Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Early astronomers
 Ptolemaic and Copernican systems;...
 Some old time maps
 The moon
 The silver boat
 The colors of the stars
 A disappointment
 Why the stars twinkle
 "Shooting stars"
 Pictures in the sky
 The great bear
 The dragon
 Cepheus and Cassiopeia
 The zodiacal constellations
 The ram with the golden fleece
 The milky way
 The seven sisters
 Orion and Sirius
 The twins
 The swan
 The lyre
 Aquila or the eagle
 The archer
 Berenice's hair
 Bootes, the hunter
 The lion
 Legend of the star fish
 Child's dream of a star
 Back Cover

Group Title: Young Folks' Library of Choice Literature
Title: The storyland of stars
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081242/00001
 Material Information
Title: The storyland of stars
Series Title: Young folks' library of choice literature
Physical Description: 165, 2 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pratt-Chadwick, Mara L ( Mara Louise )
Educational Publishing Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Educational Publishing Company
Place of Publication: Boston ;
New York ;
Publication Date: c1892
Subject: Astronomy -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Constellations -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Mythology -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Planets -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Comets -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Storytelling -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1892   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1892
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
Statement of Responsibility: by Mara L. Pratt.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text and on back cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081242
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236231
notis - ALH6700
oclc - 02190495

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Early astronomers
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Ptolemaic and Copernican systems; Kepler's laws
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Some old time maps
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    The moon
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The silver boat
        Page 48
        Page 49
    The colors of the stars
        Page 50
        Page 51
    A disappointment
        Page 52
    Why the stars twinkle
        Page 53
        Page 54
    "Shooting stars"
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Pictures in the sky
        Page 73
        Page 74
    The great bear
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    The dragon
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Cepheus and Cassiopeia
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    The zodiacal constellations
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    The ram with the golden fleece
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
    The milky way
        Page 114
    The seven sisters
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    Orion and Sirius
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    The twins
        Page 123
        Page 124
    The swan
        Page 125
        Page 126
    The lyre
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Aquila or the eagle
        Page 132
    The archer
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Berenice's hair
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Bootes, the hunter
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    The lion
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Legend of the star fish
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Child's dream of a star
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text



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~ ~








Young Folks' Library of Choice Literature.



Author of American History Stories,"-" Young Folks' Library of American
History,"-" People and Places Here and There," etc., etc.





Astronomy .
Early Astronomers .
Ptolemaic and Copernican Systems; Kepler's Laws
Galileo .
Some Old Time Maps .
The Moon ..
The Silver Boat (Poem) .
Colors of the Stars ....
A Disappointment (Poem) ...
Why the Stars Twinkle ...
Shooting Stars .
Planets .
Comets .. ............
Pictures in the Sky ..
The Great Bear .
Stars (Poem) .
The Dragon .
Cepheus and Cassiopeia ...
The Zodiacal Constellations .
Andromeda .
Perseus .
Pegasus .
The Ram with the Golden Fleece .
The Milky Way .. .
The Seven Sisters . .
Taurus ..
Orion and Sirius .
Orion .
The Twins .
The Swan .
The Lyre ..
Aquila or the Eagle .
The Archer ...
Berenice's Hair .
Bootes, the Hunter .
Hercules .
The Lion ..
Legend of the Star fish .. .
Child's Dream of a Star .
Star-Gazing .


* 13
S 17
. 27
. 41
. 50
. 58
S 64
* 73
. 83
S 86
S 89
S ., 102
S 115
. 117
. 121
S 125
S 127
* 132
S .* 141
* 149
S 153


What can be more in order, children, than that
now, when the earth flowers are all gone, and the air,
so clear and frosty, is bringing out the stars in all their
brightness, we should turn to study them--the sky-
flowers, as we may well call them?
But will they be as beautiful and as full of interest
as were the earth flowers ? Yes,- no,- yes,- indeed,
who shall say? If you will try to tell me which season
to you is the most beautiful, which flower you love
best, perhaps I might find courage to try to say which
of these, the earth-flowers or the sky-flowers, seem
fullest of beauty and interest.
I am afraid we should all finish up as a little boy
did, of whom I once read. In the winter he rushed


into the house, his eyes sparkling, his cheeks red with
the pinches and bites of playful old Jack Frost, and
said, Oh, mamma, is there anything so beautiful as
winter? The sleighing the coasting and the skating!
O, and the sun! See, see the sun! see how pink it
makes the snow! 0 I wish it would always be
Spring came. The soft rains, the warm showers,
brought out the clean new buds and the grasses. 0
the beautiful spring! said the boy. "It's as if the
world were waking up after a long nap. I can almost
see the grasses grow! How glad the birds seem!
And the air is so full of flowers. Mamma, you never
saw anything like the woods to-day. 0 I wish it would
stay spring forever !"
Then summer came. The little fellow went far
up among the hills to play until vacation was over.
O the great, broad fields, the dark, shady trees, the
soft, warm air! "Just hark, mamma," the boy would
say, "you can hear the stillness How big the world
looks! I wish the summer would never go !"


Autumn came. "Mamma," cried the boy, "I
believe I could paint a picture. Just see the red
leaves, and thg flowers I like those dark, rich colors !
And the air-what makes the dim, hazy light? So
different from the clear, hot air of the summer. What
could grand-mamma have meant by saying this was a
sad season ?- the saddest of all the year? Why, it's
the brightest of them all! Would n't it be grand if
the world would look like this always? I wish it
would never change!"
And so it is, I think, with any of these studies
that have to do with Nature. Each is of itself so
beautiful, so full of its own interests, that it is hard
to say which is the best. Like the little boy's seasons,
the one before us seems for the time better than all
the rest.
And are n't you glad that it is so ? How dismal
it would be if only one of the seasons were beautiful
and we had to wait and wait, and long for its return
during all the other three !
But dear old mother Nature is not so stingy as


that. There seems no end to her bounty. She takes
away one beautiful gift only to give us another.
And now, right here, she has given us the stars,
brighter and clearer than they ever are in the summer
time, just because she has had to put the flowers away
for their winter's rest, I think.

Good-night, pretty sun, good-night!
I've watched your purple and golden light
While you were sinking away.
And some one has just been telling me
You're making over the shining way,
Another beautiful day.
That just at the time I am going to sleep,
The children there at your face take a peep,
Beginning to say good-morning just when I'm saying good-night.
Now, beautiful sun, if they have told me right,
I wish you would say good-morning for me,
To all the little ones over the sea.



This is the name given to the science of the stars.
It comes from a Greek word astron, which means star.
Can you not think of a certain bright-faced, star-like
flower whose name, now that you come to think of it,
must have come from this same Greek word, astron ?
You see then that somebody, long, long ago even,
must have thought of the likeness between the stars
and the flowers; so have we not as good a right to
call the stars sky-flowers, as they had, so long ago, to
call the flowers earth-stars ?
You have no idea of the wonderful discoveries
that have been made about these far-off dots of light.
By long years of hard study, astronomers have
learned how far away these stars are from us, how far
they are from each other, how large they are, how
old they are, how much they weigh, what they have
been doing,- yes, and even what they are going to
do in the ages to come.


