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workings above described. We have seen, at the shop of a use in Styria; and it was represented as being in especial favour with London cutler, some specimens of articles wrought from it. They the young on account of its imparting to each sex those graces are dagger-blades, table knives, cold chisels, etc.; their appearance of form which are the general admiration of the other. Accord. is equal to that of the finest examples of ordinary steel, and their ing to Professor Johnston, indeed, the femalo wanting in those temper is pronounced to be excellent.
charms so much praised by poets and generally possessed in such The discovery of this singular deposit may lead to improvements perfection by the heroines of works of fiction, may supply the in the manufacture of steel and to new viows as to the constitu- deficiency with the greatest ease by simply resorting to the con. tion of that curious compound.
sumption of arsenic. He would persuade us that the arsenic-eater is truly blest. Her eye, he tells us, becomes sparkling, her com
plexion painted with a more enchanting hne, a roseate tint adorns ARSENIC EATING.
her lips, the bloom of health settles on her blushing cheeks, her A QUESTION that created some degree of excitement three or four skin becomes as white as alabaster, as soft as velvet, and as fresh years ago has again turned op in the revolving cycle of popular as the flowers of spring, whilst the whole frame assumes a rotun, topics, and there appears some probability of the controversy dity which charms all who gaze upon its beauties. “Every one being renewed with increased vigour. The subject is one of great sees and admires the reality of her growing beauty; the young practical importance, and the dissemination of incorrect views men sound her praises, and become suppliants for her favours. with regard to it cannot but be productive of immense mischief in She triumphs over the affections of all, and compels the chosen society. Whether any class of men in another country are in the one to her feet.” Nay, Professor Johnston would seem to believe. habit of regularly swallowir.g quantitics of arsenic, and so tho that arsenio is able to do even more than this, and would seem to roughly impregnating the system with this poison as to enable imply that it is capable of exercising some mental influence, them to take with impunity what, under other circumstances, and of acting as a kind of spell or charm upon the passions. would be fatal doses of it, may have, as a mere matter of fact, little Thus does he sound its praiscs :-“Even cruel arsenic, so often interest except for men of science: but when it is stated that the the minister of crime and the parent of sorrow, bears a blessed, ohject had in view in using this mineral is that of producing a jewel in his forehead, and, as a love-awakener, becomes at times condition of the physical frame which most persons envy and all the harbinger of happiness, the soother of ardent longings, the admire, the question assumes an entirely different aspect. Let the bestower of contentment and peace.” He adds that heights. masses be once convinced that arsenic eating has the effect of are easily reached under the influence of this drug, to ascend rendering the skin soft, the complexion fair, the cheeks tinted which without it would be a most difficult task; and declares with the rosy bloom indicative of health, and the whole physical that horses are fattened, and their skins made bright and glossy, frame improved in appearance, and the result may be easily pre- by administering a small quantity of it with their food. dicted. The poison will find its way into the households of high In inquiring into the soundness of theso assertions, the first and low, will turn up in cosmetics, be vénded in lozenges, and thing to be observed is, that neither of the writers quoted have specdily become universally resorted to. On the other hand, had any personal experience confirming their statements. Note should it be really true that the use of arsenic in small doses is only have they not tried the effects of arsenic upon their own conbeneficial, it may be argued that society ought to be made aware stitutions, but they have never observed its action upon others. of the fact, and thus obtain the opportunity of turning it to prac. The cases referred to as occurring in Styria are reported merely tical account.
