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trary, into a regular system, scientifically combined, which had its foundation in nature. The four hundred thousandth part of a degree of the meridian was pitched upon as the prototype of standard of vulgar nieasures ; and from hence a commodious and easy system was derived for the use of the people, and subjected to the common proportions of the human body. Thus the prototype was called foot, cubit, &c. Our Author unfolds, with great erudition and ingenuity, this philosophical origin of mensuration, points out its progress from the remoteft antiquity, and treats of measures in all their connexions with agriculture and legislation. In the introduction, after having defined meafures in general, and shewn the usefulness of invariable standards derived from nature, and the advantages that result from a universal measure, he considers the legislation of measures in France, treats of the decimal and logarithmic calculus, which he ordinarily makes use of in this work, and gives an ample table of the absolute weights of a cubic foot of different folid and fluid substances, with some applications of these weights to the strength of animals. This is followed by another table of the marks of measures, weights, and numbers in use among the Greeks and Romans.
The Work is divided into Thirteen Chapters. In the ift, M. Paucton lays before us the results of the observations made by modern geometricians, both on the length of the pendulum, vibrating feconds, and the quantity of a degree of the meridian. He proves, that a universal measure, taken from the dimenfion of a degree of the meridian, would be as perfect as that which is derivable from the length of the pendulum, and that in the remoteft periods of antiquity, even before the existence of Nineveh, Babylon, and the pyramids of Egypt, the circumference of the earth was measured as exactly as it has been in our times. He thews, that this standard of mensu. ration, which is founded in nature, was almost universally received in Asia, Africa, and Europe ; that it was the standard of the Persians, Arabians, Jews, Egyptians, and Spaniards, who preserved it in its primitive integrity; and that it was also employed by the Gauls, Bretons, and Germans, among whom it is to be found, at this day, in the greatest part of their cities.
The Author compares - this universal measure with ours, and with other particular measures of antiquity: The 2d chapter contains an application of these measures to the illustration of fome curious points of ancient legislation and philology. The 3d treats of the measures used in surveying lands by the Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Gauls; 'Spaniards, and other ancient nations. The 4ch treats concerning mealures of .capacity, of which, according to our Author, the cubacure of the universal lineal measure already mentioned was the siand
ard among the Egyptians, Hebrews, Arabians, Greeks, and Romans. The ancient weights of these nations are the subject of the 5th chapter; and in the 6th we have a learned account of their coins. The theory of usury and anatocism among the Greeks and Ronans is laid down in the 7th chapter. In the 8th the Author treats of the whole extent of the earth's surface, of the dimensions of its parts in its division into states, of population in' modern times, considered both in the whole of each state, and in its principal cities. The quantity of Aour and bread produced by a certain measure of corn, the manner of grinding and baking among the ancients, the consumption of the inhabitants of a state, the wages of day-labourers, and the expences of individuals, are macters discussed in the gth chapter. The disquisitions of the roth and with chapters are elaborate and curious. Here we learn the quantity of feed that is to be employed by the husbandman, which, in the temperate zones, must be increased in proportion as the lands between the tropics and the polar circles approach towards the latter, and we learn also the different kinds of grain that were cultivated by the ancients. The Author here returns to the subject of ancient population, enlarges on the productions and riches of Babylon, the most fertile country in the world ; meafures the extent of the habitable parts of Egypt ; describes its fertility, its agriculture, its population, its division under Sefoftris, and also the fruitfulness of the adjacent countries. He measures also and describes the Holy Land, its fertility, population, and Agrarian laws, the domains of its prince, its priests and Levites; the tithes, first-fruits, and other objects of civil and political economy. From thence he passes into Media, repasses into Spain, describes its fertility, population, the excellence of its productions, and the extent of its territory. Then we find him in some fruitful districts of Africa, describing the territories of Carthage and Tacape and the plains of Byzacene. Sicily comes next; from whence he carries us into Greece, Thrace, Asia Minor, the Illes of Lesbos and Cyprus, Armenia, Hircania, Margiana, the Cimmerian Bosphorus, and Illyria. Italy comes laft. The description of the fertility, extent, natural productions, and political administration of that country, is ample and circumstantial, and is terminated by an enumeration of the principal causes of the decline of the Roman empire. The 12th chapter contains an account of the relations of ancient authors concerning the fertility and extent of Gaul, and is terminated by particular observations on agriculture, as it was practised by the ancients. The 13th chapter is an Introduction (as our Author calls it) to the study of the ancient coins of France. This introduction is a complete treatise on every thing that relates to coinage, the qualities of
the metals, the mines that produce them, the characters and denominations of different monies, their valué, &c.
Eleven ample and commodious Tables, containing the evaluation of measures, weights, and money, ancient and modern, form the conclufion of this vast and elaborate performance. These Tables, which are excellent in every respect, are the fruit of indefatigable industry and patience, and are alone sufficient to render this work an important and valuable present to the pub. lic.
