תמונות בעמוד

IV. Nouveau contes Turcs et Arabes, &c. i. e. New Turkish and Arabian Tales, to which is prefixed a Chronological Abridgment of the Ottoman House, and of the Government of Egypt; to which are added several Pieces of Poetry and Profe, translated from the Arabic and from the Turkish Languages. By M. Digeon, King's Interpreter, and Correspondent Member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles. Lettres. 2 vols. 8vo. Paris. 1781. This work is not unworthy of curiosity. The history of the Ottoman empire, in that branch of it which regards the government of Egypt (especially since the conquest of that kingdom by the emperor Selim, about the commencement of the 14th century), is little known, and has only appeared in the Arabick manu. fcript of which of M. DIGEON gives here the translation. It may be alleged, that the curiosity of Europeans cannot be much interested in the events of this turbulent and unhappy country, which carries all the marks of impotent tyranny exercised at a distance, and of deplorable contests between its subordinate, though immediate chiefs, whose annals contain a dry list of the uniform barbarities and extortion's of a series of stupid Bashaws, and in which every spark of literature and science has been totally extinguished many ages fince. However true this may be in general, it admits of restrictions. As the work before us is the exact and faithful translation of a Mahomecan author, it cannot be an object totally indifferent to suck as have a taste for oriental literature. Besides, it is not deftitute of curious anecdotes, not elsewhere to be met with, relative to the birth of Selim, the death of Bajazet, and other points of Turkish and Egyptian history. It is a capital omir. fion in M. DIGEON, to have left us in the dark with respect to the name, rank, and time of the Author of the work before us. He seems to have been a sensible and knowing man, and less charge. able with blind credulity and excellive exaggeration, than the gea nerality of the Arabian and Turkihh historians; but not, however, beyond all reproach on these heads. He gives us, for example, a description of Conftantinople, that was composed by Zecheria Effendi about the beginning of the 16th century, in which the number of the streets, mosquèes, schools, convents, bachs, &c. of that city must be greatly exaggerated ; and yet he adds, that this number was doubled in later times. Amazing this, indeed, fince Zecheria counted in Constantinople 3980 streets inhabited by Turks, 4900 by Christians, and as many by the Jews, above 5000 Mosquées great and small, with other wonders of equal magnitude.

V. Histoire de la Chirurgerie depuis son Origine jusqu'à nos jours. j. e. The History of Surgery from its Origin to our Times. By M. PEYRILHE, M. D. Royal Professor of Chymistry in the College of Surgery at Paris, Counsellor of the Royal Academy of


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Surgery, &c. vol. II. 900 pages. Paris. 1785. This work was undertaken some years ago by M. DUJARDIN, who died prematurely, just after the publication of the first volume. M, PEYRILHE was every way worthy to succeed him, as appears by the volume now before us. Tbis important work is defigned to mark all the steps which Surgery has made, whether they led to, or went aside from, its true perfection; to thew in what periods, and by what incidents, or persons, its progress was retarded or accelerated; to exhibit the original discoveries, and the peculiar views of each author; together with the most remarkable inductions, either from his own principles, or from those of his predecessors; to arrange the various inventions and discoveries in a Chronological order, and point out the places where they are to be found; to ľnew how one discovery produced others, and to ascertain their true authors, the time when they lived, the places of their nativity and residence, the more particular circumstances of their lives, their characters, &c. With the history of the Art, this learned Author gives us that of the Profession ;-and this is a part of the work, that will render it interesting, not only to practitioners in surgery in particular, but to men' of letters in general. We see here, what rank surgery held among the other arts in every period ; the degree of esteem to those who practised it, and the personal merit of those who contributed to its improvement.

