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amuse her. Could he read to her ? what!
From Nature. could he do?
JEREMIAH HORROX.. “Oh, no, — if you can only stay for an If national glory can ever be connected hour or two, talk to me," said Amanda, with a natural phenomenon, the transit of “ tell me about town. I hate this horrid Venus over the sun's disc may be said to little place, where nothing ever happens. bring peculiar distinction to England. When any one dies it keeps us quite It is in a manner inscribed upon one of lively. That is the only kind of amuse- the most brilliant pages of our naval hisment we can get. Yes, Mr. Eastwood, tory; it led to some of the most remarksit there, - you have town written all able discoveries for which mankind is inover you. It is so nice to see any one debted to our geographical enterprise, from London ; tell me how the parks are and made the renown of our most famous looking, and what ladies are most talked navigator. A hundred and thirty years of, and what sort of dresses are being before Cook, the phenomenon itself was, worn. Tell me if there is any gossip go- for the first time in human history, accuing, or stories about anybody in high life. rately observed in a corner of England, - Oh, I am so glad you have come to-day by an English youth, self-taught, and prowhen I want rousing up. Do tell me all vided with few of the appliances of scienthe London news.”
tific research. Now that the spectacle, so Frederick, to do him justice, was not striking in itself, so sublime in the inmuch learned in London news. Having frequent regularity of its recurrence, so been brought up by a good mother, he important as the key to numerous astrohesitated to repeat to this young woman nomical problems, is again attracting the the stories he had heard at his club; for attention of civilized mankind, now that there are always stories floating on the the expanse of ocean from Honolulu to surface of society, and they are always to Kerguelen's Land is about to be dotted be had at the club. After a while, moved with watchers from the other side of the by her persuasion, he did tell her some earth, the occasion appears favourable for of them, to her intense interest and grati- recalling the memory of the original obfication, - a gratification which aroused server, Jeremiah Horrox, curate of Hoole, Frederick's pleasure in telling, and made near Preston, in his day one of the most him forget his scruples. And while he insignificant of English hamlets. amused her, and received the flattering The little that is known respecting reward of her interest and attention, he Horrox's family and circumstances at was again inflamed and taken possession least suffices to reveal the difficulties with of by her beauty. Everything in the which he had to contend. The place of shape of reason melted out of his mind his birth was Toxteth, near Liverpool. as he sat by Amanda's side. All that he We cannot discover that the date usually thought of was how to secure her, - how assigned, 1619, rests on any good authorsoon he could marry, and bind to himself ity, while it is rendered improbable by that beautifulest form, that fairest face. the fact that in this case he must have If these had been the days when rash been matriculated at thirteen, and orproceedings were possible, Frederick felt dained at twenty. The first letter of his that it was in him to have carried her that has been preserved, dated in the away to his den, as a wild beast carries summer of 1636, indicates moreover, a his prey. The first moment that it was compass of astronomical knowledge, as possible, as soon as they were left alone well as a general maturity of mind, hardly together, he poured out the story of his conceivable in a youth of seventeen; passion. He could not live without her, while his references to the discouragehe said, — to go away again, --- to tear ments which, previous to his acquaintance himself from her side, was an insupport- with his sympathizing correspondent, had able idea. Would not she have pity upon almost induced him to renounce astrohim? Thus, this foolish young man, not-nomical study, bespeak a more protracted withstanding all warnings, notwithstand-period of investigation than would have ing the immediate interposition of provi- been possible in such early years. The dence and his guardian angel to save him date 1616, though unauthenticated by any from it, rushed upon his fate.
