Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

Under these circumstances Arago, and other scientific | tnan at full moon, although there seemed to be a greater men on the Continent, have carefully examined the probability of some rain falling at full than at new. observations which have been made on the weather in Dr. Marcet examined these Genevan observations, different years, with a view to discover whether any par- with a view to determine whether a change of weather ticular kind of weather takes place on the days of new is more liable to happen on the four principal days of the and full moon. The first feature to which they have lunar phases than on other days. But this expression, directed their attention is

of

“change of weather,” is in common parlance, taken in a Rain. There are three pairs of periods, if we may very vague and indeterminate sense; and it therefore use the term, in which the moon's influence may be com- becomes necessary to give some precise meaning to it. pared; Ist. New moon and full moon, or the times when | Dr. Marcet limits the term to a change from clear the moon is respectively nearest to and farthest from the weather to rain, or from rain to clear weather; and does sun; 2nd. Perigee and Apogee, or the periods when she not use the term unless the weather has been steady is respectively nearest to and farthest from the earth, in during two days at least. For example, a week has the course of the monthly revolution; 3rd. North decli- passed without rain; it rains on the eighth day, and on nation and south declination, or the times when the moon the ninth the weather is again fine; in this case remains the greatest and the least number of hours, he would not speak of a change of weather. So also if respectively, above the horizon in one day. The con- it has rained for five successive days, the sixth and clusions of Arago and others have been drawn principally seventh must be clear in order to constitute what he from these several epochs. Dr. Mädler, of Berlin, made would designate by this term. Under these limitations observations on the moon six times a day for sixteen of the expression "change of weather,” Dr. Marcet found years; from which he found that a somewhat less quan- that in thirty-four years there had been 1458 such tity of rain and snow falls at Berlin, while the moon is changes at Geneva, of which 54. occurred on the days in apogee, than when in perigee.

of new moon, and 51 at full moon.

If the changes Professor Schübler, of Tubingen, made a series of occurred equally at every period of the moon's age, observations on the weather for the long period of about 49 would occur on each day of the lunar period; twenty-eight years. He found, that in twenty years consequently more changes of weather occurred on the there had been 3066 rainy days, of which 1609 had days of new and full moon than on the average of other occurred while the moon was increasing, i. e., passing days. It appears also, that in two cases out of every from new to full; and 1457 while the moon was waning, three, the change of weather at new and full is from i. e., passing from full to new. The greatest number rain to fine, the change from fine to rain occurring only occurred between “first quarter” and “full," and the once out of three times. Upon the whole, an examination least number between “last quarter” and “new;" the of the phenomena at Geneva lends some support to the the other two periods being almost exactly equal to each common opinion of the influence of new and full moon, other. As most of the years, when taken individually but none whatever to any special influence of the first agreed pretty well with the combined result, it led to a

and last quarters. tolerably safe conclusion, that in central Germany there Another mode of considering the effect of the moon is more probability of rain a little before full moon than is in relation—not to the actual precipitation of raina little before new moon, in the proportion of six to five. but to the cloudiness of the sky, occasioned by the conSchübler then varied his calculations, taking the actual densation of the watery vapour suspended in the air. day of “new," "full,' &c., instead of periods of seven In order to classify the observations on this point, Arago or eight days each. He found that in twenty-eight agreed to call a day “ fine" if the sky were clear at seven years, there had been 148 rainy days on the day of new in the morning, and at two and nine o'clock in the evenmoon, 156 on the day of the first quarter, 162 on the ing; and to apply the term “ cloudy” if the sky were day of full moon, and 130 on the day of the last quarter, obscured at those times. He took sixteen years of obserfrom which it appears that the day of full moon has vations at Augsburg, and found that at new moon there been most subject to rain of these four; but he also were 31 fine days, and 61 cloudy, at first quarter 38 and found that at about half a week before full moon the 57, at full moon 26 and 61, and at last quarter 41 and 53. chance of rain was still greater, and exceeded that of These results agree pretty nearly with those before menevery other day in the lunar month.

tioned of Schübler's, which gave more rainy days in the M. Poitevin, at Montpellier in France, arrived at re- week preceding full moon, than in any other week of the sults different from those here indicated. He found, lunar month. The actual quantity of rain fallen, also from ten years' observations, that at new moon there was agrees; so that whether we regard the probability of one rainy day out of four, at first quarter one out of having a rainy day, the probability of having a cloudy seven, at full moon one out of five, and at last quarter day, or the quantity of rain, these observations by one out of four.

