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cannon ball, and though death must have been instantaneous, he was found with his right hand firmly grasping the handle of his sword ; so prompt was he to put himself in an attitude of defence.
“His fall was destined to a barren strand,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale." In 1719 the Swedberg family were ennobled by Queen Ulrica Eleonora, and Swedenborg from that time took his place with the nobles of the equestrian order, in the triennial Assemblies of the States. This distinction conferred little else than a change of name. He was neither a Count nor a Baron, as has very commonly been supposed. 262,144, before the fourth step commences ; so that the difficulty of such a calculus would be incredible, not only in addition and subtraction, but to a still higher degree in multiplication and division; for the memory must necessarily retain in the multiplication table, 3,969 distinct products of the 63 numbers of the first step multiplied into one another; whereas only 49 are necessary in the octonary, and but 81 are required in the denary arithme
which last is difficult to be remembered and applied in practice, by some capacities. But the stronger my objections were, the more resolute was his royal mind upon attempting such a calculus.
Obstructions made him eagerly aspire
All to surmount, and nobly soar the higher. He insisted that the alleged difficulties might be overbalanced by very many advantages.
“A few days after this I was called before his Majesty, who resuming the subject, demanded if I had made a trial. I still urging my former objections, he reached me a paper written with his own hand, in new characters and terms of denomination, the perusal of which, he was pleased, at my entreaty, to grant me ; wherein, to my great surprise, I found not only new characters and numbers, (the one almost naturally expressive of the other) in a continued series to 64, so ranged as easily to be remembered, but also new denominations, so contrived by pairs, as to be easily extended to myriads by a continued variation of the character and denomination. And further casting my eye on several new methods of his for addition and multiplication by this calculus, either artificially contrived, or else inherent in the characters of the numbers themselves, I was struck with the profoundest admiration of the force of his Majesty's genius, and with such strange amazement, as obliged me to esteem this eminent personage, not my rival, but by far my superior in my own art. And having the original still in my custody, at a proper time I may publish it, as it highly deserves; whereby it will appear with what discerning skill he was endowed, or how deeply he penetrated into the obscurest recesses of the arithmetical science.
“ Besides, his eminent talents in calculation further appear by his frequently working and solving the most difficult numerical problems, barely by thought and memory; in which operations others are obliged to take great pains and tedious labour.
“ Having duly weighed the vast advantages arising from mathematical and arithmetical knowledge in most occasions of human life, he frequently used it as an adage, that he who is ignorant of numbers is scarce half a man.
“While he was at Bender, he composed a complete volume of military, exercises, highly esteemed by those who are best skilled in the art of war.
Emannel Swedenborg was rapidly winning for himself the name of a deep thinker, and a ready writer. In 1717 he published “ An Introduction to Algebra," under the title of “ The Art of the Rules.” It was highly praised for its clearness, and the order and force of its examples. The first portion of the work, however, was all that was published. The second, coutaining the first account given in Sweden of the differential and integral calculus, still remains in MS. His second publication this year was, “ Attempts to find the Longitude of places by Lunar Observations.” Both works were written in Swedish.
In 1719 four works proceeded from his increasingly fertile pen. “A Proposal for a Decimal System of Money and Measures; A
Treatise on the Motion and Position of the Earth and Planets ; “ Proofs derived from appearances in Sweden, of the Depth of the Sea, and the greater Force of the Tides in the Ancient World ; ” and “ On Docks, Sluices, and Salt Works.”
His work on the Decimal system of coinage and measures was republished in 1795. Swedenborg's ideas on this and most other subjects were far ahead of the times in which he lived. In one of his letters he thus alludes to the discouragements he met with on this account. “ It is a little discouraging to me to be advised to relinquish my views, as among the novelties the country cannot bear. For my part, I desire all possible novelties ; aye, a novelty for every day in the year; for in every age there is abundance of persons who follow the beaten track, and remain in the old way; while there are not more than from six to ten in a century who bring forward innovations founded on argument and reason.
CHAPTER 3. Travels again. Publishes five Scientific Pamphlets and
“ Miscellaneous Observations." Returns Home and enters on the duty of his Assesorship. Writes his “Opera Philosophica et Mineralia,” and goes abroad to publish it.
In the spring of 1721, Swedenborg visited Holland a second time, and chose Amsterdam as a place of publication for the following five little works :-“Some Specimens of a Work on the Principles of Natural Philosophy, comprising New Attempts to Explain the Phenomena of Chemistry and Physics by Geometry; New Observations and Discoveries respecting Iron and Fire, and particularly res
pecting the Elemental Nature of Fire, together with a new construction of Stoves; “A New Method of finding the Longitude of Places, on land or at sea, by Lunar Observations; “A New Mechanical Plan of constructing Docks and Dykes ;” and “A Mode of Discovering the Powers of Vessels by the application of mechanical principles.
The titles of these pamphlets prove that their author was no ordinary man. But the publication of them was not his only object in this visit to the Continent. It was his desire to improve his practical knowledge of mining, to enable him the better to fulfil his duties as Assessor. For this purpose he left Amsterdam for Leipsic, passing through Aix-la-Chapelle, Liege, and Cologne, and visiting the different mines and smelting works which lay in his route. At Leipsic he published, in 1722, “ Miscellaneous Observations connected with the Physical Sciences, Parts I to III; and at Hamburg, in the same year, Part IV, principally on minerals, iron, and the stalactites in Baumann's cavern. The reigning Duke of Brunswick, Louis Rudolph, most hospitably received Swedenborg, defrayed his traveling expenses, and on his departure, testified his admiration of the young savant by presenting him with a gold medallion, and a weighty silver goblet. In return for these favours, Swedenborg dedicated Part IV of his “ Miscellaneous Observations” to him.
