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Where have all the clouds and vapors gone to so suddenly? I thought, but knew they were plotting together some where behind the horizon. The sky was a deep ultramarine blue; the air so transparent that distant objects seemed near, and the afternoon shadows were sharp and clear. At night the stars were unusually numerous and bright (a sure sign of an approaching storm). The sky was laid bare, as the tidal wave empties the shore of its water before it heaps it up upon it.
A violent storm of wind and rain, the next day, followed this delusive brightness. So the weather, like human nature, may be suspiciously transparent. A saintly day may undo you. A few clouds do not mean rain ; but when there are absolutely none, when even the haze and filmy vapors are suppressed or held back, then beware.
Then, the weather-wise know there are two kinds of clouds, rainclouds and wind-clouds, and that the latter are always the most portentious. In summer, they are black as night ; they look as if they would blot out the very earth, They raise a great dust, and set things flying and slamming for a moment, and that is all. They are the veritable wind-bags of Æolus. There is somethng in the look of rain-clouds that is unmistakable,
,-a firm, gray, tightly woven look that makes you remember your umbrella. Not too high, nor too low, not black, nor blue, but the form and hue of wet, unbleached linen. You see the river water in them; they are heavy laden, and move slow. Sometimes they develop what are called "mares tails," --small cloud-forms here and there against a heavy background, that look like the stroke of a brush, or the streaming tail of a charger. Sometimes a few under-clouds will be combed and groomed by the winds or other meteoric agencies at work, as if for a race. I have seen coming storms develop well-deined vertebra, long backone of cloud, with the articulations and processes clearly marked. Any of these forms changing, growing, denote rain, because they show unusual agencies at work. The storm is brewing and fermenting “See those cowlicks,” said an old farmer, pointing to certain patches on the clouds; "they mean rain.” Another time, he said the clouds were making bag," had growing udders, and that it would rain before night, as it did. This reminded me that the Orientals speak of the clouds as cows which the winds herd and milk.
In the winter, we see the sun wading in snow. The morning has perhaps been clear, but in the afternoon a bank of gray filmy or cirrus cloud meets him in the west, and he sinks deeper and deeper into it, till, at his going down, his muffled beams are entirely hidden. Then, on the morrow, not
“ Announced by all the trumpets of the sky," but silent as night, the white legions are here.
The old signs seldom fail,- ,-a red and angry sunrise, or flushed clouds at evening. Many a hope of rain have I seen dashed by a painted sky at sunset. There is truth in the old couplet, too :
"If it rains before seven,
It will clear before eleron."
When the fog leaves the mountains, reaching upward, as if afraid of being left behind, the fair weather is near.
Shoddy clouds are of little account, and soon fall to pieces. Have your clouds show a good strong fibre and have them lined, -not with silver, but with other clouds of a finer texture,--and have them wadded. It wants two or three thicknesses to get up a good rain. Especially, unless you have that cloud-mother, that dim, filmy, nebulo:s mass that has its root in the higher regions of the air, and is the source and backing of all storms, -your rain will be light indeed.—John Burroughs, in Scribner's Monthly.
REMINISCENCE OF 1855-A TERRIBLE SCENE.
