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The intensity of cholera was found greatest
in those places where the air was stagnant;
and, therefore, any means for causing its
motion, as lighting fires and improving
ventilation, are thus proved to be of the utmost

Some day near the 20th of Januarythe
lucky guess in 1838 of Murphy's Weather
Almanacwill, upon the average of years, be
found to be the coldest of the whole year.

In the middle of May there are generally
some days of cold, so severe as to be
unexplainable. Humboldt mentions this fact in
his Cosmos; and various authors have tried
to account for it,—at present in vain. The
favourite notion, perhaps, is that which
attributes this period of cold to the loosening of
the icebergs of the North. Another weather
eccentricity is the usual advent of some warm
days at the beginning of November.

Certain experiments in progress to test the
difference between the temperature of the
Thames and of the surrounding atmosphere
are expected to show the cause of the famous
London fog. During the night the Thames is
often from ten to seventeen degrees warmer,
and in the day time from eight to ten degrees
colder than the air above it.

If the theory of weather-cycles holds good,
we are to have seasons colder than the average
from this time till 1853, when warmth will
begin again to predominate over cold. A
chilly prophecy this to close with, and therefore,
rather let an anecdote complete this
chapter on the Weather-Watchers of Greenwich.

Amongst other experiments going on some
time ago in the Observatory enclosure, were
some by which Mr. Glaisher sought to
discover how much warmth the Earth lost
during the hours of night, and how much
moisture the Air would take up in a day from
a given surface. Upon the long grass within
the dwarf fence already mentioned were placed
all sorts of odd substances in little distinct
quantities. Ashes, wood, leather, linen, cotton,
glass, lead, copper, and stone, amongst other
things, were there to show how each affected
the question of radiation. Close by upon a
post was a dish six inches across, in which
every day there was punctually poured one
ounce of water, and at the same hour next
day, as punctually was this fluid re-
measured to see what had been lost by
evaporation. For three years this latter
experiment had been going on, and the results
were posted up in a book; but the figures
gave most contradictory results. There was
either something very irregular in the air,
or something very wrong in the apparatus.
It was watched for leakage, but none was
found, when one day Mr. Glaisher stepped
out of the magnet-house, and looking towards
the stand, the mystery was revealed. The
evaporating dish of the philosopher was being
used as a bath by an irreverent bird!—a
sparrow was scattering from his wings the
water left to be drunk by the winds of Heaven.
Only one thing remained to be done; and the
next minute saw a pen run through the tables
that had taken three years to compile. The
labour was lostthe work had to be begun



The Beginning is a BoreI fall into Misfortune.

I AM fond of Gardening. I like to dig. If
among the operations of the garden any
need for such a work can be at any time
discovered or invented, I like to dig a
hole. On the 3d of March, 1849, I began
a hole behind the kitchen wall, whereinto
it was originally intended to transplant
a plum-tree. The exercise was so much
to my taste, that a strange humour impelled
me to dig on. A fascination held me to the
task. I neglected my business. I disappeared
from the earth's surface. A boy who worked
a basket by means of a rope and pulley, aided
me; so aided, I confined my whole attention
to spade labour. The centripetal force seemed
to have made me its especial victim. I dug
on until Autumn. In the beginning of
November I observed that, upon percussion,
the sound given by the floor of my pit was
resonant. I did not intermit my labour, urged
as I was by a mysterious instinct downwards.
On applying my ear, I occasionally heard a
subdued sort of rattle, which caused me to
form a theory that the centre of the earth
might be composed of mucus. In November,
the ground broke beneath me into a hollow
and I fell a considerable distance. I alighted
on the box-seat of a four-horse coach, which
happened to be running at that time
immediately underneath. The coachman took
no notice whatever of my sudden arrival by
his side. He was so completely muffled up,
that I could observe only the skilful way in
which he manipulated reins and whip. The
horses were yellow. I had seen no more than
this, when the guard's horn blew, and
presently we pulled up at an inn. A waiter
came out, and appeared to collect four bags
from the passengers inside the coach. He
then came round to me.

"Dine here, Sir?"

"Yes, certainly," said I. I like to dine
not the sole point of resemblance between
myself and the great Johnson.

"Trouble you for your stomach, Sir."

While the waiter was looking up with a
polite stare into my puzzled face, my neighbour,
the coachman, put one hand within his
outer coat, as if to feel for money in his
waistcoat-pocket. Directly afterwards his
fingers came again to light, and pulled forth
an enormous sack. Notwithstanding that it
was abnormally enlarged, I knew by observation
of its form and texture that this was a