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Backe, author of the Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature,' saw two lunar rainbows. The first formed an arch over the vale of Usk. The moon hung over the Blorenge; a dark cloud was suspended over Myarth; the river murmured over beds of stones; and a bow, illumined by the moon, stretched from one side of the vale to the other. In mountainous countries the rainbow is of extraordinary beauty, spanning broad valleys, and seeming to rest upon the mountain-tops. Several rainbows of a completely circular form have been seen on the mountains rising above Quito in Peru; and as many as five-andtwenty have been seen at once lighting up the Pacific Ocean, in the vicinity of Juan Fernandez. The maritime bows are of a concave form, being the reverse of aërial ones, because the drops of water refracting the rays rise from below, and do not fall from above as in the former. The dashing of waves against rocks also forms these ires marina, which are frequently seen on the coast of Caernarvon, Merioneth, Pembroke, and Carmarthen. It is said that a rainbow was once seen near London twenty minutes after sunset, caused by the exhalations rising from that city; and Captain Parry, while proceeding towards the North Pole, Saw rainbows formed by the descent of the hoar-frost. In the Castle of Ambras, in the circle of Austria, there is a picture representing this sacred sign, so admirably executed that the Grand Duke of Tuscany offered one hundred thousand crowns to obtain it.
The rainbow is formed by the refraction of the sun's rays, by falling drops of rain, each drop being a complete prism, and separating the rays into its component elements. The colours forming a ray of light are seven in number, being violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red; and these are they contained in the rainbow which is general in this country.
There are some charming little fables told in connection with ancient mythology, although some of them, on the other hand, are as stupid and absurd. One of the most beautiful and instructive, however, is that regarding the origin of the olive tree. Minerva, the goddess of the arts of peace, had a dispute with Neptune regarding the name of the city of Athens, and so strong did the contention become that the decision of the matter was referred to the other fabulous deities, who decided that the sovereignty of that famous city should be awarded to either of the disputants who should present the better gift to mankind. Neptune struck the shore with his trident, when forth sprung a beautiful horse, with flashing eyes and flowing Lane; but Minerva touched the ground, and forth sprung a beautiful olive-tree. The triumph was won by the goddess, for it was declared upon Olympus, that peace, of which the olive is the symbol, is infinitely preferable to which the horse was supposed to typify.
In sacred history this tree occupies a conspicuous place, being there spoken of as a sign of hope. It was a branch from the olive-tree that the dove bore back to the ark as the record of the appearance of a regenerated earth. It was upon the Mount of Olives that the Saviour suffered his passion, previous to his betrayal. The garden of Gethsemane is situated on the face of the mount which looks towards Jerusalem, and which was probably planted with these trees at that time. The olive-tree is really of a beautiful peace-like appearance. Its leaves are formed like those of the willow, and resemble them in arrangement, but they are more soft and delicate. The flowers are also very tender and beautiful, issuing in little spikes from buds between the leaf-stalks and the spikes. They are at first of a pale yellow colour; but when they expand their petals, which are only four in number, they are white, with a yellow centre. Wild olives are found in Syria, Greece, and on the lower slopes of Mount Atlas in Africa. It is cultivated in many parts of Syria, and some of the cultivated sorts are to be found growing spontaneously in many parts of Asia Minor, being easily reared along all the shores of the Levant, which are not visited
by frosty winds. The plain of Athens, as the traveller looks towards the north-west from the Hymettus, seems as if it were an entire olive grove. The olive was first culti vated in Tuscany, the south of France, and Spain, as a European plant. From the fruit of this unctuous vegetable the Tuscans extracted and exported the celebrated oil which is now called Florence oil;' but the best is made from the products of the French fruitage about Aix. The olives are gathered just upon the very eve of maturity; and they must be carefully attended to, for if one year's growth is allowed to become too ripe, the next year there is no fruit, and the tree becomes only productive afterwards every alternate season. At Aix the olive har vest takes place annually in November. In Languedoc, Spain, and Italy, where it is delayed till December and January, it occurs only once in two years. The quality of the oil greatly depends upon the time employed in, and method of, gathering the fruit. It should be plucked in the first stage of maturity, by the hand, and finished in a day, if possible. The fruit is reduced to pulp in a very simple oil mill, and then put into sacks of coarse linen or feather-grass, and subjected to pressure.
