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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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One felt in London ; part of St. Paul's

and the Temple churches fell.
In Japan, several cities made ruins, and

thousands perished.
Awful one at Calabria,
One in China, when 300,000 persons

were buried in Pekin alone.
One severely felt in Ireland,
One at Jamaica, which totally destroy-
ed Port Royal, whose houses were
engulfed forty fathoms deep, and 300
persons perished,
One in Sicily, which overturned fifty-
four cities and towns, and 300 villa-
ges. Of Catania, and its 18,000 in-
habitants, not a trace remained ;
more than 100,000 lives were lost,
Palermo nearlj' destroyed, and 6000

persons perished,
Again in China; and 100,000 people

swallowed up at Pekin,
One in Hungary, which turned a moun-
tain round,
Lima and Callao demolished; 18,000
persons buried in the ruins, 10th mo. 28,
One at Palermo, which swallowed up a

convent ; but the Monks escaped.
In London, the inhabitants terrified by
a slight shock. Second mo. 8,

Another, but severer shock, 3d mo. 8,
Adrianople nearly overwhelmed.
At Grand Cairo, half of the houses, and

40,000 persons swallowed up,
Quito destroyed. Fourth mo.,

Great earthquake at Lisbon. In about
eight minutes most of the houses, and
upwards of 50,000 inhabitants, were
swallowed up, and whole streets
buried. The cities of Coimbra, Opor
to, and Braga, suffered dreadfully
and St. Ubes was wholly overturned.
In Spain, a large part of Malaga be^
came ruins. One half of Fez, in Mc
rocco, was destroyed, and more than
12,000 Arabs perished there. Above
half of the island of Madeira became
waste; and 2000 houses in the island
of Meteline, in the Archipelago, were
overthrown: this awful earthquake



H37
1142



1186
1274



1456

1580



1596
1638



1662
1690



1726

1731

1736

1740

1740

1750
1750
1752

17.54
1755



extended 5000" miles, even to Scot-
land, Eleventh mo. 1, 1755

One in Syria extended over 10,000

square miles; Balbec destroyed, 1759

One at Martinico, wiien 1600 persons

lost their lives, Eighth mo., 1767

At Guatemala, which, witli 80,000 in-
habitants, was swallowed up, 12th mo. 1773

A destructive one at Smyrna, 1778

At Tauris : 15,000 houses thrown down,
and iiiuliiludes buried, 1780

One which overthrew Me-i^sina, and a
number of towns in Italy and Sicily :
40,000 persons perished, 1783

Archindschan wholly destroyed, and

12,000 persons buried in its ruins, 1784

At Borgo di San Sepolcro, an opening
of the earth swallowed up many
houses, and 1000 persons, 9th mo., 1789

Another fatal one in Sicily, 1791

One in Naples, when Vesuvius issuing
forth its flames overwhelmed the city
of Torre del Greco, 1794

In Turkey, where, in three towns,

10,000 persons lost their lives, 1794

The whole country between Santa Fe
and Panama destroyed, including the
cities of Cusco and Quito, 40,000 of
whose people were, in one second,
hurled into eternity, 1797

One at Constantinople, which destroyed
the royal palace, and an immensity of
buildings, and extended into Romania
and Wallachia, 1800

A violent one felt in Holland, First mo., 1804

In the kingdom of Naples, where

20,000 persons lost their lives, 1805

At the Azores: a village of St. Mi-
chael's sunk, and a lake of boiling
water appeared in its place, 8th mo., 1810

Caraccas visited by a violent convulsion
of nature ; thousands of human beings
were lost ; rocks and mountains split,
and rolled into valleys; the rivers
were blackened, or their courses
changed ; and many towns swallowed
up, and totally destroyed, 1812

Several felt throughout India. The di».
trict of Kutch sunk ; 2000 persons
were buried with it. Sixth mo., 1819

In Genoa, Palermo, Rome, and many
other towns ; great damage sustained,
and thousands perished, 1819

One fatal, at Messina, Tenth mo., 1826

One in Spain, which devastated Murcia,
and numerous villages ; 6000 persons
perished. Third mo. 21, 1829

