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There was an astronomer of very great skill, who lived | Jupiter and Saturn; while at the same time, the Sun himabout the same time as Copernicus, who thought that a sell, with all those planets, revolves round the Earth. It mean might be struck between the theories of Ptolemy and certainly appears strange that a man of such eminent Copernicus, by which the favourite idea of a celestial revo- abilities as Tycho was, should have preferred this ponlution round the earth might still be retained, and so con- derous arrangement to the more simple theory advocated cession might be made both to the growing authority of by Copernicus. After the death of Tycho, his theory grascience, and to the persuasion of men's senses. This dually sank in the estimation of philosophers, who found, astronomer was Tycho Brahé, who' was born in 1546, at in the arrangement advocated by Copernicus, the means of Knudstrup, in Denmark. The system advocated by him, explaining celestial phenomena by less complex reasonings and which is named from the inventor the Tychonic system, than by the theories either of Ptolemy or of Tycho Brahé. is represented in the annexed diagram.

Here, then, we arrive at an important part of our subject; In this system, which was published about the year that there are, as we shall hereafter 'show more clearly, 1586, the Sun is considered as a centre, round which five immense bodies revolving in orbits which measure millions of the planets revolve; namely, Mercury, Venus, Mars, of miles across. The appearances presented to the eye

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lead to an opinion that these bodies revolve round the But ought this circumstance to prevent us from studying earth; but a further inquiry into the accompanying cir- the nature and extent of the motions impressed upon these cumstances, have led men universally, at the present day, glorious bodies? Is it presumptuous in us to endeavour to to conclude that the earth and the other planets revolve become acquainted with the laws which, once known, will round the sun.

give us additional proofs of the wisdom and power of the What then can keep these splendid bodies in motion ? Divine architect of the heavens? Assuredly not! The origin How did they first begin to move? And why do they of those movements we know not, but the study of ihe revolve round the sun instead of moving in a straight line? nature and direction of them is a noble and fitting employThese questioris naturally occur to our minds, for our hum- ment for the human mind. ble faculties can give us but a faint idea of the powers In the century following the age of Copernicus and necessary to keep such immense masses in motion. *If we Tycho Brahé, there sprang up a genius, who was destined see a carriage passing with great rapidity along a railway, to add more to the amount of human knowledge in this we can account for its motion, by tracing the action of path than any one, perhaps, who had previously existed. steam-pressure upon a piston; which, by connecting This was Sir Isaac Newton, who was born in 1642, at machinery, makes the axles of the wheels' revolve, and Woolsthorpe, in Lincolnshire. This distinguished man thus sets the whole vehicle in motion. If we see a car- displayed from boyhood an ardent love for the study of riage passing along the street, we can assign a cause the natural phenomena around him. When a child, he for its motion, by the muscular efforts of the horse which made clepsydras, or clocks which told the hour by the is attached to it. If a ball be shot from a cannon, its flight descent of water through an orifice at the bottom of a is so rapid as to render it invisible to us, but we can account vessel. He also constructed a windmill, which was worked, for its motion by considering that a quantity of gunpowder, in part, by a mouse placed inside. As he grew towards small in bulk, suddenly enlarges to about two thousand manhood, his soaring mind directed itself to the sublime times its former dimensions, by being converted into gas, phenomena presented by the heavens, and to the nature when heat is applied; and that the endeavour to obtain and composition of light. That part of his career which two thousand times as much room as it before occupied, more particularly concerns us at present, we will now acts with such pressure against the ball as to force it out consider. with fearful velocity. All this we can understand, because When Newton was about twenty-three years of age, he we can trace the progress of the occurrences step by step: was forced to leave Cambridge where he had been residing, But when we turn to the heavens, we are lost in wonder ! on account of the appearance of the plague at that town. Our means of judging admit of no such details of com- He retired to Woolsthorpe, where, sitting one day in his parison as those which before assisted us; and we are garden, he saw an apple fall from a tree at his feet. The brought to the conclusion that the Almighty, for his own falling of an apple might have been noticed often enough ; wise purposes, impressed upon the heavenly bodies those but Newton's searching mind directed itself to this inquiry : motions which we know they possess,—which we can cal- Why does the apple fall, when it is loosened from the culate and measure, but the origin of which we can here | trce ?" Some may laugh at such a question,-some have never know.

