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Edleston, has enabled me to make a more advantageous use of these valuable materials.

Dr. Monk, Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, had "often expressed in private a wish and request that some one of the many accomplished Newtonians who are resident in that society would favour the world by publishing the whole collection,"1 and I have no doubt that it was from this public expression of it, in his able and interesting Life of Dr. Bentley, that the Master and Seniors of Trinity College resolved to publish the correspondence.

This valuable work, edited by Mr. Edleston, Fellow of Trinity, is a most important contribution to the History of Mathematical and Physical Science. The admirable synopsis which it contains of Newton's life ;—the learned and able annotations illustrative of his history; and the explanatory notes on the letters themselves, throw much light on the subjects to which they refer, and have been of essential service to me in the composition of this work. But in addition to the obligations which I owe to Mr. Edleston, in common with every friend of science, I have to acknowledge others of a more personal kind. During the printing of the second volume, which he has had the kindness to peruse, 1 have received from him much new and important information, and availed myself of his judicious criticisms and useful suggestions.

To Professor De Morgan, to whom the public owes a brief but interesting biographical sketch of Newton, and who has carefully investigated various points in the Fluxionary controversy, I have been indebted for much information, and for his kind revision of the sketch I had given of the early history of the Infinitesimal Calculus. On a few questions in the life of Newton, and the history of his discoveries, my opinion differs somewhat from his; but I have been able to confirm, from the documents in my possession, many of his views on important points which he was the first to investigate and to publish.

1 Life of Bentley, p. 180.

From my late amiable and distinguished friend Professor Rigaud of Oxford, too early cut off in his scientific career, I obtained valuable aid whenever I encountered difficulties or required information. His "Historical Essay on the Principia," which he generously offered to withhold from the public, till I had finished the present work, is a most important contribution to the history of Newton's discoveries, and I am glad to be able to complete the correspondence between Newton and Halley, which Mr. Rigaud was the first to publish in its genuine state.

The Rev. Jeffry Ekins, Rector of Sampford, whose family, from their connexion with Newton, have been long in possession of several of his theological manuscripts and letters, has obligingly sent me copies of many of them, and has otherwise favoured me with much useful information.

To Lord Brougham, Sir John Lubbock, Mr. Cutts Barton, and other friends, I have to return my best thanks for the assistance they have given me.

In concluding this Preface, I can hardly avoid referring to Sir Isaac Newton's religious opinions. In the chapter which relates to them I have touched lightly, and unwillingly, on a subject so tender; and in publishing the most interesting of the manuscripts in which these opinions are recorded, I have done little more than submit them to the judgment of the reader. Though adverse to my own, and I believe to the opinions of those to whom his memory is dearest, I did not feel myself justified, had I been so disposed, to conceal from the public that which they have long suspected, and must have sooner or later known. What the gifted mind of Newton believed to be truth, I dare not pronounce to be error. By the great Teacher alone can truth be taught, and it is only at his tribunal that a decision will be given on those questions, often of words, which have kept at variance the wisest and the best of men.

ST. LEONARD'S COLLEGE,
St. Andrews, May 12, 1855.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.

Great Discoveries previous to the Birth of Sir Isaac Newton—Pre-eminence

of his Reputation—The Interest attached to the Study of his Life and

Writings—His Birth and Parentage—An only and Posthumous Child—

Notice of his Descent—Inherits the small Property of Woolsthorpe—His

Mother marries again—Is sent to a Day-school—His Education at Grant-

ham School—His idle Habits there—His Love of Mechanical Pursuits—

His Windmill, Water-clock, Self-moving Carriage, and Kites—His At-

tachment to Miss Storey—His Love of Drawing and Poetry—His Unfit-

ness to be a Farmer—His Dials, Water-wheels, and Anemometer—Leaves

Grantham School—His Commonplace Book and College Expenses, . 1-18

CHAPTER II.

Newton enters Trinity College, Cambridge—Origin of his Love of Mathe-

matics—Studies Descartes' Geometry, and the Writings of Schooten and

Wallis—Is driven from Cambridge by the Plague—Observes Lunar Halos

in 1664—Takes his Degree of B.A. in 1665—Discovers Fluxions in the

same Year—His first Speculations on Gravity—Purchases a Prism to study

Colours—Revises~~Barrow's Optical Lectures, but does not correct his

erroneous Opinions about Colours—Is elected a Minor Fellow of Trinity

in 1667, and a Major Fellow in 1668—Takes his Degree of M.A—His

Note-Book, with his Expenses from 1666 to 1669—Makes a small Reflect- .<,

ing Telescope—His Letter of Advice to Francis Aston, when going upon

his Travels—His Chemical Studies—His Taste for Alchemy—His Paper

on Fluxions sent to Barrow and Collins in 1669, . • • 19-36

CHAPTER III.

Newton succeeds Barrow in the Lucasian Chair—Hyperbolic Lenses proposed by Descartes and Others—Opinions of Descartes and Isaac Vossius

on Colours—Newton discovers the Composition of White Light, and the

different Refrangibility of the Rays that compose it—Having discovered the Cause of the Imperfection of Refracting Telescopes, he attempts the

Construction of Reflecting Ones—Constructs a second Reflecting Tele-

scope in 1668, which is examined by the Royal Society, and shewn to the

King—Discussions respecting the Gregorian, Newtonian, and Cassegrai-

nian Telescope—James Gregory the Inventor of the Reflecting Telescope

VOL- T. b

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