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tributions of all ages and almost all the nations of the earth. There is no period since the dawn of knowledge that has not given birth to some great man, whose thoughts and watchings now influence our condition through his mathematical discoveries. We draw our geometry from Greece, our algebra from Egypt, fluxions from England or Saxony, our numerical figures from Arabia, logarithms from Scotland; and thus the various discoveries and laws of astronomy are parcelled out amongst a host of thinking men, scat tered through all time. Our common avocations are strewed with mementos of past greatness and genius. We never stir the pump-handle, but the water which pours out is a libation to the memory of Ctesibes of Alexandria, the inventor of that useful household drudge, and whose praises ought not to have been forgotten in the soliloquy of the Salem Town Pump. Every map we look at is an epitaph of honor to Hipparchus, who taught the great art of fixing places by latitude and longitude. Every carpenter who lays down his ten foot rule to determine the square of his foundation, commemorates the philosopher Pythagoras. And so we go through our daily walk of business and pleasure, in company with, and leaning upon, the mighty spirits of former ages; thinking thoughts which they originated; working with instruments which they invented; elevated by truths which they set in motion truths that have come out from their dry studies of calculation and observation, to be the light and movement of our many-colored life; imparting to civilized society many of those features which most beautify and bless. Indeed, then, there is no lack of poetical associations and suggestions to him who remembers this connection of the mathematicians and philosophers of all ages and all nations with the active scenes and cherished objects that lie every where around us.
I have thus attempted to illustrate the connection between Poetry and the Mathematics. Were I a mathematician, I could have done it by more apt and exquisite examples. But even in my penury, I trust I have not failed to show that in the doctrines, in the operations, in the results, and in the history of mathematics, there are copious elements of beautiful and thrilling poetry; and that, therefore, there is no ground for the contempt and dislike which those who would be thought brilliant geniuses are accustomed to display towards this dry study.
It is well to learn that there is beauty and pleasure in every thing, and to multiply, in this way, our delightful associations with the things of the universe around us. It is a habit of mind favorable to moral progress, and to devotional feeling. To view the order of nature in a poetical, is an approach towards viewing it in a religious, light.
I trust, too, that I have not been treating a subject of barren entertainment alone; but one, the contemplation of which may help to enlarge the circle of our spiritual associations with the material objects around us, to increase the number and variety of our topics of thought and conversation, and to invite our attention more and more from what is merely sensual and earthly. He that loves to contemplate the fair and the good in all around him, and in all that science discloses to him, is more easily led on to the better adoration of the "First Good, First Fair." As he reflects upon the significant assemblage of bounties and glories,
"He lifts to heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling says, 'My Father made them all.'”
Science and Poetry, recognizing, as they do, the order and the beauty of the universe, are alike handmaids of Devotion. They have been, they may be, drawn away from
One teaches the
her altar. But in their natural characters they are coöperators, and, like twin sisters, they walk hand in hand. Science tracks the footprints of the great creating Power; Poetry unveils the smile of the all-sustaining Love. Science adores as a subject; Poetry worships as a child. law, and the other binds the soul to it in bands of beauty and love. They turn the universe into a temple, earth into an altar, the systems into fellow-worshippers, and eternity into one long day of contemplation and praise.