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TH€ BGAUTieS OF NATURe

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THE BEAUTIES OF NATUEE

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C. CO..P.L. All rights reserved . LL. BART. SIR JOHN LUBBOCK. STeto gorfe MACMILLAN AND AND LONDON 1892 <f ..K.. M.THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE AND THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN THE RIGHT HON.S. D. F.D.

Boston. 1892. Presswork by Bekwicb & Smith. Boston. U. .S. U. ^3 3?- 7 'C^ErBiGHjj. .S. V :- - ^> - .A.. S.A. -^ Typography by J.A. Gushing & Co.

CONTENTS CHAPTEE I .

96 97 Animals Complexity of Animal Structure . Life of — continued ..vi CONTENTS CHAPTER On Animal Freedom Sleep III PAGE . 71 Animals 73 78 84 93 Senses Sense of Direction Number Size of of Species Importance of the Smaller Animals . 100 101 Length of Life 102 On Individuality 104 112 Animal Immortality CHAPTEE IV On Plant Life Structure of Flowers Insects 115 128 and Flowers 134 136 137 138 144 . .. ....^48 Past History of Flowers Fruits and Seeds Leaves Aquatic Plants On Hairs Influence of Soil 151 152 On Seedlings Sleep of Plants 152 155 156 156 Behaviour of Leaves in Rain Mimicry Ants and Plants .

CONTENTS Insectivorous Plants yii PAGB 158 Movements of Plants Imperfection of our Knowledge . 159 163 CHAPTER V Woods and Fields Fairy Land Tropical Forests Structure of Trees 165 172 179 185 Ages of Trees 188 192 194 Meadows Downs CHAPTER VI Mountains Alpine Flowers 201 205 206 213 Mountain Scenery The Afterglow The Origin of Mountains Glaciers 214 227 232 Swiss Mountains Volcanoes Origin of Volcanoes 236 243 CHAPTER Water Rivers and Witchcraft VII 249 251 ....

.. .. . On the Directions of Rivers Conflicts 279 301 312 The and Adventures of Rivers of Valleys On Lakes On the Configuration 323 CHAPTEE IX The Sea The Sea Coast Sea Life . . VIII 255 256 272 CHAPTEK Rivers and I^akes 277 . 335 337 344 351 The Ocean Depths Coral Islands 358 365 367 The Southern The Poles CHAPTER X The Starry Heavens The Moon The Sun The Planets ... Skies ..CONTENTS PAGE Water Plants Water Animals Origin of Rivers 252 253 The Course Deltas of Rivers .. 373 377 382 387 .

ogy . .CONTENTS PAGE ^^'''"'y ^^»'^« 388 390 oni • The Earth ^^''® 392 393 The Minor Planets Jupiter 394 395 one ^^'"™ Uranus Neptune Origin of the Planetary System . . Comets Shooting Stars The Stars ^Qg ^iq Nebulse ^25 .398 ^Q.

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Do. 109 Medusa aurita. . . 221 zi . 15.35 Primrose 14. 17. Salvia 8. PAOE Larva of Choerocampa porcellus Bougainvillea fruticosa. do. 10. . (After Heim) . (After Steenstrup) 6. 4. 53 (After All107 2. 12. 108 Medusa-form . and the Maderanerthal. 9. 16. 1. magnified . (After Jaocard) 19. . Do Do. Do. Do Arum Twig of Beech Arrangement of leaves in Acer platanoides Diagram to illustrate the formation of Mountain . 110 124 125 125 127 127 White Dead-nettle Do. and progressive stages of development. man) 3. do. 13. 216 Section across the Jura from Brenets to NeuohStel. 5. Do. . natural size. 127 131 131 1. . 11.ILLUSTRATIONS FIO. 7. . 219 Section from the Spitzen across the Brunnialp. . 140 142 Chains 18.

. 2-5. View in the district of the Broads... ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE Glacier of the Blumlis Alp. . . Gotthard Section of a river valley. A... Valley of the Rhone. forming the North and South Downs. .. slope or talus of debris . 37. (After Judd) 24. 281 Weald Clay. . The dotted .. 22. of . shows a 260 261 Section across a valley. Do. . Do.. . (After Judd) Stromboli. 283 284 Map of the Weald of Kent . Map View of the Valais near Sion . . d. 38.. with a valley between it and the Chalk o. 20. old river terrace 28. (After Judd) Lava Stream. showing the slope .. in the Rhone Valley.. Norfolk . Escarpment of Lower Greensand. valley. 34. .. . . etc. 262 showing a river cone. . 228 237 239 ..263 265 266 267 of an Alpine showing a river cone. . . The Chalk. Lateral view 30.. as shown in the dotted c. viewed from the north-west. . Delta of the Po 273 274 . 21.. Diagram Diagram of an Alpine Front view 29. present river valley B. c. April 1874. .. Lake District the Weald of Kent. (After Eeclus) ... . line 26.. once spread across the country. .. xii FIG. . Cotopaxi. forming plains of Hastings lines 39. 35. 23. . showing a talus of debris 27. river cone . Mississippi Map of the Section of Upper Cretan ceous strata.242 257 Upper Valley of St. Hills formed Sand and Clay.. ... a 268 269 271 33. ... . near Vevey . chiefly Chalk. . 6. Shore of the Lake of Geneva. a.. . valley. showing a lateral cone 32.. 36. with the waterfall of Sallenohes. 6. . 31. .

. (From J. 46. . 50. (After Darwin) . The Parallactic Ellipse. (After Clarke) PLATES BuENHAM Beeches Windsor Castle. Rio. (After Judd) (After Ball) . as it used to he . it is River system of the Maloya Final slope of a river ... . . To face page 13 Aquatic Vegetation. (After 53. 47. 48. Sketch Map Map of the Swiss Rivers 291 Diagram Sketch in illustration of of mountain structure the Aar and its tributaries . . . with a lake of a valley (exaggerated). sedimentary strata 329 B. 41. by Spooner and Co. Diagrammatic section BB.) Kingsley) (Published . Orbits of the inner Planets. ordinary level of river G. " 145 Tropical Forest. 395 (After Ball) .. Barocius. Saturn. " 203 . flood level . .359 380 A group etc. Ball) . " . 45. as River system round Chur. 52. xiii PAGE 40. . ILLUSTEATIONS ITG. . with the surrounding series of rings. . (After " . . 42. (After Lockyer) 54. a drawing by Finnemore) . rocky hasis of a valley 49. do. River system round Chur.388 389 Relative distances of the Planets from the Sun.413 416 Displacement of the hydrogen line in the spectrum of Rigel. 51. 317 318 Do. 296 299 308 309 311 43. 44. . . . . West Indies. of Lunar volcanoes Maurolycus. 55. "179 " Summit of Mont Blanc . A A. Whitsunday Island.

. (Prom a photograph by Frith and Co. "247 " 253 264 " " "268 " "334 "371 Prof.. Mont Blanc Rydal Water. .) View of the Moon near the Third Quarter. (From a photograph by . MAnKiCE View dp the Valais from the Lake of Geneva The Land's End. . (From a photograph by Frith and Co.) Windermere View in the Valais below St.. .. published To face page 229 by Spooner " " " and Co.. Draper) " .xiv ILLUSTRATIONS .. The Mer de Glace. .. published by Spooner and Co..

CHAPTER INTRODUCTION I .

We have implanted in us the seed of and God our Master brings forth our from obscurity. a house were given you. night.If any one gave you a few acres. you would say that you had received a benefit. covered with a roof which glitters in in one fashion by day. God has If buried countless masses of gold and silver in the earth. light . you would call that a benefit. he has ordained the . Whence comes breath you draw the by which you perform the actions of your life is life? the blood by which your maintained? . summer and winter varieties of voice. its voof beautifully it painted with colours and gilding. all and furnished food to alternation of the flocks. . . . of arts . so. . . has built for you a mansion that fears no or ruin . all arts . can you deny that the boundless If any one gave you extent of the earth is a benefit? money. has invented so notes to all many music. the meat by true which your hunger is appeased? but all . and the another by . many make ages. not a few oxen. no small fire God . bright with marble. The God has planted. you would call benefit. . and . the herds on their pastures throughout the world. Seneca. intellects — . .

and none The long the beauties and wonders which surround us.^ see depends mainly oti^what turn our eyes to the to see look When we rain. geologists the fossils. botanists the flowers. we might.! CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The world we exquisite live in is a fairyland is of beauty. greatest traveller cannot hope even in a life to visit more than a very small part of that of our earth. itself. our very existence a miracle in and yet few of us enjoy as as yet appreciate fully. sky. is it is in most cases mei^ely whether field likely to In the same the farmer will notice the crop. 3 Though . and even which is under our very eyes how little we see \Wh at we it we do for. sportsmen the cover for game. artists the colour- ing.

I know. nous ressemble et nous la . to in to intensify to deepen melancholy. la plus Comme vie de I'homme. I confess. As Mrs. W. as her husband for nature. Le ciel ecla- tant et joyeux nous est ironique. triste La Nature console . 1 Choses Vues. . as Keble says. as for the " instance by Victor Hugo. good. est le ciel toujours au fond plus triste que gaie. Greg tells her memoir of us "His passionate love so amply fed by the beauty of the scenes around him. well as raise the spirits. seems to me. This view. magnifique. meme prospere. Nature rayonnante. " to have our lift thoughts beautiful up to that world where it is all is and glorious. it does all follow that we should see them." ' . how much of this world is It has. R. a morbid There are many no doubt on whom beauty is the effect of natural feeling." — but well to beauti- realise also ful. sombre nous est harmonieux. superbe a quelque chose d'accablant. we may not at It is look at the same things.: 4 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE all chap. that effect of general la beauty is to sadden. been maintained. .

not only the spirits. Kash judgments. as all keen percep- tion of beauty does. or even gloomy. Something passes into us which makes our sorrows more sorrowful. life. which nature and art and music give us what we ing is really is quickened by the uplifting of the — our whole him. and so feed With lofty thoughts. . Through the years of this our : to lead From joy to joy for she can so inform' The mind that is within us. I INTKODUCTION- 6 intensified the emotions. hills. life more vivid." But surely soling raises to most us Nature when sombre. that neither evil tongues. our joys more joyful. So it was with wanderings over the and the beautiful moonlight nights on solitary The long the lake served to make of is the shadows seem darker that were brooding over his home. soothing and con- when bright and beautiful. but their joyousness. so impress With quietness and beauty. 'tis her privilege. nor the sneers of selfish men. . it did not add to We mean speak of the pleasure that our whole beveil. but inspires and elevates our whole being — Nature never did betray The heart that loved her all ..

6 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE Nor greetings where no Mndness is. without finding in it a fairy tale of which T could but decipher here and there a line or two. or a tuft of heather.^ Kingsley speaks with enthusiasm of the heaths and moors round his home. ture never." Those who love Nature can never be dull. They may have other temptations least . Our cheerful faith. helps 1 The love us greatly to keep Wordsworth. every bee. save one. again. or by " to ennui. and yet found them more interesting than all the books. . idle. alone he- cause when man was not with me. Shall e'er prevail against us. or disturb all chap. I can honestly say. nor The dreary intercourse of daily life. want of occupation. but at they will run no risk of being beguiled. idleness. in I had and companions pebble ." of Nature. of na. which were ever written upon earth. and flower I and never because could not pass a swamp. "where I have so long enjoyed the wonders . that all which we behold Is full of blessings. buy the merry madness of an hour with the long penitence of after time.

^ . and were loved by. and reward. — loved. of this world not . including a. horses and carriages. not now merely (^^All the few. who are so favoured. as well as protection of life. from the main dangers It Such times have passed away. but with bright and happy thoughts. but with the best things. but is better ones have come. until it becomes almost In the romances of the Middle Ages we read of knights who Nature spirits." brightens fairy tale. a It turns walk and a like into morning or evening life sacrifice. loves in those who will love Nature richly she return.1 INTRODUCTION 7 ourselves free from those mean and petty cares which interfere of so much with calm and " every ordinary peace mind. which As oft as A mark of gold thou puttest thy hand-therein thou shalt iwinne. magic purse. as they are commonly called. and the Fairy in of Sir Launfal Tryamour. who furnished him with many good things. with money and titles. content- ment and peace of mind. not perhaps with the good things.

or nearly a few times to each of us. and as each year fades flowers stretch out away." he remoimt the is river who is loves Nature always ? young. Nature ? It on the con- trary. or look up from the ground. the seasons come round like old friends the birds sing : to as he walks along. How often one a bunch of withered blossoms on the roadside. almost the worst waste of If we could imagine a day prolonged for so. The golden rays of the morning are a fortune in themselves. Happy him indeed is the naturalist : to him . . but we too often overlook the loveliness of Nature.! 8 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE chap. he looks back on " a fresh store of happy memories. Though we can never of our years. and that sunrise and sunset were rare events which happened but a lifetime. we should certainly be entranced by the beauty of the morning and evening tints. the from the hedges. But what the love of Nature Some seem to think they show a love of flowers finds by gathering them. plucked only to be Is this love of thrown away is. for a waste of beauty all. a is wicked waste.

and also his creative power.. they should contemplate the heavens bespangled and adorned with stars . the earth should open. behold the earth. the heavens . inasmuch as day is occasioned by the diffusion of his light through the sky and when night has obscured the earth. 1 INTEODUCTION it is 9 because constantly before us. in great and com- modious houses. and without stirring from thence. where they should immediately extent of the clouds and ." says King far Alfred. At things it seldom " Well. adorned with statues and pictures. is more struck sees. For " the senseless folk. and observe his grandeur and beauty. and they should quit their dark abode to come to us ." says Cicero. who are reputed happy abound with . they should be informed of a certain divine power and majesty. and. ' If there were men whose habitations had been always underground. " did Aristotle observe. the surprising variety . after some time. should consider the vast force of the winds should see the sun. furnished with everything which they if. the seas.

or Mountain Spirits. Elves and but Kelpies. — every River its To the or Mountain or Forest special Deity. and that these are their mighty works. 'they should see these things.10 of the THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE moon. and the . they would undoubtedly conclude that there are Gods. Forest. in her increase of all chap. lean ? ^ Which on such golden memories can At the same time the change which has taken place in the character of our religion has in one respect weakened the hold which Nature has upon oiir feelings.' " Is ^ my life vulgar. De Natura Deorum. they had a conscious existence of their oWn. were not only the favourite abodes of Water. had not only own itself but in some sense was life. the rising and setting the stars. . In the Middle Ages indeed. and wane .' says he. my fate mean. instinct with They were not only peopled by Nymphs and. inviolable regularity of their courses when. Greeks — to our own ancestors. 2 Thoreau. Fauns. these 1 spirits Cicero.

were the abodes of hideous ghosts and horrible monsters. but to mar. or on the continent by narrow strips. The light of Science has now happily dispelled tiplied. being often on that . and replaced by geometrical squares. Forests have flat fields in been cut down. however. were none the judicial records of the extreme. their these fearful nightmares. which beauty has not been sacrificed to profit. of Giants and Ogres. These less fears. very account the more dangerous while the Mountains and Forests. not to beautify. Here and there indeed we in meet with oases. though vague. malevolent the — even all the most beautiful. as men have mul- energies have hitherto tended. is and it is then happily found that not only there no loss. and apt to take offence sometimes as essentially . Unfortunately. and the Middle Ages furnish only too conclusive evidence that they were a terrible reality. like Venus of Tannhauser. Sorcerers and Demons. . the Lakes and Seas.t INTRODUCTION U were regarded as often mischievous. but the earth seems to reward even more richly those who treat her with love and respect.

own we have the blue sea itself.i Spenser. the pebbly beaches. the . and picturesque Northumberland and Cumberland. of the white Kent. lastly. then the fertile Midlands. the tinted sands of Alum Bay. 1 down along the lee. unduthe gravelly : and still granite tors in the centre of England we have to the east the Norfolk Broads and the Fens . Scarcely any part of the world affords so great a variety in so small an area as our island. . the Lancashire hills. . the chalk Downs and and the the farther clear streams. and large oxen . rich meadows. rivers. the Lakes of Westmoreland hills. Granite and Gneiss in Cornwall inland we have .: 12 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. cornfields. the swelling castles of bleak moors. There are of course far larger perhaps none lovelier than The crystal but Thamis wont to glide In silver channel. the Red Sandstone of Devonshire. first Commencing chalk cliffs in the south. the well-wooded weald rich hop gardens lating farther westwards hills. and to the west the Welsh mountains farther north the Yorkshire Wolds.

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is lifted above vulgarity associations. but on the spirit which it is done.in +lip hnt. There indeed. in the wonderful chemistry which changes grass and leaves.hp mparlnws hay^ and in woods but planks for houses. hardly any busiaess or occu- pation with reference to which the same might not be said. but Sack s_of_whft^t. to flowers and seeds. and may be pursued with dignity and peace." by ancient.| int. dotted with country houses and crowned by Windsor Castle itself is (see Frontispiece). and often sacred. is. Even from this trusses of more is prosaic point of view. Not only the regular pro- fessions.! I nsTTEODUCTION 13 by lawns and' parks. eggs and cream. is honourable in itself. into bread and milk. or cover for game. however humble. . By many beautiful. Tlie triviality or vulgarity does not depend on what in we do. how much there wonder at and admire. " that the Peasant does. but every useful occupation in life. meadows and wooded banks. says Hamerton. Scotland considered even more And fields yet too many of ns gPP nntTiinn. butter and honey Almost everything.

and smooth the way for those who come after us. We sit quietly at own charms and home and Nature . sing- ing so long as there is light to cast a shadow . the coloured yellow-hammer sing. sing. In truth we all love change.14 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. But. fresh leaf One perhaps Every week brings bird or insect. the same wild flowers. some or flower. its Every month again has beauty. Working in this spirit we have also the sat- isfaction of feeling that. old want I want the same the and loved things. the same trees and soft ash-green. as in some mountain who takes the right path. said Jefferies. it. decks herself for us. it must be admitted that the country has special charms." many years I able to see why I went the same round I do not and did not care change : for change. seems to make the way clearer for those who follow. Some think if they do not care for but I doubt " for they know was themselves. the blackbirds. even for those who are track every one not Agriculturists. turtle-doves. is the continual change. so may we also raise the profession we adopt. " Not.

upwards to the great gallery of the summer. great I should miss the thistles the reed hiding the moor-hen. find them morning after morniug. at first crudely ambitious and lifted by force of youthful sap straight above the hedgerow to sink progress of its weight presently and . starry-white upwards up to their idle ideal. his Kingsley again in charming prose . petals radiating.I INTRODUCTION dial. the bryony bine." After all then he did enjoy the change and the succession. all by step. the chaffinch with a feather in the living staircase of the spring. and stay to look down on Let me crowns — grasses the very thistles opening their . Let me shadows resting on the white dust the yellow dandelion disk. let me see hear the humble-hees. let me watch the same succession year by year. striving see the . and I me want them in the same place. her bUl step . with crafty tendrils air swifts shot through the the clouds with outstretched wings like crescent-headed shaftless arrows darted from . for 15 on the Let the such is the measure of his song.

is Marriage monotonous . last the dream please God. and morally useful. " having never yet actually got to Paris. ' The Litany. " after all." itself . Atlantic. how happy he was! At last. trium- "At At last we too are crossing the of forty years. but there is much. Locomotion is regarded as an evil as by our Litany. and a host of bad But even as he writes one can he does not convince himself. 16 idyll " THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. usual. and I should . anxiety. and I do pity them. passions. " is pleasant morally pleasant.. I trust. see that Possibly. he the grapes are sour " and . My Winter Garden he " tries to persuade himself that was glad he had never in travelled. Monotony." saves curiosity. citement. he says. would be fulfilled. he says. admits. are as bad as a fire. disappointment. years after he did travel. to be said in favour of holy wedlock. right. say the wise. ' is Those who travel by land or sea are to be objects of our pity and our prayers . when some phantly. It I delight in that same ex- monotony. Living in the same house is monotonous but three removes.

and ugly . generally remote from centres of population that our great cities are grimy. From had studied Charts. dark." No doubt there is much to see everywhere. blighting ground. The Poet and the Naturalist find ' tropical It forests in every square foot of turf. History. to refresh and strengthen both mind and body by a spell of Sea air or Mountain beauty. but is from time to time.I INTRODUCTION 17 see (and happily not alone). they are ." may even be better. to live mostly in quiet scenery. the West Indies childhood I their last. their their Natural . that factories are creeping over several of our counties. that though mountains may be the cathedrals of Nature. and especially for the more sensitive natures. and the Spanish Main. among . replacing trees them into building by chimneys. Romances and now. woods surely good for every and downs one. and . On the other hand we are told. fields it and hedgerows. and told of course with truth. and judge for myself of the reported wonders of the Earthly Paradise. at I was about to compare books with facts.

is it not all the more desirable that our people should to pictures have access and books. But is not so. natural But if this be true. from time to time. has been to me therefore a .18 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE of chap. and is pleasant. to a country. visit We this sometimes speak as it. not every one who can see Switzerland like a Ruskin or a Tyndall. replace what they have thus unfortunately travel . though no one who has once seen. at any rate. the Swiss lakes. than on their power of seeing what It is before them. to be reminded of their beauties. which may in some small degree. lost ? We cannot all and even those who can. and to see were the same It is thing. of Their beautiful descriptions less mountain scenery depend on their mastery of the English language. great as that is. are able to of the world. destroying almost every vestige beauty. the Alps. still becomes it less vivid as years roll on. can the recollection ever forget. or the Riviera. see but a small part More- over. There is one other advantage not if less important.

shall stretch right and left.I IXTRODCCTIOX of 19 mucli interest to know which Nature have given the greatest pleasure to. with and high peaked French roofs. gay with flowers. clear river. where the quivering great dark trout sail to and fro lazily in the sun? White chalk fields above. may be considered best able to judge. He is describing his : return from a day's trout-fishing — '•What shall we see. or have most impressed. broken by louvres made and dormers." still. haunted by a thousand swallows and starlings. horses switching off the of tall elms . —a . stalwart flies. light and cheerful though by quoins windows of white Sarsden stone. those aspects of matter who. either from wide experience or from their love of Nature. dark avenues ' groups of abele. gay red and blue waggons . he says. '• as we look across the broad. Old walled gardens. I will begin with an English scene from Kingsley. A park merry hay- makers . Clipt yew alleys shall wander away into mysterious . ' tossing their whispering silver to the sun the house. and amid them great square red-brick mass. full of hazy in the heat.

and will sit down. off. . and eat flowers. thrush and dove. and then watch the quiet house.20 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. and the rich minstrelsy of nightingale and blackcap. and shining water. beneath the black velvet canopy of tree. till we doze in- lulled by the murmur of a thousand sects. all sleeping breathless in the glorious light beneath the glorious blue. graceful. and out of their black arches shall come tripping children. complete English country ish life and country houses . glooms. and lawn. few men have loved Nature more devotedly. like white fairies. like its the great cedar some . fair tropic flower hanging from and we boughs and drink among the burdock leaves. and fair human creatures. arid speaking of his : own all home he expresses his opinion that " Of . to laugh and talk with the girl who lies dreaming and reading in the hammock there. everywhere fin- and polish Nature perfected by the wealth ! and art I of peaceful centuries Why should all exchange you. " Peaceful. even for the sight of " ? the Alps Though Jefferies was unfortunately never able to travel.

where the veil tall and slender palms pierce the leafy around them. the calm sublimity of a tropical night.." ^ Passing to countries across the ocean. light over the gently heav- ing ocean or I would recall the deep valleys of the Cordilleras. Full of their ideal the starry flowers strained up- wards on the bank. as in our northern skies. I IXTRODVCTIOX is 21 sweet things there none so sweet as fresh air -^ one great flower it is. I my own would instance. I came every morning to stay by the star-lit bank. shed their soft and planetary . The plain road . amongst the most striking scenes of nature. striving to keep above the rude grasses that push by them genius has ever had such a struggle. is Sweetest of all things wild-flower air. over. drawn round about. and . and the magical it filling all the room of the earth. was made beautiful by the many thoughts it gave. like Aphrodite's arms as if the dome of the sky were a bell-flower drooping down essence of over us. and enclosing us. when the stars. : Hum- boldt tells us that " If I might be allowed to recollection of abandon myself to the distant travels. not sparkling.

along the vine-clad slopes of Orotava. the features of the landscape. so that the eye of the traveller may range from the brink of the crater. or nfiist. or I would describe the summit the Peak of Teneriffe. it is not the peaceful of charm uniformly spread over the face nature that moves the heart. but rather the physiognomy and conformation of the peculiar land. . as ' were. by opening a wide field to the creative power of his imagination. the ever- varying outline of the clouds. dimly seen through the morning that All that the senses can but imperfectly all is comprehend. and their blending with the horizon of the sea. dazzling in whiteness. most awful in such romantic scenes of nature. whether lies it spread before us like a smooth and shining is mirror.22 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE their feathery it chap. and suddenly the ascending current pierces the cloudy veil. has separated the cone of cinders from the plain below. In scenes like these. when a horizon layer of clouds. may become a source of enjoyment to man. form. waving on high forest and arrow-like of branches. to the orange gardens and banana groves that skirt the shore. ' a forest above a .

spots are cleared cane. the most beautiful productions of the intertropical regions." which we have our- Humboldt also singles out for especial praise the following description given of Tahiti by Darwin ^ " The land capable of cultivation is scarcely in any part more than a fringe. sugarcultivated. and we are led by a happy illusion to believe that we receive from the ex- ternal world that with selves invested it. orange. The reef is broken in sev- eral parts so that ships can pass through.I INTRODUCTION 23 Impressions change with the varying move- ments of the mind. as well as a channel for the native canoes. thus affords a safe harbour. and pine-apples are 1 Even Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. down to the beach of coral sand The low land which comes is covered by In the midst of bananas. cocoa-nut. sweet potatoes. accumulated round the base of mountains. which encircles at a distance the entire line of coast. and protected from the waves of the sea by a coral reef. . of low alluvial : — soil. and breadfruit trees. and the lake of smooth water within. where yams.

abundance I as noxious In Brazil have often admired here the contrast of varied beauty in the banana. which from as a weed. . They are characterised only . The little winding shade. in this case it from any en- cannot fail to ter as an element in the paths. from its and deeply digitated leaf. by negative possessions without habitations. from the surrounding . loaded with large and most nutri- tious fruit. we have in addi- tion the breadfruit tree. the brushwood a fruit tree. cool feeling. yet these plains by to be most wretched and useless. glossy. after going round the world that " in calling up images of the past. tbe is guava. forth lish its sending branches with the force of an Eng- Oak. led to the scattered houses and the owners of these everywhere gave us a cheerful and most hospitable reception. It is admirable to behold groves. palm. However little on most occasions utility explains the delight received fine prospect. its namely. I find the plains of Patagonia fre- quently cross before are pronounced my all eyes .of a tree.24 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE is chap. conspicuous large." Darwin himself has told us. and orange tree .

without tains. the flat earth was sur- rounded by an impassable breadth of water.r INTRODUCTION trees. for they are scarcely practicable. 25 without water. their duration through future as the ancients supposed. artistic whose wide his experience and power make : important. they bear the stamp of having thus lasted for ages. then Why myself — have these level. free scope given to the imagina- The plains of Patagonia are boundless. but ? I can scarcely it must be partly owing to the tion. says "I — opinion especially know nothing in the visible world that . which are serviceable to mankind. or by deserts heated to an intolerable excess. produced an equal impression analyse these feelings. and there appears no limit time. — and the case is not peculiar to arid wastes taken so firm possession of still my mind ? Why have not the fertile more the greener and more pampas. If. without moun- they support only a few dwarf plants. and hence to unknown . who would to not look at these last boundaries ill-de- man's knowledge with deep but " ? fined sensations Hamerton.

and snow takes first the tender a white rose. but to one of the Hainerton's Landscape. thousand green shadows lengthen. and with lianas hanging from nearly every bough. carrying their crowns out of sight amongst a canopy of foliage. entangling the giants in a great network of coiling cables. Sometimes a tree appears covered with beautiful flowers which do not belong to 1 it. . till ghastly gray. and very justly. and then the flush of a the rare strange vision fades into red one. combines splendour and purity so perfectly as a great mountain entirely covered with frozen snow and reflected lake. pure as the cold the illuuainated colour of depth of a glacier's crevasse. in the in the vast mirror of a its declines. As the sun azure.26 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. and the sky turns to a pale malachite green. and passing from tree to tree. praises the description of tropical forest scenery given by Belt ragua : " — in his charming Naturalist in Nicathe road great trees On each side of towered up." ^ Wallace especially. but leaves with you a permanent recollection of its too transient beauty.

yellow. is filled with a delicious perfume. are common . but not less so are the cecropia trees. lop-sided leaved and coloured begonias are abundant. and typical of tropical American forests . the source of which one seeks around . Sometimes the ground carpeted white. and now and then magnifto delight the icent tree ferns send off their feathery crowns twenty feet from the ground sight by their graceful elegance. Amongst these aerial arums that send down long tough and strong. leathery melastomsB. Climbing ferns and vanilla cling to the trunks. with their white stems and large palmated leaves standing up like great is candelabra. varying in height from two to fifteen feet. and flesh- succulent-stemmed. or or the air that have fallen from some invisible tree-top above. Amongst species the undergrowth several small of palms. and universally used instead of cordage by the natives.1 INTRODUCTION its 27 lianas that twines through branches and sends down great rope-like stems to the ground. with large flowers. are large roots. pink. Great broad- leaved heliconias. and a thousand epiphytes perch themselves on the branches.

for the flowers that cause are far overhead out of sight. of which the component parts exhibit in detail untold variety of beauty. Patrin tions with enthusiasm men- how one day descend- ing from the frozen summits of the Altai." To quote the words of Mr. cold sleep of winter Unknown the unknown the lovely at the first awakening active life of vegetation gentle touch of spring. nay. excels. Belt " Unknown are the autumn tints. lost in the great over- shadowing crown of verdure. A ceaseless round of ever- weaves the fairest scenery of the tropics into one monotonous whole. but M. in vain." " But.28 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE it chap. the bright browns and : yellows of English woods sons. where the dying foliage rivals. he came suddenly on a view of the plain of the ." Siberia is no doubt as a rule somewhat severe and inhospitable. the expiring dolphin in splendour. purples. . much of less the crim- and yellows Canada. " the uniformity of climate which has led to a this rich luxuriance and end- less variety of vegetation is also the cause of monotony that in time becomes oppressive. ." he adds.

as far as the eye could reach. Obi — the or green only in places. tells purple. and the of endless shades of green presented by the verdure-clad surface the earth. and the silvery covered by three flowers. we have presented animal worlds an to us in the vegetable and infinite variety of objects adorned with the most beautiful and most . in front a great plain. Narcissus — green. the purple Siberian Iris. Wallace of colour us that he himself has de- rived the keenest enjoyment from his sense : — " The heavenly blue tints of of the firmament. and for the rest the golden Hemerocallis. source of pleasure to who timable gift of sight. contrast with these broad and soothing tints. but the frame and background of In a marvellous and ever-changing picture. he says. gold.failing enjoy the inesconstitute. all are a never . the exquisite purity the snowy mountains. and white. Behind him were barren rocks and the snows of winter.r INTRODUCTION 29 most beautiful spectacle. not indeed entirely green. which he had ever witnessed. as it Yet these were. the glowing of sunset.

their structure. varied hues. they clothe and enliven them to be objects of universal admiration. Flowers. suffi- might seem to throw some doubt on the ciency of the easy.30 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE ohap. and birds are the organisms most generally ornamented in this way . the answer was in the progress of discovery man would." . and insects both It . and although the fact that Full — many a flower is bovn to blush unseen. can then hardly excite surprise that this relation was long thought to aflford a sufficient explanation of the phenomena of col- our in nature. and their symmetry of form. cause birds. while to many of us their contemplation brings a solace and enjoyment which is intellectually and morally beneficial. variety of and the lavish abun- dance with which the earth. And waste its sweetness on the desert air. find out and enjoy every beauty that the hidden recesses of the earth have in store for him. The child and the savage alike admire the gay tints of flowers. insects. sooner or later. — that explanation. The relation of this wealth of colour to our mental and moral nature is indisputable.

and then with an nothing cuts or . quarry throws a stain. you find a little moderate verdure —a little . the stain is of precious gold. seen through that magic distance only a the air has not new transparency it so that you can see an unknown farther into quality. in the general sterility. And wherever. or there the clinging of some thin leafage spreads a bloom. which sharp and hard as well as clear is soft . effect . and the bloom of silver. to present a whole system of noble colour flung abroad over perfect forms. so that to see into it is greater glory. but a new crystal of some water. here the clearness glitters. like than elsewhere. Between the blue of the sky and the tenfold blue of the sea these bare ranges seem." Speaking of the ranges and promontories of sterile limestone.I INTRODUCTION 31 Professor Colvin speaks with special admiratioQ of Greek scenery : — " In other climates. it is only in particular states of the weather that the remote ever seems so is close. be- neath that daylight. the same writer observes that their colours are as austere and delicate " If here the scar of some old as the forms.

tropics. you are struck with a sudden sense of and feel as if the splendours of the tropics would be nothing to this. a cluster of cypresses — or when- ever your eye lights upon the one wood of the district. " II faisait. Pierre of such a scene.32 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE chap. less In parts of the however. La lune paraissait au milieu du firmament. though the mild climate we enjoy is is partly due to the sky being so often overcast. moist grass. que ses rayons dissipaient par degr^s. the long olive grove of the Cephissus. richness. si communes entre les tropiques." Most travellers have been fascinated by the beauty of night in the tropics. the air calm and cloud- throughout nearly the whole of the year. is There no dew. Our even- ings no doubt are often delicious also. entour^e d'un rideau de nuages. et dont le plus abile pinceau ne rendrait pas le beaute." says Bernardin de St. Sa lumiere se r^panI'ile dait insensiblement sur les montagnes de . and the inhabitants sleep on the house-tops. in full view of the brightness of the stars is and the beauty of the skj?^. " une de ces nuits delicieuses. which almost indescribable.

r^jouis par la clart^ de la nuit et la tran- de I'air. divergent the often green yellow in centre. the corresponding appearance in the Southern hemisphere. Often two even three arches appear one over the After a while coloured pencils. and crimson . Grradualljr a curve of light spreads of yellowish-white hue. flashes like an immense arch which gains rapidly in or and vibrates like a flame in the wind. like the approach dawn. et se refl^chissaient au sein de mer.I INTRODUCTION 33 et sur leurs pitons. Tous. de au haut des rochers. de doux murdans leurs mures d'oiseaux. other. qui rep^tait leurs images tremblantes. On entendait dans les bois. rays dart upwards in below. jusqu'aux insectes. laient la Les ^toiles ^tince- au ciel. Les vents retenaient leurs haleines. brilliancy. and faint of appears as a glimmer in the north. qui quillity se caressaient nids." In the Arctic and Antarctic regions the nights are often made or quite gorgeous by the and Northern Lights Aurora borealis. The Aurora borealis generally first begins towards evening. au fond des vallees. petits cris. qui brillaient d'lm vert argente. bruissaient sous I'herbe.

Sometimes off the two ends of the arch seem to rise horizon. or at least very dark violet. and we must not complain our every month has its . first Gradually the light glimpse of dawn. own charm and beauty. . at others the separate lit and extinguished. flickers and has generally disappeared before the We seldom see the Aurora in the south of England. but winters are mild. above. and the whole sheet of light throbs and undulates like a fringed curtain of light sometimes the sheaves of rays unite into an immense cupola while rays seem alternately . and the heighten their effect by contrast. and fades away. while said that sometimes almost black. rays are interspersed among the rings of light. 34 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE it is chap.. In January we have a the lengthening days.

1 Shelley. we have " " " the summer the golden grain.comes. Spring seems to revive us of Solomon — In the Song My beloved Rise up. can spring be long behind ?i all. If wintei. .. And the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. The voice of the turtle is heard in our land. and come away. the holi- days of Christmas. past. lo. my my is and said unto me. and the bright side. " " the hoar frost on trees and the pure snow. fire- It is well to begin the year in January. I INTRODUCTION In July " August 35 flowers. Oh wind. . the winter The rain is over and gone The flowers appear on the earth The time of the singing of birds is come. spake. love. the fruit. The fig tree putteth forth her green figs. For. " September " October " November " December the autumn tints. fair one. for we have then before us all the hope of spring. last not least.

36 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE " chap. and the earth make a haroff- mony. the true summer. The day. wherein the world reaches its perfection. sleeps over. are strewn with flowers : The very waters the buck-bean. and the nodding panicles of oats. ority of the . level. But indeed there are days. To have lived through all its sunny hours. the water-violet. spring. seems longevity enough. shoot from their green and glaucous stems. when the air. as .the broad hills and warm wide fields. immeasurably long. . wheat. the real. at son. the heavenly bodies. in broad. — and barley. nature would indulge her These halcyon little days may we be in looked for with a more assurance that pure October weather. and the queen of the waters. which distin- guish by the name of the Indian summer. the pure and splendid . " almost any season of the year." Yet does not the very name of Indian summer imply the superi- summer itself. " when the young corn is bursting into ear the awned heads of rye. the elegant flowering rush. if ." says Emerwhich occur in this climate. and waving expanses of present beauty and future promise.

unless we perversely reject her help.I INTKODUCTION lily. it Even now we we cannot be acres. visible of perceiving. its roof beautifully painted with colours 1 and Howitt's Book of the Seasons. 37 white invest every stream ^ and lonely and mere with grace." For our greater power indebted to Science. will. so endow vs. to the unaided eye. time to ourselves. the infinitely great and the infinitely Science. that fewer hours of labour will serve to supply us with the leaving us more all material necessaries of life. "gave you a few you would say that you had . re- ceived a benefit can you deny that the is boundless extent of the earth a benefit ? If a house were given you. have little. leisure. we are greatly is Over and above what and microscope. bright with marble. the telescope vealed to us. have some and for too grateful. therefore of enjoying Nature. "If any one. our Fairy Godmother. . at least partially." says Seneca. the two magic re- tubes. more leisure to enjoy that makes life best all worth living. and refuse her richly gifts.

Whence comes . the breath which you draw your the light by which you perform life ? ? ? the actions of your life is the blood by which maintained is the meat by which . so .. glitters in one fashion by day.. De Benejiciis. . . many . God has built for you a mansion that fears covered with a roof which no fire or ruin . but all the herds on their pastures throughout the world. all furnished food to the flocks ." 1 Seneca. not a few oxen. . The true God and or- has planted. and in another by night. he has dained the alternation of summer and winter arts . . your hunger appeased . so many and variemusic. of all arts and God our Master ^ brings forth our intellects from obscurity. ( you would call it no small benefit.38 gilding. he has invented ties of voice. THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. notes to make We have implanted in us the seeds of all ages. . .

CHAPTER II ON ANIMAL LIFE .

then will every creature be to thee life. a mirror of and a book of holy doctrine. Thomas a Kempis.If thy heart be right. .

to the noble Horse. the Sheep. the Cow. I will not say merely the study of a day. Man's faithful friend. we have perhaps treat fallen into the other extreme. actually worship them. ment and relation to other living beings. When we consider how much we owe to the Dog. a lifetime. we cannot be too grateful to them like . underrate the sacredness of animal life. and our other domestic animals.CHAPTER II ON ANIMAL LIFE There is no species of animal or plant which would not well repay. and them too much like mere machines. constitute an inexhaustible study. the patient Ox. some ancient nations. and past history. develophabits. 41 . and if we cannot. geographical distribution. but even the devotion of Their form and structure.

find their Some burrow home in the the ground. some are carnivorothers feed ous and wage open war some. 42 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE chap. As to food. on leaves or wood. some live in the Some Arctic regions. in fact. attack their victims from within on vegetable food.. however. . especially perhaps those which live together in true communities. and which offer so many traits sad. Some species. at a temperature of 130°. The modes in water animal life are almost in- finitely diversified . . more insidious. Hence to adapt them to these various require- . there is scarcely an animal is or vegetable substance which not the special and favourite food of one or more species. on the sea-shore. some in the burning deserts one little beetle (Hydrobius) in the thermal waters of Hammam-Meskoutin. are no doubt more interesting than others. on seeds or fruits . some comical. some live on land. — some — which reproduce more or less closely the stances of our circum- own of . some in air. some of those dwell in rivers. life. which are aquatic some some in lakes or pools. and all interesting. others in the depths of the ocean.

