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U. O. No; that it didn't. If this man had known any other way of preserving his own life, he ought to have tried it rather than take away life: but as he did not, he was perfectly right in killing his horse; and if his feelings had prevented him, I should have said he was a kind and amiable, but a weak, and not a wise, man. I should be sorry to see any of you be guilty of unkind or cruel conduct to any animal; but the life of man is of so much more value than that of the noblest animals, that every law authorizes him to kill them, when necessary to his own preservation. If a bull threw you up with his horns, or you happened to fall and break your leg, shall I say that it served you right because you ate beef or mutton for dinner? Yet this man thought he had more occasion to kill his horse for the preservation of his life, than you have to let oxen and sheep-not to say calves, pigs, and fowls be killed for the preservation of yours. I think, however, this man might have done better without killing his horse. If he had dug a kind of grave for himself in the snow, he might have covered it with his large cloak, and covered that with snow. Then he might get in at a hole left open at the end, which he might close up after he got inside, and thus he would be snugly sheltered from the inclemency of the air. If he had a dog with him, so much the better; and still better if there were several people in the same grave, as they would make the place the warmer. I doubt not that persons in such a situation as this poor man might easily preserve their lives in this manner until the morning. The men with Captain Ross used to do something of this sort in the Arctic regions, and none of them lost their lives on account of the cold.
This seems a very good time for me to mention to you something very remarkable which Mr. Morier observed in the north of Persia. I never saw anything of the kind myself in that country; but I have always the most perfect confidence in what that gentleman relates. He says, that on the evening following a day and night of continual rain in June, an awful noise was suddenly heard, like the rushing of a great body of water. Every man in the camp, as if by general agreement, ran to the place whence the noise came, expecting to find a rapid torrent flowing through the bed of a small river adjacent to the camp. Having arrived there, they saw no water; but as the noise increased, and seemed to approach nearer to them, they became greatly alarmed, for nothing could be more awful. Every one expected either a hurricane or an earthquake, when the falling of some very large hailstones, nearly of the size of pigeons' eggs, informed them that the commotion was over their heads; and when they looked up they could plainly discover two violent currents of wind driving the clouds different ways, whose concussion produced the violent rush which seemed so unaccountable before.
Uncle Oliver. This evening I intend to describe to you certain winds by which Persia is visited in different parts and at different times. They are not, indeed, peculiar to Persia, nor are their effects the strongest in that country; but, as they are all more or less felt there, I shall mention them now, for the sake of describing them together. First, there is the hot wind
Jane. The hot wind, Sir!
U. O. We shall see presently, my dear. The winds I shall describe are, the hot wind, the cold wind, the sand wind, and the whirlwind. The hot wind is variously called in different countries. In south-western Asia it is called Samiel and Simoom. We have seen already that large sandy deserts in warm countries are intensely hot. In passing over such deserts, the wind contracts a degree of heat which it often carries far beyond them, until it is gradually cooled by passing through more temperate climates and over seas.
Frank. But, Sir, how does it happen that the hot wind never comes to this country?
U. O. Because the nearest deserts are so distant that the wind which has passed over them becomes cool before it can reach us. Here, you see (pointing to the map), the nearest desert is the great Sahara of Africa; the wind as it blows from thence is exceedingly hot; but before it can come to this country, it must pass over mountains and many hundred miles of sea, and must therefore be cooled before it can arrive to us. Nevertheless, you perceive a great difference, as it is, between certain winds. Those which blow from the north, the region of snow and ice, are positively cold and piercing, whereas those which come from the south and south-east cannot be called cold, but are merely refreshing currents of air. You will now easily understand that places in and near the deserts must suffer very much from the hot wind. The name “ invisible flame” has been given to it with much propriety; for the feeling it occasions can be compared to nothing better than to that which a strong flame passing close by would produce; and if you have ever passed very near the mouth of an oven or a lime-kiln, you will perhaps have