Table of Contents
LIFE OF GALILEO.
Peculiar interest attached to his Life—His Birth—His early studies—His passion for Mathematics—His work on the Hydrostatic Balance—Appointed Lecturer on Mathematics at Pisa—His antipathy to the Philosophy of Aristotle—His contentions with the Aristotelians—Chosen Professor of Mathematics in Padua—Adopts the Copernican system, but still teaches the Ptolemaic doctrine—His alarming illness—He observes the new Star in 1604—His Magnetical experiments,
Cosmo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, invites Galileo to Pisa—Galileo visits Venice in 1609, where he first hears of the Telescope—He invents and constructs one, which excites a great sensation—Discovers Mountains in the Moon, and Forty Stars in the Pleiades—Discovers Jupiter’s Satellites in 1610—Effect of this discovery on Kepler—Manner in which these discoveries were received—Galileo appointed Mathematician to Cosmo—Mayer claims the discovery of the Satellites of Jupiter—Harriot observes them in England in October 1610,
Galileo announces his discoveries in Enigmas—Discovers the Crescent of Venus—the Ring of Saturn—the Spots on the Sun—Similar Observations made in England by Harriot—Claims of Fabricius and Scheiner to the discovery of the Solar Spots—Galileo’s Letters to Velser on the claims of Scheiner—His residence at the Villa of Salviati—Composes his work on Floating Bodies, which involves him in new controversies,
Galileo treats his Opponents with severity and sarcasm—He is aided by the Sceptics of the day—The Church Party the most powerful—Galileo commences the attack, and is answered by Caccini, a Dominican—Galileo’s Letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, in support of the motion of the Earth and the stability of the Sun—Galileo visits Rome—Is summoned before the Inquisition—And renounces his opinions as Heretical—The Inquisition denounces the Copernican system—Galileo has an audience of the Pope, but still maintains his opinions in private society—Proposes to find out the Longitude at Sea by means of Jupiter’s Satellites—His negotiation on this subject with the Court of Spain—Its failure—He is unable to observe the three Comets of 1618, but is involved in the controversy to which they gave rise,
Urban VIII., Galileo’s friend, raised to the Pontificate—Galileo goes to Rome to offer his congratulations—The Pope loads Galileo with presents, and promises a Pension to his Son—Galileo in pecuniary difficulties, owing to the death of his patron, Cosmo—Galileo again rashly attacks the Church, notwithstanding the Pope’s kindness—He composes his System of the World, to demonstrate the Copernican System—Artfully obtains a license to print it—Nature of the work—Its influence on the public mind—The Pope resolves on suppressing it—Galileo summoned before the Inquisition—His Trial—His Defence—His formal Abjuration of his Opinions—Observations on his conduct—The Pope shews great indulgence to Galileo, who is allowed to return to his own house at Arcetri as the place of his confinement,
Galileo loses his favourite Daughter—He falls into a state of melancholy and ill health—Is allowed to go to Florence for its recovery in 1638—But is prevented from leaving his House or receiving his Friends—His friend Castelli permitted to visit him in the presence of an Officer of the Inquisition—He composes his celebrated Dialogues on Local Motion—Discovers the Moon’s Libration—Loses the sight of one Eye—The other Eye attacked by the same Disease—Is struck Blind—Negociates with the Dutch Government respecting his Method of finding the Longitude—He is allowed free intercourse with his Friends—His Illness and Death in 1642—His Epitaph—His Social, Moral, and Scientific Character,
LIFE OF TYCHO BRAHE.
