תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

causes. Besides, it brings down to us from the earliest periods, the names of men known to be fully as great in the knowledge of other arts ; whose writings, though in some parts superstitious and uncouth as the times in which they appeared, evince minds equally capacious with any now existing; that is, allowing for the progress of society in refinement and experience.

If we are not now justified, we really know not how to strengthen our argument. If we have failed to convince our best friends, those whose good opinions are dear to us, we can make no appeal to their feelings. Let them be assured that we attempt nothing, but in the most firm consciousness of the rectitude of our intentions: instead then of silent and deploring censure, let them contribute their parts cheerfully to assist an undertaking begun on such a basis ; which in the various field of science, thus humbly opened, may be easily done; and if the gratitude of hearts whose faith and affection have long been tried can increase the glow of mind arising from having contributed to make

society wiser and better, ours will be offered fully and freely.

Should our undertaking experience the disapprobation of one scientific and real patriotic mind, we hope his opinion will be conveyed with candour ; for the reprehension of the wise is ever salutary, and will be received with becoming reverence. It is the silence only of such we fear, as in that case the impression that our pages are beneath their writings would hurt and humble us. The sneers and the rail. ing of insolence and folly we do not dread; and while we shall deem it our duty to admit the queries, to enlighten the understandings, and to do all in our power to alleviate the sorrows of those who really seek for knowledge and relief; we shall repel all applications arising from curiosity, unless they should carry marks of ability sufficient to entitle them to consideration.

LONDON, 31st Dec. 1813.

[blocks in formation]

If in an age, though rude, and unrefin'd,
Some glow of genius mark'd the inquiring mind;
If times succeeding, 'midst the letter'd gloom,
Trac'd there the beams of Athens and of Rome,
While from the superstitious shades of yore,
Science, emerging, gilds the mystic lore,
Not only starry systems brings to view
For admiration, but instruction too;
Truth rises rob’d in beauty and delight,
Urania smiles, and spreads the heavenly light !

What wonder then that we a science scan,
Which, tracing Nature, analyzes man;
Whether we view him plac'd in joy or wo;
Whether trace Earth, or search her deeps below;
Whether we contemplate the glorious Sun,
The circling Planets, or the changeful Moon;
Whether the elements in mildest form,
Or in the horrors of the roaring storm;
In all, the Almighty Architect we mark,
Clear, though mysterious, luminous, though dark !
If contemplation of the stars invite
The mind to adoration and delight;
Shall then the knowledge of their powers and laws
Fail to give pleasure, and deserve applause ?

Does not conviction in our mind arise,
Bright as the Sun that glads the orient skies?
Is not of Providence the firm belief
Source of our joy, and sunshine in our grief?

When we survey yon circling orbs on high,
Say, do they only grace the spangled sky?
Have they no influence, no functions given
To execute the awful will of Heaven?
Is there no sympathy pervading all
Between the Planets and this earthly ball ?
No tactile intercourse from pole to pole
Between the ambient and the human soul ?
No link extended through the vast profound,
Combining all above, below, around ?-
First in the train the eventful Moon appears,
Spouse of the Earth, and handmaid of the Spheres.
Next Venus shines, dispersing influence sweet
With genial joys, with nature's balm replete.
Mercury next, rarely seen, delights to play
Amidst the effulgence of the Solar ray.
Next smiles the Sun, magnificently bright,
Lord of the heavenly host, and source of light.
Above his sphere, fierce Mars revolves and shows
His ireful aspect that destructive glows,
Clad in gross atmosphere, of lurid hue.
Beyond, majestic, rises to our view,
While four satellites around him move
In azure robes, the friendly star of Jove.
Beyond his sphere, remote from solar ray,
Moves Saturn *, spreading sorrow and dismay;

* This planet, when viewed through a good telescope, makes a more remarkable appearance than any of the other celestial wanderers. Galileo first discovered his uncommon shape, which he thought to be like two globes, one on each side a larger one. Having viewed him for two years, he was surprised to see him become quite round without these appendages, and then afterwards to assume them as before. These adjoining globes

« הקודםהמשך »