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structors. We shall subjoin the following remarks from “Researches about Atmospheric Phenomena, London, 1823, p. 202 :
On Winds, and on the Construction of Vanes.--I have lately remarked a circumstance with regard to the change of Winds, which I have never heard mentioned by Meteorologists, and which may therefore be worth noticing. I have observed, that when the current next the Earth has changed its direction, it has frequently got into and blown from the quarter from which an upper current had previously blown. I was first apprized of this, by observing the motion of an upper stratum of clouds to be different from that of those which were lower, and by the lower clouds afterwards taking the direction of those above; but as I had few opportunities of observing this circumstance, I thought it merely accidental. Subsequent observations on the various directions of Air Balloons, and the succeeding changes of the wind, have convinced me that it is frequently the case, that the changes of the winds begin above, and are propagated downwards; and I have observed this of several successive currents.
Persons who are desirous of making these observations, should have Windvanes accurately constructed, and should compare their indications with those of the clouds above. Weathercocks should be made with a ball of oil at the top, so constructed as to keep dropping into the circular cylinder on which the fan turns round. I had a Vane of this sort constructed, which had a small bell suspended from the point, so that at every change of the wind I was apprized of it by the ringing of this Tintinnabulum, as I sat under the trees of the Elm Grove at Walthamstow; and I could, in some instances, hear the sound when in the house at some distance. I contrived this machine in order to ascertain the sort of gales which might blow, as I found them at times blowing straight and steady, but at others so irregular and unsteady, as to produce a constant horizontal vibration of the fan; the consequence was, that the pointed side of the Weathercock corresponding in its motion with it, the little bell kept constantly ringing. I can safely recommend the use of these sort of Vanes, as they are very accurate indicators of the wind, when constantly lubricated with oil made to drip into them, and they last a long while without wanting repair. The one above alluded to at Walthamstow was put up in April, 1817, and is still in good order. The same plan has since been followed in other places.
Vanes are of ancient invention, and one of the most perfect was the Aurologium, placed in the garden of Varro;
but though so long known, they have never been much improved. At the Exchanges of London, of Lubeck, of Amsterdam, and of other great commercial towns, they have indices in the chamber below where they are fixed, and these indices are made to move round a face like that of a clock on the wall, the particular wind being indicated on the dial. The flêche or sagittiform fan is the best shape for Vanes; but almost any preponderance of surface over weight on the side to be moved by the Wind, is enough in moderate breezes to indicate their direction, as we may assure ourselves by observing the cumbersome and whimsical forms of Dragons, Foxes, Griffins, Half Moons, and other capricious devices, which are set up for Weathercocks on steeples and other lofty buildings. When the breeze is very gentle, however, such grotesque Vanes are apt to become useless. The Dragon on Bowchurch Steeple, the St. Michael on the Hotel de Ville at Bruxelles, and the Grasshopper on the Royal Exchange of London, do not gyrate with those slight movements of the air that impelthe: Vanes which turn the indices at Lloyd's, and the Office of the Insurance Company. The Vanes were said to have been originally cut out in the form of a Cock, and placed on the tops of churches during the holy ages, as an emblem of clerical vigilance; hence the name of Weathercock, in German Wetterhahn.-Vide Beckman's Erfindungen, vol. i.
Du Cange observes, “ In summitate crucis quae campanario vulgo imponitur galli gallinacei effigi solet figura quae ecclesiae rectores vigilantiae admoneat.”
May 23. St. Julia, V. M. St. Desiderius, Bp. of
Vienne, M. St. Desiderius, Bp. of Langres.
St. Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, and was sold to a pagan merchant of Syria, after the taking of Carthage by Genseric in 439.
Vulcano Maine Tubilustrium.-Rom. Cal.
CHRONOLOGY.-Battle of Ramilies in 1706. Flora. - The Purple Goatsbeard Tragopogon porrifolius and the Yellow Goatsbeard Tragopogon pratensis begin to blow.
Of all the indices in the HOROLOGIUM FLORAE the above two plants are the most regular: they open their flowers at sunrise, and shut them so regularly at midday, that they have been called by the whimsical name of Go to Bed. at Noon. They are as regular as a clock, and are mentioned as such in the following verses :
Retired Leisure's Delight.
