Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/15

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
11
Earthquakes.

descending all the way, in the proportion of one yard in five, 'till we came under the bed of the very ocean, where ships were sailing over our heads. This was at Sir James Lowther' coal-pit, at Whitehaven. We were at this time deeper under ground by the perpendicular than any part of the ocean, between England and Ireland.

We never hear, from the many hundreds of thousands of workmen in this kind, at Newcastle, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Somersetshire, and Wales: from the infinite numbers of workmen in the mines of lead, tin, and the like, of the cavernous state of the earth, so as to give any colour for this hypothesis of earthquakes. The earth is generally of solid rocks in which there must be now, and then, some clefts, and vacuities, small in compass, as naturally so many heterogeneous strata of the earth consolidate together. But there can be no imagination of vapours breaking through, uniting, traversing so suddenly, a large space of earth, so as to produce those earthquakes, we have seen, and felt; much less such as we read of. The workmen in all sorts of mines confess by their hard labour, that the earth is not cavernous; nor are there mines of sulphur, nitre, and the like inflammable materials in England. Or if there were, could they burn, and cause convulsions of the earth, without proper cavities, pipes, and conveyances of

air