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Sir WILLIAM PETTY,
Tending to prove that London hath more People and Housing than the Cities of Paris and Rouen put together, and is also more considerable in several other respects.
1. THE Medium of the Burials at London in the three last years, viz. 1683, 1684 and 1685, (wherein there was no extraordinary Sick-|2|ness, and wherein the Christenings
- The common notion at the time when Petty wrote appears to have been that Paris must be larger than London because the court of Louis XIV. was more splendid than that of Charles II. Petty was not the first who held London the larger, but he appears to have been the first who gave an adequate reason for his belief. Gregorio de Leti says that he himself had once believed Paris the more populous city, but 'all the more general and infallible rules' had shewn him the superiority of London. De Leti had unusual opportunities for observation, but his estimate of the actual population of the two cities is absurdly high. He appears to credit, somewhat grudgingly, the assertion of an (unidentified) French ambassador, who had told him that Paris contained a million and a half of people. And he is 'forced to believe' that in London there are not less than two million souls! Del teatro britannico (1683), p. 75. A more trustworthy account is given by Le Maire, the author of Paris ancien et nouveau, 1685. After quoting Giovanni Botero (1540-1617) on "Parigi città che di popolo & di abbondanza d'ogni cosa avanza de gran lunga tutte l'altre di Christianità," Le Maire gives the number of people and of houses in each of the sixteen quarters of La Ville de Paris—as in the case of London, an area smaller than that included in the bills of