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LIFE, TIMES,

AND

SCIENTIFIC LABOURS

OF THE SECOND

MARQUIS OF WORCESTER.

TO WHICH IS ADDED, A REPRINT OF HIS

CENTURY OF INVENTIONS,

1663,

with a Commentary thereon,

BY

HENRY DIRCKS, ESQ.,

CIVIL ENGINEER, ETC. ETC.

Inventas aut qui vitam excoluêre per artes.
Quinque sui memores alios fecere merendo.

VIRGIL.
How few men of genius are there who have not been the victims of
misfortune!

Sir EGERTON BRYDGES, BART.

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Henry Charles

FitzRoy, DUKE OF BEAUFORT, MARQUIS AND EARL OF WORCESTER, EARL OF GLAMORGAN, VISCOUNT GROSMONT,

BARON HERBERT OF CHEPSTOW, RAGLAND, AND GOWER,

BARON BEAUFORT OF CALDECOT CASTLE, AND

BARON DE BATTETCOURT,

ETC. ETC. ETC.

MY LORD DUKE

THROUGHOUT your Grace's most ancient and regal line of ancestry it would be impossible to name a more truly exalted character than EDWARD SOMERSET, the sixth Earl and second Marquis of Worcester, father of Henry, created first Duke of Beaufort by Charles the Second.

This pre-eminence, due to his high intellectual

gifts in CONSTRUCTIVE INGENUITY, distinguishes him not only amongst the illustrious descendants of Plantagenet, but renders it impossible to name his compeer, either among the highest nobility, or the most eminent scientific celebrities of Europe, during the last two centuries. Indeed, it may be justly said, that ancient lineage, noble descent, illustrious titles, even when crowned with all the glories of martial deeds, or senatorial honours, fade into comparative insignificance before the enduring renown, which it is alone the prerogative of original genius to confer on the memory of men remarkable for their discoveries in arts conducive to the elevation of mankind in the scale of being.

The History of Science from the days of Archimedes presents a vast phalanx of men mighty in genius; but foremost in this intellectual group ranks the Marquis of Worcester, the originality, independence, and grandeur of whose mechanical conceptions have acquired a world-wide celebrity; for he it was who first evoked that Titanic power, which, through successive improvements, consequent on the accumulated ingenuity of two hundred

years, has given to the present age the modern Steam-engine.

It may be freely conceded that, stupendous as he himself pronounced the parent engine to be, it was, nevertheless, only as the acorn compared to the timehonoured monarch of the forest. Just as the existence of the plant is dependant on that of the seed, so, had the Engine he constructed never existed, we might have been unacquainted even to this day with the mechanical application of steam.

Living at a period when Civil War convulsed this country, and unhappily brought severe suffering on

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