The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18??, November 27, 1874, Image 9

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I,nve:y childrei of the libt, ,
Draped in radiant looks and pinions
lied and purole, blue and white
In their beautiful dominion.
On the earth and in the spheres
Pwt-11 the little glendoveers.
And the red can know no change,
And the blue are blue forever.
And the yellow wings may range
Toward the white or purple never ;
Bnt they mingle free from strife,
yfcr their color is their life.
When their color dies they die
Rlend with1 earth or ether owly
Iieaking where their spirits lie
Not a stain, so pure and holy
Is the ewence and the thought
Which their fading brings to naught !
Each contented with the hue
Which indues his wings with beauty.
Red or yellow, white or blue.
Sings the measure of his duty
Through the summer clouds in peace,
And delights that never cease.
Not with envy love they more
Locks and pinions purple-tinted,
Nor with jealousy adore
Those whose pleasures are unstinted,
And whose purple hair and wings
Give them place with queens and kings.
When a purple glendoveer
Klits-aloug the mute expanses.
They surround him, far and near.
With their glancing wings and dances,
An-1 do honor to the hue
Ijoved by all and worn by few.
In the dsys lone gone, alas !
Two u;on a c.oud, low-seated,
Saw their pinions in the glass
Of a'silver lake repeated.
One was blue and one was red.
And the'lovely pair were wed.
nrrp'e winps are very fine,"
Spofce the voice of Buby, gently ;
M Ay,' said Sapphire, ' they're divine !
- k at his blue intently.
Birt we're blest," said Ruby, then, j
" And we'll not complain like men."
Sapphire stretched his loving arm?.
And !ie nestled in his bosom.
White bra heart inhaled her charms
Ah tbe sense inhales a blossom ;
1'ratik her wholly, tint and tone.
Blent her being with his own.
liaptnre passed, they raised their eyes,
Bnt were startled into clamor
Oi & marvelous surprise 1
Was it color ! was it glamour !
Purple-tinted, sweet and warm.
Wis each wing and folded form.
Who had wrought it how it came
Thteo were what the twain disputed.
How were mingled smoke and flame
Into royal hue transmuted T
Earn was right, the othor wrong :
Baa their quarrel was not long;
For the moment that their speech
Differed o'er their little story,
Swiftly faded off from each
Every trace of purple glory :
Blue was bluer than before.
And the red was red once more.
Then they knew that both were wrong.
And intgympathy of sorrow
Learned that each was only strong
In the power to lend and borrow
That the prtrp.e never mrew
But by grace of red to blue.
So, embracing in content.
Hearts and wings again united
lied Mud blue in purple bleat,
Ant-1 their holy troth re-plighted.
Both, as happy as the day.
Kissed and rose aud flew away.
And for twice athouaand years.
Foaling through the radiant ether.
Lived the happy glendoveere.
Of the other jealous neither
Savphire naught without the red.
Baby still by blue bestead.
Bnt when weary of their life.
They came down to earth at even
Fnrple husband, purple wife
From the upper deeps of heaven.
And reclined upon the grass.
That their little lives might pass.
Wing to wing and arms enwreathed,
Bank they from their life's long dreaming
Into earth their souls they breathed :
But when morning's light was streaming.
All their joys and sweet regrets
Btoomed m banks of violets!
Dr. .. O. Holland, in ScrUmer'n for Kmxmber.
When we read that graceless scamp
Mr. Barry Lyndon's account of the in
genious manner in which he and his cou
sin, Mr. Ulick Brady, carried off the
Irish heiress and married her to the lat
ter gentleman, we praise the admirable
manner in which Thackeray tells the
story, but are unwilling to believe that
similar occurrences have taken place in
real life. Indeed, the record of such
cases are meager five or six of them on
ly are reported but their very rarity
gives an increased spice to theirdetails.
The following sample is certainly as in
teresting as romance, and more true
than most histories.
