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joined by a great number of persons eminent in every branch of science. The accession of new members obliged them now to think of adopting fome regular mode of conducting their debates; and, in a private conversation, on the 28th of No-vember, 1660, between lord Brouncker, Mr. Boyle, Mr. Bruce, fr Robert Moray, fir Paul Neile, Dr. Wilkins, Dr. Goddard, Dr. Petty, Mr. Balle, Mr. Wien, and Mr. Hill, the first idea was suggested of forming a regular college for the promotion of physico-mathematical and experimental science. As a preliminary to such a measure, a set of regulations were drawn up, simple and plain, adapted to the character of the men, and the frugal manners of the age. The meetings were to be continued weekly, at three o'clock in the afternoon, during term time, in Mr. Rooke's chamber at Grelham-college ; and, in the vacation, at Mr. Balle's in the Temple. An admillion fine of ten shillings was levied on cach of the members, who also engaged to contribute, at the rate of one shilling a week, ' whether present or absent, towards the expences of the inftitution. A list of additional inembers was, at the same time, given in, among whom we find the names of fir Kenelmé Dighy, Mr. Evelyn, celebrated for his attention to the practical and philosophical part of botany, and Cowley the poct, who had been created a doctor of physic at Oxford in the year 1657,
« Thus the society continued to prosecute, with a most laudable zeal and industry, every branch of useful knowledge. The experiments, as Sprat informs us, were made by themselves, or at least repeated, whenever the results were com. municated from a distance. It was at first determined not to increase the number of the members ; and the stated number was fixed at fifty-five; but this order was afterwards judiciously rescinded. It was also resolved, that no person should be admitted to the society without a scrutiny, in which the candidates should have the votes of at least two-thirds of the members present, except such as were of or above the degree of a baron; and all such were to be admitted, at their defire, as supernumeraries, provided they conformed to the rules of the society. The same privilege was afterwards extended to the fellows of the College of Physicians, in consequence of the college indulging them with the use of their hall.
« On the 5th of December, fir Robert Moray informed the society that the king had been made acquainted with the design of the meeting; that his majelty had fignified his approbation, and was desirous of giving it encouragement. About the same time it was resolved, that the standing offices of the society should be three in number, a prefident or director, a treasurer, and a register-the former to be chosen monthly, and the two latter to continue in office for the space of a year.
Two servants, with salaries, were also appointed, an amanuenhs, and an operator.-The salary of the former was forty shillings per annum, and of the latter four pounds.
« As a specimen of their proceedings in this infant state, it may not be unplcasant to the reader to mention that the subjects which chiefly engaged their attention at this period were a series of experiments on pendulums, by Dr. (afterwards fir Christopher) Wren; experiments for the improvement of thipping, under the direction of Dr. Petty, Dr. Goddard, Dr. Wilkins, and Dr. Wren; an experiment on the recoiling of guns, by lord Brouncker; and a series of queries were drawn up by the same nobleman, in conjunction with Mr. Boyle, and sent to Teneriffe, chiefly re. lating to experiments for measuring the height, and examining the atmosphere and climate of the Peak.
His majesty, about the fame time, fent two loadstones to be examined by the society ; Dr. Goddard produced some chemical experiments on coloured fluids, produced from Auids nearly or alto. gether colourless ; and Mr. Evelyn, fome curious observations on the anatomy of trees, which were followed by a discourse of fir Kencime Digby on the vegetation of plants.
“ The society, however, did not confine its attention to subjects of mere philosophy, but extended it to the arts and manufactures. Besides the experiments on shipping, already noticed, Dr. Petty produced a series of observations on the colthing-trade: experiments were also made on refining, japanning, gilding and other arts. Among other phænom mena produced before the society, was a young man born deaf and dumb, and taught by the celebrated Wallis to speak plainly. The doctor, with some humour, describes this occupation, in a letter to Mr. Oldenburg.--" I am now employed,” says he, “ upon another work, as hard, almust, as
to make Mr. Hobbes understand mathematics. It is to teach a person dumb and deaf to speak, and to understand a lan'guage," &c.
“ From this specimen of its proceedings, the reader will perceive that the society was not less diligent or flourishing previous to its incorporation, than it has been at any subfequent period. Some persons have in truth doubted, whether this circumstance has been, or not, of real service to the society; but it must be remembered, that though not of actual use, it may have been productive of eventual good. It served, probably, to preserve the unity of the fociety, and to prevent it from breaking into different clubs or assemblies. It also gave it some consequence in the eyes of the public, and of foreign natiuns; and poslibly contributed at once to its respectability and permanence.
The act of incorporation passed the great seal on the 15th of July 1662.-The only alteration of importance in the regulations of the society was, that the elections were made annual ; William lord viscount Brouncker was appointed the first president; fir Robeit Moray, Mr. Boyle, Mr. (afterwards lord) Brereton, fir Kenelme Digby, fir Paul Neile, Mr. H. Slingelby, fir Wiliiam Petty, Dr. Wallis, Dr.Clarke, Dr. Wilkins, Dr. Ent, Mr. Aerskine, Dr. Goddard, Di. Christopher Wren, Mr. Baile, Mr Matthew Wren, Mr. Evelyn, Mr. Henshaw, Mr. Dudley Paimer, Mr. Oldenburg, were nominated of the council; and of these Mr. Balle was appointed treasurer, and Dr. Wilkins and Mr. Oldenburg the first secretaries. Such was the rife, progress, and establishment of this respectable fociety - We shall now return to give a short acconnt of the state of science in its various branches at this period fo propitious to the cause of philofophy in general.
“ Among the mathematicians of the age, the first place is generally assigned to Dr. John Wallis. He was the fon of a clergy man at Afford in Kent, and was educated at Emmanuel college, Cambridge. He was chosen fellow of Queen's, in 1640, there being no vacancy in his own college, and about the same time entered into holy orders. He was eminent for. having discovered the art of decyphering, and incurred some fcandal after the restoration, for having decyphered the letters, of king Charles, which were taken in the cabinct at Naseby
In 1644 he acted as one of the secretaries to the assembly of divines at Westminster, and in 1649 was appointed Savia lian professor of geometry at Oxford. While he continued in this station, he had a mathematical controversy with Mr. Hobbes, who, however, was but a weak antagonist, opposed to Wallis. His mathematical works were considered of lo much importance to science, that in the year 1699 they were collected, and published in Latin, by the university of Oxford, in three volumes, folio, and dedicated to king William. He was not only eminent as a mathematician, but published some excellent works on language, the study of which led him from theory to undertake the arduous talk of teaching the dumb to speak: of his services and reputation in the Royal Society we liave already treated.
“ Next in reputation to Wallis was Dr. Seth Ward. He was born in Hertfordshire, and educated at Sidney-college, Cambridge; he was patronized warmly by Dr. Samuel Ward, then master of that college, though he was not related to him. On the commencement of the civil wars, Mr. Seth Ward voluntarily became an affociate in the misfor-, tunes of his friend, whom he accompanied to prison, and continued with him till his death; he was also ejcéted from his fellowship for refusing the covenant. After leaving college, he resided some time with the celebrated Oughtred, at Aldbury in Surry, where he prosecuted his mathematical itudies with such success as laid the foundation of his future emi.
On the hopes of the royalist party being extinguished, Mr. Ward became more accommodating to the times, and from his great reputation as a mathematician he was appointed Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford, in the room of the celebrated Greaves, distinguished for his work on the Egyptian pyramids, who was ejected, but who had fufficient influence to recommend Mr. Ward to be his succeffor. Ward then entered himself of Wadham-college, from respect to Dr. Wilkins, who was the warden. After the re1toration, he was successively appointed Bishop of Exeter and of Salisbury. As a divine, we have before spoken of him with commendation;. as a mathematician, bis excellence is still acknowledged. Mr. Oughired says, he was the first man in Cambridge who expounded his Clavis Mathematica, which he
republished, with additions, at the importunate defire of the author.
“Besides these, we may mention, as men scarcely less emio vent, the extraordinary bishop Wilkins, and fır Christopher Wren, of whose character we shall afterwards have occasion to treat, when we come to speak of an art which was peculiarly his own, and in which his reputation yet remains without a rival.
“The same æra which produced the Royal Society was distinguished by the inventiou of an instrument which has been of great importance in natural and experimental philosophy, we mean the air-pump. It was the invention of the honourable Robert Boyle, who was assisted in perfecting the mechanical part of it by the ingenious Mr. Robert Hooke, so emis nent afterwards for his microscopical experiments. Independent of this noble invention, there is, perhaps, not any name which deserves to stand higher in the records of English philosophy than that of Boyle.--He gave a new turn to the researches of chemistry, and directed it, from the absurdities of the alchemists, to the views and purposes of sound philofophy. His experiments on air laid the foundation for that fy for -tem which is now generally received with respect to the general properties of that, and indeed of all other elastic fluids. The foundness of his judgment rendered him superior to all the tinsel of false philofophy. He was as adverse to the jargon of Aristotle as to the reveries of the alchemists, and defined that falhionable philosophy as “ having in it more of words than of things, promising much, and performing little.”.
“ His observationson colours were useful preliminaries to that beautiful system which was afterwards perfected by the genius of Newton. There was, in short, scarcely an interesting topic of natural philosophy which did not engage the attention of this indefatigable enquirer, and scarcely any which he did not improve. His tracts in defence of the Christian religion are not the least valuable of his writings ; and, indeed, in every respect, his whole life was devoted to the glory of God, and the benefit and instruction of his fellow-creatures. He may, with justice, be regarded as the father of modern philusophy.
“ After the name of Boyle we may mention that of fir Kenelme Digby
“ Digby the great, the valiant, and the wise."