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that many times they fly in numberless troops, or swarms, and for sundry days together before they fall, are seen over those places in great high clouds, such as coining nearer, are of extension enough to obscure the day, and hinder the light of the sun.
From which, together with divers other such relations, he concludes that 'tis not altogether improbable they should proceed from the moon. Thus likewise he supposeth the swallows, cuckoos, nightingales, with divers other fowl, which are with us only half the year, to fly up thither, when they go from us. Amongst which kind, there is a wild-swan in the East Indies, which at certain seasons of the year do constantly take their flight thither. Now this bird being of great strength, able to continue for a long flight, as also going usually in flocks, like our wild-geese ; he supposeth that many of them together might be taught to carry the weight of a man; especially if an engine were 80 contrived (as he thinks it might) that each of them should bear an equal share in the burden. So that by this means 'tis easily conceivable, how once every year a man might finish such a voyage; going along with these birds at the beginning of winter, and again returning with them at the spring
And here, one that had a strong fancy, were better able to set forth the great benefit and pleasure to be had by such a journey. And that whether you consider the strangeness of the persons, language, arts, policy, religion of those inhabit. ants, together with the new traffic that might be brought thence. In brief, do but consider the pleasure and profit of those later discoveries in America, and we must needs conclude this to be inconceivably beyond it.
is celebrated by many authors. Walchius: affirms it to be of so great a swiftness for its motion, and yet of so great a capacity for its burden : “Ut in medio freto secundis ventis commissas naves, velocitate multis parasangis post se relinquat, et paucarum horarum spatio, viginti aut triginta milliaria Germanica continuo cursu emetiatur, concreditosque sibi plus minus vectores sex aut decem, in petitum locum transferat, facillimo illius ad clavum qui sedet nutu, quaqua versum minimo labore velis commissum, mirabile hoc continenti currus navigium dirigentis." That it did far exceed the speed of any ship, though we should suppose it to be carried in the open sea with never so prosperous wind : and that in some few hours' space it would convey six or . seven persons, twenty or thirty German miles, and all this with very little labour of him that sitteth at the stern, who may easily guide the course of it as he pleaseth.
That eminent inquisitive man Peireskius, having travelled to Sceveling for the sight and experience of this chariot, would frequently after with much wonder mention the extreme swiftness of its motion. 3« Commemorare solebat stuporem quo correptus fuerat vento translatus citatissimo non persentiscere tamen, nempe tam citus erat quam ventus." Though the wind were in itself very swift and strong, yet to passengers in this chariot it would not be at all discernible, because they did go with an equal swiftness to the wind itself: men that ran before it seeming to go backwards, things which seem at a great distance being presently overtaken and left behind. In two hours' space it would pass from Sceveling to Putten, which are distant from one another above fourteen horaria milliaria, (saith the same author), that is, more than two and forty miles.
Grotius is very copious and elegant in the celebration of this invention, and the author of it in divers epigrams.
“Ventivolam Tiphys deduxit in æquora navim,
Jupiter in stellas, æthereamque domum.
Tiphy tuum fuerat, nec Jovis istud opus."
"Imposuit plaustro vectantem carbasa malam
An potius navi subdidit ille rotas ?
Et merito dicas, h c volat, illa natat." These relations did at the first seem unto me, (and perhaps they will so to others) somewhat strange and incredible. But upon farther enquiry, I have heard them frequently attested from the particular eyesight and experience of such eminent persons, whose names I dare not cite in a business of this nature, which in those parts is so very common and little observed.
I have not met with any author who doth treat particularly concerning the manner of framing this chariot, though
Another of Dr. Wilkins's books is a series of amusing exercises in what he calls Mixed Mathematics, first printed while he was at Oxford, and republished in 1680. He entitled it “ Mathematical Magick,” or the wonders that may be performed by mechanical geometry. Its first part, called “ Archimedes,” illustrates powers of the lever, wheel, pulley, wedge, and screw, and one chapter in it is said in its title to be “concerning the infinite strength of wheels, pulleys, and screws; that it is possible by the multitude of these, to pull up any oak by the roots with a hair, lift it up with a straw, or blow it up with one's breath ; or to perform the greatest labour with the least power.'