laughed at it,-and yet the only answer which the laughers

could give, would be,“ Because it is the nature of things to space; and why do not all the planets get close together fall, when unsupported." This vague explanation did not by virtue of the attraction which draws them one to another? satisfy the sagacious Newton. He set himself to consider These questions we cannot answer without a previous the nature of the occurrence which had attracted his notice, attention to other particulars, which we must shortly and of others similar to it, and he finished by framing explain. that train of opinions which, under the name of the Theory If we stand at the top of a high tower, and throw a stone of Gravitation, laid the foundation of all correct knowledge forward to the ground, we shall find that the stone will not of the motions of the heavenly bodies, and which is now proceed on in a straight line, but that it will soon assume received by all who deserve the name of philosophers. a bending path and approach towards the earth. The All intellectual eye, our solar round

direction in which this bending occurs, is such as to bring First gazing through, he by the blended power

the stone to the earth in a more perpendicular direction Of gravitation and projection saw

than it had when it set out. Now the reason why the The whole in silent harmony revolve.-THOMsoN.

stone is thus forced to change the direction in which it first We shall here find it convenient to consider the nature began to move, is, because the earth attracts it and hastens of this force of gravitation, and will endeavour to do so in its descent. If we suppose it possible that a hole could be the simplest way possible. Every particle of matter in the bored through the earth from side to side, we should find creation has a tendency to attract, or draw towards itself, the mass of matter would be more accumulated in the every other particle, however distant it may be. We know direction which passes through the centre of the earth than not what this attraction is ; we can therefore only judge of in any other direction; and as bodies attract other bodies it by its effects. This attraction is of different degrees of in proportion to their mass of matter, we see reason to force according to the size or density of the attracting believe that a falling stone is attracted more powerfully body. A small loadstone or magnet will take up a little towards the central direction of the earth, than towards key, whereas a larger magnet will take up a larger key: any other part. When, therefore, the stone has left the so it is with attraction ; a lump of lead weighing one pound hand, it gradually tends to a direction perpendicular to the only, attracts a distant body with half the force which is surface of the earth, or it gets into a direction which, if exerted by another piece of lead weighing two pounds. continued, would lead to the centre of the earth. Again, the force of this invisible agency is subject to vari- Now if there were no such force as gravitation, the stone ation with respect to the distance between the attracting would proceed in the same straight line in which it was first and attracted bodies. If a mass of lead be the attracting propelled. If it were thrown upward from the surface of the body, and two equal-sized bodies be at some distance from earth, it would continue to travel upwards, without ever it, the one which is the nearer of the two will be attracted again descending to the earth. Here we should remember with greater force than that which is further removed. that there is in nature no such thing as up and down; but The diminution of attractive power from increase of dis- that up means simply a departure from the centre of the tance is much more rapid than from the lessening of the earth, down an approaching towards that centre. size of the attracting body. For instance, if any mass of We all know with what amazing velocity a cannon-ball matter attract another mass with such force as to make it moves, after it has left the mouth of the cannon; yet it more through twenty feet in a second of time; then, if soon begins to decline towards the earth, whether it be the first mass be removed to double its former distance, originally shot from the cannon in a horizontal or in an the strength of the attraction will be so much weakened, upward direction. But still the curvature of its path that the second body will move only five feet in a second, towards the earth is much less rapid than in the case of or with one-fourth of its former rapidity.

the stone, because the latter moved so much more slowly. These simple principles, when applied to such immense The mortar in St. James's Park can propel a bomb to a bodies as the planets, produce results of a gigantic kind. distance of about four miles, before it will fall to the It may be asked, “If a pound of lead will attract a piece earth; whereas a stone thrown by a very powerful arm of cork more strongly at the distance of one than of two would certainly fall to the ground within a few hundred feet, how is it that we cannot see the proofs of such a fact yards. Suppose, now, that it were possible to increase to in practice ?" The reason is, that the earth itself forins an indefinite extent the velocity with which a cannon-ball such an enormous mass of matter that it completely neu- would move; say that it should travel ten or twenty miles tralizes the effects of the comparatively small bodies at its before it touched the ground; a greater velocity would surface. In strict truth, if an apple be suspended from the carry it one hundred miles before it fell: and we may go branch of a tree, it tends to attract the earth upwards to on in the same train to any extent we please, always bearmeet it; but the attraction of the earth for the apple is so in mind that, the quicker the body moves, the greater incalculably more powerful, that the moment the apple is distance will it travel before it falls to the ground. Now, loosened from the tree, the earth draws it down to meet it, if we assume such a velocity that the ball would travel and that is what occurs when we say that the apple falls. | twenty-five thousand miles before it fell to the earth, we Suppose that, instead of an apple, a mass of lead weighing shall arrive at a very curious result. The diameter of the a thousand pounds, were for a moment suspended in the earth is almost eighi thousand miles, which gives, for the air; the lead would tend to attract the earth upwards circumference, about twenty-five thousand miles. The ball towards itself. with much greater force than the apple had would, therefore, have gone completely round the earth done; but still the earth's attraction would so completely before it fell to the ground. If the velocity were still overpower the lead, that it would be drawn down to the greater it would not reach the ground at the completion of earth; while the latter would rise to meet it by a quantity, this circuit, but would go on to describe part of another wholly inappreciable by mortal sense, though not by com revolution round the earth. When this condition is once putation.

