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The Washington herald. (Washington, D.C.) 1906-1939, March 02, 1913, MAGAZINE SECTION, Image 29

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THE WASHINGTON HERAliD. SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 1913.
3
FIVE COMETS HEADED TOWARD VICINITY OF THE EARTH
Five of the Celestial Terrors of Human Race
to Appear During the Year 1913 As
in the Past, Their Appearance
Is Cause of Dread.
By "l ILLI VM L. VLrDOHH-Hl
Suppose a ball of Iron loo miles in dl
ameter weighing millions and millions
cf tons, falllrg at the rate of 500 miles
a minute wera o strike the earth what
would happen' The answer to such an
nppalllng oa astrophe I shall leave to
our imiglnatlon. That la the Height
and mass of the ordlnarv comet, as
Judged by Unt'e Sam s leading astrono
mers and the question Is suggested be
cause during the ear 191J many comets
ire. expected to visit the vlcinlt of this
mundane sphere The number 1J Is a
hocdoo number in I man are the su
erstltlons connected with It i it would
not be surprising If the ir 1311 shoul 1
bring lrl its train man disasters an 1
thereby livo up to lis unholy reputation
of the past
So Ion- as the memor of man goes
lick, the ippearance of a comet has
always been taken as a causa foi dread
In the train of comets it has ever 1 ecu
held com. wars bliodshed fires tloods
plagues f imlno Hnd all the other calim
fties possible o the human race tlv
ter the noted poet of olden time says
Uut thoo fmrlM rare
fm night ir niht on that rrttisinu bl-
Thrt bury "wet tht lone, timmlu ur
Hiui bimm. nn mih famine rupie "" -
For ages the appearance of a comet has
been the cause of much fear and Intense
interest among the inhabitants of Mother
larth And even to-da after centuries
of study of that celestial phenomenon
most people have a superstitious dread
or impending calamitv when they hear
that certain comets are about to ap
proach the earth. In the old das even
scientists shared this suptrstltkn but
to dav the science of atronom has. pro
gressed so far that the men who follow
this science laugh at such fear The
reason upon tho basis nf id f i ts upon
which Intuition and superstition hive no
bearing On the contrarv tic averig
mortal reasons not onlv on facts but
' sualls 1 ts h It lenient I m
h superstition and tic feir of th
known nd so it will ntinuo as long
as human nature Is constitute! -is It Is
to dav
There are nve periodic comets due t
return during tho vear lal3 Thev am
named after tho men who discovered
'hem Holmes Mnlav De "V Ico L Swif
Fncke s comet and W estpl ili toineL
Holmes comet tl e tirst expected t ai
pear during the voir has t verv Inter
ostlne nistorv It 1 rtniirkall boeau".
the last tim it was M n In 1W It
hirst into o sidd i li lilt in j tint as
tronomers iv It in i t I it l n f no nf
the groil Mars n tl h avns siddthlv
thrown it r it orl It I v sol le piwerful
unknown fcree ml til li g fir took up
Its endless enure t arouch spice as a
comet
-Uhj Stars leave Their Orbits
The peculiar phenomenon explaine 1
In this vva Manv stars have a ned
orbit, the same as the earll but some
times a tremendous upheaval occurs suf
tlclent to throw the star from Its orbit
It is then cast Into space bursts into
flame and Immediately takes up Its end
less travels tl rough the heavens an lm
mense ball of lire travellrg at such ter
rile velocity teat It tlnallv burns up and
disappear altogether That Is what
might happen tr tie earth were a dls
urbane t tak.- pla e In Its immediate
viclnitv sufficier t to throw It off Its or
bit The oa th would lmmedlatel) be
come comet nnl travel t ro igl space
until in the en 1 it b rnt up or fell Into
the sun
The next nmet to appeir will be T n
lav s This comet was first discovered
In 1 and again seen In 1906 At the
last return It passed r erihellon the time
w hen a comet approaches nearest the I
s in on September S Both Holmes and
Hnlav s comets have a period o' about
seven vears Next In order will appear
the Pe icoE Swift comet '-ometime
about the middle of prll Lncke s comet
will be visible This comet also has an
interesting hitorj "dentist- saj its or
bit has changed and that this change
was brought about bv a resisting medium
somewhere in sPa e tn3t j there is
some attraction ufl lentlv great 1o
change Its course and evert lallv the
oomet will lo tiriwn closer aid closer
nnl it finallv drops into
that bodv nd 1
ippears Tie most In
teresting wandei
if the heav
I ear during tl is i
W estpha' s comet
vears ago In Is. C.
th world will be
great comet
These are all tl
ear however will h
last pfrt about sixtv
Asrronomers all over
n the lookout for this
porindle
co nets ex
stlnguished
the ordi
a j arabola
heaven
I ecteel
lil-
the penodl
vl 1
ST0DENT OF THE HEAVENS.
