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the spherical figure of the earth could not prevent our feeing mount Atlas, because its fummit and that of Tenerife, by season of their immense height (although so far asunder) would yet be far exalted above the horizon. But whether or not vifion extends so far as what I am now hinting, I leave to others to determine.
< After we had refted some time, we began to look about and observe the top of the Pike. It's dimensions seemed to ex actly described by Mr. Eden, whose journey to the Pike we find related in some of our accounts of the Canary Islands. He says the length is about an hundred and forty yards, the breadth an hundred and ten. It is hollow, and shaped within like a bell subverted. From the edges or upper part of this bell, or cauldron, as the natives call it, to the bottom, is about forty yards. In many parts of this hollow we observed smoke and steams of sulphur issuing forth in puffs. The heat of the ground in some particular places was so great as to penetrate through the soles of our shoes. Seeing some spots of earth or soft clay, we tried the heat with our fingers, but could not thrust them in farther than half an inch; for the deeper we went, the more intense we found the heat. We then took our guide's staff, and thrust it into a hole or porous place, where the smoke seemed to be thickest, and held it there about a minute, and then drew it out, when we found it burned to charcoal. We gathered here many pieces of inost curious and beautiful brimstone of all colours, particularly azure blue, green, violet, yellow, and scarlet. But what chiefly engaged the attention of my companion, was the extraordinary and uncommon appearance of the clouds below us, at a great diftance; they seemed like the ocean, only the surface of them was not quite so blue and smooth, but had the appearance of very white wool; and where this cloudy ocean, as I may call it, touched the shore, it seemed to foam like billows breaking on the shore. When we ascended through the clouds, it was dark; but when we mounted again, between ten and eleven, the moon shone bright; the clouds were then , below us, and about a mile distant: we took them for the ocean, and wondered to see it so near; nor did we discover our mistake until the sun arose. When we descended to the clouds, in returning from the Pike, and entered within them, they appeared to us as a thick fog or mist, of the consistence of those we frequently see in England: all the trees of the fore-mentioned woods, and our cloaths, were wet with it.
" The air on the top of the Pike was thin, cold, piercing, and of a dry parching nature, like the south-easterly winds which I have felt in the great desart of Africa, or the Levanters in the Mediterranean; or even not unlike these dry easterly
winds which are frequent in the northern parts of Europe, in clear weather, in the months of March or April,
• In ascending the highest part of the mountain, called the Sugar-loaf, which is very steep, our hearts panted and beat vehemently, fo that, as I observed before, we were obliged to rest above thirty times, to take breath; but whether this was owing to the thinness of the air causing a difficulty of respiration, or to the uncommon fatigue which we suffered in climbing the hill, L cannot determine; but believe it was partly owing to the one, and partly to the other. Our guide, a slim, agile, old man, was not affected in the same manner with us, but climbed
with ease, like a goat; for he was one of those poor men who earn their living by gathering brimstone in the Cauldron and other volcanos, the Pike itself being no other, though it has not burned for some years paft, as may be plainly understood by the nature of its subitance; and indeed all the top of the island Thews evi. dent marks of some terrible revolution that has happened in Teneriffe ; for the sugar-loaf is nothing else than earth mixed with ashes and calcined stones, thrown out of the bowels of the earth : and the great square ftones, before described, seem to have been thrown out of the cauldron or hollow of the Pike, when it was a volcano. The top of the Pike is inaccessible in every way but that by which we went up, viz. by the east-side. It's steepest part is on the north-west, towards Garrachica. We tumbled some loose rocks down from that quarter, which rolled a vast way, till we loft fight of them.
Having surveyed every thing worthy of observation, we returned to the Estancia, where our horses were left; the whole time spent in descending from the top of the Pike to this place was only half an hour, although the ascent took us up about two hours and a half. It was now about ten in the morning, and the sun shone so excessively hot as to oblige us to take Shelter in the cottage; being exceedingly fatigued, we lay down there, intending to sleep, but could not for the cold, which was fo intense under the shade, that we were obliged to kindle a fire to keep ourselves warm.
• After taking some repose, we mounted our horses about noon, and descended by the same way that we went up, and came to some pines, situated above the clouds: between these pines and the Pike grows no herb, shrub, tree, or grass, excepting the forementioned retama. About five o'clock in the even: iny we arrived at Orotava, not having alighted by the way to stop, only sometimes to walk where the road was too steep for riding. The whole distance we rode in the five hours spent in coming down from the Estancia to Orotava, we computed to be about fifteen English miles, travelling at the rate of three miles an hour: suppose we then deduct five of these for windings and turnings, the distance from the sea to the Estancia, in a strait line, will be about ten miles; which, if carefully compared with the ascent of the road, I reckon will make the perpendicular height of the Estancia to be about four miles; to which add a mile of perpendicular height from thence to the Pike, the whole will be about five English miles: I am very certain I cannot be miftaken in this calculation above a mile either
way. There is no place in the world more proper for an observatory than the Estancia: if a commodious warm house or cottage was built upon it, to accommodate astronomers while the moderate weather continues, viz. all July, August, and September, they might make their observations, take an account of the wind and weather of the region above the clouds, and remark their nature and properties. But if any person intends to visit the Pike, I would advise him to wait for fine clear weather, carry a good tent, plenty of water, and some provisions along with him, that he may be enabled to remain at the Estancia four or five days; in which time he might go twice or thrice to the top of the Pike, and make his observations at leisure.'
