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intense heat, in consequence of the same perturbing influences which affect the solar flames, and produce the spots themselves. It certainly seems, from experiments which have been made at Greenwich, that the heat received by the earth each year is not constant, but varies in such a manner as to indicate that the cause of change lies without the earth. It will very probably be found, not indeed that sun-spots cause an excess of heat (any more than comets do), but that the same causes which produce sun-spots excite the sun to a degree of greater activity, and that thus the years of many sun-spots are years of great heat. There would be nothing very surprising or novel in such a conclusion, nor would it be in the least degree inconsistent with the views of those who have maintained (like Sir J. Herschel) that man cannot hope to obtain from solar observations any means of predicting the weather. As he himself said, in a passage which has been coolly appropriated by supporters of the contrary doctrine: "Looking to the sun as the great source of all meteorological action it might most reasonably be expected that such indications" (as sun-spots)" of an activity of some sort going on in its very photosphere, in the actual visible laboratory of its light and heat, would correspond to some difference in its supply of both; which recurring periodically, at stated intervals, must, one would think, manifest itself in some effect or other on our weather and climates." But he went on to say, "Such, however, does not yet appear to be the case." Even if it were certainly shown, instead of the contrary, that disturbances in the earth's atmosphere follow the eleven-year solar period, the fact could only be discovered by terrestrial observations. To know that the sun was affected by changes having the same period, not merely in length, but maximum for maximum, and minimum for minimum, would be in itself interesting, but it would not in the slightest degree help us to a knowledge of coming terrestrial weather. We cannot possibly have better evidence from the sun than we can obtain from the earth.

Even if we knew certainly in what year to expect cyclones in particular regions, we should not gain much by the knowledge. We know now in what months they are most likely to rage, but the knowledge does not avail to enable men to provide against the destructive effects which a cyclone produces when it does come. Nothing but a knowledge of the very time and place where the cyclone was to be expected would have enabled the inhabitants of the region lately devastated to have saved themselves from its effects. Now if there is any hope that men will be able one day to predict beforehand the time and place of a great cyclone or hurricane, it surely must be by carefully examining the records of storms which have occurred on the earth, not by observations on the sunspots, whose most marked and characteristic period has not yet been satisfactorily associated with any phenomena of our earth, except those of terrestrial magnetism.

But we have no reason for believing that cyclones occur more frequently in sun-spot years than when the sun is free from spots, or vice

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versâ. It is easy to cite instances of great storms occurring in the same region, when the sun has been either without spots or covered with many spots. For this purpose we need not go beyond the region where the great cyclone of October 31st occurred. During the present year the sun has shown very few spots. We are in fact now very near the minimum of the sun-spot period, if not actually at that phase. In the year 1864 the sun showed many spots. We find from Schwabe's records that that astronomer observed the sun on 325 days in the year 1864, and that there were only four days in which no spots were visible. No less than 130 new groups of spots made their appearance, the number in 1863 being only 124, and on 1865, only 93. Now in October 1864 a gale occurred in the same region which was devastated by the recent gale. All the ships in harbour at Calcutta were swept from their moorings and driven one upon another in inextricable confusion. Fearful," we read, "as was the loss of life and property in Calcutta harbour, the destruction on land was yet greater. A vast wave swept for miles over the surrounding country, embankments were destroyed, and whole villages with their inhabitants were swept away. Fifty thousand souls, it is believed, perished in this fearful hurricane." We see, then, that a terribly destructive hurricane may occur in the same region during a year when the sun is marked by many spots, and also during a year like the present when he shows few or none. If it be urged that the connection between the occurrence of cyclones and the sun's condition is not of so rough a nature as our argument appears to assume that averages rather than special storms must be considered, or that perhaps some minor features of cyclones are affected by the sun's condition, we answer that this may be very true, but if it is, it does not affect our position. The foreknowledge of variations in the average number of cyclones can be of no practical use. Moreover, periodic variations, if such exist, in the average number of cyclonic storms, can be most satisfactorily ascertained by direct meteorological observations, and whether they agree or not with sun-spot variations is a matter of no meteorological importance.

