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have never been able to detect the slightest diminution in its size. Here is a red-hot body, that has been emitting heat equal to all those thousands of millions of millions of tons of coal in a second of time, and after watching it for 3000 years, they cannot see any difference in its brilliant appearance or its size. Where has the material come from to keep this fire going? We know well enough that no fire can live upon itself, otherwise it would soon go out; therefore, it must be fed from other sources. We cannot go out of the solar system for this material, because all those stars we see above us are great furnaces like the sun, and require all the fuel round about for themselves. Various conjectures are made as to the means by which this fire is kept going, the principle being that it is maintained by showers of meteoric stones; but if every stone was as large as the earth, it would require a shower of stones two or three times a week to keep it up. As we cannot go out of the solar system for the material, the question arises, how long would the system last as fuel? There is Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter (90,000 miles in diameter), Saturn (80,000), and Uranus, (35,000), Neptune, away beyond, with all their moons, with about 200 other smaller bodies, and the sun is about 500 times larger than all put together; or, in other words, the difference between the sun and the system is as 500 to 1. Let the reader take one shovelful of coals, and lay it carefully down upon the ground, then take 500 shovelfuls and put them in a heap alongside of it; the large heap represents the sun, and the shovelful the solar system. Now fire the larger heap, and when it is thoroughly ablaze and red-hot, throw the solar system on the top of it, and see how long it would keep the fire going. Why, according to this, the sun could consume the whole solar system in two or three hours. Such a stupendous fire as this is beyond all comprehension. Our American cousins have the biggest waterfall, the biggest rivers, the biggest railways, and the biggest hog-killing establishments on the face of the earth, but this fire knocks them out of time completely—they cannot show us any. thing that would be a patch to it. In fact, this furnace theory is such an unnatural theory, that we will have to do with it what Macbeth did with the physic, we will have to throw it to the dogs, we will have none of it; and if astronomers cannot give us a more natural theory than this, why, then, it would be better for them to let the sun and the solar system alone. As I have said already, if the sun is a red-hot body, and its rays are heated rays, then these rays ought to heat up all that great vacuum which lies between the earth
and the sun; but they do not do so, because, when you rise from the surface, and approach that vacuum, you leave the heat behind you and as you ascend and ascend and ascend, you arrive at that stage where there is nothing but a glaring sun and eternal cold.
At a remote period, the sun, the earth, the moon, Mars, &c., existed in a state of vapour. If the solid matter which composes the body of the sun were changed into vapour, the space within the solar system would not be large enough to hold it; we would have to shovel some of the stars out of the way to make room for it. Just imagine, on a very, very small scale, the Pacific Ocean converted into a cloud of loose steam. After a time, these vapours settled down, began to cool, and became consolidated, and the nucleus of the ball was formed; and as the process of settling down, cooling, and consolidation went on, the ball increased in size, until the earth expanded to its present dimensions. If ever the earth existed in a state of vapour, and the law of gravitation had any form at that time, then those vapours which contained our heavier metals would have settled down and been consolidated first. Therefore it follows that our heavier and more valuable metals would have been buried in the interior of the earth, and been quite unknown to us at the present day. Of course, I am liable to be told that there may be heavier and more valuable metals in the interior of the earth than any that we do know of, and on the same hypothesis, I may be told that the people in Mercury have their mouths under their left arms; but until such time as this is proved to be a fact, I will go on supposing that they have their mouths under their noses, the same as we have. What evidence is there to show that this earth was formed by the consolidation of those vapours? None whatever. In fact, such evidence as we have goes to prove the fallacy of such a theory. There must be thousands of men in these colonies who, like myself, have handled the pick in some one or other of our goldfields, and these men know that wherever gold is found—no matter whether it may be in California, Russia, India, Africa, New Zealand, or the Australian colonies—that pipe-clay, the slate and the quartz reefs are found lying on their edge side by side; that the layers radiate, like the spokes of a wheel, from the centre to the outside of the earth; and that they run in parallel lines from north to south, like the lines of longitude. Nay, if you were to go to the equatorial line, and dig a trench from the surface down to these reefs, right round the globe, you would find them as I have described them. All other rocks are mere surface rocks, and have to be sunk through
to find the gold; even granite* itself has to be pierced through in search of the precious metal. Therefore I would put it to any sensible person, if those reefs were composed by the vapours cooling and consolidating, would they be found all over the globe lying on their edge, and in parallel lines from north to south? no, instead of the layers lying like the flesh of an orange, you would be enabled to peel the strata off like the flesh of an onion.
Jupiter is in its infant stage, a red-hot body like the sun; and if so, then it is but natural to suppose, considering the immense size of Jupiter, that the two bodies would have a similar appearance, the one to the other. Is the reader satisfied that such is the case? No; there is no more resemblance between Jupiter and the sun, than there is between Aunt Sally and the Emperor of China. The sun and its rays are like liquid gold, while Jupiter's appearance is like burnished silver. If Jupiter and the sun are red-hot bodies, then the rays from the two bodies should have the same appearance and properties, in so far as light and heat are concerned; and as the sun's rays are powerful enough to give light and heat to Neptune at a distance of 3000 million miles, surely we ought to receive some benefit from Jupiter at 400 million miles. The diameter of the sun, as compared with Jupiter, is as 9 to 1, and the distance the sun's rays travel, as compared with Jupiter's rays to the earth, is as 7 to 1; therefore, the two bodies are pretty equally matched. Taking the earth as a standpoint, although we ought to receive light and heat from Jupiter, still we receive none, and, when you ask the reason why, you are told that the atmosphere, which surrounds Jupiter is so thick that its rays are excluded from passing through it. Well, we will see how far this statement is borne out by facts. In the first place, if the atmosphere which surrounds Jupiter is so thick that its rays (like the sun's) cannot pass through it, then we would never see the body of the planet at all. However, we will let that pass. What I wish to draw the reader's attention to, is the statement in the same lecture) in reference to the occultation of a star at Jupiter. While they were observing this star, Jupiter, through his motion on
* When I was at school, they told me that granite was the primary rock of all. By-and-bye they said that granite was composed of three other rocks, which latter statement was so much at variance with the former, that I reasoned the point out within myself, as follows:-If granite is composed of three other rocks, then granite must stand in the same position to the minerals that brass does to the metals. Brass is a composition of copper, tin, or some other metal; and granite is a composition of three other rocks; therefore, neither the one nor the other has any right to be called a rock or a metal. Besides, the three rocks that granite is composed of must have been in existence millions of years before granite was made.
his orbit, slowly shot his atmosphere in between the star and the observer, and the star was seen through the atmosphere until the body of the planet closed it from view. When this star was seen close to the body of the planet, it must have been seen through a depth of atmosphere that was ten times the perpendicular depth of Jupiter's atmosphere; and if the rays of a star can be seen through such a depth of atmosphere as this, how is it that the rays from the red-hot body itself cannot pass through one depth of atmosphere? The fact is, the statement about the occultation of the star confutes the statement that Jupiter is a red-hot body in its infant stage, and the furnace theory must go to the wall again. This theory of evolution may be a good theory, but it seems to me they are going to make it do duty for everything they know nothing about; and the consequence is, like some of our popular street ballads, before they are done with this theory, it will be torn to rags.
P. W. WILSON.
THE STUDY OF MODERN LANGUAGES IN
The question is now often asked, “How many of our youth, who study French and German at our schools, and who, after a careful application of four or five years, obtain what is considered here the guinea-stamp, a 'passed' at the matriculation examination of our University, will be able in after years to make some practical use of their knowledge ?" I am afraid the honest answer would be a very discouraging one, for it is a fact, that but an almost incredibly small percentage of Victorian students, who have been successful so far, have acquired the least command over the language they are supposed to have learnt, and that the number of those who are really proficient is almost an infinitesimal one. It has always seemed to me a great pity that so much time and mental exertion should be thrown away to obtain these worse than doubtful results. My object in this paper is to point out briefly some mistakes which, I think, we commit in this colony in respect to the cultivation of modern tongues, and to suggest a possible remedy.
The most glaring defects in the prevailing mode of teaching French and German in many of our schools is the total neglect to cultivate the linguistic faculties. We are irrational enough to attempt teaching the living tongues on the same plan which we apply to Latin and Greek, and too often commit the error of allowing the pupil to pursue his studies by the eye without the aid of the
This is a fatal mistake, for we lose sight of the purpose for which a living language was originally intended, that of speaking it with fluency, and of writing it correctly and elegantly. There are some people who hold that the study of grammar as an initiation has done more than anything else to check the progress of linguistry, and who pretend, that those who have learnt languages in this way, seldom speak and write them idiomatically well. I am far from entirely adopting this view, which is, I think, an extreme one; but,