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grotesque appearance. We have seen that in the descent of rain, the globules, when opposed to the sun or moon, at their rising or setting, in a clear sky, produce this effect as in the rainbow. But a globule of rain is not the only sub. stance in the atmosphere capable, at times, of producing the same effect.

Nor since we are told that the mirage usually occurs when the sky is peculiarly serene and tranquil

, could it be the cause of this singular phenomenon. It is nostly to be seen in the morning, and principally upon the coasts, or banks of large rivers. It has been observed, not unfrequently, at the back of the Isle of Wight, and on the Scottish coasts, where it never fails to excite superstitious sensations; its appearance being always looked upon by the Highlanders as a most portentous omen; while at Messina it no sooner begins to unfold its magical beauties, than shouts of joy from the delighted populace announce its appearance, exclaiming with exultation Fata Morgana ! Fata Morgana!

" When the weather is perfectly calm, and consequently the sea almost without motion, the atmosphere, more especially in a dry and hot season, imbibes a considerable portion of the water upon which its lower stratum presses, and hence in the night-time becomes condensed and hazy. As the morning rises, however, and the sun-beams resume their vigour, the atmosphere once more rarefies and re-acquires its transparency. If it rarefy equally and homogeneously, every object beheld through it, must necessarily be exhibited in its real proportion and figure; but it happens occasionally, that in some parts of its texture it seems to be more closely interwoven than in others; and hence in its general expansion, veins, or striæ, like those often discovered in glass, make their appearance of different densities and diameters. In this case every striæ, like every globule of rain, in consequence of the variation of its density, from the common density of the atmosphere, becomes a refracting, or a reflecting body; in other words, a prism, or mirror, or perhaps both. If then a single globule of rain, properly disposed, be able to produce so marvellous a phenomenon as the rainbow, what phenomena may we not expect, what variation, contortion, and grotesque and monstrous representation of images, beheld through a column of the atmosphere, intersected by so many aerial prisms of different densities, and mirrors of different surfaces, in which the catheti may be innumerable, and for ever varying,

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P. Minasi describes three different spectacles of this kind, as appearing at the Toro of Messina, to which he gives the following names: Marine Morgana, which is seen on the surface of the sea ; Aërial Morgana, which appears in the air; and the third he denominates, the Morgana fringed with prismatic colours.

“ When the rising sun shines from that point whence its incident ray forms an angle of about forty-five degrees on the sea of Reggio, and the bright surface of the water in the bay is not disturbed either by the wind or current, when the tide is at its height, and the waters pressed up by currents to a great elevation in the middle of the channel; the spectator being placed on an eminence with his back to the sun, and his face to the sea, the mountains of Messina rising like: a wall behind it, and forming the back ground of the pice ture; on a sudden there appears in the water, as in a catoptric theatre, various multiplied objects; that is to say, numberless series of pilastres, arches, castles well delineated, regular columns, lofty towers, superb palaces, with balconies and windows, extended allies of trees, delightful plains, with herds and flocks, armies of men on foot, on horseback, and many other strange images, in their natural colours, and proper actions, passing rapidly in succession along the surface of the sea, during the whole of the short period of time while the above-mentioned causes remain. "All these ob-, jects, which are exhibited in the Fata Morgana, are proved by the accurate observations of the coast and town of Reggio, by P. Minasi, to be derived from objects on shore.”

EDWARD." It must be a beautiful as well as extraordinary scene. From what is the name derived ?"

DR. WALKER.-" The name is probably derived from an opinion, that the whole spectacle is produced by a fairy or a magician.

“If, in addition to the circumstances I before described, the atmosphere be highly impregnated with vapour, and dense exhalations, not previously dispersed by the action of the wind and waves, or rarefied by the sun, it then happens, that in this vapour, as in a curtain extended along the channel to the height of above forty palms, and nearly down to the sea, the observer will behold the scene of the same ob. jects not only reflected from the surface of the sea, but likewise in the air, though not so distinctly or well defined as the former objects from the sea.


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“ Lastly, if the air be slightly hazy and opaque, and at the same time dewy and adapted to form the Iris, then the above: mentioned objects will appear only at the surface of the sea, as in the first case, but all vividly coloured or fringed' with red, green, blue, and other prismatic colours *.

“ As the day advances, the fairy scene gradually disappears. But the most singular instance of atmospherical refraction I ever heard of, was that described in the Philosophical Transactions, as having taken place at Hastings. The coast of Picardy, which is between forty and fifty miles distant from that of Sussex, appeared suddenly close to the English shore. The sailors and fishermen crowded down to the beach, scarcely believing their own eyes; but at length they began to recognize several of the French cliffs, and pointed out places they had been accustomed to visit. From the summit of the eastern cliff or hill, a most beautiful scene pre. sented itself, for at one glance the spectators could see Dungeness, Dover cliffs, and the French coast, all along from Calais to St. Valleroy; and, as some affirmed, as far to the westward, even as Dieppe. By the telescope, the French fishing boats were plainly seen at anchor; and the different colours of the land on the heights, with the buildings, were perfectly discernible.”

