Bernoulli, Daniel

, a celebrated physician and philosopher, and son of John Bernoulli last mentioned, was born at Groningen Eeb. the 9th, 1700, where his father was then professor of mathematics. He was intended by his father for trade, but his genius led him to other pursuits. He passed some time in Italy; and at twenty -four years of age he declined the honour offered Rim of becoming president of an academy intended to have been established at Genoa. He spent several years with great credit at Petersburgh; and in 1733 returned to Basil, where his father was then professor of mathematics and here our author successively filled the chair of physic, of natural and of speculative philosophy. In his work “Exercitationes Mathematics?,1724, he took the only title he then had, viz, “Son of John Bernoulli,” and never would suffer any other to be added to it. This work was published in Italy, while he was there on his travels and it classed him in the rank of inventors. In his work, “Hydrodyriamica,” published in 4to at Strasbourg, in 1738, to the same title was also added that of Med. Prof. Basil.

Daniel Bernoulli wrote a multitude of other pieces, which have been published in the Mem. 'Acad. of Sciences at Paris, and in those of other academies. He gained and divided ten prizes from the academy of sciences, which were contended for by the most illustrious mathematicians in Europe. The only person who has had similar success of the same kind, is Euler, his countryman, disciple, rival, | and friend. His first prize he gained at twenty-four years of age. In 1734 he divided one with his father; which hurt the family union for the father considered the contest itself as a want of respect and the son did not sufficiently conceal that he thought (what was really the case) his own piece better than his father’s. And besides, he declared for Newton, against whom his father had contended all his life. In 1140 our author divided the prize, “On the Tides of the Sea,” with Euler and Maclaurin. The academy at the same time crowned a fourth piece, whose chief merit was that of being Cartesian but this was the last public act of adoration paid by the academy to the authority of the author of the Vortices, which it had obeyed too long. In 1748 Daniel Bernoulli succeeded his father John in the academy of sciences, who had succeeded his brother James; this place, since its first erection in 1699, having never been without a Bernoulli to fill it.

Our author was extremely respected at Basil; and to bow to Daniel Bernoulli, when they met him in the streets, was one of the first lessons which every father gave every child. He was a man of great simplicity and modesty of manners. He used to tell two little adventures, which he said had given him more pleasure than all the other honours he had received. Travelling with a learned stranger, who, being pleased with his conversation, asked his name “I am Daniel Bernoulli,” answered he with great modesty “And I,” said the stranger (who thought he meant to laugh at him), “am Isaac Newton.” Another time having to dinner with him the celebrated Koenig the mathematician, who boasted, with some degree of self-complacency, of a difficult problem he had resolved with much trouble, Bernoulli went on doing the honours of his table, and when they went to drink coffee he presented Koenig with a solution of the problem more elegant than his own. After a long, useful, and honourable life, Daniel Bernoulli died the 17th of March 1782, in the eighty-third year of his age. 1

1 Gen. Dict. —Moreri. Biog. Univ. —Saxii Onomasticon.Hutton’s Math. Dictionary.