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atmosphere began to affect my our feet, we reached and reposed head with a dull and heavy pain. ourselves upon a narrow flat which I also found, to my great surprise, is the last of three from the foot an acute sensation of pain, very of the small mountain, and which, different from that of weariness, according to M. de Saussure, is immediately above my knees. hut 150 fathoms below the level Having finished our repast, we of the summit. Upon this platpursued our journey, and soon form I found a beautiful dead butarrived at a chasm which could terfly, the only appearance which, not have existed many days, for from the time I entered on the it was not formed at the time of snow, I had seen of any animal. M. de Saussure's ascent. Misled The pernicious effects of the thinby this last circumstance, for we ness of the air were now evident concluded that, as he had seen no on us all; a desire, almost irrerents whatever from the time that sistible, of sleep came on. My he passed the place where he slept spirits had left me; sometimes the second night, none were likely indifferent as to the event, I wishto be formed, we had left our lad- ed to lie down; at others, I blamder about a league behind; but ased myself for the expedition; and, the chasm was far from wide, we though just at the summit, had passed it on the poles that we used thoughts of turning back, without for walking; an expedient which accomplishing my purpose. Of suggested to me that the length my guides many were in a worse of our ladder might be easily in- situation ; for, exhausted by excreased by the addition of several cessive vomiting, they seemed to poles laid parallel and fastened to have lost all strength, both of its end; and that the hazard of mind and body. But shame at finding our retreat cut off from length came to our relief. I drank the enlargement of the chasms the last pint of water that was left, might by this means be materially and found myself amazingly rediminished. At this place I had freshed. Yet the pain in my knees an opportunity of measuring the had increased so much, that at the height of the snow which had fall- end of every 20 or 30 paces I was en during the preceding winter, obliged to rest till its sharpness and which was distinguished by was abated. My lungs with diffiits superior whiteness from that culty performed their office, and of the former year. I found it to my heart was affected with violent be five feet. The snow of each palpitation. At last, however, but particular year appeared as a sepa- with a sort of apathy which scarcerate stratum; that which was ly admitted the sense of joy, we more than a twelvemonth old was reached the summit of the mounperfect ice; while that of the last tain ; when six of my guides, and winter was fast approaching to a with them my servant, threw similar state. At length, after a themselves on their faces, and difficult ascent, which Jay among were immediately asleep. I enprecipices, and during which we vied them their repose ; but my were often obliged to employ the anxiety to obtain a good observahatchet in making a footing for tion for the latitude subdued my

wishes for indulgence. The time markably fine, that I could not of my arrival was half an hour discover in any part of the heavens after ten; so that the hours which the appearance of a single cloud. had elapsed from our departure As the time of the sun passing the from Chamouni werc only 274, meridian now approached, I pre10 of which we had passed in the pared to take my observation. I hut. The summit of the hill is had with me an admirable Hadformed of snow, which spreads ley's sextant, and an artificial into a sort of plain which is horizon, and I corrected the mean much wider from E. to W. than refraction of the sun's rays. Thus from N. to S., and in its great. I was enabled to ascertain with est width is perhaps 30 yards. accuracy that the latitude of the The snow is every where hard, summit of Mount Blanc is 45° 49' and in many places is covered 59" North. with a sheet of ice. When the I now proceeded to such other spectator begins to look round observations as the few instruhim from this elevated height, a ments which I had brought perconfused impression of immensity mit

