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Mimic, or False Presters, or Spouts with little or no Water.

1. Spout observed at Hatfield, in Yorkshire.

By the Rev. Abraham De la Pryme, F.R.S. On the 15th of August, 1617, about two o'clock in the after. noon, there appeared a water-spout in the air, at Hatfield, in Yorkshire. It was about a mile off, coming directly to the place where I was; upon which I took my perspective glasses, and made the best obsérvations on it I could.

The season was very dry, the weather extremely hot, the air very cloudy, and the wind pretty strong, and what was remarkable, blowing out of several quarters at the same time, and filling the air with thick and black clouds,in layers; this blowing of the wind soon created a great vortex, gyration, and whirling among the clouds, the centre of which now and then dropt down in the shape of a thick long black tube, commonly called a spout ; in which I could distinctly see a motion, like that of a screw, continually drawing upwards, and screwing up as it were whatever it touched. In its progress it moved slowly over a hedge-row and grove of young trees, which it made bend like hasel-wands, in a circular mo. tion ; then advancing forward to a large barn, in a moment it plucked off all the thatch, and filled the whole air with it. Com. ing to a very large oak tree, it made it bend like the former, and broke off one of its strongest branches, and twisting it about, flung it to a very considerable distance off. Then coming near the place where I stood, within three hundred yards of me, I beheld with great satisfaction this extraordinary phænomenon, and found that it proceeded from a gyration of the clouds, by contrary winds meeting in a point or centre; and where the greatest condensation and gravitation was, falling down into a large pipe or tube, some, what like the cochlea Archimedis; and wbich, in its working or whirling motion, either sucks up water, or destroys ships, &c. Having proceeded about a quarter of a mile farther, it was dissolved by the prevalency of the wind from the east.

[Phil. Trans. 1702.


2. A second Spout observed at the same Place.

By the same Writer.

The weather in this part of the country has been exceedingly wet and cool, so that it seemed to be spring rather than midsum. mer, yet June 21, 1702, was pretty warm, on the afternoon of which day, about two o'clock, no wind stirring below, though it was somewhat great in the air, the clouds began to be much agitated and driven together; on which they became very black, and were very visibly hurried round, from whence there proceeded a most audible whirling noise, like that commonly heard in a mill. After a while a long tube or spout came down from the centre of the congregated clouds, in which was a swift spiral motion like that of a screw, or the cochlea Archimedis when it is in motion, by which spiral nature and swift turning, water ascends up into the one, as well as into the other. It proceeded slowly from west to north east, broke down a great oak tree or two, frightened the weeders out of the field, and made others lie down flat on their bellies, to avoid being wbirled about and killed, as they saw had happened to several jackdaws, which were suddenly snatched up, carried out of sight, and then thrown a great way off among the corn; at length it passed over the town at Hatfield, to the great terror of the inhabitants, filling the whole air with the thatch it took off from some of the houses ; then touching on a corner of the church, it tore up several sheets of lead, and rolled them to. gether in a strange manner; soon after which, it dissolved and vanished, without doing any further mischief.

There was nothing more extraordinary in this, than in the other that I gave an account of in the preceding page; and by all the ob. servations that I could could make of both, I found that had they been at sea, and joined to its surface, they would have carried a vast quantity of water up into the clouds, and the tubes would then have become much more strong and opaque than they were, and have continued much longer.

It is commonly said that at sea, the water collects and bubbles up a foot or two high under these spouts, before they are joined : but this is a mistake, owing to the pellucidity and fineness of those tubes, which certainly touch the surface of the sea before any

considerable motion can be produced in it, and that when the pipe begins to fill with water, it then becomes opaque and visible. As for the reason of their dissolving of themselves, after they have drawn up a great quantity of water, I suppose it is by and through the great quantity of the water they have carried up, which must needs thicken the clouds, impede their motion, and by that means dissolve the tubes.

[Id. 1703.

3. Spout raised off the Land in Deeping.Fen, Lincolnshire.

By the Rev. Benjamin Ray. May the 5th, 1752, a phænomenon appeared about seven in the evening, in Deeping-Fen, which, from its effects, seemed to be a water.spout, broken from the clouds. A watery substance, as it seemed, was seen moving on the surface of the earth and wa. ter, in Deeping-Fen. It passed along with such violence and rapidity, that it carried every thing before it; such as grass, straw, and stubble; and in going over the country bank, it raised the dust to a great height; and when it arrived in the wash, in the midst of the water, and just over against where Mr. R. lived, it stood still for some minutes. This watery substance spouted out water from its own surface, to a considerable height, and with a terrible noise.

On its second route, it proceeded in a side line into the river, breaking in its passage a, and there moved along, till it came to the church, where it again stood a little while, and then made its next passage through the space between the church and the parsonage house, towards Weston hills and Moulton chapel. In its way to these places, it tore up a field of turnips, broke a gate off the hinges, and another into pieces. Those who saw it evaporate, affirm it ascended into the clouds in a long spear. ing vapour, and at last ended in a fiery stream. There was a mist, like smoke, frequently round it. Three more werde ictu ac the same time in different places.

[Id. 1751.

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