Here we see that at Montpellier it Schübler show the probability to be greater, at and near rained more frequently on the day of new than of Augsburg, shortly before full moon, than at any other full moon; whereas a contrary result was observed part of the month. in Germany. M. Pilgram, from observations made at Schübler also corroborates the observations of Mädler, Vienna, found that if there were 26 rainy days at that a little more rain falls at and near perigee, than at new moon, there would be 29 at full moon, a result or near apogee; that is, that the quantity of rain slightly pretty well agreeing with that of Schübler.

An exten

increases as the moon approaches the earth. He found sive series of observations, made at Geneva for a period that in twenty-eight years, there have been 1169 rainy of thirty-three years, shew that the number of rainy days days in the weeks which have included the perigee, and in that city, at the four epochs of the moon's age, are- 1096 in those which included the apogee. Pilgram's new moon 123 days, first quarter 122 days, full moon observations at Vienna gave a still more prominent 132 days, last quarter 128 days. Here the number is exhibition of the fact, that more rain falls when the greater for full moon than for new, as in most of the moon is nearest to, than when furthest from, the earth. other series of observations. But when actual quantity There have been too few extended and correct obserof rain is considered, instead of the mere number of days vations of weather, to admit of any undoubted concluon which some rain may have fallen, a result is obtained sions being drawn; but on the whole, there appears some which overturns any conclusions drawn from the above reason to believe, that on and shortly before the day of results ; for if the quantity of rain which fell on the full moon, the weather is more rainy than at any other days of new moon be represented as 432, the quantity at part of the month. first quarter was 430, at full moon 416, and at last Barometrical Pressure.-Dr. Schübler has found at quarter 369; thus shewing that more rain fell at new Berlin, that the barometer stands a minute degree higher

BY JOHN HULLAH

when the moon is in apogee than when in perigee. He | ON WILHEM'S METHOD OF TEACHING also found with respect to the age of the moon, that the

SINGING. barometer is higher on the day of new moon, and lower

ADAPTED TO ENGLISI USE, UNDER THE SANCTION OF THE two days after full moon, than at any other date of the

COMMITTEE OF PRIVY COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, moon's age. These differences of height are, however, exceedingly minute, amounting to no more than onetwelfth of an inch. From four years' observations made

I. in Western Africa, where the atmosphere is not exposed A very notable change has taken place during the preto such fuctuations as in Europe, the days of greatest sent century, in the mode of imparting instruction to and least barometrical height have been found the same large bodies of pupils. Formerly a master had to unas at Berlin, viz., new moon, and the second day after dergo the toil of instructing each pupil separately; and full moon, but the amount of difference is only one-six- too often one pupil was idle or worse than idle while the tieth of an inch. At the same place there has also been master was attending to another. When Dr. Bell and observed an effect produced by the varying declination Mr. Lancaster, the one in connection with the Established of the moon; the barometer being lower when the moon Church, and the other distinct from it, founded their is at the greatest northern declination, than at other respective schools for the instruction of the poor, they declinations.