on hearsay, and until, therefore, some good authority can be found Every one is aware that certain poisonous agents may, after for them, the arguments based upon them must be held to be repeated trials, be taken with comparative impunity. The dose, worth very little. In tracing these statements to their source, small at first, is gradually increased, until a quantity which would they will be found to have originated with Dr. Von Tschudi, a once have produced most violent results may be swallowed without celebrated traveller, and were first published in the Wiener Medi. any injurious effects becoming apparent. This is particnlarly the zinische Wochenschrift. Becoming translated into English, they case with tobacco and alcohol. The first pipe or cigar produces have shared the fate of most reports, and have been considerably violent sickness, headache, and other most unpleasant symptoms; augmented by those who have repeated them. the babitual smoker puff's out twenty in the day, and experiences According to Dr. Von Tschudi, the arsenic which he asserts is nothing but an agreeable sensation. A strong glass of brandy eaten by the people of Styria is obtained from the chimueys of and water taken by a person who has never before tasted spirits, furnaces in which lead, copper, and other ores are smelted. It is usually produces intoxication; whilst a man long accustomed to sold by the workpeople to pedlars, herbalists, and quacks, and indulgence in alcoholic drinks empties a decanter and remains hawked by them through the country, for the purpose of sale, perfectly sober. In the case, again, of those amongst whom opium- under the name of Hidri. The dose with which the arsenic-eaters eating prevails, there can be no doubt whatever that the constitu. commence is a "portion about the size of a lentil sced,” in tion becomes so familiarized to the drug that a quantity of it weight "about half a grain.” This is taken in the morning fastwhich wonld be swallowed without any ill effects may be sufficient ing, repeated at first a few times weekly, and cautiously increased under other circumstances to produce very fearful results. These as it loses its effect. No symptoms of poisoning are observed, facts are well known, and it is perhaps difficult to say why the and so necessary to health does this agent become by long habit, law which holds good in the case of the poisons we have enume that when, from want of arsenic or any other cause, the practice is rated should not hold good in the case of all poisons. This is for a time discontinued, most serious illness supervenes. Loss of the only argument of a theoretical character that has been advanced appetite is experienced, vomiting occurs, there is a burning pain in support of the marvellous statements with respect to the benefit in the throat, closing of the pharynx, constipation, and great diffi. resulting from the practice of eating arsenic, to which more par. culty of breathing. All these symptoms continue during the ticular reference will be made below. On the other hand, it has abstinence from arsenic, and disappear immediately on a return been objected that arsenic is so much more violent in its action, to the habit of eating it. When it is used for the purpose of facili: and so much more fatal in its effects, than the poisonous agents tating respiration in ascending mountains, a small piece is placed the common use of which we are familiar with, that no inference in the mouth, and allowed to dissolve, when the result is almost drawn from the latter can apply to the former. After all, how magical. Arsenic is administered to horses for the same purpose, ever, this is a matter of little moment. The principal point of in which case it is sprinkled upon the last food taken before com. importance rests with the fact th mselves.
mencing the ascent. So far, Dr. Von Tschudi. The first publication in this country that announced to its The question that arises is, how much reliance is to be placed wonder-stricken readers the discovery that arsenic was a great upon these statements? The following facts may aid in leading to beautifier of the complexion, and that it might be taken, if com. a conclusion. - In the first place, Dr. Von Tschudi did not see and menced in small doses, not only with perfect impunity, but with examine personally the cases to which he refers. They were the most beneficial and gratifying results to the system, was Cham- mostly derived from that by no means reliable authority," hear, bers's Edinburgh Journal. Several articles written by Mr. Charles say." He never was present when the fair and blooming beauties of Boner in that popular periodical produced at tho time a very Styria dosed themselves with white arsenic, so as to make it quito startling sensation, the assertions contained therein being of a most certain that they did enjoy an imnunity from its deadly effects. novel and incredible kind. Then a celebrated chemist, Professor Then the material said to be sold to the peasantry as arsenic has Johnston, in a work still very popular, and on the whole deservedly never been subjected to a chemical analysis by a scientific man. 60, also took up the matter, and enlisted himself on the side of the It may or may not be arsenic. There is not a shadow of evidence arsenic caters. Paragraphs found their way into the public news. to prove that it is arsenic. But even supposing it be arsenic, its papers, and the whole matter appeared to be settled. The state- strength remains unknown, and the large doses may after all in ments made were to the effect that in some parts of Lower Austria reality be very small ones. It must also be remembered that Dr. the people were in the habit of regularly eating arsenic, firstly, for Von Tschudi is a traveller, a man who did not stay long in one the purpose of imparting clearness to the skin, brilliance to the place, and therofore would have far less opportunity of carefully eye, freshness to the complexion, and plumpness and rotundity to noting what occurred in any country that he might happen to pass the figure; and secondly, with a view to improve the respiratory through than the medical men who were permanent residents organs, so that in climbing up steep mountains or undergoing any therein ; yet from the latter in this case no information is obtained. any other great exertion, shortness of breath should not be expe- On the contrary, Dr. Warmb, a physician of Vienna, declares that rienced, For these two purposes arsenic was said to be in general Dr. Von Tschudi's statements were entirely without foundation,
In this view ho is supported by other authorities residing in the the same for the same metal. The most vivid spectra are given same country, men who, if such facts do really transpire, cer. by those salts which are the most volatile. Even small pieces of tainly ought to be acquainted with them.