, ; -.-

a~:l i~i


It was strange enough to know what botanists
had learned about the families, the ways, the lives and
the deaths of all the plants of the great plant world;
but to think of learning all about the star-world, away
up there in the sky beyond reach, beyond hearing,
and almost beyond sight, seems almost incredible. It
is enough to take away one's breath, is n't it? But
are n't we glad we have n't all this searching to do for
ourselves ? Is n't it good to be alive in these days of
books and study, when people have already learned so
much and are so eager to learn more?
Astronomy is such an old science That is, people
have been studying it, in one way or another, for so
many, many years.
The Chinese, it is said, have books four thousand
years old, in which are written reports of eclipses; and
in one of these books, is told a story of a certain ruler
in that country who was so angry with two astronomers,
Hi and Ho, for not foretelling an eclipse of the sun
that he had them put to death.
The Chaldeans, too, knew something about the


sky. Lying out on the hillsides through the long
nights as these Chaldean shepherds did, they could
not fail to notice some of the wonderful changes
among the stars. They learned to know and recognize
the stars as they did their sheep.
They learned that certain stars seemed traveling
on, night after night, towards the setting sun; and
that by and by they, too, seemed to "set," as we say
the sun "sets;" they learned that after a few weeks,
or months, these stars came back again, traveled across
the sky, and again were lost to sight.
They noticed that the moon came just so often,
stayed just so long, then, like the stars, went down
and out of sight.
Wonderful stories these shepherds used to tell of
the star-world,- some of them wise, some of them so
foolish you would wonder that any one could believe



It is to the Grecians that we owe the first
discoveries that have proved to be of any real worth.
Seven hundred years B. C., a wise man named
Thales declared that he no longer believed that the
earth was flat, or that it was held on an elephant's back,
or on the shoulders of a giant. "This earth," said
Thales, is a great ball swinging in mid-air. The
moon, too, is a great ball, and it receives its light
from the sun just as our earth does."
He also understood something about eclipses, and
could tell when they were going to come.
At one time, when two nations were going to
fight against each other, Thales made use of his
knowledge by telling the enemy that the gods were
.going to give sign of their displeasure by taking from
them, in the midst of the battle, the light of the sun.
Of course, the enemy were not going to believe
any such story as that from Thales. They sneered at


it and prepared for battle. The battle raged high;
men were falling on either side; blood was flowing,
men were dying -when lo! darkness began to creep
over the field.
Thales had been right! the gods were angry.
Awe-struck, the fierce soldiers gave up the battle,
threw down their weapons, and, trembling with fear,
gladly made terms of peace with the army of Thales.
In later days, when Christopher Columbus had to
deal with the ignorant people of America, the same
kind of story was repeated.
He found himself reduced to famine by the
inhabitants of the country, who kept him and his
companions prisoners ; and being aware of the
approach of the eclipse, he threatened them with bring-
ing upon them great misfortunes, and depriving them
of the light of the moon, if they did not instantly
bring him provisions.
They cared little for his threats at first; but as
soon as they saw the moon disappear, they ran to him
with abundance of victuals, and implored pardon.


This was on the 1st of March, 1504, a date whU
may be tested by the modern tables of the moon, an
Columbus's account proved to be correct. The eclipse
was indeed recorded in other places by various
Thales had two pupils who were greatly interested
in astronomy. They not only eagerly listened to all
that Thales could tell them, but studied into the
mystery for themselves.
One of them said he believed that the stars were
suns, and that the planets (those stars which change
their places in relation to the other stars) had people
living upon them.
The other declared he believed that the heavens
were controlled by one God, and that the Grecian
religion of many gods and goddesses, was all foolish-
ness. He explained the causes of eclipses, and said
they were not signs of the wrath of the gods at all.
The people were out of all patience with a man
who could be so wicked as to say there were no gods
and goddesses. "Why," said they, "he will bring


En the wrath of the gods on our city by such
verence. Away with him! Away with him!"
dso this wise man and all his family were driven
from the city.
These two men were Anaximander and Anaxag-
oras. Not beautiful names to our ears, are they?
Nor very easy to learn, you will say. Still I want
you to know them; for they are as familiar in
astronomy as George Washington and Bunker Hill are
in American History.
Next came Pythagoras. He made many really
important discoveries important because they were
correct; but he could not prove they were true, and
so they were unnoticed by the scholars of the time.
Among the incorrect theories he sets forth is
this : that the planets are set at regular intervals as
are tones of the musical scale; and that these planets,
therefore, move along in harmony, making the "music
of the spheres," as he called it. This heavenly music,
however, could only be heard by the gods--the ear
of man being far too coarse to catch such fine sounds.


Keep up your courage, little folks. These are
the only hard words I am going to ask you to learn
for a long time.
Ptolemy, the originator of the "Ptolemaic Sys-
tem," taught that all the heavenly bodies revolve
around the earth the planets, the stars, the moon
and all. The paths or orbits, as we call them, of all
these were perfect circles.
From the earth a long bar extended far, far out
into space. Hanging from this bar, like horse-
chestnuts on a string, were the planets. The sun,
they thought, was attached close to the bar, but the
planets were dangling.
This bar then swung round and round the earth
like a great weather vane. The sun being attached
close upon the bar, kept steadily in its place always;


but the planets dangling by their strings were kept
dancing about in most irregular directions. In this
way they accounted for the fact that planets do not
seem to follow round and round in order as the stars
"A comical system indeed, and a clumsy one, too.
It is said that when a certain king heard of this
wonderful system he cried, It can't be true or if it
is, it is very clumsy. Had I been present at the
creation, I could have arranged the heavenly bodies
better myself."
The Copernican System was not quite so bad.
Copernicus taught that it was not about the earth that
everything was revolving; but rather, that everything,
earth included, was revolving around the sun.
"It is," said Copernicus, "as when we are riding
rapidly. We think almost that the trees and the
buildings are flying past us, when really it is ourselves
that are flying past the trees and the buildings.
"So with our earth and the heavenly bodies.
Instead of all the stars and planets revolving around


this earth of ours, it is the earth itself that is
turning around on its own axis and so making it
seem to us here, on the earth, that the stars and
planets are flying past."
Although Copernicus discovered this great truth,
he still clung to the old idea that all the bodies moved
in circles. For thirty years this astronomer worked,
trying to make his reckonings "come out even" with
the movements of the stars. But it was like a problem
in long division where one little mistake had been in
the beginning. Work as long as he might, it would
never come right.
The trouble was the heavenly bodies were n't
traveling in circles at all; and so when Copernicus drew
his charts and planned when one planet in its circular
path should reach a certain place behold, the planet
would get there long before he expected it, or it would
come lagging in too late.
But Copernicus was a wise man and a persevering
man. He went through his problems over and over
again for years. He did n't sulk and blame the planets


for not coming in with the right answer, but said
bravely enough, "I have made a mistake somewhere.
I can't find the mistake, but I shall by and by."
And had he lived there is no doubt he would
have discovered it. Certainly he deserved to.
After Copernicus died a Danish astronomer took
up the work where the brave old Copernicus had left it.
"I think Ptolemy was right about the earth's being
the centre around which every other body revolves,"
said he; "but I believe nothing in his bars and cranks.
Let us see, Kepler," said he to his pupil, "how can we
account for the movements of the planets."
So, for years the Danish astronomer and his
faithful pupil worked on; but for all his industry this
teacher, too, died without having made any discovery
that should help the world in knowledge of the
But Kepler himself during all these years had had
theories of his own. He had seen the mistakes in his
old teacher's work, and had all the time been secretly
at work for himself.


