EarthCentre: The End of the Universe (EarthCentre: The End of the Universe: Universal verses Book 1)

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See details. Cambrai was one of the worst retreat defeats and loss of life on all sides of WW1 and is largely unknown for that reason.

This is Walter's story. This is my story. Walter is my maternal cousin. I am the author: M. I live and was born in Essex, and Walthamstow, London, England. Their mother was Caroline Wells, my grandmother Henrietta Wells. Please like share post and I look forward to any comments, reviews and messages you may have.

WalterMepham Wordpress. Stow author London, England, Smith paperback e-pub. Arctol and PanTanGou other writings, proem, poem, novel and short stories, drama Remembrance Sunday, commemorating the th year of my distant cousin Walter Mepham's killing, 30th November, , the first Battle of Cambrai. Initially decla The Universe Initially declared a Great Victory! This short personal familial biographic novel is being re-launched now, for the Centenary of the killing of Walter Mepham at the retreat from Cambrai, France, First World War November 30th In no person so much as your Majesty does this opinion appear more fully confirmed, your soul being apt to kindle at the intrusion of the slightest object; and even at the spark of a thought foreign to the purpose to burst into flame.

In like manner God has endowed your Majesty with a mind capable of grasping the largest subjects and comprehending the least, though such an instrument seems an impossibility in nature. Nor indeed would it be easy to find any monarch Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] since the Christian era who could bear any comparison with your Majesty in the variety and depth of your erudition. Let any one run over the whole line of kings, and he will agree with me. It indeed seems a great thing in a monarch, if he can find time to digest a compendium or imbibe the simple elements of science, or love and countenance learning; but that a king, and he a king born, should have drunk at the true fountain of knowledge, yea, rather, should have a fountain of learning in himself, is indeed little short of a miracle.

Therefore, to return to our undertaking: no oblation seemed more suitable than some treatise relating to that purpose, the sum of which should consist of two parts—the first of the excellence of learning, and the merit of those who labor judiciously and with energy for its propagation and development. The second, to point out what part of knowledge has been already labored and perfected, and what portions left unfinished or entirely neglected; in order, since I dare not positively advise your Majesty to adopt any particular course, that by a detailed representation of our wants, I may excite your Majesty to examine the treasures of your royal heart, and thence to extract, whatever to your magnanimity and wisdom may seem best fitted to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge.

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On the threshold of the first part it is advisable to sift the merits of knowledge, and clear it of the disgrace brought upon it by ignorance, whether disguised 1 in the zeal of divines, 2 the arrogance of politicians, or 3 the errors of men of letters. Some divines pretend, 1. To this we answer, 1. It was not the pure knowledge of nature, by the light whereof man gave names to all the creatures in Paradise, agreeable to their natures, that occasioned the fall; but the proud knowledge of good and evil, with an intent in man to give law to himself, and depend no more upon God.

Nor can any quantity of natural knowledge puff up the mind; for nothing fills, much less distends the soul, but God. And if such be the extent of the mind, there is no danger of filling it with any quantity of knowledge. But it is merely from its quality when taken without the true corrective that knowledge has somewhat of venom or malignity. The corrective which renders it sovereign is charity, for according to St.

For the excess of writing and reading books, the anxiety of spirit proceeding from knowledge, and the admonition that we be not seduced by vain philosophy; when these passages are rightly understood, they mark out the boundaries of human knowledge, so as to comprehend the universal nature of things.

These limitations are three: the first, that we should not place our felicity in knowledge, so as to forget mortality; the second, that we use knowledge so as to give ourselves ease and content, not distaste and repining; and the third, that we presume not by the contemplation of nature, to attain to the mysteries of God. And hence some learned men have, indeed, been heretical, while they sought to seize the secrets of the Deity borne on the waxen wings of the senses. The reflections cast upon learning by politicians, are these.

That it perverts their dispositions for government and politics; 3. That it makes them too curious and irresolute, by variety of reading; too peremptory or positive by strictness of rules; too immoderate and conceited by the greatness of instances; too unsociable and incapacitated for the times, by the dissimilitude of examples; or at least, 4.

That it diverts from action and business, and leads to a love of retirement; 5. That it introduces a relaxation in government, as every man is more ready to argue than obey; whence Cato the censor—when Carneades came ambassador to Rome, and the young Romans, allured with his eloquence, flocked about him—gave counsel in open senate, to grant him his despatch immediately, lest he should infect the minds of the youth, and insensibly occasion an alteration in the State.

The same conceit is manifest in Virgil, who, preferring the honor of his country to that of his profession, challenged the arts of policy in the Romans, as something superior to letters, the pre-eminence in which, he freely assigns to the Grecians. And we also observe that Anytus, the accuser of Socrates, charged him in his impeachment with destroying, in the minds of young men, by his rhetorical arts, all authority and reverence for the laws of the country.

