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and gates, and our gravel-walks resemble Sleet, shine, cold, fog, in portions fill the time; saturated sponges. Like hope, the prospect cheers; like breath it fades:
Abroad, the streets are flooded with muddy water, and slippery with patches of ice and half-melted snow, which strikes through our shoes in a moment. The houses,
and all objects whatever, have a dirty and disconsolate aspect; and clouds of dun and smoky haze hover over the whole disspiriting scene. In the country, the pros pect is not much better. The roads are full of mire. Instead of the enchantments of hoar-frost, so beautifully described by
Artist unseen! that dipt in frozen dew
Hast on the glittering glass thy pencil laid,
Rivers and lakes of lucid crystal made,
Of secret grottoes underneath the wave,
Where Nereids roof with spar the amber cave; Or bowers of bliss, where sport the fairy train, Who, frequent by the moonlight wanderer seen, Circle with radiant gems the dewy green. Instead of these we say, we have naked hedges, with sallow and decaying weeds beneath them; pastures brown and wet; and sheets of ice which recently afforded such fine exercise to skaters and sliders, are half submersed in water,-full of great cracks, and scattered with straws, and dirty patches, and stones half liberated by the thaw. Let us felicitate ourselves, however, that such a joyless time is seldom of long continuance. The winds of March will speedily come piping their jovial strains; clearing the face of the blessed Heavens from their sullen veil of clouds, and sweeping away the superabundant moisture from earth and air.
Life grows in seasons to returning prime,
March! It is like a cool, but spirit-stirring Oh! blithe and animating is the breath of draught of some ancient vintage; elating, but not enervating the heart, deadening the memory of past evil, and expanding the mind with the delicious hope of future delights. Such a precious boon, however, is
not exclusively permitted to March. February is often allowed to be a liberal partaker ere its close; and we have known the winds lift up their voices, in this month, with all their triumphant and sonorous energy.
Nothing, perhaps, can illustrate so vividly our idea of spirit as a mighty wind,-present in its amazing power and sublimity, yet seen only in its effects. We are whirled along by its careering torrent with irresistible power; we are driven before it, as Miss Mitford says, ing and roaring over the house, like the as by a steam engine. How it comes rushdevouring billows of an ocean broke loose! Then for the banging of doors-the swinging and creaking of signs-the clatter of falling shutters in the street! Then for the crash of chimnies-the toppling down of crazy gables-the showering of tiles upon the pavement, as if the bomb-shells of a besieging army were demolishing the roofs, and rendering it death even to walk the streets. Then for a scene of awful grandeur upon the shores of the glorious ocean. That which but an hour before was calm and sun-bright, a variety of vessels lying at anchor, or sailing to and fro in serene beauty,-then is become a scene of sublime and chaotic uproar; the waves rolling, and foaming, and dashing their spray over rocks, pier-heads, houses, and even over the loftiest towers and churches too -as we have seen it,-to an amazing extent, till the water ran down the walls like rain, and the windows, at a great distance from the beach, were covered with a salt incrustation -the vessels meanwhile laboring amidst the riotous billows as for life, and tugging at their cables as if mad for their escape.
Many a beautiful, many a wild, many an animated spectacle is to be witnessed on the shores of our happy isle in such moments! What a solemn and sublime war, also, is there in the woods-a sound as of vast and tempestuous seas! What poetical spirit can hear it without being influenced by incommunicable sensations; and ideas of power, majesty, and the stupendous energies of the elements !
Oh! storm and darkness; ye are wondrous strong.
What picturesque ruin is there scattered around us! Trees overwhelmed-immense
branches torn off-small boughs broken-and dry leaves whirled along, or quivering in the air like birds.
Not unfamiliar to mine ear,
Mine ear has dwelt in silent awe,The howling sweep, the sudden rush ; And when the pausing gale Poured deep the hollow dirge.
Once more I listen; sadly communing
I, deeming that the voice of spirits dwells
Hark! how the spirit knocks,-how loud
I would not, at this moment, be In the drear forest groves, to hear This and rude song uproar Ring o'er the arched aisles.
