18"( NDE'RS OF NAUVI-k-
: I c
i : i I
i I r:!
i i i IIZi i
i : i '1
I i I
i ; i:
(I I i i
..~ i s:;
'i: ?, ;
WONDERS OF NATURE.
IIA4ALI.C ROCKS ANDI CAbCADK OF ILKCIJA
lhomnts rclson nnb 1cns,
ONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK.
.MI)A C LV I .
, ':^ NATURAL BRIDGE OF ICONO]Zo, NEW 'RE.NA]A. !
_'_' across the fissure at a height of 318 feet above the stream, whichli
: flows through a dark cavern whence arise tle doleful cries of ne- J
b, !' ielow Ihi, bridge is a seeowd, enoTnposed of three enormous Hmanns [
f rot( te fl' tllc .u s to ..pport eal'h thler. J
*-- e.V^^ == --
A] na u a B R D G O FI IC K O ZO 1',E ('B EN AD'P~eIrII :t
arch, 47 feti eghinlIt nhi1i~isiT iv
act sa te fssur at heght f 31 tet abve te srs a sichl
i ^ Ii I
THE AURORA BOREALIS. .i
!I !' TnE Aurora Borealis is a peculiarly beautiful light which i i
I~j t in smetimes make its appearance in the skies of the tern-
perate zones, but is chiefly observed iu its greatest beauty
S towards the regions of the poles. Its colour andti form F
varies. Sometimes it is of a soft pale blue, at other '
Times it appears white, yellow, and purple; but blue is Is
thle ordinary colour. It shoots up ars in the form of
fiery spears, or waves gently to and fro, as if agitated by |
wind, and sometimes forms an arch in the heavens, the
topof which, however, is seldom clearly defined. Although t
not very frequently seen in temperate climates, this beau-k [
; tiful phenomenon is a constant visitor during winter in
S tihe polar regions, where, to a great extent, it takes the
S lace of the sun during that luminary's long absence. It
1 5 supposed by some of the natives of those regions to bo y1e
u '' ~ ~ _
fTHE AURORA BOREAL S
Tn Aroa oeaisisaI.,eulalybeutfl igt h
-aeimsmkesit peamcei hesie fth e
Perae znes butis hiely bsered u is geatet baut N;
; oadster ,oso hePls Iscluradfr
the spirits of the dead dancing in the air, and has been
compared to armies fighting in the skies. It is sonm
times called the merry dancers, and the northern lights.
Scientific men have propounded many theories in re
guard to the cause of the Aurora Borealis. The following
seems to be the most probable:-
S \When electric fluid is passed through a vacuum, it
assumes very much the appearance, in colour and motion,
Sof the Aurora. During the time of its prevalence, the
magnetic needle is observed to be affected, and electric
I fluid is obtained in abundance from the atmosphere:
hence its substance is supposed to be electricity. From
Sthe fact that it always shoots upwards from the poles
towards the zenith, it is conjectured that electricity col
lects in large quantities at the poles, because it cannot
disperse into the earth there, owing to the extremely cold
Atmosphere being a non-conductor. The hot air of tlie
Tropics being a good conductor, the electricity there bursts
on the earth in the shape of frequent and terrible thun
der-storms; and the deficiency uf the fluid thus caused is
made up by the rushing of tie polar electricity in tle
form of the A urora, to supply its place. Hence its up-
The navigators of the northern seas all speak of this
light in the most glowing language and they tell us tlat
in winter the heavens become constantly brilliant with it.
Captains Parry and Lyon made particular observations
of it, and agree in stating that it is not accompanied by
any sound-a point which has been much disputuel.
They speak of the Aurora as giving an indescribable air
of magic to these dark icy regions. Indeed, it woull
seem as if God, in removing tihe solar influence from t,.e
poles during winter, had designedly compensated for this
severe privation by filling the skies of the northern re-
gions with an unusual galaxy of stars and meteors.
Not only are the stars intensely brilliant, and the
Aurora Borealis continual, but fiery meters of various
kinds are very frequently seen; and tie constant moti, n
going on in the heavens, relieves, to a great extent, the
monotonous stillness of the frozen earth and sea.
