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A RT. VIII. Numa Pompilius, &c. i. e. Numa Pompilius, second King of Rome. · By M. de FLORIAN, Captain of Dragoons, Gentleman of the
Chamber to his S. Highness the Duke of Parma, and Member of the Academy of Madrid. 8:0. 418 Pages. Paris. 1786. THIS work is an humble imitation of the Adventures of Telem
machus į and if it has real merit in point of correctness of style, purity of sentiments, elegant fimplicity in the expression of those sentiments, and many other good qualities, which render a moral romance instructive and entertaining, it is not a little recommended to indulgence (if indulgence were wanted) by the delicate modesty of its Author. M. de FLORIAN is afraid, above all things, of being, in the least, suspected of having designed to contend with the immortal Author of Telemachus ; and he has taken an ingenious method of removing all suspicion of this kind ; for in an engraving that faces the title, we see Minerva upon an altar, holding in her hand a book open, on the upper part of whose page is written the word Telemachus. On the lowest step that leads to the altar, a Genius is represented as proftrated before the goddess and the immortal work of Fenelon, and presente ing a book, not open, on whose cover is inscribed the word Numa. All this expresses elegantly the modefty, and at the same time the laudable ambition of M. DE FLORIAN; and it is evident, that though he has not, and indeed could not, without great presumption, have flattered himself with the hope of producing another Telemachus, yet he has endeavoured to attain, as nearly as might be, the spirit, and to pursue the steps, of its illustrious Author. He follows Fenelon (non pellibus æquis) with unequal steps ; yet he walks in the same path with dignity, and also with applause ; for the first edition of his work was sold in a few months, and a second is just published in two small volumes, enriched with thirteen plates elegantly engraved.
It may be thought that M. de FLORIAN Jay under disadvan. tages, even from the choice of his hero; for though there are reSpectable lines in the character of Numa, and signal inftances of wisdom, capacity, and public virtue in the course of his govern. ment; yet his reign does not abound in events sufficient to fusnish materials for an epic poem. But it is the education of Numa, and not his reign, that constitutes the principal subje&t of the present work. The great end our Author has in view, is, to represent a young prince, reduced, for a time, by ambition and love, recovering from his delusion, convinced of his deviations from virtue and true glory, and then espousing a virtuous prin. cess, and becoming a wise and pacific fovereign. This plan is well executed; the fable of the poem (for such we may call it, App, Rev. Vol. LXXV. L
though written in prose) is well contrived: the incidents are numerous, entertaining, and affecting; and the morality that prevails through the whole work, is pure and elevated.
ART. IX. Defcription générale de la Chine, &c. i. e. A general Description of
China, containing an Account of the present State of that Empire: in two parts. The first includes a topographical Description of the Fifteen Provinces into which the Empire is divided, the Description of Tartary, of the Isands, and tributary Countries which are under its Jurisdiction, the Number and Situation of its Cities, its Population, the various Productions of its Soil, and the prin.
cipal Details of its Natural History. The second Part exhibits a · Summary of the recent Accounts which have been transmitted to · Europe of the Government, Religion, Manners and Cuftoms,
Arts and Sciences, of the Chinese. The whole compiled and digested by the Abbé GROSIER. Large 8vo. 798 Pages. Paris.
1786. THIS title sufficiently announces the general contents of the
I work. The details are curious, instructive, and entertaining, and form, without doubt, the most accurate and complete account that has yet been publiched (within fo moderate a compass) of the Chinese empire.
ART. X. Recherches sur la cause des Affe&tions Hypocondriaques appellées commvnement Vapeurs, &c. i. e. An Inquiry into the Cause of the Hypocondriac Complaints, commonly called Vapours. To which is added, a Diary or daily Account of the State of the Body, as it is affected by the Temperature of the Air, and the more or less perfect State of Perspiration. By M. CLAUDE REVILLON, M. D. Member of the Academy of Sciences at Dijon, and Correspondent of the Royal Society of Medicine at Paris. THIS second edition of a work published in 1770 *, may be
I considered as a new work, as the Author has been induced, by new observations and experiments, to change, or at least to modify his opinion with respect to the cause of the disorder called vapours. Formerly he considered this disease as the effeat of an irregular or diminished perfpiration. At present, he thinks that the electrical Auid which is diffused through the atmosphere, has a fingular influence on the nervous syltem, and therefore concurs in a great measure in developing the symptoms of hyfterical and hypochondriac disorders. His observations on this fubje& are worthy of attention, particularly those upon the different winds, which, by augmenting or diminithing the electrieity of the atmosphere, and the insensible perspiration of the . * See Rev. vol, lxiii. p. 136.
human body, have a considerable influence on those who are afflicted with the disorder in question.
The diary, added by the Author to this new edition, which contains the fate of his own body for above two months, thews M. Revillon's weight at different hours of the day, the quantities of food he took, the quantity of matter he evacuated by sensible excretion's or insensible perspiration, and the agreeable or disagreeable fensations he felt at different times. The state of the atmosphere, and the variations of the barometer, are placed in a collateral column with this diary.
A R T. XI.. Histoire d'Herodote, &c. i. e. Herodotus, translated from the Greek
(inco French), together with historical and critical Observations and Remarks, an Essay on the Chronology of Herodotus, and a Geographical Table. 8vo. 7 Vols. 172 Livres). By M. LARCKER, Member of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles
Lettres. Paris. 1786. HERE is one of those tranlations which must be distinguished 1 from the multitude. M. LARCHER poffeffes all the qualities of a translator and a critic, and the Public will certainly crown with their approbation, this new display of his erudition and critical fagacity. Some copies of this work have been published in 4to, on fine paper.
