« AnteriorContinuar »
In a letter which we have received from the translator of Euler's Algebra, (see Rev. for July, p.280.) he seems rather dissatisfied with our judgment concerning the relative merit of the French and English editions. We agree with the translator that the question, 'whether the English or French language be most happily adapted to scientific subjects, is to be referred to what is understood by taste, rather than to be decided by the rules of criticism : yet we cannot but think that what the translator said concerning the verbiage' and 'the boasted correctness' of the French edition appeared but little in the modest form of an expressed opinion. To us it seemed that an attack was made; a “ wanton attack” might not be designed ; yet it might surely be called a “ wanton” ane, when little or no good could result to the person who made it ; and the scarceness of the French copy is likely to prevent its ever coming into competition with the English.
The translator remarks, in his letter, that it is not fair to give an opinion of the whole, from an examination of the half.' Take this sentence abstractedly, and we assent to its truth; refer it to a specific work, and we may have reason at least to hesitate, whether it be not tolerably fair to give an opinion of the whole from an exa. mination of the half. In Euler's Algebra, we examined one half (the second volume) with a more considerable share of attention than the other half (the first volume), and this for two reasons: ist, That errors were much more liable to exist in the second than in the first volume. 2dly, That the errors of the second were of more conse, quence than those of the first.
The subjects of the two volumes bear no comparison in point of difficulty. The algebraical operations of the first volume are easy; any errors in them are soon detected, and corrected without difficulty. The plea of correctness was also urged by the translator; and whether justly or not, was to be determined by what he had done in the second volume.
To the letter that we have received is subjoined a list of Errata corrected in the French edition (vol. i.) by the English translator: but, a temporary change of situation having separated us from the two editions, we have not been able to examine the justness of the corrections; and we are not disposed to take for granted what admits of proof ;-we hope that the translator is of the same mind, and that he will not on our authority adopt corrections when he has the power of ascertaining their truth. In the concluding part of the letter, we are happy in remarking the liberality of a man of science prevailing over a personal feeling of resentment. Our judgment of the translation was not hastily given, and in the aggregate is favourable to its reputa. tion. As mere assertions pass for nothing, we shall not speak of the purity of our motives ; we certainly did hunt for errors, because the translator advanced a claim to the approbation of the public on the ground of superior correctness; whether we acted from a malignant sagacity, or from a principle of duty, we leave to the decision of candid minds. The translator is totally unknown to us.
We have received from Mademoiselle le Noir a letter expressing disappointment that our remarks on her late work (Rev. vol. xxvi.
p. 445.) p. 445.) were so much less complaisant than those which announced her Compagne de la Jeunesse, (Rev. vol. vii. p. 463,) of which it is in some degree a continuation. To this we can only answer that we think the new volumes inferior in merit ; and that we hold books of education to be too important, ever to keep back any doubts that we may entertain of their beneficial tendency.
Mademoiselle le Noir laments that she inserted, through accident, Scarron's works in her list of books for young ladies : and we lament that we hastily objected against her insertion of Voltaire's Plays, which are nearly unexceptionable. She persists in recommending the Secchia rapila: we persist in denouncing it, and need only refer for our justification to the ad canto, stanzas 57 to 60 inclusive.
· The very satisfactory testimonies relative to her personal merits and accomplishments, with which this lady has thought fit to accompany her letter, cannot but inspire a poignant regret that it should have fallen to our lot to inílict any pain on so meritorious an individual.
A letter, signed John Wagstaffe, and dated from Norwich, tent month 1798, corroborates the truth of an observation made by the writer in the last volume of the Bath Society Papers, Art. 26, (see Rev. for August last,) that a thorough washing of seed corn in pure water prevents, in the future crop, what are called smutt-balls ; and we are also here informed that, in the agricultural parish of Baburgh, consisting of many hundreds of acres, this practice of washing seedcorn in the pure stream, or under the pump, has prevailed, and there has not been discerned a single sinutty ear within the present year. This fact is worthy of being known; and we thank Mr. W. for giv. ing us an opportunity of making it public.-It is probable that smut, as a fungus, is propagated by small generative particles adhering to the seed-corn ; especially as crops, raised from seed out of barns in which smutty corn has been threshed, are generally infested with this disease. Washing seems likely to stop the evil, and to be preferable to the common preparation of brining and liming; and to the use of strong lixiviums, which destroy the germ of vegetation.
A correspondent inquires whether Dr. Adam, author of Roman Antiquities, has carried into execution his plan of a Latin and English Dictionary.-No such work has yet appeared, nor have we heard that it certainly will: but it is rather understood that the Doctor is engaged in compiling it.
We are much obliged by the friendly communication of our old and respected correspondent, Mr. B-don, which is under consideration : but we believe that it will be right for us not to interfere on either of the subjects to which it relates.
In the last Appendix, p. 496. l. 5. from bottom, for «Galanti read Galiani; p. 558. 1. 23. for ' operates' read operated.
In the Review for September, p. 65. l. 4. for connoissieur,' read connoisseur ; P, 93, . last, for • lalarium,' read lararium.
For NOVEMBER, 1798.
