Imágenes de páginas

No. II.

[ocr errors]


districts on the earth may possibly offer to the inhabitants of Mars, only more

decided. On surveying the moon with the naked At the distance of from 225,000,000 to eye, her disc appears diversified by dark 263,000,000 miles from the sun, there and bright patches, which, on being appears a cluster of five small planets, examined with a good telescope, are dis- named Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, and covered to form strata of mountains, bear- | Astræa, which are regarded as fragments ing a strong resemblance to the towering of a larger planet which has burst; and sublimity and terrific ruggedness of Al- many of the meteoric stones which have pine regions. Masses of rock rise at been found, are considered as other poronce from the plains, lifting their peaked tions of the disruptured body. summits to an immense height in the Jupiter, the next in order, is the largest air; while projecting crags springing from planet in the system. Its mean diameter their rugged flanks, and threatening the is 90,000 miles, and he revolves round valleys below, seem to bid defiance to his orbit in 9 hours 56 minutes. He the laws of gravitation. Around their is little less than 490,000,000 miles from base are strewn fragments, which at dif- the sun, and possesses four moons, or ferent periods have been sent from the satellites, varying from 2,508 to 2,800 pendent cliffs. The strata of lunar moun- miles distant from the planet

. On the tains, called the Apennines, which traverse 2nd of November, 1681, Old-style, Molya portion of the moon's disc, from north- neux saw Jupiter without any of his east to south-west, rise with a preci- attendants--a conjunction, it has been pitous and craggy front, from the level of calculated, which will not occur again the Mare Imbrium, in some places their for more than three thousand billions of elevation being about four miles. They years. often descend, however, into the valleys, The planet Saturn is situated at the presenting an inaccessible barrier to the inconceivable distance of 890,000,000 north-east; while in the south-west, they miles from the sun, and its diameter sink in gentle declivity to the plains. is 76,000 miles. He presents a most Sir J. Herschel informs us, that they remarkable phenomenon, consisting of offer, in its highest perfection, the true two flat and broad rings, the outer volcanic character, as it may be seen in diameter of which is 176,418 miles, and the crater of Vesuvius; and in some of its inner diameter, 117,339 miles; the the principal ones, decisive marks of distance of the outer ring from the planet volcanic stratification, arising from suc- is 19,090 miles. His surface, also, is dicessive deposits of ejected matter, may be versified with belts parallel to the equaclearly traced with powerful telescopes. tor, five of which were observed by sir The moon's surface presents no appear- J. Herschel, one of them broad, uniform, ance of the existence of vegetables, and and bright, close to which was a dark no animals similar to those on the earth belt, divided by two narrow white streaks ; could exist there. Everything appears so that he saw three dark belts, and two solid, desolate, and unfit for the support bright ones, occupying a wider space of animal or vegetable life.

than the belts of Jupiter. Besides these Mars is the next planet in order of dis- splendid rings, which must furnish the tance from the sun, and from which it is planet with a blaze of light, he is illudistant 142,000,000 miles. It is of a red minated by no fewer than seven satellites, colour, which indicates an atmosphere of placed at different distances. great density and extent. Sir J. Herschel Saturn was regarded as the remotest states that he saw, with perfect distinct- planet from the sun, till the year 1781, ness, the outlines of what may be conti- when sir W. Herschel discovered the nents and seas; and the brilliant white Georgium Sidus, now called Uranus, spots at its poles he regards as snow, for revolving round the sun in 84 years, at they disappear when they have been long the distance of 1,800,000,000 miles; it exposed to the sun, and are greatest has also six satellites. when just emerged from the long night No one is ignorant of the important of their polar winter. He also pro- influences exercised on this our earth by nounces the seas to be green and the the law of gravitation. Though Galileo land red, the general soil having an explored its nature, it did not occur to ochry tinge, like what the red sandstone him that its action extended to the celes