attained, the ball might, by a due increase of the projectile But let us now suppose a body placed in the universe, force, continue to revolve for ever about the earth, and we equal in size to the earth, but at some distance from it. should thus have a cast-iron satellite moving around us. Here we perceive that there is no reason why the earth Let not the reader smile at the absurdity of supposing a should attract the other body more strongly tha he latter cannon-ball to travel twenty-five thousand miles; for it will attracts the earth; accordingly, if they were both free to lead us to important results. If we suppose that the sun move, they would naturally approach towards each other, were stationary in the universe, and that a body very much each one moving through half the distance which separated smaller than the sun were to be projected with immense them. If, therefore, we were to suppose that the universe velocity in a direction at right angles to a line joining the contained many such bodies, each as large as the earth, sun and the other body, then the latter (which would proeach one would attract all the others, with a force varying ceed in a straight line if the sun were not present) is drawn only as the several distances varied. But if one body by the sun into a curved path, the concave or hollow side were very much larger than any of the others, it would of which is always towards the sun. If the velocity with attract each of the others more powerfully than itself could which this body were propelled were below a certain limit, be attracted; and would not, therefore, have to move it would move in a spiral which would gradually end at the through so great a distance to meet any of the other bodies, sun himself, to which, therefore, the body would fall: if as they would have to move through, in order to meet it. the velocity were beyond a certain limit, the body would

All this admits of being impressed upon the mind with describe a spiral round the sun, but gradually receding tolerable clearness, so long as we consider the bodies to be from it, and the body would continue through infinite ages in the first instance stationary, and then receiving an im- to recede farther and farther from the sun: but if a certain pulse. But how can we explain the curved path which velocity, of a corresponding ratio with the attractive power each of the heavenly bodies describes in its progress through of the sun, were imparted to this body in the first instance,

A

F

it would move constantly round the sun, arriving at every that we cannot make it extend beyond the oval in any revolution at the point from whence it started.

direction. We are now in a condition to explain in some degree Now it is in one of such points is that the sun is situated, how we are to regard the motions of the planets round the in the earth's orbit. The oval, if we could possibly see it sun. When the Almighty had created the various bodies at once with the eye, would scarcely appear to us to deviate which compose the universe, he exercised his infinite power from a cirele: it being rather a round, not a long oval. We and wisdom by imparting to them various velocities of here speak only of the earth's orbit, but the same remark motion. . The sun being made very much larger than all applies to the orbits of all the planets, which orbits are all the planets put together, exerted a more powerful attraction more or less oval. We use the term oval in preference to on them than they could exert on him; consequently, the the term elliptical, because it is more familiarly known; planets were drawn towards the sun out of their original | the meaning of each is, however, the same. paths, and made to revolve round the larger body. But We may now be asked, whether the planets move equably how shall we sufficiently admire the exquisite skill with in every part of their orbits,-that is, If a planet move at the which the various velocities were adapted to the size of the rate of so many miles in an hour at one part of its orbit, various bodies! What parallel can we find in the poor and will it move with the same velocity at another part? This imperfect works of man, to that surpassing power of ad- question, on account of the oval form of the paths in which justment by which the velocities of the planets are regu- the planets move, must be answered in the negative. They lated! The earth moves some hundreds of thousands of do not move equably in different points of their orbits. miles in a single day; and yet, if her velocity were to Suppose that in the following figure, the point s were like deviate by a small fraction, either more or less, the earth the axle of a wheel, and that twelve equidistant spokes, or would, in the first case, gradually recede from the sun, radii, reached from it to the boundary of the oval, then the and never again approach near him; and in the second earth, in passing by the end of each spoke during her revocase, it would approach to, and fall upon, the sun. It is lution, would not pass from one to another in exactly equal when such results as these are obtained, that science times, but would take a longer time to pass from spoke to enables us to appreciate the striking truth, that man's spoke at one part of her revolution than at another. But efforts even in his proudest moments, are but poor and now let us suppose, that the time which the earth takes to humble attempts to follow alter, or to imitare, that which revolve round the sun be divided into twelve equal parts, the Great Being performs with such boundless perfection. and that we draw a spoke from the axle, or the point's, to We applaud, and we give rewards to the man, who can the boundaries between all the twelve spaces respectively make a chronometer which will be accurate within a few passed over by the earth in those equal times; then it will seconds in the year; and well may we do so, for it is a be found that the open space between any two adjoining signal instance of human industry and ingenuity to produce spokes, measures exactly the same number of square miles such an instrument. Yet a mere fraction of such an error at every part of the orbit. The spokes towards the end A in the movements of the bodies composing the solar system, will be closer together : would be fatal to its stability. Truly wonderful, indeed, is than those towards B, but it, that the eleven planets should revolve round the sun in they will at the same time periods differing greatly one from another, and at such be longer, so that the exvarious distances from him; and yet, that each one should cess of length precisely have a velocity so exquisitely adjusted to its size and compensates for the defiposition as to bring it precisely round to the same point ciency in width. Here is after every entire revolution round the sun. The sun, another instance of the then, the golden magnet which thus draws all the other admirable adjustment planets towards itself, is surrounded with whirling worlds, which is observable in which borrow their light from him and share it with one the motions of the heaanother. Well might the poet of the seasons exclaim- venly bodies. The orbits Thou, O sun !

