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such excessive labour, for he was accustomed to disappointments of that kind, but principally from many anxious and fruitless speculations as to the real physical causes why the planet did not move in the supposed epicycle, that being the point of view, as has been already shewn, from which he always preferred to begin his inquiries. One part of the reasoning by which he reconciled himself to the failure exhibits much too curious a view of the state of his mind to be passed over in silence. The argument is founded on the difficulty which he met with, as abovementioned, in calculating the proportions of the oval path he had imagmed. "In order that you may see the cause of the impracticability of this method which we have just gone through, consider on what foundations it rests. The planet is supposed to move equably in the epicycle, and to be carried by the Sun unequably in the proportion of the distances. But by this method it is impossible to be known how much of the oval path corresponds to any given time, although the distance at that part is known, unless we first know the length of the whole oval. But the length of the oval cannot be known, except from the law of the entry of the planet within the sides of the circle. But neither can the law of this entry be known before we know how much of the oval path corresponds to any given time. Here you see that there is upetiiio principii; and in my operations I was assuming that of which I was in search, namely.the length of the oval. This is at least not the fault of my understanding, but it is also most alien to the primary Ordainer of the planetary courses: I have never yet found so ungeometrical a contrivance in his other works. Therefore we must either hit upon some other method of reducing the theory of the 45th chapter to calculation; or if that cannot be done, the theory itself, suspected on account of thispetitioprincipii, will totter." Whilst his mind was thus occupied, one of those extraordinary accidents which it has been said never occur but to those capable of deriving advantage from them (but which, in fact, are never noticed when they occur to any one else), fortunately put him once more upon the right path. Half the extreme breadth between the oval and the circle nearly represented the errors of his distances at the mean point, and he found that this half was 429 parts of a radius, consisting of 100000 parts;

and happening to advert <o the greatest optical inequality of Mars.which amounts to about 5*18', it struck him that 429 was precisely the excess of the secant of 5° 18' above the radius taken at 100000. This was a ray of light, and, to use his own words, it roused him as out of sleep. In short, this single observation was enough to produce conviction in his singularly constituted mind, that instead of the distances S F, he should everywhere substitute F V, determined by drawing S V perpendicular on the line F C, since the excess of SF above FV is manifestly that of the secant above the radius in the optical equation S F C at that point. It is still more extraordinary that a substitution made for such a reason should have the luck/as is again the case, to be the right one. This substitution in fact amounted to supposing that the planet, instead of being at the distance S P or SF, was at S n; or, in other words, that instead of revolving in the circumference, it librated in the diameter of the epicycle, which was to him an additional recommendation. Upon this new supposition a fresh set of distances was rapidly calculated, and to Kepler's inexpressible joy, they were found to agree with the observations within the limits of the errors to which the latter were necessarily sulgect. Notwithstanding this success, he had to undergo, before arriving at the successful termination of his labours, one more disappointment. Although the distance corresponding to a time from the aphelion represented approximately by the area ASF, was thus found to be accurately represented by the line S n, there was still an error with regard to the direction in which that distance was to be measured. Kepler's first idea was to set it off in the direction S F, but this he found to lead to inaccurate longitudes; and it was not until after much perplexity, driving him, as he tells us, "almost to insanity," that he satisfied himself that the distance S Q equal to FV ought to betaken terminating in F m, the line from E perpendicular to A a, the line of apsides, and that the curve so traced out by Q would be an accurate ellipse.

[graphic]

He then found to his equal gratification and amazement, a small part of which he endeavoured to express by a triumphant figure on the side of his diagram, that the error he had committed in taking the area A S F to represent the sums of the distances S F, was exactly counterbalanced; for this area does accurately represent the sums of the distances F Vor S Q. This compensat ion, which seemed to Kepler the greatest confirmation of his theory, is altogether accidental and immaterial, resulting from the relation between the ellipse and circle. If the laws of planetary attraction had chanced to have been any other than those which cause them to describe ellipses, this last singular confirmation of an erroneous theory could not have taken place, and Kepler would have been forced either to abandon the theory of the areas, which even then would have continued to measure and define their motions, or to renounce the physical opinions from which he professed to have deduced it as an approximative truth.

