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midst. That was how she would wish to be. But then Oak what, if she had anticipated any such undertaking at night was not racked by incertitude upon the inmost matter of his and alone, would have horrified her, but which, when done, bosom, as was she at this moment. Oak knew all that she was not so dreadful as was the conclusive proof which' came wished to know - she felt convinced of that. If she were with knowing beyond doubt the last chapter of Fanny's to go to him now at once and say no more than these few story. words, " What is the truth of the story ?” he would feel Bathsheba's head sank upon her bosom, and the breath bound in honor to tell her. It would be an inexpressible which had been bated in suspense, curiosity, and interrelief. No further speech would need to be uttered. He est, was exhaled now in the form of a whispered wail: know her so well that no eccentricity of behavior in her " Oh-h-h!” she said, and the silent room added length to would alarm him.
her moan. She flung a cloak round her, went to the door, and opened Her tears fell fast beside the unconscious pair: tears of a it. Every blade, every twig, was still. The air was yet complicated origin, of a nature indescribable, almost indethick with moisture, though somewhat less dense than dur- finable except as other than those of simple sorrow. Asing the afternoon, and a steady smack of drops upon the suredly their wonted fires must have lived in Fanny's ashes fallen leaves under the boughs was almost musical in its when events were so shaped as to chariot her hither in this soothing regularity. It seemed better to be out of the house natural, unobtrusive, yet effectual manner. The one feat than within it, and Bathsheba closed the door and walked alone — that of dying — by which a mean condition could slowly down the lane till she came opposite to Gabriel's be resolved into a grand one, Fanny had achieved. And cottage, where he now lived alone, having left Coggan's to that had destiny subjoined this rencounter to-night, house through being pinched for room. There was a light which had, in Bathsheba's wild imagining, turned her comin one window only, and that was down-stairs. The shut- panion's failure to success, her humiliation to triumph, her ters were not closed, nor was any blind or curtain drawn lucklessness to ascendency; it had thrown over herself a over the window, neither robbery nor observation being a garish light of mockery, and set upon all things about her contingency which could do much injury to the occupant of an ironical smile. Fanny's face was framed in by that yelthe domicile. Yes, it was Gabriel himself who was sitting low hair of hers; and there was no longer much room for up: he was reading. From her standing-place in the road doubt as to the origin of the curl owned by Troy. In she could see him plainly, sitting quite still, his light curly Bathsheba's heated fancy the innocent white countenance head upon his hand, and only occasionally looking up to expressed a dim triumphant consciousness of the pain she snuff the candle which stood beside him. At length he was retaliating for her pain with all the merciless rigor of looked at the clock, seemed surprised at the lateness of the the Mosaic law: “Burning for burning; wound for wound; hour, closed his book, and arose. He was going to bed, sle strife for strife." knew, and if she tapped it must be done at once.
Bathsheba indulged in contemplations of escape from her Alas for her resolve; she felt she could not do it. Not position by immediate death, which, thought she, though it for worlds now could she give a hint about her misery to was an inconvenient and awful way, had limits to its inconhim, much less ask him plainly for information. She must venience and awfulness that could not be overpassed ; suspect, and guess, and chafe, and bear it all alone.
whilst the shames of life were measureless. Yet even this Like a homeless wanderer she lingered by the bank, as if scheme of extinction by death was but tamely copying her lulled and fascinated by the atmosphere of content which rival's method without the reasons which had glorified it in seenied to spread from that little dwelling, and was so sadly her rival's case. She glided rapidly up and down the room, lacking in her own. Gabriel appeared in an upper room, as was mostly her habit when excited, her hands hanging placed his light in the window-bench, and then - knelt clasped in front of her, as she thought and in part exdown to pray. The contrast of the picture with her rebel-pressed in broken words: “Oh, I hate her, yet I don't mean lious and agitated existence at this same time was too much that I hate her, for is grievous and wicked; and yet for her to bear to look upon longer. It was not for her to hate her a little! Yes, my flesh insists upon bating her, make a truce with trouble by any such means. She must whether my spirit is willing or no. . . If she had only tread her giddy, distracting measure to its last note, as she lived I could have been angry and cruel towards her with had begun it. With a swollen heart she went again up the some justification; but to be vindictive towards a poor dead lane, and entered her own door.
