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the revolutions of the tertiary period, a new island to be elevated above the waters, it is curious to consider the causes which might, in time, stock it with living forms. The geologist's main business here, however, appears to us to be, to see that, in some way or other, the new soil will probably receive some supply of vegetable and animal life from the previously existing shores. We do not know enough of the distribution of land and water, at any assigned point of the earth's past history, to enable us to explain the coexistence of the species of any given deposit by a reference to the principles by which organised beings spread their colonies over the earth's surface; but it is of some consequence to see that, according to the usual course of time and natural causes, the new island would almost inevitably become so far a sharer in the existing live stock of its nearest neighbourhood, that its date may afterwards be detected by the animated beings which it has supported. The various chances and combinations by which a new region is thus supplied with a vegetable and animal population, are of the most remarkable kind, and we may add, of the most retined and complex contrivance. Mr. Lyell has collected a considerable quantity of information on this subject, in addition to that which Dr. Prichard had already given in his very interesting • Researches on the Physical History of Man.' Instead, however, of attempting here to enter into any details, we shall only quote the account of one of the most striking of the instruments of colonization which nature has thus provided :
Captain W. H. Smyth informs me, that when cruizing in the Cornwallis amidst the Philippine Islands, he has more than once seen, after those dreadful hurricanes called typhoons, floating islands of wood, with trees growing upon them, and that ships have sometimes been in imminent peril, in consequence of mistaking them for terrafirma.
• It is highly interesting to trace, in imagination, the effects of the passage of these rafts from the mouth of a large river to some archi. pelago, such as those in the South Pacific, raised from the deep, in comparatively modern times, by the operations of the volcano and the earthquake, and the joint labours of coral animals and testacea. If a storm arise, and the frail vessel be wrecked, still many a bird and insect may succeed in gaining, by flight, some island of the newlyformed group, while the seeds and berries of herbs and shrubs, which fall into the waves, may be thrown upon the strand. But if the surface of the deep be calm, and the rafts are carried along by a current, or wafted by some slight breath of air fanning the foliage of the green trees, it may arrive, after a passage of several weeks, at the bay of an island, into which its plants and animals may be poured out as from an ark, and thus a colony of several hundred new species may at once be naturalized.:-Pp. 98, 99.
While, therefore, inorganic forces, in the most recent geological period anterior to that in which we live were producing vast changes in the distribution of sea and land, drawing to the bottom of the ocean, perhaps, large tracts, of which at present no trace remains, and certainly pushing upwards, suddenly or gradually, wide submarine districts, and thus pouring off the ocean into a different bed, the organic powers of nature were, on their part, employed in producing corresponding and dependent revolutions. The new lands and seas were soon occupied by the swarms of a population already existing in the less disturbed portions of the surface. The desert rock and the tenantless depths soon afforded a hold to the moss and the shrub, to the coral and the mollusc. The boundaries of the provinces of plants and animals were narrowed or extended,--the races which they contained were reduced to a smaller number, or mixed in a fresh district,—the history of each species was affected by an innumerable host of new influences, and its existence menaced, perhaps extinguished, by successive classes of enemies animate and inanimate. When we consider the complexity of causes thus brought before us, we shall have no difficulty in conceiving how all the vast variety of the phenomena of the tertiary formations may have been produced. To retrace the history of this period, thus depending on all these causes, is the first question which the theoretical geologist has to solve; and his problem is here reduced to its most simple forminasmuch as, in this case, the events approach nearest to those of our own time, both in date and in kind, and are least perplexed with succeeding mutations. Whether those who have the courage to undertake this task will be rewarded by the felicity of discovering the causes of things, or whether they are destined only to make a few steps on the ascent to that lofty summit from which the philosophical geologist of some succeeding period shall discern ihe true cause of the past history of the earth, we pretend not to decide. In either case, however, they must have the satisfaction of feeling that they are engaged in as noble and comprehensive a subject of thought as any which the mere material creation can supply; and that every advance in such knowledge, founded on a faithful examination of facts, and asserted in a candid and philosophical spirit, will fix the attention and the gratitude of a daily and hourly widening circle of intelligent readers,
Art. V.-1. Fragments of Voyages and Travels. By Captain
Basil Hall, R.N. Second Series. 3 vols. 12mo. Edin
burgh. 1832. 2. An Account of the British Campaign, of 1809, in Portugal
and Spain. By the Earl of Munster. London. 8vo. 1831. THE daily increasing familiarity of the belligerent classes with
the use of the pen will, if we mistake not, leud one important distinguishing feature to the English literature of the pre
Books such as these on our table cannot be multiplied among us without affecting, to a considerable extent, not only the general tone of contemporary thought and sentiment, but even the materials and mechanism of popular language. New words, new phrases, and a whole host of new images and allusions are, from this source, rapidly finding their way into the common stock; and the martial triumphs of the era of Trafalgar and Waterloo will probably tinge, a thousand years hence, the vocabulary, both tragic and comic, of yet nameless nations, flourishing thousands of leagues from the scenes of their achievement.
