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Then came old January, wrapped well
An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood,
Haus oto —was the first entry by entries to the days, and months, and seamerchants and tradesmen of our fore. sons, in “every varied posture, place, * days, in beginning their new and hour.” *books with the new year. Laus
be the opening of this vo- January, hesides the names already Every-Day Book, wherein we mentioned,” was called by the Anglo*e further “ note of time,” and make
zon. The Temperature rises in the day, on an average of twenty years, to 40°28°; and falls in the night, in the open country, to 31 36°–the difference, 8-92°, representing the mean effect of the sun's rays for the month, may be termed the solar variation of the temperature. The Mean Temperature of the month, if the observations in this city be included, is 36:34°. But this mean has a range, in ten years, of about 10:25°, which may be
termed the lunar variation of the tempera
ture. It holds equally in the decade, beginning with 1797, observed in London, and in that beginning with 1807, in the country. In the former decade, the month was coldest in 1802, and warmest in 1812, and coldest in 1814. I have likewise shown, that there was a tendency in the daily variation of temperature through this month, to proceed, in these respective periods of years, in opposite directions. The prevalence of different classes of winds, in the different periods, is the most obvious cause of these periodical variations of the mean temperature, The Barometer in this mouth rises, on an average of ten years, to 340 in , and falls to 28-97 in...: the mean range is therefore 1.43 in. ; but the extreme range in ten years is 2.38 in. The mean height for the month is about 29-79 inches. The prevailing IP'inds are the class from west to north. The northerly predominate, by a fourth of their amount, over the southerly winds. The average Eraporation (on a total of 30.50 inches for the year) is 0.832 in., and the mean of De Luc's hydrometer 80. The mean Rain, at the surface of the earth, is 1.959 in. ; and the number of days on which snow or rain falls, in this month, averages 14, 4. A majority of the Nights in this month have constantly the temperature at or below the foregoing point.:
t Howard on Climate.
* The arst visitant who enters a house on New-year's day is called the Artwoot,
Referring for the “New-year's gifts,” the “Candlemas-bull,” and various observances of our ancestors and ourselves, to the first volume of this work, wherein they are set forth “in lively pourtraieture,” we stop a moment to peep into the * Mirror of the Months,” and inquire “Who can see a new year open upon him, without being better for the prospect—without making sundry wise reflections (for any reflections on this subject must be comparatively wise ones) on the step he is about to take towards the goal of his being ! Every first of January that we arrive at, is an imaginary mile-stone on the turnpike track of human life; at once a resting place for thought and mediation, and a starting point for fresh exertion in the performance of our journey. The man who does not at least propose to himself to be better this year than he was last, must be either very
good, or very bad indeed! And only to propose to be better, is something; if nothing else, it is an acknowledgment of our need to be so, which is the first step towards amendment. But, in fact, to propose to oneself to do well, is in some sort to do well, positively; for there is no such thing as a stationary point in human endeavours; he who is not worse to-day than he was yesterday, is better; and he who is not better, is worse.” It is written, “Improve your time,” in the text-hand set of copies put before us when we were better taught to write than to understand what we wrote. How often these three words recurred at that period without their meaning being discovered 1 How often and how serviceably they have recurred since to some who have obeyed the injunction' How painful has reflection been to others, who recollecting it, preferred to suffer rather than to do!
The author of the paragraph quoted above, expresses forcible remembrance of his youthful pleasures on the coming in of the new year.—“Hail! to thee, JANUARY —all hail! cold and wintry as thou art, if it be but in virtue of thy first day. The day, as the French call it, par ercellence, “Le jour de l'an.’ Come about me, all ye little schoolboys that have escaped from the unnatural thraldom of your taskwork—come crowding about me, with your untamed hearts shouting in your unmodulated voices, and your happy spirits dancing an untaught measure in your eyes! Come, and help me to speak the praises of new-year's day – your day—one of the three which have, of late, become yours almost exclusively, and which have bettered you, and have been bettered themselves, by the change.
Christmay-day, which was ; New-year'sday, which is; and Twelfth-day, which is to be; let us compel them all three into our presence—with a whisk of our imaginative wand convert them into one, as the conjurer does his three glittering balls—and then enjoy them all together, with their dressings, and coachings, and visitings, and greetings, and gifts, and “many happy returns"—with their plumpuddings, and mince-pies, and twelfthcakes, and neguses—with their forfeits, and fortune-tellings, and blindman's-buffs, and sittings up to supper—with their pantomimes, and panoramas, and new penknives, and pastrycooks' shops—in
short, with their endless round of ever new nothings, the absence of a relish for which is but ill supplied, in after life, by that feverish lingering and thirsting after excitement, which usurp without filling its place. Oh! that I might enjoy those nothings once again in fact, as I can in fancy! But I fear the wish is worse than an idle one; for it not only may not be, but it ought not to be. “We cannot have our cake and eat it too,” as the vulgar somewhat vulgarly, but not less shrewdly, express it. And this is as it should be; for if we could, it would neither be worth the eating nor the having.”