The Bee constructs her . stores it ceived. of an animal from birth to maturity is no mere question of growth.M ON ANIMAL LIFE 43 ments we find the utmost differences of form and size and structure. are very different are affected from those by which they at maturity. very active. with six strong- It conceals itself in some flower. but is so minute as not to be percell. young lava legs. GROWTH AND METAMORPHOSES The development. so the external forces acting on them. Even the same individual often goes through great changes. when they arrive is A The remarkable case that of certain Beetles which are parasitic is on Solitary Bees. and lead a that different life. leaps her. and when upon the Bee comes in search of honey. great extent on the fact that the little creatures quit the egg at an early stage of development. indeed. The metamorphoses of Insects have long excited the wonder and admiration They depend to a of all lovers of nature.

finished the egg. she attacks the honey stances but under these circum- the activity which was at . At that mo- ment the to little larva quits the Bee and jumps on to the egg. For instance. and lays her egg. . such as the Bee and some have grub larvae. such the and there larvae of is a group of live inside minute forms the which the eggs of other insects. Having . first so necessary has become useless the legs which . larvae like caterpillars. which its floats comfortably in the honey with mouth just below the surface. These differences depend mainly on the mode of life and the character of the food. with honey. find great Even Insects in the same group we may differences. some have Sawflies. in the family of to which Bees and Wasps belong. and present very remarkable and abnormal forms. which she proceeds gradually devour.44 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE chap. Ant as . did such good service are no longer required and the active slim larva changes into a white fleshy grub.

that to every individual contains within say. the hind Whales and of the Boa-constrictor.. but there are others of a different origin changes which the race has passed through in bygone ages. so Thus the rudi- mentary teeth of Cows. which are imbedded in the the rudiare in- mentary collar-bone of the Dog. but in many the cases they are passed through within egg and thus escape popular observation. Naturalists who accept the theory of evolution. Sheep. . etc. the rudimentary toes of legs of many mammals. Whales.ON ANIMAL LIFE 45 RUDIMENTARY ORGANS Such modifications may be that have reference to the called adaptive. In fact the great majority of animals do go through metamorphoses (many of them as remarkable. though not so familiar as those of insects). (which never emerge from their sockets). etc. a history of the race. consider that the development of each individual represents to a certain extent that which the species has itself gone through in the lapse of ages . flesh. itself.

the spots on the . neck it The long neck of the and the short one of the Whale (if can be called). but in their young stages go through essentially similar metamor- phoses. the leg of a Horse and of a Mole. for Crustacea. The on the young Lion. and are similarly arranged. among the lower among Insects and full The Lobster. the wing of a Bird or a Bat. Shrimp. contain the same young stripes number Even of vertebrae. are and we find the same law animals. though used for such different purposes. though differing so . Crab. after birth the of allied species resemble one another much more than the mature forms. include corresponding bones. the paddle of a Whale. are all constructed on the same model. and Barnacle are very unlike when grown.46 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Giraffe. No animal is perhaps in this respect more interesting than the Horse. these organs were fully developed. and the arm of a Man. The skull of a Horse and that of a Man. dications of descent from ancestors in which Again. as. young Blackbird. well-known cases prevalent instance.

II ON ANIMAL LIFE are.^ " 47 much. There however. with new relations and a reduced. remnants of the The foot is reduced to a single toe. general arrangement and other. sometimes in if not quite. function- The Horse. composed of exactly having the same relation to the same mimber of bones. says Flower. are represented by the tains splint bones . and which " linger as it were behind. repre- senting the third digit. but the second and fourth. grow but once. though rudimentary. while the foot also conmuscles. and almost. . seen in the one can be traced in the other. but every ridge and surface for the attachment of muscles. originally traces of several belonging to the toes which have now disappeared. 1 uses." It is often said that the Horse presents a remarkable peculiarity in that the canine teeth are. and every hole for the passage of artery or nerve. and last or minute points which are shed before the appearance of which are probably the true milk canines. in most Horses certain spicules the permanent canines. each Not only the individual bones.

^ but it down which to the burrow lacks the horny-pointed tip of the tongue. thus enabling that bird to pierce the grub out.48 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the of the hen-bird has become much elongated and slightly curved. in which the sexes. and when the cock has dug down to the burrow. other organs which are fully developed lower animals. in the true Woodpecker and draw bill it is provided with recurved hairs. and if they sound hollow. I know. In the Hura." Even Man himself presents and indications of in- traces of gill-openings. to dig of the Insect. MODIFICATIONS There is in New Zealand a form of Crow It is the only case (Hura). bill is differently shaped in the two The bird has taken on the habits of a Woodpecker. however. less condition. and the stout crowadmirably adapted like bill of the cock-bird is to tap trees. in which the female has undergone a very curious modification. the hen inserts her long bill and .

n ON ANIMAL LIFE 49 draws out the grub.^ 1 Lubbock. we many perceive cases we know what and every the reason for every difference . . excited . the beauty of the colouring. . almost for every hair. and in is. meaning little was known to us indeed we scarcely realised that there to decipher. Fifty Years of Science. in form. but written an unknown tongue. in size. was any meaning Now glimpses of the truth are gradually revealing themselves. We took pleasure in their beauty their habits their adaptation to and mode of life in many cases could not be overlooked or misunderstood. which they then divide between them a very pretty illustration of : the wife as helpmate to the husband. but of the true . and in colour for every bone feather. The graceful forms our wonder and admiration in of the letters. that there is a reason. It was indeed until lately the general opinion that animals and plants came into existence just as we now see them. Nevertheless the book of Nature was like some missal richly illuminated.

50 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUKE chap. they probably render them more attractive to their mates. In some. COLOUK The serve colours of animals. . I believe. as a protection. looked simply splendid floating round and round the willows which of a marked the margin dry pool. of which the Peacock is one of the most remarkable illustrations. His blue his markings were really blue were in his wings. To me colour is is a sort of food every spot of colour a drop of wine to the spirit.^ " whose broad wings." says JefEeries. " One fine red admiral butterfly. of these butterflies . however. and the leaves are dull with heat." The varied colours 1 which add so much to The Open Air. so pleasant. dry summer. — blue velvet — if red and the white stroke shone as I wish there in sunbeams were more summer. stretched out like fans. In richness of colour birds and insects vie even with flowers. is when the flowers seem gone and the grass not so dear to us. a little colour is . generally.

no direct benefit. " may be true. benefit. are not perhaps of any direct but are incidental. I believe that most of these colours are now of some The black back and silvery belly of fishes " have been recently referred to by a distinguished naturalist as being obviI should on ously of. the contrary have quoted this case as one where the advantage was obvious. into the water while the white under-surface makes them less visible from below. but afford us also some of in the most interesting problems in Natural History. of the desert are those of the Arctic regions are . which during life is completely hidden. sand-coloured The animals . themselves of Some probably any direct are not advantage. The dark back renders the eye looking down fish less conspicuous to an . But although advantage. The brilliant mother-of-pearl of certain shells. the rich colours of some intei.jaal organs of animals. like the rich and brilliant hues of many this minerals and precious stones.ir ON ANIMAL LIFE 51 the beauty of animals and plants are not only thus a delight to the eye.

caterpillars. and pelagic animals are blue. opake more or less irregular white. Crustacea. and which as a rule The smallest and yoiingest larger. not continuously olive like but blotched with rounded patches of bright. which are especially defenceless. especially in winter. like rays of light seen through leaves.52 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Lion. like other desert animals. "When they become acterised they are char- by longitudinal lines. like the leaves on which they live. see making him . An living interesting case in is that of the animals the Sargasso or gulf-weed of the Atlantic. which break less up the surface and thus render them . These creatures and Mollusks alike the Seaweed itself. difficult to among the upright grass Leopards and the tree-cats are spotted. — are — Fish. so as closely to resemble fronds cov- ered with patches of of Flustra or Barnacles. Take the case feed on leaves. are green. white like snow. . The is sand-col- oured the Tiger which lives in the Jungle has vertical stripes. characterised by a peculiar colouring. Let us take certain special cases.

however. afraid of these caterpillars (which. I need not say. Conspicuous caterpillars are generally either nauseous in taste. On older and larger ones the lines are diagonal. as a matter of . and the insect. 1. and the eyes " do much to increase the de- ception. Every one who is sees one of these caterpillars struck by '' so-called its likeness to a snake. of The large caterpillars some of the Elephant Hawkmoths are very all conspicuous.fact." because there are interesting exceptions. or protected by hairs. has the habit of retracting and front segments. its when head in danger. some I say " generally. That small birds are. the ring on which they is are placed swollen. and rendered the more so by the presence of a pair of large eyelike spots. which gives tional resemblance to it an addi- some small reptile. like the nerves of leaves. Moreover. — Charocampa porceUus. Fig.II ON ANIMAL LIFE 53 conspicuous. are in reality altogether harmless) Weis- .

One was of them lit on the edge of this tray. pillars also are when the Other cater- probably protected by their curious resemblance to spotted snakes. while one bird. which lit in it unsuspectingly. and just going to hop in. mann He put one of these caterpillars in a tray. Weismann removed birds soon attacked the seeds. Among perfect insects many resemble closely the substances near which they live.54 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE has proved by actual experiment. until at last there was a little company of ten or twelve birds all looking on in astonishment. in which he was accustomed to place seed for birds. Immediately she began bobbing her head up and down in the odd way which some small birds have. One of the large Indian caterpillars has even ac- quired the power of hissing. Another joined her and then another. Soon a little flock of sparrows and other small birds assembled to feed as usual. chap. After waiting for it. but not one ventured into the tray . some time. Some . but was afraid to go nearer. beat a hasty retreat in evident alarm as soon as she perceived the caterpillar. when she spied the caterpillar.

or even three. which. So also many harmless animals mimic others which are poisonous or otherwise well protected. so series of green leaf that it closely resembles the edge of a pinnate leaf projecting out of shade into sunshine. Some . In these cases generally only the females that are mimetic. Some butterflies.It ON ANIMAI. for which mimic some reason or other. and in some cases only a part of them. and therefore not attacked by it is birds. cases in Again. but partly to form. or other advan- due not merely to colour. are less liable to danger. or the surface of stones. retaining the normal colouring of the group. The argument cases in tage. Such are the insects insects which resemble sticks or leaves. also is is strengthened by those which the protection. LIFE so as to 56 of moths are mottled trees. mimic others which are nauseous in taste. Bates has pointed out. or mimic the bark moss. so that there are two. the other spiders mimicking another species. there are others. the one. kinds of females. as Mr. beautiful tropical butterfly has a dark One wing on which are painted a tips.

that sheep are not coloured green but every mountaineer knows that sheep could not have had a colour more adapted to render them inconspicuous. It has been found that some brilliantly coloured and conspicuous animals are either nauseous or poisonous. its native haunts. closely resemble Ants. In these cases the . for sight appear to be protective. in trary. sects and several other in- mimic Wasps or Hornets.56 THE BEAITTIES OE N^ATURE chap. from a richly- flash of light upon the water and the coloured Woodpecker wears the genuine dress of a Forester — the green coat and crimson cap. Even the brilliant blue of the Kingfisher. Some reptiles and fish have actually the of changing the colour of their skin so power as to adapt themselves to their surroundings. Many at first cases in which the colouring does not It has. which in a museum renders it so conspicuous. will on consideration be found to be so. on the con- makes it difiicult to distinguish . instance. been objected . and that it is almost impossible to distinguish them from the rocks which so constantly crop up on hill sides.

and other birds at certain times of year. or compel our reluctant attention by their similarity to us in structure but none offer more points of interest than those which live in communities. many micro. 57 brilliant doubtless a protection by rendering them more unmistakable. others may surprise us by their size. I do not allude to the temporary assemblages of Starlings. common wants in suitable but to regular and more or less or- ganised associations. nor even to the permanent associations of animals brought together by localities. phants and Whales. but they have not been as yet so much studied . as Elestill . such as scopic shells . Swallows. such as birds or butterflies. COMMUNITIES Some animals may their delight us especially by beauty. or the more marvelma)y fascinate lous monsters of ancient times us by their exquisite forms. of Such colonies as those interest- Rooks and Beavers have no doubt ing revelations and surprises in store for us.II ON ANIMAL LIFE colour is .

which do no work. hold a very high place. : comparatively long I have had working old. and in wings would of . no two of which have the same habits.lived in one The community of my nests for fifteen years. for there are at least a thousand species of Ants. consists. it as they never leave the nest again. their utility to man. Ants which were seven years and a Queen Ant . and one or more Queen mothers. from the beauty and regularity of their cells. and their relations with other animals and with one another are less complex than in the case of Ants. who have at first wings.58 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. after one Marriage flight. Among these the Hive Bees. of wingless workers. of males. In this country we have which is rather more than thirty. been so well studied by Gould. as those of some from insects. Huber. most of Their life I have kept in confinement. in addition to the young. they throw off. Forel. and from the debt we owe them for their unconscious agency in the improvement of flowers. which have naturalists. which. but they are probably less intelligent. and other The subject is a wide one. M'Cook. however.

except on all occasionally. the younger Some of them. but carry fairs of the the af- community. differing greatly not only in size. remain in the nest. and tend nests often the young. which are sorted up according to age.11 ON ANIMAL LIFE 69 course be useless. whether they doubtful. Among the Termites those of one class certainly seem to act as soldiers. age. also and among the true Ants It some have comparatively immense heads is and powerful jaws. is nature which. however. real form a army. so that my had the appear- ance of a school. In our English Ants the workers in each species are all similar except in size. excavate chambers and tunnels. and especially ones. lay eggs. nor different but the are adaptations of to functions. but also in form. not yet well understood. The workers do not. Bates the observed that on a foraging expedition large-headed individuals did not walk in the . The of differences are not the result of race. however. but among foreign species there are some in which there are two or even more classes of workers. with the children arranged in classes.

is Nevertheless true." This. but did they marched along at the side.regular intervals. did not desert her. to ascribe them a much humbler merely " as function. however. namely. that the working Ants and of her Bees always It turn their if heads towards the Queen. we yet know. I confess. "like subaltern officers in a marching regi- ment. guide. congregating round her for . I unfortunately crushed the her. seems as the sight gave them pleasure." overseer. On one occasion. but nest. seems to me improbable. quite correct in describing Ants as having " neither ruler. nor The so-called it Queens are really Mothers. and at tolerably . so far as Solomon was. on the contrary carried her into the new and subsequently into a larger one with which I supplied them. Queen and killed or The others. to serve indigestible morsels to the ant thrushes.60 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUEE chap. nor on the return carry any of the booty. and it is curious. however. regular ranks. while moving some Ants from one nest into another for exhibition at the Royal Institution. draw her out as they do dead workers." to He is disposed.

species I have over and over again introduced Ants from one of my nests into another nest of the same species. and dragged is It evident therefore that the Ants of each community all recognise one another. On the other hand it must be admitted that they are in insects. individuals .000 and it is a lesson to us. I several times divided a nest into two halves. and they were invariably attacked. by a leg or an antenna. of Ants are sometimes to numbering even up 500. of and found that even after a separation a year and nine months they recognised . not only with most other species. hostility. But more than this. One could hardly help fancying that they were mourning her her recovery. which is very remarkable. or hoping anxiously for The Communities very large. if including Ants of different but even with those of the same belonging to different communities. loss. that no one has ever yet seen a quarrel between any two Ants belonging to the same community. seized out.II ON ANIMAL LIFE just as if 61 weeks she had been alive.

I took fifty selves speciinens. one another. They seemed quite . However. but this was fatal therefore they were them . First I tried chloroto form. The table was surrounded as usual with a moat of water to prevent them from straying. This easy than I had expected. was None of my Ants would voluntarily degrade them- by getting drunk. and put them on a table close to where other Ants from one of the nests were feeding. To test this I made some insensible. and were while they at once perfectly friendly. attacked Ants from a different nest. has been suggested that the Ants of each nest have some sign or password by which they recognise one another. although of the It same species. twenty-five from one nest and twenty-five from another. marked each with a spot of paint. The Ants which were feeding soon noticed those which I had made drunk. made them dead drunk.62 THE BEAUTIES OE NATTTRE chap. and as did practically dead. I not consider the test satisfactory. therefore less I decided to intoxicate them. I got over the difficulty by putting them into whisky for a few moments.

emerging from the chrysalis skin. be ill a Wolf or a Rook it is or injured. For instance. I watched her also carefully to see For some days she did what would happen. In another case an Ant in the same manner had injured her antennae. where by spirit. . to cut my the story short. to do with their drunkards as we After a while. however.II ON ANIMAL LIFE 63 astonished to find their comrades in such a disgraceful condition. she was carefully fed and tended by the other Ants. injured her legs so much that she lay on her back quite helpless. Not so with Ants. they carried them all away : strangers they took to the edge of the moat and dropped into the water. while they bore their friends home into the nest. This little experiment also shows that they If help comrades in distress. For three months. and as to much at a loss know what are. degrees they slept off the effects of the Thus it is evident that they know their friends even when incapable of giving any sign or password. however. we are told that its driven away or even killed by comrades. in one of in my nests an unfortunate Ant.

and after a while stranger met a Ant of the same species. the quality of kindness. . came up. It makes all the sent. chap. much. she much hurt and lay helplessly on her Several other Ants passed her without taking any notice. and carried her off tenderly to the nest. others soon find their does not prove difference If way to it. not At last one day she ventured outside. with her antennae. by at once attacked. no doubt. or perhaps by my was well-meant evidently side. but whether by her enemy. whom she was I tried to separate them. The existence of such communities as those Ants or Bees implies. whether they are brought or they merely accompany on her return a companion who has brought a store of food. but soon one examined her carefully I think. who saw it could have denied to that Ant one attribute of humanity. It is well known that if one Bee or Ant discovers a store of food.some power of communicatioHj but the amount is still a of matter of doubt. .64 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE leave the nest. No one. however. but clumsy kindness. This. but be- longing to another nest.

and wanted them her to secure so far as it. came out again with no less off fly. and then went straight off to the nest. less than twelve friends. it and about bluebottle six feet fly. but in a few seconds half — than — a minute. pinned on to a piece and put prise it down it just in front of her. During that time not a single .n it ON ANIMAL LIFE does not imply much. She went straight in. Now her . come and belp In all such cases. the first she must therefore Ant took nothing home with somehow have made to her friends understand that she had found some food. Ant had come out in fact she was the only Ant of that nest out at the time. made several experiments. one cold in their nests. however. carrying and eventually tore up the dead it off in triumph. I 65 To test this. but to her sur- found first immovable. the Ants brought . For inall stance. ofE She at once tried to carry the fly. She tugged and another for tugged. one way and then about twenty minutes. day my Ants were almost One only was out hunting from home. I took a dead of cork. who trooped with her. my experience goes. there- fore.

of others. seems to prove that. In such a case. found two more friends and brought them in. they all began running about in search If of some place of refuge. the little insect never remained there. again. she of her friends. the same ma- noeuvre being repeated until the whole nity commu- was in a place of safety. 66 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE and some of chap. and took into the covered part then both came out again. in F. threw over her shoulder (their way of carry- ing friends). . as make If slaves Huber first observed. fusca at the powers of communication are but limited. came out in search and the first one she met she took up in her jaws. This I think says much for their public spirit.. after a while some Ant discovered brave it. a col- ony of the slave-making Ants is changing the nest. if I uncovered one of my of the Fuscous Ant (Formica I covered over fusca). the latter carry their mistresses to their new home. a matter which is left to the discretion of the slaves. Certain species of Ants. but least. nests Again. however. their friends. now one small part of the nest. my experiments indicated that they are unable to send them.

others nests. which feed on the honey-dew over. do the selves. Many other insects are also domesticated by Ants. moreAnts protect the Aphides thembut collect their eggs in autumn. and some of them. Not only. that supplied with they would thrive very well a slave for an hour or so once a week to clean and feed them. and indeed it is say that they have domesticated more animals' than we have. from living constantly underground. and tend them carefully through the winter. . if however. unless there their mouth. by the Aphides. I a slave to put it into found. trees Some species keep Aphides on and bushes. community does not They have domestic not going too far to animals. ready for the next spring.II ON ANIMAL LIFE Qj One kind of slave-making Ant has become so completely dependent on their slaves. collect root-feeding Aphides into their to the secreted They serve as cows Ants. Of these the most important are Aphides. But in many cases the consist of Ants only. that even of if provided with food they will die is hunger.

tunnels. — it difficult deny our to them the 1 gift of reason . tending their domestic animals its — each one fulfilling duties industriously. their eyes and become But by I must not let myself be carried away subject. excavating chambers. tenanted by thousands of industrious inhabitants. it is impos- not to ask ourselves mere exquisite automatons conscious ant-hill beings ? how far they are how far they are When we watch an . and Wasps. and all Ants. feeding the young. When we sible see a ing together in community of Ants workperfect harmony. is and without altogether to con- fusion. still I any one who has studied the life-history of Ants can draw any fundamental line of separation between instinct and reason. this fascinating which I have I treated more at length in another work. have completely quite blind.^ will only say that is though their intelligence do not think that no doubt liiuited. gathering food. forming making roads. guarding their home. Bees. .68 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE lost chap.

not so much kind as in degree. .II ON ANIMAL LIFE observations 69 recent tend to confirm the differ opinion that of their mental powers in from those men.

.

CHAPTER ON ANIMAL LIFE III — Continued .

. inconceivably minute and numerous as the stars of heaven.An organic being is a microcosm —a little universe. Dak WIN. formed of a host of self-propagating organisms.

or collecting materials for nests. " as to a fly. as free. as yet we know very little. will Any one. seriously. however. it is much freer than a Man and is a black incarnation of freedom. The industry of Bees is When collecting honey or pollen 73 . constantly speak of animals as free. they are in truth seeking for food. satisfy who watch animals diligently will soon himself how they work. but in this case the idea I fear. frolic Young animals may life and play. or wandering aimlessly about. Even when they seem diligently to be idling over flowers. but older ones take very flies.. About the habits of fish and indeed. to a great extent erroneous. CHAPTER ON ANIMAL LIFE TIT continued." It pleasant to think of anything is. proverbial. — We fish. is A says Raskin.

As to freedom. are all ment's rest Sundays and Bank Holidays the same to them. Birds have their own gardens and farms from which they do not wander. free. Ants fully commendation of Solomon. moreover. Again. and within which they will tolerate no interference. Mr. deserve the Wasps have not dustry . and that he starts or . Galton is believes that the life of wild animals very "From my own its life recollection. they often over twenty flowers in a minute. says. are far stricter than those of from which we are happily anxious. They suffer under alarms. the same reputation for in- but I have watched them from before till four in the morning dark at night work- ing like animated machines without a moor intermission. keeping constantly to one species. Their ideas of the rights of property some statesmen. they have their daily duties as much as a mechanic in a mill or a clerk in an office." he in "I believe that every antelope South Africa has to run for every one or two days upon an average. without yielding a moment's dalliance to any more sweet or lovely tempter.74 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUEE visit chap.

in ON ANIMAL LIFE 75 gallops under the influence of a false alarm many times in a day. it. temperament routine of The life. he will probably awaits him be no gainer by the change. either as brutality. latter are alone suited to dull endure the crass habits domesticated and Suppose that an animal half-tamed. them becomes movements or rank a Now this hourly lifeis and-death excitement keen delight to most wild creatures. but must be peculiarly distracting to the comfort-loving of others. which has been captured and punishment or through mere that he received ill-usage from his captors. Those who have crouched at night by the side of pools in the desert. into a and then breaks maddened rush as one of conscious of the stealthy scent of a beast of prey. and rushed indignantly into the forest with his ribs aching from blows and stones. moment and fight at another how a herd suddenly halts in strained attention. in order to have a shot at the beasts that frequent life . see strange scenes of animal how the creatures gambol at one . If a comfort-loving animal. more serious less ill-usage : alarms and no he .

" he exclaims. 1890. assures us with confidence that the struggle for existence leaves them spirits. and he finds the buttings and the kicks of other animals harder to endure than the blows from which he species stitute fled : he has peculiar disadvantages . that with a heavy heart he turns back to the habitation he had quitted. from being a stranger so the herds of his own which he seeks for companionship con- many cliques. . the freedom of savage his has no charms for temperament . I hope and believe that they are happy." But though animals may not be free. leisure.76 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. into which he can spirit to only find admission by more fighting with their strongest undergo. hears the roar of the wild beasts. and the headlong gallop of the frightened herds. members than he has As a set-off against these life miseries. Hudson. and content Watch these ! " living specks as 1 they glide through their Address to Microscopical Society. beauty. grace. an admirable observer. much ! leisure and famous " In the animal world. Dr.^ what happiness reigns What ease. so the end of it is.

and singularly happy. to show a brave unconcern morrow. neither him ." been said that It has often Man is the only . resolute. Here is no greedy jostling banquet that nature has spread for them .to be equally ready for an or a friend — to trust in themfor the selves alone. without a pauper in their ranks.lit ON ANIMAL LIFE ' 77 care. but a leisurely inspection of the that shows neither the pressure of hunger nor the dread of an enemy. and one that would lighten many a heart were it more common among men. That a character almost universal character is the direct result of the golden let law eat ' ' If one will not work. all without hurry and lives ' as if their ' span .long really could endure for the thousand years that the old catch pines at the for. . these are the admirable points of among animals. flushed self-reliant. unflinch- ingly applied. with health. alert. has produced whole nations of living creatures. a law whose stern kindness. no dread of each other field. " life ' ' To labour and to enemy all be content (that ' ' sweet of the son of Sirach) ^.' forests of algse.

We are. Forel was at first incredulous. the fire that warms cold. the cold that . statements and. Our countryman Gould long ago described the "amusements or sportive exercises" which he had observed among Ants.78 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. but we It is can hardly be mistaken in supposing that they enjoy certain scents and sounds. but finally confirmed these . speaking of certain tropical Ants. " the mantle that covers thought. at any rate they sometimes play. but if animals do not laugh. nature's soft nurse. apt perhaps to credit of our own attributes them with too much and emotions." SLEEP We share with other animals the great blessing of Sleep. the drink that quenches thirst. the food that appeases hunger. difficult to separate the those games of of kittens and lambs from children. animal gifted with the power of enjoying a joke. indeed. Bates says " the conclusion that they were engaged in play was irresistible.

have often noticed insects at night. more difficult make I sure whether they are awake or behave asleep." Some animals dream we do . Browne. and the simple with the wise. Dogs. With the lower animals which cannot it is. But of this does not fully meet the case. uncon- trolled. thoughts wander. and lives a life own our will. for instance.HI ON ANIMAL LIPE 79 all moderates heat. by the The mind. shut their eyes to however. the coin that purchases things. the balance and weight that equals the as shepherd with the king. is . " " Half of our we pass in the of death shadow of the earth. and the brother that extracteth a third part of our lives. they were asleep. sleep the its mind : is still awake. evidently dream of the chase. therefore. it even when just as if was warm and light. and take no notice of objects which would certainly have startled also them in the day." The In obvious suggestion is we require rest." says Sir T. been observed in the case of But why should we able thing it is sleep ? What a remarklife that one-third of our should be passed in unconsciousness. days. The same thing has fish.

sleep. trees Sometimes.80 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE itself at rest . Humboldt gives description of night in a Brazilian "Everything passed tranquilly at night. after a long silence. and then to it came from the tops of the was followed by the sharp of the and long whistling appeared flee monkeys. chap. began to howl and seek for shelter beneath our hammocks. little soft cries These were the of the sapajous. the moans sloth. the peccary and the the cries of (many) birds. of so was almost the cries Amid many wild beasts howling at once the Indians discriminated such only as were (at intervals) heard separately. which danger from the which . the cry of the tiger . and When the jaguars approached the skirt of the forest our dog. But though animals a vivid forest. not necessarily and yet we all know how it is refreshed by sleep. till eleven and then a noise so terrible arose in it the neighbouring forest that impossible to close our eyes. of the alouate apes. the bowlings of the jaguar and couguar. many of them are nocturnal in their habits. which till then had never ceased barking.

' among May heaven grant them a ! quiet night and repose.Ill ON ANIMAL LIFE 81 threatened them. and break down the bushes they find in their way. which. and us also ' said the . but more particularly at the time of a storm of violent showers. for instance. They awaken and by degrees It is the whole assembly is in commotion. tion flict is most frequently the some con- that has arisen in the depths of the The jaguars. Terrified distrustful the timid and monkeys answer. not always in a fine moonlight. pursue the forest. at this struggle. that this tumult takes place the wild beasts. flee in close troops. the birds that live in society. peccaries and the tapirs. We heard the same noises repeated during the course of whole months whenever the river. the answer feast of the full is. forest approached the bed of the " When of the natives are interrogated on the the causes tremendous noise made by the beasts of the forest at certain hours of the night. they are keeping the I believe this agitaeffect of moon. of the trees. from the tops the cries of the large animals. having no defence.

being a modified ovipositor. Some species of Ants do not sting in the ordinary sense. so familiarised with the fact. he assisted arranging our accommodation for the night. and though.82 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUKE chap. but eject their acrid poison to a distance of several inches. the possession of poison might well seem harmless in a wonderful That a fluid. in sinking with fatigue. we have con- clusive evidence of concentrated poison even in the bite of a midge. is a totally different organ. Certainly very remarkable. the venom of the Cobra or the Rattlesnake appeal perhaps more effectively to our imagination. one animal should yet prove so deadly is when transferred to others. and in addition more usual find in some animals special and peculiar means of offence we had not been gift. Life us to the Rio Negro. monk who accompanied when. its though somewhat similar in effect. which may remain for The sting of a Bee or Wasp." is indeed among animals a to the struggle for weapons — teeth and claws — we and defence. itself. If existence. days perceptible. Another very remarkable weapon is the .

they prove very effective weapons. of the Electric Cat Fish. on that the authority of Burchell. on one occasion. The so-called Bombardier Beetles. and the Torpedoes. The ink of the Sepia has passed into a proverb. discharge the enemy. "whilst resting for the night on the banks of one of .' within which a firm. Entering the flesh as they do by myriads. its is tightly The moment the the cells Medusa and the touches prey burst threads spring out. ex- plodes with a sound resembling a miniature gun. which. if attacked. The animal possesses a store of dark fluid. an acrid fluid which. one of which said to be able to discharge an amouiit electricity sufl&cient to kill a is of Man. it at once ejects. Some of the Medusae and other Zoophytes are armed by millions of minute organs known as " thread cells. elastic thread coiled. when at at- tacked. Westwood mentions. from the hinder part of their body. as soon as it comes in contact with air."I ON ANIMAL LIFE 83 electric battery of certain Eels." Each consists of a cell. and thus escapes under cover of the cloud thus created.

when captured. the negro exclaimed in his broken English. they evi- make smoke!' web " Many other remarkable illustrations might as for instance the of the be quoted. But . the pit of the Ant Lion. On being seized they immediately began to play lery. with dent surprise. their make an as astronomical obser- vation. and leaving a mark which remained a considerable time. directed to attention was numerous beetles running about upon the shore. proved to be specimens of a large species of Brachinus. the mephitic odour of the Skunk.84 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. which. 'Ah. Spider. he went out with a lantern to vant boys. massa. Upon observing the whitish vapour with ' which the explosions were accompanied. off their artil- burning and staining the flesh to such a be degree that only a few specimens could captured with the naked hand. the large South American rivers. accompanied by one of his black ser- and they were proceeding. SENSES We senses generally attribute to animals five more or less resembling our own.

The rainbow said to consist of seven colours — all commonly red. standing at right one . yellow. is no evidence whatever for Or take again the sense of Hearing. and the waves thus produced are conducted through a complex chain of small bones to the fenestra ovalis and so to the inner ear or labyrinth. indigo.m know ON ANIMAL LIFE 85 even as regards our own senses we really or understand very little. and Helmholtz regards is improbable supposition". is Take tlie question of colour. all is But beyond and to this uncertainty. The vibrations of the air no doubt play upon the drum of the ear. red. But it is now known and that our colour sensations are mixtures of three simple colours. and violet. orange. which are three angles in number. We are. there it. consists (2) mainly of two parts the semicircular canals. ignorant these Thomas how we perceive Young suggested this as " a not that we have three different systems of nerve fibres. The labyrinth (1) the cochlea. absolutely colours. green. but so far as microscopical examination concerned. violet. how- ever. blue. green.

of the manner in which perhaps we hear but when we taste.. In the cochlea. all fibres pass on to the senses of smell and we know is that the extreme nerve cells terminate in certain which differ in form from those of the general surface differ- but in what manner the innumerable ences of taste or smell are communicated to the brain. thus obtain a glimpse. ani- no wonder that with reference to other mals our ignorance is extreme. each separate arch corresponding to a different sound. If we v. with the fibres of the auditory nerve. has been supposed that they enable us to maintain the equilibrium of the body. though but a glimpse.-3 are absolutely ignorant. which increase regularly in length and diminThey are connected at one end ish in height. . and of Helmholtz has suggested that the waves sound play on them. We . like the fingers of a performer on the keys of a piano. Corti discovered a remarkable organ consist- ing of some four thousand complex arches. 86 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE It chap. but no satisfactory explanation of their function has yet been given. then know so little about ourselves. another.

This alone may make objects appear of very different colours to different animals. ears and sing through their sides. our eye is much more others . yellow. as all for instance the power of scent in the dog. and be con- fined to ours. as we see it. Nor is the difference one of degree merely. sensitive to some colours than to then successively least so to crimson. orange. and green . Their organs are sometimes constructed on different principles. orange. and violet. blue. We in know that the senses of animals are many cases much more acute than ours. The rainbow. have eyes on their backs. consists of seven colours indigo. No and situated in very un- expected places. blue. yellow.HI ON ANIMAL LIFE 87 We are too apt to suppose that the senses of animals must closely resemble. one can doubt that the sensations of other animals differ in many ways from ours. But though the red and . of sight in the eagle. to red. There are animals which in their legs. — red. Moreover. green. the sensitiveness for green being as much as 750 times as great as for red.

. violet are the limits of the visible spectrum. So again with not only may we animals in some cases hear better than do. itself. or colours. I have shown ^ by experiments which have been repeated and confirmed by other naturalists. and Wasps. and The Senses of Animals. that some of the lower animals are capable of perceiving the ultra-violet rays. beyond the red at the one end. Bees. and beyond the violet at the other : the existence of the ultra red can be demonstrated by the thermometer. may Even among sounds others. is produced by Ants. are But though the red and violet respectively the limits of our vision. but sounds which are beyond the reach be audible to theirs. It is an interesting question whether these rays the impression of a difEeriug may not produce on them new colour. as we know.. they are not the limits of the spectrum there are rays. which to us are invisible. of our ears. 1 ourselves the is power of hearing shrill greater in some persons than in Sound. us. though invisible to us. while the ultra violet are capable of taking a photograph. 88 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. from any of those known to hearing.

000 vibrations strike the in a second. and the fewer are the vibrations in a second. the limits of hearing are reached human ears when about drum of the ear In of Whatever the explanation hearing in ourselves the gift of may in be. Many insects. known as otoliths. the case of other Insects In many and Crustacea and there are flattened hairs each connected with a nerve fibre. which they pick up with their pincers and insert into their ears. In others the ear cavity contains certain minute solid bodies. which becomes shriller and shriller as the waves of sound become more rapid. 35. the deeper is the sound. by the walls of of the cavity but certain Crustacea have acquired the habit selecting remarkable after each moult suitable particles of sand.HI ON ANIMAL LIFE 89 vibration of the air striking on the drum of the ear. which in the same fibres. different plans seem to be adopted animals. way play upon the nerve Sometimes these are secreted itself. besides the two large . so constituted as to vibrate in response to particular notes.

" arranged in a triangle. entomologists now the is that each facet pencil of receives the impression of one in that fact is image of formed in mosaic. "compound" eyes one on each side of the head.000 of facets. while the other two see things the right way up hand. as ourselves really do. the number 20. ! On the other some regard each . The lens throws an inverted image on the back of the eye. these eyes difficult a compound eye direct a sort In that case. three of which see everything reversed. vision by means of must be . we the though long practice enables us to correct the impression.90 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. in compound eyes consist of a some species as many as eye. in each and the prevailing impression among rays. On other hand. The ocelli appear to see as our eyes do. known as the " ocelli. so that with these eyes they must see everything reversed. and it is indeed to understand obtain a correct impression how an insect can when it looks at the world with five eyes. The structure of these two sets of eyes is quite different. have between them three small ones.

Light. of are evidently organs and to yet which do not appear to be adapted senses. any one of our five As already mentioned. animals have organs which from their position. In the first many nerves. We have not only no proof that animals are confined to our five senses. I That I might look on thee Even But SO. therefore. this is not all. as was first conclusively demonstrated by our great countryman Young. and rich of supply sense .000 vibrations of the air strike on the drums of our ears. but there are strong reasons for believ- ing that this is not the case. structure. my love. is the impression produced by vibration of the ether . would that I could be Yon starry skies with thousand eyes. Ah.m facet as ON ANIMAL LIFE an independent eye. place. we only substitute one difficulty for another. the limits of hearing are reached when about 35. in 91 which case many insects realise the epigram of Plato — Thou lookest on the stars.

it not possible. as When 700 millions of millions of vibrations strike the eye in a we see violet .92 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. we have no conception In addition to the capacity for receiving and perceiving. and many other insects. second. and the colour changes millions of the number diminishes. nay. some animals have the faculty of emitting light. more. on the retina of the eye. the same power. invisible to In warmer climates the Fire-fly. 400 millions giving us the impression of red. and it is possible that many others are really lumiis nous. is it not likely that some of these problematical organs are the seats of senses and give rise to sensations of "^hich ? unknown to us. alike in habits and structure. though with light which us. Lanwith thorn-fly. shine . and it of is obvious that there might be any sensations. at any rate under certain conditions. number of When we is consider how greatly animals differ from us. though some other insects and worms have. In our country the glow- worm is the most familiar case. millions the interval Between 35 thousand and 400 millions is immense.

. Medusas. we The homing instinct of the pigeon has also been ascribed to the same faculty. and in these cases the real love-light. small marine etc. what has been called a Sense of Direc- Many interesting cases are on record of animals finding their way home after being taken a considerable distance. Worms. at any possess only a trace. at also are also brilliantly luminous night. animals. many to with special shall organs. Many Crustacea. are not endowed.Ill ON ANIMAL LIFE 93 much greater brilliance. however. or of which. who dis- has paid attention to pigeons. My much brother Alfred. informs me that they are never taken any great . like the glow seems to be a lamp of Hero. which refer SENSE OE DIRECTION It has been supposed that animals possess also tion. in Deep-sea animals are cases I endowed luminous again. for this To account fact it has been suggested that animals possess a sense with which we rate.

He took some. who seemed his surprised to find the Professor sol- emnly whirling a black bag round head in front of the cross. He then carried them' a quarter where an old by the wayside. they are trained to do so by stages. and whirled the bag rapidly round his head. marked them on the back with a spot of white. He go. and put them into a bag. Darwin suggested that it would be interesting to test the case by taking animals in a close box. and is considered the only way of preventing the cat from rerapidly before letting turning to the old home. Fabre has tried the pame thing with some wild Bees (Chali- codoma). This is in fact done with cats in some parts of France. when the family migrates.94 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUEE . While he was of a mile. he fears. then carried his Bees a mile and a half in the opposite direction and let them Three out of . stopping at a point cross stands doing so a good not a little woman came by. suspected him of Satanic practices. and. tance at once but if they are intended to take a long flight. and then whirling them round them out. chap.

that distance would be no bar to their return. He tried the same experiment several times. If they really possess any such sense. et revient par un ample circuit. would be interesting try the five experiment again. the distances were I think too short and in the second. ne peuvent troubler et les les Chalico- domes d^pays^s au nid. I have myself experimented with Ants.ni ON ANIMAL LITE 95 ten found their way home. taking fifty them about yards from the nest. however. though their it is true that some of the Bees found way home. am not convinced. first . On found of the Bees "La demonstration. It nearly two-thirds failed to to do so. retrograde. " est suffisante." I emp^cher de revenir that I must say. taking them a little over two an average about a third their way home. In the place. Ni les mouvements je I'ai d^- enchevStres d'une rotation crite . taking the Bees say miles. in one case miles. comme ni I'obstacle de coUines a franchir et de ." says Fabre. bois h traverser ni les embuches d'une voie qui s'avance. and I always found that they wandered aimlessly .

of which but a fraction have yet been described or named. realities of As in other however. They certainly did not appear to possess any " sense of direction. their imagination in recounting the wonders thus revealed. geological history of the earth there have been at least twelve periods.000. the Science have proved far more than the dreams of varied and fiction. having evidently not the slightest idea of their way home. surprising Of these extinct species our knowleven more incomplete than that of edge is the existing species. about. The Ancient Poets described certain gifted mortals having been privileged to descend into the of interior the earth. But even of our contem- .000." NUMBER OF SPECIES The total number of species may probably be safely estimated as at least 2. and exercised cases.96 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Of extinct at least species the number In the was probably as great. in each of which by far the greatest number were as distinct.

The male only which produces the common King recently Charles Oak has been discovered. known Apple. Beavers may Brit- have dammed up many of the rivers of . ies have relation to the commonest and most familiar animals. other animals have done far more to The principal affect the face of nature. to us. . but rather the smaller. and individ- ually less important. species. which live in hundreds in every nest of the yellow Meadow Ant (Lasius flavus) are still unknown the habits and mode of reproduction of the common Eel have only just been discovered and we may even say generally that many of the most interesting recent discover. IMPORTANCE OF THE SMALLER ANIMALS Whatever pre-eminence Man may claim for himself. agents have not been the larger or more intelligent. as in the case of plants. not one the structure. those of the root-feeding Aphides. and life-history of which are yet fully of the Cynips. there habits.Ill ON ANIMAL LIFE it is 97 poraries not too much is to say that.