the metals of the alkalies and alkaline earths, placed at the poles The German scientific journals appear to discredit the whole of an induction apparatus, through whichi electric sparks were affair, as scarcely one of them has noticed it. The most eminent passed, gave the same spectra as their salte. British toxologists have also expressed most firmly their disbeliof Hence it appears that the bright lines of these spectra may be in the tale of the Styrian poison-caters. Drs. Alfred Taylor and regarded as an unfailing proof of the presence of the metals in Owen Reeves, in their edition of Dr. Pereira's celebrated work on question, and may serve as tests by which these substances may Materia Medica, speak of it as an "absurd and incredible state- be detected with far greater rapidity and exactness, and in much ment,” and add that it is only likely to be productive of great smaller quantities, than by any other method. To ensure success mischief. Dr. Christian, whose knowledge of poisons equals that it is necossary that the slit in the brass plate should be of such of any than living, remarks : “I presume that all medical men width as to allow of only the most distinct of the dark lines of the experienced its tho use of arsenic as a remedy, will treat tho story solar spectrum being visible ; that the magnifying power of the of the Styrian arsenic-eaters as a pure fable.”
observing telescope should not be greater than four ; and that the That this poisonous agent has been sometimes administered to strength of the light should be rather considerable. Otherwise, horses by grooms for the purpose of making their skin smooth, many of the lines would split up into several and become less there can be no kind of doubt. The only question is as to the distinct. results. It may be safely affirmed that no veterinary surgeon
Sodium only shows one intense yellow line corresponding with approves of the practice, and that the effect is injurious rather than Fraunhofer's line D. In the room in which the observation was beneficial. Two young men were brought up before Lord Camp made, and which containod sixty cubic metres of air, one-twentieth bell at the Norfolk Summer Assizes, but three or four years since, of a grain of chlorate of sodium was deflagrated with milk-sugar at a for having killed four horses, the property of Mrs. Mitchell, of spot as far as possible removed from the apparatus. After a fer Culford, by foolishly administering arsenic to them. Dr. Alfred minutes the flame became yellow; and gave a spectrum exhibiting Taylor states that he is frequently called upon to examine the one very distinct yellow line, which lasted for ten minutes. From viscera of horses destroyed in the same way. It is well known the weight of the salt employed, and the cubio contents of the that donkeys are frequently killed in Cornwall simply by feed. room, and the known amount of air consumed by the lamp in one ing upon the vegetation adjacent to large arsenic works. The second, which was the time requisite for making an observation, poison becomes deposited upon thistles and other plants of a
it was calculated that less than the two-hundred-millionth part similar nature of which these animals are very fond, and which, of a grain of any sodium-salt could be detected by this method. from their irregular surfaces, do not admit of being washed clean
The inconceivable delicacy of this re-action explains why a by the rain. The so-called fatness that results in horses from the flame burning in atmospheric air seldom fails to give the sodium use of arsenic has been declared by great authorities to be simply re-action. More than two-thirds of the earth are covered with a a puffing up of the cellular tissue. Animals thus affected sweat solution of chlorido of sodium (common salt), which, being con
tinually lashed into the finest spray, evaporates in the air, leaving upon the slightest exertion.
The injurious effects which must result from the publication of excessively small residues that are rendered visible in the sansuch statements as those of Professor Johnston and Mr. Boner beam. These minute particles, probably, serve to convey to must now be apparent to all. Arsenic eating, should it be
minute organisms the salts which larger plants and animals attempted, can only end in disease and death; and the belief that in checking the spread of miasma, owing to their antiseptic pro
derive from the earth ;-they may also have considerable infhence the habit is practised may interfere very considerably with the
perties. courgo of justice in cases of wilful murder.