Rejecting the Ptolemaic theory entirely, he came
back to the idea which Copernicus had held that the
sun was the centre. "But," said he, "I more than
half believe the trouble has been in trying to reckon
the movements of these heavenly bodies in circles."
Over and over he tried his problems, just as in
long division sometimes you will try figure after figure.
But no matter what figure he tried, the answer would
never agree with the planet.
"I am convinced," said Kepler, at last, that the
planets do not move in circles at all. I half believe
,they move in ellipses; and that the sun is in the centre
of the ellipse. I will try the ellipse."
Again for a whole year Kepler watched the
planets in their course; but, alas, his reckonings came
out in the end as badly as ever. This was discouraging
indeed. He had felt so sure that at last he was on
:the right track.
Again he set to work, reckoning with the sun at
one of the foci of the ellipse. Another year was spent
in reckoning the planets, on an elliptical diagram.


The year was nearly at an end. No mistake had
been discovered yet. So far Kepler's reckonings had
agreed exactly with the actual movements. Would
they agree to the very end ? After seventeen years of
hard work, and almost useless work, so it seemed to
Kepler, was he to be rewarded at last ?
Yes; in very truth he was to solve the problem
which for years had puzzled and- thwarted astronomers
the world over. The year was finished! the truth
discovered! The planets do move in ellipses, the sun
being at one foci!
This was Kepler's first great law. Now there was
encouragement to work indeed. One great underlying
law had been discovered. He had proved it and he
knew it was right.
And now after months more of hard work two
more laws were discovered by Kepler. When the
moment came, bringing him proof that the truth of the
third was brought to light, this great man bowed his
head and said, "I have nothing more to live for. The
book is written. It may be "read now or in the years


to come; I care not which. It well may wait a century
for a reader, since God has waited six thousand years
for an observer."
But is n't it odd, children, that even Kepler, wise
as he was, full of such depth and reasoning, even he
believed in the "music of the spheres?" He taught
that Saturn and Jupiter sang the bass, Mars the
tenor, Earth and Venus the alto, and Mercury the
There was one other quite noted astronomer at
about this time, Tycho Brahe, who wrote a little book
with a very long title, setting forth his ideas of
astronomy. Little faith did this writer put either in
Ptolemy or Copernicus.
As to Ptolemy," he says in the little book, his
system is absurd. It is out of all nature; moreover
it is by far too complicated.
"Then as to Copernicus," he goes on to say, ,' his
theory, if not as absurd, surely is as impossible as that
of Ptolemy. This heavy mass of earth, so little fit for
motion, could not be displaced in this manner, and



moved in three ways, like the celestial bodies, without
a shock to the principles of physics.
"Besides, it is opposed to scripture! I think
then," he adds, that we must decidedly and without
doubt place the earth immovable in the centre of the
world, according to the belief of the ancients and the
testimony of Scripture.
In my opinion the celestial motions are arranged
in such a way that the moon, and the sphere of
the fixed stars, which incloses all, have the sun for
their orbit and accompany it in its annual motion
round the earth."
"More than this," says Tycho Brahe in another
page of his wise little book, the earth is far too heavy
to move about in this manner; and as to the idea of its
turning over and over as some would have us believe it
does, it is plain that if that were so, we should one
half of the time be standing upon our heads. Surely
such things could not be."
You see astronomers in those days had not learned
that the sun is 340,000 times heavier than this little


earth which Tycho Brahe was so sure was far too
heavy to be moved; neither had they yet learned
about the law of gravitation, which keeps us all
right in our relation to the earth we stand upon, no
matter whether we are on the "upper side,". or on
the "under side."

Soon as the evening shades prevail
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth;
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.



Living at the same time with Kepler was the great
teacher Galileo. He was a wise man and a great
scholar. He had been educated, however, in the
theories of Ptolemy and had never thought to doubt
At last an astronomer who had been educated
in the theories of Copernicus chanced to come to the
city where Galileo lived. From him Galileo learned
this simpler, more sensible theory. Always ready to be
taught, great teacher though he was himself, he seized
these new ideas eagerly and taught them to his own
At about the same time he learned that a certain
optician in Holland had invented an instrument by
which distant objects seemed to be brought near the
And right here, before we go on, I want you
to know just how the discovery of the instrument


came about, for it was all due to the curiosity of
one little boy and you know some people sneer at
children's curiosity and say it is all very foolish.
But here was a time when that same child-curiosity
proved of great use and benefit to the whole world.
The optician had several little children, who, like
all little children, thought there was no greater
happiness than to play about their father's bench while
he was at work.
It was great fun to play with the little smooth,
concave glasses that their father used in his work; to
look through them, to hold them so that the sun would
shine through them as through a sun-glass; and some-
times when the glass was held just right, such pretty
colors like rainbows would fall upon the bench.
But one day, when the optician's little boy was at
play with two of the glasses, he chanced to hold them
in such a way that the face of the great cathedral
clock, away out upon a distant square of the city,
seemed to be very near.
For an instant the boy was startled. He stared


hard at the clock and then at the glasses. He winked
his eyes hard. But there was the clock so far away
that the hands could hardly be seen just as it had
always been, ever since the child could remember.
"But it looked near so near I could see the
numbers on the face," said the boy to himself. The
glasses did it it must have been the glasses."
Then of course, boy-fashion, he set to work to
think it out. He sat down upon the steps to think.
He turned the glasses over and over. He looked
through first one, then the other but the clock would
not come near again.
Strange," thought the boy, I wonder" but
see there's the clock again close by staring
Straight into the boy's face. "0, I know I know "
Cried the lad, "it is the way I hold them the two
together father father screamed he, and the
; good old Dutchman came hurrying to the door to learn
Sof his son's wonderful discovery.
This then was the way it came about that people
learned that putting a concave and a convex glass



together in the right position would make distant
objects seem near.
It was a great and an important discovery;
Without it we should never have had the telescope, and
Without the telescope it is very little we should ever
have learned about the stars or the sun or the moon.
"If only the planets could be made to seem near,'
thought Galileo, when he heard of this discovery in
Holland, what wonders they might show to us."
Galileo then set to work to make something like
that which the optician had made.
After much labor he produced an instrument which
magnified thirty times. This was the first telescope!
Rough as it was only a lead pipe with glasses in the
end -it did more to throw over the foolish notions
of the astronomers than years of study could have
With this telescope, Galileo examined the moon.
After all these years of guessing and guessing, here was
a little glass that showed the moon so plainly that
SGalileo could see even its mountains and valleys.


Next he turned his glass toward the planet Jupiter.
Close to it he saw three little stars, as he supposed
they were, which were not visible at all to the naked
eye. Here was something new! what could they
He could hardly wait for the following night
to come that he might watch them again. Eagerly
he turned his telescope upon Jupiter a second night.
Another wonder the little stars had changed their
places! the next night they had changed more! the
next night more still and now another, a fourth star,
appears !
At last Galileo knew beyond a doubt that these
were four small planets running round and round
Jupiter, while Jupiter was making his journey around
the sun.
Here was a little Copernican system hanging in
the sky for all to see.
Galileo, full of enthusiasm, told of his new
discoveries, and invited his friends to come and look for
themselves. He received, however, little else but scorn


and ridicule. Many refused to look through the glass
even, lest they should become bewitched.
Some said it was wicked to be digging out valleys
on the fair face of the moon. Others said that there
were only seven planets because there were seven metals
and seven days in the week; and that it was absurd to
say there were more than seven; it did not occur
to these people that their own reasoning was a thousand
times more absurd than anything Galileo had said.
But now that the telescope was invented and people
could see what were in the heavens, all these absurd old
notions gradually died away.
Knowledge of the sky grew very fast. Every
year the telescope was improved and strengthened, and
no longer was there any need for guess work.
Astronomy began now to be a real science -that is,
something that is actually true, based on real laws,
everlasting and unchanging.



