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petus of the propelling power, that it would have carried up even small fish, or any other light body, in its way. It was quite perpendicular, and seemed at first to be thicker at the summit than below, resembling a trumpet. Its density was so great, that many persons thought it was the smoke of some fire on the sands, but the most compared it to the steam from a large brewhouse or steam-engine. The gyrating motion resembled a screw or the Cornu ammonis, and with this exception, and a more bulging character near the clouds, many respectable witnesses have assured me it was very much-like the drawing in Wol. W. Plate I. Fig. 1. b, of the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal. I can get no precise idea with regard to its velocity, some persons believing it travelled with less speed than they could run, others thinking they could not have kept pace with it. By comparing the time of its duration with the ground it passed over, which must have been at least half a mile, we may arrive at some approximation to the truth ; and although I have been told by some it was not seen for more than three, and others for ten minutes, when I consider that all agree in thinking themselves able to have got out of its reach, I should be inclined to believe that its course would have been at about seven miles an hour. The noise was very peculiar, and brought many people to their windows to see what was the matter. Some describe it as imitating the roaring of a great wind; some a crackling noise like a house on fire; a military gentleman informed me it resembled the explosion of a mine under water; but the majority considered it like the rumbling of heavy carriages. Another variation from the account given of a former one in your Journal, is, that the water was certainly not agitated till touched by the column; and although the foam was not less than 80 yards in diameter, and reached the ship's topmast, about 70 or 80 feet in height, the sea at a very small distance was as tranquil as usual. The altitude of the column of wind varied; and as, in the hurry of such a moment, no one would have an instrument to measure the angles with, considerable differences of opinion on this point prevail. There seemed to be a conformity of sentiment that clouds were never seen so low before as those from whence this meteor proceeded. There was no discharge of light either above or below, nor sound like that of a sudden and momentary explosion, but the noise was a continued roar: a faint stream, resembling thin vapour, was, however, perceived descending from the cloud above. The thermometer rose that day to 58°, where it has remained with very little variation since. The barometer I noted, ten or fifteen minutes after the hurricane, at 294. It fell on the 29th to 29}, but since the subsequent storm it has risen to 293. The opposing currents of wind were remarkable; the lower stratum after coming a little while on Thursday evening from the W.SW., again shifted to the N.NE.; but the clouds above still continued to pass from the S.SW. This opposite state of the wind existed till Sunday the 29th, the weather remaining dry, with some occasional deviation, and fans and streamers pointing in different directions, according to their elevation, when a storm of thunder of unwonted energy burst over our heads from the W.SW. about 1 P. M. The lightning was most vivid, and accompanied with heavy showers of hail. About an hour after the storm, the barometer began to rise, but the clouds continued to come from the S.W., whilst the weathercocks on the church and in the town stood in the NE, as they had done in the morning. The atmosphere became very warm, and the wind again setting E.N.E., we had soon clear and settled weather for the first time these three weeks. The cause of these phenomena, as explained by Franklin, seems to be contrary to the known laws of pneumatics. How could a vacuum preserve itself one moment against the superincumbent pressure of the atmosphere P" Besides, if the water had been raised in one continued column, it could not have ascended higher than 32 feet. Capper, on “Winds and Monsoons,” explains it in a similar manner; but the necessity of a vacuity is by no means clear to me, as the impetus of the gyrating motion of the wind is quite sufficient to take up water in its whirls. Darwin imagined that it may be produced by a cold stratum of air descending and displacing a lower one of higher temperature; but the extreme cold of the earth's surface which we have endured of late, renders this theory equally improbable as a primary cause, for a fire on the ground should be followed with more violent effects. Impenetrable as the arcana of Nature seem to be, the eye of the philosopher must turn to electrical science alone, veiled as she is in darkness and uncertainty, for a true explanation. The connection of electricity with galvanic, magnetic, and chemical attraction,—its universal agency in pointing the thunderbolt, as well as in forming a drop of water, unequivocally elevate it, as far as finite search can reach, to the dignity and station of first causes. Kirwan observes, that “winds appear to begin at that point towards which they blow.” Hence we may easily suppose the operation of this powerful agent acting in one common centre, in the opposite currents of wind; the violent and instantaneous agitation of the clouds,-their rapid attraction and repulsion from one common point, their sudden descent from this centre to the earth, their partial influence on the waters below; the whole immediately following a thunder-storm of undoubted electrical origin, and taking the same direction from the west with both that and the violent storm a few days afterwards, Dr Franklin's opinion of the identity of water-spouts and whirlwinds, is strongly corroborated by the instance before us. The ancients seem also to have considered them modifications of each other. Lucretius thus describes the prester or water-spout:

* See the Honourable Captain Napier's Paper on Waterspouts in this Journal, Vol. VII, p. 99.—Ed.

