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BRITISH ENCYCLOPEDIA, ,
ARTS AND SCIENCES;
AN ACCURATE AND POPULAR VIEW
OP THE PRESENT
IMPROVED STATE OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE.
BY WILLIAM NICHOLSON,
UPWARDS OF 150 ELEGANT ENGRAVINGS,
MESSRS. LOWRY AND SCOTT.
VOL. V. N....R.
PRINTED BY C. WHITTINGHAM,
FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, PATERNOSTER-ROW;
AND LETI ERMAN ; CUTHELL AND MARTIN; R. LEA; LACKINGTON AND CO.; VERVOR, HOOD, AND
LIST OF PLATES
The Binder is requested to place the Plates in the following order,
taking care to make all the Plates face an even Page, unless otherwise directed.
Aves X. opposite the article PASCAL.
XI. opposite the article PENGUIN.
ENTOMOLOGY III. at the end of Sheet H.
MACHINE FOR BORING PIPES, opposite the article PIRATE.
XVIII. in the middle of Sheet P p.
XIII. at the end of Sheet M m. OBSERVATORY, opposite the article OBSIDIAN. Optics I. and II. at the end of the article OPTICS. ORGAN I. and II. at the end of Sheet E. ORYCTOLOGY I. in the middle of Sheet F.
II. at the end of Sheet F.
PAPER MILL, at the end of the article Paper.
REFLECTING CIRCLE, opposite the article REFORMATION.
NIC ) graphy, a French monk and ingenious thor of the following works, which are held mathematician in the seventeenth century, in high estimation.“ The Interpretation was born at Paris, in the year 1613. He early of Cyphers, or, a Rule for the perfect Un. displayed a love of learning, and by the pro- derstanding and certain Explanation of all gress which he made in his elementary stu. Kinds of simple Cyphers, taken from the dies, afforded fair promise of future excel. Italian of the Sieur Anthony Maria Cospi, lence. At the age of nineteen he entered secretary to the Grand Duke of Tuscany : into the order of Minims, and before he had enlarged, and particularly accommodated gone through lis course of philosophy, disco- to the French and Spanish Languages," vered that his predominant inclination was 1641, octavo ; " Curious Perspective, or to the study of mathematical sciences, to artificial Magic, produced by the wonderful which, after he had completed his theologi. Effects of Optics, Catoptrics, and Diopcal course, he devoted all the time that was trics,” &c. 1638, folio ; which was only in. pot necessarily occupied by the duties of troductory to his “ Thaumaturgus Opticus, his profession. The science of optics was - sive, admirandæ Optices, Catoptrices, et what principally engaged his attention; Dioptrices, Pars prima, de iis quæ spectant and he left behind him, in different houses ad visionem directam," 1646, folio. On this belonging to his order, particularly that at work he was employed six years, and was Paris, some excellent performances, which prevented by his death from proceeding 10 afforded satisfactory evidence of his pro- the completion of the intended second and found skill in this branch of the mathema- third parts, relating to the effects of reflec. tics. He was twice sent on business to tion from plane, cylindrical, and conical Rome, and was appointed regent of the phi- mirrors, and the refraction of crystals. This losophical classes. Afterwards he was no. task his friend father Mersenne undertook, minated to accompany father Francis de la not only by correcting what Niceron's Noue, vicar-general of the order, in his visi- papers in Latin and French would furnish tation of all the convents of Minims in towards it, but by supplying what might France. The similarity of their taste proved be necessary to perfect it. But the other the means of introducing him to the ac- occupations of this leamed mathematician, quaintance of Des Cartes, who entertained during the two remaining years of his own a great regard for him, and made him a life, prevented him from finishing the work, present of his “ Principles of Philosophy.” which, upon his death, was committed for Their intimacy, however, which commenced that purpose to M. de Roberval, professor in 1644, proved but of short duration, since royal of mathematics at Paris. A “ Letters our young monk fell sick at Aix in Provence, of Father Niceron’s is inserted in the third and died there in the autumn of 1646, when volume of Liceto's “ De quæsitis per Epishe was only thirty-three years of age. This tolas.” event was lamented as a considerable loss NICHE, in architecture, a hollow sunk VOL. V.