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this universal deluge, or destroyed by the violent concussion of the earth ; entire spaces anihilated; all the monuments of human in dustry overthrown; such are the disasters which the shock of a comet would produce.
Chap. V. treats on the perturbations of the Moon's motion,
Chap. X. On the tides: the matter of this chapter was contained in the author's memoir on this subject, in the volume of the Academy of Sciences for 1790, and of which memoir we gave a considerable account in our last Appendix.
Chap. XI. treats on the stability of the equilibrium of the seas ;-anci the XVth contains reflections on the law of universal gravitation.
The last part of this volume is occupied by a short history of Astronomy.
In the present article, we have not attempted to exhibit, in an abbreviated manner, the matter and order of M. LA PIACE's reasoning; because the book itself, in many of its parts, gives little more than an outline of operations which are prolix in their detail; or a summary of observations and processes which, if expanded, would astonish by their extent and intri, cacy. We liave judged it proper to give the titles of most of the chapters, as certain marks and signals of the route pursued by the author; with occasional extracts, as specimens of his clear, acure, and forcible reasoning. This treatise on astroa nomy, considering its object and extent, unites (in a much higher degree than any other work, on the same subject, that we ever saw,) clearness, order, and accuracy. It is familiar, without being vague ; it is precise, but not abstruse ; its matter seems drawn from a vast stock deposited in the mind of the author; and this matter is impregnated with the true spirit of philosophy. Other treatises of the same kind have been patched up, in the expectation of small gain or smaller fame, by men who were not extensive in their knowlege, enlarged in their views, nor curious in their discernment; who read purposely to write ; and who, when writing, exhausted themselves to the minutest particle of what they had acquired. Yet, one evil seems to attend the circumstances of men high in talents descending to write treatises like the present; we mean that, the most abstruse parts being familiar to their ininds, they are apt to expatiate on them, as much as on parts more known, and more within the compass of the understandings of the generality of readers ; and to think that an outline of a chain of reasoning, which exists in their minds connected and complete, may convey an idea of it: when, to any thing like a distinct conception and adequate.comprehension of it, the intermediate processes are necessary. Several parts of M. LA Place's
second volume are open to this remark : what he says coria cerning the secular inequalities, &c. will only be understood by those who have bestowed a considerable degree of attention on this subject. — The world must look forwards with im. patience to the appearance of the work which the author has promised on physical astronomy; and in which, what now seems to be obscure will be made evident by mathematical de. monstration, and what is concise and summary will obtain its just developement.
Art. VI. Los Caracteres de Théophraste; &c. i. t. The Cha.
racters of Theophrastus, from a Manuscript in the Vatican, 600taining Additions which never appeared in France; a new Translation, with the Greek Text; Critical Notes; and a preliminary Discourse on the Life and Writings of Theophrastus. By Cory, M. D. of the Faculty of Montpelier. 8vo. Pp. 410. Paris,
1799. London, imported by De Buffe. Price 95. sewed. ON N opening this volume, we were struck with the enthu.
siasm which dictated its dedication. It is inscribed to the free Grecians of the Ionian Sea ;' whom the writer exhorts to make themselves acquainted with antient Greek, and modern French, preparatory to their emancipation from their subjection to Turkey. At present, there seems little, proba. bility that the modern Greeks will become much connected with France : but, should they ever fall under the dominion of the Great Nation *, it is to be feared that the French commissaries will find as summary a method of making themselves understood, as that which is now practised by their Turkish task-masters.
The translator professes to give a more literal version of his original than that of La Bruyere : but, on comparing them together, we have not perceived that Dr. CORAY's translation is much more faithful, and we think that it is inferior in elegance, La Bruyere has frequently given a turn to his expressions, slightly different from that of Theophrastus, where the French idiom required it: but such variations cannot be deemed inaccurate. We observe, also, that the present translation is not shorter than the former; and, as far as we can pretend to decide on French style, it does not compensate by simplicity for the happy ironical turn of La Bruyere.
The notes are copious, and contain many useful and curious observations.
• It remains to be seen whether the French will continue thus presumptuously to style themselves.
Art. VII. A View of the English Editions, Translations, and Illuse
trations of the Antient Griek and Latin Authors, with Remarks. By Lewis WILLIAM BRÜGGEMANN, Chaplain in ordinary to
his Prussian Majesty. 8vo. Pp. 838. Stettin. 1797. MANY of our editions of the Greek and Roman Classics
will be highly esteemed as long as those works are read; and a considerable number of English translations from the Greek and Latin will be admired for their accuracy and elegance, as long as our language continues to be understood. It must, therefore, be an object of importance with the lovers of antient literature, and especially with those who habitually study some favorite author, or who wish to distinguish themselves in the same path, correctly to know whatever has been contributed by our countrymen towards the advancement of classical erudition. Several attempts to facilitate that knowlege have been made; among the rest, by the late Dr. Edward I iarwood, in his View of the various Editions of the Greek and Roman Classics, a book which is deservedly esteemed. Its plan, however, is very different from that of the present publication, which treats exclusively of English editions of the classics; and shews, at one glance, how greatly multiplied have been the endeavours of British scholars in cultivating a very valuable branch of literature, from the revival of it, down to the present period. The author must have been at very considerable pains in collecting his materials, as he executed the work with : out any personal assitance from this country. It certainly would have received material additions, if he had enjoyed free acetss to our universty-libraries: but, such as it is, we must regard the execution of it as a national compliment, and we can recommend it as an useful performance, and as the most complete of its kind,
The remarks, subjoined to the titles of the various editions enumerated, are extracted from the different literary journals which have existed in this country, and from other occasional sources.
