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feel, however, some difficulty in admitting the C. spinosa to rank with the other species of the genus; since it differs so widely in its general habit, and has only four stamina and petals, whereas all the other species have five of each.
MISCELLANEOU S. Art. 54. A complete View of the Chinese Empire, exhibited in a Geor'
graphical Description of that Country; a Dissertation on its Antiquity; and a genuine and copious Account of Earl Macartney's Embassy, &c. 8vo. Pp. 456. 75. Boards. Cawthorn. 1798.
This is avowedly a compilement, of which the editor (in a prefixed. advertisement) boasts the superiority to the flimsy abridgments of Sir G. Staunton's work hitherto published. The boast, however, is not altogether a vain one; since this abridgment is undoubtedly more clear and more satisfactory than those which have preceded it. The editor informs us, that the valuable Dissertation on the antiquity of China was liberally communicated to him by a writer of eminent čele brity, who has paid more than ordinary attention to the Chinese his.' tory, and who will in a short time favour the world with the result of his observations and enquiries. We should deem it highly illiberal, to anticipate demerit, and to prejudge a work which is merely in promise : yet justice obliges us to say that the dissertation on the antiquity of China does not, in our apprehension, indicate sufficient depth of research to justify the eulogiums here bestowed on it: it is, howe ever, as far as it goes, well written. Art. 55. Les Aventures de Télémaque, Fils d'Ulysse. Par M. de la Mothe Fénélon. Avec un petit Dictionnaire Mythologique. Nouvelle Edition, revue exactement sur toutes les Précédentes, & corrigée avec soin, par Nicolas Salmon. 12mo. 2 Vols. 75. Boards. Arch, De Boffe, &c. 1798.
Of so well-known a work as the Telemaque of Fénélon, it can only be necessary to say that this edition is printed with a neatness and correctness which do honor to the attention of Mr. Salmon, and to the press of Mr. Spilsbury. Art. 56. Tables, for shewing the Dates of Bills falling due, having
from 10 to 95 Days to run, including the Three Days of Grace. 4to. Pamphlet. Edinburgh. 1797.
These tables are adapted for the use of merchants, bankers, army. agents, and others who have frequent occasion to calculate the date of a bill's clapse. The operation is indeed very simple, and requires only an attentive use of the almanac: but where the process recurs minutely, it may save time to be spared even a consultation of the calendar. Art. 57. The Life of St. Columba, the Apostle and Patron Saint of
the Ancient Scots and Picts, and joint Patron of the Irish; commonly called Column-Kille, the Apostle of the Highlands. By
John Smith, D. D. Honorary Member of the Antiquarian and · Highland Societies of Scotland. 8vo. pp. 163. 35. sewed.
The life of this celebrated Saint of the sixth century was written in Latin by two of his successors, Cummin and Adomnan. Their
performances, like other works of the same nature and of the same age, are filled with visions, prophecies, and miracles. Dr. Smith has therefore undertaken to disencumber the memoirs of this great and good man from the marvellous garb with which they have been so long invested, to separate the fact from the fable, and to shew the Saint in his real character. How far he has adhered to this judicious plan, the opening passages of the life will enable the reader to determine.
. Columba was a native of Ireland, descended from the royal family of that kingdom, and nearly allied to the kings of Scotland. Like many others who made a conspicuous figure in the world, his birth is said to have been preceded by some extraordinary circumstances. Maveth, the disciple, of St. Patrick, is said to have predicted the birth and name of Columba, and the lasting glory which he should acquire by converting the Western Isles to Christianity.
• His mother also, when with child of the Saint, dreamed oue night that a person, whose figure and mien seemed to denote him to be more than human, had presented her with a veil or garment of the most beautiful texture and colours ; that in a little time, however, he resumed tas gift, and raising and expanding it in the sky, allowed it to fly through heaven. As it few, it continued to extend itself on all hands, over mountains and plains, till at length it covered an expanse which her cye was not able to measure. Finding what she had once possessed thus gone out of her reach, and likely to be irrecoverably lost, she could not help expressing her sorrow and regret, till the angel thus addressed her : « Be not grieved at not being allowa ed to retain this valuable gift but for a very short time. It is an emblem of that child of which thou art soon to be the mother : for him hath God'ordained, as one of his prophets, to be extensively useful upon carth, and to lead an innumerable company of souls to heaven.”
