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the ground, not so much by their gravity, which is very little, but because they are driven towards the ground by the air of the middle region, which is repelled itself by the wind which blows beneath the cloud. And as the small particles of ice that compose these flakes are hard, solid, transparent, and all of different figures and positions, they reflect the light from every part, so appear white, just like white sand, which is only a heap of little transparent bodies, as we perceive by the microscope ; but with this difference, that snow being formed of vapours, and having no mixture of earthly parts, therefore it is of a very bright white. If it happen that the coldness of the air that formed the snow be abated, then some of the fakes melt, and dividing those that are not melted, insinuate some water into the intervals, which freezing, they become heavier ; then both the snow which is melted, and that which is not, fall : and thus it both snows and rains at the same time.
OF THUNDER. THUNDER is formed of exhalations, which are raised in great abundance by the heat of summer. These exhalations cannot be raised, especially in that season, but their particles must receive agitation, and begin to grow warm; so that being in the middle region, among the vapours which are there changed into clouds, , these exhalations being inixed with them, disperse the vapours hither and thither, and gathering together in the centre of the clouds, they continually grow more and more hot, to that degree, that they swell those clouds; and if other clouds beat against them, they burst out with great force. And this is always followed by a great noise, and with lightning, which appears to us before the noise; because light being more subtile than the air, which occasions our hearing, reaches our eyes sooner than that does our ears.
The continuation and repetition of the noise of thunder is from a sort of echo in the clouds. Sometimes we see lightning without thunder, because that cloud has no vapours; though enough to condense the circumference, so as to make it uneasy to burst: not but that at the same time it makes a noise, but so small that we cannot hear it at so great a distance.
Lightning without thunder happens ordinarily in a time of great heat, because then there are more exhalations than
raised : and hence we observe, that when there is lightning without thunder, there is no rain, because there is not enough vapours to make rain.
But when lightning is accompanied with great thunder, it is a sign there are a great many vapours condensed round the circumference of the cloud, and almost formed into rain already; because the heat concentrating in the centre of the cloud, leaves a greater cold to the vapours in the circumference. Thus we find every time the thunder shakes and bursts the cloud, the rain increases the more. For these reasons, the water being almost formed, falling by the shaking of the cloud, must needs fall in very great drops; which passing through the middle region of the air, are many times, by the great cold there, immediately turned to very big hail, which frequently makes terrible devastations.
The more thick and condensed the circumference of the cloud is by the vapours, the exhalations burst out with the greater force; the lightning is carried further, and sometimes touches the surface of the earth; and then it is called a thunderbolt, and burns and overturns buildings, sets all in a flame where it comes, and kills men and beasts.
Lightning has frequently surprising and prodigious effects, as melting the blade of a sword in the scabbard, and money in one's pocket, without hurting the scabbard or the pocket.
This happens when the particles that compose the lightning are so subtile and small, as to make no impression upon bodies that have large pores, to give a passage to them ; so that they spend their force upon those bodies that resist them. On the contrary, sometimes it burns men's clothes and hair, without hurting their flesh. The reason of which is, that the particles and exhalations which compose that lightning are more gross, fat, and oily.
CAUSES OF IDLENESS. SOME persons are more naturally disposed to indolence than others. The springs of action, their desires, their affections, are too weak to keep them in motion. They are of a heavy and listless turn, and seem to do nothing without great reluctance. Others to whom nature has given more active spirits, become a prey to sloth, through the faults of their parents, who neglect to lead them into any regular employments. When the young are suffered to fall into this vice, they are seldom known to get clear of it afterwards. In such cases, I know not whether more pity is due to them, or to blame those who had the care of their education.
Cowardice is also the parent of idleness; for when men have conceived too low an opinion of their own abilities, they dare not venture to try them; and are disheartened by I know not what imaginary difficulties, from undertaking those things which they might have performed with ease. Such persons are described by Solomon with a good deal of humour, when he represents the slothful man, as saying in excuse for his idleness— " There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.” Something as improbable, as that he should meet a lion in the streets, restrain hiin from action, or at least serves him for pretence to cover his laziness.
