harvest in different countries, and this proposal was discussed by the Statistical Congress at St. Petersburg in August 1872. But any efforts in this direction belong to what Kopp designates as the second period of weather study, the prompt record of the facts of weather as it is, whereas what we are tracing are the attempts to announce the weather as it will be.

Beyond all question, the system of weather notices in force in the United States is the most complete, but the realization of such a plan is only possible where there is a whole continent as the area whence the information is derived, a military organization to collect it, and practically unlimited funds for it.

to pay

In the United States the entire array of figures in the Daily Bulletin' is telegraphed three times a-day, to a number of district centres, such as New York and Chicago, and published in each place simultaneously with its appearance in Washington. By such a method the facility of distributing information is enormously increased. Not only, however, does the Chief Signal Office transmit its data and its forecasts, or probabilities,' to use the official designation, but of late a most elaborate system has been introduced, with the object of teaching agriculturists to use their eyes. The essential feature of this system is what is termed 'The Weather Case, or Farmer's Weather Indicator,' a description of which appeared in 'Nature' for October 10, 1878. The case contains a barometer, a thermometer, and a hygrometer (which are registered in the usual way, and indicate by pointers the changes in the readings since the last time of setting); and, in addition, wind disks, sunset disks, and time records. Each of these cases is in charge of some responsible person, who sets each indication at regular intervals by fixed rules. These rules are modified according to the local circumstances of each particular station, ascertainable from information in the Chief Signal Office at Washington, and they of course have reference to the latest telegraphic information received from headquarters.

To render such a system really effective, a very considerable amount not only of knowledge, but of zeal and watchfulness, must be presupposed on the part of the local managers of the weather cases. Assuming these conditions, the system has a great deal to recommend it, but it has been in practice too short a time for us to be able to form a judgment as to its efficacy.

of France,

This is far

The next system which calls for our notice is that devised by Leverrier about two years before his death. simpler than the American plan which has just been described,


and its essential features are the supply of cheap public barometers to various towns, and the transmission of daily telegrams containing summaries of the information given in the Bulletin International.' These telegrams are intended for the guidance of local experts, on whom rests the responsibility of issuing such announcements as may be useful to the agriculturists of their respective districts. It was originally contemplated that the expense of the telegrams should be borne by the several Departmental Commissions. The general bearing of the system has, however, more immediate reference to thunderstorms, hailstorms, and floods, than to the alternations of sunshine and cloud, as is evident from the instructions to the local Commissions conveyed by the circular announcing the institution of the new arrange


We are entirely without information as to the development which this plan has at present reached, but within the first year of its establishment more than 1100 stations had sent in their adhesion to the proposals. As to the value of the intimations, no materials are available for forming a judgment, as the Paris Observatory has never yet published any comparison between its warnings and the weather subsequently experienced; but there can be no doubt that such a system, thoroughly and intelligently worked, ought to confer great benefits on a rural population.

Saxony is another country where agricultural warnings are in force; and here they are carried out by means of signal shapes, two drums being employed, one at either end of a spar like a ship's yard. The signals made depend on the height to which each drum is hoisted, and they are four in number, indicating respectively,-1, Fine Weather; 2, Changeable; 3, Rain; 4, No forecast possible. The signals appear to have been very successful, but the system has one inherent defect-imperfect publicity. Whereas in roadsteads or harbours ships are in reasonably close proximity to each other, so that any signal hoisted in a prominent place is easily visible, these advantages are entirely absent when we hoist a signal at an inland station. The population to be benefited by it live on all sides of the signal-staff, comparatively few persons are within easy sight of it, and the signal itself may be completely hidden in more than one direction by trees or buildings.

Our own Meteorological Office finds great difficulty in conveying, at a reasonable cost, the information it is able to impart to the very persons to whom it would be most useful. Its forecasts, the issue of which commenced last Easter, have, during Vol. 148.-No. 296.

2 L


the month of July, been transmitted daily by telegraph to about a score of scientific agriculturists, by whom the intelligence has been disseminated in their immediate neighbourhood. But what is this but a mere scratching of the surface? It cannot be called a real working of the system on an adequate scale.

It is impossible to ignore the fact that the question is mainly one of money. No European Government appears to be in a position to grant the funds for extensive operations in weather telegraphy. In this country, at the tariff of a shilling for twenty words, the expense of warning regularly even 100 stations would be 51. per day, or 150l. per month, while any agricultural country could produce more than a hundred stations of sufficient importance to be recipients of daily forecasts. We can hardly expect that private enterprise will ever come forward on a sufficiently large scale to give the system a fair trial, and we must only hope that the development of the telegraphic system, and a consequent reduction of the cost of telegrams, may render it possible hereafter for the necessary funds to be supplied by Government.

It is sufficiently clear from what has been said, that the results attainable by weather forecasting are generally satisfactory, and are capable of great improvement. The possibility of effecting this improvement depends in great measure on two conditions: Firstly, a careful scientific investigation and comparison of weather experienced and weather predicted, so as to detect the causes of failures; and in this connection we may express the hope, that the office will publish the results of its forecasts as freely as it has published the results of its warnings: Secondly, greatly increased facilities for the employment of telegraphy, both in the collection of materials for forecasting and in the distribution of the information obtained.

If these two conditions were fulfilled, we might anticipate, so far as present experience goes, that, at least in Western Europe, the weather might in general be correctly forecast for twenty-four hours, and in some rare occasions for a longer period; but no indication has yet been given of any ability to foretel weather a week in advance, and much less to predict the character of the seasons.


ART. VIII.-Henri IV., sa Vie, ses Euvres, ses Ecrits. Par J. Guadet, Auteur du Supplément des Lettres Missives de Henri IV. Paris, 1879.


HE world knows nothing of its greatest men.' It certainly knows little of some of whom it is supposed to know much. The names familiar in men's mouths as household words frequently convey no more than vague general impressions of character and conduct, of vice or virtue, meanness or magnanimity, glory or shame. The name of Henry the Fourth of France, for example, is traditionally associated with his chivalrous courage and his gallantries. Few care to enquire why he is the idol, the hero, the model-monarch, of the Legitimists: why the titular Henri V. is prouder of being descended from him than from all or any of the intervening princes of the race: why his memory is fondly cherished by the French peasantry to this hour. Still fewer pause to consider him as a statesman, or try to fathom the policy by which he tranquillized and consolidated into a well-ordered realm the divided and distracted States, little more than nominally subject to the French crown when it devolved upon him. Yet that policy might be studied with profit by modern politicians; and the pages which commemorate his exploits are amongst the most instructive as well as most curious and entertaining that history can boast.

We may say of Sully, the principal chronicler of the reign, what we recently said of Saint-Simon: that, whilst his name is familiar to the many, the detailed knowledge of his Memoirs is confined to the few. Incidentally, therefore, we may render good service by doing for the one what we have already done for the other, namely, by bringing the general reader into more intimate acquaintance with him.

'For more than fifteen years,' says M. Guadet, in his Preface, 'I have been daily turning over again and again the historic documents of the time of Henri IV.: above all, his correspondence-that faithful mirror of his life, for it was not his habit to conceal his actions or dissemble his thoughts. Thus, I could almost say that for more than fifteen years I have lived with Henri IV.: that I have followed him in war, in council, in the city, to his home: that I have been present at his conferences with sovereigns, with the great assemblies of the State, with the councillors: that I have heard his familiar talk with his companions in arms, with his friends, even with his mistresses; and that consequently I have fairly acquired the right to speak of him to my contemporaries, to represent him to them such as I have seen him. So much for the Life and the Work.'

As to the writings, consisting chiefly of letters, they are con2 L 2 tained

tained in nine volumes quarto, a national publication, comprising despatches, letters on business, and many others, throwing no light on personal history.

'I have come to the conclusion that two hundred letters, wellchosen, suffice to give a just idea of the correspondence and to preserve the flower of that correspondence; and this is all I have attempted. My choice of letters will be followed by two other writings of different kinds. It is with confidence that I offer this volume to the public, for all that speaks of Henri IV. ought to please, and à fortiori all that comes from him.'

The book fully justifies the confident tone of the author, so far as diligence in the collection of materials and judgment in selecting from them are concerned. But-a common fault with men who make a lifelong study of a subject-he assumes an intimate acquaintance with it in his readers, and glosses over or suppresses the most interesting details. Moreover, instead of adopting the narrative or biographical form, he has divided his work into chapters, in which portions of the career or estimates of it from particular points of view, are separately discussed, such as Henri IV., Homme de Guerre:'Henri IV. considéré au Point de Vue Religieux:''Henri IV. Administrateur :' and so Instead of following his example in this respect, we shall bring together the most remarkable events of the King's Life by way of introduction to the critical examination of his character.


[ocr errors]

The earliest biography of Henry IV., dedicated to Mazarin, was part of a Summary of French History, composed for the instruction of Louis XIV. by Perefixe, bishop of Rodez. It is still the best as regards the personal traits and incidents, and three-fourths of the anecdotes and sayings which form the main attraction of the ensuing biographies are taken from it.* To begin with the pedigree. Henry, at his birth, was only remotely connected with the crown of France to which he eventually laid claim as lineal descendant in the male line from Saint Louis. His father was Anthony de Bourbon, king of Navarre, in right of his wife Joanna, daughter and heiress of Henry d'Albret, who had similarly acquired this petty king'dom through a female. Small as they were, his dominions had been materially reduced by Ferdinand, king of Arragon, who

* Histoire du Roi Henri le Grand, composée par Messire Hardouin de Perefixe, Evêque de Rodez, ci-devant Précepteur du Roi. Nouvelle édition, revue, corrigée et augmentée par l'Auteur. A Paris, Quai des Augustins, chez Didot, à la Bible d'Or: Nyon, fils, à l'Occasion: Damonnevil, à Saint-Etienne. Rue Saint-Jaques, chez Savoye à l'Espérance. M.DCC.XLIX. Avec approbation et privilege du Roi. The title of Le Grand given in the title page is still frequently conferred on Henry IV. by French writers.


« VorigeDoorgaan »