borhood of our sun, and within the sphere of our observation, in 1835. As that time approached, the computation of its orbit was made with great care and labor by a number of very eminent mathematicians, and every perturbing force that might affect it was taken into account. The result established the triumph of science, and showed how firmly and successfully the human intellect has grappled with the great problem of the path of comets in space. Rosenberger fixed on the 11th of November, 1835, as the time of its perihelion; and the comet having been first seen at Rome on the 6th of August, advanced rapidly towards the sun, and made its perihelion passage on the 15th of November, only four days after the calculated time. This was indeed wonderful accuracy, in tracing the path and computing the period of a body that recedes into space the amazing distance of 3,370,300,000 miles, which in that long journey passes within the range of so many perturbing forces, and which travels at degrees of speed so gradually and so greatly varying. It bears magnificent testimony to the power and grasp of the intellect of man. Yet, let none be proud because of what they have received. The thought that the unknown is vastly, boundlessly more than the known, should keep the wisest, and most learned, and most vigorous-minded, humble. And let the noble achievements of human intellect testify to man, that he is made for something better than grovelling among the sensualities of the world; for something better even than the study of the material forms of the universe, and the laws by which they are governed; that he will find his highest and ultimate occupation in the knowledge of the Creator and Lawgiver himself, and his highest and only happiness in the enjoyment of that Creator and Lawgiver as the God of grace and redemption--a covenant God in Jesus Christ-the Saviour and portion of the immortal spirit.

Astronomers, put into the right tract by the computations and prediction of Halley, and by the verification of that prediction, were not long in pointing out other comets with a periodic time. In 1819, Professor Encke, of Berlin, detected the periodicity of the comet which now goes by his name, and showed that it had a period of about three years and a-quarter. Many opportunities, owing to the short period of this comet, have been afforded for varied and accurate observation, and for calculating its elements with the nicest care. Encke himself bestowed amazing labor on the investigation, and he

was led to the astounding and singular conclusion, that the orbit of the comet is gradually diminishing, and that ere long it must fall into the sun. Encke's comet presents the appearance of a round nebulous body, with a bright nuclear condensation, and it is destitute of a tail. It can be seen, when most favorably situated, by the naked eye, as a star of the fifth or sixth magnitude.

In 1826, the periodicity of the fine comet called Biela's comet was discovered. This comet presents the appearance of a small round nebulous body, with a feeble condensation towards the centre, and without any tail. Its periodical time has been ascertained to be about 6 years, or more accurately 6.617 years. We find in Mr. Hind's work on Comets an interesting account of a very remarkable change observed to take place in this comet during its visit to the region of our system, in the end of 1848 and beginning of 1849. That change consisted in an actual separation into two distinct nebulosities, which travelled in company for more than three months. The apparent distance between them was, at first, little more than two minutes, but subsequently it increased to about fourteen minutes. We can not even mention the other comets whose periodicity has been recently detected. In some it ranges from five to eight years; in others, if we may credit the calculations, it ranges from 3,000 to upwards of 100,000 years!

In connection with these ascertained periodic times, and these bewildering periods and distances, the question suggests itself, Do all comets move in an elliptical orbitfrom some far turning-point in space directing their course towards the sun with motion gradually accelerated, till, on their burning path, they rush past and round him, and recede away a journey of many, many years, to the immensely distant point whence they must begin again their journey towards him? -or do these travellers in space pass away into the depths of the universe till they come within the sphere of the attraction of some other sun as glorious and powerful, or more so, than ours, round which they sweep with lightning speed, and fly off to seek yet another, and from that other yet another, of the great central suns of God's stupendous universe, forming thus a connecting link between the systems of which that universe is composed?

Comets may have their motion accelerated or retarded, and even their orbits changed, by coming within the influence of the

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planets or other bodies which they may ap- The nearest distance to which comets have proach in space. Halley's comet in 1835 approached the sun is a point of some interhad its perihelion passage accelerated by the


Of 206 comets, whose elements bave Earth 15% days, by Venus about 5 days, been calculated down to July, 1852, the and by Mercury and Mars together about perihelion distances were as follows, the one day. The perihelion passage of Biela's earth's mean distance from the sun, about comet in 1832 was shortened, or its motion 95,000,000 of miles, being the unit: accelerated 10.023 days by the united action of the Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn. And 56 comets between 0.0 and 0.5 from the sun. Encke's comet, according to the calculations of that philosopher, underwent a retardation of more than nine days, from the influence

beyond 2.0 of the planet Jupiter. It has been thought, also, that comets undergo retardation by the Of all the comets that have been calculatresistance of the medium through which ed, that of 1729 had the greatest perihelion they move, though by many the doctrine of a distance-namely, 4.04; and the remarkable resisting medium is strongly doubted ordenied. comet of 1843 the least, being only 0.0055;

