Imágenes de página

Mr. Eton informs us, that the frequent attempts to introduce the art of printing among the l'urks have uniformly failed, from no other cause than the negligence arising from their indolence and contempt for all innovations. Since the first estab. lishment of their manufactory of carpets, the designs have never been improved ; and the same may be said of their embroidery, and of the stuffs made at Brusa, Aleppo, and Damascus. Their carpets owe the whole of their excellence to the materials of which they are made. Indeed their ignorance in all the mechanical arts is surprising to other Europeans. Their method of conducting water is in the highest degree clumsy and uncertain, and with the means of calculating the lateral pressure of arches and cupolas they are utterly unacquainted : though both are frequent at Constantinople, but they are the works of Greek architects. The use of wheel-carriages is almost unknown in Turkey, but not in the capital; and in most parts of the Asiatic provinces the people have no idea of a wheel. Casks, too, are not in use, except among the Greeks. In surgery and medi. cine they are woefully deficient; and the only people who have the smallest idea of navigation, aniong them, are the Algerines in their service; and their knowlege is chiefly practical. For pavigating their ships of war, they rely entirely on the Greeks; and their merchantmen never lose sight of land, which is the principal reason for so many of them perishing in the Euxine.

How many useful discoveries may be lost to the world, from a want of that encouragement which naturally attends genius in free countries, but which under despotical governments can only proceed from the humour or disposition of the prince ! A remarkable instance of this fell under the notice of our author An Arabian at Constantinople had discovered the secret of casting iron, which, on coming out of the mould, was as malleable as hammered iron; some of his fabrication was accidentally shewn to M. de Gaffron, the Prussian chargé d'affaires, and to M de Franzaroli, both men of mineralogical science, who were struck with the fact, and immediately inquired after the author : when all the information that they could get was, that this man, whose art in some other countries would have ensured him a splendid fortune, had here died poor and unknown, and his secret had perished with him! His utensils were found, and several pieces that he had cast, all perfectly malleable. M. Franzaroli analyzed them, and found them entirely free from admixture of any other metal. M. de Gaffron has since been appointed superintendant of the ironworks at Spandau, where he has in vain attempted to discover the process of the ingenious Arab.


Mr. Eton next proceeds to speak of the Turkish notions con: cerning Commerce ; which, among all ranks, are not less nar. row and absurd than their other opinions.

Marriage is with the Mohammedans merely a civil contract: the wife brings no portion to the husband, but the husband stipulates in the marriage contract, which is executed before a. judge, to allow a certain aliment money to the wife in case of repudiation, or the death of the husband.-When a Turk drinks wine, it is in the intention of being intoxicated : he therefore swallows a sufficient quantity at one draught, or repeats his potation till he is extremely drunk. Such a method of drinking wine, and in such a view, certainly entitles drinkers to the contempt in which they are held in Turkey. I

In short, Mr. 'E. will not allow the Turks to possess one virtue, even of those which other travellers have commonly ascribed to them. With him they are uniformly cowardly, treacherous, thievish, assassins, servile, ignorant, mischievous, and completely depraved. We fear, however, that, allowing for the depth of colouring naturally to be expected from a man disappointed in the indirect concerns in trade in which our author was some time engaged in that country, the picture may be true, in a qualified degree; attributing the dark shade to that bias. -The author differs not less from other writers in regard to the population of Turkey. If their numbers be greatly decreased, says he, we need seek no other cause to account for it than the plague, though many others co-operate with that great destruction. Taking for granted that fisty millions of people were on the continent two centuries ago;. yet the births being to the burials as 12 to 10, or one in 36 dying every year, in the common course of mortality; or the number of births being to the living as one to 26, 27, or 28; or reckoning, by any calculation more favourable to the increase of population; we shall still find that the mortality occasioned by the plague, taken on an average, (as its ravages are stated in this work,) would reduce these fifty millions to little more than ten millions at this day.

As might be expected, Mr. Eton seems materially less acquainted with Russia and the Russians than with Turkey; be." cause on his coming into the former empire from Constantinople, he was principally with the army, employed by Prince Potemkin to attend the sick and wounded; and acting at times as one, of his secretaries in the French language. He even writes Count Orloff's name Orlow, falling into the ignorant blunder of our common newspaper writers, who imagine that the letter v twice repeated is equal to a w. This, however, with instances of a like nature, is extremely venial, in comparison

with the little knowlege which he displays concerning the character of the late Empress and the usual consistency of her mode of acting, when he affirms with so much pathos that she was about to sign the grand document, which was to have decided the contest between England and France, for furnishing 65,000 men immediately to crush the latter, when-mysterious heaven!-- she died. On that day or the next, says Mr. E. she was to have signed the document. To this we add, that they who know any thing of Catharine II, know, with certainty, that this document would have been to be signed that day or the next to the day that now is.

We agree with our author in censuring those who traduce the memory of the unfortunate Peter III.- but if he had consulted the Life of Catharine in 3 vols. lately published in this country *, he would have seen that ample justice has been done to the memory of that monarch. He is there represented as sensible and humane; and it is there said that he was respected by the people ; that he overcame his weakness and indecision; that he signalized his first accession to the crown by acts of beneficence and justice; that he seemed to forget the wrongs which he had suffered; that he undertook to correct the numerous abuses that had crept into the courts of law; that commerce, the sciences, and the arts, were equally the objects of his attention; that he gave easy audience to all who came, received their petitions, and took the pains himself to see that justice was rendered to them; and that he was continually doing good on all occasions which offered, saying that he trusted in the protection of God alone, and with that he had nothing to fear. There is even a panegyric on him in vol. i. p. 343, 344, &c.

Mr. E. says: If Mr. Fox's friend, Mr. Adair, had the interest of his country at heart, and not the removal of Mr. Pitt, why did he not promote the alliance of Russia with Great Britain?' Prince Potemkin knew better than to imagine that Mr. , Adair had any powers from England.

• Of later events,' says the author, 'I shall not now speak : the situation I have been in might involve me in a censure of breach of confidence. Mr. Eion, while at Petersburgh, was taken by Sir Charles Whitworth into his office, to assist Mr. Dunant, as his private secretary.

This work, notwithstanding its questionable bias, and its inaccuracies in point of diction, may be considered as a valuable supplement to that of Baron de Tott.

* See M. Rev. July last, p. 266.


Art. VI. Astronomical Observations made at the Royal Observatory at

Greenwich, from the Year 1750 to the Year 1762. By the Rev. James Bradley, D. D. Astronomer Royal, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, F. R. S. &c. &c. Folio. Vol. I. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1798. Price 5l. gs. in Sheets. Sold in

London by Elmsley and Bremner. jf our readers consult the Review for April 1796, p. 437, I they will find that we there stated fully the case relative to the Observations of the late Dr. Bradley, and animadverted with freedom on the delay which their publication experienced. We are happy in acknowleging that our predictions, or rather our fears, concerning the fate of these valuable papers, have been falsified : since the Observations are now presented to the public, and in a splendid form,-more worthy indeed of the magnificence of a great University, than suitable to the use of the practical astronomer.

As in our former article we might be supposed to speak the sentiments of those who were offended with the University of Oxford for the slowness of their proceedings, it will be but fair to attend to the justification of Dr. Hornsby, the editor of the present work.

He begins his preface with stating and asserting that the blame of the delay, which these Observations have experienced, cannot properly be charged on any of those in whose possession the originals have been since the author's death. These originals were first claimed by the Royal Society; and afterward by the crown, at the instance of the Commissioners of the Board of Longitude. Dr. Hornsby remarks (and, we think, with justice) that it could hardly be expected that these invaluable labours of Dr. Bradley should depart from him in consideration of a small and inadequate salary (gol. a-year). He then proceeds to state that, after the lawsuit was abandoned by the crown, (which suit was commenced in 1767 and continued to 1776,) these papers were offered voluntarily by the Rev. S. Peach, who came into their possession by right of his wife the only child of the late Dr. Bradley, to the late Earl of Guildford, then Lord North, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, to be by him presented to the said University

This offer (says Dr. H.) was graciously accepted by his Lordship, and the donation was made to the University; who lost no time in preparing to print the Observations under the care and conduct of the present editor. With how much toil and assiduity he has laboured in the prosecution of this arduous and important undertaking, is well known to many' who have scen and can witness it; and the work would have


been long ago completed, had it not been unfortunately interrupted by the editor's ill health, owing perhaps, in some measure, to the intenseness of his application. Nor has he since omitted any single day in which it was possible for him to r-sume his labour. It has been said, that he ought to have resigned the business into other hands, when he found himself unable to go on with it. But his generous employers thought otherwise : nor does it become him to question the propriety of their determination ; who, considering his disqualification as temporary only, thought it most advisable that the same person, who had long managed the labouring oar to their satisfaction, should be allowed, if able, the honour of bringing the vessel into the desired port.'

Dr. H. having said thus much concerning the causes of the delay, (which, according to him, have been censured with niuch unjust and acrimonious obloquy,) proceeds to give some account of the instruments used by Dr Bradley.

The tables of the present volume are,
Tab. ist. Observed Transits of the Sun, Planets, and Fixed

Stars over the Meridian. 300 pages.
Tab. 2d. Meridional Distances of the Sun, Planets, and

Fixed Stars froin the Zenith, southward. 301 pages.
Tab. 3d. Meridional Distances of the Fixed Stars from the

Zenith, northward. yo pages.
And with Zenith Sector. 25 pages.
Likewise Apparent Right Ascensions. 41 pages.

Art. VII. Experimental Essays, Political, Economical, ard Philo.

Sophical. By Benjamin, Count of Rumford. Essay VII. Of the Propagation of Heat in Fluids. Part II. An Account of several

new Experiments, &c. 8vo. 15. 6d. Cadell jun. and Davies. * 1798. In the preceding part of this essay, which we have already

noticed (see Rev. vol. xxiv. p. 319.), the ingenious and respectable writer produced a variety of experiments to prove that water was a non-conductor of heat. In the present publication, we find a few additional experiments to shew that the same law prevails as to oil and mercury; and we have again to admire the accuracy and the simplicity of contrivance which distinguish this philosopher. A cake of ice 3 inches thick, having a pointed projection rising inch in height from the centre of its upper surface, was frozen in a glass cylindrical jar 4 inches in diameter : fine olive oil, previously cooled to the temperature of 32° Fahrenheit, was poured on the cake of ice till it stood at the height of 3 inches above it. A cylinder


« AnteriorContinuar »