Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

BY MRS. ABDY.

grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord I cannot believe that these Christian and and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that I may hear tenderly affectionate letters to his own thereof. The Lord is very near, which we see family could have been a tissue of falseby his wonderful works; and therefore he looks that we of this generation draw near him. This

hood and hypocrisy. Assuredly Cromwell late great mercy in Ireland is a great manifes. understood Scriptural truth, and inculcated tation thereof. Your husband will acquaint you it upon his children ; and such letters as with it. We should be much stirred up in our these would seem to indicate that he him. spirits to thankfulness. We need much the self often felt much of its power; but the Spirit of Christ to enable us to praise God for greater his guilt that he did not act accord80 admirable a mercy. The Lord bless thee, ing to his professions.

F. H. my dear daughter. I rest, thy loving father,

O. CROMWELL. The following letter also is transcribed from the original among the family papers.

THE CONVALESCENT.
It is to his son Richard, under the date of
Carrick, 2d of April, 1650 :

From the Metropolitan. Dick CROMWELL, -I take your letters kindly. I like expressions when they come plainly from Thou hast quitted the feverish couch of pain, the heart, and are not strained nor affei ted. Thou art breathing the fresh free air again, am persuaded it is the Lord's mercy to place Thou hast bent thy way through the primrose glade you where you are: I wish you may own it, and To the wildwood's deep and leafy shade, be thankful, fulfilling all relations io the glory Where, beneath thy slow and lingering tread, of God. Seek the Lord and his face continu

The clustering cool green moss is spread, ally ; let this be the business of your life and And the silvery fountains softly play.

Where the song-birds pour their tuneful lay, strength, and let all things be subservient and in order to this. You cannot find, nor behold, Dost thou not joy to exchange the gloom the face of God but in Christ; therefore labor or the shaded blinds, and the curtained room to know God in Christ, which the Scripture For the gladdening breezes, the sun's bright beams, makes 10 be the sum of all, even lise eternal. The waving blossoms, and glittering streams ? Because the true knowledge is not literal or Dost thou not joy, in reviving health, speculative, but inward, transforming the mind To gaze upon Nature's lavish wealth, 10 it, it is uniting to, and participating of, the The rushing waters, and flowery land, Divine nature (2 Peter i. 4). It is such a know- Decked for thy sake by thy Maker's hand ? ledge as Paul speaks of, Philip. iii. 8, 9, 10. How little of this knowledge of Christ is there And does not thy heart at this moment thrill among us. My weak prayers shall be for

With thoughts more tender, more grateful still ?

you. Take heed of an unactive vain spirit

. Recre- Dost thou not yet on the chamber dwell, ate yourself with Sir Walter Raleigh’s History; When thy manly strength was quelled and filed,

Where awhile Death's darkening shadows fell, it is a body of history, and will add niore to your And friends stood mournfully round thy bed, understanding than fragments of story; Intend Wailing that thou, in thy youthful bloom, to understand the estate I have setiled; it is Must be gathered soon to the dreary tomb? your concernment to know it all, and how it stands. I have heretofore suffered much by too Then did not a secret voice within much trusting others. I know my brother Ma-Tell thee to weep o'er each former sin ? jor will be helpful to you in all this. You will, And didst thou not wish thy days renewed, perhaps, think I need not advise you to love To walk henceforth with the wise and good ? your wife. The Lord teach you how to do it, Oh! now, while within thy languid veins or else it will be done ill-favoredly. Though some trace of the suffering past remains, marriage be no instituted sacrament, yet this Think of the world, and its pomp and power, union aptly resembles Christ and his Church. As thou didst in that sad and trying hour. If you can truly love your wile, what doth Christ bear to his Church, and every poor soul The woods and the fields that meet thy gaze therein, who gave himself for it and to it? Thou deem'st more bright than in former days ; Commend me to your wife: tell her I entirely More fair than it seemed in thy frolic glee;

So may earth's course appear to thee love her, and rejoice in the goodness of the Shun its broad highways—in peace pursue Lord to her. I wish her every way fruitful. The narrow path that is sought by few, thank her for her loving letter. I have present. And give to the Lord, in faith and prayer, ed my love to my sister and cousin Anne, etc., The life that he graciously deigned to spare. in my letter to my brother Major. I would not have him alter his affairs because of my debt [his debt to me). My purse is as his. My present rained lately at Futtehpose, Sicree. The matter

