It is a history book. The principal mountain chain of Sicily skirts the North and a portion of the North-eastern coast, and would appear to be a prolongation of the Apennines. An inferior group passes through the centre of the island, diverging towards the South, as it approaches the East coast. Between the two ranges, and completely separated from them by the valleys of the Alcantara and the Simeto, stands the mighty mass of Mount Etna, which rises in solitary grandeur from the eastern sea-board of the island. Volcanoes, by the very mode of their formation, are frequently completely isolated; and, if they are of any magnitude, they thus acquire an imposing contour and a majesty, which larger mountains, forming parts of a chain, do not possess. This specially applies to Etna'.Cœlebs degit', says Cardinal Bembo',et nullius montis dignata conjugium, caste intra suos terminos continetur'. It is not alone the conspicuous appearance of the mountain which has made it the most famous volcano either of ancient or modern times:—the number and violence of its eruptions, the extent of its lava streams, its association with antiquity, and its history prolonged over more than 2400 years, have all tended to make it celebrated.