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mi elsewhere, ranging from the simplest stellar shapes to the most complicated ramifications. Professor Tyndall, in his delightful book on "The Glaciers of the Alps," gives drawings of i a few of these snow-blossoms, which he watched falling for hours, the whole air being filled with them, and drifts of several inches being accumulated while he watched. "Let us imagine the eye gifted with microscopic power sufficient to enable it to seethe molecules which composed these starry crystals; to observe the solid nucleus formed and floating in the air; to see it drawing towards it its allied atoms, and these arranging themselves as if they moved to music, and ended with rendering that music concrete." That do the Alpine winds, like Orpheus, build their walls by harmony.
Snow-flakes have been also found in the form of regular hexagons and other plane figures, as well as in cylinders and spheres. As a general rule, the intenser the cold the more perfect the formation, and the most perfect specimens are Arctic or Alpine in their locality. In this climate the snow seldom falls when the mercury is much below zero; but the slightest atmospheric changes may alter the whole condition of the deposit, and decide whether it shall be a fine powder which can sift through wherever dust can, or descend in large woolly masses, tossed like mouthfuls to the hungry earth.
Interesting observations have been made on the relations between ice and enow. The difference seems to lie only in the more or less compacted arrangement of the frozen particles. Water and air, each being transparent when separate, become opaque when intimately mingled; the reason being that the inequalities of refraction break up and scatter every ray- of tight. Thus, clouds cast a shadow; so does steam; so does foam: and the same elements take a still denser texture when combined as ■now. Every snow-flake is permeated with minute airy chambers, among which the light is bewildered and lost; while from perfectly hard and transparent ice every trace of air disappears, and the transmission of light is unbroken. Yet that same ice becomes white and opaque when pulverized, its fragments being then intermingled with air again—just as colourless glass may be crushed into white powder. On the other hand, Professor Tyndall has converted slabs of snow to ice by regular pressure, and has shown that every Alpine glacier begins as a snow-drift at its summit, and ends in a transparent ice-cavern below. "The blue blocks which span the sources of the Arveiron were once powdery snow upon the slopes of the Col du Geant."
The varied and wonderful shapes assumed by snow and ice have been best portrayed, perhaps, by Dr. Kane in his two works; but their resources of colour have been so explored by no one as by this same favoured Professor Tyndall, among his Alps. It appears that the tints which in temperate regions are seen feebly and occasionally, in hollows or angles of fresh drifts, become brilliant and constant above the line of
perpetual snow, and the higher the altitude the more lustrous the display. When a staff was struck into the new-fallen tjrift, the hollow seemed instantly to fill with a soft blue liquid, while the snow adhering to the staff took a complementary colour of pinkish yellow, and on moving it up and down it was hard to resist the impression that a pink flame was rising and sinking in the hole. The little natural furrows iu the drifts appeared faintly blue; the ridges were gray, while the parts most exposed to view seemed least illuminated, and as if a light brown dust had been sprinkled over them. The fresher the snow, the more marked the colours, and it made no difference whether the sky were cloudless or foggy. Thus was every white peak decked upon its brow with this tiara of ineffable beauty.
