A close family who has found themselves stranded on an
island after a shipwreck - By J. D. Wyss

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THE SHINING GROTTO                       177
mother and brothers of our discovery, directing him to return with them, and bring all the tapers that were left, so that we might explore it.
When they arrived I immediately lighted some of the tapers, and gave one to each, and thus we entered the rock in solemn procession. We had scarely advanced four paces within the cave when we all exclaimed with admiration and surprise. The most beautiful and magnmcent spectacle pre­sented itself. The sides of the cavern sparkled like diamonds, the light from our six tapers was reflected from all parts, and had the effect of a grand illumination. Innumerable crystals hung from the top of the vault, which, joining with others at the sides, formed pillars, altars, and all sorts of fantastic shapes. In some places all colours of the rainbow shone from the angles of the crystals, and gave them the appearance of the finest precious stones.
Our astonishment was so great as to be almost ludicrous; we seemed in a kind of dumb stupor, half imagining it was a dream. For my own part, I had seen stalactites, and read the description of famous grottoes, but I had never pictured anything so marvellous. Jack cried out he was in a cathedral; Francis declared it to be a fairy palace, and his
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