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cient Pagan world. But at this he is not to rest; for if he expects to be wise and happy, he must diligently study the SCRIPTURES of Gon.

Such is the book now proposed, as the first initiation into the knowledge of things, which has been thought by many to be too long delayed in the present forms of education. Whether the complaints be not often ill-grounded, may perhaps be disputed; but it is at least reasonable to believe, that greater proficiency might sometimes be made; that real knowledge might be more early communicated; and that children might be allowed, without injury to health, to spend many of those hours upon useful employments, which are generally lost in idleness and play; therefore the public will surely encourage an experiment, by which, if it fails, nobody is hurt; and if it succeeds, all the future ages of the world may find advantage; which may era


No expectation is more fallacious than that which authors form of the reception which their labours will find among mankind. Scarcely any man publishes a book, whatever it be, without believing that he has caught the moment when the public attention is vacant to his call, and the world is disposed in a particular manner

to learn the art which he undertakes to teach.

dicate or prevent vice, by turning to a better use those moments in which it is learned or indulged: and in some sense lengthen life, by teaching posterity to enjoy those years which have hitherto been lost. The success, and even the trial of this experiment, will depend upon those to whom the care of our youth is committed; and a due sense of the importance of their trust will easily prevail upon them to encourage a work which pursues the design of improving education. If any part of the following performance shall upon trial be found capable of amendment: if any thing can be added or altered, so as to render the attainment of knowledge more easy; the Editor will be extremely obliged to any gentleman, particularly those who are engaged in the business of teaching, for such hints or observations as may tend towards the improvement, and will spare neither expense nor trouble in making the best use of their information.

erecting mercantile companies, and preparing to traffic in the remotest countries.

Nor is the form of this work less popular than the subject. It has lately been the practice of the learned to range knowledge by the alphabet, and publish dictionaries of every kind of literature. This practice has perhaps been carried too far by the force of fashion. Sciences, in themselves systematical and coherent, are not very properly broken into such fortuitous distri

The writers of this volume are not so far exempt from epidemical prejudices, but that they likewise please themselves with imagining,butions. A dictionary of arithmetic or geometry that they have reserved their labours to a pro- can serve only to confound; but commerce, conpitious conjuncture, and that this is the proper sidered in its whole extent, seems to refuse any time for the publication of a Dictionary of Com- other method of arrangement, as it comprises innumerable particulars unconnected with each other, among which there is no reason why any should be first or last, better than is furnished by the letters that compose their names.


The predictions of an author are very far from infallibility; but in justification of some degree of confidence it may be properly observed, that there was never from the earliest ages a time in which trade so much engaged the attention of mankind, or commercial gain was sought with such general emulation. Nations which have hitherto cultivated no art but that of war, nor conceived any means of increasing riches but by plunder, are awakened to more inoffensive industry. Those whom the possession of subter-adapted to their own trade. This book, as well raneous treasures have long disposed to accom- as others, has been carefully consulted, that our modate themselves by foreign industry, are at merchants may not be ignorant of any thing last convinced, that idleness never will be rich. known by their enemies or rivals. The merchant is now invited to every port, manufactures are established in all cities, and princes who just can view the sea from some single corner of their dominions, are enlarging harbours,

We cannot indeed boast ourselves the inventors of a scheme so commodious and comprehensive. The French, among innumerable projects for the promotion of traffic, have taken care to supply their merchants with a Dictionnaire de Commerce, collected with great industry and exactness, but too large for common use, and

A new Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, compiled from the Information of the most eminent Merchants,

and from the Works of the best Writers on commercial Subjects in all Languages, by Mr. Rolt. Folio, 1757.

Such indeed is the extent of our undertaking, that it was necessary to solicit every information, to consult the living and the dead. The great qualification of him that attempts a work thus general is diligence of inquiry. No man has opportunity or ability to acquaint himself with all the subjects of a commercial dictionary, so as to describe from his own knowledge, or assert

depend upon the veracity of others, as every man depends in common life, and have no other skill to boast than that of selecting judiciously, and arranging properly.

on his own experience. He must therefore often | and that an anvil is forged. But as it is to most traders of more use to know when their goods are well wrought, than by what means, care has been taken to name the places where every manufacture has been carried furthest, and the marks by which its excellency may be ascertained.

