« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
LESSONS IN GEOLOGY.--No. XLIII.
your attention. Ask yourself, what comes, then, of all the vege
table masses, and of all the animal matter, that rot in forests By Tuos. W. JENKYN, D.D., F.R.G.S., F.G.S., &c. and woodlands, every year, over the extent of the globe? The
answer of science is, that a portioa of this vegetable and animal CHAPTER IV.
mass is volatilized into the air, and that the rest is carried away by ON THE INFLUENCE OF ORGANIC AGENTS UPON THE running water, in which it either sinks. into the
rth, or flows towards the sea. By this process, the same ingredierts enter EARTI'S CRUST.
again and again into the composition of a variety and a succesSECTION I.
sion of organic beings in vegetable and animal life.
It is well known that thousands of carcasses of terrestrial
animals, and immense forests of drift timber, are every cenIn the course of our lessons, the first three chapters have taught i tury floated into the sea, where both are imbedded in subaqueous you the operations of fire, of water, and of the atmosphere, upon deposits. Nevertheless, the vegetable mould on the earth's surthe earth's crust. This fourth chapter, which is also the last, is face is kept in equilibrium. The principal elements tha intended to illustrate the effects of vitality, in the forms of vege chemists have found in plants are the three gases, aydrogen, care tation and animal life, in the changes which have been produced bun, and oxygen. Vegetables and animals derive them from on the surface of the earth.
water and from the atmosphere. But whence do water and The business of this lesson is with the agency of plants, and the atmosphere derive them, in order to supply plants with them? with the effects which their growth and decay produce on the They derive them from the putrefaction of vegetable substances earth's crust. In this inquiry, we are not to limit our observa- and animal matter, from the decay of rocks as the result of tion to the surface of the dry land, but to extend our survey to the weathering and abrasion, and also from the agency of mineral
1. PLANTS AND TREES.
targer porting of the globe which are under water, and which springs, which bring constant supplies from the interior of the are extensively corered by aquatic plants.
In our cbapter on Aqueous Agency, we considered the tendency
of ruoning water to scoop out gullies in the soil, and to carry the The quantity of plants, shrubs, hushes, and timber that grows detritus towards the sea. This operation of streams and rivulets on most lands, and especially in tropical forests, in the course of is counteracted by the power of vegetation. Vegetation counterone century, must be enormous. Were these masses of vegeta- acts the operations of running water in two ways. 1. It is in tion deposited in a sea, they would pile up into a hill of consider- some degree antagonistic to the transporting power of rivers, and able size; but tbough timber grows and decays for thousands of may be considered as reconstructive. The agency of vegetable years, yet no such wood mountains are found to pile on the sites of life, by absorbing various gases from the atmosphere, causes & forests, even withiu the tropics. It might have been expected large mass of solid matter to accumulate on the surface of the that the masses of solid matter which are every day derived from land. Such a mass must, alone, constitute a great counterpoise the decay of terrestrial plants and animals would contribute to to all the earthy detritus transported by the aqueous agents of augment the amount of soil on the earth's surface. It must, decay. 2. The influence of vegetation is conservative, and tendtherefore, awaken your surprise, when you learn that the vege- ing to retard the waste of land. You constantly witness in & table mould which clothes the globe does not grow in thickness. field, where a rivulet flows from & well, that the green swand
This statemert ought to awaken not only your surprise, but I through which the water runs prevents the soil from being
III. SEAWEEDS AND FUCOIDS,
II. PEAT AND MORS.
carried away. Upon sloping ground, also, it is seen that a covering nf herbage protects the mould from being transported by rains,
The " unfathomed caves of ocean "' bear not only “full many a or being washed away by running water. As a further illustration of the conservative influence of vegetable life, it may be gem,"
but also full many a plant. Beneath the surface of the remarked :hat it also prevents louse sand from being blown away latitudes and longitudes, wherever a ray of light can penetrate,
mighty sea, a magnificent vegetable world extends through all by the wind. In this case, the roots bind the separate particles of This world of vegetation is more wide-spread than the verdarit the soil together into a firm mass, and the leaves intercept the rain-water so as to make
it dry up gradually, instead of rushing covering of the dry land, in a mass, and with velocity, upon the soil below.
