Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/263

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257
GEORGE MARCGRAVE
Thus a great injustice was done Marcgrave, whose work was done over with much eclat by Caille and La Condamine. (Liehtenstein.)

In this opinion De Crane also joins, and he intimates further that Huygens also merely rediscovered some of the things which Marcgrave had observed.

De Crane, followed by Van Kampen and Driesen, who undoubtedly copy him, alleges that the reason why Golius never published these MSS. was that they were written in cipher. This, however, seems to be an error, since it is not confirmed by De Laet or by any other writers on Marcgrave's life so far as I can ascertain. The internal evidence bearing on Marcgrave's cipher MSS. will be taken up later. However, with regard to the astronomical tables of the third section, Lalande makes the following interesting statement:

I have also found among the MSS. of M. de l'Isle notice of some observations. . . of several other astronomers, observations which have never been published. Among such are those which Marcgraf made in 1639 and 1640 in the isle de Vaaz in Brazil, which are filed in the archives; but the original remains at Cadiz with the MSS. of M. de Louville and some others which M. Godin had brought there and which are thought to have been in the hands of D. Antonio de Ulloa.

Elsewhere Lalande also notes that Flamsteed had examined Marcgrave's observations on the Ecliptic. These references would seem plainly to indicate that these MSS. were not in cipher.

De Crane alleges that the copy is on deposit in the archives of the French Marine, and Van Kampen thinks that these papers fell into Spanish hands (how he does not say) and that they were made use of by Godin and de Ulloa in their work of measuring a degree of longitude on the plateau of Ecuador in 1835. However, careful search on the part of the present writer has failed to reveal any notice of them in de Ulloa's account of his travels in South America.

One of these MSS. alone has come down to us. Barlæus (1647) seems to have preserved, and Piso in the 1658 folio has published, Marcgrave's "Tractatus Topographicus et Meteorologicus Brasiliæ cum Eclipsi Solaris" (of 1640). While this is based on Marcgrave's own observations, still it is known that to give him more extended data Count Maurice had ordered all the Dutch ship masters in Brazil to make careful notes and even drawings of the eclipse and turn them over to Marcgrave.

It is interesting to note Marcgrave's own statement of his work found in his preface to the Progymnastica as quoted by De Laet (1648 folio).

A work much desired but up to the present time attempted by no one, happily begun by the assistance of the illustrious hero, Johann Moritz, Count of Nassau-Siegen, Prefect of the lands and seas of Brazil, and by God's help after