The greatest storm recorded in England, I believe, is that of 1814, in which for fortyeight hours the snow fell so furiously that drifts of sixteen, twenty, and even twenty-four feet were recorded in various places. An inch an hour is thought to be the average rate of deposit, though four inches are said to have fallen during the severe storm of January 3rd, 1859. When thus intensified, the "beautiful meteor of the snow" begins to give a sensation of something formidable; and when the mercury suddenly falls meanwhile, and the wind rises, there are sometimes suggestions of such terror in a snowstorm as no summer thunders can rival. The brief and singular transatlantic tempest of February 7, 1861, was a thing to be forever remembered by those who saw it. The sky suddenly appeared to open and let down whole solid snow-banks at once, which were caught and torn to pieces by the ravenous winds, and the traveller was instantaneously enveloped in a whirling mass far denser than any fog: it was a tornado with snow stirred into it. Standing in the middle of the road, with houses close on every side, one could see absolutely nothing in any direction, one could hear no sound but the storm. Every landmark vanished, and it was no more possible to guess the points of the compass than in mid-ocean. It was easy to conceive of being bewildered and overwhelmed within a rod of one's own door. The tempest lasted only an hour; but if it had lasted a week, we should have had such a storm as occurred on the steppes of Kirgheez in Siberia, in 1827, destroying two hundred and eighty thousand five hundred horses, thirty thousand four hundred cattle, a million sheep, and ten thousand camels—or as "the thirteen drifty days," in 1620, which killed nine-tenths of all the sheep in the South of Scotland. On Eskdale Moor, out of twenty thousand only forty-five were left alive, and the shepherds everywhere built up huge semicircular walls of the dead creatureB, to afford shelter to the living, till the gale should end. But the most remarkable narrative of a snow-storm which I have ever seen was that written by James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, in record of one which took place January 24th, 1790.
Jamas Hogg at this time belonged to a sort of literary society of young shepherds, and had j set out, the day m-evious, to walk twenty miles over the hills t<r the place of meeting; but so formidable was the look of the sky that he felt i anxious for his sheep, and finally turned back again. There was at that time only a slight fall , of snow, in thin flakes, which seemed uncertain whether to go up or down: the hills were co-! vered with deep folds of frost-fog, and in the valleys the same fog seemed dark, dense, and, as it were, crushed together. An old shepherd, predicting a storm, bade him watch for a sudden opening through this fog, and expect a wind from that quarter; yet, when he saw such an opening suddenly form at midnight (having then reached his own home) he thought it all a delusion, as -the weather had grown milder and a thaw seemed setting in. He therefore went to bed, and felt no more anxiety for his sheep; yet he lay awake in spite of himself, and at two o'clock he heard the storm begin. It smote the house suddenly, like a great peal of thunder— something utterly unlike any storm he had ever before heard. On his rising, and thrusting his bare arm through a hole in the roof, it seemed precisely as if he had thrust it into a snowbank, so densely was the air filled with falling and driving particles. He lay still for an hour, while the house rocked with the tempest, hoping it might prove only a hurricane; but as there was no abatement, he wakened his companionshepherd, telling him it was "come on such a night or morning as never blew from the heavens. The other at once arose, and, opening the door of the shed where they slept, found a drift as high as the farmhouse already heaped between them and its walls, a distance of only fourteen yards. He floundered through, Hogg soon following, and, finding all the family up, they agreed that they must reach the sheep as soon as possible, especially eight hundred ewe3 that were in one lot together, at tbe farthest end of the farm. So, after family prayer6 and breakfast, four of them stuffed their pockets with bread and cheese, sewed their plaids about them, tied down their hats, and, taking each his staff, set out on their tremendous undertaking, two hours before day.
Day dawned before they got three hundred yards from the house. They could not see each other, and kept together with the greatest difficulty. They had to make paths with their slaves, rolled themselves over drifts otherwise impassable, and every three or four minutes had to hold their heads down between their knees to recover breath. They went in single file, taking the lead by turns. The master soon gave out and was speechless and semi-conscious for more than an hour, though be afterwards recovered and held out with the rest. Two of them lost their head-gear, and Hogg himself fell over a high precipice, but they reached the flock at half-past ten. They found the ewes huddled
together in a dense body, under ten feet of snow—packed so closely, that, to the amazement of the shepherds, when they had extricated the first, the whole flock walked out one after another, in a body, through the hole. How they got them home it is almost impossible to tell. It was now noon, and they sometimes could see through the storm for twenty yards, but they had only one momentary glimpse of the hills through all that terrible day. Yet Hogg persisted in going by himself afterwards to rescue some flocks of his own, barely escaping with life from the expedition; his eyes were sealed up with the storm, and he crossed a formidable torrent, without knowing it, on a wreath of snow. Two of the others lost them selves in a deep valley, and would have perished but for being accidentally heard by a neighbouring shepherd, who guided them home, where the female portion of the family had abandoned all hope of ever seeing them again.