From the mere style of any people—from the prevailing character of the figures and illustrations, inwoven into almost any work of literature that ever acquired great popularity among them -one might pronounce, with a near aim, as to the main scope of occupation, and business, and habitual feeling in the nation. Every page of the drama of Athens bespeaks, as plainly as Athenian history, a nation of political partisans and restless mariners ; the high estimation of agriculture, and the proud tumults of the camp, are written with equal distinctness in the most urbane and pacific of Roman lucubrations. The languages of this country and France are, ex facie, those of the two active nations of modern Christendom. That is seen, not merely, nay not so much, in the vocabulary of either, as in the structure and march of its sentences, as compared with any of the neighbouring tongues. The stately indolence of the Spaniard is reflected in the slow sonorousness of even his billet-doux ; the Italian, unless when he tortures himself into a perplexed and obscure mimicry of Tacitus, makes scarcely better progress in his liquid paragraphs of linked sweetness long drawn out,' than a pinnace floating at height of noon on one of his own beautiful lakes ; the German author, no matter what ground he takes, builds up such heavy columns, and carves them with such a dreamy quaintness, that we perceive at once he belongs to a people whose literature is mainly a literature of professors-stamped, in every lineament, in spite of gallant individual efforts in the contrary direction, with the mental, and indeed corporeal, habits of a caste of pedantic recluses, who seldom have the mouthpiece of the ponderous Meerschaum pipe out of their lips, unless when they mount the desk to overcloud gaping boys with metaphysical vapours, about as consistent and refreshing as those of their tobacco. A good French prose book is easily converted into a good English one—and vice versa—(we say nothing of poetry); but no skill in translation can make even treatises like Frederick Schlegel's, or tales like Ludowick Tieck's, acceptable to the readers of London or Paris : their materials, however precious in themselves, must be refondus, as the French express it, before they can acquire that lucidus ordo, that direct steady clearness of arrangement, that succinctness of garb, and life and spring of movement, without which nothing will command general attention in a country whose own literature has taken its predominant bias and colouring from men of the world and of business.
We must not at present, however tempted, be seduced into a lecture on this subject; but it is certain, that the first popular works in our language came from the pens of authors distinguished in active life; and that, in every succeeding age, the originally uncloister-like character of English composition has on the whole been sustained. With few exceptions, even our poets have been men trained and exercised in stirring occupations--certainly all our dramatists and novelists worth notice have been such; and every one of these masters has enriched the national exchequer with coins stamped in the mint of his own calling. It is this that gives to all our literature that air of practical pith, shrewdness, and sagacity, by which it is brought much nearer, in general effect, to the literature of France, than, in spite of far more intimate kinsmanship of blood—and, we may add, as to many of the most important branches, of opinion and sentiment-it is ever likely to approach the German ; and it is this same old-established custom of drawing largely on professional dialects (as we may call them) that leads us to anticipate extended and lasting effects from those literary habits which appear of late years to be taking such a deep root among our soldiers and sailors. Who would have fancied, thirty or twenty years ago, that, A. D. 1832, one of the most successful periodical publications in the country should be a magazine devoted exclusively to naval and military topics, written entirely by officers of the united service, and edited by a sprightly veteran, minus a leg? or who, that knows that such is now the fact, and knows also that many of the most popular histories, novels, tales, and descriptive essays of all sorts, have for some years past been supplied to the London market by Halls, Napiers, Marryatts, &c.*-in short, gentlemen who took their only degrees under such tutors as Nelson and Wellington-can doubt that the babitual feelings and expressions—the Towos and ywnan-the wit, whim, and humour even--of the modern camp and cockpit, are at this moment settling themselves into the great body of our written speech, in the same fashion that the histrionic habits of our early dramatists familiarized the national ear, two hundred years ago, and for ever, to the technical glossary of the green-room?
* In our et celera we do not wish to include the author of • Cavendish, or the Patrician at Sea'-one of the most impudent bundles of trash and vice that ever issued from any press. We are much at a loss to conjecture for what class of readers such compounds of filth and dulness are manufactured.
Lord Munster's character, as an accomplished scholar, in many and various departments, had long been well known ; but his · Hussar's Letters' and other contributions to the professional miscellany above-mentioned have, of late, much raised his literary reputation. The separate publication, named at the head of our paper, is mainly, we perceive, made up of sketches that had already attracted considerable notice in the pages of that magazine; —and not more than they deserve, for they are among the liveliest specimens of military description that we have happened to meet with anywhere. By printing them in a distinct form, with his uame, the author has brought them within our jurisdiction; and though, extensively as they have been circulated in their original shape, it would be idle to spend much space upon them, we must make room for an extract or two, to justify our praise to readers in remote quarters, into which the Journal of the United Service may not as yet have found its way.
Lord Munster's picture of Soult's flight from Oporto may rank with the best pages of Cyril Thornton,' or · The Subaltern ;'we quote a fragment:
• Soult collected his army on the morning of the 15th at Guimaraens, but finding our troops at Villa Nova de Famillacao, and no road open for cannon, he destroyed the baggage and the military chest of Loison's corps, and in despair took to the goatherds' paths across the mountain, trusting to the interest, aid, and information procured by the Bishop of Braga. The paths were so narrow, that but one man could pass at a time, and the cavalry were obliged to lead their horses, while the column, thus distressingly lengthened, had the additional misery of incessant rain, that fell in torrents during the whole of this trying period. The peasantry, happy in revenging the horrors and atrocities of their enemy's advance, watched them like vultures, and failed not to dart upon all who sunk under fatigue; the stones they rolled on them swept whole files into the abysses, while single shots from the mountain-tops slew soldiers in the column of march. Their sufferings met commiseration from the British alone, who had not suf. fered from the guilty acts for which they were now receiving retribution.. . . The rocky torrent of the Cavado presented next morning an extraordinary spectacle. Men and horses, sumpter animals and baggage, had been precipitated into the river, and literally choked the course of the stream. Here, with these fatal accompaniments of death and dismay, was disgorged the last of the plunder of Oporto. All