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favourite notion with this author (as well as with ourselves,*) and which we shall beg to state in his own words i
1 Abstract pursuits will be found nowise unfriendly to the cultivation of elegant literature, or incompatible with the most vigorous play of imagination.'
No, truly. Who but a man with the most vigorous play of imagination would ever think of a 'retardation' which 'itself gradually relaxes'? (p. 427.) —or would ever speak of Algebra, the cultivation of which was carried to a great height by Diophantus nearly 2000 years ago, as ' having shot up prematurely}' — or would preface an explanation of mathematical truths with such rhetoric as this ?— ' To view the matter in its true light, we should endeavour previously to dispel that mist which has so long obscured our vision? (p. 463.) '-l"-.\
The ingenious description of what Theory does, is, in spite of its elegance, exceptionable on the ground of ambiguity. . 'Theory', says the brisk Professor, p. xii. ' soon descends to guide and assist the operations of practice f but he neglects to inform us wherfce she came,or whither she goes. Not being accustomed to geometrical tropes and conundrums, it is with the greatest diffidence we hazard the following guess at the meaning of this eloquent and facetious Professor; Theory is a lady who usually employs herself in the parlour, but sometimes goes down into the kitchen, which is one or two stories lower, in order to ' guide and assist the operations of Practice' her cook.—Si quid novisti rectiiis, &c.
In panegyrizing Geometry itself, our readers will conclude that the Professor is more than commonly brilliant ami impassioned. 'That science,'he says, 'is supereminently distinguished by the luminous evidence which cofjstantly attends every step of its march.' (p. 2.) Our only objection to this account, is its inconsistency. We well know that Geo-, metry bears a striking resemblance to a marching regiment, but for this very reason we disapprove of its being accompanied by evidence however luminous; a good band of mu* sic would be mudh more appropriate, and much better suited, to the martial spirit of the times. The Professor will not lose sight of this hint, we hope, when he gratifies the public with an improved edition; the alteration could not injure the, sense of tie passage., and would certainly give it a striking air of originality. • ■-*>
'It is the nature of mathematical science,' says Mr. L. * to advance Hteontn-u.il firvgrest'on,' [and by this, we presume, it is * superemineri't
— ■— .i. ■",'■■' i *
■* Sec £4- p-v. Vol. V p. ISIt. ■ c. .'
ly distinguished' from all other sciences.] « Each step carries it to others still higher. As its domain swells on the sight, new relations are described, and the more distant objects seem gradually to approximate. But while science thus enlarges its bounds, it likewise tends uniformly to simplicity and concentration,' [which are, manifestly, quite compatible.! • The discoveries of one age are, perhaps in the next, melted doion into die mass of elementary truths.' p. xi.
Exquisite! Let us review the inimitable graces of this passage. Progression—step—others much higher—domain—swell— simplicity—concentration — discoveries—melted down— mass.—' Surely the Professor must have observed what a fascinating charm a little sweet coiifusion imparts to the cheek of beauty, or he never could have thought of employing it to adorn the language of philosophy. Who, that is ambitious to acquire a ' most vigorous play of imagination,' would not study geometry under such a Professor!
It would be inexcusable not to add a few more examples of the Professor's eloquence.
* Geometry takes a more limited view, and selecting only the generic property of magnitude, it can, from the extreme simplicity of its basis, safely pursue the most lengthened train of investigation, and arrive with perfect certainty at the remotest conclusions.' (p. 1.)
As the Professor justly thinks it enough to give us rhetoric, without also giving us understanding, we must refer our curious readers to that gentleman himself, if they wish to know what he means by the basis of a view, or how extreme simplicity of basis affords any peculiar facility for taking long journies in pursuit of investigations or for arriving at remote conclusions.
« He [the student] is thus placed on a commanding eminence [the hill of Proportion] ; from which he views the bearings of the objects below, surveys the contours of the distant am/ihitlteaire, and descries the fading verge of a boundless horizon,' [that is, the verge of a horizon without verge.] p. 175.