Miss Ellen Turner was the only
daughter land heiress of William Tur
ner, Esq., a gentleman of large landed
property, residing at Shrigiey Park,
Cheshire, and at one time Sheriff of
that county. She had attained the age
of fifteen in February, 1826, and was at
a boarding-school, kept by the Misses
Daulby, at Liverpool. Her fortune and
expectations had been made known to a
certain Mr. Gibbon Wakefield, during a
visit to some friends of his who resided
near Shrigiey Park. Wakefield was a
widower, with one child, and involved
at the time in pecuniary embarrass
ments. He thought that marriage with
an heiress would be the easiest way out
of his difficulties, and a plot was formed
to lure the young lady from school, that
she might become Mr. Wakefield's
A French servant, one Thevenot, was
sent with an empty carriage and a letter
to the school-mistress, announcing the
dangerous illness of Mrs. Turner, and
that the private carriage of the physi
cian had been procured to convey her
daughter home. The valet had.been
well tutored in names and dates, and
the device succeded. Miss Daulby
entertained no suspicion, and resigned
her charge to the adroit stranger, who
conveyed her in safety to the Albion
Hotel, Manchester. There, Mr. Gib
bon Wakefield, " a gentleman from Par
is," of fashionable exterior and address,
.introduced himself to the schoolgirl,
and explained that the illness of her
mother was a mere pretext the real
reaso: of her being summoned from
scho being her fattier 's pecuniary dif
ficulties, and that he was sent to escort
her to him, as he could not venture to
appear in person. Mr. William Wake
field here joined his brother, and their
familiar acquaintance with household
matters at Shrigiey Park laid at rest all
suspicion, which, of course, was not
likely to arise in the mind of a young
girl fresh from sohooL
They posted in a carriage and four,
by a circuitous rout, through Yorkshire,
to Kendal, and thence to Carlisle. The
two brothers had exerted all their ad
Arac on the wav to work upon her
fears. They told her the people around
rtarriaire were liailiffa : that her
father was lying snug in a back room,
h- vtnlrl not stir for fear of arrest ;
fi.ot.hnth the Macclesfield and Black-
k v,ank where he kept accounts,
haA atonned navment : but an uncle of
ka Wafeofif-lds. srenerous and wealthy,
UmA umnd. on the persuasion of Gib-
lvin Wakefield, to advance the modest
little sum of 60,000, and as a grand
.i;m to this loner story, that Mr
Grimsditch, the family solicitor, had
written a Itetter, which the clever suitor
nrfitended to read.
van rt VWtaiTA Ketwpen himself and
Turner as the only device which could
save the family from ruin. The fertile
Renins of Richardson or Fielding never
r more notable expedient.
Vovat was Clarissa Harlowe or Miss
Allwnrthv in a more pecular position
ownAr was startled and con-
THE 1. ini.K
fused, and wished to see her father, but
he could not be seen at Carlisle, and
contented himself with sending his
blessing, and a meseage that she should
not lose a moment, but hasten across
the border and liberate him from his
difficulties. The natural love of the
child prevailed. She yielded a timid
consent, was hurried over the border,
and married at Gretna Green in the
presence of a drunken blacksmith, the
landlord of a public house, and a post
boy. Dread of a certain penal statute,
of the repeal of which Wakefield was
ignorant, fortunately prevented the con
summation of the marriage. He was
also unaware that the marriage beyond
the border had interposed a technical
aimculty to any prosecution ior ieiony.
Being, tnereiore, in constant iear oi
pursuit and recapture, Wakefield did
not let the grass grow under his feet.
