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ART. XI. FOREIGN LITERATURE. . Art. 1. DOSITIONES PHYSICÆ, quas, annuo labore, in fcholis,
I &c. Propositions in Physics, or a Syllabus of a Course of Lectures in Natural Philosophy, delivered by J. H. VAN SWINDEN, Professor of Philosophy, Mathematics, and Aftronomy, in the Academical School, Amsterdam ; Member of several Literary and Philosophical Societies. Vol. I. 8vo. Hardewyk. 1786.
The ingenious Professor was induced to publish this laborious work, which he had drawn up for his own use, from having experienced the inconveniences arising from the want of a text book in natural philosophy, in which each branch of this extenfive science is explained with sufficient minutenefs, and the late discoveries inserted in their proper order with respect to the whole, so as to conftitute a regular and complete system of phyfics. In most of the works now published as elements of natural philoso. phy, the easier and more entertaining parts are copiously discussed, but the more difficult, yet equally important, are scarcely attended to; and mathematical investigation, though effentially requisite in philosophical inquiries, is by many entirely neglected, or designedly omitted.
Books of this kind, though not without their utility to persons who have not time or opportunity to cultivate mathematical ftudies, are by no means sufficient to form the philosopher. Experiment is indeed the standard by which every philosophical theory must be tried; but in many branches of physics, experiments will afford little instruction to the spectator, unless he be able to comprehend mathematical reasoning, and thus to discern the reality of those principles, which experiments ferve only to confirm and elucidate.
Of the present work, only the first volume is yet published; but from the Author's plan, and this specimen of its execution, we are persuaded that it will contain the heads of a very complete course of physics. It is preceded by two introductions ; the one mathematical, containing a selection of theorems with which the studeni ought to be well acquainted; and the other philosophical, relating to the study of physics in general, the ob. jects and extent of this science, and the method and rules of philosophizing.
The system is divided into twelve books, of which, the first treats of the general properties of matter; the second, of the Jaws of motion ; the third, of statics and mechanics; the fourth, of hydrostatics; the fifth, of mathematical dynamics, or the laws according to which folid bodies act upon each other by percus. Lion and collifion; the fixth, of hydronamics, or hydraulics,
There These fix books contain the elements of general physics, which relate to the properties of matter, and are founded chiefly on mathematical principles. From these our Author proceeds to particulars, and in the seventh book treats of air, and aeriform fluids ; in the eighth, of fire and electricity; in the ninth, of light; in the tenth, of physical dynamics. Under this last head, he considers the various kinds of attraction, the cohesion and elasticity of different bodies, and the powers of the magnet, &c. In the eleventh book he inquires into the elements of bodies, and in the twelfth, concludes his course with meteorology, which, he observes, is the most difficult branch of physics, and cannot be explained, or even comprehended by the student, till he is well versed in the subjects of the preceding books.
The Professor has distributed his propositions into three classes, distinguished by the size of the lecter 'in which they are printed. The first class comprehends those principles, which are necessary to all who would acquire a clear and well-founded knowledge of natural philofopby; these constitute the text of his public lectures. The second contains propositions of a more difficult kind, calculated only for those who wish to cultivate a more particular acquaintance with physics. The third class confifts of such as are proposed for the further investigation of persons who have made a considerable progress in these studies. This and the second class are designed only for private lectures.
After each propofition, the Profeffor refers to those author's by whom it is demonstrated and explained ; and these references are the more valuable, as they extend to the best papers concerning physics that have been published in periodical works, and in the Transactions of most of the societies and academies of Europe ; so that this work may serve as a general philofophical index, or common-place book: from the propoficions themselves, the reader may learn the principles which have been established, and, by the references annexed, he is directed to those writers by whom they have been proved and illustrated.
