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present a crisis in Cuban history. Despite the mer ent volume. The story of the Mahdi of '84 is told ciless extortion of taxes that bankrupt the natives, very briefly, and the problem of keeping the Soudan Cuba is an expense to the crown, and thousands of open is as briefly discussed. The solution of that the soldiery of Spain are sent there every year to problein Professor Darmesteter finds in building up maintain the garrison. Twenty-five per cent. of these Abyssinia, a Christian power which commands the soldiers die during the first year. Spain, always in Soudan from its most vulnerable quarter. The transfinancial and military distress, cannot endure the drain lator adds as appendices two articles; one, an intermuch longer, and Mr. Ballou predicts and justifies esting account of the private character of the Mahdi, the acquisition of Cuba by the United States. with two letters of his, and the story of the rise of The Philosophy of Art in Americal is an attempt, ac. a rival Mahdi; the other, a most quaint recital by companied by many digressions, to prove the advisa an Egyptian soldier of the events in Khartoum durbility and even the necessity of establishing a de ing the siege. -G. P. Putnam's Sons have done partment of Fine Art and Art Indlustries in the well in adıling to their Traveler's Series a reprint of Government. As a secondary object, the author Mr. Clarence Deming's letters to the “ Evening pleads for the abolition of the duties on art subjects. Post, '5 which they published in more elaborate style It cannot be said that Mr. De Muldor is successful in

two years ago. These letters are happy in the novhis attempt.

As regarıls his primary object, he does elty of their subjects and in the charm of their style. not even apprehend the objection of those that op I re-reading of some of them contirms the favorable pose the paternal idea of government, but thinks it opinion expresseil when they first appeared in book sufficient to show that several European nations have form. —The Chatauqua Literary Society begins, as such departments with apparently good results. He it seems to us, the department of activity in which is under the delusion, tvo, that to make his work it can be most useful - that is, bringing out, and disphilosophical it must be written in a style so stilted tributing through its far-reaching channels, first-class and involved that it would, indeed, take a philos. books, by the publication in a series, called the opher to discover the meaning of the page-long sen. “Garnet Series, " of selected Readings from Auskins tences. - -No. 142 of Geo. M. Baker's series of se and Readings from Vatan'ıyi upon Italy. The lections contains fifty readings of fair average

merit. former has an introduction by Professor Beers, the At first it is a little doubtful whether the claim of latter by Donald G. Mitchell. The o:her two of the entire novelty can be allowed to a collection opening four volumes that make up the series are more or less with “ Virginia " from the " ys of Ancient Rome"; in keeping (one more and the other less) in subject, but on reading the garbled version given, it is sufficient being Michel Angelo Buonarottis and Art and the For. ly certain that Macaulay would not care to own it.- mation of Taste. 9 The Biglow Paperslo are the last Dr. Benson's comedy, Froliisome Girls,3 contains no addition to the Riverside Ildine series; and it is a strong situations, no depth of plot, no telling hirs, great deal to be able to say of any book-making, as and nothing new or attractive. -- -The translation by we must say of this, that it adds a new pleasure to Ada S. Ballin, from the French of Professor Dar. reading the Biglow Papers. It was, of course, neces. mesteter, College of France, of his book* on the sary to devote one volume to the first series, and Mahdi, will be welcome to those who wish to under the other to the second series; but it makes a marked stand the Soudan problem. The term Mahdi, the discrepancy in the thickness of the two volumes. One who is Led, is a generic one; there have been

5 By-ways of Nature and Life. By Clarence Derring. very many of them from a time within fifty years of Traveler's Series. New York: G. P. Putnam's sons. the death of Mahomet till now. The principal 1885. For sale in San Francisco by Chilion Beach. Mahdis of the past, and the doctrines and beliefs 6 Readings from Ruskin: Italy. Boston: Chatauqua

Press. 1883. concerning the Mahdi, form the main part of the pres.

7 Readings from Macaulay: Italy. Boston: Cha. 1 The Philosophy of Art in America. By Carl De tauqua Press. 1885. Muldor. New York: William R. Jenkins. 1885.