These are two of the three celebrated theorems called Kepler's laws: the first is, that the planets move in ellipses round the sun, placed in the focus; the second, that the time of describing any arc is proportional in the same orbit to the area included between the arc and the two bounding distances from the sun. The third will be mentioned on another occasion, as it was not discovered till twelve years later. On the establishment of these two theorems, it became important to discover a method of measurmg such elliptic areas, but this is a problem which cannot be accurately solved. Kepler, in offering it to the attention of geometricians, stated his belief that its solution was unattainable by direct processes, on account of the incommensurability of the arc and sine, on which the measurement of the two parts A Q m, S Q m depends. "This," says he in conclusion, "this is my belief, and whoever shall shew my mistake, and pi int out the true solution,

/* erit mihi nwgnus Apollonius."

Chapter VI.

Kepler appointed Professor at LinzHis second marriagePublishes his new Method of GaugingRefuses a Professorship at Bologna.

When presenting this celebrated book to the emperor, Kepler gave notice that he contemplated a farther attack upon Mars's relations, father Jupiter, brother Mercury, and the rest; and promised that he would be successful, provided the emperor would not forget the sinews of war, and order him to be furnished anew with means for recruiting his army. The death of his unhappy patron, the Emperor Rodolph, which happened in 1612, barely in time to save him from the last disgrace of deposition from the Imperial throne, seemed to put additional difficulties in the way of Kepler's receiving the arrears so unjustly denied to him; but on the accession of Rudolph's brother, Matthias, he was again named to his post of Imperial Mathematician, and had also a permanent professorship assigned to him in theUniversity of Linz. He quitted Prague without much regret, where he had struggled against poverty during eleven years. Whatever disinclination he might feel to depart, arose from his unwillingness to loosen still more the hold he yet retained upon the wreck of Tycho Brahe's instruments and observations. Tengnagel, son-in-law of Tycho, had abandoned astronomy for a political career, and the other members of his family, who were principally females, suffered the costly instruments to lie neglected and forgotten, although they had obstructed with the utmost jealousy Kepler's attempts to continue their utility. The only two instruments Kepler possessed of his own property, were "An iron sextant of 2£ feet diameter, and a brass azimuthal quadrant, of 3J feet diameter, both divided into minutes of a degree." These were the gift of his friend and patron,Hoffman, the President of Styria, and with these, he made all the observations which he added to those of Tycho Brahe. His constitution was not favourable to these studies, his health being always delicate, and suffering much from exposure to the night air; his eyes also were very weak, as he mentions himself in several places. In the summary of his character which he drew up when proposing to become Tycho Brahe's assistant, he describes himself as follows:—" For observations my sight is dull; for mechanical operations my.^hand is awkward; in politics and domestic matters my nature is troublesome and choleric; my constitution will not allow me, even when in good health, to remain a long time sedentary (particularly for an extraordinary time after dinner); I must rise often and walk about, and in different seasons am forced to make corresponding changes in my diet."

The year preceding his departure to Linz was denounced by him as pregnant with misfortune and misery. "In the first place I could get no money from the court, and my wife, who had for a long time been suffering under low spirits and despondency, was taken violently ill towards the end of 1610, with the Hungarian fever, epilepsy, andphrenitis. She was scarcely convalescent when all my three children were at once attacked with small-pox. Leopold with his army occupied the town beyond the river, just as I lost the dearest of my sons, him whose nativity you will find in my book on the new star. The town on this side of the river where I lived was harassed by the Bohemian troops, whose new levies were insubordinate and insolent: to complete the whole, the Austrian army brought the plague with them into the city. I went into Austria, and endeavoured to procure the situation which I now hold. Returning in June, I found my wife in a decline from her grief at the death of her son, and on the eve of an infectious fever; and I lost her also, within eleven days after my return. Then came fresh annoyance, of course, and her fortune was to be divided with my step-sisters. The Emperor Rodolph would not agree to my departure; vain hopes were given me of being paid from Saxony; my time and money were wasted together, till on the death of the emperor, in 1612, I was named again by his successor, and suffered to depart to Linz. These, methinks, were reasons enough why I should have overlooked not only your letters, but even astronomy itself."

Kepler's first marriage had not been a happy one; but the necessity in which he felt himself of providing some one to take charge of histwo surviving children, of whom the eldest, Susanna, was born in 1602, and Louis in 1607, determined him on entering it second time into the married state. The account he has left us of the various negotiations which preceded his final choice, does not, in

any point, belie the oddity of his charac ter. His friends seem to have received a general commission to look out for a suitable match, and in a long and most amusing letter to theBaron Strahlendorf, we are made acquainted with the pretensions and qualifications of no less than eleven ladies among whom his inclinations wavered.