The wondering bride was hurried away
bv forced marches to London, and
thence to Calais. An announcement of
the marriage, with all due pomp and
cermony, in the Morning Post, and a
modest paragraph announcing among
the .departures from London Mr. and
Mrs. Edward Gibbon Wakefield for
Paris, first communicated the astonish
ing intelligence to the family,
They lost no time in seeking to re
cover their young relative. Armed with
a warrant, and attended by a Bow street
officer, the uncle of Miss Turner and
Mr. Grimsditch hurried to Calais, where
the deluded girl threw herself with de
light into the arms of her kinsmen, and
turned from her betrayer with horror
when the whole scene of fraud and cruel
falsehood was exposed. A French mag
istrate authorized the grieved relatives
to take her home forthwith. They did
so, and at once commenced criminal
proceedings for a conspiracy against
the two Wakefields, their French ser
vant Thevenot, and their stepmother
Frances Wakefield. The case came for
trial before Baron Hallock, at Lancas
ter, March 23, 1827, and, though the
early hour of 7 a. m. was fixed upon for
the opening, the spacious shire hall was
crowded to excess. Of the eight eminent
counsel who figured in the case, five
subsequently rose to the bench and one
to the woolsack. It may, therefore, be
reasonably believed that the forensic
battle was well planned and ably
Mr. Turner and Miss Daulby first
testified as to the facts within their
knowledge ; the carriage was shown to
have been purchased from a dealer in
Manchester ; postboys and innkeepers
testified to the route followed from Liv
erpool to Gretna Green. Mr. Grims
ditch gave an account of the interview
at Quillaj's Hotel, Calais, where the
defendant exhibited a coolness and
" cheek" approaching the sublime. He
said that Miss Turner, he supposed,
was his wife, and he would take care of
her, but did not wish to make her rela
tives angry with her, so would allow
them to see her. He acknowledged that
he believed he would send a bullet
through the head of any one who should
carry off his daughter in the same way,
bet said he was going to make Ellen an
excellent husband. As to the threat of
arrest, he said he had more interest
with the police than his opponents, and
they were on the wrong side of the
water for such performances. He then
called Miss Turner down to see her
relatives. She clasped her uncle around
the neck, and on Mr. Grimsditch re
marking that it was an illegal marriage,
she exclaimed :
" I am not your wife ; you have de
ceived me."
Wakefield said :
" You must acknowledge I have be
haved to you like a gentleman."
"Yes, I do acknowledge that; but
you have deceived me, and I will never
more go near you again."
With the termination of Mr. Grims
ditch's evidence the forensic drama had
reached its most interesting point, for
the heroine herself, wisely kept for the
last by the prosecution, was now called
to the stand. She told her story in a
manner at once so artless and so clear
as to win the sympathy of the jury and
spectators. She described the first ap
pearance of Gibbon Wakefield at Man
chester, his ingenious stories about her
father's pecuniary difficulties, and his
introduction of his yonnger brother.
She had then entered the carriage, sup
posing she was going t meet her
father. Gibbon Wakefield said if there
was no letter at Halifax, and if they did
not see Mr. Turner there, they must
proceed as far as Kendal, where they
would be sure to rind him. At Kendal,
William Wakefield read a letter at the
chaise window and his brother looked
over him, but Miss Turner did not see
it. Had she been older, it might have
excited some surprise that she should
not ask to look at the letter herself, but
suspicion did not line the countenance
nor distrust overshadow the mind of a
school-girl of fifteen. Upon reading the
letter they said her father was not
there, but had gone forward. The
party pushed on. On the way Gibbon
said he had received a letter from Mr.
Turner, authorizing him to disclose the
state of his affairs, and then gave the
account of bank failures and his uncle's
loan, alluded to above. The uncle had
demanded security for the sum which
had been lent the estate at Shrigiey.
Wakefield then approached the jrist of
the matter, which we will let Miss Tur
ner in her own words :
" Papa might (he said) be turned out
of doors any day. It had been suggest
ed oy Mr. (jrimsditch that he (JVlr.
Wakefield) should be my husband ; that
then the property would be mine, and
it would be in my power to turn papa
out of doors, if I liked ; but, of course,
I should not think of doing it. He al
luded to the subject several times, and
said he was desirous to know what con
clusion I had come to. He first said I
should see papa ; then he said I should
give my answer to him."
Gibbon also informed Miss Turner
that her father was " chassez-ing " up
and down the border, waiting a chance
to dodge the sherifl's officers and waltz
over. As they rolled into Carlisle,
Will' am Wakefield again appeared.
pulled up the carriage windows, and, in
a mysterious whisper, said he had some
thing of importance to communicate.
He had seen Mr. Turner at Carlisle,
and Mr. Grimsditch was with him ; he
had made two attempts that day to cross
the border, and could not. He said the
inn-yard was full of bailiffs : that
Grimsditch had entreated that he would
not stop in the rorsa, or they would be
discovered, and that he had taken him
by the shoulder and turned him out of
the room.
" lie said, papa requested, u i ever
loved him, that 1 would not hesitate
to accept Mr. Wakefield as a husband
" What did you say to this ?"
