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Obfervations on fome Parts of Germany.
that may be made in the polypous excrefcences that are formed in the abdomen by a collection of extravafated blood,-on the Cæfarian operation, and others of a fimilar nature, and on the diffolving power of the air, confidered in the effects it may produce in the cure of feveral wounds, ulcers, &c.-Upon the whole, thefe differtations have an undoubted title to the attention of the Medical Reader.
Bemerkungen ueber einige gegenden des Katholischen Deutschlands, &c. -Observations on fome Parts of Germany, in the Roman Catholic Provinces, made during a Literary Excursion-to which are fubjoined Six Letters of the celebrated LEIBNITZ, which are now published for the firft Time. 8vo. Nuremberg. 1778.
HESE obfervations of three Proteftant travellers are neither uninftructive nor unentertaining; yet they would not have drawn our attention, had not the immortal name of Leibnitz ftood in the title page. The great object of thefe travellers feems to have been a vifit to the univerfity of Ingolftadt in Bavaria, of which the Prince-Bishop of Eich-ftadt is Chancellor, and their expectations appear to have been fully anfwered. They met with a remarkable fpirit of toleration and charity among the profeffors of theology in that univerfity; where they found natural philofophy, mathematics and aftronomy, in a pretty good fate, under the infpection, principally, of the exJefuit Helfenzrieder, who is eminent for his knowledge of thefe Iciences. This learned man has acquired a confiderable reputa tion by a fire-pump and telescope of his own invention, and feveral other improvements in natural philofophy; and he is feconded in his zeal for the advancement of the fciences by Profeffor Gabler, whofe fyftem of phyfics, of which the two firft parts are already published, is highly efteemed. The latter made feveral experiments to entertain our travellers; among others, he communicated the magnetic power to a bar of iron, merely by ftriking it with a wooden hammer, and drew electrical fparks and a crackling noife from a piece of dry pafte-board, by rubbing it with the fkin of a cat.
We fhall not follow our travellers any farther, but terminate this article by an account of the fix letters of the famous Leibnitz to Father Orban. This learned Jefuit was confeffor to the Elector of Bavaria; he adorned the college of his fociety, in the univerfity of Ingolstadt, with rich donations in medals, manufcripts, pictures, machines, books, antiquities, Chinefe dreffes, furniture, and curiofities. The Profeffor Gabler permitted our travellers to copy the letters that Leibnitz wrote to this learned Jefuit, and even confented to their publication.
In the first of these letters, dated 1705, Leibnitz communicates to Father Orban his binary arithmetic, wherein all numbers are expreffed by I and o, and by which the mystery of the characters of Fohi, the ancient king and philofopher of China, may be easily explained. Father Bouvet, a miffionary in that empire, who alfo correfponded with Leibnitz, availed him felf of this discovery to explain to the Chinese literati the poffibility of a creation from nothing, and to engage them to receive that doctrine.
In the fecond letter, which is dated in 1712, and treats particularly concerning burning glaffes, we learn that a mechanist had brought to Berlin a concave mirrour made of wood, and covered or lined with leaves of polifhed gold, which reduced metals to fufion in a little time, and which might be employed to light a candle in the fame apartment by placing in its focus a burning coal, and blowing it briskly.
In the third letter, which bears the fame date with the preceding, the German philofopher appears in another point of view. At the recommendation of one of the Dukes of Brunswic (Anthony Ulric), he had obtained from the Emperor the dignity of Imperial Aulic Counsellor; but he confefles to Father Orban, that this bare title without any appointments was to him a matter of indifference; and he folicits the Jefuit to employ his credit, if not with the Emperor, at leaft with his confeffor, to render this honour profitable. The terms, in which this folicitation is expreffed do little honour to Leibnitz. He defiresFather Orban, to write a lettter which may be shewn to the Emperor, and may let him know, that he, Leibnitz, is the friend of Father Orban, and of the fociety (the company of Jefus), that he is esteemed by Cardinal Ptolomei, that he had been high in favour with the late Queen of Pruffia, and was ftill on the fame footing with the Princefs her mother; that the Elector of Hanover, and the King of Pruffia, not only employed him as a man of letters, but also as a man of bufinefs, and that he might be of great ufe to his Imperial Majefty with refpect to the adminiftration of juftice, the improvement of hiftorical knowledge, and the advancement of the sciences. -All this was true, but it was little.
