Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/36

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The Philosophy of

people living in it, expected it was falling on their heads. And this is the case in all earthquakes: the more substantial the building, the more violent is the shock: exactly the mode of electrical vibration. And this Dr. Hales takes notice of and others; that an earthquake shatters rocks of marble, more easily than the strata of sand, earth, or gravel. In the earthquake here of 1692, a great cliff fell down near Dover, and part of Saltwood-castle wall.

'Tis from hence we account for that observation, that when we electrify any person; upon a touch, the pain and blow of the shock is felt at the joints, the wrist, elbow, and shoulder, for instance, more than in the intermediate parts; because there is the greatest quantity of solid.

At the same time, that the force of electricity in solids, is as the quantity of matter: we see most evidently, by innumerable experiments, that water is equally assistant in strengthning, and conveying the force of electricity; and that in proportion too to its quantity. And hence is to be deduc'd the reason of my observation; that the most frequent and dreadful earthquakes have fallen upon maritime places. And I find the same is taken notice of in some degree, by Acosta, by Dolittle, who wrote on that in 1692, and others.