Puslapio vaizdai

vented by the rope which unites the two poles. To fuch rifques are they accustomed, till they learn to defpife them. It is enquired, how thefe glacieres originated, and whether they increase. Doubtless they were formed by fnows remaining throughout the year, in fpite of fummer funs, and augmented by returning winter; but it is probable they scarce increase now, fince much of their waters fupply the rivers which rife from thefe mountains; as the Rhone and the Danube, to name no others, which commencing here their courfes, run contrary ways to their discharges; thereby proving this territory to be the higheft land in Europe.

There is nothing more dreadful than the united violence of the two principles which have now engaged our attention: a very diftreffing inftance we have in the following account of Don ANTONIO DA ULLOA.

The mountain of Cotopaxi, as defcribed by Ulloa, is more than three miles perpendicular from the fea; and it became a volcano at the time of the Spaniards' first arrival in that country. A new eruption of it happened in the year 1743, having been some days preceded by a continual roaring in its bowels. The found of one of these mountains is not like that of the volcanos in Europe, confined to a province, but is heard at an hundred and fifty miles distance. "An aperture was made in the fummit of this immenfe mountain; and three more about equal heights, near the middle of its declivity, which was at that time buried under prodigious maffes of fnow. The ignited fubftances ejected on that occafion, mixed with a prodigious quantity of ice and fnow, melting

amidst the flames, were carried down with fuch astonishing rapidity, that in an instant the valley from Callo to Latacunga was overflowed; and befides its ravages in bearing down the houfes of the Indians, and other poor inhabitants, great numbers of people loft their lives. The river of Latacunga was the channel of this terrible flood; till being too small for receiving fuch a prodigious current, it overflowed the adjacent country, like a vast lake, near the town, and carried away all the buildings within its reach. The inhabitants retired to a fpot of higher ground behind the town, of which those parts which flood within the limits of the current were totally deftroyed. The dread of ftill greater devaftations did not fubfide for three days; during which the volcano ejected cinders, while torrents of melted ice and fnow poured down its fides. The eruption lasted several days, and was accompanied with terrible roarings of the wind, rufhing through the vol cano still louder than the former rumblings in its bowels. At laft all was quiet, neither fire nor fmoke to be seen, nor noise to be heard; till, in the enfuing year, the flames again ap peared with recruited violence, forcing their paffage through feveral other parts of the mountain, fo that in clear nights the flames being reflected by the tranfparent ice, formed an awfully magnificent illumination."

Volcanic mountains are diftributed all over the globe; wherever we obferve we trace them; from Hecla in Iceland (the most northern we know), to thofe of warmer climates, Vefuvius, Strombolo, and Ætna; thofe beneath the tropics, not in America only, but alfo in the Phillipine iflands; at,


and around Otaheite; and fouth to Terra del Fuego. Mountains of fnow are alfo general; thus many tracts of land, in all climates, are kept aloof from mankind: whether to feclude from the prying eye of curiofity the greater operations. of nature, or whether as inftruments of correction to mankind, we know not: but while Providence thus clothes with ter-' rors these barren and defolate mountains, or rather, perhaps, while thefe barren and defolate mountains, naturally the refidence of terrors, are forced to contribute that fhare to the general welfare, of which leffer elevations are incapable, let us gratefully remember the contrast between them and our favourite residences (hills); thefe, though lefs lofty, lefs majeftic, lefs folemn, are infinitely more pleafing, more falubrious, more fertile; here we feel the pleasures of existence, here we breathe purer air, we enjoy furrounding prospects, delighted with their diverfity and extent; and here, whatever, in vegetable fertility and luxuriant herbage, may refresh or fupport us, we enjoy without anxiety, and cultivate without apprehenfion.

I have often wondered how the inhabitants of Vefuvius could live in any kind of comfort, knowing that immediately beneath them are beds of dreadful combustibles: yet most of Vefuvius is cultivated (and from its grapes are made rich and delicious wines);-fo greatly does intimacy with danger leffen apprehenfion of it! It is, nevertheless, a pleasing reflection, that the labour we bestow has a profpect of permanence; that for years to come we may enjoy the fruit of prefent exertions; a reflection to which a Vefuvian is a stranger; PART II.


who, though he labour in planting his vines, is uncertain whether he fhall tafte their produce, or fhall fee them confumed by volcanic eruptions. Such kind of forecast and reasoning is in foreign climates thought right-down English: be it fo; let them, if they please, pafs to-day, without confideration of the morrow, fince why should they estimate what is fo precarious? Ever may it be the happiness of this favoured island, that the fecurity of time prefent extends alfo to time future, and that to calculate for distant periods is but reasoning from paft experience, is but fuppofing the continuation of what we have been accustomed to enjoy, at once regular, animating, and natural.

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E have hitherto examined merely the fuperficial ap

WE pearance of our globe, as it ftrikes the view of a

diftant fpectator: We propofe now, as it were, to alight upon it, and explore fomewhat more intimately its structure and its receffes. I might, indeed, add much to what I have already faid, in tracing a gradation from mountains to hills, and from rivers to rivulets; or, following a stream from its origin to its termination, I might point out its adventures (fo to exprefs myself), winding now gentle and ferene in one clear unruffled progrefs, divided elfewhere by numerous iflands; fometimes oppofed by jutting rocks, and falling in tremendous agitation to unknown depths; or finking beneath the earth, and continuing its progrefs fecluded from obfervation; perhaps, after an interval of many miles, rifing again to light; not gradually, as a fountain, but fuddenly, as a river. Most of these instances our own country affords, nor are they infrequent throughout the globe.

Thofe circumftances, thus hinted, juft to enliven your recollection, I fhall advert to what, perhaps, fhould have been formerly noticed--the proportion of land and water appointed


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