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his family. He therefore made new openings in the snow, and threw earth into them, which helps to melt the snow and ice. On the 24th of April the snow was greatly diminished, and he con. ceived better hopes of finding out his house, by breaking the ice, which was six feet thick, with iron bars, and observing the snow to be softer underneath the ice, he thrust down a long pole, and thought it touched the ground; but the evening coming on he pro. ceeded no further.
His wife's brothers, who lived at Demonte, went with Joseph and his neighbours, to work upon the snow, where they made another opening, which led them to the house they searched for; but finding no dead bodies in its ruins, they sought for the stable, which was about 240 feet distant, and having found it, they heard a cry of “ Help, my dear brother.” Being greatly surprized as well as encouraged by these words, they laboured with all dili. gence till they had made a large opening, through which the brothers and husband immediately went down, where they found still alive the wife about forty-five, the sister about thirty five, and a daughter about thirteen years old. These women they raised on their shoulders to men above, who drew them up, as it were from the grave, and carried them to a neighbouring house : they were unable to walk, and so wasted that they appeared like mere sha. dows. They were immediately put to bed, and nourishments ad. ministered. Some days after the intendant came to see them, and found the wife still unable to rise from her bed, or use her feet, from the intense cold she had endured, and the uneasiness of the posture she had been in. The sister, whose legs had been bathed with hot wine, could walk with some difficulty ; and the daughter needed no further remedies, being quite recovered.
On the intendant's interrogating the women, they told him, that their appetite was not yet returned ; that the little food they had eaten (excepting broths and gruels) lay heavy on their stomachs, and that the moderate use of wine had done them great good: they also gave him the account that follows. That on the morning of the 19th of March they were in the stable, with a boy six years old, and a girl about thirteen : in the same stable were six goats, one of which having brought forth two dead kids the evening before, they went to carry her a small vessel full of gruel; there were also an ass and five or six fowls, They were sheltering
themselves in a warm corner of the stable, till the church bell should ring, intending to attend the service.
That the wife wanting to go out of the stable to kindle a fire in the house for her husband, who was then clearing away the snow from the top, she perceived a mass of snow breaking down towards the east, on which she went back into the stable, and shut the doon. . In less than three minutes they heard the roof break over their heads, and part of the ceiling of the stable. The sister ad. vised her to get into the rack and manger, which she did. The ass was tied to the manger, but got loose by kicking and struggling, and though it did not break the manger, it threw down the little vessel, which the sister took up, and used afterwards to hold the melted snow which served them to drink.
Very fortunately the manger was under the main prop of the stable, and resisted the weight of the snow. Their first care was to know what they had to eat: the sister said, she had in her pocket fifteen white chesnuts: the children said they had break. fasted, and should want no more that day. They remembered there were thirty or forty loaves in a place near the stable, and endeavoured to get at them, but were not able, by reason of the vast quantity of snow. On this they called out for help as loudly as they possibly could, but were heard by nobody. The sister came again to the manger, after she had tried in vain to come at the loaves, and gave two chesnuts to the wife, also eating two herself, and then drank some snow water. All this while the ass was very restless and continued kicking, and the goats bleated very much, but soon after they heard no more of them. Two of the goats however were left alive, and were near the manger; they felt them very carefully, and knew by so doing that one of them was big, and would kid about the middle of April ; the other gave milk, with which they preserved their lives.
The women affirmed, that during all the time they were thus buried, they saw Dot one ray of light; yet for about twenty days they had some notion of night and day; for when the fowls crowed, they imagined it was break of day: but at last the fowls died.
The 2d day, being very hungry, they ate all the remaining chesnuts, and drank what milk the goat yielded, which for the first days was near a quart a day, but the quantity decreased gradu. ally. The third day, being very bungry, they again endeavoured to get to the place where the loaves were, near the stable, but they could not penetrate to it through the snow. They then re. solved to take all possible care to feed the goats, as very fortu. nately over the ceiling of the stable, and just above the manger, there was a hayloft, with a hole through which the hay was put down into the rack. This opening was near the sister, who pulled down the hay and gave it to the goats as long as she could reach it, which when she could no longer do, the goats climbed upon her shoulders, and reached it themselves.