In another respect these microscopic organ1 Prof. 78. . consists mainly of Foraminifera and fragments The numof shells deposited in a deep sea. a cubic inch contains many hundred million shells of Infusoria. Ehrenberg has estimated that of the Bilin polishing slate which caps the mountain. miles in extent. is entirely composed of square Chalk coral debris and fragments of shells.98 isli THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. but this is a matter compared with the action of the accumulation of ani- earthworms and insects^ in the creation of vegetable soil . Microscopic animals make up in number what they lack in size.000 Infusoria. Columbia. and has a thickness of forty feet. Paris is built of The Peninsula of Florida. ber of shells required to make up a cubic inch is almost incredible. and turned them into a sucpools cession of slight or marshes.. or of Zoophytes in the construction of coral islands. Drummond {Tropical Africa) dwells with great force soil of on the manner in which the Central Africa is worked up hy the White Ants. of malcules in filling up harbours and lakes.

but as to their history and connection with disease we have yet much to learn. the danger of com- pound fractures and mortification ence of microscopic organisms his antiseptic treatment of wounds by has been found to be mainly due to the pres. In surgical cases. and to life others suspected. At the it observatory of Montsouris at Paris are about been calculated that there air. however. of searches on the Silkworm disease led him to the discovery Bacterium anthracis.. which destroys these . 80 in each cubic meter of Elsewhere. to be entirely due Bacteria and minute forms of credibly. Pasteur's re- they are much more numerous. typhus. that they do not at- tack us. measles. and Lister. whooping-cough. again. It is all fortunate. etc. which multiply intheir victims. live indeed in We has a cloud of Bacteria. are 99 Many other diseases now known. indeed. or and either destroy after a while diminish again in numbers.ON ANIMAL LIFE isms are of vital importance. in persons suffering from cholera. the Microbes are present cause of splenic fever. hydrophobia. (Microbes).

the largest land animal yet known to us. germs or prevents their sufferings of recovery. though not so .100 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE access. but the Newfound- land coast is a species with arms sometimes 30 feet long. 20 feet the Elephant. are too off small to be formidable . by 30 in width. 100 feet in length and 30 in height the . so as to be 60 feet from tip to tip. The body. is small in proporThe Giraffe attains a height of over . extinct Titanosaurus of the American Jurassic beds. the 20 feet. The Cuttle-fishes of our seas. tion. tall. and the SIZE OF ANIMALS In the tion size of animals we find every grada- from these atoms which even in the most powerful microscopes appear as mere points. . greatly diminished the danger of operations. has chap. to the gigantic reptiles of past ages up and the Whales of our present ocean. however. The horned though Ray or Skate is 25 feet in length. is more bulky of over the Crocodile reaches a length the Python of 60 feet. so hideous as to resemble a bad dream.

Whalebone Whale 70 Sibbald's Whale is is said to have reached 80-90. COMPLEXITY OF ANIMAL STRUCTURE The complexity of animal structure is even more marvellous than their mere magnitude. and capillaries must be very great of millions .000. and Meinert has of' calcuis that the gray matter the brain cells. veins..000. which perhaps the limit.000 No .000 . which are supposed to be the ultimate recipient of light. are esti- mated lated built at 30. In our own body are some 2.000. Ill ON ANIMAL LIFE over IQl feet. total length of some 10 miles while that of the arteries. the blood contains millions of corpuscles. itself each no doubt a complex structure in the rods in the retina. communicating with the surface by ducts having a . A Caterpillar contains more than 2000 muscles. up of at least 600.000 perspiration glands. Captain Scoresby less in- deed mentions a Eorqual no feet in length. but this is than 120 probably too great an estimate.

the rot Raven even more. however. talked. Duration of Life. can enable us to realise. the JElephant 200. but could not be understood. verbal description. the Dog and Sheep 10 Whale 400 -12. the Parrot to attain 100 years. it The Atur Parspoke in the tribe. the Pig 20. because language of an extinct Indian supposed from 1 It is their rate of growth that among See also Weismann. LENGTH OF LIFE How of little we yet know of the life-history of. paucity and uncertainty of observations on is this class of facts is extreme. mentioned by Humboldt." The Rabbit said to reach 10 years. the Greenland (?) : among Birds. and even that but faintly. which the microscope alone. can do justice to the marvellous complexity of animal structure. Animals is illustrated by the vagueness our information as to the age to which they Professor Lankester ^ tells us that " the live. the Horse 30. .102 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the Camel 100. Comparative Longevity. Lankester.

on which was inscribed. the 5th Oct. Dalzell's Sea Anemone. regards the lower animals. the is greatest age on record J. very misleading. lived. to all is celebrated as its and has given name things short-lived. Fish the Carp sai^o reach 150 years and lbs.. This would imply an age of over 267 Many Reptiles are no doubt very long- A Tortoise As is said to have reached 500 that of Sir years. Many writers have expressed surprise .. Insects are generally short-lived said the Queen Bee." years. for in its larval condition the Ephemera lives for weeks. however. and weighing 350 is said to have been taken in Suabia in 1497 of all put into the carrying a ring. by Aristotle. 1230. in ON ANIMAL LIFE is jqS . " I am the fish which was first lake by the hands of the Governor of the Universe. a Pike. which is lived for over 50 years. Frederick the Second. to live 7 years. The statement usually made indeed. 19 feet long. is. The May Fly (Ephemera) living only for a day. I myself of had a Queen Ant which attained the age 15 years. whose statement has not been confirmed by recent writers.

and tradition fabulous. Many must of these estimates are. the consideration of this question out a very curious and interesting subject individuality. so defenceless.104 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE its life chap. the information is which is may be had but slender. in wild creat- ures their exposing to all weathers often in- tercepteth them. so fish. should be so however." ON INDIVIDUALITY When we descend still lower in the animal opens scale. so that we admit with Bacon that. that in the perfect state short. and. as will be seen. much that unless they laid their eggs very rapidly none would perhaps survive to continue the species. " touching shortness of life the length and in living creatures. very still vague and doubtful. It is. In tame creatures their degenerate life corrupteth them. connected with animal As regards the animals with which we are most . appreciated by birds and moreover. observation negligent.

pupa. the egg. fishes and no difficulty in deciding is whether a of given organism an individual. so that the egg produces not one gnat but many gnats. the larva produces young larvae. a vital breed. Crabbe was justified in — Involved in seawrack here Which Science. therefore. or a part an individual. determining what constistill The difficulty of tutes an individual becomes greater among the Zoophytes. and perfect Insect. doubting. quadrupeds there is and birds. itself life of a single indi- In certain gnats. in the case of terfly lays Nor does the difficulty arise most insects. larva. place . On shell or stone is And quickly vegetates we find a race. The Bee or Butfinally an egg which develops successively into a larva and pupa. Ill ON ANIMAL LIFE 105 familiar no such question intrudes. These beautiful creatures in proved them to be saying many cases so closely resemble plants. Among reptiles.. In these producing Bee or Butterfly. knows not where to dropped the embryo seed. cases. however. are re- garded as stages in the vidual. that imtil our countryman Ellis animals. each of which develops into a gnat.

floating timber. etc. differ and lead an independent existence. after Allman. Allman.. Fig. an animal structure. resembling possessing arms which capture the food by which the whole colony is nourished. We cannot wonder that such organisms were long regarded as belonging to the vegetable kingdom. Thus we should un- find a complete gradation from structures which. a colony of size. we questionably regard as mere organs. by any other species every branchlet crowned by its graceful hydranth. which is found growing and. These then we might and produce eggs. however. " When in health and vigour. and branches contain. disposed to term be species they detach themselves from the group of these cups. moreover. 2 represents. and budding with Mespectacle unsurpassed in interest — . to others which are certainly separate and independent beings. Some from the rest. Bougainvillea fruticosa of the natural It is a British species. The cups which terminate the a small Sea Anemone. regarded by themselves.106 THE BEATJTIES OE KATURE chap. But in many ovaries. says offers on a buoys.

struggling with convulsive efforts to break loose from the colony. and others completely freed from finally it. — Bougainvilleafruticoaa. some in the condition of definite minute buds. 2. natural size. in which the outlines of the Medusa can be distinctly traced within the transparent ectotheque (external layer) others. still 107 3). again. and launched . just casting off this thin outer pellicle. in which no trace of the Medusa-form can yet Fig. (After AUman. . ON ANIMAL LIFE dusae in all stages of development (Fig.) be detected others..

forth in the full enjoyment of their freedom into the surrounding water. form in many of the characteristic features of a typical hydroid are more finely expressed than in this beautiful species. I know of no Fig. which so magnified to show development. 3." . — BougaiDvillea fruticosa.108 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap.

5) of our shores. The egg about. tentacles. that of the Jelly-fishes. — BougaiDvillea Medusa-form. If we pass to another great group of Zoophytes. similar we have a very case. the is a pear-shaped body (i). For our first knowl- edge of the life-history of these Zoophytes we are indebted to the Nor- wegian naturalist Sars. fruticosa. 4. fine hairs. and at length as the little many as thirty (4). anterior extremity The cilia then dis- appear. . the common Jelly-fish (MeFig.ON ANIMAL LIFE Fig. covered with. by the aid of which it swims broader end in front. dusa aurita) (Fig. for instance. a mouth is formed at the (j). 4 represents the 109 Medusa or free form of this beautiful species. itself. free end. first four then eight. and creature resembles in essentials the freshwater polyp (Hydra) of our ponds. Take. After a while it attaches not as might have been expected by the posterior but by the (2). are formed.

They become deeper and deeper. After a while the top ring (and as at 5. and the . the life-his- tory is very similar to that of the Hydroids. and gradually develops into a Medusa {6). fixed free only that while in the Hydroids the condition is the more permanent. subsequently the others one by one) detaches itself. and progressive stages of development. Thus. and develop lobes or divisions one under the other. Fig. then. first near the free extremity and then gradually descending. swims away.110 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE the same time transverse wrinkles {4) At are formed round the body. — Medusa aurita. 5.

Ill ON ANIMAL LIFE HI swimming more transitory. The little creatures. which he first called attention. but to In both the one and the other. and there are now two exactly simbut are these two individuals ? They ilar . the egg gives rise not to one many mature animals. Chrys- . same age nor are they twins. cases of many other and to which occur among the lower animals. we regard the Caterpillar. the (so called name of alternations of generations. therefore. however. many of which are to round or oval in form. the con- becomes deeper and deeper. As already mentioned. is clear. Steenstrup has given to these curious phenomena. from time time become constricted striction in the middle . In the life-history of Infusoria because they swarm in most animal or vege- table infusions) similar difficulties encounter us. for there is no parent. there length the two halves twist themselves apart and swim away. on is the contrary. the fixed condition apparently only a phase in the production of the free swimming animal. was one. are not parent and offspring for they are of the — that . and at In this case. in the Medusse.

then follows that some corals must be thousands of years old. THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE and Butterfly as stages in the insects.112 alis. chap. one larva often forms. and we might be disposed to regard the whole as one complex organism. ANIMAL IMMORTALITY But. These considerations then introduce much difficulty into our conception of the idea of an Individual. further than this. But in others they detach themselves and lead an independent existence. and even among some produces several species these mature In some mature forms remain attached to the larval stock. of the lower animals may be cut into and each piece will develop into an . But among Zoophytes. life-history of a single individual. coral as If we are confronted by we regard a mass of it an individual because arises by it continuous growth from a single egg. Some pieces. by another problem.

but they have no life. ally deeper which grows gradulast the and deeper. we watch one for a certain time. natural term of They are.in ON ANIMAL LIFE II3 entire organism. in fact. and the continuity the of among itself highest animals. In fact the realisation of the idea of an individual gradually becomes more and more existence. repeated over and over manner the viously there creatures species is is The process is and in this Here obpropagated. Such be killed. this consideration is likely to have important moral It results. that constriction takes place. is generally considered that death lot of all living beings. even difficult. we a shall observe. may no birth and no death. until at quite two each halves become detached. as we real- more conditions of existence. if That is to say. us. ? is the this common lar But is necessarily so Infusoria and other unicellu- animals multiply by division. gradually that as ise forces upon I believe we become more fully the rational. as already mentioned. again. theo- . and swims away independently.

Those which lived mildividing this sense multitudes lions of years ago may have gone on and subdividing.114 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the lower animals are millions of years . and in of old. hi retically immortal.

CHAPTER IV ON PLANT LIFE .

. all. Tennyson. you out of the crannies. I hold you here. and all in I should know what God and man is.Flower in the cvannied I pluck wall. root and all. What you are. Little flower — but if I could understand all. root and in my hand.

iii the woods and when we have . 117 . whom they loved best it and though these with gifts were. will probably be admitted that flowers have contributed more to the happi- ness of our lives than either gold or silver or precious stones.i The To many minds Flowers acquired an additional interest when it was shown that 1 Thomson. found in every •woodland way sunlight tint of Fairy Gold. or . . appears.CHAPTER IV ON PLANT LIFE We those are told that in old days the Fairies used to give presents of Flowers and Leaves to whom they wished to reward. still it often received disappoint- ment. and that our happiest days have been spent out-of-doors fields. .

hope much From such an already we have inquiry we may glimpses. Attempts to explain the forms.ris- patient. size. and rever- ent study. But we cannot hope to succeed even totle if — without . we of did but smallest flower could tell us. and in fact.— 118 THE BEAUTIES OP NATUllE chap. colours. we had the genius of Plato or careful. regarded as deficient The other divinities. characteristically enough. A. enough to convince us that the whole history will open out to us conceptions of the Universe wider and grander than any which the Imagination alone would ever have suggested. fearing to lose him. was. know we all that the should have mysteries of solved some the greatest Nature. there form — was a reason If for their colour. . petitioned Thor to make him immortal. Our Teutonic forefathers had a pretty story which explained other characteristics of animals are certain points about several common plants. and and plants by no means new. for every detail of their organ- isation. Balder. the God of Mirth and Merriment. and the prayer was granted on condition that every animal and in the possession of immortality.

One day. unfortunately. forget-menot. but overlooked the mistletoe. and gave brother. that she had mission. arrow with a piece of Mistletoe." and has ever sat since been known under that name. the God Envy. successfully accomplished and that Balder had received the of immortality. however. secure this object. Here he was more off successful. Loki then flew up into an oak and on a mistletoe. disguised as a crow (which at that time were white). however. Nanna carried the oath of the oak. postLoki tipped an ing him against a Holly. pierced the heart. She her gift thought. cried out "forget-me-not. they amused themselves by shooting at him. his and he fell dead. which . Nanna. The flower. hoping to cover it up. To wife. followed her. and settled on a little blue flower.rv ON PLANT LIFE 119 plant would swear not to injure him. so that Nanna might overlook it. him Some drops blood spurted on to the Holly. Balder's descended upon the earth. it to Balder's to of This. of Loki. against which Balder was not proof. and the divinities thought. supposing Balder proof.

chap. and. till whose form Loki had taken. more successful. and which then had been white. was turned black. the habits and ? requirements of the whole plant I shall never forget hearing Darwin's paper on the structure of the Cowslip and Primrose. to whom A primrose by a river's brim A yellow primrose was to him. since borne fruit like tears and the crow. but is open to Recent attempts to explain the facts of Nature are not less fascinating. I think. . after which even Sir Joseph Hooker compared himself to Peter Bell. accounts for the redness of the berries Mistletoe the ever was so grieved that she has .120 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE . more. This pretty myth accounts for several things. Why Does it then this marvellous variety treasury of beautiful ? this ? inexhaustible result ? forms from some innate tendency in each species Is it intentionally designed to delight the eye of man ? Or has the form to the and size and texture some reference structure and organisation. fatal objections. And it was nothina.

and it to which I shall refer again. (3) of one or more sta- mens. in which the pollen is pro- duced . and (4) a pistil. con- sisting of coloured leaves called petals. and found that the explanation of the flower then given. as a or a Pink. I 121 We think. all large flowers are brightly col- many produce honey. more or lowest whorl is modified the the Calyx. the corolla. and the separate it is leaves of which composed. in- vested with fresh interest and even with new beauty. What.IV ON PLANT LIFE all. consists of four or less Geranium more : whorls of leaves. however. such. and a head or anther. are sometimes united into a sepals . which. and at the base of which is the Ovary. consisting of a stalk or filament. which is situated in the centre of the flower. for instance. are called (2) a second whorl. which however tiibe. is the use and purpose of this ? complex organisation . are often united into a tube . like those of the Calyx. containing one or more seeds. A regular flower. Almost oured. and many are sweet-scented. shared the same feeling. then.

carried by the air. In species where the pollen as in is wind-borne oaks. as otherwise there would be chance that any would reach the female flower.122 It is. and no doubt originally was in all. plants. I think. which are to the plant in carrying the pollen from flower to flower. Every one must have noticed the clouds of pollen produced by . And they produce little an immense quantity of pollen. but reaching may not be intercepted by may have a better chance of another flower. In it many species the pollen is. pistil of is another of course very is and the quantity of pollen required therefore immense. they generally flower early. In these cases the chance against any given grain of pollen reaching the flower of the same species great. well established the main object of the colour. and many herbaceous the flowers are as a rule small and inconspicuous. greenish. ash. most of our trees — firs. Moreover. so that the pollen the leaves. scent. beech. is and honey of of use flowers to attract insects.. and without either scent or honey. THE BEAUTIES OiF NATURE that chap. etc. elm.

has been calculated that a Peony flower produces between 3.000 it is while in such a flower as the Dead-nettle still The honey scent attracts the insects'. Take.000 pollen grains in the Dandelion. Let us now apply these views to a few common The flowers. pollen is is When. while the to find the flowers. and colour help them is the scent being especially useful at night. which It perhaps the reason why evening flowers are so sweet. scent. the number smaller. Just as gardeners. corolla of this beautiful and familiar . then. and sweetness of the flowers of our woods and fields. is to insects. by continual selection. on by the contrary. for instance.000.000 and 4.000. have added so much to the beauty of our gardens. is reduced to about 250. the carried insects. IV ON PLANT LIFE 123 the Scotch Fir. the quantity necStill it essary greatly reduced. which is more specialised.. so to is the unconscious action of insects due the beauty. scent. that flowers owe their beauty. and sweetness. the White Dead-nettle.

why has the flower form ? this peculiar of ? the tube What regulates the ? What is the use of do the little is length the arch What us ? lesson teeth teach What ? advantage is the honey to the ? flower Of what use the the fringe of hairs project Why does stigma beyond the . contains honey. The upper (co).. in pairs. is the pointed pistil (st) the tube at the lower Fig. Now. m). 7). and above the honey is a row of hairs running round the tube. some(Fig.— White part Drad-nettle. 124 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE flower (Fig. 6) consists of a narrow tube. what expanded at the upper end where the lower lobe forms a platform. portion of the corolla is an arched hood lie under which anthers (a four a). on each side of which is a small projecting tooth (Fig. while between them. 8. 6. and projecting some- what downwards.

'^ ON PLANT LIFE ^25 is the corolla white. I believe. the length of the tube of adapted that their proboscis . of the little . is especially adapted. and prevents rain-drops teeth are. Fig. the Fig. 8. white colour makes the flower more conspicuous . service in return the arched pistil. 7. its narrowness and the fringe of fine hairs exclude small insects which might rob the flower of its honey without performing any . the lower lip forms the stage on which the Bees is may to alight . upper lip protects the stamens and from choking up the tube and washing away the honey . while the rest of the plant is green? anthers? Why The honey and to which of course serves to attract the Humble Bees by which it the flower is fertilised.

the height of the arch has refer- ence to the size of the Bee. while sucking the honey. last relics of lobes once mnch and still remaining so in some allied but which in the Dead-nettle. and are thus of carried off to the next flower visits. —a flower (Fig. the common blue Salvia of plant allied to is our gardens. present condition. off when some them are then licked by the viscid tip of the stigma. are gradually disappearing . rubs back against the hood and thus comes in contact first with the stigma and then with the anthers. have undergone a remarkable modification. Two of them have become small and f unction1 Lubbock. no use to the flower in they are the larger. so same plan. species. for instance. being just so much above the alighting stage that its the Bee. Flowers and Insects. however. structed on the — the it. . 9) con- much larger.126 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE its chap. being no longer of any use.-^ In the Salvias. the pollen-grains to the hairs from which adhere which the Bee on the Bee's back. but the arch is that the back of the Bee does not nearly reach The stamens. the Dead-nettle.

10. it presses the lower arm to one side. Fig. Of these two arms one hangs down into the tube. When the Bee pushes proboscis down the tube (Fig. closing the passage. tapping the . which in most flowers form together a round knob or head at the top of the stamen. and the upper arm consequently descends. which plays on the top of the stamen as on a hinge.11. 127 cells pro- In the other two the anthers or ducing the pollen.ON PLANT LIFE less. while the other lies ^'s-^- under the arched upper its lip. 11) Fig. are separated by a long arm.

SNAPDKAGON At some first sight it may seem an objection to the view here advocated that the flowers in species — as.128 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE it chap. 10. A little conadapted for sideration. Bee on the back. when one arm will at of each of the two larger stamens appearance. the common fertilised Snapdragon (Antirrhinum). but clear enough if we it take a twig or stalk of grass and push doAvn the tube. p) has elongated so that the stigma (Fig. for instance. st) touches the back of the Bee and carries off little some of the pollen. which. will suggest the reply. is The Snapdragon especially . When the flower is a little older the pistil (Fig. however. and dusting with pollen. is This sounds a complicated. 9. and was described by Sprengel. by insects — are ought to be entirely closed. pieces of It is once make its one of the most beautiful plant mechanism which I first know. according to the above given tests. a poor German schoolmaster.

The petals lock more or less into one another. the insect alighting on it down the keel. move the speak.. BEOOM. the flower bursts open. It is therefore an advantage that they should be excluded. Laburnum. of which the Humble Bees alone possess the key. and in fact they are not strong spring. such as the Lotus. Broom.IV ON PLANT LIFE 129 fertilisation by Humble Bees. a The Antirrhinum so to closed box. however. presses When. Sweet Pea and the Bird's-foot Nature . In others. AND LABURNUM Other flowers such as the Furze. are also opened by Bees. it and dusts with -pollen. FUEZE. The stamens and pistil are so arranged that smaller species would not effect the object. SWEET PEA In the above cases the flower once opened does not close again. enough to is. and the flower remains at first closed. etc..

lower which accordingly is down. they are. but never occur . to. about half to have the stigma at the top of the tube and the stamens half way down. again. quite we find a different that if plan. locked into the petal. PRIMULA In the Primrose and Cowslip. has been more careful. It had long been would be found known a number of Cowslips or Prim- roses are examined. "wings" of the flower with its thus pressing them down. thus protecting the rest it the pollen and keeping ready until another visitor comes. it When the Bee alights clasps the legs. while in the other half the stamens are at the top half and the stigma on the way down." or also forced however. " keel. thus exposing the pollen which rubs against. and part of which sticks Bee.130 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. These two forms are about equally numerous. the breast of the When she leaves the flower the keel and wings of rise again. It is easy to carry out the same process with the fingers.

an insect visiting a short-styled plant would dust its proboscis at a part farther . Mr. first to explain the significance of this curious It difference.ON PLANT LIFE 131 same They have been long known to children and gardeners. opposite fail the head of the pistil to deposit and could not some of the pollen on the stigma. 12. 13). patient labour. Conversely. Darwin was the stock. who call them thrumfeyed and pin-eyed. An insect thrusting its OoOO X aso Fig. Flower and Pollen of Primrose proboscis down a primrose would dust it of the long-styled its form part flower (Fig. 13. 12) (a) proboscis at a which. visited a short-styled just would come (s^). Fig. is him several years but when once pointed out cost of it sufiiciently obvious. when (Fig.

132 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE tip . fertilisation " that is to say. and vice versct. many pistil. Geraniums. for instance. from the which. important is that they tend to secure " cross . mature having In most less often. Hence we see that by this beautiful arrangement insects must carry the pollen of the long-styled form to the short-styled. -when the insect subse- quently visited a long-styled flower. the pistil is withered before the pollen ripe. would again come just opposite to the head of the pistil.. allied species. etc. chap.. the stamens ripen and are followed aftor an interval by the . The fact that " cross fertilisation " is of advantage to the plant doubtless the curious also explains arrangement that in pistil many plants the stamen and mature at the same time which happens — the former having pistil is do not shed their pollen before the or. that the seed shall be fertilised by pollen from another plant. The economy of pollen is not the only advantage which plants derive from these A second and scarcely less visits of Insects. and first. Pinks.

sets pale and sweet-scented. and as is generally the case with such flowers. Accordis opens towards evening. So it it remains all next day. however. the second set of stamens have their turn. There are two of stamens. in colour. and looks as if it were faded. reopens. the flower shrivels up. fertilised The flower adapted to be ingly it by Moths. and can hardly fail to be fertilised with the pollen brought by Moths from other flowers. and the flower is again asleep. Towards evening becomes fragrant. . the second set of stamens have shrivelled. Towards morning these wither away. The first evening that the flower opens one set of sta- mens ripen and expose their pollen. the long spiral stigmas expand.ON PLANT LIPE I33 THE NOTTINGHAM CATCHFLT The Nottingham Catchfly is (Silene nutans) is a very interesting case. ceases to emit scent. it Finally on the third evening re-opens for the last time. and the flower again By morning. five in each set.

BEES AND ELIES Bees are intelligent insects. Flies. and the pollen insect. falls on to the of head of the In fact. sure to press against one of these horns. five of the ten stamens have ceased to produce pollen. which looks exactly like a drop of honey. the ring is dislocated. however.134 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE THE HEATH In the hanging flowers of Heaths the sta- mens form a horns. each terminating in a shining yellow knob. and lovely little food. and would soon cease to visit flowers which did not supply them with stupid. any number other interesting cases might be mentioned. Thus in our Parnassia. are more are often deceived. and by which Flies are con- . ring. and each one bears two its When the Bee inserts proboscis it is into the flower to reach the honey. but are prolonged into fingers.

IV ON PLANT LIFE deceived. 135 also tinually Paris quadrifolia takes them in with a deceptive promise of the same kind. The narrow neck bears a number of hairs pointing downwards. Then. Small Flies enter the flower apparently for shelter. which apparently take them decaying meat. and \^J~t they are kept captive until anthers the Fig. offer a and the prisoners are permitted The tubular flowers of Aristolochia very similar case. but the hairs prevent them from returning. which comes to maturity first. for pieces of The flower of the common Lords and Ladies (Arum) of our hedges is a very interesting case. the hairs shrivel up. to escape. Some foreign plants have livid yellow and reddish flowers. have shed their pollen. sive smell. leaving a clear road. . when the Flies have been well dusted. with a most offen- and are constantly visited by Flies. The stamens are situated above the stigma. 14. ^ —Arum.

some finally blue. say yellow or white. and them became white. that some It will others subsequently red. as now.136 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE PAST HISTORY OF FLOWERS If tlie views here advocated are correct. Those which are by Moths generally . and are specially suited to Butterflies and Moths. it follows that the original flowers were small and green. contain honey. have found by experiment that Bees are especially partial to blue and pink. wind-fertilised flowers are even But such flowers are inconspicuous. I have else- where given my reasons for thinking that under these circumstances some flowers be- came yellow. Tubular flowers almost always. etc. be observed that red and blue flowers of are as a rule highly specialised. Those which are coloured. such as Aconites and Larkspurs as compared with . if not always. Buttercups blue Gentians as compared with I yellow. are of course much more by visible and more likely to be visited insects. Bees fertilised and Flies.

Elms. Willows. and which Fruits itself the future plant. being etc. in the evening. . and is therefore less likely to be wasted. beautifully and in various ways : some by the wind. etc.IV Oisr PLANT liJe 13f come out scented. . This is an economy an of labour to the Bee. and seeds either are adapted for dispersion. Ash. as in the fruits of trees many — Sycamores. because the pollen is carried from each flower to another of the same species. provided with a wing. because she has not to vary her course of proceeding. FRUITS AND SEEDS After the contained closes flower comes the seed. are often very sweetly and are generally white or pale yellow. Cotton plant. or with a hairy crown or covering. these colours being most visible in the twilight. as with Thistles. Dandelions. often en- in a fruit. It is also advantage to the plants. Aristotle long ago noticed the curious fact that in each journey Bees confine themselves to some particular flower.

13S

THE SEATJTIES OE NATURE
seeds are carried
as

chap.

Some
as food

— such

by animals most edible fruits and
;

either
seeds,

acorns, nuts, apples, strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries, plums, grasses,
untarily,
etc.

or invol-

the seeds

having hooked hairs or

processes, such as burrs, cleavers, etc.

gome

seeds

are

scattered

by the plants

themselves, as, for

instance, those of

many
etc.

Geraniums, Violets, Balsams, Shamrocks,

Our
25

little

Herb Robert throws
seeds
force

its

seeds

some
the

feet.

Some
bills

themselves

into

ground, as those of certain grasses, Cranes'(Erodiums),
are
etc.

Some
etc.

buried
certain

by the parent

plants,

as those of

clovers, vetches, violets,

Some

attach

themselves
;

to

the

soil,

as

those of the Flax
of the Mistletoe.

or to trees, as in the case

LEAVES
Again, as regards the leaves there can, I
think, be no doubt that similar considerations

IV

ON PLANT LITE
utility

139

of

are

applicable.

Their forms are

almost infinitely varied.

To quote Ruskin's

vivid words, they " take all kinds of strange

shapes, as

if

to invite us to examine them.

Star-shaped, heart-shaped, spear-shaped, arrow-

shaped, fretted, fringed,

cleft,

furrowed,

ser-

rated, sinuated, in whorls, in tufts, in spires,
in

wreaths,

endlessly

expressive,

deceptive,

fantastic,

never the same from foot-stalk to

blossom, they seem perpetually to tempt our

watchfulness and take delight in outstepping

our wonder."

But besides these
there are

differences of
:

mere form,

many
;

others

of structure, texture,

and surface
others

some are scented or have a

strong taste, or acrid juice, some are smooth,
hairy;

and the hairs again are
^

of

various kinds.
I

have elsewhere
of the

endeavoured to explain

some

causes which have determined

these endless varieties.

In the Beech, for

in-

stance (Fig. 15), the leaf has an area of about
3 square inches.

The

distance between
lie

the
in

buds

is

about li inch, and the leaves
1

Flowers, Fruits, and Leaves.

140

THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE

CHAP.

the general plane of the branch, which bends
slightly at each internode.

The
fits

basal half of

the leaf

the swell of

the twig, while the upper
half follows the edge of

the leaf above

;

and the

form
being

of the

inner edge

thus

determined,

decides that of the outer

one

also.

The weight, and
leaf,
is

con-

sequently the size of the
limited by the
;

strength of the twig and,
Kg.
15.

— Beech.

again, in a climate such as

ours

it

is

important to plants to have their

leaves so arranged as to secure the
of light.

maximum

Hence

in leaves

which

lie parallel to

the plane of the boughs, as in the Beech, the

width depends partly on the distance between
the

buds;

if

the leaves were broader, they
if

would overlap,

they were narrower, space
Consequently the width

would be wasted.

being determined by the distance between the
buds, and the size depending on the weight

; ;

IT

ON PLANT LIFE

141

which the twig can safely support, the length
also is

determined.

This argument
leaves

is

well

illustrated

by comparing the
of
is

of

the

Beech with those

the Spanish Chestnut.

The arrangement
between
tlie

similar,

and the distance
is

buds being about the same, so

the width of the leaves.

But the terminal

branches of the Spanish Chestnut being
stronger, the

much

leaves can safely be heavier

hence the width being fixed, they grow in
length

and

assume

the

well-known

and and

peculiar sword-blade shape.

In the

Sycamores, Maples (Fig.
is

16),

Horse-Chestnuts the arrangement
different.

altogether

The

shoots are

stiff

and upright

with leaves placed at right angles to the
branches instead of being parallel to them.

The

leaves are in pairs
;

and decussate with

one another
petioles

while the lower ones have long

which bring them almost to the level of the upper pairs, the whole thus forming a
beautiful dome.

For leaves arranged
gentle swell at the base
btit in

as in the
is

Beech the

admirably suited

a crown of leaves such as those of the

142

THE BEAUTIES OE NATUEE

chap.

Sycamore, space would be wasted, and
better that they should

it

is

expand

at once, so

soon as their stalks have carried them free

from the upper and inner
the leaves
stalk
is

leaves.

In the Black Poplar the arrangement of
is

again quite different.
so

flattened,

The leaf that the leaves hang

Fig. 16.

— Acer platanoides.
it

vertically.

In connection with this

will

be observed that

while in most leaves the

upper and under surfaces are quite unlike, in
the Black Poplar on the contrary they are

The stomata or breathing holes, moreover, which in the leaves of most trees
very similar.
are confined to the under surface, are in this
species nearly equally

numerous on both.

IV

ON PLANT LIFE

143

The "Compass" Plant
is

of

the

American

prairies, a plant not unlike a small sunflower,

another species with upright leaves, which
prairies tend to point

growing in the wide open

north and south, thus exposing both surfaces
equally to the light and heat.

Such a position

also affects the internal structure of the leaf,

the two sides becoming similar in structure,

while in other cases the upper and under
surfaces are very different.

In the

Yew
are

the leaves are inserted close

to one another,

and are linear
further

;

while in the

Box they

apart

and
the
call

broader.

In other cases the width of
determined by what botanists
lotaxy."
site,

leaves

is

the " Phyl-

Some

plants have the leaves oppo-

each pair being at right angles with the

pairs above

and below.
In one very

In others they are alternate, and arranged round the stem in a
spiral.

common arrangement
directly over the
first,

the sixth leaf stands the intermediate ones

forming a
the stem.

spiral

which has passed twice round
is

This, therefore,

known

as the

f arrangement.

Common

cases are

I, ^, f, f,

144

THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE
y\.

chap.

and

In the

first

the leaves are generally

broad, in the | arrangement they are elliptic,
in the j%

nearly linear.

and more complicated arrangements The Willows afford a very
Salix herbacea has the ^

interesting series.

arrangement and rounded leaves, Salix caprea
elliptic

leaves

and

|,

Salix pentandra lancetS.

shaped leaves and

|,

and

incana linear leaves

and a

y^j

arrangement.

The

result

is

that

whether the
larly at a
circle.

series consists of 2, 3, 5, 8, or
if

13

leaves, in every case,

we

look perpendicu-

twig the leaves occupy the whole

In herbaceous plants upright leaves as a
rule are narrow,

which

is

obviously an advan-

tage, while prostrate ones are broad.

AQUATIC PLANTS

Many
leaves
float
;

aquatic plants

have two kinds of
less

some more or
;

rounded, which

on the surface and others cut up into narrow segments, which remain below. The
latter thus present a greater extent of surface.

Mountain-Ash. many cases when even in the same family low and herb-like species have finelycut leaves. however. are more broken up into as in the Ash. finely-divided leaves may be an advantage. as in the case of grasses leaves. horizontal on the contrary. . much In less still to air. narrow. and entire leaves are more to Hence herbaceous plants tend have divided. wider. Horse-Chest- nut. for the same reason. less resemble those of the Laurel These considerations affect trees more than herbs. while in exposed positions compact suitable. etc. The forms of leaves depend also much on the manner in which they are packed into the buds. the force the wind. while herbaceous plants are more affected by sur- rounding plants. or less Large leaves leaflets. while in shrubby or ligneous ones they more or or Beech.IV ON PLANT LIFE 145 In air such leaves would be unable even to support resist their own of weight. Upright leaves tend to be . leaves. because trees stand more alone. bushes and There are trees entire.

a smaller surface for evaporation. thus in proportion to their volume. one another. in very hot countries the is the case. Mesembryanthemum. for not hori- instance. has the same habit. and call the parts which in them we generally leaves are in reality vertically-flattened leaf stalks. and some extent replaces the see leaves. the leaves are arranged zontally. to the sun. an approach to feature is more marked in Or the leaves become fleshy. In our this.. The Australian species of Acacia have lost their true leaves. Of this the familiar instances. are so arranged as to secure the maximum reverse of light . In other cases the stem to itself is green. not their surfaces. One English plant. etc.146 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. In many species the leaves are arranged directly under. offering. are Other modes of checking . so as to present. a species of lettuce. in Australia. The leaves of our English trees. but vertically. so as to shelter. Hence. This consideration has led also to other changes. but their edges. common Broom we and the same Cactus. Stonecrops. as I have already said.

by the leaf less rolled up.. Our English deciduous. or protected by a covering of varnish. they would hold the snow. those of the Scotch Pine live for three. and some species which are deciduous in the north so. of the . trees are for the most part stopped by Leaves would be comparatively useless in winter when growth is the cold . But some evergreen leaves are . in become evergreen. etc. and thus cause the boughs to be broken down. by the formation becoming more or chalky excretions. Hence perhaps the glossiness of Ever- green leaves. of the Holly. Yew. as. they require more protection from the weather.IV ON PLANT LIFE I47 transpiration and tlius adapting plants to dry situations are by the development of of hairs. moreover. much longer lived than others those of the Evergreen Oak do not survive a second year. of the Spruce Fir. for eight or ten. from which the snow slips ofE. for instance. by the sap becoming saline or viscid. In warmer climates trees tend to retain their leaves. the south Evergreen leaves are as a rule off tougher and thicker than those which drop in autumn . or nearly of Europe.

the Conifers with short for several years. as other circumstances also have to be taken into consideration. (1) they keep (2) off super- fluous moisture in others . Leaves with strong scent. those As a general rule leaves keep them on with long ones for fewer. ON HAIRS The ways. the length of the leaf being somewhat . aromatic taste. or.148 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. as a protection against too glaring light in some (4) they protect the plant from brows. ing quadrupeds eaten by insects in others (5) from being . in the inverse ratio to the length of its life but this is not an invariable criterion. hairs of plants are useful in various In some cases . or acrid juice. Pinsapo even eighteen. less effec- and where they are thus more or tively protected. . they prevent (3) too rapid evaporation in some they serve . (6) serve as a quickset hedge to prevent access to the flowers. where they run especial danger of being eaten. are characteristic of dry regions.

the well-known Edel- weiss. where the woolly covering " stomata. leaves of the Mulleins (Verbascum) doubtless tend to protect them also do the spines of and those of Hollies. dew. as Thistles. The woolly hairy from being eaten. and not allowed to carry off the honey. Hence it is important that they should be ex- cluded. gradually disappear on the upper leaves reach. or fog." or minute of hairs prevents the pores leading into the interior of the leaf.IV ON PLANT LIFE In illustration of the first 149 case I may refer to many alpine plants. and thus enable them to fulfil their functions as soon as the sun comes out. for instance. which. As regards steppe-plants the second case are many desert and covered with felty hairs. be it remarked. which serve to prevent too rapid evaporation and consequent loss of moisture. by But Ants and other small creep- ing insects cannot effectually secure this object. from being clogged up by rain. . I which browsing quadrupeds cannot have already alluded to the various ways fertilisation in which flowers are adapted to insects.

how beautifully the form and structure of leaves is adapted to the habits and require- ments of the plants. absorbing hairs. There are various other kinds of hairs to which lous I might refer — glandular hairs. of hairs. secreIt is marvel- tive hairs. most cases a provision to preclude creeping insects from access to the This also in flowers. therefore. or is the stalk of the plant. or chevaux de frise. many cases. protected by a hedge. In this connection I might allude to the many plants which are is more or less viscid. as these . almost differences are. the openis ing of the flower either contracted to a is narrow passage.150 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. etc. for which they would perform no service In in return. itself protected by a In others the peduncle. The time indeed will no doubt come when infinite we shall be able to explain every difference of form and structure. or fringe of hairs. but I must not enlarge further on this interesting subject.

(Achillea) afford us a similar Achillea atrata and A. A. while in granite the contrary. In this offer and calcareous regions perhaps the best marked contrast. moschata. A. but not hairy. There are in Switzerland two kinds but contrasted in their leaves of Rhododendrons. very similar in their flowers. This species occurs in the granitic regions. side. hirsutum does not grow. moschata will live either on calcareous or granitic soil. while in R. The Yarrows ca^e. . ferrugineum they are rolled. atrata grows so much is the more vigorously it of the two if the soil calcareous that soon exterminates districts. A. moschata is on victorious and A. : Rhododendron hirsutum having them hairy at the edges as the name indicates . but in a district where both occur. at the edges.ON PLANT LIFE 161 INFLUENCE OF SOIL The character respect granitic of the vegetation is of course greatly influenced by that of the soil. atrata disappears. and become ferrugineous on the lower where R.

Thus the leaves . and the botanist in a summer's walk may see at least a hundred plants in flower.152 THE BEAUTIES OF NATTTRE will chap. all with either the of interest of novelty. flowers close their petals is during it the advantage of which that pre- vents the honey and pollen from being spoilt . Every keen sportsman varied admit that a "bag" lias a special charm. charm an old ON SEEDLINGS In many cases the Seedlings afEord us an interesting insight into the former condition of the plant. sub- sequent ones gradually passing into spines. SLEEP OF PLANTS Many rain . or the friend. Plants may be said to have their habits as well as animals. This is evidence that the ancestors of the Furze bore leaves. of the Furze are reduced to thorns ling are herbaceous but those of the Seedtrifoliate like those of and the Herb Genet and other allied species.

