very uncommon in winter; coruscations in the air frequent, justly thought electrical by all philosophers; particularly, twice we had the extraordinary appearance of that called aurora australis with colours altogether unusual and this just before the first earthquake: All the while the wind constantly south and south-west, and that without rain, which is unusual with these winds.
This state of the atmosphere had continued five months before the first earthquake. Is it not hence reasonable to conclude, that the earth, especially in our region, must be brought into an unusual state of electricity; into that vibratory condition wherein electricity consists; and, consequently, nothing was wanting but the approach of a non-electric body, to produce that snap, and that shock, which we call an earthquake; a vibration of the superficies of the earth.
That the earth was in that vibratory and electric state we have further reason to conclude, from the very extraordinary forwardness of all the vegetable world with us. Every one knows, that, at the end of February, all sorts of garden-stuff, trees, fruits, and flowers, were as forward as in other years, by the middle of April. Conformable to which, experiments abundantly show, that electrifying of plants quickens their growth, equally as in animals it quickens the pulse.