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In the third rank must be placed the prognostics derived from the stars. These bodies are sometimes to be seen shooting to and fro;1 when this happens, winds immediately ensue, in that part of the heavens in which the presage has been afforded. When the heavens are equally bright throughout their whole expanse, at the periods previously mentioned,2 the ensuing autumn will be fine and cool. If the spring and summer have passed not without some rain, the autumn will be fine and settled,3 and there will be but little wind: when the autumn is fine, it makes a windy winter. When the brightness of the stars is suddenly obscured, though without4 clouds or fog, violent tempests may be expected. If numerous stars are seen to shoot,5 leaving a white track behind them, they presage wind from that quarter.6 If they follow in quick succession from the same quarter, the wind will blow steadily, but if from various quarters of the heavens, the wind will shift in sudden gusts and squalls. If circles are seen to surround any of the planets, there will be rain.7 In the constellation of Cancer, there are two small stars to be seen, known as the Aselli,8 the small space that lies between them being occupied by a cloudy appearance, which is known as the Manger;9 when this cloud is not visible in a clear sky, it is a presage of a violent storm. If a fog conceals from our view the one of these stars which lies to the north-east, there will be high winds from the south; but if it is the star which lies to the south that is so obscured, then the wind will be from the north-east. The rainbow, when double, indicates the approach10 of rain; but if seen after rain, it gives promise, though by no means a certain one, of fine weather. Circular clouds around some of the stars are indicative of rain.

1 See B. ii. c. 6 and c. 36.

2 In c. 59 of this Book

3 "Densum." Fée says that this is in general confirmed by experience.

4 This results, Fée says, from the presence of thin, aqueous vapours, which portend a change in the atmosphere.

5 Fée attributes this phænomenon to hydrosulphuric gas, ignited in the air by an electric spark. The notion that these meteors are stars, was prevalent to a very recent period.

6 To which they proceed.

7 This, Fée says, is confirmed by experience.

8 Or "Little Asses."

9 Præsepia.

10 This, as Fée remarks, is consistent with experience.

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