“For as the cone descends, from every point
A dread tornado lashes it without,
In gyre perpetual, through its total fall:
Till, ocean gained, the congregated storm
Gives its full fury to th’ uplifted waves,
Tortur'd and torn, loud howling midst the fray.
Oft, too, the whirlwind from the clouds around
Fritters some fragments, and itself involves
Deep in a cloudy pellicle, and close
Mimics the prester, length'ning slow from heaven;
Till, earth attain'd, th’ involving web abrupt
Bursts, and the whirlwind vomits, and the storm,” &c. &c.
Good's Translation.

As the thunder-storm on the 29th was unusually severe, and as it is somewhat connected with my subject, for I am convinced it settled the unseasonable state of the weather, I perhaps may be excused in detailing its effects on a house which it struck, in the occupation of my friend Mr Greave. This building faces

the south; the tempest came from the S.S.W.; the lightning was seen to strike it near the centre. Without injuring either the brick-wall or window, which was shut, and through which it must have obliquely passed, it struck the screw of the upper bed-post, ascended the pillar, shivered it into numerous splinters, some of which still hung horizontally by small portions slightly attached. It then passed along the bell-wire at the head of the bed to the first turn, which it left, and descended in a zigzag direction, splitting open the paper from the wall, to the apartment below. It now took another bell-wire, and sent off a portion over the face of a looking-glass, without doing any injury farther than tearing the paper below as before. The remaining stream proceeded to the corner, and gave off another portion which tore the paper down to the moulding. The original line still continuing along the bell-wire, made its last turn, went down the wall, splitting open the paper, leaped over a miniature, and again tearing away the paper and plaster underneath, disappeared at the fire-place. The maid-servant hearing a little dog screaming violently, ran into the apartment, where she saw a blaze as if it was on fire. The room was full of smoke of sulphureous odour. She was instantly knocked down as from an electrical machine, and felt as though on fire. On attempting to rise, she was so benumbed as to fall again; but at length she succeeded in getting up stairs, where she found the bed-chamber as full of smoke as the last. She screamed out, and endeavoured to sit down. When she was well enough to reach the outer door, she was much relieved, but complained of soreness, stiffness and swelling of the throat, headache, and great numbness of the limbs. In the evening her numbness was subsiding, her tongue very dry, and the throat shewed no signs of inflammation, although it still felt very sore; her neck was stiff, and although it had been covered at the time with a silk handkerchief, was marked with several red lines, as if scorched or struck with a cane: the same appearances were observed in her legs. Notwithstanding, she was much better the next day; she had not yet been able to taste food, was very thirsty, and a little severish, the soreness of the skin gradually disappearing. The dog was not injured, probably from the non-conducting properties of his coat. No perforation could be discovered through the walls,

vol. x. No. 19, JAN, 1824. B

nor any traces of fire or charring could be found in the course of the electrical fluid. The upper and lower winds, after continuing a little while from SSW. and NNE., have since blown uniformly from the E.N.E., and the weather is now quite settled.

July 1823.

ART. III.—Observations on the Heights of the Himalaya

Mountains, with the Measurements of Lieut. A. GERARD and

Mr J. GERARD. By WILLIAM LLoyd, Captain of the Ben

gal Army. - Is the fourteenth volume of the Asiatic Researches, printed at Calcutta, there is a memoir of great interest on the heights of the principal Snowy Peaks of the Himalaya Mountains, by Captain J. A. Hodgson and Lieutenant J. D. Herbert; and it is really lamentable to observe in a work of such deserved reputation, and which is so widely circulated, the numerous errors of the press that in a particular manner mark that paper. A brief extract of that memoir has just been published in the Eighteenth Number of the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, with a table of the general results of those valuable, extensive, and laborious operations; which, although correctly copied from the Calcutta edition of the Asiatic Researches, does not exhibit the true heights of the Snowy Peaks, and which is calculated to confound the stations of the Great Triangulation with the Peaks themselves. At page 312 of the Calcutta edition of the Researches (14th volume), there is a table designated “ Snowy Peaks, with data.” It is from this table that the heights of a number of the Snowy Peaks above the level of the sea have been extracted. The table commences “ Uchalaru, F.” which signifies that the Snowy Peak marked F. in the Plan of the Triangulation, is seen from the station of Uchalaru under an angle of 5° 40' 25", is distant from it 76,673 feet, is 7,742 feet higher than Uchalaru, and, finally, 21,884 feet above the level of the sea. Again, “great E.,” which is one of the peaks of Jumnooturu, is seen from Uchalaru under an angle of 9° 34' 55", is distant from it 39.0% feet, is elevated 6,623 feet above

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