A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 822 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14.
for some time on the beach, we began to walk into the country.  The whole ground was covered with roots and stones of all sizes, which seemed to have been exposed to a great fire, where they had acquired a black colour and porous appearance.  Two or three shrivelled species of grasses grew up among these stones, and in a slight degree softened the desolate appearance of the country.  About fifteen yards from the landing place, we saw a perpendicular wall of square hewn stones, about a foot and a half or two feet long, and one foot broad.  Its greatest height was about seven or eight feet, but it gradually sloped on both sides, and its length might be about twenty yards.  A remarkable circumstance was the junction of these stones, which were laid after the most excellent rules of art, fitting in such a manner as to make a durable piece of architecture.  The stone itself, of which they are cut, is not of great hardness, being a blackish brown cavernous and brittle stony lava.  The ground rose from the water side upwards; so that another wall, parallel to the first, about twelve yards from it, and facing the country, was not above two or three feet high.  The whole area between the two walls was filled up with soil and covered over with grass.  About fifty yards farther to the south, there was another elevated area, of which the surface was paved with square stones exactly similar to those which formed the walls.  In the midst of this area, there was a pillar consisting of a single stone, which represented a human figure to the waist, about twenty feet high, and upwards of five feet wide.  The workmanship of this figure was rude, and spoke the arts in their infancy.  The eyes, nose, and mouth, were scarcely marked on a lumpish ill-shaped head; and the ears, which were excessively long, quite in the fashion of the country, were better executed than any other part, though a European artist would have been ashamed of them.  The neck was clumsy and short, and the shoulders and arms very slightly represented.  On the top of the head a huge round cylinder of stone was placed upright, being above five feet in diameter and in height.  This cap, which resembled the head-dress of some Egyptian divinity, consisted of a different stone from the rest of the pillar, being of a more reddish colour; and had a hole on each side, as if it had been made round by turning.  The cap, together with the head, made one half of the whole pillar which appeared above ground.  We did not observe that the natives paid any worship to these pillars, yet they seemed to hold them in some kind of veneration, as they sometimes expressed a dislike when we walked over the paved area or pedestals, or examined the stones of which it consisted.  A few of the natives accompanied us farther on into the country, where we had seen some bushes at a distance, which we hoped would afford us something new.  Our road was intolerably rugged, over heaps of volcanic stones, which rolled away under our feet, and against which we continually
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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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