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tures, they have tended to keep up the scourge, to perpetuate the curse, to carry down the degradation through all ages, through all generations of the earth. Upon the former, the curse which they dealt out to mankind will return, and rest for ever upon their unhallowed and blood-stained name; but it is the lattter that will be visited with the highest measure of punishment, and upon them most assuredly will fall the deepest execration of their species. The minions of war and chivalry, Francis and his courtiers, might, as dissolute and mischievous buffoons, have exercised an evil influence on their own age; but such imbeciles could have exercised none on any other, if there had not been found to exist, men so blind and so degraded, as to attempt to hold up such creatures as they, to the admiration of posterity. We trust that the time is past, or at least passing away, when such men could be found on the face of the earth. Let any man, elevated ever so little by knowledge and civilization above the brutes, fix his attention upon the following picture, and say if he would choose to risk the bare possibility of subjecting himself and all that is dear to him, to so frightful a destiny. The detail is horrible, but it must not, and shall not, be passed over. The hand may shrink from tracing, and the mind from contemplating it, even as the firmest nerves will shrink from the application of the cauterising steel, in which lies the only hope of safety; but the steel and the fire must do their office, or the patient must die. “It would almost defy the imagination to conceive the infamous extravagances, the horrible excesses, which men, released from the only restraint to which for long they have been accustomed, military discipline, and who acknowledge no other law, human or divine, are capable of perpetrating. Of such a character were the indignities which Rome had to endure from the soldiers of Bourbon, more avaricious, more cruel, more dissolute, and more impious than the Goths and Vandals who had formerly conquered her. Beauty, youth, innocence, and weakness tortured, and abandoned to ignominy; the most shameful outrages committed on women of the highest rank, and on those consecrated to the service of religion,-the former dishonoured in the presence of their husbands and families, the latter violated on the very altars; churches profaned, plundered of their ornaments, and converted into stables; in one part, old men, bishops, and cardinals mounted, with their faces to the tails, on asses and mules, paraded in the public places, exposed to hootings, to insults, and to blows; in another, processions of soldiers' boys, dressed in sacerdotal robes, counterfeiting the chaunting and ceremonies of religion, having their train borne by the prelates, reduced to the condition of footmen and lacqueys; here, groups of women and girls weeping, dragged with violence by the brigands who had carried them off; there, citizens loaded with irons, lacerated with blows, mutilated and put to the torture, till they discovered the place where they had concealed their treasures; such were a few of the scenes presented on this occasion by the captured city, and enacted by those followers of fame, those renowned foster-babes of gore and glory. “It was whether the Spaniards, so skilful in the art of tormenting their victims, or the Germans, almost all furious Lutherans, should signalize themselves most by outrages against religion, decency, and humanity. The former, more practised, carried off the prize of cruelty and debauchery. They did not spare the foreigners who were in the city, any more than the natives; and they exercised towards the Spanish and German prelates, the most devoted to the emperor, the same treatment, as to the ministers and courtiers of the pope. In a word, this horde of barbarians extended their fury, even to the finest monuments that had escaped the injuries of the Goths, of the Vandals, and of time.”—vol. i. pp. 157—160. . . It were much to be desired that our own history were treated somewhat upon the plan which the author of these volumes has sketched out. His compilation bears all the marks of haste; he has not afforded himself sufficient time for giving a finished and artist-like appearance to his plan, which embraces most of the principles that ought to enter into modern historical composition. It is high time for us to get rid of all that conventional nonsense, which has misled historians in general, to sink the defects, and sculpture, in strong relief, the fancied perfections of their heroes. What we want is truth; truth undisguised; truth that disdains the passions, and rises into a pure atmosphere which they cannot reach; truth that prefers virtue even to valour, and puts vice to the blush, even when it is encircled by a diadem.
