Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds

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J. Cundee; sold, 1803 - Plurality of worlds - 150 pages
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Missing pages 94 and 95 :( bummer.

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"What find a mine of the mother lode around this light of sun" What material, Shelley!

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Page 43 - ... heads of these Indians, who have put themselves up to the throat in water, because, according to their notions, this is a very religious act, and will induce the Sun or Moon to defend itself bravely against the dragon. In America, it was thought that the Sun and Moon were angry when they were eclipsed, and every kind of absurdity was practised to regain their favour. The Grecians, too, who had arrived at such a height of refinement, did they not for a long time believe that the Moon was eclipsed...
Page v - Hicetas, Heraclides — taught that the stars were all worlds. Several ancient philosophers even admitted an infinity of worlds beyond the reach of our sight. Epicurus, Lucretius, and all the Epicureans were of the same opinion ; and Metrodorus thought it as absurd to imagine but one world in the immensity of space as to say that only one ear of corn could grow in a great extent of country. Zeno of Eleusis, Anaxiinenes, Anaximander, Leucippus, Democritus, asserted the same thing.
Page iii - LANDE. ^WHENEVER I have entered into conversation with any sensible woman on astronomy, I have always found that she had read Fontenelle's Plurality of Worlds ; and that his book had excited her curiosity on the subject.
Page vii - Cosmothereos, p. 160. exist between the planets and beings who inhabit them. 'We see six planets around the Sun, the Earth is the third ; they all move in elliptical orbits ; they have all a rotatory motion, like the Earth, as well as spots, irregularities, mountains. Some of them have satellites, the Earth has one satellite : Jupiter is flattened like our world ; in short, there is every possible resemblance between the planets and the Earth : is it, then, rational to suppose the existence of living...
Page 85 - I fancy they have no memory at all, like most of the negroes, that they make no reflections; and what they do is by sudden starts, and perfect haphazard. In short, Mercury is the bedlam of the universe; the Sun appears to them much greater than it does to us, because they are much nearer to it than we: it sends them so vast and strong a light, that the most glorious day here would be no more with them than a declining twilight. I know not...
Page v - ... three quarto volumes (which for a century was the standard work) on astronomy, thus expounds the conceptions of the ancients regarding our subject, and the history of opinion to the time of Fontenelle : — ' I have remarked, in the twentieth book of my Astronomy, that in every period of time it lias been believed that the planets were inhabited, on account of their resemblance to the Earth. The idea of the plurality of worlds is expressed in the Orphics, those ancient Grecian poems attributed...
Page 11 - The generality are affected only by the obscure and marvellous. They admire nature merely because they consider it a sort of magic ; something too occult for the understanding to reach : to them a thing appears contemptible as soon as they find the possibility of explaining its nature...
Page 57 - At one time it was believed that the ocean covered every part of the earth except what was then known. Antipodes had never been heard of, and who could imagine that men would be able to walk with their heads downwards ? Yet after all, the antipodes were found out. Now the map must be altered ; a new half added to the earth...
Page 71 - I, if you knew that a great philosopher of ancient times had informed us that the moon was the dwelling of souls who had on earth rendered themselves worthy of very exalted happiness. He supposes that their felicity consists in listening to the music of the spheres; but that when the moon comes under the shadow of the earth, they are no longer able to hear...
Page 9 - Py thagorases, the Platos, the Aristotles; all these men whose names are now so celebrated. Let us suppose them viewing the flight of Phaeton, rising on the wind ; ignorant at the same time of the construction of the theatre, and the cords by which the figure is put in motion. One to explain the phenomenon, says, it is some hidden virtue in Phaton tiihkh causes him to rise ; another replies, Ph&ton is composed of certain numbers which produce his elevation.

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