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N the 18th of September, 1781, of the crater; this mass is of a convex

going from Arragona to Girgenti, figure, and rises till it has entirely filled I went (1ays the Writer) out of the the whole cavity, and surmounts it in direct road, to observe a place called the form of an hemifphere," which Maccaluba, which was painted out to burits, and lets a quantity of air me as very singular, by a variety of escape, that caused the whole effect. relations that had very much excited The bursting is attended with a noise my curiosity: The soil of the country resembling that produced by drawing I traversed, is essentially calcareous. It a cork out of a bottle, at the same time is overspread with mountains and hills that the clay is thrown out of the of clay, in which the currents of water crater, and runs down the sides of the have made deep fillures, and some of cone like a lava, extending beyond its which are lined with a gypseous cruft. base, to a greater or less distance, After an hour's walk I arrived at the according to its quantity. As soon as place of deftination; I belield a moun. the air is thus disengaged, the rest of tain of clay, Hat on the top.. The base the clay that was not thrown out, falls exhibited nothing remarkable; but on down into the crater, which then rethe plain that terninates its height, fumes its first form, and preserves it till I obierved the most fingular phenome- a new bubble endeavours to escape. In non that nature has ever yet presented this manner there is produced a con. to my view.

timual motion of depression and ele: The base of this mountain being vation, more or less frequent; and circular, it imperfectly represents a the frequency is increased by stamping truncated cone. Its elevation above upon the cruit of clay with which the yalley in which it is lituated, and the summit of the mountain is covered. almoit enclosed, is one hundred and If a stick be thruit into one of these fifty feet; and the plain at top is in a craters, it returns by little and little, fmall degree convex, and about half a by itarts, but is not thrown to a dir. mile in circumference. This plain is tance, as I had been taught to expect. to extremely fteril, that the slightest During the time I was employed in trace of vegetation cannot be observed. oblerving the phenomena of this moun. Every where on the summit is seen a tain, three of my attendants amused very great number of truncated cones, themselves by throwing pieces of the at various distances from each other, dried clay into the mouth of one of the and of various heights. The highest largest craters; the pieces were all may measure about two feet and a half, swallowed up, and an hour employed and the smallest are not more than two in this kind of work produced no or three lines. At the summit of every other effect than that of dilating the one is a crater, in the form of a fun- orifice a little, without filling it up. nel; the depth of which is about one- Some of these billocks are entirely dry, third of the height of the cone it and give no longer passage to the air. belongs to. The foil they rest on is a The whole number of cones exceeds grey clay, dry and cracked in every an hundred, but this number varies direction, the pieces being about four every day. Besides the cones there or five inches in thickness. The great are several round cavities in the foil vibration that is felt by walking on this itself, especially towards the west, plain, shows that the surface conlilts of a where the plain is less elevated than thincrust, which covers a futtand half- ellewhere. I bese cavities are an inch fiuid substance ; and it is not without or two in diameter, and are filled with trepidation that an observer perceives dirty salt water, out of which bubbles that this dried clay covers an immense are continually emitted without noile gulf of mud, in which he runs the or explosion, but similar to the boiling greatest riique of being swallowed up. of water upon the fire. On the surface

The interior part of each finall of lome of thele concavities, I found a а crater is always moist, and exhibits a pellicle of bituminous oil, of a suffi. continual motion. Every moment a ciently. Itrong odour, of that kind nuits of moitlered clay, of a grey which is often confounded with the colour, is elevated from the lower part smell of sulphur.


Such is the state of this mountain At the distance of one league from during the suinmer and autumn, till the sea-coast, behind Girgenti, is a the rainy season arrives, and this is the place named Moruca by the. antients, state in which I saw it. But the cir- and now Maccaluba, where, on an cumitances during the winter are very eminence in the middle of a barren different; the clay on its summit then plain, are observed several different becomes loft, and almost fluid by the apertures, which, by a gentle ebullition, rain; the conical hillocks are dissolved, throw out mud and troubled water. and nothing presents itself to the fight, On the 13th of September last (1777) but a vart gulf of argillaceous muri, of half an hour after fun-rise, a noise was which the depth is unknown, and heard at this place, which every moment which cannot be approached but with increaling, became in a short time! the greatest danger. An uncealing louder than the loudest thunder. This ebullition prevails over all this sure was succeeded by a trembling of the face ; the air that produces it, has no earth in the neighbourhood, where longer any particular passages, but large apertures are itill to be seen, at burits forth alike in all parts.

