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ing idea of its elevation by the time pleasure which I had not for a long time which the sun's light takes in descend- enjoyed, that of being cold and feeling ing from its summit to the sea.* the beneficent heat of the fire. After
Having arrived near a mass of snow a light breakfast I directed my steps towhich filled one of the narrow passes of wards the place where, according to the mountain, a summit which looked custom, the curious go to behold the black in the sky, made me believe that rising of the sun. I was at the end of the journey; an old There is no sight in the world which tower which I took for the Torre del can equal this : the point of Calabria, Filosofo, confirmed me in my error. I the sea which separates it from Sicily, soon after perceived another summit the mountains of Southern Italy, even covered with a whitish smoke ; 1 asked the clouds which covered them, seemed if it was much higher than the other : to be at your feet. my guide affirmed that it was, and he The horizon was in a blaze : a globe was in the right, for it seemed to me to of fire escaped from the floods, it was surpass the first in the whole height of the sun appearing in the midst of the Vesuvius. The road became more uni- fog : it was of a greyish red, and its ted, and the acclivity gentler, but the horizontal diameter was much greater wind was very violent, and the cold as than the perpendicular. The colour sharp as it is with you in winter. We became more vivid ; a rapid tlash of coasted along a torrent of black lava, lightning which glided along the surthe more singular, as its elevation was face of the sea, announces the presence from eight to ten feet, and perpendicu- of the star of day; its diameter enlarglar like a wall, which clearly proved to ed, and it rose in the heavens. I profme, that this matter, in flowing, is not ited by the moment in which the 'shain perfect fusion; as a great part of the dows still lengthened on the plains, to substances which it drags along, are suf- climb up the last summit, at a distance ficiently hard to prevent their melting, of two miles. and that they are like the basalt, de I do not exactly know how it can be tached from the immense vaults which explained, why the sun appears lengthduring many ages supported this natu- ened in the fog, if it is not by the presral forge. The sky began to adorn it- sure which each bed of the latter proself in the east, and we perceived the duces on the one under it; the stars house called Les Anglais. You have appeared brilliant and numerous, and generally the key of this hut; but not the moon was small but bright. I have having sent a shilling, with my request, already more than once remarked this to the person it belonged to, or rather effect in the most eleyated places, which to his domestic, we entered into the I attribute to the rarefaction of the air stable, where we kindled the charcoal diverging a little the luminous rays. which we had brought, and I can as The mule-driver remaining with our sure you, that I experienced there a beasts, I bent my steps towards the
In returning from Alexandria to Marseilles in the month of March, I saw Etna cov. ered with snow. A calm having lasted some hours, I profited by it to take the height of this mountain'. With the aid of a mariner's compass, 1 perceived that the Cape SpartiVento, in Calabria, reached us by the N.N.E., and Cape Passaro, in Sicily, by the S.W.; I was then sure of the point where I found myself on the chart. (We made use on board of the French charts of the Mediterranean, which are very good.) This point being at a distance of 60 iniles from the foot of the axis of Etna, I measured at that time the angle which the summit of the mountain made with the horizon; it was found to be 6 degrees; which gave me a rectangular triangle of which I knew a side and the three angles, the one right the other of 6 degrees, and the third of 84 degrees. The base being of 60 miles, there remained for me only to make the following proportion :
Sin. 84o : 66 miles : : Sin. 6° : 44 The result is found to be, for the axis side of Etna, 4 miles and 24-84ths, (above 4 miles and a quarter,) or about 20,400 feet for the total height. This measure is not perhaps perfectly correct, but, at least, it approximates very near to it. If this height appears surprising, we ought to consider that other great mountains have never been measured but with the barometer, and that Mr. Brydone was surprised to see the mercury here, descending nearly two inches lower than on the summit of the Alps,
last summit, which, covered with a light mits of different heights, rather more white smoke, seemed to move away than a mile in width, and on account from the impatient traveller. We of its inequalities, I should think it walked nearly a mile on an almost hor- about four in circumference. It is diizontal lava, or to speak more correct- vided into two craters, by a cone rising ly, on striated scoriæ, or dross, which from it centre, and which forms a cramade a cracking noise under our feet, ter itself, the slope of which is not and soon after on a large swamp of very rapid. The antient aperture is snow, where we found a large round united to this cone by a gentle declivity stone, three feet in diameter, of the where las probably been forned within species of those called volcanic balls, a recent period, a small crater, a partial which the mountain throws up in great volcano, a perfect truncated cone, from eruptions; but it is only a grain of whence issues a great quantity of smoke. metal in comparison with the volcano, The general aspect of the crater is which ejected it from its bosom. In much less dreary than that of Vesuvius; fine, we mounted the last cone which the substances surrounding it are not so supports the crater ; the ashes and the black, but have rather the colour of potstones slipping under our feet. The ter's earth. It is now (1819) six years cold was excessive, but exercise kept since Etna has made an eruption, but us warm ; I quitted my cloak, and roll- it has given concussions which have ing up in it some pieces of lava, I left it alarmed the inhabitants of Catania and on the mountain. My guide, in order overthrown some houses. I attribute to repose himself, invited me at every its silence and its tranquillity, not to the moment to enjoy the view which pre- extinction of the fires, for they still rage sented itself. At last we arrived on the in its bosom, but to the great vacuum borders of the crater ; but the wind was which must necessarily exist under this so violent, that I could scarcely cast a enormous vault. The whole of the glance over. I was thrown down, and mountain being formed only by what had it not been for my ciceroni, I might it has seized and driven out of the have rolled to the foot of the declivity bowels of the earth, we might reasonwhich had given us so much trouble to ably think that an interior vacuum, ascend. Fastening and lying down on perhaps equal to the half of the extethe ridge of the crater, I considered it rior mass, must exist ; at least that it is at my ease, and braved the fury of Æo- not filled with water as some persons lus and Vulcan.