6 Michel Angelo Buonarotti. By Charles C. Black. 2 The Reading Club. No. 14. Edited by Geo. M. Boston: Chatauqua Press. 1885. Baker. Lee & Shepard, Boston, For sale in San Fran

9 Art and the Formation of Taste. By Lucy Crane. cisco by C. Beach.

Boston: Chatauqua Press. 1885. 8 Frolicsome Girls: A Comedy. By Dr. W. H. Ben

10 The Biglow Papers. By James Russell Lowell. The New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 188.4.

Riverside Aldine Series, Boston: Houghton Mitilin 4 The Mahdi. By James Darmesteter. Harper's & Co. 1885. For sale in San Francisco by Chilion Handy Series. New York: Harper & Bros. 1885.

Beach.

son.

THE

OVERLAND MONTHLY.

DEVOTED TO

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY.

Vol. VI. (SECOND SERIES.)—DECEMBER, 1885.—No. 36.

THE LICK OBSERVATORY."

The completion of the task entrusted to ment of a vast astronomical establishment on the Lick Trustees by the provisions of Mr. the summit of a mountain four thousand feet Lick's deed of trust is now apparently near in height and twenty-six miles distant from at hand.

This task was to construct and to the nearest town, has been personally supererect“ a powerful telescope, superior to and intended. It is impossible to convey in a more powerful than any telescope ever yet few words any adequate idea of the multimade, with åll the machinery appertaining plicity of separate interests which have been thereto, and appropriately connected there. considered—from those of the practical aswith ... and also a suitable observatory.” tronomer to those of the day laborer--nor

The present Board of Trustees was ap- of the distressing legal complications which pointed in September, 1876, and has there have arisen, and which are now happily setfore had this object continuously in view for tled; but it will be interesting to those who the past nine years.

may read the first and the succeeding vol. In the course of this time members of the umes of the publications of Mr. Lick's ObBoard have visited many of the leading ob- servatory, to remember the very exceptional servatories of this country and of Europe; nature of the duties confided to his Trusthe principal astronomers of the world have tees. been advised with personally and by corres They have been obliged to make the sumpondence ; thousands of letters have been mit of Mount Hamilton accessible by road; written to them, to architects, contractors to remove seventy thousand tons of rock in and builders, and to instrument-makers; and order to get mere standing room for the inevery detail of the construction and equip- struments; to arrange a good and sufficient

1 The first volume of the Publications of the Lick water-supply on the top of a barren mounObservatory of the University of California is now in tain ; and to carry out in the best and most course of preparation under the direction of the Lick Trustees, by Captain Richard S. Floyd and Professor economical way the real object of their trust Holden. At the request of the Editor of the OVER- —which was to present to the world an LAND MONTHLY, Professor Holden has made an ab

astronomical observatory of the very highest stract of those parts of it which are of general and popular interest, and this is here printed with additional class, which should be permanently useful paragraphs.-EDITOR.

to science. Vol. VI.-36. (Copyright, 1885, by OVERLAND MONTHLY Co. All Rights Reserved.)

The difficulties were far from being mere- his character or of his motives has yet ap ly practical and material in nature. At the peared in print. There is no doubt that a very beginning of the work it was a matter desire to be remembered by his fellow-men for scientific determination whether the most influenced him largely. He wished to do powerful telescope should be a reflector or a something which should be important in itrefractor. The procuring of the rough glass self, and which should be done in a way to castings for the object glass has alone re. strike the imagination. He was only required six years, and has but just been accom- strained from building a marble pyramid plished after twenty unsuccessful trials, each larger than that of Cheops on the shores of one lasting several months. The plans of San Francisco Bay, by the fear that in some the observatory buildings had to be con- future war the pyramid might perish in a ceived and executed so as to accomplish possible bombardment of the place. The the ends in the most efficient and at the observatory took the place of the pyramid. same time in the most economical manner. The beauty of the one was to find a sub

In every one of these tasks, the Trustees stitute in the scientific use of the other. The have been cordially aided by all who have instruments were to be so large that new and been called upon. The county of Santa striking discoveries were to follow inevitably, Clara has provided and now maintains a and, if possible, living beings on the surface magnificent mountain road from San José of the moon were to be descried, as a beto the summit. The State of California has ginning. assumed the charge of publishing the astro It would, however, be a gross error to take nomical observations already made. The these wild imaginings as a complete index United States has liberally granted the site of his strange character. A very extensive for the observatory. Astronomers all over course of reading had given him the generous the world have been consulted, and have idea that the future well-being of the race willingly given their time and their advice. was the object for a good man to strive to

