Attraction, as gravitation, is the muscle and tendon of the universe, by which its mass is held together and its huge limbs are wielded. As cohesion and adhesion, it determines the multitude of physical features of its different parts. As chemical or interatomic action, it is the final source to which we trace all material changes.
In J. Dorman Steele Popular Physics Chapter III (p. 41)
Gravitation, n. The tendency of all bodies to approach one another with a strength proportional to the quantity of matter they contain—the quantity of matter they contain being ascertained by the strength of their tendency to approach one another. This is a lovely and edifying illustration of how science, having made A the proof of B, makes B the proof of A.
The Devil's Dictionary
God keep me. ..from supposing Up and Down to be the same thing as all experimentalists must suppose.
The Complete Prose and Poetry of William Blake Letter to George Cumberland 12 April 1827
Feynman, Richard P.
But I would like not to underestimate the value of the world view which is the result of scientific effort. We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imaginings of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck—half of us upside down—by a mysterious attraction to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.
What Do You Care What Other People Think The Value of Science (p. 242)
Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do—but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.
Quoted in Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman Albert Einstein: The Human Side (p. 56)
Lockyer, Joseph Norman
The force of gravity on their surfaces must be very small. A man placed on one of them would spring with ease 60 feet high, and sustain no greater shock in his descent than he does on the Earth from leaping a yard. On such planets giants may exist; and those enormous animals which here require the buoyant power of water to counteract their weight, may there inhabit the land.
Elements of Astronomy Chapter IX (p. 153)
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of the earth.
The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Newton, Sir Isaac
...what hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another?
Optics Book III, Part I Query 28 (p. 529)
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