Page:Omniana.djvu/317

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
299
OMNIANA.

der it uninhabitable, as the ancients supposed it to be. But the soil of these Indies has this strange property, that it is full, or as it were every where, undermined with tremendous caverns, by which the frequency of earthquakes is explained. These hollows are full of water, or of air, which would be the same thing, for the intense cold of the abyss would convert it into water;— and the rays of a vertical sun acting continually upon the earth, draws up continual vapours from these immense reservoirs. So far therefore from the Indies being in the same proportion hot and dry, the hotter they are the moister they must needs be. This mighty force of heat acts upon the crust of the earth also, dissolving all which is capable of solution, and leaving it full of hollows, like an over-baked loaf: the more subtile particles which are thus sublimed rush upward with great force, and by their conflict with the air, occasion those tremendous winds to which these countries