The ear doth shudder at such sounds;
Towards the end of the month, we are gladdened with symptoms of approaching spring. On warm banks, the commencement of vegetation is perceptible. The sap is stirring in the trees, swelling and feeding the buds; and, in gardens, a variety of green things are peeping from the earth, and snowdrops, hepaticas, &c., are actually in bloom. In towns, it is a cheering sight, even while all without is wintry and frosty, to see as we pass, in cottage windows, tufts of crocuses and snowdrops flowering in pots :
in the clear water below, and the verdure and flowery freshness of summer above. If we are to believe travellers, in no country is the domestic culture of flowers so much attended to as in our own. We trust this will always be a prevailing taste with us. There is something pure and refreshing in the appearance of plants in a room; and watched and waited on, as they generally are, by the gentle sex, they are links in many pleasant associations. They are the cherished favorites of our mothers, wives, sisters, and friends not less dear; and connect themselves, in our minds, with their feminine delicacy, loveliness, and affectionate habits and sentiments.
Oh, let sweet-leaved geranium be
"Tis but a whim-but, oh! do thou
"Tis but a whim-but, oh! entwine
Though the spring of our youth has departed,
When the heart with kind feelings o'erflowing,
And youth's merry sunshine is past, In mem'ry to dwell on those hours, Ere sorrow our gladness o'ercast!
THE CLIMATE OF AUSTRALIA.
Oh, absence! by thy stern decree,
Though I am forced thus to absent myself
At the decline of day the scene is magnificent! Onward the mighty orb rolls, like a ball of molten iron, to the legion of gorgeous clouds that have risen in the far-west to herald it away; the hills blaze up with crimson and gold, fringed with sparkling silver, the tints of heaven's own iris are scattered over the sky, and the extended plains to the very horizon are tinged with pink. Even the cities and dwelling-places are colored with the rich, changing hues; and from their windows are seen streams of liquid fire. Day and night are of nearly equal length throughout the year. The sun never remains above the horizon more than fourteen and a half hours, nor less than ten and a half; and, as twilight does not linger in these latitudes, the changes from day to night, and from night to morn, are to an Englishman unpleasantly abrupt. The greater number of the nights are most enchanting. The southern constellations shine forth from the hard, dark heavens, in unrivalled brightness, and the haloed moon pours her chastened radiance on the plains and hills with such refulgence, that every thing for miles around is distinctly visible.
So very many of our acquaintances are daily departing to Australia, that we begin now to feel some peculiar interest for the country. Let us, therefore, hear what Mr. Lancelott says of the cli- The light of both the sun and the moon is more mate. As he is mineralogical surveyor for the intense than in Britain. I should say the differcolonies, the authority may be considered first-ence is as five to three. The climate throughout the Australian province is decidedly hot. The thermometer in Sydney and Melbourne during summer, frequently reaches 90° or 100° Fahr. in the shade; and occasionally 115° or even more. In winter it rarely ranges below 46° Fahr.; hoar frost sometimes occurs; ice, seldom or never. The variations in temperature are great and sudden; noonday is frequently 20 hotter than morning or one
"The seasons in Australia are the reverse of ours, July is mid-winter, January mid-summer. The spring and autumn are very brief, and the transition from one season to the other is so imperceptible, that it is difficult to say when the one begins or the other ends.
INGULAR INDEED is a man's DESTINY! Here to-day, he is, literally speaking, gone to-morrow; leaving behind him, perhaps, from positive necessity, much, if not all, that his heart holds dear. This country bids fair to be decimated within another year. Let us hope that a rapid transit of letters, to and from, will cause many "twin hearts" to be saved from destruction. Absence from a lov'd one" is-" death."
lion curtain-clouds of morn, illumines the mountains with molten gold, dispensing life and light around, as he majestically mounts into the northern heavens.
from that of the next day by 15°. Then, as the southerly winds are altogether more moist than those of the northward, a change of wind without any alteration in the thermometer often chills severely; indeed, the climate is much affected by the direction of the winds. That which blows from the northward, is extremely dry and often violent.
