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illness, his mind may have received a greater shock than it otherwise would have done, from an accident which is said to have befallen some calculations on which he had bestowed a great deal of labour, their being burned, namely, by a candle which had been thrown down among them by his dog Diamond. “Ah Diamond ! Diamond I” he is said to have exclaimed, on perceiving the destruction the creature had occasioned, “thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done." While labouring under this despondency, he wrote some strange letters to Locke and others of his friends, indicating the apprehensive and enfeebled condition of his mind; and from the curious notice printed by Biot from the papers of Huygens, it would seem that a rumour had found its way abroad that he had been seized with something like insanity. But that he was not really affected by any disorder to which this term could properly be applied, is sufficiently evidenced by the fact, that it was during this very period that he wrote his five profound and elaborate letters to his friend Dr Bentley, on the existence of a Deity,—the first of these compositions being dated the 10th of December, 1692, and the
last the 25th of February, 1693. The conflagration of his papers is · pretty satisfactorily ascertained by an extract which Dr Brewster has
printed from the manuscript journal of Mr Abraham de la Pryme, now in the possession of George Pryme, Esq. Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge, to have happened about the beginning of the year 1692, and his letter to Locke, (published by Lord King in his life of that writer,) which has been supposed to demonstrate his insanity, as well as another of a somewhat similar tenor to Secretary Pepys, first given to the world by Dr Brewster, are dated in September, 1693. Soon after this he seems to have recovered his usual state of health.
In 1695 Newton's circumstances were materially improved by his being appointed, through the interest of his friend Mr Charles Montague, afterwards Lord Halifax, to the office of warden of the mint, à place of the value of £500 or £600 a year. On receiving this appointment he removed to London, and four years after, having been proinoted to the mastership of the mint, the profits of which varied from £1200 to £1500 a year, he resigned the entire emoluments of his professorship to Whiston, who acted as his deputy, and who was a few years after, on his recommendation, appointed his successor in the chair. In 1699 also, he was elected a foreign associate of the Royal academy of sciences of France. In 1701 he was a second time returned to parliament as one of the representatives for the university of Cambridge, and in 1703 he was chosen for the first time president of the Royal society, a dignity to which he was annually re-elected for the succeeding twenty-five years. In 1704, his old antagonist, Hooke, being now two years dead, he at last published his complete work on optics; and two years after it was translated into Latin by his friend Dr Clarke ; with whose performance Newton was so well pleased, that he presented him with the sum of £500 for his trouble. On the 16th of April, 1705, he was knighted by Queen Anne at Cambridge. This year, however, he lost his election in a contest for the representation of the university, and we believe he never again sat in parliament.
Some of the succeeding years of Newton's life were embittered by another unhappy controversy in which he became entangled with his celebrated contemporary, Leibnitz, on the subject of their respective pretensious to the original discovery of the fluxionary or differential calculus. The vehemence and exasperation with which this unworthy contest was carried on, both by the friends of the parties and by the two philosophers themselves, furnish a melancholy illustration of how apt even the highest intellects are to be betrayed into forgetfulness of their own dignity when inflamed by rivalry and the sense of supposed wrong. As in most other cases of this kind, it happened here that the greater part of the mischief was evidently occasioned by the interference of persons, who, in coming forward in the first instance, probably consulted chiefly their conceit and ambition of importance, and were afterwards naturally led to endeavour to inoculate those whose cause they professed to defend, with their own spirit of violence and acriinony. It is now generally allowed that the honour of the discovery in question belongs to each of the illustrious competitors, with this difference, however, in favour of Newton, that he was undoubtedly the one of the two to whom it first occurred. We agree also with Dr Brews. ter in thinking that the conduct of Newton in the course of the controversy was upon the whole much less incorrect than that of Leibnitz, and that, in particular, nothing that was done by the former was so rash and inconsiderate, to use no harsher term, as the attempt made by the latter to prejudice his antagonist in the opinion of bis royal patroness, the princess of Wales, afterwards Queen Caroline, the wife of George II. a lady of highly cultivated mind and literary habits, whose estimation of Newton was such as to do honour to her understanding, and whose attentions were gratifying to the philosopher as well as creditable to herself. The most important result of this controversy was the publication, in the beginning of the year 1713, of the Commercium Epistolicum,' being a collection of letters which had passed between Newton and his friends in relation to his scientific studies, and which were collected and sent to the press by the Royal Society as a complete vindication of his claim to be considered as the original inventor of the differential calculus. A second edition of this celebrated publication appeared in 1722. In connexion with the subject of Newton's quarrel with Leibnitz, we may here notice the solution by the former of a difficult mathematical problem which the latter proposed in 1716 as a trial of skill to all the scientific men of Europe. Newton received it at five o'clock in the afternoon, after retiring from a fatiguing day's work at the mint, and solved it before going to bed. This anecdote has sometimes been confounded with another relating to two problems announced by John Bernouilli in 1697, which Newton also solved. He addressed solutions of both on the day after they came into his hands to Mr Montague, who was then president of the Royal society.