Lithium shows two lines in the spectrum,-one a pale yellow,
and the other a brilliant red. By the method above given, which SPECTRUM-ANALYSIS.
was in all cases employed for testing the delicacy of the re-actions,
three twenty-millionths of a grain of carbonate of lithium was MM. KIRCHHOF and Bunsen have recently published a highly detected. By this means it has been discovered that this rare interesting paper on Spectrum-Analysis." It is well known that base is one of the most widely-diffused substances in nature, many substances, when brought into a colourless flame, have the although occurring in very minute quantities. The anthors have property of producing certain bright lines in the spectrum. A
detected it in sea-water, in orthoclass and quartz from the Oden. flame admirably suited to this purpose is given by a lamp invented wald, in many spring-waters, in the ashes of tobacco, vine-leaves, by M. Bunsen, in which a mixture of coal-gas and atmospheric and grapes, and in the ash of human muscle and blood. air is burned. The most distinct lines are produced by flames which have the highest temperature and the least illuminating however, only exhibits two characteristic lines; the one is real
Potassium gives a very extended continuous spectrum, which, power.
and corresponds to Fraunhofer's line 4, which is situated in the In making the experiments, great care was takon to procure ultra-red rays of the solar spectrum ; the other is blue, and chemically pure salts.
situated far in the violet rays. On this account the re-action : The apparatus employed in making the observations consists less delicate than the preceding, but three two-hundred-thousandths of a box, blackened inside, and of the form of a trapezium, of of a grain of potassium-salt can nevertheless be detected. which the two oblique sides, forming an angle of 580 deg., are
Strontium.-The spectra of the alkaline earths are much less furnished with two small telescopes. The ocular lens of one of simple than those of the alkalis. The strontium-spectrum conthese is removed, and replaced by a brass plate pierced with a narrow slit, which must be exactly in the focus of the objective rays of the solar spectrum, and diminishing in intensity towards
tains eight distinct lines, viz.,-six red, corresponding to the med lens. The lamp in which the different substances are burned is the yellow; one orange, and one blue line, corresponding respete placed opposite the slit, so that the edge of the flame corresponds tively to the orange and blue of the solar spectrum. The blue ling with the axis of the telescope-tube. Between the two objective is very characteristic of this spectrum ; about nine ten-millionths glasses, in the interior of the box, a hollow glass prism, filled of a grain of chloride of strontium are sufficient for the re-actio. with bisulphide of carbon, is fixed on a brass plate movable
The Calcium spectrum is immediately distinguished from the about a vertical axis. Thus the whole spectrum can be brought preceding; first, by an intense and highly-characteristic grees before the object-glass of the observing telescope, across the field line, situated between the green and yellow of the solar spectrum; of which a vertical line is stretched ; and, by a simple contrive secondly, by a vivid orange line, which lies much farther towards ance, the observer is enabled to measure the relative distanco the red end of the spectrum
than the sodium line. Faint yelky between the lines of the spectrum.
lines are also visible. About nine ten-millionths of a grain of Before proceeding further, it may be as well to call to mind the chloride of calcium may thus be detected. appearance of the solar spectrum. When a ray of white light is
The Barium spectrum is the most complicated of all the spectra passed through a prism of Aint-glass it is split up into a variety that have been examined. It may be recognised by two very of rays, of which the least refrangible are the red rays, succeeded intense and one less intense green lines, situated in the green of by orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet rays, which last the solar spectrum. The delicacy of the re-action amounts ) are the most refrangible. If, however, the spectrum be observed three two-hundred-thousandths of a grain of chloride of barium. through a telescope placed immediately behind the prism, it will Among other tests applied to this method of analysis, a mixture be found that it is crossed, at right angles to its length, by a great of chlorides of potassium, sodium, lithium, calcium, strontium, number of dark lines, varying in breadth and intensity. These and barium, containing at most one five-hundredth of a grain of lines were discovered by a German physicist, in 1814, and named, each substance, was placed in the flame and observed. The in. after him, “ Fraunhofer's linos.” Ho discovered more than 600 of tensely yellow sodium line was the first to appear, on a back. them, and designated the most striking, from the red to the violet, ground of feebly continuous spectrum. As this began to grow by the letters a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h.
