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Earthquake at Calabria, in the year 1638.

AN account of this dreadful earthquake, is given by the celebrated father Kircher. It happened whilst he was on his journey to visit Mount Etna, and the rest of the wonders that ̈ lie towards the South of Italy. Kircher is considered, by scholars, as one of the greatest prodigies of learning.

"Having hired a boat, in company with four more, (two friars of the order of St. Francis, and two seculars,) we launched from the harbour of Messina, in Sicily; and arrived, the same day, at the promontory of Pelorus. Our destination was for the city of Euphemia, in Calabria; where we had some business to transact; and where we designed to tarry for some time. However, Providence seemed willing to cross our design; for we were obliged to continue three days at Pelorus, on account of the weather; and though we often put out to sea, yet we were as often driven back. At length,

ried with the delay, we resolved to prosecute our voyage; and, although the sea seemed more than usually agitated, we ventured forward. The gulf of Charybdis, which we approached, seemed whirled round in such a manner, as to form a vast hollow, verging to a point in the centre. Broceeding onward, and turning my eyes to Etna, I saw it cast forth large volumes of smoke, of mountainous sizes, which entirely covered the island, and blotted out the very shores from my view. This, together with the dreadful noise, and the sul phurous stench which was strongly perceived, filled me with apprehensions, that some more dreadful calamity was impending. The sea itself seemed to wear a very unusual appearance they who have seen a lake in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with bubbles, will conceive some idea of its agitations. My surprise was still increased, by the calmness and serenity of the weather not a breeze, not a cloud, which might be supposed to put all natere thus into motion. therefore warned my companions, that an earthquake was approaching; and, after some time, making for the shore with all possible diligence, we landed at Tropæa, happy and thankful for having escaped the threatening dangers of the sea."


"But our triumphs at land were of short duration; for we had scarcely arrived at the Jesuit's College, in that city, when our ears were stunned with a horrid sound, resembling that of an infinite number of chariots, driven fiercely forward; the wheels rattling, and the thongs cracking. Soon after this, a most dreadful earthquake ensued; so that the whole tract upon which we stood seemed to vibrate, as if we were in the scale of a balance that continued wavering. This motion, however, soon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown prostrate upon the ground. In the mean time, the universal ruin round me redoubled my amazement. The crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to raise my terror and despair. On every side of me, I saw nothing but a scene of ruin; and danger threatening wherever I should fly. I recommended myself to God, as my last great refuge At that hour, O how vain was every sublunary happiness! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all mere useless sounds, and as empty as the bubbles of the deep! Just standing on the threshold of eternity, nothing but God was my pleasure; and the nearer I approached, I only loved him the more. After some time, however, finding that I remained unhurt, amidst the general concussion, I resolved to venture for safety; and running as fast as I could, I reached the shore, but alm terrified out of my reason. I did not search long here, till I found the boat in which I had landed; and my companions also, whose terrors were even greater than mine. Our meeting was not of that kind, where every one is desirous of telling his own happy escape: it was all silence, and a gloomy dread of impending terrors."


Leaving this seat of desolation, we prosecuted our voyage along the coast; and the next day came to Rochetta, where we landed, although the earth still continued in violent agitations. But we had scarcely arrived at our inn, when we were once more obliged to return to the boat; and, in about half an hour, we saw the greater part of the town, and the inn at which we had set up, dashed to the ground, and burying the inhabitants beneath the ruins."

"In this manner, proceeding onward in our little vessel, finding no safety at land, and yet, from the smallness of our boat, having but a very dangerous continuance at sea, we at length landed at Lopizium, a castle midway between Tropea and Euphemia, the city to which, as I said before, we were bound. Here, wherever I turned my eyes, nothing bu

scenes of ruin and horror appeared; towns and castles levelled to the ground; Stromboli, though at sixty miles distance, belching forth flames in an unusual manner, and with a noise which I could distinctly hear. But my attention was quickly turned from more remote, to contiguous danger. The rumbling sound of an approaching earthquake, which we by this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the consequences; it every moment seemed to grow louder, and to approach nearer. The place on which we stood now began to shake most dreadfully so that being unable to stand, my companions and I caught hold of whatever shrub grew next to us, and supported ourselves in that manner."

