Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

establishment of Christianity. He treats also, in this first epocha, of the origin of writing the primitive forms of letters, ---of the substances on which writing was performed, of the instruments employed in it,--of the form of books; and a suitable degree of attention is given to the Writers.

The second epocha contains an history of books, relative to the eastern, the western, and the remotest nations. It exhibits the preludes (if we may use that expreffion) to the art of printing, -its actual discovery, according to the different accounts of Meerman and Schoepflin, and its progress and improvement during the fifteenth century.

We here meet also with curious and learned observations on the ancient editions, and the ancient printers.

The third period exhibits an history of the most celebrated libraries in Italy, England, France, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Germany, and Vienna; comprehending printed books, and manuscripts. In this exhibition, the books are reduced, like the sciences, under the distinct claffes of theology, law, philosophy, phyfic, mathematics, history, and philology, and are considered with respect to their number, their qualities, their rarity, &c. and the manuscripts, whether Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Gothic, Lombard, French, or Anglo-Saxon, are enumerated, though without many critical illustrations.

III. Memoires Historiques et Geographiques sur la Valachie, &c. i. e. Historical and Geographical Memoirs concerning Wallachia, together with the Prospectus, or Plan of a Geographical and Military Atlas, relative to the last War between Rusia and the Ottoman Porte. By M. B- Francfort on Mein. 1779.-If it be true, as we have reason to believe it is, that M. BAUER, Lieutenant-General in the Russian service, who commanded in Wallachia during the last war, is the Author of these Memoirs, this is a strong circumstance in favour of the truth of the historical narrations, and of the accuracy of the geographical descriptions, contained in this work. The Author, who, by his valour and conduct, acquired the fairest laurels in this war, was an eye-witness of what he relates and describes, and seems to have studied, with uncommon attention and alliduity, the accounts given of this country by the most esteemed writers who have preceded him. The Atlas, which this excellent officer proposes to publish, will contain, in twenty-nine sheets, Moldavia, Walachia, Podolia, Volhinia, the Crim, and the Streights that separate Europe from Afia Minor, together with plans of the principal towns, battles, and encampments.

IV. Nouvelles Recherches sur la Science des Medailles, Infcriptions, &c. i. e. New Inquiries concerning Medals, Inscriptions, and Ancient Hieroglyphics. By M. Poinsinet De Sivry. 4to. with Plates, Maestricht. 1779.-The Author of this

work,

work, who is already known in the republic of letters, by several learned and voluminous productions, and more especially by his Translation of Pliny, and his ample Commentary on that author, has here stepped into a neighbouring field, and cut out work for the Antiquaries. This, indeed, is not his first essay on the subject of medals and ancient coins, on which he has sometimes thrown several rays of light by his critical fagacity, and his extensive knowledge of history. The present work.is extensive and profound. It contains the principles which are supposed to afford a solid foundation to the science of medals, and is designed to cure learned men of the folly of going roundabout ways to come at the signification of several medals, while there is a plain and natural sense contained in their inscriptions. The learned Author begins, by distinguishing between medals, medallions, and pieces of money, and by proving this affirmation, that the greatest part of the ancient medals, and more especially the Roman, are not pieces of money, or current coing but real medals; and that no coins are to be placed in the monetary class, but such as have the character, weight, and other marks of current specie. It is a general opinion, that there are very few medals, properly speaking, and that many pieces so called, are coins which had a pecuniary currency in ancient times. Our Author maintains the contrary opinion, and proves, with considerable erudition, and force of argument, that there are few monies, and a great number of medals. He answers the objections, that may be raised against his hypothesis, His researches concerning the origin of fcutcheons, medals, and medallions, at Rome, are curious, and he avails himself of the natural consequences, deducible from them, to throw light upon Numismatical science, and to clear up some of its most embarrassing difficulties. To these confiderations, M. De Siyri adds a new theory of the explication of medals, founded on two principles : First, The rejection of the method of converting initial letters into words, when these words make out a complete sense--which method, however specious, is certainly fallacious; and our Author proves, from striking examples, Secondly, The analogy of the symbols, with the names of the persons.-After having given, on these principles, a new explication of a great number of the most difficult medals, which seems strongly to confirm his theory, our Author treats of amulets, talismans, astrological rings, and other ancient forms of divination and enchantment, not indeed with the spirit of an Astrologer, but with the fagacity of an Antiquary, who confiders these whimsical figures as a sort of bieroglyphics, that may tend to the illustration of Numismatical erudition. Here, among other things, he passes in critical review, Ticho-Brahé's collection of the odd figures, under which the Chaldeans and Rev. Oet, 1779

