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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning

Lettered - locus geometricus,   pp. 446-465 PDF (19.3 MB)

Page 446

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Numeral Letters, are thofe ufed by the antient Romans
Inflea4 of Cyphcers, to exprefs their Numbers by. Thefe
Numeral Letters are feven in number, C, D, 1, L, MV, X;
which are all form'd in defcribing a Circle, and drawing
two Lines thro it, croffing each other, at right Angles in
the Center.
Dominical Letter, fee Dominical.
Nundinal Letter, fee NAundinalia.
LETTERED, Letrados, Litterati, an Epithet given to
fuch Perfons among the Chinefe as are able to read and
write their Language. Thefe alone are capable of being
made Mandarins.
This is alfo the Name of a particular Sec& either in
Religion, Philofophy, or Politicks, confifling principally
of the Learned Men of that Country: among whom 'tis
called Jukio, i. e. Learned. It had its Rife in the Year
of Chritl i400; when the Emperor, to awaken the native
Affeaion of the People for Knowledge, which had been
quite banilhed by the preceding Civil Wars among 'em,
and to fir up Emulation among the Mandarins, chofe out
forty -two of the ablefi among their Doators, to whom he
gave a Commiffion to compofe a Body of Doatrine agree-
able to that of the Antients, which was then become the
Rule or Standard of the Learned. The Delegates applied
themfelves to the Bufinefs with a world of Attention;
but they feem rather to have wrefled the Doclrine of the
Antients, to make it confifd with theirs, than to have built
up theirs to the Model of the Antients. They fpeak of
the Deity as if it were no more than mere Nature ; or
the Natural Power or Virtue that produces, difpofes, and
preferves the feveral Parts of the Univerfe. It is, fay
they, a pure, perfeca Principle without Beginning or End;
'tis the Source of all Things, the Effence of every Be-
ing; and that which determines it to be what it is. They
make God the Soul of the World, fay he is diffufed
throughout all Matter, and produces all the Changes that
happen there. In Short, 'tis not eafy to determine whe-
ther they refolve God into Nature, or lift up Nature into
God; for they afcribe to it many of thofe things which we
attribute to God. This Docarine, in lieu of the Idolatry
that prevailed before, introduced a refin'd kind of Atheifm.
The Work being compofed by fo many Perfons of Learn-
ing and Parts, and approved by the Emperor himfelf,
was received with infinite Applaufe by all the World.
Many were pleafed with it, in regard it feem'd to fub-
vert all Religion: others approved it, becaufe the little
Religion that it left 'em could not give'em much trouble.
And thus was form'd the Sedt of the Litterati; which
confiffs of the Maintainers and Adherents to this Doclrine.
The Court, the Mandarins, and the Perfons of Fortune
and Quality, ec. are generally Retainers to it; but a
great part of the common People fill hold to their Wor-
fhip of Idols. The Litterati freely tolerate the Mahome-
tans, becaufd they adore, with them, the King of Hea-
ven and Author of Nature; but they bear a perfecf Aver-
fion to all other Seas of Idolaters among 'em, and it was
once refolved to extirpate them. But the Diforder this
would have occafion'd in the Empire, prevented it : they
now content themfelves with condemning them in general
as Herefies; which they do folemnly every Year at Pekin.
LETTER OF CREDIT, among Merchants, a Letter
which a Merchant or Banker gives a Perfon he trufis in,
to take up Money of his Correfpondents in remote places,
in cafe of need. Letters of Credit, tho different from thofe
of Exchange, yet have the fame Privileges, to compel the
Fayment of Sums received in confequence of 'em.
LETTER OF EXCHANGE, fee Bill of Excbange;
fee alfo Exchange.
LETTER OF LICENCE, in Trade, is an Infirument
or Writing granted to a Man who has fail'd or broke,
fign'd and feal'd by his Creditors; which Letter ufually
gives a lunger Time for Payment: fo that the Debtor
having fuch an Affurance, can go about his Bufinefs with-
out fearing an Arrest.
LETTERS OF ATTORNEY, are Writings autho-
rizing an Attorney, that is, a Man appointed to do a legal
A& in our flead. As a Letter of Attorney to give Seifin
of Lands, to receive Debts, to fue a third Perfon, 'c.
LETTERS OF MART, are Letters under the Privy-
Seal, granted to the King's Subjeas; impowering them
to take by Force of Arms, what was formerly taken from
them contrary to the Law of Mart: and regards any Na-
tion with whom Truce is broken. See Reprizal.
LETTERS PATENTS, are Writings fealed with the
Great Seal of Engtand, whereby a Man is authorized to
do, or enjoy any thing, that otherwife of himfelf he could
not. And they are fo call'd by reafon of their Form,
becaufe they are open, with the Seal affixed, ready to be,
Ihewn for the Confirmation of the Authority given by
them. Common Perforis may grant Letters Patents; but