Morussil Rain.-A strange yellow liquid bas thoughts are but to lodge such a sum for my adhered to the fingers when touched, and dyed the two little girls. It is in his hand as well as any where. I shall not be wanting to accommodate ground where it fell.— Indian Journal. him to his mind. I would not have him solicit- The widow of the late lamented Bishop Heber OUB. Dick, the Lord bless you every way. has again married. Her husband is a French Roman

I rest, your loving father, O. CROMWELL. Catholic gentleman.--Morning Post.

a

ARAGO'S LIFE OF HERSCHEL. for the profession of music. Jacob was an
From the Forcign Quarterly Review.

amiable, clever man, and a good musician,

but his means were unequal to the complete Analyse historique et Critique de la Vie et des education of a family of ten children, all of

Travaux de Sir William Herschel. (His- whom, however, six boys and four girls, actorical and Critical Analysis of the Life quired from him some proficiency in bis and Labors of Sir William Herschel) own art. William, the third son, manisested Par M. Arago. Paris : in the “ Annuaire in his early years great capabilities of mind; du Bureau des Longitudes" of 1842. he learned the French language, and in

There is nothing more wonderful in the studying the German philosophy of that history of the human mind than the per- time, acquired a taste for metaphysics fection already attained by astronomy. which never afterwards forsook bim. We are in many respects better acquainted In 1759 William Herschel, then twentywith the constitution and laws of the re- one years of age, came to England, followmote parts of the universe, than with those ing in the traces of his eldest brother Jacob. of the elements in which we are actually for two years he maintained a painful strag, involved, and with which we are intimately gle with adverse circumstances, till at length connected. In this branch of knowledge Lord Darlington engaged him as teacher we see to what a height science may be of the band of a regiment, at that time reared, when the results of patient observa. stationed in, or perhaps raising, in the north. tion are joined together with mathematical The young man's abilities now developed precision and on a mathematical foundation. themselves, and in the course of 1765 he If modern learning were swept away by a was elected organist at Halifax. The lei. barbarous deluge, a few fragments only sure, and comparatively abundant means, surviving the general wreck, we know of which this elevation procured him, he emno volume more likely to excite the admi- ployed in self-instruction. He taught himration of future ages than the “ Nautical self Italian, Latin, and even a little Greek; Almanac:" for it does not consist of that but it says still more for his perseverance, which forms, as Hamlet justly remarked, that he thoroughly studied Smith's “Harthe staple material of most books, " words, monics,” or the Philosophy of Music, a words, words ;" but, in the accurate lan- profound and difficult work, which presumes guage of figures, applies a profound know in the student a considerable knowledge of ledge of all the movements of the heavenly geometry and algebra. bodies to the practical service of man's Respecting Herschel's election to the boldest undertaking—the navigation of the post of organist at Halifax, a story is relawide ocean. The successful cultivators of ied, which, though we are unable to vouch this sublime study, therefore, are entitled for its authenticity, yet has so characteristo a foremost rank among the votaries of tic an air, and displays so advantageously science, and, in the estimation of M. Arago the frankness, courage, and well-grounded (than whom there is no one more compe. self-confidence of the young musician, that tent to decide on such a question), Sir Wil- we cannot help suspecting it to be partially liam Herschel deserves to be considered founded on fact, and as such, shall here re. one of the greatest astronomers of any age late it. It is said that when the time of the or country.

election was near at hand, two gentlemen, This extraordinary man was born in Han- known to have great weight with the electover, the 15th of November, 1738. Of his ing body, were addressed, while walking in family there is but little known, although the nave of the church, by the young Han. public curiosity has of course busily inquir- overian, who was a stranger to them, and ed after the origin of one so illustrious. who, in begging their suffrages, acknowHis great-grandfather, Abraham Herschel, ledged that he had never played the organ was driven, it is said, from Moravia* on ac. (Herschel's instrument was, we believe, the count of his attachment to the Protestant hautboy), but added, that his musical attaincreed. His son Isaac was a farmer in the ments were such as would justify bis hope neighborhood of Leipsic, whence Jacob of attaining the requisite skill on that inHerschel, Isaac's eldest son, afterwards re- strument in a very short time. The genmoved to Hanover, renouncing agriculture tlemen thus accosted were Joah Bates (well

known to all collectors of musical and lite. *" Il demeurait à Mahren, d'où il fut expulsé," rary anecdote), and his brother, and they says M. Arago, who seems not to be aware that Mahren, or properly Mehren, is the German corrup

were so well satisfied with the proofs which tion of Moravia, or Murawa, which name is of Sla. the stranger gave them of his ability, that vonic origin.

