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fell down. It is not yet known how many people perished in Ragusa; but the least calculation that has been made of them, amounts to eight thousand souls, of whom the citizens of the best quality make up a great part of the number. There are to be seen from the brink of the chasm I mentioned, the tops of some of the houses, a great way below the superfice of the ground; and out of this caviiy there comes a sulphureous smell, like to choak any body that comes near it. One of the churches that are ruined was that of Sancta Barbara, famous through all Sicily, for the miracles done at the shrine of that saint, and in which was some of the best sculpture, especially that of the altar-piece, that could be seen in any place of the christian world.
The town of Scodia felt the shakes of the ninth and eleventh, as fiercely as any. Yet, which was strange, the town itself received no damage ; but the bishop's palace, a very beautiful and new building, was overturned on the ninth, and about twenty-four persons perished in its ruins. The bishop had not gone out but an hour before, having held a meeting of his diocese in the chapel of his palace in the morning, so that he and they were all saved.
Specafurno, a town of a considerable bigness, lying on the south side of a hill, all planted with viveyards, and very well inhabited, fell under the common calamity. The shake of the ninth did it but little hurt, only the convent of the Capuchins was destroyed; but all the tenth, from morning till night, there never was heard so violent a storm of thunder and lightning, as if heaven and earth bad been mixing together. By the lightning, the town-house, a very regular building, was burnt down to the ground, with several other houses. Some few of the inhabitants fled out of the town on the tenth at night, and so escaped the destruction that befel the sest upon the eleventh. That shake brought over the whole town in a nioment's time; and there now remains nothing but vast heaps of rubbish where Specafurno stood. To the south side of the town, about a mile, there lies a very pleasant fresh water lake,
ding with fish, which now is almost all dry land; only what water remains in one end of it, is of a brinish taste, and of a black colour, the fish being all dead on the shore. It is remarked by the peasants that live on the hills about this town, that the thunder and lightning which happened on the tenth, has so far burnt all the vines, that they expect no grapes to grow on them next year: not only so, but they smell a sort of sulphureous smell, and feel a kind of a bituminous dew upon the ground all thereabout. The people that perished in Specafurno, are computed to amount'to ibree thousand five hundred at least there being about three hun. dred only that saved themselves by a timely flight the day before.
Sicily could not brag of a better built town, and a place of betler trade, considering its distance from the sea, than the town of Scichilo was. This place seemed to be designed by nature to fall by an earthquake, for within these fifty years, it has been in hazard eight times. Five years ago it bad a very considerable shake, which damaged several of the houses, and overturned a
church dedicated to St. Roch. But all this was nothing to what befel it in this last earthquake. The trembling of the earth began to be felt on the eighth at night, and within twenty-four hours time, there succeeded above twenty shakes one after another, last still exceeding the first in violence. At last, the shake of the eleventh, instead of overturning the town, as in most other places, the earth here sunk down, and in less than two moments, the town vanished out of sight. In its room, there is now a stinking pool of water, where the dome of the church of St. Stephen, with a part of the steeple of St. Salvator, stands above the water. It is thought there was no one saved of all the inhabitants of this pleasant town; and they were calculated to be about the number of six or seven thousand souls.
There stood a very strong castle, built after the Gothick fashion, on the east side of the town, belonging to the family of Cantelmi; it is now all in heaps, and about thirty people buried alive in them.
Cefamero, a village, containing about two hundred houses, and seated on a rising ground, was much shaken on the eighth, ninth, and lenth; but the shake of the eleventh overturned the church, whither most of the people had fled for shelter, and to implore the aid of St. Catharine of Sienna, whose chapel there was held in the greatest reverence; they were all crushed to death with the fall of the roof, being of lead, and little other damage done in the village itself. It is thought there were near two hundred people perished in the church, and about twenty in the village.
Sainto Croce, another village, something bigger than Cefamero, was as ill shaken as the other, though there were not so many people killed. The church here stands intire, and only the houses that were made of timber have suffered, and, in them, near a hundred of the inhabitants, the rest having fled to the fields without the town.
The little town of Giamontano was greatly shaken on the ele. venth, that whole quarter, that lay nearest the river, being quite overturned, and all the people killed; the rest of the town escaped, only a small hospital, near the south gate, was sunk into the ground, with the people in it, which might amount to forty. Those that perished in the quarter nearest the river, were about three hundred and fifty souls.
The tower of Licodia underwent very near the same fate. Al the houses of timber were overwhelmed by the shake of the eleventh, and in them about three hundred of the inhabitants. The houses of stone stand yet, though much shattered, and the dome of the church was burnt down by lightning the day before. There is one thing more remarkable fallen out near this town: about a mile and a half from it, there is a pretty high steep hill, famous for pine trees of a vast bigness, that grow upon it: the lightning and thunder has burnt down and scorched most of those trees, and on the top of the hill there is a vulcano opened, out of which there ascends constantly a very thick smoke, which is the more strange, that there was no such thing beard of in that part of Sicily before.
Jaci, a very big town, was greatly shattered, especially in the fall of two churches on the ninth, the time of divine service. Many of the houses of the town were overturned on the eleventh, together with two convents; and particularly that of the Minims, where was kept St. Peter's net, in which he took that vast quantity of fish mentioned in the gospel. By the fall of the houses and churches, there perished in all about two thousand people, whereof more than the half died by the fall of the two churches.
La Motta, a village, the most famous of the whole island, and the ordinary retiremeni in the summer time of the citizens of Palermo, was totally overturned on the ninth, and now there remains no vestige of it, a salt pool succeeding in its place. The inhabitants were reckoned to be about two hundred people.
