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"No part of History is more instructive and delightful than the Lives of great and worthy Men."
To the Editor of the Oxford Entertaining Miscellany.
'cation, his mother wished him to pass a private life in the management of an estate, which had belonged to his ancestors for ages. He was perpetually found reading his books, when he ought to have been superintending the labourers, till at length his uncle finding him, one day, hid in a hay-loft, working a mathematical problem, determined to prevail on Mrs. New
As it cannot be ex-ton to alter her plan, and allow her son to follow his inclination. Newton was accordingly sent to
pected to find in such a work as this an adequate account of a man whose history and discoveries Trinity College, Cambridge, where would fill a volume, and as I should Dr. Barrow soon discovered his trespass on your pages too much I shall content myself with giving your readers a short sketch of the life of
SIR ISAAC NEWTON.
great natural genius. So great was the progress of his learning that he laid the foundation of his two immortal works, the Principia, and Optics, before he was twenty
Isaac Newton, one of the great-four years of age. est Philosophers that the world ever produced, was descended from an ancient family which had been seated for nearly three centuries on the manor of Wolsthorpe, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire, where this prodigy of science was born, on Christmas Day, 1642. He lost his father while in his infancy;
On the resignation of Dr. Bar row he was appointed Professor of Mathematics, 1669; and the same year he read a course of lectures on Optics, in Latin. The theory of the universe, which Newton so clearly demonstrated, was sugges ted by the following trivial circumstance. As he was one day but his uncle, a clergyman in the reading under an appletree, one of vicinity, wishing to have him edu- that species of fruit fell, and cated at Grantham, he was ac-struck him a smart blow on the cordingly sent there. At an head; when he observed the early age, he displayed a very smallness of the apple, he was sursingular passion for mechanical contrivances, he made a wooden clock and constructed a good model of a windmill, which was erected about that time near Grantham. Having finished a grammatical edu
prised at the force of the blow. This led him to consider the accelerating motion of falling bodies, from which he laid the foundation of that Philosophy by which his name will be rendered immortal.
In 1687 his Mathematical Princi-vanced in years, was irretrievable; ples of Natural Philosophy were yet, he only rebuked the animal, published, a work which the Mar-saying, "Diamond! Diamond! quis de l'Hapital said he regarded thou little knowest the mischief He was never as the production of a celestial in- thou hast done." telligence rather than that of man. married, having, he said, never had In 1704 he published his Optics, leisure to think of it; and, it has a piece of Philosophy so new that been said, and perhaps truly, that the science may be considered as his exemption from the entangleentirely indebted to our author.ments of love and the fondness of In the following year, he was wine, were the greatest secondary Knighted by Queen Ann as a tes-causes of his attainments in knowtimony of her opinion of his merit. ledge.
This great man enjoyed a set- He, first of men, with awful wing tled state of health till he was
eighty years old, when he began The Comet through the long eliptic to be afflicted by the stone; he had the perfect use of all his As round innum'rous worlds he wound senses, till the day before he died, which was on the 20th of March, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, he was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a noble monument is And o'er the trembling nation shakes
erected to his memory.
Sir Isaac was of a middling stature, his countenance remarkably pleasing, and his temper is
said to have been so mild that no
Till, to the forehead of our evening sky
Return'd, the blazing wonder glares
accident could ruffle it. Of this AN ANECDOTE FROM THE GERMAN
Plays and Romances disclose to
the following circumstance is related. Sir Isaac had a favourite little dog, called Diamond, and us the most shining traits in the being called out of his study human mind; our imagination is into the next room, Diamond was inflamed but our heart remains left behind. When Sir Isaac re-cold; at least the fervour which turned, having been absent but a is raised in it in this manner is few minutes, he found that Dia-only momentary, and becomes mond had thrown down a lighted chilled in practical life. At the candle among some papers, and same instant that we are moved the nearly-finished labour of many almest to tears, by the unadorned years was almost consumed. This goodness of heart of the noble loss, as Sir Isaac was very far ad- hero of romance, we perhaps
spurn with anger from our door either side impossible. The fair the miserable beggar who impor-one, full of commiseration for the tunes us for charity. Who knows, unhappy situation of these two whether this artificial existence in unfortunates, would not decide an ideal world, may not undermine our existence in the real one? We hover, as it were, about the two extremes of morality, angel and devil; and the medium-strife, betwixt duty and sentiman, we abandon.
The following anecdote of two Germans, (with a proud joy do I say it) has one indisputable merit -it is true. I hope it may instil more warmth into my readers than all the volumes of Grandison or of Pamela.
upon the exclusion of either, but submitted her own feelings to the decision of their brotherly love. Conqueror in this doubtf...
ment, which our philosophers are always so ready to decide, but which the practical man undertakes so slowly, the elder brother said to the younger, I know thou lovest the maiden as vehement as myself. I will not ask for which of us a priority of right should Two brothers, Barons of W-, determine. Do thou remain here, were in love with a young and whilst I seek the wide world. I excellent lady, and neither was am willing to die that I may foracquainted with the passion of get her. If such be my fate, brothe other. The affection of both was tender and vehement,—it was their first the maiden was beautiful, and formed of sensibility. They suffered their inclinations He left Germany, and hastened to increase to the utmost bounds, to Holland; but the form of his for the danger the most dreadful beloved still followed him. Far to their hearts was unknown to from the climate which she inthem, to have a brother for a rival. habited, banished from the spot Each forbore an early explana- which contained the whole felicity 'tion with the lady, and thus were of his heart, in which alone he both deceived; until an unexpect- was able to exist, the unhappy *ed occurrence discovered the youth sickened, as the plant whole secret of their sentiments. withers which is ravished from
ther, then she is thine, and may heaven bless thy love! Should I not meet with death, do thou set out, and follow my example.'
