contributors, and not seen by the editors until they were in type. In each subject there are some excellent articles, but others are very inferior or altogether omitted, and references are often given to articles which do not exist. Thus marine is said to be more than three-fourths deficient; and in geography errors and omissions abound even capitals and sovereign states are overlooked, while villages are given as towns, and towns are described which never existed. The style is too generally loose, digressive and inexact; dates are seldom given; and discursiveness, verbosity and dogmatism are frequent faults. Voltaire was constantly demanding truth, brevity and method, and said it was built half of marble and half of wood. D'Alembert compared it to a harlequin's coat, in which there is some good stuff but too many rags. Diderot was dissatisfied with it as a whole; much of it was compiled in haste; and carelessly written articles and incompetent contributors were admitted for want of money to pay good writers. Zedler's Universal Lexicon is on the whole much more useful for reference than its far more brilliant successor. The permanent value of encyclopaedias depends on the proportion of exact and precise facts they contain and on their systematic regularity.
The first edition of the Encyclopédie, in 17 vols. folio, 16,288 pages, was imitated by a counterfeit edition printed at Geneva as the volumes appeared in Paris. Eleven folio volumes of plates were published at Paris (1762 to 1772), containing 2888 plates and 923 pages of explanation, &c. A supplement was printed at Amsterdam and Paris (1776–1777), fol. 5 vols., 3874 pages, with 224 plates. History was introduced at the wish of the public, but only “the general features which mark epochs in the annals of the world.” The astronomy was by Delalande, mathematics by Concorcet, tables by Bernouilli, natural history by Adanson, anatomy and physiology by Haller. Daubenton, Condamine, Marmontel and other old contributors wrote many articles, and several were taken from foreign editions. A very full and elaborate index of the articles and subjects of the 33 volumes was printed at Amsterdam in 1780, fol. 2 vols. 1852 pages. It was made by Pierre Mouchon, who was born at Geneva on the 30th of July 1735, consecrated minister on the 18th of August 1758, pastor of the French church at Basel 1766, elected a pastor in Geneva on the 6th of March 1788, principal of the college there 22nd of April 1791, died on the 20th of August 1797. This Table analytique, which took him five years to make, was undertaken for the publishers Cramer and De Tournes, who gave him 800 louis for it. Though very exact and full, he designedly omits the attacks on Christianity. This index was rendered more useful and indispensable by the very diffuse and digressive style of the work, and by the vast number of its articles. A complete copy of the first edition of the Encyclopédie consists of 35 vols. fol., pnnted 1751–1780, containing 23,135 pages and 3132 plates. It was written by about 160 contributors. About 1761 Panckoucke and other publishers in Paris proposed a new and revised edition, and bought the plates for 250,000 livres. But, as Diderot indignantly refused to edit what he considered a fraud on the subscribers to the as yet unfinished work, they began simply to reprint the work, promising supplementary' volumes. When three volumes were printed the whole was seized in 1770 by the government at the complaint of the clergy, and was lodged in the Bastille. The plan of a second French edition was laid aside then, to be revived twenty years later in a very different form. Foreign editions of the Encyclopédie are numerous, and it is difficult to enumerate them correctly. One, with notes by Ottavio Diodati, Dr Sebastiano Paoli and Carlo Giuliani, appeared at Lucca (1758–1771), fol. 17 vols. of text and 10 of plates. Though it was very much expurgated, all engaged in it were excommunicated by the pope in 1759. An attempt made at Siena to publish an Italian translation failed. An addition by the abbé Serafini and Dr Gonnella (Livourne, 1770), &c., fol. 33 vols., returned a profit of 60,000 piastres, and was protected by Leopold II., who secured the pope's silence. Other editions are Genève, Cramer (1772–1776), a facsimile reprint. Genève, Pellet (1777–1779), 4to, 36 vols. of text and 3 of plates, with 6 vols. of Mouchon's index (Lyon, 1780), 4to; Genève et Neufchâtel, Pellet (1778–1779), 4to, 36 vols. of text and 3 of plates; Lausanne (1778–1781), 36 vols. 4to, or 72 octavo, of text and 3 of plates (1779–1780); Lausanne et Bern, chez les Sociétés Typographiques (1780–1782), 36 vols. 8vo of text and 3 vols. 4to of plates (1782). These four editions have the supplement incorporated. Fortuné Barthelemy de Felice, an Italian monk, born at Rome on the 24th of August 1723, who had been professor at Rome and Naples, and had become a Protestant, printed a very incorrect though successful edition (Yverdun, 1770–1780) 4to, 42 vols. of text, 5 of supplement and 10 of plates. It professed to be a new work, standing in the same relationship to the Encyclopédie as that did to Chambers's, which is far from being the case. Sir Joseph Ayloffe issued proposals, 14th December 1751, for