Marine plants are exceedingly numerous, but they are divided That vegetation tends to preserve the mould that covers the into two great classes, or groups. First, the jointed kind, which earth, is evident from the observations which antiquarians and embrace the species called CONFERVE, very small plants which travellers have made on the increased removal of land that always the disjointed group, consisting of such sea-weeds as dulse, laver,
consist of simple tubes--some of them even microscopic. Secondly, takes place, after the clearing away of the woods that covered them. This is especially the case on the removal of woods that wrack, and all the gigantic species which either luxuriate in
submarine forests, or float like green meadows or boundless clothed the steep declivities of a mountain. In every such instance, the quantity of sand and soil washed down into the prairies, in the ocean. nearest river has increased enormously. The reason is, that as The sea-weeds that grow in comparatively small depths near the soon as the bushes and the trees are removed, the rain-water rushes shore, are both the most limited in number, and the least extensive with unbroken force upon the ground, flows off more rapidly, and in distribution. The fuci that grow at the greatest depth of the sweeps away the soil and gravel.
ocean are both the greater in number, and the wider in extent of range. This circumstance suggests a correspondence of latitude, in the amount of vegetation, between height on land and depth
in the ocean. Peat has not only a conservative influence to protect the under
On land, the lower the height or the latitude is, lying soil
, but it hasa reconstructive power, by whichit augments the more luxuriant is the growth of trees. And, in the ocean, the the mass of vegetation on the earth.
greater the depth, the more abundant is the growth of marine Peat is not the product of aly one species of plant, but consists plants. of any herb or mogs that is capable of growing in moist and cold The seeds of marine plants are produced in their native elemeat; situations, and that has also the property of throwing up new they can therefore remain immersed in it for an indefinite period shcots at its upper part, while its lower portions are decaying. without any injury to their power of fructification. This fact Peat, as the remains of dead plants, is a product intermediate enables us to account easily for their wide-spread diffusion in every between vegetable matter and lignite. It is first a plant, and it zone whereuncongenial climates or contrary currents do not interfere is tumed into a lignite by a gradual and prolonged action of the with their distribution. Ben-weeds have well-contrived facilities water that covers it.
for sowing themselves over the body of the ocean. First, they Beds of peat are seldom, perhaps never, food within the generally have hollow pod-like receptacles in which their seeds are tropics. Even in Spain and in the south of France they very lodged. Thèse pods give them buoyancy for floating. Other seed rarely occur. In proportion as you advance from the tropics toe vessels have this power of floating in consequence of filaments wards the north, beds of peat become more frequent, and its sub- which are attached to them. Secondly, a very large number of stance becomes more inflammable. This is also torze in latitudes species are enveloped with mucous or adhesive matter, like that between the tropics and the south pole.
which surrounds the eggs of fish. This mucus not only prevents The depth of peat soil and the number of peat bogs depend on them from injury, but serves to attach them to rooks or to floating the physical condition of the district. On the declivities of moun- bodies. These bea-weeds fix their roots to anything and everytains, the depth of a peat bed rarely exceeds four feet. But in low thing, to stones, to wood, or to other sea-weeds. This circumand bollow grounds, into which peaty matter is constantly carried stance shows that they must derive all their nutriment from the down by running water, the depth of a peat bog becomes forty water of the sea, and from the air .contained in the water. feet and more. The extent of some of these bogs in the north of Thirdly, naturalists have shown that these thalassophytés, or seaEurope is enormous. On the Shannon in Ireland there is a bog, plants, are what is technically called proliferous ; that is, they are or moss, that is fifty miles long and two or three miles wide. In so full of power to propagate their kind, that the smallest fragFrance, between the city of Nantes and the sea, there is, about ment of a branch of them can develop itself into a perfect plant. the mouth of the Loire, a bog that is one hundred and fifty miles
Some of the gigantic sea-weeds grow up to the surface of the in circumference.
