Page images

much like lunatics that he has a sincere desire to avoid them, if one of his old friends happens to be

DERVISHES. walking with him.” After reading this, who can The dervishes fill the same place in the East that doubt the truth of Mrs. Poyser's axiom, -" What a the monks did in the West. They have their conman wants in a wife mostly is, to make sure of one vents, or Tekkiehs, too, and very numerous these fool as 'll tell him he's wise." All we can say in must be, for the author of the book whose title is reply is, that women do not go about bareheaded, given below fills thirteen pages with a list of those that they do not look more like lunatics than ever to be found at Constantinople alone. But the occathey did, and that the British husband and father | pants of the Tekkieh, twelve and upwards in each, who is ashamed to meet them is a near relative of form only a small section of the community,- multiMrs. Harris. “Let no one imagine," continues the tudes of Mussulmans being everywhere affiliated a shadowy person, “that because our wives and lay brothers. Many of these institutions are richly daughters are enjoined to go about only half endowed, but their inmates fare none the better for clothed, the scanty covering they are bidden to it, since the surplus revenues are devoted to the rewear will be less expensive than if it was of more lief of the poor. And their number is perpetually becoming proportions." We are really sorry for augmenting, for the dervish chiefs have a keen eye this sufferer, whose wives and daughters actually to the “spiritual destitution ” especially of the me seem to be lunatics in that they go about half tropolitan districts, and, when they consider a Tekdressed ; and we hope he will apply to Sir Richard kieh needed in any quarter, forthwith they organize Mayne for help in the preservation of public de- the requisite staff, and, leaving the rest to Proricency. The wives and daughters of other mendence and the exertions of these gentlemen, tronble whom one sees in the streets are, to all appearances, themselves no further in the matter, feeling thorclothed, and in their right mind. Their husbands oughly assured of the result. and fathers, so far as we know, do not try to avoid The origin of the brotherhood is involved in obthem; and ingenious artistic inquirers are too much scurity. Unquestionably it has a very respectable interested in noticing the harmony of color and antiquity, and probably dates from a period prior to gracefulness of fold for which modern costume is the advent of the Prophet; but most people will be remarkable, to think of filching a little of that study inclined to disagree with those Oriental writers for nothing which they can so easily and cheaply quoted by Mr. Brown,* who number most of the paobtain in the life-classes in the neighborhood of triarchs, including Adam himself, among its menFitzroy Square.

bers. Be the origin, however, what it may, the But, after all, there is no use fighting with a stage- present organization is altogether Mohammedas. dummy. These lachrymose complaints about the Concerning the peers, or founders of the many dress and conduct of women have always formed orders into which it is divided, Mr. Brown tells part of the stock-in-trade of certain writers, and are many stories that strikingly resemble the saintly leto be regarded as so much stage-business. Here and gends of Christendom, as, for instance, of the Sheikh there the mimetic muse seizes upon some real Jebawa, who in his day was accustomed to use lire feature, — some chance extravagance of fashion, ly puff adders as cords for his fagots, and who for the purposes of travestie; but, for the most part, founded the order of serpent-charmers. she raises her man or woman of straw, and pretends The dervish somehow or other manages to make to weep over the absurdities of the being she has the theology of the Koran harmonize with the folcreated. If the dress at present worn by fashion-lowing pantheistic opinions, - that the outward able women were so manipulated at the waist as to forms of religion are matters of indifference; that allow the skirt to fall more freely and naturally, it paradise, hell, and the positive dogmas of religion would be the most admirably artistic costume of are allegories; that God and nature are identical, recent times. We presuppose, of course, the avoid that all beings are emanations from the Divinity; ance of that exaggerated ornament adopted by the that there is no real difference between good and young persons who parade Oxford Street, from whom evil; that the soul is confined as in a cage in the such critics as the inquisitive man seem to have body, and if through sin it become incapable of anderived their notion of the prevalent dress worn by nihilation in the Deity by the process called death, English women. The new methods of arranging the it must undergo metempsychosis until sufficiently hair are no less admirable from an artistic point of purified; and that the great object of the dervish is view, especially where there exists the prevailing intense meditation on the Unity, which he calle type of English face, as seen in young girls who are “ Zikr," and which he aids and cultivates in every not too stout. The outcry against the dyeing of possible way. This meditation must be so profound hair is only a part of the insufferable cant of which and continuous that, even in the midst of a crowd, we speak; for everybody knows that dyeing hair is the meditator shall hear no disturbing sound, and not, and has never been, a prevailing custom in that every word spoken, no matter by whom, shall English society. We are glad to perceive, how appear the echo of the Zikr. The dervish believes ever, that the large, smooth chignon, which seemed that by incessant practice of this Zikr the soul, eren to be some monstrous growth arising from the back in this life, may assimilate itself with God in power of the head, and which was frequently of foreign as well as in perfection. This state is called Kor. manufacture, is disappearing; and with it we shoula veh i roohee batinee," which attained, the derrish like to send one or two minor details of ornament becomes invested with the most extraordinary pow. which interfere with the effect of a generally pleas-ers, – prophetic and miraculous. Mr. Brown gives ing, appropriate, and comfortable costume. There many anecdotes illustrative of this power, which ocis yet one other thing which we should like to de- casionally condescends to produce very ordinary rspatch, - the insinuations of immodesty which a bad sults. “In my youth," writes a dervish, “I was the digestion or a corrupt education has drawn from the inseparable companion of the Said Molana at Heral pen of too many of those ready writers who have not been ashamed to assume the character of the

