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Erost August beseech his daughter-in-1 promise extracted from her father that be law to reconsider the position, and place would neither ask to see her nor combefore her the conditions by which she municate with her by any means whatever might regain her lost footing and reap- a pledge he fulfilled to the letter. Ablo pear as the wife of his son, and the dire den was a fortified place, and melancholy results that must follow her refusal; but and gloomy to a degree scarcely conceivhe could make no impression on her; her able. The household were bound by an good name, her future well-being, even oath to keep her from all communication the thoughts of her children, counted as with the outer world, but in order to give nothing when compared with the murder her imprisonment an air of dignity and of the man she had loved, the horrors of position she received the title of Duchess that dreadful night, and all the misery and of Ahlden. humiliations she had endured since her There is a curious particular with which unhappy marriage. “Tell your master,” we have become acquainted since comshe said, when she was approached by mencing our sketch - a legend so barbarone of his myrmidons with the threat that ous in its essence that but we learned it she would be ignominiously banished from the lips of one intimately acquainted from Hanover if she rejected his terms, with Hanover's secret histories we would “ Tell your master that when I turn my refuse to receive as authentic. The teller, back on Hanover, all roads will be beauti- however, has undoubted right to the best ful in my eyes.” Although she had often information concerning the convictions of given proofs of her resolute spirit, they those more immediately concerned. The were hardly prepared for the dauntless following are the details: Within the inand indomitable courage with which she nermost circles of the Hanoverian court faced their threatened vengeance. No it was known to some that the morning eartbly consideration would induce her to after the murder, and while Philippe lay temporize or to move one inch in the dead in the room where his assassins had direction of submission or compromise. borne bim, George caused the heart of They were aware if she proved her case the victim of Madame von Platen's reand obtained a divorce on her own ac. venge to be taken from the body, to be count, that they must yield up all the reduced to ashes, and thereafter to be pecuniary advantages they had gained by placed in a small leaden box, which in its the marriage, that George's succession to turn was fitted into a footstool, and that her inheritance would be barred, and this footstool was used by George the possibly also the ultimate union of Han- First to the end of his vindictive life, and over and Celle. A Consistorial Court that, moreover, it still exists. There is a was therefore called together, its mem. cold and bloodthirsty atmosphere envelopbers being chosen by the elector, illegal ing this action for which there seems to in its conformation, and containing in be absolutely no parallel in modern story itself no element whatever of justice or the fear of forgetting for a moment that impartiality. She was tortured by the the dead man was trapped, tortured, sivisits of lawyers, who strove to entrap her lenced, murdered — the devilish desire to into upguarded admissions; but so slight possess a constant and tangible presence were the evidences they were able to col. of what was once the spring of his life, lect of misconduct as regarded Königs- the dead essence of his love, the mainmarck, that they abandoned the charge spring of his misfortune, and that all this altogether, and his name did not even was a joy and a pleasure to any human appear in the deed of accusation. The being indicates that the spirit of Nero and basis — or it were more to the purpose to Caligula still obtained in Hanover in the call it the plot - resolved itself into the year of our Lord 1694. To us it appeared, feeble accusation of incompatibility of when the story was first told us, that it temper. Of this, then, she was found was strong evidence that George had been guilty, and a decree was passed for the privy to the crime; but there is no other dissolution of the marriage. George was whatever, and we can only recount the specifically permitted to re-marry, while facts as they were told to us, and repeat she was doomed to perpetual imprison that all other circumstances point to the ment, and she was at once conveyed to probability that neither himself nor his the castle of Ahlden, surrounded by a father was concerned in its perpetration. staff of domestics selected by the elector Lord Lexington, who became British and his son, and an armed group of minister at Vienna at this time, was in. gaolers. The most stringent rules were structed at the outset of his embassy to laid down for her safe keeping, and a investigate “ this Königsmarck mystery ;
and William the Third, in response to the But the longest day wears to a close, elector of Saxony's entreaties, had caused and every traveller, be he sioner or saint, inquiries to be made by his representative, arrives at his journey's end at last; and but with no satisfactory results. By de- before passing through the great black grees the matter faded into the past, no portal of death – that portal that shuts answer was given, and Lord Lexington out so relentlessly the mysteries beyond does not seem to have been of much use - haply he may look back on the dusty to any one. It is a significant fact that the road and fading landscape with a sigh Hanoverions destroyed every document and a prayer, humbly trusting that on the that bore on the story, and although some other side he may meet with mercy, not affirm that they were unwilling to hand justice; receive pity for his sorrows, not down to posterity the proofs of the infi- vengeance for his sins. Sophia Dorothea delity of Sophia Doroihea, it is surely then, the consort of George, king of more probable that they would have pre. Great Britain and Ireland, but not his ferred to do this rather than suffer the wife; the mother of the heir to that spleougly doubts to rest upon their own con did inheritance, but a stranger to her son, duct, which was the inevitable alternative. finished her weary pilgrimage on the 2nd
