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depth, the vast cells and caverns whence so many lavas have issued; the force of its internal fire, to raise up those lavas to so vast a height, to support as it were in the air, and even to force them over the very summit of the crater, with all the dreadful accompaniments; the boiling of the matter, the shaking of the mountain, the explosion of flaming rocks, &c.; we must allow that the most enthusiastic imagination, in the midst of all its terrors, hardly, ever formed an idea of a hell more dreadful. r
Few persons mount a towering eminence, but feel their souls elevated: the whole frame acquires unwonted elasticity; and the spirits flow, as it were, in one aspiring stream of satisfaction and delight. For what can be more animating than, from one spot, to behold the pomp of man, and the pride of nature, lying at our feet? Who can refrain from being charmed, when, observing those innumerable sections, which divide a long extent of country into mountains and vales; and which, in their turn, subdivide into fields, glens, and dingles; containing trees of every height; cottages of the humble; and mansions of the rich; here groups of cattle, there shepherds tending their flocks: and, at intervals, viewing, with admiration, a broad expansive river, sweeping its course along an extended vale: now encircling a mountain, and now overflowing a valley; here gliding beneath large boughs of trees; there rolling over rough ledges of rocks; in one place concealing itself in the heart of a forest under huge massy cliffs, which impend over it; and in another washing the walls of some ivied ruin, bosomed in wood “Behold the Eternal,” is written on every object; and in every view we are ready to exclaim with the poet of the East, “If there be a paradise upon earth, it is this, it is this.” Never can I cease to be grateful for the satisfaction I experienced, on the summit of onal Snowdon : After
paying a visit to the waterfall of Nant-Mill, we set out from a small cottage, situated on the side of the lake Cwellin. It was a morning of August; not a breath of air relieved the heat of the atmosphere; and not a tree offered a momentary shelter. In all the times the guide had travelled up this great mountain, he confessed that he had never been so oppressed with the intensity of the heat. Climbing for the space of an hour, sometimes over bogs, and sometimes over heaths, we arrived at what we earnestly hoped was the apex of the mountain:-it was, however, merely the first station. Who could fail to remember the fine passage in Pope, imitated from Drummond of Hawthornden, where he compares the progress of man, in the attainment of science, to the enlarged views that are spread progressively before the eye, in climbing lofty mountains? The whole passage is eminently beautiful. As we ascended, those mountains, which from below bore the character of sublimity, shrunk into mere eminences: others more noble, rose in the perspective, and proceeding higher, they appeared, as it were, to approach us, and to be no longer at a distance. The road now lay over a smooth, mossy heath, where we sat down, entirely overcome with heat and fatigue. After resting for some time, the guide led us to the edge of a precipice, nearly fifteen hundred feet in depth; at the bottom of which appeared the dark green lake of Llyn-y-Glas, and Llyn-Llydaw. We approached to the edge of it, it appeared the fit abode of an echo The sombre lake of Llyn-y-Glas associates itself, in some degree, with that of a lake in the neighborhood of Bergen, the capital of Norway. That lake is, however, much darker than this: it is surrounded by high rocks; its water is motionless, and the stars being discerned on its bosom at noon-day, those who have surmounted the difficulty of climbing the rocks, become, on a sudden, so transported with the view of this “Heaven reversed,” that they feel an indescribable, and almost uncontrollable, desire to throw themselves into it. We had not much time to contemplate the scene before us; as a cloud suddenly appeared to rise out of the rocks beneath; and, rolling into a globular form, seemed like an immense balloon, balanced in the air; which, rising gradually up to the place where we stood, shut out the whole of this tremendous scene. Viewed from below, this precipice excites emotions of sublimity, unmixed with apprehensions; from its edge, terror is predominant. In the latter instance, our thoughts are, for a time, concentrated in our fears; in the former, the mind, upon the instant, wings its course to heaven! Height and depth create a much more awful sensation than length or width. The difference between looking up and looking down a precipice is well marked by Mr. Jefferson, in the account he furnished the Marquis de Chastelluse, of the Virginian bridge of rocks. “Though the sides of the bridge,” says he, “are provided, in some parts, with a parapet of fixed rocks, yet few men have resolution to walk to them, and look over into the abyss. You involuntarily fall on your hands and knees, creep to the parapet, and look over it. Looking from the height about a minute, gave me a violent head ache. If the view from the top be painful and intolerable, that from below is delightful in the extreme. It is impossible for the emotions, arising from the sublime, to be felt beyond what they are on the sight of so beautiful an arch, so elevated and so light, springing up, as it were, to Heaven. The rapture of the spectator, is indescribable.” After ascending above half a mile, we again paused to take a look around us... Below, appeared those innumerable mountains, by which Snowdon is, on all sides, surrounded. These are sometimes studded with lakes, which appear like large mirrors, placed for the purpose of reflecting the clouds, which are seen in three different directions. They glide over our heads, their shadows are depicted on the mountains; they are reflected in the lakes below. Some of the mountains are round upon their summits; others wear a triangular appearance; while some rise like pyramids. Now they seem like backs of immense whales, or couchant lions; and, while the apices of some resemble the cra
ters of volcanos, the more elevated lift their points above those clouds, which roll, in columns, along their gigantic sides. Near the place where we paused to observe this fine prospect, we stopped to quench our almost ungovernable thirst at a spring, which wells out of the side of the mountain. No travellers over the deserts of Ethiopia were ever more rejoiced at coming to an unexpected fountain, than we were at this delightful spring. “O Fons,” we were ready to exclaim.
