Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-8r8mm Total loading time: 0.243 Render date: 2021-11-29T21:54:24.796Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

INTRODUCTORY

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2011

Get access

Summary

There is no human discovery more ancient, or more interesting, than that of the Sun-dial: so ancient that the exquisite essayist, Charles Lamb, says, “Adam could scarcely have missed it in Paradise;” and so interesting that we may be sure that man's first want, after supplying the cravings of hunger, would be to invent some instrument by which he could measure the day-time into portions, to be allotted to his several avocations.

“Please, sir, what's o'clock?” is the child's enquiry, as he “tents” his mother's cow in the lane pastures; and the hardy backwoodsman, hewing out a settlement for himself in the primeval forest, leans on his axe, and looks to the sun's position in the heavens for information how soon he may retire to his hut for food and sleep. Time is a blank if we cannot mark the stages of its progress; and it has been found that the human mind is incapable of sustaining itself against the burden of solitary confinement in a dark room, where you can take no note of time. The great Creator, who made the sun to rule the day and the moon and the stars to govern the night, has adapted our nature to these intermitting changes, and implanted in us an immediate desire to count how, drop by drop, or grain by grain, time and life are passing away.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Book of Sun-Dials , pp. xi - xxviii
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010
First published in: 1872

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • INTRODUCTORY
  • Margaret Gatty
  • Book: The Book of Sun-Dials
  • Online publication: 01 March 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511700866.002
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • INTRODUCTORY
  • Margaret Gatty
  • Book: The Book of Sun-Dials
  • Online publication: 01 March 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511700866.002
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • INTRODUCTORY
  • Margaret Gatty
  • Book: The Book of Sun-Dials
  • Online publication: 01 March 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511700866.002
Available formats
×