Art. I. An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales ;
with Remarks on the Dispositions, Customs, Manners, &c. of the Native Inhabitants of that Country. To which are added, some Particulars of New Zealand; compiled by Permission from the MSS. of Lieutenant-Governor, King. By David Collins, Esq. late Judge-Advocate and Secretary of the Colony. Illustrated by Engravings. 4to. 21. 2s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies,
London. 1798. . few productions more naturally fix the attention of the geneE' rality of readers, than a well-written account of the foundation and progress of an infant colony. We are pleased with tracing new modes of life, divested of the forms which a long established society imposes; and we become interested for those who are destined to encounter the dangers and difficulties, which are inseparable from attempts at introducing civilized establishments in the untrodden desert; or which is traversed only by untutored savages. The establishment of the English Colony in New South Wales must have been attended with more than ordinary difficulties, arising from the character of those persons on whose exertions its success was to depend, and from the peculiar cir' cumstances in which the new colonists were placed. Of such dangers and difficultics, the copious volume before us affords á minute detail, which will no doubt be received by the public with that approbation to which the great industry and accuracy of the author entitle it. He has written it in the manner of a journal, comprehending the transactions of each month in their order, and it is brought down from the commencement of the colony in 1788 to the close of the year 1796. It is also illustrated by a chart of the three harbours of Botany Bay, Port Jackson, and Broken Bay; and by twenty-three engravings of views in different parts of the settlement.
Captain Collins went out as judge-advocate, with the first fleet which sailed for New South Wales; and he completed his voyage in eight months and one week. On the 25th of VOL. XXVII.
January 1988, the Governor (Captain Arthur Phillip) anchored in Port Jackson, the place selected for the settlement.
"The spot chosen for this purpose was at the head of a cove near a run of fresh water, which stole silently along through a very thick wood, the stillness of which had then for the first time since the crea. 'tion been interrupted by the rude sound of the labourer's axe, and the downfal of its antient inhabitants; a stillness and tranquillity which from that day were to give place to the voice of labour, the confusion of camps and towns, and the “ busy hum of its new possessors,” of whom it was fervently to be wished that they did not bring with them
“ Minds not to be charged by time or place.” On the following day, the disembarkation of the troops and convicts took place; the whole number belonging to the colony amounting to 1030 persons, and the public live-stock consist. ing of a bull, four cows, a bull-calf, a stallion, three mares, and three colts.
The hurry of disembarkation having subsided, his Majesty's commission to the governor, and the letters patent establishing courts of criminal and civil judicature in the territory, were read. By these it appeared that the territory extended from Cape York (the extremity of the coast to the northward) in lat. 20° 37' south, to the south cape (the southern extremity of the coast) in lat. 43° 39' south, and inland to the westward as far as 135o of east longitude, comprehending all the islands adjacent in the Pacific Ocean.
• The criminal court was constituted a court of record, and was to consist of the judge-advocate and such six officers of the sea and land service as the governor shall, by precept issued under his hand and seal, require to assemble for that purpose. This court has power to inquire of, hear, determine, and punish all treasons, misprisions of treasons, murders, felonies, forgeries, perjuries, trespasses, and other crimes whatsoever that may be committed in the colony; the punishment for such offences to be inflicted according to the laws of England as nearly as may be, considering and allowing for the circumstances and situation of the settlement and its inhabitants. The charge against any offender is to be reduced into writing, and exhibited by the judge-advocate: witnesses are to be examined upon oath, as well for as against the prisoner; and the court is to adjudge whether he is guilty or not guilty by the opinion of the major part of the court. If guilty, and the offence is capital, they are to pronounce judgment of death, in like manner as if the prisoner had been convicted by the verdict of a jury in England, or of such corporal punishment as the court, or the major part of it, shall deem meet. And in cases not capital, they are to adjudge such corporal punishment as the majority of the court shall determine. But no offender is to suffer death, unless five members of the court shall concur in adjudging him to be guilty, until the proceedings shall have been transmitted to England, and the king's pleasure signified thereupon. The pro
vost-marshal is to cause the judgment of the court to be executed according to the governor's warrant under his hand and seal.'
• Beside this court for the trial of criminal offenders, there is a civil court, consisting of the judge-advocate and two inhabitants of the settlement, who are to be appointed by the governor; which court has full power to hear and determinc in a summary way all pleas of lands, houses, debts, contracts, and all personal pleas whatsoever.
From this court, on either party, plaintiff or defendant, finding himself or themselves aggrieved by the judgment or decree, an appeal lies to the governor, and from him, where the debt or thing in demand shall exceed the value of three hundred pounds, to the king in council.'
A vice-admiralty court was also appointed, for the trial of offences on the high seas; and the governor, lieutenant governor, and judge-advocate, were by patent made justices of the peace, with a power in the governor to appoint other justices.
Governor Phillip had been directed to establish a settlement at Norfolk Island, situated in lat. 29° south and 168° 10' east of Greenwich. He had therefore no sooner arranged his af. fairs at Port Jackson, than he sent thither a transport with fifteen convicts and a few soldiers, &c. under the command of Lieut. King, with a supply of provisions for six months, tents, clothing, and instruments of husbandry. The main object of a settlement on this island was the cultivation of the flas-plant; which, when the island was discovered by Capt. Cook, was found growing most luxuriantly where he landed; and, from specimens which had been brought to England, it was supposed that some advantages to the mother-country might be derived from the cultivation of this vegetable. Though little was done, however, in regard to the flax-manufacture, during the author's residence in New South Wales, (owing to the scarcity of hands, and the want of skill and instruments, yet in every other instance the place was found fully to answer the expectations which had been formed of it.
The situation which Gov. Phillip had selected for his residence, and for the principal settlement, was the east side of a cove in Port Jackson, which he called Sydney Cove. Its latitude was found to be 33° 52' 30' south, and its longitude 1 52° 19'30" east. This situation was chosen without due examina. ation ; for it soon appeared that the head or upper part of the cove wore a much more favourable appearance than the ground immediately about the settlement. From the natives, the new settlers met no opposition: during the first six weeks, they received only one visit from them, two men strolling one evening into the camp, and remaining in it for about half an hour. S2