Previous Index Next
Page 61
(previous) (Page 000061) (next)

ed the Puy de Dome, carrying with him a barometric
column, and found that as he ascended the mountain the
column sank, and that as he descended the column rose.

Between the time here referred to' and the present,
millions of experiments have been made upon this subject.
Every. village pump is an apparatus for such experiments.
In thousands of instances, moreover, pumps have refused
to work; but on examination it has infallibly been found
that the well was dry, that the pump required priming,.or
that some other defect in the apparatus accounted for the
anomalous action. In every case of the kind the skill of
the pump-maker has been found to be the true remedy. In
no case has the pressure of the atmosphere ceased; con«
stancy, as regards the lifting of pump-water, has been
hitherto the demonstrated rule of Nature. 80 also as regards
Pascal’s experiment. His experience has been the universal
experience ever since. Men have climbed mountains, and
gone up in balloons; but no deviation from Pascal’s result
has ever been observed. Barometers, like pumps, have
refused to act; but instead of indicating any suspension of
the operations of Nature, or any interference on the part of
its Author with atmOSpheric pressure, examination has in
every instance fixed the anomaly upon the instruments
themselves. It is this welding, then, of rigid logic to veri-
fying fact that Mr. Mozley refers to an “ unreasoning im-

Let us now briefly consider the case of Newton. Before
his time men had occupied themselves with the problem of
the solar system. Kepler had deduced, from a vast mass
of observations, the general expressions of planetary motion
known as “Kepler’s laws.” It had been observed that a
magnet attracts iron ; and by one of those flashes of inspi-
ration which reveal to the human mind the vast in the
minute, the general in the particular, it occurred to Kepler,
that the force by which bodies fall to the earth might also

Previous Index Next