an English translation of the Encyclopédie, to be finished by Christmas 1756, in 10 vols. 4to, with at least 600 plates. No. 1 appeared in January 1752, but met with little success. Several selections of articles and extracts have been published under the title of L'Esprit de l'Encyclopédie. The last was by Hennequin (Paris, 1822–1823), 8vo, 15 vols. An English selection is Select Essays from the Encyclopedy (London, 1773), 8vo. The articles of most of the principal contributors have been reprinted in the editions of their respective works. Voltaire wrote 8 vols. 8vo of a kind of fragmentary supplement. Questions sur l'Encyclopédie, frequently printed, and usually included in editions of his works, together with his contributions to the Encyclopédie and his Dictionnaire philosophique. Several special dictionaries have been formed from the Encyclopédie, as the Dictionnaire portatif des arts et métiers (Paris, 1766), 8vo, 2 vols. about 1300 pages, by Philippe Macquer, brother of the author of the Dict. de chimie. An enlarged edition by the abbé Jaubert (Paris, 1773), 5 vols. 8vo, 3017 pages, was much valued and often reprinted. The books attacking and defending the Encyclopédie are very many. No original work of the 18th century, says Lanfrey, has been more depreciated, ridiculed and calumniated. It has been called chaos, nothingness, the Tower of Babel, a work of disorder and destruction, the gospel of Satan and even the ruins of Palmyra.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, “by a society of gentlemen in Scotland, printed in Edinburgh for A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar, and sold by Colin Macfarquhar at his printing office in Nicolson Street,” was completed in 1771 in 3 volumes 4to, containing 2670 pages, and 160 copperplates engraved by Andrew Bell. It was published in numbers, of which the two first were issued in December 1768, “price 6d. each, or 8d on a finer paper,” and was to be completed in 100 weekly numbers. It was compiled, as the title-page says, on a new plan. The different sciences and arts were “digested into distinct treatises or systems,” of which there are 45 with cross headings, that is, titles printed across the page, and about 30 other articles more than three pages long. The longest are “Anatomy,” 166 pages, and “Surgery,” 238 pages. “The various technical terms, &c., are explained as they occur in the order of the alphabet.” “Instead of dismembering the sciences, by attempting to treat them intelligibly under a multitude of technical terms, they have digested the principles of every science in the form of systems or distinct treatises, and explained the terms as they occur in the order of the alphabet, with references to the sciences to which they belong.” This plan, as the compilers say, differs from that of all the previous dictionaries of arts and sciences. Its merit and novelty consist in the combination of De Coetlogon's plan with that in common use,—on the one hand keeping important subjects together, and on the other facilitating reference by numerous separate articles. It is doubtful to whom the credit of this plan is due. The editor, William Smellie, a printer (born in 1740, died on the 24th of June 1795), afterwards secretary and superintendent of natural history to the Society of Scottish Antiquaries, is said by his biographer to have devised the plan and written or compiled all the chief articles; and he prints, but without date, part of a letter written and signed by Andrew Bell by which he was engaged in the work:—“Sir, As we are engaged in publishing a dictionary of the arts and sciences, and as you have informed us that there are fifteen capital sciences which you will undertake for and write up the subdivisions and detached parts of these conform to your plan, and likewise to prepare the whole work for the press, &c., &c., we hereby agree to allow you £200 for your trouble, &c.” Prof. Macvey Napier says that Smellie “was more likely to have suggested that great improvement than any of his known coadjutors.” Archibald Constable, who was interested in the work from 1788, and was afterwards intimately acquainted with Bell, says Colin Macfarquhar was the actual projector of the Encyclopaedia, and the editor of the two first editions, while Smellie was merely “a contributor for hire” (Memoirs, ii. 311). Dr Gleig, in his preface to the third edition, says: “The idea had been conceived by him (Colin Macfarquhar) and his friend Mr Andrew Bell, engraver. By whom these gentlemen were assisted in digesting the plan which attracted to that work so much public attention, or whether they had any assistance, are questions in which our readers cannot be interested.” Macfarquhar, according to Constable, was a person of excellent taste and very general knowledge, though at starting he had little or no capital, and was obliged to associate Bell, then the principal engraver in Edinburgh, as a partner in his undertaking.
The second edition was begun in 1776, and was published in numbers, of which the first was issued on the 21st of June 1777, and the last, No. 181, on the i8th of September 1784, forming 10 vols. 4to, dated 1778 to 1783, and containing 8595 pages and 340 plates. The pagination is continuous, ending