The most magnificent of the starry phenomena, is the Milky Way or Whey; and, indeed, the epithet seems superfluous, for all whey is to a certain extent milky. The Band of Orion is familiar to all of us by name; but it is not a musical band, as most people are inclined to think it is. Perhaps the allusion to the music of the spheres may have led to this popular error, as well as to that which regards Orion’s band as one of wind instruments.
We shall not go into those ingenious calculations that some astronomers have indulged in, as to the time it would take for a cannon-ball to come from the sun to the earth, for we really hope the earth will never be troubled by so unwelcome a visitor. Nor shall we throw out any suggestions as to how long a bullet would be going from the globe to the moon; for we do not think any one would be found goose enough to take up his rifle with the intention of trying the experiment.
Comets are, at present, though very luminous bodies, involved in considerable obscurity. Though there is plenty of light in comets, we are almost entirely in the dark concerning them. All we know about them is, that they are often coming, but never come, and that, after frightening us every now and then, by threatening destruction to our earth, they turn sharp off, all of a sudden, and we see no more of them. Astronomers have spied at them, learned committees have sat upon them, and old women have been frightened out of their wits by them; but, notwithstanding all this, the comet is so utterly mysterious, that “thereby hangs a tail” is all we are prepared to say respecting it.
We trust the above remarks will have thrown a light on the sun and moon, illustrated the stars, and furnished a key to the skies in general; but those who require further information are referred to Messrs. Adams and Walker, whose plans of the universe, consisting of several yellow spots on a few yards of black calico, are exactly the things to give the students of astronomy a full development of those ideas which it has been our aim to open out to him.
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NEW STUFFING FOR THE SPEAKER’S CHAIR.
“With too much blood
and too little brain, these two may run mad;
but if with too much brain and too little blood, they do, I’ll be a
curer of madmen.”—Troilus and Cressida.
MR. PETER BORTHWICK and Colonel Sibthorpe are both named as candidates for the Speaker’s chair. Peter has a certificate of being “a bould speaker,” from old Richardson, in whose company he was engaged as parade-clown and check-taker. The gallant Colonel, however, is decidedly the favourite, notwithstanding his very ungracious summary of the Whigs some time ago. We would give one of the buttons off our hump to see
[Illustration: SIBTHORPE IN THE CHAIR.]