The second part, called “Dædalus,” abounds in suggestion of mechanical motions. Here are two :
Of a Sailing Chariot, that may without Horses driven on the
Land by the Wind, as Ships are on the Sea. The force of wind in the motion of sails may be applied also to the driving of a chariot, by which a man may sail on the land, as well as by a ship on the water. The labour of horses or other beasts, which are usually applied to this purpose, being artificially supplied by the strength of winds.
That such chariots are commonly used in the champion plains of China, is frequently affirmed by divers credible authors. Boterus mentions that they have been tried also in Sprin, though with what success he doth not specify. But above all other experiments to this purpose, that sailing chariot at Sceveling in Holland, is more eminently remarkable. It was made by the direction of Stephinus, and
Fabularum Decas," Fab. 9. 3. " Pet. Gassendus vita Peireskii," 1. 2.
• “Grotii Poemata," Ep. 19. This quotation and the next are from the second book of Epigrams in the collected poems of Grotius, that book consisting entirely of twenty-two epigrams on the sailing chariots made for Prince Maurice of Nassau, Captain-General of the United States of Holland, by Simon Stevin of Bruges, who had been his teacher in mathematics, and who was made by him superintendent of the dykes. He died in 1635, and was the inventor of the sailing chariots, used afterwards for some time upon the Dutch plains and frozen canals. This epigram says: Tiphys brought down the sailing ship into the seas, Jove placed it in the skies, Stevin on earth; that was not your work, Tiphys, nor Jove's.
5 Ep 5. Here two lines at the close of the epigram are added to two from the middle : Did he put on a chariot a mast bearing sa ls, or add wheels to a ship? The ship climbs the water, the chariot runs swiftly with air, and you may rightly say this flies, that swims.
1 "De incremento Urbium," ], 1. c. 10. (The references are given in the margin of his book by Dr. Wilkins.)
four wheels of an equal bigness, with two sails like those in a ship; there being some contrivance to turn and steer it, by moving a rudder which is placed beyond the two hindmost wheels; and for the stopping of it, this must be done, either by letting down the sail, or turning it from the wind.
Of this kind they have frequently in Holland other little vessels for one or two persons to go upon the ice, having sledges instead of wheels, being driven with a sail; the bodies of them like little boats, that if the ice should break, they might yet safely carry a man upon the water, where the sail would be still useful for the motion of it.
I have often thought that it would be worth the experiment to enquire, whether or no such a sailing chariot might not be more conveniently framed with moveable sails, whose force may be impressed from their motion, equivalent to those in a wind-mill. Their foremost wheels (as in other chariots) for the greater facility, being somewhat lower than the other, answerable to this figure.
In which the sails are so contrived, that the wind from any coast will have a force upon them to turn them about ; and the motion of these sails must needs turn the wheels, and consequently carry on the chariot itself to any place (though fully against the wind) whither it shall be directed.
The chief doubt will be, whether in such a contrivance, every little ruggedness or unevenness of the ground, will not
1 Epig. 20, 21.
delightful, or better husbandry, than to make use of the wind (which costs nothing, and eats nothing) instead of horses? This being very easy to be effected by those, the convenience of whose habitations doth accommodate them for such experiments. Concerning the Possibility of Framing an Ark for Submarine
Navigations. The Difficulties and Conveniences of such a Contrivance.
It will not be altogether impertinent unto the discourse of these gradient Automata,2 to mention what Mersennus doth so largely and pleasantly descant upon, concerning the making of a ship, wherein men may safely swim under the water.
That such a contrivance is feasible, and may be effected, is beyond all question, because it hath been already experimented here in England by Cornelius Drebel ; 3 but how to improve it unto public use and advantage, so as to be serviceable for remote voyages, the carrying of any considerable number of men, with provisions and commodities, would be of such excellent use, as may deserve some further enquiry.
3 "Tract. de Magnetis Proprietatibus.”
3 Cornelius van Drebbel, born at Alcmaer, in 1572, died in London 1631. He improved telescopes and microscopes, invented a thermometer, speculated on the possibility of producing rain and cold by machines. He is said to have invented scarlet dyeing, and given the secret to his daughter, whose hus band, Cuffler, first practised the art.
Concerning which there are two things chiefly consider- from it (if need be) to the very surface of the water; and able :
again, as it is pulled close to the ship, so will it descend. The many Difficulties with their Remedies.
For direction of this ark, the Mariners' Needle may be The Great Conveniences.
useful in respect of the latitude of places ; and the course of 1. The difficulties are generally reducible to these three this ship being more regular than others, by reason it is not heads.
subject to tempests or unequal winds, may more certainly 1. The letting out, or receiving in anything, as there shall guide them in judging of the longitude of places. . be occasion, without the admission of water. If it have not 3. But the greatest difficulty of all will be this: how the such a convenience, these kind of voyages must needs be very air will be supplied for respiration : how constant fires may dangerous and uncomfortable, both by reason of many be kept in it for light and the dressing of food; how those noisome, offensive things, which should be thrust out, and vicissitudes of rarefaction and condensation may be main. many other needful things which should be received in. tained. Now herein will consist the difficulty, how to contrive the It is observed, that a barrel or cap, whose cavity will conopening of this vessel so, that anything may be put in or out, tain eight cubical feet of air, will not serve a urinator or and yet the water not rush into it with much violence, as it diver for respiration, above one quarter of an hour; the doth usually in the leak of a ship.
breath which is often sucked in and out, being so corrupted In which case, this may be a proper remedy; let there be by the mixture of vapours, that nature rejects it as unservicecertain leather bags made of several bignesses, which for the able. Now in an hour a man will need at least three hundred matter of them should be both tractable for the use and and sixty respirations, betwixt every one of which there managing of them, and strong to keep cut the water; for the shall be ten second minutes, and consequently a great change figure of them, being long and open at both ends. Answer. and supply of air will be necessary for many persons, and able to these, let there be divers windows, or open places in any long space. the frame of the ship, round the sides of which one end of And so likewise for the keeping of fire; a close vessel conthese bags may be fixed, the other end coming within the taining ten cubical feet of air, will not suffer a wax candle of ship, being to open and shut as a purse. Now if we suppose an ounce to burn in it above an hour before it be suffocated ; this bag thus fastened, to be tied close about towards the though this proportion (saith Mersennus) doth not equally window, then anything that is to be sent out, may be safely increase for several lights, because four flames of an equal put into that end within the ship, which being again close magnitude will be kept alive the space of sixteen second shut, and the other end loosened, the thing may be safely | minutes, though one of these flames alone in the same sent out without the admission of any water.
vessel will not last above thirty-five, or at most thirty So again, when anything is to be taken in, it must be first seconds; which may be easily tried in large glass bottles, received into that part of the bag towards the window, which having wax candles lighted in them, and with their mouths being (after the thing is within it) close tied about, the other inverted in water. end may then be safely opened. It is easy to conceive, how For the resolution of this difficulty, though I will not say, by this means any thing or person may be sent out, or re- that a man may, by custom (which in other things doth proceived in, as there shall be occasion; how the water, which duce such strange incredible effects) be enabled to live in the will perhaps by degrees leak into several parts, may be open water, as the fishes do, the inspiration and expiration of emptied out again, with divers the like advantages. Though water serving instead of air, this being usual with many if there should be any leak at the bottom of this vessel, yet fishes that have lungs; yet it is certain, that long use and very little water would get in, because no air could get out. custom may strengthen men against many such incon
2. The second difficulty in such an ark will be the motion veniences of this kind, which to unexperienced persons may or fixing of it according to occasion: the directing of it to prove very hazardous : and so it will not perhaps be unto several places, as the voyage shall be designed, without these so necessary, to have the air for breathing so pure and which, it would be very useless, if it were to remain only in defecated, as is required for others. one place, or were to remove only blindfold, without any But further, there are in this case these three things con. certain direction: and the contrivance of this may seem very siderable. difficult, because these submarine navigators will want the 1. That the vessel itself should be of a large capacity, that usual advantages of winds and tides for motion, and the as the air in it is corrupted in one part, so it may be purified sight of the heavens for direction.
