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“ Institutions civil and religious, that Social Order, “ (as it is called in your cant) and regular Government, " and Law, and know not what other fantastic in“ ventions, are but so many cramps and fetters on the “ free agency of man's natural intellect and moral sen“ sibility, so many badges of his degradation from the “ primal purity and excellence of his nature.
“ Our second principle is the “ eternal and absolute “ Perfectibility of Man.“ We contend, that if, as is “ demonstrable, we have risen from a level with the “ cabbages of the field to our present comparatively in
telligent and dignified state of existence by the mere “ exertion of our own energies; we should, if these
energies were not repressed and subdued by the ope“ ration of prejudice, and folly, by KING-CRAFT and 5 PRIEST-CRAFT, and the other evils incident to what " is called Civilized Society, continue to exert and “ expand ourselves in a proportion infinitely greater “ than any thing of which we yet have any notion: “ in a ratio, hardly capable of being calculated by any
science of which we are now masters; but « which would in time raise Man from his present “ biped state to a rank more worthy of his endow“ments and aspirations; to a rank in which he would “ be, as it were, all Mind; would enjoy unclouded "perspicacity and perpetual vitality; feed on Oxygene, “ and never die but by his own consent.
“ But though the Poem of the PROGRESS of Man, .66 alone would be sufficient to teach this system, and “ enforce these doctrines; the whole practical effect of
“ them cannot be expected to be produced, but by the
gradual perfecting of each of the sublimer sciences; 56 - at the husk and shell of which we are now nibbling, “ and at the kernel whereof, in our present state, we “ cannot hope to arrive. These several Sciences will “ be the subjects of the several auxiliary DIDACTIC “ Poems which I have now in hand (one of which, 6 entitled THE LOVES OF THE TRIANGLES, I herewith “ transmit to you) and for the better arrangement " and execution of which, I beseech you to direct
your Bookseller to furnish me with a handsome • Chambers's Dictionary ; in order that I may “bled to go through the several articles alphabetically,
beginning with Abracadabra, under the first letter, “and going down to Zodiac, which is to be found " under the last.
“ I am persuaded that there is no science, however “ abstruse, nay, no Trade or Manufacture, which
may not be taught by a Didactic Poem. In that be“ fore you an attempt is made (not unsuccessfully I
hope) to enlist the Imagination under the banners of “ Geometry. Botany I found done to
hands. And though the more rigid and unbending stiffness of a “ mathematical subject does not admit of the same ap
peals to the warmer passions, which naturally arise « out of the sexual (or, as I have heard several worthy “Gentlewomen of my acquaintance, who delight much “ in the Poem to which I allude, term it, by a slight “ misnomer no way difficult to be accounted for-the “ sensual) system of Linnæus ;-yet I trust that the
“range and variety of illustration with which I have en. “ deavouredto ornament and enlighten the arid truths “ of Euclid and Algebra,will be found to have smoothed “ the road of Demonstration, to have softened the rug“ged features of Elementary Propositions, and, as, it “ were, to have strewed the Asses' Bridge with flowers."
Such is the account which Mr. Higginsgives of his own undertaking, and of the motives which have led him to it. For our parts, though we have not the same sanguine persuasion of the absolute perfectibility of our species, and are in truth liable to the imputation of being more satisfied with things as they are, than Mr. Higgins and his Associates ;-yet as we are in at least the same proportion, less convinced of the practical influence of Didactic Poems, we apprehend little danger to our Readers' morals, from laying before them Mr. Higgins's doctrine in its most fascinating shape. The Poem abounds, indeed, with beauties of the most strike ing kind—various and vivid imagery, bold and unsparing impersonifications; and similitudes and illustrations brought from the most ordinary and the most extraordinary occurrences of nature,-from history and fable,-appealing equally to the heart and to the understanding, and calculated to make the subject of which the Poem professes to treat, rather amusing than intelligible. We shall be agreeably surprised to hear that it has assisted any young Student, at either University, in his Mathematical Studies.
We need hardly add, that the Plates illustrative of this poem (the engravings of which would have been
too expensive for our publication) are to be found in Euclid's Elements, and other books of a similar tendency.
LOVES OF THE TRIANGLES.
ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST CANTO.
Warning to the Profane not to approach-Nymphs and
Deities of Mathematical Mythology-Cyclois of a pensive turn- Pendulums, on the contrary, playful—and why?-Sentimental union of the Naiads and Hydrostatics-Marriage of Euclid and Algebra.-Pulley the emblem—of Mechanics—Optics of a licentious Disposition -distinguished by her Telescope and Green Spectacles, -Hyde Park Gate on a Sunday Morning-Cockneysm Coaches. Didactic Poetry- Nonsensia - Love delights in Angles or Corners-Theory of Fluxions explained—Trochais, the Nymph of the Wheel-SmokeJack described-Personification of elementary or culinary Fire.--Little Jack Horner-Story of Cinderella—Rectangle, a magician, educated by Plato and Menecmus-in love with Three Curves, at the same time -served by Gins or Genii—transforms himself into a Cone-The Three Curves requite his Passion-descrip tion of them-Parabola, Hyperbola, and Ellipsis Asymptotes—Conjugated A xes.- Illustrations_Rewbell, Barras,—and Lepaux, the three virtuous Directors.Macbeth and the Three Witches The Three
Fates—The Three Graces~King Lear and his Tkree Daughters-Derby Diligencem Catherine Wheel.Catastrophe of Mr. Gingham, with his Wife and Three Daughters overturned in a One-horse Chaise-Dislocation and Contusion, two kindred Fiends-Mail Coaches-Exhortation to Drivers to be careful-Genius of the Post Office-Invention of Letters-Digamnia- Double Letters—remarkable Direction of
-Hippona the Goddess of Huck-horses—Parameter and Abscissa unite to overpower the Ordinate, who retreats down the Axis Major, and forms himself in a Square—Isosceles, a Giant—Dr. Rhomboides Fifth Proposition, or Asses's Bridge-Bridge of Lodi -Buonaparte-Raft and Windmills-Exhortation to the Recovery of our Freedom-Conclusion.
THE LOVES OF THE TRIANGLES.
A MATHEMATICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL POEM,
INSCRIBED TO DR. DARWIN.
your rude steps, or e'er your feet invade The Muses' haunts, ye Sons of War and Trade I Nor you, ye Legion Fiends of Church and Law, Pollute these pages with unhallow'd paw!
Ver. 1-4. Imitated from the introductory couplet to the Economy of VEGETATION.
Stay your rude steps, whose throbbing breasts infold
“ The Legion Fiends of Glory and of Gold.” This sentiment is here expanded into four lines.