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Bcaffi>ld, into so many steps by which
the martyrs had ascended up to heaven.
The love unceasingly manifested by
the tiiree sisters for their martyred re-
latives is very touching. They were
first reunited at Vianen, near Utrecht,
in 1799. The ostensible object was
to settle the division of property ren-
dered necessary by their mother's
death ; but in reality they were much
more occupied in calling up sweet me-
mories of her and of their beloved sister.
Madame de la Fayette was then al>out
forty years of age ; Madame de Mon-
tagu YnfA reached her thirty-second
year; and Madame de Grammont
was racier more than a twelvemonth
younger. They remained a month
together, their husbands and families
bemg also on the spot Not a little
suffering was caused by cold and hun-
ger, for their united purses could still
only produce insufficient means ; fuel
was wanting, and they had scanty
fiire. The three, however, would sit
up at night to enjoy each other's soci-
ety, wrapping their mantles round them
to keep out the cold, and sharing one
wretclied chaufferette* They spoke
Teiy low, so as not to ^turb huslMtnds



and children sleeping in the adjoining
rooms. One great subject of conver-
sation was to point out their mutual
defects — a Christian habit acquired
under Madame d*Ayen*s training, and
surprisingly brought into play again
under such circumstances.

Madame de Grammont remarked
that events were graven in letters of
fire in Madame d«» Montagu's counte-
nance, and characteristically advised
her to become more calm. She also
took the opportunity of teaching her
how to meditate — a service which
the elder sister gratefully acknow-
ledges in her diary. Madame de
Montagu observed with admiration
Madame de Grammont's recollected
demeanor at mass, which they attend-
ed almost daily, saying she looked like
an angel, absolutely annihilated in the
presence of God. <* As for me, I feel
overwhelmed at my poverty beside
her." Indeed, the two sisters vied in
humility with each other. Madame
de Grammont having once said, " You
excite me to virtue and attract me to
prayer," Madame de Montagu quickly
repUed, " Then I am like the horses in
this country; for one sees wretched-
looking animals along the canals draw-
ing large boats after them."

But the chief theme at night was
ever their mother. Madame de Mon-
tagu was accustomed to unite herself
with the dear victims in special pray-
er every day at the " sorrowful hour,**
and the other two now undertook the
same practice. They also composed
beautiful litanies in remembrance of
them during their stay at Vianen.
Madame de Grammont held the pen,
writing sometimes her own inspiration,
and sometimes what her sisters dic-
tated. They called these pra]^
" Litany of our Mothers ." •

One of the most interesting episodes
in the life of Madame de Montagu
was her intimacy with the celebrated
Count Stolberg, whose conversion to
Catholicism seems to have been main-
ly attributable to the influence of her
character. She came across him dur-
ing her residence at Floen and Witt-



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266



A Few iSaturmne ObservatUnu.



mold. He was at that tiihe at the
head of the gorernment of the Dake
of Oldenburg; and he assisted her
with all his power in her charitable
labors for the relief of the French em-
igrants. The acquaintance between
Ihem sprung up in 1796. Count
Stolbeig, with his wife and sister, —
the only one of the three who did not
afterward become Catholic, — ^had al-
ready begun to see something of the
inconsistencies and deficiencies of Lu-
theranism. They were calm, thought-
ful, upright souls ; grave, severe, and
simple, at\er the best type of the Grer-
man character. They often conversed
on and discussed religious matters
among themselves; but they were
very ignorant about the Catholic
Church and its doctrines. Madame
de Montagu taught them more about
Catholicism, without speaking on the
subject directly, than a whole library
of controversisd theology. Fragile in
health, sensitive to excess, overflowing
with sjrmpathy and tenderness, tried
by long and varied suffering, and
strengthened, elevated, and spiritual-
ized by the cross, without having been



hardened or made impassible,— her
whole character showed a force and
power and greatness that was obvious-
ly not its own. Such persons have
an irresistible attractiveness ; and they
speak ^vith a strange silent eloquence
to intelligent hearts in favor of the re-
ligion which can produce and sustain
them. Madame de Montagu was not
a person to introduce controveinsial
topics; but she won upon her new
friends graduaUy, and at last they
could not help telling her so, after lis-
tening to the account they had begged
Ifer to give of her own and her sisters'
sufferings. After a time their hearts
strongly turned to Catholidsm; but
intellectual difficulties remained on the
mind of Stolberg, which were not set
at rest till 1800, after he had been en-
gaged in a correspondence with M.
de la Luaerne and M. Asseline, to
whom Madame de Montagu and
her sisters had introduced him.
The French prelates did their part;
but the illustrious convert must ever
be considered as in truth the spirit-
ual child of Madame de Mon-
tagu.



