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rotten rat-inhabited walls, leave such to the proper craftsman; honour the higher Artist, and good-humouredly say with him:

“ All this is neither my coat nor my cake,

Wby fill my band with other inen's charges ?
The fisbes swim at ease in the lake,

And take no thought of the barges."
Goethe's political practice, or rather no-practice, except that
of self-defence, is a part of his conduct quite inseparably coherent
with the rest; a thing we could recommend to universal study,
that the spirit of it might be understood by all men, and by all
men imitated.

Nevertheless it is nowise alone on this revolutionary or 'progress-of-the-species' side that Goethe has significance; his Life and Work is no painted show but a solid reality, and may be looked at with profit on all sides, from all imaginable points of view. Perennial, as a possession for ever, Goethe's History and Writings abide there; a thousand-voiced“ Melody of Wisdom,” which he that has ears may hear. What the experience of the most complexly-situated, deep-searching, every way fur-experienced man has yielded him of insight, lies written for all men here. He who was of compass to know and feel more than

any other man, this is the record of his knowledge and feeling. “The deepest heart, the highest head to scan” was not beyond his faculty ; thus, then, did he scan and interpret: let many generations listen, according to their want; let the generation which has no need of listening, and nothing new to learn there, esteem itself a happy one.

To us, meanwhile, to all that wander in darkness and seek light, as the one thing needful, be this possession reckoned among our choicest blessings and distinctions. Colite talem virum ; learn of him, imitate, emulate him! So did he catch the Music of the Universe, and unfold it into clearness, and in authentic celestial tones bring it home to the hearts of men, froin amid that soul-confusing Babylonish hubbub of this our new Tower-ofBabel era ! For now, too, as in that old time, had men said to themselves : Come, let us build a tower which shall reach to heaven; and by our steam-engines, and logic-engines, and skilful mechanism and manipulation, vanquish not only Physical Nature, but the divine Spirit of Nature, and scale the empyrean itself. Wherefore they must needs again be stricken with confusion of tongues (or of printing-presses), and dispersed,—to other work; wherein also let us hope, their hammers and trowels shall better avail them.

Of Goethe, with a feeling such as can be due to no other man, we now take farewell: virit, vivit.

ART. II.- Fragmens de Géologie et de Climatologie Asiatiques.

Par A. de Humboldt. 2 tom. 8vo. Paris, 1831. In the year 1829, the Russian government, with a view to collect accurate information respecting the physical geography and climatology of Central Asia, and of their vast dominions in Siberia, appointed Baron Huniboldt and two very distinguished naturalists, MM. Ehrenberg and Rose, to undertake a scientific expedition to the Oural mountains, the frontiers of Chinese Dzoungaria, and the countries bordering on the Caspian sea. From the observations he was enabled personally to make in the course of this expedition, and the information he procured from the resident agents of Russia, as well as Tartars who had frequent occasion to traverse the interior countries for the purposes of commerce, Humboldt composed a series of Memoirs, on subjects connected with geography, volcanic geology, and climatology, which were read before the Academy of Sciences of Berlin, and the Institute of France, in the years 1830 and 1831. Of these Memoirs the work now before us is composed, and though it is only to be regarded as a collection of notes and fragments, to be made use of in a more extensive and elaborate treatise on the

geognosy

and physical state of the north-west portion of Asia, contemplated by the author, it abounds with so much novel and interesting information, that we conceive we shall be performing an acceptable service to our readers in laying an abstract of its contents before them. The first Memoir, on the mountain chains and volcanos of the interior of Asia, was originally written in German; the others, on the climate of some of the Asiatic countries, and the causes of the inflexion of the isothermal lines generally over the world, were composed in French. The work is also illustrated by some valuable notes by Klaproth, among which are a description of the Altai mountains, and the volcanos of Japan; and it is accompanied by an itinerary, giving the routes and distances between the principal places in the interior of the continent, and a map, in which the positions of the mountain-chains and principal volcanos are laid down with much more accuracy, we believe, than in any chart which has hitherto been published of these vast and imperfectly explored regions.

In the appointment of this expedition, the government of Russia would seem to have been influenced by motives of a less disinterested nature than the mere advancement of science. Observing the striking geognostical analogies that subsist between the Oural formation and those of some chains of mountains in Brazil, and aware of the similarity, or rather the exact identity, of the association of certain minerals all over the earth, Humboldt

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and Englehardt, professor of mineralogy at Dorpat, had expressed their conviction that the alluvial soil of the Ourals, which already afforded a considerable supply of gold and platina, would also be found to contain diamonds. This announcement was of too much importance to be overlooked, and accordingly one of the objects of the expedition was to ascertain, if possible, the fact. With this view Humboldt and his associates were for some time engaged in examining the soil in the neighbourhood of lekatherinebourg with the microscope. Their researches were unsuccessful, but the discovery of diamonds in the Ourals was actually made at this very time by Count Polier and M. Schmidt, who accompanied Humboldt as far as Tourinsk, and had only quitted him three days, when, on their return to Perm, they were fortunate enough to discover some crystals in the alluvial ground near Krestowosdvijenski, about eight leagues to the north-east of Bisserk, on the European side of the chain. In a geological point of view, and as confirming the recognised relations between the external form and interior structure of mountain ranges, the discovery was doubtless of considerable importance; how far it may contribute to give a temporary accession of strength to the gigantic power of Russia, must of course depend on the abundance of the mineral, and the facility with which it can be procured.

