drum should be identical with a full military | are compared, they are found to differ imband, because the latter includes a fife and mensely, so far as the mode of arrangement, drum. It should thus make no difference the relative quantities, the number and pawhether one inherited an iceberg or a green ture of their constituents are concerned. island, Terra del Fuego or the gold district Here, then, are several unlike chemical speciin California ; for the iceberg possesses to the mens of the universe. To which among extent of ils possession, (namely, so much ice them are the other heavenly bodies to be or solid water) what the fertile island con- compared ? Analysis has succeeded in maktains, and Terra del Fuego is rich to the ex- ing one step beyond this earth, and has imtent of its riches in the wealth of California. mediately brought to light a non-terrestrial

Perhaps, however, we are dealing in a mis- chemistry. If it could stride on to sun, leading exaggeration. The ingredients miss- moon, and stars, what should it find ? Difing from the meteor-planets may be proper- ferent chemistries? or that of the earth or ly enough marked by the minute analyst as the meteoric stones endlessly repeated ? Difabsent, and yet be of no great consequence ferent chemistries, we think, and this for in reference to the suitableness of the latter many reasons. to become theatres of life. The difference If the heavenly bodies were constructed between the meteorite and the earth is per- of the terrestrial or the meteoric chemical haps only such as existed between Paganini's elements, arranged in the way these are in fiddle with one string, and Thalberg's piano the earth, or in the meteorites, the densities with some hundred, from both of which in- of the heavenly bodies should, within no very struments the same melody might sound. If wide limits, be identical with the specific such be the case, the author of the “ Vesti- gravity of the earth, or of some one of the ges” could have no objection to allow us to meteoric stones; but the opposite is the fact, place him within the receiver of an air-pump, for the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and and deprive him of only one of the sixty in- Neptune have all a density much below that gredients-namely, oxygen—which is ab- of our planet, or of any of the meteor-plansent from many of the meteoric stones. Only ets, as the following table, where the specific twenty-one elements, it should seem, are gravity of the earth is made unity, will needed, and we have been kinder to him show :*_ than he is on paper to himself, for we have allowed him fifty-nine. Why does he pant so? Earth, 1; Sun, 0.25 ; Jupiter, 0.24; Uranus, 0.24 ; and gasp for breath ? Oxygen it should Saturn, 0.14 ; Neptune, 0.14. seem is no needless superfluity or choice luxury. The lung was not made to breathe Apart altogether from this difference in without the breath of life being provided for density, it is manifest, that confining ourit; and a meteoric stone, as our author be selves to purely chemical considerations, we .fore being let out of our receiver shall con

could assign no satisfactory reason for prefess, would be as fatal as a vacuum to every the laiter to the earth, as types of the chem

ferring the earth to the meteoric stones, or terrestrial creature. Let it be further noticed that the missing elements of the mete ical composition of one or all of the heavenoric stone are exactly those which are mostly bodies; neither can we venture to affirm abundant in plants and animals, and the that we have exhausted in our globe and worth of our author's reasoning will appear; the meteor-planets the only existing exambut to this we shall return.

ples of variation in composition which the The chemical argument, stripped of all exaggeration, stands thus. Several speci

* In the table in the text we have not given the mens of the bodies of space have been subsp. gr. of any of the meteorites, because their densijected to analysis-namely, the earth, so far ties vary so much, that the mean of their specific as its crust or accessibie portion is concern- gravities does not afford a datum of any value in ed, and meteoric stones. The latter have reference to our argument. For the satisfaction, not a common chemical composition, but are

however, of the reader, we may mention that accord

ing to Humboldt, “the specific weight of aërolites divisible into sections, each of which repre- varies from 1.9 to 4.3. Their general density may sents a separate example of planetary chem- be set down as 3, water being 1.” Humboldt's maxiWhen the meteorites and the earth mum is certainly too low, for various of the Ameri

can meteorites, examined by Prof. Shepard, have a

density above 7; whilst, therefore, the earth is 5.6 * Prof. Shepard divides meteorites intotwo Classes times heavier than water, the densest of the meteor-Metallic, and Stony; and each class into three ites are 7 times heavier, and the lightest within a Orders, under which thirteen sections are included. tenth of being twice as heavy as water.

