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The shell-fish, he says, which are produced in the sea and thrown by millions on the beach, exposed to the double influence of a burning sun, and a penetrating moisture, speedily undergo a sort of chemical decomposition. In parting with a portion, more or less considerable, of their carbonic acid, they acquire a tendency towards that state in which lime is when used as the basis of cement. This calcareous matter mixing with the quartzose sand, gives a calcareous cement somewhat analogous to that described by Dr. Higgins, and forms those singular incrustations found on the western and southern coasts of New Holland, with which every object is, as it were, glued together. Transported by the winds, this active matter is deposited upon the neighbouring shrubs; at first as light dust, which presently becomes a solid pellicle round the branch which it embraces: fron that moment the growth of the plant is injured ; vegetation becomes languid ; and while yet alive, it is found to have undergone a kind of petrifaction.

• In breaking the branches of this kind of lithophytes, while the incrustation is recent, the ligneous texture is perceived to be enveloped in a solid case, and without having undergone any remarkable alteration; but in proportion as the calcareous envelope augments, the wood becomes disorganized and is changed insensibly into a dry and blackish detritus; then the interior of the tube is as yet empty, and preserves a diameter nearly equal to that of the branch which has served as a mould; at last the tube is closed and filled up with quartzose and calcareous matter: a few years pass away and the whole is converted into a mass of sandstone. In this last stage of the process the arborescent form alone recals the ancient state of vegetation.

' (p. 171). In the same section, in which are contained these observations on the petrified state of the vegetable world, the question is discussed concerning the formation of the mountains and islands composed of madripores; and M. Péron peremptorily decides, what no one will deny,' that all the madriporic productions which have been found to exist at elevations more or less great above the present level of the sea, have been formed in its bosom ;' but then comes the difficult and often discussed question, · Have these mountains been raised, or has the sea sunk from its former level?' the latter is M. Péron's opinion, grounded on that of the most distinguished observers, who agree in rejecting all idea of their elevation being owing to volcanic eruptions--but still, he observes, a very delicate and interesting question presents itself• What becomes of the waters of the ocean as they subside from the mountains which have been formed in their bosom?'-and from this results another equally difficult of solution-Whence comes this enormous quantity of calcareous matter which we perceive to act a part so prodigious in the revolutions of our globe?' these questions, M. Péron observes, open a vast career for the

imagination, 1

imagination, for enthusiasm, for hypothesis--but he pretends not
to explain them.

No doubt whatever can be entertained with regard to the forma-
tion of those extensive reefs, of those numerous islands, and vast
archipelagos, of which multitudes discover their origin to the na-
vigator by the small degree of elevation they have acquired above
the level of the ocean, and by the nascent state in which he sees
them rising as it were out of their cradles. In our review of
Captain Flinders's Voyage of Discovery we offered some observa-
tions on those extraordinary formations, the productions of marine
worms; for that they are so has been attested by hundreds of navi-
gators, who, in witnessing these operations, have detected nature,
as it were, in the very act of creation. On this point we entirely
concur with M. de Fleurieu.

' To which (he asks) of our ordinary systems could one refer the origin of that prodigious number of little platforms, either scattered about, or formed into groups, or united into archipelagos which, from accurate observation, appear to be still in a state of enlargement? We meet with these islands at the distance of fifteen hundred leagues from

any continent or great islands, in the midst of a sea of
which the plummet of the navigator is unable to measure the depth.
The scrutinizing eye of the enlightened observer has discovered nothing
in these low islands that declares an ancient existence, the remains or
traces of volcanoes, either extinct or swallowed up under the waters,
nothing that presents a picture of ruins, nothing in short which could
indicate them to be the product of some convulsion of the globe : on
the contrary, every thing announces, that they are the product of ages;
that the work is not yet finished; that there must be a gradual exten-
sion of it; but that a long succession of time is necessary to make this
extension sensible.' (p. 180.)

We are also ready to subscribe to the general results' of M.
Péron on this point.

