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See Aries there his glittering bow unfold,
And raging Taurus toss his horns of gold;
With bended bow the sullen Archer lowers,
And there Aquarius comes with all his showers;
Lions and Centaurs, Gorgons, Hydras rise,
And gods and heroes blaze along the skies."

With a few exceptions, the likeness is purely fan- ciful. The heavens are much less of a menagerie than a celestial atlas would make them appear. The division into constellations is a mere relic of barbarism, entirely unworthy of modern civilization. Not only are the figures uncouth, and the origin often frivolous, but the boundaries are not distinct. Stars often occur under different names; while one constellation encroaches upon another. As Chambers well remarks, “ Aries should not have a horn in Pisces and a leg in Cetus, nor should 13 Argos pass through the Unicorn's flank into the Little Dog. 51 Camelopardali might with propriety be extracted from the eye of Auriga, and the ribs of Aquarius released from 46 Capricorni.” While, however, the constellations are thus rude and imperfect, there seems little hope of any change. Age gives them a dignity that insures their perpetuation.

INVENTION OF THE CONSTELLATIONS.—This goes back into ages of which no record remains. By some it has been ascribed to the Greeks. When the signs of the zodiac were named, they doubtless coincided with the constellations. Aries (the ram) was so called because it rose with the sun in the springtime, and the Chaldean shepherds named it from

their flocks, their most valued possession. Then fol. lowed in order Taurus (the bull) and Gemini (the twins), called from the herds, which were esteemed next in value. At the summer solstice the sun appears to stop, and, crab-like, to crawl backward; hence the name Cancer (the crab). When the sun is in Leo, the brooks being dry, the lion leaves his lurking-place and becomes a terror to all. Virgo comes next, when the virgins glean in the summer harvest. At the autumnal equinox the days and nights are equally balanced, and this is beautifully represented by Libra (the scales). The vegetation decays in the fall, causing sickness and death; the Scorpion, that stings as it recedes, is suggestive of this Parthian warfare. Sagittarius (the archer) tells of the hunting month. Capricornus (the goat), which delights in climbing lofty precipices, denotes how at the winter solstice the sun begins to climb the sky on his return north. Aquarius (the waterbearer) is a natural emblem of the rainy season. Pisces (the fishes) is the month for fishing.

SIGNS AND CONSTELLATIONS DO NOT AGREE.—By the precession of the equinoxes, as we have before described on page 121, the signs have fallen back along the ecliptic about 30°, so that those stars which were, in the infancy of astronomy, in the sign Aries (P) are now in Taurus (8), and those which were in the sign Pisces (H) are now in Aries (P).*

* If the teacher put a pin at the centre of Fig. 72, and, drawing a sharp kuife between the signs and the constellations, cause the inner part to re

volve, the signs may be turned before any constellation, and thus this change be clearly apprehended.

The accompanying cut may illustrate this more clearly.

Fig. 72.

so

W

SIGNS AND CONSTELLATIONS, AS THEY NOW COMPARE IN THE
HEAVENS, THE FORMER HAVING FALLEN BACK, AND THE

LATTER APPARENTLY ADVANCED, 30° EACH.

PERMANENCE OF THE CONSTELLATIONS.—The figures which the stars form, and the general appearance of the constellations, are due to the position we occupy. Could we cross the gulf of space beyond Neptune, the stars now so familiar to us would look strangely enough in their new groupings. As one in riding through a forest sees the trees apparently increase in size and open up to view before him, while they their flocks, their most valued possession. Then followed in order Taurus (the bull) and Gemini (the twins), called from the herds, which were esteemed next in value. At the summer solstice the sun appears to stop, and, crab-like, to crawl backward; hence the name Cancer (the crab). When the sun is in Leo, the brooks being dry, the lion leaves his lurking-place and becomes a terror to all. Virgo comes next, when the virgins glean in the summer harvest. At the autumnal equinox the days and nights are equally balanced, and this is beautifully represented by Libra (the scales). The vegetation decays in the fall, causing sickness and death; the Scorpion, that stings as it recedes, is suggestive of this Parthian warfare. Sagittarius (the archer) tells of the hunting month. Capricornus (the goat), which delights in climbing lofty precipices, denotes how at the winter solstice the sun begins to climb the sky on his return north. Aquarius (the waterbearer) is a natural emblem of the rainy season. Pisces (the fishes) is the month for fishing.

SIGNS AND CONSTELLATIONS DO NOT AGREE.—By the precession of the equinoxes, as we have before described on page 121, the signs have fallen back along the ecliptic about 30°, so that those stars which were, in the infancy of astronomy, in the sign Aries (P) are now in Taurus (8), and those which were in the sign Pisces (H) are now in Aries (90).*

*If the teacher put a pin at the centre of Fig. 72, and, drawing a sharp

kuife between the signs and the constellations, cause the inner part to revolve, the signs may be turned before any constellation, and thus this change be clearly apprehended.

The accompanying cut may illustrate this more clearly.

Fig. 72.

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SIGNS AND CONSTELLATIONS, AS THEY NOW COMPARE IN THE
HEAVENS, TES FORMER HAVING FALLEN BACK, AND THE

LATTER APPARENTLY ADVANCED, 30° EACH.

PERMANENCE OF THE CONSTELLATIONS.—The figures which the stars form, and the general appearance of the constellations, are due to the position we occupy. Could we cross the gulf of space beyond Neptune, the stars now so familiar to us would look strangely enough in their new groupings. As one in riding through a forest sees the trees apparently increase in size and open up to view before him, while they

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