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no less a term than ninety-five years, is an encouraging circumstance to literary men and valetudinarians. For their benefit I send it.
" Quantum hac [scil. ad longævitatem) conferat animus semper sibi similis, nullisque passionibus in transvorsum raptus, effari nequeo.
* Avus meus maternus D. Thomas Finckius (priori seculo Jibris, geometria rotundi, horoscopia, &c. hoc seculo liberis clarus; numeravit enim liberos, nepotes, pronepotes, abnepotes 97,) annum ingressus erat nonagesimum-sextum hac animi constantia, et diutius vitam in senio vegetam protraxisset, nisi febris filum abrupisset. Per totum vitæ cursum a se pompam removit, et usu rerum ornamenta metiebatur. Tenera ætatem ægritudinibus habuit obnoxiam, ut medicus curæ illius præfectus spoponderit parentibus, omnes itinerum vias quas emensurus esset, auro se obducturum. Cæterum a longa peregrinatione redux, prognosticum elusit temperantia et morum facilitate. Coercuit luxuriam, gulam temperavit, cui tamen necessaria suggessit etiam durioris substantiæ, quæ libentius avidiusque appetebat, quam cupedias; divitias æquis oculis aspexit, frugalitatem coluit, et animum metu vel gaudio affectum sub vincuJis habuit, iracundiam lenivit, adversitates sprevit, et quanquam liberorum, generorum, nepotum, abnepotum, afhnium, amicorumque sæpius funera audiverit, et inter tot vitæ grandævæ molestias versaretur, constanti tamen animo omnia perpessus nunquam lachrymas fudit nisi defunctæ uxoris, et bibliothecæ vulcano consumptit, memoria recurrente.”
For the benefit of the English Reader, the above Account is thus
“ It is inexpressible how much equability of temper, uns ruffled by passion, contribụtes to long life. My maternal grandfather, Thomas Fink, (who in the preceding century was as distinguished by his learning, his skill in geometry, the horoscope, '&c. as in the present by the number of his descendants, for he had children, grand-children, great grand-children, and great great grand-children, to the number of 97,) had by this uniformity of temper attained to his 96th year, and might have reached to a vigorous old age, had not a fever shortened his days. He studiously through life avoided show, measuring ornament by use. His tender
age was subject to illness, so that the physician who had the care of his health promised his parents that he would engage to cover every road he travelled with gold: he returned, however from a long journey, having by temperance and easiness of temper eluded the prognostication. He checked all tendency to luxury, and restrained his appetite, frequently eating coarser food, and that too with greater eagerness than dainties. He looked on wealth without coveting it; for he studied frugality, and kept under due controul every motion of joy or fear; master of his anger, superior to disappointment; and, though he lost by death many of his children, grand-children, great grand-children, relations and friends, and in so long a life must be presumed to have niet with many troubles, he bore them all with great constancy, and never was known to shed a tear, except when he recollected the death of his wife, and the loss of his library by fire."
L. On the Utility of the Barometer in Agriculture.
March 26. WHATEVER promises to be a benefit to agriculture will, I doubt not, deserve a place in your useful publication. The foreknowledge of the changes of the weather may be reckoned to be of this number. I am led to this reflection on considering the little regard lately paid to the barometer, At its first introduction into use, as indicating the changes. of the weather, too much was expected from it; and observers, having been sometimes disappointed in their expectations, have as unjustly rejected it too much. Accurate observations of the motions of quicksilver in it, during several years, have pointed out to me several circumstances nog hitherto so much alluded to as they seem to deserve,
At or near the vernal equinox, stormy weather, the wind generally South West, with a remarkable fall of the quicksilver in the barometer, takes place; the storm generally more violent if the new moon happen at or near the equinox, These storms have been remarked in all ages. When the weather is again settļed, what may be called the Summer Season of the barometer begins; and during the summer the motion of the quicksilver in the barometer is much less ex
tensive than in the winter, the quicksilver seldom falling lower than 29. 5 inches.
The winter season of the barometer begins also with a storm, and a remarkably great fall of the quicksilver, near, or soon after, the autumnal equinox, the wind sometimes S. W. and frequently N. E. The barometrical summer is sometimes lengthened out so far as November; after which time the play of the quicksilver is from 30.7 to 28.5, sometimes lower. All coasting vessels around this island should, as much as possible, avoid being at sea in these seasons, at least till the introductory storms are past. Hence a fall of one-tenth of an inch in the summer is nearly as sure an indication of a change of the weather as two-tenths are in the winter, This difference has been unjustly charged to the instrument as a fault,
The extent of a similar variation in the motion of the quicksilver in the barometer, is much more considerable than seems to have been hitherto imagined. This will be confirmed by registers of the weather kept in distant places. If a storm happens in any place within the range of this similarity of motion in the quicksilver, the mercury will fall nearly equally low over the whole extent of the range, though in several places in the range the weather may be fair and serene while the barometer is low. Many, on such occasions, charge the instrument with giving a false prognostic. Let them suspend their censure till tidings may arrive of what may have happened in some distant part. I could give seyeral instances of this fact, but shall mention only one.
