Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF

cussion so violent from below, that the men were thrown up a foot and a half perpendicularly from the deck. In the HokizoNTAL movement of earthquakes, the shock is propagated in a linear direction by undulations, or by an action which produces waves in the surface of the earth, not unlike immense waves of the sea in appearance. The sight of these earthy billows produce a swimming in the head like sea-sickness. In using the word “wave” or billow,” it is not to be supposed that the earthy soil always changes place as the watery wave does. The undulatory appearances of the earth are probably the effects of vibrations which radiate upward from a deeply-seated point, each of which on reaching the surface lifts up the ground and allows it to sink again. These shocks of undulation, in a linear direction, must be conceived to move, not like an electric spark, but in waves of great breadth as well as length. ... The earthquake which devasted Syria in 1837, was felt in a line five hundred miles long, and ninety miles wide. It is a general law in mechanics that vibrations, which are transmitted through elastic bodies, have a tendency to burst, or snap asunder the superficies of such bodies. This law is found true in the undulations of earthquake power. The magnitude of the waves propagated in the earth's crust is increased the nearer they are to the surface, and, consequently, they crack the superficial soil and strata. . In the earthquakes of South Carolina, to which I have already referred, between New Madrid and Little Prairie, the surface-earth rose in great undulations. When these terrible surface-waves reached a considerable height, the soil burst, and through the softened surface volumes of water and sand, and masses of pit-coal, were hurled up as high as the tops of the trees. When these, horizontal shocks proceed onward unresisted, they are not considered dangerous. The most dangerous earthquakcs are those which occur where there are two sources or foci of earthquake action, which send forth their shocks in semicircular or transverse directions. In these cases, one earthquake wave meets the course of another, and strikes iton the side. When the actions from these two surfaces or foci are simultaneous, and come athwart each other, they produce, in the surface of the earth, the effects which are seen in the surface of the sea, when one wave dashes against the side of another, without either of them being displaced. You can easily imagine that a town, built on the ground at such a point of the earth, would be affected much Xike a loose raft happening to be at such a junction of two mighty billows. These statements are not so imaginary as the metaphors which I have used to explain them. Their truth is amply veri. fied by the observation and experience of the inhabitants of South America. The city of Quito is situated at the foot of a volcano called Rucu Pichincha. The elevation of the city above the level of the sea is 9,539 feet, about twice the height of Ben Nevis or Snowdon. I keep these British mountains before your mind that you may always have a known scale of height in view. The houses of Quito are large, massive, and several stories high. Its churches are high-roofed, and adorned with magnificent cupolas. Here earthquakes of great violence are frequent, but they very rarely injure the buildings. The supposed reason of this is that the horizontal undulations of the earthquake shocks are propagated undisturbed along the rocks beneath. On the contrary, at a lower elevation on the plains of Peru, humble dwellings built of reeds and mud suffer exceedingly from what would be called gentle shocks. The reaaon of this is, the alternation of movements, which are

Fig. 25.

Showing the transmission and interruption of earthquake shocks.

able facts. which havenot been known in the mines in a rock atmuch greater depth. Shocks, also, have passed onward at greater depths below, without being felt in the rocks and strata near the surface.