istry *

universe presents, so that every star must be to be the measure of a question like this. classed with the one or the other, inasmuch 'These bodies may have been, or may yet be, as they comprise all the diversities which even if they are not at present, (which, howoccur in sidereal chemistry. On the other ever, is only an assumption,) of the utmost hand, it is not difficult to show that chemis- value in effecting necessary changes on the try amply provides for every star having a earth. Man, too, as his knowledge extends, different composition, and renders it exceed may discover economical applications of the ingly probable that different stars will in this elements in question, of the greatest imporrespect differ greatly.

tance. Withal, however, we may suppose In the first place, the chemical elements that some, at least, of these substances may do not present that character of complete- not have been specially destined to be of ness and unity, considered as a great family, use on our globe, but may bear the same rewhich we should expect in the raw material lation to it that rudimentary organs do to the of a whole universe. When we subdivide bodies of the animals possessing them, so them into groups, they arrange themselves that they are of little or no service to the unequally. Thus in several cases we find structure in which they occur, but are typical divisions of elements, such as-chlorine, bro- of much more highly developed instruments, mine, iodine; barium, strontium, calcium; or arrangements, in other organisms or niobium, pelopium, tantalum, in which the spheres. These seemingly useless, and spacharacteristic properties of each of the com- ringly distributed, bodies in our earth, may ponents of the group pass into those of its be the prevailing or most important constiother members by the most delicate shadings. tuents of other globes, and may perform In other examples, again, although analo- functions there of which we have no concepgous properties are not wanting in other tion. Other elements, such as arsenic, yield. bodies, the particular substance (er. gr., ni- compounds so deadly to vegetable and anitrogen, or mercury) stands apart, isolated as mal life, and so apparently unserviceable in it were, and exhibiting but remote affinities the mineral kingdom, that one is almost drito its nearest neighbors. In all science, how- ven to believe that it was not primarily for ever, and strikingly in chemistry, isolation is us, but for some other beings in a different the exception, and association the rule. In world, such bodies were provided. At least, these cases of apparent isolation, it is possi- we suppose there are few who will consider ble that elements which would make up a the slight service which arsenical preparagroup, and connect the solitary in friendly tions have rendered in medicine, or their effialliance with the families about it, may exist cacy in poisoning rats and flies, and the fact in other worlds, as animals supplying gaps of their furnishing certain pigments, as an in the zoological circles are found extinct in equivalent for the multitude of human beings the strata of other eras than our own. Such whom they have consigned to untimely hypothetically deficient elements no doubt graves, and the many crimes to which they may yet be found in our own globe, but for have furnished temptations. the present, we must adopt the rule, “ de Thirdly, nature has been very niggard to non apparentibus, et de non existentibus, ea- us of certain of the elements, for example, dem ratio.” Or we may find all the so- of one peculiar and very valuable class, the called elements to be modifications of some noble or precious metals, gold, platina, palsimpler or simplest forms or form of matter, ladium, rhodium, &c. We do not refer to and be able to convert that into unknown the scarcity of these as limiting our luxury, substances of the same grade as our present or count them precious in the sense of being elements, and so satisfy the supposed need costly. Gold and platina, to mention no of harmony. Even if we should, however, others, have the desirable properties of never achieve this result, it would only alter the wasting, rusting, or corroding, and platina mode of stating the problem, which would will not melt in the heat of a blast-furnace. then run thus—What forms of the primary Were these or the allied metals more abunmatter are likely to occur in different globes? dant, our eating, drinking, and cooking ves

