Imatges de pÓgina

facts and experiments known on this theory, and had considered this subject, and the interesting de- man merely as a compound of ductions that naturally flow from oxygen, azote, and some other their discovery. If the observa- gases, from whose actions on each lion of Dr. Ewell, which proves other resulted that catenation of that pit coal, when reduced to an motions, termed life ; but we were impalpable powder, is a very ex- inclined to attribute these visionary cellent manure, be found correct ideas to a momentary enthusiasmi, by the experience of others, the excited by some unexpected effects, inhabitants of his own state will resulting from chemical action, have reason to view with gratitude when, like the Pythia of Delphi, the author of this discovery. they uttered in their • moody mad

We have at length arrived to ness' a mass of incoherent expres-. the concluding address,' which sions, which their obsequious puwe have kept in reserve as a petit pils fashioned into a doctrine of inorgrau of criticism for the lovers animal life. To enter on a dis. of novelty. This non-descript cussion of what Dr. Ewell calls production, it seems, ' was deliver- doctrine in this address, would be ed before the Philadelphia Medical an insult to our readers, by inferSociety, at their session in 1804, ring, that their minds might possifor the privilege of being an hon- bly be warped by the warmth of orary member of that respectable argument, or biassed by the weight association, and equally disgraces of intellect, which he discovers in the author, by whom it was com- its composition. The only pas. posed, and the society, by whom


which affords even the shadit was tolerated. We confess, we ow of an argument in favour of think the title dearly bought, for his hypothesis, is that in which he the author appears to have lost his quotes the experiments of count wits in the purchase. With a de- Rumford and the abbé Spallanzani, gree of candour, however, which and mentions the presence of aniis not always attached to the wri. mals in various parts of the body, tings of learned men, Dr. Ewell whose production has never been acknowledges, that

satisfactorily explained. With A part of the doctrine here ad.

this beggarly account of reasons, vanced was first introduced into the

he imagines he has demonstrated society by the accomplished and not less learned than eloquent Dr. N. T.

what has escaped the penetrating Chapinan, formerly of Virginia, at pres- genius of the whole sect of mateent one of the practitioners of physick rialists from Democritus to Darwin. of Philadelphia. The doctrine, which But we are convinced that those, it endeavours to support, is, that animal

who have withstood the formidalife is not in consequence of the agency of an intelligent spirit, called vis med

ble arguments of Hartley and of icatrix, which regulates the motions of Priestley, are in no danger of being the body, as supposed by one set of prostrated by the vox et preterea philosophers ; nor in consequence of nihil of Dr. Ewell:

We might its being the effect of stimuli acting on the excitability of the system, as taught

considerably extend the limits of

our review by extracting the many by their successors ; but that it (life) is in consequence of the affinities of sublime passages, which are dismatter exercised on each other when seminated through this address, the necessary states are created.' but we shall reserve only the last

We have before heard that some paragraph, as a fair specimen of other great men of Philadelphia the style and sentiment of the auhad advanced opinions in favour of thor.

• When indulging our imagination, other, in the states created ; and and viewing what chemistry was a few with the latter, that moral obligayears back and what it now is, where can we set bounds to our expectations !

tions are merely impediments to You know that the science is but lately

the march of mind, and that a freed from the fetters of Egyptian hier- state of perfection is fast approach oglyphicks ; its embryo is just emerg- ing, when liberated man shall own ing from the troublesome trammels of no law but will, and suffer no punalchemy. The conductors, now cherished in the bosom of nature ; almost

ishment but the pangs of conomnipotent, because united will not be science. Endowed with these retarded in their progress. A knowl. principles, they would send forth edge of all the laws of matter may yet their crystallizations to people our be acquired, and then we will find per

gun-boats, or colanize our Louissons vying with nature in forming the most valuable productions. Nor will

iana, possessions, unless they were active and revolutionary man rest with

incliiud to exercise new affinities such success! Growing tired with the in the states created,' and dissolve tardy operations of nature, he will seize in the humid atmosphere of the at once ho" agents, and will in a few

former, or melt in the fervid heats moments combine them, thereby form.

of the latter. ing all the articles used as the necessaries and luxuries of life. Perhaps too,

Pah, he may progress still more. By a zeal- Give me an ounce of civet, good apoth. ous industry and cordial-union, possibly ecary, he may be able, by his art, to prepare To sweeten my imagination.' the state, to ascertain the constituents, to apply them together, so as to crys

Upon the whole, we have been tallize a man ! All other collateral disappointed on the perusal of this branches will proportionably improve. book. The author, we are confiAnd when a man is thus formed, the

dent, possesses talents, and by beartist may be able to rob the heavens of their electricity ; to convey it at plea

stowing more time and labour on sure through our immense beds of car- the composition of his work, he bon, converting them into diamonds,

would have made it what he proand with these crect a refulgent man. mises in the preface. At present sion for his earthly residence.'! the character of these Plain Dis.

