If You See A Cloud Rise Against The Wind Or Side Wind

When that Cloud comes up to you, the Wind will blow the same Way that the Cloud

came. And the same Rule holds of a clear Place, when all the Sky is

equally thick, except one clear Edge.

THIS seems to arise from hence, that Wind being nothing more than Air

in motion, the Effects of it first discover themselves above, and

actually drive such Clouds before them. This was long ago observed by

Pliny. When Clou
s, says he, float about in a serene Sky, from

whatever Quarter they come, you may expect Winds. If they are collected

together in one Place, they will be dispersed by the approach of the

Sun. If these Clouds come from the North East, they denote Winds; if

from the South great Rains. But let them come from what Quarter they

will, if you see them driving thus about Sunset, they are sure signs of

an approaching Tempest.

IF the Clouds look dusky, or of a tarnish silver Colour, and move very

slowly, it is a Sign of Hail. But to speak more plainly, those very

Clouds are laden with Hail, which if there be a Mixture of Blue in the

Clouds will be small, but if very yellow, large. Small scattering

Clouds that fly very high, especially, from the South West, denote

Whirlwinds. The shooting of fallen Stars through them, is a Sign of

Thunder. We meet with many Observations of this sort in our old Writers

on Husbandry, and we have abundance of Proverbs relating to this

Subject which are worth observing, and the rather, because most of them

are not peculiar to our Language only, but common to us with many of

our Neighbours. It is the Remark of Lord Bacon, and a very judicious

Remark too, that Proverbs are the Philosophy of the common People, that

is to say, they are trite Remarks founded in Truth, and fitted for

Memory. I must confess that there are some of them that seem either

false, or of no great Consequence, but then I am apt to suspect, that

by various Accidents we have lost their true Meaning, or else, that in

length of Time, they have been altered and corrupted, till they have

little or no meaning at all.

I cannot help taking Notice in Regard to the Rule before us, that

Captain Dampier tells us in the East-Indies, they have always

Notice of a Tuffoon by the Skies being first clear and calm, and then a

small white Cloud hanging precisely in the Point from whence the Storm

comes, where he observes that it remains sometimes twelve Hours or

more, and adds, that as soon as it begins to move, the Wind presently

follows it. When Sir John Bury, who died an English Admiral, had

the Command of a small Frigate in the West-Indies, he escaped a

Hurricane in the Leward Islands by taking the Advice of a poor Negro,

who shewed him a small white Cloud at a Distance, and assured him that

when it came to the Zenith, the Hurricane would infallibly begin, as

indeed it did.