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first and lowest foot of the series was course of thought which we have been deposited.
pursuing, and pass abruptly to the stateThere is the Great Cemetery. Layer ment of proved facts ---they are within above layer are spread its graves, over our reach. Not only in remote and isomillions of square miles. Tier above tier lated localities, but almost every where, lie its tenants in one great series, from the successive tiers of this Great Cemethe lowest to the highest in place, from tery, with the remains of its innumerable the earliest to the latest in date. There dead, have been uplifted to light and air. are buried in darkness the records of all Every hill built up of layers of stone is a past time. The once soft ooze and silt portion of this universal monument, a rcwhich enveloped them, has been setting maining mass of vast uplifted tracts of and hardening through unknown ages, old sca-deposits; which, originally formed until its contents are now hermetically from the waste of earlier continents, have sealed up, as closely and imperishably as since their upheaval been in turn worn the heart of Bruce was bound in its invest- into ravines and valleys; and from which ing mass of hardened bitumen.
our rivers are daily returning their subThese relics lie beyond our grasp. No stance to the sea whence they arose, there sounding lead or dredge can reach below to entomb anew the forms of later ages. the newest and softest layer of their burial In spite of an hundred scientific books, clay. They are inaccessible, and ile and of the boasted diffusion of practical the imagination is excited at the thought knowledge, this simple assertion will be of their existence, the mind admits the read by many with entire incredulity. A hopelessness of solving the mystery which score of difficulties and objections will surrounds them.
suggest themselves, to all of which one Yet is there no possibility of obtaining answer is sufficient, “Go and see." The some glimpses of these secrets? In somo evidence is open to all, in the gorge of the quarter of the globe where volcanic fires cascades of Trenton, — along the slaty burn fiercest, where their forces have de- banks of Lake Erie,-in the ledges of the pressed the land bencath the sea, and Genesec,—in almost every quarry between lifted up the ocean-bed to become dry the Hudson and the Rocky Mountains. land, -perhaps on the coast of Chili or There are to be examined the actual among the islands of the Pacific, -may relics hoarded up by the primeval ocean. not the elevation of some old sea-bottom, There, from its hardened slime and sand, and its breaking up by clefts and fissures, may be collected in abundance the scathave exposed soine part of this vast necro- tered frames and imprints of its tenants. polis? Is it not practicable to find some Each stony cast was a living thing when such locality, where we may traco back that rock was a loose, soft mass under the downward series, and distinguish the the water, thousands of feet below its remains of later centuries from the deeper present place. buried relics of more distant ages? And, There in abundance are shells, some -as the antiquary digging in the mounds entire and closed as when living, others near the Ohio or the Dnieper, or in the open and flattened out, others still with long-accumlating sands which overspread their valves separated and mixed confusthe shores of the Nile, recognizes in the edly together.
, fashion and workmanship of the articles There the large and beautiful nautilus which he finds, evidence of the character lics clenched in the hardened cozo in of vanished nations and the civilization of which it sank, which at the application of ante-historic periods, -may we not, from the chisel parts off and reveals the gracethe relics of these old ocean-sands, learn ful outline, the striated surface, and its whether the living things of the early curiously chambered interior. Within its ages were like those of our own day; or cavity perhaps lie some tiny contemporawhether a variety of plan and different ries, forced in with the mud which filled forms of animated existence have main- its apartment when first vacated by the tained a perpetual change, and the present death and decay of its builder tenant. tenants of earth are but the latest develop- There are spread out the jointed columns ment of one long and varying series ? and gracefultufted heads of the encrinites,
This is not a dream, but a reasonable —those singular links between animated speculation.
That such remains exist, beings and lower organic forms, so abunseems almost certain. That, though inac- dant and varied during early periods, so cessible in their original position, they may few and rare in our modern seas. There by natural causes be brought within our are the vague and half defined impressions view, is not improbable.
of the seaweeds of that ancient ocean. And, to drop at once the theoretical There are its corals, perfect in every branch and pore, --some, which were of multitude of facts from which to restore parasitic character, still attached to the the age of the Cæsars-so the descriptions shell on which they began to grow. There and illustrations of this and similar works are the dissevered joints and plates, some- will supply materials from which the intimes the entire forms, of its crustaceans, finitely older story of the earth's progress their many-facetted eyes yet distinct as will one day be compiled. when they first admitted the light. There It is not our purpose in this brief article are the oldest of all starfishes, with their to speak of the details of these volumes. symmetrical form and complicated struc- The most cursory reader will be impressed ture perfectly preserved. And there, on
with the evidence of care and accuracy the sandy slab which was once the mar- presented in the minute descriptions of gin of a shoal or beach,—and yet retains some seven hundred different species of the ripple-marks of the waves, -are plain- fossils which they comprise, and the conly visible the trails of shellfish, which stant reference to European works in crawled upon it, when it was as soft and which information illustrative of the subyielding as it now is hard and unchange- ject may be obtained. The engravings, able. We have said that it is a seeming (over two hundred plates, comprising on paradox that the wasting and restless sea an average six or eight figures each), should be the means of perpetuating the not only present striking pictorial repreforms of the beginning even to the end ;- sentations, but show every detail of strucit is also the strangest of truths, that the ture, and the very texture of the speciprint on the tidewashed sands, the very men, so that the plate will sometimes bear proverbial type and symbol of evanes- magnifying almost like the original. A cence, should thus become an imperishable little examination of the illustrations of record.
