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PROFESSOR HEILPRIN ON Mont pelée.
HERE recently returned from Martinique a party of scientists, artists, and newspaper men, who had hastened to the site of St. Pierre almost as soon as the news of the catastrophe was made known. One of these was Prof. Angelo Heilprin, who has for twenty years been identified with the scientific institutions of Philadelphia. Professor Heilprin writes in the August McClure's of his observation on Mont Pelée, and of the deductions he has drawn from these observations as to the original cause of the great volcanic upheaval.
Professor Heilprin was the first man to ascend the volcano after the great catastrophe. On May 31, he went up the crater to an altitude of about 4,000 feet. He found that the old crater had not been blown out, as was reported. The next day Professor Heilprin made another ascent to the same crater, accompanied by Messrs. Kennan, Jaccaci, and the artist George Varian, who contributes the pictures which illustrate this article. The party arrived at an elevation of 4,025 feet. They found the temperature to be, two or three inches below the surface, 124° to 130°, and at a somewhat greater depth 162°. Puffs of steam were issuing from a number of vents, and from beneath great bowlder masses, whose heated surfaces were scarred with sulphur blotches.
THE VIEW INTO THE CRATER.
"We waited patiently for a lifting of the clouds, and it came at last. A sudden gust cleared the summit, and sunlight illuminated the near horizon. We dashed to the line above which welled out the huge steam cloud of the volcano, and in a few instants stood upon the rim of the giant rift in whose interior the world was being re-made in miniature.
We were four feet, perhaps less, from a point whence a plummet could be dropped into the seething furnace. Momentary flashes of light permitted us to peer deep into the tempest-tossed caldron, but at no time could we see its floor, for over it roiled the vapors that rose out to mountain heights. Opposite us, at a distance of perhaps 200 feet or more, across the thin steam vapor, trembled the walls of the other face of the crater. Halfway between rose the central core of the burned-out cinder masses, topped by enormous white rocks, whose brilliant incandescence flashed out the beacon lights which were observed from the sea some days after the fatal 8th, and even at our later day illumined the night-crown of the volcano with a glow of fire. From the interior came deep rumbling detonations, the clinking of falling and sliding cinders, the hissing of the emerging steam, and other
sounds which were too feebly defined to be described. We felt no inconvenience from either gas or steam.
"We found that we were standing on an overhang, and therefore dared not tarry beyond the time needed to make observations. I attempted to locate the axis of the vent as nearly as the direction of its largely obscured walls and the position of the basin of Lac des Palmistes permitted. I found it to be N.-S., slightly S. W. The magnetic needle, which the day before showed a marked deflection, was nearly normal. The form of the crater is that of a caldron, pitching steeply downward toward the Caribbean, and opening in a direction a little west of the line to St. Pierre. At no time could we positively ascertain the extreme boundaries. Its length must have been 500 feet; it may have been much more. There can be no question that at the downward side of the crater the rift traverses the position of the narrow rift known as the Fente, or the Terre Fendue, which had been a feature of the mountain since the eruption of 1851, and perhaps existed long before that event.
"Any statement regarding the depth of the crater must for the time remain conjectural. I should say that it could hardly be less than from 200 to 250 feet; it might be very much more."
WHAT CAUSED THE ERUPTION OF MAY 8?
Professor Heilprin says that the death-dealing eruption of May 8 was from the lower crater. He proves that the description of the catastrophe which spoke of moving sheets of flame were erroneous. Instead, there was a luminous, or incandescent, cloud which may easily in that terrible time have given the impression of flame.
This glowing cloud, Professor Heilprin says, was composed of one of the heavier carbonic gases brought under pressure to a condition of extreme incandescence and whose liberation in contact with the oxygen in the atmosphere, assisted by electric discharges, wrought this explosion, or series of explosions, that developed the catastrophe."
The great cloud of incandescent vapor undoubtedly produced a tornado, and Professor Heilprin found evidence of storm paths lying across the city's ruins. He also considers it certain that electric explosions had their share in the phenomena.
THE ORIGIN OF THE CARBONIC GAS.
