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acquaintance with the history of Spain and Portugal, they will be convinced by the perusal of the work now before us, that the persons he has employed to abridge it, are well qualified for the task. They seem to have omitted nothing that is interesting, and have thewn great fagacity in tracing events, manners, customs, &c. to their sources. Their characters of Charles the Fifth and Philip the Second will, we flatter ourselves, be agreeable to our Readers.
• Charles the Fifth, say they, had a vast, active, and enterprising genius; he was brave in the field, and able in the cabinet; a skilful general, and a profound politician. He knew men, and could make them subservient to his purposes ; and as he was well acquainted with the genius and character of all the neighbouring nations, and could make them act in such a manner as best suited the views of his ambition, he aimed, like Ferdinand, at universal monarchy.
• Charles reigned over twenty kingdoms, over extensive provinces, whose interests he knew how to reconcilc, and whole infurrections he prevented, checked, or punished, employing gentle or violent measures, according to the exigence of affairs. The discoveries and conquests of the Spaniards extended his dominion over the east and west of the old and the new world. His empire was four times as extensive as that of antient Rome, and more than twice as large as that of the Turk, the King of Persia, the Muscovite, and the Tartar. The sun never fet upon bis dominions.
* This prince, the most powerful of any that ever lived, was always in action. He over-ran Spain, Flanders, Germany, and Italy successively; commanded his armics in person, and triumphed over his enemies; upon his return from the field, he prefided over the counsels of the nations that were subject to his government; harangued his people; defended his own interests and those of religion before the princes affembled in the diets of the empire; ani, influenced in the whole of his conduct by his ambition, he made his subjects warriors and politicians.
• He loved and encouraged the arts and sciences, but never rewarded agreeable talents, excepting in foreigners; he seemed to have adopted the maxim, after the example of the Romans, of reserving to the Spaniards the honour of conquering and forgiving their enemies, and of leaving to other nations the glory arising from parts and ingenuiiy. He encouraged artists and merchants to feitle in his empire; and being one day reproached wish this by the Marquis of Astorga, he replied; My nobles roh xė, but c-mmerce enriches me ; the arts and sciences instruct me, an make mwy name immortal.
• It is well known that he paid frequent visits to Titian, in order to see him paint, and loaded him with honours and pre
fents. By thus honouring persons of distinguished abilities, he added a new title to his own character, and one is grieved to fre a prince, possessed of such noble qualities, and of such greatness of soul, facrifice every thing to his vanity, and employ fo little of his time, during the course of so long a reign, in promoting the happiness of his subjects. Ambitious, jealous, hypocritical, faithless, passionate, revengeful, and terrible in his anger, he filled Europe with wars, with blood, and with calamity.
• He had, in Francis the First, king of France, a rival who retarded his conquefts, and gave a check to his vaft projects. Charles attacked him vigorously, and triumphed over him by means of his generals, who took him prisoner; but he did not improve this opportunity of gaining over himself the most glo. rious of all his victories, that of generously restoring liberty to his illustrious captive; on the contrary, he treated him harikaly, and made a trafic of his ransom. He found much more generous sentiments in his enemy, when he put himself in his power, and went into his kingdom, where he received the honours due to sovereignty.
« Charles loved glory like an ambitious prince, and a conqueror; Francis sought after it like a great king and a hero: Charles protected learning and the sciences out of oftentation ; Francis honoured them, because he loved them : Charles governed like a politician; Francis reigned like a father. Both of them had abilities, courage, and zeal for religion, were magnificent, gallant, and the gieatest men of the age they lived in : Charles had a larger thare of glory and power; Francis more real grandeur and respect.
. Charles's abdication and retreat have been admired and. blamed according to the point of view in which they have been considered: but was it a mighty sacrifice for an old infirm prince, glutted with honours, and fatigued with the weight of his own power, to lay aside a burthen that was too heavy for kim? He wanted to see his son act the same part which he nimself had done with so much splendor. He wanted in his turn to be a quiet spectator, after having been so long in action, and after having received the applauses of the universe.
• It was this idle curiosity that made him order the pomp of his own funeral to be displayed before his eyes; he placed himself under the pall, and sung the usual prayers. The cold, with which he was seized during the celebration of this ceremony, haftened his end. It is alledged that he made his fon promise to restore Navarre. He made a will which Philip the Second carried to the inquisition, where it was taken into confideration, whether it thould not be condemned to the flames.' Mm 2
Such is the character our Authors give of Charles the Fifth ; what they say of Philip the Second is as follows:
* This prince was of a middling ftature, but well proportioned; he had a large forehead, blue eyes, a steady look, and a grave and serious air. His character was severe and haughty i his zeal for the support of the faith and the catholic religion implacable; so that with the utmost coolness and composure he would have exterminated every heretic in his dominions. Never was there a prince who applied to bufiness with greater assiduity; he entered into the minutest detail in every branch of his administration ; in his own chamber he set all the springs of the most cruel policy in motion, and wanted to act alone in every thing. He was impenetrable and distruftful; full of revenge and dimimulation ; stuck at nothing to execute his schemes; was never discouraged by any obstruction in the course of his enterprizes ; seemed superior to events; and received the news of good and bad fortune with the same phlegmatic composure. He was a cold fanatic; and never desired to inspire any other sentiment but that of terror. His orders were like the decrees of fate, which were to be executed independently of all human efforts. He made the blood of his subjects flow in torrents; carried the horrors and devastation of war into all the neighbouring states; and was ever armed against his own people or his enemies. Even his own son, when the only heir of his dominions, could not move his inflexible soul. Whenever an offence was committed, punishment was unavoidable. He never tafted the pleasure of forgiving; and, during a reign of forty two years, never enjoyed one day's peace. His ministers, his generals, his favourites, trembled when they approached him, and never spoke to him. but upon their knees, and with the most fearful circumspeaion. The Duke of Alba, who had laid him under so many obligations, entering his chamber one day without any previous notice, Philip looked at him with a threatening airy and said, What daring presumption is this! it deserves the axe.
