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15 Days 22 į Hours. The outermost is removed to the Distance of 56 Semi-diameters, and makes its Revolution in about 79 Days 7 Hours. Besides these Satellites, there belongs to Soturn another Body of a very singular Kind. This is a shining, broad, and Alat Ring, which encompasseth the Planet round about, without adhering in any Place to its Body. But what Laws this Ring is subject to, or what Uses it may serve, are yet unknown.

The Reason for taking such particular Notice of the Distance of the primary Planets from the Sun, and of the secondary Planets from their respective Primaries, is this; these several Distances are requisite to be known, in order to apprehend more clearly the Excellency of the Copernican System; according to which, the Motions of all the Planets, both Primary and Secondary, are regulated by one general Law, viz.

The Squares of the periodical Times of the { Primary } Planets are one to another, as the Cubes the Secondary 5" of their Distances from the

cm S Sun,

Center of their Primary. Far beyond this Solar System are placed the fixed Stars, at such an immense Distance, that the best Telescopes represent them but as Points : They are called fixed Stars, because from all Ages they have not been observ'd to change their Situation, Hence, fays Mr. Wells, it is usual to dencte the Place of any of the intermediate Celestial Bodies, by affigning what Part of the Sphere of the fixed Stars they appear to us to be in, or more properly under. And accordingly it is usual to distinguish that Tract of the Sphere of the fixed Stars, under which all the Plancts move, by the Asterisins or Constellations that lie in that Tract; which being fancy'd to represent feveral Things, are therefore called Signs; and because the Things represented by thein are most of them † Zodia, or Animals, hence all this Tract is stil'd the Zodiac. Now the Orbit, wherein the Earth performs its annual Period (and which the Sun seems to move round every Year) runs under the very middle of the Zodiac; whence this middle Part of the Zodiac is of special Note in Aftronomy, and is therefore distinguish'd by a peculiar Name, being called the Ecliptic. This, as well as the whole Zodiac, is divided into twelve Parts, distinguish'd by the Constellation or Sign, to which each Part was formerly allign'd. The Names and Characters of the said Signs are as follows.

Aries. † A Greek Word, fignifying living Creatures.

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Aries

Taurus. Gemini. Cancer. Leo. Virgo. Libra.

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5 & mm Sagittarius. Capricornus. Aquarius. Pifces. VS

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Scorpio.

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From the Observations of those who have endeavour'd to find the Parallax of the Earth's Orbit, it may be demonstrated, that the nearest of the fixed Stars are at least 100,000 Times farther from us, than we are from the Sun. Nay so inconceivable is the Space betwixt us and them, that Altronomers have computed the Distance of Sirius, or the DogStar, which is thought the nearest, to be no less than 2,200000,000000 Miles, i. e. two Billions and two hundred thousand Millions of Miles. So that a Cannon-Ball in its fwiftest Motion, would be above fix hundred thousand Years in travelling to it. • If a Spectator was placed as near to any fixed Star as we are to the Sun, that Star would in all Probability appear to him as big as the Sun appears to us; and our Sun would feem no bigger than a fixed Star. Since the Sun therefore differeth nothing from a fixed Star, why may not the fixed Stars be reckon'd as so many Suns, and every Star be supposed the Center to a System of inhabited Planets and Worlds like ours ? For who can conceive that all those noble and majestic Globes were only intended as Lights or Ornaments to this diminutive Ball which we inhabit?

But these grand Objects ! these amazing Systems ! their Numbers, Motions, Magnitudes ! are much too vast and too sublime for the Capacity of the human Mind to form an adequate Conception of them. Yet let me hope that you will to contemplate them, as to raise and kindle in your Heart, Love, Praise and Adoration to the supreme Creator.

PART

PART IV. · CHRONOLOGY

AND

HISTORY.

Governor. Pupil.
GT TITHERTO, my young Pupil, I have confined

U myself to such Instructions as may be stiled Preliminary, and were intended to prepare you for Studies of a higher Nature. It now remains that I enter upon the more important part of my Talk; to principle your Mind with found Knowledge, to form you to Wisdom and Virtue, and guide you thro’ the Paths of Learning and the Sciences. May I flatter myself with the same ready Attention here, the fame Desire to learn and improve, as I have all along experienced in the Course of the Lessons already given you ?

P. Doubtless you may; for in our several Conversations together, you have frequently intimated, that the Subjects then handled, tho' useful in themselves, yet chiefly merited Attention, as preparatory to other Things of greater Moment and Consequence. This Consideration made me listen to you with Pleasure, and I have waited impatiently for the Time when I was to enter upon more serious Studies.

