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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

NATURE,

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 orchards swell the ruby-tinctured birth;

The vermeil gardens breathe the spicy soul.
Grateful to May, the nectar spirit flies,
The wafted clouds of lavish'd odours rise,
The zephyr's balmy burden, worthy of the skies.

The bee, the golden daughter of the spring,

From mead to mead, in wanton labour roves,
And loads its little thighs, or gilds its wing,

With all the essence of the flushing groves;
Extracts the aromatic soul of flowers,
And, humming in delight, its waxen bowers
Fills with the luscious spoils, and lives ambrosial hours.

" The aërial songsters soothe the listening groves;

The mellow thrush, the ouzle, sweetly shrill,
And little linnets, celebrate their loves

In hawthorn valley, or on tufted hill;
The soaring lark, the lowly nightingale,
A thorn her pillow, trills her doleful tale,
And melancholy music dies along the dale.

"The gay exuberance of gorgeous spring,

The gilded mountain, and the herbaged vale,
The woods that blossom, and the birds that sing,

The murmuring fountain, and the breathing dale,

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The dale, the fountains, birds, and woods delight,
The vales, the mountains, and the spring invite;
Yet unadorn'a by May, no longer charm the sight."

W. THOMPSON.
“It has been well remarked that a garden affords the purest of
human pleasures. The study of nature is interesting in all her
manifold combinations ; in her wildest altitudes, and in her artful
graces. The mind is amused, charmed, and astonished, in turn,
with contemplating her inexhaustible display; and we worship the
God who created such pure and simple blessings for his creatures.
These blessings are open to all degrees and conditions of men.
Nature is not a boon bestowed upon the high-born, or purchased
by the wealthy at a kingly price. The poor, the blind, the halt,
and the diseased enjoy her beauty, and derive benefit from her
study. Every cottager enjoys the little garden which furnishes
his table with comforts, and his mind with grateful feelings, if that
mind is susceptible of religious impressions. He contemplates the
gracious Providence which has bestowed such means of enjoy-
ment upon him, as the Father whose all-seeing eye provides for the
lowest of his children, and who has placed the purest of human
blessings within the reach of all who are not too blind to behold his
mercy. With this blessed view before his mental sight, the cottager
cultivates his little homestead. The flowers and the fruits of the
earth bud, bloom, and decay in their season ; but nature again
performs her deputed mission, and spring succeeds the dreary
winter, with renewed beauty and two-fold increase. Health
accompanies simple and natural pleasures. The culture of the
ground affords a vast and interminable field of observation, in
which the mind ranges with singular pleasure, though the body
travels not. It surrounds home with an unceasing interest; domestic
scenes become endeared to the eye and mind; worldly cares recede ;
and we may truly say,–

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• For us kind nature wakes her genial power,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower !
Annual for us the grape, the rose, renew
The juice nectarious, and the balmy dew:
For us the mine a thousand treasures brings;
Por us, health gushes from a thousand springs.

LOUISA Johnson."

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;
When king-cups deck the meadows fair,

And daffodils in brooks delight;
When golden wall-flower blooms around,
And purple violets scent the ground,
And lilac 'gins to show her bloom,
We then may say the May is come.

“When happy shepherds tell their tale,

Under the tender leafy tree;
And all adown the grassy vale

The mocking cuckoo chanteth free;
And Philomel, with liquid throat,
Doth pour the welcome, warbling note,
That had been all the winter dumb,-
We then may say the May is come.

“ When fishes leap in silver stream,

And tender corn is springing high,
And banks are warm with sunny beam,

And twittering swallows cleave the sky;
And forest bees are humming near,
And cowslips in boys' hats appear,
And maids do wear the meadow's bloom,
We then may say the May is come.”

CLARE.

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,
Round which the rapid Mercury doth run;
Next, in due order, Venus wheels her flight;
And then the Earth, and Moon her satellite;
Next fiery Mars pursues his red career;
Beyond the circling asteroids appear :
The belted Jupiter remoter flies,
With his four moons attendant through the skies:
The bright-ring'd Saturn roams more distant still,
With seven swift moons his circuit to fulfil ;
While, with six satellites that round him roll,
Uranus moves; and Neptune circumvolves the whole :
But far beyond, unscann'd by mortal eye,
In widening spheres, bright suns and systems lie,
Circling in measureless infinity!
Pause o'er the mighty scheme, O man, and raise
Your feeble voice to the CREATOR's praise!”

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

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