" I consented."
What induced you to consent ?"
The fear that it 1 did not papa
would be ruined.
This ended her evidence. Counsel
for the defense wisely refrained from
cross-examination, and confined them
selves to showing that a marriage had
actually taken place valid by the laws
of Scotland, and that after she left
Manchester Miss Turner was a willing
victim. To establish this latter prop
osition a most motley assemblage of
witnesses landlords, post-boys and
chamber maids were produced to show
the liveliness of the young lady. She
actually shook hands, according to one
witness, on first meeting Mr. Wakefield.
They were in such spirits in the car
riage that the hostler asked the voluble
driver whether he bad got players with
him. They played draughts at Carlisle,
and at Settle they had gingerbread, and
she laughed loud enough for two.
The countenance of Mr. Sergeant
Cross, who led for the prosecution, lost
its cynical expression, and his iron feat
ures relaxed at this long rigmarole. He
cross-examined the several witnesses
with rough contempt.
" Well, they didnot quarrelor fight?"
" My friend has asked you every
question but whether the gingerbread
was good was it good ?"
" very good.
" She appeared to
be in as good
spirits as a young lady
ing from school to see
she ?"
would be in go
her parents, did
"She was in very good spirits; I
thought they were brother and sister. "
" And you actually saw her smile, did
you ?"
" Indeed ! wonderful!"
The celebrated David Laing, the
blacksmith, who for ferty-eicrht years
had officiated at Gretna Green in all
cases of runaway matches, was then
called on the stand. He appeared to be
very old, very deaf, and very illiterate.
In the course of his examination in re
gard to the marriage, he said it "was
done in the old ordinary form of the
Church of Scotland." This roused the
ire of Mr. Brougham, who, on the cross
examination, gave a brilliant exhibition
of those powers which led Mr. Trollope
to dub him "isoanerges. Me rode
rough-shod over this vulgar and illiter
ate trafficker in clandestine marriages,
and made him disclose the history of a
long and decidedly ill-spent life.
He gave a description of the cere
mony which he had stated to be the
ordinary form of the Church of Scot
land, which was at once chaste and sim
ple. I ask them if they take one an
other for husband and wife, and so and
so," aud no amount of badgering could
extract from him what meaning, if any,
he attached to these words. It was cus
tomary, he said, for the groom to stand
a bottle of " shumpine (champagne),
which David disposed of before com
mencing operations.
The defense, though ably fought,
could not, of course, save the criminals
in the face of the clear case made out
by the prosecution. The two brothers
Wakefield were sentenced to three years
imprisonment each, anil a verdict was
also found against Mrs. Wakefield, but
mdgment against her was not moved
Miss Turner was afterward married to
a Mr. Leigh, of Lyme, but died young,
Gibbon Wakefield, on his release
from prison, took an active part in col
onizing New Zealand, and appears to
have sought by the labors of mature
manhood to redeem the sin of his
A Terrible Snake Story.
Messrs. D. S.' Perkins, Joseph Straley
and John F. Steinrack, a party of Chi
cago tourists, who returned yesterday
from a three months' trip through Park,
Summit and Grande counties, relate a
terrible snake story. They were en
camped in Elk Head Mountains, in the
North Park, on the 10th of last Septem
ber, when they met with a misfortune
which cost one of the party his life.
The party arrived in camp late one
night from a day's hunt and ramble over
the hills. After a hearty supper the
party laid down in their blankets around
the fire, which had been built in the'
cleft of some large size quartz rocks,
and all were soon fast asleep.
Mr. Straley was awakened in the
night by a heavy weight upon his chest.
At first he supposed it was his brother's
hand, but, as it did not move, and be
coming nervous and alarmed, he raised
his head, and was horrified to find a
large mountain rattlesnake coiled upon
his chest, with his head nestled down
in the center of the coil. It was nearly
daylight, but Mr. Straley was so par
alyzed with fear that he could not make
a noise and dared not m ved. He re
covered his presence of xuind so far as
to be able to draw the blankets over
his face. This movement startled
the reptile, which glided from him to
his brother, who was sleeping with him.