Little remains to be told. Political of November, 1726. She had been ailing irony decreed that the princess should be for some months, but her condition had treated with the greatest ceremony. She not been thought dangerous, so when she drove daily, guarded by a cavalry escort, turned her tired face to the wall and who surrounded her carriage with drawn breathed out ber last desolate sigh, it swords. Her mother was permitted to caused a mild surprise to those about her. visit her occasionally, but always in the She was interred at Celle, in the gloomy presence of the elector's spies and de vaults of whose temple she took her place pendants. The electoral prince, as is well amongst those scions of the house of known, became king of England, but this Brunswick with whom she had been change in his position and life made none deemed unworthy to associate during her in hers. Later on, when the remorseless life. monarch was nearing his end, whether it was, as some said, that the prognostica. tions of a soothsayer that his own demise Two centuries have passed since the would follow closely on hers, and that he events which we have tried to bring bedeemed that her life would be safer under fore the reader, and the stair at the foot his own surveillance, or whether he feared of which Königsmarck paused before he to face death with so black a crime as his strode forward to meet his hidden foes is life-long persecution of his wife on his still shown in the Hanoverian schloss; conscience, it is impossible to say; but he and it was believed by many, in the days made overtures to her of reconciliation when kings still reigned in Hanover, and and pardon. Thirty years and more had dispensed their princely hospitality in the elapsed sioce the events narrated, still royal abode, that on these occasions of loneliness and captivity, though they had revelry and mirth the pale and impalpable broken her heart, had not quelled her shade of the murdered Königsmarck spirit. Her scorn was as scathing, her haunted its precincts, and had been seen resolution as unconquerable as in the days fitting across the courtyard with a bloody of yore. "If I am guilty," she said, "I mark across its mouth. Further still, it am not worthy of being his wife ; and if I was asserted that when Elizabeth von am innocent he is not worthy of me.” Plateo lay dying, a prey to disease and For two-and-thirty years she remained a stricken with blindness, her feeble and prisoner within that dreary fastness. The paralyzed tongue cried aloud to be delivpeasants became used to seeing the sad-ered from the mute, accusing spirit that looking and beautiful lady as she was tormented her death-bed with its ghastly driven swiftly across Luneburg heath, presence, and which, though blind to all guarded by the clattering dragoons. She earthly things, she yet saw. But Philippe was kind and generous to the poor, and remained inexorably sitting by her bed. interested herself in their welfare ; but side until her own spirit took flight, and the one thing needful to make her life tol- his shadow only melted away when she erable — that of congenial companionship breathed her last. was sternly denied her.
MILLICENT ERSKINE Wemyss.
From The Fortnightly Review, even but extreme cases of the large class ON THE NEW STAR IN AURIGA. of variable stars which wax and wane in We depend so absolutely at every periods more or less regular? The more moment, and in every action upon the modern temporary stars did certainly exist uniformity of nature, that any event which before and do exist still. The star of 1866 even appears to break in upon that uni- may still be seen as an ordinary ninth formity cannot fail to interest us. Espe- magnitude star. So that of 1876 in Cygcially is this the case if a strange star nus, which rose to the third magnitude, is appears among those ancient heavenly still there as a star of about the fourteenth bodies, by the motions of which our time magnitude. To these probably may be and the daily routine of life are regulated, added Tycho's star. and which through all ages have been to
The new star which makes the present man the most august symbols of the un-year memorable, is indeed, so far as our changing. For, notwithstanding small charts go, without descent. It may well alterations due to the accumulated effects be that its usual magnitude is below that of changes of invisible slowness which are which would bring it within our catalogues everywhere in progress, the heavens, in and charts. Visibility and invisibility in their broad features, remain as they were our largest telescopes are but expressions of old. If Hipparchus could return to in terms of the power of the eye. The life, however changed the customs and photographic plate, untiring in its power the kingdoms of the earth might appear of accumulation, has brought to our knowlto him, in the heavens and the hosts edge multitudes of stars which shine, but thereof he would find himself at home. not for us. The energy of their radiation
Only some nineteen times in about as is too small to set up the changes in the many centuries have we any record that retina upon which vision depends. In a the eternal sameness of the midnight sky recent photograph of , Argus, Mr. Rus. has been broken in upon by even the tem- sell, at Sydney, has brought into view a porary presence of an unknown star; great crowd of stars, which until now have though there is no doubt that in the future, shone in vain for the dull eye of man. through the closer watch kept upon the
What, it will be asked, were the condisky by photography, a larger number of tions under which so faint a star woke up similar phenomena will be discovered. suddenly into so great splendor ? Such
According to Pliny it was the sudden information as we have comes chiefly from outburst into splendor of a new star in that particular application of the spectro130 B.C. which inspired Hipparchus to scope, by which we can measure motion construct his catalogue of stars. Passing in the line of sight. It is not too much to at once to more modern times we come say that this method of observation has to the famous new star of 1572, discovered opened for us in the heavens a door by Tycho Brahe, in the constellation of through which we can look upon the interCassiopeia, which outshone Venus, and nal motions of binary and multiple sys. could even be seen as a bright object upon tems of stars, which oiherwise must have the sky by day. Its brilliancy, like that remained forever concealed from us. By of the new stars before and since, was it we can, in many cases, see within the transitory; within a few weeks its great point-like image of a star a complex sysglory had departed from it, and it then tem of whirling suns, gigantic in size, and waned on until, at last, it had fallen back revolving at enormous speeds. A tele. to its original low estate, as a star invis- scope fifty feet in diameter of aperture, ible to the naked eye. The star of 1866, even if it could ever be constructed, would which on May 2 of that year burst forth fail to show close systems of stars which as a star of the second magnitude in the the prism easily lays open to our view. Northern Crown, is memorable as the
This method of using the spectroscope, first of these objects which was subjected which the writer first applied successfully to the searching power of the spectro
to the heavenly bodies some twenty-four scope. Two temporary stars have ap- years ago, is now too well known for it to peared since, in 1876, and in 1885.
