Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/64

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
54
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

people reproach me with indolence I shall reply: 'Ah I if you but knew the history of the fixed stars!'"

It is certainly true that a contemplation of the unthinkable vastness of the universe, in the midst of which we dwell upon a speck illuminated by a spark, is calculated to make all terrestrial affairs appear contemptibly insignificant. We can not wonder that men for ages regarded the earth as the center, and the heavens with their lights as tributary to it, for to have thought otherwise, in those times, would have been to see things from the point of view of a superior intelligence. It has taken a vast amount of experience and knowledge to

PSM V32 D064 Early fall northeastern quarter of the heavens.jpg

Map 1.

convince men of the parvitude of themselves and their belongings. So, in all ages they have applied a terrestrial measure to the universe, and imagined they could behold human affairs reflected in the heavens and human interests setting the gods together by the ears.

This is clearly shown in the story of the constellations. The tre-