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the future: that the wisdom of God was beyond the wisdom of men; and that I committed my all to him: or words to that purpose.
I cannot remember everything that was said by the hot gentleman, in its proper place ; nor have I given it in its order. I may put it into better, upon recollection, hereafter. I remember more at present, that after I had said that it had cost me above 2000l. in instruments and assistants, he told me fiercely that I had said he owed me 6000l.: which, without much moving, he set himself to make out thus: first, I had said that nobody could live in the Observatory for less than 3001. a year; that I had had but 1001. paid me, and that 2001. in 36 years would come to that money. This I never reckoned; but I have said that a man cannot live in this place for less than 3001. a year: the rest is his own accounting. He told me, moreover, I had received 3600l. of the Government. I answered, what had he done for 5001. a year salary that he had ? or to that purpose. Which put him to a stand: but, at length, he fell to give me his usual good words: said I was proud and insolent, and insulted him. Dr. Mead said the same thing. I only desired him (as I had often done) to restrain his passion, keep his temper, &c. He said I had called him Atheist. I never did : but I know what other people have said of a paragraph in his Optics, which probably occasioned this suggestion, I thought it not worth my while to say anything in answer to this reproach. I hope he is none.'-pp. 228, 229.
When we consider,' adds Mr. Baily, that Newton was at this time nearly 69 years of age, and that Flamsteed was upwards of 65, and so infirm that he was obliged to be assisted both up and down stairs, it must be confessed that this scene exhibits but a miserable picture of the frailties of human nature.'
Miserable indeed! but the measure of poor Flamsteed's persecution was not yet full. It was followed up with a spirit of rancorous hostility, and, we must add, by an act of gross injustice, which nothing can excuse or palliate. After the last sheet of Flamsteed's corrected and enlarged Catalogue was printed off, in December, 1719, bis intention was, that the press should proceed with the Observations from which it had been derived, and which were made with the mural arc; but whatever instances,' he says, “I made to Sir Isaac Newton to have the copy I had trusted to his hands, I could not prevail with him to return it.' At last he wrote to Sir Isaac, in April, 1716, pressing him to return the night notes, also the 175 manuscript sheels of Observations made with the mural arc, which were trusted into his hands in March, 1708, with so much of the Catalogue as was delivered to him sealed up, at his own request, to which, however, Sir Isaac did not condescend to make any reply. As Newton had now kept them eight years, though frequently requested to return them, Flamsteed at length determined to proceed against him for their recovery; and in the following month he sent his attorney to wait on Sir Isaac, but he would not be seen. That
Flamsteed should have taken this last resource is the less surprising, after the several unsuccessful applications for the restoration of his property, which were wholly unheeded. But the reason for this became apparent so soon as the fact was known that the 175 manuscript sheets of observations, which were to be kept by Newton, as a sacred deposit, had been handed over to Halley. Newton,' says Flamsteed (Letter 216), has put my 175 sheets into Halley's keeping : this is the height of trick, ingratitude, and baseness ; but I never expected any better from him since he gave my Catalogue into Halley's hands. I can bear it. God forgive all his falseness.' Thus it appears that the sealed Catalogue placed in Sir Isaac Newton's custody, had also been given to Halley, and, with all its imperfections (distinctly stated to Newton as a reason against publishing it), together with Halley's mutilations, bad actually been printed, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Flamsteed; who thus finding that all faith with him had been broken, that his Catalogue had been thus surreptitiously and clandestinely printed, and that his Observations also had been sent to the press in a garbled and improper manner, determined to break off all communication with Dr. Arbuthnot * and his coadjutors in this affair, resolving in his own mind to appeal to the public on this occasion. He did more-he set about re-copying, not only the 175 sheets, but also the Catalogue for the press, at an expense of nearly 2001.—the amount of two years' salary. He had before this made to Dı. Arbuthnot a strong and feeling appeal, in which he says :
• I have now spent thirty-five years in composing my Catalogue, which may, in time, be published for the use of her Majesty's subjects, and ingenious men all the world over. I have endured long and painful distempers by my night watches and day labours. I bare spent a large sum of money above my appointment, out of my own estate, to complete my Catalogue, and finish my astronomical works under my hands. Do not tease me with banter, by telling me that these alterations are made to please me, when you are sensible nothing can be more displeasing nor injurious, than to be told so.
