* Cyperus. Papyrus. l. 105. Three males, one female. The leaf of this plant was first used for paper, whence the word paper; and leaf, or folium, for a fold of a book. Af∣terwards the bark of a species of mulberry was used; whence liber signifies a book, and the bark of a tree. Before the invention of letters mankind may be said to have been perpatually in their infancy, as the arts of one age or country generally died with their inventors. Whence arose the policy, which still continues in Indostan, of obliging the son to practise the profession of his father. After the discovery of letters, the facts of Astronomy and Chemistry became recorded in written language, though the antient hieroglyphic characters for the planets and metals continue in use at this day. The an∣tiquity of the invention of music, of astronomical observations, and the manufacture of Gold and Iron, are recorded in Scripture.
About twenty letters, ten cyphers, and seven crotches, represent by their numerous combinations all our ideas and sensations! the musical characters are probably arrived at their perfection, unless emphasis, and tone, and swell could be exprssed, as well as note and time. Charles the Twelfth of Sweden had a design to have introduced a numeration by squares, instead of by decimation, which might have served the purposes of philosphy better than the present mode, which is said to be of Arabic invention. The alphabet is yet in a very imperfect state; perhaps seventeen letters could express all the simple sounds in the European languages. In China they have not yet learned to divide their words into syllables, and are thence necssitated to employ many thousand characters; it is said above eighty thousand. It is to be wished, in this ingenious age, that the European na∣tions would accord to reform our alphabet.
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