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seemed as though an invisible arm detained him, and A PARABLE OF LIFE.

though he felt that he could shake it off, an unhcard

pleading prevented him; as though by so doing, be A youth had vowed to labour in unfruitful pastures. moved in another direction, but the same unseen ob

would inflict some grievous wound. He turned and Heary was the burthen, comfortless and well-nigh

stacle checked his steps. Then he stood still and hopeless the toil; the cruel earth brought forth thorns and brambles under his diligent hands, and each seed marvelled ; and his eyes were opened, and he saw that that he dropped withered ere it had strength to grow within the circle stood an Angel with a sorrowful face

around him there was a bright circle drawn, and up. There was no shelter from the burning noon-day and loving eyes. When he moved, the circle moved sun; for it was a land without trees, and the few sap. lings which he had planted were sickly and miniature, too ; and when he touched the edge and strove to cross and it seemed hard to wait till their puny shade should it, then came the invisible difficulty, and he kept acquire breadth and richness, as most likely they too within the edge. He saw, moreover, that when he would die early. And as there were no trees, so like. moved, the Angel moved too, with averted face and wise were there no birds; for those sweet and gentle deprecating gesture, in an opposite direction, as though ones could not live without a nest and a covering; about, but unwilling, to leave him. But at the edge of neither was there any water to refresh the parched and the circle the Angel paused also, and seemed unable to splitting ground. So all the kindly melodies of Nature

cross it, and returned to him again. And a voice said were mute, and the low howl of the wandering wolf, as

in his ears, " In a far, quiet place, there is one praying it came upon the midnight blast, seemed but the fit for thee, and that prayer is the bright circle. Thou utterance of the spirit of the place. The soul of the canst cross it if thou wilt, but it is hard for thee to do youth was very desolate, and he had no heart to work.

And till thou cross it, not even thy sins can sepaHe prayed for blindness and deafness, but the hateful rate thee from the Angel whom that prayer has entangle of poisonous herbs was still before his eyes, and circled in its silver line and so preserved for thee !" the voice of the prowling beast still rang in his ears.

Then he felt greatly comforted, and took courage. Then he prayed that his vow might be taken from him, And he went manfully to labour, under the eyes of that but there was no answer. And the seeds were ready Angel, and by the soft light of that prayer, which for sowing, and the plough was prepared for his hand, seemed to grow brighter by night. And lo! when the but how should the seeds develope in a soil which gave morning arose he found a small stream, breaking with no nourishment, and of what avail was the plough save

difficulty out of the bosom of the stony earth. And he to show him that the depths were as unfruitful as the hewed a basin for it, with pain and trouble, and gradusurface?

ally it became a fountain, softening the ground and And, behold, afar off there was a mountain, and the feeding the weak and weary verdure. And who shall sides of it were steeped in sunlight. He could see that say, that in the end the barren valley shall not be they were soft and green with abundance of verdure; a

fairer than the far-off mountain? For the labourer has thousand colours danced in the sunbeams, as a thousand not refused to see the growing beauty of the one, flowers shook their sweet bells in the morning air, and because he is too distant to discern the hidden evils their fragrance reached even to him, and seemed to in- of the other. He is working, in fear truly, but also in vite him to go among them. There was the grateful hope ; and the tiny buds are beginning to pierce the coolness of spreading trees and the soft hum of stealing soil, and the faded leaves are resuming their freshness; waters ; there the very winds became music, because and there is even a solitary bird on the sapling which they were full of the strains of the wood-choristers. grows beside him, to cheer him by its notes of timid There the grain seemed to spring up into waving sympathy, and its whispered promise, that here it will corn, almost as it was committed to the earth, and if build its nest; and as the grove arises, a nation of tares or thorns were among it they were not visible songsters shall arise to people it. He has not forsaken from so great a distan Wh the field where the his work, therefore for him there shall be rest in the hapless youth was set to labour, the good plants that

end. were really struggling into life were so few and so scattered, that he could not discern them among the abundance of evil; or, if he did see them, they gave

ON EQUALITY OF PUNISHMENTS. him little comfort, for he believed that they would perish ere they attained their full strength. Then he Puddledock, a very incarnation of justice, impartiality,

