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SACRED PHILOSOPHY

OF THE

SEASONS.

AUTUMN.

FIRST WEEK-MONDAY

GENERAL CHARACTER OF AUTUMN.

ON considering the autumnal quarter, as indicated by the calendar, we shall find it more various in its character than any of the other seasons of the year. It seems, indeed, if we only regard its temperature, to form a kind of softened epitome of all the rest, in an inverted order. First, we have, in August, the warmth, and gentleness, and brilliancy of Summer; in September, the "ethereal mildness," the elasticity, the variety of Spring; in October, many of the features of a mitigated Winter,-its gloom, its hoar-frosts, its chilling breath, its howling storms, alternating, however, with days, and even weeks, of the calm repose peculiarly characteristic of the season. For, let it be observed, that, although, in a general view, the analogy we have noticed holds good, yet Autumn has a remarkable character of its own, which distinguishes it from all the other seasons. It has succeeded a period of intense heat, from which it has only begun to emerge. Soon after the middle of June, the sun arrives at his highest altitude in the heavens; but although, from this period, he begins to recede, the heat ceases not to accumulate till the middle or end of July, after which the

effects of the decreasing intensity of his rays, and of the lengthening nights, become slightly perceptible. At the commencement of Autumn, therefore, the earth and the atmosphere still remain heated, and, although the periodical rains, about this time, create a copious evaporation, which serves to diminish its fervor, it is still sufficiently powerful to prevent those extremes, which mark the whole of the Spring quarter, and sometimes even the commencement of Summer. The peculiar feature of autumnal weather, therefore, is that of tranquillity, though allowance must be made for numerous exceptions.

When we turn from the atmosphere to the surface of the earth, we find a still greater peculiarity. The vegetable tribes, speaking generally, have advanced through the various stages of production and maturity, and, at the commencement of the season, are approaching the verge of old age. The bountiful earth, however, is still full of beauty, and vegetation appears yet to be in its vigor. The hay has been cut, and gathered into the Darn-yard, and the young clover has again covered the mown fields with the liveliest green, or adorned them with its various-tinted flowers of red, white, and yellow. The crops of corn are beginning to beam with gold, about to invite the joyous labors of the reaper bands. The pastures still teem with a profusion of succulent herbage, on which the flocks and herds luxuriate, without anticipating the coming rigors of Winter,-happy at once in the protection of man, and in their ignorance of the future.

The woods, which have long exchanged the soft green of Spring for the more sober shades that indicate maturity, still retain all their leafy pride, and hide in their shady bosom myriads of the feathered tribes, which have not yet left our shores, to seek for that subsistence in warmer climes, about to be denied them in the land of their birth. They have, however, in general, ceased to sing ; and the redbreast, and the mellow-toned wood-lark, thrush, and blackbird, which, after a period of silence, resume their notes early in this season, continue almost alone to render the groves vocal with their sweet music.

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