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Including ELUCIDATIONS of the most important Topics relative to RELIGION, MORALS,.


A DESCRIPTION of all the Countries, Cities, principal Mountains, Seas, Rivers, &c.

throughout the WORLD;

A General HISTORY, Ancient and Modern, of the different Empires, Kingdoms, and States;

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An Account of the LIVES of the most Eminent Perfons in every Nation,
from the earlieft ages down to the prefent times.

Compiled from the writings of the beft Authors, in feveral languages; the most approved Dictionaries, as well of general science as of its parti-
cular branches; the Tranfactions, Journals, and Memoirs, of Learned Societies, both at bome and abroad; the MS. Lectures of
Eminent Profeffors on different fciences; and a variety of Original Materials, furnifbed by an Extensive Correspondence.






printed for a. BELL AND C. MACFARQUHAR


Entered in Stationers Hall in Terms of the A& of Parliament.


Leftoff, L'Eftrange.


ESTOFF, or LEOSTOFF, a town of Suffolk in weft of London. It is concerned in the fisheries of the North-fea, cod, herrings, mackerels, and fprats; has a church, and a diffenting meeting-houfe; and for its fecurity, fix eighteen-pounders, which they can move as occafion requires; but it has no battery. The town confifts of 500 houses; but the streets, though tolerably paved, are narrow. It has a market on Wednef days, and two fairs in the year for petty chapmen. The coaft is there very dangerous for ftrangers.

L England, feated on the fea-fhore, 117 miles north

L'ESTRANGE (Sir Roger), a noted writer in the 17th century, was defcended from an ancient family, feated at Hunftanton-hall in the county of Norfolk, where he was born in 1616, being the youngest fon of Sir Hammond L'Eftrange baronet, a zealous royalist. Having in 1644 obtained a commiffion from King Charles I. for reducing Lynn in Norfolk, then in poffeffion of the parliament, his defign was discovered, and his perfon feized. He was tried by a court martial at Guildhall in London, and condemned to die as a spy; but was reprieved, and continued in Newgate for fome time. He afterward went beyond fea; and in Auguft 1653 returned to England, where he applied himself to the protector Oliver Cromwell, and having once played before him on the bass-viol, he was by fome nicknamed Oliver's fiddler. Being a man of parts, mafter of an eafy humorous style, but withal in narrow circumstances, he fet up a newspaper, under the title of The Public Intelligencer, in 1663; but which he laid down, upon the publication of the firft London gazette in 1665, having been allowed, however, a confideration by government. Some time after the Popish plot, when the Tories began to gain the afcendant over the Whigs, he, in a paper called the Obfervator, became a zealous champion for the former. He was afterwards knighted, and ferved in the parliament called by King James II. in 1685. But things taking a different turn in that prince's reign, in point of liberty of confcience, from what most people expected, our author's Obfervators were difufed as not at all fuiting the times. However, he continued licenfer of the prefs till King William's acceffion, in whofe reign he met with fome trouble as a difaffected perfon. However, he went to his grave in peace, after he had in a manner furvived his intellectuals. He published a great many political tracts, and tranflated feveral works from the Greek, Latin, and Spanish; viz. Jofephus's works, Cicero's Offices, Seneca's Morals, Erafmus's Colloquies, Efop's Fables, and Bonas's Guide to Eternity. The character of his ftyle has been variously reprefented; his language being obferved by VOL. X. Part I.


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fome to be eafy and humorous, while Mr Gordon fays, Leftweithel "that his productions are not fit to be read by any Lethargy. who have tafte or good-breeding. They are full of phrafes picked up in the streets, and nothing can be more low or nauseous."

LESTWEITHEL, a town of Cornwal in England, about 229 miles diftant from London. It is a well-built town, where are kept the common gaol, the weights and measures for the whole ftannary, and the county courts. It ftands on the river Foy, which brought up veffels from Fowey, before it was choaked up with fand coming from the tin-mines, and therefore its once flourishing trade is decayed; but it holds the bufhelage of coals, falt, malt, and corn, in the town of Fowey, as it does the anchorage in its harbour. It was made a corporation by Richard earl of Cornwal when he was king of the Romans, and has had other charters fince. It confifts of seven capital burgeffes (whereof one is a mayor), and 17 affiftants or common council. It is part of the duchy of Cornwal, to which it pays L. 11:19: 10 a year for its liberties. Its chief trade is the woollen manufactory. Its church has a fpire, the only one except that of Helfton in the county. Its market is Friday, and its fairs are three. It firft returned members to parliament in the 33d of Edward I. They are chofen by their burgeffes and af fiftants. It was anciently the fhire-town, and the knights of the fhire are ftill chofen here.

