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of serious danger for free institutions in every part of the Union. Whenever any carpet-bag'ring wants additional authority to keep down the whites, or feels apprehension on account of the scandal occasioned abroad by some transaction in which it has been engaged, we invariably read that a delegation from the Republican party in the State managed by the ring in question repairs to Washington, and it seldom returns without obtaining its desires. Such being the way in which things are managed, it becomes necessary for the several rings to maintain a lobby' to look after their interests in Congress, and to show their gratitude to patrons for favours to come by substantial testimonials. It appears to be now acknowledged by the most competent American authorities that nothing can be more corrupt than the representative bodies in that country, whether Federal, Congress, State-legislatures, or municipal corporations.
Nobody can have watched the course of events in the United States during the past dozen years, without having been painfully impressed by the varied mass of evidence of the marked deterioration that has taken place in the personal character of their public men. Nothing that we could say on this subject could be stronger or more injurious to the party in power, than the statements which have appeared without contradiction in the most respectable organs of the press of New England, or, indeed, than the evidence taken before the American Courts of Justice in several memorable cases. But it is impossible to doubt that the Civil War, by its lavish expenditure, by the results of conquest, and by placing supreme power in the hands of very worthless and corrupt men, did materially contribute to bring about this state of things, which is eating like a cancer into American society. The remedy which has been suggested for an evil which afflicts every loyal and honest American citizen is to adopt a more just and conciliatory policy towards the vanquished States of the South, to recognise accomplished facts, and to unite with the more intelligent and better-disposed negroes to form a new party, which shall have for object the substitution of honest and impartial governments for the present “carpet-bag'administrations. Is such a change possible? The question is one very difficult to answer; but in Missouri the union has already been accomplished. There whites and blacks act together; and there, consequently, instead of anarchy and decay, there is a rapid growth of security, of wealth, and of inmigration. It was in Missouri, in fact, that the Liberal Republican movement began; and the Governor of Missouri, it will be recollected, was selected last year as the Liberal Republican candidate for the Vice-Presidency. The union, therefore, is not impracticable. On the other hand, it has been accomplished nowhere else, all efforts to bring it about having in every other instance failed. But, at the same time, the mere fact that the efforts have been made so soon in nearly all the States, and have received countenance from men of great influence in the Confederacy, is in itself a significant and encouraging circumstance. It has been suggested that even now the United States should indemnify the South in part for the loss of their slaves, or even take upon themselves a portion of the State debt of the South. We confess that we are very sceptical as to the realisation of such projects; nor is it possible, after a lapse of time, to indemnify those who have suffered most from these losses. But the discussion of such proposals shows that the conciliation and restoration of the South are objects of the first importance to the whole American people, and that until these wounds are healed the collective strength and prosperity of the Union are seriously impaired.
Art. VI.-Le Monde Primitif de la Suisse. Par le Dr.
OSWALD HEER. Traduit de l'Allemand par ISAAC DE
MOLE. Genève et Bâle : 1872. W hen the voyagers in the expedition of the “Novara' dis
covered a little library in a hut on the remote island of St. Paul, they found that not one of the native inhabitants could decipher the books, or had the slightest suspicion of the treasures of knowledge contained in the unread and unappreciated volumes. In like manner the tens of thousands of tourists who annually visit Switzerland, leave it with transient impressions of its scenic beauty, but have no idea that below the surface there lies for them in that country a subterranean library of infinite value and instruction, contained in its fossiliferous rocks, its clays, sands, gravels, lake-shores, and hills. In some respects they are excusable, for hitherto accurate and well-arranged information on this subject has been wanting. The riches of the ancient animal and vegetable life (the Fauna and the Flora) of this romantic country have remained unknown to all but professional geologists and inquiring students. This book, by Dr. Heer, is therefore highly acceptable, for it enables us to study the subject completely and at our own fircside. In whomsoever any curiosity on such matters exists,
this volume increases and satisfies it, for its pages show the constitution of the rocks, and the successions of the series of races of animals and plants which flourished and perished in pericds of incalculable antiquity, and the French translation is rather to be preferred as a guide to the original German. We shall take occasion as we proceed to add some observations by way of comparison between British and Swiss ancient life, in order that our readers may the more clearly apprehend the character of both. Of Dr. Heer himself it is sufficient to premise that he is well qualified for the work he has undertaken, and is highly esteemed amongst paleontologists for his large and fully illustrated volumes on the Tertiary Flora of Switzerland, as well as amongst entomologists by his special acquaintance with the minute world of ants and other fossil insects.
Our palæozoic survey will commence with the most ancient known life, and terminate with the most recent-according to general usage. In a British paleontological survey we should commence long ages earlier than we do in Switzerland, because we have in our own island the rich and abundant Silurian fossils, and can go as far back as the obscure graptolites, the impressions of which appear like little sea-pens in some of our oldest rocks. Not only the great Silurian deposits, but also the massive Devonian formation, with its numerous fishes, familiar to the public as the Old Red Sandstone fishes, are wanting in Switzerland, and accordingly Dr. Heer takes no notice of these, but at once begins with the Swiss Carboniferous formation, a late page in our stone volume, an early one in his.
