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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第62期:事物的测定(9)

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Principia's production was not without drama. To Halley's horror, just as work was nearing completion Newton and Hooke fell into dispute over the priority for the inverse square law and Newton refused to release the crucial third volume, without which the first two made little sense. Only with some frantic shuttle diplomacy and the most liberal applications of flattery did Halley manage finally to extract the concluding volume from the erratic professor.
《原理》的产生不是不带戏剧性的。令哈雷感到震惊的是,当这项工作快要完成的时候,牛顿和胡克为谁先发明了平方反比定律吵了起来,牛顿拒绝公开关键的第三卷,而没有这一卷,前面两卷就意义不大。只是在进行了紧张的穿梭外交,说了许多好话以后,哈雷才最后设法从那位脾气怪僻的教授那里索得了最后一卷。
哈雷.jpgHalley's traumas were not yet quite over. The Royal Society had promised to publish the work, but now pulled out, citing financial embarrassment. The year before the society had backed a costly flop called The History of Fishes, and they now suspected that the market for a book on mathematical principles would be less than clamorous.
哈雷的烦恼并没有完全结束。英国皇家学会本来答应出版这部作品,但现在打了退堂鼓,说是财政有困难。前一年,该学会曾经为《鱼类史》下了赌注,该书成本很高,结果赔了老本;他们担心一本关于数学原理的书不会有多大销路。
Halley, whose means were not great, paid for the book's publication out of his own pocket. Newton, as was his custom, contributed nothing. To make matters worse, Halley at this time had just accepted a position as the society's clerk, and he was informed that the society could no longer afford to provide him with a promised salary of 50 pounds per annum. He was to be paid instead in copies of The History of Fishes.
哈雷尽管不很富裕,还是自己掏钱支付了这本书的出版费用。和以往一样,牛顿分文不出。更糟糕的是,哈雷这时候刚刚接受学会的书记员的职位,他被告知,学会已经无力给他答应过的50英镑年薪,只能用几本《鱼类史》来支付。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
extract ['ekstrækt,iks'trækt]
想一想再看
n. 榨出物,精华,摘录
vt. 拔出,榨出,
联想记忆
liberal ['libərəl]
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adj. 慷慨的,大方的,自由主义的
n. 自
联想记忆
priority [prai'ɔriti]
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n. 优先权,优先顺序,优先
 
crucial ['kru:ʃəl]
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adj. 关键的,决定性的
联想记忆
dispute [di'spju:t]
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v. 争论,争议,辩驳,质疑
n. 争论,争吵
联想记忆
informed [in'fɔ:md]
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adj. 见多识广的 v. 通告,告发 vbl. 通告,
 
diplomacy [di'pləuməsi]
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n. 外交
 
erratic [i'rætik]
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adj. 无确定路线,不稳定的,奇怪的,游走的,移动的;
联想记忆
flattery ['flætəri]
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n. 谄媚,阿谀,巴结
 
embarrassment [im'bærəsmənt]
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n. 困窘,尴尬,困难
 
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