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HTML

              
                <html>
<head>
<title>Sample Page with Translations</title>
<style type="text/css">
  .t 
{background-color:#CCCCCC;
color:#000000;
cursor:pointer;
}
</style>
<script type="text/javascript">
var dictionary = [];
     dictionary = { 'morning': 'dimineata', 'troubled': 'tulburat', 'transformed': 'transformat', 'bed': 'pat', 'salesman': 'agent comercial',
        'suspicious': 'suspicios', 'business': 'afacere', 'train': 'tren', 'head': 'cap', 'boss': 'sef', 'insurance': 'asigurare', 'bad': 'rau', 'clock': 'ceas', 'sleep': 'somn',
        'helplessly': 'neajutorat', 'collection': 'colectie', 'understanding': 'intelegere', 'excessive': 'abundent', 'parents': 'parinti', 'horrible': 'oribil', 'slowly': 'incet',
        'window': 'fereastra', 'probably': 'probabil', 'amateur': 'amator', 'perhaps': 'poate', 'such': 'astfel de', 'dimension': 'dimensiune', 'attention': 'atentie', 'although': 'de altfel',
        'himself': 'el insusi', 'dreams': 'visuri', 'appearance': 'aparitie', ' explanation': 'explicatie', 'astronomer': 'astronom', 'astronomers': 'astronomi',
        'earth': 'Pamant;Terra', 'little': 'putin', 'project': 'proiect', 'horizon': 'orizont', 'temperature': 'temperatura', 'theory': 'teorie', 'astronomy': 'astronomie',
        'universe': 'univers', 'gravity': 'gravitatie', 'system': 'sistem', 'question': 'chestiunea', 'problem': 'problema', 'phenomenon': 'fenomen', 'gravitation': 'gravitatie',
        'another': 'alt', 'explore': 'exploreaza', 'space': 'spatiu', 'suppose': 'presupune', 'somewhere': 'undeva', 'dimension': 'dimensiune', ' think': 'gand,gandire,gandi',
        'aswer': 'raspuns', 'nebulæ': 'nebuloase', 'nebula': 'nebuloasa', 'sun': 'soare', 'mystery': 'mister', 'science': 'stiinta', 'invisible': 'invizibil', 'vision': 'viziune',
        'immensity': 'imensitate', 'strange': 'straniu', 'effect': 'efect', 'brilliant': 'stralucitor', 'entity': 'entitate', 'beginning': 'inceput', 'appear': 'apare',
        'indicate': 'indica', 'telescopes': 'telescoape', 'telescope': 'telesco', 'discovery': 'descoperire', 'significance': 'semnificatie', 'amazing': 'uimitor',
        'wonders': 'minuni', 'wonder': 'minune,minunez', 'unknown': 'necunoscut', 'known': 'cunoscut', 'know': 'cunoaste', 'scientific': 'stiintific', 'impressive': 'impresionant',
        'motionless': 'imobil', 'darkness': 'intuneric,intunecime', 'observatory': 'observator', 'constellation': 'constelatie', 'missile': 'racheta', 'neighbors': 'vecini',
        'neighbor': 'vecin', ' interplanetary': 'interplanetar', 'heavens': 'ceruri', 'heaven': 'cer', 'little': 'putin,mic', 'transformed': 'transformat', 'curves': 'curbe',
        'curve': 'curba', 'comparison': 'comparatie', 'huge': 'urias', 'zenith': 'zenit', 'always': 'oricum', 'possibility': 'posibilitate', 'astonishing': 'uimitor,uluitor', 
        'visible': 'vizibil', 'comet': 'cometa', 'comets': 'comete', 'example': 'exemplu', 'disintegration': 'dezintegrare', 'brown': 'maron',
        'pointed': 'depinde de context', 'location': 'loc', 'reference': 'referinta', 'gazing': 'contemplare', 'sure': 'sigur', 'contrary': 'dimpotriva', 'obvious': 'evident',
        'months':'luni','month':'luna','day':'zi','year':'an','globe':'glob','immense':'imens','demanded':'cerut','rigidity':'rigiditate','considerable':'considerabil','consequence':'consecinta','together':'impreuna',
        'opposite':'opus','hypothesis':'ipoteza','destructive':'distructiv','substitute':'substitut','partner':'partener','mathematical':'matematic','framework':'cadru','mathematics':'matematica','birth':'nastere',
        'circle':'cerc','writer':'scriitor','occasions':'ocazii','occasion':'ocazie','interest':'interes','because':'deoarece','two':'doi','three':'trei','four':'patru','five':'cinci','six':'sase','seven':'sapte','eight':'opt','nine':'noua','ten':'zece',
        'extent':'extindere','witness':'martor','vapors':'vapori','vapor':'vapor?','prominences':'proeminente','prominence':'proeminenta','unique':'unic','corona':'coroana','cosmical':'cosmic','enormous':'enorm','diminution':'diminuare','electricity':'electricitate','influence':'influenta',
        'superstitious':'superstitios','object':'obiect','formidable':'formidabil','approaching':'apropiind','beautiful':'frumos','occurrence':'aparitie','sensation':'senzatie','hemisphere':'emisfera','disastrous':'catastrofal','people':'oameni','time':'timp','distance':'distanta',
        'atmosphere': 'atmosfera', 'direction': 'directie', 'force': 'forta', 'above': 'deasupra', 'laboratory': 'laborator', 'numbers': 'numere', 'number': 'numar', 'observation': 'observatie', 'quantity':'cantitate',
        'never': 'niciodata', 'energy': 'energie', 'century': 'secol', 'then': 'apoi', 'after': 'dupa', 'Then': 'apoi', 'After': 'dupa', 'sky': 'cer', 'place': 'loc', 'discovered': 'descoperit', 'discover': 'descopera', 'during': 'in timpul', 'They': 'ei', 'they': 'ei', 'hardly':'cu greu',
        'and': 'si', 'armour': 'armura','stars':'stele'
    };
  var showWords=true;
   function uniCharCode(event) {
    var char = event.which || event.keyCode;
  
    if(char==17) 
      {
      str=ttt.innerHTML;
      if(showWords==true)
        {
            str=str.replace(/<a class="t"/g,"<a class=\"\"");
            showWords=false;                   
        }
        else
        {
            str=str.replace(/<a class=""/g,"<a class=\"t\"");
            showWords=true;                   
        }
      ttt.innerHTML=str;
      }
     }

function uniKeyCode(event) {
    var key = event.keyCode;
    alert(char.toString());
}

  </script>
</head>
<body bgcolor="FFFFFF" onkeypress="uniCharCode(event)" > 


<div id="ttt">
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a insurance of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>

<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a insurance of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>
<p>One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment.</p>
<p>His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.</p>
<p>Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather. Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position.</p>
<p>However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was. He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder.</p>
<p>He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid. You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts.</p>
<p>I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me. If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk!</p>
<p>And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do. That's when I'll make the big change.</p>
<p>First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung?</p>
<p>He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise? True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now?</p>
<p>The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago.</p>
<p>The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill.</p>
<p>His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that no-one was ever ill but that many were workshy. And what's more, would he have been entirely wrong in this case?</p>
<p>Gregor did in fact, apart from excessive sleepiness after sleeping for so long, feel completely well and even felt much hungrier than usual. One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.</p>
<p>The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked. "What's happened to me? " he thought. It wasn't a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.</p>
<p>A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table - Samsa was a travelling salesman - and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer. Gregor then turned to look out the window at the dull weather.</p>
<p>Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. "How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense", he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn't get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.</p>
<p>He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. "Oh, God", he thought, "what a strenuous career it is that I've chosen! Travelling day in and day out.</p>
<p>Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there's the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!</p>
<p>" He felt a slight itch up on his belly; pushed himself slowly up on his back towards the headboard so that he could lift his head better; found where the itch was, and saw that it was covered with lots of little white spots which he didn't know what to make of; and when he tried to feel the place with one of his legs he drew it quickly back because as soon as he touched it he was overcome by a cold shudder. He slid back into his former position. "Getting up early all the time", he thought, "it makes you stupid.</p>
<p>You've got to get enough sleep. Other travelling salesmen live a life of luxury. For instance, whenever I go back to the guest house during the morning to copy out the contract, these gentlemen are always still sitting there eating their breakfasts. I ought to just try that with my boss; I'd get kicked out on the spot. But who knows, maybe that would be the best thing for me.</p>
<p>If I didn't have my parents to think about I'd have given in my notice a long time ago, I'd have gone up to the boss and told him just what I think, tell him everything I would, let him know just what I feel. He'd fall right off his desk! And it's a funny sort of business to be sitting up there at your desk, talking down at your subordinates from up there, especially when you have to go right up close because the boss is hard of hearing. Well, there's still some hope; once I've got the money together to pay off my parents' debt to him - another five or six years I suppose - that's definitely what I'll do.</p>
<p>That's when I'll make the big change. First of all though, I've got to get up, my train leaves at five. " And he looked over at the alarm clock, ticking on the chest of drawers. "God in Heaven! " he thought. It was half past six and the hands were quietly moving forwards, it was even later than half past, more like quarter to seven. Had the alarm clock not rung? He could see from the bed that it had been set for four o'clock as it should have been; it certainly must have rung. Yes, but was it possible to quietly sleep through that furniture-rattling noise?</p>
<p>True, he had not slept peacefully, but probably all the more deeply because of that. What should he do now? The next train went at seven; if he were to catch that he would have to rush like mad and the collection of samples was still not packed, and he did not at all feel particularly fresh and lively. And even if he did catch the train he would not avoid his boss's anger as the office assistant would have been there to see the five o'clock train go, he would have put in his report about Gregor's not being there a long time ago. The office assistant was the boss's man, spineless, and with no understanding. What about if he reported sick? But that would be extremely strained and suspicious as in fifteen years of service Gregor had never once yet been ill. His boss would certainly come round with the doctor from the medical insurance company, accuse his parents of having a lazy son, and accept the doctor's recommendation not to make any claim as the doctor believed that</p>







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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Curiosities of the Sky, by Garrett Serviss

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Title: Curiosities of the Sky

Author: Garrett Serviss

Posting Date: August 25, 2012 [EBook #6630]
Release Date: October, 2004
First Posted: January 6, 2003

Language: English

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    <h1>Curiosities of the Sky</h1>

    <h2>by Garrett Serviss</h2>
    <cite>Curiosities of the Sky</cite> was first published in 1909
    and the text is in the public domain. The transcription was
    done by <a href="mailto:info@sattre-press.com">William
    McClain</a>, 2002.

    <p>A printed version of this book is available from <a href=
    "http://csky.sattre-press.com">Sattre Press</a>. It includes
    extensive annotations, a new introduction and all the original
    photographs and diagrams.</p>
    <hr>
    <strong>Preface</strong>

    <p>What Froude says of history is true also of astronomy: it is
    the most impressive where it transcends explanation. It is not
    the mathematics of astronomy, but the wonder and the mystery
    that seize upon the imagination. The calculation of an eclipse
    owes all its prestige to the sublimity of its data; the
    operation, in itself, requires no more mental effort than the
    preparation of a railway time-table.</p>

    <p>The dominion which astronomy has always held over the minds
    of men is akin to that of poetry; when the former becomes
    merely instructive and the latter purely didactic, both lose
    their power over the imagination. Astronomy is known as the
    oldest of the sciences, and it will be the longest-lived
    because it will always have arcana that have not been
    penetrated.</p>

    <p>Some of the things described in this book are little known
    to the average reader, while others are well known; but all
    possess the fascination of whatever is strange, marvelous,
    obscure, or mysterious -- magnified, in this case, by the
    portentous scale of the phenomena.</p>

    <p>The idea of the author is to tell about these things in
    plain language, but with as much scientific accuracy as plain
    language will permit, showing the wonder that is in them
    without getting away from the facts. Most of them have hitherto
    been discussed only in technical form, and in treatises that
    the general public seldom sees and never reads.</p>

    <p>Among the topics touched upon are:</p>

    <ul>
      <li>The strange unfixedness of the ``fixed stars,'' the vast
      migrations of the suns and worlds constituting the
      universe.</li>

      <li>The slow passing out of existence of those collocations
      of stars which for thousands of years have formed famous
      ``constellations,'' preserving the memory of mythological
      heroes and heroines, and perhaps of otherwise unrecorded
      history.</li>

      <li>The tendency of stars to assemble in immense clouds,
      swarms, and clusters.</li>

      <li>The existence in some of the richest regions of the
      universe of absolutely black, starless gaps, deeps, or holes,
      as if one were looking out of a window into the murkiest
      night.</li>

      <li>The marvelous phenomena of new, or temporary, stars,
      which appear as suddenly as conflagrations, and often turn
      into something else as eccentric as themselves.</li>

      <li>The amazing forms of the ``whirlpool,'' ``spiral,''
      ``pinwheel,'' and ``lace,'' or ``tress,'' nebul&aelig;.</li>

      <li>The strange surroundings of the sun, only seen in
      particular circumstances, but evidently playing a constant
      part in the daily phenomena of the solar system.</li>

      <li>The mystery of the Zodiacal Light and the
      Gegenschein.</li>

      <li>The extraordinary transformations undergone by comets and
      their tails.</li>

      <li>The prodigies of meteorites and masses of stone and metal
      fallen from the sky.</li>

      <li>The cataclysms that have wrecked the moon.</li>

      <li>The problem of life and intelligence on the planet
      Mars.</li>

      <li>The problematical origin and fate of the asteroids.</li>

      <li>The strange phenomena of the auroral lights.</li>
    </ul>

    <p>An attempt has been made to develop these topics in an
    orderly way, showing their connection, so that the reader may
    obtain a broad general view of the chief mysteries and problems
    of astronomy, and an idea of the immense field of discovery
    which still lies, almost unexplored, before it.</p>

    <p><strong>The Windows of Absolute Night</strong></p>

    <p>To most minds mystery is more fascinating than science. But
    when science itself leads straight up to the borders of mystery
    and there comes to a dead stop, saying, ``At present I can no
    longer see my way,'' the force of the charm is redoubled. On
    the other hand, the illimitable is no less potent in mystery
    than the invisible, whence the dramatic effect of Keats'
    ``stout Cortez'' staring at the boundless Pacific while all his
    men look at each other with a wild surmise, ``silent upon a
    peak in Darien.'' It is with similar feelings that the
    astronomer regards certain places where from the peaks of the
    universe his vision seems to range out into endless empty
    space. He sees there the shore of his little isthmus, and,
    beyond, unexplored immensity.</p>

    <p>The name, ``coal-sacks,'' given to these strange voids is
    hardly descriptive. Rather they produce upon the mind the
    effect of blank windows in a lonely house on a pitch-dark
    night, which, when looked at from the brilliant interior,
    become appalling in their rayless murk. Infinity seems to
    acquire a new meaning in the presence of these black openings
    in the sky, for as one continues to gaze it loses its purely
    metaphysical quality and becomes a kind of entity, like the
    ocean. The observer is conscious that he can actually
    <em>see</em> the beginning of its ebon depths, in which the
    visible universe appears to float like an enchanted island,
    resplendent within with lights and life and gorgeous
    spectacles, and encircled with screens of crowded stars, but
    with its dazzling vistas ending at the fathomless sea of pure
    darkness which encloses all.</p>

    <p>The Galaxy, or Milky Way, surrounds the borders of our
    island in space like a stellar garland, and when openings
    appear in it they are, by contrast, far more impressive than
    the general darkness of the interstellar expanse seen in other
    directions. Yet even that expanse is not everywhere equally
    dark, for it contains gloomy deeps discernable with careful
    watching. Here, too, contrast plays an important part, though
    less striking than within the galactic region. Some of Sir
    William Herschel's observations appear to indicate an
    association between these tenebrious spots and neighboring star
    clouds and nebul&aelig;. It is an illuminating bit of
    astronomical history that when he was sweeping the then virgin
    heavens with his great telescopes he was accustomed to say to
    his sister who, note-book in hand, waited at his side to take
    down his words, fresh with the inspiration of discovery:
    ``Prepare to write; the nebul&aelig; are coming; here space is
    vacant.''</p>

    <p>The most famous of the ``coal-sacks,'' and the first to be
    brought to general attention before astronomers had awakened to
    the significance of such things, lies adjacent to the
    ``Southern Cross,'' and is truly an amazing phenomenon. It is
    not alone the conspicuousness of this celestial vacancy,
    opening suddenly in the midst of one of the richest parts of
    the Galaxy, that has given it its fame, but quite as much the
    superstitious awe with which it was regarded by the early
    explorers of the South Seas. To them, as well as to those who
    listened in rapt wonder to their tales, the ``Coal-sack''
    seemed to possess some occult connection with the mystic
    ``Cross.'' In the eyes of the sailors it was not a vacancy so
    much as a sable reality in the sky, and as, shuddering, they
    stared at it, they piously crossed themselves. It was another
    of the magical wonders of the unknown South, and as such it
    formed the basis of many a ``wild surmise'' and many a
    sea-dog's yarn. Scientific investigation has not diminished its
    prestige, and today no traveler in the southern hemisphere is
    indifferent to its fascinating strangeness, while some find it
    the most impressive spectacle of the antarctic heavens.</p>

    <p>All around, up to the very edge of the yawning gap, the
    sheen of the Milky Way is surpassingly glorious; but there, as
    if in obedience to an almighty edict, everything vanishes. A
    single faint star is visible within the opening, producing a
    curious effect upon the sensitive spectator, like the sight of
    a tiny islet in the midst of a black, motionless, waveless
    tarn. The dimensions of the lagoon of darkness, which is oval
    or pear-shaped, are eight degrees by five, so that it occupies
    a space in the sky about one hundred and thirty times greater
    than the area of the full moon. It attracts attention as soon
    as the eye is directed toward the quarter where it exists, and
    by virtue of the rarity of such phenomena it appears a far
    greater wonder than the drifts of stars that are heaped around
    it. Now that observatories are multiplying in the southern
    hemisphere, the great austral ``Coal-sack'' will, no doubt,
    receive attention proportioned to its importance as one of the
    most significant features of the sky. Already at the Sydney
    Observatory photographs have shown that the southern portion of
    this Dead Sea of Space is not quite ``bottomless,'' although
    its northern part defies the longest sounding lines of the
    astronomer.</p>

    <p>There is a similar, but less perfect, ``coal-sack'' in the
    northern hemisphere, in the constellation of ``The Swan,''
    which, strange to say, also contains a well-marked figure of a
    cross outlined by stars. This gap lies near the top of the
    cross-shaped figure. It is best seen by averted vision, which
    brings out the contrast with the Milky Way, which is quite
    brilliant around it. It does not, however, exercise the same
    weird attraction upon the eye as the southern ``Coal-sack,''
    for instead of looking like an absolute void in the sky, it
    rather appears as if a canopy of dark gauze had been drawn over
    the stars. We shall see the possible significance of this
    appearance later.</p>

    <p>Just above the southern horizon of our northern middle
    latitudes, in summer, where the Milky Way breaks up into vast
    sheets of nebulous luminosity, lying over and between the
    constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius, there is a remarkable
    assemblage of ``coal-sacks,'' though none is of great size. One
    of them, near a conspicuous star-cluster in Scorpio, M80, is
    interesting for having been the first of these strange objects
    noted by Herschel. Probably it was its nearness to M80 which
    suggested to his mind the apparent connection of such vacancies
    with star-clusters which we have already mentioned.</p>

    <p>But the most marvelous of the ``coal-sacks'' are those that
    have been found by photography in Sagittarius. One of Barnard's
    earliest and most excellent photographs includes two of them,
    both in the star-cluster M8. The larger, which is roughly
    rectangular in outline, contains one little star, and its
    smaller neighbor is lune-shaped -- surely a most singular form
    for such an object. Both are associated with curious dark lanes
    running through the clustered stars like trails in the woods.
    Along the borders of these lanes the stars are ranked in
    parallel rows, and what may be called the bottoms of the lanes
    are not entirely dark, but pebbled with faint stellar points.
    One of them which skirts the two dark gaps and traverses the
    cluster along its greatest diameter is edged with lines of
    stars, recalling the alignment of the trees bordering a French
    highway. This <em>road of stars</em> cannot be less than many
    billions of miles in length!</p>

    <p>All about the cluster the bed of the Galaxy is strangely
    disturbed, and in places nearly denuded, as if its contents had
    been raked away to form the immense stack and the smaller
    accumulations of stars around it. The well-known ``Trifid
    Nebula'' is also included in the field of the photograph, which
    covers a truly marvelous region, so intricate in its mingling
    of nebul&aelig;, star-clusters, star-swarms, star-streams, and
    dark vacancies that no description can do it justice. Yet,
    chaotic as it appears, there is an unmistakable suggestion of
    unity about it, impressing the beholder with the idea that all
    the different parts are in some way connected, and have not
    been fortuitously thrown together. Miss Agnes M. Clerke made
    the striking remark that the dusky lanes in M8 are exemplified
    on the largest scale in the great rift dividing the Milky Way,
    from Cygnus in the northern hemisphere all the way to the
    ``Cross'' in the southern. Similar lanes are found in many
    other clusters, and they are generally associated with flanking
    rows of stars, resembling in their arrangement the thick-set
    houses and villas along the roadways that traverse the
    approaches to a great city.</p>

    <p>But to return to the black gaps. Are they really windows in
    the star-walls of the universe? Some of them look rather as if
    they had been made by a shell fired through a luminous target,
    allowing the eye to range through the hole into the void space
    beyond. If science is discretely silent about these things,
    what can the more venturesome and less responsible imagination
    suggest? Would a huge ``runaway sun,'' like Arcturus, for
    instance, make such an opening if it should pass like a
    projectile through the Milky Way? It is at least a stimulating
    inquiry. Being probably many thousands of times more massive
    than the galactic stars, such a stellar missile would not be
    stopped by them, though its direction of flight might be
    altered. It would drag the small stars lying close to its
    course out of their spheres, but the ultimate tendency of its
    attraction would be to sweep them round in its wake, thus
    producing rather a star-swarm than a vacancy. Those that were
    very close to it might be swept away in its rush and become its
    satellites, careering away with it in its flight into outer
    space; but those that were farther off, and they would, of
    course, greatly outnumber the nearer ones, would tend inward
    from all sides toward the line of flight, as dust and leaves
    collect behind a speeding motor (though the forces operating
    would be different), and would fill up the hole, if hole it
    were. A swarm thus collected should be rounded in outline and
    bordered with a relatively barren ring from which the stars had
    been ``sucked'' away. In a general sense the M8 cluster answers
    to this description, but even if we undertook to account for
    its existence by a supposition like the above, the black gaps
    would remain unexplained, unless one could make a further draft
    on the imagination and suggest that the stars had been thrown
    into a vast eddy, or system of eddies, whose vortices appear as
    dark holes. Only a maelstrom-like motion could keep such a
    funnel open, for without regard to the impulse derived from the
    projectile, the proper motions of the stars themselves would
    tend to fill it. Perhaps some other cause of the whirling
    motion may be found. As we shall see when we come to the spiral
    nebul&aelig;, gyratory movements are exceedingly prevalent
    throughout the universe, and the structure of the Milky Way is
    everywhere suggestive of them. But this is hazardous sport even
    for the imagination -- to play with <em>suns</em> as if they
    were but thistle-down in the wind or corks in a mill-race.</p>

    <p>Another question arises: What is the thickness of the hedge
    of stars through which the holes penetrate? Is the depth of the
    openings proportionate to their width? In other words, is the
    Milky Way round in section like a rope, or flat and thin like a
    ribbon? The answer is not obvious, for we have little or no
    information concerning the relative distances of the faint
    galactic stars. It would be easier, certainly, to conceive of
    openings in a thin belt than in a massive ring, for in the
    first case they would resemble mere rifts and breaks, while in
    the second they would be like wells or bore-holes. Then, too,
    the fact that the Milky Way is not a <em>continuous</em> body
    but is made up of stars whose actual distances apart is great,
    offers another quandary; persistent and sharply bordered
    apertures in such an assemblage are <em>a priori</em> as
    improbable, if not impossible, as straight, narrow holes
    running through a swarm of bees.</p>

