Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/41

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37
Earthquakes.

Mr Flamsted mentions a circumstance, that the earthquake here in 1692, was not felt in the north of England, nor in all Scotland: for rain fell that day in both. We may very readily conceive, the earth there was not in an electrified state; and the rain would sufficiently prevent it. We hence understand, how the southern regions should be more subject to them, than our northern; where the warmth, and driness of the air, so necessary to electricity, is more frequent than with us.

From electric vibration only can we account for our tenth position, of springs, and fountains being no ways damag'd by earthquakes: The motion goes no deeper into the earth, than the force and quantity of the shock reaches; which generally is not far; yet it proceeds lower down when the ready passage of a well offers, and there affects the water contained in it; puts it into an intestine vibration, as to foul it, and raise mud from the bottom.

It may seem difficult to conceive, how a large portion of the earth's surface should be thus capable of electrification. This difficulty is lessened by reflecting on the nature of electricity, and of the electrical, ethereal fluid pervading all things: how it is excited by the little motion of a small revolving glass globe.

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