MARTIN (Benjamin)

, was born in 1704, and became one of the most celebrated mathematicians and opticians of his time. He first taught a school in the country; but afterwards came up to London, where he read lectures on experimental philosophy for many years, and carried on a very extensive trade as an optician and globe-maker in Fleet-street, till the growing infirmities of old age compelled him to withdraw from the active part of business. Trusting too fatally to what he thought the integrity of others, he unfortunately, though with a capital more than sufficient to pay all his debts, became a bankrupt. The unhappy old man, in a moment of desperation from this unexpected stroke, attempted to destroy himself; and the wound, though not immediately mortal, hastened his death, which happened the 9th of February 1782, at 78 years of age.

He had a valuable collection of fossils and curiosities of almost every species; which after his death were almost given away by public auction. He was indefatigable as an artist, and as a writer he had a very happy method of explaining his subject, and wrote with clearness, and even considerable elegance. He was chiefly eminent in the science of optics; but he was well skilled in the whole circle of the mathematical and philosophical sciences, and wrote useful books on every one of them; though he was not distinguished by any remark able inventions or discoveries of his own. His publications were very numerous, and generally useful: some of the principal of them were as follow:

The Philosophical Grammar; being a View of the present State of Experimental Physiology, or Natural Philosophy, 1735, 8vo.—A new, complete, and universal System or Body of Decimal Arithmetic, 1735, 8vo.—The Young Student's Memorial Book, or Pocket Library, 1735, 8vo.—Description and Use of both the Globes, the Armillary Sphere and Orrery, Trigonometry, 1736, 2 vols. 8vo.—System of the Newtonian Philosophy, 1759, 3 vols.—New Elements of Optics, 1759.—Mathematical Institutions, 1764, 2 vols. —Philologic and Philosophical Geography, 1759. —Lives of Philosophers, their inventions, &c. 1764. —Young Gentleman and Lady's Philosophy, 1764, 3 vols.—Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1764, 4 vols.— Institutions of Astronomical Calculations, 3 parts, 1765. —Introduction to the Newtonian Philosophy, 1765.— Treatise of Logarithms.—Treatise on Navigation.— Description and Use of the Air-pump.—Description of the Torricellian Barometer.—Appendix to the Use of the Globes.—Philosophia Britannica, 3 vols.—Principles of Pump-work.—Theory of the Hydrometer.— Description and Use of a Case of Mathematical Instruments.—Ditto of a Universal Sliding Rule.—Micrographia, on the Microscope.—Principles of Perspective. —Course of Lectures.—Optical Essays.—Essay on Electricity.—Essay on Visual Glasses or Spectacles.— Horologia Nova, or New Art of Dialling.—Theory of Comets.—Nature and Construction of Solar Eclipses. —Venus in the Sun.—The Mariner's Mirror.—Thermometrum Magnum.—Survey of the Solar System.— Essay on Island Chrystal.—Logarithmologia Nova, &c. &c.

MASCULINE Signs. Astrologers divide the Signs, &c, into Masculine and Feminine; by reason of their qualities, which are either active, and hot, or cold, accounted Masculine; or passive, dry, and moist, which are feminine. On this principle they call the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, Masculine; and the Moon and Venus, feminine. Mercury, they suppose, partakes of the two. Among the Signs, they account Aries, Libra, Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius, and Aquarius, Masculine; but Cancer, Capricornus, Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio, and Pisces are feminine.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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MARALDI (James Philip)
* MARTIN (Benjamin)