From All the Tear Ronndi



A FEW SATURNINE OBSERVATIONS.



Hebe is a gentleman at our doors,
Mr. R. A, Proctor, who has written a
book upon that planet Saturn, and he
asks us to stroll out in his company,
and have a look at the old gentleman.
Itus a long journey to Saturn, for his
liSle place is nine and a half times
further from the sun than oars, and
his is not a little place in comparison
with our own tenement, because Saturn
House is seven hundred and thirty-five
times bigger than Earth Lodo^o.

The people of Earth Lodge made
Satum*s acquaintance very long ago ;
nobody remembers how long. Venus



and Jupiter being brilliant in oompaay,
may have obtruded themselves first
upon attention in the evening parties
of the stars, and Mars, with his red
face and his quick movement, couldn't
remain long unobserved. Saturn, 4all,
slow, yellow-faced, might crawl over
the fioor of heaven like a goaty and
bilious nabc^, and be overlooked ibr a
very little while, but somebody would
soon ask, Who is that sad-faced fellow
with the leaden complexion, who some-
times seems to be standing still or go-
ing backward?

He was the more noticeable, becaose



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A Few Saturnine OUervaHone*



267



t]i08e eTemng parties in the sk j difier
from like parties on earth in one ver^
Ycmarkable respect oa to the behavior
<^ the oompanj. We hear talk of
dancing stars, and the masic of the
spheres, but, in fact, except a few, all
keep their places, with groaps as un-
changing as those of the guests in the
old iabl^ banquet, whom the sight of
the head of Medusa turned to stone.
Onlj thej wink, as the stone guests
probably could not. In and oat among
this eompanj of fixtares move but a
few privileged stars, as our sister the
moon and our neighbors the planets.
These alone thread the maze of the
company of statnes, dancing round
their sun, who happens to be one of
the fixed company, to the old tune of
Sun in the mid^e and can't get out.
S<»ne of the planets run close, and
some nm in a wide round, some dance
round briskly, and some slip slowly
along. Once round is a year, and
Saturn, dancing in a wide round out-
side ours, so that in each round he has
about nine times as ikr to go, moves
at a pace about three times slower
than ours. His year, therefore, is
8<Hne twenty-seven times longer; in
fiict, a year in the House of Satam is
as much as twenty-nine years five
months and sixteen days in our part
€X the world. What, therefore, we
should consider to be an old man of
dgbty-eight would pass with Saturn
for a three-year-old.

A hundred and fifty years ago,
Bishop Wilkins did not see why some
of his posterity should not find oat a
ecmveyance to the moon, and, if there
be inhabitants, have commerce with
them. The fint twenty miles, he said,
is all the difficulty ; and why, he asked,
writing before balloons had been dis-
covered, may we not get over that ?
No doubt there are difficulties. The
journey, if made at the rate of a thou-
sand mile« a day, would take half a
year ; and there would be much trouble
fitim the want of inns upon the road.
NeTeziheless, heaviness being a con-
dition of closeness and gravitation to
the earthy if one lose but the first



twenty miles, that difficulty of our
weight would soon begin to vanish,
and a man — clear of the influence of
gravitation — might presently stand as
firmly in the open air as he now does
upon the ground. If stand, why not
go ? With oar weight gone from us,
walking will be light exercise, cause
little fatigue, and need little nourish-
ment. As to nourishment, perhaps
none may be needed, as none is needed
by those creatures who, in a long sleep,
withdraw themselves from the heavy
wear and tear of life. " To this pur-
pose,** says Bishop Wilkins, "Men-
doca reckons up divers strange rela-
tions. As that of Epimenides, who
is storied to have slept seventy-five
years. And another of a rustic in
Germany, who, bemg accidentally cov-
ered with a hayrick, slept there for all
autumn and the winter following, with-
out any nourishment.'' Though, to be
sure, the condition of a man free of
all weight is imperfectly suggested by
the man who had a hayrick bud atop
of him. But what then ? Why may
not smells nourish us as we walk
moonward upon space, ailer escape
from all the friction and the sense of
burden gravitation brings ? Plutarch
and Pliny, and divers other ancients,
tell us of a nation in India that Hved
only upon pleasing odors ; and Demo-
critus was able for divers days together
to feed himself with the mere smell of
hot bread. Or, if our stomachs must
be filled, may there not be truth in the
old Platonic principle, that there is in
some part of the world a place where
men might be plentifully nourished by
the air Uiey breathe, which cannot Im
so likely to be true of any other place
as of the ethereal air above this ? We
have heard of some creatures, and of
the serpent, that they feed only upon
one elemen t, namely, earth. Albertus
Magnus speaks of a man who lived
seven weeks together upon the mere
drinking of water. Bondoletius af-
firms that his wife did keep a fish in a
glass of water without any food for
three years, in which space it was con-
stantly augmented, till at first it could



