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HISTORICAL ESSAY,

&c. &c. &c.

HISTORICAL ESSAY

ON THE

FIRST PUBLICATION

OF

SIR ISAAC NEWTON'S

PRINCIPIA.

BY

STEPHEN PETER RIGAUD, M. A.

F.R.S. F.R.A.S. Hon, M.R.I.A

SAVILIAN PROFESSOR OF ASTRONOMY.

OXFORD,

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

MDCCCXXXVIII.

Frq. Way ziwit

1

'30 0-1923

PREFACE.

SIR DAVID BREWSTER is well known to be engaged on an enlarged edition of his Life of Newton, for which, in addition to other valuable documents, he has had access to the papers belonging to the Earl of Portsmouth. It may be right, therefore, to mention, that no steps were taken towards printing this Essay, before it had been ascertained that he would not consider the publication of it as an interference with his more important object. Indeed, minute details on a particular point would hardly be compatible with a general history, although it is hoped that they may supply some materials for the greater work.

From the MSS. of David Gregory, and other writers, several facts have been either recovered or illustrated ; but the two great sources of original information have been the collections

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