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As illustrating the attitude of the phantom in Orion, let the reader allow me to quote the tremendous passage:

'So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
of mortal change on earth. As when a flock
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
Against the day of battle, to a field,
Where armies lie encamp’d, come flying, lured
With scent of living carcasses design'd
For death, the following day, in bloody fight;
So scented the grim feature, and upturn'd
His nostril wide into the murky air,
Sagacious of his quarry from so far.'

But the lower lip, which is drawn inwards with the curve of a conch shell, - oh what a convolute of cruelty and revenge is there! Cruelty! — to whom ? Revenge !—for what? Ask not, whisper not. Look upwards to other mysteries. In the very region of his temples, driving itself downwards into his cruel brain, and breaking the continuity of his diadem, is a horrid chasm, a ravine, a shaft, that many centuries would not traverse ; and it is serrated on its posterior wall with a harrow that perhaps is partly hidden. From the anterior wall of this chasm rise, in vertical directions, two processes; one perpendicular, and rigid as a horn, the other streaming forward before some portentous breath. What these could be, seemed doubtful ; but now, when further examinations by Sir John Herschel, at the Cape of Good Hope, have filled up the scattered outline with a rich umbrageous growth, one is inclined to regard them as the plumes of a sultan. Dressed he is, therefore, as well as armed. And finally comes Lord Rosse, that glorifies

him with the jewellery? of stars : he is now a vision

to dream of, not to tell :' he is ready for the worship of those that are tormented in sleep: and the stages of his solemn uncovering by astronomy, first by Sir W. Herschel, secondly, by his son, and finally by Lord Rosse, is like the reversing of some heavenly doom, like the raising of the seals that had been sealed by the angel, in the Revelations.

But the reader naturally asks, How does all this concern Lord Rosse's telescope on the one side, or general astronomy on the other? This nebula, he will say, seems a bad kind of fellow by your account; and of course it will not break my heart to hear, that he has had the conceit taken out of him. But in what way can that affect the pretensions of this new instrument; or, if it did, how can the character of the instrument affect the general condition of a science Besides, is not the science a growth from very ancient

, times? With great respect for the Earl of Rosse, is it conceivable that he, or any man, by one hour's working the tackle of his new instrument, can have carried any stunning revolutionary effect into the heart of a section so ancient in our mathematical physics ? But the reader is to consider, that the ruins made by Lord Rosse, are in sidereal astronomy, which is almost wholly a growth of modern times; and the particular part of it demolished by the new telescope, is almost exclusively the creation of the two Her. schels, father and son. Laplace, it is true, adopted their views; and he transferred them to the particular service of our own planetary system. But he gave to them no new sanction, except what arises from


showing that they would account for the appearances, as they present themselves to our experience at this day. That was a negative confirmation ; by which I mean, that, had their views failed in the hands of Laplace, then they were proved to be false; but, not failing, they were not therefore proved to be true. It was like proving a gun ; if the charge is insufficient, or if, in trying the strength of cast iron, timber, ropes, &c., the strain is not up to the rigor of the demand, you go away with perhaps a favorable impression as to the promises of the article; it has stood a moderate trial ; it has stood all the trial that offered, which is always something; but you are still obliged to feel that, when the ultimate test is applied, smash may go the whole concern. Lord Rosse ap: plied an ultimate test ; and smash went the whole concern. Really I must have laughed, though all the world had been angry, when the shrieks and yells of expiring systems began to reverberate all the way from the belt of Orion ; and positively at the very first broadside delivered from this huge four-decker of a telescope.

But what was it then that went to wreck ? That is a thing more easy to ask than to answer. least, for my own part, I complain that some vague

I ness hangs over all the accounts of the nebular hypothesis. However, in this place a brief sketch will suffice.

Herschel the elder, having greatly improved the telescope, began to observe with special attention a class of remarkable phenomena in the starry world hitherto unstudied, viz. : milky spots in various stages


of diffusion. The nature of these appearances soon cleared itself up thus far, that generally they were found to be starry worlds, separated from ours by inconceivable distances, and in that way concealing at first their real nature. The whitish gleam was the mask conferred by the enormity of their remotion. This being so, it might have been supposed that, as was the faintness of these cloudy spots or nebulæ, such was the distance. But that did not follow : for in the treasury of nature it turned out that there were other resources for modifying the powers of distance, for muffling and unmuffling the voice of stars. Sup. pose a world at the distance x, which distance is so great as to make the manifestation of that world weak, milky, nebular. Now let the secret power that wields these awful orbs, push this world back to a double distance! that should naturally make it paler and more dilute than ever: and yet by compression, by deeper centralization, this effect shall be defeated ; by forcing into far closer neighborhood the stars which compose this world, again it shall gleam out brighter when at 2 x than when at x. At this point of compression, let the great moulding power a second time push it back ; and a second time it will grow faint. But once more let this world be tortured into closer compression, again let the screw be put upon it, and once again it shall shake off the oppression of distance as the dew-drops are shaken from a lion's mane. And thus in fact the mysterious architect plays at hide-and-seek with his worlds. I will hide it,' he says, and it shall be found again by man; I will

i withdraw it into distances that shall seem fabulous,


and again it shall apparel itself in glorious light; a third time I will plunge it into aboriginal darkness, and upon the vision of man a third time it shall rise with a new epiphany.'

But, says the objector, there is no such world ; there is no world that has thus been driven back, and depressed from one deep to a lower deep. Granted : but the same effect, an illustration of the same law, is produced equally, whether you take four worlds, all of the same magnitude, and plunge them simultaneously into four different abysses, sinking by graduated distances one below another, or take one world and plunge it to the same distances successively. So in Geology, when men talk of substances in different stages, or of transitional states, they do not mean that they have watched the same individual stratum or phenomenon, exhibiting states removed from each other by depths of many thousand years; how could they ? but they have seen one stage in the case A, another stage in the case B. They take, for instance, hree objects, the same (to use the technical language of logic) generically, though numerically different, under separate circumstances, or in different stages of advance. They are one object for logic, they are three for human convenience. So again it might seem impossible to give the history of a rose tree from infancy to age : how could the tree, at the same time, be young and old ? taking the different developments of its flowers, even as they hang on the same tree, from the earliest bud to the full-blown rose, you may in effect pursue this vegetable growth through all its stages: you have



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