adopted the system of division into classes, by which M. Flangergues, from a series of twenty years' obser

many pupils could be instructed simultaneously, each class rations at Viviers, found that the barometer was higher being superintended by a monitor or assistant teacher. at last quarter, and lower when the moon is about To trace the progress of these schools, and of others eleven days old, than at any other period. These dates, on a similar system, is no part of our plan. We shall it will be perceived, do not correspond with those at at once proceed to our object, viz., to detail the remarkBerlin. He also found that the height is greater at able and interesting attempt now being made to teach apogee than at perigee. Astronomers use the term Vocal Music on a similar plan. An observant indi** quadratures” both for the first and last quarters, and vidual can hardly fail to have remarked the movement “syzygies" both for new and full moon; and we shall which English society has lately made in this direction : therefore be understood when we say that from the – Choral Societies, Sacred Harmonic Societies, and observations of Flangergues at Viviers, of Poleni at other associations for the practice of vocal music, have Padua, and of Bouvard at Paris, it is found that the been formed in great number, and are largely attended barometer is a trifle higher when the moon is in quad- by persons principally of the middle classes.

When this ratures than when in syzygies. M. Arago compared all circumstance became gradually known and appreciated by these observations together very carefully, and came to the benevolent persons who desire to impart the blessings the conclusion that the barometer is affected at certain of education to the poor, it became a subject for periods of the moon's age: and that this effect is not thought, whether vocal music might not aid in elevating produced by the same attractive force which produces the moral character of the people. In an oflicial docuthe tides of the ocean, but some other force, whose nature ment, to which we shall more particularly allude preis at present quite unknown to us.

sently, it is well observed that, Temperature.--Dr. Mädler has found that the ther

Vocal Music, as a means of expression, is by no means an mometer at Berlin is slightly higher when the moon is unimportant element in civilization. One of the chief chain apogee than when in perigee. He also perceived racteristics of public worship ought to be the extent to that the height is greater two days before the first which the congregation unite in those solemn psalms or quarter, than at any other period of the moon's age. prayer and praise, which, particularly in the Lutheran The extremes of heat and cold occur less frequently

churches of Germany and Holland, appear the utterance of between the new moon and the first quarter, than during

one harmonious voice. One of the chief means of diffusing the other parts of the period.

through the people national sentiments is afforded by songs

which embody and express the hopes of industry and the The reader may now inquire in what state is the

comforts and contentment of household life; and which question between the philosophers and the people? preserve for the peasant the traditions of his country's triDoes the moon exert the effect popularly insisted on? umphs, and inspire him with confidence in her greatuess and The labours of Arago have certainly caused some change strength, in the view of the matter, for it appears extremely pro- It is still more important to remark, that the degrading bable that some effect is produced by the moon on atmo- habits of intoxication which at one time characterized spberie phenomena. But on the other hand, the amount

the poorer classes of Germany are most remarkably of this action is far too slight to produce the effects often

diminished since the art of singing has become almost as attributed to the moon's influence.

As to the progDostics which have been handed down from age to age

common in that country as the power of speech; and this for centuries, Arago shows that they are utterly value- elementary schools of Germany.

improvement is in great part attributed to the excellent less. Among them are the three following :-1. “ If, The reader is probably aware, that a few years ago a when the moon is three days' old, the horns of the cres- portion of Her Majesty's privy councillors were appointed cent appear clear and sharp, the sky will be serene

as a “ Committee of the Privy Council on Education." during the whole of that month.” 2. "If the upper | The office of this Committee is to superintend certain born of the crescent appears blackish in the evening, arrangements arising out of an annual parliamentary when the moon is about to set, we shall have rain grant for educational purposes; and their attention was during the wane of the moon; if it is the lower horn, after a time directed to the subject of vocal music in there will be rain before full moon; if the centre of the schools. The secretary to the Committee was empowered crescent be blackish, the rain wili come at full moon.”

to make such inquiries both in foreign countries and in 3. “ If the moon, at four days' old, projects no shadow, England, as would enable the Committee to form some expect bad weather." These prognostics, and many plan of proceeding. In the first place, it was necessary others of a similar kind, are from their very nature

to ascertain how far singing had been carried in our eleabsurd, and ought to be utterly abandoned. The moon

mentary schools, how far the national taste seemed to dues appear to exert some influence on the weather, but lead that way, and whether there are any obstacles, in Drt in such a way as to make these prognostics main the way of " voice” or “ear,” to the attainment of mo, taluable.