But just here, before we leave these early
astronomers and their strange ideas, here are some
pictures of the earth as the ancient people believed it to
be, which must amuse and interest you boys and girls,
who, young though you are, have already, I have
no doubt, learned in your geography all about the
earth, its motions, its shape, and its position in air.
But there was a time, as you have already seen,
when neither boys nor girls, grown men nor women,
knew anything whatever of all these things that we
are so sure of to-day.
The early Chinese, for example, used always to
speak of their country as being the very centre of
the most central spot upon the earth.
Their maps showed the earth to be one great, flat
disc, China in the centre, and all around the disc
a marvelous, mysterious, inaccessible ocean.
Away off at the edges of the disc -far from


Clina were imaginary countries inhabited by pygmies
and giants. The great bell-shaped sky, they believed
was supported by great columns. "Of course there
must be columns," they reasoned; "surely the sky
could not hold itself up with no support."


The Vedic priests taught that these columns could
be held in place only through the sacrifice to the
gods and that if these sacrifices were neglected,
the people might well expect that the gods, angry
at such lack of attention and reverence, would break
these columns and let the great sky come tumbling down
upon the wicked people's heads.


In some countries it was believed that the earth
floated on the great ocean, a great disc, just as the lily
pad floats on the surface of the pond. To keep the
earth in place there were long, long roots reaching
down, down, nobody knows how far into the water.


The Hindoos taught that the earth was a great
hemisphere resting upon the backs of four great
elephants, and that these elephants stood upon the back
of an enormous tortoise,


This Hindoo idea, however, may not be so very
absurd as it seems after all. For many of the Hindoo
teachings were not meant to be taken literally, but


So it may be in this instance, that the writers of the
old books in which this was taught, really meant
the four elephants to symbolize the four directions
of the compass; and as regards the tortoise, it is well-
known that the tortoise was often used to symbolize
strength, endurance, eternity.


There was another great writer in these early times
- Plato who was much inclined to think and to teachl
that the earth was cube-shaped.



Still another writer argued that the earth was
a great mountain; that people lived only on its top;
that its great wide-spreading base was down, down-
nobody knew exactly where, but down far enough away
to be beyond the reach of man- down in some region
known only to the gods.
It was because of all these beliefs that when
thinkers and scholarly men like Columbus began to
teach that the earth was, as we now know it to be,


a great, solid ball suspended in space,- it was because
of these old beliefs that it took so long to convince
people of the truth.
If you have read a life of Columbus, you have no
doubt read of how the people sneered at him, called
him a fool, said he was crazy, and how they threatened
to put him in prison, burn out his eyes, kill him -
"Any way," said the people, "t, get such an insane
teacher out of our midst."
"Why, he will upset all our teaching! cried the
old monks who taught the youths.
He will bring down the wrath of the gods," said
some who still believed in the old Greek religion of
many gods.
"He is going contrary to the teaching of the
Bible," said others who believed in the Bible.
What a fool he is," said others, to suppose that
he can sail around this earth! Why, the earth is flat;
and when he reaches the edge of the ocean, he will
sail over into nothing."
"Suppose the earth is round," said others; "when


he had sailed down one side of the ball, how could he
expect to sail up-hill on the other side? "
"How can the people on the earth stick upon the
earth with their heads down and feet up ? said others.
And so the people talked; but after a long, long
time, all these old ideas went down before the proofs
that were brought of the real shape of the earth.
And to-day, everybody in the civilized world, and
many in those parts of the world that are not civilized,
know the truth of the earth's shape, and laugh at the
ideas of the early people quite as loudly as they in their
day laughed at these ideas of ours.




So much for the "early history of astronomy," as
the big books say. Now let us read about the
phenomena of the sky, just as you and I see it. There
are stars, and planets, and comets sometimes,- the
biggest and brightest of all, seemingly, is the moon itself.
The moon is a great, round planet like our own
earth. It is hard and solid not a mass of burning,
blazing metal like the sun and the stars.
And once, perhaps there were trees and flowers
and grass there, and men and women and children.
Indeed, all these may be there now; but it is hardly
likely; for the great telescopes that are made in these
days are so clear and strong that if there were any
left on the moon, we should be quite sure to find it out.



Of course you have often traced out the face in
the moon-you did that when you were a very, very
little child, I am sure; and you were told it was a face
a truly face ?
Ah, yes, mammas and nurses always tell that to
very little children. It is one of those fibs like the
story of Santa Claus that are quite forgivable because
so pleasant to listen to and so very agreeable to believe
for a time.
But now, little men and women that you are, you
are quite ready to learn the plain, dry truth of that
face, which is simply this; the dark spots that make the
eyes and nose and mouth of our make-believe face, are
really great hollow places on the moon's surface, valleys
between mountains perhaps, or the beds of old lakes
of fire, or the craters of old, burnt-out volcanoes.
S But what makes the moon have such different
Shapes? Sometimes it is like a whole ball and some-
Stimes like a very small bit of a ball.
This is because the Sun, Earth, and Moon are all
Flying around in circles, or rather in ellipses.



Just how it happens that the moon seems to take
on these different shapes, I once heard a teacher explain
to her children in this way. She said :
John is the big sun, and Frankie the little earth.
Frankie will face the sun and will keep his eyes up over
the sun's head. Now this disk which I hold in my
hand will be the moon. Watch it. Now I carry it
around back of Frankie away down towards the floor.
He can't see it, so he says, 'We have no moon.'
Frankie must keep his eyes up all the time.
"Now I carry the disk around to Frankie's side,
low down. Still he can't see it. Now I carry it higher
and higher up towards John's head. Now Frankie can
see it. But if it were the real moon and John were
the real sun he could n't see it yet. It would be lost in
the sun's very, very, very bright rays.
"We'll hide this disk as it crosses John, in his
blouse or his tie, or under his arms, just as the moon
gets hidden in the rays of the sun. Now the disk is
getting out of these bright rays, up above the sun.
Now it is on a level with Frankie's eyes. He sees


just one edge of it. He sees what we call' The New
"It comes out more and more from the sun,
nearer Frankie, showing more of itself step by step,
until at last he sees The Full Moon.
"But now it keeps on towards Frankie. until it
has moved past the line of his eyes and he begins to
see that a small part of it is gone.
Now it grows steadily smaller and smaller, rising
later and later every night, until at last you would
have to be awake in the morning to see it at all; and
even then there would be very little of it left to see.
And at last it is gone entirely, off behind Frankie,
Syou see, as it was when we started. Now he cannot
Ssee it at all, and he says again that we have no moon."
Now and then we hear of an "eclipse of the
moon." Did you ever see an eclipse, I wonder?-
Sa shutting off of the light of the moon ?
S First there appears a little line or spot of darkness
Son the edge of the moon. The black spot grows
Larger and larger, seeming to spread- if it is a "total


eclipse "- over the whole face of the moon. Then
very slowly it passes off at the opposite edge from
which it came on, leaving the moon as clear and bright
as ever.
Astronomers can reckon, knowing, as they do,
the relative positions of the sun, and the earth, and the
moon, just when these eclipses are to come. You
remember in the first part of the book you read of a
general who won a battle through prophesying the
coming of an eclipse. There are many such stories
told in history.
Now these eclipses are brought about in this wise:
The earth and the moon, you will not forget, have
no light of their own only the light reflected to
them from the sun.
Once in a while these three globes, the Sun, the
Earth, and the Moon, get in each other's light, just
as you sometimes in the evening get in mamma's
light. You are moving about, mamma is moving
about, and you very likely get between the lamp and
mamma, or between the lamp and papa's newspaper.



