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'newest flötz-trap, are basalt, wacké, graystone, porphyry-slate, and trap-tuff. I am not sure that I know what graystone is; the only locality given of it by Jameson, is Vesuvius, where it is said to form a portion of the unchanged rocks. The doctrine, that it belongs to the flötz-trap, therefore, is founded on an assumption, 'that we have the means of distinguishing, in volcanic countries, 'substances which have been changed by the volcano from those 'which have not-an assumption somewhat gratuitous. The re'maining substances, viz. basalt, wacké, porphyry-slate, and trap'tuff, are certainly not peculiar to this formation; as in England, 'Scotland, and Ireland, they are often found interstratified with 'other formations much older.'
ESSAY VI. & VII. On the Properties of Rocks, as connected with their respective Ages.—On the History of Strata, as deduced from their Fossil Contents. The properties of rocks which are here considered, are their ingredients, structure, specific gravity, consolidation, stratification, posture with regard to the horizon, relative posture to one another, dip and direction, altitude, contained metals, and fossils. On each of these heads the author offers some pertinent remarks; but which our limits will not permit us to particularize. It is of importance, however, to notice, that the supposed relation between the age of a rock and the fossils which it contains, is often fallacious; and that the various facts which have now been collected concerning the interesting phenomena of organic relics, demonstrate the inaccuracy of some of the opinions which have been adopted by geologists of the first reputation.
ESSAY VIII. On Mineral Veins.-According to our author's views, fissures have been produced principally by shrinkage; but others may have been caused, or enlarged, by the contraction of an adjoining mass, by the shock of an earthquake, or by failure of support, the erosion of subterranean waters occasioning subsidence. These fissures, or chasms, when filled with mineral matter, are called veins. Mr. Greenough makes some excellent observations on their varieties, anomalies, and probable indications, which cannot fail to interest both the speculative geologist and the practical miner: but, while he rejects both the Huttonian and Wernerian hypotheses, relative to their formation, he sheds little original light on this obscure subject.
On the whole, however, he possesses the rare merit of stating his facts and opinions in a clear and manly, yet modest and respectful manner, untrammelled by preconceived systems, and unseduced by the fascination of great names. Truth, and truth alone, appears to have been the object of his extensive travels, of years of unwearied study, and of the devotion of an ample fortune to the prosecution of his favourite investigations. Nor will such praiseworthy efforts be without their reward, since they must evidently tend to assuage
the angry contentions of conflicting geologists, and to demonstrate the superior value of patient inquiry and research, over hasty generalizations, or the construction of assailable theories. The brevity of the work, too, is the more meritorious, when we consider not only the rarity of that quality in books of this description, but the vast, and, we believe we might say, unparalleled extent both of reading and research which have gone to its composition. The prodigious number and bulk of the publications on Mineralogy and Geology which have been given to the world within these thirty years, have not only put correct information beyond the reach of ordinary readers-but have made it difficult for geologists themselves, at once to extend their own observations, and to keep clearly in view all that has been done by their associates. The work before us not only contains an admirable digest and collation of the most authoritative statements and opinions on a great variety of important questions, but is eminently calculated, by the contradictions which it every where exhibits, to abate the confidence of narrow observers and rash theorists; and to inculcate the necessity of that patient industry and modest skepticism, by which alone the pursuits of Geology can ever attain to the dignity of a Science.
[From the Edinburgh Review, Jan. 1820.]
ART. II. Euvres Completes de Demosthene et d' Eschine, en Grec et en Français. Traduction de L'Abbé AUGER,.de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres de Paris. Nouvelle Edition. Revue et corrigée par J. PLANCHE, Professeur de Retorique au College Royal de Bourbon. Paris. Année, 1819.
