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be indulged, and which it cannot pass ly carried on under the influence of a without our being guilty of miscon- certain paradoxical spirit, rather than duct. It is a wise and a good appoint- of a sincere desire for the discovery merit of Providence, that the scenes

of truth. Whence else could have and the objects amid which our life arisen opinions which, on the one side, is to be spent, by which our first allow to external things no effect at thoughts are to be called forth, and all upon happiness, or which, on the

which are to serve for the exercise of other, make them the sole, or chief - our faculties, and the trial of our vir- principle of it. We are not surprised

tues, should have in them for us many at instances of extremes in the actual attractions. Without this it is not conduct of life; nor need we wonder easily to be conceived how the pur- much if we should meet with examples poses of our existence should have of a most rapid transition from one been accomplished, or that activity such extreme to another ; but as a kept alive which is the prime source merely speculative question, the point of every thing that is valuable in life. at issue, it is presumed, admits of a An attachment which ought not to very easy and a very certain deterbe extreme, due provision has been mination. The proper happiness of made, at the same time, however, for man is to be judged of by a regard to retaining within proper limits; and his whole nature. Even to the sen- . it is owing to ourselves, if the many sitive part of it, he may owe a great indications we receive of the incon- deal both of innocent and pleasing enstancy and unsatisfying nature of joyment. But his purest and most those things which are too much the permanent delights, it evidently was prevailing objects of pursuit, do not intended that he should derive from convince us that they are not to be the culture of the nobler powers of rested on as the legitimate and ulti- reason, from the exercise of the social mate aim of all our exertions. It affections, from the inward consciousmay require more philosophy than falls ness of a daily progress in the path of to the share of every one, to hit pre- intellectual and moral improvement, cisely on the proper medium in this The great secret for tasting with a matter ; from which there is an equal due relish of all the joys which life deviation, when a fanatic moroseness has really to give, is to preserve always prohibits even the innocent enjoy- a just subordination in the degrees of ments of life, as when a too licentious attachment to different orders of them, spirit gives ample scope to every ir- never admitting into our minds any regularity. There is, however, such sentiment in respect of inferior gratia thing undoubtedly as a just standard fications, which the higher and better for the direction of human conduct in principles of our nature would scruple regard to those outward things with to approve. The soul of man was aswhich it is so necessarily and closely suredly not formed for grovelling for connected ; and on this being found, ever in the dust. Neither, on the and duly adhered to, it may be af- other hand, is it capable, in its prefirmed with safety, that the greater sent state, of bearing, uninterruptedly, half will depend, of all the virtue and the splendours of celestial light. It all the happiness of mankind.

is in the middle path that the truly It was a great subject of inquiry useful and respectable in human con among the ancient philosophers, where. duct is to be found : it is there that in consists the true good of man. But a solid satisfaction is to be enjoyed, if we are to judge by the results of a satisfaction placed, in some measure, those inquiries, we will be obliged to beyond the reach of accidents ; for conclude that they were too frequent- what circumstances of outward for


ner one,

tune can very greatly disturb that dually from the shore. About half a mind, which, accustomed to consider mile from the beach there is a comthe world as a school merely for the manding view of the northern ocean, exercise of its powers, is aware that the beyond Balta, which it has nearly cut lesson may not be less valuable or less asunder ; so that one can'at once coneffectual for being communicated some template the serenity of villages and times in a form not precisely to the fields, and the tempestuous motion of wishes.

a stormy sea.

On the west side of

M. the peninsula of Northmaven is a (To be continued.)

succession of high and precipitous rocks, and back from their edges are

verdant plains of several miles in exSituation, General Appearance, and tent. These plains are called the Climate of the ZETLAND Islands.

Villens of Ure. About two nundred

and forty feet directly back from the (Fron Edinonston's ancient and present

brink of one of these rocks, are two state of the Islands.)

very large caverns, called the holes of

Seraada. They are separated from THE general

appearance of Zetland each other above, by a solid mass of is by no means attractive. The rock covered with grass. The sea coast is rocky and unequal, and the covers the bottom of the one nearest hills bleak and mossy. More close- the edge of the precipice, to a consily examined, this country presents derable height, but it does not penemany interesting scenes, partaking both trate more than half way into the inof the tranquil and the wild. The which is larger in circumferlatter, however, greatly predominate z. ence than the former, and has a beach and while spots of cultivated retirement in it. The distance through which are comparatively few, the roman- the water flows in this subterranean tic beauties of simple nature are adun- vault, is above three hundred feet; dantly displayed. Every where may but I could not ascertain the height be seen rocks of immense size stand of the arch. Some years ago a boat ing in the sea, and, in some places, at passed under it, to bring off some a great distance from the land ; some wood which the sea had driven on are perforated by magnifident arches, the beach. In a fine summer evening of great magnitude and regularity ; in the scenę here is truly magnificent : others, there are deep caverns and sub- the western ocean swelling on towards terranean recesses ; some are cleft in the land, the fishing boats almost distwo nearly to the bottom, and others appearing on its distant waves, the present accuminated tops, exhibiting an wild screams of the sea-fowl among endless variety of form and appearance. the rocks, the verdure of the fields,

