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so much resembles a furnace, by its perpetual burning, and so often sends forth its streams of burning lava.
Its immense size and elevation, the beauty and magnificence of the surrounding scenery, and the terrific grandeur of its convulsive struggles when trembling under its internal efforts to throw out its burning entrails, as well as the changes it has undergone, have afforded abundant matter for the pen of the poet and the historian. According to the mythology of the ancient heathen, here were erected the forges of the Cyclops, where, under the direction of Vulcan, they prepared the thunderbolts of Jupiter. A temple was built here for Vulcan himself, in which the fire never ceased to burn; and here the giant Enceladus was condemned by Jupiter to expiate his impious rebellion by perpetual imprisonment.
The distance from near the city of Catania, which is situated on the south side of the mountain, to the mouth of the great crater, is said to be about thirty miles. Its height from the level of the sea is about eleven thousand feet, and its circumference at its base sixty-two miles. Its first eruption on record is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus, but he does not fix the period; the second, recorded by Thucydides, was in the year 784 B. C. Since that period there have been thirty-four, one of which lasted fourteen years; and the one in 1763, which was attended with an earthquake, overturned the town of Catania, and buried eighteen thousand persons in its ruins.
This astonishing mountain has often been ascended by scientific and enterprising travellers, though the ascent is fatiguing and attended with some danger. The following account of a recent visit to the top of Etna we have copied from the New-York Messenger :
Some travellers who have recently been to the top of Etna, have given one of the most graphic descriptions of the scene that we have ever read. The same immense mountain, that has been ever since the memory of man alternately the funeral pile of cities, and the awful beacon of the world, still rolls its volumes of vapor to heaven, and still throbs with internal agony, or growls in hoarse thunders through its infernal caverns. Say the travellers :
At length, after somewhat more than an hour's walk, the most harassing that can be imagined, we arrived at the top just as the day began to dawn. To paint the feelings at this dizzy height, requires the pen of poetic inspiration; or to describe the scene presented to mortal gaze, when thus looking down with fearful eye on the almost boundless prospect beneath! The blue expanded ocean, fields, woods, cities, rivers, mountains, and all the wonted charms of the terrestrial world, had a magic effect, when viewed by the help of the nascent light; while hard by yawned that dreadful crater of centuries untold, evolving thick sulphurous clouds of white smokę, which, rolling down the mountain's side in terrific grandeur, at length formed one vast column for many miles in extent across the sky: Anon the mountain growled awfully in its inmost recesses, and the earth was slightly convulsed! We now attempted to descend a short distance within the crater; the guides, timid of its horrors, did not relish, the undertaking, but were induced at length, and conducted the party
behind some heaps of lava, from whence was a grand view of this awful
The noise within the gulf resembled loud continuous thunderings, and after each successive explosion, there issued columns of white, and sometimes of black smoke.
Our senses were entranced for a while, unused to such an awful display of nature, in this one of her wildest abodes. On our exit from the crater, the glorious god of day was beginning to peep from behind the mountains of Calabria, and the wondrous vision, hitherto undefined and vague, was soon spread out distinctly to the admiring eye. What hand could paint, what tongue express, or pen transcribe, the transcendently glorious scene? As he advanced in his golden path, the whole of Sicily, the coast of Italy, and the Faro of Messina, seemed gathered round the base of Etna; while the giant shade of the mountain could be distinctly traced on the face of the island, and even over a portion of the sea. Every city, every river in all its windings, was depicted on this mighty map of nature.
To many, the most interesting part of the view is the mountain itself. The Regione Deserta, or desolate region of Etna, first attracts the eye, marked in winter by a circle of ice and snow, but now (July) by cinders and black sand. In the midst the great crater rears its burning head, and the regions of intense heat and extreme cold shake hands together. The eye soon becomes satiated with its wildness, and turns with delight on the Sylvana region, which, with its magnificent zone of forest trees, embraces the mountain completely round: in many parts of this delightful tract are seen hills, now covered with the most luxuriant vegetation, that have been formed by different eruptions of Etna. This girdle is succeeded by another still richer, called the Regione Culta, abundant in every fruit or grain that man can desire; the small rivers Semetus and Alcantara intersect these fertile fields; beyond this the whole of Sicily, with its cities, towns, and villages, its corn fields and vineyards in almost endless perspectives, charm and delight the senses. There was a certain degree of dread, mingled with intense delight, when thus elevated above the nether world. It was impossible to forget that we were standing on the bank of that horrid gulf, out of which had issued a thousand lavas, spreading desolation and death in their pestiferous course, changing the whole face of the country, and burying towns and villages beneath them.'
DEATH OF THE REV. DR. ADAM CLARKE. Perhaps it might be expected by our readers that some account of the life and death of this venerated servant of God should be given in this number. The editor, indeed, had some thoughts of printing the discourse on the death of Dr. Clarke in the present number, but has declined to do so for two reasons :
1. The pages of this number were nearly filled before that discourse was prepared.
2. Notwithstanding much pains were taken to collect authentic information, it is highly probable that some of the facts are incorrectly detailed ; and as it is very desirable that whatever is recorded here of him should be in all respects accurate, and as it is expected that an authentic biography of Dr. Clarke will soon be issued from the press, it was concluded most prudent to wait until that shall make its appearance, the substance of which can then very properly be given in a subsequent number.