A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 822 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14.
[1] “The two time-keepers being put on each side of the great cabin, I put a thermometer by each, and before a fire was kept in the cabin, I never saw them differ more than half a degree; but since there has been a fire, I have constantly found that thermometer highest, which happened to be on the weather-side, sometimes by three degrees, whereas one would naturally have expected it to have been just the contrary.”—­W.
The rapidity of the current of moist air would be no doubt greater on the other side, and therefore, as moisture occasions cold, would lower the thermometer on that side.  On the weather-side, on the contrary, the air would be less quickly changed, and of course preserve greater uniformity of temperature.  This explanation, however, depends on a certain supposition as to the form of the cabin, and its kind of communication with the external air.—­E.
[2] “The natural state of the heavens, except in the south-east quarter, and for about ten degrees of altitude all round the horizon, was a whitish haze, through which stars of the third magnitude were just discernible.  All round, the horizon was covered with thick clouds, out of which arose many streams of a pale reddish light, that ascended towards the zenith.  These streams had not that motion which they are sometimes seen to have in England; but were perfectly steady, except a small tremulous motion which some of them had near their edges.
“19th.—­In the night the southern lights were very bright at times, and the colours much more various and vivid than they were on Wednesday night, their motion also was greater, so that on the whole they were extremely beautiful.
“20th.—­At nine o’clock in the evening, the southern light sprung up very bright about the east point of the horizon, in a single steady pillar, of a pale reddish light.  Its direction was not directly towards the zenith, but gradually deflected towards the south, and grew fainter as it ascended, so as to vanish about south-east, and at forty-five degrees of altitude.

    “15th March.—­The southern lights very bright at times, and exceeding
    beautiful; their colours being vivid, and their motion quick and

“18th.—­A little after nine o’clock in the evening it was very clear, and the southern lights were exceeding bright and beautiful, and appeared of a semi-circular or rainbow-like form, whose two extremities were nearly in the east and west points of the horizon.  This bow, when it first made its appearance, passed a considerable way to the north of the zenith; but rose by degrees, turning, as it were, on its diameter, and passing through the zenith, settled at length towards the southern horizon.  These lights were at one time so bright, that we could discern our shadows on the deck.”—­W.
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