Lapas attēli

press it) the insular features. Thus, if Patagonia were sunk a little deeper in the sea, it would resemble Tierra del Fuego. Nay, still further, if the same operation were performed on Chili, that country would be found to resemble the insular portion of the Patagonian region; and the marine remains found in them, as well as their configuration, show that the Chilian valleys have been actually submerged for ages.

If the eye be thrown upon the map of South America, by Arrowsmith, which accompanies Captain Fitzroy's narrative-a map affording a most gratifying proof of the rapid increase of our geographical knowledge as well as of the improvement of the chalcographic art, and which, both for the industry and scrupulous exactness displayed in it, deserves the highest commendation -it will be seen that the alluvial plains of the La Plata, extending northward through the country of Grand Chaco, and between the rivers Guapai and Itonoma, have an uninterrupted though narrow communication through the alluvial plains of the Marañon. We point out this circumstance, because it appears to us that the existence of a great arm of the sea insulating the elevated land of Brazil, and of which the oscillating currents never carried off the sedimentary deposit, is important to explain the extensive and equable distribution of the soil of the pampas. Moreover, it is certain that the sea once covered the great valley of the Marañon. On the banks of the Huallaga, one of its chief branches, at the eastern foot of the Cordillera, 2000 miles from the Atlantic, but only 200 from the waters of the Pacific ocean, the hills are wholly composed of corals and gigantic ammonites.

The subterranean forces which have reared the American continent from the deep, are still in operation. As the Beagle sailed northward from Chiloe, in February 1835, the volcano of Osorno was descried eighty miles offin a state of eruption; thin lines of red hot lava gleamed on its flanks; shocks, too, were felt on board the ship, as if the chain cable were running out. The fears awakened by these symptoms, were unhappily confirmed on the ship's arrival at Conception. That town was completely destroyed by an earthquake on the morning of the 20th. In a few minutes the walls were levelled to the ground, and three immense waves in succession, produced by the convulsion, swept over the shores of the bay, and completed the ruin which the shocks had begun. The direction of the shocks Mr Darwin supposes to have been from the south-west; but the particulars on wbich he founds his opinion, would rather lead us to conclude that the impulse was in the opposite direction, or from the north-east. But, of the ascertained facts relating to this earthquake, the most interesting and important was one resulting from the minute survey made of the

coast by Captain Fitzroy, who found that the land had been generally raised by the convulsion; the elevation at some places amounting to eight feet. There is reason, however, to believe that the land so raised again subsides nearly to its former level ; so that the permanent encroachment of the land upon the sea, is a slower process than might be inferred from a hasty enquiry into the effects of earthquakes.

Before we quit the shores of South America, we cannot avoid adverting with satisfaction to the beneficial impulse communicated to the rising Republics, on both sides of the continent, by the energy of Englishmen. Many illustrations of the all-pervading activity of our countrymen, may be found in Captain Fitzroy's narrative.

They improve the farms on the Uruguay; they cultivate gardens in the pampas and on the hills of Tandil, south of Buenos Ayres; and they carry on all the coasting trade. In search of seals, they despise the storms of the strait of Magalhaens; penetrate the narrow channels of Tierra del Fuego, and of the adjoining archipelago to the north-west. In Chili, they have turned into good metal the copper ores which the native miners and metallurgists had always regarded as dross. On the great tableland of Cerro Paseo in Peru, they have made a vast increase to the comforts of the people, by discovering and teaching the use of coal. Two remarkable instances of the bold spirit characteristic of Britons, and which are likely to make a very favourable impression on the people of Peru, are of recent occurrence, and deserve to be here recorded. Not far from Arica, on the coast of Bolivia, is an agreeable valley of great extent, but condemned to barrenness and solitude by want of water. A company of English merchants, settled at Arica, have undertaken to conduct into this valley a never failing stream from the highest Cordilleras. For this purpose, they have cut through a ridge exceeding 14,000 feet in height, and diverted across it a stream originating in the glaciers. Though this noble work is not yet completed, there is no reason to doubt of its success; and its importance, as an example, cannot be too highly estimated. The other instance of practical energy to which we have alluded, is, of its kind, still more extraordinary. The great lake of Titicaca in the Bolivian Andes-so celebrated in the history of the Incas-has never been hitherto navigated, except in small canoes: though encircled by a productive soil and considerable population. Situated, as it is, within the mountains, more ihan 11,000 feet above the sea, and at a distance from any forests, the construction of a substantial vessel on its shores could hardly have been thought of. An Englishman, nevertheless, who had once been a dockyard carpenter, set all difficulties at defiance. He shaped the timbers in the forest seven leagues off; put them together on the shores of the lake; launched, and now navigates on it, to the great admiration of her inhabitants, Spaniards as well as Indians, a handsome schooner of seventy tons burden.

