This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book
(without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.
1856 Excerpt: ...situated on the island of Sicily, and composed
entirely of erupted mineral substances, rises to a height above the
level of the Mediterranean of nearly eleven thousand feet. The
circumference of its base is more than a hundred and eighty miles,
and on a clear day it may be distinctly seen from any elevated
point of the island of Malta, a distance of a hundred and fifty
miles. Compared with this volcano, Vesuvius is insignificant. While
the streams of lava from the latter never exceed seven miles in
length, those of Etna very often are from fifteen to thirty miles,
being five miles in breadth, and from fifty to a hundred feet in
thickness. The surface of Etna presents three distinct regions.
Around the base for an extent of twelve miles, the country is
richly cultivated, and abounds in vineyards and pastures, and is
the site of many towns, monasteries, and villages. The middle or
temperate zone above is covered with forests of oak and chestnut,
and a luxuriant vegetation reaches to within a mile of the summit.
Above this all is sterility and desolation, and the highest point
of the mountain is covered with eternal snow. The crater is about a
quarter of a mile in height, and three-quarters of a mile in
circumference, and is situated in the centre of a gently inclined
plain, three miles in diameter. From the crater a column of vapour
constantly issues, emanating from the mass of incandescent mineral
matter which fills up the interior, and may be seen, in a state of
ebullition, in the fumarolles in some of the lateral crevices, of
which there are generally several accessible. 144. Etna is recorded
as having been in a state of activity before the Trojan war; and
ever since, at varying intervals, violent eruptions have occurred.
In an eruption of 1669, the torren...
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