Secondly, it may be remarked that some sels would be made of one or other of them. of our terrestrial elements, such as the Our steam-boilers, railroads, furnace-bars, metals of the earths proper (except alumi- lamp-posts and the like, would be constructed num) and also selenium, tellurium, molybden, of platina, rhodium, or palladium, and our vanadium, tungsten, as well as others, are lighter and more elegant instruments and not known to be of service in our globe. It utentils of gold, which would be too cheap would be very rash to permit our ignorance to tempt thieves to steal. One may suppose


that other worlds may have been more richly | single element would make a great difference. favored than we are with supplies of these A globe in all other respects identical with or other goodly bodies, which find so limited ours would be utterly unfitted for being the scope for exhibiting their manifold virtues theatre of life such as we see, if it wanted, here. Can platina, ex. gr., considered as a as we have already noticed, but the one body veritable, simple substance, be supposed to oxygen, or hydrogen, or nitrogen, or carbon. have been created solely to supply the The addition in considerable quantity of a terrestrial chemist with tests and crucibles ? single new potent element would equally deThe chemist will probably think that a very range the economy of a world. The arrangesatisfactory final cause for its creation, and ment in a different way, without addition or we will not cry nay to it. But what if there abstraction, of existing elements would be be worlds where this metal is so abundant as efficacious a cause of disturbance. If, for that they are sick of the sight of it, and example, the nitrogen and oxygen of our would be glad to see a piece of rusty old atmosphere were suddenly to combine (and iron, where the thieves steal the costly mag- every thunderstorm occasions combination), nesia, and the royal crowns are made of the we might be maddened by laughing gas, or precious metal, lead ? To speak more soberly, drowned in an ocean of nitric acid. The isit very unlikely that so marked and striking shades of yariation in such a case would be& metal as platina, as well as its congeners, come shadows of most portentous depth and may occur more abundantly on other worlds darkness. framed on a different ideal from ours? We If any one, indeed, will consider how many have no wish, however, to try our hand at tunes can be made with the seven primary improving God's fair and beautiful world. notes of music; how many numbers can be

To sum up the matter, we observe, with- combined out of the ten numerals ; how out insisting on more, that we have no ground many words out of the twenty-four letters of for assuming that we see on this earth all the the alphabet, he may conceive how enormouskinds of elementary, or quasi-elementary mat- ly great is the number of worlds, each quite ter which can exist. Still less are we justi- distinct, which could be constructed out of fied in affirming that we have manifested on the sixty elements. In the first place, there this globe the only modes of arrangement or is a means of variety in the number of the of distribution, so far as relative quantity is simple bodies. One globe, like our earth, concerned, of which our elements are sus contains them all. Others, like the meteoric ceptible. The very opposite is likely to be stones, may contain only some of them.

The fact of there being many Secondly, the relative quantities of the elechemical elements awakens the suspicion that ments may vary.

On one globe, the aboundthey were intended to be arranged in many ing element may be oxygen, as in our earth ; ways. Had our globe been a ball of iron or in another, platina. A third cause of variety of lead, we should have had nothing to will be the condition of the elements. With suspect in space but iron or lead. But when us, hundreds of tons of chlorine are locked there are more than sixty earthly constituents, up in mountains of rock salt. In other arranged, too, in a quite arbitrary way, we worlds, that gas may be free, and form an cannot resist the expectation that they will atmosphere like our air. be found apportioned among the celestial Add these modes of varying composition spheres, not in that one way, but in various together, and employ them all, and where ways; here a few, there many together; in will the variety stop? Millions of inillions one globe, bodies of one class ; in another, of worlds would not exhaust it. To what of another ; in no one, perhaps, exactly the extent this susceptibility of variation has been arrangement that prevails in any of the ri st. taken advantage of by the Architect of the Our globe may be called a mosaic of some Heavens we cannot tell ; but to suppose that sixty pieces, but it has not pleased the Great it has been turned to no account seems a Artist to make equal use of each of the sixty. conception meagre beyond endurance. If Not more than a half of them can be de- we but knew the use to which the spheres tected except by minute inspection, and the are put, we might possibly hazard a conjecpredominating tints are only some six or ture concerning their composition, but of seven. Other stars may be mosaics con- that we are altogether ignorant. structed out of more or fewer of the same pose that the Infinite One has exhausted the pieces, but they are, in all probability, put counsels of his widom in arranging the together according to different patterns. Let chemistry of our globe, and could only thereit not be forgotten that the omission of a fore repeat that endlessly through space, or

