Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/308

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Mr. Bennet on the Island of Teneriffe.

at first there appeared a bright streak of red on the horizon, which gradually spread itself, lighting up the heavens by degrees, and growing brighter and brighter till at last the sun burst forth from the bed of the ocean, gilding as it rose the mountains of Teneriffe and those of the great Canary; in a short time the whole country to the eastward lay spread out as a map, the great Canary was easily to be distinguished and its rugged and mountainous character, similar to that of the other islands, became visible to the naked eye. The cold at this time was intense, the wind keen and strong, and the thermometer sunk to 32 degrees; after a short though rapid ascent we reached the summit of the second stage of the mountain, we passed over a small plain of white pumice on which were spread masses of lava, and at length arrived at the foot of the cone. This division of the mountain forms what is generally termed the Peak of Teneriffe; it resembles the present crater of Vesuvius, with this difference, however, that while the surface of that mountain is composed of a black cinder or ash, the superficies of this appears to be a deposit of pumice of a white colour, of scoria and of lava, with here and there considerable masses that were probably thrown out when the volcano was in action. Towards the north-west on the right hand of our ascent, there is a small current of lava shewing itself above the pumice, the composition of which is similar to that at the bottom, though of a redder tinge; it is broken on the surface and is in a rapid state of decomposition. Numerous small cavities on the side of the mountain emitted vapour with considerable heat. Here begins, in my opinion, the only fatiguing part of the ascent; the steepness of the cone is excessive, at each step our feet sunk into the ash, and large masses of pumice and lava rolled down from above; we were all bruised and our fleet and legs were cut, but none materially hurt; at last we