Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

bad with him on the day of his death; equation of the moon's motion with
and which I have the honour to send suficient certainty.
you in this letter.

Saying afterwards that he had under-
The life of our incomparable Euler Atood that the trials I had made with
bad becn one continual scene of the MR. DE MAGELLAN's inftrument, in-
molt sublime researches into every part vented to measure the distance of the
of the mathematics: even during the moon from the fixed stars, &c. had been
Last days of his life, when the dizzi- fufficiently correct, he desired a descrip-
ness ct his head prevented him frontion of the construction of that inftru--
inaking calculations, his inind did not rent (the circular inftrument) and asked
ceafe from being occupied in medi- what were the principal advantages to
zating on different subjects, and even be derived from it, which gave him.
the most delicate paris of the mathe- occasion to make some reflections on,
matics, as I myself hare been witness, the use of instruments employed at sea.
in the converfarion 1 had with this ea I then spoke to him of the method:
cellent mathematician a few hours be- of combining eye glasies in a telefcope,
fore he was seised with the fatal Itroke practised by MR. HERSCHEL; of
that put an end to a life so useful and which Mr. De MAGELLAN had sent
fo glorious to humanity. And as the me an account: he was very delirous
lait moments of the existence of great to learn what effect these eye glafles
men do not fail to excite curiosity, I had; and if, by magnifying three or,
am persuaded that the recital of what fix thousand times, it would not be
palled in our conversation will give impɔllible to discern any thing diftinet-
pleasure to those who knew the greatly for want of light.
incrits of the deceased.

Talking afterwards upon the princis After speaking concerning the state ples on which the acrostatic globes are of his heath, he began a conversacion, conttructed, he remarked that it was 2: by alking ine if I had read the pieces curious mathematical problem to dea which have been given in, relating to termine the motion of such a globe, the astronomical question concerning from knowing the proportion between the diurnal motion of the earth: and the density of the air contained in the when I told him some things concerne globe and of the common air. He obing these meinoirs, he allured me he ferved also, that supposing this proporwas persuaded that the only circum- tion to be as one to trun, the greatelt itance capable of producing any change velocity of the globe would be fi feet in the rotation of the earth was the in a second*. retiltance o, the ether, and as the efect During the time we were at tabla, of this resistance would lengthen the he discoursed of the new planet difcoriine of the diurnal resolution, it vered by Mr. Herschel, and enquired. would consequently Morten the length it any body had yet conitructed tables. of the year; and in comparing the an of its motion. cieot oversation concerning the length I lus did the greatest and most ilof the year with the modern ones, he luftrious inathematician of our age blieved it might be nearly discovered finith his course; having preserved, if there was really any change in the until the moment that he was ftruck duration of the diurnal resolution: with the apoplexy that terminated his for, ii the duration of the diurnal ro existence, that strength of mind, and arion had suffered any alteration, it folidity of judgement which had al-, must appear in making thefe compari- ways been so conspicuous in him; even fons. When I observed to him, that his last moments were not unworthy much dependence could not be placed of a life to illustrious and glorious! on the obiervations of the ancients, he He has lett a prodigious quantity of replied, that from some ancient ob- works, not yet printed, which' tre ervations MAYEB had found a fecular Imperial Academy of Sciences, at le.'

tersburgh, * He bad, in the morning of the day on which he died, made calculations concerning the motivi ai

the acrostatic globcz, which a tricod comunitted to writing

to me.

tersburgh, mean to insert in their ance, which has given me much plca. annual publications.

fure. This worthy gentleman is much (Signed) A. LEXELL. afficted at the sudden death of my

father. He had asked permission to

aslift in the evening at a lecture, which Extrait of a Letter from Mr. John Albert my deceased father gave regularly to · Euler, Secretary to the Imperial Aca- his pupils. My father, who took a demy of Sciences at Petersburgh, di- pleasure in conversing with the Marquis

, recied to Mr. J. H. de Magellan, F. answered him that he did him honour. R. S. with the Account of the Death The Marquis called three days after, of bis Father, Leonard Euler, the and judge of his confternation, when famous Mathematician. Dated St. Pe- one of my nephews met him on the tersburgh, it Sept. 1783.

stair-case, and told him of the death of

my father. He turned back in great I Take up the pen to announce to hafte, and I have not seen him tince * you, my dear friend and brother aca Immediately upon the death of my demician, an event extremely afličting father, the members of the Imperial

