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not employed abroad, may enjoy all the solitude of a recluse, and shut up with his cherished books, forget the world which so much regrets his own seclusion from it."
N. P. Willis thus writes in a letter from Idlewild, in the Home Journal, in relation to the above residence and its distinguished occupant: “New Haven is a vast cathedral, with aisles for streets, * * * and Percival, the poet, I fancy has felt this, in designing the cottage in which he lives.* It looks like a sarcophagus in a cathedral aisle. Three blind windows on the front of a square structure, are the only signs of anything ever going in or coming out of it, the door being in the rear, I believe, and no sign of life visible in the streets. I felt my heart kneel in passing it. He (Percival) is, I am sure, the purest and most mere man of genius possible to our race-profound science and lofty poetry straining his soul to the two extremes of a seraph's span, with scarcely mortality enough to keep him down to the ground. When his struggling spirit shakes off this little hindrance to his wings-the visible shape by which we know him—the ashes might properly be preserved in the sarcophagus he here built and pretenanted.”
* This building was still unfinished when Dr. Percival received the appointment from the State of Wisconsin to make a geological survey of that State. He was expecting to be able soon to remove to it his library from the “Hospital in the southwestern part of New Haven, where he had had his rooms for many years. When he left for Wisconsin, his books, which amounted to five thousand volumes in number, were boxed and suffered to remain in his old quarters; and the new house on “ Park Place,” which was soon completed, remained untenarted awaiting his return. It has since been pulled down.
ARTICLE VI.-METEOROLOGY OF PALESTINE.
WHOEVER reflects on the climate of Palestine must be impressed with one striking fact,--that, considering its limited extent of territory, it is of all countries on the globe the most remarkable in its meteorological phenomena. Although it is only about one-sixth part as large as New England, but a little larger in fact than the single state of Vermont, yet it embraces nearly all that is peculiar to every climate in the world. In one part or other it exhibits the heat of the most torrid climes, and the cold of northern Europe; the hot winds of the desert, and the piercing wintry blasts of Norway; dew the most copious; the periodical rains of the tropics, and long continued and terrible droughts; clouds of the most terrific aspect, and hurricanes and tempests, with thunder and lightning, snow and hail, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Yet notwithstanding this singular meeting of the extremes of all climates, the climate of large portions of the Holy Land is remarkably pure, serene, and pleasant. It is, indeed, one of the most singular of all the meteorological features of this country, that at the same moment places in full view of one and the same observer have climates exceedingly diverse from each other, one melting with fervent heat, another enjoying cool and delightful breezes, and a third shivering amid the frosts of winter. Van de Velde,* in the month of March, stood on Mount Tabor. At his feet, on his right, stretched the plain of Esdraelon, sweltering in the heat of an African sun. But a few miles off,
a on his left, rose the snow-clad summits of Mount Hermon ; while before him ascended the Hill-Country of Judea, fresh and verdant with the balmy airs of spring. Here is a region presenting a scene of perfect sterility and desolation ; there, not far distant, is a goodly land, abounding with springs of water, a land of corn and wine, and flowing with milk and honey.
* Van de Velde, Vol. I, p. 358.
If thus diversified in its physical geography, so no other country on the globe exhibits, within the same compass, so great a variety of meteorological phenomena. California appears to approach nearest to it, having, according to a recent description of that country by Rev. Dr. Bushnell,* "a great multitude of climates curiously pitched together, at short distances, one from another.” But the part of California enbraced in Dr. Bushnell's description is more than ten times as large as the whole of Palestine, while its varieties of climate, singular as they are, are far less numerous and remarkable.
There is no lack of writers on the climate of Palestine. Strabo, Josephus, and St. Jerome, in ancient times; the historians of the Crusades in the middle ages; Chardin, Maundrell, Shaw, Pococke, Volney, and Russell, of later times; many missionary residents of our own day; among whom Rev. Dr. W. M. Thomson, author of "The Land and the Book," stands preëminent; and learned travelers, as Clarke, Stanley, and Robinson; these are but a part of the immense list of authorities on the subject before us. But no one of them all, so far as we have learned, has offered anything like a systematic explanation of the causes of these remarkable peculiarities in the meteorology of Palestine. It is the main purpose of this Article to investigate these causes ; but let us first pass in review a synopsis of the Physical Geography of Palestine; then present a summary of the meteorological facts we propose to account for; and, finally, along with the explanation, exhibit a concise view of the principles of science on which our explanation will turn.