PK0F ASAPH HALL
line of hlchest
and neer return The greater number
of shooting phenomena seen are of this
latter class One of the highest author
itles on astronomy is Prof Ysaph Hall
of the V s Naval Observator who
Mas raised In the atmosphere of as
tronoim His father Prof Asaph Hall
sr occupied the same position with
1 nele Sam that Ills son ni w holds In
earliest bovhood oung Hall became an
earnest student of the science of as
tronom He is non flftj three years
old and for the past fort ears has
studied the science and is to da ranked
a3 one of the leading astronomers of
the world He explains a comet in this
Mr Hall's LxpIantlon
1 ou know all spauo Is full of a nebu
lous material probably the same ma
terlal thit the earth and sun Is made
of onlj Instead of belnc. gathered to
gether in a big mass it is an assemblage
,. minimis nf small Darticles There are
uncountable numbers of these i articles
or Hocks in spac t and when the sun
l,ets an whore mar them sj that its at
traction becomes powerful enough to
Dull It into the solar sStem we get tn
ij - iimft The suns attraction not only
I pulls it into the solar system but also
I lights It up when It becomes lsible to
the people on this earth
Now to go farther Man) of
na-abollc comets also become periodic
comets In another wa Thev proDaniv
enter the sol ir svstem as unknown wan
derers Thev enter the neighborhood of
one of tho large planets when the veloc
111 at which It is traveling becomes
breatls change 1 b the attraction
nullini. power of the planet and is d-
creased This attraction of the planet
holds the comet In a urtalu position and
it will then circle iro ind that planet
in an elliptical orl It In otl er word"
It Is verv similar t . a 1 ill atn hed ti
the end of a string ml twirled urouri
tho finger The string takes the pla .
of the attraction f tl e j lanet whll
the velocltv at whl h tl c bill is trav
eling holds It at the end of the string
Another Interesting thing In connec
tlon with tils phtnomon n is tl fimlh
f comets It Is lertiln tl it trump
comits cannot well rlglt ate within tl
limits of o ir snlir svstem I it must
have come f re tn a l,ri it dlstmc Thev
come within tho attrutim f certiin
I Janets like Jupiter for instance nnd
the attrittlon of tils pi im t holds them
In the wav I lav ilrndv til vol
ilout Th short crlii m ts thos
which ha p rlods ringh g fun three
ti sk vetrs ire row re ngnlz 1 ind
spoken of as Jii Iti r"s farnlh if com
ts 1 iut thlitv if ties, ar known
ilr ilv if ninth fifteen htve he n seen
tw i or ifterif r s me i f tl em ah manv
as i dozen times "imilarlj Saturn has
tn tomets 1 rin is h is two on of
witch is Tom, Is comet which Is
cl ely connec lei with the November
metec rs nd limllv Neptune 1 as a
famllv of six imnng which is the great
celebrat I II die v s comet and two oth
ers which hav returned twice since
lvW
M ootlng -tars are another unusu.iltv
interesting pi enomenon o' the henvens
Thev probablj originate from comets
115 that I mean some of the flocks of
comets get too near the sun when they
become heated up and bum Into flam s
and separate into millions of parts Tliu-
wnat is commonlv called shooting
stars There Is ai parentis sonic electn
cal action going on between the san and
comet, so that a cometi shines partly
bj reflected sunlight ai d partly bv the
heat of the sun s a. counter attrac
tlon there is some eectrlc repulsion tak
ing place which pulls tho tail of the
comet aw a from the sun and the tail
is sometimes spread out over enormous
distances Now after these rather loose
lv assembled flocks pass around the sun
several times thev become spread out
and fnallv break up and we again see
shoot ny stars
The Source of Meteors
Then we lave what Is known as a
meteir " hen a comet crosses the or
bit of the earth some of Its parts are
taught In the atmosphere of the earth
The itmophere burns them up or turns
them into a solid when thev fall to the
earth in the f rm of heavv pieces of
iron or tone borne of them have been
known to penetrate the crust of the
earth thousands of feet on account ol
the terrific volocitj at which the) were
traveling when thev struck the ground
t certain times of the vear showers ol
stars appear in the heavens These proh
ablv come ibout through the flocks ol
comets on their wiv thrcugh space
spreading out all the wav round the
earth s orbit ai d evert vear when the
earth spins around to that particula
spot igain the particles come within th
attraction of our atmosphere and be
come showers or meteors Some of them
drop upon the earth while others con
ttnue on through space, until the end of
time.
