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TIIE DEATH OF NICHOLAS COPERNICUS.
the priests have publicly excommunicated thee, the Academy loudly demands thy interdiction, and the University, learning thai thy book is about to appear, las sworn to destroy the printing-presses, and annihilate the work of thy whole life. Come and quell the storm, and do not delay.”
Copernicus could not finish. He fell speechless into the arms of his servant. When he raised his head, the cavalier commissioned to bring him, inquired if he was ready for departure. “Yes," replied the resigned old man, " but not for Nuremberg or Culm. The wounded and the laborers of Frauenbourg are awaiting me. They will die without any succor.
enemies will in vain scek to destroy my work; 1 they cannot areri the progress of the stars!"
An hour afterwards, Copernicus was Frauenbourg
The machine which he had constructed for this city, built on the summit of a mountain, brought thither from a distance of half a league the waters of the river Bouda, with such force that they turned a mill constructed by the astronomer, and rose as high as the steeple of the church. The inhabitants, instead of dying with thirsi like their ancestors, had but to turn a faucet to have each a fountain of their own.
The machine had got out of order the night before, the more inopportunely because it was the yearly fête-day of Frauenbourg. But, at the first glance, the canon saw the cause of the evil, and in a few hours removed it.
His first cares, however, were bestowed upon the unfortunates who had been injured by the accident. He bound up their fractured limbs, dressed them, and proinised to return on the morrow.
But he himself was about to receive a blow which was to finish breaking his heart.
As he was crossing, on his way back, the great square of the city, he perceived, in the midst of the crowd, some strolling actors with their paraphernalia. The theatre represented an astronomical observatory, full of ridiculous instruments. In the midst stood an old man, coiffed and clad precisely like Copernicus. The resemblance was so striking that he himself recognized it and was stupefied. The clown commissioned to expose the great man to public ridicule, had belind him a personage,
whose hoofs, tail and horns, indicated the devil, and who was moving him like an automaton, by pulling two threads attached to his ears. These ears were those of the largest ass. The parody was composed of several scenes. In the first, the astronomer was giving himself to Satan, burning a copy of the Bible, and tramp. ling a crucifix under his feet. In the second, he was explaining his system, using apples for planets—which were turning round bis head, transformed by means of resinous candles into the sun. In the third he became a quack, a corn-cutter, and a merchant of pommades; he was holding forth to the passers by in DogLatin, selling them at a high price water from his well, and getting drunk himself on excellent wine, till he fell under the table. In the fourth scene, he was accursed of God and men, and the devil, dragging him through a cloud of sulphur and fire, was punishing him by making him turn the earth, condemning him to remain upside down through all eternity.
At seeing his genius and his virtues thus publicly held up to ridicule, his science tortured into charlatanism, his disinterestedness into swindling; his pure faith into impiety, bis whole person finally delivered up to human and divine vengeance, Copernicus at first experienced the most frightful suffering; he distrusted himself and Providence. But he soon hoped that the frauenbourgeois, his adopted children, would put a stop to such infamous proceedings, and crush the actors beneath the fragments of their theatre.
Judge then of his surprise, his grief, his despair, when he saw his ignoble desamers applauded by those whom he daily loaded with benefits and charities! In vain he summoned his courage, the trial was beyond his strength. Ile fell senseless on the square.
Then only did the ungrateful people recognize their benefactor; the name of Copernicus flew from mouth to mouth. They learned that this very day even, he had come to the assistance of the city. And passing from the excess of ingratitude to the excess of remorse, the crowd dispersed the actors and bore the astronomer home in triumph.
But alas ! he was not in a state to appreciate this consolation. Exhausted by the labors of the preceding night, by the fatigue and emotions of the day, mortally wounded by this last blow, he found strength only to demand a litter
THE DEATH OF NICHOLAS COPERNICUS.
in which he arrived in an expiring condition at Worms.
His agony lasted five days, during which his genius and his faith gave forth their last scintillations. The next day, a letter from Rhet. icus came to confirm the sinister predictions of the Bishop of Culm. Three times had the pupils of the University attempted to destroy the press. “ This very morning," added the sarant,
they endeavored to set fire to it. I assembled all our friends. We pass here our days and nights, guarding the doors and superintending the workinen. The printers labor with one hand at the press, and the other on a pistol. If we hold out two days longer, your work will be safe ; for, ten copies once printed, nothing can destroy it. But if to-morrow or the day after our enemies should triumph
Rheticus did not finish ; Copernicus finished it for him.
The third day, a new message and a new alarm. A compositor, gained over by their enemies, had delivered up to them the manuscript of the Canon, which had been burned in the public square. Fortunately the impression was finished. They were putting it to press; but an émeute might annihilate all, and it was hourly threatened.
Such were the fears by which Copernicus was agonized during his last hours. His labors, his glory, and his name, would they escape fanaticism, or must they serish before him ? Imagine, if you can, such a martyrdom!
It rapidly exhausted the last strength of the old man, and Death, seizing upon lis paralytic frame, had nearly reached the seat of his genius, when a foaming horse stopped at the door. An armed man dismounted, breathless and covered with dust, like the soldier of Marathon.
