A Hypertext Edition of Charles Hoy Fort's Book
Edited and Annotated by Mr. X
Melbourne Age, Jan. 21, 1869 -- there was a carter.(1) He was driving a five-horse truck along the bed of a dry creek. Down the gully shot a watery fist that was knuckled with boulders. A dead man, a truck, and five horses were punched into trees.
New Orleans Daily Picayune, Aug. 6, 1893 -- a woman in a carriage, crossing a dried-up stream, in Rawlings County, Kansas.(2) It was a quiet, summery scene.
There was a rush of water. The carriage crumbled. There was a spill of crumbs that were a woman's hat and the heads of horses.
Phil. Public Ledger, Sept. 16, 1893 -- people asleep, in the town of Villa-canas, Toledo, Spain.(3) The town was raided by trees. Trees smashed through the walls [291/292] of houses. People in bed were grabbed by roots. A deluge had fallen into a forest.
Bright, clear day, near Pittsburgh, Pa. From the sky swooped a wrath that incited a river. It was one bulk of water: two miles away, no rain fell (New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 11, 1893).(4) A raging river jeered against former confinements. Some of its gibes were freight cars. It scoffed with bridges. Having made a high-water mark of rebellion, it subsided into a petulance of jostling row-boats. Monistically, I have to accept that no line of demarcation can be drawn between emotions of minds and motions of rivers.
These sudden, astonishing leaks from the heavens are not understood. Meteorologists study them meteorologically. This seems logical, and is therefore under suspicion. This is the fallacy of all the sciences: scientists are scientific. They are inorganically scientific. Some day there may be organic science, or the interpretation of all phenomenal things in terms of an organism that comprises all.
If our existence is an organism, in which all phenomena are continuous, dreams cannot be utterly different, in the view of continuity, from occurrences that are said to be real. Sometimes, in a nightmare, a kitten turns into a dragon. Louth, Lincolnshire, England, May 29, 1920 -- the River Lud, which is only a brook, and is known as "Tennyson's Brook," was babbling, or maybe it was purling --
Out of its play, this little thing humped itself twenty feet high. A ferocious transformation of a brook sprang upon the houses of Louth, and mangled fifty of them. Later in the day, between banks upon which were piled the remains of houses, in which were lying twenty-two bodies, and from which hundreds of the inhabitants had been driven homeless, the little brook was babbling, or purling. [292/293]
In scientific publications, early in the year 1880, an event was told of, in the usual, scientific way: that is, as if it were a thing in itself. It was said that a "waterspout" had burst upon the island of St. Kitts, B.W.I. A bulk of water had struck this island, splitting it into cracks, carrying away houses and people, drowning 250 of the inhabitants. A paw of water, clawed with chasms, had grabbed these people.
In accordance with our general treatments, we think that there are waterspouts and cloudbursts, but that the waterspout and cloudburst conveniences arise, when nothing else can, or, rather, should, be thought of, and as labels are struck on events that cannot be so classified except as a matter of scientific decorum and laziness. Some of the sleek, plump sciences are models of good behaviour and inactivity, because, with little else to do, they sit all day on the backs of patient fishmongers.
As a monist, I think that there is something meteorological about us. Out of the Libraries will come wraths of data, and we, too, shall jeer against former confinements. Our gibes will be events, and we shall scoff with catastrophes.
The "waterspout" at St. Kitts -- as if it were a single thing, unrelated to anything else. The West Indian, Feb. 3, 1880 -- that, while the bulk that was called a waterspout was overwhelming St. Kitts, water was falling upon the island of Grenada, "as it had never rained before, in the history of the island."(5) Grenada is 300 miles from St. Kitts.
I take data of another occurrence, from the Dominican, and The People, published at Roseau, Dominica, B.W.I.(6) About 11 o'clock, morning of Jan. 4th, the town of Roseau was bumped by midnight. People in the streets were attacked by darkness. People in houses heard the smash of their window panes. Night fell so [293/294] heavily that it broke roofs. It was a daytime night of falling mud. With the mud came a deluge.
The River Roseau rose, and there was a conflict. The river, armed with the detachables of an island, held up shields of mules, and pierced the savage darkness with spears of goats. Long lines of these things it flung through the black streets of Roseau.