The first on the list was a widow, an intimate friend of his first wife's, and who, on many accounts, appeared a most eligible match. "At first she seemed favourably inclined to the proposal; it is certain that she took time to consider it, but at last she very quietly excused herself." It must have been from a recollection of this lady's good qualities that Kepler was induced to make his offer; for we learn rather unexpectedly, after being informed of her decision, that when he soon afterwards paid his respects to her, it was for the first time that he had seen her during the last six years ; and he found, to his great relief, that "there was no single pleasing point about her." The truth seems to be that he was nettled by her answer, and he is at greater pains than appear necessary, considering this last discovery, to determine why she would not accept his offered hand. Among other reasons he suggested her children, among whom were two marriageable daughters; and it is diverting afterwards to find them also in the catalogue which Kepler appeared to be making of all his female acquaintance. He seems to have been much perplexed in attempting to reconcile his astrological theory with the fact of his having taken so much trouble about a negotiation not destined to succeed. "Have the stars exercised any influence here? For just about this time the direction of the Mid-Heaven is in hot opposition to Mars, and the passage of Saturn, through the ascending point of the zodiac, in the scheme of my nativity, will happen again next November and December. But if these are the causes, how do they act? Is that explanation the true one which I have elsewhere given? For I can never think of handing over to the stars the office of deities to produce effects. Let us therefore suppose it accounted for by the stars, that at this season I am violent in my temper and affections, in rashness of belief, in a shew of pitiful tenderheartedness; in catching at reputation by new and paradoxical notions, and the singularity of my actions; in busily inquiring into, and weighing and discussing, various reasons; in the uneasiness of my mmd with respect to my choice. I thank God that that did not happen which might have happened; that this marriage did not take place: now for the others." Of these others, one was too old, another in bad health, another too proud of her birth and quarterings; a fourth had learned nothing but shewy accomplishments, "not at all suitable to the sort of life she would have to lead with me." Another grew impatient, and married a more decided admirer, whilst he was hesitating. "The mischief (says he) in all these attachments was, that whilst I was delaying, comparing, and balancing conflicting reasons, every day saw me inflamed with anew passion." By the time he reached the eighth, he found his match in this respect. "Fortune at length has avenged herself on my doubtful inclinations. At first she was quite complying, and her friends also: presently, whether she did or did not consent, not only I, but she herself did not know. After the lapse of a few days, came a renewed promise, which however had to be confirmed a third time; and four days after that, she again repented her confirmation, and begged to be excused from it. Upon this I gave her up, and this time all my counsellors were of one opinion." This was the longest courtship in the list, having lasted three whole months; and quite disheartened by its bad success, Kepler's next attempt was of a more timid complexion. His advances to No. 9, were made by confiding to her the whole story of his recent disappointment, prudently determining to be guided in his behaviour, by observing whether the treatment he had experienced met with a proper degree of sympathy. Apparently the experiment did not succeed; and almost reduced to despair, Kepler betook himself to the advice of a friend, who had for some time past complained that she was not consulted in this difficult negotiation. When she produced No. 10, and the first visit was paid, the report upon her was as follows:—" She has, undoubtedly, a good fortune, is of good family, and of economical habits: but her physiognomy is most horribly ugly; she would be stared at in the streets, not to mention the striking dis

proportion in our figures. I am lank, lean, and spare; she is short and thick; in a family notorious for fatness she is

considered superfluously fat." The only objection to No. 11 seems to have been her excessive youth; and when this treaty was broken of on that account, Kepler turned his back upon all his advisers, and chose for himself one who had figured as No. 5 in the list, to whom he professes to have felt attached throughout, but from whom the representations of his friends had hitherto detained him, probably on account of her humble station.

The following is Kepler's summary of her character."H er name is Susanna, t he daughter of John Reuthinger and Barbara, citizens of the town of Eferdingen; the father was by trade a cabinet-maker, but both her parents are dead. She has received an education well worth the largest dowry, by favour of the Lady of Stahrenberg, the strictness of whose household is famous throughout the province. Her person and manners are suitable to mine; no pride, no extravagance; she can bear to work; she has a tolerable knowledge how to manage a family; middleaged, and of a disposition and capability to acquire what she still wants. Her I shall marry by favour of the noble baron of Stahrenberg at twelve o'clock on the 30th of next October, with all Eferdingen assembled to meet us, and we shall eat the marriage-dinner at Maurice's at the Golden Lion."

