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But another pain was added to that of “Do you think about me," she hurthis feeling of terrible darkness. From' riedly replied, “that is nothing ; but we morning until morning it ever lived on, must have your instrument back at any it never left him, it ate into his very heart. cost." This pain was jealousy, jealousy that “Now, then help me to find it.” young Herschel could perfect and com- “I will." plete his work.
“Tell me, do you not think it possible Only a few more days and the work that your father-out of funwould be finished, that work which was life No, no; that cannot be. I cannot to Herschel. This day the blind man seem- once remember having heard my father ed more impatient than usual ; the reading joke. I think it would frighten me to hour was come ; Georgina stood gazing hear him do so." silently into the street. Herschel's. step Then, let me go. God bless you !" was heard coming up the stairs, though Georgina gazed after Herschel, holding slower than usual ; he entered the room herself by the banister. There she stood; with a face pale as death, and in a she knew nothing, felt nothing, did not mechanical way exclaimed, “ Thornton, I see it becoming darker and darker; did have some advice to ask from you, some · not feel herself carried away by two strong one has stolen my instrument."
hands, and only awoke to consciousness He passed Georgina without seeing to hear Martha whispering in her ear : her, and seated himself opposite Thornton. “Ah! you foolish little thing, why are you
"Stolen," repeated Thornton, and an so grieved ? He cannot go to London expression like sunshine passed over his now.” face. “When ? "
The lost instrument was sought for "I do not know, I worked at it for the everywhere, but nowhere could it be last time yesterday evening ; since which found. A strict investigation took place I have not seen it. I only missed it an I only missed it an concerning it.
Even the blind man was hour since."
cross-examined, but all to no purpose. “ Have you searched well for it every. There were simple folk who felt convinced where?"
that a certain personage with cloven feet “No corner has remained unsearched, had whisked it away, and carried it to his the good landlady has turned everything dark castle to see the stars with. topsy-turvy; but all in vain.”
Leeds had now lost all attraction for “It must have been a clever thief! Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel ; he had But surely it was not finished.”
lost all trust in its inhabitants, and he “Do you not think that some one may, hailed as a gift from heaven the position perhaps, have taken it away in-fun ?” of organist at Halifax which was now
“No one dare play tricks with such offered to him. He had never been at things. I would have killed the man who Thornton's since that eventful night. A would have taken it out of my sight for strange feeling prevented him going there. even one hour. Think of all the labor Martha now never came to dust his room. which you have bestowed upon that in- Herschel contented himself with writing strument."
a few affectionate and grateful words of “Give me your advice, what shall I farewell to Georgina, and then shook the do?"
dust of Leeds from off his feet. "Go to the magistrate," replied the old A year had scarcely elapsed since the man, coldly and harshly.
“handsome music master" had left Leeds, Mechanically, Herschel rose and left when a very sad occurrence took place the room, without a word. As he went there. The poor little Georgina had been down-stairs, he felt a soft hand laid on his found, one morning, drowned in the Aire.
Georgina stood before him. Shortly after this had happened, an old She trembled on attempting to speak ; but woman had appeared before the magisno word could she utter.
trate, to accuse herself as a “thief” and a Notwithstanding his own excitement, “murderer.” She stated that it was she he perceived her agitation, and taking who had stolen the instrument from Herher hand said, “ Do not grieve so much schel, and that then she had thrown it about it, Georgina, we may find it. You into the Aire. Martha-for it was shewill make yourself ill."
being asked why she had done so, obsti
nately refused to answer, but became more celebrated astronomer with whose name and more excited, lamenting over her all the world is familiar. darling Georgina, “who had been drowned In the year 1774, Herschel had dislooking for that instrument, because she covered by the reflector, which he had had promised Herschel to find it for him ; himself invented, the ring of Saturn and and the fairies had pointed out the spot the satellites of Jupiter. He also published to the poor child, but the darling had bent his calculations of the altitude of the too low, and had so been drowned. And,
Five years later, on the 15th of sure, the instrument had been stolen for March, 1781, which happened to be the the best; but, alas! it did not keep them thirty-first anniversary of his dear sister together.” And such was the burden of Caroline's birth, Herschel discovered a poor Martha's story. She was kept a new planet. That planet is known best long time in prison ; and, after she was by the name of Uranus, but he called it released, her face was never again seen in the Georgium Sidus. Leeds.
