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THE present is the fourth volume of the "POPULAR LECTURER," new series. It contains 30 lectures, extending to
384 pages, the average
cost being one penny each. The
subjects treated comprise Education, Natural History, Language, Mechanics, Industry, Cotton, Pictures, Travels, Biography, Mining, Science, Poetry, Music, &c.
Amongst the authors of these lectures will be found the names of Lord Brougham; the Rev. Dr. Hook; Dr. Latham; the Dean of Carlisle; Thomas Bazley, Esq., M.P.; Leo. H. Grindon, Esq.; R. W. Emerson, Esq.; the Rev. Marmaduke Miller; George Dawson, Esq., M.A.; His Royal Highness the Prince Consort; E. W. Binney, Esq., F.R.S., F.G.S.; the Right Hon. Sir James Stephen; and other well-known names in literature and science.
The volume will be found to contain a large fund of valuable and interesting information, of the kind most serviceable to students, and the members of educational institutions generally. A "revival" is taking place in the art of lecturing, and our readers shall have the benefit of it. We would strongly urge young men who listen to lectures to study shorthand. Phonography is the system in which these lectures have been reported by
Austrians and Hungarians, by Dr. Latham
National Education, by Thomas Bazley, Esq., M.P.
Natural History, by Leo. H. Grindon, Esq.
[An Oration spoken at the Inauguration of the National Statue of Sir Isaac Newton, at Grantham, Lincolnshire.]
TO RECORD the names and preserve the memory of those whose great achievements in science, in arts, or in arms, have conferred benefits and lustre upon our kind, has in all ages been regarded as a duty and flt as a gratification by wise and reflecting men. The desire of inspiring an ambition to emulate such examples, generally mingles itself with these sentiments; but they cease not to operate even in the rare instances of transcendant merit, where matchless genius excludes all possibility of imitation, and nothing remains but wonder in those who contemplate its triumphs at a distance that forbids all attempts to approach. We are this day assembled to commemorate him of whom the consent of nations has declared, that he is chargeable with nothing like a follower's exaggeration or local partiality, who pronounces the name of Newton as that of the greatest genius ever bestowed by the bounty of Providence, for instructing mankind on the frame of the universe, and the laws by which it is governed :—
"Qui genus humanum ingenio superavit, et omnes
As does the mid-day sun the midnight star. -(DRYDEN.) But, though scaling these lofty heights be hopeless, yet there is some use and much gratification in conten
plating by what steps he ascended. Tracing his course of action may help others to gain the lower eminences lying within their reach, while admiration excited and curiosity satisfied are frames of mind both wholesome and pleasing. Nothing new, it is true, can be given in narrative, hardly anything in reflection, less still perhaps in comment or illustration; but it is well to assemble in one view various parts of the vast subject, with the surrounding circumstances, whether accidental or intrinsic, and to mark in passing the misconceptions raised by individual ignorance or national prejudice which the historian of science occasionally finds crossing his path.
The remark is common and is obvious, that the genius of Newton did not manifest itself at a very early age. His faculties were not, like those of some great and many ordinary individuals, precociously developed. Among the former, Clairant stands preeminent, who at 19 years of age presented to the Royal Academy a memoir of great originality upon a difficult subject in the higher geometry, and at 18 published his great work on curves of double curvature, composed during the two preceding years. Pascal, too, at 16, wrote an excellent treatise on conic sections. That Newton cannot be ranked in this respect with those extraordinary persons, is owing to the accidents which prevented him from entering upon mathematical study before his 18th year; and then a much greater marvel was wrought than even the Clairants and the Pascals displayed. His earliest history is involved in some obscurity, and the most celebrated of men has, in this particular, been compared to the most celebrated of rivers (the Nile), as if the course of both in its feebler state had been concealed from mortal eyes.
We have it, however, well ascertained that within four years, between the age of 18 and 22, he had begun to study mathematic science, and had taken his place among its greatest masters; learnt for the first