ARt. XI.-Transactions of the
to which the human frame is subject, with their corresponding
Part I. 4to. pp. 169. London :
Parbury, Allen and Co. WE see, with great pleasure, this valuable accession to our stores of Asiatic History, Science, and Literature. The first article consists of letters from the late Sir William Jones to the late Mr. Samuel Davis, F. R. S. They relate to India, and throw light on some parts of its early history. A plate at the end of the volume, engraved under the direction of Mr. Davis, illustrates the astronomical remarks contained in the letters. It represents the Hindoo zodiac, and the lunar mansions. It is observable, that it differs much from the zodiac contained in the second volume of the Asiatic Researches.—The second article contains extracts from the Mualdjat David Shekohi; a compilation in three folio volumes, extending through not less than 3338 pages, in discourses on the diseases
remedies; and on many other subjects. It was begun in the year 1642, and was completed in four years from that time. It may be considered as a kind of Indian Encyclopædia. The articles here given were selected and translated by Major David Price, from a copy of the work in his possession. This is supposed to be the only one in Europe, unless it be that which was made about thirty years ago, by M. Bruys, formerly a French resident at Surat, for the library of the King of France.—The third article contains a discourse on Budd'ha and the Phrabal, by Captain James Low. It is chiefly derived from Baily and Siamese books. The Phrabal is the divine foot of Budd'ha, impressions of which are shewn in different places in India. This article is extremely curious.—In the fourth article by William Marsden, Esq. an interesting account is given of
New Guinea, an island less known to Europeans than almost any other part of the eastern archipelago. The notices are not sufficiently ample, and we anxiously look for further information on the subject. —The fifth article contains notices of China, by Padro Serra. He was a missionary of the college of San Josi de Macao, and assistant in the imperial observatory. He resided at Peking from 1804 till 1827, during which period matters of great secrecy came to his knowledge. We do not find much important matter in this communication, but we hope the society will favor us with other communications from the Jesuit missionaries in China. The character of the information coming from them, has, during the last fifty years, been always on the increase as to its authenticity and accuracy; and their accounts of the early antiquity of the Chinese, and the early civilization and science of that people seem at present to be generally acquiesced in.-The sixth article contains a curious comparison by Lieut. Col. James Todd, of the Hindu and Theban Hercules.—In the seventh article, Mr. Hodgson has favored the public with an important disputation respecting Castes, by a Buddhist, in the form of propositions, supposed to be put by a Saiva, and refuted by the disputant.—The volume closes with the eighth article, containing an account, by the late Col. Colin Mackenzie, of the marriage ceremonies of the Mahometans, as practised in the southern provinces of India. Viewing together the whole contents of this volume, we think it does great honour to the society, and should stimulate its members to further exertions. We earnestly wish that Mr. H. T. Colebrooke, Col. Davis, or some other gentlemen properly qualified, would favor
us with a critical account of the present state of our acquaintance with Indian science and literature. The advances which have been made in the knowledge of these, since the formation of the Asiatic Society, have been very great, and must surprise those who remember that institution in its infancy. That civilization, the arts, and the sciences, have immemorially existed in Asia, seems now to admit of no doubt. It may be asserted, with great confidence, that, in different parts of that country, a people once existed who had made great progress in science, literature, and the arts of government; that the Sanscrit was their vernacular language; that they were divided into four castes, and that a portion of them separated from the other part, and received the appellation of Buddhists; that from some circumstance or other, the Sanscrits have disappeared; and the Sanscrit language ceased to be spoken ; that vestiges of their knowledge and language remain; that we trace their scientific memorials to a period of about 300 years after the birth of Christ; that they were then in a high state of advancement, and consequently this era must have been preceded by many ages of progressive improvement. It seems certain, that in the year 750 after Christ, more algebra was known in India than was known in Europe in 1650. This is surprising, but it is equally so, that from the time we have mentioned, till the present, Indian knowledge has been stationary. We may, however, mention from authority, entitled to great respect, that there is reason to believe, that greater advances in science have been made in India, than is generally supposed. It is even whispered, that something like the integral and differential calculus has been found among them; and that an account of it will soon appear in England will not surprise us, as we have long been found among the number of those, who think it evident that the sciences and arts came to us from the East ; that the portions of them which have reached us, are fragments of earlier knowledge than we are yet acquainted with, and that there is reasonable ground of hope, that the zeal now displayed by Europeans for literary and scientific discoveries in the East, will be repaid by ample spoil. In the notice that follows this, we shall introduce to the reader a valuable translation, under the auspices of the Asiatic Translation Society, of an important work on Geometry. We beg leave to submit to the consideration of that society, and also to that of the other Asiatic institutions, that the most valuable present which the learned of the East can make to the learned of the West, would be a translation of the Surya Sid'hanta. The Orientalists of Germany and France are actively employed on translations and researches in every branch of Asiatic literature; we hope that in this honourable career of emulation our countrymen will not be outdone. We shall conclude by adverting to one branch of knowledge, which, perhaps, has been too much neglected—we mean the Astrology of the East. None are persuaded more than we are of the vanity of astrological predictions. Still we think it probable, that in the formation or construction of horoscopes, nativities, conjunctions, and aspects, some astronomical notions may be traced, which will lead to curious, and perhaps important discoveries, It has been observed, that some of the tricks by which children find out the number of eggs carried by an old woman to market, might lead to quadratic equations. One
for finding a card thought of, has a place in Professor Saunderson's Algebra.
