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earlier ages, common both to the Pyrenees and the Alps. As for the denomination of Pyrenees, it is derived from up fire, which is also pronounced fir, feur, fire, vier, or even simply ur, according to the diversity of the Celtic idioms. Hence the Latin words pyra and urere. The origin of this appellation is to be sought in that ever-memorable event, mentioned by Diodorus Siculus, Book VI. the conflagration of the primeval forest which covered the whole ridge of mountains since termed the Pyrenees.'
The writer endeavours to prove that the worship of Isis was, from time immemorial, established in the Bugey; and that the topographical nomenclature of the country is still in a matner entirely Isiac. He countenances the observation of Jamblichus, that all names of the first ages of the world are mystic, emphatic, and including (agreeably to the different resolution of each word) various meanings or versatile explanations; the aggregate of which presents the historical picture of facts, of which the artificial name, whether attributed to a place or a person, is only the abridged and symbolic contexture. Thus the author is of opinion that the name of Mount Fura is a mystic appellation, relative to the first conflagration abovementioned; and that Cæsar, in accommodation to the Latin idiom, formed it from the original, 2-ur-A, a term evidently importing here the first fire.
M. BACON-TACON inclines to suppose that the Bugistes, or inhabitants of the Bugey, 600 years before our æra, accompanied Bellovesus on his memorable expedition to Italy, where he founded the cities of Cremona, Vicenza, Aquileja, Pavia, Mautua, &c. (See Lib. V.)
It seems that the Celtic prince, whose name the historians have translated Bellovesus, was called Bel-vez or Pelviz, a family nanic, which is still extant. Of this mixed appellation, the first part may have given the name to Belley, the capital town of the Bugey, in the same manner as the second has done to the borough of Veysia. It was notoriously the usage of antient conquerors, or chiefs of expedi tions, to leave on their route some trace of their name. Thus all critics are agreed, that, three centuries after Bellovesus, Brennus gave his name in Italy to the city of Brennona; a denomination which the lapse of time has corrupted into that of Verona.'
From various concurring circumstances, the author concludes that the Rhodians, about 300 years before Christ, founded a colony on the Bugey; and, taking it for granted, on the authority of Pliny and Eusebius, that they gave their name to the river Rhone, he endeavours to ascertain its original appellation. There is much ingenuity in this dissertation; and those who delight in etymological investigations will be pleased
with it. Without entering into the discussion, we only observe. that M. de Saussure, in his travels, mentions an etymology of the river Rhone, which has the recommendation of great simplicity; and which would, if admissible in other respects, exclude the necessity of the present author's disquisition.
In the country of Gex, is a river called London; and in the Bugey, half a mile from Ambroney, we find a lordship of Douvres, as also an antient seignory of Mont-Bretton. These names seem to indicate some intercourse between England and the Bugey but it will not perhaps ever be determined, with any degree of precision, at what period of time a connection between the two countries subsisted; of what nature it was; whether (as we are disposed to think) those appellations point to English settlements in France; or whether it ought to be inferred from them that the Gauls peopled our island, and founded the cities of London and Dover. The author is decidedly of the latter opinion.-If he be right, what becomes of poor King Lud?
The writer justly observes (II. 127) that some primitive language must have existed, from which, if it were known, all the western languages at least might be derived. On this subject, Sir William Jones has given some admirable hints in his remarks on the Sanscrit language, which he seems to have considered as the most antient idiom of the world.
In his preface, the present author ascribes to our globe a date far transcending that which has been affixed to it by Moses; whose authority he rather depreciates. This does not surprise us,-considering the present state of opinion in his country. He is much deceived when he supposes (Avant-propos, p. 28) that, in the antient Hindu writings, no mention is made of the deluge. It is ascertained beyond a doubt that the first Purana contains an account of the flood. (See Asiatic Researches, IV. p. 10, et seq. Calcutta edit.) Sir W. Jones has also (Asiat. Res. I. p. 230) translated from the Bhagavat a very curious. and memorable passage concerning Vaivaswata and his Ark.
Aar. XVIII. Rélation d'une insigne Imposture Littéraire; i. e. Account of a singular Literary Inposture, discovered in Sicily in 1794. By Dr. HAGER. Translated from the German. 4to. PP. 87. Erlang. 1799. London, White.
HE author of this pamphlet, who is known in the literary world by his Disseration on the Affinity between the Hungarians and the Laplanders, was employed by his Sicilian
*See M. Rev. App. to vols. xxii. and xxiii. N. S.
Majesty to decide on the authenticity of some Arabic MSS. deposited in the Abbey of St. Martin, near Palermo. From these MSS. six volumes 4to. entitled "The Diplomatic Code of Sicily under the Government of the Arabs," and one in folio, "On the Council of Egypt," or the Norman Code, had been presented to the public; and these works were held in the highest esteem, as supplying a vacancy in the history of Sicily when under the Moorish yoke.
