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sun's light takes in descending from its the substances which it drags along, are summit to the sea.*
sufficiently hard to prevent their melt. · Having arrived near a mass of snow ing, and that they are like the basalt, which filled one of the narrow passes detached from the immense vaults of the mountain, a summit which look- which during many ages supported this ed black in the sky, made me believe natural forge. The sky began to adorn that I was at the end of the journey; itself in the east, and we perceived the au old tower wbich I took for the Torre bouse called Les Anglais. You have del Filosofo, confirmed me in my error. generally the key of this hut; but I soon after perceived another summit not having sent a shilling, with my recovered with a whitish smoke; I asked quest, to the person it belonged to, or if it was much higher than the other: rather to his domestic, we entered into my guide affirmed that it was, and he tbe stable, where we kindled the char. was in the right, for it seemed to me to coal which we had brought, and I can surpass the first in the whole height assure you, that I experienced there a of Vesuvius. The road became more pleasure which I had not for a long time united, and the acclivity gentler, but enjoyed, that of being cold and feeling the wind was very violent, and the cold the beneficent heat of the fire. After as sharp as it is with you in winter. a light breakfast I directed my steps toWe coasted along a torrent of black wards the place where, according to lava, the more singular, as its elevation custom, the curious go to behold the was from eight to ten feet, and perpen- rising of the sun. dicular like a wall, which clearly proved There is no sight in the world which to me, that this matter, in flowing, is can equal this: the point of Calabria, not in perfect fusion; as a great part of the sea which separates it from Sicily,
the mountains of Southern Italy, even . * In returning from Alexandria to Mar the clouds which covered them, seemed seiles in the month of March, I saw Etna to be at your feet. covered with snow. A calm having lasted The horizon was in a blaze: a globe some hours, I profited by it to take the of fire escaped from the floods, it was height of this mountain. With the aid of
the sun appearing in the midst of the a mariner's compass, I perceived that the
fog : it was of a greyish red, and its Cape Sparti-Vento, in Calabria, reached
horizontal diameter was much greater us by the N.N.E., and Cape Passaro, in Sicily, by the S.W.; I was then sare of the
than the perpendicular. The colour point where I found myself on the chart.
became more vivid; a rapid flash of (We made use on board of the French charts
lightning which glided along the surof the Mediterranean, which are very
face of the sea, announces the presence good:) This point being at a distance of of the star ofday; its diameter enlarged. sixty miles from the foot of the axis of and it rose in the heavens. I profited Etna, I measured at that time the angle by the moment in which the shadows which the summit of the mountain made still lengthened on the plains, to climb with the horizon; it was found to be six des up the last summit, at a distance of grees; which gave me a rectangular tri. two miles. angle of which I knew a side and the three . I do not exactly know how it can be angles, the one right, the other of six de- explained, why the sun appears lengthgrees, and the third of eighty-four degrees. ened in the fog, if it is not by the presThe base being of sixty miles, there re- sure which each bed of the latter promained for me only to make the following duces on the une under it; the stars proportion: sin. 84o : 66 miles : : Sin. 6° : 424
appeared brilliant and numerous, and
the moon was small but bright. I have The result is found to be, for the axis side already more than once remarked this of Etna, four miles and twenty-four eighty- effect in the most elevated places, which fourths, above four miles and a quarter, I attribute to the rarefaction of the air or about twenty thousand, four hundred diverging a little the luminous rays. feet for the total height. This measure is
The mule-driver remaining with our not perhaps perfectly correct, but, at least, it approximates very near to it. If this
beasts, I bent my steps towards the height appears surprising, we ought to
10 last summit, which covered with a light consider that other great mountains have. white sinoke, seemed to move away never been measured but with the baro- from the impatient traveller. We meter, and that Mr. Brydone was surprised walked nearly a mile on an almost hoto see the mercury here, descending nearly rizontal lava, or to speak more correcttwo inches lower than on the summit of the ly, on striated scoriæ, or dross, which
made a cracking noise under our feet,
