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ciety of agriculture established at Limoges, by directing theiç efforts to important objects : he opened a mode of public instruction for female protestors of midwifery: le procured for the people, the attendance of able physicians during the raging of epidemic diseases : he established houses of indultry, supported by charity (the only species of almıs-giving which does not encourage idleness): he introduced the cultivation of potatoes into his province, &c. &c. While M. Turgot proceeded with unremitting activity and zeal, in promoting the good of the people over whom he was placed, he meditated projects of a more extentive nature, such as an equal distribution of the taxes, the conftruction of the roads, the regulation of the militia, the prevention of a scarcity of provision, and the protection of commerce.

We thould exceed our bounds, were we to give the particulars of the many great actions which are here recorded, during the thirteen years in which he held this office : fuffice it to say, that we do not remember to have often read of a man in power, whose sole and great object was the happiness and welfare of the people.

At the death of Louis XV. the public voice called M. Turgot to the first offices of government, as a man who united the experience resulting from habits of business, to all the improvement which study can procure. After being at the head of the marine department only a short time, he was, August 24, 1774, appointed Comptroller General of the Finances. During his discharge of this important office, the operations he carried on are astonishing-He fupprefled twenty-three kinds of duties on neceffary occupations, useful contracts, or merited compensations- He abolished the corvée * for the highways, saving the nation thirty millions of livres annually--He set aside another kind of corvée, which respected the carriage of military stores

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functions of his office. But he is the officer of government, and pos. sefies its confidence. Government fees but with his eyes, and acts but by his hands. It is on the information he collects, on the memorials which he dispatches, and on the accounts he renders in, that ministers decide on every thing, and that in a country where every political power centers in adminiftration, and where a legiflation, imperfe&t in all its parts, compels it to unintermitted activity, and to reflection on every subject.'

* The word corvée seems to be derived from cura via, i. e. the care of the roads. It fignifies the call made on individuals to furnith labour and materials in kind for the construction and repair of roads. The same exists to this day in England, under the name of Itatute duty. It is indeed with us under proper restrictions, but in France, where there are no turnpikes, all the roads, which are very good, are made and repaired by the corvée alone ; whence it becomes an intolerable burden to the labourers,

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and baggage-He abated the rigour in the administration of in-
direct impofitions, to the great profit of the contributors, the
king, and the financiers- He softened the mode of colleâing !
the territorial impofts- He stopped the progress of a plague
among cattle-He suppressed a fedition conducted with art-
He provided for the equal distribution of fubfiftence-He gave
the utmost encouragement to the cultivation of the three chief
productions of France, viz. wheat, cattle, and wine, and to the
commerce thence resulting-He reformed a number of abuses,
some of which yielded a profit to the place he filled - He abo-
lished, as much as he could, the sale of offices-He formed
many useful establishments—He paid the penfions of the poorer
servants of the state, who were four years in arrear-He sup-
plied the expences of a coronation, the marriage of a princess,
and the birth of a prince-He facilitated payments as far as
India— He fettled a part of the colony debts, and put the rest
in order-He found the public borrowing at five and a half per
cent, and reduced the rate to four-He lesened the public en-
gagements eighty-four millions-He found the revenue nineteen
millions deficient, and left a surplus of three millions and a half.-
All these he accomplished within the space of twenty months,
during seven of which, severe fits of the gout totally incapacitated
him from business. Such had been the operations, the labours,
and the conduct of M. Turgot, when the king demanded his
refignation. The courtiers were convinced that they had nothing
to expect from the minister. They foresaw that if ever be obtained
the power of extending his æconomical reform to the expences
of the court, that many of their places would be annihilated.
The financiers knew, that under an enlightened minifter, folely
intent on fimplifying the receipt of taxes, the sources of their
enormous wealth would soon be dried up. The money.dealers
felt how useless they should become under a minister who was
the friend of order, and of the liberty of commerce. Pecple
of all conditions, who had contracted the habit of living
at the expence of the public, without serving it; all these men,
alarmed and terrified, formed a league, powerful by its numbers

, which removed this great man from an office, in the discharge of which, the happiness of the people and the good of his country were his ultimate objects.

