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READING AND SPEAKING.
CHARACTER OF HERSCHEL.By Baron FOURIER.
In the early period of his life, Herschel struggled against fortune and subdued her. His glory was increased by all that the chance of birth had refused him.
The arts introduced him to the sanctuary of the sciences ; he improved optics; he undertook to deseribe the natural history of the heavens; he saw new stars at the extremities of the planetary world, the extent of which he doubled. He contemplated innumerable phenomena in regions where the eye of man had never before penetrated; he studied the nature of the sun, divided its rays, measured their brightness, separated light from heat; he saw the effects of gravitation in all the depths of space. To no man was it given to make known to others so great a number of new stars. Whatever the universe displays of what is immense and imperishable, was the habitual object of his contemplation. Such were the occupations of his mind : let us now mention the sentiments with which they inspired him.
He lived in the heart of a nation which, above all others, regards the glory of its great men as public property. He enjoyed pure happiness in the bosom of his family ; his prayers were answered by the success of his son, and he heard the public voice repeating the just and soothing expression, “ Herschel leaves a son worthy of his father.” A benevolent prince had wished to be acquainted with him, and from that moment declared himself his protector and friend. His sister, Caroline Herschel, an admirable model of disinterestedness, gentleness and perseverance, devoted her life to him.
For more than forty years she assisted at all his watchings, collected all his thoughts, transcribed with her own hand, and published all his works; nor could she permit any other to have this charge committed to him. She wrote and preserved those
immense registers which Herschel left to his son, in which are faithfully deposited, from the year 1776, all his observations and experiments,-a truly noble and glorious inheritance, which is at once the monument of a sublime science and of the most affecting friendship.
Astronomy and physics will long find in these records a fertile source of comparisons and discoveries. Thus the influence of great men stretches forth into futurity; and it is not at their death that all the fruits of their labours can be appreciated. The physical picture of the heavens, traced by Herschel, will be compared with recent observations, and the changes will be remarked which a long interval may have produced. Already striking consequences present themselves to the mind, but time alone can develope them; and they will only become manifest after a great number of ages.
Then entire revolutions will be accomplished; our successors will admire other phenomena and other stars ; a part of the spectacle of the heavens will be changed; but at those remote epochs, the memory of Herschel will still be fresh. He died in the eighty-fourth year of his age, without infirmities and without pain. His name, confided to the grateful sciences, is ever preserved from oblivion,--they crown it with immortalglory.
BROUGHAM's Speech on the Present State of the Law.
In pursuing the course which I now invite you to enter upon, I avow that I look for the co-operation of the king's government; and on what are my hopes founded ? Men gather not grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles. But that the vine should no longer yield its wonted fruit—that the fig tree should refuse its natural increase, required a miracle to strike it with barrenness. There are those in the present ministry, whose known liberal opinions have lately been proclaimed anew to the world, and pledges have been avouched for their influence upon the policy of the state. With them, others may not, upon all subjects, agree; upon this, I would fain hope there will be found little difference. But, be that as it may, whether I have the support of the ministers or noto the House I look with confident expectation, that it will control them, and assist me; if I go too far, checking my progressif too fast, abating my speed—but heartily and honestly helping me in the best and greatest work, which the hands of the lawgiver can undertake. The course is clear hefore us ; the
race is glorious to run. You have the power of sending your name down through all times, illustrated by deeds of higher fame, and more useful import than ever were done within these walls. You saw the greatest warrior of the age-conqueror of Italy-humbler of Germany-terror of the North-saw him account all his matchless víctories poor, compared with the triumph you are now in a condition to win---saw him contemn the fickleness of fortune, while, in despite of her, he could pronounce his memorable boast, “ I shall go down to posterity with the code in my hand !" You have vanquished him in the field ; strive now to rival him in the sacred arts of peace ? Outstrip him as a lawgiver whom in arms you overcame! The lustre of the regency will be eclipsed by the mere solid and enduring splendour of the reign. The praise which false courtiers feigned for our Edwards and Harrys, the Justinians of their day, will be the just tribute of the wise and the good to that monarch under whose sway so mighty an undertaking shall be accomplished. Of a truth, sceptres are most chiefly to be envied for that they bestow the power of thus conquering and ruling thus. It was the boast of Augustus—it formed part of the glare in which the perfidies of his
earlier years were lost that he found Rome of brick, and left it of marble; a praise not unworthy a great prince, and to which the present reign has its claim also. But how much nobler will be our sovereign's boast, when he shall have it to say, that he found law dear, and left it cheap; found it a sealed book-left it a living letter: found it the patrimony of the rich-left it the inheritance of the poor ; found it the two-edged sword of craft and oppression_left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence ! To me, much reflecting on these things, it has always seemed a worthier honour to be the instrument of making you bestir yourselves in this high matter, than to enjoy all that office can bestow-office, of which the patronage would be an irksome incumbrance, the emoluments superfluous to one content with the rest of his industrious fellow-citizens, that his own hands minister to his wants : And as for the power supposed to follow it I have lived near half a century, and I have learned that power and place may be severed. I do prize ; that of being the advocate of my countrymen here, and their fellow-labourer elsewhere, in those things which concern the best interests of mankind. That power, I know full well, no government can giveno change take away!
But one power
“ He never smild again."
The bark that held a prince went down,
The sweeping waves rollid on;
To him that wept a son ?
Ere sorrow break its chain !
He never smil'd again!
The stately and the brave;
That one beneath the wave ?
He never smild again!
He heard the minstrel sing;
Amidst the knightly ring.
Seem'd blent with every strain,
He never smil'd again!
Of vows once fondly pour’d,
At many a joyous board.
Were left to heaven's bright rain ;
He never smil'd again !
From GRANT's Poem on the Restoration of Learning in the
Such thy sad trophies, War! by thee dismay'd,
Mason's Eulogy on HAMILTON. He was born to be great. Whoever was second, HAMILTON must be first. To his stupendous and versatile mind no investigation was difficult-no subject presented which he did not