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olonging for her the torment of whatever danger beset This old priest stopped muttering his prayers when he
world,” said the padre. Remember, I know your story. " It is of our poor Scarpetta that these hills are posted Will you not afterwards repent of having married a server the town," cried Ubaldo. “ Can it all be for the vant-maid ?” tealing of a pair of shoes ? ”
“I cannot give her up to her enemies," maintained ** Poor, indeed I” cried Trifonius. “How pitiful you
Silvio. sre, my father! A thief harbored in our house! And “ No," said La Scarpetta. bere is Prisco, who might have married her if he had not The old man's cheeks flushed, and his cyes brightseen a miracle of wisdom.”
ened. “We must get her out of this,” said Grifone.
“ Be grateful to him, my daughter,” he said. “I know nicely we may be shamed before the town.”
your secret, and I will give you to him. May God make " Harbor her a little while, my sons,” said Ubaldo. you both happy for evermore!”. * She is such a young creature, and you do not even know And the apprentice and the little maid-servant went out what ber fault is."
into the morning sunlight man and wife. * It is plain that she is escaping from justice. Not an- Silvio was quite surprised to see how, as they went other hour shall she stay in our house.”
along the streets, his bride seemed to forget her terror, and Scarpetta did not ask what cbarge was against her, but smiled back at the people who stared at her. She even took up her small wages and went into the street. Ubaldo lingered, here and there, to gaze up at the paintings on dmpped tears in the corner ; but he was only a weak old the houses, saying she had never seen them look so handman, with no power in the house of his sons. All the
some before. beart that Prisco had was aching, but he liked his re- But you are still in Brescia, my dearest, and your envenge.
emy is close by. Let us hasten and get out of danger.” ." The Garzone will protect her,” muttered Ubaldo to “I am saying farewell to Brescia, Silvio. It has been bimself.
good to me, since I am leaving it with you. As for my Scarpetta, afraid of the town, fled to the country ; then
enemy, I no longer fear him.” the sun set, a tbunder-storm came down, and the terrified
The young people took the road to Verona, and late one girl ran frantically back into Brescia. Lifting the curtain evening they arrived there, going to seek for La Mugnaia that bung before the entrance of a queer little church, she in her little mill out in the Adige. They stood on the saw that a dim light shone out of the place, which was bridge which carried the town across the river, and saw filled with people, who seemed to the frightened girl to the dark water rushing and the twinkling lights sliding have taken refuge there in terror like herself
. They were along through the air, like falling stars, as people passed to singing a sbrill, wild litany, one verse taken up by the men, or fro on the swinging planks that led out to the little and the next by the women, a weird, monotonous chant | water-bound dwelling. They discovered the mill they that filled the ear at intervals, and was lost again in the were in search of, and, lantern in hand, went riding across roar of the thunder. La Scarpetta cowered on her knees the night, as it seemed, on the rickety plank that led to La in a corner of the church, the thunder cracked over her Mugnaia's door. head; and with her hands clasped over her closed eyelids The milleress gave them a hearty welcome, but looked she seemed to see plainly the harsh-looking horseman, his extremely grave when she heard the whole of their story. piercing gaze fixed on her and his finger pointing cruelly “That is all very pretty," she said, squaring her arms to ber unlucky little shoes in the cobblers' window. Every and fixing her wary brown eyes on the little wife, “ trust time the curtain stirred in the doorway she started, expect and generosity are good in the right place; but you ought ing to see him enter to drag her forth. The people at last to bave told what this cloud is that hangs over you. And departed; the fugitive crouched farther into the shelter of you, Silvio, I have known you many years ; you are a re, the shadow of a confessional; and, looking up with a wild spectable young
ought not to have married a girl glance, she saw Silvio, the Garzone, who was standing be- who has done anything improper." side her.
“ She shall speak when she likes," said Silvio. “ Have they found me, Silvio? Are they coming to “Let her speak now," said La Mugnaia. “If she has
done wrong, and is sorry, we will try and shield her; but “Nobody bas found you but me ; and I am coming to let there be no secrets between a man and his wife."
if you will let me." Take me where?”
