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atter of the product calorified by the philosophie
liar circumstances of that vast globe. It will perhaps be objected, that, from the effects produced at 95 millions of miles, we may infer, that every thing must be scorched up at its surface. To this it is replied, that there are many facts in natural philosophy which show that heat is produced by the Sun's rays only when they act in a calorific medium: they are the cause of the production of heat by uniting with the matter of fire which is contained in the substances that are heated. On the tops of very high mountains, where clouds seldom come to shelter them from the direct rays of the Sun, regions of ice and snow are always found. · Now, if the solar rays themselves conveyed all the heat that we find on this globe, it ought to be hottest where their course is the least interrupted. Add to this that our aëronauts all speak of the coldness of the upper regions of the atmosphere; and since, therefore, even on the earth, the heat of the situation depends on the readiness of the medium to yield to the impression of the solar rays, we have only to admit, that on the Sun itself the elastic fluids composing its atmosphere, and the matter on its surface, are of such a nature as not to be capable of any extensive affection of its own rays : and this seems to be proved by the copious emission of them; for if the elastic fluids of the atmosphere, or of the matter contained on the surface of the Sun, were of such a nature as to admit of an easy chemical combination with its rays, their emission would be very much impeded. Another fact in support of this theory is, that the solar focus of the largest lens, thrown into the air, will occasion no sensible heat in the place where it has been kept for a considerable time, although its power of exciting combustion, when proper bodies are exposed to it, should be sufficient to fuse the most refractory substances.
The way in which we have considered the Sun is of the utmost importance in its consequences. That stars are suns, can scarcely admit of a doubt. Their immense distance would effectually exclude them from our view, if their light were not of the solar kind. Besides, the analogy may be traced much farther: the Sun turns on its axis ; so do many of the fixed stars ; perhaps, indeed, all ; and this will account for their periodical changes. If stars then are suns, and suns inhabitable, we see at once what an extensive field for animation opens to our view.
; Analogy may, indeed, induce us to conclude, that since stars appear to be suns, and suns, according to the common opinion, are bodies that serve to enlighten, warm, and sustain a system of planets, we may have an idea of the numberless globes that serye for the habitation of living creatures. But if these suns themselves are a sort of primary planets, we may see some thousands of them, at different times, with the naked eye, and millions with the help of te. lescopes; and, at the same time, the analogical reasoning still remains in full force with regard to the planets which these -suns uphold and support. .! · The Sun is accompanied in his progressive motion among the fixed stars by eleven planetary bodies, of different magnitudes, revolving round him, from west to east, in orbits approaching to circles, and vi. sible to us by means of the light which they receive from him. These are Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Juno, Pallas, Ceres, Vesta, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Georgian planet; which will be considered hereafter in their proper order.'
:: The Naturalist's Diary.
As yet the trembling year is unconfirmed,
IN February, the weather, in England, is usually variable, but most inclined to frost and snow. The thermometer is often down below the freezing point,, but is generally found at noon between 36° and 46°; towards the end of the month it sometimes rises to 50°, or even 520 or 54o. The severe weather, generally, breaks up with a sudden thaw, accompanied by wind and rain; torrents of water pour from the hills, and the snow is completely dissolved. Rivers swell and inundate the surrounding country, often carrying away bridges, cattle, mills, gates, &c. and causing great injury to the farmer. But so variable is the weather in this month, that frequently “frost again tisurps the year.
In the course of this month all nature begins, as it were, to prepare for its revivification. God, as the Psalmist expresses it, renews the face of the earth :' and animate and inanimate nature seem to vie with each other in opening the way to spring. About the 4th or 5th, the woodlark (alauda arborea), one of our earliest and sweetest songsters, renews his note; a week after, rooks begin to pair, and geese.(anas, anser) to lay; the thrush and the chaffinch sing ; turkey cocks strut and gobble; the yellow hamıner (emberiza citrinella) sings; and the green woodpecker (picus viridis) makes a loud noise.
Partridges (tetrao perdix) begin to pair ; the house pigeon has young; field crickets open their holes ; missel thrushes couple; and woods owls hoot :-gnats play about, and insects swarm under sunny hedges; frogs (rana temporaria) croak, and the stone-curlew rotis ædicnemus) clamours. By the latter end of this month, the raven (Corvus corax) has generally laid its eggs, and begun to sit. Moles (talpa europeus) commence their subterraneous operations. This animal makes its nest a little below the surface of the ground, forming a commodious apartment, where it prepares a warm bed of moss and herbage : from this there are several passages, in different directions, to which it can retreat, with its young ones, in case of danger ; into these, likewise, it makes excursions in quest of food. In the act of forming its
tracks or runs, it throws up large heaps of mould,
Congealed, the crocus' flạmy bud to glow?
He bids each flow'r his quick’ning word obey, . Or to each ling’ring bloom enjoins delay. WHITE.
The barren strawberry (fragraria sterilis), the laurustinus. (viburnum tinus), and the yew-tree (taxus baccata), are in flower. The elder-tree (sambucus nigra) begins to put forth its flower-buds, and the çatkins of the hazel are very conspicuous in the hedges. The gooseberry bush (ribes grossularia) and the red currant (ribes rubrum) show their young leaves about the end of the month. Many plants appear above ground in February, but few flowers, except the snowdrop, are to be found. This icicle, changed into a flower,' is sometimes fully opened from the beginning of the month. in : The husbandman is now eager to commence the work of ploughing, which important business is finished in this month, if the weather permit;-early -potatoes are set, hedges repaired, trees lopped, and wet lands drained. Poplars, willows, osiers, and other aquatics, are planted.
AMONG the Romans, March, from Mars, was the first month, and marriages made in this month, as well as in May, were accounted unhappy. "March is drawn in tawny, with a fierce aspect, a helmet upon his head, to shew this moneth was dedicated to Mars, his father; the sign Aries in his right hand, leaning upon a spade; in his left hand almond blossomies and scients; upon his arm a basket of garden-seeds.' (Peacham, p. 413). The Saxons called March ‘LentMonat, that is, according to our now orthography, Length-moneth, because the dayes did then first begin in length to exceed the nights. And this moneth being by our ancestors so called when they received Christianity, and consequently therewith the antient Chris. tian custome of fasting, they called this chiefe season of fasting, the fast of Lenet, because of the Lenetmonat, whereon the most part of the time of this fasting alwaies fell; and hereof it commeth that we now call it Lent, it being rather the fast of Lent, though