they are rather call'd Patents than Letters Patents, yet for
Aifference thofe granted by the King are call'd Letters Pa-
tents Royal. Letters Patents conclude with TefIe meipfo,
Charters with bits TeJibuis.
LETTERS OF RESPITE, Letters ifrued out by at
Prince in favour of honeft unfortunate Debtors, againfl
too rigorous Creditors, whereby Payment is delay'd, for a
certain Term. The Ufe of thefe Letters is very antient:
Cajfodorus obferves, they were in ufe in the Time of Thee-
doric King of the Goths; others will ihave 'em introduced
towards the End of the eleventh Century by Pope Ur-
ban II. in favour of thofe who went on the Cruzados.
They are fill in ufe in France, and fome other Countries:
and take their Name d relpirando, becaufe they give
the Debtor a breathing while.
LEVANT, in Geography, fignifies any Country fituate
to the Eaft of us, or the Paflern fide of any Continent or
Country, or that on which the Sun rifes. In Matters of
Commerce, &cc. the Word is generally reftrain'd to the
Mediterranean Sea, or the Country on the Eaftern part of
it: Hence our Trade thither is call'd the LevantTrade,
and a Wind that blows from thence out of the Streights-
mouth, is call'd a Levant Wind.
LEVANT AND COUCHANT, in Law, is when
Cattel have been fo long in another Man's Ground, that
they have lain down, and have rifen again to feed.
LEVARI FACIAS, a Writ direaed to the Sheriff for
the Levying a Sum of Money on his Land and Tene-
ments who has forfeited a Recognizance.
LEVATOR, an Epithet which the Anatomifis give to
feveral Mufcles, whofe Ufe is to raife or lift up the Parts
to which they belong. There are Levators of the Eye-
Lids, fee Attollens Palpebr. of the Omoplate, fee Omo-
plate; of the Anus, fee Anus; and of the Scapula, fee
LEUCOMA, in Phyfic, is a little white Spot on the
Cornea of the Eye, call'd by the Latins, Albago. It is
occafioned by an Humour gather'd in this Membrane, or
by the Scar following a Wound, or by an Ulcer in this
Part, as Sometimes happens in the Small-Pox. The
Word is Greek, and is formed from xtuxaf, white.
LEUCOPHLEGMATIA, a kind of Dropfy, otherwife
call'd .nafarcba. It confifis in a Tumor or Bloating of
the whole outer Surface of the Body, or foome of its
Parts; white and foft, eafily giving way to the Touch,
and preferving the Imprellion made by the Finger for
fome time. It may either be owing to fome Diforder of
the Blood, which in this Difeafe is of a pale Colour, vif-
cid, and cold; or to- an aqueous Humour extravafated,
and gathered together in the Mufcles and the Pores of
the Skin. The Word is Greek, and comes from Atyxaf,
white, and Axlas, Pituita, Phlegm.
- LEVEL, a Mathematical Infirument, ferving to draw
a Line parallel to the Horizon, to lay off Floors, the Cour-
fes of Mafonry, Wc. horizontally, to meafure the diffe-
rence of Afcent or Defcent between feveral Places,
to convey Waters, drain Fens, Wc. The Word comes
from the Latin Libella, the Crofs Beam that forms the
Brachia of a Balance, which to be juff, muft fland hori-
zontally. There are feveral Infruments of different Con-
trivance and Matter, that have been invented for the Per-
fe&ion of Levelling; all of which, for the Pratice, may
be reduced to thefe that follow.
Water Level, which fhews the horizontal Line by means
of a Surface of Water, or other Liquid ; founded on this
Principle, that Water always naturally places itfelf level.
The mofd fixmple is made of a long wooden Trough or
Canal, whofe Sides are parallel to its Bafe; fo that being
equally fill'd with Water, the Surface thereof lhews thb
Line of Level: this is the Cborobates of the Antients,
defcribed by Vitruvius, Lib. 8. Chap. 6. This Level is alfo
made with two Cups fitted to the two Ends of a Pipe, 3
or 4 Foot long, about an Inch in Diameter; by means
whereof the Water communicates from the one to the
other Cup: and this Pipe being moveable on its Stand,
by means of a Ball and Socket, when the two Cups be-
come equally full of Water, their two Surfaces mark the
Line of Level. This Infirument, inflead of Cups, may be
made with two Ihort Cylinders of Glafs 3 or 4 Inches
long, fafien'd to each Extreme of the Pipe with Wax or
Mafic. Into the Pipe is fill'd fome common or coloured
Water, which Chews itfelf through the Cylinders, by
means whereof, the Line of Level is determined ; the
Height of the Water, with refpec to the Center of
the Earth, being always the fame in both Cylinders.
This Level, tho very fimple, is yet very commodious
for levelling of fmall iflances.
Air Level, that which Thews the Line of Level, by
means of a Bubble of Air inclofed with fome Liquor in a
Glafs Tube of an indeterminate Length and Thicknefs,
whofe two Ends are fealed hermetically; that is, are
lofed with the Glafs itfelf, by heating it with the Flame
of a Lamp, till it become foft and tracable. When the
Bubble of Air fixes itfelf at a certain Mark made exatly'

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