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not a word concerning the true system of the world, attributed to this Pythagoras; and it must be confessed, that it is by no means to an aversion to beans that we owe the calculations which at present demonstrate the motion of the earth and planets generally.
The famous Arian Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, in his Evangelical Preparation, expresses himself thus “ All the philosophers declare that the earth is in a state of repose; but Philolaus, the peripatetic, thinks that it moves round fire in an oblique circle, like the sun and the moon."
This gibberish has nothing in common with the sublime truths taught us by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and above all by Newton.
As to the pretended Aristarchus of Samos, who it is asserted developed the discoveries of the Chaldeans in regard to the motion of the earth and other planets, he is so obscure, that Wallace has been obliged to play the commentator from one end of him to the other, in order to render him intelligible.
Finally, it is very much to be doubted whether the book, attributed to this Aristarchus of Samos, really belongs to him. It has been strongly suspected that the enemies of the Newtonian philosophy have constructed this forgery in favour of their casuist. It is not only in respect to old charters that similar forgeries are resorted to. This Aristarchus of Samos is also the more to be suspected, Plutarch accuses him of bigotry and malevolent hypocrisy, in consequence of being imbued with a directly contrary opinion. The following are the words of Plutarch, in his piece of absurdity entitled * The round Aspect of the Moon.' Aristarchus the Samian said, “ that the Greeks ought to punish Cleanthes of Samos, who suggested that the heavens were immoveable, and that it is the earth which travels through the zodiac by turning on its axis."
They will tell me, that even this passage proves that the system of Copernicus was already in the head of Cleanthes and others. What imports it whether Aris
* Page 850, folio edition,
tarchus the Samian was of the opinion of Cleanthes, or his accuser, as the jesuit Skeiner was subsequently of Galileo's? It equally follows, that the true system of the present day was known to the ancients.
I reply No; but that a very slight part of this system was vaguely surmised by heads better organized than the rest. Í further answer, that it was never received or taught in the schools, and that it never formed a body of doctrine. Attentively peruse this • Face of the Moon' of Plutarch, and you will find, if you look for it, the doctrine of gravitation; but the true author of a system is he who demonstrates it.
We will not take away from Copernicus the honour of this discovery. Three or four words brought to light in an old author, which exhibit some distant glimpse of his system, ought not to deprive him of the glory of the discovery.
Let us admire the great rule of Kepler, that the revolutions of the planets round the sun are in proportion .to the cubes of their distances.
Let us still more admire the profundity, the justness, and the invention of the great Newton, who alone discovered the fundamental reasons of these laws unknown to all antiquity, which have opened the eyes of mankind to a new heaven.
Petty compilers are always to be found, who dare to become the enemies of their age. They string together passages from Plutarch and Athenæus, to prove that we have no obligations to Newton, to Halley, and to Bradley. They trumpet forth the glory of the ancients, whom they pretend have said everything, and they are so imbecile as to think that they divide the glory by publishing it. They twist an expression of Hippocrates, in order to persuade us that the Greeks were acquainted with the circulation of the blood, better than Harvey. Why not also assert, that the Greeks were possessed of better muskets and field-pieces; that they threw bomb-shells farther, had better printed books, and much finer engravings? That they excelled in oil-painting, possessed looking-glasses of crystal, telescopes, microscopes, and thermometers ? All this may be found out by men, who assure us that Solomon, who possessed not a single sea-port, sent fleets to America, and so forth.
One of the greatest detractors of modern times, is a person named Dutens, who finished by compiling a libel, as infamous as insipid, against the philosophers of the present day. This libel is entitled the “Tocsin,' but he had better have called it his clock, as no one came to his aid, and he has only tended to increase the number of the Zoilusses who, being unable to produce anything themselves, spit their venom upon all who by their productions do honour to their country and benefit mankind.
TABOR, OR THABOR, A FAMOUS mountain in Judea, often alluded to in general conversation. It is not true that this mountain is a league and a half high, as mentioned in certain dictionaries. There is no mountain in Judea so elevated; Tabor is not more than six hundred feet high, but it appears loftier, in consequence of its situation on a vast plain.
The Tabor of Bohemia is still more celebrated by the resistance which the imperial armies encountered from Ziska. It is from thence that they have given the name of Tabor to entrenchments formed with carriages.
The Taborites, a sect very similar to the Hussites, also take their name from the latter mountain.
TALISMAN, an Arabian word, signifies properly consecration. The same thing as 'telesma,' or 'philactery,' a preservative charm, figure, or character: a superstition which has prevailed at all times and among all people. It is usually a sort of medal, cast and stamped under the ascendancy of certain constellations. The famous talisman of Catherine de Medicis still exists.
TARTUFFE, a name invented by Molière, and now adopted in all the languages of Europe to signify hypocrites, who make use of the cloak of religion. “He is a Tartuffe; he is a true Tartuffe.”
Tartuferie, a new word formed from Tartuffe--the action of a hypocrite, the behaviour of a hypocrite, the knavery of a false devotee; it is often used in the disputes concerning the bull Unigenitus.
The taste, the sense by which we distinguish the flavour of our food, has produced in all known languages the metaphor expressed by the word 'taste'-a feeling of beauties and defects in all the arts. It is a quick perception, like that of the tongue and the palate, and in the same manner anticipates consideration. Like the mere sense, it is sensitive and luxuriant in respect to the good, and rejects the bad spontaneously; in a similar way it is often uncertain, divided, and even ignorant whether it ought to be pleased : lastly, and to conclude the resemblance, it sometimes requires to be formed and corrected by habit and experience,
To constitute taste, it is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it. Neither will it suffice to feel and be affected in a confused or ignorant manner; it is necessary to disitnguish the different shades; nothing ought to escape the promptitude of its discernment: and this is another instance of the resemblance of taste, the sense, to intellectual taste; for an epicure will quickly feel and detect a mixture of two liquors, as the man of taste and connoisseur will, with a single glance, distinguish the mixture of two styles, or a defect by the
side of a beauty. He will be enthusiastically moved with this verse in the Horatii :
Que voulez vous qu'il fit contre trois ?-Qu'il mourut!
What have him do 'gainst three ?-Die!
Act iii. sc. 6. Or, whether aided by a fine despair. As a physical bad taste consists in being pleased only with high seasoning and curious dishes, so a bad laste in the arts is pleased only with studied ornament, and feels not the pure beauty of nature.
A depraved taste in food is gratified with that which disgusts other people: it is a species of disease. A depraved taste in the arts is to be pleased with subjects which disgust accomplished minds, and to prefer the burlesque to the noble, and the finical and the affected to the simple and natural: it is a mental disease. A taste for the arts is however much more a thing of formation than physical taste; for although in the latter we sometimes finish by liking those things, to which we had in the first instance a repugnance, nature seldom renders it necessary for men in general to learn what is necessary to them in the way of food, whereas intellectual taste requires time to duly form it. A sensible young man may not, without science, distinguish at once the different parts of a grand choir of music; in a fine picture his eyes at first sight may not perceive the gradation, the chiaroscuro perspective, agreement of colours, and correctness of design; but by little and little his ears will learn to hear and his eyes to see. He will be affected at the first representation of a fine tragedy, but he will not perceive the merit of the unities, nor the delicate management which allows no one to enter or depart without a sufficient reason, nor that still greater art which concentrates all the interests in a single one; nor, lastly, will he be aware of the difficulties over
It is only by habit and reflection, that he arrives spontaneously at that which he was not able to distin