of the planets are all Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen

oval, and differing in the
Shines out thy Maker! May I sing of thee?

form of the oval; yet the
'Tis by thy secret, strong attractive force,
As with a chain indissoluble bound,

law which we have just
Thy system rolls entire : from the fa: bourne

stated is found to be conOf utmost * Saturn, wheeling wide his round

stant. The more the orOr thirty years, to Mercury, whose disk

bit approaches to what Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye,

we may term a long oval, Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze.

the greater is the difference between the lengths of the

spokes towards the two ends. FORM OF THE ORBITS OF THE PLANETS.

Yet in every case, a disagree

nient in length is made up by a reverse disagreement in Our remarks hitherto have been so expressed as to lead the openings between them, so that these areas or openings to the conclusion that the planets move in perfect circles are all equal. We have been anxious to avoid every round the sun at all times, and under all circumstances. appearance of scientific difficulty in these details; but we Such, however, is not strictly the case. The paths which will just mention that those who may be able to consult they describe are oval or elliptical. Most persons know the larger works on Astronomy, will find this law thus expressed; form which is meant by the term oval. If we hold an egg that“ a planet always describes equal areas in equal times." ia the hand, and look at its outline, it will give a near Those tleeting and transient visiters, comets, are too approach to this form: and, indeed, the word oval is derived seldom in sight to afford the means of making such correct from ovum, the Latin for an egg. Such, then, is the form observations of the nature of their orbits, as have been of the paths in which the planets move. Now we may made with respect to the planets. We shall, by-and-by, inquire whether the sun is exactly in the middle of this have to speak individually of several comets, which have oral, or near either end of it. To this it must be answered appeared at various times, but we now merely refer to their that the sun is not precisely in the middle, but that he is a motion generally. It is now beliered, from the best obserLule nearer to one side than the other. It will be usefulvations which have been made, that the comets more in to give an idea of the position which the sun occupies. exceedingly long oval orbits, by which means they are at Suppose A B represent the orbit or path in which a planet one time very near to the sun, and at other times at an im(such as the earth) moves round the sun. (We have made mense distance from him; still, however, the same general this a larger oval in proportion than the earth's orbit really resemblance to the orbits of planets is to be noted, and, in is, in order that our meaning may be more conspicuous.) addition, that the elongation of the forın of the cometary There are two points F and s (called foci, plural of the orbit is frequently excessive. Latin word focus, signifying a fire-place), which have We shall hereafter have to show, that the four largest of peculiar properties. If we stick a pin in each of the points the planets have moons, or satellites, revolving round them, of F and s, and fasten the two ends of a bit of thread to them, which our moon, the earth's satellite, is the one which (taking care that the thread is just long enough 10 reach to attracts a larger share of our attention than any of the any one part of the circumference, as at p,) we shall find others. Now it is interesting to observe, that the moon of that we shall be able to make the thread exactly touch | itself describes an oval orbit round the earth, in a similar every other part of the ova!, by stretching it out; but manner as the earth does round the sun. But here a

Thomson had written this before the year 1730 ; and the planet singular effect results :-if the earth were stationary, the Uranus was not discovered until 1781.

moon's orbit would be found, as in the case of the planets,

S

B

to be an oval with respect to the earth; as, however, the earth revolves round the sun, and, of course, carries the moon with it, the real path of the latter becomes a very singular and complicated curve,-it is a zig-zag circle round the sun, with several indentations and as many protuberances.

