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ture. I saw him alive. His height did not exceed three feet; but he was young, and a captive: so that we may presume, when full
and in a state of nature, that he is a foot taller. He has not the least appearance of a tail; but that which evidently distinguishes him from olher apes, is the amazing length of his arms, which are as long as his body and legs together. His face is surrounded by a circle of grey hair, so that it has the appearance of being set in a round frame, which has a very extraordinary effect. His eyes are round, but funk; his ears naked, his face depressed, of a tawny colour, and much resembling that of a man.—This fpecies of ape appeared to be of a inild difpofition. His motions were neither rude nor precipitate. He took the food which was given him with great gentleness; which food confifted chiefly of bread, fruit, and almonds. He was very fearful of cold and moisture, and lived but a short time out of his native country. He is originally an inhabitant of the East Indies, particularly of Coromandel, Malaca, and the Malucca islands'.
To this history of the Gibbon succeeds a recapitulation of the particulars of what we have here translated, under the title of diftinctive characters of this species, which is followed by a defiription, consisting of another repetition almost verbatim, of the preceding history and character. After this our indefatigable author gives a table of the dimensions of all the external parts of its body. He then describes minutely all the viscera, &c. to which is added a table of their several dimensions ; also an anatomical account of its skeleton; to which is subjoined another table, thewing minutely the dimensions of each bone. To this fucceed five plates, exhibiting the animal when living, its viscera, skeleton, &c.
This volume contains, besides those we have mentioned, a description, equally minute, of a great number of baboons, monkeys, &c. to which is fubjoined a very long differtation on the degeneration of animals. In the beginning of this dissertation M. Buffon, tied down by the Mosaic' account of the creation, labours to prove that the difference of colour and make, between the inhabitants of the earth, is merely the effect of climate. • The change, says he, is now become so great, that one might be apt to Tuppose, that the Negro, the Laplander, and the White people, were of different species; if we had not been affured, that there was but one man originally created, and if we did not find, by experience, that the Negro, the Laplander, and the White, will promiscuously unite and propagate. His first argument reininds us of a very intelligent Spaniard, who being asked his opinion concerning the folar system, replied, that the arguments in favour of the earth's motion round the fun were so unanswerable, that if the Old Testament had not
taught the contrary, he should surely have believed it. As to his second argument, he totally destroys its weight by informing us, when speaking of mules, that they are not incapable of propagation, as hath been generally imagined: These are his words, • Et ce mulet qu'on a regardé de tout tems coinme une production viciée, comme un monstre compojé de deux natures, et que par cette raison l'on a jugé incapable de se repi oduire lui-même et de former lignée, n'et cependant pas aulla profondement lésé qu'on se l'imagine d' aprés ce prejugé, puisqu'il n'est pas reelement infecond, et que la fterilité ne dépend que de certaines circonstances exterieures et particulieres. Moreover, in fpeaking of foxes, wolves, and dogs, he tells us, that tho' he did not lucceeil in the experiments he made, yet he is firmly of opinion that, in a state of nature, they would breed promiscuously; that is to say, either of the first with the latter. So that the argument taken from the prolific union of a negro male with a whiie female, to prove that mankind are of one species, is no arguinent at all.
· Notwithstanding these flight Itrictures, we retain all due veneration for the abilities and affiduity of Mr. de Buffon ; and we esteem his work as a capital addition to the catalogue of books in natural history.
Observations Historiques et Geographique, &c. Observations Historical and Geographical concerning those bar
barous nations that inhabited the banks of the Danube, and the borders of the Euxine sea. By M. de Peyssonnel, formerly his moft Chriftian Majesty's consul to the Khan of the Tartars, afterwards consul-general in the kingdom of Candie, now consul at Smyrna, correspondent of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions, &c. 4to. Paris 1765.
S the origin of those arts and sciences that have done the part, difficult to be investigated, and frequently inaccesible to every thing but conjecture; 10 it happens too, that the rise of those nations that have made the greatest figure in the revolu. tions of empire, is involved in the same obicurity-Both these circumstances proceed from the fame cause. Arts in their firft. principles and progress to perfection, and nations in their uncultivated and unatpiring state, were not of consequence sufficient either to be enquired after, or recorded. Hence it is that so little bas hitherto been known concerning the origin of those innumerable hords, that overfow the eastern and the weitern empires. Those remains of science, and of learned curiofity, that might have formed their annals and inveitigated their origine, funk down before them, and they diflur di the induences
534 Personnels Historical and Geographical Observations. of universal ignorance, that the effects of their rapine and barbarity might be unknown.
The first accounts that history, not indeed quite divested of fable, affords us concerning the northern emigrants, is that of the Scythians, who left Colchos in pursuit of Jason, and settled on the western borders of the Euxine sea. These may be considered as the first colonies of the l'ontic Scythia, and of the country of the Getes and Daces, -For this opinion we have the authority of Justin, who tells us likewise, that such of the Scythians as continued their pursuit of Jason, pafled along the Danube, and at length, with their boat on their shoulders, they traversed the country as far as Aquilea, where not finding the Argonauts, and being ashamed to return into their own country without success, they settled in those
parts which afterwards took the name of Istria, from these people who came from the Iiter, or Danube. There they founded a republic called Republica Polenfis, or the Republic of Exiles, the word pola in the Scythian language having that signification. Those Getes above-mentioned, became, under the denomination of Goths, the most considerable of all the eastern barbarians that made incursions into the Roman empire. Yet by thofe incursions christianity was introduced amongst them about the time of the emperor Gallienus.---The bishops whom they had made prisoners inspired them with a love of that religion by their virtues; and, if we may believe Mr. Peyssonnel, by their miracles. However, they received their instructions, and churches were built amongst them. Philoftorgus remarks, that under the emperor Constantine, a great multitude of Goths were driven from their country on account of their religion, and that the emperor settled then in Mysia. Protogenes assisted at the council of Nice in quality of bishop, and it appears that his jurisdiction extended over Dacia, Dardany, and the neighbouring countries, and, of consequence, over those barbarous nations which Aurelian had permitted to settle on this side the Danube; yet we find that the Bishop of Thessalonica was charged with the publication of the decrees of that council, not only in Greece and Macedonia, but also in the two Scythias.