    <p>The difficulty of these questions indicates one of the
    reasons why it has been suggested that the seeming gaps, or
    many of them, are not openings at all, but opaque screens
    cutting off the light from stars behind them. That this is
    quite possible in some cases is shown by Barnard's later
    photographs, particularly those of the singular region around
    the star Rho Ophiuchi. Here are to be seen somber lanes and
    patches, apparently forming a connected system which covers an
    immense space, and which their discoverer thinks may constitute
    a ``dark nebula.'' This seems at first a startling suggestion;
    but, after all, why should their not be dark nebul&aelig; as
    well as visible ones? In truth, it has troubled some
    astronomers to explain the luminosity of the bright
    nebul&aelig;, since it is not to be supposed that matter in so
    diffuse a state can be incandescent through heat, and
    phosphorescent light is in itself a mystery. The supposition is
    also in accord with what we know of the existence of dark solid
    bodies in space. Many bright stars are accompanied by obscure
    companions, sometimes as massive as themselves; the planets are
    non-luminous; the same is true of meteors before they plunge
    into the atmosphere and become heated by friction; and many
    plausible reasons have been found for believing that space
    contains as many obscure as shining bodies of great size. It is
    not so difficult, after all, then, to believe that there are
    immense collections of shadowy gases and meteoric dust whose
    presence is only manifested when they intercept the light
    coming from shining bodies behind them.</p>

    <p>This would account for the apparent extinguishment of light
    in open space, which is indicated by the falling off in
    relative number of telescopic stars below the tenth magnitude.
    Even as things are, the amount of light coming to us from stars
    too faint to be seen with the naked eye is so great that the
    statement of it generally surprises persons who are unfamiliar
    with the inner facts of astronomy. It has been calculated that
    on a clear night the total starlight from the entire celestial
    sphere amounts to one-sixtieth of the light of the full moon;
    but of this less than one-twenty-fifth is due to stars
    separately distinguished by the eye. If there were no obscuring
    medium in space, it is probable that the amount of starlight
    would be noticeably and perhaps enormously increased.</p>

    <p>But while it seems certain that some of the obscure spots in
    the Milky Way are due to the presence of ``dark nebul&aelig;,''
    or concealing veils of one kind or another, it is equally
    certain that there are many which are true apertures, however
    they may have been formed, and by whatever forces they may be
    maintained. These, then, are veritable windows of the Galaxy,
    and when looking out of them one is face to face with the great
    mystery of infinite space. <em>There</em> the known universe
    visibly ends, but manifestly space itself does not end there.
    It is not within the power of thought to conceive an end to
    space, for the instant we think of a terminal point or line the
    mind leaps forward to the <em>beyond.</em> There must be space
    outside as well as inside. Eternity of time and infinity of
    space are ideas that the intellect cannot fully grasp, but
    neither can it grasp the idea of a limitation to either space
    or time. The metaphysical conceptions of hypergeometry, or
    fourth-dimensional space, do not aid us.</p>

    <p>Having, then, discovered that the universe is a thing
    <em>contained</em> in something indefinitely greater than
    itself; having looked out of its windows and found only the
    gloom of starless night outside -- what conclusions are we to
    draw concerning the beyond? It <em>seems</em> as empty as a
    vacuum, but is it really so? If it be, then our universe is a
    single atom astray in the infinite; it is the only island in an
    ocean without shores; it is the one oasis in an illimitable
    desert. Then the Milky Way, with its wide-flung garland of
    stars, is afloat like a tiny smoke-wreath amid a horror of
    immeasurable vacancy, or it is an evanescent and solitary ring
    of sparkling froth cast up for a moment on the viewless billows
    of immensity. From such conclusions the mind instinctively
    shrinks. It prefers to think that there is <em>something</em>
    beyond, though we cannot see it. Even the universe could not
    bear to be alone -- a Crusoe lost in the Cosmos! As the
    inhabitants of the most elegant ch&acirc;teau, with its
    gardens, parks, and crowds of attendants, would die of
    loneliness if they did not know that they have neighbors,
    though not seen, and that a living world of indefinite extent
    surrounds them, so we, when we perceive that the universe has
    limits, wish to feel that it is not solitary; that beyond the
    hedges and the hills there are other centers of life and
    activity. Could anything be more terrible than the thought of
    an <em>isolated universe?</em> The greater the being, the
    greater the aversion to seclusion. Only the infinite satisfies;
    in that alone the mind finds rest.</p>

    <p>We are driven, then, to believe that the universal night
    which envelopes us is not tenantless; that as we stare out of
    the star-framed windows of the Galaxy and see nothing but
    uniform blackness, the fault is with our eyes or is due to an
    obscuring medium. Since <em>our</em> universe is limited in
    extent, there must be <em>other</em> universes beyond it on all
    sides. Perhaps if we could carry our telescopes to the verge of
    the great ``Coal-sack'' near the ``Cross,'' being then on the
    frontier of our starry system, we could discern, sparkling afar
    off in the vast night, some of the outer galaxies. They may be
    grander than ours, just as many of the suns surrounding us are
    immensely greater than ours. If we could take our stand
    somewhere in the midst of immensity and, with vision of
    infinite reach, look about us, we should perhaps see a
    countless number of stellar systems, amid which ours would be
    unnoticeable, like a single star among the multitude glittering
    in the terrestial sky on a clear night. Some might be in the
    form of a wreath, like our own; some might be globular, like
    the great star-clusters in Hercules and Centaurus; some might
    be glittering circles, or disks, or rings within rings. If we
    could enter them we should probably find a vast variety of
    composition, including elements unknown to terrestrial
    chemistry; for while the <em>visible</em> universe appears to
    contain few if any substances not existing on the earth or in
    the sun, we have no warrant to assume that others may not exist
    in infinite space.</p>

    <p>And how as to gravitation? We do not <em>know</em> that
    gravitation acts beyond the visible universe, but it is
    reasonable to suppose that it does. At any rate, if we let go
    <em>its</em> sustaining hand we are lost, and can only wander
    hopelessly in our speculations, like children astray. If the
    empire of gravitation is infinite, then the various outer
    systems must have <em>some,</em> though measuring by our
    standards an imperceptible, attractive influence upon each
    other, for gravitation never lets go its hold, however great
    the space over which it is required to act. Just as the stars
    about us are all in motion, so the starry systems beyond our
    sight may be in motion, and our system as a whole may be moving
    in concert with them. If this be so, then after interminable
    ages the aspect of the entire system of systems must change,
    its various members assuming new positions with respect to one
    another. In the course of time we may even suppose that our
    universe will approach relatively close to one of the others;
    and then, if men are yet living on the earth, they may glimpse
    through the openings which reveal nothing to us now, the lights
    of another nearing star system, like the signals of a strange
    squadron, bringing them the assurance (which can be but an
    inference at present) that the ocean of space has other
    argosies venturing on its limitless expanse.</p>

    <p>There remains the question of the luminiferous ether by
    whose agency the waves of light are borne through space. The
    ether is as mysterious as gravitation. With regard to ether we
    only infer its existence from the effects which we ascribe to
    it. Evidently the ether must extend as far as the most distant
    visible stars. But does it continue on indefinitely in outer
    space? If it does, then the invisibility of the other systems
    must be due to their distance diminishing the quantity of light
    that comes from them below the limit of perceptibility, or to
    the interposition of absorbing media; if it does not, then the
    reason why we cannot see them is owing to the absence of a
    means of conveyance for the light waves, as the lack of an
    interplanetary atmosphere prevents us from hearing the thunder
    of sun-spots. (It is interesting to recall that Mr Edison was
    once credited with the intention to construct a gigantic
    microphone which should render the roar of sun-spots audible by
    transforming the electric vibrations into sound-waves). On this
    supposition each starry system would be enveloped in its own
    globule of ether, and no light could cross from one to another.
    But the probability is that both the ether and gravitation are
    ubiquitous, and that all the stellar systems are immersed in
    the former like clouds of phosphorescent organisms in the
    sea.</p>

    <p>So astronomy carries the mind from height to greater height.
    Men were long in accepting the proofs of the relative
    insignificance of the earth; they were more quickly convinced
    of the comparative littleness of the solar system; and now the
    evidence assails their reason that what they had regarded as
    <em>the</em> universe is only one mote gleaming in the sunbeams
    of Infinity.</p>

    <p><strong>Star-Clouds, Star-Clusters, and
    Star-Streams</strong></p>

    <p>In the preceding chapter we have seen something of the
    strangely complicated structure of the Galaxy, or Milky Way. We
    now proceed to study more comprehensively that garlanded
    ``Pathway of the Gods.''</p>

    <p>Judged by the eye alone, the Milky Way is one of the most
    delicately beautiful phenomena in the entire realm of nature --
    a shimmer of silvery gauze stretched across the sky; but
    studied in the light of its revelations, it is the most
    stupendous object presented to human ken. Let us consider,
    first, its appearance to ordinary vision. Its apparent position
    in the sky shifts according to the season. On a serene,
    cloudless summer evening, in the absence of the moon, whose
    light obscures it, one sees the Galaxy spanning the heavens
    from north to southeast of the zenith like a phosphorescent
    arch. In early spring it forms a similar but, upon the whole,
    less brilliant arch west of the zenith. Between spring and
    summer it lies like a long, faint, twilight band along the
    northern horizon. At the beginning of winter it again forms an
    arch, this time spanning the sky from east to west, a little
    north of the zenith. These are its positions as viewed from the
    mean latitude of the United States. Even the beginner in
    star-gazing does not have to watch it throughout the year in
    order to be convinced that it is, in reality, a great circle,
    extending entirely around the celestial sphere. We appear to be
    situated near its center, but its periphery is evidently far
    away in the depths of space.</p>

    <p>Although to the casual observer it seems but a delicate
    scarf of light, brighter in some places than in others, but
    hazy and indefinite at the best, such is not its appearance to
    those who study it with care. They perceive that it is an
    organic whole, though marvelously complex in detail. The
    telescope shows that it consists of stars too faint and small
    through excess of distance to be separately visible. Of the
    hundred million suns which some estimates have fixed as the
    probable population of the starry universe, the vast majority
    (at least thirty to one) are included in this strange belt of
    misty light. But they are not uniformly distributed in it; on
    the contrary, they are arrayed in clusters, knots, bunches,
    clouds, and streams. The appearance is somewhat as if the
    Galaxy consisted of innumerable swarms of silver-winged bees,
    more or less intermixed, some massed together, some crossing
    the paths of others, but all governed by a single purpose which
    leads them to encircle the region of space in which we are
    situated.</p>

    <p>From the beginning of the systematic study of the heavens,
    the fact has been recognized that the form of the Milky Way
    denotes the scheme of the sidereal system. At first it was
    thought that the shape of the system was that of a vast round
    disk, flat like a cheese, and filled with stars, our sun and
    his relatively few neighbors being placed near the center.
    According to this view, the galactic belt was an effect of
    perspective; for when looking in the direction of the plane of
    the disk, the eye ranged through an immense extension of stars
    which blended into a glimmering blur, surrounding us like a
    ring; while when looking out from the sides of the disk we saw
    but few stars, and in those directions the heavens appeared
    relatively blank. Finally it was recognized that this theory
    did not correspond with the observed appearances, and it became
    evident that the Milky Way was not a mere effect of
    perspective, but an actual band of enormously distant stars,
    forming a circle about the sphere, the central opening of the
    ring (containing many scattered stars) being many times broader
    than the width of the ring itself. Our sun is one of the
    scattered stars in the central opening.</p>

    <p>As already remarked, the ring of the Galaxy is very
    irregular, and in places it is partly broken. With its sinuous
    outline, its pendant sprays, its graceful and accordant curves,
    its bunching of masses, its occasional interstices, and the
    manifest order of a general plan governing the jumble of its
    details, it bears a remarkable resemblance to a garland -- a
    fact which appears the more wonderful when we recall its
    composition. That an elm-tree should trace the lines of beauty
    with its leafy and pendulous branches does not surprise us; but
    we can only gaze with growing amazement when we behold <em>a
    hundred million suns imitating the form of a chaplet!</em> And
    then we have to remember that this form furnishes the
    ground-plan of the universe.</p>

    <p>As an indication of the extraordinary speculations to which
    the mystery of the Milky Way has given rise, a theory recently
    (1909) proposed by Prof. George C. Comstock may be mentioned.
    Starting with the data (first) that the number of stars
    increases as the Milky Way is approached, and reaches a maximum
    in its plane, while on the other hand the number of
    nebul&aelig; is greatest outside the Milky Way and increases
    with distance from it, and (second) that the Milky Way,
    although a complete ring, is broad and diffuse on one side
    through one-half its course -- that half alone containing
    nebul&aelig; -- and relatively narrow and well defined on the
    opposite side, the author of this singular speculation avers
    that these facts can best be explained by supposing that the
    invisible universe consists of two interpenetrating parts, one
    of which is a chaos of indefinite extent, strewn with stars and
    nebulous dust, and the other a long, broad but comparatively
    thin cluster of stars, including the sun as one of its central
    members. This flat star-cluster is conceived to be moving
    edgewise through the chaos, and, according to Professor
    Comstock, it acts after the manner of a snow-plough sweeping
    away the cosmic dust and piling it on either hand above and
    below the plane of the moving cluster. It thus forms a
    transparent rift, through which we see farther and command a
    view of more stars than through the intensified dust-clouds on
    either hand. This rift is the Milky Way. The dust thrown aside
    toward the poles of the Milky Way is the substance of the
    nebul&aelig; which abound there. Ahead, where the front of the
    star-plough is clearing the way, the chaos is nearer at hand,
    and consequently there the rift subtends a broader angle, and
    is filled with primordial dust, which, having been annexed by
    the vanguard of the star-swarm, forms the nebul&aelig; seen
    only in that part of the Milky Way. But behind, the rift
    appears narrow because there we look farther away between
    dust-clouds produced ages ago by the front of the plough, and
    no scattered dust remains in that part of the rift.</p>

    <p>In quoting an outline of this strikingly original theory the
    present writer should not be understood as assenting to it.
    That it appears bizarre is not, in itself, a reason for
    rejecting it, when we are dealing with so problematical and
    enigmatical a subject as the Milky Way; but the serious
    objection is that the theory does not sufficiently accord with
    the observed phenomena. There is too much evidence that the
    Milky Way is an organic system, however fantastic its form, to
    permit the belief that it can only be a rift in chaotic clouds.
    As with every organism, we find that its parts are more or less
    clearly repeated in its ensemble. Among all the strange things
    that the Milky Way contains there is nothing so extraordinary
    as itself. Every astronomer must many times have found himself
    marveling at it in those comparatively rare nights when it
    shows all its beauty and all its strangeness. In its great
    broken rifts, divisions, and spirals are found the gigantic
    prototypes of similar forms in its star-clouds and clusters. As
    we have said, it determines the general shape of the whole
    sidereal system. Some of the brightest stars in the sky appear
    to hang like jewels suspended at the ends of tassels dropped
    from the Galaxy. Among these pendants are the Pleiades and the
    Hyades. Orion, too, the ``Mighty Hunter,'' is caught in ``a
    loop of light'' thrown out from it. The majority of the great
    first-magnitude stars seem related to it, as if they formed an
    inner ring inclined at an angle of some twenty degrees to its
    plane. Many of the long curves that set off from it on both
    sides are accompanied by corresponding curves of lucid stars.
    In a word, it offers every appearance of structural connection
    with the entire starry system. That the universe should have
    assumed the form of a wreath is certainly a matter for
    astonishment; but it would have been still more astonishing if
    it had been a cube, a rhomboid, or a dodecahedron, for then we
    should have had to suppose that something resembling the forces
    that shape crystals had acted upon the stars, and the
    difficulty of explaining the universe by the laws of
    gravitation would have been increased.</p>

    <p>From the Milky Way as a whole we pass to the vast clouds,
    swarms, and clusters of stars of which it is made up. It may
    be, as some astronomers hold, that most of the galactic stars
    are much smaller than the sun, so that their faintness is not
    due entirely to the effect of distance. Still, their intrinsic
    brilliance attests their solar character, and considering their
    remoteness, which has been estimated at not less than ten
    thousand to twenty thousand light-years (a light-year is equal
    to nearly six thousand thousand million miles) their actual
    masses cannot be extremely small. The minutest of them are
    entitled to be regarded as real suns, and they vary enormously
    in magnitude. The effects of their attractions upon one another
    can only be inferred from their clustering, because their
    relative movements are not apparent on account of the brevity
    of the observations that we can make. But imagine a being for
    whom a million years would be but as a flitting moment; to him
    the Milky Way would appear in a state of ceaseless agitation --
    swirling with ``a fury of whirlpool motion.''</p>

    <p>The cloud-like aspect of large parts of the Galaxy must
    always have attracted attention, even from naked-eye observers,
    but the true star-clouds were first satisfactorily represented
    in Barnard's photographs. The resemblance to actual clouds is
    often startling. Some are close-packed and dense, like cumuli;
    some are wispy or mottled, like cirri. The rifts and
    modulations, as well as the general outlines, are the same as
    those of clouds of vapor or dust, and one notices also the
    characteristic thinning out at the edges. But we must beware of
    supposing that the component suns are thickly crowded as the
    particles forming an ordinary cloud. They <em>look,</em>
    indeed, as if they were matted together, because of the
    irradiation of light, but in reality millions and billions of
    miles separate each star from its neighbors. Nevertheless they
    form real assemblages, whose members are far more closely
    related to one another than is our sun to the stars around him,
    and if we were in the Milky Way the aspect of the nocturnal sky
    would be marvelously different from its present appearance.</p>

    <p>Stellar clouds are characteristic of the Galaxy and are not
    found beyond its borders, except in the ``Magellanic Clouds''
    of the southern hemisphere, which resemble detached portions of
    the Milky Way. These singular objects form as striking a
    peculiarity of the austral heavens as does the great
    ``Coal-sack'' described in Chapter 1. But it is their isolation
    that makes them so remarkable, for their composition is
    essentially galactic, and if they were included within its
    boundaries they would not appear more wonderful than many other
    parts of the Milky Way. Placed where they are, they look like
    masses fallen from the great stellar arch. They are full of
    nebul&aelig; and star-clusters, and show striking evidences of
    spiral movement.</p>

    <p>Star-swarms, which are also characteristic features of the
    Galaxy, differ from star-clouds very much in the way that their
    name would imply -- <em>i.e.,</em> their component stars are so
    arranged, even when they are countless in number, that the idea
    of an exceedingly numerous assemblage rather than that of a
    cloud is impressed on the observer's mind. In a star-swarm the
    separate members are distinguishable because they are either
    larger or nearer than the stars composing a ``cloud.'' A
    splendid example of a true star-swarm is furnished by Chi
    Persei, in that part of the Milky Way which runs between the
    constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia. This swarm is much
    coarser than many others, and can be seen by the naked eye. In
    a small telescope it appears double, as if the suns composing
    it had divided into two parties which keep on their way side by
    side, with some commingling of their members where the skirts
    of the two companies come in contact.</p>

    <p>Smaller than either star-clouds or star-swarms, and
    differing from both in their organization, are star-clusters.
    These, unlike the others, are found outside as well as inside
    the Milky Way, although they are more numerous inside its
    boundaries than elsewhere. The term star-cluster is sometimes
    applied, though improperly, to assemblages which are rather
    groups, such, for instance, as the Pleiades. In their most
    characteristic aspect star-clusters are of a globular shape --
    globes of suns! A famous example of a globular star-cluster,
    but one not included in the Milky Way, is the ``Great Cluster
    in Hercules.'' This is barely visible to the naked eye, but a
    small telescope shows its character, and in a large one it
    presents a marvelous spectacle. Photographs of such clusters
    are, perhaps, less effective than those of star-clouds, because
    the central condensation of stars in them is so great that
    their light becomes blended in an indistinguishable blur. The
    beautiful effect of the incessant play of infinitesimal rays
    over the apparently compact surface of the cluster, as if it
    were a globe of the finest frosted silver shining in an
    electric beam, is also lost in a photograph. Still, even to the
    eye looking directly at the cluster through a powerful
    telescope, the central part of the wonderful congregation seems
    almost a solid mass in which the stars are packed like the ice
    crystals in a snowball.</p>

    <p>The same question rises to the lips of every observer: How
    can they possibly have been brought into such a situation? The
    marvel does not grow less when we know that, instead of being
    closely compacted, the stars of the cluster are probably
    separated by millions of miles; for we know that their
    distances apart are slight as compared with their remoteness
    from the Earth. Sir William Herschel estimated their number to
    be about fourteen thousand, but in fact they are uncountable.
    If we could view them from a point just within the edge of the
    assemblage, they would offer the appearance of a hollow
    hemisphere emblazoned with stars of astonishing brilliancy; the
    near-by ones unparalleled in splendor by any celestial object
    known to us, while the more distant ones would resemble
    ordinary stars. An inhabitant of the cluster would not know,
    except by a process of ratiocination, that he was dwelling in a
    globular assemblage of suns; only from a point far outside
    would their spherical arrangement become evident to the eye.
    Imagine fourteen-thousand fire-balloons with an approach to
    regularity in a spherical space -- say, ten miles in diameter;
    there would be an average of less than thirty in every cubic
    mile, and it would be necessary to go to a considerable
    distance in order to see them as a globular aggregation; yet
    from a point sufficiently far away they would blend into a
    glowing ball.</p>

    <p>Photographs show even better than the best telescopic views
    that the great cluster is surrounded with a multitude of
    dispersed stars, suggestively arrayed in more or less curving
    lines, which radiate from the principle mass, with which their
    connection is manifest. These stars, situated outside the
    central sphere, look somewhat like vagrant bees buzzing round a
    dense swarm where the queen bee is sitting. Yet while there is
    so much to suggest the operation of central forces, bringing
    and keeping the members of the cluster together, the attentive
    observer is also impressed with the idea that the whole
    wonderful phenomenon may be <em>the result of explosion.</em>
    As soon as this thought seizes the mind, confirmation of it
    seems to be found in the appearance of the outlying stars,
    which could be as readily explained by the supposition that
    they have been blown apart as that they have flocked together
    toward a center. The probable fact that the stars constituting
    the cluster are very much smaller than our sun might be
    regarded as favoring the hypothesis of an explosion. Of their
    real size we know nothing, but, on the basis of an uncertain
    estimate of their parallax, it has been calculated that they
    may average forty-five thousand miles in diameter -- something
    more than half the diameter of the planet Jupiter. Assuming the
    same mean density, fourteen thousand such stars might have been
    formed by the explosion of a body about twice the size of the
    sun. This recalls the theory of Olbers, which has never been
    altogether abandoned or disproved, that the Asteroids were
    formed by the explosion of a planet circulating between the
    orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The Asteroids, whatever their
    manner of origin, form a ring around the sun; but, of course,
    the explosion of a great independent body, not originally
    revolving about a superior center of gravitational force, would
    not result in the formation of a ring of small bodies, but
    rather of a dispersed mass of them. But back of any speculation
    of this kind lies the problem, at present insoluble: How could
    the explosion be produced? (See the question of explosions in
    Chapters 6 and 14).</p>

    <p>Then, on the other hand, we have the observation of
    Herschel, since abundantly confirmed, that space is unusually
    vacant in the immediate neighborhood of condensed star-clusters
    and nebul&aelig;, which, as far as it goes, might be taken as
    an indication that the assembled stars had been drawn together
    by their mutual attractions, and that the tendency to
    aggregation is still bringing new members toward the cluster.
    But in that case there must have been an original condensation
    of stars at that point in space. This could probably have been
    produced by the coagulation of a great nebula into stellar
    nuclei, a process which seems now to be taking place in the
    Orion Nebula.</p>

