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vantage, as, by asking questions, they oblige the persons interrogated; by doing this with propriety and judgment, they not only accumulate knowlege, but alío acquire popularity.
He juftly advises a prince to difcourage the calumniating reports which fo frequently abound in a court, and to fufpect the integrity of those who are officious in depreciating the characters of others. These are, in general, the means by which the ambitious and defigning, who wish to monopolize the royal ear, endeavour to prevent the competition of thofe, whofe merit might rival their own pretenfions. Lewis XIV. he obferves, knew the value of a man who thought candidly of others. He was at dinner in public, when he received the news of the death of Bontemps, his first valet de chambre. Tears ftarted into his eyes, and the manner in which he expreffed his regard for the character of an old and faithful fervant, reflected honour on his own. "I have now loft," faid he, "a man, to whom I have liftened for thefe fifty years; whom I have always believed, and I always had reafon to believe; and who, during all that time, never fpoke ill of any one."
The Count DE MIRABEAU complains of the many falfe reports that have been circulated to his prejudice, and says that, among other things equally groundless, he has been accused of addreffing a libel on the immortal Frederic II. to the reigning King of Pruffia. Of other accufations we can take no cognizance, as they come not properly before us: our business is only with this letter, which he has published in his own vindication, and which, as here printed, does not defeive to be confidered in fuch a light: for, though he very freely points out the errors of his late Majefty's adminiftration, he does juftice to his great qualities, and addreffes the prefent King with the respect due to his rank, but, at the fame time, with the manly freedom of one zealous for the welfare of his fellowcreatures, and confcious of having truth on his fide. He informs us of a fact, which we relate with pleasure, because it does honour to the heart as well as to the understanding of his prefent Majefty, viz. that the King acknowleged the receipt of this letter, and expreffed his thanks for it to the author in writing; and that he afterwards condefcended to treat him with diftinction in a public affembly. I mention this,' fays the Count, because the magnanimity of loving truth is more honourable to a Monarch, than that of declaring it can be to a private citizen of the world.' This leads us to hope that the Count's advice may not be entirely rejected; for we will venture to predict, that, in proportion as it is adopted, the fubje&s of Pruffia will be happy, and that FREDERIC WILLIAM III. will thus acquire as juft a claim to the appellation of GREAT, as even his illuft. ious predeceffor.
After congratulating the King on the favourable circumstances in which he afcends the throne, and on the advantage he enjoys in the counsels of his uncle, the Count advises him not to aim at governing too much; but, by leaving to able minifters and magiftrates the bufinefs which properly belongs to their department, to reserve to himself that freedom of mind which is neceffary for the direction of thofe important concerns which require the attention of the Sovereign. The power of the King, he obferves, fhould never be feen to interfere, when the purpoles of civil government can be answered without it.
He then proceeds to enumerate the feveral abuses of govern ment which ought to be reformed, and the improvements which fhould be made: fome of thefe, he acknowleges, require time and mature deliberation, in order to be properly effected; but others are fo obvious, that they ought to take place immediately; by which means his Majefty will engage the love and confidence of his fubjects, and thus facilitate the entire reformation of his government. Under this head, he intreats the King immediately to abolish the flavifh obligation to military fervice, to put his army on a more liberal footing, by giving better pay, and forming it on a plan fomething fimilar to that of the Swifs. He implores him to give all his fubjects full liberty of egress; to grant the citizens freedom of purchafing and poffeffing lordfhips, &c.; to abolish the oppreffive prerogatives of hereditary nobility; to establish a gratuitous adminiftration of justice; to affign a higher rank, and better salaries, to the civil magiftrates, to treat them with greater refpect than his predeceffors did; and thus to thew that he confiders himself, not merely as the general of his army, but also as the first magiftrate of his people; to abolish the office of licenfer of books, and grant full liberty of the prefs, only obliging every printer or bookseller to prefix his name to the works he publishes; to establish the most unlimited toleration with refpect to religious opinions, and to grant the Jews every civil right that other fects enjoy. On this Tubject the Count hints, that doubts have been entertained concerning the liberality of the King's intentions, and entreats him to diffipate them by an early compliance with his advice. How far thefe fufpicions were founded in truth, we prefume not to determine, but leave them to the judgment of those who have perufed his edict concerning toleration. He also earnestly recommends the establishment of public workhoufes, for the prevention of idleneis, and the encouragement of induftry; the abolition of lotteries, which tend to introduce a fpirit of gaming; together with every regulation that can promote the freedom of trade, and the advancement of manufactures; particularly an Entire abrogation of the Traite Foraine and the Droit d'Aubaine.
In his review of the internal government of FREDERIC II. the Count very freely cenfures the indirect taxation, the unreafonable prohibitions, minute regulations, exclufive privileges, and numberless monopolies, which prevailed in his reign; for many of these, however, he accounts from the circumftances of the kingdom, when he mounted the throne, and from that confcioufnefs of his great abilities, which rendered him impatient of oppofition, infpired a contempt of mankind, and led him to direct and regulate every thing himself. After pointing out the different circumftances of the prefent reign, he advifes the King to moderate the duties of excife, and other indirect taxes, the deficiency of which may be compenfated by a landtax, from which no eftate fhould be exempted; and to encourage agriculture, by parcelling out his own domains into fmall farms, in which he might fettle cultivators, by advancing what was neceffary for ftock, and invefting them with a property in the land, on their paying a perpetual quit-rent.
Verhandelingen van het Bataafsch Genootschap, &c. i. e. Tranfactions of the Batavian Society at Rotterdam, Vol. VIII*. 4to. Rotterdam. 1787.