the same time that the principal mouth These two states obtain only when by which troubled waters and mud the mountain is calın. It has likewise commonly ifsue forth, becaine enlarged its time of grand fermentation, in in diameter to fix palms *. Out of this which it prelents phenomena that mouth there arole, or was emitted, spread terror and affright into all the something that resembled a cloud of neighbouring places, and that relem- sinoke, and which, in a very few seble chose which precede the eruptions conds, arrived to the height of twentyof ordinary volcanoes ; hocks of four palms. Although the matter of earthquakes, often very violent, are' this explosion had the colour of fame felt to the distance of two or three in some of its parts, it contained nevermiles; fubterraneous thunders and theleis liquid mud, and lumps of clay, noises are heard, and after several days which in falling, spread themselves progressive increase in the interior fer- over the circumambient soil. The mentation, they are succeeded by vio- greater part, however, fell again into lent eruptions, attended with much the great mouth from which they had noise, that throw the soil, together been disgorged ; this 'eruprion lasted with mud, clay, and some stones, to the half an hour, and was repeated three perpendicular height of more than two other times, with the intermillion of a hundred feet; all these matters falt: quarter of an hour, and the duration again upon the same spot from which of a quarter of an hour. In the mean they were projected. The explosions) time, the motion and agitation of large are usually repeated three or four times matses under the earth were heard, at during the twenty-four hours; they the dittance of three miles the noise are accompanied by a fetid smell of resembled that of the sea in a storm. Jiver of sulphur, which spreads itself While these terrible phenomena lasted, over the adjacent parts, and fometimes those who were prelert thought the it is affirmed Mere is an appearance of end of the world was come, and were smoke. After thele eruptions, the terrified by the apprehenfion of being preliminary phenomena ceafe, and the buried under the clay that was thrown mountain again resumes one of the two out of the principal mouth. This mud States before described.

covered all the neighbouring foil, to The eruptions of this remarkable the depth of lixe palms, besides filling and fingular Volcano happen in au- up the adjacent vallies, and though tumo, when the summer has been long this clay was liquid on the day of ani dry, but the interval is not regular. the eruption, it appeared on the fol. Many years sometinies elapse without: lowing day to have recovered its con.' one; and afterwards they take place in fistence, fo that feveral curious perfons two luccellive years, or two years ont were able to approach the great mouth of three, as in 1777 and 1779, which in the middle, for the purpose of are the times of the last eruptions. The obferving it. This mud itill retains regular interval of five years, con. the fmell of fulphur, though not fo ceining which different authors have strongly as on the day of the eruption. Spoken, is contrary to oblervation. The other mouths, which were fhut

• The Naples palm is about 91 English inches.

during the eruption, have appeared twenty-three degrees and a half, and it again, and we still hear a subterraneous descended three degrees. I thrust my murmur, that makes us apprehensive of naked arm as deep as I could into the another eruption.

mud of one of the craters, and I expeWe are always tempted to attributerienced a sensation of still greater cold effects nearly fimilar to the fame cause. than at the surface. No smell of fulIt is seen that this mountain has erup. phur or smoke could be perceived, tions like Mount Etna ; and this has and, in short, I could by no possible been sufficient to induce the inhabit. means discover any vestige of fire in ants of its environs, and the few travel. the state the mountain was then in. lers who have observed it, to fuppuse This fact being well established, it was that all the phenomena depend on lub: necessary to examine whether the igneterraneous fires. I arrived on the spot, ous element either assisted or acted as pre-occupied with the fame idea. i chief agent in the great eruptions. I expected nothing more than to see an already began to doubt. I'examined ordinary volcano, either in the com- every part of this plain, and all the exmencement or termination. I did not terior parts of the mountain, without fufpect that there was any other agent discovering any substance upon which in nature, except fire, capable of pro- the fire had acted. On the contrary, I ducing the phenomena that had been found evident tokens to prove that announced to me, but I was quickly this destructive agent had not exifted, undeceived. I faw nothing around me Among the ejected matter of the latt that indicated the presence of the igne. eruption I law fat clays, that contained ous element, which, when in action, calcareous (par not at all altered, calcaimpreffes a distinctive character on all reous stones ablolutely untouched, its productions; and I was soon con. together with regular crystals of spar, vinced that Nature employs very dif- and fragments of laminated felenite, or ferent means to produce effects that gypsum (peculare. These matters, that resemble each other. I saw that fire is to say, the Spar and crystallized gypwas not the principal agent, nor even sum, are altered by the most gentle fire, concerned in the phenomena of this and the grey clay, by the action of mountain ; and if, in some eruptions, heat, is baked into a red tile or brick. Smoke and heat were observed, that Since these substances carry no marks these circumstances are no more than of fire, they cannot have been subcasual or acceflory, and do not point jected to its action, and consequently out the true cause of the explolions. it has not exifted in this fingular phenaBut, previous to a developement of menon. As foon as my observations had the nature of this new agent, it will be convinced me this mountain was not an necessary to give a detail of some cir. ordinary volcano, I readily faw the cause cumstances which I may have neglected of all the phenomena. A bottle being in describing the more obvious appear. filled with the air which escaped from ances relating to this lingular pheno- the mud and the water, instantly extin

