each other about
ten miles, there being fine open passages between. The land in all of
them is very high, especially in Tristan d'Acunha, properly so called.
This is the largest of the group, being fifteen miles in circumference,
and so elevated that it can be seen in clear weather at the distance of
eighty or ninety miles. A part of the land towards the north rises more
than a thousand feet perpendicularly from the sea. A tableland at this
height extends back nearly to the centre of the island, and from this
tableland arises a lofty cone like that of Teneriffe. The lower half of
this cone is clothed with trees of good size, but the upper region is
barren rock, usually hidden among the clouds, and covered with snow
during the greater part of the year. There are no shoals or other
dangers about the island, the shores being remarkably bold and the
water deep. On the northwestern coast is a bay, with a beach of black
sand, where a landing with boats can be easily effected, provided there
be a southerly wind. Plenty of excellent water may here be readily
procured; also cod, and other fish, may be taken with hook and line.
The next island in point of size, and the most westwardly of the group,
is that called the Inaccessible. Its precise situation is 37° 17' S.
latitude, longitude 12° 24' W. It is seven or eight miles in
circumference, and on all sides presents a forbidding and precipitous
aspect. Its top is perfectly flat, and the whole region is steril,
nothing growing upon it except a few stunted shrubs.
Nightingale Island, the smallest and most southerly, is in latitude 37°
26' S., longitude 12° 12' W. Off its southern extremity is a high ledge
of rocky islets; a few also of a similar appearance are seen to the
northeast. The ground is irregular and steril, and a deep valley
partially separates it.
The shores of these islands abound, in the proper season, with sea
lions, sea elephants, the hair and fur seal, together with a great
variety of oceanic birds. Whales are also plenty in their vicinity.
Owing to the ease with which these various animals were here formerly
taken, the group has been much visited since its discovery. The Dutch
and French frequented it at a very early period. In 1790, Captain
Patten, of the ship Industry, of Philadelphia, made Tristan d'Acunha,
where he remained seven months (from August, 1790, to April, 1791) for
the purpose of collecting sealskins. In this time he gathered no less
than five thousand six
But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held.Page 1
And thus were produced a multitude of gaudy and fantastic appearances.Page 2
He had directed, in great part, the movable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great _fete_; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders.Page 3
There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.Page 4
But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death.Page 5
And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death.