« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
the judge, the pontiff of the family, before whom these facred rights are all respected.
Breakia! ended, he transacts the business of his trade, or his. office; and as to disputes they are few, among a people where the voice of the hydra chicanery is never heard ; where the name of attorney is unknown; where the whole code of laws conlilts in a few clear and precise commands delivered in the Koran, and where each inan is his own pleader.
" When vititors come, the master receives them without many compliments, but with an endearing manner ; his equals are seated, beside hin, with their legs crofted; which posture is not fatiguing to the body, unembarrased by dress. His inferiors kneel, and fit upon their heels. People of distinction are placed on a raised sofa, whence they overlook the company. Thus Eneas, in the palace of Dido, ha i the place of honour, while seated on a raised bed *, he related the burning of Troy to the queen. When every perion js.placed, the lives bring pipes and cofree, and let the perfume bratier in the middle of the chamber, the air of which is imprese nated with its odours; and afterwards present sucetmeats and terbit.
- When the visie is almost ende:1, a llave bearing a filver plate, on which precious effences are burning, goes round to the company; each in turn perfumes the beard, and afterward sprinkles rosewater on the head and hands. This is the last ceremony; and the Fuells are then permitted to retire. Thus you ice, Sir, the ancient cultom of perfuming the head and beard, as sung by the royal propiert, is not loft. Anacreon I, the father of the fillive ode, and the poet of the graces, incefiantly rerears, “I delight to sprinkle my body with precious perfumes, and crown my head with roles.”
" About noon the table is prepared, and the viands brought, in a large tray of tinned copper; and though not great variety, there is great plenty. In the cenue is a mountain of rice cooked with poultry, and highly feasoned with spice and saffron. Round this are hahet meats, pigeons, flufied cucumbers, delicious melons, and fruits. The roat meats are cut small, laid over with the fut of the animal, feasoned with salt, 1pisted, and done on the coals, it is tender and fucculent. The guests feat themselves on a carpet, round the table; a flave brings water in one hand nd a balon in the other, to waih 'This is an indisponiable ceremony, where each perion pires his hand into the din, and where the use of forks is unknown ; it i; rep.aied when the meal is ended.
- Àfrer dinner they retire to the Harem, where they lumber some hours a nong their wives and children.
· Such is the ordinary life of the Eryptians. Our thews, plays, and pleasures, are to them unknown; a nonotony which, to a Europpan, would be death, is delight to a' Egyptian. Their days are pilled in rerearing the same thing, in following the same customs, without a with or a thought bevond. Having neither firong passions, nor ardent hopes, their ininds know nor lafitude : this is a torment
* Inde coro pater Æneas fic orfus ab alio, Æneid, l. ii.
. reserved for those who, unable to moderate the violence of their desires, or satisfy their unbounded wants, are weary every where, and exist only where they are not.'
The language of the translator is in general good : some few passages occur which might have been better expressed; we shall point out the only obscure one that we have observed, in order that it may be corrected in a future edition of this instructive and entertaining work; it is in vol. i. p. 457.
These, Sir, are the monuments best preserved among the ruins of Antinoe, the founder of which did not inscriptions and historians declare, the arches of the gates, capitals of the columns, and want of hieroglyphics would shew they were not Egyptian works.'
• Multitudinous boats,' p. 459, occurs for numerous boats; we do not recollect to have met with multitudinous more than twice ; it is an obsolete word; and the two passages of Shakespeare in which it occurs, do not in our opinion authorise its use in the modern epistolary style.
These, however, are but fight blemishes, in a work which abounds with a great variety of real information for the learned and the curious, and with matter of entertainment for readers of every description.