**The Dervishes, or Oriental Spiritualista." By Jakn P. Brona,

Secretary and Dragoman of the Legation of the United State foregoing inquisitive man.

| America at Constantinople. (London: Trübner and Co. 1888.)


It happened one day, as we walked out together, which had died out, - indeed, it is told that these that we fell in with a company who were engaged faculties declined with the natural decay of his in a wrestling match. As an experiment, we agreed ordinary strength of mind and body. to aid with our powers of the will one of the wrest- Nor is the power of the will limited to merely lers so that he should overcome the other, and after earthly objects. The practice of the Zikr discloses doing so to change our design in favor of the loser. the spirit world to the devotee, and enables him to So we stopped, and turning towards the parties, arrest and hold converse with angel and jinn, and gave the full influence of our united wills to one, especially with the Rijal i Ghaib, or unseen men, and immediately he was able to subdue his oppo- concerning whom we can scarcely do better than nent. As we chose, each in turn conquered the condense and compound the varying descriptions other, — whichever we willed to prevail instantly with which Mr. Brown favors us: Three of this grew the stronger, and thus the power of our wills band, called the masters of destiny, the Kutb, or was clearly manifested."

centre, and his two umeva, or faithful, never leave On another occasion a similar pair came upon a their post on the summit of the Caaba. The remob gathered round a prize fight. « To prevent mainder wander everywhere over the whole world any of the crowd from passing between and sepa- in obedience to the divine command, completing its rating us," writes one, "we joined our hands togeth- circuit in a month. Every morning they return to er. One of the combatants was a powerful fellow, Mecca, report their proceedings to the Kutb, say while the other was spare and weak, and of course their prayers, and set out anew in the direction laid the former had it all his own way. Seeing this, I down for the day on the daireh, or guiding circle, proposed to my companion to overthrow the stronger which each of them carries, and which is divided man by the force of our wills. He agreed, and into thirty parts. The jurisdiction of these wandaccordingly we concentrated our powers upon the erers includes everything human, nor can anything weaker party. Immediately a wonderful occurrence be done until they have decided concerning it. By took place. The thin spare man seized his giant-consulting the tables of the daireh, it is possible to like opponent and threw him to the ground with ascertain the direction in which they are going on surprising force. The crowd cried out with as- any particular day, and to look to them for help, tonishment as he turned him over on his back and which is never refused to the worthy. These Rijal held him down with apparent ease. Nor did any i Ghaib, as the dervish believes, are human beings, one present except ourselves know the cause. See still in the body, who have done indeed with coming that my companion's eyes were much affected by mon life and its duties, but over whose changeless the effort which he had made, I bade him remark heads centuries must pass before the angel of death how perfectly successful we had been, and adding calls them to union with Allah, and opens their that there was no longer any necessity for our re- office to others, who are rendered worthy of it by maining here, we walked away.” It is impossible the practice of the Zikr. Nor are the Rijali Ghaib to contend with an Arif or knowing person possessed the only dervishes who have prolonged their lives inof the power of the will; nor when he is inclined to definitely by this means; there are many others still assist is it necessary that the individual should be a existing, and destined to exist until the close of time, believer. He may even be an infidel, since his as the Iman Mehdee, but chiefly El Khizr the mysfaith is not necessary to the performance of the sterious, the founder of dervishism, and the instrucwiller's design. After relating several achieve- tor of the patriarchs in its mysteries. ments of a celebrated sheikh, -relieving a be- To become a dervish it is necessary to be regleaguered city and dispersing an enormous army ularly affiliated to pass through a long and trying being among them, - Mr. Brown continues to this ordeal. The ceremonies attending initiation are effect: Many individuals who oppressed his much the same in all orders, - we give a summary friends received punishment through the power of of those practised by the Bektashees. Having this sheikh; some even fell sick and died, or were found two sponsors, themselves full-blown dervishes, only restored to health by openly declaring their to introduce him, the aspirant provides a sheep and