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pect to which Prof. D. has manifestly not discovered | SELECT LIST OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS. the truth, indeed not even the probability. For

GREAT BRITAIN. the confirmation of what is here given, the author has constantly, as often as seemed needful, referred The Temple Church at London : its Histo his theory of Latin Etymology and included the tory and Antiquities. By C. G. Addison, paragraph referred to in brackets. The same ter-J Esã., of the Inner Temple. London. minology is employed in both works. In the prel The Gallery of Antiquities: selected from face, the author has explained, at length, a part of this grammatical terminus, according to his own the British Museum. By F. Arundale, and understanding of it. It were to be wished that the J. Bonomi. London. book contained an explanation of the abbreviations History of the Church of Scotland during used, (ags., Hes., ahd., etc.,) for the benefit of scholars.-Gersdorf's Repertorium.

the Commonwealth. By Rev. Jas. Beattie.

London. 2. History of Philosophy in the Middle Ages ; with a Biographical Dictionary of the Society

Skelch of Literature derived from its Sources. Ifor the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. By Dr. G. 0. Marbach. Leipzig, 1841.

Vol. 1., part 1. London. We have already spoken of the volume of Dr

A Symbolical Dictionary. By Charles Marbach's on the Philosophy of the Greeks and Romans. This is conducted with the same re. Danbus, M. A. New and enlarged edition. search, and we shall, therefore, content ourselves London. here with a brief statement of the arrangement Memoir of India and Affghanistan. By and consecutive order which the author has adopt. IL Harlan London. ed. The introduction, p. 3–15, begins with a glance at Grecian Philosophy and the development Lays of Ancient Rome. By the Right of the question as to the influence of the entrance | Hon. T. B. Macaulay. London. of Christianity on the philosophy of the middle ages. The Modern Pulpit in its Relation to the Accordingly ihe latter is first characterized in gens eral.

tof Socista

1. State of Society. By Robert Vaughan, D. The historic representation is divided into two principal partsrithe “Ante historical" and (D. London. the "Historical." The first unfolds the Alexan.

GERMANY. drine-Jewish, the Alexandrine-Gentile, (Neopla tonic) and the Arabian philosophy. The second. Die wichtigsten und schwierigsten after some general discussion as to the relation of schnitte des Pentateuches. Erläutert. Thl. Christianity to Philosophy, and the character of the 1. Die Geschichte Bileams und seine WeisChristian philosophy of the middle ages, as determined by it, treats first of the Fathers, (Tertullian.

sagungen: von. Dr. G. W. Hengstenberg. Arnobius, Lactantius, Justin, Athenagoras, Ta- Berlin, 1842. tian, Clemens, Origen, Synesius, Aeneas, Nemesius, System der. Logik als Kuntslehre des Augustin the most copiously of all.) then of the Denkens: von Dr. F. G. Beneke. 2 vols. gradual decline of Greek and the first rise of Chris.

Berlin, 1842. tian-Germanic culture ; finally, from p. 207, of Scholastics in four parts. The principle of this dis Handbuch der Geschichte der poetischen crimination is partiy the opposition between Real. National-literatur der Deutschen : von G. ism and Nominalism, partly the influence which G. Gervinus. Leipzig, 1842. the increasing acquaintance with the writings of Aristotle exercised in widening the circle of thought Deutrage

Beiträge zur Kritik von Tacitus Agricola: among the Scholastics. The first part commences von Dr. F. C. Wex. Schwerin, 1842. with John Scotus Erigena; the second with the first appearance of Nominalism ; the third with the

FRANCE. extended study of Aristotle ; the fourth with the Trois ans de promenade en Europe et en revival of Nominalism through Occam.-Ibid.

Asie ; par Stanislas Bellanger. 2 vols. Pa

ris, 1842. franc:.

Recherches sur la priorité de la décou1. On the Resurrection of the Body. By M. Tachard-verte des pays situés sur la côte occidentale

Gaubil, de Montauban ( Tarn et Garonne). d'Afrique ; par de Santarem. Paris, 1842.

