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Few thoughtful minds have not, perhaps, been moved to wonder at the insensibility of mankind to the attractions of star-gazing. People are ready to sacrifice time, money, and health in search of pleasure and excitement, but how rare is it to find the pursuit of science taking the place of these, and such studies as that of astronomy occupying even the cultured and the leisurely? Yet, when we consider the marvellous beauty of the heavens at night, and the intense interest of the problems they open to us, we can but feel astonishment at an indifference so unaccountable and so widely spread. We have here, if anywhere, a remedy against the disasters and sorrows of life; in these sublime contemplations, the most troubled can forget his own perplexities for a while, the most heavyhearted his grief, whilst the careless is lifted into a better and deeper mood, and all are moved to awe and admiration. We gaze, we ponder, we are straightway transported to another world. “I doubt not," writes a French author,' “that if only one spot existed on the earth's surface, whence we could survey the mysterious structure of the heavens, people would flock from the most remote regions towards that privileged place; whereas in our present condition, the constant habit
"Je ne doute pas que s'il n'existait dans ce monde qu'une seule ouverture par où l'on pût ainsi plonger ses regards dans le mystérieux édifice de l'univers, on affluerait des contrées les plus éloignées vers ce lieu privilégié, tandis que l'habitude de voir les étoiles finit par émousser chez la plupart d'entre nous cette noble curiosité."--Terre et Ciel, par Jean Reynaud.
of seeing the stars overhead, ends in blunting with most of us this noble curiosity.” Truly and beautifully is this said by one whose deepest enjoyment was the study of the heavenly bodies, and who longed to kindle the same enthusiasm in the minds of others. If we cannot easily catch the glow, we can at least realize what delight, serenity, and loftiness of purpose, such pursuits impart to individual lives, none of which teaches a more beautiful lesson than that of Caroline Herschel. She may be said to have merged herself in her favourite study, to have lived, indeed, not for any individual
individual purpose, but for the glorious task of “minding the heavens,” and aiding the great astronomer, her brother, whose life was dearer than her own. Modest, laborious, and uneventful, such a career is ennobled by aspiration and endeavour, and richly coloured by the intensity of inner existence.
In the words of her biographer, “Great