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DAVID BREWSTER, L.L.D. F.R.S.
C&ith the assistante of
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION,
Correttt U an improb:U by the at Uition of tumerous articles relatibg to
ITs GEOGRAPHY, BIOGRAPHY, CIVIL AND NATIONAL HISTORY, AND TO VARIOUS DISCOVERIES IN
OF THE NEW
EIBNITZ, GoDFREY WILLIAM, a celebrated philosopher and mathematician, was born at Leipsic in 1646, and was the son of Frederic Leibnitz, professor of moral phliosophy, and secretary to the university in that city. He made a rapid progress in classical learning, and discovered, in his youth, a ready talent of versification. His academical studies were very extensive, but were particularly directed to the writings of the Greek philosophers, whose systems he attempted to reconcile with each other, and with that of Des Cartes. He devoted himself chiefly, however, to the study of the law, as a professional pursuit; and was admitted bachelor of that faculty at Jena in 1665, and doctor at Altorf in the year following. Upon a visit to the university of Nuremberg, he connected himself with a society of learned men, who were engaged in the pursuit of the philosophers stone, and to whom he acted for some time in the office of secretary; he having attracted the notice of Baron Boinebourg, first minister of the Elector of Mentz, he repaired under his patronage to Frankfort on the Maine. In 1668, he wrote a treatise in support of the elector palatine’s pretensions to the crown of Poland, which had then become vacant, and was in consequence invited to the court of that prince; but his patron Boinebourg prevented his acceptance of the invitation, by procuring him the office of counsellor of the chamber of review at Mentz, and afterwards engaged him to take charge of his son at Paris. He applied himself in that city to the study of mathematics, in which he had not previously made much progress, particularly to the writings of Pascal, St. Vincent, Huygens, &c.; and attracted so much notice by his invention of a new arithmetical machine, that he was offered a seat, as a pensionary member, in the Academy of Sciences. But his promotion in France would have required his desertion of the principles of Protestantism; and removing to Vol. XII. PART I.
England in 1673, he became acquainted with the learned members of the Royal Society, and especially with Mr. Collins, from whom he received some hints of the method of fluxions, which had been invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1664 or 1665. Receiving advice of the death of the Elector of Mentz, by which he lost his office and salary, he returned to France, and was soon afterwards appointed by the Duke of Brunswick-Lunenburg one of his counsellors, but permitted to remain at Paris in order to complete his arithmetical machine. In 1676 he returned to England, and went from thence to Hanover, where he experienced the same favour from Ernest Augustus, bishop of Osnaburg (afterwards Geo. I.) as from his predecessor, and at his request began to compile a history of the house of Brunswick. In 1700, he was admitted a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris; and in the same year was appointed perpetual president of the Academy at Berlin, which the elector of Brandenburg (afterwards king of Prussia) had founded by his advice. To this institution he sent numerous dissertations on various subjects; and projected an academy of the same kind at Dresden, but which the troubles in Poland prevented from taking effect. About this time he applied himself to the construction of “a universal language,” which had already occupied the attention of the learned, and which he proposed to accomplish by employing characters resembling as much as possible those of algebra. His fame spread rapidly over Europe, and attracted the patronage of several crowned heads. In 1711, he was made aulic counsellor to the emperor, from whom he received a pension of 2000 florins, and who promised to double the sum, upon condition of his residing at Vienna. He was chosen as a privy counsellor also by the czar of Muscovy, with a pension of 1000 ducats; and it is said, that he was offered the place of keeper of the Vatican Library at Rome, by A
Cardinal Casanata. Upon the accession of his patron the elector of Hanover to the throne of Great Britain, Leibnitz again visited England in 1714, where he was treated with great distinction; and, soon after his arrival, he engaged in a controversy with Dr. Samuel Clarke, on the subjects of free-will, space, &c. which terminated only with his death in 1716, at 70 years of age. Leibnitz, as to his person, was of a middle stature and spare habit of body; near-sighted, of a studious air, and mild aspect. He was extremely temperate in his mode of living; taking his meals only when hunger impelled him, and using a plain though strong diet. His temper was naturally hot, but he was able to restrain it, after the first hasty emotions were over, and was both affable and polite in conversation, as well as greatly averse to disputation. He was indefatigable in his application to study; and used to impress any subject indelibly on his memory by merely committing it to paper. He was perpetually occupied with projects, chiefly for the promotion of learning and science; but one of his most romantic schemes was that of a general government for Europe under one power, in which the emperor of Germany was intended to direct the civil, and the pope the ecclesiastical department. He was seldom neglectful of his own interest, in the midst of all his speculations, and was sufficiently solicitous to secure the favour of princes, as well as to turn their patronage to his own advantage. He was indeed considered as fond of accumulating money, of which he left at his death about 60, 000 crowns; and the greater part of the sum was found in sacks, in various kinds of specie. In his religious sentiments, he professed to be a Lutheran, and wrote several treatises against heretical atheistical tenets; but his scheme of setting the pope at the head of the religion of Europe-his neglect of all public worship—and the sentiments expressed in several of his writings, have made it probable that he had no very fixed opinions on the subject, and that he concealed those which he really entertained. He was never married, though he made some proposals with that view, when he was about 50 years of age; but the lady desiring time to consider, gave him an opportunity to do the same; and led him to the conclusion that “marriage was a good thing, but that a wise man ought to consider of it all his life.” He was unquestionably a man of eminent genius and extensive learning. His writings treat of a vast variety of subjects, scientific, literary, political, and metaphysical, and were published in different forms and places; but were collected by M. Dutens, and printed at Geneva in six large vols. 4to, in 1768. A very full account of the dispute between Leibnitz and Newton, respecting the invention of fluxions, will be found under FLUXIons. See also MATHE MAT1cs, History of (q) LEICESTER, the county town of Leicestershire, is situated in the hundred of Goscote. It is 98 miles to the north of London. It stands on the river Soare. The houses are principally ranged in three parallel streets, intersected by several smaller ones. They are in general not so modern as are principally found in manufacturing towns. There are five parish churches, the most celebrated of which is St. Margaret’s; but St. Nicholas’ church is esteemed the most ancient. The floors of all, or nearly all, the churches in this town, are considerably lower than the level of the church-yards and the streets, whence it is supposed, that the latter must have gradually been raised since the building of the former. The county jail, which was built in the year 1791, is on the plan of
Mr. Howard. The town jail was built about the same period. At the southern extremity of the town is the infirmary, a square building with two wings, calculated to accommodate 54 patients, exclusive of the fever ward; near it is an asylum for indigent lunatics. The exchange stands in the middle of the market-place. There is also a theatre in Leicester, and it is noted for the number and excellence of its inns. To the south-east of the town is the new walk, 3-4ths of a mile long, and 20 feet wide; from it there are many pleasing views of the town, meadows, and surrounding country. Leicester has returned two members to Parliament ever since the reign of Edward I. In the reign of Henry VIII, one was chosen by the mayor and his brethren, and the other by the inhabitants at large. This mode of election continued till the time of Charles II. when the commons at large returned both members. From this period, the right of election has been vested in the freemen not receiving alms, and in the inhabitants paying scot and lot. The number of voters is supposed to be about 2000; but persons living in the borough by certificate, not having gained a settlement by relating 10l. per annum, or serving in an annual office, are not entitled to vote. The government of the town is vested in a mayor, recorder, steward, bailiff, 24 aldermen, 48 common councilmen, town-clerk, &c. The chief trade of Leicester consists in combing and spinning wool, and manufacturing it into stockings. The goods are chiefly coarse; part are consumed in the county, and part exported. The trade of Leicester was long stationary, but latterly it has been much improved and extended. In the year 1680, there was only one stocking-maker in this town; at present there are nearly 100, who employ about 4000 frames; and, when trade is good, between 15,000 and 20,000 dozen pairs of stockings are manufactured in a week. Between 7000 and 8000 persons are directly or indirectly in some branch of the hosicry business in this town. In the year 1801, there were 3990 houses, and 16,953 inhabitants. By the population returns in 1811, it appears there were 4682 houses and 23, 146 inhabitants. See Beauties of England and Wales, vol. ix; and Pitt’s Agricultural Survey of Leicestershire. (w. s. LEICESTERSHIRE is an inland county, situated nearly in the centre of England : It is bounded on the north by Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, from which it is divided, in some parts, by the rivers Trent and Soare; on the west it is bounded by Derbyshire and Warwickshire, from the latter of which it is divided by the small river Ankor and the Roman road called Watling Street; on the south it is bounded by Northamptonshire, from which it is divided by the rivers Welland and Avon; and on the east it is bounded by Rutlandshire and Lincolnshire. With respect to its shape, it has been compared to a “shoulder of mutton with the shank cut off.” Its greatest length is from the south of Lutterworth to the northern part of the vale of Belvoir; on this line it measures about 45 miles: its general breadth, from east to west, is rather more than 40 miles; its mean diameter is about 30 miles; the circumference is about 150; and its superficial contents have been variously estimated, as high as 560,000 acres, and as low as 522,240. According to the latter estimate, Leicestershire appears to be the 26th county in England with respect to size. It is divided into six hundreds, viz. Framland, Gartree, Goscote East and West, Guthlaxton, and Sparkenhoe. There are eleven market towns, of which the principal are Leicester (the county town), Loughborough, Hinchley, Lutterworth, Melton Moubray, Market Harborough, Market Bosworth, and Ashley-de-la-Zouch. There are in this county 192 parishes; but the number of places which pay separate parochial rates is 323. It sends only four members to parliament; two for the county and two for Leicester. It is in the province of Canterbury, and diocese of Lincoln: The whole county is under one archdeacon, and it contains six deaneries. It is in the midland circuit. The principal rivers in Leicestershire are, the Soare, the Swift, the Welland, the Avon, the Wreke, and the Ankor; but they are all very small streams. The Soare rises in the south-west border of the county, whence it flows to Leicester. Soon afterwards it is joined by the Wreke from the north-east; its course then bends to Mount Sorrel and Loughborough, till it falls into the Trent. It is made navigable for barges from its junction with the Trent to several