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The Daily Volcano Quote: the causes of eruptions (1693) 6 May 2009

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The Reason of these Fires is the Abundance of SULPHUR and BRIMSTONE, contain’d in the bosome of the Hill; which is blown by the Wind, driving it in at the Chaps of the Earth, as by a pair of Bellows … Now, whether these Eruptions are caused by actual Subterraneous Fires, lighting upon Combustible Matter; Or by Fire struck out of falling and breaking Stones, whose Sparks meet with Nitro-Sulphureous or other inflammable Substance heap’d together in the Bowels of the Earth, and by the Expansive violence of the Fire forc’d to take more room, and so bursting out with the impetuousity we see; may not be unworthy of a Philosopher’s Speculation.

Sir Thomas Blount, A Natural History: Containing Many not Common Observations: Extracted out of the best Modern Writers (London, 1693), pp. 398-9. More on Blount’s Natural History here.

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