• We have seen these zoophytes in a state of petrification forming
the greater part of the low islands of the Great Equinoxial Ocean, and
some of the highest in this sea and that of India. We have found them
in a living state, studding the seas with new dangers, multiplying the
reefs of rock, increasing the size of islands and archipelagos, encum-
berir.g ports and roadsteds, and laying on every side the foundation of
new calcareous mountains. Thus then, while man, who proclaims him-
self the King of Nature, constructs with labour on the surface of the
earth those frail edifices which the action of time must soon overturn,
the feeblest little worms, of whose existence he was ignorant till very
lately, and which he still despises, multiply in the bosum of the seas
those prodigious monuments of a power which biils defiance to ages,
and of which the imagination even can have no conception.' (p. 183.)

We find little that deserves notice ou the second visit of our navigators to the Land of Nuyts, of Leuwen, of Edi 5, and of

Endracht, VOL. XVII. NO, XXXIII.

Endracht, except that, in Shark's Bay, on the coast of the lastmentioned land, M. Péron, with an air of triumph, acquaints us that he has solved with simplicity and accuracy two problems equally important to the zoology and the natural history of New Holland—the one supplying the defective information, and the other correcting an error, of the celebrated Dampier- the first is merely that no river falls into Shark's Bay; the second deserves some further notice, as in attempting to correct one error, this

professed zoologist seems to have fallen into another and greater.

When Dampier was in Shark's Bay he caught one of those marine animals from which it takes its name, eleven feet long, with a maw,' says this able navigator, like a leather sack, very

thick, and so tough that a sharp knife could scarce cut it, in which we found the head and bones of the hippopotamus, the hairy lips of which were still sound and not putrified, and the jaw was also firm, out of which we plucked a great many teeth, two of them eight inches long, and as big as a man's thumb. (vol. iii. p. 126.) Among our early navigators it would perhaps be difficult to name one more intelligent or more accurate in his observations and descriptions than Dampier; who from his friend Rogers had a very accurate description of the hippopotamus given to him, and was himself well acquainted with that species of the Trichecus known by the name of the Manatee, which he caught abundantly in the West Indies and Bay of Campeachy, and which he also says is plentiful on the coast of New Holland. He could hardly therefore mistake one animal for another. While in Shark's Bay some of Captain Baudin's seamen, having found an animal on shore in a state of putrefaction, drew out seven of its teeth, which they brought to M. Péron. He readily discovered that they belonged to a herbivorous animal, but differed essentially from those of the hippopotamus— they were in fact,' says he, those of the Dugon, a mammiferous marine animal but little known,'—we believe he might have added, not known at all;—and in support of this assertion he gives a garbled quotation--from whom?--some naturalist of reputation!--no such thing—but from one Leguat, who wrote above a hundred years ago, and whose figure of a sea-cow (vache marine) with the head of an Alderney cow, body of a Chinese hog, and four webbed feet, supported by as many stout legs, might alone have been sufficient to stagger the credulity of M. Peron.

But Leguat never mentions the Dugon-his description is that of the Lamentin, or, as he says other nations calls it, the Manati, because of its having hands. Of this also Mons. Leguat gives a figure, being a creature with the head of a hog and the body of a whale, furnished with a pair of arms, (with which it is embracing a young Lamentin,) and breasts resembling those of a woman. Though these monstrous creatures, he tells us, were some of them twenty feet long, they came close to the shore, where the water was only three or four feet deep, to feed on the grass at the bottom, sometimes like a flock of sheep of three or four hundred together: they were so tame that he and his companions could wade among them and feel which was fattest and fittest for the knife; for their fesh was excellent, and tasted like the finest veal. This was at the Isle of Rodriguez or Diego Ruys, where Lamentins are now as scarce as Dugons on the coast of New Holland.