penitence and by imploring his intercession with a sum of money proportionate to his means, and Allah. His spirit even accompanied his friends and hastens to the Tekkieh on the night appointed. enabled him to commune with them at immense At the door he finds his sponsors, who sacrifice the distances. His power of affecting the health of sheep on the sill. Putting the flesh aside for the those who injured himself or bis friends was greatly feast that is to close the ceremony, they twist a porincreased when he was excited by anger, and then tion of the wool into a cord, which they throw bis whole frame would be convulsed and his beard round the neck of the novice, and retain the removed as if by electricity. Occasionally he exerted mainder to be woven into that essential portion of his powers in such a manner as to throw individuals his future costume,- the taibend, or belt. Inside into a sort of trance, which deprived them of the door he finds three others, who, if he intends to memory; nor could they emerge from that state the severer vows, including those of celibacy, strip until he thought fit to release them. Whenever the him altogether, - otherwise only to the waist ; but details of any cruelty practised on the innocent in the latter case they take care to remove every reached his ears, the sheikh would be strangely mineral substance from about his person. He is affected, so much so that none dared to address now led by the woollen cord into the hall, where he him until the paroxysm was over, and on such finds the skeikh and twelve brethren seated in a occasions he never failed to communicate spiritually semicircle in front of the Maidan Tash, - a stone with the prince who had commanded these cruel- with twelve angles. His conductors place the asties, nor to control him to deal vengeance on the pirant on this stone with his head bent humbly, and really guilty. Notwithstanding all these eminent his arms crossed on his breast. In this position he powers, this great sheikh is reputed to have spent repeats certain prescribed prayers after the skeikh. his last days at Herat in extreme indigence, much He is then led down and placed kneeling before the slighted by those who had so greatly revered him latter, who grasps his hands and administers the during the vigor of his spiritual faculties, all fear of oaths, including one of secrecy, and thus his novitiate commences. This is in every respect a species place in the centre to reanimate such as flag, and to of penal servitude, -as irksome as fanaticism can stimulate all to fiercer exertions. make it. Every day a certain number of tedious Another pause, and act four begins. It is some forms must be observed, many annoying little tasks thing like a cannibal dance, - the wildest scene of a performed, and a few prayers repeated, from 101 to Feejee carnival. Still retaining their semi-circular the very comfortable number of 1,001 times each, - arrangement, the dervishes jam their shoulders to while, if the unfortunate murid omit but a single gether, and sweep round and round the hall in Gate one of his impositions, the novitiate must recom- rageous hornpipe, diversified with a violent dasa de mence. At the close of this period, - in most highland fling, and accompanied by a perfect hrcases 1,001 days, — he obtains the status of a der-ricane of yells. The scene is beyond measure tivish, and is invested ceremoniously with the cos-citing. Even the sheikh, hitherto silent and intume. The chief articles of this dress are the taj I passive, catches the contagion, and, joining the circle, or cap, the khirka or mantle, and the taibend or emulates the maddest of his disciples. Towards the belt. In addition to these the dervislı wears ear- close of this act some of the older dervishes quit the rings called mengoosh, a stone attached to the neck, ranks and take down certain awkward-looking iron teslem tash, and another in the girdle, pelenk tools which hang, along with a number of cutlass Every article is the subject of many wonderful le-round the walls. These are heated to a white glow gends, and has a hundred different mystic significa- and presented to the sheikh. The whole of the der tions, many of which Mr. Brown inflicts on us in all vishes, mad as March hares, cluster round hin, hout. their tediousness, but which we shall neglect, merely ling each other for the nearest place. The sbih remarking that the taj is by far the most important prays over the irons, invokes the peer of the order, item, that it is formed of several pieces called terks, I and, breathing on each, hands them to the dervisho which vary in number according to the wearer's who struggle and fight for the glowing bars as if they order and grade, and that it is marked and in- / were so many sceptres. In an instant a disorders scribed in all directions with mystic word and sign. | mass, leaping, whirling, yelling, and wielding their