Now when the earth and the moon get in between
,each other and the light of the sun, one or the other of
.thlem) gets eclipsed. Try it this evening for yourselves.
,A lamp for the sun, and two balls for the earth and
I,,:on. Put the two balls in a line with the lamp,
iaId y you'll see an eclipse. That is, the middle ball
will 1hut off the lamp-light, and will throw its own
sharblvw on the outside ball.


There is a boat upon the sea;
It never stops for you or me.
The sea is blue, the boat is white,
It sails through winter and summer night.

The swarthy child in India's land
Points to the prow with eager hand;
The little Lapland babies cry
For the silver boat a-sailing by.

It fears no gale, it fears no wreck,
It never meets a change or check,
Through weather fair, or weather wild -
The oldest saw it when a child.

Upon another sea below,
Full many vessels come and go;
Upon the swaying, swinging tide
Into the distant worlds they ride.

And strange to say, the sea below,
Where countless vessels come and go,
Obeys the little boat on high
Through all the centuries sailing by.

, /






Now as to the colors of the stars. You say some
are red, some blue, and some white. That is very true.
And it is the most wonderful thing how astronomers
have learned why these stars burn with such different
You all know the primary colors, and you
remember the prism-shaped glass we had at school one
day, through which we let the sun shine. You
remember it made what you called a rainbow, that is,
it showed the primary colors on the white wall,
arranged just as they are in the rainbow.
Well, the astronomers have some sort of an
instrument made up of a prism and a telescope, by
which they can catch the rays of the stars, just as
we caught the rays of the sun. They have found,
by means of this instrument, that different metals and
gases when burning make different colored bands.
For example, iron, white-hot, will make a band


just like that we get from the sun; therefore they
suppose the sun must be mostly white-hot iron burning.
Sodium, when burning, will make, besides the rainbow
colors, two other yellow lines; therefore, when they
catch a star's rays which make that sort of a band,
they know that star must be burning sodium.
Strontium, burning, will give a red line, and silver,
burning, will give two green lines.
You see each one has a different colored light.
Fire-works are made of all these different things;
and that is how it happens that you get so many and
such beautiful colored rockets. The first rocket shot
out will perhaps be made of sodium, the next perhaps of
barium, the next perhaps of magnesium, the next of



Across the blue sky together
Raced three little clouds one day;
The sun they had passed at noontime,
The west was a league away.
"Oh, he is so slow," they whispered,
'So slow and so far behind!
We three can be first at sunset,
If only we have a mind."

They laughed to themselves in triumph,
They took hold of hands and flew -
But ah! what a sad disappointment
They afterward found and knew;
For this they had quite forgotten,
As they hurried along through the air,
There never can be any sunset,
Till the sun himself is there.



Would you like to prove to yourself why the
stars twinkle? I could tell you, I suppose, in a very
few words, but I doubt if you would understand. Let
P.s prove it for ourselves; then we shall remember
it "forever and a day." Here is a lamp which will, I
think, solve the mystery for you.
Before I light it, I want you to look carefully
at this bit of gilt paper I have fastened here on the
blackboard just a little higher than the top of this
lamp-chimney. You do not see anything unusual about
it. There is nothing between you and it but the air.
The air is quiet, therefore you do not see it at all.
But we must light our lamp and move it up
close quite close to the paper. Now watch! do you
not see the paper seems to sparkle and shake and-yes
- it seems to twinkle! And still you know the paper
really has not moved at all.
Now you have the secret! The stars, which are


points of light, seem to us to twinkle simply because
we look at them through strata of cold air and strata
of warmer air--air in motion. The greater the
contrast between the different strata the greater the
apparent twinkling.
And now we know why on biting, frosty, winter
nights the stars seem to shine and blaze and twinkle so
much more than on the soft, warm nights of summer.

All that I know.
Of a certain star
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue;
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,

My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower hangs furled;
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it,
What matter to me if their star is a world ?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.



Children like to watch for shooting stars," and
they often think they are stars flying about. This
is not so. The stars keep their own places, century in
and century out, only rising and setting, as we call it,
like the sun and moon.
So these shooting stars," as we call them, are not
stars at all. Only masses of fiery metal or gas,
thousands of which are said to be flying about in the
air high above us, much as the sparks fly off and
around a grind-stone.
Two or three times in the world's history there
have been so many of them visible in the sky at once,
that it has seemed as if the heavens were on fire.
People were frightened half out of their senses,
fearing that the world was going to burn up. But
astronomers have studied these "shooting stars" and
have found that they are quite harmless.
Once in a while one gets so near our sphere that



gravitation pulls it downward, so that it really strikes
our earth with such force that it is driven away
down into the ground. When these meteors, as
they are often called, are dug out from the ground,
it is always found that they are made up of metals
just like those in the stars.
These metals, which were liquid fire while they
,vere shooting about overheard, have been cooled
as they came down through our air, so that by the
time they reached the earth they were solid masses
of metal.

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled Heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.



But some of the very largest of the stars do not
twinkle at all, you will say.
Yes; but the truth is, these bodies, large as they are,
that do not twinkle, are not stars at all,--they are
planets. A star is a mass of burning matter, like a
red-hot coal, for example. A planet was once a
burning mass of matter like a red-hot coal, but is now
like a piece of coal, all burned out, cold and gray.
Our earth was once a star; but when it came to be
all burned out, and had grown cool and solid, then
it was fit to be a home for men and women and
children. Then the rivers formed, the trees and the
grasses grew, and after a long time people came to live
upon it.
And so all these other planets,- the stars that
don't twinkle, as you call them- are like our earth,
solid and cool, and having upon them, perhaps, for all
you and I know, trees and grass and rivers.