breasts

M. Péron and the other naturalists deserve great credit for their industry and perseverance in collecting objects of natural history with all the disadvantages under which they were placed by a harsh and unfeeling Commander; who seems to have entertained a thorough contempt for all knowledge not connected with his own profession, and who, even in that department, as far as we can discover, has done little or nothing for science. As M. Péron's part of the volume finishes, by his death, with the land of Endracht, we shall give an instance of the brutal treatment which the naturalists received there from Captain Baudin, which will serve also as a specimen of our author's manner. They had gone on shore to add to their collections, and being drawn off by some natives, who were not of the gigantic size indicated by the prints of feet seen hereabouts by Vlaming in 1697, and by their own officers on their first visit, they strayed so far as to lose themselves among the thickets : not a breath of wind refreshed the atmosphere; the heat of the mid-day sun reflected from the sandy surface was insupportable; and the stunted brushwood afforded them no shelter; they were laden with plants and shells; famished with hunger and choaked with thirstand, in this state, after three hours of painful travelling, they found themselves close to the place from which they had set out; they determined therefore to follow the winding of the shore, however long it might prove.

An excessive and continual sweat dissolved our bodies. Our weakness was soon at its height. In vain did we fill our mouths with little pebbles to excite the secretion of a few drops of saliva ;---the source of it appeared to be dried up; a feeling of dryness, of painful aridity, an insupportable bitterness made respiration difficult, and in some degree painful; our trembling limbs could no longer sustain us; at every moment, one or other fell down; and it was some time before we had the

power to rise.

'I was now constrained to abandon the greater part of the rich collection which I had just obtained at the expense of so much toil and danger, and which the kind M. Guichenault had had the complaisance to assist me in carrying thus far; but soon himself sinking under the weight of fatigue and heat, of thirst and hunger, he fell upon

the

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the ground, pale, disfigured, his eyes nearly closed. All our assistance was of no avail; he could no longer stand up; and he wished, he said, to die on the spot. While waiting till our unfortunate companion should recover some strength, I proposed to M. Petit to plunge ourselves into the sea up to the breast, and to remain there some minutes, being well convinced beforehand that this kind of bath would bring a little relief to our sufferings. The effect far surpassed all my hopes. An agreeable coolness seemed to penetrate through every pore; our mouths became less scorched; the painful pinching which we felt in the stomach and bowels, ceased as if by enchantment; we perceived our vigour renewing-in one word, this salutary bath snatched us in all probability out of the hands of death: under its gentle influence M. Guichenault appeared to revive. To prolong the good effects which we experienced from it, we resolved, after abandoning part of our clothes and our shoes and stockings, to continue our journey in the sea. At sun-set, a gentle breeze sprung up; we left the water to resume the journey on the shore, and walk if possible a little more quick. Our weakness immediately returned, and night surprized us in the midst of the most laborious efforts.'

At length however they perceived a large fire which their companions had made to serve them as a guide, and they succeeded in joining them between 10 and 11 o'clock at night.

• But at this moment the prostration of our strength was at its height; within two hundred paces of the spot, we fell as if lifeless on the strand. Our kind companions ran eagerly towards us; they raised us up, they supported us, and, making several fires around us, succeeded in rekindling the spark of life just ready to expire. Their eagerness was so much the more active as they had already abandoned all hope of seeing us again. . Our sufferings however were very far from having attained their limit--no kind of food or drink remained in the boat; we had to pass the whole night stretched on the sand, in our clothes drenched with sea water; and to finish our misery, a thick fog which rose the following morning on the surface of the sea did not allow us (for want of a compass) to rejoin the ship before two o'clock in. the afternoon. At this period we found ourselves reduced to the must deplorable condition, for forty-four hours we had neither drank nor eaten, and we had walked fourteen of that number. Pale and trembling, with hollow eyes and lifeless countenances, scarcely could we support ourselves, scarcely could we distinguish objects. I no longer heard any thing, and my parched tongue refused its speech.' (p. 223.)

Every one was moved with compassion except the Commander, who fined M. de Mont-Bazin, (the officer of the boat,) in ten francs for each of the three guns fired the preceding evening as a signal for him to return on board, and upbraided him for not having left the whole three to their fate. And yet,' says M. Péron, 'to save the life of this unhappy man at Timor I divided with his physician the slender provision of excellent Peruvian bark

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