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mathematician, and was allowed to accept The 'Rudolphine Tables,' in the prethe Chair at Linz. Here he contracted paration of which Kepler had been enhis second marriage, and continued to re- gaged for twenty-six years, after having side during seven years, but with small im- been long delayed for want of funds to deprovement of his circumstances; for under fray the expenses of the printing, and subseMathias, the imperial finances appear to quently from the disturbed state of Gerhave been in a still less flourishing state many during the wars of the Reformation, than under Rudolph: and Kepler, who were at length published in 1628. This depended mainly upon his pension for his work is remarkable in the history of Asmeans of living, suffered great vexation in stronomy, as containing the first tables consequence of its remaining unpaid. “In which were calculated on the hypothesis order,' he says, 'to defray the expense of of elliptic orbits, and as exhibiting the the Ephemeris for two years, I have been science under the form in which it appears obliged to compose a vile prophesying al- in our modern treatises. The labor which manac, which is scarcely more respectable Kepler bestowed on its preparation was than begging, unless from its saving the enormous; and it is curious to observe, Emperor's credit, who abandons me en- that it was increased by the discovery of tirely, and would suffer me to perish with the logarithms; in consequence of which, hunger.' But the death of Mathias in he was under the necessity of giving a 1619, gave him hopes of better times; for different form to several of the tables, in the new Emperor, Ferdinand III., not only order to adapt them to the new method of renewed his appointment, but promised to calculation. pay up all the arrears of his pension; and Kepler had continued to reside at Linz to furnish him besides with the means of since 1622 ; but, about the time of the apaccomplishing the great object of his am- pearance of the Rudolphine Tables,' he bition, the publication of the Rudolphine was invited by the Duke of Friedland, a Tables. In 1622, Kepler published his great patron of Astrology, to take up his Harmonices Mundi, a work filled with abode at Sagan, in Silesia. Having solispeculations on a great variety of subjects cited permission from the Emperor to ac-geometry, music, astrology, astronomy, cept of this invitation, the Emperor did and metaphysics; but chiefly remarkable, not hesitate to grant the request, and would as containing the announcement of the re- gladly have transferred Kepler's arrears, as lation which subsists between the periodic well as himself, to the service of a foreign times, and the mean distances of the plan- prince.' Kepler accordingly removed his ets. The beauty and extreme importance family to Sagan in 1629, and was favorably of this general law of the planetary sys- received by the Grand Duke, who treated lem, are such as to render the burst of joy him with distinction and liberality, and with which announced it, in no way procured for him a Professorship in the extravagant :
university of Rostock. But it would seem
as if no change had the power of producing “This law, as he himself informs us, first entered his mind on the 8th of March, 1618; any amelioration of Kepler's fortunes :but, having made an erroneous calculation, he was obliged to reject it. He resumed the
In this remote situation, Kepler found it subject on the 15th of May; and having dis- extremely difficult to obtain payment of the covered his former error, recognized with imperial pension, which he still retained. The transport the absolute truth of a principle he resolved to go to the imperial assembly at
arrears had accumulated to 8000 crowns; and which for seventeen years had been the object of his incessant labors. The delight which Ratisbon to make a final effort to obtain them. this grand discovery gave him had no bounds. His attempts, however, were fruitless. The “ Nothing holds me," says he ; “I will indulge fatigue which he had undergone, threw him
vexation which this occasioned, and the great in my sacred fury; I will triumph over mankind by the honest confession that I have stolen into a violent fever, which is said to have been the golden vases of the Egyptians to build up with an imposthume in the brain, occasioned
one of cold, and to have been accompanied a tabernacle for my God,
far away from the confines of Egypt. If you forgive me, I re.
by too much study. This disease baffled the joice; if you are angry, I can bear it.' The
skill of his physicians, and carried him off on die is cast, the book is written, to be read the 5th of November, 0. S., 1630, in the sixeither now or by posterity, I care not which. tieth (fifty-ninth) year of his age.:-(P. 249.) It may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an ob
Kepler's name will always be associated server.")-(P. 240.)