To the inquiry as to what was the source of this carbon gas,-to my mind the main factor of the catastrophe, -the geologist points to those vast bituminous deposits, like those of Venezuela and the island of Trinidad, which lie but little out
of the line of the connected series of volcanoes, of which the Soufrière of St. Vincent and Pelée of Martinique are a part. He also points to the limestone deposits, with their enormous masses of locked-up carbon, forming the foundation upon which these same volcanoes are implanted, which indicate a source of energy far greater than was required for the catastrophe of Pelée. Though no one could have foretold the cataclysm long in advance of its coming, the episode, except in its magnitude and terrible consequences, is no sur prise to the geologist, who knows this region to be in an area of extreme weakness in the earth's crust. This region of terrestrial instability in cludes the greater part of the Caribbean and Gulf basins, and defines in its eastern contour the line of disappearance and breakage of the South American Andes, whose sunken crest is the pediment of the lesser Antilles. What great dis. turbances, if any, have taken place in the sea bottom as the result of the recent occurrences is a question that will take time to determine; but there is evidence already that some change has taken place west of Martinique, between the depth of 1,500 and 2,000 fathoms. The erup tions of Colima in Mexico, the earthquakes that so recently destroyed the towns of Chilpancingo. in Mexico and Quetzaltenango in Guatemala, the minor disturbances in Nicaragua, are but phases of the phenomena which culminated so disastrously in the explosions of the Soufrière of St. Vincent and Mont Pelée of Martinique."
WHAT CAUSED THE DEATHS AT ST. PIERRE ?
for the cause of science,
several unusually competent investigators were able to visit Martinique and St. Vincent before the volcanic eruptions of May had ceased, and their observations have already been reported in detail. The full report of the representatives of the National Geographic Society appears in the July number of the National Geographic Magazine. This report, which was prepared by Dr. Robert T. Hill, of the United States Geological Survey, is interesting not only as a presentation of facts regarding the great catastrophe, but also for the theories that it suggests to account for the enormous fatality at St. Pierre.
Dr. Hill states two such theories, one or the other of which may ultimately be adopted:
1. The heat-blast theory. This hypothesis assumed that the lapilli, gases, and steam of the ejected cloud were sufficiently hot to have inflamed the city and destroyed the people by singeing, suffocation, and asphyxiation. It does not account for the forces exerted radially and horizontally, nor the flame.
2. The aerial-explosion theory. The explosion of gases within the erupted cloud after their projection into the air would account for all the phenomena observed.
"The aerial explosion, if it occurred, was most probably a combustible gas, but science is still unable to state its nature. The discussion of explosive gases involves a line of scientific specialization which the writer does not possess; but as sudden and mysterious as was the great secret, it has left its traces and clues which the detectives of science will follow up. Metal surfaces of objects in the ruins will be examined and analyzed for traces of sulphur and chlorides. The deposits from the numerous steaming fumaroles are already within the chemical laboratory. Even the ash and rocks of the island will be submitted to minute investigation.
"And then there were those frightful lightning bolts! What of them and their igniting power?"
THOUSANDS KILLED BY STEAM AND DUST.
Prof. Israel C. Russell, another geologist who represented the Geographic Society in Martinique, says regarding the nature of the blast which swept over St. Pierre from Mont Pelée :
"It has been stated in the newspapers that the inhabitants of St. Pierre were asphyxiated by noxious gases or killed by a gas explosion. My own observations and the best interpretation I can place upon the testimony of surviving witnesses favors the opinion that the general cause of death was a blast of steam charged with hot dust. Gases, probably in part inflammable, were no doubt present, as the odor of sulphurous acid was perceptible at the time of my visit; but the part that such gases played was seemingly secondary. In order to be able to judge of the conditions where everything was destroyed, it is necessary to learn what took place on the outskirts of the storm. The people on the borders of the devastated area who escaped were in some instances injured, and the injuries were inflicted by hot dust, which on touching the skin adhered and burned. These burns resemble scalds, and destroyed only the epidermis. In several such instances the hair on the burned portions was not destroyed, and where the bodies of the sufferers were protected by even light clothing they were uninjured.