La Scarpetta stood twisting the corner of her sash, and
glancing shyly from one to another of the faces, on which " Over the mountains – out of this trouble.”
the lamplight shone, at each side of her; and she said to " And your work, Silvio ? and your masters ? "
the miller-woman: “I have broken with my masters, and I have my work "I will tell my story here, and you shall be my judge. at my finger-ends. Be my wife at 'once, and we will seek If what I have done has wronged him, he shall put me
away. One thing I must set right for you; I have not - Yet you do not know whom you are taking for a stolen anything from the horseman who is searching for wife."
me, not even the shoes in the window, which were my very “Kneel down with me here, Scarpetta, and put your
own till I gave them to Ubaldo.” hand in mine. Say, “ Silvio, I am an honest woman. You dare not, if it were untrue.”
“ I knew that,” said Silvio.
“ The Signor is my uncle, and the guardian of my prop"Silvio, I am an honest woman.”
erty They remained kneeling hand-in-hand, like two children, we have here a noble lady!” said La Mugnaia, praying in the loneliness and darkness of the church. The aghast. like hour of the night went past, dawn peered through the maid-servant, suspected of crime. As it is
, I am almost mode-painted windows, and an old, white-haired priest, totally uneducated and ignorant of the world. I ran away half-vested for mass, opened the sacristy door and looked
from my home because I found it a place of horror. The
our fortune together."
into the church.
by them alone. I was escaping from a living death, and my freedom was delicious to me. You must be filled with
PALMISTRY. curiosity, and I do not make my story plain. My castle is on one of those mighty rocks that overhang the upper Why do gypsies so often “tell truly " ? How are they Rhine. Heaven help the poor creature there walled up, enabled to reveal the past in such a surprisingly corred who pines to escape! Yet I escaped. I was a prisoner manner? Why are their prophecies so often fulfilled there, indeed; for by my father's will all his fine posses- These questions are frequently asked, and among the many sions were to be enjoyed by his brother until my marriage; solutions that are offered is the following: Because they and my uncle was resolved that I should never deprive bim are guided in the study of character by laws which an of what he chose to call his own. I did not wish to marry. stri·tly laid down, laws which are as certain and as clest I feared all men, having known none but the barshest of as any of the maxims of physiognomy (to which we all at their kind; but I loathed to be within sight and sound of tach more or less faith); truer and more significant that the wicked and riotous living of my uncle and his chosen any except the outline-rules of phrenology. That gypsies companions. I longed to be free, like the peasants who show an extraordinary clairvoyance is beyond dispute. walk on the hills; and by the help of a faithful old nurse, Their successes are too numerous and too well authentiI escaped. I dressed myself like a peasant, and crossed cated to be always explained away as coincidences or the Alps alone. In putting on a strange costume I forgot happy hits.”. The cases recorded in proof of their un to change my shoes."
common skill in discerning disposition and natural endorSilvio and the woman of the mill stood gazing at the girl ments are innumerable; and those who know the charac in utter amazement.
ter of a person are in a position to guess very shrewdly “And knowing that you were a noblewoman, you chose that person's fate. Not that a particular lot attaches by to marry a cobbler,” said La Mugnaia.
an inevitable fatality to any mental or moral qualities “ Heaven never made him to be a cobbler," said La but certain natures seem formed with an aptitude for surScarpetta.
rounding themselves with a certain set of circumstances. “That is true," said La Mugnaia. “Be you
you “ There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them may, he is good enough for you. Excuse me, lady, but I how we will;" but to a great extent we make our own cannot forget that I gave you lessons in baking bread and fate, and whoever knows us thoroughly will also knows sweeping floors.”
great deal about our past life, and our future. “ Åh, Scarpetta !” said Silvio, " what a wrong you
have Any one wishing to rival the gypsies in the successful done yourself - you who ought to have married a noble- study of character has only to master the art of palmistry.
