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in certain branches of philosophy, than any other state in Eu. sope. Natural philosophy and natural history have here a brilliant list of successful votaries, and the names of Bonnet, De Luc, De Saussure, the two Trembleys, Le Sage, Niallet, Bertrand, Pistet, with several others of great merit, do high ho. nour to the city of Geneva. They indeed confine themselves pretty much to the branches of science already mentioned. Ancient literature has never been cultivated at Geneva with any remarkable ardor or success, and is now less in vogue than ever. The case is much the same with speculative philosophy, which has only its celebrated Bonnet (nec pluribus imparem), and with the science, of natural law and jurisprudence, in which Burlarnaqui has left no very eminent successor, though the prefent intestine divisions of that intoxicated bee-hive have produced a multitude of political publications of the first merit. Wit, fagacity, and talent flourish in the hive, but wisdom is wancing. The foolish bees, who had long been constructing their delicious honey-combs in one of the faireft spots of na. ture's domain, are now stinging each other to death, and the hive is threatened with ruin. Some say that this is partly the effect of the enchantments of an old wizard, who resided long in their neighbourhood, while others attribute the fatal frenzy to their having drank too plentifully of the ambrofial juice of the Aowers that adorned their habitation. Res adversas adhuc TANTUM tulisi, says a wise man in Tacitus, Res profpere scrieribus flimulis animum explorant.
M. SULZER passed some days with M. Bonnet, at his country feat, and counted these days among the happiest of his life. No marvel !-chey were kindred spirits. He mentions M. De Luc, wich fingular expressions of esteem ;and no marvel again, for the same reason. These are philosophers, who do not pass their laborious lives in measuring and conning over some scraps and skirts of the drapery of NATURE, without any attention to her Author or her destination; and therefore in the eye of wisdom, which looks for objects of hope and felicity to unfinish'd man, they will always appear to be the only true philosophers :- the rett is only blowing bubbles with gaudy colours, which break in froth, and are gone for ever!
The Reader will with pleasure follow M. Sulzer in his paffage through Lyons to the South of France, except when be describes the filth and misery that degrade the poor inhabitants in many parts of that beautiful region, arising from the plagues of despotism and oppreflion. Our Author's accounts cannot be always either new or highly interesting, because these countries have been seen before him by other travellers, and have been well described ; nor can an exact journal always exhibit intercfting objects or incidents. His description of the Hieres,
is curious and instructive. His account of Nice is pleasing and
barris a Pasquali. 8vo. 1780.
I which the Author, under the patronage of the Riformatori
The first letter, dated. Agord, July 1, 1775, gives an account of the Valle Imperina, near Belluno, in the Venetian
• Letters written on the road, &c.
Nn 2 t except Al in the i. Shat, written by M Wales,
incloped in Brackets.
terra firmai It lies between two steep calcareous mountains, called l’Erta, on the one side, and a leis elevated mountain called Riva, on the other. Its constituent parts are sehiftous, or quartzeous slate, which plainly appears to be the basis of the limestone, and is here, as in many other parts of the world, the matrix of copper pyrites. This copper ore is found in dif. ferent old mines, which are still working, not in veins, but in Jarge irregular heaps; and though reported to have formerly yielded some silver in the upper part of the valley, yet it it does not at present exhibit the least appearance of this nobler metal.
The loose detached Jime, grit, and whetstones, which the Author observed all along the brook that runs in the middle of this valley, and covering the just mentioned late mountain, led him to suspect that formerly it was covered entirely with calcareous strata ; and that earthquakes, but chiefly the brooks which come from the higher mountains, have interrupted and washed them away.
In the following Letter we have a çircumstantial account of the new lake of Alega, nine or ten miles above Agord. It was produced within these last ten years by the ruins of a high mountain, which burying some country houses in the adjacent narrow valley, and choaking up the river Cordevole, changed part of tle'valley into a large and deep lake. The mountain seems not to have been undermined by the water, for it was only its upper part, projecting and bending over the valley, which gave way and nipt down, perhaps because the strata, on which it rested, and which appear now bare on the top of the mountain, were too much inclined towards the valley. The erosion of some intermediate stratum, by a spring, which ran from that elevation of the mountain, may have co-operated to bring on this horrid downfal. Whatever was its caufe, ic iftopped the course of the river; which, being kept back, formed a lake, and overflowed and drowned the fields, the forefts, and every thing under the level of the accumulated ruins, which, at laft, it reached, and partly washed away. The lake which remains is about two miles long, and its greateft depth about 275 feet. The Author passed over it in a barge, and beheld the tops of the drowned forest almost immediately under the surface of the water; he adds, s ro enormous a bason of ftagnating water seems to threaten other consequences, which must prove as destructive to the upper parts of the river. Running down into the lake upon a greatly inclined plane, it carries large quan: tities of loose stones, pebbles, and gravel along with it, which, by its diminified velocity, it must depofit above the lake. The effect, already observed, has been that the bed of the river is become remarkably higher than it was before ; and that a village called Cav: ile will, to all appearance, be very soon buried in
rile, appedepofits beyond timeftone, pesticles.
