Page images
PDF
EPUB

ariminal. All the physicians then agreed, that the imagination of the mother had this fatal cffect on the infant.

• But we have been more refined in our speculations on this subject fince. We have denied this infuence. How can you make it apo pear, say the physical philosophers, that the affections of the mother should displace the limbs of the fetus? I know nothing about the cause, or the operation, but I have seen the effect. And as to you, my new philosophers, it is in vain that you endeavour to find out how the embryo is formed; why then do you expect that I fhuid know how it happens to be deformed.'

Thus far Mr. Voltaire, on this interesting but difficult subject. He founds his belief on a fact that he knows; and there can be no other foundation for any belief of this kind. For our own part, we are convinced of the reality of this strange influence, and for the same reasons with the Writer before us. We knew a gentleman of undoubred veracity. whose wife, having been terrified at the fight of a monkey in the early part of her pregnancy, was actually delivered of a creature of that form. The ill-judging people who attended her, did not conceal it from her, and he died with horrour.

The eighth and ninth volumes of this Work will be reviewed in our next Appendix.

ART. X. Efar general de Tactique, &r.-A general Essay on the Principles of Tactics: To which is prefixed a Discourse on the present State of Politics, and of the Military Art in Europe; together with the Plan of a Work, intitled, 1 he Political and Military State of France. Illustrated with Copper-plates. 4to. 2 Vols. in one,

London, chez les Libraires Affociés. 1772. THOUGH it may naturally be supposed that we are not

poslefied of any considerable share of knowledge, with refpect either to the theoretical or practical part of tactics, we may thus far fafcly pronounce concerning the merits of the present performance;- that the subject is trtated in a rational and philosophical manner; that the Author appears to be a perfon of extensive knowledge, and of a comprehensive mind; and that he proposes many original ideas, with respect to various parts of his subject; in the discussion of which, he equally exposes the errors of a long established and absurd routine, on the one hand; and the mistakes coinmitted in the contrary practice of frequent and temporary innovation, on the other.

His style and manner too are animated, and often elegant.

The Author endeavours to snew that the public were in want of a didattic treatise on the science of tactics, by a feeningly just exhibition of the defects of the preceding publications on the subject ; such as that, for instance, of Puilegar, ''whole principles are either falle, or rendered totally useless in the pro. sent fiate of the military art; of Folard, who owes his present reputation merely to the strength of prejudice; of Guichard,

Oo2

more

more instruêtive indeed than Folard, with respect to antient facts, but who teaches nothing of modern tactics :'-in hort, of those of a great many other writers, from whose productions it is equally difficult and disgusting, to pick out a few infulated truths, overwhelmed and lost in an abyss of errors.

We fhould observe, that the present work contains only fome of the materials of a more comprehenfive, or Complete Course of Tactics,' which the Author proposes to publith hereafter. Accordingly, in the present Eljay, he does not strictly confine himself to the elementary or didactic method, in which he pro poses to arrange his ideas in that work. In the first volume, or part, of the present publication, he treats of Elementary Tactics, or of the constituent parts of an army fingly ; under the heads of Infantry, Cavalry, Light-troops, and Artillery, la the second part, he teaches what is called the Grand Tadics; that is, he brings together, and, to use his own expreffion, Amalgamets' these different bodies into the form of an army; and Thews in what manner, thus united, they may best concus in the execution of the great maneuvres of war'; forft on the march, and next on the field of battle—the two grand divisions of this part of the science.

We Should add, that many of the Author's new principles or ideas are intimately connected with a comprehenfive political and moral, as well as military, system, planned by him. His new military principles may nevertheless, he affirms, be applied to any system at present subfisting: bis intention being to apply them, not only to the present French military establithment, but likewise to those of Austria, England, &c. We ought further to observe, that this is not a work of mere fpeculation. The principles which I here lay down, says the Author, are, in part, those of the king of Pruffia; they are the ideas of many experienced military officers, who have studies their art. They are those of my father, acquired during forty years service; in short, they are my own, corrected and matured (refroidies, as the Author more elegantly expresses it) bę his experience.'-The preliminary political discourse, mentioned in the title, appears to be drawn up by the hand of a master in that science likewise, and of a philanthropist.

ART. XI. Les Oeufs rouges, &c.-An Epiftie from Sorhovet, on his Death-bed,

to M. de Maupeou, Chancellor of France. 12mo. Paris. 1972, Republithed in London. TH HE fi&titious; dying Sorhouet, here assumes the name and

character (we suppose) of one of the real members of the new company, or tribunal, or parliament, lately set up by the

chanceilor

chancellor Maupeou, on the annihilation of the old parliament of Paris; and, under the guise of being his confident and friend, and the only one out of eighteen millions who does not hold his bame in execration, speaks daggers to his soul.-The most diftant pofterity, (lays this pretended dying penitent, almost as his first outset) will unite your name with that of poor Sorhouet, and use them as perfe&ly expressive of the most fovereign contempt, and the most outrageous reproach ; in short, as (yaonyms to the names of thole vile poltroons and monfters, the memory of whom, preserved in history, makes the reader even yet fhudder with horror.

Such, in general, is the Qtile and manner of this French Junius, who afterwards, like his great archetype, draws the characters, and delineates some of the more striking traits of the private bistory of several members of the new parliament, in the very gall of bitterness. Familiarized as we are to productions of this kind here at home, we have seldom seen any

of our Sejanusęs handled with such freedom and asperity. To those, however, who are not minutely acquainted with the late outrageously violent proceedings of the present chancellor of France, and who have not seen the flaming antiministerial pamphlets frequently alluded to in this publication, many parts of the prefent production will be cotally unintelligibie.

ART.

