Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/103

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HIS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA

ley The book ran to as many as nineteen editions in England, where it bore the somewhat fuller title of "Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology". It has been translated into Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Norwegian, and has been used as a textbook in several naval schools on the Continent.

As to the contents and general scope of his book, Maury wrote in the introduction, "Under this term will be included a philosophical account of the winds and currents of the sea; of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean; of the temperature and depth of the sea; of the wonders that are hidden in its depths; and of the phenomena that display themselves at its surface. In short, I shall treat of the economy of the sea and its adaptations—of its salts, its waters, its climates, and its inhabitants, and of whatever there may be of general interest in its commercial uses or industrial pursuits, for all such things pertain to its Physical Geography". It contained also a number of illustrative plates, among which was the first bathymetric map ever made of the North Atlantic Ocean, with contour-lines drawn in at 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 fathoms.

Some idea of the nature of the book and of Maury's peculiar style can be best secured by the consideration of some selections taken from it here and there. Those quoted below are, of course, of the nature of "purple patches", for it must not be supposed that there are no dry and uninteresting passages in the book; but they are fairly representative and will probably serve the purpose intended. Maury was the first scientist to make a careful study of the Gulf Stream, and the first chapter of his "Physical Geography of the Sea" is devoted to this mighty ocean current. The reader's interest is gained