The cultivation and manufacture of olives and olive-oil afford considerable employment to many of our French and Italian brethren. În 1827 there was an importation of four thousand five hundred tuns of oil into England, paying a duty into the revenue of eight guineas per tun. The olive is still much venerated by the Greeks.
This novel substance (pronounced pertsha), which is likely to come into general use, and for many purposes to supersede the use of leather, possesses somewhat of the character and nature of india-rubber, but is capable of being manufactured into many forms, and of assuming a neatness and consistency much superior to caoutchouc. It is found in the islands of the Indian Ocean, and was lately introduced into this country by a firm called 'The GuttaPercha Company,' who have patented the substance, and are manufacturing it into soles for boots and shoes, whips, belts for machinery, balls, and various other articles of use and ornament. The gutta-percha is obtained from Borneo chiefly, a large island to the south-east of the peninsula of Malay, and situated directly under the equator. The liquid, like that of caoutchouc, is taken from a tree by tapping; but so impatient are those employed in collecting it that, with wonderful obliquity of thought, they sometimes cut down the trees, and, allowing the fluid to collect in a pool at the root, drain away the whole substance, and destroy the plant that supplies it. The guttapercha is very unctuous, producing a beautiful clear flame when burned, and exuding when it is held towards any hot substance or subjected to friction. This quality has been held as an objection to its use as a machine-beltcausing it to slip without taking with it the beam which it is employed to drive; but, according to the testimony of many who have employed it, it performs its functions admirably in this respect. The gutta-percha, in its mannfactured form, is of a brown colour, hard and close in its texture, and as flexible as leather. It can be made of any thickness; and this seems to be accomplished by a process of coating. In joining it, there is no sewing employed. It must be observed that it cannot be used as the insole to shoes or boots, but as the outer one; and it is attached to the roughened insole by a paste, which retains it in its place with great tenacity. When it is used as belts for machinery, two oblique cuts are made at the ends; these are touched by a hot iron, joined and smoothed by the same process, and the part thus joined is as strong as any other portion of the ligature. Gutta-percha is said to wear but slowly even upon the roughest of substances; and, in addition to this quality of endurance, it can be restored, as iron is by fire, to all the purposes of which it was originally capable.
Of course we are not required to place implicit confidence in the testimonials produced by the company who manufacture and sell this substance; but one gentleman,
in recommending its use, declares that it possesses properties which render it invaluable as winter shoes. It is, compared with leather, a slow conductor of heat, the effect of which is, that the warmth of the feet is retained, however cold the surface may be on which the person stands, and that clammy dampness so objectionable in the wear of india-rubber shoes is entirely prevented. We have seen gutta-percha in the form of a belt, and it did indeed seem to be admirably constituted for the purpose for which it was intended. We have seen it also as whips, cricketballs, and even as beautiful stethescopes. We cannot explain the manner of its manufacture, and the substances with which it is composed before being reckoned fit for use, as it is patented, and the secret of its composition vigorously guarded by the patentees; but that it is really deserving of attention, and may be made available for many useful purposes, is undeniable. Originally it is dearer than leather, and this may be against it superseding that article; but if it is found to be cheaper comparatively, after a trial, it will assuredly maintain its ground.
By all accounts, the ancient Goths were a remarkable people; not more barbarous, perhaps, than many other nations, but more resolute and unchangeable in their barbarism. Somewhat like the natives of the celestial empire, they seem to have been thoroughly wedded and yoked to their own ways and their own habits, looking down with an edifying contempt upon the refinements of all other nations. Like a Highland mountain-bleak, bare, and barren-all the cultivation in the world, and all the seed sown thereon, would produce a harvest of nothing else than original granite. They stood sublime in nakedness, defiant of social and civilising influences. Yet there is something grand about the character of the old Goth; something, even in his own native ruggedness, attractive. We pass by many other nations in their history, in their rise and fall, with comparative indifference, just as we pass over a tract of flat tame earth; but like the wild moorland, with its broken rugged surface, its stony places, quagmires, rocks, and heath, there is in the history of the Goths something calling forth a respectful awe. We admire the Goth, and may respect him as one does a tame lion, yet cannot love him. The wild boundless heath strikes the mind with a sense of eternity; unlike human habitations or corn fields, which our thoughts can grasp and feel something finite in, there is a sense of vastness filling and overflowing the soul as you gaze on the former scene. So with the ancient Goths: their hordes, their wildness, and untameableness, one looks back upon with a consciousness of awful past grandeur, rude though it may have been.
