Saturday, March 13, 2010

Darwin On Earthquakes

Just a follow up to my previous post on Darwin's observations of the Chilean earthquake.

I came across this passage from the Voyage of the Beagle:

A bad earthquake at once destroys the oldest associations: the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, has moved beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid;—one second of time has conveyed to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never have created.

His prose occasionally leaves a feeling of Victorian tediousness to modern readers but this is beautifully expressed. He scores high on the poignancy scale.

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