It was not many months ago that his worship of began to think that he would forsake the barren pas- and other legal qualifications, did sit upon his awful tures and go to toil where he might find a reward. bench, where, for long time, he had been quite a terror “Woe is me !" said he, “wherefore am I thus afflicted ? to pickpockets, beggars, and other rebels against our I would give my life for the earth if I could make it condemn, and sentence a veritable nobleman. It was

admirable Constitution, and then and there did try, and fruitful; but it is waste to plough and bow where the a decided occasion; in fact, an event. Justice had in soil has no capacity for giving nurture. Martyrdom is old days gone by been represented with a bandage over but another name for suicide, unless the cause sanctify but latterly it had been thought, whether rightly or

her eyes, for fear, as it may be presumed, of accidents, the martyr. I will arise and depart."

wrongly it skilleth not to decide at this present, that, And he arose and would have moved away, but it like the specimens of mesmeric clairvoyance, she had

T. N. II.

managed to squint out sideways. Now, however, the raise somewhat of an outcry for the rights of the commajesty of law was to be vindicated. After-ages were monalty, do altogether unjustly to the others. The fact to learn that partiality attaches not to a British station really seems to be, that the worthy magistrate aforesaid, house, -that the same even-handed justice was scrupu- and those who think as he does, are, to speak logically, the lously administered to rich and poor. An opportunity, victims of an equivocal noun. For there are two kinds a decidedly grand opportunity, had offered. The scion of equality, quite distinct each from the other; equality of a noble house had, in the exuberance of spirits (for- of kind or quantity, and equality of proportion. If give the pun, dear reader,) assaulted a policeman. A punishment is awarded on the principle of the former, little while before a poor man had done likewise, and injustice will and must, in very many cases, result; the had been punished with imprisonment. Why should latter, it is here contended, is the natural equality which the one pay a fine merely, while his poorer brother had should be scrupulously maintained. For when it is enbeen confined in durance vile-one of the same flesh forced that there should be equality of punishment for and blood, one of the great human family, as orators the same offence, it is thereby meant, I suppose, that are wont to say,“one of the same country, and entitled the punishment should be equal as regards the offenders. to the same protection and liberty ? Would this be just Now, if actual inequality be produced by scrupulously and right, that the poor man should rot in the common adhering to identity of punishment, it is obvious that, dungeon, in manacles and chains, while my Lord puts in the very endeavour to maintain this inviolable prinhis hand into his pocket, pays his fine, which he would ciple of law, we are truly most pertinaciously subverting not miss if he lost it, and goes home to his fashionable it. Yet we can easily see how that such is the case in amusements, little the worse for his morning's adven- certain instances. À woman and a man commit the ture? Forbid it, genius of Rectitude-forbid it, Minos, same offence; for which it may be that public whipping Aramanthus, Solon, and Cerberus, whose very nature, is one of the statutable punishments. Is it not very evithe dog, abhorred one-sidedness. Let it never be said dent, even to the short-sighted, that by so sentencing that here, in the centre of enlightenment, the fountain the woman as well as the man, a very much severer of justice was polluted ! No. Let Europe and the punishment is, in fact, inflicted on the former? For the civilized world know for certain, that if my Lord shall natural modesty and tenderness of the sex causes that it violate the laws as Jack the costermonger hath violated would be, in her case, immeasurably heavier. The rethem, he shall be punished with the same punishment, sult, then, is, that unequal punishments would, by such and share the same fate. So cogitated the worthy a sentence, be inflicted, and this for the very reason that magistrate, and so did his worship proceed to sentence. they were both the same. So, again, if a private in a Lord

- goes to prison for a week or so, enjoys the regiment strikes his superior, and an officer commits a company of Jack the costermonger, and of others simi- like offence, is the same punishment inflicted by martial larly circumstanced, and the judge is lauded in news- law? Is the officer sentenced, like the private, to a cerpaper, penny magazine, in tavern, and beer-shop, to his tain number of lashes? If he were to be thus punished, heart's content.

