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and proves that these names have no other origin or principle of formation but the names of external and physical objects. This leads him naturally to the names of persons and places, which, he says, have all a significative value, taken froin fenfible objects.
He now goes back to general principles, and to the rules of the etymological art, and treats of the roots or primitive principles of language, together with the leveral branches that arise from them, and which, in common use, are often taken for primitives; he points out the manner of applying the art of criticism to etymology, and lays down rules for the direction of those who apply themselves to etymological researches, shewing how thuy may conduct themselves from the center to the extremities, and return from the extremities to the center. He concludes his Treatise, with sketching the plan and method of forming a general vocabulary of all languages, or an universal nomenclature by roots. He endeavours to thew that a dictio.' nary of this kind, far from being so difficult a work as may appear at first view, might be made without very great labour, and would be very useful for the advancement and easy acquifrtion of science, and that such a work is necessary, confidering the multiplicity of languages, the itudy of which alone, without such affiftance, will be too much for the short period of human life.
Such is the plan and method of this Treatise, which will afford both instruction and amusement to those who have a taite for grammatical subjects treated in a philofophical manner.
Observations sur le Commerce et sur les Arts d'une partie de L'Eu
s'ope, de l’Afre, &c. Observations upon the Arts and Commerce of Part of Europe, Afia, Africa, and the Eaft Indies. By Jean-Claude Flachat, Director of the Royal Manufactory at St. Chamond, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres at Lyons, &c. 12mo. 2 Vols. Lyons. 1766. HE title of this work, as the Author himself acknow
ledges in his preface, gives but a very imperfect idea of what is contained in it. What M. Flachat seems principally to have in view, is to point out to his countrymen the several branches of commerce which they may carry on to greater advantage than they have hitherto done, on the coasts of Africa and Italy, in some parts of Germany and the North, in Turkey, and cspecially in Constantinople.
As he spent upwards of fifteen years in Turkey, and had some very fingular adventures in that country, he gives a more circumstantial account of the manners of the Turks than we' remember to have any where met with. More than half of his work is employed upon this subject; and though he enters too minutely into fome parts of it, and those not the most interefting, yet what he says will afford no small entertainment to the generality of readers. His views and observations, with regard to commerce, appear to us, on the whole, to, be judicious and pertinent; and his countrymen may derive very considerable advantages by attending to them : nor is the usefulness of them confined to the French only; there are many hints of which the commercial part of this kingdom may avail themselves.
From his earliest years, he tells us, he had a strong passion for travelling; and indeed, like a good citizen, he seems, thro the whole course of his travels, to have had the welfare of his country in view. Whatever improvements he observed in fo reign countries, in regard to manufactures, mechanics, &c. engaged his attention; and he gives particular descriptions, with engravings, of such machines and instruments as are curious or useful.
He introduces his work with some very juft, but short reflections, upon the disadvantages which the French lie under in regard to commerce, partly arising from the prevailing system of education, partly from national prejudices, and partly from other causes, which he only hints at, too delicate to be enlarged upon, but easily understood by the intelligent Reader.What he occasionally advances on this head, in the course of his work, may teach us to set a just value on our own superior advantages, and shew us the futility of what is thrown out, upon almost every occasion, by a certain set of men among us, in regard to the encouragement given to 'commerce by the French, and the danger we are in on that account.
In the course of bis travels through the several cities of Italy, Germany, &c. he gives a short but an agreeable description of whatever is most remarkable, and worthy of notice. His man-. ner of writing is easy and natural, his style perspicuous, and his work contains a considerable fund of entertainment for almost every class of Readers.
Histoire Naturelle, generale et particuliere, avec la Description du
Cabinet du Roi. Tome xiv. 4to. Paris 1766.
of the King's Cabinet, &c. By Monf. de Buffon.
templation of nature, are perfectly acquainted with the preceeding volumes of this celebrated and truly elegant work, we shall say nothing of the Author's general plan, but confine
ourselves, in the present article, entirely to the volume before us.
From the table of contents it appears, that Mr. Buffon iş not the sole Author, a considerable part having been executed by M. Daubenton. The volume opens with a differtation of no less than forty-two pages, on the different appellations of the Ape, Singe; a name which, the Author thinks, hath, with great impropriety, been generally applied to animals of very different species, espèces. We cannot proceed without obferving, that the word espèces is here improperly used. Admitting finge to be a generic term, he should have wrote genre, or genusz for though, in common language, they are indifcriininately applied, in a systematic writer the distinction is of importance.
Mr. Buffon defines the ape, finge, or fimia, to be an animal without a tail, having a fat face, with teeth, hands, fingers, and nails, resembling those of man. Of these he enumerates three species, viz. the pithecos of the Greeks, or fimia of the Latins, the orang-outang, and the gibbon. The first species is the ape, commonly so called, the sylvanus of Linnæus; the second the homo sylvestris, or pongo į the third is an animal so little known as to have escaped even the indefatigable naturalist . just mentioned.
