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Pascal

Pascal

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Excerpt:

cious scientific capacities. His father, perceiving his strong scientific bent, and desirous that he should first of all acquaint himself with languages before the absorption of the severer, but more engrossing, study seized him, had withdrawn from his sight all mathematical books, and carefully avoided the subject in the presence of his son when his friends were present. This, as might be expected, only quickened the curiosity of the boy, who frequently begged his father to teach him mathematics, and the father promised to do so as a reward when he knew Latin and Greek, which he was then learning. Piqued by this resistance, the boy asked one day, “What mathematical science was, and of what it treated?†He was told that its aim was to make figures correctly, and to find their right relations or proportions to one another. He began, says his sister, to meditate during his play-hours on the information thus communicated to him.

“And being alone in a room