The Beagle, in her voyage across the Pacific, touched at Tahiti, as well for scientific purposes as to urge on the Queen, Pomare, the payment of a sum agreed on as an indemnification for an act of piracy committed within her jurisdiction in the Low Islands. The demand was immediately acceded to; and the islanders, by their docility, good sense, and loyalty, made a most favourable impression on their visiters. Both Captain Fitzroy and Mr Darwin agree in vindicating the missionaries from the accusations brought against them by Kotzebue and others; and in representing the natives to be cheerful, and attached to their instructors. Notwithstanding the brilliant and rather seductive pictures formerly drawn of Tahiti, we cannot help thinking that the morality of that island has undergone a great improvement. Human sacrifices, infanticide, and systematic profligacy, are done away with; and even the Christian vice of intoxication has been strictly prohibited. These are marked facts, and not easily contravened. Where the missionaries stand beyond the temptation of political intermeddling, and are not animated by a merely sectarian zeal, it is impossible to conceive how they can do any thing else than good. But the danger of their straying beyond the limits of their pastoral cares, has been recently and very unbappily illustrated in Tahiti itself. It appears that three or four French Roman Catholic missionaries arrived there from the Sandwich islands. The Protestant missionary, Mr Pritchard, advised the Queen to expel them, and they were actually forced to re-embark. In consequence of this, when a French man-of-war touched at the island soon after, the resident French consul, M. Mærenhout, represented the affair in such a light, that a large sum of money was demanded in satisfaction of the insult, and the Queen being powerless was obliged to comply. It is a melancholy thing to see civilized nations, in the nineteenth century, taking such violent means to propagate Christianity.

The Keeling Islands were visited, chiefly for the sake of studying the coral formation ;-and-a little world of themselvesthey were viewed by our authors with the eye of keen curiosity. if our space permitted, we should willingly extract some of Mr Darwin's remarks on the classification of coral islands ; but we submit more cheerfully to the necessity of passing them over for the present, since he promises a volume specially devoted to the subject; in which, besides some details descriptive of the coral

animal, we hope to find the boldness of his theories a little modified; and his alternate zones of elevated and depressed coral islands, resting upon a more solid foundation than the supposed undulations of a subterranean fluid.

Chronometrical observations were made a chief object of the second expedition of the Beagle. On board that vessel were twenty-two chronometers; and care was taken to rate them frequently where change of climate seemed to render that precaution necessary. The series of distances thus measured in time round the globe, amounted altogether to twenty-four hours and thirty-three seconds, instead of twenty-four hours exactly. This error, Captain Fitzroy suggests, is attributable to magnetism, or electricity, or some other latent cause operating in chronometers, carried in one direction round the earth. But to us it appears explicable without the aid of any mysterious agency. The distances, which are added together, are severally averages or mean amounts, and therefore only approximations. The error of thirtythree seconds in the result is very small indeed, compared to the several errors involved in the details; and it is, in reality, a great triumph of science to be able to state, that in a voyage of five years, the circuit of the globe measured in time by chronometers, differed from the truth only a two thousand six hundredth part of the whole.

The voyage of the Beagle has been not merely successful in the attainment of its scientific objects; it has had also the merit of proving, that in a long and most laborious service, and in the worst seas, the health and perfect safety of the crews may be ensured by good management. Nor is it difficult to account for this immunity from disease. Captain Fitzroy's volume breathes a healthy spirit. Nothing fortifies the constitution under trials so effectually as serenity of mind; and that is a blessing, which, on board a ship, flows from the commanding-officer or not at all. He has prepared his volumes for the public in as liberal a spirit as he executed his hydrographical labours; for he expended considerable sums from his private funds to complete the survey of the Peruvian coast, by which, as he observes,' the service did

not suffer;' and for which, we feel bound to add, the public is deeply indebted to him.


Arr. VII.- Deerbrook; A Novel By HARRIET MARTINEAU.

3 vols, 12mo. London : 1839.

Tinean, could not fail to create more than ordinary expec

tation. In her Tales Illustrative of Political Economy,' though the scientific and didactic prevailed over the imaginative;-though instruction, rather than amusement-elucidation and enforcement of principles and opinions, rather than the successful composition of a fictitious narrative-were the ostensible purposes of the writer; yet there was such beauty and vividness in the descriptive passages, and such deep sound knowledge of human character exhibited in many parts, that an expectation naturally arose, that one who thus incidentally had given such evidence of imaginative power, and who, almost unintentionally, had attained to such success in those departments of her art which are the chief aim of other novelists, would, when emancipated from the uncongenial trammels of science, be far more successful than before. Though settered with the self-imposed obligation of transplanting the language of the lectureroom into conversations on the ordinary business of everyday life, and of frequently wounding our sense of probability, by making her dramatis personæ discourse in a manner unsuitable to their characters; yet in the intervals of her lectures, we were struck with her power of rendering characters understood-not by the aid of descriptive labels—but by what she made them say and do; and we turned from her politico-economical speculations to admire her happier power of analysing the springs of actionof unfolding the diversities of character, and marking, as it were, each wave of the tide of human thought and feeling ;-generalizing without vagueness, and particularizing without littleness. These remarkable features of the “Tales,' naturally created a strong presumption favourable to Miss Martineau's success in novel writing on a greater scale, and without the embarrassment of a double object. Still, there was room for doubt; and it remained to be seen whether she possessed certain other requisites, without which a novel, as a novel, cannot be successful. Could she, , throughout three volumes, so arrange the events and characters of her tale, as to sustain an unflagging interest to the close ?—could she gather her varied powers into one focus, combining the scattered rays, and leaving on the mind one strong impression, not of scenes or characters alone, but of the whole drama of which they were the materials ? It was also to be remembered, that it is not enough for the novelist to give to the characters of fiction an air of biographical truth. The biographer has no liberty in design;

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