the corals and crinoids of the Niagara All these relics which occur within the rocks, and of the trilobites of these and limits of New York, collected with the of the Trenton limestone, will show how utmost patience, studied with the minutest high a degree of artistic excellence has care, scrupulously compared with both been attained. living and fossil analogues from all ex- We have spoken of this work as a valuplored regions, grouped together in their able contribution to the general and cathonatural association, accurately described lic cause of science. It is worth a few and figured, form the subject and contents minutes' reflection, to note from. how of the work referred to at the head of many quarters contributions of the same this article. Belonging to some of the character, drawn from widely-separated earliest deposits of the Great Cemetery, portions of the same vast field, are being they are of the most interesting and in- added to the common stock of knowstructive character, and form, so far as ledge. yet finished, the most valuable collection of Among the old deposits known to be of their kind yet made in any country. The similar antiquity with those of New York form of the territory comprised within the (the unbroken continuity of which to the state of New-York displays the order and Mississippi has been traced by Hall, Owen, succession of the layers which underlie it Whitney, and others), are, first, those só with remarkable clearness, while the relics early explored in the southwest of Engimbedded in them are abundant and well land by Sir Roderick Murchison, and afterpreserved. So fortunate an opportunity wards in the same region and in Ireland for research occurring within this State, by the British Geological Survey. In the has been prosecuted with a liberality of north of Russia, Murchison and Deverpatronage honorable to an enlightened neuil have found strata with similar recommonwealth, and with an ability honor- mains extending for hundreds of leagues. able to the earnest students of nature to The existence of extensions of the same whom the task has been committed ; and deposits has long been known in Scandithe result is a contribution of the first navia and near the Rhine. Barrande now value to the great cause of “the in- sends the most ample illustrations of a crease and diffusion of knowledge among vast series of the same age in Bohemia; men."
and even from the Cape of Good Hope, These handsome volumes are in fact a and the stony layers of the Table Mouncollection of authentic monumental in- tain, are brought relics similar to, if not scriptions; not indeed a history, but a identical with, those of the slates of Cenmagazine of historical facts. And as the tral New-York. The separate investigasplendid works depicting the remains of tions of all these scattered observers are Roman art disinterred from the ashes of gradually consolidating into a general sysVesuvius, furnish the historian with a tem, which not only restores the living
forms of the earliest period, but displays same period the "mighty rhinoceros waltheir prevalence over half the globe. lowed at will ” among a herd of nameless
Among the higher and more recent lay- associates, at the remote points where now crs of the same great magazine of the are the ravines of Nebraska, and the fertile past, similar explorations lead to a like meadows on the Seine, result. The beautiful vegetable remains Fifty years since, but a glimmer of light of the coal rocks, in which every leaf is hung around a few celebrated localities, perfect in all its nervures and furrows, (for
where the relics of extinct races were too the leaf proves to be no more a consistent conspicuous to be overlooked barely emblem of evanescence than the footprint enough to excite curiosity, and faintly in the sand !) are traced in our own land, suggest the possibility of further disin Oregon, in the now ice-bound ledges of covery. We now see the darkness of the Melville Island, in Europe, in the East past dissolving, and the outlines of the Indies, and in China.
long-vanished world with its tenants graThe later generic forms of the Jurassic dually and dimly appearing. Every period were not less cosmopolites in their year return the ardent explorers, reportday, for they are identified in tho Alps, ing further progress than before, bringing the Andes, and the Himalayas.
more remains discovered, more lost forms And in a still newer department of the restored, more truths established. And vast series, our explorers are now annu- every ensuing year will show a still furally bringing from the Upper Missouri ther advance, and a fuller and clearer numbers of skulls and bones, which, com- revelation of the mysteries
hidden for mypared with those collected by Cuvier in riads of ages, in the faithful repositories of the quarries of Paris, prove that at the the Great Cemetry.
