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Arabs. Nature annihilates the people, whose country she intends for her undegenerate offspring.
It was more natural to seek for interesting suggestions, and for practically applicable observations, in those parts of this essay that discuss the stages of civil society which we have but recently passed, which we are actually passing, or which we are immediately approaching.
• The progress of commerce, manufactures, and art, (says onr author, p. 293,) is more fatal to aristocratic forms of government than to any other. If a country be large, rich, and populous, there will arise, in the very midst of those who share the sovereign power, factions of men who, from being entrusted with the management of the public force and revenue, will arrogate an oligarchic right of exclusive possession, and disdain to divide the sway with their col. leagues. If a country be small, poor, and ill.peopled, the public force and revenue will not form a sufficient power for the nobles, by its means, to retain in obedience or servitude the industrious class of a nation. The richer and leading persons of this class, whose influ. ence on the whole mass of the people augments every day with the general prosperity, will at length subvert the authority of the nobles, and introduce a more democratic form of constitution, which is most favourable to the influence of personal opulence. Even if a country, be of moderate extent, and therefore favourable to government by the few; yet, as the authority of nobles ever diminishes with the progress of luxury, while the wealth and consequently the effective independence of the industrious classes increase in the same proportion, the former will find it necessary, by degrees, to resign their exclusive privileges in order to avoid being stripped of them; and thus to bend their government daily more and more towards democracy. In this period, therefore, aristocracy can only be maintained by violent means; or by innovations which open, to all those who are powerful among the people, a liberal access to the public dignities and the seat of power.'
The xixth chapter of the vith book characterises the probable state of science in the fifth period or stage of society :
- The sciences now march with giant strides, and lend mutual aid : —but men are often seen to permit their imaginations to reduce the sciences to system, and thus to distance them from their proper orbit. The mathematical sciences alone are not exposed to this aberration. The men who cultivate all the others, forsaking the rugged paths of observation and experience, strike out into the labyrinthic paths of hypothesis and fiction. Proud of their vain reveries, forgetful of the limits of their intellect, they will attempt to rend the impenetrable veil which covers first causes. Every man of genius will have his own system : each system will have its set of abettors : there will be as many sects as there are opinions concerning the creation of the world, the nature of man, and the sources of happiness. •
• Disputes will, especially, arise about the fundamental principles of law, and of government. Philosophers will be seen incessantly to differ, yet to dispute with zeal:--some enslaved by interest or fear, App. Rey. VOL. XXVII.
some fired by enthusiasm or ambition. Others, bewildered by a sa vage misanthropy, will aspire to regulate all things by their own me controulable desires; forgetting the objects of society and the expedie cncy of authority, they will reason from doubtful facts and false abstrace tions; and they will propagate their wild theories with the more success and rapidity, as these will be found to flatter the most invincible of the bad passions of human nature, envy and pride. The brilliant chimæras of delirious genius wi}l then supply to unscrupulous ambi. tion the mcars of subverting established politics, of troubling the repose of enpiren, and of employing the energies of fanaticism in the service of anarchy.
But on the fall of so'many dissident sects, which tear each other's entrails, that of the sceptics will be seen to thrive.
• Scepticism is the result of hostile opinions, and of philosophie systems equally affirmative. It is the dawn of true philosophy. It attaches itself to the overthrow of all systems without substituting any." It teaches man to rely, in moral and physical science, only on fact and observation. It recalls to earth philosophy from the clouds. It substitutes reasoning for the exorbitances of imagination, doubt for credulity, experience for hypothesis, and truth for error.'
The author thus concludes his speculation :
• Though it be true that each state, like each individual, carries within itself the seed of dissolution, yet there is between the duration of personal and national life. this radical difference : Nature has fixed the limits of the one and not of the other. Medicine has no power over the body weighed down by old age: but there is no State, hov. ever near to its annihilation, which cannot be brought back to the highest degree of vigour, prosperity, and glory, by perseverance, wisdom, valour, and knowlege ; and by a deep insight into man and the causes of the rise and fall of nations. This science can best be acquired by a profound study of history, the lessons of which overstep the bonds of our personal experience, and teach us to profit by the experience of others. Every thing should engage governors to reeur especially to this great fountain-head: of wisdom, never to forget that the proper study of mankind is man ; and that the art of rendering our fellow.creatures happy is the first, or principal, of all arts.'
