Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/292

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260 Account of the Volcanic Island. time its usual quantities of white steam, sudde,ly the whole aper- ture was filled with an enormous mass of hot cinders and dust, rushing upwards to the height of some hundred t?et with a loud roaring noise, then falling into the sea on all sides with a still louder noise, arising in part, perhaps, from the formation of pro- digious quantities of steam, which instantly took place. This steam was at first of a brown colour, having embodied a great deal of the dust; as it rose it gradually recovered its pure white colour, depositing the dust in the shape of a shower of muddy rain. While this was being accomplished, renewed eruptions of hot cinders and dust were quickly succeeding each other; while forked lightning, accompanied by rattling thunder, darted about in all directions within the column, now darkened with dust, and greatly increased in volume, and distorted by sudden gusts and whirlwinds. The latter were most frequent on the lee side, where they often made imperfect water-spouts of curious sha. pes. On one occasion some of the steam reached the boat: It smelt a little of sulphur, and the mud it left became a gritty sparkling dark brown powder when dry. None of the stones or cinders thrown out appeared more than half a foot in diameter, and most of them much smaller. ' From the time when the volcano was first seen, till after I left it, the barometer did not fall or rise; the sympiesometer underwent frequent but not important changes, and the temperature of the sea did not bespeak any unusual influence.' This was its state on the 18th July. On the 22d it was again reported on by Commander Smith, of the Philomel? another of his Majesty's ships, who says, ' the N.W, part is the highest, being about 80 feet above the level of the sea, and becoming lower tow?ds the southern extremity; the S.E. side is broken down even with the water, which keeps rushing into the crater with great noise; whence rises in turn an immense volume of white vapour, curling and spreading to an extraordinary height, intermixed, in rapid succession, with magnificent eruptions of cinders and lava thrown to the height of from four and five hundred to a thousand feet, forking and branching out as they ascend, and then pouring down with a noise like thunder, making the water a sheet of foam for a considerable distance around it. ]During the night the eruptions were not remarkable for a very great quantity of fire, though a constant shooting of small columns was visible, with occasional flashes of sheet lightning; when near to it to leeward, the sulphur was nearly suffocating the crews of the boats. ' The Volcano appears to be composed almost entirely of cinders, with a s rinklin_? of lava. of an oblong shape, about three- quarters o? a mde m circumference, and from the soundings has as yet a very small base.'