« PreviousContinue »
it laborious to turn the machine ; but this, he says, is a flight inconvenience to those who can employ a workman or servan: for this purpose : for this reason, he does not recommend them to those who perform experiments merely for amusement; and 'observes, that those philosophers, who do not chuse to be at the expence and trouble of imitating the whole of his invention, may yet improve their apparatus, by adopting such parts of it as they think proper. But, light as the Doctor makes this inconvenience, we apprehend that, when be applies his rubbers to Teyler's grand machine, which already requires four men to work it, he may find it more confiderable than be seems think; for, if a single pair of these rubbers renders it laborious to turn a glass plate of thirty-two inches, is it not to be feared, that the force necessary to turn two plates, of twice this diameter, with two, if not four pair of rubbers, will be too great, not for the number of his attendants, but for the machine itself, wbich does not seem calculated to refift such violent efforts ? The invention, however, is very ingenious, and, though the abovementioned circumftance should be an impediment to the application of the usual number of rubbers to large plates of glass, and prevent it from becoming of general use, it may yet proxe of considerable utility, by suggesting other expedients, to thoie electricians, who, though' by no means deficient in zeal for philosophical researches, have not the advantage of poffeffing an ap'paratus on lo large a scale as that which the Doctor uses.
From an article inserted by Dr. VAN MARUM, in a Dutch literary gazette, published May the 15th, it appears that Mr. John CUTHBERTSON, of Amsterdam, who was entirely ignorant of the Doctor's defigns and operations, had also made fome effays toward the improvement of electrical rubbers; and though, from the neceflary avocations of his business, he has not yet been able to bring them to that degree of perfection which he had hoped to attain, he has so far succeeded, as to render them greatly superior to those commonly used. Dr. VAN MARUM informá the public that, by a comparative trial of a pair of Mr. CUTH BERTSON's rubbers, with a pair of his own, he found that their 'exciting power was to that of his, as seven co seventeen, and thus at least double the power of the common sort. He candidly recommends Mr. CUTHBERTSON's rubbers, as more fimple and commodious for general ule, than his own, which, as above described, are calculated solely for charging coated glass, and no for experiments, in which only the spark is required: in this case, the rubber ought to be no more than eight, instead of ten inches long; because the larter come so near to the absorbing points of the prime conductor, chat, when no coated glass is connected with it, the electric Auid will escape, through these, to the rubbers.
For the interests of science, we hope there gentlemen will
An Account of, and Extracts from, the Manuscripts in the Library
which form the principal ornament of the library of the
The present volume gives not merely the titles of, but extracts and tranflations from, and sometimes the whole of those manuscripts, which seem capable of affording instruction or entertainment. To execute this important task, eight members of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres have been named by the king; three of them are versed in the Oriental tongues, two in the Geek and Latin, and three in the ancient history of France, and, in general, of the middle ages. Belide their ordinary penfions as members of the academy, they have additional salaries as examiners of the king's manuscripts; and although his majefty has thought proper, on this occasion, to name the eight members to be employed, the places of those who die, or who decline to continue this labour, are to be supplied by the academy itself.
The volume now before us, which produces the first fruits of this inftitution, contains, I. An Historical Essay on the Oriental Characters used at Paris for printing Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, &c. by M. de Guignes, well known for his great knowlege and numerous performances in Oriental, and particularly Chinese, bistory and learning. II. The Meadows of Gold, and the Mines of precious Stones; an universal history, by AboulHaffan-Aly, who wrote in the eleventh century: Arabic manuscripts. By the same. III. The Diary of Burcard, master of
the ceremonies in the Pope's chapel, from the time of Sixtus IV. to that of Julius II. Latin manuscript. By M. de Brequigny. This Diary forms three articles, IV. An Account of a Greek Lexicon. By M. de Rochefort V. Historical Chart of Countries, Seas, and Fila; with a Treatise on the Science of the Spheres: Arabic manuscript. By M. de Guignes. VI. The Book of Wandering Stars; containing the biftory of Egypt and Cairo. By the Scheikh Schemfeddin Mohammed Ben Abihorour Albakeri Alladiki: Arabic manuscript. By M. Silvestre de Sacy. VII. Accounts of five different manuscripts of Eschylus, forming five articles. By M. Vauvilliers. VIII. Instructions to different Officers of the Duke of Anjou, and an Account of the Emballies of the fame: French manuscripc. By M. Gaillard. IX. An Account of the Death of Richard II King of England: French manuscript, By the same. X. The History of the Reigns of Charles VII. and Lewis XI By Amelgard, a priest of Liege : French manuscripts. By M du Theil. XI, A Swedish Chronicle, by Olaus Petri, who flourished in the beginning of the sixteenth century. By M. de Keralio. XII. The Criminal Process of Robert d'Artois, Comte de Beaumont: French manuscript. By M De l'Averdy. XIII Ac. count of a Greek manuscript, by John Canabutza, on the Hiftory of the Aborigines. By the Baron de Sainte-Croix. XIV. History of the Arabeks, Princes of Syria, by Aboul Hasan-Aly, a writer in the 13th century : Arabic manufcript. By M. de Guignes. XV. The Autographical Chronicle of lterius, Li
. brarian of the Abbey of St. Martial de Limoges, in the 13th century: Latin manuscript. By M. de Brequigny. The Book of Counsels, by the Scheikh Ferideddin Attar, &c. Persian manuscript. By M. Silveftre de Sacy.