The circumstances attending the death of the Saint were yet more extraordinary:~he died at the time which he had predicted in his conventual church, which was all illumined, and as it were filled with a heavenly glory, or angelic light. The author's note on this subject is worth transcribing :
• Adomnan gives a beautiful and classical description of two other extraordinary visions, which, he says, had been seen on the night on which Columba died (or perhaps of this same vision, seen by different persons and in different places); one of them by a holy man in Ireland (Lugud Mac-Talcain), who had told next morning that Columba was dead; and the other by a number of fishermen who had been that night fishing in Glen Fende, from some of whom Adomnan had the relation when a boy. The purport of both is, that on the night and hour on which Columba, “ the pillar of so many churches," had departed, a pillar of fire, which illumined the sky, with a light brighter than that of the mid-day sun, was seen to rise from Iona, while loud and sweet-sounding anthems of innumerable choirs of angels ascending with his soul were distinctly heard; and that when this column reached the heavens, the darkness again returned, as if the sun had suddenly set at noon.-Such lively pictures of the opipions of former times will not displease the antiquary, nor appear
Insignificant to the good and pious man. The cold sceptic may perhaps smile at the credulity of former ages : but credulity is more favourable to the happiness of man, and to the interests of society, than scepticism. In the history of all ages and nations, we read of some such extraordinary appearances in certain stages of society. Shall we then refuse all credit to human testimony ; or shall we allow that a kind Providence may have adapted itself to the dark state of society, and given such visible and striking proofs of the connection and communication between this world and a world of spirits, as may be properly withheld from more enlightened times ; which may less need them, and perhaps less deserve them?
Dr. Smith appears to be a man of sincere piety: but his piety, we fear, will be considered as deeply tinctured with superstition ; and it may be thought that, unless he could have communicated information more interesting and more authentic, it would have been better if he had allowed the bones of St. Columba to repose in silence. Art. 58. Anecdotes of the last twelve Years of the Life of 7. 7. Rousa
seau, originally published in the Journal de Paris, by Citizen Corancez., one of the Editors of that Paper. Translated from the French. 12mo. pp. 104. 25. 6d. sewed. Wallis. 1798. Of this work, the following account is given in the preface :
• The long dormant controversy respecting the personal character of J. J. Rousseau, has been recently revived among the French Literati, in all its original vehemence. The immediate occasion of renewing the contest, is a publication which made its appearance a few months ago at Paris, intituled, “ De mes rapports avec J. J. RousHau, et de notre Correspondence, &c. par J. Dussaulx." Those who are acquainted with what has been already written upon the life and character of the illustrious philosopher of Geneva, and particularly with the latest French edition of his works, need not be told that the Author of that publication is one of the numerous persons, whom Rousseau admitted to a degree of intimacy for a time, and afterwards discarded for ever. The public have long been in possession of the grounds of his quarrel with Dussaulx, and of the letters which he wrote to him, previously to their final separation. But, the answers to these letters having been suppressed, either by Rous. seau himself, or his editors, Dussaulx, now bending under a load of years, conceived himself justified by a due solicitude for his own reputation, and the interests of truth, in leaving behind him a complete state of the correspondence, accompanied with some particulars of his short intercourse with Rousseau, and with critical observations on the whole of his life.'
One or two of these anecdotes may be selected:
" I have stated that he possessed a simplicity bordering on the character of infancy. On going to see him, one day, I found him joyful, walking up and down his chamber with large strides, and proudly eyeing every thing that it contained. “ All these are my own," said he. (It should be observed, that this all consisted of a bed with coarse cotton curtains, a few straw-bottomed chairs, a common table, and a scrutoire of walnut-tree.) “ How were they not 4 .
your your own yesterday?” said I, “ I have long seen every thing that is here in your possession.”—“Yes, Sir," rejoined he, “ but I was in debt to the upholsterer for them, and it is only this morning that I completely paid him off.” He seemed to enjoy his few articles of furniture with much more real satisfaction, than the wealthy proprietor, who frequently knows not the one half of what he possesses. ;. At another time when I went to see him, there was such a smile on his countenance, and he had such a loftiness of air, that I scarcely knew him at first sight. He rose from his seat, strutted about, and clapping the fingers of his right hand upon his fob, he made the money in it gingle. You see, said he to me, that I have a crural bernia ; but I am no wise anxious to get rid of it. He then told me that he had just received twenty crowns for copying some pieces of music.