    <p>A yet more remarkable globular star-cluster exists in the
    southern hemisphere, Omega Centauri. In this case the central
    condensation of stars presents an almost uniform blaze of
    light. Like the Hercules cluster, that in Centaurus is
    surrounded with stars scattered over a broad field and showing
    an appearance of radial arrangement. In fact, except for its
    greater richness, Omega Centauri is an exact duplicate of its
    northern rival. Each appears to an imaginative spectator as a
    veritable ``city of suns.'' Mathematics shrinks from the task
    of disentangling the maze of motions in such an assemblage. It
    would seem that the chance of collisions is not to be
    neglected, and this idea finds a certain degree of confirmation
    in the appearance of ``temporary stars'' which have more than
    once blazed out in, or close by, globular star-clusters.</p>

    <p>This leads up to the notable fact, first established by
    Professor Bailey a few years ago, that such clusters are
    populous with variable stars. Omega Centauri and the Hercules
    cluster are especially remarkable in this respect. The
    variables found in them are all of short period and the changes
    of light show a noteworthy tendency to uniformity. The first
    thought is that these phenomena must be due to collisions among
    the crowded stars, but, if so, the encounters cannot be between
    the stars themselves, but probably between stars and meteor
    swarms revolving around them. Such periodic collisions might go
    on for ages without the meteors being exhausted by
    incorporation with the stars. This explanation appears all the
    more probable because one would naturally expect that flocks of
    meteors would abound in a close aggregation of stars. It is
    also consistent with Perrine's discovery -- that the globular
    star clusters are powdered with minute stars strewn thickly
    among the brighter ones.</p>

    <p>In speaking of Professor Comstock's extraordinary theory of
    the Milky Way, the fact was mentioned that, broadly speaking,
    the nebul&aelig; are less numerous in the galactic belt than in
    the comparatively open spaces on either side of it, but that
    they are, nevertheless, abundant in the broader half of the
    Milky Way which he designates as the front of the gigantic
    ``plough'' supposed to be forcing its way through the
    enveloping chaos. In and around the Sagittarius region the
    intermingling of nebul&aelig; and galactic star clouds and
    clusters is particularly remarkable. That there is a causal
    connection no thoughtful person can doubt. We are unable to get
    away from the evidence that a nebula is like a seed-ground from
    which stars spring forth; or we may say that nebul&aelig;
    resemble clouds in whose bosom raindrops are forming. The
    wonderful aspect of the admixtures of nebul&aelig; and
    star-clusters in Sagittarius has been described in Chapter 1.
    We now come to a still more extraordinary phenomenon of this
    kind -- the Pleiades nebul&aelig;.</p>

    <p>The group of the Pleiades, although lying outside the main
    course of the Galaxy, is connected with it by a faint loop, and
    is the scene of the most remarkable association of stars and
    nebulous matter known in the visible universe. The naked eye is
    unaware of the existence of nebul&aelig; in the Pleiades, or,
    at the best, merely suspects that there is something of the
    kind there; and even the most powerful telescopes are far from
    revealing the full wonder of the spectacle; but in photographs
    which have been exposed for many hours consecutively, in order
    to accumulate the impression of the actinic rays, the
    revelation is stunning. The principle stars are seen surrounded
    by, and, as it were, <em>drowned in,</em> dense nebulous clouds
    of an unparalleled kind. The forms assumed by these clouds seem
    at first sight inexplicable. They look like fleeces, or perhaps
    more like splashes and daubs of luminous paint dashed
    carelessly from a brush. But closer inspection shows that they
    are, to a large extent, <em>woven</em> out of innumerable
    threads of filmy texture, and there are many indications of
    spiral tendencies. Each of the bright stars of the group --
    Alcyone, Merope, Maia, Electra, Taygeta, Atlas -- is the focus
    of a dense fog (totally invisible, remember, alike to the naked
    eye and to the telescope), and these particular stars are
    veiled from sight behind the strange mists. Running in all
    directions across the relatively open spaces are nebulous wisps
    and streaks of the most curious forms. On some of the nebular
    lines, which are either straight throughout, or if they change
    direction do so at an angle, little stars are strung like
    beads. In one case seven or eight stars are thus aligned, and,
    as if to emphasize their dependence upon the chain which
    connects them, when it makes a slight bend the file of stars
    turns the same way. Many other star rows in the group suggest
    by their arrangement that they, too, were once strung upon
    similar threads which have now disappeared, leaving the stars
    spaced along their ancient tracks. We seem forced to the
    conclusion that there was a time when the Pleiades were
    embedded in a vast nebula resembling that of Orion, and that
    the cloud has now become so rare by gradual condensation into
    stars that the merest trace of it remains, and this would
    probably have escaped detection but for the remarkable actinic
    power of the radiant matter of which it consists. The richness
    of many of these faint nebulous masses in ultra-violet
    radiations, which are those that specifically affect the
    photographic plate, is the cause of the marvelous revelatory
    power of celestial photography. So the veritable unseen
    universe, as distinguished from the ``unseen universe'' of
    metaphysical speculation, is shown to us.</p>

    <p>A different kind of association between stars and
    nebul&aelig; is shown in some surprising photographic objects
    in the constellation Cygnus, where long, wispy nebul&aelig;,
    billions of miles in length, some of them looking like tresses
    streaming in a breeze, lie amid fields of stars which seem
    related to them. But the relation is of a most singular kind,
    for notwithstanding the delicate structure of the long
    nebul&aelig; they appear to act as barriers, causing the stars
    to heap themselves on one side. The stars are two, three, or
    four times as numerous on one side of the nebul&aelig; as on
    the other. These nebul&aelig;, as far as appearance goes, might
    be likened to rail fences, or thin hedges, against which the
    wind is driving drifts of powdery snow, which, while scattered
    plentifully all around, tends to bank itself on the leeward
    side of the obstruction. The imagination is at a loss to
    account for these extraordinary phenomena; yet there they are,
    faithfully giving us their images whenever the photographic
    plate is exposed to their radiations.</p>

    <p>Thus the more we see of the universe with improved methods
    of observation, and the more we invent aids to human senses,
    each enabling us to penetrate a little deeper into the unseen,
    the greater becomes the mystery. The telescope carried us far,
    photography is carrying us still farther; but what as yet
    unimagined instrument will take us to the bottom, the top, and
    the end? And then, what hitherto untried power of thought will
    enable us to comprehend the meaning of it all?</p>

    <p><strong>Stellar Migrations</strong></p>

    <p>To the untrained eye the stars and the planets are not
    distinguishable. It is customary to call them all alike
    ``stars.'' But since the planets more or less rapidly change
    their places in the sky, in consequence of their revolution
    about the sun, while the stars proper seem to remain always in
    the same relative positions, the latter are spoken of as
    ``fixed stars.'' In the beginnings of astronomy it was not
    known that the ``fixed stars'' had any motion independent of
    their apparent annual revolution with the whole sky about the
    earth as a seeming center. Now, however, we know that the term
    ``fixed stars'' is paradoxical, for there is not a single
    really fixed object in the whole celestial sphere. The apparent
    fixity in the positions of the stars is due to their immense
    distance, combined with the shortness of the time during which
    we are able to observe them. It is like viewing the plume of
    smoke issuing from a steamer, hull down, at sea: if one does
    not continue to watch it for a long time it appears to be
    motionless, although in reality it may be traveling at great
    speed across the line of sight. Even the planets seem fixed in
    position if one watches them for a single night only, and the
    more distant ones do not sensibly change their places, except
    after many nights of observation. Neptune, for instance, moves
    but little more than two degrees in the course of an entire
    year, and in a month its change of place is only about
    one-third of the diameter of the full moon.</p>

    <p>Yet, fixed as they seem, the stars are actually moving with
    a speed in comparison with which, in some cases, the planets
    might almost be said to stand fast in their tracks. Jupiter's
    speed in his orbit is about eight miles per second, Neptune's
    is less than three and one-half miles, and the earth's is about
    eighteen and one-half miles; while there are ``fixed stars''
    which move two hundred or three hundred miles per second. They
    do not all, however, move with so great a velocity, for some
    appear to travel no faster than the planets. But in all cases,
    notwithstanding their real speed, long-continued and
    exceedingly careful observations are required to demonstrate
    that they are moving at all. No more overwhelming impression of
    the frightful depths of space in which the stars are buried can
    be obtained than by reflecting upon the fact that a star whose
    actual motion across the line of sight amounts to two hundred
    miles per second does not change its apparent place in the sky,
    in the course of a thousand years, sufficiently to be noticed
    by the casual observer of the heavens!</p>

    <p>There is one vast difference between the motions of the
    stars and those of the planets to which attention should be at
    once called: the planets, being under the control of a central
    force emanating from their immediate master, the sun, all move
    in the same direction and in orbits concentric about the sun;
    the stars, on the other hand, move in every conceivable
    direction and have no apparent center of motion, for all
    efforts to discover such a center have failed. At one time,
    when theology had finally to accept the facts of science, a
    grandiose conception arose in some pious minds, according to
    which the Throne of God was situated at the exact center of His
    Creation, and, seated there, He watched the magnificent
    spectacle of the starry systems obediently revolving around
    Him. Astronomical discoveries and speculations seemed for a
    time to afford some warrant for this view, which was, moreover,
    an acceptable substitute for the abandoned geocentric theory in
    minds that could only conceive of God as a superhuman
    artificer, constantly admiring his own work. No longer ago than
    the middle of the nineteenth century a German astronomer,
    Maedler, believed that he had actually found the location of
    the center about which the stellar universe revolved. He placed
    it in the group of the Pleiades, and upon his authority an
    extraordinary imaginative picture was sometimes drawn of the
    star Alcyone, the brightest of the Pleiades, as the very seat
    of the Almighty. This idea even seemed to gain a kind of
    traditional support from the mystic significance, without known
    historical origin, which has for many ages, and among widely
    separated peoples, been attached to the remarkable group of
    which Alcyone is the chief. But since Maedler's time it has
    been demonstrated that the Pleiades cannot be the center of
    revolution of the universe, and, as already remarked, all
    attempts to find or fix such a center have proved abortive. Yet
    so powerful was the hold that the theory took upon the popular
    imagination, that even today astronomers are often asked if
    Alcyone is not the probable site of ``Jerusalem the
    Golden.''</p>

    <p>If there were a discoverable center of predominant
    gravitative power, to which the motions of all the stars could
    be referred, those motions would appear less mysterious, and we
    should then be able to conclude that the universe was, as a
    whole, a prototype of the subsidiary systems of which it is
    composed. We should look simply to the law of gravitation for
    an explanation, and, naturally, the center would be placed
    within the opening enclosed by the Milky Way. If it were there
    the Milky Way itself should exhibit signs of revolution about
    it, like a wheel turning upon its hub. No theory of the star
    motions as a whole could stand which failed to take account of
    the Milky Way as the basis of all. But the very form of that
    divided wreath of stars forbids the assumption of its
    revolution about a center. Even if it could be conceived as a
    wheel having no material center it would not have the form
    which it actually presents. As was shown in Chapter 2, there is
    abundant evidence of motion in the Milky Way; but it is not
    motion of the system as a whole, but motion affecting its
    separate parts. Instead of all moving one way, the galactic
    stars, as far as their movements can be inferred, are governed
    by local influences and conditions. They appear to travel
    crosswise and in contrary directions, and perhaps they eddy
    around foci where great numbers have assembled; but of a
    universal revolution involving the entire mass we have no
    evidence.</p>

    <p>Most of our knowledge of star motions, called ``proper
    motions,'' relates to individual stars and to a few groups
    which happen to be so near that the effects of their movements
    are measurable. In some cases the motion is so rapid (not in
    appearance, but in reality) that the chief difficulty is to
    imagine how it can have been imparted, and what will eventually
    become of the ``runaways.'' Without a collision, or a series of
    very close approaches to great gravitational centers, a star
    traveling through space at the rate of two hundred or three
    hundred miles per second could not be arrested or turned into
    an orbit which would keep it forever flying within the limits
    of the visible universe. A famous example of these speeding
    stars is ``1830 Groombridge,'' a star of only the sixth
    magnitude, and consequently just visible to the naked eye,
    whose motion across the line of sight is so rapid that it moves
    upon the face of the sky a distance equal to the apparent
    diameter of the moon every 280 years. The distance of this star
    is at least 200,000,000,000,000 miles, and may be two or three
    times greater, so that its actual speed cannot be less than two
    hundred, and may be as much as four hundred, miles per second.
    It could be turned into a new course by a close approach to a
    great sun, but it could only be stopped by collision, head-on,
    with a body of enormous mass. Barring such accidents it must,
    as far as we can see, keep on until it has traversed our
    stellar system, whence in may escape and pass out into space
    beyond, to join, perhaps, one of those other universes of which
    we have spoken. Arcturus, one of the greatest suns in the
    universe, is also a runaway, whose speed of flight has been
    estimated all the way from fifty to two hundred miles per
    second. Arcturus, we have every reason to believe, possesses
    hundreds of times the mass of our sun -- think, then, of the
    prodigious momentum that its motion implies! Sirius moves more
    moderately, its motion across the line of sight amounting to
    only ten miles per second, but it is at the same time
    approaching the sun at about the same speed, its actual
    velocity in space being the resultant of the two
    displacements.</p>

    <p>What has been said about the motion of Sirius brings us to
    another aspect of this subject. The fact is, that in every case
    of stellar motion the displacement that we observe represents
    only a part of the actual movement of the star concerned. There
    are stars whose motion carries them straight toward or straight
    away from the earth, and such stars, of course, show no cross
    motion. But the vast majority are traveling in paths inclined
    from a perpendicular to our line of sight. Taken as a whole,
    the stars may be said to be flying about like the molecules in
    a mass of gas. The discovery of the radial component in the
    movements of the stars is due to the spectroscope. If a star is
    approaching, its spectral lines are shifted toward the violet
    end of the spectrum by an amount depending upon the velocity of
    approach; if it is receding, the lines are correspondingly
    shifted toward the red end. Spectroscopic observation, then,
    combined with micrometric measurements of the cross motion,
    enables us to detect the real movement of the star in space.
    Sometimes it happens that a star's radial movement is
    periodically reversed; first it approaches, and then it
    recedes. This indicates that it is revolving around a near-by
    companion, which is often invisible, and superposed upon this
    motion is that of the two stars concerned, which together may
    be approaching or receding or traveling across the line of
    sight. Thus the complications involved in the stellar motions
    are often exceedingly great and puzzling.</p>

    <p>Yet another source of complication exists in the movement of
    our own star, the sun. There is no more difficult problem in
    astronomy than that of disentangling the effects of the solar
    motion from those of the motions of the other stars. But the
    problem, difficult as it is, has been solved, and upon its
    solution depends our knowledge of the speed and direction of
    the movement of the solar system through space, for of course
    the sun carries its planets with it. One element of the
    solution is found in the fact that, as a result of perspective,
    the stars toward which we are going appear to move apart toward
    all points of the compass, while those behind appear to close
    up together. Then the spectroscopic principle already mentioned
    is invoked for studying the shift of the lines, which is toward
    the violet in the stars ahead of us and toward the red in those
    that we are leaving behind. Of course the effects of the
    independent motions of the stars must be carefully excluded.
    The result of the studies devoted to this subject is to show
    that we are traveling at a speed of twelve to fifteen miles per
    second in a northerly direction, toward the border of the
    constellations Hercules and Lyra. A curious fact is that the
    more recent estimates show that the direction is not very much
    out of a straight line drawn from the sun to the star Vega, one
    of the most magnificent suns in the heavens. But it should not
    be inferred from this that Vega is drawing us on; it is too
    distant for its gravitation to have such an effect.</p>

    <p>Many unaccustomed thoughts are suggested by this mighty
    voyage of the solar system. Whence have we come, and whither do
    we go? Every year of our lives we advance at least 375,000,000
    miles. Since the traditional time of Adam the sun has led his
    planets through the wastes of space no less than
    225,000,000,000 miles, or more than 2400 times the distance
    that separates him from the earth. Go back in imagination to
    the geologic ages, and try to comprehend the distance over
    which the earth has flown. Where was our little planet when it
    emerged out of the clouds of chaos? Where was the sun when his
    ``thunder march'' began? What strange constellations shone down
    upon our globe when its masters of life were the monstrous
    beasts of the ``Age of Reptiles''? A million years is not much
    of a span of time in geologic reckoning, yet a million years
    ago the earth was farther from its present place in space than
    any of the stars with a measurable parallax are now. It was
    more than seven times as far as Sirius, nearly fourteen times
    as far as Alpha Centauri, three times as far as Vega, and twice
    as far as Arcturus. But some geologists demand two hundred,
    three hundred, even one thousand million years to enable them
    to account for the evolutionary development of the earth and
    its inhabitants. In a thousand million years the earth would
    have traveled farther than from the remotest conceivable depths
    of the Milky Way!</p>

    <p>Other curious reflections arise when we think of the form of
    the earth's track as it follows the lead of the sun, in a
    journey which has neither known beginning nor conceivable end.
    There are probably many minds which have found a kind of
    consolation in the thought that every year the globe returns to
    the same place, on the same side of the sun. This idea may have
    an occult connection with our traditional regard for
    anniversaries. When that period of the year returns at which
    any great event in our lives has occurred we have the feeling
    that the earth, in its annual round, has, in a manner, brought
    us back to the scene of that event. We think of the earth's
    orbit as a well-worn path which we traverse many times in the
    course of a lifetime. It seems familiar to us, and we grow to
    have a sort of attachment to it. The sun we are accustomed to
    regard as a fixed center in space, like the mill or pump around
    which the harnessed patient mule makes his endless circuits.
    But the real fact is that the earth never returns to the place
    in space where it has once quitted. In consequence of the
    motion of the sun carrying the earth and the other planets
    along, the track pursued by our globe is a vast spiral in space
    continually developing and never returning upon its course. It
    is probable that the tracks of the sun and the others stars are
    also irregular, and possibly spiral, although, as far as can be
    at present determined, they appear to be practically straight.
    Every star, wherever it may be situated, is attracted by its
    fellow-stars from many sides at once, and although the force is
    minimized by distance, yet in the course of many ages its
    effects must become manifest.</p>

    <p>Looked at from another side, is there not something
    immensely stimulating and pleasing to the imagination in the
    idea of so stupendous a journey, which makes all of us the
    greatest of travelers? In the course of a long life a man is
    transported through space thirty thousand million miles;
    Halley's Comet does not travel one-quarter as far in making one
    of its immense circuits. And there are adventures on this
    voyage of which we are just beginning to learn to take account.
    Space is full of strange things, and the earth must encounter
    some of them as it advances through the unknown. Many singular
    speculations have been indulged in by astronomers concerning
    the possible effects upon the earth of the varying state of the
    space that it traverses. Even the alternation of hot and
    glacial periods has sometimes been ascribed to this source.
    When tropical life flourished around the poles, as the remains
    in the rocks assure us, the needed high temperature may, it has
    been thought, have been derived from the presence of the earth
    in a warm region of space. Then, too, there is a certain
    interest for us in the thought of what our familiar planet has
    passed through. We cannot but admire it for its long journeying
    as we admire the traveler who comes to us from remote and
    unexplored lands, or as we gaze with a glow of interest upon
    the first locomotive that has crossed a continent, or a ship
    that has visited the Arctic or Antarctic regions. If we may
    trust the indications of the present course, the earth, piloted
    by the sun, has come from the Milky Way in the far south and
    may eventually rejoin that mighty band of stars in the far
    north.</p>

    <p>While the stars in general appear to travel independently of
    one another, except when they are combined in binary or trinary
    systems, there are notable exceptions to this rule. In some
    quarters of the sky we behold veritable migrations of entire
    groups of stars whose members are too widely separated to show
    any indications of revolution about a common center of gravity.
    This leads us back again to the wonderful group of the
    Pleiades. All of the principle stars composing that group are
    traveling in virtually parallel lines. Whatever force set them
    going evidently acted upon all alike. This might be explained
    by the assumption that when the original projective force acted
    upon them they were more closely united than they are at
    present, and that in drifting apart they have not lost the
    impulse of the primal motion. Or it may be supposed that they
    are carried along by some current in space, although it would
    be exceedingly difficult, in the present state of our
    knowledge, to explain the nature of such a current. Yet the
    theory of a current has been proposed. As to an attractive
    center around which they might revolve, none has been found.
    Another instance of similar ``star-drift'' is furnished by five
    of the seven stars constituting the figure of the ``Great
    Dipper.'' In this case the stars concerned are separated very
    widely, the two extreme ones by not less than fifteen degrees,
    so that the idea of a common motion would never have been
    suggested by their aspect in the sky; and the case becomes the
    more remarkable from the fact that among and between them there
    are other stars, some of the same magnitude, which do not share
    their motion, but are traveling in other directions. Still
    other examples of the same phenomenon are found in other parts
    of the sky. Of course, in the case of compact star-clusters, it
    is assumed that all the members share a like motion of
    translation through space, and the same is probably true of
    dense star-swarms and star-clouds.</p>

    <p>The whole question of star-drift has lately assumed a new
    phase, in consequence of the investigations of Kapteyn, Dyson,
    and Eddington on the ``systematic motions of the stars.'' This
    research will, it is hoped, lead to an understanding of the
    general law governing the movements of the whole body of stars
    constituting the visible universe. Taking about eleven hundred
    stars whose proper motions have been ascertained with an
    approach to certainty, and which are distributed in all parts
    of the sky, it has been shown that there exists an apparent
    double drift, in two independent streams, moving in different
    and nearly opposed directions. The apex of the motion of what
    is called ``Stream I'' is situated, according to Professor
    Kapteyn, in right ascension 85&deg;, declination south 11&deg;,
    which places it just south of the constellation Orion; while
    the apex of ``Stream II'' is in right ascension 260&deg;,
    declination south 48&deg;, placing it in the constellation Ara,
    south of Scorpio. The two apices differ very nearly 180&deg; in
    right ascension and about 120&deg; in declination. The
    discovery of these vast star-streams, if they really exist, is
    one of the most extraordinary in modern astronomy. It offers
    the correlation of stellar movements needed as the basis of a
    theory of those movements, but it seems far from revealing a
    physical cause for them. As projected against the celestial
    sphere the stars forming the two opposite streams appear
    intermingled, some obeying one tendency and some the other. As
    Professor Dyson has said, the hypothesis of this double
    movement is of a revolutionary character, and calls for further
    investigation. Indeed, it seems at first glance not less
    surprising than would be the observation that in a snow-storm
    the flakes over our heads were divided into two parties and
    driving across each other's course in nearly opposite
    directions, as if urged by interpenetrating winds.</p>

    <p>But whatever explanation may eventually be found for the
    motions of the stars, the knowledge of the existence of those
    motions must always afford a new charm to the contemplative
    observer of the heavens, for they impart a sense of life to the
    starry system that would otherwise be lacking. A stagnant
    universe, with every star fixed immovably in its place, would
    not content the imagination or satisfy our longing for
    ceaseless activity. The majestic grandeur of the evolutions of
    the celestial hosts, the inconceivable vastness of the fields
    of space in which they are executed, the countless numbers, the
    immeasurable distances, the involved convolutions, the flocking
    and the scattering, the interpenetrating marches and
    countermarches, the strange community of impulsion affecting
    stars that are wide apart in space and causing them to traverse
    the general movement about them like aides and despatch-bearers
    on a battle-field -- all these arouse an intensity of interest
    which is heightened by the mystery behind them.</p>