• Make my case your own, and tell me ingenuously and sincerely, were you in my circumstances, and had been at all my labour, charge, and trouble, would you like to have your labours surreptitiously forced out of your hands, conveyed into the hands of your declared, profligate enemies, printed without your consent, and spoiled, as mine are, in the impression? Would you suffer your enemies to make themselves judges of what they really understand not? Would you not withdraw your copy ont of their hands, trust no more in theirs, and publish your
* Arbuthnot seems to have been drawn into this dirty business, under the plea that it was the queen's command he should superintend the publication, and that by her command also the seals of the papers had been broken open.
own works rather at your own expense, than see them spoiled, and yourself laughed at, for suffering it?
I see no way to prevent the evil consequences of Dr. Halley's conduct, but this. I have caused my servant to take a new copy of my Catalogue, of which I shall cause as much to be printed off as Dr. Halley has spoiled ; and take care of the correction of the press myself, provided you will allow me the naming of the printer, and that all the last proof sheets may be sent to Greenwich, at my charge, by the penny post, and not printed off till I have seen a proof without faults; after which, I will proceed to print the remaining part of the Catalogue as fast as my health, and the small help I have, will suffer me. But if you like not this, I shall print it alone, at my own charge, on better paper, and with fairer types than those your present printer uses; for I cannot bear to see my own labours thus spoiled, to the dishonour of the nation, Queen, and people.
• If Dr. Halley proceed, it will be a reflection on the President of the Royal Society; and yourself will suffer in your reputation, for enconraging one, of whom the wisest of his companions used to say, that the only way to have any business spoiled effectually, was to trust it to his management.'-p. 284.
While these unhallowed proceedings were going on, two events occurred which promised a favourable change in Flamsteed's affairs; the one was the death of Queen Anne, in August, 1714 -the other the death of the Earl of Halifax, the friend and patron of Sir Isaac Newton, in May, 1715.* The ministry were now changed, Sir Robert Walpole being first lord of the Treasury; and as Flamsteed was bringing out his own Historia Cælestis, he was advised to petition the Lords of the Treasury to deliver up to him all the spurious copies of his observations that had been printed against his will, and which had not been disposed of: his request was immediately granted; and 300 copies of the surreptitious and obnoxious work (the remains of 400) were delivered up to him, which he at once committed to the flames.
'I brought them down to Greenwich: and finding both Halley's corrupted edition of my Catalogue, and abridgment of my observations, no less spoiled by him, I separated them from my observations; and, some few days after, I made a sacrifice of them to Heavenly Truth ; that none of them may remain to show the ingratitude of two of my countrymen, who had been obliged by me more, on particular occasions, than any other mathematical acquaintance; and who had used me worse than ever the noble Tycho was used in Denmark.'-Life, pp. 101, 102.
• Mr. Baily says in a note, Lord Halifax, on the death of his wife, conceived a strong attachment for Catharine the widow of Colonel Barton, and the niece of Newton, a beautiful and accomplished lady,,but who did not escape the censure of her contemporaries. At his decease the Earl left Newton, by will, only 1001., whereas he bequeathed to Mrs. Barton, “ for her excellent conversation," property to the amount of 25,0001.,-a considerable sum at that period.'-p. 72.
Flamsteed now began to print at his own expense his corrected Observations, as they appear in the second volume of the Historia Cælestis. However unwilling,' as he states he was, ' to impoverish his nearest relations, whom he was bound in justice and conscience to take care of, since they were in no capacity to provide for themselves,'—he, at the same time, with a becoming spirit, was determined that the labour of nearly forty years should not be thrown away. And “ fortunate indeed,' says Mr. Baily, ' has it been for the astronomer, that Flamsteed was so resolute and pertinacious on this point; and that he had courage and public spirit enough to bear up against his two powerful opponents, whose views upon this subject are by no means in accordance with those of modern astronomers.'