Indeed, how do you know but there may be, away
off on that big, bright planet which we call the
" evening star," little boys and girls just like you.
Perhaps they may be looking across at our earth this
minute, wondering what it is, and if there are any
people upon it little boys and girls like themselves.
But if our earth and these other planets are cold
and solid like a burnt-out coal, what makes them shine
at all? A dead coal does n't shine.
Well, let's see. When you have been out playing,
at sunset, did you ever the the sun shining upon the
windows of the houses upon the hill, so red and bright
that it seemed as if they must be on fire ? That's just
the way with the moon and the other planets.
Although we are in the shadow ourselves at the
time, yet they, like the windows on the hill, are so far
above us that the sun shines full upon them, and we
think they are fires themselves.
There are not many that we know of. Our Earth
is one, and a very important one to us; though perhaps
the little may be boys and girls away off on the


" evening star" think it would make no difference
if it were to drop out of sight this minute.
Then the Moon is another. That is important
;o us, because when it gets lighted like the windows on
:ie hill-from the sun, it reflects its light to us, and we
Say, "What a beautiful moonlight night! "
Then there is Venus, the one which so much
of the time shines as the evening star; although you
know now it is not a star at all. Then there is Mars,
the red planet, sometimes called the planet of war.
There is Mercury, the one which keeps so close to the
sun, losing itself in the dazzle of it, that we can't often
see it.
There is Saturn, a planet which, when seen
through the telescope, seems always to have great rings
of fire around it. There is Jupiter, the planet which
the ancient people used to fear. They believed the
lightning and the thunder bolts came from it. Then
there is another, Neptune, the one farthest from the sun
Sof any we know.
Just here I shall have to tell you that a


year is the time it takes a planet to go around the sun.
It takes us 365 1-4 days to go around ; therefore we say
a year is 365 1-4 days. But if we lived on Mercury,


which is very close to the sun, and so has only a small
circle to make, we should find that summer and winter'
would follow each other so fast that mamma could


hardly get your clothes ready from one season to the
other especially if she had a very large family
c~ little folks. For a year on Mercury is only 88 days.
So you see, if you had happened to be born on
'.n.oury you would be quite a good many years old

to-day; but if you lived on Neptune, though you grew
old and bent and gray-headed, still you would not even
then be one year old.

Tell me, ye splendid orbs, as, from your throne,
Ye mark the rolling provinces that own
Your sway- What beings fill those bright abodes?
How formed, how gifted? What their powers, their state,
Their happiness, their wisdom? Do they bear
The stamp of human nature? Or has God
Peopled those purer realms with lovelier forms
And more celestial minds?




Comets are rare visitors in the star world. One
does n't see very many of these fiery visitors in his
life-time and never the same one twice.
Although a grand-looking object, appearing in the
heavens, as it does, without any seeming excuse for
itself, with never so much as a "by-your-leave to the
starry families through whose early estates it sweeps its
bright and shiny length, it is, after all, a very unsub-
stantial thing. Indeed, it is nothing but a great mass
of the very thinnest gas.
There was a time when people were frightened for
their lives when a comet appeared in the sky. Surely "


they would cry, "it is a sign from the gods." And
away they would hurry to the temples and pray and
offer sacrifices as fast as ever they could, hoping to turn
aside the terrible judgment, whatever it might be, that
the comet came to foretell.
And even later than this, long after the people had
given up their belief in many gods and goddesses,
there were people who feared the appearance of the
"Some terrible disaster always follows," they
would say, shaking their heads wisely.
The astrologers, especially, believed the comets
to be signals of some terror to come.
In 1472, there appeared a large comet very
horrible, truly alarming," so historians say. It threw its
rays from east to west, lighting up the whole sky with a
strange lurid glare.
In 1527, another comet appeared -" blood-red
and frightful to behold," so the books of the time
report. Many people, scared at this terrible ball
of fire, fell sick and died. It had a tail of enormous


length, and at its head was plainly to be seen an arm,
upraised, and holding in its hand a sword, the tip
of which was a star. And on the sides of the comet
were axes and hatchets and bloody swords."
A terrible comet, indeed, was it not ? But books in
those times were full of superstitions, as you already
have learned.
In 1577, was another wonderful comet (so the
same book says) this one having a head like an owl
followed by a long trail of scattered light ending
in sharp, sword-like points.
"The comet," says the book, "is always a fore-
warning of great evil.
"Whenever eclipses of the sun or moon, or comets,
or earthquakes, conversions of water into blood, and
such like prodigies happen, it has always been known
that very soon after these miserable portents afflictions,
effusions of human blood, massacres, deaths of great
monarchs, kings, princes, and rulers, seditions, treach-
eries, raids, overthrowings of empires, kingdoms, or
villages; hunger and scarcity of provisions, burning


and overthrowing of towns; pestilences, widespread
mortality, both of beasts and men; in fact, all sorts
of evils and misfortunes took place.
"Nor can it be doubted that all these signs and
prodigies give warning that the end of the world is to
come, and with it the terrible last judgment of God."
In 1680, Europe was convulsed with a comet fright
again. The terror this comet produced was indeed
People made their wills, some destroyed their
houses, saying, Surely the end of the world is come! "
Though what advantage it was going to be to have
made their wills or to have destroyed their houses, I am
sure no one knows. But when people are frightened
they are not always as reasonable as they might be.
At the time of this fright, it was told that at Rome
a hen had laid an egg upon which was distinctly
marked a picture of a comet. Wonderful, wasn't it?
Perhaps the hen was trying to vie with the geese who
by their cackling saved Rome so long, long ago.
But by and by, came an astrologer Halley who


proved that the comets are nothing but great masses
of gas, circulating, like the planets, around the sun,
appearing at regular intervals, as any regular circulating
body might be expected to appear.


This, of course, destroyed the old superstition that
they came as warnings of some evils to come; but not
many years had passed before a new fright seized upon
the people.


"Suppose this great circulating body should come
in contact with the earth! What then would happen?
SIhould we be ground to powder by the collision,
or should we burn, or should we be carried along, caught
in the trail of the great fiery serpent? "
A Frenchman Lalande- put these fears into the
minds of the people, so it is said, by a paper which he
was to have read before the Academy of Sciences in
Paris. The subject was "How the Earth might be
destroyed by contact with a Comet."
For some reason, when the day came, Lalande was
unable to read the paper. The title of his paper,
however, had been published in the papers, and the
people, knowing nothing but the title, began to
wonder and imagine until all Paris was in a fever of
The house of M. Lalande was filled with those who
came to question him. Finally, M. Lalande, finding it
impossible to answer all the questions put to him about
his fatal paper, and wishing to prevent the real evils
that might arise from the frightened imaginations of the


weak, caused it to be printed, and made it as clear
as was possible.


When it appeared, it was found that he stated that
of the sixty comets known there were only eight which
could, by coming too near the earth, say within 40,000
miles, occasion such a pressure that the sea would leave
its bed and cover part of the globe, but that even if this
could happen, it could not occur for many years.
Naturally the excitement gradually died away
no great harm was done, and Lalande found himself
most unexpectedly an astronomer of world-wide


Are you not glad, however, amusing as all this ma3
be to read about, that we live in a time when such
superstitious fears do not govern; that we know that
.dipses come merely from the changing relative positions
of the planets; that shooting stars are mere masses
of melted metal; and that comets are, least of all,
merely the most harmless, powerless masses of very
thin gas ?





All that you have read about the moon, and
the comets, the color of the stars, and why they
twinkle, has been real fact real scientific fact.
Now we will close our astronomy lessons with the
stories of the constellations.
Possibly you may have thought sometimes that
these scientific facts were rather dry and uninteresting.
If they were so, and you have had the courage to
read them through and not "skip," why certainly it
is time you were rewarded by something less scientific
and dry.


And what is it that children always expect to be
rewarded with by their teachers after these seasons of
hard study ? Why stories, of course,- real fairy
stories, or at least stories of wonderful adventures and
thrilling incident.
Now would you believe it ? just such a reward
awaits you even in this land of science. Even in
Astronomy there are stories to be told, stories to be
listened to.
It is a large, large picture-book that good Mother
Nature has spread out for her children up there in the
sky And best of all, every picture has its story.
And such stories! As good as any fairy stories that
ever you read. See if they are not. Let us begin with
those pictures closest around the "pole star."
The five circumpolar constellations, as they are
called, are The Great Bear, The Little Bear,
Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and The Dragon.
And first of all let us begin with the stories of
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, or, in plain English,
The Great Bear and the Little Bear.



