Principles of Geology: Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation, Volume 3

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Page 90 - Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced* Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood, Their glory withered: as when Heaven's fire Hath scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pines, With singed top their stately growth though bare Stands on the blasted heath.
Page 80 - PYRITES (Iron). A compound of sulphur and iron, found usually in yellow shining crystals like brass, and in almost every rock stratified and unstratified. The shining metallic bodies, so often seen in common roofing slate, are a familiar example of the mineral. The word is Greek, and comes from irvp, pyr, fire, because, under particular circumstances, the stone produces spontaneous heat and even inflammation.
Page 2 - It appeared to them more philosophical to speculate on the possibilities of the past, than patiently to explore the realities of the present ; and having invented theories under the influence of such maxims, they were consistently unwilling to test their validity by the criterion of their accordance with the ordinary operations of nature. On the contrary, the claims of each new hypothesis to credibility appeared enhanced by the great contrast, in kind or intensity, of the causes referred to and those...
Page 82 - Thus we speak of the mouth of a river being silted up when its entrance into the sea is impeded by such accumulation of loose materials. SIMPLE MINERAL. Individual mineral substances, as distinguished from rocks, which last are usually an aggregation of simple minerals.
Page 4 - ... conjecture as could be expected from those who did not appeal, in the first instance, to the analogy of the living creation, as affording the only source of authentic information. It was only by an accurate examination of living testacea, and by a comparison of the osteology of the existing vertebrated animals with the remains found entombed in ancient strata, that this favourite dogma was exploded, and all were, at length, persuaded that these substances were exclusively of organic origin. In...
Page 89 - The seat of Desolation, void of light, Save what the glimmering of these livid flames Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend From off...
Page 3 - ... which every part of the earth's surface is undergoing, and by which the condition of its living inhabitants is continually made to vary. The student, instead of being encouraged with the hope of interpreting the enigmas presented to him in the earth's structure — instead of being prompted to undertake laborious inquiries into the natural history of the organic world, and the complicated effects of the igneous and aqueous causes now in operation — was taught to despond from the first. Geology,...
Page 70 - FAULT, in the language of miners, is the sudden interruption of the continuity of strata in the same plane, accompanied by a crack or fissure varying in width from a mere line to several feet...
Page 269 - Caesar, that general, who encamped upon the plains of Auvergne, and laid siege to its principal city, (Gergovia, near Clermont,) could hardly have failed to notice them. Had there been even any record of their existence in the time of Pliny or Sidonius Apollinaris, the one would scarcely have omitted to make mention of it in his Natural History, nor the other to introduce some allusion to it among his descriptions of this his native province.
Page 34 - ... this antiquary could have shown that the volcanic paroxysms of Vesuvius were so governed as that cities should be buried one above the other, just as often as any variation occurred in the language of the inhabitants, then, indeed, the abrupt passage from a Greek to a Roman, and from a Roman to an Italian city, would afford proof of fluctuations no less sudden in the language of the people. So, in Geology, if we could assume that it is part of the plan of Nature...

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