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are such Specks ?--The truth is (and we mention it only in compliment to our printer), the Monthly Review exhibits a very singular phenomenon in the literary world. Never, before, was there a work of this kind, written and printed as this has ever been, on the spur of the occasion, the volumes of which, taken together, have afforded lo little matter for the tables of Errata.
*(* How much Candit the author of the letter with that fignasure may possess, we know not; but had he a moderate share of modesty, or of common sense, either of those endowments would have saved us the trouble of his letter. Modesly would have induced him 'to pay the poliage of it; and common sense would have hindered him from requeting us to review a publication thirty-three years old!! Our General Index, too, would have informed him that we did review it, at the time of its appearance.
* In justice to Mr. Bidlake, we now state to the public, that in a letter which we have received from this gentleman, he acknowleges that the expression in his fermon, viz. man is by nature a la. vage (see cur last number) is harsh. He says that it • was adverted to too late for correction ;' but that he only meant by it, " that the state of mankind previous to cultivation was barbarous.' Mr. B. adds,
• You are pleased to say, “ we hope and believe the sufferings of these poor wretches are not so great as here represented.” I can only lay, that living in a seaport town, and being a member of the committee established in it, I have too strong proofs from the examination of the most authentic and respectable evidence, to believe all and more than I have asserted.'
If this is really the case, we are very sorry for it. For the sake of humanity, and for the honour of our countrymen, we expressed our We hape that it was ocherwise.
+ G. P. P. may be assured that the book which he mentions was not negle&ted. The account of it has been written fome time, but has been obliged to wait its turn of insertion. G. P. P. will perceive it in this number.
111. T. C. mentions his not being able to find, in the Review for January 1779, the advertisement of Teyler's Society at Haerlem ; from which we suppose that the Reviews in which he looked were bound up; for their proposal, being printed on a single page, and having been sticched up with the blue covers, is thrown away by the binder. We have taken out one of these advertisements and put it under cover, directed for T. C. at Mr. Becket's, to be left till called for.
$$$ Mr. Agutter's sermon was reviewed in our number for January lait, p. 95.
999 We are sorry that M. D. waits with impatience for our account of the work' which he mencions ; for it certainly must patiently wait its turn of insertion. Due attention, however, will be paid to it.
+$t In answer to our correspondent Birch, we can only reply, that we never heard of any complete edition of Euripides by Brunck; nor do we recollect that he ever announced his intention of undertaking such a work. The detached plays which he has published, are Hecuba, Oreftes, Phænise, Medea, Hifpolirus, Andromache, and The Bacchæ.
The Euripides lately printed at Leipfig, by Christian Daniel Beck, is merely a republication of Joshua Barnes's edition, in quarto, and on wretched paper. The fragments, indeed, are copied from Murgrave's edition, whose notes are given in a third volume ; in which are inserted alfo, Brunck's animadversions on the plays which he had edited, Prevost's observations, some new collations of the Hecuba, Orestes, and Phænisja, by Matthæus, Zeunius, and Beck, and such remarks as the author has gleaned from the works of modern critics.
On the whole, we think that this edition might have been spared. The strangely inaccurate and nonsensical remarks of Barnes did not merit republication in fuch a form. The fragments were not carefully collected by Musgrave, and the number of them has not been increased by Beck. The remaining notes of the different editors and critics ought to have been incorporated into one work, with those of Barnes and Musgrave, and not have been detached and placed in different parts of the volume.
Birch's remark on the impropriety of compiling Greek exercises from Xenophon's Cyropedia, was formerly made in our review of Mr. Huntingford's book.
Of Mr. Joleph Warton's intended History of Greek, Latin, French, and Italian Poetry, we have heard nothing for a long course of time. We are happy however, in thus publicly joining our wishes to those of the literary world, that it may speedily make its appear. ance. Yet we are but too certain, that the important station which be fills so honourably, can leave few vacant hours “ to catch the zephyr and to court the muse !” Why is not Mr. W. removed from an occupation of which the unremitting duties prevent the exertion of fplendid as well as useful talents, and enabled to enjoy that otium cum dignitate, to which, by his long and serviceable labours, he is so justiy entitled ?
The plan suggested by Birch at the bottom of his letter, will be farther attended to.– We are obliged to him for it.
« To the MONTHLY REVIEWERS.
Chefter Place, Saturday Morning, 41h April. • THE Counters de la Motte presents her compliments to the Monthly Reviewers, and begs they will accept her fincere and grateful thanks for the honour they have done her Memoirs, by giving so candid and impartial an account of them *. She should not deserve that confidence which they have obligingly said the seems “ to merit,” did she not endeavour to clear up the circumstance relative to the letters:-it is certainly true that, owing to an overlight,
. See Review for last month, p. 269.
* Rev. m Baldryn.:
that paffage is not so fuccinct as she wished; it is, however, feen in page 28, in what manner the procured a transcript of them from the Queen to the Cardinal The mutual interests that had occasioned her intimacy with the Cardinal, placed her upon so friendly a footing, that he was in the situation of a daughter, had access to his apartments, and was acquainted with, and consulted in, almost all that concerned him ; it was, therefore, a matter of no difficulty for her to take copies of such as the chose. The letters were either delivered personally by each of the parties, or enclosed under cover to her; in the former case, the Cardinal always read them before they were closed ; and in the latter, his method was to place a piece of money under the fold of the paper where the seal was placed, to prevent the wax taking hold at the lower part, and as the impresion was always placed high, it left a small portion of the wax below the edge of the fold: when the Countess had therefore perused the contents, the with great care put some wax under the fold, which closed the letter, and left the real without injury.