Such is the lift of the works analysed or translated in this volume. The Editors observe that these works are not probably the most important in the collection, as they had not any other rule in directing their labours, but the bare title of the books analysed.
The account of the death of Richard II. contains an hiftory of the events which preceded that cataftrophe, and appears to have been written by an eye-witness of the principal transactions of Richard's reign. It abounds in minute details and ftriking circumstances, Itrongly painting the strange mixture of superftition and cruelty, which characterise that barbarous
As it differs in many particulars from received accounts, it would deferve much attention, did it not evidently appear to be written by a partial admirer of the murdered king: whom the nation regarded as a tyrant; who, having married Isabelle, daughter of
. Our countryman Mr. Dodney, is here, incidentally, miscalled Dofdley.
Charles VI. of France, wished to confirm his despotism by the arms of that country. It is observed as an historical singularity, by the editor of this manuscript, that all the English kings, who had married French princeflies, incurred the displeasure of their subjects, and suffered violent deaths; as Edward II. Richard 11. Hen y VI. and Charles I.
The history of the Atabeks, princes of Syria, from the year 1084 to 1210, gives a new view of the Croisades; and defcribes the character of many princes on whom the Chriftians made war, very differently from the monkish historians. The question still remains to be decided, where the truch lies. The Chriftians, doubtless, had their prejudices; but were the Mahometans free from prejudice, and free from resentment?
One of the most interesting manuscripts mentioned in this collection, is the Pend-na meth, or Book of Counsels; a moral poem, composed in Persian verse by Ferideddin Attar, and containing an abridgment of the spiritual life, accorda ing to the principles of the most devout Mohammedans. M. Silvestre de Sacy intends giving a complete translation of this poem, together with the Persian text. Its author, commonly distinguished by the name of Attar the perfumer (because in his youth he had exercised that profefion in the town of Schadbakb), having embraced the contemplative life, spent several years in the exercise of devotion and penitence; and collected the lives of the most celebrated Dervises. He had attained to the highest perfection in the spiritual mysteries of the Mohammedans, when he was killed by the Moguls in Gengis Khan's invalion, at the extraordinary age of 114.
He left behind him a great many works in prose and verse; of which the most celebrated is the Pend-na meth, comprehended in eight hundred lines. The poet begins by.celebrating the greatness of God, and the wonders which he has wrought in favour of his faithful servants. He then proceeds to the praises of Mohammed, and the most diftinguished Imans, or founders of the Mohammedan secis. After this exordium, he distinguishes, minutely, the characters of true piety, and solid devotion, with the long train of virtues and vices, and the signs by which they may be recognised. He next descends to precepts of policy, and maxims of health, cleana liness, decency, and urbanity; and the whole may be regarded as a complete synoplis of the most refined doctrines of the Mohammedan religion.
The collection before us is richeft in the article of Oriental learning. M. de Guignes has given us an interesting account of Arabian, Syrian, Armenian, and Persian typography fince the reign of Francis I.; in which we learn, incidentally, that the famous Greek rypes, employed by the Stephens’s, are not inst, as has been long supposed, but may, be itil seen as the royal
printing office. Among the Greek manuscripts brought to light, is a Lexicon, which, though of an uncertain date, is valuable on account of the author's knowlege in grammar and etymology.
On the whole, however, we expected more entertainment than we have derived from the first volume of this great undertaking; the defign of which cannot be too much commended: and it is to be wished that the genius, which presides over letters, may direct the future researches of these industrious Aca. di micians to manuscrip's fiill more deserving of their attention, and of the ese of the public at large.
A translation of this work has appeared, since the preceding article was written.
ART. VIII. Discours présenté à l'Academie de Châlons- fur. Marne, &c. i. e. A Dir
course presented to the Academy of Châlons sur-Marne in 1787, upon this Question, What are ihe best Methods of exciting and is. ccuraging Patriotism in a Monarcly, without riflraining or weaken. ing the Extent of Power and of Execution peculiar to this species of Goverr,ment? By J. de MEERMAN, Signeur de DALEM. To which is annexed, the Discourse of M! VATHON DE LA COUR, of the Academies of Lyons and Villefranches and Member of the Royal Society of Agriculture at Lyons Es, which gained the Prize. 8vo. pp. 78. Leyden. 1789. THAT each form of government hach its advantages ard
diladvantages, is a truth which no one will dispute, The principal subject of inquiry among politicians has been, which form is, on the whol', best calculated to secure the greatest quantum of good to a community? Although it is not to be expected that any government, that has been long eftablished, will be new modelled according to the result of these inquiries, yet occasions sometimes present themselves (of which we have had a recent instance on the other fice of the Atlantic), where speculation may be reduced to practice; and there inquiries are at all times useful, as they set forth to our view the natural rights of mankind, and the true ends of government, But the question proposed by the Academy of Châlons-surMarne hath the peculiar advantage of being immediately applicable to governments, as they allually exist; and it inquires in what manner the form established can be rendered most conducive to the public good.
The publication before us contains two differtations on this very interesting subject. The first is written by M. de MEERMAN, whose literary abilities are well known, and who has diftingu shed himself as an able politician in a treatise concerning the Achean, Helvetic, and Belgic confederacies, which obtained the prize proposed by the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and