But we sincerely beg the reader's pardon for this introduction. It has little to do with our subject. We only wished to betray you into reading this article, and having got you this length, hope you will go on with us. Our subject principally concerns the modern Goth, between whom and his ancient prototype some points of resemblance no doubt exist. Of course we do not mean external resemblance, for in this there can be little or none, but in spirit and mode of action. Society is much like a garden, in general appearance half cultivated. Flowers bud and blossom forth here and there; others promise a deal at first, but are choked up with over-luxuriance or an overgrowth of leaves, and fail of fulfilment. Beauty and fragrance do not always go together: there is the gaudy garment and rank odours-the modest primrose breathing incense. Stateliness, grandeur, and worth are not always combined: the bee turns aside from the haughty dahlia to the drooping heather-bell. There are healing virtues and poisonous influences growing together side by side: some tender clinging plants, weaving their arms around stranger stems for support, and beautifying and strengthening even that they lean upon; some bowing and nodding to every breeze, others erect and sturdy, defying the storm; some creeping and crawling along the earth, loving nothing better and nothing else; others, with bright
buds and blossoms, breaking forth to the sunshine of heaven; some always fresh and green, others ever faded, worn, and weary like. Here and there, in corners, are many weeds springing up, stretching their fibres and scattering their seed among the flowers. In some plants an attractive influence dwells, in some repulsiveness; in some unconscious sweetness, in others unconscious thorns-the rose that yields its perfume to all who pluck it; and the nettle stinging the hand that caresses it. "And, dear reader, the Goth is the nettle of society; he has his uses, too, but always an uncomfortable presence. He is comely enough to look at, but an unpleasant neighbour to any one; he stings because it is his nature, and not because of any hatred to you; he does it unconsciously and unfeelingly; he does it in kindly intercourse, and not alone in warfare; he takes no special delight in the act, and feels no remorse for its commission; he carries no ill-will in his bosom, yet no man loves him or desires much the honour of his close acquaintanceship. Picturesque enough in a rude way, and in his own place seemly, but always most so at a distance; wherever he comes, he comes to ban and not to bless; with no regard for feelings and sensibilities, he makes no friends of others and few decided foes: bears, be it owned, however, no smiling lie upon him, but proclaims himself at once what he is-a veritable Goth.
Most of us have, amongst the circle of our acquaintance, met with, or do meet with on our walk, many specimens of the Gothic order. They are indigenous to almost any soil; as well can they thrive in a hot-house as under the lee of an old wall; as well in a ball-room as carrying a hod and mortar. But what of the specimens?
Who has not met the Goth in the omnibus or in the railway car?-the stout gentleman with the blue coat, umbrella, and Claude Lorraine countenance, or the thin one with his coat buttoned up to the chin, and his hat set over his brows; who shouts 'No more room here, sir,' or 'ma'am,' and refuses to budge an inch from his position; his legs straddled out as widely as possible across the passage, you stumble over on your way, and get grumbled at. On the principle of having paid for his seat he will not move to accommodate a lady; and if you venture blandly to hint at inconvenience, 'People at Rome must do as Rome does,' is growled at you.
