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watch ; but he scarcely deigned to vouchsafe us the slightest manifestation of his latent energies. Two or three times the cannonading we had heard immediately after our arrival recommenced—and once an eruption to the height of about ten feet occurred; but so brief was its duration, that by the time we were on the spot, although the tent was not eighty
ards distant, all was over. As after every effort of the fountain the water in the basin mysteriously ebbs back into the funnel, this performance, though unsatisfactory in itself, gave us an opportunity of approaching the mouth of the pipe, and looking down into its scalded gullet. In an hour afterwards, the basin was brimful as ever.
Tethered by our curiosity to a particular spot for an indefinite period, we had to while away the hours as best we could. We played chess, collected specimens, photographed the encampment, the guides, the ponies, and one or two astonished natives. Every now and then we went out shooting over the neighbouring flats, and once I ventured on a long expedition among the mountains to our left. The views I got were beautiful,-ridge rising beyond ridge in eternal silence, like gigantic ocean waves, whose tumult has been suddenly frozen into stone ;—but the dread of the Geysir going off during my absence made me almost too fidgety to enjoy them.
We had now been keeping watch for three days over the Geysir, in languid expectation of the eruption which was to set us free. All the morning of the fourth day I had been playing chess with Sigurdr; Fitzgerald was photographing, Wilson was in the act of announcing luncheon, when a cry from the guides made us start to our feet and with one common impulse rush towards the basin. The usual subterranean thunders had already commenced. A violent agitation was disturbing the centre of the pool. Suddenly a dome of water lifted itself up to the height of eight or ten feet, then burst and fell ; immediately after which a shining liquid column, or rather a sheaf of columns wreathed in robes of vapour, sprung into the air, and in a succession of jerky leaps, each higher than the last, flung their silver crests against the sky. For a few minutes the fountain held its own, then all at once seemed to lose its ascending energy. The unstable waters faltered-dropped-fell, like a broken purpose,' back upon themselves, and were immediately sucked down into the recesses of their pipe.
The spectacle was certainly magnificent; but no description can give any idea of its most striking features. The enormous wealth of water, its vitality, its hidden power, the illimitable breadth of sunlit vapour, rolling out in exhaustless profusion, -all combined to make one feel the stupendous energy of nature's slightest movements.
UNDER Mount Etna he lies,
It is slumber, it is not death ;
Are hot with his fiery breath.
The crags are piled
Are heard, and he is not dead.
And the nations far away
Are watching with eager eyes ;
Enceladus will arise.'
And the old gods, the austere
Oppressors in their strength,
And tremble, and mutter, ' At length!'
Ah me! for the land that is sown
With the harvest of despair !
Enceladus, fill the air.
Where ashes are heaped in drifts
Over vineyard and field and town,
Of the crags that keep him down.
See, see ! the red light shines !
'Tis the glare of his awful eyes !
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
THE ERUPTION OF MOUNT VESUVIUS.
The cloud which had scattered so deep a murkiness over the day had now settled into a solid and impenetrable mass. It resembled less even the thickest gloom of a night in the open air than the close and blind darkness of some narrow room. But in proportion as the blackness gathered, did the lightnings around Vesuvius increase in their vivid and scorching glare. Nor was their horrible beauty confined to the usual hues of fire ; no rainbow ever rivalled their varying and prodigal dyes. Now brightly blue as the most azure depth of a southern sky—now of a livid and snake-like green, darting restlessly to and fro as the folds of an enormous serpent-now of a lurid and intolerable crimson, gushing forth through the columns of smoke, far and wide, and lighting up the whole city from arch to arch,—then suddenly dying into a sickly paleness, like the ghost of their own life!
In the pauses of the showers you heard the rumbling of the earth beneath, and the groaning waves of the tortured sea ; or, lower still, and audible but to the watch of intensest fear, the grinding and hissing murmur of the escaping gases through the chasms of the distant mountain. Sometimes the cloud appeared to break from its solid mass, and, by the lightning, to assume quaint and vast mimicries of human or of monster shapes, striding across the gloom, hurtling one upon the other, and vanishing swiftly into the turbulent abyss of shade; so that, to the eyes and fancies of the affrighted wanderers, the unsubstantial vapours were as the bodily forms of gigantic foes—the agents of terror and of death.
The ashes in many places were already knee-deep; and the boiling showers which came from the steaming breath of the volcano forced their way into the houses, bearing with them a strong and suffocating vapour. In some places, immense fragments of rock, hurled upon the house-roofs, bore down along the streets masses of confused ruin, which yet more and more, with every hour, obstructed the way; and as the day advanced, the motion of the earth was more sensibly feltthe footing seemed to slide and creep—nor could chariot or litter be kept steady even on the most level ground.
Sometimes the huger stones, striking against each other as they fell, broke into countless fragments, emitting sparks of fire, which caught whatever was combustible within their reach ; and along the plains beyond the city the darkness was now terribly relieved, for several houses and even vineyards, had been set on flames; and at various intervals the fires rose sullenly and fiercely against the solid gloom. To add to this partial relief of the darkness, the citizens had, here and there, in the more public places, such as the porticos of temples and the entrances to the forum, endeavoured to place rows of torches ; but these rarely continued long; the showers and the winds extinguished them, and the sudden darkness into which their sudden birth was converted had something in it doubly terrible and doubly impressing on the impotence of human hopes, the lesson of despair.
Frequently, by the momentary light of these torches, parties of fugitives encountered each other, some hurrying towards the sea, others flying from the sea back to the land ; for the ocean had retreated rapidly from the shore-an utter darkness lay over it, and upon its groaning and tossing waves the storm of cinders and rock fell without the protection which the streets and roofs afforded to the land. Wildhaggard-ghastly with supernatural fears, these groups encountered each other, but without the leisure to speak, to consult, to advise ; for the showers fell now frequently, though not continuously, extinguishing the lights which showed to each band the death-like faces of the other, and hurrying all to seek refuge beneath the nearest shelter. The whole elements of civilisation were broken up. Ever and anon, by the flickering lights, you saw the thief hastening by the most solemn authorities of the law, laden with the produce of his sudden gains. If, in the darkness, wife was separated from husband, or parent from child, vain was the hope of reunion. Each hurried blindly and confusedly on. Nothing in all the various and complicated machinery of social life was left save the primal law of self-preservation.
Through this awful scene did Glaucus wade his way, accompanied by Ione (I-o-nē) and the blind girl. Suddenly, a rush of hundreds, in their path to the sea, swept by them. Nydia was torn from the side of Glaucus, who with Ione was borne rapidly onward; and when the crowd (whose forms they saw not, so th was the gloom) were gone, Nydia was still separated from their side. Glaucus shouted her name. No