Another common cause of sloth, is a vehement love of study and contemplation. Indeed, if we pursue valuable knowledge, in order to impart it to others, or to qualify ourselves for the right conduct of life; this is so far from deserving the name of sloth, that it is one of the best and noblest in the world. On the contrary, if the sole end of our study be to fill our heads with useless notions, whatever pains we may take, it is no better than a specious kind of idleness ; which if it be somewbat plausible, is upon
that account the more dangerous. Nay, there are some, upon whom the lessons of sound wisdom have no other effect, than to beget them in a lazy disposition. Having learned hence to despise honour and wealth, as vain, frivolous, and not worth the labour, which is required to obtain them, and baving, in the meantime, no principles of virtue strong enough to carry them into action, they sink, of course, into a state of indolence. To such persons a little ambition seems quite necessary, because nothing else can save them from sloth. Besides many are too proud to work; business is a vulgar thing and below their rank. And in truth, it is a great pity, these delicate spirits, should be forced to eat, or sleep, or do anything like ordinary people. But since cruel nature will have it so, how shall they sufficiently distinguish themselves from others, except by their laziness.
Whate'er your condition may be ;
To a station of higher degree;
Of riches and fame as its due,
May perhaps be achieved, too, by you.
Though numerous exceptions abound,
Who should seek it where seldom 'tis found.
The rewards that to virtue ensue;
May perchance be achieved by you.
Of all are most worthy to lead;
While the pithless shall never succeed.
And the course of the sluggard eschew,
May perchance be achieved by you.
Most honoured in age or in youth,
In the service and love of the truth.
The same path you must strive to pursue !
May perchance be achieved by you.
HENRY VIII. Henry's temper was so terrific, even to the last, that when be was dying no person dared to give him the least hint of his danger. At last one bolder than the rest ventured to tell him he had not long to live, and asked him if he would have a clergyman sent for. He replied—“If any, Cranmer.” When the archbishop arrived, the king was speechless, but he knew Cranmer, and expired as he pressed his hand. He died on the 29th of January, 1547, in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and the thirty-eighth of his reign. He had been six times married
1st-to Catharine of Aragon, whom he divorced.
He had three children-Edward, by Jane Seymour, who succeeded him; Mary, by Catharine of Aragon, and Elizabeth, by Anne Boleyn, who both were afterwards queens of England.
It is said he got tired of marrying for beauty, and therefore looked out in his last wife for sense and discretion, which he happily found in Catharine Parr, to whom he was married in 1543.
VERY CHARACTERISTIC. We extract the following curious item from an attorney's bill which came under our observation a short time ago :-"Being at
journey from thence to your residence, when I found you had suddenly died, 13s. 4d.”
ORNAMENTAL CEMETRIES. The ancient custom of planting cemetries and decorating monuments with garlands of flowers, strongly prevailing at different periods, in foreign countries, was carried to some extent in various parts of England. In the Flora Domestica it will be observed, ihat the Romans alluded to the practice in their wills, and were strongly reprobated by the primitive Christians, but in the time of Prudentius the latter had adopted it, which is expressly mentioned both by St. Ambrose and Jerome. At the present time, in Germany and Switzerland, it is very usual to observe the tombs cultivated with shrubs, and flowers, and the monuments adorned with festoons of roses and jessamine. In the beautiful little churchyard at Schwytz almost the whole of the ground is covered with pinks; but amongst the numerous spots appropriated to the purposes of cemetries there is none equal to the churchyard of Wirfin in the Valley of the Selza. The tombs are ornamented with arabesque forms, with pendant vases, in which are placed flowers, and on either side perennial shrubs are planted, and, in addition, some graves are daily strewed over with fresh gathered flowers, by friends or relatives of the inhabitants. In some parts of this country, about the middle of the last century, the practice was very prevalent of strewing sprigs of rosemary upon tombs, particularly in the north, and likewise to place a basin of sprigs of box wood, at the door of any house at which a funeral was to take place, as alluded to in the following, by Wordsworth :
“ The basin of box wood just six months before,
Had stood on the table at Timothy's door ;
One child did it bear, and that child' was his last.”
“ Oh! customs meet and well.”
THE PEASANTRY OF ENGLAND.
The merry hearts and free;
But give the scythe to me!
Worth all your classic tomes;
And grant them happy homes !
The bulwarks of the soil !
Thus fearless of its toil!
Will sing where'er he roams,
And give them happy homes !
We'll hail it with three cheers :
T'he all which life endears!
Be seen where'er man roams;
God send them happy homes!
MY LEARNED FRIEND. At the Aylesbury Sessions, two youths were charged with stealing money from a till. Mr. Prendergast, jun., appeared for one of them, and the other defended himself. After all the witnesses for the prosecution had been examined, Mr. Prendergast made a very elaborate defence for his client, and then the other prisoner was told by Lord Carrington, the chairman, he might say anything he liked in his defence. The prisoner replied." I had better not say anything after the able speech my learned friend has made."