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Whose Name thy finger loves to trace
ANIMATED AND VEGETABLE NATURE.
The general process in the vegetable world, in our own climate, is now that of dissemination. The early growth of spring, the beauteous flourishing of summer, and the ripening of earlier autumn, give way to the deposition of the seed from which another generation of plants will spring. Herbaceous vegetables are dying down to the surface of the ground, and of many of them even the roots perish,- but the seed lives. Trees and shrubs drop their foliage, and the sap flows back from the exterior parts, that the cellular texture of the wood may not be ruptured by the frosts that often come in the October nights, or the severer frost of winter.
Not only the deposition, but the dispersion, of the seed is provided for by the Creator. First of all, the skill and foresight of the husbandman are made ready to collect and to sow the more precious grains. This very year we have seen the reaper and the ploughman pursuing their labours side by side, even in the same field, as if hastening to anticipate the career of seasons, which, notwithstanding this diligence, no human speed can possibly outstrip. Seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, march onward in the appointed order of precedence, and may not run abreast. Wild plants are variously propagated. Some of the seeds are plumed or winged, and the parent plant, languid in age, lets them drop at the bidding of the breeze, and so they float away to be sown by the winds in distant fields. The dandelion, the groundsel, the ragwort, and the thistle, weeds which no one would cultivate, find spontaneous distribution, and, as they go, tell that the original curse is not forgotten,—that the discipline for industry and patience yet continues. Others are hooked, and whether man or beast passes by, they cleave to the garment or the fleece, and are thus transported to some distant resting-place. Thus go the burrs. Even the birds unconsciously take part in this work of dissemination ; for they pick seeds that are fortified against their powers of digestion, and that find their way, by involuntary carriers, to flourish afar off.
A sylvan Flora now paints the groves in colours that vie with the variety of spring, and produces pictures of more sublime solemnity, and conveying a deeper and more widely-unfolded moral than all the pencils of the busiest and most successful artists could create. Bright or deep-coloured berries now lie ibick upon the hedges,-an abundant harvest of provision for birds of the air, whom their heavenly Father feeds, although they neither sow nor reap.
Gleaning the latest produce of the year, as if not satisfied with the main crops just gathered in, man lays hold even on the accumulations of insect-industry. The bee-hives are emptied in October ; and lest the tenants of those de positories should avenge the robbery with their stings, the rustic depredator goes while they are asleep, and stealthily suffocates the whole family with fumes of sulphur,an improvidence and cruelty that might be avoided by various contrivances; but, not content to share the labour of the bees, leaving a part behind, he robs the whole of it, and murders them. The greater part he might have had, in agreement with a law that has been laid on all inferior nature to surrender a share of its fruits for our consumption and comfort. It was in acknowledgment of this that Virgil completed the verses which some one else began :
Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves.
Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves. Many of our readers are quite able to translate for themselves; and those who cannot, will forgive us if we puzzle them.
At this month an onset is made by common consent upon the helpless and unsheltered. Pheasants are shot.
All sorts of game are hunted. Wild-fowl is decoyed. Wild geese and ducks, cranes, herons, and storks soar aloft, generally beyond the reach of shot, and, ranging themselves in order, the cranes screaming harshly in the flight, traverse their own realm of air in liberty, and proceed to their chosen quarters, where they escape the severity of winter. Nor is migration confined to birds. Flocks of sheep are turned upon the stubble-fields; and even now, in a few districts, the swine of England enjoy an ancient custom of quitting the sty, and proceeding in herds to the forest, where they feast upon the fallen acorns, and come home the fatter and happier for the change, like citizens from the sea-side.
FOR OCTOBER, 1852. By MR. A. GRAHAM, Markree Observatory, Collooney. Biela's comet is now receding rapidly from the Sun, and still more rapidly from the Earth. Its distances from the former on the 1st and 31st will be eighty-two and ninety-five millions of miles respectively: this is the result as well of the elongated nature of its orbit, as of the rapidity of its motion. It will continue to recede through half the period of revolution, reckoning from the perihelion passage, until it has attained a distance of five hundred and eightynine millions of miles, at aphelion; or upwards of seven times the shortest or perihelion distance, eighty-two millions of miles. It is rather remarkable that the mean time of crossing the meridian will be almost the same for each day throughout the month.