"Had the dust which struck the injured people been somewhat hotter, their clothing would have been ignited; and if they had inhaled the hot dust, death would have been almost instantaneous. The condition of the dead in St. Pierre favors the conclusion that this deduction shows what took place there. While the inhalation of
steam charged with burning hot dust may seemingly be accepted as the principal cause of death in the stricken city, it must be admitted that many persons were no doubt killed by falling walls, by nervous shock, etc.
The blasts which swept St. Pierre on the morning of May 8, and again on May 20, passed through the city with hurricane force. This is demonstrated by the manner in which great trees were uprooted, strong masonry walls thrown down, the lighthouse overturned, etc. The direction in which all these objects were swept was a little west of south, or directly away from Mont Pelée. The most conspicuous evidence of the strength of the blast which wrought the mechanical destruction is furnished by a statue of the Blessed Virgin, referred to above. That statue, composed, I understand, of iron, and measuring over 11 feet in height and nearly 10 feet in circumference at the shoulders, and weigh. ing several tons, was swept from its pedestal and carried southward about 45 feet. All the evidence collected in this connection cannot here be presented, but it indicates that the blast which wrought the havoc referred to passed over the city with full hurricane force."
PRIZE CORONATION ODES.
HE Good Words comes out this July very much enlarged in size and greatly elated in spirit at the response to its coronation ode competition. Prizes of £50, £15, and £10. were offered last Christmas. The final award was given by Stopford Brook, Edmund Gosse, and William Canton. Odes were received from 1,084 competitors, and from almost every part of the empire. The editor is almost swept off his feet by the unexpected number and widely distributed origins of these odes. "The young loyalty has come to its manhood." The empire has found voice as a unit.
To read them, poem after poem, from all parts of the empire, is to become conscious of an imperial force the like of which history holds. no record and the chronicles of the nations show no trace. Turning over ode after ode the beautiful strains of harmonious patriotism blend into a single stately imperial anthem until the reader, pausing as it were to listen, finds almost overpowering the glorious diapason of the song. . . . Very interesting, indeed, is the mingling of races and creeds, when side by side, upon a table in London, lie some eleven hundred odes, written by Brahmin and Mohammedan and Buddhist and native Christians,-negroes of the West, from the Leeward Isles and the Windward, natives of the East, Indian, Burmese and Cinghalese, —
Protestant, Roman Catholic, Dissenter, Quaker, and Jew. Their pens, some of them, would have run more readily in Tamil or Telugu, Pushtu or Persian or Arabic, but they are all in the language of the ruling race, and cramped of course though they are, they are all of them real and living in thought and sentiment. Of course, the majority of the odes are by writers of our own race. . . . Never have poets sung with such a voice before. Knowledge of the splendid respon sibilities of empire with boundaries that encompass the world, and vexed along all their length by the uncharitableness of envious neighbors or the turbulence of tribes that cannot yet understand, give dignity to the singers and noble form to their song.
The first prize falls to Lauchlan MacLean Watt, B.D., minister of Alloa, Scotland; the second to Rev. S. Cornish Watkins, Kingston, Herefordshire; the third is divided between Lucy Eveline Smith, of Dunedin, New Zealand, and F. H. Wood, M.A., Bromley Park, Kent. Perhaps as characterful as any is the passage in Mr. Watt's Ode on the Union Jack:
Ah, 'tis no empty fluttering of a dream,
Our flag's proud gleam:
Many and tired the fingers that have sewn it,
Seam by seam,
Staining it with life's crimson, and the blue
Of northern skies and seas, till winds have blown it Wider than all their wonder and their dream.
Thin red lines of pulsing lives were the thread of it, Pulsing lives that bled away for its sake beneath the spread of it.
Till the wide seas knew it,
And the winds of the wide world blew it, And the host of England followed the flag till earth trembled under the tread of it.
Up with it into the sky.
Let it blow abroad, let its message fly
Like the gray gull, over the deep, As glad and free.
The Good Words is so pleased with the success of this experiment as to offer similar prizes for the three best songs of the empire, to be adjudged next Christmas.
"LORD SALISBURY AS A SAINT.”
