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Unlike Venus, Mercury, and Mars, he exhibits to us no phases, but is always equally round, because we are too near the sun in comparison with his immense distance from him to see them.
The general colour of Jupiter is a reddish white; but across his body, with a telescope of very ordinary power, streaks of a much darker tint are visible, and which, as they surround the planet, are denominated belts. They are nearly parallel with each other, and the principal (for two of them are always broader and more distinct than the others) are a little above and a little below the planet's centre. With a good telescope, and a power of one hundred and twenty, the eye may easily detect that the planet is not absolutely round, but orange-shaped ; and that the largest diameter is that to which the belts are parallel.
These belts, however, not only frequently change their form and their intensity of colour, but occasionally break up their continuity, and even totally disappear. This last phenomenon I have never witnessed; but as Sir W. Herschel, on whose authority for any astronomical fact discernible with instruments I place the most unbounded confidence, did, I will narrate his own words :-“I had been observing,” said he to me, “ Jupiter for some time with the twenty-feet reflector; I never saw him more satisfactorily; he was covered with belts. My wife sent for me to take my tea. I left my telescope with Jupiter in the field of it, covered, absolutely covered, with belts. After I had taken my tea I returned to my observations ; but on bringing Jupiter again into the field of the telescope, no vestige of belts could I detect. The time I was absent from my telescope was not more than twenty minutes."
Spots seen on the right edge or limb (for the edge of a planet in astronomical language is usually called “limb ") of Jupiter, have been observed to pass over the face to the opposite or left limb. These spots were sometimes round, and sometimes of irregular figure. It was demonstrable that they were neither satellites nor their shadows. Occasionally the same spots which disappeared at the left limb reappeared at the right limb. At length a mass of such apparent transits having been collected, the evidence became irresistible that they were in some manner or other adherent to the planet's surface; that they moved not across it; but with it, and indicated the time in which the planet revolved on its axis, namely, in the astonishingly short interval of nine hours fifty-five minutes and fifty seconds. Of the nature of these spots we are, and probably ever shall be, ignorant. One of them, having served hundreds of times to determine the revolution of the planet on his axis, although for several years occasionally absent, remained after a lapse of fifty years entirely unchanged.
But other spots are liable to change, and that, too, in a very short space of time. On the 3d of June, 1839, at 13h. 45m., (sidereal time,) I saw with my large achromatic, immediately below the lowest of the principal belts of Jupiter, a spot larger than I had ever seen before: it was of a dark colour, but certainly not absolutely black. I estimated it at a fourth of the planet's equatorial diameter. I showed it to some gentlemen who were present. Its enormous extent was such, that on my wishing to have a portrait of it, one of the gentlemen, who was a good draughtsman, kindly undertook to draw me one. Having obtained for my companion the necessary drawing instruments, I went to work; he preparing himself to commence his. On my looking, however, into the telescope of the five-feet equatorial, at 13h. 45m., I was astonished to find that the large dark spot, except at its eastern and western extremities, had become much whiter that any of the other parts of the planet, and at 14h. 19m. these miserable scraps were the only remains of a spot which, but a few minutes before, had extended over at least 22,000 miles.
(To be continued.)
REVIEW INSTEAD of a “ Literary Article,” treating on some one subject, we shall prepare for our young friends this month notices of a few works which we find on our “ Instructer” table, and which have been placed there almost simultaneously. Several of them are poetical; and that suggests to us some reflections which we are glad to have the opportunity of recording. We wish all our readers to have not only a taste for poetry, but a good taste; a taste that receives gratification from good poetry, and only from good poetry. The Wesleyan reader, with his Hymn-Book, where he will find nothing mean, nothing bombastic, and in which every expression has an assignable meaning, where the verse and the rhythm, too, are alike good,-has a fine opportunity of correcting and elevating his taste, so as to be able to form proper judgments on other kinds of poetical composition when they come in his way. We often wish, too, that Milton were more studied. It is fashionable to praise him; but how few among his readers seek to know the real secret of his vast superiority!
But we must reserve our remarks on poetry and English verse for the papers we intend (all being well) to insert in our next volume, in continuation of the few we have already given on the poets of England. Only we design, in future, to have them more in consecutive order; beginning with the constellation of which Spenser was one of the brightest stars. We now take up the volumes before us. 1. Ernald; or, the Martyr of the Alps : and cther Poems. By
Adeline, Author of “ Scenes in the West Indies," fc. Foolscap Svo., pp. 274. D. Bogue; John Llason.
We have always been glad to receive MS. communications from “Adeline," and we believe the lovers of poetry among our readers have always welcomed her signature. Her “Scenes in the West Indies" we mentioned with the commendation they deserved; and the present volume would
strengthen her claims, had they not previously been admitted. The subject of the principal poem (which is written in the Spenserian stanza, and occupies seventy-six pages) is a simple tale, told with genuine and impressive pathos, of a young Pastor among the Waldenses, in the days of triumphant persecution. The remainder of the volume is occupied with smaller pieces, bat all of them poetical.
2. Lays of the Valley. By I. R. and M. A. Bradnack. 12mo.
pp. 108. John Mason.
The son and daughter of a zealous Wesleyan Minister, for several years a faithful Missionary in the West Indies, and who is yet affectionately remembered by many, have given us this volume; and tell us in the preface that several of the pieces " have already appeared in literary periodicals," and that "the greater number of them were written in early years." They then add that their “object is a benevolent one; as the profits are intended to be laid as an offering on the Wesleyan Missionary altar.” They may well say that if their “motive” will not serve “to admit them into the temple of fame, it may possibly shield them from censure.'