external testimony, may very well be correct. Notwithstanding a doubtful report which traces his family to Scotland, his thoroughly Lancastrian patronymic denotes a local origin. His father's profession is unknown; we suspect him to have
been a schoolmaster. The family dwell- 1 of 1662. He did not, however, retain his ing is usually identified with a house curacy much above a year; the cause of pulled down a few years since to make his resignation is unknown. room for the railway station. The family. It is now time to treat more specifiwas numerous, and although it cannot cally of Horrox's correspondence with have been indigent, Jeremiah's matricula- Crabtree, the source of almost all our intion as a sizar at Cambridge, and short formation respecting him. Crabtree, a stay at the University, prove that it was clothier of Broughton, near Manchester, not rich. His entrance at Emmanuel was one of a small band of worthies by College, then a stronghold of Puritanism, whom astronomy was cultivated in the is conclusive as to the auspices which northern counties in those days, some presided over his bringing up. This ma- particulars respecting whom will be found triculation took place on July 5, 1632; he in the notes to Sherburne's translation of certainly left the university without a de-Manilius. These letters survive in the gree, and the fact of his first-recorded as- Latin version of Prof. Wallis, who natutronomical observation, June 7, 1635, hav- rally omitted whatever had no immediate ing been made at Toxteth, is an almost bearing on science. A re-examination of certain testimony of his recession having the originals, should these still be extant in taken place before that date. Want of the Bodleian Library or elsewhere, might means, and the necessity for contributing probably result in the retrieval of some into the support of his family, are the only teresting biographical particulars. As it assignable reasons for a step which must is, we obtain many glimpses of the scienhave thrown the young student on his tific circumstances of the day. Errors own resources, as regarded books, instru- were inevitable in the comparative infancy ments, and intellectual companionship. of astronomical science, and the mistakes The first glimpse we obtain of him is of the master were naturally a snare to from the above-mentioned letter to Crab- the pupil. Horrox was for a time not tree, dated June 21, 1636. From this and only misled, but induced to distrust the subsequent letters we gather that he has accuracy of his own observations by their been for at least a year an observer of incompatibility with those of Lansberthe heavens ; that his circumstances are gius. Crabtree opened his eyes to the narrow, and prevent him from obtaining errors of the latter, and thus indirectly the books and instruments he desires ; rendered him the still higher service of some, however, of the books he inciden- leading him to recognize the greatness of tally mentions must have been expensive, Kepler, which Lansbergius had disparand can hardly have been procured by aged. His study of Kepler led, as we bim elsewhere than at Cambridge. A shall see, to his own great discovery: belist of these in his own handwriting is fore entering upon this, however, it will preserved, and has been noticed by Prof. be convenient to dispatch the minor matDe Morgan, who ("* Companion to the Al-ters of scientific interest contained in the manac” 1837) points out that not one correspondence. It is curious to learn was the work of an English mathema- that Horrox's telescope cost him only 2s. tician, or printed in this country. It fur- od., and was nevertheless better than ther appears that his time was much some more expensive ones which he had engrossed by other pursuits, which no had an opportunity of examining. He doubt bore reference to his preparation did not obtain even this modest instrufor orders, and to his exertions to sup-ment until May 1638, about a year before port himself in the interim. He was, in Milton viewed the moon through “the all probability, engaged in tuition, to optic glass" of "the Tuscan artist”:which land-surveying; or some similar
At evening from the top of Fesole, occupation, may have been added. Thus
Or from Valdarno, to descry new lands, three years passed by, at the end of
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe. which time we find him curate of Hoole, a village about five miles to the south of The “mute inglorious Miltons” of Preston, the church of which was at that Toxteth seem not to have been wholly period a chapel of ease to the adjoining incurious respecting the researches of parish of Croston. The patron was Sir their fellow villager, who speaks in anRobert Thorall, the incumbent the Rev. other letter of having endeavoured to James Hyatt. Horrox may be assumed exhibit Venus in her crescent phase to to have been recommended to the latter “sundry bystanders," who however were by their common Puritanism, Mr. Hyatt unable to discern the phenomenon owing having been one of the ousted ministers to their inexperience in the use of the
instrument. The possession of a tele- from the aperture than the narrowness of his scope may have stimulated his desire to 'apartment would allow; neither was it likely become acquainted with the writings of that the diameter of Venus would be so well its inventor. Four months later we find
& later we find defined; whereas his telescope, through which • him possessed of Galileo's dialogue on
he had often observed the solar spots, would
enable him to ascertain the diameter of the the "System of the Universe," and anx- !
planet, and to divide the sun's limb with conious to procure his “Nuncius Sidereus," siderable accuracy. Accordingly, having de. and treatise on the Solar Spots. He had scribed a circle of about six inches diameter previously speculated upon the exact pe-' upon a piece of paper, he divided its circumriod of the creation of the world, which ference into 3600, and its diameter into 120 he sought to determine by a combination equal parts. . . . When the proper time came, of astronomical and scriptural data ; and he adjusted his apparatus so that the image of upon the origin of comets, which he sup-' the sun should be transmitted perpendicularly posed to be emitted from the sun.