2 Vols. Paris. 1799.
Art. VIII. . Oeuvres Posthumes de D'Alembert, &c. i. e. The Posi.
humous Works of D’ALEMBERT. 12mo. Imported by De Bofle, London. Price 75. sewed. THs manuscripts of these works were given to the editor
by the widow of the unfortunate Condorcet *, to whom D'ALEMBERT had bequeathed all his papers. The details of
* The circumstances attending the death of this celebrated person have been sufficiently related in our late Reviews.
the private life, the opinions, and the particular affections, of a philosopher so dear to scienc", to literature, and to friendship, will (the editor presumes) interest his surviving friends, edily even the wise, and instruct the pubice. The present volumes will, moreover, furnish matter of astonishment to those who are of opinion that a profound thinker and a geometrician can neither feel nor lore like other men.
The eager curiosity for particulars relative to celebrated men, which is always manifested by the world, precludes the neces. sity of any apology for privting them. The editor of these volumes, however, has misused that power of gratifying public curiosity which he possessed : if we grant that he has been impelled to the publication of them by the desire of enhancing the reputation of his deceased friend, we cannot suppose that he has been uninfluenced by the wish of swelling his work to its present size.
It were vain to expect that every new book should contain new truths : we must be satisfied if old truths be served up after a new fast ion, with proper seasoning and garniture : but, if editors furnish only what has been set before the world these forty years, we shall wish to see the rigor of Cardan's law enforced : “ 11011 ab edendo deterreo, cdo norum aliquid in. pendant."
Of the letters contained in the first volume, some have appeared before; and the greatest part are not written by D'ALEMBERT. These letters, though replere with good sense, coutain very few interesting particulars, and no documents relative to the grand conspiracy denounced by the Abbé BarTucl. In the second volume, most of the synonyms are extracted from the Encyclopedie, and have appeared likewise in the Abbé Girard's treatise : the articles of literature, &c. are known to the public: but the excellence of the three dissertations on tiste, by D'Alembert, Voltaire, and 1lontesquierl, plearls the excuse of their re-appearance, Very little of the second volume is new.
Volume I. is introduced by a brief history of M. D'ALEM, BERT, written by himself. The documents relative to this philosopher are unmerous, and have produced different imprese sions. "In matters of pure and abstract science, the evidence is irresistible, and the conviction uniform : mathematicians, therefore, are thoroughly impressed with the vastness of his genius. His accuracy and judgment on subjects of taste and licrature would probably be not less decidedly acknowleged, had his attack on Erudition and the Eruditi been less forcible and impressive. His moral character, if we regard the zeal of his friendships, his scorn of wealth, and his caştigations of
tice and fully, was not only blameless but virtuous : yet his moral character is now made to depend on the establishment of a charge of a most serious nature. Who shall speak of his prie vate virtues but as of splendid sins, if he inteed plotted to wreck the gooil order and happiness of society? Who shall dare to vindicate the purity of his principles, if he laboured to promote so foul a purpose ?
The author, in his portrait of himself, speaking of his disposition to love and friendship, slys,
Since there are few persons whoin he loves truly, and since he makes but small show of real affection, those who know hiin
superficially deem him little sensible of friendship: no one, however, takes a more lively interest in the weilare and misfortunes of his friends : on their account he loses his sleep and his repose', and for them he is ready to make any sacrifice.
· His heart, by nature sensible, loves to expand itself towards all the softer feelings: hence he is at the same time very gay and much inclined to melancholy: he abandons himself to the latter sentiment with a kind of delight; and this disposition of his heart to aflict itself qualifies him to write on subjects which are sad and pathetic.
• With such a disposicion, it is no matter of wonder that, in his youth, he should have been susceptible of the most lively, the most tender, and the most spect of all the passions : for a long time, indeed, avocations and solitude nade him ignorant of it: the sentia ment slept in the recesses of his heart : but it was terrible when it avoke. Love was the cause only of misery to him, and of chagrins thich have given him a distaste of society, of life, and even of stuuly. Having consumed his early years in meditation and labeur, he has perceived, like the sage, the nothingness of human knowlege; he haz felt how inadequate the pursuit of it is to occupy the heart ; and he has exclaimed with Tasso's Amyntas, “ I have lost all the time that I have passed without LOVING!” As, however, he was not speedily susceptible of the alarms of love, he was slow in believing that another felt that passion for lin: too long, resistance subdued his perse erance; not because his self-love was wounded, but hecause, in the simplicity and openness of his heart, he suspected not that a sustained resistance was only an apparent one. His heart requires to be filled, not tormented : he stands in need of soft emotions ;--violent shocks impair and destroy him.'
This paper is followed by an entertaining dialogue between Poetry and Philosophy; intended to have been read at a public sitting of the French Academy, after the recital of a poetical performance by Marmontel. In this dialogue, the author iniroduces a fine compliment to the great King of Prussia :
Why should Poetry and Philosophy accord so ill? The firse philosophers were poets; Horace is the breviary of philosophers; Moliere, by his knowlege of mankind and the human heart, and Corneille, by the force of his reasoning,were either great philo