and appear like green meadows of immeasurable extent. Many of the peat mosses are known to occupy the sites of These oecur on each side of the equator in the Atlantic, Pacific, ancient, forests of pines and oaks, some of which have disappeared and Indian Oceans. The most extensive bank.in the Atlantic is even thin periods of history. Such bogs are formed by the fall a little to the west of the meridian of Fayal, one of the Azores, of trees, and by the stagnation of water. Had these trees fallen between 35o and 36o off north latitude. When COLUMBUS came in warm climates, the woody matter would be removed either by to it, he compared it to a vast inundated field of grass, and he insects or by putrefaction; but, in Europe, having fallen in low. states that the weeds were so thick as to retard the progress of or moist situations, they are preserved by water.
the vessel. This part of the Atlantic is called Mar de Sargasso, The agency of peat mosses is not always conservative of the or the Gulph-weed sea. It includes two banks of Fucus connected surface soil. In some districts where the climate is cold and by a transverse band of Fucus natans, or floating sea-weed, and moist, b gs occasionally grow to be agents of destruction. A peat occupies a space larger than the whole surface of France. From bog acte like a sponge. It absorbs water in large quantities, and the time of Columbus till now, that is, for three centuries, the swells to the height of many yards above the surrounding soil. situation of this great accumulation of sea-weed, whether resultThe capillary action of the turf fibres enables it to retain the fluid ing from the local character of the sea bottom, or from the direcfor some length of time, but not for ever. It frequently burste, tion of the gulph stream, has remained precisely the same. and then a violent inundation follow's, and the muddy torrent, as
Of this seaweed, called Sargassum bacciferum, two new species instanced more than once in Ireland, scoops out rafines in the have been lately discovered by navigators in the southern seas. slopes of hills, bears away blocks and timber, and scatters them One, called Macrocystis pyrifera, is of gigantic size and covers a over the plains, or deposits them in the nearest lake or sea. vast extent. The other is called Laminaria radiata, and forms
If such a moss bursts near an arm of the sea, that part of the vast meadows off the Cape of Good Hope, and in the Atlantic sea becomes the receptacle of drift peat. On many coasts in the Ocean. Specimens of both of these weeds have been taken up, Baltic Sea and the German Ocean, we constantly meet with sec- measurivg 300 and 400 feet long. Some of them have been retions in which alternations of clay and sand with differvuusayers of ported to be 1,000 and even 1,600 feet long. They are found in peat are of frequent occurrence. At the bottom of many of the the open sea, hundreds of miles from lana. Around Kerguelen mosges in Holland, the remains of ships, of oars, &c., have been Island, the two weeds form a great art of a band so thick that a found; and in the valley of the Somme in France, there was boat can scarcely be pulled through them. Near Calitornia there Lound, in the lowest tier of the bog, a boat loaded prith bricks. are fields of them so dense and so impener able, as tu have saved These two facts prove that, at one period and that very late, many vessels from shipwreck when criven by beuvy swells towards these mosses vere navigable lakes or arms of the sea.
These inimense fields of inarine plants nollet, like land vegeta- , present themselves as arborescent plants with branched trunks, tion, auffer decay and their decayed remains, as they subside and sixty or seventy feet high. The third kind of vegetation is that of sink to the sea bottom, must, in the course of centuries, produce horse-tails, or the Equisetaceæ, distinguished in the engraving by considerable beds, of vegetable matter. La Holland, a submarine having jointed and furrowed trunks and branches. With us, the Deat was dug up that was formed by the decay of sea-weeds. largest plants of this kind attain but a very few feet in height, but
You have now been jutroduced to the agency which vegetation in the coal measures they are found with arborescent or tree-like exerts in the formation and in the conservation of the soil that trunks, ten feet high and five or six inches in diameter. These forms the green surfacm.of the earth. The principles and the facts three families of plants form about three-fourths of the vegetawhich have been thus briefly intimated, you must now apply not tion of the coal period. The remainder consists of cone-bearing only to the superficial covering of the globe, but also to the struc- trees, and of vast quantities of a kind, apparently, like the cactus. ture of the crust of the earth, as formed at different geological Of the entire number of species discovered in the carboniferous periods. As you walk or ride over plains or mountains, an rocks, two-thirds belong to a vegetation like the Fern. entire vegetable world may be lying in ruins under your feet. In these coal forests, there were no plants bearing flowers, na