would the punishment be equal ? Certainly not; for the If such be the determined judgment of thy mind, different education of the two makes the degradation in dear reader, here stop; for the story is a very nice one, the instance of the officer infinitely greater than in that and we have no wish to disturb respectable prejudices of the private; and, therefore, so to sentence him would We have no sympathies with the noble culprit, and are be, in fact, to award a different and severer punishment. only using him as a peg whereon to hang a word or two And so, again, in the punishment for drunkenness, about equality of punishments. Yet if thou thinkest surely, to tine a poor man five shillings, is an infinitely invincibly as the worthy magistrate did, and as the severer infliction upon him than the same fine would be still more worthy press do, here pause, and content on his richer neighbour. Identity of punishment in this thyself, for we shall only disturb thy equanimity, and case involves injustice to the poor man. There are, ingo rather to some magazine or paper which deals in deed, cases where the magnitude of the crime destroys politics, and will write for thine especial behoof all all notion of proportion ; on somewhat the same princimanner of nice and eloquent things about the rights of ple as Draco's, that crime, at the very best, deserves the people, and so forth. If thou hast an earnest zeal the heaviest punishment, and nothing severer can be for the truth, go forward, for this is the sole object of exacted under any circumstances. For instance, in cases

of murder or high-treason, death is inflicted on rich and Do not, then, at the very outset, dear reader, increase poor alike. Nothing less would be proportionate; noour difficulty by imagining that we are aiming at the thing more would be possible. destruction of equality in punishments; for in so doing But these are exceptions. In ordinary cases respect you would greatly misapprehend us, and, what is far should be had to the convicted person, his position, and more important, would raise sundry, by no means insig. education ; for want of due consideration of which a nificant difficulties, in your own way. This principle of much heavier punishment might be inflicted than equality in the dispensation of justice is far too sacred either the law or the administrator of the law had into be thus sacrificed. Its foundations are fixed deep intended. Putiendorf, in his Law of Nature and of Nations, the most sacred law of Nature; and by no means wise, (and he is no mean authority), has most clearly enun. therefore, would it be to sneer at it, or to denounce the ciated this doctrine. We must further add this also," sturdy maintenance thereof, as an entirely popular cry. he writes, “that all should not be alike visited with the Indeed, were we to do so, it would not quite succeed, for same punishment, and consequently should not by the honest common sense generally manages to find out the same means be deterred from the commission of crime. right in the end. Therefore, conceive of us as verita- It is easily evident, that as in the general arrangement ble champions of this first sacred principle of right, of punishments

, so in the special application of the same without which law is not, law cannot be, for it is what to individuals, regard must be had to the character of Seneca has called it, “the foremost part of equity.” the delinquent himself, and in it, to those qualities, Whatever regular system there may be in a code which which, whether from age, sex, position, resources, shuts its eyes to this aforesaid equality, it cannot be strength, or the like, may have the power of diminishcalled equity, but only might pleasing to act on a fixed ing, or increasing his sense of the punishment.” It is plan of its own; for justice recognises, and sacredly true that in very many cases of delinquency, it is quite preserves, mutual right. It is because this equality is possible that the education and consequent knowledge sacrificed and destroyed, that we blame the worthy of the parties would greatly aggravate the offence. magistrate; for we cannot be so unjust in our judgment, This was, if I remember rightly, insisted upon in the neither will we be so blind to the conservation of our judgment upon Frost in the matter of the Chartist disown consistency, as to deny the noble this same equality turbances; and rightly: Yet the very principle inwhich we are demanding for the poor, and, while we volved in such a distinction requires, that a like

this paper.