    <p><strong>The Passing of the Constellations</strong></p>

    <p>From a historical and picturesque point of view, one of the
    most striking results of the motions of the stars described in
    the last chapter is their effect upon the forms of the
    constellations, which have been watched and admired by mankind
    from a period so early that the date of their invention is now
    unknown. The constellations are formed by chance combinations
    of conspicuous stars, like figures in a kaleidoscope, and if
    our lives were commensurate with the &aelig;ons of cosmic
    existence we should perceive that the kaleidoscope of the
    heavens was ceaselessly turning and throwing the stars into new
    symmetries. Even if the stars stood fast, the motion of the
    solar system would gradually alter the configurations, as the
    elements of a landscape dissolve and recombine in fresh
    groupings with the traveler's progress amid them. But with the
    stars themselves all in motion at various speeds and in many
    directions, the changes occur more rapidly. Of course,
    ``rapid'' is here understood in a relative sense; the wheel of
    human history to an eye accustomed to the majestic progression
    of the universe would appear to revolve with the velocity of a
    whirling dynamo. Only the deliberation of geological movements
    can be contrasted with the evolution and devolution of the
    constellations.</p>

    <p>And yet this secular fluctuation of the constellation
    figures is not without keen interest for the meditative
    observer. It is another reminder of the swift mutability of
    terrestial affairs. To the passing glance, which is all that we
    can bestow upon these figures, they appear so immutable that
    they have been called into service to form the most lasting
    records of ancient thought and imagination that we possess. In
    the forms of the constellations, the most beautiful, and, in
    imaginative quality, the finest, mythology that the world has
    ever known has been perpetuated. Yet, in a broad sense, this
    scroll of human thought imprinted on the heavens is as
    evanescent as the summer clouds. Although more enduring than
    parchment, tombs, pyramids, and temples, it is as far as they
    from truly eternizing the memory of what man has fancied and
    done.</p>

    <p>Before studying the effects that the motions of the stars
    have had and will have upon the constellations, it is worth
    while to consider a little further the importance of the
    stellar pictures as archives of history. To emphasize the
    importance of these effects it is only necessary to recall that
    the constellations register the oldest traditions of our race.
    In the history of primeval religions they are the most valuable
    of documents. Leaving out of account for the moment the more
    familiar mythology of the Greeks, based on something older yet,
    we may refer for illustration to that of the mysterious Maya
    race of America. At Izamal, in Yucatan, says Mr Stansbury
    Hagar, is a group of ruins perched, after the Mexican and
    Central-American plan, on the summits of pyramidal mounds which
    mark the site of an ancient theogonic center of the Mayas. Here
    the temples all evidently refer to a cult based upon the
    constellations as symbols. The figures and the names, of
    course, were not the same as those that we have derived from
    our Aryan ancestors, but the star groups were the same or
    nearly so. For instance, the loftiest of the temples at Izamal
    was connected with the sign of the constellation known to us as
    Cancer, marking the place of the sun at the summer solstice, at
    which period the sun was supposed to descend at noon like a
    great bird of fire and consume the offerings left upon the
    altar. Our Scorpio was known to the Mayas as a sign of the
    ``Death God.'' Our Libra, the ``Balance,'' with which the idea
    of a divine weighing out of justice has always been connected,
    seems to be identical with the Mayan constellation
    Teoyaotlatohua, with which was associated a temple where dwelt
    the priests whose special business it was to administer justice
    and to foretell the future by means of information obtained
    from the spirits of the dead. Orion, the ``Hunter'' of our
    celestial mythology, was among the Mayas a ``Warrior,'' while
    Sagittarius and others of our constellations were known to them
    (under different names, of course), and all were endowed with a
    religious symbolism. And the same star figures, having the same
    significance, were familiar to the Peruvians, as shown by the
    temples at Cuzco. Thus the imagination of ancient America
    sought in the constellations symbols of the unchanging
    gods.</p>

    <p>But, in fact, there is no nation and no people that has not
    recognized the constellations, and at one period or another in
    its history employed them in some symbolic or representative
    capacity. As handled by the Greeks from prehistoric times, the
    constellation myths became the very soul of poetry. The
    imagination of that wonderful race idealized the principal star
    groups so effectively that the figures and traditions thus
    attached to them have, for civilized mankind, displaced all
    others, just as Greek art in its highest forms stands without
    parallel and eclipses every rival. The Romans translated no
    heroes and heroines of the mythical period of their history to
    the sky, and the deified C&aelig;sars never entered that lofty
    company, but the heavens are filled with the early myths of the
    Greeks. Herakles nightly resumes his mighty labors in the
    stars; Zeus, in the form of the white ``Bull,'' Taurus, bears
    the fair Europa on his back through the celestial waves;
    Andromeda stretches forth her shackled arms in the star-gemmed
    ether, beseeching aid; and Perseus, in a blaze of diamond
    armor, revives his heroic deeds amid sparkling clouds of
    stellar dust. There, too, sits Queen Cassiopeia in her dazzling
    chair, while the Great King, Cepheus, towers gigantic over the
    pole. Professor Young has significantly remarked that a great
    number of the constellations are connected in some way or other
    with the Argonautic Expedition -- that strangely fascinating
    legend of earliest Greek story which has never lost its charm
    for mankind. In view of all this, we may well congratulate
    ourselves that the constellations will outlast our time and the
    time of countless generations to follow us; and yet they are
    very far from being eternal. Let us now study some of the
    effects of the stellar motions upon them.</p>

    <p>We begin with the familiar figure of the ``Great Dipper.''
    He who has not drunk inspiration from its celestial bowl is not
    yet admitted to the circle of Olympus. This figure is made up
    of seven conspicuous stars in the constellation Ursa Major, the
    ``Greater Bear.'' The handle of the ``Dipper'' corresponds to
    the tail of the imaginary ``Bear,'' and the bowl lies upon his
    flank. In fact, the figure of a dipper is so evident and that
    of a bear so unevident, that to most persons the ``Great
    Dipper'' is the only part of the constellation that is
    recognizable. Of the seven stars mentioned, six are of nearly
    equal brightness, ranking as of the second magnitude, while the
    seventh is of only the third magnitude. The difference is very
    striking, since every increase of one magnitude involves an
    increase of two-and-a-half times in brightness. There appears
    to be little doubt that the faint star, which is situated at
    the junction of the bowl and the handle, is a variable of long
    period, since three hundred years ago it was as bright as its
    companions. But however that may be, its relative faintness at
    the present time interferes but little with the perfection of
    the ``Dipper's'' figure. In order the more readily to
    understand the changes which are taking place, it will be well
    to mention both the names and the Greek letters which are
    attached to the seven stars. Beginning at the star in the upper
    outer edge of the rim of the bowl and running in regular order
    round the bottom and then out to the end of the handle, the
    names and letters are as follows: Dubhe ({\alpha}), Merak
    ({\beta}), Phaed ({\gamma}), Megrez ({\delta}), Alioth
    ({\epsilon}), Mizar ({\zeta}), and Benetnasch ({\eta}). Megrez
    is the faint star already mentioned at the junction of the bowl
    and handle, and Mizar, in the middle of the handle, has a
    close, naked-eye companion which is named Alcor. The Arabs
    called this singular pair of stars ``The Horse and Rider.''
    Merak and Duhbe are called ``The Pointers,'' because an
    imaginary line drawn northward through them indicates the Pole
    Star.</p>

    <p>Now it has been found that five of these stars --
    <em>viz.,</em> Merak, Phaed, Megrez, Alioth, and Mizar (with
    its comrade) -- are moving with practically the same speed in
    an easterly direction, while the other two, Dubhe and
    Benetnasch, are simultaneously moving westward, the motions of
    Benetnasch being apparently more rapid. The consequence of
    these opposed motions is, of course, that the figure of the
    ``Dipper'' cannot always have existed and will not continue to
    exist. In the accompanying diagrams it has been thought
    interesting to show the relative positions of these seven
    stars, as seen from the point which the earth now occupies,
    both in the past and in the future. Arrows attached to the
    stars in the figure representing the present appearance of the
    ``Dipper'' indicate the directions of the motions and the
    distances over which they will carry the stars in a period of
    about five hundred centuries. The time, no doubt, seems long,
    but remember the vast stretch of ages through which the earth
    has passed, and then reflect that no reason is apparent why our
    globe should not continue to be a scene of animation for ten
    thousand centuries yet to come. The fact that the little star
    Alcor placed so close to Mizar should accompany the latter in
    its flight is not surprising, but that two of the principal
    stars of the group should be found moving in a direction
    directly opposed to that pursued by the other five is
    surprising in the highest degree; and it recalls the strange
    theory of a double drift affecting all the stars, to which
    attention was called in the preceding chapter. It would appear
    that Benetnasch and Dubhe belong to one ``current,'' and Merak,
    Phaed, Megrez, Alioth, and Mizar to the other. As far as is
    known, the motion of the seven stars are not shared by the
    smaller stars scattered about them, but on the theory of
    currents there should be such a community of motion, and
    further investigation may reveal it.</p>

    <p>From the ``Great Dipper'' we turn to a constellation hardly
    less conspicuous and situated at an equal distance from the
    pole on the other side -- Cassiopeia. This famous star-group
    commemorating the romantic Queen of Ethiopia whose vain
    boasting of her beauty was punished by the exposure of her
    daughter Andromeda to the ``Sea Monster,'' is well-marked by
    five stars which form an irregular letter ``W'' with its open
    side toward the pole. Three of these stars are usually ranked
    as of the second magnitude, and two of the third; but to
    ordinary observation they appear of nearly equal brightness,
    and present a very striking picture. They mark out the chair
    and a part of the figure of the beautiful queen. Beginning at
    the right-hand, or western, end of the ``W,'' their Greek
    letter designations are: Beta ({\beta}), Alpha ({\alpha}),
    Gamma ({\gamma}), Delta ({\delta}), and Epsilon ({\epsilon}).
    Four of them, Beta, Alpha, Delta, and Epsilon are traveling
    eastwardly at various speeds, while the fifth, Gamma, moves in
    a westerly direction. The motion of Beta is more rapid than
    that of any of the others. It should be said, however, that no
    little uncertainty attaches to the estimates of the rate of
    motion of stars which are not going very rapidly, and different
    observers often vary considerably in their results.</p>

    <p>In the beautiful ``Northern Crown,'' one of the most perfect
    and charming of all the figures to be found in the stars, the
    alternate combining and scattering effects of the stellar
    motions are shown by comparing the appearance which the
    constellation must have had five hundred centuries ago with
    that which it has at present and that which it will have in the
    future. The seven principle stars of the asterism, forming a
    surprisingly perfect coronet, have movements in three
    directions at right angles to one another. That in these
    circumstances they should ever have arrived at positions giving
    them so striking an appearance of definite association is
    certainly surprising; from its aspect one would have expected
    to find a community of movement governing the brilliants of the
    ``Crown,'' but instead of that we find evidence that they will
    inevitably drift apart and the beautiful figure will
    dissolve.</p>

    <p>A similar fate awaits such asterisms as the ``Northern
    Cross'' in Cygnus; the ``Crow'' (Corvus), which stands on the
    back of the great ``Sea Serpent,'' Hydra, and pecks at his
    scales; ``Job's Coffin'' (Delphinus); the ``Great Square of
    Pegasus''; the ``Twins'' (Gemini); the beautiful ``Sickle'' in
    Leo; and the exquisite group of the Hyades in Taurus. In the
    case of the Hyades, two controlling movements are manifest:
    one, affecting five of the stars which form the well-known
    figure of a letter ``V,'' is directed northerly; the other,
    which controls the direction of two stars, has an easterly
    trend. The chief star of the group, Aldebaran, one of the
    finest of all stars both for its brilliance and its color, is
    the most affected by the easterly motion. In time it will drift
    entirely out of connection with its present neighbors. Although
    the Hyades do not form so compact a group as the Pleiades in
    the same constellation, yet their appearance of relationship is
    sufficient to awaken a feeling of surprise over the fact that,
    as with the stars of the ``Dipper,'' their association is only
    temporary or apparent.</p>

    <p>The great figure of Orion appears to be more lasting, not
    because its stars are physically connected, but because of
    their great distance, which renders their movements too
    deliberate to be exactly ascertained. Two of the greatest of
    its stars, Betelgeuse and Rigel, possess, as far as has been
    ascertained, no perceptible motion across the line of sight,
    but there is a little movement perceptible in the ``Belt.'' At
    the present time this consists of an almost perfect straight
    line, a row of second-magnitude stars about equally spaced and
    of the most striking beauty. In the course of time, however,
    the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam (how fine are
    these Arabic star names!) will approach each other and form a
    naked-eye double, but the third, Alnita, will drift away
    eastward, so that the ``Belt'' will no longer exist.</p>

    <p>For one more example, let us go to the southern hemisphere,
    whose most celebrated constellation, the ``Southern Cross,''
    has found a place in all modern literatures, although it has no
    claim to consideration on account of association with ancient
    legends. This most attractive asterism, which has never ceased
    to fascinate the imagination of Christendom since it was first
    devoutly described by the early explorers of the South, is but
    a passing collocation of brilliant stars. Yet even in its
    transfigurations it has been for hundreds of centuries, and
    will continue to be for hundreds of centuries to come, a most
    striking object in the sky. Our figures show its appearance in
    three successive phases: first, as it was fifty thousand years
    ago (viewed from the earth's present location); second, as it
    is in our day; and, third, as it will be an equal time in the
    future. The nearness of these bright stars to one another --
    the length of the longer beam of the ``Cross'' is only six
    degrees -- makes this group very noticeable, whatever the
    arrangement of its components may be. The largest star, at the
    base of the ``Cross,'' is of the first magnitude, two of the
    others are of the second magnitude, and the fourth is of the
    third. Other stars, not represented in the figures, increase
    the effect of a celestial blazonry, although they do not help
    the resemblance to a cross.</p>

    <p>But since the motion of the solar system itself will, in the
    course of so long a period as fifty thousand years, produce a
    great change in the perspective of the heavens as seen from the
    earth, by carrying us nearly nineteen trillion miles from our
    present place, why, it may be asked, seek to represent future
    appearances of the constellations which we could not hope to
    see, even if we could survive so long? The answer is: Because
    these things aid the mind to form a picture of the effects of
    the mobility of the starry universe. Only by showing the
    changes from some definite point of view can we arrive at a due
    comprehension of them. The constellations are more or less
    familiar to everybody, so that impending changes of their forms
    must at once strike the eye and the imagination, and make
    clearer the significance of the movements of the stars. If the
    future history of mankind is to resemble its past and if our
    race is destined to survive yet a million years, then our
    remote descendents will see a ``new heavens'' if not a ``new
    earth,'' and will have to invent novel constellations to
    perpetuate their legends and mythologies.</p>

    <p>If our knowledge of the relative distances of the stars were
    more complete, it would be an interesting exercise in celestial
    geometry to project the constellations probably visible to the
    inhabitants of worlds revolving around some of the other suns
    of space. Our sun is too insignificant for us to think that he
    can make a conspicuous appearance among them, except, perhaps,
    in a few cases. As seen, for instance, from the nearest known
    star, Alpha Centauri, the sun would appear of the average first
    magnitude, and consequently from that standpoint he might be
    the gem of some little constellation which had no Sirius, or
    Arcturus, or Vega to eclipse him with its superior splendor.
    But from the distance of the vast majority of the stars the sun
    would probably be invisible to the naked eye, and as seen from
    nearer systems could only rank as a fifth or sixth magnitude
    star, unnoticed and unknown except by the star-charting
    astronomer.</p>

    <p><strong>Conflagrations in the Heavens</strong></p>

    <p>Suppose it were possible for the world to take fire and burn
    up -- as some pessimists think that it will do when the Divine
    wrath shall have sufficiently accumulated against it -- nobody
    out of our own little corner of space would ever be aware of
    the catastrophe! With all their telescopes, the astronomers
    living in the golden light of Arcturus or the diamond blaze of
    Canopus would be unable to detect the least glimmer of the
    conflagration that had destroyed the seat of Adam and his
    descendents, just as now they are totally ignorant of its
    existence.</p>

    <p>But at least fifteen times in the course of recorded history
    men looking out from the earth have beheld in the remote depths
    of space great outbursts of fiery light, some of them more
    splendidly luminous than anything else in the firmament except
    the sun! If <em>they</em> were conflagrations, how many million
    worlds like ours were required to feed their blaze?</p>

    <p>It is probable that ``temporary'' or ``new'' stars, as these
    wonderful apparitions are called, really are conflagrations;
    not in the sense of a bonfire or a burning house or city, but
    in that of a sudden eruption of inconceivable heat and light,
    such as would result from the stripping off the shell of an
    encrusted sun or the crashing together of two mighty orbs
    flying through space with a hundred times the velocity of the
    swiftest cannon-shot.</p>

    <p>Temporary stars are the rarest and most erratic of
    astronomical phenomena. The earliest records relating to them
    are not very clear, and we cannot in every instance be certain
    that it was one of these appearances that the ignorant and
    superstitious old chroniclers are trying to describe. The first
    temporary star that we are absolutely sure of appeared in 1572,
    and is known as ``Tycho's Star,'' because the celebrated Danish
    astronomer (whose remains, with his gold-and-silver artificial
    nose -- made necessary by a duel -- still intact, were
    disinterred and reburied in 1901) was the first to perceive it
    in the sky, and the most assiduous and successful in his
    studies of it. As the first fully accredited representative of
    its class, this new star made its entry upon the scene with
    becoming <em>&eacute;clat.</em> It is characteristic of these
    phenomena that they burst into view with amazing suddenness,
    and, of course, entirely unexpectedly. Tycho's star appeared in
    the constellation Cassiopeia, near a now well-known and
    much-watched little star named Kappa, on the evening of
    November 11, 1572. The story has often been repeated, but it
    never loses interest, how Tycho, going home that evening, saw
    people in the street pointing and staring at the sky directly
    over their heads, and following the direction of their hands
    and eyes he was astonished to see, near the zenith, an unknown
    star of surpassing brilliance. It outshone the planet Jupiter,
    and was therefore far brighter than the first magnitude. There
    was not another star in the heavens that could be compared with
    it in splendor. Tycho was not in all respects free from the
    superstitions of his time -- and who is? -- but he had the true
    scientific instinct, and immediately he began to study the
    stranger, and to record with the greatest care every change in
    its aspect. First he determined as well as he could with the
    imperfect instruments of his day, many of which he himself had
    invented, the precise location of the phenomena in the sky.
    Then he followed the changes that it underwent. At first it
    brightened until its light equaled or exceeded that of the
    planet Venus at her brightest, a statement which will be
    appreciated at its full value by anyone who has ever watched
    Venus when she plays her dazzling r&ocirc;le of ``Evening
    Star,'' flaring like an arc light in the sunset sky. It even
    became so brilliant as to be visible in full daylight, since,
    its position being circumpolar, it never set in the latitude of
    Northern Europe. Finally it began to fade, turning red as it
    did so, and in March, 1574, it disappeared from Tycho's
    searching gaze, and has never been seen again from that day to
    this. None of the astronomers of the time could make anything
    of it. They had not yet as many bases of speculation as we
    possess today.</p>

    <p>Tycho's star has achieved a romantic reputation by being
    fancifully identified with the ``Star of Bethlehem,'' said to
    have led the wondering Magi from their eastern deserts to the
    cradle-manger of the Savior in Palestine. Many attempts have
    been made to connect this traditional ``star'' with some known
    phenomenon of the heavens, and none seems more idle than this.
    Yet it persistently survives, and no astronomer is free from
    eager questions about it addressed by people whose imagination
    has been excited by the legend. It is only necessary to say
    that the supposition of a connection between the phenomenon of
    the Magi and Tycho's star is without any scientific foundation.
    It was originally based on an unwarranted assumption that the
    star of Tycho was a variable of long period, appearing once
    every three hundred and fifteen years, or thereabout. If that
    were true there would have been an apparition somewhere near
    the traditional date of the birth of Christ, a date which is
    itself uncertain. But even the data on which the assumption was
    based are inconsistent with the theory. Certain monkish records
    speak of something wonderful appearing in the sky in the years
    1264 and 945, and these were taken to have been outbursts of
    Tycho's star. Investigation shows that the records more
    probably refer to comets, but even if the objects seen were
    temporary stars, their dates do not suit the hypothesis; from
    945 to 1264 there is a gap of 319 years, and from 1264 to 1572
    one of only 308 years; moreover 337 years have now (1909)
    elapsed since Tycho saw the last glimmer of his star. Upon a
    variability so irregular and uncertain as that, even if we felt
    sure that it existed, no conclusion could be found concerning
    an apparition occurring 2000 years ago.</p>

    <p>In the year 1600 (the year in which Giordano Bruno was
    burned at the stake for teaching that there is more than one
    physical world), a temporary star of the third magnitude broke
    out in the constellation Cygnus, and curiously enough,
    considering the rarity of such phenomena, only four years later
    another surprisingly brilliant one appeared in the
    constellation Ophiuchus. This is often called ``Kepler's
    star,'' because the great German astronomer devoted to it the
    same attention that Tycho had given to the earlier phenomenon.
    It, too, like Tycho's, was at first the brightest object in the
    stellar heavens, although it seems never to have quite equaled
    its famous predecessor in splendor. It disappeared after a
    year, also turning of a red color as it became more faint. We
    shall see the significance of this as we go on. Some of
    Kepler's contemporaries suggested that the outburst of this
    star was due to a meeting of atoms in space, and idea bearing a
    striking resemblance to the modern theory of ``astronomical
    collisions.''</p>

    <p>In 1670, 1848, and 1860 temporary stars made their
    appearance, but none of them was of great brilliance. In 1866
    one of the second magnitude broke forth in the ``Northern
    Crown'' and awoke much interest, because by that time the
    spectroscope had begun to be employed in studying the
    composition of the stars, and Huggins demonstrated that the new
    star consisted largely of incandescent hydrogen. But this star,
    apparently unlike the others mentioned, was not absolutely new.
    Before its outburst it had shown as a star of the ninth
    magnitude (entirely invisible, of course, to the naked eye),
    and after about six weeks it faded to its original condition in
    which it has ever since remained. In 1876 a temporary star
    appeared in the constellation Cygnus, and attained at one time
    the brightness of the second magnitude. Its spectrum and its
    behavior resembled those of its immediate predecessor. In 1885,
    astronomers were surprised to see a sixth-magnitude star
    glimmering in the midst of the hazy cloud of the great
    Andromeda Nebula. It soon absolutely disappeared. Its spectrum
    was remarkable for being ``continuous,'' like that of the
    nebula itself. A continuous spectrum is supposed to represent a
    body, or a mass, which is either solid or liquid, or composed
    of gas under great pressure. In January, 1892, a new star was
    suddenly seen in the constellation Auriga. It never rose much
    above the fourth magnitude, but it showed a peculiar spectrum
    containing both bright and dark lines of hydrogen.</p>

    <p>But a bewildering surprise was now in store; the world was
    to behold at the opening of the twentieth century such a
    celestial spectacle as had not been on view since the times of
    Tycho and Kepler. Before daylight on the morning of February
    22, 1901, the Rev. Doctor Anderson, of Edinburgh, an amateur
    astronomer, who had also been the first to see the new star in
    Auriga, beheld a strange object in the constellation Perseus
    not far from the celebrated variable star Algol. He recognized
    its character at once, and immediately telegraphed the news,
    which awoke the startled attention of astronomers all over the
    world. When first seen the new star was no brighter than Algol
    (less than the second magnitude), but within twenty-four hours
    it was ablaze, outshining even the brilliant Capella, and far
    surpassing the first magnitude. At the spot in the sky where it
    appeared nothing whatever was visible on the night before its
    coming. This is known with certainty because a photograph had
    been made of that very region on February 21, and this
    photograph showed everything down to the twelfth magnitude, but
    not a trace of the stranger which burst into view between the
    21st and the 22nd like the explosion of a rocket.</p>

