. 

Montanvert, ascent of, 33. 

Mont Blanc du Tacul, 54. 

Mont Blanc, from Lausanne, 21 ; 
from Geneva, 24, 107 ; from St. 
Martin, 28; from Les Ouches, 
30; from foot of Glacier des 
Bois, 48 seq. ; from the Br^v- 
eut, 54, 64; geology of, 53; 
view from summit "of, 60, 89; 
sojourn on summit of, 90. 

Monte e de la C6te, 76. 

Moore, J. Carrick, cited, 177. 

Moraine of Glacier des Bossons, 
31, 67; of the Mer de Glace, 
46, 50, 51. 

Moraines, 07. 

Moral beauty, 118. 

]\Iorphological evidence of evo- 
lution, 333. 

Motion, beauty of, 116. 

Motion of glaciers, see "Gla- 
ciers." 

Mountains in human history, 98; 
lowering of, 127, 132, 136, 144; 
nearl" all sedimentary, 136. 



396 



INDEX. 



:Miilets, Grands, 55, 67, 68, 76, 

79, 80, 90, 92. 
Millets, Petits, 69, 85. 
Murchison, Sir R., 157. 
Mur de la Cote, 69, 85, 86. 
3Iurpliy, J. J., cited, 185, 186. 
Music, beauty of, 116; subjective 

nature of, 117. 
:Muskegon Salt Well, 272. 



N 



Nahant, 108, 210. 

Nant-Blanc, Cascade of, 45. 

Nashville, Tenn., 146. 

Nature abundant in beauty, 105 ; 
beauty of, consummate, 106: 
unity of, 118; interpretation of, 
382, 383. 

Nebular period must be recog- 
nized, 827. 

Necessary truths, 363. 

Needles of ice, 47, 57; of moun- 
tains, see " Aiguilles." 

Negroes, 140. 

Neufchatel, cit}^ and lake, 20. 

Neve, 55, 60, 245. 

Newberry, J. S., cited, 128, 131, 
147. 

New Brunswick, 137, 208. 

New Buffalo, 214, 215, 220. 

Newcomb, S., cited, 186, 196. 

New England, 124, 126, 147, 181, 
210. 

Newfoundland, 124, 137. 

New Guinea, 165. 

New Hampshire, 210. 

Nev.^ Jersev, 126, 210. 

New Y( rk,"'l26, 139, 147, 149, 181 ; 
city, 135, 205, 208. 

Niagara Gorge, 145, 153. 

Nicholson, on fossil corals, 343. 

Nile delta, 150, 158. 

Nisus in evolution, 351. 

Noah, deluge of, 159. 

Normal scliool fund, 259. 

North Sea, 148; twice dry laud, 
166, 167. 

Nova Scotia, 268. 

Nova Zembla, 180. 



Obi Sea, 157. 

Obliquity of earth's axis, 183. 
Ocean not permanent, 132. 
Ohio, 126, 128, 131, 181 ; salines 

of, 257 ; river, 149. 
Old Red Sandstone, 126. 
Onondaga Salt formation, 263; 

productive in ^Michigan, 272. 
Ontario, Lake, 145. 
Order of creation examined, 325 

seq. 
Ouse, the Great, 167. 
Ovid quoted, 159, 160. 



Paccard, Dr., 95. 

Packard, A. S., cited, 345. 

Palaeolithic man and mammoth, 
240, 247. 

Palseontological evidence, 338 ; 
summary of principles, 339; 
iusufhciency of, 305 seq., 319 
seq., 330 seq. 

Palestine, 147. 

Pamir, 246. 

Papuans, 140. 

Para, 148. 

Paradis, Mademoiselle, 97. 

Parallelism with embryonic se- 
ries, 345, 347. 

Paraz, 71. 

Parma Sandstone yielding brine, 
271. 

Patao;onia, 195. 

Payol, v., cited, 43, 53, 56, 88, 98. 

Pe-chili, Gulf of, 161, 162, 163. 

Peking, 161. 

Pelerins, Cascade of, 57, 70. 

Pennsylvania, 126. 

Peoria Lake, 173. 

Peruvian civilization, 141. 

Pestalozzi, 21. 

Petites Mont(?es, 69, 78. 

Petit plateau, 69, 79. 

Phenomena, sensible, 858 ; super- 
sensible, 362; of consciousness 
classified, 363 ; as manifesta- 
tions of force, 381. 