UCH is the inscription beneath a picture of statuary in Mr. F. D. How's sixth paper on Lord Salisbury, in Good Words. It might fitly head the entire article. "The curious and interesting statue is to be seen in the sculpture gallery of the beautiful reredos of the Chapel of All Souls' College, Oxford. The reredos was erected about forty-two years ago, at the time that Lord Salisbury had just been elected to a fellowship of all Souls', and the artist, having determined to give his saints the faces of actual
living people rather than idealized features, chose Lord Salisbury's face as his type of a Christian warrior." Mr. How exclaims against the charge of extreme partisanship on the ritualistic side:
"No greater mistake could be made. Lord Salisbury is a high churchman, but of the most wide-minded and charitable kind. He is no friend to the advanced school of modern ritualism, neither does he fail to appreciate at its full value the piety and learning of Evangelicals' with whom he may not be in all matters in perfect sympathy. It is only necessary to notice the advice that he has given to the crown as to the appointments to bishoprics to be assured of the impartiality and wisdom of his views."
A RECORD BISHOP-MAKER.
And then Mr. How recalls the extraordinary fact that as prime minister Lord Salisbury has been concerned in the appointment of thirtyseven bishops! This surely establishes something like a record in bishop-making. Yet Lord Salisbury used to say there were few whom he considered eligible for the episcopal bench, and few whom the Queen considered eligible, but the number whom both he and Her Majesty thought eligible was very small indeed.
SUNDAY AT HATFIELD.
After describing the chapel in Hatfield Hall, Mr. How proceeds:
The services in this chapel include daily morning prayer at 9:30 (the general breakfast hour being 10); and on Sundays an early celebration at 9:15, with afternoon service at 3:30. These services are taken by one of the curates at the parish church; but when there is no one staying at Hatfield, the morning service on Sundays is given up, Lord Salisbury and Lady Gwendolen Cecil coming to the church instead. These arrangements are all the easier to make, as the rectory of Hatfield is held by Lord William Cecil, which recalls the fact that the rectory of Hawarden is held by the son of the late Mr. Gladstone, the rival statesmen each having had the happiness of being ministered to by one of their sons. Another coincidence is the circumstance that both rectories are of exceptional value."
A portrait of the rector of Hatfield has a strange resemblance to the bishops of Worcester and Rochester. Mr. How has shown "the thorough attachment of Lord Salisbury to the Church":
"His love for her has always been sincere and unostentatious. He has made few professions, he has not taken prominent part in her services except as a regular worshiper, but the
one thing which has had the power to rouse him to an outburst of indignation has been an attack upon her by her so-called friends."
SAINT AND SCIENTIST IN ONE.
It is significant that this devout churchman and maker of bishops has been at the same time and in this critical age a noted man of science :
"What is sometimes called Lord Salisbury's den,' consists of a laboratory, a dressing room, and a bathroom on the ground floor. Though not nearly so much used of late years, there yet remains plenty of evidence in the paraphernalia of the former of the industry with which at one time its occupant pursued his scientific researches. It has already been stated that Lord Salisbury is a geologist of the first rank. He has also given time to photography, and to the practical study of electricity; the splendid electric lighting at Hatfield House having been carried out under his direction."
HIS PERSONAL HABITS.
Mr. How brings to a close in the July Good Words his valuable series of sketches of the veteran premier. He touches on several personal characteristics. He first mentions Lord Salis. bury's calm, and next his good health :
Always an advocate of regular exercise, he still tricycles every morning when the weather permits, and at 8 o'clock is to be often seen thus wheeling along the London streets before the traffic of the day has assumed formidable proportions. Some years ago he was a tennis player of some repute."
comes in for frequent
His mental aloofness comment : Trifles are not allowed to disturb his rever. ies. An eye-witness described how she watched him walking up and down the platform at King's Cross, while the rug which he carried trailed along the dusty pavement. At last a man approached and said, 'I beg your pardon, sir, but your rug is trailing on the ground.' 'Ah !' said Lord Salisbury, with a smile, it generally does.' This little story forcibly reminds one of the occasion when Dean Stanley, who was staying away from home, came down to dinner with his collar hanging down attached by one button only. His hostess went up to him, and gently pointed out the fact. 'Do you object?' said Dean Stanley. Oh, no!' was the only possible reply. 'Well,' said the dean, 'no more do I !'
