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and incursions of the ocean even within the past few centuries. In fact, “ tradition tells us that in former ages the mount was part of the insular continent in Britain, and disjoined from it by an inundation or encroachment of the sea,” * so that at whatever age the subsidence began, it was not complete till the era of tradition.

Mr. Pengelly's calculations seem quite modest and reasonable compared with those of many other palæontologists. The bone of a bear mistaken for the fibula of a human being gave rise to the fabula of the existence of man in Yorkshire during an immense period of years.

“At the recent meeting in Dublin, it was stated that Professor Busk, who had brought his great experience to bear upon the subject, and who had provisionally admitted the human character of the bone, was now prepared to admit that it was more likely to be ursine than human."

The os innominatum of some luckless wanderer lost in the swamps of the delta of the Mississippi, and resuscitated by Dr. Dickeson, of Natchez, led Sir Charles Lyell to speak of the possibility of North America having been peopled more than a thousand centuries ago by the human race.

Such are the materials out of which Palaeontological science blows these gigantic bubbles of bistory.

It never seems to occur to our scientists that it is needful to fill up these enormous lapses of time by some reasonable details; or to run the risk of their being rejected as utterly incredible.

For instance, it is the evident law of existence, both of mammoths and of men, that they should increase and multiply, though the latter at a much quicker rate than the former,

Suppose a single pair of each placed upon the earth a thousand centuries ago, and allowed to multiply at the lowest rate of increase; and instead of bones and tusks being found in abundance in some places only, they would fill the soil everywhere. As to man, we should not be able to find a rood of ground without a skeleton in it, and instead of the caves and ancient sepultures presenting a few I doubtful Neanderthal” skulls, the crania of Palaeolithic men would have supplied inexhaustible stores of material for our manufacturers of artificial manure.

Of still greater importance is the consideration that man is an improving creature, capable, at the very earliest age at

* Antiquity of Man, p. 24.
+ The Nineteenth Century, October 1878, p. 772.
I See B. Dawkins, Cave-hunting, pp. 240-242,

which we can trace his relics, of fabricating pottery, and there. fore acquainted with the use of fire.* We may well ask why we do not find more abundant remains of his works in this direction, and why he did not make greater improvement in all this time. The same may be said of his artistic drawings in ivory of the mammoth and other coeval beasts. He could also produce great changes in the earth's surface, as we see by the representation of the mammoth and the other mounds in Ohio. Why are these works so few and so much limited ?

Did the Glacial period benumb his faculties, and did some diluvial catastrophe sweep him in great measure from the earth before he had time to subdue it? If science should discover this, it will present us with one more extraordinary point of resemblance to an ancient record, styled “The Oracles of God,” which it is at so great pains to discredit.

The verification of knowledge, or real science, is a source of strength as well as of pleasure to the mind;t whilst the admission (on the authority of great names) of wild speculation has the exactly opposite effect. The latest theories of our century show as complete ignorance of the principles of chemistry as of theology; and I trust that I have succeeded in demonstrating that the teachings of the Devonshire Caves must be subjected to the rigorous control of experimental science before the conclusion to which they have been supposed to point can be admitted to have any weight in the instruction of the popular mind.

It is not real science that is opposed to real religion, but an impostor that has usurped her name, to whom the “Positivists" and prophets of the age would compel us to bow down and worship. We are to look upon the threefold image of the modern Buddha, representing to us the past, the present, and the future, and benignantly beholding its adorer with that imperturbable smile of ineffable self-conceit to which we are accustomed.

We are told to believe that it reflects the rising beams of the sun of truth; and what time the discordant voices of the great and small serials command, we are in like manner to do homage.

Would that some real iconoclast--some English Virchow might arise to strip off all the false gilding, and so enable every one to see that the image is a block (inutile lignum) fashioned after the similitude of its fabricators, and nothing more!

* See “ A fragment of pottcry found by McEnery in the breccia ;” also other authors-D'Orbigny, passim, Southall

, p. 76, Sir C. Lyell

, p. 133, and M. Chabas, p. 581. La poterie ne fournit conséquemment aucun argument aux longs chronologistes.

+ Appendix G.