The following is the route of the expedition. Embarking at Nijnei Novgorod on the Wolga, they sailed down that river to Kasan and the Tartar ruins of Bulgari, and thence proceeded 'through Perm to lekatherinebourg, on the eastern side of the Ourals. In the course of a month's sojourn among these mountains, Humboldt visited the central and northern parts of the chain, where gold and platiņa are found in greatest abundance. From Iekatherinebourg they proceeded to Tobolsk on the Irtyche, and thence through Tara to Bernaoul on the Ob, visiting the picturesque lake of Kolyvan, and the rich silver mines of Schlangenberg, Riddersk, and Zyrianovski, on the south-west declivity of the Altai chain. From Riddersk they passed through Boukhtarminsk to the border of Chinese Dzoungaria, and obtained permission to cross the frontier to visit the Chinese post of Baty or Khoni Mailakhou, a central point of Asia to the north of Lake Dzaizang, and 82° east from Paris. Beyond this point they did not penetrate to the south or east. Having returned to the Russian post of Oust-Kamenogorsk, they proceeded along the banks of the Irtyche to Semipolotinsk and Omsk; whence, directing their course to the westward, and crossing the rivers Ichim and Tobol, they advanced through the steppe of the Khirgiz, till they reached the southern part of the Ourals. From Orsk, on the Iak or Oural river, they directed their steps to Orenburg, and thence to Sura

tow, on the left bank of the Wolga, after which they proceeded to Astrakan, for the purpose of analysing the waters, and making a collection of the fishes of the Caspian sea. From Astrakan the expedition returned to Moscow, through the country of the Don Cossacks, Woroneje and Toula.

On following this route on the map, it will be seen that the whole range of Humboldt's personal observations extended only to the countries situated to the north of the Altai mountains; the interesting facts, therefore, which he has detailed respecting the regions lying to the south of that chain rest on a different, and, doubtless, less unexceptionable authority. It is only, indeed, for a very small portion of the materials hitherto collected respecting the geography of Central Asia that we are indebted to modern European travellers; a great mass of important information has, however, been recently published by oriental scholars, skilled in Chinese, Mandchou, and Mongul literature. Many of the facts stated by Humboldt have been drawn from these sources by Klaproth and Abel Remusat; and he professes also to have derived inuch valuable assistance from M. Gens, who, during a twenty years' official residence at Orenburg, has collected a mass of important materials from natives visiting that emporium of commerce. It is unnecessary to add that he has also availed himself of all the published information bearing on the subject.

Ever since the days of Marco Polo, Asia has been an object of geographical interest to Europeans, and yet at the present time very little is known respecting the physical constitution of its interior. Its coasts and islands were explored at an early period, and the courses of its principal rivers have been ascertained with tolerable accuracy; but of those vast central regions, vaguely designated by the names of Tartary and Thibet--whose barbarian hordes have at different times carried desolation over the fairest portions of the civilized world--we have not, till of very late years, possessed any precise information whatever. Accord ingly, the most vague and erroneous notions have been universally prevalent respecting their geographical features, and particularly respecting their orography, and the general relief or elevation of the Asiatic continent. All our school books and popular treatises concur in representing Central Asia as a sort of platform, supported on all sides by lofty mountain-barriers, and elevated to a vast height above the general surface of the globe; yet the existence of a continuous table land in Asia, of any great extent, becomes less probable, in proportion as the interior of that continent becomes better known. In like manner, our common maps serve only to convey the most inaccurate ideas respecting the arrangement and distribution of the great mountain chains. They abound in general with the most extraordinary blunders, and seem to have been constructed on no better principle than the very absurd one of placing a range of mountains on all the lines in respect of which the affluents or feeders of the different rivers flow in opposite directions. The fixation of a few principal points by astronomical observation has demonstrated the errors of the existing maps; while the baronieter has afforded an accurate ineasure of the general elevation of some of the plains as well as the altitude of the mountain ranges, and consequently made us acquainted with the first elements of the climatology of the interior of the Asiatic continent.

Among the numerous reticulated groups of mountains that cover the surface of Central Asia, we may distinguish four great chains or systems, which lie almost in a parallel direction, ranging nearly from west to east, or from south-west to northeast. These, beginning with the most northern range, are 1st, the Altai; 2d, the Thian-chan; 3d, the Kuen-lun; and 4th, the Himalaya mountains. Between the Altai and the Thian-chan are comprehended the plain of Dzoungaria and the basin of the river Ili, which falls into lake Balkash; between the Thian-chan and Kuen-lun are the countries of Little Bucharia or Kashgar, Zerkend, Khotan, the great desert of Gobi or Chamo, Tourfan, Khamil and Tangout; and, lastly, between the Kuen-lun and Himalaya are Eastern and Western Thibet. A correct knowledge of the geographical situation and extent of these four ranges will materially assist us in forming a notion of the relative positions of the pumerous smaller groups, as well as of the general features and disposition of the ancient continent.

The Altai system, properly so called, occupies a space hardly extending seven degrees in longitude, though in its usual acceptation the term Altai designates the northern boundary of a mountainous region stretching from the sources of the Irtyche to the sea of Okotsk. Its culminating or highest point lies to the north-west of lake Oubsa;, to the east of this lake the chain takes the name of Tangnou, which it retains till it reaches lake Kossogol. From this place it is continued under different appellations till it joins the Iablonnoi-Khrebet, or “Chain of Apples," which stretches away to the north-east, or in a direction parallel to the sea of Okotsk. The mean latitude of the chain is between 50° and 511°. Its name, which in Chinese is said to signify “ Mount of Gold,” has probably been given to it on account of its great metallic riches. At present, according to Humboldt, it produces annually 70,000 marks of silver, and 1900 marks of gold. Although its summit is said by the Chinese to reach the milkyway, yet no part of the chain probably attains a greater elevation

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