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On the magnet, magnetick bodies also, and on the great magnet the earth a new physiology, demonstrated by many arguments & experiments   By: (1544-1603)

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First Page:

VVILLIAM GILBERT

OF COLCHESTER,

PHYSICIAN OF

LONDON.

ON THE MAGNET, MAGNETICK

BODIES ALSO, AND ON

the great magnet the earth; a new Physiology,

demonstrated by many arguments

& experiments.

[Illustration]

LONDON

IMPRINTED AT THE CHISWICK PRESS ANNO

MCM.

[Illustration]

{ij} [Illustration]

PREFACE TO THE CANDID READER, STUDIOUS OF THE MAGNETICK PHILOSOPHY.

Clearer proofs, in the discovery of secrets, and in the investigation of the hidden causes of things, being afforded by trustworthy experiments and by demonstrated arguments, than by the probable guesses and opinions of the ordinary professors of philosophy: so, therefore, that the noble substance of that great magnet, our common mother (the earth), hitherto quite unknown, and the conspicuous and exalted powers of this our globe, may be the better understood, we have proposed to begin with the common magnetick, stony, and iron material, and with magnetical bodies, and with the nearer parts of the earth which we can reach with our hands and perceive with our senses; then to proceed with demonstrable magnetick experiments; and so penetrate, for the first time, into the innermost parts of the earth. For after we had, in order finally to learn the true substance of the globe, seen and thoroughly examined many of those things which have been obtained from mountain heights or ocean depths, or from the profoundest caverns and from hidden mines: we applied much prolonged labour on investigating the magnetical forces; so wonderful indeed are they, compared with the forces of all other minerals, surpassing even the virtues of all other bodies about us. Nor have we found this our labour idle or unfruitful; since daily during our experimenting, new and unexpected properties came to light; and our Philosophy hath grown so much from the things diligently observed, that we have attempted to expound the interior parts of the terrene globe, and its native substance, upon magnetick principles; and to reveal to men the earth (our common mother), and to point it out as if with the finger, by real demonstrations and by experiments manifestly apparent to the senses. And as geometry ascends from sundry very small and very easy principles to the greatest and most difficult; by which the wit of man climbs above the firmament: so our magnetical doctrine and science first sets forth in convenient order the things which are less obscure; from these there come to light others that are more remarkable; and at length in due order there are opened the concealed and most secret things of the globe of the earth, and the causes are made known of those things which, either through the ignorance of the ancients or the neglect of moderns, have remained unrecognized and overlooked. But why should I, in so vast an Ocean of Books by which the minds of studious men are troubled and fatigued, through which very foolish productions the world and unreasoning men are intoxicated, and puffed up, rave and create literary broils, and while professing to be philosophers, physicians, mathematicians and astrologers, neglect and despise men of learning: why should I, I say, add aught further to this so perturbed republick of letters, and expose this noble philosophy, which seems new and incredible by reason of so many things hitherto unrevealed, to be damned and torn to pieces by the maledictions of those who are either already sworn to the opinions of other men, or are foolish corruptors of good arts, learned idiots, grammatists, sophists, wranglers, and perverse little folk? But to you alone, true philosophizers, honest men, who seek knowledge not from books only but from things themselves, have I addressed these magnetical principles in this new sort of Philosophizing. But if any see not fit to assent to these self same opinions and paradoxes, let them nevertheless mark the great array of experiments and discoveries (by which notably every philosophy flourisheth), which have been wrought out and demonstrated by us with many pains and vigils and expenses... Continue reading book >>




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