1393. Hail is generally defined as frozen rain; it differs from it in that the hailstones for the most part are not formed of single pieces of ice, but of many little spherules agglutinated together; neither are those spherules all of the same consistence; some of them being hard and solid, like perfect ice; others soft, and mostly like snow hardened by a severe frost. Hailstones have sometimes a kind of core of this soft matter; but more frequently the core is solid and hard, while the outside is formed of a softer matter. Hailstones assume various figures, being sometimes round, at other times pyramidal, crenated, angular, thin or flat, and sometimes stellated with six radii, like the small crystals of snow. Natural historians furnish us with various accounts of surprising showers of hail, in which the hailstones were of extraordinary magnitude.