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uld not attempt; and it is re
ieri regarded curves as polygons,

of lines, while Roberval viewed
les as generated by motion; 80
hed to the differential calculus,
; and Fermat, in the interval

s still nearer the great disco-
nation of maxima and minima,
ingents. More recently Hudden
ilar methods invented by Scho-
terial, treating the subject alge.

just now mentioned had rather
ically.
perceive how near an approach

calculus before the great event
v. There had in like manner
le to the law of gravitation, and

m of the universe. Galileo's ng on motion, especially on curKepler's laws upon the elliptical ry orbits, the proportion of the nd of the periodic times to the I Huvgens's theorems on centri

than Marcus's experiment. But all this only shows
than Moram
that the discoveries of Newton, great and rapid as
were the steps by which they advanced our knowledge,
yet obeyed the law of continuity, or rather of gradual
progress, which governs all human approaches
towards perfection. The limited nature of man's
faculties precludes the possibility of his ever reaching
at once the utmost excellence of which they are capa-
ble. Survey the whole circle of the sciences, and
trace the history of our progress in each, you find
this to be the universal rule. In chymical philosophy
thie dreams of the alchymists prepared the way for
the more rational, though erroneous, theory of Stahl;
and it was by repeated improvements that his errors,
80 long prevalent, were at length exploded, giving
place to the sound doctrine which is now established.

The great discoveries of Black and Priestley on
heat and aeriform fluids, had been preceded by the
bappy conjectures of Newton, and the experiments
of others. Nay, Voltaire had well nigh discovered

the absorption of heat, the constitution of the aunosphere, and the oxydation of metals ; and by a

more trials might have ascertained it. Cuvier

been preceded by inquirers who took sound ws of fossil osteology, among whom the truly original genius of Hunter fills the foremost place. The inductive system of Bacon had been, at least M its practice, known to his predecessors. Observations and even experiments were not unknown to

e ancient philosophers, though mingled with gross errors : in early times, almost in the dark ages, exnental inquiries had been carried on with success

". Bacon, and that method actually recomin a treatise, as it was two centuries later by

Vinci: and at the latter end of the

Gilbert examined the whole subject of action entirely by experiments. So that

Claim to be regarded as the father of osophy, rests upon the important, the in-.

ben followed by still nearer ctrine of attraction. Borelli had he motion of satellites to their s the principal planets, and thus 14 off by the centrifugal force. auf white light, and the different a its component parts, had been by Ant. de Dominis, archbishop eginning, and more precisely in th century by Marcus (Kronland, i to Newton, who only refers to k; while the treatise of Huygens bservations on colours by inflex

elongation of the image in the ad been brought to his attention, ear to his own great discovery

Dext

Lord Bacon's claim to be regar
modern philosophy, rests upon

icing to a system the method of | by those eminent men, generang its application to all matters xploding the errors, the absurd subtleties of the ancient schools, the subject of our inquiry, and

ting it, within the limits which se. Nor is this great law of fiued to the physical sciences; y governs. Before the foundanomy were laid by Hume and had been made by the French s of Quesnai; but a nearer apples had signalized the labours e labours had been shared and ized by Turgột, when chief

onal policy, see by what slow crude elements, the attendance heir lord's court, and the sumgrant supplies of money, the odern times in the science of Deen effected, the representative - States of any extent to enjoy and allows mixed monarchy to bining freedom with order— he statesmen and writers of an

possible formation, and wholly e. The globe itself, as well as bitants, has been explored acsich forbids a sudden and rapid decrees that each successive last, shall facilitate the next. wed several successful disco

thenes had eminent forerunners, Pericles the last of
them. Homer must have had predecessors of great
merit, though doubtless as far surpassed by him as
Fra Bartolomeo and Pietro Perugino were by Michael
Angelo and Raphael. Dante owed much to Virgil ;
he may be allowed to have owed, through his Latin
Mentor, not a little to the old Grecian; and Milton
had both the orators and poets of the ancient world
for bus predecessors and his masters. The art of war
itself is no exception to the rule. The plan of
bringing an overpowering force to bear on a given
point had been tried occasionally before Frederick II.
reduced it to a system; and the Wellingtons and
Napoleons of our own day made it the foundation of
their strategy, as it had also been previously the
mainspring of our naval tactics. It has oftentimes
been held that the invention of logarithms stands
alone in the history of science, as having been preceded
py no step leading towards the discovery. There is,
however, great inaccuracy in this statement, for not
only was the doctrine of infinitesimals familiar to its
wustrious author, and the relation of geometrical to
arithemetical series well known, but he had himself
struck out several methods of great ingenuity and
mity (as that known by the name of Napier's Bones)

thods that are now forgotten, eclipsed as they Were by the consummation which has immortalized bis name. So the inventive powers of Watt, pre

I as he was hy Worcester and Newcomen, but hat more materially by Causs and Papin, had been

td on some admirable contrivances, now forgotten, before he made the step which c

anew-not only the parallel motion,

lary to the proposition on circular morincipia, but the separate condensation,

de governor, perhaps the most exquianical inventions: and now we have nt who apply the like principle to the ledge, aware, as they must be, that

possibly a corollary to the proposition

and above all, the governor, perhaps

ple, and is by some believed to
him, a predecessor in the great
urced the night of ages, and
reyes of the old. The

al law. Demos

those here present who apply the
diffusion of knowledge, aware, i

PREFACE.

The present is the fourth volume of the “POPULAR LECTTRER,” new series. It contains 30 lectures, extending to 384 pages, the average cost being one penny each. The subjects treated comprise Education, Natural History, Language, Mechanics, Industry, Cotton, Pictures, Travels, Biography, Mining, Science, Poetry, Music, &c.

Amongst the authors of these lectures will be found the names of Lord Brougham; the Rev. Dr. Hook; Dr. Latham; the Dean of Carlisle ; Thomas Bazley, Esq., M.P.; Leo. H. Grindon, Esq. ; R. W. Emerson, Esq.; the Rev. Marmaduke Miller; George Dawson, Esq., M.A. ; His Royal Highness the Prince Consort; E. W. Binney, Esq., F.R.S., F.G.S. ; the Right Hon. Sir James Stephen ; and other well-known names in literature and science.

The volume will be found to contain a large fund of valuable and interesting information, of the kind most serviceable to students, and the members of educational institutions generally. A “revival” is taking place in the art of lecturing, and our readers shall have the benefit of it. We would strongly urge young men who listen to lectures to study shorthand. Phonography is the system in which these lectures have been reported by

THE EDITOR.

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