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place A. D. 1104; and to have been succeeded by others in theyears 1137,1222,1300,1341, 1362, and 1389, a&eT which the mountain is said to have remained quiet till 1538, and then again for the space of eighty-one years, when, in 1619, fresh matter was vomited forth; and also in 1636, 1693, and 1766; the latter eruption lasting, without intermission, from the 15th of April till the 7th of September. Flames, but unattended with lava, appeared in 1771 and 1772j since which period to the latter end of the year, 1810, neither fire nor smoke has been perceived.
Having already, in my journal (vol. i. page 194) stated the circumstances which prevented me from reaching Hecla, it is necessarily out of my power to give an account of the state of the mountain from my own actual observation; but, if I may be allowed to judge from the information I received in the neighborhood, I had less reason than might be imagined to regret my
eruption at Puzzole), 1631, 1660, 1682, 1694, 1701 1704, 1712, 1717, 1730, 1737, 1751, 1754, 1760, 1766, 1767, 1770, 1771.—Sir William Hamilton's Campi Phlegrai, p. 51.
disappointment; the covering of snow, that in many seasons entirely envelopes the summit, having lain particularly thick during the summer of I8O9, and so completely concealed every thing that might be looked upon as remarkable, that the prosecution of my journey would but have added to my fatigue without a chance of the success I wished for. Sir Joseph Banks, however, and his party, were more fortunate, and an account of their expedition has been published by Von Troil, whose remarks on Hecla are so familiar to the English reader, that the mountain may be considered as well known. At the same time, as it is one of those things that are reckoned most wonderful in Iceland, I am unwilling to pass it in silence, but shall endeavor, by means of extracts from the less generally known publication of Povelsen and Olafsen, aided by some notes made from Sir Joseph Banks' manuscripts, to compensate for what I have not in my power to relate in my own journal.
Our Icelandic travellers, on their excursion to Hecla, stopped at the village of Selsund situated in the vicinity of the mountain, where the proprietor of the farm urged them to accept him for their guide, he being acquainted with the country all around the volcano, though he had never actually reached even its foot. The whole of the inhabitants who reside in the neighborhood consider it as the height of temerity for any one to endeavour to climb the mountain: in order, therefore, to deter these gentlemen from being rash enough to make the attempt, they represented a variety of supernatural obstacles, which, having, from time immemorial, been handed down from father to son, were perhaps as devoutly believed as they were seriously related, telling, among other things that were also urged to me, how Hecla is guarded by a number of strange black birds resembling crows, but armed with beaks of iron, with which they would receive in a very ungracious manner any man that might presume to infringe upon their territory. The country for two leagues around Hecla they found wholly destitute of vegetation, the soil consisting of scoria, pumice, and red and black cinders, which, by the breaking out of the subterraneous fires, were here and there raised into numerous little hills and eminences, increasing in size the nearer they approached the mountain. The principal one, which is called Raud-oldur *, is of an oblong form, with an opening in its summit of an hundred and forty-four feet in depth, and eight hundred and forty feet in circumference: it consists entirely of small red shining stones, that have evidently been in a state of liquefaction. On reaching Hecla, the difficulty of proceeding was increased, especially when it became necessary to travel over the heaps of lava that have flowed from the volcano, and formed round the base of the mountain a sort of rampart from forty to seventy feet in height, consisting of masses
* " We arrived (September 24, 1772) at a green spot under Graufel-hraun where we pitched our tents and proceeded to a crater which has an opening of half a mile in circumference, but its western side is destroyed by the eruption. The hraun lies as if it came from this crater, and the tufa and ashes which formerly made a part of its western side are still seen among it. The lower part and remaining walls are composed of nothing but ashes, cinders, and pieces of lava in various states. Its name is Rod-Oldur.—The scene of desolation all around is almost inconceivable."—Sir Joseph Banks' Manuscript Journal.
of melted stone. In this spot, which appears to be the place alluded to by Von Troil, where he speaks of the hill as being surrounded with lofty glazed walls, and filled with high glazed cliffs not to be compared to any thing he ever saw before, our travellers found it necessary to leave their horses; and their guide, under the pretence that he was suddenly attacked with a head-ache, excused himself from attending them farther on their journey. The ridge of lava was climbed with extreme difficulty, for the stones of which it was composed lay detached, and there were so many deep holes between them, that it was necessary to use the greatest caution in walking to prevent accidents. The ground shortly after becoming more solid, their road was consequently materially improved, and they began their ascent on the western side, where the continual cracking of the rock under their feet at first caused them some uneasiness, till, upon more attentive observation, they found that the whole mountain itself was reduced to a mere pumice-stone, lying in horizontal strata of moderate thickness, every where full of fissures; and hence, they observe, may be formed some idea of the