Imágenes de páginas

slumbered most ; for, among those existence. Literature presents nours which have shone already, we certain- ishment for every sentiment, good or ly do not find any symptoms which bad, and leaves men still to follow the denote increasing force and productive- bias of their own nature. Whether ness of sentiment. All national manic the rapidity of the impressions it comfestations proceed radically from the municates, has a tendency to increase sentiments which are at work in pri- or exhaust the energy of our moral vate life. But we hear universal com- nature, is a difficult question. Fine plaints, that private life is debased by ness of perception is augmented by it, selfishness and indifference. Pride has and the intellectual faculties, in gendiscovered the art of folding its arms eral, are brightened up; but the and sitting still, and irony against source of motion, in the moral world, others is substituted for exertions of consists of passions and sentiments, our own. When a sincere admiration and the destiny of nations depends ala of what is great pervades society, men together upon their activity in the foster and cherish all the noblest affairs of life. If reading communimovements of each others minds, but cates vigour to their internal spring, at present such admiration is scarce, and increases their impulsive power, not merely because of the existence of then every thing is to be expected superciliousness, but apparently from from the diffusion of knowledge ; but absolute barrenness of mind. For if reading enervates and renders them those things in which a person has not passive, there can be no doubt that himself any desire to excel, it is im- the splendour of human existence will possible that he can feel much earnest diminish in proportion. admiration; and although he may con- The consideration of these things fer upon them the approbation of his would lead one also to inquire, what understanding, that approbation is too is the nature of that irony which exercold and ineffective to fan the ambi- cises so much sway over modern sotion either of public virtue or genius, ciety. It seems as if knowledge made which can only attain their full growth us acquainted with so many vast obamidst a general blaze of sympathy and jects and conceptions, that most inconsentaneous passion diffused through- dividuals are overwhelmed with desout society. To make great artists, a pondency, on account of their own whole nation must consist of enthusi- impotence and insignificance. A mixastic amateurs, and the case is the ture of listlessness and pride takes same with respect to public virtue as possession of them. Whatever a per-, with respect to art.

son attempts can always be conIf we wish to trace the influence of trasted with something of the same knowledge upon society, we must look kind so huge, as to tarnish all his more to the habits of mind which its glory, and prevent him from feeldiffusion engenders in private life, than ing, during his exertions, any of to the light which it throws upon the those sentiments of triumph, exultadefects of political institutions, and the tion, or sanguine hope, which are as improvements which it suggests to be necessary to great achievements as air made upon their structure. Reading is to combustion. Men's minds are has one important effect, which well most intimately linked to each other; deserves to be considered. It supplies and where sympathy and admiration us artificially with a far more rapid have ceased, action also becomes lanseries of impressions and causes of guid. Nil admirari is followed by nil feeling, than any human being could moliri, nil facere. Yet self-love is ever be subjected to by his own indi- never extinguished; and if we acvidual experience. In real life, objects complish nothing ourselves, and can approach and depart by degrees; and therefore put in no claim for honour, suggestions follow each other at long we are, at the same time, obliged by intervals; at least, such would be the our pride to find some plea for discase before the invention of printing, daining others. The true disciple of and among men who had few books. modern society has a separate bucket. But reading now subjects the mind, of cold water ready for every different at once, to the action of a crowd of sort of pretension that can possibly thoughts, which of old could only make its appearance ; and he would have been gathered slowly, and sepa- think himself a simpleton, if he were rately, during the course of a whole found, on any occasion, unprovided,

This seems to be the nature of irony, of the west ; and if the wind is both east which does not spring from the love and west on any day, it is then termed a of pleasantry, but from the demands variable wind ; and if the wind is in the of our self-lovema staunch principle, north or south on any day, this also is that never loses sight of its objects. nature of both east and west.

termed variable, because it partakes of the It is to be regretted that this dis

" At the end of a season, the namber of heartening spirit exists in its greatest entire days east wind are first summed up, force among the highest and best in- after which the same of the west ; the sum formed classes of society, who, of of the variables is next found, and the procourse, feel no inclination to be put per proportion of these given to the entire out of countenance, by a greater ac- days cast and west by the rule of three, thus, tivity and productiveness in any other taking an extreme case by way of example : class. They are, therefore, more apt The winter 1816-17 had 21 entire days of to load with ridicule, than to reward east wind, and 123 entire days of west, and with sympathy, the aspirations of order to find the proportion of the variables

there were 24 days of variable. Now, in fresher though less cultivated minds, which should go to the east and west wind, who, finding that they cannot move the entire days of each of these winds are under the auspices, and with the good added together, which make a sum total of wishes, of superior refinement, are na- 144; then say, if 144 give 24 variables, turally induced to adhere, more dogged- what will 21, the number of entire days ly than ever, to the errors of their own east give; then multiplying 24 by 21, in vulgarity. A house divided against