WITHOUT any ostentation of profound reflection or philosophical remark-with few attempts at generalization-without the glare and attraction of prominent ornaments-with extremely few, and those not very successful instances of the tender and pathetic -with a considerable degree of coarseness, and what we should call vulgarity, particularly in his great oration-and, absolutely, without any pretension to wit or humour, to have acquired the reputation of the Greatest Orator whom the world has ever produced, is a peculiarity which belongs to the character of Demosthenes. In no other instance, in the whole range and circle of the Fine Arts, is the same ascendency admitted, with the same degree of unanimity. Of the three Poets,' for instance, in three distant ages born,' what critic has ever pretended, with any success at least, to class and place them in their due rank and order of merit? Is it not notorious, that with one reader, the vigour and freshness of the father of poetry have superior charms; with another, the de
licacy of taste and passion, pre-eminent in the Roman poet; and, with a third, the learned copiousness of our own countryman? Not to mention the partisans of Dante, of Tasso, and of Ariosto, who severally contest for these distinguished Italians, the point of precedence with the three, most usually admitted, Princes of Epic Poetry. To the Tragedians of antiquity, the same observation applies. The gorgeous declamation of Eschylus, the passionate eloquence of Euripides, and the measured stateliness of Sophocles, attract to each their several admirers and advocates, without being able to procure an admitted superiority. The same thing may be said of the Greek and Roman, and (if there be any who do not shrink from the comparison) of the modern Historians also. Nobody affects to say which is the best.-To take one instance more.— In a case, in which, amongst every description of readers in this kingdom, learned and unlearned, there is a more perfect (and we doubt not, in the main, just) agreement, than upon any other subject of criticism whatever, we mean the almost universally prevalent opinion of the unrivalled excellence of our own Shakspeare -is not this very preference of the Poet of Nature, considered by our refined and fastidious neighbours, whose Capital, our Editor and Translator, M. Planche, with no apparent doubt of its being universally acquiesced in, modestly terms the Athens of modern Europe, as a decisive proof of the remains of barbarism,—the ' vestigia ruris' amongst us? To Demosthenes alone, in that faculty which is common to the whole species, and one of its highest distinctions, and in which all mankind must have been, in some degree, his competitors, is the palm conceded by (nearly) the unanimous consent of ancient and modern times.
It is not our intention to do more than make extracts sparingly from the many things which have been written upon this subject; but we shall notice some of the most remarkable. The opinion delivered by Hume (in which he has been implicitly followed by Dr. Blair) in his celebrated Essay upon Eloquence, is, of course, familiar to our readers. By no other writer, not merely has a more decisive judgment been pronounced in favour of Demosthenes, but by none are the peculiar qualities and distinguishing properties of his style more vigorously and happily, though briefly, portrayed, than by this most acute and ingenious Critic. After remarking that his manner is more chaste and austere than that of Cicero, he proceeds thus- Could it be copied, its success would be infallible over a modern assembly. It is rapid harmony exactly adjusted to the sense: It is vehement reasoning, without 'any appearance of art: It is disdain, anger, boldness, freedom, 'involved in a continued stream of argument: And, of all human 'productions, the Orations of Demosthenes present to us the models which approach the nearest to perfection.' How well this
agrees with the testimonials of antiquity, we shall see hereafter; for the present we shall only remark, that this commendation of Demosthenes, is in a style of decision, and even of animation, very different from the balancing and cautious system habitually adopted by our reserved and dispassionate countryman. It is manifest he must have felt very strongly, before he would have expressed himself so warmly.
Longinus is, obviously, a writer for effect. The different authors, who are the subjects of his criticism, are, in truth, little more than instruments for forwarding his principal purpose, which is to let his readers see what he himself can do in the sublime. In his often quoted, and, we suppose we must add, celebrated description of the Greek and Roman orators, for instance, in which he is pleased to compare the one to a thunderbolt, and the other to a conflagration, what precise idea of their particular qualities can be collected-what distinct or individual picture of the leading features and characteristics of those great masters is presented to the mind? Apart from the principal purpose of showing off, we believe he might as usefully have compared them to Frost and Snow. This writer, however, in his general criticism upon Demosthenes, after having contrasted him with Hyperides, and, apparently, intimated a pretty strong opinion in favour of the latter, (as to the correctness of which opinion we have no direct means of judging, but, as Cicero is against him, we doubt not he is wrong,) concludes with the following laboured and remarkable passage.
