Imágenes de páginas

or bay of raiubows, and many others, cover- most remarkable of the lunar mountain chains ing, in the aggregate, about two-thirds of are vamed after those of the earth, as the Alps, the visible hemisphere of the moon. The Apennines, Caucasus, and Carpathians. The appellations of seas, &c., are still retained for first of these is the most extensive, and may convenience' sake in referring to these portions be detected with the naked eye when the moon of the moon's disc; but the telescope has long is about half-full ; it is suspected that the ago determined that they cannot be bodies of ancients from this fact derived their notion water, for their surfaces are diversified with that the moon was covered with mountains permanent undulations and irregularities, and and valleys. In addition to these chains and are more or less covered with volcanic and ridges there exists on the moon every phase other selenological peculiarities. They are of mountain character that we find on the mostly skirted by lofty chains of mountains, earth down to isolated peaks (with which, and some of them are variously tinted with however, we have but few in common on the colour ; some with a greenish tinge, others red, earth) that shoot from the plains like gigantic and others slightly blue. These different tints sugar-loaves several thousand feet in height, are exceedingly enigmatical, and have been and seem to have been protruded through the supposed to indicate the existence of some- surface by some sudden internal force just as thing like vegetation covering these vast areas ; a needle would be driven through a sheet of but this idea is negatived when we bear in paper. mind the fact, to which we shall have further But we pass thus cursorily over these less occasion to allude, that the moon is destitute peculiar features that we may dwell the longer of such an atmosphere as would be required and devote the more space to the considerato sustain vegetable life. Since then we can- tion of the most interesting and important not suppose them to be seas or districts of characteristics of the lunar surface, the striking fertility, we are driven to the conclusion that circular formations known as the Ring Mounthey are vast flats or tracts of level land, and, tails. We are anxious to devote a little extra regarding the moon as having once been the attention to this branch of our subject, because scene of tremendous erruptive disturbances, the explanations and illustrations we shall we must assume these to represent the com- have occasion to offer are not to be found in paratively undisturbed regions of her surface.

even the

more elaborate treatises purportPassing from the plains to the mountainous ing to give information upon this branch of regions, we remark that the lunar mountain celestial physics, and because the scrutiny chains present a strong family likeness to those of these annular mountains affords us a most of the earth, and doubtless owe their origin interesting insight into the moon's physical to the workings of the same cause acting upon history; and, inasmuch as the history of a similar materials, but under different con- satellite is doubtless typical of that of its ditions. A striking feature in all the moun- primary, we may perhaps safely tread the tainous formations of the moon is their enor- field of conjecture, and from the moon's hismous height relatively to the moon’s diameter, tory infer the probable cosmical origin of our for in this respect they greatly exceed in mag- own globe. witude the mountains of the earth.

The Ring Mountains are of so strikingly here mention incidentally, that if a globe two feet in diameter were taken to represent the earth, the highest earthly mountain would be justly represented by a grain of sand laid upon that globe's surface. The highest of the earth's mountains attains an altitude of about 28,000 feet, and the highest of those on the moon about 25,000 : but considering the diameter of the moon is only a fourth of that of the earth, it follows that the lunar mountains are thus comparatively four times higher than ours. Near the moon's south pole some of these lofty mountain summits glitter in perpetual sunlight, “eternal sunshine" literally “settles on their heads;" but in striking contrast to these there are in their neighbourhood immense cavities into which the sun's rays never penetrate, and which are similar character that the

the accompanying thus shrouded in perpetual darkness. The sketch may be taken as representing a fair

We may

[ocr errors]

A Normal Lunar Crater.

or less


type of the whole family of them. They compared to the whole surface of the moon, almost always consist of a circular rampart, this would be proportional to a square inch or mountainous amphitheatre more

on a globe about a foot in diameter. These perfect in its structure, and with an isolated mountains are distinguished by the names of peak or mountain in the centre. But while celebrities of all ages in science and literature: their form can be so generally described, their our drawing includes those named after Mauindividual appearances present many modifica- rolycus, Cuvier, Clairaut, and Stöfller ; but the tions ; sometimes the central peak is wanting, reader doubtless will not care to be informed sometimes the circular wall is in great part which is which. This nomenclature is open broken away and imperfect ; sometimes the to considerable objections, for lately some enclosed area takes the form of a level plain bitherto unnamed mountains have been chrisor plateau, at others it is hollowed out into a tened with names that will certainly be for. hemispherical cavity or vast cup, of which the 'gotten twenty years hence, and so when in rampart forms the

future times brim. In size

some really great they vary from

names require a 30 or 40 miles in

niche in this diameter down to

lunar temple, a magnitude 80

there will be no small as to

room for them. quire the highest

“The neutral telescopic power

ground of mythoto discern them.

