In your otherwise beautiful poem, one verse reads, “”Every minute dies a man, Every minute one is born;”
I need hardly point out to you that this calculation would tend to keep the sum total of the world’s population in a state of perpetual equipoise, whereas it is a well-known fact that the said sum total is constantly on the increase. I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that in the next edition of your excellent poem the erroneous calculation to which I refer should be corrected as follows:
“Every moment dies a man, And one and a sixteenth is born.”
I may add that the exact figures are 1.067, but something must, of course, be conceded to the laws of metre.
— Charles Babbage to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, re. his poem “The Vision of Sin” (via nimiumeruditionishabeo)