with the discovery of the Three Laws which
regulate the planetary motions; by which it is extraordinary that a supposition he effected a greater revolution in theoreti- made for such a reason should have the cal Astronomy than ever had fallen, or luck to be the right one;'-'if the laws of ever can fall again, to the lot of any in the planetary orbits had chanced to have dividual, But he has many other claims been any other than those which cause upon our consideration. The 'Rudolphine them to describe ellipses, this last singuTables' were a most important contribution lar confirmation of an erroneous theory to practical Astronomy, and would alone would have taken place.' Whether Kepler have sufficed to place him in the first rank would have discovered the laws of the among the promoters of that science; and planetary motions had they been different various methods of observation and compu- from what they are, is a question of extation suggested by him are still in use. tremely little importance. It is sufficient His physical speculations, though frequent- for his glory, and was sufficient for the ly fanciful, and sometimes extravagant, al- wants of Astronomy, that he discovered the ways give evidence of enlarged views and actually existing laws;-and although the great acuteness; and he nearly anticipated liveliness of his imagination---some pretwo of Newton's most important discoveries possessions in favor of occult qualities and -the law of gravitation, and the theory of mystical properties; together with a want of the prismatic colors. In mathematics his method and system in his investigation-led knowledge was neither systematic nor very him to give expression to many conjectures profound; and the circumstance was un- which would never have occurred to a mind fortunate for himself, for greater profici- otherwise constituted, or at least would ency in this science would have saved him have been suppressed when found to be eran immensity of unnecessary calculations. roneous—his laws of the planets were disNevertheless, even here he has left the im- covered, according to our apprehension, in press of his genius. His method of solving the only way by which such discoveries the problem which goes by his name, is could be made ; namely, by deducing them perhaps as well adapted for practical pur- (after his own fashion, indeed) from the poses as any of the numerous solutions observations which were at his command, which have since been given ; and his and proving, by laborious calculations, that treatise on Gauging contains principles they accurately represented those observanear akin to those on which the infinit- tions. Sir David Brewster has placed this esimal calculus was afterwards built. No matter in its proper light :sooner had he heard of the invention of the Logarithms than he perceived its immense behind him a full account of the methods by
Kepler,' he observes, 'has fortunately left importance in Astronomy; and immedi- which he arrived at his great discoveries. ately set about improving the theory, and what other philosophers have studiously concomputing and publishing new tables. cealed, Kepler has openly avowed and mi.
Kepler's works are composed in a very nutely detailed ; and we have no hesitation in singular style; for he not only gives the considering these details as the most valuable process of reasoning through which he ar- present that has ever been given to science, rived at the conclusions ultimately adopt- seek to emulate his immortal achievements.
and as deserving the careful study of all whó ed, but also a detailed account of all his It has been asserted that Newton made his previous trials and failures. This frank- discoveries by following a different method ; ness has perhaps been injurious to his re- but this is a mere assumption, as Newton has putation, and occasioned bis being repre- never favored the world with any account of sented as working in some measure in the the erroneous speculations, and the frequent dark, and arriving at important results by failures, which must have preceded his ultimate accident. Thus, in a recent biography, cording only the final steps of his inquiries
Had Kepler done the same, by rewe meet with such remarks as the follow- his method of investigation would have obtaining :-—It is impossible not to admire Keped the highest celebrity, and would have been ler's singular good fortune in arriving at this held up to future ages as a pattern for their correct result, in spite, or rather through, imitation. But such was the candor of his the means, of his erroneous principles ;' mind, and such his inordinate love of truth, 'if he had exerted his ingenuity in this hat he not only recorded his wildest fancies, direction, he might have wasted his life in Newton had indulged us with the same insight
but emblazoned even his greatest errors. If useless labor;' — if the orbit of Mars had into his physical inquiries, we should have been less oval, he would not have detected witnessed the same processes which were emthe true orbit by the method he followed;' ployed by Kepler, modified only by the differ
ent characters and intensities of their imagin-| the importance of his discoveries ;-'they ative powers.'-(P. 264.)
were little considered by Gassendi—they