necessary to say more than that the Are these strange objects in reality new change of wave-length, or pitch, of the stars, the creations of a day, or but the light shows itself in the spectrum by the transient outbursts into splendor of small lines being shifted; towards the blue for stars usually invisible? May they be an approach, towards the red if the light
source and the observer are moving from • The substance of a discourse given at the Royal
each other. Institution on Friday evening, May 13, 1892.
The stars, as seen from the earth, are moving in all directions, but the prism, | Happily the days are not yet over when which can take note only of motions which discoveries can be made without an armory are precisely in the line of sight, gives us of instruments. direct information of that component only As soon as the news reached Cambridge, of a star's motion which is towards or U.S., Professor Pickering, by means of from us. The method is applicable not photographs which had been taken there, only to the drift of star-systems, but also was able to cause the part of the sky to the internal motions within those sys- where the new star appeared to pass again tems.
under examination, as it had appeared at It is obvious that a star moving rouod successive intervals during the last six in an orbit, unless the plane of the orbit years, but with the result that the new is across the line of sight, has alteroate star's place had remained unoccupied all periods of approach and recession. A line that time by any, star so bright as the in its spectrum will be seen to swing back. eleventh magnitude. For about a year a wards and forwards relatively to a terres-closer watch has been kept upon the sky trial line of the same substance in times at Cambridge by means of a photographic corresponding to the star's orbital period. transit iostrument driven by clockwork, It is equally clear that if in a binary sys- which automatically patrols the sky every tem both stars are bright, the spectrum clear night, and registers all stars as will be a compound one, the spectrum of bright as the sixth magnitude in a great one star superposed upon that of the zone sixty degrees in breadth, and three other. If the spectra are identical, all the hours of right ascension in length. On lines will be really double, but apparently December ist the nova was not recorded, single when the stars have no relative but the next clear night, December 10, it motion; and will separate and close up as was already of the fifth magnitude.* Dr. the stars go round.
Max Wolf photographed this part of AuIt was by this method, from the motions riga on December 8, including all stars to of the variable star Algol, photographed the ninth magnitude, but the nova was at Potsdam, that the dusky companion not on the plate. The star therefore must which periodically eclipses its light in have sprung up from below the ninth mag. part, stood revealed; and a similar dis- nitude to the fifth within two days at the covery was made there of the companion longest. of Spica. Of these double stars only one On Professor Pickering's plates taken companion was bright, but by the opening in December, the nova appears without and closing of double lines in the spectrum any surrounding nebulosity. This point, of Mizar, Professor Pickering brought to which has been in dispute, appears to be light a pair of gigantic blazing suns equal settled by a plate taken with an exposure together to forty times the sun's mass, of three hours by Mr. Roberts, which and whirling round their common centre fails to show any appearance of a surof gravity with the speed of some fifty rounding nebula, though a similar accumiles a second. Then followed, also at mulation of the light-action of the Pleiades the Harvard observatory, the discovery in fills the whole background with nebulæ. 8 Auriga, of an order of ose binary stars The nova was discovered at the end of hitherto unknown. The pair revolve with January by Mr. Anderson, and from Feba speed of seventy miles a second within ruary i was observed at many observasome seven and a half millions of miles of tories. Its magnitude then was about the each other.