tial mechanism. This great principle verse, with a force proportional to the was first suggested to the speculative product of their masses directly, and the mind of Kepler, who discovered that as square of their mutual distance inversely, one atom exercised its influence on an- while they are attracted with an equal other on the earth, so one planet was force. Proceeding thence to applications mutually acting and acted on by another. of greater difficulty, he proved that some He ascertained that this influence took of the principal inequalities of the lunar place between the earth and the moon, and planetary orbits are necessary conseand he even regarded the tides as pro- quences of the mutual gravitation of the duced by the gravitation of the waters of different bodies of the system to each the sea towards that luminary. Hooke other, and that the same mysterious also supposed the heavenly bodies to power not only regulates the motions of have a gravitation to each other, and ob- all the planets and satellites in space, tained so distinct a view of the mode in but also determines the figure of the which the planets might be retained in earth, causes the precession of the equitheir orbits by the attraction of the sun, noxes, and produces the tides of the that, had his mathematical attainments been equal to his philosophical acumen, Little attention is usually given to this and his attention to the pursuit more de- great principle, though a view of the tailed and accurate, it is highly probable superintending providence of God is disthat the principle of gravitation would played, which the mind is unable to comhave been fully developed to his mind. prehend, when we remember that not only The great discovery, however, was re- the universe at large, but every particle served for Newton, who, while meditat- of matter in detail, is every instant under ing on the nature of this force, was the governing agency of the Omnipotent. struck with the thought that since gravity Heat and light are regarded as essential is a tendency unconfined to bodies on the to existence, but solar gravity is as essenvery surface of the earth, but reaches tial to our well-being as anything maeven to the summits of the loftiest moun-terial which we can imagine. The comtains without its intensity or direction plete annihilation of the human race suffering any sensible change, it might would be the inevitable result of its susreach even to a greater distance--per- pension. haps to the moon! Before this question, Besides the gravitation of planets tohowever, could be answered, it was ne- wards the sun, the attraction which each cessary to suppose a law according to exercises on each is of a highly importwhich its intensity diminishes. Newton ant nature, and these antagonistic forces soon perceived that this law would re- produce differences of motion—inequalquire the force of gravity to diminish ities in the earth's motion being produced exactly as the square of the distance in- by the disturbing forces of the sun and creases ; so that the attractive force of moon. The simplest case of these dethe earth at the distance of the moon viations from regular movement would be must be as much less than it is at the displayed by the existence of but three surface of the earth, as the square of the bodies—a central and two revolving ones. radius of the earth is less than the square If one of the revolving ones were to be of the moon's distance from the earth. so situated in respect to the other as to He then, partly aided by a previous cal disturb its regular movements in referculation of Galileo, computed that the ence to the central one, it would be an moon might be retained in her orbit by interesting discovery to find out the cause the power

of terrestrial gravitation. and extent of such perturbations, as they Nor was he content with a mere pro- are technically denominated. Though blematic examination of so important a not free from difficulty in the simplest consideration, but subjecting to rigid de- form, it may be easily conceived that the monstration every question before he complication is greatly augmented when regarded it as definitely settled, he was the combined influences of the various rewarded for his intelligent perseverance bodies in the solar system are taken into with the discovery, that all the celestial consideration, in the discovery of the motions known in his time were the con cause of peculiar movements in any insequences of the simple law that each dividual body. Astronomers have been and every particle of matter attracts long acquainted with the fact, that in the every other particle of matter in the uni- comparisons of the calculated and ob

served positions of Uranus discrepancies that it has a ring like Saturn and a have appeared, the results of the influence satellite. He says: “On the 3rd of of some unknown body. This circum- October, at 84hours, I observed the planet stance was particularly observed by M. to have apparently a very obliquely situLe Verrier, who determined closely to ated ring, the major axis being seven or examine the movements of this planet. eight times the length of the minor. I The tables which had been constructed observed the planet again, about two of its orbit displayed great irregularity in hours later, and noticed the same apits path, and only a small amount of it pearances. With regard to the existence could be accounted for by the attraction of the ring, I am not able absolutely to of known forces, and it was also noticed declare it, but I received so many imthat these tables in no way agreed with pressions of it, always in the same form and the latest observations. He then resolved direction, and with all the different magto discover, if possible, the cause of these nifying powers, that I feel a very strong irregularities, and commenced a rigid in- persuasion that nothing but a purer state vestigation of the data and calculations of atmosphere is necessary to enable me which had previously been considered as to verify the discovery. Of the existence established, and after much perseverance of a star having every aspect of a satelhe determined with great precision the lite, there is not the shadow of a doubt. amount of perturbation in the orbit of Afterwards I turned the telescope to the Uranus due to the attraction of Jupiter Georgium Sidus, and remarked that the and Saturn. With these corrected data brightest two of his satellites were both before him, he proceeded to compare the obviously brighter than this small star calculated path with its actually observed accompanying Le Verrier's planet.” positions, and ultimately arrived at the Since that period, the planet has been conclusion that the discrepancies were frequently observed both in our own due to some unknown cause. He next country and on many parts of the contiattempted to discover the nature of this nent, its distance being about 3,200 milinfluence, and the resistance of the ether; lions of miles from the earth, while it is -the existence of some vast satellite of | 140 millions from Uranus, whose action it Uranus—some variation in the law of disturbs. With the exceptions of Jupiter gravity at that enormous distance from and Saturn it is the largest of the planetary the sun-and lastly, an unknown planet, system, being 50,000 miles in diameter, were each in their turn examined; and and 250 times larger than the earth in having satisfied himself that all the former cubic bulk.* were inadmissible, he determined fully to Such is a brief description of one of consider if the influence in operation the most important astronomical discocould be traced to another orb.

