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tion of the man whose life he is writing, we * reprehended the compilers for having omicted the detail of a faci, which, confidered in every point of view, hath been estemed, by many, as the trueft index to that famous reformer's just character. We now find that the present editors have inserted, circumstantially, and properly, the history of Calvin's cruelty and violence, in the persecution of Servetus.
A fimilar instance of omiffion we obrerved in the life of Laud, where we expected an account of the inhuman treatment of the Rev. Mr. (or Dr.) Leighton: but we are sorry to find the present edition totally silent with respect to the cruelties exercised on that zealous but unfortunate writer. Leighton was a remarkable character, and the persecution he suffered, exhibits a most striking picture of the times in which he lived, when cruelty, pride, and bigotry triumphed over humanity, meekness, and the rights of conscience. This Scottish divine wrote an appeal to Parliament, against the oppressions of the prelates of those days, in the Spiritual Court and Star Chamber; for which, at the inftigation of Laud, he was sentenced to pay a fine of ten thousand pounds,-to be degraded from his ministry,--to be set on the pillory at Westminster, and there whipped, while the court was sitting, -to be pilloried a second time, and have one of his ears cut off, one side of his nose fit, and be branded on the face with S. S. (ower of sedition),-a few days after to be pilloried again in Cheapside, there to be whipped, have his other ear cut off, and the other side of his nose flit, and afterwards to be shut up in a close dungeon, for life. After this sentence was pronounced, the revengeful Archbishop pulled off his cap, and with fervent Zeal thanked God for so just a judgment ! a transaction, which gives us so remarkable trait of Laud's disposition, ought surely to have been noticed by his biographer. We have been induced to mention this circumstance a second time, in hopes, that, as our former hints were in part regarded, when this publication goes through another edition, the compilers may, if they agree with us in lentiment, have an opportunity of supplying the omission.
The size and limits of this compilement, notwithstanding the number of volumes, muft of necesity exclude many of the minutiæ that are to be met with in larger works of a like kind; which circumstance obliges the compilers to be cautious in selecting the materials for their biographical Dictionary'; for these are so diffuse, disimilar, and numerous, that they require great judge ment in the choice, rejection, and advantageous arrangement.
With what success our authors have executed their task would best appear from a variety of specimens ; but, for such ample evidence we have not fufficient room, though we want nor in
* See Review, Vol. xxviii. page 32.
clination to do justice to the merit of the work, which is by no means inconsiderable. We shall, however, give our readers the brief account which we here meet with, of a person, who deserves to be better known to the world than he has hitherto been, or, perhaps, ever might have been, bad not a niche been provided for him in this temple of fame.
• DEMOIVRE (ABRAHAM) an illustrious Mathematician, of French origin, was born at Vitri in Champagne, May 1667. The revocation of the edict of Nantz, in 1685, determined him to fly into England, sooner than abandon the religion of his fathers. He laid the foundation of his mathematical fudies in France, and perfected himself at London ; where a mediocrity of fortune obliged him to employ his talent in this way, and read public lectures, for his better support. The Principia Mathematica of Newton, which chance is said to have thrown in his way, made him comprehend, at once, how little he had advanced in the science he profesied. He fell hard to work : he succeeded as he went along; and he soon became connected with, and celebrated among, the first-rate mathematicians. His eminence and abilities soon opened to him an entrance into the Royal Society at London, and afterwards into the Academy of Sciences at Paris. His merit was so well known, and acknowledged, by the former, that they judged him a fit person to decide the famous contest between Newton and Leibnitz. " The collection of the Academy at Paris contains no memoir of this Author; who died at London, in November 1754*, soon after his admission into it; but the philosophical transactions of London have several, and all of them intereiting t. He published also fome capital works, such as “ Miscellanea Analytica, de feriebus et quadraturis, in 1730. 4to.” But perhaps he has been more generally known by his “ Docirine of Chances; or Method of calculating the Probabilities of Events at Play.” This work was firit printed in 1718, in quarto, and dedicated to Sir Isaac Newton; it was reprinted in 17:8 with great additions and improvements; a third edition with additions and a “ Treatise on Annuities” was dedicated to Lord Carpenter.-Pope did not overlook this Mathemarician;
“ Sure as De Moivre.”Of this very eminent man we know but little, except from his writings: his being appointed by the Royal Society to determine the conteft between two of the greatest men in the world, at that time, is a sufficient proof of the esteem in which he was held by
* We supply the Day: November 27.
+ Our biographers might have observed, that his firf paper in the Philosophical Tranfactions, fo early as March 1695, is à molt learned production. It contains the method for the quadrature of curvilinear figurés,'the dimensions of solids generated by them, and also the application of Auxions to many other important purposes. We always looked upon this paper as a remarkable effort of genius in (we believe) a felf-taught young mathematician, who had not yet filled his 28th year.
that learned body; the particulars of that contet, with Demoivre's decision of it, might afford matter of satisfaction to the mathematicians of the present day: a future edition of the work before us, may, perhaps, fupply this defect.
A uniform cenor, and consistency, is essentially necessary in works of this kind, not only with respect to facts, but to sentiments of things, and general principles. The reader who is anxious with regard to the abovementioned decision of Demoivre's, and who wishes to be informed how that great controversy, which engaged the attention of all the mathematicians in Europe, was finally determined, might expect to find it here recorded, either in the life of Newton, or of Leibnitz, or of Demoivre: nothing, however, appears on the subject, in the present edition : unless it is to be found in some other article, which we have not perused.
