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foreign body, and omit9 a few traits on which it would not have been at that time prudent to have dwelt in France.

It is stated in a note that 'Sir Isaac used to relate that he was very negligent at school, and very low in it, till the boy above him gave him a kick in the belly, which put him to a great deal of pain. Not content with having thrashed his adversary, Sir Isaac ceuld not rest till he had got before him in the school, and from that time he continued rising till he was the head-boy.' Mr. Conduitt informs Fontenelle that

* In 1664, Newton bought a prism, to try Bome experiments upon Descartes's doctrine of Colours, and soon found out his own theory, and the erroneousness of Descartes's hypothesis. About this time he began to have the first hint of his method of fluxions; and in the year 1665, when he retired to his. own estate, on account of the plague, he first thought of his system of gravity, which he hit upon by observing an apple fall from a tree.

4 I am confident you are persuaded (as I am credibly informed the Germans now are) not only that Sir Isaac invented the method of fluxions, many years before Mr. Leibnitz knew any thing of it, but that Mr. Leibnitz took it from him. If the chain of circumstances, and the clear evidence which has been laid before the world, were not sufficient, Mr. Leibnitz's manner of defending himself would convince every body of what 1 have advanced.

* Mr. Leibnitz lived many years after the Commercium Epistolieum was published, and instead of answering matter of fact, h.id recourse to little chicane and philosophical problems, that were nothing to the purpose, and never offered one proof in his own justification; the Commercium Epistnlicum promised by him in his lifetime, and by his friends after his death, has never yet appeared, nor I believe ever will. I have seen a letter wherein Mr. Bcniouli absolutely denies, in the strongest terms, that he was the author of the Charta Volans, fathered upon him by Mr. Leibnitz, which is a further reason to suspect that he himself was the author of that libel, and that his cause was so bad, as to oblige him to have recourse to shifts and practices, very unworthy of so great a nun. In your Eloge of Mons. Leibnitz, you say, Ce que M. Newton appelloit fluxions, Mons. Leibnitz l'apptlloit differences, et ie caractere par lequel Mr. Leibnitz marquoit l'infiniment petit, etoit beaucoup plus commode, et d'un plus grand usage que celui de Mr. Newton." As this passage leaves an opinion, at least with cursory readers, that Mr. Leibnitz was the first inventor, I flatter myself you will do Sir Isaac the justice to mention to the world, that though Mr. Leibnitz pretended to be the first inventor of the method of fluxions, he not only was not an inventor, but never understood it to apply it to the system of the universe; which was the great and glorious use Sir Isaac made of it; and I appeal to your own knowledge, whether that great man, the Marquis de L'Hopital, did not own that he was convinced of this, before his death.'

In 1675, Mr. Newton had a dispensation from King Charles II. to hold his fellowship without taking ord.ers. Vie

are are roM in a note that Mr. Newton and Mr. Uvedale, both of Trinity, were candidates for the Law fellowship of that college; and that Dr. Barrow (the Master), finding them at the time equal in literary attainments, gave the fellowship to Mr. Uvedale as the senior: but here we apprehend some mistake, since Dr. Barrow was one of the earliest who was informed of the discoveries of Newton.—We are referred to Hutchins's Dorsetshire as the authority for this anecdote.

We 6hall select from Mr. Conduitt's communication to the secretary of the French Accademy, a few passages which contain incidents that are not to be found in that gentleman's eloge:

* In 1687, Mr. Newton was chosen one of the delegates to represent the University of Cambridge before the high commission court, to answer f«r their refusing to admit Father Francis, master of arts, upon the king's mandamus, w ithout his taking the oaths prescribed by the statutes; and tie was a great instrument in persuading his colleagues to persist in the maintenance of their rights and privileges.

* In 16S8,* he was chosen by the University of Cambrige, Member of the Convention Parliament, and sat in it till its dissolution. In 1696, the late Earl of Halifax, then Chancellor of the Exchequer,' that great patron of the learned, writ him a letter to Cambridge acquainting him he had prevailed with the king to make him Warden of the Mint, in which post he did signal service, in the great recoinage at that time. In 1699, ne was made master and Worker of the Mint, in which he continued to his death, and behaved himself with an universal character of integrity and disinterestedness.'