and renewed in the other; or if the mere refrigeration of the But these difficulties may be thus remedied; as for the air would fit it for breathing, this might be somewhat helped progressive motion of it, this may be effected by the help of with bellows, which would cool it by motion. several oars, which in the outward ends of them, shall be like 2. It is not altogether improbable, that the lamps or fires the fins of a fish to contract and dilate. The passage where in the middle of it, like the reflected beams in the first region, they are admitted into the ship being tied about with such rarefying the air, and the circumambient coldness towards leather bags (as were mentioned before) to keep out the the sides of the vessel, like the second region, cooling and water. It will not be convenient perhaps that the motion in condensing of it, would make such a vicissitude and change these voyages should be very swift, because of those observa- of air, as might fit it for all its proper uses. tions and discoveries to be made at the bottom of the sea, 3. Or if neither of these conjectures will help, yet which in a little space may abundantly recompense the slow- Mersennus? tells us in another place, that there is in France ness of its progress.
one Barrieus a diver, who hath lately found out another art, If this ark be so ballast as to be of equal weight with the whereby a man might easily continue under water for six like magnitude of water, it will then be easily moveable in hours together; and whereas ten cubical feet of air will not any part of it.
As for the ascent of it, this may be easily contrived, if there be some great weight at the bottom of the ship (being
i Urinator, Latin, from “urinari," to plunge under water.
diver. The word was used also by John Ray, a famous hotanist who part of its ballast) which by some cord within may be loosened
was contemporary with John Wilkins. from it: as this weight is let lower, so will the ship ascend 1 "Harmon.," 1. 4., prop. 6., Monit, 5.
serve another diver to breathe in for half an hour, he by the tion did unto me seem ingenious and new, being not imperti. help of a cavity, not above one or two foot at most, will have nent to the present enquiry, therefore I thought it might be breath enough for six hours, and a lanthorn scarce above the worth the mentioning. usual size to keep a candle burning as long as a man please, which (if it be true, and were commonly known) might be a Dr. Wilkins's house was a museum of curiosities, sufficient help against this greatest difficulty.
and his foremost place among scientific inquirers As for the many advantages and conveniences of such a
caused him to be a member of the first Council of contrivance, it is not easy to recite them.
the Royal Society, a society which Cowley honoured 1. 'Tis private; a man may thus go to any coast of the world invisibly, without being discovered or prevented in his journey.
So virtuous and so noble a design, 2. 'Tis safe; from the uncertainty of tides, and the violence
So human for its use, for knowledge so divineof tempests, which do never move the sea above five or six paces deep. From pirates and robbers which do so infest which was incorporated by letters patent, dated the other voyages : from ice and great frosts, which do so much 22nd of April, 1663. It was founded, as its letters endanger the passages towards the poles.
patent said, to advance “philosophical studies, es3. It may be of very great advantage against a navy of pecially those which endeavour by solid experiments enemies, who by this means may be undermined in the water, either to reform or improve philosophy.” Soon afterand blown up.
wards Dr. Wilkins became Dean of Ripon, and in 4. It may be of special use for the relief of any place that November, 1668, he was consecrated Bishop of is besieged by water; to convey unto them invisible supplies ;
Chester. That was four years before his death. and so likewise for the surprisal of any place that is accessible
It was in April, 1668, that Robert Boyle left by water.
Oxford for London. Among his Oxford friends, , 5. It may be of unspeakable benefit for submarine experi
besides Dr. Wilkins, had been Dr. John Wallis and ments and discoveries ; as, the several proportions of swift
Dr. Seth Ward, the Savilian Professors of Geoness betwixt the ascent of a bladder, cork, or any other light
metry and Astronomy; Christopher Wren, then a substance, in comparison to the descent of stones or lead.