LETCHLADE, a town of Gloucestershire, 90 miles from London, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Berks, and the great road to Gloucefter; had anciently a nunnery, and a priory of black canons. In this parish is Clay-hill. The market is on Tuesday; and it has two fairs. It is fuppofed to have been a Roman town: for a plain Roman road runs from hence to Cirencester ; and by digging in a meadow near it fome years ago, an old building was discovered, fuppofed to be a Roman bath, which was 50 feet long, 40 broad, and 4 high, fupported with 100 brick pillars, curiously inlaid with ftones of divers colours of tefferaic work. The Leech, the Coln, the Churn, and Ifis, which all rife in the Cotfwould-hill, join here in one full stream, and become one river, called the Thames, which begins here to be navigable, and barges take in butter, cheese, and other goods, at its quay for London. LETHARGY, in medicine (from " oblivion, and apa numbness, laziness), a difeafe confifting of a profound drowfinefs or fleepinefs, from which the patient can scarce be awaked; or, if awaked, he remains stupid, without fenfe or memory, and presently finks again into his former fleep. See MEDICINE-Index. LETHARGY, in farriery. See there, § 9.





# Letter.

LETHE, in the ancient mythology, one of the rivers of hell, fignifying oblivion or forgetfulness; its waters having, according to poetic fiction, the peculiar quality of making those who drank them forget every thing that was paft.

LETI (Gregorio), an eminent Italian writer, was defcended of a family which once made a confiderable figure at Bologna: Jerom, his father, was page to prince Charles de Medicis ; ferved fome time in the troops of the grand duke as captain of foot; and fettling at Milan, married there in 1628. He was afterward governor of Almantea in Calabria, and died at Salerno in 1639. Our author was born at Milan in 1630, studied under the Jefuits at Cofenza, and was afterward fent by an uncle to Rome, who would have him enter into the church; but he being averfe to it, went into Geneva, where he ftudied the government and the religion there. Thence he went to Laufanne; and contracting an acquaintance with John Anthony Guerin, an eminent phyfician, lodged at his houfe, made profeffion of the Calvinist religion, and married his daughter. He fettled at Geneva; where he spent almost twenty years, carrying on a correfpondence with learned men, efpecially thofe of Italy. Some contefts obliged him to leave that city in 1679; upon which he went to France, and then into England, where he was received with great civility by Charles II. who, after his first audience, made him a prefent of a thoufand crowns, with a promise of the place of hiftorio. grapher. He wrote there the Hiftory of England; but that work not pleafing the court on account of his too great liberty in writing, he was ordered to leave the kingdom. He went to Amfterdam in 1682, and was honoured with the place of historiographer to that city. He died fuddenly in 1701. He was a man of indefatigable application, as the multiplicity of his works fhow. The principal of these are, 1. The univerfal monarchy of Louis XIV. 2. The life of Pope Sixtus V. 3. The life of Philip II. king of Spain. 4. The life of the emperor Charles V. 5. The life of Elizabeth, queen of England. 6. The hiftory of Oliver Cromwell. 7. The hiftory of Great Britain, 5 vols 12mo. 8. The hiftory of Geneva, &c..

LETRIM, a county of Ireland, in the province of Connaught, 44 miles in length and 17 in breadth; bounded on the east and north-eaft by Cavan and Fermanagh, by Sligo and Rofcommon on the weft and fouth-weft, and by Longford on the east and fouth-eaft. It is a hilly country, with rank grafs, which feeds a great number of cattle. The chief town is Letrim, feated not far from the river Shannon. It contains 4000 houfes, 21 parishes, 5 baronies, 2 boroughs, and fends 6 members to parliament.