We find that the University of Cambridge,—.which, in our own days refused to elect Mr. Pitt as one of its members when he was not the minister, but shewed extreme eagerness to chuse him when he became premier, and which triumphantly returned Lord Henry Petty while minister, but discarded him on his ceasing to hold that office,—in 1705 rejected from its representation Sir Isaac Newton, lie being, of four candidates who stood the contest, the lowest on the poll. It cannot be said of this learned body,

"&tas parentum tulit

Nos neauiorcs"

The testimonies borne in the following passages to the love of liberty, catholic temper, and zeal for morality of this great

* * In 1688, the numbers on the poll were, Sir Robert Sawyer 125, Mr. Newton 122, Mr. Finch 117.

* In 1701, Mr. Henry Boyle 180, Mr. Newton 161, Mr. Hammond 64.

* In 1705, the Hon. Arthur Annesley 182, Hon. Dixie Windsor 170, Mr. Godolphin 162, Sir Isaac Newton 117. MS. CouJuitt. Confirmed fry the Rev. G. Borlase, Registrar*

13 man,

man, are not (as far as we recollect) recorded by the accomplished academician:

"Sir Isaac lived in London ever since the year 1696, when he was made Warden of the Mint; nobody ever lived with him but my wife, who was with him near twenty years, before and after her marriage. He always lived in a very handsome generous manner, though without ostentation or vanity ; always hospitable, and upon proper occasions, gave splendid entertainments. He was generous and charitable without bounds; he used to say, that they who gave away nothing till they died, never gave, which, perhaps, was one reason why he did not make a will. I believe no man of his circumstances ever gave away so much during his lifetime in alms, in encouraging ingenuity and learning, and to his relations, nor upon all occasions shewed a greater contempt of his own money, or a more scrupulous frugality of that which belonged to the public, or to any society he was entrusted for. He refused pensions and additional employments that were offered him, and was highly honoured and respected in all reigns, and under all administrations, even by those he opposed; for in every station he shewed an inflexible attachment to the cause of liberty, and our present happy establishment."—

* Notwithstanding the extraordinary honours that were paid him, he had so humble an opinion of himself, that he had no relish of the applause, which was so deservedly paid him ; and he was so little vain, and desirous of glory from any of his works, that he, as it is well known, would have let others run away with the glory of those inventions, which have done so much honour to human nature, if his friends and countrymen had uot been more jealous, than he, of his and their glory. He was exceedingly courteous and affable, even to the lowest, and never despised any man for want of capacity, but always expressed freely his resentment against any immorality or impiety. He not only shewed a great and constant regard to religion in general, as well by an exemplary course of life, as in all his writings; but was also a firm believer of revealed religion, which appears by the many papers he has left on that subject; but his notion of the Christian religion was not founded on a narrow bottom, nor his charity and morality so scanty, as to shew a coldness to those who thought otherwise than he did, in matters indifferent; much less to admit of persecution, of which he always expressed the strongest abhorrence and detestation. He had such a meekness and sweetness of temper, that a melancholy story would often draw tears from him, and he was exceedingly shocked at any act of cruelty to man or beast; mercy to both being the topic he loved to dwell upon. An innatemodesty and simplicity shewed itself in all his actions and expressions. His whole life was one continued series of labour, patience, charity, generosity, temperance, piety, goodness, and all other virtues, without a mixture of any vice whatsoever."

It thus appears that the moral excellencies of Sir Isaac fairly matched his vast and comprehensive powers. Like great and good and wise men cf every age, the illustrious Newton, it seems, expressed the strongest abhorrence and detesta

Rev. Aug. 1808. Dd tien tion of persecution. How pleasing is it to hear of the amiableness and sensibility which predominated in this illustrious character! Great as Newton was, however, still h« displayed many traits which prove him to have been allied to our species. It will be seen that, at one period of his life, he was no stranger to the tender passion; and he appears also to have been open to the pardonable vanity which sets value on family distinction. Born a peasant, he faised himself a rrame which must live as long as men exist who study the laws of the universe, and which far surpasses that of princes: yet we see, and are amused in seeing, this exalted man so seriously busied in proving himself allied to a family which a baronetage had signalized. We refer to the elaborate pedigree drawn up by himself, and the affidavit and certificate accompanying it, which he had entered in the college of arms, and in which he stands thus described;