consideration should be shown where the result would It is evident, therefore, that in this particular case, be exactly the reverse, and the superior position of the and in general, the enforcement of identity of punishparty concerned would fairly be allowed to be a pallia- ment for the same offence would be productive of no tion. For if the principle of reference to the position small injustice. It is as contrary to reason, as it would and circumstances of the offender be once allowed, it be in commerce to require arithmetical identity in would obviously be quite one-sided to confine its opera transfer; though in the latter instance the absurdity tion to instances where judicial severity would be would be more apparent. For if for the two shoes of thereby increased. The particular application of such the cobbler, the landlord were required to give two farms, a rule is of course a very different matter. Grave diffi- and the jeweller should only receive for his one diamond culties are certainly imaginable ; but with these we have ring one egg from his poulterer, the confusion and disno business. They belong to legal casuistry. It is proportion would be only outwardly more apparent, enough if the principle itself be admitted. Neither than that which the same precise identity in judicial would the dissimilarity of the punishment for the same punishments would produce. Respect in both cases offence in the case of two persons in different positions, must necessarily be had to the mutual relation of the and of different qualities, physical or intellectual, neces- two parties concerned, otherwise in the one instance, sarily involve disproportion, as people fondly seem to commerce, in the other, all equity of law, would be imagine. Were this the case, of course the question utterly annihilated. would be at once set at rest. Nor, again, does the fact, And an analogical argument in favour of what has that in particular instances, where law has been pro- been said, may be drawn from the consideration of fessedly administered on such principles, manifest rewards. For rewards and punishments follow the inequality of punishment has resulted, at all invalidate same law, and are based on siinilar principles. Now, our position. For the indefinite accumulation of such surely nothing would be more absurd, nothing more instances would only prove the incapacity of the ad- likely to destroy the object of rewards, than to distribute ministrator or the defect of the law, unless it could be them equally without reference to the position of those shown that such one-sidedness was the proper and who are intended to receive them. In the case of renecessary result of the principle itself, which it is not. covery of lost property how differently do people act, For instance, in the example given at the beginning of when he who has recovered it, and is to be rewarded, is this paper, if a small fine had been inflicted on the rich in lowly condition, for what they would do, if he were person, while the poor man was sent to prison, the equal or superior to themselves in rank. That which punishment would probably have been unequal. The would be an insult in the latter case, is the proper and object should have been, so to fine the former as to expected reward in the former; and, on the other hand, make the loss to him as severe as the restraint on per- the mere expression of thankfulness, which is all that sonal liberty would be to the latter ; so that a propor- the gentleman could be offered, would be ridiculed or tionate equality would have been attained. But, by named as mean and miserly, in the instance of a poor inflicting the same identical punishment on both, a The like holds good in those infinitely mightier severe injustice was committed. For it surely never can instances, where the person to be rewarded has saved be pretended that the discomforts of prison fare and our life, or that of some near and dear relation. And prison lodgment are not greater to the nobleman who in the army, how ludicrous a result would ensue from has fared delicately his life long, than they are to the enforcing an identity of rewards! How could an officer poor man, who perchance is even better fed and lodged consider himself rewarded, if the blue riband or legion than he was while he was free. Neither can it be the of honour, which is offered him, were bestowed on every same, that the one should either be compelled to utter private who at all distinguished himself. And in scclusion, or must herd with persons with whom he has division of prize money it would fare ill indeed with the little in common, as far as mutual intercourse is con- stability of our troops an equal sum were distributed cerned, while the other is placed in the midst of his to officers and men alike. So also how quickly would fellows and social equals, with the like to whom he has our titles of nobility lose their estimation, and die a always been accustomed to associate, previous to his natural death, if every poor or illiterate man, that had imprisonment.

done prominent service to his queen or country, should It may be said that the superior attainments and receive one of them. They would be brought very much education of the gentleman gave him an advantage over into the condition of knighthood in the reign of the poor man; and, therefore, that as the offence was George IV., who is reported to have threatened an ungreater, because the hindrances to its commission were wieldy alderman, who pertinaciously attended his more numerous, so ought his punishment to have been levées, that if the fellow ever came again he would

In other words, that identity of crime no make a knight of him, as sure as he had a head upon more necessarily supposes equality of guilt, than identity, his shoulders. equality of punishment. If this be urged, then the It is indeed curious that the same principle which, principle advocated in this paper is conceded, and the in the case of rewards, appears absurd and untenable, question would resolve itself into a mere consideration should be so strangely advocated in the strictly analogous of the particular case : for it is thereby allowed, that case of punishments. That there is more cause for the the punishment is not, ought not to be, equal, and that one than for the other, it were indeed difficult to estaby making it the same in both cases, it was made pur-blish ; and since, when carefully investigated, the whole posely unequal, that it might counterbalance the reason of things leads us to an opposite conclusion, I inequality of guilt.

