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nals are here now, and here they have been from that time to this. Copies or tracings of them have been sent to one or two correspondents in Europe only, and they are printed now for the first time in vol i., 8th edition Maury's Sailing Directions, a copy of which, just received from the binder, is herewith transmitted in advance of regular publication.

It is from this journal alone that Berryman's soundings could have been properly weighed or discussed, or compared with Dayman's or with soundings by any one else.

Neither the Superintendent of the Coast Survey nor his assistant has sought or obtained access to Berryman's note-books through this office, and there is no other proper channel through which access could be had to them.

This remarkable Coast Survey report is dated May 31, 1858, and the assistant tells his principal that “the substance of the report which I have the honor to submit herewith, (May 31, 1858,) was given by your (Bache's) kind permission at the late meeting of the American Association.”-P. 157.

The Baltimore meeting of the Association is here referred to, I suppose. It took place in April, so that the Coast Survey must have been in possession of Berryman's journal, or of what it took for Berryman's journal, before that meeting, which was long before the volume of Sailing Directions now sent had got through the press. Hence the remark that the Coast Survey could not by any fair means have been in possession of Berryman's journal when that paper was prepared.

“10th. The results of Lieut. Com. Dayman were obtained from the former method; those of Lieut. Com. Berryman by the indicator; and therefore Berryman's results are undoubtedly nearer the truth than Dayman’s, but from neither can the existence of a 'plateau' between Newfoundland and Ireland be made out."-P. 158.

“With all its imperfections, however, Massey's indicator furnishes better results, when carefully used, than the method of measuring the depth by the line out; and for this reason I think the sounding of Lieut. Berryman, where he used the indicator, on the line of the Atlantic telegraph, are much nearer the truth than those of Lieut. Dayman.”—P. 171.

These two paragraphs, quoted from the Coast Survey paper under discussion, show that the Coast Survey must have been in possession of some notes which enabled Trowbridge to weigh Berryman's soundings, and to judge of their accuracy. If so, they were spurious, and the deductions from them valueless; for, as I have said, the Coast Survey made no application to the Observatory for a copy of the Arctic's soundings; and if it obtained a true copy from any other source, Trowbridge would not and could not have found in it any thing to justify the conclusions quoted above, for the official journal and report of that cruise of the Arctic make no mention of any error to her indicators, or of any attempt to ascertain a correction for them or to apply one.

Every word and every thing in that journal relating to deep-sea soundings is contained in vol

. i., 8th ed., Maury's Sailing Directions, just out, as before stated, and a copy of which I shall be happy to place at the disposal of any gentleman interested in such matters who may favor me with his address. So far from this journal enabling the Coast Survey to weigh these soundings, an examination of it will show any one that the Superintendent of the Coast Survey and his assistant would, without knowing the error of Berryman's chronometer, be as competent to pronounce upon the accuracy of the longitude in which his soundings were made, as they are to pronounce upon the accuracy of the depths reported without knowing the error of the instrument with which those depths were measured.

At page 221, article “Geographical Notices,” in the September number of this journal, are given three profiles, of the telegraphic plateau, on the authority of Berryman's soundings in the Arctic. They are all intended to represent one and the same view. There is about as much resemblance between them as there would be between profile views of George's Shoal, of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, and the deep sea. Which is it that the Coast Survey thinks to correct? They all cannot be right, and one is entitled to as much credit as the other, for all rest on the same authority.

From all this maze of soundings—the contradictions and discrepancies among them—identically the same sounding being given by Berryman in the journal as 1900 fathoms, by Berryman in one profile as 1100 fathoms, and by Berryman in another as 370; and yet, notwithstanding the absence in this journal of all tests and proofs by which the good may be separated from the bad, the Coast Survey is enabled to weigh them. It endorses Berryman, condemns Dayman, and concludes:

“The idea of a 'plateau' existing between Newfoundland and Ireland is not warranted, it seem to me, by any observations that have yet been made. The range of errors may be as great as five hundred fathoms, which would admit of the existence of a submarine mountain on this line half as high as Mount Washington. A true section of the Atlantic can only be determined by improved modes of sounding, since from the preceding discussion we may be warranted in the conclusion that it is practically impossible to determine the greatest depths of the ocean by the methods now in use.”—P. 171.

