Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

acting, &c. . This difficulty M. MARAT has attempted to fura mount by a method of proceeding, which has the appearance of being equally simple and ingenious, and, of which we formerly gave some account *. He has, by this method, endeavoured to render visible the principle of heat, disengaged from the inny hammable principle, at the very moment that it escapes with violence from the combustible bodies with which it was com) bined. M. Marat has not only thus undertaken to afcertain, the existence of the igneous, fuid; he proceeds still farther in the work before us: he examines its eflential properties, and , compares it with those fluids to which it has the greatest affinity The result of his refearches, and experiments here is, that the igneous matter (or the Auid which produces what we call fire) is a fubstance, effen:ially different from the electrical matter, and from luminous matter, or light with both of which it has been confounded, and our Author moreover proves, that the principle of heat is not in the rays of the fun. According to bim, heat and fire are produced by the more or less rapid motion of the igneous matter, which is a separate Auid ; and he not only examines the nature of this motion, but even undertakes ton render it visible to the eye of anattentive observer. He afterwards considers the quantity of the igneous Auid that is dif-, fused through the universe, hews the necessity of the concurs rence of the air in order to its deflagration; proving, however, at the same time, that the air does not serve as an aliment to fire, as the philosophers hitherto, have almost unanimously afsa serted. These discussions are followed by a series of experiments, on the expansive force of the igneous Auid, its sphere of adivity i its manner of acting, and the different states and modifications, through which those bodies pass, that are subjected to its action. The Article, relative to the alimext of fire, is curious ; but Jess: remarkable, perhaps, for. its per picuity, than the other parts, of this, ingenious work, In treating of the degree of heat of which different bodies are susceptible, M. MARAT, proves, that Aame is most ardent, and always the more ardent in proportion, as it is purer and lighter; so that reclified spirit of, wine, which is looked upon as scarcely possessing any heat; is in the first rank of hot bodies. This is true, but not new, or contrary to the commonly received opinion, as, our Author observes. At least, any lady, while she boils her teakettle, may perceive that M. MARAT; is in the right. . From the ardour or heat of fame, this ingenious Physician (in the double sense of that word proceeds to consider the causes of the

1

* See, in the Appendix to car 628 volume, 180, the account given of a preceding work of our Author, entitled, Discoveries concerain, Fire, Electricity, and Ligliigid

.

refrigeration

refrigeration or cooling of bodies, of the inflammability of combustibles, of the colours of fire, and of the form of fame. All these discussions render this work singularly curious and instructive ; and the novelty of our Author's opinions cannot fail of rendering it still more entertaining.

IV. Histoire Generale et Particuliere de la Grece, &c. i.e. A General and Particular History of Greece, containing an Account of the Origin, Progress, and Decline of Laws, Science, Arts, Literature, and Philosophy in that Country. To which are prefixed, a Geographical Description of its various Provinces, and a Series of Dissertations on its Chronology, Mythology, Measures, &c. as also a Parallel between its ancient and modern Inhabitants. By M. CouSIN DESPRIAUX, Member of the Academy of Sciences, Arts and Belles Lettres of Rouen, &c. 16 Vols. in 12mo. Price 2 Livres 10 Sols (i.e. about 2 Shillings) each Volume.--The first four volumes of this considerable work are just published ; the three following are to be published in the course of the present year; and we propose giving our Readers farther information with respect to their merit and contents on another occafion.

V. Memoires de Mathematique et de Physique, &c. i.e. Memoirs, relative to Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences by learned Foreigners." Vol. IX. 4to. 780 Pages. Paris. 1780.- This valuable collection is continued with success, and the Academy has rendered it ftill more acceptable to the Public by a new regulation, that commences with the volume before us, which consists in augmenting it with the Dissertations that have obtained the prizes proposed by the Academy. This gth volume contains 33 Memoirs : the learned and elaborate treatise of Profeffor Van Swinden of Frane.. ker occupied the principal part of the preceding volume, and a considerable proportion of the present one is taken up by a Memoir of Monf. Coulomb, who treated the same subject, shared the prize with the Dutch Professor, and, by a most interesting series of observations and experiments, opens new points of view with respect to the causes of the phenomena of the loadstone, exa plains the principle of the diurnal variations of the magnetic needle, and indicates the means of greatly improving the mariner's compass.-The other Memoirs in this volume are as follows:

Three on the Cultivation and Manufacture of Indigo, by Messrs. Quatrener, D'Orval, and Bergman, which are full of curious relearches, chemical and economical Three on Fixed Air, by Mons. Bucquer and the Duke de Chaulnes, in which, among other things, several of the experiments and observations of Dr. Black are critically reviewed-Ten on a variety of Chemical subjects by Messrs. Bayen, Laborie, Bucquet, de Morveau,

Veillard,

Veillard, Monnet, Duhamel, Jars, Antick, and Valmont de Bommare-Five on subjects of Natural History, four on different branches of Geometry, and a Memoir of Mr. Geoffroi on Elas. tic Bandages.

VI. Entretiens Philosophiques sur la Religion, i. e. Philofophical Conversations concerning Religion. By the Abbé Guidi. Paris. 1780. 3 Vols. 8vo. This work has confiderable merit : it unites solid argumentation with decent pleasantry, and exposes equally the folly and falsehood of scepticism and infidelity.

VII. La Chymie Domestique, i. e. Domestic Chemistry. Paris. 8vo. 1780.-This chemical essay for the use of families, is, in effect, a very useful pocket-cumpanion : it treats of different subjects, relative to the preservation of health, such as the temperature and variations of the air, the effects of heat, exhala. tions, food, baths, the situation of dwelling-houses, the affifte ance proper for persons that are suffocated, the methods of discovering adulterated wines, &c.

Vill. Recherches sur les Initiations Anciennes et Modernes, &c. i. e. Inquiries concerning Ancient and Modern INITIATIONS. By the Abbé Robin. 12mo. Paris. 1780. It is rare to see an Author dispensing erudition with a sparing hand on subjects of this kind. Such is the case of the ingenious Author in the work before us; and his discretion and parfimony, in this see spect, have been rather carried too far. The subject he treats is curious and important, and deserved to be illustrated by more ample details of facts, and a more plenteous diftribution both of critical and philosophical elucidation. His work, nevertheless, though it takes in but a cursory view of the subject, News plainly, that the Abbé knows more than he says; it offers hints, that may throw a sagacious inquirer upon a new scent, and lead him to discover new streaks of light in the cloudy and dubious regions of mythology. The firft Part of these Researches relates to the origin of Initiations, which he places in that remote and early period, when disorders and crimes began to degrade humanity; and it is scarcely poffible to go farther back than this.-The vicious, says he, were urged by the terror and dejection of guilt to seek intercestors with the Deity among the virtuous and the good; who, retiring into solitude, to avoid the contagion of growing corruption, devoted themselves to a life of contemplation, which led them to various branches of useful knowledge. The periodical return of the seasons, the revolutions of the stars, the produ&tions of the earth, and the various phenomena of nature, ftudied with attention, rendered them useful guides to men, both in their industry and in the duties of social life. These guides invented certain signs to recal to the remembrance of nations the times of their festivals and rural labours : and hence the origin, according to our Author, of those hieroglyphics and symbols, that were in ufe among the priests of all countries!' There leaders, in order to affociate with them in their labours and functions, only fuch as had merit and capacity adequate to them, appointed strict courses of examination and trial, and this must have been the origin of thofe Initiations that are a 'famous in antiquity. The Magi, Druids, Brahmins, and Gymnosopbifts, lived in fequeftred habitations, and the Egyptian priefs fixed their dwellings in deep fubterraneous grottos' and caves, laequired a high reputation by their discoveries in astronomy, chemiftry, and mechanics, by 'the purity of their doctrine and morals, by their knowledge of the science of legislation ; and it was to their mysterious "Initiations, that they were indebted, partly, for the fame they poffeffed in fuch' a high degree! After preparing the candidates for these revered offices" by a long and dustere course of trial, in which the most frightful and hideous obje&ts were exhibited to their view in subterraneous and gloomy regions, they were inftructed in the knowledge of fymbols and hieroglyphics, of the existence and unity of God, of the immortality of the human Youl, and of the purest doctrines and precepts of morality. It was in this fchool, according to our Author, that the first sages and legislators of antiquity were formed, and it was from thefe mysteries and initiations that the exuberant fancy of the Greeks drew a great part of their mythology; "while the symbols and hieroglyphics, employed in the

