He has also himself suffered much from the inaccuracy of copyists.
The first volume was attacked in 1733 for unfairness and inaccuracy by Isaac Maddox, afterwards bishop of St Asaph and of Worcester, to whom Neal replied in a pamphlet, A Review of the principal facts objected to in the first volume of the History of the Puritans; and the remaining volumes by Zachary Grey (1688-1766), to whom the author made no reply.
Thus the inaccuracy in taking the measured diameter as the datum is practically of the same order as the inaccuracy in taking the grass-plot to be circular.
The well-known sentence of Carlyle, that it is "as far as possible from meriting its high reputation," is in strictness justified, for all Thiers's historical work is marked by extreme inaccuracy, by prejudice which passes the limits of accidental unfairness, and by an almost complete indifference to the merits as compared with the successes of his heroes.
The rate of increase during the decade ending in 1900 was even less than that for the preceding decade; and it is impossible that a falling off so marked could in two successive enumerations be the result of sheer inaccuracy.