In casting our eyes over the map of Palestine, the first thing that strikes us is the smallness of its territory. Its length from north to south is only one hundred and eighty miles, and its extreme breadth is seldom more than fifty miles, embracing in all but about eleven thousand square miles, a space only about twice as large as the state of Connecticut. A half day's ride by railway, like that from New Haven to Boston, would be sufficient to survey the country in its entire length. Indeed, from several of its central eminences, the observer
* New Englander, for Feb. 1858.
comprehends at once within his field of view the whole of the “Promised Land” from Dan to Beersheba; and one may look with. ease from the mountains of Moab on the east of the Jordan, quite across the country to the Mediterranean sea on the west. Moses took his survey of the Promised Land from Mount Pisgah, over against Jericho, (Deut. xxxi,) and comprehended within his view "all the land of Gilead unto Dan, and all Napthali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, and the city of Palm Trees unto Zoar.” As Dan lay in the extreme north, and Zoar in the extremne south, while the “utmost sea”-the Mediterranean-bounded the Holy Land on the west, the description implies that Moses commanded a view of the entire land of Canaan.* Froin all the elevated lands about Jerusalem, and especially from such points as Mount Ephraim, Tabor, Ebal, and Gilboa, the Hebrew poet and seer had full in view the entire country bestowed by God on his chosen people.
Palestine may be characterized as a decidedly mountainous country. The great chains of Lebanon, and Anti-Lebanon, running parallel from north to south through the regions of Syria north of Palestine, and the eastern range attaining a hight at Mount Hermon of ten thousand feet, then diverging into two great ranges, the eastern passing off into Arabia Petraea, and the western traversing the central parts of the Holy Land, give to these regions a mountainous character, which impart to Syria and Palestine a marked peculiarity, in comparison with the vast deserts and plains of Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt, bordering them on the east and south ; countries from which the chosen people and their fathers had emanateil. Hebron, on the southern boundary, has an elevation of two thousand eight hundred feet above the Mediterranean,t Jerusalem of two thousand two hundred, and the Mount of Olives of two thousand four hundred. The patriarchs, therefore,
* Dr. Robinson thinks there is no mountain over against Jericho high enough to afford such a view, and therefore interprets the account mean that he saw towards those limits.
+ Stanley's Chart.
went down into Egypt; Festus ascended from Cesaraea to Jerusalem; and our Saviour, in his childhood, went with his parents up to Jerusalem,-Nazareth, althongh in a hilly country, being more than one thousand feet below the level of Jerusalem. The sacred poets and prophets gloried in this peculiar feature of their country, as distinguishing God's chosen people from the other great nations, as the Assyrians and Egyptians, who dwelt in plains beside their great rivers. This lofty elevation of their country above surrounding nations, made their country itself seem to them a type of heaven and the symbol of the Almighty throne. The Psalmist lifted up
“to the hills” from which all his help came.—(Ps. cxxi, 1.) The holy prophets exulted in the idea that the Lord's house was exalted above all the temples of the idolatrous nations: “The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and shall be exalted abore the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it."*-(Isa. ii, 2.) In view of the messenger's returning from the captivity, bearing the tidings of peace, and, after traversing the desert plains of Assyria, treading the sacred liills, the prophet exclaims: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!”—(Isa. lii, 7.)+
The valleys of Palestine, also, are numerous and often of great depth--that of the Jordan, at the Dead Sea, is quite unprecedented, being one thousand three hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean, and more than three thousand five hundred feet below Jerusalem, although distant from it only twenty-fire miles. Certain districts of the country are also marked by extensive plains ; as in the west, the plains of Sharon and Esdraelon, and on the east the plain of Jericho.
Palestine, although presenting to its inhabitants, and especially to its poets, the sublime scenery of the ocean in the Mediterranean, which washed its western borders, and something of the scenery of inland lakes in the sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, is nevertheless but an indifferently watered country. The Jordan, the only river of any magnitude, is, when compared with our rivers, but a puny stream, being where it enters the Dead Sea * Stanley, p. 129.