The Glaciers of the Alps: Being a Narrative of Excursions and Ascents, an Account of the Origin and Phenomena of Glaciers and an Exposition of the Physical Principles to which They are Related

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John Murray, 1860 - 444 pages

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Page 213 - Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose The self-same power that brought me there brought you.
Page 130 - ... would appear perfectly miraculous. And yet the reality would, if we could see it, transcend the fancy. If the Houses of Parliament were built up by the forces resident in their own bricks and lithologic blocks, and without the aid of hodman or mason, there would be nothing intrinsically more wonderful in the process than in the molecular architecture which delighted us upon the summit of Monte Rosa.
Page i - THE GLACIERS OF THE ALPS : being a Narrative of Excursions and Ascents. An Account of the Origin and Phenomena of Glaciers, and an Exposition of the Physical Principles to which they are related. With 61 Illustrations. Crown 8vo., 6s.
Page 438 - Figure to your mind's eye such a mass subjected to pressure — the mass yields and spreads out in the direction of least resistance;! the little nodules become converted into laminae, separated from each other by surfaces of weak cohesion, and the infallible result will be that such a mass will cleave at right angles to the line in which the pressure ia exerted.
Page 366 - ... my mind during this evening's stroll the singular problems of the ice-world, my eye was caught by a very peculiar appearance of the surface of the ice, which I was certain that I now saw for the first time. It consisted of a series of nearly hyperbolic brownish bands on the glacier, the curves pointing downwards, and the two branches mingling indiscriminately with the moraines, presenting an appearance of a succession of waves some hundred feet apart...
Page 434 - Sorby, and others, have furnished us with a body of evidence which reveals to us certain important physical phaenomena, associated with the appearance of slaty cleavage, if they have not produced it: the nature of this evidence we will now proceed to consider. Fossil shells are found in these slate-rocks. I have here several specimens of such shells, occupying various positions with regard to the cleavage planes. They are squeezed, distorted, and crushed. In some cases a flattening of the convex...
Page 22 - ... actual shadow. Once on turning a corner an exclamation of surprise burst simultaneously from my companion and myself. Before each of us, and against the wall of fog, stood a spectral image of a man, of colossal dimensions ; dark as a whole, but bounded by a coloured outline. We stretched forth our arms ; the spectres did the same. We raised our alpenstocks ; the spectres also flourished their batons. All our actions were imitated by these fringed and gigantic shades. We had, in fact, the Spirit...
Page 437 - ... might be shown how true his conclusion is — that the effect of pressure on elongated particles, or plates, will be such as he describes it. But while the scales must be regarded as a true cause, I should not ascribe to them a large share in the production of the cleavage. I believe that even if the plates of mica were wholly absent, the cleavage of slate-rocks would be much the same as it is at present.
Page 70 - I crossed the fissure, obtained some anchorage at the other side, and helped the others over. We afterwards ascended until another chasm, deeper and wider than any we had hitherto encountered, arrested us. We walked alongside of it in search of a snow bridge, which we at length found, but the keystone of the arch had unfortunately given way, leaving projecting eaves of snow at both sides, between which we could look into the gulf, till the gloom of its deeper portions cut the vision short. Both sides...
Page 263 - THE surface of the glacier does not long retain the shining whiteness of the snow from which it is derived. It is flanked by mountains which are washed by rain, dislocated by frost, riven by lightning, traversed by avalanches, and swept by storms. The lighter debris is scattered by the winds far and wide over the glacier, sullying the purity of its surface. Loose shingle rattles at intervals down the sides of the mountains, and falls upon the ice where it touches the rocks. Large rocks are continually...

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