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cause. A rank vegetation, dependant on a hot sun, and moist soil, could not but be early noticed as a prolific one; and the idea of a peculiar exhalation from the earth, mingling with, and poisoning the atmosphere, was but a natural conclusion ; and which continued observation has gone far to establish, notwithstanding the most careful analyses has failed to detect it. It must therefore exist in such a peculiar and attenuated form, as yet to be beyond the chemist's test. The Italians called it malaria, or bad air. At the present day it is often called miasma, a Greek work expressive of impurity, or marsh miasma, indicating its source.
Later observations go to show, however, that it is not confined to the marsh. In the rapid settlement of this country, by an agricultural population, it was but too evident, that, in the upturning 6f the virgin soil to the sun and air, sickness often to an alarming extent followed. The vicinity of brick yards, and numerous cellar excavations, in the out-skirts of our rapidly growing cities, and the construction of our public works, in their traverse of the country, were likewise frequently attended by very unhealthy effects when far removed from any marsh. Hence the term marsh miasma is evidently a misnomer ; and yet so wedded do we become to the old ideas that the presence of moisture is necessary to its production, that wherever miasmatic fever prevails, the vicinity of some stagnant pool is apt to be hunted up for a cause; notwithstanding the time of greatest sickness is mostly during the driest season of the year, when pools mostly disappear.
The Italians early investigated the subject; and noticing in many instances its seemingly anomalous morbid effects, in certain places of their country, gave to it a character too fanciful to be recognised by a rigid philosophy. They taught that it attached itself to particles of floating moisture in the atmosphere; lurked in ditches, and invaded often the lower rooms only of houses ; was arrested in its progress by trees, and beaten to the earth by storms of rain ; with other properties often involving a good deal of inconsistency. These ideas were received, and with too little examination promulgated by the learned of other nations, so that even in our latest medical works we have but little more than a reprint of Italian fancies.
In the progressive settlement of this country, and intelligence of the age, an excellent chance was afforded for observation and inquiry; and from accumulated facts, we should consider it as a predisposing cause, and not exciting, as heretofore; that is, the human system is so far debilitated in its vital functions, by this deleterious agent in the atmosphere, that any of the exciting causes of disease, as cold from sudden changes of temperature, exposure to damp night air, excesses, and interference with the regular pro
cesses of life, but more particularly cold in some form, excites disease, recognised as of miasmatic origin, into action. Taking this view, it becomes an easy matter to account for the seeming anomalies mentioned; and we no longer wonder why in low and flat grounds, where the nightly radiation of heat from the earth's surface lowers the temperature of the contiguous atmosphere, with resulting condensation of its moisture, that the chilling effects from fogs and copious falling dews are experienced by the sufferer. Or why the rainy season following the dry, in many tropical countries, is so prolific in miasmatic disease; or in temperate latitudes, it should seem to be dissipated by rain storms, when the dry bracing westerly winds prevail so generally afterwards; at least in our country.
The diseases caused by malaria are mostly peculiar in a distinguishing feature of alternate remissions, and exacerbations often very distinct. Intermittent fever, or fever and ague, is by far the most common form, and the most difficult entirely to get rid of. Bilious remittent fever and dysentery, if less common, are more fatal. Bilious diarrahcoa, and some forms of neuralgia, are traceable to the same source.
In the exhalation of malaria from so many sources, it becomes widely diffused, and most of us become subject to its influence, and measurably liable to an attack. It remains with me, therefore, to indicate the preventive; which, if carried out, will go far to lessen this liability. The following precautions are therefore recommended.
First and most important.—As at this season of the year we are much effected by the Bweltering heats of the summer's sun, it should be our constant endeavor to avoid as much as in our power lies exposure to the chilly air of the night; never, therefore, sit out of an evening, whilst the dew is falling, or even saunter about; or if necessarily exposed, put on your coat or shawl of woolen; otherwise, the sudden check to the perspiratory flow of the previous day, may be followed the next by an attack of ague, or the premonitory symptons of bilious remittent, or dysentery. This, precaution is very neeessary in all low districts, or newly settled countries. I knew an instance of a large boarding school entirely exempt, by being thus particular, when chills and fever prevailed in every family around. If by any chance you should be exposed to the damp and cool night air, let sufficient exercise be taken to keep off a chilly feeling; for be it known that when the chilly sensation is once felt, the mischief is often then done. In a word, adopt every precautionary measure which an intelligent mind may suggest, to shield yourself from sudden cold.
