Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/243

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231
IS FINGAL'S CAVE ARTIFICIAL?

ing, or the gestures of the instrumentalist; every accent is preceded by an inspiration or a drawing of the bow, marking the beginning of a new effort. These efforts, methodically arranged, give musical measure.

Different rhythms reflect the different paces of the walker or the rider plainly enough to justify us in attributing their origin to them. The same cause that makes one pace his room with gaits varying according to the impressions of the moment, in the reverie of solitude or in conversation, also determines the rhythm in music.

Just as our emotional being loves to be amused by rhythms suggesting natural outer movements, so certain cadenced sounds casually heard, such as that of a passing train, the trotting of a horse, or the beating of oars, induce states of sensibility, under the influence of which we surprise ourselves by humming old airs, or by improvising melodies that naturally adapt themselves to the fortuitous movement.

This conception of the origin of music explains the universality of its domain and its power, as well as all the particular facts connected with its different adaptations.—Translated from the Revue Scientifique.

 
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IS FINGAL'S CAVE ARTIFICIAL?[1]
By F. COPE WHITEHOUSE, M.A., etc.

IN venturing to ask a question and thus imply a doubt upon a point on which geologists, statesmen, and poets have given their consentient opinion for a century, it is not without regret that an opinion, held without suspicion of challenge, should be subjected to criticism, and better proof than prescription required for the title by which this celebrated cavern has been held and enjoyed as the work of Nature.

The process of reasoning which led me to believe that the cavern owes its existence to the hand of man had little in common with the arguments by which the inference is now supported. In June, 1881, while examining the Giants' Causeway, it seemed evident that columnar basalt showed no tendency to erode and form hollows. Where the basalt, which for the height of some hundreds of feet above the chalk is quite amorphous, and caps the low promontories along the coast, is brought so low that more than one half of its thickness is immersed in the sea, the remainder projects above the water and forms the well-known natural pier. The caves on that coast are in the great

  1. A summary of an address made before the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Montreal, August 30th, and the Academy of Science at New York, October 9, 1882, illustrated by photographs and diagrams.