We mean not, by the foregoing little exceptions, to depreciate the general merit of this useful publication ; which may be corrfidered as a store-house of valuable materials for the information and entertainment of its readers, –many articles of which are not elsewhere, collectively, to be met with. - In a word we cannot but look on the work as a very accepiable addition to the public stock of biographical literature.
R-m. Art. IV. An Eftimate of the comparative Strength of Great Britain,
during the present, and four preceeding Reigns, and of the Losies of her Trade from every War since the Revolution. By George Chalmers. 8vo. 3s. 6d. Stockdale. 1786.
TR. Chalmers is well known by his laborious and accurate
subjects. He bere pursues the same line of inquiry, and maintains the fame principles which he laid down in his former works. He combats the gloomy and desponding notions (as he deems them) adopted by Dr. Price and his followers; and, by a chain of facts, corroborated by many collateral circunstances, he proves, we think, in as clear a manner as the nature of the lubject admits, that ever since the revolusion, Great Bria tain has been in a continually progressive ftate with regard to population and industry; and he adduces very probable reasons to Chew, that at the present moment, the manufactures and trade of this country are, perhaps, in a more flourithing ftate, upon the whole, than at any former period.
The facts stated in this publication are so numerous and inportant, that we cannot attempt to do justice to the author by abridging them, but must refer the curious reader to the work itself, which will afford a rich fund of valuable inaterials to every political speculator. We cannot, however, avoid taking notice,
that he has been at great pains to prove, by a variety of examples, that nothing deserves to be so little relied upon as the opinions generally disseminated by political writers, concerning the prosperous or unprosperous state of the manufactures and trade of the nation, at the time of the publication of their works, since it appears that many men of great character and eminent abilities have frequently represented the nation as being in an uncommonly declining ftate at the very moment, when (as our author contends) it was enjoying an extraordinary degree of prosperity. Nor are they party writers only, who are said thus to misrepresent the circumstances of the present times, but men of unblemished morals, totally unconnected with all parties. Even the ingenious Herrenschwand whose work we had so lately occafion to mention with applause*, may be adduced as an example of this kind of misrepresentation ; for he states it as a notorious fact, that fince the loss of America, our trade thither, and confequently our manufa&tures, have greatly declined, so as to exhibit very unequivocal symptoms of the existence of a political malady of the most dangerous tendency; yet our author Thows that in the year 1771, 1772, 1773, our average exports to the American colonies amounted to the value of 3,064,8431. and in 1784 to 3,359,864. So easily may men believe what they have preconceived should naturally come to pass !
Although Mr. Chalmers has judiciously availed himself of every collateral circumstance, that came within his reach, to establish his positions, yet he has, in general, relied on customhouse entries, as the source of his principal facts,-and notwithftanding all that he has urged with a view to remove the objections brought against those accounts ; we cannot help thinking that these objections are such, as do not authorize that confidence which he has all along placed in them. It is not enough to say, that the errors at one period arising from vanity, or fraudulent views, will be nearly counterbalanced by the fimilar errors occasioned by the same motives ar apother period : before this be admitted, it must be proved that no alteration bas been made in the laws during thero iwo periods, for it any alteration in the law has taken place, it may not only remove the whole excess, on one fide, occafioned by the circumftances abovenamed, but may even throw the faulty excess to the opposite fide of the account. Thus, if at one time no duties were charged on certain articles exported, vanity might naturally prompt the merchant to make entries far above the truih, so as to augment the value of the exports greatly beyond what they should have been ; but if, at another period, a high duty Tould be demanded on exporting the same articles, care would not only
# Vid. Rev. Feb. 1787. Art. I.
be taken not to over-rate them, but pains would be beftowed to enter them as much under value as possible. From these, and other obvious considerations, we are satisfied that no reliance should be had on customhouse entries, &c. in matters of great consequence, unless they are accompanied with an accurate account of the state of the law at the time. Without this, these accounts are more likely to mislead than to direct the judgment. We cannot, therefore, help withing, that the stress laid upon them should be less than has, of late, been the fashion.
One other remark we shall beg leave to make on this subject : viz. that it were well if the internal commerce obtained a greater degree of attention, than it usually receives. A foreign trade may sometimes be augmented in consequence of a deranged internal ceconomy; where people emigrate, the food and necessaries they ought to have consumed, must either be exported or suffered to perith; but an encrease of foreign trade originating from this cause, is a great evil instead of a bleffing. We mighi extend our remarks farther on this subject, but thall content ourselves with recommending it to political speculators, never to lose fight of this maxim-that the internal traffic of any nation is of much higher value, and an object of much greater importance to preserve undiminished, than its external trade and therefore foould ever be attended to as the first objekt.
As we presume the intention of our author's performance was merely to remove some prejudices that are supposed to have been imbibed from the perusal of certain popular treatises, it was not to be fupposed that he would choose to embarrass the class of readers for whom it was intended, with subtle discuffions whicha would have been necessary to discriminate, in all cases, between truth and error, had he even been capable of these discuffions, or disposed to enter on them himfelf. It was enough to produce plausible arguments, and it would have been improper to express any diffidence himself, where he meant that his readers should
We subjoin a few miscellaneous facts that will prove interefting to many of our readers :
In the sift of Edward III. (1377) it was found that the population of England and Wales amounted to about 2,092,978 souls,-in 1483 to about 4,688,000; at the revolution (1688, about 6,500,000 or 7,000,000 ; and at present probably to near 8,000,000.
In the year 1377, the undermentioned towns were, by enumeration, found to contain inhabitants as follow : London