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man Republic (1783), both very able works, the produce of independent thought as well as of accurate scholarship; Watson's History of Philip II. of Spain (1776), designed as a sequel to Robertson's Charles V., the continuation of which to the death of Philip III., begun by Watson, was completed and published in 1783, after his death, by the late Dr. William Thomson ; Ormc's accurate and perspicuous History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan from the year 1745 (1763-78); Holwell's Interesting Historical Events relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the empire of Hindostan (1765-67-71); Anderson's Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce (1764); Tytler lord Woodhouselee's Plan and Outlines of a Course of Lectures on Universal History (1783). To these titles may be added that of Home lord Kames's Sketches of the History of Man (1773), which, however, although it presents a highly curious collection of arranged facts, or what the author believed to be such, is in the main rather disquisitional and theoretic than historical in the proper sense.



Besides his metaphysical and historical works, upon which his fame principally rests, the penetrating and original genius of Hume also distinguished itself in another field, that of economical speculation, which had for more than a century before his time greatly engaged the attention of inquirers in this country. There are many ingenious views upon this subject scattered up

and down in his Political Discourses, and his Moral and

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Political Essays. Other contributions, not without value,
to the science of political economy, for which we are
indebted to the middle of the last century, are the Rev.
R. Wallace's Essay on the Numbers of Mankind, pub-
lished at Edinburgh in 1753 : and Sir James Steuart's
Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy, which
appeared in 1767. But these and all other preceding works
on the subject have been thrown into the shade by Adam
Smith's celebrated Inquiry into the Nature and Causes
of the Wealth of Nations, which, after having been long
expected, was at last given to the world in the beginning
of the year 1776. It is interesting to learn that this
crowning performance of his friend was read by Hume,
who died before the close of the year in which it was
published ; a letter of his to Smith is preserved, in which,
after congratulating him warmly on having acquitted
himself so as to relieve the anxiety and fulfil the hopes of
his friends, he ends by saying, “ If you were here at my
fireside, I should dispute some of your principles.
But these, and a hundred other points, are fit only to be
discussed in conversation. I hope it will be soon, for I
am in a very bad state of health, and cannot afford a long
delay.” Smith survived till July, 1790.

A few other names, more or less distinguished in the literature of this time, we must content ourselves with merely mentioning :-in theology, Warburton, Horsley, Jortin, Madan, Gerard, Blair, Geddes, Lardner, Priestley; in critical and grammatical disquisition, Harris, Monboddo, Kames, Blair, Jones; in antiquarian research, Walpole, Hawkins, Burney, Chandler, Barrington, Steevens, Pegge, Farmer, Vallancey, Grose, Gough; in the department of the belles lettres and miscellaneous




speculation, Chesterfield, Hawkesworth, Brown, Jenyns, Bryant, Hurd, Melmoth, Potter, Francklin, &c.


We brought down our sketch of the progress of the mathematical and physical sciences in our last volume to the death of Flamsteed in 1719. The successor of Flamsteed, as astronomer royal, was Edmund Halley, who was then in his sixty-fourth year, and who held the appointment till his death in 1742, at the age of eighty-six. “ Among the Englishmen of his day,” says the writer of his life in the Penny Cyclopædia, “Halley stands second only to Newton, and probably for many years after the publication of the Principia he was the only one who both could and would rightly appreciate the character and coming utility of that memorable work. His own attention was too much divided to permit of his being the mathematician which he might have been ; but nevertheless his papers on pure mathematics show a genius of the same order of power, though of much less fertility, with that of John Bernouilli."

." * Besides numerous papers in the Philosophical Transactions, Halley is the author of a Catalogue of the Southern Stars (Catalogus Stellarum Australium, sive Supplementum Catalogi Tychonici) published in 1679, being the result of his observations made at St. Helena, where he had resided the two preceding years; and of editions of the treatise of Apollonius De Rationis Sectione (from the Arabic), and of the same ancient geometrician's Conic Sections (partly from the Arabic), the former of which was published at Oxford in 1706, the latter in 1710.

Halley did not himself understand * Penny Cyclopædia, xii. 21.

Arabic, but he was able both to restore what was lost in these works and in many cases to suggest the true meaning and emendation of the text where it was corrupted, merely by his geometrical ingenuity and profound knowledge of their subjects. Besides other astronomical labours, Halley is famous for having been the first person to predict the return of a comet, that known by his name, which he first saw at Paris in December 1680, and which actually reappeared, as he had calculated that it would, in 1758 and 1835. He also suggested the observation of the transit of Venus, with the view of determining the sun's parallax, which was accomplished at St. Helena, by Dr. Maskelyne, in 1761. Out of the province of astronomy he contributed to the progress of science by his construction of the first tables of mortality (from observations made at Breslau), by his improvements in the diving-bell, and by his speculations on the variation of the compass, the theory of the trade winds, and other subjects.

The third astronomer royal was James Bradley“the first, perhaps, of all astronomers,” as he is called by the writer of his life in the Penny Cyclopædia, "in the union of theoretical sagacity with practical excellence." Bradley, who was born in 1693, had already in 1728 made his great discovery of the aberration of light, or the apparent alteration in the place of a star arising in part from the motion of light, in part from the change of position in the spectator occasioned by the motion of the earth; “the greatest discovery," says the writer just quoted, “ of a man who has, more than any other, contributed to render a single observation of a star correct enough for the purposes of astronomy,” and “the first positively direct and unanswerable proof of the earth's motion." * Bradley, whom Newton had declared the best astronomer in Europe, held the office of astronomer royal from 1742 till his death in 1762. Besides an immense mass of observations of unprecedented accuracy (which have been published by the University of Oxford in two volumes, 1798-1805), he made in 1747 his second great discovery of the nutation of the earth's axis, that is, of the fact that the curve in which the pole of the equator moves round the pole of the ecliptic is not that of a plain but of a waving or tremulous circle, somewhat like the rim of a milled coin. One of the subjects that occupied the attention of this distinguished astronomer was the introduction of the new style, which was effected by act of parliament in 1751. Bradley,” says his biographer in the Penny Cyclopædia, “ appears to have had some share in drawing up the necessary tables, as well as in aiding Lord Macclesfield, his early friend, and the seconder of the measure in the House of Lords, and Mr. Pelham, then minister, with his advice on the subject. But this procured him some unpopularity, for the common people of all ranks imagined that the alteration was equivalent to robbing them of eleven days of their natural lives, and called Bradley's subsequent illness and decline a judgment of heaven.“This," adds the learned writer, “ was, as far as we know, the last expiring manifestation of a belief in the wickedness of altering the time of religious anniversaries, which had disturbed the world more or less, and at different periods, for fourteen hundred years.f But, if the people believed that the change of

Penny Cyclopædia, v. 320.

† Ibid., v. 321.

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