Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

raised the fatal wave, which I have above described to have broken on the neck of land, called the Punta del Faro, in the island of Scilla, with such fury; which returning with great noise and celerity directly upon the beach, where the prince and the unfortunate inhabitants of Scilla had taken refuge, either dashed them, with their boats and richest effects, against the rocks, or whirled them into the sea : those who had escaped the first and greatest wave, were carried off by a second and third, which were less considerable, and immediately followed the first. I spoke to several men, women, and children here, who had been cruelly maimed, and some of whom had been carried into the sea by this unforeseen accident. “ Here (faid one) my head was forced through the door of the cellar," which he shewed me was broken. " There (faid another) was I drove into a barrel." Then a woman would shew me her child, all over deep wounds from the stones and timber, &c. that were mixed with the water, and dalhing about in this narrow port; but all assured me, they had not perceived the least symptom of heat in the water; though I dare say, Sir, you will read many well attested accounts of this water having been hot ; of many dead bodies thrown up, which appeared to have been par-boiled by it; and of many living perfons, who had evidently been scalded by this hot wave : so difficult is it to arrive at truth. Had I been fatisfied with the first answer of the priest at the Punta del Faro, and set it down in my journal, who could have doubted but that this wave had been of hot water? Now, that we are all well acquainted with the cause of this fatal wave, we know that it could not have been hot; but the testimony of so many unfortunate sufferers from it is decisive. A fact which I was told, and which was attested by many here, is very extraordinary indeed : a woman of Scilla, four months gone with child, and swept into the sea by the wave, was taken up alive, floating on her back at some distance, nine hours after. She did not even miscarry, and is now perfectly well; and, had she not been gone up into the country, they would have thewn her to me. They told me, she had been used to swim, as do most of the women in this part of Calabria. Her anxiety and sufferings, however, had arrived at so great a pitch, that just at the time the boat which took her up, appeared, he was trying to force her head under water, to put a period to her miserable existence. The Padre Minasi told me another curious circumstance that happened in this neighbourhood, which, to his knowledge, was Itrictly true. A girl of about eighteen years of age, was buried under the ruins of a house fix days, having had her foot, at the ancle, almost cut off by the edge of a barrel that fell upon it: the dust and mortar

Lopped

stopped the blood'; the never had the aflistance of a surgeo ; but the foot of itself dropped off, and the woond is' per fealy healed, without any other affiftance but that of oatare. If, of soch extraordinary circumftances, and of hair-breadth escapes, an account was to be taken in all the destroyed towns of Cala: bria Ultra and Sicily, they would, as I said before, compose a large volume. · I have only recorded a few of the most extraora' dinary, and such as I had from the most undoubred zathority. In my way back to Naples, (where I arrived the 22d of May.) along the coast of the two Calabrias and the Principato Citra, I* only went on shore at Tropea, Paula, and in the bay. of Palinorus. I found Tropea (beautifully situated on a rock 'overhanging the sea) but little damaged : however, all the inhabitants were in barracks : at Paula the same. The fishermen here told me, they continued to take a great abundance of fith, as they had done ever since the commencement of the present calamity. Ai Tropea, the 15th of May, there was a severe shock of a earthquake, büt 'of a very short duration. There were five hocks during my ftay in Calabria and Sicily, three of them tather alarming; and at Messina, in the night time, I conftantly felt a little tremor of the earth, which has been obferved by many of the Mellinefe.

I'am really aihamed, Sir, of sending such an unconnected hafty extract of 'my journal; but when I reflect, that unless I send it off directly, the Royal Society will be broken up for the summer season, and the subject will become ftale before its pert meeting ; of two evils, I prefer to chose the least. Sach rough draughts, however, (though ever so imperfect and incorrea,) have, as in paintings, the merit of a first ketch, and a kind of Spirit, that is often loit when the picture is completely finid.ed. If you confider the fatigue and hurry of the journey I have just been taking, and that in the midit of the preparations for any other journey to England, which I propose to begin to morrow, I have been writing this account, I shall hope then to be entitled to your indulgence for all its imperfections.* But before I take my leave, I will just sam up the result of my observations in Calabria and Sicily, and give you my reasons for believing that the present earthquakes are occafioned by the operation of a volcano, the seat of which seems to lie deep, either uoder the bottom of the fea, between the island of Stromboli and the coast of Calabria, or under the parts of the plain towards Oppido and

Terra

* Quæramus ergo quid si quod rerram ab infimo-moveat, quid, &c. Hæc ex quibus caufis accidánt digga ros excuti.-See the whole palfage Very applicable here. Seneca, Nar. Queft. lib. VI. cap.4. .

