Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 303 pages of information about Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland.

The Bishop of Nismes has lately issued a pastoral letter, commanding prayers to be offered up for the cessation of the malady affecting the silkworms in his own and the surrounding dioceses.]

[Footnote 91:  The feudal buildings were razed by order of Richelieu, but the tower remains a landmark for the valley.  Three hundred detenus were confined here after the coup d’etat of December 2, 1851.]

[Footnote 92:  The origin of the name Dauphin seems to be lost in obscurity, though of comparatively recent date.  The Counts d’Albon took the title first in 1140, and their estates were not called the Terra Dalphini, or Dalphinatus, till 1291.  The first Dauphins bore a castle, not a dolphin.]

[Footnote 93:  The old historian Gollut speaks of the clairets and clerets as red wines.]

[Footnote 94:  The ‘Times’ of Oct. 4, 1864, stated that almost no raw silk was offered at the last markets at Valence and Romans, and but for foreign supplies the mills must have been closed.  The small amount that was offered sold at from 68 to 72 francs the kilogramme, while foreign cocoons from Calamata fetched only 22 francs at Marseilles.]

[Footnote 95:  Pausanias says that silkworms are apt to die of indigestion, the cocoons lying heavy on the stomach.]

[Footnote 96:  T. xxxv. pp. 244, &c.]

[Footnote 97:  M. de Thury calculated that the thickness of the roof at the lower part of the cave was about 60 feet of rock.  He also noticed the peculiar structure of the ice, which afforded great surprise to his party.  It was discovered by means of the coloured rays which were thrown into the different parts of the cave, when some one had casually placed a torch in a cavity in one of the columns.]

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CHAPTER XV.

OTHER ICE CAVES.

The Cave of Szelicze, or Szilitze, in Hungary.[98]

Matthew Bell, the historian of Hungary, sent an account of this cavern to England, in the middle of the last century, which was printed in the original Latin in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ of 1739-40 (pp. 41, &c.).

This account states that the cave is in the county of Thorn,[99] among the lowest spurs of the Carpathians.  The entrance, which faces the north, and is exposed to the cold winds from the snowy part of the Carpathian range, is 18 fathoms high and 9 broad; and the cave spreads out laterally, and descends to a point 50 fathoms below the entrance, where it is 26 fathoms in breadth, and of irregular height.  Beyond this no one had at that time penetrated, on account of the unsafe footing, although many distant echoes were returned by the farther recesses of the cave; indeed, to get even so far as this, much step-cutting was necessary.

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