We can easily conceive of pieces in the form of verse for which even such a plea could not be admitted. Such, however, are by no means the pieces in the present volume. They all of them exhibit true poetic feeling, and a good ear for metrical composition; while some of them manifest no ordinary power of poetical observation and expression. We insert the first piece (" The Wind") in our poetical department this month. In this case, quotation will be recommendation.
3. Meditative Hours. Poems on Suhjects Sacred and Moral. By
Matilda. 24mo., pp. 160. Simpkins.
OUR readers will recollect the name “Matilda" as affixed to pieces which have, at different times, been inserted in our poetical department. They are characterized by a very happy union of poetry and piety. Matilda loves external nature, and has that strong sympathy with its beautiful phenomena which enters into the essence of poetical feeling; but while she gazes on nature with the eye of the poet, her mind seems always perceptive of Christian truth, and her heart to be ever under the influence of religious feeling; so that as it is out of the heart's abundance that the mouth speaks and the pen writes, all her compositions have evangelical doctrine and experience wrought up with them, as belonging to the original texture. We insert one of the pieces this month, on “Communion with God;" and when we say that there are many such, we believe that our readers will be satisfied that we have recommended the volume.
4. The Mature Christian : a Treatise on Entire Sunctification, By
Daniel Walton. 18mo., pp. 208. John Mason.
In the three former volumes we furnish the reader with opportunities of elegant, instructive literary recreation. We direct him now to a higher subject. We have readers to whom the study of Christian doctrine is delightful, and especially so, when the doctrine relates to the holiness which is the true loveliness and sublimity of the spiritual world, and without which no one can commune with God here, or dwell with him hereafter. Mr. Walton's design is indicated in his title-page. He wishes to explain, defend, and enforce the doctrine of entire sanctification. We earnestly recommend the volume to such of our readers as are aspiring after Christian maturity. We should be glad if we could persuade all the older readers of “The Youth's Instructer” to place the work on their shelves, and to give it repeated and prayerful perusals.
NOTICES OF ANIMATED AND VEGETABLE
FOR NOVEMBER, 1843. By MR. WILLIAM ROGERSON, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
'Twas Autumn's stormy hour, The wild winds murmur'd in the yellow wood; The sere leaves, rustling in the naked bower,
Were whirl'd in eddies to the mountain-flood;
Dark clouds enthrall’d the west; an orb of blood,
And torrent-murmurs broke the solitude,
“ The ruffled lake heaved wildly; near the shore
It bore the red leaves of the shaken tree,
Emblems of man upon life's stormy sea.
Pale, wither'd leaves! once to the breezes free,
Now, even as clouds or dew, how fast they flee !
“I look'd again; and fast the dying sun
Was fading in the melancholy west,
O’er nature's desolate and dreary breast;
He lit the dew-drop's cold and frozen rest,
The sear'd earth's flowers that did the shades invest
WILLIS G. CLARK.
AUTUMNAL appearances are now every day increasing : occasional gales of wind and interchanges of nipping frosts, with fogs, hasten the approaching winter.
The first half of the month.–The roe and the stag are noisy; the green or golden plover (charadrius pluvialis) appear. Both the English word, plover, and the specific name, pluvialis, are derived from pluvia, “ rain." Buffon tells us that the name originated in the number of these birds seen in France during the autumnal rains. The widgeon, and other birds, arrive from the north ; larks, and some of the finch tribes, are seen in flocks. Woodcocks and snipes appear; and it often happens that, in inland, level countries, several species of the genus falco are seen only in the autumnal and winter months. Trout repair to their spawning-places; and, if the weather prove open, snails and some insects are in motion. Glowworms in their larvæ state may be occasionally seen shining in mild evenings and nights, on mossy banks, among heath, &c. : their light directs them to small snails, on which they feed.
The vegetable kingdom has now lost nearly all its chief beauties. In the garden may be found in blow Portugal laurel, mountain violet, red stapelia, oxalis, sweet coltsfoot, African hemp, and tree thornapple. In the fields a few wild daisies may be found in blow; also hawkweed ; and under hedges, in moist places, herb-robert exhibits its pretty reddish-coloured flowers.
The trees are now rapidly losing their leaves, which give token that bleak winter is at hand. The pollard-oak and
young beeches retain their withered leaves till they are pushed off by the new ones in the spring. Walnuts, bullaces, and chestnuts are ripe.
The last half of the month. - The water-rat and hare remain much in their dens. The golden-eye duck, the stock-dove, the gadwal, and poachard arrive from the north, or from the more mountainous parts of the country. At this season larks are congregated, and roost closely together on the ground; where, for want of larger game, they often become the prey of the nightprowling fox. Chaffinches and other small birds assemble together in thick-set hedges. The wren and the thrush frequently break out into song as in summer. Our old friend, the robin, cheers these short and often gloomy days with his lively song.
The garden and orchard snail retire under shelter for the winter. The copper-butterfly and great rove-beetle may still be occasionally seen; and several species of ladybird, the wood-boring beetle, woodlouse, millepede, &c., may be found lurking under the bark of
The electrical scolopendra may be met with, shining at the bottom of old walls, on pathways, &c., in mild nights. The November dagger-moth, the drab day-moth, and the common flat-body moth make their appearance ; and the cricket is merry in his residence by the fire-side of the kitchen or cottage.
The trees of the forest are now nearly stripped of their leaves; but there are still enough for a high wind to drive a rustling shower of them about our ears.