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other astronomical calculations, which may be briefly enumerated here, and some of which will be illustrated in the subsequent pages. From what is explained above, it is obvious that it is necessary in finding the latitude of a place from an observation of the meridian altitude of the Sun; and it is also equally requisite in finding the latitude from two observed altitudes with the interval of time between them. It is likewise used in computing the Sun's azimuth from his altitude and the latitude of the place, in order to find the variation of the mariner's compass; as well as in computing the Sun's altitude from the latitude of the place and the horary angle. The Sun's declination is also necessary to be used in calculating the apparent time from an observed altitude of the Sun at a distance from the meridian, the latitude of the place of observation being known; or to compute the time of the Sun's rising and setting. For any of these purposes, the declination taken from the table should be reduced to that corresponding to the required time, by the preceding proportion.

The Naturalist's Diary

For JANUARY 1820.
Soft floated the clouds in the fields of blue ether;

The earth with fresh flowers was still covered o'er;
Like Egypt's enchantress, whom age could not wither,

They bloomed, though the season of youth was no more.
The voice of delight was long heard from the thorn,

Its tenants no end to their happiness knew';
The evening of love was as sweet as its morn,

And the bird of the spring lingered all the year thro'.
And even that day, whose return we revere,

Though often it lours in our northern skies,
Arose with mild aspect, unclouded, and clear,

As of old it appeared to the Bethlemites' eyes. Such is the poetical description of the winter of 1818-19, as it was experienced in England. The singularly mild temperature of this winter, and the

want of frost and snow, was not confined to our own island; it was equally observed in almost all parts of the European Continent. In Sweden, and most parts of Russia, they had, instead of the usual degree of cold, a temperature of several degrees above the freezing point. This was the case even in Lapland, to the north of Tornea, where, instead of the usual cold of 200 of Reaumur, they had 69 of warmth. This want of frost and snow proved a serious inconvenience in these northern regions, by preventing the conveyance of the iron ore from the mines in Sweden to the smelting houses; and in Russia, the carriage of goods from the interior to the seaports for exportation, which is regularly done in the

winter, when the hard frozen ground, covered with snow many feet deep, affords a solid, even, and commodious road.

From the Meteorological Journal kept at the Botanic Garden of Geneva, the same phenomenon, of want of snow, appears to have occurred on the Alps. In the three months of October, November, and December, there was only once so much as a white frost. In the whole course of November, says the Journal, 'the snow has not lain a single day on the mountains that surround our lake. This is a phenomenon of which the oldest inhabitants can remember no previous instance. The wheat is remarkably beautiful; the cattle are still in pasture as in the month of September. The same Journal, for December, says, the continued fineness of the temperature, during this month, is without parallel in our country. Mount Jura, which is generally covered with snow in November, is still almost totally free from it to-day, the 31st of December. There is none at all on the summit of La Dole, and very little on the summits near fort L'Ecluse. In consequence of the dryness of the temperature all the year, the springs are very low, and we begin to be uneasy for next year, seeing that the mountains have no snow at all on them.'

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Although, of late years, comparatively without snow, the month of January is not without its storms of wind and rain.

From the pallid sky the sun descends,
With many a spot, that o'er his glaring orb
Uncertain wanders; stained, red fiery streaks
Begin to flush around. The reeling clouds
Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet
Which master to obey : while rising slow,
Blank, in the leaden-coloured east, the moon
Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns.
Seen thro' the turbid fluctuating air,
The stars obtuse emit a shivered ray;
Or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom,
And long behind them trail the whitening blaze.
Snatched in short eddies, plays the withered leaf;
And on the flood the dancing feather floats.
With broadened nostrils to the sky up-turned,
The conscious heifer snuffs the stormy gale.
Even as the matron, at her nightly task,
With pensive labour draws the flaxen thread,
The wasted taper and the crackling flame
Foretel the blast. But chief the plamy race,
The tenants of the sky, its changes speak.
Retiring from the downs, where all day long
They picked their scanty fare, a blackening train
Of clamorous rooks thick urge their weary flight,
And seek the closing shelter of the grove;
Assiduous, in his bower, the wailing owl
Plies his sad song. The cormorant on high
Wheels from the deep, and screams along the land.
Loud shrieks the soaring hern, and with wild wing
The circling sea-fowl cleave the flaky clouds.
Ocean, unequal pressed, with broken tide
And blind commotion heaves ; while from the shore,
Eat into caverns by the restless wave,
And forest-rustling mountain, comes a voice,