INTERIOR OF THE CRATER OF ETNA. and soon after on a large swamp of crater itself, the slope of which is not snow, where we found a large round very rapid. The antient aperture is stone, three feet in diameter, of the united to this cone by a gentle declivity species of those called volcanic balls, where has probably been formed within which the mountain throws up in great a recent period, a small crater, a partial eruptions; but it is only a grain of volcano, a perfect truncated cone, from metal in comparison with the volcano, whence issues a great quantity of smoke, which ejected it from its bosom. The general aspect of the crater is In fine, we mounted the last cone which much less dreary than that of Vesuvius; supports the crater; the ashes and the the substances surrounding it are not so stones slipping under our feet. The black, but have rather the colour of cold was excessive, but exercise kept us potter's earth. It is now six years warm; I quitted my cloak, and rolling since Etna has made an eruption, but up in it some pieces of lava, I left it on it has given concussions which have the mountain. My guide, in order to re- - alarmed the inhabitants of Catania and pose himself, invited me at every mo- overthrown some houses. I attribute' înent to enjoy the view which presented its silence and its tranquillity, not to the itself. At last we arrived on the bor- extinction of the fires, for they still rage ders of the crater ; but the wind was in its besom, but to the great vacuum so violent, that I could scarcely cast a which must necessarily exist under this glance over it. I was thrown down, enormous vault. The whole of the and had it not been for my ciceroni, i mountain being formed only by wha: might have rolled to the foot of the de- it has seized and driven out of the clivity which had given us so much bowels of the earth, we might reasontrouble to ascend. Fastened and lying ably think that an interior vacuum, down on the ridge of the crater, I con perhaps equal to the half of the extesidered it at my ease, and braved the rior mass, must exist; at least that it is fury of Æolus and Vulcan.
not filled with water as some persons It is a vast aperture having four sum- have believed. However this may be, mits of different heights, rather more it appears that in great eruptions, all than a mile in width, and on account the cones, all the partial volcanoes formof its inequalities, I should think it ed in the crater, are thrown to the outabout four in circumference. It is di- side; which must then make a frightvided into two craters, by à cone rising ful aperture by its extent and profunfrom its centre, and which forms a dity. I dont know whether, when this
cone is considerably enlarged, its weight one side into the rugged Aanks of the alone makes it fall into the gulph, the mountain, and from the other, on an vaults of which have no longer the immense horizon; it is then, I say, that force to sustain it, or whether the erup- one is tempted to reason on the nature tion suffices to cause this displacement. of volcanoes. I passed in review the This question can never be well decided; various systems with which I was confor it would then require that chapce versant, and I am forced to confess that should place an observer on the borders each of them presents difficulties. I of the crater, and in that case, he claim your indulgence for the reading would run a great risk never to be able of this letter; it is already very long, to relate what he had seen.
I shall notwithstanding explain to you How can I describe to 'you the im- the ideas which the sight of Vesuvius mense panorama which developed itself and Etna has left on my mind. before my eyes! The whole of Sicily Volcanoes are certainly the most surwas encircled round Etna, which its prising objects we meet with on the surown grandeur insulates from every thing' face of our globe. Allow me to supthat surrounds it; the other mountains, pos; that one man alone inhabits it; rivers, woods and plains, are simply that he walks about in his domains; traced on a map extended at my where will he find fire unless a thunderfeet. Calabria, from which a small ca- bolt falls at his feet, or that he arrives nal alone separates us, is only a point near to a volcano, near to Etna for inof land, which is almost lost between stance? We may judge of his astonishthe two seas. Farther off is Greece, ment at the sight of a mountain differbut I could not see it. The point which ent from all others. Huge stones, of is distinguished to the south, in the which the whole is the true image of midst of the immensity of waters, is chaos, would at first appear to him a · Malta, that bulwark of christianity, barrier to his ariving at the summit;
that rock on which split the glory of the but a deafeuing noise is heard, the enOttoman arms. I fancied I saw those tire inountaiu roars, a thick cloud of numerous fleets, and those brave smoke rises up and becomes white, a knights who manned them, ploughing light, of which he cannot conceive the the liquid plains; first I admired them, cause, covers the top and escapes in and soon after I made the sad retlection sparkling sheafs; if curiosity has trithat all were dead, that generations had umphed over his fear, he braves all obsucceeded them, and that man is as stacles, he traverses the snow, and at sinall in time as in space.
