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(TO MISS ANNE BARKER.)

DEAR NIECE,

I was just thinking to write to somebody in your family, when your agreeable letter came in.

Selborne: Feb: 5th: 1785.

RAIN AT SELBORNE
IN 1784.

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As the late frost was attended with some unusual circumstances, your father, I trust, will not be displeased to hear the particulars. The first week in Dec' was very wet, with the Barom very low. On the 7th with the Bar at 285 10: there came on a vast snow, which continued all that day and the next, and most part of the following night; so that by the morning of the 9th the works of men were quite overwhelmed, the lanes filled so as to be rendered impassable, and the ground covered 12 or 14 inches where there was no drifting. In the evening of the 9th the air began to be so very sharp that we thought it would be curious to attend to the motions of a Therm. We therefore hung out two, one made by Martin and one by Dolland, which soon began to shew us what we were to expect. For by 10 o'clock they fell to 21:—and at 11h: to 4, when we went to bed. On the 10th in the morning Dolland's glass was down to half a degree below zero; and Martin's, which absurdly was graduated only to 4 above zero, was quite into the ball: so that when the weather became most interesting, it was quite useless. On the 10th at eleven at night, tho' the air was perfectly still, Dolland's glass went down to 1 degree below zero! This strange severity had made my Bro: and me very desirous to know what degree of cold there might be in such an exalted situation as Newton : We had therefore on the morning of the 10th written to Mrs. Yalden, and entreated her to hang-out her Therm' made by Adams; and to pay some attention to it morning, and evening, expecting wonderful doings in so elevated a region. But behold on the 10th, at 11 at Night it was down only to 19! and the next morning at 22, when mine was at 10! We were so disturbed at this unexpected reverse of comparative local cold, that

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we sent one of my glasses up, thinking Mr. Y:'s must, some how be constructed wrong. But when the instruments came to be confronted, they went exactly together. So that for one night at least, the cold at N: was 20 degrees less than at S: and the whole frost thro' ten or twelve. And indeed, when we came to observe consequences, we could readily suppose it. For all my laurustines, bays, Ilexis, and what is much worse my fine sloping laurel hedge, are all scorched up, and dead! while at Newton the same trees have not lost a leaf! We had steady frost on to the 25th when the therm' in the morning was down to 10 with us, and at Newton only to 21! Strong frost continued till the 31st when some tendency to thaw was observed: and by Jan 3rd: 1785 the thaw was confirmed, and some rain fell. There was a circumstance that I must not omit, because it was new to my brother and me; which was that on Friday, Dec 10th, being bright sun-shine, the air was full of icy spiculæ, floating in all directions, like atoms in a sun-beam let into a dark room. We thought at first that they might have been particles of the rime falling from my tall hedges: but were soon convinced to the contrary by making our observations in open places, where no rime could reach us. Were they the watry particles of the air frozen as they floated; or were they the evaporations from the snow frozen as they mounted? We were much obliged to the Therm for y° early intimations that they gave us; and hurryed our apples, pears, onions, potatoes, &c., into the cellar, and warm closets: while those, that had not these warnings, lost all their stores, and had their very bread and cheese frozen. For my own part, having a house full of relations, I enjoyed the rigorous season much; and found full employ in shoveling a path round my outlet, and up to Newton; and in observing the Therm, &c and was only sorry for the poor and aged, who suffered much, I must not omit to tell you, that during those two Siberian days my parlor-cat was so electric, when stroked, that had the Stroker been properly insulated, he might have given the shock to a whole circle of people. Bro: Tho: and family left us Jan 5th. The morning before he went away his house at S: Lambeth was assaulted by three villains, one of whom his Gardener shot thro' the body with slugs from the parapet just as they were entering the drawing-room. Mrs, and Miss Etty are well, and Charles just gone to attend his ship in the river, which sails in March. Mr. Rich Chase is released from his 3 years and captivity in India, and is returned to

Madras. Magd: Coll: has just purchased the little life-hold estate on the Plestor, in reversion after two lives, intending hereafter to make it glebe to the vicarage. Tell y' Mother I thank her for her gift, which will be very acceptable to the poor and y' Father, that I should be glad to see his account of rain, frost, &c. I advise y' Father and Bro' to read St John Cullun's History of Hawsted, the parish where he is Rector. Mrs. J. White joins in respects.

Y' loving Uncle, GIL: WHITE.

Mr. Yalden, poor man, is in a bad state of health, and is gone to town for advice. Ch: Etty's new ship is named the Duke of Montrose, Cap: Elphinstone: all the officers are Scotch except Ch I have met with Will: Bercarius, which name signifies shepherd: hence the modern name of Barker. Men are cutting the beeches at the top of the hill; but not those on the hanger this year. We shall lose the beautiful fringe that graces the outline of our prospect that way: but shall gain 60 feet of Horizon. Jupiter wests so fast that at sun-set he is not much above these trees. Snow covers the ground.

(TO THOMAS BARKER, ESQ.)

Selborne, Jan 1st: 1791.

DEAR SIR,

Jan:

199

49

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438

As the year 1790 is just at an end, I send you the rain of that period, which, I trust, has been regularly measured. Nov. and Dec. as you RAIN IN 1790. see, were very wet, with many storms, that in various places had occasioned much damage. The fall of rain from Nov. 19 to the 22, inclusive, was prodigious! The thunder storm on Dec. 23 in the morning before day was very aweful: but, I thank God, it did not do us any the least harm. Two millers, in a wind-mill on the Sussex downs near Good-wood, were struck dead by lightning that morning; and part of the gibbet on Hind-head, on which two murderers were suspended, was beaten down. I am not sure that I was awaked soon enough to hear the whole storm: between the flashes that I saw and the thunder, I counted from 10 to 14 seconds.

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In consequence of my Nat. Hist. I continue to receive various letters from various parts; and in particular from a Mr. Marsham of Stratton near Norwich, an aged Gent: who has published in the R. S. respecting the growth of trees. Do you know any thing about this person? He is an agreeable corre spondent. He is such an admirer of oaks, that he has been twice to see the great oak in the Holt.

Dr. Chander, and family, who came at first only with an intent to stay with us a few months; have now taken the vicarage house for some time. The Dr. is much busied in writing the life of his founder, William Wainflete: he lives a very studious and domestic life, keeps no horse, and visits few people. We have just received the agreeable news that Mrs. Clement was safely delivered, last Wednesday, of a boy, her 8th child, which are all living. Mr. Churton, who is keeping his Xmas with us as usual, desires his best respects, and many thanks for the hospitable reception and intelligent information which he met. with last summer at Lyndon. He is a good antiquary, and much employed in writing the life of Doctor Will. Smith, the founder of Brazenose Coll, of which he is now the senior fellow.

Y' leg, we hope, is recovered from its accident. Mrs. J. White joins in affectionate compliments, and the good wishes of the season. I conclude

Y' most humble servant,
G. WHITE.

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