If there are in reality any regularly recurring periods in weather phenomena, we can only hope to recognise them by the careful examination of meteorological records. It appears to us that those already made have not been sufficiently examined, and their careful analysis by competent persons would be more likely to afford useful results than the same amount of labour devoted to the accumulation of fresh records. Of course, if any satisfactory results are to be obtained, meteorological observations must be continued steadily. But it certainly does seem as though some few among the persons who have meteorological matters under their charge, might devote their attention to the work of analysing the millions of observations already collected. Even if it is impossible, as we are disposed for our own part to fear, to deduce any system for predicting weather more than a few hours or a day or two in advance, yet VOL. XXXV.-No. 206.


this at least might be done for many regions of the earth, which at present have no warning, even for an hour, of the approach of the most desolating hurricanes. Telegraphic communication, especially as we may hope to see it developed in the coming years, might be employed much more extensively than at present. Thus our own country, which warns countries to the east of coming storms, but receives no warnings, might receive useful intimation from the United States and the West Indies (remote though they are) of the advance of great cyclonic disturbances upon us from the neighbourhood of the West Indies, Florida, and so forth. The further progress of great south-westerly disturbances towards our shores might be learned also from ships which, sailing towards the United States, have encountered rough weather when two or three days' sail from their destination. Ships making for Halifax or St. John's might afford even later intelligence. It is probable that in nearly every case, and certain that in many cases, cyclonic disturbances which have rounded the West Indian part of the great storm-C and travelled along the shores of the United States beyond Hatteras (generally overlapping the land) pursue their course across the Atlantic, though with gradually diminishing force, until they reach Europe. Probably a law would be found to connect their motions, on the western part of their track, and the direction along which they would strike the shores of Europe. Storms which, after rounding the West Indies, pass towards the northeast, without closely approaching the United States, may usually reach the shores of Spain, or the Bay of Biscay, while those which overlap the south-eastern States of America, may pass across the Atlantic on a more northerly track, and make for the British Isles, or pass even north of Scotland to the shores of Norway. As it is probable that very few really fierce hurricanes reach us from the south-west which have not first been felt on the western side of the Atlantic, it would be worth while to analyse very carefully all that can be learned respecting the course of such storms. And certainly the expense of telegraphic communication from the other side of the Atlantic would not be worth considering in comparison with the advantage derived from early intimation of the approach of great hurricanes towards the shores of Europe. In other regions, and especially in the tropics, telegraphic communication might be much more readily and effectively employed in announcing the approach of hurricanes. There are reasons for believing that the great cyclone of October last traversed a course which at several points touched places whence news of the advancing storm might have been telegraphed to the threatened region. Although little could have been done to prevent the destruction to property which the cyclone caused, many thousands of lives (probably more than two hundred thousand) might have been saved if half a day's or even half an hour's warning had been given.


3 Fashionable Bath in the Olden Time.

PERHAPS there are few places respecting which we possess so many minute and curious traits of social history as the little Swiss watering-place of Baden, in the Canton Aargau. The very name of it is unknown to the greater part of the cosmopolitan flying squadron of tourists who scour Europe annually east, west, north, and south; from Trouville to Carlsbad, from Monaco to Pyrmont. A quiet, carpet-slippered kind of townlet is Baden in Aargau now-a-days; yet it has seen brave doings, and received fine folks in its time. And, luckily, there are extant various contemporary chronicles which shew forth for us the quaint humours and queer doings of the place in very lively colours.