In the Boiling Lakes District of Dominica, there had been an eruption of mud, at the time of the deluge, which was like the fall of water upon St. Kitts, eight days later. There had, in recorded time, never been an eruption here before.
The months before, there had been, in another part of the West Indies, a catastrophe like that of St. Kitts. Upon October 10, 1879, a deluge fell upon the island of Jamaica, and drowned one hundred of the inhabitants (London Times, Nov. 8, 1879).(7) A flood that slid out from this island was surfaced with jungles -- tangles of mahogany logs, trees, and bushes; brambled with the horns of goats and cattle; hung with a moss of the fleece of sheep. Incoming vessels ploughed furrows, as if in a passing cultivation of one of the rankest luxuriences that ever vegetated upon an ocean. Passengers looked at tangles of trees and bodies, as if at picture puzzles. In foliage, they saw faces.
For months, there had been, in the Provinces of Murcia and Alicante, Spain, a drought so severe that inhabitants had been driven to emigration to Algeria. Whether we think of this drought and the prayers of the people as having relation or not, there came a downpour that was as intense as the necessities. See London Times, Oct. 20, 1879.(8) Upon Oct. 14th, floods poured upon these parched provinces. Perhaps it was response to the prayers of the people. Five villages were destroyed. Fifteen hundred persons perished. [294/295]
Virtually in the same zone with Spain and the West Indies (U.S. Columbia) a deluge fell, in December. The River Cauca rose beyond all former high water marks, so suddenly that people were trapped in their houses. This was upon December 19th.
The next day, the earth started quaking in Salvador, near Lake Ilopanga. This lake was the crater of what was supposed to be an extinct volcano. I take data from the Panama Daily Star and Herald, Feb. 10, 1880.(9)
Upon the 31st of December -- four days before occurrences in the island of Dominica -- the earth quaked in Salvador, and from the middle of Lake Ilopanga emerged a rocky formation. Water fell from the sky, in bulks that gouged gullies. Gullies writhed in the quaking ground. The inhabitants who cried to the heavens prayed to Epilepsy. Mud was falling upon the convulsions. A volcanic island was rising in Lake Ilopanga, displacing the water, in streams that writhed from it violently. Rise of a form that filled the lake -- it shook out black torrents -- head of a Gorgon, shaggy with snakes.
Beginning upon October 10th, and continuing until the occurrence at St. Kitts, deluge after deluge came down to one zone around this earth -- or a flight of lakes was cast from a constellational reservoir, which was revolving and discharging around a zone of this earth. In the minds of most of us, this could not be. We have been taught to look up at the revolving stars, and to see and to think that they do not revolve.
Our data are of the slaughters of people, who, by fishmongerish explanations, have been held from an understanding of an irrigational system: of their emotions, and of the elementary emotions of lands. There's a hope in a mind, and it turns to despair -- or there's a fertile region in the materials of a South [295/296] American country -- and an unsuspected volcano chars it to a woe of leafless trees. Plains and the promise of crops that are shining in sunlight -- plains crack into disappointments, into which fell expectations. An island appears in the ocean, and after a while young palms feel upward. There's a convulsive relapse, and subliminal filth, from the bottom of the ocean, plasters the little aspirations. Quaking lands have clasped their fields, and have wrung their forests.
Each catastrophe has been explained by the metaphysical scientists, as a thing in itself. Scientists are contractions of metaphysicians, in their local searches for completeness, and in their statements that, except for infinitesimal errors, plus or minus, completenesses have been found. I can accept that there may be Superphenomenal Completeness, but not that there can be phenomenal completenesses. It may be that the widespread thought that there is God, or Allness, is only an extension of the deceiving process by which to an explanation of a swarm of ladybirds, or to the fall of water at St. Kitts, is given a guise of completeness -- or it may be the other way around -- or that there is a Wholeness -- perhaps one of countless Wholenesses, in the cosmos -- and that attempting completenesses and attempting concepts of completenesses are localising consciousness of an all-inclusive state, or being -- so far as its own phenomena are concerned -- that is Complete.