In 1SSS a comet was actually seen to
burst into millions of parts by an astron
omer who happened to be studying the
heavens at the time with a comet seeker
It was one of the most brilliant displays
ever seen b human being The entire
heavens were lit up and for a time It
appeared as though some plant was liter
ally on fire Afterward It was learned
that It was only a comet which happened
to get too near the sun and was burned
up tn the terrific heat of that body This
comet was known as Biela s comet It
was first seen at New Haven Conn, In
1S33 and exactlv thlrt three vears later,
In 1SC6 appeared again Just eighty
ears ago it began to break up and this
process will continue for a long time
When the earth gets In a certain posi
tion ever! thirty three jears we see s
shower from this same comet Parts of
this shower mav appear a year before
or a vear after but the principal shower
r parts of the comet will be seen evenr
thlrtj three vears until the whole
comet is consumed It was seen the last
time In 1S99
Among all the stirs known in astron-o-n
the periodica llv returning comet
now known as Halle s comet Is the
principal and has the most baleful rec
ord In this comets wake after everv
one of Its recorded appearances there
ha c aiwav
followed terril le disasters
Not onh war an 1 b ittles or other decd
of bio dshel such as massacres and
murders but each of the dread disasters
that are held to go with comets have
followed along one after the other In
this comet s train The record of great
events connoted with Halle s comet
have been traced back nearlv 2.T0 vears
the-epo mans appalling disasters have fol
lowed the appearance of this comet thajt
It non has the distinction of being the
bloodiest of all stars of ill omen
Hallev s comt was noted In the
summer of 1S3 and continued In sight
until the sprint, of the following vear
It was discovered bv Edmund Halle) an
English astronomer of the old dajs He
was the first man to predict its retjrn
about seventy six eurs afterward In
l"oJ It appeared on schedule time and
again cvactlt seventv five vears later in
1H0 Its first appearance was described
is like that of a blazing rocket the
flime from which w is driven Rslde is by
n strong gile or as tho stream of fire
fn m tho discharge of a cannon when
toe sparks and smoke Is carried hick
v-ard bv the wind
I'lagnr I cillci
llallej m Comet
Immediatelv ifter this comet appeared
in lsl in the Old World the buboni
plague known as tho Mark death broke
ut in Igvpt In tie citv if Alexandria
alone "OW people dlel from this disease
All the Moslems attributed this calamitv
to the evil influence of the comet
In merlea the comet became visible
to th naked eve onlv late In the -ar
Then on Its an 'oach to the sun it was
lost tn view onl rasped over the South
ern Hemisphere si nrllv after Its ltrt
aptearane over North merlca the great
New x.ork lire lild wistc the entire bul
WHITE HOUSE IS NOTORIOUS HAUNT OF GHOSTS;
NOBODY EVER MINDED LIVING THERE, HOWEVER
1 resident e ect Wilson when he comes
to Wa-hligton will take up his residence
t taunted dwelling The White Houc
lnn been fan ous for Its elm ts
e most interesting if tl cse s otters
hat o' 1 w mm with n tip ef an
tique pittern i girment rt seiiuiiing i
lace shiwl and v idelv distended i
skirts -he is seen not at midnight as
custcmarv with most well regul lied
ghosts but Just before davbreak gluing
ilv alt ng the wile hallwav wnicn tx
tends 1-pgthwlse through the middle f
the White House It Is alwavs trcm
tl e west end to th east tint s o mt vts
and wh n she reithes the e'e sod doubl
door3 which give tntnnte to the last
hi si e pacs through them as if f
. offered no obstacle ind vanishes
obodv can tell with posltlveness of
course but the supposition is mat ine
phantom is that of Abigail idams the
first mistress of the White Heuse Mi
ook up her residence In the m-insion In
the autumn f IsCO when It was as vet
hv no means finished and historv relat-s
that she used the I-ast Room nnglnallv
intended for a hnnqiieting hill) is a
aundrv drvmg th famll wash there
Ghosts llllile No DIlTcrenie
But of whit account is one ghost more
c r le-s in tho President s Palace as it
was tal ed In the earlv div3 of the re
public-' No man 3 ambition to occupv
it vt is over lessened by stories of tha
haunts that infest It.
