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book of Job, together with Arcturus and the Pleiades. The star a in his shoulder called Betalgeus is a red star; and, like the red stars in general, twinkles with a stronger alternation of colour than the white stars. See a paper on Starlight by Dr. Forster, recorded January 16, p. 17. At this time of the year, Antares affords the best example of the mutation of colour in stars. The composition of Starlight is an object infinitely more worthy of the attention of astronomers than is usually imagined, as the differently coloured stars will be differently acted on by the dispersive power of the atmosphere; and thus the visible spectra of different stars will require different corrections in tables of Refraction. This consideration shows why Aldebaran and the red stars are sometimes seen projected on the moon's disk in occultations by that planet, especially when the immersion or emersion happens to be near her upper limb. For the light of the moon being white, is more refracted than that of the star, and consequently her limb more elevated, which would occasion the star to appear within her disk a few seconds before or after contact.
The disagreement which is found to exist in the declination of several of the fixed stars, as given by different observers, may probably be traced to the same cause; for stars are more or less refracted, according to the predominant colour of which their light is composed.
That the fixed stars differ from each other in respect to the composition of their light, must be obvious to any one who will only take the trouble of comparing them on a fine night. They present a striking variety of colour even to the naked eye;
but this difference becomes still more perceptible when they are viewed through a prism properly adapted to the eyepiece of a reflecting telescope.
A star viewed in this manner is converted into a prismatic spectrum. Sirius, and other brilliant white stars, exhibit a large brush of beautiful violet, and the most refrangible colours in great abundance. Aldebaran, a Orionis, and the red stars, show only a small proportion of those colours, whilst the dull white stars exhibit a great quantity of intense green light.
The planets also differ much from each other in this respect. The Moon, Venus, and Jupiter, seem to possess every colour; but the green is very pale in all of them. Mercury and Mars appear deficient in the middle and most refrangible rays, whilst the light of Saturn seems to be composed principally of the mean rays, with a very small proportion of the extreme colours of the prism.
The different refrangibility of the differently coloured
rays is very visible in stars near the horizon. If viewed on a fine night, with a power of 200 and upwards, they appear expanded into a prismatic spectrum. Sirius, when within a few degrees of the horizon, presents a most beautiful object.
Some years ago, a paper was published in the Phil. Trans. by a Mr. Barker, to prove, from the accounts of the ancients, that the colour of the Stars had changed. This, however, was completely refuted by a paper by Dr. Forster in the Phil. Magazine, who brought forward very numerous examples to prove that we could not depend on the accuracy of the ancient names for colours.
See Philosophical Transactions, vol. lxxxiv. p. 345. Histoire Céleste Françoise, tome i. p. 393, 403, 413, 425, 428, 467; and Connoissance des Temps for 1817. Phil. Mag. 1817, 1818, and 1819. Also Mr. Lee's Paper on the Dispersive Power of the Atmosphere, in Phil. Trans.
Those who wish to see the coloured spectra above alluded to in perfection with a prism, should avail themselves of the clear intervals of showery weather, when the welkin is much more transparent than at any other time; a circumstance long ago noticed by Sir Isaac Newton.
June 17. SS. Nicander and Marcian Martyrs. St. Botolph Abbot. St. Avitus Abbot.
Št. MoligSt. Prior Hermit. The English Almanack records St. Alban today; we have, however, followed the more genuine method of Butler, in registering him under the 22d.
Aequi et Volsci à Posthumo fugati.-— Rom. Cal. FLORA. -- On the Olitory Garden. — A good garden should never be without several large parterres of Sweet Herbs; and those sown early in May should now be set out in form for standing. Sweet Basil, Bush Basil, Sweet Marjoram, the several sorts of Mints, Sage, Camomile, Thyme, and Tansy, besides Chervil, and many others, should be always cultivated. For there is no doubt that pot herbs, as well as many vegetable diet drinks used by our forefathers, and over which the conceit of modern medicine has thrown some slighting reflections, are, in reality, excessively useful in a medical point of view. Mixed with good vegetable soups, sweet herbs form not only a delicious relish, but they impart a salutary quality; and this we assert on
good medical authority and experience. Vegetable infusions, also, such as Balm Tea, Alehoof Tea, and many others, have a tendency to purify the blood, to soothe irritation of the Stomach and Liver, and hence to cure many hypochondriacal and nervous disorders, which the prevalent habit of eating much animal food is too apt to entail on the inhabitants of Europe.
Hygeia.-Mr. Abernethy has recorded instances, and we have known others, where five grains of Blue Pill, given every third night for a week or two, combined with vegetable drinks, and light vegetable diet, have cured very obstinate and harassing diseases of the digestive organs and of the nervous system. One of the Editors of the present work has experienced the same benefit in his own person, and has subsisted many years on vegetable food. Lord Byron, Dr. Lambe, Sir R. Phillips, and sixty or seventy medical and scientific men in England, may now be ranked among the herbivori. Few persons are fully aware how many diseases may be cured, and how many more prevented, by attention to the digestive organs, and the use of simple vegetable remedies. In nine cases out of ten in nervous diseases, and indeed in complaints in general, the curative intentions of the physician should be directed to the administration of such medicines as are known to rectify disorders of the digestive organs in general, not omitting to pay strict attention to regulate the functions of the Liver in particular. Such a plan of conduct will restore the general health, and cure local diseases, in proportion as it reestablishes a healthy performance of the chylopoietic functions ; but the cure will be imperfect, and only temporary, unless followed by a diet of natural food, and abstinence from spirituous and fermented liquors.
Hanc olim veteres vitam coluere Sabini,
Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma.
To the Strawberry, by Miss Williams.
Thou bidst the scenes of childhood rise to view,
June 18. St. Marina V. St. Elizabeth V. A.
SS. Marcus and Marcellianus M. M. St. Amand
FLORA.-In fine seasons, the full luxuriance of Summer flowers is now displayed in the gardens; a few, however, of the truly solstitial plants have not yet opened: such as the Scarlet Lychnis, which hardly flowers yet, and a few others. Roses are now in what may be called their prime or culmination; and after June their meridian of beauty is past. To the great ornament of our gardens, the poets have ever written their sonnets and verses; and it has been always made the emblem of fading beauty and the type of fickle and decaying love.
Anacreon to the Rose, translated by Moore.
Our rosy fillets scent exhale,
Diffuses odour even in death!
το ροδον το των ερωτων
On Flowers, by Moses Brown.
And all unite their sweets in mingling air.
Llega, alla, Selina
A su caro marido,
De cariñoso ardor.
Temprana y dichosa
Pintada por Amor. The fields of Clover Trifolium pratense, which are now in blossom, produce a delightful fragrance. Of this plant there are two varieties, the white and the purple; from the latter the Bees extract much honey. The Bean blossoms also shed a still more exquisite odour.
FAUNA.- Among the insect tribe, one of the most interesting is, in its perfect state, the Angler's Mayfly Ephemera vulgata, which appears
about the 4th, and continues nearly a fortnight: It emerges from the water, where it passes its aurelia state about six in the evening, and dies about eleven at night.