Such is the plan and design of this laborious work; which, though not calculated for the many, may be highly useful to academical students, and to those whole office it is to initruct yourh in this noble science,
Art. 2. Erfarunghen von innem, &c. i.e. Observations on the interior and exterior Structure of Mountains. By Fr. M. H. DE TREBRA. Folio. 244 pages, and 8 coloured Plates. Deflau and Leipzig. 1785.- This work is fplendid and instructive. It contains a great variety of excellent observations, relative to a branch of natural history, which is yet, perhaps, but in the dawn of its progress toward perfection.
Art. 3. Anfangs-Gründe der, &c. i. e. Elements of Chemistry, considered in its Relation and Application to the uselul Arts. By
M. G. Ad. Suckow. 8vo. 545 pages. Leipzig. 1785.This work is designed to enable artists and tradesmen to conduct their operations upon scientific and solid principles, and to preferve them from the errors that fo frequently arise from unenlightened practice. All attempts to render the sciences applicable to the uses and wants of life are truly commendable, and a work of this nature, so well executed as the present, ought to be translated into all languages.
For FEBRUARY, 1787.
MATHEMATICS. Art. 12. The compendious Measurer; being a brief, yet compre.
hensive Treatise on Mensuration and pračtical Geometry. With an Introduction to Decimal and Duodecimal Arithmetic; adapted to the Use of Schools and Practice. By Charles Hutton, LL.D.
F. R.S. &c. 8vo. 35. bound. Robinsons. 1786. M OST of our mathematical readers are, we presume, acquainted
IV with the treatise on mensuration formerly published by Dr. Hutton. The present performance is unlike that comprehensive work, both in manner and matter. We have here a compendium of practical mensuration, accommodated to the use of the artist, or the student, who wishes to acquire a knowledge of the practice, without the theory, of mensuration : our Author has in a small compass brought together the most useful rules and precepts ; arranged them in a convenient order, and delivered them in plain and familiar language ; on these accounts they are well suited for the purpose intended, and the better to illustrate the rules, examples, with the work at full length, are subjoined to each, exclusive of others that are left with the an. swers only, in order to exercise the learner, and render numerical calculations familiar to him.
To the work itself are prefixed two introductory treatises, one explaining the operations in decimal and duodecimal arithmetic, the other containing a number of geometrical definitions and construc. tions, especially such as are more immediately necessary for the practical measurer. These are neat and concise ; and the same may be said of the arithmetical rules; yet the answers to some of the arithmetical questions, owing, probably, to typographical errors, are faulty, of which an instance occurs in page 39, where the fourth root of 2 is said to be 1.2;9921, which ought to be 1.189207; the number 1.259921 is the third root of 2; this mistake is evidently owing to inadvertency, for 1.189207 occurs as the fourth root of 2 at p.48.
The definitions of the conic sections are inserted at the beginning of the chapter which is allotted to the confideration of these figures and the solids generated by them. These, like the geometrical de. finitions in the introduction, are in general neat and concise; we think nevertheless that the words' equal to the lower one' in che defini. tion of an hyperbola, might have been omitted. The solids gene
rated rated by the conic sections require each a separate rule for finding their contents ; such multiplicity of rules is a vast burden to the learner's memory : in order, however, to remedy chis inconvenience, Dr. H. has given a few rules that are applicable to every conic section ; for initance, the 2d rule for finding the solidity of an elliptical spindle, will serve for any folid generated by the revolution of any conis fection; the same may be said of the rule for finding the fo. lidity of a fruftum, or legment of an elliptical spindle, circum. ftances which render the mensuration of these bodies extremely fimple, and which, independent of other excellencies to be met with in this compendium, are a sufficient recommendation of it to the practical measurer. Art. 13. An Introduction and Notes on Mr. Bird's Method of di.
viding astronomical Instruments. To which is added, a Vocabulary of English and French technical Terms. By W. Ludlam, late Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. 4to. 29. Sewel. 1786.
When Mr. Bird wrote his treatise on dividing astronomical inftru. ments *, he only laid down such practical rules as might be useful to workmen; for he was, by the order of the Commissioners of longis iude, professedly writing, not :o mathematicians, but to inftrument. makers. Mr. Ludlam, whose mathematical knowledge intitles him to a diftinguished place among the professors of that science, was. with others, employed by the commissioners to inspect Mr. Bird's method of dividing. Mr. L. at that time, took notes of every particular that seemed wanting to render Mr. Bird's treatise complete, and to exp'ain the principles on which the method is founded. These rotes are the substance of the present performance.
