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to move, and specks of light are visible on some of her mountain-tops. They cannot be mistaken. The surface of her orb resembles burnished gold : but I think she cannot be of the same substance as the earth. So beautiful, so calm—who would not desire to be transported to her surface?
As the moon is next in lustre and utility to the sun, there can be little doubt that she obtained a very early share of veneration. Indeed, we know that in most countries she has been worshipped as a deity under various names. - Some lines of Orpheus represent the moon as resembling our earth, having cities on its surface. Xenophanes held the same opinion; and so also did Macrobius, and Achilles Tatius. Pythagoras went farther, and believed it to have not only mountains, valleys, woods, rivers, and seas, but animals fifteen times larger than ours ; plants of rarer beauty; and men superior, not only in size, but in energy and virtue.
Some philosophers, or, rather, poets, have believed the moon to be the abode of dreams; and some, that thither the souls of men are carried after death. Some of the ancients supposed the upper lunarian regions to be the Elysian fields, inhabited by genii, who descend to earth to the assistance of just men and the punishment of wicked ones. Even Chris. tians, among whom we may instance Vitalis, have regarded its surface as the paradise wherein our first parents were created, and whence they were thrust for their transgression.
To the inhabitants of MARS, Venus and the earth appear, in most respects, as Mercury and Venus appear to us; exhibiting similar phases, with the exception that they never present themselves at a full. Sometimes our moon is seen by them on one side of the earth, sometimes on the other. Sometimes they are observed to pass over the disk of the sun in the shape of two unequal black spots, at no greater distance from each other than one third of a degree.
The fixed stars are beheld much as we behold them; while the Asteroids, with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, present surfaces somewhat larger than they do to us.
The ASTEROIDS are supposed by some to have been originally formed out of one large planet. I cannot accord with this hypothesis. They have doubtless existed from the creation and first adjustment of the system, as well as Jupiter and the other planets. All these planets enjoy a view of each other, as also of the earth (but not of the moon), and Mars, Jupi. ter, Saturn, and Uranus ; of all their satellites, and of the stupendous rings of Saturn. This is not all. Their diameters are so small that every star of their firmament, from pole to pole, may be seen by the mere travel of a few hours. Their diameters have been thus estimated : Juno, 1425 miles; Vesta, 238; Ceres, 163; Pallas, 80 !* The diameters of their
* In a note to my Life of Akenside are the following remarks: Dr. Olbers and several other astronomers have given into the idea that a large planet once existed between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter, and that it separated into four parts, forming what are now called the Asteroids. Much learning has been called into action on this subject. It is argued that Bode's law and the law of Nature are one, and that both require the existence of such a planet. If so, why does not this large body still ex. ist? If it were wanted in times past, it is wanted at present; for all the apprehensions of Newton in regard to the solar system being susceptible of decay, have long since been dissipated by LA GRANGE's discovery-the most splendid in modern times --that all the irregularities and inequalities which flow from planetary action are, in reality, so harmoniously adjusted to the various parts of the vast machine as to be in all cases constant in periodical return; and the labours of La Place having established the knowledge that the time of a planet's revolution, as well as its mean distance from the sun, are constant properties, it follows, as a natural result, that all planetary existences are beyond the reach of accident, and therefore unassailable by time.
If four planets will answer the purpose of the one supposed to have been disrupted, as it appears they very effectively do, what difficulty can there be in supposing that they have existed from the creation and first adjustment of the system, as well as Jupiter and Mars, and all the other primary and secondary planets ? Why,
three external neighbours, however, are: Uranus, 35,112 miles ; Saturn, 79,042; and Jupiter, 89,170. What stupendous disproportions !
Now let us suppose ourselves on the surface of JUPITER. The stars rise to our vision, and in the course of three or four hours set. They move, as it were, not in a gradual course, as with us, but with a precipitation that would dazzle our eyes and bewilder our senses ; for the entire heavens must appear to the inhabitants there in a state of almost mercurial activity. The day, however, is not so splendid as ours, being so much farther from the sun. The eclipses on Jupiter are of three kinds, solar, lunar, and satellital; and the tints of the sat. ellites have an extremely beautiful effect, for two are white, a third blue, and the fourth orange ; and when all of them are above the horizon, the shadows of objects are cast in four different directions.
