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Between 25 and 50 fathoms, is from 46 •2° to 43'5° F., rising again in greater depths to 48 •2° F. The Sea of Marmora may be looked upon as an arm of the iEgean Sea and thus part of the Mediterranean proper. Its salinity is comparable to that of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, which is greater than that of the Black Sea, viz. 4 per cent. Similar currents exist in the Bosporus to those of the Strait of Gibraltar. Water of less salinity flows outwards from the Black Sea as an upper current, and water of greater salinity from the Sea of Marmora flows into the Black Sea as an under-current. This under-current flows towards Cape Tarhangut, where it divides into a left and right branch. The left branch is appreciably noticed near Odessa and the north-west comer; the right branch sweeps past the Crimea, strikes the Caucasian shore (where it comes to the surface running across, but not into, the south-east corner of the Black Sea), and Anally disperses flowing westwards along the northern coast of Asia Minor between Cape Jason and Sinope. This current causes a warmer climate where it strikes. So marked is this current that it has to be taken into account in the navigation of the Black Sea. The Sea of Azof is exceedingly shallow, being only about 6 fathoms in its deepest part, and it is largely influenced by the river Don. Its water is considerably fresher than the Black Sea, varying from 1 ’55 to 0'68 per cent. It freezes more readily and is not affected by the Mediterranean current. Little is known of the fauna and flora of the Black Sea, although plankton, nekton, and benthos exist down to 100 fathoms. It appears to be related to that of the Mediterranean. The debris of these animals and plants, falling to the greater depths, helps to keep up the supply of sulphuretted hydrogen, probably with the aid of anaerobic bacteria. The deposits contain remains of pelagic and shore diatoms, foraminifera, and other protozoa, sponge spicules, fish bones, &c. The formation of sulphuretted hydrogen in the depths is accompanied by two processes ; a continual sinking of fine deposit of calcium carbonate and the formation of ferrous sulphide, which depends on the accumulation of deposits capable of changing it to pyrites. Probably also free sulphur will be found to exist in the deposits. Laminated ooze has been taken ; when dried it appears in white and yellow layers, the white being mostly calcium carbonate. The lamination of the ooze may be due to the seasonal fluctuations of deposits brought down by great rivers, such as the Danube, which brings down 228 times as much sediment in full as in low water. Part of the sulphuretted hydrogen forms ferrous sulphide at the bottom, which occurs in all deposits, especially in gray ooze, and fills the cells of coscinodiscus and the pipe-like shells of rhizosolenia, and the inside of diatoms. The conditions both in the Dardanelles and the Bosporus were examined very carefully in the year 1872 by Captain (afterwards Admiral Sir) William Wharton of H.M.S. Shearwater, and his results were published in an interesting report to the Admiralty of that date. It is remarkable that the comparatively fresh water of the Black Sea persists without sensible mixture through the Sea of Marmora and into the Dardanelles. The depth in the two channels is only from 30 to 50 fathoms, and the dimensions of the strait are too small to make the phenomenon of any importance for the supply of the Mediterranean. Were the exit of the Black Sea a channel with sufficient fall to bring the surface of the Sea of Marmora below the level of the highest part of its bottom, so that no return current could take place, the waters of the Black Sea would be fresh. (j. y. b.) Blackstone, a town of Worcester county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., situated in the southern part of the state, has an area of 17 square miles, bordering on the Connecticut line. The principal village bears the same name, and is on the Blackstone river, and the New York, New Haven, and Hartford railway. It is at an altitude of 200 feet, and is regularly laid out. Population of the town (1880), 4907; (1900), 5721. Blaenavon, a town, urban district, railway station, and parish in the northern parliamentary division of Monmouthshire, England, on the river Avon Lwyd or Torvaen. There are very extensive iron, steel, and coal works, with blast furnaces and rolling mills in the district. Population of urban district (area, 4105 acres) (1901), 10,869. Blagodat, a mountain of Russia, government of Perm, on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains, 13 miles from the main range, and near to Kushvinsk ironworks. Altitude about 1270 feet. It contains the largest deposits of magnetic iron hitherto known in the world, and, with the Yysokaya, Magnitnaya and Kachkanar mountains of

the Urals, belongs to the same type as the “ Iron Mountain ” in Missouri and Taberg in Sweden. Its western slope consists of various augitic rocks, while on its top and southern slope large deposits of magnetic iron (occasionally crystalline) are found. The ore is extracted to the amount of from 400,000 to 540,000 metric quintals, and is worked at the Goro-Blagodat ironworks. Blagovyeschensk, a town of East Siberia, chief town of the Amur province, on the left bank of the Amur, near its confluence with the Zeya, 50° 15' N., 127° 38' E.; altitude about 500 feet. The Chinese village Sakhalin is opposite it, and the town of Aihun is 20 miles below on the left bank of the Amur. Founded in 1858, the town has progressed since, and had in 1897, 32,606 inhabitants. There are several steam Hour-mills and one ironworks. It is now a centre for tea exported to Russia, and cattle brought from Transbaikalia and Mongolia, via Merghen, for the Amur, as well as for all sorts of provisions, &c., shipped to the lower Amur. It has gymnasia for boys and girls, a seminarium, and 7 other schools, and is the seat of the bishop of Amur and Kamchatka. Blaine, James Gillespie (1830-1893), American statesman, was born in West Brownsville, Pa., 31st January 1830, of sturdy Scottish-Irish stock on his father’s side. With many early evidences of literary capacity and political aptitude, he graduated at Washington College, Pennsylvania, in 1847, and spent a few years in teaching. Settling in Augusta, Maine, in 1854, he became editor of the Kennebec Journal, and subsequently of the Portland Advertiser. But his editorial work was speedily abandoned for a more active public career. He was elected to the Legislature in 1858, serving four years, the last two as Speaker. At the same time he became chairman of the Republican State Committee, and for twenty years personally directed every campaign of his party. In 1862 he was elected to Congress, continuing in the House fourteen years, followed by four years in the Senate. He was chosen Speaker in 1869 and served three terms. The House was the fit arena for his political and parliamentary ability. He was a ready and powerful debater, full of resource, and dexterous in controversy. The tempestuous politics of the war and reconstruction period suited his aggressive nature and constructive talent. The measures for the rehabilitation of the States that had engaged in rebellion occupied the chief attention of Congress for several years, and Mr Blaine bore a leading part in framing and discussing them. The primary question related to the basis of representation upon which they should be restored to their full rank in the political system. A powerful section contended that the basis should be the body of legal voters, on the ground that the South could not then secure an increment of political power on account of the emancipated blacks unless they were admitted to political rights. Mr Blaine, on the other hand, contended that representation should be based on population instead of voters, as being fairer to the North, where the ratio of voters varied widely, and he insisted that it should be safeguarded by security for impartial suffrage. This view prevailed, and the fourteenth amendment to the constitution was substantially Mr Blaine’s proposition. In the same spirit he opposed a scheme of military governments for the Southern States, unless associated with a plan by which, upon the acceptance of prescribed conditions, they could release themselves from military rule and resume civil government. He was the first in Congress to oppose the claim, which gained momentary and widespread favour in 1867, that the public debt, pledged in coin, should be paid in greenbacks. The protection of naturalized citizens who, on return to