• I lave said that he was good-jatured.-A young and very hand. some English lady, who was a friend of my wife, had long expressed a desire of seeing Rousseau. As I had long made it an inviolable rule that I should never introduce any person to him, it was impossible for me to gratify her curiosity. One day, however, I had to carry with me to his house, one of my children, who was yet too young for him to have known her; as he requested to see them all one by one, that he might enjoy the pleasure, he said, of tracing in them the virtues of their mother. The young English girl was in my house at the time. I proposed to her to dress herself as a nurse, and to take charge of the infant. She embraced the proposal with a transport of joy, put on the nurse's apron, took up the child, and went along with me. I have already mentioned that this nurse was handsome, but I should have added, that her appearance was far from being vigorous. I took advantage of this circumstance to amuse myself a little. I commanded the nurse to keep the child in such or such a position, to walk or sit down with it, as I pleased, being well assured that she would obcy me. Rousseau entered into discourse with her, and expressed a regret that she had been obliged to accept a situation, the fatigues of which seemed to be beyond her strength. He desired Madame Rousseau to make her taste something; and she tras very well entertained. Madame Rousseau told me on the following day, that she had remarked with pain, and indeed with surprize, that I had too little consideration for the delicate frame of the nurse, and that I spoke to her with too much harshness.'5. He had spontaneously promised to set to music all the words which my wife should at any time send to him for that purpose. I one day carried to him, at her desire, the volume of Letourneur's Translation of Shakespeare which contains the Tragedy of Othello, and pointing out the passage in which are these words : The poor soul sat sighing by a Sycamore tree, &c. I mentioned my wife's request that he would set them to music. I observed to him, at the same time, that to assign to these words their appropriate character, it was necessary to read over the piece. “I am very sorry for it,” said he, « as I have taken a resolution to read no more." As I well knew his scrupulous delicacy with regard to his reso. lutions, I replied “ that the man who holds himself bound to
fulfil all his engagements, of whatever nature, should be careful to enter into as few as possible, lest he involve himself in contradictory obligations, one of which he must necessarily violate. You have resolved with yourself to read nothing, yet you have promised to my wife to set to music all the words that she should send to you. She has now sent you some, which require that you shall read a tragedy. You are, therefore, under the necessity of violating your engagement with yourself, or your engagement to my wife ; you have only to make your option.” I knew beforehand the effect which this argument would produce on his mind. He meditated for a moment, and then, taking hold of the book, “ give.it me," said he, « I will read it."
• My readers are, doubtless, convinced of the great importance of stating facts, as they passed, and with all their circumstances, to enable them to form just conclusions respecting the man, whose real character they wish to estimate.—He soon after informed me that the music was completed, and nothing was wanting but that my wife should, according to their previous agreement, give herself the trouble of going to hear it, for the purpose of approving or rejecting it. He had composed two different airs for the verses ; my wife was to choose between them, or to reject both. In the latter,case he desired me to tell her, that he would enter upon a third attempt. I went to hear them along with my wife, a woman the most unobtru. sive of her sex, especially on such an occasion, and herself extremely timid. He placed himself before his little spinnet, but in such a state of agitation, that his fingers trembled on the keys, and his voice could not bring out a note. He coughed, he sighed, and threw himself into violent motions; he assured us, however, that this tre. pidation would be soon over. At length he succeeded in singing the iwo airs ; and my wife preferred the one which is contained in the collection of his ballettes, published after his death. This air is ex. quisitely adapted to the true expression of the situation in which the words are introduced by Shakespeare. May I be permitted to remark on this occasion, that it is probable that Citizen Ducis, author of the excellent Tragedy of Othello, was not acquainted with this air of Rousseau's; for if he was, he would certainly have adopted Letourneur's translation, that it might be sung on the stage. He would have had the advantage of associating himself with Shakespeare and Rousseau, would have gratified the public with that excellent production, and given additional effect to the pathos of the scene by the natural and melting expression of the musical composition.'
The life of Rousseau was not such as merits minute attention. The details of it tend rather to check the impression of his writings ; which, whatever were his failings, are eminently favourable to a ge. nerous elevation of sentiment. Art. 59. A View of Antient and Modern Dublin, with its Improve
ments to the Year 1796; to which is added, A Tour to Bellevue, the Seat of Peter Latouche Esq. Knight of the Shire for the County of Leitrim. Also a Tour from Dublin to London in 1795, through the Isle of Anglesea, Bangor, Conway, Llangollen, Shrewsbury, Stratford upon Avon, Blenheim, Oxford, Windsor, Rev. Dic. 1798.