Tycho’s Birth, Family, and Education—An Eclipse of the Sun turns his attention to Astronomy—Studies Law at Leipsic—But pursues Astronomy by stealth—His Uncle’s Death—He returns to Copenhagen, and resumes his Observations—Revisits Germany—Fights a Duel, and loses his Nose—Visits Augsburg, and meets Hainzel—Who assists him in making a large Quadrant—Revisits Denmark—And is warmly received by the King—He settles at his Uncle’s Castle of Herritzvold—His Observatory and Laboratory—Discovers the new Star in Cassiopeia—Account of this remarkable Body—Tycho’s Marriage with a Peasant Girl—Which irritates his Friends—His Lectures on Astronomy—He visits the Prince of Hesse—Attends the Coronation of the Emperor Rudolph at Ratisbon—He returns to Denmark,
Frederick II. patronizes Tycho—And resolves to establish him in Denmark—Grants him the Island of Huen for Life—And Builds the splendid Observatory of Uraniburg—Description of the Island, and of the Observatory—Account of its Astronomical Instruments—Tycho begins his Observations—His Pupils—Tycho is made Canon of Rothschild, and receives a large Pension—His Hospitality to his Visitors—Ingratitude of Wittichius—Tycho sends an Assistant to take the Latitude of Frauenburg and Konigsberg—Is visited by Ulric, Duke of Mecklenburg—Change in Tycho’s fortunes,
Tycho’s Labours do honour to his Country—Death of Frederick II.—James VI. of Scotland visits Tycho at Uraniburg—Christian IV. visits Tycho—The Duke of Brunswick’s visit to Tycho—The Danish Nobility, jealous of his fame, conspire against him—He is compelled to quit Uraniburg—And to abandon his Studies—Cruelty of the Minister Walchendorp—Tycho quits Denmark with his Family and Instruments—Is hospitably received by Count Rantzau—Who introduces him to the Emperor Rudolph—The Emperor invites him to Prague—He gives him a Pension of 3000 Crowns—And the Castle of Benach as a Residence and an Observatory—Kepler visits Tycho—Who obtains for him the Appointment of Mathematician to Rudolph,
Tycho resumes his Astronomical Observations—Is attacked with a Painful Disease—His Sufferings and Death in 1601—His Funeral—His Temper—His Turn for Satire and Raillery—His Piety—Account of his Astronomical Discoveries—His Love of Astrology and Alchymy—Observations on the Character of the Alchymists—Tycho’s Elixir—His Fondness for the Marvellous—His Automata and Invisible Bells—Account of the Idiot, called Lep, whom he kept as a Prophet—History of Tycho’s Instruments—His Great Brass Globe preserved at Copenhagen—Present state of the Island of Huen,
LIFE OF JOHN KEPLER.
Kepler’s Birth in 1571—His Family—And early Education—The Distresses and Poverty of his Family—He enters the Monastic School of Maulbronn—And is admitted into the University of Tubingen, where he distinguishes himself, and takes his Degree—He is appointed Professor of Astronomy and Greek in 1594—His first speculations on the Orbits of the Planets—Account of their Progress and Failure—His “Cosmographical Mystery” published—He Marries a Widow in 1597—Religious troubles at Gratz—He retires from thence to Hungary—Visits Tycho at Prague in 1600—Returns to Gratz, which he again quits for Prague—He is taken ill on the road—Is appointed Tycho’s Assistant in 1601—Succeeds Tycho as Imperial Mathematician—His Work on the New Star of 1604—Singular specimen of it,
Kepler’s Pecuniary Embarrassments—His Inquiries respecting the Law of Refraction—His Supplement to Vitellio—His Researches on Vision—His Treatise on Dioptrics—His Commentaries on Mars—He discovers that the orbit of Mars is an Ellipse, with the Sun in one focus—And extends this discovery to all the other Planets—He establishes the two first laws of Physical Astronomy—His Family Distresses—Death of his Wife—He is appointed Professor of Mathematics at Linz—His Method of Choosing a Second Wife—Her Character, as given by Himself—Origin of his Treatise on Gauging—He goes to Ratisbon to give his Opinion to the Diet on the change of Style—He refuses the Mathematical Chair at Bologna,
Kepler’s continued Embarrassments—Death of Mathias—Liberality of Ferdinand—Kepler’s “Harmonies of the World”—The Epitome of the Copernican Astronomy—It is prohibited by the Inquisition—Sir Henry Wotton, the British Ambassador, invites Kepler to England—He declines the Invitation—Neglect of Genius by the English Government—Trial of Kepler’s Mother—Her final Acquittal—And Death at the age of Seventy-five—The States of Styria burn publicly Kepler’s Calendar—He receives his Arrears of Salary from Ferdinand—The Rudolphine Tables published in 1628—He receives a Gold Chain from the Grand Duke of Tuscany—He is Patronised by the Duke of Friedland—He removes to Sagan, in Silesia—Is appointed Professor of Mathematics at Rostoch—Goes to Ratisbon to receive his Arrears—His Death, Funeral, and Epitaph—Monument Erected to his Memory in 1803—His Family—His Posthumous Volume, entitled “The Dream, or Lunar Astronomy,”
Number of Kepler’s published Works—His numerous Manuscripts in 22 folio volumes—Purchased by Hevelius, and afterwards by Hansch—Who publishes Kepler’s Life and Correspondence at the expense of Charles VI.—The History of the rest of his Manuscripts, which are deposited in the Library of the Academy of Sciences at St Petersburg—General Character of Kepler—His Candour in acknowledging his Errors—His Moral and Religious Character—His Astrological Writings and Opinions considered—His Character as an Astronomer and a Philosopher—The Splendour of his Discoveries—Account of his Method of Investigating Truth,