The last place of Sicily I shall name, that felt this earthquake, was Messina, a city of great trade, superb buildings, and great riches. The shake of the ninth was here felt so sensibly, that it struck a terror into the inhabitants, and more than half of them forsook the city, and betook themselves to the fields. Those that remained betook themselves to their devotions, and all the churches were thronged with the multitudes of people, young and old, that flocked to them. The archbishop of Messina had ordered fortyeight hours prayers to be said through the whole city, and several relicks to be carried in procession, to appease the wrath of Heaven. On the eleventh, the whole city was so terribly shaken, that twentysix palaces were overturned, and a great many of the timber houses. Every body expected immediate death, and, in vast multitudes, run to the cathedral, where the archbisbop of Messina preached, and said mass, and thereafter gave absolution, as did all ihe priests through the rest of the city by the archbishop's command. After absolution given, every body made the best of the way they could to escape from the common danger, and betook themselves to the fields, where they were not out of hazard through the violence of the thunder, lightning, and rain, that continued three days together. The archbis
The archbishop retired with the rest, and, at last, the people did set up tents to protect them from the injuries of the weather. There are but few people killed in Messina, but most of the churches are shattered more or less, and the chapel of the archbishop's palace overturned.
Tbis mighty stroke of God was not only on the land, but was felt also on the sea. For several ships and smaller vessels were drowned all along the coast of the island, and even in harbours, by. the violent agitation of the water. Neither was there ever seen so high, and so impetuous a tide as that of the tenth, being above three feet higher in most parts, than ever was heard of before.
In short, a more astonishing, a more universal, or a more swift destruction, was never known. And Sicily, that was one of the beautifullest, richest, and fruitfullest islands in the world, is now a heap of rubbish, and a continued desolation.
It is impossible to make a computation of the immense losses of money, merchandise, houses, and lands. It may modestly be com
puted to at least six millions of ducats; and it will take an age to repairthe damages it has made. The number of the inhabitants that perished in this affrightful calamity, may be safely reckoned to conie to one hundred and twenty thousand souls, over and above a vast number bruised by the fall of churches and houses, whereof many are dead since, and some continue yet in hazard, which may amount to twenty thousand more.
This terrible earthquake has communicated itself to the island of Maltha on the one side, and to Calabria on the other; and the desolations it has made, in both those places, are very great.
COMPENDIOUS HISTORY OF THE TAXES OF FRANCE,
OPPRESSIVE METHODS OF RAISING THEM.
London, printed by J. M. and B B. for Richard Baldwin, near the Oxford
Arms, in Warwick Lane, 1694. Quarto, cuntaining forty Pages.
To the Right Honourable Thomas Earl of Stamford, Lord Gray of
Grooby, &c. MY LORD, THE design of this treatise being only to inspire the English
nation with a greater love of their liberties, by representing, in its true colours, the miserable slavery to which France is reduced, it could not properly be addressed to any other, than to a publick assertor of the publick liberty. But, amongst the several competitors for that glorious title, I think I may with justice say, no person has so good a claim to it as your lordship: your being committed to the Tower, and a scaffold erected for your tryal, are demonstrations that they, who then conspired the ruin of England, looked upon your lordship as a principal bulwark that obstructed their design; and therefore did their utmost to remove you, in order to their farther progress. Your lordship's sufferings, for the nation's safety, intitled you to the general thanks of the kingdom; though, I must not say, your lordship was the only nobleman that was struck at by the persecution (not to say tyranny) of those times.
But whosoever recalls to mind the transactions of 1688, must, withal, remember the important services wherewith you signalised yourself, for the rescue of this nation. You, my lord, amongst the illustrious undertakers, durst shew a good example, by appearing the first in arms, and displaying, in open field, the colours of liberty, thereby giving life to that famous, but languishing, association, when it had been almost cast away in a storm at sea.
This is a glorious circumstance, and, must be allowed, peculiar to your lordship.
There are some persons in the world, who appear very zealous for their country, and for their princes; and yet have been so unbappy, as not to escape the prejudices of having their zeal been thought to have chiefly centered on their private interests. What your lordsbip has done, leaves no room for any such suspicion ; for nothing can be found more disinterested.
You have vigorously asserted the right of your country, and as vigorously expressed your zeal to their majesties, in contributing so much to the placing the crown on their heads, and afterwards, your fidelity, in that great share which it is well known your lordship had in its further settlement, by the recognition bill.
You have done all to an eminent degree, and all this too at your own expence: for, hitherto, your great and noble services have only been their own reward.
What I have as yet mentioned, concerning your lordship, has been only with relation to publick affairs, and the service of their present majesties; but what could I not say of those shining quasities and virtues which are conspicuous in your lordship, and render you eminently valuable to all those who have the honour of being personally acquainted with you?
These are particulars I could easily enlarge upon, without fearing any other censure than that of your own modesty, which I am unwilling to offend; but justice obliges me, at least, to say, that what your lordship has performed for the publick, deserveth the gratitude that distinguished the first age of the Roman commonwealth; and will be admired, so long as people retain any sense of, and love for liberty.
These, my lord, must needs be the sentiments of all true Englishmen; since, even natives of other countries are charmed with so extraordinary a merit, for which I cannot but express the greatest veneration, though I was born and bred up in a country wholly infected with servitude. Wherefore, upon so just an occasion, I thought it my duty, as it is my ambition, to profess myself, with all imaginable respect and sincerity,
And most obedient servant.
HOW very great the tyranny is, that the French king exercises over his subjects, I hope this English nation, in general, are not to learn now; because so many learned pens have, in their various excellent ways of writing, endeavoured to acquaint all the world with it. This I must confess; but yet, at the same time, I cannot forbear to say, that, in my opinion, none of those admirable authors have hit upon the true turn of it. For though it is plain and manifest, that the French king could never have built so many beautiful and costly palaces, never have bought so many towns, corrupted and bribed into his interests so many men in all the courts