"In addition to this mental aloofness,' as it has been called, Lord Salisbury is extremely short-sighted, and is also one of the shyest of men. When traveling in a train he buries himself instantly in a book,-probably a novel, for
he is a great reader of this class of literature,and spends much of his spare time when indoors in this manner. Music and art have few attractions for him. He has, indeed, been known to express his inability properly to appreciate the compositions of Wagner!
"When he is at work he is, however, a different man. He is phenomenally rapid, not only in his grasp of a subject, but also in his method of getting through his business. He writes far more letters himself than is usual for a man in his position, although he still (since, that is, he has resigned the Foreign Secretaryship) retains the services of two private secretaries."
His relation to boys mentioned in the follow
ing paragraph will come as a pleasant surprise
"Of Lord Salisbury's attachment to his family it is scarcely fitting to speak during his lifetime, but it is well known that it is intense. His fondness of children is perhaps less notorious, but is none the less true. He is especially jolly with boys. There is one tiny bit of evidence in Hatfield House that the young ones are not forgotten, for a miniature children's billiard-table occupies a prominent position in the cloisters."
These sketches will be read with intense interest by men and women of all political parties, and will help to deepen the personal regard entertained for the venerable statesman.
DOES BRITAIN starve HER BLUEJACKETS? HE question of food for the men who man her fighting ships is becoming a burning one in England. Mr. Arnold White, after making a special investigation in Germany, states in the National Review for July that a sufficiency of well-cooked, plain, good food, equal to their necessities, is given to the bluejackets in the German, American, and French navies."
But, it will be said, was not the whole subject inquired into? It was, and certain recommendations were made, which will not be carried out until some time next year. Mr. White says:
The committee were desired to inquire into the sufficiency of the present ration. The ration was pronounced insufficient. They were desired to inquire into the question of meal hours. It was recommended that there should be five recognized meal hours instead of three, as at present, and that the time allowed for these five meals should be three hours thirty-five minutes instead of two hours thirty minutes allowed for the three meals at present. Under the present system no food is served out by the state to the British bluejacket after 4.15 P.M. If he feels hungry between 4.45 P.M. and his cocoa-time
next morning, he is compelled to buy what he wants at the canteen and stint his wife or him. self of other things."
"The private outlay of the seaman, stoker, and marine is not less than 6d. a day, and it does not seem that this aspect of the problem has been taken into consideration by the Rations Committee. Surely every possible influence should be brought to bear on Parliament and on public opinion to increase the amount due from the country to the navy for the leveling up and improving of its rations."
BRITISH AND GERMAN NAVIES COMPARED.
THE HE English reviews are publishing comparisons of the British with the German navy which are by no means flattering to the former. Herr Ernst Teja Meyer's 66 Los von England," a translation of which appears in the Contemporary for July, declares that, apart from the number of ships, England's navy will find a superior enemy in the marine of every great power which is abundantly provided with all that gives force at sea."
THE BRITISH FLEET MADE IN GERMANY."
Herr Meyer passes in review the whole British fleet, and its bases, the coaling stations, etc. He maintains that in every respect the establishment, when weighed in the balances, is found wanting. In everything but numbers England's navy is inferior to those of other nations, and, Herr Meyer would have us believe, immeasurably inferior to that of Germany. England cannot build her ships without buying materials from Germany. The guns and shells are bought from Krupp and Erhardt. Steel for English bayonets comes from Solingen, brown powder from Westphalia, and new boilers for the ships are to be supplied by German workshops. It is also recommended that armor plates should be bought from Krupp. The whole British navy, so far as there is any good in it, ac-* cording to Herr Meyer, will soon have to be labeled "Made in Germany," while Germany, for her part, builds her ships from her own resources in her own shipyards, with her own workmen, and is independent of England and every other power.
A MERE PLAYTHING.
Not only are the British ships inferior in the weight of broadside and in tactic value to the German ships, but so many accidents and mu tinies take place on British vessels as to reveal a state of things which recalls the sorry and deplorable condition of the Spanish navy at the outbreak of the war with the United States.