veries of modern times. Though the The late M. Cacciatore, the successor observation of a new planet would, abof Piazza, had previously declared, that stractedly regarded, confer no particular he had followed for three days a moving credit on the individuals concerned, yet star, which, from the slowness of its mo the circumstances connected with this distion, he expected was beyond Uranus, covery are truly honourable, and illusbut nothing definite had been ascertained. trate the mighty achievements which the M. Le Verrier having satisfied himself highly-wrought and well-directed mind is that the stranger was not within the enabled to perform.

F. orbit of Uranus-because if a larger body it would then influence Saturn;-he undertook the problem of computing the probable situation of the supposed planet.

POPE PIUS IX. His task proved successful, for on the 23rd of September last, M. Galle, whom

The Romish journals, and also the he had urged to watch, discovered the purely political portion of the press, are stranger at the Royal Observatory at very much occupied with the doings of

Pius ix. On his accession to the pontifiBerlin, and it has been since seen at Mr. Bishop's Observatory in Regent's Park. cal throne, he excited in the minds of It appears to have a volume two hundred many great expectations. Not a few

perand thirty times that of the earth, and * The French and English astronomers have Mr. Lassels, of Liverpool, has examined agreed in giving the name of Neptune to the new

planet. Its sign in the celestial maps is to be a the orb, and announces the probability trident.

sons said, with emphasis, “This is the proclamation contained nought but a pope who realizes our ideal. He is the license to construct four poor little fragpope of modern times—the pope of the ments of railroad! The liberalism of nineteenth century—the model pope, who Pius ix. proved to be just on an equality will give to the Roman Catholic church with that of the Russian czar! Was it

Enew and healthful impulse! Pius ix.,' worth the trouble of waiting so long to they added, “ has an enlightened mind, obtain so little? The Roman people were vast intelligence, a noble and generous “cool,” as was confessed by the correcharacter. He has thoroughly studied spondents of the popish journals, and the the tendencies and wants of our epoch. " holy father" did not receive on his way Wait; have a little patience, and he will the applause to which he had grown acdo wonders.”

customed. I fully believe these stateSuch were the fine promises made by ments. It is even probable that the the journalists on behalf of Pius ix. The Romans will not be content to remain Jesuits, it is true, said nothing; unless, “cool;" their enthusiasm will become indeed, they occasionally essayed to throw transformed into indignation, and Pius ix. some doubts on the new pontiff's libe- will learn, perhaps too soon, that nations rality. But they were not listened to; have no liking to be made the dupes of a the French press, almost without excep- deceptive farce. tion, eulogised Pius IX., and attributed to The publication of his Encyclical Letter him every imaginable good quality. As was not a circumstance calculated to difor us Protestants, we knew not what to minish this discontent. You have doubt. think of this concert of praises, and we less read this document, and I shall therewaited with impatience for some positive fore not say much about it. Pius 1x. proproofs of this liberality. It appeared to nounces an ostentatious eulogy on poor us prudent not to trust to mere words; Gregory xvi., who was but a feeble, pusil.. for the holy see has not accustomed the lanimous, and ignorant monk. He then world to reckon on it as the originator attacks all the philosophers, men of letof useful reforms.

ters, and journalists of our age, and loads Well, what has occurred up to the them with the most abusive epithets. present moment? Alas! I fear that the Next he comes to that great stumblingJesuits were perfectly right. Pius ix. block to the Vatican, the “ Bible Sociewill be what his predecessors have been ties," and asserts that we imitate the --neither more nor less; he will not re “old artifice of the heretics,” by indisnounce one of the false traditions of the criminate distribution of the Scriptures. holy see; he will not reform any of the Finally, he addresses some very flatterabuses of popery; he will not curb the ing compliments to the Romish bishops, tyranny of the clergy in temporal affairs; who, (if the “holy father” is to be behe will not accord to his lay subjects any lieved,) are all animated with marvellous real share in the administration of his zeal, and almost angelic virtue. But not government; he will not even dismiss his a word about the reforms which had Swiss soldiery—those mercenaries who been so pompously announced—not a are the detestation of his people. In syllable touching the liberal intentions of