Second.—Avoid excess of diet, indigestible food, be regular at meals, and temperate in drink; cold water in excess may be hurtful.
Third.—Be regular in your periods of nightly rest; and endeavor, in the prosecution of business, that no inordinate exertion be called for to produce exhaustion, for exhaustion increases the predisposition*.
Fourth.—Quietude of mind, so far as it can be attained to, when conjoined with the observance of the foregoing rules, will often go far to ward off an attack of some malignant disease, when in attendance on the sick. And
Lastly.—If repeated attacks of sickness occur, a common circumstance in fever and ague; if you can, leave the unhealthy district, for one less abounding in malarial exhalations, as the only chance of exemption.
LESS KNOWN REASONS FOR WELL KNOWN
The longer the beam of a plow, the less power is required to draw the plow; because the beam is a lever, through which the power is exerted, and, by extending the beam, the long arm of the lever is lengthened, and the leverage is thereby increased. The same is true of many other implements and tools—such as spades, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, planes, screwdrivers, augurs, gimlets, &o.
The greater the diameter of the wheels of a carriage, the less power it requires to overcome the inequalities of a road; both because the leverage is increasod by lengthening the spokes, or radii of the wheels, which are the long arms of the levers, whereby the power is exerted, and because the steepness or abruptness of the obstructions presented to the wheels is lessened by the greater circumference of the wheels. But there is a near limit to the size of the wheels, beyond which no advantage is gained by increasing. For when the axles of the wheels become higher than the point of draught on the animal, a portion of the power exerted merely adds to the weight, or pressure, of the carriage upon the ground; and the portion thus lost increases with the increased neight of the axle above the horizontal line of draught. Besides, the increasing weight of enlarged wheels soon more than counteracts the advantages gained by increasing their diameter.
More carriages meet than overtake a pedestrian, on a road; simply because the length of road offering the opportunity to meet, is the mm. of the distances passed over by the opposite travellers, while the length of road offering the opportunity to overtake, is only the difference of the distances passed over by the pedestrian and the drivers. The chances in the one case are reckoned by the sum, and in the other case by the difference of the speed of the walker and the rider.
The breezes in the groves, on a still day, are explained by the trunks, branches, and leaves of
the trees offering the obstruction of their oppo sing surfaces to whatever motion the air may have, thereby simply causing a greater velocity through the spaces between them.
Winds produce cold in several ways. The act of blowing implies the descent upon, and motion over the earth, of colder air, to occupy the room of that which it displaces. It also increases the evaporation of moisture from the earth, and thus conveys away considerable heat. This increased evaporation, and the mixture of warm and cold air, usually produce a condensation of vapors in the atmosphere; hence the formation of clouds, and the consequent detention of the heat brought by the rays of the sun. And whenever air in motion is colder than the earth, or any bodies with which it comes in contact, a portion of their heat is imparted to the air.
"All signs of rain fail in a dry time;" " wet begets more wet." There is real philosophy in these proverbs. In a dry time, comparatively little evaporation can take place from the parched earth, and the atmosphere becomes but slowly charged with moisture—the source of rain. In a wet time evaporation goes on rapidly from the saturated earth, and soon overcharges the atmosphere with moisture.
The cold moderates immediately preceding a fall of snow; because the vapor in the atmosphere, in the act of congealing into snow, parts with many degrees of heat, which before were latent, and which are at once imparted to the i surrounding atmosphere.
The same is true in respect to the condensation of vapor in a rain; but the amount of latent heat thereby made sensible, is much less than in the act of freezing, 'and it is generally compensated by the loss of heat in the evaporation taking place from the earth after the rain falls. During the fall both of rain and snow, the atmosphere usually becomes gradually colder; because the source of heat derived from the sun| shine is, for the time, cut off, and therefore does j not supply the loss by evaporation and radiation from the earth. Rain and snow are also usually accompanied by wind, a consumer of heat.
