OF GILBERT'S DE MAGNETE.Edit
- De Magnete magneticisque corporibus, et de magno magnete tellure. By William Gilbert. London, 1600, folio.—There is a second edition; and a third, according to Watt.
Of the great work on the magnet there is no need to speak, though it was a paradox in its day. The posthumous work of Gilbert, "De Mundo nostro sublunari philosophia nova" (Amsterdam, 1651, 4to) is, as the title indicates, confined to the physics of the globe and its atmosphere. It has never excited attention: I should hope it would be examined with our present lights.
OF GIOVANNI BATISTA PORTA.Edit
- Elementorum Curvilineorium Libri tres. By John Baptista Porta. Rome, 1610, 4to.
This is a ridiculous attempt, which defies description, except that it is all about lunules. Porta was a voluminous writer. His printer announces fourteen works printed, and four to come, besides thirteen plays printed, and eleven waiting. His name is, and will be, current in treatises on physics for more reasons than one.
CATALDI ON THE QUADRATURE.Edit
- Trattato della quadratura del cerchio. Di Pietro Antonio Cataldi. Bologna, 1612, folio.
Rheticus, Vieta, and Cataldi are the three untiring computers of Germany, France, and Italy; Napier in Scotland, and Briggs in England, come just after them. This work claims a place as beginning with the quadrature of Pellegrino Borello of Reggio, who will have the circle to be exactly 3 diameters and of a diameter. Cataldi, taking Van Ceulen's approximation, works hard at the finding of integers which nearly represent the ratio. He had not then the continued fraction, a mode of representation which he gave the next year in his work on the square root. He has but twenty of Van Ceulen's thirty places, which he takes from Clavius: and any one might be puzzled to know whence the Italians got the result; Van Ceulen, in 1612, not having been translated from Dutch. But Clavius names his comrade Gruenberger, and attributes the approximation to them jointly; "Lud. a Collen et Chr. Gruenbergerus invenerunt," which he had no right to do, unless, to his private knowledge, Gruenberger had verified Van Ceulen. And Gruenberger only handed over twenty of the places. But here is one instance, out of many, of the polyglot character of the Jesuit body, and its advantages in literature.
- Philippi Lausbergii Cyclometriæ Novæ Libri Duo. Middleburg, 1616, 4to.
This is one of the legitimate quadratures, on which I shall here only remark that by candlelight it is quadrature under difficulties, for all the diagrams are in red ink.
A TEXT LEADING TO REMARKS ON PRESTER JOHN.Edit
- Recherches Curieuses des Mesures du Monde. By S. C. de V. Paris, 1626, 8vo (pp. 48).
It is written by some Count for his son; and if all the French nobility would have given their sons the same kind of instruction about rank, the old French aristocracy would have been as prosperous at this moment as the English peerage and squireage. I sent the tract to Capt. Speke, shortly after his arrival in England, thinking he might like to see the old names of the Ethiopian provinces. But I first made a copy of all that relates to Prester John, himself a paradox. The tract contains, inter alia, an account of the four empires; of the great Turk, the great Tartar, the great Sophy, and the great Prester John. This word great (grand), which was long used in the phrase "the great Turk," is a generic adjunct to an emperor. Of the Tartars it is said that "c'est vne nation prophane et barbaresque, sale et vilaine, qui mangent la chair demie cruë, qui boiuent du laict de jument, et qui n'vsent de nappes et seruiettes que pour essuyer leurs bouches et leurs mains." Many persons have heard of Prester John, and have a very indistinct idea of him. I give all that is said about him, since the recent discussions about the Nile may give an interest to the old notions of geography.
"Le grand Prestre Jean qui est le quatriesme en rang, est Empereur d'Ethiopie, et des Abyssins, et se vante d'estre issu de la race de Dauid, comme estant descendu de la Royne de Saba, Royne d'Ethiopie, laquelle estant venuë en Hierusalem pour voir la sagesse de Salomon, enuiron l'an du monde 2952, s'en retourna grosse d'vn fils qu'ils nomment Moylech, duquel ils disent estre descendus en ligne directe. Et ainsi il se glorifie d'estre le plus ancien Monarque de la terre, disant que son Empire a duré plus de trois mil ans, ce que nul autre Empire ne peut dire. Aussi met-il en ses tiltres ce qui s'ensuit: Nous, N. Souuerain en mes Royaumes, vniquement aymé de Dieu, colomne de la foy, sorty de la race de Inda, etc. Les limites de cet Empire touchent à la mer Rouge, et aux montagnes d'Azuma vers l'Orient, et du costé de l'Occident, il est borné du fleuue du Nil, qui le separe de la Nubie, vers le Septentrion il a l'Ægypte, et au Midy les Royaumes de Congo, et de Mozambique, sa longueur contenant quarante degré, qui font mille vingt cinq lieuës, et ce depuis Congo ou Mozambique qui sont au Midy, iusqu'en Ægypte qui est au Septentrion, et sa largeur contenant depuis le Nil qui est à l'Occident, iusqu'aux montagnes d'Azuma, qui sont à l'Orient, sept cens vingt cinq lieues, qui font vingt neuf degrez. Cét empire a sous soy trente grandes Prouinces, sçavoir, Medra, Gaga, Alchy, Cedalon, Mantro, Finazam, Barnaquez, Ambiam, Fungy, Angoté, Cigremaon, Gorga, Cafatez, Zastanla, Zeth, Barly, Belangana, Tygra, Gorgany, Barganaza, d'Ancut, Dargaly, Ambiacatina, Caracogly, Amara, Maon (sic), Guegiera, Bally, Dobora et Macheda. Toutes ces Prouinces cy dessus sont situées iustement sous la ligne equinoxiale, entres les Tropiques de Capricorne, et de Cancer. Mais elles s'approchent de nostre Tropique, de deux cens cinquante lieuës plus qu'elles ne font de l'autre Tropique. Ce mot de Prestre Jean signifie grand Seigneur, et n'est pas Prestre comme plusieurs pense, il a esté tousiours Chrestien, mais souuent Schismatique: maintenant il est Catholique, et reconnaist le Pape pour Souuerain Pontife. I'ay veu quelqu'vn des ses Euesques, estant en Hierusalem, auec lequel i'ay conferé souuent par le moyen de nostre trucheman: il estoit d'vn port graue et serieux, succiur (sic) en son parler, mais subtil à merueilles en tout ce qu'il disoit. Il prenoit grand plaisir au recit que je luy faisais de nos belles ceremonies, et de la grauité de nos Prelats en leurs habits Pontificaux, et autres choses que je laisse pour dire, que l'Ethiopien est ioyoux et gaillard, ne ressemblant en rien a la saleté du Tartare, ny à l'affreux regard du miserable Arabe, mais ils sont fins et cauteleux, et ne se fient en personne, soupçonneux à merueilles, et fort devotieux, ils ne sont du tout noirs comme l'on croit, i'entens parler de ceux qui ne sont pas sous la ligne Equinoxiale, ny trop proches d'icelle, car ceux qui sont dessous sont les Mores que nous voyons."
It will be observed that the author speaks of his conversation with an Ethiopian bishop, about that bishop's sovereign. Something must have passed between the two which satisfied the writer that the bishop acknowledged his own sovereign under some title answering to Prester John.
CONCERNING A TRACT BY FIENUS.Edit
- De Cometa anni 1618 dissertationes Thomæ Fieni et Liberti Fromondi ... Equidem Thomæ Fieni epistolica quæstio, An verum sit Cœlum moveri et Terram quiescere? London, 1670, 8vo.
This tract of Fienus against the motion of the earth is a reprint of one published in 1619. I have given an account of it as a good summary of arguments of the time, in the Companion to the Almanac for 1836.
ON SNELL'S WORK.Edit
- Willebrordi Snellii. R. F. Cyclometricus. Leyden, 1621, 4to.
This is a celebrated work on the approximative quadrature, which, having the suspicious word cyclometricus, must be noticed here for distinction.
ON BACON'S NOVUM ORGANUM.Edit
1620. In this year, Francis Bacon published his Novum Organum, which was long held in England—but not until the last century—to be the work which taught Newton and all his successors how to philosophize. That Newton never mentions Bacon, nor alludes in any way to his works, passed for nothing. Here and there a paradoxer ventured not to find all this teaching in Bacon, but he was pronounced blind. In our day it begins to be seen that, great as Bacon was, and great as his book really is, he is not the philosophical father of modern discovery.
But old prepossession will find reason for anything. A learned friend of mine wrote to me that he had discovered proof that Newton owned Bacon for his master: the proof was that Newton, in some of his earlier writings, used the phrase experimentum crucis, which is Bacon's. Newton may have read some of Bacon, though no proof of it appears. I have a dim idea that I once saw the two words attributed to the alchemists: if so, there is another explanation; for Newton was deeply read in the alchemists.
I subjoin a review which I wrote of the splendid edition of Bacon by Spedding, Ellis, and Heath. All the opinions therein expressed had been formed by me long before: most of the materials were collected for another purpose.
- The Works of Francis Bacon. Edited by James Spedding, R. Leslie Ellis, and Douglas D. Heath. 5 vols.
No knowledge of nature without experiment and observation: so said Aristotle, so said Bacon, so acted Copernicus, Tycho Brahé, Gilbert, Kepler, Galileo, Harvey, etc., before Bacon wrote. No derived knowledge until experiment and observation are concluded: so said Bacon, and no one else. We do not mean to say that he laid down his principle in these words, or that he carried it to the utmost extreme: we mean that Bacon's ruling idea was the collection of enormous masses of facts, and then digested processes of arrangement and elimination, so artistically contrived, that a man of common intelligence, without any unusual sagacity, should be able to announce the truth sought for. Let Bacon speak for himself, in his editor's English:
"But the course I propose for the discovery of sciences is such as leaves but little to the acuteness and strength of wits, but places all wits and understandings nearly on a level. For, as in the drawing of a straight line or a perfect circle, much depends on the steadiness and practice of the hand, if it be done by aim of hand only, but if with the aid of rule or compass little or nothing, so it is exactly with my plan.... For my way of discovering sciences goes far to level men's wits, and leaves but little to individual excellence; because it performs everything by the surest rules and demonstrations."
To show that we do not strain Bacon's meaning, we add what is said by Hooke, whom we have already mentioned as his professed disciple, and, we believe, his only disciple of the day of Newton. We must, however, remind the reader that Hooke was very little of a mathematician, and spoke of algebra from his own idea of what others had told him:
"The intellect is not to be suffered to act without its helps, but is continually to be assisted by some method or engine, which shall be as a guide to regulate its actions, so as that it shall not be able to act amiss. Of this engine, no man except the incomparable Verulam hath had any thoughts and he indeed hath promoted it to a very good pitch; but there is yet somewhat more to be added, which he seemed to want time to complete. By this, as by that art of algebra in geometry, 'twill be very easy to proceed in any natural inquiry, regularly and certainly.... For as 'tis very hard for the most acute wit to find out any difficult problem in geometry without the help of algebra ... and altogether as easy for the meanest capacity acting by that method to complete and perfect it, so will it be in the inquiry after natural knowledge."
Bacon did not live to mature the whole of this plan. Are we really to believe that if he had completed the Instauratio we who write this—and who feel ourselves growing bigger as we write it—should have been on a level with Newton in physical discovery? Bacon asks this belief of us, and does not get it. But it may be said, Your business is with what he did leave, and with its consequences. Be it so. Mr. Ellis says: "That his method is impracticable cannot, I think, be denied, if we reflect not only that it never has produced any result, but also that the process by which scientific truths have been established cannot be so presented as even to appear to be in accordance with it." That this is very true is well known to all who have studied the history of discovery: those who deny it are bound to establish either that some great discovery has been made by Bacon's method—we mean by the part peculiar to Bacon—or, better still, to show that some new discovery can be made, by actually making it. No general talk about induction: no reliance upon the mere fact that certain experiments or observations have been made; let us see where Bacon's induction has been actually used or can be used. Mere induction, enumeratio simplex, is spoken of by himself with contempt, as utterly incompetent. For Bacon knew well that a thousand instances may be contradicted by the thousand and first: so that no enumeration of instances, however large, is "sure demonstration," so long any are left.
The immortal Harvey, who was inventing—we use the word in its old sense—the circulation of the blood, while Bacon was in the full flow of thought upon his system, may be trusted to say whether, when the system appeared, he found any likeness in it to his own processes, or what would have been any help to him, if he had waited for the Novum Organum. He said of Bacon, "He writes philosophy like a Lord Chancellor." This has been generally supposed to be only a sneer at the sutor ultra crepidam; but we cannot help suspecting that there was more intended by it. To us, Bacon is eminently the philosopher of error prevented, not of progress facilitated. When we throw off the idea of being led right, and betake ourselves to that of being kept from going wrong, we read his writings with a sense of their usefulness, his genius, and their probable effect upon purely experimental science, which we can be conscious of upon no other supposition. It amuses us to have to add that the part of Aristotle's logic of which he saw the value was the book on refutation of fallacies. Now is this not the notion of things to which the bias of a practised lawyer might lead him? In the case which is before the Court, generally speaking, truth lurks somewhere about the facts, and the elimination of all error will show it in the residuum. The two senses of the word law come in so as to look almost like a play upon words. The judge can apply the law so soon as the facts are settled: the physical philosopher has to deduce the law from the facts. Wait, says the judge, until the facts are determined: did the prisoner take the goods with felonious intent? did the defendant give what amounts to a warranty? or the like. Wait, says Bacon, until all the facts, or all the obtainable facts, are brought in: apply my rules of separation to the facts, and the result shall come out as easily as by ruler and compasses. We think it possible that Harvey might allude to the legal character of Bacon's notions: we can hardly conceive so acute a man, after seeing what manner of writer Bacon was, meaning only that he was a lawyer and had better stick to his business. We do ourselves believe that Bacon's philosophy more resembles the action of mind of a common-law judge—not a Chancellor—than that of the physical inquirers who have been supposed to follow in his steps. It seems to us that Bacon's argument is, there can be nothing of law but what must be either perceptible, or mechanically deducible, when all the results of law, as exhibited in phenomena, are before us. Now the truth is, that the physical philosopher has frequently to conceive law which never was in his previous thought—to educe the unknown, not to choose among the known. Physical discovery would be very easy work if the inquirer could lay down his this, his that, and his t'other, and say, "Now, one of these it must be; let us proceed to try which." Often has he done this, and failed; often has the truth turned out to be neither this, that, nor t'other. Bacon seems to us to think that the philosopher is a judge who has to choose, upon ascertained facts, which of known statutes is to rule the decision: he appears to us more like a person who is to write the statute-book, with no guide except the cases and decisions presented in all their confusion and all their conflict.
Let us take the well-known first aphorism of the Novum Organum:
"Man being the servant and interpreter of nature, can do and understand so much, and so much only, as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything."
This aphorism is placed by Sir John Herschel at the head of his Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy: a book containing notions of discovery far beyond any of which Bacon ever dreamed; and this because it was written after discovery, instead of before. Sir John Herschel, in his version, has avoided the translation of re vel mente observaverit, and gives us only "by his observation of the order of nature." In making this the opening of an excellent sermon, he has imitated the theologians, who often employ the whole time of the discourse in stuffing matter into the text, instead of drawing matter out of it. By observation he (Herschel) means the whole course of discovery, observation, hypothesis, deduction, comparison, etc. The type of the Baconian philosopher as it stood in his mind, had been derived from a noble example, his own father, William Herschel, an inquirer whose processes would have been held by Bacon to have been vague, insufficient, compounded of chance work and sagacity, and too meagre of facts to deserve the name of induction. In another work, his treatise on Astronomy, Sir John Herschel, after noting that a popular account can only place the reader on the threshold, proceeds to speak as follows of all the higher departments of science. The italics are his own:
"Admission to its sanctuary, and to the privileges and feelings of a votary, is only to be gained by one means—sound and sufficient knowledge of mathematics, the great instrument of all exact inquiry, without which no man can ever make such advances in this or any other of the higher departments of science as can entitle him to form an independent opinion on any subject of discussion within their range."
How is this? Man can know no more than he gets from observation, and yet mathematics is the great instrument of all exact inquiry. Are the results of mathematical deduction results of observation? We think it likely that Sir John Herschel would reply that Bacon, in coupling together observare re and observare mente, has done what some wags said Newton afterwards did in his study-door—cut a large hole of exit for the large cat, and a little hole for the little cat. But Bacon did no such thing: he never included any deduction under observation. To mathematics he had a dislike. He averred that logic and mathematics should be the handmaids, not the mistresses, of philosophy. He meant that they should play a subordinate and subsequent part in the dressing of the vast mass of facts by which discovery was to be rendered equally accessible to Newton and to us. Bacon himself was very ignorant of all that had been done by mathematics; and, strange to say, he especially objected to astronomy being handed over to the mathematicians. Leverrier and Adams, calculating an unknown planet into visible existence by enormous heaps of algebra, furnish the last comment of note on this specimen of the goodness of Bacon's views. The following account of his knowledge of what had been done in his own day or before it, is Mr. Spedding's collection of casual remarks in Mr. Ellis's several prefaces:
"Though he paid great attention to astronomy, discussed carefully the methods in which it ought to be studied, constructed for the satisfaction of his own mind an elaborate theory of the heavens, and listened eagerly for the news from the stars brought by Galileo's telescope, he appears to have been utterly ignorant of the discoveries which had just been made by Kepler's calculations. Though he complained in 1623 of the want of compendious methods for facilitating arithmetical computations, especially with regard to the doctrine of Series, and fully recognized the importance of them as an aid to physical inquiries—he does not say a word about Napier's Logarithms, which had been published only nine years before and reprinted more than once in the interval. He complained that no considerable advance had made in geometry beyond Euclid, without taking any notice of what had been done by Archimedes and Apollonius. He saw the importance of determining accurately the specific gravity of different substances, and himself attempted to form a table of them by a rude process of his own, without knowing of the more scientific though still imperfect methods previously employed by Archimedes, Ghetaldus, and Porta. He speaks of the εὕρηκα of Archimedes in a manner which implies that he did not clearly apprehend either the nature of the problem to be solved or the principles upon which the solution depended. In reviewing the progress of mechanics, he makes no mention of Archimedes himself, or of Stevinus, Galileo, Guldinus, or Ghetaldus. He makes no allusion to the theory of equilibrium. He observes that a ball of one pound weight will fall nearly as fast through the air as a ball of two, without alluding to the theory of the acceleration of falling bodies, which had been made known by Galileo more than thirty years before. He proposes an inquiry with regard to the lever—namely, whether in a balance with arms of different length but equal weight the distance from the fulcrum has any effect upon the inclination,—though the theory of the lever was as well understood in his own time as it is now. In making an experiment of his own to ascertain the cause of the motion of a windmill, he overlooks an obvious circumstance which makes the experiment inconclusive, and an equally obvious variation of the same experiment which would have shown him that his theory was false. He speaks of the poles of the earth as fixed, in a manner which seems to imply that he was not acquainted with the precession of the equinoxes; and in another place, of the north pole being above and the south pole below, as a reason why in our hemisphere the north winds predominate over the south."
Much of this was known before, but such a summary of Bacon's want of knowledge of the science of his own time was never yet collected in one place. We may add, that Bacon seems to have been as ignorant of Wright's memorable addition to the resources of navigation as of Napier's addition to the means of calculation. Mathematics was beginning to be the great instrument of exact inquiry: Bacon threw the science aside, from ignorance, just at the time when his enormous sagacity, applied to knowledge, would have made him see the part it was to play. If Newton had taken Bacon for his master, not he, but somebody else, would have been Newton.
ON METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATORIES.Edit
There is an attempt at induction going on, which has yielded little or no fruit, the observations made in the meteorological observatories. This attempt is carried on in a manner which would have caused Bacon to dance for joy; for he lived in times when Chancellors did dance. Russia, says M. Biot, is covered by an army of meteorographs, with generals, high officers, subalterns, and privates with fixed and defined duties of observation. Other countries have also their systematic observations. And what has come of it? Nothing, says M. Biot, and nothing will ever come of it; the veteran mathematician and experimental philosopher declares, as does Mr. Ellis, that no single branch of science has ever been fruitfully explored in this way. There is no special object, he says. Any one would suppose that M. Biot's opinion, given to the French Government upon the proposal to construct meteorological observatories in Algeria (Comptes Rendus, vol. xli, Dec. 31, 1855), was written to support the mythical Bacon, modern physics, against the real Bacon of the Novum Organum. There is no special object. In these words lies the difference between the two methods.
[In the report to the Greenwich Board of Visitors for 1867 Mr. Airy, speaking of the increase of meteorological observatories, remarks, "Whether the effect of this movement will be that millions of useless observations will be added to the millions that already exist, or whether something may be expected to result which will lead to a meteorological theory, I cannot hazard a conjecture." This is a conjecture, and a very obvious one: if Mr. Airy would have given 2-3/4d. for the chance of a meteorological theory formed by masses of observations, he would never have said what I have quoted.]
BASIS OF MODERN DISCOVERY.Edit
Modern discoveries have not been made by large collections of facts, with subsequent discussion, separation, and resulting deduction of a truth thus rendered perceptible. A few facts have suggested an hypothesis, which means a supposition, proper to explain them. The necessary results of this supposition are worked out, and then, and not till then, other facts are examined to see if these ulterior results are found in nature. The trial of the hypothesis is the special object: prior to which, hypothesis must have been started, not by rule, but by that sagacity of which no description can be given, precisely because the very owners of it do not act under laws perceptible to themselves. The inventor of hypothesis, if pressed to explain his method, must answer as did Zerah Colburn, when asked for his mode of instantaneous calculation. When the poor boy had been bothered for some time in this manner, he cried out in a huff, "God put it into my head, and I can't put it into yours." Wrong hypotheses, rightly worked from, have produced more useful results than unguided observation. But this is not the Baconian plan. Charles the Second, when informed of the state of navigation, founded a Baconian observatory at Greenwich, to observe, observe, observe away at the moon, until her motions were known sufficiently well to render her useful in guiding the seaman. And no doubt Flamsteed's observations, twenty or thirty of them at least, were of signal use. But how? A somewhat fanciful thinker, one Kepler, had hit upon the approximate orbits of the planets by trying one hypothesis after another: he found the ellipse, which the Platonists, well despised of Bacon, and who would have despised him as heartily if they had known him, had investigated and put ready to hand nearly 2000 years before. The sun in the focus, the motions of the planet more and more rapid as they approach the sun, led Kepler—and Bacon would have reproved him for his rashness—to imagine that a force residing in the sun might move the planets, a force inversely as the distance. Bouillaud, upon a fanciful analogy, rejected the inverse distance, and, rejecting the force altogether, declared that if such a thing there were, it would be as the inverse square of the distance. Newton, ready prepared with the mathematics of the subject, tried the fall of the moon towards the earth, away from her tangent, and found that, as compared with the fall of a stone, the law of the inverse square did hold for the moon. He deduced the ellipse, he proceeded to deduce the effect of the disturbance of the sun upon the moon, upon the assumed theory of universal gravitation. He found result after result of his theory in conformity with observed fact: and, by aid of Flamsteed's observations, which amended what mathematicians call his constants, he constructed his lunar theory. Had it not been for Newton, the whole dynasty of Greenwich astronomers, from Flamsteed of happy memory, to Airy whom Heaven preserve, might have worked away at nightly observation and daily reduction, without any remarkable result: looking forward, as to a millennium, to the time when any man of moderate intelligence was to see the whole explanation. What are large collections of facts for? To make theories from, says Bacon: to try ready-made theories by, says the history of discovery: it's all the same, says the idolater: nonsense, say we!
Time and space run short: how odd it is that of the three leading ideas of mechanics, time, space, and matter, the first two should always fail a reviewer before the third. We might dwell upon many points, especially if we attempted a more descriptive account of the valuable edition before us. No one need imagine that the editors, by their uncompromising attack upon the notion of Bacon's influence common even among mathematicians and experimental philosophers, have lowered the glory of the great man whom it was, many will think, their business to defend through thick and thin. They have given a clearer notion of his excellencies, and a better idea of the power of his mind, than ever we saw given before. Such a correction as theirs must have come, and soon, for as Hallam says—after noting that the Novum Organum was never published separately in England, Bacon has probably been more read in the last thirty years—now forty—than in the two hundred years which preceded. He will now be more read than ever he was. The history of the intellectual world is the history of the worship of one idol after another. No sooner is it clear that a Hercules has appeared among men, than all that imagination can conceive of strength is attributed to him, and his labors are recorded in the heavens. The time arrives when, as in the case of Aristotle, a new deity is found, and the old one is consigned to shame and reproach. A reaction may afterwards take place, and this is now happening in the case of the Greek philosopher. The end of the process is, that the opposing deities take their places, side by side, in a Pantheon dedicated not to gods, but to heroes.
THE REAL VALUE OF BACON'S WORKS.Edit
Passing over the success of Bacon's own endeavors to improve the details of physical science, which was next to nothing, and of his method as a whole, which has never been practised, we might say much of the good influence of his writings. Sound wisdom, set in sparkling wit, must instruct and amuse to the end of time: and, as against error, we repeat that Bacon is soundly wise, so far as he goes. There is hardly a form of human error within his scope which he did not detect, expose, and attach to a satirical metaphor which never ceases to sting. He is largely indebted to a very extensive reading; but the thoughts of others fall into his text with such a close-fitting compactness that he can make even the words of the Sacred Writers pass for his own. A saying of the prophet Daniel, rather a hackneyed quotation in our day, Multi pertransibunt, et augebitur scientia, stands in the title-page of the first edition of Montucla's History of Mathematics as a quotation from Bacon—and it is not the only place in which this mistake occurs. When the truth of the matter, as to Bacon's system, is fully recognized, we have little fear that there will be a reaction against the man. First, because Bacon will always live to speak for himself, for he will not cease to be read: secondly, because those who seek the truth will find it in the best edition of his works, and will be most ably led to know what Bacon was, in the very books which first showed at large what he was not.
THE CONGREGATION OF THE INDEX, ON COPERNICUS.Edit
In this year (1620) appeared the corrections under which the Congregation of the Index—i.e., the Committee of Cardinals which superintended the Index of forbidden books—proposed to allow the work of Copernicus to be read. I insert these conditions in full, because they are often alluded to, and I know of no source of reference accessible to a twentieth part of those who take interest in the question.
By a decree of the Congregation of the Index, dated March 5, 1616, the work of Copernicus, and another of Didacus Astunica, are suspended donec corrigantur, as teaching:
"Falsam illam doctrinam Pythagoricam, divinæ que Scripturæ omnino adversantem, de mobilitate Terræ et immobilitate Solis."
But a work of the Carmelite Foscarini is:
"Omnino prohibendum atque damnandum," because "ostendere conatur præfatam doctrinam ... consonam esse veritati et non adversari Sacræ Scripturæ."
Works which teach the false doctrine of the earth's motion are to be corrected; those which declare the doctrine conformable to Scripture are to be utterly prohibited.
In a "Monitum ad Nicolai Copernici lectorem, ejusque emendatio, permissio, et correctio," dated 1620 without the month or day, permission is given to reprint the work of Copernicus with certain alterations; and, by implication, to read existing copies after correction in writing. In the preamble the author is called nobilis astrologus; not a compliment to his birth, which was humble, but to his fame. The suspension was because:
"Sacræ Scripturæ, ejusque veræ et Catholicæ interpretationi repugnantia (quod in homine Christiano minime tolerandum) non per hypothesin tractare, sed ut verissima adstruere non dubitat!"
And the corrections relate:
"Locis in quibus non ex hypothesi, sed asserendo de situ et motu Terræ disputat."
That is, the earth's motion may be an hypothesis for elucidation of the heavenly motions, but must not be asserted as a fact.
(In Pref. circa finem.) "Copernicus. Si fortasse erunt ματαιόλογοι, qui cum omnium Mathematum ignari sint, tamen de illis judicium sibi summunt, propter aliquem locum scripturæ, male ad suum propositum detortum, ausi fuerint meum hoc institutum reprehendere ac insectari: illos nihil moror adeo ut etiam illorum judicium tanquam temerarium contemnam. Non enim obscurum est Lactantium, celebrem alioqui scriptorem, sed Mathematicum parum, admodum pueriliter de forma terræ loqui, cum deridet eos, qui terram globi formam habere prodiderunt. Itaque non debet mirum videri studiosis, si qui tales nos etiam videbunt. Mathemata Mathematicis scribuntur, quibus et hi nostri labores, si me non fallit opinio, videbuntur etiam Reipub. ecclesiasticæ conducere aliquid.... Emend. Ibi si fortasse dele omnia, usque ad verbum hi nostri labores et sic accommoda—Cœterum hi nostri labores."
All the allusion to Lactantius, who laughed at the notion of the earth being round, which was afterwards found true, is to be struck out.
(Cap. 5. lib. i. p. 3) "Copernicus. Si tamen attentius rem consideremus, videbitur hæc quæstio nondum absoluta, et ideireo minime contemnenda. Emend. Si tamen attentius rem consideremus, nihil refert an Terram in medio Mundi, an extra Medium existere, quoad solvendas cœlestium motuum apparentias existimemus."
We must not say the question is not yet settled, but only that it may be settled either way, so far as mere explanation of the celestial motions is concerned.
(Cap. 8. lib. i.) "Totum hoc caput potest expungi, quia ex professo tractat de veritate motus Terræ, dum solvit veterum rationes probantes ejus quietem. Cum tamen problematice videatur loqui; ut studiosis satisfiat, seriesque et ordo libri integer maneat; emendetur ut infra."
A chapter which seems to assert the motion should perhaps be expunged; but it may perhaps be problematical; and, not to break up the book, must be amended as below.
(p. 6.) "Copernicus. Cur ergo hesitamus adhuc, mobilitatem illi formæ suæ a natura congruentem concedere, magisquam quod totus labatur mundus, cujus finis ignoratur, scirique nequit, neque fateamur ipsius cotidianæ revolutionis in cœlo apparentiam esse, et in terra veritatem? Et hæc perinde se habere, ac si diceret Virgilianus Æneas: Provehimur portu ... Emend. Cur ergo non possum mobilitatem illi formæ suæ concedere, magisque quod totus labatur mundus, cujus finis ignoratur scirique nequit, et quæ apparent in cœlo, perinde se habere ac si ..."
"Why should we hesitate to allow the earth's motion," must be altered into "I cannot concede the earth's motion."
(p. 7.) "Copernicus. Addo etiam, quod satis absurdum videretur, continenti sive locanti motum adscribi, et non potius contento et locato, quod est terra. Emend. Addo etiam difficilius non esse contento et locato, quod est Terra, motum adscribere, quam continenti."
We must not say it is absurd to refuse motion to the contained and located, and to give it to the containing and locating; say that neither is more difficult than the other.
(p. 7.) "Copernicus. Vides ergo quod ex his omnibus probabilior sit mobilitas Terræ, quam ejus quies, præsertim in cotidiana revolutione, tanquam terræ maxime propria. Emend. Vides ... delendus est usque ad finem capitis."
Strike out the whole of the chapter from this to the end; it says that the motion of the earth is the most probable hypothesis.
(Cap. 9. lib. i. p. 7.) "Copernicus. Cum igitur nihil prohibeat mobilitatem Terræ, videndum nunc arbitror, an etiam plures illi motus conveniant, ut possit una errantium syderum existimari. Emend. Cum igitur Terram moveri assumpserim, videndum nunc arbitror, an etiam illi plures possint convenire motus."
We must not say that nothing prohibits the motion of the earth, only that having assumed it, we may inquire whether our explanations require several motions.
(Cap. 10. lib. i. p. 9.) "Copernicus. Non pudet nos fateri ... hoc potius in mobilitate terræ verificari. Emend. Non pudet nos assumere ... hoc consequenter in mobilitate verificari."
(Cap. 10. lib. i. p. 10.) "Copernicus. Tanta nimirum est divina hæc. Opt. Max. fabrica. Emend. Dele illa verba postrema."
(Cap. 10. lib. iv. p. 122.) "Copernicus. De magnitudine horum trium siderum, Solis, Lunæ, et Terræ. Emend. Dele verba horum trium siderum, quia terra non est sidus, ut facit eam Copernicus."
We must not say we are not ashamed to acknowledge; assume is the word. We must not call this assumption a Divine work. A chapter must not be headed demonstration, but hypothesis. The earth must not be called a star; the word implies motion.
It will be seen that it does not take much to reduce Copernicus to pure hypothesis. No personal injury being done to the author—who indeed had been 17 years out of reach—the treatment of his book is now an excellent joke. It is obvious that the Cardinals of the Index were a little ashamed of their position, and made a mere excuse of a few corrections. Their mode of dealing with chap. 8, this problematice videtur loqui, ut studiosis satisfiat, is an excuse to avoid corrections. But they struck out the stinging allusion to Lactantius in the preface, little thinking, honest men, for they really believed what they said—that the light of Lactantius would grow dark before the brightness of their own.
THE CONVOCATION AT OXFORD EQUALLY AT FAULT.Edit
1622. I make no reference to the case of Galileo, except this. I have pointed out (Penny Cycl. Suppl. "Galileo"; Engl. Cycl. "Motion of the Earth") that it is clear the absurdity was the act of the Italian Inquisition—for the private and personal pleasure of the Pope, who knew that the course he took would not commit him as Pope—and not of the body which calls itself the Church. Let the dirty proceeding have its right name. The Jesuit Riccioli, the stoutest and most learned Anti-Copernican in Europe, and the Puritan Wilkins, a strong Copernican and Pope-hater, are equally positive that the Roman Church never pronounced any decision: and this in the time immediately following the ridiculous proceeding of the Inquisition. In like manner a decision of the Convocation of Oxford is not a law of the English Church; which is fortunate, for that Convocation, in 1622, came to a decision quite as absurd, and a great deal more wicked than the declaration against the motion of the earth. The second was a foolish mistake; the first was a disgusting surrender of right feeling. The story is told without disapprobation by Anthony Wood, who never exaggerated anything against the university of which he is writing eulogistic history.
In 1622, one William Knight put forward in a sermon preached before the University certain theses which, looking at the state of the times, may have been improper and possibly of seditious intent. One of them was that the bishop might excommunicate the civil magistrate: this proposition the clerical body could not approve, and designated it by the term erronea, the mildest going. But Knight also declared as follows:
"Subditis mere privatis, si Tyrannus tanquam latro aut stuprator in ipsos faciat impetum, et ipsi nec potestatem ordinariam implorare, nec alia ratione effugere periculum possint, in presenti periculo se et suos contra tyrannum, sicut contra privatum grassatorem, defendere licet."
That is, a man may defend his purse or a woman her honor, against the personal attack of a king, as against that of a private person, if no other means of safety can be found. The Convocation sent Knight to prison, declared the proposition "falsa, periculosa, et impia," and enacted that all applicants for degrees should subscribe this censure, and make oath that they would neither hold, teach, nor defend Knight's opinions.
The thesis, in the form given, was unnecessary and improper. Though strong opinions of the king's rights were advanced at the time, yet no one ventured to say that, ministers and advisers apart, the king might personally break the law; and we know that the first and only attempt which his successor made brought on the crisis which cost him his throne and his head. But the declaration that the proposition was false far exceeds in all that is disreputable the decision of the Inquisition against the earth's motion. We do not mention this little matter in England. Knight was a Puritan, and Neal gives a short account of his sermon. From comparison with Wood, I judge that the theses, as given, were not Knight's words, but the digest which it was customary to make in criminal proceedings against opinion. This heightens the joke, for it appears that the qualifiers of the Convocation took pains to present their condemnation of Knight in the terms which would most unequivocally make their censure condemn themselves. This proceeding took place in the interval between the two proceedings against Galileo: it is left undetermined whether we must say pot-kettle-pot or kettle-pot-kettle.
- Liberti Fromondi.... Ant-Aristarchus, sive orbis terræ immobilis. Antwerp, 1631, 8vo.
This book contains the evidence of an ardent opponent of Galileo to the fact, that Roman Catholics of the day did not consider the decree of the Index or of the Inquisition as a declaration of their Church. Fromond would have been glad to say as much, and tries to come near it, but confesses he must abstain. See Penny Cyclop. Suppl. "Galileo," and Eng. Cycl. "Motion of the Earth." The author of a celebrated article in the Dublin Review, in defence of the Church of Rome, seeing that Drinkwater Bethune makes use of the authority of Fromondus, but for another purpose, sneers at him for bringing up a "musty old Professor." If he had known Fromondus, and used him he would have helped his own case, which is very meagre for want of knowledge.
- Advis à Monseigneur l'eminentissime Cardinal Duc de Richelieu, sur la Proposition faicte par le Sieur Morin pour l'invention des longitudes. Paris, 1634, 8vo.
This is the Official Report of the Commissioners appointed by the Cardinal, of whom Pascal is the one now best known, to consider Morin's plan. See the full account in Delambre, Hist. Astr. Mod. ii. 236, etc.
THE METIUS APPROXIMATION.Edit
- Arithmetica et Geometria practica. By Adrian Metius. Leyden, 1640, 4to.
This book contains the celebrated approximation guessed at by his father, Peter Metius, namely that the diameter is to the circumference as 113 to 355. The error is at the rate of about a foot in 2,000 miles. Peter Metius, having his attention called to the subject by the false quadrature of Duchesne, found that the ratio lay between and . He then took the liberty of taking the mean of both numerators and denominators, giving . He had no right to presume that this mean was better than either of the extremes; nor does it appear positively that he did so. He published nothing; but his son Adrian, when Van Ceulen's work showed how near his father's result came to the truth, first made it known in the work above. (See Eng. Cyclop., art. "Quadrature.")
ON INHABITABLE PLANETS.Edit
- A discourse concerning a new world and another planet, in two books. London, 1640, 8vo.
- Cosmotheoros: or conjectures concerning the planetary worlds and their inhabitants. Written in Latin, by Christianus Huyghens. This translation was first published in 1698. Glasgow, 1757, 8vo. [The original is also of 1698.]
The first work is by Bishop Wilkins, being the third edition, [first in 1638] of the first book, "That the Moon may be a Planet"; and the first edition of the second work, "That the Earth may be a Planet." [See more under the reprint of 1802.] Whether other planets be inhabited or not, that is, crowded with organisations some of them having consciousness, is not for me to decide; but I should be much surprised if, on going to one of them, I should find it otherwise. The whole dispute tacitly assumes that, if the stars and planets be inhabited, it must be by things of which we can form some idea. But for aught we know, what number of such bodies there are, so many organisms may there be, of which we have no way of thinking nor of speaking. This is seldom remembered. In like manner it is usually forgotten that the matter of other planets may be of different chemistry from ours. There may be no oxygen and hydrogen in Jupiter, which may have gens of its own. But this must not be said: it would limit the omniscience of the a priori school of physical inquirers, the larger half of the whole, and would be very unphilosophical. Nine-tenths of my best paradoxers come out from among this larger half, because they are just a little more than of it at their entrance.
There was a discussion on the subject some years ago, which began with
- The plurality of worlds: an Essay. London, 1853, 8vo. [By Dr. Wm. Whewell, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge]. A dialogue on the plurality of worlds, being a supplement to the Essay on that subject. [First found in the second edition, 1854; removed to the end in subsequent editions, and separate copies issued.]
A work of skeptical character, insisting on analogies which prohibit the positive conclusion that the planets, stars, etc., are what we should call inhabited worlds. It produced several works and a large amount of controversy in reviews. The last predecessor of whom I know was
- Plurality of Worlds.... By Alexander Maxwell. Second Edition. London, 1820, 8vo.
This work is directed against the plurality by an author who does not admit modern astronomy. It was occasioned by Dr. Chalmers's celebrated discourses on religion in connection with astronomy. The notes contain many citations on the gravity controversy, from authors now very little read: and this is its present value. I find no mention of Maxwell, not even in Watt. He communicated with mankind without the medium of a publisher; and, from Vieta till now, this method has always been favorable to loss of books.
A correspondent informs me that Alex. Maxwell, who wrote on the plurality of worlds, in 1820, was a law-bookseller and publisher (probably his own publisher) in Bell Yard. He had peculiar notions, which he was fond of discussing with his customers. He was a bit of a Swedenborgian.
INHABITED PLANETS IN FICTION.Edit
There is a class of hypothetical creations which do not belong to my subject, because they are acknowledged to be fictions, as those of Lucian, Rabelais, Swift, Francis Godwin, Voltaire, etc. All who have more positive notions as to either the composition or organization of other worlds, than the reasonable conclusion that our Architect must be quite able to construct millions of other buildings on millions of other plans, ought to rank with the writers just mentioned, in all but self-knowledge. Of every one of their systems I say, as the Irish Bishop said of Gulliver's book,—I don't believe half of it. Huyghens had been preceded by Fontenelle, who attracted more attention. Huyghens is very fanciful and very positive; but he gives a true account of his method. "But since there's no hopes of a Mercury to carry us such a journey, we shall e'en be contented with what's in our power: we shall suppose ourselves there...." And yet he says, "We have proved that they live in societies, have hands and feet...." Kircher had gone to the stars before him, but would not find any life in them, either animal or vegetable.
The question of the inhabitants of a particular planet is one which has truth on one side or the other: either there are some inhabitants, or there are none. Fortunately, it is of no consequence which is true. But there are many cases where the balance is equally one of truth and falsehood, in which the choice is a matter of importance. My work selects, for the most part, sins against demonstration: but the world is full of questions of fact or opinion, in which a struggling minority will become a majority, or else will be gradually annihilated: and each of the cases subdivides into results of good, and results of evil. What is to be done?
- "Periculosum est credere et non credere;
- Hippolitus obiit quia novercæ creditum est;
- Cassandræ quia non creditum ruit Ilium:
- Ergo exploranda est veritas multum prius
- Quam stulta prove judicet sententia."
- Nova Demonstratio immobilitatis terræ petita ex virtute magnetica. By Jacobus Grandamicus. Flexiae (La Flèche), 1645, 4to.
No magnetic body can move about its poles: the earth is a magnetic body, therefore, etc. The iron and its magnetism are typical of two natures in one person; so it is said, "Si exaltatus fuero à terra, omnia traham ad me ipsum."
A VENETIAN BUDGET OF PARADOXES.Edit
- Le glorie degli incogniti, o vero gli huomini illustri dell' accademia de' signori incogniti di Venetia. Venice, 1647, 4to.
This work is somewhat like a part of my own: it is a budget of Venetian nobodies who wished to be somebodies; but paradox is not the only means employed. It is of a serio-comic character, gives genuine portraits in copperplate, and grave lists of works; but satirical accounts. The astrologer Andrew Argoli is there, and his son; both of whom, with some of the others, have place in modern works on biography. Argoli's discovery that logarithms facilitate easy processes, but increase the labor of difficult ones, is worth recording.
- Controversiæ de vera circuli mensura ... inter ... C. S. Longomontanum et Jo. Pellium. Amsterdam, 1647, 4to.
Longomontanus, a Danish astronomer of merit, squared the circle in 1644: he found out that the diameter 43 gives the square root of 18252 for the circumference; which gives 3.14185... for the ratio. Pell answered him, and being a kind of circulating medium, managed to engage in the controversy names known and unknown, as Roberval, Hobbes, Carcavi, Lord Charles Cavendish, Pallieur, Mersenne, Tassius, Baron Wolzogen, Descartes, Cavalieri and Golius. Among them, of course, Longomontanus was made mincemeat: but he is said to have insisted on the discovery of his epitaph.
THE CIRCULATING MEDIA OF MATHEMATICS.Edit
The great circulating mediums, who wrote to everybody, heard from everybody, and sent extracts to everybody else, have been Father Mersenne, John Collins, and the late Professor Schumacher: all "late" no doubt, but only the last recent enough to be so styled. If M.C.S. should ever again stand for "Member of the Corresponding Society," it should raise an acrostic thought of the three. There is an allusion to Mersenne's occupation in Hobbes's reply to him. He wanted to give Hobbes, who was very ill at Paris, the Roman Eucharist: but Hobbes said, "I have settled all that long ago; when did you hear from Gassendi?" We are reminded of William's answer to Burnet. John Collins disseminated Newton, among others. Schumacher ought to have been called the postmaster-general of astronomy, as Collins was called the attorney-general of mathematics.
91 ^ There was an edition published at Stettin in 1633. An English translation by P. F. Mottelay appeared at London in 1893. Gilbert (1540-1603) was physician to Queen Elizabeth and President of the College of Physicians at London. His De Magnete was the first noteworthy treatise on physics printed in England. He treated of the earth as a spherical magnet and suggested the variation and declination of the needle as a means of finding latitude at sea.
92 ^ The title says "ab authoris fratre collectum," although it was edited by J. Gruterus.
93 ^ Porta was born at Naples in 1550 and died there in 1615. He studied the subject of lenses and the theory of sight, did some work in hydraulics and agriculture, and was well known as an astrologer. His Magiae naturalis libri XX was published at Naples in 1589. The above title should read curvilineorum.
94 ^ Cataldi was born in 1548 and died at Bologna in 1626. He was professor of mathematics at Perugia, Florence, and Bologna, and is known in mathematics chiefly for his work in continued fractions. He was one of the scholarly men of his day.
95 ^ Georg Joachim Rheticus was born at Feldkirch in 1514 and died at Caschau, Hungary, in 1576. He was one of the most prominent pupils of Copernicus, his Narratio de libris revolutionum Copernici (Dantzig, 1540) having done much to make the theory of his master known.
96 ^ Henry Briggs, who did so much to make logarithms known, and who used the base 10, was born at Warley Wood, in Yorkshire, in 1560, and died at Oxford in 1630. He was Savilian professor of mathematics at Oxford, and his grave may still be seen there.
97 ^ He lived at "Reggio nella Emilia" in the 16th and 17th centuries. His Regola e modo facilissimo di quadrare il cerchio was published at Reggio in 1609.
98 ^ Christoph Klau (Clavius) was born at Bamberg in 1537, and died at Rome in 1612. He was a Jesuit priest and taught mathematics in the Jesuit College at Rome. He wrote a number of works on mathematics, including excellent text-books on arithmetic and algebra.
99 ^ Christopher Gruenberger, or Grienberger, was born at Halle in Tyrol in 1561, and died at Rome in 1636. He was, like Clavius, a Jesuit and a mathematician, and he wrote a little upon the subject of projections. His Prospectiva nova coelestis appeared at Rome in 1612.
100 ^ The name should, of course, be Lansbergii in the genitive, and is so in the original title. Philippus Lansbergius was born at Ghent in 1560, and died at Middelburg in 1632. He was a Protestant theologian, and was also a physician and astronomer. He was a well-known supporter of Galileo and Copernicus. His Commentationes in motum terrae diurnum et annuum appeared at Middelburg in 1630 and did much to help the new theory.
101 ^ I have never seen the work. It is rare.
102 ^ The African explorer, born in Somersetshire in 1827, died at Bath in 1864. He was the first European to cross Central Africa from north to south. He investigated the sources of the Nile.
103 ^ Prester (Presbyter, priest) John, the legendary Christian king whose realm, in the Middle Ages, was placed both in Asia and in Africa, is first mentioned in the chronicles of Otto of Freisingen in the 12th century. In the 14th century his kingdom was supposed to be Abyssinia.
104 ^ "It is a profane and barbarous nation, dirty and slovenly, who eat their meat half raw and drink mare's milk, and who use table-cloths and napkins only to wipe their hands and mouths."
105 ^ "The great Prester John, who is the fourth in rank, is emperor of Ethiopia and of the Abyssinians, and boasts of his descent from the race of David, as having descended from the Queen of Sheba, Queen of Ethiopia. She, having gone to Jerusalem to see the wisdom of Solomon, about the year of the world 2952, returned pregnant with a son whom they called Moylech, from whom they claim descent in a direct line. And so he glories in being the most ancient monarch in the world, saying that his empire has endured for more than three thousand years, which no other empire is able to assert. He also puts into his titles the following: 'We, the sovereign in my realms, uniquely beloved of God, pillar of the faith, sprung from the race of Judah, etc.' The boundaries of this empire touch the Red Sea and the mountains of Azuma on the east, and on the western side it is bordered by the River Nile which separates it from Nubia. To the north lies Egypt, and to the south the kingdoms of Congo and Mozambique. It extends forty degrees in length, or one thousand twenty-five leagues, from Congo or Mozambique on the south to Egypt on the north; and in width it reaches from the Nile on the west to the mountains of Azuma on the east, seven hundred twenty-five leagues, or twenty-nine degrees. This empire contains thirty large provinces, namely Medra, Gaga, Alchy, Cedalon, Mantro, Finazam, Barnaquez, Ambiam, Fungy, Angoté, Cigremaon, Gorga, Cafatez, Zastanla, Zeth, Barly, Belangana, Tygra, Gorgany, Barganaza, d'Ancut, Dargaly, Ambiacatina, Caracogly, Amara, Maon (sic), Guegiera, Bally, Dobora, and Macheda. All of these provinces are situated directly under the equinoctial line between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer; but they are two hundred fifty leagues nearer our tropic than the other. The name of Prester John signifies Great Lord, and is not Priest [Presbyter] as many think. He has always been a Christian, but often schismatic. At the present time he is a Catholic and recognizes the Pope as sovereign pontiff. I met one of his bishops in Jerusalem, and often conversed with him through the medium of our guide. He was of grave and serious bearing, pleasant of speech, but wonderfully subtle in everything he said. He took great delight in what I had to relate concerning our beautiful ceremonies and the dignity of our prelates in their pontifical vestments. As to other matters I will only say that the Ethiopian is joyous and merry, not at all like the Tartar in the matter of filth, nor like the wretched Arab. They are refined and subtle, trusting no one, wonderfully suspicious, and very devout. They are not at all black as is commonly supposed, by which I refer to those who do not live under the equator or too near to it, for these are Moors as we shall see."
With respect to this translation it should be said that the original forms of the proper names have been preserved, although they are not those found in modern works. It should also be stated that the meaning of Prester is not the one that was generally accepted by scholars at the time the work was written, nor is it the one accepted to-day. There seems to be no doubt that the word is derived from Presbyter as stated in note 103 on page 71, since the above-mentioned chronicles of Otto, bishop of Freisingen about the middle of the twelfth century, states this fact clearly. Otto received his information from the bishop of Gabala (the Syrian Jibal) who told him the story of John, rex et sacerdos, or Presbyter John as he liked to be called. He goes on to say "Should it be asked why, with all this power and splendor, he calls himself merely 'presbyter,' this is because of his humility, and because it was not fitting for one whose server was a primate and king, whose butler an archbishop and king, whose chamberlain a bishop and king, whose master of the horse an archimandrite and king, whose chief cook an abbot and king, to be called by such titles as these."
106 ^ Thomas Fienus (Fyens) was born at Antwerp in 1567 and died in 1631. He was professor of medicine at Louvain. Besides the editions mentioned below, his De cometis anni 1618 appeared at Leipsic in 1656. He also wrote a Disputatio an coelum moveatur et terra quiescat, which appeared at Antwerp in 1619, and again at Leipsic in 1656.
107 ^ Libertus Fromondus (1587-c 1653), a Belgian theologian, dean of the College Church at Harcourt, and professor at Louvain. The name also appears as Froidmont and Froimont.
108 ^ L. Fromondi ... meteorologicorum libri sex.... Cui accessit T. Fieni et L. Fromondi dissertationes de cometa anni 1618.... This is from the 1670 edition. The 1619 edition was published at Antwerp. The Meteorologicorum libri VI, appeared at Antwerp in 1627. He also wrote Anti-Aristarchus sive orbis terrae immobilis liber unicus (Antwerp, 1631); Labyrrinthus sive de compositione continui liber unus, Philosophis, Mathematicis, Theologis utilis et jucundus (Antwerp, 1631) and Vesta sive Anti-Aristarchi vindex adversus Jac. Lansbergium (Philippi filium) et copernicanos (Antwerp, 1634).
109 ^ Snell was born at Leyden in 1591, and died there in 1626. He studied under Tycho Brahe and Kepler, and is known for Snell's law of the refraction of light. He was the first to determine the size of the earth by measuring the arc of a meridian with any fair degree of accuracy. The title should read: Willebrordi Snellii R. F. Cyclometricus, de circuli dimensione secundum Logistarum abacos, et ad Mechanicem accuratissima....
110 ^ Bacon was born at York House, London, in 1561, and died near Highgate, London, in 1626. His Novum Organum Scientiarum or New Method of employing the reasoning faculties in the pursuits of Truth appeared at London in 1620. He had previously published a work entitled Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, divine and humane (London, 1605), which again appeared in 1621. His De augmentis scientiarum Libri IX appeared at Paris in 1624, and his Historia naturalis et experimentalis de ventis at Leyden in 1638. He was successively solicitor general, attorney general, lord chancellor (1619), Baron Verulam and Viscount St. Albans. He was deprived of office and was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1621, but was later pardoned.
111 ^ The Greek form, Organon, is sometimes used.
112 ^ James Spedding (1808-1881), fellow of Cambridge, who devoted his life to his edition of Bacon.
113 ^ R. Leslie Ellis (1817-1859), editor of the Cambridge Mathematical Journal. He also wrote on Roman aqueducts, on Boole's Laws of Thought, and on the formation of a Chinese dictionary.
114 ^ Douglas Derion Heath (1811-1897), a classical and mathematical scholar.
115 ^ There have been numerous editions of Bacon's complete works, including the following: Frankfort, 1665; London, 1730, 1740, 1764, 1765, 1778, 1803, 1807, 1818, 1819, 1824, 1825-36, 1857-74, 1877. The edition to which De Morgan refers is that of 1857-74, 14 vols., of which five were apparently out at the time he wrote. There were also French editions in 1800 and 1835.
116 ^ So in the original for Tycho Brahe.
117 ^ In general these men acted before Baron wrote, or at any rate, before he wrote the Novum Organum, but the statement must not be taken too literally. The dates are as follows: Copernicus, 1473-1543; Tycho Brahe, 1546-1601; Gilbert, 1540-1603; Kepler, 1571-1630; Galileo, 1564-1642; Harvey, 1578-1657. For example, Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis did not appear until 1628, and his Exercitationes de Generatione until 1651.
118 ^ Robert Hooke (1635-1703) studied under Robert Boyle at Oxford. He was "Curator of Experiments" to the Royal Society and its secretary, and was professor of geometry at Gresham College, London. It is true that he was "very little of a mathematician" although he wrote on the motion of the earth (1674), on helioscopes and other instruments (1675), on the rotation of Jupiter (1666), and on barometers and sails.
119 ^ The son of the Sir William mentioned below. He was born in 1792 and died in 1871. He wrote a treatise on light (1831) and one on astronomy (1836), and established an observatory at the Cape of Good Hope where he made observations during 1834-1838, publishing them in 1847. On his return to England he was knighted, and in 1848 was made president of the Royal Society. The title of the work to which reference is made is: A preliminary discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy. It appeared at London in 1831.
120 ^ Sir William was born at Hanover in 1738 and died at Slough, near Windsor in 1822. He discovered the planet Uranus and six satellites, besides two satellites of Saturn. He was knighted by George III.
121 ^ This was the work of 1836. He also published a work entitled Outlines of Astronomy in 1849.
122 ^ While Newton does not tell the story, he refers in the Principia (1714 edition, p. 293) to the accident caused by his cat.
123 ^ Marino Ghetaldi (1566-1627), whose Promotus Archimedes appeared at Rome in 1603, Nonnullae propositiones de parabola at Rome in 1603. and Apollonius redivivus at Venice in 1607. He was a nobleman and was ambassador from Venice to Rome.
124 ^ Simon Stevin (born at Bruges, 1548; died at the Hague, 1620). He was an engineer and a soldier, and his La Disme (1585) was the first separate treatise on the decimal fraction. The contribution referred to above is probably that on the center of gravity of three bodies (1586).
125 ^ Habakuk Guldin (1577-1643), who took the name Paul on his conversion to Catholicism. He became a Jesuit, and was professor of mathematics at Vienna and later at Gratz. In his Centrobaryca seu de centro gravitatis trium specierum quantitatis continuae (1635), of the edition of 1641, appears the Pappus rule for the volume of a solid formed by the revolution of a plane figure about an axis, often spoken of as Guldin's Theorem.
126 ^ Edward Wright was born at Graveston, Norfolkshire, in 1560, and died at London in 1615. He was a fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, and in his work entitled The correction of certain errors in Navigation (1599) he gives the principle of Mercator's projection. He translated the Portuum investigandorum ratio of Stevin in 1599.
127 ^ De Morgan never wrote a more suggestive sentence. Its message is not for his generation alone.
128 ^ The eminent French physicist, Jean Baptiste Biot (1779-1862), professor in the Collège de France. His work Sur les observatoires météorologiques appeared in 1855.
129 ^ George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), professor of astronomy and physics at Cambridge, and afterwards director of the Observatory at Greenwich.
130 ^ De Morgan would have rejoiced in the rôle played by Intuition in the mathematics of to-day, notably among the followers of Professor Klein.
131 ^ Colburn was the best known of the calculating boys produced in America. He was born at Cabot, Vermont, in 1804, and died at Norwich, Vermont, in 1840. Having shown remarkable skill in numbers as early as 1810, he was taken to London in 1812, whence he toured through Great Britain and to Paris. The Earl of Bristol placed him in Westminster School (1816-1819). On his return to America he became a preacher, and later a teacher of languages.
132 ^ The history of calculating boys is interesting. Mathieu le Coc (about 1664), a boy of Lorraine, could extract cube roots at sight at the age of eight. Tom Fuller, a Virginian slave of the eighteenth century, although illiterate, gave the number of seconds in 7 years 17 days 12 hours after only a minute and a half of thought. Jedediah Buxton, an Englishman of the eighteenth century, was studied by the Royal Society because of his remarkable powers. Ampère, the physicist, made long calculations with pebbles at the age of four. Gauss, one of the few infant prodigies to become an adult prodigy, corrected his father's payroll at the age of three. One of the most remarkable of the French calculating boys was Henri Mondeux. He was investigated by Arago, Sturm, Cauchy, and Liouville, for the Académie des Sciences, and a report was written by Cauchy. His specialty was the solution of algebraic problems mentally. He seems to have calculated squares and cubes by a binomial formula of his own invention. He died in obscurity, but was the subject of a Biographie by Jacoby (1846). George P. Bidder, the Scotch engineer (1806-1878), was exhibited as an arithmetical prodigy at the age of ten, and did not attend school until he was twelve. Of the recent cases two deserve special mention, Inaudi and Diamandi. Jacques Inaudi (born in 1867) was investigated for the Académie in 1892 by a commission including Poincaré, Charcot, and Binet. (See the Revue des Deux Mondes, June 15, 1892, and the laboratory bulletins of the Sorbonne). He has frequently exhibited his remarkable powers in America. Périclès Diamandi was investigated by the same commission in 1893. See Alfred Binet, Psychologie des Grands Calculateurs et Joueurs d'Echecs, Paris, 1894.
133 ^ John Flamsteed's (1646-1719) "old white house" was the first Greenwich observatory. He was the Astronomer Royal and first head of this observatory.
134 ^ It seems a pity that De Morgan should not have lived to lash those of our time who are demanding only the immediately practical in mathematics. His satire would have been worth the reading against those who seek to stifle the science they pretend to foster.
135 ^ Ismael Bouillaud, or Boulliau, was born in 1605 and died at Paris in 1694. He was well known as an astronomer, mathematician, and jurist. He lived with De Thou at Paris, and accompanied him to Holland. He traveled extensively, and was versed in the astronomical work of the Persians and Arabs. It was in his Astronomia philolaica, opus novum (Paris, 1645) that he attacked Kepler's laws. His tables were shown to be erroneous by the fact that the solar eclipse did not take place as predicted by him in 1645.
136 ^ As it did, until 1892, when Airy had reached the ripe age of ninety-one.
137 ^ Didaci a Stunica ... In Job commentaria appeared at Toledo in 1584.
138 ^ "The false Pythagorean doctrine, absolutely opposed to the Holy Scriptures, concerning the mobility of the earth and the immobility of the sun."
139 ^ Paolo Antonio Foscarini (1580-1616), who taught theology and philosophy at Naples and Messina, was one of the first to champion the theories of Copernicus. This was in his Lettera sopra l'opinione de' Pittagorici e del Copernico, della mobilità della Terra e stabilità del Sole, e il nuovo pittagorico sistema del mondo, 4to, Naples, 1615. The condemnation of the Congregation was published in the following spring, and in the year of Foscarini's death at the early age of thirty-six.
140 ^ "To be wholly prohibited and condemned," because "it seeks to show that the aforesaid doctrine is consonant with truth and is not opposed to the Holy Scriptures."
141 ^ "As repugnant to the Holy Scriptures and to its true and Catholic interpretation (which in a Christian man cannot be tolerated in the least), he does not hesitate to treat (of his subject) 'by hypothesis', but he even adds 'as most true'!"
142 ^ "To the places in which he discusses not by hypothesis but by making assertions concerning the position and motion of the earth."
143 ^ "Copernicus. If by chance there shall be vain talkers who, although ignorant of all mathematics, yet taking it upon themselves to sit in judgment upon the subject on account of a certain passage of Scripture badly distorted for their purposes, shall have dared to criticize and censure this teaching of mine, I pay no attention to them, even to the extent of despising their judgment as rash. For it is not unknown that Lactantius, a writer of prominence in other lines although but little versed in mathematics, spoke very childishly about the form of the earth when he ridiculed those who declared that it was spherical. Hence it should not seem strange to the learned if some shall look upon us in the same way. Mathematics is written for mathematicians, to whom these labors of ours will seem, if I mistake not, to add something even to the republic of the Church.... Emend. Here strike out everything from 'if by chance' to the words 'these labors of ours,' and adapt it thus: 'But these labors of ours.'"
144 ^ "Copernicus. However if we consider the matter more carefully it will be seen that the investigation is not yet completed, and therefore ought by no means to be condemned. Emend. However, if we consider the matter more carefully it is of no consequence whether we regard the earth as existing in the center of the universe or outside of the center, so far as the solution of the phenomena of celestial movements is concerned."
145 ^ "The whole of this chapter may be cut out, since it avowedly treats of the earth's motion, while it refutes the reasons of the ancients proving its immobility. Nevertheless, since it seems to speak problematically, in order that it may satisfy the learned and keep intact the sequence and unity of the book let it be emended as below."
146 ^ "Copernicus. Therefore why do we still hesitate to concede to it motion which is by nature consistent with its form, the more so because the whole universe is moving, whose end is not and cannot be known, and not confess that there is in the sky an appearance of daily revolution, while on the earth there is the truth of it? And in like manner these things are as if Virgil's Æneas should say, 'We are borne from the harbor' ... Emend. Hence I cannot concede motion to this form, the more so because the universe would fall, whose end is not and cannot be known, and what appears in the heavens is just as if ..."
147 ^ "Copernicus. I also add that it would seem very absurd that motion should be ascribed to that which contains and locates, and not rather to that which is contained and located, that is the earth. Emend. I also add that it is not more difficult to ascribe motion to the contained and located, which is the earth, than to that which contains it."
148 ^ "Copernicus. You see, therefore, that from all these things the motion of the earth is more probable than its immobility, especially in the daily revolution which is as it were a particular property of it. Emend. Omit from 'You see' to the end of the chapter."
149 ^ "Copernicus. Therefore, since there is nothing to hinder the motion of the earth, it seems to me that we should consider whether it has several motions, to the end that it may be looked upon as one of the moving stars. Emend. Therefore, since I have assumed that the earth moves, it seems to me that we should consider whether it has several motions."
150 ^ "Copernicus. We are not ashamed to acknowledge ... that this is preferably verified in the motion of the earth. Emend. We are not ashamed to assume ... that this is consequently verified in the motion."
151 ^ "Copernicus. So divine is surely this work of the Best and Greatest. Emend. Strike out these last words."
152 ^ This should be Cap. 11, lib. i, p. 10.
153 ^ "Copernicus. Demonstration of the threefold motion of the earth. Emend. On the hypothesis of the threefold motion of the earth and its demonstration."
154 ^ This should be Cap. 20, lib. iv, p. 122.
155 ^ "Copernicus. Concerning the size of these three stars, the sun, the moon and the earth. Emend. Strike out the words 'these three stars,' because the earth is not a star as Copernicus would make it."
156 ^ He seems to speak problematically in order to satisfy the learned.
157 ^ One of the Church Fathers, born about 250 A.D., and died about 330, probably at Trèves. He wrote Divinarum Institutionum Libri VII. and other controversial and didactic works against the learning and philosophy of the Greeks.
158 ^ Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598-1671) taught philosophy and theology at Parma and Bologna, and was later professor of astronomy. His Almagestum novum appeared in 1651, and his Argomento fisico-matematico contro il moto diurno della terra in 1668.
159 ^ He was a native of Arlington, Sussex, and a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge. In 1603 he became a master of arts at Oxford.
160 ^ Straying, i.e., from the right way.
161 ^ "Private subjects may, in the presence of danger, defend themselves or their families against a monarch as against any malefactor, if the monarch assaults them like a bandit or a ravisher, and provided they are unable to summon the usual protection and cannot in any way escape the danger."
162 ^ Daniel Neal (1678-1743), an independent minister, wrote a History of the Puritans that appeared in 1732. The account may be found in the New York edition of 1843-44, vol. I, p. 271.
163 ^ Anthony Wood (1632-1695), whose Historia et Antiquitates Universitatis Oxoniensis (1674) and Athenae Oxoniensis (1691) are among the classics on Oxford.
164 ^ Part of the title, not here quoted, shows the nature of the work more clearly: "liber unicus, in quo decretum S. Congregationis S. R. E. Cardinal. an. 1616, adversus Pythagorico-Copernicanos editum defenditur."
165 ^ This was John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune (1801-1851), the statesman who did so much for legislative and educational reform in India. His father, John Drinkwater Bethune, wrote a history of the siege of Gibraltar.
166 ^ The article referred to is about thirty years old; since it appeared another has been given (Dubl. Rev., Sept. 1865) which is of much greater depth. In it will also be found the Roman view of Bishop Virgil (ante, p. 32).—A. De M.
167 ^ Jean Baptiste Morin (1583-1656), in his younger days physician to the Bishop of Boulogne and the Duke of Luxemburg, became in 1630 professor of mathematics at the Collège Royale. His chief contribution to the problem of the determination of longitude is his Longitudinum terrestrium et coelestium nova et hactenus optata scientia (1634). He also wrote against Copernicus in his Famosi problematis de telluris motu vel quiete hactenus optata solutio (1631), and against Lansberg in his Responsio pro telluris quiete (1634).
168 ^ The work appeared at Leyden in 1626, at Amsterdam in 1634, at Copenhagen in 1640 and again at Leyden in 1650. The title of the 1640 edition is Arithmeticae Libri II et Geometriae Libri VI. The work on which it is based is the Arithmeticae et Geometriae Practica, which appeared in 1611.
169 ^ The father's name was Adriaan, and Lalande says that it was Montucla who first made the mistake of calling him Peter, thinking that the initials P. M. stood for Petrus Metius, when in reality they stood for piae memoriae! The ratio was known in China hundreds of years before his time. See note 55.
170 ^ Adrian Metius (1571-1635) was professor of medicine at the University of Franeker. His work was, however, in the domain of astronomy, and in this domain he published several treatises.
171 ^ The first edition was entitled: The Discovery of a World in the Moone. Or, a Discourse Tending to prove that 'tis probable there may be another habitable World in that Planet. 1638, 8vo. The fourth edition appeared in 1684. John Wilkins (1614-1672) was Warden of Wadham College, Oxford; master of Trinity, Cambridge; and, later, Bishop of Chester. He was influential in founding the Royal Society.
172 ^ The first edition was entitled: C. Hugenii Κοσμοθεωρος, sive de Terris coelestibus, earumque ornatu, conjecturae, The Hague, 1698, 4to. There were several editions. It was also translated into French (1718), and there was another English edition (1722). Huyghens (1629-1695) was one of the best mathematical physicists of his time.
173 ^ It is hardly necessary to say that science has made enormous advance in the chemistry of the universe since these words were written.
174 ^ William Whewell (1794-1866) is best known through his History of the Inductive Sciences (1837) and Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840).
175 ^ Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), the celebrated Scotch preacher. These discourses were delivered while he was minister in a large parish in the poorest part of Glasgow, and in them he attempted to bring science into harmony with the Bible. He was afterwards professor of moral philosophy at St. Andrew's (1823-28), and professor of theology at Edinburgh (1828). He became the leader of a schism from the Scotch Presbyterian Church,—the Free Church.
176 ^ That is, in Robert Watt's (1774-1819) Bibliotheca Britannica (posthumous, 1824). Nor is it given in the Dictionary of National Biography.
177 ^ The late Greek satirist and poet, c. 120-c. 200 A.D.
178 ^ François Rabelais (c. 1490-1553) the humorist who created Pantagruel (1533) and Gargantua (1532). His work as a physician and as editor of the works of Galen and Hippocrates is less popularly known.
179 ^ Francis Godwin (1562-1633) bishop of Llandaff and Hereford. Besides some valuable historical works he wrote The Man in the Moone, or a Discourse of a voyage thither by Domingo Gonsales, the Speed Messenger of London, 1638.
180 ^ Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757), historian, critic, mathematician, Secretary of the Académie des Sciences, and member of the Académie Française. His Entretien sur la pluralité des mondes appeared at Paris in 1686.
181 ^ Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), Jesuit, professor of mathematics and philosophy, and later of Hebrew and Syriac, at Wurzburg; still later professor of mathematics and Hebrew at Rome. He wrote several works on physics. His collection of mathematical instruments and other antiquities became the basis of the Kircherian Museum at Rome.
182 ^ "Both belief and non-belief are dangerous. Hippolitus died because his stepmother was believed. Troy fell because Cassandra was not believed. Therefore the truth should be investigated long before foolish opinion can properly judge." (Prove = probe?).
183 ^ Jacobus Grandamicus (Jacques Grandami) was born at Nantes in 1588 and died at Paris in 1672. He was professor of theology and philosophy in the Jesuit colleges at Rennes, Tours, Rouen, and other places. He wrote several works on astronomy.
184 ^ "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John xii. 32.
185 ^ Andrea Argoli (1568-1657) wrote a number of works on astronomy, and computed ephemerides from 1621 to 1700.
186 ^ So in the original edition of the Budget. It is Johannem Pellum in the original title. John Pell (1610 or 1611-1685) studied at Cambridge and Oxford, and was professor of mathematics at Amsterdam (1643-46) and Breda (1646-52). He left many manuscripts but published little. His name attaches by accident to an interesting equation recently studied with care by Dr. E. E. Whitford (New York, 1912).
187 ^ Christianus Longomontanus (Christen Longberg or Lumborg) was born in 1569 at Longberg, Jutland, and died in 1647 at Copenhagen. He was an assistant of Tycho Brahe and accepted the diurnal while denying the orbital motion of the earth. His Cyclometria e lunulis reciproce demonstrata appeared in 1612 under the name of Christen Severin, the latter being his family name. He wrote several other works on the quadrature problem, and some treatises on astronomy.
188 ^ The names are really pretty well known. Giles Persone de Roberval was born at Roberval near Beauvais in 1602, and died at Paris in 1675. He was professor of philosophy at the Collège Gervais at Paris, and later at the Collège Royal. He claimed to have discovered the theory of indivisibles before Cavalieri, and his work is set forth in his Traité des indivisibles which appeared posthumously in 1693.
Hobbes (1588-1679), the political and social philosopher, lived a good part of his time (1610-41) in France where he was tutor to several young noblemen, including the Cavendishes. His Leviathan (1651) is said to have influenced Spinoza, Leibnitz, and Rousseau. His Quadratura circuli, cubatio sphaerae, duplicatio cubi ... (London, 1669), Rosetum geometricum ... (London, 1671), and Lux Mathematica, censura doctrinae Wallisianae contra Rosetum Hobbesii (London, 1674) are entirely forgotten to-day. (See a further note, infra.)
Pierre de Carcavi, a native of Lyons, died at Paris in 1684. He was a member of parliament, royal librarian, and member of the Académie des Sciences. His attempt to prove the impossibility of the quadrature appeared in 1645. He was a frequent correspondent of Descartes.
Cavendish (1591-1654) was Sir (not Lord) Charles. He was, like De Morgan himself, a bibliophile in the domain of mathematics. His life was one of struggle, his term as member of parliament under Charles I being followed by gallant service in the royal army. After the war he sought refuge on the continent where he met most of the mathematicians of his day. He left a number of manuscripts on mathematics, which his widow promptly disposed of for waste paper. If De Morgan's manuscripts had been so treated we should not have had his revision of his Budget of Paradoxes.
Marin Mersenne (1588-1648), a minorite, living in the cloisters at Nevers and Paris, was one of the greatest Franciscan scholars. He edited Euclid, Apollonius, Archimedes, Theodosius, and Menelaus (Paris, 1626), translated the Mechanics of Galileo into French (1634), wrote Harmonicorum Libri XII (1636), and Cogitata physico-mathematica (1644), and taught theology and philosophy at Nevers.
Johann Adolph Tasse (Tassius) was born in 1585 and died at Hamburg in 1654. He was professor of mathematics in the Gymnasium at Hamburg, and wrote numerous works on astronomy, chronology, statics, and elementary mathematics.
Johann Ludwig, Baron von Wolzogen, seems to have been one of the early unitarians, called Fratres Polonorum because they took refuge in Poland. Some of his works appear in the Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum (Amsterdam, 1656). I find no one by the name who was contributing to mathematics at this time.
Descartes is too well known to need mention in this connection.
Bonaventura Cavalieri (1598-1647) was a Jesuit, a pupil of Galileo, and professor of mathematics at Bologna. His greatest work, Geometria indivisibilibus continuorum nova quadam ratione promota, in which he makes a noteworthy step towards the calculus, appeared in 1635.
Jacob (Jacques) Golius was born at the Hague in 1596 and died at Leyden in 1667. His travels in Morocco and Asia Minor (1622-1629) gave him such knowledge of Arabic that he became professor of that language at Leyden. After Snell's death he became professor of mathematics there. He translated Arabic works on mathematics and astronomy into Latin.
189 ^ It would be interesting to follow up these rumors, beginning perhaps with the tomb of Archimedes. The Ludolph van Ceulen story is very likely a myth. The one about Fagnano may be such. The Bernoulli tomb does have the spiral, however (such as it is), as any one may see in the cloisters at Basel to-day.
190 ^ Collins (1625-1683) was secretary of the Royal Society, and was "a kind of register of all new improvements in mathematics." His office brought him into correspondence with all of the English scientists, and he was influential in the publication of various important works, including Branker's translation of the algebra by Rhonius, with notes by Pell, which was the first work to contain the present English-American symbol of division. He also helped in the publication of editions of Archimedes and Apollonius, of Kersey's Algebra, and of the works of Wallis. His profession was that of accountant and civil engineer, and he wrote three unimportant works on mathematics (one published posthumously, and the others in 1652 and 1658).
Heinrich Christian Schumacher (1780-1850) was professor of astronomy at Copenhagen and director of the observatory at Altona. His translation of Carnot's Géométrie de position (1807) brought him into personal relations with Gauss, and the friendship was helpful to Schumacher. He was a member of many learned societies and had a large circle of acquaintances. He published numerous monographs and works on astronomy.
Gassendi (1592-1655) might well have been included by De Morgan in the group, since he knew and was a friend of most of the important mathematicians of his day. Like Mersenne, he was a minorite, but he was a friend of Galileo and Kepler, and wrote a work under the title Institutio astronomica, juxta hypotheses Copernici, Tychonis-Brahaei et Ptolemaei (1645). He taught philosophy at Aix, and was later professor of mathematics at the College Royal at Paris.
Burnet is the Bishop Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715) who was so strongly anti-Romanistic that he left England during the reign of James II and joined the ranks of the Prince of Orange. William made him bishop of Salisbury.