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of the municipal constitution and privileges granted to the cities of the Netherlands. -All these subje&ts are treated with a brevity which they scarcely admit of The Abbé gives us only points of view, and the contents of his performance perfectly answer to the modesty of its title.
A Dissertation concerning the Counts of Louvain. By M. des Roches.
Critical Reflections on the Diplomas of Miræus. First Memoir, containing an Examination of the Testament of St. Remi, whofe authenticity is here proved by a dead weight of arguments.
An Extract of the meteorological Observations made at Brusels in the Years 1775 and 1776. By the ABBE CHEVALIER.
A R T.
V. Memoires de l'Academie Imperiale et Royale des Sciences et Belles.
Lettres, Sc. i. e. MEMOIRS of the Imperial and Royal Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres at Bruffels, Vol. III. 4to. 1780.
JOURNAL OF THE Academy.
mentioned under this Article, we shall only take notice of those which are not to have any farther place in this or a subsequent volume : the others we thall meet with in the class of Memoirs.
This volume opens with an account which the learned Abbé MANN (whom we are always highly pleased to meet with) laid before the Academy, of his Tour to England, whither he went, principally, with a view to obtain full information of the methods discovered and employed by Mr. Hartley and Lord Mahon, to preserve edifices of every kind from the fatal effects of fire. His paffage through Dover engaged him to observe the cliffs with the attention of a naturalist, and finding them composed of regular, alternate, and almost horizontal strata of chalke and Aint, he concluded that the Aint-stones are no more than an attractive filtration of the fluor of chalk, hardened and petrified in process of time, and formed into separate masses by the mua tual attraction of the parts of the Auor before its petrefadion. He attributes this formation to the pyrites that are often found in the strata of chalk; and his illustration of this subject is ample and curious. This is followed by a history and description of the Gymnotus Electricus, or Electric Eel, in Mr. Walch's collection.
The same Academician read a Latin discourse concerning the Origin and Progress of Moral Philosophy, or the Science of the Law of Nature and Nations, and the necessity of reforming this Science, and cultivating with more zeal in the Romish Universities ;-to which is added, a critical Account of the principal Writers of this Mm 2
Class. -We heartily with the publication of this piece, which is put off fine die.
Prince GALLITZIN, Ruflian minifter at the Hague, whose political leisure is consecrated to the culture of some branches of experimental philofophy, communicated to the Academy fome eurious Memoirs of M, Achard, on the fufion and chemical analysis of rubies and other precious stones, on the fluor of spar, on the use of oil in calming the waves of the fea, and on a new manner of hatching eggs by the means of electricity. The Prince added his own experiments on inflammable air, and his Memoir on Electrical Kites, which are curious.
Reflexions on the Aurora Boreales observed during the Year 1778. By the Abbé CHEVALIER.
Experiments on fixed Air employed as a Remedy in putrid fevers, by M. Janssens, M. D. in the village of Oosterhout near Breda, with remarkable success. It is true, the Peruvian bark was employed at the same time, and to it Dr. JANSSENS attributes a great part of his fuccess; but Prince Gallitzin, who communicated these experiments to the Academy, and who is a zealous champion for the reputation of fixed air, pretends that it enters as a principal ingredient in the bark: this, at least, we suppose to be the meaning of his expression when he says that the Peruvian bark is a compound of fixed air, though the expression is inaccurate. However that may be, the beneficial effects of fixed air in fevers have been ascertained by several experiments and cafes, and the learned and ingenious Professor VAN SWINpen of Franekar, whose testimony has all the weight that veracity and penetration can give to any man's word, is brought by Prince Gallitzin as witness in this matter. A niece of that Profeffor, who had been afflicted during the space of five months with a violent fever, which obstinately refifted the influence of every remedy, and even the strongest dofes of the bark, was cured completely by fixed air, as appears from the Profeffor's letter to the Prince. The Professor and the Prince have been admitted members of the Academy of Brusiels.
The Count DE FRAULA read to the Academy Obfervations on the Invention of wooden Types, occasioned by a Pasage in Sozomenus, This Historian tells us, that Didymus, professor in the celebrated school of Alexandria, who had made an extraordinary progress in almost all the sciences, though he had been blind from the age of three years, learned to distinguish the letters of the alphabet by handling characters engraven on wood. These characters were most probably moveable, and our Academician thews from this, how near they were to the discovery of printing in the fourth century. The rest of this Journal contains the choice of new members ;
the subjects proposed for Prize-Dissertations; and the notice of Memoirs that will be published in subsequent volumes.
MEMOIRS. A Letter from Prince GALLITZIN to the Academy, concerning the Form of Electrical Conductors. The Prince proposes (as he himself says) in this Letter, to bring about a reconciliation between three different opinions, by experiments designed to thew which of the three merits the preference. This is a way of reconciling, that is not likely to be agreeable to all the parties ; however that may be, the case is this: The King of Prussia consulted the Academy of Berlin concerning the form that ought to be preferred in the termination of electrical conductors. M. Achard recommended the sharp-pointed conductor as better adapted to receive and throw off the electrical fire, than those that are terminated by blunt ends or flat surfaces. He even multiplied the points at the end of the conductor; but farther experiments engaged him to recede from this method, and to recommend, as most eligible, conductors terminated by a plane surface, by a plate of metal. C'est donc pour concilier ces differens avis (says the Prince) que jai crú devoir faire, de mon coté, des experiences, qui puffent constater un jour, lequel des trois merite la preference. The result then of his experiments is, that the pointed conductors ought to be preferred before all other forms, though he thinks the debates concerning the forms in question are of little importance.