    <p>Upon one who knew the stars the apparition of this intruder
    in a well-known constellation had the effect of a sudden
    invasion. The new star was not far west of the zenith in the
    early evening, and in that position showed to the best
    advantage. To see Capella, the hitherto unchallenged ruler of
    that quarter of the sky, abased by comparison with this
    stranger of alien aspect, for there was always an unfamiliar
    look about the ``nova,'' was decidedly disconcerting. It seemed
    to portend the beginning of a revolution in the heavens. One
    could understand what the effect of such an apparition must
    have been in the superstitious times of Tycho. The star of
    Tycho had burst forth on the northern border of the Milky Way;
    this one was on its southern border, some forty-five degrees
    farther east.</p>

    <p>Astronomers were well-prepared this time for the scientific
    study of the new star, both astronomical photography and
    spectroscopy having been perfected, and the results of their
    investigations were calculated to increase the wonder with
    which the phenomenon was regarded. The star remained at its
    brightest only a few days; then, like a veritable
    conflagration, it began to languish; and, like the reflection
    of a dying fire, as it sank it began to glow with the red color
    of embers. But its changes were spasmodic; once about every
    three days it flared up only to die away again. During these
    fluctuations its light varied alternately in the ratio of one
    to six. Finally it took a permanent downward course, and after
    a few months the naked eye could no longer perceive it; but it
    remained visible with telescopes, gradually fading until it had
    sunk to the ninth magnitude. Then another astonishing change
    happened: in August photographs taken at the Yerkes Observatory
    and at Heidelberg showed that the ``nova'' was <em>surrounded
    by a spiral nebula!</em> The nebula had not been there before,
    and no one could doubt that it represented a phase of the same
    catastrophe that had produced the outburst of the new star. At
    one time the star seemed virtually to have disappeared, as if
    all its substance had been expanded into the nebulous cloud,
    but always there remained a stellar nucleus about which the
    misty spiral spread wider and ever wider, like a wave expanding
    around a center of disturbance. The nebula too showed a
    variability of brightness, and four condensations which formed
    in it seemed to have a motion of revolution about the star. As
    time went on the nebula continued to expand at a rate which was
    computed to be not less than twenty thousand miles per second!
    And now the star itself, showing indications of having turned
    into a nebula, behaved in a most erratic manner, giving rise to
    the suspicion that it was about to burst out again. But this
    did not occur, and at length it sunk into a state of lethargy
    from which it has to the present time not recovered. But the
    nebulous spiral has disappeared, and the entire phenomena as it
    now (1909) exists consists of a faint nebulous star of less
    than the ninth magnitude.</p>

    <p>The wonderful transformations just described had been
    forecast in advance of the discovery of the nebulous spiral
    encircling the star by the spectroscopic study of the latter.
    At first there was no suggestion of a nebular constitution, but
    within a month or two characteristic nebular lines began to
    appear, and in less than six months the whole spectrum had been
    transformed to the nebular type. In the mean time the shifting
    of the spectral lines indicated a complication of rapid motions
    in several directions simultaneously. These motions were
    estimated to amount to from one hundred to five hundred miles
    per second.</p>

    <p>The human mind is so constituted that it feels forced to
    seek an explanation of so marvelous a phenomenon as this, even
    in the absence of the data needed for a sound conclusion. The
    most natural hypothesis, perhaps, is that of a collision. Such
    a catastrophe could certainly happen. It has been shown, for
    instance, that in infinity of time the earth is sure to be hit
    by a comet; in the same way it may be asserted that, if no time
    limit is fixed, the sun is certain to run against some obstacle
    in space, either another star, or a dense meteor swarm, or one
    of the dark bodies which there is every reason to believe
    abound around us. The consequences of such a collision are easy
    to foretell, provided that we know the masses and the
    velocities of the colliding bodies. In a preceding chapter we
    have discussed the motions of the sun and stars, and have seen
    that they are so swift that an encounter between any two of
    them could not but be disastrous. But this is not all; for as
    soon as two stars approached within a few million miles their
    speed would be enormously increased by their reciprocal
    attractions and, if their motion was directed radially with
    respect to their centers, they would come together with a crash
    that would reduce them both to nebulous clouds. It is true that
    the chances of such a ``head-on'' collision are relatively very
    small; two stars approaching each other would most probably
    fall into closed orbits around their common center of gravity.
    If there were a collision it would most likely be a grazing one
    instead of a direct front-to-front encounter. But even a close
    approach, without any actual collision, would probably prove
    disastrous, owing to the tidal influence of each of the bodies
    on the other. Suns, in consequence of their enormous masses and
    dimensions and the peculiarities of their constitution, are
    exceedingly dangerous to one another at close quarters.
    Propinquity awakes in them a mutually destructive tendency.
    Consisting of matter in the gaseous, or perhaps, in some cases,
    liquid, state, their tidal pull upon each other if brought
    close together might burst them asunder, and the photospheric
    envelope being destroyed the internal incandescent mass would
    gush out, bringing fiery death to any planets that were
    revolving near. Without regard to the resulting disturbance of
    the earth's orbit, the close approach of a great star to the
    sun would be in the highest degree perilous to us. But this is
    a danger which may properly be regarded as indefinitely remote,
    since, at our present location in space, we are certainly far
    from every star except the sun, and we may feel confident that
    no great invisible body is near, for if there were one we
    should be aware of its presence from the effects of its
    attraction. As to dark nebul&aelig; which may possibly lie in
    the track that the solar system is pursuing at the rate of
    375,000,000 miles per year, that is another question -- and
    they, too, could be dangerous!</p>

    <p>This brings us directly back to ``Nova Persei,'' for among
    the many suggestions offered to explain its outburst, as well
    as those of other temporary stars, one of the most fruitful is
    that of a collision between a star and a vast invisible nebula.
    Professor Seeliger, of Munich, first proposed this theory, but
    it afterward underwent some modifications from others. Stated
    in a general form, the idea is that a huge dark body, perhaps
    an extinguished sun, encountered in its progress through space
    a widespread flock of small meteors forming a dark nebula. As
    it plunged into the swarm the friction of the innumerable
    collisions with the meteors heated its surface to
    incandescence, and being of vast size it then became visible to
    us as a new star. Meanwhile the motion of the body through the
    nebula, and its rotation upon itself, set up a gyration in the
    blazing atmosphere formed around it by the vaporized meteors;
    and as this atmosphere spread wider, under the laws of gyratory
    motion a rotation in the opposite direction began in the
    inflamed meteoric cloud outside the central part of the vortex.
    Thus the spectral lines were caused to show motion in opposite
    directions, a part of the incandescent mass approaching the
    earth simultaneously with the retreat of another part. So the
    curious spectroscopic observations before mentioned were
    explained. This theory might also account for the appearance of
    the nebulous spiral first seen some six months after the
    original outburst. The sequent changes in the spectrum of the
    ``nova'' are accounted for by this theory on the assumption,
    reasonable enough in itself, that at first the invading body
    would be enveloped in a vaporized atmosphere of relatively
    slight depth, producing by its absorption the fine dark lines
    first observed; but that as time went on and the incessant
    collisions continued, the blazing atmosphere would become very
    deep and extensive, whereupon the appearance of the spectral
    lines would change, and bright lines due to the light of the
    incandescent meteors surrounding the nucleus at a great
    distance would take the place of the original dark ones. The
    vortex of meteors once formed would protect the flying body
    within from further immediate collisions, the latter now
    occurring mainly among the meteors themselves, and then the
    central blaze would die down, and the original splendor of the
    phenomenon would fade.</p>

    <p>But the theories about Nova Persei have been almost as
    numerous as the astronomers who have speculated about it. One
    of the most startling of them assumed that the outburst was
    caused by the running amuck of a dark star which had
    encountered another star surrounded with planets, the renewed
    outbreaks of light after the principal one had faded being due
    to the successive running down of the unfortunate planets! Yet
    another hypothesis is based on what we have already said of the
    tidal influence that two close approaching suns would have upon
    each other. Supposing two such bodies which had become
    encrusted, but remained incandescent and fluid within, to
    approach within almost striking distance; they would whirl each
    other about their common center of gravity, and at the same
    time their shells would burst under the tidal strain, and their
    glowing nuclei being disclosed would produce a great outburst
    of light. Applying this theory to a ``nova,'' like that of 1866
    in the ``Northern Crown,'' which had been visible as a small
    star before the outbreak, and which afterward resumed its
    former aspect, we should have to assume that a yet shining sun
    had been approached by a dark body whose attraction temporarily
    burst open its photosphere. It might be supposed that in this
    case the dark body was too far advanced in cooling to suffer
    the same fate from the tidal pull of its victim. But a close
    approach of that kind would be expected to result in the
    formation of a binary system, with orbits of great
    eccentricity, perhaps, and after the lapse of a certain time
    the outburst should be renewed by another approximation of the
    two bodies. A temporary star of that kind would rather be
    ranked as a variable.</p>

    <p>The celebrated French astronomer, Janssen, had a different
    theory of Nova Persei, and of temporary stars in general.
    According to his idea, such phenomena might be the result of
    chemical changes taking place in a sun without interference by,
    or collision with, another body. Janssen was engaged for many
    years in trying to discover evidence of the existence of oxygen
    in the sun, and he constructed his observatory on the summit of
    Mount Blanc specially to pursue that research. He believed that
    oxygen must surely exist in the sun since we find so many other
    familiar elements included in the constitution of the solar
    globe, and as he was unable to discover satisfactory evidence
    of its presence he assumed that it existed in a form unknown on
    the earth. If it were normally in the sun's chromosphere, or
    coronal atmosphere, he said, it would combine with the hydrogen
    which we know is there and form an obscuring envelope of water
    vapor. It exists, then, in a special state, uncombined with
    hydrogen; but let the temperature of the sun sink to a critical
    point and the oxygen will assume its normal properties and
    combine with the hydrogen, producing a mighty outburst of light
    and heat. This, Janssen thought, might explain the phenomena of
    the temporary stars. It would also, he suggested, account for
    their brief career, because the combination of the elements
    would be quickly accomplished, and then the resulting water
    vapor would form an atmosphere cutting off the radiation from
    the star within.</p>

    <p>This theory may be said to have a livelier human interest
    than some of the others, since, according to it, the sun may
    carry in its very constitution a menace to mankind; one does
    not like to think of it being suddenly transformed into a
    gigantic laboratory for the explosive combination of oxygen and
    hydrogen! But while Janssen's theory might do for some
    temporary stars, it is inadequate to explain all the phenomena
    of Nova Persei, and particularly the appearance of the great
    spiral nebula that seemed to exhale from the heart of the star.
    Upon the whole, the theory of an encounter between a star and a
    dark nebula seems best to fit the observations. By that
    hypothesis the expanding billow of light surrounding the core
    of the conflagration is very well accounted for, and the
    spectroscopic peculiarities are also explained.</p>

    <p>Dr Gustov Le Bon offers a yet more alarming theory,
    suggesting that temporary stars are the result of <em>atomic
    explosion;</em> but we shall touch upon this more fully in
    Chapter 14.</p>

    <p>Twice in the course of this discussion we have called
    attention to the change of color invariably undergone by
    temporary stars in the later stages of their career. This was
    conspicuous with Nova Persei which glowed more and more redly
    as it faded, until the nebulous light began to overpower that
    of the stellar nucleus. Nothing could be more suggestive of the
    dying out of a great fire. Moreover, change of color from white
    to red is characteristic of all variable stars of long period,
    such as ``Mira'' in Cetus. It is also characteristic of stars
    believed to be in the later stages of evolution, and
    consequently approaching extinction, like Antares and
    Betelgeuse, and still more notably certain small stars which
    ``gleam like rubies in the field of the telescope.'' These last
    appear to be suns in the closing period of existence as
    self-luminous bodies. Between the white stars, such as Sirius
    and Rigel, and the red stars, such as Aldebaran and Alpha
    Herculis, there is a progressive series of colors from golden
    yellow through orange to deep red. The change is believed to be
    due to the increase of absorbing vapors in the stellar
    atmosphere as the body cools down. In the case of ordinary
    stars these changes no doubt occupy many millions of years,
    which represent the average duration of solar life; but the
    temporary stars run through similar changes in a few months:
    they resemble ephemeral insects -- born in the morning and
    doomed to perish with the going down of the sun.</p>

    <p><strong>Explosive and Whirling Nebul&aelig;</strong></p>

    <p>One of the most surprising triumphs of celestial photography
    was Professor Keeler's discovery, in 1899, that the great
    majority of the nebul&aelig; have a distinctly spiral form.
    This form, previously known in Lord Rosse's great ``Whirlpool
    Nebula,'' had been supposed to be exceptional; now the
    photographs, far excelling telescopic views in the revelation
    of nebular forms, showed the spiral to be the typical shape.
    Indeed, it is a question whether all nebul&aelig; are not to
    some extent spiral. The extreme importance of this discovery is
    shown in the effect that it has had upon hitherto prevailing
    views of solar and planetary evolution. For more than
    three-quarters of a century Laplace's celebrated hypothesis of
    the manner of origin of the solar system from a rotating and
    contracting nebula surrounding the sun had guided speculation
    on that subject, and had been tentatively extended to cover the
    evolution of systems in general. The apparent forms of some of
    the nebul&aelig; which the telescope had revealed were
    regarded, and by some are still regarded, as giving visual
    evidence in favor of this theory. There is a ``ring nebula'' in
    Lyra with a central star, and a ``planetary nebula'' in Gemini
    bearing no little resemblance to the planet Saturn with its
    rings, both of which appear to be practical realizations of
    Laplace's idea, and the elliptical rings surrounding the
    central condensation of the Andromeda Nebula may be cited for
    the same kind of proof.</p>

    <p>But since Keeler's discovery there has been a decided
    turning away of speculation another way. The form of the spiral
    nebul&aelig; seems to be entirely inconsistent with the theory
    of an originally globular or disk-shaped nebula condensing
    around a sun and throwing or leaving off rings, to be
    subsequently shaped into planets. Some astronomers, indeed, now
    reject Laplace's hypothesis <em>in toto,</em> preferring to
    think that even our solar system originated from a spiral
    nebula. Since the spiral type prevails among the existing
    nebul&aelig;, we must make any mechanical theory of the
    development of stars and planetary systems from them accord
    with the requirements which that form imposes. A glance at the
    extraordinary variations upon the spiral which Professor
    Keeler's photographs reveal is sufficient to convince one of
    the difficulty of the task of basing a general theory upon
    them. In truth, it is much easier to criticize Laplace's
    hypothesis than to invent a satisfactory substitute for it. If
    the spiral nebul&aelig; seem to oppose it there are other
    nebul&aelig; which appear to support it, and it may be that no
    one fixed theory can account for all the forms of stellar
    evolution in the universe. Our particular planetary system may
    have originated very much as the great French mathematician
    supposed, while others have undergone, or are now undergoing, a
    different process of development. There is always a too strong
    tendency to regard an important new discovery and the theories
    and speculations based upon it as revolutionizing knowledge,
    and displacing or overthrowing everything that went before.
    Upon the plea that ``Laplace only made a guess'' more recent
    guesses have been driven to extremes and treated by injudicious
    exponents as ``the solid facts at last.''</p>

    <p>Before considering more recent theories than Laplace's, let
    us see what the nature of the photographic revelations is. The
    vast celestial maelstrom discovered by Lord Rosse in the
    ``Hunting Dogs'' may be taken as the leading type of the spiral
    nebul&aelig;, although there are less conspicuous objects of
    the kind which, perhaps, better illustrate some of their
    peculiarities. Lord Rosse's nebula appears far more wonderful
    in the photographs than in his drawings made with the aid of
    his giant reflecting telescope at Parsonstown, for the
    photographic plate records details that no telescope is capable
    of showing. Suppose we look at the photograph of this object as
    any person of common sense would look at any great and strange
    natural phenomenon. What is the first thing that strikes the
    mind? It is certainly the appearance of violent whirling
    motion. One would say that the whole glowing mass had been spun
    about with tremendous velocity, or that it had been set
    rotating so rapidly that it had become the victim of
    ``centrifugal force,'' one huge fragment having broken loose
    and started to gyrate off into space. Closer inspection shows
    that in addition to the principal focus there are various
    smaller condensations scattered through the mass. These are
    conspicuous in the spirals. Some of them are stellar points,
    and but for the significance of their location we might suppose
    them to be stars which happen to lie in a line between us and
    the nebula. But when we observe how many of them follow most
    faithfully the curves of the spirals we cannot but conclude
    that they form an essential part of the phenomenon; it is not
    possible to believe that their presence in such situations is
    merely fortuitous. One of the outer spirals has at least a
    dozen of these star-like points strung upon it; some of them
    sharp, small, and distinct, others more blurred and nebulous,
    suggesting different stages of condensation. Even the part
    which seems to have been flung loose from the main mass has, in
    addition to its central condensation, at least one stellar
    point gleaming in the half-vanished spire attached to it. Some
    of the more distant stars scattered around the ``whirlpool''
    look as if they too had been shot out of the mighty vortex,
    afterward condensing into unmistakable solar bodies. There are
    at least two curved rows of minute stars a little beyond the
    periphery of the luminous whirl which clearly follow lines
    concentric with those of the nebulous spirals. Such facts are
    simply dumbfounding for anyone who will bestow sufficient
    thought upon them, for these are <em>suns,</em> though they may
    be small ones; and what a birth is that for a sun!</p>

    <p>Look now again at the glowing spirals. We observe that
    hardly have they left the central mass before they begin to
    coagulate. In some places they have a ``ropy'' aspect; or they
    are like peascods filled with growing seeds, which eventually
    will become stars. The great focus itself shows a similar
    tendency, especially around its circumference. The sense that
    it imparts of a tremendous shattering force at work is
    overwhelming. There is probably more matter in that whirling
    and bursting nebula than would suffice to make a hundred solar
    systems! It must be confessed at once that there is no
    confirmation of the Laplacean hypothesis here; but what
    hypothesis will fit the facts? There is one which it has been
    claimed does so, but we shall come to that later. In the
    meanwhile, as a preparation, fix in the memory the appearance
    of that second spiral mass spinning beside its master which
    seems to have spurned it away.</p>

    <p>For a second example of the spiral nebul&aelig; look at the
    one in the constellation Triangulum. <em>God, how hath the
    imagination of puny man failed to comprehend Thee!</em> Here is
    creation through destruction with a vengeance! The spiral form
    of the nebula is unmistakable, but it is half obliterated amid
    the turmoil of flying masses hurled away on all sides with
    tornadic fury. The focus itself is splitting asunder under the
    intolerable strain, and in a little while, as time is reckoned
    in the Cosmos, it will be gyrating into stars. And then look at
    the cyclonic rain of already finished stars whirling round the
    outskirts of the storm. Observe how scores of them are yet
    involved in the fading streams of the nebulous spirals; see how
    they have been thrown into vast loops and curves, of a beauty
    that half redeems the terror of the spectacle enclosed within
    their lines -- like iridescent cirri hovering about the edges
    of a hurricane. And so again are suns born!</p>

    <p>Let us turn to the exquisite spiral in Ursa Major; how
    different its aspect from that of the other! One would say that
    if the terrific coil in Triangulum has all but destroyed itself
    in its fury, this one on the contrary has just begun its
    self-demolition. As one gazes one seems to see in it the
    smooth, swift, accelerating motion that precedes catastrophe.
    The central part is still intact, dense, and uniform in
    texture. How graceful are the spirals that smoothly rise from
    its oval rim and, gemmed with little stars, wind off into the
    darkness until they have become as delicate as threads of
    gossamer! But at bottom the story told here is the same --
    creation by gyration!</p>

    <p>Compare with the above the curious mass in Cetus. Here the
    plane of the whirling nebula nearly coincides with our line of
    sight and we see the object at a low angle. It is far advanced
    and torn to shreds, and if we could look at it perpendicularly
    to its plane it is evident that it would closely resemble the
    spectacle in Triangulum.</p>

    <p>Then take the famous Andromeda Nebula (see Frontispiece),
    which is so vast that notwithstanding its immense distance even
    the naked eye perceives it as an enigmatical wisp in the sky.
    Its image on the sensitive plate is the masterpiece of
    astronomical photography; for wild, incomprehensible beauty
    there is nothing that can be compared with it. Here, if
    anywhere, we look upon the spectacle of creation in one of its
    earliest stages. The Andromeda Nebula is apparently less
    advanced toward transformation into stellar bodies than is that
    in Triangulum. The immense crowd of stars sprinkled over it and
    its neighborhood seem in the main to lie this side of the
    nebula, and consequently to have no connection with it. But
    incipient stars (in some places clusters of them) are seen in
    the nebulous rings, while one or two huge masses seem to give
    promise of transformation into stellar bodies of unusual
    magnitude. I say ``rings'' because although the loops
    encompassing the Andromeda Nebula have been called spirals by
    those who wish utterly to demolish Laplace's hypothesis, yet
    they are not manifestly such, as can be seen on comparing them
    with the undoubted spirals of the Lord Rosse Nebula. They look
    quite as much like circles or ellipses seen at an angle of,
    say, fifteen or twenty degrees to their plane. If they are
    truly elliptical they accord fairly well with Laplace's idea,
    except that the scale of magnitude is stupendous, and if the
    Andromeda Nebula is to become a solar system it will surpass
    ours in grandeur beyond all possibility of comparison.</p>

    <p>There is one circumstance connected with the spiral
    nebul&aelig;, and conspicuous in the Andromeda Nebula on
    account of its brightness, which makes the question of their
    origin still more puzzling; they all show continuous spectra,
    which, as we have before remarked, indicate that the mass from
    which the light comes is either solid or liquid, or a gas under
    heavy pressure. Thus nebul&aelig; fall into two classes: the
    ``white'' nebul&aelig;, giving a continuous spectrum; and the
    ``green'' nebul&aelig; whose spectra are distinctly gaseous.
    The Andromeda Nebula is the great representative of the former
    class and the Orion Nebula of the latter. The spectrum of the
    Andromeda Nebula has been interpreted to mean that it consists
    not of luminous gas, but of a flock of stars so distant that
    they are separately indistinguishable even with powerful
    telescopes, just as the component stars of the Milky Way are
    indistinguishable with the naked eye; and upon this has been
    based the suggestion that what we see in Andromeda is an outer
    universe whose stars form a series of elliptical garlands
    surrounding a central mass of amazing richness. But this idea
    is unacceptable if for no other reason than that, as just said,
    all the spiral nebul&aelig; possess the same kind of spectrum,
    and probably no one would be disposed to regard them all as
    outer universes. As we shall see later, the peculiarity of the
    spectra of the spiral nebul&aelig; is appealed to in support of
    a modern substitute for Laplace's hypothesis.</p>

    <p>Finally, without having by any means exhausted the variety
    exhibited by the spiral nebul&aelig;, let us turn to the great
    representative of the other species, the Orion Nebula. In some
    ways this is even more marvelous than the others. The early
    drawings with the telescope failed to convey an adequate
    conception either of its sublimity or of its complication of
    structure. It exists in a nebulous region of space, since
    photographs show that nearly the whole constellation is
    interwoven with faintly luminous coils. To behold the entry of
    the great nebula into the field even of a small telescope is a
    startling experience which never loses its novelty. As shown by
    the photographs, it is an inscrutable chaos of perfectly
    amazing extent, where spiral bands, radiating streaks, dense
    masses, and dark yawning gaps are strangely intermingled
    without apparent order. In one place four conspicuous little
    stars, better seen in a telescope than in the photograph on
    account of the blurring produced by over-exposure, are
    suggestively situated in the midst of a dark opening, and no
    observer has ever felt any doubt that these stars have been
    formed from the substance of the surrounding nebula. There are
    many other stars scattered over its expanse which manifestly
    owe their origin to the same source. But compare the general
    appearance of this nebula with the others that we have studied,
    and remark the difference. If the unmistakably spiral
    nebul&aelig; resemble bursting fly-wheels or grindstones from
    whose perimeters torrents of sparks are flying, the Orion
    Nebula rather recalls the aspect of a cloud of smoke and
    fragments produced by the explosion of a shell. This idea is
    enforced by the look of the outer portion farthest from the
    bright half of the nebula, where sharply edged clouds with dark
    spaces behind seem to be billowing away as if driven by a wind
    blowing from the center.</p>