“O Fons Snowdoniae, splendidior vitro,
Well may the nations of the east consecrate their wells and fountains ! Ere we departed, we took large libations; consecrated it with our praises and our blessings; and called it Hygeia's fountain.
After climbing over masses of crags and rocks, we ascended the peak of Snowdon, the height of which is 3571 feet above the level of the Irish sea. Arrived at its summit, a scene presented itself magnificient beyond the powers of language —Indeed language is indigent and impotent, when it would presume to sketch scenes on which the great Eternal has placed his matchless finger with delight.—From this point are seen more than five and twenty lakes.—Seated on one of the crags it was long before the eye, unaccustomed to measure such elevations, could accommodate itself to scenes so admirable: –the whole appearing as if there had been awar of the elements, and as if we were the only inhabitants of the globe permitted to contemplate the ruins of the world.—Rocks and mountains, which, when observed from below, bear all the evidences of sublimity, when viewed from the summit of Snowdon, are blended with others as dark, as rugged, and as elevated as themselves; the whole resembling the swellings of an agitated ocean. The extent of this prospect appears almost unlimited. The four kingdoms are seen at once; Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland! forming the finest panorama the empire can boast. The circle begins with the moun
tains of Cumberland and Westmoreland; those of Ingleborough and Penygent, in the county of York, and the hills of Lancashire, follow; then are observed the counties of Chester, Flint, and Denbigh, and a portion of Montgomeryshire. Nearly the whole of Merioneth succeeds; and, drawing a line with the eye along the diameter of the circle, we take in those regions, stretching from the triple-crown of Cader Idris, to the sterile crags of Carnedd's David, and Llewellyn. Snowdon, rising in the centre, appears as if he could touch the south with his right hand, and the north with his left. Surely Caesar sat upon these crags, when he formed the daring conception of governing the world ! At this moment, how contemptible appeared the vanity and folly of Xerxes, when he formed the resolution of cutting through a mountain which casts its shadow more than eighty miles:—“Athos, thou proud and aspiring mountain, that liftest thy head unto the heavens, be not so audacious as to put obstacles in my way, If thou doest, I will cut thee down, and throw thee headlong into the sea.” From Cader Idris, the eye, pursuing the orbit of the bold geographical outline, glances over the bay of Cardigan, and reposes for a while on the summit of the Rivel. After observing the indented shores of Carnarvonshire, it travels over a long line of ocean, till, in the extremity of the horizon, the blue mountains of Wicklow terminate the perspective. Those mountains gradually sink along the coast, till they are lost to the eye; which, ranging along the expanse, at length, as weary of the journey, reposes on the Island of Man and the distant mountains of Scotland. The intermediate space is occupied by the sides and summits of mountains, hollow crags, masses of rocks, the towers of Carnarvon, the fields of Anglesea, with woods, lakes, and glens, scattered in magnificient confusion. A scene like this commands our feelings to echo, as it were, in unison to its grandeur and sublimity; the thrill of astonishment and the transport of admiration seem to contend for the mastery; and nerves are touched that never thrilled before . We seem as if our former existence