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lous cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii being situated at its base. The account of the eruptions in the year 79, which is so often referred to, we need not here repeat. Suffice it to say that the two cities above named were suddenly overwhelmed, and remained buried beneath many feet of lava, ashes and pumice, for more than sixteen centuries, when, in 1713, Herculaneum was accidentally discovered by the sinking of a well, which, fortunately, came upon the ancient theatre.
Many things have been discovered which throw great light on the ancient manners and customs of those cities. Since only a small number of skeletons have been discovered, we conclude that the greater part of the inhabitants escaped. In relation to the streets, we may remark that in some cases the pavements have sunk down, but in the majority they are undisturbed, consisting of irregular flags of lava neatly joined together, and often the carriage wheels have worn in them ruts an inch and a half deep. “It is impossible," says Lyell, “not to look with some interest even on these ruts, which were worn by chariot-wheels more than seventeen centuries ago, and, independently of their antiquity, it is remarkable to see such deep incisions so continuous in a stone of great hard
For completeness, the history of the eruption of Etna ranks next to that of Vesuvius. This mountain is a little more than two miles in height above the level of the sea, and rises in solitary grandeur, the monarch of European volcanoes. Over the whole immense declivity of Etna, and more especially the lower region, one beholds innumerable eminences or small conical hills, which rise from its surface, adorned with towns and villages, hamlets and monasteries.
Of the great eruptions of this volcano, we have space to mention only some of the principal ones. In the year 1669 there was an eruption which destroyed nunierous towns and villages, some of them containing a population of 3,000 or 4,000 inhabitants, and also a part of the city of Catania. The walls of the city had been purposely raised to protect it and its inhabitants. The flood of burning lava, after reaching the walls, rose higher and higher, till it reached the top of the walls, a height of sixty feet, and then it poured over, forming a fiery cascade of great sublimity, but carrying destruction into the city, which the walls were to protect, and a part of it was overwhelmed. The wall resisted the pressure of the lava, and it was afterwards discovered by excavations made in the rock by the Prince of Biscari.
In 1819, during the eruption which happened in that year, three large caverns opened, and in a short time afterwards a fourth one was formed below, from which flames and smoke issued, and finally a fifth mouth was opened still lower, from which a torrent of lava flowed, spreading itself rapidly over the Val del Bove. On arriving at the precipices known as the Salte della Giumenta, at the head of the valley of Calanna, the lava fell over in a cascade, making a great crash as it reached the bottom. Nine months after the eruption Mr. Scrope visited this lava current, and found it moving slowly down a considerable slope, at the rate of about a yard an hour. Cracks in the lava revealed a dull red light by night, and during the day visible vapor issued in considerable quantity.*
Besides the igneous phenomena to which we have now referred, there are 'hot springs and geysers, whose influence produce changes, though much less considerable than either volcanoes or earthquakes. The geysers of Iceland have often been described, and their phenomena and general appearance are well known.
Quite recently many geysers were discovered on the Yellowstone and the Firehole river, Wyoming Territory. Hot springs in some places are numerous, some of them even boil, but these are no true geysers. The elevation above the level of the sea is such that water boils at a temperature varying from 192° to 196° Fahr. On the Firehole river the Upper Geyser Basin is found, and at this place the great geysers exist. They are found about ten miles up the river. None of the great geysers exist at the Lower Geyser Basin, but, in the early morning, for four or five hours, it presents a most bean
* Scrope on Volcanoes, first edition, p. 102.
tiful appearance—" columns of steam are rising from a thousand vents, completely shrouding the valley as with a dense fog.” At the Upper Basin the geyser called “Old Faithful” sends up a column of water every hour, six feet in diameter, to a height of one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet. This region has been set apart by Congress for a National Park.*
The influence of earthquakes and volcanoes on the surface of the earth we have seen to be very great, when long periods of time are considered; but their immediate effect on man is even greater. So far as man is able to foresee to a certain extent, and prepare for a catastrophe, or counteract its effects somewhat, he is content to live where he is scarcely at any time safe; but when he is absolutely incapable of foreseeing, and in a measure avoiding danger, it seems that nothing but necessity causes him to expose himself and property to it. In the case of volcanoes, those who live in their immediate neighborhood have more or less warning, and they have time to flee from danger in many cases. But with earthquakes it is different. No one living in their vicinity knows whither he can go to place himself beyond the reach of danger; he is as likely to run into it as to run away from it.