propagated in cross or transverse directions from the different points or foci of the earthquake shocks. There are some instances in which these earthquake undulations seem to have opened a permanent way for themselves, through which they pass without seriously disturbing the inhabitants above. The earthquake power seems to have cleared away the obstacles in the course which it took, and then, the way being opened, it always afterwards propagated its shocks in that direction. This clearance of the course would be the result of some one earthquake of great violence. Of this I will give two instances. After the destruction of Cumana, the capital of New Andalusia, South America, in 1797, every shock that has been felt on the south coast, which consists of calcareous rocks, extends itself to the mica slate rocks in the peninsula of Araya. Before that date the shocks were never felt in that peninsula. Also in North America, during the earthquakes of 1811, 1812, 1813, the undulations which began in the south were propagated northward through the immense alluvial valleys of the Mississippi, in the Arkansas (pronounced Ar-kan-såws), and the Ohio. It has been lately ascertained that the propagation of earthquake shocks does not depend on the nature of the rocks which they meet in their course. The shocks have been felt in the loose soil and mud of Holland and Flushing, and mountains of granite and mica slate, as well as limestone and sandstone rocks, have been shaken. Hence it is evident that the undulations or shocks are governed, not by the chemical constituents of rocks, but by their mechanical structure and position. There are many instances in which earthquake undulations have intersected and passed athwart or across several chains of hills at right angles. In South America they are known to have passed across the two chains of Venezuela and Sierra Parime. In India also a shock was ropagated in 1832 from #. to the foot of the Himalayas. Neverthless, it is well known in volcanic districts, that there are rocks which modify and regulate the direction of the earthquake wave. It is found that the undulations proceed in a linear course-along a coast, and at the foot of a mountain ridge, and in the direction of that ridge, without entering the chain of hills. As proofs of the limitation and interruption of earthquake waves, I may mention two very remarkShocks have been felt in strata near the surface

The inhabitants of Peru call such rocks “bridges," unlor which the earthquake wave passes along. Instances of this kind have happened in Saxony. At the beginning of this century, earthquake shocks were felt in the deep silver-mines of Marienberg, which drove all the miners in terror to the surface, where they discovered nothing of the kind had been experienced. On the contrary, in 1823, in the neighbourhood of the mines of Falun and Persberg, the workmen in the mines felt no movement whatever, whilst above their heads a violent shock of earthquake had alarmed all the inhabitants. The manner in which these facts might take place is represented in fig. 25. Adjoining the granite A, is the metalliferous rock B, covered by the curved strata at c d. An earthquake wave passing along a a would pass under the rock D onfelt, and at c it would be unknown. Another wave passing. along ec would be felt at ar, but be unknown at c E. F.G is a silver mine. To the miners at G, the earthquake waves in a a and c c would be unfelt; and the earthquake wave which came from H to a would be unknown to the inhabitants on the surface.

[graphic]

The theory concerning the undulations of this invisible power in earthquake shocks, will perhaps be made more intelligible to you by a few hints on the propagation of subterranean sounds, in rocks and strata that are convulsed. Some earthquakes take place without any subterranean sounds whatever. The awful shock which destroyed Riobamba was not attended by any noise. On that terrible occasion deep detonations were heard at Quito and Ibarra, but not until twenty minutes after the catastrophe which had destroyed thirty thousand persons. Yet at Tacunga and Humbato, places much nearer the focus of the earthquake, the sound was not heard at all. In the earthquake of Lima, in 1746, a sudden noise, like a subterranean thunderclap, was beard so far as Truxillo, a quarter of an hour later, but it was not accompanied with any trembling. When the volcano of St. Vincent, on a small island in the West Indies, made an irruption of prodigious masses of lava, noises resembling thunder were heard far to the south-west, on the plains of South America, over many thousands of square miles, yet without any shaking of the ground. There have been instances in which uninterrupted subterranean noises have been heard, unaccompanied by any trace of an earthquake. The city of Guanaxuato, in Mexico, is situated far from any active volcano; in January, 1784, the inhabitants heard deep noises like roaring thunders. This noise began at midnight of January 9, and lasted more than a month. From the 13th to the 16th it sounded as if there were heavy storm clouds underground, in which there was slow rolling thunder, frequently interrupted by a short thunderclap. It commenced gradually, and ceased as gradually. It was confined to a very limited space. A few miles off the city there was a district of basalt, where the sound was not heard at all. In this case, not only was there no trembling of the earth at the surface, but miners who were working in a mine five hundred yards deep felt no shaking. Nothing of the kind had ever been known in the mountains of Mexico before, nor, ever since that, has the phenomenon been repeated. This seems to intimate that by the action of earthquake power deep channels in the interior of the earth close or open, so as that the waves of sound are arrested in their course, or are propagated till they reach the ear. At the commencement of this lesson, it was said that the earthquake wave moves in three directions. I have considered the vertical and the horizontal; we are now to have a sentence or two on the circular, or gyratory movement. This means that the earthquake power moves in a circuit. This circuit may be small or very large. The circular movements, on a small scale, are the most rare, and they are always most dangerous, as was verified at Quito in 1797, and in Calabria in 1783. In those instances it was found that walls which had served for hedges, in fields had completely changed their direction, without being overthrown, and with the masonry undisturbed. Also rows of trees, straight and parallel, had been inflected. One of the most remarkable phenomena of these circular earthquakes was, that whole fields, which had two sorts of grain growing in them, exchanged places and crops. This is difficult to account for, or to say whether the change was effected by a movement of translation, or by mutual penetration of the different soils. Perhaps a statement of Captain Pitzroy may assist us to understand this. He says that at Conception, in Chili, during the earthquake of February, 1835, the loose earth of the valley of the river Biobio was every where parted from the solid rock which bounded the plain. A circular earthquake would have moved this soil round. Humboldt tells us that, at Riobamba, he was shown a place among the ruins, where the whole furniture of one house was found under the ruins of another. In this case the soil of the foundations must have moved in a wave of surface, as in a stream with a direction first downward, then horizontal, and again upward. That this is a fact is evident, from the legal disputes between the different owners of property which had been carried many hundred yards round, and by the awards of the courts of justice which settled the claims. This circular movement is sometimes upon an immense scale. Take a map of the world in your hand, and read any account of the earthquake which destroyed Lisbon in November, 1775. That earthquake was felt in Spain—in North America—in the Alps-in Thuringia—in north of Germany—in Sweden—in

