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So beauty fades,' so fleets its showy life,
Of rich array. The examination of flowers by the microscope opens a new field of wonders to the inquiring naturalist. Sir John Hill has given the following interesting account of what appeared on examining a carnation :-“The principal flower in this elegant bouquet was a carnation: the fragrance of this led me to enjoy it frequently and near; the sense of smelling was not the only one affected on these occasions : while that was satiated with the powerful sweet, the ear was constantly attacked by an extremely soft but agreeable murmuring sound. It was easy to know that some animal, within the covert, must be the musician, and that the little noise must come from some little creatute suited to produce it. I instantly distended the lower part of the flower, and, placing it in a full light, could discover troops of little insects friskering with wild jollity among the narrow pedestals that supported its leaves, and the little threads that occupied its centre. What a fragrant world for their habitation! what a perfect security from all annoyance, in the dusky husk that surrounded the scene of action. Adapting a microsope to take in at one view the whole base of the flower, I gave myself an opportunity of contemplating what they were about, and this for many days together, without giving them the least disturbance. Thus I could discover their economy, their passions, and their enjoyments. The microscope, on this occasion, had given what nature seemed to have denied to the objects of contemplation. The base of the flower extended itself under its influence to a vast plain; the slender stems of the leaves became trunks of so many stately cedars; the threads in the middle seemed columns of massy structure, supporting at the top their several ornaments; and the narrow spaces between were enlarged in walks, parterres, and terraces. On the polished bottoms of these, brighter than Parian marble, walked in pairs, alone, or in larger companies, the winged inhabitants;
these, from little dusky flies, (for such only the naked eye would have shewn them,) were raised to glorious glittering animals, stained with living purple, and with a glossy gold that would have made all the labours of the loom contemptible in the comparison. I could at leisure, as they walked together, admire their elegant limbs, their velvet shoulders, and their silken wings; their backs vying with the empyrean in its blue; and their eyes, each formed of a thousand others, out-glittering the little planes on a brilliant; above description, and too great almost for admiration. I could observe them here singling out their favourite females; courting them with the music of their buzzing wings, with little songs formed for their little organs, leading them from walk to walk among the perfumed shades, and pointing out to their taste the drop of liquid nectar just bursting from some vein within the living trunk; here were the perfumed groves, the more than myrtle shades of the poet's fancy, realized. Here the happy lovers spent their days in joyful dalliance, or, in the triumph of their little hearts, skipped after one another from stem to stem among the painted trees ; or winged their short flight to the close shadow of some broader leaf, to revel undisturbed in the heights of all felicity.
The following application of the fate of a withered rose to the fading nature of human life and beauty, is not more striking to the imagination than philosophically and literally true :
The rose, the sweetly blooming rose,
'Ere from the tree it's torn,
In life's exulting morn!
How soon it withering lies !
Sweet beauty fadeş and dies.
Soon withering we shall find,
C. J. Fox.
See through this vast extended theatre
BLACKMORE. ASTRONOMY raises our minds from earth to heaven, and explains to us the laws by which the heavenly bodies move. No study possesses so pre-eminent a power of arousing the faculties of the human mind as the noble science of Astronomy.
The majestic sun,—the silver moon,—the planets, and the fixed stars,--are all comprised within its extensive range. Whenever we raise our eyes to the blue expanse, particularly in a clear night, numbers of celestial beauties, and heavenly wonders, court our delighted gaze, affording abundant sources of pleasing reflection, and of never-ending amusement. He must be a stupid being, who complains of the dulness of life, when surrounded with so many objects of mental improvement, and mental gratification. The following beautiful allegory, written in Jamaica, by an unknown hand, I shall take the liberty of introducing to the reader:--12.
“I thought sleep came upon me, and I beheld a beautiful form advancing towards me, who, taking me by the hand, we arose together in a sort of cloudy vehicle with great velocity, leaving this earth behind us. We were soon out of the atmosphere which surrounds it, and began to approach the moon. Here I could not help expressing a curiosity to touch, and make some stay; but my conductor assured me, that what I should soon see, would be so transcendently glorious, that to stop here would be mere loss of time. However, we passed so near as to distinguish that its surface was diversified, like that of the earth, with land and water, mountains and valleys, lakes and islands, and appeared to be fertile and inhabited. Turning my head, I looked back on the earth, which appeared illuminated about four times the size the moon appears from it, and over its surface were dispersed spots of light and dark, in which I recognized the shape of continents and islands. We proceeded with the swiftness of lightning, and passed Mars towards Jupiter; whose magnitude, surrounded by his four satellites, filled me with admiration. We soon arrived at Saturn, whose luminous ring, twenty-one thousand miles in diameter, and seven moons revolving round him in a regular and brilliant rotation, caused a sensation better felt than described. The next planet we came to was Herschell, who had six satellites attending him. Finding myself now out of the limits of our system, and launching out into the immensity of space, I was seized with awe and fear; but my conductor re-assured and strengthened me, observing, that I should soon be convinced that our system was but a point in the immense universe of God, in every part of which his power and goodness were equally present. Our course then directed itself towards. Sirius, and I was delighted and surprised to see that star, as we approached nearer, dilate itself into a system, with a sun blazing in its centre, diffusing light and animation to the planets which moved round him in their orbits. I was quite wrapped up in the contemplation of this glorious object, when my conductor bade me look back, and see if I could find my system. I looked, but in vain; upon which he pointed it out as a star, twinkling among its neighbouring systems! Alas! thought I, how little now appears human vanity!
“We advanced through thousands of stars, every one, on our approach, dilating itself; till at last we approached a place whose brightness and glory surpassed any thing that thought could conceive : where I saw angels clothed in light and beauty, and my ears were delighted with the most harmonious music! My conductor informed mr this was the place where the great Creator displayed his presence and glory in a peculiar manner, though at the same time omni
present, and which mortals had some idea of, by the name of Heaven! I now stood, he said, in the centre of the universe, and bade me look around; when with infinite admiration did I perceive large systems regularly moving round the place where I stood, as their centre; again other systems round them; and round these again others still smaller, revolving in eternal order, and infinite succession, till my powers were lost in the contemplation. You now, said my conductor, behold the Universe of God! Every one of those millions of worlds is peopled with inhabitants, and the Deity diffuses life and happiness through his wide creation."
Former discoveries in the science of Astronomy induced professors almost universally to believe the planets to be so many inhabited worlds; and all the stars that twinkle in the sky so many suns enlightening other worlds. But late observations have carried our view much further, by discovering that this vast collection of worlds and systems bears a relation to other worlds and systems; that our system moves toward other systems; that all the visible frame of sun, planets, stars, and milky-way, forms one cluster of systems; and that, in the immense expanse of the heavens, there are myriads of these clusters, which to common glasses appear like small white clouds, but, to those of high magnifying power, assemblages of stars mingling their multiplied rays.
Astronomy is a science of the earliest antiquity, and has claimed the admiration of all ages. Poets, philosophers, and historians, have all bestowed on it the highest encomiums, and have enriched it with their labours. The poets have been lavish in their praises on this subject. Thus Ovid :
We, though from heav'n remote, to heav'n will move
Of shining stars, and travel through the year. The sublime muse of our countryman, Young, was particularly devoted to nocturnal contemplations, and poured forth the most magnificent effusions illustrative