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We should be warranted in ascribing the erection of the great pyramid to superhuman power, if we were convinced that it was raised in one day; and if we imagine, in the same manner, a continent or mountain-chain to have been elevated during an equally small fraction of the time which was really occupied in upheaving it, we might then be justified in inferring, that the subterranean movements were once far more energetic than in our own times.

We had to go down the Volga to the Nine Feet Station below Astrakhan, embark there on the Caspian Sea, and cross over either to Baku, whence we could go by post round the mountain-chain at its southern extremity as far as Tiflis; or land at Petrofsk, and travel along the chain to Vladikavkas and the good military road across the chain to Tiflis. We gave our preference to the last-named route.

The entire tract was of a nearly uniform character, consisting of wooded spurs from the northern mountain-chain, with, valleys of greater or less width between them. Streams were numerous, and vegetation was consequently rich; but it may be doubted whether the climate was healthy.

The chief districts into which the territory was divided were Paraetacene, a portion of the Bakhtiyari mountain-chain, which some, however, reckoned to Media; Mardyene, or the country of the Mardi, also one of the hill tracts; Taocene, the district about Taoce, part of the low sandy coast region; Ciribo, the more northern portion of the same region; and Carmania, the entire eastern territory.

Tourists from England, or from any part of Western Europe, may easily visit the great mountain-chain on which Prometheus was found, by crossing the Black Sea from Constantinople or from Odessa, and landing at Poti, where the Russians have constructed a railway to Tiflis, once the capital of Georgia, now the residence of the Governor-General of the whole Caucasus region.

"Permit me, however," rejoined one of the Shadows; and as he spoke he approached the king; and lifting a dark forefinger, he drew it lightly but carefully across the ridge of his forehead, from temple to temple. The king felt the soft gliding touch go, like water, into every hollow, and over the top of every height of that mountain-chain of thought.

So far as relates to the source of so much homogeneous loam, there are many large tributaries of the Danube which, during the glacial period, may have carried an ample supply of moraine-mud from the Alps to that river; and in regard to grand oscillations in the level of the land, it is obvious that the same movements both downward and upward of the great mountain-chain would be attended with analogous effects, whether the great rivers flowed northwards or eastwards.

Through the Strait of Le Maire, which separates the latter from Staten Island, they sailed onward to the extreme southern point of the American continent, the famous promontory of Cape Horn. It is the termination of the mighty mountain-chain of the Andes, and is formed of a mass of colossal basaltic rocks, thrown together in wild disorder, as by a Titan's hand.

The dusk slowly grew into light, the mysterious forms of the mountain-chain took shape and stood up with their shining points, the light clouds were swept away like smoke. Thin vapors rose from the oasis and the other valleys at his feet, at first in heavy masses, then they parted and were wafted, as if in sport, above and beyond him to the sky.

Here we must bid farewell to the beautiful fruitful valley and to the charming road, and pursue our journey through a stony region, which we do not pass without difficulty. At the entrance of the mountain-chain lies a miserable village; near this village is a well, and here we halted to refresh ourselves and water our poor horses.