A STUDY OF SNOW CRYSTALS.
"May 3, 1799.
"Sir: The commissioners having under consideration your declaration of income have directed me to acquaint you that they have reason to apprehend your income exceeds sixty pounds a year. They therefore desire that you will reconsider the said declaration and favor me with your answer on or before the 8th inst.
|"I am your obedient servant,|
|"W. B. Luttley, Clerk."|
To this Mr. Tooke replied:
"Sir: I have much more reason than the commissioners can have to be dissatisfied with the smallness of my income. I have never yet in my life disavowed or had occasion to reconsider any declaration which I have signed with my name. But the act of Parliament has removed all the decencies which used to prevail among gentlemen, and has given the commissioners (shrouded under the signature of their clerk) a right by law to tell me that they have reason to believe that I am a liar. They have also a right to demand from me upon oath the particular circumstances of my private situation. In obedience to the law, I am ready to attend upon this degrading occasion so novel to an Englishman, and give them every explanation which they may be pleased to require.
|"I am, sir, your humble servant,|
|"John Horne Tooke."|
|A STUDY OF SNOW CRYSTALS.|
MANY have admired snowflakes as they observed their exquisite outlines and varied forms, but few have ever given them careful study or distinguished the crystals of which a Hake is usually composed.
Extended examination of snow crystals has hitherto been very difficult because, except in a very uncomfortable atmosphere, the delicate structures speedily disappeared, and their outlines could be preserved for study and comparison only by the aid of skillfully executed drawings. Even these must often be hastily made, and could show little of the internal structure which is so important a feature of most snow crystals.
Now, however, by any of the usual combinations of microscope and camera, these crystals can be easily and quickly photographed, and far more satisfactory representations obtained than were possible formerly. The term snow crystal is used because a snowflake may be a crystal or it may be, and usually is, a cluster of crystals.
- It is only just that I should state that my share in the production of this article has been to compile its pages from Mr. Bentley's notes and photographs. The facts, theories, and illustrations are entirely due to his untiring and enthusiastic study of snow crystals.—G. H. Perkins, University of Vermont.