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laborers all successively perish; for they are incapable of continuing their operations an inch above the ocean. But, it may be asked, how can this organic mass which, at high water, is entirely submerged in the deep, ever become a visible island? It is found, that the island begins to form on the exterior of the perpendicular wall, on the windward side. The waters constantly driving against it, carry large quantities of sand, shells and fragments of coral rocks and deposit them by its side. At length, this vertical wall is transformed to an inclined plane, to the highest parts of which are washed shells, decomposed marine matter, which soon becomes vegetable mould, and the seeds of plants-the product of foreign regions, borne hither on the bosom of the mighty waves-particularly those of the Pandanus, the Cerbera and the Hernanda. These take root, and grow, at first, near the windward boundary of the coral formation, but shortly spread towards the opposite extremity, and within a moderate period, carpet the whole surface. The vegetable substances produced decompose; are succeeded by a new growth, which, in its turn, is changed to food for the nourishment of other generations. By this process, the surface slowly rises; is first the residence of sea birds and other fowls; but at length is discovered, claimed and occupied by man. In this or in similar manner, were formed, unquestionably, all the coral islands, which exist in the different oceans and seas, whose surfaces are low and horizontal. Would time allow us, we could enumerate more than thirty islands of very considerable magnitude, in the Pacific Ocean, which owe their existence to this
But how will you account, inquires one, for the elevation of the island of Tongataboo ten feet above the surface of the deep, or for the conical peak of Eeooa, for the highlands of Owhyhee, all which islands are believed to be of coral origin? Here we beg leave to introduce a new agent-volcanic energy. How do you know, it may be asked, that these elevations are occasioned by volcanic force? It is an inference from the following well established facts. On several of the coral islands, there are at this moment volcanoes in ac
tive operation; and on others, where, at present, there are none, incontrovertible evidence is afforded of their former existence. On Eeooa, there is none, but proofs of their ancient operations are every where manifest. Capt. Cook, on that island, found coral rocks, at an elevation of three hundred feet above the sea; and could not doubt, that they were raised to that height by volcanic means. The conical mountain was beyond question, formed by strata of lava, poured forth, at different periods, from the heated furnace below. Its summit served as the outlet, or crater, of the subterranean fire, till its energy was exhausted, or till it was converted into a different channel.
On the island of Toofooa, seventy miles from Tongataboo, there is a volcano always burning. The Friendly Islands are one hundred in number, of which thirtyfive are hills, and were probably rendered so by subterranean eruptions. Of this description are Otaheite, Bolabola and Eimeo.
Kotzebue tells us, that Eap, a little to the westward of the Caroline Islands, is a vast seat of volcanic energy; that earthquakes are frequent, and that when they occur, all the coral reefs in their vicinity are shaken by them.
Coral rocks abound on the island of Owhyhee-That on which Capt. Cook fell, and died in 1779, is manifestly an ancient coral, somewhat discolored by the action of the air, or by volcanic scorching. A fragment of it recently broken off by the missionaries, has been forwarded to me, by my friend, the Rev. Mr. Bingham. In a letter from this gentleman, I am informed, that volcanoes are often disgorging their liquid contents on some part of the island. He has transmitted to me a specimen of the lava, erupted in 1820. The Mouna Kaah, or Mount Kaah, which rises, in three stupendous pyramids, mocking those of Egypt, to the estimated height of eighteen thousand and four hundred feet above the level of the ocean, is nothing, it is believed, but an immense mass of lava, or melted coral. "The coast of the district of Kaoo, on Owhyhee, presents a prospect (says a gazetteer) of the most horrid and dreary kind; the whole country appearing to have undergone a total VOL. II. 14
change from the effects of some dreadful convulsion. The ground is every where covered with cinders, and intersected with black streaks, which seem to mark the course of a lava that flowed not many ages back, from the mountains to the shore."
From these facts, it is fairly inferred, that there exists, among the Polynesian Islands, a submarine power, fully adequate to the raising the coral beds to their present elevation, and to the production of mountains on them of their present magnitude, and what solid objection can be raised to the supposition that it has actually been applied to these purposes?
That Islands have been thrown up from the bottom of the ocean, by the force of subterranean fire, we have the testimony of history, and of men of the present generation. Pliny asserts, that in his age, three islands in the gean Sea,-Therasia, Automah, and Thia-were forced into day ab solo oceani, where no land before existed. By a submarine eruption, in 1767, a new island made its appearance in the Greek Archipelago. It rose, with slow progress, but within a year from the period of its oceanic birth, it attained a ci cumference of five miles and an altitude of forty fe. Within the present age, the island of Sabrina, escaping from the grasp of Neptune, raised her head above the briny deep, in the neighborhood of the Azores, and after holding her station for some time, slipped, her cable, and again put to sea, on a "returnless voyage." This island was composed entirely of volcanic punice, which was not sufficiently solid to resist the impetus o the waves.
A multitude of other facts might be collected, which speak the same language, and which affirm, that numerous islands in different parts of the Ocean, and particularly, the coral islands of the Pacific, have been generated by a race of insignificant animals, and brought into their present situation and forms, by volcanic energy.
Never give, counsel when it is not asked of you; especially to those who are incapable of appreciating it.
SKETCHES OF AMERICAN CHARACTER.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest benefactors of America, was born in Boston, January 17, 1706. His father, an English non-conformist, who had emigrated to America to enjoy religious freedom, was a tallow chandler and soap-boiler. Benjamin, the fif teenth of seventeen children, was put to a common grammar school at the age of eight years; and, from the talents he displayed in learning, his father conceived the notion of educating him for the ministry. But as he was unable to meet the expense, he took him home, and employed him in cutting wicks, filling moulds, and running errands. The boy was disgusted with this occupation, and was soon after placed with his brother, a printer, to serve an apprenticeship to that trade. His early passion for reading was now in some measure gratified, and he devoted his nights to perusing such books as his limited resources enabled him to obtain. Defoe's Essay on Projects, and Doctor Mather's on
doing Good, were among his earliest studies. The style of the Spectator, with which he early became acquainted, delighted him. He gives an account of his exertions to imitate it, in his memoirs of himself. As he had failed entirely in arithmetic while at school, he now borrowed a little treatise, which he mastered without any assistance, and studied navigation. At the age of sixteen, he read Locke on the Understanding, the Port-Royal Logic, and Xenophon's Memora bilia. Happening to meet with a work which recommended vegetable diet, he determined to abstain from flesh; and we now find the philosophic printer and newspaper-carrier purchasing books with the little sums he was enabled to save by the frugality of his diet. From Shaftesbury and Collins he imbibed those skeptical notions which he is known to have held during a part of his life. His brother published a newspaper, which was the second that had as yet appeared in America. Franklin, having secretly written some pieces for it, had the satisfaction to find them well received; but, on its coming to the knowledge of his brother, he was severely lectured for his presumption, and treated with great harshness. One of the political articles in the journal having offended the general court of the colony, the publisher was imprisoned, and forbidden to continue it. To elude this prohibition, young Franklin was made the nominal editor, and his indentures were ostensibly cancelled. After the release of his brother he took advantage of this act to assert his freedom, and thus escape from the ill treatment which he suffered. His father's displeasure, his brother's enmity and the odium to which his skeptical notions subjected him, left him no alternative but a retreat to some other city. He therefore secretly embarked on board a small vessel bound to New-York, without means or recommendations; and, not finding employment there, he set out for Philadelphia, where he arrived on foot, with his pockets stuffed with shirts and stockings, a roll of bread under his arm and one dollar in his purse. "Who would have dreamed (says Brissot de Warville) that this poor wanderer would become one of the legislators of America, the ornament