VI. Discours Public sur les Langues, &c. i. e. A Discourse concerning Languages in general, and the French Language in particular, accompanied with instručlive Notes. By M. DE VILLENCOUR, Professor of the French Language. Paris. 1781. This dircourse discovers taste, erudition, and a philosophical spirit. As it was delivered in public, the tone is of the declamatory kind; the Author thews his eloquence, as well as his learning. The notes are really instructive.

i I T A L y. VII. Storia Antica del Messico, &c. i. e. The ancient History of Mexico, drawn from the best Spanish Historians, from Manuscripts and ancient Indian Paintings, divided into ten Books, and enriched with Maps, Cuts, and Differtations. By the Abbé Don Frascisco XAVIER CLAVIGERO. 4to. Celæna. 1780. The Europeans know little of the interior of Mexico; the accounts given of that country by travellers are discordant, in consequence of their ignorance of the language and manners of the people they describe, and their unacquaintance with a prodigious number of memoirs and relations, that throw light upon the history of that famous country. If ever a writer was qualified, by a combination of advantageous circumstances, for compofing a history of Mexico, it is certainly the Abbé CLAVIGERO. For he has not only perused, as it seems, with care, all


ELSCO XAVICE, and Dijirtadivided into teanga from Maniu

the writers who make mention of this great empire, but he was born in the country, is master of its language, and has via fired all those parts of it, which the Spanish Government has rendered inaccessible to the curiosity of travellers. Nor did he. pay them only a transitory visit; for he spent above thirty years in observing, with the eye of a philosopher, all the parts of this extenfive region, and in procuring from the natives exact information with respect to every object of any consequence; so that he may be almost considered as an ocular witness of what he relates. If to these uncommon advantages, the laborious and learned Author has joined that critical acumen, so necessary to appreciate the sources of information, to discuss dubious facts, to combine scattered fragments, and to separate truth from fable, and has crowned all by that bold candour, which suppresses every thing that is false, and disguises or conceals no important truth, his work must be an inestimable present to the republic of letters. Such it is esteemed by good judges, who attribute to. him largely all these qualities.

The work is comprised in three quarto volumes, which are to be followed by a fourth, containing Dissertations on several points of the history of Mexico. The first and second volumes have already appeared, and we shall here give a summary of their principal contents. .

The first is divided into five books. Book I. contains the geography of Mexico, a description of its lakes, rivers, mine. rals, plants, and animals, and a particular account of the manners of its inhabitants. The second informs us of the different colonies or nations which pafled into that country from the northern parts of America, and dwelt in it, before it was inhabited by the Mexicans; of the arrival of these latter, and their first fettlements; and of the founding of Mexico and Tlatelulco. In the third, our Author treats of the origin of the Mexican mo: narchy, of its state under its four first kings, of the conquests made by these princes, of the illustrious exploits of Montezuma

Ilkuicamina, and of the revolutions of the kingdom of Alcolkuala can. The fourth book contains an account of the restoration of the royal family to the throne of Alcolkualcan, of the establisho ment of the kingdom of Tucuba, of the triple alliance between the kings of Mexico, Alcolkualcan and Tucuba, of the victories obtained by the Mexicans under Montezuma I. and Axajacat, of the conquest of Tlatelulco, and other remarkable events, as far down as Montezuma II. the ninth king of Mexico. In the fifth book, the Author gives an ample account of the life of this unhappy monarch till the year 1519, of his government, of the magnificence of his palaces and gardens, of the famous war with the Tlafcalans, and other meríorable events. In the course of this history many noble exploit's are



related, and many shining and heroic characters appear on the scene.

The fecond volume is divided into two books. In the fird, we have an account of the religion of the Mexicans, of their gods, and of their worship, which, with all its absurdities, is still less fuperftitious than the religious institutionis of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Author treats allo, in this book, of the chronology of the Mexicans, of their kalendars festivals, and the ceremonies used at the birth of their children, their marria ages, and funerals. The second book exhibits an account of the civil and military government of the Mexicans, of their police, agriculture, hunting, fishing, and commerce ; of their {poris, diet, and manner of living; of their language, poetry, music, and dances; and of their knowlege in history, painting, sculpture, architecture, and other useful or pleafing arts. There is a great abundance and variety of matter in this volume, which opens some new sources of evidence, that may contribute to decide the long depending controversy concerning the state and progress of civilization and arts in Mexico. Dr. ROBERTSON's cstimate of this matter is beyond all praise. It is the most masterly discussion we remember to have met with in any history. It however leaves the mind in a state of scepticism and suspence: or rather by rules of criticism, as solid and philofophical as they are acute and ingenious, it inspires a diffidence in the splendid relations which the Spanish writers have given of the progress and perfection of the arts among the Mexicans. These relations are supported and augmented by new materials in the work now before us; the reader must judge of what moment these materials are in the decision of this nice controversy.