Terra Nuova. If, on a map of Italy, and with your compass on the scale of Italian miles, you were to measure off twentytwo, and then fixing your central point in the city of Oppido, (which appeared to me to be the spot on which the earthquake had exerted its greatett force,) form a circle, (the radii of which will be, as I jud said, twenty-two miles,) you will then include all the towns and villages that have been utterly ruined, and the Spots where the greatest mortality has happened, and where there have been the most visible alterations on the face of the earth. Then, extend your compass on the same scale seventytwo miles, preserving the same centre, and form another circle, you will include the whole of the country that has any mark of having been affected by the earthquake. I plainly observed a gradasion, in the damage done to the buildings, as also in the degree of mortality, in proportion as the countries were more or less distant from the supposed centre of the evil. One circum. itance I particularly remarked ; if (wo towns were fituated at an equal distance from this centre, the one on a hill, the other on a plain, or in a bottom, the latter had always suffered greatly more by the hocks of the earthquakes than the former, a fuf. fisiegt proof to me of the cause coming from beneath, as this mult naturally have been produ&tive of such an effect. And I have reason to believe, that the bottom of the sea, being still nearer the volcanic cause, would be found (could it be seen) to have suffered even more than the plain itself; as you will find in most of the accounts of the earthquake that are in the press, and which are numerous. The philosophers, who do not casily abandon their antient systems, make the present earthquakes to proceed from the high mountains of the Appenines that divide Calabria Ultra, such as Monte Dejo, Monte Caulone, and Alpramonte. I would ask them this simple question; did the Æolian or Lipari islands (all which rofe undoubtedly from the bottom of the sea by volcanic explosions at different, and perhaps very diftant periods,) owe their birth to the Appenines in Calabria, or to the veins of minerals in the bowels of the earth, and under the bottom of the sea ?-Stromboli, an a&ive vol. cano, and perhaps the younges of those islands, is not above fifty miles from the parts of Calabria that have been molt affected by the late earthquakes. The vertical shocks, or, in other words, those whose impolse was from the bottom upwards, have been the moft destructive to the unhappy towns in the plain ; did they proceed from Monte Dejo, Monte Caulone, or Afpramonte! In fhort, the idea I have of the present local earthquakes, is, that they have been caused by the same kind of matter that gave birth to the Æolian of Lipari ilands; tható Vol. II. 43

perhaps,

3D

per

perhaps, an opening may have been made at the bottom of the fea, and most probably between Stromboli and Calabria Ultra, (for from that quarter all agree that the subterraneous noiles seem to have proceeded,) and that the foundation of a new idaad or volcano may have been laid, though it may be ages, which to nature are but moments, before it is completed, and appears above the surface of the sea. Nature is ever active ; bat her actions are, in general, carried on fo very flowly, as scarcely to be perceived by mortal eye, or recorded in the very short (pace of what we call history, let it be ever fo ancient. Perhaps, too, the whole deftruction I have been describing may have proceeded fimply from the exhalations of confined vapours, generated by the fermentation of such minerals as produce volcanoes, which have escaped where they met with the least rekistance, and mu! naturally in a greater degree have affected the plain than the high and more folid grounds around it.

When the account of the Royal Academy of Naples is pob. lished, with maps, plans, and drawings, of the curious (por I have described, this rude and imperfect account will, I Hatter myself, be of use. Without the plans and drawings, yoa well know, Sir, the great difficulty there is in making one's felf intelligible on such a subject. I have che honour to be, Ga.

MEMOIRS of a CORNISH CURATE.

Written by Himself. [Continued from page 372, and concluded.] . O UNDED to the soul with his basenefs, and melted by ✔ the piteous situation of the lovely object who lay ftretched on the earth in a state of insepsibility, I was scarcely master of myself. However, I foon fummoned a sufficient degree of reä. fon to attempt her revival; and I had we happiness to find that my exertions, were not in vain. As the opened her finc blae eyes, and looked me full in the face, I felt an emotion I had never before experienced. She started back at the figat of such an unexpected deliverer ; and, notwithftanding my utmol ct. deavours, relapsed into the same melancholy itate. At length again found means to restore her; when, burting into a flood of tears, “ Eugenius, (says she) may every biesing arrend you life ! May heaven shower its choicest favours on your head I and may some lovely and fortunate fair reward your virtue for pre serving mine!"2" My dearelt Olivia, (exclaimed I, with all

the

the enthusiasm of love,) the hand of heaven seems conspicuous 22 in this deliverance ; and, if I may presume to express the with 3.2 that lies nearest my heart, may the same power make me the

* 3 everlasting guardian of that virtue which I have been so mira. I culously enabled to save!”_" My deliverer, (sweetly returned 31 the ingenuous fair) is entitled to every acknowledgement I can

make; conduct me to my father, and lodge under his sheltering 2 roof the child who is at his difpofal.”. With this requisition

ir I immediately complied ; and as we agreed that it would be 13. prudent to conceal the rude assault of my brother, which the se malevolent world might have represented as more fatal than it

s really was, we resolved to ascribe the lateness of our arrival to 2: the fineness of the eveningand the charms of the season, which most had temped us to linger beyond our intended time. 2005 The apology was easily admitted ; and, as I was invited to. a ftay, I eagerly embraced the offer, as well to pass more time in

the company of Olivia, as to recover sufficiently from my per. Letras turbation of mind before I met a guilty brother's eye.

Next morning I took leave of Olivia and her father; and, during my walk, felt a dejection of spirits, and heaviness of heart, which could not have been exceeded if I had been the perpe.

trator of villany, and not the protector of innocence. The Deal

mind seems often prophetic of its own fate, and intuitively to foresee the storm that futurity is about to disclose. I approached my brother with looks of indignation and picy ; but, before I

could atter a single word, unlocking his bureau, “ Receive, SH CTTA (says he) your patrimony, and immediately quit the house! I

disclaim for a brother the wretch who can frustrate my wishes 2.

merely to gratify his own, and this under the more dereltable mark of sentimental hypocrify !" Stung to the soul, I replied, The Power who sees the rectitude of my views, and by my means has defeated the villainy of your's, will abundantly pro. vide for me! I renounce an alliance with your ignominy, with the same pleasure as you disclaim me for your brother: but let me caution you to beware, left your paflions precipitate you into irre

trievable ruin 1" With these words I ruled into my mother's We cannot

apartment; and, falling on my knees, besought her benediction, before the opportunity was for ever closed. Too well acquainted with what had passed, the bathed my face with her tears; and, bewailing her hapless situation, encouraged me to hope for a Speedy reconciliacion, bidding me rely on her unalterable love.

Alas! fhe lived but a very short time to realize her withes ; for within three weeks the fell a martyr to her grief, occasioned by the brutal insolence of my brother, in confequence of her partiality to me. .

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

3 D

[ocr errors]

An

« ElőzőTovább »