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TO THE EDITOR OF THE CEYLON MAGAZINE.
Sip,- I beg to suggest the following lines as an appropriate motto to your Magazine.
Your obedient servant,
A WELL-WISAER. " Si quid porósti rectius istis • Candidus imperti : Si non, bis utere mecum."
Horatii Epist: Lib. 1-6. If you know any thing better than these, frankly communicate your know. ledge; but if not use these with me. (Our well-wisher is thanked. We shall avail ourself of his suggestion.—ED. C. M.)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CEYLON MAGAZINE.
Ma. EDITOR,Ever since I read the Propectus and Plan of your Ceylon Magazine, I have consented to be a Subscriber to it, for I said this monthly paper will be a very good thing if the gentlemen who write it do what they say they will, at any rate it will not be a very bad thing like many weekly papers that are written in different places, Sir, I have conti. pued to Subscribe and I have also never refused to pay for it ever since it was printed, and so I think, Sir, I have a right to tell you what I and some other Singhalese thiuk of your Ceylon Magazine. I think there are some good things in it, a:d I think there are some things in it too that are pot so good, but I do not mean to offend you or the learned gentlemen that write them. I only wish you, Mr. Editor, to know what you cannot know urless you are told, -I mean the opivion of the native Subscribers and read. ers of your Ceylon Magazine. We tbink your paper is filled too much with Europe country writing, I mean with Essays, Stories and Poetry. The Essays and Stories we hear from those who understand properly, are good, and some of the Poetry too, although some of it is not so goud. Now I dare say Eu. rope gentlemen like all that, and so they ought if it is good, and they do pot ask anything else, altbough I hear some of them say there is too much writing of one sort in your Magazine. But, M:. Editur, Sir, should not a Ceyion Magazine bare also sometbing about Ceylon in it? I know there were some “ Poetical Sketches" of this island, but I never understood them. There havo been one or two good papers about things of our island and a great deal about the Tamils, which is also good, so much, but we ask for sometbing more,-some writings about ourselves, about what ne ure and also too about what we ought to be and what we might be, and how wo are to be lbat
This is what we desire and are anxious to have, and will you pot gite it to us? I think you or some of the other writers will do it now you know I haro writ:en all this for you to read and I have said all I can think about just now, Mr. Editor, you must feel kindly what I have said to you in this paper and not take offence with
A NATIVE SOBECRIBER
(We have not taken offence at our Subscriber's letter. We have stood up.
kindlier criticisin then bis. The Projectors of the Ceylon Magazine never expected to please all, and we imagine there are very few Periodicals, if any, which do not contain
some things that
so good.'' Still tbe paucity of articles in our Maga: touching Ceylon, is not to be denied. The Ceylon Magazine is npen ic all. It has never been sbut against & worthy article once, which, we regret was partly our own fault, partly the authors. If those
who CON write about Ceylon would write, there would be po lack of interesting papers, and we must confess ibat : we are disappointed at finding so few laborers in ihe field. What are the Singhalese scholars and professors at ('otta doing? Where ure the literary of the Ceylonese? Let them come forward anu put their shoulders to wr wheels.-Ed. C. M.]
ON THE COOLING INFLUENCE OF A CLEAR NIGHT.
BY THE REF. J. G. MACVICAR, M. A.
Sin,-It occurs to me that it might give additional value to your periodical if there appeared in its pages 101 and then, a paper on some branch of popular Science. There are few subjects that find more readers at bome. But at the same time the papers adapted whether for Europe or Norika America, would not often do for republication here. In fact, even in those scientific researches which are intended to be lost general, there is often much liat is local. And in the papers and treatises of the North-west there is generally unch malter which though giren out as is universally true, is yet quite suitable to us who reside in a latitude and climate so different from that of the regious roferred in. In treatises on gerere! science', ihe sulject plainly verdil to bo divesled of all that is merely local or incidental, and the doctrines which uso given out as principles otght to be 1025 Nally irue, wherever maiter acting according to the laws of mutivi: is fupd. bat iliis rule is observed only by the Mechanician- The experimental philosophier violates it in almost every experiment; and the consequence is, that our systems of physics and of chemistry are not general or cosmical systems but more frequently merely classified statements of local phenomena. For instance, it is laid down in every scientific work as a leading fact in the properties of water that it dolls at 212° of Fal, And every one in forming a scientifc notion of the nature of water, is tbas betrayed into the belief that this is one of its characteristics, that it boils at 212o. In point of fact, however, this is no characteristic of water at all-It is just as mucb in the nature of water to boil at 112° or 312° as at 212° Its boiling point depends entirely on the amount of pressure upou its surface But because buwan creatures, who are curious about such watters, usually live in large towns which are generally located whare food is found, that is, in plains Dear the level of the sea, and because at this particular distance from the top of the superincumbent atmosphere, water happens to boil at 212° it is given out as sometbing quite characteristic of water that it boils al 212o. At the top of Adam's Peak however, it will boil before it reaches 200 °, and while it is so cold, that however briskly it may bubble, it would be incapablo of cooking many ordinary articles of food or even of making gond Coffee. And in a vacuum or wherever the pressure of the incumbent atmosphere has been remored, it will boil with the best of the hand. Now this is only one of nuinberless instances of the same kind which infect almost all our scientific, treatises (except those wbicb are purely mathematical.) They mix up pba, ia merely local, particular and accidental, with what is catholic and cosmical and consequently gire a very confused account of substances. Science, instead of being nearly perfect as the uninitiated are tempted to heliese from the eulogistic language generally inade use of whe speaking of it, is still only in its infancy. There is no reason to doubl, or rather let us say there is every reason to hope, that some future generntion will look with as much contempt on our chemistry as we do on the chemistry of the apcients.
