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dinages qu'il s'eft permis; enfin, nous l'avons fuivi pas à pas ; nous lui avons répondu, pour ainfi dire, mot à mot; nous l'avons redreffè trait par trait; et toujours nous nous fommes appuyés fur les faits les plus autentiques, fur les mémoires les plus exacts, fur les reclamations les plus juftes, fur les réponses les plus précises.'

That M. Voltaire may not reproach our Author with diffiguring his writings, or imputing to him what he has not written, he makes ufe of the laft edition of his works, an edition which Voltaire himself acknowledges, and which he fent as a prefent to one of our Author's friends.

AR T. IV.

Théorie du Luxe; ou Traitè dans lequel on entreprend d'ètablir que le luxe

eft un reffort non feulement utile, mais même indifpenfablement nécessaire à la prospérité des Etats.-A Treatife upon Luxury; or an Attempt to fhew that it is not only useful, but indifpenfably neceffary to the Profperity of States. 8vo. 2 Vols. 1771.

HERE is fcarce any fubject that has been more frequently treated by political writers than that of luxury, and yet few have been treated in a more vague and fuperficial manner. The generally received opinion is, that luxury has proved the ruin of the greatest empires, and that, in whatever ftate it prevails, it must in the end be fatal to it; and on this topic orators, moralifts, philofophers, and divines are eternally declaiming. The Author of the treatise now before us, is of a very different opinion, and thinks that no ftate can be rich and powerful without luxury. He difcufles the fubject with more accuracy than moft of those who write upon it; he is a bold and manly writer; he expreffes himself with ftrength and perfpicuity, and fometimes with elegance; he has enlarged and liberal views; and he feems a friend to liberty, and a lover of mankind.

ART. V.

Leçons de Morale. Ou Leatures Academiques faites dans L'Univerfité de Leipzig, par feu M. Gellert.-Lectures on Morality, read in the University of Leipfic, by the late Mr. Gellert. Tranflated from the German. 8vo. 2 Vols. Utrecht. 1772.

NOT having feen the original of this work, we can fay nothing concerning the merit of the tranflation. The tranflator however, who was well acquainted with the Author, and had the highest opinion of his worth, acquaints us, that he has been at great pains to render his tranflation as corre& and faithful as poffible, and to preferve the natural and easy turn of the original. Taking it for granted therefore that he has done juftice to Mr. Gellert, as we fee no reason to fuppofe the contrary, we fhall look upon the work before us as a faithful copy of

of the original, and we are not afraid of recommending it as one of the moft valuable and ufeful performances we are acquainted with on the fubject of morality.

That air of piety, candour, humility, and benevolence which breathes through the whole; that warmth, and earnestness wherewith the Author recommends religious and moral duties, cannot fail of giving every well-difpofed Reader the most favourable opinion of him: he speaks of religion and virtue indeed like one who felt their value and importance, and his manner of recommending them is that of a tender and affectionate parent, folicitous to promote the highest interests of his children.

Those who are fond of deep elaborate refearches concerning the fprings of human actions, the origin of our ideas of virtue, and the grounds of moral obligation, will find little in the work before us to gratify their curiofity. The Author never intended it for a dry, didactic, fpeculative fyftem, but for a practical and fentimental one; a fyftem founded upon religion, that comes home to mens business and bofoms, and the great end of which is to difcipline our paffions, and regulate our conduct.

The most effential principles of morality, and each particular virtue, are explained in a clear, natural, and easy manner; and familiar examples and characters are added by way of illuftration. Mr. Gellert's principal view, is the improvement and inftruction of youth; and fo admirably is his work calculated to warm their hearts with the love of virtue, and to inspire them with noble and generous fentiments, that it feems to us impoffible for any perfon to perufe it attentively, without feeling an earneft defire of anfwering the great end of his creation; of being wife for time, and wife for eternity.