This conclusion is also quoted, not only with approbation, but with evident zest by the writer of article XXVI., “Geographical Notices," already referred to in the same number of this journal, showing that the writer of those notices had access to the Coast Survey paper before it was published, and suggesting the idea of a combination.

But before we dispute about “plateau or no plateau,” it would be well to ask the authors of those papers to say what they understand a plateau to be. Did they expect, because the term plateau is used, to find the bottom of the sea all the way between Newfoundland and Ireland a dead level? It seems they did. If so, they expected to find what is not afforded by the plateaus that are usually recognized as such by geographers.

“The plateau of Bolivia," says Keith Johnston, “is intersected in the centre by a series of elevations, in a direction from northwest to southeast, connecting the western with the eastern Cordillera. No part of this ridge reaches the limits of snow; its most elevated point, situ

ated between Corocoro and La Paz, and composed of new red sandstone, rises to an elevation of fifteen thousand one hundred feet.” Physical Atlas-Geology, p. 15.

Here are elevations on a plateau," that is known by all the world as a plateau, not only "half,but quite as high as Mount Washington.'

The irregularities upon the telegraphic plateau, which, in the judg. ment of the Coast Survey, do away with all “ idea of a plateau,” are not such, were it dry land, to render inapplicable even the term plain to this remarkable submarine elevation, so regular is its depression below the sea level.

“ It were a great error," says the Penny Cyclopædia, “ to imagine that by the word plain a perfectly horizontal surface is always understood. In its usual acceptation, it means a greater or less extent of country, flat in its general level as compared with a mountainous country. The more perfectly even and horizontal the surface, the better does it deserve to be called a plain, such as the plains of Venezuela and of the Lower Orinoco, Mesopotamia, etc. But the surface of the ground may be gently waving, as Salisbury plain, and the Ukraine; or more prominently undulated, as the plain round Paris; or it may be studded with hills, as the plains of the Casiquiare; or it may be traversed by valleys, more or less wide and deep, like that part of France which lies between the Loire and the Garonne; or intersected with deep ravines, as the central plains of Russia, without ceasing on such accounts to be a plain.”

And because the floor of the ocean along the telegraphic plateau may have, in the distance of about two thousand miles, an elevation “half as high as Mount Washington,” it therefore does not, according to Coast Survey authority, “warrant the idea of plateau !" Surely the Coast Survey does not know what geographers mean by plateau.

“ The term plateau," continues the excellent authority of this Cyclopædia, “has often been given exclusively to elevated plains; but this also is incorrect, inasmuch as by a plateau is sometimes meant a great extent of country considerably raised above the rest of the land, and having its mountains, its plains, and its valleys, as is particularly exemplified in the minor plateau of Albania, and in the great plateau of Central Asia. The latter contains four great chains of mountains: the Altaï on the north, the Thian-Chan and the Huen-lun in the interior, and the Himalaya on the south, between which are the vast plains of Dzoungaria, of Tongout, and of Thibet, with their rivers, valleys, and lakes.

“Some writers regard the words plateau and tableland as merely the French and English names for the same sort of elevation. Humboldt is of opinion that these names should be copfived to elevations producing a sensible diminution of temperature, and accordingly to such heights only as attain to one thousand eight hundred or two thousand four hun. dred feet. Some again, as Balbi, give the name plateau to all high and extensive mountain tracts.”Penny Cyclopædia.

Now, then, the idea I meant to convey when I announced the discovery of this tableland or bench at the bottom of the sea, and called it a "plateau," was, that if a person were to imagine himself travelling at

the bottom of the sea, from the tropical regions towards the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, he would, on approaching those banks, come to a bench, a shelf, a rise in the bottom, which would extend all the way across from the offings of Newfoundland to those of Ireland, and having upon it water varying in depth from one thousand five hundred to two thousand fathoms, and therefore admitting of depressions and elevations “half as high as Mount Washington."