In the fourth letter he offers Father Orban, for the Elector Palatine, a complete copy of the Florentine edicts or diplomas, by which it appears, that the Emperor Charles V. out of his mere favour and Imperial authority, placed Alexander and Cofmo de Medicis at the head of the Republic of Florence, and extended that grant to all their male defcendants; and that the Emperor always treated the Florentines as fubjects of the empire. The two following letters, dated in the years 1715 and 1716, are relative to the political affairs of the times.
X. Oeuvres Complettes de M. Le Febure, &c.-The whole Works of M. Le FEBURE, Major of the Corps of Engineers of Pruffia, and Ordinary Member of the Royal Academy of Berlin. 2 Vols. 4to. Enriched with a great Number of Copper-plates. Maeft.icht and Boullion. 1778.
HIS publication contains a treasure of theoretical and practical science for thofe neceffary plagues in human fociety, the licensed flaughterers of their fellow-creatures. M. Le FEBURE is a learned, ingenious, and experienced officer: and as we have not a great number of books of merit upon the fubjects that are treated in these volumes, they will be undoubtedly an acceptable prefent to the public, at a time when attack and defence are likely to be carried on with vigour,
A Treatise on the Attack and Defence of Places takes up the first volume of the work before us. It is divided into two parts: in the firft our Author defcribes all the operations of the befiegers and the befieged, day by day, from the investing of an ordinary fortified town to its furrender, and confirms all he fays on this complicated fubject by examples taken from the war of 1741. In the fecond he treats fucceffively of all the particular works of fortification that are to be met with in the ftrongest places and the most complete fyftems, and fhews the best manner of attacking and defending them. To his dreadful inftructions on this fubject, he has fubjoined the trials of Belidor's globe of compreffion, one of which was made at Potsdam in 1754, in the prefence of the king of Pruffia. It is from that monarch's letter of congratulation to the inventor, that our Author has taken a part of this interefting relation..
After fhewing the refpective advantages and defects, that are difcernible in the different works of a strong place, M. Le FEBURE propofes fome new methods of fortification, which do honour to his fagacity and knowledge in his profeffion; and he concludes his first volume by a very curious account of the operations of the Pruffian army in the attack of Schweidnitz in the year 1762, at which he was prefent. He acknowledges, with candour, the faults the Pruffians committed in that fiege, which continued above two months, though an hundred pieces of battering cannon were daily mounted against the town.Nothing is wanting to render this relation complete; and nothing can be more accurate than the numerous plans that are given to i luftrate it.
The fecond volume contains a Treatife concerning Mines,feveral pieces and letters relative to the trials of the globe of compreffion,-A new Treatise on Levelling, dedicated to the king of Pruffia, and accompanied with feven plates,-An Effay on the Manner of compofing Topographical Charts, to which are subjoined
two maps compofed on the principles of M. Le Febure, the one reprefenting the Eaftern part of North-America, and the other the courfe of the river of St. Lawrence, both bearing date in the year 1762.