glyphics 4

, gave rise to the molt pernicious errors. But, on the other hand, our Author observes, that important discoveries in religion, morality, and frience, and the preservation of these discoveries' from oblivioni

, were owing to these, mystem rious initiations: From these also he deduces, in the second Part of his work, the orders of ancient chivalry, whose branches produced the institution of Free Mafonry. But here his arguments are more specious

than Polid:

oluntarist to, - IX. Efsai sur l Art d'imiter les Eaulx Minerales; 1e. "An Efay on the Art of imitatiny Mineral Waters, or, concerning the Knowledge of Mineral Taters and thie Manner of procuring them in all Fimes and Place}}boy

' a "certain Composition. By M. DUCHANOY, Doctora Regényt of the Medical Faculty at Paris, &c. 8vo. 402 Pages. Paris."1780.-As mineral waters are of great consequence in the art of healing, this publication mulč give pleasure to the curious' in that art and this more especially, as, in fome respects, the imitation, he proposes, surpafies the original, and his artificial waters" are not subject to ihe varicties that are observable, at different times, in the natural! ones. · The detail, into which our Author enters, relative to the different forts of mineral waters, and the ingredients that compose them in the bowels of the earth, is learned and perfpicuous; his experiments more particularly on fulphurcous waters

are

are ingenious and decisive ; and his work, upon the whole, will be certainly acceptable to the philosopher, the chemift, and the physician.

X. Recherches et Observations sur les Loix Feodales. i.e. Inquiries and Observations concerning the Feudal Laws, the Condition of the Inhabitants of Towns, and of the Country, in ancient Times, and their pofleffions and Rights. By M. Doyen, Advocate, Paris. 8vo. 1781.-This work is full of erudition : and this erudition is employed with judgment. The Author's discussion of the divine origin and institution of ecclesiastical tithes, which he flatly denies, is acute and learned.

XI. "Observations Critiques et Philosophiques sur le Japon et sur les Japonois

. i. e. Philosophical and Critical Observations on fapan and its Inhabitants. 12mo. (Amsterdam and) Paris. 1780. This compiler has gathered together from a considerable variety of sources, a large quantity of facts and materials, relative to the government, power and opulence, of the Emperor of Japan, the productions of his country, the state of agriculture, commerce and manufactures in that diftant region; and the character, education, dress, manners, religion, genius, pleasures, virtues, and vices of the Japanese. There is a kind of enthusiasm in the encomiums he bestows on this people; and a considerable portion of fatirical malignity in the parallels he draws between them and the Europeans, to the disadvantage of the latter. In some of these parallels the Author discovers sometimes want of judgment, sometimes want of knowledge, and, more than once, we have met with contradictions in his accounts of the Japanese government. As to his style, it is flat, and ignoble. It must be, however, acknowledged, that his work contains a variety of instructive and entertaining materials.

XII. Memoire sur l’Acier, &c. i. e. A Dissertation concerning Steel, its Qualities, and the Methods of forging, and tempering it, &c. by J. J. PERRET, Correspondent of the Royal Academy of Beziers, and Honorary Asociate of the Society of Arts at Geneva. 8vo. Paris. 1779.-This Memoir, or Dissertation (the subject of which was proposed with a prize annexed by the Society of Arts at Geneva, and whose Author obtained the prize), is fingularly entitled to the peculiar attention of all those classes of artists, who either work in steel, or use inftruments made of that metal.

Rev. April 1781.

X

MONTHLY

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »