Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

However different the trees may be from one another, they all belong equally to the Sovereign of the world; all are nourished by the same earth, all are warmed by the same sun, and refreshed by the rain equally. O! that all men, however different from each other, would unite in acknowledging that they are all equally God's creatures, all equally subject to his power, the objects of his tender mércies; all indebted to him for their existence and support, as well as for the talents with which they are endowed.

LESSON CXX.

The Temperature in the different Climates of

the Earth.

It seems as if the temperature and warmth of countries must depend on their situation in respect to the sun, as it casts its rays in the same manner on all countries which are in the same latitude. But experience tells us, that heat and cold, and all the temperatures, depend on many other circumstances, Seasons may be very different in places under the same parallel; and are, on the contrary, often very much alike under very different climates. Therefore, as accidental causes may make the heat

different in the same latitude, and as it is very, far from being such as the distance of the sun would seem to pro mise, it is difficult to determine exactly the seasons and temperature of each country. The neighbourhood of the sea renders the climate milder. England and the coasts of Norway are strong proofs of it: the sea may be covered with ice near the shore, because it mixes there with fresh water:- but it never happens at any considerabie distance from land, both from the salt, of which the sea is full, and from its being in continual motion. By the sea not being frozen in winter, the climate of the adjacent countries is milder. On the contrary, the higher a place is above the sea, the colder it is. The air is not only thinner there, and consequently contains less warmth, but the greatest part of the heat produced by the earth's reflecting the rays of the sun falls on low places and valleys, and does not reach heights. Quito is almost under the line, but the heat is moderate from its high situation. In general, those sorts of countries have serene and clear air, and an equal temperature.' High mountains attract clouds, which occasion more frequent rains and storms in hilly countries than elsewhere; and it has been observed, that it scarcely ever rains in the plains of Arabia. Countries where there are great, extensive forests, are very cold; the ice melts more slowly there in winter, because it is covered with the shade of the trees. The ice makes the upper air cold, and this delays the thaw. 7 Another circumstance also“ tempers the heat of warm climates; their days are not long, and the sun does not remain long above the horizon. In colder countries the summer days are very long, which makes them warmer than could be expected. The serenity of the sky, the clear light of the moon, and the long twilights, render long nights supportable. Under the torrid zone, the seasons are not so much distinguished by winter and summer, as by dry and wet weather; for when it ought the ber summer, that is when the sun lift most habere possible, then come the rains, which fall more or less for some time.es Bukt in these countries, the most pleasant season is that in which the sun is at the lowestjan In the conntriesr beyond the tropie, the weather is generally more uncertain than within the (1084931 yawol al 19:{qcomte bulso et can't

very

tropic. It is in spring and summer that the winds are highest. In winter the ground freezes more or less deep, but seldom in our climate more than three feet. In more northern countries, it freezes deeper in winter, and only thaws a few feet in summer. Stagnant waters, and even rivers, are covered with ice first near the shore, and then over the whole surface of the water. The different qualities of the soil, as they retain more or less of acquired heat, contribute also in some degree to vary the climate.

In thus regulating the seasons and climate of the different countries, the Creator has made every part of the earth habitable; and, to the great satisfaction of all feeling hearts, it is certain, that the people of the most distant countries, without reven excepting those who live under the line or under the pole, enjoy the portion of happiness suited to their nature and destination. Each country has its advantages and inconveniences, in such equal proportion, that it would be difficult to decide which of them merits the preference. There is not a corner of the world in which the Almighty has not displayed his goodness.

f'} £19% DOS! D Citr dritt Lut 2199

nosi10L 1. Po stw noi vrov

T - *pyn, N: 14179 911* 016 , 1000 out

,3106:1999 LESSON. CXXI. in oa ton sth

:T}** $ 1w, Luh YD YU 2 e 1310 Atmosphere of the Earth. 192. uri of

17 Disus codi *{!, o list 3:17: RIPEN JE 09 3104122001 The air which surrounds the earth is not so pure and subtile as ether: for it is loaded with all the particles i jor vapours, which are continually rising out of the earth, and partieularly from the water : this is called atmosphere. Its lower region

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that is to say, what is nearest to the earth, is pressed upon by the upper air, and from thence becomes more thick and dense. This is experienced by those who go to the top of high mountains. Their breathing becomes more painful in proportion as they ascend. But it is impossible to ascertain the exact height of the atmosphere, because we cannot rise very bigh in the air.

The atmosphere is divided into three regions. The lower one reaches as high as where the air receives no warmth from the rays which the earth reflects. The middle region begins where the preceding one ends, and goes as high as the highest mountains, or even as far as the highest clouds, and in the space where the rain, hail, and snow collect. This region is much colder than the lower : for it is only warmed by the rays which fall perpendicularly, and in a direct line upon it. But the third is probably still colderor It reaches from the middle to the extremity of the atmosphere, and we cannot precisely ascertain its limits,

The particles which rise out of the earth, and form the atmosphere, are of different natures.!' They are watery, earthy, metallic, sulphureous, &c. Now as some abound more than others in certain parts of the earth, it occasions great variety in the air, and this difference is very perceptible even at a little height. A heavy air is more wholesome than a light one, because it promotes the circulation of the blood, and insensible perspiration. When the air is heavy, it is generally serene; whereas a light air is always attended with elouds, rain, or snow, which makes it damp. Vapours increase the weight of the air; and particularly, when the heat sends them up

very high, the air is still light, notwithstanding the watery ,vapours with which it is filled. The best air, is that which is rather heavy than light, peither too dry nor too moist, and but little, or not at all, mixed with noxious-vapours. Itris in the atmosphere that the clouds, the raing snow, dew,

[ocr errors]

thunder, and several ethereal phenomena are formed. It is to the atmosphere also that we owe the morning and even twilights. As the rays break and bend in this mass of air, we see them before the sun appears, and we enjoy them after it has set. Let us then acknowledge with gratitude the wisdom and goodness of the Creator, who has regulated every thing in nature, so as to be most conducive to the happiness of the beings he has formed.

LESSON CXXII.

Beasts of Burden, These sorts of animals do us so much service, and are so useful to us, that it would be ungrateful not to examine them with care. Of all domestic animals, the horse is of the most service. He sub* mits tamely to every sort of labour, for a frugal and moderate subsistence. Giving himself up entirely to his master, refusing him nothing, he makes use of all his strength, exhausts himself, and even 'dies in trying to do more. Nature has given him a propensity to love and fear mankind; and made him very sensible to the caresses which render his servitude pleasing. He is the best proportioned and finest shaped of all the animals. Every part of him is elegant and regular. The exact proportions of his head give him a light and lively look, which is still heightened by the beauty of his chest. His carriage is noble, his step majestic, and every limb seems to mark animation, strength, courage, and pride. The ox has not the pleasing elegance of the horse; butit compensates for these by the important services it does to mankind. It is strong enough to draw heavy loads, and is content with poor food. Its blood, its

« AnteriorContinuar »