last he arrives at the summit. Some I was assured that we might see the red hot stones are still strewed under his coast of Africa; but the weather was feet; should he lay hold of one, what very foggy, and I could not perceive it. will he think of the pain he experiOne thing struck me, although it was ences? Without doubt he will attribute only a very simple effect of the perspec. the cause to some evil genius, to some tive, and this was the inclined plane being superior to his nature and inhawhich the sea preseuted towards me. biting these places; thus of how many
In that moment, when the sun rises mythological tales has Etna been the to render life to so many creatures, so theatre! It was there that were found many towns which are only a point in the forges of Vulcan, the cavern of the the extent embraced by the eye, I was terrible Polyphemus that monstrous truly en raptured to find myself in the Cyclop, from whose voracity Ulysses centre of so vast a panorama. Of how had so much difficulty in escaping ; the many suecessive beds of lava and ashes people believe still that Etna is the is this mountain formed ? How many sojourn of demons-a door of hell. generations has it seen ? With how It was with great regret that I many eruptions has it alarmed the va. quitted a spot where I breathed, I rious inhabitants, of which we have not thought, with more freedom than in even an idea?
any other part of the world. Having I could not make the entire tour of arrived at the Maison des Anglais, I the crater on account of the violence of there finished my breakfast and amused the wind, which prevented me also myself in designing. You perceive from descending into the interior, which from thence in the south-east, a tower appeared to me less rapid than that of which is detached in the sky, and which Vesuvius.
is called the Philosopher's Tower; it is It is when seated on the borders of a small square heap of stones and bricks the crater, that we may look down from which have been elevated on the ruins
of a more ancient edifice, and which torrent of lava which flowed from Monte was primitively constructed for the phi- Rosse; the heat became insupportable. losopher Empedocles of Agrigentum, Having reached the convent, I dined who wishing to retire from the world there with a good appetite, but having and give himself up to reflection, esta been charged somewhat exorbitantly, I blished himself there. He might have took my leave rather discontented. I chosen, it appears, a place less exposed entered into the torrid zone, and again to the wind, for it was on the top of one put on my summer clothing. This Etna of these papillæ, so young in compari- is truly an image of the earth; it may son with the mountain, but which have be compared to one of the two heminotwithstanding, seen so many genera- spheres, of the north or of the south ; tions pass away. It is said, that wish- its icy summit resembles the pole, and ing to have it believed that he had been is not susceptible of culture ; its temcarried away by the gods, he precipi- perate zone, on the contrary, presents tated himself into the crater, and that the finest vegetation. The superb forest the latter, an unfaithful depository of which surrounds it like a covering of the remains of this madman, vomited verdure, and its base, where the torhis brass sandals, which were found on rents of lava finding less declivity exthe borders of the crater. Strabo does tend the more, resemble the coun. not believe in this story; he also re- tries situated between the two tropics; lates something very extraordinary, some plants are even found there, such which would seem to prove that the as the date tree, which are peculiar to ancients knew less of Etna than we do. them. If I were to remain longer in He says that two travellers wishing to Sicily, I should conduct you into the approach the crater, were driven back immense valley of Bova, and should by the smoke, and were unable to exhibit to you the famous chesnut-tree see it.
of a hundred horses, which no longer In a little time we arrived in the satisfies the curious, because it is sepatemperate region; we found some ver- rated into five different trunks, which dure, and saw the goats which are it is said are joined at their roots. brought to drink of the water flowiugI am abont to set out for Syracuse, from a heap of snow, which is preserve a description of which I shall give you ed by being covered with ashes. It is in my next letter. Adieu ! from thence that the people draw the water which they carry away and sell
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. at Catania. The road became difficult, I
SIR, toiled, and the fatigue became over
MT HEAnglo-Saxon is, I believe, gewhelming for my beast and for myself.