pale, the intensely red lithium line was developed, and further To return to the spectra produced by various metals :-different still from the sodium line, the duller red potassium line. At this kinds of fame, of greatly varying temperature and chemical period the most intense of the green barium lines became visible. nature, have no influence on their spectra, which are invariably All these lines now gradually faded away, as if in a dissolving
view, and were succeeded by the orange and green calcium-lines, • Pogg. Anz. ex. 161; Phil. Mag. J. 4th Ser. xx.
and the red, orange, and blue strontium-lines,
Hence spectrum-analysis affords a method by which the metals shock to come from a great distance. But such is not always of the alkalis and alkaline earths may be detected with the greatest the truth. rapidity and precision, and in inconceivably, small quantities, and From the materials accumulated, M. Perrey has endeavoured to will provo most useful as a means of ascertaining the diffusion determine a mean direction of the various earthquakes which and arrangement of these metals in geological formations. At have occurred within certain geographical limits, particularly in the same time any variations in the spectrum will give indications Europe; and some of the mean directions appear to correspond of new metals, hitherto unknown. Indeed, the authors feel justi- nearly with the direction of the river valleys of the districts con. fied in asserting that they have in this manner discovered a new cerned. More and more accurate observations will doubtless allcali, giving a spectrum which is as simple as that of lithium, enable us to arrive at a determinato view of the direetion of the being formed of two blue lines.
earth-wave. But the application of spectrum-analysis does not cease hore. The area of what may bě pronounced a great earthquake may For since by this method it is only necessary to see the incan be assumed as an average circle having a radius of six hundred descent gases which have to bo analyzed, it may easily be miles; the area of a small earthquake may be a circle whose imagined that the same method may be employed with the at-radius is not more than twenty miles. In general, a considerable mospheres of the sun and of the brighter fixed stars. It has been area is shaken by each considerable shock; these are less freshown, on certain theoretical considerations, that the spectrum of quent than the small shocks, which are very common. an incandescent gas is reversed, s.e. the bright lines are turned to One phenomenon is manifest, namely, that the greatest inten. dark, when behind the same a source of light is brought of suffi. sity of disturbance is everywhere identical with the lines of the cient intensity to yield of itself a continous spectrum. Hence it greatest activity of volcanic action; but a great number of smaller may be concluded that the solar spectrum is nothing else than the earthquakes seem to have no reference to known volcanoes. Mr. reverse of the spectrum which the atmosphero of the sun would Mallet, indeed, propounds an opinion that "an earthquake in a show of itself; in which caso it would be necessary only to And non-volcanic region may be viewed as an incomplete effort to those substances which, on being introduced into the flame, ex. establish a voloano.” Generally the opinion of investigators tends hibit bright lines corresponding with the dark lines of the solar to the intimate connexion of earthquakes, with volcanic action. spectrum.
Another similar fact is that the direction of earthquakes has a The authors propose to communicate the results of their experi. reference to neighbouring mountain chains and coast lines. ments in this direction on a future occasion.
The kinds of disturbance caused by earthquakes are all such as are attributable to violence in larger or smaller areas, and are in
conformity with the elastic or inelastic character of the surface. THE PHILOSOPHY OF EARTHQUAKES.
Inelastic rocks are cracked; surface rocks are broken or over.
turned; buildings of all dimensions are thrown down; rivers Ta are few natural phenomena which might at first sight have their courses changed, or are exhausted in open fissures ; appear to be more under the random rule of chance than earth.jets of water or gas may arise from newly-formed crevices. If quakes. Still, even these, apparently the most wayward of all the action is onergetic at the bottom of the sea, aqueous waves natural occurrences, are doubtless governed, like all things else, like the terrestrial waves may be occasioned. The waters of the by definite laws; and, within the last few years, very careful sea may rush in upon the land, greatly above their ordinary level, researches have been instituted with a view to the discovery of or they may withdraw far back beyond the usual low-water mark. the nature of these laws.
