Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

house. A branch of an ash-tree, so large that two stout men could scarce lift it, was blown over Mr. Salisbury's house, without hurt. ing it; and yet this branch was torn from a tree 100 yards distant from the house. A slate was carried near 200 yards, forced upon a window of the house of Samuel Templer, Esq. and very much bent an iron-bar in it. Not to take notice of its stripping of se. veral houses ; one thing is remarkable, which is, that at Mr. Maidwell's it forced open a door, breaking the latch; thence passing through the entry, and forcing open the dairy door, it over. turned the milk vessels, and blew out three panes or lights in the window : next it mounted the chambers, and blew out nine lights more. It tore off a great part of the roof of the parsonage-house. It blew a gate.post, fixed two feet and a half in the ground, out of the earth, and carried it many yards into the fields.

The other instance was October 13, 1670, at Braybrook, like. wise in Northamptonshire, about eleven o'clock; when the wind, in a storm, assaulted a pease.rick in the field, uncovering the thatch of it, without touching another only twenty yards off. Thence it proceeded also to the parsonage, by a narrow current, scarce eight yards in breadth, blowing up the end of a barley-rick, there. with some stakes in it of near five feet long; without touching a wheat-hovel, within six yards of the barley-rick. It beat down a jack.daw from the rick with that violence as forced the guts out of the body, and made it bleed plentifully at the mouth. Thence it went in a right line to the parsonage-house, and took off the cover of all the houses in its compass. From hence it passed over the town without any damage, the rest of the town being low in situ. ation, and went on to a place called Forthill, where it uncovered so much of a malt-house as lay within its line and breadth.

Braybrook stands in a valley, environed by bills on three sides, at three quarters of a mile distance from it. There is also a hill called Clackhill, within a mile of it, and exactly in that point of the compass in which the wind then blew : no other hill in its way till the wind had passed over all the places it damaged. There have also been two earthquakes in this town within these ten years, with little or no wind.

[Phil. Trans, 1671.

9. Fiery Whirlwind at Holkham, Norfolk.

By the Right Honorable Thomas Lord Lovell, F.R.S.

it appear

Some of Lord Lorell's ploughmen, being at work, abuut the middle of August 1741, on a fair day, at ten o'clock in the morn. ing, saw on a heath about a quarter of a mile from them, a wind like a whirlwind, come gradually towards them, in a straight line from east to west. It passed through the field where they were at plough, tore up the stubble and grass in the ploughed 'ground, for two miles in length, and thirty yards in breadth. When it came to some closes at the top of a rising ground, some men there sax

like a great flash or ball of fire. To some others it ap. peared as a fire, and some saw only a smoke, and heard such a noise as fire makes when a barn is burning, and the wind making a terrible noise, like that of a violent fire, or like carts over a stoney ground, which passed by a house, tearing up the stones in the road ; it tore up a rank of pales, sprung several of the posts out of their places and carried a pewter plate that stood on the outside of the window about forty yards from the house; also a large box.cover, about an inch and a half thick and four feet square and crossbarred, was carried away much farther, and tora all to pieces; and the gravel and stones flew about like feathers. It also broke down some fences, and frightened the cattle. And, what is very remarkable, every where else but in this place, the weather was clear and fine, and no sign of any storm or disturbe ance whatever. There was a strong smell of sulphur, both before and after the wind passed, and the noise was heard a great while after seeing the smoke.

They said it moved so slowly forward, as to be dear ten minutes in coming from the closes to the house,

[Phil. Trans. 1742.

10. Whirlwinds of Sand.

It not unfrequently happens that the same violence of wind and exhibiting a similar eddy, takes place in the sandy deserts of Africa and Arabia, and has occasionally swallowed up in its tre. mendous vortex caravans and whole armies.

Dr. Bruce has given a spirited description of one or two of

[graphic]

WHIRIWIND OF SAND, IN THE DRAAKT OP ARABIA.

[ocr errors]

these, of which he was an eye witness. 66 At one o'clock," says he, we alighted among some acacia trees at Waadi el Halboub, having gone twenty.one miles. We were here at once surprised and terrified by a sight, surely one of the most magnificent in the world. In that vast expanse of desert, from W. to N.W. of us, we saw a number of prodigious pillars of sand at different distances, at times moving with great celerity, at others stalking on with a majestic slowness; at intervals we thought they were com. ing in a very few minutes to overwhelm us; and small quantities of sand did actually more than once reach us. Again they would retreat so as to be almost out of sight, their tops reaching to the very clouds. There the tops often separated from the bodies, and these, once disjoined, dispersed in the air, and did not appear more. Sometimes they were broken in the middle, as if struck with large cannon-shot. About noon they began to advance with con. siderable swiftness upon us, the wind being very strong at north. Eleven of them ranged along side of us about the distance of three miles. The greatest diameter of the largest appeared to me at that distance as if it would measure ten feet. They retired from us with a wind at S.E. leaving an impression upon my mind to which I can give no name, though surely one ingredient in it was fear, with a considerable deal of wonder and astonishment. It was in vain to think of ilying ; the swiftest horse, or fastest sailing ship, could be of no use to carry us out of this danger; and the full persuasion of this rivetted me as if to the spot where I stood.

“ The same appearance of moving pillars of sand presented themselves to us this day in form and disposition like those we had seen at Waadi Halboub, only they seemed to be more in number and less in size. They came several times in a direction close upon us, that is, I believe, within less than two miles. They began immediately after sun rise like a thick wood, and almost darkened the sun. His rays shining through them for near an hour, gave them an appearance of pillars of fire. Our people now became desperate, the Greeks-sbrieked out and said it was the day of judgment; Ismael pronounced it to be hell; and the Turcorories, that the world was on fire *.”

Dr. Darwin has given an animated and correct description of

* Bruce's Travels, vol. IV.

553-555.

« ZurückWeiter »