derate musical skill among us. In a “prefatory Minute,"

subsequently published by the Council, it is stated that:Tge way to knowledge by epitomes is too strait, by com- The information derived from the inspectors of schools, mentaries too much about.

and from various other sources, had made the Committee of

Council acquainted with the fact, that vocal music has been accomplished. The Committee of Education, though successfully cultivated in comparatively few of the elemen. they did not feel justified in applying any part of the partary schools of Great Britain. In the Sunday schools of liamentary grant to this

purpose, nevertheless

gave

their great towns the children have commonly been taught to sing, in an imperfect manner, certain of the psalm and hymn to the cause of education subscribed sufficient funds to set

full sanction and approval to the plan. Some liberal friends tunes used in divino service. These tunes are learned only by imitation, from persons of little or no musical skill, and the matter on foot; and at length, on the 1st of February, are therefore generally sung incorrectly and without taste. 1841, a “Singing-School for School-Masters” was opened Thus the children acquire no power of further self-instruc- at Exeter Hall, under the immediate superintendence of tion, and little or no desire to know more of music,

Mr. Hullah. The experiment was so novel, and the It is stated, however, in the same “ Minute," that desired result so important, that it was seen to be necessary though vocal music has been comparatively neglected in to make an extremely low charge for admission to the the elementary schools of England, there is sufficient school; the students, who were confined to masters and evidence that the natural genius of the people would re- teachers in elementary schools for the humble classes, ward a careful cultivation. It is stated that in the northern were charged fifteen shillings for the complete course of counties of England, choral singing has long formed the sixty lessons. As it is a part of the plan that all the chief rational amusement of the manufacturing popula- pupils should progress simultaneously, no new pupils tion. The weavers of Lancashire and Yorkshire have

could enter the class after it had commenced. To admit been famed for their acquaintance with the great works

other applicants, therefore, another class was formed on of Handel and Haydn, with the part-music of the

the 2nd of March; and a third on the 22nd of March. old English school, and with the old English melodies. All these classes belonged to the School for SchoolIn respect of “voice,” and “ear for music," we shall Masters, but as the object in view applies equally to both have to offer a few remarks hereafter.

sexes, a “Singing-School for Schoolmistresses” was The Committee, being convinced that there was no formed on the 24th of March, under precisely the same vocal music, worthy of the name, practised in any of our regulations as the others. elementary schools; and that our labouring classes are These four classes, thus established, continued their capable of learning and appreciating the beauties of this course of studies during the greater part of the past delightful recreation ; set about inquiring what mode of year; and much curiosity was excited to observe the instruction could be most fittingly introduced into schools. degree of progress made by the pupils. On this point They sent their secretary to collect, from various parts we shall have to speak hereafter; but it may here be obof Europe, where music has been cultivated in element- served, that at the conclusion of the course of study ary schools, the books most frequently used in teaching prescribed to the first class, another was formed to which music. Such works were accordingly procured froin admission could be gained by persons not belonging to Switzerland, Holland, the German states, Prussia, Aus- the scholastic profession. At the present time, Exeter tria, and France: and were then carefully examined, with Hall is, three evenings in the week, the busy scene of a a view to determine their relative fitness for the proposed vocal discipline which would have excited no small surobject.

prise a few years ago. It was desirable that such a work should proceed by

We shall endeavour in a future number, to give some easy gradations, beginning with the simplest details, and idea of Wilhem's method, and of the chief differences progressing by degrees to those more difficult. The between it and the methods commonly followed. We here method of M. Wilhem, as pursued by that gentleman at conclude, therefore, with an extract from the “Prefatory Paris, seemed to the Committee the one most fitted for Minute of the Committee of Council on Education," their purpose. M. Wilhem had instructed large numbers prefixed to the work used in these schools*, explanatory of persons in Paris on his plan, under the sanction of the of the sort of publications employed in the development Minister of Public Instruction, whose sanction also was