Why and ? should flowers better do so it In animals we can they are tired understand require rest. Other flowers. seven to four the common Mouse-ear Hawkto three to . however. whence its name is " day'ssaid to five." Earmers' boys in some parts are said to regulate their dinner time by it. " John go to bed at noon. ? . open in the evening. twelve. on the contrary. and close before whence its English name. IV ON PLANT LIFE away. of going to sleep is surely very curious. . different flowers different hours. has This habit observed that even in fine weather certain flowers close at particular hours. weed (Hieracium) from eight Scarlet Pimpernel the at (Anagallis) waken seven and close soon after two pratensis to open just Tragopogon at four in the morning.." The Dandelion (Leontodon) to open about seven and the White close about Arenaria rubra to be open from nine to three Water Lily (Nymphsea). But why should flowers so. and closes at The Daisy opens at sunset. sleep Why others should some flowers do ? and not keep sunrise Moreover. 153 or wUslied Everybody. eye. . from about .

because it them liable to be robbed of their honey and pollen. that those which are fertilised by bees would gain nothing by fertilised by night-flying . flowers But also it is not . Nay it would be a would render of distinct disadvantage. I fertilising have ventured to suggest then that the closing of flowers reference to the habits of insects. may have and it may be observed also in support of this. and Orchis bifolia is particularly sweet at night. by insects which are not capable them. and that many insects of those flowers which attract by smell. hours thus Hesperis matronalis and Lychnis vespertina smell in the evening. being open at night.154 THE BEAUTIES OE NATtJRE it ' chap. that windfertilised flowers do not sleep . open and emit their scent at particular . are insects would derive no advantage from being open by day and on the other hand. the in only which " sleep " at night many species the leaves change their position. and Darwin has to check transpiration given strong reasons for considering that the object is and thus tend to a protection against cold. Now is obvious that flowers which. .

tv ON PLANT LIFE 155 BEHAVIOUR OF LEAVES IN RAIN The behaviour rain affords of plants with reference to many points of much interest. tap-root. and con- sequently to the roots . have leaves sloping inwards so as to conduct the rain towards the axis of the plant. running down the stem and thus conduct- ing the rain to the roots. The Germander Speedwell (Veronica) has two strong rows of hairs. In other cases the leaves hold the rain or dew drops. on the contrary. the Chickweed (Stellaria) one. Kerner has suggested that owing to these drops. Every one who has been in the Alps must have noticed how the leaves of the Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla) form little cups containing each a sparkling drop of icy water. where the roots are spreading the leaves slope outwards. the cattle cold and sheep avoid the leaves. . like Plants with a main the Radish or the Beet. while.

Cham- which from its bitterness is not eaten by quadrupeds. is that of the Stinging and the Dead Nettles. however. curious resemblance to Some Orchids have a insects. The most famUiar case. but it has not yet been satisfactorily shown what is advantage the resemblance to the plant.. Ajuga Chamaepitys mimics Euphorbia Cyparissias. etc. They very generally grow together. after which they have accordingly been named the Bee Orchis. with which it often grows. ANTS AND PLANTS The transference of pollen from plant to . Butterfly Orchis. Matricaria Chamomilla mimics the true omile.156 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE MIMICRY In many cases plants mimic others which Thus are better protected than themselves. Fly Orchis. and which is protected by its acrid juice. and though belonging to quite different families are so similar that they are constantly mis- taken for one another.

are in useful to plants. and lodging all provided for These ants are continually roaming over the plant. as well as a tip. . and thus meat. constituting a sort of bodyguard. many cases very They destroy immense and other insects. drink. Delpino mentions that on one suddenly occasion he was gathering a flower of Clero- dendrum. which finds it. when he was attacked by a himself whole army of small ants. Ants.IV ON PLANT LIFE is 157 service plant by no means the only which insects render. bears hollow thorns. sweet. and constitute a most off efl&cient body- guard. A species of Acacia. described by the Belt. nests in the hollow thorns. rendering the leaves less liable to be eaten by herbivorous mammalia. insects brought in as food per In some cases Ants attach them- selves to particular trees. but. the leaf-eating in Belt's opinion. not only driving ants. small. pearit shaped body at the is In consequence inhabited by myriads of a small ant. for instance. while each leaflet produces honey in a crater-formed gland at base. numbers of caterpillars Forel observing a large Ants' nest counted more than 28 minute.

and a formidable row of spines round the edge. and the moment any small leaf alights on the and touches one of of these hairs the two halves the leaf close up surface then throws quickly and catch it. Our common Sun-dews (Drosera) are insectivorous. as we all know. the also prey being in their case . came upon botanists as a surprise when our countryman Ellis first discovered that some plants catch and devour inThis he observed in a North American sects. but plant Dionsea.168 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE INSECTIVOROUS PLANTS In the cases above mentioned the relation between flowers and insects advantage. the leaves of which are formed something like a rat-trap. with a hinge in the middle. live is one of mutual in- But this is by no means an Many it insects. The out a glutinous secretion. by means of which the leaf sucks up the nourishment contained in the insect. on plants. variable rule. On the surface are a few very seninsect sitive hairs.

IT ON PLANT LIFE 159 captuted by glutinous hairs. differ Many of them indeed greatly from the ordinary con- ception of a plant. Even the comparatively highly organised Seaweeds multiply by means . growing in pools and slow streams. The Butterwort (Pinguicula) carnivorous plants. having an flap guarded by a vents opening inwards which allows small water animals to enter. the Bladpretty derwort (Utricularia). so that in the present state of our knowledge the two cannot always be distinguished with certainty. is so called because it bears a great number is of bladders or utricles. another of these MOVEMENTS OF PLANTS While considering Plant life we must by no means confine our attention to the higher orders. but must remember also those lower groups which converge towards the lower forms of animals. a plant with yellow flowers. Again. each of which orifice a real miniature eel-trap. but pre- them from coming is out again.

to which they ultimately attach themselves. shuts mornlies ing and evening. every in continual growing part of a plant even constant rotation.160 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE spores. a . The common Dandelion raises its head when the the florets open. and even possess a red spot which. may be regarded as an elementary eye. as being especially sensitive to light. as it is leaves called. ing plants cases. chap. of bodies called which an untrained observer would certainly suppose to be animals. was long considered as almost a characteristic of plants that they possessed no power It of movement. opens and. I it nevertheless exists. or." by means of which they swim about freely in the water. They are covered by vibratile hairs or " cilia. as Darwin has shown. have already mentioned that tion of their many plants change the posior flowers. theii seeds down again while and raises itself are ripening. This is now known is to be an error. In fact. and in other when the motion really not so apparent. and with the aid of which they select some suitable spot. sleep at night. and The stems is of climb- make great sweeps.

Desmodium gyrans I have already mentioned that the spores of seaweeds swim freely in the water by means of cilia. rise to detach themselves altogether. and live in damp among M . Some microscopic plants do so throughout a great part of their lives. and the leaflets of continually revolving. A still lower groiip. a native of European rivers. no stalks. female flowers among which they to the The water spiral stalk of the female flower then contracts and draws it down bottom of the so that the seeds may ripen in safety. and thus are enabled to fertilise float. soil. less branched. The male flowers have plant. The are sensitive plants close their leaves touched. more or masses of jelly. second time Valisneria spiralis It is is are ready to be carried a very interesting case. and grow the surthe low down on the face.IV ON PLANT LIFE 161 when they away by the wind. which resemble small.oat on the surface of the water. the Myxomycetes. however. They soon. and the female flower has a long spiral stalk which enables it to fl. Many when plants throw or bury their seeds.

which in lives in descends feet. . soil. or saltpetre causes them to withdraw from the danger. and produces its fruit above ground. carbonate of potash. produces a flow of protoplasm towards the In fact. them ((Ethalium). while a solution of salt. but in almost continual movement. is for instance. absorbing is nutritious as passes along. of moisture. in its the same way it what of rolls over and round it food. In cold weather they descend into the and one tan pits. or chemical action. and so its the whole place. When about to fructify it changes habits. due to differences animal like. under bark and in similar moist situations. organism gradually changes So again. winter to a depth of several its it.162 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUKE chap. or tan." the protoplasm seems to roll itself in that direction. one light. " pseudopods. If. of sugar. decaying leaves. a moist of body their brought into or contact with projections. are still more remarkably They are never fixed. warmth. seeks the light instead of avoiding climbs upwards. an infusion source of nourishment.

is and there one. of especial importance to man. which. as regards the less known regions of the earth not half the species have yet been collected. they must exceeded in number. indeed. Our museums contain large numbers which botanists have not yet had time to describe and name. still await solution. structure. of the fossil forms. and life-history are yet fully known to us. over.000. uses. falls far short even of that of existing on the other hand. of which we can say that the structure. more- Our knowledge species. and colour has doubtless some cause and explanation. Even ered in our own country not a year passes without some additional plant being discov. so that the field for research is really inexhaustible. .ON PLANT LIFE 163 IMPERFECTION OF OUR KNOWLEDGE The plants total number not of living species of may be roughly estimated at 500. some. have greatly Every difference of form. especially Among the Lichens and Fungi many problems of their life-history.

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CHAPTER V WOODS AND FIELDS .

pure. comes there because the distance seems within touch of thought." By day The or by night. ideal and Jefferies. beneath trees life the heart feels nearer to that depth of which the far sky means. found only in beauty. rest of spirit." . summer or winter.

says Cicero. that when ages grow to civility and to elegancy men come build stately sooner than to garden finely. and vineyards and groves.CHAPTER V WOODS AND FIELDS Rural life. without which buildings. and the variety of kinds of is flowers. and a man shall ever see. 167 ." Elsewhere there 1 may be scat- The Spectator. as if gardening were the greater perfection. and palaces are but gross handyworks." No doubt " the pleasure which we take in a is garden one of the most innocent delights in ^ human life. all swarms of bees. " is not delightful by reason of cornfields only and meadows. but also for its gardens the and orchards." Bacon considered that a garden "the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man. for the feeding of cattle.

tered flowers. lovely as surpass. contrast or compare the beauty of gardens with that of woods and And equal. happily we need not fields. They dried specimens of no doubt. Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies. they can be no more compared with the natural vegetation of our woods and fields than the captives in the Zoological Gardens with the same wild species in their native forests and mountains. And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.168 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. but. yet to the true lover of Nature wild flowers have a charm which no garden can plants are Cultivated but a living herbarium. 1 Milton. try to. and the well attired woodbine. the a museum. The tufted crow-toe. With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head. or sheets of colour due to one or two species.* We cannot. and pale jessamine. And every flower that sad embroidery wears. Here are brought together quaint enamelled eyes. but in gardens one glory follows all another. . The glowing violet. The musk rose. the That on the green turf sucked the honeyed showers. The white pink and the pansy freaked with jet. they are.

. fringed little Ragged Robin. Cotton Grass hedgerows with Hawthorn and Wild Rose and Honeysuckle. Floweretc. while underneath are the curious leaves and orange fruit of the Lords and Ladies. Succory. Narcissus. the Sun-dew sparkling with diamonds. Bulrushes. Water Groundsel. the Traveller's Joy. Sweet Flag. or Cuckoo Flowers blazing with Bluebells. snowy stars of the Stitchwort. ing Rush. the tall red Hemp Agrimony. V WOODS AND MELDS Often indeed. glowing with Cowslips. Many other sweet names will also at once . Yarall row. commons with the yellow Lady's Bedstraw. .. and the sweet Thyme marshy places with the yellow stars of the Bog Asphodel. the lovely or the feathery tufts of Bog Pimpernel. purple Orchis. Harebells. Primroses. Sedges. the beautifully petals of the Buckbean. while along the banks of streams are the spikes of the Loosestrife. cornfields Poppies. We early- have all seen meadows white with Buttercups. our 169 fields rival woods and gardens even in the richness of colour. woods carpeted with Anemones. and Forget- me-nots . and several kinds of Violets.

tree. at least Lilies. Herb Roberts.170 THE BEAtJTlES OE NATTJKE chap. as well as lovely. and the odour of green buds and leaves. Milkwort. to fill ripple of water. giving glimpses of fleecy clouds sailing comes into the mind a feel^ ing of intense joy in the simple fact of living. hum of insects. Foxgloves. rustle of leaves. Daffodils and HeartsMantles Lady's and Lady's Tresses. The scent of pine is woods. and by the association — songs of birds. ful But Nature does not provide delights The other senses are not for for- A thousand sounds all — many air. "Resting quietly under an ash the scent of flowers. Geraniums. species. occur to US ease." 1 Jefferies. said to be very healthy. delight- in themselves. seem Flowers again are sweet. Columbines and the eye only. is and Woodland scenery good for with mind as well as for the body. and among rarer in England. a ray of sunlight yonder lighting up the lichen and the moss on the air stirring in the oak trunk. there branches above. a gentle in the ether. gotten. which is . — Snowdrops. Eyebright. the effect of the certainly delicious. .

The three Normas ning the thread of 1 or Fates sat under life. visible in the day-time to the unassisted eye and here and there thick dumpy mushrooms displayed a sharp. in the it. Forbes describes a forest in dom. A Naturalisfs Wanderings Eastern Archi- pelago. its top reached to Heaven. from a minute thread-like fungus in. Earth. . clear dome of light. long phosphorescent caterpillars and centipedes crawled out of every corner. branches covered the Earth. and Hell. spin- Forbes. leaving a trail of light behind them. till whose intensity never varied or changed of the break day ." Woods and Forests were to our ancestors the special scenes of enchantment. and the roots penetrated into Hell. The great Ash gether tree Yggdrasil bound Its to- Heaven. while fire-flies ^ darted about above like a lower firmament.V WOODS AND FIELDS 171 of The wonderful phenomenon rescence is phospho- not a special gift to the animal king0. Henry : Sumatra " The stem of every tree blinked with a pale greenish-white light which undulated also across the surface of the ground like moonlight coming and going behind the clouds.

by §low stream or tingling brook. forests are fairy land all day long. as Almost any wood contains many and many a spot well suited for Fairy feasts . and violets Bowed down About her their purple vases of perfume pillow. and. Neckans and Pixies Spirits. once we are told. Her lithe and rainbow elves. so far as . where one resting. Water and all the Elfin world Which have theh.172 THE BEAUTIES 01 NATURE all chap. especially on moonlight nights. — Kelpies. and Ouphes. the favourite haunt Of the Spring wind in its first sunshine hour. Of the gods and goddesses of classical folk-lore. Mermaids. Or forests.haunts in dale and piny mountain. Undines. as we are told. mythology or our own none were Spirits more fascinating than the Nature Elves and Fairies. But while evening thus many a scene with poetry. might most expect to find Titania. — linked in a gay band . The fairies have disappeared. Floated fantastic shapes these were her guards. She lay upon a bank. They come clothes out. For the luxuriant strawberry blossoms spread Like a snow shower then.

^ — Anemand Cowslips. The Elk and Bear. the Stag has the Boar and Wolf have nearly disappeared. Doves. the Woodpecker. . while the in their black buds. and Hedgehog. and Weasel. and but a scanty remnant of the original wild Cattle linger on at Chillingham. Magpie. gone. The tawny squirrel vaulting through the boughs. and the Oak slowly wakes from winter sleep. Ash leaves long linger Under ones.i the Owls and Nightjar. the larger forest animals have vanished almost as completely. In early spring the woods are bright with the feathery catkins of the Willow. Nuthatch. the pyramids of the Horse-chestnut. the white or pink flowers of the Thorn. Still the woods teem with Stoat life the Fox and Badger. . Tennyson. Hare and Rabbit. buzzard.WOODS AND FIELDS England is 173 concerned. Hawk. and a hundred more. the mavis and the merle. followed by the soft green of the Beech. Bluebells. festoons of the Laburnum and its Acacia. foot is a carpet of flowers Primroses. jay.

are all alike delicious. and a fire is then completely extinguished. we have many beautiful fruits and berries. bees and the idle of hum while the cool of the morning and evening. and others less conspicuous.174 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. which glow so brightly in the sunshine. the birds are more numerous and insects. crimson yew cups." In summer the tints grow darker. however. scarlet holly berries. feathery festoons of the Traveller's Joy. As the year advances and the flowers wane. like ^ that has burnt itself out. the tender greens of spring or the rich tints of autumn. while Gorse and Heather continue in bloom for months. . but still exquisite in themselves — acorns. and the heat day. ash keys. the red hips and haws of the wild berries of roses. which. beech nuts. the air teems with with the btisy murmur of of flies. say which are most beautiful. " blazes for a week or two. 1 Hamerton. It is really difficult to and many more. full of life . hanging coral beads of the Black Bryony. the golden blossoms of the Broom. the the translucent Guelder Rose.

ungues. orange trees in full fruit while the more examine the more we fectly find to admire . while the evergreens seem brighter than stems and Pines. are comparatively even the Brambles and of Woodbine. and the dark seeming to acquire fresh beauty." inside and Nature Does in the Pomegranate Jewels more rare than close Ormus shows.i In winter the woods bare and lifeless. own 5 the mossy boles of the the delicate tracery of the branches which can hardly be appreciated when they are covered with leaves . in summer . 175 No we ad for one who has seen it can ever forget a grove of . which straggle over the tangle underwood being almost Still leafless. .^ WOODS AND FIELDS Tropical fruits are even more striking. 1 Marvell. the ruddy rich green foliage of the Scotch spires of the Firs. even then they have a beauty and interest of their trees . and under foot the beds of fallen leaves . all per- and exquisitely perfect finished "usque outside.

reaching forth to the rays of rare sunshine. sweetest climbing hand in hand among dances the difficult slopes. stooping to look into ravines. " The various action of trees rooting them- selves in inhospitable rocks. gathering into companies at rest fields. chap. indeed almost an effort not to do so. among the fragrant gliding in grave procession over the heavenward ridges conceived — nothing of of this can be among the unvexed and unvaried all felicities of the lowland forest. little requires imagination it to is regard trees as conscious beings. opening in sudden among the mossy knolls. while to sources these direct greater beauty are . hiding from the search of glacier winds. Again numerous. though no doubt the less living tenants of the woods are much many the of our birds being then far away more from in dense African forests. and the bough It to bough. on the other hand those easily visible. crowding down together to drink at streams.176 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE in winter. which remain are much We can follow the birds Squirrel from tree to tree.

. Wood Butter- cup or Goldilocks. the mere quantity of foliage visible in the folds of and on the promontories a single Alp being greater than that of an entire lowland landscape (unless a view from some Cathedral tower) . one behind another. that tree after tree being con- stantly shown in successive height. instead of ^ being confused in dimness of distance. of the will The Beech is so thick that scarcely anything it.V WOODS AND FIELDS first I77 added. near and above. grow under except those spring plants. instead of the mere tops and flanks of masses as in the plains . Many foliage plants are parasitic upon others. the power of redundance. and to this of clearer visibility — charm of redundance. or against white clouds entangled among their branches. the such as the Anemone and in leaf. and the forms of multitudes of them continually defined against the clear sky. which flower early before the Beech is There are other cases in which the reason 1 Buskin." There is much that is interesting in the relations of one species to another.

Truflae. Another very remarkable case which has recently been observed is the relation existing between some of our forest trees and certain Fungi. by the but a portion reabsorbed by the fungus. trees are as of closely it The root tips of the were enclosed in a thin sheet woven mycelium. . in some cases rate. which passes into the tree and where it is elaborated into part being utilized sap. . the any mycelium is that of the . It was at first supposed that the fungus was attacking the roots of the tree. The fungus collects nutriment from the soil. the greater tree. in Siberia they do not occur in Scandinavia or Russia. the species of which have not yet been clearly ascertained. but it is now considered that the tree and the fungus mutually benefit one another. especially in the cantons of Lucerne and Valais and the Engadine. up to the leaves. but both reappear in certain Swiss valleys. is There at reason to think that.178 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. are The Larch and the AroUa (Pinus Cembra) They grow together close companions. for the association of species is less evident.

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a. The trunks run straight up to a great height without a branch. reproduce here the plate from Kingsley's trees strike all travellers At Last. many of the trunks are almost concealed by an undeir- growth and intertwined by .V WOODS AND FIELDS 179- The great tropical forests have a I totally- different character from ours. forests the species are few.nd their great variety. a canopy so dense that' blue' even the blaze of the cloudless. and leaves really belong. on the con- trary.: . the luxuriance of their vegetation. flowers. so *as to form one mass of vegetation of verdure. The by their magnificence. spiral stems of parasitic plants from to tree to tree hang an inextricable network is of lianas. and then form a thick leafy canopy far overhead . tively Our it is forests contain compara- few species. and it often difficult to tell which tree the fruits. whereas in the tropics we far are assured that from common to see two of the same But while in our ality of its species near one another. each tree has an independence and individu- own. one might almost say into a weird' . they are interlaced and interwoven. In the tropics. sky is subdued.

Now and monkeys the then a succession of cries even harsher and more discordant tell of a troop of passing across from tree to tree among higher branches. or some other of the few mammals which inhabit the great a large blue bee fly flashes across forests. or a humming-bird hangs in the Pierre says. but a few steps are sufl&cient to correct this error. has a head of ruby. Occasionally hums past. gloom. and . At such a forest gives the impression of being more open than an English wood. or lower sounds indicate to a practised ear the neighbourhood of an ape. air over a flower set like. a throat of emerald. a sloth. a brilliant butter- the path. There is a thick under- growth matted together by wiry creepers. The. and the intermediate space is traversed in all directions by lines and cords.180 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE effect of chap. which are replaced by the hoarse chatter of parrots. as St. an it is emerald in coral. English traveller misses sadly the sweet songs of our birds. whirring and fluttering in the air. but "how weak little to say that that exquisite being. the which first is enhanced by the solemn silence.

Thomson." Thomson graphically describes : a morning in a Brazilian forest " The night was almost absolutely — silent. Suddenly a yellow light of the forest spreads upwards in the east. but the rheil forest is wonderfully different from the slow creeping on of the dawn of a summer morning at home. and the dark fringes and the tall palms show out black against the yellow sky. only now and then a peculiarly shrill cry of some night bird reached us from the woods. and the whole landscape is bathed is in the full light of day. 1 The woods. to the music of the thrushes answer- ing one another's full rich notes from neigh- bouring thorn-trees. and the scene is indescribably beautiful.WOODS AND FIELDS wings of sapphire. as ling epitome of Sir Wyville if 181 any triumph of the ^ jeweller's art could ever vie with that sparklife and light. Voyage of the Challenger. . the stars quickly fade. and almost before one has time to observe the change the sun has risen straight and fierce. But the morning yet for another hour cool and fresh. As we got into the skirt of the forest the in a Brazilian morning broke.

the tracery of the foliage against the clear blue sky. scarcely two of which could be seen together of the same kind. Flocks of toucans flutter and scream on the tops of the highest forest trees hopelessly out of shot. it far away above us. were now another world as at times." Mr. We could only see where there was a break above. Darwin given by Bates. " tells ^ us that nothing can be better than the description of tropical forests The leafy crowns of the trees. SO absolutely silent before. Voyage of the Challenger. the by the strange wild screeches of a little band of macaws which fly past you like the wrapped-up ghosts of the birds on ear is pierced some gaudy old brocade. in were. where linked together by flexible the woody stems of climbing and creeping trees. or hands .182 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE and still chap. . break at once into noise and movement. Sometimes the leaves were palmate. Below. of the shape of large outstretched at others finely cut or feathery like the leaves of Mimosas. the tree trunks were everysipos . mingled with Thomson. is whose foliage 1 far away above.

were of zigzag shape. sweeping from the ground to a giddy height.and Basses-Alpes — are departments being gradually reduced to ruin by the destruction the forests. Syria and Asia Minor. They wera once lands "flowing with milk and honey. coils among the others. Two French Hautes. Why is there this melancholy have deserts replaced cities ? change It is ? Why trees. Even nearer home a similar process — the of may be witnessed. or indented like the steps of a staircase. again. Cultivation is diminishing. ." The on reckless and wanton destruction some of forests has ruined of the richest countries earth. others thick stems contorted in every variety of shape. entwining snake-like round the tree trunks or forming gigantic loops and larger branches . Some had were twisted in strands like cables. mainly owing to the ruthless destruction of the which has involved that of nations.V WOODS AND FIELDS 183 that of the taller independent trees. but are now in many places reduced to dust and ashes." according to the picturesque language of the Bible. Palestine of Africa and the north were once far more populous than they are at present.

there are charcoal kilns. In our own country. illus- In another part of France we have an tration of the opposite process. true forest scenery . the population is dwindling. now sawmills. inter- and turpentine works.000.000. though woodlands are is perhaps on the increase. and once again fits these regions for the habitation of man. restores the vegetation. the towns are threatened. vineyards are being washed away. until. The region in France. Where there were years ago only a few thousand poor and unhealthy shepherds whose flocks pastured on the scanty herbage. creates the anew. when it has been released from the destructive presence of man. Nature reproduces a covering forests of vege- table soil. has of the Landes.184 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. spersed with thriving villages and fertile agricultural lands. and unless something is done the country will be reduced to a desert. The increased value fifty estimated at no less than 1. which fifty years ago was one of the poorest and most miserable now been made is one of the most prosperous owing to the planting of Pines.000 francs.

proverb as Enough is was there such a lying — ' as good as a feast. green mountains of oakgreater The greater the waste the the enjoyment real life. avoidable. carpets of leaves. with absolute indifference on the The oak has a hundred thousand more leaves than necessary. Never armed waste is delicious to behold. 185 I suppose. opensplendid waste.. as away handf uls of flower and in the meadows the careless. un- gradually disappearing. dance. but it is a matter of regret. everything on a scale of Nothing utilitarian Such noble. luxurious petals. broadcast. Seeds by the hundred million air. " throw is sublime. Trees. and never hides a single acorn. give me squandered millions of seeds.' Give me the feast . Forests have so many charms of their own. They give a delightful impression of space and of abun- The extravagance Jefferies says. V WOODS AND FIELDS This is. spendthrift ways of float grass and flower and all things are not to be expressed." — the nearer the approach to It is of course impossible here to give any idea of the complexity of structure of our .

fil')res. protect the fall off silky. punctate vessels. pith. while in the bud these are and serve to often numerous. so that we might it. young leaf.186 forest THE BEAUTIES OF NATTTEE trees. Under these again is the " parenchyme. Below this one or more of layers of " palisade cells. woody and liber fibres. The are are seated on a layer of flattened cells — the hairs skin or epidermis. well fancy that a leaf would consist of only one or two layers of cells." several layers of more or less rounded cells." the function to be to regulate the quantity which seems of light entering the leaf. other more or less specialised tissues. scalariform vessels. A slice across tlie stem of a tree shows many different tissues with more or less technical names. The name is synonymous with anything very thin. From place to place in . Let us take a single leaf. and more or less specialised^ air-vessels. leaving air spaces and passages between them. bark and cambium. med- ullary rays. but the greater number soon after the leaf expands. tissue. On the upper surface are a certain number of scattered hairs. long. Far from the leaf is a highly complex structure. chap.

stated very briefly. in dry countries.. and side. and vessels of various kinds. supporting generally less hairs. and on plants growing Evergreen Oak. the details differ in every species. While these are.V WOODS AOT) FIELDS 187 the parenchyme run " fibre-vascular bundles. and numerous granules of " ChlorQphyll." which give the leaf its green colour. they are sunk in and fur- ther protected by tufts of hair. etc. These stomata are so small that there are millions on a single leaf. rayed woody fibre below. more or or and some to of them the specially modi- fied so as leave minute openings air " stomata " leading into passages. of pro- toplasm. cell fluid. pits. such as the Oleander. the essential parts of a leaf. the leaves present . while in the same species and even in the same plant." forming a sort of skeleton to the comprising air-vessels on the upper or dotted vessels with leaf. The cells of the leaf again are themselves consist of complex. The under surface of the leaf is formed by another layer of flattened cells. They a cell wall per- forated by extremely minute orifices.

gi-eat bulk. Yet man himself. On the Pathology of Plants. however. length of 1000 feet. there is so much complex it structure in a single leaf. for instance. are the Wellingtonia (Sequoia) giganto a height of which grows and the Blue Gum (Eucalyptus) even to 480. . Paget. There is a giant seaweed (Macto reach a which has been known tropical forests.188 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE differences according to the chap. Since. the age is more or less mythical. attain no and the most gigantic specimens of the vegetable kingdom yet 450 feet. 1 "which were Sir J. even And so no doubt it is. then. the Oaks mentioned by Pliny. an animal. will recover tree. and of a higher order.^ from a wound or an operation more rapidly and more perfectly than a Trees again derive a special interest from the venerable age they attain. In some cases. than that of plants. what must be in a whole plant ? rocystis). as. known tea. One more is apt to look on animal structure as delicate. as also do some of the lianas of These. minor in situation which they grow. the Olive of Minerva at Athens. no doubt.

happen- ing in Nero's reign. which and 23 in circumference. ." But in other cases the it estimates rest on a surer foundation. in the Ardennes an Oak cut down tained coins. and cannot be doubted that there are trees living still which were already of considerable size at the time of the Conquest. lasting (as calculated) new shoots. is calculated to go Christ. putting' out and presaging the translation of ^ that empire from the Caesarian line.V "WOODS AND FIELDS 189 thouglit coeval with the world itself. back to forty years before the birth of Francis the First is said to have driven his sword into it in despair after the battle of Padua. "under which the wolf suckled the founder of Tacitus Rome and his brother. and old Isabella in 1476 swore In to maintain the privileges of the Biscayans under the Oak of Guernica. and Napoleon altered his road over the Simplon so as to spare Ferdinand it." the Fig tvee. is The Soma 120 feet high Cypress of Lombardy. 840 years. 1824 con- a funeral urn and some Samnite A writer at the time drew the conclu1 Evelyn's Sijlva.

450 years 570 750 . .. the tree Fountains Abbey no doubt. open country. are finer. ." The vistas which open are full of mystery and of promise.. " one cannot see the wood out for the trees. Taxodium distichnm Baobab 4000 to 6000 6000 years Nowhere tiful is woodland scenery more beauit than where passes gradually into the trees. warrant this conclusion. Cedar of Lebanon 800 1100 Lime Oak" 1500 . . monks when and is the abbey was estimated at an age of 1300 years 3000. sion that tree when Rome was must have been already a large founded. . that at Brabourne in Kent at De CandoUe : ages attainable The Ivy Larch Plane — gives the following as the . while. .190 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE it chap. .. go back to Pagan times.. The separate for their roots having more room both and branches. and though the The have re- facts do not did. when they are close together. great Yew of is said to sheltered the built in 1133. and can be better seen.

by of those soft fields ! countless and The Follow but all time the thought of that All we ought by to recognise in those words.WOODS AND FIELDS and tempt us gradually out fields. spring and summer is in them — the walks silent scented paths. life. the and meditation. soft banks and knolls of lowly or pacing hills. forth for a little enamel.^ " what we owe meadow grass. falling in emerald streaks. to the covering of the dark ground by that glorious the companies peaceful spears. pastures beside the brooks. thymy line slopes of down overlooked by the blue of lifted sea. . and soft blue shadows. or smooth in evening 1 warmth of Modern Painters. pleasant memories these very words in the games hay as children. the where of sunlight upon the world. 191 into the green What recall. crisp lawns all dim with early dew. else it would have struck on the dark mould scorching dust." says Ruskin. the joy of herds of all shepherd life and flocks. and sunny summer days throughout to the " Consider. the rests in noonday power life heat.

the grass grows deep and free. and as you follow the winding paths. that for ever droop and rise over the green banks and mounds sweeping down steep to in scented undulation. filling all the with fainter sweetness. fine days. — paths. mingled with the taller gentians and the white narcissus. know the meaning of those words of the 147th Psalm. among the meadows that tains. perhaps. chap. dinted by happy softening in voices.' " On he tells us again in his Autobiography. and their fall the sound of loving " Go out." ' He maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains. the blue water. at last quiet among the shadows of the pines and we may. barred sunshine. heaps." 192 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE feet. I . — look up towards of everlast- the higher where the waves ing green roll silently into their long inlets . in the spring time. studded here and there with air new mown hills. beneath arching boughs all mountain veiled and dim with blossom. " when the grass was dry. slope from the shores of the Swiss lakes to the roots of their lower mounThere.

and draw the blades they grew. Swiss meadows. or mossy bank. Geraniums. meadow. Pink Restharrow. flowers which have no familiar English all adding not only to the beauty and sweetness of the meadows. Red and White Silenes. on the contrary. Ruskin alludes especially to Swiss cially meadows. a subject of more curious interest to me than the com^ position of until every square foot of any painter's masterpieces. Yellow Lady's Bedstraw. Harebells. Bluebells. are sweet and lovely with wild Geraniums." In the passage above quoted. In our if it fields mainly Ox-eye- grass. Chervil. these but unwelcome intruders and add nothing to the value of the hay. and many other names . Eyebright. remarkable in They are espethe beauty and variety of the herbage is floAvers. became an infinite picture and possession to me. Gentians. with the ground herbage of buttercup or hawkweed mixed among them.V WOODS AND FIELDS lie 193 used to as down on it. and often- happens that they glow with Buttercups or are white with are daisies. but forming a valuable part . and the grace and adjustment to each other of growing leaves.

or golden with Furze or Broom. of Milkwort and white — — blue. the burial place of some ancient hero.^ is On the " other hand " turf peculiarly English. is : more de- lightful than that of our Downs — delightful walk The turf to ride on. while every now and then we come across a tumulus. to . even higher. while over fresh air are the and sunshine. and the full of hum life of bees. And if the Downs seem and sunshine. hillocks of sweet thyme. and no turf on. of the crop itself. : of sweet grass and Harebells all here and there pink with Heather. or a sacred temple pagan forefathers. they give also an impression of power and antiquity.194 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. tufts of golden Potentilla. sweet scents. their broad shoulders are types of kindly strength. ^ of our M. or to indeed feels so springy under our feet that walking on it seems scarcely an exertion : one could almost fancy that the Downs themselves air. which is now on that account often purposely sown elsewhere. to sit on. Correvon informs me that the GruySre cheese is supposed owe its peculiar flavour to the alpine Alchemilla. or a group of great grey stones. pink. into the The herbage of the Downs close rather than short. is were still rising.

starred with white Water Ranunculuses. and garlands of Wild Roses covered with thousands of white or delicate pink flowers. of so Hedges are everywhere full interest. At the foot of the . and splashes into . in parts of Sussex the strong slow oxen draw the waggons laden with warm hay wooden plough along the slopes of the Downs. when they are part composed of wild Guelder Roses and rich dark Yews. fringed with purple Loosestrife and Willowherb. just as or golden wheat sheaves. and nowhere more foot of the beauty and than at the in great Downs. each with a centre of gold. while every now and then a brown water rat rustles in the grasses at the edge.V WOODS AND FIELDS 195 On and still the Downs indeed things change slowly. the wild Bryonies. or drag the they did a thousajid years ago. I love the hedges open Down most. decked with festoons of Traveller's Joy. but without England would not be England. Downs spring clear sparkstill ling streams rain from heaven purified further by being filtered through a thousand feet of chalk . or rich Watercress.

locally called a balk. It the German The "morgen" and furlong or journ^e." These are generally about a furlong (220 yards) in length. breadth. but sometimes ten. In many of and northern lie counties most of the meadows in parallel undulations or "rigs. The " acre " is amount which a team in of oxen were supposed to plough corresponds to the French '' a day. of these rigs. and archaic cultivation of land. or a chap. which make in the one case 4. but were arable. but tend left. runs at right angles to the rigs. These curious characters carry us back to the old tenures. They also explain our curious system of the land measurement. often 3 or 4 feet high. in the other 5 acres. the pink speckled trout glides our midland out of sight." is long "furrow" the distance which a team of oxen can plough conven- . to curve They seldom run towards the At each end of the field a high bank. and to a period when the fields were not in pasture.196 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE water. and either one or two poles (5i or 11 yards) in straight. In small fields there are generally eight.

length and a perch or pole in width. find ten instead of eight. This width is also con- venient both for turning the plough." one for each ox. as we know. and dividing the produce.feet. which at first sight seems a very singular unit to have selected. guided by a man who walked on . the other tenth going to the ploughman. would not which the were. however. however. Oxen. possessed a whole team. several generally joining together. thus plough. Hence the number of " rigs. and also for sowing. one being for the parson's tithe. were driven not with a whip. the most convenient length for which was 16i. and the ancient plough- man it used his "pole" or "perch" by placing right angles to his first at furrow. We often.V WOODS AND FIELDS 197 iently without stopping to rest. The team generally Few peasants. but with a goad or pole. When eight oxen were employed the goad of course reach the leaders. of land for Hence the most convenient unit arable purposes was a furlong in consisted of eight oxen. measuring the amount he had to Hence our "pole" or "perch" of 161 feet.

into a veritable field prettier of the cloth of gold. however. Lastly. the rich Buttercup Its tiny polished urn holds up. while. than to push them. this graduthe gave the furrow a turn towards the accounting for slight thus curvature. and the accumulation formed the balk.198 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE side. and as easier to pull ally was left. pink with Cuckoo flowers and purple with Orchis. Lowell. chap. but it would offer carry us away from the present subject. our English fields are yet : yellow with Cowslips and Primroses. Even though the Swiss meadows may rich in flowers a greater variety.' turning many a meadow 1 J. near On arriving at the end of each it furrow he turned them round. indications of these scrapings gradually It is fascinating thus to trace of old customs and modes of life. and there are few R. Filled with ripe summer to the edge. the ploughmen scraped off the earth which had accumulated on the coulter and ploughshare. while the oxen rested on arriving at the end of the furrow. . unwel- come to the eye of the farmer.

take all in all. we owe the greenness Indwelt with lit sparkling with dewdrops little angels of the Sun. it women with wooden rakes arranging in swathes ready for the great four-horse waggon. with a copse perhaps at one side and a brook on the other forks tossing . of collecting it in -cocks for the night while some way off the mowers are still at work. which now and again sprinkles the whole earth with diamonds. 1 Hamerton. it yet. . V "WOODS AND FIELDS I99 field sights in nature than an English hay on a summer evening.. All are working with a will lest rain should come and their labour be thrown away. To the happy mixture of sunshine and of rain of our fields. being comparatively free from extremes either of heat or cold. drought or deluge. ^ and And fed warmed by golden sunshine by silver rain. This too often happens. men with to the hay in the air dry. and we hear from time to time the pleasant sound of the whetting of the scythe. one of the best in the world. But though we often comit is plain of our English climate.

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CHAPTER VI MOUNTAINS .

altars of snow. and by the continual stars. vaults — . pavements of cloud. choirs of stream of purple traversed and stone. with their gates of rock.Mountains " seem to have been built for the human as at once their schools race. and cathedrals . full of treasures of illuminated manuscript for the scholar." Ruskin. They are great cathedrals of the earth. glorious in holiness for the worshipper. kindly in simple lessons for the worker. quiet in pale cloisters for the thinker.

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and energy.CHAPTER VI MOUNTAINS The Alps are to many of us an inexhaustible source of joy and peace. and majestic glaciers. Among the mountains Nature herself seems freer and happier. perhaps without any external cause. anxious and out of and have returned full of health. strength. the pure snowfields air. the beauty of the sky and the grandeur of the storm. and even of life. the mysterious summits of the mountains. 203 . than elsewhere. their and memories can never fade away. brighter and purer. spirits. the morning tints and the evening glow. The rush the fresh of the rivers. and the repose of the lakes. feeling. of health. have all refreshed and delighted us time after time. We have gone to them jaded and worn. the blue haze of the distance.

the beauty of form. the sense of repose and yet power. dark pines here and there. and the murmur of the rushing water. but trees . bare grey or rich red rock. my affections are I wholly bound up . the energy of youth. the mystery of their origin. The of endless variety. and then the valley with emer- ald meadows. with clumps of birch and beech. the play of colour. Even now back to bright vision of an Alpine valley — blue me the sky above. then patches of smooth alp. and wood. this time with more deciduous itself. and though can look with happy admiration at the lowland flowers. and dotted . natural scenery and in the forms of inferior landscape that lead to them. with brown chalets then belowthem rock again. mixed with bright green larches. interspersed with alder copses. 204 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE as I write comes chap. and woods. . threaded together by a silver stream cowbells coming delicious . and I almost fancy I can hear the tinkling of distant down from the alp. the dignity of age. glittering snow. I feel with Euskin that " mountains are the all beginning and the end of in them.. all combine to invest mountains with a solemn beauty.

or covered . the finest he considers is that from the Montanvert " I have climbed much and wandered : much in the heart of the high Alps. Monks- hood. Columbine. Various alpine species belonging to quite distinct families form close moss-like cushions. alpine Primroses and Cowslips. species Not only are there many beautiful which are peculiar to mountains. — but up is well established that even within the limits of the same species those living in the mountains have larger and brighter flowers than their sisters elsewhere. and a thousand others it less familiar to us. or reading a pleasant book. Narcissus. blue. Anemones. the 205 is and open happiness tranquil and cold." It is no mere fancy that among mountains the flowers are peculiarly large and brilliant in colour. Campanulas. VI MOUNTAINS skies." And of all mountain views which he has seen. alpine Lychnis. yellow. alpine Gentians.— . but I have never yet seen anything which equalled the view from the cabin of the Montanvert. and purple alpine Rhododendrons. like that of examining detached flowers in a conservatory. Soldanellas. gemmed with star-like flowers.

the Ruskin. the Alps. Another great charm of mountain is the richness of colour. fresh air and the pure mountain streams. On the lower mountain slopes and in alpine valleys trees seem to flourish with peculiar luxuriance.^ the difference produced in the whole tone of landscape colour by the introductions of purple. Still must be admitted that Swiss woods and Alps seem rather lonely and deserted. landscape we have . Beeches and magnificent Chestnuts.206 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. up in the the weird cry of the Marmot. . which seem to rejoice in the sweet. as we descend. completely with. soaring high the Hawk. and the knowledge that. . they may all the time be looking down on us. districts first. even if one cannot see Chamois. violet. from this point of view a special interest of their own. a carpet of blossom. give also. "Consider. air. Pines and Firs and Larches above then. and deep ultra-marine blue wliich we In an ordinary lowland the blue of the sky ' owe to mountains. or even Eagle. To any one accustomed of English to the rich bird life it woods and hedgerows.

far and certain elements rich of more and beautiful than we generally trees. blues are proof the most subtle tenderness . large unbroken spaces of pure violet and purple are introduced in their distances and ploughed . in their bark and shadows (bare hedges and thickets. are nearly perfect purple and of an exquisite tone). . and dark ground in general. in sub- should think. crossing in some sense. these azures and purples passing into rose colour of otherwise wholly unattainable delicacy among in the the upper summits. in addition to all this. lands) entirely fresh and bright trees . which I will suppose (and this is an unnecessary concession to the low.VI MOUNTAINS 207 green of the grass. by duced films of cloud passing over the darkness of ravines or forests. or tops of dued afternoon sunshine. the blue of the sky being at the plains. even near. a person who has never seen the rose colour of the rays of dawn a blue mountain twelve or said to fifteen miles away can hardly be in colour know bright what tenderness means at all . same time purer and deeper than Nay. the green of purple. But among mountains. as well as in fields.

