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all its extent. Its plan and execution are entirely new; the methods which it exhibits are peculiar to the author, as also a part of the results which he deduces from them. It is divided into two Parts, the first relating to Statics, or the theory of the equilibrium of bodies; and the other to Dyramics, or the theory of their motion.
The principle employed by him in folving the problems of ftatics, is that of virtual velocities, which seems to have been hitherto neglected. He prefers this principle on account of its fimplicity and universality: he finds in it, also, the center of union, which connects the laws of the equilibrium of fluids, with those of the equilibrium of solid bodies; and the solution which he gives of the different problems, relative to the equilibrium of Auids, whether elastic or incompressible, is fimply a developement of this principle, which his method of employing it renders productive of the moft interesting results.
In solving the problems of dynamics, this writer adopts the well-known principle of the late M. D'ALEMBERT, which, in order to effectuate the direct solution of the problems, must be combined with some principle of ftatics. The authors who have hitherto treated this subject, have combined it with the principle of the lever, or with that of compound motion ; but M. DE LA GRANGE thinks that the admission of these, as acceflory principles, often renders the solution complicated and difficult; and he has found, that the subftitution of the principle of virtual velocities, in their place, leads to an analytical method much more simple and expeditious. This method, partaking of the advantages of that which is employed in the first part of this work, gives a pleasing appearance of unity to the whole.
Madi. Art. IV. Moise consideré comme Legislateur et comme Moralife. i.e.
Moses considered, as a Lawgiver and a Moralist. "By M. PASTORET, Counsellor of the Cour des Aides, Member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, &c. &c. 8vo. Paris. 1788.
This work is highly recommendable on account of the extenfive erudition it displays, and the method, order, and perspicuity, with which it is composed. Too much regard is perhaps thewn to Rabbinism, which often comes in to turn the author's and his reader's attention from the main subject. His work commences from the infancy of Moses, and the first chapter contains an account of his birth and education, with a summary of his life. In the fix fucceeding chapters, M. PASTORET treats of the theocracy, of the civil and political adminiftration under Moses, and its changes and modifications under the Judges, the Kings, and the facerdotal aristocracy, after the captivity of Babylon ;
where he must often lose sight of his hero. He treats also of the civil and religious laws of the Jewish empire, relative to police, religious worship and ceremonies, the adminiftration of justice, &c. in which he represents the wisdom, as well as the celestial mission, of Moses, in a very interesting light. Mac. Art. V. Lettres de Theotime le Philanthrope à Madame la Comtesa
de B*** sur quelques Objets de Literature et de Morale. i.e. Letters from Theorimus the Philanthropist to the Countess of B***, concerning some Subjects of Literature and Morals. Svo. Paris. 1788.
Whether these Letters be or be not the production of the Vira count TOUSTAIN RICHEBOURG, and whether the lady to whom they are addressed be, or be not, the Countess of BEAUHARNAIS, is a queftion of little consequence to the Reader. It is certain that they do great honour to the writer, whoever he may be, and must excite a high prepoffeffion in fayour of the lady to whom they are addressed, as it is not probable, that a French man of quality would fit down to entertain a fair reader with discus. fions that would not suit her taste and feelings.
The spirit of religion, which these letters breathe, is liberal, pure, and peaceable. The ideas which the noble author has formed of Christianity disengage it, with respect to the essentials of belief, consolation, and practice, from all subtile and unintelligible questions started. by disputatious theologiits, who go beyond their line. He carefully avoids all unfruitful discussions, whether philological or metaphysical, which only tend to perplex the head, and leave the heart cold ;-except in cases where the latter is heated with the unhallowed fire of polemics, which kindles pride, resentment, revilings, and other fins of the spirit.
DO Art. VI. L'Influence de la Découverte de l'Amerique sur le Bonheur
du Genre humain. i. e. Concerning the InAvence of the Dircovery of America on the Happiness of Mankind. By the Abbe Genty, Royal Cenfor, correspondent Member of the Rom: ly Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, &c. 8vo. with a Map and an Engraving. Paris. 1788.
That the discovery in question was neither advantageous to America nor to Europe, is a propofition that many believe, and this author illuftrates it, and renders it ftriking; but that it might have been, and may even yet be made useful to both, is equally credible. The principal object of this judicious writer is to point out the manner of diminishing the evils occafioned by the discovery of the new world, and of multiplying the advantages that may result from it. The work breathes a lia beral spirit, and is worthy of attention.
Art. VII. Observations sur Montesquieu. i. c. Observations on
Montesquieu. By M. LENGLET, Member of the Academy of Arras. 8vo. Lile. 1788.
This may serve as a useful introduction to the perusal of the Spirit of Laws, the work which M. LENGLET bas in view, in these observations. It was presented to the academy of Bourdeaux, as the prize-eulogy of Montesquieu, but was considered by that learned society rather as a critical review of the celebrated work now mentioned, than as a portraiture of the genius, talents, and character of its juftly celebrated author. This engaged M. Lenglet to publish it under the name of Obfervations; and in these observations, many things in the Spirit of Laws, which appear confused or obscure (at least to the common class of seaders), are happily elucidated.
Faithful Observer; or, Memoirs of the Duke of St. Sie
These memoirs, though they have neither the merit of elegant compofition, nor chronological order, are nevertheless highly interesting. They are extracted from the papers of a nobleman, who was perfe&ly acquainted with what passed at the court of Lewis XIV. and was highly distinguished by that rough probity, freedom of speech, and aufterity of manners, which naturally attract a peculiar degree of credit to his narrative, We find here many details and anecdotes concerning the wars and minifters of the French Monarch, the intrigues of his ca binet, his favourites and mistresses; the ceremonial of his court, the incidents of his private life, his habits and manners, and other particularities, that gratify curiosity. The ift Book of these Memoirs comprehends the private and public life of Lewis, whom the author exhibits in his manifold littleneffes, as well as in his fplendid tranfa&ions: the whole, without fear or fa. vour, and so as to make the hero appear a Micromegas, that is, a great-little-man.
