Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/32
The Philosophy of
Smyrna lies levels and smooth as a pond; yet ships riding there feel the shocks very sensibly, but in a very different manner from the houses at land: For they heave not, but tremble; their mast shiver, as if they would fall to pieces, and their guns start in their carriages, tho' the surface of the sea lie all the time calm and unmov'd." In Dr. Hook's Philosophical Collections, No 6. p. 185, we are told, "That a ship felt a shock in the main ocean; that the passengers, who had been asleep in their cabins, came upon deck in a fright, fearing the ship had struck upon some rock, but, on heaving the lead, found themselves out of foundings."
All this is extremely agreeable to our assumption. The water receives the electrical touch, and vibratory intestine motion of its parts, as well as land. And the impression may be made solely on the water a non-electric, by the touch of an electric fire-ball, or the like; and that seems to have been often the case. The proper vibratory motion is impress'd on the water without ruffling its surface; and so communicated to all the parts of the ship, gives the sense of a shock to the bottom, the shivering to the mast, and the rest of the symptoms: which sufficiently proclaim the cause of it to be an electrical impression upon the water. The president men-