Puslapio vaizdai
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


tion of getting more clothing was so great that the moon high up it was impossible to detect the sharp chill was preferable.1

even the slightest trace of boiling at the limb," The stars shone constantly clearer, and to- as the astronomer sometimes says, Saturn was ward midnight we had the instruments all at less favorably situated, and a slender trace of work. A few yards from the long row of huts undulation was now and then evident. Still, had was a small open space, where the telescope the glass been large enough, a power of 1500 might command a clear horizon view in every might have been used. direction. A stiff wind blew out of the west, Of course these results were not surprising with the thermometer below the freezing-point, after the spectral images of the stars had beTo the east were the precipitous slopes of the haved so finely. One great advantage of the mountain-side, and, opposite us, the overhang- spectral-image tests is that they can be made ing crags of the cavernous crater. The telescope satisfactorily with a small telescope, while the was mounted upon a large lava boulder, and tests upon specific objects usually require large much of the time had to be held in position lest and bulky instruments, which are hard to manit should be upset by the wind. Any one in age in mountain work. Just at sunrise we quest of comfort would not elect to make as- found that while all the lower world lay imtronomical observations under conditions such penetrably shrouded in a thick white cloud, out as these—and on top of a mountain two or of this smooth, soft sea Fuji-san rose like a volthree miles high, besides. However, the pro- canic island-a deep blue sky above without gram was executed in spite of merely physi- a fleck of mist, and the sun shining as through cal obstacles, and the hours of clearest sky lambent crystal. After sunrise the astronomilasted until even astronomers became weary. cal observations were continued upon the sun, At stars in every part of the sky, to the north, in order to detect the gradual changes in the south, east, and west, and at all altitudes from optical quality of the atmosphere. At first, the zenith to the horizon, the telescope was with the sun about half an hour high, there pointed, and the conditions of vision tested by was very fine solar definition, with slight fickthe steadiness of the spectral disks or images, ering of the limb, but little or no genuine“ boiljust as in the case of the artificial star. So fine ing.” Rarely is the sun better seen. A crag of were these images, so nearly optically perfect the crater wall was found whose shadow would, the air, that for moments together there was during the morning, fall at an accessible point scarcely a trace of atmospheric effects. within the cavity, several hundred feet away.

These were general tests. If they were satis- Upon this crag was set a disk just a little larger factory, of course the telescope could not fail than necessary to occult the sun. At the proper to do its best work upon any special objects of point behind this disk the eye was placed, and, whatever sort. A few double stars, suited to when the sun came in range, the corona was the capacity of the instrument, were tried, and carefully looked for. The degree of atmothe advantages were at once strikingly appa- spheric'illumination immediately around the rent. Companion stars hard to see, and “dou- sun was surprisingly small, and the conditions bles” hard to divide, with the same glass at for seeing the corona without an eclipse seemed lower elevations, here were readily discerned. in every way favorable; but not a trace of it Even in looking at so ordinary an object as could be detected. There was still enough atthe moon, the edge or limb of which has been mospheric and other matter above the mounseen absolutely sharp by few astronomers, the tain-summit to catch the sunlight and to render effect was indescribable. So sharply defined the background of the corona as bright as the were the details of the lunar surface, that if a object itself, and thus make it invisible. There suitable object-glass had been at hand, a mag- is, of course, very little reason for expecting to nifying power of 2000 diameters would at first see the corona in this way, but so simple an have been used. The structural irregularities experiment seems always worth trying. of the limb were so marked, and in many parts The usual unpleasant effects of the direct the moon's edge was so excessively jagged, as rays of the sun upon the complexion were not to lead one to wonder that the usual type of escaped by all of the party, and the skin of lunar observations can be made as accurately several faces gradually peeled off

. Mountainas they are. As dawn approached, Saturn had eers often maintain that snow-reflection is the risen to an available altitude, and the ring-sys- cause of this well-known trouble; but such tem was seen to the best advantage. While with could not have been the case here, as there

1 The low temperature generally prevalent on Fuji. “The interesting phenor

nomenon may be observed of san is at one spot slightly modified by the intrinsic heat steam still issuing from the soil in several places. of the mountain. Satow and Hawes, without whose A few inches below the surface the heat is great admirable " Guide-book to Northern and Central Ja. enough to be unbearable, and an egg may be fairly pan " no one should attempt extended travel in ihe cooked in about half an hour." empire, say, at page 118, of the ascent of Fuji-san :

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

was no snow on the mountain, except in pro- location is available on a saddle inside the tected gorges in the farther side of the crater crater, a few yards below the summit, where half a mile away.

