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a different nature.

Yet, I think, I rather prefer the


Its warm gales, the lustre of the newborn leaves, the songs of the birds, the whole creation awakening from its wintry slumbers, especially delights me. Spring too perhaps is more pleasing, because it comes after the cold and barren season; and because it promises a sweet and long succession of flowers, fruits, and fine weather. You now realize your wish, Edward, which you often expressed a month or two since, when the cold and the storms deprived us, and not unfrequently, of our usual walks, that this lovely period would arrive.

And next to the Spring, which of the other seasons do you like best, Papa ?

I scarcely know how to answer you, Edward; I tell you, I enjoy them all; yet, perhaps, I prefer the autumn. The depth of winter and the height of summer, by their great heat and cold, inconvenience us many ways. Spring, I think, from its promising so much, imparts a more animated joy than autumn. But though the latter suggests the idea of decay, yet

it inspires a pensive pleasure, and is favourable to study and meditation.

It would be better, I think, Papa, if we were not to have any winter.


I think not; otherwise, God would have ordered it Whatever God has done, we may be sure, is on the whole, for the best; though we may not always see the reason for his conduct; nor can there be any doubt, but that the variety of the seasons adds very much to our enjoyment; just as the dark and rainy days cause us to enjoy in a more lively manner those that are fine, and sunshiny. You would not so much enjoy a holiday as you do, if you had no labour, or times devoted to study.

But why are our seasons so different?

I think I have repeatedly shown you, when we have been talking on the globe. They naturally arise from the different positions which the earth occupies relative to the sun at these varied periods. You know, that the earth, besides its daily revolution on its own axis, from which arises day and night, has also

an annual course, in its orbit, or path, round the


But how do you know this, Papa?

Why, readily; by the observation of the fixed stars. There are telescopes by which we can see them in the day; and if, at the beginning of the year, we notice the sun to be in a line with one of them, we shall soon discover if we continue to look, that it will change its position, and be much to the east of him; and this distance will be constantly increasing, till it has journeyed round the heavens, and arrives again in a line with the same star, where we first began to mark his progress. Thus it is evident that the earth has an annual course round the sun.

But the earth does not travel in an upright position around the sun; his axis is inclined about twenty-three degrees and a half. Thus our great poet, Milton, says, the Creator bade

"his angels turn askance

The poles of earth, twice ten degrees and more
From the sun's axle."

By this beautiful arrangement, so worthy of the Divine wisdom, every part of the earth is enlightened, and enjoys its different seasons: but if it revolved perpendicularly, or upright, this could not be the case. By its position, the north pole is more fully presented to the sun in June, than at any other time in the year; so that in these northern regions it is summer. But, of course, the south pole is in an opposite direction, and it is winter in the parts of the earth which are south of the equator. In the month of December, the south pole is presented, in a similar manner to the sun, and then the inhabitants of the countries which lie round about it, in their turn enjoy summer, whilst it is winter in the northern parts of the earth. But, as I showed you just now on the globe, the people who live between the equator and the tropic of Cancer and that of Capricorn must have two summers every year.

I recollect now, Papa, that you did; and you said, that the sun was three millions of miles nearer to us at Christmas than at Midsummer but I can't think

how this can be; for surely, then it would be warm in December, and cold in June; which we all know it is not.

True, Edward; but you forgot how I accounted for a very different result. I told you, that though the sun is nearer to us in winter than in summer, yet in the former season he does not rise very high in the heavens; thus his beams shoot over us, and do not fall on the earth to warm it, as is the case in


I see

Thank you, Papa; I understand it now. that from our situation on the globe, we have four seasons; spring, the season which we now enjoy, when the trees, plants, and flowers, bud and blossom, and in which heat is not very great, and the days and nights are nearly of equal length: summer, when the days are much longer than the night, and when the heat is so great that it ripens the fruits of the earth: autumn, when the heat abates, the fruits and seeds are gathered, and the days and nights are again as long as each other: and winter, which you said was

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