Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

vouring to undermine the sacred foundations of religion and morality. We have frequently had occasion to mention productions of confiderable merit, which have defended the fanctuary of truth against these cruel spoilers, whose fect seems now verging towards oblivion, though they have deluded many. The present work deserves an eminent place among these productions. The solid reasoning, the extensive erudition, and the fpirit of moderation which it every where displays, render it . peculiarly commendable.

ART. XXV. Commentaires de César, avec des Notes historiques, critiques, et mili,

taires. i. e. ' The Commentaries of Cæsar, enriched with histori, cal, critical, and military Annotations and Remarks, by Count TURPIN de Crisse', Lieutenant General of the King's Armies, and Member of several Academies. 4to. 3 Vols. Adorned with 43 Plates, a Medallion of Cæsar, and the Portrait of the Author, Paris. WHO could be more proper to write annotations and re

V marks on the Commentaries of Cæfar, shan the learned commentator on the Theory of Vegetius, and the Memoirs of Montecuculi, whose extensive erudition and lively genius, are accompanied with the experience of seventeen campaigns ? Accordingly, in this valuable and splendid work, he does not explain the text, but the expeditions of the Roman conqueror. He unfolds the motives of his conduct, contemplates him amid the obstacles he had to surmount, describes the characters of his friends and enemies, weighs the great interests, and appreciates the objects, which animated at that time the first personages on the public scene ; and from these important sources he draws the maxims and lessons of military instruction with a masterly hand,

Count TURPIN has published the text of Cæsar as it stands in the splendid edition of Dr. Clarke, and he has employed the French translation of Wailly, which he has corrected where he found it necessary. The plates that enrich the work will enable the reader to follow Cæsar in his expeditions, marches, encampments, and battles, with the greatest ease; and the nations, cities, and rivers, mentioned by the Roman chief, are placed in alphabetical order at the end of it, with their ancient and modern names. Prefixed to these volumes we find a Preface, or Introductory Discourse, composed with great fpirit and energy, in which, after describing the extraordinary genius, capacity, and talents of the conqueror of Gaul, Count Turpin maintains with eloquence the honour of the military profession, against what he calls the paradoxes of certain philosophers,

ART,

ie ART. xxvi.. : . Mémoires d'Agriculture, d'Oeconomie rurale et domestique, &c. i.e. • Memoirs of Agriculture, &c. Published by the Royal Society of · Agriculture at Paris, for the Year 1785 (the Summer Quarter). • 8vo. Paris. 1786.

THOUGH the labours of this learned Society be more efpe1 cialty calculated for the meridian of France, they are executed on fuch an extensive plan, as muft render them generally useful. The spirit that animates the enlightened and opulent members of the Society, is generous and patriotic. They come to the succour of the poor peasant, whose wretched state of indigence and oppreffion deprives him of the means of acquiring the knowledge, and making the experiments, that are necessary to the improvement of his farm; and, at the same time, their views extend to the advancement of the practical science of agriculture, in all its branches. The first thing we meet with in the volume before us, is a compendious history of the Society; which ss followed by an account of their Deliberations, from the 21st of April to the işth of August 1785. These turn on a variety of useful objects, among which we find the list of Questions, &c. delivered to the Abbé Mongés, who is one of the circumnavi. gators on board the frigate commanded by M. de Peyrouse. In chefe questions, they desire information with respect to the me. thods and inftruments of agriculture employed by the nations that inhabit the coafts of the South Sea-to the black colour with which they dye their garments, the vegetables that form their tissue, and those of which they make their beautiful mats. They defire also sets of the mulberry-paper tree, of whose bark the great. est part of the paper in Japan and China is made; and the linseed of New Zealand, with an account of the best manner of introducing into France the culture of that plant. They desire moreover, to facilitate the importation of other trees and plants that prow in New Holland and New Zealand, the strawberry trees of Chili, and some of the useful animals of the South Sea islands, fuch as the hogs of those countries, and a kind of dogs, that do not bark, and are excellent food.

Under this article of the Deliberations of the Society, we shall just mention (because we think it may be useful) one of the obfervations of M. Thouin, member of this Society, of the Aca. demy of Sciences, and chief gardener of the Royal Garden of Exotics. This observation rela:es to the plant rhubarb. • Rhubarb,' says he,' is already cultivated with success in different parts of Great Britain, and in the environs of Paris ; but it has been hitherto cultivated only on account of its medicinal root, though it might be employed with Tuccess to other purposes. The Tartars make of the Italk of this plant a kind of warmalade, which is agreeable to the taste, very falubrious, and

mildly laxative. This conserve, which is employed as a úni: versal remedy for children, is prepared by stripping the bark from the items, &c. and boiling the pulp with an equal quantity of sugar, or the best honey. The leaves also of the rhubarb plant are employed by the same people in their foups : as they have an agreeable acidity, fimilar to different kinds of sorrel; which, in the botanical system, is in the same class with rhu. barb.

The memoirs contained in this Volume are as follows: Mem. I. Concerning the chaulage, &c. (i. e. mixing with the corn a certain quantity of quick-lime and water), considered as a preservative against several diseases to which corn is subject. By M. Parmentier. -Mem. II. On the manner of gathering and preserva ing the leaves of trees, and giving them to cattle as food. By the Baron de Servieres.-Mem. III. On the causes of vinous ferment. ation, and the best method of improving the quality of wines. By the Marquis de Bullion. - Mem. IV. Concerning the manner of cultivating and employing maize as fodder. By M. Parmentier. Mem. V. Concerning the cultivation of turnips, the different methods of preserving them, and rendering them proper for the nourishment of cattle. By M. Broussonet.~-Mem. VI. On the method of pre. serving and managing the plums or prunes of Brignoles. By M. d'Ardoin, Correspondent of the Society at Salernes in Provence. -Mem. VII. On the manner of augmenting the real value (in commerce) of blighted corn, and of obtaining from it, bread of a good quality. By M. Parmentier. The eighth and concluding memoir contains Observations on various branches of rural æconomy in different districts within the Jurisdiction of Paris. By Meflrs. Thouin and Broussonet.

