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114 LUNAR CYCLE OF NINETEEN YEARS-1826 & 1845.
three inches in circumference, smashed several hundred thousand squares of glass in the neighbourhood of London, and the heavy downfall of rain swept away every little impediment, cleaned the streets of their filth, and refreshed the fields with life. But this catalogue of magnified little ills was of short duration, and the impatient spirit of undue and murmuring complaint subsided when the rains of autumn came. The harvest was good, and the product was great, and the earth yielded its precious gifts in abundance of many articles, and a deficiency only in a few. We shall have occasion to see how little reason we have to complain of our climate, when we presently speak of droughts that
I have introduced the year 1826, partly on account of its being the associate or partner of 1845, in respect to the lunar cycle of nineteen years, in which the moon returns again to the same place within two hours of the same time; and the seasons have been supposed by many to do so likewise, thus giving an idea of a recurring period of nineteen years.
I have departed from the mode I first adopted in the tabular epitome of each year, and have arranged it in the order of time, giving that the precedence, as being more natural, and as exhibiting the changes and conditions as they occurred.
EPITOME OF 1826-LONDON.
THE YEAR 1826, FROM HOWARD'S " CLIMATE OF LONDON”-THE DAYS OF HIGHEST AND LOWEST BAROMETER AND THERMOMETER, AND THEIR RECURRING PERIODS, AND THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND.
29:34- S. 16 Feb. 3+ s.
April 12. March 10. 30:57+ E. 11 March 10+ S.E. 70 May 12. 29.43_N.E.
March 17. 30:44+ N.W. 1 April 15+ N.W. 70 April 1. April 15. 29 07-- N.W. 12
29- N.W. 25 May 1.
June 1. 30:37+ N.W.11-12 May 8- N.E.
June 3. 29.68— E.S.E. 25 18+ S.E. 76
June 20. 29.90_N.E. 1 June 3_N.W. 42 July 21. 30.54+ N.E. 20 27+ S.E. 92 Aug. 23.
July 26. 29.60 S.W 21 July
89 30.40+ N.E.
26_N.E. 44 Sept. 15.
Aug. 20. 30:40+ S.W. 18 Aug. 12– N.W. 46 Nov. 13. Sept. 22. 29.64-S.W. 23 20+ E.
Nov. 11. 30:38+ N.E. 15 22- E. 32
Dec. 11. 30:31+ S.W. 13 Oct. 6- S.W. 29:40-S.W. | 25
Total Total 28.80-S.W. 13 Nov. 11+ S.W.
14 30.60+ N.E.
20 Recurring Recurring
Periods Periods 29:11--S.W. 2 Dec. 11+ S.E. 55 of
of 30.70+ N.E. 27
21 N.W. 28 Barometer. Thermom.
116 DEVELOPMENT OF SERIES OF RECURRING PERIODS.
In the table on page 115 I have brought another great feature of the weather into consideration—viz., the wind. It may seem very strange and immethodical to vary the accounts of different years so much; it might appear better to have had an uniform character. But the facts were slowly developed, one by one : first, the barometer and its tidal waves ; then the thermometer after a long interval, thinking heat obeyed no law, or was not amenable to order. With these I was content, and the subject appeared complete; but electricity and magnetism presented themselves casually, and it was not easy for me to believe that they agreed in the recurring periods. The dew point was so trivial, that I did not deign even to look at it; and, last of all, came the most variable, fickle, and inconstant element, “ the wind.” It appeared curious to see the winds turn about and act in accordance with the barometer and thermometer.
The questions then reverted to my mind as to what are the winds ? what causes them ? whence come they ? and whither do they go ? Or, do the winds rule and over-rule the barometer and thermometer ? Are they primarily a cause or an effect ? In the wonderful book of Job (xxviii. 25)—" God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; to make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.”
Now this is precisely the definition of the barometer :
THE BOOK OF JOB-WEIGHT FOR THE WINDS. 117
“It weighs the atmosphere by measure.” And “to make the weight for the winds” is the solution of the whole problem; for it is the difference of the weight of the air between any two places which is the cause of the winds, and the strength is in proportion to the difference of the weight and the proximity of the places to each other. These are the main facts and the specific points.
It appears to me that these expressions are most remarkable, and certainly very significant and suggestive; for the translation was in 1611, when the air was not known or even deemed to have any weight, and the barometer was not discovered until thirty years afterwards, therefore the translators had no idea of this bearing or import of the sentences.
Madeira is a name ever dear, and of transcendant fame, and styled by some a gem of the ocean, being situated in earth's fairest parallel, and blessed with many great and natural endowments, such as may justly entitle it to our admiration and praise. It is in latitude 32° N., and 17° W. longitude; and 1,320 miles from Southampton, the port from which the steamers sail. The island is thirty-eight miles long, twelve broad, and ninety-six miles in circumference. It is a garden of nature, and a fruitful vineyard, detached from the world, where the sick may resort and find comfort and ease, with much to delight and to please, until they sink into rest, and take up their abode in mansions more blest, and where only saints immortal reign.
Madeira I design to regard as a meteorological
118 MADEIRA A TYPE OF THE ULTRA-TROPIC REGION.
type of the ultra-tropical, or infra-zodiacal region, comprising that great and important belt which encircles the globe, from the verge of the tropics to the parallel of 33° or 34° of latitude in both hemispheres respectively. It extends, like the zodiac in the heavens, 10° beyond the ecliptic, or sun's path, which the tropics denote. It comprises the finest climates on the face of the globe, and has Buenos Ayres, or Good Air, and the Vale of Paradise, or Valaparaiso suggestive names — within its borders ;
- Jerusalem and the Holy Land - lands flowing with milk and honey ; and Egypt, the first-born of science and the arts, and all that ancient history commemorates and hands down to us; and even Paradise itself, all are within this lovely zone, which encircles the earth with a wreath of beauty. It occupies about the middle region of the habitable globe, and holds an important influence over the climates of the earth, and has specific characters and actions. Moreover, it is one of our responding areas, and claims our peculiar favour as being at the source or origin of our soothing, soft, and balmy breezes from the S.W., the great and preponderating S.W. current.
The table is from Dr. Heineken, the best and most accurate observer, whose account was published in the
Philosophical Magazine.” Other eminent observers have resided at Madeira, as Dr. Heberden, Dr. Gourlay, Mason, the inventor of the wet-bulb hygrometer, Dr. Andrew Combe, and other medical men of deserved reputation.