With respect to their ceremonies, we find that weapons in all directions, astonishes the hall. They each order requires its members to recite certain hug the hot irons, “ gloat upon them tenderly, lich prayers at fixed hours, in private as well as in com- | them, bite them, hold them between their teeth, and mon. Some of these are not very lively perform-/ end by cooling them in their mouths." Those who ances; as, for instance, sitting stock still in a circle are unable to secure iron lay hold of the cutlast until the phrase, “La ilaha ill’ Allah," has been re- and thrust them furiously into their sides, arins, also peated 1,001 times. Several orders, however, in- | legs. The sheikh walks round, surveys the dervishes dulge in practices a little more exciting, and in each one by one, breathes upon their wounds, rutes toc of their convents there is a hall devoted to such ex-with saliva, and in twenty-four hours afterwards to ercises. This apartment is formed of wood, and bas even a scar is to be seen; a fact, if fact it be, what nothing to show in the way of ornament. That side proves satisfactorily enough that the Rafaees extra facing Mecca contains a niche with the name of the cise their madness with very considerable method, peer, and some of the “ beautiful names of God," of But the dervishes are not mere extravagant 13which there are ninety-nine in all, inscribed above natics. Some of them display a liberality of sante it, and a sheepskin carpet for the sheikh spread in ment that is not always found in “arifs" of faire front. As the practices of the Rufaees or Howlers opinion. Many of their sayings and much of the include those of the other sects — the Mevlevees, writings would do no discredit to the calinest pf &c. — we give a summary of them from the several losophy. And dangerous as their pantheistic notkud different accounts with which Mr. Brown provides certainly are, their precepts are pregnant with us. Each of these exhibitions is divided into five most elevated morality. "True, there are only acts, and lasts about three hours. The first act com- many unprincipled vagabonds who call thenrdid prises the following items in the order we accord dervishes, and whose freaks, vices, and ignorator them: A hymn in honor of the sheikh, the obei- draw down ridicule and contempt on the same sance to the peer, — the chanting of the Tekbeer and system. But there is no institution of any antyhi! Fatiha, — which are mere introductory matters, and in existence of which something similar may ne. concludes with a vigorous specimen of the real busi- said. These aside, dervishisin is far from belek ness of the evening, consisting in an incessant yell mixture of unmitigated folly and gross decepcion of “ Allah,” accompanied by soine such elegant con- nor is the dervish always a dolt or a cheat, bare tortions as those in which clown and pantaloon de- means. The various orders can boast of man. light, and lasting until the actors are out of breath. Bernards among their founders; and at this is The second act opens where the other left off, with hour as inuch purity, intellect, and benevolene te some slight variation of the motions and additional | be found within the Tekkieh as ever the con power in the shrieks. At first, as during the whole could boast of. of the opening act, the dervishes retain their seats. In ten minutes or so, however, they rise, and without changing places sway violently on one foot froin THE IIU'RRICANE, TIIE TYPIIOON, 1 right to left, and alternate the wild scream of " Al

