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suspended in mid-air; the impression was irresistible and all-pervading. The black and red doleritic lava, dismal, fire-baked, monotonous, spread in countless acres around. Hundreds of feet below it was merged in the drifting fog through which we had made our laborious way to this bright and sunny but indescribably desolate region. The wind was still a hurricane, and directly above stood the eighth station, nearly eleven thousand feet from the sea-level, and the last available resting-place before the tenth, or summit-station. Straw sandals still lay thickly strewed upon the cinders, and after clambering with one great, final "spurt " over the steepest way we had yet come, the eighth station was reached about twelve hours after the early morning start.

"An angle of forty-five degrees" is an expression commonly used in conversation to indicate any sort of path somewhat out of level. As a matter of fact, a slope of even ten or fifteen degrees is far from easy. Applying the clinometer to the path now and then, its largest reading showed an incline of 350.

The air by this time was too rare to breathe with entire ease, and the cold was intense. With no real window, and a sliding door generally closed against the tearing wind, the eighth station now held at least twenty-five persons; while a fire, smoldering in a hole in the floor and VOL. XLIV.-64.

without any chimney, bestowed its smoke impartially upon all. It would have been pleasanter, after resting awhile, to complete the climb and to sleep at the tenth station-Chodjo; but the majority of the party preferred to spend the night here- an impossible sort of thing, it seemed, with the circle of coolies crouched about the fire, the painfully smoke-laden atmosphere, and the absence of all comfort and convenience. But we unpacked the quilts and baskets, and tried to turn one corner into a series of attractive sleeping-apartments. This to a certain extent accomplished, we wrapped ourselves in cloaks, and stepped outside. Flecks of the great white cloud still hovered far below; but the sky was clear, and the sun had almost reached the vast mountain-shoulder behind us. The stupendous isolation of this vast peak now became fully apparent.

Rising from a level plain, undisturbed by lesser peaks to share the glory, its whole gigantic mass stands clearly cut, awful, unapproached. Far to the right was a shimmering, pale-blue sea with its curved beach; and northward, filling the distance, lay mountain-ranges and lakes in superb association: Hakone, the Otomi-toge, Nikko, and the rest, while Subashiri showed only as an elongated gray thatch. But the whole thing was too immense and impressive. Details vanished. As the sun sank

farther behind Fuji,—while yet the day was bright away from his dark influence, an immense black triangle of shadow gradually crept outward and eastward from his base, until it covered leagues of smiling field and forest. The cold, the smoke, the strangeness of the air, mingle with all the grandeur in the memory of that night's passing. A shower of fine, wind-swept lava beat an incessant tattoo upon the roof, and when morning looked faintly in through the crevices of the hut, it was shrouded in another thick, wet, heavy cloud, which soaked even the lava to a sharper blackness than usual.

From the eighth station upward a toilsome climb of an hour over the slippery masses brought us to the artificial ledge, or narrow pathway along the front of the twelve huts constituting the tenth and final station. Testing the pulse at once, it was found to be 160 during the first minute, and must have greatly exceeded this during the actual exertion of climbing. After an hour's rest it was reduced to 100. Thoroughly drenched as we were, and hardly able to see a yard ahead for the fog, a warm room and dry garments seemed the acme of personal luxury. But it was found that a number of the houses had been closed for the winter, so that choice was even more limited than appeared at first. Each hut was a single room, each room too low to stand upright in, while lava blocks and rough boards proved small protection against the fierce wind and penetrating mist. Moreover, a strange heaviness of limb weighted every motion, and the rapidity of the pulse was most fatiguing.

It would almost seem that there must be something peculiar about this mountain. It is more than 12,400 feet high; but while travelers sometimes speak of entire absence of disagreeable sensation on other mountains of fifteen and even seventeen thousand feet of elevation, the usual testimony as to Fuji is of great discomfort. Of "mountain-sickness" proper, in its usual manifestations, we had none; neither any special lung-oppression, nor increase of respiration above the normal. But the heart beat tumultuously, and even slight muscular exertion sent the pulse well up to 120 or 130.