M. Desbarrolles has collected and sifted their traditional “And so I have, Silvio, else I can tell you I should not lore and written records, and all the other materials be 23 have married at all. Prisco could never have saved me as
could find bearing upon bis subject, and he has embodied 2, you have done ; for one great misery is as bad as another. the chief part of the result of his researches in a book Í thank Heaven that by your act of generosity you have called the Mysteries of the Hand." It was published unconsciously enriched yourself.”
eleven years ago, and has attracted much attention Whilst they were yet talking, the daylight broke, and amongst the general reading public in France, and it is looking out of the window, La Mugnaia saw a whole com- said to have made some little way also with the scientific 11 pany of strangers on the river-side. They were the four people. Eight editions of the book came out in the first 6TH remaining cobblers, with the haughty horseman and his eight years of its existence.
The subject bas strong at
tractions for several classes of minds: amongst them rank 13 “ These friends have travelled so far to see my down- first those who aim at being “discerners of spirits,”— pracfall,” said Scarpetta, mournfully. “ Ah, Silvio, your sex tical metaphysicians, if such a term is allowable; and secare unkind.”
ondly, a much larger number of inquirers, whose motive is Nay, some of them may hope to help you,” said Silvio. a vulgar curiosity with regard to future events. Palmistry “I'll lay my life that the old man, Ubaldo, does. My will reward both these classes of students, for, as Lavater, good Orsola, these visitors will sink your little mill with in the words of the ancient pbilosophers, says, “ The whole their weight."
is in every part." The moral nature is complete in out“Let them come over," said La Mugnaia, gleefully. line in the hand, and if the gypsies, and others who prac“ The mill must take its chance. It will be rare sport to tise this art, are sometimes at fault, it must be remembered see them all walking back, one by one, across our plank, that they are often careless in the application of their hanging their heads with vexation.”
rules, and sometimes ignorant of those rules. “ Enter, gentlemen," said Orsola, opening her door. M. Desbarrolles devotes a large part of his book to the
" Caught now, I think," cried the fierce-looking Signor, consideration of chirognomony, - a system invented by a grasping La Scarpetta rudely by the hand. “Ah, my run- M. d'Arpentigny. Chirognomony helps us to jndge of away maiden, I shall trouble you to follow me to your character by the form of the hand, and the shape of the finhome."
gers. Palmistry also takes account of the shape of the “ No, my lord,” said Silvio, " for the law allows a wife to hand and the fingers, but relies chiefly upon the indications follow her husband."
supplied by the lines and the mounts of the palm. M. “ Fool!” cried the enemy, turning pale ; “ this girl is d'Arpentigny's attention was directed to the subject in 8 no wife.”
curious manner. He lived near the owners of a handsome At this moment the old priest was seen hurrying facross country house, where there was a constant succession of the river, clutching the rope in both hands, as the plank visitors. The hostess delighted in the society of artists, and danced under bis feet.
gathered painters and musicians round her.' The host was “Go away, Signor!” he cried, "and leave this noble devoted to the exact sciences, and he sought his friends youth and his wife in peace. Go across the Alps and make
and acquaintances amongst those who shared his tastes. straight your accounts of the moneys and lands which were Mechanicians, mathematicians, and “practical people," left in your charge. Your niece and her husband will give
were bis chosen guests. M. d'Arpentigny, though neither you just one month to betake yourself and your fellows a Raphael nor a Stephenson, was a friend of both the lady from her dwelling. In the name of the church and of the and the gentleman, and he had facilities for observing all law of the country, I, who married these young people, their visitors. He was struck by the dissimilarity between knowing fully both their histories, command you to begone the hands of " Monsieur's " friends and those of the friends and to interfere with them no more."
of “ Madame.” The artists had generally short fingers La Mugnaia had the satisfaction of seeing the company that tapered to a point. The men of science had squareof strange visitors departing across the plank, Ubaldo alone topped fingers, with largely developed finger joints
. x being invited to remain with the victorious and happy d'Arpentigny resolved to investigate. He went in search bride and bridegroom.
