Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

claring, after the “ Civiltà Cattolica,” that constitutional liberty and Catholic liberty cannot agree, and that the one or the other must be a chimera; the two not being able to subsist at the same time, in the same country. We have, then, a logical proposition, clearly proved and admitted, which is, that the Roman Catholic Church and a constitutional charter are for ever antagonistic. And we must mark well, that this proposition comes not from vile apostates, from perfidious heretics, from riolent Protestants ; but solely from the reverend Jesuits of the “ Univers," and from the more than reverend fathers of the “ Civiltà Cattolica” of Rome; and therefore it is a proposition most true, most Catholic, most Romish. And in good logic, I find it most true. A charter of constitutionalism signifies liberty of thought, of conscience, of speech, of the press. The Roman Catholic Church signifies monopoly of thought, of conscience, of speech, of the press. It is then impossible that these two should exist together!”Father Gavazzi.

NEW BOOKS.

(Literary, Scientific, Educational.) For the education of the working-classes, that practical education which fits them for the season of labour here and of rest hereafter,-if not rather for higher and more honourable service,–Miss BREWSTER has produced another golden book, Sunbeams in the Cottage ; or, What Women may do. (Hamilton, Adams, and Co.) It abounds in rich broad Scotch, untranslatable and inimitable, full of soul, warm with Christian benevolence.

It can scarcely be possible to look through a telescope, or even to gaze up heavenward on a clear night, without recurring to the question whether the stars are inhabited. MR. JAMES BREEN, of the Cambridge University, seems proof against enthusiasm as to the affirmative, and yet incapable of utter unbelief. He ventures not on pronouncing an opinion either way, but his work on The Planetary Worlds, the Topography and Telescopic Appearances of the Sun, Planets, Moon, and Comets, (Harwicke,) represents the world-like phenomena of the bodies enumerated so powerfully, as to decide, we presume to think, for Brewster against Whewell. He gives an invaluable historical summary of what is known on the subject.

Concerning the inhabitation of our own planet it would not be easy to raise a question : The Earth and Man is therefore a title confidently prefixed to an extremely interesting work of M. ARNOLD GUYOT. (John W. Parker.) This learned Swiss Professor dashes nobly beyond the routine of physical geographers, and on his more daring flights the careful English editor hangs with very praiseworthy solicitude. Without this temperament, the work might mislead ; with it, there can be no peril, but much profit.

Every person is now expected to know something about Russia and Turkey. Among other contributions to meet this necessity, as to some of the northern parts, is one of the Rev. THOMAS MILNER, who compiles, in a very entertaining manner, a book on The Baltic; its Gates, Shores, and Cities ; with a Notice of the White Sea (Longmans.) The typography is beautiful; and Mr. Milner has achieved his labour with equal industry and spirit. It is only too short: it cannot but be popular.

POETRY.

ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG MINISTER.

SOLDIER of Christ, well done!

The battle thou hast won:
Thou hast overcome the foe;

Thou hast vanquish'd hell and death;
Soar'd above this vale of woe;
Triumph'd with thy latest breath.

The shield of faith was thine,

The panoply Divine :
From the armoury of God

Thou wert furnish'd for the fight,
With celestial arms, bestow'd
On the chosen sons of light.

I see thee mount the car,

And rush to glorious war;
Zeal, thy flaming charioteer,

Guiding the cherubic steeds,
Where the alien hosts appear,
Prompts thee to immortal deeds.

Not for the conqueror's spoil

Was thy heroic toil :
For thy Captain thou hast fought;

In His cause the danger braved ;
To His feet thy trophies brought,
Souls converted, sinners saved.

Not in the rolls of fame
Hast thou inscribed thy name;

Better taught, thou didst despise

Earthly honour and renown;
Striving for thy calling's prize,
For the never-fading crown.

Rest, from thy labours rest,

In heaven for ever blest!
Early thou hast enter'd there,

Where thy Chief hath gone before;
Now, His triumph call’d to share,

Thou art more than conqueror.

J. W. T.

CELESTIAL OBJECTS.