Although several places possess this and these awful gulphs suddenly opencombination of wildness and tranquil- ing to view, arrest the attention, and lity, the most perfect instances of it excite in the mind the mingled emooccur in the island of Unst, and in tions of admiration and horror. Dunthe parishes of Northmaven and Dan. rossness presents many beautiful ex

Balta-sound is a bay two amples of this interesting species of miles long, and about half a mile contrast ; and in this district there are broad, so completely shut in by the fields which would not suffer by a comisland of Balta, that, seen from a dis. parison with any in Mid-Lothian. tance, it resembles a lake. Both side Almost all the large islands are of this bay are in a state of high culs deeply intersected by tortuous bays, tivation, and sheltering hills rise gra-. or voes, as they are called, which af.


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ford facilities for internal communica- by vessels approaching Zetland front
tion, and excellent harbours for 'ves- the south-west. The cliffs of Foula
sels. Several of these are very com- literally lose themselves in the clouds.
modious, well sheltered from every This island lies about sixteen miles
wind, and sufficiently capacious to from Mainland, and is at all times a
contain the navy of Britain. There sublime object. It appears of a dark
are also a variety of lakes, some of blue colour, and is frequently encircled
which are interspersed with small with a belt of clouds, above which its
islands; but none of them much ex- tops can be distinctly perceived. It
ceed two miles in length. In gene- is two miles long, and rises gradual-
ral, they communicate with the sea ly towards the west, where its perpen-
by small streams, which the rains in dicular rocks are opposed to the whole
winter sometimes augment so much force of the Atlantic Ocean.
as to render them hardly passable; The currents among the different
but although some descend from a islands are extremely rapid, and run in
considerable height, there are no falls every direction, but the greatest streams
of water exceeding a few feet. occur at the northern and southern ex-

Numerous hills diversify the face of tremities of the country. Even in the
the country, and traverse it in different calmest day, the agitation of the sea,
directions. The highest of them all is in the course of the tidė, off Scaw and
Rona's Hill, or Mons Ronaldi, in the Sumburghhead, resembles that produ-
parish of Northmaven. The accounts of ced by a storin, and when contrasted
the altitude of this mountain are very with the smooth surface which sur-
contradictory. To some, the baro. rounds it, presents a spectacle truly
meter has indicated its height to be astonishing.
between fourteen and fifteen hundred The arable land bears a very

small feet. In the Statistical Account of proportion to the uncultivated parts of Northmaven, it is stated, that “it the country; and it occurs chiefly on was found, by geometrical mensura- the sea coast, and on the sides of the tion, to be 3944 feet above the level bays. There are instances of internal of the sea.

As these statements dif- cultivation, to a considerable extent, fer so widely, it is very probable that in the parishes of Dunrossness, Tingneither is correct: were I to judge wall, and the island of Unst, althoughz from my experience of the effect pro- no where does it extend beyond two duced in similar situations, I should miles and a half from the sea. The be disposed to believe that it does not absence, however, of trees, or shrubexceed two thousand feet, if indeed it bery of any kind, except in a few garbe so much. In a clear day, the dens, to enliven and diversify the prospect from this hill is varied and prospect, necessarily produces a great extensive ; and an excellent idea may degree of uniformity in the scenery, be formed of the frequent intersections which, on this account, soon ceases to of water which occur.

attract the eye, or to engage the atThere are several lofty headlands tention. projecting into the sea, which present The climate of the Zetland islands. a grand and an imposing appearance. is very variable and damp, although Noss-head, on the east side of Bressay, by no means generally unwholesome is perfectly mural, and is above six to their inhabitants. Spring can scarcehundred feet high. It is also known ly be said to commence until April, by the name of Hang Cliff. Fitful- and there is but little general warmth head, in the southern extremity of the before the middle of June. The sumcountry, is a bold and extensive rock, mer terminates for the most part with and can be seen at a great distance off, August, though sometimes it conti

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the year.

nues thro' September. Autumn is a currence of a thaw, Vicissitudes of very uncertain period, and winter com- temperature are very rapid in all seamences with the middle of October, sons, but the cold is never intense. I and occupies the remaining months of have seldom seen it more than 10°

below the freezing point of FarenNortherly and easterly winds pre- heit's thermometer, and it does not vail during the months of February remain long there. The temperature and March. Although the weather of winter, on the whole, is much mildis then cold, it is more settled and uni- er in Zetland, from its insular situaform than when the wind is either tion, than in more southern latitudes, from the south or from the west.- but the heat of summer is less power. When it comes from these quarters, it fud and steady. The medium temperais, for the most part, indeed always in ture of the winter months may be tathe winter time, accompanied by hea- ken at 38°, and that of summer at vy falls of rain. Fogs are very pre- 65o. The atmosphere, except in the valent in the months of May and June. middle of summer, is surcharged with Heavy gales from the west and north- humidity, which impresses the frame west occur in September, and often with a cold and chilly sensation. destroy the greater part of the crop in Thunder is by no means of such a single night. October is sometimes frequent occurrence as it used to be. a mild month; but nothing can equal I do not recollect to have heard a sinthe uncertainty of the weather during gle peal during the whole year of the three months that follow. Gales 1808. The aurora borealis, so much of wind, from the most opposite points, admired, and so often seen in Arctic attended by rain and snow, come on regions, has not appeared in the atin rapid succession, often in the space mosphere of Zetland for the last few of a few hours,

