More about the comet.
‘"Childe Harolde"’ writes to the Dispatch
from Powhatan county
I am constrained to express surprise to see so little mention made of, and attention bestowed upon, that most magnificent phenomenon that has so suddenly made its appearance in the Northern
It was noticed by us for the first time about half-past 11 yesterday evening.
At that early hour it displayed but little of that brilliant appendage which a few hours later streamed far out, reaching far beyond the zenith, and holding the delighted looker-on perfectly entranced by its grandeur.
I know of nothing so soothing to the feelings, and at the same time so well calculated to elevate the mind of man above terrestrial objects and sordid considerations, and gently, yet surely, drawing and fixing it on things above, as a contemplation of the glorious heavens.
What can surpass in loveliness or sublimity a clear blue sky bedecked with countless myriads of shining orbs — some in great and picturesque modesty holding themselves in the distant background, and from their far-off positions shedding mild and genial rays upon us, whilst others, more bold, send forth floods (so to speak) of celestial radiance, and standing out in bold relief against the dark blue vault?
But how much must even such a scene as this be heightened in grandeur, when a magnificent comet of the first magnitude burst suddenly into full view, holding not only the astonished gazer in deep awe, but even drawing reverence from the stars themselves, as they behold for the first time his unheralded presence among them, with his brilliant train almost spanning the heavens, and before whose splendor the host of stars seem to pale?
Its immense trail covered a space of not less than eighty-five degrees of the heavens.
This would give an actual length of 148 750,000 miles. When first seen, the comet seemed about thirty degrees above the horizon, and its position was between the right hand star in the ‘"Dipper"’ and the North star, considerably nearer the former.
Every one is doubtless extremely anxious to know the name and orbit of this grand celestial visitor, and we suppose the astronomers will soon favor us with that information.
The ancients would have been greatly terrified at such an appearance, regarding all such phenomena as portending war, pestilence or famine, and, in the words of the poet, looking upon them as
‘"The menace of the universe"’
It is true, that science has dispelled all such illusions on our part.
Nevertheless, who knows but that it may be the harbinger of a speedy success and glorious day for the Southern Confederacy--like the ‘"Pillar of Fire"’ to the Israelites, or the Pillar of Light, in the fashion of a cross, appearing unexpectedly to Constantine
when he was begirt with difficulties — that this same comet, as it faces and rushes towards the North
, may be the great standard bearer
of the brave and patriotic legions who are so rapidly pouring forth at the call of Liberty, and that it may proclaim, without any such characters as were on the ‘"cross"’ appearing to Constantine
-- En Totto Nika.