"After some time, this violent paroxysm ceasing, we again stood up, in order to prosecute our voyage to Euphemia, which lay within sight. In the mean time, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could see only a frightful dark cloud, that seemed to rest apon the place. This the more surprised us, as the weather was so very serene. We waited, therefore, till the cloud had passed away then turning to look for the city, it was totally sunk. Wonderful to tell! nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was seen where it stood. We looked about to find some


that could tell us of its sad catastrophe, but could see no person. All was become a melancholy solitude; a scene of hideous desolation. Thus proceeding pensively along, in quest of some human being that could give us a little information, we at length saw a boy sitting by the shore, and appearing stupified with terror. Of him, therefore, we inquired concerning the fate of the city; but he could not be prevailed on to give us an answer. We entreated him, with every expression of tenderness and pity to tell us ; but his senses were quite wrapt up in the contemplation of the danger he had escaped. We offered him some victuals, but he seemed to loath the sight. We still persisted in our offices of kindness; but he only pointed to the place of the city, like one out of his senses; and then running up into the woods, was never heard of after. Such was the fate of the city of Euphemia. As we continued our melancholy course along the shore, the whole coast, for the space of two hundred miles; presented nothing but the remains of cities; and men scattered, without a habitation, over the fields. Proceeding thus along, we at length ended our distressful voyage by arriving at Naples, after having escaped a thousand dangers both at sea and




Letter from PLINY to GEMINIUS

Do we not sometimes observe a sort of people, who though they are themselves under the abject dominion of every vice, show a kind of malicious resentment against the errors of others; an are most severe upon those whom they most resemble? yet, surely a lenity of disposition, even in persons who have the least occasion for clemency themselves, is of all virtues the most becoming. The highest of all characters, in my estimation, is his, who is as ready to pardon the errors of mankind, as if he were every day guilty of some himself; and, at the same time, as cautious of committing a fault, as if he never forgave one. It is a rule then which we shor'd, upon all occasions, both private and public, most religiously observe; "to be inexorable to our own failings, while we treat those of the rest of the world with tenderness, not excepting even such as forgive none but themselves.'

all, perhaps, be asked, who it is that has given occasion to these reflections. Know then that a certain person lately-but of that when we meet-though, upon second thoughts, not even then; lest, whilst I condemn and expose his conduct, I shall act counter to that maxim I particularly recommen Whoever therefore, and whatever he is, shall remain in silence for though there may be some use, perhaps, in setting a mark upon the man, for the sake of example, there will be more, however, in sparing him, for the sake of humanity, Farewell. MELMOTH'S PLINY


Letter from PLINY to MARCELLINUS, on the death of an amiable young woman.

I WRITE tl's under the utmost oppression of sorrow; the youngest daughter of my friend Fundanus is dead! Never surely was there a more agreeable, and more amiable young person; or one who better deserved to have enjoyed a long, I had almost said, an immortal life! She had all the wisdom of age, and discretion of a matron, joined with youthful sweetness and virgin modesty. With what an engaging fondness. did she behave to her father! How kindly and respectfully receive his friends! How affectionately treat all those who, in their respective offices, had the care and education of her! She er foyed much of her time in reading, in which she diseat strength of judgment; she indulged herself in. few Ponce,ns, ons, and those with much caution. With what


forbearance, with what patience, with what courage, did she endure her last illness! She complied with all the directions of her physicians; she encouraged her sister, and her father: and, when all her strength of body was exhausted, supported herself by the single vigour of her mind. That, indeed, continued, even to her last moments, unbroken by the pain of a long illness, or the terrors of approaching death; and it is a reflection which makes the loss of her so much the more to be lamented. A loss infinitely severe! and more severe by the particular conjuncture in which it happened! She was contracted to a most worthy youth; the wedding day was fixed, and we were all invited.-How sad a change from the highest joy, to the deepest sorrow! How shall I express the wc and that pierced my heart, when I heard Fundanus himself, (as grief is ever finding out circumstances to aggravate its affliction,) ordering the money he had designed to lay out upon clothes and jewels for her marriage, to be employed in myrrh and spices for her funeral! He is a man of great learning and good sense, who has applied himself, from his earliest youth, to the noblest and most elevated studies: but all the maxims of fortitude which he has received from books, or advanced himself, he now absolutely rejects; and every other irtue of his heart gives place to all a parent's tenderness. Te shall excuse, we shall even approve his sorrow, when we consider what he has lost. He has lost a daughter who resembled him in his manners, as well as his person; and exactly copied out all her father. If his friend Marcellinus shall think proper to write to him, upon the subject of so easonable & grief, let me remind him not to use the rougher arguments o consolation, and such as seem to carry a sort of reproof with them; but those of kind and sympathizing humanity. Time will render him more open to the dictates of reason for as a fresh wound shrinks back from the hand of the surgeon, but by degrees submits to, and even requires the means of its cure; so a mind, under the first impressions of a misfortune, shuns and rejects all arguments of consolation; but at length, if applied with tenderness, calmly and willingly acquiesces in them. Farewell. MELMOTH'S PLINY.

On discretion.

I HAVE often thought, if the minds of men were laid open, we should see but little difference between that of a wise man, and that of a fool.


There are infinite reveries, numberless extravagaTH, and

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