« AnteriorContinuar »
riminal. All the phyficians then agreed, that the imagination of the mother had this fatal cffect on the infant.
But we have been more refined in our fpeculations on this fubje& fince. We have denied this influence. How can you make it appear, fay the physical philofophers, that the affections of the mother fhould difplace the limbs of the foetus? I know nothing about the caufe, or the operation, but I have seen the effect. And as to you, my new philofophers, it is in vain that you endeavour to find out how the embryo is formed; why then do you expect that I fhɔuid know how it happens to be deformed?'
Thus far Mr. Voltaire, on this interefting but difficult fubject. He founds his belief on a fact that he knows; and there can be no other foundation for any belief of this kind. For our own part, we are convinced of the reality of this ftrange influence, and for the fame reafons with the Writer before us. We knew a gentleman of undoubted veracity. whofe wife, having been terrified at the fight of a monkey in the early part of her pregnancy, was actually delivered. of a creature of that form. The ill-judging people who attended her, did not conceal it from her, and fhe died with horrour.
The eighth and ninth volumes of this Work will be reviewed in our next Appendix.
Eai general de Tactique, Er.-A general Effay on the Principles of Tactics: To which is prefixed a Difcourfe on the present State of Politics, and of the Military Art in Europe; together with the Plan of a Work, intitled, he Political and Military State of France. Illuftrated with Copper-plates. 4to. 2 Vols. in one. London, chez les Libraires Affociés. 1772.
HOUGH it may naturally be supposed that we are not poffeffed of any confiderable fhare of knowledge, with reSpect either to the theoretical or practical part of tactics, we may thus far fafely pronounce concerning the merits of the prefent performance;-that the fubject is treated in a rational and philofophical manner; that the Author appears to be a perfon of extensive knowledge, and of a comprehenfive mind; and that he proposes many original ideas, with refpect to various parts of his fubject; in the difcuffion of which, he equally expofes the errors of a long established and abfurd routine, on the one hand; and the mistakes committed in the contrary practice of frequent and temporary innovation, on the other. His ftyle and manner too are animated, and often elegant.
The Author endeavours to fhew that the public were in want of a didactic treatife on the fcience of tactics, by a feemingly juft exhibition of the defects of the preceding publications on the fubject; fuch as that, for instance, of Puifegar, whofe principles are either falfe, or rendered totally ufelefs in the prefent ftate of the military art; of Folard, who owes his prefent reputation merely to the ftrength of prejudice; of Guichard, 002
more inftructive indeed than Folard, with respect to antient facts, but who teaches nothing of modern tactics :'-in short, of thofe of a great many other writers, from whofe productions it is equally difficult and difgufting, to pick out a few infulated truths, overwhelmed and loft in an abyfs of errors.
We fhould obferve, that the present work contains only fome of the materials of a more comprehenfive, or Complete Courfe of Tactics, which the Author proposes to publish hereafter. Accordingly, in the prefent Efay, he does not ftrictly confine himself to the elementary or didactic method, in which he preposes to arrange his ideas in that work. In the firft volume, or part, of the prefent publication, he treats of Elementary Tactics, or of the conftituent parts of an army fingly; under the heads of Infantry, Cavalry, Light-troops, and Artillery. Is the fecond part, he teaches what is called the Grand Taffics ; that is, he brings together, and, to ufe his own expreffion, •Amalgamets' thefe different bodies into the form of an army; and fhews in what manner, thus united, they may best concur in the execution of the great maneuvres of war; firft on the march, and next on the field of battle-the two grand divifions of this part of the science.
We fhould add, that many of the Author's new principles or ideas are intimately connected with a comprehenfive political and moral, as well as military, fyftem, planned by him. His new military principles may nevertheless, he affirms, be applied to any fyftem at prefent fubfifting: his intention being to apply them, not only to the prefent French military establishment, but likewife to thofe of Auftria, England, &c. ought further to obferve, that this is not a work of mere fpeculation. The principles which I here lay down, fays the Author, are, in part, thofe of the king of Pruffia; they are the ideas of many experienced military officers, who have studied their art. They are those of my father, acquired during forty years fervice; in short, they are my own, corrected and matured (refroidies, as the Author more elegantly expresses it) by his experience.'-The preliminary political difcourfe, mentioned in the title, appears to be drawn up by the hand of a master in that science likewife, and of a philanthropist.
Les Oeufs rouges, &.-An Epiftle from Sorhouet, on his Death-bed, to M. de Maupeou, Chancellor of France. 12mo. Paris. 1772 Republished in London.
HE fictitious, dying Sorhouet, here affumes the name and character (we fuppofe) of one of the real members of the new company, or tribunal, or parliament; lately fet up by the
chancellor Maupeou, on the annihilation of the old parliament of Paris; and, under the guife of being his confident and friend, and the only one out of eighteen millions who does not hold his name in execration, speaks daggers to his foul.-The most dif tant pofterity, (fays this pretended dying penitent, almoft at his first outlet) will unite your name with that of poor Sorhouet, and use them as perfectly expreffive of the moft fovereign contempt, and the moft outrageous reproach; in fhort, as fynonyms to the names of thofe vile poltroons and monsters, the memory of whom, preferved in hiftory, makes the reader even yet fhudder with horror.
Such, in general, is the tile and manner of this French Junius, who afterwards, like his great archetype, draws the characters, and delineates fome of the more ftriking traits of the private hiftory of feveral members of the new parliament, in the very gall of bitterness. Familiarized as we are to productions of this kind here at home, we have feldom feen any of our Sejanuses handled with fuch freedom and afperity. To thofe, however, who are not minutely acquainted with the late outrageously violent proceedings of the prefent chancellor of France, and who have not feen the flaming antiministerial pamphlets frequently alluded to in this publication, many parts of the prefent production will be totally unintelligible.