But the most extraordinary change pro- the great comet of 1680 had a perihelion duced by planetary perturbations occurs distance of 0.0062. Sir Isaac Newton calin regard to the comet of 1770, usually culated that, from its nearness to the sun, called Lexell's comet. As far as could be the comet of 1680 must have acquired a judged, that comet had never been observed heat 2,000 times greater than that of red-hot before. Yet Lexell proved, that in the orbit iron. The heat communicated to the comet, in which it was then moving, it bad a peri- however, would depend not merely on its odic time of about five years and seven proximity to the sun, but also on the matemonths. In his investigations, he found that rials of which it was composed. this comet had approached very near to the But we probably conceive ourselves quite planet Jupiter in May, 1767; so near, that as much interested in the nearness to which the influence of Jupiter on the comet must comets approach our earth, as in the nearhave drawn it aside from the orbit in which ness to which they approach the sun. And it was moving into an entirely new orbit; indeed a very slight knowledge of the moand this had brought it so near us as to en- tions of the earth and of comets suffices to able us to see it for the first time. As it had show, not only that they may approach very such a short period, its return was watched near to one another, but even that they may for in 1776, but it escaped observation, prob- actually come in contact. It is certain that ably owing to its position in regard to the several comets have crossed the plane of the

It has never been seen again, but its ecliptic almost in our earth's path; among disappearance has been accounted for. Lex- these, the comets of 1680, 1770, and 1832. ell found that the comet, in its aphelion pass. There was great alarm in some quarters reage, about August, 1779, was so near Ju- garding the comet of 1832, from its being piter, that the mass of that planet exercised discovered and announced, that on the 29th a power on the comet 225 times greater than of October that year it would pass a little that of the sun upon it, and must, therefore, within the earth's orbit ; and hence by those have again drawn it quite out of the orbit in unacquainted with the subject, it was supwhich it was moving in 1770. And subse- posed that a collision would take place. But quent investigations have shown that the ac- M. Arago showed, that whilst the comet tion of Jupiter would so affect this comet, would actually cross the earth's track, the that when it escaped from the sphere of the earth would be at the time about 50,000,000 activity of the planet in October, 1779, it of miles from the point at which the comet was moving in an ellipse, with a revolution of was crossing. This same comet in 1805 was rather more than 16 years, and a perihelion only a tenth part of that distance, or 5,000,of 3 times the semi-diameter of the earth's 000 of miles from the earth. The nearest orbit; and at such a distance there would be approach made by any come to the earth, no hope of our ever seeing it again. The is believed to have been made by the comet perturbing force of the planet Jupiter thus of 1770, which came within 1,438,000 miles seems to have brought this planet within our view by its influence on it in 1767, and again No sensible effect has been produced on to have withdrawn it from our view by its any part of the solar system by the numerinfluence on it in in 1779.

ous comets that have swept through it. The

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cometary bodies have been affected by their sometimes appearing brighter when seen approach to the planets ; but neither the through it !-we inquire with wonder what planets nor their satellites have been affected | it can be, but we nowhere receive an answer. by the neighborhood of comets. This is prob- The expected great comet must have from ably owing to the extreme rarity of the neb- us a brief notice before we close this paper. ulous matter of which comets are composed. A very remarkable comet made its appearIt is so very thin, that small stars have been ance in 1264, and another in 1556. Dr. seen through the centre of the heads of Halley calculated the orbits of these two comets, without being in the slightest degree comets with a number of others. Fifty obscured. There is, therefore, very little years after the time of Dr. Halley, the elematter in comets, and hence their approach ments of the comet of 1264 were re-calcuto the earth does not produce any sensible lated by Mr. Dunthorpe, and such resem. effect on it. Were they of larger mass, and blances observed between the results and so to influence the earth or any of the and those which Halley bad given for the planets by coming near them, the effect comet of 1556, as to lead to a suspicion of would be to accelerate or retard their mo- their identity. About twenty years after tions in their orbits: for instance, to make this, M. Pingrè, by his calculations, strongly our year

few days longer or shorter. It is confirmed this suspicion, and predicted the doubtful if any seriously disastrous result return of that great comet in 1848, thus aswould follow, were the earth and a comet to signing it a period of 292 years. Between come even into contact. And it seems prob. 1843 and 1847, Mr. Hind carefully went able that the tail of a comet (the great over all the calculations, and having rectified comet of 1843) actually swept over the some errors, he concurred in thinking that earth, with what sensible or injurious effect the comets of 1264 and 1556 were identical. many of us can perhaps tell.