There have been showers of ponds. From blue skies there have been shafts of water, golden in sunshine. Reflections from stars have fluted sudden, dark, watery columns. There have been violent temples of water -- colonnades of shafts, revealed against darkness by lightning -- foaming facades as white as marble. Nights have been caves, roofed with vast, fluent stalactites.
These are sprinkles. [296/297]
The meteorologists study meteorologically. The meteorologists were surprised.
March 23, 1913 -- 250,000 persons driven from their homes -- torrents falling, rivers rising, in Ohio. The floods at Dayton, Ohio, were especially disastrous.
Traffics of bodies, in the watery streets of Dayton. The wind whistles, and holds up a cab. They stop. Night -- and the running streets are hustling bodies -- but, coming, is worse than the sights of former beings, who never got anywhere in life, and are still hurrying. The wreck of a trolley car speeds down an avenue -- down a side street rushes a dead man. Let him catch the car, and he'll get about where all his lifetime he got catching other cars. A final dispatch from Dayton -- "Dayton in total darkness."
March 23, 24, 25 -- a watery sky sat on the Adirondack Mountains. It began to slide. It ripped its pants on a peak, and the tops of lamp posts disappeared in the streets of Troy and Albany. Literary event, at Paterson, N.J. -- something that was called "a great cloudburst" grabbed a factory chimney, and on a ruled page of streets scrawled a messy message. With the guts of horses and other obscenities, it put in popularising touches. The list of dead, in Columbus, Ohio, would probably reach a thousand. Connecticut River rising rapidly. Delaware River, at Trenton, N.J., 14 feet above normal.
March 26th -- in Parkersburg, West Virginia, people who called on their neighbours, rowed boats to second story windows. If they had in their cellars what they have nowadays, there was much demand for divers. New lakes in Vermont, and the State of Indiana was an inland sea. "Farmers caught napping." Surprises everywhere: napping everywhere. Wherever Science was, there was a swipe at a sleep. Floods in [297/298] Wisconsin, floods and destruction in Illinois and Missouri.
March 27th -- see the New York Tribune, of the 28th -- that the Weather Bureau was issuing storm warnings.(10)
The professional wisemen were not heard from, before this deluge. Some of us would like to know what they had to say, afterward. They said it, in the Monthly Weather Review, April, 1913).(11)
The story is told "completely." The story is told, as if there had been exceptional rains, only in Ohio and four neighbouring States. Reading this account, one thinks -- as one should think -- of considerable, or of extraordinary, rain, in one smallish region, and of its derivation from others parts of this earth, where unusual sunshine had brought about unusual evaporations.
Canada -- and it was not here that the sun was shining. Waters falling and freezing, in Canada, loading trees and telegraph wires with ice -- power houses flooded, and towns in darkness -- crashes of trees, heavy with ice. California was drenched. Torrents falling, in Washington and Oregon. Unprecedented snow in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma -- Alabama deluged -- floods in Florida.
"Ohio and four neighbouring States."
Downpours in France and in other parts of Europe.
Spain -- seems that, near Valencia, one of these nights, there was a rotten theatrical performance. Such a fall of big hailstones that a trial was stalled -- vast tragedian, in a black cloak, posing on the funnel of an engine -- car windows that were footlights -- and disapproval was expressing with the looks of millions of pigeons' eggs. Anyway, near Valencia, a fall of hail, three feet deep, stopped trains. Just where was all that sunshine? [298/299]
South Africa -- moving pictures of the low degree of the now old-fashioned "serials." Something staged Clutching Hands. There were watery grabs from the sky, at Colesburg, Murraysburg, and Prieska. The volume of one of these bulks equalled one-tenth of the total rainfall in South Africa, in one year.
Snow, two months before its season, was falling in the Andes -- floods in Paraguay, and people spreading in panic -- Government vessels carrying supplies to homeless, starving people -- River Uruguay rising rapidly.
Heavy rains in the Fiji Islands.
The rains in Tasmania, during the month of March, were 26 points above the average.
Upon the first day of the floods in "Ohio and four neighbouring States" (March 22nd) began a series of terrific thunderstorms in Australia. There was a "rain blizzard" in New South Wales. In Queensland, all mails were delayed by floods.