Was it in honor of King George III. of The blind Thornton lived for many England (as the English believe), or was years after in the family of his kind-hearted it in memory of the little Georgina, that landlady, whose youngest son, a lame · the ex-music master named his planet? lad, used to read for him daily ; but Who can tell ? there was no tear shed for Thornton, King George gave Herschel a kingly when he was found dead one morning in recompense. Herschel was no longer a his attic.
poor man. At Slough, near Windsor, in Notwithstanding the loss of his instru- his quiet retreat with the young wife who ment, and the disappointment of not get- adored him, he carried on his scientific ting to London-notwithstanding all his studies without cares and without interrupfrustrated hopes, Herschel became that tions.
It may prove interesting to consider a most favorable conditions, and the enorfew of the facts which astronomers have mous dimensions of his belts render them taught us about the planet of war. For very obvious and very beautiful features of all the planets, he is the one they can for the scrutiny of the telescopist. But study best. He does not, indeed, come then he is some 370 millions of miles so near to us as Venus, nor does he, in from us at such a time, whereas Mars, the telescope, present so noble an appear when most favorably placed for telescoance as Jupiter. Venus outshines him in pic study, is but 37 millions of miles away. the heavens, and Jupiter seems to show A square mile on the surface of Mars more interesting details in the telescopic would appear, a hundred times larger than field. Yet we see Mars, in reality, far a square mile on the surface of Jupiter, better than either of those two planets. supposing both planets studied when at If ever we are to recognize the signs of life their nearest. It is clear, then, that, as in any orb of those which people space, respects surface details, Mars is examined it will be in Mars that such signs will be under much more favorable conditions first traced. As Venus comes near to us than the giant planet Jupiter. she assumes the form of the crescent But here the question is naturally sugmoon ; we have but a fore-shortened view gested whether our own moon, which is of a portion of her illuminated hemisphere, but a quarter of a million of miles from and her intensely bright light defeats the us, ought not first to be examined for scrutiny of the most skilful observer. At signs of life, or, at least, of being fitted for the time of her nearest approach, she is the support of life. When the telescope lost wholly to our view in the splendor was first invented, it is certain that astroof the solar rays, her unilluminated or night nomers were more hopeful of recognizing hemisphere being directed also towards such signs in the moon than in any other us. With Jupiter, the case is different. celestial body. As telescopes of greater When at his nearest he is seen under and greater power were constructed, our satellite was searched with a more and winds to waft moisture from place to place, more eager scrutiny. And many a long or to cause the clouds to drop fatness year elapsed before astronomers would upon the lunar fields. They know also accept the conclusion that the moon's sur- that the moon's surface is subjected alterface is wholly unfitted for the support of nately to a cold far more intense than that any of those forms of life with which we which binds our arctic regions in everlastare familiar upon earth. That the belief ing frost, and to a heat compared with in lunar men prevailed in the popular which the fierce noon of a tropical day is mind long after astronomers had abandon- as the freshness of a spring morning. They ed it, is shown by the eager credulity with search only over the lunar disk for the which the story of Sir John Herschel's sup. signs of volcanic action, feeling well assurposed observations of the customs and ed that no traces of the existence of living manners of the Lunarians was accepted creatures will ever be detected in that even among well-educated men. Who desolate orb. can forget the gravity with which that But with Mars the case is far otherwise. most amazing hoax was repeated in all All that we have learned respecting this quarters? It was, indeed, ingeniously charming planet leads to the conclusion contrived. The anxiety of Sir John Hers- that it is well fitted to be the abode of chel to secure the assistance of King life. We can trace, indeed, the progress William, and the care with which “our of such changes as we may conceive sailor-king” inquired whether the interests that the inhabitants of Venus or of Merof nautical astronomy would be advanced cury must recognize in the case of our by the proposed inquiries; the plausible own earth. The progress of summer and explanation of the mode of observation, winter in the northern and southern halves depending, we were gravely assured, upon of the planet, the effects due to the prothe transfusion of light; the trembling gress of the Martial day, from sunrise to anxiety of Herschel and his fellow-workers sunset-nay, even hourly changes, correas the moment arrived when their search sponding to those which take place in our was to commence; the flowers, resem- own skies, as clouds gather over our conbling poppies, which first rewarded their tinents, or fall in rain, or are dissipated scrutiny ; and the final introduction upon by solar heat : such signs as these that the scene of those winged beings-not, Mars is a world like ours can be recogstrictly speaking, men, nor properly to be nized most clearly by all who care to study called angels—to whom Herschel assigned the planet with a telescope of adequate the generic appellation, Vespertilio Homo, power. or Bat-men. All these things, and many As regards the atmosphere of Mars, by others equally amusing, were described the way, the earliest telescopic observers with marvellous gravity, and with an atten- fell into a somewhat strange mistake. tion to details reminding one of the de- For, noticing that stars seemed to disapscriptions in Gulliver's Travels. One can pear from view at some considerable dishardly wonder, then, that the narrative tance from the planet, they assigned to was received in many quarters with un- the Martial atmosphere a depth of many questioning faith, nor, perhaps, even at hundreds of miles,--we care not to say the simplicity with which (as Sir John how many. More careful observation, Herschel himself relates) well-meaning however, showed that the phenomenon persons planned measures for sending upon which so much stress had been laid missionaries “among the poor benighted was merely optical. Sir J. South and Lunarians."
