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the porter, that the nuns were now at the altar performing silent mass, and that the doors were shortly to be closed, recalled his recollection.
Grandeur of astronomical Discoveries.-Wirt. It was a pleasant evening in the month of May; and my sweet child, my Rosalie, and I had sauntered up to the castle's top to enjoy the breeze that played around it, and to admire the unclouded firmament, that glowed and sparkled with unusual lustre from pole to pole. The atmosphere was in its purest and finest state for vision; the milky way was distinctly developed throughout its whole extent; every planet and every star above the horizon, however near and brilliant or distant and faint, lent its lambent light or twinkling ray to give variety and beauty to the hemisphere; while the round, bright moon (so distinctly defined were the lines of her figure, and so clearly visible even the rotundity of her form) seemed to hang off from the azure vault, suspended in midway air ; or stooping forward from the firmament her fair and radiant face, as if to court and return our gaze.
We amused ourselves for some time, in observing through a telescope the planet Jupiter, sailing in silent majesty with his squadron of satellites along the vast ocean of space between us and the fixed stars; and adınired the felicity of that design, by which those distant bodies had been parcelled out and arranged into constellations ; so as to have served not only for beacons to the ancient navigator, but, as it were, for landmarks to astronomers at this day; enabling them, though in different countries, to indicate to each other with ease the place and motion of those planets, comets and inagnificent meteors, which inhabit, revolve, and play in the intermediate space.
We recalled and dwelt with delight on the rise and progress of the science of astronomy; on that series of astonishing discoveries through successive ages, which display, in so strong a.light, the force and reach of the human mind , and on those bold conjectures and sublime reveries, which seem to tower even to the confines of divinity, and denote the high destiny to which mortals tend :—that thought, for instance, which is said to have been first started by Pythagoras, and which modern astronomers approve; that the stars which we call fixed, although they appear to us to be nothing more than large spangles of various sizes glittering on the same concave surface, are, nevertheless, bodies as large as our sun, shining, like him, with original and not reflected light, placed at incalculable distances asunder, and each star the solar centre of a system of planets, which revolve around it as the planets belonging to our system do around the sun; that this is not only the case with all the stars which our eyes discern in the firmament, or which the telescope has brought within the sphere of our vision, but, according to the modern improvements of this thought, that there are probably other stars, whose light has not yet reached us, although light moves with a velocity a million times greater than that of a cannon ball; that those luminous appearances, which we observe in the firmament, like flakes of thin, white cloud, are windows, as it were, which open to other firmaments, far, far beyond the ken of human eye, or the power of optical instruments, lighted up, like ours, with hosts of stars or suns; that this scheme goes on through infinite space, which is filled with thousands upon thousands of those suns, attended by ten thousand times ten thousand worlds, all in rapid motion, yet -calm, regular and harmonious, invariably keeping the paths prescribed to them; and these worlds peopled with myri. ads of intelligent beings.
One would think that this conception, thus extended, would be bold enough to satisfy the whole enterprise of the human imagination. But what an accession of glory and magnificence does Dr. Herschell superadd to it, when, instead of supposing all those suns fixed, and the motion confined to their respective planets, he loosens those multitudinous suns themselves from their stations, sets them all into motion with their splendid retinue of planets and satellites, and imagines them, thus attended, to perform a stupendous revolution, system above system, around some grander, unknown centre, somewhere in the boundless abyss of space !-and when, carrying on the process, you sup
pose even that centre itself not stationary, but also coun. terpoised by other masses in the immensity of spaces, with which, attended by their accumulated trains of
“ Planets, suns, and adamantine spheres
it maintains harmonious concert, surrounding, in its vast career, some other centre still more remote and stupendous, which in its turn- "You overwhelm me,” cried Rosalie, as I was labouring to pursue the immense concatenation ;-“ my mind is bewildered and lost in the effort to follow you, and finds no point on which to rest its weary wing."-" Yet there is a point, my dear Rosalie-the throne of the Most High. Imagine that the ultimate centre, to which this vast and inconceivably magnificent and august apparatus is attached, and around which it is continually revolving. Oh! what a spectacle for the cherubim and seraphim, and the spirits of the just made persect, who dwell on the right hand of that throne, if, as may be, and probably is, the case, their eyes are permitted to pierce through the whole, and take in, at one glance, all its order, beauty, sublimity and glory, and their ears to distinguish that celestial harmony, unheard by us, in which those vast globes, as they roll on in their respective orbits, continually hymn their great Creator's praise !”