Geology has demonstrated that, at different periods or epochs in trees bearing fleshy, juicy fruits, no kind of grass, and no birds. our world's history, vegetation has played a distinguished part, It used to be thought that it was a forest without a single living both in rank, luxuriance, and in extensive distribution. ent geologists have their respective systems for dividing the epochs discovered in rocks much older than the coal series. of ancient vegetation. M. ADOLPHE BRONGNIART divides them One remarkable characteristic of the vegetation of the coal into four. The first begins with the earliest traces of vegetable period is the uniformity or monotony of its plants. In our age life, and terminates with the coal formation. The second con- we find that different countries, in different climates, produce cludes with the .triassic. The third comprises the colite and different plants; but, in the carboniferous era, the same plants grew chalis. The fourth ends with the tertiary period. COUNT STEPN-in Germany, Belgium, France, England, North America, and
BERG, by uniting the second and third of these epochs, reduces Australia. This fact proves a remarkable uniformity of climat the periods of ancient vegetation to three. His divisions are- at that period. When North America was discovered, there were 1. the vegetation of islands ; 2. that of sea coasts; and 3. that of found in it only two wild plants that agreed with the vegetation continents,
of Europe. But of 53 kinds of plants found in the North Ame. The earliest vegetation of the globe, and that which terminated rican coal beds, 35 are common in the European coal fields. in the carboniferous period, was simple but very magnificent. An However luxuriant this vegetation of the carboniferous era wase ideal landscape of the earth during the carboniforous age is repre-all the species of its plants, and almost all their genera, passed sented in fig. 97. Look at the forest represented in this away before the second period of vegetation set in. A few ferns engraving. The plants and trees are different from all entered into the second era, but all the palms and calamites dise vegetable products that you now see. There is nothing like appeared. The first flora, therefore, which was universally difit in the temperate zones, nor within the tropics. The fused over all the dry land of the ancient globe, was especially vegetation consists of ferns but ferns not herbaceous as distinguished from the second, which is regarded as the flora of in our cold climate, but ferns which grow in the form of the triassic, the oolite, and the wealden, group of plants. This trees of considerable height, with palm-like, unbranched second family passed imperceptibly into the third, which comprises trunka. The next kind of vegetation is that of club mosses, or the plants of the tertiary formations. In the trias the characters the Lycopodiaceæ. With us, these club mosses are dwarf plants, of vegetation are altered by the complete disappearance of the small in size and few in number, but in the coal formations they l cactus tribe, by a diminution of the proportion of ferns, and by
the appearance of a few new species. Of this triassic vegetation very | is of immense interest to the geologist, as it often encloses specilittle is known, and what is known is generally classed with that mens of insects, spiders, flies,
small crustaceans, leaves of trees, of the tertiary. A few.coniferous plants grew in the eras of the &c., which are monuments of the flora and the fauna of that lias and the oolites, but they were not of the species that existed period. Upwards of 800 species of insects have been preserved at the coal period.
in fossil amber. Amber is chiefly obtained from the brown coals Immediately after the chalk period, a decided change took place of northern Germany, or the submarine beds of lignite found in in the features of the vegetation. The fern tribe still continued Russia, and along the coast of the Baltic. These forests of amber to diminish, but the cone-bearing, wood increased in quantity. pines grew in the south-eastern part of what is now the bed of the With the palms and other tropical trees, there grew Willows, Baltic. As the amber found in the lignite and brown coal conelma, poplars, chesnuts, and other similar trees, which increased tains several fragments of vegetable matter, it has been ascerin number and variety, till the flora of the more recent tertiary tained that this tertiary forest contained four other species of period had little to distinguish it from the vegetation of the present- pines, and several kinds of cypress, yew, juniper, oak, poplar, and day. The contrast between it and the carboniferous flora, and the beech. similarity between it and the present vegetation, are presented in fig. The brief hints that have been given to you in this lesson upon 98. In this landscape the woodland does not appear so strange and submarine vegetation, and upon the formation of peat and drift foreign to you as the coal forest did. This is very little differentwood, will prepare you for understanding the fucoid fossils which from the forest scenes of the present day. Among the trees we are found in ancient rocks, and for the vegetable remains found find the palm tree lifting up its feathered top, and a beautiful in the coal series. You have only to imagine layers of peat and brushwood grows in all directions. The landscape is now varied; deposits of drift wood to become bituminised, and the different its outline is more uneven; and its aspect is more sunny. The seams of sand and mud between them to become consolidated by forest is enlivened with quadrupeds that live on plants. Among pressure from above and heat from below, to be able to account these woods grew that remarkable pine tree, called Pinus succi- for their carbonisation, and for the structure of a genuine coal nifer, which produced the fossil resin called amber. This amber formation.
