The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, March 01, 1884, Page 72, Image 12

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who cares? It will require several thousand years to
accomplish the " closing," and long before that time
arrived steainlNmta and railroads will bo obsolete; New
York city will I at the bottom of the ocean, and tourists
will Ik mnking trips in sir-ships over where Boston now
Imagine that the drama has been played; that for
ages Boston has nestled at the iMittom of the ocean; that
Atlantis has leen restored to the surface; that she has
had her ago of sloiio, of bronze and of iron, and that bar
barism has given laco to civilization. America will then
Im "tho lost continent" Perhaps some ancient coin,
stamped with the imago of our "Goddess of Liberty,"
thousands of years old, will bo found in the cabinet of an
enthusiastic nrchmologist A few scraps of history,
mutilated until the original meaning has been lost, may
lead him to the conclusion that the ancient Americans,
Although somewhat in advance of savages, were but
heathen idolators who worshiped a goddess in tho form
of a woman. Should this hapcn I am fully persuaded
that he will not misjudge us any moro than tho uncient
Orientals havo leen misjudged by their successors. Lot
us imagine also that our supx)Hod arclmtologist has a
wrap of history concerning tho city of Portland, in the
Ktataof Oregon, that shall havo lcen written after Boston
lion "gono to it last account" Ho roads of an expedi
tion (to him as mythical as that of Jason in search of tho
golden fliw is to us) wherein n party of Portlanders,
ladies and gentlemen, made a pleasure trip in tho beauti
ful Mrial car Wilfanwlte to tho island known as "Wash-
...fc-...,,mii w who WWII 111 111100111 1111108 B
mountain Is-longing to the fabled Appalachian rango,
onco (1,0.14 feet alov tho level of tho ocean, according to
tradition, but now less than a hundred feet The journoy
was made iu less than a day, as the car ilew through tho
iiir at tho rata of over 200 miles an hour. Attached to
tho lower ortioii of the car was a vessel of singular con
struction, which the passengers descended by broad
stairways. Here was every kind of fishing tackle needed
forwpturing the finny tril. Tho ear was so constructed
that it could lie niado to rise in tho air like a bird or
descend H.r1H...dioularly and remain stationary nt any
desired ,,i,,l Thus, nt any moment, tho pleasure party
oould .woopdown.dovota an hour to fishing, then rise
agau, and pursue their journey. I one of these descents
Uiey found by thc.r reckoning that they were in the exact
long. tudo and latitude of a supped ancient city called
where they caught a vast number of codfish.
on, hat ho has somewhere read n fabulous story about
U 'Hlfish nnstocracy." Then, reliance, he wS
pul hn, Warns U, diWer the relation between Z
rT" y "t A. D. 1884 and tho an.m-1, ....u
by the Tortlandens who dwelt in
4M. that the relish an,,. 1 "? .U
nW M b e conclude that the
ancient Orientals believed those queer legends that have
been handed down to us in the literal sense in which they
are given. True, we find these legends in ancient litera,
ture, but we do not know who first wrote them nor how
much has been since added. Yet we may feel sure that
a people so advanced in science and philosophy as they
were never could have thought these and similar legends
true in a literal sense. There must have been a meaning,
lost by the lapse of time, clear to them, and no doubt
beautiful. We misunderstand their meaning and are too
ready to pronounce against their intelligence. Future
generations may, and probably will, do us the same
injustice. '
In this dilemma where is man to look for truth?
Where can he read the history of the past? Is there
nothing reliable and enduring? Is there no truthful
record of the earth's history that can be transmitted
throughout all time? Yes, she writes her own autobiog
raphy, which can perish only with a perishing earth.
She needs no amanuensis, no book of parchment, no
historian, to record her epochs serene or catastrophes
stupendous. Her great volume lies open before us.
Even if not mendacious, man is but finite and imperfect
Nature is Infinite in all that she does. The earth rolls
through space, impelled and restrained by invisible and
infinite forces. Man cannot comprehend them, much less
the manifestations of an infinite power that is exercised
alike upon a twilight monad or a whirling planet The
great volume of Nature is open for alL In it we may
read, in God's own handwriting, which no man can
counterfeit or imitate, the history of the illustrious past
Study it; ponder upon it; believe nothing which man has
written unless it harmonizes with this grand history.
I havo tried to tell you of the Great Northwest as I
read it in the records of the rocks. But do not accept a
single statement on my mere assertion. Man is always
blundering, and in his proudest estates but a mere worm
when compared with the Infinite. I am trying to amuse,
hoping that I may instruct, or, at least, to stimulate the
youth of our country to study the great volume of Nature.
Alaska is a portion of our national territory and de
serves a notice in these papers. Alaska, the infant, the
youngest born, in its first stages of evolution. The
phenomena now being manifested there is but a repeti
tion of what was visible centuries ago on the coast of
Oregon. As the youth lays aside the habits of infancy
and begins to assume the manners of a man, so has Ore
gon, especially at the south, outgrown her volcanio dis
turbances; but she still exhibits her beds of. lava and
extinguished volcanoes, as the youth preserves the gar
ments which he has outgrown. But Alaska has not yet
done with eruptions, burning lava and smoking volcanoes.
Last October, near Cook's Inlet, there was a volcanio
disturbance, accompanied by an upheaval and an earth
quake wave, similar to that described in this series of
papers as having occurred at Nestucca Bay, in this State.
It was first observed by some fishermen who have a set
t ement at English Bay. On the morning of October 6
they hoard a heavy report, and looking in the direction