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rivers of water, spouted up a great height into the air, which seemed to threaten a deluge to that part of Port-Royal which the earthquake seemed to favour, accompanied with offensive smells, by means of which openings, and the vapours at that time emitted from the earth into the air, the sky, which before was clear and blue, was in a minute's time become dull and reddish, looking like a red-hot oven.
All these dreadful circumstances occurring at once, accompanied with prodigious loud noises from the mountains, occasioned by their falling, &c. and also a hollow noise under ground, and people running from one place to another distracted with fear, made the whole so terrible, that people thought the dissolution of the whole frame of the world was at hand. Indeed, it is melancholy now to see the chimnies and tops of some houses, and the masts of ships, appear above water; and when one first comes ashore, to see so many heaps of ruins ; to see so many houses shattered, some half fallen down, the rest desolated and without inhabitants ; to see where houses have been swallowed up, some appearing half above ground, and of others the chimnies only; but above all, to stand on the sea-shore, and to look over that part of the neck of land, which for above a quarter of a mile was quite swallowed up; there, where once brave streets of stately houses stood, appearing now nothing but water, except here and there a chimney, and some parts and pieces of houses.
And though Port-Royal was so great a sufferer by the earthquake, yet it left more houses standing there than in all the island besides, all over which it was said to rage more furiously than at Port-Royal; for it was so violent in other places, that people could not keep their legs, but were thrown on the ground, where they lay on their faces with their arms and legs spread out, to prevent being tumbled and thrown about by the almost incredible motion of the earth, like that of a great sea. It scarcely left a planter's house or sugarwork standing all over the island : I think it left not a house standing at Passage-Fort, and but one in all Liganee, and none in St. Jago, except a few low houses, built by the wary Spaniards. And it is not to be doubted, but that had there been 500 or 5000 towns in Jamaica, the earthquake would have ruined every one.
In several places in the country the earth gaped prodigiously on the north side, the planters' houses, with the greatest part of their plantations, were swallowed, houses, people, trees, all up in one gape ; instead of which, appeared for some time after a great pool or lake of water, covering above 1000 acres, which is since dried up, and now is nothing but a loose sand or gravel, without any the least mark left whereby one may judge that there ever had stood a tree, house, or any thing else.
In Clarendon precinct the earth gaped, and spouted up with a prodigious force great quantities of water into the air, above 12 miles from the sea ; and all over the island there were abundance of gapings of the earth, many thousands. But in the mountains are said to be the most violent shakes of all; and it is a generally received opinion, that the nearer to the mountains, the greater the shake. Indeed, they are strangely torn and rent; insomuch, that they seem to be of quite different shapes now from what they were, especially the blue, and other high mountains ; thus breaking one mountain, and thereof making two or three ; and joining two mountains, and making thereof one, closing up the unhappy valley between. And at Yallowes particularly, some families, who lived between two mountains, were shut up and buried under them. Not far from which place, part of a mountain, after having made several leaps or moves, overwhelmed a whole family, and great part of a plantation, lying a mile off
. And a large high mountain, near Port-Morant, near a day's journey over, is said to be quite swallowed up; and in the place where it stood there is now a great lake of four or five leagues over. Those things happened in lower mountains : but in the blue mountains, and the neighbouring ones, from whence came those dreadful roarings, terrible and amazing to all that heard them, may be reasonably supposed to be many strange alterations of the like nature : but those wild desert places, being very rarely or never visited by any persons, we are yet ignorant of what happened there ; but the astonishing noises that came from thence, and their miserable, shattered appearance, show what havoc has been there made. There one may see where the tops of great mountains have fallen, sweeping down all the trees, and every thing in their way, and making a path quite from top to bottom; and other places which seem to be peeled and bare a mile together ; which vast pieces of mountains, with all the trees thereon, falling together in a huddled and confused manner, stopped up most of the rivers for about 24 hours; which afterwards having found out new passages, brought down into the sea, and this harbour, several hundred thousand tons of timber, which would sometimes float in the sea in such prodigious quantities, that they looked like moving islands. I have seen several of those large trees on this shore, all deprived of their bark and branches, and generally very much torn by the rocky passages, through which, by the force of a falling stream, and their own weight, they might be supposed to be driven. One great trunk of a tree, particularly, I have seen pressed as a sugar-cane after it has passed the mill.
Some are of opinion that the mountains are sunk a little, and are not so high as they were : others think the whole island is sunk something by the earthquake. Port-Royal is said to be sunk a foot; and in many places in Liganee, I have been told are wells, which require not so long a rope to draw water out of them now, as before the earthquake, by two or three feet, which seems a sort.of proof, that either the land is sunk or the sea risen, the former of which seems most probable. Two gentlemen happened at the time of the earthquake to be in Liganee, by the sea-side ; where at the time of the great shake the sea retired from the land in such sort, that for 200 or 300 yards the bottom of the sea appeared dry, whereon they saw lie several fish, some of which one of the gentlemen ran and took up, and in a minute or two after the sea rapidly returned again, and overflowed great part of the shore. At Yallhouse the sea is said to have retired above a mile. It is thought there were lost in all parts of the island 2000 people; and had the shock happened in the night, very few would have escaped alive ; and those that had would in all probability have been knocked in the head by the negroes, and the island to all intents and purposes quite ruined.