" The to the paper, and exactly fill the circle he had The to
described. From his own calculations he had phenomena of the planetary aphelion and perihelion had likewise engaged his at- ! place, at the earliest, before three o'clock in
a no reason to expect that the transit would take tention, and elicited remarks which al- the afternoon of the 24th, but as it appeared most seem prophetic of the great discov- from the tables of others that it might occur ery of Sir Isaac Newton. In observing somewhat sooner, in order to avoid the chance the setting sun he had noticed a ragged- of disappointment, he began to observe about ness of the margin, which he rightly mid-day on the 23rd. Having continued to attributed to atmospheric conditions. watch with unremitting care for upwards of During the last three months of his life,
of his life four-and-twenty hours, excepting during cerwhen unable to bestow time on astronom
tain intervals of the next day when, as he tells
us, he was called away by business of the highical research, he commenced an attentive study of the irregularity of the tides, from be neglected, he was at length rewarded for
est importance, which could not with propriety which he hoped to obtain a demonstra- his anxiety and trouble by seeing a large dark tion of the rotation of the earth. The round spot enter upon the disc of light. Lancashire coast, where the recess of the tide is very considerable, is highly fa
The “business of the highest impor
tance" was undoubtedly divine service, vourable to similar observations. It is now time to pass to the particular
the transit having taken place on a Sunincident which has immortalized the name
day. Most modern astronomers of Horof Horrox, his observation of the transit Tox's pro
of the transit rox's profession would, no doubt, have of Venus over the sun's disc on Novem- considered the claims of science paraber 24, 1639 (O. S.) It would have been mou
heen mount on an occasion like this. Horrox, susficient for his renown to have been the
en the in accordance with the feeling of his day, first witness of the phenomenon, but he judg
but he judged otherwise, and when all the cirhad in addition the honour of supplying
polvind cumstances of the case are taken into an omission of Kepler's, who had indeed
beeg account, his sacrifice on behalf of what predicted the transit of 1621. but had he esteemed a higher duty, must be refailed to point out the occurrence of a
er of garded as an act of extraordinary heroism. another eight years subsequently. The !!
he He had, it is true, almost convinced himtransit of 1621 bad not been observed self that the transit could not occur until owing to its occurrence at night, and "
dthe afternoon, but even this anticipation that of 1639 had been foreseen by no one
was a proof of courageous reliance on his save Horrox, and was watched by no one
own judgment, being founded on his corbut himself and his friend Crabtree, whom
rection of Kepler's Rudolphine tables, he apprised of the forthcoming event in a according to the data supplied by which letter dated on the October 26 previous.
ious it should have occurred at 8.8 A. M. The We borrow Mr. Whatton's account of phenomenon was also observed by Crabthe observation (“Life of Jeremiah Hor-te
h or. tree, but less perfectly, owing to the
cloudy state of the atmosphere at Manrox,” pp. 44-46).