Loch Lomead, in Scotland—in the great lakes of Canadaand in the islands of the West Indies. I conclude, by mentioning that this earthquake power is in perpetual activity at some point or other of the earth's crust, There are some regions of the globe where tremblings of the earth are felt every hour for months together. If our intelligence about earthquakes were as extensively communicated as that about meteorology, it is probable that we should find that the surface of the earth is always being shaken at some one point. This fact announces a great geological principle, which implies that the outward crust, of the globe is incessantly affected by the agencies of the subterranean depths below,

LESS ONS IN GERMAN.—No. XI. Section XXI.

THE possessive pronouns mein, sein, &c., as already seen (Sect. 15), are rendered absolute possessives by means of the characteristic endings ct and cé ($ 58.4.)

I. The possessive pronouns are likewise converted into absolute possessives by prefixing to them the definite article, and suffixing the terminations t or ige. Ex.: olein out if meiß unt ter tein—t ist sowar; ; my hat is white and thine is black. Sor 8ams ist reti, unt tag icin-ige ist Klau; her ribbon is red and his is blue. The termination ige is the more common.*

Observe, that the absolute possessives mein-tt, &c., are inflected like an adjective of

The old DEcLENsion ; As,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Questions. 1. In compound sentences connected with a relative, where does the verb stand? 2. Is the verb, in English, when used with a relative in the nominative, placed as in German? 3. When is it so placed 2 4. In compound sentences what is the position of the main verb 5. What of the auxiliary? 6. Examples? 7. What is the position of the verb when the second of the two connected clauses is introduced by a conjunction or an adverb 8. To what does terjenige always point? 9. Of what compounded and how declined 10. Like what is the genitive of mesort as a relative 11. What is tet in the genitive plural, when substituted for terjenige 12. To what does the use of terjenige often correspond? 13. Examples?

LESSONS IN NATURAL HISTORY..—No. VIII.

T H E FOX. [Order cARNIvona, species canis vulpes.]

