J.H. Kellog M.D.
THE perihelionists have doubtless been most sadly disappointed the past year; for instead of having the coldest winter and the hottest summer ever experienced, the last winter was remarkably mild, and the recent summer has been most aggravatingly cool, and this notwithstanding the steady approach of the frightful perihelion which it has been asserted is to engulf us in universal plagues, famines, and general demoralization. The following extract from an English journal well illustrates the folly of adopting the chimerical fancies of every theorist who succeeds in getting his vagaries into print
“‘Professor Piazzi Smyth is a prophet of the right sort ; for he told the Royal Society of Edinburgh the other night that his prediction made in 1872 was so remarkable that he wished he had then died, ‘for then the statement would have been remembered,’ and a new science would have been born in a day !
The prediction was that the year 1880 would be ‘ warm,’ but we have already reached nearly the middle of July, and alarming statements as to the thermometer have been conspicuous by their absence. It is a remarkable fact, but the forces of nature continue to act in their own way, and Professor Smyth is still alive to favor us with further predictions founded on laws of his making. If there are sun-spot meteorologists, there are
others who swear by the planets ; and it is notable that, while Professor Piazzi Smyth was instructing the members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the mysteries of heat-waves, another prophet was delighting the inhabitants of Dulwich with his theory of cold-waves, produced by the planet Venus; which, strange to say, occurred just about the same time as Professor Smyth’s heat-waves. The Dulwich prophet is a Job’s comforter; for he tells us that for the next forty year the temperature will be ‘below the average, although he promises us a heat-wave every twelve years, because Jupiter arrives at perihelion at those intervals.”