In the duchy of Parma ; no less than
forty shocks were experienced at
Borgotaro; and at Pontremoli many
hou.sos were thrown down, and not a
chimney was left standing, 2d mo. 14, 1834



234

In many cities of Soutliern Syria, by
which hundreds of houses were
thrown down, and thousands of the
inhabitants perislied, First nio. 22, 1837

At Martinique, by which nearly half of
Port Royal is destroyed, nearly 700
persons killed, and the whole island
damaged. First mo. 11, a.d. 1839

At Ternate : the island made a waste,
almost every house destroyed, and
thousands of the inhabitants lost their
lives, Second mo. 14, 1840

Awful and destructive earthquake at
3Iount Ararat ; in one of the districts
of Armenia 3137 houses were over-
thrown, and several hundred persons
perished. Seventh mo. 2, 1840

Great earthquake at Zante, wiiere many

persons perished. Tenth mo. 30, 1840

From the New England Farmer.
A PLEA FOR BIRDS.

The season is now coming when the birds
begin their labours in Ihe fields and orchards.
Many amongst us are well satisfied of the



usefulness of these- little fellow-labourers,
whilst some are not aware of their value,
and permit them to be disturbed or destroyed.
For the benefit of such, the following facts are
stated, and every one is urged, as he values
his fruit trees and looks for a plentiful harvest,
to extend to the birds the protection which
they so richly merit. Lft those who may still
doubt, compare the orchards in Medford, Cam-
bridge, &c. in .lune, with those in West
Cambridge and Lexington, where shooting
and bird's-nesting are not permilled. Our
most intelligent orchardists are satisfied that
the absence, in these last named towns, of the
canker worm, the pest which has cost so
much labour and expense, and has ruined so
many trees, is owing mainly to the great
number of birds which breed, undisturbed, in
our fields and orchards.

Let the mischievous loafers, of whatever
age, size, condition, or colour, who roam about
our fields with a musket in their hands, be
dealt with according to law, or driven out like
vermin, and wc shall hear no more compla
that orchards are laid waste by insects, and
trees destroyed by mice.

Facts. — " The common cuckoo is almost
the only bird which feeds on the cater|)illar ;
lie destroys them in great numbers, catin,
them voraciously when they are full grown
The numbers of these destructive insects that
a few cuckoos, with their young, will destroy,
is incredible." — Conn. Her.

" When the martins and swallows were
protected," says a Herefordshire farmer
" the hops blossomed in great beauty, and the
crop was abundant, whilst there was a gene
ral failure with my neighbours, who allowed
these birds to be shot, and theirnests destroy
ed." — Je.'i.ie.

" Every crow requires at least one pound
of food a week, and nine-tenths of their food
consist of , worms and insects; one hundred
crows then in one season destroy four thou-
sand seven hundred and eighty pounds of



TIIE FRIEND.

worms, insects, and larvai; from this fact,
some slight idea may be formed of the benefit
of this much persecuted bird to the farmer."
— Magazine of Natural History.

The Blackbird Destroys a great number of
Grubs, 4'C- — " Last August, I observed eight
or ten blackbirds busily engaged in the grass
plat in front of my house, and the grass where
they were, seemed dying, as was hinted, from
their mischievous operations — and the gun
was suggested as the remedy. Suspecting the
object of the bird's search, I turned up a piece
of turf with the spade, and found it literally
warming with grubs of various sizes. I need
not say that they were allowed to pursue
their game undisturbed, and that the grass
plat soon regained its verdure. This is an-
other instance of the utility of preserving-
birds on farms, and in orchards and gardens."
—Ibid.

" The owl renders essential service to the
farmer, by destroying mice, rals and shrews,
which infest houses and barns: it also catches
bats and beetles.

" To those who seem inclined to extirpate
the blackbird, Wilson justly remarks, as a
balance against the damage they commit, the
service they perform in the spring season, by
the immense number of insects, and their
larvae which they destroy as their principal
food, and which are of kinds most injurious to
the husbandman. Indeed, Kalm remarked,
that after a great destruction made amonj
these and the common blackbirds for the lega
reward of three pence a dozen ; the northern
states, in 1749, experienced a complete
of the grass and grain crops, which were
devoured by insects."