have believed. However this may be, It is a vast aperture having four sum- it appears that in great eruptions, all
the cones, all the partial volcanoes form- rious inhabitants, of which we have not ed in the crater, are thrown to the out- even an idea ? side ; which must then make a frightful I could not make the entire tour of aperture by its extent and profundity. the crater on actount of the violence of I don't know whether, when this cone the wind, which prevented me also from is considerably enlarged, its weight descending into the interior, which apalone makes it fall into the gulph, the peared to me less rapid than that of vaults of which have no longer the Vesuvius. force to sustain it, or whether the erup
It is when seated on the borders of tion suffices to cause this displacement. the crater, that we may look down from This question can never be well deci- one side into the rugged flanks of the ded; for it would then require that mountain, and from the other on an chance should place an observer on the immense horizon ; it is then, I say, that borders of the crater, and in that case, one is tempted to reason on the nature he would run a great risk never to be of volcanoes. I passed in review the able to relate what he had seen. various systems with which I was con
How can I describe to you the im- versant, and I am forced to confess that mense panorama which developed itself each of them presents difficulties. I before my eyes! The whole of Sicily claim your indulgence for the reading was encircled round Etna, which its of this letter : it is already very long, I own grandeur insulates from every thing shall notwithstanding explain to you the that surrounds it; the other mountains, ideas which the sight of Vesuvius and rivers, woods and plains, are simply Etna has left on my mind. traced on a map extended at my feet. Volcanoes are certainly the most surCalabria, from which a small canal a- prising objects we meet with on the surlone separates us, is only a point of land, face of our globe. Allow me to supwhich is almost lost between the two pose that one man alone inhabits it; that seas. Farther off is Greece, but I could he walks about in his domains ; where not see it. The point which is distin- will he find fire unless a thunder-bolt guished to the south, in the midst of the falls under his feet, or that he arrives immensity of waters, is Malta, that bul- near to a volcano, near to Etna for inwark of christianity, that rock on which stance? We may judge of his astonishsplit the glory of the Ottoman arms. I ment at the sight of a mountain different fancied I saw those numerous fleets,and from all others. Huge stones, of which those brave knights who manned them, the whole is the true image of chaos, ploughing the liquid plains ; first I ad- would at first appear to him a barrier mired them, and soon I made the sad to his arriving at the summit; but a reflection that all were dead, that gene- deafening noise is heard, the entire rations had succeeded them, and that mountain roars, a thick cloud of smoke man is as small in time as in space. rises up and becomes white, a light, of
I was assured that we might see the which he cannot conceive the cause, coast of Africa ; but the weather was covers the top and escapes in sparkling very foggy, and I could not perceive it. sheafs ; if curiosity has triumphed over One thing struck me, altho’ it was only his fear, he braves all obstacles, he a very simple effect of the perspective, traverses the snow, and at last he arand this was the inclined plane which rives at the summit. Some red hot the sea presented towards me. stones are still strewed under his feet ;
In that moment, when the sun rises should he lay hold of one, what will he to render life to so many creatures, so think of the pain he experiences ? many towns which are only a point in Without doubt he will attribute the the extent embraced by the eye, I was cause to some evil genius, to some being. truly enraptured to find myself in the superior to his nature and inhabiting centre of so vast a panorama. Of how these places; thus of how many mythomany successive beds of lava and ashes logical tales bas Etna been the theatre ! is this mountain formed ? How many It was there that were found the forges generalions has it seen? With how of Vulcan, the cavern of the terrible many eruptions has it alarmed the va- Polyphemus that monstrous Cyclop,
from whose voracity Ulysses had so In a little time we arrived in the temmuch difficulty in escaping; the people perate region ; the road became diffibelieve still that Etna is the sojourn of cult, and the fatigue became overwhelmdemons-a door of hell.
