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its gallery of busts and portraits during his lifetime. Within the hall proper and at each of its four corners are the marble busts of Cromwell and Brougham, of Cobden and Palmerston, the bust of Palmerston representing him as he appeared at that stage in his career when he bore without objection or repining the nickname of 'Cupid.'

In the gallery on the first floor the portrait of Earl Grey, the Premier in the first Reform Administration, is flanked by those of the Earl of Durham and of Lord Sydenham and Toronto, the latter being the only English peer who bears a title borrowed from an English colony. In a niche close at hand is a bust of Daniel O'Connell. A bust of Hampden separates the portrait of Edward Ellice, the originator of the club, from that of Cobden, one of its greatest ornaments. The portrait of the Duke of Sussex, the most accomplished and liberal member of the Royal Family, is in the centre of another side of the gallery, while that of the third Lord Holland immediately adjoins it, the Lord Holland upon whom Macaulay passed a splendid eulogium, and whose own noble ambition was to do nothing to disgrace his position as the nephew of Charles James Fox, and the friend of Charles, Earl Grey. The portrait of Brougham fills a space near which there is a vacancy that may soon be filled with the portrait of the lamented W. E. Forster. On the same floor the marble bust of Charles James Fox stands in one room, that of Milton in another, while the portraits of the Earl of Dalhousie and Bernal Osborne hang on the walls of a third. A vacant space between Cobden and the Duke of Sussex could not be more appropriately filled than with the portrait of Mr. John Bright. Returning to the ground floor, the portrait of Thackeray, an early member of the club, hangs on the walls of a room there between the busts of two other esteemed members of the club and ardent reformers, Charles Buller and Sir William Molesworth. Nor have reformers on the other side of the Atlantic been forgotten. In a small reception room there is a large bronze medallion showing the profiles of Washington, Lincoln, and Grant, and below it is a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence. Several omissions may be noted. Chief among them is the absence of a portrait or bust of Viscount Melbourne, who was a member of the club from its foundation till his death, and who, as the Queen's first Prime Minister, rendered special service both to her and the State. The philosophical Radical and famous historian George Grote has been forgotten, while Sir William Molesworth, his fellowlabourer in the same field of politics, has been remembered. From the beginning of the club till now it has numbered among its members the principal conductors and editors of the Liberal press in London and throughout the country. No bust or portrait of any of these notable men is to be seen in the club-house, yet some of them, such as the late Mr. Russel of the Scotsman and the late

Mr. Delane of the Times, well merited any posthumous honour which the club can bestow.

The original members of the Reform Club were intensely proud of it, and they laboured diligently to render it attractive in all respects. Their successors have quite as good reason for cherishing the same feeling, and for striving to maintain unimpaired the high and widespread reputation of their magnificent club.



ALTHOUGH the astronomer has achieved many successes in studying comets, yet these objects still remain outside the surveyed fields of astronomy-now, as in the old days when men spoke of sun and moon, planet and stars, as including all the members of the heavenly host. The two comets now shining in our skies illustrate the present position of cometic astronomy. They have appeared without warning, we know not whence; they have not until now been known to astronomers as travelling on recognised orbits and in definite periods; and even hereafter, though the astronomer may determine their orbital motions and calculate the time when either should return, he cannot be sure that they will not be dissipated into unrecognisable portions before that time arrives.

I do not propose to remark here upon the probable nature of comets, or upon the possible interpretation of the various phenomena they present. The only circumstance in regard to them which I shall take into account in what follows is that close relationship between comets and meteor-streams which was established in 1866 by the combined labours of Schiaparelli, Adams, and Tempel. I shall treat this kinship between comets and meteors as rendering certain or highly probable the following propositions :—

(1) Every meteoric stream follows in the train of some comet large or small, which either exists now or has been dissipated, as Biela's comet was, leaving only its meteoric trail to show where it once travelled.

(2) Every comet is followed or preceded by a train of meteors (this train has nothing to do with the comet's tail), extending over a greater or less portion of the comet's orbit, according to the length of time during which the comet has existed.

(3) All meteoric bodies, from those which exist as the finest dust to the largest meteorites, hundreds of pounds in weight, may be regarded as bodies of the same kind, differing from each other indeed in constitution as they obviously do in mass, just as planets and asteroids do, but all to be interpreted-if they can be interpreted at all-in the same general way.