HIS volume, the introduction to which comprehends the tranfactions of the Society from Auguft 1783, to Auguft 1787, contains three prize differtations. The firft is by Dr. M. VAN MARUM and M. A. PAETS VAN TROOSTWYK, in answer to the following queftions, proposed, fome years ago, by the Society, viz.
"What is the nature of the feveral noxious vapours arifing from marthy grounds, mud, neceffary houses, common fewers, hofpitals, prifons, mines, wells, graves, wine and beer vaults, peat, &c. What are the moft efficacious means of preventing or mitigating their pernicious effects; and of recovering those who are fuffocated by them?"
By a note, in Dr. VAN MARUM's Continuation of Experiments performed with the Electrical Machine in Teyler's Museum (of which we gave an account in our Review, vol. lxxvi, page 581), we are informed, that the differtation before us was delivered to the Society in February 1783. Its having lain thus long unpublished is a confiderable difadvantage to it, especially as it is on a fubject which has lately been inveftigated by feveral writers, who have favoured the public with their observations on it.
The queftion itself, and the experiments made in confequence of it, feem to have been fuggefted by thofe of Dr. White, of
*The former Volumes have all been reviewed in our work. For vol. vii. fee Rev. vol. Ixxiii. p. 519.
York *, related in the Philofophical Transactions, vol. lxviii. for the year 1778, part 1. The refults are much the fame, and our philofophers, in common with others who have examined air thus vitiated, found it, in all the cafes here mentioned, to confift of a mixture of fixed with inflammable air; in which the former was confiderably predominant.
Concerning the means of preventing or mitigating the perni-. cious effects of thefe exhalations, Meff. VAN MARUM and VAN TROOSTWYK have given fome fenfible and judicious obfervations; but moft of them have been anticipated by other writers, and are now well known to those who are at all converfant with the subject.
For the recovery of perfons apparently fuffocated, they recommend inflating the lungs with dephlogifticated air, by means of a bladder and tube, contrived for this purpose. In this manner they recovered feveral birds and rabbits, after they had been confined, till apparently dead, in air vitiated, either by refpiration, or by the fumes of peat. This mode of treatment was alfo fuccefsful with these animals, when they had been fhut up in fixed air, yielded by fermenting malt liquor; but it was attempted in vain, when the fuffocation had been caufed by fixed air produced by the effervefcence of chalk with the diluted vitriolic acid.
In the fecond prize differtation, M. VAN TROOSTWYK appears again a victorious candidate, affociated with Dr. DEI, MAN. The fubject was propofed by the Society, in the following questions:
Have the variations, which continually take place in the electricity of the atmosphere, any perceivable effect on our bodies, either in health or in ficknefs? What are the diseases in which electricity may be of service, either to remove or alleviate them? What is its mode of operating in these cafes? And what is the best method of applying it for this purpose ?"
From the affertion of the Authors, that fimple electrification remarkably accelerates the pulfe, and from their taking no notice of the experiments made by Dr. VAN MARUM to determine this point t, in which he informed the public, that he was affifted by them, we fuppofe that this Differtation alfo has lain a confiderable time in the hands of the Society, and, hence, like the former, it appears to fome difadvantage.
From the facility with which our bodies conduct the electric fluid, and from our being in conftant contact with other conducting fubftances, thefe writers conclude, that the changes in the ftate and degree of electricity in the atmosphere, with re
* See Review, vol. Ix. page 409.
vol. lxxiii, page 553.
lation to the earth, are generally produced in a manner fo gra dual, as to have no perceptible effect on us, either in health or ficknels. From this conclufion, the cafe of lightning is excepted, in which they fuppofe, with Lord MAHON [now Earl STANHOPE], that mischief may be done by the returning ftroke, as well as by the immediate explofion.
The diforders in which electricity is here recommended, may be reduced to the following claffes: thofe which proceed either from a diminution, or from anomalous operations, of the vital principle; thofe that arife from an obftructed circulation of the fluids, and from impeded perfpiration; and, laffly, every cafe in which a strong concuffion is required.
In answer to the laft branch of the question, the Authors defcribe their apparatus for the application of medical electricity; the principal part of this confifts of Mr. Cuthbertfon's alteration of Lane's electrometer, by fubftituting a graduated fider inftead of a fcrew, which renders it much more fimple and convenient. They also give fome directions and cautions concerning the manner of electrifying patients, which are now, we believe, generally known.
The third Differtation is by M. HENDRIK VERHEES, Landfurveyor at Bois-le-Duc, on the expediency and advantages of a Canal from Bois-le-Duc to Tongres, which is three leagues from Liege. The expence of fuch a Canal, fuppofing it to be from 60 to 70 feet broad, is estimated by M. VERHEES at 2,367,000 forins.
The volume clofes with an account of the effects of lightning on board a Dutch outward-bound Eaft India fhip, Feb. 20th, 1785, in S. lat. 0° 21', long. 358° 28', communicated by JACOB CORNELIS RADERMACHER Efq. Member of the Coun cil of Batavia.
The lightning exploded on the main-top-gallant-mast-head, and, in its paffage, rent large pieces out of the main and top maft, killed three men and wounded ten, befide greatly damaging the fhip. From this melancholy event, M. RADERMACHER takes occafion to recommend conductors on board of fhips, especially those which are deftined for the fouthern climate; where these are wanting, he advifes wet ropes, reaching the fea, to be fufpended from the maft-heads and yardarms, on the approach of a thunder-ftorm. He also gives
an extract of a letter from on board the Thetis, a Dutch frigate, containing an account of the damage which the fuftained, on the ift of April 1787, from lightning, by which the magnetism of all her compaffes was deftroyed; and which was followed by a fmell of fire that continued above fourteen hours.