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The earth is shaken in various ways, and wonderful effects are produced1; in one place the walls of cities being thrown down, and in others swallowed up by a deep cleft2; some- times great masses of earth are heaped up, and rivers forced out, sometimes even flame and hot springs3, and at others the course of rivers is turned. A terrible noise precedes and accompanies the shock4; sometimes a murmuring, like the lowing of cattle, or like human voices, or the clashing of arms. This depends on the substance which receives the sound, and the shape of the caverns or crevices through which it issues; it being more shrill from a narrow opening, more hoarse from one that is curved, producing a loud reverberation from hard bodies, a sound like a boiling fluid5 from moist substances, fluctuating in stagnant water, and roaring when forced against solid bodies. There is, therefore, often the sound without any motion. Nor is it a simple motion, but one that is tremulous and vibratory. The cleft some- times remains, displaying what it has swallowed up; some- times concealing it, the mouth being closed and the soil being brought over it, so that no vestige is left; the city being, as it were, devoured, and the tract of country engulfed. Maritime districts are more especially subject to shocks. Nor are mountainous tracts exempt from them; I have found, by my inquiries, that the Alps and the Apennines are fre- quently shaken. The shocks happen more frequently in the autumn and in the spring, as is the case also with thunder. There are seldom shocks in Gaul and in Egypt; in the latter it depends on the prevalence of summer, in the former, of winter. They also happen more frequently in the night than in the day. The greatest shocks are in the morning and the evening; but they often take place at day-break, and some- times at noon. They also take place during eclipses of the sun and of the moon, because at that time storms are lulled. They are most frequent when great heat succeeds to showers, or showers succeed to great heat6.

1 On this subject we shall find much curious matter in Aristotle's Treatise de Mundo, cap. 4.

2 Poinsinet enters into a long detail of some of the most remarkable earthquakes that have occurred, from the age of Pliny to the period when he wrote, about fifty years ago; i. 249. 2.

3 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8.

4 See Aristotle, Meteor. ii. 8, and Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vi. 13.

5 "Fervente;" "Fremitum aque ferventis imitante." Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 404.

6 The reader will scarcely require to be informed, that many of the remarks in the latter part of this chapter are incorrect. Our author has principally followed Aristotle, whose treatise on meteorology, although abounding in curious details, is perhaps one of the least correct of his works.

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