It is less tiresome to walk than to stand still a given length of time; for in walking, each set of muscles is resting half of the time, but when standing still, the muscles are continually exerted. The exertion of the muscles in the effort of walking, is not twice as great as in standing still; hence, the former is not equal to the double continuation of the latter.
A considerable quantity of food, taken at one time, into the stomach, is more readily digested than a very small quantity; because, in the former case, the food coming into contact with the entire inner surface of the stomach, excites the I action of the organ, and occasions the secretion of gastric fluid ordinarily sufficient for digesting; but in the latter case, there is not enough food
in the stomach to excite its action. This accounts for the fact often affording a matter of surprise, that persons are frequently made very ill by taking into the stomach a very small quantity of food, when it is remarked that the same persons have previously taken much larger quantities of the same kinds of food with impunity.
The fur or hair of an animal effectually protects it from cold, not so much by covering the body and shutting in the heat, as by preventing the circulation of air around it, so that the heat caDnot be rapidly conveyed away. And the arrangement of hairs perpendicularly, or nearly so, on the surface of the body, by the law of reflection, permits the radiation of but very little heat from the body.
The human system, in its vital or muscular is very analogous to an electric machine, ess dispels the force of both, apparently in the same way. Hence the debilitating effect of hot weather, caused principally by excessive perspiration. The quantity of perspiration can be greatly lessened by refraining from unnecessary drinking. Any one can soon school himself to the requirement of several times less of liquid than he is usually accustomed to drink, by taking only a small quantity at once, and repeating it only as often as thirst is felt.— Tin: Pen and the Lever.
Bt R. C. Wateeston.
Hove thee Nature—love thee well—
In sunny nook and twilight dell,
Where birds and bees and blossoms dwell,
And leaves and flowers; And winds in low sweet voices tell
Of happy hours.
I love thy clear and running streams,
To bless the sight;
And smiles delight.
I love thy forest, deep and lone,
Go slowly by,
Along the sky.
I love to watch at close of day,
As sinks the sun;
Come one by one.
1 love, I know not which the best, The little wood bird in its nest, The wave that mirrors in its breast
The landscape true, Or the sweet flower by winds caressed,
And bathed in dew.
They all are to my bosom dear,
Beyond the skies!
The clouds—the mist—the sunny air—
Were sent in love,
From heaven above!
This is the hour when memory wakes
This is the hour v hen fancy takes
She brings before the pensive mind
Arfd friends who long have been consign'd
The few we liked—the one we loved—
And many a form far hence remov'd,
Friendships that now in death are hush'd,
And hopes that fate too quickly crush'd,
Few watch the fading gleam of day,
Tint after tint they died away,
This is the hour when fancy wreathes
This is the hour when memory breathes
INFLUENCE OF CHARACTER.
There is much in the following suggestions of Bishop Potter, of New York, as profitable for the meditation of parents as of teachers, to whom, as a class, they were specially addressed. We quote from an address delivered before the State Normal School at Albany:
"The teacher cannot impart to others what he does not possess himself. If he be coarse and clownish, he will not do much to refine and humanise his pupils. If he be void of feeling and sentiment, dead to the beauties of nature, and to the beauties of thought and language, there will be nothing suggestive in his glances at nature and life; no repetition of beautiful stories, or of beautiful scraps of simple poetry, to kindle the feeling and imagination of his pupils, and to teach them to recognise and admire what is admirable in sentiment and language.
"Speaking, then, of things which are over and above the elementary instruction you have to impart, I would say to you emphatically, that just in proportion as you improve yourselves in all the respects to which I have now referred, in just such proportion will you contribute to the improvement of your pupils. Of all the daily lessons you can set before them, the best and most valuable is the presence of a beautiful character. 0, it is character—character in the parent, character in the teacher—which works upon the young, drawing them into a resemblance to itself, and doing more to improve their minds, their hearts, and their manners, than can be effected by the most diligent instruction in mere book knowledge.