Several things in these deliberations, memoirs, and observations, Thew that the French have profired by an acquaintance with the writings and labours of British cultivators; but chere are also several things, which hew that they are not incapable of returning the favour.

of caring and correion them.co

ART. XXVII. Recherches sur la Nature et les Effets du Mephitisme, &c. i. e. An Ina'

quiry into the Nature and Effects of che mephitic Vapour that arises from Necessary-houses. By M. HALLE', Member of the Royal Society of Medicine. Published by Order of Government.

Paris. 1785. W E Tould not have made any near approach to this stinking

subje&, were it not perfumed by the concomitant odour of public utility, and ics tendency toward the advancement of natural science. He is but a thabby philosopher who is led by the nose." But without farther reflections, let us come to the point. An oculis of Lyons, called Jannin, pretended to have discovered a

method

method of destroying, by the use of vinegar, the mephiticism of prio vies, which have sometimes suffocated the poor workmen employed in emptying them; but, on examining the matter experimentally, the united commissioners of the Academies of Sciences and Me. dicine found, that the discovery of our oculift was merely visionary. M. HALLE', the Author of the Inquiry now before us, was one of these academical quack-catchers, and after having detected the insufficiency of the pretended anti-mephitic doctor, he availed himself of the experiments that were made upon this occasion, in order to throw some new light upon the nature and effects of mephitic vapour.

His Recherches are divided into two parts. In the first he gives us an historical account of anti-mephiticism, in which we learn, among other things, that the experiments of the oculift Fannin, performed before the commissioners, coft one man his eye-fight, another his life, made several others fall into alphixies, more or less complete, and affected very disagreeably almoft all the commissioners; so that, observes our Author, the mephi. ticism, instead of being destroyed, was rather diffused by the use of vinegar, and all the neighbourhood was infected with the stench. · The second part of this inquiry is elaborate and curious. M. Hallé considers mephiticism as a property which certain vapours have to act upon animals in such a manner as suddenly to sus. pend the exercise of their vital functions : he shews that all aeri. form fluids, which are unfit for respiration, are really mephitic; that the effects of mephitic vapours always bear the characters of spasm or stupor, i. e. the marks of a nervous system strongly affected, and are not merely confined to the effects of a supprefled respiration. He then-,considers the aeriform Auids that are disengaged from the larger temples, or smaller fanes, where secret offerings are made to the filthy goddess Cloacina; which fluids, according to the experiments of M. Lavoisier, are calca. reous and inflammable gases. 'Some writers suppose that there may be also hepatic and alkaline gases in the accumulated masses of these substances; but the alkaline gas absorbed by the water, is rarely, if ever, collected into a mass, and indicates its existe ence only by a strong and penetrating smell. The smells that are produced by the fæcal substances are divided by our Author into five kinds, the excremental, alkaline, hepatic, putrid or nauseous, and a sour effluvium fimilar to that which is émitted from the substances evacuated in certain diarrhæas. All these odours are here described with the most instructive and fætid perfpicuity; and the various effects and situations of these va. pours in privies, close-stools, and larger collections of the subAtances in question, are accurately enumerated, in consequence of repeated operations and experiments.

The

The asphixies caused by lead, which our Author, in confe. quence of observacions here related, considers as essentially different from all those produced by gases, are accurately described, and divided into classes, together with the methods hitherto employed as preservatives against these calamities. The forma. tion of currents of air, the proper use of fire and ventilators, but above all, the use of lime either in powder or in milk, which have been repeatedly tried by Messrs. Parmentier, Cadet, and Laborie, have not been destitute of success, though methods still more effectual are at present in contemplation. The city of Paris, and other populous French towns, seem to be more in. fefted with this excremental mephiticism than those of other countries, as would appear by the number of memoirs and pamphlets that are published on this subject, and the frequent examples of unfortunate goldfinders, who perih in the exercise of their profession. It might be curious, though it would be difficult, to ascertain the physical or conftitutional causes of this phenomenon. This discussion is too deep for us. From a work, to which the Author refers us *, we should be led to conclude that the French are too prone to throw all kinds of heterogeneous filth into the places destined to receive their secretions and fuperfluities; for in the work now mentioned, which is entitled, Observations on Necessary-houses, the writers observe, that å variety of these houses are rendered mephitically dangerous in the highest degree, when accumulated fragments of dead bodies, or large quantities of vegetables, plaifter, or rubbish, are imprudently

thrown into them. Above all, say they, the water of soap-leys · thrown into privies, hath terrible effects. Upon this occasion

our Author recollects a remarkable fact mentioned by Boyle, Lancisi, and Diemerbroek, relative to the strong feptical action of soap in the time of a plague. Diemerbroek relates, thar, dura ing the terrible plague at Nimeguen, the soap employed in walhing linen, always excited the infection of that peftilential disease in those who handled it; that when he himself approached the washing-tub, he was seized with peculiar impressions of anxiety and disgust; and that in many houses, which seemed exempt from the contagion, it manifested itself the moment they began to wash and soap their linen. These facts may be useful even to those who, by their cleanliness and prudence, seem to be the least in need of such admonitions.

* Observations sur les folles d'aisance, par Messieur's CADET, PAR MENTIER, et LABORIE.

ART,

« VorigeDoorgaan »