other observers, carefully studying the Yet astronomers have long known full planet with telescopes of modern concertainly that no forms of life such as we struction, have been able to prove abunare familiar with can exist upon the moon. dantly that the atmosphere of Mars has They know that if our satellite has an no such abnormal extension as Cassini atmosphere at all, that atmosphere must and others of the earlier telescopists had be so limited in extent that no creatures imagined we are acquainted with could live in it.
The early observations made on the They know that she has no oceans, seas, polar snows of Mars were more trustrivers, or lakes, neither clouds nor rains, worthy. Maraldi found that at each of and that if she had there would be no two points nearly opposite to each other on the globe of the planet, a white spot most satisfactory manner into each other, could be recognized, whose light, indeed, —will be found full of interest. was so brilliant as to far outshine that We all know that Mars shines with a emitted by the remainder of the disc. ruddy light. He is, indeed, far the rudThe idea that these white spots correspond diest star in the heavens: Aldebaran in any way to the polar snows on our own and Antares are pale beside him. Now, earth does not seem to have occurred to in the telescope the surface of Mars does Maraldi. Yet he made observations which not appear wholly red.
We have seen were well calculated to suggest the idea that at two opposite points his orb exhibfor he noted that one of the spots had at its white spots. But, besides these regions, a certain time diminished greatly in size. there are others which are not red. Dark Instead, however, of ascribing this change spaces are seen, sometimes strangely comto the progress of the Martial seasons, he plicated in figure, which present a wellwas led to the strange conclusion that the marked tinge of greenish blue. Here, white spot was undergoing a process of then, we have a feature which we should continuous decrease, and he even announc- certainly expect to find if the polar spots ed the date when, as he supposed, it are really snow-caps ; for the existence of would finally disappear.
water in quantities sufficient to account No such disappearance took place, for snow regions covering many thousand however. When Sir W. Herschel began square miles of the surface of Mars would his series of observations upon Mars, more undoubtedly lead us to infer the existence than half a century later, the spots were of oceans, and these oceans might be exstill there. The energy of our great pected to resemble our own oceans in astronomer did not suffer these striking their general tint. According to this view, features to remain long unexamined. the dark greenish-blue markings on Mars Searching, as was his wont, after terrestri- would come to be regarded as the Martial al analogies-or, at least, analogies de- seas. pending on known facts—he was quickly If this be the case, then, we may note in led to associate the white spots with our passing that the seas of Mars cover a much arctic regions. It would follow, of course, smaller proportion of his surface than those that in the summer months of either Mar- of our own earth. The extent of our seas tial hemisphere, the snow cap would be being to that of our continents about the reduced in size, while in the winter it would proportion of 11 to 4: in Mars the land attain its greatest dimensions. Sir W. and sea surfaces would seem to be nearly Herschel found this to be the case, and equal in extent. The seas in Mars are also he was able to show that the changes very singularly shaped. They run into which Maraldi had interpreted as suggest- long inlets and straits; many are bottle or ing the eventual disappearance of one of flask shaped—that is, we see a somewhat the bright spots, were due to the progress rounded inland sea connected with what of the Martial summer. Precisely as in must be called the main ocean by a narour summer months, those who voyage row inlet; and further it would seem as across the Atlantic may sail in far higher though oceanic communication must be latitudes than they could safely venture to far more complete in Mars.(notwithstandtraverse in winter, so in Mars the polar ing the relative smallness of his ocean surice and snow is limited within a far nar- face) than on our own earth. One could rower region in summer than in winter. travel by sea between all parts of Mars
But after all (it may be urged), to sup- with very few exceptions—the long inlets pose that these two bright spots are formed and the flask-shaped seas breaking up his in reality of ice and snow is rather venture. land surface much more completely than some. Might we not imagine that some the actual extent of water would lead us other material than water is concerned in to infer. It may be supposed that on the the observed changes ? What reason have other hand land communication is far we for inferring that the same elements more complete in the case of Mars than that we are familiar with exist out yonder in that of our own earth. This is, indeed, in space?
