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language. This is owing to the flight encouragement bestowed upon German originals during a considerable period, and to the decided preference given to the translations of the French dramatr writers. It is but of late years the Germans, whose disposition and taste is more congenial to that of the English than of the French, have adopted the manners and spirit of the former on their itage. They now difplay a greater relish for the activity and boldness of plan, and the pathetic sublimity, as well as the affecting simplicity of Shakespeare, than for the regularity and correctness of method observed on the French theatre: elegance of style, and beautifulness of sentiments, conftitute the chief, and often the sole merit, of the greatest masters of the French drama, who thus, in contradiction to an essential rule, have substituted mere dialogue in the place of action.”
This author ascribes the duration of such an extraordinary and complex a constitution as that of Germany, entirely to the placid disposition of the natives, who, he tells us, are a race of mortals peculiarly gifted with that moderation and equanimity which can rest satisfied with any plan of government that is found any ways tolerable. But he admits that they have deviated, in some measure, from this maxim in religious matters.
· The French,' he observes,
" Who are of all people the most arrogant and presumptuous in judging of other nations, have thought proper to assert that the Germans are flow of apprehension, and heavy in their proceedings.
• Herein they are abetted by the Italians and Spaniards. An ambassador from the court of Madrid to that of Vienna complained in his dispatches that he had to deal with a wrong-headed people, sluggish in their conceptions, and of narrow minds; adding, by way of illustration, that their understandings were like the horns of the goats in his country, little, hard, and crooked. Strictures of the like nature, have not unfrequently been made by the natives of Italy on similar occurrences.
. It may very juftly be answered in behalf of the Germans, that they are usually very solicitous thoroughly to comprehend what they go about, and more intent to secure success by labour and diligence, than willing to risque it by hurry and precipitation. This, indeed, is the natural and necessary result of their phlegmatic disposition; a state of mind that holds the passions in a happy subjection to reason and reflection, by substituting coolness and serenity of judgment in the room of impetuosity and fire of imagination ; the suppression of these making way for that even temperature of the soul which enjoys its various sensations with calmness, and is not easily moved from its poise.
i This produces a habit of deliberation, which renders the Ger. mans less liable to be actuated by violence and temerity in their resolutions, than many of those who boast fo highly of the superiority of their talents. Hence among many other beneficial consequences, G3
proceeds that moderation in their public councils, which reftrains religious zeal within stricter bounds than in most other countries in Christendom, and prevents the Protestants and Romanists from holding each other in so much hatred and abhorrence as they unhappily do in other parts.'
In treating of the courts of Germany, the author remarks, that an oftentatious display of grandeur has at all times been the favourite object of the petty sovereigns of this country; who, according to his representation, frequently indulge themselves in travelling, for no other obvious purpose than to make an empty display of their equipage and retinue..
The following observations seem not to be destitute of foundation:
• Notwithstanding the erroneous notions of several among the German princes in some parts of their conduct, and those failures in their judgment of things, of which all men have a share, it must be allowed that Germany is the largest and most advantageous field in Europe for an active genius to move in.
The number of courts and states wherein employment is to be found, and men of capacity are wanted, opens a noble and spacious prospect to an enterprising spirit, conscious of its' abilities, and of the probability of succeeding with perseverance and application.
As each of these courts places itself on a level of emulation with every other, whoever can forward their refpective views is sure of a welcome. As, according to the predominant schemes of those who govern, and the diversity of their pursuits and designs, an adequate proportion of talents, equal to the execution of them, is indispensably required, they who possess them muft necessarily be procured. *
• Hence Germany abounds with persons of excellence in those accomplishments that qualify a man for civil government, or military command; or that enable him to acquit himself with dexterity of those commissions which the multiplicity of emergencies incident to a sovereign court, generally immersed in political intrigues, is hourly giving birth to.
• So thoroughly do the resolute and adventuring individuals in the European world seem persuaded of this, that no few of them have at all times considered Germany as a very proper and desirable theatre for a trial of their respective capacities. In that of war particularly no other country affords such opportunities to men of bold dispositions and suitable genius of making their way to the highest honours of their profession. Officers of all nations are found in the military
lifts of the several princes and potentates in Germany, who seem - wisely determined to refuse no encouragement in that line to all who may deserve it, whatever their country or their religion.'
Credulity, this author affirms, is an epidemical disease in Germany; and notwithstanding the phlegmatic difpofition which preserves the Germans from being easily imposed upon in the
ordinary occurrences of life, they are ftill strongly disposed to admit the probability of marvellous events. We agree with our author that local prejudices are no where more visible than in this extensive country; and we may add, that the pride of noble descent is the prevailing foible for which, in general, the people of rank are remarkable. On the whole, the character which this author draws of the natives of Germany, appears, in most instances, to be well founded. He seems to have examined them equally with a candid and discerning eye; and his national observations are frequently illustrated by examples from
ART. VII. Philofophical Transactions of the Royal Society of
London, Vol. LXXVII. For the Year 1787. Part I. 4to. 8s. 6d. sewed. Davis. London, 1787. :
AN inequality, in point of importance, may justly be expected 1 in those collections of papers which are formed by voluntary contribution. The part of the volume on which we are now entering, therefore, is not so interesting as the former ; but the same natural viciffitude will soon again introduce us to subjects more gratifying to curiosity.