The paths which lead to it. . smoothed by old dolphins. but thickly inhabited by an industrious and patient population. tenderness may.208 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUKE lie chap. Along the glaciers. like the backs of plunging the peasant watches the slow colouring of the tufts of moss and roots a feeble of herb. dark. into long. out of the valley of the in steep circles Rhone. see in the sky or in a flower. rising at first the walnut trees. over the iron substance then. little soil by little. like winding stairs among among the pillars of a Gothic tower." " I do not know. but this grave tenderness of the far-away hill-purples he cannot conceive. retire over the shoulders of the hills into a valley almost unknown. he subdues it to the spade." he says elsewhere. indeed. billowy swellings. or which appears to have been less disturbed by foreign agencies. ridges of the rocks. " any district possessing a more pure or uninter- rupted fulness of mountain character (and that of the highest order). supporting the narrow strip of clinging ground with a few stones. than that which borders the course of the Trient between Valorsine and Martigny. gather . which.

" Tyndall. contrasted forcibly with the lively green of the fields. peacefully and shaking their mellow while the blackness of the pine trees. were poured down the sides of the moun- On the slopes were innumerable chalets. Whymper.vi MOUNTAINS 209 is and in a year or two a little crest of corn seen waving upon the rocky casque. and quote 1 from him. a commotion which we did not experience clouds were wildly driven against the flanks of the Eiger. glistening in the sunbeams. while in front of us a magnificent rainbow. speaking of the scene from the summit upper of the Little Scheideck/ says : " The air exhibited . the Jungfrau thundered behind. passage de- I will one remarkable Tlie Glaciers of the Alps. clasped the mountain in its embrace." Few men had more tains experience of moun- than Mr.alp and valley. and. or scattered in pleasant clusters over. herds browsing bells . crowded into woods. Through jagged apertures in the clouds floods of golden light tain. . throwing other right over the crown of the Wetterhorn. fixing one of its arms in the the valley of Grindelwald.

from which blue smoke rose Eight thousand feet below. on the other side. The atmosphere was perfectly still and free from all clouds or vapours. bounding waterfalls and tranquil . . a hundred miles o£E looked sharp and near. clearly now. massifs. nay. scribing the the Matterhorn just before the terrible catastrophe which overshadows the memory of ascent. . — stood out came up with of Pleasant thoughts years happy days in bygone unbidden as we recognised the old familiar forms. Zermatt. bright and cheerful meadows. the great iimer circle of backed by the ranges.210 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE view from the summit of chap. his first The day was one of those superlatively calm and clear ones which usually precede bad weather. . chains. snow and glacier faultless definition. There were black and gloomy forests . not one of the principal peaks of the Alps was hidden. Ten thousand fields of feet beneath us were the green chalets. were the pastures of Breuil. I see them giants. All were revealed. Mountains fifty. ridge " All their details — and crag. dotted -with lazily. and .

pin- pyramids. sunny plains and frigid plateaux. bold perpendicular cliffs and gentle and or undulating slopes . and the peaks Ossian. they look 1 When much the lower parts are hidden. . rocky mountains snowy mountains. The leaves twirl mist rests on the heard on the heath. sombre glittering nacles. cones. and every contrast that the heart could desire. grey The whirlwind is Dark rolls the river through the narrow plain.! VI MOUNTAINS 211 lakes. and white. but the Autumn and Winter and beauty " of their is again have a grandeur Autumn dajk on the mountains hills. and spires There was every combination that the world can give." ^ Even bad weather often but enhances the beauty and grandeur of mountains. domes. ." These were summer own. and strew the grave of the dead. with walls. round with the wind. There were the most rugged forms and the most graceful outlines. stand out above the clouds. and solemn. turrets. scenes. fertile lands and savage wastes.

" and when weather returns brilliance. " every sunburnt rock glows into an agate. colouring. mystery to the scene. with different and even richer In mountain districts the cloud effects are brighter regions. THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE than if chap.212 loftier visible. adds vividness to the The leaves and grass become a fine brighter green. the new snow gives intense and invests the woods especially with the beauty of Fairyland. even if the body must remain behind. the whole mountain side is The gloom lends a weirdness and additional variety. and clouds floating high in the heavens sometimes glitter with the most exquisite iridescent hues . while the flying clouds give it Rain. the mysteries and recesses of the mountains. The mind. The mornings and evenings again glow tints. and more varied than in flatter The morning and evening tints are seen to the greatest advantage. however." more thoroughly to enjoy and more completely to explore. How often in alpine districts does one long "for the wings of a dove. can go. moreover. Each hour of the day has a beauty of its own.

but not above them. is This. from . the the like separate pinnacles projecting far above the general level. the summit of Mont Blanc It for instance transfigured by the light of the setting sun glowing on the snow. or even Bullar.^1 MOUNTAINS that blush 213 and glow Like angels' wings. seems almost like a light from another world. Long is after the lower slopes are already in the shade. we almost seem as if we were down on earth from one of the heav- enly bodies. Azores. and the view from the top of when we examine any 1 of the higher mountains. a very erroneous impression. valleys As we look up from mountain peaks seem however. But as we look down see the from mountains and far clouds floating below looking us. and vanishes as suddenly and mysteriously as it came.^ On low ground one may be in the clouds. Not even in the Alps is there anything more beautiful than the "after glow" which lights up the snow and ice with a rosy tint for some time after the sun has set.

shadows. out of which the valleys have been carved. hath been the central sea. From form They melt and nothing stands go. Like clouds they shape themselves and THE ORIGIN" OF MOUNTAINS' in- Geography moreover acquires a new terest when we once 1 realise that mountains Tennyson. We used to speak of the everlasting realise hills. see that in we many cases they must have once formed a dome. 214 THK BEAUTIES OF NATURE if chap. mountain chains were origiually at as high as Many least twice they are now. O earth. the solid lands. and are only beginning to dergone. and they flow to form.! . what changes The The stillness of hills are hast thou seen There where the long street roars. one of very moderate elevation. such say as the well-known Piz Languard.^ like mist. . or even a table land. well placed. and the highest those peaks are which have suffered least from the wear and tear of time. There rolls the vast and many changes which our earth has un- the deep where grew the tree.

and yet it appears to be now well established that the general cause is lateral compression.VI MOUNTAINS 21j no mere accidents. was naturally enough attributed to direct upward pressure from below. To attribute them in any way to subsidence seems almost a paradox. origin of Mountains is The a question of of much is interest. due to contraction of the underlying mass. The long escarpment which often stretch for miles across country. are now ascertained. the surface becomes covered . but that for every mountain chain. are there is a cause and an explanation. has been it gradually cooling. Some others. the Dolomites for instance. thrown into When an apple dries and shrivels in winter. eral origin of at first mountain chains. for every peak and valley. The genhowever. as we know. The building up Volcanoes even now going on before our eyes. have been lines of regarded by Richthofen and other geologists as ancient coral islands. mainly through the researches of Whitaker. The earth. to be due to the difEerential action of aerial causes. contracted in doing the strata of the crust would necessarily be folds. and so.

AB and suppose by the gradual cooling and consequent contraction of the mass.iper " On the Formation of Alpine Valleys p.216 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the strata at the surface of our globe have long since approached a constant temperature. Mag. Phil. with ridges. of paper Or again." Lond. between two weights on a and then bring the weights nearer together. still and might consequently fact. then the strata between A and B would themselves contract. In the same way let us take a section of (Fig. 17). AB sinks to A'B'. the paper will be crumpled up. then to A"B". — Adapted from Ball's p. a:' a" Kg. course if Of the cooling of the surface and of the deeper portion were the same. Under these circumstances there would be no contraction of the strata between A and B corresponding to that of . 1863. 96. the earth's surface that. and Ed. 17. form a regular curve between A'" and B'". and finally to A'"B"'. As a matter of however. if we place some sheets table. and Lakes.

and espe- by Heim. d. Sometimes indeed the strata are completely inverted. while on the other hand the bottom of the fold are compressed the former. the latter on the strata at the contrary acquire greater powers of resistance. and consequently they could not lie flat between A'" and B'".: vi MOUNTAINS 217 those in the interior. In this manner it is probable that most mountain chains originated. . therefore. as in Fig. are rendered more susceptible of disintegration. at the summit however.-' The structure this of mountain districts confirms theoretical explanation. Unt. lieve. they are stretched and conse- quently loosened. has been cently developed cially by Ball and Suess. It is obvious of course that folds. strained too much. and in other cases they have been squeezed for miles out of their original position. I bere- suggested by Steno. U. when if strata are thrown into Before doing they will. but must be thrown into folds. commencing along any line of least resistance. Mechanismus der G-ebvrgsbildung. This explanation was It first. 1 See especially Heim's great work. way so. 19. give of the fold.

W. showing a section from Brenets due Neuchatel by Le Locle.south to These folds hills of are comparatively slight and the no great height. as will act with more effect upper than on the lower portion and if continued long enough. for instance. ri Hence denudation on the of the folds. and the original valleys forming the hill tops. a glance at any good map of the district will show a succes- sion of ridges running parallel to one another in a slightly curved line from S. . from the following of the That these ridges are due to folds of the earth's surface is clear figure in Jaccard's work on the Geology Jura. so that. lie is as shown in parts of Fig. Further south. and where it obvious that strata correorigi- sponding to those in dots must have been nally present. visitor to Switzerland Every hills must have noticed where the strata 18. we find the origi- nal hill tops replaced by valleys.218 THE BEAUTIES 05? NATTJRB chap. The Mont Saleve is remnant of one of these ridges. to N. . In the Jura. shown is in the above diagram. however. the dotted portion removed. the violently dislocated strata are much more and the compressed together.E.

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Gotthard miles to have 130 been compressed from 202 . cut out of the crystalline once covered by the Jurassic strata and was j. great an in a great arch However improbable it may seem that so amount of rock should have disappeared. obvious that the valleys are due mainly to erosion. section after Fig. and the Maderanerthal.000 feet have been removed. vi In much greater than in the Jura. from the Spitzen across It the is Brunnialp. Ramsay has shown that in some parts of Wales not less than 29. 19 shows a Heim. while there is strong reason for the belief that in Switzerland an amount has been carried away equal to the present height of the mountains though of course it does not follow that the Alps were once twice as high as they are at present. which must have formerly passed over what is now the valley.. It has been calculated Bsile between and the St. 220 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE the Alps the contortions are chap. because elevation and erosion must that the strata have gone on contemporaneously. evidence is conclusive. that the Maderaner valley has been rocks s.

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be to extend. not to compress. Appalachians from and 65 ! the 153 miles to Prof. Gotthard to the mountains overgeological strata looking the Engadine. North to . Yverdun. The suggestion of compression is on the contrary consistent with the main features of Swiss geography. Gumbel of has recently expressed the opinion that the the elevation main force to which the Alps was due acted along the main axis of elevation. and the folds would remain quite unaccounted for. Wesen. Ardennes from 50 to 25 miles. follow the same direction. Vevey. Solothurn. Lucerne. the THE BEATTTIES OB" NATURE chap. The principal axis follows a curved line from the Maritime Alps towards the north-east by Mont Blanc and The Moiite Rosa and St. the opposite inference would Exactly really to seem follow from the facts. If the centre of force were along the axis would. as Suess and of elevation.222 miles. the strata. of a line running through Chamlaery. Neuch&tel. the result Heim have pointed out. . and Olten Waldshut on between that the Rhine are Jurassic strata line and a second nearly parallel and running through Annecy.

lies Maurice. For neither the hills everlasting. less broken band of older Tertiary south of which are a Cretaceous zone. for instance. the opinion of some high authorities. The sedimentary and in deposits reappear south of the Alps. the Pyrenees than the Alps. a height of 6000 feet. consists mainly of gneiss or granite. of the Alps. and Altdorf a more or strata . the Vosges than the Pyrenees. so to say. as for instance at St. so that . Meiringen. Lenk. or of the same The Welsh mountains are older than the Vosges. one of Jurassic age. Gotthard.^i MOUNTAINS 223 Appenzell. of Bonney and Heim. St. while the central core. which indeed are still rising . and continued through the Pliocene. between second and another passing through Albertville. then a band of crystalline rocks. passed upheaval con- tinuously over the intervening regions. is the lowland occupied this by later line- Tertiary strata. Miocene strata attain in the'Righi nor the mountains are age. last The the great commenced after Miocene period. as. and Bregenz on the Lake of Constance. and the Alps than the Andes.

in his opinion. Thus then. once . occupied lofty by a range of of mountains no less than those to-day. very recent. there are good grounds for the belief that they were preceded by one or more earlier ranges. though the present Alps are comparatively speaking so recent. must have been strong at least 8000 to believing 9000 also feet high." says Judd. and led to formation of a range of mountains.224 if THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. they are most venerable from their great antiquity. and speaking is geologically. at a still earlier period. our English mountains are less imposing so far as mere height is concerned. " of the existence of a line of weakness in this portion of the earth's crust is found tov^rards the close of the Permian period. But though the existing Alps are in one sense. Ramsay and Bonney have reasons for given that the present line of the Alps was. there strong reason for believing that there lofty mountains first w^as a chain of there long previously. " The indication. which. w^hen a series of volcanic scale outbursts on the very grandest took place" along aline nearly followtlie ing that of the present Alps.

the present valleys are mainly the result of denudation. and sinkrising ing at the south. rotating in fact on its axis. and the slight shocks so frequent in parts of Switzer- land^ appear to indicate that the forces which have raised the Alps are not yet entirely spent. Movements still of elevation and subsidence are going on in various parts of the world.VI MOUNTAINS 225 as lofty as they are now. necessarily give rise to Earthquakes. like some stupendous pendustrata to of lum. and which the Alps afEord such marvellous illustrations. is Scandinavia rising in the north. The crushing and folding of the which mountain chains are due. As soon all as a mountain range 1 is once raised. Q . just as is happening now to the present mountain ranges. if the mountain chains are due to com- pression. and that slow subterranean movements are But still in progress along the flanks of the mountains. South America is on the west and sinking in the east. but which were more or less completely levelled by the action of air and water. nature seems to con- In the last 150 years more than 1000 are recorded.

which in their turn carry off the debris to the plains. . 226 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE it. and every himself. and life endows the rude mass with " and beauty. however.. the rains most powerful agent of all. whole will be denied because and for what ? Only that we are not disposed to. every to the from the Lichen Oak. saturate every pore it The autumn . Perhaps. to Man attack Water. " required to explain the configuration of our mountains and valleys It is ? Nothing but time. spire against Sun and Frost.allow quantity of time which the absolution of so much wasted mountain might The tops of the require. is What more. Heat and Cold. chap. disputed but." said Hutton long ago. some great carves the shapeless block into form. the . after allowing all the parts. not any part of the process that will be . Ice and Snow. from the bine to Worm it. and cranny the water as splits freezes cracks and the hardest rocks while the spring sun melts the snow and swells the rivers. comis animal. however. like artist. Air and plant. Water." Swiss mountains stand. it Avould after all be more correct to say that Nature.

as mentioned. The " snow feet. them almost to Wales the same resistless gigantic causes. No one who has not seen a glacier can possibly realise . such the present forces are left to results. of years hence. of while in together action time — with the already for. older ground down the once summits and if reduced them to m-ere stumps. the the case with sheet of ice which once.VI MOUNTAINS since their 227 and elevation have In in is probably ice. the Welsh hills are far than the mountains of Switzerland lofty — has as. work out their the Swiss mountains will be thou- sands. has shorn off the summits and reduced bosses . above the range of hence their bold peaks. line " in Switzerland is gener- ally given as being between 8500 and 9000 level Above this the it snow or neve gradually accumulates until iers." solid rivers of ice forms " glac- which descend more or less far down the valleys. as Greenland now. always stood. the contrary. or ra. and more Norway. still and on Scotland. spread over the whole country.ther tens of thousands.

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Imagine a mighty river. They are often very and effect far beautiful. Unless you had seen would be almost impossible to conceive tranquillity of the strangeness of the contrast between the actual rivers these silent crystal and the violent descending energy impressed upon their exterior. 20 represents the the Bliimlis Alp. The glaciers were quite an unexpected element of beauty. Mount size. Beerenberg. "in colour. to tumbling and ragledge in ing on from ledge of quivering struck in its cataracts rigid foam. You must scale of such sue- remember too prodigious all this is upon a magnitude. 229 what they glacier of Fig. bursting over side of a moun- every impediment. that when we . then so suddenly by a power that instantaneous froth action even the and fleeting wreaths of spray have stiffened to the immu-. surpassed anything I had anticipated. of as great a volume as the Thames. tability it. started down the tain.CHAP. whirled into a thousand eddies." says Lord Dufferin. VI MOUNTAINS are like. and the Plate " the Mer de Glace. it of sculpture.

" The mulate the cliffs above glaciers rock shower at down end of as fragments at of which gradually accuand the the sides glaciers." far Many ancient moraines occur beyond the present region of considering the condition In valleys of alpine we must remember that the glaciers formerly descended much further than they do at present. no longer able to take in its fluvial character. forming mounds known glaciers. ceeded subsequently in approaching the spot — where sea with a leap like that of Niagara.230 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. . a lucent precipice rising to the height of several hundred ^ feet above the masts of the vessel. was content of to rest in simple astonishment at what then appeared grey-green ice. were Letters from High Latitudes. The glaciers of the Rhone for instance occupied the filled whole of the Valais. the Lake of Geneva — or rather the rose site now feet occupied by that lake — and 2000 up the slopes of the Jura . " moraines. the Upper Ticino. one of these glaciers plunges down into the — the eye. and contributory 1 valleys.

we The most magnificent glacier tracks in the Alps are. instance. from Norway (perhaps. carried by these glaciers for miles and miles of and many cliffs the stones ice in the Norfolk were the brought by ever. the Pierre Pierre h Niton G-eneva and for the h Bot above Neuchatel. as Greenland of is Enor- mous blocks at stone. were . and even more so than. just as. and has left a moraine at Ivrea some twenty miles long. weather. The Scotch and filled Scandinavian valleys were similarly by rivers of ice. are Again wherever the rocks to enough find have withstood the them polished and ground. which indeed at one time at present. those at the ends and sides of existing glaciers. in Ruskin's opinion. and which rises no less than 1500 feet above the present level of the river. howis by Icebergs). those on the rocks of the great angle opposite Martigny.VI MOUNTAINS filled 231 occupied by another which of the the basin Lago Maggiore . . across what hard now German Ocean. covered the whole country with an immense sheet. a third occupied the valley of the Dora Baltea.

is name Hell. and polished hummocks most of them deeply furrowed with approximately parallel striae. These lakes are generally very deep. which. colour of the upper rivers. the most interesting those above the channel of the Trient of the between Valorsine and the valley Rhone. instance. which are is The itself white with the diluvium from the glaciers. precipitated in the lakes. that of Con- stance. In Great Britain I know no is better illus- tration of ice action than to be seen on the road leading down from Glen Quoich to Loch Its Hourn. This finely-divided matter is. clearly showing the direction of the great ice flow. the Lake of Geneva. of the Reuss. Many lakes. however. one of the most striking examples of desolate and savage scenery in Scotland. that of the Upper Rhone. presenting a gentle slope on the upper end. evidence of the erosive powers which they exercise. of the upper Swiss valleys contain for as.232 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the Lake of Lucerne. as . in Celtic said to mean the Lake of All along the roadside are smoothed of rock. and a steep side below. of the Rhine.

are a beautiful rich blue.Vi MOUNTAINS 233 well as the riyers issuing from them. glaciers But the help must grind the mass beneath them all sizes. as the the Rhone Arveiron does from the end of Mer de Glace. and in all probability would require ages of calm subsidence to bring all . its entire Faraday has shown that a precipi- tate of gold may require months to sink to the bottom of a bottle not more than five it inches high. of which rushes from the end glacier. being the j almost wholly derived from glaciers. join the Rhone charged with the finer matter which these in their motion have ground from the rocks over which they have passed. "Is it not probable that this action of finely-divided matter may have some example ? influ- — is ence on the colour of some of the Swiss lakes as that of Geneva for This lake simply an expansion of the river Rhone. Numerous other streams join the Rhone right and left during its downward course and these feeders. to particles of and I cannot thinking that the finest of them must remain suspended in the lake throughout length.

snowy white. namely. lady-like cliffy Strahlgrat. Like a Saul of Mounall the . tains. 1 sailing on a blue green Glaciers of the Alps. from the summit cloud. the particles which the Lake of Geneva contains to its bottom. with crystal precipices and its floating ice- bergs. Tyndall thus describes a view in the Alps. all stately Aletschhorn. its Below is the MS. . of the ^gischhorn. of It seems certainly worthy sus- examination whether such particles in pended the water contribute to the pro- duction of that magnificent blue which has excited the admiration of all it who have ^ seen under favourable circumstances. frau.234 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE CHAr. Junggrandly Monk. pierce the empyrean. certainly one of the most beautiful — that. Trugberg. Finsteraarhorn overtops his then we have the Oberaarhorn. Eiger." Among each has the Swiss mountains themselves its special character.rjelin See. "Skies and summits are to-day without a and no mist or turbidity interferes with the sharpness of the outlines. with the riven glacier of Viesch rolling from neighbours his shoulders.

being wafted from them into the distant air. perhaps the most splendid object in the Alps. grand. by grace of form. They are without colour of any kind still. of wild tarily pile. scrolls of pearly clouds draw themselves around the mountain crests. other peaks crowd around him.VI MOUNTAms Beyond is 235 sea. scarcely less be. conveying. but as grand and to Further the right the Combin lifts up his bare head. Mont Cervin the ideal of moral savagery. may even a deeper impression of majesty and might than the Matterhorn beauty itself — the Weisshorn. not as cruel. of Then come the . And now. . the vision meets an aggregate of peaks as fledglings which look to their mother towards the repellent crags mighty Dom. and we great think of strong. ferocity. while at the extremity of the curve round which our gaze has swept rises the sovran crown of Mont Blanc. the range which divides the Valais from Italy. its force. untameable mingling involunof the with our contemplation gloomy Next comes an it object. and as the embodiment of . Sweeping round. is But associated with it. as day sinks.

It is practically impossible to Volcanoes on our earth. ated 223. and though some are undoubtedly it is now extinct. active. the question would over. always nearly 300. Etna present more than 700 small and on Hawaii there are several In fact. thousands. but in the majority the eruptions are occasional." VOLCANOES Volcanoes series of belong to a totally different mountains. most of the very lofty volcanoes present more or less lateral cones. which should be regarded as mere subsidiary cones and which are separate volcanoes. no doubt. again. The molten matter. impossible in all cases to ' distinguish those which are only in repose is from those whose day of activity Then. . arise. number the Humboldt enumerare which Keith Johnston raised to Some. ^ chap.236 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUEE and most tender shade. lustrous light tlieir beauty is not to be described. The slopes of cones. welling up through ^Mountaineering in 1861.

and hence it is that the crater is so often at. the summit. . Such a spectacle can never be forgotten. Cotopaxi (Fig. more than once of Vesuvius at the edge of the eruption. and Fusiyama. 21. often of the most beautiful regularity. to crater during an have watched the lava seething below.— Cotopaxi. 21). or very near. while enor- mous stones were shot up high into the air. Perhaps no spectacle in Nature has been is more It magnificent than a Volcano in activity. 237 itself some gradually builds up into a cone. my good fortune to have stood Fig.VI MOUNTAINS fissure. sucb as the gigantic peaks of Chimporazo.

with a longer axis of about of about 7 miles. the level of which constantly changing. stands about is 800 below the edge. both above and at the sides. and is elliptic in outline. with a it solid crust. sometimes for years. 3. within which. A lava stream flows like a it down the slope of river. the effect is said to be in magnificent. and length the molten matter covers itself completely (Fig.238 THE BEAtJTIES OF NATURE chap. and a circumference interior is is The it a great lake of lava. especially at night. Gradually the until it lava mounts the crater either bursts through the side or runs over the edge. at a height of about 4000 feet on the side of in the Island of Hawaii. after which the crater remains empty. 22). of It Mouna Loa. the mountain rapidly. and the depth feet. continues to flow . has a diameter 2 miles. feet Generally. about The heat is intense. burning cools. at first but as at scorise gradually form. as in a tunnel. when the clouds are coloured scarlet by the reflection from the molten 1400 lava. vi The most imposing probably that of crater in the world is Kilauea. and.

. 22. — Lava Stream.{'-'•si/ ^*"» rig.

240 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE it chap.000 persons are said to have lost their lives. a volcano of on the Island than fell more lives in the battle of of Waterloo. At the earthquake of Antioch in 526 no less than 200. The of earthquake Lisbon 1755 destroyed 60. Thus the slowly its terrible. here is supplied from the and there breaking through. it is estimated that the number who perished was between 30. During the earthquake Eiobamba and the mud eruption of Tunguragua. that of Skaptar-Jokul in Iceland in 1783 had a length of 50 miles.000 persons. fire descends. as continually.000. . ashes. in cost In 1851 Tornboro. the mass of lava equalled that of The stones. more destructive than the Sumbava. The stream of lava which burst from Mouna Loa in 1885 had a length of 70 miles. and mud ejected during eruptions are even rivers of lava. destroying everything in course. and a of nearly maximum Mont depth 500 feet. It has been calculated that Blanc. the inexorable river of crust which. and again in that of Krakatoa. slowly as long as source. re-forms in front.000 and 40.

very interesting from the its regularity of of action. is. The total mass ejected has been estimated at 60 milliards of square yards. Stromboli. . some of it being carried degrees to the west. though only 2500 posing feet in height. and this wonderful process has been going on for ages. and roots plunge below the surface to a depth of 4000 It feet. throwSo regular that ing up a cloud of vapour and stones. VI MOUNTAINS 241 Perhaps the most destructive eruption of modern times has been that on Cosequina. extending many miles. On looking down into the crater one sees at a depth of say 300 feet a seething mass of red-hot lava this gradually rises. after which it sinks again.. which has a period 5 minutes or a little less. moreover. in the Mediterranean (Fig. and then explodes. is very imits from its superb regularity. For 25 miles it covered the ground with muddy water over 16 feet in depth. is it the Volcano has been compared to a "flashing" lighthouse. 23). The dust 20 and ashes formed a dense cloud.

.

main Impressed by the magnitude and grandeur of the phenomena. the greater portion having disap- peared in the great eruption of 79. for instance. when the mountain. near Edinburgh. As regards the origin of volcanoes there theories. belonging to the Carboniferous period. long extinct. waking from its long sleep. VI MOXINTAIlSrS 243 Though. however. passing right through the solid crust of the globe. appears to be the funnel of a small volcano. Arthur's Seat. part of which still remains. by their destrucdisposed to many have been regard the craters of volcanoes as gigantic chimneys. de- stroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii. The summit of a volcanic mountain is sometimes entirely blown away. enhanced as they are tive character.CHAP. volcanoes once existed in the British Isles . Recent researches. grand and imposing as . and communicating with a central fire. Between my two visits to Vesuvius 200 feet of the mountain had thus disappeared. have indicated that. Vesuvius itself stands in a more ancient crater. and is now known as first Somma. have been two.

of fire. by a ring etc. along the Rocky Mountains. contrasted with their absence in the Alps and layas. or near. Timor. to Tierra del Fuego. they are. Java. From the interior of continents they are entirely wanting. and two great Volcanoes Victoria Land. thence the circle passes through the Fiji Islands. A glance at the map shows that volcanoes are almost always situated on. Ourals. New Guinea. and must . the pines. in the far south. Flores. the compression and folds. the is is Himastrik- and Central Asian chains. the Aleutian Islands. Japan. the Volcanoes of Tongariro. the sea coast. Whakaii. we have . and. Lombock. ing. Sol- omon Islands. Peru. volcanoes must yet be regarded as due mainly to local and superficial causes. Indeed. which must inevitably result. Mexico. as Ritter has pointed out. Sumatra. to the Erebus and Terror on contraction of "We know that the the Earth's surface with the strains and fractures. The number of active volcanoes in the Andes. the Pacific Ocean very encircled.244 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Philip- Sumbava. Beginning with New Zealand. of Chili. is still in operation.

one is act quite This so with Kilauea and of Mouna Hawaii. It is along the lines of the great is mountain chains. and this is perhaps why volcanoes are gener- ally distributed along the coast lines. Another reason for regarding Volcanoes local as phenomena is that many even another of those comparatively near independently.VI MOUNTAINS 245 give rise to areas of high. Loa. We must also of remember that the real mountain chaifis our earth are the continents. rather than in the centres of the continents. that we should naturally expect to find the districts of greatest heat. if volcanoes were in fire. compared to which even the Alps and Andes are mere wrinkles. must follow the same laws is as regulate the tides. which maiy be regarded as comparatively quiescent. connection the erup- with a great central sea of tions This. that to say. exist- There are indeed indications of the ence of slight tides in the molten lake which . however. and consequently to volcanoes. along the main coast lines. not the case. temperature. both on the small island Again.

appears. or rather perhaps that the crust of the constant earth is in tremor. with long intermediate periods of rest. Indeed. far No than our doubt these is are more frequent indeed. that earthquakes are not generally deep-seated. it generally in- supposed. but very different indeed from what must have been the case mountain was in connection if the with a central ocean of molten matter. The point be at which the shock tained. underlies Vesuvius. as we should expect to find in any of great fluid reservoir.246 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. with more violent oscillation It from time to time. When this has been done has . we have in reality short intervals of rest with long periods of vibration. moreover. unless the " crust " of our earth was to of great thickness we should be subject perpetual earthquakes. and during the eruption 1865 there was increased activity twice a day. is vertical can ascer- and it is also possible in some cases it to determine the angle at which emerges it elsewhere. struments with improved can be shown that instead of occasional vibrations.

local but must regard as a minor and still manifestation of force. volcanoes remain among the grandest.VI MOUNTAINS 247 always been found that the seat of disturbance must have been within 30 geographical miles of the surface. Yet. most awful. which . and at the spectacles same time most magnificent the earth can afford. though we cannot it connect volcanic of action with the central heat the earth.

.

CHAPTER WATER YII .

if robes the moun- has made. in the ii-is which spans it. unconquerable power. — RCSKIN.. we think of it as the source of all the changefulness and beauty which we have seen in the clouds then as the instrument by which the earth we have contemplated was modelled into symmetry. in the form of snow. water If the most wonderful. Of all inorganic substances. fantastic. tameless unity of the sea. in the deep crystal- which mirror its hanging shore. the morning mist which rises from it. then as in foam of the torrent. finally. and into grace tains it . . acting in their own proper is nature. its it crags chiselled then as. in the broad lake and glancing river. for glory and for beauty? or how shall we follow its eternal cheerfulness of feeling? It is like trying to paint a soul. in that which is to all human minds the best emblem of unwearied. line pools the wild. this universal element. and without assistance or combination. what shall we compare to this mighty. various. with that transcendent light which we it could not have conceived exists in the we had not seen .

.

fi .a. *.

all alike possess this 1 magic power. and stately not least. the great ocean itself. and last. meres and lakes. but they also clear away the cobwebs of the brain the results of over incessant work and restore us to health and strength.: CHAPTER WATER VII Ik the legends of ancient times running water was No proof against all sorcery and witchcraft spell could stay the living tide stream. Snowfields and glaciers. power to — — sparkling brooks. mountain torrents. moreover.^ Or charm the rushing There was much truth as well as beauty in this idea. have not only wash out material stains. . rivers. 251 Leyden. Flowing waters.

if is less conspicuous to the eye. Purple Loosestrife. "and confidence in of the Al- power and wisdom and providence mighty God. and other trees." At the water's edge flowers are especially varied and luxuriant. and a hundred more. The Animal world. and those very little many other living creatures that are not only created. Forge t-tne-not. the Flowering Rush. the Meadow Sweet. and go a angling. Dewberry. but fed (man knows not of Nature. the Bull Rush.252 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Alders. backed by Willows. I will walk the meadows by some gliding stream. Him " and in his quaint old language he craves a special blessall those " that are in true lovers of and dare trust His Providence. and there contemplate the lilies that take no care. quite as fascinating to the imagina- ." says Izaak increase Walton. " When I would beget content. and be quiet. the sweet Flag. Poplars. how) by the goodness and therefore trust ing on virtue. of the in God . Hemp Agrimony. so that the banks of a river are a long natural garden of tall and graceful grasses and sedges.

Hudson.VII WATER 253 tion. its modes of action. but after all the richest fauna is that visible only with a microscope. darting across a shallow . the land. Here and there a speckled Trout mayor be detected (rather by the shadow than the substance) suspended in 'the clear water. water's edge. or slowly rises flapping his great wings little Water Rats. crossed by some stems to see transparent living green weed. and in- numerable " . and to to gain some idea a of mechanism at work.different of creatures. course are gay. lively. watch a tiny speck that can needle's through the prick of crystal point to see its armour flashing with ever varying . a Kingfisher sitting on a branch or flashing away like a gleam of light a solemn Heron stands maybe at the . if we are quiet we may see Water Hens or Wild Ducks swimming among the lilies. To gaze. . are abundant everywhere Insects of nor need we even yet quite despair of seeing the Otter himself." says Dr. " into that wonderful world which lies in of a drop of water. from their coarse brown namesakes . sail . neat and clean very .

without the sense that he has left all Fairyland behind him? " of Natural History ^ The study has indeed the special advantage of carrying us into the country and the open air. but . like in a beautiful setting. head glorious with the halo of its quivering cilia to see it gliding through the . Address to the Microscopical Society. .254 tint. hunting for at its prey. its THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Lakes are even more restful than rivers or the sea. to the sound of its its own music. chasing mate an (the fiercest of our passions blazing in invisible speck). fleeing its food. like silver Lakes in a beautiful country are ornaments on a lovely dress. 1 Indeed as we gaze Dr. Hudson. to see it whirling in a mad dance. now and then. generally full of action and energy while lakes seem to sleep and dream. ever turn from to mere books and drawings. the is sea may rest awhile. emerald stems. snatching its from its enemy. it Rivers are always flowing. ness of living — can any who has it once enjoyed this sight. the music of happiness. though be may but slowly . 1889. the exquisite happione. or bright liquid gems eyes in a lovely face.

*.e a. .

.

It is some or cliff it looks like some great blue not merely for purposes of commerce or convenience that rivers. : VII "WATER lake from solid. pike.^ interesting its and delightful to trace a river from source to the sea.: . will. or cork.. Of wine or worse. Among the daisies and the violets blue. or dace And on And the world and my Creator think While some men strive ill-gotten goods t' embrace : others spend their time in base excess . " Beginning at the hill-tops. or bleak. or wantonness. "we first meet with the spring or river takes its rise. and near the brink dwelling-place Of Trent or Avon have my Where I may see my With eager bite of quill. 255 hill down on a almost crystal. .' from which the A patch of bright green. these Let them that pastimes still pursue. 'well-eye. mottling the 1 brown heathy F. down sink. Ked hyacinth and yellow It is daffodil. Let men love to live near me live harmlessly. Davors. in war." says Geikie. fill And on So I the such pleasing fancies feed their fields and meadows green may view And daily by fresh rivers walk at will.

it Exca- vating channel in the peat. reach- ing the black. From this source the rivulet trickles along the grass and heath. and running it way as in a gutter. may thus be scooped out in the course few years. and under which the water runs in a thousand streams.256 slope. in. end. which in for a short its it soon cuts through." however. a covering of verdure often concealing a deep pool beneath. shows where the water comes to the treacherous surface. the water digs into the coating of drift or loose decomposed rock that covers the hillside. channel as it Deepening and widening the gathers force with the increas- ing slope. lies Below the nev^ little a glacier. often a stony earth bleached white by the peat. comes down to the soil. on. in eventually emerging at the some cases forming a beautiful blue . peaty layer below. twenty or thirty feet deep. we trace one of shall the Swiss rivers to its source we generally find that it begins in a snow field or neve nestled in a shoulder of some great mountain. In favourable localities a nar- row of a If. THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. precipitous gully.

is encumbered and concealed by earth and stones. I The uppermost Alpine valleys are perhaps renerally. though by no means always.WATER cavern. 257 though in others the end of the glaciel. a s .

Below the alps there is generally a steeper part clothed with Firs or with Larches and Pines. while the tinkling of the cowbells comes to one from time to time. 24).lets of the cowherds. some certain of which seem as if they were scaling the moxmtains in regiments. though of course the flowers are not visible at a distance. peaks are generally more or the shoulders of the hills. Chestnuts. The snowy less hidden by The valleys further down widen and beThe come more varied "and picturesque. while along the bottom rushes a white torrent. and severe.258 little THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE desolate chap. as. snowy peaks and slopes are more often visible. Gotthard (Fig. which is flowery indeed. The sides are clothed with rough pasture. that of St. are greener and dotted with the huts or ch9. interspersed with live fallen rock and masses. and suggestive of mountain rambles. softened by distance. for instance. preceded by a the fir number of skirmishers. Below woods again are Beeches. trees. the " alps " or pastures to which the cows are taken in summer. and other deciduous while the central .

partly pasture." running water. Here and there a brown centre while more or less in the hurries along. to which the depth. differing from our meadows variety of flowers in containing a greater — Campanulas. of Sometimes the two the valley . is Wild Gevillage. Narcissus. or their ministry to the meadows. and at the base of almost any cliff may be seen a slope of debris (as in Figs. 26). with a delightful rushing sound. torrent. Apart from the action of snow and steep frost are continually disintegrating the rocks. raniums.VII WATER portion of 259 cultivated the the valley latter is partly- arable. "eager for their work at the mill. etc. as Ruskin says. gradually creeps until at last the cliff up higher and higher. and the water power is for mills. 25. Chervil. is if not the very existence of the valley. the carefully also used streams seeming to rush on. This stands at a regular angle is — the angle of repose — and unless it continually removed by a stream at the base. mainly The meadows are often irrigated. sides entirely disappears. Ragged Robin. the mountain due.

The dotted line ehowe a slope or talue of debris. gradually carries the enemy away. resumes course. . 25. In other cases In many- Nature is not at one with herself. or perhaps in a tunnel through the rock. approach so near that there not even room in for the river and the road that case Nature claims the supremacy. — Section of a river valley. its rushes original over trium- phantly. rises for a while.260 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE is : chap. Fig. the it concentrates of its up and rampart rock. dam up always the Then arises a struggle is between vic- rock and river. places the debris from the rocks above would reach right across the valley and stream. even if dammed back forces. but the river torious in the end . and the road has to be carried in a cutting.

. r' s which were formed at a time when the river ran at a level far above its present bed.WATER Another prominent feature in is 261 many valleys afforded by the old river. or lake. terraces.

26). stones. for loose As a be rule rock fragments it may taken roughly to be an angle of about 45°. a face of rock. and lastly present bed of the river. present river valley. Then the an irregular slope followed in many places by one or more terraces. a regular talus of fallen rocks. and in some places almost perpendicular. 5.. 27. old river terrace. secondly. which takes what at known as the slope of repose. very steep. vn Thus many a mountain valley gives some such section as the following. B A Fig. First. as etc. shown in the view of the Rhone Valley is (Fig.262 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. . — A. an angle which depends on the character of the material.

