« PreviousContinue »
causes contribute to their support. The prejudices of education incline many to think that those regulations must be just and ex's pedient which their grandfires agreed to, and their fathers approved. The timidity of others, and their indifference towards public concerns, make them quietly submit to inftitutions which their judgments condemn. Thus men of philofophic tempers, cultivate the arts and sciences, leaving the wheels of government to the rotation of Chance. The ambition or avarice of another class, make it their interest to uphold a partial system, which affords them an ample and dangerous scope of acting as petty tyrants, public plunderers, and oppressors.
These circumstances ever have prevented, and it is to be feared ever will prevent the establishment of a system of Government founded on the enlarged basis of public welfare: and mankind seem so conscious of the obstacles against such a benevolent plan, that they are ready to condemn every scheme as Utopian, which proposes this glorious end for its object. Thus Plato, More, Harrington, and others, have been censured as visionary Projectors. But though, perhaps, there may be some foundation for this reflection, yet their models afford many excellent regulations, worthy the attention of Legislators.
We are glad, however, to find, that the ill-placed ridicule which has been cast on these speculative Politicians, does not deter others from publishing schemes for the improvement of civil society : for we consider thefe Letters from Mr. Vander Neck in no other light than that of a new plan of Police.
Whether there ever were such people as the Ceffares, or such a person as Mr. Vander Neck, is not material to the Reader. It is sufficient, that some excellent regulations are here offered, for improving the interest and happiness of society. And though we cannot say, that many of them have the merit of novelty to recommend them, or that they are conveyed in a very elegant or striking manner, yet the Reader will find many precepts in the science of Legislation, which might be carried into practice, at least in some of our newly-acquired Colonies.
The Writer, in the first Letter, gives the reasons which induced him and his friends to leave Holland, and settle in an uninhabited country. This detail is very fat and uninteresting; and the same may be said of the far greater part of the second Letter.
In the third Letter, we find the form of government they established, consisting of a Governor, who is hereditary, and of Senators, who are chosen by the Citizens. We likewise ineet with several objections against Aristocracy, Democracy, and Monarchy, which are worthy of notice.
the Ceffares, a People of South-America.
257 The following Letters relate more particularly to the laws concerning the respective Magistrates, and to the distribution of property. But we choose to select extracts, as a specimen of this work, from the seventh Letter; as the regulations therein contained, are of most general import.
• When any persons attain to the age of twenty-one years, their service or apprenticeship is diffolved.
• The same freedom extends also to every married person, though under that age, provided the marriage is with the consent of the Master or Mistress.
No cock-fighting nor horse-races, nor any thing that is contrary to the rules of humanity and deceney of manners, is allowed of among us, or that has the least tendency to render the mind cruel. And whoever treats his beast with cruelty or barbarity, forfeits that animal to the publie, and is farther fined according to the nature of the crine; for to treat the creatures (which are in our power) with kindness, and while we make them fubfervient to our use, to be pleased with adding to their felicity, Thews a truly good and divine temper.
« Whoever shall endeavour to destroy the liberties of the people, and the constitution of the state; or discover to our enemies the passages which lead to our country, fhall be put to death as a traytor, even though he were the Governor himself. Murder and adultery also are punished with death; unless it should appear in the last case, that the guilty party was drawn into the commission of that crime, by the art and contrivance of the husband and wife. And all attempts to commit any of these crimes shall be severely punished with a fine and imprifonment.
• When any one is unable to pay his debts, his Creditors are to make an application to the proper Inspectors, who are carefully to examine into the cause of such a failure, and report it to the Senate. If the Senate finds it to rise from losses, illness, ôr unavoidable misfortunes, his debts are to be discharged out of the public stock. But if he is found to be reduced by a criminal and faulty conduct, his goods are to be publicly fold to pay his debts, and he is farther to be punished for his ill behaviour.
• Whoever challenges another to fight a dưel, and whoever accepts of such a challenge, is not only to be fined and imprisoned for one year, but also to be turned out of their citizenship, the first for seven years, and the other for three ; and during the year of their jinprisonment, must stand exposed to public shame four times, for the space of one hour cach time, at Rev. Oct. 1764.
our quarterly public meetings in the chief town. But if any one kills another in a duel, he is accounted guilty of wilful murder, and is punished with death.
« All sorts of fish in the rivers, and all fowls, birds and animals which are wild, are free for every one to take and kill. But the Senate has power to limit the seasons for fishing, hunting, and shooting, and also the size of the fish, under which they ought not to be killed, that the game and fishery be not destroyed.