OFF the west coast of Scotland, there is an island called
Staffa, formed almost entirely of basaltic rock, which
takes the form of hexagonal or six-sided pillars. So regu-
lar, straight, and upright are those pillars, that it is ditfi-
cult, at first sight, to believe them other than the work
of mall. They have been formed by fire, which, in one
of the convulsions of nature, melted the rocks, which
assumed these regular columnar shapes while cooling-
very much in the same manner as starch does when being
On the south side of this extraordinary island there is
a cavern which is called Fingal's Cave; but no one can
tell why it has been thus named. It is composed entirely
of basaltic pillars, which have been partly broken away
by the action of the waves, so that the sides of the cave
---~- ------- -
are lined with thluse ctllmuns, while the ruo'f and Iottomu
of it are formed by the projecting ends of those that ha\,:
been broken. The sea penetrates the cavern to its innrr
end, so that in calm weather it can be entered by a boat.
and a narrow ledge on the right side enables the traveller
also to enter it on foot. The length of this cave is two
hundred and fifty feet, the breadth about forty, and tlh-
height above one hundred feet at the mouth, but consi
derably lower at the other end. The basaltic rock of
which the whole island is formed is black in coluur, and
so hard, that it is broken with difficulty even with a
The waters of the Atlantic Ocean at this place are
exceedingly deep, so that, being untainted by the sand or
mud of the shore, they are beautifully clear, and of an
emerald green; and the inside of Fingal's Cave is tinged
with this hue, as it is reflected from the water which
flows into it. The pillars on the sides, and the over-
arching and broken roof, give to the visitor the feeling
of being in a cathedral-a feeling which is enhanced by
the subdued greenish light of the cavern and the gentle
murmur of the water, which always heaves slightly, witli
the ceaseless swell of the great Atlantic, even in tIhe
Owing to this Atlantic swell, it is difficult to land on
the island of Statta even wien tie weather is propitious, '
and quite impossible when it is stormy.
There are other caverns of a similar character in the
island of Stafla, none of which, however, appr.achi,
either in size or beauty, to Fingal's Cave, which is now
so famous that it is annually visited, during the summer
months, by thousands of travellers. During this seasoll
steamers ply regularly between Oban and Staffa; but,
owing to the swell of the ocean already alluded to, many
people are disappointed in landing, and are obliged to con-
tent themselves with as near a view as can be obtained
from the steamer's deck. No description can convey an
adequate idea of Fingal's Cave, which is certainly one
of the most interesting sights on the west coast of Scot-
I h3 THE FALLS OF NIAGARA. j
IN the interior of North America are the lakes Erie and
Ontario,-the one, lake Erie, lying at an elevation of
three hundred and thirty-four feet higher than the other.
SThese lakes separate Canada from the United States, and .
are connected by the river Niagara, which, throughout J
the greater part of its course of thirty-two miles, flows
with considerable speed. The great descent, however, is
made about midway, in one tremendous leap, which forms
the famous cataract called the Falls of Niagara-the most
sublime and enormous waterfall in the known world.
The fall is divided into two unequal parts by Goat Island,
which stands on the very verge of the precipice, as if it
A were about to follow the gushing stream, and dash down
nto the interior of North America are the lakes Erie and
threside is 1140 feet in breath and 160 feet higher than whether. Tat
thne famous cataract called the Falls of Niaarathe most ii
wiiich stands on the very verge of the precipice, 's if it -
eisll4feet i t d6 i h Tat i
..e.in r_. f
___ ~ ~ ~ ''. ___ _-- -c
on the Canadian side which is miuchh the iiner of the t\o,
and is called the Hlorse shoe fall, owing to its curved form
- is above 2100 feet in the curve, and 150 feet high. Goat
Island measures about 980 feet in breadth, so that the
entire sweep of the falls is about 4220 feet.
As the volume of water which plunges over this pre-
cipioe is estimated to be a hundred millions of tons per
hour, it may be imagined that this unparalelled fall is one
of the most sublime and awe-inspiring works of God.