M. Tachard undertakes to prove that the resur. Du Crédit public et de son histoire derection is possible and probable according to reason, puis les tems anciens jusqu'à nos jours; certain according to revelation. The rational con. I par M. Marie Angier. Paris, 1842. siderations in favor of his thesis are-1. The constitution of man. 2. The attributes of God. 3. The

Histoire des idées litteraires en France analogies of nature. But these he presents only as aux dix neuvième siècle et de leurs origines presumptions or probabilities. Coming to the real dans les siècles antérieurs ; par A. Michiels. proof, the testimony of the Scriptures, he distin- 12 vols. Paris, 1842. guishes the instruction of the Old from that of the New Testament on this subject; and in the study of

DENMARK. both, he places beside the declarations which affirm the dogma, the facts which imply it, or in some

Thorvalsden og hans Vaerker. Texten sort prophesy it.

forkortet efter Theile ved F. C. Hillerap. M. Tachard discusses objections ; he gives an Kjöbenhavn, 1842. aperçu of the biblical doctrine on the nature of the Genera og Species af Danmarks Eleu. glorified body, and concludes by pointing ont the

therata ; ved J. C. Schiödte. Kjöbenhavn, practical consequences of the truth which he has therata ; ved J. U. Nchioare. Ajobean established.- Revue Théologique.

1842.

AMERICAN ECLECTIC

AND

MUSEUM OF LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

FEBRUARY, 1843.

THE NOVEMBER METEORS.
Translated from the Deutsche Vicrteljahrs Schrift. By the Editor, J. 7. A.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

of all the facts, that the stars of 1833 were srp-a

atmospheric in their origin, and are probably reTre subject of the following article is interest-lated to the auroral and zodiacal lights. The ing, and the author one, whose writings have article will reward any one for a perusal. Ep. attracted considerable attention.

The falling stars of 1833 were, at the time, a In a periodical maintaining the laudable phenomenon of unusual interest, exciting the basis of discussing practical matters of admiration of some, the wonder of others, and present interest, it will, perhaps, seem hazthe fears of multitudes. Had they fallen in lardous to devote an article to a phenomenon November, 1842, they would doubtless have been

of nature which presents no practical asinterpreted as certain prognostics of the coming of the Son of Man in 1843, and Mr. Miller's

pect. But discoveries, which promise new opinions would now be more popular than they explications of the great economy of the are.

solar system, are not limited in their interMen of science were busy, for some time after, Jest to astronomers and meterologists, but in collecting and arranging facts in respect to awaken the attention of all the cultivated on this shower of stars, in order to arrive at some lour globe. As the meteors of November probable conclusions as to their source, distances,

have more and more attracted the general periodicity, etc.

observation, and led to a new comparative In Silliman's Journal of 1834 will be found the explanations of Professors Olmsted, Hitchcock,

view of the striking facts, and the various and Twining, founded on the facts as reported attempts at their explanation, we may be by observers in different parts of the United justified in giving a place here to the conStates and of the Atlantic Ocean.

sideration of this subject. The opinion of Professor Olmsted, in which Fire-balls and shooting stars are wellProfessor Twining concurs, is, that these meteors known phenomena. But they have only were not originated in the earth's atmosphere, l attracted any special attention since the but far beyond it; that they were not ordinary fire-balls, but parts of a nebulous body, revolva

celebrated travellers, Alexander von Hum. ing in an orbit around the sun, and within that of boldt and Bonpland, witnessed an almost the earth; and consequently that, at certain pe- fabulous multitude of these meteors, a thick, riods, it will come within the sphere of observa- incessant shower of shooting stars, during tion from our planet.

the whole night of the 12th of November, Wolfgang Menzel, in the present article, has | 1799, at Cumana, on the coast of South given us the result of extended search into the America. Already some years earlier philosophical annals and chronicles of Europe, (1794), the sagacious and unwearied experand has discovered so many similar phenomenal! occurring between the 12th and 15th of Novem

imenter Chladni had, in a brief essay on ber, that they seem very much to strengthen the meteoric stones, explained

the meteoric stones, explained these heteroge. opinion of our own scientific observers. Men-neous metallic and rocky masses as the prozel himself inclines to the opinion, from a view duct of bursted fire-balls, and conjectured

