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or the Moon. And if this slight interval cannot be bridged, what shall we say to those other and incomparably greater chasms, not only confronting us in contemporary nature, but sculptured out to us
on the sepulchral rocks, from top to bottom of the geologic scale, a million ages down?
21. The tale told by the old graves of the earth, where nature has done her own embalming more effectually than Egyptian art, is all-important in the appraising of Mr. Darwin's scheme. And it is, on the face of it, as he feels, against him. IIis chapter on the geological record can only be described as an ingenious retreat from the facts of our knowledge on the possibilities of our ignorance. “ Our theorists,” says Paley, “ having eternity to dispose of, are never sparing in time;" and Mr. Darwin, as we have seen, is most lavish in his drafts on the past. But the past, protracted at will, being against him, it is necessary further to suggest that if the past had been properly chronicled--if the museum of nature had been at all well kept-it might and would have been for him. No special pleading, however, can shake the facts. The rocky folds of the earth are now contemplated by its students, less as a succession of mineral masses than as a many-drawered cabinet of fossil remains.31 In obedience to this principle of classification, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Conozoic have taken the place of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary, put forth when the science was in its infancy; and these names answer in Geology to the division of Universal History into Ancient, Mediaval, and Modern. If for every hundred years of history we put a thousand feet of stratification, we should further have a very close mnemonic parallel, marking off at once the ascertained depth of strata and the relative duration of the former life-systems of the globe. Neglecting the proportions, which, from the “lingula” or first distinct fossil-beds upwards, may be roughly estimated as 6, 3, 1, the chart shows in outline the state of the record. --(Page 38.) Of this, taken as it stands, no two readings are possible. All geologists who have no theory of species to propound, but only its fossil phenomena to register, are impressed with but one conviction, froin the gradual dearth, the all but total, and the at last total disappearance of memorials of life from the lower Palæozoic strata --- and that is, that life was just then beginning, or had not yet begun; for had life abounded in these lower zones as in the upper zones of the self-same system, it would have left, the facilities of preservation being precisely alike, simi
Lion, Elephani, (x, Whale, &c.
Paris Basin London Clay Bognor Beds
Second Epoch of Emorescence.
Eocene Period : Bat, Dolphin, Bee, &c Second Perion of Organic Parury
('ycloids and! ('tenoids : soft scaled and
Upper Oolite Middle (olite Lower Oolite
Reign of GYMNOGENS and ACROGENA. Firs, Cycads, Ferns, &c.
Birds and Marsupial Mammals.
First Period of Organic Penary
Magnesian Limestone Dawn of Endogens. SUPRA-DEVONIAN Coal Measures First Epoch of Eflorescence.
Placid and Ganoid Fishes armoar clau.
Upper Silurian Lower Silurian Cambrian
THALLOGENS. Sea weed, &c.
First Fishes. Trilolites, Cephalopoda, de Nearly Azoje
Reign of ARCH-EXOGENS and ENDOGENS.
Dawn of Arch-Exogels.
Old Red Sandstone
Dawn of Gymnogens.
* In this Chart scale is disregarded, a large margin is allowell for under developed Strata, and all the Geological System are referred
mid-member of the group
shadow of death, and yet cradling the first faint traces of the dawn of vitality. Below are the indubitable deathkingdoms of the granitic and metamorphic rocks. Above
--for the geologist is privileged to pile ideally Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa-rise, teeming with organisms, the sister Silurians, yielding whole segments some fifty feet thick every fragment of which was once alive. 33 Between is the huge borderland, five miles deep, representing some five times five millions of years, of which, reserving dubious traces of a tiny sandworm, thus much