Along the wall of some neat old Dutch town,
From Stadhause Steeple; then to lay one down
Smell sweetly, and the mead's in bloomy prime,
And closing says, Arise, 'tis dinner time;
And roam away the afternoon in Tulip Beds. Pales.-Cattle are usually sent to the pastures before this time; and the juices of the young springing grass contribute to render the milk of the Cows more abundant and of a finer quality. The Dairy now occupies attention.
The full charged udder yields its willing streams,
Tugs o'er her pail and chants with equal glee.
COELUM.—The corn is benefited by a cold and windy May, as it is too apt to run into stalk, if the progress of vegetation be much accelerated by warm weather at this season. In late years, some sowing remains to be done, and in forward ones the weeds should be well kept under.
May 24. St. Vincent. St. John of Prado, M.
SS. Donatian and Rogatian.
Regifugium alterum.-Rom. Cal. CHRONOLOGY. – LINNAEI NATALIS. — The birth of Linnaeus is celebrated among naturalists by an anniversary dinner on this day. The Linnean Society of London strictly observe this annual custom to dine together in London.
Flora.-We shall subjoin today a catalogue of the principal garden and field plants at present blowing, in order to give the reader an idea of the appearance of the VERNAL FLORA, and of the general face of Nature at this period.
Plants which compose the VERNAL Flora in the Garden.
DWARP PEONY P. humilis.
WALLFlower Chierunthus cheiri, numerously, both single and double sorts.
STOCK GILLIFLOWER Chiranthus fruticulosus beginning. Of this plant there are red, white, and purple varieties; also double Stocks.
Yellow ASPHODEL Asphodelus luteus.
COLUMBINE Aquilegia vulgaris begins to flower, and has several varieties in gardens.
Great STAR OF BETHLEHEM Ornithogalum umbellatum.
In the fields.
The fields are quite yellow with the above genus. Meadow LYCHNIS Lychnis Flos Cuculi. Campion Lychnis Lychnis dioica under hedges in our chalky soils.
GERMANDER SPEEDWELL Veronica chamaedris on banks, covering thein with its lively blue, comparable only to the Borage or the Cynoglossum Omphalodes, still blowing and luxuriant in gardens.
MouseÁr Scorpion Grass Myosotus Scorpioides.
Hedge GERANIUM Geranium Robertianum; also several other wild Geraniums.
KIDLOCK Sinapis arvensis.
We might add numerous others, which will be found noticed on the days when they usually first flower. Besides these many of the plants of the Primaveral Flora still remain in blow, as Violets, Heartseases, Hepaticas, Narcissi, some Hyacinths, Marsh Marigolds, Wood Anemonies, Garden Ånemonies, &c. &c. The Cuckoo Pint, or Lord and Lady Arum, is now in prime.
Linnaeus was certainly the first who made botany into a regular science, though his system is not nearly so natural as that of Jussieu and the French School. Before Linnaeus botany was merely a sort of florist passion for flowers.
It does not appear, according to the researches of Beckmann and other antiquarians, that either the Greeks or Romans indulged a taste for flowers; nothing appears that would imply their having gardens set apart for the culture of these pleasing objects ; or that they ever endeavoured to improve their own wild and indigenous plants, or imported others from foreign countries. We can only consider the florid description of the garden of Alcinoüs as the effusion of poetry; and those of Cicero and Pliny were only vineyards with grottoes, alcoves, and arbours. It is not, in fact, above three centuries ago that our own gardens were, probably, in point of taste as well as of products, even inferior to those of the Greeks and Romans : and, for most of the embellishments we now possess of flowerbeds, shrubberies, and conservatories, we are indebted to Oriental countries.
The nations among whom a taste for flowers was first discovered to prevail in modern times were China, Persia, and Turkey. The vegetable treasures of the Eastern world were assembled at Constantinople, whence they passed into Italy, Germany, and Holland, and from the latter into England; and since botany has assumed the character of a science, we have laid the whole world under contribution for trees and shrubs and flowers, which we have not only made our own, but generally improved in vigour and beauty. The passion for flowers preceded that of ornamental gardening. The Dutch system of straight walks, enclosed by high clipped hedges of Yew or Holly, at length prevailed; and Tulips and Hyacinths bloomed under the sheltered windings of the “ Walls of Troy,” most ingeniously traced in Box and Yew. A taste for gardening, which, however formal, is found at length to be preferable to the absurd winding paths and the close imitation of wild nature by art, which modern gardenmakers have pretended to of late years. The learned Baron Maseres used to say, “ Such a garden was to be had every where wild in Summer, and in a garden formality was preferable."