The island of Hierro has been long famous in history for a tree, which distills water from its leaves. This phænomenon is by some represented as miraculous, while others deny the existence of it. Our author tells us that there is actually fuch a tree in the island, and that its leaves constantly distil a quantity of water sufficient for every creature in the island. It is situated on the top of a rock, at the extremity of a narrow gully or gutter, about a league and a half long, which commences at the sea. This famous tree is about three feet in diameter, thirty feet high, and the circumference of all its branches one hundred and twenty. The latter are remarkably thick and extended, and the longest about an ell from the ground. Its fruit resembles the acorn, and tastes something like the kernel
a pine-apple *, but is softer and more aromatic. The leaves resemble those of the laurel, but are longer, wider, and more curved ; they come forth in a perpetual succession, so that the tree is always green. On the north side of the trunk are two large cifterns of rough stone, each twenty feet square, and twelve deep: one contains water for the drinking of the inhabitants, and the other that which they use for their cattle, &c. Every morning, near this part of the island, a cloud or mift arises from the sea, which the south and easterly wind force against the steep cliff, so that the cloud having no vent by the gutter ady mentioned, gradually ascends it, and from thence ad
* Not the anana, but the fir, or pine-apple.
vances slowly to the extremity of the valley, where it is stopped by the front of the rock which terminates the valley, and then rests on the spreading branches and thick leaves of the tree ; whence it distils in drops during the remainder of the day. Other trees, several of which grow near it, perform the same office, and the inhabitants fave some water from them, though much less than from the fountain tree, which they call Till. This tree yields most water when the Levant or easterly winds have prevailed for some time; it being only by these winds that the clouds or milts are driven to it from the sea.
We shall conclude our account of this performance with the description Mr. Glas has given us of the manners and customs of the present inhabitants, referring the reader to the work itself for a more particular account of these celebrated islands.
• The natives of these islands, although their deportment is grave, are extremely quick and sensible. The women are remarkable for their vivacity and sprightly conversation, which far exceeds that of the French, English, or other northern nations. This agreeable lively humour is not peculiar to the inhabitants of those islands, but is common to those of the temperate countries, particularly the northern part of Africa.
· The Baron de Montesquieu has been very particular in telling us what effect the air and climate has upon the temper and genius of the inhabitants of different countries; but although no attentive traveller can be perfuaded to agree with him in his notions of these things, yet we may venture to affert with truth that the natives of the temperate climates are naturally endowed with more sense, penetration, and quickness of apprehension, than those of the countries situatcd to the southward of them : for, to whatever cause it may be owing, it is certain that the northern nations, Blacks, and Indians, are a heavy, phlegmatic, and stupid people, when compared with the Libyans, Arabs, Spaniards, and Canarians: but this difference cannot be so well observed as in such of these people as have not had the advantage of education, but are left entirely to nature.
· The great families in those islands would be highly offended if any one should tell them that they are descended from the Moors, or even the ancient inhabitants of these islands; yet I imagine it would be no difficulc matter to prove, that most of their amiable customs have been handed down to them from those people, and that they have inherited little else from the Gothic fide but barbarity. Yet the Canarian gentry, and all the Spaniards, are proud of being thought to have dcfcended from the Goths. « The gentry of these islands boast much of their birth, and with reason; for they are descended from some of the best families in Spain. It is said that the Count of Gomera is the true heir to the honours of the house of Medina Cæli, but is not able to assert his juft title, because of the great influence the prefent Duke has at the court of Madrid, from his immense fortune. The gentry here have fome privileges, which I cannot specify, but they are trifling. I remember when a Scots gentleman of family, a physician in Canaria, wanted to obtain the sank of nobility in that island, he was obliged to produce a certificate from his native country, that there had never been a butcher, taylor, miller, or porter in his family. This was not very difficult to procure, as he came from a remote part of the Highlands of Scotland, where very few follow any handicraft. . It is not to be wondered at, that the trade of a butcher should not be esteemed, or that of a taylor, which last is a profeffion rather too effeminate for men to be employed in, but why millers and porters should be held in contempt, is hard to imagine ; especially the former, who are an inoffensive set of men, and absolutely necessary in almost every country: it is true, indeed, that here they are great thieves, for each family fends its own corn to the mill, where, unless it is narrowly looked after, the miller generally makes an handsome toll. I have been informed, that when any person is to suffer death, and the proper executioner happens to be out of the way, the officers of justice may seize the first butcher, miller, or porter they can find, and compel him to perform that disagreeable office.
< I remember, that once when I touched at the island of Gomera, to procure fresh water, I hired some miserable, poor, ragged fishermen, to fill our casks and bring them on board : some time after, I went to the watering-place to see what progress they had made, when I found the casks full, and all ready for rolling down to the beach, with the fishermen standing by, converfing together as if they had nothing to do. I reprimanded them for their Noth in not dispatching the business I employed them in ; when one of them, with a disdainful air, replied, “What do you take us to be, Sir? do you imagine we are porters ? no, Sir, we are scamen." Notwithstanding all my intreaties, and promises of reward, I could not prevail on any of them to put their hands to the casks to roll them to the water-fide, but was obliged to hire porters.
• In another voyage I happened to have several Canarian seamen on board, among whom was a boy from Palma, who had been a butcher's apprentice or servant; the seamen would not cat with him for a long time, until I came to understand it,