On the Magnet/Notes

"For out of olde feldes, as men seith,
Cometh al this newe corn fro yeer to yere;
And out of olde bokes, in good feith,
Cometh al this newe science that men lere."
"I finde that you have vsed in this your trāslation greate art, knowledge, and discretion. For walking as it were in golden fetters (as al Translators doe) you notwithstanding so warilie follow your Auctor, that where he trippeth you hold him vp, and where he goeth out of the way, you better direct his foote. You haue not only with the Bee sucked out the best iuyce from so sweete a flower, but with the Silke-worme as it were wouen out of your owne bowels, the finest silke; & that which is more, not rude & raw silke, but finely died with the fresh colour of your owne Art, Invention, and Practise. If these Adamantes draw you not to effect this which you haue so happilie begunne: then let these spurres driue you forward: viz. Your owne promise, the expectation of your friends, the losse of some credit if you should steppe backe, the profit which your labours may yeeld to many, the earnest desire which you yourselfe haue to reviue this Arte, and the vndoubted acceptation of your paines, if you performe the same."—(Prefatory epistle of John Case, D. of Physicke, printed in R. Haydocke's translation of The Artes of Curious Painting, of Lomatius, Oxford, 1598.)
"This booke is not for every rude and unconnynge man to see, but for clerkys and very gentylmen that understand gentylness and scyence."—Caxton.


I. (The London Folio of 1600.) Fol. *j. title GVILIELMI GIL | berti colcestren | sis, medici londi- | nensis, | DE MAGNETE, MAGNETI- | cisqve corporibvs, et de mag- | no magnete tellure; Physiologia noua, | plurimis & argumentis, & expe- | rimentis demonstrata. | Printer's Mark | Londini | excudebat Petrvs Short anno | MDC. || *j verso Gilbert's coat of arms. || *ij Ad Lectorem || *iij verso Ad gravissimvm doctissimvmqve ... || *vj Verborum quorundam interpretatio. || *vj verso Index capitum. || p. 1. GVILIELMI GILBERTI | DE MAGNETE, LIB. I. || p. 240. FINIS. | Errata. Without any colophon, printer's Mark, or date at end. Folio. 8 ll. of preliminary matter. ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTV, all ternions, making 120 numbered leaves. One blank leaf at front and one at end. Page 114 at end of Liber II. blank. A folded woodcut plate inserted between p. 200 and p. 201. Woodcut initials, headlines and diagrams. All known copies except one have ink corrections in several pages, particularly pp. 11, 22, 47.

II. (The Stettin Quarto of 1628.) Four preliminary unnumbered leaves, viz. (1) Bastard title GULIELMI GILBERTI | Tractatus | DE MAGNETE || verso blank; (2) Engraved title. TRACTATVS | Siue | PHYSIOLOGIA NOVA | DE MAGNETE, | MAGNETICISQVE CORPO- | RIBVS ET MAGNO MAGNETE | tellure Sex libris comprehensus | ã | Guilielmo Gilberto Colcestrensi, | Medico Londinensi | ... Omnia nunc diligenter recognita & emen- | datius quam ante in lucem edita, aucta & figu- | ris illustrata operâ & studio | Wolfgangi Lochmans I.U.D. | & Mathemati: | Ad calcem libri adjunctus est Index Capi- | tum Rerum et Verborum locupletissimus | EXCVSVS SEDINI | Typis Gotzianis Sumptibus | Ioh: Hallervordij. | Anno MDC.XXVIII || verso blank; (3) Præfatio; (4) Amicorum Acclamationes (verses) || verso blank. Sig. A Ad Lectorem Candidum. Sig. A2 verso Ad Gravissimum Doctissimumq Virum. Sig. B2 Verborum quorundam interpretatio. Verso blank, followed by twelve engraved plates numbered I. to XII. Sig. B3 is numbered as p. 1, and begins GVILIELMI GILBERTI | DE MAGNETE. | LIBER I. Sig. C begins as p. 5; Sig. D as p. 13; and so forth. The collation therefore is: 4 ll. unnumbered, ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVXYZAaBbCcDdEeFfGgHhIiKkLlMm, all fours. Pagination ends on p. 232, which has Sig. H3 in error for Hh3, being the end of the text. Verso of Hh3 blank. Index capitum begins fol. [Hh4] and with Index Verborum continues to verso of Mm3. Last leaf [Mm4] contains Errata, and instructions to binder to place plates: verso blank. Quarto. Woodcut initials and diagrams. Without any colophon, printer's Mark, or date at end. In some copies the engraved title differs, having the words Ioh: Hallervordij. replaced by the word Authoris.

III. (The Stettin Quarto of 1633.) Four preliminary unnumbered leaves, viz., (1) title. Tractatus, sive Physiologia Nova | de | magnete, | Magneticisq; corporibus & magno | Magnate tellure, sex libris comprehensus, | a guilielmo gilberto Colce- | strensi, Medico Londinensi. | ... Omnia nunc diligenter recognita, & emendatius quam ante | in lucem edita, aucta & figuris illustrata, opera & studio D. | wolfgangi lochmans, I.U.D. | & Mathematici. | Ad calcem libri adiunctus est Index capitum, Rerum & Verborum | locupletissimus, qui in priore æditione desiderabatur | Sedini, | Typis Gotzianis. | Anno m.dc. xxxii. || verso blank; (2) Præfatio; (3) Amicorum acclamationes (verses) || verso Claudianus de Magnete (verses); (4) ibid. Sig. A Ad Lectorem Candidum. Sig. A2 verso Ad Gravissimum Doctissimumq. Virum. Sig. B2 Verborum quorundam interpretatio; verso blank. Sig. B3 is numbered as p. 1, and begins GVILIELMI GILBERTI | DE MAGNETE. | LIBER I. Sig. C begins as p. 5; Sig. D as p. 13; and so forth. The Collation therefore is: 4 ll. unnumbered, A to Mm, all fours. Pagination ends on p. 232, which bears Sig. H3 in error for Hh3. Verso of Sig. Hh3. Errata. Index capitum begins Hh4, and with Index Verborum extends to verso of Mm3. The last leaf [Mm4] bears the Instructions to binder, with verso blank. There is no colophon, printer's Mark, or date at end. Quarto. Woodcut initials, and diagrams. Twelve etched plates of various sizes inserted.

With the exception of the preliminary matter and the Instructions to binder, the pagination is the same as in the edition of 1628, the pages in the body of the work being reprinted word for word; though with exceptions. For example, p. 18 in Ed. 1633 is one line shorter than in Ed. 1628. The etched plates are entirely different. It has been thought from the pagination being alike that these two editions were really the same with different plates, titles, and preliminary matter. But they are really different. The spacing of the words, letters and lines is different throughout, and there are different misprints. The watermarks of the paper also differ.

IV. (The Berlin "facsimile" Folio of 1892.) This is a photozincograph reproduction of the London folio of 1600. It lacks the ink emendations on pages 11, 22, 47, &c., found in the original, and is wanting also in some of the asterisks in the margins.

V. (The American translation of 1893.) Frontispiece portrait || p. i. title william gilbert | of colchester, | physician of London, | on the | Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies, | and on | the great magnet the earth. | A new Physiology, | demonstrated with many arguments and experiments. | A translation by | P. Fleury Mottelay, | ... | New York: | John Wiley & Sons, | 53 East Tenth Street | 1893. || p. ii bears imprint of Ferris Bros. Printers, 326 Pearl Street, New York. || p. iii. reduced reproduction of title of 1600 edition || verso the Gilbert arms || p. v. Translator's Preface || p. ix. Biographical Memoir || p. xxxi. Contents || p. xxxvii. Address of Edward Wright || p. xlvii. Author's Preface. || p. liii. Explanation of some terms. || pp. 1-358 text of the work. || p. 359 reduced reproduction of title of 1628 edition. || p. 360 ditto of 1633 edition. || p. 361 ditto of Gilbert's De Mundo Nostro of 1651. || pp. 363 to 368 General Index. || Pages xxx, xlvi, lii, and 362 are blanks. There are no signatures. Octavo. Diagrams reduced from woodcuts of the folio of 1600. Some copies bear on title the imprint | London: | Bernard Quaritch, | 15 Piccadilly. ||


During the work of revising and editing the English translation of De Magnete, many points came up for discussion, requiring critical consideration, and the examination of the writings of contemporary or earlier authorities. Discrepancies between the texts of the three known editions—the London folio of 1600, and the two Stettin quartos of 1628 and 1633 respectively—demanded investigation. Passages relating to astrology, to pharmacy, to alchemy, to geography, and to navigation, required to be referred to persons acquainted with the early literature of those branches. Phrases of non-classical Latin, presenting some obscurity, needed explanation by scholars of mediæval writings. Descriptions of magnetical experiments needed to be interpreted by persons whose knowledge of magnetism enabled them to infer the correct meaning to be assigned to the words in the text. In this wise a large amount of miscellaneous criticism has been brought to bear, and forms the basis for the following notes. To make them available to all students of Gilbert, the references are given to page and line both of the Latin folio of 1600 and of the English edition of 1900. S. P. T.