LETTER, a character used to exprefs one of the fimple founds of the voice; and as the different fimple founds are expressed by different letters, these, by being differently compounded, become the vifible figns or characters of all the modulations and mixtures of founds ufed to exprefs our ideas in a regular language; (See LANGUAGE). Thus, as by the help of fpeech we render our ideas audible; by the affiftance of letters we tender them vifible, and by their help we can wrap up our thoughts, and fend them to the moft diftant parts of the earth, and read the transactions of different ages. As to the firft letters, what they were, who firft in

vented them, and among what people they were firft Letter. in ufe, there is ftill room to doubt: Philo attributes this great and noble invention to Abraham; Jofephus, St Irenæus, and others, to Enoch; Bibliander, to Adam; Eufebius, Clemens Alexandrinus, Cornelius Agrippa, and others, to Mofes; Pomponius Mela, Herodian, Rufus Feftus, Pliny, Lucan, &c. to the Phoenicians; St Cyprian, to Saturn; Tacitus, to the Egyptians; fome, to the Ehtiopians; and others, to the Chinese: but, with refpect to these laft, they can never be intitled to this honour, fince all their characters are the figns of words, formed without the use of letters; which renders it impoffible to read and write their language without a vaft expence of time and trouble; and abfolutely impoffible to print it by the help of types, or any other manner but by engraving, or cutting in wood. See PRINTING.

There have been alfo various conjectures about the different kinds of letters ufed in different languages: thus, according to Crinitus, Mofes invented the Hebrew letters; Abraham, the Syriac and Chaldee; the Phoenicians, thofe of Attica, brought into Greece by Cadmus, and from thence into Italy by the Pelafgians; Nicoftrata, the Roman; Ifis, the Egyptian; and Vulfilas, thofe of the Goths.

It is probable, that the Egyptian hieroglyphics were the firft 'manner of writing: but whether Cadmus and the Phoenicians learned the use of letters from the Egyptians, or from their neighbours of Judea or Samaria, is a queftion; for fince fome of the books of the Old Teftament were then written, they are more likely to have given them the hint, than the hieroglyphics of Egypt. But wherefoever the Phoenicians learned this art, it is generally agreed, that Cadmus the fon of Agenor first brought letters into Greece; whence, in following ages, they spread over the rest of Europe. See ALPHABET and WRITING.

Letters make the first part or elements of grammar; an affemblage of these compofe fyllables and words, and thefe compofe fentences. The alphabet of every language confifts of a number of letters, which ought each to have a different found, figure, and ufe. As the difference of articulate founds was intended to exprefs the different ideas of the mind, fo one letter was originally intended to fignify only one found, and not, as at prefent, to exprefs fometimes one found and fometimes another; which practice has brought a great. deal of confufion into the languages, and rendered the learning of the modern tongues much more difficult than it would otherwife have been. This confideration, together with the deficiency of all the known alphabets, from their wanting fome letters to exprefs certain founds, has occafioned several attempts towards an univerfal alphabet, to contain an enumeration of all fuch fingle founds or letters as are used in any language. See ALPHABET.

Grammarians diftinguish letters into vowels, confonants, mutes, liquids, diphthongs, and characteriftics. They are likewife divided into capital and small letters. They are alfo denominated from the fhape. and turn of the letters; and in writing are diftinguished into different hands, as round-text, German-text,, round-hand, Italian, &c. and in printing, into Roman, Italic, and black letter.

The term LETTER, or Type, among printers, not only


Accordingly Cicero fays: " In writing letters, we Letter make use of common words and expreflions." And Seneca more fully,, " I would have my letters to be like my difcourfes, when we either fit or walk together, unftudied and easy." And what prudent man, in his common discourse, aims at bright and ftrong figures, beautiful turns of language, or laboured periods? Nor is it always requifite to attend to exact order and method. He that is master of what he writes, will naturally enough exprefs his thought without perplexity and confufion; and more than this is feldom neceffary, efpecially in familiar letters.

Letter. ly includes the CAPITALS, SMALL CAPITALS, and fmall letters, but all the points, figures, and other marks caft and ufed in printing; and alfo the large ornamental letters, cut in wood or metal, which take place of the illumined letters used in manufcripts. The letters used in printing are caft at the ends of fmall pieces of metal, about three quarters of an inch in length; and the letter being not indented, but raised, eafily gives the impreffion, when, after being blacked with a glutinous ink, paper is clofely preffed upon it. See the articles PRINTING and TYPE. A fount of letters includes fmall letters, capitals, fmall capitals, points, figures, fpaces, &c.; but befides, they have different kinds of two-line letters, only used for titles, and the beginning of books, chapters, &c. See FoUNT. LETTER is also a writing addreffed and fent to a perfon. See EPISTLE.

Ward's Oratory.