Wellington Evening Post, March 31 -- "The greatest disaster in the history of the Colony!"(12)
Where there had been sluggish rivers, bodies of countless sheep tossed in woolly furies. Maybe there is a vast, old being named God, and reported strands of tossing sheep were glimpses of his whiskers, in one of those wraths of his. In the towns, there were fantastic savageries. Wherever the floods had been before, it looks as if they had been to college. One of them rioted through the streets of Gore, having broken store windows. It roystered with the bodies of animals, wrapped in lace curtains, silks, and ribbons. Down the Matura River sounded a torrent of "terrible cries." It was a rush of drowning cattle. It was a delirium of brandishing horns, upon which invisible collegians were blowing a fanfare. [299/300]
"Ohio and four neighbouring States."
The clip of Paraguay, and the bob of New Zealand: the snip of South Africa, and the shearing of everything else that did not fit in with a theory. Whoever said that the pen is mightier than something else, overlooked the mightiest of all, and that's the scissors.
Wherever all this water was coming from, the full account is of North America and four neighbouring Continents.
Peaches flying from orchards, in the winds of New Zealand -- icicles clattering in the streets of Montreal. The dripping palms of Paraguay -- and the pine trees of Oregon were mounds of snow. At night this earth was a black constellation, sounding with panics. I can think of the origin of the ocean that fell upon it in not less than constellational terms. Perhaps Orion or Taurus went dry.
If a place, say in China, greatly needs water, and if there be stores of water, somewhere else, in one organism, I can think of relations of requital, as I think of need and response in any lesser organism, or sub-organism.
Need of a camel -- and storages -- and reliefs.
Hibernating bear -- and supplies from his storages.
At a meeting of the Royal Geographic Society, Dec. 11, 1922, Sir Francis Younghusband told of a drought, in August, 1906, in Western China. The chief magistrate in Chungking prayed for rain. He put more fervour into it. Then he prayed prodigiously for rain. It began to rain. Then something that was called "a waterspout" fell from the sky. Many of the inhabitants were drowned.
In the organic sense, I conceive of people and forests and dwindling lakes all expressing a need, and finally compelling an answer. By "prayers" I mean utterances by parched mouths, and also the rustlings of dried [300/301] leaves and grasses. It seems that there have been responses. There are two explanations. One is that it is the mercy of God. For an opinion here, see the data. The other is that it is an Organism that is maintaining itself.
The British Government has engineered magnificently for water supply in Egypt. It might have been better to plant persuasive trees and clergymen in Egypt. But clergymen are notoriously eloquent, and I think that preferable would be less excitable tipsters to God, who could convey the idea of moderation.
In one year the fall of rain, at Norfolk, England, is about 29 inches. In Symons' Meteorological Magazine, 1889, p. 101, Mr. Symons told of this fall of water of 29 inches in a year, and then told of volumes of water to depths of from 20 to 24 inches that had fallen, from May 25th to the 28th, 1889, in New South Wales, and of a greater deluge -- 34 inches -- that, from the 29th to the 30th, had devastated Hongkong.(13) Mr. Symons called attention to these two bursts from the heavens, thousands of miles apart, saying that they might, or might not, be a coincidence, but that he left it to others to theorise. I point out that a professional meteorologist thought the occurrence of only two deluges, about the same time, but far apart, remarkable, or difficult to explain in terms of terrestrial meteorology.
It was left a long time to others.
However, when I was due to appear, I appeared, perhaps right on scheduled time; and I got Australian newspapers. The Sydney newspapers told of the soak in New South Wales. I learned that all the rest of Australia was left to others -- or was left, waiting for me to appear, right on scheduled time, most likely. Not rain, but columns of water fell near the town of Avoca, Victoria, and, in the Melbourne Argus, the [301/302] way of accounting for them was to say that "a waterspout" had burst here. There were wide floods in Tasmania. Fields turned to blanks that were then lumpy with rabbits.
There had been drought in Australia, and floods were a relief to a necessity, but the greater downpour in China interests us more in conditions in China.