The 2d Book contains the particular history of the respect. able Dauphin (the Marcellus of France), that of the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy, and the rest of the family, -many details, relative to the Duke of Orleans, Regent, and other Princes of the blood; and a long account of the uncommon fortune and misfortunes of that fingular personage, the Prinçess of Ulsins. The profligate Dubois is not here stigmatized in proportion to his turpitude, nor Fenelon applauded in proportion to his merit;-and this muft naturally surprise us, when we consider the character of the author,
In the 3d Book, we have anecdotes relative to foreign af. fairs and persons, that have acted the first parts on the political scene; and here the affairs of Spain, and the ministry of Alberoni, occupy a considerable place.
In a supplement, the noble author draws a picture of the court of France, as it was in the year 1711, which is very curious; and describes the tone of manners and morals, which diftinguished the most celebrated ladies of that time,
For FEBRUARY, 1789.
L A W. Art. 14. New, candid, and practical Thoughts on the Law of Im
prisonment for Debt, with a view to the Regulation of it; for the Prevention and Punishment of Frauds; for the Maintenance of Credit; for the better and more speedy Satisfaction of Creditors; and for the Relief of unfortunate Persons confined for Debt; together with Heads proposed for an A&t of Parliament for effecting these Purposes; and for preventing unlawful and malicious Ara refts. By a Country Attorney. 8vo. Is. 6d. Whieldon. 1788. T -HE security of private property, and the defence of credit, are
the objects which the law concerning imprisonment for debt seems to have in view. The author of the present performance founds his reasoning on this maxim; and after thewing that the law as it now stands is no defence of credit, gives no security to private property, is cruel and oppressive, and makes no distinction between an unfortunate honest trader, and a designing swindler, he states the ancient mode of proceeding in cases of debt-the present practice with a few observations on them both, and examines the facute 32d of Geo. II. (usually called the Lords A&t) to fhew its inefficacy, impolicy, and fallacy.
His inquiries terminate in the proposal of heads for an Ad of Parliament, 'for regulating the laws of imprisonment for debt; the principal parts of which are, that at a limited time after imprisonment, the prisoner may deliver a schedule of his effe&s to the plaintiff, and after a ftated number of days to appear in court, there to deliver a duplicate of his schedule, and submit himself to be then examined ; that if the court be satisfied with the statement of the case, and convinced that no fraud was inteoded, the effects to be equally divided among all his creditors, and the debtor discharged. Should fraud appear to have been his motive, then penalties are to be enacted. For particulars, however, of this apparently equitable proposal, we refer our readers to the pamphlet, which abounds with much jot observation, and seems to point out proper means for the relief of unfortunate persons confined for debt.
Art. 15. Thoughts on Imprisonment for Debt. Humbly addressed to
his Majesty. By F. A. S. Murray, Esq. 4to. 13. 6 d. Hook. ham. 1788.
Mr. Murray expatiates on the injuries which imprisonment for debt produces to the state, to the creditor, and to the debtor : and thinks, 'that if debtors must be imprisoned, or driven from their na. tive country to avoid it, there ought to be short stated periods appointed for the enlargement of the one, and the recalment of the other.' This bint seems liable to many objections. It has been justly said, that “no man should be liable to imprisonment for debt; shat every debtor, of whatsoever degree, if he shall owe to a certain amount, shall be compellable to fatisfy his creditors in a manner more summary than that directed by the common law before the ins troduction of commerce ; and that if he shall neglect, within a prescribed time, to answer their juft demands, he shall be liable to a commission of insolvency ; but it Tould not be in the power of any malicious creditor to harass him with a false demand.".
”R ...... m. MARTIAL LAW. Art. 16. An Opinion on the Power of Courts Martial to PUNISH for
CONTEMPTS; occafioned by the Case of Major John Browne, of the Sixty-seventh Regiment. 8vo. pp. 22. is. 6d. Bell. 1788.
In this opinion (which is signed w. Gilbert) the spirit and tendency of the 15th article of the 16th section of The Articles of War, are severely impugned, in order to shew, that the power of supprering contempts, by fummary punishment, is either futile or fatal. In the first stage only,' says the author, “it is futile; in the second, and every subsequent, fatal. Nay, it is as fatal, and that in every stage, to the discipline of the army as it is to the liberty of the subject. It is as inimical to its own party as to the safety of the state ; as destructive of the cause it is meant to promote, as of that, with which it is in open koftility.'- This doctrine is warmly but fenfibly and learnedly maintained by the author ; who appears to have well studied the subject.-- For an account of the trial of Major Browne, see Re view for July 1788, p. 71.
NOVELS. Art. 17. Melisa and Marcia; or the Sisters. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6s,
sewed. Lane. 1788. This performance has a more than ordinary degree of merit, both with respect to the ftrength of its characters, and its style. The progress of vice, as seen in a woman of fashion, 'is, in particular, delineated with a fpirited but delicate pencil; and the moral, which points out the superiority of a life of regolarity over that of dissipation, by the example of a death-bed repentance, with all its concomitant horrors, is such as the lover of virtue muft neceffarily ap, prove.
AB. Art. 18. Henrietta of Gerstenfeld; a German Story. Vol. 2. 12mo,
2 s. 6d. sewed. Lane. 1788. In the title-page to the first volume of this production, published in 1787, the name of Wieland appeared as its author. It is, how