We may in some degree illustrate the nature of the assumptions here made in the three following assumptions which an insect who

had observed the phenomena of rain, cloud, mist, snow, &c. might be supposed to make: (1) Every shower of rain implies the existence of a cloud; (2) every cloud implies the descent, at some time or other, of rain, greater or less in quantity and heaviness; and (3) all drops of water, from the tiniest water vesicles in a cloud to the heaviest rain drops, are of the same kind, differing only in shape or in size: snowflakes also, as formed of water particles in a changed form, must be put in the same class.

And as the insect by studying the relations which exist between clouds and rain might be led to form an opinion whence clouds come, which would tell him also (as we know) whence rain comes,' so perhaps may we by studying the relations which exist between meteor-streams and comets be led to form an opinion whence comets (which are meteor collections) have originally come.

The very first suggestion ever made respecting the origin of comets came, indeed, from such considerations as I have mentioned above. Schiaparelli, to whom we owe the happy guess, and the beginning of its confirmation as a useful truth, that meteors are bodies following in the tracks of comets, threw out the idea that comets, regarded as flights of meteors, may be travelling in multitudes through the interstellar depths, and be from time to time drawn out thence by the attraction of our sun. He pictured our sun, in his swift rush onward with his train of planetary attendants, as coming into ever-fresh regions of comet-strewn space. A comet or meteor flight drawn towards him by the sun would approach the solar system on a path which may be described as casual. It might cross the general plane near which all the planets travel at any point, the chance that that point would lie near a planetary orbit being very small indeed. Supposing the point where the meteor flight crossed that important plane-the life plane of the solar system-to be on or near a planetary orbit, the chance would still be very small that the meteor flight would cross there at a time when the planet to which that orbit belonged was near that particular point. The chances would, in fact, be millions of millions, or rather of billions, to one that the meteor flight would visit our solar system without coming near any planetary body, in which case it would pass out from our solar system again, never to return to it. But, if a meteor flight did chance to come very close indeed to a planet of adequate mass, the flight might,

1 To us, who know how clouds and rain are really produced, this imagined inquiry of the insect may seem trivial. But man had advanced far in scientific research before he had learned anything about the source and nature of rain, hail, snow, cloud, mist, and fog. The whole subject was as completely mysterious, for example, to all the writers whose works were included by the Jews among their sacred books (in probably all their ancient documents), as were the phenomena of comets, which with them were veritable angels or messengers from Yahveh.

Nerer; because, by the nature of its supposed indrawing, it possessed relative motion of its own before it began to be drawn in; and the sun could not take from

said Schiaparelli, be captured. The planet might abstract so much of the comet's velocity as to leave only a balance corresponding to motion in a closed or elliptic path; and on such a path would the meteor flight or comet necessarily travel thereafter-unless, perhaps, after many revolutions of each, the planet at some subsequent encounter undid the work which it had accomplished when first it approached the comet.

So far Schiaparelli reasoned soundly on the basis of his assumption. I say assumption of set purpose; for it is altogether a mistake to regard the idea thus thrown out by Schiaparelli as if it were a theory. His idea that meteors follow in the track of comets developed into a theory when it had been tested and confirmed by observation. But the case is different with the idea, that meteor flights are travelling amid the star depths like fish in the depths of


But Schiaparelli did not even reason quite correctly. A single meteoric mass, or even a small meteor flight, might be introduced into our solar system in the way suggested by Schiaparelli ; for undoubtedly the giant planets possess the power he attributed to them, and if a body from without came near enough to any one of them, could so reduce its velocity as to change its path from the hyperbolic (or unclosed) form to an elliptic or closed orbit. And thenceforth such a body would travel around the sun systematically, on an eccentric path passing very near the orbit of the planet by whose influence it had been originally introduced into the system.

But a giant planet could do no more. It could not generate a meteor-stream in the way suggested by Schiaparelli. So soon as we test the matter by mathematical analysis, we find that very close approach would have to be made to a planet that a single body might be forced into a closed path, and it is certain that a flight of bodies large enough to produce any of the known meteor-streams would have its components very widely scattered by the planet's perturbing action, simply because the different components of the flight would be exposed to very different degrees of disturbing action.

This I have shown mathematically, and my demonstration has not been questioned-though Professor Young, of Princeton, N.J., in admitting the validity of my reasoning, suggests the possibility that some way may hereafter be found for eluding the difficulty. But then Professor Young holds the strange idea that Schiaparelli's speculation as to the origin of comets and meteor-streams is an accepted theory; and labouring under this delusion, imagines that there must be some way of meeting objections to it.

But it is worthy of notice that Schiaparelli's fancy, even if accepted,

it that relative motion. He would impart motior, and take such imparted motion away again, leaving untouched the original motion.

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