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other fertile and extensive regions, the rival power of France had still the ascendant, at least so far down as the conclusion of
the last century. This our Author attributes to the political re, · union and local contiguity of all the parts of the French monar
chy, to the extinc?ion of feudal government, the diminution of the power of the nobility by Richlieu, and other circumstances of a more accidental kind; while in the Austrian dominions the Navery of the people, the overgrown opulence and power of the nobility or great vassals, and the inconveniencies resulting from dispersed and unconnected terricories, have been hitherto obitacles to the influence and progress of that aspiring power. This may change.-And we have only to open our eyes to see the germ of some revolution of that kind, which we have no assurance that the peace lately concluded will prevent.
II. Histoire naturelle, civile, et politique du Tonquin, &c. i, e, A natural, civil, and political History of Tonquin. * By the Abbé RICHARD, Canon of Vezelay. 2 Vols. 12mo. Paris. 1778. Price bound 5 Livres. The present History is drawn up from the papers of the Abbé de Saint-Phalle, a priest of the diocese of Autun, who performed, during the space of twelve years, the la. þorious duties of Miffionary at Tonquin, and died at Paris in 1766. As the history of this kingdom, which holds a considerable rank among the empires of oriental Alia, is an object of çonsequence to modern literature, and has not hitherto been treated in a manner that ought to discourage farther attempts in the same way, the Public is obliged to the Abbé RICHARD for the pains he has taken in digesting the memoirs and observations of the Abbé de Saint-Phalie, correcting the inaccuracies of his style, and in giving the work its present form.- It is divided into two parts. The first contains à geographical description of Ton. quin, and an account of every thing relative to the customs, manners, and riches of that country, its population, industry, commerce, sciences, arts, trades, government, revolutions, revenues, forces, taxes, civil and criminal laws, and the forms of judicial proceedings. This first part is terminated by a digreflion concerning the fundamental laws of the Chinese empire, from which those of Tonquin are taken. The resemblance between the people of Tonquin and the Chinese, with respect to manners, science, arts, funeral ceremonies, and religious laws, iş yery great: for which reason the most interesting accounts, in this first part, are those that relate to the natural history of · the country, and its productions, which, together with its
situation on the borders of the richest provinces of China, fure nith ways and means of commerce, from whence Europe might derive the greatest advantages. The second part of this work contains an account of the missions,—which have been attended
een this kingdoquin, and eye year
with so little fruit in those regions,—and in almost all others as to justify, in some measure, the application of the prophet's expression, to this case-Can the Ethiopian change his skin?
III. Histoire critique des Opinions des Anciens, &c. i. e. A critical History of the Opinions of the Ancients, and of the philofophical Systems relative to Happiness. By M. DE ROCHEFORT, Member of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres. Paris. 8vo. 1779. Happiness is, in the sphere of moral investigation, what the philosopher's stone is in the line of chemical, or rather alchemical, combination and analysis. However, as the chemists, though they did not obtain their main purpose, gathered, by the way, several scattered scraps of truth and useful knowledge, so the moralists have given us many useful directions, though they never have been able to mark out a certain path to true felicity,-and that, for a very good reason, even, that it is not the growth of any sublunary climate, but has its time, place, and maturity elsewhere. Be that as it may, we think there is both pleasure and profit to be obtained in the perusal of the work before us; yet we dare not Aatter any of our Readers that it will render them happy. After having made a wise and judicious estimate of the different stages of life, with respect to their susceptibility of pleasure and enjoyment, our Author enters upon the historical part of his work, which is divided into five books. In the first, he treats of those opinions of the ancients relative to happiness, that deserve notice, and that furnish the best and the most interesting materials for a history of the human mind, and in the four following he unfolds and examines the philosophical systems, that were compofed on this important subject, from Thales to Marcus Antoninus.
