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son of Calisto, whom Jupiter placed in the heavens under the figure of a Bear. It embraces the pole of the world, and is easily distinguished by seven stars disposed like those of the Great Bear, but in a contrary position. This constellation borders upon Draco on west and north, upon Camelopardalis on the east, and upon Cassiopeia and Perseus on the south. It stretches from the pole to the arctic circle, and contains twenty-four stars; among which are, one of the 2d magnitude, two of the 3d, and four of the 4th. The first of these, marked Q, and denominated the pole star, is near the extremity of the tail. This is that which is marked P (indicating a pole) in the preceding figure, at the upper termination of the dotted line. The two stars, ß and y, which are in the breast of the Little Bear, and which form the side of the quadrilateral opposite the tail, are called the Guards or Wardens of the pole.
This is one of the most antient of the constellations, and has been well known to mariners from the earliest ages of navigation and commerce, as affording an easy method of determining a ship's course, and the latitude of a place in the northern hemisphere. This star, however, is not exactly in the pole, for its declination is, at present (1823), about 88° 21' 47" •5; and, consequently, the complement of this, or its polar distance, is 1° 38' 12':5. Hence, if the altitude of this star be found when it is on the meridian above the pole, and this polar distance be subtracted from it, the remainder will be the latitude of the place of observation; or, if the polar distance be added to the altitude of the star when on the meridian below the pole, the result will be the same.
The Naturalist's Diary
For SEPTEMBER 1823.
. It yet is not full five;
How full of heaven this solitude appears,
Chamberlayne. Mild and pleasant weather is generally experienced in September; often, indeed, this is the finest month in the whole year, unless the summer have been hot and dry, when rain may be expected both in this and the succeeding month. A morning's walk at this season is replete with gratification to the admirer of Nature's beauties—such as they are pourtrayed in the charming cabinet picture which forms the introduction to our Diary'.
But the close air of the metropolis, with its excitements, is considered, by an eminent physician lately deceased, more beneficial to the melancholy man and the hypochondriac than the pure air of the coun. try with its dulness. The lamp of life (he observes) • burns to waste in the sepulchre of solitude. Misery ought, in a more especial manner, to shun that seclusion which it is too apt to seek. It is necessary to a pure relish for rural retirement, that a man should carry into it a mind unincumbered with painful remembrances, and unwounded by the infliction of any
"See T.T. 1822, p. 251, for an exquisite description of a sun-rise from the sea, at Southampton, by the poet GRAY.
great calamity. How can he be expected to enjoy the vernal freshness of the fields, and the blue transparency of the sky, whose hopes have been prematurely withered, and whose moral prospects termi. nate in a clouded horizon? One reason, more important than his defect of sight, why the eloquent author of Rasselas felt so decided a distaste for country scenes, was perhaps the morbid melancholy, the radical wretchedness of his constitution. A wretchedness which originates in remorse tends still more completely to paralyze the sensibility to all the fascinations of external and inanimate nature. This may be considered as one of the punishments which, in the present world, is inflicted upon moral transgression. Had our first parents been allowed, after the fall, to continue in the garden of Eden, the loss of their innocence would have robbed it of all its charms.'
The country is a different place to one who has been brought up in cities, and to another who has been brought up in the country. The former finds, after a few days spent in exploring the neighbourhood and admiring the landscapes, that he has come to the end of his amusements. He has no new rides to take; the working people seem to sleep over their work, and the educated classes to be fifty years behind in knowledge. He gets tired of the spot, and longs for the metropolis, with its glittering shops, its crowded streets, its various physiognomies, its stimulating society, its ready access to knowledge, its • full tide of human existence. On the contrary, to him who has been brought up in the country, it sup. plies not only pure air and a week's amusement, but a constant succession of tranquil, unwearying occupations. He can angle, shoot, hunt, botanize, and converse with the neighbouring farmers on scientific agriculture. To him the various physiognomies of the flowers are as exciting as the various physiognomies of men: an argument about drill and broad
cast is as interesting as one on the influence of paper currency; and a gallop after the fox not only circulates his blood, but amuses his mind as much as a walk through St. James's. To a man of sensibility, imagination, and rural pursuits, the country is any thing but dull. Goëthe represents his hero as recovering from a fit of melancholy in the country, and as being interested and elevated by the objects around him. 'I lie down in the tall grass near a falling brook, and close to the earth a thousand varieties of grasses become perceptible. When I listen to the hum of the little world between the stubble, and see the countless, indescribable forms of the worms and insects, I feel the presence of the Almighty who has created us, the breath of the All-benevolent who supports us in perpetual enjoyment.'
But there are flowers to be seen in this month; and what idler will omit the last opportunity of being presented to the gay and elegant Flora, in her tasteful drawing-room, in the splendid PALACE OF NATURE? Ye, who have the taste, may now amuse your vacant minutes with the examination of the flowers that still remain, before · Winter shuts the scene.'--'Gather ye flowers while ye may, for time is yet a-going · There are in blow, in this month, heart's-ease in the garden (and always we hope in the house), nas. turtia, china aster, marigolds, sweet peas, mignionette, golden rod, stocks, tangier pea, holly-hock, michaelmas daisy in fine weather quite clustered with bees; saffron (crocus sativus), and ivy (hedera helix). The following also may be added as flowering in September: the flowering rush (britomus umbellatus), smallage (apium graveolens), see our last volume, p. 252; and the great burnet saxifrage (pimpinella magna), which, as a cosmetic, is inferior to none, freckles being quickly removed by it. Those elegantly twining and ornamental plants the convolvuli, or bind-weeds, adorn almost every hedge with their
milk-white blossoms; which, contrasted with the shining scarlet berries of the solanum dulcamara, seen in profusion at the same time, give a pretty appearance to the hedges; while over the ground beneath are scattered the yellow flowers of the toad flax (antirrhinum linaria), with scilla autumnalis, and the interesting flowers of the epilobium angustifolium. The officinal marsh-mallow (althæa officinalis) is also in flower: it is sometimes found in marshes, but most commonly in the banks of ditches in marshy countries. Among the maritime plants may be named, the marsh glass-wort (salicornia herbacea), and the sea-stork's bill (erodium maritimum), on sandy shores,
Various of the feathered tribe now commence their autumnal music; among these, the thrush, the blackbird, and the woodlark, are conspicuous. Our old friend the robin also, to whom we have devoted some pages in our Diary for January, now delights us with his simple notes, reminding us of the approach of winter, and of his intended daily visits to our parlour window. “As oft as I hear the Robin Redbreast (it is beautifully observed by a pithy old writer)
chaunt it as cheerfully in September, the beginning of Winter, as in March, the approach of Summer, why should not wee (think I) give as cheerful entertainment to the hoary-frosty hayres of our age's winter, as to the primroses of our youth's spring ? Why not to the declining sunne in adversity, as (like Persians) to the rising sunne of prosperity? I am sent to the ant to learne industry, to the dove to learne innocency, to the serpent to learne wisdome; and why not to this bird to learne equanimity and patience, and to keepe the same tenour of my minde's quietnesse, as well at the approach of calamitie's. winter as of the spring of happinesse? And, since the Roman's constancy is so commended,who changed not his countenance with his changed fortunes, why should not I, with a Christian resolution, hold a steddy course in all weathers; and, though I bee
(it is" undow.of his in
the Romans of the well at the same teneu equanimi