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His history is written with great perspicuity, and with no inconsiderable degree of knowledge and accuracy; so that those who are competent judges of its merit, will receive no small pleasure from the perusal of it. His method of tracing each of the sciences historically, from its origin to that point of perfection to which it has been carried, by the successive labours of men of genius, seems likewise well calculated to give young perfons, and those who have little or no acquaintance with the fciences, a taste and relish for them. Curiosity is not only strongly excited, but kept alive, and the sciences, in our Author's history of them, have nothing of that disagreeable and forbidding appearance which they have in those treatises that are written on the particular branches of them.
To his history of the sciences he has subjoined a short account of the lives of those celebrated persons, who have contributed most to the improvement of them.
Variations de la Monarchie Françoijf, dans son gouvernement
politique, civil, et militaire; &c. That is, the changes which the French Monarchy has undergone in its political,
civil, and military Government, with an Enquiry into the Causes which produced them : or, A History of the Government of France, from Clovis to the death of Lewis the fourteenth. By M. Gautier de Sibert.
4 vol. Paris, 1765. HERE is scarce any sludy from which persons of every
rank and condition of life may derive greater advantages, than from the study of history. The sovereign, the minister, the magistrate, may learn from it the wisest and most falutary maxims of civil policy; and those in the lower walks of life may learn the happy art of conducting themselves with safety and honour in their respective stations, to be happy in themselves, and useful to the community.
To a reader of a philosophical turn, nothing can be more entertaining or instructive, than to trace, in the history of a great and Aourishing nation, the several steps of its progress, from its first feeble efforts in policy and legislation; to observe ignorance refining into knowledge, and barbarity into politenefs to attend to the influence of laws upon manners, and of manners upon laws ; and to watch the flow but certain operation of those leading principles and causes which contribute to the grandeur of the state, or threaten its destruction. A reader of this turn will look upon every different system of laws and government, as a different experiment made upon mankind; he will carefully mark the truths which arise from this experiment, and thus improve in the knowledge of human nature. By ob2
serving the different characters of nations, and how they arise from their different systems of education and civil policy, he will naturally be led to conclude, that man is capable of being formed a much more perfect and happy creature than he has ever yet appeared, and that, if kings and heroes would relinquish their ambitious views of conquest, and cherish the much nobler ambition of forming good men and good citizens, of raising the human fpecies to that degree of perfection of which it is certainly capable, the most beneficial effects might be produced, and a new turn given to human affairs.
But this train of reflection would carry us too far; we were naturally led into it, however, by the perufal of the work now before us, which, to a reader who has a previous acquaintance with the history of France, will afford both pleasure and instruction. The Author appears to be a man of sense and obfervation, well acquainted with his subject, and more impartial the the generality of French historians. He writes in a clear, easy, and flowing style; his reficctions are generally just, if allowances are made, as they ought to be, for national prejudices; and they are such as naturally arise from his fubjeet.
He divides his work into nine epochs or periods, each marked by some interesting event. His principal design in the history of each period, is to give an adequate view of the internal and external government of the French nation, of its fundamental Jaws, both civil and political, of the several objects that are related to them, such as commerce, arts, sciences, &c. with an account of the progress of each of these objects, of the changes that have happened in regard to them, and an examination of the causes that have produced these changes. That his work may be a regular whole, uniting, in' one point of view, the most important parts of his subject, he gives, in his account of each period, a sketch of the general history of the monarchy.
Many of his notes are curious; they contain illustrations of his text, and sometimes additions to it. In some of them too, he gives an account of the laws and usages of other nations, in order to compare them with those of the French nation, or to thew their resemblance.
A Treatise for the Service of Chemistry in general : exhibiting the
universal and specific Principles of Body; the simple and uniform Procedure of Nature, in Petrification, in producing Niinerals, and the Generation of Gold. To which is added, the most accurate Process for dulcifying Corrosives. The Medicine of Wedelius,
and Paracelsus, for the Gout. Medicines for the Scurvy, the
ERE we to call Mr. 7. Grosman a Facob Behmen in
chemistry, we apprehend we thould pay him no small compliment: He is every whit indeed as mystical; but then in his extravagancies, lights, and absurdities, he is not quite fo clever as his brother Jacob.
Let him speak however for himself. —Treating of the universal and specific principles of body, our adept thus instructs
Principles are simple, or reside in unity, therefore are they universal; they are called the stone of Sysiphus; a point mulciplied or continued on, produceth a line, and a line by junction of the two extremes a circle, and all the necessary consequences. From a line arise length and breadth, or surface and depth : which three are indivilible. To these if you add a centre, an equilateral triangle is produced.
• These figures are not manifested to our senses but by means of external accidents.
• Unity multiplies itse!f by addition of even or uneven numbers. Unity doubled gives binity, or the number two, 2; that doubled produces the quaternion or number four, 4.
« Trinity, or the number three, 3, and binity, or number two combined, form 'the number five, 5; double that, and
you have the denary, or number ten, 10.
