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Mr. Douglas's design, in this performance, is to prove the antiquity of the earth, from the confideration that petrifactions of animal substances require a vast space of time to become totally changed in their texture, and acquire the ftony form in which they are found.
Naturalists universally allow petrifactions to be undeniable proofs of the great age of the world, but we do not recollect that any one, like our Author, has pretende ed, from the various phenomena attendant upon these substances, to determine what length of time would be necessary to produce the changes they have undergone : and indeed with very great reason; for the fituations in which animal relics lie buried are so various, and the circumstances of their lodgments so widely different, that no arguments of any weight can be brought to thew how long this or that must have Jain before it could have been in part or wholly petrified.
The principal fact on which Mr. Douglas builds his arguments, is the discovery of some petrified bones at Chatham, 12 feet below the surface of the earth. They were deposited in a Atratém of drift or river fand, blended with a kind of clay, of a yellowish grey tinge: the incumbent foil was a compact loam with horizontal veins of a blackih hue running through it. This vein of loam extends itself, in an horizontal direction, through the town of Chatham, about 20 feet above the level of the river Medway at highwater-mark. By the position of the bones, and the fragments that were preserved, they appear to have belonged to one entire animal. Our Author procured part of the under jaw with two teeth (of which he has given an excellent aquatinta plate), and fome other tragments; they were wholly deprived of their animal fali, and some of them, elpecially the jaw, are permeated with a lapidescent marter.' Mr. D. enters into a long disquisition about animal salt, and the component parts of animal substances, but in a manner which thews that he is not yet an adept in chemical knowledge.
Returning to the bones, he concludes, and indeed with every appearance of probability, that they are the remains of an Hippopotamus, at present an inhabitant of the Nile, and other large rivers of Africa; and since they were discovered petrified and entire in ' a foil which had been formed by the residue [lubfiding] of the water,' it Thould seem that they must have been deposited by this cause, that the animal must have lived near the place where it was found, and, con liquently, could not have been brought from any of the African rivers by Noah's Apod. From a confideration of these circumstances, Mr. D. makes the following conclufions :
" That this island has been under a warmer influence of climature than at this preleat æra.
· That the animal called the Hippopotamus, the inhabitant of the continent of Africa, must have been deposited on the
ftrand of the river Medway by waters, feparable from that epoch recorded in holy writ which submerged the world in forty days.
'. That the earth was once endued with a power of transmuting bodies into stoney or hard substances, which it seems no longer to poffels *; or that by the undoubted testimony of these petrified animal bones, they must have been interred much anterior to any written rec.cd, from some extraordinary convulsion of the globe.'
It is ftrange that the earth should have been once endued with a power which it seems no longer to possess. We have ever been of opinion that one of the principal properties of nature is to be sibi semper fimilis, and it must be acknowledged that ber operations are carried on in the same manner now as formerly : as an instance of which we mention the petrifaction of a human body found in 1722, which lay buried about 50 years in the copper-mines at Falhan in Dalecarlia, vid. Linn. Syft. Natur. tom. iii. This is a recent fact, which we look upon as furnishing an undeniable proof that petrifactions have been produced within these laft 100 years.
Our Author next confiders the petrifactions of elephants' bones and tusks, so frequently found in various parts of Europe. The Emperor of Germany's museum at Vienna furnished him with numerous specimens of this petrifaction, some of which are throughout calcareous, while others are entirely changed to the hardeit black agare. There are considered as having required an immense length of time to become so 'fully saturated with lapidescent matter.'
Mr. Douglas has bad various opportunities of finding human bones in many different soils, with the date of their depofit in terred near them ; and one in particular with a variety of relics found in the grave, he takes the liberty to introduce as perfeatly essential to the matter of the present disquisition. The bones, which were entire during the space of 1 300 years, were not calcined, but contained almost as much gluten or animal phlogiston as a recent bone; and an ivory armilla, not a quarter of an inch in thickness, found in the same grave, also preserved its animal
* 'I beg to observe, when I speak of petrifaction, that I mean a quality which the earth appears to have had of indurating bodies, by the operation of certain acids, and not of that quality with which certain foils are endued, of depositing an earthy or ferrugineous incrustation on the bodies enclosed in it; or of that power which produces sparry or stalactical matter, and which is sometimes found to enclose" heterogeneous bodies ; in short, of that power which is known to come within the scope of human definition, and to which a physical caufe can be ascribed. '-Indeed, Mr. Douglas, this is a very curious chemical note !
Salt. From these premises our Author thinks he is juftly pera mitted to draw this inference :
That, as the earth, within the given time of thirteen hundred years, has not had the power of petrifying so small a subftance as an ivory armilla, or of extracting the animal property from it; the time which would have elapsed to have rendered the tusk of an elephant calcareous, and to have converted it into the folid substance of an agate, could not bear any relative proportion to the transition of time, which human observation has thus prefixed : hence, by a progressive fucceffion of truths, I may naturally conclude, that some unknown lapse of time must have transpired for the production of this phenomenon, or that the earth must have been endued with a power of operating this effect, which fome revolution in nature has now entirely destroyed.'