But to him who considers the extent of our subject, limited only by the bounds of nature and of art, the task of selection and method will appear sufficient to overburden industry and distract attention. Many branches of commerce are subdivided into smaller and smaller parts, till at last they become so minute as not easily to be noted by observation. Many interests are so woven among each other as not to be disentangled without long inquiry; many arts are industriously kept secret, and many practices necessary to be known, are carried on in parts too remote for intelligence.

But the knowledge of trade is of so much importance to a maritime nation, that no labour can be thought great by which information may be obtained; and therefore we hope the reader will not have reason to complain, that, of what he might justly expect to find, any thing is omitted.

But the chief attention of the merchant, and consequently of the author who writes for merchants, ought to be employed upon the means of trade, which include all the knowledge and prac tice necessary to the skilful and successful conduct of commerce.

The first of the means of trade is proper eduTo give a detail or analysis of our work is cation, which may confer a competent skill in very difficult; a volume intended to contain numbers; to be afterwards completed in the whatever is requisite to be known by every counting-house, by observation of the manner of trader, necessarily becomes so miscellaneous and stating accounts, and regulating books, which is unconnected as not to be easily reducible to one of the few arts which having been studied heads; yet, since we pretend in some measure in proportion to its importance, is carried as far to treat of traffic as a science, and to make that as use can require. The counting-house of an regular and systematical which has hitherto been accomplished merchant is a school of method, to a great degree fortuitous and conjectural, and where the great science may be learned of ranghas often succeeded by chance rather than by ing particulars under generals, of bringing the conduct, it will be proper to show that a distri- different parts of a transaction together, and of bution of parts has been attempted, which, showing at one view a long series of dealing and though rude and inadequate, will at least pre-exchange. Let no man venture into large busiserve some order, and enable the mind to take a ness while he is ignorant of the method of regumethodical and successive view of this design. lating books; never let him imagine that any degree of natural abilities will enable him to supply this deficiency, or preserve multiplicity of affairs from inextricable confusion.

In the dictionary which we here offer to the public, we propose to exhibit the materials, the places, and the means of traffic.

By the places of trade are understood all ports, cities, or towns, where staples are established, manufactures are wrought, or any commodities are bought and sold advantageously. This part of our work includes an enumeration of almost all the remarkable places in the world, with such an account of their situation, customs, and products, as the merchant would require, who being to begin a new trade in any foreign country, was yet ignorant of the commodities of the place and the manners of the inhabitants.

The materials or subjects of traffic are whatever is bought and sold, and include therefore every production of nature.

This is the study, without which all other studies will be of little avail; but this alone is not sufficient. It will be necessary to learn many other things, which however may be easily included in the preparatory institutions, such as an exact knowledge of the weights and measures of different countries, and some skill in geography and navigation, with which this book may perhaps sufficiently supply him.

In giving an account of the commodities of nature, whether those which are to be used in their original state, as drugs and spices, or those which become useful when they receive a new form from human art, as flax, cotton, and metals, we shall show the places of their production, the manner in which they grow, the art of cultivating or collecting them, their discriminations and varieties, by which the best sorts are known from the worst, and genuine from fictitious, the arts by which they are counterfeited, the casualties by which they are impaired, and the practice by which the damage is palliated or concealed. We shall likewise show their virtues and uses, and trace them through all the changes which they undergo.

In navigation, considered as part of the skill of a merchant, is included not so much the art of steering a ship, as the knowledge of the seacoast, and of the different parts to which his cargoes are sent; the customs to be paid; the passes, permissions, or certificates to be procured; the hazards of every voyage, and the true rate of insurances. To this must be added, an acquaintance with the policies and arts of other nations, as well those to whom the commodities are sold, as of those who carry goods of the same kind to the same market; and who are therefore to be watched as rivals endeavouring to take advantage of every error, miscarriage, or debate.