The perils attendant on crossing the river have sunk into insignificance compared with former dangers. Victoria Bridge and the Grand Trunk Railway Company aftord New York the much required facilities since the completion of the former great work at the close of 1859. We give the following account of an affair which caused much excitement in Montreal when it occurred. It was the 23rd of April (St. George's Day), and the severity of the winter had rendered the clearing of the harbor somewhat a difficult matter for the spring sun and mild temperature. Passengers for New York in those days crossed the river in ferry-boats in summer and on the ice in winter. About thirty persons, including many ladies, set out to cross on this particular day in April, 1855. Among those whose names are known to us were Dr. Reddy, his wife and infant, with their servant ; Mr. Henry Prince, well known in musical circles ; Thomas Hood, now Alderman, representing the St. Antoine Ward in the Council ; Mr. Silverman, Dr. Crawford, son of the eminent surgeon of that name, and a Mr. Sanderson, with others whose names are not now known to us. The ice was not very good as may be supposed for such a time of the year, and the party were obliged to walk the distance, under the direction of a stalwart voyageur, whose assistants dragged the luggage along in large sleds. It was a bright, warm day, the sky clear and the sun's heat almost unbearable, while the glare of the ice and snow of the river reflected its rays with blinding effect. The party set out for Longueuil, the voyageur leading and probing the ice with a long pole, armed
at the end with an iron hook, while he divided his time between masticating tobacco and assuring his followers that there was no danger. Nearly every one had commenced to believe him, and the centre of the river had been reached, whep loud, gunlike reports from the direction of the site of Victoria Bridge startled the party. Every one grew alarmed. Still the voyageur assured them there was no danger. But the pace of each quickened, and there was fear at the heartstrings which no one cared to acknowledge to his neighbor. Not a word was said, and in the stillness that followed a cessation of conversation the noise of the breaking ico grew louder. Suddenly the party of travellers became aware that the ice which alone intervened between them and eternity, was on the move. Slowly, trembling at first, but certainly, the mass commenced to move downward, and then, one after another, immense
THE AMERICAN NEWS COMPANY,
Publisher' Agents, New York.
masses were breaking up and piling one over the other. The party acted as if paralyzed for a moment. Suddenly Alderman Hood, who was picking his way along, nearly disappeared through the honeycombed ice, his arms spreading out instinctively preventing him from being carried off. The ladies shrieked; there was a little scattering of the party ; Ald. Hood managed to scramble out, and then it was every man ir himself and the ladies. The latter, cool and trusting to the advice cf the gentlemen, pressed on towards Longueuil, and piece after piece of ice was abandoned as other huge fragments would tower over the lieads of the unfortunate travellers, threatening to engulf them in the claos into which the ice was being involved. Many mishaps occurred, marrow and providential escapes happened, which the spectator had barely time to notice, ere he was himself called to a sense of impending danger. On towards Longueuil went the travellers, struggling bravely for dear life. But a new danger threatened. The current set from Longueuil to the opposite shore, and finally clear water iixposed a barrier between the now completely terrified people and the Longueuil shore. But there was not much time for lamentations. The constant breaking up of the ice on which they stood required vigilance, and the ever-moving ice caused the development of a muscular activity on the part of persons who must have been surprised in looking back to the
If there was activity and terror among the ice-beleagured party, there was a corresponding feeling of excitement among the friends of persons on shore. The relatives of those who had a few moments before parted with their loved ones, realized to the fullest extent the peril to which the shoving ice exposed them ; while, more terrible to think of still, they knew that no human help could reach their endangered friends from the Montreal side, and the groups of scores which in those days were always to be found at the river banks, increased to hundreds. Glasses were levelled, and the progress of the party watched breathlessly. When a man fell inte the water, no one saw him pulled out again in the momentary excitement, and rumors were afloat before long that more than half of the thirty or thirty-five persons had been either drowned or crushed in the ice press.
On the Longueuil side alone could help reach the party, and every cxertion was made to reach the spot. Ill-conditioned canoes and skiffs were launched and manned, and their progress watched with intense in. terest. It was a matter of no ordinary difficulty to pull a boat through the water of the bay, covered with floating ice, and strenuous as were the exertions of the boatmen, to the endangered persons on the ice their speed seemed slothful indeed. To those on the ice the suspense was terrible. Already several men had given up the struggle, and drenched 10 the skin from repeated immersions, refused to make further exertions. Mr. Sanderson became so terror-stricken at the surroundings that he became perfectly helpless, and in a few moments took a fit from which he gradually sank until he died. With his dead body, the almost inanimate forms of others who had been with difficulty rescued from the water, the scene when the first boat from Longueuil reached the ice field, was indeed appalling.
