"Sea of Humors," barely softened by some drops of the waters from the "Gulf of Dew!" Clouds, rain, storms, and humors-- does the life of man contain aught but these?
Some portions of it along the rivers may partially be subdued by agriculture, others may form vast
pastoral tracts, like those of the East; but it is to be feared that a great part of it will form a lawless interval between the abodes of civilized man, like the wastes of the ocean or the deserts of Arabia; and, like them, be subject to the depredations of the marauder.
The same story is still more plainly told by faults,--those great cracks along which the strata have been upheaved on one side, or thrown down on the other, to the height or depth of thousands of feet; for since the crust cracked, the surface of the land has been so completely planed down by the action of the sea, that no trace of these vast
dislocations is externally visible.
It is to be remembered likewise that neither the Greeks nor Romans, from whom we have received all our information, ever carried their arms into this part of the world, or ever heard of multitudes of nations that dwell upon the banks of this vast
river; that the countries where the Nile rises, and those through which it runs, have no inhabitants but what are savage and uncivilised; that before they could arrive at its head, they must surmount the insuperable obstacles of impassable forests, inaccessible cliffs, and deserts crowded with beasts of prey, fierce by nature, and raging for want of sustenance.
At the twentieth there was a general shudder, as it occurred to the minds of that vast
assemblage that the bold travelers shut up within the projectile were also counting those terrible seconds.
Before him rose a grotesque mass of rocks, that resembled nothing so much as a vast
fire petrified at the moment of its most fervent combustion.
The Rocky Mountains formed a vast
barrier between them and the United States, and their stern and awful defiles, their rugged valleys, and the great western plains watered by their rivers, remained almost a terra incognita to the American trapper.
'worm' was a monster of vast
size and power--a veritable dragon or serpent, such as legend attributes to vast
fens or quags where there was illimitable room for expansion.
This theory, moreover, is totally inapplicable to the northern Maldiva atolls in the Indian Ocean (one of which is 88 miles in length, and between 10 and 20 in breadth), for they are not bounded like ordinary atolls by narrow reefs, but by a vast
number of separate little atolls; other little atolls rising out of the great central lagoon-like spaces.