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obferver) the Vefuvian diary fhall be continued; and I hope one day to have the honour of prefenting thefe curious manufcripts (which begin now to be voluminous) to the Royal Society, if it fhould think them worthy of a place in the library of the Society.
"Having never had an opportunity of examining the islands of Ponza, Palmarole, Zannone, and other fmall islands, or rather rocks, fituated between the island of Ventotiene and Monte Circello, near Teracina, on the continent; and thinking that by a tour of thofe iflands I fhould be enabled to render my former obfervations more complete, and to communicate fome account of the only volcanic parts of this neighbourhood hitherto undefcribed, I determined to take advantage of the abfence of their Sicilian majefties (who were then making the tour of Italy) and visit these islands. But before I put this plan in execution, I made a long excurfion in the province of Abruzzo, as far as the lake of Celano, anciently called Fucinus, and where the famous emiffary of the emperor Claudius (a molt ftupendous work for draining that lake) remains nearly entire, though filled up with rubbish and earth in many parts, and of courfe ufelefs. The water of this lake, which is more than 30 miles in circumference, increafes daily, and is deftroying the rich and cultivated plains on its borders. It is furrounded by very high mountains, many of them covered with fnow, and at the foot of them are many villages, and rich and well cultivated farms. Upon the whole, it is the most beautiful lake I ever faw, and would be complete, if the neighbouring mountains were better wooded. This
lake furnishes abundance of fish, but not of the best quality: a few large trout, but mostly tench, barbel, and dace. In the shallow water on the borders of the lake, I faw thoufands of water fnakes, purfuing and preying upon little fifh like our thornbacks, but much better armed, though their deferfive weapons feemed to avail them but little against fuch ravenous foes.
"I went with torches into the emiffary of Claudius as far as I could.
It is a covered underground canal, three miles long, and great part of it cut through a hard rock; the other part fupported by mafonry, with wells funk to give air and light. According to Suetonius, Claudius employed 30 thoufand men eleven years on this great work, intended to convey the fuperfluous water of the lake into the bed of the river Liris, now called Garigliano; and I make no doubt, but that if it was cleared and repaired, it would again anfwer that purpose.
"In its prefent flate it is a moft magnificent monument of antiquity.
"The whole country from Arpino, the native place of Marius, by Ifola, Sora, Civitella, and Capitrello, to the lake of Celano, is, in my opinion, infinitely more beautiful and picturefque than any fpot I have yet feen on the Alps, in Savoy, Switzerland, or the Tyrol. The road is not paffable for carriages, and indeed is fcarcely fo, even in fummer, for horfes or mules, and is often infested with banditti; a party of which, confitting of twenty-two, had quartered themselves in a village which I paffed through, and left it but a wiek before my arrival. There are many wolves, and fome bears
in the adjacent mountains, which alfo commit their depredations in the winter. The tyger-cat, gattopardo, or lynx, is fometimes found in the woods of this part of
"The road follows the windings of the Garigliano, which is here a beautiful clear trout ftream, with a great variety of cafcades and water-falls, particularly a double one at Ifola, near which place Cicero had a villa, and there are ftill fome remains of it, though converted to a chapel. The valley is extenfive, and rich with fruit trees, corn, vines, and olives. Large tracts of land are here and there covered with woods of oak and chestnut, all timber trees of the largest fize. The mountains nearest the valley rife gently, and are adorned with either modern caftles, towns, and villages, or the ruins of ancient ones. The next range of mountains, rifing behind thefe, are covered with pines, larches, and fuch trees and fhrubs as ufually abound in a like fituation: and above them a third range of mountains and rocks, being the moft elevated part of the Apennine, rife much higher, and, being covered with eternal fnow, make a beautiful contraft with the rich valley above mentioned; and the fnow is at fo great a distance, as not to give that uncomfortable chill to the air, which I have always found in the narrow vallies of the Alps and the Tyrol.
"On the 15th of Auguft laft I went in a felucca to the ifland of Ifchia. I have nothing to add to my former obfervations on this itland, already communicated to the Royal Society, except that about fixty yards from the fhore, at a place called St. Angelo, fituated between the towns of Ifchia and
Furia, a column of boiling water bubbles upon the furface of the fea with great force, and communicates its heat to the water of the fea near it; but as the wind was very high, and the furf confiderable, I was not able then to examine this curious fpot as I could have wished, but will return there on purpose fome other time. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood told me, that it always boiled up in the same manner, winter and fummer; and that it was of great ufe to them in bending their planks for fhipbuilding; and that the fishermen alfo frequently made ufe of this natural cauldron to boil their fish. Though I have paffed at different times many weeks in the ifland of Ifchia, I never before heard of this phænomenon: but in my defcription of this ifland mention is made of feveral fpots where, near the fhore, I had found, when bathing in the fea, the fand under my feet fo hot as to oblige me to retire haftily. This boiling fpring reminds me of one near Viterbo in the Roman State, which I have feen, and is called the Bulicame. It is a circular pool of about fixty feet in diameter, and exceedingly deep, the water of which is conftantly boiling. It is fituated in a plain furrounded by volcanic mountains. A tony concretion floats on the furface of the pool, which being carried off by the fuperfluous water is depofited, and is conftantly forming a labes or tuffa, of which all the foil around the pool is compofed.
The 18th of Auguft I arrived at the island of Ventotiene, about twenty-five miles from Ifchia. It is greatly improved fince my former vifit, feven or eight yea's ago, when his Sicilian majefty first planted a little colony there. It G 3
then produced neither corn nor wine; now it furnishes annually at least feventy butts of wine and two thoufand tomoli of corn. The foil is remarkably fertile, from whence it probably took its ancient Greek name of Pandataria. This ifland contains at prefent more than three hundred inhabitants. I will mention a curious circumstance in the natural history of birds, of which I was informed by an officer of the garrifon of Ventotiene who is a great fportfman, and fhoots often in the island of St. Stefano, inhabited only by hawks, and a large kind of fea-gulls; but is occafionally vifited, as a refting place by divers forts of birds of pafiage. In the month of May great flights of quails arrive there from Africa, fpent with fatigue; and many of them fall an eafy prey for the hawks and fea gulls; but, as their arrival depends upon one prevailing wind, there is often an interval of many days between one flight and another. My informer affured me, that the hawks conftantly, during the flights, make a provifion of each day's prey, laying them up in feparate heaps of fix or feven near their haunts, always feeding firft upon thofe of the oldeft date. The fea gulls have not the fame forefight, but geedily fall upon their unhappy victims in their languid ftate before they reach the fhore, and, having beat them down into the fea, fwallow numbers of them whole. Extraordinary as this may appear, yet as facts related by perfons of credibility in any branch of natural history are always pleafing, I thought you would excufe this digreffion. Give me leave likewife to add, for the information of the curious in antiquities, that, during my stay in the island of Ventotiene,
I got out of the ruins of an elegant ancient bath (supposed to have been built for the ufe of Julia, daughter of Auguftus, whilst the was in exile here) a fragment of a tile, on which are ftamped the following characters in basso relievo,
which, according to the interpretation of a celebrated antiquary at Naples, mean Opus Hacini ad commodum Balnei Julia Augufte factum. I was informed, that feveral entire tiles, with a like infcription, had been dug up on the fame fpot, and had been made use of in building the church and barracks newly erected in this ifland. Another fragment of a tile was likewife found here, and given to me, with the following infcription:
which the fame antiquary explains, Sabine Augufta, Piæ Imperatrici dicatum Balneum; but, I believe, there is no mention, in ancient authors of Sabina having been at Pandataria: of Julia's banishment to this ifland there can be no doubt.
"Between Ventotiene and the ifland of Ponza, and from the latter at the distance of about twelve miles, a group of rocks rife several feet above the furface of the fea. They are called the Botte, and are compofed of a compact lava; probably they are the fmall remains of another volcanic island, the fofter parts of which may have been carried off and levelled by the action of the fea, which is open and violent here.
"The 20th of August I arrived at the island of Ponza, about thirty miles from Ventotiene, and the next day I went round it in
my boat. It is near five miles long its greatest breadth not more than half a mile, and in fome parts not more than five hundred feet. It is furrounded by innumerable detached rocks, fome of them very high, and most of which are of lava; in many are regularly formed bafaltes, but none in large columns. In fome parts the bafaltes have a reddish tint of iron ochre, are very fmall, and irregularly laid one over another. Some maffes of them are in a perpendicular, others in an horizontal, and others again in an inclined pofition: and the rocks themfelves, in which these maffes are found, are lava of the fame nature as the bafaltes. At first fight these rocks have very much the appearance of the ruins of ancient Roman brick or rather tile buildings. One rock is compofed of large fpherical bafaltes; and in many parts of the ifland I found the lava had inclined to take the like spherical form, though on a much smaller fcale, fome of the first mentioned round bafaltes being near two feet in diameter. All thefe rocks have certainly been detached by the action of the fea from the ifland, which is entirely composed of volcanic matter, lava's, and tufta's, of various qualities and tints, green, yellow, black, and white. Some of the tuffa's, as well as the lava's, are of a texture more compact than others; and in fome parts of the ifland great tracts feem to have undergone the fame operation as is in full force at a fpot called the Pifciarelli; on the outfide of the Solfaterra, near Puzzole, and where a hot fulphureous vitriolic acid vapour converts all which it penetrates, whether lava's, tuffa's, volcanic aflies, or pumice stones, into a pure clay,
mofily white, or with a light tint of red, blue, green, or yellow.