Their love had already risen to its maternal bed in Asia by the its utmost height: that most un-powerful European, and forced happy passion, which has caused from its more clement sun into a almost as cruel ravages as its remote and rougher soil. He dreadful counterpart, had taken reached Amsterdam in a despond'such complete possession of their ing condition, where he fell ill of hearts as to render a sacrifice on a violent fever. The form of her
he loved predominated in his fran- sity. Love, and at the same time, tic dreams; his health depended the sorrow at losing such a man, on her possession. The physici- rushed forcibly upon his mind. ans were in doubt of his life, and The noise of the flying vehicle nothing but the assurance of be- pierced him to the heart, his ing restored again to her, rescued life was feared. The Lady,-but him from the arms of death. He no! of her I must not yet speak. arrived in his native city changed to a skeleton, the most dreadful image of consuming grief, and with tottering steps reached the door of his beloved-of his brother.
The packet was opened. It contained a complete assignation of all his German posessions to h's brother, in the event of fortune being favourable to the fugitive in Batavia. The latter, subduer of 'Brother, behold me once again. himself, sailed with some Dutch Heaven knows how I have striven | merchants, and arrived safely at to subdue the emotions of my that place. A few weeks after, heart. I can do no more.' he sent his brother the following
He sunk senseless into the lines:
The younger brother was no less determined. In a few weeks he was ready to set out.
'Here, where I return thanks to the Almighty; here, in another world, do I think of thee, and of our loves, with all the joy of a
'Brother, thou carriedst thy martyr. New scenes and events grief with thee to Holland. I have expanded my soul, and God will endeavour to bear mine far-has given me strength to offer the ther. Lead not the maiden to the greatest sacrifice to friendship,altar till I write to thee. Frater- the maiden. God! here a tear nal love alone permits such a sti- doth fall,-the last-1 have conpulation. Should I be more for-quered the maiden is thine. tunate than thou wert, in the Brother, it was not ordained that name of God, let her be thine, I should possess her; that is, and may Heaven prosper thy would not have been happy with union. Should I not, may the me. If the thought should ever Almighty in that case judge fur- come to her that she would have ther between us! Farewell. Take been, -Brother! brother! with this sealed packet; do not open difficulty do I tear her from my it till I am far from hence. I am soul. Do not forget how hard going to Batavia.’ the attainment of her has been to
He then sprang into the coach. thee. Treat her always as thy The other remained motionless, youthful passion at present teachand absorbed in grief, for his bro-es thee. Treat her always as the ther had surpassed him in genero- dear legacy of a brother whom
thy arms will never more enfold. Farewell! Do not write to me when thou celebratest thy marriage, my wounds still bleed. Write to me, that thou art happy. My deed is a surety to me, that God will not forsake me in a foreign world.'
The nuptials were celebrated. The most felicitous of marriages lasted a year. At the end of that period the lady died. In her expiring moments she acknowledged to her most intimate friend the unhappy secret of her bosom: the exiled brother she had loved the strongest.
Both brothers still live. elder upon his estates in Germany, where he has married again. The younger remains in Batavia, and has become a fortunate and shining character. He made a vow never to marry, and has kept it.
The Sketch Book,
hope to overtake it by violent exertions, or by going cross roads: if he follow diligently, and pursue the path, incident will perhaps give him a lift on his way, or at any rate he will, by patience, overtake his object.
Let us see what are the great stumbling blocks and interruptions to a regular plan or distribution of time. First, INDOLENCE, that vis inertia which keeps us just where we are. Next, PLEASURE, that force which moves us easily by her allurements, when we are actually employed, and would not willingly have any thing to say to her: but these, though the most open enemies of time, are not perhaps so dangerous as those which are concealed under masks of actual occupation. We have, for instance, Pausers, Wishers, Hopers, and Fretters; each of which, in their different ways, lay waste a portion of time, One of your great Pausers is BOB VACANT! Bob is always in a study; Bob weighs every thing, and does nothing; decides, and never moves; makes up his mind, and never acts; is in a great hurry and never stirs. Vain are all his acquirements of learning, vain his knowledge, vain his skill and judgment. They are to him like the precious hoard of the miser, which he is always looking at, but of which he never touches a guinea.
There is not, fairly speaking, any but the distressed man who may be said to be in want of time: all other men have, to use a common proverb, the fore-horse by the head; all roads and paths are open to them, and it is their own faults if they choose the worst. But he who has got considerably The Wisher is another sort of in arrears with time, must not being as to the nature of his