« AnteriorContinuar »
diction, lend additional attractions to the knowledge so conveyed. To the latter characteristics of his style, no translation can do justice; and the difficulty or impossibility of transferring from the French to the English language those graces of idiom and expression, in which the former so much abounds, must serve as the excuse for imperfections, which in the following pages will doubtless be observed.
To some, it may appear, that M. Arago, in his history of the early improvers of the Steam Engine, has dwelt too much on the names of De Caus and Papin. Perhaps he may in return consider, that our notes on those who have in this country always been looked upon as the real originators of the great machine, have entered into further details than were required to establish their claims and set forth their merits. But as, on the one hand, the patriotic ardour for which M. Arago is celebrated, has been well employed in asserting the reputation which his country may deserve; so, on the other, we feel quite assured, that his liberality of sentiment, and desire of rendering impartial justice to all, will easily reconcile him to the nationality which he may possibly think he discerns on our part.
In the Appendix to this translation, the Historical Note by Lord Brougham on the discovery of
In 1699, Louis XIV. gave to the Academy of Sciences a new code of laws, by which several important changes were introduced into the constitution of that Society.
Of these, one of the most novel, was the admission of Foreign Associates. These were never to exceed eight in number, and were to be chosen without regard to any other considerations than their scientific fame, and the integrity of their lives. Hence, the honour of being admitted into that very distinguished class, has always been esteemed a reward of the most eminent philosophical attainments; and “the list of Foreign Associates,” says Cuvier, “commencing with the names of Newton, Leibnitz, and Peter the Great, has never degenerated from its original splendour.
In 1814, the name of JAMES WATT was added to this illustrious catalogue; and, some years after