DECEMBER, 1854. By A. GRAHAM, Esq., Markree Observatory, Collooney. In the earlier part of this month, MERCURY rises two hours before the Sun: the student may thus enjoy a sight which many an ardent lover of astronomy (and among the rest Copernicus) never witnessed. Its intense and silvery light, its very minuteness, and the difficulty of obtaining a glimpse of it with the naked eye, tend to inspire an interest from age to age perhaps unsurpassed by any of the other planets. The revelations of the telescope, and its handmaid analysis, in this case, as in many others, considerably heighten that interest. We insert a brief summary of what is now known concerning this planet. As it revolves round our central body in an orbit considerably within that of the Earth, it presents successively all the phases of the Moon, but in a reversed order. After inferior conjunction, it appears as a fine crescent on the western side of the Sun, and gradually recedes, diminishing in diameter, but increasing the relative magnitude of its illuminated parts, until it attains its greatest western elongation from the Sun, between 16° and 29°, when its form is that of the Moon at the end of her third quarter. After this it becomes gibbous, approaching full toward superior conjunction, and is soon lost in the Sun's rays, to reappear on the eastern side, and reverse the series of changes,-full, gibbous, semicircle, crescent,--until it again reaches inferior conjunction, after a lapse of about one hundred and eighteen days: this interval is termed a synodic revolution. As it moves nearly in the plane of the Earth's orbit, and we consequently view its path very obliquely, the planet seems to oscillate on either side of the Sun's disc nearly in an arc of the ecliptic, whose mean value is 45°; the oscillation from left to right, that is, from east to west of the Sun, being performed in less time than that in the opposite direction. With the exception of the small bodies between Mars and Jupiter, thirty-one of which have now been registered, Mercury is the smallest primary planet in our system. His diameter is 3140 miles, about two-fifths of the Earth's diameter, not quite once-and-a-half the diameter of our Moon. Of course its volume is to that of the Earth nearly as the cubes of two and five; that is, this planet is sixteen times less than the Earth: but it is composed of materials upwards of two-and-a-half times denser, so that the Earth is little more than six times weightier than Mercury. It is worthy of remark, that the mean density of this planet is about equal to that of its cognominal metal. Our readers need not to be informed that there is no more ground for inferring that mercury is the material of which this planet is composed, than a distinguished philosopher of our own times has for arguing that Jupiter is a sphere of water, from the fact that his mean density is five times less than that of the Earth, or almost precisely equal to that of water. Nor are we to infer that, because the Sun's light and heat at Mercury are nearly seven times greater than at the Earth, his seas, if seas there be, are huge caldrons of boiling water; atmospheric influences may so modify it as to make this planet as suitable for habitation as our own. The length of the day differs very little from ours. Mercury rotates in 24h. 5m. 28s.; the Earth in 23h. 56m. 4s.: the motion of the latter round the Sun makes the length of the day 3m. 56s. greater than the time of rotation; the more rapid motion of the former causes a difference of about sixteen minutes between the solar day and the sidereal. Themean distance of this planet from the Sun is 361 millions of miles; to this corresponds the period of revolution, eighty-eight days, by the third of Kepler's Laws: “The squares of the times of revolution are as the cubes of the mean distances from the Sun.” Analysis has shown that this proportion is only approximate, as it does not take into account the reaction of the planets upon the Sun. Compared with the larger planets of our system, the orbit of Mercury is very eccentric: his greatest and least distances from the Sun differ by 15 millions of miles; they are, in round numbers of millions, 44 and 29, respectively. The orbital motion is upwards of one hundred thousand miles per hour. Knowing the mass and diameter of this planet, relatively to the Earth, the inference may be easily deduced that a body at its surface weighs one-tenth more than would the same body at the surface of the Earth.

MERCURY is now receding from the Earth and Sun. The distances from the former on the first and last days of this month, are 84 and 132 millions of miles; and from the latter, 32 and 44 millions, respectively. On the 2d, at 2h. in the afternoon, he will be at his greatest northern distance from the plane of the Earth's orbit; on the 26th, at lh, in the afternoon, in that plane. The form of the

planet will be a crescent till noon of the 7th, when he will have reached his greatest western elongation, 21° : after this it will be gibbous. Seen from Mercury, Venus is receding from the Sun westward, and is increasingly large and splendid. Somewhat eastward of Venus are Mars and Jupiter. The Earth, though far inferior to Venus, is a fine object, apparently approaching the Sun on the eastern side. Saturn is very close to the Earth.

VENUS is too close to the Sun, and too distant from the Earth, to be visible. She will be in superior conjunction with the Sun on the 13th, at half-past ten in the morning. Mercury is the evening star to Venus. Toward the end of the month he will have reached his greatest elongation; and, as he is approaching Venus, he will then and subsequently increase in brightness. Mars and Jupiter will have nearly the same appearance as from Mercury.

Mars is near the Sun on the eastern side.

JUPITER is still visible after sunset; but is too low to bear examination with telescopes of high power.

SATURN will be in opposition to the Sun on the 4th, at 7h. in the afternoon. On that night he will be considerably obscured by the proximity of the full Moon. A few nights will suffice to restore him to his splendour; and those who have the means will do well to take advantage of the favourable position, and feast their eyes and their minds by contemplating this singular product of creative skill. At the end of the year he will be only 2o distant from Aldebaran. His ring appears almost precisely as it did in November. The minor axis is one second seven-tenths greater than the diameter of the sphere: thus, the southern edge of the latter will appear on the ring, nearly one second within its edge.

URANUS will cross the meridian, at an altitude of 54°, on the evening of the 1st, at four minutes past ten ; on the 16th, at three minutes past nine; and on the 31st, at three minutes past eight.

NEPTUNE will cross the meridian, at an altitude of 31°, on the evening of the 1st, at eighteen minutes past six; 16th, at twenty minutes past five; 31st, at twenty-two minutes past four. His distance, on the 16th, is 2,871 millions of miles. To traverse this space, light requires 4h. 9m. 458. : it comes from the Moon to us in less than a second and a half.

The Sun enters Capricorn on the 22d, at 3h, in the morning, and the Winter quarter commences.

[ocr errors]

"Ah! why reposest thou so pale,
So very still in thy white veil,

Thou cherish'd fatherland ?
Where are the joyous lays of spring,
The varied hue of summer's wing,

Thy glowing vestment bland ?

« AnteriorContinuar »