The next day was clear, with a cold wind, and they set forth again at daybreak to seek the remainder of the flock. The face of the country was perfectly transformed: not a hill was the same, not a brook or lake could be recognized. Deep glens were filled in with snow, covering the very tops of the trees; and over a hundred acres of ground, under an average depth of six or eight feet, they were to look for four or five hundred sheep. The attempt would have been hopeless but for a dog that accompanied them. Seeing their perplexity, he began sniffing about, * and presently scratching in the snow at a certain point, and then looking round at his master. Digging at this spot they found a sheep beneath: and so the dog led them all-day, bounding eagerly from one place to another— much faster than they could dig the creatures out, so that he sometimes had twenty or thirty holes marked beforehand. In this way, within a week, they got out every sheep on the farm except four, these last being buried under a mountain of snow fifty feet deep, on the top of which the dog had marked their places again and again. In every case tbe sheep proved to lie alive and warm, though half-suffocated. On being taken out they usually bounded away swiftly, and then fell helplessly in a few moments, overcome by the change of atmosphere; some then died almost instantly, and others were carried home and with difficulty preserved, only about sixty being lost in all. Marvellous to tell, the country-people unanimously agreed afterwards to refer the whole terrific storm to some secret incantations of poor Hogg's literary society aforesaid: it was generally maintained that a club of young dare-devile had raised the Fiend himself among them in the likeness of a black dog, the night preceding the storm, and the young students actually did net dare to show themselves at fairs or at markets for a year afterwards.
DR. HUBER'S NEW YEAR'S CALLS.
BY S. ANXIE FROST.
It wu New Year's Day in York, and the year wis coming in with tears and sighs. Halfmelted snow ground into the most unapproachable mud-covered streets and pavements; the rain fell in a fine, disconsolate drizzle; and the wind gave faint puffs, as if utterly discouraged st the prospect of getting up a good hearty bW. It was chilly and cheerless, misty and nmiif damp and dismal; but Dr. Ruber, after a long look from his window, said, decidedly:
"Horrid weather! but I must go out!" And, baring arrived at this conclusion, out he went.
Now, the doctor, as he strode manfully down the street, under the shelter of a big cotton umbrella, did not look like a man to be scared by the weather. First, there was a tall, strong, well-knit, and finely developed figure to resist the elements, and the face was one that showed baule niib. fiercer foes than wind or rain. The . Strang, clearly-cut features, the firmly-set mouth, urge darV eyes, broad forehead, and well-poised heid carried resolution and courage in every line and expression. There was no shrinking Bow in /ace or figure as he walked rapidly forward, yet there was a sadness in his eyes, a curve of past pain about his lips, that said, plainly as words, " I have met trouble hand to band;" while the erect head and fearless carriage as plainly spoke, "And conquered it!"
And while the doctor rapidly marches on, I will tell you his life and victory.
^ears before the New Year's Day upon which my story commences, Albert Huber was a dandified boy of seventeen, heir-apparent to: a large fortune, the hope of a proud father, and the idol of a tender mother. Luxury had sur- I rounded him from his very birth; every talent bad been developed with loving care, every' sorrow set far from him, every wish gratified, and every hope cherished and encouraged.
He was but a boy, just nineteen, when he announced his determination to become a doctor' and marry Kate Reynolds, a belle in short frocks. Both projects met with approval. Miss! Reynolds was an heiress, and likely to become a Wauty when she emerged from school, and a doctor's profession was one quite suited to the , position of a gentleman. So, Albert was en-; couraged in his plans.
Of course every facility that wealth could; offer the young student was at his command, and having found now a task that met his intel-: lectual capacities and kept them fully occupied, the foppish boy astonished all his friends by becoming a close, earnest student. As he plunged deeper and deeper into the field* of •tody opened to him, the youth grew to love bis chosen profession with an engrossing fervour.'