It was a time of direst drought and extremest famine in China. Homeward Mail, June 4 -- that, in some of the more cannibalistic regions, sales of women and children were common.(14) It is said to be almost impossible for anybody to devour his own child. Parents exchanged children.
Down upon monstrous need came relief that was enormous. At Hongkong, houses collapsed under a smash of alleviation. A fury of mercy tore up almost every street in the Colony. The people had prayed for rain. They got it. Godness so loved Hongkong that in the town's morgue it stretched out sixteen of the inhabitants. At Canton, every pietist proclaimed the efficacy of prayer, and I think he was right about that: but the problem is to tone down all this efficacy. If we will personify what I consider an organism, what he, or more likely she, has not, is any conception of moderation. The rise of the river, at Canton, indicated that up country there had been catastrophic efficacy. At Canton efficacy was so extreme that for months the people were rebuilding.
Show me a starving man -- I pay no attention. Show me the starving man -- I can't be bothered. Show me the starving man, on the point of dying -- I grab up groceries and I jump on him. I cram bread down his mouth, and stuff his eyes and ears with potatoes. I rip open his lips to hammer down more food, and bung in his teeth, the better to stuff him. The explanation -- it is the god-like in me. [302/303]
Now, in a Library, we put in calls for the world's newspapers. Not a hint have we that there is anything else -- nothing in scientific publications of the period -- not another word from Mr. Symons -- but there is an implement that is mightier than the pen -- and we are led on to one of our attempted correlations, by our experiences with it.
Germany -- there was a drought so severe that there were public prayers for rain. Something that was called "a waterspout" fell from the sky, and people who did not get all the details went to church about it. Liverpool Echo, May 20 -- one hundred persons perished.(15)
At the same time, there were public rejoicings in Smyrna, where was staged another assuasive tragedy.
Droughts in Russia. Straits Times, June 6 -- droughts ended by downpours in Bengal and Java. In Kashmir and in the Punjab, violent thunderstorms and earthquakes occurred together (Calcutta Statesman, June 1 and 3). In Turkey, there would have been extreme distress, but about the first of June, amidst woe and thanksgiving, destructive salvations demonstrated efficacy, and for a week kept on spreading joy and misery. Levant Herald, June 4 -- earthquakes preceded deluges, and then continued with them.
In conventional meteorology, no relation between droughts and exceptional rains is admitted. Our data are of widespread droughts and enormous flows of water. There are two little, narrow strips of views on the margins of our moving pictures. On one side -- there is a beneficent God. On the other side -- that there isn't anything. And every one of us who has paid any attention to the annals of controversies knows that such oppositions usually give in to an intermediacy. May, 1889 -- widely this earth was in need -- widely waters were coming from somewhere. Now -- in Organic terms -- I am telling of what seems to me [303/304] to be Functional Teleportation, or enormous manifestations of that which is sometimes, say in Oklahoma, a little drip over a tree.
Volcanic eruptions upon this earth, at time of deluges -- and maybe, in a land of the stars, there was an eruption, in May, 1889. In France, May 31st, there was one of the singularly lurid sunsets that are known as "afterglows," and that appear after volcanic eruptions. There was no known volcanic eruption somewhere else. All suggestiveness is that it came to this earth over no such distance as millions of miles.
Other discharges, maybe -- red rain coming down from the sky, at Cardiff, Wales (Cardiff Western Mail, May 26). Red dust falling upon the island of Hyéres, off the coast of France, in the Mediterranean -- see the Levant Herald, May 29.(16) St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30 -- an unknown substance that for several hours had fallen from the sky -- crystalline particles, some pink, and some white.(17) Quebec Daily Mercury, May 25 -- a fine dust that had the appearance of a snowstorm, falling in Dakota.(18)
Monstrous festivities in Greece -- a land that was bedecked with assassinations. Its rivers were garlands -- vast twists of vines, budded with the bodies of cattle.