• He was desirous that his subjects, like himself, should have an air of seriousness. The horrid tribunal of the inquisition was ever watchful to banish from his dominions that genuine joy which is the charm of liberty. This monarch was pofiefied of all those qualities which enter into the character of a great! politician; he had a lively genius, an amazing memory, and indefatigable activity; he was an excellent judge of men, and knew how to employ them according to their several talents. He was just, generous, and splendid in his court; of an enterprising genius, and of unshaken firmness in the execution of his designs; but he forced the Low-countries into rebellion by his untractable severity; weakened his dominions by the expulsion of the Moors, and by his obstinacy in pursuing the malecon
tento; he employed his revenues and the treasures of the new world in gratifying his hatred and revenge; and the fruit of all his policy was nothing but misery. He would have been richer, greater, more beloved, and more respected, with less pains, fewer talents, and less genius, had he only been possessed of those mild and peaceful virtues which constitute good kings and fathers of their country.'
It is difficult, or rather impossible, to give such extracts as Ihall convey to the Reader a just idea of a work of this kind; the above specimens, however, are sufficient, we apprehend, to give the discerning Reader a favourable opinion of the genius and spirit of our Authors.
Traité de la Formation Mechanique des Langues, et des Principes
Physiques de l'Etymologie. That is, A Treatise concerning the Mechanical Formation of Languages, and the Physical Principles of Etymology. Paris. 2 Vol.
12mo. 1765. THOUGH abstract and metaphysical disquisitions concern
ing language are, to the generality of Readers, very dry and uninteresting, yet they are certainly not without their use. Grammar and logic are more nearly connected than is generally imagined ; and the origin and progress of language are not only essential and curious parts of the history of the human mind, but throw light upon some parts both of philosophy and history, which, at first sight, seem to have little or no relation to them.
To a reader therefore of a philosophic turn, the treatise now before us will be highly acceptable. It is indeed a very curious one; contains many original and just observations; and though the Author advances several things in regard to the certainty and importance of etymology which a judicious reader will not readily assent to, yet what he says, even upon this subject, is so ingenious and plausible, that it is scarce possible not to read it with pleasure.
In the preliminary discourse, we are told, that this treatise has been long known to a considerable number of men of letters; that no little use has been made of it in the Encyclopedie; and that several modern authors have borrowed from it, whose fubjects led them to treat either of the matter or form of language, or the philofophy of speech. The two first of these points are what our Author principally considers in the work now before us, and the method in which he proceeds, appears to us ex-' tremely just and accurate.
He first describes the organ of the human voice, the number, form and action of each of the parts which compose this wonderful inftrument; the order in which nature unfolds, and puts
them in motion; the necessary effects of each part in its matesial motion, and the modulations it occasions in the air; the differences and the properties of each articulation ; the number of vowels, accents, and consonants; how, and by what motion each consonant arises from each organ, so as to take a simple or a compound form. He thews the varieties which are produced in the vowel, according as the found passes through one or other of the two pipes of the vocal instrument, viz. the mouth or the nose; points out the causes of the difference between a speaking and a finging voice, &c. &c.
This is the technical part of his subject, which, as he observes, must necessarily be tiresome to the reader, though indilpensibly necessary, as it describes those operations of nature, which are the foundation on which the wonderful fabric of human language is built. He goes on to enquire into the primitive language, and after directing us where to look for it, he ihews how it proceeds, and in what order ; what are the relations that are naturally established between certain organs and certain lentiments, sensations, physical beings, and modes of þeing. He endeavours to prove that language is originally founded upon the imitation of external objects, by vocal tounds and written characters; and shews that the impossibility of making the objects of fight reach the air by an imitative noise, forced mankind to have recourse to another kind of imitation Capabie of falling under the eye, and gave rise to writing.
He follows the different orders and gradations of this new art, from the primitive manner of writing to alphabetical characters; fhews that the progression of speech and writing is similar ; that nature is the guide in both; and how this wonderful union of the two fenies of sight and hearing is formed, which reduces the objects of each to the same individual point, whilst the objects themselves and the sensations continue lo very remote. He treats of the forın of writing used by different nations, antient and modern, barbarous and polished, together with the variations and the progress of the art.
From these general objects he proceeds to a more particular cxamination of language'; traces it from its infancy, (in particular inftances) through the several steps of its progress to its total extinction; and points out the causes which contribute ta its growth, its vigour, and its decay. He considers the effects of the derivation of languages, and shews the train of succesfive alterations which the words of a language undergo, with regard to their found, their meaning, and their figurative use, together with the causes of their frequent anomalies. He treats of the names that are given to things which have no physical existence in nature, such as intellectual, abstract, and moral þeings , with their several relations and general qualities, &c;