MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
after two the storm began in the parish of Hartley, moving slowly from north to south; and from thence it came over Norton Farm and so to Grange Farm, both in this parish.  It began with vast drops of rain, which were soon succeeded by round hail, and then by convex pieces of ice, which measured three inches in girth.  Had it been as extensive as it was violent, and of any continuance (for it was very short), it must have ravaged all the neighbourhood.  In the parish of Hartley it did some damage to one farm; but Norton, which lay in the centre of the storm, was greatly injured; as was Grange, which lay next to it.  It did but just reach to the middle of the village, where the hail broke my north windows, and all my garden lights and hand-glasses, and many of my neighbours’ windows.  The extent of the storm was about two miles in length, and one in breadth.  We were just sitting down to dinner; but were soon diverted from our repast by the clattering of tiles and the jingling of glass.  There fell at the same time prodigious torrents of rain on the farm above mentioned, which occasioned a flood as violent as it was sudden, doing great damage to the meadows and fallows by deluging the one and washing away the soil of the other.  The hollow lane towards Alton was so torn and disordered as not to be passable till mended, rocks being removed that weighed two hundredweight.  Those that saw the effect which the great hail had on the ponds and pools, say that the dashing of the water made an extraordinary appearance, the froth and spray standing up in the air three feet above the surface.  The rushing and roaring of the hail, as it approached, was truly tremendous.

Though the clouds at South Lambeth, near London, were at that juncture thin and light, and no storm was in sight, nor within hearing, yet the air was strongly electric; for the bells of an electric machine at that place rang repeatedly, and fierce sparks were discharged.

REV.  GILBERT WHITE.

* * * * *

CHARACTER OF SIR WALTER SCOTT.

About half-past one P.M. on the 21st of September, 1832, Sir Walter Scott breathed his last, in the presence of all his children.  It was a beautiful day—­so warm, that every window was wide open—­and so perfectly still, that the sound of all others most delicious to his ear, the gentle ripple of the Tweed over its pebbles, was distinctly audible as we knelt around the bed, and his eldest son kissed and closed his eyes.  No sculptor ever modelled a more majestic image of repose.

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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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