Imágenes de páginas

who are not absolutely bound down as serfs to a particular spot, are unable to migrate to this land of plenty, on account of the system which obliges them to invest their all in a passport to bring them here, and, when they have made a little money, to spend their savings in bribes to government officials, for more passports to take them back again to their own district, from which they may not be absent above a limited time; while the journey there and back would most probably occupy a considerable period, if it were not altogether impracticable for persons in their condition.


"A Venerarle and successful merchant," says an American minister, "had for many years before his death left off accumulating, and made it his inflexible rule to give aftay the whole of his large surplus income. Now he was endowing a college professorship ; now founding an academy; now bestowing a princely benefaction upon some judicious charity ; and now another upon some noble religious enterprise. One of his favourite methods of doing good, was to purchase, and put in circulation, hundreds of copies, or perhaps whole editions, of any useful book which happened to commend itself to his taste and judgment. And after his death, a memorandum among his papers was found to con- I tain the names of a large number of village pastors, whose scanty stipends he had been in the habit of increasing from j year to year. These are but hints and samples of his life: I but they may suffice to show that he was not a man to be forgotten. It is something for a private citizen so to live j that when he dies, the whole community to which he belonged, and other distant communities vying with them, shall take up his name and breathe a blessing upon it. It I is for yourselves, under Providence, to decide (I speak I especially to the wealthy among you), whether your • memories shall be thus embalmed, or handed over to a speedy oblivion. And in making this observation, I am far from commending it to you as a becoming object of your ambition, to purchase a posthumous fame by your charities. I have in view simply the ordinance of heaven, that 'the

righteous shall be held in everlasting remembrance.' 'The memory of the just' (and this epithet includes the idea of benevolence) ' is blessed.' Whether you take the case of a secluded female, who employs her leisure hours, like Dorcas, in making coats and garments for the poor, or the faithful missionary who wears himself out in distributing the bread of life along the lanes and alleys of a city, it is alike the ordering of Providence that their memories shall be bleseed."

Epitaph.Ht First Trial.

From the brief passing day of human life,
With its few April hours of calm and strife,
One must go first—and thou hast sought the sky,
Too fair lo live, but not too young to die.
With hope to meet thee in the blessed spheres,
»We cease our murmurs, and restrain our tears;
For though we hear thee, and behold thee not,
Faith re-nssures us of thy happier lot,
And list'ning ever to that inward voice,
Our hearts are thankful, and our souls rejoice!




Were half the power that fills the world with terror,
Were half the weal h bestowed on camps and courts,
Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor forts.

Tho warrior's name will be abhorred;
And every nation that should lilt again
Its hand against its brother, on its forehead
Would wear for evermore the curse of Coin.

Down the dark future, through long generations,
The echoing grow familiar, then cease!
And like a bell with solemn sweet vibrations,
I hear once more the voice of Christ say " peace "!

Peace and no longer from its brazen portals,
The blast of war's great organ shakes the skies!
But beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holiest melodies of love arise.
London. Longfellow.


This telescopic view of Saturn being a little exaggerated, should be placed 6 or 8 feet from the eye. The outer satellites are also too near the planet.

VI. Saturn.

The subject of the present article may be seen rising nearly due East about ten o'clock in the evening towards the end of October. It is not so bright and conspicuous as Jupiter, but appears about equal to an ordinary bright star, of what is called the first magnitude. Some of our readers may indeed experience some difficulty in picking it out from among the neighbouring stars, unless very close attention be paid to its steady planetary light. During the next two or three months its position, shortly after rising, will be on the right hand side of the two well-known stars, Castor and Pollux; or, in the direction of the three stars forming the Belt of Orion, sometimes called Charley's l"ardtcand.

Saturn is unquestionably the prettiest object in the whole system of planets; and if once seen through a good telescope its appearance is not readily forgotten. The system of rings with which it is surrounded, give it a complicated appearance altogether different from any other planet; and a person of a reflecting turn of mind feels quite unable to comprehend the purpose for which these remarkable appendages have been formed. The planet is well situated for observation in this country at present, better than it will be again for the next dozen years, the rings being now seen nearly fully open. The woodeut shows the appearance it presented last winter (1855-6) when seen through the most powerful telescopes.

Dimensions, §-c. of Saturn.—In point of size Saturn is a little less than Jupiter; and compared with our tiny' globe, is nearly a thousand times larger. The ball of j Saturn is 79,000 miles in diameter; and, like Jupiter, is . broadest if measured across the equator. This flattening; of the poles, due to its rapid rotation on its axis, amounts to about one-eleventh, that is, it is so much less one way than the other. Saturn turns on its axis once in J 0 hours, 29 minutes. The distance of Saturn from the Sun is nearly ten times greater than our Earth, or, 900 millions of miles; and performs its journey round the Sun in 29^ years. Like Jupiter, this planet is also generally seen with one or more belts across its ball exactly similar to those mentioned in the last chapter, and due, no doubt, to the same cause— affording at the same time, evidence of the existence of an atmosphere, and water. A whiteness about the poles of Saturn has also been observed which would seem to indicate the presence of snow, or ice, as mentioned in our description of the polar regions of Mars. In proportion to its size, Saturn is the lightest of the planets, its average weight, or density, being considerably lighter than water.

Saturn's Sings.—The singular Rings of Saturn may be roughly described as of the same shape as the flat bottom of a boy's jenny-spinner, with this difference, that the ring is entirely detached from the ball and separated by an interval of several thousands of miles. Perhaps one or two more familiar illustrations may be of service to some of our young readers, who may not be able to comprehend the perspective figure at the commencement of this chapter.


Tho hoop used by a person carrying two buckets of water, gives a good idea of the ring detached from the centre body, only, we must remember that the ring of Saturn is flat like the rim of a hat. This, indeed, leads us to an excellent, but rather funny, illustration: let a little boy take a large man's hat and hold it loosely on his brow—the flat rim of the hat will represent the ring of Saturn, while the head of the boy may be considered as the body of the planet. The j most recent observations show that the bright ring is not quite flat, as hitherto supposed, but thicker at the middle than at the edges, which accords with our ideas of strength.

Saturn's Ring changes its position from tho planet. Some astronomers possessed of good telescopes have carefully watched the motions of the ring and ball of Saturn, and have been convinced that the speed of the ball is slightly different from that of the ring; while other perhaps equally careful observers are not so decided on this point. Indeed, it is yet questionable whether the ring moves round the planet or not.

Saturn's Ring also changes its position with respect to this Earth in such a way that for fifteen years we constantly see one side, and for the next fifteen years we see the opposite side. This is owing to the plane of the ring being considerably inclined to its path in the ecliptic. From the same cause, one side of the ring is presented to the Sun for fifteen years in succession while the opposite side is in constant darkness, except any little light it may receive from the planet.

We have hitherto spoken of only one ring, but in reality there are two bright rings—that which appears with a small telescope to be only one, is seen with a large telescope to be divided by a narrow black division, making two rings of unequal breadth (see the woodeut). Some observers have fancied that the outer ring was again subdivided by a division still narrower than the principal one above mentioned. The writer of this paid very close attention to the outer ring last winter, when the planet was more favourably situated for observation than it will be again for many

« AnteriorContinuar »