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Tycho Brahe's Nose








Sir David Brewster relates that in the year 1566, an accident occurred
to Tycho Brahe, at Wittenberg, which had nearly deprived him of his
life. On the 10th of December, Tycho had a quarrel with a noble
countryman, Manderupius Rasbergius, and they parted ill friends. On the
27th of the same month, they met again; and having renewed their
quarrel, they agreed to settle their differences by the sword. They
accordingly met at seven o'clock in the evening of the 29th, and fought
in total darkness. In this blind combat, Manderupius cut off the whole
of the front of Tycho's nose, and it was fortunate for astronomy that
his more valuable organs were defended by so faithful an outpost. The
quarrel, which is said to have originated in a difference of opinion
respecting their mathematical attainments, terminated here; and Tycho
repaired his loss by cementing upon his face a nose of gold and silver,
which is said to have formed a good imitation of the original. Thus,
Tycho was, indeed, a "Martyr of Science."

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