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XIII. FIGURES REPRESENTING THE SURFACE OF NEW SPAIN, AND OF ITS INTENDANCIES, THE PROGRESS OF MINING, AND OTHER OBJECTS RELATIVE TO THE EUROPEAN CO. LONIES IN THE TWO INDIES.
The collected figures in this plate serve to explain what is afterwards said" on the extraordinary disproportion between the extent of the colonies and the surface (area) of the European mother countries. The inequality of the territorial division of New Spain has been rendered sensible in representing the intendancies by squares inscribed above one another. This graphical methód is analogous to what M. Playfair first employed, in a very ingenious manner, in his commercial and political atlas, and in his statistical maps of Europe. Without attaching much importance . to these sketches, I cannot regard them as mere trifles foreign to science. It is true the map which M. Playfair gives of the national debt of England brings to mind the section of the Pic of Teneriffe; but natural philosophers have long indicated by similar figures the state of the barometer and mean temperature of months. It would be ridiculous to endeavour to express by curves, moral ideas, the prosperity of nations, or decay of their
* Chap. i. and chap. viii.
literature; but whatever relates to extent and quantity may be represented by geometrical figures; and statistical projections which speak to the senses without fatiguing the mind, possess the advantage of fixing the attention on a great number of important facts.
Of the geographical positions of the kingdom of New Spain, determined by astronomical observations.
(The positions, marked with an asterisk, are established either by triangulations, or angles of altitude and azimuths.)
Names of places. N. Latitude. Names of observers and