The most famillarlv known an I best
autheiitl ated if White House specters
Is thit of braham I Incoln "m far as
can be is ert lined It n-vcr ippears else
here than on the stairs the doub
(light that is to sa which formerlv
led up to the txecutive business of
flees At th present time (snCe the
reconstruction of the mansion b Roose
velt) the upper floor Is occupied whollv
b hedrooms
Mr Lincoln (so witnesses of the phe
nomenon aver) is alwas !fen walkliu,
up the stairs it Is Impossible to mis
take his tall awkward figure and
shambling gait When he gets tn the
top he looks around smiles sadlv ind
d sapptars One might imagine that he
melted intomist
In earlier v-ars the attl was sail to
be haunted bv President William Hen
r Harris in cwlo died in the White
House i though wh lie should have se
lected this part of the mansion for his
phantasmal activities is not easy to ex
plain The attic was then a lumber
room filled with discarded furniture,
stacks of trunks and quantities of mis
cellaneous Junk representing gifts sent
to the White House bs well meaning but
foolish people Now ('since the recon
structlon) it Is occupied as servants
quarters and the shade of Mr Harrison
is seen there no longer
Of all placeB in Washington however
the one most Indubitably haunted is the
room In the Capitol now known as
Statuar Hall which former! was the
ehamber of the House of Representa
tives It was there that JoTin Quincv
Adams dieu he was a member of Con
gross for nineteen ears after he relin
qulshed the Presidenc and the seat lie
oc-upled when fatall stricken by paral
sis is marked to this dav b a brass
star set in the marble floor They do
sa that his ghost frequents the place
an amiable and harmless spectre and
that his footfalls but of them a word
present!
nvr Entire Ilonse
There was a member of the capital
police not long ago who made formal
affidavit that entering Statuarv Hall one
night he beheld there the entire House
of Representatives of 1S4 assmhled as
It for law making purposes a phantom
legislative crew Inclining Mr dams
himself and man other personages
familiarl known In hlstor) but long'
dead All of them to a man turned and
looked at him as he came In a msteri
ous and ghostlv light illumined the scene
but not one of them said a word The
police officer was dismissed for drink
ind tho charge mav nave been Just
lut there are other watchmen at the
ipltnl who shake their heads solemnly
n II - i i r is miiitiontd ml sa
TRACING THE COMETS.
LARGE TELESCOPE
if Hall spends
nes section
merclal c nt
i f tha
titv
in
shos ind ai
ogether T hous s wen
and Jls'' f'0 of prortv
Down in Florida it the
time the
ar pith
Hig knif
'eminnle Indims went or
Indians railed the re
In th sk
n e war b .an Willi a
merican s 1 Hers at 1-ort
Lore siaughterel Within
tint If thev chose thev like
could
tell of etrange hippenings
It Is t satisla tlon wlcre tl Ings appa
rltimal ar concened ti hav da light
in I I ul lie t stimc nv to h lp In fromlm,
lulgmnt llupilv this s not alle
l,i tin r lickuu, in th ciso it tho i.hnts
cf s.tituitiv Hill lor more thin i gen
rati o last tic giiles of the taiitil
havetall-d tic attention if wond nt g
visitors ti thectrange echoes ind other
icoiistic pt enomena of this remirkabie
roem There Is sc mething postlvel un
cannv cl it them for ex linple the dls
tlnct au III ilitv of the lowtst whisper
uttered i long distance jat If si eaker
and listener respe tivelv stand in cer
tain mirble llvks indie ited to th
Similar sounds
other parts of th
r iootieps naum
Cipltol Tears ago
a member of the witch on dutv at
night beenme convinced that some liv
ing persons who had no 1 uslness there
were hiding perhips fir s0rne dishonest
purpose within the precincts c f the
building ctordinglv he piovided him
self with a pilr of r ll her shoes and
taking n light stole softlv through the
corridors with the ldta of cipturing the eenturv there lived in the Octatr. n Hjtte
supposed lntriideis Tune an I again heia, eccentric md elderlv gentleman who
got the footsteps cornered in a plice r ,
where there wps seemlngl no posstbillt
escipe but Invartablv thereupon thev!
