Ferguson was in haste to descend; the covering of the balloon gave indications of bursting, but in the meanwhile he had time to satisfy himself of the volcanic origin of the mountain, whose extinct craters are now but deep abysses
By dint of leaping, climbing, gambolling amid the abysses
of the gigantic cathedral he had become, in some sort, a monkey and a goat, like the Calabrian child who swims before he walks, and plays with the sea while still a babe.
The method was a little singular, but very restful, for it seemed to ignore completely all accidents of human life, and to span very deep abysses
with a few simple words.
But what will not be forgotten, and what will and should continue to obsess our imaginations, is this revelation of the possibilities of the universe, this destruction of our ignorant self-complacency, and this demonstration of how narrow is the path of our material existence and what abysses
may lie upon either side of it.
It dealt with man and his soul-gropings in their ultimate terms, plumbing the abysses
of space for the testimony of remotest suns and rainbow spectrums.
But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses
Half conscious, but ever with the one thought beating in his mind, he goaded the horse onwards, rushing swiftly down steep ravines over huge boulders, along the edges of black abysses
But what gave immediacy to my decision to move on was a trick John Barleycorn played me--a monstrous, incredible trick that showed abysses
of intoxication hitherto undreamed.
The eye might have gazed into the crater's gaping abysses
, and followed the capricious fissures which wound through the immense plains.