Fellow of All Souls; and other men of science, among The deep caverns, and subterraneous passages, where the sea
whom Boyle worked in his own way.
He invented water, in the course of its circulation, doth vent itself into
the air-pump at this time. The first conception of other places, and the like. The nature and kinds of fishes, the several arts of catching them, by alluring them with
the air-pump is to be ascribed to Otto Guericke, a lights, by placing divers nets about the sides of this vessel,
magistrate of Magdeburg, who constructed a rude shooting the greater sort of them with guns, which may be
machine about the year 1654, and showed experiput out of the ship by the help of such bags as were mentioned
ments. Robert Boyle was at work in the same before, with divers the like artifices and treacheries, which
direction a little later. He had in his house as an may be more successfully practised by such who live so
assistant an ingenious man, Robert Hooke, who had familiarly together. These fish may serve not only for food, been recommended to him by Dr. Thomas Willis, the but for fuel likewise, in respect of that oil which may be
physician. In 1658 or 1659 Hooke perfected Boyle's extracted from them; the way of dressing meat by lamps, instrument, and produced an air-pump far surpassing being in many respects the most convenient for such a the machine of Otto Guericke. Robert Hooke was voyage.
made first Curator of Experiments to the Royal The many fresh springs that may probably be met with in Society, and in 1664 its Professor of Mechanics. the bottom of the sea, will serve for the supply of drink, Robert Boyle, born. in 1626, the year of Bacon's and other occasions.
death, was the fourteenth child of Richard Boyle, But above all, the discovery of submarine treasures is more Earl of Cork, who, with convenient opportunities, especially considerable; not only in regard of what hath had gained large estates and an Earldom by taking been drowned by wrecks, but the several precious things that advantage of the political condition of Ireland. In grow there; as pearl, coral, mines; with innumerable other
1643, when the Earl died, Robert was a youth of things of great value, which may be much more easily found
seventeen, who had been educated at Eton and out, and fetched up by the help of this, than by any other Geneva. With estate enough bequeathed to him, he usual way of the urinators.
followed the bent of his mind, and joined a deep * To which purpose, this great vessel may have some lesser
religious feeling to a keen study of nature by way cabins tied about it, at various distances ; wherein several
of experiment. Boyle published many little books persons, as scouts, may be lodged for the taking of observations, according as the admiral shall direct them; some of
that set forth the results of his inquiries or mainthem being frequently sent up to the surface of the water, as
tained the union of science with religion. He never there shall be occasion.
named God without a reverent pause ; refused to take All kinds of arts and manufactures may be exercised in
orders with assurance of high church promotion ; this vessel. The observations made by it, may be both
declined also the Presidency of the Royal Society written, and (if need were) printed here likewise. Several
because, although a Churchman, he would not be colonies may thus inhabit, having their children born, and
bound by test and oaths on taking office. He bred up without the knowledge of land, who could not choose
declined the Provostship of Eton, and several times but be amazed with strange conceits upon the discovery of
refused a peerage.
He remained unmarried until this upper world.
his death, in 1691, his elder sister, Lady Ranelagh, I am not able to judge what other advantages there may being his lifelong friend and housekeeper. He be suggested, or whether experiment would fully answer to survived her only a week. these notional conjectures. But, however, because the inven- In 1665 Boyle published some “Occasional Re
flections upon several subjects : whereto is premised to discern and relish such things; not only these, I say, will a Discourse about such kind of Thoughts." He had have a quite other opinion of the rural praises, and antique
ceremonies that were so well liked a hundred miles from London; but this countryman himself, if he were admitted to the Court and bred a while there, would in time see so great a distance betwixt what he has done, and what a person better bred might have done, that he could not remember without blushes, what he now looks upon with triumph.