the usual manner, the product is 501, which itself cannot prosper. National great

being divided by 144, gives 3 as the proness and splendour must depend upon entire days east wind, with a remainder ;

portion of the variables, going to the 21 a sympathy in pursuit of great objects this makes 24 days of east wind for the seabeing spread from the most enlighten- son; the fraction, or remainder, going aled, free-leisured, and respected class- ways to the greatest sum of entire days es, through all the rest; so that the wind, whether of east or west. The 21 remoral sentiments of the more me- maining days of variable are then added to chanical orders may enjoy the advan- the 123 entire days west wind, which makes tage of being carried towards their a sum total of 144 days wesť wind for the aim, in union with those of others, rule of three be suficient for the general

season. Though the bare mention of the who have more time than opportunity reader, it has appeared proper to give the for developing the lights and higher process of finding the sum of wind in de elements of human nature.

tail. But, alas ! what can speculations “ The next phenomenon observed, demnand. and compleints avail, if the human ing particular explanation, is the rain : spirit is undergoing the influence of Thus the time when it commences and tervitiating causes? Who can retard the minates, with the intensity of the fall, is steps of destiny?

always stated ; if the fall in a day, that is, a day and a night, which is always signified in the weather, is under three hours, it is

termed a short rain'; and if two or ACCOUNT OF

more such falls happen in a day, and toge

ther consist of more than three hours of ISLANDS, DISCOVERED BY LIEOT. heavy rain, it is termed a moderate rain ; GEORGE MACKENZIE.

but less value is attached to rains which fall The System of the Weather, recent- when in continuity, but the distinction

at considerable intervals in the day, than ly published by Mr Mackenzie, is found- made on this score is slight'; all above three ed upon a series of meteorological obser- hours are termed moderate rains, until it vations made by himself since the year continues seven or eight hours, when it is 1502. His observations were made termed a great rain, that is, if heavy, principally, but with great care, upon for sometimes it rains very slightly a whole The Wind and the Rain, and were re- day, and yet comes under the denomination gistered upon the following principles: of short or moderate rain, according to the

“ If the wind is in the easterly points dur. intensity; and if there is any doubt to ing the whole of a natural day, it is termed which class a rain may belong, it is al. än entire day of east wind, and the same

ways stated as of the next lowest class ; thus,

if à rain is considered more than a modeThe work in which this system is de- rate, but rather less titan a great rain, it is scribed is entitled “ The System of the always classed as a moderate rain, and the Weather of the British Islands ; discovered same rule when it is doubtful whether it in 1816 and 1817, from a Journal con- should be short or moderate, it being in mencing November 1802.” Edinburgh, this case termed a short rain ; and if it 1818. 4to.

should rain the whole day and night, it is



but still a great rain for that day. The are of short continuance, though frequent, dassing of the rain might have been ex- in which case less value is attached to these tended further, into very great rains, or so; of course, and are multiplied by 4 or 5, inbut no advantage could be derived from such stead of 6, according to circumstances; the an arrangement, as will appear from the first instance of this kind is in the winter rules obtained from this article, which will be and year 1815-16, and also in 1816-17. found most wonderfully consistent and regu. “ 'In estimating the quantity of frost in a lar. It is to be observed of showers, that season, the days or nights on which this when these are frequent, they inake up a phenomenon appeared, are termed a day of moderate rain, and even on rare occasions a frost, and the number of these in a season great rain, but very generally only a short are simply the number of the frost. A more rain ; the time and the effect in these cases accurate comparative sum might have been are considered.

obtained, by a clasification similar to the “ The method of finding the sum of rain rain, viz. hard frost, moderate frost, and in a season is this: Taking an extreme slight frost, which might gratify the curious ; case for an example, winter 1804-5, it had but there was labour enough without this 5 great rains, 12 moderate, and 25 short addition. rains; the great rains are each supposed Of the other phenomena of weather, viz equal to 6 short, and the moderate to 3 short thunder, lightning, aurora boreales, &c. it rains; and these being added to the actual has been only necessary to note them in the number of short rains, the whole sum is 91 order of appearance, giving the sums of each short rains ; but as this number has been at the end of the season or year, as will be considered an inconvenient one, particularly found in the tables in the history of the weaas it would require in general three figures, ther; only remarking here, that however it is divided by 4 on all occasions, which frequent the thunder or lightning is on any reduces the product to two figures, at least day, it counts but as one day with thunder, by the seasons, which was the first mode of &c. treatment of the subject adopted, the System by years having been found long after ;