INDEX. 



397 



Phenomena of consciousness re- 
ferred to necessary truths, 363. 

Philippine ishinds, 164, 165. 

Physical beauty, 105 seq. 

Pictured Rocks, 134. 

Pierre a TEchelle, 68, 72. 

Pierre Pointue, 57, 68 ; view from^ 
71. 

Pilar, G., cited, 186. 

Pillars of Hercules, 142. 

Pitschner, Dr., 90. 

Plans in nature, and design, 377. 

Plants, variations among, 342. 

Plaster Point, 265. 

Plateau du IMilieu, 69, 79. 

Plato, 142, 324. 

Playfair, L., 19. 

Pliocene man, 169. 

Plow evolved, 315, 316. 

Pococke, and the Mer de Glace, 
36; and Chamonix, 61. 

Poisson cited, 180. 

Polders, 156. 

Pole, terrestrial, shifting of, 179. 

Pools of w^ater on glaciers, 43. 

Porto Saute, 144. 

Portugal, 143, 144. 

Potsdam, N. Y., 138. 

Pouillet cited, 176. 

Powell, J. W., cited, 147, 148. 

Prairies, 156, 158, 170 ; copper 
relic from, 170. 

Praz, torrent of, 70. 

Precession of equinoxes, 183, 184. 

Pregny, 22. 

Presuppositions of science, 382, 
383. 

Protogine, 54. 

Pumpelly, R, cited, 163. 

Punjab, 246. 

Purpose implied in law, 374. 

Puszta, 156. 

Q 

Quasi-coin from Illinois prairies, 
170 seq.; opinions on, 172. 



Railroad generosity, 301. 
Ramsav, A. C, cited, 177, 178. 
Randall, 86. 



Raphael, cartoons of, 115. 

Rawlinson, H., 157. 

Reade, Charles, quoted, 113. 

Reason, ideas of, in our appre- 
hension of beauty, 103 ; in sci- 
ence, 363,364, 365, 366 seq., 382, 
383, 384. 

Reign of ice, 148. 

Religious noncommittalism, 322 ; 
the result of effort, 323. 

Rendu. 19. 

Renovation of continents, 131. 

Rensselaer, 97. 

Reserve of scientific men, 322. 

Retardation of development, 351. 

Rhine, 148, 167. 

Rhinoceros imbedded in ice, 241. 

Rhone, 23. 

Rhone glacier, 23. 

Richthofen, von, cited, 163. 

Ridge road of Ontario shore, 145. 

River channels buried, 128, 131. 

River sediments, 149. 

Rochers rouges, 66, 67, 69, 85, 
95. 

Rock cities, 145. 

Rocks, stratified, measure denu- 
dation, 122 ; origin of, 123, 135 ; 
old materials made over, 135. 

Rocky Mountains, 123, 142 ; sedi- 
ments from, 132, 149: climate 
of, 209. 

Roesler, cited, 157. 

Rogers, W. B., cited, 178. 

Rosa, Monte, 54. 

Rothschild, Adolf, 22; country 
seat of, 106. 

Rouges, Aiguilles. 25, 32, 48, 71, 
787 88. 

Rousseau, 108. 

Rudimental structures, 314, 337. 

Ruitors, Glacier of, 89. 

Russia, 156, 208. 



Saginaw Bay, climatic influence 

of, 222. 
Sahara, 158. 
Salc^ve, 25, 63, 107. 
Salines of Michigan, 256. 
Sail basins of Michigan, 262, 266, 



398 



INDEX. 



271, 272; not known to Hough- 
ton, 274; foreshadowed by C. 
C. Douglass and B. Hubbard, 
275. 

Sah, geology of, in Michigan, 
225 ; publications on, 267 

Salt production, 264, 266. 

Salt spring lands, 255, 256, 257, 
259. 

Salt springs in Michigan, 255, 
261 ; compared with those in 
Ohio, 257; Houghton's opin- 
ions on, 276. 

Salt Wells at Grand Rapids, 258, 
259; on Saginaw river, 261, 
263, 270, 271. 

Saussure, Aiguille de, 66. 

Saussure, H. de, quoted, 36 ; cited, 
60, 90 ; sketch of 02 ; efforts of, 
to ascend Mont Blanc, 63, 79, 
91, 96. 

Savannah, 208. 

Savoy. Duke of, 22. 

Scandinavia, 166. 

Schliemann, 144. 

Schonkirchen, Count, 82. 

Schumakoff, 242 

Schwilgue, 14. 

Science, limits of, 352; defined, 
358; seems to antagonize re- 
ligious sentiment, 361 ; often 
proceeds by deduction, 361 ; 
recognized certainty of, 306; 
grounds of validity of, 366; as- 
sumes a persistent, thinking 
being, 366; assumes the certi- 
tude of phenomena, 367 ; this 
only a belief, 367; assumes 
uniformity of causation, 368; 
inclines to overlook its own 
subsumptions, 369 ; assumes 
uniformity of nature, 370 ; this 
not simply continuity of phe- 
nomena, 371 ; contrasted with 
philosophy, 373; implies pur- 
pose, 374 ; does not furnish ul- 
timate explanations, 378; au- 
thority of, strengthened by 
metaphysics, 385. 

Scribner, James, and salt enter- 
prise, 260, 262. 

Scythian plains, 155. 



Sediments, geological, origin of, 
123, 132; transportation of, 
132; of rivers, 149, 162; on 
coast of China, 162 

Selwyn, cited, 177. 

Sensibilit}', aesthetic, 103. 

Sequence not causation, 378. 

Seracs, 57, 74. 

Servetus, 108. 

Shansi, 161. 

Shensi, 161. 

Siberia, 141, 156, 199, 241; ad- 
vent of glaciation in, 244. 

Siberian mammoth, 242. 

Sierra Nevada, 129. 

Sistine Madonna, 115. 

Skeletons of mastodons, 251. 

Smith, George, cited, 159. 

Smoothed rock surfaces, 177. 

Snow increased with increased 
eccentricity, 189; enveloping 
mammoths, 244. 

Socrates, 324. 

Solon, 142. 

Somerville, INIary, 116. 

Sounds, beauty of, 116, 117. 

Southall, J. C, quoted, 169. 

Southern hemisphere glaciated, 
189, 198. 

Southey, quoted, 45. 

Space and time, 363. 

Spitzbergen, 167. 

St. Bernard, Great, 89. 

St. Clement, of Alexandria, quot- 
ed, 113. 

Steppes, 156. 

St. Gervais, 29, 61, 79. 

St. Hilaire, 350. 

St. Lawrence river, 123, 137. 

St Louis, 208. 

St. Martin, 28. 

Stockwell cited, 196. 

Stoics on creation, 324. 

Storm at sea, sublimit}^ of, 108. 

St. Petersburg mammoth, 238, 
242, 243. 

Strabo cited, 158. 

Strasbourg cathedral and clock, 
14. 

Strato cited, 158. 

St. Roque, Cape of, 193. 

Struggle for existence, 350. 



INDEX. 



399 



Stumps of ancient continents, 
124. 

Stuttgart mammoth, 235. 

Succession of formations miscon- 
ceived, 277. 

Successions,palseontological,339; 
among phenomena, 358. 

Sumatra, 1G4. 

Superior, Lalve, 134, 209. 

Survival of the fittest, 350. 

Symbolical character of beauty, 
112, 114, 116. 

Symplegades, 156. 



Taconnay, Glacier of, 30, 56, 57, 

66, 69, 73, 78. 
Taipiug rebellion, 160. 
Talefre, Glacier of, 36, 89. 
Tawas, 264, 272. 

Taylor and Etheridge, cited, 177. 
Teeth of proboscidians, 249, 250, 

252. 
Telegraphic plateau, 139. 
Tennessee, 146. 
Tennyson, quoted, 138, 139. 
Tertiary, 147, 148. 
Tete Noir, 30. 
Texas, 148. 
Thames, 148, 167. 
Thebes, 158. 
Theopompus, 142. 
Theories in evolution, 350. 
Thomson, James, 177. 
Thomson, Sir William, 150, 186, 

196. 
Tierra del Fuego, 195. 
Time and space, 363. 
Time, geologic, 152, 169; grasp 

of, 174 ; clew to, 195. 
Time-worlds, 132. 
Timor, 165. 

Tittabawassce Salt Well, 258. 
Tobolsk, 195. 

Tour, Aiguille de la, 72, 73. 
Traverse Citj, 214, 218, 221. 
Tribune article, 305; responses 

to, 310. 
Tribune reports, 319. 
True, the, is beautiful, 105, 118. 
Truth, beauty of, 118. 



Tsung Ming island, 162. 

