“The nineteenth century seems positively doomed to humiliating confessions. Feltre, (Italy), erects a public statue “to Panfilo Castaldi, the illustrious inventor of movable printing types”, and adds in its inscription the generous confession that Italy renders to him “this tribute of honor too long deferred.”
But no sooner is the statue placed, than the Fetreians are advised by Colonel Yule to “burn it in honest lime.” He proves that many a traveler besides Marco Polo had brought home from China movable wooden types and specimens of Chinese books, the entire text of which was printed with such wooden blocks.
We have seen in several Tibetan lamaseries, where they have printing-offices, such blocks preserved as curiosities. They are known to be of the greatest antiquity, inasmuch as types were perfected, and the old ones abandoned contemporaneously with the earliest records of Buddhistic lamaism. Therefore, they must have existed in China before the Christian era.
Let every one ponder over the wise words of Professor Roscoe, in his lecture on Spectrum Analysis. “The infant truths must be made useful. Neither you nor I, perhaps, can see the how or the when, but that the time may come at any moment, when the most obscure of nature’s secrets shall at once be employed for the benefit of mankind, no one who knows anything of science, can for one instant doubt.
Who could have foretold that the discovery that a dead frog’s legs jump when they are touched by two different metals, should have led in a few short years to the discovery of the electric telegraph?”
Professor Roscoe, visiting Kirchoff and Bunsen when they were making their great discoveries of the nature of the Fraunhoffer lines, says that it flashed upon his mind at once that there is iron in the sun; therein presenting one more evidence to add to a million predecessors, that great discoveries usually come with a flash, and not by induction. There are many more flashes in store for us.”
H. P. Blavatsky