years, so frequently, nor with such Una Eurusque, Notusque ruunt creber- splendour as formerly. The cause of que procellis

the disappearance of this phenomenon Africus; et vastos volvunt ad littora is no doubt connected with that of fluctus,

thunder and lightning, both dependAlthough such be the general rou

ing on certain states of electricity in

the air. tine of the seasons, there now and then occur exceptions to it. The summer

A great deal has been said about and autumn of 1808 was remarkable the winter time. A gentleman, who

the want of light in this country in for the fine weather that prevailed.Farenheit's thermometer was on some

certainly might have known better, days, in the months of July and Au- says, “. In winter the sun sets soon af

ter it rises, and in summer rises soon gust, 750 in the shade; and the medium temperature of the air, during

after it sets, so that in that season the these months,

from twelve o'clock nights are almost as light as the day; noon to four in the afternoon, was a

as, on the contrary, in December the bout 70°. There was scarcely a sin- nearly as dark as in the night*."

This is almost a literal translation of gle bad day from the first of May to the end of October. But such seasons, the 22d of December, which is the

the observation made by Pliny. On in the latitude of Zetland, are

u like

shortest day in the angel visits, few and far between."

the sun rises

year, Rarely, indeed, do two occur in suc

seventeen minutes and a half past nine cession.

o'clock, and sets forty-two minutes Srow is seldom observed to lie long therefore five hours and twenty-five

and a half past two o'clock. He is on the ground at a time, although † therefore five hours and twenty-five

mihave known both it and keen frost continue two months, without the OC

PRESTON, Phil. Trans.

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very fine.

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minutes above the horizon. But, be- by history, is no less true than formisides this, there is a considerable de- dable and astonishing. Many instangree of light both before his rising ces of the kind, which are not on reand after his setting, and when the cord, have doubtless occurred. atmosphere is clear, the influence is I recollect reading in Livy, of the protracted for several hours after his descent of a shower of stones in Italy: complete disappearance. On the 9th such a shower fell, not long ago, upon of December 1808, I could distinctly a vessel at sea, bound to Charlestown, read ordinary print, by day-light, at South Carolina, from which the terfive o'clock of the afternoon. The rified seamen took refuge between moon did not rise that evening, until decks, after shutting the hatches. half past eight, but the day had been Specimens are preserved.

A terrible shower of stones said But if the winter be dark and gloo- to have descended in Benares, in Inmy, it is amply compensated by the dia, lately, and we have a circumstancontinued light of the summer months. tial history of a shower of burning The nights begin to be very short stones, which fell in different parts of early in May, and from the middle of Parma, in Italy, last April. One of that month to the end of July, dark- these, upon being examined, affected ness is absolutely unknown. The the magnetic needle. Its specific sun scarcely quits the horizon, and his gravity was thrice that of water, and short absence is supplied by a bright its surface was vitrified, as if it had twilight. Nothing can surpass the been acted upon by volcanic or other calm

serenity of a fine summer night powerful heat. in the Zetland isles. The atmosphere is It contained silicious earth, oxyd of clear and unclouded, and the eye has iron, magnesia, oxyd of nickel

, oxyd an uncontrolled and extensive range :


manganese, oxyd of chrome, and ---the hills and the headlands look sulphur, not, however, in equal prothen more majestic, and they have a portions. solemnity superadded to their gran- As water cannot ascend spontanedeur:-the water in the bays appears ously into the atmosphere (I mean dark, and as smooth as glass :- no lin without the agency of whirlwinds, or ving object interrupts the tranquillity other adequate force,) before its levity of the scene, but a solitary gull skim. is augmented, by re-solution into its ming the surface of the sea; and there constituent gases, the ascent of a bois nothing to be heard but the distant dy of stone, metals, &c. whose denmurmuring of the wayes among the sity exceeds that of water, must be rocks.

impossible, without volcanic or other powerful agency. We may here remark, that the vortical and moving

pillars of sand, observed in various Account of STONES falling from the parts of the world occasionally, apAtmosphere.

pear to be raised, as water spouts are,

by wind. THE 'HE following letter is from Dr Had the ponderous bodies of stone,

Brickell, of Charlestown, to metal, &c. which have frequently falPresident Meigs, of the university of len from our atmosphere, for ages, deAthens of that State.

scended from the moon, or other plaThe descent of stones from our at- nets or satellites, the increase of matmosphere, on sea and land, and in va- ter in the earth, augmenting its cenajous parts of the world, as attested tripetal force, must have drawn it near


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