Though the habits of the fox are generally known, an acquaintance with his structure is less common. He is larger and stronger when found in hilly, than in flat, districts. The average length of the head, and body is two feet four inches; of the tail, or “brush,” as sportsmen eall it, one foot four inches. His general colour is the tawny, usually termed fulvous, with a combination of white and black distributed in different proportions, over various parts of the body. The shoulders are reddish-gray; the throat and chest are gray; the belly, the inner surface of the limbs, the cheeks, the upper lip, and the tip of the tail are white; a black mark runs along from the eye to the mouth ; while the anterior part of the limbs, and the back of the ears, are black. - His offensive smell comes from the secretion of a gland under the tail. The fox is remarkable for the brilliancy and expression of his eye, which evinces much intelligence. His senses of hearing and of smell are exquisitely perfect. In winter his fur is fuller and deeper than in summer, the fulvous becoming grizzled. A grizzled tone pervades the whole, when the fox, escaping from the dangers to which he is generally exposed, is permitted to reach old age. He is not confined to particular districts, but is an inhabitant of almost every temperate country on the face of the globe, and everywhere maintains his character sometimes applied to man—“Crafty as a fox.”

Of his cunning he gives evidence in the choice of a dwelling-place. Not unfrequently he appropriates to himself the burrow of a badger, or a rabbit, easily enlarging it for his own convenience. At other times he excavates a burrow in some secluded place, generally on the edge of a forest or copse, but always in a situation abounding with his favourite food. Accordingly he displays his strong preference for the neighbourhood of a warren, a preserve of game, or a farm-yard; especially, if his concealment be favoured by tangled brushwood, with rough and broken ground. Often he dwells in a place where we should not commonly expect he would be found. We have heard of a stock of poultry, being sadly thinned by a fox, and of search being made for its burrow in vain, till it was accidentally discovered, not at some considerable distance from the dwelling-house, but actually in a part of the garden appropriated to pea-sticks, and various kinds of rubbish. Thus he lived, quite unmolested, in the very centre of the area of his depredations.

In his burrow, often called his “earth,” the fox usually secludes himself during the day. But when dusk is coming on, he leaves his dwelling-place with an o: strikingly expressive of his actual disposition. is sharp ears and muzzle, his oblique eye with a linear pupil adapted to his nocturnal habits, his peculiar curl of the upper lip, showin the canine teeth, and especially obvious when he is ...i and ready to snap at his prey; all indicate his cunning, vigilance, and ferocity. Warily does he examine the limits of the farm-yard, and become acquainted with its sheds and buildings. Does he reach a high wall? Over this he instantly bounds. Are palings in his way? Under these he stealthily creeps. With noiseless, tread he enters the poultry-house, often seizing on his victim without disturbing the rest, but sometimes putting all to death, as he provides for his future, as well as ...'. present, appetite.