    <p>Next let us consider what scientific speculation has done in
    the effort to explain these mysteries. Laplace's hypothesis can
    certainly find no standing ground either in the Orion Nebula or
    in those of a spiral configuration, whatever may be its
    situation with respect to the grand Nebula of Andromeda, or the
    ``ring'' and ``planetary'' nebul&aelig;. Some other hypothesis
    more consonant with the appearances must be found. Among the
    many that have been proposed the most elaborate is the
    ``Planetesimal Hypothesis'' of Professors Chamberlin and
    Moulton. It is to be remarked that it applies to the spiral
    nebul&aelig; distinctively, and not to an apparently chaotic
    mass of gas like the vast luminous cloud in Orion. The gist of
    the theory is that these curious objects are probably the
    result of close approaches to each other of two independent
    suns, reminding us of what was said on this subject when we
    were dealing with temporary stars. Of the previous history of
    these appulsing suns the theory gives us no account; they are
    simply supposed to arrive within what may be called an
    effective tide-producing distance, and then the drama begins.
    Some of the probable consequences of such an approach have been
    noticed in Chapter 5; let us now consider them a little more in
    detail.</p>

    <p>Tides always go in couples; if there is a tide on one side
    of a globe there will be a corresponding tide on the other
    side. The cause is to be found in the law that the force of
    gravitation varies inversely as the square of the distance; the
    attraction on the nearest surface of the body exercised by
    another body is greater than on its center, and greater yet
    than on its opposite surface. If two great globes attract each
    other, each tends to draw the other out into an ellipsoidal
    figure; they must be more rigid than steel to resist this --
    and even then they cannot altogether resist. If they are liquid
    or gaseous they will yield readily to the force of distortion,
    the amount of which will depend upon their distance apart, for
    the nearer they are the greater becomes the tidal strain. If
    they are encrusted without and liquid or gaseous in the
    interior, the internal mass will strive to assume the figure
    demanded by the tidal force, and will, if it can, burst the
    restraining envelope. Now this is virtually the predicament of
    the body we call a sun when in the immediate presence of
    another body of similarly great mass. Such a body is presumably
    gaseous throughout, the component gases being held in a state
    of rigidity by the compression produced by the tremendous
    gravitational force of their own aggregate mass. At the surface
    such a body is enveloped in a shell of relatively cool matter.
    Now suppose a great attracting body, such as another sun, to
    approach near enough for the difference in its attraction on
    the two opposite sides of the body and on its center to become
    very great; the consequence will be a tidal deformation of the
    whole body, and it will lengthen out along the line of the
    gravitational pull and draw in at the sides, and if its shell
    offers considerable resistance, but not enough to exercise a
    complete restraint, it will be violently burst apart, or blown
    to atoms, and the internal mass will leap out on the two
    opposite sides in great fiery spouts. In the case of a sun
    further advanced in cooling than ours the interior might be
    composed of molten matter while the exterior crust had become
    rigid like the shell of an egg; then the force of the ``tidal
    explosion'' produced by the appulse of another sun would be
    more violent in consequence of the greater resistance overcome.
    Such, then, is the mechanism of the first phase in the history
    of a spiral nebula according to the Planetesimal Hypothesis.
    Two suns, perhaps extinguished ones, have drawn near together,
    and an explosive outburst has occured in one or both. The
    second phase calls for a more agile exercise of the
    imagination.</p>

    <p>To simplify the case, let us suppose that only one of the
    tugging suns is seriously affected by the strain. Its vast
    wings produced by the outburst are twisted into spirals by
    their rotation and the contending attractions exercised upon
    them, as the two suns, like battleships in desperate conflict,
    curve round each other, concentrating their destructive
    energies. Then immense quantities of d&eacute;bris are
    scattered about in which eddies are created, and finally, as
    the sun that caused the damage goes on its way, leaving its
    victim to repair its injuries as it may, the dispersed matter
    cools, condenses, and turns into streams of solid particles
    circling in elliptical paths about their parent sun. These
    particles, or fragments, are the ``planetesimals'' of the
    theory. In consequence of the inevitable intersection of the
    orbits of the planetesimals, nodes are formed where the flying
    particles meet, and at these nodes large masses are gradually
    accumulated. The larger the mass the greater its attraction,
    and at last the nodal points become the nuclei of great
    aggregations from which planets are shaped.</p>

    <p>This, in very brief form, is the Planetesimal Hypothesis
    which we are asked to substitute for that based on Laplace's
    suggestion as an explanation of the mode of origin of the solar
    system; and the phenomena of the spiral nebul&aelig; are
    appealed to as offering evident support to the new hypothesis.
    We are reminded that they are elliptical in outline, which
    accords with the hypothesis; that their spectra are not
    gaseous, which shows that they may be composed of solid
    particles like the planetesimals; and that their central masses
    present an oval form, which is what would result from the tidal
    effects, as just described. We also remember that some of them,
    like the Lord Rosse and the Andromeda nebul&aelig;, are
    visually double, and in these cases we might suppose that the
    two masses represent the tide-burst suns that ventured into too
    close proximity. It may be added that the authors of the theory
    do not insist upon the appulse of two suns as the <em>only</em>
    way in which the planetesimals may have originated, but it is
    the only supposition that has been worked out.</p>

    <p>But serious questions remain. It needs, for instance, but a
    glance at the Triangulum monster to convince the observer that
    it cannot be a solar system which is being evolved there, but
    rather a swarm of stars. Many of the detached masses are too
    vast to admit of the supposition that they are to be
    transformed into planets, in our sense of planets, and the
    distances of the stars which appear to have been originally
    ejected from the focal masses are too great to allow us to
    liken the assemblage that they form to a solar system. Then,
    too, no nodes such as the hypothesis calls for are visible.
    Moreover, in most of the spiral nebul&aelig; the appearances
    favor the view that the supposititious encountering suns have
    not separated and gone each rejoicing on its way, after having
    inflicted the maximum possible damage on its opponent, but
    that, on the contrary, they remain in close association like
    two wrestlers who cannot escape from each other's grasp. And
    this is exactly what the law of gravitation demands; stars
    cannot approach one another with impunity, with regard either
    to their physical make-up or their future independence of
    movement. The theory undertakes to avoid this difficulty by
    assuming that in the case of our system the approach of the
    foreign body to the sun was not a close one -- just close
    enough to produce the tidal extrusion of the relatively
    insignificant quantity of matter needed to form the planets.
    But even then the effect of the appulse would be to change the
    direction of flight, both of the sun and of its visitor, and
    there is no known star in the sky which can be selected as the
    sun's probable partner in their ancient <em>pas deux.</em> That
    there are unconquered difficulties in Laplace's hypothesis no
    one would deny, but in simplicity of conception it is
    incomparably more satisfactory, and with proper modifications
    could probably be made more consonant with existing facts in
    our solar system than that which is offered to replace it. Even
    as an explanation of the spiral nebul&aelig;, not as solar
    systems in process of formation, but as the birthplaces of
    stellar clusters, the Planetesimal Hypothesis would be open to
    many objections. Granting its assumptions, it has undoubtedly a
    strong mathematical framework, but the trouble is not with the
    mathematics but with the assumptions. Laplace was one of the
    ablest mathematicians that ever lived, but he had never seen a
    spiral nebula; if he had, he might have invented a hypothesis
    to suit its phenomena. His actual hypothesis was intended only
    for our solar system, and he left it in the form of a ``note''
    for the consideration of his successors, with the hope that
    they might be able to discover the full truth, which he
    confessed was hidden from him. It cannot be said that that
    truth has yet been found, and when it is found the chances are
    that intuition and not logic will have led to it.</p>

    <p>The spiral nebul&aelig;, then, remain among the greatest
    riddles of the universe, while the gaseous nebul&aelig;, like
    that of Orion, are no less mysterious, although it seems
    impossible to doubt that both forms give birth to stars. It is
    but natural to look to them for light on the question of the
    origin of our planetary system; but we should not forget that
    the scale of the phenomena in the two cases is vastly
    different, and the forces in operation may be equally
    different. A hill may have been built up by a glacier, while a
    mountain may be the product of volcanic forces or of the
    upheaval of the strata of the planet.</p>

    <p><strong>The Banners of the Sun</strong></p>


    <p>As all the world knows, the sun, a blinding globe pouring
    forth an inconceivable quantity of light and heat, whose daily
    passage through the sky is caused by the earth's rotation on
    its axis, constitutes the most important phenomenon of
    terrestial existence. Viewed with a dark glass to take off the
    glare, or with a telescope, its rim is seen to be a sharp and
    smooth circle, and nothing but dark sky is visible around it.
    Except for the interference of the moon, we should probably
    never have known that there is any more of the sun than our
    eyes ordinarily see.</p>

    <p>But when an eclipse of the sun occurs, caused by the
    interposition of the opaque globe of the moon, we see its
    immediate surroundings, which in some respects are more
    wonderful than the glowing central orb. These surroundings,
    although not in the sense in which we apply the term to the
    gaseous envelope of the earth, may be called the sun's
    atmosphere. They consist of two very different parts -- first,
    the red ``prominences,'' which resemble tongues of flame
    ascending thousands of miles above the sun's surface; and,
    second, the ``corona,'' which extends to distances of millions
    of miles from the sun, and shines with a soft, glowing light.
    The two combined, when well seen, make a spectacle without
    parallel among the marvels of the sky. Although many attempts
    have been made to render the corona visible when there is no
    eclipse, all have failed, and it is to the moon alone that we
    owe its revelation. To cover the sun's disk with a circular
    screen will not answer the purpose because of the illumination
    of the air all about the observer. When the moon hides the sun,
    on the other hand, the sunlight is withdrawn from a great
    cylinder of air extending to the top of the atmosphere and
    spreading many miles around the observer. There is then no
    glare to interfere with the spectacle, and the corona appears
    in all its surprising beauty. The prominences, however,
    although they were discovered during an eclipse, can now, with
    the aid of the spectroscope, be seen at any time. But the
    prominences are rarely large enough to be noticed by the naked
    eye, while the streamers of the corona, stretching far away in
    space, like ghostly banners blown out from the black circle of
    the obscuring moon, attract every eye, and to this weird
    apparition much of the fear inspired by eclipses has been due.
    But if the corona has been a cause of terror in the past it has
    become a source of growing knowledge in our time.</p>

    <p>The story of the first scientific observation of the corona
    and the prominences is thrillingly interesting, and in fact
    dramatic. The observation was made during the eclipse of 1842,
    which fortunately was visible all over Central and Southern
    Europe so that scores of astronomers saw it. The interest
    centers in what happened at Pavia in Northern Italy, where the
    English astronomer Francis Baily had set up his telescope. The
    eclipse had begun and Bailey was busy at his telescope when, to
    quote his own words in the account which he wrote for the
    <em>Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society:</em></p>

    <blockquote>
      I was astounded by a tremendous burst of applause from the
      streets below, and at the same moment was electrified by the
      sight of one of the most brilliant and splendid phenomena
      that can well be imagined; for at that instant the dark body
      of the moon was suddenly surrounded with a corona, or kind of
      bright glory, similar in shape and magnitude to that which
      painters draw round the heads of saints...

      <p>Pavia contains many thousand inhabitants, the major part
      of whom were at this early hour walking about the streets and
      squares or looking out of windows in order to witness this
      long-talked-of phenomenon; and when the total obscuration
      took place, which was <em>instantaneous,</em> there was a
      universal shout from every observer which ``made the welkin
      ring,'' and for the moment withdrew my attention from the
      object with which I was immediately occupied. I had, indeed,
      expected the appearance of a luminous circle round the moon
      during the time of total obscurity; but I did not expect,
      from any of the accounts of preceding eclipses that I had
      read, to witness so magnificent an exhibition as that which
      took place...</p>

      <p>Splendid and astonishing, however, as this remarkable
      phenomenon really was, and although it could not fail to call
      forth the admiration and applause of every beholder, yet I
      must confess that there was at the same time something in its
      singular and wonderful appearance that was appalling...</p>

      <p>But the most remarkable circumstance attending the
      phenomenon was the appearance of <em>three large
      protuberances</em> apparently emanating from the
      circumference of the moon, but evidently forming a portion of
      the corona. They had the appearance of mountains of a
      prodigious elevation; their color was red tinged with lilac
      or purple; perhaps the color of the peach-blossom would more
      nearly represent it. They somewhat resembled the tops of the
      snowy Alpine mountains when colored by the rising or the
      setting sun. They resembled the Alpine mountains in another
      respect, inasmuch as their light was perfectly steady, and
      had none of that flickering or sparkling motion so visible in
      other parts of the corona...</p>

      <p>The whole of these protuberances were visible even to the
      last moment of total obscuration, and when the first ray of
      light was admitted from the sun they vanished, with the
      corona, altogether, and daylight was instantly restored.</p>
    </blockquote>

    <p>I have quoted nearly all of this remarkable description not
    alone for its intrinsic interest, but because it is the best
    depiction that can be found of the general phenomena of a total
    solar eclipse. Still, not every such eclipse offers an equally
    magnificent spectacle. The eclipses of 1900 and 1905, for
    instance, which were seen by the writer, the first in South
    Carolina and the second in Spain, fell far short of that
    described by Bailey in splendor and impressiveness. Of course,
    something must be allowed for the effect of surprise; Bailey
    had not expected to see what was so suddenly disclosed to him.
    But both in 1900 and 1905 the amount of scattered light in the
    sky was sufficient in itself to make the corona appear faint,
    and there were no very conspicuous prominences visible. Yet on
    both occasions there was manifest among the spectators that
    mingling of admiration and awe of which Bailey speaks. The
    South Carolinians gave a cheer and the ladies waved their
    handkerchiefs when the corona, ineffably delicate of form and
    texture, <em>melted</em> into sight and then in two minutes
    melted away again. The Spaniards, crowded on the citadel hill
    of Burgos, with their king and his royal retinue in their
    midst, broke out with a great clapping of hands as the awaited
    spectacle unfolded itself in the sky; and on both occasions,
    before the applause began, after an awed silence a low murmur
    ran through the crowds. At Burgos it is said many made the sign
    of the cross.</p>

    <p>It was not long before Bailey's idea that the prominences
    were a part of the corona was abandoned, and it was perceived
    that the two phenomena were to a great extent independent. At
    the eclipse of 1868, which the astronomers, aroused by the
    wonderful scene of 1842, and eager to test the powers of the
    newly invented spectroscope, flocked to India to witness,
    Janssen conceived the idea of employing the spectroscope to
    render the prominences visible when there was no eclipse. He
    succeeded the very next day, and these phenomena have been
    studied in that way ever since.</p>

    <p>There are recognized two kinds of prominences -- the
    ``erruptive'' and the ``quiescent.'' The latter, which are
    cloud-like in form, may be seen almost anywhere along the edge
    of the sun; but the former, which often shoot up as if hurled
    from mighty volcanoes, appear to be associated with sun-spots,
    and appear only above the zones where spots abound. Either of
    them, when seen in projection against the brilliant solar disk,
    appears white, not red, as against a background of sky. The
    quiescent prominences, whose elevation is often from forty
    thousand to sixty thousand miles, consist, as the spectroscope
    shows, mainly of hydrogen and helium. The latter, it will be
    remembered, is an element which was known to be in the sun many
    years before the discovery that it also exists in small
    quantities on the earth. A fact which may have a significance
    which we cannot at present see is that the emanation from
    radium gradually and spontaneously changes into helium, an
    alchemistical feat of nature that has opened many curious
    vistas to speculative thinkers. The eruptive prominences, which
    do not spread horizontally like the others, but ascend with
    marvelous velocity to elevations of half a million miles or
    more, are apparently composed largely of metallic vapors --
    <em>i.e.</em> metals which are usually solid on the earth, but
    which at solar temperatures are kept in a volatilized state.
    The velocity of their ascent occasionally amounts to three
    hundred or four hundred miles per second. It is known from
    mathematical considerations that the gravitation of the sun
    would not be able to bring back any body that started from its
    surface with a velocity exceeding three hundred and
    eighty-three miles per second; so it is evident that some of
    the matter hurled forth in eruptive prominences may escape from
    solar control and go speeding out into space, cooling and
    condensing into solid masses. There seems to be no reason why
    some of the projectiles from the sun might not reach the
    planets. Here, then, we have on a relatively small scale,
    <em>explosions</em> recalling those which it has been imagined
    may be the originating cause of some of the sudden phenomena of
    the stellar heavens.</p>

    <p>Of the sun-spots it is not our intention here specifically
    to speak, but they evidently have an intimate connection with
    eruptive prominences, as well as some relation, not yet fully
    understood, with the corona. Of the real cause of sun-spots we
    know virtually nothing, but recent studies by Professor Hale
    and others have revealed a strange state of things in the
    clouds of metallic vapors floating above them and their
    surroundings. Evidences of a cyclonic tendency have been found,
    and Professor Hale has proved that sun-spots are strong
    magnetic fields, and consist of columns of ionized vapors
    rotating in opposite directions in the two hemispheres. A fact
    which may have the greatest significance is that titanium and
    vanadium have been found both in sun-spots and in the
    remarkable variable Mira Ceti, a star which every eleven
    months, or thereabout, flames up with great brilliancy and then
    sinks back to invisibility with the naked eye. It has been
    suggested that sun-spots are indications of the beginning of a
    process in the sun which will be intensified until it falls
    into the state of such a star as Mira. Stars very far advanced
    in evolution, without showing variability, also exhibit similar
    spectra; so that there is much reason for regarding sunspots as
    emblems of advancing age.</p>

    <p>The association of the corona with sun-spots is less evident
    than that of the eruptive prominences; still such an
    association exists, for the form and extent of the corona vary
    with the sun-spot period of which we shall presently speak. The
    constitution of the corona remains to be discovered. It is
    evidently in part gaseous, but it also probably contains matter
    in the form of dust and small meteors. It includes one
    substance altogether mysterious -- ``coronium.'' There are
    reasons for thinking that this may be the lightest of all the
    elements, and Professor Young, its discoverer, said that it was
    ``absolutely unique in nature; utterly distinct from any other
    known form of matter, terrestial, solar, or cosmical.'' The
    enormous extent of the corona is one of its riddles. Since the
    development of the curious subject of the ``pressure of light''
    it has been proposed to account for the sustentation of the
    corona by supposing that it is borne upon the billows of light
    continually poured out from the sun. Experiment has proved,
    what mathematical considerations had previously pointed out as
    probable, that the waves of light exert a pressure or driving
    force, which becomes evident in its effects if the body acted
    upon is sufficiently small. In that case the light pressure
    will prevail over the attraction of gravitation, and propel the
    attenuated matter away from the sun in the teeth of its
    attraction. The earth itself would be driven away if, instead
    of consisting of a solid globe of immense aggregate mass, it
    were a cloud of microscopic particles. The reason is that the
    pressure varies in proportion to the <em>surface</em> of the
    body acted upon, while the gravitational attraction is
    proportional to the <em>volume,</em> or the total amount of
    matter in the body. But the surface of any body depends upon
    the <em>square</em> of its diameter, while the volume depends
    upon the <em>cube</em> of the diameter. If, for instance, the
    diameter is represented by 4, the surface will be proportional
    to 4 &times; 4, or 16, and the volume to 4 &times; 4 &times; 4,
    or 64; but if the diameter is taken as 2, the surface will be 2
    &times; 2, or 4, and the volume 2 &times; 2 &times; 2, or 8.
    Now, the ratio of 4 to 8 is twice as great as that of 16 to 64.
    If the diameter is still further decreased, the ratio of the
    surface to the volume will proportionally grow larger; in other
    words, the pressure will gain upon the attraction, and whatever
    their original ratio may have been, a time will come, if the
    diminution of size continues, when the pressure will become
    more effective than the attraction, and the body will be driven
    away. Supposing the particles of the corona to be below the
    critical size for the attraction of a mass like that of the sun
    to control them, they would be driven off into the surrounding
    space and appear around the sun like the clouds of dust around
    a mill. We shall return to this subject in connection with the
    Zodiacal Light, the Aurora, and Comets.</p>

    <p>On the other hand, there are parts of the corona which
    suggest by their forms the play of electric or magnetic forces.
    This is beautifully shown in some of the photographs that have
    been made of the corona during recent eclipses. Take, for
    instance, that of the eclipse of 1900. The sheaves of light
    emanating from the poles look precisely like the ``lines of
    force'' surrounding the poles of a magnet. It will be noticed
    in this photograph that the corona appears to consist of two
    portions: one comprising the polar rays just spoken of, and the
    other consisting of the broader, longer, and less-defined
    masses of light extending out from the equatorial and
    middle-latitude zones. Yet even in this more diffuse part of
    the phenomenon one can detect the presence of submerged curves
    bearing more or less resemblance to those about the poles. Just
    what part electricity or electro-magnetism plays in the
    mechanism of the solar radiation it is impossible to say, but
    on the assumption that it is a very important part is based the
    hypothesis that there exists a direct solar influence not only
    upon the magnetism, but upon the weather of the earth. This
    hypothesis has been under discussion for half a century, and
    still we do not know just how much truth it represents. It is
    certain that the outbreak of great disturbances on the sun,
    accompanied by the formation of sun-spots and the upshooting of
    eruptive prominences (phenomena which we should naturally
    expect to be attended by action), have been instantly followed
    by corresponding ``magnetic storms'' on the earth and brilliant
    displays of the auroral lights. There have been occasions when
    the influence has manifested itself in the most startling ways,
    a great solar outburst being followed by a mysterious gripping
    of the cable and telegraph systems of the world, as if an
    invisible and irresistible hand had seized them. Messages are
    abruptly cut off, sparks leap from the telegraph instruments,
    and the entire earth seems to have been thrown into a magnetic
    flurry. These occurrences affect the mind with a deep
    impression of the dependence of our planet on the sun, such as
    we do not derive from the more familiar action of the sunlight
    on the growth of plants and other phenomena of life depending
    on solar influences.</p>

    <p>Perhaps the theory of solar magnetic influence upon the
    weather is best known in connection with the ``sun-spot
    cycle.'' This, at any rate, is, as already remarked, closely
    associated with the corona. Its existence was discovered in
    1843 by the German astronomer Schwabe. It is a period of
    variable length, averaging about eleven years, during which the
    number of spots visible on the sun first increases to a
    maximum, then diminishes to a minimum, and finally increases
    again to a maximum. For unknown reasons the period is sometimes
    two or three years longer than the average and sometimes as
    much shorter. Nevertheless, the phenomena always recur in the
    same order. Starting, for instance, with a time when the
    observer can find few or no spots, they gradually increase in
    number and size until a maximum, in both senses, is reached,
    during which the spots are often of enormous size and
    exceedingly active. After two or three years they begin to
    diminish in number, magnitude, and activity until they almost
    or quite disappear. A strange fact is that when a new period
    opens, the spots appear first in high northern and southern
    latitudes, far from the solar equator, and as the period
    advances they not only increase in number and size, but break
    out nearer and nearer to the equator, the last spots of a
    vanishing period sometimes lingering in the equatorial region
    after the advance-guard of its successor has made its
    appearance in the high latitudes. Spots are never seen on the
    equator nor near the poles. It was not very long after the
    discovery of the sun-spot cycle that the curious observation
    was made that a striking coincidence existed between the period
    of the sun-spots and another period affecting the general
    magnetic condition of the earth. When a curved line
    representing the varying number of sun-spots was compared with
    another curve showing the variations in the magnetic state of
    the earth the two were seen to be in almost exact accord, a
    rise in one curve corresponding to a rise in the other, and a
    fall to a fall. Continued observation has proved that this is a
    real coincidence and not an accidental one, so that the
    connection, although as yet unexplained, is accepted as
    established. But does the influence extend further, and
    directly affect the weather and the seasons as well as the
    magnetic elements of the earth? A final answer to this question
    cannot yet be given, for the evidence is contradictory, and the
    interpretations put upon it depend largely on the predilections
    of the judges.</p>