My father, after a most vir- Academy of Sciences, in a meeting in tuous and glorious life of seventy-six which I was not permitted to aifft, years, has paid the debt of nature. He resolved unanimously to erect a monefinished his days on the 7th of Sept. ment to their deceased Senior. Mr. old stile, by a fit of the apoplexy, which De Stehlin, the most antient academisurprised him at a time when he was cian next to my father, read a discourse employed in making new discoveries; in memory of the deceased; and fix of and he was, at that moment, enter the principal academicians, disciples of taining himself with his friends. His my father, agreed to carry the corpfe to end was as peaceable as his life: he had the grave. The interment took place but just time to say je me meurs [I die] the day before yesterday in the evening, from which time till the moment of at the Protestant church of St. Paul; his dissolution, which was a few hours and the assembly was the most crouded afterwards, he was deprived of sense and brilliant imaginable. and motion.

My dear Sir! I trust you will take I beg of you, my dear Sir, to notify a sensible part in my affliction, which this melancholy event to the Royal is extreme; and I flatter myself that Society of London; and principally to you will continue to me your friend. the Commiflioners for determining the ship, and hope you will not doubt of longitude at fea. Allure all those gen. my reciprocal sentiments. I am, with tlemen of the perfect gratitude that my the most perfect esteem, deceased father bore, towards thein, to Your very humble, the moment of his death, for the

And very obliged fervant, friendship and benevolence with which

JEAN ALBERT EULER. they recompenfed his labours.

I had forgotten, my dear friend, to As every philosopher and mathemaacquaint you, in my last letter, that tician muit feel themselves affected at the Marquis D'Arconati had sent me the death of this truly great man, we your letter, upon his arrival in this think that we are much indebted to city; and to thank you for the obliga. Mr. Magellan for his communication tion conferred on me by his acquaint- of these two letters.

* The Marquis came to pay a visit to Mr. J. A. Euler, before this letter was sealed up, and are te these few lines in it to M. Magellan. “I do not know how to thank you, my dear and rcpctible tri for the acquaintance which you have procured me with Mr. J. A. Euler, whom I criem mich for his talents and great merit; and to whom I have very great obligations. Be atsured of my Grabitude, and do me the favour to continue me in your frienuihip, and believe me to be

“ Your very humble burrans,

(Signed, « PAUL D'ARCONATI."

PHILOSOPHY.

PHILOSOPHY. AN ACCOUNT OF THE LATE METEORS WHICH HAVE BEEN

SEEN IN ENGLAND; TOGETHER WITH AN HISTORICAL RELATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH HAVE BEEN RECORDED CONCERNING METEORS OF THE SAME KIND DURING THE LAST AND PRESENT CEN.

TURIES: Celledled from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, the Me

moirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, and other periodical Publications, both foreign and domestic. To which are added the opinions of some of the most ce

lebrated Philosophers concerning the nature and properties of these Meteors. OUR UR knowledge of meteors is to the 17th of Nov. N. S. 1623. On

fcanty, and they make their this day (says he) a fery meteor was appearance under such a variety of feen, or a burning ball, flying over all forms, have such different motions, Germany from west to eaft. În Autria and are attended with so many and they say it gave a sound like a clap of fuch various circumstances, that a col- thunder, which I cannot think is true; lection of all the circumstances that for the descriptions that are extant do have been observed concerning them not confirm it. most be very defi reable. It will more I meet with no more of this fort of aver appear froin some of the following meteor, until the year 1676, which, relations that they are not merely the like the present year, was fruitful in innocent and harmless sports of nature, productions of this kind. The famous which most people have hitherto taken Montanari, profeffor of Mathematics them to be, but that they may, and, at Bononia in Italy, describes very parindeed, sometimes have been attended ticularly, an exceeding reinarkable one 'with danger, and, in one instance, have that appeared there about an hour and done mischief; nor are we by any three quarters after fun-fet, on the zift means certain that other ships have not of March, N. S. He informs us that perished at fea by their means, although at Bononia its greatest altitude was that from which we have this well 38°, and it happened when the meteor authenticated relation, happily escaped. bore S. S. E.At Sienna its greatest On all these accounts, they must be al. altitude was 58°, and happened when lowed objects not only of curious and the meteor bore N. N. W. That is philofophical, but of useful enquiry course, by the concurrence of all the likewise: I fhall, therefore, endeavour observers, was from E. N. E. to W. S. to collect the best and most authentic W. That it came over the Adriatic sea, accounts that I can meet with of the as if from Dalmatia, croffed over all feveral remarkable meteors, or fire-balls, Italy, and was nearly vertical at Riwhich have hitherto been observed in mini, on one side, and at Leghorn on different parts of the world. I shall the other. That in all places near its next relate such facts concerning the course, it was heard to make a noise Jate meteors, and such obfervations of like a ky-rocket, or to hiss through the them as have come to my knowledge; air like a train of gunpowder when 'I shall afterwards deduce such infe- fired. That at Leghorn it was heard rences as these observations seem to