Vol. I. No. II. 19

that they are not generated in our atmo- gust, 1833. In 1821 and the immediately sphere, but cosmic (supra-atmospheric) in following years, the regular return of the their origin. But his opinion obtained so great meteoric shower on certain days of little credit that, in 1803, the Academy of the year, particularly in November, was Paris, before which he laid his views as a first clearly acknowledged. On the 12th and modest German scholar, pronounced them 13th of Nov. 1831, Berard saw this beautiful fanciful. It so happened, however, that phenomenon in all its splendor, on the just at that time, during the sitting of the coast of Spain. On the same night of the Academy, there occurred in France itself, following year, 1832, it was seen almost near l'Aigle, a most remarkable and abun- throughout Europe ; and on the same night dant shower of meteoric stones. The of the next year, 1833, most gloriously in Academy sent an examining commission to America. Denison (Davison, Menzel has the very spot, and found all the suppositions it.-Ed.) Olmsted observed it in Connecti. of our Chladni confirmed, as they then pen- cut, (Massachusetts it is in the German. itently confessed. In 1819 Chladni publish--ED.) and enumerated, at a reasonable ed his larger work on meteors (continued estimate, 240,000 falling stars. In 1834 and enriched by M. von Schreiber), in fewer meteors appeared, and just one night which his view is supported by innumerable later, that of the 13th and 14th of Novemfacts, collected with the greatest industry ber. Nothing noteworthy occurrred in from both ancient and modern times. 1835. In 1836 the younger Herschel witThere was abundant opposition to his affir- nessed numerous fireballs on the night of mation of the cosmic origin of meteoric the 13th and 14th of November, at the stones; but that they proceeded immedi- Cape of Good Hope ; and in North America ately from fireballs was generally acknow. shooting stars were seen on the 17th. The ledged, and was confirmed almost every next year was destitute of such phenomena, year by new occurrences.

but in 1838 meteors were seen again in Whilst attention generally was rather di- Germany on the 12th, and in 1839 from the rected to meteoric stones than to shooting 10th to the 14th of November. All these stars, Messrs. Benzenberg and Brandes de- recent occurrences are carefully recordvoted themselves to the latter, and tooked in the meteorological chronicles of pains to enumerate and determine the tran- Professor Plieninger, which are publishsient appearances in the heavens. Brandes ed in the circular of the royal agricultural founded a society at Breslau in 1817, whose society of Würtemberg, and are excellent object was to make observations on shoot models for others. In respect to the reing stars, from different points exactly at markable showers of 1832 and 1833, Pug. the same moment of time, and then to com-gendorf's Annals, Bände 33 and 38 ought to pare their collected observations. They be consulted. actually ascertained the height of many of Although, however, the regular return of the falling stars, and as some were reckoned the November meteors was proved, yet at 60, indeed even at 100 German miles, the hypothesis of their cosmic origin had this new experience seemed to establish not also obtained an unquestioned accept. Chladni's cosmic hypothesis. We must ance. As the physical nature of the me. believe that our atmosphere does not reach teors, as far as the same was discoverable, such an elevation ; therefore the falling became more closely examined, new doubts stars come from regions beyond it, as necessarily existed, and to this hour the Chladni had already affirmed of the fireballs most penetrating and most celebrated natuand meteoric stones.