Thus then do we form some general idea of the manner in which the planets are situated, with respect to one another and to the sun. It will be useful to recapitulate a few points before we proceed further.

We have seen that there is a glorious luminary, the Sun, in the centre of a moving system; that there are eleven planets revolving round him in the following order, beginning from the nearest,-Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Vesta, Juno, Ceres, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus; that these planets describe paths which are not quite circular but oval, and that the sun is in one focus of the ellipse or oval. The motions of the planets we have likewise found are not uniform, but that their velocities vary according to their distances from the sun. These general details will qualify us to ent upon the consideration of all the planets individually, their dimensions, distances from the sun, velocities of motion, influence upon one another, apparent size as seen from the earth, and many other points of

interest to the admirers of the works of God. When that inquiry shall have been completed, we shall enter upon the consideration of those very beautiful and important results, which depend upon the rotation of the planets on their axes, a species of motion to which we have not hitherto alluded.

We cannot better conclude this portion of our subject than by presenting the reader with the eloquent words of a pious and eminent divine, in connexion with the sublime subject which has thus far occupied us.

“The world in which we live, is a round ball of a determined magnitude, and occupies its own place in the firmament. But when we explore the unlimited tracts of that space which is everywhere around us, we meet with other balls of equal or superior magnitude, and from which our earth would either be invisible, or appear as small as any of those twinkling stars which are seen on the canopy of heaven. Why then suppose that this little spot, little at least in the immensity which surrounds it, should be the exclusive abode of life and intelligence? What reason to think that those mightier globes which roll in other parts of creation, and which we have discovered to be worlds in magnitude, are not also worlds in use and in dignity? Why should we think that the great Architect of nature, supreme in wisdom, as He is in power, would call these stately mansions into existence and leave them unoccupied ? When we cast our eye over the broad sea, and look at the country on the other side, we see nothing but the blue land stretching obscurely over the distant horizon. We are too far away to perceive the richness of its scenery, or to hear the sound of its population. Why not extend this principle to the still more distant parts of the universe? What though, from this remote point of observation, we can see nothing but the naked roundness of yon planetary orbs? Are we therefore to say, that they are so many vast and unpeopled solitudes; that desolation reigns in every part of the universe but ours; that the whole energy of the Divine attributes is expended on one insignificant corner of these mighty works; and that to this earth alone belongs the bloom of vegetation, or the blessedness of life, or the dignity of rational and immortal existence?

"But this is not all. We have something more than the mere magnitude of the planets to allege in favour of the idea that they are inhabited. We know that this earth turns round upon itself; and we observe that all those celestial bodies which are accessible to such an observation, have the same movement. We know that the earth performs a yearly revolution round the sun; and we can detect, in all the planets which compose our system, a revolution of the same kind, and under the same circumstances. They have the same succession of day and night. They have the same agreeable vicissitude of the seasons. To them light and darkness succeed each other; and the gaiety of Summer is followed by the dreariness of Winter. To each of them the heavens present as varied and magnificent a spectacle; and this earth, the encompassing of which would require the labour of years from one of its puny inhabitants, is but one of the lesser lights which sparkle in their firmament. To them, as well as to us, has God divided the light from the darkness, and he has called the light day, and the darkness he has called night.

He has said, let there be lights in the firmament of their heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven, to give light upon their earth; and it was so. And God has also made to them great lights. To all of them he has given the sun to rule the day; and to many of them has he given moons to rule the night. To them he has made the stars also. And God has set them in the firmament of heaven, to give light upon their earth, and to rule over the day, and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God has seen that it was good.

"In all these greater arrangements of Divine wisdom, we can see that God has done the same things for the accommodation of the planets that he has done for the earth which we inhabit. And shall we say, that the resemblance stops here because we are not in a situation to observe it? Shall we say, that this scene of magnificence has been called into being merely for the amusement of a few astronomers? Shall we measure the counsels of heaven by the narrow impotence of the human faculties? or con ceive, that silence and solitude reign throughout the mighty empire of nature; that the greater part of creation is an empty parade; and that not a worshipper of the Divinity is to be found through the wide extent of yon vast and immeasurable regions?