Lyell says that why subterranean movements, which in the course of ages prove eminently beneficial, are attended with so much suffering, is beyond our philosophy to determine. In relation to this, we may remark that there is no evidence that this world was made especially for man, as we are sometimes told ; but rather man, being the most recently formed of all the animal creation, is adapted, as well as circumstances will permit, to his condition. As for suffering and misfortune, they are powerful incentives to intellectual progress, by stimulating the mind to investigate their causes, and thus to prevent or avoid them as far as possible. Man is certainly more a creature of necessity than many are willing to admit. Calamities and sufferings, in at least nine cases out of ten, are the result of ignorance. ..
* Silliman's Journal, Vol. ii., , pp. 105-115, 162–176, 294–297.
NOTICES AND CRITICISMS.
1. Guyot's Elementary Geography for Primary Classes. 2. Guyot's Intermediate Geography. 3. Guyot's Physical Geography. Advanced Sheets. New York:
Scribner, Armstrong & Co. 1872.
UPON the first issue of the above series of geographies, we took occasion to point out some of their more glaring defects.* We again take them up in view of the recent additions to the series, and of the extraordinary efforts put forti, not only to effect their introduction into all our schools, but to secure their recommendation as superior to all others. In referring to this series of text-books, it may be necessary to state briefly their peculiar plan, upon which are based the claims of so great superiority. “Previous to the issue of Guyot's Geographies, scarcely any efforts had been made to exhibit in a series of text-books the connection between the Geography of Nature and that of Man,” the italics being the writer's. This writer, we are informed by the author, is a lady of remarkable success in teaching geography, whose assistance in the preparation of these books he was “very providentially " enabled to secure. We may hence infer that in this series we are " providenti. ally,” to have the "geography of man," whatever that may be. The obvious derivation of the term geography from rñ, the earth, and Y paqn, a description, renders this language still more enigmatical ; but we pass on to notice another “characteristic of these geographies as distinguished from other series." "They recognize the element of successive causation connecting the different geographical topics, and make it the basis of the order in which those topics are treated." That is, the physical features of the earth and the distribution of races upon its surface, the relation of the climate, soil, etc., to the productions and degree of civilization, and the mutual influence of those complex causes are the link which is to bind together the disjointed
Vol. XIX, No. XXXVIII.
topics of these text-books in the minds of young pupils; thus calling for the exercise of the faculties, analysis and deduction, which can only be developed in the most advanced stages of education. This is the actual course pursued, in contrast with that laid down in the teacher's “Manual,” in which sixty pages are employed to explain to and instruct the teachers how to use these geographies ! There the order is given, as, first, to employ the powers of observation; second, of retention, and third, of imagination (p. 7). That this is not the order adopted is seen in a glance at the “Elementary,” where at the same time the attempt is made to show this philosophical connection, and in language certainly better adapted to the nursery than to the schoolroom.
Thus, under the head of occupations, which are introduced at once on this theory of “successive causation,” the pupil is informed (p. 15) that catching fish from the water is called fishing." In answer to the question “Huw do people on the banks of rivers spend their time?” we read “the people in these places are most of them very busy with mills and factories, making all kinds of things.” (!) In the “Intermediate,” where more precision of language might be expected, among the first definitions we meet, is the following. “By the climate of a country is meant heat or cold, moisture or dryness, healthfulness or unhealthfulness," on which it is unneccessary to comment.
In regard to the “native people” of South America we read (p. 23) “Negroes are numerous among the white inhabitants," and on the next page, “Cayenne pepper is a native of Guiana,” whether classed among the white inhabitants or negroes we are not informed !
These extracts will be sufficient to illustrate the language employed to teach clearly this theory of "successive causation” or “natural order” by which the pupil is to obtain an “intelligent knowledge” of the subject. Indeed this attempt to teach the philosophy of geography in this infantile style of language would be simply ludicrous, were it not for the fact that these books are in the hands of hundreds of children. We read on one page, the author's preface, in which he enlarges upon this principle of causative connection between the earth's surface and man's history as the only true method of studying geography, and on the next page, that of the “remarkably successful teacher," announcing that “minuteness of observation is the distinctive method of this book.” (!) By this assistance the author congratulates himself that “the difficulty in presentiug the subject in language appropriate for children is provi. dentially obviated ;” but the poor children, we apprehend, will not have