Transport ourselves now to the FIRST SATELLITE of Jupiter. What a scene presents itself! Three moons rise instead of one, as with us, with all their diversified phases : one a crescent, one gibbous, one at the full ! and the nearest with twice the diin fact, should we suppose Nature to have done what is not only unnecessary, but in decided opposition to all the laws by which she can be recognised ?
Since the phenomena of gravitation cannot in any way be accounted for either by matter or motion; if philosophers guard hemselves against being shackled by the bonds of system, and from being paralyzed by the authority even of illustrious names; if they keep themselves free to observe, with unclouded eyes and unbiased judgment, the varied phenomena presented to their view, and feelingly awake to every light that hereafter may em. anate from the experience of the ever-teeming laboratory of the human mind, it is not impossible but that the masterly discovery of LA GRANGE may be found to lead to the propriety of recon sidering the views that have hitherto been entertained of gravi tation. And it is not impossible that such reconsideration may open the door to the knowledge of an agent hitherto unknown and unthought of, acting with it, though of a nature altogether different from it, and of a subtlety and minute power of application immeas. urably its superior.
ameter of our moon to us ; while Jupiter himself hangs like a huge ball, turning rapidly on his axis, now rising, now waxing, now waning, now a crescent, and now a full and ample shield, as it were, covering a vast space of the firmament; and all this in the short space of forty-two hours and a half. Having, it is presumed, no atmosphere, the heavens present a field as black as ebony, and each star shines with a brilliancy more intense than that arising from the concentration of ten thousand diamonds. In 1770 a comet swept among these satellites without in the smallest degree deranging their motions. The Biela and Encke comets, too, ranging through the solar system between Jupiter and the earth, their aphelion and perihelion are equally harmless.
SATURN, when beheld from our globe with his attendants through a telescope, appears to occupy a space of the heavens not larger than a Spanish dollar. Instead of one moon, he has seven ; all presenting varied appearances, and casting seven shadows upon his surface. Sometimes they are beheld eclipsing each other, or appearing, disappearing, and reappearing from between and behind two stupendous rings that surround his orb, and which frequently eclipse a great part of it; those eclipses varying from a minute to the whole length of a day, and coming on with a suddenness that would appal the mind, did not their frequency take from the wonder. The day of Saturn, too, occupying only a little more than ten of our hours, the whole phenomena of the firmament above him pass with a rapidity more than double that presented in our own hemispheres. The rings, also, sometimes cast shadows upon him, and sometimes shine with even greater splendour than the planet itself. Above, below, and between these vast arches, if we may so call them, the stars are seen, and, possibly, many planets of which we have no knowledge. These
rings are not perceptible at the poles of Saturn, nor within several degrees of them; but where they are visible, nothing that we know in Nature presents so noble, so wonderful and astonishing an appearance, illuminating the nights with a splendour more than equal to that of several thousand moons like ours : indeed, Saturn knows no darkness except when these rings eclipse the sun.
Pass now into the regions of URANUS. The sun here appears of a size not larger than Venus. ' Six satellites, however, rise in his horizon, and, what is still more wonderful, they are observed to move in orbits perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic, and in a direction contrary to that of all other secondaries as well as primaries ; indicating, perhaps, an approach to, if not an actual beginning of, another province of the solar empire. Uranus, however, sees only one of the planets that we behold-Saturn. But, to make up for this, his inhabitants doubtless gaze on many other worlds beyond their own orbit, which, from distance, are invisible to us.
Now let us suppose ourselves on the surface of a COMET. But first a few words in regard to the comets of 1811 and 1835.
The comet of 1811 emerged suddenly, as may be remembered, from the sphere of the sun's rays, and became visible in one day. It remained several months, and at length disappeared in the Great Bear. We watched it night after night, and hailed it as a herald sent from the depths of space to confirm the truth that a Sublime Power exists beyond the reach and thought of man.
This was the most splendid comet that has appeared within the memory of any living person. Its tail (when at its greatest apparent height) reached more than 120 millions of miles. Its envelope was supposed to have been 30,000 miles in thickness, and the centre of its head was separated from its interior surface by a space of 36,000 miles. Its