The reason why they make their public appearance so long after they were firft written, is, to preserve a clear knowledge of the old way, in which the best instruments in every observatory in Europe were divided, until the new method, lately published by the Royal Society, which is different both in principle and practice from any other hitherto proposed, Mall be generally used, and its superior excellence proved by experience.
The Public is in some measure indebted for this useful work to Alex. Aubert, Esq. at whose defire, and at whose expence (as the ingenious Author informs us in the Preface), it is published.
The Vocabulary will be found of fingular use to English readers of French books on the subject of practical mechanics, since the techni. cal words and phrases occurring in them are not in the common dictionaries of the language. Art. 14. The Universal Calculator ; or the Merchant's, Tradesman's, and Family's Affant. Being an entire new and com. plete Set of Tables, adapted for Dealers in every Branch of Trade by Wholesale or Retail. Svo. 45. bound. Dilly. 1786.
Works of this kind can only be useful when they are accurately computed; we discover no errors in this, which we have examined in several places ; and we therefore conclude, that it may be accurate througbout the whole. The tables thew the amount or value of any
• See an ample account of this work in Review, vol. xxxvii. p. 260, and vol. xl. p. 95.
number or quantity of goods, from 1 to 10,000, at all prices, from a farthing to 30 shillings each. There are also tables which shew the price of the parts of the whole, with others of feveral kinds relative to brokerage, commission, exchange, salaries, &c. &c.
ANTIQUITI E S. Art. 15. Historical, Monumental, and Genealogical Collections, re
lative to the County of Gloucester. Printed from the original Papers of the late Ralph Bigland, Esq. Garter Principal King of Arms. No. I. Folio. 2s. 6d. Wilkie. 1786. Mr. Bigland, about 30 years before his death, made a collection of monumental inscriptions, with a view to obtain certain information relative to the pedigree of families. This work, which was left. unfinished by the father, is now completed and published by Mr. Richard Bigland, his son. To the curious in monumental inscriptions, and church-yard records, this performance will afford enter. tainment, and may be accepted as a supplement to Mr. Rudder's • General History of Glouceitershire,' which we noticed in our Review, vol. Ixiii. p. 10.
i MEDICA L. Art. 16. A Treatise on the Influence of the Moon in Fivers. By
Francis Balfour, M. D. 8vo. Is. 6d. Printed at Calcutta.
Experience and observation form the basis of medical practice, and unsupported by these, the most specious theory avails but little. The present performance is purely the result of observations made in the course of fourteen years extensive practice, confirming the following propositions relative to fevers :
* 1. That, in Bengal, fevers of every denomination are, in a remarkable manner, connected with, and affected by the revolutions of the moon.
II. That, in Bengal, a constant and particular attention to the revolutions of the moon is of the greatest importance in the cure and prevention of severs.
• III. That the influence of the moon in fevers prevails in a fimilar manner, in every inhabited part of the globe, and, consequently, that a similar attention to it, is a matter of general importance in the practice of medicine.
• IV. That the whole doctrine of the crisis of fevers may be readily explained from the premises established respecting the influence of the moon in these disorders, at the full and change.'
It is impoflible, by any abitract, to lay before our readers the feveral facts on which the Author establishes these principles : his long practice in a country, where bilious fevers are very frequent, furnished him with several cases, which were uniformly affected by the moon's revolutions; the intermittent bilious fever, for example, whether it appeared under the form of a quotidian or tertian, or what is more rare, under that of a quartan, was invariably observed to make its first attack on one of the three days which immediately precede or follow the full or new moon. Dr. Balfour has observed also, that the full and new moon are no less remarkable for inducing the first attack than for cccafioning a relapse ; and he arserts, that, in some cases, he is able to prognotticate the return of