"Take the children fcnd youth who are often collected together in a rural school, and not one of whom, perhaps, has ever enjoyed the privilege of familiar communication with a person of real refinement and cultivation; and what a wonder it must be to them, and what a blessing, to find themselves daily looking upon, listening to, conversing with a teacher who seems a superior being; a being invested with a wonderful charm, from the gentleness and dignity of his or her manners; the elevation of his sentiments ; the sweetness and gravity of his speech; and the wide range of his thoughts.
"They behold human character in a more engaging form than ever before; and while they admire, they learn to imitate. They perceive that there is something more excellent than their coarse manners and slovenly speech; and they become chastened and refined under the daily example, almost without thinking of it. The teacher reasons with caution and discrimination in their presence; kindles into admiration of some lofty trait of virtue; or expresses horror at some instance of meannesss, cruelty, or depravity; or exercises patience and tenderness toward some infirm and wayward pupil; or points out something exquisitely beautiful in thought and sentiment and character; and as they look on and listen, they begin to feel more deeply what is noble and what is mean; they begin to perceive what it is to reason accurately.
"The character and demeanor of the teacher is a new revelation of goodness and wisdom, and they are glad to become disciples; their intellectual and moral nature catches a glow, is put into healthful exercise, and they gain more by a kind of infection and transfiision from the one superior character than they could acquire from the greatest amount of mere cold and barren lessons. Accurate and vigorous instruction there must of course be—without that, it is mere folly and impertinence to pretend to the higher influences of which I have been speaking. But the higher the culture of the teacher, the better he will know how to make that instruction pleasant and effective; and how to throw over it and around it beautiful and touching lessons for the heart, the fancy, and the taste.
In ancient times, the visits of comets were supposed to portend pestilence and war; and in the reign of Justinian, when two immense "blazing stars" appeared, the direful expectations were abundantly fulfilled—not, however, that those calamities, which desolated large portions of the Eastern Roman Empire, had any connection with the comets. The first alarmed mankind in the month of September, A. D. 531, and was seen for twenty days in the western quarter of the heavens, shooting its rays into the north. The second appeared A. D. 539, and increased to so large a size, that the head was in the east, and the tail reached the west. It was visible for forty days, the sun at the time exhibiting unusual paleness. Varro records a a tradition, that in the time of Ogyges, the father of Grecian antiquity, the planet Venus changed her color, size, figure, and course; a prodigy without example, either in past or succeeding ages. This refers to 1767 years before Christ. Tremendous comets appeared in the west, two generations prior to tho reign of Cyrus ; but one of the most splendid comets was seen forty-four years before the birth of Christ. After the death of Julius Caesar, a " long-haired star" was conspicuous to Rome and to the nations, during the games that were exhibited by young Octavian, in honor of Venus and his uncle Julius Caesar; and the vulgar believed that it conveyed the divine soul of the latter to heaven. The superstition was universal among the ancients, that a comet, "from its horrid hair shakes pestilence and war!" Butmodern philosophy and research have successfully dispelled such vain and idle apprehensions, in all civilized nations. At the birth of the great Mithridates, King of Pontus, two large comets appeared, whose splendor is fabulously said to have equalled that of the sun. They were seen for seventytwo days together, and occupied forty-five degrees, or the fourth part of the visible heavens. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, who lived in the first century of the Christian era, wrote: "The time will come, when the nature of comets and their magnitude will be demonstrated, and the courses they take, so different from those of the planets; and posterity will wonder that the preceding ages should have been ignorant in matters so plain and easy to be known." Arago thought that not less than seven thousand comets revolved in our system. Comets sometimes pass unobserved by the inhabitants of the earth, in consequence of the part of the heavens in which they move being then under daylight. During a total eclipse of the sun, sixty years before Christ, a large comet, not previously seen, became, visible near the body of the obscured luminary. Halley's comet, A. D. 1456, covered a sixth part of the visible heavens, and was likened to a Turkish scymitar. That observed by Newton, A. D. 1680, had a
tail 123,000,000 of miles in length. A comet, A. D. 1744, had six tails, spread out like a fan, across a large space in the sky.—Pennsylvania Inquirer.
