Castle Builders [2/2]
Extract, Miscellaneous, Serial
New Monthly Magazine
Scientific Practitioners, Genius, Extra-Terrestrial Life, Imagination, Amusement, Reasoning, Endeavour, Discovery
Describes Bernard Le B de Fontenelle as one of those 'great geniuses' who was a notorious castle builder. Relates: 'He got at one time among the stars, found them peopled, and began to study the laws, manners, and dispositions of the inhabitants of worlds many million times farther from the earth than thrice to "th' utmost pole"'. Describes Fontenelle's abstraction from ordinary affairs. Observes: 'Perhaps Fontenelle and Newton may illustrate the difference between the profound thinking of the scholar, and the amusement of which we are treating. Newton directed all of his faculties into one focus upon a single object, proceeding by line and rule to develope the mystery which it was his desire to unravel'. (45) Contrasts this 'wearying' mental discipline with the 'wayward fancies' of the castle builder (45–46).
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