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of painting and mechanics, the Eidouranion of Walker, and the improved lecture of Bartley, well deserve to rank the foremost.
The Vertical Orrery, or Eidouranion of Adam Walker, is not merely in unison with the artist-like exhibitions we have already described, but in its ‘early days formed so novel, and, really, so interesting, so dignified an amusement, that we cannot hesitate to place it amongst the most respectable efforts, to extend the beneficial uses of the stage. Mr. Bartley's more recent effort is creditable to the parties undertaking it, (we believe the proprietorship of the Uranologia to be in Mr. Arnold, of the Lyceum Theatre,) and confers much honour on the ability and good taste of Mr. Bartley, who is himself the lecturer.
First, of the EIDOURANION :
We believe this singularly beautiful machine to bave originated with Benjamin Martin, a celebrated mathematical instrument maker of the last century: whether he proceeded to the actual organization of the machine, we are not informed, but we are well assured that the self-taught James Ferguson did construct a model, but which was never so far completed as to become practically useful; but, whether Benjamin Martin first suggested, or James Walker, (who was Adam Ferguson's immediate predecessor, as a familiar lecturer on Natural Philosophy,) did, or not, first actually make a vertical arrangement of the old Orrery, with transparent or luminous planets, it is most certain, that to Adam Walker we are altogether indebted for its practical completion. After discussing the priority of the first conception, as matter of curiosity, we are, therefore, bound to think and speak of Mr. Walker as its inventor, and the Eidouranion has descended to the young lovers of Astronomy of the fourth generation, since its first appearance, with its euphonous appellation, deservedly linked with the respected name of its first owner.
To « Walker's Eidouranion” how many thousands are indebted for their early clear notions of astronomy? We are ourselves of that number; but while we remember the scenes of our instruction with natural and becoming respect, we unhesitatingly (and, perhaps, our early associations prompt us to do so) complain, that half a century of general advancement in every art which ornaments society, finds the exhibition of the Eidouranion so little assisted by auxiliaries, which would, unquestionably, render it doubly delightful, a thousand times more useful. After the Eidouranion, we recollect no attempt to render the exhibition of astronomical scenery popularly attractive, till about the year 1800, when the figures of the constellations and the telescopic views of the planets were first painted on glass, for exhibition, as phantasma in the magic lantern. This originated, as well in the idea as the practical execution, with Mr. Charles Blunt, an optician and artist; and it has since been successfully introduced in most of our public schools and establishments. The relation in which the editor of this work stands with respect to the ingenious inventor of these paintings, will hardly allow him to advert to the rude imitations of his paintings, which have, in too many instances, seemed intended rather to caricature than to illustrate astronomy. In the few instances in wbich the rage for cheap imitation has allowed the subject to be treated by an observer as well as an artist, the success of the exhibition has been most complete. The lecture of Mr. Bartley is the first public exhibition (at least, in the metropolis,) of these paintings, in furtherance of the discourse; and as far as they are in that solitary instance allowed to go, they very satisfactorily point out to an astronomer, accomplished for the task, the ready means of producing an - astronomical lecture of richness, extent, and variety, worthy of the subject.
The age is proudly distinguished by a general cultivation of science, and a love of literature and useful knowledge, which spreads over the whole intelligent community. Of all the devices which active ingenuity has proposed for the dissemination of knowledge, public lectures, of popular character in their language and embellishment, may properly be determined the most effective, as well as the most pleasant; and if we for a few moments rightly consider the importance of astronomical knowledge, we shall surely not hesitate to pronounce that ASTRONOMICAL LECTURES of the character we are describing, deserve to stand foremost in the ranks. Astronomy, universally acknowledged the most sublime and interesting of those sciences wbich admit of popular illustration, is doubly valuable for its powerful influence and effect in the general improvement of the human mind.
Of an astronomical lecture, and of the lecturer himself, we can conceive, perhaps, more than might be readily executed : but, admitting this, we must insist, that an actual advancement might be made, which, in its effect, would leave immeasurably distant all existing arrangements.
The limits of the present work do not allow us, in this, necessarily, a small division of it, to go into the detail of such an attempt: we should propose a more extensive view of the science, a wider general view, and yet more detail of information ; more mechanical arrangement; of less expensive character, perhaps, than those of present use, but certainly of more beauty, as well as efficacy. The public have long accustomed themselves to consider ingenious and elaborate arrangements of machinery, if accompanied with the correct recital of the rudiments of the science, and a due display of distances and magnitudes, to form the ne plus ultra of astronomical lecturiny: this is absurd ; the science of astronomy is, perhaps, more than any other which can be named of the whole circle, the very science of which a popular display may most successfully be aided by the ornamental arts. Music, painting, sculpture, may be called in as auxiliaries, with powerful effect, and manifest benefit; a tasteful introduction of poetry may be deemed almost essential to success; and we would undertake that Urania need not disdain the co-operation of Terpsichore herself.
If it were possible to effect in one person a combination of the accomplishments required to form a popular lecturer or astronomer, we should not be content with an intimate acquaintance with the science; we would have a quick versatility of general talent; next, insist that he were an artist, of taste to conceive, and of power to embody his conceptions; of literary ability to condense and arrange, in the most lucid manner, his own discourse; in music, at least, of a refined taste and ear, if not practically a master. He should possess a thorough acquaintance with, and dexterous facility in applying, the laws of perspective in unbounded extent, and the precision of that beautiful art, with a complete and ready management of scenic embellishment, having a clear knowledge of its capabilities, and great expertness in its practice; in short, an accomplished scene painter. In mechanical contrivances and arrangements, not merely equal to the general organization of a plan, but of ready quickness, and fertile of expedient in the detail ; possessing the eye and judgment of the engineer, the hand of the ready workman. He should have the invaluable habitual coolness and selfpossession of the accomplished actor; his oratorical delivery should be nervous, elegant, chaste; his voice of considerable volume, sonorous and musical; his appearance and manners denoting the gentleman and the scholar. With these qualifications, either blended in one person, or, by a happy sub