VIII. Atti, &c. i. e. Transactions of the Academy of Sciences at Sienna. Vol. VI. 4to. 359 pag. with cuts. Sienna. 1781. This academical collection is worthy not only to claim, but to command the attention of the learned. It is sufficient to observe, that the celebrated names of Frisi, Ximenes, and Fontana, appear often prefixed to its Memoirs, and that a considerable number of other learned Italians enrich it with their valuable labours. Of the 13 pieces contained in this volume, three are written in Latin, and ten in Italian.

IX. Del Fondamento, &c. i. e. A Differtation on the Foundation of the Right of Punishing. By J. B. G. Count D'ARCO, Chamberlain to his Imperial Majesty, and Member of the Institute of Bologna, and of the Royal Academies of Mantua, Bourdeaux, &c. 8vo. Cremona.' 1781. This produca tion is worthy of its Author, whose nobility is dignified by eminent virtues, and a very high degree of literary merit. It was read, fome years ago, at a public Meeting of the Royal


Academy of Sciences and Belles-Lettres of Mantua; and though it contains nothing that will appear new to those who are acquainted with the moral and political writers of our island, and particularly with the excellent Treatise of Sir WILLIAM EDEN on penal laws, it nevertheless does justice to the reputation of its Author. The principles, on which he treats this important subject, are just and philosophical; and his critical reflexions on the famous treatise of the Marquis of BeCCARIA are solid and judicious.

X. Lettere Capricciose di Francisco Albergati Capacelli, &c. i. e. Miscellaneous Letters (for they are too sensible and judicious to deserve the name of capricious or whimsical, which are annexed to them in this title) between FRANCISCO ALBERGATI CAPACELLI and FRANCISCO ZACCHIROLI, published by themselves. 8vo. 276 pages. Venice. 1780. The Abbé ZACCHIROLI, and his Correspondent the Marquis, are two very agreeable, humane, and judicious managers of the epistolary pen; and we are very angry at the greyhound or mastiff, who was dea vouring a bundle of these letters in one room, while their Authors were deliberating about the publication in another. However, a remnant was saved from the jaws of the four-footed Vandal, and it contains 28 letters, which the lovers of Italian literature will read with pleasure. They come from two men of eminence in the republic of literature, and the subjects of the correspondence are treated with amenity, judgment, wit, facility, and sentiment. These subjects are, the theatre, travelling, cicisbeism, inoculation, study, the contempt of calumny, criminal jurisprudence, imprudence, sentiment, morality, the various opinions concerning the souls of brutes, cynicism, edu. cation, ancient and modern authors, &c.

GERM A N Y and the NORTH. XI. Uber die Reformation. Concerning the Reformation. Volume I. 8vo. Berlin. 1780. This very thick volume is folid and extensive in its materials, and contains an important part of the general history of the reformation in Europe. We find here judicious observations on the political system of Europe at the firft dawn of the reformation, also an account of the state of learning, of ecclesiastical government, and of religious tenets and rites before the reformation. The characters of Luther, Zuinglius, and Calvin, are examined and delineated ; and the commencement of the reformation in England, Switzerland, and Germany, is accurately related. The most authentic sources of information seem to have been carefully consulted by this learned Author, who also discovers an extensive knowledge of the best books that have been composed on the subject.

XII. Briefe enis reisenden ueber den gegenwaertigens zustand Von Caffel, &c. Letters of a Traveller concerning the present Siate Rev. Dec, 1781.


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