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ward, and turning my eyes to Ætna, I saw it cast forth large volumes of smoke of mountainous sizes, which entirely covered the island, and blotted out the very shores from my view. This, together with the dreadful noise, and the sulphurous stench which was strongly perceived, filled me with apprehensions that some more dreadful calamity was impending. The sea itself seemed to wear a very unusual appearance : they who have seen a lake in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with bubbles, will conceive some idea of its agitations. My surprise was still increased by the calmness and serenity of the weather; not a breeze, not a cloud, which might be supposed to put all nature thus into motion. I therefore warned my companions that an earthquake was approaching; and after some time, making for the shore with all possible diligence, we landed at Tropæa, happy and thankful for having escaped the threatening dangers of the sea.
But our triumphs at land were of short duration; for we had scarcely arrived at the Jesuits' college in that city, when our ears were stunned with a horrid sound, resem. bling that of an infinite number of chariots, driven fiercely forward, the wheels rattling, and the thongs cracking. Soon after this a most dreadful earthquake ensued, so that the whole tract upon which we stood seemed to vibrate, as if we were in the scale of a balance that continued wavering. This motion, however, soon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown prostrate upon the ground. In the mean time the universal ruin round me redoubled my amazement.
The crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to increase my terror and despair. On every side of me I saw nothing but a scene of ruin, and danger threatening wherever I should fly. I recommended myself to God, as my last great refuge. At that hour, o how vain was every sublunary happiness! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all mere useless sounds, and as empty as the bubbles of the deep! Just standing on the threshold of eternity, nothing but God was my pleasure ; and the nearer I approached, I only loved him the more. After some time, however, finding that I remained unhurt, amid the general concus. sion, I resolved to venture for safety; and running as fast as I could, I reached the shore, but almost terrified out of
my reason. I did not search long here before I found the boat in which I had landed; and my companions also, whose terrors were even greater than mine. Our meeting was not of that kind, where every one is desirous of telling his own happy escape; it was all silence, and a gloomy dread of impending terrors.
Leaving this seat of desolation, we prosecuted our voyage along the coast; and the next day came to Rochetta, where we landed, although the earth still continued in violent agitations. But we had scarcely arrived at our inn, when we were once more obliged to return to the boat; and in about half an hour we saw the greater part of the town, and the inn at which we had set up, dashed to the ground, and burying the inhabitants beneath the ruins.
In this manner, proceeding onward in our little vessel, finding no safety at land, and yet, from the smallness of our boat, having but a very dangerous continuance at sea, we at length landed at Lopizium, a castle midway between Tropæa and Euphæmia, the city to which, as I said before, we were bound. Here, wherever I turned my eyes, nothing but scenes of ruin and horror appeared : towns and castles levelled to the ground; Stromboli, though at sixty miles distance, belching forth flames in an unusual manner, and with a noise which I could distinctly hear. But my attention was quickly turned from more remote to contiguous danger. The rumbling sound of an approaching earthquake, which we by this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the consequences : it every moment seemed to grow louder, and to approach
The place on which we stood now began to shake most dreadfully; so that being unable to stand, my companions and I caught hold of whatever shrub grew next to us, and supported ourselves in that manner.
After some time this violent paroxysm ceasing, we again stood up, in order to prosecute our voyage to Euphæmia, which lay within sight. In the meantime, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could see only a frightful dark cloud, that seemed to rest upon the place. This the more surprised us, as the weather was so very serene. We waited, therefore, till the cloud had passed away; then turning to look for the city, it was totally sunk. Wonderful to tell! nothing but
a dismal and putrid lake was seen where it stood. We looked about to find some one who could tell us of its sad catastrophe; but we could see no person. All was become a melancholy solitude ; a scene of hideous desolation. Thus proceeding pensively along, in quest of some human being who could give us a little information, we at length saw a boy sitting by the shore, and appearing stupified with terror. Of him, therefore, we inquired concerning the fate of the city; but he could not be prevailed on to give us an answer. We entreated him, with every expression of tenderness and pity, to tell us; but his senses were quite wrapped up in the contemplation of the danger he had escaped. We offered him some victuals, but he seemed to loathe the sight. We still persisted in our offices of kindness : but he only pointed to the place of the city, like one out of his senses; and then running up into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city of Euphæmia. As we continued our melancholy course along the shore, the whole coast for the space of two hundred miles, presented nothing but the remains of cities; and men scattered without a habi. tation, over the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ended our distressful voyage, by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thousand dangers both at sea and land.” Goldsmith.
THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY.
On the north-west of the county of Antrim, opening into the Atlantic, is a great natural curiosity: it consists of a vast collection of basaltic pillars, extending several miles along the coast, and divided into fragments, or parts of causeways.
The chief causeway consists of a regular arrangement of millions of pentagonal and hexagonal columns of basaltes, a deep grayish blue-coloured stone, harder than marble: the pillars are chiefly in the form of a pentagon, so closely situated on their sides, though perfectly distinct from top to bottom, that scarcely anything can be introduced between them. The columns are of an unequal height and breadth; some of the highest visible above the surface of the strand, and at the foot of the precipice, are about twenty feet; none of the principal arrangement exceeds this height; how deep they are under the surface has not yet been ascertained.
This causeway extends nearly two hundred yards; visible at low water; how far beyond is uncertain; from its declining appearance, however, towards the sea, it is probable it does not extend under water to a distance anything equal to what is seen above. The breadth of the causeway, which runs out into one continued range of columns, is, in general, from twenty to thirty feet; at one place or two, it may be nearly forty feet for a few yards. The highest part of this causeway is the narrowest, at the foot of the impending cliff, whence the whole projects, where, for four or five yards, it is from ten to fifteen feet.
The columns of this narrow part incline from a perpendicular a little to the westward, and form a slope on their tops, by the very unequal height of the columns on the two sides, by which an ascent is made at the foot of the cliff from the head of one column to the next above, to the top of the causeway, which, at the distance of half a dozen yards from this, assumes a perpendicular position, and lowering in its general height, widens to from twenty to thirty feet, and for one hundred yards nearly, is always above water. The tops of the columns for this length being nearly of an equal height, form a grand and singular parade, that may be easily walked on, rather inclining to the water's edge But from high water-mark, by the continued surges on every return of the tide, the platform lowers considerably, and becomes more and more uneven, so as not to be walked on but with the greatest
At the distance of a hundred and fifty yards from the cliff, it turns a little to the east for twenty or thirty yards, and then sinks into the sea.
The form of these columns is mostly pentagonal; some few are of three, four, and six sides : what is very extraordinary, and particularly curious, is, that there are not two columns among ten thousand to be found, that either have their sides equal amongst themselves, or whose figures are alike. Nor is the composition of these columns or pillars less deserving the attention of the curious spectator. They are not of one solid stone in an
upright position, but composed of several short lengths, curiously joined, not with flat surfaces, but articulated into each other like a ball and socket, the one end at the joint having a cavity, into which the convex end of the opposite is exactly fitted. The depth of the concavity is generally about three or four inches. What is still further remark. able of the joint, the convexity and corresponding con. cavity are not conformed to the external angular figure of the column, but exactly round, and as large as the diameter of the column will admit, and consequently, as the angles of these columns are in general extremely unequal, the circular edges of the joint seldom coincide with more than two or three sides of the pentagonal, and from the edge of the circular part of the joint to the exterior sides and angles, they are quite plain.
It is likewise very remarkable, that the articulations of these joints are frequently inverted; in some the concavity is upwards, in others the reverse. The length, also, of these particular stones, from joint to joint, is various; in general they are from eighteen to twenty-four inches long, and for the most part longer towards the bottom of the column than nearer the top, and the articulation of the joints something deeper. The size of the columns is as different as their length and form ; in general they are from fifteen to twenty inches in diameter. There is no trace of uniformity of design throughout the whole combination, except in the form of the joint and the general pentagonal shape. What is extraordinary and curious is, that notwithstanding the universal dissimilitude of the columns, both as to their figure and diameter, and though perfectly distinct from top to bottom, yet is the whole so closely joined at all points, that there is scarcely room to introduce a knife between them, either on the sides or angles.
The whole exhibition of this great plan of nature, so far superior to the little things done by man, is a confused regularity and disuniformity, displaying too much diversity of plan to be all seen or comprehended at once. siderable way along the coast, the cliffs, rising in some parts from two to three hundred fathoms above the level of the sea, present similar appearances. At the point which bounds the bay on the east, and just above the narrowest part of the greatest causeway, a long collection