All these phenomena have accompanied earthquakes, but not all of Two philosophers, in particular, have devoted much attention them one earthquake. Rumblings and seeming crashings, caused to this subject. In England, Mr. Mallet began a few years since by the collisions and displacements of rocks beneath the ground, to collect and systematize all the accounts of the phenomena of have been heard. Animals and human beings are peculiarly earthquakes which he could discover. These accounts, in a affected by atmospheric conditions, or sensible movements detailed and somewhat tabular form, are to be found in the attendant upon great shocks, or antecedent to them, and it is Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science found that such signs are not the less dreaded by those who for 1850, 1851, 1854, and 1858. They come down to the year 1842. live in countries where they are frequently manifested. FreM. Perrey, a professor of Dijon, has collected and published simi- quency does not diminish fear, but undiminished terror seizes lar accounts, coming down to 1850. The two tabular catalogues the inhabitants of countries subject to violent shocks at every thus published by these philosophers constitute an extraordinary new one. Humboldt describes his sensations upon feeling the monument of industrious research, since they commence with vibrations of an earthquake. He remarks that the principal the date 1606 B.C., and thus range over no less than three thousand cause of fear and dread is the sudden destruction of all one's five hundred and ifty-six years.
habitual feeling of security, arising from the swaying and rockof course, the notices thus accumulated are in many instances ing of things around which are at all other times immoveable. incomplete, this being especially the case with those having There appear to be different sorts of earthquakes, in their chareference to the remoter dates. Still, these catalogues present a racter as well as in their effects. Sometimes a single vibration sufficient number of reliable particulars to warrant certain very terminates the whole. At other times a series of vibrations conimportant and highly interesting general inforences.
tinues for hours or even days, with intervals of quietude, and occaWhat is an earthquake, philosophically speaking? This is not sionally has extended through weeks. Then, furthermore, some answered without considerable research, and the very simplicity undulations merely heave the ground upwards and downwards in of our reply is the product of a large induction.
one locality, or produce the same effect at many places on the An earthqnake is an undulating motion of the earth at the earth's surface in a certain direction. There are earthquakes which locality where it takes effect, corresponding to the motion in water consist of a sudden upheaval without undulation, and resemble when a part of it is suddenly raised or depressed. As in such the explosion of a coal mine. Others combine the direct upheaval cases the motion or wave thus produced may be continued to the with the advancing wave, and the result is a peculiar twist margin of the containing vessel without the water being moved like that of a vessel in a cross sca. This latter kind is commonly sideways, so with the earthquake's motion, or wave, as it is con. very dostructive to human life and human works. venient to name it. Generally, if from any cause an elastic surface In viewing the area of disturbance upon a large surface, we find is raised by a force from beneath, a ware of this nature is pro. its shape to be rather oval than circular, and the longer axis of duced, and the surface rises and falls over a gradually increasing this oval is generally parallel with the lines of elevation enclosing circle; but the magnitude of the wave diminishes continually as the great oceanic basins of the earth's surface, whatever the chathe diameter of the area of extension increases.
racter of such basins, and whether bounded by land above the Is there any predominant direction of an earthquake in its present level of the sea, or simply by submarine shoals and rocks course? It has such a predominant direction, notwithstanding rising from the floor of the ocean. It is inferred that all the great the apparent chance-like effeots of its violence. It would appear earthquakes take place along such lines of elevation, and that in that the shocks are not felt so far in some one direction as in some the ratio of the distance of the disturbance from them, is the other. That direction in which they are most felt may be termed intensity of the disturbance itself. Yet the spaces enclosed within the length of the earthquake ; and that in which they are least these lines of elevation, whether superaqueous or subaqueous, are felt, its breadth. They do not of necessity emanate from the direc. commonly free from disturbance, and destructivo shocks never tion which they assume at any one part of their course, since at that occur within these limite. part the earthquake-wave may have been broken, and may there- It is natural that we should inquire whether the rate at which fore appear to have come from another centre than that from which the earthquake-wave is propagated through the earth can be conIt really does come. Did we possess more numerous observations jectared. Doubtless it could be conjectured, and that with somo and comparisons of the same earthquake in different places, we approach to certainty, if the medium through which it is propagated might pronounce upon the matter of direction more clearly than were uniform in its degree of elasticity. But the materials of the we can now pronounce, but observations have been very few, and medium are infinitely variable in elasticity, density, and hardness, we can only say that the source of the disturbing action has been some of the component parts are dense and tough, others open approached to in some instances, and has been found to be some and porous ; some consist of solid masses, some of varying beds times more distant and sometimes less 80 than the nature of the of very different consistence; and the thicknesses of these several shock had seemed to intimate. Common opinion would presume components are so irregular, that no two points of similarity can overy great shock to come from a nçar source, and every lesser be foupd in these respects over a large space of the earth's surface,
Any earthquake-wave, therefore, which originates in one kind of The greatest centre of terrestrial disturbances, numerically rock, must necessarily in its progress encounter a variety of regarded, is the Italian Peninsula and the adjacent islands; and different materials, and thus become broken up into numerous it is universally known that this district is most remarkable minor waves, each of which may pursue its own course, and for its volcanic eruptions in Etna and Vesuvins. The most fear, itself become subject to subdivision from a like cause; and in rul and calamitous disturbances on record (except, perhape, Linthis manner the whole efect may be infinitesimally divided, and bon, etc.) have been originated in this centre; the origin being finally destroyed.