TIIE TORNADO. lah” with the still wilder one “ Ya IIoo," but always

BY PROFESSOR D. T. ANSTED. maintaining admirable time and cadence. After al Is that beautiful and picturesque group 3 quarter of an hour at this sharp work, “some of the West Indian Islands called the Virgin 14 performers ” — as our very circumstantial autbor / which St. Thomas and Tortola are the larger informs us - sigh, others sob, others again perspire most inhabited, on the 29th October las... great drops," and we quite credit Mr. Brown - of o'clock in the forenoon, the weather was 11 course they do. Out of breath, there is a pause, I the sky clear as usual, and the barometer 54 but not a long one, and the third act begins. . Now thirty inches. The harbor of St. Thomas the fun grows furious, the movements quicken, and of shipping, and in various sheltered spots or the yells redouble, one of the older hands taking his | the harbor and the adjacent islands the steam

[ocr errors]

the West Indian Mail Steam Ship Company were | August 6, 1837, A. M. - Arrived at Tortola. Here collecting, to exchange cargoes and passengers. No the hurricane (of the 2d Aug.) has destroyed the town one at that hour seems to have foreseen mischief, / and several plantations. but a storm was then approaching that in a very

P. M. — Came to an anchor in St. Thomas's harbor. short space should bring destruction on everything

Here the hurricane appeared to have concentrated all its exposed to it. Within half an hour the barometer

power, force, and fury, for the harbor and town were a

scene that baffles all description. Thirty-six ships and had fallen seven tenths of an inch, and the hurri

vessels totally wrecked all round the harbor, among cane commenced. It advanced rapidly, the wind which about a dozen had sunk or capsized at their anchanging as the storm neared. For a time it seemed chors; some rode it out by cutting away their masts, that the storm would be unimportant, but towards and upwards of a hundred seamen drowned. The harnoon the whole of the district near the town and to bor is so choked up with wreck and sunken vessels that the east was in the centre of one of the great tor- it is difficult to pick out a berth for a ship to anchor. nadoes that occasionally desolate the West Indies. The destructive powers of this hurricane will never be At half past twelve there was a cessation of wind. I forgotten. Some houses were turned regularly bottom but the barometer showed a pressure of little more

up. One large well-built house was carried by the force

of the wind from off its foundation, and now stands upthan twenty-eight inches. The sky was then black

right in the middle of the street. The fort at the enand the darkness so thick that nothing could be trance of the harbor is levelled with the foundation, and seen either of cloud or sky. Deluges of rain fell, the 24-pounders thrown down; it looks as if it had been hailstones consisting of angular fragments of ice fell battered to pieces by cannon-shot. In the midst of the on the earth, earthquake shocks were felt, huge sea hurricane shocks of earthquake were felt, and to complete waves swept over the earth, and none either at sea this awful visitation a fire broke out in some stores. or on shore was safe from the terrible force of this Heavy tiles were flying about from the tops of tho great 'storm of wind. At this time the central axis shaking and trembling houses, killing and wounding of the storm passed over the town. By five, P. M.,

many persons. Onc fine American ship, 500 tons, was the storm having lasted eight hours, all was over;

driven on shore near the citadel, and in an hour nothing

could be seen of her but a few timbers. Several fine every ship was wrecked, every building destroyed,

ed, merchant ships and brigs are at anchor, dismasted, with and a large part of the population ruined. Up

cargoes, and not a spar or rope for standing rigging to wards of a hundred lives were also sacrificed. Such be had in the island. No place hitherto has suffered so was the real meaning of the few terrible words much from a hurricane in all the West Indies as St. flashed across the Atlantic by the telegraph a few | Thomas. days after the occurrence. The details came later. After a few days the storm was followed by further

Terrible and fatal as were the great storms of and more serious earthquake shocks, and all the ad

1837, whose results we are still lamenting, they are jacent islands, especially Tortola, appear to have

by no means the only, nor are they the worst, cases suffered seriously. Three weeks later a severe

recorded of destructive hurricanes in the West Inearthquake shook the island, destroying much that

dian Seas. The great hurricane of 1780, which had been spared by the storm.

took place on the 10th October, was much more About thirty years before, on the 2d August, 1837. / destructive and very far more fatal to human life a very similar storm travelled over almost exactly the

than either of these, or even than both put together. same path, and was accompanied by similar phe