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A Feio Saturnine OhservcUions.



not come ont of the place at which it
was put. in, and at length was too big
for the glass itself, though that were
of large capacity. So may it be with
man in the ethereal air. Onions will
shoot out and grow as they hang in
common air. Burds of paradise, hav-
ing no legs, live constantly in and up-
on air, laying their eggs on one
another's backs, and sitting on each
other while they hatch them. And, if
none of these possibilities be admitted,
why, we can take our provision with
us. Once up the twenty miles, we
could carry any quantity of it the rest
of the way, for a ship-load would be
lighter than a feather. Sleep, proba-
bly, with nothing to fatigue us, we
should no longer require; but if we
did, we cannot desire a sofler bed than
the air, where we may repose ourselves
firmly and safely as in our chambers.

As for that difficulty of the first
twenty miles, it is not impossible to
make a flying chariot and give it mo-
tion through the air. If possible, it
can be made large enough to carry
men and stores, for size is nothing if
the motive faculty be answerable there-
to — ^the great ship swims as well as
the small cork, and an eagle flies in
the air as well as a little gnat In-
deed, we might have regular Great
Eastern packets plying between Lon-
don and No Gravitation Point, to
which they might take up houses, cat-
tle, and all stores found necessary to
the gradual construction of a town
upon the borders of tbe over-ether
route to any of the planets. Stations
could be established, if necessary,
along the routes to the moon, Mars,
Venus, Saturn, and the rest of the
new places of resort; some London
society could create and endow a
new Bishop of Jupiter; and daring
travellers* would bring us home their
journals of a Day in Saturn, or Ten
Weeks in Mars, while sportsmen
might make parties for the hippogriff
shooting in Mercury, or bag chimeras
on the mountains of the moon.

Well, in whatever way we may get
there, we are off now for a jstroU to



Saturn, with Mr. R. A. Proctor for
comrade and cicerone, but turning a
deaf ear to him whenever, as oflen
occurs, he is too learned for us, and
asks us to "let N F F' N' represent
the northern half of Saturn's orbit
(viewed in perspective), n E n' E'
the earth's orbit, and^N p p' p" N' the
projection of Saturn's orbit on the
pkine of the earth's orbit Let N S
N' be the line of Saturn's nodes on
this plane, and let S P' be at right
angles to N S, N', so that when at P'
Saturn is at his greatest distance from
the ecliptic on the northern side."
When of such things we are asked to
let them be, we let them be, and are,
in the denseness of our ignorance,
only too glad to be allowed, not to say
asked, to do so. We attend only, like
most of our neighbors, to what is easy
to us. Sun is gold, and moon is sil-
ver ; Mars is iron. Mercury quicksil-
ver, which we, in fact, rather like still
to call Mercury, thinking nothing at
all of the imprisoned god with the
winged keek when we ask how is the
mercury in the thermometer. Jove
is tin ; yes, by Jove, tin is the chief
among the gods, says little Swizzles,
who, by -a miracle, remembers one
thmg that he leamt at school - Jove'3
chietlainship among the heathen dei-
ties. Venus is copper, for the Cyprian
is Cuprian ; and as for Saturn, he is
lead. A miserable old fellow they
made Saturn out in the days of the
star-decipherers. Mine, Chaucer
makes Saturn say, is the drowning
in wan waters, the dark prison, the
strangling and hanging, murmur of
discontent, and the rebellion of churls.
I am the poisoner and the house-
. breaker, I topple down the high hall^
and make towers fall upon their build-
ers, earth upon its miners. I sent the
temple roof down upon Samson. I
give you all your treasons^ and your
cold diseases, and your pestilences.
This is* the sort of estimation in which
our forefathers held the respectable
old gentleman we are now going out
to see.
When Galileo's eyes went oat to-



