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gical theory, the third and last which is analyized in these Conversations. He is the least imaginative of all the rest, as he founds his speculations on the Mosaic history of the world, and he very laudably sets out with overturning the copious hypotheses of his Neptunic and Vulcanic predecessors. He insists that the whole globe is created in the same way as plants and animals. There is certainly great force in the argument borrowed from Newton, that the three great classes of animals, vegetables, and minerals, have a community of system, the earth being fitted to support the two first, and they again being necessarily dependent on the earth. They are, therefore, constituent parts of the whole, and the first formations of each must accordingly be referred to the same cause and to the same mode.' Whence it would follow, that if we can prove one of these to have been created immediately by God, the others, also, have been formed in the same way." But nobody denies that animals and plants were both created; therefore the earth was created.
Mr. Penn proceeds to argue that rocks and the different strata of the earth were created and arranged from the very beginning of the world. He shows satisfactorily enough, that there is no good reason for arriving at a conclusion the reverse of this proposition; but in point of argument his affirmative is vaguely made out. next infers from the sacred record, that the rocks, at their first formation, were wholly covered with the sea, and he thus accounts for the convulsions which have recently taken place in many parts of the globe. He says
'that though the earth was created on the first day, it was "invisible and unfurnished," not "without form and void," as our translation has it; and the sea continued to cover the rocks till the third day, when God said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so. From this he very plausible infers, that to provide a basin for the waters, in order to collect them into one place, a violent disruption and deepening of the solid crust of the earth must have taken place, and its solid framework burst, fractured, and subverted in all those parts where depression was required to produce the deep bed of the occean. As this first revolution of the earth happened before the creation of plants and animals, it explains the circumstance of none of their remains being now found in the rocks called primitive.'-pp. 307, 308.
In confirmation of this account, he cites a beautiful passage in the 104th Psalm :-" Who laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be moved? Thou coverest it with the deep as with a garment the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys, into the place which thou hast formed for them. Thou didst set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth."
So much for the separation of the water from the dry land. After this stupendous change took place, Mr. Penn contends that plants and animals were created, and then came the second Terrestrial revolution, caused by Noah's deluge. We shall here select a page or two of the Conversations,' as a specimen of the manner in which they are executed. The dramatis personæ are a Mrs. R. and her son and daughter.
'Edward.-I am completely satisfied with this explanation; but there are many points of Geology which we formerly considered, which it will not account for: the existence, for instance, of conglomerate rocks, evidently formed from others, and the remarkable facts which you told us of large trees, inclosed in sandstone quarries, converted into coal.
' Mrs. R.—All these, and similar appearances, Mr. Penn explains by the second grand revolution, the Deluge of Noah, and the circumstances which preceded it, from the creation onwards. It is important to recollect, that the period from the creation to the deluge was more than sixteen hundred and fifty years, and during that time, it is obvious that immense beds of shells would be formed in the sea, and not only so, but very probably would afterwards be covered with beds of sand, clay, or mud, and cemented together by the glutinous matter of the animals themselves. Similar circumstances would also tend to cover, with extensive deposits, the moss-beds of sea-weed, coral, sponges, and other marine productions then existing. It is, also, to be remarked, that the constant tides and storms of the sea, as we formerly noticed, would tend to wear down the rock exposed to their warfare, and thence would form immense beds of sand, gravel, and clay, all of which would of course, exist in the bed of the ocean at the time of the deluge.
Edward.-This appears, however, to be little more than a version of Dr. Hutton's system.
· Mrs. R.—The account of the Deluge you will find to be very different from any system; for Mr. Penn is no less original than simple.
Edward.-I scarcely conceive how he can say thing new upon that subject, if he adhere to the history.
Mrs. R.-You shall judge better of that when you hear his account. All the recent Geologists agree, that the immense beds of sand, clay, and gravel, now covering the earth's surface, have been formed in the bosom of a tranquil water, and have been exposed by its retreat or removal. Now, Mr. Penn finds it recorded by Moses, that the former earth was altogether destroyed, and a new earth raised from the bottom of the former sea. The record states, that, in consequence of the wickedness of man being great, God resolved to destroy "man and beast,"-" all flesh, together with the earth," excepting only Noah and his family and a select number of animals.
