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covered still many more.

But that the Universe abounds with numberless Numbers of Stars, you will soon be convinced, by directing the Telescope to any Part of that whitish Tract of the Heavens we call the Galaxy, or Milky Way.

Euphrof. That I'll instantly do.--I see them, innumerable !--They fill the Glass, like the nebulous Star.-If I turn the Tube this Way or that, still nothing but Stars are seen—Most of them very small, fome scarce difcernable. - The Region of Heaven looks light through all this Part.-Sure we have here a larger Prospect into the Universe.

Cleon. This Part of the Heavens being illuminated by the Lustre of such an Infinity of Stars, gave Occafion to the Heathen Poets to make it the high Road to Heaven, or to the Court of Jove. Thus Ovid;

A Way there is in Heav'n's extended Plain,
Which when the Skies are clear is seen below,
And Mortals by the Name of Milky know:
The Ground-work is of Stars, thro' which the Road

Lies open to the Thunderer's Abode.
And our famous Milton;

A broad and ample Road, whose Duft is Gold,
And Pavement Stars, as Stars to us appear,
Seen in the Galaxy, that Milky Way,

Like to a circling Zone, powder'd with Stars.
Again; the astronomical Poet Manilius, speaking of the
Galaxy, has these Lines;

Nor need we with a prying Eye survey
The diftant. Skies, to find the Milky Way,
It must be seen by all, for ev'ry Night
It forcibly intrudes upon our Sight,
And will be mark’d, for mining Streaks adorn
The Skies as opening to let forth the Morn.
And as a beaten Path that spreads between
A trodden Meadow, and divides the Green ;
Or as when Seas are plow'd, behind the Ship
Foam curls on the green Surface of the Deep ;
In Heav'n's dark Šurface such this Circle lies,
And parts with various Light the azure Skies.
Or as when Iris draws her radiant Bow,
Such feems this Circle to the World below.


It all surpriseth, our inquiring Sight
It upward draws, when thro the Shades of Night
It spreads its Rays, and darts amazing Light.

LIB. I. Euphrof. But why, Cleonicus, is this Part of the Heavens stored with such Myriads of Stars mote than any other Part?

Cleon. I cannot tell the Reason, but so it is; and hence it is that in this part, oftener than in any other, we find the Extinction of old Stars, and the Appearance of new ones.

Euphrof. I should be glad to have a short Account of these old and new Stars that you speak of, having never heard any Thing on that Subject.

Cleon. Hipparchus, who lived some Years before Christ, is said to be the first who saw or observed a new Star. After many Ages, in the Year 1572, a new Star appeared to Corn. Gemma, and Tycho Brahe, and became extinct in the Year 1574. It broke out with the Luftre of Venus, and decayed very gradually all the Time. Such another was seen in 1604, and died away gradually in about the fame Time. In the Year 1696, one Fabricius discovered the Stella Mira, or wonderful Star, in the Neck of the Whale, which is found to appear and disappear periodi. cally, its Period being seven Revolutions in fix Years. In the Year 1600, Wm. Jansonius discovered another in the Neck of the Swan, which has fince appeared of different Magnitudes, and is now very small. Another was discovered in the Year 1670, by Hevelius, and disappeared in 1672. And in the Year 1686, the last new Star was discovered by Mr. G. Kirch, which returns periodically in the Space of about 4041 Days; and these are all the fixed Stars which have altered-their Appearance for 160 Years past.

Euphros. Dear Cleonicus, I am obliged to you; but fear I tire you with my Impertinencies : 'Tis late, and I'll have done, if you'll only tell me what I am to understand by the Star which I saw this Moment shoot along a good Part of the Heavens.

Cleon. It was not a Star that you saw, my Euphrosyne, but only a fiery Meteor kindled in the Air, and then looked like a Star; and as all such Bodies move swiftly VoL, I. L


like a Sky - Rocket, while they spend themfelves, so this Meteor seemed like a shooting or falling Star, till it became extinguished ; according to the Poet.

Thus oft before tempestuous Winds arise,
The seeming Stars fall headlong from the Skies,
And shooting thro' the Darkness, gild the Night
With sweeping Glories, and long Trails of Light,

DRYDEN'S VIRGIL. Thus also Manilius;

But fill, when wandring Stars adorn the Night,
The falling Meteors draw long Trains of Light;
Like Arrows shot from the celestial Bow,
They cut the Air, and strike our Eyes below.


Of an ECLIPSE of the SUN.

Have been very anxious about the Weather To-day,

how it might chance to fall out, on Account of the Eclipse of the Sun that is to be this Afternoon ; but it is at present fine, and I hope the Clouds will forbear, and permit us the extraordinary Sight, especially now you are here.

Cleon. I believe it will be a fine Day throughout: It will begin just at 397 Minutes after Three o'clock, against which Time I will get the Telescope and darkened Chamber in Readiness for the Observation.

Euphrof. What I have often wondered at, Cleonicus, is, how any Body can tell when an Eclipse will happen fo long before-hand, and to such Exactness of Time.

Cleon. It does seem wonderful to those who know not the Principles they go upon : but I do assure you, my Euphrosyne, the Astronomer can foreknow and predict the Time of an Eclipse to a Minute, with the same Ease, and in the same Time as you can raise a MincePye.


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