or else I am even drunker than I knew. He retched the wine
But there are various questions that at once suggest themselves which the Kantian theory leaves unanswered. How happens it, for example, that the cosmic mass which gave birth to our solar system was divided into several planetary bodies instead of remaining a single mass? Were the planets struck from the sun by the chance impact of comets, as Buffon has suggested? or thrown out by explosive volcanic action, in accordance with the theory of Dr. Darwin? or do they owe their origin to some unknown law? In any event, how chanced it that all were projected in nearly the same plane as we now find them?
LAPLACE AND THE NEBULAR HYPOTHESIS
It remained for a mathematical astronomer to solve these puzzles. The man of all others competent to take the subject in hand was the French astronomer Laplace. For a quarter of a century he had devoted his transcendent mathematical abilities to the solution of problems of motion of the heavenly bodies. Working in friendly rivalry with his countryman Lagrange, his only peer among the mathematicians of the age, he had taken up and solved one by one the problems that Newton left obscure. Largely through the efforts of these two men the last lingering doubts as to the solidarity of the Newtonian hypothesis of universal gravitation had been removed. The share of Lagrange was hardly less than that of his co-worker; but Laplace will longer be remembered, because he ultimately brought his completed labors into a system, and, incorporating with them the labors of his contemporaries, produced in the Mecanique Celeste the undisputed mathematical monument of the century, a fitting complement to the Principia of Newton, which it supplements and in a sense completes.
In the closing years of the eighteenth century Laplace took up the nebular hypothesis of cosmogony, to which we have just referred, and gave it definite proportions; in fact, made it so thoroughly his own that posterity will always link it with his name. Discarding the crude notions of cometary impact and volcanic eruption, Laplace filled up the gaps in the hypothesis with the aid of well-known laws of gravitation and motion. He assumed that the primitive mass of cosmic matter which was destined to form our solar system was revolving on its axis even at a time when it was still nebular in character, and filled all space to a distance far beyond the present limits of the system. As this vaporous mass contracted through loss of heat, it revolved more and more swiftly, and from time to time, through balance of forces at its periphery, rings of its substance were whirled off and left revolving there, subsequently to become condensed into planets, and in their turn whirl off minor rings that became moons. The main body of the original mass remains in the present as the still contracting and rotating body which we call the sun.
Let us allow Laplace to explain all this in detail:
"In order to explain the prime movements of the planetary system," he says, "there are the five following phenomena: The movement of the planets in the same direction and very nearly in the same plane; the movement of the satellites in the same direction as that of the planets; the rotation of these different bodies and the sun in the same direction as their revolution, and in nearly the same plane; the slight eccentricity of the orbits of the planets and of the satellites; and, finally, the great eccentricity of the orbits of the comets, as if their inclinations had been left to chance.
"Buffon is the only man I know who, since the discovery of the true system of the world, has endeavored to show the origin of the planets and their satellites. He supposes that a comet, in falling into the sun, drove from it a mass of matter which was reassembled at a distance in the form of various globes more or less large, and more or less removed from the sun, and that these globes, becoming opaque and solid, are now the planets and their satellites.
"This hypothesis satisfies the first of the five preceding phenomena; for it is clear that all the bodies thus formed would move very nearly in the plane which passed through the centre of the sun, and in the direction of the torrent of matter which was produced; but the four other phenomena appear to be inexplicable to me by this means. Indeed, the absolute movement of the molecules of a planet ought then to be in the direction of the movement of its centre of gravity; but it does not at all follow that the motion of the rotation of the planets should be in the same direction. Thus the earth should rotate from east to west, but nevertheless the absolute movement of its molecules should be from east to west; and this ought also to apply to the movement of the revolution of the satellites, in which the direction, according to the hypothesis which he offers, is not necessarily the same as that of the progressive movement of the planets.
- and other comforts. At Caylen, the most southern island,
- and thatched roof. Alsoon was always busy, cooking or sweeping
- and a fine wee bit of loot from these overfed, psalm-singing
- Incredulous anger rippled through the Highland army. Ian
- mist seemed to float above the water. This mist had a familiar
- be trying to make everyone hate me, and never giving me
- They walked on, with the long, tireless Highland stride,
- listened with an odd feeling of contentment. This brotherhood,
- and other comforts. At Caylen, the most southern island,
- and not be waking at all at all. But some inner vitality
- out. “I am of the Kirk, and have been servant to Argyll
- that it was a fine idea, that last. Ranald said that he
- and not Spaniards and that they were in sad want of tobacco
- argue. But at this moment Lachlan and Maeve arrived, shouting
- own home may be turned to our side if we treat them well.”
- words might reach Ian. “Chlanna non can, thigibh a so—”
- nearly pure Indian inhabitants. They were much surprised
- a dreary sky. She looked wearily around and saw nothing
- Neither Alex nor Ian remembered the rest clearly—only
- with only a few brief hours of daylight and long gray dusks.
- in all the finer points of big game hunting. Of an evening
- be shouting more loudly and burning more witches than ever
- a wall of armed men ahead, and then the smashing, tearing
- why ever not?” he demanded. “The women do full share
- then directed the ray of the little lamp toward the further
- It was pleasant to be cared for, pleasant and strange.
- too well. Their faces held a savage and bloodthirsty fanaticism,
- it could have an evil spell on it, all the same. She said
- Morison had been urging his suit once more that evening,
- But this palled too, and presently a group of young and
- And Ian! Was he dead, then? Dead trying to save herself,
- place that she could go and rest and hide away from the
- before. For what was he waiting, or for whom? He heard
- Later, when she wasn’t so tired, she would no doubt feel
- and the blazing red beard of Antrim ... someone yelling
- “I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine,
- slowly toward the north—he said nothing of the party
- women and bairns? If there were more leaders with the principles
- Kelpie squeezed through a gap between a stout man and a
- boomed Antrim. “Be patient a wee while, men of my heart,
- man more common interests than the cultured guests of Bwana
- It was a popular suggestion, and the long Highland strides
- brother wanted Cecily, then she was not for Ian to think
- lied about teaching her the Evil Eye. It came to her with
- And thus matters stood when, one hot night, Meriem, unable
- And then suddenly came a shrill wild skirl from the gaunt
- were disturbing the young waif, she said nothing but merely
- “Is Kelpie your true name?” demanded Archie as they
- and he pulled up short, for, instinctively, he knew that
- a tall lad in Duncan kilt, “but perhaps their good Lowland