• She hopes she has satisfactorily explained the mode by which she was empowered to procure the copies ; but, as the world at large may have some scruples at receiving what would be sufficient to the candid mind, and as custom has established a form to serve as a cri. terion to establish a truth, she has an idea of giving (though reluctantly) that test, by making an affidavit before the Lord Mayor, and publishing it.
• Had the passages been pointed out, which seem to leave the business of the necklace in the least obscurity, she hould have been equally solicitous to have given. any further illustration.'
*ll* Our very grateful and constant reader' wishes for farther in• formation relative to the phosphorated soda invented by Mr. Willis, and introduced into practice by Dr. Pearson.' In the firit place, then, we inform this correspondent, that Dr. Pearson was the sole inventor of this new medicine, and that Mr. Willis prepares it ; and in the second place, to the last-mentioned gentleman we beg leave to refer our enquirer for the intelligence which he wants.
• A lover of consistency' must wait another month, as we have not received any answer from the gentleman to whom his letter was tommunicated.
On account of the overflow of our correspondence, other letters must remain till next month.
The continuation of the foreign literature, including our resumed account of the K. of Prussia's works, will appear in the next num• ber.
Some accidents have occasioned the delay of our concluding accounts of the Edinburgh and Dublin transactions, and the translarions of Aristotle's Poetic ; but these articles will be finished as soon as possible.
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For M A Y, 1789.
Art. I. Letters on Greece; being the Sequel of Letters on Egypt.
By M. Savary. Translated from the French. 8vo. 5s. Boards.
Elliot and Co. 1788. Art. II. Letters on Greece ; being a Sequel to Letters on Egypt,
and containing Travels through Rhodes, Crete, and other lands of the Archipelago, &c. Translated from the French of M. Savary. 8vo.
6 s. Boards. Robinsons. 1788. TE have often had opportunities of admiring M. Sava
ry's * genius, and of applauding his industry. The vivacity with which he describes chofe objects that fall under his observation, and the elucidation of obscure points in ancient history which his researches enable him to afford, lead us to expect something more than usual from a man so much superior to common travellers; the generality of whom (unqualified to make useful remarks) give only an uninteresting detail of trilling incidents. We had every reason to hope, that a traveller, qualia fied like the prefent writer, would, in his descriptions of those islands which ancient history records as the most famous in the world, communicate much information concerning their present ftate, enrich his work with many useful remarks on their former grandeur, and remove the veil which the obscurity of mythology, and the inaccuracy of historians, has drawn over many parts of the Grecian history.
In this expectation we were not deceived ; and our countrymen, who cannot read the original, are obliged to the gentlemen who have given it in an English dress.
The firft tranflation is introduced by a Preface, which informs us, that M. Savary had fallen the victim of an intemperate application to Audy. Strongly animated by emulation, and prompted by curiosity, he neglected the care of his health, while he laboured to enrich his mind with new treasures of knowledge; till, at laft, the effects of his too eager application prevailed over the
* See Rev. vols. lxxiii. p. 378. lxxiv. p. 524. lxxv. p. 298 1xxvii. p. 567 VOL. LXXX.
strength of his constitution, and hurried him prematurely to the grave.'
This account contradicts the report that M. Savary's fatal disease was produced by the attack that was made on his veracity and fidelity by M. Volney. We bave, however, some doubts whether intense application to study can be admitted as the primary cause of diseases. The sedentary life of literary men may indeed have some influence on the constitution ; but the ill effects, if any, are easily counteracted, and by no means more effcctually than by intensity of thought. We speak from experience, when we say that we have frequently risen from the investigation of an intricate problem in sublime geometry, or from reading one of Dr. Waring's analytical papers, as much corporeally fatigued as if we had used an extraordinary degree of exercise. But let us proceed with the work before us.
Leaving Egypt in Sept. 1779, M. Savary embarked on board a Grecian veslel, bound for the island of Candia, known in ancient history by the name of Crete. Bad weather, contrary winds, and unskilful cailors, none of which are uncommon in the Mediterranean, all contributed to enable the author of these Letters to describe many places in the Levant, which he was unexpectedly obliged to visil: a circumstance that must doubt. less have been attended with inconvenience to M. Savary, but which considerably increases the materials of his publication, and cannot fail of affording a greater variety of descriptions than if the ship had proceeded in her destined course. The miserable face of the modern Greek navigation will appear from the following extract of the 6th Letter, written on board the ship:
* For seven days, successively, we have never ceased tacking; but in vain. We are continually losing way; and, should this weather lalt, we Mall make Cyprus, or the coast of Syria. I am now convinced our veffel is but an indifferent failer; and the crew extremely ignorant. Our sailors are Greeks, who know little of the working of a ship, and are now in performing the little they do know. Never have they once been able to put the ship about with the head to the wind, so that as often as they change the tack, we lose more way than we have gained. Nor bas the Captain more knowledge; he has not taken one observation of the latitude ; nor has he on board either sector or quadrant, with the use of which he is totally unacquainted. He is equally a stranger to the use of sea charts, or the method of measuring a ship's way by the log. In fine, he is a genuine boat-master, who finds his way in the day, by following the course of the sun ; and at night, by observation of the ftars. In cloudy weather, he steers as well as he can, by the compass, of which he knows not even the declination t. I am almost
* This extract is froin the second translation, printed for Mesrs. Robinsons. + The other translator says variation.