ART. VII. Scelta delle Opere dell'Abate Pietro Metaftafio, &c. i. e. Select Works
of the Abbé Peter Metastasio, with a succinct Account of his Life. By Francis Sastres. 12mo, 2 Vols. 75. Sewed. Payne, &c. 1787. : THE works of Metastasio are, on account of their peculiar
1 merit, in the highest estimation. Mr. Saftres has here published some of the more admired pieces of the Italian poet, with a view of furnishing those, to whom a complete set of Metastasio's works is inaccessible, with an opportunity of ac. quainting themselves with the excellencies of this great writer. . The first volume contains La Clemenza di Tito, Zenobia, Adriano in Siria, and Ipermesira, and five sonners. In the recond volume we have Artajersi, Demetrio, Ciro riconosciuto, Olimpiade, with two small pieces, Le Cinesi and Le Grazia vendicate; and it concludes, like the former, with a number of sonnets.
From the Life of the Author, prefixed by the ingenious Editor, it appears that PIETRO TRAPPASSO (for such was his original name) was born at Rome, Jan. 28, 1698, of obscure parents; whose humble situation, however, was no obstacle to their giving their fon a knowledge of the Italian and Latin languages : in which he made a rapid progress. The young Trapaljo soon gave sufficient proofs that he was born a poet; for, ar eight years old, he was frequently observed to fing elegant extemporary verses. As the cel: brated Abbé Vincenzo Gravina
was one evening walking in the street, he found the boy diverting himself, as usual, with his favourite exercise of singing. Gravina observing the talents of the youth (of which he was a competent judge), and the generous disdain with which he refused a piece of money offered as a small reward for his abilities, was determined to adopt him. The father, labouring under poverty, and anxious to see a son, who was endowed with great natural quickness, well educated, readily assented to the Abbé's proposal. Gravina wilhed to change the name of Trappasso for another, which might be significant of the manner whereby the boy had obtained his elevated situation : the Greek word METASTASIS (a change) occurred to him ; he consequently called young Trapallo by the name of METASTASIO, and ever after considered him as his own son.
Such was the successful and rapid progress which Metastasio made under the tuition of his new father and master, that, at the age of fourteen, he composed his Guistino, a tragedy; which may justly be called, considering the age of its author, a noble effort of genius.
Gravina died in 1718, and left to Metastasio, whom he ftiles in his will " egregium alumnum meum," 15000 Roman crowns. This circumstance occasioned a great revolucion in the life of the poet. Believing himself now sufficiently rich, he abandoned the profession of the law, to which he had been brought up, and devoted his whole time to poetry, and the dissipation of his fortune. After various juvenile indiscretions, growing lenfible of his impending ruin, he left Rome, and his extravagant associates, and went to Naples, where he applied with great diligence to the practice of the law, in order to procure a subsistence. While he was at Naples, the viceroy of that kingdom was making preparation for celebrating a festival on the birth. day of the Empress Elizabeth, wife of Charles VI. Metastasio was, on this occasion, appointed to compose a theatrical piece, which was performed on that night, and gained him much ap. plause: this was his Gli Orti Esperidi. He now again abandoned the law, and devoted himself for ever to Apollo and the Muses. After succeeding in many other dramatic performances, he returned to Rome, in company with a noted finger, of the name of Marianna Bulgarini, who had signalized herself in performing some parts of Metastasio's operas. He now became an admired dramatic writer, and the then miserable state of the Italian opera served as a foil for the superior excellence of Metaftafio.
In 1729, being elected Poet to his Imperial Majesty, he settled his principal affairs at Rome, and leaving Bulgarini to manage the rest, he arrived at Vienna in the year following ; where, during the remainder of his life, he enjoyed his annual ftipend of 3000 forins,
Having given an account of this great lyric poet's manner of life, &c. in our Review, vol. xlviii. p. 497, we shall only add that he died of a fever, April 12, 1782.
The Editor of these volumes informs us, that Metastasio has Jeft the Counsellor Martinetz his executor, with a fortune of Iço,coo forins. This Gentleman, who was the intimate friend of Metastasio, intends, we are here told, publishing a collection of that poei's familiar letters, with a complete biographical account of this celebrated Genius.
ART. VIII. Frederici Augufti Walter, Med. Doct. Annotationes Academica. 4to.