they lent him their influence and secured

6

his election. Although we suppose this self for the career on which he was shortly story to be in the main untrue, it has the about to enter with so much glory. merit of suggesting a very important and A reflecting telescope, two feet long, probable conjecture, which is, that Her happened to fall into the hands of Herschel

, schel, during his sojourn in Halifax, had the at Bath. With it he saw countless stars in good fortune to be thrown into the compa- the heavens, the existence of which he had ny of able and educated men, who took an previously not even suspected. A new interest in him from their love of music; creation seemed to open on him. He was yet were not musicians of that class who transported with delight and enthusiasm, have “Nothing but a solo in their heads,” and immediately wrote to London for an but rather philosophers who know the util- instrument of similar construction, but of ity of music in keeping alive the imagin- greater size. The price of the desired inative faculties, in maintaining the elasticity strument, however, was much beyond his of the mind, and averting that intellectual means. Inflamed rather than cooled by the rigidity which so often ensues from long disappointment, he resolved that if he could continuance in undiverted habits of thought. not buy a powerful telescope he would make

The following year (1766) Herschel ob- one. From this day forward the organist tained the appointinent of organist in the of the Octagon chapel devoted all his leisure Octagon Chapel, Bath, a more lucrative and his energies to the making of Metallic situation than that which he filled in Hali. specula. He made experiments to ascertain fax. So rapid an advancement shows the best composition of the metal, the best that his superior talents were already re. form of the mirror, and the best mode of cognised. He was now in the midst of polishing it. He labored with an enthusifashionable society, constantly occupied asm which took no heed of difficulties. with the arrangements of concerts and ora. The scale of his operations is hardly credi. torios, or with the numerous pupils whom ble. He made no fewer than two hundred his patrons forced upon him. Here his metallic mirrors of seven feet focus, a hunbiographer remarks:

dred and fifty of ten feet, and about eighty

of twenty feet focus. While polishing the “One can hardly conceive how, in the midst mirrors, he never desisted from his task, of so much business and distracting variety of calls, Herschel was able to continue the studies, not even to take food, till the whole was which even in Halifax had required of him a completed, though this implies the continustrength of will, a steadfastness and grasp of ed labor of ten, twelve, even fourteen hours. intellect much above the common. We have Such ardor and intelligence could not fail of already seen that it was music which led Her success. In 1774 Herschel had the happi. schel to mathematics ; mathematics, in turn, ledness of surveying the heavens with a telehim to optics, the first and amplest source of his celebrity. The hour at length came when the scope of five feet focal length, made wholly young musician was to proceed from theoretic by himself; but he afterwards went on to knowledge to its application with an extreme instruments of ten and even twenty feet boldness and brilliant success, which cannot fail focus. The captious world was of course to excite astonishment."

disposed to ridicule these gigantic prepara

tions of the star.gazing musician; but a We may here hazard a natural conjecture lucky hit raised him at once in the general respecting the course of Herschel's early estimation to the rank of an astronomer. studies. Music conducted bim to mathe. On the 13th of March, 1781, he discovered matics, or in other words, impelled him to a new planet on the furthest confines of the study Smith's "Harmonics." Now, this solar system. George III., in compliment Robert Smith (a cousin of the celebrated to whom the new discovery was named the Cotes, and his successor at Cambridge in Georgium Sidus, “and who,” says M. Ara. the chair of natural philosophy) was also go,“ had a great leaning to men and things author of “A Complete System of Optics," of Hanoverian origin, showered on the

” a masterly work which, notwithstanding self-taught astronomer the most substantial the rapid growth of that branch of science, favors. He assigned him a pension of three is not yet wholly superseded. It seems to hundred guineas a year and a residence us not unlikely then, that Herschel, study. near Windsor, first at Clay Hall, and aftering the “Harmonics,” conceived a rever- wards at Slough. ence for the author, who was at that time still living, so that from the Philosophy of

