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talents is her “Wild Irish Girl," a national sketch, written in the true spirit of patriotism, and which it is impossible to read without interest.
Any anecdotes relating to Miss Owenson, her private history, or her public performances, would be generally acceptable to the American public.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Your publication of a proposal, I sometime since made to you for presenting, as an exercise for the ingenuity of your
, correspondents, one or two questions of a mathematical or philosophical nature in each number of the Port Folio, inducing me to believe that I have your concurrence in my desire, I take the liberty of sending you the following problems.
First. What angle of inclination must I give to the roof of a house, the distance between the walls of which is known, so that the time of descent of a ball rolled from the top thereof to the eaves may be a minimum?
Second. Required the area of that triangle inscribed in a circle, whose base 10, its area being equal to that of secter of its circumscribing circle contained by that moiety of the hypotenuse intersecting the perpendicular and a straight line drawn from the centre of the circle to the right angle?
SCIENCE. FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
In Mr. Volney's View, the first important observation respecting the climate of the western country, is, that it is warmer in the proportion of three degrees of latitude, than that of the maritime districts. This opinion with the principal phenomena that support it he borrowed from Mr. Jefferson. From either of these authorities, and more especially the latter, one should dissent with caution; and the following remarks, which are not ma without some hesitation, would probably at this time be withheld altogether, had not these writers published their inquiries before a sufficient number of observations had been made, to support unequivocally, any opinion. In the course of the last five years this desideratum has been in some degree supplied by a regular meteorological register having been kept at this place. From this register it appears evident, that whether the distribution of heat throughout the months and seasons be similar to, different from that of the Atlantic states, the annual mean temperature or aggregate heat of this climate is but little, if any higher, than that of cis-montane places in the same parallel.
The mean heat of 1806 was 54° 1, 1807 54° 4, 1808 56° 4, 1809 54° 4, 1810 52° 7, the average of which 54° 4 must be considered a near approximation to our standard temperature; as it corresponds accurately with the heat of our permanent springs and deepest wells. The writer of this article is not in possession of any observations, made in the maritime states, that are perfectly comparable with these results; but those furnished by Mr. Legaux, and inserted in the Gardner's Calendar, of Mr. M.Mahon, may answer for the present purpose. The station of this judicious observer was at Spring-mill on the Schuylkill, in lat. 40° 4', 57' N. of this town. From sixteen years' observations, he found the mean heat of that place to be 530 5. Now in the Atlantic states, a degree of latitude produces a change of about 1° 7 in the standard temperature; so that the difference in the mean heat of Spring-mill and Cincinnati, is no more than should result from the difference of latitude.
A reference to the extremes of temperature will be equally unfavourable to Mr. Volney's position. Mr. Legaux states 1° 8 below 0, as about the mean of extreme cold at Spring-mill. The mean of extreme cold at this place from five successive years' observations, is 6o4 below 0. The greatest degrees of cold observed at this place within six years, were 6o, 7°, 8° and 11° below 0. But on the 8th of January, 1797, governor Sargent witnessed the thermometer sunk to 18° below 0; and during the same winter Dr. Doniphan of Mason county, Kentucky, in latitude about 38° 40' observed the mercury at 1°, 12o and 14° 5 below 0, on three successive mornings. The greatest degree of cold observed at Spring-mill from 1787 to 1806 was 17° 5 below 0, and the greatest that has yet been recorded as occurring in Pennsylvania was according to Dr. Rush, 22° below 0.
The average of the greatest heats at Spring-mill for several years, is stated at 990 5–-in July 1793, the mercury rose to 1040 5. The average of the greatest heats at this place, for five years, is 94° 5. The greatest heat observed here, during that period, was 98o. During the Summer and Autumn of 1805 Spring-mill, the thermometer was at or above 90°, 61 times. During the Summer and Autumn of 1808, the warmest experienced here since regular observations were made, the thermometer was at or above 90°, only 32 times.
Concerning Mr. Volney's assertion that the thermometer in this country seldom sinks below 20° or 18°, and that for 60 or 70 days ensuing the summer solstice, it fluctuates between 90° and 95°, after what has been stated, nothing need be said.