It varies only from 9h. 35m. to 9h. 39m., A.M.; but the altitudes of the comet at those times will be 15° less at the end of the month than at its commencement. The difficulties of seeing this object are of course daily increasing. The quantity of reflected light is less, on account of the increase of distance from the central luminary; the apparent intensity of that light is less, in consequence of the increase of distance from us, one hundred and thirty-nine to one hundred and sixtytwo millions of miles. The time to seek for it will be in the early morning before the dawn. Last month we traced its course to Regulus. On the 1st of this month the position is 10° to the south-east of that star. On the 10th, on or near the equator, with a right ascension of 10h. 55m., still in the constellation Leo, south-westward of the hind-foot. On the 20th, it will have entered Virgo, will be southward of the star marked B, and 5° below the equator. On the 30th, it will have reached the southern verge of that constellation, and will be in a right line joining ß with 8 Corvi, produced 5° upward.
On the 24th of July a small telescopic comet was discovered in the constellation Pisces by Dr. Westphal, at Göttingen. He describes its appearance at the time of the discovery as that of a tolerably bright nebula. Should it prove of sufficient interest, the reader shall have his attention again directed to it in the article for next month. The information obtained when this article was written was insufficient for the prediction of the comet's subsequent march.
A few remarks concerning some of the larger fixed stars which now appear above our horizon may render more intelligible the allusions occasionally made to the positions of the planetary bodies belonging to our system. About ten, P.M., in the beginning, nine in the middle, or eight at the end of this month, let the reader take his stand, on a clear night, facing the south. Very low, at 8° altitude, he sees before him the brightest star in the Southern Fish, commonly called Fomalhaut. Right above, at an altitude of 60°, are four bright stars placed as at the angles of a trapezium, of which the parallel sides are horizontal. The brightest, at the lower angle to the right, is a Pegasi (Markab); above this, ß Pegasi (Scheat); the lowest to the left is y Pegasi (Algenib); and above this the brightest star in Andromeda (Sirrah). In the continuation to the left of the upper horizontal side of the trapezium, but curving northward, and at successive distances equal to that side, are ß and y Andromedæ ; 10° south of the latter is the brightest star in Aries. To the left of this are the well-known Pleiades; farther still, in the east, and not far from the horizon, is a large star, the brightest in Taurus (Aldebaran). Pretty low in the west, somewhat southward, are three stars in a straight line, and at equal distances, the middle one being the largest: these are in Aquila. Farther northward, at nearly the saine altitude, is the very brilliant and beautiful star Vega, in the constellation Lyra : above these is Cygnus, the brightest star of which (Deneb) is the most conspicuous object in that region.
Mercury rises, on the 1st, a few minutes before five o'clock, A.M. ; namely, 1h. 22m. before the Sun. As he is now approaching superior conjunction with the Sun, there will be no possibility of detecting him with the naked eye, during the month, except perhaps at the beginning. A good telescope will show him gibbous. On the 18th, at 8h. 38m., A.M., he will be close to the Sun, only 21° north. His distance from us will then be equal to the sum of the distances of the planet and our Earth from the Sun.
VENUS is now a morning star. She rises on the 1st at ten minutes before two, on the 15th at ten minutes past two, and on the 30th at twenty minutes before three, A.M. On the 9th, at nine, P.M., she will be close to the Moon, 5° south. In the morning of the 7th, still closer to Regulus. The nearest approach to that star will be at twenty minutes past two, A.M.; both objects being a little above the horizon. The distance at that time will be 1° 14', the planet southwards.
On the 31st she will have entered Virgo, and will be very close to ß in that constellation,-42' north.
Mars and JUPITER set very soon after the Sun. On the 27th, at three, P.M., these two planets will make a near approach, the former being only 1° south of the latter.
SATURN can now be seen to great advantage. He rises on the 1st at seven, on the 15th at six, and on the 30th at five, P.M. On the last day of this month he will be due south eleven ininutes past midnight, at an altitude of 65o. On the night of the 28th, at eight o'clock, he will be very near the Moon, a little more than 1° north. He is in Aries, not far from d, and south-west of the Pleiades. The southern side of the ring is turned toward us. It appears as an ellipse: length, 45''; breadth, 161''.
URANUS is in the same constellation, has very nearly the same declination, and is only about 8° westward of Saturn.
NEPTUNE is in Aquarius, very close to ..
THE MOON'S CHANGES.
27th day, 11h. 54m. aftern.
RISING AND SETTING OF THE SUN.
Truro. London. Manchester. Edinburgh.
Tain. Day: Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. Sets. Rises. $ets. Rises. Sets. h, m. h. m. h. m. h, m.h, m. h. m.h, m. h, m. h. m.
h, m. 16 1 5 376 2 5 36/6 4 5 346 6 5 326 8 5 30 11 6 17 5 156 19 5 136 22 5 10 6 26 5 6 6 29 5 3 216 33 4 556 36 4 5216 41 5 476 46 4 426 50 4 38
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