proved by the direct vertical action of the shock in ene spot. Still, it has been found possible to calculate the rate of the earth. Immediately above its place of origin the advance of the earthwave's propagation on a very large scale, and in particular wave is not so definite as to indicate its general direction, instances, where several observations of the same movement havo From what we have already said the intimate connexion between been recorded, with tolerable accuracy. In the earthquake of volcanic and earthquake action will be clearly seen; and as we Lisbon, in 1755, the rate of motion of the wave was sixteen miles a propose to bring before our readers on some future occasion the minute, as a general average from seventeen observations recorded most recent and best dofined views of the savans respecting at distances varying from thirty to a hundred miles, and this volcanoes, we shall not pursue the coincidence of the one dis general rate nearly accorded with each of the particular seventeen turbance with the other any further in the present article. In a cases. But in the second great earthquako of Lisbon, in 1761, future paper we may endeavour to establish the general truths which was felt equally widely, but not, it seems, through a larger which may now be briefly stated as follows:area, the rate was thirty-four miles a minute according to seven The subterranean disturbing force shows itself either in yolcanic observations. In the earthquake in California, in 1857, felt for a or earthquake phenomena, in accordance with the facility or diffidistance of two hundred and fisty miles from San Francisco, and culty of issue. "Where an easy opening is formed to the earth's carefully observed in five places, the rate was only between six surface, as where the rocks are already broken up, an earthquaka and seven miles per minute, From these instances it is manifest does not happen, but an eruption of a volcanic kind takes place. that the rate in various cases differs very considerably.
Where such easy exodus does not exist, the earth is shakes it It is practicable to arrange the districts most subject to earth. proportion to the violence of the internal action, the depth of its quakes in a topographical list, and to attach to them tho number source, and the elasticity of the material above it. of recorded disturbanccs. An abstract of the results already The frequency of earthquakes may be in part estimated from obtained is herewith subjoined.
the records accumulated by M. Perry and Mr. Mallet, particularly
Total number of from the catalogue of the latter gentlemen, which is the more European Hemisphere :
extensive. These show us that while only 787 earthquakes are Scandinavian Peninsula and Iceland
mentioned from the earliest period to the close of the seventeenth British Islands
century, and only 2,804 in the three succeeding centuries, no less Iberian Peninsula
than 3,250 are recorded in more or less detail during the half cenFrance, Holland, and Belgium.
tury concluding in 1850. As there are many tracts still mexs Basin of the Rhone
191 mined, all the earthquakes happening in this period have certainly Basin of the Rhine and Switzerland
567 not been recorded; therefore we have in the above number a less Basin of the Danube
amount than really took place. We are thus warranted in saying Italian Peninsula
that more than sixty earthquakes have been experienced in every perr Algeria and Northern Africa
upon an average. or this number about one in every eight Turco-Hellenic Peninsula with Syria
months has been a great earthquake, or such a ono as has reduced The Basin of the Atlantic
to ruins cities and towns, or principal portious of ther, and has In the American Hemisphere :
largely destroyed human life. United States and Canada
Adding the more detailed notices of M. Perrey, the mean annual Mexico and Central America
number of earthquakes recorded with dates in Europe and the The Antilles
adjacent parts, between the years 1833 and 1842, inclusive, was Chili and La Plata
nearly at the rate of thirty-three per annum. Supposing that
one-fifth more may have happened which have not been recorded, A few brief remarks on the above numerical list are all we have the mean annual number is no less than forty, or one in about space for.