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A Fmo jSahimine Ohervatiom.



ward Satora through his largest tele-
scope— which, great as were the dis-
ooveries it made, was damsier aod
weaker than the sort of telescope now
to be got lor a few shiliings at any
Cretan's 8lKq[>— he noticed a peculi-
arity in the appearance of Saturn
which caused hkn to suppose that
Saturn ccMiBisted of three stais in con-
tact with one another. A year and a
half later he looked again, and there
was the planet round and single as
the disc of Mars or Jupiter. He
cleaned his glasses, looked to his tele-
scope, and looked again to the per-
l^exing planet Triform it was not.
^ Is it possible,'^ he asked, ^ that some
mocking demon has deluded me?"
Afterward the perplexity increased.
The two leaser orbs reappeared, and
grew and varied in form strangely:
finally they lost their globular appear-
ance altogether, and seemed each to
haTc two mighty arms stretched to-
waid and encompassing the planet.
A dxawing in one of his manuscripts
would aoggest that Galileo discovered
the key to the mystery, for it shows
Saturn as a globe resting upon a ring.
But this drawing is thought to be a
lat^ addition to the manuscript. It
was only afVer many perplexities of
others, about half a century later, that
Hnygcnsy in the year sixteen fifty-
nine, announced to his contemporaries
that Saturn is girdled about by a thin,
flat ring, inclined to the ecliptic, and
not touching the body of the planet
He showed that all variations in the
appearance of the ring are due to the
varying inclinations of its plane to-
ward ns, and that, being very thin, it
becomes invisible when its edge is
turned to the spectator or the sun.
He found the diameter of the ring to
be as nine to four to the diameter of
Saturn's body, and its breadth about
equal to the breadth of vacant space
between it and the surface of the
planet.

The same observer, Huygens, four
years earlier, discovered one of Sat-
urn's satellites. Had he looked for
iBore^ ha coold have found them. But



six was the number of known plan-
ets, five had been the number of
known satellites, our moon and the
four moons of Jupiter, which Galileo
had discovered ; one moon more made
the number of the planets and of the
satellites to be alike, six, and this ar-
rangement was assumed to be exact
and final But in sixteen seventy-
one another satellite of Saturn was
discovered Ij Cassini, who observed
that it disappears regulariy during
one-half of its seventy-nine days'
journey round its princijMd. Whence
it is inferred that this moon has one
of its sides less capable than the other
of reflecting light, and that it turns
round on its own axis once during its
seventy-nine days* journey; Saturn
itself spinning once round on its axis
in as short a time as ten hours and a
half. Cassini afterward discovered
three more satellites, and called his
four the Sideria Lodoicea, Ludovick-
ian Stars, in honor of his patron,
Louis the Fourteenth. Huygens had
discovered, also, belts on Saturn's
disc Various lesser observations on
rings, belts, and moons of Saturn
continued to be made until the ^ime of
the elder Herschel, who, at the close
of the last century, discovered two
more satellites, established the rela-
tion of the belts to the rotation of the
planet, and developed, afler ten years'
careful watching, his faith in the
double character of its ring. " There
is not, perhaps," said this great and
sound astronomer, ^ another object in
the heavens that presents us wi^ such
a variety of extraordinary phenomena
as the planet Saturn: a magnificent
globe encompassed by a stupeadous
doubiering; attended by seven sat-
ellites; ornamented with equatorial
belts ; compressed at the poles ; turn-
ing on itc axb ; mutually .eclipsing its
rings and satellites, and bclipsed by
them; the most distant of the rings
also turning on its axis, and the same
taking place with the furthest of the
satellites; all the parts of the system
of Saturn occasionally reflecting light
to each othe]>— the rings and moons



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270



A Few SiOwmine OUervaHom.



illuminating the nights of the Satur-
nian, the globe and moons enlighten-
ing the dark parts of the rings, and
the planet and rings throwing back
the sun's beams upon the moons when
thej are deprived of them at the time
of their conjunctions.'' During the
present century, other observers
have detected more divisions of the
ring, one separating the outer ring
into two rlhgs of equal breadth seems
to be permanent It is to be seen
onlj by the best telescopes, under
the most favorable conditions. Many
other and lesser indications of division
have also at different times been ob-
served. Seventeen years ago an
eighth satellite of Saturn was discov-
ered by Mr. Bond in America, and by
Mr. LasscU in England. Two years
later, that is to say, in November,
eighteen My, a third ring of singular
appearance was discovered inside the
two others by Mr. Bond, and, a few
days later, but independently, by Mr.
Dawes and by Mr. Lassell in England.
It is not bright like the others, but
dusky, almost purple, and it is trans-
parent, not even distorting the outline
of the body of the planet seen through
it This ruig was very easily seen by
good telescopes, and presently became
visible through telescopes of only four-
inch aperture. In Herschel's time it
was so dim that it was figured as a
belt upon the body of the planet
Now it is not only distmct, but it has
been increasing in width since the
time of its discovery.

