Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Seminent Minister ye

treatife he shewed a very profound knowlege of the antiquities of his country. The Royal Society could not but be much pleased with such a piece, on account of the connection between the German and British Antiquities.

The most famous piece of antiquity in England, is the Anglo-Saxon monument on Salisbury Plain, called Stonehenge. This remainder of the first ages of the world, has been cleared up by Mr. Keysler, with such solidity, and learning, as manifest, that the honour our Society conferred on him, did not exceed his merit.—He next distinguished himself at London, by an ingenious Disertation on the Consecrated Mijeta of the Druids; and all his detached Essays were afterwards published, with great applause, in the periodical Collections of the learned soon after his return to Hanover, in 1720, he published an entire Collection of select Discourses on the Celtic and Northern Antiquities, which met with universal approbation.

Hitherto we have fomewhat abreviated the account given by the Prefacer of this edition, and by him borrowed from the Editor of the German edition, (who was Mr. Keysler's particular acquaintance, and friend)-but what follows, relating to our Author's personal History, we shall give in the Editor's own words. • The two young Barons Bernstorf were above ten

years ' under Mr. Keysler's care, who, by his judicious instruc

tions, and acquaintance with the sciences, fitted them for • seeing the world with advantage. He first went with them, . in the year 1727, to Tubingen, where, after a stay of a

year and a half in that university, they set out in April,

1729, on that tour which terminated fo much to Mr. Key« fér's benefit and reputation. They visited the upper part of Germany, Switzerland, and took a particular view of

Italy, which has ever been accounted the Land of Curiosi«ities. In the month of June, in the following year, they came « to Vienna, where they spent three months in viewing the

infinite variety of remarkable objects which attract the eye « in that city. The name of such an

State as Baron Berniftorf, procured them every where ad• mittance to the most private repositories of antiquities, and o to the intimate converfation of men of rank and letters • fo that all things concurred to anfwer the noble design of

their travels." Their next progress was into Upper Hunga

ry, Bohemia, and the other parts of Germany. In 1731, • they pafled through Lorrain into France; from thence crossed the channel into England, making Holland the last 3

! stage

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of

[ocr errors]

Science is incompatible with the indulgences of a lazy indo

• stage of their travels, To this tour we are obliged for this < valuable book. My worthy friend, on several occasions,

gave such distinguishing proofs of learning, fagacity, and experience, that he had very considerable offers made him

by several courts, to fix him among them; but the fingular ' esteem, and patronage, of the two Barons Bernstorf, with < the ease and retirement he was so fond of, seemed to him

more eligible than splendor and authority; so that he de« clined several honourable posts, looking upon them as avo*cations from his public-sprited view of a very different nature. The youngest Baron having been nominated Envoy to

the Dyet, from the King of Denmark, as Duke of Holstein• Gluchstadt, Mr. Keyser attended him to the Danish court,

and afterwards to Ratisbon; after which he spent the re<mainder of his days with the eldest of his Pupils, who alo lowed him a very handsome income, as an acknowlegement

of the noble and useful instructions he had received from o him whilst under his care. As the two brothers had all the

reason in the world to be convinced of his talents and integrity, they committed to his care, not only their fine Li

brary and Museum, but likewise the most weighty concerns • of the family, and to a person of his ingenuous temper, it

gave the best relish to his prosperity, that it was accompa( nied with the entire and unreserved confidence of his bene« *factors.

* We must not imagine that Mr. Keysler passed the re"mainder of his life in a culpable inactivity. The love of “lent repose. He had, in his travels, laid the foundation of "a finals library of his own, in which were some very scarce • and valuable books. He led a tranquil happy life, while he daily conversed with the illustrious dead, who were the

companjons of his retirement. From the same principle on ' which he had declined public employments, he secured his • heart against the attracting charms of the fair sex. He par * ticularly delighted in those objects that exhibit to us the • riches of Nature, in her various productions. It was his - opinion, there could not be a nobler employment for a per

son of the greatest learning, than to attend to the voice of o the Creator, speaking to him in the works of creation ; fo

that his cabinet of natural curiosities, which he had collect• ed with the most critical nicety, and at no small expence, • was an inexhaustible Fund of entertainment to him.

There is in the world a despicable race of useless men, • into whole unworthy hands Forfune has thrown those trea

(fures

• fures of learning, which their little minds, and envious

temper keep secluded from being a public benefit. Their « libraries and cabinets are dumh idels, and are the more high• ly esteemed, as they are kept like reliques, which must not

be profaned by use. But Mr. Keyser was fenfible that man • kind were created for a social life, and was not for burying • himself among the Adyta of literature, A warm vein of

benevolence and public spirit, thews itfelf in feveral parts of his Celtic Antiquities; and in these Travels he has very happily led the way, in shewing the great beauty, and ad

vantage of connecting Natural Philosophy with Geographi' cal Descriptions. His house was honoured as a temple of • the Muses, and resorted to for the folution of all literary • doubts. He corresponded with the most eminent Literati e of his time, and his sincerity, was no lefs admired than his • extensive knowlege.

• May I be permitted to fay, that a person af fo many ac• complishments, and who made fuch an excellent use of (them, was taken from the world too foon. He died in the fifty-fifth

year of his age, on the 20th of June, 1743y of an asthma, after viewing, with intrepidity, the gradual approach of death. The ferenity of his mind in that awful

crisis, shewed that his hopes were full of immortality ; and ! the whole tenor of his life demonstrated, that there hopes <were well grounded. The exact order in which he left his • manuscripts, is a proof that he quitted this world in a wellprepared difpofition.