The snake passed from his breast to his
brother's face, when, in a fatal moment,
Henry Straley raised his hand to tear it
awav. TherB was a hercs rattle and a
loud cry from the half-awakened boy,
and the monster buried its fangs in his
right hand and a second time in his
cheek. There was a loud scream from
Henry aa the poor boy jumped to his
feet, while the snake glided from the
blankets to a large hat rock near the
embers of the fire. Mr. Jenkins fired
his revolver-at it, and the second shot
brought it down.
Poor young Straley was soon sutter-
ing the most intense agony. His broth
er, at his request, cut out a large portion
of the cheek in hopes that the poison
had not penetrated very deep, and a
tight ligature was bound around the
wrist of the bitten hand, which was
bathed in cold water. Bat nothing the
horrified young men could do availed
to save the poor boy. He died in less
than two hours in the most terrible
agony. Denver Col.) World.
Exports of 'Musical Instruments.
Official records of Custom House re
turns at Washington show that the
total value of musical instruments ex
ported from the United States during
the year ending June 30, 1874, was
8550,327. Of this, 8258,176 was for
pianos and $292,151 for parlor or reed
organs. Of this latter amount, glb-.,-
lb9, or more than one-half of the whole.
was of the cabinet organs made by the
Mason & Hamlin Organ Co.. which
bid fair to become as famous in Europe
as they have long been in America.
This company certainly have reason to
be proud of the fact that the European
demand for their organs is larger than
that for all others combined. Boston
A Great Sneezer.
The only thing that Earl Bussell ever
did greatly was to sneeze. His achieve
ment in that line was thus decribed by
a biographer : " This remarkable man
seemed to concentrate himself for a gi
gantic effort, would be bent nearly
double by the force of the explosion,
and would then dive down into the
flaming banner of red silk, from which,
after several minutes' obscuration, he
emerged with a cc tenance as vivid as
the back of a scalded lobster. The
late Lord Clarendon said, "When
Lord John takes snuff the consequence
brings down the House."
England has
a surplus of 800,000
Current Paragraphs.
New York has 2,300 policemen.
Aubtjbn Prison contains 1,198
The average car horse endures four
Forest villr, Conn., turns out 1,000
clocks daily.
The school population of Kansas has
doubled in five years.
In 1873 the population of Austria ex
clusive of Hungary, was 20,970,000.'
In St. Peter, Minn., is a pig only six
months old and weighing 270 pounds.
iNBCBrpnoN on a fence in HarrlwioV,
Mo.: "Nobuddy hich hossea 2 this
A wonderful chicken in RnwU-rr
Green, Ky., has a coat of red hair in
stead of feathers.
There is a musician in Cincinnati
who plays simultaneously (or nearly so)
upon sixteen drums.
A seven-YEAR-onr boy is awaitinc
trial at New York for stabbing a rlav-
mate of 10, who called him names.
The drought has been unDrecedenterl
along the Bio Grande the past year. In
many places it has not rained for over a
Patti receives higher pay in London
than Nilsson ; the former getting two
hundred guineas a night and the latter
two hundred pounds.
The King of the Friendlv Islands is
a licensed Methodist preacher, and his
wife, Qneen Charlotte, a class-leader of
the same denomination.
Each thing lives according to its
kind ; the heart by love, the intellect
by truth, the higher nature of man by
intimate communion with xod.
Bendigo, formerly a notec3 pugilist,
is now a Methodist preacher , devoting
his time to the spiritual interests of the
lower classes of Great Britain.
The "Army of the James," at its re
cent reunion, refused to ioin in the
movement to secure the re-openine of
trie case or lien, iritzionn Sorter.
Chicago has figured up her fruit
trade and finds that it amounts to a
uany total oi about $62,'J00, or over
SI 1,000, 000 for the six months' season.
Prof. Goujwin Smith has introduced
at Cornell University one of Oxford's
genial customs, that of inviting the
senior class to dine with him at the
close of his lectures.
A little girl in Paris who was play
ing with a toy balloon drew in her
breath while inflating it, and the col
lapsed balloon went down her throat
and choked her to death.
The explosive force o. the ' ' fire
oarnp, wnich is the cause of so many
accidents in coal mines, has been calcu
lated to be equal to 146.6 atmospheres
or more than 2,000 pounds to the inch.