That the ubiquitous Roman was here, knew all about the warm medicinal springs, left marble bath pavements and leaden pipes to attest his presence, and fortified the so-called Castellum Thermarum on the height where some rude Helvetian fortress had already stood in the dim ages,—all this the gentle reader will probably be willing to accept on my bare word. Tacitus, in speaking of the difficulty of defending the Castellum Thermarum against Cæcina, uses the phrase "dilapsis vetustate mænibus;" so that even in classic days the castle-commonly called throughout the middle ages der Stein von Baden, or Stone of Baden,could boast of a respectable antiquity, and had its "good old times" behind it. After the fall of the Roman power came the turn of Alemanni, and Franks, and Burgundians, and a long et cætera of barbarous, semi-barbarous, and-to borrow a phrase from the music-book— demi-semi-barbarous tribes, all fighting, and struggling, and plundering, and burning, tramping, in a fierce and breathless fashion, along their allotted course through the ages, and all to be but dimly descried by the keenest-eyed historian through a great cloud of dust and smoke, and the twilight of so distant a past.

When Charlemagne's mighty empire was broken up after his death, Baden came to be a part of Germany under the Römisches Reich; and it was known in the tenth century as "The Bath of the Three Kings, in Upper Swabia, by Switzerland." Then, through various vicissitudes, it fell to the house of Habsburg, whose original Stamm-Schloss, the cradle of the race, stands in ruins on a hill but a few miles away, above Schinznach, to this day. The Stein von Baden brought nothing but ill fortune to the Habsburgers. By a singular fatality three members of that house sallied forth from the old castle to meet death or defeat, on three different occasions. Duke Albert, of Austria, who succeeded King

Adolph as Roman Reichskönig, passed the last night of his life here. On the next morning, that of the 1st of May, 1308, he was murdered by his nephew Johann, and being left dying by the roadside, is said to have had his wounds staunched by a poor peasant woman, in whose charitable arms he breathed his last. The legend has often been illustrated by pen and pencil. Again, Duke Leopold, of Austria, held a council of war in the castle of Baden, wherein it was resolved to attack the rebellious Swiss,-in revolt against the house of Austria,—on two sides, and the proud duke caused cords and ropes to be provided to bind and hang the insolent peasants, whom he made very sure of overcoming. He set forth, with a brilliant train of nobles and an army of nine thousand men, full of arrogant confidence, to chastise these common folks. But the common folks held their ground in a rather unexpected fashion; and in the memorable battle of Morgarten (1315), achieved so complete and glorious a victory over their high-horn assailants, that Duke Leopold, who barely escaped with his life from the field, was compelled a year afterwards to make peace with them. Yet once again: another Duke Leopold, nephew of the preceding one, and great-grandson of King Albert, held, in the year 1386, another great council of war, in the grim old fortress; the result of which was that he, with the flower of his knighthood, was overthrown and slain at the battle of Sempach, wherein Arnold von Windelried made himself a name immortal in Swiss story. So singular a series of disasters might surely have justified a superstitious belief on the part of the Habsburgers, that the Stein von Baden was a spot fatal to their race.

All through the stormy fifteenth century there were feuds and fights in, and about, Baden in Aargau; and yet, strange as it may seem, the brief intervals of peace were filled up with a life of jollity, revelry, and merry-making, of which an eye-witness has left us a lively picture, in a letter written from the baths in the year 1417. As a Swiss writer at the beginning of the present century naïvely observes, "It is hard to believe that in such unquiet times the most unbridled enjoyment reigned on the very spot where but a short time previous war had been raging; yet Poggio, who was in Baden two years after the conquest" (he alludes to the conquest of Baden by Berne on behalf of the Swiss Confederation in 1415), "has shown us sufficiently what drinking, singing, and lovemaking went on here in those days." The Poggio above mentioned is no other than the Florentine Giovanni Francesco Poggio Bracciolini, the celebrated savant and restorer of letters in the fifteenth century. He was born in Tuscany in 1380, and died Chancellor of the Florentine Republic in 1459, at the ripe age of seventy-nine. He had been Secretary to three Popes; and it was in the suite of his Holiness Pope John the Twenty-third, that he visited Constance during the Council of 1414, and thence found his way to Baden. The letter in question is addressed to his brother savant Niccolo Nicoli; and exists in Poggio Bracciolini's printed works. The learned gentleman, albeit a frequenter

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