But these and the like imputations have rather a show of gravity, than any just ground; for experience shows that learning and arms have flourished in the same persons and ages. This concurrence of learning and arms, is yet more visible in times than in persons, as an age exceeds a man.

For in Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the times most famous for arms are likewise most admired for learning; so that the greatest authors and philosophers, the greatest leaders and governors, have lived in the same ages.

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Nor can it well be otherwise; for as the fulness of human strength, both in body and mind, comes nearly at an age; so arms and learning, one whereof corresponds to the body, the other to the soul, have a near concurrence in point of time. And that learning should rather prove detrimental than serviceable in the art of government, seems very improbable. It is wrong to trust the natural body to empirics, who commonly have a few receipts whereon they rely, but who know neither the causes of diseases, nor the constitutions of patients, nor the danger of accidents, nor the true methods of cure.

And so it must needs be dangerous to have the civil body of States managed by empirical statesmen, unless well mixed with others who are grounded in learning. On the contrary, it is almost without instance, that any government was unprosperous under learned governors. For however common it has been with politicians to discredit learned men, by the name of pedants, yet it appears from history, that the governments of princes in minority have excelled the governments of princes in maturity, merely because the management was in learned hands.

The State of Rome for the first five years, so much magnified, during the minority of Nero, was in the hands of Seneca, a pedant: so it was for ten years, during the minority of Gordianus the younger, with great applause in the hands of Misitheus, a pedant; and it was as happy before that, in the minority of Alexander Severus, under the rule of women, assisted by preceptors. And to look Edition: current; Page: [ 45 ] into the government of the bishops of Rome, particularly that of Pius and Sextus Quintus, who were both at their entrance esteemed but pedantical friars, we shall find that such popes did greater things, and proceeded upon truer principles of state, than those who rose to the papacy from an education in civil affairs, and the courts of princes.

For though men bred to learning are perhaps at a loss in points of convenience, and present accommodations, called 21 reasons of state, yet they are perfect in the plain grounds of religion, justice, honor, and moral virtue, which, if well pursued, there will be as little use of reasons of state, as of physic in a healthy constitution.

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And lastly, the genius of any single man can no more equal learning, than a private purse hold way with the exchequer. As to the particular indispositions of the mind for politics and government, laid to the charge of learning, if they are allowed of any force, it must be remembered, that learning affords more remedies than it breeds diseases; for if, by a secret operation, it renders men perplexed and irresolute, on the other hand, by plain precept, it teaches when, and upon what grounds, to resolve, and how to carry things in suspense, without prejudice: if it makes men positive and stiff, it shows what things are in their nature demonstrative, what conjectural; and teaches the use of distinctions and exceptions, as well as the rigidness of principles and rules.

If it misleads, by the unsuitableness of examples, it shows the force of circumstances, the errors of comparisons, and the cautions of application; so that in all cases, it rectifies more effectually than it perverts: and these remedies it conveys into the mind much more effectually by the force and variety of examples. Let a man look into the errors of Clement the Seventh, so livelily described Edition: current; Page: [ 46 ] by Guicciardini; or into those of Cicero, described by himself in his epistles to Atticus, and he will fly from being irresolute: let him look into the errors of Phocion, and he will beware of obstinacy or inflexibility: let him read the fable of Ixion, 22 and it will keep him from conceitedness: let him look into the errors of the second Cato, and he will never tread opposite to the world.

For the pretence that learning disposes to retirement, privacy, and sloth; it were strange if what accustoms the mind to perpetual motion and agitation should induce indolence; whereas no kind of men love business, for its own sake, but the learned; while others love it for profit, as hirelings for the wages; others for honor; others because it bears them up in the eyes of men, and refreshes their reputations, which would otherwise fade; or because it reminds them of their fortune, and gives them opportunities of revenging and obliging; or because it exercises some faculty, wherein they delight, and so keeps them in good humor with themselves.

If it be objected, that learning takes up much time, which might be better employed, I answer that the most Edition: current; Page: [ 47 ] active or busy men have many vacant hours, while they expect the tides and returns of business; and then the question is, how those spaces of leisure shall be filled up, whether with pleasure or study? For the allegation that learning should undermine the reverence due to laws and government, it is a mere calumny, without shadow of truth; for to say that blind custom of obedience should be a safer obligation than duty, taught and understood, is to say that a blind man may tread surer by a guide than a man with his eyes open can by a light.


And, doubtless, learning makes the mind gentle and pliable to government, whereas ignorance renders it churlish and mutinous; and it is always found that the most barbarous, rude, and ignorant times have been most tumultuous, changeable, and seditious. As to the judgment of Cato the Censor, he was punished for his contempt of learning, in the kind wherein he offended, for when past threescore the humor took him to learn Greek, which shows that his former censure of the Grecian learning was rather an affected gravity than his inward sense.