The foam which ascends from the cauldron into which
the Horse-shoe fall thunders, rises to so great a height
above the river, tlat it can sometimes be distinguished
at a distance of fifty miles. And the mingled roar of tlhe
raging rapid above, and the plunging cataract below, is
compared to the loudest thunder. A splendid view of the
falls used to be had from Table Rock, which once pro
jected more than fifty feet over the precipice which sup
ported it; but it is now gone, having recently fallen into
the flood over which it hung. A little below the flils
the river is so tranquil that a boat plies between the
American and Canadian sides, and the view from this
boat is inexpressibly grand. The precipice over which
LIte water leaps projects considerably beyond its base,
and travellers frequently advance 150 feet between the
falling flood and the rock. This, however, requires nerve,
and is not unattended with danger. Those who have
accomplished the feat, however, speak of the appearance
of the fall from that point of view as being most wonder-
ful, and the effect on the mind as almost overpowering.
The American fall does not, like that on the Canadian
side, descend into a boiling cauldron, but dashes down
on a mass of broken rocks, where it is lashed into white
foam. It is supposed that the cataract must have origi-
nally been close to lake Ontario, as it is continually break-
ing down its bed. Perhaps it will creep backwards, to
lake Erie, at last.
Our space precludes our doing more than briefly stating
the principal points of interest; but no description can
ever convey to the mind an adequate conception of the
uagnificence of the Falls of Niagara.
- .. .- -
THOSE enormous islands and mountains of ice that float i i [
upon, a..d often block up, the polar seas, are called Ice-
bergs. They are formed upon the tall precipitous cliff's
of the northern regions, particularly those on the western
coasts of Greenland and in Davis' Straits, where tie .
melting, in summer, of the immense quantities of snow
that fall in winter, adds annually to the bulk of tle I
masses of ice, or glaciers, which cling to them. In tle
course of centuries, these masses grow to the size of i
thousand, sometimes two thousand, feet in height-vary-
ing, of course, with the height of the cliffs to which they K
adhlere-and then, as their foundations are gradually worr i
away by the action of the waves, their own weight de .i
teaches them from their ancient resting-place, and prIci-
pitates them headlong into the deep. Here they fluat
.UL "----a- -_. -- -- J
Siabiut i i tl oe firin t'l i. isl iinl. lm;h iin t rv i.', iv:itIl
l ariet of 1,1l1 anl fantastic appearance. SomIl are like
Simtren-le flat, islands, several miiles in circiumference.
Slihose sides are frequently seen thirty feet high, andl
quite iperpendicular. Others resemble steep mountains
of a beautiful bluish green colour, the peaks of \ which
shoot sharply up into thle sky. Mariners frequently
lmoor their ships to these floating islands, but are obliged
to do0 so witlh log cables, because masses of ice, called
calves," are constantly becoming detached from tlhe
Slower parts of the bergs, aund shoot suddenly up out of tile
after with a force that would probably penetrate t.le Iull
of a vessel against which they might happen to strike.
As ice floats in water with about six-sevenths of its bulk
immersed, it follows that those berns which are sme
times seen of about two hundred feet high, must in reality
Ie masses of ice upwards of fourteen hundred feet thick !
'The pools of water formed on their surfaces by the sun's
:;Lys are all perfectly fresh, sI, that navigators in tle polnar
S regions frequently replenish tleir water-tanks, when far
I iay from land, with thle pure.st u after, taken from pondl.s
oil tle ite.
There are few scenes on earth more lovIlv and m1a-
gical in etiect than the PIlar Sea, onl a bri.-lit cialli
lday, loaded with icebergs of every shape and size: their
delicate blue sides streamUilng with cataracts, and their
fantastic peaks sparkling like marble cliffs in the still.
Arctic mariners are often exposed to great danger Iby
S icebergs. Sometimes they are so nicely Ialanced in tile
m after, that the breaking off of a very small portion is sutti-
cient to overturn them, and should a vessel be near at
.. such a time, the danger of being swamped is very great.