woman recoils upon myself. O God, have mercy! I am More fevered now by a reaction from the first feelings miserable at all this !" which Oak's example had raised in her, she paused in the Bathsheba became at this moment so terrified at her own hall, looking at the door of the room wherein Fanny lay. state of mind that she looked around for some sort of refuge She locked ber fingers, threw back her head, and strained from herself. The vision of Oak kneeling down that night her hot hands rigidly across her forehead, saying, with a recurred to her, and with the imitative instinct which anihysterical sob, "Would to God you would speak and tell mates women she seized upon the idea, resolved to kneel, me your secret, Fanny !.... Oh, I hope, hope it is not and if possible, pray. Gabriel had prayed ; so would she. true! If I could only look in upon you for one little She knelt beside the coffin, covered her face with her minute, I should know all I"
hands, and for a time the room was silent as a tomb. A few moments passed, and she added, slowly, “ And I Whether from a purely mechanical, or from any other will."
cause, when Bathsheba arose, it was with a quieted spirit, Bathsheba in after times could never gauge the mood and a regret for the antagonistic instincts which had seized which carried her through the actions following this mur- upon her just before. mured resolution on this memorable evening of her life. In her desire to make atonement she took flowers from a At the end of a short though undefined time she found her- vase by the window, and began laying them around the self in the small room, quivering with emotion, a mist be- dead girl's head. Bathsheba knew no other way of showfore her eyes, and an excruciating pulsation in her brain, ing kindness to persons departed than by giving them flowstanding beside the uncovered coffin of the girl whose con- She knew not how long she remained engaged thus. jectured end had so entirely engrossed her, and saying to She forgot time, life, where she was, what she was doing. herself in a husky voice, as she gazed within,
A slamming together of the coach-house doors in the yard " It was best to know the worst, and I know it now!" brought her to herself again. An instant after, the front
She was conscious of having brought about this situation door opened and closed, steps crossed the hall, and her husby a series of actions done as by one in an extravagant band appeared at the entrance to the room, looking in upon dream; of following that idea as to method, which had burst her. upon her in the ball with glaring obviousness, by gliding to He beheld it all by degrees, stared in stupefaction at the the top of the stairs, assuring herself by listening to the scene, as if he thought it an illusion raised by some fiendish heavy breathing of her maids that they were asleep, gliding incantation. Bathsheba, pallid as a corpse on end, gazed down again, turning the handle of the door within which back at him in the same wild way. the young girl lay, and deliberately setting herself to do So little are instinctive guesses the fruit of a legitimate
induction that at this moment as he stood with the door in under the harrowing circumstances, to speak out was the his hand Troy never once thought of Fanny in connection one wrong act which can be better understood, if not forwith what he saw. His first confused idea was that some- given in her, than the right and politic one. All the feeling body in the house had died.
she had been betrayed into showing she drew back to her. “Well — what ?" said Troy, blankly.
self again by a strenuous effort of self-command. " I must go ! I must go,” said Bathsheba, to herself more “ What have you to say as your reason ?" she asked, ber than to him. She came with a dilated eye towards the bitter voice being strangely low - quite that of another door, to push past him.
" What's the matter, in God's name? who's dead ? " said “ I have to say that I have been a bad, black-hearted Troy.
man,” he answered. “ I cannot say; let me go out. I want air!” she contin- “And that this woman is your victim; and I not less ued.
than she.” “But no; stay, I insist !” He seized her hand, and “Ah! don't taunt me, madam. This woman is more to then volition seemed to leave her, and she went off into a me, dead as she is, than ever you were, or are, or can be. state of passivity: He, still holding her, came up the room, If Satan had not tempted me with that face of yours, and and thus, hand in hand, Troy and Bathsheba approached those cursed coquetries, I should have married her. I the coffin's side.
never had another thought till you came in my way. The candle was standing on a bureau close by them, Would to God that I had; but it is all too late! I deserve and the light slanted down, distinctly enkindling the cold to live in torment for this !” He turned to Fanny then. features within. Troy looked in, dropped his wife's han "But never mind, darling,” he said; “in the sight of - knowledge of it all came over him in a lurid sheen, and Heaven you are my very, very wife.” he stood still.