On the perusal of this passage, courses appears to be, that with the we were ready to exclaim with abstraction of something new,' Cicero, quosque tandem abutere they may be considered as a tolernostra patientia ? The attention, able compendium of chemistry. however,ofour moderulrometheus In a work like this, professedly and his élèves, would not probably devoted to the people, our readbe confined to the physical happi- ers will not expect many observaness of their crystal. They would lions on its style. With them the watch the developement of its aullor seems coniented to move moral faculties. They would place along in the humble sphere of in its hands the writings of Spinoza language. the rarely rises above and of Godwin, and teach ii with mcdiocrity, and he cannot always the former, that God is but another he said to be guiltless of bad gramname for substance, which involves One cannot help remarking within itself the necessary callses the libered use of epithets, which of the changes, to which it is ex- are applied almosi indiscriminateposed; or lo speak in the language ly to the very, great men of our of Dr. Ewell, that life is not the own country. Ile seems delightconsequence of the agency of an ed to acknowledge his obligations intelligent spirit, but of the affini: to the indefatigable d'ofessor, Dr. çies of matter, exerciscd on cach Burton,' that celebrated chemist, Dr. Mitchell,' the 'not less learn- have thus finished the review of ed than accomplished Dr. Miller,' this work, and we dismiss it with the accurate experimenter, Dr. this advice to the author, that in Woodhouse,' the accomplished future he would remember the rescholar and secretary of the navy,' commendation of Horace, Nonum the venerable and hospitable Mr. prematur in annum. Henderson,' and the accomplished and not less learned than eloquent Dr. N. T. Chapman, for



ART. 16. merly of Virginia, at present one Original Anecdotes of Frederick the of the practitioners of physick of Great, king of Prussia, and of Philadelphia.' With respect to his family, his court, his ministhe execution of the work, it is ters, hts academies, and his liteprinted on good paper with a clean rary friends. From the French type, but it was with much řegret of Dieudonné Thiebault, prowe noticed such a multitude of fessor of belles lettres in the roytypographical errours in a book, al academy of Berlin. Vol. I. which issued from a press usually nr. 433. Philadelphia, E. Bronso correct as that of Brisban &

1806, Brannan. We are informed, in a note by the author, that several Of the greatest warrior, that material errours have most unfor- Europe produced in the last centunately escaped an earlier detec- tury, whose prudence was never tion, in consequence of some parts diminished with success,and whose of the work being unusually hur- spirit was inflexible after defeat; of ried through the press.' The oc- him, who, not satisfied with the casion of all this haste we know glory of conquest, aspired to be not, but we are assured, that the ranked with legislators, and even publick would not have been dis- panted for the honours of philosoappointed nor injured at the delay phy, we must receive familiar of the work a sufficient time to anecdotes with peculiar delight. correct these material errours.' The political character of FredeIn fact we are inclined to doubt rick is too well known to be illuswhether the proof-sheet was ever trated in this work ; but it propoinspected. Besides a number, ses, beside exhibiting other great which the author has corrected, men, his contemporaries, to give we have noted several, which are us his seniments on the comof importance, as they effect the mon business of life, to show him, meaning, or sense of the passage ; as a son, a husband, a brother, or among these are minimum for as a wit, a critick, and a metaphyminium, sceptic' for septic, 'sul- sician. phur' for sulphuret, glans' for The author was invited, as a glands, chalk damp' for choak Professor, to Berlin in 1765, damp, from for form, &c. &c. twenty-five years after Frederick The pages of this work are con- mounted the throne, when his distinually disfigured with the minor position must have been formed, errours of the press, such as 'soop,' and his principles fixed, and the 'morter,'' quarts,' apotite,'' me- intimacy, allowed to the Frenchtalic,' sacharine,' diamons,' me- man, is often his boast. In his dic,' &c. and with the omissions of preface he declares,' The first law, letters in some instances, and their which I prescribed to myself on wrong collocation in others. We entering upon this work, and from

which I have never deviated even colleagues received from the king; in thought, was to write with the while he usually escaped by a deepstrictest fidelity repecting the facts er knowledge of his master's disit should contain. I solemnly de- position. Once, however, after a clare, no single word appears in it long controversy on a topick of that has not my entire belief.' That morals, the royal logician told the all the stories in his work were be- professor, “My dear sir,you do not lieved by the relator, we shall not understand such subjects as these.' dispute, for we wish not to guage To his will obedience was comthe capacity of any man's faith ; monly paid ; but the honour of yet we are sure his readers will man was sometimes vindicated be far behind him in facility of even in the palace of this arbitrary confidence.

and capricious monarch. A disThe first volume is divided into pute between him and an architect three parts, viz. of Frederick the is worth insertion, though the degreat, of his family, of his court. sign of the king was followed. At the author's introduction the monarch openly avowed his fondo staircase in a small room to the left, and

The king would have an ordinary Dess for the French, and contempt an antique grotto in the place of the of his native language. This was vestibule. Leger declared he would perhaps the most grateful and least draw out no such plans. The dispute suspicious compliment, he could became warm ; each was equally tenahave bestowed on a French critick. master," said the king ; "I command

ciors and positive. ...."I am the But neither despotism, nor fashion that these plans shall be altered agreecan introduce a new language ably to my directions.”.

