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uneasy horse at Doncaster. This is one of the data overlooked by Kant; and the less excusably overlooked, because it was his own peculiar doctrine, that uncle Jupiter ought to be considered a greenhorn. Jupiter may be a younger brother of our mamma ; but, if he is a brother at all, he cannot be so very wide of our own chronology; and therefore the first datum overlooked by Kant was. the analogy of our whole planetary system. A second datum, as it always occurred to myself, might reasonably enough be derived from the intellectual vigor of us
If our mother could, with any show of reason, be considered an old decayed lady, snoring stentorously in her arm-chair, there would naturally be some aroma of phthisis, or apoplexy, beginning to form about us, that are her children. But is there ? If ever Dr. Johnson said a true word, it was when he replied to the Scottish judge Burnett, so well known to the world as Lord Monboddo.
The judge, a learned man, but obstinate as a mule in certain prejudices, had said plaintively, querulously, piteously, – . Ah, Doctor, we are poor creatures, we men of the eighteenth century, by comparison with our fore. fathers !' Oh, no, my Lord,' said Johnson, we are quite as strong as our ancestors, and a great deal wiser.' Yes; our kick is, at least, as dangerous, and our logic does three times as much execution. This would be a complex topic to treat effectively; and I wish merely to indicate the opening which it offers for a most decisive order of arguments in such controversy. If the Earth were on her last legs, we her children could not be very strong or healthy.
Whereas, if there were less pedantry amongst us, less malice, less falsehood, and less darkness of prejudice, easy it would be to show, that in almost every mode of intellectual power, we are more than a match for the most conceited of elder generations, and that in some modes we have energies or arts absolutely and exclusively our own. Amongst a thousand indications of strength and budding youth, I will mention two: - Is it likely, is it plausible, that our Earth should just begin to find out effective methods of traversing land and sea, when she had a summons to leave both ? Is it not, on the contrary, a clear presumption that the great career of earthly nations is but on the point of opening, that life is but just beginning to kindle, when the great obstacles to effectual locomotion, and therefore to extensive human intercourse, are first of all beginning to give way? Secondly, I ask peremptorily, — Does it stand with good sense, is it reasonable that Earth is waning, science drooping, man looking downward, precisely in that epoch when, first of all, man's eye is arming itself for looking effectively into the mighty depths
space ? A new era for the human intellect, upon a path that lies amongst its most aspiring, is promised, is inaugurated, by Lord Rosse's almost awful telescope.
What is it then that Lord Rosse has accomplished ? If a man were aiming at dazzling by effects of rhetoric, he might reply: He has accomplished that which once the condition of the telescope not only refused its permission to hope for, but expressly bade man to despair of. What is it that Lord Rosse has
revealed ? Answer: he has revealed more by far than he found. The theatre to which he has introduced us, is immeasurably beyond the old one which he found. To say that he found, in the visible universe, a little wooden theatre of Thespis, a tréteau or shed of vagrants, and that he presented us, at a price of toil and of anxiety that cannot be measured, with a Roman colosseum, - that is to say nothing. It is to undertake the measurement of the tropics with the pocket-tape of an upholsterer. Columbus, when he introduced the Old World to the New, after all that can be said in his praise, did in fact only introduce the majority to the minority; but Lord Rosse has introduced the minority to the majority. There are two worlds, one called Ante-Rosse, and the other Post-Rosse; and, if it should come to voting, the latter would shockingly outvote the other. Augustus Cæsar made it his boast when dying, that he had found the city of Rome built of brick, and that he left it built of marble : lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit. Lord Rosse may say, even if to-day he should die, I found God's universe represented for human convenience, even after all the sublime discoveries of Herschel, upon a globe or spherical chart having a radius of one hundred and fifty feet; and I left it sketched upon a similar chart, keeping exactly the same scale of proportions, but now elongating its radius into one thousand feet.' The reader of course understands that this expression, founded on absolute calculations of Dr. Nichol, is simply meant to exhibit the relative dimensions of the mundus Ante-Rosseanus and the mundus Post-Rosseanus; for as to the abso
lute dimensions, when stated in miles, leagues, or any units familiar to the human experience, they are too stunning and confounding. If, again, they are stated in larger units, as for instance diameters of the earth's orbit, the unit itself that should facilitate the grasping of the result, and which really is more manageable numerically, becomes itself elusive of the mental grasp : it comes in
an interpreter; and (as in some other cases) the interpreter is hardest to be understood of the two. If, finally, TIME be assumed as the exponent of the dreadful magnitudes, time combining itself with motion, as in the flight of cannon-balls or the flight of swallows, the sublimity becomes greater ; but horror seizes upon the reflecting intellect, and incredulity upon the irreflective. Even a railroad generation, that should have faith in the miracles of velocity, lifts up its hands with an credulus odi !' we know that Dr. Nichol speaks the truth; but he seems to speak falsehood. And the ignorant by-stander prays that the doctor may have grace given him and time for repentance ; whilst his more liberal companion reproves his want of charity, observing that travellers into far countries have always had a license for lying, as a sort of tax or fine levied for remunerating their own risks; and that great astronomers, as necessarily far travellers into space, are entitled to a double per centage of the same Munchausen privilege.
Great is the mystery of Space, greater is the mystery of Time ; either mystery grows upon man, as man himself
and either seems to be a function of the godlike which is in man. In reality the
depths and the heights which are in man, the depths by which he searches, the heights by which he aspires, are but projected and made objective externally in the three dimensions of space which are outside of him. He trembles at the abyss into which his bodily eyes look down, or look up; not knowing that abyss to be, not always consciously suspecting it to be, but by an instinct written in his prophetic heart feeling it to be, boding it to be, fearing it to be, and sometimes hoping it to be, the mirror to a mightier abyss that will one day be expanded in himself. Even as to the sense of space, which is the lesser mystery than time, I know not whether the reader has remarked that it is one which swells upon man with the expansion of his mind, and that it is probably peculiar to the mind of man.
An infant of a year old, or oftentimes even older, takes no notice of a sound, however loud, which is a quarter of a mile removed, or even in a distant chamber. And brutes, even of the most enlarged capacities, seem not to have any commerce with distance : distance is probably not revealed to them except by a presence, viz., by some shadow of their own animality, which, if perceived at all, is perceived as a thing present to their organs. An animal desire, or a deep animal hostility, may render sensible a distance which else would not be sensible ; but not render it sensible as a distance. Hence perhaps is explained, and not out of any self-oblivion from higher enthusiasm, a fact that often has occurred, of deer, or hares, or foxes, and the pack of hounds in pursuit, chaser and chased, all going headlong over a precipice together. Depth