Memoir. Concerning the Fossils in the Tournefis or District of Tournay, and Petrifications in general, considered with respect to their utility in civil Life. By the Abbé WITRY. The researches of our Academician in the quarries of Tournay will contribute, no doubt, to complete the collections of naturaliits, by pointing out to them native and accidental, foshls, which are only to be found there, or, at least, are very rare elsewhere. This is also one of the principal things which he has in view in these inquiries, the utility of which he thinks may be deduced from the properties of petrifications, and the purposes they may ferve in agricul. ture and medicine.
Memoir. Concerning the usefulness of artificial Manure, together with an Analysis of Dutch Äphes, Corn. land, Marls and Lime, considered in their property of improving and manuring a Soil. By the Abbé March. The experiments of this Academician on different kinds of manure, seem to have been carried on with uncommon capacity, affiduity and attention, and their results must be interesting to the cultivator.
Memoir. Concerning Wool. By M. Du RONDEAU. This Memoir deserves particular attention, as its subject is of great importance to one of the essential comforts of human lile, and as that subject is treated by M. Du RONDEAU in a very ample
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and masterly manner. We shall therefore attempt a short ana. lysis of this useful Mempir, which consists of fifteen articles.
In the First Article, our Academician treats of the growth of wool, which is always of the same colour with the corpus reticulare; considers the different layers or fleeces of which the sheepskin is composed; shews that the fineness of the wool is in exact proportion to the thickness of the skin, which depends upon the health of the animal, and the density of the air ; and proves that the different kinds of wool derive their diversity from the different degrees of condensation which the air contracts from different degrees of cold or moisture.
As the health of the animal contributes fo considerably to the quality of the wool, a proper attention is due to the temperature of the air, climate, and soil, whose influence on its health must be very great, as also to its food and manner of living. As the animal in question lives in warm and in cold climates, in dry and humid regions, in hilly and fat countries, so the effects of these different fituations, and the different precautions they require must be carefully attended to; and these effects and precautions are pointed out by our Academician in the second Article.
In the third he confiders the state of the fleecy flocks in the time of the ancient Gauls, when Belgic wool, as we learn from Horace, Strabo, and Pliny, was preferred to that of Apulia and Calabria. This our Author seems to attribute to the constant enjoyment of a free air, which the locks had under the rough and untutored Belgi, who wandered from place to place, and neither made use of folds for their sheep, nor scarcely of any tolerable habitations for themselves. He does not, however, affirm, that the Belgic wool degenerated when this people were obliged to lead a sedentary and more civilized life under the domination of the Romans, and when they were forced to shut up their flocks during the night, to defend them against the sudden incursions of the Germans: he derives the decline of this branch of Flemish opulence from the continual wars that ravaged the Flemish territories under the kings of France of the firit and second race; and though he allows that it was revived, for a time, under the first princes of the House of Burgundy, yet he observeș, that it was afterwards ruined by the civil wars, by the revolt of the Hollanders, and by other causes.
To this decline, the rival culiivation of this important branch of rural economy among the Spaniards and English did not a ļittle contribute, as we fee in the two succeeding Articles. The attempts that the Spaniards made, so far back as the times of the Romans, to improve their wool, by coupling African rams with Iberian ewes, produced remarkable effects, but their fucfels, for want of proper care, was momentary. The attempt was, however, renewed by Dom. Pedro, fourth King of Castile, with success, and this is the origin of that fine breed of sheep that principally constitutes the opulence of old Caftile, which, having also declined through the incapacity and stupidity of the keepers, was restored to its vigour by the care of Cardinal Ximenes, and has been since spread through all the parts of Spain, whose pastures are of the same nature with those of Segovia. The free use of air, and the disuse of folds, have contributed much to the conservation of this excellent race, and the Spanish shepherds have constantly perceived a diminution of the quantity of their sheep, and a disadvantageous change in the quality of their wool, when they have been obliged, by any particular circumstances, to shut up their flocks in folds. The Spanish nobility leave no means unemployed to perpetuate the advan. tages they annually receive from the sheering of their sheep, and they celebrate this kind of harvest with feasts and rural sports.
The English wool began to be in repute about the middle of the fifteenth century. Three thousand sheep were transported to England from Caftile; and that race was propagated with fuccess. What our Author relates with regard to the English and Irish sheep-walks, conveys no facts or ideas with which those who know any thing of this matter are not already sufficiently acquainted.
The attempts of the French, and of their great minister Colo bert, to form a breed in France, which failed by their depriving their flocks of the free use of the air, are related in the sixth Ara ticle. It is singular, that the French, whose climate is so mild, should fall into this erroneous method, when it is well known, that the Tartars of Great Thibet or Boutan, whose wool is beautiful and in high request, never fold or confine their sheep, though the air of that region is extremely cold, and the earth is covered with snow above five months in the year.
The present state of the Flemish Aocks, the abuses that are to be reformed, the obstacles that are to be removed, the information that is to be acquired, and the rules that are to be observed in culcivating the bieed, in order to improve the wool, and to restore this branch of rural economy to its former state of perfection,—these are the objects which our Academician discusses in the remaining articles of this useful Memoir. The wether of Flanders is of the largest kind known in Europe; this breed was brought by the Dutch from the East-Indies in the 19th century; and its wool is almost equal to that of the English in length, whiteness, fineness, and strength. The attempts to raise this breed in England did not answer expectation ; but it succeeds in several parts of Holland, and must prosper, as our Author thinks, in Brabant, Hainault, and several districts of Flanders, if the proper methods of treating it be carefully employed.