A Discourse of the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science

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Baldwin and Cradock, 1828 - Mathematics - 187 pages

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Page 152 - Providence, every part would be in harmony with a plan of absolute benevolence. Independently, however, of this most consoling inference, the delight is inexpressible of being able to follow, as it were, with our eyes, the marvellous works of the Great Architect of Nature, to trace the unbounded power and exquisite skill which are exhibited in the most minute, as well as the mightiest parts of his system.
Page 133 - ... of the general movement. This is possible, no doubt ; though nothing very certain is known respecting the origin of the story ; but improvements of any value are very seldom indeed so easily found out, and hardly another instance can be named of important discoveries so purely accidental. They are generally made by persons of competent knowledge, and who are in search of them.
Page 145 - To learn these things, and to reflect upon them, occupies the faculties, fills the mind, and produces certain as well as pure gratification. But if the knowledge of the doctrines unfolded by science is pleasing, so is the being able to trace the steps by which those doctrines are investigated, and their truth demonstrated: indeed, you cannot be said, in any sense of the word, to have learnt them, or to know them, if you have not so studied them as to perceive how they are proved. Without this, you...
Page 145 - Naples, the cause of death in neglecting brewers' vats, and of the brisk and acid flavour of Seltzer and other mineral springs ? Nothing can be less like than the working of a vast steam-engine, of the old construction, and the crawling of a fly upon the window. Yet we find that these two operations are performed by the same means, the weight of the atmosphere, and that a sea-horse climbs the ice-hills by no other power. Can any thing be more strange to contemplate ? Is there in all the...
Page 144 - ... plants and animals to breathe ; that these operations so unlike to common eyes, when examined by the light of science, are the same, — the rusting of metals, — the formation of acids, — the burning of inflammable bodies, — the breathing of animals, — -and the growth of plants by night. To know this is a positive gratification.
Page 83 - ... between the foot and the glass or wall. The consequence of this is, that the air presses the foot on the wall with a very considerable force compared to the weight of the fly ; for if its feet are to its body in the same...
Page 141 - ... of the self-same ingredients with the common air we breathe ; that salts should be of a metallic nature and composed, in great part, of metals, fluid like quicksilver, but lighter than water, and which, without any heating, take fire upon...
Page 145 - Without this you never can expect to remember them long, or to understand them accurately ; and that would of itself be reason enough for examining closely the grounds they rest on. But there is the highest gratification of all, in being able to see distinctly those grounds, so as to be satisfied that a belief in the doctrines is well founded. Hence to follow a demonstration of a grand mathematical truth...
Page 86 - If any quantity of matter, as a pound of wood or iron, is fashioned into a rod of a certain length, say one foot, the rod will be strong in proportion to its thickness ; and, if the figure is the same, that thickness can only be increased by making it hollow. Therefore, hollow rods or tubes, of the same length and quantity of matter, have more strength than solid ones. This is a principle so well • understood now, that engineers make their axles and other parts of machinery hollow, and therefore...
Page 108 - ... and pleasing contemplation. Thus, the Camel, which lives in sandy deserts, has broad spreading hoofs to support him on the loose soil ; and an apparatus in his body by which water is kept for many days, to be used when no moisture can be had. As this would be useless in the neighbourhood of streams or wells, and as it would be equally so in the desert where no water is to be found, there can be no doubt that it is intended to assist in journeying across the sands from one watered spot to another....

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