IV. Traité des Couleurs Materielles et de la Maniere de Colorer, relativement aux differens Arts et Metiers : i. é. A Treatise concerning Colours, and the Manner of Colouring, considered with rem spect to the useful and mechanic Arts. By M. LE PILEUR D'APLIGNY. 12mo. Paris. 1778. In this ufeful work the Author treats of colours and colouring, neither as an optician nor a connoisseur in painting, but as a chemist, who unfolds their physical principles, points out the methods of improving and modifying them, describes the merely mechanical operations in the different kinds of painting, and detects the improper and defective methods of proceeding in this line of practical science. After having pointed out the chemical process in the various colours employed in the different kinds of painting, he confiders the different substances of which they are composed, and the manner of blending them. He observes, that excepting cochineal, which belongs to the aniinal fpecies, all colours are drawn from vegetables or minerals. Our Author's first division, therefore, of colours, considered with respect to the diversity of their origin, is into vegetable and miE4
neral; neral; of these he enumerates the various kinds, and defcribes their composition. He afterwards shews their use in the five different kinds of painting, such as Paste), Distemper, Oil, Fresco, and Encaustic; and on each of these branches of that noble art, he makes observations, and gives' directions, which discover a very extensive acquaintance with natural philosophy and chemistry. This is an excellent book for painters : they will find in it the imposture of many pretended secrets detected, and a number of preparations, founded upon repeated experiments, that deserve attention. The Author's receipt for making the fine colour, distinguished by the name of Prufiian Blue, and his account of the late discoveries for fixing the Pastel, are curious; but nothing surprised us more than his method of casting wood in moulds, so as to make it assume every possible form without diminishing its natural consistence. It is as follows: • Take fine saw-dult of wood * of any kind, and put into a vessel a pound of the parings or fhreds of parchment: pour upon them a quantity of spring water, sufficient to form a liquid paste, and let this mixture stand three days. Take of gum arabic and gum tragacanth, two ounces each, put them into the water with the parchment, cover them, and let them boil. between two or three hours, and add warm water, if that in which you have put the parchment is much diminished before the parchment is dissolved. Strain this mixture through a piece of linen; throw into it the pulverized wood or faw. duft, and ftir the composition on the fire until it has affumed the density or consistence of pap or jelly : when the mixture is cold, put it into a mould which has been oiled: let it remain there during two days, at the end of which time it will be fit for working.'
V. Nouveaux Opuscules de M. Feutry, &c. i. e. Now Pieces, or Opuscula, of M. FEUTRY, Member of the Philofophical Society of Philadelphia. 8vo. Paris. 1779. Price 3 Livres. The greatest part of these miscellanies are tables, fonnets, epi. grams, portraits, imitations, which are not amiss, but which would not have much attracted our attention to the work, were they not followed by two discourses in profe : one concerning the Origin of the Caftilian Poetry, taken from Don L. J. DE VELASCO; the other containing Historical Researches on Tuscan Poetry. The characters of the principal Spanish and Italian poets are delineated with judgment and taste in these two discourses; and we learn from thence, that the bards of both nations have been indebted for a great part of their merit, to the ancient Mules of Provence, to what the French call the Poesie Provençale, which took its rise under William VIII. Duke of Aquitaine, about the year 1100, and does not seem to have furvived the fifteenth century. - The Reader will find, at the
* Should not the quantity of saw-dult have been mentioned?
thieves - The Froncerning a war, which ; fourthly
end of this volume, subjects treated, that are adapted to frighten the Mures. These we meet with in five memoirs or discourses. First, concerning warlike machines; secondly, a plan for forn ing, in the Royal Military School, a collection of arms and warlike machines that have been employed by all nations both in ancient and modern times ; thirdly, concerning artil. lery, in which the Author gives an account of the properties of certain cannons of his own invention ; fourthly, concerning a car or waggon, armed for war, which is also a new invention ; and, fifthly, concerning a raft, designed to carry a kind of fortress. — The French seem so busy in inventing every thing, that they have not leisure to execute any thing.