After much preliminary conversation the owner of the least repulsive hut agreed to let us have the use of it. Just why we should prefer to have it to ourselves, and what possible objection there could be to his allowing any number of stray pilgrims to sleep there also, he failed to see. But persuasion won the day, and he finally consented to our exclusive occupation, though in surprise and disapproval. His entire outfit for living was comprised in three or four plates and cups upon a shelf, a kettle making a feeble attempt to boil over the

oke in one corner, and a small skin upon

which crouched the proprietor of all this luxury. The time of our host was chiefly occupied in blowing his weak-minded fire through a bamboo tube, to keep in it even the semblance of life; in the intervals he smoked a tiny Japanese pipe. His stolidity and uninterested though persistent watching of our small efforts to promote order in our corners outwardly expressed our inner feeling. We ourselves were utterly stolid and heavy-dull, edgeless. We wanted to be warm, we wished for sunshine, to see one green, growing thing, to have the heart slow down its tempestuous beating; but everything was far away, and very much in general. The air seemed made of lead. In the afternoon the fog began to blow off, and we were soon in clear air, with the clouds dispersing in shreds far below. The same wide-reaching panorama which filled all the world from the eighth station now began slowly to unfold again. Here and there a distant mountain-top emerged from the whiteness; later, the cool green lakes were gradually uncovered, and the ocean, silvery in the soft atmosphere, began to shimmer in the east.

The summit shrine was at a point slightly above our hut, and we went to it, walking over lava literally covered with rusty rin1 left by the devout. An occasional pilgrim arrived while we stood there, deposited his rin, and made straight for the lower regions with enviable alacrity. From this point the immensity of the desolate region became appallingly apparent. To the west, straight down 500 feet, lay the mighty crater, cold and dead, whose gloomy recesses were shaped by a power too terrible to conceive. One must walk about two miles to encircle the crater. Tons of grimy snow-masses filled the ravines of its southern slope. The immensity of the mountain appears nowhere more impressive than when looking upward from the bottom of the crater. There is no trail down the interior walls, but the descent into the cavern may be made in less than an hour, and is well worth the making. In large part the walls are very steep, and bits of lava now and then rattle down the slopes. A pool of green snow-water stands here a considerable portion of the year.

Too grand for words, too strange and fearful for enjoyment, too desolate and dreary for endurance, night at last covered this solitary mountain-top, seemingly forgotten even by God. Through the chinks and crevices in the lava hut the wind howled with an indescribably bitter and hopeless moan. Colder and colder grew the night. Water standing in the room was covered nearly an inch thick with ice (which in the morning the proprietor calmly broke for us to wash our faces!), yet the exer

1 A small coin, worth about of a cent.

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tion of getting more clothing was so great that the moon high up it was impossible to detect the sharp chill was preferable.1

The stars shone constantly clearer, and to ward midnight we had the instruments all at work. A few yards from the long row of huts was a small open space, where the telescope might command a clear horizon view in every direction. A stiff wind blew out of the west, with the thermometer below the freezing-point. To the east were the precipitous slopes of the mountain-side, and, opposite us, the overhanging crags of the cavernous crater. The telescope was mounted upon a large lava boulder, and much of the time had to be held in position lest it should be upset by the wind. Any one in quest of comfort would not elect to make astronomical observations under conditions such as these and on top of a mountain two or three miles high, besides. However, the program was executed in spite of merely physical obstacles, and the hours of clearest sky lasted until even astronomers became weary. At stars in every part of the sky, to the north, south, east, and west, and at all altitudes from the zenith to the horizon, the telescope was pointed, and the conditions of vision tested by the steadiness of the spectral disks or images, just as in the case of the artificial star. So fine were these images, so nearly optically perfect the air, that for moments together there was scarcely a trace of atmospheric effects.