His information was palpably incorrect.*
Let us now advert to Mr. Volney's facts. One of them is the residence of the paroquet in this country. It is true, that this bird is found throughout the whole year in our valleys as high as 39° 30' latitude. But it is certainly not mildness of climate, that either attracted, or retains it here. The mean temperature of January 1809, was 25°-could this be grateful to a
* In a single month at this place, the thermometer has been at or below 20 degrees 17 times.
bird, that is said to be repulsed by the genial climate of the maritime portions of southern Virginia, in 361° latitude? That ėminent zoologist, Dr. Barton, suspects that th sou hern course of our rivers favoured the migration of this bird to so high a latitude; an ingenious correspondent suggests, that the seeds of the sycamore, (platanus occidentalis) on which the paroquet delights to feed, have allured it into this country. The suppositions may be combined. The sycamore of the Mississippi may have attracted hither the paroquet, in consequence of that river running from N. to S. while in the Atlantic states, as the rivers of N. Carolina and Virginia run nearly from W. to E. there are between thein tracts which afford but little of the sycamore, and over which the paroquet, according to this hypothesis, has no inducement to pass.
Possibly, however, the existence of this bird in these regions has been coeval with its existence in Florida and South America.
Mr. Volney asserts that many vegetables are found in this country, that do not grow as far north by 3° in the Atlantic states. A part of this error has been corrected by his commentator Dr., Mease, in the compilation entitled a Geological View of the United States. The cultivation of cotton is not thought worthy of attention, north of the valley of Green River in Kentucky, about latitude 37° 30'. The sassafras, botanical writers inform us, is found on the borders of Lake Champlain. The pawpaw, I believe, is found in the western parts of Atlantic Virginia. The pican or Illinois nút is peculiar to the western country, and therefore cannot be a subject of comparison. The reed and catalpa grow in the fertile parts of this country as high as 38° 30' and furnish to Mr. Volney's assertion a better support than his other facts. Whether, however, they really indicate a milderclimate (athing which notwithstanding these invalidatory statements may be strongly suspected) or whether the amazing fertility of our soil enables them to dispense with a portion of heat, is yet to be determined.
Mr. Volney states, that in the times of harvest at Monticello and Kaskaskia, places in the same latitude, and at nearly the same level above the sea, there is an exact coincidence. From this, certainly no inference in favour of a diversity of cli
FOR THE PORT FOLIO:
SKETCHES OF AMERICAN SCENERY.
THE Susquehanna river enters the state of Pennsylvania about twelve miles from the Delaware, and after winding among
lofty hills, turns at the GREAT BEND, to the north, and three miles further passes again through the state line at the twen
tieth mile stone. On the south west side of the Great Bend, stands a handsome little village. At this place the turnpike road
to Newburg, in the state of Newyork, crosses the river, and is carried up the valley formed by the Salt-Lick creek, a part of which is seen in the annexed sketch. The county to which the Susquehanna has given a name, was formerly a part of Lu
FOR THE PORT FOLIO-AN AUTHOR'S EVENINGS.
He who is at all acquainted with my inquisitive humour and my studious habits, will promptly credit me, when I assert that I am not absolutely a stranger to the comedies of Terence, and the fragments of Menander, and that the sublimity of Grecian tragedy
is perfectly familiar to my memory and my heart. But all the plays of Plautus, merry as they unquestionably are, and all the scenes, however solemn, of Eschylus and Euripides, are less than nothing, and altogether vanity, in comparison with the sterling gold of Shakspeare. But the bard of Avon, like every other erring mortal, has his egregious faults, and in the middle of his brightest rainbows we sometimes painfully discern the offensive vapour and the murky cloud. For the most part, no writer is more unequal; but, sometimes, like his own sublime eagle, in his pride of place, the Muse of the poet wings the boldest flight of elevated dignity. She scorns the base earth, and rises on sustained pinion to the brilliant zenith of sunny glory.
The peerless tragedy of Othello justifies these preliminary remarks. There is scarcely a character of minor importance in the whole play. We are introduced to the company of gallant