LESSONS IN GERMAN.-No. LXIX.
Irregular Verbs, continued from p. 19.
IMP. INDIC 1 IMP. SUBJ. IMPERAT. PARTICIP. Sprießen r), to sprout, ich sprieße, 2c.
ich sproß ich sprösse prieße gesprossen.n) This must not be Springen, to spring, ich springe, 2c.
ich sprang ich springe springe gesprungen. founded in the imperfect). Stechen, to sting, to prick, ich steche, du sticyst, er fticht ich stach ) ich stache stions geftochen. with the regular verb sprossen. Steden s), to stick, to be ich stede, 26.
ich stedtcorstał ich siecte or stecke gestedt. s) This verb is commonly refastened,
gular; when active it isStehen, to stand, ich stelle, 2c.
ich stand, stund ich stände ftebe gestanden. always so.
(stünde) Stehlen, to steal,
ich stehle, du ftiehlst
(ftohle) Steigen, to ascend, ich steige, 2.
ichy stieg ich stiege steige gestiegen. Sterben, to die, ich sterbe, du ftirbst, er stirbt ich starb
(stürbe) Stieben t), to fly, (as dust) ich ftiebe, 2.
ich ftoh ich stöbe fticbe gestoben. t) So Zersticben, to be scattered. Stinken, to stink, ich stinke, 2c. ich ftank ich stänke ftinte gestunfen.
as dust. Stoßen, to push,
ich stoße, du stöbest, er ftößt ich stieß ich stieße stoße gestoßen Streichen, to stroke, ich ftreiche, 26.
ich strict ich striche streiche gestrichen. Streiten, to contend, ich streite, 26.
ich stritt ich stritte streite gestritten. Thun, to do,
ich thue, du thuft, er thut ich that ich thate thue gethan. Iragen, to bear,
ich trage, du trägst, er trägt ich trug ich trüge trage getragen. Ireffen, to hit,
ich troffe, du triffst
ich träfe triff getroffen.
ich triebe treibe getrieben. Ireten, to tread, ich trete, du trittst, er tritt
ich träte tritt getreten. Triefen, to drop, to trickle, ich triefe, 2c.
ich troff ich trösse trief, triefe getroffen. Irinken, to drink, ich trinfe, 26.
ich trang ich tränke trinte getrunken Trügen, to deceive, ich trüge, du trúght
, er trūgt ich trog ich tröge trüge getrogen Verbergen, to conceal, ich verberge, du verbirgt, er ver's ich verbaru ich verbärge verbirg verborgen.
birgt Verbieten, to forbid, ich verbiete, ac.
ich verbüte berbicte verboten. Derbleiben, to remain, ich verbleibe, zc.
ish verblicte verbleibc verblieben. Verbleichen, to grow pale, ich verbleiche, ac.
ich verblich id) verbliche verbleiche i verblichen. Berderben u), to perish, ich verderbe, du berdirbst, er sich vertarb ich verdärbe verdirb perdorben. u) Verderben, to destroy (ac-verbirbt
tive) is regular. Verdrießen, to offend, es verbrießt
es verbroß ich verdröjje verdrieße verdrossen. v) Verbreußt, 2. nearly obso Vergessen, to forget, ich vergesse, du vergissest, er verslich vergaß ich vergaße vergiß vergessen. lete.
gißt Berkeler, to conceal, ich verfehle, zc.
ich verhehlte ich verhelete verhehle verhelt or
verhohlen. Berlieren, to loose, ich verliere, 2c.
ich verlor id verlöre verliere verloren. Verlöschen, to extinguish, ich verlösche, bu verlöscheft or ich verlosch ich verlösche verlösche or verloschen. verlischest, er verlöscht or vers
verlisch lischt Verschallen w), to die away ich verschille, ac.
ich verscholl ich verschölle versdalle j verschollen. W) But little used, except in. in sound,
the imperfect and participle. Verschwinden, to disappear, ich verschwinde, 2.
ich verschwand ich verschwände verschwinde verschwuns
ben. Verwirren, to perplex, ich verwirre, 26.
ich verwirrte ich verwirrte verwirre
verworrent. Derzeihen, to pardon, lich verzeihe, as.
lady verzich ich verziehe verzeihe verziehen.
