Friday, March 28, 2008

from History of the Earth, and Animated Nature, 1854

(page 117)

About nine at night, a globe of fire appeared to rise from the side of the mountain Pichinca, and so large, that it spread a light over all the part of the city facing that mountain. The house in which I lodged looking that way, I was surprised with an extraordinary light darting through the crevices of the window-shutters. On this appearance, and the bustle of the people in the street, I hastened to the window, and came time enough to see it in the middle of its career, which continued from west to south till I lost sight of it, being intercepted by a mountain which lay between. It was round, and its apparent diameter was about a foot. I observed it to rise from the sides of Pichinca; althought, to judge from its course, it was behind that mountain where this congeries of inflammable material was kindled. In the first half of its visible course it emitted a prodigious effulgence, then it began gradually to grow dim; so that, upon its disappearing behind the intervening mountain, its light was very faint.

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