To the old Greeks the heavens were a long, long
story-book. These Greeks believed in a great many
gods and goddesses, and had all sorts of wonderful
stories about them. Is it any wonder, then, that as
the shepherds lay on the hillsides at night, looking
up into the beautiful sky, they would imagine that
they could see their gods and goddesses sometimes
among the stars?


This story of the two bears will give you an
idea of the wonderful stories these early people could
tell, and of the ingenious way they could fit their
stories to the star-pictures.
One night as some shepherds were watching the
skies, one of them said, "I see two bears in the sky!"
It must be the beautiful sea-nymph and her
son said another.
"What sea-nymph, my father ?" asked a little
shepherd boy. Then the shepherds sat down; and
as they watched the bear, they told this story to the
little boy :
Once, long, long ago, Jupiter fell in love with
a beautiful sea-nymph. Very likely he would have
begged old Neptune, the god of the sea, to allow
her to be carried up to his home on Mount Olympus,
but Juno, Jupiter's wife, grew jealous of her, and
made terrible threats.
Jupiter, fearing Juno, had the sea-nymph and
her little son changed into bears that Juno might
not find them. But Juno learned what he had done,


and was determined to be even with him. Therefore
she went to a certain goddess who was a mighty hunter,
;;nd persuaded her to shoot the bears.
"Jupiter was angry indeed; but all he could do
was to honor the poor sea-nymph and her son by
placing them in the sky."
"And these bears that we have just found,"
said the shepherds, "must be the bears we have been
told about by our fathers before us!"
But how shall we find these bears? Hardly any
child but knows the big dipper." A straight line
drawn through the pointers of this dipper and then
extended five times as far it will come directly to the
pole star. This pole star is the tip of the little bear's
tail, or the end of the handle of the little dipper. The
rest can be easily traced.



0 varying stars, when shadows fall,
I watch your splendors glimmer soft,
And wonder at what hour of all,
You shine the loveliest from aloft.

Is it when early gazers mark
Your doubtful orbs at twilight's end,
While down the mellow sapphire dark,
Steal the first timid rays you send?

Is it on languid nights that hold
The dusky earth in tranquil rest,
When all your glories wear the gold
Of buttercups in a meadow's breast?

Is it on chilly nights that wake
The katydid's harsh-throated band,
When in the breezeless gloom you make
One pale, ethereal daisy-land?

Is it when wintry gales arise,
That jar the pane and rock the spire,
And when your flashes turn the skies
To one white arch of throbbing fire?

Ah while I watch your radiant host,
Through every change with new delight,
I know not when to love you most,
Dear, sacred mysteries of the night!



Winding in and out between the two bears, are
some stars arranged as are those above, the four large
ones forming the head. This was believed to be a
dragon. Its story is as follows:
There was once a very brave youth named
Hercules. Hercules had an uncle who hated him and
wished to put him out of the way. The uncle hardly


dared kill Hercules without some cause, so he planned
many terrible journeys and tasks for him, thinking
that in these he would certainly be slain.
It was believed in those times that away off
towards the setting sun, there was a wonderful tree
which bore golden apples. Many a brave youth had
tried to get them, but the tree was guarded by a
fierce dragon a dragon whose fiery breath was
deadly poison, and whose enchanted hide could be
pierced by no arrows made by man.
This cruel old uncle, knowing this, sent Hercules
to get the apples. Now it so happened, there was
but one who could overcome the dragon, and that one
was Atlas.
Atlas was the giant on whose shoulders the earth
rests (so the Greeks believed). When Hercules came
within hearing distance, Atlas said, "Come and hold
up this old globe for me a little while, that I may
rest my shoulders; and I'll get you the golden
apples !"
Hercules gladly took the earth from the giant's


ATLAS. (In Art.1)

shoulders, and away went Atlas. He soon returned

with the golden fruit in his hand, but instead of

giving it to Hercules, he walked off with it laughing.

Poor Hercules! he thought for a moment he was


a prisoner forever. But knowing that giants are as
stupid as they are large, he called out, "Just come
and help me fix this bearskin over my shoulders before
you go!" Atlas came at once. "I can afford to do
that for you at any rate," said he.
But no sooner had he come close up to Hercules,
than over rolled the earth to his shoulders, and
Hercules, snatching the apples, ran off with them in a
Some stories say that Hercules himself killed the
dragon, and so got the apples. At any rate this
dragon in the sky was supposed to be the one that
once guarded the golden apples.




Close by the Bears are the constellations Cepheus
and Cassiopeia.
Cepheus and Cassiopeia were king and queen of
a country in or about Greece. Cassiopeia was very
beautiful and very, very vain.
Angry because the sea-nymphs were praised so
much for their beauty, Cassiopeia prevailed upon
Cepheus to go with her to the base of Mt. Olympus,
and there they both cried out against all the gods


and goddesses, saying, Cassiopeia is more beautiful
than gods, or goddesses, or sea-nymphs. Cassiopeia's
daughter, Andromeda, is also more beautiful than any
nymph of all the sea!"
Jupiter, exasperated at such boldness and defiance,
set them both in the sky as a terrible warning to all
mortals who should dare insult their gods. There
they stand, their faces turned away from Jupiter's
beloved bears, lest they should harm them by even
looking upon them.
The stars of most importance in these constella-
tions are arranged in the shape of a K and a W.



What do the stars do
Up in the sky,
Higher than wind can blow
Or the clouds fly?
Each star in its own glory
Circles, circles still;
As it was lit to shine and set
And do its Maker's will.

., Pt



A belt eight degrees above and eight degrees
below that line in which the earth moves in its ellip-
tical journey around the sun is called the Zodiac. In
this part of the heavens, in this belt, are constellations
called the "Zodiacal Constellations." There are twelve
of them, and the ancients spoke of them as we now
speak of January, February, March.
For example, we say, "It is January now." The
ancients would say, The world is passing along
through Leo, Virgo, Libra," etc.
The Great Bear, the Little Bear, Cassiopeia,
Cepheus, and the Dragon were called the Circumpolar
constellations because they are so closely around the
Polar star. So these constellations in the Zodiac belt
are called the Zodiacal constellations.
In almanacs, especially in the "Old Farmer's
Almanac," you will see these pictures with their odd
little signs; and there are farmers even in these days


who believe that these different groups of stars -
constellations we call them- influence the crops and
the stock, the winds and the weather.
When these names were first given to these con-
stellations there was a meaning in them. For example,
when the earth passed through the Water-bearer, wet
weather was sure to come, so the ancients believed;
when passing through the Archer, it was time to go
hunting; when passing through the Scales, the days
and nights were of equal length.
Here are the Latin and the English names of the
twelve parts into which the Zodiac is divided. In the
sky at certain parts of the year you can see some of
these groups of stars; and it will be pleasant then if
you recall that they belong to the "Zodiac."
Aries, or the Ram.
Taurus, or the Bull.
Gemini, or the Twins.
Cancer, or the Crab.
Leo, or the Lion.
Virgo, or the Maiden.