" Up to the time of harvest, I have
formly, on dissection, found their food to con-
sist of these larvae, caterpillars, moths, and
beetles, of which they devour such numbers
that but for this providential economy, the
whole crop of grain, in many places, would
probably be destroyed by the time it began to
germinate. * * At this season, to repay
the gardener for the tithe of his crop, their
natural due, they fail not to assist in ridding
his trees of more deadly enemies which infest
them, and the small caterpillars, beetles, and
various insects now constitute their only food;
and for hours at a time they may be seen feed-
ing on the all despoiling canker worms which
infest our apple trees and elms." — NtittaVs
Ointhology.

The boblincoln is perhaps next to the cedar
bird or Canada robin, the greatest destroyer
of the canker worm. Building her nest, and
roaring her young under the apple trees, as
this bird often does, she requires an immense
number of worms for their sustenance just at
the time that they are most destructive. " I
have observed one of these birds," says a
neighbour, " go round the limbs of an apple
tree in a spiral direction, and destroy in this
way every worm on the tree, in an incredibly
short time. No man," added he, " can calcu-
late the value of birds on a farm. 1 have no
doubt but they save me equal to the labour of
one man for the season, besides preserving my
trees from destruction."



It may be safely said, that in a country so
thickly settled as this, there are no birds, not
excepting the hawks and owls, but are vastly
more useful than injurious to man. None
of them should, under any pretence, be de-
stroyed.

It is not generally known, that a few only
of the hawks and owls destroy poultry. The
rough legged falcon may be observed the
whole winter long, seated on a small tree,
watching for mice, of which In: destroys great
numbers. Those who shoot him, or sutler
him to be shot, deserve to have their trees
" girdled" by these vermin. The marsh hawk,
the common harrier, and indeed all of this
family of birds that come so fearlessly to our
fields and meadows, are equally harndess and
useful.



STALACTITES AND STALAGMITES.

There are two terms used in mineralng_y,
stalactite and stalagmite, applied to a very
singular phenomenon which is observed under
various forms in different parts of the world.
Both terms are derived from the Greek name
for a drop, and are applied in the following
manner: — Stalactites are the pendent protu-
berances from the roof or sides of caverns,
formed by the deposition of calcareous or
other earths, from the water which percolates
through rocks; while stalagmites are the
depositions of calcareous earth formed in the
floors of caverns by the water which drops
from the roofs. The two therefore do not
ditl'er so much in their nature and formation
as in the circumstance of the positions which
they occupy.

Since waters rising from beds of limestone
are so overcharged with calcareous earth as
to form an incrustation of stone round any
substance that is immersed in them lor a short
lime, these waters are said to have a petrify-
ing or stoneforming property ; and the sta-
lactites and stalagmites are but extensions of
the same operation. Water dropping from
some projecting point, or percolating through
a crevice, deposits a portion of its calcareous
contents; and this deposition is enlarged by
succeeding drops, until it assumes the form
either of a pendent icicle or of a mass on the
ground. In some instances the formation
has been so rapid as to fill up the whole of
an excavation or grotto in the course of lime.

The deposition of earthy matter is easily
accounted for, when the water is known to be
loaded with it ; but there are peculiar appear-
ances in the structure of stalactites which are
not so easily explained. In some a radiated,
diverging, crystalline structure is observed ;
in others, the structure is more lamellatcd ;
and in others again, the process from the
radiated to the regular crystalline structure
may be seen in the same specimen. From
this it has been inferred, that the particles of
stalactite, al'ter they had been mechanically-
deposited, and formed into a solid, were capa-
ble of a certain degree of motion, which per-
mitted their crystalline arrangement to pro-
ceed to its ultimate form. Some stalactites
have occasionallv been found which were tubu-



lar; others, solid within, are covered exier
nally with minute crystals, and are some
times terminated by a knob resembling :
mushroom.