On that occasion, at Santa Lucia, Admiral Rodney nomena. Then also tbere was a fearful wind felt,

speaks of 6,000 persons having perished, while at torrents of rain fell, hailstones consisting of angular

St. Eustatia between 4,000 and 5,000, and at Marfragments of ice were picked up by the terrified in

tinique nearly 10,000 fell victims to the storm. At habitants, and earthquake shocks then also assisted

Barbadoes the loss of life exceeded 3,000, and in in the destruction. "The great sea-wave came up

several of the other islands the result was disasover the land and carried back with it to the deep | trous, though in a less degree.* The amount of shipthe evidences of the mischief done; and the de

ping destroyed was never accurately known, but struction caused by the storm on the shipping in the

among the losses may be mentioned a French conharbor and in the seas around, as well as on all the

voy with 5,000 troops on board, which disappeared buildings on the shore, by the wind, the wave, and

altogether during the storm. Part of the mischief the earthquake, was of the same nature, only car

seems to have been done by an earthquake, and a ried to a still greater extent. Many other severe

large part by great sea-waves, which washed over storms have happened since, and many are recorded

the land, carrying everything away. At St. Pierre, that happened before. They were not dissimilar;

in Martinique, a great sea-wave which rose twenty but it does not often happen that such a complete

feet did more damage than the wind-storm itself. and perfect parallel can be traced as is obtained by

All these and many other terrible storms, occura comparison of the log of H. M. S. Spey, a packet

ring between the months of July and November, ship that visited St. Thomas a few days after the

the have been especially destructive in and near the hurricane of 1837, with that recorded of the recent

Gulf of Mexico and among the group of the West event. We quote the account from the admirable

Indian Islands which shuts off that sea from the Atand well-known work by Sir William Reid “ On the

lantic. They have many points in common and be. Law of Storms.” It should be mentioned that the long to a cia

long to a class of storins happily rare in our climate, year 1837 was remarkable for two severe hurricanes

though frequent in tropical seas, both in the east and in the West Indies, and several other great storms.

west. Their course in the Atlantic is well known. On same year it is recorded that many severe earth

They take their start generally from the islands quakes were felt in Mexico and several islands in

nearest the northeastern corner of South America, the West Indies. It may be observed, as a further

and travel in a tolerably regular and almost paracoincidence, that the hurricane of the 2d August

bolic curve, first to the N. W., then past the coast seems to have originated in the open sea to the east

of Florida towards the north, and afterwards bearof the Virgin Islands, and not off the South Amer

ling more to the east, parallel to the North American ican coast. This was the case also with the late

# It must be remembered that at this time the West Indian Ishurricane of the 29th October.

lands were much more densely peopled than they are now.

coast, emerge agairt on the Atlantic near the banks just heard. It was less disastrous, because as we of Newfoundland. They travel at times varying leave the tropics there are fewer of the causes at from two to seven hundred miles per day for a dis- work that give intensity to atmospheric disturb tance sometimes exceeding 4,000 miles. They have ances; but the course of the hurricane was similar, a limited breadth, generally from one to four hun- and, though not accompanied by earthquake shocks, dred miles, and within the limits of their path they there was an amount of derangement of magnetic move with so much system and regularity that with equilibrium both in the atmosphere and the earth, a few data we may almost tell by calculation the which proved clearly that the phenomena in quesexact details of their course. Their courses have tion are not merely violent local winds, but have been frequently and accurately laid down on charts. some peculiar characteristics, and are the outward