of the system:extended to the work in which M. Wilhem's method is The Committee of Council have now published only the developed. The Committee of Council accordingly sent first part of the Course of Instruction. This first part contheir secretary to France, accompanied by Mr. Hullah, sists of Exercises and School Songs, printed in two forms, a gentleman who had bestowed great attention on this viz: on tablets for the use of the monitorial drafts, [i.e., subject. The report of those gentlemen being in every in a royal octavo edition for the use of schoolmasters and

sub-classes of eight pupils each, taught by a monitor,] and way satisfactory, Mr. Hullah was commissioned to pre- their assistants. It comprises those portions of a course of pare a “Manual,” or Book of Instructions, which, while elementary instruction in vocal music, which a master of it adhered to the general principle of Wilhem's method, moderate skill may easily succeed in communicating to an should be adapted to the particular wants of an English ordinary elementary school. The music is all of a comparaelementary school.

tively simple character; it is arranged in synthetic order, The general system pursued by M. Wilhem has been and words have been adapted to it, chiefly suitable to the to instruct a certain number of monitors in Music, and denominated “School Songs. The second part of the course

use of children in elementary schools, and therefore to be then to give to each monitor the teaching of a small

will encounter some of the greater difficulties of the art, class of eight children. The Committee of Council and will be adapted to the use of normal and training schools, thought it desirable, however, to adapt the system to the and those classes of young men which it is desirable to form, mode of instruction in one large class, as well as in sub- in order to continue the cultivation of vocal music beyond classes. In Paris, a body of 400 artisans are being in the period when the children of the working classes ordi. structed in the sub-class or monitorial method, one narily attend elementary schools. The words adapted to monitor being appointed to every eight learners, who the music in this part of the course will chiefly be such as assemble round a large printed tablet, on which some of may inspire cheerful views of industry, and will be entitled the instructions are given. The Committee have caused

Labour Songs.To this will succeed such religious music similar tablets to be prepared for the English schools; elementary schools.

as it may be deemed desirable to furnish for the use of and have further authorised the publication of Instruction Books, some adapted for the use of both master * Wilhem's Method of Teaching Singing, adapted to English use, and scholar, and some for the scholars only.

under the Superintendence of the Committee of Council on Education, by

John HULLAH.-J. W. Parker, 1811. While these measures were in progress, steps were taken for the establishment of a Singing-School for

LONDON: Schoolmasters." It is plain that unless the master of an elementary school be competent to teach singing, and to

JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND.

PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN JUXTILY make it part of the regular school-routine, the general

PARTS, PRICE SIXPÉNCE. introduction of singing into the school could hardly be Sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in the Kingdom.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

the sea.

2. GEOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (concluded)." CLIMATE-METEO | the cod-fish, enable the fisherman to pursue his vocation

ROLOGICAL PHENOMENA-NATURAL PRODUCTIONS, with safety and convenience. The fiords also afford One of the most characteristic features of Icelandic another advantage. they serve like canals to connect the scenery is formed by the numerous fiords which find interior of the island with the coast. Merchant-ships their way through the rocky barrier of the coast and run

sail up them, supply the wants of the natives, and receive far into the interior. They are all very similar in form,

their produce in return. but vary considerably in dimensions, some being scarcely

The roads of Iceland are both difficult and dangerous : two miles wide, but extending twenty-five or thirty miles they are generally made on the ascent or descent of the into the country, and often continued much farther by lofty ridges which separate the fiords: many of them are narrow vales down which the mountain rivers escape to heat on ascending the steep side of the hill shivers with

seldom free from snow; and the traveller oppressed with These fiords are separated from each other by lofty ridges stretching out into the ocean, and ending in cold on gaining the icy summit. Many of the tracks precipitous headlands. Some of them attain an eleva. chamois than to men and loaded horses; nevertheless,

