And now the sea reddened with shafts of light, and high in heaven the yellow dawn shone rose-charioted; when the winds fell, and every breath sank suddenly, and the oar-blades toil through the heavy ocean-floor. And on this Aeneas descries from sea a mighty forest. Midway in it the pleasant Tiber stream breaks to sea in swirling eddies, laden with yellow sand.

Just so, it is believed, were the white chalk cliffs built gradually prepared on the ocean-floor, and then slowly or suddenly upheaved, so as to become a part of the dry land. Think what the enormous numbers must have been of tiny living creatures, out of whose shells the wide reaches of white chalk cliffs have been made.

Another difficulty with respect to the stratified rocks has to be thought of. All these layers or deposits of gravel, sand, or earth, on the floor of the ocean, would naturally be horizontal that is, would lie flat, one upon another. In places the ocean-floor might slant, or a crevice or valley or ridge might break the smoothness of the deposit.

Surely, the rules of the raft were the rules of life, and in what, then, did these visitor-ladies' grievance consist? Puzzled and a little sulky, I pushed open the door of the deserted nursery, where the raft that had rocked beneath so many hopes and fears still occupied the ocean-floor.

By a study of the evidences presented by coral-reefs, raised beaches, submerged forests, and other phenomena of a similar kind, it can be shown that certain wide areas of the land and of the ocean-floor are at the present time in a state of subsidence, while other equally large areas are being upheaved.

Surely, the rules of the raft were the rules of life, and in what, then, did these visitor-ladies' grievance consist? Puzzled and a little sulky, I pushed open the door of the deserted nursery, where the raft that had rocked beneath so many hopes and fears still occupied the ocean-floor.

But so it is; as we gather our curiosities at low-tide mark, or haul the dredge a mile or two out at sea, we may allow our fancy to range freely out to the westward, and down over the subaqueous cliffs of the hundred-fathom line, which mark the old shore of the British Isles, or rather of a time when Britain and Ireland were part of the continent, through water a mile, and two, and three miles deep, into total darkness, and icy cold, and a pressure which, in the open air, would crush any known living creature to a jelly; and be certain that we shall find the ocean-floor teeming everywhere with multitudinous life, some of it strangely like, some strangely unlike, the creatures which we see along the shore.

So when I lift my eyes to look on yonder level ocean-floor, the fitful sunshine now glimmers white on one far-off sail, now on another; and yet I know that all canvas looks snowy while those casual rays are on it, and that the best vessel is that which, sunlit or shaded, best accomplishes its destined course.

These little shells do not always drop softly and evenly to the ocean-floor, to become quietly part of a mass of shells. Sometimes, where the ocean is shallow enough for the waves to have power below, or where land currents can reach, they are washed about, and thrown one against another, and ground into fine powder; and the fine powder becomes in time, through different causes, solid rock.

In ascending Mount Wellington, the lion of Tasmanian scenery, when we find ourselves at an elevation of about two thousand feet, it is discovered that we have reached the Old World ocean-floor.