Scenes on the Prairies.-ANONYMOUS. On these level plains some of my dreams of the pleasures of wandering were realized. We were all in the morning of life, full of health and spirits, on horseback, and breathing a most salubrious air, with a boundless hori. zon open before us, and, shaping our future fortune and success in the elastic mould of youthful hope and imagination, we could hardly be other than happy. Sometimes we saw, scouring away from our path, horses, asses, mules, buffaloes and wolves, in countless multitudes, and we took, almost with too much ease to give pleasure in the chase, whatever we needed for luxurious subsistence. The pas
sage of creeks and brooks across the prairies is marked, to the utmost extent of vision, by a fringe of woods and countJess flowering shrubs. Sometimes we ascended an elevation of some height, swelling gently from the plain. Here the eye traces, as on an immense map, the formation and gradual enlargement of these rivulets, and sees them curving their ineandering lines to a point of union with another of the same kind. The broadened fringe of wood indicates ihe enlargement of the stream, and the eye takes in at one glance the gradual formation of rivers. The night brought us up on the edge of one of these streams. Our beasts are turned loose to stretch themselves on the short and tender grass to feed and repose. The riders collect round a fire in the centre. Supper is prepared with bread, coffee, and the tenderest parts of the buffalo, venison and other game. The appetite, sharpened by exercise on horseback and by the salubrious air, is devouring. The story circulates. Past adventures are recounted, and if they receive something of the colouring of romance, it may be traced to feelings that grow out of the occasion. The projects and the mode of journeying on the morrow are discussed and settled. The fire flickers in the midst. The wild horses neigh, and the prairie wolves howl in the distance. Except the weather threatens storm, the tents are not pitched. The temperature of the night air is both salutary and delightful. The blankets are spread upon the tender grass, and under a canopy of the softest blue, decked with all the visible lights of the sky. The party sink to a l'epose, which the exercise of the preceding day renders as unbroken and dreamless as that of the grave. I awoke more than once unconscious that a moment had elapsed between the time of my lying down and my rising.
The day before we came in view of the Rocky Mountains, I saw, in the greatest perfection, that impressive, and to me almost sublime spectacle, an immense drove of wild horses, for a long time hovering round our path across the prairies. I had often seen great numbers of them before, mixed with other animals, apparently quiet, and grazing like the rest. Here there were thousands, unmixed, unemployed; their motions, if such a comparison might be allowed, as darting and as wild as those of humming-birds on the flowers. The tremendous snorts, with which the front columns of the phalanx made known their approach to us, seemed to be their wild and energetic way of expressing their pity and disdain for the servile lot of our horses, of which they appeared to be taking a survey. They were of all colours, mixed, spotted and diversified with every hue, from the brightest white to clear and shining black; and of every form and structure, from the long and slender racer to those of firmer limbs and heavier mould ; and of all ages, from the curvetting colt to the range of patriarchal steeds, drawn up in a line, and holding their high heads for a survey of us in the rear. Sometimes they curved their necks, and made no more progress than just enough to keep pace with our advance. There was a kind of slow and walking minuet, in which they performed va. rious evolutions with the precision of the figures of a country dance. Then a rapid movement shifted the front to the rear. But still, in all their evolutions and movements, like the flight of sea-fowl, their lines were regular, and free from all indications of confusion. At times a spontaneous and sudden movement towards us almost inspired the ap- . prehension of a united attack upon us. After a moment's advance, a snort and a rapid retrograde movement seemed to testify their proud estimate of their wild independence. The infinite variety of their rapid movements, their tamperings and maneuvres, were of such a wild and almost terrific character, that it required but a moderate stretch of fancy to suppose them the genii of these grassy plains. At one period they were formed to an immense depth in front of us. A wheel, executed almost with the rapidity of thought, presented them hovering on our flanks. Then again, the cloud of dust that enveloped their movements cleared away, and presented them in our rear. They evidently operated as a great annoyance to the horses and mules of our cavalcade. The frighted movements, the increased indications of fatigue, with their frequent neighings, sufficiently evidenced what unpleasant neighbours they considered their wild compatriots to be. So much did our horses appear to suffer from fatigue and terror in consequence of their vicinity, that we were thinking of some way in which to drive them off; when, on a sudden, a pa