'The founders of mathematical learning among the Greeks were in general tinctured with a portion [query, potion ?~] of mysticism, transmitted from Pythagoras, and cherished in the school of Plato. [What was cherished, the tincture or the portion ?] By the later Platonists, who flourished in the Museum of Alexandria [being there preserved, we presume, like lizards and serpents in the late Leverean Museum], it was regarded as a pure intellectual science, far sublimed above the grossness of material Contact. Such metaphysics could not impair the solidity of the superstructure [or perhaps 'the spirit of the structure'], but did contribute to perpetuate some mistaken conceptions and to give a wrong turn to philosophical speculations. It is full time to restore the sobriety of reason.' (p. 453.)
It is, indeed, We sb.al), therefore, exhibit no more of
this ridiculous frothy verbiage. Professor Leslie is certainly not destined to become a fine writer ; nor, without much reformation, a very accurate geometer. We would earnestly exhort him, if he wishes to Obtain a character with the judicious part of the public, as. a philosopher, a scholar, or a man'of taste, before he prepares any thing else for the press to adopt the prudent resolution of Biron in Love's Labour Lost :'-^
"Taffata phrases, silken terms precise,
"Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation,
"Figures pedantical; these summer flies
"I do forswear them."
Art, II. H'ato'tre des Inquisitions Religieuses, CsV. The History of the Religious Inquisitions of Italy, Spain, and Portugal; from their Origin to the Conquest of Spain. By Joseph Lavallee, Chief of the 5th Division of the Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honour, Perpetual Secretary of the Philotechnic Society of Paris, &c. &c. &c. 2 Vols. 8vo. pp. 815. Paris, printed. 1809. Price 1/. 4f. Deconchy, Dulau, &c. London.
'"PHE heads of the Romish hierarchy, aware that the fabric of their power, however awful and imposing its aspect, was we;ik at the foundation, have at all times been fertile in devices to conceal its defects, and stop the progress of its dilapidations. In addition to the measures which they were compelled to adopt by temporary exigencies, they planned and instituted various permanent establishments, calculated at once to extend, and perpetuate, their authority. Of these, the Inquisition and the Company of Jesus were the most important. Last in the order of time, the Jesuits were tb,e fi>'st to fall before the rising spirit of mankind; and the Holy Office, after maintaining a- lonsj "struggle against universal abhorrence, has now yielded an easy victory to the invader of her last retreat. The auj-hor of the present work has turned this incident to good account, and we have been alternately amused and enraged at the surfeiting doses of adulation with which he has supplied the ravenous appetite of his master.
« The Inquisition is no more; humanity owes this benefit to the greatest of heroes.. .The Hero whose genius has vanquished this (oi to science...This blessing was reserved for the days of glory and heroism t.' it was decreed that Castile should receive it from the hand of Napoleon...The august kings Joseph Napoleon and Joachim Napoleon scattering knowledge, benefits, and new life... Napoleon with a single word has avenged Heaven, Monarch* and Men, he has relieved the earth, let the earth bless him„. Spaniards J tuhtn your children read
Vol. VI. R
your history, all your public places will be covered with the statues of the hero who has given you vengeance and liberty!!! The benefactor of the world,&cc. Sec...'!!'
Now, although we are disposed to give the 'illustrious' Napoleon-and the 'scarce less illustrious'Joseph, every praise that we Can in conscience afford, yet it cannot have escaped the observation even of the servile Lavall6e, that the destruction of the Inquisition was a deed much less of humanity than of policy. It is, however, a matter of considerable doubt whether this desirable event would have taken place, so soon at least, under the old government of Spain; and -cordially as we execrate the artifices which prepared, and the cruelty that has nearly effected the Spanish revolution, we accept with gratitude, even from the hands of ' the greatest of heroes,' the suppression of the Religious Houses and the Bloody Tribunal.