Yet to sup


to affirm that such a monotonous arrangement | endowed of the meteoric stones, moreover, of the great world or universe is in keeping contain not a majority, but less than a fourth of with the endless diversity visible in the little the terrestrial elements, and of many of the one which we inhabit, is a view of things most characteristically terrestrial elements, that may not be entertained for a moment. only traces. As soon as this fact is distinct

We close this long chemical discussionly perceived, men will cease to complain with one remark. Speculation set aside, the that there are no new meteoric elements, and testimony of chemistry in reference to the pone will refuse to acknowledge that so far heavenly bodies is neither more nor less than as analysis has proceeded, terrestrial and this, that every one of them which has been sidereal chemistry are quite different. submitted to analysis, differs in composition from all the rest. Absolute chemical identity It remains now only to consider what the of any two or more has never been observed, judgment of physiology or biology is likely whilst the extremes of difference between to be concerning the manifestation of life in those least like each other, if denoted on a the heavenly bodies. It has to a considerascale, would be 60 and 1; the maximum of ble extent been anticipated or implied, in this scale being the earth with its sixty in- what has been stated already. gredients, the minimum, those well known Life, as it exists on this globe, is compatimeteorites, which are little else than lumps ble only with certain conditions, which may of malleable iron. The importance of this not be overstepped without causing its annifact has been overlooked, because, beginning hilation. The whole of these need not be with the earth, we have found the meteor- enumerated, as the failure of one is as fatal to planets composed of fewer ingredients than existence, as the absence of all. The three it, and these all terrestrial.

to which Sir John Herschel has referred, Assurredly it would have been a more re- namely, difference in the quantity of heat markable circumstance, if the meteoric ele- and light reaching each globe ; variation in ments had all been novel, and possessed of the intensity of gravity at its surface ; and striking and unfamiliar properties ; and some in the quality of its component materials, thing like disappointment has been felt be- may suffice to illustrate this. Light and heat cause they are not. But we must not on this are essential to the development and mainteaccount disregard the fact, that the meteor- nance of earthly life, but their excess is as ites are non-telluric in their chemical charac- destructive to it as their deficiency. What, ters. They are so, as much by the terrestrial | then, shall we say of the sun, whose heat we elements they want, as they would have been know by direct trial to be of such intensity by the novel elements they might haved pos that after great degradation or reduction, it sessed. Had a single non-terrestrial element can still melt the most infusible minerals, been found in a meteoric stone, our philoso- and dissipate every metal in vapor ; and phers would have been lost in wonder. Yet whose light is so intolerably brilliant, “ that within the last ten years, six or seven new ele- the most vivid flames disappear, and the most ments, namely, Didymium, Lantanium, Ni- intensely ignited solids appear only as black obium, Pelopium, Tantalum, Erbium, Ter- spots on the disc of the sun, when held bebium, have been discovered in our own planet, tween it and the eye. If the temperature and none but professed chemists have paid of the solid sphere or body of the sun be any attention to the fact, nor has the dis- such as those phenomena imply, it must be covery perceptibly altered any of our scientific the abode, if inhabited at all

, of beings such beliefs. Had but one of those obscure metals as Sir Thomas Browne refers to, who can been found in a meteorite, and in it alone,“ lie immortal in the arms of fire.” It is speculations would have abounded on its na- within possibility, however, that the body of ture and uses. Nevertheless, the addition of the sun is black as midnight and cold as six or seven such metals to our globe, by the death, so that as the eye sees all things but tacit confession of all science, is of infinitely itself, he illuminates every sphere but his less importance to the earth, than the loss of own, and is light to other stars, but darkness one such element as oxygen, hydrogen, nitro- to his own gaze. Or the light and heat of gen, or carbon would be. To find, there- bis blazing envelope, may be so tempered fore, one of the latter absent, is truly a more by the reflective clouds of his atmosphere, interesting fact in relation to terrestrial chem which throw them off into space, that an istry, than it would be to find all of the re- endless summer, a nightless summer-day, cently discovered metals, or as many more similar elements, present. The most richly * Herschel's Outlines of Astronomy, p. 286.