My hoamong a civilized nation, while it nour is concerned,” replied Leger, continues independent. Freder

" and to no consideration shall it be a ick would have appeared more pa- proclaim to his

successors that he had

sacrifice : Leger will never himself triotick in promoting the refine- à barbarous and vulgar taste ; that he ment of his vernacular idiom, was wholly ignorant of his art ; or that than by his unavailing attempts to

he was base enough to riolate all its naturalize a foreign tongue.

A rules in compliance with an ill-timed sailor once said, the only mode of

respect.distinguishing our countrymen That Frederick was fond of from the English, and thereby dogs, and hated his wife, had fifsaving them from impressment, teen hundred snuff-boxes, and was would be to invent a new language, a delicate epicure, we knew before and compel all the subjects of our this volume reached us. Perhaps government to adopt it. But we too much attention is given by the think it a more effectual way, to author to such trifling memoranda; evaporate the ocean.

but we are often instructed in the Of the reputation, which is least causes of events, long known and deserved, we are often most tena- little understood. We may even cious. Frederick had an uncom- find something connected with the Inon expansion and comprehensi- present state of Europe. Freder,bility of reasoning, but his educa ick and his brother Henry were tion bad not been sufficiently re: often at variance, and the root of gular to preserve him from fre- the enmity is discovered in page quent solecisms. Yet he affected 218. to school all the literati of his capital. Thiebault delights to in

“The political reasons that made him

averse to the total annihiltion of Po. form us of the mortification his land led him to conceive a plan, by

means of which he was persuaded he sian monarch and the latter sçarant could place that country in a situation is still more severely treated by the to oppose a powerful barrier to the in. Professor of the Berlin academy. novations of Russia, Turkey, and Austria, in case of need : he accordingly • It is notorious that, during the re. regarded Poland as a usefal ally of volution, the abbe Raynal recanted his Prussia, of Sweden, and of Denmark.

opinions in the most inconsistent and Such are the secret motives of his im- least honourable manner. He died placable animosity towards his brother

while preparing a new edition of his for having prevented his nomination to

Philosophical History, in which be pur. the crown of Poland, and towards his

posed to suppress all that related to nephew for having made the last parti- philosophy. Was he in reality convinc: tion of that country.'

ed of the falsehood of his opinions ? But certainly too much of the

No ; he gave them up from deference

to those whose favour he courted work is below the dignity of a

Self-love, vanity more than pride, the professor, and scarce worth a sec. most rapacious avarice, the most un. ond perusal

qualified boasting, and the yearning he

felt to be the subject of men's thoughts • There was a chamberlain in the and conversation, were the passions court of the queen-mother, named M. which during his whole life, perpetuatde Morein, who was a man of so cir. ed in his heart a violent and intermin. cumscribed an understanding, as to be able warfare. These were the passe constantly held up to ridicule in the ions that made him successively a sphere to which he belonged. Even priest who would accept a bribe, a after his death some facts were related writer rich in the labours of others, a of him that appeared almost incredi- visionary philosopher, an incorrigible ble ; such as his being unable to recol- tyrant in colloquial society, and, lasty, lect whether at the seige of such a a hypocritical religionist." The king of place he was the besieged or the be. Prussia took the most cruel revenge of sieger, and whether it was himself or him in persisting to talk only of those his brother who was killed in such a of his works, of which he was really campaign. It was to this M. Morien the author ; of the two which, as the that the marquis d'Argens lent the abbe well knew, had excited no essame volume seven times over ; and teem. Every one knows that his Phibeing asked afterwards how he liked losophical History contains nothing the work, replied, “I think it, sir, an but the name that is his own.' admirable production ; but if I might speak my opinion freely, the author

The Philadelphia pullisher, sometimes repeats the same things." whose press is famous for its eleThe English ambassadour requested gant editions, particularly for that him to present to the queen-mother the of Lorenzo de Medici, has alearl of Essex, then on his travels, and added that it was not the earl of Essex forwarding us new and valuable

ways been liberal and diligent in Elizabeth. Accordingly M. de Mor. publications ; but he has either ien, at the usual hour of presentations, not sent us the 2d Vol. of thiş said to the queen, “ Madame, I have work, or it has miscarried. the honour to present to your majesty the earl of Essex, a native of England and a traveller ; for the rest, the En.

ART. 17. glish ambassadour bas assured me that Vol. 1. fart I. Feb. term, 1806, he is not the same earl of Essex who Reports of cases argued, and dewas beheaded under queen Elizabeth.”

termined, in the Supreme Court The anecdotes of literary men,

of Judicature of the State of by all of whom Frederick was

New York. By William Johnson, ambitious to be praised or abus

esquire, counsellor at law.ed, seem the best parts of the

New-York, I. Riley & Co. 1806. work. Rousseau and Raynal gain- The small series of reports, with ed little kindness from the Prus- whịch Mr. Johnson has recently

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