At these words there arose from Bathsheba's lips a long, So still he remained that he could be imagined to have low cry of measureless despair and indignation, such a wail left in him no motive power whatever. The clashes of of anguish as had never before been heard within those oldfeeling in all directions confounded one another, produced inhabited walls. It was the TeTÉAEOTCof her union with a neutrality, and there was motion in none.
Troy. “ Do you know her ?” said Bathsheba, in a small en- " If she's — that, — what — am I?” she added, as a conclosed echo, as from the interior of a cell.
tinuation of the same cry, and sobbing fearfully; and the “I do," said Troy.
rarity with her of such abandonment only made the condi“ Is it she?"
tion more terrible. “ It is."
"You are nothing to me - nothing," said Troy, heartHe had originally stood perfectly erect. And now, in lessly. “A ceremony before a priest doesn't make a marthe well-nigh congealed immobility of his frame could be riage. I am not morally yours.” discerned an incipient movement, as in the darkest night A vehement impulse to flee from him, to run from this may be discerned light after a while. He was gradually place, hide, and escape humiliation at any price, not stopsinking forwards. The lines of his features softened, and ping short of death itself, mastered Bathsheba now. She dismay modulated to illimitable sadness. Bathsheba was waited not an instant, but turned to the door and ran out. regarding him from the other side, still with parted lips and distracted eyes. Capacity for intense feeling is proportionate to the general intensity of the nature, and perhaps in all Fanny's sufferings, much greater, relatively to BATHSHEBA went along the dark road, neither knowing her strength, there never was a time when she suffered in nor caring about the direction or issue of her flight. The an absolute sense what Bathsheba suffered now.
first time that she definitely noticed her position was when This is what Troy did. He sank upon his knees with an she reached a gate leading into a thicket overhung by some indefinable union of remorse and reverence upon his face, large oak and beech trees. On looking into the place it and, bending over Fanny Robin, gently kissed her, as one occurred to her that she had seen it by daylight on some would kiss an infant asleep to avoid awakening it.
previous occasion, and that what appeared like an impassaAt the sight and sound of that, to her, unendurable act, ble thicket was in reality a brake of fern, now withering Bathsheba sprang towards him. All the strong feelings fast. She could think of nothing better to do with her palwhich had been scattered over her existence, since she pitating self than to go in here and hide; and entering, she knew what feeling was, seemed gathered together into one lighted on a spot sheltered from the damp fog by a reclinpulsation now. The revulsion from her indignant mood a ing trunk, where she sank down upon a tangled couch of little earlier, when she had meditated upon compromised fronds and stems. She mechanically pulled some armfuls honor, forestalment, eclipse by another, was violent and en- round her to keep off the breezes, and closed her eyes. tire. All that was forgotten in the simple and still strong Whether she slept or not that night Bathsheba was not attachment of wife to husband. She had sighed for her clearly aware. But it was with a freshened existence and self-completeness then, and now she cried aloud against a cooler brain that, a long time afterwards, she became the severance of the union she had deplored. She flung conscious of some interesting proceedings which were going her arms round Troy's neck, exclaiming wildly from the on in the trees above her head and around. deepest deep of her heart:
A coarse-throated chatter was the first sound. “Don't - don't kiss them! Oh, Frank, I can't bear it
sparrow just waking. - I can't! I love you better than she did : kiss me too, Next: “ Chee-weeze-weeze-weeze 1" from another reFrank — kiss me! You will, Frank, kiss me too !” There was something so abnormal and startling in the
finch. childlike pain and simplicity of this appeal from a woman Third: “ Tink-tink-tink-tink-a-chink!” from the hedge. of Bathsheba's calibre and independence, that Troy, loosen- It was a robin. ing her tightly clasped arms from his neck, looked at her “ Chuck-chuck-chuck !” overhead. in bewilderment. It was such an unexpected revelation of A squirrel. all women being alike at heart, even those so different in Then, from the road, “With my ra-ta-ta, and my rumtheir accessories as Fanny and this one beside him, that tum-tum!" Troy could hardly seem to believe her to be his proud wife It was a ploughboy. Presently he came opposite, and Bathsheba. Fanny's own spirit seemed to be animating she believed from his voice that he was one of the boys on her frame. But this was the mood of a few instants only. her own farm. He was followed by a shambling tramp of When the momentary surprise had passed, his expression heavy feet, and looking through the ferns Bathsheba could changed to a silencing imperious gaze.
