Immagini della pagina

have exercised upon the positions of the stars in his horoscope, he has not left his opinion in writing; but the circumstance of his having been at some pains to ascertain and set them down among his other “Observations,” may be taken as presumptive that this great astronomer practised astrology. In another folio manuscript in calf binding, containing also one hundred and thirty-two pages of his “Observations,” there is a document of more general importance; namely, a series of notices or memoranda also in his own hand-writing of circumstances in his life which he deemed most worthy of committing to paper. The most curious portion of this labour relates to a difference which is well known to have existed between himself, and sir

Isaac Newton. The whole of these memoirs, with the astrological scheme, a scientific gentleman was permitted by Dr. Maskelyne, the late astronomer-royal, to transcribe from the MSS. at the Observatory. Until now, they have been unprinted, and having been obligingly communicated to the Editor of the Every-Day Book, the latter conceives that the public will be gratified by their perusal, and therefore preserves them in the pages of this work without comment. Without any view of detracting sir Isaac Newton, or Mr. Flamsteed, by their publication, he offers the singular statements as Flamsteed wrote them. His birth is stated at their commencement; he died at Greenwich, on the 31st of December, 1719.

[ocr errors]

I was borne At Denby, 5 miles from Derby, August 19, 1646—my father having removed his family thither because the Sickness was then in Derby. Educated in the free school at Derby till 16 years old. At 14 years of Age 1660, Got a great cold—was followed by 5 years sickness— a Consumption. Recovered, by God's blessing, on a journey into Ireland 1665, in the months of August and Sept. Began to study Mathematics in 1662. The first book I read was Sacrobusco de Sphaera, which I turned into English. In 1665 Calculated Eclipses and the Fo places from Street's Caroline tales, and wrote my Treatise of the aequation of Days. In 1666 observed the Eclipse of ye Sun. In 1669 observed a Solar Eclipse and some appulses, and presented the praedictions of more for the year 1670 to the R.S. * this brought on a Correspondence with Mr. Oldenburg–Collins. Mr. Oldenburg's first letter to me is dated Jan. 14. 1669–70. Mr. Collins 29 Feb. 3. 1669–70. My Predn. of Appulses 1670, printed in ye Ph. Tr. No. 55 for Jan. 1669–70. Mr. N's.t. The of light and Colors, 80. Feb. 19. 1671–2. I was in London after Whitsuntide 1670; came acquainted with Sir. Jo.

[ocr errors]

Moor; bought telescope glasses, and had Mr. Townly's Micrometer presented to me by Sir Jonas Moor. Set a Pole up to raise my glasses, March 21, 1671, at Derby. Began to measure distances in the heavens, Octo. 17, 1672. Continued them there till Jan. 1671. 1672. Sept. Observed 3–deduced his parellax from the Observations = to his diameter 1674. May the 2d. came to London. 29, went to Cambridge. June the 5th. My degree. July 13, returned to London. Aug. 13, left London. 29, Got to Derby. 1674. First acquaintance with Sir I.N. at Cambridge, occasioned by my fixing there the Microscope, which he could not; the object glass being forgot by him. 1675. feb. 2. Came to London Again. Mar. 4. Warrant for my Sallary. Sieur de St. Piex proposes to find the Longitude by Observations of the D'. * * * Letters hereon.* 1675. June 22. Warrant dated for building the Royl. Observatory. 2 August 10. foundation layd. .. 1676. July 10. entred into it to inhabit wth T. Smith, and Cutler Denton Servant. Sept. 19. began to measure distances in the heavens with the sextant. 76. Sir Jonas Moor gave me the sextant, some books, and glasses, with charge * [Distances of the stars ol