It is observed, that since the earthquake, the land-breezes often fail us, and instead thereof, the sea-breezes often blow all night; a thing rarely known before, but since common. In Port-Royal, and in many places all over the island, much sulphureous combustible matter has been found, supposed to have been thrown out, on the opening of the earth, which on the first touch of fire would flame and burn like a candle.
After the great shock, those who escaped got on board the ships in the harbour, where many continued about two months after : the shocks all that time were violent, and frequent; sometimes two or three in an hour's time, accompanied with frightful noises, both from under the earth, and from the continual falling and breaking of the mountains.
Account of the Giants' Causeway, in the North of Ireland.
By the Rev. Dr. SAMUEL FOLEY. - [1694.] The Giants' Causeway is about eight English miles northeast from the town of Colerain, and about three from the
Rush-Mills, almost directly north. It runs from the bottom of a high hill into the sea, how far is not known; but at lowwater its length is about 600 feet, and its breadth in the broadest place 240 feet, in the narrowest 120 feet; it is also very unequal in height, being in some places about 36 feet high above the level of the strand, and in other places about 15 feet.
It consists of many thousand pillars, which stand mostly perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, and close to one another ; but we could not discern whether they run down under ground like a quarry or not.
Some of the pillars are very long, and higher than the rest; others short and broken : some for a pretty large space of an equal height, so that their tops make an even, plane surface; many of them are imperfect, cracked, and irregular; others entire, uniform, and handsome, and these of different shapes and sizes.
We found none square, but almost all pentagonal, or hexagonal ; only a few had seven sides; and many more pentagons then hexagons; but they are all irregular, none having their sides of equal breadth ; some of the pillars are 15, some 18 inches, some again two feet in diameter ; none of them are one entire stone, but every pillar consists of several joints or pieces, of which some are six, some 12, some 18 inches, some two feet deep. These pieces lie close upon one another, not joining with flat surfaces, but one of them is always concave in the middle, the other convex. These joints are not always placed alike ; for in some pillars the convexity is always upwards, and in others it is always downwards. They always lie as close as possible for one stone to lie on another, so that on the outside of the pillars you can only discern the crack that joins the two stones. When you force them asunder, both the concave and convex surfaces are very smooth, as are also the sides of the pillars, which touch each other, being of a whitish free-stone colour, but a finer and closer grit; whereas on breaking some pieces off them, the inside appears like dark marble.
The pillars stand so close one to another, that a knife can hardly be thrust in between their sides ; and though some have five sides, and others of them six, yet their contexture is so adapted, that there is no vacuity between them : the inequality of the numbers of the sides of the pillars being often in a very surprising and wonderful manner, throughout the whole causeway, compensated by the inequality of the breadths and angles of those sides ; so that the whole at a little distance looks very regular ; and where in many places
a good number of the pillars are exactly of the same height, the superficies of their tops looks very like the pavements that are in some gentlemen's halls.
Every single pillar retains its own thickness, and angles, and sides, from top to bottom. Those which seem to be entire, as they were originally, are at the top flat and rough; those which lie low to the sea are washed smooth ; and others, that seem to have their natural tops blown or washed off, are some concave, and others convex.
Account of the Mischief which befell the Inhabitants of the Isle
of Sorea, near the Moluccas. — [1695.] In the beginning of the easterly season, the isle of Sorea, situated towards the south-east of these islands, consisting for the most part of one mountain, which now is more terribly shaken than ever before, casting out abundance of fire and smoke, only with some short intermissions. And when the easterly wind had blown about six or seven weeks, till about the 4th of June, the inhabitants being almost so far used to the trembling and casting up of fire that they were careless, the mountain Sorea began early in the morning to cast out more fire than ordinary, which continued for five or six days, during which it was dark and cloudy weather, till at last it brought forth not only a most prodigious flame, but also such a black and sulphureous vapour, that the inhabitants of Hislo, a village in the western part of the island, and nearest to the opening of the mountain, were wholly covered by it, and afterwards followed a whole stream of burning brimstone, which consumed
many that could not escape. Afterwards the inhabitants perceived that a part of the mountain was sunk down, and three or four days after another part; and so from time to time, until the burning lake was become almost half the space of the island. Wherefore the inhabitants went on board their vessels and boats, from whence they perceived that huge pieces of the mountain fell into this fiery lake, as into a bottomless pit, with a most prodigious noise, as if a large cannon were discharged. It was remarkable, that the more vehement the fire was, the less the island was shaken.
The inhabitants of another town, called Woroe, upon the east side of the island, not thinking themselves in so great danger, the opening or fiery lake being yet at some distance, remained a month longer, until they saw the same continually approaching them : they observed that when great pieces fell down, and that the lake became wider, the noise was so much