Fiction, Drollery; Letter, Spoof
Theory, Experiment, Gravity, Phrenology, Analogy
Referring back to an earlier article, the writer introduces a fictional letter from an 'ingenious friend, Thomas Twister, Esq.' relating to his quasi-scientific experiments. The experiments are designed to test his theory that craniological deficiencies might be corrected by the power of lunar attraction on the skull. Having been daunted by criticisms and ridicule, Twister is encouraged in his belief in so distant an analogy by the recollection that 'Descartes, from observing that chaff floating in a tub of water yields passively to the undulations of the fluid, had reared a theory which was received by able philosophers'. Testing his theory by standing in his garden at night, Twister develops a 'huge bump' just where he wants it to be, but only as a result of being bombarded with crab apples.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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