Mr. Bomme, of Middleburg, repeated the To show the extreme rarity of the matter calculations regarding the comet of 1556, of which comets are composed, we quote the making the proper allowance for the perturfollowing statements of Sir John Herschel bations of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Nep regarding Biela's comet in 1832 :—" It tune, and partially for those of the Earth, passed,” he says, over a small cluster of Venus, and Mars. In the first instance, most minute stars of the sixteenth and sev. Bomme used the elements of Dr. Halley, enteenth magnitude, and when on the cluster according to which he found that this great presented the appearance of a nebula resolv- expected comet will come to its perihelion in able, and partly resolved, the stars of the August, 1860. Subsequently, Bomme used cluster being visible through the comet. A the elements of Mr. Hind, and according to more striking proof could not have been of these, the great comet of 1556 should return, fered of the extreme translucency of the and reach its perihelion, in August, 1858. matter of which the comet consists. The M. Hind, therefore, thinks that August, most trifling fog would have effaced this 1858, will be within two years either way, group of stars, yet they continued visible of the perihelion passage, so that the great through a thickness of cometic matter, which, comet of 1264 and 1556 may be looked for calculating on its distance, and its apparent in these parts of space some time between diameter, must have exceeded 50,000 miles, 1856 and 1860; and he is of opinion that at least towards its central parts.” “ Olbers, our present means of knowledge do not adsays Mr. Mitchell, “who studied the subject mit of a nearer approximation. Many an with great care, was disposed to think, that intelligent mind will welcome with delight in case the earth had passed directly through that mighty wanderer come back again, and the comet, ro inconvenience would have oc- will see in its return illustrious evidence of curred, and no change beyond a slight in the power of God, and of his goodness to fluence on the climate would have been ex- bis creature man. perienced.”

With respect to the purposes that comets Indeed, the exceeding variety and translu- serve in the economy of the universe, little cency of the nebulous matier of which comets or nothing is known. We find Newton sayare composed, taken in connection with the ing, “I suspect that the spirit which makes vast distance at which it is visible, lead us to the finest, subtlest, and best part of our own believe that it is something of which we have air, and which is absolutely requisite for the no likeness on the earth. Small stars are not life and being of all things, comes principally at all obscured when covered by that nebu- from the comets.” And Mrs. Sommerville Lus matter in such immense masses—and remarks, that "it has often been imagined

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I WAS at Vienna a few years ago. After brow, eyes of inexpressible softness, lips hatrying several tables-d'hôte, I established my-bitually closed with maidenly reserve, a transself at a hotel in the Judenstrasse, frequented parent complexion, whose charming blushes by a select society. Mr. Müller, master of each moment protested against the immothis establishment, did its honors with bility of her bearing, auburn hair whose rich thorough German gravity. Perfect order, and silken curls admirably harmonized with extreme and conscientious cleanliness, reigned the serenity of her features, a graceful and throughout the house. One might pass flexible form just expanding into womanhood; through the servants' room, and even through such was Ellen Müller. the kitchens, without meeting with any thing by which the sight was in the least offended. The cellar was as well arranged as a book case, and the regulations of the house, as regarded both the service and the hours of meals, were as punctually observed as they could have been in a seminary. If a guest came in late, though it were but ten minutes, he was served apart, in an adjoining room, that the comfort of all might not be sacri-losophy, politics, or literature, were the usual ficed to the convenience of one.

A councillor of the Court, Hofrath Baron von Noth, who had resigned his functions in consequence of an injustice that had been done him, several students, whose parents had recommended them to the vigilance of Mr. Müller, and a few merchants, composed the majority of the habitual guests. The party was frequently increased by travellers, literary men, and artists. After dinner, phi

topics of conversation, in which Mr. Müller, a man of extensive acquirements and great good sense, took part, with a choice of expressions and an elevation of views that would have astonished me in a man of his station in any country but Germany.

Sometimes Ellen would sit down to the piano, and sing some of those simple and beautiful melodies in which the tenderness, the gravity, and the piety of the German national character seem to mingle. Then conversation ceased; every countenance expressed profound attention; and each listener, as if he were assisting at a religious service, translated the accents of that universal language according to his sympathies, his associations, and the habitual direction of his ideas.

