<1r>

I was on Sunday night the 7th March 17245 \being/ at Kensington with Sr Isaac Newton in his lodgings just after he was come out of a fit of the gout wch he had had in both his feet \for the first time in his 83d year/, he {sic} was better after it & his head clearer \& memory stronger/ than I had known him for some time he \then/ repeated to me by way of discourse \very distinctly tho rather in answer to my queries than in one continued narration/ what he had often hinted to me before \viz./ that it was his conjecture (he would affirm nothing) that there was a \sort of/ revolution in the heavenly bodies that the vapours & light gathered \emitted/ by the sun \which had their sediment as water & other matter had/ gathered themselves by degrees into a body \& attracted more matter from the planets/ & at last made a secondary planett (viz. one of those that go round another planet) & then by gathering \to them/ & attracting more matter became a primary planet, & then by increasing still became a comet wch after certain revolutions & by coming nearer & nearer the sun had all its volatile parts condensed & became a matter fit to recruit \& replenish/ the sun (wch must waste by the constant heat & light it emitted) as a fagot put into \would/ this fire if put into it (wee were sitting by the \a wood/ fire) & that that would probably be the effect of the comet in 1680 sooner or later for by {sic} the observations made upon it it appeared before it came near the sun with {sic} a tail of only 2 or 3 degrees long but by the heat it contracted in passing \by going/ so near the sun appeared when it had passed by it seemed to have a tail of 30 or 40 degrees when it went from it, that he could not say when {sic} this comet would drop {sic} into the sun it might perhaps have 5 or 6 revolutions more first, but whenever it did it would occasion so much increase the heat of the sun that \this earth would be burnt &/ no animals in this earth could live, that he took the 3 phænomena seen by Hipparchus, Tycho Brahe, & Kepler’s disciples to have been of this kind for he could not otherwise account for an extraordinary light \as those were/ appearing \all/ at once |among the fixt stars| as big to us (all wch he took to be suns enlightnening {sic} other planets as our sun does ours) as big as Mercury or Venus seems to us & gradually diminishing for 16 months & then sinking to nothing. He said he di seemed to think \doubt wether/ there were \not/ intelligent beings superior to us who superintended these revolutions of the planet heavenly bodies by the direction of the supreme being — He seemed to be very clearly of opinion that the inhabitants of this earth were of a short date & alledged as one reason for that opinion that all arts as letters long ships printing – needle &c were discovered within the memory of History wch could not <1v> have happened if the world had been eternal & that there were visible marks of men upon it wch could not be effected by a flood only, when I asked him how this earth could have been repeopled if ever it had undergone the same fate it was threatned with hereafter by the Comet of 1680, he answered that required the power of a creator — He said he took all the planets viz. the sun & moon & earth other planets to be \composed/ of the same matter with this earth – viz. earth water stones &c– but variously concocted – I asked him why he would not publish his conjectures as conjectures & instanced that Kepler had very communicated his & thou he had \not/ gone near so far as he, yet his guesses were so just & happy that they had been proved \& demonstrated/ by him {sic} Theory his {sic} answer was I do not deal in conjectures, but upon my talking to him about the 4 observations that had been made of the Comet in 1680 at 574 years distance & asking him the particular times he opened his principia wch lay by on the table & shewed me there the particular periods viz. \1st/ the Iulium sydus – than \in/ the time of Iustinian – in 1106. & 1680 pt. of the principia. & I observing that he said there of that comet incidet in corpus solis, & in the next paragraph adds stellæ fixæ refici possunt /&c\ told {sic} him I thought he owned all there what {sic} wee had been talking about – viz. that the Comet would drop into the sun, & that fixed stars were recruited & replenished by Comets when they Dropt into them, & consequently the sun would be recruited too & asked him, why he would not own as freely what he thought of the sun as well as what he thought of the fixed stars – he said that concerned us more, & laughing added he had said enough for people to know his meaning ––

Thursday morning –

Dear Sr

I paid in to the Bank for your acct yesterday £1091 – I beg the favour of you to send me 100 guineas by Frank Child when he comes this way & to remitt four thousand Dollars by this night’s post to Messrs Bowman Eyre & Co for the use of

Dear Sr

Yr most obliged humble srt

Iohn Conduitt

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Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

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