Spring sets in early in September, when the a as season advances, the fall of rain decreases, the heat increases, and about the middle of November, summer commences. The heat now becomes great; and by the end of December, nearly all the rivers are dried up, vegetation has ceased, and the country assumes the appearance of an arid desert. At the close of February, a diminution of temperature commences; autumn beginning about the middle of March, and early in April genial showers In winter it is moderately warm, in summer it carpet the country with bright verdure, and the is intensely hot, and rushes on with the velocity atmosphere becomes pleasantly cool and buoy- of a hurricane; raising the thermometer in the ant. Early in June, the season that can only shade to 110° or even 120° Fahr., drying up the be called winter from its situation in the calendar, grass like hay, depriving the grape of its watery commences; and by the middle of July, torrents elements, rendering iron exposed to its influence of rain have inundated the country, and rendered so hot as to burn the hand on touching it, doing the water-courses mighty, rushing streams; this injury to the promising harvest, and filling the cold rainy season generally terminates by the mid-air with such quantities of dust and sand, that the dle or end of August. Between the rains at this sun's rays are shut, and only darkness is visible. season of the year, there are days, and, in some The current of heated air appears confined to no years, whole weeks together, of delightful weather; particular altitude, but rushes upwards or downcool and bracing as the spring in England, but wards, according to circumstances; sometimes it more beautiful and exhilirating. assumes a rotary movement, as if revolving on a series of horizontal axes, thus: ; or undulates thus: Occasionally the hot wind travels so slowly, that its movement is scarcely perceptible; there is then little dust, the heat of the sun's rays is great, and the earth is so torrid, that a thermometer which I sunk horizontally into the ground to the depth of 24 inches, in a situation exposed to the sun and wind, stood at 150° Fahr. On another
With the exception of about twenty-five extremely hot days, and sixty disagreeable wet or cold days, the weather throughout the year is indescribably pleasant, the air is balmy and bright, scarcely a cloud is visible, and the sun looks down from the deep blue sky in unveiled splendor. The rising sun is a sight most truly beautiful. The god of day from his eastern portals bursts the ebon pall of night, and flinging wide the purple and vermil
occasion I placed a bar of copper, about one foot
The same book that thus speaks of the climate, tells us also something very interesting about the farms in Australia; also about the farmers and their wives—
fence is preferred before all others, as it keeps out sheep, pigs, and such like quadrupeds; it is formed of pieces of timber, large and small, all cut into equal lengths, either seven or eight feet, and placed close and upright in a trench two feet deep, and tightly rammed; a rough batten being nailed along the top as a band. The “ditch and bank," and "" dog and log" fence are occasionally met with. A simple but ingenious contrivance is frequently used for gate hinges to the post and rail" fence, viz.: the back upright of the gate is made long, so as to form a top and bottom spur, the top spur is pushed through a hole formed to receive it in the top rail of the fence, and the bottom spur is bevelled to a point, and fitted into the conical bottom of a stout or winebottle, which is sunk into the ground neck downwards. This hinge never unships, and well answers its purpose.
The farmers furnish their dwellings with few articles of domestic convenience. Only a few wood-bottomed chairs, an uncushioned cedar sofa, one or two plain cedar tables, bedsteads of the plainest description, and sometimes a small looking-glass, are to be met with in the dwellings of the more wealthy; most of the poor farmers make their own furniture, which generally consists of a few rude forms and stools, a table and bedstead; and not unfrequently the only partition between the bed-room and the sitting-room is one or two outstretched sheets. Their cooking utensils and mode of cooking are similar to those of the urban population of Victoria. They all live on plain but substantial dishes, and some keep a good stock of European wines, and British bottled stout and ale. They of course raise nearly all their own edibles; and in order to live on fresh meat, three or four of them will club together, and in turn each kill a sheep or bullock, as the case may be.
