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The New Zealand Evangelist

Phenomena of the Season, &c

Phenomena of the Season, &c.

“While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” So ran, the promise to the Father of the post-diluvian world more than four thousand years ago, and it is being fulfilled to the letter to this very day. After a spring bright with promise of future plenty, a summer lovely and page 35 luxuriant, alternating delightfully between shower and sunshine, and an autumn rich in golden grain and propitious with the finest weather, gladdening the hearts of the husbandman, and supplying abundance for the wants of all, winter has again followed with his “ruffian blasts,” and has Spread gloom and desolation over hill and plain. Pent up completely for so many months in the antarctic regions, slumbering and gathering strength amid the snowclad mountains and ice-bound regions of Victoria Land, the storms of winter have been earlier and more continuous than on many previous years. With the exception now and again of a few days of halcyon calm and sunshine, to mark more deeply the contrast, we have had every form and species of elemental war. The winds have blown such hurricanes that we have again and again trembled for the safety of the tempest-tossed mariners exposed on our rugged and dangerous coasts. The atmosphere surcharged with vapours from the surrounding oceans, has condensed them by its cold into clouds; and these have poured forth their contents on the lower regions in the form of saturating rains, and on the mountain ranges in countless flakes of fleecy snow. The Hutt and other rivers have been unusually swollen, and considerable damage has been sustained by the enterprising and industrious settlers that reside near their banks. The cold has been intense, as we feel it here; although cold being a relative rather than a real state, weather that we regard as cold would in a higher latitude be considered mild. The thermometer has upon the whole ranged low, and the fact of its falling below the freezing point has been oftener than once corroborated by the appearance of ice. Slight earthquakes are still felt from time to time, but no injury has been sustained and no fears have been excited. The shocks of October, so frightful and destructive, have had an electrifying rather than a paralyzing effect upon the settlement; the latent energies and resources of the settlers have been called forth; the ruins have not only in almost every instance been page 36 replaced with more substantial, comfortable, and elegant buildings, but new houses have risen and are rising up in all directions. A considerable number of valuable immigrants have been steadily arriving for several months; employment of every kind is plentiful, and provisions are excellent, abundant, and moderate in prices. The health of the community has been unusually good since the commencement of last spring; cases of sickness have been extremely rare, and there have been, very few deaths. Since the commencement of the late stormy weather, colds and coughs have been more common, aggravated into influenza in many cases—as it is whispered—by the injudicious and extravagant display of so much delicate beauty, during a long, cold, winter night, at the late Government Ball, and other imitations of a less select character, that have followed in its wake. Would the Board of Health not recommend, that on the ground of health alone, these entertainments should be held during the day? Or do these amusements belong to that class of pursuits that hate the light because they are evil? Rheumatism, and something like fever in a few cases have made their appearance, but still nothing but what is universally felt more or less every where, at this season of the year. As a whole, through the kindness of Providence, this settlement was perhaps never in a more prosperous condition, and when we contrast our peace, health, and plenty with the revolutions, rebellions, pestilence, poverty and famine, so rife at the antipodes, we may well say, “The lines are fallen to us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage.” We would humbly suggest that a day of public thanksgiving appointed by the proper authorities and observed by the entire community, would be a fitting exercise in our present circumstances, and a likely means of securing the continuance of our present blessings.

Printed at the Office of the "Wellington Independent," Corner of Willis-street and Lambmon Quay.