Wachsen, to grow,
ich wachse, du wächseft, er wächst ich wuchs Wagen, or Wiegen 2) to ich wage or wiege, dit wägst or icy wog weigh,
wiegst, er wägt or wiegt
wäge in the imperf. subj. ;
regular. gewaschen. y) Wäschest and wäsct are also
used. gerooben. z) Regular except with the
poets, or when used figure
tively. gewichen a) Weichen, to soften, to moli
fy, is regular. gewiesen.
Wenden b) to turn,
gewenhet or 6) Regular when active.
gewandt. geworben. geworben; &
Werben, to sue for,
id, wende, 2c.
ich wentete or ich wentete
ich wand ich wände
, er wil
ich zich ich ziche ich ziche, 2c.
ich zöge ich zwinge, 26.
ich zwang ich zwinge
Werfen, to throw,
Winden, to wind,
c) Zcuchft . antiquated, and
only in poetical usage.
$79. VERBS OF THE NEw CoxJUGATION.
thereto et or t, we get ubet or lobt; to which add the personal
endings and we have lokete (lob toet+e) or lobte, I praised ; lobeteft (Commonly called “ Regular Verbs.")
or lobtest, thou didst praise, &c. (1) In verbs of the New, or simpler form, the Imperfect Tense (2) The verbs of the New form differ again from those of the and the Perfect Participle are not produced, as in the Old con- Old, in the former having in the Perfect Participle the termijugation, by a change of the radical vowels; but by means of nation et or t, instead of en: as, gclobet or gelobt, praised. See tha the suffix et or t, which serves as a tense characteristic: thus, table of terminations $ 75. taking the radical part (lob) of loben, to praise, and affixing
LESSONS IN ENGLISH. No. LXIX. the past participle made; the preposition of; finally, the conjunc
tion and. The articles have been already handled. The nouns, By John R. BEARD, D.D.
the verb, and the preposition range themselves under the general
head of government; the past participle offers an instance of agreeSYNTAX OF THE PREDICATE; THE VERB,—THE
ment; the conjunction acts merely in the way of combination. OBJECT. I must now conduct you to the predicate of a simple proposition,
Government- The Object after a Verb. In order to effect my purpose, I must modify our model sentence
Every transitive verb has an object, expressed or understood, and a little, as thus:
the same verb may sometimes be used transitively or intransitively. Subject.
If no specific object is given, the verb may be considered intransiThe sick man drinks a beverage made of wine and water.
made of wine and water. tive ; e. gog
Intransitive: Man drinks ; The sentence thus altered brings under our notice two additional
the horse trots;
Transitive, Man drinks water; the horse trots ten miles an hour; parts of speech, namely, the preposition (of) and the conjunction (and). It also directs our attention specifically to government, A verb which is strictly intransitive may be made transitive by a nainely, in the relation borne by the verb drinks to the noun beve- prepositional or adverbial suffix. To fly is intransitive, and to fly. l'age, and in the relation borne by the preposition of to the noun over is transitive; e. g., wine and the noun water.
The eagle flew-over the summit of the mountain. It, now, we look at our predicate, we find that it may be divided
Consider drink as intransitive, and append of, then you nto two parts, namely, the verb and the object; as,
The sick man drinks of pure water.
Drinks of is here a compound verb, and might be best written with
the hyphen, thus, drinks-of. In this form, as being transitive, it Vero. Object.
has for its object pure water. But to drink, and to drink of, have The man diiulis a beverage made of wine and water.
not precisely the same import. We drink a glass of water, and Fiewed in relation to its several components, the predicate contains we drink of a river. In fact, of has a partitive force, that is, it the verb drinks; the article a; the nouns beverage, wind, water; denotes a portion of; e. g.,