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Though we may thank him for the plough,
1 BRÂwn'y. Muscular; strong. 14 SMÕUL'DERED. Burned without · CROWN. A wreath-shaped or circu- flame or vent.
lar covering for the head, worn by 6 HÄND'I-WORK (-würk). Work of the sovereigns as a badge of regal pow- hand; manufacture.
er; highest point; chief object. 6 STÄNCH. Firm; sure. 8 Lost. Inordinate desire.
LXXV. – THE APPROACH OF DAY.
EDWARD EVERETT. (From an oration delivered at Albany, on the 28th of August, 1856, at the Inauguration of the Dudley Astronomical Observatory.]
1. The great object of all knowledge is to enlarge and purify the soul, to fill the mind with noble contemplations, and to furnish a refined pleasure. Considering this as the ultimate end of science, no branch of it can surely claim precedence of astronomy. No other science furnishes such a palpable embodiment of the abstractions which lie at the foundation of our intellectual system - the great ideas of time, and space, and extension, and magnitude, and number, and motion, and power.
2. How grand the conception of the ages on ages required for several of the secular equations* of the solar system; of distances from which the light of a fixed star would not reach us in twenty millions of years; of magnitudes compared with which the earth is but a football, of starry hosts, suns like our own, numberless as the sands on the shore; of worlds and systems shooting
* The movements of the heavenly bodies are very nearly but not quite uni. form. There are slight variations, which must be taken into account to secure accurate results. Some of these variations stretch over very long periods, even whole centuries. Secular cquations are the corrections required by variations of this kind. Secular is derived from seoulum, a Latin word, meaning an age or century.
through the infinite spaces, with a velocity compared with which the cannon ball is a way-worn, heavy-paced trav, eller.
3. Much, however, as we are indebted to our observato. ries for elevating our conceptions of the heavenly bodies, they present, even to the unaided sight, scenes of glory which words are too feeble to describe. I had occasion, a few weeks since, to take the early train from Providence to Boston, and for this purpose rose at two o'clock in the morning.
4. Every thing around was wrapped in darkness and hushed in silence, broken only by what seemed at that hour the unearthly clank and rush of the train. It was a mild, serene, midsummer's right; the sky was without a cloud; the winds were whist. The moon, then in the last quarter, bad just risen, and the stars shone with a spectral lustre but little affected by her presence. Jupiter, two hours high, was the herald of the day; the Pleiades,* just above the horizon, shed their sweet influence in the east; Lyra † sparkled near the zenith; Andromeda | veiled her newly-discovered glories from the naked eye in the south; the steady Pointers“ far beneath the pole, looked meekly up from the depths of the north to their sovereign.
5. Such was the glorious spectacle as I entered the train. As we proceeded, the timid approach of twilight became more perceptible; the intense blue of the sky began to soften; the smaller stars, like little children, went first to rest; the sister-beams of the Pleiades soon melted together; but the bright constellations of the west and north remained unchanged. Steadily the wondrous transfiguration ® went on. Hands of angels, hidden from mortal eyes, shifted the scenery of the heavens; the glories of night dissolved into the glories of the dawn. · 6. The blue sky now turned more softly gray; the
* PLĒ'IA-DĒş (plē'ya-dez). + LY'RĄ. AN DRÖM & DA
great watch-stars shut up their holy eyes; the east began te kindle. Faint streaks of purple soon blushed along the sky; the whole celestial concave' was filled with the inflowing tides of the morning light, which came pouring down from above in one great ocean of radiance; till at length, as we reached the Blue Hills, a flash of purple fire blazed out from above the horizon, and turned the dewy tear-drops of flower and leaf into rubies and diamonds. In a few seconds, the everlasting gates of the morning were thrown wide open, and the lord of day, arrayed in glories too severe for the gaze of man, began his course.
7. I do not wonder at the superstition of the ancient Magians, who in the morning of the world went up to the hill-tops of Central Asia, and, ignorant of the true God, adored the most glorious work of his hand. But I am filled with amazement, when I am told that in this enlightened age, and in the heart of the Christian world, there are persons who can witness this daily manifestation of the power and wisdom of the Creator, and yet say in their hearts, “ There is no God.”
I PRę-CE'DENCE. Foremost place or ways point in nearly a right line rank ; priority ; superiority.
with the north star. 2 EM-BÒD'I-MENT. Collection into a 5 CÒN-STEL·LĀ'TION. A group of body or mass.
I fixed stars. QB-SËR V'A-TQ-RỊeș. Places or build. 6 TRĂNS-FIG-Y-RĀ'TIỌN. Change of
ings for making observations on form ; transformation. the heavenly bodies.
7 CỔN'CĀVE. A hollow without an. PÖIN'TERS. Two stars in the con gles, as the inner surface of a bowl
stellation Ursa Mujor, which al or sphere.
LXXVI. - EDINBURGH AFTER FLODDEN.
WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE AYTOUN. [William Edmondstoune Aytoun was born in Scotland, in 1813, and died AUgust 4, 1865. In 1845 he was elected to the professorship of rhetoric and belleslettres in the University of Edinburgh, which he held till the time of his death.
The battle of Flodden was fought in the year 1513, between the Scotch army under King James IV., and the English, commanded by the Earl of Surrey. The defeat of the Scotch was most disastrous. Their king was killed, and the greater part of their army destroyed. The loss of life among the gentry was especially severe, so that there was hardly a noble family in the kingdom that was not thrown into mourning.]
1. News of battle !-- news of battle!
Hark! 'tis ringing down the street:
Bear the clang of hurrying feet.
News of triumph! — who should bring
Greetings from our gallant King ?
Blazing on the hills afar,
Message of the opened war.
Shot across the trembling sky:
Save when kings or heroes die.
8. News of battle! who hath brought it?
All are thronging to the gate;
Man — is this a time to wait ? ”
Then a murmur long and loud,
Bursts from out the bending crowd
For they see in battered harness
Only one hard-stricken man ;
And his cheek is pale and wan:
In his weak and drooping hand-
Captain of the city band ?
4. Round him crush the people, crying,
“Tell us all — 0, tell us true!
Randolph Murray, sworn to you?
Have they met the English foe?
Is it weal or is it woe?”
5. Like a corpse the grisly warrior
Looks from out his helm of steel;
Only with his arméd heel
Up the city streets they ride;
Shricking, praying by his side.
Tell us what mischance hath come.”
Then he lifts his riven “ banner, . And the asker's voice is dumb.
6. The elders of the city
IIave met within their hall —
To watch the tower and wall.