According to an official report, there
were no less than fc5.)o cases of chol
era in Hungary last year. Of this
number 237,718 recovered, 182,549 died,
and the remainder were under treat
ment. The deaths were therefore about
42 per cent.
The statistical editor of the Times,
Grand Island, Neb., says : 90,000,000,
000,000,000,000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 0i 0
grasshoppers, at least, passed over here
yesterday. There might have been a
few more or less, 'as we did not count
them very closely.
A French writfir declares that Tur
key is in a muchttbetter financial con
dition than France. The expenditures
are less per head than those of France,
tbe taxes 26 francs per head, against 85
in France, and the debt 174 francs per
capita, against 570 in France.
Even as the New York Tribune is to
honor its founder by a full-figured
colossal statue at the doorway of its
new building, so the Louisville Journal
is to honor the man who made it
famous with a statue of George D.
Prentice at the portals of its recon
structed domicile.
A wonderful clock has been in
vented by a German jeweler living in
Norwich, Conn. The whole discern
ible mechanism is a transparent dial
plate and a pair of black walnut hands.
The latter turn loosely on a pivot, and
if whirled in different directions will
immediately readjust themselves to the
exact time.
Our English visitor. Mr. Forster.
finds himself surprised at the early
start our democracy takes, as shown in
the public schools. He can't yet com
prehend it nor conceive it practicable
that a son of his could sit beside a son
of a coachman, and both graduate to
gether through all the etages, from the
primary school to the university.
An interesting statement is made of
the number of Protestant divinitv
students in old Prussia the past twenty-three-years.
In 1851 there were 604,
which number had increased to 1,18 in
1862. From this time forward the num
ber has steadily diminished till it is now
represented by the same figures as in
1851, namely, 604. The total for the
twenty-three years is 31,130.
The " Horseshoe Calculation.
The results of some arthmetical
problems are simply incredible till the
process by which they are reached is
followed step by step. It is, therefore,
not surprising that in spite of the noto
riety of the famous "horse-shoe" cal
culation, two persons accepted the offer
of a well-known farmer in the Brechin
district, who lately proposed to pay the
expenses of a picnic to thirty farmers,
provided one of them would bring to
him in the market on Tuesday one
grain of oats, doubling the number of
grains every Tuesday for twelve months.
Upon the offer being taken, one of the
parties accepting it having, according
to a local journal, offered to carry all
the oats on his back at the end of the
year, a calculation was made, which re
sulted as follows : The grains of oats
would amount at the end of twelve
months to 1,034,834,468 quarters, two
bushels ; and the value at thirty shil
lings per quarter, was found to be 1,
552,251,702, 7s 6d. The picnic was not
paid for, but the gentleman who thonorht
that he could carry the accumulation of
oats "stood a round of champagne."
1hb Missouri, Kansas and Texas
railway is a deservedly popular route
to the Southwest. Those who desire
to reach points in Missouri, Kansas, the
xnaian xerrnory, or xexas, situated on
or adjacent to its lines, will find that
there are very few transfers, that they
will make quick time, and can have ail
the conveniences and comforts of mod
ern railway travel. The genial general
passenger agent oi cne roaa, Mr. Thos.
uorwin, at aedaiia, Mo., will cheerful
ly furnish information in reference to
general or excursion rates oyer this
Very much has been said and written
during the last two years about the
transit of Venus, which is to occur Dec.
8. 1874. The interest which is so gen
erally felt in regard to it has doubtless
reached many of our readers, and they
very naturally begin to ask, " What is
a transit of Venus, ana wuy w " "
much importance ?" This is what I will
try to explain. . .
You perhaps all know that Venus, the
brightest of the planets, is not as far
from the sun as the earth, and that it
revolves round the sun in an orbit sim
ilar to the earth's orbit. In each revo
lution, therefore, Venus passes between
the earth and sun, ana is men m su
he iii inferior conjunction. When it is
on the opposite side of the sun from the
earth it is in superior conjunction.
Thus, in fig. 1, suppose e f c represents
the orbit of the earth,-a b v mat oi
Venus, and s the sun. If Venus is at
v when the earth is at e, it is in inferior
conjunction. But the orbit of Venus,
as you see by the ngure, is nox in ine
same plane with that of the earth.
