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town butchers alone, the price advances considerably. The great heat of summer renders it impossible to bring meat from any considerable distance.
It is a fortunate thing for the people in the towns of Canada that provisions are cheaper in winter than in summer; for, the winter subjects them to a heavy expense for firewood, which is, as you may well believe, a sine quá non in this climate.
The expense of fuel to a family in Quebec or Montreal, is fully equal to what the same family would require in London; and it is to be regretted, that there is no prospect of its becoming cheaper. On the contrary, in proportion as the woods are cut, and the distance of carriage increased, the price is augmented; so that in time it will be cheaper to import coals than purchase wood. Firewood is generally laid in, during the summer. It is brought to Quebec and Montreal, on the river, in immense rafts. The wood is cut into junks, and piled upon a float sub-divided into compartments of a certain size, containing so many cords. In winter, it is brought from
the country in sleighs, and sold at so much per cord, or per sleigh load. No coal has yet been found in Canada, probably because it has never been thought worth searching after. It is supposed that coal exists in the neighbourhood of Quebec; at any rate, there can be no doubt that it exists in great abundance in the island of Cape Breton, which may one day become the Newcastle of Canada.
At present, coals are to be purchased very cheap in Quebec. Many of the ves sels from Scotland, and from the north of England, take in coals as ballast, and sell them very cheap; sometimes as low as 17s. per chaldron. Even the kennel coal, which is difficult to be met with in many parts of England, is sold at 36s. per chaldron, which is not above half the price of Newcastle coal in winter in the neighbourhood of London. People who have been accustomed to burn wood, do not like to burn coal. They tell you that the smell is extremely disagreeable to them, and, besides, that coal does not answer for stoves so well as wood. This prepossession against coals,
accounts for their being proportionably cheaper than wood.
It is well that we have either wood or coal, for the effects of frost in this country are with difficulty guarded against, and are really in themselves very curious. I made an experiment, which, to most people, will appear very surprising. I BURNT my hand with a COLD IRON. This may seem incredible; but a little explanation will convince you of the truth of what I have as
In one of those very cold mornings we had in the month of January, when the thermometer had fallen near 60 degrees below the freezing point, I put my hand to a piece of iron that had been exposed to the frost in the open air all night. At first, I felt the sensation arising from extreme cold; in a few seconds I felt the sensation of heat; and it soon became so strong, and so painful, that I was as glad to quit my hold, as if it had been a hot iron. Indeed, I found that I had kept it too long, because the part that had been in contact, blistered, in the same manner it would have done had
it been a hot iron, and it was cured in the same way. No surgeon in England, had he been called in, could have suspected that it was not the effect of coming in contact with a hot iron. In truth, heat was the cause of the, wound; and will readily allow that I am correct, when I have explained to you a few circumstances.
Burning by a hot iron is produced by the heat, or what is technically called, caloric, passing in such quantity, and with such rapidity, into the part in contact with the iron, that the continuity and arrangement of the part is destroyed. Burning * with a cold iron arises from the heat passing in such quantity, and with such rapidity, out of the part of the body in contact with the cold iron, as to produce the same effect. Heat in both cases is the cause; and its going into the body from the iron, or into the iron from the body, does not alter the nature of the effect.
It is the nature of heat to spread itself equally and uniformly through all bodies. Some receive it, and part with it more quickly than others do; their conducting
powers are different. When two bodies, of different temperatures, come in contact, the greater the difference is, the more violent will be the transmission of heat from the one to the other. Now, when you reflect that the temperature of the blood is 66 degrees above the freezing point (the freezing point is 32. of Fahrenheit, making 98. as the temperature of the blood), and that the temperature of the cold iron, which burnt me, was 28. below zero, that is, 60. below the freezing point, you have a difference of 126 degrees of heat. This difference is greater than what exists between the temperature of our blood (98.) and the temperature of boiling water, 212. which is only 114 degrees; so that it is not at all surprising that the transmission of heat should have been violent, and that burning should have been the consequence.
You will excuse me for leading you a little into these abstract matters. To assert that I was burnt with a cold iron, required something more to support it than the mere ipse dixit of the narrator, whatever his character for veracity might be. The thing, on a superficial view, is so contrary