of hands, and found various moral and intellectual charac
teristics always associated with certain forms of finger. often met with. They belong to people who are, if not He divides hands into three sorts: the first sort have fin- unnaturally, at least uncommonly, consistent. It has been gers with pointed tops; the second, square tops ; the third, said by a novelist, who is a noted student of character, spade-shaped tops. (By “ spade-shaped " is meant fingers that there is “a curiously mistaken tendency to look for that are thick at the end, having a little pad of flesh at logical consistency in human motives and human actions," each side of the nail.) The first type of finger belongs to but palmistry presents human nature in its inherent inconcharacters possessed of rapid insight into things; to extra- sistencies and self-contradictions — in its intricate mixture sensitive people; to pious people, whose piety is of the of good and evil, of great and small. contemplative kind; to the impulsive ; and to all poets and M. Desbarrolles adopts all that is here set down of M. artists in whom ideality is a prominent trait. The second d’Arpentigny's system, adding to it the study of the palm, type belongs to scientific people; to sensible, self-contained in which the principal lines are — the line of life, which characters; to most of our professional men, who steer be- runs round the base of the thumb; the line of the head, tween the wholly practical course that they of the spade- which begins beside the line of life, between the thumb shaped fingers take, and the too visionary bent of the peo- and the first finger, and crosses the middle of the palm; ple with pointed tingers. The third type pertains to those and the line of the heart, which goes from one side of the whose instincts are material; to people who have a genius hand to the other at the base of the fingers. An unbroken for commerce, and a high appreciation of everything that and well-defined line of life signifies good health. A tends to bodily ease and comfort; also to people of great breakage in the line reveals impending sickness, if it be activity. Each finger, no matter what the kind of hand, in years to come, or sickness passed, if it be in years gone has one joint representing each of these types. Thus, the by. The date can be easily ascertained, as the line of life division of the finger which is nearest the palm stands for is divided into portions that represent different ages. the body (and corresponds with the spade-shaped type), Thus: a line is drawn from the middle of the base of the the middle division represents mind (the square-topped), third finger towards the second joint of the thumb, and the top, soul (the pointed). If the top joint of the finger the point at which it intersects the line of life will mark be long, it denotes a character with much imagination, or the age of ten. If the breakage occurs in a grown person's ideality, and a leaning towards the theoretical rather than hand at that point, it shows that that person was ill, or the practical. The middle part of the finger being large met with an accident, when ten years old. If the fault in promises a logical, calculating, mind - a common-sense the line is a little before the point which marks ten years person. The remaining joint long and thick denotes a old, then the illness came at the age of nine or eight, and Dature that clings more to the luxuries than to the refine- so on, according to the distance from the point. A line ments of life. Things will present themselves to such a parallel to this one, starting from between the third and nature under a lower aspect, and utility will be accounted last finger, will touch the line of life at the point called before beauty. The above description of the types of hands twenty. Another parallel line, starting from the middle is far from exhaustive, for each type affords indications of of the base of the little finger, takes you to thirty. The many qualities not even mentioned here. This sketch aims next line goes from the outer edge of the same finger, and merely at giving a rough idea of this part of chirognomony. gives forty. The line to find fifty starts from a litile above It is well to remember that there are "good bands” to be the line of the heart. No dot or cross belonging to a found in each type - hands that are equal to a letter of by-gone time, warns or menaces, but such signs would do recommendation for their owners (only, unfortunately, few so if seen in prospect. Palmistry, by forewarning, forecan read them !); hands — spade-shaped, square, or pointed
There are indications elsewhere, showing what -- that denote splendid qualities of head and heart; but kind of danger to apprehend, and M. Desbarrolles is fond the highest and best band of the pointed type will be of repeating the old saying, “ Homo sapiens dominabitur something better than the best that the other kinds can astris." boast. It must not be supposed that M. d’Arpentigny A long and well-defined line of the head promises intelfound no artists with any but pointed fingers, and no men lectual power. If the line be so long as to go to the edge of science with pointed fingers; but it is observable that of the hand, it indicates too much calculation those with pointed fingers who take to science invest their It should start from the side of the line of life, between chosen subjects with a certain poetical charm; and in the the first finger and the thumb, and cross the palm nearly same