Edward. I never remarked the words, "together with the earth.” before, though they seem to be so important.
'Mrs. R.-All previous Geologists have overlooked them in the same culpable manner; but St. Peter was well aware of the force of the sage when he says expressly, "the world which then was, perished, being overflowed with water;" and Job also says, the earth's foundations destroyed by a flood of water;" and, in another place, "he sendeth forth
his waters and they destroy the earth." What is no less conclusive, is the promise given after the Deluge,-"Neither shall there be any more a flood to destroy the earth."
'Edward. He infers, therefore, I suppose, from all this, that a second earth was produced at the Deluge, after the first was destroyed.
'Mrs. R.-Yes: and that it was upon the mountains of the new earth that the ark rested. It will also follow, that if the first earth was formed (as we have seen it was) by the breaking up of the first created rocks, in order to form a basin for the retreat of the waters, it is highly probable that the second earth, on which we now live, was formed in the same manner, by elevating the basin of the first sea, or by depressing and breaking up the crust of the first land. The earth, therefore, which we now inhabit, constituted the bed of the ocean for sixteen hundred and fifty years, was also washed by the waters of the Deluge for nearly one year. two circumstances will account well for the immense beds of marine shells found both in the soil and in rocks, in all parts of the world hitherto explored,--a circumstance which has induced geologists, of the most opposite opinions on other points, to agree unanimously that the present land was formerly covered by the sea.
Edward.-This, indeed, will solve my problem about the existence of shells in the rocks; but I understood you to say before, that the Wernerians refer many phenomena to the Deluge.
Mrs. R. But not at all on Mr. Penn's view of the event, as I have now stated it; for it was never imagined that the former antediluvian land was now the bed of the ocean, and our land its former channel. It was only said that the water of the Deluge, by washing over our land, had produced the great masses of shells and gravel which we now find, though the space of twelve months was probably too small for producing such an effect.
• Edward.-There is not, however, I suppose, any passage in the Mosaic record which mentions this disruption of the rocks.
'Mrs. R.-Yes: it is said expressly, "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up ;" and when the waters were assuaged, the same "fountains" were "stopped." In corroboration of this, there is the ample evidence of the present appearance of rocks, precipices, and mountains, which, I need not tell you, exhibit every where the marks of convulsion and ruin,-vast ravines bounded by fractured walls-Alpine pyramids of granite, with their summits rent and ruined-the whole face of a country covered with gravel, and soil, and huge blocks of stone, which have been detached from their native rocks, and worn smooth by water,-all' most eloquent witnesses of the great catastrophe.
Edward.-From the same conclusion it will follow, I presume, that the Garden of Eden is now overflowed by the ocean; and, therefore, it would be vain to seek for it on our present land.
'Mrs. R.-This is one of Mr. Penn's inferences, and he fortifies it with some curious and ingenious criticism, some of which, however, I do not pretend to understand; but the best part of his system is, the simple and natural account which he gives of shells and of the bones of animals, which are now so abundantly found in rocks, and buried in the soil of many parts of the world, though, as this is both an extensive and interesting subject, it will be better, I think, to reserve it for your next lesson.'— pp. 309-315.
Mr. Penn's account of the shells, bones, and other remains of the ancient world, which have been found in rocks, caverns, and various soils, is highly interesting and plausible. Into this subject, however, we have no room to enter. On the whole, we think his theory more likely to stand the test of criticism than any that has yet been suggested, and we strongly recommend the reader to make himself thoroughly acquainted with it.
There are a few difficulties to be encountered by the student at first in mastering the outlines of Geology; but it is assuredly well worth his while to try what effect the Conversations' before us will have upon him. To us they appear very respectably done. The science itself is not, as we have already hinted, in a state sufficiently perfect to admit of as clear an elucidation as might be desired; but this little volume will at least serve to clear the inquirer's way a little, and to excite his powers of observation, whenever he wanders on the beach, or climbs the mountain.