<! .p.

vii The width. we are looking down the valley. 28. the harder and tougher they are the narrower as valley. 28. the streams bring with them. to time a side stream enters the This is itself composed of many smaller rivulets. especially after rains. large quantities of earth and stones. 31. If the lateral valleys are steep. the river being often driven to one side of the main valley. the cone brought down by the torrent of the Borgne. . is as. seen from the opposite side of the valley. less. the case in the Valais. 30) is driven out of its course by. a rule being the From time main valley. 29. valley. 31. Rhone and forms a curve round. or narrowness of the valley in relation to its depth depends greatly on the condition of the rocks. they reach the main the rapidity of the current being their power of transport also diminishes. 29. near Sion. as in Figs. presents the appearance or. 32. where the (Fig. however.264 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. for instance. if shown in Figs. When. and they spread out the material which they carry down when in a depressed cone (Figs. A side stream with its terminal cone. 32).

fBMtJrm .

and. as. ridge as. for of rock running across St. 30. several other places in the Valais (Fig. the valley. instance. indeed. Almost all river valleys contain.266 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE Sometimes two lateral valleys (see Plate) come down nearly opposite one another. Or more permanent lakes may be due to a Fig. some little way below Vernayaz. for instance. in their course one or more lakes. in 31). just below Maurice in the Valais. and where a river falls into a lake a cone like . so that the cones meet. or have contained.

.

.

33).WATER those just described is 267. each . between Vevey and Villeneuve there are. such promontories. Thus on the Lake Geneva. several (see Fig. formed. and projects of into the lake.

. falls into S The Rhone itself has not only filled up what was once the upper end of the lake.268 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE CHAP. marking the place where a stream the lake.

That the lake formerly extended some distance up the Valais no one can doubt who looks at the flat ground about Ville- .WATER 269 but has built out a strip of land into the water.

taken above Vevey. a process which of the continuing. — which do not rush on with the haste of some rivers. one should call it. from a photothis clearly. They have often no natural banks. and that it has been filled up by material brought down is still by the Rhone. the gladness of the sky. the Waveney. and the wreathing clouds. or the stately flow of others to reach the sea. and the counof rivers are tenance of time. but are 1 Euskin. graph. It is shows quite evident that the lake must for- merly have extended further up the valley. The Plate _ opposite. in parts of Nor- many " small lakes or " broads network of rivers — the Bure. At the other end flying water lake the river rushes out 15 feet deep of "not flowing. the Ant. the force of the ice is in it.270 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap." ^ In flat countries the habits very different. etc. neuve. but . folk there are in a For instance. . not water neither — melted of the glacier matter. which are steadily set but rather seem like rivers wandering in the meadows on a holiday. the Yare.

Co e a. .

.

low and pro- flowers. 34. and Sedges. Reeds. while the fields are very tected by dykes. Willow Herb. 34) fields. — View in the district of the Broads. Bulrushes. Norfollc. the so that the red cattle appear to be browsing below the level of the water and as as rivers take most unexpected (Pig. turns. WATER 271 bounded by dense growths of tall grasses. Hemp Agrimony. interspersed with the spires of the purple Loosestrife. and other Fig. the sailing boats often if seem they were in the middle of the At present their courses these rivers are restrained in by banks . when left free they ..

272

THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE
changing their beds.

chap.

are continually

Their

courses at first sight seem to follow no rule, but, as it is termed, from a celebrated river of Asia Minor, to " meander " along without

aim or

object,

though in fact they follow
river at length reaches

very definite laws.
Finally,

when the
in

the sea,

it

many

cases spreads out in the
flat

form
tal A,

of a fan,
it is

forming a very
called,
first

cone or
capi-

" delta," as

from the Greek
that
of

a

name

applied to

the

Nile,

and afterwards extended to other
is

rivers.

This

due to the same cause, and resembles,
in
size,

except

the

comparatively

minute

cones of mountain streams.
Fig.
it

35 represents the delta of the Po, and

will be observed that Adria, once a great

port,
is

now more than 20

and from which the Adriatic was named, miles from the sea.
is

Perhaps the most remarkable case

that of

the Mississippi (Fig. 36), the mouths of which
project into the sea like a hand, or like the
petals of a flower.

For miles the
but
is

mud

is

too

soft to support trees,

covered by sedges
gradually be-

(Miegea)

;

the banks of

mud

WATEE

273

come too soft and mobile even for them. The pilots who navigate ships up the river

live in frail houses

resting

on planks, and
Still further,

kept in place by anchors.

and

274

THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE
if

the banks of the Mississippi;

banks they

can be called, are mere strips of reddish mud,

Fig. 38.

intersected

from time to time by transverse
water, which gradually separate

streams of

VII

WATER

276

them into patches. These become more and more liquid, until the land, river, and sea merge imperceptibly into one another. The
river
is

so

muddy
it

that

it

might almost be
so

called land,

and the

mud

saturated

by

water that

might well be

called sea, so that

one can hardly say whether a given

spot

is

on the continent, in the
ocean.

river, or

on the open

CHAPTEE
ErVEltS

VIII

AND LAKES

CHAPTER

VIII

KIVEKS AND LAKES

ON THE DIRECTIONS OE RIVEKS In the
their
last chapter I

have alkided to the
the
limits

wanderings of

rivers within
;

of

own

valleys

we have now

to consider

the causes which have determined the directions of the valleys themselves.
If

a tract of

country were raised up in

the form of a boss or dome, the rain which
fell

on

it

would partly sink
lower ground.

in,

partly run
least
in-

away
first

to the

The

equality in the surface would determine the
directions of

the streams, which would
loose

carry

down any
little

material,

and

thus

form
for

channels, which would be gradu-

ally deepened

and enlarged.

It is as difficult

a river as for a

man

to

get out of

a

groove.
279

;

280

THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE

chap, vin

In such a case the rivers would tend to
radiate with

more

or less regularity

from the
Der-

centre or axis of the dome,

as, for instance,

in our English lake district (Fig. 37).

went Water, Thirlmere, Coniston Water, and Windermere, run approximately N. and S. Crummock Water, Loweswater, and Buttermere N.W. by S.E.; Waste Water, Ullswater,
and

Hawes Water N.E. by S.W.
lies

;

while

Ennerdale Water

nearly E. by
if

W.

Can

we account

in

any way, and
of

so how, for

these varied directions?

The mountains
axis
of

Cumberland and Westless oval boss, the

moreland form a more or
which, though
practically

not

straight,
,

runs

from E.N.E. to W.S.W.

say from

Scaw

Fell to

Shap Fell

;

and a sketch map

shows us almost at a glance that Derwent
Water, Thirlmere, Ullswater, Coniston Water,

and Windermere run
axis
;

at right angles to this
is

Ennerdale Water
the

just

where the boss
while
lie

ends and

mountains

disappear;

Crummock Water and Waste Water
the intermediate angles.

at

So much then for the direction.

We

have

37.Kg. . — Map of the Lake District.

Weald of Kent (Figs. and as shown in the following section. and Hastings from and The axis of elevation runs (Fig. the River Dudden. Horsham. that the case so simple. If the elevation is considerable fissures the strata are often fractured. and are produced. taken from Professor Ramsay. however. case. we have on each side of the axis . Waste Water. and Crum- mock Water which no lie along the lines of old faults. 38. for instance. the Chalk. Again if the part elevated character. Coniston Water. Take another In the Jura the valleys are obviously (see Fig. contains layers of this more than one at once establishes differences. Here we have (omitting minor layers) four principal strata concerned. Take. Weald Clay. seldom happens. and appears that Ullswater. and origin. Greensand. Winchelsea to Boulogne. 18) in cases due many It is to the folding of the strata. the 39). namely. 39) Winchester by Petersfield. Sands. the first doilbt in floAv of instance deter- mined the the water.282 still it THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE to consider the situation chap.

with a valley hec. Brighton railway crosses the Weald towards the east. Upper Cretaceous strata. the other that of the Greensand. a. and the Chalk. 38. of instead which as a in rule they run north cases directly and south. on the north. cutting some through the escarpments. forming the North b. h. and at the in fact bases the escarpments. in each case with a gentle slope from about where the London and Fig. — a." one that while the Chalk. into the between the North and South Downs. its as the Rother does for part of sea course. Under these circumstances we might have expected that the streams draining the tion of of Weald would have run the axis of in the direc- elevation. shown in the dotted lines. Weald Clay. Hills -formed The Chalk. c. etc. of Hastings Sand and Clay. tween as it Escarpment of Lower Greensand.. and South Downs. chiefly Chalk. for . forming plains. d.yitt RIVEES AND LAKES 283 of two ridges or "escarpments. between the is sand Chalk and the Greena valley. once spread across the country. and between the Greenthe ridge of sand and Hastings Sand an undulating plain.

^ Fig.7?. . Cfuc^mere BeachyKead^ 4 ^. —Map of the Weald of Kent. 39.

The course of the Thames offers us a somewhat sunilar instance.CHAP. 38. and as the Chalk and Greensand now gradually weathered back. the Wye. They do not run it is and clear that they could not have excavated their present valleys esist. the Mole. Other evidence in support of is this view afforded by the presence of gravel beds in some places escarpment — beds at the very top of the Chalk which is were doubtless deposited when. the Cuckmere. the Midway. under circumstances They carry us back indeed to a time when the Glreensand and Chalk were continued across the Weald in a great dome. the Addur. and thus were enabled to keep their original course. and in faults or cracks. vm KIVEES AND LAKES 285 instance. It rises on the Oolites . They then ran down the slope of such as the dome. the the Darenth. the rivers deepened and deepened their valleys. as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. and Stour- and on the south the Arun. the Ouse. of a hill. a process still in operation. what now the summit was part of a continuous slope.

only slowly. its origin in a Chalk Gradually. is however. however. evidently been effected by the But this could not conditions. the Chalk was action of weather. The cutting through the Chalk has itself. almost to the valley of the Severn. In the same way no doubt the area of the Chalk formerly extended much further west than deed. and sink- ing deeper and deeper into. have happened under existing We must remember. though away. and cuts through the escarp- ment of the Chalk between Wallingford and river Reading. At present the river meets the Chalk escarpment . and The river maintained its course while gradually excavating. near Cirencester. At that time the Thames took spring. little in- there can be doubt. the Chalk. worn away by the especially of rain. and. crumbling Beis tween Farnham and Guildford the xJhalk reduced to a narrow ridge known as the Hog's Back. that the Chalk escarpment ally graduescarpof moving eastwards.286 THE BEAUTIES OP NATURE chap. somewhat further west than the source of the Thames. indeed are The Chalk ments course everywhere. it does at present.

and that many sites of the present mountains are not which were originally . the Susquehannah. but the escarpment is still gradually retreating eastward. and the Delaware through the Alleghanies. but deeper rose. the PotoErz-Gebirge. mountain exceeded the power erosion of the river. Indeed as soon as the land rose above the waters. Since in seems to a be well established that Switzerland mass. the two would proceed simultaneously. rivers would begin their work. so that the river would not alter its course.VIII RIVERS AND. again. the So. LAKES 287 itself near Wallingford. 292). The case of the Dranse will be alluded to further on (p. the mac. mountains it are passive. the rivers active. Moreover. has been removed . In these cases the rivers preceded the mountains. as the would cut deeper and mountain range gradually Eivers then are in many the cases older than mountains. the Elbe cuts right across Rhine through the mountains between Bingen and Coblenz. more than equal to what remains. unless the rate of elevaof and having done tion of the so.

it which have suffered in follows that is if some cases the course. but those least.288 THE BEAUTIES Or NATURE chap. expect too great regularity. On level the hand. At any rate it is cer- tain that of the original surface not a trace situ. raised highest. of the river due to the direction of due the mountain ridges. finally the constant. Riitimfeyer point out that of the relief of is Heim and two factors which have produced the mountain regions. Darwin mentions such a case. denudation. porary and transitory is . which. and many of our present valleys occupy the or a fragment remains in sites of former mountain ridges. The degree of hardness. on the other hand the direction of some of the present ridges is to that of the rivers. elevation. of the texture. more- . We must not. and the composition other the rocks cause great differences. greatly alter the river courses. Many of our own English mountains were once valleys. tem- the other. the one. if the alteration of was too to rapid. however. and gains therefore upper hand. the result might be Mr.

Near it was the dry course whence the water been conducted. was much astonished when walking up the bed of this ancient river. "mentioned I to me a and as far as am aware." he most interesting. barren. Travelling from Casma marks to Huaraz (not very far distant from Lima) he found a plain covered with ruins and cultivation. appearance of considerable river. Gill therefore. GUI. for irrigation had formerly There was nothing in the water-course to indicate a few of sand the that the river had not flowed there years previously . in some parts beds . perhaps the more interesting as being evidently very recent. less Mr. in others. says. but of ancient now quite of a. and gravel were spread out solid rock nel.vni EIVERS AND LAKES is 289 over. the had been worn into a broad chanwhich in one spot was about 40 yards in It is breadth and 8 feet deep. self-evident that a person following up the course of a stream will always ascend at a greater or inclination. to find himself suddenly going . quite unparalleled case. of a subterranean dis- turbance having changed the drainage of a country. "Mr.

Darwin's Voyage of a Naturalist. -^ and become The strata. the water must necessarily have been thrown back. . sions and even where the convulextreme. in the case of Switzerland — bear evidence of most vio- lent contortions. From the moment the river course was thus arched. mainly the result of denudaat a If we look map of Switzerland we can trace but little relation between the river courses 1 and the mountain chains. downhill. In the Alps then the present configuration of the surface is tion. for instance. and a new channel formed. often — indeed gener- ally. slope He imagined that the downward about 40 or 50 feet perevi- had a fall of pendicular. We here have unequivocal dence that a ridge had been uplifted right across the old bed of a stream. moreover." also the neighbouring plain must lost its fertilising stream. the valleys thus were less resulting are sometimes complicated by the existence of older valleys formed under pre- vious conditions. as we have seen.290 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. From that moment have a desert.

N.W. as 291 The a rule (Fig. at right angles to this. or.. .W. run either by N. The Alps themselves follow a and S.E. 40).II RIVERS AND LAKES rivers. S.E.

: 292 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. but it curving becomes S. somewhat curved line from the Maritime Alps. towards Vienna. Sion. Inns. along the Rhine Valley Kufstein. Granite. the Radstadt. commencing with the islands of Hyeres. and Hieflau. up the Rhone. to Chur. The of central mountains are mainly composed Schists Gneiss. the Rhone. then. One of the great folds shortly described in the preceding chapter runs up Chamouni Valley.W. Vorder Rhein. and crystalline the line of junction between these rocks and the secondary and tertiary strata on the north. the Inn. by Briancon. Chur. five great taken advantage of this main . to Innsbruck.B. along the Inn nearly rivers fold. Radstadt. little and below Rottenmann Vienna. the Rhine. runs. bruck. speaking roughly. down the the Isere. Urseren Thai. through the Urseren Thai. noble. Thus. from Hyeres to Gre- and then by Albertville. a round until at first nearly north and south. and the Enns. Martigny. by N. It is followed (in some part of their course) by the Tsere. — gradually Danube. to and for some distance along the have each of Enns. the Valais.

near Toblach. and I they much to loftier. and the Enns. even perhaps of the Bnns from Radstadt to Hieflau as in one sense a single valley. we may. the Urseren Thai. however. regard that of the from Chambery Albertville. Gotthard. of of the Isere. the the Inn. — one by culminat- ing in Mont Blanc. been raised in the centre. — which have separated the waters Vorder Rhine. due to one of these longitudinal folds. single case elevation is and slight in the main valley there are are still several. of the of Ehone from Martigp.y its to its source. and the Rienz In this : water flows in opposite the westward. a The Pusterthal interesting case of valley. of the Vorder Rhine from source to Chur. but interrupted bosses of gneiss and granite. the Rhone. of the Inn from Landeck to below Innsbruck. Isere think. That the valley .VIII RIVERS AND LAKES into 293 them eventually breaking through transverse valley. in the Tyrol offers us an what is obviously a single slightly which has. so that from this point the directions — the Drau eastward. and another in the St.

.294 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE Valais. which the properly the for Dranse is probably an older river and ran in the present course even before the great fold of the Valais. and fall into secondary transverse valleys. of it a belt Jurassic nipped rocks. Chamouni. as were. at Martigny Dranse it falls and adopts the transverse belongs to valley. the and that the of the Urseren -Thai. This would seem to indicate is that the Oberland range not so old as the elevation Pennine. where they respectively quit the great longitudinal fold. really the Vorder Rhine is form strata part of one great fold further of shown by presence in. After leaving the Lake of Geneva the Rhone follows a course curving gradually to the . The Rhone for the upper part of its course. between the crystalline This seems to throw light on the remarkable turns taken by the Rhone at Martigny and the Vorder Rhine at Chur. and that its was so gradual that the Dranse was able to wear away a passage as the ridge gradually rose. chap. as far as Martigny. runs in the great longitudi- nal fold of the yalais into .

This is the more curious because of the three great rivers which unite form the lower Rhone. namely. where it falls and adopts a transverse valley which properly belongs to the little river Guiers . the Sa6ne receives the Ain the Guiers.viii RIVERS AND LAKES 295 south. the Rhone has swalit lowed up the others. The Sa6ne. and Sa8ne. for instance. until into it reaches St. From Martigny it occupies succesuted to their older occupiers sively the valleys of the Dranse. and the Dranse the Rhone. Genix. Other similar cases . Ain. but also one of antiquity. and the Rhone itself. flowed past Lyons to the Mediterranean for ages before was joined by the Rhone. Ain. Guiers. however. it subsequently joins the Ain and finally into the Sa6ne. If these valleys falls were attrib- we should therefore confine the name of the Rhone to the portion of its course from the Rhone glacier to Martigny. not a mere question of names. the SaSne. the Doubs. the Guiers the This is Dranse. In our nomenclature. the In fact. of the year the volume and the Doubs has the longest course. the Sa6ne to brings greatest for a large of part water.

might be mentioned.296 THE BEAUTIES OE NATtJEE CHAP. a somewhat larger river than the Rhine. is The Aar. '^ «:) . for instance.

The complex structure of the Swiss mountains may be partly due to the coexistence of these two directions of pressure at right angles to one another. so far as I am stress has not hitherto been laid upon this. Thus in the case of Switzerland. it is evident. river to a course its more or less nearly at right angles to original Switzerland.vili RIVERS AND LAKES tlie 297 for a certain distance in direction of the main axis. slopes northwards so that the lowest part of the is from the Alps. though. while the main folds run south- west by north-east. there would be others at right angles to the main axis. great Swiss plain that along the foot of . 41) would not be in the direction it. but also at right angles to A C. that the compression and consequent folding of the strata (Fig. 214. so often ? break away into lateral valleys If the elevation of a chain of mounaware. tains be due to the causes suggested in p. moreover. The presence of a fold so originating would often divert the direction. in the direction A B only. though the amount of much greater in one direc- folding might be tion than in the other.

the Sesia. from the axis of Indeed. Adda. of the on the south. besides the Jura. all it will be observed (Fig. joining the it Aar from the south. the general slope of Switzerland. the Sihl. the Adige. and at angles and all to the main axis of elevation. down the Zilil to Soleure. the Wynen. Hence the main drainage runs along the line from Yverdun to Neuch8. 42) that almost the large affluents of these rivers running in longitudinal valleys fall in for instance. and then along the Aar to Waldshut the Upper Aar. while on the north does not receive a single contributary of any importance. the Ticino. the Suhr. the the Olonna. from Albertville its Rhone from source to its Martigny. the Wiggern.tel. the lower Reuss. of the Vorder Rhine from source . being from the ridge of the Alps towards the north. as. and the Limmat. running south-south-east elevation to the Po. the Emmen. etc. On the south side of the Alps again we all have the Dora Baltea.298 THE i3EAtJTiES OF NATURE chap. : several smaller streams. those of the Isere to Grenoble.. running approxi- mately parallel to one another north-northeast.

Enns from its source to near ..i^ 1 of the ^ Admont. §\ -^S:fe TtT -o? ^.VIII RIVERS AND LAKES 299 to Chur. of the Inn » from Landeck to Kufstein.m :f9 '.

whether originally running east or westwards. Danube from Hence its source to Vienna. Moreover. and been crumpled and folded in the most complicated manner. by glaciers. as the larger ones all do. and rivers has removed hun- dreds. and as just* mentioned. and even in some cases these folds again refolded. those which have been it is and hence that so many of the peaks stand at about the same altitude. . but . and some more than once. the whole question the strata have extremely complex. In fact. so that older rocks have been folded back on younger strata. the mountain tops are not by any the spots means denuded which have been most least elevated. of feet of strata. they turn towards the north. frosts. the denudation by aerial action. But the although we is thus of get a clue to general structure Switzerland. rivers also. sometimes completely reversed. or rather thousands. invariably.300 of the THE BEAtrxlES 01? NATURE chai'. whenever the Swiss running east and west break into a ti-ansverse 'valley. of the Aar from Bern to Waldshut.

UlVEES AND LAKES 301 THE CONFLICTS AND ADVENTURES OF RIVERS Our ancestors looked upon rivers as being in some sense alive. on the melting of the ^Geol. west. .. but in many cases enter into conflict with one another. In the plain of Bengal. while the Brahmapootra not only relies for its has a longer course to run. to a great extent. for instance. there great rivers. Mr. depends mainly on the monsoon rains for supply. each of them with a number of tributary streams. 1863. but floods. and in fact in their " struggle for existence" they not only labour to adapt their channel to their own requirements. the Ganges from the are three and the Megna from the east. the Brahmapootra coming from the north. has one great advantage. though much It its the Brahmapootra. Fergusson^ has given us a most interest- ing and entertaining account of the struggles between these great rivers to occupy the fertile plain of Bengal. Jour. inferior in size to The Megna.

SO that. though later it than the Megna. from the banks When I first trees. stables. it in. it finds the country already occupied by the it Megna to such an extent that has been driven nearly 70 miles northwards. about a mile of the Hoogly. was a noble country Warren Hastings. 1830 half the avenue of noble which led from the river to the house. knew gone . advantage. and pouring itself into some weak-banded nullahs in the lowlands beyond : and if it had succeeded. the river was close at hand. has in its turn a great Whatever the ultimate says Fergusson. garden.302 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. snow. it Under these circumstances the territory of the flood earlier has attacked Ganges. was when I last saw it. arriving later at the scene of the struggle. and village are gone. some eight years Since all afterwards. " there house. and the river was on the point of breaking through the narrow neck of high land that remained. built by result may be the struggle continues vigorously. the Hoogly would . then house. find a and forced to new channel. and being in than that river. At Sooksaghur.

the Rhine. and the Danube. so that the survey made evi- by Rennell in 1780-90 no longer any in dence as to the present course of the rivers. Their head- waters have been at one time interwoven together." This has affected many is of the other tribu- taries of the Ganges. their for the and they have. The association of the three great European rivers. within a space. invests them with a singular fascination. They all three rise in the group of mountains between the Galenstock and the Bernardino. on the east the waters run into the Black Sea. with the past history of our race. the Rhone. and their past tory is his- one of much interest. moment at least. and on the west into the Mediterranean. on the north into the German Ocean. Eastern Bengal Eailway At this juncture the Company intervened. They may now be anywhere else cases all we can say is that they are . works along the They were carrying ridge. . stopped the oscillation in this direction.vm RIVERS AND LAKES 303 have deserted Calcutta. But it has not always been so. of a few miles . some certainly not now where they were then.

Geol. A glance at the map will show that is be- tween Lausanne and Yverdun there tract of land. watershed being only 76 metres (250 corresponding with the above mentioned It is evident. which falls into the chatel at Yverdun. lake terrace. and is at one place not more than 14 feet across. Moreover. a low falls and the Venoge. and the height of the feet). de la Savoie. that when the Lake of Geneva stood at the level of the 250 feet terrace the waters ran out. Bech. which has a depth of 600 feet. at various points round the Lake of Geneva. runs within about half a mile the Nozon. the Lake of Neu- two being connected by the Canal d'Entreroches. and through the remarkable defile of Fort de I'Ecluse and Malpertius. ^ at a much higher than is One above of these rather more than 250 feet the lake.304 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUKE ohaf. therefore. . not as 1 Favre. which of into the Lake Geneva between Lausanne of and Morges. remains of lake terraces level show that the water once stood the present. At present the waters of the Valais escape of from the Lake Geneva at the western end.

But not the whole of the curious history. by the valley of the Klettgau. perhaps. from Frederich shaven to Ulm. and that the outlet was. where it falls is into the Rhine. showing that the river which occupied the valley was not the Rhine but the Aar. Thus the head-waters to have originally Rhone appear run by Lausanne and the of the . but there reason to believe that at a former period. It would seem also that at an early period the Lake of Constance stood at a considerably higher level. not by the Rhine from the Grisons. and through the Lake of Neuchgitel into the this is Aar and the Rhine. along what are now the valleys of the Schussen and the Ried. near Lausanne by Cissonay and" to Entreroches Yverdun. the Aar continued course eastward to the Lake of Constance.ar from the Bernese Oberland. before the Rhine had excavated its its present bed. as is indicated by the presence of gravel beds containing pebbles which have been brought. but by the A. At present the Aar turn to the west at makes a sharp Waldshut.vm RIVEKS AND LAKES at 305 now Geneva and by Lyons biit to the Mediter- ranean. into the Danube.

their also their adventures wars and invasions. and. Lyons. the drainage of this district was very different. after the present valley was opened between Waldshut and Basle. over the plain which now forms the German Sea into the Arctic Ocean between Scotland and Norway. formed of main branches. to the Mediterranean. Mayenfeld. however. Lake Danube.the Valley of the SaOne. however. and Sargans into the Lake of Con- stance at Rheineck. The two latter. At some former shown in Fig. three of which we have a very It is esting account by Heim. Finally. It must not. period. be supposed that these changes in river courses are confined to the lower districts. and run by Chur. Mountain streams have and vicissitudes. 43. the Vorder Rhine. by Geneva. Then. Take for instance the inter- Upper Rhine. and after joining the Thames. they flowed by Basle and the present Rhine. unite with the Vorder Rhine at Reichenau.306 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE of Constance into tlie chap. and so to the Black Sea. as is . Hinter Rhine. and the Albula. after meeting near Thusis. after the opening of the passage at Fort de I'Eckise.

. attacked the ridge which then united the Casanna and the Madrishorn. does now but instead of going round meet the Hinter Rhine near Thusis. and and it after receiving as tributaries the Vereina the Sardasca. Vereina. however. by Heide to Chur. and ran to Mayenfeld. detaching them from their allegiance to the Landwasser. and gradually forcing the passage. but to that of Zurich. the Landquart was stealthily creeping up the valley. and so on. but at a much higher level. In the meanwhile. but by the Kunckel Pass to Sargans. absorbed them as tributaries. dasca.VIII RIVERS AND LAKES 307 The Vorder and Hinter Rhine united then (Fig. joined the Albula. annexed the whole of the upper province which had formerly belonged to that river. 43) as they do now at Reichenan. and Sarand. but at two together travelled some distance from. the parallel with. that time rose in The Landwasser at the Schlappina Joch. not to the Lake of Constance. not by Chur. the Hinter Rhine. and so to Mayenfeld. as at Tiefenkasten to . 44) the valleys of the Schlappina. invaded (Fig.

and carried it down the . In what is now the main valley stream of the Rhine above ' Chur another ate its way back. and eventually tapped the main river . 43. — Biver syBtem round Chur. valley to join the Vorder Rhine near Thusis.^actua Fig.308 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE also gradually The Schyn worked its way upwards from Thusis till it succeeded in sapping the Albula. as it used to be.

— River system round Chur. the At Sargans a somewhat ^adua similar process . with the addition that the material brought down by the Weisstannen. Seide TlaisisX Fig. deflected just as the Rhine. thus diverting it from Kunckel. as it is.Clnir (Racheaa fford. and carrying it round by Chur.Till EIVERS AND LAKES 309 at Eeichenau. we see in Fig. or perhaps a rockfall. 30 that the Rhone . 44.- \^r. was repeated.

310 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE side chap. contrary. Another interesting case is that of the Upper Engadine of the (Fig. was pushed on one to force. 43 to their present beds as shown in Fig. the Upper Maira. lest any slight its is change should enable old bed. was obliged and has forced had the option its way over the cone deposited by the Borgne. 44. however. had no choice. but have been captured by the Lower Maira. The off fall Val Bregaglia is much steeper than away that the of the Inn. to which attention has been called by Bonney and Heim. to Rheinach. the river to return to of all these changes The result that the rivers have changed their courses from those shown in Fig. originally belonged to the Inn. The Col was formerly perhaps as far south as Stampa the Albegna. and adopted this it The watershed between is. and : the stream from the Forgno Glacier. on the running down by has Vaduz course. however. and the Maira has carried head-waters of that river into Italy. and the watch Weisstannen in height. by the Borgne. Their direction still . it The Rhone. only about 20 feet of Zurich it and the people carefully. 45). of The Rhine.

311 indicates this they seem as if they regretted the unwelcome change. In these cases when the valleys levels are at different rivers the lower the have • drained upper ones. for instance. connect -Ri7ei. deserted valleys. as rivers are continually cutting back of their valleys they must course sometimes meet. 45. Every one must have been struck by the peculiar bifurcation of the Lakes of Como and Lugano. .system of the '''""^*- the Lake Yarese with the Maggiore. Moreover. at of Sargans. and yearned to rejoin their old companions.Till RIVERS AND LAKES . dis- especially tricts. as. and left dry. In in other cases. several the Italian lakes. flatter we have and bifurca- tions. and give it also a double southern end. while a very depression would slight Kg.

exceptional. that of Valleys. 3. now at if There can be no lakes is the slope of the valley uniform. primarily as a rule to condition of rain is no geological causes. least. however. : ? — Ramsay divides Lakes into three Those due to irregular accumulations Those formed by moraines. To least one other great class and several' minor ones. It is of course possible to out lakes. have valleys with- cannot give rise to lakes. and Flowing water. namely. . however. To what then are lakes due Professor classes 1. mainly to the action rivers.— 312 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE ON LAKES The problem of the origin of Lakes is by means identical with. of drift. and which are generally quite shallow. Those which occupy true basins scooped these must. and in fact the latter are. but so far as their present concerned. 2. The latter are due. I think be added by at glacier ice out of the solid rock.

5. as a . of the Cheshire Meres. that in Finland. Those due to inequalities or depression. Lake Avernus." of Glen As regards the first class we find here and sizes. damming up the course of a river. such as the Mer- gelen See. Those caused by subsidence due to the removal of underlying soluble rocks. Such. or lava currents. Those due to rockfalls. 9. quite Such lakes are. La Sologne and rule. near Orleans. occur the district of Le Doubs of between the Rhone and the Sa6ne.VIII RIVERS AND LAKES 313 of elevation 4. such as some 7. Lakes in craters of extinct volcanoes. landslips. in parts of North America. 6. for instance. there on the earth's surface districts sprinkled with innumerable shallow lakes of all down in to mere pools. 8. for instance. or the ancient lake whose margins form the celebrated " Parallel Roads Roy. of a gla- Those caused by the advance cier across a lateral valley. of of the which there are many along the course Rhine. Loop lakes in deserted river courses.

is is Geneva. so that the rain cannot percolate through it. gravel. or of clay. sufficient inclination to throw of it off. they have There are in Switzerland generally been rivers. Some ascribe geologists. and without 2. comparatively loose. Geikie. many worn cases of valleys crossed by old moraines. all sides. either of hard rock such as granite or gneiss. stance. The materials forming moraines being.314 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. fact for of in- them to the these of regions ice having been covered by sheets which strewed the land with irregular clay. masses of and sand. however. The Lake sea. Ramsay and Tyndall attribute most of basins. To Ramsay's second those class Lakes belong formed by moraines. 1230 deep above the over 1000 feet the Lake of Brienz 1850 feet above . lying on a stratum impervious to water. It is and regard them as rock obvious that rivers of course cannot make rock basin-shaped hollows surrounded of by on feet . are easily cut through by streams. the great Swiss and Italian lakes to the action of glaciers. but long ago through by the 3. shallow.

If sea. that of Ivrea. or in some cases several thousand. and several miles long. 700 feet above the sea. mainly the result of this ice-waste. that its bottom Italian below the sea level. must exercise great pressure it on the bed over which this travels. "loess" Ehine itself. and the the fine mud of which the is carried of down is by glacial streams. deep. being no less than 1500 feet above the river. We see from the striae and grooves on the solid rocks. is we must remember supposed to have scooped out the valley in which the Lake of Geneva now reposes. and that is . Como. gigantic while moraines were magnitude. Indeed it is obvious that a glacier many hundred. was once the at least 4000 also feet of in- thick. is 315 so the and 2000 really feet deep. 685 feet is above the deep. Lago Maggiore.VIII RIVERS AND LAKES sea. for stance. feet in thickness. no at less than 2625 feet the mind is first staggered at the magnitude of the that the ice which scale. The deposit glacial rivers. The Lakes of The Lake is 1929 feet are even more remarkable.

chap. why it is tionable. and consequently due to cosmical causes and geo- logical strutiture. himself admits that " it is impossible to deny that valleys. a white sand-paper applied slowly but irresistibly to all the roughness of the hill which it covers. have been swept out and perhaps enlarged by rivers and glaciers. after their formation. the true slope is very Tyndall and Ramsay do not deny that the original direction of valleys. is ." It is obvious that sand-paper applied " irresistibly " and long enough. is great." Even Ruskin admits "that a glacier may be considered as a vast instrument of friction. so impalpable. though the depth of some of these lakes slight. of lakes. . while even those who have which Favre do not KLOst strenuously opposed the theory attributes lakes to glacial erosion altogether deny the action of glaciers.316 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE so fine. That glaciers do deepen their beds seems therefore unquesMoreover. must gradually wear away and lower the surface.

Their tendency to cut through any projections course so that finally their assumes some such curve its as that below. so that if d h in. Those who believe that lakes are in many is. rather is than form lakes. 47 represent the course at a of a glacier. 46.v«i EIVERS AND LAKES 317 I cannot therefore resist the conclusion that glaciers have taken an important part in the discussed formation of lakes. entrance into Fig. and gradually thinning out to it may . startuig e. cases due to glaciers might yet admit that rivers have greater power of erosion. however. There however. — Final Slope of a Eivei'. But this is not so. from the source {a) to the sea (&). ing power. . an essential of action. have in addition a scoopsimilarly a Glaciers. The question has sometimes been as if the point at issue were whether rivers or glaciers were the most effective as excavators. Fig. dif- ferencfcin the to regularise mode Eivers tend their beds they drain.

. and the outer fold was still further raised. That some lakes are due to unequal changes of level will hardly be denied. reason to regard If one as the oldest. more quickly than the 1 rivers could cut it Growth and Structure of the Alps. if it subsequently retires say to there would be a lake lying in the basin c thus formed between and e. for instance. scoop out the rock to a certain extent at d in that case c. In the place does not seem clear that they occupy true rock basins. the central as we have and there seen. On this point more evidence is re- quired. . On the other hand I am not disposed to to it attribute the Swiss lakes altogether first the action of glaciers. The Alps. are a succession is of great folds. as No Bonney justly observes. 318 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. 47. or a new one formed. then the same process continued. one. Fig.^ glacial ero- would attribute the Dead Sea to sion.

and lakes would result. evident. greater in the one direction than in the — Martigny. in the case of Switzer- land. while the main folds run south-west by north-east there angles. as indicated on strata p. and the Ober Alp. are perhaps due. and. or in the direction A' C. as already mentioned. that while the line of least resistance. consequently. Thus. for instance. there ' also are probably due to differences of elevation.^1" RIVERS AND LAKES 319 back. would also be others at right though the amount of folding might be much other. for instance val- ley of Switzerland. and consequent crumpling. they would be dammed up. the Furca. there must also be a tendency to the forma- tion of similar folds at right angles. 217. — which the great longitudinal at intersect To this cause the bosses. The great American lakes Ontario. the principal folds might be in the direction A' B'. is Kound Lake a raised beach is which at the western end of the lake 363 . if Moreover. the formation of a mountain region be due to subsidence. so that the which originally occupied the area AB it is C D are compressed into A' B' C* D'.

The old river terraces of the Eeuss can be traced in places between Brunnen and Goldau.320 feet THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE above the sea level. not as now by Lucerne. amounting to over 600 feet.e. In the same way we get a clue to the curi- ous cruciform shape of the Lake of Lucerne as contrasted with the simple outline of such lakes as those of Neuchatel or Zurich. reaches an As this terrace must have been originally horizontal we have here a lake barrier. terraces Now these must have But originally sloped from the the other upper part downwards. of That Lucerne is a complex lake. which originally ran. due to a difference of elevation. which likewise ran through the Lake of Zug. In the same way the Alpnach the old bed of the Aa. from Brunnen towards Goldau. but by Schwytz and through the Lake See is of Zug. from From this towards Brunnen. at present the slope is way. i. Soundings have shown that the bottom of the Urner See is quite flat. and other evidence we conclude Goldau . but rises towards the it East and North until near Fine elevation of 972 feet. chap. It is in fact the old bed of the Eeuss.

called by the natives the Ulla-Bund or " the wall of area. and turned it temporarily into considering the great Italian lakes.viii EIVEES AND LAKES- 321 that in the direction from Lucerne towards Rapperschwyl there has been an elevation the land. which has of and thus turned Reuss into lakes dammed up the valleys parts of the Aa and the Lake of and Urner of the two branches of the Lucerne known as the Alpnach See See. In which descend far below the sea level. Hence we are tempted to ask whether the lakes may not be remains of the ancient sea which once occiipied the whole plain. of — the During the earthquakes 1819 while part Runn of Cutch." thirty miles long. we is must remember that the Valley continuation of the Adriatic. by the materials brought down from the Alps. sunk several God. and in parts sixteen miles wide. feet. 2000 square miles in a ridge of land. Moreover just as the Seals of Lake Baikal in Siberia carry us . of the Po a now filled up and converted into land. a lake. of was raised across an ancient arm the Indus.

but we can trace up valleys. however." we can at first hardly bring ourselves to realise this. so there in the of fresh water was in connection with the Arctic is character of the Fauna of the Italian lakes. some lakes and inland seas seem to be due to even greater cosmical causes. Further some confirmation of such an evidence. necessary before these interesting questions can be definitely an- swered. for example. Lastly. Black Sea. is idea. and especially the presence of a Crab in the Lake of Garda. their present condition to the action of water. Caspian. to the But though many causes have contributed original formation and direction of is Valleys. mainly due When we contemplate such a valley. from the little . Aral. as that which is called par excellence the " Valais.322 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. Baikal. Thus a line inclined ten degrees to the pole be- ginning at Gibraltar would pass a great chain of inland waters — the through Medi- terranean. back to the time when that great sheet Ocean. and back again through the great American lakes.

conditions thus briefly described repeat themselves in river after river. up to the greatest valleys of These considerations. tions. then. 41) caused by subterra- . we can explain their origin. has that history been ? The same valley may be of a very different character. and thus to some extent understand the story they have to tell us. in difSome valleys are ferent parts of its course. ON THE CONFIGURATION OF VALLEYS The valley. due to folds (see Fig. I think.VIII RIVERS AND LAKES 323 watercourse made by last night's rains all. very much to the if. and the history they record. however. do not of course apply to such depressions as those the great oceans. valley after and it adds. though with many modifica- have maintained their main features ever since. What. and. interest with which we regard them by studying the general causes to which they are due. These were probably formed when the surface of the globe began of to solidify. and due to very different causes.

but. but the weathering of the sides and consequent widening would . mainly the re- sult of erosion. As soon trickle as any tract of land fell rose out of the sea. in their present features. but by far the greater number are. character valley of would depend greatly on the character the strata. nean changes. so where they were easily split that they crumbled readily into the stream. or where they were Gradually the until it by the weather. 37). hard and tough broader. and gradually collecting into larger and larger streams. Wherever the slope was sufficient the water would begin cutting into would it the soU and carrying action would be the of course.324 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. This same the in any case. soft. The erosive would then cease. off to the sea. the rain which on the surface downwards in a thousand rills. stream would eat into its bed depend on the volume action reached a certain slope. would the differ in rapidity according to the hardness of ground. being narrow where they were . of On the the other hand. on the contrary. the steepness of which would of water. forming pools here and there (see Fig.

gravel. would no longer have sufl&cient power even It to carry off the materials brought down. 8 inches will move sand roll as coarse as linseed. its slope angular stones of the size of When it a river has so adjusted its that neither deepens bed in the upper portion . 12 inches will sweep along fine inches will 24 along rounded it pebbles an inch diameter. a cone or delta. . Deepening and widening Widening and Filling levelling up every one in the third has and every place through the in the second stage has passed . . length. A velocity of 6 inches per second will lift fine sand. we may call those of — These three stages. therefore. would tend to divide into different branches. would form.. spreading the materials and forming a river plain. 3. vm RIVERS AND LAKES river 325 continue. as the rapidity it still At further diminished. and the would wander from one -part of its valley to another. first passed through the second. 2. 1. and instead of meandering. and feet per second at the requires 3 bottom to sweep along an egg.

suppose that the or locally the river is again increased. the regimen would rivers be destroyed. either by a fresh elevation. The howwa- enlargement of the bed of a river is not. fall of Now. deepening the valley. as the ." and in such soil a case if the character of the remains the same. for instance. cuts into its old bed. the velocity must also be uniform. the slope did not diminish. in proportion to the increase of its ters as it approaches the sea. by the removal of a barrier. and the river would again com- mence to eat out its bed. 46. of its course. ever.326 THE BEAUTIES OF NATUEE it is chap. and leaving the old plain as a terrace high above its new course. In the case of a river running in a to say of a valley transverse valley. Then Again once more the river regains it its energy. nor deposits materials. and consequently every river tends to assume some such "regi- men " as that shown in Fig. to have acquired its said "regimen. that lying at right angles to the "strike" or direction of the strata (such. therefore. If. In many valleys sev- eral such terraces may is be seen. Hence as enlarge. one above the other. the slope diminishes.

find ourselves in a narrow defile. is due mainly to the regular flow of rivers floods. after a comparatively flat plain. but at the summit of which. the water acts in more effectively than longitudinal valleys running along the strike.Till EIVEBS AND LAKES 327 Reuss). just as geological was shown by Sir C. Lyell to be no evidence of cataclysms. we find another broad flat Another lesson which we learn from the study of river valleys. main valley by rapids rivers Again. down which the water rushes in an impet- uous torrent. and of course they cut down the softer strata . and the streams from them enter the or cascades. structure is that. as We often we ascend a river. or cataract. but the result of slow action. to our surprise. valley. less Hence the lateral valleys have been deeply excavated than that of the Reuss itself. cross running in transverse valleys rocks which in many cases differ in hardness. more rapidly than the harder ones each ridge of harder rock will therefore form a dam and give rise to a rapid. so also the excavation of valleys . though their effects are and more sudden .

chap. It is obvious that the Thames But we land. ran northwards. The sites of present deltas. of its wealth which London owes much and power. and have had. level dates back to a period when the south-east of England stood at a higher present. If two princi- we look at any map we cannot but be struck by the fact that some rivers terminate in a delta. that the German Ocean was once dry fell and the Thames. than the of and even now the ancient course the river can be traced by soundings under what is now sea. The Thames. say of the Nile. after all. after joining the Ehine. know that formerly the land stood higher. ends to in a noble estuary. some in an estuary. comparatively little part in the result. It would indeed be a great mistake to . The estuary Thames. were also once under water. could not have excavated this estuary while the coast was at its present level. of rivers fall into The mouths pal classes. and have been gradually reclaimed by the deposits of the river.328 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE striking. then. for instance. and eventually into the Arctic of the Ocean.

the most dangerous of all the Apennine rivers. A. partly of their own creation. sooner or later break through their banks.Viii RIVEiig AND LAKES 329 suppose that rivers always tend to their valleys. is in some places as much as 30 feet above the adjoining country. — run upon em- bankments. rocky basis of valley. u4 " n (exaggerated) strata. many of the Nile. ordinary level C. Ji ^ A of river . take a new course along the lowest part of . The Reno. sedimentary B. flood level. the rivers — the etc. deepen This is only the case when the slope exceeds a certain angle. when not interfered with by Man. Fig. the Po. is When the fall but slight they tend on the contrary to raise their beds brought down from higher by depositing sand and mud Hence in levels. and leaving their former bed. 48. — Diagrammatic eection of a valley R S. Rivers under such conditions. the lower part of their course most celebrated Mississippi. the Thames.

their such rivers are course. Hence the line . would produce an which when once started would go on increasing until the force of gravity drawing the water in a straight force downwards equals that of the tending to divert its course. Hence. raise above the in rest. feet. is soil homogeneous.330 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE which again they gradually channels by chap. their valley. unless they are kept their own human agency. about six times the width of the river.of radius of the curves will follow a regular law depending on the volume 10 feet per mile and the water and the If the fall angle of inclination of the bed. so that a river 1000 feet wide would is oscillate once in 6000 tion. per mile the length of the curve according to Fergusson. If continually changing we imagine line . a river in running down a a more or less regularly inclined plane straight any inequality or obstruction oscillation. that the curves would be so the course much extended would appear 1 foot almost straight. With a fall of is. This an important consideralost in trying and much labour has been .

trees. gradually deposits the solid matter which face. The curves of the Mississippi are. above the general When this elevation has reached a certain point. for in- stance. But rivers are very true to own laws. new course along the lowest it fills This then up. the water which retarded - overflows during floods reeds.vtii RIVERS AM) LAKES 331 to prevent rivers from following their natural law of their oscillation. If the country is flat a river gradually raises the level on each side. for a considerable part of its course so regular that they are said to have been dis- used by the Indians as a measure of tance. the river during some flood bursts its banks. as level. were. and a change at any part is continued both upwards and downwards. and thus raising the it becomes at length suspended. so that a new oscillation in any place cuts its way through the whole plain of the river both above and below. coming back from time to . it contains. and so on . being by and a thousand other sur- obstacles. and deserting gradually its old bed takes a accessible level. bushes.

of Switzerland. The Nile commences July . more than 400 In addition to temporary " spates. course. from the melting of the snow. I may mention that the river-deposits at Calcutta are feet in thickness. in summer. and early in November again. in winter. still when we it is consider that the phenomenon has it been repeated annually for thousands of years impossible not to regard itself with wonder. sinks of At it is its greatest height the volume water sometimes reaches twenty times that when lowest. and yet perhaps not a fallen. rivers deposit. its first In evidence of the vast quantity of sediment which. after a long cycle of years. In fact Egypt may be said to be the bed of the Nile in flood time. drop of rain may have Though we is now know that this annual variation due of to the melting of the snow and the fall rain on the high lands of Central Africa. ." due to heavy rain. our rivers. for instance. most those rivers are fuller at one time of year than another. to rise towards the beginning of floods all the it from August to October it low lands. time to permitted.332 THE BEAtJTiES OF NATURE if chap.

