Page:Omniana.djvu/285

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267
OMNIANA.

rious earthquakes, which occurred from the year 1032 to 1135, when the last eruption was recorded. "Fires" says Holinshed, "burst out of certain riffes of the earth, in so huge flames that neither by water nor otherwise it could be quenched." Bryant would fain prove the impossible authenticity of Rowley's poem by these phenomena, insisting that they are the gronfers which Chatterton interprets fires exhaled from a fen.

The ground-fire of 1048 is said to have burnt towns as well as fields of corn; villas et segetes multas ustulavit. Sim. Dun. This broke out in Derbyshire and the adjoining counties; but it is difficult if not impossible to conceive how any volcanic flames should have extended to towns, there being no mountain in eruption. The fiery vapour, whatever it may have been, seems more analogous to the sea-fire which extended so far into Spain.

In turning over a most worthless volume entitled Reflexions sur le Desastre

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