way, an artist with spade-shaped fingers will be found horizontally, losing itself below the third finger, or thereto vulgarize art, or, at least, to treat his subjects in a real- abouts. If the line ends under the second finger, that is istic manner, and to see things from a somewhat common- to say, about the centre of the palm, it denotes stupidity. place stand-point. Some time and experience will be If the line be formed of a series of small lines, like a chain, needed by a beginner to construct the idea of the average instead of one clear mark, it is a sign of want of concenproportions of a band. Only departures from this average tration of the ideas. A pale line of the head means indehand are really characteristic and significant. A hand cision. If it turn downwards at the wrist, it indicates a conforming itself exactly to the representative hand would mind that takes a too imaginative view of things. If it portend a being without any individuality - a nonentity be bifurcated at the end, half going downwards, and half The size of the hand should be in proportion to the rest of continuing in the same direction as the major part of the the person. The length of the fingers should equal the line, it denotes deceit - double-dealing. This line suplength of the palm. The palm longer than the fingers plies a great many other indications, but we will now pass would indicate a preponderance of matter over mind : the on to the line of the heart. If this line be well marked fingers much longer than the palm a want of ballast — of and if it go from the edge fof the hand below the little common-sense: the palm and fingers equal, or nearly equal, finger, across the roots of the fingers to the base of the shows a proper balance between the spiritual and the ma- first finger, it promises an affectionate disposition and a
good memory. Many mental qualities are promised us by The three types are varied almost infinitely by the com- a good line of the heart: it does not merely supply indibination of two or inore kinds of hands in one hand. cations regarding the affections. The poetical, or the arThere may be square fingers in the pointed hand, or some tistic, or the imaginative, may be inferred as a part of the spade-shaped. A hand may even contain the three types. character foreshadowed by a well-defined, well-colored Again, there are some hands where none of the fingers are line of the heart. A good line of the heart also augurs quite square-topped, or quite pointed, or quite spade. well for the happiness of its possessor; the gypsies say it shaped; where there are squarish points, or pointed is a “good omen.” If this line sends down short lines Squares, and no fingers of the pure type. These transi- towards the line of the head, it may be taken to signify tional hands are called “mixed," and they denote the pos- that the love of the person will only be given to those who session of a portion of the gifts of both of the types rep- have already earned that person's respect - that affection resented in them. The hands in which all the fingers will wait upon esteem. If, on the contrary, the small lines belong to one type,“ pure and unadulterated," are not go upwards, towards the fingers, then the likings will be
impulsive, and instinctive. A line of the heart with a position); in a “square" hand, painting, sculpture (ben great many breakages foretells inconstancy.
art leaves the domain of the purely contemplative; it be It is well to remember that a single sign ought not to comes partly active from the combination of manual shit make us come to a conclusion about any quality, or any with what is only imaginative); and in a “spade-shaped trait of character. A great many indications ought to hand, Apollo will give histrionic power, an aptitude for coincide before we come to a decision. A number of dif- acting, or a love of theatrical amusements. On the stage ferent, and even contradictory signs have to be weighed art is joined in the closest manner to motion. The foort and studied, and a balance arrived at, after giving a finger is Mercury. If well proportioned it promises proper attention to each. The two hands rarely corre- scientific turn of mind, resourcefulness, and diplomacy spond in every particular. Of the two, the left hand is the tact. The thumb is Venus. Chirognomony and palmistry more important, but due consideration should be given to agree in almost all particulars about the thumb." In both each, after both have been thoroughly examined. Lines, systems it is treated as the most important part of the if pale and wide, announce the absence of the quality at- hand. The upper joint, that with the nail, stands for the tributed to the particular line, or else, the presence of the will; the second division, the reasoning faculties; the based defect which is the opposite of the quality. For instance, the animal instincts. a pale wide line of the heart may indicate the absence of As far as he can do so, M. Desbarrolles strives to estab affection, coldness, or it may denote cruelty. To come to lish the analogy between the hand, as an instrument, and a right conclusion as to the precise significance of any par- our spiritual nature. For instance, in the act of grasping ticular mark, or indication, reference must be made to the anything, the fingers turn towards the thumb; when give other parts of the hand, and especially to the type to which ing anything the fingers and thumb separate ; and he says the hand belongs. No sign should be overlooked.
