4. June. 1729


I fear you will be much surprized at my very long delay in answering your favour of Sepr last wch I beg of you to impute in some measure to the constant hurry I have been |is {hardly}| in, but indeed cheifly for my waiting for the \advice &/ opinion of Sr Isaac's \Newtons/ friends in relation to the monumental picture to his memory, & I assure you it is but very lately that I could come to \fix upon/ any determination wch I hope will {sic} prove as much to your satisfaction |design & I hope that resolved upon will please you as much| as it does to mine it being \approved of as/ agreeable to the taste of all the learned here every one here, it is as follows –

It is proposed to have the monument in not in any Church \because it is impossible to express all his \natural/ discoveries in so li{ttle} a place/ but in the open air \& by the seaside by the sea side/ as some of those \are wch/ you haue already done – \& by the sea side for a {hansom} w/|& by an arm of the sea|

On the left hand a \stately/ Monument of the finest architecture with the proper symbols & attributes belonging to him wch I furnished you so amply with already wch I leave <2> entirely to you – I would have the rest of the picture in some measure resemble the school of Athens – Viz —

In one place a groupe of Philosophers looking on a scroll with a Mathematical figure upon the ground with Admiration – at the head of these I would have Pythagoras Plato & Galileo \looking with admiration &/ {sic} Descartes with a dejected countenance, as being concerned for the destruction of his system of Phylosophy – I would have Aristotle who it is said threw himself into the Euripus because he could not solve the nature of its tide looking upon the sea rolling to the shore & pointing with admiration to a scroll with a problem of Sr Isaac's upon it shewing the cause of the flux tides – I would have him near the other Philosophers because he belongs to them, & if it could be expressed triumphing over \he should in some measure triumph over the/ Descartes who had overturned |t|hi|e|s \aristotelian/ system \upon the destruction of his by Sr I. N./ The next groupe should be of Astronomers <3> & at the head of these I would place Hipparchus Ptolemy Copernicus Tycho Brahe Kepler & Ulug Beighi an Arabian Prince / one of them Viz. Kepler should be holding up a|i|n his hand a celestial globe wch the others should be looking upon with admiration – You will find such a groupe in the picture of the school of Athens by Raphael wch without doubt you have copies or prints of at Venice – The next groupe sh & wch should be the least conspicuous should be a groupe of Geometers with Euclid Archimedes & Apollonius at the head of them looking with admiration upon a scroll upon the ground with geometrical problems upon it On the right hand of the picture should be the arch of a rainbow in the sky, & some persons looking throu a prism \upon it with their naked eye at the sky not at the rainbow/ & others throu a reflecting Telescope wch you have but neither the one nor the other must look at the /rainbow\ \at some distant object/ <4> behind the whole, there may be a beautiful landskip & lontananza –

You will perceive it is not designed to have any genij or poetical fantastical beings in these groupes so they are all left \to be made use of/ as you shall think proper about the Monument, but it will be absolutely necessary to have the parti Philosophers Astronomers & Geometers I have mentioned placed at the head of the 3 groupes to be \very/ particularly described for without that the whole beauty of the design will be lost – You can be at no difficulty to get the faces & habits of Pythagoras Plato Aristotle Euclid & Archimedes \Ptolemy & Hipparchus/ & Apollonius because there are number of books with prints of them \from old statues or intaglios/ in almost every library – In th Tycho Brahe was Knight of the Elephant & is always painted with a flat nose having as it is said been unfortunate in his amours but in the life of him & Copernicus \writt by Gassendus/ you will see their pictures very well done & in the Helvetius's Prodromus Astronomiæ <5> your wch is a book in all libraries you will find that \of Galilæo &/ of Ulug Beighi an arabian Prince with short hair & mustachios hanging down, & Kepler who was Astronomer to an Emperour of Germany & Copernicus who was an Ecclesiastick – As for Descartes who\{se face}/ must be very particularly described |marked out in his proper habit| you will find his picture before his own works & in Perrault's hommes illustres – As to the Mathematical problems & the particular figures \of a Comet &c –/ upon the celestial globe I will have them done here afterwards & only desire you will have the scrolls placed, & done \& the shape of the globe painted –/

This you perceive Sr will be a spec picture in character & only applicable to Sr I. Newton wch is what will give it it's value with me, & I am perswaded you will forgive me if I tell you that it has been thought your other pictures on {sic} the same design \thou finely painted/ are wa defective in that respect – & I have <6> already seen two of them wch are now in the possession turned to a quite different use \design/ from what they were intended I mean those for the |late| D. of Devonshire & Sr Cloudesley Shovel the first of wch is turned into a Brutus & the other into a Roman Admiral by My Lord Bingley in whose possession they now are – The sketch you intended for Sr I. Newton is equally \may I hope may very easily be/ applied|cable| to any learned other great men \& if not I shall willingly pay any \the/ charges of the little alterations that can be wanting but/ I can not think of having it on any account as a monumental picture to him, & would rather nor indeed can I ever be satisfied \or pleased/ with any but one after the design I haue now sent you, if you will be so good as to superintend the execution of this I shall be much obliged to you, but it has been so thoroughly considered here by the best judges & is so much to my own fancy that {illeg}|would| {not} |thou the ornaments & execution must be left to the painters I would not| haue any material alterations made in it \the main design/If you think it is not a proper one nor easily to be executed I hope you <7> will pardon the trouble I have given you & reimburse you

I \must/ likewise desire that the picture may be much broader than it is high, because I have no room in wch I could possibly put one of the same heigth with those sent the D. of Richmond if \I would have/ the heigth of them|ose| be the breadth of this & the breadth of those the heigth of this ––– I am much obliged to {sic} \beg the favour of /desire\ you to thank/ Mr Smith \in my name/ for the care he took of the pictures by Canaletto & Cimeroli; & wish I could in return be any way seviceable to him here – I must beg the favour of you to bespe or Mr Smith to bespeak 3 pictures more of Canaletto they are for the Duke of Devonshire & for another friend I would have two \one/ of them four feet long \wide/ & in width & two feet & four inches deep, & the other two three feet 8 \& eight/ inches wide & two feet & one inch deep – I shall be much obliged to you if you will overlook the doing of them & see they be thoroughly finished & the charge of them shall be faithfully repaid you whenever it is drawn for – I have some thoughts of writing <8> Sr Isaac Newton's life my self. I wish I could furnish you with any materials relating to Earl Halifax's but I have none, his cheif glory besides that of being a|n| sta able & honest statesman & a man of letters & encourager of learning was the great recoinage in the midst of an expensive war I am glad the Countess Borromeo is so well pleased with the picture I sent her, I wish it had been a better –– My wife sends \desires you will giue/ her humblest services to Mrs Brown Mr Hill & Mr Breval are both abroad I beg the favour of hearing from you as soon as this reaches your hands & beg pardon for all the trouble I have given you & assure you any com̄ands you may haue here shall be punctually obeyed with pleasure by Sr


4. Iune, 1729 –

Sent to West Garth
Sent another Copy by Mr Smith 4. Iune. 1730 & desired Mr S. to procure 3 pictures from Canaletto –

Memm. sent a duplicate of this \by Mr Brevel on/ the 7th of Ianry 172730 & desired a Milan perspective of about 2 feet – by means of Countess Borromeo

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Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

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