Jofephi Quarin, Sacr. Cæfar. Reg. Apoftol. Maj. Sc. Methodus. &c. The Method of curing Fevers. By Jofeph Quarin, M. D. &c. &c. 12mo. Vienna. 1772.
HIS fmall volume contains a fet of precepts relating to the cure of fevers, partly collected from the most approved writers, and in part from the Author's own obfervations, during a fuccefsful practice of twenty years, at Vienna, and in one of the hofpitals in that city. The defcriptions of the dif ferent kinds of fevers, and the curative directions, are delivered in plain and perfpicuous language; and the Author's formula, added at the end of the treatife, are in general fimple and effi cacious: much fimpler indeed than is ufual with German prefcribers.
In treating of the ufe of the bark, in the remiffions of the inflammatory fever, the Author fpeaks with fome degree of predilection of the decoction of that fubftance, which he, as well as the celebrated Vogel, prefers both to the fimple powder and the extract; and adds, that it is certain, from experience, that a mortification, which has refifted the powers both of the bark in fubftance and of the extract, has been stopped by the ufe of the decoction.' In this country, on the contrary, we almost univerfally attribute the greatest degree of efficacy to the 003 baik
bark in fubftance.-A proof of the admirable uncertainty attending even the seemingly plaineft medical facts.
Toward the end of the chapter on the natural small-pox, the Author obferves, that, though he has had a moft extenfive practice in that diffemper, he has not, during five years, loft a fingle patient in it, excepting two; to one of whom he was called in the laft ftage of the confluent fmall-pox, and to the other a purging medicine had been given in his abfence, which brought on an incurable diarrhea. We perceive, nothing, however, very particular in the Author's method of treating this distemper, except that a feemingly very immoderate exhibition of the mineral acids is here recommended.
In fpeaking of inoculation, the Author only obferves, in general, that it has been practifed at Vienna with the greatest fuccefs. The great fecret of inoculation, he adds, as Tiffot had before remarked, confifts in inferting the variolous poifon into a body free from all rigidity, laxity, weakness, obftruction, cachochymy, &c. in fhort, into a healthy but not an athletic body.'
This is not, however, the fecret of inoculation; nor do we believe that that fecret has yet been found out. We may affirm this with fome degree of confidence; as we have been witnesses to a promifcuous and fuccefsful inoculation of many hundreds of perfons, of all ages and temperaments; of lax and of rigid fibres; fome healthy, and others cachochymical, and even jaundiced and dropfical; performed fometimes with, and at other times without, preparation; and that preparation the fame, except with regard to dofe, for very different and oppofite conftitutions and yet the fuccefs of this wonderful operation was pretty equally balanced among all thefe very different fubjects. We pretend not to explain this matter; at the fame time we do not mean, by this obfervation, to recommend a total inattention to the circumftances and conftitution of the perfon who is to undergo this operation. In medicine, where we are fo liable to be mistaken, it will always be the most eligible, if we muft err, to err on the reputed safest fide.
AR T. XIII,
Obfervations fur le Livre intitulé Syftême de la Nature.-Obfervations
TH HESE obfervations reflect no fmall honour on the Author, who is already well known in the republic of letters, by fome valuable and ufeful performances in favour of religion and virtue. He expofes the fophiftry ani contradictions that are
to be met with, in abundance, in the Syftem of Nature, with great perfpicuity and ftrength of reafoning, and with all that decency, candor, and moderation, that becomes a gentleman, a christian, and a man of letters.
The great defign of the Author of the Syftem of Nature, is to prove this fingle propofition-there is no God. In order to reconcile this propofition with the prefent ftate of things, it is neceffary to fuppofe, ift, that matter is felf-exiftent; 2dly, that motion is effential to it; and 3dly, that whatever exifts is either matter or a modification of matter. If but one of these fuppofitions be falfe, the Syftem of Nature falls to the ground. Now M. de Caftillon demonftrates, in the clearest and most fatiffactory manner, the falfehood of all the three; fhews evidently that we have a clear and distinct idea of immaterial beings, and that the foul of man is immaterial. He makes fome very judicious and pertinent obfervations on natural religion, and the purity and perfection of Chriftian morals. He conceals none of the objections urged by the Author whom he refutes; on the contrary, he has placed many of them in a much stronger and clearer light.
If any of our Readers have been perverted by the appearance of reafoning in the Syftem of Nature, we recommend the obfervations before us to their attentive perufal. In regard to the style and fprightly manner of writing in the Syftem, the following paffage from the most fashionable writer of the prefent age cannot fail of having great weight with them.
Rien de plus déplacé que de parler de physique poétiquement, et de prodiguer les figures et les ornemens quand il ne faut que méthode, clarté, et vérité. C'est le charlatonisme d'un homme qui veut faire paffer de faux fyftêmes à la faveur d'un vain bruit de paroles. Les petits Elprits font trompes par cet appas, et les bons efprits le dedaignent.-Queft. fur l'Encycl. part 2. p. 157.'
ÁR T. XIV.
Exercitationes Critice in Jobi cap. xix. 23-29. accedit ftrictior expofitio Reliquarum Ejufdem Libri Sententiarum, quibus Religionis Antiquiffima Veftigia Produntur: Autore J. C. Velthufen, Germanis Londini peregrinantibus verbi divini interprete. 12mo. Lemgovie ex officina Meyeriana. 1772.-Critical Obfervations on Part of the xixth Chapter of Job, from the 23d Verfe to the 29th, &c. By J. C. Velthufen. Sold by Heydinger, &c.
R. Velthufen's abilities are already known to our Readers, from his Vindication of the Authenticity of the first and fecond chapters of St. Matthew's Gofpel; of which fome account was given in our Review for July, 1771.