when laid on any flat surface, a miser's hand will show all M. Desbarrolles counsels chiromancers (or palmists) to the fingers inclining towards the thumb, and an extravatake hints wherever they are given. With Lavater, he gant person's running away from it. It is noteworthy that says that voice, and gait, and dress, and handwriting, are we use the words " generosity ” and “open-bandedness not without their significance, but he adds that the signs as synonymous. Again, a quarrelsome hand has nails that are more legible in the hands than elsewhere. He is an turn upwards; a timid hand has nails that sbield the ex Eclectic, gladly picking up crumbs of knowledge wherever tremities of the fingers. For the action of seizing with the he can find them, but professing to reap a larger harvest nails the latter form would be useless, the former essential in the hand than in the face, or on the skull, or, in fact, Small lines have their significance, and sometimes a very anywhere. A clever hypocrite will deceive even the great significance. A horizontal line on the mount of keenest physiognomist by facial tricks and impostures ; | Mercury announces a marriage, if very deeply marked but the hands, if not uncontrollable, are, at least, gener- and an attachment, or a flirtation, if the line be less well ally uncontrolled. Sir Arthur Helps makes one of his defined. Lines at right angles with the marriage-line, characters say that some of the leading men in the House round the corner of the hand — that is to say, on the flat of Commons can so divest themselves of expression, that surface made by the thickness of the hand, the edge of the no one can tell, from looking at their faces, whether or no hand just below the little finger — announce the number of a remark has “struck home.” They never wince. But a person's family : how many children they have, or will watch their hands! the fingers wrap themselves round bave. each other; they twist and twine : or else, the bands are There are two mounts opposite the thumb.
That nearclenched tightly, as may be seen by the white look about est the wrist is the Moon, giving imagination, an inclination the knuckles. "They will be gradually relaxed, and the to gentle reverie, and harmony in music (Venus gives love rigid stiffness will disappear, as the debate glides into of melody); and Mars, immediately above the mount of smoother channels. Some impassive-looking people banish the Moon. Mars is also represented by a hollow in the every outward trace of emotion except one; that is, the centre of the band. The mount stands for active courage, reddening, or paling of their nails, as the fingers are or, if too strongly developed, for pugnacity; and the bolpressed more or less strongly against anything that may low, if not too deep, indicates passive courage — patience, be under their hand. As for obliterating lines or marks, endurance. If all the lines are very bright, it denotes : or fashioning the hand with any hypocritical intent hot-tempered person ; if of a deep red, a violent disposition: one thinks of so doing, if even it be possible.