were heard from another direction and
colli never be overtikcn I
There are moreover at least four
well a iihentlcatcl specters thit haunt
different tarts of the Cai it il One of
tiesc is tint of a tall mllitir looking
gentlennn dressed In a frock eont with
a leng mustache and goatee. On manv
an oec islou he h is boon seen at night
w ilking about the corridors beneath th I
House c f Representatives his hands
clasped lehlnd him and with a aspect
of extreme melancholt wavs pacing
up ind down as if waiting for something
or snmelodv he vanishes when ip
proached like a magic lantern ricture
(.host Closes Door
The Senate wing has 1 similar ghost,
but in this case the phantom has been
satisfactorilt identified It is that of
Gen lohn I.ngan and if the storie
told are true at exactl half an hour
ifter mi lnight ever night in tho vear
he comes out of tho room of the Com
mittie on Milltarv and Militia beneath
the senate chamber opens the door slow
lv closes it siicntlv bchln I him and
proceeds with noislcss tread along the
corridor to tho westward his long
black hair great mustache and broad
brimmed felt hat make recognition o
him be onl possibillt of mistake
Tho negroes who come there in the
carlv morning hours to clean up 1 ofore
rii break In the winter time are dread
fullv afraid of mtetlnc the general s
ghost ind so at once upon their ar
rival the turn on all the electric lights
The aver that the place which is in
the basement is ajmted ilso b
the r own number, an old white haired
colored man named Osborne who died
sev cril cars ago He Is never actuallv
setn but the sounds of his brush an 1
pail with the slosh of spectral water
can often be heard from dark corners
is he scrubs the marble floor his Indus
trlous spook continuing the work which
in life he was accustomed to perform
Some of the sthange noises of the
Cipltol are doubtless attributable to
cats which in the winter time lnvale the
huge building finding a warm refuge
there wandering about the corridors
and often miking night I Ideous with
their Jon lings enormousl magnified
acoustical! bv the echoes But these
are Just ordinar tramp pussies There
It Is averred a demon cat that
haunts the Capitol though fortunatel
It Is rare! seem Its last recorded ap
peaiance was In im" and previouslv to
that In 1S2
when it was shot at hv a
nd no wonder for this
witchman
fearful grimalkin nf no more than com
mon size when first espied swells to the
dimensions of a smill elephant when an
attempt Is made to torner It
Tho famous Octagon House, so called
b reason of its shape stands on the
northeast corner of Eighteenth Street and I
New ork Avenue It was oocunled fir
lul- Lv Ire I lent Midis-n anil Ills'
AT OBSERVATORY
fortv o ght I ours came another Indian
right on the binks of the nig Wlthla
co chee
With the passing of the comet to th
i s, anhern Ilemlsi 1 ere wars lroke out one
after an HIkt Ir Mexico ( uba. Central
I merica h cuador Bolivia Peru and
Vrscntlna t the ame time Texas de
elared its Independence and declared war
i pon Mexico Next came the massacr
wife DoVv ifter tho 'White House had
1 een burned by the British In I14 Later
on it fell into disrepair and considerable
dlsreputi owing to the fact that it was
suppised to be baunted Indeed up to a
dozen vears ic when rt constructed for
trtlec pjrposea It was tie most note rl
ouslv hninfd house In Wishlngton no
tenant l elng obtiinablo for it even
though offtrel at a merel nominal
rental
There were manv people who said th3t
passing b the had seen ghostl faces
it the win lows of the emptv house and
it night lights moved to and" fro inside
Ine of the stries connected with it was
that of i negro sae who hid clthe'"been
whtoned to death in Hie attic nr tortured
, lo (lcath n the ceiinr But the most re
marL.abip specter associated with the
I lice was tha of a cat which sat on the
stairs a viewless cat invisible to the eve
lut which was nevertheless sufllclentl
material to trip people up when the
stepped on it
The stnrj told to ncciunt for this spc
tril cat is as fillows
In the earlier half of the nineteenth
"UNCLE SAM" HAS SEAL MAKER
IN THE UNUOT OF CONGRESS
Mr. Gaillard Hunt Tells About
Seal," and Explains Why It Is Not
Seen.