That, solemn sounding, hids the world prepare.
The numerous tribes of birds now quit their re-
treats in search of food. The red-breast (sylvia rube-
cula') begins to sing ; larks ( alaudu arvensis) congre-

' Epitaph on a ROBIN REDBREAST.
Tread lightly here, for here, 'tis said,
When piping winds are hushed around,
A small note wakes from underground,
Where now his tiny bones are laid.

gate, and fly to the warm stubble for shelter; and the nut-hatch sitta europea) is heard. The shell-less snail or slug [imax) makes its appearance, and commences its depredations on garden plants and green wheat. The missel thrush (turdus viscivorus) begins its song. This bird sings between the flying showers, and continues its note till the beginning of August. His food consists of berries and insects, but principally the former. The fruit of the hawthorn, elder, spindle-tree, sloe, and holly, occasionally supply him; but the misseltoe, from whence he takes his name of viscivorus, is his favourite food. As bird-lime is often made of its glutinous berries, and this thrush is supposed to increase the misseltoe by depositing the seeds he has swallowed on other trees, he is said, in a Latin proverb, to propagate the means of his own destruction.

Oh, herald of the Spring! while yet
No harebell scents the woodland lane,
Nor starwort fair, nor violet,
Braves the bleak gust and driving rain,
'Tis thine, as thro' the copses rude
Some pensive wanderer sighs along,
To sooth him with thy chearful song,
And tell of Hope and Fortitude !
For thee, then, may the hawthorn bush,
The elder, and the spindle tree
With all their various berries blush,
And the blue sloe abound for thee!
For thee, the coral holly glow
Its armed and glossy leaves among,
And many a branched oak be hung
With thy pellucid misseltoe.

No more in lone and leafless groves,
With ruffled wing and faded breast,
His friendless, homeless spirit roves;

-Gone to the world where birds are blest!
Where never cat glides o'er the green,
Or school-boy's giant form is 'seen;
But Love, and Joy, and smiling Spring
Inspire their little souls to sing !


Still may thy pest, with lichen lined,
Be bidden from th' invading jay,
Nor truant boy its covert find,
To bear thy callow young away;
So thou, precursor still of good,
0, herald of approaching Spring,
Shalt to the pensive wanderer sing

Thy song of Hope and Fortitude! The hedge-sparrow (sylvia modularis) and the thrush (turdus musicus) now begin to sing. The wren, also, pipes her perennial lay,' even among the flakes of snow. The titmouse (parus) pulls straw out of the thatch, in search of insects; linnets (fringilla linota) congregate; and rooks (corvus frugilegus) resort to their nest trees. Pullets begin to lay; young lambs are dropped now.

The house sparrow (fringilla domestica) chirps; the bat (vespertilio) appears ; spiders shoot out their webs; and the blackbird (turdus merula) whistles. The fieldfares, red-wings, skylarks, and titlarks, resort to watered meadows for food, and are, in part, supported by the gnats which are on the snow, near the water. The tops of tender turnips and ivy-berries afford food for the graminivorous birds, as the ringdove, &c. Earth-worms lie out on the ground, and the shell-snail (helix nemoralis) appears. See some lines to the snail in T. T. for 1818, p. 23.

Of the uses of snow, particularly its important services to vegetation, we have spoken at large in our former volumes. The late expedition to the Arctic Regions has made us acquainted with a variety of this elegant phenomenon of nature, in the shape of crimson snow; its appearance is thus described in Capt. Ross's Voyage :

* August 17. We discovered that the snow on the face of the cliffs presented an appearance both novel and interesting, being apparently stained, or covered by some substance, which gave it a deep crimson colour. At2 P.M. it fell nearly calm, and I sent a boat with Mr. Ross, midshipman, and Mr. Beverley,

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