And who has not met him at dinner at a friend's, where he is particularly in his element? Wo to the unlucky wight who then and there happens to excite an interest in his mind. We happened to encounter two of them very recently at old Bagridge's table. Bagridge being in the commission-agency business, dines a few customers occasionally, and not being very acute in selecting parties congenially disposed, sometimes gets up very heterogenous assemblies. There were about a dozen present last time. Old Sims, the corn merchant, with his wife and two daughters; young Clothbords, the architect; the Rev. Gamaliel Tod, a licentiate of the church, and his aunt, an ascetic old maiden, who knows everybody's affairs, and is as good as an advertisement in the Times' at keeping a secret; the two Goths; Bob Styles; and ourselves. Bob had been rather imprudent of late, but thought matters hushed up by this time; he got nervous, however, on noticing the Goths-they were old familiars; he whispered, with a forlorn smile, into our ear, I must make an early city engagement to-night.' Dinner got over pleasantly enough; the guests gobbled away and chattered betimes, but at the dessert tongues got fairly unloosed. All the ladies were speaking to each other at once, as they always do when they have little to say; the licentiate and Clothbords were hard at Puseyism and dissent; old Sims and the host mourning over the discounts; and the Goths edging in a sentence here and there, when one of the latter, getting his eye on the unfortunate Styles, said, 'I think we've met before, Mr Styles.'
'Probably I may have had that pleasure,' observed Bob, but more with the tone of one remembering a misfortune than anything joyous.
Ay, yes, um; at Isaacs', the brokers, I think,' replied the Goth.
So many! then you'd come off well rubbed; a thousand at least.'
The company were beginning to feel an interest in the unfortunate; some were looking on. Bob felt old Bagridge had his eye on him; he had some expectations in that quarter.
First Goth-I heard a good story the other day. Mould the founder-in the Gazette' this morning-trying to raise the wind to relieve himself of a few bills, called two days since on Staggs the broker. Staggs,' said he, 'I've a capital crane on hand-first-rate article-can't get a customer for it though—no demand just now, and it's like to spoil.' Staggs was sly, however; smelt something. 'Best article I ever manufactured,' continued Mould, 'could part with it cheap-dirt cheap-rather than see it spoiled: can lift anything.'-Ay,' exclaimed Staggs, can it lift a
Second Goth-Isn't Mould a cousin of yours, Styles? I heard it rumoured you had become security-but mum here of course.'
The victim could have eaten the fellow. Everybody was now listening, and old Bagridge looking daggers. The licentiate's vinegar aunt interposed with a Scriptare quotation: I never saw such an exemplification of the truth as at the present time; that they who haste to be rich shall fall into many a snare.'
It's bad enough for married men to dabble a little occasionally in specs, but confoundedly bad for single youths to do so,' broke in old Sims, who has feathered his nest by speculations in corn.
Bob the unfortunate, not much later, remembered his engagement and pled the benefit of it. He had not long gone, when the conversation turning on church matters, one of the Goths chose to interrogate us: 'I believe, sir, you studied for the church at one time?'
I've heard something of that,' remarked the second Goth; 'didn't come out though; stuck at some examination, or couldn't agree about Hebrew poetry with some of "the examinators.'
'Beg pardon, gentlemen; you must be mistaken, I never studied for such a purpose.'
'Oh, sorry for that! only some one happened to mention the fact. But no matter; better men have done so and
'Parritch, leddies; an' whyles kail when we ha'e onything ava.'
Ah, I see, kail!' pursues Priscilla, advancing to the fire and lifting the lid off the pot.
"Can your children read, good woman?' 'A little, mem.'
'Well, see, here are two very interesting tracts on Puseyism and the Duty of Thankfulness; pray, let them spend an hour at night in carefully perusing them to you.' Many thanks, my leddy; this is verra kind o' ye.' 'How are you provided for blankets, this cold weather?' inquires one, first advancing to the bed to examine. Dear me, is't possible; such wretched coverings! Just observe, Julia, love.'
Meanwhile, the father's blood is boiling, and were it not that his wife restrains him by her looks, and his visiters are women, he would order them to be gone.
'Good day, my good woman,' says Priscilla, and we will probably look in on some other occasion, to see how you are getting on.'
