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Page 136 - It is a time-piece that advances very regularly near four minutes a day, and no other group of stars exhibits, to the naked eye, an observation of time so easily made. How often have we heard our guides exclaim in the savannahs of Venezuela, or in the desert extending from Lima to Truxillo, ' Midnight is past, the Cross begins to bend...
Page xiii - Seized in thought, On Fancy's wild and roving wing I sail, From the green borders of the peopled earth, And the pale moon, her duteous, fair attendant ; From solitary Mars ; from the vast orb Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantic bulk Dances in ether like the lightest leaf...
Page 132 - Orpheus with his lute made trees, And the mountain tops that freeze, Bow themselves when he did sing ; To his music plants and flowers Ever sprung, as sun and showers There had made a lasting spring.
Page 270 - The telescope rests on a universal joint, placed on masonry, about 6 feet below the ground, and is elevated or depressed by a chain and windlass; and, although it weighs about 15 tons, the instrument is raised by two men with great facility. Of course, it is counterpoised in every direction. " The observer, when at work, stands in one of four galleries, the three highest of which are drawn out from the western wall...
Page 17 - ... below, seem to bid defiance to the laws of gravitation. Around the base of these frightful eminences, are strewed numerous loose and unconnected fragments, which time seems to have detached from their parent mass ; and when we examine the rents and ravines which accompany the over-hanging cliffs, we expect every moment that they are to be torn from their base, and that the process of destructive separation which we had only contemplated in its effects, is about to be exhibited before us in tremendous...
Page 255 - Centauri and the Cross ; while to the north it fades away pale and dim, and is in comparison hardly traceable. I think it is impossible to view this splendid zone, with the astonishingly rich and...
Page 255 - ... almost vacant parts of its general mass, and that eccentrically, so as to be much nearer to the parts about the Cross than to that diametrically opposed to it.
Page 136 - The two great stars which mark the summit and the foot of the cross, having nearly the same right ascension, it follows hence, that the constellation is almost perpendicular, at the moment when it passes the meridian. This circumstance is known to every nation that lives beyond the tropics, or in the southern hemisphere.