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more fond of kicking the shuttle-cock than of knocking one another down. In the south the climate disinclines the people for active exercises.
They display much agility in tumbling and balancing themselves on the slack rope. Dancing is unknown among them: when they first saw Europeans engaged in this amusement, they asked if it were not done for medical purposes.
A very common amusement is setting crickets to fight. Two of these insects are put into a box about a foot in diameter, and irritated with straws till they run against each other, when they fight till one of them dies. Sometimes as much as three hundred dollars will be wagered on one of these fights.
The Chinese beyond any other nation deserve the epithet of a gambling people. So much are they addicted to this vice, that persons who sell goods in the street keep a dice-box, and persons who wish to purchase small articles will rather gamble for them than buy them in the regular way.
Theatrical displays are exhibited on several occasions of religious festivals. The performances are mere pantomime, the people seldom understanding what is said. The whole affair is got up in a very bungling manner, the patience of the auditory being much more admirable than the skill of the actors.
More than a thousand persons once lost their lives at a theatrical performance through the scenery taking fire.
THE NEW PLANET, NEPTUNE.
(Concluded from page 314.) We shall first, plainly and briefly, state what the problem was to which Mr. Adams had resolved to devote his attention. This is not only necessary for a right understanding of the particular case, but for enabling our readers to understand the wonderful power of modern mathematical calculation, in the explanation and settlement of astronomical facts apparently the most complicated and difficult.
By a careful consideration of the known laws of gravitation, in connexion with the distances, masses, &c., of the planetary bodies, the actual amount of their influence may be
ascertained, and their effects, in producing the perturbations already mentioned, in their exact amount, definitely fixed. These results of calculation are found to be verified by actual, and carefully conducted, observation. Such problems may be thus generally described. “Given, such and such amounts of disturbing influences : required, the particular amount of actual disturbance in the case of any one planet." Mr. Adams's problem was exactly the reverse of this. It was “Given, the actual amount of disturbance in the case of Uranus : required, the position and power of its cause,”-that cause being supposed to be a planet as yet unknown, and whose existence was only conjectured from the fact of a small variation (the maximum of which is only the twentieth part of a degree, say three miles) between the calculated and observed places of a planet moving in an orbit of nearly eleven hundred millions of miles. On a foundation seemingly so small, had so vast a superstructure to be raised. To this task, however, with the most exemplary industry, did Mr. Adams address himself, and with the most honourable and encouraging success.
He first assumed the truth of a law, laid down by some very eminent astronomers, that the planetary orbits succeed each other at regular and proportionate intervals of distance; and thus supposed that the planet sought for, if it really existed, would have an orbit with a radius (a semi-diameter) equal to about twice the mean distance from the sun to Uranus.
In October, 1843, he arrived at his first solution, finding the place of the planet to be within seventeen degrees of what afterwards was found to be its true place, and giving to it a mass about one-third greater than that which was subsequently ascertained. Perceiving some discrepancies, he applied, through Professor Challis, to the Astronomer Royal, Mr. Airey, of Greenwich, for some necessary papers, which were immediately communicated to him. This application was dated February 13th, 1844. He now resumed his calculations, continuing them through the remainder of 1844, and the spring and summer months of 1845. In September, 1845, he left Cambridge, having previously placed in the hands of Professor Challis a paper, containing the chief astronomical elements of -as he calls it by anticipation--the new PLANET. His great desire was now that the star should be sought for in the heavens, and its existence ascertained as an ascertained fact. He went to Greenwich to speak to Mr. Airey on this subject, but he was absent in France. Subsequently he took the same journey, but was again unsuccessful. He pursued his inquiries, however, and in the course of October had completely solved this inverse problem of perturbations ; that is, not from the known disturbing force to the disturbances themselves, but from the disturbances to the unknown force causing them. It was on the 21st of October, 1845, that he left at the Greenwich Observatory, for Mr. Airey, a paper containing the calculated elements of the orbit of this undiscovered planet; such as mean distance; mean sidereal motion in 366 days; mean longitude, October 1st, 1845; longitude of perihelion ; eccentricity; mass; the sun being unity. Thus far Mr. Adams stood alone. Up to this period, he was the sole calculator of the problem, which, by himself, he had brought to a conclusion, since verified by observation. He, therefore, so far as calculations go, is the discoverer of the new planet. The attention of others had been directed to the subject; but only himself had investigated the problem, and calculated it to its solution.