"The expectations of George III.,” adds M. Music he passed to the Optics, the work on may fearlessly say of the garden and little

Arago, "have been completely realized. One which Smith's great reputation chiefly rest. dwelling at Slough, that it is the spot in the ed; and thus undesignedly prepared bim-world in which the greatest number of discove

[ocr errors]

ries have been made. The name of the village topics which are unimportant either in will never perish; science will scrupulously themselves or as they affect his reputation. hand it down to the latest posterity.”

The grandeur of Herschel's views, with

respect to instruments of observation, and Herschel was now released from profes- his dexterity in carrying those views into sional engagements, and at liberty to de- effect, would alone have entitled him to vote himself wholly to astronoiny. It must form an epoch in science. His telescopes not be supposed that his good fortune was far surpassed in power those which had wholly attributable to his discovery of the preceded him; and in his mode of mountnew planet. That discovery, in itself suffi- ing them, so as to combine perfect firmness cient to confer distinction on an ordinary with facility of movement, he showed bimastronomer, served chiefly in his case to self a consummate mechanician. Galileo, call attention to the extreme boldness of when he discovered the satellites of Jupiter his genius evinced in the construction of his and the phases of Venus, used instruments telescopes. For even the intrepid resolu- magnifying ordinarily seven times, and tion of Columbus to sail directly westward never exceeding thirty-two times. The across the unexplored ocean to India, is telescope with which Huygens discovered not a more admirable example of enthusiasm the first satellite of Saturn, had a magnify. than the determination of the Bath organisting power not exceeding ninety-two. A to outdo, by far, all that opticians or astron- monster telescope made by Auzout, in the omers had hitherto attempted in the means latter half of the 17th century, which was of penetrating into space, and his perse- 300 feet long and therefore useless), mag. verance till he completely succeeded. The nified but six hundred times. Until the making of reflecting telescopes became means of achromatizing images formed by after this a very lucrative branch, we be refraction were discovered, it was vain to lieve, of Herschel's occupations. His mode think of employing high magnifying powers of preparing the specula has never been in the eyeglass of a telescope. After the divulged. It was stated with much empha invention indeed of achromatic lenses, sis, at the last meeting of the British Asso telescopes were easily made to obtain an ciation, that Lord Ross had attained such accession of power without any increase of skill in the treatment of metallic specula, length. But notwithstanding this, the scienthat he could dismount the mirror of his tific world was not a little astonished, when large telescope, repolish and replace it the informed in 1782, that Herschel, with a resame day. Now M. Arago, in the follow. flecting telescope seven feet long, had used ing extract from a letter written by Sir magnifying powers of 2000 and even 6000 John Herschel four years ago, furnishes us times. No one will be surprised," obwith an example of still greater address. serves M. Arago, “that people were slow “By following,” says Sir John, “my fa. to believe in a magnifying power which ther's roles minutely, and using his appa- ought to show_us the mountains of the ratus, I have succeeded, in a single day noon as Mont Blanc is seen from Mâcon, and without the least assistance, in polish. Lyons, or even from Geneva." The Royal ing completely three Newtonian mirrors of Society called for an explanation of the nineteen inch aperture.”

mode in which the astronomer of Slough The anecdotes of Herschel's life termi- ascertained the power of his instruments, nate with his removal to Slough. Hence and he replied in a memoir which satisfied *forward he devoted day and night to the the most skeptical, and firmly established study of the heavens, or to perfecting the his reputation. means of observing them. The proofs of Soon after Herschel was settled at Slough his unwearied industry, and best record of he conceived the design of erecting a tele. his labors, are to be seen in the sixty-nine scope which should eclipse all his former memoirs which he furnished to the “ Phi- efforts, and show him not unworthy of the losophical Transactions” in the following royal munificence which had enabled him years; and which, his biographer remarks, to give his whole time to his favorite pur