By observing the number of days of sherefore, 91 being divided by 4, the quo- east and west wind for 14 years, Mr tient is 221; but as no fractions are admit- Mackenzie found, that the average ted in the sum of rain for a season, the sum number of days of east wind was 135, total is called 23 for this winter. Any other and the aterage number, of days of mode would have served as well, if continu- west wind 216, a ratio which, for reaed throughout, but this appeared the sim- sons afterwards to be mentioned, he plest, and the result has fully warranted its considers as approaching to that of 140 continuance, and for the reason stated, as to the rules obtained in consequence of this ar

to 210, or 2 to 3. If the east wind, on rangement, it giving an exceeding correct any given year, shall amount to more result ; moreover, it was absolutely neces- than the average of 135 days, there is sary to find a round sum, as the representa- then an excess of so many days of east tive of the variety of the rain which falls in wind, but if it amounts to less than 136, a season, which has the advantage of sim- there is then a deficiency of so many plifying the subject, so as to be easily under. days of east wind. The same is stood and recollected.

done with the west wind; and the " In estimating the sum of rain show, hail, and sleet, are always included. As

excesses or deficiencies of both winds an enumeration is made of the days' snow

are put down for each year. As in a season, it is explained thus : Any the phenomena of the weather can day upon which snow falls, is termed a

have no relation to our civil year, Mr snowy day, though probably a greater pro- Mackenzie begins the weather year, as portion of the fall may have been in rain : he calls it, upon the 1st of November, this distinction has been made, merely to because it is at or near this period that shex the prevalence of snow upon any sea. there is the most material change of son : thus it will be seen that the second weather during the whole year, and winter observed, that of 1803-4, though a mild winter, yet there was an extraordinary that this is the only day which gives quantity of snow as well as of rain. the averages leading to the system, or

“ The sum of the force of the wind is rather, it comes out strongest on this found much in the same manner as the rain : day, gradually becoming weaker before Thus, there are gales, and high winds, and and after, till it disappears altogether on windy days; but the high winds are classed the 26th October and the 5th November. under gales, and each supposed equal to 6 Having in this manner found the exceswindy days, and the sum thus found are added to the actual number of windy days winds

for 14 years, he began to com

ses and deficiencies of the east and west in a scason ; the whole then is divided by 4, which is a common divisor, and the quotient pare them together, and was surprised represents ahe sum of the force of the wind to find, that they followed one another for the year. It happens, however, on rare in a regular progression, the excesses occasions, that the gales and high winds and deficiencies of both winds arrang


Year. West.East.

1. ...

... E. D.


ing themselves in groups. The na- In the preceding scale, the number ture of this progression will be unders of the series of excesses and deficienstood from the annexed table, consist- cies of both winds is exactly equal, ing of three columns. The first column viz. 24 groups of each ; but if we contains the Years of Observation, the reckon them individually, we shall first of which commenced in 1802-3, find, that the excesses east are 24, and or on the 1st November 1802. The the excesses west 30; and that the defisecond column contains the Excesses ciencies east are 30, while the deficienand Deficiencies of the west wind, and cies west are only 24. Hence the east the third the Excesses and Deficiencies wind is one-fourth less in excess, and of the east wind. Upon comparing one-fourth more in deficiency than the these E's and D's, it appears, that in the west ; that is, it blows one-half less east wind column the Excesses are frequently than the west, or the two grouped in the following manner, EEE, winds are to one another as 2 to 3, a EE, E, and the Deficiencies, which are result which harmonizes in a very sininterposed between them in the fol- gular manner with the ratio of 135 to lowing manner, viz. D, DD, DDD, 216, deduced by Mr Mackenzie from DDDD. In the west wind column the 14 years' observation. progression is E, EEEE, EEE, EE, Although it is absolutely necessary, and DD, D, DDD. Now it is a very from the nature of the cycle, that the remarkable fact, that by following out excesses and deficiencies of the east these progressions the series returns and west wind shall return every 54 into itself in 54 years, forming a per- years ; yet it by no means follows, that fect cycle. *

the weather in any one cycle shall in

every respect resemble the weather in FORM OF THE SYSTEM.

any other cycle. The time of excess

and deficiency of both winds may be Year. West.East.

constantly varying, and may be perE. D. 28.

forming another periodical change of 2. D. E. 29. E.

greater or less extent. 3 D. E. 30.

E. E.
E. E. 31. D. E.

“ It must therefore become desirable,"

says Mr Mackenzie, “ to ascertain how far 5. E. D. 32.

D. D.

one revolution of the system of the weather 6. E. D. 33. E. D.

corresponds with another in every particu7. E. E.


E. D. lar; and if journals, conducted upon a suf8. D. E.

35. D. D. ficiently circumstantial plan, can be found, E. D. 36. E. E.

something of a solution of this point may be 10. E. D.

accomplished." 37. D. E. 11. D.