Had it pleased the Divine Providence to have added a few 6

years to the Author's life, the prefent new edition of his

Travels might have received, from the Author's own hand, 6 those embellishments which I am not capable of giving it: showever, being in some measure qualified to inspect his ma

nuscripts, I could not refuse the Publisher's request, and I hope this impreffion is free from the many errors of the first edition. I have taken the liberty to add several Notes from ecclesiastical, natural, and literary History, in order to explain or illustrate the text.'

Having thus laid before our Readers, and, we hope, not to their diffatisfaction, the foregoing anecdotes relating to this truly respectable Author, we fhall now proceed to give them a concise view of the contents of the second volume of his Travels.

It begins with a curious account of the extent of the city of Rome, the Pope, his Court, Revenue, and military Forces; the life and death of Benedict XIII, the intrigues of the

Conclave,

6

[ocr errors]

& found, both in Europe, and other parts of the world, sum

Conclave, the climate, and manner of living at Rome; and of the Pretender's person, and houshold. He then proceeds to the religious edifices, and the Pope's palaces, in Rome; its Piazzas of Areas, bridges, gates, palaces, villas and gardens in and near Rome. Tivoli, Frescati, &c and the country about Rome, are next described ; with the remains of antiquity in that city.-From whence he departs for Naples, gives an account of his journey thither ; describes the city of Naples ;, and treats, with his usual accuracy, learning, and judgment, of the antiquities, and natural curiosities, near the city of Naples, towards Puzzuolo, Baiæ, Cuma, Miseno, &c. And he concludes with a curious chronological and historical litt of the most celebrated Painters, since the revival of Painting, in the XIIIth century.

From this valuable mass of materials, we shall, at present, select, for the entertainment of our Readers, Mr. Keysler's remarks on the extent of Rome, the number of its inhabitants, power of the Pope, &c.

As to the present extent of Rome, and the number of its inhabitants, our Author observes, that several cities may be

i perior to modern Rome; but if we consider its ancient < power, and its sovereignty over so many powerful nations, i for such a series of years, the whole world never produced i its equal. Hence Ovid pays it this compliment:

Gentibus eft aliis tellus data limite certo

Romană spatium eft Urbis & Orbis idem. To ev'ry other state are limits set

And certain bounds, where its dominion ends;

66 But Rome's wide empire o'er the world extends.' • And Martial Atiles it Terrarum domina gentiumque Roma. " Rome, the mistress of the earth, and Queen of nations.”

The remains of the ancient walls and buildings of the city • demonstrate, that for its valt circumference it might justly « be classed among the principal cities of the world; though • I cannot subscribe to the palpable exaggerations both of an

scient and modern writers on this head. According to Pli(sny, lib, iii. c. 5. the city walls, in Vespasian's time, were

thirteen thousand two hundred paces in circumference; and • Vopiscus, who wrote in Aurelian's time, magnifies them to

We have given the English Translator's version of the Latin, and other quotations, that our specimen may exhibit a compleat view of the manner in which the present edition is executed. Rey, Dec, 1756. Rr

fifty

Kome. , What

« fifty thousand. This must either be a notorious error of « the transcriber, or such a circuit must have included the < Voffius, in his Varize Observationes, endeavours to prove, • is very weak and absurd; for he would fain persuade his

readers, that Rome was twenty times as large as Paris and • London put together; that Nero's palace alone took up • more ground than the greatest of our modern European ci• ties; that the number of slaves in Rome, amounted to eight ( millions, and the inhabitants in general to fourteen milli

ons; whereas, according to him, the cities of Paris and « London do not contain above fix hundred thousand fouls

each; and the whole number of inhabitants in the several • countries of Europe, do not exceed twenty-eight millions. « Whoever gives credit to these bare assertions, should not • dispute with him, when he affirms, the inhabitants of Nan

quin, a single city in China, to be above twenty millions. • 'These exaggerations are still far short of Rolefincks, in his • Fasciculus temporum, who computes the inhabitants of « Rome, in the time of her highest prosperity, at twenty-se

ven millions and eighty thousand. Lipfius, under the name

of Rome, comprehends all the circumjacent country, as far 'as Oftia Aricia, Ocriculum, and other distant places; but < this method was not customary among the ancient

writers, 6 and it would be just as reasonable to extend Paris to Ver< failles, or include Gravesend within London. Should it be

objected, that according to Pomponius, the word urbs fig

nifies, indeed, what is inclosed by the walls; but the name • Rome is to be taken in a larger sense, which is further consfirmed by the civilian Paulus, in these words, Urbis appel"latio muris, Romæ autem continentibus ædificiis finitur, quod

latius patet; yet it is evident, that Continentia edificia, or • contiguous buildings, do not include country seats, villages, " and towns, and some at a confiderable distance. Nay, such « is the infatuation of Lipsius, in magnifying the extent of « Rome, and the number of its inhabitants, that he does not • scruple to alter and falsify such passages in ancient writers, • as make against his chimeras, and blindly follows the most • abfurd and extravagant assertions of the Greeks, who were “ remarkable for their flattery to the Romans.

thing more ridiculous than what the orator Aristides says of • Rome in Adrian's time? “ It is lo large, says this writer, “ that in any part of it a person may always with some reason " think himtelf in the center of it; so that a whole year is “not fufficient to enumerate other cities that are, as it were,

• included

Was ever any

« AnteriorContinuar »