which cross these heights are better adapted to the tion of nearly 4000 feet, but the average height is about the horses find their way through the fearful ravines with 2000 feet. The rise of these mountains is so sudden, remarkable sagacity, leaping from ledge to ledge, or that from the top of many a precipice 1000 feet high sliding down amidst the crumbling fragments. But a stone may be cast into the sea. walls of rock which shut in the fiords, have their

summits accidents do occur, and then the horse and his rider are clothed with perpetual snow or wrapped in dark clouds. No wonder then that the passage by the fiords, where

hurled over the precipice, and meet with instant death. All around seems dead,—no trace of life is visible. Man and all that he produces, vanish amid the mightier works of practicable, is preferred: when one boat will transport nature. Woods, and the higher classes of the vegetable more goods than thirty horses could do along the misecreation, are entirely wanting, and the naked rocks are too rable roads. steep for even the hardy birch or stunted willow to fix their Many of the rivers of Iceland issue from glaciers, and boots. No sound is heard save the billows dashing on the are rendered white by particles of clay or pumice. Some craggy shore, no motion seen but the cataract rushing down of them are of great magnitude and rapidity, and prethe rugged cliffs.

sent a singular appearance on issuing from beneath the In the midst of this sublime scenery, the Icelander snow, and bearing with them immense masses of ice. takes up his abode; for here he finds grassy meadows Their course is generally short. for his cattle, and the fiords offering a favourite retreat to The other rivers are too rapid to be navigable, and

* Edinburgh Cabinet Library. Article, Iceland,' this rapidity often gives rise to noble waterfalls, or sucVol. XX.

613

once

cessions of cascades; and often where the snow is screened of the blessings of a bright sun and a blue sky, Rain from the sun it is formed into fantastic arches, through and hail are frequent. Thunder is seldom heard; lightwhich the dark waters pursue their troubled course. ning is more common and often fatal, especially near

The broken surface of the island does not present volcanic mountains. Sometimes in a winter's night, many hollows for the formation of lakes; but there are during a strong wind and drifting snow, the whole sky a few, of which the Myvatn in the north is the most re- is illuminated, as if on fire, by a continual lightning markable. It has been named from the swarms of mos which moves slowly. This phenomenon causes much quitoes which abound on its shores. Its greatest length dread to the natives, because it frightens their cattle, is seven miles, and its circumference about twenty: the many of which fall over the rocks in running about to stony floods which the neighbouring volcanoes have from avoid the apparent danger. The Aurora Borealis is time to time poured into it have greatly diminished its also seen in great beauty; sometimes covering the sky depth. Numerous hot springs issue from its bed and fill with yellow, green, and purple light, which reflected by the air with steam: and yet trout are abundant in its the snow has a fine effect. Solar and lunar halos, mock waters, and are considered the finest in the island. suns, and shooting-stars, are also very common. Flocks of water-fowl inhabit its banks and the isles of In such a climate as this, where, instead of soft and lava which spot its surface: these also are the favourite refreshing showers, the atmosphere deposits its superbreeding places of the eider duck, whose delicate down is abundant moisture in the form of snow or ice, vegetables a valuable article of traffic among the islanders.