This was announced in 1854, and every reliable deep-sea sounding that has since been made on that plateau goes to confirm the accuracy and correctness both of the discovery and description.



We have come to the conclusion that occasional extracts from great medical writers in olden times would not only be interesting to our readers, but possibly of a salutary effect in directing the studies of some physicians to the older literature of their profession. For many reasons we have cause to regret the indisposition of American physicians to occupy themselves with studies of this sort; and especially with a view to the prevailing passion for claiming discoveries. We scarcely take up a medical journal, in the present day, without meeting with some noisily asserted novelty which, upon examination, turns out to be either a fact well known for centuries, or a misinterpretation on the part of the observer of some well-known phenomenon. We are thus getting ourselves a good deal laughed at abroad, and being among the most thinskinned of nations, we should be wise in giving less occasion of ridicule. The only possible means of doing so, is to make ourselves much better acquainted with medical literature; and we think that, to the physician of taste and judgment, a better encouragement could not be given than by laying before him one of the graphic descriptions of Aretæus. In the faculty of minutely and vividly describing the physiognomy of disease, Aretæus is surpassed by no nosographer, ancient or modern, as we think the readers of this little paragraph will acknowledge if they have ever witnessed a paroxysm of epilepsy.

It is impossible to determine with certainty the exact period during which Aretæus flourished, though good reasons have been given for believing that he was a contemporary with Galen, in which case he belongs to the middle and close of the second century of the Christian era. We have adopted the translation of Dr. Francis Adams, published by

the Sydenham Society (England) in 1856; at the same time we are far from believing it a good one: the translator writes as if he had a better acquaintance with Greek than his own language, translating Greek idioms literally, instead of substituting equivalent English ones. We append a few notes where we think his version might be amended. Our extract constitutes the fifth chapter of the first book, the four preceding chapters, as well as the commencement of the present, not being extant.


. . sluggishness, vertigo, heaviness of the tendons, plethora and distension of the veins in the neck; (a)and much nausea indeed after food, but also, not unfrequently, with abstinence, there is a faint nausea; and phlegm is often vomited; want of appetite and indigestion after little food: they have flatulence and meteorism in the hypochondria. These symptoms, indeed, are constant.

But, if it be near the accession of the paroxysm, there are before the sight circular flashes of purple or black colors, or of all mixed together, so as to exhibit the appearance of the rainbow expanded in the heavens ; noises in the ears; a (6) heavy smell; they are passionate, and unreasonably peevish. They fall down then, some from any such cause as lowness of spirits, but others from gazing intently on a running stream, a rolling wheel, or a turning top. But sometimes the smell of (c) heavy odors, such as the gagate stone, (jet,) makes them fall down. (d) In these cases, the ailment is fixed in the head, and from it the disorder springs; but, in others, it arises also from the nerves remote from the head, which sympathize with the primary organ. Wherefore the great fingers of the hands and the great toes of the feet are contracted; pain, torpor, and trembling succeed, (e) and a rush of them to the head taks place. If the mischief spread until it reach the head, a crash takes place, in these cases, as if from the stroke of a piece of wood, or of stone; and, when they rise up, they tell how they have been maliciously struck by some person. This deception occurs to those who are attacked with the ailment for the first time. But those to whom the affection has become habitual, whenever the disease recurs, and has already seized the finger, or is commencing in any part, having from experience a foreknowledge of what is about to happen, call from among those who are present upon their customary assistants, and entreat them to bind, pull aside, and stretch the affected members; and they themselves tear at their own members, as if pulling out the disease; and such assistance has sometimes put off the attack for a day. But, in many cases, there is the dread as of a wild beast rushing upon them, or the phantasy of a shadow; and thus they have fallen down.

In the attack the person lies insensible; the hands are clasped together by the spasın; the legs not only plaited together, but also dashed about hither and thither by the tendons. The calamity bears a resemblance to slaughtered bulls; the neck bent, the head variously distorted, for sometimes it is arched, as it were, forwards, so that the chin rests upon the

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