Another name, however, must now come before us, that of M. Le Verrier, a young French mathematician of great genius, who had already distinguished himself by his laborious and successful researches. From the published accounts concerning him, he appears to have been the Mr. Adams of France, as Mr. Adams was the M. Le Verrier of England. In the summer of 1845, M, Arago (the celebrated astronomer) pointed out to Le Verrier the importance of studying the perturbations of Uranus. He did so, and on the 10th of November, 1845, communicated to the Academy of Sciences a memoir, in which he stated that after all allowances for perturbations caused by known planets, others remained which indicated other causes. These he promised to investigate. This second memoir was published June 1st, 1846. Up to this time no mention had been made of a new planet. With great ability he examines the question
before him, and concludes that the disturbing cause is a planet beyond Uranus, the place of which he assigns; and most remarkable it is that this place, ascertained by his own researches, and published June 1st, 1846, is within a degree of that assigned to it by Mr. Adams, and communicated by him to Mr. Challis seven months previously. August 31st, 1846, a third memoir was published, in which M. Le Verrier also states the calculated astronomical elements of this new planet.
We now come to the actual discovery of the planet whose existence had been conjectured by Mr. Adams and M. Le Verrier, and the astronomical elements of which each had described as the result of laborious calculation.
Mr. Challis had had his attention directed to the subject by Mr. Adams, but, being from October, 1845, to Midsummer, 1846, engaged in the observation of Biela's and other comets, he omitted directing his telescope to the portion of the heavens indicated to him. On the appearance, however, of Le Verrier's Memoirs, he commenced the search, July 29th, 1846, seven weeks before any other astronomer had looked for it. On the 4th and 12th of August he directed his glass to the theoretical place mentioned by Mr. Adams, and actually saw the planet, and obtained two positions of it. Among the three hundred stars which passed through the field of vision, only one attracted his attention; and he desired his attendant, who was recording his observations, to write, “ It appears to have a disc.” It was the planet; and, as he had predicted, appearing like a star of the eighth or ninth magnitude. On the 29th of September he became acquainted with the result of Le Verrier's last researches; and, again viewing the star with a disc, and finding its position changed, he recorded its right ascension and south declination. On the 1st of October he received intelligence that Dr. Galle, of Berlin, had discovered the planet. M. Le Verrier published the exact position of the star by calculation on the 31st of August; and September 23d, Dr. Galle, on the evening of the day on which he had received the communication from Le Verrier, looked for it and found it.
An unpleasant dispute has arisen concerning the honour of first discovery. Into the merits of this we shall not at all enter. A few facts, we think, are obvious. First, and very generally, had no other person than Mr. Adams investigated the subject, undoubtedly from his indications the planet would first have been seen by English astronomers ; and, on the other hand, had Mr. Adams done nothing, such were Le Verrier's indications that they would have led to its discovery. So far as personal merit is concerned, the honour belongs equally to each. The fact that the planet was actually seen first by Mr. Challis, does not detract in the slightest degree from the merits of M. Le Verrier and Dr. Galle. But, secondly, the facts already narrated indubitably establish that Mr. Adams did first of all predict and describe the star by calculation ; so that, had the telescopes that he wished and sought to set in motion been employed according to his directions, he would have been acknowledged as first discoverer, without the shadow of objection. And even as it is, Professor Challis, acting in conformity with Mr. Adams's indications, did actually first see the star, noticing its disc and change of position, August 4th and 12th; whereas it was seen by Dr. Galle, September 23d, six weeks subsequently. Still, ás to personal merit, we again say, Professor Challis saw it because Mr. Adams had directed his search ; and Dr. Galle saw it because M. Le Verrier had directed his. If dispute there must still be, it must refer to some modifications of the case. If the facts be as the paper states from which we have derived these notices, (and the high character of the Review forbids us to doubt on this point; and we may add that we believe the writer himself a philosopher both of European reputation, and of decided moral principles,) then, unless September 23d, 1846, be prior to August 4th and 12th, 1846, it was by an English astronomer, viewing the heavens from an English observatory, that the new planet was first seen; and first seen in consequence of the calculations of a young English collegian, who had first of all investigated the subject, and arrived at conclusions by calculations which have been now verified by actual observation. Had Dr. Galle seen it in August, and Mr. Challis in September, we should have said what we have said, only making the necessary change in the