hort all will remain as heretofore, and the holy see; on the contrary, the pope the magnificent hopes excited by the new takes care to repeat, in very explicit pope will prove nought but a bitter and terms, that whatever is opposed to the cruel deception. This, in fact, is now doctrines and practices of the Roman being discovered in the pontifical states. church is “ a work of the devil,” which The people expected that Pius ix. would will meet its punishment in eternal fire. make them some liberal concession on Gregory xvi. could not have said more. the day appointed for Il Possesso—that is It was curious to observe the attitude to say, the solemnity of taking possession assumed by our political press, when this of the church of St. Jolin of Lateran. On Encyclical Letter arrived in France. The the morning of that day a proclamation most prudent preserved complete silence, was posted on the walls of Rome. The not finding anything either to praise people, all eager and impatient, flocked or blame in the document. Others in crowds to read it, expecting to peruse pretended that it was not to be unthe articles of a constitutional charter.dersfood in the "strict sense of the But, oh! how great was their mistake! phraseology” employed—that such was How cruel their disappointment! This the “official style," and that the new

pope was better than his epistle. Others, they are flat; there in waving ridges. again, sought to discover a “hidden In one part they are sterile, in another sense” beneath the insulting language of abounding with flowers and fruits, or the pontiff, and exhausted their sagacity covered with grass eight or ten feet high, to make Pius ix, say that which he did varied with rich, green velvet turf; hills, not say: Some, however, more bold and bluffs, and ravines, stretching to the brinks truthful than the former, bave honestly of the rivers. On these prairies, skirted confessed that the Encyclical Letter de- and divided as they are by mountains ceived their expectations, and already and valleys, gloomy forests and mighty they employ severe language against the streams, wander mountain goats, wolves, man whom, a few months back, they elks, antelopes, grizzly bears, and vast lauded to the skies. Let us leave them herds of buffaloes or bisons. And there, to finish their experience, and the most too, in their tents, or their wigwams, the credulous will be compelled to blush for different tribes of Indians reside. having reposed such confidence in the reforming spirit of the Vatican.

A branch from the Upper Mississippi The Protestants, and they only, have is rolling southward, and Indians of found the Encyclical Letter what they friendly tribes are fishing in the river. had expected. Why were we to indulge Among the Indians, perhaps, the Crows in vain illusions ? Rome will continue and the Blackfeet, the Sioux and the to be what she has ever been, until she Creeks, are the most numerous. The perishes. She endures a punishment like Mandans and many other tribes are exthat inflicted by Mezentius, who, accord- tinct: the small-pox, the tomahawk, and ing to the narration of Virgil, was accus

the white man have destroyed them. tomed to bind together a living man and From Baffin's Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, a dead body; thus is the church of Rome and from the Mississippi to the Rocky chained to the corpse of her former self. Mountains, the different tribes are scatPius ix. can easily give some examples of tered; some live in large villages, some personal generosity; he will open the in clustered tents, and some in solitary prison-doors to a certain number of vic- wigwams. Their customs, dress, and tims; in the interior of his palace he will language or dialects differ. Some of them be frugal, temperate, affable, and disposed cultivate the ground, but fishing and to listen to the complaints of his subjects. hunting and war are their customary Give him the benefit of as many personal occupations. Rarely is a bow drawn or virtues as you please : these I will not a spear thrown in vain. Trappers and dispute. But we may be certain that he fur-gatherers of all kinds, some with will take care not to be a real reformer of white men and some coloured, paddle up his church, or of his temporal govern- the rivers, and roam through the forests ment. Were it even in accordance with and prairies, in quest of beavers, badgers, his wishes to effect a thorough reform, he and minx; foxes, martins, and racoons; would not have the power; for the cardi- lynxes, hares, and rabbits ; musk-rats, nals, the general of the Jesuits, and other squirrels, and stoats. Pamaho is standing dignified ecclesiastics, keep him under in a nook by the river's side ; his lines, their jealous tutelage. The pope is an

hooked with pointed bone, are laid in idol—but he is an idol in fetters.-Evan- the running stream, and his spear lies gelical Christendom.

beside him at the water's edge. A canoe is sailing across the river, the Indians

holding up their blankets for sails. PAMAHO; OR, SCENES IN THE PRAIRIE.

A party of Indians, with Pamalio Pamaho is bearing away a slaughtered among them, have arrived at Red Pipe deer from the prairie : his bow and or- Stone Quarry, in the Coteau du Prairie, namented quiver hang at his side. The a hundred miles, or more, from St. extended plains of wild, uncultivated | River's River, between the Upper Mislands, called in South America, pampas; sissippi and Upper Missouri. See what in Europe, heaths; in Asia, steppes; immense granite boulders are standing in Africa, deserts; and in the southern yonder! This is a place sacred to all states of America, savannahs; in North the tribes, for here they procure the red America, are called prairies. The prairies stone with which they make their pipes. extend for thousands of miles. Here The war-cry may resound through the

« AnteriorContinuar »