The history of manufactures is likewise delivered. Of every artificial commodity, the manner in which it is made is in some measure described, though it must be remembered, that manual operations are scarce to be conveyed by The chief of the means of trade is money, of any words to him that has not seen them. which our late refinements in traffic have made Some general notions may however be afforded: the knowledge extremely difficult. The merit is easy to comprehend, that plates of iron are chant must not only inform himself of the various formed by the pressure of rollers, and bars by denominations and value of foreign coins, tothe strokes of a hammer; that a cannon is cast,gether with their method of counting and re

ducing; such as the milleries of Portugal, and the livres of France; but he must learn what is of more difficult attainment; the discount of exchanges, the nature of current paper, the principles upon which the several banks of Europe are established, the real value of funds, the true credit of trading companies, with all the sources of profit, and possibilities of loss.

To teach all this is the design of the Com

All this he must learn merely as a private dealer, attentive only to his own advantage; but as every man ought to consider himself as part of the community to which he belongs, and while he prosecutes his own interest to promote like-mercial Dictionary; which though immediately wise that of his country, it is necessary for the and primarily written for the merchants, will be trader to look abroad upon mankind, and study of use to every man of business or curiosity. many questions which are perhaps more pro- There is no man who is not in some degree a perly political than mercantile. merchant, who has not something to buy and something to sell, and who does not therefore want such instructions as may teach him the true value of possessions or commodities.

He ought therefore to consider very accurately the balance of trade, or the proportion between things exported and imported; to examine what kinds of commerce are unlawful, either as being The descriptions of the productions of the earth expressly prohibited, because detrimental to the and water, which this volume will contain, may manufactures or other interests of his country, as be equally pleasing and useful to the speculatist. the exportation of silver to the East Indies, and with any other natural history; and the acthe introduction of French commodities; or un-counts of various manufactures will constitute no lawful in itself, as the traffic for negroes. He contemptible body of experimental philosophy. ought to be able to state with accuracy, the The descriptions of ports and cities may instruct benefits and mischiefs of monopolies, and exclu- the geographer as well as if they were found in sive companies; to inquire into the arts which books appropriated only to his own science; and have been practised by them to make them the doctrines of funds, insurances, currency, monecessary, or by their opponents to make them nopolies, exchanges, and duties, is so necessary odious. He should inform himself what trades to the politician, that without it he can be of no are declining, and what are improveable; when use either in the council or the senate, nor can the advantage is on our side, and when on that speak or think justly either on war or trade. of our rivals.

We therefore hope that we shall not repent the labour of compiling this work; nor flatter ourselves unreasonably, in predicting a favourable reception to a book which no condition of life can render useless, which may contribute to the advantage of all that make or receive laws, of all that buy or sell, of all that wish to keep or improve their possessions, of all that desire to be rich, and all that desire to be wise.

The state of our colonies is always to be diligently surveyed, that no advantage may be lost which they can afford, and that every opportunity may be improved of increasing their wealth and power, or of making them useful to their mother country.

There is no knowledge of more frequent use than that of duties and imposts, whether customs paid at the ports, or excises levied on the manu

facturer. Much of the prosperity of a trading nation depends upon duties properly apportioned; so that what is necessary may continue cheap, and what is of use only to luxury may in some measure atone to the public for the mischief done to individuals. Duties may often be so regulated as to become useful even to those that pay them; and they may be likewise so unequally imposed as to discourage honesty, and depress industry, and give temptation to fraud and unlawful practices.




THE following relation is so curious and enter- | dible fictions: whatever he relates, whether taining, and the dissertations that accompany true or not, is at least probable; and he who it so judicious and instructive, that the trans- tells nothing exceeding the bounds of probalator is confident his attempt stands in need of bility, has a right to demand that they should no apology, whatever censures may fall on the believe him who cannot contradict him. performance.

He appears by his modest and unaffected narration, to have described things as he saw them, to have copied nature from the life, and to have consulted his senses, not his imagination. He meets with no basilisks that destroy with their eyes; his crocodiles devour their prey without tears; and his cataracts fall froin

The Portuguese traveller, contrary to the general vein of his countrymen, has amused his reader with no romantic absurdities or incre

For an account of this book, see the Life of Dr. Johnson, by Mr. Murphy.

The reader will here find no regions cursed with irremediable barrenness, or blessed with spontaneous fecundity; no perpetual gloom or unceasing sunshine; nor are the nations here described either devoid of all sense of humanity, or consummate in all private and social virtues: here are no Hottentots without religion, polity, or articulate language; no Chinese perfectly polite, and completely skilled in all sciences: he will discover what will always be discovered by a diligent and impartial inquirer, that wherever human nature is to be found, there is a mixture of vice and virtue, a contest of passion and reason; and that the Creator doth not appear partial in his distributions, but has balanced in most countries their particular inconveniences by particular favours.

the rock without deafening the neighbouring | from the temper of his religion; but in the inhabitants. are often too weak to oppose prejudice. He others has left proofs, that learning and honesty has made no scruple of preferring the testimony of father Du Bernat to the writings of all the Portuguese jesuits, to whom he allows great zeal, but little learning, without giving any other reason than that his favourite was a Frenchman. This is writing only to Frenchmen and to papists: a protestant would be desirous to know, why he must imagine that father Du Bernat had a cooler head or more knowledge, and why one man whose account is singular, is not more likely to be mistaken than many agreeing in the same account.

cular views, another bias equally powerful may If the Portuguese were biassed by any parti have deflected the Frenchman from the truth; the Portuguese, to make their mission seem for they evidently write with contrary designs: more necessary, endeavoured to place in the strongest light the differences between the Abys sinian and Roman church; but the great Lu dolfus, laying hold on the advantage, reduced these later writers to prove their conformity.

In his account of the mission, where his veracity is most to be suspected, he neither exaggerates over-much the merits of the jesuits, if we consider the partial regard paid by the Portuguese to their countrymen, by the jesuits to their society, and by the papists to their church, nor aggravates the vices of the Abyssinians; but if the reader will not be satisfied with a great importance to those who believe the Holy Upon the whole, the controversy seems of no popish account of a popish mission, he may have Scriptures sufficient to teach the way of sal recourse to the History of the Church of Abys-vation; but, of whatever moment it may be sinia, written by Dr. Geddes, in which he will thought, there are no proofs sufficient to defind the actions and sufferings of the missiona- cide it. ries placed in a different light, though the same in which Mr. Le Grand, with all his zeal for the Roman church, appears to have seen them.

This learned dissertator, however valuable for his industry and erudition, is yet more to be esteemed for having dared so freely, in the midst of France, to declare his disapprobation of the patriarch Oviedo's sanguinary zeal, who was continually importuning the Portuguese to beat up their drums for missionaries who might preach the gospel with swords in their hands, and propagate by desolation and slaughter the true worship of the God of peace.

It is not easy to forbear reflecting with how little reason these men profess themselves the followers of Jesus, who left this great characteristic to his disciples, that they should be known by loving one another, by universal and unbounded charity and benevolence.


Let us suppose an inhabitant of some remote and superior region, yet unskilled in the ways of men, having read and considered the precepts of the gospel, and the example of our Saviour, to come down in search of the true church. If he would not inquire after it among the cruel, the insolent, and the oppressive; among those who are continually grasping at dominion over souls as well as bodies; among those who are employed in procuring to themselves impunity for the most enormous villanies, and studying methods of destroying their fellow-creatures, not for their crimes but their errors-if he would not expect to meet benevolence engaged in massacres, or to find merey in a court of inquisition, he would not look for the true church in the church of Rome.

Mr. Le Grand has given in one dissertation an example of great moderation, in deviating

It is hoped that after this confession, whoever he shall find no proofs of fraud or partiality, will shall compare this attempt with the original, if candidly overlook any failure of judgment.