• The denary, or number ten, is considered as the principle of all compound things, as it consists of odd numbers combined an even number of times.
• The trine, or number three, or the first imparity, the essence of every thing. Five, or the last imparity, stands to express the result of the various combination or union of things in every individual body produced, which is called existence.
Bódy owes its origin to created unity, through the natural distinction of more and less, of rare and compact, and of other fenfibie accidents; and resolves again into the original units. It becomes sensible, or multiplies itself outwardly of itielf, and again destroys itself, when it cealeth to be what it was.
< But since body thus compounded, would be inert and impotent, a specific feed is added by the Deity.
• In man this is the living foul. This bears the same relation to a fimple point, and to an even number, that is to say, it is
expressed by a circle, which contains the square ;' by this mano, ner of expression, we understand, that it is more noble than body; for it alone hath the power to produce effects: but because it is weakened by being united with body, both the interior and exterior principle stand in need of help from that created substance, which is the latt result or quintessence of all things; which is called all in all, and is fpirit and salt, or acid and alkali, conjoined by mediation of moisture. These bestow faculties and powers; to them therefore is assigned the name intelli ence; or the interior alligation, or bond under the second circle, which contains the first: than this nothing among created things is more perfect, and is called man.'--So much for our Author's general philofophy :-Another extract, from that part of the work where he comes to particularize bodies, may possibly be more than enough for our Readers. —Acid and alkali are thus characterised.
"Alkali without any acid, or in its most pure state, freed from all mixture of foreign bodies or particles whatever, that did adhere to it, becomes a fixed body, abounding with pores, and therefore easily admits acid of any kind, not excluding even light itself, the most subtile acid; which appears by the different forts of phosphorus.
· Acid confifts of particles luminous, most fubtile and penetrating, fermenting and attenuating alkalies. So acid is the mover, the informer, director, actor, and husband. The alkali is the u:ije, the patient, faithfully accommodating herself to his direction in all things. These two joined by the mediation of moisture, enrich the several bodies with the life-giving power of producing fruit.
• Light or fpirit, contains an acid, and this chiefly volatile, for it returns into its chaos, as a body aërial, firy, volatile.
Darkness, as fumething obscurc, and more corporal, constitutes alkali; for as this is more proper to body than light, it more intimately adheres to bodies, as is plain from alkali; for this is not so easily reduced into its chaos, as acid; because with water it obtains a body, so very solid, that it cannot be separated but with great difficulty. For thus we see that every alkali, calcined to the last extremity, cannot be resolved into any other body, but an aqueous one. It remains true, therefore, and may be proved from innumerable arguments, that the first and lait matter of concrete bodies is water: that the form or efficient, is light or darkness, or spirit and falt, or alkali and acid; and the specific feed, is particles given froin above, by the word of creation, the almighty fiat, and deduceri into action by that general and divine command, ---- Increate and multiply.
We remember not to have met with a greater imposition upon the public, than the present work; whether we consider
the manner of the publication *, the extravagance of the price, or the jumble and jargon of the most wretched philosophy.Mr. Grosman however has the modest assurance to inform us;
That his view in this undertaking is, by administring to the common good, to deserve well of the public ; and to manifest to áll, who Thall make use of it, a really benevolent disposition.' He adds,
Let no one be offended, that in explaining and treating chymical subjects, I generally use common and obvious expresfions; the very genius of chymistry requires it; and I have endeavoured to deliver it in a style simple and clear, rather than affected, figurative, and involved.' Is it posible that Mr. Grosman can be so little known to himself!
D * This article may, poffibly, be thought misplaced among the foreignt publications, as the book appears in our own language, and was printed in London ; but we suppose it can be of no great consequence in what part of our collection it is inserted. Besides, as being the work of a foreigner, there can be no impropriety in its taking place with other articles of imported literature.
* In some parts we have a supposed Latin original without transation; in others only a translation ; and in others again both original and translation. Thus, by a fingular. kind of contrivance, the book, or rather pamphlet, is eked out to the length of 106 pages, and through the abundant benevolence of a conscientions author, of more confcientious bookseller, is advertised at
Ten shillings and fixpence, untound.] D.
Abregé Chronologique de l' Hifioire D'Espagne et de Portugal
, divisa en buit periodes : &c. That is, A Chronological Abridgement of the History of Spain and Portugal, divided into eight periods; with particular remarks, at the end of each period, upon the genius, manners, commerce, &c. of these monarchies, an Account of cotemporary Princes, learned Men, &c. Paris. Octavo. 2 vol. 1765.
N advertisement prefixed to this work informs us, that
thor of some few passages in it, but that not having time for so extensive an undertaking, he trusted the execution of it to some men of letters, who had applied themfelves, under his eye, to this species of compofition.
Such of our Readers as are acqainted with the Chronological Abridgement of the History of France, will readily entertain a very favourable opinion of any work that is planned by the Author of it, and written under his direction, and if they have a general ADP. vol. xxxiv,