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this terrible phenomenon was read by Recupero to the Academy of the Etneans at Catana, and afterwards publilhed; and it is from this paper that Mr. Houel takes the account, or rather the picture before us, which it is imposible to contemplate without a sympathetic feeling of the astonishment and dismay that must have seized upon the spectators of this tremendous scene, We read of nothing so terrible and astonishing in the biftory of this awful mountain, on which nature seems to have lavished promiscuously all her terrors, and all her beauties.
A very remarkable rock of basaltes, rising out of the sea, near the harbour of Trizza, and a general view of the rocks of the Cyclops, called Faraglione, are exhibited in the 16th and 107th Plates. The 108ch, which concludes this number, contains a particular view of one of these rocks, as also of the promontory of Castel d'Iaci and of the lower part of Ærna which leads to Catana. The basaltes of these rocks resembles, at first sight, that which is known in Italy, France, and the Britih isles, by the apparent regularity of its prismatic coJunins; but, on a closer examination, it exbibits eflential dife ferences.
No XIX. The lovers of natural history will find in this number, in which the account of the rocks of the Cyclops is continued, a rich fund of instruction and curious details, rela. tive to the different kinds of basaltes, and the original formation of that substance. The roçth and 10th Plates exhibit curious basaltic rocks, with the balaltes in needles *, and in columns; some of these columns tending towards decomposition, others already reduced to that state. The following beautiful Plate exhibits a view of the promontory, and of a part of the town, of Caflel d’laci. This promontory is alınost entirely basaltes, but of a different kind from any that had hitherto come under our Author's observation. It exhibits cylinders from six inches to twenty feet in diameter: some mallive, others hollow like cannons; these latter extended in strata, the others composed of several tops or points, which are compreffed and concentrated together. Beautiful, curious, and somewhat different from the preceding, are the basaltes that are oblervable at the foot of this promontory towards the south, and which are represented in the u12th Plate; their fornis and details are regularly finished, and are fingularly pleasing to the eye. The Author's observations on the formation of the balalies are acule and instructive. He discusses this subject at great length, and confutes the opinion
* The Author employs the term needles, to denote a long piece of basalces, which is thicker at one of its extremities than at the other, and the word columu to denote those that are nearly equal in thickness throughout.
of of those who attribute the configuration of the basaltes to the fudden refrigeration with which the lava is seized, when, having escaped from the focus of the volcano which produced it, it arrives in furion at the cold sea-water. He attributes the regular configuration of the basaltes to the action of fire alone, and offers many plausible and ingenious arguments in support of this hypothesis. Besides the philosophical reasoning employed to support it, he alleges a fact, which evidently proves that the sea-water does not form the basaltes, namely, that the fluid lava which ran from Mount Ætna into the sea at the famous eruption in 1669, and filled up the harbour of Catana, was not metamorphosed into basaltes. -Several grottos of basaltes are exhibited in Plate 113th, and a pleasant description of the superftitious amusements of the inhabitants of the town of D’Aci, during Passion-week, terminates this nuinber.
No XX. The plate 115th exhibits a very pi&turesque view of the snow.caverns or grottos of Ætna, which, as Mr. Brydone obferves, furnish snow and ice not only to the whole island of Sicily, but likewise to Malta, and a great part of Italy, and makes a very considerable branch of commerce. Mr. Houel's description of these grottos, and his account of this commerce, is much more circumftantial and interefting than those that have been given by any preceding traveller. There are very curious particulars for the naturalist in his description of the lavas of Calanna, and of the mouth of the volcano of Monte Rollo, or the Red Mountain, which are most beautifully reprefented in the 116th, and the two following plates. It was from this volcano that the great eruption of 1669 issued forth ; which corkinued, during three or four months, to lay waste the coun. try between Ærna and Catana, rushed in a flaming torrent of lava against the walls of that city, which it surmounted, filled up the harbour, and made the waves of the Mediterranean retire,
From this formidable eruption, the greatest, both in its extent and duration, that is known in the annals of Æina, the Author takes occasion to treat of the formation of volcanos, and by several sections, which he gives us of this famous mountain in the nigth Place, he demonstrates its formation and growth, from the time of its first eruption under the waves of the ocean. He proves that there is an immense void space in the interior of Ætna, which is no more than a crust exalted in the air. The details here are ample, learned, ingenious, and instructive, in the highest degree. The view of Æina, seen from the crater of Monte Rolle, is represented in the 120th plate.
No XXI. This most interesting number contains an account of Mr. Houel's alcent to the summit of Ætna, in which a
bure of the peoler
variety of grand and beautiful objects were presented to his view. These he describes in such an affecting and instructive manner, as really to answer every purpose of publications of this kind. His details are much more ample and comprehenfive than those of Mr. Brydone, and his descriptions are not less agreeable and lively than those of the elegant and ingenious British traveller. We think, indeed, that Mr. Brydone's picture of the prospect from Ætna, and of the gradual illumination of the majestic scene by the rising fun, is itill more animated than that of Mr. Houel, and yet we have not pronounced this judgment without hesitation ;-like Palemon, in Virgil, we would give them both the heifer.
The 121st Plate presents a picturesque view of the Spelonca del Capriole, or the Goat's Cavern, which furnishes a romantic manfion for travellers, and is surrounded on all sides with wild and majestic beauties.
Proceeding in his progress toward the summit of the mountain, our Author arrived at the Torre del Philofopho, or the supe posed Tower of Empedocles; this, with a view of the Pyra. midical Mountain, where the crater of Ætna is placed, occu. pies the 122d Plate, and the following exhibits a beautiful but terrific view of the mouth of that awful mountain, taken from the borders of the crater. The sounds that are formed by percussion of the stones, which rise from the abyss, against the internal sides of the mountain, and their repercusions repeated successively in these subierraneous caverns, by their echoes, are described by Mr. Houel in such a lively manner, that we cannot read his account of them without emotion and awe.