The fubject of his lectures, as he himself tells us, in a fhort preliminary difcourfe, may naturally be divided into three parts. The first contains his fentiments concerning the nature, extent, and end of morality; the two fources from which we may derive the knowledge of it, viz. reafon and fentiment; concerning duty, virtue, and happiness; the fuperiority of morality, as it is taught in modern times, to that of the ancient philofophers; and concerning the difference between that morality which derives its principles from reafon alone, and that which derives its principles from religion. In the fecond, Mr. Gellert gives fhort rules and directions for the acquifition of virtue, which he illuftrates in an eafy and familiar manner, and applies to the different circumstances of life: in the third, he treats of the most important duties relating to God, our fellow creatures, and ourselves.

In his tenth lecture, our Author gives fome directions for the choice of a fmall moral library, and after recommending APP, Rev. Vol. xlvii. feveral

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feveral excellent works, and giving fhort characters of them, he concludes in the following manner.-Above all, my dear young friends, let me recommend to your perufal the holy fcriptures, that treasure of truth and knowledge, which alone is capable of rendering you wife, virtuous, and happy; that fource of genuine fatisfaction, and of the greatest confolation both in life and at the hour of death. Study the falutary truths contained in fcripture with the utmost attention, with the greatest docility and humility of heart; and make the moft diligent ufe of all thofe means that can enable you to understand what God has been graciously pleafed to reveal to you; praying earneftly to the great Father of lights to enlighten your minds, and to incline your hearts to practife what he has taught you to approve. Learn to look upon revelation as the greatest bleffing that God has granted to mankind fince the beginning of the world; and let a lively fenfe of gratitude infpire you with the most profound reverence, and the most humble adoration. What the light of the fun is to the bodily eye, revelation is to the intellectual eye. In what darkness of error and Pagan fuperftition fhould we not still have been plunged, notwithstanding all the efforts of reafon, had we not been enlightened by revelation? I have made it my business to read what the wifeft of the antient philofophers have written concerning God, religion, and virtue; concerning the fummum bonum, and the means of acquiring tranquillity and contentment of mind; but I can affure you, upon my confcience, that all their wifdom, compared with the inftructions of the word of God, is mere fhadow and uncertainty; at best but a faint and glimmering light, and, moft frequently, darknefs, folly, fuperftition, and absurdity.

And who were thofe antients, who for fo many ages applied themselves with fo little fuccefs to the fearch after truth? Men of the most profound learning, among the Greeks and Romans, by whom the fciences were cultivated with the utmost attention, and held in the highest eftimation. And who were the authors of the books of fcripture? Men without ftudy, and, in general, born and brought up in an obfcure condition, among a people defpifed by other nations, and who difregarded fcience; in a word, fhepherds and fishermen. Their writings, however, befides the existence of one God, teach us wisdom and virtue, with infinitely more truth and perfection than thofe of the philofophers. Muft not fcripture therefore be of divine original? And is it not the moft fhameful ingratitude, and criminal neglect, to fet no value upon it? Permit me, on this occafion, to make an ingenuous confeffion. I have lived fifty years, during which I have had many grounds for joy, but none of them have been fo durable, fo innocent, fo fatisfactory to my foul, as thofe I have derived from religion; this I declare upon my con

feience.

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fcience. I have lived fifty years, and been under many afflictions, but I never found so much light in perplexity, fo much confolation, ftrength and courage in diftress, from any other principles as from thofe of religion; this too I declare upon my confcience. I have lived fifty years, and been more than once at the gates of death, but find by experience that nothing, yes nothing, without exception, enables us to triumph over the terrors of death fo much as the divine efficacy of religion upon the foul; that nothing is fo capable of fortifying the mind, at that decifive moment, when it fees itself, not without emotion, on the turning point of eternity, and of quieting confcience which then rifes up against us,-as faith in our divine Saviour and Redeemer; and this likewife I declare as in the presence of God.

If the teftimony of a friend and a mafter be of any weight, let this teftimony of mine, my dear young friends, have fome influence upon your minds, whenever a prefumptuous reafoner fhall be defirous of infpiring you with a contempt for the doctrines of fcripture; whenever a free-thinker fhall ftrive to deprive you of that principle of faith, the purity and fanctity of which confounds and diftreffes him! Chriftian youth! May there never be found one amongst you who fhall dare to vilify the most excellent of all books, and make it a fubject of profane raillery!

We fhall make no apology for inferting this paffage, but fhall conclude the Article with acquainting our Readers that thefe lectures were not published in the Author's life time, but that he left it in charge with two of his particular friends, Meffrs. Schlegel and Heyer, to publifh them after his death.

To the first volume are prefixed fome reflections concerning the genius, character, and writings of Mr. Gellert, by Mr. Garve, Profeffor of Philofophy in the university of Leipzig. They are written in a very judicious and fenfible manner, and will give pleafure to every Reader of a thoughtful and philofophical turn of mind.

ART. VI.

Le Ventriloque, &c. The Ventriloquift. By M. De La Chapelle, Cenfor Royal at Paris, Member of the Academies at Lyons and Rouen, and F. R. S. In two Parts, 12mo. London, De'l'Etanville. Paris, Duchefne. 1772.

THIS work, as the Author, at leaft, with fome degree of complacence, more than once declares, is an Unique, and on a very fingular and curious fubject. Euftathius indeed, the learned bishop of Antioch in the fourth century, and his translator and commentator, Leo Allatius, about the beginning of the feventeenth, have, he acknowledges, likewife treated of the fame matter; but they have difcuffed it only incidentally, and with a M m 2 particular

particular view to the circumftances attending the vifit made by Saul to the witch of Endor. The prefent Author, on the contrary, confiders the fubject in a general light, and confirms all his remarks and reafonings upon it by actual observations made on two very capital Ventriloquifts now living. As this is a kind of maiden fubject, or at least not much known to the generality of Readers, we fhall dwell fomewhat largely upon it.

Ventriloquifm, if we may be allowed to ufe the term, in order to avoid circumlocution, is a peculiar gift, art, or quality, of which certain perfons are and have been poffeffed, by means of which they have been enabled to modify the voice in fuch a manner, as to make it appear to thofe prefent to proceed from the belly of the speakers; (from which circumftance it derives its appellation) or rather to make it seem to proceed from any diftance, or in any direction whatever. Some faint traces of this art or faculty are to be found in the writings of the antients; but many more are to be difcovered there, if we adopt the Author's opinion; that the refponfes of many of the antient oracles were actually delivered by perfons poffeffed of this quality, fo very capable of being applied to the purposes of prieftcraft and delufion.-Nay, it will appear in the courfe of this Article, that an intire community even of priests themselves, in the very neighbourhood of Paris, as we conjecture, were fairly taken in by it, in confequence of an innocent piece of waggery plaid off upon them, by a perfon who poffeffes this talent in a very eminent degree.

The Author of this performance is known to many of the curious, by an invention of his that has lately been announced in fome of the foreign papers, which he calls the Scaphandre, and of which we fhall give a fhort account at the end of this Article. Having brought this ufeful piece of machinery, as he affirms, to its utmost perfection, his attention was excited to wards a new and very different object, in consequence of a converfation at which he was prefent about two years ago; in which fome perfons of learning and probity related many furprizing circumstances concerning the talents of a certain Ventriloquift, one M. St. Gille, a grocer at St. Germain en-Laye, not far from Paris; whofe powers in that way were aftonishing, and had given occafion to many fingular and diverting scenes. The Author was fo ftruck at the marvellous anecdotes related to him, that he immediately formed the refolution of first afcertaining the matter of fact by the teftimony of his own fenfes, and then of enquiring into the cause and manner in which the phenomena were produced.

See Samuel, chap. xxviii.

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