We have thus endeavoured to give 38. D. D. 12. E.

our readers some notion of the general

D. - E. 13. D.

system delivered by Mr Mackenzie. 14. D. D.

E. D.

This, however, forms a very small por41.

E. D. 15. E. D.

tion of his work, which contains also E. D.

E. E.

Particular Rules of the Weather, de43 E. 17.

D. E.

duced from observation; the History 18.

D. E.
D. E.

of the Weather from 1802; the Laws

D. D. 19. E. E.

of the Wind; and the Distribution of 46. E. D. the annual series of the Wind upon D. D. 47. E. D.

the seasons.

As it is in the power of 21. E. E.

48. E. E. 22. E.

every person to examine, by their own E. 49. D. E.

experience, the accuracy of the rules 23. E. D.

E. D. for the weather, we shall lay before 24. E. D.

51. E. D. our readers some of the most import25. D. E.


D. D. ant. 26. D. D. 53. D. D.

1. An extraordinary wet winter is 27. D. D. 54.

D. E. followed by average rain in the sumBy this systematic arrangement, the 15th

mer succeeding year is the same with the first, and the 56th

2. An extraordinary dry winter is the same with the second, and so on.

followed by an average summer.

3. After a winter with a rate of rain It is singular, that this period of 54 moderately under average, and anoyears should be thrice the Chaldaic period ther immediately after at average, the of eclipses of 18 years 11 days.

succeeding is moderately above average.













[ocr errors]











4. When there are two seasons to- very curious part of it relative to the gether, either summer or winter, distribution of the wind upon the seasomething considerably under aver- sons, without entering into tedious age, the succeeding is average ; and details ; and we must therefore conthe season following, which is the tent ourselves with recommending the fourth, respectively, is very wet; and careful perusal of his book to all those the next, or the fifth, is very dry, but who are interested in the very imnot always an extreme dry; for an portant subject of which it treats. Diextreme dry is only to be expected ligent and careful observation is the when the extreme wet is suddenly only test by which the system can brought about.

be tried. Úpon this foundation the 3. Two average summers together author rests it; and he is therefore are followed by a very dry one in the entitled to have it candidly and carenext year, and this by a very wet one, fully examined. which is succeeded by a dry one.

6. When two wet winters, or two wet summers, come together, neither are ever in extreme.

DESCRIPTION 7. When a winter and a summer

BAGNE, IN THE BAS VALAIS, AND are wet in succession, the succeeding winter is dry; and when a summer

IT IN JUNE 1818.* and a winter are wet in succession,

(We are indebted for the following intethe next summer is a dry one.

resting article to our friend Professor Pictet 8. When a summer and a winter of Geneva, who has had the goodness to are average in succession, the next send it to us, previous to its appearance in summer is either wet or dry.

his own excellent Journal, the Bibliotheque 9. No three seasons together in suc Universelle.] cession, or respectively, are ever wet The Val de Bagne is a transverse valaverage, or dry. 10. No three seasons whatever, Valais : it cuts, almost at right angles,

ley in the high southern chain of the taken in succession, or respectively,


other smaller chains, formirg have ever more rain above average, part of the great mass of mountains collectively, than is to be found in one which separates Switzerland from Piedseason of extreme wet, and vice versa.

mont. 11. After every course of wet, there ley of Bagne intersects these different

At every point where the valis a course of dry, however short or chains, it is rendered extremely narlong either may be, and vice versa. 12. A mild winter is followed by a Dranse, which occupies the bottom, is

In many of these gorges, the mild summer. 13. A wet summer is always follow- the pick, leaving only a very narrow

confined in a rocky channel cut with ed by a frosty winter.

bed, from whence it passes into 16. Every frosty winter is in gene

more extensive basons formed in the ral followed by a cold summer. 15. Au excess of west wind in win- before the late melancholy event, pre

lower part of the valley, and which, ter is followed by much thunder in sented level plains, covered with the the following summer, provided the excess west be preceded or followed by excess east in the summer, and if both tailed report of what was verbally related,

• This interesting account contains a dehappen, the thunder is still more con- on the 29th of last month, to the Helvetic siderable.

Society of Natural Science, at Lausanne, 16. A deficiency of west wind in by Mr Escher de la Linth, who was witness winter greatly diminishes the thunder to the disasters he describes. He illustrated in summer.

his relation by a model of the valley, formed 17. An excess of east wind in summer of clay jointly by him and Mr Venetz, an is followed by thunder in the winter, engineer of the Valais, who was of eminent and there is never thunder in winter service in very critical circumstances. This but after an excess of east wind in model, which spoke to the eye while the

reporter addressed the judgment and the summer.

feelings, rendered quite luminous all those It would be impossible to give any details which the imagination can present to explanation of the other portions of us but imperfectly without such assistance. Mr Mackenzie's work, particularly the



« AnteriorContinuar »