A vessel has been known to get between a small and a
large iceberg, and a light breeze Ilas sprung 11tu to winlld
warid of tlhe large one, causing it to bear d-own on the
smaller, which its superior bulk sheltered from te windl.
so that it remained motiloless; tlhe ship, of course, was
ilso becalmed, and so ran a great risk of being cruslhe
between the two. No doubt Sir JoM Fianklins slips
Sete lust in this manner.
I I -
_ --. rr -. -.. .-E--.-- -- .
AMOUNT VESVIUS I
miles from the city of that name. It is detached from '
varies in consequence of the frequent falling in of part of i ;
te surr g i .
S After centurieands oi f r epose, Vesuvius again became ansix
ntive volcno in the iye of tha our Lod 6, ws hen it w ,
Jthe accompaennied bys, an earthquake, and gave inforth the midst of a plain
uming soundta s that generally precede eruption. Muhe
damage wain donseence on these occasion by the streamst falling i of lavart f
the surrounding inhabitants.'
and sand which were vomited, along with clouds of smoke,
-its s r i whe git b th wie t Iw -
.a^' w -- -- ... -- ----- -. ---- -.U. :
". t" l ",: . .. :- --:'- ,a .-- .. .. '- ': .-"- .. . -
A fe cen ulie -f ... ... ..... .. Ve-__:u ....zi :.e~m =_ : :.- -- _:: : .: :_ .. _ _
from its crater. Frolu tiat tim till iriw t(Li mlonutaiii
has continued inore or less in an a't.ie condition, an'I
occasionally breaks forth in eruptions, none of which,
however, are to compare with that which occurred on the
23d August, A. D. 79, when the most awful eruption took
place that was ever witnessed. It was on this occasion
that the famous cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were
completely buried in melted lava. A description uf this
awful event is given by Pliny the younger, whose un.le
perished in the sulphureous fumes disgorged fromln t.l(h
volcano, while lie was endeavouring to render assistant:
to a friend whose residence was near tle fiot of tIhe
During this eruption the day became black as night,
and the atmosphere around was impregnated N ith dense
clouds of smoke, and tilled with falling stones and sanl.
Tlie wretched inhabitants who escaped immediate de.
struction knew not where to fly, as the sea became s,
tempestuous as to render an attempt to put off in boat
almost imulposible. The houses were rocked to and fr,;
by the terrible throes of the mountain, so that the open
fields, although exposed to showers of hot stones ani
ashes, became the only place of comparative safety.
The lava which, on such occasions, flows from Vesu
vius like a flood of molten fire. soon becomes cooled on
the surface, on which a crust forms, but, as this crust
prevents the cooling of the lava below, the streams often
continue to flow, though very slowly, long after they
appear to have solidified. The lava ejected from Mount
Etna in 1819 continued to move a yard per day for nine
months after the eruption, and there are instances in
which it is said to have taken much longer to become
quite solid and stationary.
It is possible to ascend to the top of Mount Vesuvius
and look into its crater, and travellers frequently do so.
Of course, this could not be done except when the moun-
tain is in a state of comparative tranquillity.
The Bay of Naples. on whose shore it stands, is sail
to I.e one of the most picturesque and beautiful in the
AMONG the many
are subject, few a
those produced by
Ship is referable to
ship was once saili
The morning was
evening a heav3 s\
seals followed the v
and the ocean seem
set. Just then a
ward, so rapidly, t
obscured, while al
of red haze, as if
flame. Suhienly t
a nile or so, the ta
E PHANTOM SHIP.
strange optical illusions to which we
re more striking or interesting thnn
refraction. What we call the Phantomu
This peculiarity of the atmosphere. A
ng along the southern coast of Africa.