Periodical differences are of course It is comdif- paratively easy to deal with. junction no such periodical differences. the mere quantity of rain by no means the only matter to be considered. on the other hand. instance. the SaSne. For instance a heavy rain in the watershed of the Seine. nearly equal through the year. however. greatly derived from the melting of the Swiss In this case. is this in winter. on swollen by the winter's rain. and falls during the fine weather of summer. because the height of the flood in the nearer affluents has passed before that down from the more distant streams has . causes less difference in the flow of the river. say at Paris. Hence the two tend to counterbalance one another.viii aiVEKS AND LAKES 333 offer Some for rivers. with the below the all SaQne. unless very prolonged. than might at first have been the river expected. while the account highest in Rhone itself is on summer and lowest the contrary. is The lower Rhone. Here is also. is and yet we know that the upper portion snows. however. ferent with floods very due to irregular rainfall.

viii The highest level is reached when the rain in the districts drained by the various affluents happens to be so timed that the coincide in their arrival at different floods Paris. . THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap.334 arrived.

CHAPTER THE SEA IX .

is society.: ! There There There is is a pleasure in the pathless woods. or have been before. in which I steal From all I may be. yet cannot all conceal. and music in roar I love not Man the less. a rapture on the lonely shore. . From these our interviews. thou deep and dark-blue Ocean — roll Bykon. where none intrudes. but Nature more. its By the deep Sea. KoU on. and feel What I can ne'er express. To mingle with the Universe.

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or rich red sandstone. or stern grey granite. with a few Shelley. by a year's honest work we Sea. how we murmur turn.i Trembles and sparkles as with How foot of a beautiful the cliff. fairly won the prize of a good holiday. the rushing sound of the pebbles on the sloping shore. air.instinctively to the We the pine for the delicious smell of the sea of thes waves. faint kisses of the Sea. and long to Linger. the cries of the sea-birds. sea-coast is ! At the perhaps of pure white chalk. where the pebble-paven shore. eiostasy. Under the quick. lies the shore of gravel 1 or sand.CHAPTER IX THE SEA When when we have the glorious feel that summer weather comes. Z 337 .

. tipped with white or faintly pinkish breaks lies lovingly on the sands while beyond the sunshine. at mid-day deep blue even Too deeply blue too beautiful too bright Oh. the waves sparkling in the sunshine. 338 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the open Sea sparkling in O pleasant Sea Earth hath not a plain So boundless or so beautiful as thine. Sea-kale. water. . or yellow- flowered Horned Poppies. Saltwort. . that the shadow of a cloud might rest Somewhere upon the splendour of thy breast .^ There are few prettier sights than the beach at a seaside town on a fine summer's day.i The Sea beautiful. . . and Sea-grasses the waves roll leisurely in one by one. is indeed at times overpoweringly sheet At morning and evening a of living sUver or gold. and clear.. transparent. each in turn rises up in an arch of foam. . . . Artemisia. Sea Con- volvulus. In momentai'y gloom. ^ Holmes. scattered plants of blue Sea Holly. and as green they reach. the water 1 Campbell. cool. the beach.

. sail for everCnore. They feel with Tennyson's voyager We left behind the painted buoy That tosses at the harbour-mouth the South And madly danced As fast our hearts with joy. when the Sea makes every- thing smooth and ready for the next day's play. And we might Many appreciate both. The long roll of the Mediterranean on a fine day (and I sup- pose even more of the Atlantic. over and over and over again. until evening comes and the chil- dren go home. . Many shore. which I have never enjoyed). are satisfied to admire the Sea from others more ambitious or more free prefer a cruise. which the waves then run up to and wash away. while the to do but to and sky each bluer than the sea seems as if it had nothing laugh and play with the children on the sands the children perseveringly making castles with spades and pails. IX THE SEA 339 other.: : . to we fleeted How fresh was every sight and sound or winding shore! On open main We knew the merry world was round. far from land in a good ship.

much To find the same average temperature in the United States far to the south. that of . and as will ages With the land this is not so. mainly composed of Indians and Esquimaiix. But the in its furs. a joy never to be To same are the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic its Ocean Northern Europe owes mild climate. Atlantic would not alone produce so great an effect. it must have it does now. The latitudes on the other side of the Atlantic colder. with an average temperature the same as ice. a country of snow and whose principal wealth consists and a scattered population. lies we must go Immediately opposite us Greenland a coast Labrador. almost destitute of vegetation. river in the world. twenty million times as great as the Rhone — the greatest. The Sea is outside time. which brings to our shores the sunshine of the West Indies. and for us the most important. is chap.340 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE friends. The . We owe our mild and genial climate mainly to the Gulf Stream —a river in the ocean. and with kind forgotten. or a million years ago looked just as hence. ten it thousand. A thousand.

immovable. The deep heart of the Heaven is calm and Must thou alone a restless vigil keep. the case is altered. or even a ship. same steadfast. the Year after year. characteristic of is The great perhaps. Boats may remain the same for centuries. but Lakes is peace. : animals and plants are continually changing is always the same. still movement without The Earth lies quiet like a child asleep. of old iron- England are things proved off and the clads of to-day will soon be themselves im- the face of the ocean. fatigue. Directly we see the coast. . that of the Sea energy. somewhat restless.^ A Lake in a storm rather gives us the impres- sion of a beautiful Water Spirit tormented by is some Evil Demon . The wooden walls of the past. iBell. but ships are continually being changed. 341 mountains but the Sea rivers and valleys. serene.IX THE SEA and hills. And with thy sobbing all the silence fill. still. but a storm at Sea one of the grandest manifestations of Nature.

not size of from the mere force or between sea and longed agitation the surge. which 1 make the air Hemans. but bodily. but from the complete annihilation of the limit air. . and. which hangs to wave. High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast They hear not now the booming waters roar. The battle thunders wiU not break their rest.i The most vivid sea is. in ropes and wreaths from wave to break. and to those who have must be unimaginable. but into masses of accumulated yeast. the following passage : from ever Raskin's Modern Painters "Few people. I believe it . hanging. 342 Yet more . . Keep thy red gold and gems. coiling masses. description of a storm at I think. its where one curls over like a drapery form a festoon these are taken edge . comparatively. . not in dissipating dust. thou stormy grave Give back the true and brave. its pro- not into mere creaming foam. have seen the effect on the sea of a powerful gale continued without intermission for three or four days and nights not. THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE the billows and the depths have more chap. is The water from beaten. in writhing.. from up by the wind.

and half are torn to pieces rise. whirling and flying in rags and fragments from finally. and madness. furrowed with their whirl of ascent. they and carried away in roaring smoke. wave to wave . and their masses. through all this chaos. between the sea and that no object. vastness. making them white all through. but with boil.IX THE SEA 348 white and thick as with snow. nor . velocity. that its when by the air has been ex- hausted of moisture by long rain. as the water is under a great cataract. being thus half water air. and covers its surface not merely with the smoke of finely divided water. ing mist imagine also the low rain-clouds sea. by the wind whenever like actual water. the spray it of the sea is caught as described above. only the flakes are a foot or two long each selves are full of : the surges them- foam in their very bodies underneath. is and you will underleft stand that there indeed no distinction air . as brought down to the very level of the I have often seen them. lifting themselves in precipices and peaks. which chokes and strangles Add to this. and conceive the surges themselves in their utmost pitch of power.

reaches a length of over 70 feet^ but is timid and inoffensive. as much The Great Sea a myth as the Kraken of Pontoppidan. but sometimes on true fishes. which almost alone among animals roams over the whole ocean. indeed. life. and the ocean all cloud. though the body is comparatively small. The Giant Cuttle Fish of Newfoundland." see SEA LIFE The Sea teems with Serpent is. is It armed with mainly on powerful teeth. or even Seals.344 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. much more formidable. boats. nor any landmark or natural evidence of position is left and the heaven is all spray. but other monsters. are actual realities. no further in any direction than you through a cataract. scarcely less marvellous. and said to feed Cuttle Fish. When wounded its it often attacks and companions do not hesitate to . horizon. and that you can see . may measure 60 feet from the tip of one arm to The Whalebone Whale that of another. The Cachalot is is or Sperm and Whale. as large.

as Bishop Pontoppidan said. an American ship was actually attacked. Sea Elephants. stove in. but they have been gradually driven further and further north. . so that. all So far as we know. and has been said to attain a length of 120 feet. also be allowed a " truce of not. the largest species of is Simmond's Whale. man and to As they rethem we owe Is it much of our progress in geography. Seals. and are treated still becoming followed. rarer. and sunk by a gigantic male Cachalot. worth considering whether they God. but this is probably an exaggeration. mum of In former times Whales were frequent on our coasts. less slaughter of Whales. which reaches a maxi85 to 90 feet. the sea sometimes appeared as if covered with smoking chimneys. The Great Roqual is still more formidable. indeed. In one case. however.IX THE SEA 345 come to the rescue." might not whether some part of the ocean might not be allotted to them where they might be allowed to breed in peace ? As a mere mercantile The reck- arrangement the maritime nations would probably find this very remunerative.

incalculable. but on the common man. which alter the whole colour of the it. sea. no rare or exceptional often sail Navigators for leagues through shoals of creatures. as he sailed through water thus discoloured for many miles. whether mammals or naturally not well adapted to live far from dry land. are life. of a sad blot. into " une masse anim^e. insects. though some of them make re- .S46 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE is chap.000. Scoresby mentions which the sea was olive for miles tinged of an green by a species of Medusa. is.000. and other marine animals sense." Still. the number must have been almost This case. still. though the whole ocean teems with Air-breathing animals. not only on the character.000.000. and though no doubt the living mass did not reach to any great depth. that in He calculates a cubic mile there must have been 23. both animals and plants are most abun- dant near the coast. moreover. Even Seals.888. and actually change as Reclus says. but they are abundantly. of The monsters quantities of the ocean require large supplied cases in food.

is make Of said birds tlie greatest wanderer the Albatross. The clear rocky pools left by the retiring tide are richly clothed with green sea-weeds. The fall sea-shore. covered with Sea-weeds. This ously renders them less visible. Crustacea. which olive- roughly into two main divisions. or even undergone the further modifioften cation of having become blue. so as to Whales alone are specially modified the wide ocean their home. and even their blood have lost all . and colour. Many luscs. while against the sides are tufts of beautiful . some true fishes are remarkable for having become perfectly transparent their shells. green and red. remain habitually near the shore. Pelagic animals — Jelly-fishes. Mol- Cuttle-fishes. is wherever a firm hold can be obtained. the latter colour having a special relation to light. is which has such powers of flight that it even to sleep on the wing. and less liable to danger. — Worms.IX THE SEA 347 markable migrations. beautiful with obvi- opalescent reflections. These Sea-weeds afford food and shelter to innumerable animals. muscles.

varied. But they gradually diminish in numbers. Sponges. . interspersed with Sea-anemones. creamy.. and of many mixed colours Limpets. . 348 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. purple. marine animals they must be seen . or from shelter to shelter. yellow. Corallines. Starfish. pink. filmy red algse. and other shell-fish feathery Zoophytes and Annelides expand their pink or white disks. — white. with a coronet of blue beads. each in fact. Barnacles. The dark green and brown sea-weeds do not live beyond a few — say about 15 — fathoms in depth. Below them occur delicate with Corallines and a different set of shells. while here and there a Crab scuttles across or from hastily little itself. and are replaced by new To of appreciate fully the extreme loveliness alive. etc. among dart is. Down to about still 100 fathoms the animals and plants are numerous and forms. scarlet species. a miniature ocean in pool and the longer one looks the more and more one will see. the fronds of the sea-weeds. Sea-urchins. little Fish or Shrimps timidly come out from crevices in the rocks.

" says Hincks. laden with white. " like blossoms on some tropical fect tree. is like the gay parterre is Equally beautiful the dense I growth of Campanularia.water. surmounted by the bright rose-coloured heads. A tree of Campanularia. margin like offers a rare combi- nation of the elements of beauty. covering (as seen it have in Plymouth Sound) large tracts of the rock. like trees in a storm. The rocky wall of some deep tidal pool. and thrown into a bottle of clear sea. no dredger will forget. taken from amongst the miscellaneous contents of the dredge. once seen. of a garden. when each one of its thousand transparent calycles study of form — — itself a is crowned by a its circlet of beaded arms. sight which. its delicate shoots swaying to and fro with each movement of the water. is a per- The unfolding of a mass of Plumularia. or the colony of Obelia on the waving frond of the tangle looking almost . is a marvel of beauty.IX THE SEA 349 ''A tuft of Sertularia. or brilliantly tinted Polypites. thickly studded with the long and slender stems of Tubularia. drooping over the petals of a flower.

or glittering in the sunshine all the colours of the rainbow. or rose-coloured. 350 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE its chap. water float or dart about endless creatures. and of most varied forms rest .. ethereal in grace. of some with thousands coloured eyes. And on calm. brown. and with Medusae like living glass of the richest and softest hues." Few things are more beautiful than to look down from a boat into transparent water. transparency. cool nights how often have I stood on the deck of a ship watching with wonder and awe the sea-fire stars overhead. where often sud- . true fishes. silvery wake of the vessel. many of them Cuttle-fishes like bad dreams Lobsters and Crabs with graceful. crustaceans. and deli- cacy. on them and on the sands or rocks moUusca. anemones. brilliantly coloured . At the bottom wave graceful sea-weeds. transparent Shrimps Worms swimming about like living ribbons. and innumerable other animals of strange forms and varied colours . as seen against the coarse dark surface that supports it. green. and the below. especially in the foaming. Seain the clear starfishes.

and every now and then vessel's side. " at momently intervals coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar. on the . and scoured out of sight like a Tartar troop over a wilderness.IX THE SEA 351 denly appear globes of soft and lambent light. over the sea. each tachments of this white cloud-like foam darted off from the with its own small constellation. " A beautiful white cloud of foam. and stars of flame little danced and sparkled and went light de- out in it . THE OCEAN DEPTHS The Land bears a only at the surface. rich harvest of life." Fish also are sometimes luminous. but con- The Ocean. The Sun-fish has been seen to glow like a white- hot cannon-ball. and in one species of Shark (Squalus fulgens) the whole surface sometimes gives out a greenish lurid light which it makes a most ghastly object." says Coleridge. like some great ravenous spectre. given out perhaps from the surface of some large Medusa.

which makes up for the comparative scantiness of its numbers. and animalcules. but that the Ocean depths have a wonderful and peculiar of their own. The deepest abysses have a fauna of their own. The light of the sun can- not penetrate beyond about two hundred . creatures. which swarm with such innumerable alive multitudes of living creatures that they are. Medusae. The middle waters are the home of various Fishes. while the upper layers swarm with an inexhaustible variety of living. It used to be supposed that the depths of the Ocean were destitute of animal life. so to say.352 trary. Fish have been dredged up even from a depth of 2750 fathoms. and especially those made during our great national expedition in the "Challenger. upper layers." have shown that life this is not the case. but recent researches. THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE though more richly peopled in its chap.their forms and organisation. by the peculiarity and interest of . The conditions of life in the Ocean depths are very peculiar. almost themselves — teems throughout with living beings.

but the eyes animal is apparently blind. their terminations being combined into a strong. Many of the latter species may be said to be a light to themselves. the themselves being absent. and have become fixed.IX THE SEA . 353 fathoms prevails. pointed beak. on the contrary. deeper than this complete darkness Hence less in many species the eyes have more or Sir completely disappeared. being provided with a larger or smaller number of curious luminous organs. or in many lieved with scarlet. in deeper water. cases black. eyestalks are present. while in specimens from a depth of 500-700 fathoms the eyestalks themselves have their special lost character. sometimes re- pink. and when the luminous 2a . so that while in the eyes gradually dwindle. which when living near the surface has well developed eyes . Wyville Thomson mentions a kind of Crab (Ethusa granulata). in others they become unusually large. In other deep sea creatures. 100 to 400 fathoms. The deep sea fish are either silvery. the eyes gradually become more and some species more developed.

its suddenly flashing out light from luminous organs. as.354 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap.-' light It is evidently under the will of the easy to imagine a Photichthys (Light Fish) swimming in the black depths of the Ocean. some having. may be observed that the largest of these is organs in this species situated just is under the eye. . the light is again at once extinguished. lus. History of Fishes. organs flash out must present a very remarkable appearance. but there are cases which their use can be surmised with some probability. while." In other cases they appear to 1 serve Gunther. so that the fish actually provided with a light bull's eye lantern. In other cases the as may rather serve a defence. We have still much in to learn as to the structure and functions of these organs. for instance. in the genus Scopetail. if danger is dis- closed. anH thus bringing into view any prey which It may be near . is The fish. a pair of large ones in the so that " a strong ray of light shot forth from the stern-chaser may dazzle and frighten an as enemy.

000 specimens of an Echinus were brought up are at a single haul. . Sea Slugs. though a gaint species. True corals are rare. nor Hydrozoa frequent. the same family live at habits. unsuspectingly approach. of. fish are developed a luminous organ. a living at the end of which doubtless proves a very paratively rare.IX . ^ The or "Angler" of our coasts has on flexible. effective lure. very reddish filaments. THE SEA "Sea-devil" its 355 lures." They have. in the sand or among in sea-weed. A mere ever. front of its Little fishes. howthe filament. and dangles the long filaments mouth. taking these filaments for worms. head three long. Several species great' depths. red filament woiald be invisible in the dark and therefore " glow-lamp. and on one occasion 20. Sea-urchins. and have very similar useless. however. closely resembling fronds of sea-weed. and thus fall victims. while all round its head are fringed appendages. In the great depths. and Starfish are more numerous. itself The fish conceals at the bottom. allied to the little Hydra of our ponds but . com- Nor are Molluscs much more abundant.

which siderable often attain of a con- length. so far as we It is curious that know.356 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE feet in height. Many these beautiful alive with organisms. upwards of 6 and often more than once been met with. to be able to ful regions ! What would one not give wander a while in these wonderno plants. net. or. expanding slightly upwards and ending in an elegant of parallel frill. moreover. at a greater depth than about 100 fathoms. itself. indeed. Sponges are numerous. it is in the form of a gracefully curved tube." resembles an exquisitely delicate fabric woven spun silk . As regards it is the nature of the bottom in the neighbourhood of land mainly . The now well Euplectella. flickering and sparkling at every touch. so as to form a square meshed are anchored These sponges on the fine ooze by wisps of glassy filaments. bands of glassy siliceous crossed by others at right angles. " Venus's Flower-basket. has . The wall is formed fibres. as far as our present information goes. known in very beautiful. chap. grow in the depths of the Ocean. glow when a soft diffused light.

b6 inferred from the fact that the trawl sometimes -brings up many (in teeth of Sharks and ear-bones of Whales one case no less than 600 teeth and 100 ear- bones). often semi-fossil. The greatest depth of the Ocean appears . At greater depths the carbonate of lime gradually disappears.000. some of meteoric. and tending to become finer and finer as the distance increases and the water deepens. brought down by washed from the shore. and which from their great density had remained intact for ages. coarser near the coast. origin.000 which are said to strike the surface of our earth every year. to The bed is of the Atlantic from 400 2000 fathoms fine covered with an ooze. or very chalky deposit. still especially those of Globigerina. and the bottom consists of fine red clay. fragments of shooting of stars.IX THE SEA 357 composed rivers or of materials. over 100. deposition How may slow the process of must be. consisting to a great extent of minute and more or less broken shells. numerous minute parti- some of volcanic. long after all the softer parts had perished and disappeared. with cles.

: 368 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. to coincide roughly of with the greatest height There are indeed cases said that feet. Atlantic The is greatest depth 3875 fathoms —a known little to the north of the Virgin Islands. and ascertained. and standing to the continent somewhat in . Those which are in reality a part of the continent near which they lie. velopment of animal Most islands fall into one of three principal categories Firstly. and now generally considered are untrustin the that these earlier observations worthy. but the soundings as yet made in the deeper parts of the it is Ocean are few in number.000 ever. was found even at 39. being connected by comparatively shallow water. not to be supposed that the greatest depth has yet been COEAL ISLANDS In itself many parts of the world the geography has been modified by the enormous delife. the mountains. how- by no means easy to sound it is at such great depths. recorded in which it is "no bottom" It is.

as.IX THE SEA 359 tlie relation of planets to the sun. Volcanic islands Thirdly. in the form of rings. Coral islands are especially numerous in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. clear. the rings themselves being sometimes made up of ringlets. shallow water. The with a beach of white sand rising but a few . the Cape de Verde Islands to Africa. Those which . These "atolls" contain a circular basin of yellowish green. Fig. while outside is the dark blue deep water of the islands' themselves are quite low. 49. Ocean. and their origin to owe the growth of Coral reefs. or Tasmania to Australia. —Whitsunday Island. Secondly. or which together form rings. where there are innumerable islets. Ceylon to India. for instance.

In shallow tracts of sea. but the difficulty was to account for the numerous atolls which rise to the surface form the abysses surface. all so nearly of the same altitude. of the ocean." ing 100. reefs the immense number these formed an almost this insuperable objection to theory. while the corallive forming zoophytes can only near the Darwin showed ring of corals that so far from the resting on a corresponding ridge of rocks. and bear generally groups of tufted Cocoa Palms. The meanLaccadives and Maldives for instance " literally the lac of or islands.360 feet THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. the lagoons. above the level of the water. .000 and the " thousand islands " such atolls. — — are a series of and it was impossible to imagine so great a number of craters. It used to be supposed that these were the submarme volcanoes on which the summits But as the reef-making coral had grown. coral reefs no doubt tend to assume the well-known circular form. of coral does not live at greater depths than about twenty-five of fathoms. on the contrary.

while on the contrary the growth of the coral might neutralise the subsidence of the reef. ocean by a coral Now if we it suppose Tahiti were to sink slowly would of gradually approximate to the condition Vanikoro. and if Vanikoro gradually sank. identity of altitude of islands. we should have simply an atoll with The same considerations explain for nearly a its the origin of the "barrier reefs. such as Tahiti. ." such as that which runs the thousand miles. But it it does more than because shows that there are great importance in areas in process of subsidence. contain an island in the middle while other islands.IX THE SEA 361 now occupy highest lagoons. along of north-east coast Australia. that some instance Vanikoro. the place which was once the land. as for He pointed out that of . Thus these Darwin's theory explains the form and the approximate coral this. are surrounded by a margin that of smooth water separated from the reef. is of great physical geography. the central island would disappear. so that lagoon. which though slow.

The lagoon attention . from reflection is generally of a bright but pale green colour. for every one must be struck with astonishment. and when he on the lashed by knows that the solid reef increases only is outer edge. bathed on the outside by the foaming breakers of the ocean. environn^ d'un grand banc de pierre tout autour. which day and night the breakers of an ocean never at rest.' " ^ Of the enchanting beauty of the coral beds 1 Darwin. . Coral Beefs. The naturalist will feel this astonishment more deeply after having examined the soft and almost gelatinous bodies of these apparently insignificant coral-polypifers. have received much which not surprising. when he first beholds one of these vast rings of coral-rock.362 THE SEAUTIES OP NATtTRE islands " is chap. and on the inside surrounding a calm expanse of water. often many leagues in diameter. which. did FranQois Pyrard de Laval. in Well the year 1605 exclaim. n'y ayant point d' artifice humain. ' C'est une merveille de voir chacun de ces atoUons. here and there surmounted by a low verdant island with dazzling white shores.

"which. " There were corals. some were tipped with a magentaSponges which looked as hard as stone spread over wide areas. buff. that the true character of the reef and all the beauties of the ocean . in their' living state. the whole floor was one mass of living branches of coral. of the palest lavenderlast blue colour and when at we were almost within the spray. while on the patches of sand here and there Holothurias and various mollusca and crustaceans might be seen slowly crawling. are of many shades of fawn. added their graceful forms to the Through the vistas so formed. over the outward edge of the great sea wall. while sprays of coralline picture." Abercromby description of also gives a very graphic proached. goldenbanded and metallic-blue fish meandered. " the roaring surf on the outside." says Prof. pink. it is " But only when venturing as far as is prudent into the water. while like bloom. fingery lumps of beautiful live coral began to appear . "As we aphe says.IX THE SEA 363 themselves we are assured that language con- veys no adequate idea. and blue. Ball." a Coral reef.

expanding deeper into the ocean than the eye can follow." of these fairy lands The vegetation very lovely light . and many others unknown to us even by name. . known madrepores. the Barringtonia. which must be taken ^ with all its surroundings as adjuncts. 1 Abercromby. is also the Coral tree (Erythrina) with of scarlet green leaves and bunches blossoms. It is really impossible to draw or describe the sight. the breadfruit. through which small resplendent fish of the brightest blue or gold flit between the lumps of coral. but all beautiful. the Cocoa-nut always beautiful. the graceful tree ferns. and all more or less of as the fingery or branching species. flat uninteresting tract of nearly bare rock. flowers. The sides of these natural grottoes are entirely covered with endless forms of tender-coloured coral.364 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE After walking over a chap. can be really seen. and broken into lovely grottoes and holes and fitfully canals. you look down and see a steep irregular wall. with large species pink of and white several Convolvulus. Seas and Skies in many Latitudes.

give a particular physiognomy to the southern sky. of the stars of the first magni- some scattered nebulae rivalling in splendour the milky way. We an inde- when. than the aspect of an unknown firmament. opened new feel constellations to our view. wearied admiring. on approaching the equator. progressively sink. The grouping tude. "From with the time torrid zone. which. livelier remembrance is of the immense distance by which he separated from his country. we see those stars which we have contemplated from our Nothing awakens in the traveller a infancy. and tracts of space remarkable for their extreme blackness. the beauty of the Southern skies must not be omitted. every the beauty of the southern sky." says Humboldt. as we advanced towards the south. and particularly on passing from one hemisphere to the other.IX THE SEA 365 THE SOUTHERN SKIES In considering these exquisite scenes. This sight fills with admiration even those. . and finally dis- appear. " we entered the we were never night. scribable sensation.

which to higher 1 up gave place an expanse of A Naturalist'' s Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago. and Krakatoa rose dark purple out of an unruffled golden to the south-west. . uninstructed in the branches science. 0. which stretched away where the sun went down over the horizon gray fleecy clouds lay in banks and streaks. alternating with orange bands. or a majestic river. The tall cones of sea. Forbes. on the horizon. above them pale blue lanes of sky. in the equinoctial regions.. feel the of accurate same emotions of delight in the contemplation of the heavenly vault." " The sunsets for in the Eastern Archipelago. A traveller has no need of and. when he sees the immense constellation of the Ship. The heaven and the assume an earth." says H. or the arise phosphorescent clouds of Magellan. 366 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. of being a botanist to recognise the torrid zone on the mere aspect without of its vegetation. having acquired any notion astronomy. exotic character.^ membered Sibissie "were scenes to be rea life-time. he feels he is not in Europe. who. as in the view of a beautiful landscape.

ix THE SEA stretching 367 red round the whole heavens.11. Gradually as the sun retreated deeper and deeper. all but reached no one has penetrated beyond say 71.. Until now every attempt to reach the North Pole has failed. . except at a few places where land has been met with. and the 83 South has proved even more In the north. inaccessible. they have come at last to a wall of In ice. Parry in the south lat.." THE POLES The Arctic and Antarctic regions have always exercised a peculiar fascination over the human mind. lat. . while no one can may be round the North Pole. what there and. in front of coiled themselves dissolving into space. some still imagine that open water might be found there. extreme South with somewhat more confidence.. the sky became a marvellous golden which the gray clouds weird forms before into curtain. Whenever ships have sailed southwards. from fifty to four hundred feet high. we can picture to ourselves the And yet.

368 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE it chap. and this seems quite a minimum. moreover. after condensing into ice. Croll points out that we take at only half a degree. the Ice cap at the South Pole must be no less than twelve miles in thickness. gradually accumulate. moves slowly outward and at length forms a wall of ice. even more. and the snow melts but is As far as the eye can reach nothing to be seen but snow. indicating a total thickness of the ice sheet even at the edge. if not incessantly. and solidify into until it attains such a slope that will move The enormous Icebergs of the Southern Ocean. from which Icebergs. show that it does so. and that the snow of the extreme south. of over a mile. Now this snow it niust -ice. forward as a glacier. " Whilst James Ross mentions that measuring some angles for the survey near Sir — . or even a thousand feet above water. but Mr. little. from break away. if under such circumstances. We do not exactly know what. the slope would be it . those regions snows. time to time. at least very frequently. for some of It is indeed probably the Southern tabular icebergs attain a height of eight hundred.

A fine sheltered bay was seen to the east of us. which had turned over. and describes the view as " most extensive and grand. and no such enormous solid cap of Spitzbergen. that not been for the gem-like distinctness of their outline one could have deemed them as unsubstantial as the spires of Fairy-land. land. of the Arctic regions is quite is There much more ice. and the whose glassy 2b .IX THE SEA 369 Mount Lubbock an island suddenly appeared. and even this goes but a little side. an arm of the same sea." The condition different. very desolate ." said to be his very beautiful. is the land of " pointed mountains. and so exposed a new surface covered with earth and stones. it so faint. first Lord Dufferin describes had view of it as " a forest of thin lilac peaks. however. which he was quite sure was not to be seen two or three hours previously. but it He was much eventually turned out to be a large iceberg. way up the mountain hills Scoresby ascended one of the near Horn Sound. so pale." It is. scarcely any vegetation excepting a dark moss. astonished. on the north-east.

the highest part of the precipitous front adjoining the sea being over 400 feet.370 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. and enlightened of a blazing sun. stood. and defying the power of the solar beams." One miles of the glaciers of Spitzbergen is 11 sea- in breadth when it reaches the coast. seated as we sur- were on the pinnacle of a rock almost rounded by tremendous precipices — all united to constitute a picture singularly sublime. were scattered in various directions about the sea-coast and ice in the adjoining bays. was unruffled by a breeze. commencing at the foot of the mountain where we could reach tain. and it . aided by a feeling of danger. and giving an enamelled coat to adjoining valleys. by the rays and the effect. as far as the eye — mountain rising above moun- until by distance they dwindled into whole contrasted by a cloud- insignificance. extended in a con- tinual line towards the north. filling Beds of snow and extensive hollows. formed an immense expanse on the west the glaciers. surface . one of which. the less canopy of deepest azure. rearing their proud crests almost to the tops of mountains between which they were lodged.

Behring and Franklin. The attempts cost to reach the North Pole have many valuable lives. take their origin. the beauty and brilliance of which Arctic travellers are never tired of describing.^ Field ice is comparatively flat. WUloughby and Hudson. from glaciers that true icebergs.IX THE SEA 371 extends far upwards towards the summit of the mountain." and we cannot but hope that it is still reserved for the British Navy after so many gallant attempts at length to reach the Montgomery. from time Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye Hewn from. From ice the perpendicular face great masses of to time break away. and many other brave mariners expeditions . 1 . the beauty of and brightness which render it a con- spicuous landmark on that inhospitable shore. cserulean quarries of the sky. North Pole. though it may It is be piled up perhaps as much as 50 feet. but yet there are few more popular than those to " the Arctic. plane of The surface forms an inclined smooth unsullied snow.

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CHAPTER X THE STAEET HEAVENS .

many millions of radiant lights.A man can hardly lift up his eyes towards the heavens without wonder and veneration. common good of the . and to observe their courses and revolutions. to see so even without any respect to the Universe. — Seneca.

beautiful.CHAPTER X THE STAREY HEAVENS Many years ago I paid a visit to Naples. the moon throwing a atmosphere with a path over the water. at our the top of the mountain. and the stars in shining brilliance that clear which I shall never forget. Far more silver were the moon and the stars overhead. For ages and ages past men have admired the same glorious spectacle. feet We was the sea. however. see the sun rise and ascended Vesuvius to from went up to the Observatory in the evening and spent the night outside. The sky was clear. and round the bay the lights of Naples formed a lovely semicircle. and yet neither the imagination of Man nor the genius of Poetry had risen to the truer and grander 375 .

monsters of all kinds. Art. we are mainly debted to Science. mechanical contrivances by which it attempted to explain the movements of the heavenly bodies were clumsy and prosaic when compared with Newton. but for our knowlfor and even more. we The was are indebted to astronomical Science.' of mountains. the great discovery of Ruskin is unjust I think when he says " Science teaches us that the clouds are a sleety mist throne. — and our superstitious ancestors often terrified themselves tic visions of by arms and warriors and of is fantasbattles which they regarded as portents calamities. flights of groups of animals.376 THE BEAUTIES of 01" NATURE for chap. we owe to Art. our appreciation. coming There hardly a day on which Clouds do not delight and surprise us by their . storms birds. even yet it is. There is scarcely a form which the fancy of — chains Man has not sometimes detected in the clouds." . conceptions the Heavens which. splendid cities. that they are a golden I should be the last to disparage the debt edge. feeble as of the overwhelming in- grandeur of the Heavens. at sea.

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THE MOON. To face page 377. .

light thus causing the alternation of and darkness Moon takes a month — day and night — the to revolve on hers. but by the reflected light of the Sun. heavenly bodies. and I must now pass on to the THE MOON The Moon is the nearest. because the side upon which the Sun shines Hence the is not always that which we see. so that she always presents the same. so the Moon approximately in a period of one month. with the single excep- tion of the Sun. or very nearly the same. appears to us. however. although it is in reality one of the smallest. not like the Sun and by light of her own. her form appears to change. surface to us. of the heavenly bodies. Just as the Earth goes round the goes round the Earth Sun. But while we turn on our axis every twentyfour hours. . and the period of revolution constitutes a year. They belong. Seeing her as Stars. and being the nearest.X THE STAURY HEAVENS 377 to forms and colours. our Earth. the largest. we do.

wanes thinner and thinner as closer to the Sun. the time of moon the disc of light begins to diminish. next to the Sun. and again is go through the same cycle of changes. aided tides. which add so much to her beauty and interest. and rises about the same time that the Sun full sets. Night after night moves further and further to the east. is until the last quarter Then it is that the Moon is is seen high in the heavens in the days pass by. " phases " of the Moon. The crescent the*Moon draws becomes to lost Finally. of the heavenly bodies.378 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. cent shape As again assumed. but also for us the most important. by far the most beautiful. Who is there who has not watched them ? with admiration " We first see her as an she exquisite crescent of pale light in the western sky after sunset. . again to emerge as the new moon. Btory of the Heavens. the cres- the morning."^ But although she so small the Moon is not only. Her attraction. From reached. by that of the Sun. until she becomes full. she in the overpowering light of the Sun. causes the 1 which Ball.

Mount Everest. and. but for and out of port. is a most beautiful object.X THE STAERY HEAVENS 379 are of such essential service to navigation. in a high degree weird and rugged it is a great wilderness of extinct volcanoes. has been carefully mapped and studied. and. Our loftiest The moun- is generally stated as about 29. The Moon is also of invaluable service to sailors by enabling them to determine where they are. and guiding them over the pathless waters. size. them many exist. the craters on the of Moon have a diameter of 40 or 50 — one . and it must be remembered that we Several of reckon the height of mountains to the sea level only. and may almost as that of our be said to be as well known is own earth. The geography of the Moon.000 feet in height. tains of the Moon reach an altitude of over 42. of our ports would themselves cease to being silted up by the rivers running into them. vessels in They carry our indeed. The scenery . so far as concerns the side turned towards us. The mountains are of great mountain.000. but this reckons to the lowest depression. seen with even a very moderate telescope.

much more rapidly. being earth. cooled. 50. so and it is probable that these mountains are millions of years old — much older than many . however. of much smaller than the course. be The volcanoes seem. Many have central cones. of in which we have conclusive evidence any change in a lunar mountain. cases the craters are filled nearly to the brim with lava.380 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE as them even also much as 78 — miles. closely resembling In some those in our own volcanic regions. — A group of Lunar Volcanoes. to . all extinct and there is not a single case Fig. The Moon.

or in some cases pass straight across plains. (see.X of our THE STARRY HEAVENS mountain of the 381 chains. not merely " the cloud- capped towers. themselves. 21) volcanic regions closely resembling those of the Moon. and the mountains stand to-day as they were formed millions find of years ago. Yet no one can look without being struck its at a map Moon is with the very rugged character of tain scenery. These agencies are absent from the Moon. a crater 17. To these two mighty agencies. miles and moun- . feet for instance. the solemn temples. tends to and lower the mountain just peaks. there are other phenomena on the Moon's surface for which our earth presents as yet no explanation. two or three thousand. But though we on our own globe for instance. which for hundreds." are but very mountains victims. Fig. inevitable Not every merely storms and hurricanes. craters. but gentle shower. every fall of soften our scenery snow. From Tycho. a number of rays or streaks diverge. moun- This mainly due to the absence of air and water.000 high and 50 miles across. the gorgeous the palaces.