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THOUGH criticism has been cultivated in every | the principal intention of Epitaphs is to perpeage of learning, by men of great abilities and tuate the examples of virtue, that the tomb of a extensive knowledge, till the rules of writing good man may supply the want of his presence, are become rather burdensome than instructive and veneration for his memory produce the to the mind; though almost every species of same effect as the observation of his life. Those composition has been the subject of particular Epitaphs are, therefore, the most perfect, which treatises, and given birth to definitions, distinc- set virtue in the strongest light, and are best tions, precepts, and illustrations; yet no critic adapted to exalt the reader's ideas and rouse his of note, that has fallen within my observation, emulation. has hitherto thought sepulchral inscriptions To this end it is not always necessary to reworthy of a minute examination, or pointed out count the actions of a hero, or enumerate the with proper accuracy their beauties and defects. writings of a philosopher; to imagine such inThe reasons of this neglect it is useless to formations necessary, is to detract from their inquire, and perhaps impossible to discover; it characters, or to suppose their works mortal, or might be justly expected that this kind of writ- their achievements in danger of being forgotten. ing would have been the favourite topic of criti-The bare name of such men answers every purcism, and that self-love might have produced some regard for it, in those authors that have crowded libraries with elaborate dissertations upon Homer; since to afford a subject for heroic poems is the privilege of very few, but every man may expect to be recorded in an epitaph, and therefore finds some interest in providing that his memory may not suffer by an unskilful panegyric.

pose of a long inscription.

Had only the name of SIR ISAAC NEWTON been subjoined to the design upon his monument, instead of a long detail of his discoveries, which no philosopher can want, and which none but a philosopher can understand, those, by whose direction it was raised, had done more honour both to him and to themselves.

If our prejudices in favour of antiquity deserve to have any part in the regulation of our studies, Epitaphs seem entitled to more than common regard, as they are probably of the same age with the art of writing. The most ancient structures in the world, the Pyramids, are supposed to be sepulchral monuments, which either pride or gratitude erected; and the same passions which incited men to such laborious and expensive methods of preserving their own memory, or that of their benefactors, would doubtless incline them not to neglect any easier means by which the same ends might be obtained. Nature and reason have dictated to every nation, that to preserve good actions from oblivion, is both the interest and duty of mankind; and therefore we find no people acquainted with the use of letters, that omitted to grace the tombs of their heroes and wise men with panegyrical inscriptions.

To examine, therefore, in what the perfection of Epitaphs consists, and what rules are to be observed in composing them, will be at least of as much use as other critical inquiries; and for assigning a few hours to such disquisitions, great examples at least, if not strong reasons, may be pleaded.

An Epitaph, as the word itself implies, is an inscription on the tomb, and in its most extensive import may admit indiscriminately satire or praise. But as malice has seldom produced monuments of defamation, and the tombs hitherto raised have been the work of friendship and benevolence, custom has contracted the original latitude of the word, so that it signifies in the general acceptation an inscription engraven on a tomb in honour of the person deceased.

As honours are paid to the dead in order to incite others to the imitation of their excellences,

This indeed is a commendation which it requires no genius to bestow, but which can never become vulgar or contemptible, if bestowed with judgment, because no single age produces many men of merit superior to panegyric. None but the first names can stand unassisted against the attacks of time; and if men raised to reputation by accident or caprice, have nothing but their names engraved on their tombs, there is danger lest in a few years the inscription require an interpreter. Thus have their expectations been disappointed who honoured Picus of Mirandola with this pompous epitaph:

Hic situs est Picus Mirandola, cætera norunt Et Tagus et Ganges, forsan et Antipodes. His name, then celebrated in the remotest corners of the earth, is now almost forgotten; and his works, then studied, admired, and applauded, are now mouldering in obscurity.

Next in dignity to the bare name is a short character simple and unadorned, without exaggeration, superlatives, or rhetoric. Such were the inscriptions in use among the Romans, in which the victories gained by their emperors were commemorated by a single epithet; as Cæsar Germanicus, Cæsar Dacicus, Germanicus, Illyricus. Such would be this epitaph, ISAACUS NEWTONUS, naturæ legibus investigatis hic quiescit.

But to far the greatest part of mankind a longer encomium is necessary for the publication of their virtues, and the preservation of their memories; and in the composition of these it is that art is principally required, and precepts therefore may be useful.

In writing Epitaphs, one circumstance is to be considered, which affects no other composi tion; the place in which they are now commonly found restrains them to a particular air

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