just discern in the wan light of daybreak a team of her own “ I will not kiss you,” he said, pushing her away.
horses. They stopped to drink at a pond on the other side Had the wife now but gone no further. Yet, perhaps, | of the way. She watched them flouncing into the pool,
UNDER A TREE: REACTIOX.
drinking, tossing up their heads, drinking again, the water which she vainly endeavored to make loud enough to reach dribbling from their lips in silver threads. There was Liddy's ears. Liddy, not knowing this, stepped down upon another flounce, and they came out of the pond, and turned the swamp, saying, as she did so, “]t will bear me up, I back again towards the farm.
think." She looked farther around. Day was just dawning, and Bathsheba never forgot that transient little picture of beside its cool air and colors her heated actions and re- Liddy crossing the swamp to her there in the morning solves of the night stood out in lurid contrast. She per- light. Iridescent bubbles of dank subterranean breath rose ceived that in her lap, and clinging to her hair, were red from the sweating sod beside the waiting-maid's feet as she and yellow leaves which had come down from the tree and trod, hissing as they burst and expanded away to join the settled silently upon her during her partial sleep. Bath- vapory firmament above. Liddy did not sink, as Bathsheba shook her dress to get rid of them, when multitudes sheba' had anticipated. She landed safely on the other of the same family lying round about her rose and fluttered side, and looked up at the beautiful though pale and weary away in the breeze thus created, “ like ghosts from an en- face of her young mistress. chanter fleeing."
“ Poor thing!” said Liddy, with tears in her eyes. There was an opening towards the east, and the glow hearten yourself up a little, ma'am. However did" from the as yet unrisen sun attracted her eyes thither. “I can't speak above a whisper – my voice is gone for From her feet
, and between the beautiful yellowing ferns the present," said Bathsheba, hurriedly. . " I suppose the with their feathery arms, the ground sloped downwards to a damp air from that hollow has taken it away. Liddy, hollow, in which was a species of swamp, dotted with fungi. don't question me, mind. Who sent you - anybody?” A morning mist hung over it now, -- a fulsome yet magnifi-“Nobody. I thought, when I found you were not at cent silvery veil, full of light from the sun, yet semi-opaque, home, something cruel had happened. I fancy I heard his
the hedge behind it being in some measure hidden by its voice late last night; and so, knowing something was hazy luminousness. Up the sides of this depression grew wrong, sheaves of the common rush, and here and there a peculiar “Is he at home?" species of flag, the blades of which glistened in the emerg- “ No; he left just before I came out.” ing sun like scythes. But the general aspect of the swamp “ Is Fanny taken away? was malignant. From its moist and poisonous coat seemed “Not yet. She will soon be — at nine o'clock." to be exhaled the essences of evil things in the earth, and “ We won't go home at present, then. Suppose we walk in the waters under the earth. The fungi grew in all man. about in this wood ?" ner of positions from rotting leaves and tree stumps, some Liddy, without exactly understanding everything, or exhibiting to her listless gaze their clammy tops, others anything, in this episode, assented, and they walked totheir oozing gills. Some were marked with great splotches, gether farther among the trees. red as arterial blood others were saffron yellow, and oth- “ But you had better come in, ma'am, and have someers tall and attenuated with stems like macaroni. Some thing to eat. You will die of a chill!” were leathery and of richest browns. The hollow seemed a " I shall not come indoors yet — perhaps never." nursery of pestilences small and great, in the immediate “ Shall I get you something to eat, and something else neighborhood of comfort and health, and Bathsheba arose to put over your head besides that little shawl?” with a tremor at the thought of having passed the night on “ If you will, Liddy." the brink of so dismal a place.