Reduced to a private situation, M. Turgot did not experience that frightful void which is the juft but dreadful punishment of ambitious men when deserted by fortune. The sciences and the belles lettres, which he had cultivated in his youth, afforded him confolation, while an active sphere of life was denied him. Natural philosophy and chymistry were his favourite pursuits ; yet he frequently entertained himself with poetry, especially with translating Virgil into French verse. "We know,' says

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his biographer, but of one Latin verse composed by M. Turgot, and which was intended for a picture of Dr. Franklin.

Erripuit cælo fulmen, mox sceptra tyrannis.' The attacks of the gout, under which he had long laboured, becoming more frequent and excellive, forewarned him of the approaching moment, when in conformity to the laws of nature, he was going to fill, in a higher order of beings, the rank which these laws destined for him. He died March 20, 1781.

Not having the original before us, we cannot speak as to the fidelity of the translation. The language is in general good, if we except a few Gallicisms, but as these rarely occur, they are pardonable in so large a work. The word perfeElibility, which is used more than once, is, we think, no way preferable to perfellion ; but as it is printed in Italics, we suppose the original French word to have been peculiar.

We fhall conclude, with recommending this curious and learned performance to the attention of our Readers; we are persuaded that the liberality of the Marquis de Condorcet's seniiments, and the juftness of his remarks, cannot fail of being admired by every person whose soul is not contracted by the narrow principles which despotism and bigotry muft neceísarily inculcate, for their own preservation.

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ART. XXIII.
The History of Mexico. Collected from Spanish and Mexican Hifto.

rians, from Manuscripts and ancient Paintings of the Indians,
Illustrated with Charts and Plates. By Abbé D. Francesco Sa-
verio Clavigero. Translated from the original Italian, by Charles
Cullen, Esq. 4to. 2 Vols. 21. 2s. Boards. Robinsons. 1787.
HE discovery of America may be juftly esteemed one of

the most remarkable eras of the world. The history of that discovery is interesting and curious. The Europeans, aftonished at the extent and riches of the new world, were more surprised to find a rich and Aourishing empire; a king on the throne of Mexico, governing, according to the most refined principles of equity, a polished nation; the useful arts of architecture and agriculture nearly in a state of perfection: the fine arts of sculpture and painting made subfervient to history; seminaries of learning for each sex, properly instituted for promoting morality as well as knowledge; in a word, an enlightened people, furnished not only with the neceffaries and the conveniences but even enjoying the luxuries of life.

The Abbé Clavigero, as we learn from the Translator's preface, is a native of Vera Cruz; he refided near forty years in the provinces of New Spain ; acquired the language of the Mexicans, and other nations; gathered many of their traditions,

and

and ftudied their historical paintings, and other monuments of antiquity. On theie accounts he appears well qualified to write the nistory now before us.

The first volume of this work (the original of which we briefly no:iced in our Ixvth vol. p. 462.) contains, hefide a review of the several writers on the subject, a full history of the kingdom of Mexico, to the time of the Spanish invasion by Ferdinando Cortez, The Author divides this volume into seven books, of which the first is appropriated to the d feription of the country, its climate, productions, &C. The natural history is throughout vague and unsatisfactory, but omnia non poffumus omnes; and the iuperior excellence of the other parts of this valuable publication, makes ample amends for a deficio

ency

in a lubject which is foreign to the principal design of the historian.

