Aiken Journal, September 19, 1874

Aiken Journal

September 19, 1874

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Issue date: Saturday, September 19, 1874

Pages available: 4 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions

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Publication name: Aiken Journal

Location: Aiken, South Carolina

Pages available: 2,250

Years available: 1874 - 2002

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Aiken Journal (Newspaper) - September 19, 1874, Aiken, South Carolina VOLUME 4 —NUMBER 189. THEGEYSm # _ •* WIT TO THU OUK T WONDERS OI' ICEUXTD. AIKEN, S.; C.» SEPTEMBER IO. I .7 grassy plain, some twenty miles in brerdth, sparkling here and there with little lakes or the winding course of rivers. Beyond it were low, softly-un* dilating hills, over which Hekla tower- Bayard Taylor’s Visit to Them—Inter-eStl“’ A*®011'* Icelandic Expert- I ed—or rather heaved—broad”' heavy tutees. in {Bayard Taylor’s Letter to N. Y. Tribase.] Thingvalla, August 7.—Oar cara- outline, and only beautiful- because the sun made a golden gleam of its snow._ Toward the sea some blue, scattered van had already fallen into an orderly I    ^    <ar    t0 Ums north- -------  .....    I    whe,'e    the    great    plato    ouu.e    down    on    the manner of travel. Eyvindur and Jon rode ahead, taking charge of the baggage and the loose ponies. While the litter kept the track, the guides sang melau-cholly native songs, or passed the horn of snuff from one nose to the oilier. This implement, like an old fashioned powder horn, has a neck which holds the proper charge; the man throws his head with a sudden jerk, applies the horn to his nostril, and receives the contents._ The process is repeated at least a dozen times a day, and the result is an upper lip which only the most reckless passion ■Could tolerate as the agent of a kiss. TUE BOY GUIDE rode beside me, eager to learn something more of a world he had never When puzzled to understand some English word, or at a loss to find the one he wanted, he would generally ask, * “What is it in Latin ?” Presently he surprised me by the question ; “What 5° y°u think bf Byron as a poet ?” “He is one of the very first in the modern English literatureI answered. “Is not the song of the spirits in ‘Manfred* considered very fine r Gier asked again. “I like it very much.” Happening-to mention German, the boy bogan to talk the language with about as much fluency as English. He had read Shilled ballard and "‘The Bobbers,” which latter seemed to have made a great impression on his mind ; but he was most desirous to hear something of the works with which he was still unacquainted. “I have heard that Goethe's 4Faust* is very difficult to understand,” he said ; “so I have not yet tried to read fc it. but hope to be able in a year or two. SliaKka-spey-an”—so lie pronounced the name once, but irs soon as I corrects cd him, always properly arterward— heart of Iceland, there were glimpses of remoter snows and glaciers. But out on the green level, fifteen miles away, thoro suddenly shot a silvery column of steam, at least a hundred feet in height The geysers    I”    ‘ no some one cried ; hut • it was a great boiling spring, or caldron, Eyvindur said, which never sends up jets of water. It ryas the only thing in the vast view which resembled a sign of human life—and was really a menace against life. It was seven o’clock, the pale, level light slowly rose on the eastern nioun tains, and we were getting to be wretch edly weary, when another mvuntain corner was turned, and over the plain, at the foot of a dark, isolate hill, about five miles off, rose a dozen tall eolumns of steam. ‘Shakespeare is alsodifficult, but I hav read ‘King Lear/ and mean to read all the other plays. Is ‘Faust* anything like Shakespeare in style ?” Aud this was a poor, fatherless boy of seventeen, with an Icelandic education ! Modest sweet-tempered, warm, with a tireless eagerness for knowledge, not one of our party could help loving Geir, and feeling the sincerest interest in his fortunes. In spite of the tremendous disolation of the scenery, it was far more varied midland tliau that between Dejkiavik #    * and Thingvalla. The sky cleared as we reached the farther end of the lava field, at the corner of a morsy mountain with a bare, black summit, where a path des ^    tended through a rocky raven to a sketch of green meadow land below. Far to the east, fifty or sixty guiles away, the I    horrizen was bounded by a Hue of snow % * topped mountains. %    “HEKLA    !” cried Eyvindur, pointing to a broad, humpy mass of snow, which