Page images

smallest parts also would be thrown to the greatest distance from the original orbit, while the larger would, on account of their greater quantity of matter, deviate less from the path of the primitive planet. This is supposed to account for the orbit of Pallas and Juno (the smallest of the four) being more eccentric than Ceres and Vesta..

The immense atmosphere of Ceres and Pallas have furnished materials for another theory relative to “ the lost Comet of 1770,” which ought, by computation, to have returned, ten times since that year, but which has not been since seen. It has been supposed that this Comet, passing near these two asteroids, communicated to them those immense nebulous atmospheres by which they are surrounded: but unfortunately for this theory, the Comet is not lost, but is revolving in a new orbit, into which it has been directed by the powerful attraction of Jupiter. It is rather surprising that some bold theorist has not identified in these asteroids the Comet of 1770 itself, having the following data: That the explosion of a Comet is a more probable event than that of a planet; that the asteroids were discovered not long after the comet was missing; that the form and inclination of their paths, together with consi. derable physical changes in their orbs, assimilate them to the nature of comets; and that, supposing the comet disrupted at right angles to its tail, there would be an unequal distribution of its atmosphere among the fragments, which would account for two having these atmospheres, and the others being destitute.

But there is no necessity for adopting such violent hypothesis. These small bodies are neither the wreck of a ruined world, nor are they wrapped in the newly acquired train of a comet wandering from its course. In the whole of creation, wherever the power of the Divine Being is evinced, there is also

displayed harmony, and an arrangement for thc general preservation; a beautiful connexion may be traced, uniting bodies apparently opposite in their natures, gliding through the various links, which ascends from the minute to the stupendousfrom the grain of sand that fetters the proud ocean, to the rolling world, and all the vast orbs that move through immensity.

It is singular that the existence of these bodies, or at least of a planet moving near the courses which they pursue, was indicated by a very curious law, discovered by Prof. Bode, -that the excesses of the distances of the planets above Mercury from a geometrical series, of which the common ratio is 2: the mean distances at which the asteroids revolve are nearly equal, and complete the relation which was before wanting. By assuming 10 as the mean distance of the earth from the sun, the following will be the result of this remarkable analogy:

Distance in round numbers.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]




4+(3X2) Mars

4+(3X2) Asteroids

4+(3 x 23) = 28 Jupiter ......

4+(3x 24 = 52
Saturn .............

4+(3x 25) = 100
Uranus ............ 4+(3x 20) = 196
A planet next beyond 4+(3x 27) =
Uranus, if any exist 347

388 which latter is a little greater than the proportional distance of the aphelion of the comet of Halley. It is not easy to see the reason of this law, which is also lately found to prevail among the satellites of the system, relative to their mean distances from the centres of their respective primaries. Though hitherto unexplained, it is worthy of observation, that a similar law relative to the periodic times and distances of the planets, remained veiled in ob

scurity until the connexion was discovered to be a necessary consequence of the laws of gravity. The explanation of this singular law may be reserved to some future period, when it will doubtless be found to be an important part of that grand scheme, every particular of which indicates design and perfect harniony.

When day, with farewell beam, delays

Among the opening clouds of even,
And we can almost think we gaze

Through golden vistas into heaven;
Those hnes which mark the sun's decline,
So soft, so radiant, Lord! are thine.
When night, with wings of starry gloom,

O’ershadows all the earth and skies,
Like some dark, beauteous bird, whose plume

Is sparkling with unnumbered eyes;
That sacred gloom, those fireş divine,
So grand, so countless Lord! are thine, T. Moore.

The Naturalist's Diary.

For April, 1830.
By nature charmed, I softly touch the string ,
Of April, and of April's queen, I sing;
Oh! who would not on nature's beauties dwell,
And seek her in her most sequestered cell?
The clouds dispersing now, the sky serene,
And spring resumes her robe of purest green;
Now Flora's train they timidly peep forth,
The zephyr soft succeeds the sterner north,
And yet than zephyr softer is her sigh,
Her smile more welcome far than April's sky;
Her eyes now glistening love, unmixed with scorn,
Like dew-drops sparkling on an April morn;
Her cheeks with blushes like the opening rose,
Her balmy breath can all its sweets disclose;
The earth confesses nature's bounteous powers
She sheds that bounty in refreshing showers;
The feathered choristers of every grove
Attune their notes to melody and love :
And yet to her far sweeter notes belong,
The fairest fair, the harmonist of song!
When sorrow swells, then sympathy's soft power
Sheds its sweet influence like an April shower.

Ladies' Pocket Magazine. The season is now approaching when, the animal, as well as vegetable, kingdom, is to be operated upon by reuovating warmth. How wonderful is the hand of God! Not an insect is on the wing, not a fly tries its young pinions in the air, or testifies its joy in its gratuitous activity; not an animal gambols in the excess of its spirits; not a fish leaps from the water in its frolics; not a bird offers its notes of praise on the altar of the morning-in short, not a living thing moves on the earth, through the air, or in the water, which does not demonstrate that consoling text, “ His tender mercies are over all His works.”

There is a lesson in each flower,
A story in each stream and bower;
On every herb on which you tread
Are written words which, rightly read,
Will lead you from earth's fragrant sod,
To hope, and holiness, and God.

Allan Cunningham. In the gardens and fields the appearance of the early flowers, and swelling of the pregnant buds, indicate the advancing season, showing the stage of its advancement, by comparing present appearances with those of the like kind which happened in bygone years. Every bed or border flower, every bulb or tuber, are now in motion, rising in gay succession; while the mellowed ground is receiving its charge of annual seeds; and the breezes of spring give new life to the scene.

Ye joyous breezes, I trace your way
O'er the meadows decked in their bright array !
The flowerets are bending, your steps to greet,
New blossoms are springing beneath your feet;
While the rose-bud its freshest fragrance flings,
And woos ye to rest your wearied wings.
But on ye pass, for no charm ye stay,
Still onward ye hold your gladdening way;
Your breath has rippled the mountain stream,
And a thousand suns from its surface gleam;
Your voice has wakened the wild bird's note,
And fragrance and melody round ye float.
Ye joyous breezes, still on ye go,
Your breath is passing o'er beauty's brow,
Your wings are stirring her radiant hair,
Your kiss is brightening her cheek so fair,
And the innocent thoughts of her heart rejoice
With the mirthful tones of your wild, sweet voice.
“ Is your path then marked by so much of mirth?
Alas; for the folly, the blindness of earth!
Is there not mingled a voice of wail
With the sweetest tones of your young spring gale ?
If, like infancy's joyous laugh we rise,
Pass we not onward like manhood's sighs ?

« PreviousContinue »