think we must attribute its serious maintenance to Nevertheless, even in the particular case there is irrational prejudice, and rank it among those many something to be said. For it surely is a mark of strange surprising cases, wherein popular outery and political partiality not to take into account that the policeman cant have been allowed to drown the voice of truth and is below the nobleman in position and society, his reason. The first impression, the superficial reasonableinferior; while he is to the poor man a superior, and as ness, doubtless deceived the worthy magistrate, and, if such invested with additional dignity and authority; it be not treason to say so, the very immaculate press. The natural repugnance, therefore, which the latter had On the whole it may safely be said, that if this aforesaid to overcome, must have been very much greater than functionary of English law had perchance pored over that which hindered the foriner; and Puffendorf lays it Blackstone, Coke upon Littleton, and other yellow-coated down as an indisputable canon, that “It in no small | volumes with red labels, a little less, and trusted to his degree contributes to a due and proper estimation of doubtless most sound common sense a little more, he offences, to examine how far a person's disposition may would not have been so blinded, as, involuntarily it may have been calculated to lead him to ccase from any be, to sacrifice the awful purity of justice to the dictatiou given crime.”

of a miserable and altogether despicable cant. It

more severe.

behores all who are the servants of law to remember, that placing himself immediately before the figure, he thus human justice is only venerable so long as it shall show addressed it:itself to be, as it were, the shadow of God, the expression “Statue! statue! many of our citizens die daily, by of His great attribute of justice. Thence does it, must reason of your informations; now take this warning; if it spring, as from a never-failing fountain. Directly it you accuse me, I will break your head." becomes the slave of popular outcry, and wavers with Having thus spoken, Focus returned home to his the breath of man, it is no longer worthy of worship, usual work, though it was the prohibited day. About but sinks into the measureless contempt of the well mid-day the king sent to the statue to inquire whether judging and the good. Athenian ostracism, when it the law was being duly observed. banished an Aristides, did not exile him, but itself, from “Statue,” said the officers, "the emperor demands the pure air of heaven. The Council of Five Hundred, whether the edict is being strictly observed.” when it condemned the good Socrates, slew him not, for "Friends," rejoined the magic voice; "look up, seo he lives yet fresh in the hearts of men, but committed | what is written on my forehead.” a most ignominious suicide. The philosopher it was They obeyed the commands of the statue, and saw who condemned his judges, and removed his cause to a these three lines on his brow :higher court, in words full of right and nobleness, confident as he was in his uprightness and honesty of

“ Times are altered.

Men grow worse. purpose. “I wished," said he, "to make my fellowcitizens happy, and it was a duty I performed by the

Jle that speaks the truth has his head broken." special command of the gods, whose authority I regard “Friend,” said the statue again, "go tell the emmore than yours.And they have even now surely peror what thou hast read." vindicated him from all false witnessings, by the Now, when Titus heard what was written on the foreaccordant voice of the great human heart.

head of the statue, he was very wroth, and ordered his Of all disrespectable cants, political cant is well-nigh guards, and his officers, to watch before the statue, and the worst, and when the voice of law finds expression in see that no man did it injury. He bade them also resuch vocabulary, it does itself a most fatal injury. He, quire of the statue the name of the malefactor, and who gives sentence, must be, as if the mouthpiece of bring him before him directly. God, and must do His work, fearful of himself, fearless “Declare, O statue!" said the officer of the emperor's of consequences. Terrible, yea, terrible indeed, is his guards, “who it is that threatens you." baseness of condition, who perverts his office to unworthy "It is Focus, the carpenter," rejoined the figure; “he ends, and so teaches others to despise that awful cares not for the edict, and never remits his labour; attribute of God, of which he is the mischievous moreover, he menaces me with a broken head if I disexponent.

close his crime."

The guards soon discovered Focus, at work as usual, and dragged him before the imperial presence.

“Man,” said the emperor, “what is this that I hear

of thee? Not only dost thou break the law, but dost THE CARPENTER AND THE MAGIC STATUE. also menace the statue, should it declare thy crime.”

“It is even so, my lord; I cannot afford to keep the When Titus was emperor of Rome, he promulgated a cdict; a holiday to me is so much loss. Every day decree, that the birth-day of his son should be kept must I obtain eight pennies, and without incessant sacred, and that no one should presume to do any labour labour I have not the means of acquiring them. Holidays on that day under the penalty of death. The emperorsoon are well enough for the rich, but for the poor they are found that it was far easier to decree than to obtain the too often a curse.” concurrence of his subjects in the decree. The law was Eight pennies, Sir Villain-why eight pennies ?" continually evaded, and the judges and officers were "Every day throughout the year I am bound to repay unable to discover the offenders.

twopence, which I borrowed in my youth; two other Then said Titus, “Call hither Virgil, the magician.” | pence I lend; two I lose, and two I spend.”