chester. A letter from Crabtree on the After having deliberated on the best method subject to another north-country astronof making the observation, be determined to omer, Gascoigne, contains the remarkable admit the sun's image into a dark room,
m; expression, “I do believe there are as through a telescope properly adjusted for the
rare inventions as Galileo's telescope yet purpose, instead of receiving it through a hole in the shutter merely, as recommended by
ded by undiscovered.” Kepler. He considered that by the latter! Horrox did not remain at Hoole much method the delineation would not be so per- above six months after this great achievefect, unless it were taken at a greater distance i ment. In July, 1640, we find him again at Toxteth, which he never afterwards | Professor of Geometry at Oxford, whose left. He must, accordingly, have re- Latin translation was ultimately published signed his curacy, on what account is in 1674. By a judicious arrangement of unknown, as is also the precise nature of his materials he was enabled to digest his subsequent avocations. We only these into a perfect treatise, to which he gather from his correspondence that his gave the title of “ Astronomia Kepleriana affairs were in a very unsettled state, Defensa et Promota.” To this he added that the duration of his stay at Toxteth a translation of the scientific portion of was uncertain, and that he was contin- Horrox's letters to Crabtree, to which we ually called from home. From his com- are indebted for most of our scanty plaints of the impossibility of prosecuting biographical information. An inspection his astronomical researches, one would of the originals, should these have been almost surmise that his occupation was preserved, would probably contribute nocturnal, especially as he found time for much to clear up doubtful points, and to the observations on the tides already re- complete our conception of Horrox's inferied to. His sustained enthusiasm fortellectual character. The main outlines astronomy, as well as the generosity of of the latter, however, are sufficiently his temper, is touchingly shown in a apparent. They comprise a marvellous letter congratulating his friend Crabtree patience and persistency, combined with on the success of some observations re- wide-reaching activity, a philosophical ported by him : “ Your letter alone,” he faculty for generalization, ambition, ensays, “has enough and more than enough thusiasm, and self-confidence. The verto transport beyond all bounds a soul satility of his attainments is attested by more master of itself than mine. My the composition of his “ Venus” in Latin, emotion and gladness are such as you by the quotations in his letters from will more easily understand than I ex- Horace and Juvenal, and by his referpress." After several postponements, ence to Raleigh's “ History of the World." he eventually fixes January 4, 1641, for a Of his restless energy and fertility of visit to Broughton, but the intention was resource we have proof in the promptitude frustrated by his sudden death on the with which, when debarred from his morning of the preceding day. We learn favourite pursuit, he turns to the investhis from an endorsement by Crabtree, tigation of the tides. His grasp of who gives no particulars respecting the general principles is displayed, among cause of death, and who himself, accord- other passages, by a remarkable one in ing to Dr. Wallis, only survived his friend which he speaks of the possibility of for an extremely short period.
Tillustrating the elliptic orbits of the planWe are indebted to Crabtree for the ets by terrestrial analogies. “To which preservation of Horrox's extant papers, method of confirmation Kepler is always those only having escaped destruction partial, and most justly, inasmuch as which were obtained by him after the Nature throughout the universe is One, writer's death. Of the remainder, part and the general harmony of creation were destroyed during the Civil Wars ; causes the lesser things to be examples part carried to Ireland by Horrox's of the greater, as the revolution of the brother Jonas, who appears to have moon around the earth is an emblem or shared his scientific tastes, and there imitation of that of the stars around the lost; another portion, after having aided sun.” We have already had occasion to in the compilation of Jeremiah Shaker-appreciate his enthusiasm ; and the selfley's astronomical tables, was destroyed reliance usually associated with enthusiin the great fire of 1666. Crabtree's asm is powerfully evinced in another MSS., happily including the autograph of letter exhorting Crabtree to undertake, in the Venus in Sole visa," were purchased conjunction with him, the preparation of after his death by Dr. Worthington, of a new set of astronomical tables. From Emmanuel College, subsequently Vicar some expressions in this it may be conof Hackney, and a copy of the “Venus,” |jectured that he felt hurt at the ignorant lent by him to the astronomer Hartlib, comments of his neighbours, and his having found its way into the hands of resentment against his false guide LansHevelius, was published by the latter in berg, which occasionally transgresses the 1662. The Royal Society, just instituted limits of what would be considered courin England, immediately took cognizance tesy at the present day, is another indicaof the remainder of the MSS., and having tion of a sensitive spirit. When we add obtained these from Dr. Worthington, to these traits the self-denial manifested placed them in the hands of Dr. Wallis, 'on occasion of the transit, and in the