fine, and the wind fair. Towarlds
vell set towards the shore-shoals of
7essel-fish darted out of the waves-
ed to stir with life, as the sun slowly
bank of cloud rose up from the east-
hat in a short time the heavens were
1 around there was a mysterious sort
the ocean were about to burst into a
he sailors perceived, at the distance of
Ipering masts of another vessel, which i
rose slowly, ;is it %ere, out nt the wati'r. iralduiallv t his
vessel ascelndedt until her bull arose completely iut of t he
water, and site appeared to float in air-so close, that t';,e
iuen were clearly seen upon her decks, yet so shadowy andl
indistinct, besides the fact of her floating in the air, that
no one doubted for a moment that the ship was a plih:t
tomu. This strange vessel continued visible for a short
time, and then gradually disappeared, leaving the sailor.i
to believe that they had actually seen the ghost of a slipl
Experience has since provedl, however, that this mys-
terious phantom was caused by the refracting power ot
the atmosphere, under peculiar circumstances. When
tie sea is very cold, the atmosphere resting on it parts
with its heat to the water; the atmosphere immediately)
above supplies its heat to that immediately below, and so
the air for a considerable height upwards gradually dliri
nislis in density, thus causing an irregularity, whirhl
refracts or breaks up the iobject in the most tfntastic way ;
sometimes making a vessel which is out of sight beiow the
horizon appear actually abore it. This irregularity of the
medium through which we gaze is illustrated by the w Ill
known absurd appearance of objects \ lien viewed tliroullJ
a bad pane of window glass.
The immense fields of ice inl tle Polar Seas. by cooling
tlhe surftee of the sea, andi tlhe cint.iguoIis atmosphere.
render these mysterious looking appearances very fre-
luent in northern latitudes. S,'me!imes points of land
stretching into the sea are seen as if floating inl Inid-
air. Ships are often so mui'lh exaggerated in size a.nd
appearance, that it is difficult to recognize them, and oc-
casionally they are seen turneil upside down altogether;
and it is not to be wondered at that illiterate men, on
beholding such apparently unnatural phenomena. should
fancy that they were referable to supernatural agency,
rather than to natural causes.
No doubt such at:,mospherical phenomena have I.,een
the cause, in all ages. of those marvellous ghosts which
we have so often heard of, which all can talk about., which
most people have a kinil of relief iir, but which very few
have actually seen.
WHEN whirlwinds pass over the ocean, they sometimes
raise the water upwards in the formi of a column, which
joins the clouds; and, after travelling in the direction of
the wind for a short time-varying from a few minutes
to an hour-disperses, or bursts, and descends in a deluge
! of rain. Such phenomena are called waterspouts. They
are seen of various sizes, and are occasionally observed to
travel over the land as well as the sea. Formerly, when
Mariners observed a waterspout, they used to discharge
artillery at it in order to break it up, being afraid that it
would pass over the ship, and sink or destroy it. Water-
spouts exhibit various aspects, but a frequent appear-
ance has been described as follows:-
S Under a dense cloud a circular area of the ocean,
in diameter from one hundred to, one hundred and twenty
yards, shows great disturbance; the water rushes to-
wards the centre Af the agitated mass, whence it rises
in a spiral form towards the clouds. The clouds,
assuming a similar form inverted, descend to meet the
water, and ultimately join it, thus forming a complete
column, somewhat in the shape of an hour-glass. This
column is dark at the sides, giving it the appearance of
a hollow tube. It moves with the wind, and, even in
S calm weather, shifts its position. Sometimes the water-
spout proceeds in an upright position, but more frequently
it slopes to one side, as if it were urged more powerfully
by the breeze in one part than another; and this is
S probably the reason why waterspouts are generally
ruptured and broken up soon after their formation.
Vivid flashes of lightning frequently issue from them,
and deluges of rain accompany their disruption.
A remarkable spout of this kind appeared and burst
on Emott moor, in Lancashire, in the year 1718. It was
observed by some labourers who were at work not far
S distant. Upon leaving the spot in alarm, they found a
brook, which was usually very small, converted into a
roaring flood, though no rain had fallen on the moor:
and at the spot where the waterspout broke, the earth
had been swept away to the depth of seven feet; the
naked rock appeared, and an excavation had been made
in the ground, by the force of the water discharged,
upwards of half a mile in length.
So many as sixteen waterspouts have been seen at the
same time in the Mediterranean, where these watery
columns seem to be very numerous.
