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Page 231 - They keep alive that inextinguishable thirst after knowledge, which is one of the greatest characteristics of our nature ; for every discovery opens a new field for investigation of facts, shows us the imperfection of our theories. It has justly been said, that the greater the circle of light, the greater the boundary' of darkness by which it is surrounded.
Page 116 - ... feet in diameter, and contain seeds and various species of common water-plants, which are usually more or less incrusted with marble. There is, I believe, no place in the world where there is a more striking example of the opposition or contrast of the laws of animate and inanimate nature, of the forces of inorganic chemical affinity, and those of the powers of life.
Page 162 - ... thunder-storm may render the blue limpid streams foul and turbulent ; but these effects are rare and transient — in a few hours, or at least days, all the sources of beauty are renovated. And nature affords no continued trains of misfortunes and miseries, such as depend upon the constitution of humanity...
Page 208 - Its influence outlives all earthly enjoyments, and becomes stronger as the organs decay and the frame dissolves ; it appears as that evening star of light in the horizon of life, which, we are sure, is to become in another season a morning star; and it throws its radiance through the gloom and shadow of death.
Page 179 - And the same infinite power and wisdom which has fitted the camel and the ostrich for the deserts of Africa, the swallow that secretes its own nest for the caves of Java, the whale for the Polar seas, and the morse and white bear for the Arctic ice, has given the proteus to the deep and dark subterraneous lakes of Illyria — an animal to whom the presence of light is not essential, and who can live indifferently in air and in water, on the surface of the rock, or in the depths of the mud.
Page 220 - In the progress of an art, from its rudest to its more perfect state, the whole process depends upon experiments. Science is, in fact, nothing more than the refinement of common sense making use of facts already known to acquire new facts.
Page 114 - I have found by experiment," says Sir Humphry Davy, " that the water taken from the most tranquil part of the lake, even after being agitated and exposed to the air, contained in solution more than its own volume of carbonic acid gas, with a very small quantity of sulphuretted hydrogen.
Page 125 - The submarine rocks of these new formations of land became covered with aquatic vegetables, on which various species of shell-fish, and common fishes, found their nourishment. As the temperature of the globe became lower, species of the oviparous reptiles appear to have been created to inhabit it ; and the turtle, crocodile, and various gigantic animals...
Page 32 - ... Baltic to those of the Euxine, and the empire of the followers of Mahomet may be broken in pieces by a Northern people, and the dominion of the Britons in Asia may share the fate of that of Tamerlane or Zengiskhan ; but the steam-boat which ascends the Delaware or the St. Lawrence will be continued to be used, and will carry the civilization of an improved people into the deserts of North America and into the wilds of Canada.
Page 124 - ... fluid mass, with an immense atmosphere, revolving in space round the sun. By its cooling, a portion of its atmosphere was probably condensed into water, which occupied a part of its surface. In this state, no forms of life, such as now belong to our system, could have inhabited it. The...