Tie newlv rich an I othtrs atteml ting
ti tlimb the social ladder are not the
nnlt tries who need a designer of coats
of arms Witness the fact that l. nclo
Sim needs one bin olf an 1 needs him
i lid tl at he pivs him a great big
salarv ind gues him an office in the
magnificent J"X W marble and gold
IJbrarv of Congress I nclo am s of
flclal h nldist is Gaillard. Hunt and he
Is one of the best heraldists extant He
his an International reputation as a his
ti rian and has written lots of books on
all kinds of historical subjects that stu
lents of hlstor buy when thev want to
find out Just how some important his
torlcal event happened
Whenever the government wants a new
seal for one of its bureaus or for some
now territorial possession an official calls
Hunt up over the telephone and tells
him its i rush Job Whereupon Heraldlst
Hunt 1 uckles right down to work and
turns out a new fangled seal that ev
erbod gazes at admiring! and tells
about Its history and how It happened
to be that wav
The coat of arms of Porto Rico was
designed bv Mr Hunt He also designed
the coat of arms t f the Philippine Isl
ands Again he Is the one who designed
the seal of tl e Department of Com
merce ind Labor said bv experts to be
at once the most simple and most sm
holicall striking of all those used b
the government And tinall It was he
who designed the gorgeous combined seal
and coat of arms of the new Panama
Canal Zone All of which goes to show
that lie earns his sdlar
Besides the seals mentioned Mr Hunt
has designed innumerable other seals
during his twenty five ears devotion to
this subject And he has spent a great
part of those twentv five ears prosecut
Ing i search for the Great eal of the
Confederac which di"ppeared during
the siege of Richmond Onlv a short
time ago the search ended and the great
seal now is one of the most prized pos
sessions of the Confederate Museum it
Richmond
Mr Hunt has devoted fort years to a
study of his work A few
years ago
uncle Pain detailed him to
nn ar
tide ibout the t.rcat Pc a! of tin. United
Wars, Plagues, Fires, and Famines Usually
Follow in the Wake of Sky Derelicts.
Many Theories of Shooting Stars
and Comets Exploded.
of the Alamo when all of Jim Bowls
and David Crockets American followers
were killed and out of 300 Americans
every man fell at his post One month
before the final disappearance of the
comet the Texas war came to an end
XAnen the comet had passed to the
Southern Hemisphere It was seen at its
brightest In South Africa. The pious
Boers of Cape Colon understood it to
be a sign from heaven and forthwith
set out on their great trek across the
Orange and aal Pivers where they
founded the Orange Free State and the
Tnnsvaal Republic Thus the comet was
the signal for the first blood drawn in
the long fight between the British and
Boers
In l"o9 the comet became visible to the
naked eve It passed around the sun on
March II of that year fter that it was
seen throughout I- urope during prll and
Ma appearing at its brightest during
the flrt week in JJa In Gennanv
where it was seen at Its fiercest the
lloodv seven vears war began between
Irederlck the Great and his enemies on
ill piles Th oirlnous comet had starce
lv passed from view when all Gernnnv
was overrun bv marching armies from
I ranee Austria and from Russia AI
together during this vears campaign sev
enl hundred thousand soldiers lost their
lives It was the worst vear of the seven
vears war
In 1111 whn the comet appeared the
last time disaster followed as usual In
its wake The ear after in 1"11 there
was the outbreik of bubonic plague In
China India and some parts of fcouth
America Then followed the great Mis
slsslppl floods In 1512. which caused mil
lions of dollars of damage and severe
loss of human life Immedlitelt follow
Ing this came the Paris flood, the war
In Mexico and the war In the Balkans
which threatened at one time to involve
all Furope in a frishtful massacre
These peculiar coincidences could be mul
tiplied manv times but for the sake of
brrvltv it will suffice to sav the comet
malrtained its ominous reputation as
most people w II rememler
The comet wH-h put Hall'v on the
right trick can I e triced back tn II C
II In that vear it was d scribei is i
comet whlCi hung suspended over the
nt of Rome lust before the death of
Agripra who ruled over the Poman Im
pire during the ab enre of Augustus in
Greece and Asia
Farly Records of Chinese
The Chinese have recorded two comeu
one in C ar tl the other ir This wus
the comet which t Peter and losephus
saw over the citv of Jerusalem be'ore
the fall of the hob citv In 141 'h
having on remarkabl prett Daughter
-...,a.i , -nod deal fche wished to
marrv a voung lawer of verv moderate
.,s v. !nv..d her but the rattier
would not htar f the match The mate
he had chosen for her was a wealths
f rler 1 it his own not verv vouthful
whom le brought home tonstantlv and
encourag-d so tonsider himself a future
son In law This did not please the girl
who disliked the mai intenelv and
there were quarrels As for marrv inc.
him sho declared point blank that she
would not
Image In W Induvr
One evening when tie dispute on the
subject had been renewed the father
was exasperated to the point of using
violent language and threats so that at
length the Oung ladv bade him good
night suddenl left the room and start
ed up the stairs to bed I nf irtunatelv
the old gentleman who had lost his
temper entlrelv followed after her to
have his sav out and even pursued her
up ,the steps W hit she then said so
angered him that he either struck or
pushed her with some violence Mie lost
her balance and stepped with ah her
the Reverse Side of the "Great
states When his article was finished
people who read it knew a whole lot
more about the seal than anv one had
before He foun 1 ill kinds cf Interesting
little sidelights on It and put them into
his article
tnong them for Instance is the fact
that tho bald headed eagle with the E
Pluribus Lnum in his beak is onlv a
part of our seal There is also a re
verse side that nobod knows much about
that is lust is Important an 1 official as
the side with the eagle on it
On this reverse side is a picture of a
pv ramid shaped pile of masonrv termin
ating in a sleep looking ee gazing out
through a mass of sun ras hove the
ee In a field of azure intended to repre
sent a blue skv are the words Annult
Coeptls Across the base of the pra
mid Is the date IT'S in Roman numerals
Beneath this Is a scraggv looking field
with bunches of grass growing In a dls
couraged sort of wav Over the field
winds a golden scroll on which is the
inscription Nov us Ordo Seclorum
Air Hunt, when he started In to find
out things about this part of the seal
had to go wav back and dig up a lot of
must archives t last he found a let
ter written bv Charles Thomson who
designed the seal telling all about It The
letter said
The uncompleted pvramil signifies
growing strength and duration The eve
over It and the motto allude to the sig
nal interpositions of Providence In favor
of the merlcan cause The date under
neath Is-that of the Declaration of Inde
pendence and the words under It signify
the beginning of the new merlcan era
which commences from that date
Mr Hunt also found out wh it is that
the reverse side of the shield Is so little
known It appears that immediately
alter Congress adopted It as the official
seal an avalanche of adverse criticism
began to pour In from arthts and public
men In the States
The dismal looking eve an 1 field In
fact the whole design the asserted
was not like that nf a great nation
So Congress In Its well known manner
simpl pigeonholed the reverse side of
the shield, as It were and byo and bo
everybody forgot about It.
Chinese astronomers recorded a eomcrt
In Varch nnd A ril the time computed
for Halley a cornet. The coming of th
comet at this time teu followed by a
violent outbreak of the plague In China
and the far Ijast, which spread all over
the known world Again in 21 S tho Chi
nese record the appearance of the comet
when the civil war broke out In China
In Sj the appearance of the comet was
followed b a rebellion of the ancient
Brttalns aga'nst the Romans, and an
other rebellion against Rome by the
tryptians Again In J"3 the Ch!n"ae re
cord a comet which must have been Hal
leys comet This ear marks the be
ginning of the tremendous migration of
people which started in Mongolia an I
Tartarv and crossing the olga. gradually
overflowed all the known world like a
deluge In 4ol a great battle between the
Pomans and the.Gcths took place And
so It goes down through all hlstorv Aft
er everv appearance of the comet there
is record of some great calmity
On November 11 ISSi Hallev found that
the comet had come within a semi dia
meter of the path of our earth. This
startling discover caused him to reflect
what might have happened if the earth
ard the comet had arrived at the same
time at the spot In space where these two
orbits intersect Assuming as he did
that the mass of the comet was larger
than our earth he declared If so large
a bod with so rapid a motion were to
strike the earth a thing by no means
Impossible the shock might reduce this
beautiful world to its original chaos
The scientific dictum, however, regard
ing an) damage to the earth by a comet
is that should one cross the path of th
earth s orbit, its tail might envelop
certain portions of the earth This is
where the danger lies The tail of a
comet is said to be made up of the
deadls cnogen gas This gas would
t urn up all the atmo-phere In the sec
tion touched and the people living an
where near woul 1 die of suffocation. It
was the onlv thing feared on the last
approach of the Halle comet in ll"
But even admitting this as a possfbilit
scientists sav the chances for its happen
Ing are about the ratio of 1 to W 100 0CO
The stud of comets and their wonder
ful actions in space Is but one of the
man things carried on bv Lncle Sams
Naval Observator The Nautical Alma
nac which is of great help to navigators
all over the world, is published by this
observatory In addition to this work
the institution engages In astronmical
researches of all kinds The work is not
of a sensational character but is rather
p. work that will be of value long after
the other is forgotten
(Opmsht, 19W. bj William I Altdotfer)
weight upon her pet cat, which waa at
her skirts. It uttered a yell, and she
fell down the stairs When she was
picked up It was found that her neck
was broken
nother old time Washington residence
was that of the Meade famll and some
thing of the supernatural was supposod
to be connected with it for no other
reason than that a likeness of the dead
and gone Mrs Meade was plalnl to
be distinguished In a pane of one of tho
front windows It was clearlv the
figure of an old ladv and the more re
markable because this was the verv win
dow at which Mrs Meade was accustom
ed to sit ever da during man xears
auch Images in win lows however havo
I been occasional! observed elsewhere
and the explanation of them seems to be
that thev are actuallv photographs
Glass contains substances which are
sensitive to light, and thus a permanent
impression ma conceivably be made on
a window pane bv a person sitting near
it for a long period of time in one at
titude
Ghost In Theater
Tl e New National Theater in Wash
ington has a well authenticated ghost
tl at of John McCUIough who made his
first appearance there September 1 15-.
It is said to have been his favorite
pU house He was great! admired in
Washington and his last appearance on
the same stage was in lvSl when in the
cl -cat ot his wonderful powers ho died
tit ling afterward from paresis he pre
sented a pitiful spectacle In the role of
Irglnlus
Old emplov es of the theater declare that
In later ears thev have seen his ghost
again and again costumed as irgtnlus
his favorite part Appearing from th
wings at one side of the stage, in soms
hour when the pla house is darkened
md empt he struts across in long
strides strikes an attitude and present
' vanishes behind the wings opposite.
W atchmen it s said will not go on the
stage o the New National if they can
help it after the lights are out
It was on this ven stage, b the wav.
that Wilkes Booth plated on the night
of pril 11 IS, and braham Linco n
stated In a lox applauded with cordial
admiration the man, who could he ha
onl known it, was destined to be his
murderer
Strangers who visit Washington alwavs
o to ret Mount A ernon the horns of
the rather of His Country, and thero
the can find a ghost or two If they lookr
hard for them The ancient kitchen 1
connected with the mansion bv a colon
nade the floor of which Is hollow lie
r eath and here on quiet and moonless
evenings footsteps are sometimes dis
tinctl heard pacing to and fro Those
who ought to know most about th
matter are confident in declaring that
the are the footsteps of the Immortal
George himself
But it Is the bedroom in which he died
that is positively known to be haunted
His ghost ir is true was never seen
there, but man people who have slept
In the room have been awed b a view
less and brooding presence- There la a,
feeling as of the nearness of an Invis
ible specter And Indeed Washington
might appropriatel haunt thl chamber,
the furniture of which Is the same as
when he ocupled it The bed with Its
four slender posts and it original cur
tains of white dimlt Is the one in which
he died and In a corner near bv is his
old camp chest also his liquor case with.
bottles big enough to hold nearly a gal
lon aploce
One right, not er long ago Mrs.
William Beale and a friend slent In
W ashingtbn a bedroom, or tried to do so
Being nervous the surreptitiously
lighted a candle In a basin of water
lights of any kind being forbiddep In thf
mansion for fear of fire W hen at length
It went out with a sputter both women
were startled in I frightened, and then
a discussion began
M dear on are c n tho si lo of thi
bed where Washington la when ho died
said Mrs Beale
No I am not replied her friend "Hei
died on vour side "
KKvK BACHE.
.
- aB&tafc, ,.,s
A-. s. fir g&S, a, x&

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