In the year 1782, Mohammed Ben Osman, ambassador from Morocco to Naples, visited the monastery of St. Martin to inspect the Arabic MSS. which they possessed; and was accompanied by Joseph Vella, a Maltese priest. Don Luis Moncada had been long desirous of completing the history of his country; and Vella, thinking to make his fortune, gave out that the Morocco ambassador had discovered, among the MSS. at St. Martin, the correspondence between the Saracen Governor of Sicily and his African masters, for more than two centuries. On this report, Monsignor Airoldi, Archbishop of Heraclea, zealous for the literary honour of Sicily, became the patron of Vella, who was afterward Abbé de St. Pancrace, in Sicily; and the above-mentioned work was announced in 1786, and six volumes were printed in 1792, with a promise of two more. Dr. HAGER, from his inspection of it, pronounces the MS. of St. Martin to be a gross forgery; and he details his reasons in a very satisfactory manner-manifesting, in this investigation, much Oriental erudition and critical acumen. It appears that this literary forgery has spred very widely, having been translated into several languages, and been incorporated into the general history of Sicily, as genuine matter.
A curiosity, however, more interesting to literati of all na tions, was one of the lost books of Livy, in Arabic, which this same Vella pretended to have received from the Grand Master of Malta. This MS. is likewise declared by Dr. HAGER to be an imposture. His Sicilian Majesty's librarian, Don Pasquala Bassi, considered this discovery as authentic; and the Countess Dowager Spencer, then at Naples, wished to have become a purchaser of this precious manuscript. It was pretended, there, that the Chevalier Favray had found it on the cornice of Santa Sophia at Constantinople, and presented it to the Grand Master of Malta. Such a story was ridiculously incredible, as those who have visited the Musulman capital will readily allow.
ART. XIX. Voyage dans la Haute et Basse Egypte, &c. i. e. Travels through Upper and Lower Egypt, undertaken by Order of the Antient Government, and containing a Variety of Miscellaneous Observations. By C. S. SONNINI, formerly an Officer of Engineers in the French Navy, and a Member of several Scientific and Literary Societies. With a Collection of 40 Plates, from Designs taken on the Spot, under the Inspection of the Author. 8vo. 3 Vols. and 4to. Vol. of Plates. Paris. 1799. Imported by De Boffe, London.
THOUGH the French expedition into Egypt appears now to be
totally defeated, yet important consequences may be exa pected from that attempt. The residence of an European army in that country, for so long a time, among which were a number of men eminent for polished manners and extensive learning; and who were powerfully impelled by the spirit of liberty, or the love of innovation, to effect as great a change as their opportunities would admit in the habits and principles of the people; must have been operative on a nation, of which the civilization was but just sufficient to create a susceptibility of improvement. We may expect, therefore, in every succeed ing year, to witness the fruit of those seeds which have been sown by France in the plains of Egypt; and there cannot be much doubt that this once conspicuous country, so long forgotten or despised, will rise again into the notice of the world Whether the effects resulting from this source will be extensive or contracted, permanent or temporary, advantageous or prejudicial, time only can determine. Under these circum
stances, however, such a work as that which is now before us cannot fail to be interesting; particularly when we are given to understand, that the reports of M. SONNINI had a considerable influence in forming the romantic expedition of the enterprizing Bonaparte. Philosophic and even political curiosity seeks, with avidity, for every point of information respecting a country, which has so lately been, and perhaps at present is, the theatre of very important transactions; and which, in future, may probably occupy a more elevated place in the scale of nations. He who can throw light on the natural or moral history of a people so circumstanced may be assured of fixing public attention, even though his talents should be moderate, and his information scanty.
The author of these volumes, impressed with this truth, has brought forwards at a juncture thus favorable his quota of information, and added it to the common stock. We have not here indeed the fruit of very recent labours; for the travels of M. SONNINI were performed in 1778: but we have the observations of an ingenious and cultivated mind, on a country APP. REV. VOL. XXIX.
at all times interesting, from the high rank which it once held in the history of the world: a country too, which has been precluded, by the habits and recluseness of its people, from the possibility of frequent or rapid changes in morals or in manners; and on which, therefore, observations of even twenty years' date cannot be obsolete.
M. SONNINI undertook this journey beneath the auspices of the old French government.-He held, under the monarchy, the office of Engineer in the French Navy, an office which required a scientific head and a cultivated understanding. From such a man, we should have wished to see an accurate map of the country through which he travelled. He, however, has not given one, but has annexed to his work the common map of Egypt by D'Anville; though he himself seems not to be well satisfied with this, and accounts for his not having given a more correct one by his want of time.
Though M. SONNINI was employed under the old government, he seems to retain no very strong attachment to the cause of monarchy. His principles and sentiments, as far as they appear in this work, are perfectly and enthusiastically republican but they are not often obtruded on the reader: for they occur only in cases in which the train of thought naturally led to political observation. His reprehension of the abuses which existed under the old system is indeed, when it does occur, severe and pointed; and in some cases it seems to result rather from the feeling of personal experience, than cool and disinterested observation. He is also as free from superstitious adherence to any theological creed, as from attachment to a throne.-Were we to declare an opinion on the subject, we should class him among those "strong spirits" of the present day, who look with equal indifference on ALL systems of religious faith.-Yet, whatever may be the political or religious opinions of the writer, we are convinced that the reader of these volumes will find him a cheerful and entertaining companion, if not a very profound and philosophic instructor.
M. SONNINI does not abruptly hurry his readers, as he did not hurry himself, from the gay scenes of the south of France, to the dreary deserts of Egypt. His first volume brings the reader and him acquainted in an easy and agreeable tour through Genoa, Sicily, Malta, &c. which he visited in his way from Toulon to Alexandria.
It was a favorite opinion of Buffon, the particular friend of our author, that the Mediterranean was originally but a small lake, which was increased to its present extent by the influx of the waters of the Euxine through the Bosphorus; and by that of the ocean, when it made an irruption through a por