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asked, for it will be received with a greater sense of obligation; because thou thereby disburdenest thy friend of that bashfulness and fear of repulse which commonly attends asking
Though reason is not to be relied upon as a guide universally sufficient to direct thee always what to do, yet it is generally to be trusted to and obeyed when it tells what thou art not to do.
'Thou standest in need of grace more than thy daily bread; because the consequence of the want of the former is of more danger than the latter, by so much as the soul is more valuable than the body.
To conquer vices and greater sins, thou must stifle them in the birth, suppress the first motion of them, and meet the temptation with an act of virtue contrary to it.
NOTICES OF ANIMATED AND VEGETABLE
FOR MAY, 1847. By Mr. William Rogerson, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
“From the wide altar of the fruitful earth,
The flowers, the herbs, the plants their incense roll;
The vermeil gardens breathe the spicy soul.
“The bee, the golden daughter of the spring,
From mead to mead, in wanton labour roves,
With all the essence of the flushing groves;
" The aërial songsters soothe the listening groves;
The mellow thrush, the ouzle, sweetly shrill,
In hawthorn valley, or on tufted hill;
"The gay exuberance of gorgeous spring,
The gilded mountain, and the herbaged vale,
The murmuring fountain, and the breathing dale,
The dale, the fountains, birds, and woods delight,
• For us kind nature wakes her genial power,
The first half of the month.—The mole extends its burrows, the bedgehog hunts for cockchafers, and the brown rat litters near water. The garden-warbler and the swift appear: the song of the former is not much inferior to that of the nightingale. The tit-lark sings, the turtle dove coos, the grasshopper-lark wheezes out its notes, and the pettv-chaps sounds its curious chip-chap. Numbers of the feathered tribe are at this time in full song. The cabbagebutterfly, the goat-moth, the cockchafer, the common blue butterfly, the rose-chafer, and several species of ladybirds are now to be seen.
The vegetable kingdom at this time displays almost an infinite variety of interesting objects. A thousand joyous feelings are associated with the scent of hawthorn and the lily of the valley; the sight of the bright green trees, and the daisies and cowslips spangling the surface of the grassy fields.
“ When apple-trees in blossoms are,
And cherries of a silken white;
And daffodils in brooks delight;
“When happy shepherds tell their tale,
Under the tender leafy tree;
The mocking cuckoo chanteth free;
“ When fishes leap in silver stream,
And tender corn is springing high,
And twittering swallows cleave the sky;
The last half of the month.—The frog may now be seen in its tadpole state, and also in its second form, like the eft. The eel runs up rivers; and the bream, bleak, minnow, and chub deposit their spawn among the gravel in the shallows of rivers.
The feathered tribes at this time greatly arrest our attention, as their melodious strains are perpetually cheering us, whenever the vernal skies invite us abroad. Let us then consider a bird, beginning with the wonderful mechanism of its feathers, and the admirable construction of the body for flying; the circulation of the blood; the process of respiration, digestion, absorption, and nutrition ; the contraction of muscles to perform motion ; the distribution of nerves for conveying sensation ; the organs of the senses; the brain, and all its inscrutable connexion with intelligence, instinct, and perception. Whether we take a lark or an eagle, a humming-bird or a peacock, the qualities referred to, and many others in their animal economy, must excite our astonishment when we consider the animal as the produce of that mysterious thing called an egg. Drummond very properly asks respecting this, “ Has not the hand of Divinity here written, almost without a metaphor, the wonders of its creative power ?”
The cuckoo-spit froghopper, the cinnabar and puss-moth, the wood-lady butterfly, the smooth dor-beetle, and various other insects are now to be seen.
The lily of the valley continues to open her snowy and fragrant bells: the orchis will be found in moist meadows, distinguished by its broad black-spotted leaves, and spike of large purple Aowers. The banks of rills and shady hedges are ornamented with the pretty tribe of speedwells, particularly the germander-speedwell, the field moose-ear, the dove's-foot, the crane's-bill, and the red campion. All the varieties of strawberry open their blossoms, their runners extending on all sides. The mulberry-tree puts forth its leaves. The leaves of the tulip-tree are quite out. The Scotch fir and the beech are in flower; and the honeysuckle, climbing round its neighbours for support, unfolds its fragrant bloom.
BRIEF ASTRONOMICAL NOTICES,
FOR MAY, 1847. By Mr. William ROGERSON, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
Beyond the Chuter remoter flies.....ugh the skies:
“POISED in the centre hangs the glorious Sun,
Ar the close of the meeting of the Royal Irish Academy, on the 14th of December, 1846, Sir William Hamilton announced that he has just received from Professor Mädler, of Dorpat, the extraordinary and exciting intelligence of the presumed discovery of a Central Sun.
By an extensive and laborious comparison of the quantities and directions of the proper motions of the stars in various parts of the heavens, combined with indications afforded by the parallaxes hitherto determined, and with the theory of universal gravitation, Professor Mädler has arrived at the conclusion that the Pleiades form the central group of our whole astral or sidereal system, including the Milky Way and all the brighter stars, but exclusive of the more distant nebulæ, and of the stars of which those nebulæ may be composed. And within this central group itself he has been led to fix on the star Alcyone, generally known by the name of Eta Tauri, as occupying exactly, or nearly, the position of the centre of gravity, and as entitled to be called the Central Sun.
Assuming Bessel's parallax of the star sixty-one Cygni, long since remarkable for its large proper motion, to be correctly determined, Mädler proceeds to form a first approximate estimate of the distance of this central body from the planetary or solar system; and arrives at the (provisional) conclusion that Alcyone is about thirty-four million times as far removed from us or from our Sun as the latter luminary is from us. It would, therefore, according to this estimation, be at least a million times as distant as the new planet, of which the theoretical or deductive discovery has been so great and beautiful a triumph of modern astronomy, and so striking a confirmation of the law of Newton. The same approximate determination of distance conducts to the result, that the light of the Central Sun occupies more than five centuries in travelling thence to us.
The enormous orbit which our own Sun, with the Earth and the other planets, is thus inferred to be describing about that distant centre, not indeed under its influence alone, but by the combined attractions of all the stars which are nearer to it than we are, and which are estimated to amount to more than one hundred and seventeen millions of masses, each equal to the total mass of our own solar system, is supposed to require upwards of eighteen millions of years for its complete description, at the rate of about thirty English miles in every second of time.
The plane of this vast orbit of the Sun is judged to have an inclination of about eighty-four degrees to the ecliptic, or to the plane of the annual orbit of the Earth; and the longitude of the ascending node of the former orbit on the latter is concluded to be nearly two hundred and thirty-seven degrees.
The general conclusions of Mädler respecting the constitution of the whole system of the fixed stars, exclusive of the distant nebulæ, are the following. He believes that the middle is indicated by a very rich group, (the Pleiades,) containing many considerable individual bodies, though at immense distances from us. Round this he supposes there is a zone, proportionately poor in stars, and then a broad, rich, ring-formed layer, followed by an interval comparatively devoid of stars, and afterwards by another annular and starry space, perhaps with several alternations of the same kind, the two outmost rings composing the two parts of the Milky Way, which are confounded with each other by perspective in the portions most distant from ourselves.
On the ground that the preceding remarks are correct, how striking are the words of the Almighty to Job : “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion ? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus, with his sons ?” (Job xxxviii. 31, 32.) If, according to divine appointment, one of the seven stars (the Pleiades) is the central Sun, what an influence has it derived from its omnipotent Creator; and what an extensive orbit does Arcturus describe