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of the most
EMINENT LITERARY AND
OF ITALY, SPAIN, AND PORTUGAL.
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The history of the life and labours of Galileo is
pregnant with a peculiar interest to the general reader, as well as to the philosopher. His brilliant discoveries, the man of science regards as his peculiar property ; the means by which they were made, and the developement of his intellectual character, belong to the logician and to the philosopher ; but the triumphs and the reverses of his eventful life must be claimed for our common nature, as a source of more than ordinary instruction.
The lengthened career which Providence assigned to Galileo was filled up throughout its rugged outline with events even of dramatic interest. But though it was emblazoned with achievements of transcendent magnitude, yet his finest discoveries were the derision of his contemporaries, and were even denounced as crimen which merited the vengeance of Heaven. Though he was the idol of his friends, and the favoured companion of princes, yet he afterwards became the victim of persecution, and spent some of his last hours within the walls of a prison ; and though the Almighty granted