G. I am pleased to find you so well disposed. You disa cover a Judgment and Understanding much above your Years; and as I plainly see that my past Instructions have not been wholly unprofitable, I proceed with the greater Chearfulness. And now that I am to lead you regularly thro' the most important Branches of human Learning, I shall begin with giving you Directions for that Study, which above all others conduces to make a Man knowing, prudent and virtuous. For this is the capital Point in Education, and what ought to be established as the Ground-work of all our other Improvements, if we mean that they shall be either profitable to ourselves,

aved welche was fick "ot careful of me imy Good." I hurt

or those with whom we converse. And indeed when the Principles of Virtue and Prudence are once thoroughly fet· tled in the Mind, there will be little Difficulty in furnishing it with other useful Parts of Knowledge. For the Obstructions commonly met with in conducting Youth through the Sciences, are owing for the most part to a Disguft, or want of Relish and Inclination. But a Mind that is well seasoned with worthy and commendable Sentiments, will hardly give way to Impressions so hurtful and injurious to itself.

P. I am perfectly satisfied of the Truth of what you say ; nay, and have often reflected within myself, that the Anxiety my Parents discovered about my Progress in Study, muit proceed from their knowing it to be for my Good. I had observed them tender and careful of me in every thing, afflicted when I was fick or in Pain, and pleased when I behaved well, so as to deserve Commendation from others. All this led me to conclude, that my Profit was their chief Aim in every thing they did relating to me. I am therefore delighted to hear you now mention a Study, that will serve to make me, more knowing and prudent, and by convincing me that it is for my own Advantage to pursue Learning and Instruction, conquer any Reluctance that may still hang about me, and add Spurs to my Industry. But what Study do you mean?

G. I mean the Study of History.

P. Of History! How does that tend to make one knowing and virtuous ?

G. Have Patience: these things must be unfolded by Degrees, that you may fee Step by Step the Advantages to be derived from this Branch of Learning, and comprehend thoroughly the many valuable Purposes to which it serves.

P. I am not wholly a Stranger to History; for I often take Pleasure in reading by myself what is related of the ancient Empires, especially of the Greeks and Romans, and am tolerably well acquainted with most of their great Men.

G. So much the better : you will relish the more the Lerfons I am to give you upon this Subject. For as I shall only remind you of Facts you know already, and accompany them with Reflections which probably did not occur to you in reading; you will no doubt be pleased to view them again in new Lights, and surrounded with quite new Circumstances, It will be no Reflection upon your Judgment, if I suppose that Wars, Battles, and the shining Exploits of the Heroes of Antiquity, have hitherto seemed most worthy of your Attention. It is natural for these Things to leave a strong

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Impression upon young Minds; nor ought we to wonder at it, since even Men of riper Years are very apt to be misled by them. How many admire the Characters of Alexander and

Julius Cæfar, as the most illustrious in ancient Story, purely on Account of the many Victories they gained, and the grear military Renown they left behind them! They never confider them as the Authors of Misery to Thousands, as laying waste Countries out of Wantonness and Ambition, spreading Desolation where-ever they came, and depriving Multitudes of what they held most dear and valuable. These, I say, are Reflections, that often escape the more wise and knowing ; much less are they to be expected from young Minds, dazzled with the Lustre of their great Actions. I therefore readily excuse you, if in reading the Lives of these renowned Commanders, and others mentioned in History, you have passed such a Judgment upon Men and Things, as was natural to your Age, and the yet imperfect State of your Understanding. But it is now Time to remove these Prejudices, and teach you to distinguish between what is really valuable in a Character, and what deserving of Censure ; that while you do Justice to Abilities, Valour, and Prudence, as Talents in themselves worthy of Esteem, you may not fail to condemn the Misapplication of them. For how different is the Man, who employs great Qualifications in advancing the Cause of Virtue, and promoting the Happiness of Mankind, from him who makes them fubfervient to the Gratification of his own Vices and Passions, and by his superior Abilities, is only led to do the greater Mischief? But besides correcting the wrong Notions you may have formed by an over-hasty Decision, and conducting your Judgment aright with regard to paft Transactions ; it is also my Business to instruct you, how you are to manage the Study of History, that it may furnish you with Maxims of Prudence and Wisdom for the Conduct of Life, fupply Motives to Virtue, and beget a Detestation of Vice.

P. You lay before me a very agreeable Prospect, and recommend a Part of Knowledge than which nothing can appear more amiable. Nay, I begin already to view Things with other Eyes than formerly, and am impatient to hear your Directions for the Prosecution of a Study, from which I am like to derive so many Advantages.

G. Nor shall you wait long for the Satisfaction you desire. It were Injustice to deny giving all possible Assistance to one, who discovers so high a Relish for these Studies, and so uncommon a Capacity of Improvement. I shall begin there

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