rose considerable above the general level. The ; summit was still hidden, but the mantle (“hekla means a mantle in Icelandic) of snow was so unbroken and extended so far down the sides that the perfect * quiet of the volcano was manifest._ There has becti no eruption siuce the year 1845. As we approached the mountain, the eastern range, including -Hekla, which had been bidden for two hours, again came into view, and this time free from ^£kmd* “We don’t often see Hekla so oieur as he is now,” said the suid. It ||ia lonely but surprisingly peaceful castorial landscape. From the I W[herc we rode we overlooked a THE GEYSERS AT LAST ! “It is frosting I” cried Jon as one jet slim higher than the others. There is a byre or farmstead, at the foot af the hill j the hot springs Re just beyond, along tho eastern base, and not much above the level of tho plain. A space 400 yards in length by IOO in breadth includes the tiro geysers, the Strokr.and about twenty smaller springs. We rode between the latter, which were simply boiling and roaring from holes in abed of silieious rock. Beyond them 01010 tl,e Strokr, a larger and more furious pit; then a patch of green turf. on which the tents were already pitched for the royal party; and beyond it a low, crater-like elevation, half vailed in' stream, which I was rather reluctant to recognise as the Great Geyser. But there was no other caldron beyond; half a dozen men were standing about the brim—yet it looked so natural and harmless i It slept soundly, but some ofour party were excited and resins. Toward morning there were several mysterious underground thumps, which sent them posting to the geyser’s brim ; but only denser stream an-d a heavier overflow of water followed. The scene in the morn iug was curious. We took our toilet articles and went, half dressed, to the hollow between the geyser and the spring, where the sulphur overflow is shallow aud lukewarm. It was already occupied £ a royal chamberlain was scooping up water in his hands, an admiral was tipping his toothbrush into stieam, a Copenhagen professor was laboriously shaving himself by the aid of a looking glass stuck iii a crack of the elater, and the king, neat and fresh as if at home, stood on the bank and amused himself with the sight. The quality of the water ten ;wo or to have IS ^EXQUISITE : is like dowu and velvet to the skin, soap becomes a finer substance in it, .and the refreshment given to the hands and face seems to permeate the whole body. If one could have a complete hath ! A day’s labor would make a pool sufficient therefor, yet tho idea has never occurred to a single soul, native or foreign. I did not dare to venture a quarter of a mile away from tly3 geyter during the whole day. We all fell into a condition of nervous expectancy which could not be escaped, comical as were some of its features. There was a pile of turf— perhaps a cart load—beside the Strokr, which lay just, below our tent, and we are told that the caldron would be compelled to sprout for the king as soon as lie had finished his breakfast; so we sat down contented to the second plover stew, which Mr. Gladstone and Haynes had provided for us. The Strokr is a pit about five foot iu diameter, aud eight feet deep to the ordinary level of die water, which is al Ways in a furious boiling state. Prof. Steenstrup assured me that it is not connected with the great geyser, as the analysis of the water shows a difference; but the people are equally convinced that it is, and that to provoke its activity diminishes the chances of the former spouting. However this may be. the royal command was given. The pile of turf was pitched into the hole, and all gathered around at a safe distance, wait-*ng to see what would follow. For ten minutes we noticed nothing except a diminution, of steam ; then tho water gushed up to the level of the surface in a state of violent agitation, subsided, rose again, spouted the full breadth of the hole to a height of fifteen or twenty feet, sank again, and finally,- af-another moment of quiet, SHOT IOO FEET INTO THE AIB. The boiled turf reduced to a consistency of gravel, filled the jet and darkened us central shaft, but I did not find that it diminished the beauty of the phenomenon. Jet after jct followed sending long, plume-like turfts from the summit and sides of the main column around which the snowy drifts of stream whirled and eddied with a grace so swift that the eye could scarcely seize it. At such moments the base was hidden and the form of the fountain was like a buncher the pampas grass in blossom—a Juster of leathery 'panicles of spray, t The performance