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WE can scarcely choose a better time than
this for our projected discourse upon the
wind and rain. First, because, at about this
season of the year, people are usually
mounting into hopeful spirits after a tolerable
experience of both; and secondly, because
the wind has got into some little notoriety of
late, for not having blown down Mr. Paxton's
Crystal Palace in Hyde Parkwhich, it
appears, it was bound to do, and ought by all
means to have done. We have our misgivings
that it is equally bound, by the calculations
which convict it of this neglect of
duty, to blow away any man of ordinary
stature who ventures out of doors when the
weather is not calm. But, we have too much
respect, even for the failings of the wind, to do
more than hint at these its little weaknesses.

Indeed, our readers are already so occupied
with the wonders and beauties of the great
Exhibition, and already read so much about
them, that we purposely avoid the subject for
the present. Therefore, if our discourse
concerned only the grievous default and
bankruptcy of the wind in that connexion, it
would end here, and take its place in literature
by the side of Sancho Panza's untold story,
and the condensed Encyclop├Ždia of information
which Mr. Dangle ought to have perused
in the nod of Lord Burleigh. We have another
range before us, however, and proceed.

The clown in "Twelfth Night" might have
been a good geologist when he sang--

"A great while ago the world began,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain!"

for the wind and the rain have written illustrated
books for this generation, from which
it may learn how showers fell, tides ebbed and
flowed, and great animals, long extinct, walked
up the craggy sides of cliffs, in remote ages.
The more we know of Nature, in any of her
aspects, the more profound is the interest she
offers to us; and even in this atom of knowledge
alone, we might surely get something to think
about, out of a wet day. We do not defend a
wet day. We know that a wet Sunday in a
country inn, when the rain falls perseveringly,
between the window and the opposite haystack
when rustics lounge under penthouse
roofs, or in barn or stable door-ways, festooning
their smock-frocks with their pocketed hands,
and yawning heavilywhen we pity the
people sitting at the windows over the way,
and think how small and dark their houses
look, forgetting that they, probably, pity us
too, and think no better of the Griffin, where
we have put upis not promotive of cheerfulness.
We know that the same Sunday
in a town or city, when pattens go clinking
by upon the paving-stoneswhen dripping
umbrellas make a dismal dance all down the
streetwhen the shining policeman stops at
the corner to throw the wet off himself, like
a water-dogwhen all the boys in view go
slinking past, depressed, and no boy has the
heart to fly over a postwhen people wait
under the archway, peeping ruefully out at
splashed and draggled stragglers fagging
along under umbrellas: or at other stragglers
who, having no umbrellas, are completely
varnished from head to foot with rain
when the chimney-smoke and the little
church weathercock fly round and round,
bewildered to find that the wind is everywhere
when the flat little church bell seems vexed
that the people won't come in, and tinkles
discontentedly, while the very beadle at the
door is quenched and querulousdoes not
inspire a lively train of thought. Still, without
constantly measuring the rain-fall like the
enthusiasts who write to the newspapers
about it, or without asserting, like the oldest
inhabitant, (who has never been right in his
life since his promotion to that elevation),
that it never rained before as it rains now,
we may find matter for a few minutes' talk,
even in such weather.

It is raining now. Let us try.

The wind to-day is blowing from the north-
west, and it flings the rain against our window-
panes. That boy, Tom, will be very wet, for
he is out in it without an umbrella. Here
he comes, glowing like a forge to which the
gale has only served as bellows! He enjoys
his dripping state, and tells, with enthusiasm,

. . . "the wind began again with a burst
Of rain in my face, and a glad rebound
From the heart beneath, as if, God speeding me,
I entered his church-door, Nature leading me."

But we pack him off to change his clothes;
and stop his quotation summarily.

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