Having no need to practise for pay, he chose to follow out abstruse fields of experiment, to work out knotty problems of cause and effect, and as the field before him pointed to newer discoveries and still greater difficulties, he followed the hint, and went abroad to search in Germany and France for more light and brighter examples than lay within his reach. He was twenty-five years old before he returned home, to wait for
| patients, and woo Miss Reynolds.
Obedient to the hints given her by anxious
I relatives, this young lady had waited his return
] before giving any of her numerous suitors a hope. She possessed beauty, a winning, gracious
! manner, many accomplishments, wealth to adorn every charm, and a heart cold as marble, a cool calculating brain, and a coquette's most alluring attractions.
Strong and earnest, tine and manly, the doctor was no longer a foppish boy, but a
I handsome, accomplished man. Young as he was, his name already stood high in his pro
! fession, while Science owed him the debt of a
i pamphlet which was making a stir in literary and scientific circles. Altogether, Miss Reynolds decided, a prize worth winning, and bent her energies to the task.
At firs! the young man was dazzled and astonished at the change in his old playmate. From a pretty girl of fifteen she had become a magnificent beauty, willing yet to smile upon her old adorer, and admit him to the charmed circle of her friendship. How she won him from admiration to passionate love was her
: secret! Certain it is that he believed her pure and true, her love all his own, and laid at her feet the worship of his strong, tender heart.
His mother died, and he turned for comfort to his promised wife, listening entranced to her low, sweet tones of sympathy; drinking with his heart her gentle words of hope and implied promises of a love to more than fill the void in his life. A second blow followed, and his father too was carried to his last home. Again, for one short week, he drew comfort from his betrothed, then woke from his dream of hope to find himself a beggar. The fortune he had hoped to call his own was swept away in a mad speculation, his father's last investment; and when he sought comfort where he had been wont to find it, it was to meet cutting words of scorn, to find his prospects sneered at, his hopes blasted, his love thrust coldly back upon him. Words of reproach for tones of love, bitter scorn to answer the hopes of a new fortune, cold incredulity to meet his promises of better days, drove him maddened from his betrothed, a very demon of outraged lovs and rsvsngeful bitumen.
It were a bitter record to tell of the months that followed this final blow. Talent wasted, energy misapplied, temptation unresisted, and evil courted. The strong, nervous energy began to fail before the demon of drink; the cool calculating brain, turned from science to gambler's devices, grew heated and unreliable. Nights of wild rioting were followed by days of sick despair, and the life which had begun under every smiling hope and promise of success seemed about to end in the drunkard's grave or the suicide's coffin.
It was a sneer that turned the scale. An old friend (one still revelling in Fortune's smiles) said, in the hearing of the wretched man, "Poor fool! weak and unstable! I always thought his boasted strength and talent needed pampeiing to bring them to perfection. Well, he will be no great loss either to the profession or society."
Was this true i Was this the end of ambitious dreams of youth, of the glowing hopes of manhood? A life wasted, a soul lost, and for what i Because a false woman had let him see her worthless nature, and he was saved from a marriage that must have brought life-long misery.
With the same resolute energy that had marked every variation of his life, the doctor entered again upon the race for fame and fortune. His splendid physical organization threw oft' easily the effects of two years of wild dissipation, and the active brain once roused was ready for new tasks, new triumphs. This was the bitterest period of his life. Old friends, from whom he had hoped for encouragement, heard coldly his promises of reform; bis practice was nothing, only a few patients daring to trust life to hands that had proved so ready to grope for evil instead of bringing comfort. Day after day the prospects grew darker. Without money, almost without friends, with a heart cut to the core by woman's faithlessness, a home desolated by death, and swept away by poverty, a hand unsteadied by drink, and a name tarnished by riotous living, how dared he hope to atone the past and win a new name and fortune? Some few, who still felt an interest in the unhappy man, strongly advised him to find a new field for practice, a new home where the past could be no reproach; but the proud spirit rejected the advice. In his own city, in the face of all the past, he would win his name again.
