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intensity of the fire, whereby an immense mountain has been so far consumed that all the rocks which compose it will crumble into ashes, if the volcano that has produced such an effect should again for a while resume its operations. Contrary to'their expectations, they continued to ascend without meeting with any obstacle, passing over a continued series of sloping terraces, of which they reckoned seven before they reached the summit. The sides of the hill they found from top to bottom deeply scarred with ravines formed originally by the torrents of lava, but now serving as beds for the winter cataracts. Among other curious minerals that they met with on their way, they gathered some that they considered as decisive of the fact of Hecla having occasionally thrown out water* as well as fire; and they
* The discharge of water from volcanoes, as well as fire, is by no means unusual. Sir William Hamilton, who most ingeniously endeavors to account for some of the most striking appearances of the globe from this circumstance, considers the water as merely rain that has been deposited in the caverns, contrary, as he says, to the generally received opinion that it arises from a connection between the mountains and the sea. He menVOL. II. I
are from this led to notice an extraordinary matter, of which they do not appear themselves to have seen any symptoms, that so great a quantity of salt* has been found
tiona (Campi Phlegrtei, p. 2£) on this subject, that "it is well attested, that in the great eruption of Vesuvius, A. D. 1631, several towns, among which were Portici and Torre del Greco, were destroyed by a torrent of boiling water having burst out of the mountain with the lava, by which thousands of lives were lost."
* This, as they say, (torn. iii. p. 35.) "ne contribue pas peu à confirmer 1' opinion de la connexion probable entre la mer et les volcans, tant de ceux qui vomissent des matières embraseés, que de ceux qui vomissent de l'eau alternativement. On peut raisonnablement présumer ces communications entre la mer, les volcans, et les glaciers de la partie orientale, en raison de leur proximité de la mer et la profondeur de leurs racines; ces montagnes vomissent en effet une bien plus grande quantité d'eau que la fonte des glaces ne pourrait produire, et on a même remarqué un goût salin â leurs eaux. On objectera peut-être, â l'égard du mont Hecla, qu'il peut se trouver dans ses entrailles quantité de sel de roche; niais ses entrailles vont jusqu'au niveau de la mer; d'ailleurs indépendamment de l'opinion généralement accréditée de tant de sa vans de tous les pays, de la connexion secrète qu'il y a entre l'Etna en Sicile et l'Hecla, puisque ces deux volcans ont si souvent brûlés en même temps, on verra nombre d'exemples curieux qui prouvent la sympathie qu'il y a entre l'Hecla, lors after its eruptions, as has been sufficient to load a number of horses. On the night of the 19th of June, they at length approached the summit, and found themselves on the edge of the crater, in a place covered with ice and snow; yet not of such a nature as that of the glaciers, since it generally melts away in the summer months, excepting only what
de sea eraptions, et les autres volcans de Flslande plus lloignes de lui qu'il ne Test de la mer, et m&me les plus eloignes."—What might be considered as still farther proving the connection between volcanoes and the ocean is, that Mtna is related by Seneca in his second book Naturalium Qucestionum to have thrown out a quantity of bunting sand; so that " involutus est dies pulvere, populosque subita nox terruit;" but probably that philosopher meant nothing more by sand than minute particles of pulverized matter, a quantity of which, resembling gunpowder, was lately shewn me by the Countess of Gosford, picked up during the last eruption of the same mountain (March, 1809), in the very streets of Messina, fifty miles distant in a straight line, where it fell in such quantities that several cart-loads might have been collected.—The most extraordinary proof of the connection between volcanoes and subterraneous waters seems to be afforded by Humboldt, who, in the zoological part of his travels, speaks of the volcanoes of Quito casting out innumerable quantities of a species of fish that is found in the streams that run into the sides of the mountains.
lies in the hollows and clefts; for Hecla is to be classed among the Icelandic mountains of inferior height, rising to no greater elevation than five thousand feet above the level of the sea. What rendered their walk more uncomfortable was that a flight of snow had recently fallen, the depth of which was not less than a foot and half. Through this they had a long and toilsome passage, before they at last found themselves arrived at the object of their journey, the summit of Mount Hecla*, where the most dreary solitude and silence the
* Sir Joseph Banks thus describes his ascent of the same hill: "we ascended Mount Hecla with the wind blowing against us so violently that we could with difficulty proceed. The frost too was lying upon the ground, and the cold extremely severe. We ourselves were covered with ice in such a manner that our clothes resembled buckram. On reaching the summit of the first peak, we here and there remarked places were the snow had been melted, and a little heat was arising from them, and it was by one of these that we rested to observe the barometer, which was 24. 838. Th. 27. The water we had with us was all frozen. Doctor Lind filled his wind-machine with warm water: it rose to 1.. 6 and then froze into spiculai, so that we could not make observations any longer. We thought we had arrived at the highest peak, but soon saw one above us, towards which we hastened. Doctor Solander remained with an most profound reigned all around them, and they could discover no traces either of fissures in the rock or falls of water, and still less of hot springs or smoke or fire. Though now midnight, it was as bright as day, so that they enjoyed an immensely extensive prospect; looking over all the glaciers to the east, beyond which in the distance towered, like a great castle, the ancient volcano, of Hoerdabreid; while to the north they had a view of all the lofty hills of that quarter, and of a number of lakes of which they could not learn the names. Finding nothing on the top of
Icelander in the intermediate valley; the rest of us continued our route to the summit of the peak, which we found intensely cold; but on the highest point was a spot of three yards in breadth, whence there proceeded so much heat and steam that we could not bear to sit down upon it.—H. 9.. 25. Bar. 24,722. Th. 38. The last eruption of 1766 broke out on a sudden attended by an earthquake. A south wind carried a quantity of ashes to Holum, a distance of an hundred and eighty miles! Horses were so alarmed as to run about till they dropped down through fatigue, and the people who lived near the mountain lost their cattle, which were either choked with ashes or starved before they could be removed to grass. Some lingered for a year, and on being opened their stomachs were found to be full of ashes."—Sir Joseph Banks' MS. Journal.