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There are many other secrets of nature in these points, as well as the laws to which they are subject, which might be mentioned. For example, the planet Mars, whose course is the most difficult to observe2, never becomes stationary when Jupiter is in the trine aspect, very rarely when he is 60 degrees from the sun, which number is one-sixth of the circuit of the heavens3; nor does he ever rise in the same sign with Jupiter, except in Cancer and Leo. The star Mercury seldom has his evening risings in Pisces, but very frequently in Virgo, and his morning risings in Libra; he has also his morning rising in Aquarius, very rarely in Leo. He never becomes retrograde either in Taurus or in Gemini, nor until the 25th degree of Cancer. The Moon makes her double conjunction with the sun in no other sign except Gemini, while Sagittarius is the only sign in which she has sometimes no conjunction at all. The old and the new moon are visible on the same day or night in no other sign except Aries, and indeed it has happened very seldom to any one to have witnessed it. From this circumstance it was that the tale of Lynceus's quick-sightedness originated4. Saturn and Mars are invisible at most for 170 days; Jupiter for 36, or, at the least, for 10 days less than this; Venus for 69, or, at the least, for 52; Mercury for 13, or, at the most, for 185.

1 "Catholica."

2 "....quæ (stella Martis) ut maxime excentrica volvitur, motus etiam maxime dissonos habere diu visa est....;" Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 180.

3 "....qui numerus sexangulas mundi efficit formas."

4 Lynceus was one of the Argonauts and was celebrated for the acuteness of his vision; Val. Flaccus, i. 462 et seq.

5 The relative situation of these astronomical phænomena has changed since the time of Pliny, in consequence of the precession of the equinoxes. For an illustration and explanation of the various statements in this chapter I may refer to the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 368–370.

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