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									  Literary Quotes:

Newtonian Influence?
     Pre-May Seminar
    February 28, 2011
  John Dryden (1631-1700)
Mere poets are sottish as mere
drunkards are, who live in a
continual mist, without seeing or
judging anything clearly. A man
should be learned in several
sciences, and should have a
reasonable, philosophical and in
some measure a mathematical
head, to be a complete and
excellent poet.
      Le Bovier de Fontenelle
           (1657-1757)
The geometrical spirit is not so attached to geometry
that it cannot be carried over to other knowledge as
well. A work of ethics, of politics, of criticism, perhaps
even of eloquence will be better, all things being equal,
if it is made by the hand of a mathematician. The order,
clarity, precision, and exactitude which have reigned in
the better works recently, can well have had their first
source in this geometrical spirit which extends itself
more than ever and which in some fashion
communicates itself even to those who have no
knowledge of geometry.—On the Utility of Mathematics
and Physics, 1699.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was
light.
     Joshua Reynolds: Seven
        Discourses on Art
We may let pass those things which are at once subjects
of taste and sense, and which having as much certainty
as the senses themselves, give no occasion to inquiry or
dispute. The natural appetite or taste of the human mind
is for truth; whether that truth results from the real
agreement or equality of original ideas among
themselves; from the agreement of the representation of
any object with the thing represented; or from the
correspondence of the several parts of any arrangement
with each other. It is the very same taste which relishes
a demonstration in geometry, that is pleased with the
resemblance of a picture to an original, and touched
with the harmony of music.
Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
All these have unalterable and fixed foundations in
nature, and are therefore equally investigated by reason,
and known by study; some with more, some with less
clearness, but all exactly in the same way. A picture that
is unlike, is false. Disproportionate ordinance of parts is
not right because it cannot be true until it ceases to be a
contradiction to assert that the parts have no relation to
the whole. Colouring is true where it is naturally adapted
to the eye, from brightness, from softness, from
harmony, from resemblance; because these agree with
their object, nature, and therefore are true: as true as
mathematical demonstration; but known to be true only
to those who study these things.
      William Wordsworth
          (1771-1850)
True is it Nature hides Her treasures less
and less.--Man now presides In power,
where once he trembled in his weakness;
Science advances with gigantic strides;
But are we aught enriched in love and
meekness?
        William Wordsworth
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

								
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