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 86 - Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung For his revolt ; yet faithful how they stood, Their glory wither'd : 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 265 - Had there been any record of their eruptions 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 the descriptions of this his native province.
Page 381 - To assume that the evidence of the beginning, or end, of so vast a scheme lies within the reach of our philosophical inquiries, or even of our speculations, appears to be inconsistent with a just estimate of the relations which subsist between the finite powers of man and the attributes of an infinite and eternal Being.
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 67 - The vast accumulations of ice and hardened snow in the Alps and other lofty mountains. Etym. glace, French for ice. GLACIS. A term borrowed from the language of fortification, where it means an easy insensible slope or declivity, less steep than a talus, which see.
Page 84 - Gavarnie," he may form some conception of the magnificent circle of precipitous rocks which inclose, on three sides, the great plain of the Val del Bove. This plain has been deluged by repeated streams of lava, and although it appears almost level when viewed from a distance, it is, in fact, more uneven than the surface of the most tempestuous sea. Besides the minor irregularities of the lava, the valley is in one part interrupted by a ridge of rocks, two of which, Musara and Capra, are very prominent.
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 329 - It was in vain to urge as an objection the improbability of the hypothesis which implies that all the moving waters on the globe were once simultaneously charged with sediment of a red colour. But the rashness of pretending to identify, in age, all the red sandstones and marls in question, has at length been sufficiently exposed, by the discovery that, even in Europe, they belong decidedly to many different epochs.
Page 326 - If it be asked where the continent was placed from the ruins of which the Wealden strata were derived, and by the drainage of which a great river was fed, we are half tempted to speculate on the former existence of the Atlantis of Plato. The story of the submergence of an ancient continent, however fabulous in history, must have been true again and again as a geological event.
Page 4 - ... charged with the requisite mineral ingredients. All are now agreed that it would have been impossible for human ingenuity to invent a theory more distant from the truth; yet we must cease to wonder, on that account, that it gained so many proselytes, when we remember that its claims to probability arose partly from its confirming the assumed want of all analogy between geological causes and those now in action. By what train of investigation were all theorists brought round at length to an opposite...

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