"The farm-houses are rough, but generally substantial and commodious: they are built of different materials, according to circumstances; if good stone or slate is handy, it is used; if not, and suitable clay exists in the neighborhood, bricks are resorted to; and when none of these materials are to be had, the dwelling is built wholly of wood. These residences usually have no ceiling, nor upper floor-when you look up you see the roof; the walls are not plastered, painted, nor in any way decorated except those which occasionally get a lime-wash. The windows are sometimes canvas, sometimes glass, and the fire-places and chimnies are constructed as already described. For flooring, some have only earth, some are paved with stone, some with slate, a few with bricks, and a very few have wood floors. Water for domestic and other purposes is usually procured by sinking wells; and although occasionally pure and excellent, it is in general impregnated with minerals, hard and brackish to the taste, and more or less unwholeNear the farm-house is the rough but strongly-built stock-yard, barn, stable, and other needful outhouses.
There are no English-looking green hedges in the colony; the farms are enclosed with rude, misshapen wood fences; the three-rail "post and rail" is the most usual; it will cost from 70l. to 80l. to enclose an eighty-acre section with this fence. Where timber is plentiful, the "kangaroo
The farmers, and indeed all persons who reside away from the towns, dress in the coarsest apparel. The usual male attire is a pair of common slop trousers, a blue guernsey, with a leather belt to keep the trousers up and the guernsey down, a flaunting red cotton handkerchief as a neck-tie ; a broad-brimmed cabbage-tree hat, and a pair of heavy hobnail boots. Some wear a coarse regatta shirt under the guernsey, and others, when circumstances permit, enjoy in the hot weather the luxury of nakedness, by dressing in only a shirt and a pair of boots. The farmers' wives and daughters usually dress in cottons; their attire, although common and coarse, is neat, chaste, and tidy; they wear high dresses, and cotton bonnets made with a large curtain to keep the sun from freckling the neck; they nevertheless have their jewels, silks, &c., which they wear on festive occasions. Many of them are well-educated, devoid of affectation, thrifty, and industrious. Indeed, I was struck in my travels in the colony, with the beauty, the accomplished graces, the glowing health, the vivacity, and the open-heartedness of the fair sex in the rural districts; and I should be wanting in gratitude did I not record their disinterested kindness, attention, and general liberality to the wandering stranger.
Most of the farmers and others, who dwell in the rural districts within the hundred of the counties, are, although parsimonious to a fault,
DEW,-AND HOAR FROST.
How many persons are there, to whom the phenomena attendant upon dew and hoar frost are perfectly unknown! Yet are they singular, curious, and interesting:
When the direct influence of the sun is removed, in the evening, and the surface of the earth thus no longer continues to acquire heat, at that instant, from the ceaseless activity of heat to maintain a state of equili brium, the surface of the earth, being the warmer body, radiates a portion of its superfluous temperature into the surrounding space; and thus the air immediately in contact with the surface becomes cooled below the point of saturation, and gives off a portion of its water in the form of dew. The deposition of dew is always most abundant during calm and cloudless nights, and in situations freely exposed to the atmosphere. Whatever interferes in any way with the process of radiation, as might be expected, has a great effect on the deposition of dew. Hence the radiation of heat, and consequently the deposition of dew, are obviated-not only by the slightest covering or shelter, as by thin matting, or even muslin, by the neighborhood of buildings, and innumerable other impediments, near the earth's surface, but matters interposed at a great distance from the earth's surface have precisely the same effect. Thus clouds effectually prevent the radiation of heat from the earth's surface, so that cloudy nights are always warmer than those which are clear; and, in consequence, there is usually on such nights little or no deposition of dew.
From dew, there is an insensible transition to hoar frost; hoar frost being, in fact, only frozen dew, and indicative of greater cold. We observe, therefore, that frosty nights, like simply dewy nights, are generally still and clear. The influence of radiation in producing cold at the earth's surface, would scarcely be believed by inattentive observers. Often, on a calm night, the temperature of a grass plot is 10 or 15 degrees less than that of the air a few feet above it. Hence, as Mr. Daniel has remarked, vegetables, in our climate, are, during ten months of the year, liable to be exposed at night to a freezing temperature; and even in July and August, to a temperature only two or three degrees warmer. Yet, notwithstanding these vicissitudes, in the words of the same gentleman,"to vegetables growing in climates for which they are originally designed by nature, there can be no doubt that the action of ra