logy and classic In numbers they

antiquity," says are countless,

Herschel, “would the small ones be

have been the ing sometimes so

safest foundation thickly grouped

for a system of together as to pre

nomenclature, and sent an appear

we may hope that ance like solidified


future froth. The alti

survey of the tude of the cir

moon some such cular rampart and

will be adopted.” central peak varies

A striking feature like other lunar

in our illustration inountains from

will doubtless twenty thousand

have arrested the to a few feet in

reader's attenheight.

tion; we allude to We are enabled,

the intensely through the kind

black shadows ness of Mr. Na

that shroud a smyth (to whose Portion of the Moon's Surface.

portion of the de lunar researches

tails of the picwe shall presently

ture. This is a more fully allude) to give a representation as consequence of the absence of a lunar atmo accurate as skilful engraving can make it sphere. of a portion of the lunar surface, showing Daylight, or diffused light distinguished in a highly satisfactory manner the aspect of from the glaring sunshine on the earth, a region most thickly covered with these pe- is produced by the reflection of the sun's culiar formations. *

rays from the earth's atmosphere, and thus The space included in this illustration re. it is that light pervades places where no sun presents an area of about 30,000 square miles ; shines ; but nothing of this kind is seen on

the moon ; those parts of her surface that * We have not attempted to give an illustration of the whole disc of the moon, for the obvious reason that it is

catch the direct rays of the sun shine with totally impossible, within the compass of a few inches, to a dazzling brilliancy like frosted silver ; but give any but a grossly deceitful idea of the configuration of its surface. The splotchy productions generally put forth

where no direct sunshine falls there is no light, in popular treatises on this subject bear no more resemblance to the reality than would the segment of a Stilton

but a region of pitchy darkness.





[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

We deemed was to be wretched, strange, and rude,
And all that vast and beauteous expanse
Of multitudinous and bappy fates,
Lying beyond the poor and narrow bound
That measured our disdainful ignorance,
We held in a contemptible contempt.
Not knowing, wbat we learn who change our homes,
That human life all over the broad world
Hath many a centre, and no group of men,
Save in the proof of their own worthlessness,
Can say 'tis theirs to pity or despise.
Oh! pride accursed, in which I stoopt to take
My portion with the others! Littleness,
In which with them I cooped my nature down !
Oh ! mean and coward fear, wherewith I strove
Like them to fetter all that in me yearned
To bazard one free act, to mount and set
The sails of being to the wind, and turning
A glad prow to the bounding seas of fate,
Never look back on the cramped roadstead more!
For long before I ceased to spurn thee, came
The knowledge that I loved thee, and my scorn
Fell back upon myself in burning showers.
Aud every gibe of their vain girlish lips,
Shaped in mean concert to my seeming humour,
And every coward laugh I laughed with them
Rose like a blister on my heart, and heated
My fever of self-hatred higher. So,
The months went by, and heavier grew the mask,
And failure after failure, heavier
The effort to uplift it; though one word

Had been enough. Had I but risen, and said, “ Cease, for I love him," I had turoed at once

To flattery every taupting lip, and waked
A harmony of chatter in thy praise.

[ocr errors]


Yet-for I dreaded then to give my heart
Its freedom, and to cut the gilded chains
That bound me to my mean luxurious days
Among the rich in rich and idle Argos;
And, for I dreaded too the laughing tongues
Of men and women, and their false contempt,
And falser pity for brave love-I lied,
Ah, hypocrite ! by an ignoble silence.
But when I answered not, he would step back
Among the pillars of the gleaming ball,
The blushes of rebuked nobility
Shirouding his face ; while I, coward and fool,
Well knowing that I wronged my heart and him,
Would o'er self-censure draw the rays of pride,
And cross to some gay group of Argolids,
To drown in jest the sense of my own scorn.

Noble Menalcas ! I have never dared
To know what then thy tortured soul endured.
For one, scarce out of earshot of the man,
With that pert folly they call wit in towns,
Would thus legin :-“Wbat, my Eriphanis,
Not ridded of thy satyr yet? This comes
Of having fed him when he came astray :
He'll follow thee for ever now.' And then,
Another would sigh, drawling, “Ah, poor beast !
Send word to Bacchus or to Pan to fetch him.
Some Dryad, doubtless, stays beneath ber oak,
Pouting and pining for her comely mate;
For the poor thing is comely after all.”