Αλλ' ἐπειδήπες, οιμαι, τὰ μὲν θατέρα καλὰ, καὶ εἰ πολλὰ. &ς.
'Forasmuch, however, as the beauties of the one (Hyperides) ' although numerous, are not great in their kind,—are the produc'tions of a person of no excitement,-are inefficient, and such as 'permit the hearer to remain unmoved, no one, for this reason, 'who reads Hyperides, is impassioned. But the other (D.) having ' acquired qualities of the highest order, and improved them to the 'highest pitch of perfection,-a tone of sublimity,-heart-felt pas'sion,-a richness and copiousness of style,-justness of concep'tion,-rapidity, and in addition to these,-that which is his pe'culiar characteristic, a force and power which none have ever 'approached;-having, I say, appropriated to himself in abun'dance, these, which ought rather to be deemed gifts vouchsafed 'to him from the Gods, than human qualities and excellencies, he 'thereby always surpasses all competition; and, as a compensa'tion for his defects, he strikes down before him, as if with a 'thunderbolt, all orators of all times, and consumes them in his 'blaze. For it would be easier for a man to behold, with undaz'zled eyes, the lightning flashing upon him, than to contemplate ' without emotion his successive and various passions.'—Our read
ers will not fail to remark, (and therefore chiefly the quotation is made)-we do not say what efforts the rhetorician makes,-but into what agonies and convulsions he throws himself, to give, if possible, an adequate idea of what he seems to think, the more than human excellence of this Orator.
Cicero, to whose admirable proficiency and transcendent powers we have done no more than justice upon former occasions, and whose testimony, upon a subject of this nature, is almost conclusive, never speaks of his great predecessor and prototype, except in terms of the most unbounded and unaffected admiration.-' It 'is perfectly astonishing,' says he, how much Demosthenes is 'superior to all the Grecian orators.'a Upon another occasion, he thus expresses himself. 'Demosthenes you may, without dif'ficulty, pronounce to be absolutely perfect, and deficient in no 'particular."-Not Plato more copious, not Lysias more simple, not Isocrates more finished, not Hyperides more acute,-not Athens itself, more Attic.Ne Athenas quidem ipsas magis 'credo fuisse Atticas.' Practically, and judging by experience, and with reference to any thing which had existed, he pronounces him, as we have seen, absolutely perfect, and declares that what he (Cicero) was attempting, Demosthenes had achieved.'d Upon one occasion, he goes farther, and declares, as a reason for his preference, that Demosthenes had formed himself upon a model of imaginary excellence, and not of what had been known to 'exist in any person.'e Elsewhere, he does indeed complain, and it is with a sort of apology for his own unreasonableness, that 'he is so severe a critic, and so difficult to be pleased, as not even 'to be satisfied by Demosthenes himself; who, though he admits 'him to be above all competition in every species of oratory, did 'not, as it seems, always fill his ears;-so greedy and capacious were they, and always longing after something immense and in'finite." It seems then, that this wonderful man, by his unwearied diligence, his everlasting application to one single object, by constant reflection and endless efforts, in the Senate, in the Forum, at Athens, at Tusculum, had been able to frame to himself, with difficulty, nevertheless, a possible excellence, an imaginary perfection, a beau ideal, beyond the performances even of Demosthenes. Just as no degree of dignity or of loveliness can be supposed to exist, beyond which art may not be supposed to reach; (the Olympian Jupiter was, we are told, a sort of concentrated Majesty, and the Coan Venus, a quintessence of Beauty;) or, as in Geometry, no point, however remote, can be assigned, beyond which
a Orat. e Orat.
b De Cl. Orat.