miles above Leicester, a distance of upwards of 20 miles. The Swift rises in this county, flows by Lutterworth, and then enters Warwickshire. The course of the Welland in this county is also for a short space; it rises in it near Harborough, and soon afterwards enters Northamptonshire. The Avon rises nearly in the same part of the county; but its course is directly opposite to that of the Welland, being through Warwickshire into the Severn. The course of the Wreke has been already mentioned. The Ankor rises near the source of the Soare, and running in a north-west direction near the borders of Warwickshire, falls into the Avon. Hence it appears, that the Soare, and its tributary streams, the Wreke and the Welland, flow into the east sea, while the other rivers of this county flow into the west sea. There are several artificial navigations in this county; that of the Soare, or the Leicester Navigation as it is called, has already been briefly noticed. Besides the main stream, or cut, on or near the line of the river Soare, down the Soare valley to the Trent, there is a collateral branch to Loughborough, which is continued over part of Charnwood forest by canal, or rail-way, to the collieries and lime-works in that part of the county. By means of the Leicester and Melton-Moubray canal, the rivers Wreke and Eye form a communication with the Soare; and the former rivers, by means of cuts, &c. are made navigable to Melton-Moubray, where the Oakham canal commences. This canal runs a course of 15 miles, about half of which is in Leicestershire, the rest in Rutlandshire; in the first 83 miles it has a rise of 126 feet, afterwards it is level. The Grantham canal merely skirts the east side of the county, on the borders of Nottinghamshire, running through the vale of Belvoir, to which it is of great advantage, the roads being there almost impassable during winter. The Union canal begins at and joins the Soare navigation at Leicester. Its course for three miles is nearly parallel to that river; it then passes towards Wigston, &c. and on to Northampton, into the river New Navigation and Grand Junction canal. Its whole course, from Leicester to Northampton, is 433 miles, with 407 feet 6 inches lockage; the rise is 110 feet, and the fall 197 feet 6 inches. It passes through 4 tunnels. There is a cut to Market Harborough. In its course it crosses the river Welland. The Ashky-de-la-Zouch canal joins the Coventry canal near Nuneaten. It soon afterwards enters Leicestershire near Hinckley, and passing Market Bosworth, proceeds to Ashby-de-la-Zouch. It is 50 miles long, with 250 feet
lockage. It was intended to have been continued to the navigable part of the Trent, below Barton. There are several rail-ways, as appendages to this canal, to the collieries and lime-works in this part of the county. The climate of Leicestershire is, on the whole, mild, and very salubrious; and the harvest, especially in the western parts of the county, at least ten days earlier than it is in the counties on the east coast of England. The average annual fall of rain is supposed to be about 30 inches. Leicestershire is one of the few counties in England which is equally celebrated for its agriculture and its manufactures. Some of the estates in it are very large, particularly that of the Duke of Rutland. The tenures are principally freehold. There is little copy-hold, and still less holding church tenure. In the grazing districts of this county, there are many substantial yeomen who
farm their own estates: In those districts the farms are
large; in the other parts they seldom exceed 200 acres. The graziers have long been justly celebrated for their skill, experience, intelligence, capital, and success; and there are many of them by no means inferior, in most of these respects, to the well-known Bakewell. Leicestershire is much more distinguished as a grazing than as an arable county; and the tillage land is much less, in proportion, than that of most other counties. In the south, east, and middle of the county, are many farms without any tillage land whatever. In the north and west a proportion of each farm is generally kept in tillage. According to Mr. Pitt, in his Agricultural Survey, one-half of the strong clay loam (the whole of which he estimates at 160,000 acres) is in occasional tillage: the whole of the more friable loam, which he also estimates at 160,000 acres, is in occasional tillage. According to this estimate, there are 240,000 acres in occasional tillage, or under the convertible husbandry: Of these, he reckons 25,000 acres under wheat; 40,000 under barley; 30,000 under oats; 15,000 under beans, peas, and vetches; 40,000 under turnips, cabbages, &c.; 85,000 under clover; and 5000 clean fallow. In the mode of cultivating these crops there are few things requiring particular notice. The wheat harvest is in August and the beginning of September; the average produce of the county is about 28 bushels. Barley is a favourite crop, and is generally sown after some green crop; the produce is large, about 4} quarters per acre. Leicestershire was formerly famous for beans; and, indeed, the greater part of its soil is particularly well suited for this crop. From the large quantities and excellent quality of this crop of grain near Barton, this village obtained the name of Barton in the Beans. At present, however, beans are not much cultivated. Turnips are extensively sown, and their culture is pretty well understood. Cabbages are more grown in Leicestershire than in most other counties, the soil particularly suiting them : They are gencrally planted in drills: they are given with great advantage to ewes and lambs in spring. The natural meadows on the banks of the Leicestershire rivers are not only extensive, but for the most part of good quality; especially those on the banks of the Soare, near Leicester, and, indeed, as far as its junction with the Trent. The oldest feeding land is in the south and east of the county. These pastures consist principally of grasses, there being little even of white clover. There is very little old wood in the county, and, indeed, it is by no means a woodland county; though in many parts there is a great deal of hoop raw timber.