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pation, such as turning curious figures, the construction of mathematical instruments, and particularly the art of building small ships, with the manner of rigging and sailing them. Cer

tainly nothing can be conceived more pleasing than such employments, by: which, while young persons are amused, they acquire a habit of industrious application, the right use of time, and lay the foundation of principles, which at a future period may render them eminently serviceable to their country.

About this time Mr. Petty went to the university of Oxford, where he taught anatomy with great reputation, and was created doctor of physic. He was also one of those ingenious persons who met occasionally for the purpose of making philosophical experiments,

which laid the foundation of that famous institution, afterwards formed by charter from king Charles the Second, under the name of the Royal Society. In 1651, Mr. Petty was' appointed professor of anatomy at Oxford, and the year following he went to Ireland, as physician to the

army.

While in that kingdom he made some valuable purchases of lands, which had been forfeited in the great rebellion.

After the restoration of Charles the Second he was knighted, and made surveyor-general of Ireland, where he engaged in mercantile concerns, which turned to a very profitable account. But he was still indefatigable in his scientific pursuits; and paid particular attention to ship-building, in which

he made several improvements. He died in Westminster, in 1687.

This remarkable person, who was of strict integrity and of irreproachable morals, left behind him an estate worth more than 10,000l. a year, all acquired by his own industry.

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COLIN MACLAURIN.

THIS great mathematician was born of an antient family, in Argyleshire, in Scotland, in 1698. Six weeks after his birth he had the misfortune to lose his father; but this loss was compensated by the tender care and affection of his mother.

At the age of nine years, however, by her death, the guardianship of him devolved to his uncle, who paid parti

cular attention to his education, and in 1709, placed him under Mr. Carmichael, an eminent professor in the university of Glasgow.

Here he pro

secuted his studies with uncommon di

ligence and success.

When he was twelve years of age he happened accidentally to meet with Euclid's Elements, in the chamber of a friend. This book so powerfully engaged his attention, that he borrowed it, and in a few days made himself master of the first six books, without the least assistance..

From thence he pursued his inquiries further into the noble science of geometry, and in a short time was enabled to solve the most curious and dif-, ficult problems. It is certain that about this time he had invented many of the propositions which are contained

in his Geometria Organica; and there is every reason to believe, that among the earliest productions of his genius and application may be reckoned two papers, which were afterwards thought worthy of insertion in the Philosophical Transactions; one, on the construction and measurement of curves; and the other, a new method of describing all kinds of curves.

In his fifteenth year he took the degree of master of arts, after which he left the university and went to live at his uncle's house in the country, in which delightful retirement he continued his mathematical studies, though not to the exclusion of other branches of learning.

He was well acquainted with the best works in philosophy, antient and modern, particularly the pro

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