EDWARD.--" How was this very extraordinary phenome. non accounted for, Sir ?".

DR. WALKER." Why the refractive power of the atmosphere was probably produced by a diminution of the density of its lower stratum, in consequence of the increase of heat communicated to it by the rays of the sun, powerfully reflected from the surface of the earth. The delusion in the desert, between Alexandria and Cairo, mentioned by M. Monge, which represented villages surrounded by water, when they were, in fact, in the midst of burning sands, is attributed to this same cause.


THE MANUFACTURE OF PORCELAIN. When Edward rose the next morning, Malvern hills being covered with a white frost, and illumined by the rising sun,

* P, Milasi.

presented a magnificent appearance; he quickly dressed himself, in order to inhale the pure breezes of the mountain; and when he met the Doctor at breakfast, his countenance glowed with the effects of his morning walk.

“ These hills," said the Doctor, “should be denominated mountains; for the strata is placed in a perpendicular direction, which is the distinguishing characteristic of mountains. The Worcestershire Beacon is the highest point of the hills; it is 1300 feet perpendicular from the plains. The component parts of these hills are stone of various kinds, but so rugged and brittle as to be unfit in general for any ornamental work; yet chimney pieces are sometimes made from it, and, when highly polished, they are by no means contemptible.

“Malvern, some twenty or five and twenty years ago, was a thinly inhabited village, perfectly isolated. But since that time, fashion, as well as the salubrity of its air and waters, has rendered it, during one time of the year (the autumn), a place of great resort; and those who visited it formerly as a comfortable and retired place, must now seek elsewhere an asylum from the gay world. We are not likely to be molested, Edward, for the gay season, which commences after that of Cheltenham is concluded, will not begin for these two or three months. Come, let us see the church.

“This church was bought, I understand, by the inhabitants, of John Knotsforde for the sum of two hundred pounds. He was the second possessor, for Henry VIII. gave the priory to William Pinnocke, who alienated it to John Knotsford. Before the conquest, this place was a wilderness, and some of the monks from Worcester Priory retired within its woody recesses, in order to lead an hermetical life. They agreed to follow the order of St. Benet; and from this small beginning, the Priory arose, and became, in the course of time, wealthy; for at the Reformation, its revenues were worth about 3751. a year :

a considerable sum in those days. Malvern Priory, from the benefits conferred upon it by Giselbert, abbot of Westminster, was very much subservient to that abbey, and was in fact looked upon as a cell belonging to it.

We must not quit this neighbourhood without visiting Little Malvern ; and as it is but three miles and a half

l off, we will walk there." Upon arriving at Little Malvern, our travellers were charmed with the romantic scenery which presented itself. The irregular form of this part of the hill,


adds greatly to its picturesque effect. “Here too there

. was a monastery," said the Doctor, a cell to Great Mal.

What a strange association of ideas does this small. wood excite. In this spot wandered the holy monks, pero fectly secluded from the world, in the midst of rocks, and woods, and mountains. On the top of that hill above us, where there are now the remains of a camp, the Britons are: supposed to have made their last stand against the Romans. Strange contrasting figures these : the cowl-clad monks, the naked Britons, and the Romans cased in steel. These were a very different group to that gay assembly now entering the little wicket: let us proceed, there is a warren beyond this; and I think we can reach the summit of the hill by thispath.” They were, however, obliged to retrace their steps ; and after. ascending a road to Ledbury, which is cut in the side of the rock, they at length gained the summit, where they were gratified with the most lovely view of the surrounding country. The apple trees were in full blossom, and the whole country, on each side of the hill, had the appearance of a richly cultivated flower garden. Having visited the Holy Well, which is about half way between the two Mal. verns, they retired to rest, not a little fatigued with their day's excursion, which had been performed on foot. About eleven o'clock on the following day, they arrived at Worcester; and having viewed the cathedral, in which are several fine monuments, they proceeded to inspect the Porcelain Manufactory. Before, however, they prosecuted this intention, Dr. Walker gave the following paper to his pupil to read.

“ Porcelain may be regarded the finest kind of pottery; the art of which consists in working and moulding plastic earths into various kinds, and forms, and usés.

“ The essential material of pottery is clay, which alone possesses the two requisites for this manufacture, viz. in its natural state it is of so plastic a nature, as to become uniformly soft and pliable, and therefore it can be moulded into any form; and when thoroughly dried, and after having undergone red heat for some time, of losing this plasticity, becoming firm, and hard, and capable of retaining liquids within its hollow. Clay, however, is in all instances a very compound material; it owes its plasticity to alumine, one of the nine primitive earths. It may hence be supposed, that many of the natural clays are sufficiently mixed with

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