In fact, like the Grecian soldier, this man announced victory. He bore, attached to his breast, a volume still moist. And this volume was the chef d'aurre of Copernicus!
Justice and right had triumphed over hatred and madness. The work of God was at last explained to men. The sun had a second time enlightened the world!
The dying man revived to seize the book in his failing hands, to contemplate it with his diin eye. Then, with the smile of a martyr who sees Paradise opening before him, he sighed
Nunc dimiltis serrum tuum, Dominc.” And his soul took its flight.
It was the morning of the 23d of May; heaven had kindled all its stars, earth bad opened all her flowers; all nature seemed to be entertaining her Revelator, as when lie liad last left bis observatory.
Very soon the sun, darting through a window his purest ray on the head of the great man, appeared to say to him in iis turn : “ The King of Creation gives thee the kiss of peace, since thou wert the first to replace him on bis throne."
VI. Copernicus was persecuted even in the tomb. The court of Rome responded to his dedication by condemning his work; but the book revenged itself by enlightening the court of Rome, which at last acknowledged, though too late, the genius and the faith of the astronomer of Wurms.
Prussia, with the ingratitude of conquerors, has converted the observatory of Copernicus into a prison, and allowed bis house to crumble to atoms. But Poland, his mother, has assembled her last children and her last offerings to erect to him a monument at Cracow, and a statue at Warsaw. This statue is by the great sculptor Thorwalsden.
Behind our sun repose in the farthest azure suns whose stranger-rays for thousands of years have been winging their way to our little earth, but have not yet reached it. Q! thou
kind, present Deity; scarcely can man's spirit open its small feeble eye, but that thou immediately shineat into it, O! Sun of suns and spirits !-Richter.
Many in the Christian world are familiar with the name of Rev. Samuel Munson, and will remember long bis tragical death. Perchance many who have read with interest the brief memoir of himself and his fellow martyr, would shrink from a like consecration of their earthly all upon the altar of a Saviour's love.
In a lonely spot, upon a branch of the Kennebec, he passed his childhood and youth. His parents had removed thither from Cape Cod, and while their home was comparatively a wil. derness, both were smitten by a fatal epidemic, and laid in the same grave. They were the first tenants of the village burial-ground, and since the untimely death of their much lamented son, a plain marble slab has been erected at the head of their grave, bearing a record of the three.
That is a quiet spot, apart from the village mart and the village green-a fitting resort for the bereaved and stricken who would commune with the departed. The setting sunlight scarcely penetrates the dense foliage that skirts its farther boundary, and the sinuous river moves solemnly along beyond with stealthy tread, as if it feared to disturb the slumberers. Cherished names are written here and there in that sacred inclosure, and strong emotions have found utterance in their presence.
In a distant and desolate corner the ashes of a suicide await the call of the last trump, for human hands could not consign their erring
brother man to a highway burial, though they feared he must stand an unforgiven sinner in the presence of his Judge.
He with whose name this sketch opens, was the youngest of four orphan children, lest at the age of ten or eleven an orphan indeed. They, all in a band, turned from their dreary abode, invited to the hearthstone of a hospitable home, where he was the youngest of a larger train of brothers and sisters. When the winter was past, two of the four, his brother and one sister, sought to support themselves elsewhere-himself, with the eldest sister, remaining with the family of their adoption, till, in the silence of his thoughts, sprung up the irrepressible desire to preach the gospel of peace : that peace he had recently tasted. And his wish was gratified. Through much self-denying toil he made his unobtrusive way to the altar of his God.
His vacation visits were periods of interest to the whole household; but never will be forgotten that parting scene--the last.
He passed from one to another, his feelings struggling with that self-control for which he was eminent. But they were subdued till he gave his hand to her who had been a mother to his youth, and his strong will was impotent to hold them longer in abeyance. He turned away, and bowing his head upon the nearest support, permitted the tears of agony to flow unrebuked, while we all wept.
LEAVES FROM MY JOURNAL.
BY ANNA M. HEFFERNAN.
folly and delusion, which so many essay to climb.
MEMORY of the departed ! not alone awakened by the plaintive tones of melancholybut when happiest, and the sun shines most brightly, when the heart vibrates to joy and gladness, comes the sweet gush of affectionate remembrance, like the soft rustling of angels' wings, and we feel, though we cannot any wise express it, that we are not alone. They come to cheer our loneliness, those blessed memories of the departed; we recall the gladsome hours spent in their company—the happy scenes of our love-encircled youth, not even yet effaced by the rude contact of life. All these form the hallowed visions of these better hours; and, with rapt feelings, we gaze on this glowing and wondrous picture the mind hath framed. Such moments come but seldom--glimpses, they may be, of heaven.