lasted nearly minutes, and was resumed again t three times after it seemed ceased. Two or three of the last spouting were the highest, arid some estimated ►them at fully one hundred and twenty feet. Tinnily the indignant caldron threw out the last of its unclean emetic and sank to its normal level. The king, who had turned aside to salute our company, was in the act of expressing to me his admiration of the scone, when .the little geyser ga re signs of action. There was a ru,h of the whale party ; his majesty turned and ran like a boy, jumping over tim gullies and stones with an agility which must have bewildered tho heavy officials. It was a false alarm. The little geyser let off a few sharp discharges of steam as if merely to test the pressure and then, as if satisfied, resumed its indolent and smoky habit. The conc of the great geyser is not more than twenty feet high, and appears to have been gradually formed by the depesjt of the silieious particles which the water holds in solution. The top is like a shallow wash-bowl, thirty feet in diameter, full to the brim, and slowly overflowing on tho en stern side. In the centre of this bowl there is a well, indicated by the intense blue green of tho water, and appearcntly eight or ten feet in diameter. It has been sounded, aud bottom—or at least a change of direction reached at the depth of eighty-five feet. At the edge, where the water is shallow, one can dip his fingers in quickly without being scalded. Small particles placed in the overflow are completely incrusted with transparent silex in a day or two. Professor Streenstrup informed me that the water has important healing proprities. The steam has the odor of sulphureted hydrogen, but the taste thereof is so soon lost that, where the stream becomes cold, we used it for drinking and making coffee. I shall never forget that fiTvLun/,Obevlnnedbjraridg0 of‘| that tho little geyser would spo^i any mountains. Near us a quiet, grass-    * $2 PGR ANNUM, IN ADY ANCB J! id a rooted farmstead ; towards the sea, meadows and gleames of rivers , irf front the broad, green plain, its inclosing hills and Heckla rising lonely above them ; northward, a church and neighboring byres, a smooth, grassy ridge beyond, the snow streaked pyramid of the Blaf-jail (Blue Mourtain,) and far in the distance the luminous icy peaks of the Ame and Kotluga Jokulls. From our tent the noise of the boiling waters could not ba beard ; the scream ascended quickly, soon dissipated in the light wind, and the expression of the scone before me, as I watched it for hours, lying on tho soft turf of the hillside, was one of pence and repose. At 1:20 o’clock there came a dull thud, felt rather than heard ; then another, and another, and we all rushed towards the great gleyser. Before any one reached it, however, the noises ceased ; the water UIS* a foot or so. giving out (lense volumes of'steam, but in five minutes it became quiet as befur.. The king and his aitendans officials strayed up the hill, and there the for-mer spent some time in calving a rune upon one of the rocks. I made an effort to talk with a group of farmers, finding them ready enough only a little embarrassed at the start; but when I. asked, few minutes. What authority he had I do not know, but it was bad : the little ^yscr kept as quiet as a lamb. Half an hour passed, and the Stokr took trot the feast notice of the irritation. The royal party mounted and rode away, with many a longing, lingering look behind —when just as they were passing out of sight around the corner of the hill, and we were turning towards our tent, the Stokr WENT OFF LIKE A CANNON. The wonderful, plumy bursts were re-pea ted lur a shorter spice than before, but equally lofty and violent. It seemed hard lo leeve the spot, for the day we had spent there was perfect tn its way. “The pack ponies were leaded ; we got into our saddles, moved reluctantly down the grassy slope, and turned our faces away from the lazy volumes of steam. Then there was a sudden con-cussion in the earth, a momentary quivering, followed by a strange, hissing sound. As we sprang from our ponies the basin of the geyser swelled and oast out a greet volume of water. Cut of the centre a solid crystal mass was th rust up to the height of twenty feet, then before it wholly foil back, the central jet shot ouo hundred tqgf fifty feet into ‘l,e *'*• Again and again this huge “Do you know piquid shaft, sparkling with indiseriba- ble gloty in the never heard, were eagerly mentioned and discussed. It was remarkable to see their full knowledge of Icelandic literature, and their vital interests in it. “Do