And now I must on this occasion confess to you, Pyrocles, that I have (on other rises') several times been revolving in my thoughts, what the angels think of those praises and descriptions of God that men devise (for I intend not here to speak of those the Scripture suggests) and wherein we are most applauded by others, and do oftentimes perchance applaud ourselves. For those celestial courtiers (if I may so call them) have several advantages to assist them in the celebration of our common Master, which we poor mortals want. For first, they are free from those selfish and inordi. nate affections that too often hinder us either from discerning the excellency of divers of God's attributes and ways, or from duly acknowledging it. They have no sins to keep them from descrying the justness of what He does; they have no ingratitude to oppose the fuller resentments of His goodness; and they are not tempted not to discern and adore His wisdom, for fear they should appear culpable for repining at His dis
pensations. And, indeed, their longevity allowing them the ROBERT BOYLE.
full prospect from end to end of those intricate transactions From the Frontispiece to his " Motives and Incentives to the Love of God," of Providence of which short-lived mortals do commonly see
but a part; they are questionless far more satisfied with the written them early in life, but here is one upon the
incomparably better contrivances they discern in the manageoccasion of the Coronation of Charles II. :
ment of human affairs, than we are with the conduct of plots of the most skilfully written plays and romances. Besides,
those happy spirits, of whom the Scripture tells us that they AN OCCASIONAL REFLECTION
stand before God and that they continually see His face, have Upon a Letter (received in April, 1662), containing an Account by that privilege, the blessed opportunities of discovering in the
of what passed on the King's Coronation Day, in a little Deity they contemplate and serve, many excellences which Country Town.
even they could never but by experience have formed any I need not, Pyrocles, after what we have been reading, tell thoughts of; and they see in one another's solemn adorations you that the writer of this letter thinks that both in what he and praises, a way of honouring the object of them so much has said of the king, and what he has done to solemnize his transcending the utmost of what we here aim at, that their coronation, he has behaved himself rarely well. For I doubt homages to their Creator may well be supposed of a far not, but you easily discern by his way of writing, that he is nobler kind than ours. And lastly, when I consider how much highly satisfied with his performances, and expects that he less unworthy thoughts and expressions touching things shall, if not be thanked by the king, at least be mentioned in divine the same person may have, when come to his full the news-book. But it will, I fear, be requisite to tell you maturity of age and parts, and whilst he was but a child in that this honest man is not alone of his mind; for being his both; and when I consider, how much more advantageous landlord's bailiff, he is esteemed at that rate by his neigh- conceptions of the wisdom displayed in the universe, and bours, and looked upon as a man very considerable in his particularly in the contrivance of a human body, one that is parish; and is perhaps thought to have a right to pity most a true philosopher and a skilful anatomist may have, in of those that do not admire what he has now been doing. comparison of a man illiterate and unacquainted with dissecAnd yet, you and I, who pretend not to be courtiers, can, in tions: When, I say, I consider these things, and compare his rural encomiums, and in his ill-contrived way of honour. the dim twilight of human intellects in this life, with that ing his prince, easily discover so much that might have been clear and radiant light which the Scripture ascribes to mended, and so much that might be laughed at, that, if the angels, I cannot but think, that, having to the privilege of a king, according to his wonted graciousness, vouchsafe this much nearer access than is allowed us to contemplate God's action his smiles, it must not be in consideration of the suit- perfections, the advantage of having incomparably more ableness of the performances to the occasion, but, partly as illuminated intellects to apprehend them with, they must they proceed from a hearty, though ill-expressed, loyalty and frame otherguess conceptions of the Divine attributes, and love, and partly as they afford him a subject of merriment. glorify the possessor at an otherguess rate, than is allowed to And not only the nice critics, who have seen those magni. those, whose understandings are so dim, and whose residence ficent solemnities, and heard the eloquent panegyrics, where- is so remote from that blessed place, where the perfections with the principal cities and assemblies in the nation have they would extol are most displayed. thought they did but part of what they should ; and not only Assisted by these and the like advantages, Pyrocles, those those assiduous courtiers who, by the honour of a nearer happy spirits may well frame notions and employ expressions access, have opportunities (denied to others) of discovering in honour of their Maker, so far transcending ours that, those particularities that may best give a high veneration for a great person and a great prince, to those that are qualified
1 Rises, heights.