GERMÁN Y. VI. 7.7. Mofers-Erste Grundlehren des ietzigen Europæilchen Voelker rechts, &c. i.e. The first Principles of the Law of Nations in Europe, at this present Time, both with respect to Peace and Ilar. By M. Moser, Counsellor of State to the King of Denmark. 8vo. Nuremberg. 1779. When we had read the title of this book only, and observed the words, at this present time (however accustomed we are to meet with grave and good things from the pen- of M. Moser), we were preparing ourselves to read a piece of pleasantry and satire. The French alliance with America and hostilities against England (laying aside all consideration of the American contest with the mother-country), was such a violation of truth, honour, and justice, as hath but few examples; and the filence of the European nations, at this event, looked as if the law of nations had been reversed. When we had perused Mr. Vofer's book, we found he was serious, and that he had composed it for the use of the Military Academy of Wurtemberg.
Tke Reader must not here expect the philosophical principles of the law of nations; for these are not confined to Europe, but must be obligatory wherever reason and humanity are found; but he will find here an account of the actual state of Europe, of the maxims (rendered sacred by repeated examples) that direct the proceedings and conduct of its sovereigns, with re. spect to all the various objects that relate to their mutual interests and obligations. In twenty chapters, of which this work is composed, our Author treats-Of the Law of Nations in ge. neral, and of Europe in particular-Of Europe, considered as forming, in some measure, one political Body-Of the Persons and Families of Sovereigns-Ot the Ceremonial-Of Amballadors and Envoys–Of the Lands and Seas that come within the Dominion of Sovereigns-Of the Servants and Subjects of So. vereigns Of Articles of Religion-Of political Maxims, and the Administration of Justice-Of the Military and Marine De. paruments Of Finances-OF Acts of Grace-Of Commerce
and Money-Of the Police-Of Treaties, and particularly those of Alliances and Guarantée-Of Pretensions, Grievances,, Contests, and Mediation Of doing ourselves Justice Of Seizures and Reprisals-Of Wars, Allies, Auxiliaries, and Subsidies-Of Neutrality-Of Truces and Peace.- Such are the principal articles treated in this excellent work.
VII. Vom Blitze, &c. i.e. Concerning Thunder and Lightning, &c. By the Abbé Hen. REIMARUS, M. D. 8vo. Hamburgh. 1778. Here we have a solid, judicious, and useful work. It contains the most excellent directions to prevent the destructive effects of the electrical fiery fluid. The Author seems perfectly acquainted with his subject : his reasonings are clear and accurate, his principles folid, and their application easy. In treating this subject, M. REIMARUS first points out, after the most exact observations, the directions of lightning and its action in different bodies; secondly, he shews how it is affected in its course by those metallic substances which are employed. "cure edifices against its pernicious effects, and how these metals may be the most effectually and safely used for this purpose; he explains, in the third place, the effects of lightning by the principles of electricity, and in a manner conformable to electrical experiments. The ingenious Author of this work is fon to the celebrated Reimarus, who published several philosophical treatises, and a very curious one, among others, . on the instincts of animals,
VIII. - Briefe uber Rusland, &c. i.e. Letters concerning Ruffia. By M. J. H. C. MEYER, an Officer in the Hanoverian Regiment of Saxe-Gotha. 8vo. Gottingen. 1778. In these Letters the Author does not follow any regular plan, but treats of a great variety of interesting objects, among which we may place his accounts of the country of KamschatkaOf the Emigration of the Kalmucs-Of the Commerce of the Black Sea-Of the Settlement of Colonies. His extracts from the books that contain the laws of the Kalmucs are cusious; and his description of the colletion of natural history at Petersburg, of that flourishing city, of the Rusian manufactures, and of the state of taxes and population in that country, are instructive and interesting. There is, more especially, much information to be had from those Letters, in which our Author describes the present state of the city of Petersburgh, the mili. tary force of Russia, and the oppression which reigns in the remote provinces under the despotism of their governors. Aca cording to M. MEYER's estimate, the revenue of Russia a.mounts to 30 millions of rubles*, besides a million and a half, which the gold and silver mines yield. This estimation supposes either
* A ruble (as is well known) is four shillings and fix-pence.