were undervalued by Riccioli—they were The personal character of Kepler has never mentioned by Descartes. It was an been very fully developed by himself, in honor reserved for Newton to estimate them his various works and epistolary correspond-) at their true value. Such are the words ence; and the incidents of his life, collect of the late Professor Playfair; yet it is ed chiefly from the same sources, have satisfactory to observe, that even before the been succinctly narrated in the Memoirs time of Newton their merit was perceived prefixed to the Collection of Letters pub- and acknowledged by one Astronomer at lished by Hansch. History presents to our least in our own country. Horrox deconsideration few more remarkable charac- scribes them as not only valuable, but as ters. His struggles with the world excite more valuable than those of all other As. our sympathy; his ardor and enthusiasm tronomers put together— Pergo igitur ad our admiration. It is, no doubt, an afflict- Astronomiæ principem, J. Keplerum; cuing consideration, that a man whose genius jus unius viri inventis, non est harum arand indomitable energy have done so much tium peritus qui neget plus debere astrofor the advancement of human knowledge, nomiam quam ceteris in universuin.' should have encountered so unpropitious a The misfortunes of Galileo, Tycho, and fate; yet if we dispassionately consider the Kepler, arose from peculiar and accidental circumstances, we may see reason to doubt circumstances; and the sovereigns under whether science was in any respect the whom they lived deserve the praise of cause of his misfortunes. If his salary having been munificent patrons of science. was irregularly paid, the irregularity was The following incident in the life of Kepowing to political causes, and the unfavor- ler, gives Sir David Brewster an opportuable circumstances of the times. Reli- nity of glancing at the encouragement gious controversies, domestic misfortunes, held out to scientific pursuits in our own war, and the plague, are calamities to country. Kepler, it seems, upon one occawhich the learned and the illiterate are sion received a visit froin Sir Henry Wotsubject indiscriminately. No doubt all his ton, Ambassador from England to the misfortunes were aggravated by the narrow- States of Venice, and was invited by him ness of his circumstances; but it is by no to take up his residence in England. Sir means certain that his circumstances would David thinks it probable that the invitation have been more prosperous had he followed proceeded from the Sovereign, who made any other pursuit, though it is probable Kepler a distinct offer through his Ambasthat in that case the world would nev- sador; and upon this supposition he thus er have heard of them. His condition, expresses himself:-*If the imperial mathehard as it was, was not without its shades of matician had no other assurance of a comlight. His lofty title of Imperial Mathemati- fortable home in England than that of Sir
him official consequence among Henry Wotton, he acted a wise part in disthose with whom he lived; and to an enthu-trusting it; and we rejoice that the sacred siast like Kepler, the consciousness that name of Kepler was thus withheld from the his discoveries would occupy a prominent long list of distinguished characters whom place in the future history of science, was England has starved and dishonored.'-a compensation for many evils. Of the (P. 343.) importance he attached to his successful It would far exceed the limits we have labors, he gives us a proof in his declara- now left, and it is not by any means within tion, that he would not exchange his dis- the scope of our intention, to enter upon a covery of the analogy of the planetary or- discussion of the question pointed at in bits with the five regular solids for the this startling allegation. In the long list of whole Electorate of Saxony. We see no distinguished characters whose names have just ground for imputing a disregard of shed å lustre on British science during the science to Rudolph and his successors, last two or three centuries, there
are, inwho certainly were in no condition to appre- deed, many whose success in the world has ciate Kepler's merits, and whose favor was fallen far short of their merits; but to reconferred on him in his character of As- present them as having been dishonored in trologist. It is, indeed, remarkable how not being the recipients of pecuniary sup. little Kepler's merits were understood in plies from the public treasury, is
make his own age. Galileo had no conception of use of a strong, if not a perverse figure of
speech. Science in England, has not, it is serate as it is in extent, as calculated to do true, been fostered by state provisions : good service to the canse to which its auyet if we look to results, our system) if it thor has so successfully consecrated his life may be so called) cannot be pronounced to and his labors. have been unsuccessful; for on reference to the history of the great and fundamental discoveries by which the various sciences have been advanced to their present state, it will not assuredly be found that England has any reason to blush for her OXFORD PROFESSORS OF POETRYshare of them. That science has derived
COPLESTON AND KEBLE. some important benefits from the pensioned
From Fraser's Magazine. Academies which have been instituted and maintained by some of the Continental Prelectiones Academica Oxonii Habita, governments, is a proposition which it Annis M.DCCC.XXXII–M.DCCC.XLI. A Jowould be idle to dispute: but such estab anne Keble, A. M. 1844. lishments are little in harmony with our THIRTY-One years, we think, have gone political institutions; and in proportion as by since a volume written by a professor of wealth and intelligence are more generally poetry issued from the Oxford press. It diffused, they become more and more un was written in Latin, and therefore prenecessary. A British Institute, maintained sented only a locked casket to the general at the public expense, while it might perhaps reader. But there was a treasure in it provide for a few meritorious individuals, when opened which could not fail to win would, it is to be feared, give rise to much the eye of the student. His subject was jobbing and jealousy; and would neither the poetry of the Greek and Latin literaaccelerate the progress of science, nor less- ture; not considered with the dogmatic en the number of its martyrs.
