Interesting side note: the author mentions ''phrenology''
e tells his dream thus: "There may be made some flying instrument so that a man sitting in the middle of the instrument and turning some mechanism may put in motion some artificial wings which may beat the air like a bird flying."
But he lived too long before his time. His ruin lay not only in his superior genius, but also in his fearless outspokenness. He presently fell under the ban of the Church, through which he lost alike his liberty and the means of pursuing investigation. Had it been otherwise we may fairly believe that the "admirable Doctor," as he was called, would have been the first to show mankind how to navigate the air. His ideas are perfectly easy to grasp. He conceived that the air was a true fluid, and as such must have an upper limit, and it would be on this upper surface, he supposed, as on the bosom of the ocean, that man would sail his air-ship. A fine, bold guess truly. He would watch the cirrus clouds sailing grandly ten miles above him on some stream that never approached ne