I nerally acknowledged as the paHaving arrived at the forest, I set foot
rent stock from which the majority of on the ground and walked, profiting by
iting. English words are derived. Consethe shade of the foliage, for by this
Is quently a knowledge of that language time the sun became troublesome. Near
Neat is altogether necessary to every person the middle of the forest is the cavern
who is desirous of a thorough knowof goats; it is a vacant space under an
1 ledge of the English, and cannot fail to ancient torrent of lava; it is twenty
interest the etymologist. If any of feet wide but very few in depth. Í don't know why travellers have spoken
your correspondents would therefore
give directions for the study of it, and so much about it; the names of a num
point out what books are necessary, he ber of the curious inscribed on the surrounding trees, is the only remarkable
i would, I imagine, confer a benefit on
other philological students, besides J. thing which I saw there; I added my own; the proverb only bears, I believe, against those who write on the walls.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. This forest which belongs to Prince
SIR, ****, contains oaks from twenty to T SHOULD feel obliged if you, or any thirty feet round, but their exportation L of your numerous readers, could inis very difficult; I should have even form me through the medium of your thought it impossible if I had not met useful Magazine, where the ore of plawith a square piece which was tran- tina comes from in the greatest comsported on rollers, gliding on two raf. mercial abundance, and who imports it ters, successively placed on the lava. into this country, and could furnish a We afterwards entered into the vast constant supply of it.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. has produced peculiar effects at Ply. SIR,
mouth, where houses let at a fourth of T HAVE just returned to London the war rents, and sell for a fourth of
from a tour in the West of England, the original cost of building. and consider it highly proper the pub I am aware that in sending you these lic should be made acquainted with the facts, I am in danger of being classed present state of that part of the country, among the party of the grumblers, and derived either from my own observa- I am sensible that many unthinking tion, or from information on the spot, persons endeavour to get rid of such on which I can rely. Distresses for facts, by the insulting observation, that rent or taxes prevail over the whole of the times are always bad for some peothe West of England. The farmers ple, and that there always have been, universally declare they are unable to and always will be, grumblers. Such pay even the taxes, leaving the rent flippant assertions may be opposed to out of the question. An attorney in other assertions, but they are wholly Cornwall lately issued twenty-two writs irrelevant when opposed by stubborn for arrests in one day. At Barnstaple, facts, and by the condition of a whole Bideford, and through the north of people. T. H. B. OLDFIELD. Devonshire, the best joints of meat were · London, Dec. 11. 1821. selling for 2d. per pound! and at no · place produced more than three-pence. For the Monthly Magazine Fowls and ducks from ls. 8d. to 2s. a
L'APE ITALIANA. couple, geese 31. per pound. Twenty
No. XXVII. roasting pigs were last week sold by Mr. ..
Dov' ape susurrando Cotton, of Glastonbury, for twenty shil.
Nei mattutiui albori lings. New wheat sells at 4s. the Win,
Vola suggendo i riigiodosi u mori.
Guarina. chester bushel, and the farmer is com Where the bee at early dawn, pelled to put ten gallons to the bushel
Murmuring sips the dews of mom. to make weight, while the same article is selling in the American markets at
POLIZIANO, double that price, though the American
L'Orfeo. farmer has neither tythes, taxes, nor
TIE shall conclude our specimens
V of this writer with a scene from poor rates to pay; in truth, I lament
his • Orpheus.' This piece is mentionto state that a universal scene of ruin appears to pervade the whole agricultu.
ed by Dr. Burney, who quotes the ac, ral interest of these counties.
count of it given in the · Parnasso ItaA farmer near Chudleigh, told me bano, observing,
me liano, observing, that it is unquestionthat he had lived upon his own estate
ably the first Italian opera ever com.
We may add, with upwards of thirty vears, and that his posed for music. farm did not now produce sufficient to
equal certainty, that it is the first 69
production of the Italian dramatic muse pay the taxes, and in this particular, several other farmers concurred. A gen
at all worthy of attention. The rude
and injudicious attempts to represent tleman, possessed of £1000 per annum,
ford the mysteries of religion by which it living on his own property at Mudford, in Somersetshire, made a similar decla
es was preceded, are at once ludicrous and
disgusting : but the classic fable which ration at a public meeting at Yeovil,
Politian has chosen, is of itself delightAnother farmer in Cornwall, who has
ful to the imagination, and will contiabandoned a farm of £700 per annum,
nue to be popular among us so long as told me he formerly paid £7 a head for
we retain any portion of that elegant summering his cattle on the moors, but such live stock he cannot now sell for
taste by which it was originally dictathat sum. Fat cattle generally fetch
ch ted. The scene we have selected repre
a sents the 6 mighty master of the lyre "> from £8 to £10. As the Serge and SE
k arrived at the entrance of the invisible other Devonshire manufactures, took
world. their departure during the late war,
L'ORFEO.-Atto Quarto. .. and have not since been re-established,
ORFEO. I can say nothing of the state of manu
Pietà ! pietà ! del misero Amatore! factures in districts where few or none
Pietà vi prenda. Ospiriti Infernali! now exist. Within my reinembrance
Quaggiù m'ha scorto solamente Amore: there were fifty-two clothiers at War
Volato son quaggiù con le sue ale. minster, and these are now reduced to Deh! posa, Cerber, posa il tuo furore, two! As may be expected, the peace Che quando intenderai tutti i miei inali,