This swift-footed member of the solar Brotherhood will be an evening star during the month of July, and this is one of the three favorable times during the year when the fiery little planet may be picked up by a bright-eyed observer. Mercury is so close to the sun, and moves so rapidly, that he never sets more than two hours and a few minutes after the sun, or rises by more than that interval before him.  His apparent motion, as seen from the earth, is alternately from west to east, and east to west, in nearly straight lines, the extreme points being called his elongations. He is now on the east side of the sun, and will reach on Tuesday, the 6th of July, his greatest eastern elongation, or most favorable position for observation.

During the week before and after this period, he may be looked for in the western sky about an hour after sunset, not far from the point where the sun went down. 

It is no easy thing to see this brilliant star, which is shy of showing itself to mortal eyes. Many astronomers have died without the sight. Copernicus, who discovered that the sun was in the center of the system, and that the planets revolved around him, never saw Mercury, though he often looked for him. But patient observation and bright eyes will catch a glimpse of the planet as he rolls on in his course nearest to the sun.

If the atmosphere be clear and the sky cloudless, Mercury can be found, and when once seen, will never be forgotten. He shines on the still, bright sky, with a peculiar brilliancy with which few stars can be compared when seen under the same light, and is so perfectly, distinct, when once his place is found, that the observer cannot understand how he manages to escape detection from the undirected eye.

Among the shining orbs that stud the sky, the planets have a special interest. They are our brothers and sisters, pursuing the same course, and traveling to the same incomprehensible goal. Who will catch the first sight of the smallest member of the system, famed for his amazing swiftness, and his wondrous supply of heat and light? 

Youth's  Companion.