The original plans for the observatory were forward. Towards the end of his life at fixed on in Washington, in 1879, by Captain least, the utter futility of his money to give Floyd, President of the Trustees, Mr. Fraser, any inner satisfaction oppressed him more Superintendent of Construction, and Pro. and more. The generous impulses and hallfessors Newcomb and Holden, of the Unit- acknowledged enthusiasms of earlier days ed States Naval Observatory.

began to quicken, and the eccentric and unThese plans have proved to be entirely symmetrically developed mind gave strange adequate, and have been closely followed. forms to these desires. If he had lived to Many other astronomers have been deeply in- carry out his own plans, there is little doubt terested in the work, and have shown by per- that his fellow citizens would have gained sonal visits and by correspondence their ap- less from his gifts than they will now gain. preciation of the importance of the under. If his really powerful mind could have retaking. Among these should be especially ceived a symmetric training, there is no quesnamed the late Doctor Henry Draper, of tion but that the present disposition of his New York: Mr. Burnham, of Chicago; endowment would entirely satisfy him. Doctor Johann Palisa, of Vienna ; Professor He has been most fortunate in having his Krueger, of Kiel; and Professor Auwers, of desires studied and given an ultimate form Berlin.

by successive sets of trustees, who had no It would be of extreme interest if one could ends in view but to make this strangely acgive a truly adequate view of the character quired gift most useful to the city, the State, of Mr, Lick, and of the motives which led and the country. He will be buried in the him to dispose of his large fortune in public base of the pier of the great equatoriai on gifts, and especially of the motives which led Mount Hamilton, and will have such a tomb him to found an astronomical observatory. as no old world emperor could have com

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MR. Lick's first deed of trust was dated the question of water supply was a serious July 16th, 1874, and provided for the con This latter difficulty has been surstruction of his observatory at Lake Tahoe, mounted by the discovery of springs 300 or at some other point, if this should prove feet below the summit level, and only 4,300 to be unfavorable. The first Board of Trus- feet distant from the observatory. tees ceased to hold office in September, 1875, Mount Hamilton presented immense adand a second board assumed its duties. vantages on the score of its nearness to San

A further consideration of the proposed José, where two railways meet, and especially site of the observatory at Lake Tahoe led to because it was known that the fogs which the conclusion that whatever might be the cover the Santa Clara Valley at nightfall, advantages of this situation, the disadvan- and which last until the sun is quite high the tages arising from the extremely severe win- next day, did not, at least usually, extend to ters would probably outweigh them. Mr. the peak. On these grounds, chiefly, Mr. Lick himself was convinced of this, and was Fraser recommended, and Mr. Lick practis advised to examine mountains further south. cally accepted, Mount Hamilton as the site During the summer of 1875, Mr. Lick sent for the future observatory. Mr. Fraser, his agent, to report on Mount St. During the summer of 1876, the Trustees, Helena, Monte Diablo, Loma Prieta, and were engaged in correspondence with variMount Hamilton, with special reference to ous astronomers and opticians, and one of their accessibility, and to the convenience of their number visited personally many observestablishing extensive buildings on their sum- atories in Europe. In the autumn of 1876, mits.

the third (and present) Board of Trustees Mr. Fraser's visit to Mount Hamilton was was appointed. made in August, 1875. In many respects, In 1875, Mr. Lick had proposed to Santa this seemed to be the best situated of all the Clara county to definitively place his observamountain peaks. Yet the possibility that a tory on Mount Hamilton, if the county would complete astronomical establishment might construct a road to the summit. This propoone day be planted on its summit seemed sition was accepted in 1875 by the supermore like a fairy tale than like sober fact. visors and the road was completed in 1876. It was at that time a wilderness. A few cat No more magnificent mountain road exists tle ranches occupied the valleys around it.; in the United States, when all the circumIts slopes were covered with chapparal, or stances of fine scenery, excellent road-bed, thickets of scrub oak. ': Not even a trail led and extensive and commanding views are over it. The nearest house was eleven miles considered. away. There were three sharp peaks con The road rises four thousand feet in twen: nected by two saddles: the east peak (prop. ty-two miles, and the grade nowhere exceeds erly northeast peak), 4,448 feet high ; the six and a half feet in one hundred, or three middle peak, 4,318 feet; and finally Mount: hundred and forty-three feet to the mile.. Hamilton, 4.302 feet. The last seemed to Most of the road is materially less steep than be the most satisfactory, but it was obvious this. ;' that immense quantities of the hard grey.. The first four miles (of the twenty-six) is wacke rock, of which the mountain is com a fine, nearly level avenue, laid out in a perposed, would have to be removed in order fectly straight line in the Santa Clara valley.. to secure a level platform for the houses and The ascent of the foot hills is then com-: instruments. In fact, over seventy thousand menced, and the road begins a series of twisttons of solid rock have been so removed, the ings and turnings, which are necessary in orsurface having been lowered as much as der to keep the gradient low. Toward the thirty-two feet in places. , The expense of end of the route the road winds round and constructing a practicable road to the summit round the flanks of the mountain itself and would certainly be great in fact, it has cost overlooks one of the most picturesque of about eighty thousand dollars), and finally scenes. The lovely valley of Santa Clara