XII, Josephi Querin, Sacr. Cæfar. Reg. Apoftol. Maj. &c. Methodus. &c.

The Method of curing Fevers. By Joseph Qyarin, M. D. &c,

&c. 12mo. Vienna." 1772. THIS

HIS small volume contains a fet of precepts relating to

the cure of fevers, partly collected from the most approved writers, and in part from the Author's own observations, during a successful practice of twenty years, at Vienna, and in one of the hospitals in that city. The descriptions of the difç ferent kinds of fevers, and the curative directions, are delivered in plain and perspicuous language, and the Author's formulas, added at the end of the treatise, are in general simple and efficacious :-much fimpler indeed than is usual with German prefcribers.

In treating of the use of the bark, in the 'remiffions of the inflammatory fever, the Author fpeaks with some degree of predilection of the decoction of that substance, which he, as well as the celebrated Vogel, prefers both to the simple powder and the extract; and adds, that it is certain, from experience, that a mortification, which has refifted the powers both of the bark in fubstance and of the extract, has been stopped by the use of the decoction. In this country, on the contrary, we almok univerfally attribute the greatest degree of efficacy to the

bark

[ocr errors]

bark in substance.-A proof of the admirable uncertainty at. tending even the seemingly plainest medical facts.

Toward the end of the chapter on the natural small-pox, the Author observes, that, though he has had a moft extensive practice in that diftemper, he has not, during five years, loft a fingle patient in it, excepting two; to one of whom he was called in the last stage of the confluent small-pox, and to the other a purging medicine had been given in his absence, which brought on an incurable diarrhæa. We perceive, nothing, however, very particular in the Author's 'method of treating this diftemper, except that a seemingly very immoderate exbi. bition of the mineral acids is here recommended.

In speaking of inoculation, the Author only observes, ia general, that it has been practised at Vienna with the greatest fuccess. • The great fecret of inoculation, he adds, as Tif. sot had before remarked, consists in inserting the variolous poison into a body free from all rigidity, laxity, weakness, obstruction, cachochymy, &c. in short, into a healthy but not an athletic body.'

This is not, however, the secret of inoculation; nor do we believe that that secret has yet been found out. We may affirm this with some degree of confidence; as we have been witnelies to a promiscuous and fuccessful inoculation of many hundreds of persons, of all ages and temperaments; of lax and of rigid fibres ; some healthy, and others cachochymical, and even jaundiced and droplical ; performed fometimes with, and ac other times without, preparation, and that preparation the fame, except with regard to dose, for very different and opposite constitutions: and

yet

the success of this wonderful operation was pretty equally balanced among all these yery different subje&s. We pretend not to explain this matter ; at the same time we do not mean, by this obseryation, to recommend a total inattention to the circumstances and constitution of the person who is to undergo this operation. In medicine, where we are so liable to be mistaken, it will always be the most eligible, if we must

err, to err on the reputed safeft side.

ART, XIIT, Observations sur le Livre intitulé Systême de la Nature. -Observations

on a book entitled, the System of Nature. By M. J. de Castillon, Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and belles Lettres of Berlin, Gottingen, Harlem, &c. 8vo. Berlin. 1771.

no , who is already well known in the republic of letters, by some valuable and useful performances in favour of religion and yirtue. · He exposes the sophistry and contradictions that are

to be met with, in abundance, in the System of Nature, with great perfpicuity and Itrength of reasoning, and with all that decency, candor, and moderation, that becomes a gentleman, a christian, and a man of letters.

The great design of the Author of the System of Nature, is to prove this fingle propofition, there is no God. In order to reconcile this propotition with the present state of things, it is necessary to suppose, ift, that matter is self-existent; 2dly, that motion is essential to it; and 3dly, that whatever exists is either matter or a modification of matter. If but one of these suppofitions be false, the System of Nature falls to the ground. Now M. de Caftillon demonstrates, in the clearest and most fatisfactory manner, the falsehood of all the three; fhews evidently that we have a clear and distinct idea of immaterial beings, and that the soul of man is immaterial. He makes some very judicious and pertinent observations on natural religion, and the purity and perfection of Christian morals. He conceals none of the objections urged by the Author whom he refutes; on the con. trary, he has placed many of them in a much stronger and clearer light. · If any of our Readers have been perverted by the appearance of reasoning in the System of Nature, we recommend the observations before us to their attentive perural. In regard to the style and sprightly manner of writing in the System, the following passage from the most fathionable writer of the present age cannot fail of having great weight with them.-? Rien de plus déplacé que de parler de physique poétiquement, et de prodiguer les figures et les ornemens quand il ne faut que méthode, clartè, et vérité. C'est le charlatonisme d'un homme qui veut faire paller de faux systèmes à la faveur d'un vain bruit de paroles. Les petits E/prits font trompés par cet appas, et les bons esprits le dedaignent.- Queft. Jur l'Encycl. part 2. p. 157.'

ART. XIV, Exercitationes Criticæ in Jobi cap. xix, 23—29. accedit Africtior ex: : positio Reliquarum Ejusdem Libri Sententiarum, quibus Religionis

Antiquissimæ Veftigia Produntur : Autore 7. C. Velibufen, Germanis Londini peregrinantibus verbi divini interprete. 12mo. Lemgovie ex officina Meyeriana. 1772.-Critical Oblervations on Part of the xixth Chapter of Job, from the 23d Verse to the 29th, &c. By

J. C. Velthusen. Sold by Heydinger, &c. MR:

R. Velthusen's abilities are already known to our Readers,

from his Vindication of the Authenticity of the first and second chapters of St. Matthew's Gospel ; of which some account was given in our Review for July, 1771.

The

004

« PreviousContinue »