decision and bloodless prosaism which usuWe must now take leave of this publica- ally characterize the criticism of a learned tion. Considering the eminent station its pen, but recommended by the delicacy of author has long occupied among European the sentiment, the accuracy of the judgphilosophers, and the number and import- ment, and the purity of the taste. If Learnance of his contributions to some of the ing was there, she had looked in the mirror highest and most difficult branches of by which Fancy dresses herself, and had physical inquiry, it cannot add to his repu- brought away some of the reflected light tation. It was probably undertaken as a upon her face; if Taste was there, it was relaxation from more severe labor, and re- with the lamp which Memory held over the garded by him as of no great importance. page; if Antiquity was there, it was with We confess however that we look upon it the rose of Beauty bound upon its forein a different light. Next to labors which head. The style of the book was singulartend to enlarge the existing boundaries of ly elegant, and so transparent, that the indikaowledge, the most useful service, per vidual physiognomy of the writer's thoughts haps, which can now be rendered to sci- was distinctly reflected. Need we say that ence, is the faithful exposition of the dis- the volume was the Prelectiones Acadecoveries and claims of its great benefac- mica, and that the writer was the present tors; for, after all, the hope of receiving accomplished Bishop of Llandaff? By the the approbation and applause of future side of this book we are now called to ages is the best and most honorable incen- place a more elaborate contribution to the tive to scientific enterprise. It is also of no same branch of literature, and proceeding small importance to the student, that the from the same celebrated press. We write methods of the original discoveries should in the same line the names of Coplesion be reviewed from time to time by those and Keble. Resembling each other in who, starting from a higher vantage-ground, their subject, it would, perhaps, be difficult have succeeded, like the present author, in to select two men of equal eminence who going far beyond them in the same paths of offer fewer traces in their minds of intelinquiry : for it is thus that the connexion lectual relationship. In Bishop Copleston between the different states of a science, we are always struck by the peculiar simand the continuity of a chain of discovery, plicity and practical earnestness of his are best preserved and made evident. For manner; he goes to every object in the these reasons, we look upon the work, mod directest way and by the shortest road. In
Mr. Keble, on the contrary, with equal we have loved, if not wisely, at least well. earnestness, there is an absence of the We look upon it, therefore, with some of practical application; and, instead of the the softened light of a first affection, shortest, he travels by the most agreeable when the life of the intellect, like the path. And this difference was to be ex- body, pected. The Bishop is only an annotator,
“ Was new, while the Lecturer is a brother, of poets. And the heart promised what the fancy drew.” But it is a truth, not only communicated but attested by experience, that they who Experience and consideration have only excel in any art frequently fail in describ-tended to deepen the impression in our ing it; and that the discoverers of new mind. The character of Bishop Copleprovinces of imagination are very rarely ston is one peculiarly calculated to consuccessful in their attempts to give a de- ciliate esteem; and it is very pleasing to scription of them to other explorers. The us to know that the Christian is not less quality, which forms the very heart of the admirable than the scholar, and that the poetical, is the discase of the critical frame, commender of generous sentiments in ficand that is the faculty of invention. The tion, indulges them in practice. And if poet illustrates when he should analyze ; the lectures of Copleston have thus been and, instead of setting the jewel clear, en invested with a certain charm, independent circles, envelopes, and overlays it in gold of their literary merits, we can apply the of his own. His eye is necessarily dis- same characteristic to the present publicacursive-it wanders from star to star in tion of Keble. The author of the Christian the hemisphere of fancy, and seldom rests Year has won a place for himself in every long enough to determine the course or tender and every reflective heart. He has the magnitude of the luminous body upon written a volume of religious poetry, which, which the glass of criticism had been turn- for intensity of feeling, picturesqueness of ed; nay, the glass itself is usually tinged style, and harmony of language, has never by the prevailing color of his own imagin- been surpassed since the time of Spenser. ation. Of all phenomena, a poet catholic We say Spenser emphatically, because it in his taste is the most remarkable. Waller was evidently from that writer, whom he ridicules Milton for the dull length of his considers the great sacred poet of England, poem; Milton condescends to commend that Keble drew the principles of his school Dryden for the harmony of his rhymes. of religious design and coloring; and he Gray is insensible to the voluptuous music makes an affectionate mention of him in and the melting pathos of Collins; and his fifth prelection, to which we shall preGoldsmith laments the unprofitable splendor sently find it expedient to allude. Nor will of Gray. Thus a perpetual contradiction the remarks we have ventured to offer upon is going on; and it might be affirmed, the critical accomplishments of poets in without much hesitation, that of all crowds general be received, we trust, as conveying in which it would be difficult for a poet to our opinion of the productions of Mr. Keble retain his laurel-crown uninjured, the crowd in that path. The examination which we of poets would be the most formidable. have been able to make of these interestHappy, indeed, would he be if he escaped ing lectures would rather incline us to exwith a single leaf upon his forehead. Un- cept him from the censure, and to number der these circumstances, it is not surpris- him with that small company whom we ing that we turn with peculiar pleasure to might have wished to write more of other the critical disquisitions of those who, with- minds, if they had not so many precious out writing, teach the rest ; not, indeed, to revelations to give of their own. With rewrite, but to estimate poetry; who legislate gard to the expediency of the language for provinces which they could never have employed, the author has expressed himself discovered; and point out the defects of with candor. We shall not stop to examine the palace which they could never have his arguments, or to refute what we take built. Studied in this spirit we have al- to be some erroneous conclusions. If a ways regarded the Prelectiones of Bishop Latin lecture has its advantages, it has also Copleston with peculiar interest. The its defects, and the advantages and the dework possesses, indeed, to us the charm of fects are alike inherent. If it restrains the association : it was one of the earliest books contortions of a disordered fancy, it rethat allured our eyes and hearts to those presses the buoyancy and cramps the gracecreations of imagination and beauty which fulness of a cultivated taste. We are, how