Having made an appointment to pay a distant visit with that accurate observer of Nature in all her ways, Dr. Franklin, I called on him in the morning, to dissuade him from going, because I had observed that the barometer was very
low : but he seeing that the heavens wore an agreeable aspect, langhed at my apprehension, and we went, and enjoyed a fair and very agreeable day. The barometer was censured as giving a false prognostic, and I as credulous; but in a few days we had an account of a most violent storm in the Bay of Biscay, and along the coast of France, on that day.
An attentive observer of the weather will soon perceive that each year has a certain character, if I may so express it, in regard to the changes of the weather. This peculiarity of the different years being of the utmost consequence to the husbandmen, I beg their particular attention to it; for it is chiefly by an accurate observation of this peculiarity in the changes of the weather that he can abtain the most
useful lessons. In some years the changes of the weather seem to be much influenced by the moon's place in the Zodiac; that is, when the moon passes the equinoxial line, or when she returns from her greatest declinations South hr North; but a register of the weather, kept constantly for some years, assures me, that there is no dependence on these circumstances. I could never discover any cause to which I could impute the regularity of the changes in the weather; but can assure the attentire husbandman, that there is, in some years,' a remarkable regularity in them, and in all years some degree of regularity. This regularity in the changes of the weather, is most conspicuous in the intermediate non'hs between the equinoxes, that is, during May, June, July, and August, in summer; and during November, December, January, and February, in winter. The knowledge of the most probable times of these changes may be of great use in agriculture, as well as to seafaring
Let me here mention some other circumstances in regard to the barometer. The rising of the mercury forebodes fair weather, and its falling portends rain, with winds. During strong winds, though unaccompanied with rain, the mercury is lowest. Other things equal, the mercury is higher in cold than in warm weather. In general, we may expect, that when the mercury rises high, a few days of fair weather may be expected. If the mercury falls in two or three days, but soon rises high, without much rain, we may expect fair weather for several days; and in this case, the clearest days åre after the mercury begins to fall. In like manner, if the mercury falls very low, with much rain, rises soon, but falls again in a day or two, with rain, a continuance of bad weather may be feared. If the second fall does not bring much rain, but the mercury rises gradually pretty high, it prognosticates good weather of some continuance.
When the mercury rises high, the air sucks up or dissolves into its own substance, the moisture on the surface of the earth, even though the sky be overcast. This is a sure sign of fair weather; but if the earth continues moist, and water stands in hollow places, no trust should be put in the clearest sky; for in this case it is deceitful. Very heavy thunderstorms happen without sensibly affecting the barometer; and in this case the storm sellom reaches far; but when attended with a fall of the barométer, it reaches inuch more extensively,
In all places nearly on a level with the sea, rain may be expected when the quicksilver falls below thirty inches. This points out one cause of the more frequent rains in lofty situations than in low open countries. Thus double the quantity of rain falls at Townly-hall, in Lancashire, than does in London, as we are informed in the Transactions of the Royal Society:
The heights of the quicksilver in the barometer above referred to, hold only in places on a level with the sea; for experiments have taught us, that the mercury falls considerably in inland places, according to their heights.
As your Magazine is perused by many of the most ingenious men in the kingdom, I wish they were called on to account for that power in the air of occasionally dissolving water, if I may so express it, and of mixing the water with itself (as salt is in water) generally invisible; and at other times in vapours, which soon form clouds. Winds, especially from dry continents, have great power of thus raising water. Evaporation, by means of the sun's heat, is generally mentioned as the efficient cause; but whoever attends to the quantity of snow, and even of ice, that is carried off into the air, in the most severe frosts, will be convinced that heat is not the principal cause. The quantity of water thus raised into the air may be estimated by numerous springs which owe their source to vapours thus raised. The waters of these springs uniting form the greatest rivers. Add to these, the quantity that fall in dews and rain, which give birth to all vegetables, and to that beautiful verdure which gives a peculiar beauty to this country, in the enjoyment of which, other nations envy us. As we are ignorant of the cause of this power in the air, of dissolving water, so are we no less ignorant whence it is that the air occasionally drops these vapours in dews, rains, &c. 1789, April.
LI. Experiments in Natural Philosophy.
March 9. AN account of a loaf loaded with quicksilver being thrown into water to discover the body of a person şunk under the surface, which could only become stationary (if it did so) from attraction, encouraged me to offer the following, in hopes that some one may improve upon the hint:
Being under the Cliff at Scarborough, I observed two persons looking very earnestly at the different oozing of the