to dispose of them by my Will: all the other instruments and tubes provided at my own charge. 1679. Aug. 17. Sir Jonas Moor died. His Sonn Sir J. M. thrown from his horse, died. 1680. Made the Voluble [?]Quadrant at my own Charge. 1680. Dec. 12. G) first saw and observed ye great Comet; observed it till Feb. 5, (80–81.) 1680. Mr. Newton's first Letter to me about the Comet. 81. Imparted my observations of the Comet with ye may [be] derived from them. 85 or 86. gave him” the diameters of the planets in all Positions of the earth, and them in their orbits: got it back with much difficulty after 2 years detention. He disputed against the comets of Nov. and Dec. being the same, in 2 long letters in Feb. and March 81"; now, in 85, he owned they might be so as I had asserted, and slightly mentioned me as disputing for their being the same as in ye 4th book of his principles; whereas I affirmed it, and himself disputed againstit. 1687. his principles published: little notice taken of her Maties. Observatory. 1688 & 9. made the New large Arch and Staff " " " Sharp. 89. Began my observations of the **s distances from our vertex with it. Sept. 12. § & 13 ll" got the Clock removed by Nov. 15 2 : 89. Dec. 10. first observation of the D's place compared with my lunar Tables in ye 4th book of calculations, pag. 5. After this I observed the ( and planets frequently woo the New Arch; examined the lunar observations, commonly the morning after they were got, and compared them with my Tables, till April, 1692, whereby I saw the faults of the Tables sometimes were near one-third of a degree. 1694. Sept. 1 W. Mr. Newton come to visit me; I shewed him these Collations drawn up in 3 large Synopses, and on his request gave him copys of them, he promising me not to impart or communicate them to any body; this promise I required of him because, as I then told him, I made use of some places of the fixed Stars which I had derived from

* [Sir Isaac Newton.]

observations made with the Sextant, which were not so exact as those taken with the Murall Arch; that I had now gotten a good stock of observations of the fixed "*s, should make a larger and much exacter Catalogue, that the Q's observed places should be derived from the places of the stars in my New Catalogue, and then I would impart them to him, which he approved, and by a Letter of his dated confest. Nevertheless he imparted what he derived from them both to Dr. Gregory and Mr. H." contra datam fidem. After he had got the 3 Synopses of \'s observations to him he desired more of them, and this caused an Intercourse of letters betwixt us, wherein I imparted to him about 100 more of y" ) places, but finding this took up much time, and being now entered in my Rectification of the places of the fixed stars, and very busy in it, I was forced to leave off my correspondence wo him at that time, having found that his corrections of my numbers still gave y' Moon's places 8 or 9 minutes erroneous, tho' Dr. G. and Dr. Halley had boasted they would agree w" in 2' or 3'-I was ill of the stone very oft and had [illegible] ye head ach till Sept. when freed of it by a violent fit of ye stone and my usuall medicine— Deo Laus. 1695 or 1696. Sir I.N.4 being made an Officer in the Mint came to London. I sometimes visited him there or at his own house in Jermin Street: we continued civil, but he was not so friendly as formerly, because I could Mr. H. and Dr. G. assertions concerning his corrections of ye Horroccian lunar theorys. 1696. A Correspondence begun wo Mr. Bosseley an Apothecary of Bakewell in Derbyshire and Mr. Luke Leigh a poor Kinsman of Mr. Halleys of the same clan, and myself. Mr. Bosseley wanted observation for correcting the planets places I furnished him, and set him on W. and l. Mr. Leigh I hired to calculate the places of the fixed Stars from their Right Ascentions and distances from the Northern Pole determined by myself. 1696. Dec. 11 I received from him the places of the Stars in the Constellations of II as and Q, which whilst he had been doing the same, were done by

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The Stars in Hevelius his Sextant and Monsceros. y Linx, Camelopardalus, Canes, Vanatici, were calculated afterwards in 1705. 6.7. 8 by my servants, J. Woolferman and J. Crosthwaite, and the Constellations of Hercules and Cassiopea enlarged with y' addition of many Stars observed in the years 1705. 6.7.8. by them and Mr. Ab. Ryley. In the mean time as often as I met with Sir I. N. he was very inquisitive how the Catalogues went on, I answered as it stood; and when he came here commonly shewed him how it stood in my books, not suspecting any design, but hoping he might serve me as kindly as I had assisted him freely with my pains when he desired me. 1698. At Michaelmas was at Derby and Bakewell. 1697–8. Feb. 6, ye CZAR first came to Greenwich. 1704. April 11. 3 Mr. Newton came to the Observaty dined with me, saw