My beautiful Menalcas, my bold hunter ! Comely,---ah ! let those wockers tell me, who Of all the youths, whom, walking in white Argos, Their sidelong eyes beset, is comelier ! Who hath a goodlier carriage, or whose limbs Are white as thine beneath thy hunter's dress? Or who could spring like thee to bend thy bow, Mine archer.god, my Phoebus of the woodThy bow that would not answer to their fingers-While all thy clustering hair breaks out behind Its bondage, and thy shapely limbs are poised In energy and grace alike divine !

Brave, beautiful Menalcas, my bold hunter !
Nor only for thy beauty and thy hunting
Like to the archer-god who loveth thee.
For thou like him canst lay aside thy bow,
And shape tby fingers to another string.
Oft have I watched thee, when the close of day
Found thee contented with thy counted spoils,
l'ropt on the gnarled roots of some ancient tree,
Or sauntering at ease from glade to glade,
With voice and lyre, that after thy wild hunt
Filled the soothed forest, as the zephyr fills
The places where the cleaving storm bath raged,
Draw back the scared wood creatures up the lawns.
Panting, with outstretched neck, and timorous eyes,
And limbs that seemed to totter, would they come;
Their sides still wet with anguish and the chace,
Wbile the long columns of their weary breath
Drave in the evening air : for a brief space,
With many a doubtful halt and sudden turn
Of ear and eye, they would step trembling on;
'Pill, calmed at length by music, that had grown
Well known and welcome as the sunset hour,
First one and then another would bend down,
And the last lines of western ligbt would fall
On silent browsing groups and bedded groves
Of antlers tossing o'er the peopled fern.

Oh! my Menalcas, my well-chosen husband !
We Argolids in Argus knew no life,
And deemed none worth the living save our own.
Not to partake the fashion of our lot

At length, one autumn eve I sat alone Before the hearth-fire, in my father's ball. The last low breadth of ruddy sunlight lay Glowing along the columns; and above, High in the fretted ceiling, on the coils Of smoke that gathering clomb, and slowly swept Out through the dusky timbers of the roof, Flickered and flushed the mimicry of flame. I had been musing on my home and life, And how I theretofore had hoped to live ; Thinking, what pain it was to crush out love For love of other things; and then, what pain To cast all other things away for love. And whether hearts, where love bath been and gose, Can take the glow of pleasure as of old, Or must for evermore be lit by love,

Or lie for ever dark. “ And if," thought I, " To keep alive the treasured joys of youth,

Tbe heart itself that treasures them must die,
What good comes of the thrift? Wbat good to move
Cold and uncaring in the splendid crowds,
Walking through pleasures as a blind man walks
Through beauty with his blank and listless eyes 1
Who dreams of beauty who dreams not of love ?
And what-save that we hope fur love at last-
Were splendour, and the never-ending round
On which wealth carries us by night and day,
But weary brightness and laborious pomp?
Is Argos, then, the world, or Argive life
The summit and the archetype of all ?
Is all else cheerless, graceless, fashionless ?
Hath the broad range of human happiness
Shrunk round one little company? Are none,
Who are not of us, what we deem ourselves ?
Can I not go hence and be still myself ?
Will my poor beauty perish in the woods
For lack of its old Argive flatterers ?
Or shall I cease to love and cherish it ?

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

Menalcas hath said much of such a work And how he scarce can compass it alone Without a helpmate. To it I will go."

So, balf in thought alone, and half in speech, Little by little did my soul come forth, And open out into its full resolve : As in the bursting bud fold iings back fold, And petal upon petal spreads and grows, About the rim of the fast-broadening flower. And then I rose and paced about the ball : And stretched mine arms aloft; and laughel, and


And felt as those who have been long perplexed,
Or long in dread, but are no longer so.
And in a little while I went without,
And took my way under some cypresses
That flanked a terrace in the garden, set
With flowery urns and statues of the gods,
All gleaming in the moonlight; and I sought
A seat beneath the cypresses, and there,
Still musing, sat me down in the deep shade.
And wbile I sat unseen, a spasm of pain
Beat through me; and I heard from the dark end
Of the far terrace, in deep, half-hushed tones,
The voice of my Menalcas; he had come,

« AnteriorContinuar »