Liddy vanished, and at the end of twenty minutes reThere were now other footsteps to be heard along the turned with a cloak, hat, some slices of bread and butter, road. Bathsheba's nerves were still unstrung: she crouched a teacup, and some hot tea in a little china jug. down out of sight again, and the pedestrian came into view. " Is Fanny gone ? ” said Bathsheba. He was a schoolboy, with a bag slung over his shoulder, “ No,” said her companion, pouring out the tea. containing his dinner, and a book in his hand. He paused Bathsheba wrapped herself up, and ate and drank sparby the gate, and, without looking up, continued murmuring ingly. Her voice was then a little clearer, and a trifling words in tones quite loud enough to reach her ears : color returned to her face. “Now we'll walk about again,
“ O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, O Lord,' — that she said. I know out o’ book. • Give us, give us, give us, give us, They wandered about the wood for nearly two hours, give us,' - that I know. Grace that, grace that, grace Bathsheba replying in monosyllables to Liddy's prattle, for that, grace that,' — that I know.” Other words followed her mind ran on one subject, and one only. She interto the same effect. The boy was of the dunce class appar- rupted with, ently; the book was a psalter, and this was his way of learn- “ I wonder if Fanny is gone by this time?" ing the collect. In the worst attacks of trouble there ap- “I will go and see.” pears to be always a superficial film of consciousness which She came back with the information that the men were is left disengaged and open to the notice of trifles, and Bath just taking away the corpse ; that Bathsheba had been insbeba was faintly amused at the boy's method, till he too quired for ; that she had replied to the effect that her mispassed on.
tress was unwell, and could not be seen. By this time stupor had given place to anxiety, and anx- “ Then they think I am in my bedroom?" iety began to make room for hunger and thirst. A form “Yes.” Liddy then ventured to add : “You said when pow appeared upon the rise on the other side of the swamp, I first found you that you might never go home again — half-bidden by the mist, and came towards Bathsheba. you didn't mean it, ma'am ?." The female — for it was a female — approached with her “No ; I've altered my mind. It is only women with no face askance, as if looking earnestly on all sides of her. pride in them who run away from their husbands. There When she got a little farther round to the left, and drew is one position worse than that of being found dead in your nearer, Bathsbeba could see the new-comer's profile against husband's house from his ill-usage, and that is, to be found the sunny sky, and knew the wavy sweep from forehead to alive through having gone away to the house of somebody chin, with neither angle nor decisive line anywhere about it, else. I've thought of it all this morning, and I've chosen to be the familiar contour of Liddy Smallbury.
my course. A runaway wife is an encumbrance to every. Bathsheba's heart bounded with gratitude in the thought body, a burden to herself, and a byword — all of which that she was not altogether deserted, and she jumped up. make up a heap of misery greater than any that comes by "Oh, Liddy!" she said, or attempted to say; but the staying at home — though this may include the trifling words had only been framed by her lips; there came no items of insult, beating, and starvation. Liddy, if ever sound. She had lost her voice by exposure to the clogged you marry, —God forbid that you ever should I - you'll atmosphere all these hours of night.
find yourself in a fearful situation ; but mind this, don't "Oh, ma'am! I am so glad I have found you,” said the you finch. Stand your ground, and be cut to pieces. girl, as soon as she saw Bathsheba.
That's what I'm going to do.” “You can't come across," Bathsheba said in a whisper, “Oh, mistress, don't talk so!” said Liddy, taking her
(To be continued.)
hand; “but I knew you had too much sense to bide away. denly?”. Bathsheba inquired, the next time that Liddy May I ask what dreadful thing it is that has happened be entered the room. tween you and him?”
“I think 'twas because two men came just then from “ You may ask; but I may not tell."
Casterbridge and began putting up a grand carved tombIn about ten minutes they returned to the house by a stone,” said Liddy. °«. The lads went to see whose it was.” circuitous route, entering at the rear. Batbsheba glided “Do you know?” Bathsheba asked. up the back stairs to a disused attic, and her conspanion “I don't," said Liddy. followed.