Berlin. THE ingenious and laborious gentleman to whom we are . indebied for this publication, hach given ample specimens of his skill in anatomy and physiology. The present performance consists of two treatises, one on uterine pol; pi, the other on the liver and gall-bladder.
Dr. Walier applies himself, in the first treatise, to examine what is a polypus, and how it is produced; and concludes, after defcribing their different kinds, with fume brief remarks on the danger of extirpating them. He supposes a polypus to be produced by the secretion of a coagulable liquor, from ihe extremities of the vefleis of the internal lurface of the uterus. Tre liquor thus secreted, becoming more inspirated every day, is at length converted into a cellular memorane, which, adhering closely to the extremities of the vessels, draws them out in length, so that they become large trunks fupplying the polypus with blood and nourishment. In a timilar manner also the Author accounts for those calcareous coneretions which are found in the cellular subitance of the uterus. He proceeds to consider all polypi, 1. Ratione adhafianis, 2. Ratione consistentie, and lastly, Ratione extirpationis. He blames Levrei, and others, who divide polypi into Acthy, tendinous, mucous, &c. fince he cannot admit that any polypus can possibly be either fishy or renú, nous. Heenumerases five fpecies, according to their adhesion, and describes each with precision in this part of his work, the Author din plays greai skill in physiology.
Dr. Waler's remarks on the extirpation of polypi, though fhort, are judicious, and shew him to be a cautious, yet refolute practuioner.
The fecond treatise, which explains the structure of the liver and gall-bladder, tigether with the circulation through that important vilcus, is an elaborate piece of phyfiology. The Author begins with describing the liver of the feetus, as observed on the (wenty-second day after conception, and traces the progress of its. increase, and the changes is undergoes from that early period to its perfect state in the adult. This is a valuable natural history of the formation of the abdominal contenis. Few anatomists have had greater opportunities of inspecting the abdomen of fætuses than Dr. W. His father's very large museum, in which is contained a vast collection of foetuses, of all ages, was always open to him; and the anatomical theatre a Berlin, as our Author informs us, is annually supplied with at least two hundred bodies. Of these opportunities Dr. W. has industriously availed himself.
Certain opinions of former anatomists are contradicted; and we shall briefly mention some of them. Dr. Waller says (when describing the liver of a fætu's twenty-two days old), Lobum finiftrum hepatis ejusdem cum dextro efle proporcionis, cujus in aduiro, atque nullo modo dextro lobo a qualem * ut nonnulli viri illustres affirmarunt.' Again; • Proceffum vermiformem minime figuram habere conicam f aut ampliorem effe illo adulci.'
The gall bladder is accurately described, and an elegant engraving is given of it, thewing its three coats, and the valves in the duct.
The experiments made in order to elucidate the circulation through the liver, and explain the formation of the bile, are numerous; many of them are curious, and all of them well adapted to illustrate the opinions of the ingenious Author. The conclusions drawn from the appearance and structure of the parts, and from the experiments, are briefly as follow:
The office of the hepatic artery is twofold, viz. to nourith the cellular substance and membranes of the vessels of the liver, and to secrete and deposit in the vena porlarum a certain liquor necessary for the formation of the bile.-The vena portarum is the only vessel which fecretes the bile.-The resorbtion of the chyle, and thence the nutriment of the whole human body, is performed by means of the vena portarum as well as by the lymphatics. If the lymphatics, and the intestinal and melenteric glands should be indurated or obstructed, the resorbtion of the chyle, and the nutriment of the body, may be performed by the vena portarum alone, and life may be prolonged, notwithstanding such obstructions. A case is given where this actually happened. The use of the hepatic branches of the vena cava, especially of its analtomosis with the vena portarum, is, in conjunction with the excretory ducis, to carry back, and mix with the general mass of blood, such blood as is unfit for the formation of bile, and such chyle as may have been resorbed by the vena portarum. The office of the lymphatics of the liver are to abTorb any liquor deposited in the cellular substance, and alío such
† Ibid. tom. vii.'
• See Haller. Physiolog. tom. viii. p. 221. p. 116.
| Heit. Comp. Anat. p. 112.