Plate 1246h exhibits a view of the famous aqueduct of Ara. gona, on the river Simetus, which separates the base of Ærna, on the right, from the plain of Aragona, on the left, and also of the mountains that are seen at a distance beyond the aqueduct. It appears evident, from this view, and from our Author's observations, that the base of Æina is formed by al. ternate ftrata of lava and marine bodies, which have been fucceflively placed, one upon another; and hence Mr. H, draws a demonstrative proo. of the theory of volcanos, contained in the preceding number, which, though not new, is ingenioully laid down.
The two concluding Plates of this number contain views of the salt springs of Salinello, and of the accumulations of baralles at the foot of Mount Ferna, at a place called Herba Bianca. These accumulations, which contain different kinds of baralles, are a new proof, that no volcano exhibits this substance with so many variations as fina.
For our former account of these very curious Travels, fee Rev. vols. Ixviii. Ixx, and lxxii,
little work or did not look and this gave us
ART. XVII. Esai d'un Traité Elementaire de Morale ; i. e. An Attempt toward
an Elementary Treatise on Morals. Amsterdam (Paris). 1787. TITE have translated literally the unassuming title of this
V little work. By the modesty of it we are led to think that the Author did not look upon the composition of an elementary treatise as an easy matter, and this gave us immediately a prepofleffion in favour of his judgment, which was afterwards verified and confirmed by the order, precision, fimplicity, and good senfe contained in his performance. The Author Jays down four principles, which form the basis of his elementary do&rine; these are, the eflential characters of man, considered as a sensitive animal, a rational animal, a fociable being, and the creature of God. By the first of these characters, man is capable of perceiving and feeling good ;-by the second, he is instructed in the means of pursuing it;-in the third, he finds objects and relations, that furnish materials for its enjoyment;.- and in the fourth, he discovers its supreme source, and the powerful and directing principle that regulates or reinforces all the others. The Author applies the moral conclusions that flow from there principles to the different stages of human life, to infancy, youth, mature years, and old age, which occupy the four sections into which his work is divided. His lessons are entirely practical, and they are truly judicious and interesting.
ART, XVIII. Reflexions sur le Regne de Trajan ; i. e. Reflections on the Reign of
Trajan. By M. BAYEUX, Advocate in the Parliament of Normandy, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres at Paris, and of other learned Societies. 8vo. Paris. 1786. THIS French Pliny seems, in the work before us, to have a
1 French Trajan in view, whom he obliguely panegyrizes, while he offers incense at the altar of the Roman Emperor. This is a more delicate, or at least a less fullore manner of praising, chan if our M. Bayeux sent the odour of his oblation, in a direct line, into the nostrils of his sovereign. But there is another thing to be observed in these Reflexions, which does still more honour to their ingenious Author, viz. that Trajan is here exhibited with elegance, and dexterity, as a model to follow. Salutary hints and wise counsels are happily conveyed under the lines of the imperial portrait, and a fuccinct and judia cious view of what that prince did, by reforming abusts, and other wise measures for the felicity of his subjects, is held up co few what other princes, and one more especially, ought to do. M. BAYEUX juftifies the encomiums that Pliny and Martial have given so liberally to the virtues and the reign of Trajan, by pointing out the particular and active attention which that prince bestowed on the administration of justice, on the regulation of the finan.es, on the improvement of the marine, and the advancement of commerce. On all these objects, but more especially on the first and second, the praises of Trajan can only be counsels in their application to the prince whom M. BAYEUX has in view; for they would be a cruel irony were they intended as reflected panegyric on any thing in the lines of French jurisprudence and finances but what is yet to be done.
What is not yet done, however, seems to be seriously in con. templation ; and various laudable attempts are at present in exertion, which lay some faint foundation for our Author's parallel, He has had the sagacity to find, in the reign of Trajan, types and parallels of many things, which mark peculiarly the government of the monarch under whom he lives. Thus the assembly of the Notables, - the fortifications of Cherburg,--the American war,--and even the Marquis de la Fayette, are adumbrated in the history of the Roman Emperor. But in these adulatory and very ingenious analogies, very improper sacrifices of truth and confcience are sometimes made to wit and imagination. This is the only circumstance which prevented our reading this elegant production with unmixed pleasure.
ART. XIX. Travels through Germany, in a Series of Letters; written in Ger.
man by the Baron Riesbeck, and translated by the late Rev. Mr.
Maty. 8vo. 3 Vols. 15s. Boards. Cadell. 1787. V ERY few Travels have equal merit with ihe performance
V before us. The writer seems to be a man of much obfervation, and to have acquired a considerable knowledge of the history of Europe. His judicious remarks on the ancient and modern political history of the kingdoms and states through which he passed, is a full proof of his great application to, and the proficiency he has made in, historical pursuits. The letters, nevertheless, are not wholly confined to these abitruse di quili. tions; they are interspersed with accurate descriptions of the principal cities, and the country, which the Author had viliced; the manners of the people, the state of learning-of arts and sciences-of agriculture and commerce,-are frequently introduced, and largely treated; nor have the amusements of the country, such as theatrical representations and private recreations, been lels attended to; in short, every circumstance which an intelligent reader would wish to know, or of which the informa. tion can be either uleful or entertaining, may be here found.
In support of the encomium which we have justly testowed on this work, we shall prelent our Readers with ine fuilowing con