Now, if it were extended until it met
the earth's orbit, it would be repre
sented by the dotted line cue, and it
would cross the earth's orbit at the
points e and c. These points, or the
corresponding places a and v, in the
real orbit of Venus, are called its nodes.
Now, because of this inclination of the
two orbits, the sun, Venus and the
earth will be in the same line only when
Venus is at, or near, one of its nodes at
the time of conjunction. For, if Venus
is at f when the earth is at f, it would
be in inferior conjunction, because it is
in that part of its orbit which is most
directly between the earth and sun ; but
we should see it in the direction of c.
If, however, it is at its node, v, at the
time of conjunction, or when the earth
is at e, we see it in the same line as the
sun, and it then appears to pass directly
across the sun's disc. This is what is
called a transit of Venus. Venus is
opaque, like the earth, shining by the
reflected light of the sun ; therefore the
bright side is toward the sun, and at
the time of a transit it appears to us
like a dark spot upon the sun's bright
The transits of Venus happen only at
rare intervals, because it is seldom that
the three bodies are thus situated in
reference to each other. They occur in
pairs, eight years apart, and between
the pairs are one hundred and five, or
else one hundred and twenty-two years.
The fact that they so rarely happen
occasions an interest in the transits ;
but this is by no means the only reason
why thev are so carefully watched.
Their chief importance lies in this : By
observing the path which the planet
makes across the sun we obtain data
from which the distance of the earth
from the sun can be calculated. The
relative distances of all the planets
from the sun is known ; therefore, when
the earth's distance, expressed in miles,
is obtained, we have, as it were, a yard
stick by which the distances of the
other planets can be measured. To find
the exact length of- this yard-stick has
long been considered the astronomer's
grandest problem, and a transit of
Venus gives the most accurate means of
doing this.
The last two transits were in 1761 and
1769. Previous to these the estimates
which had been made of the sun's dis
tance from the earth were very incor
rect. The earliest estimates on record
made it about one-twentieth of its true
distance ; and even at the time of these
transits it was too small by several
million miles. These transits were,
however, watched with great interest,
the observations made of them carefully
compared, and the distance computed
to be abont ninety-five million miles.
Since then astronomers have calculated
the sub's distance by several other
methods, applying principles which
were not then known, and, although
these methods are inferior to that fur
nished by a transit, yet, as the different
calculations very nearly agree, it is
supposed they are not far from correct.
They show the sun's distance to be a
little over ninety-one million miles.
The instruments which we now have
for measuring small angles, and the
means for determining the latitude and
longitude of places are much superior
to those used a hundred years ago,
hence the observations of the coming
transit will be much more exact, and
will furnish a means of testing the ac
curacy of previous calculations,
I will now tell you something of how
the observations are taken, and of the
preparations which have been made for
this purpose.
The direct object is to obtain what is
called the sun's parallax. The parallax
of an object is its apparent displacement
as seen from two different stations, An
fie. 2. let the circle a b e represent a
section of the earth. Two persons, one
stationed at a, and another at b, are
looking at the snn, s. The heavenly
bodies, thongh at. dinerent distances
from the earth, appear to us as if they
-were all situated m the same vaulted
surface, represented by the curved line
moo. The person at a sees the sun as
if it were at o, -wliile the person at b
sees it at d. Now, in making tables
which shall give the position of the
heavenly bodies, it is obvious that their
places, as seen from any one station
upon the earth, cannot be taken, for
this would not be correct for any other
station. The place given them, there
fore, is that which they would appear
to occupy if seen from the center of the
earth, for this always remains the same.
The true place of the sun, s, then, is at
f, and its angular displacement, meas
ured by the angle, b s c, or the arc, f
d, is its parallax at the station b ; the
angle, a s c, or f a, its parallax at the
station a.
The distance of a body affects its
parallax ; for it is plain that if the sun
were at the more distant point h, its
parallax, f n, as seen from a, is much
less than if the sun is at the point s.
Hence, when the sun's true parallax is
obtained, it gives an accurate means of
calculating the sun's distance.