These were general tests. If they were satisfactory, of course the telescope could not fail to do its best work upon any special objects of whatever sort. A few double stars, suited to the capacity of the instrument, were tried, and the advantages were at once strikingly apparent. Companion stars hard to see, and "doubles" hard to divide, with the same glass at lower elevations, here were readily discerned. Even in looking at so ordinary an object as the moon, the edge or limb of which has been seen absolutely sharp by few astronomers, the effect was indescribable. So sharply defined were the details of the lunar surface, that if a suitable object-glass had been at hand, a magnifying power of 2000 diameters would at first have been used. The structural irregularities of the limb were so marked, and in many parts the moon's edge was so excessively jagged, as to lead one to wonder that the usual type of lunar observations can be made as accurately as they are. As dawn approached, Saturn had risen to an available altitude, and the ring-system was seen to the best advantage. While with

1 The low temperature generally prevalent on Fujisan is at one spot slightly modified by the intrinsic heat of the mountain. Satow and Hawes, without whose admirable "Guide-book to Northern and Central Ja pan" no one should attempt extended travel in the empire, say, at page 118, of the ascent of Fuji-san :

even the slightest trace of "boiling at the limb," as the astronomer sometimes says, Saturn was less favorably situated, and a slender trace of undulation was now and then evident. Still, had the glass been large enough, a power of 1500 might have been used.

Of course these results were not surprising after the spectral images of the stars had behaved so finely. One great advantage of the spectral-image tests is that they can be made satisfactorily with a small telescope, while the tests upon specific objects usually require large and bulky instruments, which are hard to manage in mountain work. Just at sunrise we found that while all the lower world lay impenetrably shrouded in a thick white cloud, out of this smooth, soft sea Fuji-san rose like a volcanic island- —a deep blue sky above without a fleck of mist, and the sun shining as through lambent crystal. After sunrise the astronomical observations were continued upon the sun, in order to detect the gradual changes in the optical quality of the atmosphere. At first, with the sun about half an hour high, there was very fine solar definition, with slight flickering of the limb, but little or no genuine "boiling." Rarely is the sun better seen. A crag of the crater wall was found whose shadow would, during the morning, fall at an accessible point within the cavity, several hundred feet away. Upon this crag was set a disk just a little larger than necessary to occult the sun. At the proper point behind this disk the eye was placed, and, when the sun came in range, the corona was carefully looked for. The degree of atmospheric illumination immediately around the sun was surprisingly small, and the conditions for seeing the corona without an eclipse seemed in every way favorable; but not a trace of it could be detected. There was still enough atmospheric and other matter above the mountain-summit to catch the sunlight and to render the background of the corona as bright as the object itself, and thus make it invisible. There is, of course, very little reason for expecting to see the corona in this way, but so simple an experiment seems always worth trying.

The usual unpleasant effects of the direct rays of the sun upon the complexion were not escaped by all of the party, and the skin of several faces gradually peeled off. Mountaineers often maintain that snow-reflection is the cause of this well-known trouble; but such could not have been the case here, as there

"The interesting phenomenon may be observed of steam still issuing from the soil in several places. A few inches below the surface the heat is great enough to be unbearable, and an egg may be fairly cooked in about half an hour."

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was no snow on the mountain, except in protected gorges in the farther side of the crater half a mile away.

As the sun ascended higher toward meridian, the telescopic definition grew somewhat worse, but it never became so bad as at sea-level. The vast ocean of cloud below gradually rose as the morning advanced, and about noon the great mountain seemed entirely immersed. Celestial observations being no longer possible, we addressed ourselves to the task of locating the future observatory, should one ever be built on Fuji-san. A short distance northwest of Chodjo we discovered a fine plateau which with little labor might be enlarged for the reception of a permanent structure. Here the lesser apparatus and the observers' quarters might be established, there being ample means of protection against the severe and prevalent west winds. This point commands an incomparable view to the north and east, and communication by heliotrope with any of the towns below would be simple. If a great telescope were to be mounted on Fuji-san, an ideal

location is available on a saddle inside the crater, a few yards below the summit, where the buildings might be perfectly protected against the wind. Many advantages of a highlevel observatory on Fuji-san are not realizable elsewhere. For a period of four or five months each year, the continual ascent of the mountain by pilgrims would make it possible to communicate directly with the world below. Furthermore, the keepers of a dozen or more huts at the tenth station are always living there during the season, and the little company of observers would never be quite alone. no other isolated peak of like elevation on the globe would these advantages be gained. If, as often occurs, the series of high-level observations requires a corresponding series at a lower level, Fuji-san meets such conditions perfectly. For example, at Subashiri and on the summit might be established a pair of sta tions, each plainly visible from the other, with a vertical difference of nearly 10,000 feet and a horizontal distance of about seven miles.


While scientific men are supposed to be ob

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