fourth and one-half magnitude. Though Now it was by this method of spectro- its light showed continual fluctuations, a scopic observation that the remarkable slow but steady decline set in, carrying it state of things existing in the new star down to about the sixth magnitude in the was revealed to us. It is not a little sur early days of March ; but after March 7, prising that a new star, as bright as the these swayings to and fro of its light, set fifth magnitude, could burst out almost up doubtless by the commotions attendant directly overhead in the heavens, and yet on the cause of its outburst, calmed down, remain undiscovered for nearly seven and the star fell rapidly and with great weeks. Europe and the United States regularity to about the eleventh magnitude bristle every clear night with telescopes on March 24, and by the beginning of from open observatories, which are served by an army of astronomers; yet the dis- • Professor Pickering informs the writer that the covery of the new star was left to an new star was still visible at Harvard Observatory on
April 26. Its magnitude was then scarcely lower than amateur, Mr. Anderson, possessed only of at the beginning of the month, on the scale of their a small pocket-telescope and a star-chart. meridian photometer, 14'5.
April to the fifteenth magnitude. So short come in before each other, the cooler gas was the star's day of glory.
may cause a narrow absorption line to We commenced our observations of its form upon a broader bright line, and thus spectrum on February 2. The spectrum impart to it the appearance of a double showed a brilliant array of bright lines, line; or in the case of hotter gas, a conspicuous among which were the well- narrow bright line upon a dark line. knowo lines of hydrogen, and three lines Professors Liveing and Dewar, whose rein the green. A remarkable phenomenon searches with the electric arc-crucible was seen ; each bright line seemed to cast have made them specially familiar with a shadow, for on the blue side of each was the ever-changing guises and disguises of a narrow space of intense blackness. this Protean phenomenon of reversal, as When the light from a hydrogen vacuum it is called, have recorded cases not only of tube was thrown into the spectroscope, double reversals giving apparent triplicity the hydrogen line at F did not fall upon to a single line, but even of threefold re. the middle of the bright stellar line, but versals. The unsymmetrical division of towards the blue edge. The secret was bright and dark lines, which was occasionrevealed; we had a magnificent example, ally seen in the spectrum of the nova, on a great scale, of motions in the line of frequently presents itself in the laboratory, sight. Two mighty masses of hydrogen in consequence of the unequal expansion fleeing from each other, the hoiter one on the two sides of the line on which the which emitted the bright lines going from reversed line falls. Unless we accept us, while the cooler one, producing the this obvious interpretation of the multiple dark shadows by absorption, approached character of the stellar lines, we should us, with a relative velocity as great as five have to assume a system of at least six hundred and fifty miles a second.
bodies all moving with different velocities. It would be out of place here to describe It is important to state that the waning the spectrum in any detail; it may suffice of the star appeared to produce no mateto say that we were sure that the spectrum rial alteration of its spectrum, but only of the star showed no relationship to that such apparent changes as necessarily of the bright-lined nebulæ, nor to the come in when parts of an object differ usual hydro-carbon spectrum of comets. greatly in brightness. On March 24th, Its general features suggested rather a when the star's light had fallen so low as state of things similar to the erupted solar to about the eleventh magnitude, we could surface. This view was confirmed by a still glimpse the faint continuous spectrum, photograph of its spectrum which we took upon which the remarkable quartet of with a mirror of speculum metal and a bright lines still shone out without any spectroscope with a prism of Iceland spar change of relative intensity: Professor and lenses of quartz, so that the extreme Pickering informs me that in his photoviolet part of the star's light was not cut graphs the principal lines in that part of off by passing through glass. The fainter the spectrum "faded in the order, K, H, continuous spectrum and the brilliant a, F, h, and G, the latter becoming brighter lines were found to extend upon the plate as star was faint.” Omitting the calcium nearly as far as does the light of Sirius, lines H and K, which varied, the order of and not far short of the place where our disappearance agrees with that of the atmosphere stops all celestial light. The sensitiveness of the plate for these parts whole range of the hydrogen lines, includ- of the spectrum, and supports the view ing the ultra-violet series present in the that the star's spectrum remained without white stars and H and K, were bright as material change through this great range they show themselves occasionally re. of magnitude. versed io photographs of the solar prom. How are we to account for the appear. inences, and each accompanied by a line ance and doings of this new star, or rather of absorption.
stars ? For, as we have seen, the great A remarkable feature of great signifi. shifts of the bright and dark lines, the cance in the character of the hydrogen bright to the red, the dark to the blue, lines, bright and dark, must be noticed. clearly indicate two bodies having a relaThey appeared to be sometimes double live motion in the line of sight of about aod sometimes triple — the dark ones as five hundred and fifty miles a second. if by fine bright threads superposed upon Now, during the whole time, some seven them — and, indeed, to be subject to con- weeks, that the spectrum was under obser. tinual change. Now when on the sun's vation, this relative velocity was main. surface, or in the laboratory, portions of tained materially unaltered, though small the same gas at different temperatures chaoges beyond the reach of our instru.