• Whoever hurts or injures another, either in his person, house, goods, &c. through folly or carelessness, is obliged to make him such a fatisfaction and recompense, as the jury or senate shall determine. But if it is done designedly, he must make a full satisfaction, and pay a fine also. And whoever mocks or affronts any one, merely on account of lameness, blindness, or any other natural infirmity, must make a proper acknowlegement to the injured person for his offence.
• As we live upon our own small estates, with very little trade, no one can receive any usury or interest from another, for any money or goods lent to him; unless for good reasons, and with the consent of the fenate.
Whoever wilfully spreads any lies or false reports of another, to injure his character and reputation, must publicly ask his pardon, and pay a fine both to the person injured, and also to the public. And also if any one falsely asperses another's character, only for want of prudence and better confideration, he shall be punished as the jury or senate shall direct, that it may lead all persons to a habit of caution upon fo very tender a point.
Since we are all brethren, and God has given to all men a natural right to liberty, we allow of no Navery among us : unless a person forfeits his freedom by his crimes.
< Whoever steals any thing from another, or cheats or over-reaches him, must make some reftitution to the person, and pay a fine to the public. If the thief or cheat cannot be found, then the town or parish must make such a satisfaction to the person for his loss, as the Judges or Senate shall determine.
• The Senate is enjoined to establish fumptuary laws, and carefully to guard againlt the first introduction of all sorts of luxury; and to prohibit all those arts and trades which minister only to idleness and pride, and the unnecessary refinements and embellishments of life, which are the certain fore-runners of the ruin of every Statc. And though it is very commendable to be neat and cleanly in our apparel, yet nothing is more contrary to a
wife and rational conduct, than to lay out too much thought and expence upon it; and a frequent change of fashions, shews a vain and trifling mind. The Senate have therefore regulated every one's dress, according to their age and fex: it is plain, decent, and becoming : buc no diamonds or jewels, no gold or silver lace, or other finery, are allowed of; left pride and yanity, the love of few and pomp, should steal in among us by imperceptible degrees. Only fools and ideots are obliged to wear some gold, filver, or fine laces, to distinguish them from those of better sense. An effeminate fop or beau (being a dirgrace to men) is to be fined and employed in the bettering house, in some dirty and laborious public works: and the more eifectually to curb the desires of the female sex, and keep them in due bounds in these particulars, it is decreed, that if they dress above their rank, or contrary to the laws, they shall not only be fined for it, but shall be obliged to appear abroad for one year afterwards, in a dress below their station, as a just punishment for their vanity and love of ostentation.'
The eighth and ninth Letters treat of the several employments of the inhabitants, which are so regulated, as to prevent any from being poor, or in want, among them: and likewise give an account of the marriages among them, which they are encouraged to contract very early: with several other particulars, which our limits will not allow us to take notice of.
Though we cannot highly extol this work as a matter of composition, yet we read it with pleasure, on account of the end proposed. Every man of humanity must lament, when he confiders how many of his fellow-creatures are cruelly deprived of every benefit for which civil Society was, or ought to have been, instituted.
The Two Books of Apollonius Pergæus, concerning Tangencies, as
they have been restored by Franciscus Vieta, and Marinus Ghetaldus. With a Supplement. By John Lawson, B. D. 400. 25. Whiston.
Appus, in the preface to his seventh book of Mathema
tical Collections, mentions twelve analytical treatises, of which very few of the originals have reached our hands, Euclid's Data being the only piece compleat, tho' we have fragments of some others, particularly of the Conics of Apollonius. Several able Mathematicians have, therefore, laboured to supply this loss, from the account of them given by Pappus. The work before us is a translation of one of those pieces, entitled de Tac
tionibus, as restored by Vieta, under the name of Apollonius Gallus, and his deficiencies fupplied by Marinus Ghetaldus. We have taken the pains to compare this treatise with the original, and also with the abstract and translation of it in the Cursus Mathematicus of Peter Herigone, vol. I. page 915, edit. Paris; and have the pleafure to find, that Mr. Lawson has shewn him felf both a faithful Translator, and an able Geometrician. But we could with he had added, in his Supplement, fome of the constructions of the moderns, as many of the most important problems concerning Tangencies, are performed by them in a far more concise and elegant manner, than be met with in the works of the antients,
Perhaps it will not be disagreeable to our mathematical Readers, if we add a simple method by which many of these problems may be constructed with the utmost facility.
Having two points given, B and D, and likewise a circle, whose center is A, to describe another circle which shall pass through the given points, and touch the given circle.
CONSTRUCTION. Let D B be joined, and through those points describe a circle, cutting the given one in the two points E F; join these points with the right line E F. Produce E F and D B till they interfect, as in H. From H draw a tangent, as H K, to the given circle. Then through the points D, B, K, describe the circle DKBL, which will touch the proposed circle in K.
DEMONSTRATION. EHXFH=DHX BH, and EHXFH = HK,