In the fecond book, the Mexicans are laid to be derived from the Toltecas, who were banished from iheir own country, Huchuetapalian, ficuated north-west from Mexico. They began their journey in the year.596 of our era ; and after having been divided into several parties, by rebellions and inteftine broils, they peopled the several provinces of Anahuac. The Aztecas, or Mexicans, who were the latest people that setiled in Anahuai, lived till about 1160, in Aztlan, a country filuated north of the gulph of. California. A person named Huitzilon, to whose opinion all paid great deference, persuaded them to change their country. , What route they at first took, is uncertain. It appears however, from certain records, that they passed the Red River (called by the Spaniards Rio Colorado) in the latitude of 35°, and proceeding in a south-east direction, arrived off the banks of the river Gila (or, as some write it, Hila), where they muit have remained some time, as is evident from the ruins of large buildings that have been seen there. They continued their course to Cafe Grandi, an immense stone edifice built by them in their peregrination. We cannot mention every particular of their long journey, and the hardships they underwent. In 5325, they began the foundation of their city, on an ifland in the lake of Tezcuco. Their buildings soon became magnificent; the idland was connecied to the main land by several causeways (the length of these raised roads was sometimes upwards of five miles), and the new colony in a fhort time produced a flourishing and wealthy city.

Until the year 1352 the government was aristocratical, the ftate being ruled by twenty chiefs. Thinking that royal authority would throw splendour on their nation, they elected, by common consent, Acamapitzin, the most famous and prudent person among them, their first monarch. He entered into alliances with fome of the neighbouring sovereigns; married two of their daughters; and, after many public services, died in 1389. For

the

the succession of the kings of Mexico, we refer our Readers to the work.

Montezuma II, was the ninth king. As he was a remarkable character, and reigned at the time of the Spanish invasion, the following account of his manner of living, and his magnificence, will not, perhaps, be unacceptable.

• All the servants of his palace consisted of persons of the first rank. B-side those who constantly lived in it, every morning fix hundrea feudatory lords and nobles came to pay court to him. They paff d the whole day in the antichamber, where none of their fervants were permitted to enter, conversing in a low voice, and waiting the orders of their sovereign. The servants who accompanied those lords were so numerous as to occupy three small courts of the palace; and many waited in the treets. The women about the court were not less in number, including those of rank, servants, and flaves. All this numer us class of females lived shut up in a kind of se. raglio, under the care of some noble matrons, who watched over their conduct.'

• No one could enter the palace, either to serve the king, or to confer with him on any business, without pulling off his shoes and stockings at the gate. No person was allowed to appear before the king in any pompous dress, as it was deemed a want of respect to majesty; consequently the greatest lords, excepting the nearelt relations of the king, stripped themselves of the rich dress which they wore, or at least covered it with one more ordinary, to Mew their humility before him. All persons on entering the hall of audience and before speaking to the king, made three bows, saying at the first, Lord! at the second, My Lord ! and at the third, Great Lord! They spoke low, and with the head inclined; and received the answer which the king gave them by means of his secretaries, as attentively and as humbly as if it had been the voice of an oracle. In taking leave, no person ever turned his back on the throne.

• The audience hall served also for his dining room : the table was a large pillow, and his feat a low chair. The table-cloth, napkins, and towels were cotton, but very fine, white, and always perfectly clean. The kitchen utensils were of elegant earthen-ware, but none of these things ever ferved him more than once, as immediately after he gave them to one of his nobles. The cups in which they nrepared his chocolate and other drinks of cocoa were of gold, or some beautiful sea shell, or naturally formed vessels, curiously varnithed. He had gola plate, but it was used only on certain festivals in the temple. The number and variety of dishes at his table amazed the Spaniards who saw them. The conqueror, Cortez, says, that they covered the floor of a great hall, and that chere were dishes of every kind of game, filh, fruit, and herbs of that country. Three or four hundred noble youths carried this dinner in form, presented it as soon as the king sat down to table, and immediately retired; and that it might not grow cold, every diih was accompanied with its chating-dih. The king marked, with a rod which he had in his hand, the meats which he chose, and the relt were distributed among the nobles who were in the antichamber.

Before

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