Now Venus is the planet nearest the
earth, hence its parallax is larger than
any other, and can be more easily meas
ured. Moreover, Venus is much nearer
the earth than the sun, and its parallax,
of course, much greater. Because of
this difference between the displace
ment of the two bodies, observers at
different stations upon the earth will
refer the planet to different points upon
the sun's disc. Thus in fig. 3 let E. v
and s represent the earth, Venus and
the sun at the time of a transit. An
observer at a would see the planet cross
the sun in the line r c, while an ob
server on the other side of the earth, at
b, would see it cross the sun in the line
f a. These two lines are of unequal
length, and the transit, to the observ
ers, would be accomplished in unequal
periods of time. By noting the exact
time and duration of the transit at these
two stations and alterwarcl comparing
them, the difference between the paral
lax of the sun and that of Venus can be
obtained, and from this the parallax of
the sun, and then the sun's distance
from the earth. It is, of course, impos
sible to obtain stations on directly op
posite sides of the earth, to watch the
transit, yet places are selected as far
apart as possible, and the necessary al
lowance made in the calculations.
It may at first seem a very easy thing
to take these observatiens ; but in real
ity it ia very difficult to make them ac
curate. The instruments may not be
exact in every particular, and a small
error, in measuring an angle at so great
a distance as the sun, will make a great
difference in the result. Clocks may
differ by one or two seconds, and the
state of our atmosphere will affect tbe
distinctness with which the planet is
seen. Then it is extremely difficult to
tell the second when the edges of Venus
and the sun meet, for, as they approach,
tne dark edge ot tbe planet appears
drawn out toward the sun before it really
touches it ; and the difference between
the real and apparent contact may oc
casion a serious error. Hence the great
importance that everything be prepared
with the utmost care, and that so far as
possible there be uniformity in the
methods of observing at the different
Another science aids the astronomer
in this work by giving him a new meth
od of measuring small angles in the
heavens. It is that of photographing
the object, and then making the desired
measurement on tne plate by an mstru
ment called a micrometer. The sun
has been photographed for the purpose
oi studying tne solar spots, lor many
years, and tne process nas been per
fected and used with great success. It
is thought that by this method a much
more precise measurement can be ob
tained than by the simple eye-observa
For the past two years preparations
have been in progress for the coming
transit, uur own government nas ap
propriated for the purpose one hundred
and Mty thousand dollars.
Eight stations are to be occupied,
three northern and five southern. The
northern stations are near Pesin, Yed
do, and a place in the neighborhood of
the Caspian sea. The southern sta
tions are upon the island of Mauritius
Kerguelan's .Land ; Hobart Town,
southern part of Australia ; some point
in New Zealand ; and Chatham Islands,
east of .New Zealand.
These stations are ocenpied several
months before the transit, in order that
the instruments may be well mounted
and tested, and the latitude and longi
tude of the places determined, and every
preparation thoroughly made.
Other nations, especially England,
Kussia and U-ermany, nave made exten
sive preparations for observing the
transit, choosing different stations fav
orable to the purpose.
Another transit of Venus will take
place in 1882, which will be in some re
spects more favorable than ' this. It
will be visible in the Atlantic States,
and more generally in the inhabited
parts of the earth. The various instru
ments now used will be kept for that
transit, and it will be observed with the
same interest and thoroughness as the
present one. After these the next will
be in 2004 ; so if my Atlantic readers
would see a transit of Venus at all, they
must travel to a point where it can be
seen in 1874, or have their smoked
glasses ready for the one that will oo
cur December 6, 1882. Pamelia T.
Smiley, in &t. Nicholas for November,
uvebpaid actors. it would seem
that some gentlemen of the sock and
buskin are tolerably well requited for
their labors. " Mr. ootnem, for in
stance,' says the Boston Advertiser,
has played Juord Dundreary nearly
5,000 times, and if he has received upon
an average uu ior eacn performance
this single character has brought him
the enormous sum of 82,000,000 ! Mr.
Jefferson appeared about 2,000 times as
Bip Van Winkle, and if be received
S500 for eacn representation ( his U rms
when he plays for a certainty, are $000
and when he shares with the manage
ment ne oiten lases $4,uuu for half
dozen performances), he must have ao
quired $1,000,000 by this single fortun
ate creation.
co j
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From St. Louis, Mo.
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