The Malay States gulped. The mines of Kamunting were suctions into which flowed floods (Penang Gazette, May 24).(19) The Bahama Islands were thirsts -- drought and loss of crops -- then huge swigs from the sky. Other West Indian islands went on Gargantuan sprees -- and I'll end up a Prohibitionist. Orgies in Greece, and more or less everywhere else -- this earth went drunk on water. I've experimented -- try auto-suggestion -- you can get a pretty fair little souse from [304/305] any faucet. Tangier -- "great suffering from the drought" -- abundant rains, about June 1st. Drought in British Honduras, and heavy rains upon the 1st and 2nd of June. Tremendous downpours described in the newspaper published upon the island of St. Helena. Earthquake at Jackson, California -- the next day a gush from the sky broke down a dam. I'm on a spree, myself -- Library attendants wheeling me stacks of this earth's newspapers. Island of Cyprus -- a flop from the sky, and the river Pedias went up with a rush from which people at Nicosia narrowly escaped. Torrents in Ceylon. June 4th -- a drought of many weeks broken by rains in Cuba. Drought in Mexico -- and out of the heavens came a Jack the Ripper. Torn plantations and mutilated cities -- rise of the river, at Huezutla -- when it subsided the streets were strewn with corpses.
In England, Mr. Symons expressed astonishment, because there had been two deluges.
Deluges and falls of lumps of ice, throughout England. France deluged. Water dropped from the sky, at Lausanne, Switzerland, flooding some of the streets five feet deep. It was not rain. There were falling columns of water from what was thought to be a waterspout. The most striking of the statements is that bulks dropped. One of them was watched. Or some kind of a vast, vaporous cow sailed over a town, and people looked up at her bag of water. Something that was described as "a large body of water" was seen at Coburg, Ontario. It crossed the town, holding its bag-like formation. Two miles away, it dropped. It splashed rivers that broke down all dams between Coburg and Lake Ontario. In the Toronto Globe, June 3, this falling bulk is called "a waterspout".(20) Fall of a similar bulk, in Switzerland -- crops and houses and bridges mixing down a valley, at Sargans. Fall of [305/306] a bulk, at Reichenbach, Saxony. "It was a waterspout" (London Times, June 6).(21)
This time the fishmonger is a waterspout.
Spain pounded by falling waters: Madrid flooded: many buildings damaged by a violent hailstorm. Deluges in China continuing. Deluges in Australia continuing. Floods in Argentina: people of Ayacuchio driven from their homes: sudden rise of the river, at Buenos Aires. In the South American Journal of this period are accounts of tremendous downpours and devastations in Brazil and Uruguay.
One of these bodies of water that were not rain fell at Chetnole, Dorsetshire, England. The people, hearing crashes, looked up at a hill, and saw it frilled with billows. Watery ruffs, from eight to ten feet high, heaved on the hill. The village was tossed in a surf. "The cause of this remarkable occurrence was for some time unknown but it has now been ascertained that a waterspout burst on Batcombe Hill." So wrote Mr. Symons, in whose brains there was no more consciousness of all that was going on in the world about him than there was in any other pair of scissors.
It was not ascertained that a waterspout had burst on Batcombe Hill. No waterspout was seen. What was ascertained was that columns of water of unknown origin had fallen high on the Hill, gouging holes, some of them eight or nine feet deep. Though Mr. Symons gave the waterspout-explanation, it did occur to him to note that there was no statement that the water was salty --
These bulks of water, and their pendent columns -- that they were waterspouts --
Or that Slaughter had lain with Life, and that murderous mothers had slung off their udders, from which this earth drank through teats that were cataracts.
Wherever the deluges were coming from, I note [306/307] that, as with phenomena of March 1913, unseasonable snow fell. Here it was about the first of June, and snow was falling in Michigan. The suggestion is that this was not a crystallisation in the summer sky of Michigan, but an effect of the intenser coldness of outer regions, upon water that had come to this earth from storages on a planet, or from a reservoir in Starland. Note back to mention of falls of lumps of ice in England.