They sometimes form, whirl along for a few minutes,
and are broken and dispersed,-but almost instantly
afterwards begin to form again; and this sometimes
takes place five or six times in the course of a few
They might possibly pass over large ships without
doing them much damage, farther than drenching them
witl floods of water, or carrying away some light spars;
but a little boat would have a small chance of escape were
it embraced in the whirl ol'a waterspout.
-- ,~ ---------- -
IN many caves, especially in those composed of limestone,
there are a series of beautifully white, and curiously ar-
ranged formations, which are called stalactites. They
are created by the droppings of liquid from the caverns
roofs. These drops contain carbonate of lime, held in
solution by carbonic acid. Upon exposure to the air, the
carbonic acid is disengaged, and the carbonate of lime is
deposited. Thus, drop by drop, the formation goes on.
until long points, like icicles, depend from the roof. while
blunter points, formed by the fallen drops, rise from the
floor, and eventually meet those above, thus forming com-
plete columns, which assume many grotesque and beauti-
ful shapes, and produce a singularly fine effect in the caves.
There are many stalactite caverns on the continent of
Europe. The grotto of Antiparos, une of the islands of
1. : I
I i r
:' ';''- ~iiWIIB~IW1'11 :~',
I !I :
the Grecian Archipelago, is celebrated oil account of the
size, and the diversity of form, of these deposits. There
are also one or two specimens of them in England; but
the finest of all, perhaps, are found in the cave of Adels-
berg, near Trieste, where the immense size of the cavern.
Ind the beauty and varied formation of the deposits, are
described as being most extraordinary.
"At one time," writes an eye-witness, the guides
seemed to be lighting up some distant gallery, far above
our heads, which had the appearance of verandahs, .
adorned with Gothic tracery. At another we came to
S what seemed the long aisle of a Gothic cathedral. The
Swhimsical variety of forms surpasses all powers of (d-
scription. Here was what appeared to be a butcher's
shop, hung with joints of meat; and there, a throne.
with a magnificent canopy. At another spot was the
appearance of a beautiful statue, with a bearded head;
and, a little beyond, the figure of a warrior, with a
helmet and coat of mail, so perfect, that it was almost ,
* impossible to believe it had not been sculptured by
the hand of man. There are two bridges formed by
the stalactites over a subterranean river,-the one about
a mile distant from the other, and the inner one hang-
ing suspended eighty or a hundred fathoms above tle
stream. In one part of the cavern there is a wide space,
called the Ball Room, with a natural gallery, which seems
as if designed expressly for an orchestra. Here the in-
habitants assemble every Whitsunday to dance, on which ,(
occasion the grotto is brilliantly illuminated."
There are formations called the Graves," the P;c- :',
ture," the "Cannon," the Pul1 it," the "Sausage Shop," '
the Prisons," and the Curtain," all of which strikingly
resemble such objects. There is also a stalactite, having
the folds of a curtain, which are as perfect, in all respects,
as if it were a real piece of drapery ; and another deposit
Shas taken the shape of shirt-ruffles, the illusion of which
is enhanced by the substance being so thin as to render
it semi-transparent. But the varieties of form taken by
the stalactites are endless, as well as exquisitely beauti-
C r- '
t 7 i4
i"i '! "
A MONG the elevated gorges of the mountains of Switrer-
hlad, Norway, anl other countries-where nature Iha
carved the earth in the most rugged form-there exist
Scuulate for centuries. and will. probably, go on a u
lating to the end of time. These are called glaciers.
They are formed by the falling and melting of the sow,
Shich, descending the mountain valleys, during sum- i
Mer, in a half congealed state, and with an auost im-
perceptible motion, is arrested in its course by the frust'-.
and increased in its bulk by thie snows, of successive
winters, until e becomes gradually coveted into solid
S ice of several hundred feet thick. In some cases these
iamenrse masses block up entire valleys, frm the moun-
ltain op to the sea, while they retai u their surface
S~ __ -..-_-__ -.---_
t (5 - "- "~ '*
: much of the form caused by their .tiowing action, which,
S though imperceptible, nevertheless goes on from year to
year. Glaciers have, therefore, the appearance of mighty
S rivers, which have, in an instant, hten arrested i i.
; ; their course, and solidified while in the sery act of leap-
S ing, boiling, and flaming down the valleys towards the :
S It is estimated that, among the Alps, tlere are at
Least four hundred of the largest sized glaciers, varying'
i from three to thirty miles in length, and from a hundreds
to six hundred feet in thickness. In Norway, the
g: laciers spread, in some cases, like an icy plain, oftwe:;ty
miles in length, over the tops of the mountains, and l
some of the spurs of these, which descend into tile sea,
are truly magnificent. In the Skars tjord there is a
spur of this kind which forms one of the outlets of tlhe
Fondalen glacier. It descends a valley estimated at eight
or ten miles in length, and ascertained by measurement
S to he about two miles in breadth. This enormous mass
of ice is supposed to be seven or eight hundred feet thick,
and it approaches to within a quarter of a mile of the sea,
where its point has ploughed up the land into scattered
hillocks. The stones which are rolled about. andi worn
Suite smooth, like the I ebbles of the sea-shire, by these
Glaciers, are of enormous s size, and weighing often tmaI y
S tons. One of these, seen at the lower edge of the Fuli-
dalen glacier, was certainly not less than one hun:lreld
feet in circumference. There is always a river flowing
out of every glacier, which is usually extremely muddy.
and often tinges the sea or lake into which it flows with a
peculiar whitish-green colour. At the point where the
river issues from its frozen prison, the ice is generally in
Sa state of disrupti-n ; and here may frequent ly be seen
deep hItllws and caverns of tlhe most intense and beauti-
fiul blue colour.
Flowers and verdure of the most ri'h and beautiful
colour are frequently found growing at the edges of these
icy fields in summer, thus presenting to the eye, at one
Sview. tle curious spectacle of the emblems of saut-nur
Sand winter side by side.
H.-.- --; :-^ r-- .-
-.. i *. -. "
1 .. ,f MOUNT E ." -EBUS.
WHEN Captain Ross was pursuing h is adventurous voy-
age in the antarctic regions, lie made land on the 11th of
i January 1811, which, according to his own description,,
i sand feet hih, whose summits ere covered with snow, .
the intervening valleys filled with glaciers, and the bare
,!rocks peeping out, here and there, through this wintry ,
covering. The sea all around was filled with icebergs,
and fields of ice; one perpendicular wall of which, that
Afterwards arrested his onward progress, hesays, was
nearly two hundred feet high, and against it the restless
waves spent their fury in vain. Amid such sterile scenery ,
k lihe discovered the volcanic mountain, which lie named
It was discovered on the 28t of Jnuary 141, in lati
.; Mount Erebus.
I..r... ........ ... .............'" ..."" -~~" '- .--.. --. ,.--'":_ ..- .-_-- "_-:5-. -__ L -. -- .- .- "--:--- -
tule 76" 06 S., and luo itude 16S 11 E., and was sup
posed to be connected with the mainland, although having
i the appearance of an island rising abruptly out of the sea,
I in a conical form, to a height of 12,400 feet. Those who
first beheld this extraordinary mountain describe it as
presenting a most grand and imposing spectacle. They
Zr fancied that they even saw streams of red-hot lava gush- :
i ing down its sides, and ploughing up the snow with which
$ j it was, and probably always is, entirely covered; and
they plainly witnessed the tall columns and vast volumes I [i
S;of smoke that burst from its fiery crater, and were hurled.
';i it was supposed, to a height of fifteen hundred or two :
Around the mouth of this immense crater forked
flames darted and played unceasingly, casting a wild,
: lurid glare far and wide over these desolate and gloomy
regions of the south.