Tunnel, Roman, 30. 

Tuomey, M., cited, 178. 

Turkestan, 157, 246. 

Tusks of Siberian mammoth, 242. 

Tweed river, 167. 

Tycho Brahe, 362. 

Tylor, E. B., on evolution with 

discontinuity, 315. 
Tyndall, 90. 
Tyne river, 167. 
Tyrol, 181. 
Tyrrhenians, 144. 



U 



Ulterior questions in evolution, 

349, 352. 
Uncertainty in induction, cause 

of, 371. 
Understanding, relation of, to 

beauty, 103. 
Uniformity of nature, 359; this 

a rational anticipation, 372; 

implies mind in nature, 372. 
Unity the object of rational 

search, 369. 
University, National, at Mack- 
inac, 226 
Utah, 129. 

V 

Variational evidence, 341. 

Vegetation above Montanvert,37 ; 
on Mont Mimont, 72; on Colo- 
rado plains, 130. 

Vendidad quoted, 246. 

Venetz, 19. 

Veracity of consciousness, 366, 
367, 368. 

Vermont, 144. 

Verona, 181. 

Vertes, Aiguilles, 45, 64. 

Vevay, 21. 

Victoria Land, 198. 

Virtue, beauty of, 119. 

Vogt, C, 18, 176. 

Voirons, 25, 63, 107. 

Volcanic eruptions ,164, 169. 

Volga, 157. 

Volitional conditions, 350. 

Volition in evolution, 353. 



400 



INDEX. 



Voltaire, 22, 108. 

Von Tscliudi on hybrids 

Vosges, 14, 63. 

W 



342. 



Walcott. C. D., cited, 177. 
Wallace, A. R, 178, 180. 
Wall, The Great Chinese, 161. 
Ward, H. A., natural history 

establishment of, 234. 
Warren, General, cited, 131. 
Warring, C. B., cited, 186. 
Waverly group, 279. 
Well, artesian, in Illinois, 170. 
Weser river, 167. 
West India islands, 138. 
West Indian continent, 139. 
Wheeled vehicles evolved, 315. 
White Sea, 157. 
Whitestone point, 265. 
Whitne}^ J. D., cited, 169. 
Whittemore, C. H., 265. 
Wild, 18. 

Wilkes, Commander, cited, 198. 
Wilkes' Land, 198. 
Wilkinson, Miss, 84. 
Wilmot, W. H., cited, 170. 
Windham and Chamonix, 61. 
Windham and the Mer de Glace, 

36. 
Winds and currents correspond, 

191. 



Winds, effect of, on climate, 200, 

206, 213. 
Winds, prevailing direction of, 

213, 219. 
Winkart, 81. 
.Winnipeg, 131. 
Wiuslow, cited, 169. 
Wisconsin, 131. 
Wisner, Governor Moses, 260. 
Woeikoff, A., cited, 162. 
Woldley, 96. 
Woman, beauty of. 111. 
Women of different nations, 35. 
Wood, cited, 157. 
Worn out lands, 124, 130, 139, 

140, 141. 
Wurmbrand, Count, 82. 
Wurtz, H., cited, 178. 
W3^oniing territory, 148. 

X 



Xeniades on creation, 324." 
Xithuthrus, 158, 159. 



Yang-tse, 162. 

Yellow river, 160. 

Yellow Sea, 160, 162, 163, 166. 

Young brothers, 87. 

Yucatese civilization, 141. 

Yu, The Great, 161. 

Yverdon, 21. 



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" The work is popular in its best sense attractive in style, clear in exposition, 
and eminently instructive. . . It is not too much to say that it settles the con- 
troversy." Popular Science Monthly. 

"It is not too much to say th''*^t there is no single work in our language which 
brings together so much of the latest investigations concerning the tribes of men 
inhabiting our planet, and their distribution over the continents." The Aniericati 
Naturalist. 

WINCHELL -SPARKS FROM A GEOLOGIST'S HAM- 
MER. By Alexander Winchell, LL. D,, Professor of Geology 
and Palceontology in the University of Michigan, Author of " Pre- 
Adamites," " Sketches of Creation," etc. Illustrated. i2mo, cloth, $2. 

A progressive series of papers adapted to convey to the general 

reader, in attractive style the fullest and latest results of scientific 

investigation with reference to the history of our planet. Ready 

in October, 1 88 1. 



-J U-jC 



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