mitted me to make. At twelve is the first effect produced upon o'clock the mercury in the therhis mind; but the blue colour, mometer stood at 38° in the shade; deep almost to blackness, of the at Chamouni, at the same hour, canopy above him soon arrests his it stood when in the shade at 78o. attention. He next surveys the I tried the effect of a burning mountains; many of which, from glass on paper, and on a piece of the clearness of the air, are to his wood, which I had brought with eye within a stone's throw from me for the purpose, and found him; and even those of Lombardy (contrary, I believe, to the gene(one of which appears of an alti- rally received opinion) that its tude but little inferior to that of power was much greater than in Mount Blanc) seem to approach the lower regions of the air. his neighbourhood; while on the Having continued two hours on other side the vale of Chamouni the summit of the mountain, I glittering with the sunbeams is to began my descent at half an hour the view directly below his feet, after twelve. I found that, short and affects his head with giddiness. as my absence had been, many On the other hand, all objects of new rents were opened, and that which the distance is great, and several of those which I had passthe level low, are hid from his ed in my ascent were become coreye by the blue vapour which in- siderably wider. In less than six tervenes, and through which I hours we arrived at the hut in could not discern the Lake of Ge which we had slept the evening neva, though at the height of before, and should have proceeded 15,700 English feet, which, ac much further down the mountain cording to M. de Saussure, was had we not been afraid of passing the level on which I stood: even the Glaciere de la Coté at the close the Mediterranean Sea must have of the day, when the snow, from been within the line of vision. The the effect of the sun-beams, was air was still; and the day so re- extremely rotten. Our evening's


repast being finished, I was soon the heights I visited produced on asleep; but in a few hours I was the human body may not perhaps awakened with a tormenting pain be considered as altogether uninin my face and eyes. My face was teresting, nor will the proof I one continued blister, and my eyes made of the power of the lens on I was unable to open; nor was I the summit of Mount Blanc, if without apprehensions of losing confirmed by future experiments, my sight for ever, till my guides be regarded as of no account in told me that if I had condescended the theories of light and heat. At to have taken their advice of wear- any rate, the having determined ing, as they did, a mask of black the latitude of Mount Blanc may crape, the accident would not have assist in some particulars the obbefallen me, but that a few days sei vations of such persons as shall would perfectly restore the use of visit it in future ; and the knowmy eyes. After I had bathed them ledge which my journey has affordwith warm water for half an hour, ed, in addition to that which is I found to my great satisfaction furnished by M. de Saussure, may that I could open them a little, on facilitate the ascent of those who, which I determined upon an in- with proper instruments, may stant departure, that I might cross wish to make in that elevated level the Glaciere de la Coté before the experiments in natural philosophy. sun was sufficiently high for its beams to be strongly reflected from the snow. But unluckily Notes of a Mineralogical Excursion the sun was already above the

to the Giant's Causeway. By the horizon; so that the pain of forc

Rev. Dr. Grierson, ing open my eyes in the bright sunshine, in order to avoid the

(From the same.) chasms, and other hazards of my way, rendered my return more

I left Coleraine on the morning irksome than my ascent. Fortu of Sept. 17, in company with a nately one of the guides, soon gentleman of that place, whose after I had passed the glaciere, obligingness, intelligence, hospipicked up in the snow a pair of tality, and kindness, afforded me green spectacles, which M. Bour a most agreeable sp-cimen of the rit had lost, and which gave me

Irish character; and proceeded to wonderful relief.

the Giant's Causeway. The day At eleven o'clock on Aug. 10, was charming; and it is not easy after an absence of 52 hours, of for me to express the gratification which 20 were passed in the hut, I felt, as we made our way I returned again to the village of through a fine and gently varied Chamouni. From the want of district, at the idea of having it in instruments (the scale of the baro- my power soon to contemplate in meters I had, being graduated no favourable circumstances one of lower than 20 inches, which was the most stupendous and interestnot sufficiently extended) the ob ing natural phenomena that are servations I made were but few. any where to be seen. From CoYet the effects which the air in leraine to the Causeway is eight

