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319 nity, into whose hands these poor papers of mine may happen to fall, assuring you, that, could I suppose that my suggestions of this contemplation would, in the smallest degree, tend to promote a general conversation on the subject, I fhould think the object, great as it is, almost certain of being attained. It is not grave and voluminous books that touch the public mind, but vivid flashes of truth that call a general attention, and by degrees move the mighty machine of popular opinion. I am, Mr Editor, with regard,
your humble seryant,
REMARKS ON THE ABOVE BY THE EDITOR. I have found, by experience, what I would not have expected, from reasoning a priori, that many of my readers are inclined to believe, that I myself adopt the sentiments of all the writers whose lucubrations appear in this miscellany. Were this, however, to be the case, the work would very soon fall into deserved contempt. Truth is the great object of pursuit with me; but how could that be attained, "were the performances of all those who think differently from myself, to be refused admifsion into it? Should I err, would not this conduct be effectually shutting the doors against the admifsion of truth? This would counteract the avowed intention of the author.
The ingenious performance above, is probably written by one who has had much better opportunities of observing facts, and who is much more capable of drawing proper inferences from these than I could do. I am proud to lay them before the public without disguise, though I am by no means prepared to
go all the lengths this ingenious writer requires. The theory of government, if we are to take experience for our guide, is a subject too complicated for the human mind to grasp, though, from the same experience, we are taught that nothing is more easy in speculation. An infinite number of governments have been established on the globe since the beginning of time, most of which were deemed unexceptionably good, before experience had discovered the evils to which they were to give birth. In all of them innumerable defects have been discovered by time; and the predictions of immortality, which were lavished upon them at their birth, have soon been proved to be fallacious. To a person who seriously reflects on what has already happened, nothing but the test of actual experience, continued for ages, seems to be enough for giving any system of government a just title to applause,-all exultation before hand must be deemed premature. On this principle, those who are friends to the cause of humanity will ardently wish, that every attempt to alter fixed governments may tend to the public weal, though they will not 'be disposed rafhly to make innovations themselves, till they fhall have seen, that experience shall have fully confirmed the justnefs of the reasoning which gave rise to these changes. Till then, a wise man will look upon the whole as hypothetical reasoning, in similar cases. Those who are mere lookers on, may be deemed peculiarly fortunate, as, if they have patience, they will have the benefit of deriving instruction from the experiment, without running the rifk of the derangements that must be felt by those who try the experiment themselves.
VARIATIONS OF THE GENERAL TRADE-WINDS WITHIN THE TROPICS.
Continued from p. 293.
Summasenta and other trade-winds on the eastern coast of America.
THE only places in America where the wind shifts regularly, are the bays of Honduras and Campeachy, on the east, and ૨ small tract upon the coast of Brasil, and that of Panama, and some parts on the coast of Mexico, on the west. In the south part of the bay of Honduras, between Cape Gratia de Dios and Cape la Vela, the common trade-wind between E. and N. E. blows between March and November; from October till March there are westerly winds, not constant nor violent, but blowing moderately, sometimes two or three days, or a week, and then the easterly breeze may prevail for an equal length of time. The reason of the peculiarity here observed is this: During the summer season, the high land on the isthmus of Darien is so much warmed, as not to interrupt the course of the general tradewinds; but when the sun retires to the southern hemisphere, the cold upon the isthmus at that season becomes so great as to condense the air, to such a degree as to repel the trade-wind for some time; but not being rendered so intensely cold as in some of the larger continents, the trade-wind, at times, in its turn overcomes and repels these land breezes, and produces the phenomenon above described. Hence it is VOL. vii.
that the land breezes are most prevalent, and of longest duration, in the coldest months of December and January; before and after which two months, the trade-winds prevail, being generally checked only a day or two about the full or change of the moon. As these western breezes on the coast, take their rise from the same cause as the diurnal land breezes in warm climates, they may be considered as land breezes of two or three days continuance, and forming an intermediate step between the land breezes and
Although the influence of these breezes is felt farther off at sea, than the common diurnal breeze, yet they do not extend a great way, being seldom felt above twenty, thirty, or forty leagues from the fhore; and about Cape la Vela, which is much exposed to the east wind, these breezes seldom extend above eight or ten leagues from fhore.
Land breezes of the same nature, and proceeding from similar causes, are also experienced in the winter season, in the bay of Campeachy, which are there known by the name of Summasenta winds. Beyond Cape la Vela these western breezes are not felt, which is undoubtedly occasioned by the whole of that coast, as far as Cape St Augustine, being so much exposed to the general trade-wind, which here sweeps along it with so much violence, as almost totally to reprefs the weaker influence of the breezes. But between Cape St Augustine and St Catharine's island, or a little farther, we again meet with a variation of the wind at different seasons, as it is here observed to blow in an E. or N. E. direction
from September till April; and from April till Sep-
Winds on the coast of Chili and Peru.
We have purposely omitted mentioning the winds on the west coasts of Africa and America, till the others were explained, as the causes of the peculiarities here observed will be now more easily comprehended. On the coasts of Chili and Peru, in America, from 25°. or 30°. of south latitude to the line; and on the parallel coast of Angola, &c. in Africa, the wind blows all the year from the south, varying in its direction a little in different places, according to the direction of the coast, towards which it always in