every nine days. It is observable that the British Islands are less liable to That the number of earthquakes occurring within any ons disturbance than Scandinavia and Iceland, these two being period of time is nearly equal had been conjectured by some intimately related. That Iceland is a centre of volcanic action is geologists, but is a fact now nearly established by the beforewell known, and hence the number of shocks in it and the related mentioned tables and catalogues. They are, therefore, in a sense peninsula is not surprising. During the prosent century there periodical, and they recur at something approaching to comparshas been, on an average, ono shock in every six months in this ble intervals. Great earthquakes appear to havo happened, for district, but their destructive effects are not great, and they prin. some centuries, at intervals of about one hundred years, and cipally serve to show that the land itself is experiencing a slow groups of several important convulsions occur at intervals of but progressive elevation. In Norway the terrestrial commotions fifty years. Instance the last four hundred years ; it is obeert. are always connected with volcanic movements in Iceland, and able that the middle and latter part of the sixteenth cen. relief is thereby obtained immediately, without the disastrous tury were marked by numerous and important earthquakes,effects of long suppression and subsequent increased action, many of them very severe,--in China, Europe, and the Atlantic,
In the British Islands the general direction of the earthquake. There were disastrous earthquakes in the middle of the sevenwaves appears to be from south to north, tending more or less to teenth century in the basin of the Mediterranean; and the great east or west. Mr. Mallett believe this to be in the line of the Jamaica earthquake, besides others of magnitude, eccurred focus of the Lisbon earthquake and the Canary Islands. But Mr. towards the latter end of this century. David Milne supposes that the central point of distnrbance is The great Lisbon earthquake happened towards the middle of immediately beneath our island, and at no considerable distance, the eighteenth century, and, afterwards the great Calabrian catasMr. Mallet, however, controverts this not very probable opinion. trophe. During the present century there have been few or none A great number of little shocks have been experienced continually of extreme intensity, yet they may be expected in due course, It for a long period in and around Comrie, Scotland; these, however, would seom that an interval of about a century falls between each are only earth-tremors, and are probably the consequence of of the severest disturbances, and a like period is traceablo between rock-fractures below the surface where elevations or depressions others of noxt inferior energy in each century; these following the are taking place.
former at an interval of from thirty to forty years. Near the Spain and Portugal are the seats of extreme intensity of earth time of the great paroxysms of earth-motion, a number of analler, quake energy. The area disturbed includes part of the bed of the but individually important disturbances, have been, as it were, Atlantic, and extends to the Azores. It is needless to do more gathered into spaces of four or five years; while near to those of than mention the great earthquake at Lisbon. The general direc. secondary importance a considerable number occur during ten tion of the motion here is S. E. by E. to N.W. by W. It alters, or twelve years. however, in the Pyrenees, and approximates to the bearing of the Judging from the existing records, it would appenr that the mountain chain, running nearly E, to W.
first, fifth, ninth, twelfth, and eighteenth centuries of the Christian The direction of the disturbances in Belgium, Holland, andera have been the periods when the disastrous effects of earths France (exclusive of the Rhône), is principally along the line of quakes have been greatest upon the human race in civilized the principal valleys containing rivers. In 1839, from January countries; while the first and second A.C., and the third, scventă, 27th to June 16th, there were experienced at St. Jean de Maurionne, tenth, and fourteenth B.C. of our own cra, have been periods of in Savoy, no less than forty.nine shocks, of which number, nino comparative quietude. were severe, and the rest moderato or scarely perceptible.
There remains ono point of inquiry, and that the least dovelopód, The direction of the earthquakes recorded in the basin of the and therefore the most difficult, namely, the true theory of sarthRhine, the Rhone, and the Danube, was chiefly that of the river quake action and origination. This we shall postpone till we valleys to which they were limited; but the local exceptions were come to the consideration of volcanic phenomema, with which it important,
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