Virgil came at the emperor's command, and stood in “ Explain this,” said Titus, interested in the man's the presence.

replies. “Mighty magician," said Titus, "I have promulgated Twopence I repay that I borrowed in my youth; a law that no one should presume to labour on the when I was a boy, my father expended daily upon me birth-day of my son under a penalty of death."

that sum : now he is poor and needs my assistance ; “Thou hast, my lord."

therefore I return that which I formerly borrowed." that this law is constantly evaded, and “ Thou doest well.” that neither my judges nor my officers can discover the "Two other pence I lend to my son, for his studies, offenders."

even as my father did towards me, in the hope that "What my lord says is true.”

hereafter he will do likewise." Virgil, we desire you to frame an image; some “ Again thou doest well; but how dost thou lose twocurious piece of art, which may reveal to us every trans- pence a day?" gressor of the law."

"I give them to my wife for her maintenance; she is “It shall be as my lord desires,” said the magician. wilful, contradictious, and passionate; these two, there

Not long after this, Virgil constructed a magic statue, fore, are lost to me on account of her disposition.” and caused it to be erected in the centre of the city. “Good again, Focus.” By virtue of its secret powers, it acquainted the emperor The two last pennies I spend upon myself in meat, with whatever was done amiss. Many and many were drink, and clothing. With less than this I cannot exist the persons convicted through the means of its infor- nor can I obtain these eight pennies without incessant mations, and no man was safe from its knowledge. and unremitting labour; therefore, O Emperor, a holiday

In Rome there lived a poor but industrious carpenter, to me is no blessing, but rather a curse; and thy edict named Focus, who cared little for the new edict, and I, for one, cannot obey. You now know the truth ; every day pursued his laborious occupation.

judge dispassionately.” “ Misfortune take thee, thou tell-tale statue !" mut- " Friend, thou hast well spoken; go labour at thy tered he, as he lay in bed one night, and thought upon | trade.” the numerous convictions procured by its means; "to- Not long after this the emperor and his son both morrow thou and I must bandy a few words.”

died, and there was no heir to the throne. Then the As soon as it was day-break, Focus rose, dressed him- people remembered the wisdom of the poor carpenter, self, and went to the place where the statue stood : 1 and tendered to him the empire. He governed as

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Know now,

wisely as emperor as he had lived as a carpenter; and, I in the afternoon. The noon eclipse was at a point about at his death, his picture, bearing on the head eight six degrees west of the Azores. pennies, was deposited among the effigies of the de- The general course of the eclipse of October next, parted emperors.

(bearing in mind that the day is astronomically October 8, but in ordinary reckoning, the morning of Saturday, October 9, and speaking also of the limits of annular

phase) will be--commencing between two and three THE ANNULAR ECLIPSE OF OCTOBER 91.1

hundred miles west of Ireland, it will be annular (but

not central) to about the southern quarter or third of It is not very long since the attention of the public Ireland. It will traverse the south and west of England, was largely occupied by the rival claims, and we had embracing in its northern limits Gloucester and Greenwell-nigh said the disagreements, of philosophers. The wich. Thence it will cross France (including Rouen very remarkable coincidence of the totally independent and Paris within its southern limits, and Amiens, Lille, calculations of Le Verrier and Adams having led each of and Metz within its northern), Austria, Turkey, Asia them, within a few weeks, or perhaps days, to one and Minor, and just before entering the Persian Gulf, will the same result, and thereby to one of the most brilliant be central and annular at midnoon within the Y formed discoveries of modern science, must be fresh in the by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, about minds of most men. · Happily the warfare of scientific twenty-five miles N.W. of Korna. Thence passing jealousy came speedily to an end, and if the July down the edge of the Persian Gulf, it crosses Hindostan, meeting of the British Association had produced no entering above Bombay, and keeping above Hyderabad, other good effect, this alone would have been sufficient, it crosses the Bengal sea, where it attains its lowest that it had afforded England an occasion for welcoming latitude ; then, rising again, passes through the Birman Le Verrier as he deserved, and that Oxford had joyfully and Siamese empires, and ends in lat. 18.29 N., among witnessed the honours accumulated both upon a foreigner the mountains which separate this territory from Cochin and a member of a rival university.