The art of epiftolary writing, as the late tranflator of Pliny's Letters has obferved, was efteemed by the Romans in the number of liberal and polite accomplishments; and we find Cicero mentioning with great pleafure, in fome of his letters to Atticus, the elegant fpecimen he had received from his fon of his genius in this way. It seems indeed to have formed part of their education; and, in the opinion of Mr Locke, it well deferves to have a fhare in ours. "The writing of letters (as that judicious author obferves) enters fo much into all the occafions of life, that no gentleman can avoid fhewing himself in compofi"tions of this kind. Occurrences will daily force him to make this ufe of his pen, which lays open his "breeding, his fenfe, and his abilities, to a feverer "examination than any oral difcourfe." It is to be wondered we have fo few writers in our own language who deferve to be pointed out as models upon fuch an occafion. After having named Sir William Temple, it would perhaps be difficult to add a fecond. The elegant writer of Cowley's life mentions him as excelling in this uncommon talent; but as that author declares himfelf of opinion, "That letters which pafs between familiar friends, if they are written as they fhould be, can scarce ever be fit to fee the light," the world is deprived of what no doubt would have been well worth its infpection. A late diftinguished genius treats the very attempt as ridiculous, and profeffes himfelf" a mortal enemy to what they call a fine letter." His averfion however was not fo ftrong, but he knew to conquer it when he thought proper; and the letter which clofes his correfpondence with bishop Atterbury is, perhaps, the most genteel and manly addrefs that ever was penned to a friend in difgrace. The truth is, a fine letter does not confift in, faying fine things, but in expreffing ordinary ones in an uncommon manner. It is the proprie communia dicere, the art of giving grace and elegance to familiar occurrences, that conflitutes the merit of this kind of writing. Mr Gay's letter, concerning the two lovers who were ftruck dead with the fame flafh of lightning, is a mafter-piece of the fort; and the fpecimen he has there given of his talents for this fpecies of compofition makes it much to be regretted we have not more from the fame


Of the Style of Epiftolary Compofition. Purity in the choice of words, and juftnefs of conftruction, joined with perfpicuity, are the chief properties of this ftyle,

Indeed, as the fubjects of epiftles are exceedingly various; they will neceffarily require fome variety in the manner of expreffion. If the fubject be fomething weighty and momentous, the language fhould be ftrong and folemn; in things of a lower nature, more free and eafy; and upon lighter matters, jocofe and pleasant. In exhortations, it ought to be lively and vigorous; in confolations, kind and compaffionate; and in advifing, grave and ferious. In narratives, it should be clear and diftinct; in requests, modeft; in commendations, friendly; in profperity cheerful, and mournful in adverfity. In a word, the ftyle ought to be accommodated to the particular nature of the thing about which it is converfant.

Befides, the different character of the person, to whom the letter is written, requires a like difference in the modes of expreffion. We do not use the fame language to private perfons, and thofe in a public ftation; to fuperiors, inferiors, and equals. Nor do we exprefs ourselves alike to old men and young, to the grave and facetious, to courtiers and philofophers, to our friends and ftrangers. Superiors are to be addreffed to with refpect, inferiors with courtesy, and equals with civility; and every one's character, station, and circumftances in life, with the relation we ftand in to him, occafions fome variety in this respect. But when friends and acquaintances correspond by letters, it carries them into all the freedom and goodhumour of converfation; and the nearer it resembles that, the better, fince it is defigned to fupply the room of it. For when friends cannot enjoy each others company, the next fatisfaction is to converfe with each other by letters. Indeed, fometimes greater freedom is ufed in epiftles, than the fame perfons would have taken in difcourfing together; because, as Cicero fays, "A letter does not blufh." But ftill nothing ought to be faid in a letter, which, confidered in itself, would not have been fit to fay in discourse; though modefty perhaps, or fome other particular reason, might have prevented it. And thus it frequently happens in requests, reproofs, and other circumftances of life. A man can afk that by writing, which he could not do by words, if prefent; or blame what he thinks amifs in his friend with greater liberty when abfent, than if they were together. From hence it is eafy to judge of the fitnefs of any expreffion to ftand in an epiftle, only by confidering, whether the fame way of fpeaking would be proper in talking with the fame perfon. Indeed, this difference may be allowed, that as perfons have more time to think, when they write, than when they fpeak; a greater accuracy of language may fometimes be expected in one,

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