ral philosophers are not agreed in their exStill, nothing was yet known of a periodic planations of the phenomenon. return of remarkable showers of falling | In respect to the fireballs which frequent. stars. True, on the 10th of August, 1815, ly appear in connection with the falling very many of these meteors were seen to stars, are certainly nearly related to them, fall, but who should thence think of a con- and allow us a better opportunity of investi. nection with the 12th of November, 1799 ?gation, as they are larger and approach Again, on the night of the 12th and 13th of nearer, we consider the following facts esNovember, 1822, numerous falling stars tablished. were observed at Potsdam (Comp. Gilbert's Fireballs are usually seen just when they Annalen, Band 72, p. 219); but this corres- have reached their greatest brilliancy, and pondence of the date still seemed to be ac- burst asunder. Their beginning has been cidental. No more did the consequence seldom observed. In such cases, however, become confessed in the meteoric shower wbich Chladni has carefully designated, of the night of the 10th and 11th of Au- there first appeared a distant streak of light, which, as it approached nearer, rounded lyses have been made, which, however, itself into a ball; sometimes, also, several need not be here quoted, as they would streaks (e. g. at Utrecht in 1812), and contribute nothing towards the settlement these, too, crossing each other (as in Eng- of our present inquiry. For the fact that land in 1799). This seems to indicate that these meteoric masses differ from all other the balls, as such, are formed in our atmo- minerals of the earth has not been consi. sphere, and that the matter composing themdered decisive as to their cosmic origin, flows together into a ball, from different inasmuch as it is held to be possible that directions, out of the higher regions of such new minerals may be originated within space, without having been previously unit our atmosphere, somewhat like the hail, ed, or pursued its path anywhere in the merely out of materials evaporated from firmament, as an independent, substantial the earth. body. To this, however, other examples Other substances, of a viscous nature, are opposed. Chladni records many large or like water, or dust, occur more rarely, fireballs, which took their course across an and still less seldom allow us to believe entire continent, were seen for hundreds of them the products of bursted fireballs. The miles, and yet fell nowhere, but shot up- meteoric paper, supposed to have fallen wards again, and disappeared in the distant from the heavens in Courland, in 1686, ac. space of the heavens. He considered these cording to the latest investigations of to be independent bodies, which had acci- Ehrenberg (Records of the Berlin Acadedentally approached our earth, but glided my, 1838), consists of dry Confervæ (a away again on meeting the atmosphere, spongy plant). The showers of red dust, and pursued their course in the blue vault since the recent inquiries of Agardt, in around us.

Lund, and of Agassiz, in Neufchatel, have The form of the fireballs is that of a been discovered to be microscopic searound body, revolving rapidly on its axis, weed, mingled with Infusoria. These, of sometimes running to a point behind, pear course, can no longer be attributed to firelike, or extending far out in a fiery beam, balls, falling stars, and cosmic influences. sometimes emitting flames, throwing off A phenomenon observed in tempests, glowing balls, or like a detonating rocket, seems not unfrequently to have been conleaving behind a long line of smoke. founded with fireballs : namely, flames

Their color is usually red, sometimes such especially as rise up out of the earth even white, more rarely blue, and still more or the sea, but also those which, falling seldom green. The colors also sometimes downwards, sometimes assume the form vary in the same body (e. g. 1756, in Ire- of perfect fireballs, and move on, then in a land); once the ball was red, the tail green moment stop again. Arago has adduced (1817, in Hesse). In the fireball at Glas- numerous instances, in an extended treatise gow, 1752, the bright colors of the rainbow on lightning, in his last annual. Similar balls were seen.

are found in the noxious vapor of mines, Many fireballs vanish without detonation, revolving eolipiles, which grow larger and and without leaving any trace behind. larger, and suddenly burst asunder with a Frequently, however, they burst with a flash and frightful detonation. MacGregor, very loud crash, which has been heard 40 in his description of the Canary Islands (GerGerman miles, and then they regularly man edition, p. 11), says that he has seen throw out the so-called meteoric stones, or a fireball having the appearance of swimother materials. In modern days, a stone-ming on the surface of the ocean. In 1822, shower of this kind has been frequently ex- in the vicinity of St. Omer, fireballs were amined, immediately after its fall, and the thrown out by a water-spout (Annales de oblique direction in which the fireball must Chemie et Physique, v. 24, p. 435). These have entered the atmosphere has been de electrical phenomena and gaseous appeartermined from the elliptical manner in which ances on the surface of the earth and of the the stones were strewed abroad.

