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acquainted with his Bible, than the Count; and whofe religious convictions are founded on a principle fo very folid and rational, that we fhall communicate it to the reader, by tranflating his own words:
Every religion being reducible to fact, we ought not to doubt the truth of this fact, after it has received a legal fanction from the legiflative body that admits it. Thus any religion whatever is true in practice, with refpect to that people, with whom it is by law eftablished. In vain is it attacked, in vain is it defended; it needs no other proof than the law.'
Thus happily are the maxims of this philofopher suited to every clime; they may as eafily be applied to vindicate the inhuman idolatry of the Mexicans, as to defend the frivolous fuperftition of Rome.
The Count informs us that his defign is to confute the affertions of M. de Pauw, in his Recherches Philofophiques fur les Américains, and to fhew that the Americans were defcended from the ancient Atlantides, fo celebrated in the hiftory of the earliest ages. We fhall foon have occafion to exprefs our disapprobation of the contemptuous manner in which this writer treats thofe from whom he differs; but in this coin, our author bas amply repaid him; for, if we except fome general compliments in the first letter, on his ftyle, he is never mentioned without fome mark of difdain and averfion, indicating a bad opinion of his heart, as well as of his understanding. In fhort, no Inquifitor can fhew greater abborrence of an heretic, who obftinately refufes to believe tranfubftantiation, than the Count expreffes with regard to M. de Pauw's infidelity concerning thofe accounts of Mexico and Peru, which have been given by the Spaniards.
The first volume of thefe Letters is employed in refuting this eccentric but ingenious writer, for which purpofe Count CARLI has filled it with details, collected from the Spanish hiftorians, in all which he appears to repose the most implicit confidence, In this part of his work, he feems to have availed himself of fome of Dr. Robertfon's obfervations, though he cenfures his hiftory as deficient, and accufes its ingenious author of paying his court to M. de Pauw, by wilful ignorance or mifreprefentation of the principles of the Peruvian government, and hence of refufing to acknowlege this people as a civilized nation. But into whatever errors of this nature Dr. Robertson may have been led, the Count cannot be reproached with any fuch fins of omiffion; he feems to have collected, not only all the truths that have been told, but alfo all the fictions that have been invented; and afcribes to the Mexicans and Peruvians a perfection in arts and sciences, as well as in political inftitutions, of which, many particulars are inconfiftent with each other, and the whole far beyond the limits of probability. According to his reprefentation, the government of Peru was fuch
as could not really exift among them, unless, not only the Incas, but all their fubordinate minifters and officers, were indeed of a race fuperior to mankind, and unaffected by any of those paffions which render the reftraints of law neceffary to the governors, as well as to the governed. That the minds of an ignorant people might be totally enflaved by the influence of fuperftition, that their religious reverence for their fovereign might filence the complaints of discontent, and fupprefs the feelings of refentment, is not at all improbable; but the affertion that no nation was ever fo happy in its government as the Peruvians, and that the felicity of the people was uniformly the object and effect of the adminiftration of the Incas and their officers, is a grofs infult to common fenfe, and argues a strange inattention to the influence of ambition and abfolute power on the moral characters of mankind. The Count alfo believes, that traces of the religious rites and cuftoms of the church of Rome, fuch as auricular confeffion, the facerdotal tonfure, and afperfion with holy water, were found among the Mexicans and Peruvians; nay, he afferts that they practifed ceremonies which, in their form and defign, resembled baptifm, and the communion of bread and wine.
The conformity which the Count thinks may be obferved between the cuftoms and ufages of the Americans, and those of the inhabitants of our hemifphere, leads him to suppose that they have not always been feparated from each other, as they now are, by an immenfe extent of fea. This conformity is, according to him, remarkably ftriking between the Mexicans and the Egyptians, and between the Chinese and the Peruvians. To account for the resemblance in the former cafe, he supposes the Atlantis, mentioned by Plato, to have been an ifland, extending from forty degrees north, to forty degrees fouth latitude, with narrow feas on the eaft and weft, by traverfing which, its inhabitants could easily pass over into either continent; he conjectures that a colony from this ifland, under the command of Atlas, came into Africa and Europe, and having conquered these countries, inftructed their new fubjects in the principles of aftronomy and of the arts.
To confirm this hypothefis, which is by no means new, the Count obferves, that fuch an emigration is not only mentioned by fome of the ancient hiftorians, but also alluded to in the fabulous traditions concerning Atlas, the Egyptian Hercules, the gardens of the Hefperides, and the heroes who were faid to be the fons of Neptune or the ocean: he also infifts on the tradition, which is faid to have prevailed among the Mexicans, that a people should come from the eaft, whose king was descended from their ancient princes, and who should reform their government and laws. We will not difpute the poffibility of
fuch a tradition in America; but, when we are told that Montezuma informed Cortes of it, and acknowleged to him that he thought it fulfilled in the arrival of the Spaniards, we cannot help looking on the whole ftory as of very doubtful authority.
Count CARLI conjectures that the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, and Ægean feas, were formed by the deluge which destroyed the Atlantis, and that, before this revolution, the space now covered by these feas was dry land, with only a few large lakes, into which the rivers difcharged themselves; he imagines that, fince this event, the waters of the Mediterranean have rifen five hundred, and thofe of the Atlantic, fix hundred fathoms; and maintains that, were the western ocean to fubfide to this level, we should discover a tract of land correfponding with his idea of the Atlantis. To confirm this, he gives a chart of the Atlantic, and refers to that of M. Buache, by which there appears to be a series of banks, extending on a line, which makes an angle of thirty-five degrees with the equator, from Rio Grande, or the Flats of St. Roche in Brazil, to Cape Tangrin on the Coaft of Guinea; from thefe topographical obfervations, and from the fituation of the islands in thofe feas, the author deduces fome very plaufible prefumptions in favour of this part of his bypothefis.
