« PreviousContinue »
Epimanondas did. King Henry the Fifth of England was so swift in running, that he, with two of his Nobles (without Bow, or other Engine) would take a Wild Buck or Doe in a large Park. Allo Harold, the Son of Canutus the Second, was Sirnamed Harefoot for his swift running. And Ethus, King of Scotland, was of that swiftness, that he almost reached that of Stags or Grayhounds; and was therefore called Alipes , or Wing’d-foot. Philippides an Athenian, in the space of two days, did run 150 Roman Miles. And one Euclides, another of the same Countrey, went and returned in one day 125 of the like Miles.
But those are the best Exercises, which (besides the refreshing of the Body) enable men to some other good Ends: As Bowling, ] It teaches Mens Hands and Eyes Mathematical Pros
- And (for a Home-Diversion) the Play at the Billiard Table hath not its Peer : It exercises the whole Body moderately ; the strength of the Arm juliciously : It directs the Hand Geometrically, and the Eye Optically : For the attaining to be an Exquisite Proficient in playing at it, depends wholly upon putting in practice that Axiome of Euclid in his Catoptignes ; which demonstrates, that, The Angles of Incidence and Reflection are ever more equal.
Swimming ] hath saved many a man's Life, when himself hath been both the Ship and the Cargozoon. And single Persons, by their dexterity in this Art, have not saved their own Lives only, but their Countrey also. For (as Livie relates ) One Horatius Cocles, That, after a long time, he alone, had defended the Bridge over Tyber against the Hetruscans, the Ro. mans brake it down behind him ; wherewith, in his Armour, he cast himself into the River, and (notwithstanding a shower of Darts and Arrows were sent after him) swam with safety into the City; which rewarded him with a Statue erected in the Market-place, and as much Land as he could encompass with a Plough in one day. And as resolute an Attempt was that of Gerrard and Harvey, two Gentlemen of our own Nation, who in the Fight at Sea in 1588. swam in the Night-time, and pierced with Augres, or such like Instruments, the sides of the Spanish
, Gallions, and returned back safe to the English Fleet. And Vincent in his Travails reports, That at Barlavento, Calo and Hispaniola, he hath seen men stay under water the space of three quarters of an Hour ; and hath heard of those that would continue an whole Hour. The forementioned Exercises are such as are generally used,
and do tend to the health of Mens Bodies ; and for the prevention of several Maladies to which by Nature they are inclin'd. But there are other Corporeal Exercises which are more Heroical, and fit only for the Recreation of Princes, and such Noble Heroes, whose principal Ambitions tend to the defence of their King and Countrey: And such are, Horsemanship, Tilting, Tornamenting, Throwing the Bar, Wrestling, &c. Of which instances might be given of many Emperors, Kings and Generals, who have performed great Exploits thereby. But leaving those of the Body, Ishall proceed to such Recreations as adorn the Mind; of which those of the Mathematicks are inferior to none.
Now the Excellency of any Science (says the Philosopher) may be judged of, (1.) By the Excellency of the Object : And (2.) by the Certainty of its Demonstrations.
First, for the Object; It is no less than the whole World : No only of the Terrestrial, but the Cælestial part thereof also. So that in this respect it far exceeds all those empty and barren Speculations about Materia Prima, or Universale: In the Study of which so many do mispend their Younger Years.
Secondly, For the Demonstrations of these Sciences, they are as infallible as Truth it self: And for this reason also doth it exceed all other Knowledge which depend upon Conjectures and Uncertainty. Since therefore in these respects, it is one of the most Excellent Sciences in Nature, it may best become the Industry of Man, who is one of the best Works of Nature. And for that end was he made with an Elevated Aspect, with Head and Eyes exalted: And for what reason, the Poet tells you,
Os Homini sublime dedit, Celumque tueri
Jufit, e erectos ad Sydera tollere vultus.
Mighe view the Stars, and learn Astronomy. And thus the Kingly Prophet David, Pfal. 8. v. 3, 4. falls ouc into this Admiration, When I consider the Heavens, the Works of thy Fingers ; the Moon and the Stars which thou hast created; Whát is Man, that thou art mindful of him, and the Son of Man that thou visitest him! Upon which Text, Sandys thus excellently Paraphrases.
When I pure Heaven, thy Fabrick see ;
Ö! what is Man, and his frail Race;
That Thou should'st such a shadow grace ! Now these Sciences being so excellent in themselves, and of such benefit to us, we cannot spend our leisure hours better, than in these Sublime Sciences. It was so with Julius Cæsar, who amongst the Broils and Tumults of the Camp, made choice of this for his Recreation : As Lucan says of him, Lib. 1o.
Media inter prelia semper
And for this reason likewise did Seneca, amidst the continual Noise andBustle of the Court, becake himself to this Recreation.
O quam juvabat, &c.
O what a Pleasure was it to Survey Natures Chief Work, the Heavens! Where we may View the alternate Courses of the Sun, The Sacred Chariots, how the World does run : The Moon's bright Orb, when she's attended by Those scattered Stars, whose Light adorns the Sky. And thus let what I have already said concerning the Excellency,Utility and Benefit of these Mathematical Arts fuffice. It may be expected I should say something concerning those which I have selected in the following Tra&tates: But for that I refer you only to the Table of Contents following : And for the using of them, make them as Ballast to a Ship; to fix it, not to stall it ; so as to justle out its other Cargo of less weight, though of greater ima portance to Mundane subsistence. But I will deter thee (Reader) no longer in the Porch, but invite thee into the Inner Rooms; into which Ingredere ut Proficias : And so, for this time,
and Order of the Whole BOOK.
Pag. I' A Mechanical Paradox.
Of the Rule of Ceres and Virginum.
of the Ballance of Signeur Galileo Galilei. 5
Of Longimetria : Or of the Mensuration of Di- A Comparative Table of the weight of Metals,
How to lay down, or make a Plot of any piece of Ştatical Experiments.
Ground measured as aforesaid ; and to find the A Postscript.
TRACT. V. Altronomical Recreations.
Weights may be raised with small The Strongest Arguments (by way of Objection )