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The Philosophy of the Weather And a Guide to Its Changes   By:

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THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE WEATHER. AND A GUIDE TO ITS CHANGES.

BY T. B. BUTLER.

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON & COMPANY, NOS. 346 & 348 BROADWAY. 1856.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by T. B. BUTLER, In the Clerks Office of the District Court of the District of Connecticut.

ELECTROTYPED BY THOMAS B. SMITH, 82 & 84 Beekman Street.

PRINTED BY J. F. TROW, 379 Broadway.

INTRODUCTION.

The atmospheric conditions and phenomena which constitute "The Weather" are of surpassing interest. Now, we rejoice in the genial air and warm rains of spring, which clothe the earth with verdure; in the alternating heat and showers of summer, which insure the bountiful harvest; in the milder, ripening sunshine of autumn; or the mantle of snow and the invigorating air of a moderate winter's day. Now, again, we suffer from drenching rains and, devastating floods, or excessive and debilitating heat and parching drought, or sudden and unseasonable frost, or extreme cold. And now, death and destruction come upon us or our property, at any season, in the gale, the hurricane, or the tornado; or a succession of sudden or peculiar changes blight our expected crops, and plant in our systems the seeds of epidemic disease and death. These, and other normal conditions, and varied changes, and violent extremes, potent for good or evil, are continually alternating above and around us. They affect our health and personal comfort, and, through those with whom we are connected, our social and domestic enjoyments. They influence our business prosperity directly, or indirectly, through our near or remote dependence upon others. They limit our pleasures and amusements they control the realities of to day, and the anticipations of to morrow. None can prudently disregard them; few can withhold from them a constant attention. Scientific men, and others, devote to them daily hours of careful observation and registration. Devout Christians regard them as the special agencies of an over ruling Providence. The prudent, fear their sudden, or silent and mysterious changes; the timid, their awful manifestations of power; and they are, to each and all of us, ever present objects of unfailing interest.

This interest finds constant expression in our intercourse with each other. A recent English writer has said: "The germ of meteorology is, as it were, innate in the mind of every Englishman the weather is his first thought after every salutation." In the qualified sense in which this was probably intended, it is, doubtless, equally true of us. Indeed, it is often not only a "first thought" after a salutation, but a part of the salutation itself an offspring of the same friendly feeling, or a part of the same habit, which dictates the salutation an expression of sympathy in a subject of common and absorbing interest a sorrowing or rejoicing with those who sorrow or rejoice in the frowns and smiles of an ever changing, ever influential atmosphere.

If consistent with our purpose, it would be exceedingly interesting to trace the varied forms of expression in use among different classes and callings, and see how indicative they are of character and employment.

The sailor deals mainly with the winds of the hour, and to him all the other phases of the weather are comparatively indifferent. He speaks of airs, and breezes, and squalls, and gales, and hurricanes; or of such appearances of the sky as prognosticate them. The citizens, whose lives are a succession of days , deal in such adjectives as characterize the weather of the day , according to their class, or temperament, or business; and it is pleasant, or fine, or very pleasant or fine; beautiful, delightful, splendid, or glorious; or unpleasant, rainy, stormy, dismal, dreadful or horrible. The farmer deals with the weather of considerable periods; with forward or backward seasons , with "cold snaps" or "hot spells," and "wet spells" or "dry spells." And there are many intermediate varieties... Continue reading book >>




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