He saw all the mechanical difficulties that had to be overcome in mining; he learned the nature and succession of rocks, the physical properties of minerals, ores and metals; he got a notion of mineral waters; he was an eyewitness of the accidents which befel the miners, and studied the diseases which attacked them; he had proof that positive knowledge of nature was not to be got in schools and universities, but only by going to nature herself, and to those who were constantly engaged with her.
But the reasons against the author being John the Zebedean or any other eyewitness of Jesus' earthly life have accumulated to a practical demonstration.
In 1824 he published a history of Italy from 1789 to 1814 (4 vols.), on which his fame principally rests; he himself had been an eyewitness of many of the events described.
But we will content ourselves with noticing signs that the reminiscences of some eyewitness are recorded.
After travelling from Lhasa to Peking with a lama mission he returned, again by Lhasa, to India, and was an eyewitness of the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1737.
Dr James Drummond's Inquiry into the Character and Authorship of the Fourth Gospel (1903) does not, by its valuable survey of the external evidence, succeed in giving credibility to the eyewitness origin of such a book as this is admitted to be.
He had been an eyewitness of and an actor in the events which he describes, but his testimony must be accepted with caution.