[blocks in formation]


IN 1816, a sub-committee of the Torquay Nat. Hist. Soc. commenced a search in the S.W. chamber, when they broke up the modern floor of stalagmite. Probably no part of the cavern is in wet weather more exposed to drop than this ; hence it might have been expected that here if anywhere twenty-two years would have produced a film of stalagmite of appreciable thickness, especially as it was known that the modern floor attains an average thickness considerably surpassing that in any other part of the cavern which the committee have explored. Yet not a film was to be found either at “the bottom of the pit, on the section made in digging it, or on the cave-earth thrown out of it. This remote part of the cavern was rarely entered by visitors, and the operations of nature went on without check or interference, but everything was found precisely as it was left upwards of twenty years ago.

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From the Fourth Report of the Committee, page 4 :

"In most cases the composition of the cave-earth was of the ordinary typical character, about equal parts of red loam or clay, and of comparatively small angular fragments of limestone. In this condition it almost invariably contained bones, but when there was any marked departure from it, by either loam or stones being greatly in excess, bones were extremely rare. In a few instances the deposit was a mixture of fine earth and sand, resembling ordinary road-washing, and contained no trace of bone."

Is it not evident that both the red loam and clay must have been washed in from the surface of the ground ?

If more proof is required, we have it in what follows ::

“The cave-earth contained a considerable number of fragments of Devonian grit, huge blocks of limestone, large masses of old stalagmite, and loose lumps of rock-like breccia."

"The grit fragments could not have been derived from the cavern hill, but were probably furnished by neighbouring loftier eminences. They have assumed sub-angular or well-rounded forms indicative of the rolling action of water ; but their transportation into the cavern by this agency would require that the district should have a surface configuration very unlike that which now obtains."

Compare the description of Victoria Cave in Yorkshire by Boyd Dawkins ; also the Paviland Cave (233), the Cavern of Bruniquel (247), of Cro-Magnon (252), the Grotta dei Colombi (259), the Gailenreuth Cave (274), the Kirkdale Cave (280), the Wirksworth Cave (284), Wookey Hole (296, 305, 312), Brixham Cave (320), Kent's Hole (326), “red clayey deposit” at Madras '426).

Why do the rivers, which, at the will of our scientists, convey the deposits

into these inaccessible places, always carry with then the same clay, generally of a reddish colour, described by Dr. Buckland as "diurial detritus? And why is this so like the deposit of the Pampas, of which D’Orbigny writes, vol. ii. p. 84, “Le dépôt des Pampas aurait dû s'opérer, pour ainsi dire, instantanément et dans un laps de tenis très-limité. Il serait le résultat de courans violens, qui, entraînant à la fois les terres et les autres matériaux superficiels, enlevés aux continens par les eaux, en auraient fait un seul mélange. C'est en effet, ce qu'on remarque partout dans le bassin des Pampas, où à deux cent lieues de distance, l'argile ala même couleur rougeâtre, le même aspect, et loin de former des couches distinctes, diversement colorées, résultant partout des dépôts qui se font seulement dans les eaux, l'ensemble se compose, au contraire, d'une seule masse plus ou moins poreuse, mais n'offrant jamais de stratification bien distincte. Toutes les falaises qu'elles constituent sont aussi d'une seule teinte rougeâtre, absolument identique sur toute leur épaisseur, comme si les matériaux dont elles sont composées avaient été mélangés dans une seule eau bourbeuse, un peu teintée par les oxides de fer. D'un autre côté, j'ai remarqué que les ossemens ne sont, pour ainsi dire, qu'isolés dans les couches inférieures, tandis que les animaux entiers ne se trouvent qu'au pourtour ou dans les parties les plus supérieures du bassin. Un second argument de beaucoup de valeur est l'identité de couleur et d'aspect qui présente le limon qui dans les cavernes et dans les fentes de rochers de la province de Minas Geraes envellopait les ossemens des mammifères et l'argile pampéenne. En effet, des fragmens rapportés par M. Clausen m'ont prouvé leur analogie complète de couleur et de contesture.