There are notes interfperfed in feveral parts of thefe volumes, and these notes contain, almost always, acute obfervations or curious anecdotes.-In one of thefe he obferves, that the French, though they are furnished with good engineers, and have acquired reputation by their fieges, are nevertheless remarkable for their blunders in reconnoitring the works of fortified towns. In 1745, at the fiege of Oftend, they did not difcern the fort La Plume until the balls from it were pelting them in their trenches; this fort was not even marked in their plan. But the anecdote relating to Lowendhal at the fiege of Bergen-op-zoom is ftill more curious, and we fhall give it in our Author's own words. When this general, fays he, went, at the head of the principal officers of the artillery, to reconnoitre Bergen-op-zoom, they all thought that they perceived diftinctly formidable horn-works, juft fuch as were drawn or engraven in their plans of the place. While they were in this illufion, I was bufied in effacing thefe horn-works in my plan, with a perfon (N. B.) who held a confiderable rank in the city, and had left it fome days before. This man began by telling me (M. Le Febure was then in the French service), that the fortification of the town had been conftructed upon a plan entirely new at the beginning of the prefent century. I drew, in confequence of his information, a new plan, in which all the works were exhibited circumftantially, and fpecified with all the precifion poffible at fuch a time. -But in order to be still more fully affured of the truth of the information I had received from this man, I went with my plan as near the town as was poffible, and perceived by the obfervation of feveral parts of the works the truth of what he had told me. I then prefented my plan to Count Lowendhal, who began by looking for the horn-works, which they had perceived in the morning, and not finding it, afked me the reafon of this omiffion. I ventured to tell them they had been mistaken, and that there was no horn-work among the fortifications of the town. They told me, that in the ride they had taken, in order to reconnoitre the place, they had perceived diftinctly a horn-work near the Antwerp gate. I began to reply, when Count Lowendhal ftopped my mouth by faying in a high tone, Well, well, fir, whatever it be, be it a toad, or be it a frog, it must spring.It was not until the day after, at the opening of the trenches, that they discovered their error.'
Some of the treatises contained in these volumes have been before published, but were become extremely fcarce. They
are all now collected here, and accompanied with new pieces, and thirty-three plates engraved in a masterly manner.
Memoires concernant l'Hiftoire, les Sciences, les Arts, les Moeurs, les Ulages, &c. des Chinois.-Memoirs concerning the History, Science, Arts, Manners, and Cultoms of the Chinefe. By the Miffionaries of Pekin. Vol. IV*. 410. Price 12 Livres bound. Paris.
HIS new volume, which is by far more interesting than the preceding part of the work, contains feven articles, whofe contents are curious and inftructive: First, an ample account of the ancient and modern doctrine of the Chinese, relative to filial affection, which conftitutes the bafis cf their morals and government. Secondly, a memoir or essay on the intereft of money in China. Thirdly, a fummary of the opinions and notions of the Chinese concerning the fmall-pox. Fourthly, an account of the Chinese book, called Si-yuer, which contains the method of proceeding used by the minifters of juftice to find out murder, and to judge of its caufes by the inspection of the dead body. Fifthly, an account of the medical proceedings and the method of healing, employed by the bonzes of Tao-fee. Sixthly, obfervations relative to Natural Philofophy and Natural History, made by the emperor Kang-hi. Seventhly, a mifcellaneous enumeration of feveral customs and practices obferved among the Chinese, lifts of animals, &c.
On the first of thefe articles, the learned miffionary has collected all the materials that can contribute to convey a juft idea of filial affection, or (as he calls it) filial piety, among the Chinese. The hiftorians, philofophers, and poets, are ranfacked for this purpose ;-translations and extracts from ancient books present this virtue in all its afpects, fruits, and confequences; and among other things, as the fupport and bulwark of the Chinefe empire, during the long courfe of thirty-five centuries. Among these extracts a particular attention is due to those that are here made from the maxims of Li ki, which are, generally speaking, excellent, and fometimes fublime. The Li-ki is only the fourth book of the King; but it contains the moft authentic accounts we have of the government, religion, laws, manners, and cuftoms, of the ancient inhabitants of China, and it is an excellent commentary on the other books of King, of which it confirms the teftimony, illuftrates the rela tions, and clears up the obfcurities. It is much to be lamented, that this valuable work of Confucius has not been preferved in
* For an account of the third volume, See Review, Vol. lix. page 521. Appendix.