Shall we confess it ? We have been badly frightened. Mr. D. T. Taylor, of Rouse's Point, is the man who has done it. The means employed is a small pamphlet, entitled the "Coming Earthquake and its Approach." This pamphlet quotes from the following sources: the Bible, the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, Mungo Ponton's "History of Earthquakes," Herodotus, Mallet, Ansti'd, M. Ah xis Perey, Professor Merriam, Humboldt, " The American Naturalist," the New York Tribune, the Sun, Dr. Burnet, Harpers? Magazine, Chambers' Journal, " Pollock's Course ot Time," Darwin, " Wells' Geology," the hymns of Thomas of Celano, Luther, Wesley, and many others. Nearly all the religious periodicals and papers of the day are also quoted with some dozens of "eye witnesses" of earthquakes in different parts of the world. In so small a pamphlet these quotationsdeave little room for much original remark ; but we gather that the writer expects the world to be brought to judgment very shortly, and that the day of judgment is to bo ushered in by an earthquake of rather unprecedented extent and power. We did not feel at all terrified while penning the numerous passages quoted from our pages by Mr. Taylor, but we confess that their reperusal has caused us much trepidation. It does not detract from this fear, that the world has been so near its end many times before, and has always failed, as yet, to " come to time." If no quotation had been made from our own uritings, we should have remained unperturbed; but it seems we have committed ourselves to the " coming earthquake," and we cannot " go back " on our own statements. We are bound to be scared, and we are scared accordingly. The " coming man" is debarred from putting in an'appearance. The coming earthquake will get here before him, and Parton will turn out a false prophet. How this announcement will affect t"ie price of gold we cannot predict, but those not in the ring had better stand from under.
This article was originally published with the title "The Crack of Doom" in Scientific American 21, 21, 330 (November 1869)