On the sixth day the boy sickened, complaining of most violent pains in the stomach, and his illness continued six days, on the last of which he desired his mother, who all this time had held him in her lap, to lay him at his length in the manger, where he soon after died. In the mean time the quantity of milk given by the goat diminished daily, and the fowls being dead, they could no more distinguish night and day; but according to their calculation the time was near when the other goat should kid, which as they computed would happen about the middle of April ; which at length happened accordingly. They killed the kid, to save the milk for their own subsistence. Whenever they called this goat, it would come and lick their faces and hands, and gave them every day a quart of milk.
They say, during all this time hunger gave them but little un. easiness, except on the first five or six days : that their greatest pain was from the extreme coldness of the melted snow water, which fell on them, and from the stench of the dead ass, dead goats, fowls, from lice, &c. but more than all from the very un. easy posture they were obliged to continue in: for though the place in which they were buried was twelve English feet fong, eight wide, and five high, the manger in which they sat squatting against the wall, was no more than three feet four inches broad. For thirty-six days they had no evacuation by stool after the first days: the melted snow water, which after some time they drank , without doing them harm, was discharged by urine. The mother said she had never slept, but the sister and daughter declared they slept as usual. The mother and sister say, that on the day they were buried their monthly evacuations were upon them, but they had not the least sign of them afterwards.
[Phil. Trans. Abr. 1756.
General Nature of Hail. We have already touched upon the formation of hail, in Sec. tion 1, of the present chapter; and shall only add a few inci. dental remarks. M. Lichtenberg, in the Hanover Magazine for January 1773, corceives that hail depends on electricity, perhaps as promoting evaporation and cold. lle observes that it very seldom hails at night : that, in winter, snow is much more common than hail ; that it often spows or rains for some days; and then hails with thunder; and that hail often attends volcanic explosions *. Most of these circumstances are easily understood, if we consider that much of the cold which congeals the hail is probably produced by evaporation.
Aldini carried the opinion of Lichtenberg so far as to conceive that snow also derives its form from electricity. The observation, however, upon which his hypothesis is founded has been denied by Von Arnim
Frankliu suspects that hail is formed in a very cold region, high in the atmospheret. But this is not the most popular hypo. thesis.
In the ensuing section we shall select a few well.aceredited ac. counts of hail stones of great bulk and weight. The largest of which we have any notice is recorded by Gilbert I, but from news-paper authority only. It fell in Hungary in 1803, and was so heavy that eight men were incapable of lifting it. In the Pyrennees, several of twenty-three ounces, averdupois, are well known to have fallen in 1784 ; a paper written by the Abbé Maury was read before the Royal Society, Nov. 22, 1798, in which he announces the fall of hail.stones or pieces of ice in Ger. many, from half an inch diameter to eight pounds weight.
See upon this subject, Chap. xlvi. sect. viii. on Meteoric Stones. + Manchester Memoirs, ii. 851.
† xvi. 75,
Violent Hailstorms, or accompanied with Stones of unusual
1. On the coast of Suffolk,
By Dr. Nath. Fairfax. JULY 17, 1666, about ten in the forenoon, there fell a violent storm of hail about the coast towns of Suffolk. The hail was small near Yarmouth; but at Seckford.ball, one hail-stone was found by measure to be nine inches about ; one at Melton eight inches about; at Snape-bridge twelve inches round. A lady of Friston Hall, putting one of them into a balance, found it weigh 12 s. 6 d. Several persons of good credit in Aldborough affirmed that some hail stones were full as large as turkeys' eggs. A carter had his head broken by them through a stiff felt hat; in some places his head bled, in others bumps arose; the horses were so pelted that they hurried away his cart beyond all command. The hail. stones seemed all white, smooth without, shining within.
[Phil. Trans. 1667.
2. At Lisle in Flanders. THERE fell in this city, May 25, N. S. 1686, hail-stones which weighed from a quarter of a pound to a pound weight and more, One among the rest was observed to contain a dark brown matter in the middle, and being thrown into the fire, it gave a very great report. Others were transparent, which melted before the fire immediately. This storm passed over the citadel and town, and Jeft not a whole glass in the windows on the windward side. The trees were broken, and some beat down, and the partridges and hares killed in abundance.
3. In the Neighbourhood of Chester, communicated in a
Letter from Mr. Halley. The vapour that disposed the aqueous parts thus to congeal, came with a south-west wind out of Carnarvonshire, passing near Snowdon with a horrid black cloud, attended with frequent light