This is the principal outline of the performance before us, though it was not without difficulty that we were able to give our readers any idea of the Author's plan, for he writes in a very defultory and immethodical manner, and his style in many instances betrays haste and inaccuracy. We hope, however, that in time his judgment will controul his ideas, and in some measure 'reftrain the fight of his imagination,' fince he seems, from the specimen before us, to be poffefsed of ingenuity and abilities that may be bighly useful in the cause of science, especially when joined with the ardent defire which he appears to have for useful discoveries.
In the Appendix Mr. D. offers some observations on the bones found in the rock at Gibraltar, and others of a fimilar kind. Buffon's system, and Whitehurft's theory of the earth, are examined, and remarks are made upon them,
The plates in aquatinta accompanying this work, which we find to be the Author's own performance, are neatly executed, and are good representations of the originals, particularly those of the coins, which we cannot help commending as engravings, although they are totally foreign to the main subject of his book.
Plates taken from the original Armour in the Tower of London,
of the first number of this ingenious work, wherein we ex. plained, as far as the preface could enable us, the intention and nature of the performance. The whole being now completed, we find it divided into two parts, one describing defensive, and the other offenfive arms. Although Mr. Grofe confines himself
chiefly to the armour worn in England, from the conquest to the time of its disuse, yet he frequently entertains his readers with descriptions and engravings of foreign ancient armour; especially when the consideration of the latter elucidates or explains any particulars relative to the former. The sources whence Capt. Grose has drawn bis information and examples, are the armour and weapons themselves ; he has never mentioned
any part of armour without having the original before him both for the verbal description and drawing, so that we meet with nothing of which specimens may not be seen either in public arsenals, private cabinets, sepulchral monuments, or ancient seals; and in order to satisfy the curiosity of his readers, he has, in the explanation of the plates, always been attentive to refer to the originals whence the drawings were made; and in the hiftorical and descriptive part he is no less careful to quote authorities for what he advances.
Such is his general plan, and the accuracy with which he has executed it, is similar to that observable in his former publications.
The several parts of armour are described separately, their uses are pointed out, and the different forms in which they were made at different periods of time, are fully explained. The learned Reader will find many curious remarks relative to the etymology of the names of the most material pieces of armour; by which it evidently appears that our Author has not compiled the present performance in hatte, but that it has been the result of extensive reading, close study, and a mature confideration of the subject. The historian will also receive much instruction as well as entertainment from an attentive perusal of this treatise, especially in such matters as relate to fieges and martial operations. In a word, readers of every description will have the satisfaction of meeting with fomething agreeable or useful.
The engravings which, being 49 quarto plates, beside an elegant frontispiece, conftitute a confiderable part of the book, are executed in that mafterly style which has always characterized the Captain's former works : they are exact representations of the originals, which is a most material recommendation of them; they would however have been much more agreeable to the eye had iney been drawn without the stands or props on which the armour is supported. Though the stands are necessary in the arieoa), yet they fill the picture with an appearance of fi merning foreign and extraneous : but it seems a peculiarity o' this accurate artist, to let nothing escape which prefenisilieit co his eye, when he is viewing a scene, or drawing an ubject.
treating certain Disorders under chirurgical Inspection. By M. FULGONI. 4to. With Plates. Rome, 1786.The first of four dissertations contained in this work treats of aneurisms in the lower extremities, the second of the fracture of the collar bone, the third of the fracture of the knee-pan, and the fourth of the use of camphor in the cure of external wounds. To these dissertations our Author has prefixed some critical reflections on chirurgical practice, and historical accounts of several eminent practitioners, whose merit is celebrated with due applause. To these are added two remarkable observations; one, of an imperfect conformation, in which the parts of generation, and the urinary bladder, were wanting; the other, of two heterogeneous subítances which found a passage into the bladder, one by the mouth, the other by the urethra.
2. Delle Ofa, &c. i. e. A Memoir concerning the Bones of Elephants, and other natural Curiosities, found in the Mountains of Verona. By the Abbé Fortis. 8vo. Vicenza. 1786.We have received information concerning this work, but we have not yet seen it: when it comes to hand, we Mall communicate the ingenious Abbé's explication of the matter. As the bones in question announce elephants, in great number, of all ages and all sizes, these fragments cannot be supposed to belong to the elephants which are said to have been brought into Italy by Hannibal and Pyrrhus.
3. Lettere fisiologiche, &c. i. e. Physiological Letters of Dr. ROSA, President of the College of Physicians at Modena. 460. Macerata. 1786. These letters do honour to the penetration and industry of their learned Author, whose discoveries and observations have contributed not a little to explain several curious and important phenomena both in the animal and vegetable world,
4. Memorie, &c. i. e. Historical Memoirs of the East-Indies. By Father EUSTACHIO DELFINI, a Piedmontese Carmelite. 8vo. Turin. 1786.- This Monk, who accompanied the French admiral Suffrein in his expedition to the Indies, gives us a topographical description of that extenfive region, together with an historical account of the different forms and tenets of religion that distinguish its inhabitants. Like all new comers on the historical scene, this Author corrects, on several occafions, the relations of preceding travellers and observers. Among other things, we find in this publication a life of the famous Hyder Ali, together with a relation of many fingular events,