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not allow it to sink into oblivion, but would surround it with new lustre, and that great discoveries would also honor his career. Every prediction of the illustrious astronomer has been most completely realized.” *
The discoveries of Sir William Herschel form an epoch in astronomical science. His observations and deductions in relation to variable and periodical stars ; his observations upon double stars and the discovery that the two members of a binary system revolve around their common centre of gravity; his discovery of the motion of the solar system through space and the point whither it is tending, agreeing closely with the most recent investigations; his observations upon the nebulæ, the resolution of some into the stars which compose them, and the conclusion that others are irresolvable, and consequently composed of nebulous matter not yet formed into stars, which the spectroscope has confirmed; his observations on the Milky Way, by guaging the heavens, and deductions respecting its structure ; his discovery of a new primary planet, and several secondary planets ; his discoveries on the surface of the planets, determination of their periods of rotation, of the existence of atmospheres surrounding them; his discoveries in relation to the sun; and his observations on comets, and conclusions respecting their structure and physical constitution, are allsufficient to place him in the very front rank of those eminent scientific men who have adorned the race to which they belonged, and have added so much to a knowledge of the physical universe, which man, for many centuries, has been endeavoring to grasp.
Herschel supposed that he had discovered six satellites which revolve around Uranus, but three or four of them have never been seen by any other astronomer, even with very powerful telescopes. Doubt is therefore thrown on the reality of his discovery of them. In this case we have only negative testimony to oppose to Herschel's confidence in his positive observations. Still
, as the satellites of Uranus are very faint objects, it is possible that Herschel may have mistaken some fixed stars for satellites, although Sir William Herschel was one of the most accurate observers of whom the history of astronomy furnishes us any record.*
* Annuaire pour 1842, p. 581.
Arago has collected the following account of the means taken by Sir John Herschel to preserve the remains of his father's forty-foot telescope: The metal tube of the instrument, carrying at one end the four-foot mirror, was placed horizontally in the meridian on solid piers of masonry, in the midst of the circle where formerly the mechanism required for manæuvring the telescope stood. On the first of January, 1840, Sir John Herschel, his wife, their children, seven in number, together with some old family servants, assembled at Slough. “Exactly at noon, the party walked several times, in procession, around the instrument; they then entered the tube of the telescope, seated themselves on benches that had been prepared for the purpose, and sung a requiem, with English words, composed by Sir John Herschel himself. After their exit, the illustrious family ranged themselves around the great tube, the opening of which was then hermetically sealed. The day concluded with a party of intimate friends.”+ “The whole world will doubtless appland Sir John Herschel,” says M. Arago, "for the pious feeling which actuated him on this occasion, and the friends of science will thank him for having thus consecrated the humble garden where his father achieved such immortal labors, by a monument more expressive in its simplicity than pyramids of statues."
* See Monthly Notices, vol. xxx, p. 219.
| Annuaire pour 1842, p. 268.
Art. III.-1. Decrees of Expulsion against the Jesuits by the
Prussian Government, 1872. 2. Speeches at Public Meetings in England, Germany, and
Switzerland, relative to the Expulsion of the Jesuits. 3. Histoire impartiale des Jésuites. LINGUET. 2 vols., 12mo.
Paris. 4. Historie religieuse, politique, et littéraire de la Compagnie
de Jésus, composée sur les documents inédits et authen
tiques. Par S. CRETINEAU JOLY. 6 vols. 5. Institutiones Societatis Jesu, cum earum Declarationibus.
Nothing is more hateful than oppression, and none lay a stronger hold on the sympathies of all generous minds than its victims. More especially is this the case when the avowed motive, on the part of the oppressor, is to suppress antagonistic thought. Accordingly, in proportion as governments become enlightened they shrink, if only for their own sake, from attempting to fetter the mind.
