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SECT. VIII.

OF THE QUALITIES AND POWERS OF THE WINDS; IN

PROSECUTION OF THE SIXTH AND FOURTEENTH

ARTICLES OF THE TABLE OF ENQUIRY.

TRANSITION.

MEN have shewn little diligence, and curiosity, in observing the qualities, and powers of the winds. We shall here only select such particulars relating thereto, as are more stable and' certain; leaving the lighter to the mercy of the winds.

The south wind with us, brings rain; and the north fair weather. The former gathering and fostering the clouds; the latter dissipating and dispersing them. Whence the poets, when they describe the deluge, feign the north wind at that time imprisoned; and the south-wind sent out with a very extensive commission.

The west wind is esteemed the wind of the golden age; the companion of perpetual spring; and the cherisher of flowers.

The school of Paracelsus, seeking a place for their three principles in the temple of Juno, that is, the air, have nitcht the south, the north, and the west; but excluded the east*.

"Tincturis liquidum qui mercurialibus austrum,
Divitis et zephyri rorantes sulphure venas,
Et Boream tristi rigidum sale,"

In England, we take the east for a pernicious wind whence our common saying, : "East is neither good for man nor beast."

The south wind blows after the sun has been present; but the north wind, after the sun has been absent in our hemisphere: the east wind, in the same direction with the air's motion; but the west wind always contrary thereto : the west wind, from the sea; the east, generally from the continent, in Europe and the western parts of Asia. And these are the more essential differences of the winds; upon which most of their powers and qualities depend.

The south wind is less anniversary, and stated, than the north; as also more variable and free: and when become stated, it is so gentle as to be scarce perceptible.

The south wind blows lower, and more laterally; but the north wind higher, and proceeds from above. This we mean not of the elevation and depression of the pole above mentioned ; but that the south wind has its origin generally nearer the earth, and the north wind farther up from it.

Though the south wind brings rain with us, yet it brings fair weather in Africa, and causes great heats; Africa, however, is tolerably whole

some: but if the south wind with us continue blowing fair weather without rain, for a considerable time, it proves very pestilential.

The south and west winds generate no vapours; but only blow from those quarters where the greatest quantity of vapours is collected by the increase of the sun's heat, which raises vapours; and therefore these are rainy winds: but if they proceed from dry places, that are free from vapours, they blow fair weather; though along with their purity they are sometimes sultry.

The south and west winds with us in England, seem confederates; being both of them warm and moist: on the other hand, the north and east winds seem related; as both of them are cold and dry.

The north and south winds blow oftener, as we touched above, than the east and west; because of the great inequality of vapours in the north and south parts, occasioned there by the absence and presence of the sun, which is, as it were, neutral or indifferent to the east and west.

The south wind from the sea is very wholesome; but more unhealthy from the continent:. on the contrary, the north wind from the sea is to be suspected; but from the land it is wholesome. Again, the south wind blowing from the

sea is very beneficial to fruits and plants; driv ing away mildews, blasts and the like, from them.

A gentle south wind does not greatly collect clouds; but often proves serene; especially if it be of short continuance: but if it blow rough or long, it causes a cloudy sky, and brings on rain; though it does this rather when it ceases or begins to fall, than when it first rises, or continues in its strength.

The south wind, both in rising and falling, generally causes a change of weather; as from serene to cloudy; or from hot to cold: on the contrary, the north wind often rises and falls again, without altering the former state of the weather.

After frosts, or long continued snows, scarce any other wind blows besides the south; or if a concoction were now made of the frozen matters, which thus resolve: yet rain does not always follow hereupon; for there are some serene thaws.

The south wind rises oftener, and blows stronger, by night than by day; especially in winter nights: but the north wind, if contrary to its custom, it should rise by night, seldom continues above three days.

Greater waves roll to the shore when the south wind, than when the north wind blows

though they were both to blow with equal force, or even the south wind weakest*.

When the south wind blows, the sea appears blue, or more bright; but when the north wind blows, it appears blacker and darker.

When the air grows warm of a sudden, it sometimes denotes rain; and, on the contrary, a cold gale sometimes does the same: but this follows according to the nature of the wind; for if the air grow warm with a south or east wind, it foretels rain at hand; and so likewise, when it grows cold with a north or west wind.

The south wind generally blows by itself, and unattended; but the north wind, especially that which is six points to the east, and the west two points to the north, are often attended with other different and contrary winds; whence they are resisted, and rendered tumultuary.

The north wind is to be avoided in the sowing of seed; and the south wind in the business of inoculating and engrafting.

The leaves of trees soonest fall off on the south side; but vines throw out their shoots to the south, and scarce have any other tendency.

Pliny observes, that in wide pasture grounds,

*How is this certainly known?

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