For five long years he fought manfully, till, on the New Year's morning when our story commences, he faced the world free of all debt, with a fair practice, and an honourable name in his profession. Not one, but many small works from his pen were quoted as authority by more than one circle of scientific men, and he had accepted a hospital practice—almost forced upon him—as one of the best surgeons in his own city. So, as he strode through the muddy streets, Dr. Huber felt again friends with fortune.
Yet the battle had left scars, and there were gaping, unhealed wounds under the brave ex-'
terior. The heart that had been full to overflowing with warm, generous impulses, was crusted over with a hard coat of cynicism. He trusted no man, no woman, visiting upon all the sin of one. Worse yet—he had fought so well his hard battle, that self-reliance had become arrogance; and, in the place of trust to Providence, he had taken his own infallibility for his guide. The world saw a resolute, successful, talented, but hard, cynical man. God saw a self-reliant, presumptuous unbeliever.
Dr. Huber's first call was in no fashionable drawing-room. Down a dirty alley, where every step brought a new sight or smell of disgusting poverty, he walked rapidly, ungreeted by any of the loungers who watched him. „ The doctor's poor patients thought his hard, stern manner, and contempt for small ailments, fully outweighed any gratitude for gratuitous service.
It was a small room poorly furnished where he at length slopped. Upon a low pallet bed lay a little child, some eight or nine years old, who had been injured by a terrible fall. As the doctor came in, the little hands clasped close together and the nervous quiver of his patient's lips Bhowed his terror of the visit.
"Must it be to-day, Doctor?" asked the pale mother, as she looked into the doctor's face.
"Certainly! I told you so yesterday, and you" had better go and see some of your neighbours when Dr. Smith comes, for I can't be bothered with any fainting fits or hysterics."."
"Oh, no! Ob, mother, don't leave rae. I am so afraid of Dr. Huber."
It was a cry of agonizing apprehension. The doctor fairly trembled under it. Some longforgotten tenderness welled up in his heart, as he saw the frightened face turned to meet the mother's caresses. For a moment he stood irresolute, then he went to the bed, and putting his arm under the child's head, turned the pale face to meet his own.
"Johnny," the gentle tone made the child look up in glad surprise. "I am afraid your mother is not strong enough to stay and see her boy sutler. I will be very tender and careful with what must be done, and it will spare your poor mother pain to be away. Will you trust me and let her go?"
The clear childish eyes looked long into the dark ones questioning them, then the child said, "Mother, you may go:" and as the ta.'i form of another doctor approached the bed, [l.e little sufferer whispered, "Pray God for Johnny, mother."
Again the hardened heart thrilled under the child's voice. Truly wbat other help lay before Johnny for the next hour but what was heaven sent? A sincere "God help him," rose in the doctor's heart.
Skilfully, tenderly, and patiently the two surgeons worked in the little room; yet when they drew the sheet again over the childish form, and turned away from their task, they knew that all of their art was vain: the pain was stilled by a mightier hand than theirs, a stronger inn had made their efforts fruitless, and the God the mother prayed to had answered her ind called Johnny home.
"You stay, and see his mother," said Dr. Huber, as he buttoned up his coat for a second call. '• I have no words for her. You are a Christian."
Leaving no time for comment or refusal, he strode away; but when Dr. Smith turned to the table to pack his instruments, he saw lying there a bank-note that would more than decently inter the still form on the bed. t "A pretty beginning for a new year," muttered Dr. Huber, as he again faced the rain; yet, a; he suddenly dashed from his face a drop oC moisture that the rain had not placed there, there stirred in his heart a memory of his mother, a new-born uneasiness, that angels would hare hailed as his highest, purest hope for the coming year.