'Isaac Newton, only child of Isaac and Hannah, born 25th of December 1642, and baptized at Colsterworth the 1st of January 164% Lord of the manor of Wolstrope aforesaid, Master of Arts, late Fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, Warden of the Mint, by patent, dated the 13111 day of April, 1696, now Master and Worker of the said Mint, by patent, dated the 3d day of February, 1699, and President of the Royal Society; knighted at Trinity College in Cambridge the 16th day of April, Anno 1705, by her present Majesty Queen Anne, and living in St. James's Parish in Middlesex, this 2oih day of November, 1705.'

A conversation is here given as passing between the philosopher and Mr. Conduitt, which seems to us interesting only as it details the dreams which in his advanced age he indulged. The following passage will serve as a specimen of it:

He repeated to me, by way of discourse, very distinctly, though rather in answer to my queries, than in one continued narration, what he had often hinted to me befoie, viz. that it was his conjecture (he would affirm nothing) that there was a sort of revolution in the heavenly bodies; that the vapours and light emitted by the sun, which had their sediment as water and other matter had, gathered themselves by degrees, into a body, and attracted more matter from the planets; and at last made a secondary planet (viz. one of those that go round another planet), and then by gathering to them and attracting more matter, became a primary planet; and then by increasing still, became a comet, which after certain revolutions, by coming nearer and nearer to the sun, had all its volatile parts condensed, and became .a matter fit to recruit, and replenish the sun (which must waste by the constant heat and light it emitted), as a faggot would this fire, if put into it, (we were sitting by a wood fire), and that that would probably be the effect of the comet of itfSo sooner or later, for by the observations made upon it, it ap{reared, before it came near the sun, with a tail only two or three degrees long, but by the heat it contracted in going so near the sun, it seemed to have a tail of thirty or forty degrees, when it went from it; that he could not say when this comet would drop into the sun; it might perharll have five or sir revolutions more first; but whenever it did, it would so much increase the heat of the sun, that this earth would be burnt, and no animals in it could live.'

Connected with this detail is a fine saying of the philosopher, which at once shews his modesty and the comprehension of his views: 'Sir Isaac said a little before his death, "1 do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy, piaying on the sea-shore, and diverting myself, in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

The part of Dr. Stukeley's very curious let:er which was ialready in the possession of the public informs us that Newton, when a boy, 'instead of playing among the other boys, when from school, always busied himself in making knickknacks, and models of wood in many kinds. For which purpose he had got little saws, hatchets, hammers, and all sorts of tools, which he would use with great dexterity. In particular they speak of his making a wooden clock.'—The remainder of that letter, which has been preserved among Lord Portsmouth's MSS. is now for the first time published; and as it displays the original bent and early habits of this extraordinary genius, we are tempted to lay the principal part of it before our readers. About the time in which he constructed his wooden clock,

"A new wind mill was set up near Grantham, in the way to Gunnerby, which is now demolished, this country chiefly using" water mills. Our lad's imitating spirit was soon excited, and by frequently prying into the fabric of it, as they wer<- making it, he became master enough to make a very perfect model thereof, and it was said to be as clean and curious a piece of workmanship, Js the original. This sometimes he nspuld *et upon the house-top, where he lodged, and clothing it with sail-cloth, the wind would readily turn it; but what was most extraordinary in its composition was, that he put a mouse into it, which he called the miller, and that the mouse made the mill turn round when he pleased; and he would joke too upon the miller eating the corn that was put in. Some say that he tied a string to the mouse's tail, which was put into a wheel, like that of turnspit dogs-, so that pulling the string made, the mouse go forward by way of resistance, and this turned the mill. Others suppose there was some corn placed above the wheel, this the mouse endeavouring to get to, made it turn. Moreover Sir Isaac's water clock is much talked of. This he made out of a box he begged ot iMr* Clarice's (his landlord) wife's brother. As described to me, it resembled

Dd 2 pretty

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