M. Buffon begins with the natural bistory of the homa fydo vestris, which, notwithstanding the opinion of other writers, he believes to be nothing more ihan an ape. If we were to credit the accounts which travellers, have given of this animal, it would be impossible not to rank him among the human species. Bontius, who was chief physician in Batavia, was fo ftruck with the actions of the satyrus, as to declare, there was nothing human wanting but the voice : Quod meretur admirationem, says he, vidi ego
aliquot utriusque fexus erectè incedens imprimis satyram femellam tantû verecundia ab ignotis fibi hominibus acculentem, tum quoque faciem manibus tegentem, ubertimque lacrymantem, gemitus cientem & cæteros humanos actus exprimentem, ut nibil humani «i deefle dicere præter loquelam. Gaffendi, on the report of Noël, a physician residing in Africa, affures us, that there is in Guinea a species of ape, called baris, of uncommon sagacity; that it plays upon musical instruments, and that fæě minæ in iis patiuntur menstrua, &* mares mulierum funt appetentiffimi. M. Brosse, in his voyage to the coast of Angola, tells us, that the orang-outang takes great pains to carry off the female negroes, which he keeps as concubines. "I knew, fays he, at Lowango, a female negro who had lived three years with these animals.' 'Linnæus informs us, that this animal expreffes itself by whistling; that it thinks, and believes the world created for its use, and that the time will come when it fhall be restored to the government of the earth: he adds how.
ever, si fides peregrinatoribus. Our Author is of opinion, that the travellers who have related these stories, must have mistaken
white negroe for the homo nocturnus; and that the real orang-cutang, or pongo, is an ape of the same species with that which he particularly describes in this volume. "The orang-cutang, says M. Buffon, which I have seen, walked constantly upright, even in carrying a burthen. Its air was folemn, motion flow and regular, its difpofition mild, and very different from that of other apes or monkeys. A fign or a word was sufficient to influence this creature, whilst the others frequently require severe chastisement. I have seen this animal give its band and conduct a person to the door, walking gravely as one of the company. I have seen it fit at the table, open its napkin, wipe its lips, make use of a spoon and fork, fill its glass, and ring it against that of a gentleman, fetch a cup and faucer, put sugar into it, pour out the tea, and wait till it cooled; and all this without any other inftigation than a word or sign from its master, and frequently without either. - It eat almost of every thing, but preferred ripe and dry fruits to all other food. It drank wine, but in small quantity, always leaving it for milk or ten, or any sweet liquor. But these apparent indications of human sagacity are to be considered chiefly as the effect of education. This creature was instructed by his master. True; and so are we instructed. May we not, with reason, doubt whether a human being, without instruction, would appear even so rational a creature as this homo fylveftris? But the
great difference lies here; man is instructed by his own fpecies, but the ape by man.
The home sylvestris, according to our Author, differs externally from a man, in his nose not being prominent, his forehead shorter, his chin not raised at the bottom, his ears larger, his eyes too near each other, the space between his nose and mouth too great, his thighs too short, his arms too long, his thumbs too small, the palms of his hands too long and narrow: his feet resemble our hands. Les parties de la generation du male ne sont differentes de celles de l'homme, qu'en ce qu'il n'y a point de frein au prépuce; les parties de la femelle font a l'exterieur fort semblable à celles de la femme. Internally he differs from the human species only in having thirteen ribs, the vertebræ of the neck Thorter, the pelvis narrower, the orbits of his eyes deeper, and in wanting the spinal process to the first vertebra of the neck. His kidneys are somewhat rounder, and the ureters, bladder and gall bladder, are of a form different from those of a man. • All the other parts of his body are so perfectly like our own, that one cannot, says our Author, help being astonished, that from such exact confor-' mity of parts, from an organization absolutely the same, there Thould not result the same effects. For example, the tongue
and all the organs of speech are alike, and yet the orang-out ang does not speak; his brain is exactly of the same form and
proportion, and yet he does not think. Can there be a stronger proof that matter alone, however perfectly organized, can neither produce thought nor words, which are its signs, unless it be animated by a superior principle ?'
How this celebrated naturalist could fuppose, after the history he has given of the homo sylvestris, that it does not think, is very amazing. How far Mr. Buffon may be obliged to regulate his opinions by the religion of his country, we do not know; but it seems impoffible, that a person so well acquainted with animal nature should not be convinced, that not only the homo sylvejlris thinks, but that brutes in general both think and reason ; for though they may commonly act in consequence of what we are pleafed to call inftinét
, yet nothing can be more demonftrable, than that many of their aciions are the result of reflection, the consequence of a comparifon of ideas : and as to his conclusion, that even words cannot be produced without that superior principle, that aura divina, he is certainly wrong upon his own principles; for parrots and other birds are taught to speak, though, according to our Author, they are without this souffle divin. The truth of the. matter wé apprehend to be, that the distinction between man and brute consiits entirely in the quantity or degree of the power of thinking or realoning, in the same manner as brutes differ from each other, in proportion as the necessities of their situation required, and not in any particular per fintus, or favour from our Creator, except what consists in the more perfect formation of the brain ; for if it were otherwise, how comes it that an accidental depreflion upon our reasoning organ should fo entirely annihilate this peculiarly divine principle, as to deprive a man of all thought and reason in an instant? Besides, there is evidently a much greater distance between the apparent reason of one brute and another, (the homo Jylveftris and the oyster, for instance) than between the first of these and ourselves. Air. Buffon was, perhaps, under a necessity of denying thought to the brute creation, because he must otherwise have allowed, that brutes have fouls, or that matter can think; either of which being granted, might prove rather too much. Thanks to our good fortune, that we do not live in a country where a man is obliged to facriñce his reason to modes of prescribed faith!
We mall now tranílate the author's account of the Gibbon, an animal of which we do not remember ever before to have met with a description. The Gibbon always walks upright, even when he moves upon four feet, his fore legs or arms, being so, fong as to reach the ground, even when he is in an erect pole