and if very pale, a cold, selfish character. A soft, fat hand Each finger, and the mount at the base of it, is named belongs almost invariably to an indolent person, and a from a planet. In the normal hand the second finger is hard, firm hand promises an active, energetic, persevering the longest, the third the next longest, the first nearly as disposition. long as the third, and much longer than the fourth, or Of M. Desbarrolles' theory it is hard to say anything little finger. Jupiter is the first finger. If it be long and laudatory, except that it is ingenious. His reasons why : not ill-shapen, and if the mount at its base be well devel- given division of a finger, a mount, or a line, should repreoped, it indicates a noble and lofty character, and a relig: sent some qualities, and not any others, appear obscure ious-minded person. If disproportionately long, it will and unsatisfactory; but we cannot allege any reasons for mean different things according to the type of hand in our reliance upon physiognomical signs and indications
, which it may be found, or according to the type of that yet we attach importance to them. We all accept a good particular finger: in the first type, an over-long first finger countenance as a letter of recommendation in a stranger; would denote an inclination to the fantastic or the exag. although we can hardly tell what constitutes its goodness
, gerated in religious matters; or it might, perhaps, mean or what the connection is between particular features, or religious madness; or, if other signs in the hand favored a particular expression, and a likable disposition. this view, it could be taken to denote pride. Pride is a may say that experience teaches us that they are never form of worship -- the cult of self. In the second type of met with apart; that no bad man ever had a benevolent hand, the excessive development of Jupiter might mean face, and no good man & malevolent. If this be a valid ambition, or, if it were in a hand that was eminently un- plea for physiognomy, then it ought to be equally so for selfish, it would stand for a something puritanical in man- palmistry; for experience speaks, at least, as well for the ners and morals — a too great severity. In the third type, latter as for the former. If it be given a fair trial
, palmis a very long first finger would probably signify vanity: try will prove itself a trustworthy guide in the study of The second finger is Saturn. If too prominent it an- character. When phrenology was brought forward, its nounces melancholy, or misanthropy, or downright cruelty, advocates demanded that it should be put to the test of according to the type of hand; but if the finger be within practice; and thousands were willing to study it, and to due proportions, this sadness may take the form of pity for attempt to make application of the art. It is not too much others, or it may mean merely a becoming gravity.
, third finger is Apollo, and belongs to the arts. In a will be taken up and studied as phrenology “pointed” hand Apollo will give poetry and music (com- and studied, - that is to say, perseveringly, enthusiasti
was taken up
1s. It seems very arbitrary to say that the top joint of neighborhood of the sun, need only be studied thoughtfully thumb stands for a strong will; and it is unsatisfactory to present similarly startling conceptions. No matter say this without being able to explain why it should be what theory of their origin we adopt, we are brought face bat it is equally arbitrary to say that a large chin denotes to face with the thought of time-intervals so enormous that tinacy (and although no one tells us why this is, almost practically they must be viewed as infinite. If we take ry one is ready to vouch for the accuracy of this physi- the assumption that a comet of this order had been travlomical maxim), or to tell us that a certain development elling on a path of parabolic or hyperbolic nature towards the frontal bone near the eyebrow, indicates an orderly our sun, had been captured by the disturbing attraction of position: but people very generally believe in “the a planet, and compelled thenceforth to circuit on an oval np of order."
path of greater or less extent, yet according to all laws of It requires some industry and courage to wade through probability, how many times must it have Hitted from star Desbarrolles' chapters on “ Man in connection with the to star before it was thus captured! For the chances are Dets." or " Kabbala," and kindred topics, which have a millions to one against so near an approach to a planet as eng flavor of what is called the “Black Art," and of would ensure capture. But if, appalled by the enormous
at modern mystics tell us about the lore of the Alexan- time-intervals thus revealed to us, we turn from that asCan Platonists. There is a most unprepossessing air of sumption, and find within the solar system itself the origin
scial pleading running through the theoretical part of of the periodic comets, how strange are the theories to : book; an unpleasant and (seemingly) an uncandid which we are led! Those comets which come very near 2 de about it. The author prides himself on the empirical to the sun may have had a solar origin; and those which
fare of his system, using the term as representing knowl- approach very near the path of one of the giant planets
ge gained by experience; but it is a temptation, when may have been propelled from out of such a planet when cading “ The Mysteries of the Hand,” to apply "empiri- in its sun-like youth. Even then, however, other comets " in its more common sense (quack) to his system. remain which are not thus to be accounted for, unless we
