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Meteorology   


more of the evaporation to form in the earth. Then this secretion is

shut up in a narrow compass and forced into a smaller space by the

water that fills the cavities. Thus a great wind is compressed into

a smaller space and so gets the upper hand, and then breaks out and

beats against the earth and shakes it violently.

We must suppose the action of the wind in the earth to be

analogous to the tremors and throbbings caused in us by the force of

the wind contained in our bodies. Thus some earthquakes are a sort

of tremor, others a sort of throbbing. Again, we must think of an

earthquake as something like the tremor that often runs through the

body after passing water as the wind returns inwards from without in

one volume.

The force wind can have may be gathered not only from what happens

in the air (where one might suppose that it owed its power to

produce such effects to its volume), but also from what is observed in

animal bodies. Tetanus and spasms are motions of wind, and their force

is such that the united efforts of many men do not succeed in

overcoming the movements of the patients. We must suppose, then (to

compare great things with small), that what happens in the earth is

just like that. Our theory has been verified by actual observation

in many places. It has been known to happen that an earthquake has

continued until the wind that caused it burst through the earth into

the air and appeared visibly like a hurricane. This happened lately

near Heracleia in Pontus and some time past at the island Hiera, one

of the group called the Aeolian islands. Here a portion of the earth

swelled up and a lump like a mound rose with a noise: finally it

burst, and a great wind came out of it and threw up live cinders and

ashes which buried the neighbouring town of Lipara and reached some of

the towns in Italy. The spot where this eruption occurred is still

to be seen.

Indeed, this must be recognized as the cause of the fire that is

generated in the earth: the air is first broken up in small

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