All these storms are of the nature of whirlwinds, indications of something going on in the interior of and the direction and rate of motion of the wind the earth. There is reason to suppose that they in the hurricane is very different from the direction may even be connected with changes and occurand rate of motion of the whole hurricane. Thus, rences in open space, or in the sun itself, the centre within a very short time, and in the same spot, dur- of our system. ing the late storm, the wind is described to have It was in the China Seas and in the Bay of Benblown from various points of the compass; and gal that storms of this kind were first distinguished while the whole storm was moving at the rate of from ordinary tempests; and it was more especially ten or twenty miles per hour, the wind within the the study of the storms of the Coromandel coat storm was blowing at the rate of a hundred miles that enabled Colonel James Capper to point out an hour. Almost every one must have noticed, on (in 1801) that they were invariably whirlwinds or a summer day, a cloud of dust raised from the earth, circular storms, while to Mr. Redfield, who mewhirling round leaves and twigs with great violence, ceeded him, we owe the determination of the fact and advancing with comparative slowness in a cer that they are not merely circular or confined to tain direction. The same, on a vastly larger scale, one spot, but spiral, having a path on the earth a is the case with these terrible hurricanes. Ther well as a revolution round an axis. twist round with fearful rapidity, on a central axis The East Indian hurricanes, of which we bare where there is generally a calm, the belt of storm unfortunately had a terrible example in the cyclone moving steadily at the same time along the surface of the 1st November last, have been as frequent, Waterspouts at sea, and sandstorms in the deserts fatal, and as distinctly traced as the West Indian of Africa, are similar phenomena.

tornadoes. As in the case of the latter, there Originated chiefly because of the excessive heat seems to be a singular resemblance between recent ing of the earth in some special localities near the and former storms. Thus, on the 31st October, equator, and set in motion by opposite currents of 1831, there was a hurricane in the Ganges, on air rushing in to fill the partial vacum thus formed, which occasion 150 miles of country were findes it is not extraordinary that the central part of a and 300 villages with 10.000 persons destrored. whirlwind shonld be comparatively calm, and be After 36 years the storm recurs almost on the same accompanied by electrical phenomena: nor need day. But these storms are very freqaent, for 10 we be surprised at the mechanical force exerted the very next year (1832) there was another great where the wind is once set in motion. It is recorded hurricane, on the oth October, and six non that even small whirlwinds lift not only vast quan- afterwards a third, on the mouth of the Hoogte! tities of dust, but carry even fish into the air. The when the barometer fell 21 inches, or oa twedilib partial varum in the central part, where the prese of the whole atmospheric pressure. In all these cakes ure is reduced from 100 to 150 pounds on cach the nature of the storm, the existence of a sua square foot of surface, arts in the most extraordi movement, and the limits of a path were made oct nary manner on buildings, not unfrequently forcing Storm-waves advancing up the great rivers of und the windows and roof outwards, instead of blowing on all these occasions, and are especially like them into the building, and sometimes lifting a do serious mischief. In the instance IECERIT TE whole house from the foundation. The mere force corded in the present year, it appears that of the wind moving with extraordinary rapidity, in native huts were destroved, a thousand bier is a spiral and with a complicated motion (one mo and 600 native boats destroved. The constien: 22 tion round the axis, the other in a curved line in sudden changes in the direction of the wind a the main course of the storm), is sufficient to explain occasional lalls, the limit of duration of the sea most of the wonderful things recorded of these phe any one spot, and the fact that the total 6. Ilic nomena. Some that verge on the impossible may, of the storm is rarely more than from 006 perbans, owe a little to the fears and lively imagina- hundred miles, clearis place this hurricane za tion of the describer.

class of storms we have been describing The class of storms to which these great tropical It may be regarded as certain that way hurricanes belong is now generally called cyclonic, whole such storins take place at distant parts from their moving round an axis in a circle, or world at similar seasons, and may be ea rather spiral. Though producing their most strik- contemporaneons, they have no direct rest ing pfferth in the tropics, and best known in the each otber. Thus, the path of the late Test: Tropic of Cancer, they are not limited to such lati- storm, commencing on the 28th or 24th of tudes; occasionally crossing the Atlantic into the in the Atlantic, and running eastward and . temperate zones, and sometimes originating appar wari, could have no immediate reference I ently near our own shores. The great storm of storm in the Bay of Bengal that commore.. 1859, which, among other fatal accidents, was the 1st November and travelled northward. cause of the wreck of the Roval Charter of the same time, it must not be lost sight of the mouth of the Mersey, and strewed our shores with I that season, and for some time hath hetom 2*** wrecks, will long be remembered. This storm fol- there has been unusual atmospheric disturb lowed a distinct path through England, and in all the Atlantic and also in the Indian Seas respects resembled the hurricane of which we have problem to be solved in reterence to the 12

[ocr errors]

Indian Seas.

« PreviousContinue »