The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane Page: 82
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82 CRY OF DISTRESS IN GALVESTON.
portant, beyond the fact that it is the work of Plato, as showing
how deeply the conviction had taken hold upon the mind of that
age that the sea had taken away a land which the ancients knew
as the western shore of the Atlantic Ocean, and had left nothing
but a boundless waste of waters west of Europe. Speculators have
located the lost Atlantis near the Canary Islands, and these islands
are, in fact, supposed to be the remnants of the lost continent.
There is positively nothing tangible upon which to hang the story
of the lost Atlantis.
But, like most traditions which persist in living on after the
world has grown too practical to have any more use for them,
it has, doubtless, a foundation in some important fact of olden
time, the tragedy of which was in that sacrifice of the earth to the
waters of the deep, which had become familiar even to the ancients.
Byron's apostrophe to the ocean is so singularly powerful and
beautiful because it expresses that awe and fear of man for the sea
which is an instinct with us, and which, if it had not been instinct
with us at the first, would have become so through the many and
heavy afflictions visited upon the race by Neptune, god of the sea.
TIDAL WAVES ON ENGLISH COASTS.
That the coasts of England have been visited by many and
disastrous tidal waves there is abundant evidence. In fact, the
ocean bar, which surrounds nearly the whole of England and Scotland,
is evidence enough that the entire shore line, as it exists today,
is itself the result of a great submersion, or series of submersions,
which ages ago overflowed the old coast, rushed in shore,
made new land lines, and, hollowing out between the new line and
the old, a new ocean bed, leaving what had been called the coast
line to be forever after called " the bar." The bar is to be found
in nearly every port of England, eloquent testimony to the tidal
waves of the past. But there is comparatively little of other testimony
save such as has been preserved in the records of seaport
One of the greatest cataclysms ever occurring on the British
coast was that on the coast of Lincolnshire in I57i. This has
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Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/101/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .