21 AUGUST 1858, Page 20

ritrrarg eitanings.

ANTIQUARIANISM.—" Except the scanty fragments collected in as museum, Marseilles contains, I believe, not a vestige of Greek, or even Roman, antiquity. Of the walls, temples, quays, and aqueducts of old Mukha there remains not one stone upon another. .Antiquarian tastes are seldom prevalent in a commercial city. I should have said never—but that I bethink me of Temple Bar, which hinders the enunciation of my propo&. tion as effectually as it impedes the traffic of Fleet Street. But makinr all allowances for Temple Bar, it. neither prevents traffic nor negatives position. Your men of business have no leisure for dilettanteism, and the daily study of invoices and bills of lading is not favourable to the growth of

sentiment. With such men, where ground-rents are high, the mould ' mug

lodges of the past ' stand but a poor chance. Only those who have little concern with the present have much love for the past. This is a pewter fostered by seclusion and study, sometimes morbid and restless, evaporating in mere sentiment, but of inestimable service, when it finds its development in action, in preserving, arranging, illustrating its treasures and storing on materials for the historians, artists, and philosophers who are yet unborn. By the nature of the case the antiquarian spirit in any nation must be of somewhat late growth, yet its prevalence is no indic,ation of national decline. On the contrary, it is strongest among nations which have not yet paseed their meridian, and in an exceptional class whose combativeness is stimu- lated by the different spirit which prevails around them. It is strongest in Northern, and weakest in Southern Europe. It was strong in Alexandria and Pergamos in the best days of the Macedonian kings ; it was obviously feeble in Athens and Corinth in the days of Pausanias. It was strong in Italy under Claudius ; it was almost extinct, with all other lights of the old world, in Honories's time. Never was antiquarianism so rife as it is this day in France and England. Indeed, in the former country it is so rampant, that it overleaps itself and falls on the other; not content with conserving, it actually commits restorations."—Clark's Peloponnesus.

"THE COURSE OF AN ICEBERO.—Few sights in nature are more im- posing than that of the huge, solitary iceberg, as, regardless alike of wind and tide, it steers its course across the face of the deep far away from land. Like one of the Ilrim-thursar,' or Frost-giants of Scandinavian mytho- logy, it issues from the portals of the north armedwith great blocks of stone. Proudly it sails on. The waves that dash in foam against its sides shake not the strength of its crystal walls, nor tarnish the sheen of its emerald caves. Sleet and snow, storm and tempest, are its congenial elements. Night falls around, and the stars are reflected tremulously from a thousand peaks, and from the green depths of caverns measureless to man,' Dawn again arises, and the slant rays of the rising sun gleam brightly on every projecting crag and pinnacle, as the berg still floats steadily on ; yet, as it gains more southern latitudes, what could not be accomplished by the united fury of the waves, is slowly effected by the mildness of the climate. The floating island becomes gradually shrouded in mist and spume, stream- lets everywhere trickle down its sides, and great crags ever and anon fall with a sullen plunge into the deep. The mass becoming top-heavy, reels over, exposing to light rocky fragments still firmly imbedded. These, as the ice around them gives way, are dropped one by one into the ocean, until at last the iceberg itself melts away, the mists are dispelled, and sun- shine once more rests upon the dimpled face of the deep. If, however, be- fore this final dissipation, the wandering island should be stranded on some coast, desolation and gloom are spread over the country for leagues. The sun is obscured, and the air chilled ; the crops will not ripen ; and, to avoid the horrors of famine, the inhabitants are fain to seek some more genial locality until the ice shall have melted away; and months may elapse before they can return again to their villages. The iceberg melts away, bet not without leaving well-marked traces of its existence. Hit disappear in mid-ocean, the mud and boulders, with which it was charged, are scattered athwart the sea-bottom. Blocks of stone may thus be carried across pro- found abysses, and deposited hundreds of miles from the parent hill; and it should be noticed, that this is the only way, so far as we know, in which such a thing could be effected. Great currents could sweep masses of rock down into deep gulfs, but could not sweep them up again, far less repeat this process for hundreds of miles. Such blocks could only be transported by being lifted up at the one place and set down at the other; and the only agent we know of, capable of carrying such a freight, is the iceberg. In this way, the bed of the sea in northern latitudes must be covered with a thick stra- tum of mud and sand, plentifully interspersed with boulders of all sizes, and its valleys must gradually be filled up as year by year the deposit goes on. But this is not all. The visible portion of an iceberg is only about one- ninth part of the real bulk of the whole mass, so that if one be seen 100 feet high, its lowest peak may perhaps be away down 800 feet below the waves. Now it is easy to see that such a moving island will often grate across the summit and along the sides of sub-marine hills ; and when the lower past of the berg is roughened over with earth and stones, the surface of the rock over which it passes will be torn up and dispersed, or smoothed and striated, while the boulders imbedded in the ice will be striated in turn. But some icebergs have been seen rising 300 feet over the sea ; and these, if their sub- marine portions sank to the maximum depth, must have reacned the enor- mous total height of 2700 feet—that is rather higher than the Cheviot Hills. By such a mass, any rock or mountain-top existing 2400 feet below the surface of the ocean would be polished and grooved, arid succeeding bergs depositing mud and boulders upon it, this smoothed surface might be covered up and suffer no change until the ocean-bed should be slowly upheaved to the light of day. In this way, submarine rock surfaces at all depths, from the coast line down to 2000 or 3000 feet, may be scratched and polished, end eventually entombed in mud. And such as been the origin of the deep clay, which, with its included and accompanying boulders, covers so large a part of our country. When this arctic condition of things began, the land must have been slowly sinking beneath the sea ; and so, as years rolled past, higher and yet higher zones of land were brought down to the sea- level, where floating ice, coming from the north-west, stranded upon the rocks, and scored them all over as it grated along. This period of submer- gence may have continued until even the highest peak of the Grampians disappeared, and, after suffering from the grinding action of ice-freighted_ rocks, eventually lay buried in mud far down beneath a wide expanse of sea, over which there voyaged whole argosies of bergs. When the process of elevation began the action of waves and currents would tend greatly to modify the surface of the glacial deposit of mud and boulders, as the ocean- bed slowly rose to the level of the coast-line. In some places the muddy envelope was removed, and the subjacent rock laid bear, all polished and „roved. In other localities, currents brought in a continual supply of or washed off the boulder mud and sand, and then redeposited them irre' Oar beds ; hence resulted those local deposits of stratified sand and travel so frequently to be seen resting over the boulder clay. At length, by, degrees, the land emerged from the sea, yet glaciers still capped its hills and choked its valleys; but eventually, a warmer and more genial climate nose, plants and animals, such as those at present amongst us, and some, snob as the wolf, no longer extant, were are long introduced ; and eventu- ally, as lord of the whole, man took his place upon the scene."—Galcie's Story of a Botdder.