ing for my beast and for myself. Near It was with great regret that I quitted the middle of the forest is the cavern of a spot where I breathed, I thought with goats; it is a vacant space under an more freedom than in any other part of ancient torrent of lava; it is 20 feet the world. Having arrived at the wide but very few in depth. This forMaison des Anglais, I there finished est contains oaks from 20 to 30 feet my breakfast and amused myself in de round, but their exportation is very difsigning. You perceive from thence in ficult; I should have even thought it the south-east, a tower which is detach- impossible if I had not met with a square ed in the sky, and which is called the piece transported on rollers, gliding on Philosopher's Tower ; it is a small two rafters successively placed on the square heap of stones and bricks which lava. We afterwards entered into the have been elevated on the ruins of a vast torrent of lava which flowed from more ancient edifice, and which was Monte Rosse ; the heat of the sun beprimitively constructed for the philoso- came insupportable. I entered into the pher Empedocles of Agrigentum, who torrid zone, and again put on my sumwishing to retire from the world and mer clothing. This Etna is truly an give himself up to reflection, established image of the earth ; it may be comparhimself there. He might have chosen, ed to one of the two hemispheres, of the it appears, a place less exposed to the north or of the south ; its icy summit wind, for it was on the top of one of resembles the pole, and is not susceptithese papillæ, so young in comparison ble of culture ; its temperate zone, on with the mountain, but which have not- the contrary, presents the finest vegetawithstanding, seen so many generations tion. If I were to remain longer in Sipass away. It is said, that wishing to cily, I should conduct you into the imhave it believed that he had been car- mense valley of Bova, and should exried away by the gods, he precipitated hibit to you the famous chesnut-tree of himself into the crater, and that the lat- a hundred horses, which no longer satter, an unfaithful repository of the re- isfies the curious, because it is separated mains of this madman, vomited his into five different trunks, which it is brass sandals, which were found on the said are joined at their roots. I am aborders of the crater.
bout to set out for Syracuse. Adieu !
HYMN TO SPRING.
Thou virgin bliss the seasons bring,
Oh ! how I wait thy reign begun,
To look upon those eyes of blue
Oh! hasten on, thou lovely Spring ;
Then come ; and while my heart is warm,
THE KING OF THE PEAK, A DERBYSHIRE TALE.
(London Mag. Mar.) What time the bird wakes in its bower, Derbyshire. I had fastened myself to He stood, and look'd on Haddon tower;
the apron-string of a venerable dame, High rose it o'er the woodland height, With portals strong, and turrets bright,
at whose girdle hung a mighty iron And gardens green; with swirl and sweep, key, which commanded the entrance of Round rush'd the Wye, both broad and deep. the hall; her name was Dolly FolLeaping and looking for the sun,
jambe; and she boasted her descent He saw the red-deer and the dun; The warders with their weapons sheen,
from an ancient red cross knight of The watchers with their mantles green;
that name, whose alabaster figure, in The deer-hounds at their feet were flung, mail, may be found in Bakewell church. The red-blood at their dew-laps hung. This high origin, which, on consulting Adown he leap'd, and awhile he stood, With a downcast look, and pondering mood; family history, I' find, had not the conThen made a step, and his bright sword currence of clergy, seemed not an idle drew,
vanity of the humble portress; she had And cleft a stone at a stroke in two
the straight frame, and rigid, demure, So shall the heads of my foemen be, Who seek to sunder my love from me.
and even warlike cast of face, which (Old Derbyshire Rhyme of Dora Vernon. alabaster still retains of her ancestor ;
and had she laid herself by his side, THOSE who have never seen Had- she might have passed muster, with an
don Hall, the ancient residence of ordinary antiquarian, for a coeval figthe Vernons of Derbyshire, can have ure. At our feet the river Wye ran but an imperfect notion of the golden winding and deep; at our side rose days of old England. Though now the hall, huge and grey; and the rough deserted and dilapidated-its halls si- heathy hills, renowned in Druidic, and lent—the sacred bell of its chapel mute Roman, and Saxon, and Norman sto-though its tables no longer send up ry, bounded our wish for distant prosthe cheering smell of roasted boars, and pects, and gave us the mansion of the spitted oxen-though the music and the Vernons for our contemplation, clear of voice of the minstrel are silenced, and all meaner encumbrances of landscape. the light foot of the dancer no longer “ Ah! dame Foljambe,” said an old sounds on the floor—though no gentle husbandman, whose hair was whitened knights and gentler dames go trooping by acquaintance with seventy winters; hand in hand, and whispering among 6 it's a sore and a sad sight, to look at the twilight groves—and the portal that fair tower, and see no smoke asno longer sends out its shining helms, cending I remember it in a brighter and its barbed steeds;—where is the day, when many a fair face gazed out place that can recal the stately hospi- at the windows, and many a gallant tality and glory of former times, like form appeared at the gate. Then the Hall of OLD HADDON ?
were the days when the husbandman It happened on a summer evening, could live—could whistle as he sowed; when I was a boy, that several curious dance and sing as he reaped ; and people had seated themselves on a lit- could pay his rent in fatted oxen to my tle round knoll near the gate of Haddon lord, and in fatted fowls to my lady. Hall: and their talk was of the Ver- Ah! dame Foljambe, we remember nons, the Cavendishes, the Manners, when men could cast their lines in the and many old names once renowned in Wye; could feast on the red decr and