From this time till his death, Newton continued to reside in London, enjoying an income which to him was affluence, graced with the distinguished favour of his royal mistress, who used to spend much of her time in conversing with him, and frequently declared that she considered herself happy in living in an age and country that could boast of so extraordinary a genius; and not only as President of the Royal Society, occupying the ostensible place of head of the British scientific world, but universally honoured both by his own and foreign nations, as the great founder and father of modern physical knowledge, and by far the most illustrious mathematical discoverer that the world had ever produced. As to his manner of life and the general character of his temper and disposition, Mr Conduitt, who married his niece, and knew him well, gives us the following, among other details :-“ He always lived in a very handsome generous manner, though without ostentation or vanity ; always hospitable, and upon proper occasions gave splendid entertainments. He was generous and charitable without bounds; he used to say, that they who gave away nothing till they died, never gave.
. I believe no man of his circumstances ever gave away so much during his lifetime in alms, in encouraging ingenuity and learning, and to his relations, nor upon all occasions showed a greater contempt of his own money, or a more scrupulous frugality of that which belonged to the public, or to any society he was intrusted for. He refused pensions and additional employments that were offered him. ... . He had such a meekness and sweetness of temper, that a melancholy story would often draw tears from him.” The writer then, after informing us that he was very temperate, although he never subjected himself to any regimen in his diet, proceeds—“ He was of a middle stature, and plump in his latter years ; he had a very lively and piercing eye, a comely and gracious aspect, and a fine head of hair, as white as silver, without any baldness; and, when his peruke was off, was a venerable sight. And to his last illness, he had the bloom and colour of a young man, and never wore spectacles, nor lost more than one tooth till the day of his death. .. He ate little flesh, and lived chiefly upon broth, vegetables, and fruit, of which he always ate very heartily."5
The only other work which he gave to the public after this, was his • Chronology.' He had put a sketch of this work into the hands of the queen some years before, and had afterwards permitted her majesty to communicate the manuscript to the Abbé Conti
, on the express condition that it should not be shown. Conti, however, having some time after gone to Paris, carried the papers thither with him, and in violation of his promise, thought proper to send them to the press. The book appeared accordingly in 1718, accompanied by a commentary by Freret, in which that writer attempted to refute the text which he had thus undertaken to illustrate. This publication, and the circumstances attending it, gave great irritation to Newton; and at last, in order to set himself right with the world, he determined, advanced as his age now was, to undertake the task of preparing the original work for the press. It was nearly finished when he died, and was published the year after his decease. In the estimation of some, Newton has in this, his latest production, done no less a service to chronology and history, than that which he had rendered to the science of the material universe by the previous exertions of his comprehensive and penetrating intellect.6
The circumstances of the death of the illustrious philosopher we shall relate in the words of Mr Conduitt. He had, for the sake of his health, taken lodgings in Orbell's buildings, Kensington, from which, however,
3 Turnor's Collections. A very curious and learned note upon the principle of the 'Newtonian System of Chronology, may be found in M. Biot's original Life of Newton, in the
Biographie Universelle, from the pen of a friend, which has been omitted in the translation of ihat memoir, published in the · Library of Useful Knowledge.'
