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- Thomas Hariot - 20/22 -
3. In comming out of the harbor, shaping his course directly North, about, 60, degrees, he found a stronge race of a tyde, set-ting dueEast and West, wc in probabilitie could be noe other thing, than the tyde comming from the West, and retourning from the East,
Among the manuscripts in the handwriting of Hariot in the British Museum (Add. 6789) are these samples of ingenious trifling. No evidence is forthcoming that he was ever a married man, but that he occasionally let himself down from pure mathematics and high philosophy and amused himself with anagrams is plain enough. Here are a few specimens on his own name.
ANAGRAMS ON THOMAS HARIOTUS
Tu homo artis has traho hosti mufa
Homo has vt artis O trahit hos mufa
Homo hasta vtris oh, os trahit mufa
vitus oho trahit mifas
rutis oho, trahis mutis
Humo astra hosti oho, fum Charitas.
If the pertingent Reader still craves more evidence of the extent of Hariot's friendships, and the universality of his acquirements, let him read the following pithy, quaint, and beautiful tribute paid to him by blind Old Homer's Chapman in 1616. It is found in the Preface to the Reader in the first complete edition of Homer'sworks translated by George Chapman, London , fo.
No coference had with any one liuing in al the noueltiet I prefume I haue found. Only fome one or two places I haue fhewed to my worthy and moft learned friend, M. Harriots, for his cenfure how much mine owne weighed: whofe iudgement and knowledge in all kinds, I know to be incomparable, and bottomlefle ; yea, to be admired as much, as his moft blameles life, and the right facred expence of his time, is to be honoured and reuerenced. Which affirmation of his cleare vnmatchednefle in all manner of learning; I make in contempt of that naftie objection often thruft vpon me ; that he that will iudge, muft know more then he of whom he iudgeth ; for fo a man fhould know neither God nor himfelf. Another right learned, honeft, and entirely loued friend of mine, M. Robert Hews, I muft needs put into my confest conference touching Homer, though very little more than that I had with M. Harriots. Which two, I proteft, are all, and preferred to all.
It remains to say two words more about Baron Zach's' discovery' of the Hariot papers at Petworth in 1784. This remarkable story has been told many times, in many books, and in many languages. It has found its way into many modern dictionaries and grave encyclopædias, but it always appears with an unsatisfactory and suspicious flavor. Dr Zach's ' discovery' is found cropping up all over the continent, and everywhere is made paramount to Hariot's papers, while Oxford is blamed for not giving the young German his dues!
It seems that Dr Zach, a young man, was in England with Count Bruhl, who had married the dowager Lady Egremont. He thus had easy access to the old Percy Library at Petworth, in Sussex, where was stored, as we have seen by Hariot's will, the black trunk containing his mathematical writings as bequeathed to the 9th Earl of Northumberland. In 1785 Dr Zach announced with a truly scholastic flourish in Bode's Berlin Ephemeris for 1788 his remarkable 'discovery ' of the papers of Thomas Hariot previously known as an eminent Algebraist or Mathematician, but now elevated to the rank also of a first-class English Astronomer. The next year, 1786, is celebrated in the annals of English science from the circumstance of Oxford's having accepted a proposition from Dr Zach to publish his account of Hariot and his writings. The Royal Academy of Brussels in 1788 printed in its Memoirs Dr Zach's paper on the planet Uranus, with a long note relative to the discovery at Petworth.
The Berlin paper immediately upon publication was translated into English and extensively circulated in this country, conducing, it is suspected, more to the renown of Dr Zach than to that of Hariot. In 1793 Bode's Jahrbuch gave from the pen of Dr Zach an account of the Comets of 1607 and 1618, with Hariot's Observations thereon. But these observations were given with so many errors and misreadings, as shown by Professor Rigaud, that they were soon pronounced worthless, to the discredit of Hariot rather than of his eminent editor. But matters came to a crisis in 1794, nine years after the grand flourish of the first announcement at Berlin. Dr Zach sent to Oxford for publication his abstract of certain of the scientific papers, and the Earl of Egremont intrusted to the University Dr Zach's selection of the original papers. Zach's abstracts were merely sufficient to identify himself with the works of Hariot, but he had performed no real editorial labours, and had not 'pen'd the doctrine ' contained in them. Here were years of useful work to be done which the University dreamed not of, so the whole matter was referred to Professors Robertson and Powell, who both reported adversely in 1798, or before. In 1799 all the Hariot papers were returned to Petworth.