This whole essay will be read with philosophic amusement and with profit : it displays, however, more information than intellect, and more soundness of judgment than originality of view.
Art. XII. Flora Atlantica. Authore Renato Dea FONTAINES.
• 4to. Paris. 1798. This author has followed the Linnean system, in the ex
i position of his numerous discoveries. Four fasciculi, which are already published, and form neatly half of the work, COAtain 783 species; 169 of which are new; and figures of 1 16 of
these these are given. In the description of the plants, M. Des FONTAINES has particularly directed his attention to the importance of each organ; and he expresses his observations with much perspicuity. He has equally avoided fatiguing prolixity, and that sort of extreme laconicism which has been injurious to the works of some naturalists. His descriptions are often accompanied with important observations; as, for instance, those of the Phylliren Latifolia, Schanus mariscus, Scabiosa gramuntia, Parnassia palustris, Linum decumbens, Allium pania čulatum, Oryza sativa, Passerina birsuta, Lawsonia inermis, Cerastium vulgatum, Euphorbia serrata, Cactus opuntia, Cistus thymifolius, Ranunculus arvensis, &c. The synonyms, so ne. cessary to direct our steps in the works of former botanists, are exceedingly copious and exact in the present work; in which the author has rectified the synonyms given by other botanists, in a great number of species, viz. Hordeum strictum, Seseli vera ticillatum, Mecebrum echinatum, Verbascum sinuatum, Pergularia tomentosa, Caucalis humilis, Rumex roseus, Lawsonia inermis, Pasa serina hirsuta, Neurada procumbens, , &c.
M. DEŞ FONTAINES has not only examined the synonyms of each species, but he has also investigated their characters with particular attention ; by, which means he has been enabled to exclude from the known genera some species which did not belong to them, as the Rhamnus pentaphyllus of Linné; the Daphne nitida of Vahl, &c. or to constitute. new genera out of them, as in the Alopecurus Monspeliensis.
All the plants which are.cultivated in Barbary for pleasure, or for utility, our author has taken particular care to notice; and botanists will be much gratified with the information of this sort, which they will find in many articles of these four fasciculi: particularly respecting the Canna indica, Mogorium sambac, Hordeum vulgare, Triticum durum (new species), Eleagnus angustifolius, Mirabilis jalapa, Nicotiana tabacum, Nicotiana rustica, Solanum tuberosum, Solanum lycopersicon, Solanum melongena, Capsicum annutım, Capsicum grossum, Ziziphus sativa, Vitis vinifera, Vinca rosea, Beta vulgaris, Scandix cerefolium, Pastinaca sativn, Apium petroselinu, Apium graveolens, Linum usitatissima mum, Allium capa, Lilium candidum, Tulipa gesneriana, Hyacintbus orientalis, Oryza sativa, Lawsonia inermis, Myrtus com. munis, Punica granatum, Amygdalus persica, Amygdalus commun nis, Prunus armeniaca, Prunus avium, Prunus domestica, Pyrus communis, Pyrus cidonia, Malus communis, Rosa moschata, Papa. ver somniferum, Corchorus trilocularis, &c.
for utility, ill be much and in mantanna indi species), rus
ART. XIII. Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux d'Afrique, &c. i.e. The
Natural History of the Birds of Africa. By Francis Le Valle
LANT. 4to. Paris. Imported by De Boffe, London. The public are already well acquainted with the author of 2. this work, the intrepid explorer of the south of Africa, by the entertaining and instructive account of his various expeditions to the regions on the north and east of the Cape, which he presented to the world a few years ago. The promise, which he made in those volumes, of giving an African Ornithology, consisting of such species as were either wholly unknown to Europeans or had been incorrectly described by former naturalists, is now performing in the present splendid and useful publication. It makes its appearance in monthly numbers, (in folio and in quarto, plain and coloured, and in 12mo, plain,) each containing sis plates, with their descriptions, and is to extend to 100 numbers. The first six livraisons have reached us, and from the inspection of them we draw the most favourable omens of the complete work. · The plates, both plain and coloured, are most admirably executed, and have all the appearance of being correct representations of their originals. Indeed, the liberal exhibition, to the natural. ists of Paris, of the cabinet which contains the specimens described in this work, precludes the possibility of gross and wilful misrepresentation :-even if it were conducted by a man less desirous than we believe M. LE VAILLANT to be, of con-' tributing to the real advancement of our acquaintance with this interesting department of natural history. We regret that pecuniary difficulties should induce him even to think of dispersing his inestimable because unique collection, the rich and hard-earned fruit of his hazardous expeditions, the basis and authority of the publication before us. If the present administration of the republic, continuing to follow the example of those which have preceded it, immersed in the cares of war and plunder, and regardless of their repeated promises, should lose the opportunity of making this valuable addition to the national Museum of Natural History, we wish and hope that the munificent interference of some individual, or of some public body, in the nation which now possesses the Cape and its dependencies, may secure entire to their country and to the public a collection which, in itself, and with reference to the present work, is of no trifling importance. * The 36 individuals described and figured in the first six numbers are eagles, vultures, buzzards, kites, and hawks ; with some intermediate and connecting species. Having al. ready given our testimony of approbation to the manner in
which the plates are executed, the descriptions shall speak for themselves in the following extracts; which will be found to combine accuracy, entertainment, and the philosophy of natural history, in an eminent degree.
. "THE GRIFFARD. .• It is from the relative proportion of the parts of the body that naturalists may obtain the best specific characters of animals. Tlie form or the body generally determines the habits and manners; while the variety of colour, especially among the different genera of birds of prey, whose plumage varies so considerably at different periods of their life, furnishes but very ambiguous distinctions. .The African eagle here described. occupies a distinguished rank among those birds of rapine which are eminently endowed with coo. rage, strength, and offensive arms: its size is ncarly equal to the great or royal eagle, from which it differs in the superior muscularity of its thighs, in the strength of its talons, and in the length of its legs ; so that it may readily be pointed out, not only in a cabinet among other kindred species, but even when on wing, by its pendent legs, in
Håres, and the smaller kinds of antelopes, are its ordinary prey, which it readily kills in a manner highly characteristic of its strength. his courage is, however, more eminently displayed in its combats with other birds of prey : as soon as one of them is found intruding on the wide domain which this winged monarch has chosen for him. self, he is immediately attacked and put to flight. It sometimes happens that whole troops of vultures and rarens unite together to rob the grifford of his prey: but the stern and intrepid attitude of this bird, fixed on the animal which he has slain, is sufficient to keep at a distance the whole legion of plunderers.
This eagle lives during the whole year with its female; they usually fly in company, and never wander beyond their own territo. ries. They establish their aery on the summit of a very lofty tree, or on the inaccessible crag of a rock. The nest is a platform, four or five feet across, and about two in thickness, strong enough to support the weight of a man ; if undisturbed, it is used for a long series of years, probably during the whole life of the pais : it is compased of a number of strong perches, of different lengths, resting on the forks of the branches, and connected together by interlaced brush. wood; above this is a layer of dry sticks, moss, leaves, heath, &c. on which rests a third stratum, composed of small pieces of dried wood; and on this, without any mixture of down or feathers, the female lay: her eggs.
· The griffard builds his nest by choice on a high solitary tree, whence he may descry at a distance any approaching danger; among rocks, his habitation is more exposed to the invasion of the lesser cars nivorous quadrupeds, who are repdered more formidable by their very smallness.
! The female lays two white eggs, almost round, and above three inches in diameter. While she sits, and till the young are of sufficient age to be left alone on the nest, the care of providing food deyulves