guished a taper plunged into it. This My first endeavour, on my arrival air, mixed with atmospherical air, proon the plain of Mascaluba was to ascer. duced neither fame nor explosion. I tain whether any heat exifted in the had no opportunity of making other ex: ebullitions I saw about me. It was not periments, but there were sufficient to without apprehension that I walked on show that it was fixed air that is the only this tremuluus plain. It appeared dan- agent in the phenomena I have de. gerous to me to approach too near the scribed. And it seems to me, that the Jarger cones, about which the ground following explanation gives the true was more worn than elsewhere, and solution of this problem, which at first might yield, and suffer me to fink. appeared rather embarrassing. However,encouraged by repeated trials, I have already taken notice, that the I advanced to the very centre of the soil of all the country is calcareous, plain. I thrust my hand into the Auid ļt is covered with mountains of a grey mud of the craters, and into the cavi- and ductile clay, that often contains ties ebat contained water in a state of gypsum ; and accident has placed a ebullition ; but inftead of the sensation Ipring of salt water in the middle of of heat I expected, I experienced that that called Maccaluba, great numbers of cold. I then plunged my thermo of wirich are every where in this coun. meter, which in the open air stood at try abounding with mines of rock-falt, This water continually moiftens the the summer, the surface of the clay beclay, and afterwards exudes through comes dry, and forms a cruk more or one of the sides of the mountain. The less thick. The air then mutt make an vitriolic acid of the clay seizes, by its effort to escape, and issues forth at the greater affinity, the base of the marine place where the relistance is leaft. It falt, and disengages the marine acid, heaps together, by little and little, che which acts on the calcareous earth be. portions of earth it brings along with neath the mountain. This lalt combi. it, and forms small cones, in the midnacion disengages a vast quantity of dle of which it preserves a passage. But fixed air, that traverses the whole mass when the summers have been long, of moilt clay, and bursts out through hot, and dry, the clay increases in the furface. The vitriolic acid of the tenacity and compactness. It is no clay may likewise combine directly longer permeable to the air, but relitts with the calcareous stone, and continu. the efforts of its elasticity. The air ally forın gypsum. The conitant mo. accumulates continually, and at a cer. tion of fixed air through the clay pro. tain point of comprehenfion produces duces an effect fimilar to that which earthquakes, subterraneous thunders, would arise from kneading, that is, it and, laitly, the eruptions concerning augments its ductility and tenacity, which I have ipoken': and the greater


. I During the winter, or rainy season, the the relistance, the more confiderable clay is more moistened, the air dir. the explosion. Thus it appears, that engages itself more easily, and the ebul. fixed air is the only agent in all the litions are more multiplied. During phenomena of this mountain.



Hereford, May 10, 1795. thanks of every serious friend to man. GOOD SIR,

kind, 'to religion, and government. I SHOULD deserve the implied rebuke I wish you health, time, materials,

you fent me, if I had known where and inclination, to add another volume to direct my warm acknowledgment of or two. You cannot fail to find the favour Í received from you. It was readers, and they will hardly find better uneasy to me not to do this, after having employment. been highly entertained and instructed

I remain, by your Anecdotes, which are well chosen, and apply fo directly, many of

