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An Earthquake.

IN 1668 there was a very severe earthquake. I myself was staying at Chihsia, and happened to be that night sitting over a kettle of wine with my cousin Li Tu. All of a sudden we heard a noise like thunder, travelling from the southeast in a north-westerly direction. We were much astonished at this, and quite unable to account for the noise; in another moment the table began to rock, and the winecups were upset; the beams and supports of the house snapped here and there with a crash, and we looked at each other in fear and trembling. By-and-by we knew that it was an earthquake; and, rushing out, we saw houses and other buildings, as it were, fall down and get up again; and, amidst the sounds of crushing walls, we heard the shrieks of women and children, the whole mass being like a great seething cauldron. Men were giddy and could not stand, but rolled about on the ground; the river overflowed its banks; cocks crowed, and dogs barked from one end of the city to the other. In a little while the quaking began to subside; and then might be seen men and women running half naked about the streets, all anxious to tell their own experiences, and forgetting that they had on little or no clothing. I subsequently heard that a well was closed up and rendered useless by this earthquake; that a house was turned completely round, so as to face the opposite direction; that the Chihsia hill was riven open, and that the waters of the I river flowed in and made a lake of an acre and more. Truly such an earthquake as this is of rare occurrence.




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