By Marie Boas Hall
Nature and natures legislation files of the clinical revolutions.
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Additional info for Nature and Nature’s Laws: Documents of the Scientific Revolution
And were a small loadstone to remain for as long in the same fire, it too would lose its force. Iron, because it is not so easily destroyed or burnt as very many loadstones, retains its powers better, and after they are lost may get them back again from a loadstone; but a burnt loadstone cannot be restored. Now this iron, stripped of its magnetic form, moves in a way different from any other iron, for it has lost the polar property; and though before contact with the loadstone it may have had a movement to the north, and after contact toward the south, now it turns to no fixed and determinate point; but afterward, very slowly,..
It was Gilbert's greatest discovery, of which he was justly proud, that the Earth itself is a loadstone or magnet. 40 A NEW AGE AND AN OLD TRADITION were pointing with the fmger, to exhibit to mankind Earth, mother of all. And even as geometry rises from certain slight and readily understood foundations to the highest and most difficult demonstrations, whereby the ingenious mind ascends above the aether: so does our magnetic doctrine and science in due order first show forth certain facts of less rare occurrence; from these proceed facts of a more extraordinary kind; at length, in a sort of series, are revealed things most secret and privy in the earth, and the causes are recognized of things that, in the ignorance of those of old or through the heedlessness of the moderns, were unnoticed or disregarded.
But, say they, without the Heavens there is no body, no place, no emptiness, no, not any thing at all whether the Heavens should or could extend farther. But this surely is very strange, that nothing should have such efficient power to restrain something, the same having a very essence and being. Yet if we would thus confess that the Heavens were indeed infinite upward, and only finite downward in respect of their spherical concavity, much more perhaps might that saying be verified, that without the Heavens is nothing, seeing everything in respect to the infiniteness thereof had sufficient place within the same.