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CHAP. 84.—PROGNOSTICS DERIVED FROM FIRE KINDLED BY MAN.

Next to these are the prognostics that are derived from fire kindled upon the earth.1 If the flames are pallid, and emit a murmuring noise, they are considered to presage stormy weather; and fungi upon the burning wick of the lamp are a sign of rain.2 If the flame is spiral and flickering, it is an indication of wind, and the same is the case when the lamp goes out of itself, or is lighted with difficulty. So, too, if the snuff hangs down, and sparks gather upon it, or if the burning coals adhere3 to vessels taken from off the fire, or if the fire, when covered up, sends out hot embers or emits sparks, or if the cinders gather into a mass upon the hearth, or the coals burn bright and glowing.

1 Terreni ignes.

2 This, and the other phænomena here mentioned, result, as Fée says, from the hygrometric state of the air. Virgil mentions this appearance on the wick of the lamp, Georg. i. 392.

3 Fée thinks that this indicates fine weather rather than rain, as showing a pure state of the atmosphere.

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