    <p>But, in a broad sense, the sun-spots and the phenomena
    connected with them <em>must</em> have a relation to terrestial
    meteorology, for they prove the sun to be a variable star.
    Reference was made, a few lines above, to the resemblance of
    the spectra of sun-spots to those of certain stars which seem
    to be failing through age. This in itself is extremely
    suggestive; but if this resemblance had never been discovered,
    we should have been justified in regarding the sun as variable
    in its output of energy; and not only variable, but probably
    increasingly so. The very inequalities in the sun-spot cycle
    are suspicious. When the sun is most spotted its total light
    may be reduced by one-thousandth part, although it is by no
    means certain that its outgiving of thermal radiations is then
    reduced. A loss of one-thousandth of its luminosity would
    correspond to a decrease of .0025 of a stellar magnitude,
    considering the sun as a star viewed from distant space. So
    slight a change would not be perceptible; but it is not alone
    sun-spots which obscure the solar surface, its entire globe is
    enveloped with an obscuring veil. When studied with a powerful
    telescope the sun's surface is seen to be thickly mottled with
    relatively obscure specks, so numerous that it has been
    estimated that they cut off from one-tenth to one-twentieth of
    the light that we should receive from it if the whole surface
    were as brilliant as its brightest parts. The condition of
    other stars warrants the conclusion that this obscuring
    envelope is the product of a process of refrigeration which
    will gradually make the sun more and more variable until its
    history ends in extinction. Looking backward, we see a time
    when the sun must have been more brilliant than it is now. At
    that time it probably shone with the blinding white splendor of
    such stars as Sirius, Spica, and Vega; now it resembles the
    relatively dull Procyon; in time it will turn ruddy and fall
    into the closing cycle represented by Antares. Considering that
    once it must have been more radiantly powerful than at present,
    one is tempted to wonder if that could have been the time when
    tropical life flourished within the earth's polar circles,
    sustained by a vivific energy in the sun which it has now
    lost.</p>

    <p>The corona, as we have said, varies with the sun-spot cycle.
    When the spots are abundant and active the corona rises strong
    above the spotted zones, forming immense beams or streamers,
    which on one occasion, at least, had an observed length of
    <em>ten million miles.</em> At the time of a spot minimum the
    corona is less brilliant and has a different outline. It is
    then that the curved polar rays are most conspicuous. Thus the
    vast banners of the sun, shaken out in the eclipse, are signals
    to tell of its varying state, but it will probably be long
    before we can read correctly their messages.</p>

    <p><strong>The Zodiacal Light Mystery</strong></p>

    <p>There is a singular phenomenon in the sky -- one of the most
    puzzling of all -- which has long arrested the attention of
    astronomers, defying their efforts at explanation, but which
    probably not one in a hundred, and possibly not one in a
    thousand, of the readers of this book has ever seen. Yet its
    name is often spoken, and it is a conspicuous object if one
    knows when and where to look for it, and when well seen it
    exhibits a mystical beauty which at the same time charms and
    awes the beholder. It is called ``The Zodiacal Light,'' because
    it lies within the broad circle of the Zodiac, marking the
    sun's apparent annual path through the stars. What it is nobody
    has yet been able to find out with certainty, and books on
    astronomy usually speak of it with singular reserve. But it has
    given rise to many remarkable theories, and a true explanation
    of it would probably throw light on a great many other
    celestial mysteries. The Milky Way is a more wonderful object
    to look upon, but its nature can be comprehended, while there
    is a sort of uncanniness about the Zodiacal Light which
    immediately impresses one upon seeing it, for its part in the
    great scheme of extra-terrestrial affairs is not evident.</p>

    <p>If you are out-of-doors soon after sunset -- say, on an
    evening late in the month of February -- you may perceive, just
    after the angry flush of the dying winter's day has faded from
    the sky, a pale ghostly presence rising above the place where
    the sun went down. The writer remembers from boyhood the first
    time it was pointed out to him and the unearthly impression
    that it made, so that he afterward avoided being out alone at
    night, fearful of seeing the spectral thing again. The
    phenomenon brightens slowly with the fading of the twilight,
    and soon distinctly assumes the shape of an elongated pyramid
    of pearly light, leaning toward the south if the place of
    observation is in the northern hemisphere. It does not impress
    the observer at all in the same manner as the Milky Way; that
    looks far off and is clearly among the stars, but the Zodiacal
    Light seems closer at hand, as if it were something more
    intimately concerning the earth. To all it immediately suggests
    a connection, also, with the sunken sun. If the night is clear
    and the moon absent (and if you are in the country, for city
    lights ruin the spectacles of the sky), you will be able to
    watch the apparition for a long time. You will observe that the
    light is brightest near the horizon, gradually fading as the
    pyramidal beam mounts higher, but in favorable circumstances it
    may be traced nearly to the meridian south of the zenith, where
    its apex at last vanishes in the starlight. It continues
    visible during the evenings of March and part of April, after
    which, ordinarily, it is seen no more, or if seen is relatively
    faint and unimpressive. But when autumn comes it appears again,
    this time not like a wraith hovering above the westward tomb of
    the day-god, but rather like a spirit of the morning announcing
    his reincarnation in the east.</p>

    <p>The reason why the Zodiacal Light is best seen in our
    latitudes at the periods just mentioned is because at those
    times the Zodiac is more nearly perpendicular to the horizon,
    first in the west and then in the east; and, since the
    phenomenon is confined within the borders of the Zodiac, it
    cannot be favorably placed for observation when the zodiacal
    plane is but slightly inclined to the horizon. Its faint light
    requires the contrast of a background of dark sky in order to
    be readily perceptible. But within the tropics, where the
    Zodiac is always at a favorable angle, the mysterious light is
    more constantly visible. Nearly all observant travelers in the
    equatorial regions have taken particular note of this
    phenomenon, for being so much more conspicuous there than in
    the temperate zones it at once catches the eye and holds the
    attention as a novelty. Humboldt mentions it many times in his
    works, for his genius was always attracted by things out of the
    ordinary and difficult of explanation, and he made many careful
    observations on its shape, its brilliancy, and its variations;
    for there can be no doubt that it does vary, and sometimes to
    an astonishing degree. It is said that it once remained
    practically invisible in Europe for several years in
    succession. During a trip to South Africa in 1909 an English
    astronomer, Mr E. W. Maunder, found a remarkable difference
    between the appearance of the Zodiacal Light on his going and
    coming voyages. In fact, when crossing the equator going south
    he did not see it at all; but on returning he had, on March
    6th, when one degree south of the equator, a memorable view of
    it.</p>

    <blockquote>
      It was a bright, clear night, and the Zodiacal Light was
      extraordinarily brilliant -- brighter than he had ever seen
      it before. The Milky Way was not to be compared with it. The
      brightest part extended 75&deg; from the sun. There was a
      faint and much narrower extension which they could just make
      out beyond the Pleiades along the ecliptic, but the greater
      part of the Zodiacal Light showed as a broad truncated
      column, and it did not appear nearly as conical as he had
      before seen it.
    </blockquote>

    <p>When out of the brief twilight of intertropical lands, where
    the sun drops vertically to the horizon and night rushes on
    like a wave of darkness, the Zodiacal Light shoots to the very
    zenith, its color is described as a golden tint, entirely
    different from the silvery sheen of the Milky Way. If I may
    venture again to refer to personal experiences and impressions,
    I will recall a view of the Zodiacal Light from the summit of
    the cone of Mt Etna in the autumn of the year 1896 (more
    briefly described in <em>Astronomy with the Naked Eye</em>).
    There are few lofty mountains so favorably placed as Etna for
    observations of this kind. It was once resorted to by Prof.
    George E. Hale, in an attempt to see the solar corona without
    an eclipse. Rising directly from sea-level to an elevation of
    nearly eleven thousand feet, the observer on its summit at
    night finds himself, as it were, lost in the midst of the sky.
    But for the black flanks of the great cone on which he stands
    he might fancy himself to be in a balloon. On the occasion to
    which I refer the world beneath was virtually invisible in the
    moonless night. The blaze of the constellations overhead was
    astonishingly brilliant, yet amid all their magnificence my
    attention was immediately drawn to a great tapering light that
    sprang from the place on the horizon where the sun would rise
    later, and that seemed to be blown out over the stars like a
    long, luminous veil. It was the finest view of the Zodiacal
    light that I had ever enjoyed -- thrilling in its strangeness
    -- but I was almost disheartened by the indifference of my
    guide, to whom it was only a light and nothing more. If he had
    no science, he had less poetry -- rather a remarkable thing, I
    thought, for a child of his clime. The Light appeared to me to
    be distinctly brighter than the visible part of the Milky Way
    which included the brilliant stretches in Auriga and Perseus,
    and its color, if one may speak of color in connection with
    such an object, seemed richer than that of the galactic band;
    but I did not think of it as yellow, although Humboldt has
    described it as resembling a golden curtain drawn over the
    stars, and Du Chaillu in Equatorial Africa found it of a bright
    yellow color. It may vary in color as in conspicuousness. The
    fascination of that extraordinary sight has never faded from my
    memory. I turned to regard it again and again, although I had
    never seen the stellar heavens so brilliant, and it was one of
    the last things I looked for when the morning glow began softly
    to mount in the east, and Sicily and the Mediterranean slowly
    emerged from the profound shadow beneath us.</p>

    <p>The Zodiacal Light seems never to have attracted from
    astronomers in general the amount of careful attention that it
    deserves; perhaps because so little can really be made of it as
    far as explanation is concerned. I have referred to the
    restraint that scientific writers apparently feel in speaking
    of it. The grounds for speculation that it affords may be too
    scanty to lead to long discussions, yet it piques curiosity,
    and as we shall see in a moment has finally led to a most
    interesting theory. Once it was the subject of an elaborate
    series of studies which carried the observer all round the
    world. That was in 1845--46, during the United States Exploring
    Expedition that visited the then little known Japan. The
    chaplain of the fleet, the Rev. Mr Jones, went out prepared to
    study the mysterious light in all its phases. He saw it from
    many latitudes on both sides of the equator, and the
    imagination cannot but follow him with keen interest in his
    world-circling tour, keeping his eyes every night fixed upon
    the phantasm overhead, whose position shifted with that of the
    hidden sun. He demonstrated that the flow extends at times
    completely across the celestial dome, although it is relatively
    faint directly behind the earth. On his return the government
    published a large volume of his observations, in which he
    undertook to show that the phenomenon was due to the reflection
    of sunlight from a ring of meteoric bodies encircling the
    earth. But, after all, this elaborate investigation settled
    nothing.</p>

    <p>Prof. E. E. Barnard has more recently devoted much attention
    to the Zodiacal Light, as well as to a strange attendant
    phenomenon called the ``Gegenschein,'' or Counterglow, because
    it always appears at that point in the sky which is exactly
    opposite the sun. The Gegenschein is an extremely elusive
    phenomenon, suitable only for eyes that have been specially
    trained to see it. Professor Newcomb has cautiously remarked
    that</p>

    <blockquote>
      it is said that in that point of the heavens directly
      opposite the sun there is an elliptical patch of light...
      This phenomenon is so difficult to account for that its
      existence is sometimes doubted; yet the testimony in its
      favor is difficult to set aside.
    </blockquote>

    <p>It certainly cannot be set aside at all since the
    observations of Barnard. I recall an attempt to see it under
    his guidance during a visit to Mount Hamilton, when he was
    occupied there with the Lick telescope. Of course, both the
    Gegenschein and the Zodiacal Light are too diffuse to be
    studied with telescopes, which, so to speak, magnify them out
    of existence. They can only be successfully studied with the
    naked eye, since every faintest glimmer that they afford must
    be utilized. This is especially true of the Gegenschein. At
    Mount Hamilton, Mr Barnard pointed out to me its location with
    reference to certain stars, but with all my gazing I could not
    be sure that I saw it. To him, on the contrary, it was obvious;
    he had studied it for months, and was able to indicate its
    shape, its boundaries, its diameter, and the declination of its
    center with regard to the ecliptic. There is not, of course,
    the shadow of a doubt of the existence of the Gegenschein, and
    yet I question if one person in a million has ever seen or ever
    will see it. The Zodiacal Light, on the other hand, is plain
    enough, provided that the time and the circumstances of the
    observation are properly chosen.</p>

    <p>In the attempts to explain the Zodiacal Light, the favorite
    hypothesis has been that it is an appendage of the sun --
    perhaps simply an extension of the corona in the plane of the
    ecliptic, which is not very far from coinciding with that of
    the sun's equator. This idea is quite a natural one, because of
    the evident relation of the light to the position of the sun.
    The vast extension of the equatorial wings of the corona in
    1878 gave apparent support to this hypothesis; if the substance
    of the corona could extend ten million miles from the sun, why
    might it not extend even one hundred million, gradually fading
    out beyond the orbit of the earth? A variation of this
    hypothesis assumes that the reflection is due to swarms of
    meteors circling about the sun, in the plane of its equator,
    all the way from its immediate neighborhood to a distance
    exceeding that of the earth. But in neither form is the
    hypothesis satisfactory; there is nothing in the appearance of
    the corona to indicate that it extends even as far as the
    planet Mercury, while as to meteors, the orbits of the known
    swarms do not accord with the hypothesis, and we have no reason
    to believe that clouds of others exist traveling in the part of
    space where they would have to be in order to answer the
    requirements of the theory. The extension of the corona in 1878
    did not resemble in its texture the Zodiacal Light.</p>

    <p>Now, it has so often happened in the history of science that
    an important discovery in one branch has thrown unexpected but
    most welcome light upon some pending problem in some other
    branch, that a strong argument might be based upon that fact
    alone against the too exclusive devotion of many investigators
    to the narrow lines of their own particular specialty; and the
    Zodiacal Light affords a case in point, when it is considered
    in connection with recent discoveries in chemistry and physics.
    From the fact that atoms are compound bodies made up of
    corpuscles at least a thousand times smaller than the smallest
    known atom -- a fact which astounded most men of science when
    it was announced a few years ago -- a new hypothesis has been
    developed concerning the nature of the Zodiacal Light (as well
    as other astronomical riddles), and this hypothesis comes not
    from an astronomer, but from a chemist and physicist, the
    Swede, Svante Arrhenius. In considering an outline of this new
    hypothesis we need neither accept nor reject it; it is a case
    rather for suspension of judgment.</p>

    <p>To begin with, it carries us back to the ``pressure of
    light'' mentioned in the preceding chapter. The manner in which
    this pressure is believed generally to act was there
    sufficiently explained, and it only remains to see how it is
    theoretically extended to the particles of matter supposed to
    constitute the Zodiacal Light. We know that corpuscles, or
    ``fragments of atoms'' negatively electrified, are discharged
    from hot bodies. Streams of these ``ions'' pour from many
    flames and from molten metals; and the impact of the cathode
    and ultra-violet rays causes them to gush even from cold
    bodies. In the vast laboratory of the sun it is but reasonable
    to suppose that similar processes are taking place. ``As a very
    hot metal emits these corpuscles,'' says Prof. J. J. Thomson,
    ``it does not seem an improbable hypothesis that they are
    emitted by that very hot body, the sun.'' Let it be assumed,
    then, that the sun does emit them; what happens next?
    Negatively charged corpuscles, it is known, serve as nuclei to
    which particles of matter in the ordinary state are attracted,
    and it is probable that those emitted from the sun immediately
    pick up loads in this manner and so grow in bulk. If they grow
    large enough the gravitation of the sun draws them back, and
    they produce a negative charge in the solar atmosphere. But it
    is probable that many of the particles do not attain the
    critical size which, according to the principles before
    explained, would enable the gravitation of the sun to retain
    them in opposition to the pressure of the waves of light, and
    with these particles the light pressure is dominant. Clouds of
    them may be supposed to be continually swept away from the sun
    into surrounding space, moving mostly in or near the plane of
    the solar equator, where the greatest activity, as indicated by
    sunspots and related phenomena, is taking place. As they pass
    outward into space many of them encounter the earth. If the
    earth, like the moon, had no atmosphere the particles would
    impinge directly on its surface, giving it a negative electric
    charge. But the presence of the atmosphere changes all that,
    for the first of the flying particles that encounter it impart
    to it their negative electricity, and then, since like electric
    charges repel like, the storm of particles following will be
    sheered off from the earth, and will stream around it in a maze
    of hyperbolic paths. Those that continue on into space beyond
    the earth may be expected to continue picking up wandering
    particles of matter until their bulk has become so great that
    the solar attraction prevails again over the light pressure
    acting upon them, and they turn again sunward. Passing the
    earth on their return they will increase the amount of
    dust-clouds careering round it; and these will be further
    increased by the action of the ultra-violet rays of the
    sunlight causing particles to shoot radially away from the
    earth when the negative charge of the upper atmosphere has
    reached a certain amount, which particles, although starting
    sunward, will be swept back to the earth with the oncoming
    streams. As the final result of all this accumulation of flying
    and gyrating particles in the earth's neighborhood, we are told
    that the latter must be transformed into the semblance of a
    gigantic solid-headed comet provided with streaming tails, the
    longest of them stretching away from the direction of the sun,
    while another shorter one extends toward the sun. This shorter
    tail is due to the particles that we have just spoken of as
    being driven sunward from the earth by the action of
    ultra-violet light. No doubt this whole subject is too
    technical for popular statement; but at any rate the general
    reader can understand the picturesque side of the theory, for
    its advocates assure us that if we were on the moon we would
    doubtless be able to see the comet-like tails of the earth, and
    then we could appreciate the part that they play in producing
    the phenomenon of the Zodiacal Light.</p>

    <p>That the Light as we see it could be produced by the
    reflection of sunlight from swarms of particles careering round
    the earth in the manner supposed by Arrhenius' hypothesis is
    evident enough; and it will be observed that the new theory,
    after all, is only another variant of the older one which
    attributes the Zodiacal Light to an extension of the solar
    corona. But it differs from the older theory in offering an
    explanation of the manner in which the extension is effected,
    and it differentiates between the corona proper and the streams
    of negative particles shot away from the sun. In its details
    the hypothesis of Arrhenius also affords an explanation of many
    peculiarities of the Zodiacal Light, such as that it is
    confined to the neighborhood of the ecliptic, and that it is
    stronger on the side of the earth which is just turning away
    from a position under the sun than on the other side; but it
    would carry us beyond our limits to go into these particulars.
    The Gegenschein, according to this theory, is a part of the
    same phenomenon as the Zodiacal Light, for by the laws of
    perspective it is evident that the reflection from the streams
    of particles situated at a point directly opposite to the sun
    would be at a maximum, and this is the place which the
    Gegenschein occupies. Apart from its geometrical relations to
    the position of the sun, the variability of the Zodiacal Light
    appears to affirm its solar dependence, and this too would be
    accounted for by Arrhenius' hypothesis better than by the old
    theory of coronal extension. The amount of corpuscular
    discharge from the sun must naturally be governed by the state
    of relative activity or inactivity of the latter, and this
    could not but be reflected in the varying splendor of the
    Zodiacal Light. But much more extended study than has yet been
    given to the subject will be required before we can feel that
    we know with reasonable certainty what this mysterious
    phenomenon really is. By the hypothesis of Arrhenius every
    planet that has an atmosphere must have a Zodiacal Light
    attending it, but the phenomenon is too faint for us to be able
    to see it in the case, for instance, of Venus, whose atmosphere
    is very abundant. The moon has no corresponding ``comet's
    tail'' because, as already explained, of the lack of a lunar
    atmosphere to repel the streams by becoming itself electrified;
    but if there were a lunar Zodiacal Light, no doubt we could see
    it because of the relative nearness of our satellite.</p>

    <p><strong>Marvels of the Aurora</strong></p>

    <p>One of the most vivid recollections of my early boyhood is
    that of seeing my father return hastily into the house one
    evening and call out to the family: ``Come outside and look at
    the sky!'' Ours was a country house situated on a commanding
    site, and as we all emerged from the doorway we were
    dumbfounded to see the heavens filled with pale flames which
    ran licking and quivering over the stars. Instantly there
    sprang into my terrified mind the recollection of an awful
    description of ``the Day of Judgment'' (the <em>Dies
    Ir&aelig;</em>), which I had heard with much perturbation of
    spirit in the Dutch Reformed church from the lips of a tall,
    dark-browed, dreadfully-in-earnest preacher of the
    old-fashioned type. My heart literally sank at sight of the
    spectacle, for it recalled the preacher's very words; it was
    just as he had said it would be, and it needed the assured
    bearing of my elders finally to convince me that</p>

    <blockquote>
      <br>
       That Day of Wrath, O dreadful day,<br>
       When Heaven and Earth shall pass away,<br>
       As David and the Sibyl say<br>
      <br>
    </blockquote>

    <p>had not actually come upon us. And even the older members of
    the household were not untouched with misgivings when menacing
    spots of crimson appeared, breaking out now here, now there, in
    the shuddering sky. Toward the north the spectacle was
    appalling. A huge arch spanned an unnaturally dark segment
    resting on the horizon, and above this arch sprang up beams and
    streamers in a state of incessant agitation, sometimes shooting
    up to the zenith with a velocity that took one's breath, and
    sometimes suddenly falling into long ranks, and <em>marching,
    marching, marching,</em> like an endless phalanx of fiery
    specters, and moving, as I remember, always from east to west.
    The absolute silence with which these mysterious evolutions
    were performed and the quavering reflections which were thrown
    upon the ground increased the awfulness of the exhibition.
    Occasionally enormous curtains of lambent flame rolled and
    unrolled with a majestic motion, or were shaken to and fro as
    if by a mighty, noiseless wind. At times, too, a sudden
    billowing rush would be made toward the zenith, and for a
    minute the sky overhead would glow so brightly that the stars
    seemed to have been consumed. The spectacle continued with
    varying intensity for hours.</p>

    <p>This exhibition occurred in Central New York, a latitude in
    which the Aurora Borealis is seldom seen with so much splendor.
    I remember another similar one seen from the city of New York
    in November, 1882. On this last occasion some observers saw a
    great upright beam of light which majestically moved across the
    heavens, stalking like an apparition in the midst of the
    auroral pageant, of whose general movements it seemed to be
    independent, maintaining always its upright posture, and
    following a magnetic parallel from east to west. This
    mysterious beam was seen by no less than twenty-six observers
    in different parts of the country, and a comparison of their
    observations led to a curious calculation indicating that the
    apparition was about <em>one hundred and thirty-three miles
    tall</em> and moved at the speed of ten miles per second!</p>

