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This structure is peculiar to Antisana and Pichincha, two burning mountains of the province of Quito; and the absence of the conic form ought never to be considered as a reason excluding the idea of a volcanic origin. I shall develop, in the progress of this work, some of the analogies, which I think I have perceived between the physiognomy of volcanoes and the antiquity of their rocks.

Still almost interminable ranges of mountains appeared to the east. As we looked back, we could see the lofty heights of Pichincha, Corazon, Ruminagui, Cotopaxi, Antisana, and many others. We had a mountain before us. Our patient mules slowly climbed up it.

Peak of Teneriffe Its Crater Eruption of Chahorra Palma Great Caldera Lancerote Great Eruption Sudden Death Fuego, Cape de Verde Islands Cotopaxi Its Appearance Great Eruptive Force Tunguragua Great Eruption of Mud and Water Fish thrown out Quito Its Overthrow Pichinca Humboldt's Ascent Narrow Escape Antisana Sangay Rancagua Chillan Masaya

We have remarked, in the Cordillera of the Andes, that the conical mountains, such as Cotopaxi and Tungurahua, are oftener seen free from clouds, than those of which the tops are broken into bristly points, like Antisana and Pichincha; but the peak of Teneriffe, notwithstanding its pyramidical form, is a great part of the year enveloped in vapours, and is sometimes, during several weeks, invisible from the road of Santa Cruz.

The Andes are scarcely inhabited beyond the height of two thousand toises; and at that height the proximity of the soil, and the masses of mountains, which form the shoals of the aerial ocean, have a sensible influence on the ambient air. What we observe on the table-land of Antisana is not what we should find at the same height in a balloon, hovering over the Llanos or the surface of the ocean.

Flame-breathing Cotopaxi, whose wrathful mutterings are audible two hundred leagues away, and Chimborazo, Antisana, Sarata, Illimani, Aconcagua names of mountains that affect us like the names of gods, implacable Pachacamac and Viracocha, whose everlasting granite thrones they are. At the last I showed her Cuzco, the city of the sun, and the highest dwelling-place of men on earth.

"Precisely so; and take for another example the farm of Antisana, which is situated about midway up the Cordilleras, mountains of South America.

On the top of the Andes, at Antisana, I observed the sun-rise, and passed the whole night at the height of 2100 toises, without noting any appearance resembling this phenomenon. I was anxious to make an exact observation of the instant of sun-rising at an elevation so considerable as that we had reached on the peak of Teneriffe.

The stony summit of Antisana, covered with eternal snow, forms an islet in the midst of an immense plain, the surface of which is twelve leagues square, while its height exceeds that of the peak of Teneriffe by two hundred toises. At Vesuvius, at three hundred and seventy toises high, the cone detaches itself from the plain of Atrio dei Cavalli.

What a pity it would have been had he fallen in! We should have had no "Personal Narrative," no "Cosmos." There are in this region of South America other two great volcanoes, named Antisana and Sangay. The former has not been in action since 1718, but is remarkable for the immense beds of lava which it has amassed around it during its former eruptions.