Certain steps bave been made however which can never be averthrown or need to be retraced-Men of genius occasionally arise who have been gifted with the power of seeing things as they are, at least down to a certain depth - And by them step after step has been made until now that we may safely say thui we know a few things in natural philosophy.
Such a man was Dr. Wells, and such is the characteristic of the discoveries which be has left behind him in his Essay on Dex-The principles which he there advances to account for the coldness of clear nights and the phenomena of dew and hoar frost, are applicable not to Europe ouly, or to Europe and Americą together, but hold good universally wherever there are land and water, air and clouds or clear sky.
la this climate there are many fine illustrations of his Theory which are all the more interesting in cuns quence of the monotony, generally speaking, of its meteorology-Nor are they alto;'ether uninteresting in an economica point of viewPew persons, for instance, suspect that the surface of the soil and the plants growing on it in the neighvourhood of Colonbo, are exposed lo a range of temperature of upwards of 100 degrees, namely, from 160 to 52; yet buch is the fact. At present a Thermometer laid on the surface of the ground
in the Cinnamud garden will rise under the influenco of the sun shige 19 180°, and indeed much higher, provided it be small and well insulated from the breeze and colder bodies around. While on the 20 January, during the night, i fell in a similar situation to 52' and ou the preceding night still lower.
No wonder then it is so difficult to raise mast crops from seed in the open fell in tbis country, !t will readily be granted that few plants could be ex. pecied to survive such a range of temperature-In Europe, indeed, there are : ranges as great, but with this difference, that the heat occurs only at one season when the agriculturist las prepared for it by having all his fields clad by cmps, while the extreme cold occurs after a long interval when he is equally prepared for it. In this climate again, both extremes may occur within twenty, four hours.
With r.gard to the statement which has just been made as to the high temperature of the soil, the reader will not be surprised at il—The wonder father is that it should not be greater, since the same temperature has been frequenly observed far froin the line both North and South, as for instance at we Cape of Good Hope on the one hand, and in Scotland on the other, where the sun shines pot otherwise thun obliqnely at erery sease, while bere de passes right through the Zenith (wice 4-year shiping perpendicularly dowu, and consequently with all the force of wbich he is capablo. But I beliere there are not many of the iuhabitants of this quarter who are aware that the temperature of the surface of the ground ever falls so low as 529. Nor is this to be wondered at since the Thermometer suspended at a height con. senient for observation is seldom seen below 70%. It often happens, hunerer, that the surface of the ground is many degrees colder than that of the air ereu a few inched above it. And this is the primary fact on which the great depression of the ground-thermometer and all the phenomena of dew are to be explained-ou which, indved, they have been already beautifully explained by Dr. Wells in his theory of dew already referred to.
lu order to the cooling of the ground, or of the vegetation upon it, many de. greus below that of the incumbeut air, it is only necessary that the night be clear and the ground or herbage be freely exposed to the sky. After such a pight it is always found that a great degree of cold has existed; and the ph. Domeuon is to be thus explaived.
All bodies whatever are consiunils giving off heat. There is consequently an universal interchange of beat between all budies–Every body is constaully giving and taking heat; and in order that the temperature of any body be sustained, it is essential that it take as much as it gives. Now suppose one plot of ground with the foliage of forest trees over it, and another wholly exposed in the open sky, the former, according to the riew that has been advanced, will not be cooled so much as the latter, because though the heat (supposing both squally warm in the evening) will be given off in equal quantities, yet the
brand of the shaded Beld in rådiating upwards will strike the foliage ahore it, whicb being thus warmed, will return the heat it receives, back 10 the ground again. The field exposed to the open sky, on the other hand, while it gives off as much as the other, receives no return, for the sky is very cold compared oven with the coldest regions of the earth's surface. The same result will happen if instead of foliage over head there be clouds. In that case just as in the case of the forest, the heat giren off from the ground during the night warms the clouds, and they, being thus warmed, retain the heat to the earth again, and so on till morning, when of course no indications are to be observed of that degree of coldness on the surface of the earth which usually follows a clear night.
In temperate climates, and especially in Great Britain where agriculture bas been so much attended to, great use is made of this principle for the protection of seedlings and delicate blossoms. And in this climate it might be immediately turned to account in cooling water, especially during this monsoon, when the sky is often very clear, and the cold produced by eraporation might be combined with that to be obtained' by free exposure in a flat dish to the open sky. Mean time, however, I proposed to myself no more than to state the principle-which Bome in this neighbourhood may indeed consider is no other light than an argument in self-defence, since when I mentioned that the Thermometer laid ou the ground in the Cinnamon gardon fell during the night of the 20 January só 62 °, every one to whom i made the statement looked at me as if there were some mistake. The subject may easily be prosecuted in future papers however should it prore interesting.
" The flag that's braved a thousand years
“ The hallle and the breeze."
Go forth a pilgrim, wander o'er
The earth's e'er changing lace:
Each Kingdom, clime and race.
Say, can aught nation brag,
Unturled, Britannia's Flag.
Go, pilgrim go, and let thy way
Be o'er the trackless deep,
Where storms their empire keep.