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Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
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Thumbnail of Samuel Griswold Goodrich (source)
Samuel Griswold Goodrich
(19 Aug 1793 - 9 May 1860)

American author and publisher whose almanacs and periodicals included the literary magazine, The Token which featured contributions by Nathaniel Hawthorne which formed the basis for his later noted book Twice-Told Tales." Under his pen name “Peter Parley,” he was a prolific writer of children’s histories and schoolbooks.

Samuel Griswold Goodrich
Pen Name “Peter Parley”

“The science of beauty”

Illustrated Quote - Large (800 x 400 px)

This page is a correction for an earlier page which, by error, credited the quote to Joseph Paxton. The confusion was caused by a search result found for a Google Book with an incorrect cover image showing Joseph Paxton as author. That cover image was incorrectly shown for what was actually a book by “Peter Parley,” but that was the pen name of Samuel Griswold Goodrich.

“Botany,—the science of the vegetable kingdom, is one of the most attractive, most useful, and most extensive departments of human knowledge. It is, above every other, the science of beauty.”
— Samuel Griswold Goodrich
using pseudonym of Peter Parley in Peter Parley's Cyclopedia of Botany (1838).

Samuel Griswold Goodrich was an American 19th century publisher of magazine and almanacs. Under the pen name of Peter Parley, he was a prolific best-selling author. His titles for children covered a wide range useful information topics. His 170 titles accumulated approximately 12 million books sold.

In 1838, Goodrich published Peter Parley’s Cyclopedia of Botany: Including Familiar Descriptions of Trees, Shrubs and Plants. With over 300 pages, the volume began with an Introduction and a chapter giving an explanation of the classification of plants, and terms used to describe them. Most of the book was given to a Dictionary of Plants. The author aimed to “lure the youth of our country more frequently to the forest and the field, and teach them to look with deeper interest into their vegetable mysteries.”

Goodrich begins Chapter 1, reflecting on the importance of vegetation to an appealing landscape:

Botany,—the science of the vegetable kingdom, is one of the most attractive, most useful, and most extensive departments of human knowledge. It is, above every other, the science of beauty. There are few plants, which are not beautiful, considered as separate individuals, and in all the parts of their individual organization; and there is a beauty in the grouping of plants, whether as grouped by nature, or by skilful art, to which there is nothing equal in that of any of the other productions of nature. The landscape is the object which mankind most generally admire; and the landscape owes its principal, if not its only charms, to its vegetation.

“Rocks have, no doubt, their grandeur, and there is a beauty in running waters, and even in placid lakes; but, let the rock be naked of vegetation down to and around its base, and its grandeur is painful,—it seems a ruin.”

Quotation from Samuel Griswold Goodrich, using pseudonym of Peter Parley, in Peter Parley’s Cyclopedia of Botany (1838), Chap 1, ix. (source)

See also:

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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