constitute one of the principal treasures suits. He accordingly began his great of that celebrated collection." We cannot telescope which was finished in 1789. The however think of recapitulating those vo- iron cylinder of this instrument was thirtyluminous records, in order to form an esti- nine feet four inches in length, and four mate of his scientific achievements: for feet ten inches wide. These colossal dibrevity sake we shall rather survey his la- mensions were still further amplified by bors systematically, under the guidance of public report, and according to M. Arago, his able biographer, and omitting those there were people who confounded the

great telescope at Slough with the great vigilant. His memoir “On the power of vat of Meux or Barclay. But the magnitude penetrating into space by Telescopes,' of this instrument was not its only peculi. was the fruit of twenty years' assiduous arity; Herschel was too sagacious to lei labors of this kind. It is strongly impressslip an opportunity of making an improve.ed with the peculiar character of his genius: ment. In ordinary reflecting telescopes bold and original, marked with all the cir

. there is, besides the speculum which re- cumspection required in the disciples of ceives the rays from the object viewed, a the inductive philosophy, but at the same second mirror, the purpose of which is to time regardless of the paths established by direct the rays to the eye of the spectator routine and of the limits set to speculation From this second reflexion there necessari- | by vulgar opinion. ly ensues a great loss of light. This incon- In the memoir here alluded to, Herschel venience Herschel averted by a method assumes that the stars are all of the same equally bold and simple. The focal image size, and that they are uniformly distributed in bis great telescope was formed near the through space. These assumptions are, it is edge of the aperture, and the spectator, evident, not strictly true; but they are true looking down into the instrument with his in the main when we speak of many thouback to the heavens, viewed the image im- sand stars. He thus supposes that stars of mediately without the aid of a second re- the second magnitude are removed as far flexion. The obliquity of the axis of vision from stars of the first magnitude as the lat. in this arrangement, and the interposition ter from the sun. Sirius, for example, the of the spectator's head, were, with so large brightest star in the heavens, would be. an instrument, of no importance. Thus, come a star of the second class, if removed owing to the simplicity of its construction, to double its actual distance from us; at as well as to its size, the great telescope three times that distance, it would be rehad a great superiority in the abundance of duced to the third magnitude ; and at 100 its light.

times that distance to ihe 100th magnitude. Some have supposed, and even eminent This being premised, he found that with astronomers have stated, that the great his 20 feet telescope he could penetrate telescope at Slough proved useless ; while into space 75 times further than with the others imagine that Herschel never used naked eye; 96 times further with a 25 feet any other. Both these opinions are erro. instrument; and with bis great telescope, neous. Herschel had recourse to the great | 192 times the distance reached by the uninstrument for observations which required assisted eye. Now since the naked eye much light. But he found that for ordinary can discern stars of the seventh magnitude, purposes the most manageable instruments it follows that stars of the 1344th magniare the best. Besides, telescopes magnify tnde were rendered visible by the 39 feet not merely real objects, but also all the telescope. This conclusion, followed irregularities of the atmosphere, so that through all its bearings, has something in the tremor of the image increases with the it quite astounding. Light, notwithstandpower of the instrument.

ing its velocity of 77,000 leagues in a “ Herschel found that in England there are not second, could not clear the distance from above a hundred hours in the course of a year, such a nebula or cluster of stars of the during which observations can be made to any 1344th magnitude to the earth, in less than purpose with a 39 feet telescope and a magnify: half a million of years ! ing power of 1000 times. He thence concluded, that in order to make, with his great telescope, “ Consequently," observes M. Arago, "the such a survey of the heavens that every point changes which take place in nebulæ of this orof space would pass under review for an instant, der, must have already gone by, half a million he should require 800 years!"

years before we perceive them. If such a nebu

la, for example, were to be this day extinguishIt ought to be here mentioned, as con- ed, it would yet continue to be seen, from the nected in some degree with the history of earth, for half a million years. In this sense, the great telescope, that no individual ever we may be allowed to say that telescopes enacontributed more than Herschel to what ble us to dive into time as well as into space." may be called the arts of observation. His

Previous to Herschel, little attention great experience in the use of telescopes of various powers, was not unproductive of was given by astronomers to the physical valuable results. 'Many minute and appa of his instruments, as well as the bias of

constitution of the stars. The character rently anomalous phenomena of vision caught his attention, which would have es

* Published in the “Philosophical Transaccaped the notice of one less scrupulous or 1 tions," of 1800.

a

a

« AnteriorContinuar »