In some parts of the earth caverns are
found lined and roofed with stalactites, formed
at some past but unknown period ; while in
other parts springs are now flowing which
leave a calcareous deposit, and thus show the
mode in which other deposits may have been
formed. At Knaresborough, in Yorkshire, is
a spring possessing powerful petrifying quali-
ties. It rises on the slope of a hill, at the
foot of a limestone rock, and after running
about twenty yards towards the river Nid, it
spreads itself over the top of a rock, from
whence it trickles down in more than twenty
places, dropping very fast, and creating a mu-
sical kind of tinkling, due, probably, to the
concavity of the rock, which projects in a cir-
cular curve from the bottom to the lop, the
brow overhanging the base nearly fifteen feet.
The spring is supposed to emit about twenty
gallons per minute ; and the water abounds
with fine calcareous particles, which it depo-
sits when in languid motion, and leaves an
incrustration on the bodies that it meets with
in trickling slowl}' amid the many obstacles
that impede its course.

In the Derbyshire caves, of which so much
has been written, there are many striking
proofs of the efl'ects resulting from the subsi-
dence of calcareous matters from water. The
calcareous covering of the peak contains a
great number of caves of ditferent sizes, most
of them abounding with stalactites of various
forms and colours. Some of these stalactites
are of a beautiful white, and others are streak-
ed with yellow, gray, and milk-colour veins.
Some vases and other trinkets are occasion-
ally made from the choicest specimens.
Tiiese may be taken as evidence of eflects
produced long since ; but the same county
furnishes instances of petrifying waters now
in active existence. The warm springs at
Matlock furni vast accumulations of petri-
factions, which are suft before exposure to the
air, but become very hard by degrees. Whilst
the waters retain their warmth and motion,
few or no petrifactions are formed. It was
stated by Dr. Short some years ago, that all
the warm waiter dropping from the roofs ol
sinall grottoes and caves, at this spot, formed
little prisms or pillars of various shapes; but
that the water which was stationary, and left
a deposit which encrusted such small objects
as moss, grass, leaves, twigs, &c., in time
destroyed the bodies on which the deposition
was made, the deposit retaining the shape
which it had assumed.

The Geysers, or hot-springs of Iceland,
furnish other examples of a durable solid being
formed from the deposition of earthy matters
by the water which contains them. The sili-
cious depositions of the water of the Great
Geyser have formed for it a basin about fifty
feet in diameter, in the centre of which is a
cylindrical pipe or pit ten feet in diameter.
Through this pit, at variable intervals of time,
large masses of hot water burst out, gradually
filling the pit and the basin, and then partially
flowing over the edge. At intervals of some



TUB FRIEND. 235

hours, when the basin is full, explosions are^ France to the Turkish sultan. The marquis
heard from below, like the firing of cannon at celebrated the festival of Christmas within
a distance; and, at the same time, a tremu-ithe grotto itself, which he illuminated by a
lous motion of the ground is felt around the hundred large flambeaux and four tliousand
basin. After many strange convulsions, and [lamps, the light from which produced a most
upward bursts of water, which seem to indi-' brilliant and dazzling eflect. Five hundred
cate some powerful force acting from within, persons attended; and at midnight mass was
the whole subsides, and in a i'ew minutes not celebrated, the block of stalactite serving as
only the basin, but also the pipe or pit is|an altar. Magni, an Italian traveller, was
found to be empty of water. The petrifying told by some peasants that a giant inhabited
quality of the water seems therefore to have the mouth of the cavern ; and he went to
shown itself in this way : that a subterranean satisfy his curiosity in the matter. After
force having made a rent in the ground, encountering the difficulties of the descent, he
through which hot water was occasionally says, " We quickly perceived that what the
propelled, the water gradually deposited a ignorant natives called a giant, was nothing
sediment which built up, as it were, a cistern 'more than a sparry concretion, formed by the
round the margin of the rent. water diipping from the roof of the cave, and

It gives rise to some confusion when such; by degrees hardening into a figure that their
processes as these are termed peiri/aciton,! fears had transformed into a monster. Incited
because this term is more particularly applied ' by this extraordinary appearance, we proceed-
to the formation of fossil organic remains; ted still further, in quest of new adventures in
yet there is no other term — excepting perhaps this subterranean ubude. As we advanced,
lapidifcation, nearly synonymous to it — !neww



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 87 of 154)