The second, third, fourth and fifth call found him still in the little court, and the sixth, which he had almost forgotten, wait also there. It was only a burnt arm, a baby arm that was nearly healed, and as he turned from it, after a brief inspection, he thought his calls in that locality over for the day. But there was some new expression in the doctor's face that morning, that gave the baby's mother courage to
make a request she had meditated, but not
dared to express. "If you please, doctor, there's a poor body, a
lodger of mine, that's ailing this month past.
If it's nor too much trouble''— "Where is she?" impatiently interrupted the
doctor. "In the attic. It's not a woman, please, sir,
but a man that's been riddling in some theatre, fie has a bit of a gal he's making an opery singer out of." "What's the matter with him?" "Well, sir, he's wasting like. He thinks he is going to get out again soon, but to my mind his life's pretty well over." "Sbow me the way."
Up the narrow stairway, past rooms of poverty's own choosing, the doctor and his guide mounted to the attic. There the woman entered, while the doctor stood back, studying the interior of the wretched room, desolate, cold, and cheerless, with a couple of wretched beds, a miserable little fire, and a few broken articles of furniture. In one corner stood a forlorn old piano, upon which rested a violin case and some music books. At this piano was seated a little girl, rapidly running a scale, while upon the bed the doctor's new patient counted time.
"One, two, three, four. Two breaks! Try •gain."
"It is so fast," sighed the child, obedient to the order.
"Signor," said the landlady, pronouncing the word as it is written, and splitting the emphasis exactly in halves. "Sig-nor, I've brought the doctor to see you."
The child slipped down from the piano stool,
and came to the bedside, while her .father i looked towards the door. I "A doctare! Ah, yes—does he know I have no moneys?"
"La! yes Sig-nor. Come, Julie, and see the baby while the doctor talks to your pa."
But the child shook her head, and only crept closer to the bed; so the landlady, having indicated the patient to the doctor, and the doctor to the patient by one comprehensive flourish of her arm, went down-stairs.
Wasting away! Ah, surely and rapidly. One glance at the sunken eyes, hollow, hectic, flushed cheeks, and shaking hands told the doctor the story. With the new tenderness Johnny had awakened still vibrating in his heart, Dr. Huber spoke gently to the sick man in his own Italian tongue.
The child turned to him instantly, speaking rapidly the same musical language.
"Ah, you will cure him! See how already he is better! Oh, doctor, he has been so ill, so ill, poor papa. He coughs, and is so weak, and at night he moans and tosses instead of sleeping."
■' Hush, Guilia, you trouble the gentleman. Go see the baby, my darling, while I tell him about the cough.''
The child slowly obeyed, and as her small form left the room, the Italian said eagerly, "Can you save me—for her, for her only? She will be famous. Ah, such talent! But I must teach her. She is mine! We will again have comfort when she is older. Again I will be first violin when she is prima donna. Oh, save me! save me! Let me not die!" And.^xhausted by his own violence, the suffererfell back panting and coughing.
With all his accustomed brevity and decision the doctor delivered a short, impressive lecture upon the folly of such violent conduct, and fairly scolded his patient back to composure; then after a series of strictly professional inquiries, he promised to send some medicine and come the next day.
Guilia glided past him on the stairs, having evidently listened for his step, and the landlady waylaid him to have her own forebodings confirmed.
"And dear only knows what's to become of the gal. She's too pretty and smart for the workhouse, to my thinking," was the good woman's parting comment on the case.
Other professional calls followed in rapid succession, as the doctor passed from street to street, house to house. At last two o'clock found him again in his home, weary and turbed. What ailed him i He had faced ana battled with sorrow, suffering, and disease for years. He bad fought with death for many a patient, sometimes victorious, sometimes defeated, yet he had let his heart turn coldly from any lasting impressions, and looked upon all as so much chance in the roll of fate. But today he had left a deathbed subdued and saddened; he had seen the signet mark on one forehead and had shuddered with apprehension.