China. Here it will be central and annular at sunset. This recollection revives, naturally enough, when we The width of the band enclosed between the northern are looking forward to the most generally interesting and southern limits, is about three degrees, measured at of all the phenomena to which the planetary system right angles to the central line; but in those parts gives rise-phenomena to which we could not look where it is rapidly descending in latitude towards the forward at all, but for the published predictions which south-east, if the width be measured along a meridian, result from the very accurate state of astronomical | it amounts to nearly four degrees. This applies to science, so far as it bears upon them. The recurrence almost all its course until it leaves the Persian Gulf. of a visible annular eclipse, in any one place, must During the greater part of the course of the eclipse of necessarily be very rare ; nor would it be likely to hap 1836 the width of the space between the limits was not pen in any one life-time that the same tract of country above two degrees when measured in the first mentioned should be traversed by the line in which such a pheno- manner. menon might be perfectly seen. It is now more than In either case, viz. that of 1836 or of this year, it is ten years since an annular eclipse was visible in any but a small portion of this country to which that phepart of Great Britain.

nomenon will have been visible, and still smaller in In May, 1836, that phenomenon was seen in the which it will have been seen at all perfectly as a central northern part of our island, and as many persons then and annular eclipse. A great many of our readers are, thought it worth while to take a journey (at that time no doubt, perfectly familiar with the causes of the several far more tedious than at present) into Scotland, in order kinds of eclipses, whether lunar or solar, and some are to witness it, we hope to be doing acceptable service to well acquainted with the mode of computation employed at least some of our readers, by giving them the best to predict the times and places at which these will be information we are able, as to when and where the an- respectively visible. To those who wish for ample innular eclipse to which we are now looking forward may formation on this latter point, the appendix to the be seen. We will, in the first place, point out the dif- Nautical Almanac of 1836 would be a most practically ference between the track of the eclipse of the present interesting document; containing, as it does, an invesyear and that of 1836. The latter was central and an tigation of the subject; and explaining the mode of nular tɔ positions on our globe, of which a very large computing eclipses adopted at Greenwich, drawn up by proportion, no less than 7000 miles out of a path of Mr. W. S. B. Woolhouse, Head Assistant in the Nautical 10,000 (speaking very roughly) fell upon the sea, and Almanac Establishment. consequently were devoid of interest, except to such There must be, however, some who read our pages to vessels as might happen to be in those situations. The whom the whole subject is a terra ignota, and who line of the eclipse of this month, on the contrary, tra- scarcely bear in mind even the essential difference verses principally portions of the globe which are thickly between eclipses of the sun and of the moon; owing to inhabited, and where many of our countrymen reside. which, those of the former, though of far more frequent Singularly enough, the central line of the eclipse of occurrence, are far less often seen in any given place. 1836 passed nearly clear of the north of Ireland, then An eclipse of the moon, consisting, as we see it, of by a very short distance (as it also does on this occasion) the passage of the earth's shadow across the moon, may clear of the south.

be seen at once by all to whom the moon is then visible; Generally speaking, the course of the line in which in fact, by nearly an entire hemisphere; whereas, an some annular phase was visible in 1836, was as follows: eclipse of the sun, to be visible at any place on our

- It commenced about twenty degrees west of the Isth-globe, absolutely requiring as an essential condition mus of Panama, and crossed that narrow neck of land, that some portion of the moon should be between the the only portion of the continent of America in which observer and some part of the sun, it must clearly be it was visible ; skirting the north of Ireland, it crossed more rarely visible in any one place. Still more strongly England centrally about half way between Edinburgh does this apply to either a total or annular eclipse of and Dumfries; Perth and Whitby being nearly the the sun, which can only be such to those places lying northern and southern limits of the annular appearance. on or within certain limited distances of the path Thence passing across Denmark, parts of Poland and formed by a line passing from the centre of the sun Prussia, it ended in the Caspian Sca. In England it through the centre of the moon to the earth's surface; was central, or annular, between three and four o'clock the total eclipse occurring when the moon is so near to

the earth that its diameter is equal to, or greater than (1) We are indebted to the Editor of the "Guardian Family that of the sun; the annular, when it is so far from the Newspaper" for the information conveyed in this article.

earth as to have a less apparent diameter than the sun,

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