But even fetters are better than expulsion. It is more reasonable to tie the feet of the steed, when found unduly restive, than to expel him from his pasture. That others will take him in and feed him, for his worth, is no excuse for turning him off. What should be remembered is, that if all would treat him so he would inevitably starve. But to continue the simile a moment longer: suppose him to be a trained Arabian-one whose intelligence and sagacity are such that he has given important aid in the training of other horses ; his only fault being that he is not so docile as he might be, but sometimes prone to plunge and rear-without, however, doing any serious mischief.
Should he be turned out to starve on this account? Should all the good he has done be forgotten and only his faults remembered? Above all, what should be said of the man who, having profited by the labors of such a steed, would say to his neighbor: “You see that horse I have driven off. Yon must give him no shelter on your farm-neither stable nor pasture. If you do, be prepared to fight me!”
We need hardly say that we allude to the course pursued by Prussia towards the Jesuits. Our readers are aware how much we have, ourselves, criticised members of the society; but they are also aware that we have never assailed them, either for their religion or their politics. We have made no attack on them as an order or community, on any ground, because we have never believed they really deserved it; and, perhaps, there are few Protestants in this country who have had more opportunities of studying their character than we. It is precisely because we know what excellent educators the fraternity have proved themselves in Europe, that we could not help regarding some of those engaged in teaching in this country, especially in New York and its vicinity, as sadly degenerate Jesuit educators. In other words, we have criticised some of our local Jesuit colleges, not because they are Jesuit colleges, but because they are unworthy the name of those institutions which have produced the most profound scholars and the most illustrious thinkers of modern times. The colleges of another Catholic order we have found vastly superior in this country, and we have not hestitated to say so. But here end the “enmity” and “malice” of which we have so often been accused by the individual Jesuits whose pretensions, as educators, we have criticised. The best proof that we have entertained no such feeling against a body of men whose educational labors entitle them, in the estimation of every competent, impartial judge, whether Protestant, Catholic, or Infidel, to be regarded as benefactors of mankind—is, that now, when they are oppressed and persecuted, none more earnestly or more indignantly protest against their being so treated than we.
What a commentary it is on the superior enlightenment claimed by the Prussian government, that it is now pursuing the policy of “pains and penalties," on sectarian grounds, which was pursued by England nearly three centuries ago, but for which that nation has been making all possible amends for more than one century, becoming more and more liberal and tolerant from year to year, so that at this moment opinion, whether sectarian or political, is as free throughout the British empire as it is in our own republic.
Englishmen of the present day blush when they read in the pages of their historians that centuries ago it was a crime for a priest or monk to teach even the rudiments of education under British rule. This may well seem, as, indeed, it really was, bad enough. But in the gloomiest times the British mind retained, at least, a portion of the instinct of justice characteristic of the nation ; for only those priests and monks who persisted in defying the penal laws were expelled, despoiled of their means of support, and forced to take refuge in whatever country they found sufficiently hospitable to afford them an asylum.
Prussia does not merely shut up schools and colleges at the present day, and say to the teachers: “Because your theology is not of the orthodox stamp you must not teach Prussian boys their lessons any longer, on pain of being imprisoned or expelled from the country.” What she says, in substance, is this : “Whether you persist in teaching or not, you must leave. We cannot charge you with any particular crime, but you are Jesuits and monks, and that is crime enough in ‘united Germany!"
True, Prussia may refer to two contemporary Catholic governments as examples for her treatment of the Jesuits and other educational orders of the Catholic church. But can the new German empire regard Italy and Guatemala as models ? What country in Europe evinces less intellectual vigor or activity at the present day than Italy? Is it not true, that any of the several states once embraced in Italy was of vastly more importance to the world, for centuries, than the whole peninsula is, at the present moment, however intimately it may be" united”? In proof of this, it is only necessary to mention Florence, Genoa, and Venice, passing over the Mistress of the World. What visions of glory—what a host of immortal spirits are conjured up by these three names ! It is impossible to reflect for a moment on any of the three republics