Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/803

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THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE OF PORT ROYAL. 781

which seemed to threaten a deluge to that part of Port Royal which the earthquake seemed to favor, accompanied with ill stenches and offensive smells. . . . The sky, which was before clear and blue, was in a minute's time become dull and reddish, looking (as I have heard it compared often) like a red-hot oven : all these dreadful circumstances occurring at once, accompanied all the while with prodigious loud noises from the mountains, occasioned by their falling, etc. ; and also a hollow noise under- ground, and people running from one place to another distracted with fear, looking like so many ghosts, and more resembling the dead than the living, made the whole so terrible, that people thought the desolation of the whole frame of the world was at hand. Indeed, 'tis enough to raise melancholy thoughts in a man now, to see the chimneys and tops of some houses, and the masts of ships and sloops, which partak'd of the same fate, appear above water ; and when one first comes ashore, to see so many heaps of ruins, many whereof by their largeness shew that once there had stood a brave house ; to see so many houses shatter'd, some half fallen down, the rest desolate and without inhabitants ; to see where houses have been swallowed up, some appearing half above ground, and of others the chimneys 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."

2. '" What you desire concerning our earthquake in Jamaica, I will answer as near as I can to what I saw and heard ; Port Royal being the place where I lived. I shall begin with what I met with there. On Tuesday, the 7th of June, 1693, betwixt eleven and twelve at noon, I being at a tavern, we felt the house shake, and saw the bricks begin to rise in the floor, and at the same in- stant heard one in the street cry, 'An earthquake ! ' Immediately we run out of the house, where we saw all people with lifted-up hands begging God's assistance. We continued running up the street, whilst on either side of us, we saw the houses, some swal- lowed up, others thrown on heaps ; the sand in the street rose like waves of the sea, lifting up all persons that stood upon it, and immediately dropping down into pits ; and at the same instant a flood of water breaking in and rowling those poor souls over and over ; some catching hold of beams and rafters of houses, others were found in the sand that appeared when the water was drained away, with their legs and arms out ; we beholding this dismal sight. The small piece of ground whereon sixteen or eighteen of us stood (praised be God) did not sink. As soon as the violent shake was over, every man was desirous to know if any part of his family were left alive. I endeavoured to go towards my house

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