Wherever the deluges were coming from, meteors, too, were coming. If we can think that falls of water and falls of meteors were related, we have re-enforcement to our expression that water was coming to this needful earth from somewhere else. Five remarkable meteors are told of, in the Monthly Weather Review.(22) In the New York Sun, May 30, is an account of a meteor that exploded in the sky of Putnam County, Florida, and was heard 15 miles around.(23) In Madras, India, where the drought was "very grave," an extraordinary meteor was seen, night of June 4th (Madras Mail, June 26). In South Africa, where the drought was so extreme that a herd of buffaloes had been driven to a pool within five miles of the town of Uitenhage, a meteor exploded, with detonations that were heard in a line forty miles long (Cape Argus, May 28).(24) May 22nd -- great, detonating meteor, at Otranto, Italy. The meteor that was seen in England and Ireland, May 29th, is told of in Nature, 40-174.(25) For records of three other great meteors, see Nature and Cosmos.(26) There was a spectacular occurrence at Dunedin, New Zealand, early in the morning of May 27th (Otago Witness, June 6).(27) Rumbling sounds -- a shock -- illumination of the sky -- exploding meteor.
In some parts of the United States, there had been extreme need for water. In the New Orleans Daily Picayune are accounts of the "gloomy outlook for [307/308] crops" in six of the Southern States.(28) About twenty reports upon this drought were published in the Monthly Weather Review.(29)
Rushes of violent mercies -- they flooded the south and smashed the north -- crash of a dam, at Littleton, New Hampshire -- busted dam, near Laurel, Pa. --
May, 1889 -- and Science and Religion --
It is my expression that the two outstanding blessings, benefits, or "gifts of God" to humanity, are Science and Religion. I deduce this -- or that the annals of both are such trails of slaughter, deception, exploitation, and hypocrisy that they must be of enormous good to balance with their appalling evils --
Or the craze of medical science for the vermiform appendix. That played out. Now everybody who can pay for it is losing his tonsils. Newspaper headings -- "Family of eight relieved of their tonsils" -- "Save your pets -- dogs and cats endangered by their tonsils."
Concentrate in one place this bloody fad, or scientific "racket," and there would be a fury like that at Andover, N.Y., in May, 1889 --
A bulk of water, foaming as white as a surgeon -- it jabbed a bolt of lightning into Andover. It operated upon farms, and cut off their inhabitants. Trained clouds stood around, and handed out more bolts of lightning. A dam broke, and a township writhed upon its field of operations. Another dam broke -- but the operations were successes, and, if there was much destruction, that was because of a complication of other causes.
May 31st -- Johnstown, Pa. --
If I can't think of massacre apart from devotions, I think that a lake ran mad with religious mania. It rushed down a valley, and, if I'm right about this, it bore on its crest, the most appalling of all symbols -- the mast of a ship that was crossed by a telegraph [308/309] pole. In a pogrom against houses, it clubbed out their occupants, with bridges. It impaled homes upon the steeples of churches. Its watery Cossacks, mounted on billows, flogged factories. And then, along the slopes of the Conemaugh Valley, it told its beads with strings of corpses.
Earthwide droughts -- prayers to many gods -- something vouchsafed catastrophes --
That from somewhere else in existence, vast volumes of water were sent to this arid earth, or were organically teleported --
Or that, by coincidence, and unseen, waterspout after waterspout rose from the Atlantic, and rose from the Pacific: from the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and from the Mediterranean; from the Gulf of Mexico, the English Channel, Lake Ontario -- or that such an extension of such fishmongering is a brutalisation of conveniences --
Or that from somewhere in a starry shell that is not enormously far away from this earth, more than a Mississippi streamed to this needful earth, and forked the disasters of its beneficence from Australia to Canada.
15,000 people were drowned at Johnstown. Chicago Tribune, June 10, 1889 -- "The people of Johnstown have lost all faith in Providence. Many have thrown away their Bibles, and since the disaster have openly burned them."(30)
By the providential, I mean the organically provided for.
By God, I mean an automatic Jehovah. 
1. "An occurrence of a very extraordinary nature...." Melbourne Age, January 21, 1869, p.2 c.6.
2. "Swept away by a flood." New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 6, 1893, p.4 c.4. No mention is made of Mrs. Aldrich's hat, but parts of her clothing were traced to seven barbed-wire fences that her body passed through in the flash-flood.
3. "A Spainish town swept away." Philadelphia Public Ledger, September 16, 1893, p.10 c.3.
4. "Rain, but no clouds." New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 11, 1893, p.4 c.5. No mention is made of freight cars in this article.