I^avallee states himself to have been engaged in this undertaking long before the conquest of, Spain. Of this we have some doubt; the work has every appearance of a hasty compilation, and we are inclined to suspect that it was intended principally, if not entirely, as a vehicle for the praises of Bonaparte. In the first volume, the author has traced the origin and progress of the Inquisition, and concludes this portion of the work with an ' cxpdse of its general principles, its organization, its laws, its internal (Economy, its secret tortures, 'and it's public ceremonies.' He has employed the second volume in exhibiting * the constancy of its progress, the uniformity of its principles, the unity of its dfy'ect, in Asia and America,' as well as in Europe, not by reasoning, but by facts, by the history of a crowd of wretches dragged before its tribunals.' We shall give a slight sketch of the first part, and indulge ourselves in a few observations on the' second.
'The martyrdom of Arnold qf Brespia, who had suffered at .the stake for exposing (he errors and vices of the Romish priesthood,'instead of intimidating his disciples,:'
.' produced an opposite effect 5 it increased their aversion to Rome, 'and from the public and Becret preaching'of. their new religious notions, sprang the Waldenses and Albigenses... Almost all the country situated between the Garontie and the right bank of the Rhone, was peopled by these new sectaries... History uniformly represents them as good citizens, as faithful subjects, as excellent parents, as rigid observers of their word, unassuming/laborious, and practising the precepts of the Gospel;' ■',-'•' "'' —" ' '•'i'Ji ;■ •' '.■ ■■'■ '•
Adrian IVth passed sentence.upon/ Arnold; and Innocent Ulrd published a crusade against the AlbigetVscs, the direction. of which was intrusted to the bigotry and barbarity of Dominic. He eagerly engaged in the task, and ' let slip' the blood hounds of papal vengi'ance on the states of the Counts of Toulouse, Bfziers, Feix, and Comminges. Simon dc Montfort, the general of the crussders, is thus spiritedly pourtrayed in the present work.
• In times nearer to our own, Simon de Montfort would have been a fit associate for those famous adventurers, whose rapacity, avarice, barbarity, and thirst of blood, filled up the measure of the miseries of the New World. His proportions were gigantic, his strength equal t6 bis commanding stature, and his vigorous constitution enabled him to encounter the greatest fatigues, and. the most distressing privations. He had learnt the trade of war in the Syrian crusades. In these distant expeditions, the results of blind and irrational devotion, he had acquired that tendency to fanaticism which the legates of the Pope deemed indispensable in the commander of their army. Burn in Camps» living in an age when ignorance was the portion of the great, fighting was his only science, massacre his most gratifying relaxation, and plunder his inexhaustible resource. He held the feelings of compassion in contempt. No chivalric virtue redeemed his ferocity; and his courage was the savage insensibility of a chief of banditti. Deaf to the voice of nature, ignorant of the rights of nations, faithless in treaty, regardless of his oath...such was de Montfort. He was charged with the interests of Heaven> because he had all the vices of the impious ; and priestly intolerance opened the path of glory to him who in better days would have disgraced the scaffold.'.
By treachery or force, die Montfort was every where vietorious; he expelled Raymond and his allies, and tools possession of their states, which he retained for four years. At the expiration of that term, Raymond, assisted by the inhabitants, made a desperate and successful effort to repossess himself of Toulouse. De Montfort again besieged it, and fell in an! attempt to carry it by storm. The war however continued, and finally terminated in the dispersion of the Albigenses, and the establishment of the Inquisition under the superintendance of the order of St. Dominic. It was at first instituted for the conversion of heretics by preaching and instruction, and its members were, besides, charged to observe the conduct of bishops,, magistrates, and princes towards the enemies of the church of Home. But its powers were rapidly enlarged. Its chiefs, were permit-, ted , • .,,
* to grant indulgences, to publish crusades, to excite sovereigns and nations to war, to put themselves at the head of armies, and to lead them wherever there were heretics to be exterminated. From this increase of power, it will be inferred that the end of the war of the albigenses was not the dawn of peace for the south of France; it was, on the contrary, the beginning of days of misery; their per