The text as translated by M. Chabas. Nous sommes redevables déjà aux inscriptions hiéroglyphiques d'un renseignement des plus précieux, concernant l'éléphant d'Asie au XVII. siècle avant notre ère. Dans la biographie d'un officier nommé Amonemheb, qui avait été au service de Thothmes III., on lit, entre autres faits intéressants pour l'histoire, que ce Pharaon prit à la chasse 120 éléphants à Nineve.

Voici le texte de ce curieux passage :

“ Une seconde fois je fus temoin d'un autre acte glorieux fait par le seigneur des deux mondes à Ninève. Il prit à la chasse 120 éléphants pour leurs défenses, pour l'ivoire. Je pris le plus extraordinaire d'entre eux, l'attaquant devant S. M. Moi, je fus celui qui lui coupa le pied de devant, il était vivant."

M. Brugsch Bey reads Ni (in Northern Syria) for Nineveh, vol. i. p. 358.


He says,

The fluviatile theory will have to be abandoned, as inconsistent with common sense and observation. I find it thus advocated by a writer in the Athenceum under the head “ Theory of Geological Phenomena."* "Now these alluviuins, like all other alluviums in the wide, wide world, are formed by rain and rivers, not by débâcles. And the same floods which form these land alluviums stock them with the remains of land life. Have the Irtish, Obi, Yensei, Lena, and one hundred smaller rivers of Siberia ceased to flow and to overflow

These rivers flooded by rain have formed these alluviums and have been storing them for thousands of years with dead elephants, which lived thousands of miles from where they were buried.

I need scarcely point out the inconsistency of all this with common sense and with the facts of the case in Siberia. The transport of the bodies of animals for thousands of miles, in rivers of course above the freezing point, makes their subsequent preservation inexplicable. But there is much more than this, for in South America we should have to imagine this river as one of salt water, as is shown by the saline incrustations on the bones, and then to extend its deposit in such a way as never was conceived or thought of ; and, after all, this saline river carries the carcases of land animals, and deposits them whole and entire in the mud. What is this, then, but a sudden irruption of the sea ? See D'Orbigny, Géologie, p. 83.

The same author, in p. $5 (note), remarks on this subject :-

“ Un seul observateur a vu, depuis moi, le sol argileux des Pampas, et les considérations géologiques qu'il tire de leur examen sont bien différentes des miennes. M. Darwin (narr. p. 52) regarde la formation de l'argile rouge des Pampas comme tirant son origine de l'estuaire même de la Plata, qui étendait au loin ses limites, et couvrait de ses eaux saumátrcs les contrées basses environnantes. Il croit même rencontrer sur les bords de la rivière des signes fréquens de l'élévation graduelle du sol. Aillcurs (p. 96), le voyagen dit que la même argile rougeâtre s'est déposée dans une mer voisine de lil côte. Pour répondre à la première hypothèse, il suffira, je pense, de jeter les yeux sur l'ensemble de l'argile des Pampas, qui, dans certains endroits, a jusqu'à sept degrés et demi de largeur, fait qni éloigne toute idée d'un dépôt amené par les eaux de la Plata. De plus, si d'un côté l'argile est déposée dans la mer, et de l'autre, par les eaux fluviales à de très-grandes distances, pourquoi, dans l'un et dans l'autre cas, ainsi que sur les points intermédiaires, l'argile présente-elle les mênues caractères, la même couleur, et contient-elle les mêmes êtres ? Je dois dire en passant, qu'on a beaucoup abusé des afluens pour y voir la cause du transport des grands animaux. Cette idée ne peut vraiment s'appliquer qu'aux fleuves de notre Europe bordées des villes, et dans lesquels les hommes jettent continuellement des animaux qui sont ensuite transportés par les courans. J'ai vu dans mes voyages, d'immenses cours d'eau, tels que la Parana, le Paraguay, l’Uruguay, la Plata, et tous les affluens boliviens de l'Amazone; et je puis assurer, que, pendant huit années, je n'ai jamais rencontré un seul animal flottant au sein des vastes solitudes du nouveau monde. Je crois qu'il faut renoncer en partie à cette supposition, puisque les faits viennent la délruire. Il est certain que jamais les animaux

* By G. Greenwood, Colonel, Brookwood Park, Alresford, March 31st, 1866.

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