Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Kind and gentle man


Sir Isaac Newton had a dog named Diamond. Newton once bragged to his friend Wallis about his little dog. 'My dog Diamond knows some mathematics. Today he proved two theorems before lunch.'
'Your dog must be a genius,' said Wallis.
'Oh I wouldn't go that far,' replied Newton. 'The first theorem had an error and the second had a pathological exception.'"
Sir Isaac Newton's dog is famous for a serious incident. While Newton was attending divine service on a winter morning, he had left Diamond in his study. Upon returning from chapel, he found that the dog had knocked over a lighted candle on his desk, which set fire to several papers in which he had recorded the results of some optical experiments. These papers are said to have contained the labours of many years, and it has been stated that when Newton perceived the magnitude of his loss, he exclaimed: " Oh, Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest the damage thou hast done."
Newton must have been a very gentle man to react in this manner. Très British.
Oddly enough little is known about the breed of the dog. If you click on the question "Issac Newton's dog Diamond was what breed?" on a website devoted to that purpose, you will find the following answer: "The question remains unanswered".

4 comments:

rosiero said...

I bet the dog was the apple of his eye!! Lovely story.

jmb said...

I'm glad he was kind to his dog because Newton was always considered a very unpleasant, quarrelsome man who could be quite vindictive to friends and enemies both.

Still a brilliant scientist.

Winchester whisperer said...

Maybe Diamond was a Pointer?

Eurodog said...

Good one, Rosiero.
jmb, thanks for the info. I do not know very much about Newton.
WW, you may well be right.