Let it not be supposed we should ever by word or thought contemn the most divine and hallowing exercise of charity! Enough need is there for it in our lanes and hedges; enough in every way; but to
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame,'
if ever fame the act becomes, has no connection with impudent visiting inquisitors, who publish their own good perambulations. We judge not thus of character. A man or woman is best known by his trifling acts, not by his great ones; as the feather tells the current of the wind, so the small civilities of life, and the way of doing them, indicate the direction of the mind. Our uncle Jem afforded example of this in a sort of way. A bachelor was Jem, rough, hale, and hearty, as all honest bachelors, though beyond middle age, are; but his sister, who kept house for him, was a specimen of another tree; she gave liberally to subscriptions, but was otherwise grim, unapproachable, and niggardly. We recollect when visiting him years ago, in our adolescence, how we stood in dislike of that austere virgin, and how even Jem doubted her, doing many things covertly he otherwise would have done openly. When we used, with the sweetbread love of our years, to sit and eye wistfully the plumcake at tea-time, not daring to touch it for fear of Grizzel, whose favourite axiom of sweetmeats spoiling children she duly observed the practice of, Jem, seeing how matters stood, would often bunglingly snuff the candle out, and, before it could be relighted, had stuffed our pockets with the dainty. Now a Goth could never have done that-never could have thought of it; trifling though the act was, it opened up the history of Jem's character. The Goth has no tact-no nicety-no modeabout his dealings or sayings; they are blunt and often poignant, though not always intended so; he has 'no music in his soul'-no harmony whatever; you find no response to the poetry of existence in him; his is all the downright prose thereof. Young Petrarch Glanvil, the author of Ocean Foam,' a poem, told us how he was floored by a Gothess. She was a very charming little creature in appearance, possessed, as Petrarch thought, of a great depth of sentiment, and he, in true poetic fashion, before acquainted with her farther than by sight, had enshrined her as a sort of deity in his heart-made a Laura, or a Beatrice, or something similar of her. Like the tribe, he was susceptible, equally so in his affections as in his rhyme, and conceived a very strong first-sight affection for Celestine. It happened that he enjoyed the privilege of chaperoning her home from a party one moonlight night. The road was pleasantly long, and the night more than ordinarily beautiful. Here was a chance for Petrarch, and he did try to avail himself of it. On the glorious moonand if any of you are in love, choose the queen of night as a subject, you will find how suggestive she is, and how easily she helps away your bashfulness-on the glorious moon, then, he launched forth a torrent of poetic exposi tion; he quoted, manufactured, extemporised, and sighed and languished for a full half hour regarding Luna and her silver car, indirectly, as he thought, revealing the state
of his own mind. After exhausting himself, and looking down tremblingly into Celestine's beaming eyes, expecting some eloquent response, judge of his horror when she naively inquired-How does the moon set dogs a-howling, Mr Glanvil, do you know? pray tell me?' The remainder of the walk home was completed, as nearly as possible, in silence.
But to do the Goth all manner of justice, he is useful in a certain way. He makes generally a capital business man. He is indefatigable in his profession, no matter what it may be. No minor considerations tempt him from the main chance, and he has no very compunctious visitings about the exact boundaries of meum and tuum. He never hesitates about presenting his little account to any unfortunate debtor, nor in insisting for the unlawfulness of discount on the right hand, the reverse on the left. He speaks, moreover, his mind fully and freely, and maintains not only the right of private judgment, but the right of exercising it. He is proof against all hints and all the petty shafts of personality that may be launched at him. It is difficult to annoy him otherwise than in purse; this alone is his mortal part. Reader, let us tell you a secret. There is a Goth lives next door to us. He goes out in the morning and returns at evening. We have tried repeatedly to open an acquaintance with him, but in vain. The weather, the state of the streets, the crowded omnibus, the sharelist, the newspapers and accidents, have all long ago been exhausted as topics to draw out a conversation with. Yes, sir;'Very;' Crowded, sir;' They'll rise yet;' Newspapers are a humbug;' 'I don't believe it-all a lie, sirtake my word,' is the sum of all the conversation he ever condescended in answer to our observations. We have given him up in despair.
The Goth's life may be a pleasant one to himself, a thing we much doubt however, but it cannot be to others; he sows no seeds of love and happiness around him; his light never shines before men as worthy of imitation; he may be a living epistle, but the perusal thereof is not pleasant. As already said, he is the nettle of society, bearing no flowers, and never cultivated for his own sake for either beauty or worth. Carry out the simile, and his race is a numerous one; then beware, dear reader, lest you be a bit of a Goth.