you know who first discovered America V* I asked. “Yes, yes,” they all cried in a body ; “ it was    "    ? hurried on high, terror——” morning Cl sun, Amazement, was awe. Smmuud's Edda?” there was an instant flash and flame in their faces, and all shyness vanished. TbeNjaland Vol- sunga Sagas, Snorra Sturlussen, with a . This, or somethin- like it was whM T ^core of obscure wgas of which T    i.    i * S < J    **§ I t v * °\wmcri 1 bMfhoped'tobe aole td thrice, up to'the very*, int- out their CALM, SUBLIME DAY LIFE, THE SON OF ERICK THE RED.” “When was it:”’ “Ahunt tho year 1000. And there was lliornfiiin Karlsenne. who went afterward, and Thorwald. They culled the country Vineland.” ••We ki.ow it,” said I. “I am a Y hinder.” They silently stretched hands and shook mine. A t half past four there came a rcpt. Aition of the geyser thumps, louder and more rapid than the first time, and at eight o’clock a third manifestation. We fondly hoped that tiese were signs of increased activity, which would soon bring about an outburst. Our excitement increased to such an extent that, a though watches had been set for the king’s sake, .Messrs Halstead, Haynes and Gladstone volunteered to keep independent watch for us. The two former passed half the night sitting on the edge of the geyser basin. They were once scared away by a thump which threatened to split the rocky shell un-der their lect, Out nothing followed except a violent overthrqjv of water. I heard the noise twice during the night, and waited vainly for a call; the twilight was so bright that the spectacle would have been visible at any hour_ had it come. The v^stival at iiiingvalia obliged us ail to leave the next day. Just as the king’s tents were struck, the subterranean noises begun '.nee more ; there seemed a malicious, tan alizing demon at work to excite and delude us. As a last compensatiauJ another pile of sods were hurled into the Strokr, and we all last moment. Hut the tenth mast do told, the great geyses would ' not spout I must have turned in my saddle a hundred times while the It ca rn columns wore visible, half f aring, h.ili'-expcct-ing a sudden incrt&se in their volume for the worst disappointment would have been to miss the nearly. ?pectack so at the geyser. gathered about it. An English party | had arrived the day before, and the artier reading many de-j test of the London Illustrated News The steamship Denmark brought over from Europe Bath Goshen, the American giant v;a mountain of a man.” Colonel Bath Goshen is sit feet nine inches in height and wetgfrt 5G0 pounds. Ile was born in the valley rf the City of Mexico, filty-sjjvcu years ago, and docs not look to be tnt*re than thirty years of age. Bo has a hand nenrfyx^g large as a small sized na n, and ha Wears 4>ur. teen” in shoes. He had high white beaver hat, a big white walking etftfk of Ute dimensions of a crowbar,'J and was dussed in a big blue cloth coat white duck pants and a vest made of white bath toweling. To hold ap his watch he had an immense chain rd gold lings, hir^e enough lor his own huge lingers: which were looped together, and from the ihitia depended two enormous fcld4**tli0fft»d seals. The colonel, who der’,y**ftii* title' from service in the Mexiean urioy, ^ present at Qneretaro when Maximilian was murdered, aud r< ceiled a cross of precious stones for ’us services in (he preceding campaign. It having .been rumored that the giant was to exhibit himself in Barnum s show, the reporter . took occasion to ask ii im if it was so, bat the colonel den«ed it at once, and when a parson inquired if his nome was Mons. Bihin—tho name of a Belgian gitfnt formerly on exhibition in New York city—he asked indi-naotly if * they “took him to be a horse thief?’’ He -Ire was in the silk and satin business, and had left Calculi sixty Hays previ-uusly for Awm ie::. Himself and son were in partnership together in e Francisco. When he sections, I was never less prepared for j steed on. a mound with pencil and the reality of the scene. Instead of a : sketch book to record the result. We drear, narrow, volcanic valley, here was j waited aquarter of an hour, and noth-a landscape bounded on the west by j i„g came ; tb'e kins-, who had meanwhile mountains, but on the north, east and ! joined our American Party, informed us an was asked what lie thought el foreign countries he said that he found there was but one Amor, lea in the world, an I that England was a thousand years behind the acre. Newspaper advertising is a permanent ! SrT I rer,u':"""' «•' i!>° floods adc. rinsed because it is a permanent influence always at work in their inter-| est. ;