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bricks, if he would be confiftent to his own reafoning, were again compofed of less bricks, cemented, likewife, by an immaterial mortar, and fo on ad infinitum. This putting Mr. Michell upon the confideration of the feveral appearances of nature, he began to perceive that the bricks were fo covered with this immaterial mortar, that, if they had any existence at all, it could not poffibly be perceived; every effect being produced, at leaft, in nine inftances in ten certainly, and probably in the tenth alfo, by this immaterial, fpiritual, and penetrable mortar. Inftead, therefore, of placing the world upon the giant, the giant upon the tortoife, and the tortoise upon he could not tell what, he placed the world at once upon itself; and finding it ftill neceffary, in order to folve the appearances of nature, to admit of extended and penetrable immaterial fubftance, if he maintained the impenetrability of matter, and obferving farther, that all we perceive by contact, &c. is this penetrable immaterial fubftance, and not the impenetrable one, he began to think he might as well admit of penetrable material, as of penetrable immaterial fubftance; especially as we know nothing more of the nature of fubfiance, than that it is fomething which fupports properties, which properties may be whatever we please, provided they be not inconfiftent with each other, that is, do not imply the absence of each other. This by no means feemed to be the cafe in fuppofing two fubftances to be in the fame place at the fame time, without excluding each other; the objection to which is only derived from the reliftance we meet with to the touch, and is a prejudice that has taken its rife from that circumftance, and is not unlike the prejudice against the Antipodes, derived from the conftant experience of bodies falling, as we account it, downwards.'

In our account of this work, we have not defcended to an enumeration of the particular contents of the various fubdivifions of each period of this philofophical history; concerning which we fhall only obferve, that the Author has, with the greatest induftry, digefted into numerous chapters, under diftinct titles, every effential particular relating to light and vifion, that he could collect from the numerous publications, foreign and domeftic, refpecting the fcience: interfperfing occafionally fome original obfervations and remarks made by himfelf, or fuch as have been communicated to him by his many valuable philofophical friends, whofe affiftance he acknowledges on the prefent occafion, and relies upon in the profecution of his undertaking. The hiftorical part of the work is followed by a general fummary, deduced from it, of the doctrine concerning light, and hints of fome defiderata in the science, which terminate the volume.

From the preceding fketch of this work the Reader will be enabled to form fome kind of estimate of its merit, and of the method and fpirit with which it is conducted. The arrangement of the great, variety of matter contained in it appears to us to be judicious; at the fame time the Author does not compofe with the phlegm of a fervile compiler, or mere copyift, but con amore, and with the zeal of a perfon who warmly interefts himself in his fubject, and who omits no opportunity of further-. ing, by new and additional obfervations, the progress of the fcience, of which he profefles himself to be only the hiftorian. With refpect to the Author's intire plan, the advantages attending the execution of it have been already noticed, and are indeed too obvious to be repeated: as it must be evident that a hiftory of all the branches of natural philofophy, executed in this manner, must prove a useful remembrancer to the more learned, and be highly inftructive to those who stand more in need of information, and whofe appetite for philofophical knowledge is greater than their powers or opportunitics of gratifying it.

Some original and important obfervations which the Author has lately made, in a course of experiments relating to air, have inclined him to appropriate his next volume to the hiftory of discoveries refpecting that element. To this piece of intelligence, however, we must not omit to add that, on account of the very confiderable expences attending the execution of his general plan, and for other confiderations, the continuation of this philofophical hiftory will intirely depend on the favourable reception of the prefent work. On this head we can only exprefs our wishes that the public patronage may animate and enable the Author to profecute and complete his ufeful undertaking.

MONTHLY CATALOGUE, For OCTOBER, 1772.

MATHEMATICS.

Art. 9. The Nautical Almanac and Aftronomical Ephemeris. Fot the Year 1774. Published by Order of the Commiflioners of Longitude. 8vo. 3 s. 6d. Nourfe, &c. 1772..