ART. XII.—The Algebra of Mohammed Ben Musa. Edited and translated by Frederick Rosen. Printed for the Oriental Translation Fund; and sold by Murray, Parbury, Allen and Co., London: Thacker and Co., Calcutta : Treuttell and Wuertz, Paris : and Fleischer, Leipzig. 1831. Octavo.
THIs is a work of great importance, as it is a considerable addition to our present stock of Oriental literature. The only known copy of the original is in the Bodleian library at Oxford. A full notice of it is given by Mr. Henry Thomas Colebrook, in one of his notes to the dissertation prefixed to his invaluable work, “ Algebra with Arithmetic and Mensuration, from the Sanscrit of Brahnugupta and Bhascara.” (London. 1817. 4to., pages lxxv.–lxxix.) It is also mentioned in the catalogue of the Bodleian manuscripts. Ben Musa lived in the reign of the Caliph Al Mamun, and wrote the work at his command. The publication of it, therefore, preceded the year 800 of the Christian aera. Ben Musa was for a long time considered as the original inventor of algebra. As such he is mentioned by the celebrated Cardan. But it is most certain that he was not the inventor of the art. Several Oriental writers speak of him as the first Mohammedan writer upon it;the contrary appears from the work itself; as the author of it expressly says, that the “Caliph Al Mamun” encouraged him to write a popular work on Algebra. This expression seems to us to imply that treatises, generally, at least, of a profound nature, were then already extant. A formula for ‘finding the circumference of the circles seems to intimate that part of the information comprised in this volume was derived from an Indian source. Mr. Rosen mentions that Musa had abridged, at Al Mamun's request, but before his accession to the Caliphat, the Sindhind, an astronomical work of an Indian philosopher who visited the Caliph Almansur, in 773. The work of Mohammed Ben Musa does not extend beyond quadratic equations, including problems with an affected square. These he solves by the rules followed by Diophantus ; and there is a striking similitude in their manner. It does not however appear that the work of Diophantus was known to the Arabs before the middle of the fourth century after the Hejira, when it was translated into Arabic. Between the manner of the Hindus and that of our author, there is no resemblance; and it is now quite evident that the Hindus were much farther advanced in the knowledge of Algebra than our author. This may be thought to afford an argument in support of the Grecian origination of the Algebra of the Arabs. The translation is preceded by a well written preface, accompanied by some short notes. These are so good, that we greatly wish they were much more numerous. The work itself then follows. At the end of the publication the regulations for the Oriental Translation Committee are printed, with a list of the works printed for the Translation Fund, and those now in the press. We are glad to find among these the Shanama, the celebrated Persian poem, which comprised the history of Persia from its first king to the year 636 after Christ.
ART. XIII.-Palestine, or The Holy Land, from the earliest period to the present time. By the Rev. Michael Russell, L.L. D. 12mo, pp. 448. Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd. London : Simpkin and Marshall. 1831. THIS is the fourth number of the Edinburgh Cabinet Library, which, we should suppose, has already made its way to popularity, notwithstanding the formidable multitude and ability of its rivals. Looking merely to the admirable style in which it is got up, the clearness and beauty of the type, the excellence of the paper, the number and character of the engravings, the quantity of letter-press, upwards of four hundred pages given in each volume, and its neat half binding in cloth, we must award to it the palm of being the cheapest publication that ever issued from the press of this country. The subjects, too, have hitherto been well chosen, and excuted in the most satisfactory manner. The first volume embodies the whole of the actual state of our knowledge of the Polar regions; the second and third perform the same office with respect to Africa and Egypt, and in the volume now before us, we have a complete epitome of all that ancient and modern authors have written concerning Palestine. Dr. Russell has happily combined in his plan a history of the Hebrew people, of their government, literature, and religious usages; accurate and occasionally very beautiful descriptions of those scenes in the Holy Land which have been rendered most remarkable either under the new law or the old ; an animated sketch of the crusades, and a minute account of the natural peculiarities and productions of the country. The author has had the good sense, so far as we have been