“ Liddy,” she said, with a lighter heart, for youth and hope had begun to reassert themselves, "you are to be my confidante for the present - somebody must be — and I choose you. Well, I shall take up my abode here for a
THE SUN A BUBBLE. while. Will you get a fire lighted, put down a piece of carpet, and help me to make the place comfortable ? Af
An American astronomer of great eminence has recently terwards, I want you and Maryann to bring up that little suggested a very startling theory respecting the sun, preiron bedstead in the small room, and the bed belonging to senting that orb to our contemplation as, literally, a mere it, and a table, and some other things. . . . What shall I bubble, though a splendid one and of stupendous dimen. do to pass the heavy time away!”
sions. If this theory were only advanced as a speculation, Hemming handkerchiefs is a very good thing,” said a crude notion as to what might be, we should not care to Liddy.
discuss it in these pages. But the hypothesis has been Oh, no, no! I hate needle-work — I always did." based on a very careful discussion of facts, and affords, on Knitting ?'
the whole, a readier explanation of certain observed appear“ And that, too.”
ances than any other which bas been suggested. We pro“ You might finish your sampler. Only the carnations pose, therefore, briefly to describe the phenomena on which and peacocks want filling in; and then it could be tramed the theory is founded, and then to skrich the theory itself, and glazed, and hung beside your aunt's, ma'am.”
and some of the most remarkable consequences which must “ Samplers are out of date — horribly countrified. No, be accepted along with it, should it be admitted. Liddy, I'll read. Bring up some books — not new ones. But first, we shall present some of the ideas which very I haven't heart to read anything new.”.
eminent astronomers have entertained respecting the con“ Some of your uncle's old ones, ma'am ?”
dition of that glowing surface wbich astronomers call the Some of those we stowed away in boxes.” A Solar Photosphere. It will be seen that the bubble theory faint gleam of humor passed over her face as she said: of the sun bas been far surpassed in audacity by former “Bring Beaumont and Fletcher's Maid's Tragedy;' and speculations respecting the great central luminary of our the Mourning Bride;' and — let me
Night system. Thoughts,' and the • Vanity of Human Wishes.””
Sir. W. Herschel, during the whole course of his obser“ And that story of the black man, who murdered his vations of the sun, proceeded on the assumption, which wife Desdemona ?' It is a nice dismal one, that would suit perhaps appears a natural one, that the sun bas a solid you excellent just now.”
globe around which lies an atmosphere of a complex nat“Now, Lidd, you've been ooking into my books, with- We shall presently describe his strange ideas re. out telling me; and I said you were not to! How do you specting the nature of the solar globe ; but it will be well know it would suit me? It wouldn't suit me at all.” to quote first his views as to the atmosphere of the sun, and “ But if the others do".
the analogies he recognized between the sun's atmosphere “ No, they don't; and I won't read dismal books. Why and the earth's. “The earth,” he said, in a passage ex. should I read dismal books, indeed ? Bring me • Love in plaining his view as to the solar spots, " is surrounded by a Village,' and the Maid of the Mill,' and Doctor Syn- an atmosphere composed of various elastic fluids. The tax,' and some volumes of the • Spectator.''
sun also bas its atmosphere, and if some of the fluids which All that day Bathsheba and Liddy lived in the attic in enter into its composition should be of'a shining brilliancy, a state of barricade ; a precaution which proved to be while others are nearly transparent, any temporary cause needless as against Troy, for he did not appear in the which may remove the lucid iluid will permit us to see the neighborhood, or trouble them at all. Bathsheba sat at the body of the sun through the transparent ones. If an obwindow till sunset, sometimes attempting to read, at other server were placed on the moon he would see the solid times watching every movement outside without much pur- body of our earth only in those places where the transpar. pose, and listening without much interest to every sound.