AVALANCHES, in Switzerland, Spain, Norway, and other countries, where they very frequently occur, are vulgarly supposed to owe their origin to the accidental formation of little snow-balls high up among the snowy regions of the mountains, and to become larger and more rapid in their motion by a gradual process of accretion and acceleration, until, gathering bulk and velocity in their headlong force, they tear up trees, rocks, and cottages, and overwhelm flocks, herds, and villages, as they thunder down the mountains' sides. Avalanches are of four kinds, originating accidentally, of course, but not according to the slow, graduating process vulgarly supposed. Vast accumulations of snow will form upon the mountain declivities, and at last, by their own weight, suddenly break away in mass, rolling down the steeps of the hills, overwhelming forests and towns, and filling up the courses of rivers; or they will be dislodged from their precarious positions, and precipitated into the valleys by those sudden gusts of wind which so frequently sweep round the tops of the mountains, causing drifts and other dangerous motions of the snow and fragments of ice; or they are caused by the dislodgement of vast masses of ice through the expansion by frost of the water which gathers in the crevices of the glaciers. The diversity of causes and character has therefore induced a classification of the avalanches, which are termed drift avalanches, creeping avalanches, sliding avalanches, and glacier or ice avalanches, comprehending all the phenomena
of these terrific and destructive mountain falls.
The drift avalanches are caused by slips of loose snow, taking place when the accumulation and superincumbent weight of such are sufficient to detach it from the steep
declivities of the mountains where it lodges. It is only in winter, when the snow has fallen plentifully, that drift avalanches occur, and the air must have been calm to have allowed of its concretion, otherwise the winds, instead of allowing it to lie upon the slopes, would have whirled it in wreathes into the valleys. The snow masses which lie upon the faces of the mountains
'As if an infant's touch could urge
Their headlong passage down the verge,' receive the impulse of motion from the wind, being of themselves loose and easily moved; and, moving downward, they come upon and dislodge other masses of snow, together with huge blocks of rock, until, long before they reach the lowlands, they are like great mountains which, roaring in their fury, descend like ministers of terror and vengeance upon the terrified creatures who behold their sudden coming with an awful dread. These drift avalanches originate at a great height, and produce a vast amount of devastation; but luckily they are of rare occurrence, and thus are productive of even less damage than the others which occur more frequently. As an illustration of the dreadful rapidity with which these avalanches descend, it is observed that men and animals are killed from the compression of the air caused by their descent. It is compressed so suddenly, and so rapidly displaced by these masses, that it rushes off on all sides with a force sufficient to splinter huge rocks, tear up the largest trees, and fling down the houses as if they were made of pasteboard. The valleys at the foot of the steepest hills, and consequently those where drift avalanches generally fall, are never so well wooded nor thickly inhabited as those lying under the more broken and more receding mountains, so that the destruction is less than it would otherwise be if they were to fall upon the more populous valleys.
The sliding avalanches cause more actual damage than do the drift avalanches, on account of their frequency. They begin in the middle regions of the mountains, and consequently never acquire the velocity of the drift ones; and as they do not, on this account, cause a compression of the air, they are accounted less dangerous than the other. They generally take place in spring, after the snow has been partially melted and frozen into a compact consistency. The natural heat of the earth then loosens this breastplate of icy snow from its hold upon the slope, and as the ground has become slippery, the whole mass of crusted snow moves slowly towards the valleys, driving every obstacle before it. The sliding avalanches cause much devastation to the fields of the husbandman, covering them over with a deep crust of snow; and they fall upon the meadows and forests also to such an extent that the heat of two or three summers is required to melt them. This, of course, materially affects the climate of the valleys, retarding vegetation and rendering the air chill and humid through the warmest season. These avalanches have also been the cause of much destruction of property and loss of life, not the least remarkable instance of which was the overwhelming of the village of Bueras, in the year 1749. This village, situated in the valley of Tawick, in the canton of the Grisons, was carried from its site, and completely buried by one of these sliding avalanches. This occurrence took place during the night, when all the inhabitants were asleep; and so little noise did it create that they slept on until morning, and awoke to wonder why the light did not appear. It was not long before individuals began to perceive their true situation, and then it was that the horrors and pains of a slow and hopeless destruction were felt. By constant and noble exertions one hundred people were at last dug from their living tomb, sixty of whom were alive, having been supplied with air from hollows in the snow. While engaged in the work of excavation, the workmen heard, from the buried village, the lowing of cows and the barking of dogs, and these sounds inspired them with renewed hope and vigour, giving them assurance that their friends still lived. An avalanche descended into Val Canca, in the same canton, in 1806, transporting a whole forest from one side of the valley to the other, and planting a fir-tree upon the roof of the pastor's dwelling. It is only
when the people have got no warning, as in the case of the village of Bueras, however, that serious accidents occur with these avalanches. The places where they are of most frequent occurrence are well known, and they are generally preceded by a kind of weather that warns the mountaineers of their approach. In Norway, on account of the domed form of the hills, the sliding avalanches are the only kind known in that country; but as all the mountains in that rocky region have gently sloping borders, they are very commen and very destructive to the flocks and herds. It is only a few years since a hunter, penetrating into one of the little uninhabited valleys of that rugged country, found fifty reindeer lying dead, which had doubtless been buried by an avalanche.