In the mean time the full translation of Dr Zach's account of his ' discovery,' with some curious additions, found its way into Dr Hutton's Dictionary of Mathematics, under Hariot, 1796, 2 volumes in quarto. This publication gave an air of solemn record and history to the transactions, insomuch that Oxford began to be blamed for withholding from the press Dr Zach's great work. Oxford preserved a becoming silence. In 1803 Dr Zach published at Gotha in his Monatliche Correspondenz a fragment of that remarkable letter from the Earl of Northumberland to Hariot (which letter we have shown to be Lower's, see p. 120). This publication, together with the reprint of the original Berlin paper by Zach in the second edition of Hutton's Dictionary in 1815 without alteration, seemed to bring the matter to a point. Oxford was obliged to rise and explain.
The whole question was inquired into. Professor Robertson's original report was brought out and sent to Dr David Brewster, who printed it in his Edinburgh Philosophical Journal for 1822, volume vi, page 314, in an article on the Hariot papers. In the meanwhile, in 1810, that portion of the Hariot papers that did not go to Oxford was presented to the British Museum by the Earl of Egremont. The division of the papers (on what principle it is difficult to guess) was unquestionably Dr Zach's. The value is no doubt much depreciated by the separation. Under all these circumstances no one can wonder at the Oxford decision, or that the papers were deemed not worthy of publication. Yet under other circumstances it is almost certain that the two collections when worked together will yield valuable materials for the life of Hariot and the history and progress of English science, discovery, and invention. To Professor S. F. Rigaud is due the credit for the most part of working out the crooked and entangled history of the Zachean fiasco, which has apparently depreciated the real value of these papers. Professor Rigaud's papers may be seen in the Royal Institution Journal, 1831, volume ii, pages 267-271, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, iii, 125, and in the Appx to Bradley's Works. Now to pick up a few dropped stitches. Notices of Hariot by Camden, Aubrey, Hakewill, and others are omitted from press of matter. Gabriel Harvey in 1593, in his' Pierces Supererogation,' page 190, exclaims ' and what profounde Mathematician like Digges, Hariot, or Dee esteemeth not the pregnant Mechanician ?' MrJ.O.Halliwell's Collection of Letters referred to on page 174, though falling late under our eye, is most acceptable and thankfully used. Several letters of Sir William Lower are printed from the originals in the British Museum. And so is John Bulkley's dedication to Hariot of his work on the Quadrature of the Circle, dated Kal. Martii, 1591, the original manuscript of which is in Sion College. There is also an interesting letter from Hariot to the Earl dated Sion June 13, 1619, respecting the doctrine of reflections as communicated to Warner and Hues for the use of the Earl. But the most important letter is the following on page 71 from Sir Thomas Aylesbury, one of Hariot's executors, to the Earl of Northumberland, respecting some remuneration for the extra services of Warner in assisting him in passing Hariot's ' Artis Analyticæ Praxis ' through the press :
Rt. Ho. May it plese your löp. July 5, 1631.
I presumed heretofore to moue your löp on the behalf of Mr. W. for some consideration to be had of his extraordinary expense in attending the publication of Mr. H. book after the copy was finished. The same humble request I am induced to renew by reson of his present wants occasioned by that attendance.
For his literary labour and paines taken in forming the work and fitting it for the publik view, he looks for no other reward then your löps acceptance therof as an honest discharge of his duty. But his long attendance through vnexpected difficulties in seeking to get the book freely printed, and after that was vndertaken the friuolous delaies of the printers and slow preceding of the presse, wch no intreties of his or myne could remedy, drew him to a gretter expence then his meanes would here, including both your löps pencion and the arbitrary help of his frends. It is this extraordinary expense, wch he cannot recouer wch makes both him and me for him appele to your Löps goodnei and bounty for some tollerable mitigation thereof.
I purpose God willing to set forth other peeces of Mr. H. wherein by reson of my owne incombrances I must of necessitie desire the help of Mr. W. rather then of any other, whereto I find him redy enough because it tends to your löps service, and may the more freely trouble him, yf he receive some little encouragement from your löp towards the repairing of the detrement that lies still vpon him by his last imploiment. But for the future my intention it to haue the impression at my owne charge, and not depend on the curtesy of those mechaniks,making account that wch may seeme to be saued by the other way will not countervaile the trouble and tedious prolongation of the busines. But the copies being made perfect and faire written for the presse they shall be sufficiently bound to deliuer the books perfectly clen out of theire hands, and by this meanes the trouble and charge of attending the presse will be saued. Therfore my Lo. what you do now will be but for this once, and in such proportion as shall best like you to favour the humble motion of him who is
Allway most redy at your Löps commaund _ .
_Endorsed in the handwriting of Warner,_
Sr Th. A. letters about my busines.
[B. M. Birch, 4396, 87.]
Notwithstanding the plain initials T. A. Mr Halliwell erroneously attributes this letter to Torporley, who had been in his grave three months. The handwriting is not Torporley's but Warner's. The Earl died on the 5th of November following. T. A. unquestionably stands for Sir
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