S Little is known of the character of the land or sea
lying within the antarctic, as compared with the arctic
.. circle. But the little that we have seen leads to the be-
lief that it is even more sterile and icebound than those
; northern regions with which the names of Parry, Frank- t i
"* lin, Ross, Scoresby, and others, are so intimately and
familiarly connected. Certainly we have no mention of
in active volcanic mountain, so stupendous and awful, as
SMount Erebus, although volcanic agency on a smaller
Scale is certainly to be found in the north also. i
: It is to be regretted that Captain Ross had not an op-
portunity of making a closer survey of this interesting
volcano, that burns like a beacon fire to illumine the frigid
Sportals of the antarctic regions,-those realms of dreary
solitude, through whose icy gates man has never yet been
permitted to pass. Were it possible to stand at the '
n south of that terrific volcano, what a sublime and awful
S sight would this mingling of fire and snow,-this spout-
ing of smoke and fire, and hissing of watery vapour,-
Spresent to the eye. We could imagine that such a sight
would irresistibly tend to enhance our conception of the
i power and majesty of Him who holds the earth in the
hollow of His hand.
i .: ,'' i ," '.. *.
II rsn oteee e c~l~intieta uhas~l
-,out ,rrs- sil -cr: a o ,. hnc -ucnetino
., .. 2 ... _.. "'" """ '_/.Z---- .--. \:
(: > .. .. -. .- -'^ I
Cana ries. These islands, except on their western sid, .
enjo a .u,. tem erate air, and abound in te most deli-
cl ous fruits, especially .rapes, from which a rich wine is
;well known as the Pk of Tri
and its sides are clothed with no less than five zones of
vegetation, arranged one above another in successive stage
comes the reion of vies, rising to a height of nearly 2000 i
.9'i made.,.RFE T s t gi i iA
S feet above the level of the sea, and exhibiting various ,'!
S i inds of plants, wlose naked and tortuoua trunks aofd ,
I I r a : |,1r,
! ea aove the leveo of risng to a height of nearly 2000,ld
Canarie Thes isla o the sea, anl exlihibtim vsriis,
kids of plants whe naked an tortuous tu and itii
SV1. ..t gut ... i
$ e; k non.. a th Pea of Tenr
... e Peak _- to a '6.-h of upwards o 12,000 feet,
ak i s are c with no l t f zones (if
I~1C~ !: ,IL
- -- -. -
I bluish green tint arc distinguishing featuirs of A frietu
1 %egetation. Il tlie next zore are tle date tree, tile sugar '
vane, tile plantain, Indian fig, and the fruit trees of
S Europe. After this is the region of laurels, which in-
eludes the woody part of Teneriffe. It abounds with
springs, and therefore presents an ever-verdant turf; aln
the soil, covered with mosses and tender grasses, is en- ;
ricled with showy flowering plants. Next comes the
Region of Pines, commencing att a heiht of 5760 feet, and
Extending to 8610. This region is entirely filled with
trees resembling the Scotch fir, intermingled with juniper. r
The regions of Retatma, a species of brooml, and of u/rcmia m Ila
or grasses, occupy heights equal to the loftiest sumiuits
of the Pyrenees, where the snow is perpetual. Beyond I
this there is nothing but the naked pumice, obsidian, and i
lava of the cone of the volcano. Thus, within the Torrid
Zone, we find the varied temperatures of almost all parts :
of the earth presented at one view on the sides of this
i The volcano has been for a long time extinct, but there
are indications of not very ancient eruptions in the sides
of its cone. The ascent of the mountain is not considered '
hazardous. After passing a deep ravine and a chestnut
forest, the track leads over a series of verdant iills. It
then crosses a steep mass of lava rock, worn into ravines,
S and covered with a thin surface of yellow pumice. Then
comes a wide plain, a region of precipices, and a steep
S n mountain of pumice, above which rises the cone-which
last is the most difficult part of the ascent. In clear "i
weather the Peak of Teneritfe can le seen at a distance
of more than 100 miles. Those snowy summits of thle
Sj Andes, however, which rise to a similar elevation, can
be seen at a much greater distance than the Peak of
Teneriffe. Humboldt ascribes this to the fact, that tihe
firmer are covered with snow, and therefore transmit
light directly, while the latter, although coated on the
cone with white pumice, is chiefly covered with dark lava :
I and vegetation, and therefore only becomes visible by
Intercepting the light wh:ch cotes from the extreme
limits of the horizon.
44-- s-__ i