5. "Government notice," (editorial), and "Grenada." West Indian (George Town, Barbados), February 3, 1880, p.3.
6. "The People," (editorial). People (Roseau, Dominica), January 8, 1880, p.2 c.5 & p.3 c.1.
7. "Jamaica." London Times, November 8, 1879, p.5 c.5.
8. "The floods in Spain." London Times, October 20, 1879, p.6 c.1.
9. "Earthquakes in Salvador." Panama Daily Star and Herald (Panama), February 10, 1880, p.2 c.2-3.
10. "Predicts a long flood." New York Tribune, March 28, 1913, p.6 c.5.
11. "Rivers and floods, April, 1913." Monthly weather review, 41 (April 1913): 651.
12. "Disasterous floods." Wellington Evening Post, March 31, 1913, p.3 c.2-3.
13. "Two great rainfalls, May 25th-30th, 1889." Symons' Meteorological Magazine, 24 (1889): 101-4. The measure of rainfall at Hong Kong was more than 37 inches, (not only 34 inches).
14. "In a recent number of the Shen Pao...." Homeward Mail (London), 35 (June 4, 1889): 748.
15. "Terrible waterspouts in Austria." Liverpool Echo, May 20, 1889, p.4 c.1.
16. "Un curieux phénomène meteorologique...." Levant Herald and Eastern Express (Istanbul), May 28, 1889, p.3 c.5.
17. Hugh M.Thompson. "Phenomena in rain." St.Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30, 1889, p.6 c.5.
18. "The recent windstorm in Dakota." Quebec Daily Mercury, May 25, 1889, p.2 c.1. "When the wind was raging most furiously the electric phenomena were most noticeable. The stoves in the houses were so charged with electricity that one could hardly endure the shock that came from contact with them."
19. "Great floods in Larut." Pinang Gazette and Straits Chronicle (George Town, Malaysia), May 24, 1889, p.5 c.3.
20. "Cobourg's flood." Toronto Globe, June 3, 1889, p.2 c.3. The location of the flood was Cobourg, Ontario, (not Coburg). No mention is made of "a large body of water" nor of "two miles" or of seeing it fall, except as rain, in this article.
21. "Germany." London Times, June 6, 1889, p.5 c.1. Correct quote: "The worst scene of disaster is Reichenbach, an industrial centre in Saxony, which was visited last night by a second waterspout...."
22. "Meteors." Monthly weather review, 17 (April 1889): 94.
23. "Sunbeams." New York Sun, May 30, 1889, p.4 c.7.
24. "Notes from Uitenhage." Cape Argus (Cape Town, South Africa), May 28, 1889, p.2 c.8.
25. W.F. Denning. "The fireball of May 29, 1889." Nature, 40 (June 20, 1889): 174.
26. A fireball with an apparent diameter of a quater of the moon's size was observed at Chailles, France, about 6:45 P.M., on march 15, 1890. P. De Froberville. "Un bolide." Cosmos: Les Mondes, n.s., s.4, 15 (March 29, 1890): 451-2. Alloze, Piberne, and Sabouran. "Bolides." Cosmos: Les mondes, n.s., s.4, 15 (December 8, 1888): 31. A meteor brighter than all the stars passed over Sainte-Anne d'Auray, France, about 6:52 P.M., on February 12, 1889, leaving a trail visible for half an hour. J. Allozé. "Un bolide." Cosmos: Les Mondes, n.s., s.4, 12 (February 23, 1889): 338.
27. "A very brilliant meteor was observed...." Otago Witness, June 6, 1889, Supplement p.2 c.3-4.
28. New Orleans Daily Picayune, (May 1889).
29. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (April 1889): 94-5. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (June 1889): 156. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (July 1889): 189. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (August 1889): 219. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (September 1889): 252-3. "Drought." Monthly Weather Review, 17 (December 1889): 338.
30. "Losing their faith in the Bible." Chicago Daily Tribune, June 10, 1889, p.2 c.6. Correct quote: "The people of Johnstown have lost all their faith in Providence. Many of them have thrown away their Bibles and since the disaster have openly burned them."
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