    <p>But, as everybody knows, it is in the Arctic regions that
    the Aurora, or the ``Northern Lights,'' can best be seen.
    There, in the long polar night, when for months together the
    sun does not rise, the strange coruscations in the sky often
    afford a kind of spectral daylight in unison with the weird
    scenery of the world of ice. The pages in the narratives of
    Arctic exploration that are devoted to descriptions of the
    wonderful effects of the Northern Lights are second to none
    that man has ever penned in their fascination. The lights, as I
    have already intimated, display astonishing colors,
    particularly shades of red and green, as they flit from place
    to place in the sky. The discovery that the magnetic needle is
    affected by the Aurora, quivering and darting about in a state
    of extraordinary excitement when the lights are playing in the
    sky, only added to the mystery of the phenomenon until its
    electro-magnetic nature had been established. This became
    evident as soon as it was known that the focus of the displays
    was the magnetic pole; and when the far South was visited the
    Aurora Australis was found, having its center at the South
    Magnetic Pole. Then, if not before, it was clear that the earth
    was a great globular magnet, having its poles of opposite
    magnetism, and that the auroral lights, whatever their precise
    cause might be, were manifestations of the magnetic activity of
    our planet. After the invention of magnetic telegraphy it was
    found that whenever a great Aurora occurred the telegraph lines
    were interrupted in their operation, and the ocean cables
    ceased to work. Such a phenomenon is called a ``magnetic
    storm.''</p>

    <p>The interest excited by the Aurora in scientific circles was
    greatly stimulated when, in the last half of the nineteenth
    century, it was discovered that it is a phenomenon intimately
    associated with disturbances on the sun. The ancient ``Zurich
    Chronicles,'' extending from the year 1000 to the year 1800, in
    which both sun-spots visible to the naked eye and great
    displays of the auroral lights were recorded, first set Rudolf
    Wolf on the track of this discovery. The first notable proof of
    the suspected connection was furnished with dramatic emphasis
    by an occurrence which happened on September 1, 1859. Near noon
    on that day two intensely brilliant points suddenly broke out
    in a group of sun-spots which were under observation by Mr R.
    C. Carrington at his observatory at Redhill, England. The
    points remained visible for not more than five minutes, during
    which interval they moved <em>thirty-five thousand miles</em>
    across the solar disk. Mr R. Hodgson happened to see the same
    phenomenon at his observatory at Highgate, and thus all
    possibility of deception was removed. But neither of the
    startled observers could have anticipated what was to follow,
    and, indeed, it was an occurrence which has never been
    precisely duplicated. I quote the eloquent account given by
    Miss Clerke in her <em>History of Astronomy During the
    Nineteenth Century.</em></p>

    <blockquote>
      <p>This unique phenomenon seemed as if specially designed to
      accentuate the inference of a sympathetic relation between
      the earth and the sun. From August 28 to September 4, 1859, a
      magnetic storm of unparalleled intensity, extent, and
      duration was in progress over the entire globe. Telegraphic
      communication was everywhere interrupted -- except, indeed,
      that it was in some cases found practicable to work the lines
      <em>without batteries</em> by the agency of the
      earth-currents alone; sparks issued from the wires; gorgeous
      auroras draped the skies in solemn crimson over both
      hemispheres, and even in the tropics; the magnetic needle
      lost all trace of continuity in its movements and darted to
      and fro as if stricken with inexplicable panic. The
      coincidence was even closer. <em>At the very instant</em> of
      the solar outburst witnessed by Carrington and Hodgson the
      photographic apparatus at Kew registered a marked disturbance
      of all the three magnetic elements; while shortly after the
      ensuing midnight the electric agitation culminated, thrilling
      the whole earth with subtle vibrations, and lighting up the
      atmosphere from pole to pole with coruscating splendors which
      perhaps dimly recall the times when our ancient planet itself
      shone as a star.</p>
    </blockquote>

    <p>If this amazing occurrence stood alone, and as I have
    already said it has never been exactly duplicated, doubt might
    be felt concerning some of the inferences drawn from it; but in
    varying forms it has been repeated many times, so that now
    hardly anyone questions the reality of the assumed connection
    between solar outbursts and magnetic storms accompanied by
    auroral displays on the earth. It is true that the late Lord
    Kelvin raised difficulties in the way of the hypothesis of a
    direct magnetic action of the sun upon the earth, because it
    seemed to him that an inadmissible quantity of energy was
    demanded to account for such action. But no calculation like
    that which he made is final, since all calculations depend upon
    the validity of the data; and no authority is unshakable in
    science, because no man can possess omniscience. It was Lord
    Kelvin who, but a few years before the thing was actually
    accomplished, declared that aerial navigation was an
    impracticable dream, and demonstrated its impracticability by
    calculation. However the connection may be brought about, it is
    as certain as evidence can make it that solar outbursts are
    coincident with terrestial magnetic disturbances, and
    coincident in such a way as to make the inference of a causal
    connection irresistible. The sun is only a little more than a
    hundred times its own diameter away from the earth. Why, then,
    with the subtle connection between them afforded by the ether
    which conveys to us the blinding solar light and the
    life-sustaining solar heat, should it be so difficult to
    believe that the sun's enormous electric energies find a way to
    us also? No doubt the impulse coming from the sun acts upon the
    earth after the manner of a touch upon a trigger, releasing
    energies which are already stored up in our planet.</p>

    <p>But besides the evidence afforded by such occurrences as
    have been related of an intimate connection between solar
    outbreaks and terrestial magnetic flurries, attended by
    magnificent auroral displays, there is another line of proof
    pointing in the same direction. Thus, it is known that the
    sun-spot period, as remarked in a preceding chapter, coincides
    in a most remarkable manner with the periodic fluctuations in
    the magnetic state of the earth. This coincidence runs into the
    most astonishing details. For instance, when the sun-spot
    period shortens, the auroral period shortens to precisely the
    same extent; as the short sun-spot periods usually bring the
    most intense outbreaks of solar activity, so the corresponding
    short auroral periods are attended by the most violent magnetic
    storms; a secular period of about two hundred and twenty-two
    years affecting sun-spots is said to have its auroral
    duplicate; a shorter period of fifty-five and a half years,
    which some observers believe that they have discovered appears
    also to be common to the two phenomena; and yet another
    ``superposed'' period of about thirty-five years, which some
    investigators aver exists, affects sun-spots and aurora alike.
    In short, the coincidences are so numerous and significant that
    one would have to throw the doctrine of probability to the
    winds in order to be able to reject the conclusion to which
    they so plainly lead.</p>

    <p>But still the question recurs: How is the influence
    transmitted? Here Arrhenius comes once more with his hypothesis
    of negative corpuscles, or ions, driven away from the sun by
    light-pressure -- a hypothesis which seems to explain so many
    things -- and offers it also as an explanation of the way in
    which the sun creates the Aurora. He would give the Aurora the
    same lineage with the Zodiacal Light. To understand the
    application of this theory we must first recall the fact that
    the earth is a great magnet having its two opposite poles of
    magnetism, one near the Arctic and the other near the Antarctic
    Circle. Like all magnets, the earth is surrounded with ``lines
    of force,'' which, after the manner of the curved rays we saw
    in the photograph of a solar eclipse, start from a pole, rising
    at first nearly vertically, then bend gradually over, passing
    high above the equator, and finally descending in converging
    sheaves to the opposite pole. Now the axis of the earth is so
    placed in space that it lies at nearly a right angle to the
    direction of the sun, and as the streams of negatively charged
    particles come pouring on from the sun (see the last preceding
    chapter), they arrive in the greatest numbers over the earth's
    equatorial regions. There they encounter the lines of magnetic
    force at the place where the latter have their greatest
    elevation above the earth, and where their direction is
    horizontal to the earth's surface. Obeying a law which has been
    demonstrated in the laboratory, the particles then follow the
    lines of force toward the poles. While they are above the
    equatorial regions they do not become luminescent, because at
    the great elevation that they there occupy there is virtually
    no atmosphere; but as they pass on toward the north and the
    south they begin to descend with the lines of force, curving
    down to meet at the poles; and, encountering a part of the
    atmosphere comparable in density with what remains in an
    exhausted Crookes tube, they produce a glow of cathode rays.
    This glow is conceived to represent the Aurora, which may
    consequently be likened to a gigantic exhibition of vacuum-tube
    lights. Anybody who recalls his student days in the college
    laboratory and who has witnessed a display of Northern Lights
    will at once recognize the resemblance between them in colors,
    forms, and behavior. This resemblance had often been noted
    before Arrhenius elaborated his hypothesis.</p>

    <p>Without intending to treat his interesting theory as more
    than a possibly correct explanation of the phenomena of the
    Aurora, we may call attention to some apparently confirmatory
    facts. One of the most striking of these relates to a seasonal
    variation in the average number of auror&aelig;. It has been
    observed that there are more in March and September than at any
    other time of the year, and fewer in June and December;
    moreover (and this is a delicate test as applied to the
    theory), they are slightly rarer in June than in December. Now
    all these facts seem to find a ready explanation in the
    hypothesis of Arrhenius, thus: (1) The particles issuing from
    the sun are supposed to come principally from the regions whose
    excitement is indicated by the presence of sun-spots (which
    accords with Hale's observation that sun-spots are columns of
    ionized vapors), and these regions have a definite location on
    either side of the solar equator, seldom approaching it nearer
    than within 5&deg; or 10&deg; north or south, and never
    extending much beyond 35&deg; toward either pole; (2) The
    equator of the sun is inclined about 7&deg; to the plane of the
    earth's orbit, from which it results that twice in a year --
    <em>viz.,</em> in June and December -- the earth is directly
    over the solar equator, and twice a year -- <em>viz.,</em> in
    March and September -- when it is farthest north or south of
    the solar equator, it is over the inner edge of the sun-spot
    belts. Since the corpuscles must be supposed to be propelled
    radially from the sun, few will reach the earth when the latter
    is over the solar equator in June and December, but when it is
    over, or nearly over, the spot belts, in March and September,
    it will be in the line of fire of the more active parts of the
    solar surface, and relatively rich streams of particles will
    reach it. This, as will be seen from what has been said above,
    is in strict accord with the observed variations in the
    frequency of auror&aelig;. Even the fact that somewhat fewer
    auror&aelig; are seen in June than in December also finds its
    explanation in the known fact that the earth is about three
    million miles nearer the sun in the winter than in the summer,
    and the number of particles reaching it will vary, like the
    intensity of light, inversely as the square of the distance.
    These coincidences are certainly very striking, and they have a
    cumulative force. If we accept the theory, it would appear that
    we ought to congratulate ourselves that the inclination of the
    sun's equator is so slight, for as things stand the earth is
    never directly over the most active regions of the sun-spots,
    and consequently never suffers from the maximum bombardment of
    charged particles of which the sun is capable. Incessant
    auroral displays, with their undulating draperies, flitting
    colors, and marching columns might not be objectionable from
    the point of view of picturesqueness, but one magnetic storm of
    extreme intensity following closely upon the heels of another,
    for months on end, crazing the magnetic needle and continually
    putting the telegraph and cable lines out of commission, to say
    nothing of their effect upon ``wireless telegraphy'', would
    hardly add to the charms of terrestrial existence.</p>

    <p>One or two other curious points in connection with
    Arrhenius' hypothesis may be mentioned. First, the number of
    auror&aelig;, according to his explanation, ought to be
    greatest in the daytime, when the face of the earth on the
    sunward side is directly exposed to the atomic bombardment. Of
    course visual observation can give us no information about
    this, since the light of the Aurora is never sufficiently
    intense to be visible in the presence of daylight, but the
    records of the magnetic observatories can be, and have been,
    appealed to for information, and they indicate that the facts
    actually accord with the theory. Behind the veil of sunlight in
    the middle of the afternoon, there is good reason to believe,
    auroral exhibitions often take place which would eclipse in
    magnificence those seen at night if we could behold them.
    Observation shows, too, that auror&aelig; are more frequent
    before than after midnight, which is just what we should expect
    if they originate in the way that Arrhenius supposes. Second,
    the theory offers an explanation of the alleged fact that the
    formation of clouds in the upper air is more frequent in years
    when auror&aelig; are most abundant, because clouds are the
    result of the condensation of moisture upon floating particles
    in the atmosphere (in an absolutely dustless atmosphere there
    would be no clouds), and it has been proved that negative ions
    like those supposed to come from the sun play a master part in
    the phenomena of cloud formation.</p>

    <p>Yet another singular fact, almost mystical in its
    suggestions, may be mentioned. It seems that the dance of the
    auroral lights occurs most frequently during the absence of the
    moon from the hemisphere in which they appear, and that they
    flee, in greater part, to the opposite hemisphere when the
    moon's revolution in an orbit considerably inclined to the
    earth's equator brings her into that where they have been
    performing. Arrhenius himself discovered this curious relation
    of auroral frequency to the position of the moon north or south
    of the equator, and he explains it in this way. The moon, like
    the earth, is exposed to the influx of the ions from the sun;
    but having no atmosphere, or almost none, to interfere with
    them, they descend directly upon her surface and charge her
    with an electric negative potential to a very high degree. In
    consequence of this she affects the electric state of the upper
    parts of the earth's atmosphere where they lie most directly
    beneath her, and thus prevents, to a large extent, the negative
    discharges to which the appearance of the Aurora is due. And so
    ``the extravagant and erring spirit'' of the Aurora avoids the
    moon as Hamlet's ghost fled at the voice of the cock announcing
    the awakening of the god of day.</p>

    <p>There are even other apparent confirmations of the
    hypothesis, but we need not go into them. We shall, however,
    find one more application of it in the next chapter, for it
    appears to be a kind of cure-all for astronomical troubles; at
    any rate it offers a conceivable solution of the question, How
    does the sun manage to transmit its electric influence to the
    earth? And this solution is so grandiose in conception, and so
    novel in the mental pictures that it offers, that its
    acceptance would not in the least detract from the impression
    that the Aurora makes upon the imagination.</p>

    <p><strong>Strange Adventures of Comets</strong></p>

    <p>The fears and legends of ancient times before Science was
    born, and the superstitions of the Dark Ages, sedulously
    cultivated for theological purposes by monks and priests, have
    so colored our ideas of the influence that comets have had upon
    the human mind that many readers may be surprised to learn that
    it was the apparition of a wonderful comet, that of 1843, which
    led to the foundation of our greatest astronomical institution,
    the Harvard College Observatory. No doubt the comet
    superstition existed half a century ago, as, indeed, it exists
    yet today, but in this case the marvelous spectacle in the sky
    proved less effective in inspiring terror than in awakening a
    desire for knowledge. Even in the sixteenth century the views
    that enlightened minds took of comets tended powerfully to
    inspire popular confidence in science, and Halley's prediction,
    after seeing and studying the motion of the comet which
    appeared in 1682, that it would prove to be a regular member of
    the sun's family and would be seen returning after a period of
    about seventy-six years, together with the fulfillment of that
    prediction, produced a revulsion from the superstitious notions
    which had so long prevailed.</p>

    <p>Then the facts were made plain that comets are subject to
    the law of gravitation equally with the planets; that there are
    many which regularly return to the neighborhood of the sun
    (perihelion); and that these travel in orbits differing from
    those of the planets only in their greater eccentricity,
    although they have the peculiarity that they do not, like the
    planets, all go round the sun in the same direction, and do not
    keep within the general plane of the planetary system, but
    traverse it sometimes from above and sometimes from below.
    Other comets, including most of the ``great'' ones, appear to
    travel in parabolic or, in a few cases, hyperbolic orbits,
    which, not being closed curves, never bring them back again.
    But it is not certain that these orbits may not be extremely
    eccentric ellipses, and that after the lapse of hundreds, or
    thousands, of years the comets that follow them may not
    reappear. The question is an interesting one, because if all
    orbits are really ellipses, then all comets must be permanent
    members of the solar system, while in the contrary case many of
    them are simply visitors, seen once and never to be seen again.
    The hypothesis that comets are originally interlopers might
    seem to derive some support from the fact that the certainly
    periodic ones are associated, in groups, with the great outer
    planets, whose attraction appears to have served as a trap for
    them by turning them into elliptical orbits and thus making
    them prisoners in the solar system. Jupiter, owing to his great
    mass and his commanding situation in the system, is the chief
    ``comet-catcher;'' but he catches them not for himself, but for
    the sun. Yet if comets do come originally from without the
    borders of the planetary system, it does not, by any means,
    follow that they were wanderers at large in space before they
    yielded to the overmastering attraction of the sun.
    Investigation of the known cometary orbits, combined with
    theoretical considerations, has led some astronomers to the
    conclusion that as the sun travels onward through space he
    ``picks up <em>en route</em>'' cometary masses which, without
    belonging strictly to his empire, are borne along in the same
    vast ``cosmical current'' that carries the solar system.</p>

    <p>But while no intelligent person any longer thinks that the
    appearance of a great comet is a token from the heavenly powers
    of the approaching death of a mighty ruler, or the outbreak of
    a devastating war, or the infliction of a terrible plague upon
    wicked mankind, science itself has discovered mysteries about
    comets which are not less fascinating because they are more
    intellectual than the irrational fancies that they have
    displaced. To bring the subject properly before the mind, let
    us see what the principal phenomena connected with a comet
    are.</p>

    <p>At the present day comets are ordinarily ``picked up'' with
    the telescope or the photographic plate before any one except
    their discoverer is aware of their existence, and usually they
    remain so insignificant in appearance that only astronomers
    ever see them. Yet so great is the prestige of the word
    ``comet'' that the discovery of one of these inconspicuous
    wanderers, and its subsequent movements, become items of the
    day's news which everybody reads with the feeling, perhaps,
    that at least he knows what is going on in the universe even if
    he doesn't understand it. But a truly great comet presents
    quite a different proposition. It, too, is apt to be detected
    coming out of the depths of space before the world at large can
    get a glimpse of it, but as it approaches the sun its aspect
    undergoes a marvelous change. Agitated apparently by solar
    influence, it throws out a long streaming tail of nebulous
    light, directed away from the sun and looking as if blown out
    like a pennon by a powerful wind. Whatever may be the position
    of the comet with regard to the sun, as it circles round him it
    continually keeps its tail on the off side. This, as we shall
    soon see, is a fact of capital importance in relation to the
    probable nature of comets' tails. Almost at the same time that
    the formation of the tail is observed a remarkable change takes
    place in the comet's head, which, by the way, is invariably and
    not merely occasionally its most important part. On approaching
    the sun the head usually contracts. Coincidently with this
    contraction a nucleus generally makes its appearance. This is a
    bright, star-like point in the head, and it probably represents
    the totality of solid matter that the comet possesses. But it
    is regarded as extremely unlikely that even the nucleus
    consists of a uniformly solid mass. If it were such, comets
    would be far more formidable visitors when they pass near the
    planets than they have been found to be. The diameter of the
    nucleus may vary from a few hundred up to several thousand
    miles; the heads, on the average, are from twenty-five thousand
    to one hundred thousand miles in diameter, although a few have
    greatly exceeded these dimensions; that of the comet of 1811,
    one of the most stupendous ever seen, was a million and a
    quarter miles in diameter! As to the tails, not withstanding
    their enormous length -- some have been more than a hundred
    million miles long -- there is reason to believe that they are
    of extreme tenuity, ``as rare as vacuum.'' The smallest stars
    have been seen shining through their most brilliant portions
    with undiminished luster.</p>

    <p>After the nucleus has been formed it begins to throw out
    bright jets directed toward the sun. A stream, and sometimes
    several streams, of light also project sunward from the
    nucleus, occasionally appearing like a stunted tail directed
    oppositely to the real tail. Symmetrical envelopes which, seen
    in section, appear as half circles or parabolas, rise sunward
    from the nucleus, forming a concentric series. The ends of
    these stream backward into the tail, to which they seem to
    supply material. Ordinarily the formation of these ejections
    and envelopes is attended by intense agitation of the nucleus,
    which twists and turns, swinging and gyrating with an
    appearance of the greatest violence. Sometimes the nucleus is
    seen to break up into several parts. The entire heads of some
    comets have been split asunder in passing close around the sun;
    The comet of 1882 retreated into space after its perihelion
    passage with <em>five heads</em> instead of the one that it had
    originally, and each of these heads had its own tail!</p>

    <p>The possession of the spectroscope has enabled astronomers
    during later years to study the chemical composition of comets
    by analyzing their light. At first the only substances thus
    discovered in them were hydro-carbon compounds, due evidently
    to the gaseous envelopes in which some combination of hydrogen
    with carbon existed. Behind this gaseous spectrum was found a
    faint continuous spectrum ascribed to the nucleus, which
    apparently both reflects the sunlight and gives forth the light
    of a glowing solid or liquid. Subsequently sodium and iron
    lines were found in cometary spectra. The presence of iron
    would seem to indicate that some of these bodies may be much
    more massive than observations on their attractive effects have
    indicated. In some recent comets, such as Morehouse's, in 1908,
    several lines have been found, the origin of which is
    unknown.</p>

    <p>Without going back of the nineteenth century we may find
    records of some of the most extraordinary comets that man has
    ever looked upon. In 1811, still spoken of as ``the year of the
    comet,'' because of the wonderful vintage ascribed to the skyey
    visitor, a comet shaped like a gigantic sword amazed the whole
    world, and, as it remained visible for seventeen months, was
    regarded by superstitious persons as a symbol of the fearful
    happenings of Napoleon's Russian campaign. This comet, the
    extraordinary size of whose head, greatly exceeding that of the
    sun itself, has already been mentioned, was also remarkable for
    exhibiting so great a brilliancy without approaching even to
    the earth's distance from the sun. But there was once a comet
    (and only once -- in the year 1729) which never got nearer to
    the sun than four times the distance of the earth and yet
    appeared as a formidable object in the sky. As Professor Young
    has remarked, ``it must have been an enormous comet to be
    visible from such a distance.'' And we are to remember that
    there were no great telescopes in the year 1729. That comet
    affects the imagination like a phantom of space peering into
    the solar system, displaying its enormous train afar off
    (which, if it had approached as near as other comets, would
    probably have become <em>the</em> celestial wonder of all human
    memory), and then turning away and vanishing in the depths of
    immensity.</p>

    <p>In 1843 a comet appeared which was so brilliant that it
    could be seen in broad day close beside the sun! This was the
    first authenticated instance of that kind, but the occurrence
    was to be repeated, as we shall see in a moment, less than
    forty years later.</p>

    <p>The splendid comet of 1858, usually called Donati's, is
    remembered by many persons yet living. It was, perhaps, both as
    seen by the naked eye and with the telescope, the most
    beautiful comet of which we have any record. It too marked a
    rich vintage year, still remembered in the vineyards of France,
    where there is a popular belief that a great comet ripens the
    grape and imparts to the wine a flavor not attainable by the
    mere skill of the cultivator. There are ``comet wines,''
    carefully treasured in certain cellars, and brought forth only
    when their owner wishes to treat his guests to a sip from
    paradise.</p>

    <p>The year 1861 saw another very remarkable comet, of an
    aspect strangely vast and diffuse, which is believed to have
    swept the earth with its immense tail when it passed between us
    and the sun on the night of June 30th, an event which produced
    no other known effect than the appearance of an unwonted amount
    of scattered light in the sky.</p>

    <p>The next very notable comet was the ``Great Southern Comet''
    of 1880, which was not seen from the northern hemisphere. It
    mimicked the aspect of the famous comet of 1843, and to the
    great surprise of astronomers appeared to be traveling in the
    same path. This proved to be the rising of the curtain for an
    astronomical sensation unparalleled in its kind; for two years
    later another brilliant comet appeared, first in the southern
    hemisphere, <em>and it too followed the same track.</em> The
    startling suggestion was now made that this comet was identical
    with those of 1843 and 1880, its return having been hastened by
    the resistance experienced in passing twice through the coronal
    envelope, and there were some who thought that it would now
    swing swiftly round and then plunge straight into the sun, with
    consequences that might be disastrous to us on account of the
    ``flash of heat'' that would be produced by the impact. Nervous
    people were frightened, but observation soon proved that the
    danger was imaginary, for although the comet almost grazed the
    sun, and must have rushed through two or three million miles of
    the coronal region, no retardation of its immense velocity was
    perceptible, and it finally passed away in a damaged condition,
    as before remarked, and has never since appeared.</p>


</pre>





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