In speaking of the foregoing works, it is difficult, in the few words to which we must limit ourselves, to do them the justice which their originality and daring speculation deserve.
As Wilkinson remarks, “the fortress of mineral truth was the first which he approached, and with the most guarded preparation. His method was furnished by geometry and mechanics; the laws of the pure sciences were to be the interpreters of the facts of chemistry and physics. The beginning of nature, says he, is identical with the beginning of geometry; the origin of natural particles is due to mathematical points, just as is the origin of lines, forms, and the whole of geometry: because everything in nature is geometrical, everything in geometry is natural. Carrying out this theory, he seeks to define the laws of chemical essence and combination, by the truths of mathematics.” Mr Strutt, the translator of these works into English, says, “this extraordinary attempt to bring invisible things to light, has been thoroughly justified by the success which has attended Dalton's hypothesis, in an age better prepared for its application ; and by the equally remarkable fact that the definitions given of solids, acids, and alkalies, have gradually approximated very near indeed to those which result from Swedenborg's hypothesis. We say nothing here of a latent connection between the principle on which it is founded, and some of the results obtained by Berzelius, whose fame, as a chemist, is as wide as the civilised world.” It need only be added that M. Dumas, the French chemist, ascribes to these works by Swedenborg, the origin of
the modern science of crystallography. He says, “It is to him we are indebted for the first idea of making cubes, tetrahedrons, pyramids, and the different crystalline forms, by the grouping of spherical particles ; and it is an idea which has been renewed by several distinguished men, Wollaston in particular.”
After an absence of fifteen months, Swedenborg returned to his home, in Stockholm, at midsummer, 1722. He, now, for the first time, entered fully upon the duties of the Assessorship; having deferred doing so until his knowledge of metallurgy had become sufficiently practical and extensive. At this time he published an anonymous pamphlet “ On the Depreciation and Rise of the Swedish Currency.” The currency seems to have been a favourite subject with Swedenborg, and in his senatorial capacity, it engaged much of his attention. The pamphlet seems to have been much thought of, for we find that it was republished at Upsal in 1771. There are few productions of this kind that will endure a revival forty-nine years after their first publication.
The tenor of Swedenborg's life for eleven years after this, seems to have flowed quietly on in the regular fulfilment of the duties of his office. It
supposed that he had become tired of writing and publishing scientific works, and that for a time he wished to rest from this kind of labour. His abilities were appreciated by his countrymen, for we find that he was solicited to accept the Professorship of mathematics in the University of Upsal, in 1724.
He declined the honour. It appears that he had a distaste for the unpractical and merely speculative character of the pure mathematician. We find him writing to his brother-in-law in this strain :-“I wonder at Messieurs the mathematicians having lost all heart and spirit to realise that fine design of yours for an astronomical observatory. It is the fatality of mathematicians to remain chiefly in theory. I have often thought it would be a capital thing, if, to each ten mathematicians, one good practical man were added, to lead the rest to market : he would be of more use and mark than all the ten.” In 1729, Swedenborg became a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm.
Discontinuing the pamphlet style of publication, Swedenborg now centred his thoughts upon the production of a much larger and more laborious work than he had hitherto attempted. It was entitled “Opera Philosophica et Mineralia.” In order to secure its proper publication, he went abroad, for the third time, in May, 1733. Af. ter spending five months in Germany, seeing everything note-worthy, he commenced the printing of his work at Leipsic, in the month of October. In the course of 1734, the whole was finished in three handsomne folio volumes, enriched with numerous copper-plates, and an engraved likeness of the author. At this time he was again a visitor at the court of the Duke of Brunswick, who munificently defrayed the cost of this expensive publication. The volumes were published at Leipsic and Dresden.
At the same time he issued a little work called “A Philosophical Argument on the Infinite, and the Final Cause of Creation; and on the Mechanism of the Intercourse between the Soul and the Body." It may be regarded as a supplement to the foregoing.
His work being finished, he left Leipsic for Cassel, and passing homewards through Gotha, Brunswick, and Hamburg, arrived at Stockholm in July, 1734. It is to be remembered that in this journey he had still the duties of his office in view. He visited mines everywhere, studied their modes of working, and sought continually to make himself useful to his country.
It now becomes necessary to speak of his great volumes of philosophical and mineral works.
CHAPTER 4. "Opera Philosophica et Mineralia." In attempting to give the reader an idea of the contents and aims of this great work, within the compass of a few paragraphs, one feels extreme difficulty in knowing where or how to begin. It starts so many topics, is so full of the deepest scientific truth, speculates so boldly, and reaches to such heights of subtle thought, that we must necessarily confine ourselves to a very superficial view, and the enumeration of a few of its prominent features.
As before said, the work occupies three large folio volumes. Of the second and third of these, it does not lie in our province to say much. Both are strictly practical works; one on iron, and the other on copper and brass. They are evidences of Swedenborg's ardent devotion to the duties of his office; and as a testimony to the worth of the books themselves, it need only be said, that portions of them have been repeatedly reprinted, and that they are held in high estimation by those who study metallurgy as a science, or follow it as a profession. The publication of the secrets of trade and manufacture in these volumes, was not relished by the narrow-minded and selfish. Of such the author observes :- “There are persons who love to hold their knowledge for themselves alone, and to be the reputed possessors and guardians of secrets. People of this kind, grudge the public everything, and if any discovery, by which art and science will be benefited, comes to light, they regard it askance, with scowling