000 And yet is only a star. when it observed. and 1.500. Its diameter its is 865. reaching finally an elevation of no less than 350. Professor first From it gigantic flicker flames. inas the Moon finitely hotter than any earthly fiery furnace. The true nature of these streaks is not yet understood.000 more.000 miles. This was no doubt an excep- . consisting mainly of hydrogen. it For another hour soared higher and higher. miles.000 times as heavy.382 tains. Young describes one as being.000 miles high.000 and it revolves on axis in is between 25 and 26 days.000. as large as the earth. after which it slowly faded away. and in a couple of hours had entirely disappeared. 300. and leap. miles. 40. THE SUN more than 400 times as distant a mighty glowing globe. THE BEAUTIES OE NATUEE chap. Its distance it 92. and by no means one of the first magnitude.000 times The Sun is . The surface of the Sun is the seat of vio- lent storms and tempests. brilliant. Suddenly half became very and in an hour sprang up 40.

light. Another teaches us. light. but still a matter of discus- During total eclipses it is seen that the Sun is surrounded by a " corona.000 miles not unusual. but a height of 100. as off has given nearly the same quantity of light and heat for millions of years. is brilliant outer gases. and sheets of tions. problem connected geology with the Sun it the fact that.X THE STARRY HEAVENS 383 is tional case. if to pass ? Certainly not by any process of burning such as familiar with. consisting of radiant filaments. and the velocity frequently reaches 100 miles in a second. The proverbial spots on the respects Sun in many resemble the appearances which would if be presented a comparatively dark central mass was here and there exposed by apertures through the more their true nature sion. which radiate in of all direcis and the true nature stupendous is which still doubtful. How has this come Indeed. we are the heat of the Sun were due to combustion in it would be burnt up 6000 years. It has been suggested that ." or aureola of beams.

and ripens fruit. up for our use animals live and it move by the the Sun's paints warmth. and pours down plants air in rain to . and as the present diameter of the Sun is about is 860.384 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. replace the heat which is emitted. the it inspires the song of birds.000 miles. Mathematicians tell us that a contraction of about 220 feet a year would account for the whole heat emitted. and waft our ships over the seas it draws our carriages and drives our steam-engines. flowers. it not only the centre of our planetary system. fill the rivers and refresh the it raises the winds. for our food and drink. life. the To is it is Sun we owe bur light and heat . which fall in showers on to the Sun. the potential store of heat still enormous. the source and ruler of our lives. To some slight extent perhaps they do but the main cause seems of the to be the slow condensation Sun itself. so. For the beauties for of nature. the meteors. for coal is but the heat of former ages stored . Through the trees grow. which purify the . our clothing. for our light and for the very . It it draws up water from the ocean.

which were also discovered." he said. leurs grandeurs. after whom they lines." are generally called " Fraunhofer's step The next was made by Wheat- stone. and described more in detail. determine the chemical composition of the " Nous concevons. of this century In the early part WoHaston observed that the bright band of colours thrown by a prism. Comte menwas impossible any attempt to heavenly bodies. tandis que nous ne saurions jamais etudier par aucun moyen leur composition chimique ou leur structure min^ralogique." To do so might well have seemed hopeless. who showed that the spectrum formed by incandescent vapours was formed of bright lines. and 2o . was traversed by dark lines. which man could ever solve. et leurs mouve- ments. possibility has and yet the been proved. and known as the spectrum. and a beginning has been made. which differed for each substance.X THE STARRY HEAVENS 385 possibility of our existence. we ? are indebted to the Sun. " la possibility de determiner leurs formes. by Fraunhofer. leurs distances. What that is the Sun made of it tioned as a problem.

and the discovery.386 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. manganese. titanium. barium. They arranged their apparatus so that one-half was lighted by the Sun. must. is human The Sun has thus been proved to contain cal- hydrogen. aluminium. found that the bright line in the flame of soda exactly coincided with a line in the spectrum. cadmium. In fact. is and to Kirchhoff and Bunsen due the credit of applying this method research to astronomical science. potas- . the other by the incanof descent gas they were examining. sodium. uranium. chromium. magnesium. cobalt. copper. iron. is The conclusion was obvious It there sodium in the Sun. nickle. by this process several new substances have actually been discovered. be used as a convenient mode of analysis. its results. zinc. "When the vapour of sodium was treated in this way they Sun's . strontium. cium. indeed. with one of the greatest triumphs of genius. have the thought been a glorious flashed moment when upon them. cerium. These bright lines were found lines on comparison to coincide with the dark in the spectrum. might. therefore. lead.

X THE STARRY HEAVENS etc. THE PLAKETS The Syrian shepherds watching by night long ago probably not the stars first their flocks noticed — and they were — that there were five which did not follow the regular course of the rest. 387 sium. We cannot as yet say that any of our elements are absent. have known Sun we clear proof that the contains any element which does not exist on our earth. To the five first observed — . while as evidence is regards some others the not conclusive. but.. apparently at least. then. These they appropriately named Planets. like our is only apparent. Further observaiions have shown that this irregularity of their path that. in all 36 of our terrestrial ele- ments. or wanderers. the chemical composition of the Sun appears closely to resemble that of our earth. and round the own Earth. moved about irregularly. they really revolve Sun. nor though there are various lines which cannot as yet be certainly referred to any substance. On the whole.

The following two Maps tive orbits of the Planets. so far as we .388 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE Mercury. and Saturn — two large ones. 365"days 687 davs ^ Orbits of the inner Planets. ) ! J '"' \ \ J / >•' i \ \ 22"5days y y \ Fig. . and a diagranis give the rela- group of minor bodies.-^ <^Earth " \ ('Venus fli/ Mercury \ I i Sun v. that there may be an inner Planet. Uranus and Neptune. . MERCURY It is possible. . have since been added. Venus. but.. Jupiter. Mars.' . perhaps probable.. 51.

the Earth.---''Neptune . is of ours.. 389 know to Mercury It is the one nearest distance the Sun. its much smaller than weight being only about ^th '^^P^-^.' ». IP Fig.. however. 52. for being so near the Sun it is not easily visible . A^ Mars \Sun.X THE STARRY HEAVENS for certain. -Uranus oQN®*-" ^Saturn Jupiter..3. generally be seen at some time or other during the year as a morning or evening star. '. — Relative distances of the Planets from the Sun.000. . it may.000 miles. its average is being 36. . Mercury a shy though beautiful object.

and now the planet . is — not been thought of. Again a little longer and Venus has gained its full brilliancy and splendour. beautiful sunset is A week is two later another seen. no longer a glistening point low down it has risen high above the horizon. In the golden glory of the west a beauteous seen to glisten. the sun has just The lover of nature turns to admire the sunset. Story of the Heavens. the or planet Venus. . VENUS The true morning or evening star. Venus Venus. perhaps. the unrivalled queen of the firmament. the peerless and capricious Venus. however. It is a beautifully clear evening set. as every lover of nature will. for many months. and continues a brilliant object long after the shades of night have descended. it is gem is the evening star.390 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. "has not been noticed. Sirius All the heavenly host and Jupiter ^ — must — even the pale before splendid lustre of Venus." Venus is about as large as our Earth. . and when at her brightest outshines about fifty ^ Ball.

in which. 391 times the most brilliant Yet. THE EARTH Our own Earth has formed the previous chapters. we first place.000 miles. tropics is is tropics Her circumference at the 24. call attention to subject of I will now. Hence a person at the moving in this respect at the rate of or 1000 miles an hour.X THE STARRY HEAVENS star. astronomers solar have is ascertained that the whole system engaged in a great voyage through space. of participate. see To Venus also them with the naked owe we mainly the power and consequently of determining the distance. moving towards a point on the constellation . In the the Earth revolves on her axis in 24 hours. the magnitude. only her movements. therefore. of the Sun. over 16 miles a But more than this. minute. though we cannot eye. and consequently passes through phases like those of the Moon. though unconsciously. she glows only with the reflected light of the Sun. course. like all the other planets.

or 1000 miles a minute rate far exceeding of course. as large as the Earth.000. which have been happily named Phobos and Deimos is little — Fear far and Dismay.'^ But even more again. that of a cannon ball. we revolve annually round the Sun in a mighty orbit 580. little How few of us know. 1 seems very probable it Some authorities estimate even Mgher. though generally miles. more us to distant. are In this respect we moving at the rate of no less than 60. it sometimes approaches us within 35.000 This has enabled It study its physical structure. MARS To the naked eye Mars appears ruddy star of the first like a magnitude. or over 300 miles a minute. that we are rushing through space with such enormous velocity. of Hercules at the rate 20. how we any us realise.000 miles in circumference. It has two satellites.000 miles an hour.392 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE of at least chap. .000 miles an hour. in fact —a of by some 100 times. It more than half and.000.

3. 6. series. If Sun we take the numbers 0. 12. It presents also a series of remarkable is parallel lines. as capped by ice and not snow. the distances of the Planets as follow : — from the . each one (after the second) the double of that preceding. THE MINOR PLANETS A glance at Figs. the true nature of which yet understood. 51 and 52 will show that the distances of the Planets from the follow a certain rule. 48. 24.X THE STAEIiY HBATENS is 393 that there water in Mars. 96. we have 52 the 4 7 10 16 28 100 Now Sun are jreiuy. and the two poles if are tipped with white. and add four.

Jupiter shows a number supposed to be to clouds floating over the surface. doubtless mere dust -V " -. owing to the rotation of the pla^^ttJupiter has four moons or satellites. At present over 300 are known.p.394 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE ascertained that this is ciia. if we may usually clue use an expression. -i) i '" ' .. which hftye a tendency to arrange themselves in belta w bands. together. of belts. but certainly these are merely the larger among an immense numbei. a worthy prelude to the succession of scientific discoveries which form the glory of our century. the first which was discovered by Piazzi on January 1.- " V "' : JUPITER to the Beyond the Minor Planets we come mass.j some of them. 1801. . now been occupied %y of a zone of Minor Planets. containing 300 times the size of OUf Earth — larger indeed than It is all the bimt a planets put solid. its probabljf' iidt still and from such great size retOTffe large portion of the original heat. and being 1200 times the stupendous Jupiter.

as in position. which. comes Saturn. a dark These rings are really enormous perhaps the most shoals of minute bodies revolving round the planet. three. Huyghens in 1655 Kg. 63. the inner one very and the outer one divided into two by line. — Saturn. To the naked eye Saturn appears as a brilliant star. a central globe a small one on each side. was sur- first showed that in reality Saturn (see rounded by a series of rings Fig. Of these there are faint. though far dimensions. 53). but when Galileo it first telescope appeared to saw it through a him to be composed with of three bodies in a line. is inferior in much superior in beauty. and rendering it .THE STARRY HEAVENS 395 SATURN Next to Jupiter in size.

but careful observations showed that it was really a new its planet.700 miles. William Herschel was examining the stars in the constellation of the Twins. even with the most powerful telescope. it Though thus discovered by Herschel had often nature was been seen before. satellites of Uranus have been dis- and they present the remarkable peculiarity that while all the other planets . marvellous and beautiful of bodies. but unsuspected.has no less than eight satellites. Saturn. the true fixed however brilliant.396 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE all tlie chap. heavenly While we have one Moon. One struck him because it presented a distinct disc. In 1781. Mars two. and Jupiter four. tJRANUS Saturn was long supposed to be the outer- most body belonging to the solar system. Four covered. while stars. At first he thought it might be a comet. on the 13th March. It true has a diameter of about 31. however. are. mere points of light.

the satellites of Uranus are nearly at right angles.this was due some other body calculate not discovered.000 miles in diameter. It was. thereto fore. indicating the presence of local some and exceptional influence. and Le Verrier in France. NEPTUNE The study for of Uranus soon showed that of the It it followed a path which could not be accounted by the influence then known yet planets. so far as we yet know the out- most of our companions.000. that . hopeless. . Neptune.X THE STARRY HEAVENS satellites 397 and their revolve nearly in one plane. its is 35. solved al- most simultaneously and independently by Adams in this country.000 miles. Sun and the other was suspected. To where such a body must be so as to account for these irregularities difficult. however.780. and is mean distance from the Sun 2. was a most complex and and might have seemed almost a task.

.398 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE ORIGIN OF THE PLANETARY SYSTEM chap. solar The space now occupied by the is system supposed to have been of filled by a rotating spheroid lision of extreme tenuity col- and enormous heat. having by degrees radiated space. and de- veloped by Herschel and Laplace." first suggested by Kant. the gas cooled and contracted towards a centre. of centrifugal force the itself gaseous matter also flattened poles. The heat. counter- balanced one another. fairly said to may be have attained a high degree of probability. after another similar rings were thrown and then breaking up. Through the action two disc. at the taking somewhat the form of a For a certain time the tendency to contract. but at length a time came when the zone and the outer rest detached from the of the sphere. into however. One off. The theory which was of the origin of the Planetary System known as the " Nebular Hypothesis. destined to become the Sun. and the centrifugal latter prevailed itself force. formed the planets and their satellites. due perhaps to the two originally separate bodies.

they revolve round the Sun and rotate on their own axis in the same direction a series of coincidences which can- — not be accidental. and explains many other circumstances connected with the position. for instance. and movements of the Planets and their satellites. in ally all probability will eventurest. having the same may be actually repeated This brilliant. The in the Planets. to which again day to return. of cooling would cools of course follow the size a small body one. more rapidly than a large The . which. however. and yet simple. Plateau has shown spirit mentally that by rotating a globe of oil in a mixture of water and density this process in miniature. lie more or less same plane. originally a part it is destined one experi- M. and for which the theory would account. magnitude. hypothesis is consistent with. form spherical satellites like the Thus then our Earth was of the Sun.X THE STARBY HEAVENS That each planet and satellite 399 did form originally a ring we still have evidence in the rings of wonderful and beautiful Saturn. Again the rate .

and have density than the Earth. its Sun itself is still and that is to this the maintenance of temperature due. still much of a much lower retain their original heat. the Earth is . Although. and as yet it is impossible to give any certain It seems a j9non probable that the answer. The question has often been asked whether any of the heavenly bodies are inhabited. it has certainly been brought to a high state of probability. Moon cold and rigid. and is. generally accepted by astronomers. therefore. the Nebular Theory cannot be said to have been absolutely proved. which are immensely larger.400 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE is chap. solid at the surface. and astronomers tell us on other grounds that the contracting. but intensely hot within Jupiter and Saturn. millions of suns which we see as stars must have satellites. in its main features. So far as our own system is concerned the Sun of course too hot to serve as a dwelling-place for bodies such as ours. which is times as hot as our tropics. and that some at least of them may is be inhabited. The outer planets . of any beings with The same may be said at times probably ten Mercury.

are visitors indeed. and in some cases worshipped as deities. Comets. All. though regarded with great interest. on the other hand. not the majority. and even now attention. however. Moon. were regarded rare and occasional visitors. excited the imagination of our ancestors less than might have been expected. attract comparatively little from the fact that they are always with us. from their large size and rapid in ancient times with dread and with amaze- ment. not impos- COMETS The Sun. that that. The Moon has no air or water. Some Comets ellipses. is tence of living beings on Mars sible. for having once passed round 2d . so far as we can see. both as changes. glorious and wonderful as they are.X THE STARKY still HEAVElirS 401 appear to be in a state of vapour. is Mars said is in a condition which most nearly can be the exis- resembles ours. and Stars. revolve round the if Sun in but many.

A Comet is thousands of miles in thickness. Many. in some cases. The heads. so that return. no tail. never to return. of the smaller ones possess and in fact Comets present almost Moreover the same innumerable differences. but the are in fact of tails at any rate almost inconceivable tenuity. though on this astronomers are by no means agreed. the Sun they pass away again into space. Comet changes their rapidly. is sufficient but even the Sun himself.402 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE chap. extreme tenuity of comets is . Comets may almost be regarded as the ghosts of heavenly bodies. We know thick that a cloud a few hundred feet to hide. hut by the pursue. however. may consist of separate solid fragments. they are identified not in when they any way by path they appearance. The appearance which is generally regarded as characteristic of a Comet is that of a head with a central nucleus and a long tail. not only the stars. and yet even extremely minute stars can be seen through it with no appreciable diminution of brightThis ness.

they are so numerous that. but it is so small. When approach they first come tail . as to be practically inappreciable. If indeed they were comparable in mass even to the planets. X THE STARRY HEAVENS 403 moreover shown as by their I small weight. enter angles said. from It is which no mere optical is but while the Comet as a whole attracted' . Comets. however. in relation to the size. now doubts that the weight must be measured in tons. and very nearly and at all in -the same plane. we should long ago have perished. is The security of our system due to the fact that the planets revolve round the Sun in one direction. in it sight Comets always illusion have generally no the points away. almost in circles. our system in all directions. Sir G. and but their extreme tenuity they would long ago have driven us into the Sun.. grows as they it Sun. Enormous they are remember Airy saying that there was probably more matter in a cricket ball than there is in a comet. as Kepler there are probably more Comets in the sky for than there are fishes in the sea. however. No one.

after which disappeared. yet their own. nitrogen. chap. repelled. and almost as mysterious. tail and by the less middle of October the extended no it than 40 degrees. it as an interesting and a beautiful which but comes to please us and to instruct us. and spectrum analysis has the presence in detected hydrogen. by the Sun. the attraction of the ficient to recall Comet is not sufso and hence perhaps tails. we may rather look upon visitor. . as ever. and probably of Comets then remain as wonderful. many Comets have now no Donati's Comet. and even at the end of eye.404 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE tail. August was scarcely In September it visible to the naked grew rapidly. sodium. was first noticed on the 2d June as a faint nebulous spot. them of carbon. iron. When it. For three months remained quite inconspicuous. once driven more- over. but we need no longer regard " a comet as a sign of impending calamity . the not. is how or why we know off. the great Comet it of 1858. gradually Faint as it is is the light emitted by Comets.

indeed. point directed upwards. enormous aigrette with its diamond in the water a second aigrette. ^ Hamerton. To be and out on the lake let it rest motionless on the glassy water. of In the sky was an fire. ." free. during the nights when and it was suffi- ciently near the horizon to approach the rugged outline of it Graiganunie. in be reflected beneath Loch Awe. I to be remembered through a have seen distant many a glorious sight since that it now year. to We are admire them in peace." calm. in a tiny boat. was says Hamerton." 1 Ball. they are. with that incomparable spectacle before one.X THE STARRY HEAVENS ^ 405 never to threaten or to destroy. and beautiful. Landscape. but nothing to equal in the association ^ of solemnity with splendour. was an experience lifetime. "as an effect of the inversion of Donati's Comet. shadowy extremity ending indefi- nitely in the deep. and broad. alone. in the year 1858. "The most wonderful sight I remember. scarcely its brilliant less splendid. therefore.

They are . after a short plunge.406 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. . if we watch a seem to however. partly illusory. and are not visible until they come within the limits of our atmosphere. and. SHOOTING STARS On almost any bright night. to disappear. While true stars are immense bodies at an enormous distance. The Leonids revolve round the Sun in a period of 33 years. 13th and 14th November a called still greater group by astronomers the Leonids. perhaps not larger than a pav- ing stone. short time some its star will suddenly drop from place. and its many hundreds of thousands. and in an elliptic orbit. The length shoal of stars enormous . the 11th August we pass through one cluster which is known as the Perseids and on the dissipated. This appearance is. the other at about that of is Uranus. Shooting Stars are very small. by the friction with which they are set on fire and much more numerous on From the 9th to some nights than others. its diameter cannot be less than 100. one focus of which is about at the same distance from the Sun as we are.000 miles.

but we pass through in a century main body three times 1866 — capturing — the last in millions on each occasion. stragglers scattered orbit. M. with. No trace of clouds states that. to describe arcs more or less extended. tude of 60° the meteors were seen to above the horizon at east-north-east. 407 There whole over the some of which we come in contact every year. One of these has been graphically described by Humboldt " From half after two in the morning the most extraordinary luminary meteors were seen in the direction of the east. bodies and falling stars succeeded each other during the space of four hours. and to of fall towards the south. M. after having followed the direction of the meridian. Some all ex- them attained a height of 40°. and ceeded 25° or 30°. Thousands of Their directo south. and at east. indeed.: X THE STARRY HEAVENS are. Bonp- who had risen to enjoy the freshness of the air. Bonpland from the . was to be seen. land. perceived them first. tion was very regular from north filled a space in the They sky extending from In an amplirise due east 30° to north and south.

All these meteors left lumifive to ten degrees in length. but as they were of different sizes it was imposclasses sible to fix the limit between these two of phenomena. from which darted sparks of light. there was not in the firmament a space equal in extent to three diameters of the filled moon which was not in every instant with bolides and falling stars. which must doubtless be attributed to the absence of vapour extreme transparency of the 1 air. and the and not reddish. or lumi- nous bands. lasted seven or eight seconds. Travels. disappeared without scintillation. those from 1° to 1° 15' in diameter.408 first THE BEAUTIES OF NATTJEE chap. nous traces from as often happens in the equinoctial regions. exceeding in breadth fifteen or twenty minutes. as large as the disc of Jupiter. light of these meteors was white. appearance of the phenomenon. leaving be- hind them phosphorescent The bands (trabes). . The first were fewer number. The phosphorescence of these traces." ^ Humboldt. Many of the falling stars had a very vivid distinct nucleus. . The but bodies seemed to burst as by explosion the largest.

however. that 150. indeed. not. . they chanced to come near to Uranus. thus constituting an appreciable. There a remarkable connection between star showers and comets. considers. not proved. We are told. is very interesting. They did approach the Sun until 126 when. their course was altered. he A. and they will now is continue to revolve round the Sun. By his attraction.D. including only those visible with a moderate telescope. there can be every year millions of them are captured by the earth.. Several star showers follow paths which are also those of comets.000. no doubt that At any rate. is not yet thoroughly understood. which. and then departed again for ever. which Le Verrier has traced out with great probability. however.000 of meteors. fall on the earth annually. But for that planet they would have passed round the Sun. in their career through the the influence of heavens. and the conclusion appears almost irresistible that these comets are made up of Shooting Stars.X THE STARRY HEAVENS 409 The past history if of the Leonids.

Photography. THE STARS We this have been dealing in the earlier part of chapter with figures and distances so it is enormous that realise quite impossible for us to still them is . they seem. . the first glance is the keenest. first place. is while shown by the tele- about 100.000. however. has revealed to us the existence which no telescope can show. When we look at the sky at night . almost innumerable so that. eye The is. and yet we have others to consider compared with which even the solar system insignificant. part of the solid substance globe. in reality only that about scope 3000. indeed. and the course of ages a constantly inof the creasing. total number visible to the naked however. In phot9graphy. cannot by looking long at the heavens of others We see more than at first . on the contrary. in fact.000. the Stars of heaven have ever been used as bols of effective sym- number.410 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE in chap. like the sands of the sea. In the the number of the Stars is enormous.

liant as the Sun.000 times as far as it away . Sirius. the Sun Stars. the effect of the light it as were accumulated.000. The distances and magnitudes of the Stars are as astonishing as their numbers. effect is 3600 times as great By exposing the photographic some hours. and it Arcturus. 50 times bright. so that. and Alcyone.X THE STARKY HEAVENS falls is 411 no light which faint. however it taken in and stored up. for instance. and even on is plate. and 1000 times as bril- Canopus 2500 times. miles a minute three in reality sweep- ing through the heavens at the rate of 1000 . Electra. on the plate. In an hour the as in a second. incredible as may seem. even is 8000 times. are considered to be respectively 400. of the Pleiades. Maia. is lost . while. though like other stars it is seems to us stationary. and stars are rendered visible. the light of which is too feeble to be shown by any telescope. by no means one of the the minute Stars not separately largest Even visible to the . 480. for successive nights. being about twenty times as heavy as the Sun itself. in fact. therefore. and no less than 1.

Arcturus so far as we know it at present. and 80 times as large. and hence as we know magnitude of the . and largest of Its speed is over 300 miles a second. is. 2. July. star A.. naked and the millions which make up the Milky Way. is said to be 8000 times as bright as the Sun. The more move in a The the distant star similar. 4. represents the course of the Earth round the Sun. marked Jan. and that stars. it sky marked would in appear to be at and thus as we move round itself our orbit the star the ellipse appears to move 1.. while that its light its distance is so great takes 200 years in reaching us. the swiftest. we see it projected against the front of the 1. all. but smaller. Oct. ellipse the difference arising from size of the ellipse the greater distance. 3.412 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE eye." Suppose the ellipse (Fig.. brightest. A B are two If in January we look at the Three months later 2. is inversely proportional to the distance. are considered to be on an average fully equal to the Sun in lustre. The distances of the heavenly bodies are ascertained by what is known 54). as " parallax. Apr. B also appears to . chap.

of position can be observed. is the parallax. In some. and indeed generally incalculable . 54. Apr.-'_dci. though very minute. The difficulty is that the apparent ellipses are so minute that it is in very few cases possible to measure them. so great that in most one cases.\r::[ July Eig. The distances of the Fixed Stars thus tested are found to be enormous. however. whether we look at them of from our orbit or the other — though end the dif- ference of our position.THE STAEEY HEAVENS earth's orbit 413 we can calculate the distance of the star.['. — The Parallactic Ellipse. yet ap- .000 miles — no apparent change marked January and July in Fig.000. 54. corresponding to the points is 185. 4 tian.

414

THE BEATJTIES OF NATURE

chap.

proximately measurable.

The

first

star

to

which
that
to be

this test

was applied with
is

success

was

known
no

as 61 Cygni, which

thus shown

less

than 40

billions of miles

from us

— many thousand times
The nearest
is

as far

away as we
dis-

are from the Sun.
so far as

of the Stars,

we

yet know,
is

a Centauri, the

tance of which

about 25 billions of miles.

The

Pleiades are considered to be at a dis-

tance of nearly 1500 billions of miles.

As regards
Stars, it
is,

the chemical composition of the

moreover, obvious that the power-

ful engine of investigation afforded us

by the

spectroscope

by no means confined to the substances which form part of our system.
is

The incandescent body can thus be examined,
no matter
as the

how

great

its

distance, so long only

light

is

strong enough.

That
to

this

method was

theoretically
is

applicable

the

light of the Stars

indeed obvious, but the

practical difficulties are

very great.
in

Sirius,

the brightest of

all, is,

round numbers, a
;

hundred millions of millions of miles from us

and, though as bright as fifty of our suns, his
light Avhen it reaches us, after a journey of

X

THE STARRY HEAVENS
is

415

sixteen years,

at

most one two-thousandNevertheless,
as

millionth part

as

bright.

long ago as 1815 Fraunhofer recognised the
fixed lines in the light of four of the Stars
in
;

1863 Miller and
'

Huggins in our own

country, and

Rutherford in America, suc-

ceeded in determining the dark lines in the

spectrum of some of the brighter Stars, thus

showing that these beautiful and mysterious

many of the material substances with which we are familiar. In Aldebaran, for instance, we may infer the presence of
lights contain

hydrogen, sodium, magnesium, iron, calcium,
tellurium, antimony, bismuth,

and mercury.
it

As might have been
of the Stars
is

expected, the composition

not uniform, and

would

appear that they

may

be arranged in a few

well-marked

classes, indicating differences of

temperature, or perhaps of age.

Thus we can make the Stars teach us their own composition with light, which started
from
its

source years ago, in
born.

many

cases long

before

we were

Spectrum analysis has

also

thrown an un-

expected light on the movements of the Stars.

416

THE BEAUTIES OE NATUEE
is

chap.

Ordinary observation, of course,
to inform us

powerless

whether they are moving towards
us.

or

away from
that

Spectrum analysis, howsolve the

ever, enables us to

problem, and

we know
receding.

some are approaching, some

Fig. 55.

— Displacement of the hydrogen line in
star,

the spectrum of Rigel.

If

a

say for instance
if

Sirius,

were

motionless, or rather distance from

it

retained a constant

the

earth,

Fraunhofer's lines

would occupy exactly the same position in
the spectrum as they do in that of the Sun.

On

the contrary,

if

Sirius

were approaching,

the lines would be slightly shifted towards the
blue, or
if it

were receding towards the

red.

Fig. 55

shows the displacement of the hydror
spectrum of Rigel, due to the
receding from us at the rate of

gen

line in the
it is

fact that

39 miles a second.

The Sun
is

affords us

an

excellent test of this theory.

As

it

revolves

on

its

axis one edge

always approaching

and the other receding from us at a known

X
rate,

THE STARRY HEAVENS

417
lines
differ

and observation shows that the given by the light of the two edges
accordingly.

So again as regards the Stars,
derived from the
in

we

obtain a similar test

Earth's
orbit

movement.
of

As we revolve
or recede

our
star,

we approach

any given

and our rate

motion being known we
test.

thus obtain a second

The

results thus
satisfac-

examined have stood
torily,

their

ground

and

in Huggins' opinion

may
is,

be relied

on within about an English mile a second.

The
tion,

effect of

this

movement

moreover,
lateral

independent of the distance.

A

mo-

say of 20 miles a second, which in a

nearer, object
velocity,
ceptible.

would appear to be a stupendous
motion of the same rapidity, on

becomes in the Stars quite imper-

A

the other hand, towards or

away from
be.

us, dis-

places the dark lines equally, whatever

the

distance of the object

may

We may
is

then

affirm that Sirius, for

instance,

receding

from us
are also

at the rate of about 20 miles a second.

Betelgeux, Rigel, Castor, Regulus, and others

moving away
and

;

while some
for

Arcturus,

Pollux,

— Vega, example —
are

2e

418

THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE
us.

chap.

approaching

By

the same process
of

it

is

shown that some groups
in

stars

are

only

apparently in relation to one another.
Charles'

Thus
are

Wain some
already

of

the

stars

approaching, others receding.
I

have
it

mentioned

that

Sirius,

though
that

seems, like other stars, so stationary
of

we speak
Even

them

as "fixed,"

is

really

sweeping along at the rate of 1000 miles a
minute.
this

enormous velocity
One, which
is

is

ex-

ceeded in other cases.
as 1830
Stars,

numbered

in Groombridge's
is

and

therefore

known

Catalogue of the as " Groom-

bridge's
jniles

moves no less than 12,000 a minute, and Arcturus 22,000 miles a
1830,"
;

minute, or 32,000,000 of miles a day

and

yet the distances of the Stars are so great that

1000 years would make hardly any difference
in the appearance of the heavens.

Changes, however, there
be.

certainly

would

Even in the short time during which we have any observations, some are already on record. One of the most interesting is the
fading of the 7th Pleiad, due, according to

Ovid, to grief at the taking of Troy.

Again,

X

THE STARRY HEAVENS
" fiery

419
is

the

Dogstar,"

as

it

used to be,

now, and has
white.

been

for

centuries,

a clear

The
first

star

known

as

Nova Cygni

star in the Constellation of the

— the "new Swan" — was

observed on the 24th November 1876 by

Dr. Schmidt of Athens,

who had examined
was
visible then.

that part of the heavens only four days before,

and

is

sure that no such star
brightest
it

At

its

was a
it

brilliant star of the

third

magnitude, but this only lasted for a
;

few days
invisible

in a

week
-a

had ceased
Its

to be a

conspicuous object, and in a fortnight became

without

telescope.

sudden

splendour was probably due to a collision be-

tween two
at
all, less

bodies,

and was probably

little, if

than that of the Sun

itself.

It is

still

a mystery

how

so great a conflagration

can have diminished so rapidly.

But though we speak
specially variable, they are

of

some

stars
all

as

no doubt
will

un-

dergoing slow change.

There was a time

when they were
life-history of its

not,

and one

come when

they will cease to shine.

Each, indeed, has a

own.

Some, doubtless, rep-

420

THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE

chap.

resent

now what
will

others once were, and

what

many

some day become.
that, there are count-

For, in addition to the luminous heavenly
bodies,
less

we cannot doubt

others invisible to us,

some from their
size,
;

greater distance or smaller
doubtless,

but others,
indeed,

from their feebler light

we

know now emit no
Thus

that there are
light,

many dark

bodies which
little.

or comparatively

in the case of
is

Procyon the existence
Again, I

of

an invisible body
of the visible star.

proved by the movement

may

refer to the

phenomena presented by Algol, a bright star in the head of Medusa. The star shines without change for two days and thircurious

teen hours

;

then in three hours and a half

dwindles from a star of the second to one of
the fourth magnitude
;

and then,

in another
its

three and a half hours, reassumes
brilliancy.

original

These changes led astronomers to

infer the presence of

an opaque body, which

intercepts at regular intervals a part of the
light emitted

by Algol
aid of
fact;

;

and Vogel has now

shown by the
Algol does in

the spectroscope that

revolve round a dark^ and

X

THE STARRY HEAVENS

421

therefore invisible, companion.
scope,
in
fact,

The
to

spectro-

makes
stars

known

us

the

presence of
could reveal.

many
floor

which no telescope
not
only

Thus

the

of

heaven

is

" thick inlaid

with patines of bright gold,"

but studded also with extinct stars, once probably as brilliant as our

own

Sun, but

now

dead and

cold, as

Helmholtz

tells

us that our

Sun

itself will

be some seventeen millions of

years hence.

Such dark bodies cannot

of course be seen,

and
it,

their existence, though

we cannot doubt
In one case,

is

a matter of calculation.

however, the conclusion has received a most
interesting confirmation.

The movements

of
it

Sirius led mathematicians to conclude that

had

also a

relative

mighty and massive neighbour, the position of which they calculated,
seen.

though no such body had ever been
Clark
"
of

In

February 1862, however, the Messrs. Alvan
Cambridgeport
were
completing
their 18-inch glass for the Chicago Observatory.
'

Why, father,' "

exclaimed the younger

Clark,

"'the star has a companion.'

The

422

THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE
there

chap.

father looked, and

was a

faint

star

due east from the bright one, and distant
about ten seconds.
This was exactly the predicted direction for that time, though the dis-

knew nothing of it. As the news went round the world many observers turned
coverers
their attention to Sirius
;

and
really

it

was then

found that, though
noticed, the

it

had never before been

companion was
circumstances
It
is,

favourable
telescope.
Sirius,

shown under by any powerful
the bright-

in fact, one-half of the size of

though only mooo th of
^

ness."

Stars

are,

we know,

of

different

magni-

tudes

and

different degrees of glory.

They
some

are also of different colours.

Most, indeed, are

white, but some reddish, some ruddy,
intensely red
or
violet.
;

others, but fewer, green, blue,
is

It

possible that the compara-

tive rarity of these colours is

due to the fact

that our atmosphere especially absorbs green

and

blue,

and

it is

remarkable that almost

all

of the green, blue, or violet stars are one of

the pairs of a Double Star, and in every case
'

Clarke, System of

the,

Stars.

X

THE STARRY HEAVENS

423

the smaller one of the two, the larger being
red,

orange,

or yellow.
is

One

of

the

most

exquisite of these

^

Cygni, a Double Star,

the larger one being golden yellow, the smaller
light blue.

With
it

a telescope the effect

is if

very

beautiful, but

must be magnificent

one

could only see

it

from a

lesser distance.

Double Stars occur in considerable numbers.
In some cases indeed the relation In very
is

may only

be

apparent, one being really far in front of the
other.

many

cases,

however, the

association

real,

and they revolve round

one another.

In some cases the period
;

may

extend to thousands of years

for the distance

which separates them

is

enormous, and, even
telescope
it
is

when with a powerful

indi-

cated only by a narrow dark line, amounts
to hundreds of millions of miles.

The Pole
is

Star

itself is

double.

Andromeda

triple,

with perhaps a fourth dark and therefore
invisible

companion.

These dark bodies have
it

a special interest, since
to ask

is

impossible

not

ourselves whether some at any rate
inhabited.

of

them may not be

In
itself

e

Lyrse

there are two, each again being

double.

one of countless numbers." The cluster in the Sword Handle of Per- seus contains innumerable stars. itself. and from such a group we pass on to Star Clusters in which the number very considerable. red.424 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. and of course in it. It has as yet been found impossible to determine even approximately the distance of these Star Clusters. and blue closely thronged together. entirely sur- rounds us evident. consist of six stars. hundred greenish blue. 1 Kosmos. We ourselves probably form a part of such a cluster. therefore. The Milky Way . we ourselves. . so that they have been compared ^ to a " superb piece of fancy jewellery. consists of is The cluster to in Hercules from 1000 4000. it is as we know. that the Sun. and probably also d Orionis. less as brilliant many doubt- as our Sun. and containing our Sun as a single unit. A stellar swarm in the Southern Cross contains several stars of various colours. f Cancri. green. a Star Cluster. therefore. actually lie It is.

so that hundreds of years to reach we see them not It is now are but as they were hundreds of years ago. a All that this it we can do is to minimum. even with aid of the most powerful telescope. that it is in many of these clusters impossible to distinguish the separate stars of which they are composed. no wonder. therefore.X THE STARRY HEAVENS 42^ NEBULA From is Stars we far pass insensibly to Nebulas. rate of 180. this and even at enormous velocity as they it must have taken us. as already mentioned. which are so away fix it is that their distance at present quite is immeasurable.000 miles a second. therefore. Spectrum analysis also seems to show that . As. and. Photography also comes to our aid. more and more clusters are being resolved. by long exposure stars can be made visible which are quite imperceptible to the eye. our telescopes are improved. however. take the It travels at the velocity of light as a unit. and useless to so great that express in miles. Astronomers.

incandescent and very very possibly. bands. of stellar points. however. in a condition of which we have no ovals. between hydrogen nebulae are and lithium. while the spectrum also shows other lines which perhaps may indicate appear to be missing some of the elements which. . so far as our Earth the is concerned. bright band of by no means applies to all The spectrum of a star is a colour crossed by dark lines that of a gaseous nebula consists of bright lines. and perhaps of nitrogen. chains. lace. Huggins has shown that many really them are gas. and arranged in knots. rings. which with our most powerful instruments appears only as a mere cloud. and of clouds. Many of exquisitely beautiful. is really a vast cluster This. and indicates that some of of the nebulae are really immense masses attenuated gas . and their colour very varied. discs. experience. sprays. wreaths. This test has been made use of. brushes. the nebulae. wisps. fans. stupendous of masses of glowing especially hydrogen. loops. curves.. such a nebula as that in Andromeda. 426 THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE chap. rays. waves. however. spirals.

be gradually condensing into groups of and in many cases it is difficult to say whether we should consider a given group as a cluster of stars surrounded by nebulous matter or a gaseous nebula condensed here and there into stars. stellar aggregations there are clustering of showing every variety richness. or that hundreds more exist which we may never hope to recognise.ration. 427 moreover. resolvable and . and spiral and there are irregular masses of luminous gas clinging in fantastic convolutions around stars and star systems. " Besides the single Sun. Nor and is it unsafe to assert that other forms of varieties structure will yet be dis- covered.X THE STARRY HEAVENS In some cases." Nor is it only as regards the magnitude and distances of the heavenly bodies that we are lost in amazement and admi. elliptical. lastly. circular. The . of figure. nebulas seem to stars. and of distribution . irresolvable. there are all the various forms of star cloudlets." says Proctor. galaxies of minor orbs. "the universe contains groups and systems and streams of primary suns there are .

Neptune was detached. the Earth. to ourselves a time We the must figure when solid matter which now composes our Earth was part of a continuous and intensely heated gaseous body. incalculable Saturn followed to coherence and here the tendencies and disruption were so evenly balanced that to this day a portion circulates as rings round the broken up into sive intervals satellites. and of therefore. and Mercury passed through the same marvellous phases. all Jupiter. Venus. time which these changes would have The re- quired must have been incalculable.000. main body instead of being Again after succesthe Asteroids. lapse of time a grander element in Astronin Geology. first perhaps as a ring. to beyond the a orbit of Neptune. which extended from the centre of the Sun had. omy even than and dates back long before Geology begins.000 miles. 428 THE BEAUTIES OE NATURE is chap. and then as a spherical body. diameter more than 6.000. As this slowly contracted. Mars. and they . Ages after this Uranus broke period away.. Then after another suit.

so space boundless in revolves itself also extends around us. which far transcend. then.X all THE STARRY HEAVENS of course preceded. and in distance. Earth round the mighty Sun solar the and the whole system are Hercules it Sun moving with inconceivable velocity towards a point in the constellation of . no anticipation of an end. all directions. the feeble powers of our finite imagination. human imagination can Thus. however far we penetrate in time or in space. in grandeur. . the very commencement of that geological history which itself indicates a lapse of time greater than realise. we find ourselves surrounded by mystery. which appears to our eyes as . 429 and preceded again by another incalculable period. Just as in time we can form no idea of a commencement. Our little . together with all the nearer stars forms a cluster in the heavens. alike in magnitude. the Milky Way while outside our star cluster again are innumerable others.

.

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