ent Nuids of the atmosphere would permit him. In others The sun went down almost blood-red that night, and a
the opaque vapors would reflect the light of the sun with. livid cloud received its rays in the east. Up against this out permitting his view to penetrate to the surface of our dark background the west front of the church-tower— the globe. He would probably also find that our planet had only part of the edifice visible from the farm-house win
occasionally some shining fluids in its atmosphere, as, not dows — rose distinct and lustrous, the vane upon the pin- unlikely, some of our northern Lights might attract bis no. nacle bristling with rays. Here, about six o'clock, the tice, if they happened in the unenligbtened part of the young men of the village gathered, as was their custom, earth, and were seen by him in his long dark night.” He for a game of fives. The tower had been consecrated to goes on to show how the various phenomena of sun spots this ancient diversion from time immemorial, the western
can be explained by the theory that they are due to the façade conveniently forming the boundary of the church- occasional and temporary removal of the sbining atmosyard at that end, where the ground was trodden hard and pbere from parts of the sun. “In the year 1791,” he probare as a pavement by the players. She could see the ceeds, “I examined a large spot in the sun, and found it balls flying upwards, almost to the belfry window, and the
evidently depressed below the level of the surface ; about brown and black heads of the young lads darting about the third part was a broad margin or plain of considerable right and left, their white shirt-sleeves gleaming in the sun; extent, less bright than the sun, and also lower than its whilst occasionally a shout and a peal of hearty laughter surface. This plain seemed to rise, with shelving sides, up varied the stillness of the evening air. They continued to the place where it joined the level of the surface. How playing for a quarter of an hour or so, when the game con- very ill would this agree with the old ideas of solid bodies cluded abruptly, and the players leapt over the wall and bobbing up and down in a fiery liquid, with the smoke of vanished round to the north side behind a yew-tree, which volcanoes, or scum upon an ocean ; and how easily is it was also half behind a beech, now spreading in one inass explained upon our foregoing theory. The removal of the of golden foliage, on which the branches traced black
shining atmosphere, which permits us to see the sun, must lines.
naturally be attended with a gradual diminution on its bor“ Why did the fives-players finish their game so sud- ders. An instance of a similar kind we have daily before
0s, when, through an opening of a cloud, we see the sky, here discuss the question whether these solar willow leaves which generally is attended by a surrounding haziness of bave a real existence or not. Suffice it that the evidence some short extent."
on the subject appeared to Sir John Herschel to be demonHe was led by considerations such as these, to conceive strative. “ The leaves or scales," he said, “are not arthat the real body of the sun is neither illuminated nor ranged in any order (as those of a butterfly's wings are), heated to any remarkable degree, and may, in fact, be hab- but lie crossing in all directions like what are called spills itable. “ The sun, viewed in this light,” he said, “ appears in the game of spillikins; except at the borders of a spot, to be nothing else than a very eminent, large, and lucid where they point, for the most part, inwards, towards the planet, evidently the first, or, in strictness of speaking, the middle of the spot, presenting much the sort of appearance only primary one of our system, all others being truly sec- that the small leaves of some water-plants or sea-weeds do ondary to it. Its similarity to the other globes of the solar at the edge of a deep hole of clear water. The exceedingly system with regard to its solidity, its atmosphere, and its definite shape of these objects; their exact similarity one to diversified surface; the rotation upon its axis, and the fall another; and the way in which they lie athwart and across of heavy bodies, lead us on to suppose that it is most prob- each other (except where they form a sort of bridge across a ably also inhabited, like the rest of the planets, by beings spot, in which case they seem to effect a common direction, whose organs are adapted to the peculiar circumstances of that, namely, of the bridge itself), all these characters seem that vast globe. Wbatever fanciful poets may say in mak- quite repugnant to the notion of their being of a vaporous, ing the sun the abode of blessed spirits, or angry moralists a cloudy, or a fluid nature. Nothing remains but to condevise in pointing it out as a fit place for the punishment sider them as separate and independent sheets, Makes, or of the wicked, it does not appear that they had any other scales, having some sort of solidity. And these flakes, be foundations than mere opinion and vague surmise; but now they what they may, and whatever may be said of the I think myself authorized, upon astronomical principles, to dashing of meteoric stones into the sun's atmosphere, etc., propose the sun as an inhabitable world, and am persuaded are evidently the immediate sources of the solar light and that my observations, and the conclusions I have drawn heat, by wbatever mechanism or whatever processes they from them, are sufficient to answer every objection that may be enabled to develop, and as it were elaborate, these may be made against it."