XII. Le Genie de l’Architecture, ou l'Analogie de cet Art avec nos Sensations : i.e. The Genius or Spirit of Architecture, or the Confideration of that Art, as it bears än Analogy to our Sensations or natural Feelings. By M. Le CAMUS DE Me
Paris. 1780. Price 3 livres (about 3 thillings). It is certain, that of all the objects and productions of the fine arts, there are none concerning which our judgments of approbation or dislike are so capricious and ambiguous, so indeterminate and wavering, as those of architecture. It is alleged by some, as a reason for this, that imitation, which is the soul of poetry, painting, and, more or less, even of music, is not applicable to architecture, which has no model or prototype in nature, and can therefore have no principle or guide in its operations, but the general rules of symmetry and proportion, which belong, in common with it, to all the other arts. It has no peculiar and determinate object but conveniency; and therefore, in point of ornament and beauty, its
operations, though often animated by tafte and genius, are directed by fancy and caprice, which in numberless cases render our judgment concerning the execution ambiguous and uncertain. The Author of the Work before us endeavours to remove this uncertainty, and to establish fure principles of judging with respect to the beauties of architecture, by contemplating the happy productions of great geniuses, and attending to the causes by which they produce pleasing and powerful impressions on the mind. The analogy of the proportions of architecture with our sensations will suggest a series of reflections, on which we may establish the philosophical principles of this elegant art. Such is the design of this ingenious essay, in which the Author treats, first, of the different orders of architecture; and unfolds, secondly, the general rules of the art of pleasing in its various productions. He enters into an ample detail on this subject, and ascertains his theory by a variety of examples which illustrate his difcus. fions, and render them agreeable.
XIII, De l'Electricité du Corps Humain dans l'Etat de Santé et de Maladie, &c. i. e. A Dissertation on the Electricity of the Human Body in Sickness and Health ; in which the Electri
city of the Atmosphere, and its Influence and Effects on the Animal Economy, are particularly considered. By M. Ber. THOLON, Prieft of St. Lazarus, and Member of several Academies. 12mo. Paris. 1780.--This Prize-Differtation, which was crowned by the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts, &c. at Lyon, casts several rays of new light upon the mysterious subject of electricity. In this ingenious piece Mr. B. begins by ascertaining the electricity of the atmosphere in consequence of the experiments and observations of Monnier, Franklin, and others; and by pointing out the indications which the electrical Auid gives of its existence, not only in tempefts and thunder-storms, but even in the calmeft weather. He then proceeds to examine in what manner the electricity of the ato mosphere communicates itself to the human body. He thews, that not only by the pores, but also by the lungs (which he looks upon as the secretory organ of aerial electricity), the buman body must receive, with the great quantity of air it breathes *, an astonishing quantity of the electrical Auid when the atmosphere is positively electrified, and must communicate to the atmosphere when its electricity is negative, a proportionable quantity of the same fluid. This leads our Author to consider the principal effects of the electricity of the atmosphere on the animal system, and consequently on the vital and animal functions, such as, muscular motion, the circulation of the blood, respiration, digestion, and the various secretions; as also its moral effects, combined with the qualities and effects of the air on the human body. He afterwards treats of spontaneous electricity, or of that which is peculiar to the human body, examines its cause, and proves its existence by a great number of curious experiments and observations. All these discussions form the contents of the first seven chapters. The electricity peculiar to different animals is the subject of the eighth, in which the Author relates his own experiments on the torpedo. The ninth chapter contains the means of preserving health, as relative to the Auid in question, and to certain qualities of air and food, that are more or less adapted to diminish or augment human electricity.
The body in a disordered state, and more especially those disorders which proceed from the abundance or defect of the electrical Auid in the human body, and the means of remedying both this abundance and defect, employ our Author in the second part of this Dissertation. A great number of observations and experiments have been made, and the labours
* The motion of respiration is repeated 28,800 times every day, and the lungs receive in the same space of time one million one huna dred and fifty two thousand cubic inches of air.
of above two hundred and fifty philosophical or medical writers have been laid under contribution to complete this second part, in which we find an account of all that has been hitherto writ: ten on the subject of animal and medical electricity. The Third Part, which treats of the influence of atmospherical electricity on different bodies, contains Tables relative to births, deaths, certain disorders and evacuations, which correspond with the alterations that happen in the state of the atmosphere.
XIV. Le Brigandage de la Musique Italienne : i. e. Of the Robberies committed by Italian Music... 12mo. Paris. This is a very fingular performance. It contains an uncommon mixture of profound musical knowledge, fine taste, and the moft facetious pleasantry. The principle of the Author is, that every country has its own mufic; that is, a music suited to its climate, "genius, character, language, and manners; and that therefore the party at Paris who are for forcing the Italian music upon the French, are guilty of great absurdity. On this occasion the very elegant and witty writer enters into extensive and ingenious discussions relative to mufical harmony, melody, and expresfion; and much inftruction and many a laugh will be obtained from the perusal of his most entertaining perform
But it is no laughing matter to consider the extravagant contributions that eunuchs and fidlers have drawn from the treasures of sovereigns, which would have been much more humanely employed in appealing the hunger of their famished subjects, than in tickling their own roğal or princely ears with tweedle dum and tweedle-dee. The late King of Poland paid an bundred thoufand.crowns for the representation of each nevs opera ;--the King of Portugal threw away a million of crowns upon five or fix degraded men, who sung a few airs to amuse his Majesty, while his people were howling miferere ; and the opera of Paris costa 35,000 pounds annually.
MONTHL Y CATALOGUE,
For I UN E, 1781.
POLITICA L. Art. 14. The Revolution of America. By the Abbé Raynal,
Author of the Philosophical and Political History of the Ettablishments and Commerce of the Europeans in both the Indies.
2 s. 6 d. Davies. THERE is something myfterious in the manner in which
this publication is introduced to the world, pected that the Abbé Raynal would fabjoin, to bis History of the Indies, an account of the dispute between Great Britain and her Colonies. Of shis desired Work, before is made its appearance from any press, the translator, on his gravels was so fortunate as to obtain REV. June 1781.