And as to the persecution of Socrates, the time must be remembered in which it Edition: current; Page: [ 48 ] occurred, viz.

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Socrates, from being a criminal, started at once into a hero, his memory loaded with honors human and divine, and his discourses, which had been previously stigmatized as immoral and profane, were considered as the reformers of thought and manners. We come now to that sort of discredit which is brought upon learning by learned men themselves; and this proceeds either 1 from their fortune, 2 their manners, or 3 the nature of their studies.

The disrepute of learning from the fortune or condition of the learned, regards either their indigence, retirement, or meanness of employ. And, indeed, as we truly say that blushing is the livery of virtue, though it may sometimes proceed from guilt, 30 so it holds true of poverty that it is the attendant of virtue, though sometimes it may proceed from mismanagement and accident. As for retirement, it is a theme so common to extol a private life, not taxed with sensuality and sloth, for the liberty, the pleasure, and the freedom from indignity it affords, that every one praises it well, such an agreement it has to the nature and apprehensions of mankind.

As for their meanness of employ, that most exposed to contempt is the education of youth, to which they are commonly allotted.

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But how unjust this reflection is to all who measure things, not by popular opinion, but by reason, will appear in the fact that men are more careful what they put into new vessels than into those already seasoned. It is manifest that things in their weakest state usually demand our best attention and assistance. And to say the truth, how much soever the lives of pedants have been ridiculed upon the stage, as the emblem of tyranny, because the modern looseness or negligence has not duly regarded the choice of proper schoolmasters and tutors; yet the wisdom of the ancientest and best times always complained that States were too busy with laws and too remiss Edition: current; Page: [ 50 ] in point of education.

The manners of learned men belong rather to their individual persons than to their studies or pursuits. For my part I cannot find that any disgrace to learning can proceed from the habits of learned men, inherent in them as learned, unless peradventure that may be a fault which was attributed to Demosthenes, Cicero, the second Cato, and many others, that seeing the times they read of more pure than their own, pushed their servility too far in the reformation of manners, and to seek to impose, by austere precepts, the laws of ancient asceticism upon dissolute times.

These preceptors, said he, have stretched the lines and limits of duties beyond their natural boundaries, thinking that we might safely reform when we had reached the highest point of perfection. Nor can this be otherwise; for learning gives men a true sense of their frailty, the casualty of fortune, and the dignity of the soul and its office; whence they cannot think any greatness of fortune a worthy end of their living, and therefore live so as to give a clear and acceptable account to God and their superiors; while the corrupter sort of politicians, who are not by learning established in a love of duty, nor ever look abroad into universality, refer all things to themselves, and thrust their persons into the centre of the world, as if all lines should meet in them and their fortunes, without regarding in storms what becomes of the ship of the State, if they can save themselves in the cock-boat of their own fortune.

The eastern custom which forbids subjects to gaze upon princes, though in the outward ceremony barbarous, has a good moral; for men ought not, by cunning and studied observations, to penetrate and search into the hearts of kings, which the Scripture declares inscrutable. So Plato compared his master Socrates to the shop-pots of apothecaries painted Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] on the outside with apes and owls and antiques, but contained within sovereign and precious remedies.

But we have nothing to offer in excuse of those unworthy practices, whereby some professors have debased both themselves and learning, as the trencher philosophers, who, in the decline of the Roman State, were but a kind of solemn parasites. And the ancient custom was, to dedicate them only to private and equal friends, or if to kings and great persons, it was to such as the subject suited.

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The second, to point out what part of knowledge has been already labored and perfected, and what portions left unfinished or entirely neglected; in order, since I dare not positively advise your Majesty to adopt any particular course, that by a detailed representation of our wants, I may excite your Majesty to examine the treasures of your royal heart, and thence to extract, whatever to your magnanimity and wisdom may seem best fitted to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge. If you want to replace a robust scientific theory with a new one, the new theory must be able to do more than the old one. May thou, therefore, O Father, who gavest the light of vision as the first fruit of creation, and who hast spread over the fall of man the light of thy understanding as the accomplishment of thy works, guard and direct this work, which, issuing from thy goodness, seeks in return thy glory! Nor can any force of genius, thought, or argument, be substituted for this labor, search, and inspection; not even though all the wits of men were united: this, therefore, must either be had, or the business be deserted forever. As the Earth moves around the Sun from E! We are well aware that axioms, rightly framed, will draw after them whole sheaves of works: but for that untimely and childish desire of seeing fruits of new works before the season, we absolutely condemn and reject it, as the golden apple that hinders the progress.

These and the like measures, therefore, deserve rather to be censured than defended. Yet the submission of learned men to those in power cannot be condemned.