BATTLE OF TIK PRISIDIO_COSTUME-MEXICAN DIET-OLIMATE-A DUEL-LAW-MILITARY BLUNDER-REVIEW
OOLONEL IARNEY-HEAD QUARTERS IN MOTION-OASTROVILLE-THE LADIES--NIGIT AND MORNING
-guard duty, drills, and parades- the Texans across the river, and captured were so much alike, one day with another, the supplies which had been accumulated that we were indebted to the town for on the southern bank. According to rewhatever of novelty or excitement re- port, the affair was the closest approximalieved our sojourn in the vicinity of San tion to a victory that the Mexicans made Antonio. Of excitement there was cer- during the war, the Texans having retired tainly no lack, whether due to rumor or in such hot haste, that, although the enemy reality; and fact and fiction generally had no means of crossing the river, and vied with each other in giving zest to the though their firing had been fatal to one entertainment.
poor mule, every thing was destroyed or Before General Wool's arrival, an ex- left behind that might by possibility enpedition had been planned, to effect the cumber the fugitives in their flight. Horses conquest of Mexico, with about nine hun- were saddled at the report of the first gun, dred men.
Things having somewhat and the redoubtables ready to start at the changed since the time of Cortez, the earliest glimpse of a sombrero. leader had returned without the anticipated The result of the court-martial was spoils. Three companies of the command, what had been foreseen, and the facility however, had remained near the Presidio with which the American mind can adapt de Rio Grande, and on the 5th of Septem- itself to any contingency, was happily ber, an officer arrived from that point, illustrated in the course of the trial. Here with the intelligence that the detachment was a purely military tribunal, constituted had been compelled to withdraw. Two of men taken at random from the various or three hundred armed Mexicans very pursuits of life-farmers, laborers, physi
cians, merchants, and lawyers, but no sometimes almost, and sometimes alto practical military men-and called upon gether naked, or puffing their cigarritas to decide intricate questions of fact and -made of paper and tobacco—at their law, according to a code with which hardly own doors.
Their entire lives are conone could have had any previous acquaint- tinuous episodes of viciousness and indoance; yet the proceedings were marked lence. A fearful number of the females by dignity, decorum, and impartiality. are given over to hopeless prostitution; Technical distinctions, legal evasions, or there are no well defined distinctions of judicial minimums, may possibly some- class, and vice and virtue are indiscritiines have taken the place of what in minately thrust into the same wretched ordinary military courts is regulated by kennel. the usage of service, but it may safely be Fandangoes were a frequent source of affirmed that the sound, practical common trouble, in consequence of the mixed chasense of the members, reached a correct racter of our troops, and on one occasion, conclusion. Nor is it improbable that a very serious disturbance had its origin at among the learned Thebans, thus assem- one of these fashionable assemblies. So bled, one of whom is not less celebrated much of martial law had been introduced in the literary than in the legal world, and into that obsolete mass of mud, masonry, whose shrewdness and acumen were con- and mankind, as the establishment of a spicuous during the trial,—the judge advo- nightly patrol for the preservation of orcate-unread in the pages of Coke, Chitty, der, there being no civil police; and hearing or Blackstone-may have felt himself, in an unusual demonstration at the nightly what the adjutant-general of the army gathering, a sergeant and file of men recalls, an "anomalous position.”
paired to the spot. A gentleman just disThere are more things in heaven and charged from a Texas company, beautifully carth than were dreamed of in the philo- excited by whiskey, with all his latent sophy of Horatio, and a rare thing some- chivalry roused to fever heat, was found times turns up even now,
foreign to the making night hideous with a party of his philosophy of Horatio's successors. What drunken associates. The sergeant of the would the fair Ophelia have thought of guard, after repeated admonitions to him to straps to her pantalettes? Yet this fanci- be silent, without effect, proposed arresting ful idea found illustration in the streets of him and transferring him to the guardSan Antonio, among other pleasing varie- house. But the gallant son of the south, ties in costume. The arrangement may ( ardent as a southern sun have reference to exercise on horseback, tations “could make him," declined acthe, damsels riding after the manner of ceding to so fair a proposition, and threatsome oriental ladies, not sidewise, but ened to shoot the first man who should otherwise; or possibly in this warm region attempt to execute it. He was taken at of rarified atmosphere, the specific gravity his word, and the sergeant being the “first of the material, may give it a tendency in man,” received a pistol ball in his knee. the wrong direction, and hence, &c. The bone was much shattered, and though
This mongrel population, realizes any amputation did not follow, the man was ideal embodiment of laziness and vaga- made a cripple for life.* The chivalric bondism, of which the elements of loafer- brawler, as soon as he had perpetrated ism may be considered capable. The huts the act, began begging most piteously for in which the people vegetate, appear to be his life, fearing that he might be sacrificed the first fruits of the rudest civilization, at once to the just indignation of the and it is not known, even by old residents Illinois volunteers. They did not, howfrom the United States, how.or why the ever, extend to him this sort of summary natives subsist. They neither sow nor justice, but kept him in custody, until reap; visible occupation they have none; General Wool directed his delivery to the they are too lazy even to live by fishing. sheriff. Proper deference to the civil The essence of their vitality is probably authority, doubtless indicated this dispofound in red pepper or chili. Every dish sition of the case, though the immediate with them is a stew, and this is the staple consequence thereof was perhaps unforof all the stews, which are usually fabri- tunate. Much of the civil power of Texas cated in quantities to supply the family a was at that time in the transition state week. During this period the overt efforts from Lynch to Littleton, and this was too of men and women are liunited to roaming large a demand upon its authority. After about the streets, with their children three weary days of ermined industry, of
> and stiff po
Through the patriotic exertions of the gallant Colonel Bissell, of Illinois, it is believed that a pension to this worthy man was granted at tbe last session of Congress.