to give a great report, louder than that point out; and, lastly, give the opi- of a large cannon, and lastly, that from nions which learned men have enter- 'this place it went oif to sea, towards tained concerning them, so far as I Corsica. have been able to collect from the Phi The next of which we meet any aclofophical Transactions, and other pub- count, happened September 20th, 1676, lications of the times when meteors and is recorded in the 13th number fimilar to these have appeared. of the Philofophical Tranfactions, by

The first meteor of this kind that I that eminent mathenatician Dr. Wal. can meet with any account of, is one lis; who relates that “ about fer en defcribed by Kepler, that happened on o'clock in the evening, or foon after, Lond. Mac. Nov. 1783.

3 M

ther

there appeared a sudden light equal to In the year 1686, and on the 9th that of noon day; and above, in the day of July, 0. S. at half an hour past air, at no great distance as was sup- one in the morning, another meteor pofed, a long appearance of fire, with was seen at Leipfic. This meteor, as a great knob at the end of it, shooting it is described by Mr. Kirch, in his along very swiftly.” Atfits disappear- German Ephemerides for the year ing, it seemed to break into small 1688, was very remarkable: for he refparks, like those of a rocket, or other lates that it appeared like a ball of fire, artificial fire-works, when they burst. with a long tail, in 8ļo of Aquarius, It was so surprizing, and of such short and 4° to the north; where it conticontinuance, that it was scarcely seen nued immoveable for the space of half by any but those who happened then to a quarter of an hour. Its diameter was be abroad. “ I am told (says he) by nearly equal to the semi-diameter of fome, that it scarcely continued longer the moon. At first, its light was so that while one may tell 15, or 20 at great that one might see to read by it mort.” This meteor was seen nearly at without a candle, but it diminished by the same instant of time in most parts degrees, and at last entirely vanished, of England; namely, at Oxford, and without removing out of the place many parts of Oxfordshire; in Nor- where it was first seen. The same thing

thamptonshire, Gloucestershire, Wor was seen by others, about the same cestershire, Somersetshire, Devonshire, time, in different places, particularly at

Hampshire, Sussex, Surry, Kent, Ellex, Schlaize, a town about eleven German and particularly by the watermen on miles from Leipsic, almoft due south, the 'Thames, between London and and at an altitude of about 60° above Gravesend. Dr. Wallis further recites, the horizon. As the sun was, at the that he was not able to conclude which time when this meteor appeared, in .way thic motion of this strange meteor about 2610 of Cancer, the meteor must was; as the surprize it caused in the have been seen about S. by W. and, beholders, and the shortness of its ap- by its declination, it could not have pearance, prevented them from re

been more than 24° high at Leipfic, inarhing this circumstance distinctly, when it is said to be about 60° high One who saw it between Brackley and at Schlaize, from which data it may eally Banbury in Northamptonshire thought be inferred that it was about seven it moved towards the S.W. On the such miles high. Though Mr. Kirch contrary, an observer between Winchef fays it remained stationary for half a ter and Southampton faid its motion quarter of an hour, yet it appears, by was S. E. and therefore nothing can be a figure of it, which he has

given, that concluded with certainty on this head. it mored obliquely downwards, towards

