On the north side of the Observatory are two small buildings, covered with hemispherical sliding domes, in each of which is an equatorial sector, made by Sisson, and a clock, by Arnold, with a three-barred pendulum, which are seldom used but for observing comets. The celebrated Dry-well, which was made to observe the earth’s annual parallax, and for seeing the stars in the day-time, is situated near the south-east corner of the garden, behind the Observatory, but has been arched over, the great improvements in telescopes having long rendered it unnecesary. It contains a stone staircase, winding from the top to the bottom.
The Rev. John Flamstead, Dr. Halley, Dr. Bradley, Dr. Bliss, Dr. Nev. Maskelyne, and John Pond, Esq. have been the successive astronomers-royal since the foundation of this edifice.
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(For the Mirror.)
The most extraordinary instance of this kind on record is that of the united twins, born at Saxony, in Hungary, in 1701; and publicly exhibited in many parts of Europe, among others in England, and living till 1723. They were joined at the back, below the loins, and had their faces and bodies placed half side-ways towards each other. They were not equally strong nor well made, and the most powerful, (for they had separate wills) dragged the other after her, when she wanted to go any where. At six years, one had a paralytic affection of the left side, which left her much weaker than the other. There was a great difference in their functions and health. They had different temperaments; when one was asleep the other was often awake; one had a desire for food when the other had not, &c. They had the small pox and measles at one and the same time, but other disorders separately. Judith was often convulsed, while Helen remained free from indisposition; one of them had a catarrh and a cholic, while the other was well. Their intellectual powers were different; they were brisk, merry, and well bred; they could read, write, and sing, very prettily; could speak several languages, as Hungarian, German, French, and English. They died together, and were buried in the Convent of the Nuns of St. Ursula, at Presburgh.
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ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A SPARROW.
Catullus, Carmen 3.
(For the Mirror.)
Oh, mourn ye deities of love.
And ye whose minds distress can move,
Bewail a Sparrow’s fate;
The Sparrow, favourite of my fair,
Fond object of her tend’rest care,
Her loss indeed how great.
For so affectionate it grew,
And its delighted mistress knew
As well as she her mother;
Nor would it e’er her lap forsake,
But hopping round about would make
Some sportive trick or other.