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Water boils at two hundred and twelve
degrees, and freezes at seventy-five degrees
below the temperature of the human body
that is, at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
But it may be cooled at least twenty degrees
below this without freezing. It expands on
freezing, which is the reason why glass jugs
and bottles break when a ball of ice takes
the place of the water within them. This is
the reason, too, why a frosty winter is so
valuable to the farmer. The ice breaks up
the soil, renders the rocks soluble, and fit
food for plants, supplying them with their
ashes or inorganic constituents, besides killing
many of the grubs and larvæ of destructive
insects, which else would render many a
tilled acre a barren waste.

The quantity of rain which falls in Europe
varies as much as the rest of the water
statistics. Most falls at Bergem; and
Seathwaite in Cumberland, or, perhaps,
Kendal in Westmoreland, stands next. The
rain-gauge has measured one hundred and
fifty inches at Seathwaite during the year;
but the average for England is, in very
favourable spots, from eighteen to forty
inches, rising to sixty inches in more rainy
districts, and from sixty to eighty-four in
those which are rainier still. We must not
confound the quantity of rain which falls
in a locality with the number of rainy days.
A deluge during one day and night will wipe
off a large part of the score. Such deluges
are not uncommon. On the twenty-fifth of
October, eighteen hundred and twenty-two,
thirty-two inches fell without a pause at
sunny Genoa; and once at Bombay six and
a-half inches fell in one day; at Cayenne, from
eight in the evening to six the next morning,
ten inches fell; and at Geneva six inches
and a-half fell in three hours. At Vera Cruz
thirty-seven inches fell in July, August, and
September, but only fifty-five in the whole
year. In England the numbers are highest
for summer and autumn, lowest for spring
and winter; while in Russia the rain which
falls in summer is thrice the volume of that
which falls in winter.

If, as some say, iron is the bone of the
earth, then is water the blood; the ceaseless
ebb and flow of which; the endless evaporation
and return, corresponding to the throb
and pulse of the human heart and its life-
blood. The very air, even when crisp and
dry, has 1·5 per cent, of moisture in it, and we
ourselves have seventy-five per cent. of water
in us. When we have parted with it all, we
become those desiccated skeletons which fall
to dust in the open air. So long as we retain
the cohesive mould and form of humanity, so
long is the watery principle in force. Without
it, the whole earth, Himalayas and
Andes included, would be but a handful of
dusta gigantic heap of dry powder, on which
not even the most rudimentary lichen could
exist. The ancients built altars to Diana,
and worshipped the mother Moon. For
Diana and the moon emblemised the water
principle, without which nature would have
no plastic force, and the fair earth no form,
no life, and no loveliness.



THE following appeal comes to us from a
non-commissioned officer now serving in

I needn't remind you that the recruit of
the Peninsular campaigns and the recruit of
to-day are of a vastly different description;
now that education to a most praiseworthy
extent is cultivated by the most illiterate in
our barracks-room; now, whilst formerly
it went no further than a rude attempt
at a John Smith, in crooked hieroglyphics,
in the Company Ledger once per month.
The military world is essentially a reading
world now: the canteen, to a soldier away
from home, away from comfort, almost away
from the ordinary necessities of civil life, is
of course always popular; but the reading-
room, with its papers, its library, its periodicals,
is really, truly more so. And it is on
this subject that I wish to enlist your

Our commanders have done all in their
power, and with the utmost readiness, to
render our temporary sojournings, in the
intervals (how short!) betwixt our marches,
as comfortable as possible to us. Sheds are
erected for the wet season; messes
established for the sergeants; theatres reopened
when practicable. Still there is the one
prevailing yearning, the longing for
something to read. To civilians at home,
overwhelmed with the flood of literature poured
out by the ever-busy press of England, it is
frequently the most difficult thing in the
world to select what to read; but not so,
alas! with us. When one man is fortunate
enough to possess a book, no matter what
its titleanything, from Jack the Giantkiller
to Johnson's Dictionarythe rest pounce
down upon the fortunate possessor of the
treasure; and, in an instant, he finds himself
pledged to " lend it to me, my dear fellow,"
and to me, and to me; until, completely
bewildered as to the right of priority, he hands
it to some eager aspirant, who transfers it to
another, and so on. Thus it passes through
every company in the regiment.

Newspapers are very scarce here; those
sent us by friends either miscarrying, being
stopped by peculiarities as to postage, or
delayed for months after their proper time.
Hence, books of all things, which are ever
fresh, are the most desirable.

Can nothing be done? Or rather, to avoid
an evasive sentence: may I most respectfully
solicit the advocacy of our cause by a
few words in your renowned Journal? The

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