If we conceive the Swiss Alps to resemble a huge natural temple, in which are preserved the remains of extinct races; and if we would discover the entrance to this temple, in order to trace out from these remains the procession of this entombed life, then the Valais appears to be the lowest and the most ancient stage of the edifice, before which the Dent de Morcles and the Dent du Midi tower as two gigantic pyramids standing at the entrance of the immense structure. At the foot of these vast mountains lie rocky masses of the most ancient organic remains of Switzerland, belonging to the true coal-bearing, or carboniferous, period. These are little more, than a mass of vegetable impressions, the substance of the plants having been destroyed, and replaced by a light talcose deposition which causes the fibrous marks left in the stone to glisten with a silvery outline, as though they were finely traced, or mechanically electro-plated, on a dark ground. Some specimens of this nature, brought from the Col d'Anterne, not far from Chamouni, by one of our observant Alpine Club, are to be seen in the collection of fossil plants in the British Museum. As illustrations of the scanty vegetable remains in Switzerland of the carboniferous era they are highly interesting, but the whole Alpine remnant of fossil flora of this period is insignificant when compared with the abundant and varied similar remains collected from our British coal measures and stored up in our national geological and mineralogical collections, and in the museums of several of our provincial towns. Switzerland is not a coal-producing but a coal-importing country, drawing most of its supplies from the pits of Saarbruck and those of St. Etienne, and partly from those of Westphalia and the Vosges.
Switzerland must import coal and copper, but it has salt of its own, not indeed in such abundance as Transylvania, which has salt mountains of many leagues in length, and of some hundreds of feet in height, composed entirely of rock salt; nor as some other well-known salt deposits in Europe, such as those of Cardonia in the Pyrenees, where the rainworn beds of this mineral present the appearance of shattered pyramids,but in smaller quantities as in the vicinity of Bâle and Bex; and these, like most salt deposits, lie in the Triassic rocks, and hence they are sometimes said to form the Saliferous System. In England we have sandstones and mottled clays or marls, mostly red, belonging to this series, which contain our local salt, as at Northwich in Cheshire, where we have two nearly pure beds of salt of from 90 to 100 feet in thickness. The salt deposits in Switzerland are far inferior to ours, forming in the aggregate a thickness of thirty feet at Schweizerhall, and of sixty feet at Rheinfelden. At Bex, in the Canton de Vaud, the salt shows itself in veins and nests surrounded with gypsum and anhydrite. At Bex and at Rheinfelden the salt springs are vaunted for their therapeutic effects, and the baths are frequented by invalids.
The red marls of this formation bear the name of Keuper in Germany, by which they are now generally distinguished, and in some localities they are marked by peculiar animal and vegetable remains. When we look at Dr. Heer's pictorial restorations of periodic life we observe the large reeds and tree-ferns of the carboniferous period, succeeded by the similar but less luxuriant reeds and ferns of the Keuper epoch, as they probably flourished in and around Bâle and the Black Forest. Most of the plants plainly grew in marshy places, and there are some totally unlike any existing European tree. There were zamias and cycads, and trunks covered with nu
merous scales, spherical at their base, and then sending out a column, the top of which was surmounted by great and hard leaves. There were plants like the cypress with lax leaves, of which abundant branches and leaves occur in Alsace, but only a few fragments in Switzerland. From Alsace we must borrow the means of restoring the forest group, and there we discover analogues of trees now dominant in the forests of New Zealand.
At the sides of these forests grew numerous ferns in rich families, recalling in their genera, though not in their species, their congeners of the carboniferous age. These were accompanied by great arborescent ferns, two of which have left fragments in the canton of Bâle, showing leaves of some feet in length. A common character marks in many places the coeval vegetation of the Keuper. We find the same species in the same formation at Wurtemburg and in the north of Bavaria. In America we meet with the same genera, and several of the same species in Virginia and Carolina, so that evidently two continents of the epoch possessed a nearly common flora; and if we search for any existing resemblance to this flora we must repair to New Zealand, or consult the descriptions which Dr. Hochstetter gives of the forests of Kauri and of the Kauri-pine.
The Keuper of Canton Bâle and of Passerang and Stafelegg was deposited in fresh water, while more to the south the sea must have extended, and most probably the Triassic Sea then spread over all the flat country of Switzerland now occupied by the Mollasse. There are in different localities minute seaweeds and shells of this sea, the most remarkable of which is an almost microscopic organism named Bactryllium ( Canaliculatum and Schmidii). It closely resembles a singular form of the Diatoms which microscopists so studiously observe. In the Grisons and the Vorarlberg it forms entire thin beds of stone, so that millions upon millions of this tiny bat-shaped organism must have lived and died for numerous years to have formed even an inch of their rocky sepulchre.
The greatest rock remnant of the Triassic period in the Eastern Alps is now seen in the well-known Dolomites, which are composed of carbonate of lime and magnesia, and present a grey or sometimes reddish-brown aspect to the eye. As, however, they contain no petrifactions, they have no interest for us in this article. But in certain schistose rocks which are sometimes covered with a clear dolomite, we find fifty-five species of marine animals, of whose origin there can be no doubt. Dolomite proper is almost the only exception to the