for something he had done, but when had the gods ever been
"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.
"A phenomenon not only very difficult to explain under this hypothesis, but one which is even contrary to it, is the slight eccentricity of the planetary orbits. We know, by the theory of central forces, that if a body moves in a closed orbit around the sun and touches it, it also always comes back to that point at every revolution; whence it follows that if the planets were originally detached from the sun, they would touch it at each return towards it, and their orbits, far from being circular, would be very eccentric. It is true that a mass of matter driven from the sun cannot be exactly compared to a globe which touches its surface, for the impulse which the particles of this mass receive from one another and the reciprocal attractions which they exert among themselves, could, in changing the direction of their movements, remove their perihelions from the sun; but their orbits would be always most eccentric, or at least they would not have slight eccentricities except by the most extraordinary chance. Thus we cannot see, according to the hypothesis of Buffon, why the orbits of more than a hundred comets already observed are so elliptical. This hypothesis is therefore very far from satisfying the preceding phenomena. Let us see if it is possible to trace them back to their true cause.
"Whatever may be its ultimate nature, seeing that it has caused or modified the movements of the planets, it is necessary that this cause should embrace every body, and, in view of the enormous distances which separate them, it could only have been a fluid of immense extent. In order to have given them an almost circular movement in the same direction around the sun, it is necessary that this fluid should have enveloped the sun as in an atmosphere. The consideration of the planetary movements leads us then to think that, on account of excessive heat, the atmosphere of the sun originally extended beyond the orbits of all the planets, and that it was successively contracted to its present limits.
"In the primitive condition in which we suppose the sun to have been, it resembled a nebula such as the telescope shows is composed of a nucleus more or less brilliant, surrounded by a nebulosity which, on condensing itself towards the centre, forms a star. If it is conceived by analogy that all the stars were formed in this manner, it is possible to imagine their previous condition of nebulosity, itself preceded by other states in which the nebulous matter was still more diffused, the nucleus being less and less luminous. By going back as far as possible, we thus arrive at a nebulosity so diffused that its existence could hardly be suspected.
"For a long time the peculiar disposition of certain stars, visible to the unaided eye, has struck philosophical observers. Mitchell has already remarked how little probable it is that the stars in the Pleiades, for example, could have been contracted into the small space which encloses them by the fortuity of chance alone, and he has concluded that this group of stars, and similar groups which the skies present to us, are the necessary result of the condensation of a nebula, with several nuclei, and it is evident that a nebula, by continually contracting, towards these various nuclei, at length would form a group of stars similar to the Pleiades. The condensation of a nebula with two nuclei would form a system of stars close together, turning one upon the other, such as those double stars of which we already know the respective movements.
"But how did the solar atmosphere determine the movements of the rotation and revolution of the planets and satellites? If these bodies had penetrated very deeply into this atmosphere, its resistance would have caused them to fall into the sun. We can therefore conjecture that the planets were formed at their successive limits by the condensation of a zone of vapors which the sun, on cooling, left behind, in the plane of his equator.
"Let us recall the results which we have given in a preceding chapter. The atmosphere of the sun could not have extended indefinitely. Its limit was the point where the centrifugal force due to its movement of rotation balanced its weight. But in proportion as the cooling contracted the atmosphere, and those molecules which were near to them condensed upon the surface of the body, the movement of the rotation increased; for, on account of the Law of Areas, the sum of the areas described by the vector of each molecule of the sun and its atmosphere and projected in the plane of the equator being always the same, the rotation should increase when these molecules approach the centre of the sun. The centrifugal force due to this movement becoming thus larger, the point where the weight is equal to it is nearer the sun. Supposing, then, as it is natural to admit, that the atmosphere extended at some period to its very limits, it should, on cooling, leave molecules behind at this limit and at limits successively occasioned by the increased rotation of the sun. The abandoned molecules would continue to revolve around this body, since their centrifugal force was balanced by their weight. But this equilibrium not arising in regard to the atmospheric molecules parallel to the solar equator, the latter, on account of their weight, approached the atmosphere as they condensed, and did not cease to belong to it until by this motion they came upon the equator.
- And thus matters stood when, one hot night, Meriem, unable
- desperate assailant, but calling feebly upon Frere for
- Lesly and another burst into a laugh at this wild proposition,
- whole disappeared, and the bright water sparkled as placidly
- And thus matters stood when, one hot night, Meriem, unable
- “Danny!— with as much surprise as if she said “Walter
- barely-tasted piece of meat from his mouth, and replaced
- men’s food for one day, or one man’s food for six days.
- fit, often wandering along in the great flower garden that
- save the side on which he had been lying, and he rose to
- it, and the possessions of the little party were thrown
- Mrs. Vickers, who, stifling her terror, made haste to tear
- Max realized that he must lower his head if he would follow.
- and menaced by four muskets. “Keep your distance!”
- was insufficient for the purpose. The noise had roused
- it up bodily. As he did so, Barker, who had reloaded his
- the ray of light from Max's lamp impinged upon the opening
- glade was something that fluttered. Rufus Dawes pressed
- “It’s a mutiny, ma’am,” said he. “Go back to
- The noise brought out Mrs. Vickers from her berth, and
- that she might honestly give him the answer that he demanded.
- up as before, ready to resist any attempt at capture, the
- full rays upon him. His clothes were dry in all places,
- that in a second or so he would be able to detect the difference.
- but he had not been as idle as he appeared to have been.
- “I don’t know, missy,” said Bates. “It’s very
- Mr. Frere’ll hear the shot anyway. Mutiny? On deck there!”
- “Why, my dear Mr. Bates!” she cried, waving the History
- the moving ray. Inhaling sibilantly, Max leaped after her.
- The bewildered Bates shook his head. “Never heard of
- beast into the boat, and with this miscellaneous cargo
- “Ho, ho!” laughed Frere; “don’t be afraid. I’ll
- The other he ordered straight westward with orders to halt
- was none of the fiercest, and who had been for years given
- back to his island prison. In his exhaustion and misery,
- off a portion of her dress, and with this a bandage of
- reason to believe her dead, and that it was because of
- nettled nevertheless. On this particular evening the young
- his forehead, and that he was afflicted with a giddiness
- “Put a biscuit in your pocket, Sylvia, in case of accidents,”
- all the inhabitants came down to the beach to see us pitch
- intention of weighing anchor and making for the Bar. All
- in bewilderment at the bloody weapon, and then, flinging
- Escape was hopeless now. He never could escape; and as
- He paused for a moment, hoping to be able to lower the
- felt his self-respect return, and he looked the lady in
- was walking about the sea-beach, talking mysteriously,
- the rising sun, and scarcely caring to move his bruised
- forest, and utters very peculiar noises) has not cried
- at last the boat had disappeared in the shadow of the brig,