miles away.

and the Santa Cruz mountains to the west, eleven were cioudy or foggy. This estirrata a bit of the Pacific and the Bay of Monterey of high class nights does not rest simply on to the southwest, the Sierra Nevada, with the observer's judgment. He has left an a countless ranges to the southeast, the San tensive series of actual measures of discu: Joaquin valley, with the Sierras beyond, double stars, and a catalogue of forty-two to the east, while to the north lie many new doubles discovered by him during this lower ranges of hills, and on the horizon, short period. It is to be noted that in man Lassen's Butte, one hundred and seventy-five cases Mr. Burnham's new double stars bear

The Bay of San Francisco lies peculiar witness to the excellent conditions flat before you like a child's dissecting map, of vision. He was examining with his sir and beyond it is Mount Tamalpais, at the inch telescope the stars which had been os entrance to the Golden Gate. Monte Diablo scribed as double by the elder Struve, sich lies to the northeast, forty-one miles distant. the nine-inch telescope of Dorpat. Struves Mount St. Helena is not visible. Mount telescope collected iwo and one-fourth tias Hamilton dominates all its neighbors, and more light than the other, and was one andı holds a singularly isolated and advantageous half times more efficient in pure separating place.

power. Yet stars which Struve had ca The land for the site (1350 acres) was logued as double, were found by Mr. Burrbaz granted by Congress on June 7, 1876, and to be tri ple. Other new stars of great des a purchase of 191 acres was subsequently culty were found. made by the Trustees, to enable them to Mr. Burnham says: "Remembering tbr control the access of the reservation. these stars were discovered with what, :

Mr. Lick died on October 1, 1876. At these days of great refractors, would be cos his death a number of legal questions arose sidered as a very inferior instrument in poss which required some years to settle. It was of size, we may form some conceptios c not until 1879 that the financial affairs of the what might be done with an instrument et trust were in such a condition that active the power of that at the Naval Observator preparations for the observatory could be be- (twenty-six inch aperture), or with the P. gun.

kowa glass (of thirty inch aperture)." In the summer of this year, Mr. Burnham, The large telescope of the Lick Observa a most distinguished observer of double stars, tory is to have an aperture of thirty-six ilwas asked by the Trustees to transport his ches, and a length of sixty feet. own very perfect telescope to the summit of Another most important point is not s Mount Hamilton, and there to actually make cially noted by Mr. Burnham. Not onk r an extended series of observations similar to many nights of the highest excellence, bt: : those he was constantly making at Chicago, large proportion of the remaining ones z his home, or at the observatories of Dart- very suitable for work. There are many:mouth College and of Washington, where he tronomical researches where it is of grez: was a frequent visitor. In this way a very portance that a series of observations she. satisfactory judgment of the fitness of Mount be continuous; and for all such research Hamilton foran observatory site could be had. Mount Hamilton is an almost unnia:

Mr. Burnham spent the months of August, site. This stay of Mr. Burnham's was ac September and October on the summit, in a vincing proof that the site for the future: small canvas-covered observatory, which was servatory had been well chosen. perched on the narrow saddle of the moun The Trustees have followed a wise po tain peak.

in inviting various astronomers to pre His report to the Trustees gives a sober short periods at Mount Hamilton, and 3: but an enthusiastic account of the prevailing vise them upon the work of constructions conditions. Of sixty nights, no less than equipment. These invitations have been forty-two were of the very highest class, seven timed as to enable the visiting astronco were quite suitable for observations, while to render material aid in the constructis

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