sea, must not be confounded with those The dejected masses themselves are ei- great phenomena, which come down from ther meteoric iron or meteoric stone, some- unmeasured heights, and throw whole contimes more, sometimes less solid, always, tinents into alarm. however, so peculiarly composed of the Falling Stars are distinguished from Firesame elements, that no similar composition balls by a whiter, mostly phosphorescent can be found among the minerals of the light, denominated planetary, whilst the earth. The chief ingredients are always glaring red of the fireballs is somewhat solar. iron, pyrites of sulphur, Olivin, Nickel, These stars, too, fall noiselessly; at least Chrome, Magnesia, etc. Very careful ana- the rustling supposed to have been heard in connection with them, is very question. less, or floating down and up again in a able. Moreover, they leave no solid mate-wave-like line. But in those nights, when rial behind. The gelatinous substance, for a great shower of stars falls, they exhibit a a long time thought to be deposited by certain regularity in their forthcoming, them, is now well known to be a species of their diffusion, and their course. Alexanplant (tremella Nostoc). However, where der von Humboldt marked their direction, falling stars have reached the earth, there on the 12th November, 1799, to be chiefly has sometimes really been found, immedi- from the northeast towards the south; ately afterwards, a singular slime, which, Brandes, on the 10–11th of August, 1823, alas ! has never been analyzed. It was seen principally from N. E. to S. W. Their first by Christian Menzel at Siena in 1652, course was just the same in 1832, and conby others in 1718, 1796, 1811, and last in sequently, in both cases, the opposite of the Massachusetts, N. A., in 1819. Comp. Gil. earth's motion. They meet the earth in its bert's Annalen, vol. 55, p. 271 ; v. 63, p. annual revolution around the sun. In 55 ; v. 66. p. 329; v. 71, p. 354, and Schu. 1833, they all issued from the vicinity macher's Jahrbuch, 1832, p. 39). But solid of the star ✓ in the constellation of the meteoric stones have always been seen to Lion, and spread out from that point like a originate from fireballs, never from falling fan. So likewise, in 1834. On the other stars. Even that meteoric slime seems hand, in 1838, they came only in part from still problematical; at least, it must strike the constellation Leo, in part from that of us as remarkable, that in the few cases in Cancer, of Orion, and of the Great Bear, which it has been found, it has been in con- and indeed, shooting out again from these nection with a single shooting star, whilst four centres in divergent beams. the observer of the great showers of stars, When the falling stars are numerous, we when thousands fell at oncc, never mentions generally see also fireballs, like large me. the deposit of any gelatinous or viscous teors, intermingled with the smaller. But substance, which, however, if it were the besides these, many other striking pheno. product of falling stars, ought then to ap mena appear at the same time, and in conpear in very large quantities.

nection with the fall of stars : such as lightFalling stars appear, partly as small, ning, momentary flashing of the heavens, quickly evanishing sparks, partly as long, and, without a beam or a shooting meteor, rocket-like star-shootings, or large moon long, luminous streaks, zodiacal light, aulike globes, with sparkling tails. The roræ boreales, strange rednesses, singular smaller ones, and those falling obliquely, clouds, storms, flood-tides, earthquakes, are always pale; the bright ones are said volcanic eruptions, and even unusual obto fall perpendicularly. Some put on the scurations of the sun, and spots on its sur. colors of the rainbow. Sometimes the tail face. All these appearances, some of them continues to be luminous for minutes after indeed very rarely, have been seen on the the star itself has disappeared. In 1833 critical days (or nights) on which the great strange forms were seen ; one sickle-shap- showers of stars usually return; either ed, another quadrangular. As the height contemporaneously with the falling stars, or of some of these falling stars has been reck without them, as their complement and suboned at 100 miles, it would seem that they stitute. We must now, above all things, scarcely derive their light from the earth's take cognizance of these critical days, as atmosphere, but bring it with them; and all phenomena which are similar acquire a yet they seem not to be constantly lumin- greater significance from the fact, that they ous, but evanish before our eyes, like rock- occur in points of time nearly related. ets. They must also be proportionably Already in ancient times, there were seen smaller. The Prussian circumnavigator showers of stars falling in extraordinary Meyen relates, that he saw a star fall be numbers. As in 533, under the reign of tween himself and the Cordilleras, so that the emperor Justinian, and in 763, under the mountains served for the back-ground that of Constantine Capronymus. But there to its brilliant light. Perhaps, however, the was no note of the date. In 1099 the month most remarkable thing of all about these of November is first distinguished in this falling stars, is their velocity. Brandes has respect; at least, it is said in Vogel's Leipreckoned it at 5 German miles in a second. zig-Chronicles, that at that time, especially

The course of the falling stars is of special about all-saints' day,' there was seen an importance. They have, indeed, been seen in unheard-of number of falling stars, burning all directions, shooting out from and towards torches, and fiery darts in the sky. On the all parts of the heavens, and although fall. 7th of November, 1494, as is well known, ing in immense numbers, yet rising in much the great meteoric stone fell at Ensisheim,

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