of those who peruse the book would ever think of regard them as derived from planets outside Neptune, áromancy as other than an ingenious fiction, were it not hitherto undetected, and perhaps detectable in no other the surprising manner in which the art verifies itself way. And when we have taken such theories of cometary ben tested practically. Even the foregoing brief and in- origin, not, indeed, for acceptance, but to be weighed emplete sketch of it will, if properly applied, enable peo- amongst possibilities, how stupendous are the conceptions le to guess very shrewdly at the tastes and pursuits of to which we are thus introduced ! Suns (for what is true hy strangers with whom they may happen to be thrown; of our sun may be regarded as probable of others) vomit
ad a fragmentary acquaintance with palmistry places us ing forth cometic matter, so violently as to communicate se a position to afford ourselves and our neighbors a good velocities capable of bearing such matter to the limits, or
eal of harmless amusement, while a more thorough knowl- | beyond the limits of the solar system : planets now passing udge of the subject would prove really useful. One of the through later stages of their existence, but presented to us,
hief merits of the art is the means it puts at our command according to such theories, as once in a sun-like condition, br deciding on the disposition and capabilities of children, and at that time capable of emulating the comet expelling ind of young people past childhood. Many mistakes now feats of the great central sun. made with regard to education, technical and elementary, Are these thoughts too wild and fanciful to be entermight be avoided by a careful study of a child's tastes and tained? They may appear so; yet where are we to find
others less amazing ? The comets of the various orders – short-period, long period, and non-periodic - are there. Their existence has to be in some way accounted for; or if
such explanation is at present impossible, as seems likely, COMETS.
we may yet follow the various lines of reasoning which
present themselves. And we have very little choice. Take Of all the objects with which astronomers have to deal, a comet of long period passing near the orbit, let us say, of comets are the most mysterious. Their eccentric paths, Uranus,- even as Tempel's comet, the parent of the Notheir marvellous dimensions, the strange changes to which vember meteors, is known to do. Either that comet has been they are subject, have long been among the most striking of gathered in from some outer space by the sun, and comthe wonders of astronomy. There is something specially pelled to follow its present path by the disturbing influence awe-inspiring, too, in the thought of the gloomy domains of of Uranus, or else — what? Only two other theories are space through which the comet that visits our system for available. Trace back the comet's path in imagination, a brief time has for countless ages been travelling. Ordi- round and round that oval path, which carries it across the nary modes of measuring space and time fail us, indeed, in paths of Uranus and the earth, but nowhere else brings it speaking of these wonders, or at least convey no real within millions of miles of any possible disturbing influDeaning to the mind. If the comet, for instance, which is ences. Rejecting the earth as insufficient in attractive 30% a conspicuous object in our northern skies be of this might (or, at least, so inferior to Uranus as to leave us in order -- if, as our comet-tracker Hind begins to suspect, no doubt in selecting between the two), we have only durits path in our neighborhood is parabolic, so that either it ing the past of the comet, as so traced, the planet Úranus has an enormously long period of revolution, or has come to which we can refer it. We have rejected the attractive to us across the interstellar spaces themselves, influence of Uranus; but two other influences remain. useless it is to set down the array of numbers representing Eruptive action in a former sun-like state, an action corthe extension of its path, or the years during which the responding to the eruptive processes known to be taking comet has been voyaging through desert space? The comets indeed which come from the star-depths — and obser
place in the sun, is one possible origin. The mind of man, Fation renders it all but certain that some have done so
unapt though it is to deal with time-intervals so enormous cannot in any case bave pursued a voyage less than twenty
as are required to transmute a giant orb from the sun-like bilions of miles in length, and cannot have been less than
to the planetary condition, may yet accept this interpretaet million years upon the road. That
, too, was but palling. Only one other, as it seems to us, remains, and their latest journey. From the last sun they visited to our
this compels us to contemplate time-intervals compared with owd sun, such was their voyage; but who shall say how which those required to change Uranus from sun to planet many such voyages they had pursued, or how many they will complete after leaving our sun's neighborhood, before hypothesis of the solar system, or, in fact
, by any theory of
seem insignificant. If, as we are taught by the nebular the time comes when some chance brings them near'enough | its evolution whatever, the planet Uranus was once in a na disturbing planet to cause their path to become a closed ope? And even those comets which are now known
vaporous condition, extending as a mighty rotating disc