x

other mote

other ancient nations represented the planets, which they fupposed to be governed by celestial spirits. These drawings are essential materials for decyphering the amulets and talismans, that are often found on antique gems, and make a part of hieroglyphical fcience, which is ftill covered with thick darkness.

Our Readers may remember the literary contest, occafioned by Mr. Needham's Obfervations on the supposed Egyptian fymbols, found on the supposed bust of Ilis at Turin, and which he represented as similar to several Chinese characters. The learned Abhé Guafco, and the celebrated M. Pauw, have maintained, that this statue and its inscription are no more than the fanciful composition of some modern artist, and that many productions of this kind, of which travellers and antiquaries are frequently the dupes, are to be met with in Italy. Our Author combats the opinions of these two learned men with feveral specious arguments. He compares with the buft of Turin, a Serapis, covered with hieroglyphics (of which mention is made by Pierius), and another antique in Petau's collection, published by Neaulme át Amsterdam, in 1757, and draws from the resemblance between the figures of these two latter, and those inscribed on the Ifis, fome grounds of suspicion, that Meffrs. Guasco and Pauw may have been over hafty in their decisions. However that may be, nothing can be more ingenious, than M. De Sivri's explication of the characters in question.

The most eminent adepts in Numifmatical science, will find in this work, illustrations sufficient to remove many of the difficulties that have hitherto perplexed them, and to correct feveral errors into which they have fallen,-and the same work will serve as a Manual, or elementary guide to those who have not yet got far into the rugged and winding paths of the science now under consideration. Such will find their progress greatly facilitated by the Hebrew, Arabic, and Phenician alphabets, as also by the Persian, African, Turkish, Tartar, and Chaldaic characters, which are here exhibited for their use and direction.

V. Histoire Naturelle du Tussilage et de la Petafite, &c. i. e. The Natural Hiftory of the Tussilago and the Petafites. By M. De NECKER. 8vo. Manheim. 1779.- This is the first of an interesting series of Memoirs, or Difcourses, which the learned Author (already known by some botanical productions of great merit) propoles to publish, concerning the phytology of the Palatinate, and of the duchies of Juliers and Berg. The title of the present publication announces much less than the volume contains : for beside the natural hiftory of the plants, mentioned in the title, the ingenious Author has opened new paths in his botanical researches, which seem adapted to promote the progress of that science, hitherto much retarded by defective methods. It is not such descriptions of Plants, as are calculated for the use of the cook or the apothecary, that alone constitute their natural history: though it must be acknowledged, that an acquaintance with their medical and dietetical virtues makes an essential part of botanical science. It is, however, but one part: and it only conftitutes the fourth article of the plan of investigation laid down in this work. The first, is to mark distinctly, what forms the varieties in plants of a similar nature. The second, to give the names appropriated to them by different authors, compared with the drawings or engravings, in which they are represented.Thirdly, to distinguish their native foil, from the countries in which they may be cultivated.--Fifthly, to attend to the alterations they are subject to, when transplanted into another foil and climate.--Sixthly, to employ repeated experiments on the fecundation of plants, and the various methods of effectuating it, whether in their native or in a foreign soil. -Seventhly, to examine the results of these essays or experiments until the second, third, or fourth generation; and Lastly, to compare and confront the mongrel plants produced artificially with the exotics and indigenous plants, which resemble them. It is easy to see the advantages that must arise from this excellent method, in the hands of such a botanist as M. NECKER.