Tor poultry the fox, has, indeed, a strong liking. Not many years ago, a mischievous person unchained, during the night, a tamefox that was confined in a courtyard belonging to Mr. Wilcox, at Hatfield, in Hertfordshire. Reynard, finding himself at liberty, was not long in making his way out of the premises, and proceeding but a short distance, he discovered a hen-roost, and destroyed thirteen fine fowls, which he dragged to his box. The crafty thief, not being contented with such an enormous booty, went a little farther, and found a quantity of fine ducks, seven of which he killed; and leaving six of them heaped up together, he brought the other home, and was detected entering the courtyard with his prey. Rabbits, too, are a favourite food with the fox; and, failing these, he is quite content to regale himself on pheasants and artridges. For want of better food he will destroy serpents, izards, toads, moles, frogs, rats, and mice; and when greatly pressed by hunger, he will feed on roots, or other vegetable substances, as a last resource. On the continent he finds even greater luxuries than in England; there he visits the vineyards when the fruit is ripe, its sweetness being, no doubt, very grateful to his nice palate, and commits the most serious ravages. He is also said, by Buffon, to be fond of honey, and will boldly attack hives and wild bees' nests, frequently robbing them of. their stores, but not always with impunity; for, issuing from their castles, the enraged insects fasten on the invader, and compel him to retire. When they stick to his back, ho takes his revenge by rolling on the ground and crushing them to death; then, returning to the charge, he devours the wax as well as the honey. Not only is it said that the fox will eatshrimps, crabs, and other shell-fish, but that he will resort to a singular device to obtain some of the finny tribes. Observing an otter enter the water to fish, he will place himself behind a bush or a stone, and there lie concealed till he sees the otter safely on shore. Instantly he makes a violent spring at the booty, which surprises and frightens the otter so much, that he rushes into the water, leaving the fish behind. His cunning, however, like that of human beings, is often void of success. We mention one of many instances. A farmer in Essex having suffered much from the depredations of afox, determined to lay wait for him. Well-knowing his track, he took his stand on a fine moonlight night, and soon, espied him padding along a clover-field, with a young goose which he had just stolen, slung across his neck. At the moment the gun was levelled Reynard caught sight of a hare, feeding a little on one side, and nearer to the farmer. Dropping, therefore, the goose, he began some curious gambols, rolling over and over on the ground, and jumping up into the air, but gradually getting nearer to poor puss, who was totally unconscious that so wily an enemy was just at hand. At length the crisis came : with one enormous spring he captured the hare; but the moment of his triumph was his last; the farmer shot the fox, and then carried home his double prize, not forgetting the goose. On the female devolves all the labour of rearing the cubs,

The Fox.

; and so is much indebted to the ancient. Latins. | Latin of the middle ages, we are also obviously indebted; and from

lining it with dry leavés, moss, and hay. For her young she strongly manifests her maternal anxiety, employing every artifice to conceal them from discovery, defending them with indomitable courage, and, if she suspects her retreat to be known, carrying them away, one by one, to a place of safety.

Some years ago, a fox was fairly hallooed from its hidingplace, amidst a ledge of rocks, high; secluded, and apparently inaccessible, yet, withal, conveniently situated for those nightly forays, by which he had laid half the henroosts of the district under repeated contribution. As the hounds were at hand, the fox bounded away through bush and brake, and so far distanced his pursuers, that they had the prospect of a longcontinued chase. But it was gradually found that violent exertions were exhausting his energy, and the increased yelling of the pack showed that it was every moment gaining on the enemy. At this juncture, a gentleman who rode foremost in the chase, observed the animal pause, look round, and then bound away with seemingly fresh vigour, and at a greatly increased speed. Struck by this circumstance, he rode up to the spot, and there found a very young cub, which the affectionate mother had carried at least two miles in her teeth, and only abandoned at the very last extremity. Situated as they were, the party had no means of restoring the cub, but as a reward for the fidelity- of the mother the whipper-in was immediately ordered to call off the dogs, and recommence the sports of the day in a totally different quarter.

The cubs of the fox are very playful. . Like the puppies and kittens we have often seen, they are fond of endeavouring to catch their own tails, turning round and round in the attempt. At about the age of four months they leave the mother's protection, and look after themselves. If a fox be taken at the earliest age, and brought up in confinement, with every kindness, it will still retain its suspicious character, and though it may, o show some familiarity with the person who attends it, it will never manifest the attachment or gratitude of the dog, and will either conceal itself on the approach of strangers, or repel any advances with a bite. A fox is, in fact, a wild animal, and not to be domesticated. So dear to him is liberty that if one of his legs be caught in a trap, he will bite it off to effect his deliverance.

LESSONS IN ENGLISH.—No. XIII. By John R. BEARD, D.D.

DERIVATION: PREFIXES (continued).

In the preceding prefixes and quotations, we may find a species of indirect history. The facts I have set forth in connexion with them, show us how much ours is a composite language, a language that is, like the composite order in architecture, made up of elements derived from different sources. The facts also inform us that the English nation has been closely connected with the French, To the corrupt

for which she prepares a nest at the bottom of her burrow, l the Greek tongue we have derived words and parts of words. Nor

[graphic]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »