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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/617

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the shadow of the Cathedral of Antwerp, the noted theologian, Fromundus, gave forth his famous treatise, the Anti-Aristarchus. Its very title-page was a contemptuous insult to the memory of Copernicus, since it paraded the assumption that the new truth was only an exploded theory of a pagan astronomer. Fromundus declares that "sacred Scripture fights against the Copernicans." To prove that the sun revolves about the earth he cites the passage in the Psalms which speaks of the sun "which cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber." To prove that the earth stands still, he quotes a passage from Ecclesiastes, "The earth standeth fast forever." To show the utter futility of the Copernican theory, he declares that if it were true, "the wind would constantly blow from the east"; and that "buildings and the earth itself would fly off with such a rapid motion that men would have to be provided with claws like cats to enable them to hold fast to the earth's surface." Greatest weapon of all, he works up, by the use of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, a demonstration from theology and science combined, that the earth must stand in the center, and that the sun must revolve about it.[1]



PASSING from the free to the fettered, we come to a beast which in India serves at once as an expression of wild liberty, more complete than that of the monkey, and of utter and abject slavery. For a wholly unmerited obloquy, relic of a dark aboriginal superstition, is added to the burden of toil and hard living. Yet there was once a time when in the nearer East, or ever the horse was known, he was held in high honor, carved in Assyrian sculptures, and reckoned a suitable steed for prophets and kings. Even now, in Cairo, Damascus, and Bagdad, although the Bedawi Arab pretends to despise him, he is regularly ridden by respectable people.

  1. For Father Inchofer's attack, see his Tractatus Syllepticus, cited in Galileo's letter to Deodati, July 28, 1634. For Fromundus's more famous attack see his Anti-Aristarchus, already cited, passim, but especially the heading of chapter vi, and the argument in chapters x and xi. A copy of this work may be found in the Astor Library at New York, and another in the White Library at Cornell University. For interesting reference to one of Fromundus's arguments, showing, by a mixture of mathematics and theology, that the earth is the center of the universe, see Quetelet, Histoire des Sciences mathématiques et physiques, Bruxelles, 1864, p. 170; also Mädler, Geschichte der Astronomie, vol. i, p. 274.
  2. Extracted from the author's recent book. Beast and Man in India, by the courtesy of the publishers, Messrs. Macmillan & Co.