The deftruction of the Atlantis, the Count thinks, was effected by the deluge of Ogyges, which, he fuppofes, happened in the time of the Egyptian Hercules, long after that of Noah, and about four thousand years before the Chriftian æra. In fupport of this conjecture, he argues that, as the Americans were ignorant of the ufe of iron, of coin, and of the art of writing, it is natural to conclude, that the communication between them and the inhabitants of our continent, had been deftroyed before mankind had any knowlege of these inventions; but thefe, he afferts, were known in China three thousand years before Chrift. We fhall not detain the reader with our doubts concerning the authenticity of the Chinese chronology, and of the aftronomical obfervations, by which it is fuppofed to be confirmed: Count CARLI confiders it as a point fufficiently eftablished, and confidently builds his hypothefis on it, as on the moft folid foundation. He fuppofes this deluge to have been Occafioned by the approach of a comet toward the earth; for which purpose he fixes, firft on that of 1680, and afterward on one that appeared in 1682, the return of which, in 1759, was predicted by Halley. Either of thefe will answer his end; for, by counting ten revolutions of the former, or feventy-fix of the latter, he is carried back to a period about four thousand years before the Chriftian æra.
Before this period, Count CARLI conjectures that there was a large continent between Afia and America; and that Peru was
peopled by emigrants from China, or from the Scythians of the north, from whom, with Bailly, he imagines the Chinese to be defcended.
Such are the principal outlines of the Count's hypothefis,which the reader will perceive, has not novelty to recommend it; but our limits will not permit us to give an account of the various conjectures and theories, adopted from different writers, which he has made acceffary to his own. Thefe, together with his own obfervations, which are very fuperficial, are here affembled in a manner fo confused and irregular, that the reader is bewildered in a labyrinth of digreffions and repetitions,
Non bene junctarum difcordia femina rerum.
In the concluding letter, is an extract from one written to the author by M. d' Anffe de Villoifon, of the Academy of Infcriptions, giving an account of a fea-chart preferved in the library of St. Mark at Venice, which bears this infcription; Andreas Biancho de VENETIIS me fecit, M.CCCC.XXXVI. The Antilles are there drawn, and the words Ifola Antillia written near them, by the fame hand. The Count takes leave of his readers with the promife of another work, in which he will prove that, by the Hebrew word Parvaim, is meant Brazil, to which the fleets of Solomon made a three years voyage. He alfo contends that the venereal difeafe was mentioned by Mofes, and was comprehended in David's imprecation againft Joab, 2 Samuel, iii. 29: he afferts that, fo early as the ninth century, the Arabians understood the ufe of mercury in the cure of this diftemper; that this was the principal ingredient in the unguentum Saracenicum, with which the celebrated phyfician Pintor cured Cardinal de Segorbe; and that, in a Latin poem, printed in 1480, and preferved in the Mazarine Library, the poet complains that the ravages of this difeafe, which he calls genus morbi commune Gallis et Iberis, had for fome time been more deftru&ive than before.
AR T. III.
Lettres de Monfieur EULER à une Princesse d'Allemagne, &c. i. e. Letters from M. EULER to a German Princefs, on various Subjects relative to Natural and Moral Philofophy; a new Edition, with Additions, by the Marquis DE CONDORCET and M. DE LA CROIX. Vol. I. and II. 8vo. Paris. 1788.
HESE excellent Letters, having long been known and The adadmired, need not our recommendation. ditions announced in the title-page, confift of the eulogy on the author, delivered in the Academy of Sciences, and of fome particulars concerning the calculation of chances, which, the
editors think, ought not to be omitted in a course of philofophy; fome inaccuracies of expreffion are here corrected, which, though excufable in M. EULER, to whom the French was a foreign language, might expofe his work to the faftidious animadverfions of those to whom it may be moft ufeful. The editors have also taken the liberty to abridge fome details, and to omit others, which they conceive to have little connection with the fciences; moft of the latter, they fay, relate to theological rather than to philofophical fubjects, and fome of them to the peculiar doctrines of the communion to which the excellent author was zealously attached. It always gives us concern to fee philofophy and theology confidered as feparate fciences, that have little or no connection with each other, which is, alas! too often the case; but we cannot help smiling to see the academicians thus performing the business of ecclefiaftical cenfors. Their known character exempts them from every fufpicion of illi berality, and we applaud their prudence, in thus removing every thing that might obftruct the reception of these letters among their countrymen; but, as Frenchmen, they may blush for the bigotry of their nation, which renders it neceffary to mutilate the works of a philofopher, because his religious opinions differ from thofe of its eftablished church.-Thank God, it is not fo in England!
Bai Analytique, &c. i. e. An Analytical Effay on pure, and other Species of, Air. By M. DE LA METHERIE, M. D. and Member of the Academies of Dijon and Mayence. 2 Vols. 8vo. Paris. 1788. 2d Edit.*
CIENCES advance toward perfection by small and almost imperceptible degrees; and the more rapid these advancements become by means of a multitude of newly discovered facts, the greater is the neceffity for arranging those facts in a proper order, for reconciling them with each other, and for eftablishing, from them, firft, or fundamental principles.
With refpect to the different fpecies of permanently elaftic fluids, the difcoveries that have been made concerning them within these few years, are numerous; they are dispersed through the writings of feveral modern authors, and make no inconfiderable part of the journals of most of the learned societies in Europe. To compare thefe difcoveries with each other, to reconcile thofe that are apparently contradictory, and to establish a general theory on the whole, taken together, muft neceffarily - be a laborious tafk; independently of the judgment and circumfpection which are equally neceffary to its accomplishment.
The first edition efcaped our notice.