the ever encreasing bed of the river. The ruins, which form the dike or weir of the lake, are a kind of compact limestone, interspersed with sparry glittering particles. These particles are not observable in the limestone, pebbles, and gravel, which the river deposits beyond the lake ; and which, as far up as Cava rile, appear to be mixed with the same varieties of whetstone, and vitrescent and volcanic stones, which I noticed on the road to this place. This proves that the mountains which surround the lake, are not all of them calcareous ; those on the eastern kide seem to be gritty, and those to the west of a schiftous argillaceous nature. However that be, this lake, produced by the downfall of part of a mountain, and the concomitant circumstances, offer a plain explication of the origin of many other lakes; of the accumulation of pebbles, gravel, and ruins, on beds and plains of a quite different nature; of the enormous rising of the river beds; of the confusion of pebbles and ruins, which are deposited without any order of specific gravity ; of fome prodigious heaps of wood, and other vegetable substances, which appear buried under ground; and of many other curious phenomena. Some mountains are certainly washed quite away in that manner; and we must never loose light of similar ruins and effects, whenever we venture upon an idea of the former ftate of the mountains, and of the plains which we inhabit. How different may they not have been from what they are now ! Rivers and brooks, that formerly ran over their tops have, by length of time, divided them, and cut and washed their way down to the level of the next valley, which however must have been the work of many ages.”
Let ús observe here, that applying this rational hypothesis to the pebble beds about London, and in the southern parts of the kingdom, our imagination is lost in the long immensity of ages, which must have formed them from the ruins of mountains now levelled to the ground; not to mention that as long an immensity of ages must be supposed to have accumulated or deposited these mountains at the bottom of the sea : for their role remains, the Aints and pebbles, contain a variety of marine bodies.
Though the Thames, and the country around us, be proved to have undergone some alterations fince the times of Cerar, yet they are insignificant when compared to those which we inuft suppose to have happened before.
Lett. 3. In his iour to Brescia, to Ifeo, and Lovere, in the territory of Bergamo, his attention was chiefly taken up with the fingular nature of the strata which appear in the abrupt moun. tains along the great lake of Iseo, on the northernmost end of which Lovere is licuated. It is surrounded with high mountains, that, as far as the Author could observe, are calcareous. Their Nn 3
Atraci. ftratification is different; the beds being very thin in fome, and very thick in others. Some dip to the west, fome to the south. Near a place called Riva, they are bent and folded in a most singular manner ; forming, as it were, as many sharp pyramids. At no great distance they are perpendicular. So they are near Castro. On the opposite shore they exhibit the same phenomeri.
Lett. 4. At Bergamo the Author examined some collections of forfils of that country. It is famous for iron mines and iropworks; and produces a great varitty of marble, pudding-stones, and alabaster. . · From Bergamo he went two journies along the rivers Bremba and Serio, which running in narrow vallies, offered to him a new field of observations. Neither the mountains nor pebbles exhibited any marks of old volcanos.
Near Borta he saw again such pyramidal limestone strata as he had obferved on the lake of leo. . · Ac S. Pellegrino he saw the regular stratification of the adjacene mountains in the river-bed, and juftly concluded that for. merly they must have been connected; in further confirmation of which, he found, on the declivity of one of the mountains, many ftratified pebbles, which corresponding with those in the preient bed of the river, furniih a very strong proof of the altera tions spoken of in one of his other letters.
· Towards Piazza the lower Itrata of a mountain were observed to be much inclined, and in that respect very different from the higher incumbent ones, which are in an horizontal position. 4: In the iron-works at Piazza and Lecna they have a sparry iron ore, which, flightly roasted or calcined, and mixed with Tome limestone, was reported to produce about 60 per 100.
On the road to Fondra he observed, first, late mountains, and then enormous ones of red granite rock, beyond which the flate, which contains the iron mines, appeared again, « The juit mentioned granite rock forms very high mountains. It breaks into irregular mafies, which seem to affect a cubic form, Though sometimes they appear to be divided into irregular scales, Its texture is a paste of vitrescent particles, and of little peb. bles of the same nature; all wrapt up and glued together by a reddish paste, in which scarce any fragment of thiri, mica, or other black lubitances, is to be distinguilhed. Nor do chese socks convey any idea of fratification. They have there a provincial name, and are called Seris ;, and soine naturalifts have miltaken them for the red granitello, which widely differs from them in colour as well as other properties.
On ano: her excursion to Bonaiù, in the valley di Scalve, the Author observed, on the top of a calcareous mountain, at a