There is no quality so requisite in woman as sweetness of temper—a grace and beauty that far excel personal charms. Her sweet persuasive voice is better employed in the use of gentle words and kind endearments than in scolding Nor did nature make her weak in order to assume the stern duties assigned to man, but rather that her trust and dependence on him might increase the natural desire to love and protect the being that thus fondly clings to him through sunshine and shade. How ungenerous, then, of him when that confidence becomes abused, and he becomes her oppressor, instead of her protector!
When do we love people? When they unveil to us their hearts, and we find their hearts worthy our research.
“ You must love him ere to you he will seem worthy of your love."
It is said that the persons and circumstances that most influence our after life are shadowed forth and haunt us from our earliest childhood; or why, when accident reveals to us some noble heart and kindred mind, by us loved and appreciated, does his presence seem like some indefinable recollection, or indistinct dream ? and we remember no more that but a little time past, and they were strangers—but in our deep affection for the loved one by our side, wonder only why they should have remained so long unknown ?
Friendship! All desire the boon, and all think they possess it, springing spontaneous from the heart at all times and seasons, brightening the clouds of adversity, giving to life its joy and sunshine-a sweet trust, that we cling to from the first to the last hour of existence.
How fond people are of talking of their knowledge and experience, repeating over all they have witnessed and gone through-cares and disappointments--as if such trials and hair-breadth escapes had fallen to the lot of no one else. What is our life but a shadow that darkens the stream of time, in comparison to millions that have passed on before, millions that have yet to succeed, whom we shall never behold—ages that have rolled on, centuries that have yet to elapse! Well may the poet exclaim, “I tremble at myself, and in myself am lost!” Think of the spot to which we are chained down-our limited sphere of action-and what can we know of the world and its inhabitants, save from what we hear and see around us, and then talk of our knowledge and experience!
“And if through the dark and clouded sky
It beams on our lonely way,
Like the brightness of friendship’s ray ?"
While pride is the leprosy of the heart, the world's curse, and Heaven's abomination. Through it angels lost their high estate, and to man it became the centre of confusion-a stumbling-block, friendship's bane, the height of
This world may be justly termed a mirror, which gives to each one the reflection of his face. If we look sourly at it, the same look will it give in return ; smile we on it, and a pleasant enough companion will it prove.
SCENES IN A PASTOR'S LIFE.
SIN CAUSES MORE THAN THE GUILTY TO SUFFER.
Every good government has laws with the sanctions of blessings and curses annexed. In this, the moral government of God is the pattern, attempted to be imitated in human laws. A law without a penalty is a nullity. The Governor of worlds has incorporated this principle into all the physical, intellectual, and moral laws, of which he is the author. “The soul that sinneth it shall die,” that is the mode in which these laws substantially are given.
Repentance does not always remove the effects of wrong action. A mother, whose child has fallen into the fire while she was drunk, may weep tears of blood, and yet the consequences of her actions will remain in the crippled child. A corrupt father may lay his own heart, broken for his sin, on the altar of repentance, and yet that heart shall retain the scars made by his sin, and his children shall feel the obloquy of descent from a corrupt father. Neglect of this obvious fact not unfrequently leads to criminal action, which otherwise would have been avoided. Crime, as a violation of law, has penalties, which no repentance can remove. Causes always produce their effects, except in the single exception provided for by the " Lamb of God.” No niore imposing view can be taken of the high regard which the all-benevolent Creator pays to this connection between cause and effect, than the fact that He himself refuses to abrogate it in any known instance, save this one, and even for that He lays down a ransom more costly than worlds.
In a former number I have spoken of a man whose general character was upright, and whose disposition was not malevolent. That man in a moment of passionate desire had ruined another and then fled. But to flee from the penalty of his crime was just as impossible as to fly from his shadow. His sin haunted him and distressed him, even when he supposed no one to be acquainted with the deed. It
brought great wretchedness on his family. It destroyed his victim and entailed reproach on the helpless offspring of their mutual guilt.
I have said that Mr. W. had an only daughter, when the sad events occurred which I have already detailed. Never was a human being gifted with greater beauty, and one felt an instinctive desire to turn and look at her again, when he met her. Her face sparkling with the joyous feelings of her young heart, and her step graceful as a fairy's, marked her a very queen of beauty. From earliest childhood she had learned the fact, and even then began a passion for admiration, which became the fruitful source of the miseries which afflicted her life. Her father could not endure any restraint imposed on her, his sensitive affections overruling, his better judgment the more sternly, because of the sickness of his own heart. Heart-sick himself, he could not bring a single cloud over his child. The mother saw and lamented, but had no power to change a course she feared might be ruinous. And thus she grew in waywardness, until she spurned all control whatever.
As a most natural result of this she became inordinately selfish, and this, at length, almost defaced the charms of nature, and made an otherwise gifted girl a most disagreeable object to all associated with her. She was about ten years of age when her father died, leaving the principal part of his property to her. He had also provided a comfortable support for the orphan of Mary.
It was not long after the death of her father that the following conversation occurred:
My daughter, I have spoken to Mrs. B-, who has the best school in town, to take charge of you the present summer. I am very anxious to have you go to school, and get such an edu. cation as your father desired.”
Anna looked up at her mother as if doubting her own ears.