Scarcely was christianity established amongst the Gothic nations, when persecutions on account of religious opinions took place; and the fury of barbarous and superstitious blindness transferred itself to the support of fects and schisms. The Christians, moreover, in general, were heavily persecuted by such of the Goths as were yet unconverted ; but those people met with a scourge in their turn, and became a prey to the Huns, who passed the Palus Mæotis, attacked and totally routed them. One tribe of the Goths, called Tervinges, applied to the emperor Valeurs for permission to settle in Thrace. Their deputy on this occasion was Ulfilas their bishop, who, to make his court to the emperor, embraced Arianism, and instructed his people in the same principles. It was this Ulfilas who taught the Goths the use of letters ; his characters were the Greek, and he translated into their language the holy scriptures.-Valens permitted the Goths to settle in Thrace, but the troublesome conduct of the Roman officers, foon afforded them a pretext for revolting, and they spoiled the provinces where they had been suffered to refide. The emperor found it neceffary to put an end to the Persian war, which he had then upon his hands, in order to reduce these insurgents. Their king declared that he would be satisfied with permission for his subjects to continue in Thrace, but the emperor would not listen to his proposals, and haftened to give them battle, before his nephew Gratian, who had succeeded Valentinian in the empire of the west, could divide with him the honours of the victory. The battle was fought near Adrianople, on the ninth of August 378; the Romans were conquered, and hardly one third of their army escaped. The emperor being wounded, and taking refuge in the house of a peasant until his wounds were dressed, it was prefently set on fire, and he perished in the flames. This victory laid open the Roman territories to the ravages of the Goths from east to west, and they carried their rapine as far as the Alps.
It is evident, however, that these Goths would not have invaded, nor even have fought admittance into the Roman dominions, had they not, as we have before observed, been driven out of their own by the incursion of the Huns. These Huns were the most northern of those barbarous nations, and inhabited that part of the European Sarmatia, which lies along the Tanais, together with the angle, which that river forms above the Caspian sea. Claudian gives us the following description of this People :
Elt genus extremos Scythiæ vergentis in ortus,
Claud, in Ruf. v. 323. lib. I. Ammianus Marcellinus tells us, that the Huns, a people lit. tle known to the ancients, occupied a tract of country between the Palus Meotis and the frozen sea ; but by these, he certainly must have meant the ancient Moscovites : Hunnorum gens veterum monumentis leviter nota ultra Paludes Mæoticas, Glacialer
536 Pey/Tonnel's Historical and Geographical Observations. oceanum accolens, omnem modum feritatis excedit. The same writer reprefents them as almoft always on horseback, curabant Hunni omnia negotia equis infidentes, et vix ftaré firmiter fola poterant. Thesc descriptions which the poet and historian have left us, would do extremely well for the moderni Tartars, and particularly the Nogaefe, who are an ugly, filthy, indefatigable people, almost always on horseback, and hardly capable of acting in any other situation, expert in rallying their forces after a defeat, and in unexpectedly re-attacking their enemies. In all these things there is a perfect resemblance ; yet notwithstanding this fimilarity of manners, and though their origin in the remoteft times might be the same, they must nevertheless be considered each as a distinct people, because their refpective languages have not the least affinity.
Mr. De Peyffonnel, from his residence in quality of consul to the Khan of Tartary, was enabled to investigate, with great care and success, the topography of those countries, so little known where he refided, and his accuracy and elaborate attention in this respect, constitute the most valuable part of his work.-Of the Taurica Cherfonefus in particular; He has given a large and curious account. - But the origin and connections of the several barbarous nations that broke in upon the Roman empire, and overspread the north and the west, form the principal object of his work.-The first part of his book; to which he has prefixed a large and learned dissertation on the Sclavonian language, is divided into twenty five chapters, containing the following heads.
Chap. I. On the geography of those countries that lie to the north and the south of the Danube.
II. On the languages that are commonly spoken in those countries.
III. The first incursions of the Scythians on the western banks of the Euxine sea.
IV. The oriental barbarians under the Perfians and the Ma. cedonians.
V. The first invasion of the western barbarians.
VI. Of the western barbarians, from the destruction of the Macedonian empire, until the time of Dioclefian.
VII. The first incursions of the northern barbarians.
VIII. Fresh incursions of the eastern Scythians. Origin of the Bulgarians.
IX. Grants of countries made to the barbarians by the emperors. Christianity introduced amongst the Scythians.
X. The first appearance of the Huns.
XI. Discoveries concerning the Nomadian Scythians. Migration of the Goths westward. Expedition of Attila into Italy.