ART. XII. Théatre des Grecs, i. e, The Grecian Theatre. By F. BRUNOY.
A new Edition, enriched with fine Engravings, and augmented by the entire Translation of the Greek Tragedies and Comedies, of which there were only Extracts given in all the preceding Edi. tions : accompanied also with Comparisons, Observations, and critical Remarks. By Messrs. De Rochefort and Du Theil, Members of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres.
Volume I. 8vo. Paris. 1785. Vol. II. 1786. ANOTHER translation of great merit. Father BRUMOY 12 plucked only some of the most beautiful flowers from the tragic poets of Greece, and gave them to us as nosegays, in his much and juftly esteemed work. The editors of this new and augmented edition of that work exhibit to us the whole gar, den, in which, indeed, weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot, but which, nevertheless, presents a noble and a beautiful ensemble..
To the three celebrated discourses on Greek tragedy which Facher Brumey had prefixed to his work, M. DE ROCHEFORT, the new editor, has added a Disertation, in which he describes and developes, with solid erudition and good taste, the genius and spirit of the Greeks in respect to the drama : and to each piece he subjoins a critical examination and valuable notes, founded on the principles laid down in his dissertation. He has LI 2
also given us these pieces, according to their chronological or. der, that the reader may perceive the progress of the drama among that ingenious people, who have been our instructors and guides in all the fine arts; and he has made a judicious choice of the best translations of those pieces, of which Brumsy had only published extracts : bis own versions are the beft in the collection ; and we are proud to call him the French MELMOTH.
There are many interesting points of view in the Differtatisa above mentioned. The Author Thews, among other things, the intimate connexion that the arts in general, and more especially the dramatic art in Greece, had with morality and reJigion, which forin the essential basis of true political science and good government. Hence poetry, painting, and music, were employed in all the great religious festivals ; and tragedy had always a diftinguished place in the solemn feasts of Bacchus. Tragedy, says he, produced remarkable effects of a moral and religious nature, on the minds of the people, and (according to his explication of a difficult and obscure passage of Aristotle *) by exciting terror and pity, purified the mind from the irregularity and excess of such passions, and the deje&tion and anguith they occasion. We had formerly an opportunity of Thewing, that this explication of the passage in Aristotle is unsatisfactory, erroneous, and still more obscure and forced than the passage itself t. As the word Tarp.XTQ in this passage fignifies calamities or fufferings, and not parlions, the meaning of Aristotle is evidendy this, that, by exhibiting certain calamities on the ftage, tragedy may tend to remove such calamities out of human life, by exciting the pity and cerror of the audience at the representation of them. On the whole, this additional discourse does great ho. nour to the erudition, the judgment, and the heart of its Au. chor, M. DE ROCHEFORT, through the whole tenor of it, dif. plays a very extensive knowledge of the Grecian drama, in its origin and spirit, in all its modiħcations and improvements; and he thews fwhat renders him ftill more respectable in our eyes) chat sensus decori et honefti, that innare taste, improved by culture, for moral beauty-for what is honeft, decent, and vir. tuous, without which erudition and science are of little conse. quence, nay often become pernicious to the true improvement of human nature.
The remainder of this first volume contains three tragedies of Æschylus, translated by M. DU Theil; accompanied with critical remarks, and a life of the poet, by M. DE ROCHEFORT. The other four tragedies of Æschylus, and the Ajax of Sophocles, form the contents of the second volume - The Ajax comes
• • Δί ελές και φόβο περαίνεσα των τοιυτων παθημάτων καθαρσιν,
+ See Monthly Review, vol. Ixiv. p. 555, 556.
forth in the translation of M. de Rochefort, who has prefixed to it the life of the poet, accompanied with judicious observations on the difficulties which attend the translation of the Greek poets. It is with regret that we learn, that these are the last aids which the Grecian Theatre is to expect from the labours of M. De ROCHEFORT ; who, for reasons unknown, has renounced any further concurrence in this undertaking, and proposes to publish apart his translation of Sophocles. To lose such a co-operator, who translated Homer with applause, and is, at this day, one of the leading men in French literature, must be detrimental, if not fatal, to the progress and successful execution of the work before us.
of navigable Canals, or the Theory of their Construction, Part I.
with several Plates, Paris. 1785. M De la Lande published a heavy folio volume on this subMoject in 1979, which met with but feeble marks of approbation, even from those who had in other respects the most favourable opinion of his abilities. The work here announced, when finished, will consist of eight volumes; and the two, now published, have met with the best reception. Though it is more especially designed to indicate practicable and easy methods of establishing a general interior navigation in France, of altering the corvées, and introducing a desirable economy into the execution of all those plans and undertakings that are carried on at the public expence, yet it is of such a nature as may render it useful to other nations. Those who have a professional inducement to examine what is offered as an improvement in the branches of internal commerce, industry, and agriculture, in the laying out of public roads, and in the promoting internal navigacion, will here find views and materials that may deserve their attention.
An analytical Essay concerning pure Air, and different kinds of
years past, on the different kinds of air, have induced this ingenious philosopher to bring together the results of these experiments, and to establish, upon all these facts and results, cer