Flamsteed did not live to see the completion of his work. In a letter to his friend Mr. Sharp (May, 1717), he speaks of his increasing infirmities, and says, “I can still, I praise God for it, walk from my door to the Blackheath gate and back, with a little resting at some benches I have caused to be set up betwist them; but I found myself so tired with getting up the hill when I return from church, that at last I have bought a sedan, and am carried thither in state on Sunday morning and back.' On the 2nd January, 1720, Mr. Crosthwait, bis assistant, writes to Mr. Sharp thus : * Knowing that a very useful and friendly correspondence has for many years been carried on betwixt you and that great and good man, Mr. Flamsteed, I think it a duty incumbent upon me to let Mr. Sharp be timely informed of his death,' &c. He died in the seventy-fourth year of his age. These two worthy men undertook to complete the publication left unfinished, at very considerable trouble and expense, for which they received no kind of remuneration.
The greatest enemy that Flamsteed had was appointed to succeed him as the King's Observator,' a situation to which Flamsteed always suspected he had long aspired; and such was the indecent haste of Halley to get Mrs. Flamsteed out of the house, that in the hurry Mr. Crosthwait states all his books and papers were thrown into confusion. The Ordnance likewise behaved in the niost shabby manner to Mrs. Flamsteed, requiring her to give up the sextant, two clocks, and several books, on the plea that Sir Jonas Moore gave them to the house, and not to the person; nay, they actually commenced a law-suit for the recovery of these things, but, being made ashamed of such a proceeding, thought fit to abandon it.
Mr. Baily tells us (Pref. xx.) that he has sought, but without success, for documents which might tend either to extenuate and explain the conduct of Newton and Halley in the proceedings which are now, for the first time, brought to light, or to give some clue which might lead to the origin and nature of the quarrel that existed between Flamsteed and his two distinguished contemporaries. He thinks it altogether astonishing that the circumstances respecting the publication of Flamsteed's works should never until now have been brought before the public: when it is recollected that Halley, who had acted so important a part in all the transactions regarding Flamsteed's labours, succeeded him in the Observatory, we can bardly be surprised that he should not have been instrumental in bringing them forward in his time it does, however, appear very surprising that it should have been left to Mr. Baily to unkennel them after a lapse of 115 years. But,
Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men's eyes.' For Sir Isaac Newton, Flamsteed appears to have had a high esteem, and, till the open rupture between them, always spoke of him with the greatest respect. Mr. Newton's approbation' (says he) is more to me than the cry of all the ignorant in the world.' On the other hand, Newton, when no other was present, always seems to have expressed himself in the most friendly manner concerning Flamsteed. Even in the midst of the treatment which Flamsteed complained of, regarding the publication of his Observations, he writes to his friend Sharp in these terms: Mr. Newton is become exceeding kind of late; was here to visit me yesterday ; stayed from twelve to near five o'clock; dined with me; took a new view of my books and papers; and becomes solicitor with the Prince on their behalf.'-p. 232. Flamsteed, however, certainly always considered Sir Isaac as very suspicious and jealous of any interference with what he was doing, and says that he took offence at some errors he had discovered in his Principia and in his Optics— that they differed also in opinion on many astronomical points, on the theory of comets, and on the rectification of the lunar and planetary motions. But even if this were so, as Mr. Baily justly observes, instead of placing them more at variance with each other, it ought to have brought them nearer together in their common search after truth.' He says there is, among Flamsteed's manuscripts, an immense mass of computations carried on for the express purpose of elucidating various intricate points in physical astronomy, on which Newton was employed—and these he considers to be a sufficient answer to those persons who have hitherto looked upon him as a mere Observer.
The letters that passed between Newton and Flamsteed from October, 1694, to September, 1695, are generally of the most friendly description, and in them Newton over and over again acknowledges the great value of the assistance he re