legal labor and judicial incubation, the blind representatives of a legal fiction, recognized by courtesy as a court, arrived at the sage conclusion that the man ought to be “bound over." The recognizance was supposed to be imaginary, and thus the bright particular star" of this southern constellation, was again permitted to shed forth his lambent rays with undiininished effulgence over the society of which he was so eininently the ornament.
Our experience of the health of San Antonio and its vicinity, was very much at variance with the reports we had received of its salubrity, before our arrival. Burials occurred in camp almost daily. Of one company, numbering about eighty, upwards of forty were, at one time, on the sick report. Regulars and volunteers, officers and men, suffered alike. Many were compelled to resign or to get their discharge on account of sickness. Notwithstanding the thousand and one reports industriously circulated by Texans and Texan editors, about the health of this place, as surpassing that of any portion of the North American continent, and notwithstanding certain facetious gentlemen have laid a very heavy tax upon their humor and their brains, to prove that a residence there is almost equivalent to taking a bond of fate, and that tho spring of Ponce de Leon is no longer a fable since the elixir vitæ is found near the head waters of the San Antonio; it is a fact that in the army assembled there of less than three thousand men, the average number of sick was very near four hundred. Nor can it be urged that the illness of these people was due to their want of acclimation, or to the exposures and irregularities of camp life; for this proportion was probably not greater than that among the older inhabitants of the town. Indeed, there, it is said, coffins were called for faster than the luinber could be procured for their fabrication, and the cracked bells of the old Catholic church, wero almost daily heard tinkling the morning and evening requiem over the departed. Yet this was in the most salubrious part of Texas; that portion to which all eyes are directed by the inhabitants, whenever any thing is insinuated prejudicial to the country. Health blooms there, every stranger is assured, in perennial freshness and vigor; and the invalids of every clime, and victims of every disease, are invited to resort thither, as to the fountain visited of old by the angel, and be healed. They come, and find the fruits are but applos on the Dead Sea's shore.
On the 12th, an unfortunato difficulty
occurred between two of our Illinois phy. sicians; one a surgeon regularly appointed by the president, the other an acting surgeon temporarily commissioned by the governor of Illinois, to accompany the regiments until superseded in the regular way. The latter had just been relieved from duty, and deeming himself wronged in some manner by his successor, he asuaulted him, according to report, with his cane. “Satisfaction" must of course be had,"in the mode usually adopted by gentlemen,” and to establish an approximate equality between the two, the one being a large and the other a small man, an appeal must be made to the ordeal of gunpowder. The challenge passed on Saturday; the parties met the following Monday. The secret was tolerably well kept; but murder will out.
In the midst of a cluster of live oaks, about a mile from Camp Crockett, and in the vicinity of the river, was the spot selected for the trial. There was but a brief interval between the arrival of the antagonist parties on the ground, which was a few minutes after five o'clock. The stars were yet visible, and twinkled merrily in the heavens. The waning moon gave a fitful light, as she emerged from the flying clouds, by which she was at intervals obscured. In the indistinctness of the darkness that precedes the dawn, the figures moving among the trees appeared like phantoms. Yet the snapping of a broken limb, the rustling of the dry leaves, the neighing of a horse, or the clatter of his equipage, and the low hum of human voices, in earnest and deliberate converse, gave evidence of flesh and blood realities. Perhaps it was fancy, but men's motions seemed cautious and subdued, even to stealthiness, as if conscious of being engaged in unholy means for the accomplishment of unholy purposes. Each one of the parties, nevertheless, was calm, collected, and determined, and appeared satisfied that his position was the true ono; that it was the only alternative permitted him. Wo know that this view has been taken by many, otherwise gifted with clear perceptions of the right, and fearless in its defence, but who have sacrificed the noblest part of their integrity to the tyranny of a false and unnatural state of society, which takes to its bosom the wrongdoer, and visits but too often the injured party with undying scorn, unless he dares to violate the command of his Maker, and seek to imbrue his hands in another's blood, There is no thought of the great tribunal for the final adjudication; of the vast and awful responsibility