"It lends a delightful confirmation to the argument, when, from the growing perfection of our instruments, we can discover a new point of resemblance between our Earth and the other bodies of the planetary system. It is now ascertained, not merely that all of them have their day and night, and that all of them have their vicissitudes of seasons, and that some of them have their moons to rule their night and alleviate the darkness of it; we can see of one that its surface rises into inequalities, that it swells into mountains and stretches into valleys; of another, that it is surrounded by an atmosphere which may support the respiration of animals; of a third, that clouds are formed and suspended over it, which may minister to it all the bloom and luxuriance of vegetation; and of a fourth, that a white colour spreads over its northern regions, as its Winter advances, and that, on the approach of Summer, this whiteness is dissipated, giving room to suppose, that the element of water abounds in it, that it rises by evapo ration into its atmosphere, that it freezes upon the application of cold, that it is precipitated in the form of snow, that it covers the ground with a fleecy mantle, which melts away from the heat of a more vertical sun; and that other worlds bear a resemblance to our own, in the same yearly round of beneficent and interesting changes.

"Who shall assign a limit to the discoveries of future ages? Who can prescribe to science her boundaries, or restrain the active and insatiable curiosity of man within the circle of his present acquirements? We may guess with plausibility what we cannot anticipate with confidence. The day may yet be coming, when our instruments of observation shall be inconceivably more powerful. They may ascertain still more decisive points of resemblance. They may resolve the same question by the evidence of sense, which is now so abundantly convincing by the evidence of analogy. They may lay open to us the unquestionable vestiges of art, and industry, and intelligence. We may see Summer throwing its green mantle over these mighty tracts, and we may see them left naked and colourless after the flush of vegetation has disappeared. In the progress of years or of centuries, we may trace the hand of cultiva tion spreading a new aspect over some portion of a planetary surface. Perhaps some large city, the metropolis of a mighty empire, may expand into a visible spot by the powers of some future telescope. Perhaps the glass of some observer, in a distant age, may enable him to construct the map of another world, and to lay down the surface of it in all its minute and topical varieties. But there is no end of conjecture; and to the men of other times we leave the full assurance of what we can assert with the highest probability, that yon planetary orbs are so many worlds, that they teem with life, and that the mighty Being who presides in high authority over this scene of grandeur and astonishment, has there planted the worshippers of His glory."CHALMERS, Astronomical Discourses.

LONDON:

JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN MONTHLY PARTS, PRICE SIXPENCE.

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The figure we have given above of this singular bird, lights to deceive the birds, and dogs to destroy them, has been copied, by permission of the author, from the feathers, which are extremely soft, being in high the last part of Mr. Gould's splendid work on the estimation in the manufacture of cloaks of cerebirds of Australia. The scientific world were in- mony; "a mat ornamented with them is the most debted, in the first instance, for their knowledge of costly dress a chief can wear.” So highly prized is the Apteryx, to the late Dr. Shaw, by whom it was a garment of this description, that a European, who figured and described in the Naturalist's Miscellany. had resided in New Zealand for six years, had an This specimen was presented to the doctor by Captain opportunity of seeing but one cloak made of these Barclay, of the ship Providence, who brought it from feathers, and no consideration could induce the New Zealand in the year 1812. At the death of Dr. owner to part with it. Several specimens of the

haw, this, at that time unique, example passed into skins of this singular bird have been lately presented the possession of the present Earl of Derby. In to the Zoological Society of London by the New consequence of no public collection containing a Zealand Association, and its peculiar characters have specimen, the naturalists of the Continent were slow been better ascertained, although as yet little is in believing in its very existence. M. Temminck known of its habits. It has been stated, that the considered that, like the dodo, it was an extinct natives decoy the Apteryx from its lurking place by species; while others, among them M. Lesson, be breaking the dead branch of a tree, the sudden snaplieved it was altogether fabulous, and that its descrip- ping sound produced causing it to start from its contion was founded on the remains of the dodo preserved cealment. in the British Museum.

The peculiar structure of the Apteryx, the length Within these few years, the existence of the Apteryx of its bill, the strength of its feet, and the almost has been well established ; its native place is New entire absence of wings, caused it to be a difficult Zealand, where it is known by the name of kiwikiwi. task to assign it to its proper place in the system. It is hunted at night by the natives, who employ The bill of the Apteryx, being long and slender, at VOL. XII.

370

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