and animals are few in number and diminutive in growth. Iceland has always been celebrated for its boiling There are several varieties of moss and lichen: the springs, among which the Geysers are best known. The thickets of birch and willow are of stunted growth: waters of these springs, maintained at a high temperature grasses are abundant in many parts: corn was by volcanic heat, contain silica, which is held in solution cultivated, but the inhabitants find it more to their inby soda: they are most probably contained in subterra- terest to attend to the rearing of cattle, so that the great nean cavities, which communicate with the surface by harvest of Iceland is hay. In the vicinity of the hot means of a pipe: a portion of the water is converted springs many plants grow to an unnatural size under the into steam, the elastic force of which throws up a column | influence of constant warmth and moisture: a species of of the water, sometimes to the height of more than 100 Chara has been found flowering and bearing seeds in a feet, with a noise that seems to shake the surrounding spring, the water of which was hot enough to boil an country. In some cases the jet of water is constant, in egg in four minutes. others at regular intervals, and in a third class irregu- Two species of fox, the white and the blue, are known larly; but most of them deposit a silicious matter which in Iceland. The large white or polar bear is an occaforms the basin of the spring and the descending pipe. sional visitant floating on an icy raft from Greenland, This deposit finally destroys the springs by closing up he attacks the cattle and commits great havoc unless the pipe; and the water probably forces a new opening speedily destroyed by the inhabitants. A white species for its egress: thus giving rise to a new spring. They of mouse is mentioned by Olafsen, as being found in occur in all parts of the island, and frequently send up considerable numbers in the woods, where it collects nuts boiling water amidst fields of perpetual ice. Even for winter's provision. In their excursions for berries, the ocean is affected by them, and in many places its these little animals have often to cross rivers, over which waters are heated by their action, and cause much injury on their return they are said to convey their booty by to the nets of the fishermen. These remarkable form- the following ingenious contrivance :--the party of from ations having been already noticed in our First Volume, six to eight select a flat piece of dry cow-dung, in the (p. 25,) a more particular detail is unnecessary here. middle of which they place the berries in a heap, and,

The climate of this island resembles the stern and after launching it, embark upon it with their heads rugged features of its surface. Winter follows so joined in the midlle, and their tails pendant, like rudders closely on summer that the other two seasons can in the stream. In this manner the passage is accomscarcely to be said to exist. The natives reckon their plished, though the unstable bark is often wrecked, when summer from the Thursday between the 18th and 24th the navigators must save themselves by swimming and of April, and their winter from the Friday between the lose their whole cargo. The ingenuity of this account same days of October; but it often happens that the cold has caused it to be doubted; but it has been confirmed of winter penetrates far into the summer, so that even by Henderson. in June the fiords present roads of ice over which both Six or seven kinds of seal are known in Iceland: they man and horse may safely pass. The cold of winter is are of great importance to the natives, on account of their variable, but very severe; and it has been remarked that flesh and oil, while their skins are used for clothing and the coldest winters throughout Europe are the mildest form an article of export. Those animals are easily in Iceland and Greenland. The longest day in the south tamed, and soon become attached to their keeper. Their of the island is 20 hours, and in the north, more than body is long and conical: their feet, enveloped in the 234: while from May to September there is no night. skin, appear like fins. They are very inquisitive animals, The sun is not seen at the winter solstice; but the re- and are attracted often to their destruction, by any new fracted rays give a full light. In the height of summer object.

object. They will follow a boat for a long time, appathe sun appears always above the horizon, but although so rently wondering at the strange sight; and they are long visible, the rays, on account of their obliquity, pro- frequently enticed far inland by the light of some cottage duce but little heat. During the long nights of winter the window. The morse or walrus occasionally visits Ice. whiteness of the snow, which reflects the light of the land. On the coast are found whales, the white fish, the moon and stars, together with the brilliant fires of the dolphin, the porpoise, the fierce grampus, and the sea aurora, serve to illuminate this dreary land.

unicorn. The last named animal has no teeth, but In common with other islands, the weather here is instead of them a single tusk, wreathed in a spiral groove, very fitful; seldom remaining settled for two or three and directed forwards. The length of this tusk is eight days. Violent winds are more injurious to vegetation or ten feet; it is very hard and surpasses ivory in its than extreme cold; because they tear off the green qualities : it forms a valuable article of export, and was covering from the earth, loosen masses of rock, and formerly sold at an exorbitant price, as the horn of the hurl them into the valleys, and sometimes waft such fabulous land unicorn. Both the flesh and the skin of quantities of sand and ashes from the central districts as this animal furnish food to the natives. to darken the sky and destroy the pastures in the north. The winged tribes are somewhat numerous in Iceland; But the winds have also their advantages: they dispel | but many of them are migratory and are found widely those dense fogs that hover over the land and deprive it ! diffused over the northern regions. Our space will not

« ÎnapoiContinuați »