Графични страници
PDF файл

called Pikes, from the N.N.W. to the S.S.E. from the neighbourhood of Gillsland almost to Kirkby-Steven, that is above 40 miles. Its direction is nearly in a right line, and the height of its different parts not very unequal; but is in general such that some of its more eminent parts are exceeded in altitude by few hills in Britain, and perhaps not by any in England. As it rises in the interior part of the country, it has in some degree an effect on the weather on its different sides similar to that which is experienced by the inhabitants of the Malabar and Coromandel coasts, occasioned by the mountainous range that is extended from Cape Comorin along the peninsula of Indus; for what are called SHEDDING WINDS generally blow on the contrary sides of this mountain from opposite quarters; also the rains, which come from the Atlantic, and those which drive from the Gerinan Ocean, seldom extend with any great power beyond its summits, being sometimes entirely spent and exhausted upon them; so that Northumberland and the corresponding parts of Cumberland, however similar in many respects, may in this be considered as different climates.

"Upon the upper part of this lofty ridge often rests, in dry and sunny weather, a prodigious wreath of clouds, involving its whole extent, and reaching sometimes more and sometimes less than half way from its summit to its base; at this time the other mountains in different quarters are for the most part clear of mist, nor are there any signs of rain. This mighty collection of vapour exhibits an appearance uncommonly grand and solemn; whether we regard its different shades descending from that gleaming whiteness, with which the sun tinges the volumes of its upper surface, to that indiscriminate gloominess which to the distant spectator renders the plains beneath almost invisible; or the tranquillity which it preserves amidst the commotions issuing from it, and the

currents of air, which must be supposed to prevail in the higher regions of the atmosphere. Or again, if we consider its vast bulk, which notwithstanding still represents the form of the mountain, (corresponding with its elevations and depressions) so that the boldest head of CrossFell, which is somewhat to the northward of the middle part of its range, is still distinguishable even in its Helm; for such is the name of that heap of vapour from whence the wind, of which we are treating, issues. When this heap first gathers upon the hill, there is seen above it a black streak of cloud continually flying off, and continually fed from the white one, which is called the real Helm ; this is called the Helm-bar, from its being supposed to bar or obstruct the winds that burst forth upon the vallies beneath as soon as it wholly vanishes; its direction is parallel to that of the white cloud, and it seems in continual motion as if boiling, or at least agitated by a violent wind; and indeed the wind, which really does follow its removal, is sometimes prodigiously violent, varying with respect to the extent of territory which it affects in proportion to the force and direction of what I shall here call the Real Winds. Sometimes when these are its direct antagonists, and in full force, it does not reach farther than two or three miles; nor do I know that even without such impediment it ever extends farther than thirteen or fourteen, being interrupted in its progress by the vis inertiæ of the air at large, or by some cause arising from the impulse of contrary currents. However, though it always bears a certain proportion to the force and direction of the real winds, its own intrinsic force is not always equal, nor is it found so even at the foot of the hill, where, on account of the shortness of its course, the action of contrary currents or the resistance of the air can not be supposed to have had any material effect in changing the degree of its power, or of interrupting its progress. It may, however,

[ocr errors]

be remembered as a truth, that near the base of the mountain it is at times excessively strong, bearing almost every thing before it, though at a distance of a very few miles not felt at all.

"Such is the Helm-Wind generated in that enormous cloud, which like a helmet covers the summit of Cross Fell. It is here particularly favoured by circumstances; for on one side there is a plain of above thirty miles in breadth in some places, and on the other no hills to rival that from whence it comes. This wind is not much taken notice of in natural history; yet the Dutch by the iron chains, with which they are obliged to moor their ships at the Cape of Good Hope, bear ample testimony to the fury of such an one. It hath been met with by late voyagers in the South Seas; it is said to have been felt in the straits of Gibraltar; and I doubt not but mariners and travellers have found it in many other places, though they may not have observed it with care, or may have given it different names. I apprehend that the landbreeze in the West Indies, though less violent and more regular, is similar to it; and I doubt not that there may be a helm-wind from almost every hill covered with a cloud in certain kinds of weather, though the resistance of similar winds from neighbouring hills may prevent its being taken notice of.

"It may be remarked of this wind, that it generally blows from Cross Fell longest in the spring, when the sun has somewhat warmed the air beneath, and does not cease till it has effectually cooled it. Thus it sometimes continues for a fortnight or three weeks, which I consider as a peculiarity of the Helm-wind of Cross-Fell."

"THE BOTTOM-WIND* has its name from being supposed formerly by the country people to arise from the bottom of those lakes which are situated amongst mountains, for

*This is extracted from the same author.

I know of none in a level country troubled with it. It is indeed puzzling enough to conceive why in a day when hardly a single breeze is a-stir, the surface of a lake, which is as smooth as a mirror, should without any apparent cause begin to be in motion, which in less than an hour rises to a considerable swell, with a direction sometimes to one quarter and sometimes to another; yet such is really the case ; and similar appearances have been observed in some of the Alpine Lakes, though it has been imputed as a lie to Buchanan that he tells of a similar phenomenon being frequent in the lake of Lenox."

"THE BOSOM WIND-is quite a different affair, and takes place wherever one object in the direction of the wind overlooks another; or universally where any thing breaks the current of the air that would otherwise impinge directly on the objects beyond it. This is particularly the case where large rocks screen things below them from the direct force of the wind, yet subject them to what is called a Bosom Wind. Near the sources of the Caldew is a valley called Swineside, never visited by the rays of the sun during the winter months. On the northern side of the hill which overshadows it in this manner, and at a considerable height above the valley, is a pretty large bason of water, called Booth-scale Tarn, three fourths of which are surrounded by an exceedingly steep heath, or by entire rocks; and the other fourth, being the side right above the valley, gives an outlet to the water. A road leads from the low grounds to the lake, and from the outlet winds about half round it, gradually ascending to some rocks where are slate quarries, on account of which it was first made; near these quarries the road is a considerable height above the lake, and the perpendicular heights of the hill above it can not be less than four hundred yards; on the other side of this height the descent is at an angle of perhaps fifty degrees, but on this

at a much greater. On a wet and windy day in Autumn I once took a ride with two companions to this lake; the wind blew directly over the height which I mentioned, not striking upon us except in uncertain puffs, on account of the intervention of the hill; that is, the wind, impinging on the inclined plane of the other side of the hill, was compelled towards the summit of it in an oblique direction, its powers continually increasing, and itself being more and more condensed by the addition of fresh air pressing on its course in a similar diverted manner. This current at the summit met with the regular wind, and, after striking violently on the mass of air moving in higher regions, was, by means of a combination of the weight and motion of that air, at last repelled into the tranquil and stagnant air beneath, where there was not a resistance from motion, and thus occasioned the wind of which I am speaking. It was this wind, which amused me very much at that time; I was looking at the lake beneath, and saw it grow black near the centre; the spot, where this first appeared, changed directly into a livid appearance by being contrasted with the rest of the water, through, which, from this spot, as a fixed point, rolled concentric circles of waves towards the circumference in a tumultuous manner, whilst the centre itself remained quite smooth and undisturbed. The wind, which produced this agitation, immediately after ascended the sides of the bason, and affected us with a very great force; I could also observe the heath on the other sides of the pool shook by the same, and in the same main direction from a centre, very forcibly. Such were the effects that I observed. I am told, however, that others have known a wind of the same kind in dry weather snatch the water out of the pool, and scatter it as spray through the whole of this imprisoned space."

KELDS." There is an appearance on the surface of

« ПредишнаНапред »