The Piazza Tales

Cover The Piazza Tales
The Piazza Tales
Melville Herman
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Well, that identical crater-shaped headland there, all yellow lava, is cut by the Equator exactly as a knife cuts straightthrough the centre of a pumpkin pie. If you could only see so far, justto one side of that same headland, across yon low dikey ground, youwould catch sight of the isle of Narborough, the loftiest land of thecluster; no soil whatever; one seamed clinker from top to bottom;abounding in black caves like smithies; its metallic shore ringing underfoot like plates of iron; its cen...tral volcanoes standing grouped like agigantic chimney-stack.
Narborough and Albemarle are neighbors after a quite curious fashion. Afamiliar diagram will illustrate this strange neighborhood: [Illustration] Cut a channel at the above letter joint, and the middle transverse limbis Narborough, and all the rest is Albemarle. Volcanic Narborough liesin the black jaws of Albemarle like a wolf's red tongue in his openmonth.
If now you desire the population of Albemarle, I will give you, in roundnumbers, the statistics, according to the most reliable estimates madeupon the spot: Men, none.

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