Micrographia Restaurata, & c
An EXPLANATION of the FIRST PLATE
The Point of a small sharp Needle
DR. HOOKE begins his Microscopical Experiments with observing, that it is as
in the Study of Nature, to make ourselves acquainted with the most
simple and uncompounded Bodies, before we venture to examine those of a
more complicated kind ; as it is to learn how to make our Letters before we
pretend to write : And, in consequence of this Observation, the first Object he lays before
us, comes the nearest to a physical Point of any artificial thing we are acquainted with ; I
mean the Point of a small Needle, made so sharp that the naked Eye is unable to distin-
guish any of its Parts. This, notwithstanding, appeared before his Microscope as in the
Figure at a a,
where the very Top of the Needle is shewn above a Quarter of an Inch
broad ; not round or flat, but irregular and uneven.
The whole Piece we have here the Picture of, (according to the Scale given with it)
is little more than the twentieth Part of an Inch in Length, and appeared to the naked
Eye exquisitely smooth and polished ; but, as seen by the Microscope, what a Multitude of
Holes and Scratches are discovered to us ? How uneven and rough the Surface ! how void
of Beauty ! and how plain a Proof of the Deficiency and Bunglingness of Art, whose Pro-
ductions when most laboured, if examined with Organs more acute than those by which
they were framed, lose all that fancied Perfection our Blindness made us think they had !
Whereas, in the Works of Nature, the farther, the deeper our Discoveries reach, the
more sensible we become of their Beauties and Excellencies.
But to return to the Object now before us ; A, B, C, represent large Hollows and
Roughnesses, like those caten into an Iron-Bar by Rust and Length of Time. D is some
small adventitious Body sticking thereto by Accident.
b. b. b. shew the End where this small Piece of Needle was broken off, in order to
take the better View of it.
As sharp as a Needle is a common Phrase, whereby we intend to express the most ex-
quisite Degree of Sharpness ; and, indeed, a Needle has the most acute Point Art is ca-
pable of making, however rude and clumsy it appears when thus examined. But the Mi-
croscope can afford us numberless Instances, in the Hairs, Bristles, and Claws of Insects ;
and also in the Thorns, Hooks, and Hairs of Vegetables, of visible Points many Thou-
sands of times sharper, with a Form and Polish that proclaim the Omnipotence of their
PLATE I. FIG. 2.
A Printed Dot or Tittle
WE have now before us the Representation of a printed Tittle, or Period Point, as
it appeared before the Microscope.
To the naked Eye it was no larger than the
Dot in the Middle of the Circle A, perfectly black and round ; but through the Magnisier
it seemed grey, and quite irregular, like a great Splatch of London
Dirt, about three Inches
This rugged and deformed Appearance is owing to the uneven Surface of the Paper,
(which looks at best no smoother than a very coarse Piece of Shag-Cloth) added to the