Aberdeen has clad itself in the stern but not unattractive gray and blue of its own solid granite. To the Caen stone, the Bath stone, and the Portland stone we owe half our cathedrals and abbeys, whose delicate tracery could never have been wrought in Rowley rag or Whin Sill basalt. The architecture of granite or hard limestone regions is often massive and imposing, but it always lacks the beauty of detailed sculpture or intricate handicraft. The marble lattice-work of the Táj or the "prentice's pillar" of Roslyn Chapel is only possible in a soft and pliable material.
Thus we see that agriculture and manufactures, art and science, are all largely influenced by geological conditions. Indeed, it would not be too much to assert that, after climate and geographical situation, geology is the greatest differentiating agent of national character. Every people is primarily what it is in virtue of the heredity it derives from the common ancestors of its whole stock; but, so far as it differs from other descendants of the same stock, the differences must mainly have been caused by those three great natural agencies, acting and reacting in conjunction with the original hereditary tendencies. The immense complexity of such actions and reactions renders them difficult to trace in detail; but the general principle which they illustrate can hardly be missed by those who read history with a wide and comprehensive glance.—Fraser's Magazine.
|THE CINCHONA-FORESTS OF SOUTH AMERICA.|
IN the month of June, 1879, I visited some of the principal cinchona districts of South America. The following notes are based upon my own observation and information obtained from native bark dealers and gatherers. I shall speak more particularly of the cinchona-forests of Ecuador, once the only source of bark, and still yielding large quantities. The bark territory is divided into the district known as Bosque de (forest of) Guaranda and Bosque de Loja.
The Bosque de Guaranda is a vast forest, extending from about 1° north to 2° south; it covers with its rich verdure the western slopes of Chimborazo, and the outlying ranges of the Cordilleras to more than ten thousand feet above the sea-level, encompassing within its higher limits the picturesque city of Guaranda. This district is the source of most of the barks exported from Guayaquil, and has never yet been fully explored. Guayaquil, the main shipping port of Ecuador, is a city of thirty thousand inhabitants, situated on the Guayaquil River, sixty miles from its mouth. The river is navigable to this point by large ocean-steamers. The southern extremity of the Bosque de Guaranda