In the conversation at this table-d'hôte there prevailed a tone of good society which excluded neither ease nor pleasantry; but a caustic or indelicate expression would have jarred on the ear like a false note in a wellexecuted concert. The countenance of Mrs. Müller, in which dignity was blended with benevolence, was the barometer by which the young men regulated themselves when the influence of Rhine wine or Stettin beer might lead them a little too far. Then Mrs. Müller assumed an air of reserve; by a few words she adroitly broke off the conversation, and turned it into another channel; and she glanced gravely at her daughter, who, with out affectation or pouting, kept her eyes fixed on her plate until the end of the meal.

Ellen Müller was the type of those beautiful German faces which the French call cold, because they know not how to read them; she was a happy mixture of the Saxon and Hanoverian characters. A pure and open

I was not long in perceiving that Baron von Noth and a young student named Werter were particularly sensible to Ellen's charms and merit. In the baron, a middle-aged man, there was a mixture of dignity and eagerness

which betrayed an almost constant struggle between pride and the energy of a strong passion. It is between the ages of thirty and forty that the passions have most empire over us. At that period of life the character is completely formed; and as we well know what we desire, so do we strive to attain our end with all the energy of a perfect organization.

Werter was little more than nineteen years old. He was tall, fair, and melancholy. I am persuaded that love had revealed itself to the young student by the intermediation of the musical sense. I had more than once watched him when Ellen sang. A sort of fever agitated him; he isolated himself in a corner of the room, and there, in a mute ecstacy, the poor boy inhaled the poison of love.

The pretensions of Ellen's two admirers manifested themselves by attentions of very different kinds, and in which were displayed their different natures. The baron brought

Mrs. Müller tickets for concerts and theatres. Often at the dessert, he would send for delicious Hungarian wine, in which he drank the health of the ladies, slightly inclining his head to Ellen, as if he would have said-I bow to you alone. Werter would stealthily place upon the piano a new ballad, or a volume of poetry; and when the young girl took it up, his face flushed and brightened as if the blood were about to burst from it. Ellen smiled modestly at the baron, or gracefully thanked the student; but she seemed not to suspect that which neither of them dared to tell her.

One night, that we were assembled in the drawing-room, one of the habitual visitors to the house presented to us a Jew, who had just arrived from Lemberg, and whom business was to detain for some months at Vienna. In a few words, Mr. Müller made the stranger acquainted with the rules and the customs of the house. The Jew replied by monosyllables, as if he disdained to expend more words and intelligence upon details so entirely material. He bowed politely to the ladies, glanced smilingly at the furniture of the room, round which he twice walked, as if in token of taking possession, and then installed himself in an arm-chair. This pantomime might have been translated thus: "Here I am; look at me once for all, and then heed me no more." Mr. Malthus-that was the Jew's name-had a decided limp in his gait; he was a man of the middle height, and of a decent bearing; his hair was neglected; but a phrenologist would have read a world of things in the magnificent development of his

An attentive observer of all that passed, I did my utmost to read Ellen's heart, and to decide as to the future chances of the baron's or the student's love. She was passionately fond of narratives of adventure, and, thanks to the wandering life I had led, I was able to gratify this taste. I noticed that traits of generosity and noble devotion produced an extraordinary effect upon her. Her eyes sparkled as though she would fain have distinguished, through time and space, the hero of a noble action; then tears moistened her beautiful lashes, as reflection recalled her to the realities of life. I understood that neither the baron nor Werter was the man to win her heart; they were neither of them equal to her. Had I been ten years younger, I think I should have been vain enough to enter the lists. But another person, whom none would at first have taken for a man capable of feeling and inspiring a strong passion, was destined to carry off the prize.


The conversation became general. Mr. Malthus spoke little, but as soon as he opened his mouth everybody was silent. This apparent deference proceeded perhaps as much from a desire to discover his weak points as from politeness towards the new-comer.

The Jew had one of those penetrating and sonorous voices whose tones seem to reach the very soul, and which impart to words inflexions not less varied than the forms of thought. He summed up the discussion logically and lucidly; but it was easy to see that, out of consideration for his interlocutors, he abstained from putting forth his whole strength.

The conversation was intentionally led to religious prejudices: at the first words spoken on this subject, the Jew's countenance assumed a sublime expression. He rose at once to the most elevated considerations: it was easy to see that his imagination found itself in a familiar sphere. He wound up with so pathetic and powerful a peroration, that Ellen, yielding to a sympathetic impulse, made an abrupt movement towards him. Their two souls had met, and were destined mutually to complete each other.

I said to myself, that Jew will be Ellen's husband.

Then I applied myself to observe him more attentively. When Mr. Malthus was not strongly moved and animated, he was but an ordinary man; nevertheless, by the expression of his eyes, which seemed to look within himself, one could discern that he was inter

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