the buildings might be perfectly protected As the sun ascended higher toward meridian, against the wind. Many advantages of a highthe telescopic definition grew somewhat worse, level observatory on Fuji-san are not realizable but it never became so bad as at sea-level. The elsewhere. For a period of four or five months vast ocean of cloud below gradually rose as each year, the continual ascent of the mounthe morning advanced, and about noon the tain by pilgrims would make it possible to great mountain seemed entirely immersed. communicate directly with the world below. Celestial observations being no longer possible, Furthermore, the keepers of a dozen or more we addressed ourselves to the task of locating huts at the tenth station are always living there the future observatory, should one ever be built during the season, and the little company of on Fuji-san. A short distance northwest of observers would never be quite alone. On Chodjo we discovered a fine plateau which no other isolated peak of like elevation on with little labor might be enlarged for the the globe would these advantages be gained. reception of a permanent structure. Here the If, as often occurs, the series of high-level oblesser apparatus and the observers' quarters servations requires a corresponding series at might be established, there being ample means a lower level, Fuji-san meets such conditions of protection against the severe and preva- perfectly. For example, at Subashiri and on lent west winds. This point commands an in- the summit might be established a pair of stacomparable view to the north and east, and tions, each plainly visible from the other, with communication by heliotrope with any of the a vertical difference of nearly 10,000 feet and towns below would be simple. If a great tele- a horizontal distance of about seven miles. scope were to be mounted on Fuji-san, an ideal While scientific men are supposed to be oblossowstodiscomfort in their surroundings, those seemed impossible that this loveliest of walks who follow in their train sometimes preserve could so soon be over; we could not see #low of the natural instincts unaltered. The enough of the sweetness of verdure after the klon od longer stay in that abomination of hopeless barrenness of Fuji's lonely peak. But desolation was getting too great to bear. In the tea-house where horses are allowed to come pile of enthusiasm over the limpid air only oc- was already reached, and we mounted the cum

omally thickened by passing clouds, blind- bersome pack-saddles, made softer by quilts img bocadás be and a pulse above a hundred for strapped upon them. Jogging peacefully onmore than forty cight hours had made life a ward, noting the multitude of new and lovely boden. There were those among us who bade wild-flowers on every side, we gradually

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

a glad farewell to that frowning peak, plung- emerged from the cloud, and its last traces ing joyfully into the yielding lava of the down- floated calmly off above us, leaving a wide and wand path. From that unique summit the king- sunny landscape, which even the volcanic soil doms of the earth and their glory lay spread could not render dreary. But long before we out to the gaze, but too far, too foreign, too reached Subashiri the great triangular shadow remote, for companionship or sympathy. Gran- of Fuji began to spread over the hills and fields. deur and majesty, with desolation and loneli- Growing larger and more portentous with every ness unspeakable, form the crown of Fuji-san. moment, it swept irresistibly onward, until we

Anterviene ending two or three thousand feet, too became enshrouded in its veil, and as we headachen disappeared suddenly, our heart- rode along the one street to the Yona-yama, auto set their abnormal rush, and the night was already come. In a mess in every motion turned into a renewed Once more in the same little rooms as becelight mlite. On we plunged through the soft fore, with the hibachi full of red-hot coals set Hi, med by our long sticks, and with fresh near, and the chicken and rice well under way how sandals over our boots every ten for dinner, life had few unsatisfied desires. in millen minutes. The mist was very thick; Warmth, comfort, ease of breathing, had acthe windront and those behind became in- quired a new significance. vide, the cell thund of their approaching foot- When, many days after this climb and deIl mio od police relief from the sensation scent, we steamed slowly at evening out of the Lidini olision, and even more so their dim beautiful bay of Yokohama, Fuji graciously Bowly growing into recognizable fig- vouchsafed a glorious parting glimpse of his

Il whom of delight in reaching majesty. Deep purple against a yellow sky, Till lastean never be forgotten. The his regular, matchless cone rose solitary and Hili liki whate and pink flowers which fol- superb over a foreground of coast-bluffs, and

Ich kan lar up the height were wel water rippling with sunset fire. Insensible,calm,

1. dvance guard of joy; we could unmoved by homage or effort, he lives his vast, illi lilin the cases of verdure with their pulseless life — the mighty landmark of all liididamentes, and when we reached Japan. Il like a region enchanted. It

Mabel Loomis Todd.

David P. Todd.

[ocr errors]


EHE first world-sound that fell upon my ear

Was that of the great winds along the coast

The distant breakers' sullen cannonade.
Against the spires and gables of the town

The white fog drifted, catching here and there
At over-leaning cornice or peaked roof,
And hung-weird gonfalons. The garden walks
Were choked with leaves, and on their ragged biers
Lay dead the sweets of summer — damask rose,
Clove-pink, old-fashioned, loved New England flowers.
Only keen salt sea-odors filled the air.
Sea-sounds, sea-odors, these were all my world.
Hence is it that life languishes with me
Inland; the valleys stifle me with gloom
And pent-up prospect; in their narrow bound
Imagination flutters futile wings.
Vainly I seek the sloping pearl-white sands
And the mirage's phantom citadels
Miraculous, a moment seen, then gone,
Bastion and turret crumbled into air !
Among the mountains I am ill at ease,
Missing the stretched horizon's level line
And the illimitable restless blue.
The crag-torn sky is not the sky I love,
But one unbroken sapphire spanning all;
And nobler than the branches of a pine
Aslant upon a precipice's edge
Are the strained spars of some great battle-ship
Plowing across the sunset. No bird's lilt
So takes me as the whistling of the gale
Among the shrouds. My cradle-song was this,
Strange, inarticulate sorrows of the sea,
Blithe rhythms upgathered from the sirens' caves.
So have I coastwise longings evermore.
May the last sound that lingers on my sense-
Save that of one low voice which not to hear
Were death itself— be some sea-message blown
Over the dim salt-marshes on the winds
At dusk, or when the red autumnal dawn
Turns all the pools and willow-stems to gold.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

[graphic][ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »