Letters From High Latitudes By Lord Dufferin















































































 -  - Some vast commotion
shook the foundations of the island, and bubbling up from
sources far away amid the inland hills - Page 60
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- Some Vast Commotion Shook The Foundations Of The Island, And Bubbling Up From Sources Far Away Amid The Inland Hills,

A fiery deluge must have rushed down between their ridges, until, escaping from the narrower gorges, it found space to

Spread itself into one broad sheet of molten stone over an entire district of country, reducing its varied surface to one vast blackened level.

One of two things then occurred: either the vitrified mass contracting as it cooled, - the centre area of fifty square miles burst asunder at either side from the adjoining plateau, and sinking down to its present level, left the two parallel Gjas, or chasms, which form its lateral boundaries, to mark the limits of the disruption; or else, while the pith or marrow of the lava was still in a fluid state, its upper surface became solid, and formed a roof beneath which the molten stream flowed on to lower levels, leaving a vast cavern into which the upper crust subsequently plumped down. [Footnote: I feel it is very presumptuous in me to hazard a conjecture on a subject with which my want of geological knowledge renders me quite incompetent to deal; but however incorrect either of the above suppositions may be justly considered by the philosophers, they will perhaps serve to convey to the unlearned reader, for whose amusement (not instruction) these letters are intended, the impression conveyed to my mind by what I saw, and so help out the picture I am trying to fill in for him.]

[Figure:

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