ART. IX.--1. The Kuzzilbash; a Tale of Khorasan. 3 vols. London: Colburn. 1828.
2. Sayings and Doings; or, Sketches of Life. Third Series. 3 vols. London: Colburn. 1828.
3. Yes and No; a Tale of the Day. By the Author of Matilda.' 2 vols. London: Colburn. 1828.
4. Ringrove; or, Old Fashioned Notions. By the Author of Letters to a Young Man,'' A Tale of the Times,' &c. 2 vols. London: Longman & Co. 1828.
IN conformity with the intention we expressed in our last, of making up our account with the novelists of the past season, we have headed this article with some of the works which are the most likely to attract popular attention.
There are as many distinct kinds of novels as there are of poems, and these, if we believe poetical theorists, are almost infinite in number. There is one bad consequence in this, as it regards works of fiction, and it is, that the good become confounded with the bad-the true, genuine productions of inventive genius, and knowledge of human nature, with the weak, puerile, and noxious imitations of feeble and uncultivated minds. The bold and hardy descriptions of manners and character by Fielding and Smollet, have been followed by details confined to one small and narrow province of human life. The character and habits of mankind, the darklyshadowed picture of society, are pretendedly set forth in a set of weakly-drawn sketches, representing the summer fashions of lords and ladies. The rich and splendidly-illustrated romances of Sir Walter Scott-the very magic mirror of the magician-the record that best enables us to hold intercourse with the generations that are gone; these have been mingled in their character of historical
romances, with others as little fit to be their companions, as those we have before mentioned are fit to be named with the productions of Fielding and Smollet. Richardson, again, has had his imitators; but instead of the pure and determined morality which his pages exhibit, his followers have attempted to inculcate virtue by the whinings of a false sentimentality, or an indecorous mixture of religion with the separate province of fiction. Novels of all these kinds, therefore, are in continual danger of being unfairly judged, and of being condemned without a hearing, by readers of a parti cular class. A most plentiful, and frequently very pure, source of amusement is thus frequently cut off from the young and the unemployed of both sexes; and the name of a romance or novel is made a bugbear to all prudent fathers and mothers, who imagine their daughters are sure to elope, and their sons to marry without a fortune, if they become addicted to this kind of reading. But this confusion with respect to novels of the same class, is not, perhaps, so fruitful in error, as confusion in regard to the different kinds of fictitious composition. We are very doubful whether any class or portion of society, depicted very closely, and in all its variety of manners, pleasures, and occupations, could afford what may properly be considered a direct and obvious moral. If, also, on the other hand, amusement be the chief object in a work of fiction, it is very certain that a novel of manners must be vastly inferior to one which depends upon its plot and characters for interest. The class of novels, therefore, which come under the title of fashionable, we have always regarded as occupying the lowest place in the list of fictitious works. Their morality, with a very few exceptions, is more than doubtful, not perhaps from any indifference or design on the part of the writers, but from the very subjects which form the foundation of their plots; and as tales they very seldom exceed in interest a common Magazine story. Turning, then, from these to the historical romance, we enter upon a new and more promising field of fiction. It is worthy of remark, that in this class of novels, description of manners, which in those of a fashionable character, is generally a mere vehicle for caricaturing, or a rapid detail of common-place occurrences, is a most interesting and highly valuable feature in the composition. In the quick and stirring narrative they give of by-gone events, nothing can be more entertaining than to see the living picture in all its first vividness and freshness of colour. It is like obtaining for the time an exemption from the common lot of our race, which forbids our seeing more than the objects of the present moment; and the knowledge we thus obtain of old customs and habits, gives us an additional clue to that labyrinth of past ages, in which the olden history of mankind is treasured up. Historical romances have, in this respect, a considerable claim upon attention; and even supposing their story to be unimportant, or even trifling, as some rigid critics may frequently decide it to be, they can seldom be read