"In one part of the ifland there is a fort of tuffa, remarkably good for the purpose of building. It is as hard as our Bath ftone, and nearly of the fame colour, without any mixture of fragments of lava or pumice stone, which ufually abound in the tuffa's in the neighbourhood of Naples, Baia, and Puzzole.
"When I was last in England, I enquired of many of the manufacturers of glafs, whether it had ever happened, that the glais, cooling in their furnaces had taken any diftinct forms like prifms or cryf tallizations; but I got no fatisfactory answer until I applied to the ingenious Mr. Parker, of Flectftreet, who not only informed me, that, fome years ago, a quantity of his flint glafs had been rendered unferviceable by taking fuch a form in cooling; but alfo gave me feveral curious fpecimens of the glafs itself; fome of them are in lamine, which may be cafily feparated; and others resemble balfaltic columns in miniature, having regular faces. I was much pleafed with this difcovery, proving to me beyond a doubt, the volcanic origin of moft bafaltes. Many of the rocks of lava of the ifland of Ponza are, with refpect to their configu rations, ftrikingly like the specimens of Mr. Parker's above mentioned glafs, none being very regularly formed bafaltes, but all having a tendency towards it. Mr. Parker could not account for the accident that occafioned his glafs to take the bafaltic forms; but I have remarked both in Sicily and at Naples, that fuch lavas as have run into the fea, are either formed into regular bafaltes, or have a G 4
great tendency towards fuch a form. The lava's of Mount Etna, which ran into the fea near Iacci, as appears in my account of them in the Campi Phlerei, are perfect bafaltes; and a lava that ran into the fea from Mount Vefuvius, near Torre del Greco, in 1631, has an evident tendency to the bafalie forms. On Mount Vefu ius, I never found any thing like columns of hafaltes, except the above mentioned at Torre del Greco, and fome fragments of very complete ones, which I picked up near the crater, after the eruption of 1779, and which had been thrown out of the mouth of the volcano,
"The ifland of Palmarole, which is about four miles from Ponza, is not much more than a mile in circumference, is compofed of the fame volcanic matter, and probably was once part of Ponza; and indeed it appears as if the ifland of Zannone, which lies at about the fame diance from the island of Ponza, was once likewife a part of the fame ifl nd of lonza; for many rocks of lava rife above water in a line between the two laft mentioned iflands, and the water is much fhallower there than in the other parts of the gulf of Terra
"The ifland of Zannone is larger and much higher than Palma role, and the half of the island neareft the continent is compofed of a lime stone, exactly fimilar to that of the Apennines, on the continent near it; the other half is compofd of lava's and tuffa's, refembling in every refpeét the foil of the other iflands just deferibed. Neither Palmarole, nor Zannone are inhabited; but the latter furnishes brufhwood in abundance for the use of the inhabi ants of Ponza, whofe number, including the
garrifon, amounts to near feventeen hundred. The uninhabited ifland of St. Stefano furnishes fuel in the like manner for the inhabitants of Ventotiene.
"It is probable, that thefe if lands and rocks may in time be levelled by the action of the sea, Ponza, in its prefent ftate, is the mere skeleton of a volcanic ifland, as little more than its harder vitrified parts remain, and they seem to be flowly and gradually mouldering away. Other new volcanic iflands may likewife be produced in thefe parts.
The gulfs of Gaeta and Terracina may, in the courfe of time, become another Campo Felice; for, as has been mentioned in one of my former communications on this fubject, their rich and fertile plain fo called, which extends from the bay of Naples to the Apennines, behind Caferta and Capua, has evidently been entirely formed by a fucceffion of fuch volcanic eruptions. Vefuvius, the Solfaterra, and the high volcanic ground on which great part of this city is built, were once probably iflands; and we may conceive the islands of Procita, Ifchia, Vertotiene, Palmarole, Ponza, and Zannone, to be the outline of a new portion of land, intended by nature to be added to the neighbouring continent; and the Lipari iflands (all of which are volcanic) may be looked upon in the fame light with refpect to a future intended a dition of territory to the ifland of Sicily,
The more opportuni ies I have of examining this volcanic country, the more I am convinced of the truth of what I have already ventured to advance, which is, that volcanos fhould be confidered in a creative rather than in a deftructive light. Many new difco