miles in a northerly direction, and of the precipice to the sea at low I could observe no rock on our water along this pavement or way but the trap formation. On causeway, which, from the articrossing the river Bush at the vil- ficial appearance it puts on, has, lage called Bushmills, the country doubtless, in a rude age, given begins gradually to rise, and we name to the place, is a length of descry about two miles before us 730 feet. It has been observed to a ridge of considerable height, proceed into the ocean as far as seeming to terminate quite abrupt- can be traced by the eye in a calm ly on the other side. What we and clear day. To any person perceive is the land side of the who has seen both this place and precipice of the Giant's Causeway. Staffa, the idea naturally enough It seems to have been a hill of suggests itself that they are parts basalt, with nearly perpendicular of the same once continuous imcolumnar concretions, cut in two, mense bed of columnar basalt. as it were, by a vertical section, There are properly three paveand the half of the hill next the ments proceeding into the sea, sea carried away. On getting in distinguished by the names of the front of this precipice, which you Great Causeway, the Middle do by a pass on the west side of it, Causeway, and the West Causea most stupendous scene presents way. These are three large gently itself. The precipice, extending sloping ridges of the ends of bafor a mile or two along the shore, saltic columns, with depressions is in many places quite perpendi- between them, covered with large cular, and often 350 and 400 feet blocks or masses, that seem to high, consisting of pure columnar have from time to time been debasalt, some of the columns 50 tached, and rolled from the precifeet in perpendicular height, pice. I had no opportunity of straight and smooth as if polished perceiving with what rocks the with a chisel. In other parts the basalt of the Giant's Causeway is columns are smaller, inclined, or connected. I am told conchoidal bent; and a less length of them white lime-stone meets it on both strikes the eye. From the bottom the east and west sides. There is of this precipice issues, with a in one place near thc east side of gentle slope of about 1 in 30 to- the Great Causeway a green-stone wards the sea, an immense and vein eight or ten feet wide intersurprising pavement, as it were, secting the basalt from north-west consisting of the upper ends of to south-east. the fragments of vertical columns There was now pointed out to of basalt that have been left when us by the guides a singular enough the seaward half of the basaltic and curious phenomenon, and hill was carried off. The ends of which is particularly interesting, these columns are in general 15 or as it has been thought by those 20 inches in diameter, some of who hold the igneous origin of them of three sides, some four, basalt to be a confirmation of their five, six, seven, eight, or even doctrine. Nearly opposite to the nine. Five and six sides seem to West Causeway, and within about prevail most. From the bottom 80 feet of the top of the cliff, is


found to exist a quantity of slags ashes are found is clearly moved and ashes, unquestionably the pro- from its place, and has distinctly duction of fire. On ascending to the appearance of a large slip of this spot, which can be easily loose pieces of rock and soil that done, I found the slags and ashes has been disengaged by means of deposited in a sort of bed about frost or some other agent. It may four feet thick, and running ho- have been effected by an earthrizontally along the face of the quake: or the fire itself may have basaltic precipice 20 or 30 feet. contributed to its own removal by The ashes are in general observed the rents or cracks its heat made to lie undermost, and the slags in the rock on which it stood. It above them. They are covered is not a great many years since with a considerahle quantity of these ashes were noticed. John earth and stones, which all consist Corry, one of the most obliging of basalt, are of a large size, some and intelligent guides about the of them three or four feet or more place, picked up some of them on in diameter, and the ashes likewise the beach below, and naturally rest on the same sort of materials. enough concluding that they came What struck me here was, that from the cliff above, he climbed these ashes and slags are entirely up and found their repository. One unconnected with any rock or for- gentleman, he informed us, who mation which seems to be in situ, is well known to have paid much or in its original position. They attention to the appearances at the are, therefore, in my opinion, dis- Giant's Causeway, and who has tinctly artificial, and nothing more written upon the subject, will not than the remains of some large yet believe that the ashes are found and powerful fire which had been in the place which I have describkept burning for a long while on ed, but insists (obstinately enough, the top of this precipice, either for no doubt!) that honest John and the purpose of a signal, or some his colleagues have put the ashes other which we cannot now ascer there on purpose to deceive the tain ; and that, owing to the part public! He cannot be prevailed of the cliff on which the ashes upon to scramble up and look at were lying having given way and the ashes himself, verifying, it tumbled down, they have been would seem, the old proverb, thus buried beneath the ruins and which says, that there is no one there remain. This hypothesis blinder than he who will not see. may appear to some fanciful or A considerable way from the reextravagant, but I should have pository of the ashes and slags, little hesitation in referring the and to the east of the Great Causetruth of it to any unprejudiced way, is another curious appearperson accustomed to investiga- ance. Here, in the pure basalt, tions of this sort who will be at 70 or 80 feet from the top of the the trouble to scramble up and cliff, is a horizontal bed of wood survey the spot. Nay, I think I coal eight feet thick. The coal to could even trust the decision to a all appearance rests immediately Huttonian himself! The mass of on the basalt below, and the ends materials in which the slags and of perpendicular basaltic columns


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