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"

O this Ephemeris are annexed 1220 longitudes and latitudes of the moon, deduced from the late Dr. Bradley's Obfervations, and compared with tables improved from Profeffor Meyer's first Manufcript Tables. A feries of obfervations this (fays the Editor) for number and exactness, far excelling any thing of the fame kind which the world ever faw before, and which prefent or even future aftronomers will not eafily farpafs in accuracy, affording a fure touchftone for trying the best modern lunar tables and theories, and the means of improving them.' The corrections derived from thefe ob

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fervations

fervations turn out fo confiderable as to give room to hope that, when they are completed, the greatest errors of the tables may be reduced within a much narrower compass than they are at prefent. The Editor has likewise added the elements of thefe lunar tables, with which the foregoing obfervations were compared, together with feveral very neceffary and useful remarks on the Hadley's quadrant. To the whole is fubjoined, an ufeful aftronomical problem for finding the error of a tranfit telescope, by Mr. Lyons.

Art. 10. A Complete System of Land-Surveying, both in Theory and Practice, &c. By Thomas Breaks. 8vo. 7 s. 6d. Newcastle upon Tyne, printed for W. Charnley, and J. Murray in London.

1771.

The many irregularities and obfcurities (fays the Author in his preface) with which works of this fort abound, have induced me to undertake a performance of this kind, in order to remove difficulties, clear obfcurities, and render that which has hitherto been deemed dark and mysterious, plain and intelligent (intelligible) to the meaneft capacity. We are extremely forry to find a work undertaken from fuch laudable motives fo badly executed, and while the multiplicity of books' is made the fubject of complaint, that another should be added to the number, and that another ftill fhould be no lefs neceffary. Our Author, it must be acknowledged, has taken great pains to collect together a variety of propofitions and problems relating to feveral fubjects, in any refpect connected, and indeed unconnected with his main defign; but he difcovers little judgment in the arrangement, illuftration, or proof of them. His definitions are loofe and inaccurate; they have nothing of logical propriety or geometrical exactnefs: there are very few in the 35 which he has given, that may be excepted from this charge. His theorems are ftated without any precifion; and he can hardly be faid to have fufficiently explained, much lefs demonftrated, feveral of them. The first propofition in the fecond section is a notorious inftance of this kind; and, as it is the ground-work of all which follow, is utterly inexcufable. The third propofition is very carelessly expreffed: in which it is faid, If a right line cut two parallel right lines, the alternate angles are equal and confequently the lines parallel.' And the Author's method of proof is altogether as unintelligible.

Although we could form no great expectations from fuch an introduction, yet the Author's compilation rather improved upon us, than otherwife, as we advanced and we could have wifhed he had fubmitted it to the examination of fome mathematical friend, who would have faved his reputation as a writer, and prevented our mortification as readers, till, by due chaftifement, he had rendered it more worthy the public infpection.

MEDICAL.

Art. 11. The Danger and Immodefty of the prefent too general Cuf tom of unneceffarily employing Men-Midwives, &c. &c. With an Introduction, a Treatife on the Milk, and an Appendix, with Corrections, be the Author. Svo. I s. 6d. Wilkie. 1772. "Authors, before they write, fhould read."-Had the prefent Writer followed the poet's advice, and, before he took up the pen to

enlighten

enlighten and alarm the world on this fubject, had he condefcended, for inftance, just to caft his eye over Dr. Smellie's treatise and cafes, or any other creditable performance on the fubject of midwifery, he might at least have feen in what manner, and under what circumftances, the male profeffors exercife this art, and might accordingly have avoided much of the ridicule and abfurdity of the prefent performance. Either through ignorance, or defign, credulity, perverfity, or whim, or all together, he has adopted and revived many of the vulgar prejudices against the men-midwives, at a time when even the very old women have given them up; particularly thofe refpecting their impatience, precipitancy, unfeelingness, fondness for ufing inftruments, &c. and which naturally enough took their rife from the circumftances of thofe times when the male operator was never called in but to the poor female in extremis, and of courfe conftantly fallied forth armed with the bloody crotchet,' while violence and death attended his steps and marked his progrefs. His poffibly well-meant, but wrong-headed, and at the fame time very laughable earnestness, in founding the alarm against a very harmless and fenfible practice, has frequently exercised our rifible faculties; and could it be done with decency, we fhould be glad to make our Readers partakers of our mirth. But really his fubject is, in itself, of fo very unfeemly a nature, and he has handled it, and the ladies, in fo very grofs a manner, that, out of respect to the most amiable part of our Readers, we are prevented, in a great measure, from employing, though in their defence, either argument or pleasantry againft this libeller of the fex; who, with a moft aftonishing reach of thought, has difcovered that the profligacy of the prefent times'-[a complaint however of pretty ancient date]- the frequent adulteries which disgrace our country,' and the immenfe run of bufinefs at Doctor's Commons; -nay even the late great revolution in Denmark itself, are all to be attributed to their wanton use of men :' meaning however, by this laft phrafe, nothing more than their employing men midwives, that is, availing themselves of the fuperior knowledge, and perfonal affiftance of a furgeon, in a very serious concern, in which a man of plain understanding can perceive nothing capable of furnishing the leaft provocative to wantonness to either of the parties, though the one were a Satyr, and the other a Meffalina; but which is here denounced as the most abandoned of all vicious practices'-' the path of vice, and by other unaccountable appellations.

"A nice man, fomebody or other has faid, is a man of nafty ideas." In like manner we may call this chafte Author a man of lewd ideas. Never, to the best of our recollection, did modefty meet with fo obscene an advocate. Indeed a modeft woman cannot, without con tamination, even caft her eye upon his pages, where he exhibits all the pruriency of the most wanton imagination, in representing every man-midwife as a Sultan poffeffed of a feraglio of fine women, and rioting in fenfuality in the very exercise of his profeffion-and even the poor woman, in the intervals of her pangs, as participating with him. In excufe for his licentiousness in general, he may poffi

• Struenfee, our fagacious Author reminds us, was a man-midwife.-Verbum fat fapienti.

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bly

bly plead a good intention, and the example of Swift; who, to recommend the practice of cleanliness and decency, has drawn fome pictures of filthinefs that would turn the ftomach of a Hottentot † : but the cafes are by no means parallel. By the bye, we recommend to him the perufal of Strephon's cafe, from which he may draw a full answer to one half of his pamphlet, on making a very obvious application. Pafling over this part of his fubject, we shall give a fhort fpecimen of this whimfical gentleman's extravagancies on another part of it, and then take our leave of him.

Granting, merely for argument's fake, that a woman actually tranfgreffes the bounds of modelly, in committing to an accoucher the care of her perfon, and that of her and her child's life, furely it might be allowed that, in facrificing her modefty to her fears, the confulted her fafety at least. No fuch matter. She is in the high road to deftruction. Nay, fuch is the dangerous and baneful influence of these male gentry, that he would not employ even a we man who had been bred under a man-midwife.' Ilear with what a folemnity, fufficient to make the poor deluded culprits fhudder at their danger, he enforces his opinion. If my life and fortune here, and falvation hereafter-[Lord have mercy upon us!] depended on the life of any pregnant woman, and that of her infant, I would flake all I held valuable on her being attended by any old woman-mid

wife in England, in preference to any man in the world.' He has his 'reafons for this tremendous declaration, and they are two; both addreffed to the fears of his pupil.

The first is a downright argumentum ad terrorem. He holds forth the green bag to the view of the pregnant female, and rings the crotchet, the tire-tete, and crooked fciffars, in her ears, and a woful clatter does he make with them, reminding her that none of his good women, in the lift of them given at the end of his book, employ fuch deadly implements. He is in the right; they only pave the way, and furnish neceffary and frequent occafions for the ufing of them. Leait raw head and bloody boues fhould fail of their effect, he brings his fecond argument, which is indeed a curiofity. Fle and blood, it feems, cannot refift the temptations which the male artists are expofed to, and which, except in the cafe of Dr. Hunter, and perhaps two or three aged and frigid practitioners, muft unavoidably confufe all their difcerning reafoning faculties,' and abfolutely difable them from conducting the business properly and fafely. -Lepidum Caput! but out of refpect to the perfonal infirmities of the fex, we must here draw a veil over this part of the fubject. The nature of the prefent argument indeed reminds us that it is high time to wash our hands and proceed to another fubject; but not till we have faid a word or two of the Anfwer in the next article. Art. 12. Examen Succinct, &c. Answer to a late extraordinary

Publication, intitled, "The Danger and Immodelly, &c." By Louis La Peyre, Chirurgien Maitre-ez-Arts, and Surgeon to his Excellency the Prince de Mafferano, &c. 8vo. I s. 6 d. Bia

don. 1772.

M. Louis La Peyre here ftands forth the champion in form of the fair fex, and of their male affiftants, against the declamations of the

In his Strephon and Chloe, Ladies Dreffing-room, &c.

preceding

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