temporary renunciation of his astronomi-, St. Gall. The reformation was then but bi cal researches in deference to the claims, Iginning to gain any hold upon the inhabitan as seems probable, of his family, we must of that town. Kessler could not; therefore, i recognize in Horrox no mere man of
man of that time, obtain a livelihood as a teacher science, but a distinct individuality of
the reformed doctrines. In order to live, singular force and attractiveness. His :
was necessary that he should employ himse
in some handiwork. He chose that of a sai precise place in the scientific world mustdler. He did not, however, neglect that woi be left to astronomers to determine ; it for which he felt he had a calling; and, whi requires, however, no special knowledge he still pursued his trade, he gathered arou of the science to apprehend that the ob-him a small company of the faithiul, taug suure youth who, under every disadvan- them, preached to them, wrote books, an tage, was able to correct Kepler, might, finally became a schoolmaster. if only he could have continued at Cam- / Gustave Freytag says that Kessler was bridge, very probably have rivalled him. man “ of a pure, gentle nature, making no pri In him England lost the promise of an
tension of any kind, with a heart full of mil astronomer of the first class, which loss, licos
"warmth, whu took no active part in the the like many a
", logical controversies of his times.” As Kesi similar one, would have ler's narrative has interested me much, I cur remained absolutely unknown, but for ljecture that it will interest others; and as I ai the fortunate conjunction of his name not aware of its having been hitherto trans with a phenomenon of regular recurrence lated into English, I venture now to do so. and universal interest. If the commem- It begins thus :oration of his great achievement cannot be equally universal, it should at least
As we travelled towards Wittenberg ti transcend merely local limits. Local study the Holy Scriptures, we found our patriotism has done its part well : an selves at Jena, in Thuringia. God know! appropriate memorial has been erected in in what a fearful storm we were caught the Church at Hoole, and we are exceed- and after making many inquiries in thi ingly indebted to Mr. Whatton for his town for an inn where we might rest fo intelligent memoir and valuable transla- the night, we could not find any one tion of the “ Venus in Sole visa.” More, | Everywhere lodging was denied to us however, is demanded, and it would for it was the eve before Ash Wednes redound to the credit of Horrox's coun- day, and no one had much care for pil trymen if, on the December day of 1874. grims and strangers. So we were going when English watchers scan the skies of out of the town again to continue oui another hemisphere for the transit of journey in the hopes of reaching some Venus, Englishmen at home were found village where they would take us for the dedicating a national monument to the night. Then, under the gateway, a re: first observer of the phenomenon in this. spectable man met us, spoke in a friendly
manner to us, and asked where we were going away so late -“ Could we not somewhat nearer, find any house or inn
where we could be received before dark
From Good Words. night should come on? Moreover," he LUTHER AND THE TWO STUDENTS.
said, “the road is one casy to miss ;
therefore he would counsel us to remain The following account of an evening spent where we were.” with Luther, by two poor students, is to be! We answered, “ Dear father, we have found in a work of Gustave Freytag's, one of been at all the inns that any one has told the most renowned writers of Germany, who
us of in this place, but we have been has not only written excellent novels, but has also given to the world a most valuable histor- sent away from all of them, and have ical work called “ Aus dem Jahrhundert der been denied admittance. Thus, we are Reformation.” In the course of his book he obliged to proceed further.” gives an extract from a work that was left in Then he asked us whether we made manuscript by a man of the name of Kessler. any inquiry at the inn with the sign of It is entitled “Sabbatha," and the MS. is to the Black Bear. We replied, “ Dear sir, be found in the library of St. Gall.
we have not met with any such inn. Tell John Kessler was born at St. Gall of poor
poor | us where we shall find it." Whereupon parents, in the year 1502. He studied theol
The pointed it out to us, a little way from ogy at Basle, and in the spring of the year 1522 travelled with a companion to Witten
the town. And as we came and saw the berg, in the hope of being taught theology by Black Bear,
hv | Black Bear, behold, though all the other some one of the great reformers. In the au- innkeepers had refused us shelter, on tumn of 1523 he returned to his native town, the contrary, the landlord of the Black