Libra, or the Scales.
Scorpio, or the Scorpion.
Sagittarius, or the Archer, the Hunter.
Capricornus, or the Goat.
Aquarius, or the Water Bearer.
Pisces, or the Fishes.

Or, as the old English almanac says,

"The Ram, the Bull, the Heavenly Twins,
And next the Crab the Lion shines,
The Virgin and the Scales.
The Scorpion. Archer, and He Goat,
The Man that holds the watering-pot,
And Fish with glittering scales."

I am afraid, when you come to see these groups
of stars in the sky, you will say these ancient people
must have had very lively imaginations to see any-
thing in their arrangement that could remind them of
Fishes, or Goats, or Crabs. Sometimes, however, the
resemblance is quite easily traced.



There are, here and there all over the sky, other
constellations, lying neither in the circumpolar belt,
ior in the Zodiacal belt, but in the space between.
In speaking of these intermediate constellations,
we may as well begin with Andromeda, named, you
remember, from the daughter of Cepheus and
Just off from the lower point of the W in
Cassiopeia are three stars curving upwards in this

These mark the constellation Andromeda, who
was the daughter of Cassiopeia. When Jupiter
learned how bold Cassiopeia and Cepheus had been,
he ordered that, as greater punishment still, their


beautiful daughter should be chained to a rock in
mid-ocean, and that there she should be devoured by
a terrible serpent. It happened, however, that she
was rescued by a brave youth, of whom you shall
learn soon in the story of the constellation Perseus.
The upper of those three stars (A) makes also
one of the corners of a large square just beyond
Andromeda, which marks the constellation of Pegasus,
the wonderful winged horse, who, it is said, used to
carry the thunder and lightning for Jupiter.



A little below and only a short distance from
the constellation of Andromeda, is the constellation
of Perseus.
The story of Perseus, as the Greeks, looking up
at the evening stars, used to tell it to their little
children, is a very wonderful tale.
The strange adventures of Perseus began when
he was a very little baby only a few weeks old.
At that time a cruel enemy imprisoned the child
and his own beautiful mother in a chest, and set them
adrift out upon the sea. It was hoped they would be
drowned; but the gods had great things in store for
this child Perseus, and it came about that the chest
was found and floated to the shore by a good fisher-
man who rescued and kindly cared for the mother
and her baby.
The king of the island was a cruel tyrant, and
having taken a jealous dislike to Perseus as he grew


to manhood, he resolved to put an end to him in
some way, he cared little what way.
One day King Polydectes summoned Perseus into
his presence.
"Perseus," said he, "it is time now for you
to do something to repay me and my brother, the
fisherman, for taking care of you and your honorable
mother all these years."
"Oh, please your Highness," replied Perseus, "I
am ready and anxious to render any service in my
power to show my gratitude to you and your worthy
"You are a brave young man," said the crafty
king. "Now hear my plan. You know of the three
monster Gorgons living afar off on an island. I have
set my heart on having the head of the Gorgon
Medusa to present to the beautiful Princess Hippodamia,
who is soon to become my wife."
"It is a most perilous undertaking, your
Majesty," answered Perseus; "but I am willing to
risk my life for you, and free the land of


such a terrible monster as this Gorgon is said to
"Well said, my generous youth," replied the
king. "You may go forth early tomorrow morning."
So saying the sly old tyrant dismissed Perseus,
exulting to himself that he was well rid of that youth
for evermore.
As Perseus had only a day to prepare for his
adventure, he went away by himself to think out his
plan of attack. He remembered what he had heard
of the Gorgons that they had huge bodies covered
with scales as hard as iron, and great hands of brass,
and locks, not of hair, but of hundreds of venomous
snakes, always writhing and twisting and squirming,
and thrusting out their forked tongues.
Perseus was not afraid of all that. But it was
said that one glance at this Gorgon was sure
destruction; for no one had ever looked upon this face
of Medusa who had not instantly been turned to
stone. Now, pray, how could one attack a foe and
not look upon him?


The more poor Perseus thought the more per-
plexed he grew. Just then, a voice close by was
heard to say, "Perseus, you are sad; what is the
matter ?"
Perseus glanced up and there beside him stood a
kindly looking stranger.
"Oh," answered Perseus, "I am not so sad as I
am perplexed about an adventure I have promised to
perform for the king."
Well, well," said the stranger; "perhaps if you
tell me what you have to do I may be able to help
you. My name is Quicksilver."
Perseus gained courage from the stranger's kind
manner and told him of the king's request to have the
Gorgon's head as a bridal gift to the princess.
And he requested," continued Perseus, "that I
get the head for him, but I greatly fear I shall fail.
For how can I escape being turned to stone?"
"We are well met," replied Quicksilver, reassur-
ingly, for I am the very one to help you. Do just
as I tell you and fear not."


"First polish your shield so you can see your
face as plainly as when you look in a mirror."
"That is queer," thought Perseus, "I should
think my shield ought to be strong to defend me
from the talons of the Gorgons." But agreeing to
obey Quicksilver, he polished away at his shield with
such vigor that it very soon reflected everything held
before it as clearly as though it were made of glass.
Quicksilver smiled approval. That is well
polished," said he. "Now let us exchange swords.
This blade of mine is shaped and tempered to cut
brass or iron as easily as a little twig."
"Now we will go to the Nymphs," said Quick-
silver, "and get three more things that you will
Away they hastened to the Nymphs, and Quick-
silver told them the task that Perseus had before him.
Quickly they disappeared, and as quickly returned,
bringing the articles Quicksilver had asked them for.
"Put this around your neck, Perseus," said
Quicksilver, as he handed him a curious deer-skin


purse. "Now put these sandals on your feet to
make you light and able to travel more quickly in
your journey."
"0 I cannot keep on the ground!" exclaimed
Perseus, when he tried to step in the sandals. For
indeed, they lifted him straight up into the air.
Come back, Perseus," called Quicksilver. "You
cannot conquer the Gorgons without the invisible
So with some difficulty Perseus came down to
the ground and Quicksilver slipped the helmet over
Perseus's golden curls, and instantly there were no
curls and no Perseus to be seen.
Where are you, Perseus ? asked Quicksilver.
"Why, I am right beside you; don't you see
me ?" answered Perseus.
Quicksilver laughed and replied, "No, Perseus,
I cannot see you; for the helmet has made you
invisible. You are now ready to start for the
Gorgons' island. Come, let us go!"
Immediately Quicksilver's cap spread out a pair


of wings. Up he floated into the air; and with a
little leap, Perseus too, arose and followed Quicksilver.
0 how wonderful to sail along way above the
earth !" cried Perseus.
Night came on, and Perseus watched the full
moon rise and slowly ascend to her place in the
heavens, growing brighter every moment. Then he
watched the stars come out one by one, and thought
how he should like to climb or fly up near the moon
and always live near her.
But then he looked towards the earth and saw
the seas and lakes and rivers, all shining and glisten-
ing, and the snowy mountain peaks, and low valleys,
and stretches of field and wooded forest, and cities,
and towns, all peacefully sleeping in the pure moon-
light, and he thought earth looked quite as beautiful
as any star or even the moon.
We will soon be in sight of the Gorgons' island,"
said Quicksilver, as they flew across the wide ocean.
In a moment Perseus inquired, "How soon shall
we be at our journey's end?"

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