WHAT A WOMAN CAN DO.
As a wife and mother, woman can make the fortune and happiness of her husband and children; and even if she did nothing else, surely this would be sufficient destiny. By her thrift, prudence and tact, she can secure to her partner and herself a competence in old age, no matter how small their beginning, or how adverse a fate occasionally be theirs. By her cheerfulness she can restore her husband's spirit, shaken by the anxieties of business. By her tender care she can often restore him to health, if disease has seized upon his overtasked powers. By her counsel and her love, she can win him from bad company, if temptation in an evil hour has led him astray. By her example, her precepts, and her sex's insight into character, she can mould her children, however diverse tbeir dispositions, into good and noble men and women. And by leading in all things a true and beautiful life, she can refine, elevate and spiritualize all who come within reach, so that with others of her sex emulating and assisting her, she can do more to regenerate the world than all the statesmen or reformers that ever legislated. She can do as much, alas! perhaps even more, to degrade man, if she chooses to do it.
Who can estimate the evil that woman has the power to do? Asa wife, she can ruin her husband by extravagance, folly, or want of affection. She can make a devil and an outcast of a man, who might otherwise have become a good member of society. She can bring bickerings, strife and perpetual discord into what has been a happy borne. She can change the innocent babes whom God has entrusted to her charge, into vile men, and even viler women. She can lower the moral tone of society itself, and thus pollute legislation at the spring head.. She can, in fine, become an instrument of evil instead of an angel of good. Instead of making flowers of truth, purity, beauty and spirituality spring up in her footsteps, till the whole earth smiles with loveliness that is almost celestial, she can transform it to a black and blasted desert, covered with the scorn of all evil passions, and swept by the bitter blasts of everlasting death. This is what a woman can do for the wrong as well as for the right. Is her mission a little one? Has she no "worthy work," as has become the cry of late? Man may have a hardier task to perform, a rougher path to travel, but he has none loftier or more influential than woman's.— Woman's Advocate.
For Friends' Intelligencer.
Review of tJie Weather, &c., for Seventh month.
Rain during some portion of the 24 hours, 8 d's do. "the whole or nearly the whole
Cloudy without storms, 9"
Ordinary clear, 14"
Mean temperature of the month, per
Pennsylvania Hospital, 79.68°j
Amount of rain falling during do. . . . 1.50in 3.91in
The average Mean Temperature of this month for the past sixty-eight years is 75.56 degrees; the highest ditto during that entire period (1793 and 1838) was 81 degrees, and the lowest, (the memorable 1816,) 68 degrees.
In reference to rain, although during the fore part of the month quite a number of days were chronicled on which rain fell, we learn from'the record at the.Pennsylvania Hospital, that, up to the 22d inclusive, only 0.32 inches, (about one third of an inch) had fallen, while on the 23d, 1.56 inches fell.
Hail, accompanied the rain on several occasions during the latter part of the month, while in many sections of the United States, most terrific and destructive hail storms have prevailed, blasting the fond hopes of the husbandman.
The writer has not examined his own record, but has seen it stated that the 20th inst., constituted the thirty-fifth successive Second day on which rain had fallen during some portion of the twenty-four hours. J. M. E.
Phila., Sth mo. Slh, 1857.
ORIGIN OF THE NAMES OF PLACES.
Names have all some meaning when first imposed; and when a place is inhabited for the first time by any people, they apply to it some term, in early times generally descriptive of its natural peculiarities, or something else on account of which it is remarkable, from their own language. When we find, therefore, that the old names of natural objects and localities in a country belong, for the most part, to a particular language, we may conclude with certainty that a people speaking that language formerly occupied the country. Of this the names they have so impressed are as sure a proof as if they had left a distinct record of their existence in words engraven on the rocks. Such old names of places often long outlive both the people that bestowed them, and nearly all the material monuments of their occupancy. The language, as a vehicle of oral communication, may gradually be forgotten, and be heard no more where it was once in universal use; and the old topographical nomenclature may still remain unchanged. Were the Irish tongue, for instance, utterly to pass away I and perish in Ireland, as the speech of any por