the case ; insomuch that such Martialists The answer to these questions,—or, as object to sea travelling (and we can rather, the answers, for we have to do with scarcely suppose sea-sickness to be a phe. a whole series of facts, dovetailing in the noinenon peculiar to our own earth) may
very readily avoid it, and yet not be de- the greenish markings as to tell us the barred from visiting any portion of their nature of the material which emits .or reminiature world, save one or two exten- flects to us that peculiarly tinted light. sive islands. Even these are separated by But the astronomer and physicist is capasuch narrow seas from the neighboring ble of reasoning as to certain effects continents, that we may regard it as fairly which must necessarily follow if the planwithin the power of the Martial Brunels et of war have oceans and polar snowand Stephensons to bridge over the inter- caps, and which could not possibly appear vening straits, and so to enable the advo- if the markings we call oceans were not cates of land voyaging to visit these por- really so, nor the white spots at the Martions of their planet. This view is en- tial poles really snow-caps.
Extensive couraged by the consideration that all en- seas in one part of the planet, and extengineering operations must be much more sive snow regions in another, would imply readily effected in Mars than on our own in a manner there could be no mistaking, earth. The force of gravity is so small at that the vapor of water is raised in large the surface of Mars that a mass which on quantities from the Martial oceans to be the earth weighs a pound, would weigh on transferred by Martial winds to polar reMars but about six and a quarter ounces, gions, there to fall in snow-showers. It is so that in every way the work of the engi- this aqueous vapor in the Martial atmosneer, and of his ally the spadesman, would phere that the spectroscope can inform be lightened. A being shaped as men us about. Our spectroscopists know quite are, but fourteen feet high, would be as well what the vapor of water is capable active as a man six feet high, and many of showing in the rainbow-tinted streak times more powerful. On such a scale, which is called the spectrum. When white then, might the Martial navvies be built. light is caused to shine through a sufficient But that is not all. The soil in which they quantity of the vapor of water, the rainwould work would weigh very much less, bow-tinted streak forming the spectrum mass for mass, than that in which our ter- of white light is seen to be crossed by restrial spadesmen labor. So that, be- certain dark lines, whose position and artween the far greater powers of Martial rangement there is no mistaking. Now beings, and the far greater lightness of the the light we get from Mars is reflected materials they would have to deal with in sunlight, but it is sunlight which has been constructing roads, canals, bridges, or the subjected to more than reflection, since it like, we may very reasonably conclude has passed twice through the depths of the that the progress of such labors must be Martial atmosphere, first while passing to very much more rapid, and their scale his surface, and secondly while leaving very much more important, than in the that surface on its voyage towards ourcase of our own earth.
selves. If that double passage have carBut let us return to our oceans, remem- ried it through the vapor of water, the bering that at present we have not proved spectroscope will certainly tell us of the that the dark greenish-blue regions we fact. have called oceans, really consist of water. Let us see how this problem was dealt
It might seem hopeless to inquire with by our most skilful spectroscopist, whether this is the case. Unless the as- Dr. Huggins, justly called the Herschel tronomer could visit Mars and sail upon of the spectroscope. The following acthe Martial seas, he could never learn- count is an epitome of his own narrative : so at a first view one might fairly judge-- -“On February 14 he examined Mars whether the dark markings he chooses to with a spectroscope attached to his powcall oceans are really so or not.
erful eight-inch refractor. The rainbowBut he possesses an instrument which colored streak was crossed, near the can answer even such a question as this. orange part, by groups of lines agreeing The spectroscope, the ally of the teles- in position with those seen in the solar cope-useless without the latter, but able spectrum when the sun is low down, and to tell us much which the most powerful so shines through the vapor-laden lower telescope could never reveal--has been strata of our atmosphere. To determine called in to solve this special problem. It whether these lines belonged to the light cannot, indeed, directly answer our ques- from Mars or were caused by our own attion. It cannot so analyze the light from mosphere, Dr. Huggins turned his spec