On the 22d of May, 1680, 0. S. the S. W. and, when it ended, left about three o'clock in the morning, a behind it two very faint globules or meteor of this kind was seen at Leipfic nodes of light. in Germany. It was seen there de Mr. H. Barham thus describes a me. scending with a considerable degree of teor which he happened to see in Jarapidity towards the north, and left maica about the year 1700:-“ As I a long white itreak behind it, where it was riding one morning from my hapalied. The fame ineteor was seen, bitation, which is situated about three and about the same time, at Hamburg, miles N. W. of St. Jago de la Vega, I Lubeck, and Stralsund; every one of saw a ball of fire, that appeared to me which are about forty German miles to be about the fize of a bomb, falling froin Leipsic. But, on account of the down swiftly with a great blaze. I tiine of the night when this meteor thought it fell into the town; but made its appearance, it was not seen when I came within a quarter of a by any person capable of describing its mile of it, a little to the southward, in path, and the circumtances which at the Savannah, I saw a number of peoiended it. It must, however, have ple gathered together, and admiring brea exceeding high.

The frange manner in which the ground

1

Was

was ploughed up, and torn by a fire thought that it fell within three or four ball, which they said had fallen there. furlongs from them; and that it went I observed there were many holes in out with bright sparklings at the small the ground; one in the middle, about end. A very ingenious clergyman af. as large as a man's head, and five or sured me, that it was the ftrangest de. fix smaller ones round it, about the ceptio visus he was ever sensible of, if fize of his fift; and so deep, especially it was not absolutely extinguished the largest, as not to be fathomed by within a very few paces of him; and the longest sticks they had at hand. yet it was seen many miles to the The grass was entirely burnt up about north of the place where he saw it. the holes; and a ftrong smell of ful This meteor was seen in many parts phur remained for some time afterward. of the counties of Derby and Notting

There had been a very terrible rainy ham, as well as Lancaster and York. night before this happened, with much But of all the meteors that I can find lightening, and great claps of thunder.” recorded, that which passed over Eng

In the Philosophical Transactions, land, and some parts of France, on the No. 341, p. 159, Dr. Halley describes !9th of March 1719, about cight o'clock a meteor of this kind that was seen in in the evening, and described by Dr. England on the 31st of July, 1708, Halley, in the 360th number of the 0. S. between nine and ten o'clock at Philosophical Transactions, is the most night. It was seen at London, moving remarkable. The late Sir Hans Sloane horizontally from E. by N. to E. by was paffing eastward, by the N. E. S. at least 50° high; and also at Red corner of Southampton-itreet, Bloomfgrave in Suffolk, which is at lealt 40 bury Square, London, and was sudmiles to the eastward of London, a lit- denly surprized by a strong light, much tle to the wettward of the south, and greater than that of the moon, which about 30° high, sliding obliquely down. then shone very bright; and turning wards. From these two observations, round to the westward, from whence Dr. Halley computes that this meteor the light came, he saw something, was about 40 miles above the surface which he at first mislook for rockets. of the earth; and almost vertical to the He saw it first about, or rather to the buoy of the Nore.

northward of the Pleiades; from In the 331st number of the same whence it moved after the manner, but publication we meet with a defcription much flower than a falling ftar. Its of another of these meteors, by the motion was apparently in a right line, Rev. Mr. Thoresby of Leeds in York- defcending a little beyond, and withal shire, where it was seen. His words below the itars in Orion's belt, which are nearly as follow: On Holy Thurf were then in the S. W. As it proday, 171o (which happened that year ceeded along, it changed its shape, on the 18th of May, 0. S.) about a from a long itream of light, to be pearquarter past ten at night, a very strange fashioned, tapering upwards; and the meteor was seen at this place. The lower end became ät lait to be bigger, common people called it a flaming and spherical; though not fo big as sword. li was not seen in the neigh- the full moon. The colour of the bouring towns only, but a great way light was whitish, with an eye of blue north; as well as above 50 miles to in it, of a most vivid and dazzling the south of this place. It was broad luftre; nearly resembling, if not furat one end, and small at the other, and palling, the brightness of the fun at was thought by some to resemble a noon day. It seemed to more, in trumpet.

It moved with the broad about half a minute, or less, over an end first, and directed its course from are of about 20°; and to disappear south to north. The light was fo about as much above the horizon. It strong that people saw their own sha- left behind it, as it passed, a track of a dows. It is very remarkable that every cloudy, or faint reddith yellow colour, one who saw it, though they were such as red-hot iron, or glo:ving coals many miles diftant from each other, have; which remained more than a

3 M 2

minute,

« ElőzőTovább »