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pausing at the gate to finish their discourse. As they now turned away to separate, Smith stopped, and cried out, "One word more, neighbor; pray tell me if you observe these rules yourself."

David hesitated a moment, and then, with an expression of countenance that was half sadness and half a smile, he said, "The question is a very fair one, though I do not see that the answer can affect the goodness of the rules."

"But then I shall have the more courage to undertake them, if I find that they are real things, and not mere words."

"Very well; I told you that they had helped me; and they have unspeakably; but I do not live up to them fully, I do not fully live up to any of my good purposes. But this I can tell you, solemnly, that it is only by living by them that I ever gained any thing, and I have always found myself a loser just in proportion as I have slighted them."

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THE

POETRY OF MATHEMATICS:

A LECTURE,

PREPARED FOR THE BOSTON LYCEUM.

THE

POETRY OF MATHEMATICS.

--

TO MANY minds, no two ideas could be presented having less affinity than those of Poetry and Mathematics. Yet it is certain that they have many mutual, necessary, indissoluble relations. In the universe which we inhabit, we see every where two elements, Order and Beauty; Order securing utility, Beauty providing pleasure. Every thing is made for a use, and therefore subject to a rigid law of order. All things are arranged for happiness, and therefore are enveloped in beauty. Turn whithersoever we may, Order and Beauty are the joint presiding geniuses of

the scene.

Hence, in the use to which man, the observer, puts the world he lives in, there arise two processes of thought, according as he investigates the laws of this order, or contemplates, enjoys, and expresses this beauty. The first issues in science chiefly in the mathematics, the monarch of the sciences; the second gives birth to poetry. In studying the order of the universe, man is a mathematician; in studying the beauty of the universe, he is a poet. And hence, as order and beauty are every where coëxistent and inseparable, as each is to be found every where, in connection with every thing, therefore poetry and mathematics must every where and in all things coëxist, side by side, in some sort of partnership.

Upon this hint I propose to speak. The subject is not merely curious; it has its uses. It opens an opportunity for considering many subtile operations of the material universe, and some sublime discoveries of the human mind, under an aspect in which they rarely present themselves, and which yet displays them to such advantage, and imparts to them such a charm, that they, henceforth, become a more valuable property to the mind; ceasing to be dry, isolated facts, and obtaining a living connection with the most vital portions of our knowledge.

I begin with observing, that there is a great value in the habit of looking on all things with a poetic eye, for the purpose of discerning and appreciating their beautiful phases. It is a habit helpful alike to virtue and to happiness; for it discloses beauty, grace, and a beneficent aspect in all things. It does with the most uninteresting and forbidding, what spring does for the wintry landscape- clothes them with a robe of beauty - as that with leaves and flowers. It is, in fact, the spring-time attitude of the mind--the springlike temper of the soul.

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We have opened only the length and breadth, the

We sometimes look abroad on creation and society, and behold dulness, rudeness, and desolation. All is harsh and ungrateful, sullen and cold. We go from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, "All is barren." corporeal eye, and scanned the angles, the lines, and the colors. It is winter. But we call up the poetical element within us; we summon our perception of beauty, our sense of proportion and harmony, our associations of heroism, love, fortitude, and taste - -and all is transformed. The bare rocks speak of sentiment; the hideous cavern is sublime; there glows a complexion of life on all things. It is spring. The genial gales from within us have put the beautiful garments of tenderness and grace upon the whole dull scenery before us.

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