he was in the habit of driving frequently to town :-“ On Tuesday the last day of February, 1726-7,” says Mr Conduitt, “ he came to town in order to go to a meeting of the Royal society. The next day I was with him, and thought I had not seen him better of many years, and he was sensible of it himself, and told me, smiling, that he had slept the Sunday before from eleven at night to eight in the morning without waking ; but his great fatigue in going to the Society, and making and receiving visits, brought his old complaint violently upon bim. He returned to Kensington on the Saturday following. As soon as I heard of his illness I carried Dr Mead and Mr Chesselden to him, who im mediately said it was the stone in the bladder, and gave no hopes of his recovery. The stone was probably moved from the place where it lay quiet, by the great motion and fatigue of his last journey to London, from which time he had violent fits of pain, with very short intermissions; and though the drops of sweat ran down from his face with anguish, he never complained, or cried out, or showed the least signs of peevishness or impatience, and, during the short intervals from that violent torture, would smile and talk with his usual cheerfulness. On Wednesday the 15th of March he seemed a little better, and we conceived some hopes of his recovery, but without grounds. On Saturday morning the 18th he read the newspapers, and held a pretty long discourse with Dr Mead, and had all his senses perfect; but that evening at six, and all Sunday, he was insensible, and died on Monday the 20th of March, between one and two o'clock in the morning. He seemed to have stamina vitæ, (except the accidental disorder of the stone,) to have carried him to a much longer age. To the last he had all his senses and faculties, strong, vigorous, and lively, and he continued writing and studying many hours every day to the time of his last illness.” Newton, at the time of his death, was in his eighty-fifth year. His body, after lying in state in the Jerusalem-chamber, was conveyed to its place of interment in Westminster abbey, by a numerous and splendid procession, six peers holding up the pall. A monument was some time after placed over his remains by the inheritors of his property. He died worth about £32,000, besides the small estate which he had received from his father. The money was divided between four nephews and four nieces, the descendants of his mother by her second husband. Some time before his death also he had given a property which he had purchased at Kensington, to his grand-niece, Miss Conduitt, who lived with him for nearly twenty years. This lady, who was celebrated for her wit and beauty, afterwards married Lord Viscount Lymington, and was the grandmother of the present earl ot Portsmouth. Through her Newton's papers came into the possession of the Portsmouth family, where they still remain. The landed property which Sir Isaac derived from his father went to his heir of the whole blood, a John Newton, whose great-grandfather was Sir Isaac's uncle. The author of the poem of · Wensley-Dale', already referred to, says that this person, whom he incorrectly calls Robert, was the son of a John Newton, who had been originally a carpenter, afterwards became gamekeeper to Sir Isaac, and died at the age of sixty, in 1725. His son, Sir Isaac's heir, according to this authority, was a dissolute fellow, and, being drunk, fell down with a tobacco pipe in his mouth, which stuck in his throat, and he died at thirty, in 1737. In
Whittaker's · History of Craven,' some anecdotes may be found of a Reverend Benjamin Smith, a nephew of Newton's, who seems to have been a very eccentric and rather a worthless character. He died in 1776.
Two works of Newton's were published sone time after his death, the first entitled, “Observations on Daniel and the Apocalypse,' the other, · An Historical Account of two notable corruptions of the Scriptures. There is also remaining among his papers, a • Lexicon Propheticum,” which has never been printed. His manuscripts amount in all to about four thousand sheets in folio, or eight reams of paper, besides many bound volumes. They relate principally to chronology and history, and a great many of them are copies repeatedly transcribed. A catalogue of these manuscripts may be found in the Edinburgh Ency. clopedia, and in various other publications. The famous tree in the orchard at Woolsthorpe—which is said to have suggested the idea of gravitation—was blown down a few years ago; but the house in which the philosopher spent his early years still stands. “It is built of stone, as is the way of the country thereabouts,” says Dr Stukeley, who saw it above a century ago, “and a reasonable good one. They led me up stairs, and showed me Sir Isaac's study, where I suppose he studied when in the country, in his younger days, as perhaps when he visited his mother from the university. I observed the shelves were of his own making, being pieces of deal boxes, which probably he sent his books and clothes down in upon these occasions." This house was repaired in 1798, when a marble tablet was put up in one of the apartments, having Pope's celebrated couplet inscribed on it :
John Freind was the son of the rector of Croton in Northamptonshire, at which place he was born in 1675. He studied at Westminster school under the well-known Dr Busby; after which he was sent, in 1690, to Christ-church, Oxford. He was there much distinguished for his classical erudition, and at the age of twenty, produced, in concert with another student, an edition of the oration of Æschinus against Ctesiphon, and of that of Demosthenes, entitled, “De Coronâ,' with a Latin translation and commentary. He also revised the Delphine edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses, reprinted at Oxford in the same year. He now commenced the study of medicine, and appeared before the public in a letter to Sir Hans Sloane on hydrocephalus, in 1699; and afterwards in 1701, in a letter on the history of a rare spasmodic affection. These may be found in the Philosophical transactions. His next work was on the subject of the · Fluxus muliebris menstruus,' and contained an examination of the several medical theories of the day, espe
* See Article NEWTON.