- Aug. 19. 1699

July 25, 1700

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the Volumes of Observations, so much of the Catalogue as was then finished, with the Charts of the Constellations both J. W’s” and those copied by Vansomer: desired to have the recommending of them to y Prince: I knew his temper, that he would be my fr. no further than to serve his own ends, and that he was spitefull and swayed by those that were worse than himself; this made me refuse him: however, when he went away he promised me he would recom; mend them, tho he never intended me any good by it, but to get me under him, that I might be obliged to boy him up as E H + has done hitherto. 1704. Nov. 8. Wrote the Estimate, which was read without my knowledge at the R. S. The Members thought it ought to be recommended to the Prince; the President joynd with them, a Committee was appointed to attend his R. H. even without acquainting me with it, an estimate of the charges drawn up without my knowledge: the Prince allows it—Mr. N. says [illegible.] He concludes me now in his power, does all he can to hinder the work, or spoyls it by encouraging the printers to commit faults. We must print the Observations, tho I had shewed in my printed Estimate, that for very good reasons the Charts of the Constellations ought first to be set upon. Mr. N. told me he hoped I would give a Notestinder my hand of security for the Prince's Money; this, I knew was to oblige me to be his slave; I answered that I had, God be thanked, some estate of my own which I hoped to leave for my wife's support, to her during her life, to my own §. after; that therefore I would not cumber my own estate with imprests or securitys, but if they would lease to take his R. Ho moneys into their hands I would sign the workmen's bill to them, whereby they would see if they were reasonable at the same time. Í was told I should have all the printed copys save what his R. H. should have to present to the Universitys. And Mr. N. granted that since I refused to handle any of his R. H. money there was no need of securitys or Article —Nevertheless o & •

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Dr. Forster in his Perennial Calendar, observes, that the gentle refreshin; breezes by day, and the delicious calms by night, at this time of year, draw a vast concourse of persons of leisure to the shores of Great Britain and France in the months of August and September. There is perhaps no period of the year when the seaside is more agreeable. Bathing, sailing, and other marine recreations, are at no time better suited to beguile the hours of the warm summer day than at present; and the peculiar stillness of a seaside evening scene, by moonlight, is now to be enjoyed in perfection, as Cynthia begins to ascend higher in her car after the termination of the nightless summer solstice, and when the unremitted heat of the dogdays at length gives place to the more refreshing dews of a longer period of nocturnal coolness. The peculiar beauties of a sea-scene by night are thus described by a cotemporary poet:

[blocks in formation]

Insects, says Dr. Forster, still continue to swarm and to sport in the sun from flower to flower. It is very amusing to observe, in the bright sun of an August morning, the animation and delight of some of the lepidopterous insects. That beautiful little blue butterfly, papilio argus, is then all life and activity, flitting from flower to flower in the grass with remarkable vivacity: there seems to be a constant rivalship and contention between this beauty, and the not less elegant little beau, papilio phlaas. Frequenting the same station, attached to the same head of clover, or of harebell, whenever they approach, mutual animosity seems to possess them; and darting on each other with courageous rapidity, they buffet and contend until one is driven from the field, or to a considerable distance from his station, perhaps many hundred yards, when the victor returns to his post in triumph; and this contention is renewed, as long as the brilliancy of the sun animates their courage. When the beautiful evening of this season arrives, we again see the bat:—

The bat begins with giddy wing

His circuit round the shed and tree;
And clouds of dancing gnats to sing
A summer night's serenity.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

family of the Days. The candour with which you attended to the expostulations of a poor relative of ours—a sort of cousin thrice removed"— encourages me to hope that you will listen to the complaint of a Day of rather more consequence. I am the Day, Sir, upon which it pleased the course of nature that your gracious Sovereign should be born. As such, before his Accession, I was always observed and honoured. But since that happy event, in which naturally none had a greater interest than myself, a flaw has been discovered in my title. My lustre has been eclipsed, and—to use the words of one of your own poets, “I fade into the light of common day.” It seems, that about that time, an Imostor crept into Court, who has the efrontery to usurp my honours, and to style herself the King’s-birth-Day, upon some shallow pretence that, being St. George's-Day, she must needs be KingGeorge's-Day also. All-Saints-Day we have heard of, and All-Souls-Day we are willing to admit; but does it follow that this foolish Twenty-third of April must be All-George's-Day, and enjoy a monopoly of the whole name from George of Cappadocia to George of Leyden, and from George-a-Green down to George Dyer It looks a little oddly that I was discarded not long after the dismission of a set of men and measures, with whom 1 have nothing in common. I hope no whisperer has insinuated into the ears of Royalty, as if I were any thing Whiggishly inclined, when, in my heart, I abhor all these kind of Revolutions, by which I am sure to be the greatest sufferer. I wonder my shameless Rival can have the face to let the Tower and Park Guns proclaim so many big thundering fibs as they do, upon her Anniversary—making | Sovereign too to be older than he is, y an hundred and odd days, which is no great compliment one would think. Consider if this precedent for ante-dating of Births should become general, what confusion it must make in Parish Registers; what crowds of young heirs we should have coming of age before they are oneand-twenty, with numberless similar grievances. If these chops and changes are suffered, we shall have Lord-Mayor's

Day eating her custard unauthentically in

* Twenty-ninth Day of February

« IndietroContinua »