At last the prayed for boats arrived, and the dangerous work of embarking commenced. The ladies first, and then the helpless and half-drowned men, with Mr. Sanderson's body, were safely placed in the dug-out, and the boat commenced the return trip, laden almost to her gunwale. Alderman Hood was the last man off the ice, and had a swim for life before he managed to embark. The passengers safe, bag; gage was next looked up, and save a trunk belonging to Dr. Reddy and an overcoat of Alderman Hood's, all were saved, Mr. Sanderson's death being the only serious casuality recorded. This, after spending about an hour on the breaking ice--jumping from one piece to the other as each mass swayed and tossed in the flood.—Montreal Witness.
FIRST ARRIVALS IN THE PORT OF MONTREAL.
1859.... Muskrat & Grand Trunk, No. 3rd April.
29th March. On March 25th, 1825, a steamer arrived in Montreal from Boucherville.
There are two animated barometers in Sacramento, Cal., that have proved trustworthy, even where artificial instruments have failed. One of them is a catfish, 'which is kept in a water-trough. No matter how clear the weather may be, this fish always, before a storm, makes it a point to swim about with his head below the water and his tail above. When the rain begins to fall he goes out of sight until the weather changes. The other is a couple of frogs under the floor of the police office, which have never yet been seen by any of the officers, but who presage a storm several hours in advance of the barometrical indications, by a series of peculiarly discordant croaks. No matter how clear and bright the night, the police officers then make it a point to prepare for a storm, and the warning has never proved in vain.
THE AMERICAN NEWS COMPANY,
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER. An aged resident of Hartford remembers that the winter of 1829-30 surpassed this in mildness ; farmers ploughed every month in the season, and no snow fell till February 2. The winter was followed, however, by a cold, backward spring, with a snow storm in May, which killed the returning swallows.
As an offset to the above story, one of the old residents of Derby tells us the year 1816 is what is known as the “ year without a summer. Old New England farmers refer to it as “ eighteen hundred and starved to death.” January was mild, as was also February, with the exception of a few days. The greater part of March was cold and boisterous. April opened warm, but grew colder as it advanced, ending with snow and ice, and winter cold. In May ice formed half an inch thick, buds and flowers were frozen, and corn was killed. Frost, ice and snow were common in June. Almost everything green was killed, and fruit was nearly all destroyed. Snow fell to the depth of three inches in New York and Massachusetts, and ten inches in Maine. July was accompanied with frost and ice. On the 5th ice was formed of the thickness of window glass, in New York, New England and parts of Pennsylvania, and corn was nearly all destroyed in certain sections. In August ice formed half an inch thick. Corn was so frozen that a great deal was cut down and dried for fodder. Very little ripened in the New England and Middle States. Farmers were obliged to pay $4 to $5 a bushe! for corn of 1815 for the next spring's planting. The first two weeks of September were mild ; the balance of the month was cold, with frost, and ice formed a quarter of an inch thick. October was more than usually cold, with frost and ice. November was cold and blustering, with snow enough for good sleighing. December was quite mild and comfortable.- Windermere (Conn.) Weekly Forum, 1878.
DRINKS IN Hot WEATHER.--An interesting correspondence is going on in the London daily and agricultural papers relating to “drinks in hot weather.” An article by Dr. Parker, called “Personal Care of Health,” is quoted, in which the writer says, “If you wish to keep good health in old age, never touch spirits, and abstain from beer altogether.” The best drink, writes Mr. J. G Sproston, for this hot weather is thin oatmeal and water, with a little sugar. Rice water, as used in India, made palatable, is also recommended for its cooling and nutritious qualities. One ounce of coffee and half an ounce of sugar, boiled in two quarts of water and cooled, is said to be a very thirstquenching drink.
THE PLACE WHERE THE SUN JUMPS A DAY.-Chatham Island, lying off the coast of New Zealand, in the South Pacific Ocean, is peculiarly situated, as it is one of the habitable points of the globe where the day of the week changes. It is just in the line of demarcation between dates. There, at high twelve, Sunday noon ceases, and instantly Monday meridian begins. Sunday comes into the man's house on the East side, and becomes Monday by the time it