Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/254

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the consequences. An element akin to the comic enters criticism based, not upon what the critics have seen, but upon what they have not. Books are reviewed without being read, to prevent prejudice; but it is rash to carry the same admirable broad-mindedness into scientific subjects.

In detail the doubles vary, chiefly, it would seem, in the distance the twin lines lie apart. In the widest I have seen, the Ganges, six degrees separate the two; in the narrowest, the Phison, four degrees and a quarter,—not a very great difference between the extremes. Four degrees and a quarter on Mars amount to 156 miles; six degrees, to 220. These, then, are the distances between the centres of the twin canals. Each canal seems a little less than a degree wide, or about 30 miles in the narrower instances; in the broader, a little more than a degree, or about 45 miles. Between the two lines, in the cases where the gemination, as it is called, is complete, lies reddish-ochre ground similar to the rest of the surface of the bright regions. Deducting the two half-widths of the bordering canals, we have, therefore, from 120 to 175 miles of clear country between the paralleling lines.

This gemination of a canal is certainly a passing strange phenomenon. Although, in steady air, the observation is not a difficult one, to see