elements from the bosom of the non-luminous fluid in which Before passing from the views of the greatest observa- they appear to float. Looked at in this point of view. we tional astronomer that ever lived, we shall venture to quote cannot refuse to regard them as organisms of some peculiar yet another passage, to show on what feeble arguments he and amazing kind; and though it may appear too daring was content to rely, when this favorite theory of his was in to speak of such organizations as partaking of the nature question. He pictures to bimself and bis readers how the of life, yet we do know that vital action is competent to deinbabitants of our moon, and of the moons circling around velop at once heat and light and electricity. These wonJupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, considering the offices dis- derful objects have been seen by others tban Mr. Nasmyth, charged by those planets, might le led to regard their pri- so that there is no room to doubt of their reality. To be maries as mere attractive centres, to direct their revolu- seen at all, however, even with the highest magnifying tions, and to supply them with reflected light in the absence powers our telescopes will bear when applied to the sun, of direct illumination.” “Ought we not,” he proceeds se- ihey can hardly be less than a thousand miles in length, riously to demand, “to condemn their ignorance as pro- and two or three hundred in breadth.” ceeding from want of attention and proper reflection ? It It is not a little singular that the two Herschels, among is very true that the earth and those other planets that the ablest reasoners on observed facts, and both highly dishave satellites about them perform all the offices that have tinguished for observational skill, sliould have advanced been named for the inhabitants of these little globes ; but theories so fanciful as the two we have quoted above. On to us who live upon one of these planets, their reasonings no other evidence than the fact that the sun, like the earth, cannot but appear very defective, when we see what a mag. 1 is a rotating globe, the elder llerschel was preparcil, we nificent dwelling-place the earth affords to numberless in- will not say to overlook the intense light and heat of the telligent beings. These considerations ought to make the solar orb, but to invent a protecting envelope, of a nature inhabitants of the planets wiser than we have supposed utterly unlike that of any material known to men of scithose of their satellites to be. We surely ought not, like ence, whereby the solar inbabitants might be protected them, to say, 'The sun' (that immense globe, whose body from the sun's fiery rays; while the younger llerschel, would much more than fill the whole orbit of the moon) | accepting confidently the “ solar willow leaves” (much * is merely an attractive centre to us.' From experience doubted by other astronomers). was prepared to regard we can affirm that the performance of the most salutary them as organisms whose vitality supplies the light and offices to inferior planets is not inconsistent with the dig- heat emitted by the sun! When iheories so startling have nity of superior purposes; and in consequence of such been maintained by the acknowledged chiess of modern asanalogical reasonings, assisted by telescopic views, which tronomy, we may be content to regard without much surplainly favor the same opinion, we need not hesitate to ad- prise the theory, strange though it seems at a first view, mit that the sun is richly stored with inhabitants."
that the sup is a gigantic bubble. Sir John Herschel went far beyond his father, however, But we believe that we shall be able to show that the in dealing with the question of the sun's habitability. He bubble theory bas very strong evidence in its favor. Let adopted a totally different view. Admitting the possible us first consider the facts which suggested it. coolness of the real solar globe, and the consequent possi- Very soon after ? Dr. Huggins bad devised a method by bility of the existence of ordinary forms of life upon it, he which the colored prominences of the sun could be studied nevertheless preferred to regard the true inhabitants of the without the aid of a total solar eclipse, astronomers discovsun, not simply as capable of bearing an intense heat and ered that in many cases the red prominences result from light, but as themselves emitting the chief part of the light veritable solar eruptions. Some prominences, indeed, are and heat which we receive from the sun i* This may ap- obviously in a condition of comparative quiescence, floating pear altogether incredible, and, in fact, the terms in which (as it were) like clouds in the solar atmosphere, and either Sir John Herschel expressed the opinion were not quite so remaining unchanged for hours or even for days, or else definite as those which we have just used. Nevertheless, undergoing only very gradual processes of alteration. But we believe our readers, after considering the passages we there are others which are manifestly true jets. It is not shall quote from Sir John Herschel's statement of his merely that the shape of these prominences indicates unviews, will perceive that there can be very little doubt as mistakably that the matter composing them has been ejected to bis real opinion.
with great violence from the sun's interior, but several have The surface of the sun, when examined with very pow. been watched during the actual process of ejection. They erful telescopes, shows a multitude of bright granulations, which, according to Nasmyth, are due to the existence of which the prominences were to be seen without eclipse, such tatement bearvery bright objects shaped like willow leaves. We do not ing date February, 1868, or six months belore the method was first success
1 The reference above is to the first detailed statiment of the method by