These were not all the marvels.
One of the chief of the wonders since
discovered was a faint overlapping
light, differing much in color from the
ordinary light of the rinpr, which light,
a year and a half ago, Mr. Wray saw
distinctly stretched on either side from
the dark shade on the ball overlap-
ping the fine line of light by the edge
of the ring to the extent of about one-
third of its lengtli, and so as to give
the impression that it was the dusky
ring, very much thicker than the
bright rings, and, seen edgewise, pro-
jected on the sky. Well may we be



told by our guide, Mr. Proctor, that
no object in the heavens presents so
beautiful an appearance as Saturn,
viewed with an instrument of ade-
quate power. The golden disc, faint-
ly striped with silver-tinted belts ; the
circling rings, with their various
shades of brilliancy and color; and
the perfect symmetry of the system
as it sweeps across the dark back-
ground of the field of view, combine
to form a picture as charming as it is
sublime and impressive.

But what does it all mean ? What
is the use of this strange furniture in
the House of Saturn, which is like
nothing else among the known things
of the universe? Maupertuis thought
that Saturn's ring was a comet's tail
cut ofi^ by the attraction of die planet
as it passed, and compelled to circle
round it thenceforth and for ever.
Bufibn thought the ring was the equa-
torial region of the planet which had
been thrown off and lefl revolving
while the globe to whicli it had be-
longed conti*acted to its present size.
Other theories also went upon the
assumption tliat the rings are solid.
But if they are solid, how is it that
they exhibit traces of varying division
and reunion, and wliat arc we to think
of certain mottled or dusky stripes
concentric with the rings, which stripes,
appearing, to indicate that tlic ring
where they occur is ftemi-transpar-
ent, also are not permanent ? Then,
again, what are we to think of the
growth witliin the last seventy years
of the transparent dark ring which
does not, as even air would, refract
the image of that which is seen
through it, and that is becoming more
opaque every year? Then, again,
how is it that the immense width of
the rings has been steadily increasing
by the approach of their inner edge
to the body of the planet? The
bright ring, once twenty-three thousand
miles wide, was five thousand miles
wider in Herschel's time, and has now
a width of twenty-eight thousand
tlu-ee hundred on a surface of* more
than twelve thousand millions of



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A Few' Saturnine Obeervatums.



271



square miles, whUe the thickness is
onlj a hundred miles or less. Eight
jeans ago, Mr. J. Clerk Maxwell ob-
tained the Adams prize of the Uni-
versity of Cambridge for an essay
upon Satam's rings, which showed
that if they were solid there would be
necessary to stalulity an appearance
altogether different from that of the
actual system* But if not solid, are
they fluid, are they a great isolated
ocean poised in the Satumian mid
air ? If there were such an ocean, it
18 shown that it would be exposed to
influences forming waves that would
be broken up into fluid satellites.

But possibly the rings are formed
of flights of disconnected satellites, so
small and so dosely packed that, at
the immense distance to which Saturn
is removed, they a^^pear to form a
continuous mass, while the dark inner
mass may have been recently formed
of satellites drawn by disturbing at-
tractions or collisions out of the bright
outer ring, and so thinly scattered that
they give to us only a sense of dark-
ness without obscuring, and of course
without refractlDg, the surface before
which they spin. This is, in our
guide's opinion, the true solution of
the problem, and to the bulging of
Saturn's equator, which determines
the line of superior attraction, he as-
cribes the thinness of the system of
satellites, in which each is compelled
to taravel near the plane of the great
planet's equator.

Whatever be the truth about these
vast provisions for the wants of Sat-
urn, surely there must be living in-
habitants there to whose needs they
are wisely adapted. Travel among
the other planets would have its in-
conveniences to us of the earth.
Light walking as it might be across
the fields of ether, we should have
half our weight given to us again in



Mars or Mercury, while in Jupiter our



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