The creeping avalanches are simply a modification of the sliding ones, travelling far more slowly over the more gentle slopes upon which they originate, and pressing everything before them that is not inert enough to resist their force. If they come upon a rock deeply imbedded in the mountain-side, and the slowly accumulating mass of snow behind it is not sufficient to drive it from its base, they divide on either side of it, and move slowly on in their course. These avalanches occur very frequently; but the volume of snow they bring down is so small, and their progress so slow, that they do not cause any considerable injury to the plains.
The last species of avalanche is the glacier kind, which are of very frequent occurrence and generally not destructive, upon account of falling into uninhabited valleys; but sometimes their effects are very terrific, when in their progress they come upon huge drift heaps, and form those compound falls which are the most rapid and fearful of all. These avalanches only take place in summer, and are caused by the detachment of fragments of ice from the glaciers, which being precipitated down the mountains, splinter other parts and come thundering along, gathering bulk and velocity as they proceed. Viewed from a distance they appear like mountain-torrents crested with foam. They may be seen every day during the summer season on the Jungfrau mountain, and in the valley of Lautebrun, which lies at the base of this mountain; the thunder of their fall is almost constantly booming on the listener's car. The danger of a glacier avalanche is very great, when, immediately below the icy region where it originates, there are steep mountain masses overhanging inhabited places. A fearfully destructive catastrophe took place in the year 1819, in the valley of Visp, in consequence of the fall of a glacier avalanche. The village of Randa was completely destroyed, and the whole canton of the Valais thrown into consternation and grief by the event. Randa stood near to the base of a mountain mass, which rises almost perpendicularly to the height of 9000 feet, and forms part of the snow mountain called Weisshorn, which is completely girded by huge glaciers. One of these glaciers reached the very edge of the precipice, and was overhanging it, when suddenly an enormous piece of it was detached and hurled down into the valley, covering with ice, rocks, and other debris, an area of 2400 feet in length and 1000 feet in width to the depth of more than 150 feet. The fall took place upon an uninhabited tract near to which Randa stood, but the compression of the air was such that is houses were blown to pieces, and several beams carried by the gust for more than a mile into the forest. The massive steeple of the stone-built chapel was cast to the ground, and mill-stones were lifted into the air and thrown violently forward for several yards.
In 1818 an inundation of the valley of Bagne, in the canton of the Valais, took place, causing considerable loss of life, and destruction of property to the amount of £40,000, which was originally produced by the fall of one of those glacier avalanches-an account of which will be found in No. 124 of the INSTRUCTOR.
and human beings are taken from the bosom of the mighty
The avalanches are slowly and fitfully bringing from
THERE IS SOMETHING IN A NAME.
What wonder if my friendship's force doth last
This plain stone
To William Shenstone.
In his writings he display'd
At Leasowes he laid
Poor Shenstone hardly appears more ridiculous in the
Here lieth in sooth
Or this, upon a Mr Button,
Here lieth one, God rest his soul,
When the sun has melted one of those mighty drift