reigns on his globe. Such an unbroken sum- tieth ; giving a scale of which the extremes mer, however, though pleasant to dream of, are in the proportion of sixty to one." would be no boon to terrestrial creatures, to From this account it appears, that we whom night is as essential as day, and dark- should be literally mercurial in Mercury, ness and rest as light and action. The pro- and saturnine in Saturn, but anything but babilities are all in favor of the tempera- jovial in Jupiter, whicre we should be two ture of the sun's solid sphere, being very and a half times heavier and duller than here. high, nor will any reasonable hypothesis jus- On the smaller planets we should feel like tify the belief that the economy of his sys- swimmers in the Dead Sea, or as if in a bath tem in relation to the distribution of light of quicksilver, where to sink is impossible. and heat can resemble ours.

“A man placed on one of them would spring We can assert this still more distinctly of with ease sixty feet high, and sustain no the planets. We should be blinded with the greater shock in his descent than he does on glare and burnt up, if transported to Mer- the earth from leaping a yard. On such cury, where the sun acts as if seven times planets giants might exist, and those enorhotter than on this earth ; and we should mous animals, which on earth require the shiver in the dark, and be frozen to death if buoyant power of water to counteract their removed to Uranus, where the sun is three weight, might there be denizens of the hundred times colder than he is felt to be land.”+ If the fixed stars be suns, of what by us. To pass from Uranus to Mercury, ponderous adamant must the beings be fash

, would be to undergo in the latter exposure ioned, which exist on their surfaces ! Were to a temperature some two thousand times it possible for us, clothed in some frigorific higher than we had experienced in the for- asbestos garment, to endure unscathed the mer, whilst on this earth the range of exist- flames of Sirius, it' would only be to be ence lies within some two hundred degrees crushed to powder, against his enormous of the Fahrenheit thermometer.

globe. Here, then, is a second point of diAs for our satellite, Sir John Herschel versity, of itself sufficient to forbid the desays of it, “The climate of the moon must be velopment of the earth-life we see here, on very extraordinary; the alternation being that any other of the heavenly bodies. of unmitigated and burning sunshine fiercer And we do not require to enlarge upon than an equatorial noon, continued for a the third point of diversity-variation in the whole fortnight, and the keenest severity of chemical composition of the spheres.

The frost far exceeding that of our polar winters absence of an atmosphere from the moon, for an equal time.” It would seem, then, and the peculiar characters of that of Jupithat though all else were equal, the varia- ter and of the sun, have already been retions in amount of light and heat, would ferred to as forbidding the appearance of alone necessitate the manifestation of a non- terrestrial life under their skies. The imposterrestrial life, upon the sun, and the spheres sibility of its manifestation on meteor-planets which accompany the earth in its revolutions such as have reached our earth has also been around it. All else, however, is not equal. sufficiently dwelt upon. The intensity of gravity at the surfaces of the In the face of the immense diversity which different beavenly bodies differs enormously. has thus been shown to prevail through At the sun it is nearly twenty-eight times space, it should seem impossible to hold the greater than at the earth. “The efficacy of belief, that the stars are all but so many muscular power to overcome weight, is there- Earths. The author of the “ Vestiges," howfore proportionably nearly twenty-eight times ever, in his blind zeal for the nebular hypoless on the sun than on the earth. Anthesis of a common physical origin of all ordinary man, for example, would not only be worlds, and solicitous to save God the trouble unable to sustain his own weight on the sun, of taking care of his own universe, thinks but would literally be crushed to atoms un- otherwise. der the load.'* "Again, the intensity of gra- “We see,” says he, speaking as if the nebvity, or its efficacy in counteracting muscular ular hypothesis were an established fact, power, and repressing animal activity on Ju- “ that matter has originally been diffused in piter, is nearly two and a half times that on one mass, of which the spheres are portions. the earth, on Mars is not more than one-half, Consequently, inorganic maller must be preon the moon one-sixth, and on the smaller sumed to be everywhere the same, although planets probably not more than one-twen- probably with differences in the proportions

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* Herschel's Outlines, p. 311.

* Ibid.

| Ibid. p. 323.

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