Among other interesting matters contained in this volume, the reader will find a sharp skirmish with the Sexualifts (i. e. those who maintain the existence of organs of generation, and two vivifying lymphs in all plants without exeception), in which our Author comes off victorious. He affirms, that among forty thousand plants, there are, at least, a thousand that are not subjected to the ordinary laws of fecundation, such as mosles, mulhrooms, ferns, and others, comprehended in the Cryptogamia of Linnæus, which are in the lower classes of the vegetable kingdom, and only possess some attributes that imitate fructification. The details into which our Author enters concerning the generation of plants, and the sexual coalitions from whence it proceeds, are interesting, and in several particulars new : and they give us a notion, that though these androgunes are not so happy as those of Plato, they are not deftitute of some sort of fenfibility:

As to the history of the two plants mentioned in the title of this work, it is treated in a masterly manner according to the plan indicated above; and will naturally excite the impatience of the botanical reader to see the following volumes.

[blocks in formation]

MONTHLY CATALOGUE,

For OCTOBER, 1779.

POLÍTICA L. Art. 11. The Alarm; or, Irish Spy. In a Series of Letters on

the present State of Affairs in Ireland, to a Lord high in the Oppofition. Written by an Ex-Jesuit, employed by bis Lordship for

itat Purpose. 8vo. I s. 6d. Bew. 1779. A

N intelligent comment on, and free justification of, fome re

cent proceedings of difcontented Hibernia; who appears Strongly inclined to tread in the iteps of revolted America. The tube ject of the grievances, and the demands, of Ireland, is serioufly and ably discufied by this pretended Ex-Jefuit; who is, no doubi, 20 Irishman, and (with a fair appearance of moderation) obviously pattial to his country, in his representation of the nature of her connexion with Great Britain, and of her claims of emancipation from those restraints under which she has been laid by the policy of our government. Art. 12. A Plan for recruiting the British Army, in which, un

der the Supposition of an Act of Parliament obtained for that Purpose, the Alternative is offered to each County of Great Britain, either to supply the Army with a proportional Number of Recruits by Ballot, or to aless each Parish, at a proportional Rate, to institute an Asociation Fund, which is to increase so in the Time of Peace, as to pay Bounties to a sufficient Number of Volunteersin the most presling Exigency of War. To which are added, Thoughts on the present Method of Impress for the Sea Service, calculated to render char Method of manning the Navy more expeditious, and more consistent with the Interest of the Merchant Service. By the Hon, and Rev. James Cochrane, Chaplain to the 8zd Regiment of Foot. 4to.

I 6. Dixwell, &c. The bad confequences attending the present methods of recruiting the army, and of manning the navy on sudden emergencies, are well known, and generally complained of. Our Author's plan seems well calculated for remedying these inconveniencies; and it certainly merits the serious attention of government. Art. 13. A Speech intended to have been spoken in Coach-Makers

Hall, on Thursday, Sept. 23, 1779, upon the Question, “ Does the City of London, in with holding its Afliktance from Goverment at this alarming Crisis, act upon Principles of true Patriotifmi!" 8vo. 6d. Richardfon and Urquhart,

Disapproves the late conduct of the City in withholding its voluntary altance from government; and zealously exhorts us to unani- mity in defence of our country : leaving, at fo dangerous a crisis, the merits of the Minitry out of the question. For, argues the Author, how absurdly fatal would it be to suffer the nation to fink, for the fake of finking a weak or wicked Administration with it?

To clear himself from the imputation of ministerial attachment, the Author grants that the measures of Administration have been in the highest degree disgraceful and dangerous to the nation; and he advises the citizens of London not to forego their enmity to the

Ministry.'

« VorigeDoorgaan »