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31 Dec. 1744
Have the pleasure to acquaint you that the plan and specimen of a fupplement to the cyclopædia, which you publifht in your laft Mifcellaneous Correfpondence, has had the good fortune to be approv'd by feveral very ingenious and judicious gentlemen, to whom I communicated it :* but fhould be better pleas'd to see fome improvement of it by any of your correfpondents, who may be lefs prejudic'd in my favor; and therefore defire you would not fupprefs, on my account, any animadverfions you may have receiv'd, that may be useful to the public.
All, that I bave yet receiv'd, by way of emendation, amounts to this; • God, and Lord, fhould begin with capitals: Proper names, Foreign words, and Notes fhould be in italic.'-But, as I have referv'd capitals and italic for more valuable uses (V. col. 2. par. 11, 13.) I am apt to think that (on recollection) it will not be judg'd much amifs that I have begun those appellatives [god, and lord] with lower-cafe [fmall] letters, according to the common rule; and printed in roman, not only proper names, and foreign words (which have no title, that I know-of, to that diftinction) but the notes alfo, and even the fubnotes; fince a different letter (either in fize or figure) could not give them a greater diftinction than they have by their indenture only.Being not aware, therefore, of any very confiderable objection to the propriety of the fpecimen you were pleas'd to publifh in the folio-form; I herewith fend you (what I promis'd in my laft) an article or two more, in profecution of the fubject there begun; viz. the fettling a right notion of hell-torments.
Í muft not, however, conceal from you, or the public, that feveral of my worthy correspondents agree in a difapprobation of the defign, in general, of giving an account of the feiences in the form of a dictionary And it must be own'd, that, by being train'd-up in the fyftem-way (which has, always, univerfally prevail'd) we are naturally drawn into ftrong prejudices against any other, and very easily flide into this fentiment. Accordingly, to give Mr Chambers's work the advantages that were apprehended would accrue from the fyftem-form, an attempt, we find,
has lately been made to throw it into that view; but to fo very ill purpofe, that I lofe all patience, when I think of the havock the poor plagiary has made of it; and am told, that abundance of people, who, by the plaufible propofal, were drawnin to encourage it, are now quite fick of it.But I am apt to think it will be found, on due examination, that
*As to your propos'd amendment of M Chambers's method, I do not fee wherein I can add or alter, reftify or amend, tobae
bave advanced, &c. Bn, dec. 5-.
And, to the fame purpose, M....r, C...,
When an art or fcience, fay they, is to be explain'd; to break them into fuch parcels, and refer one fingle feience to so many diftant articles, is, by no means, to and perplexity, if not deftroys that conlerable. It gives a great deal of trouble nexion and dependence, which ought to appear in all the parts of a ference. Mr. nov. 27. -And, to the fame purpofé, W...ts, W...n, E...n, W...d, &c.
The dictionary form (if rightly conducted) does not at all differ from that of the fyftem, except that it has the advantage of a readier recourse. An inftance may, perhaps, give a clearer conception of what I mean. I will fuppofe, then, a perfon, unacquainted with arithmetic, going about to learn it. The skeleton of the icience (whether in fyftem, or diction
On the Specimen of a Suppl. to Cyclopædia.
For inftance, ARITHMETIC Its Parts Notation, Numeration, Operations, Rules Its Operations: Addition, Subftraction, Multiplication, Divifion Ite Rules: Reduction, Proporti on, Practice, &c.
ary) will be the fame. Now, what will be the difference to the learner, whether he begin with the first page in the fyftem, or the leading article in the dictionary ?Why (1) in the Syftem (which must be divided into chapters, or fections, or fomething, equivalent) he must turn to a table of contents, or an index (and from thence to the page) for whate ver particular he has a mind to inform himself about whereas (2) in the Dictionary (which is divided into so many separate articles) half his trouble will be fay'd by going directly to it. Add, that (fince the boundaries of the fciences are not fo' precisely fixt, but that most of them have many things in common § befide the concatenation that runs thro' the whole) it is very evident that (1) in the Syftem-way, there nuft be endless repetitions, or references to different books; either of which is very irkfome, and embarraffing; whereas (2) in the Dictionary-way, it is an easy matter to ftep out of any art, or province, into the adjacent one; and, thereby, lay-open (without labor, or lofs of time) the whole land of knowlege.Nay, I will dare to fay, that, in the Dictionary (1) there are a great number of useful and entertaining articles, not eafily referable to any of the fciences, as they are now laid-out; and (2) in feveral of them, there are many particulars, even in the cyclopædia (though a work not half-finifht) which are not to be met-with in the beft and completeft fystems.
Thus, phyfics, mechanics, and mathematics, furnish the elements or data of anatomy; and anatomy may be confider' as a datum to medicine, furgery, &c. And, confequently, a Syftem of anatomy (to be complete) muft give a detail of the data from the mathematics, &c. or refer to other fyftems for them: whereas, in the Dictionary, every requifite is at hand, without the tedioufnefs of repetitions, of trouble of getting the book refer'd-to, and then hunting for the particulare.
So that, upon the whole, I believe, I may venture to conclude (not without the approbation of the confiderate, and unprejudic'd) that the dictionary has much the advantage of the fyftem.
This, then, being the cafe, I cannot but be aftonifht that any one fhould expect to find his accounts in the choice of the lexicon technicum, and its fupplement; fince the former is (apparently) an injudicious compilation, without either the precifion of the fyftem, or the diftinction of a dictionary; and the latter, a mere heap of fand, rak'd-together (chiefly) from the rubbish of other collectors; and the whole, a mass of indigefted materials. Befide, there is fomething unaccountably abfurd in the very face of the propofal. What! a fupplement to a lexicon, in no efreem, and indisputably inferior (in every refpect) to the cyclopædia, which is in every body's hands, and in high reputation! As well might a fociety of gentlemen (as this younker, iu all appearance, takes-uponhim to file himself) undertake (for the ufe of fchools) to write a fupplement to Cole, inftead of Ainsworth; or to Schrevelius, inftead of Scapula: in any of which attempts, an immenfe deal must be copied from the better, to meliorate the worle: and, after all, whatever matenals might be added, they would ftill continue worse, by reafon of a worfe plan; which is a matter (by far) of the most importance.
(See the Folio Sheet of Supp. to Cyclop. annexed.)
ESSAYS AND DISSERTATIONS
I. Of a remarkable Revolution in the Roman Empire under Theodoric King of the Geths, with a Prediction of extraordinary and miraculous Changes in human Affairs in the ten next years, particularly of the Restoration of the Jews before the End of 1749. p. 219 II. An expoftulatory Letter to the Rev. Mr Warburton in defence of
the Rev. Dr Grey.
III. A Letter to the Author, expofing the Folly and mischievous Practices of ignorant Pretenders to Phyfic and Surgery. IV. An Account of the new Enthufiafts, or Methodists.
V. The Principles of Dr Hicks, Mr Johnson, and other High Church Priests, deftructive of the Church of England, and introductive of Popery. 226
VI. Obfervations on Mr Smith's Hypothefis concerning Comets. 230
XI. Abstract of Father Regnault's Logic, or Art of discovering Truth.
XII. A Model for a good Spelling-Book, with Animadverfions on fome Compofitions of that kind. 248
Printed for EDWARD CAVE, at St John's Gate. Pr. 61 M.DCC.XLV.
Mifcellaneous Correfpondence, &c.
You will very much oblige one of your well-wishers, if he fhall find in your next Magazine the following fhort differtation; and, if what he has written upon this fubject fball meet with acceptance, perhaps encourage him to fend you more of bis little effays.
N. R. March 9, 1744-5.
THEN I look over the many agreeable things which have been fuggefted by your correspondents, I cannot but think it frange, that none of them has ever attempted to give spirit and beauty to the hiftory of thofe dark times, when the northern nations, like a raging and dreadful fea, overwhelmed the fouthern provinces of Europe; and especially that the bloody and fuccessful war of Theodorick king of the Goths, by which they were enabled to introduce a fecond Roman empire, has been also neglected. Tho' the writers of the age in which Theodorick lived may well be fupposed to relate his extirpating the tyranny of Odoacer with unufual negligence, they having agreed to take the abdication of Auguftulus for the greater marvel, we may notwithstanding affirm, without danger of contradiction, that their rude memoirs acquaint us with fome facts, which prove it to have been one of the greatest and most momentous revolutions to be found in hiftory. To behold the mistress of the world, after having loft what her warlike fons had been fo many ages in obtaining, at laft given away to a foreign nation by the emperor Zeno, and that proud luxurious city, fo forward to throw herself into the hands of his barbarous mercenaries, as by precipitant owning of her intentions to bring fire and fword upon all the country round her, will undoubtedly oblige any man whatsoever to confels, that the most celebrated wonder either of Greece or Rome is every way inferior to it. One would think an author might boldly appeal to the world, whether this memorable eclipse of the renowned majefty of the Romans was not fufficiently remarkable, to be made as it were the epocha of a very important period of fcripture prophely? I repeat it again: to fee Rome, the great, the mighty Rome! after having loft France, Spain, and Germany properly fo called, together with Hungary, and her dominions near the river Albis, become the property of her colony at Conftantinople, and, to compleat all, lofing her pillars, and every thing without her walls, for declaring in favour of the Goths before the could put herfelf under their protection, Сс