Hantsch has made an absurd mistake with regard to this marriage, in stating that the bride was only twelve years old. Kastner and other biographers have been content to repeat the same assertion without any comment, notwithstanding its evident improbability. The origin of the blunder is to be found in Kepler's correspondence with Bernegger, to whom, speaking of his wife, he says " She has been educated for twelve years by the Lady of Stahrenberg." This is by no means a single instance of carelessness in Hantsch; Kastner has pointed out others of greater consequence. It was owing to this marriage, that Kepler took occasion to write his new method of gauging, for as he tells us in his own peculiar style "last November I brought home a new wife, and as the whole course of Danube was then covered with the produce of the Austrian vineyards, to be sold at a reasonable rate, I purchased a few casks, thinking it my duty as it good husband and a father of a family, to see that my household was well provided with drink." When the seller came to ascertain the quantity, Kepler objected to his method

of gauging, for he allowed no difference, whatever might be the proportion of the bulging parts. The reflections to which this incident gave rise, terminated in the publication of the above-mentioned treatise, which claims a place among the earliest specimens of what is now called the modern analysis. In it he extended several properties of plane figures to segments of cones and cylinders, from the consideration that " these solids are incorporated circles," and, therefore, that those properties are true of the whole which belong to each component part. That the book might end as oddly as it began, Kepler concluded it with a parody of Catullus:

"F.t cum pocula mille mens! ertmus
Conturbabimus Ilia, ne sciamus."

His new residence at I.inz was not long undisturbed. He quarrelled there, as he had done in the early part of his life at Gratz, with the Roman Catholic party, and was excommunicated. "Judge," says he to Peter Hoffman, "how far I can assist you, in a place where the priest and school-inspector have combined to brand me with the public stigma of heresy, because in every question I take that side which se'emsto me to be consonant with the word of God." The particular dogma which occasioned his excommunication, was connected with the doctrine of transubstantiation. He published his creed in a copy of Latin verses, preserved by his biographer Hantsch.

Before this occurrence, Keuler had been called to the diet at Ratisbon to give his opinion on the propriety of adopting the Gregorian reformation of the calendar, and he published a short essay, pointing out the respective convenience of doing so, or of altering the old Julian Calendar in some other manner. Notwithstanding the readiness of the diet to avail themselves of his talents for the settlement of a difficult question, the arrears of his salary were not paid much more regularly than they had been in Rodolph's time, and he was driven to provide himself with money by the publication of his almanac, of which necessity he heavily and justly complained. "In order to pay the expense of the Ephemeris for these two years, I have also written a vile prophesying almanac, which is scarcely more respectable than begging; unless it be because it saves the emperor's credit, who abandons me entirely ; and with all his frequent and recent orders in council,

would suffer me to perish with hunger." Kepler published this Ephemeris annually till 1620 ; ten years later he ad led those belonging to the years from 1620 to 1628.

In 1617 Kepler was invited into Italy, to succeed Magini as Professor of Mathematics at Bologna. The offer tempted him; but, after mature consideration, he rejected it, on grounds which he thus explained to Roffini:—" By birth and spirit I am a German, imbued with German principles, and bound by such family ties, that even if the emperor should consent, I could not, without the greatest difficulty.remove my dwelling-place from Germany into Italy. And although the glory of holding so distinguished a situation among the venerable professors of Bologna stimulates me, and there appears great likelihood of notably increasing my fortune, as well from the great concourse to the public lectures, as from private tuition; yet, on the other hand, that period of my life is past which was once excited by novelty, or which might promise itself a long enjoyment of these advantages. Besides, from a boy up to my present years, living a German among Germans, I am accustomed to a degree of freedom in my speech and manners, which, if persevered in on my removal to Bologna, seems likely to draw upon me, if not danger, at least notoriety, and might expose me to suspicion and party malice. Notwithstanding this answer, I have yet hopes that your most honourable invitation will be of service to me, and may make the imperial treasurer more ready than he has hitherto been to fulfil his master's intentions towards me. In that case I shall the sooner be able to publish the Rudolphine Tables and the Ephemerides, of which you had the scheme so many years back; and in this manner you and your advisers may have no reason to regret this invitation, though for the present it seems fruitless."

In 1619, the Emperor Matthias died, and was succeeded by Ferdinand m.. who retained Kepler in the post he had filled under his two predecessors on the imperial throne. Kiistner, in his " History of Mathematics," has corrected a gross error of Hantsch, in asserting that Kepler prognosticated Matthias's death. The letter to which Hantsch refers, in support of his statement, does indeed mention the emperor's death, but merely as a notorious event, for the purpose of recalling a date to the memory of his correspondent.

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