DEAR SIR, them, to what has passed in the world

Your obliged humble Servant, for some years, that you deserve the



(See FRONTISPIECE.) The abode of genius, though humble, Stoke Poges, the retreat of Gray,

is always interesting, and the con- where he wrote his admirable Churchtemplation of it is calculated to impress yard Elegy, and other works, will long pleasing sensations on the mind. What attract the notice of " muling melannumbers flock to Stratford upon Avon, choly." to view the foot and trace the steps With awful veneration Aill we trace which Shakespeare trod! and who The steps which he so long before had would omit to visit Chalfont, in Buckinghamthire, the low-roofed temporary With rev'rend wonder view the folema reiidence of Milton , still in being ? place Pope's Villa at Twickenham is the From whence his genius foar'd to Na. delight of every person of talte ; and turc's God. • See Dunfter's Edition of Paradise Regained,



man of the Committee of Secrecy It appears that the examination of prefaced his motion for the impeach. Prior was upon oath, which (fays Dr: ment of the Poet t, and, on his suble. Johnson) “ was administered by Bof. quent examination, the inhumanity cawen, a Middlesex Justice, who was at and illegality with which he was treated last going to write his attestation on the by the interrogators, who certainly, in wrong side of the paper | !" their eagerness to procure some politive 'The Poet was, as has been observed, proof against the Earl of Oxford, alked ordered into the close custody of the him queltions which, had he answered Sergeant at Arms ; a circumstance with them to their wishes, would have im- which, norwithtanding the terrific plicated his life.

seasoning of Lord Conninglby, he was The querifts (says Dr. Johnson) fo little affected, that he wrote, during “ behaved with the boisterousness of his seclusion, his very elegant and men elated with recent authority.” sprightly poem of Alma, and also a How a little recent “ brief authority" fong, which he taught to a relation should so elate and make men, elevated of mine, who, from his being intimate in their Itations, and still more elevated with her father, a very eminent painter, by their abilities ; men to whom the used, when a child, occasionally to visit world has given credit for general liber him in his prison houle. This song I rality of lentinent; “play such fan- have often heard her repeat ; but so tastic tricks before high heaven ?" many years have since elapsed, that, is only to be accounted for, by rup- even with the assistance of her daughter, posing them in a very eminent degree I can only recollect a few verses of it, poffeited by the mania of PARTY, and thosé perhaps not quite correct. which infection was pretty extensively These are only valuable as they, like diffused through the nation, and which, many pen and ink sketches of great upon reflection, certainly affords an- malters, give a few characteristical other key for the explanation of the traits, and, while they glance at his peenigma respecting the conduct of Wal. culiar propensities, serve to exhibit the pole which was quoted in the begin- gay turn of his mind in a season, as one ping of this article.

thould suppose, of peculiar distress. June 9, 1715, Mr. R. Walpole stated, that he was commanded by the Committee of Secrecy to move, that a warrant may be issued to apprehend certain persons, and that no Member be permitted to leave the Houfe. The warrant being granted, and the doors locked, several persons were named by the Speaker and Mr. W. particularly Matthew Prior and Mr. Thomas Harley, who were taken into custody by the Sergeant at Arms. On the 4th of September following, the Committee of Secrecy, having previously examined Nir. Prior's books and papers, had found that crimes of a very high nature ought to be imputed to him, and from a report of his having met and conferred with the Earl of Oxford, his relacions, and dependents, and allo from his contempt of the authority of Parliament, and his prevarication, they thought it their duty to move that he be committed to close custody.-TINDAL's Continuation of Rajin.

† June 10th, 1715, Mr. R. Walpole moved for an impeachment against Matthew Prior, Elq.

1 I have been much puzzled with this passage. Does Dr. J. mean to sneer at the Magistrate whom he inelegantly terms a Middlesex Justice? Does he mean to quote this circumftance as an instance of his ignorance, and endeavour to make us believe that he did not know on which side of the paper to fign the jurat ? In either point of view, it is subject to thote obfervations which might always have been made upon his works when he descended from his literary altitude, and attempted to play with edge tools, at the management of wliich he was by no means dexterous.

It appears that the Gentleinan whom he has described by the above epithet was the Right Hon. Hugh Boscawen, Comperoller of his Majesty's Houshold, a Member of the Privy Council, and of the House of Commons (Vide Historical Register, Vol. I. P:340, and Vol. III. p. 110.); he fat in Parliament for Penryn, Cornwall, and was allo in the Commission of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, &c. &c. It would be as absurd to dwell longer upon this attempt at misrepresentation as it would be to suppose that this Gentleman did not know on which side of the paper to write his name, to which, had he been ever so ignorant, the signature of the Examinant would have directed bim.


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