Article I. An Account of a new Comet. In a Letter from Miss Caroline Herschel to Charles Blagden, M. D, Sec. R. S. Miss Herschel, during her brother's absence in Germany, has, to use her own expression," swept in the neighbourhood of
the sun in search of comets ;' and, on the ist of August 1786, was so fortunate as to discover one of them. It resembled in colour and brightness the 27th nebula in the Connoissance de Tems, but differed from that star in being round.
Art. II. Remarks on a new Comet. By William Herfchel, LL. D. F.R.S. This comet is the same with that mentioned in the preceding article. Dr. Herschel first viewed it on the 19th of August, at which time it seemed to have a very imperfect and confused kind of gathered light about the middle, which could hardly deserve the name of a nucleus. It had, likewise, besides a diffused coma, a very faint light towards the north, extending to about three or four minutes, and losing itself insensibly.
Art. III. Magnetical Experiments and Observations. By Tiberius Cavallo, F.R.S. Mr. Cavallo had the year preceding presented to the Royal Society an account of some magnetical experiments, particularly relative to the magnetism of brass; from which it appeared that most brass becomes magnetic, so far as to attract the magnetic needle, by being hamnered,
and loses its magnetism by annealing or softening in the fire ; but that there is some brass which pofseffes no magnetism naturally, nor acquires any by hammering. In the account now before us, however, he corrects fome of the particulars which he had formerly advanced : and afterwards recites farther experiments and observations on other branches of the fame subject of magnetism. Mr. Cavallo, in prosecuting his experiments on brass, and also platina, had recourse to the method of Bergman, or that of exploring substances floating on the surface of quicksilver. He put pieces of brass, or grains of platina, upon the surface of quicklilver, and then presented a strong magnet near them. The result of those experiments was, that very seldom a piece of brass, or grain of platina, occurred, which was not affected by the magnet; and even when they were not affected by it, their indifference, as he expresses it, was not very clear and decisive. Indeed there are very few substances in nature which, when examined by this means, are not in some degree attracted by the magnet; fo general is the dispersion of iron, or such the tendency which most bodies have towards the magnet.
Such brass ąs, in the author's former experiments, appeared to have no magnetism naturally, nor to acquire any by hammering, was now found to be mostly magnetic. though in so very small a degree as to be discoverable only when floating upon quicksilver. The same was the case with the grains of platina before they were hammered; but, after hammering, their attraction towards the magnet became more evident; whereas those pieces of brass which naturally had not any degiee of magnetism sufficient to affect the needle, nor acquired any by hammering, but yet shewed some tendency towards the magnet when floating upon quicksilver, never, or very seldom, had that tendency increased by hammering
Towards accounting for the variation of the magnetic needle, Mr. Cavallo makes the following observations :
If we collect, under one point of view, all the causes hitherto ascertained, which can increase or diminish the attraction between magnetic bodies, we shall find that the attraction between the magnet and iron, or between magnet and magnet, is increased by cooling, by a regeneration of iron or phlogistication of its calx, and within certain limitations by the action of acids upon the iron; that this attraction is diminished by heating, and by the decomposition of iron; and lattly, that it is probably annihilated by a very great degree of heat.
These truths being premised, it must be considered, first, that, according to innumerable observations and daily experience, the body of the earth contains almost every where ferruginous bodies in va. rious states and bulks ; fecondly, that the magnetic needle must be
attracted by all those bodies, and its situation or direction must be determined by all those attractions considered together, viz. from their common centre of action; thirdly, that by removing or altering the degrees of atiraction of some of those bodies which are situate on one side of the magnetic meridian, more than of those situated on the other side, the abovementioned common centre of attractions, and of course the direction of the magnetic needle must be altered, which in fact is the variation of the needle; and, lastly, that this alteration in the attractions of some of the ferruginous bodies in the earth must undoubtedly take place, it being occasioned by the part's of the earth being irregularly heated and cooled by the action of volcanoes, which decompose or otherwise alter large masses of ferrugic nous substance, by earthquakes which remove ferruginous bodies from their original places, and we may add also by the aurora borealis; for though we are as yet ignorant of the cause of that surprising phænomenon, it is however certain that the magnetic needle has been frequently disturbed when the aurora borealis appeared very ftrong.'
Art. IV. Description of a new Electrometer. By the Reve Abraham Bennet, M. A. This electrometer consists of two pieces of leaf gold, suspended within a glass cylinder; but for the particular construction of it we must refer to the volume and the plate ; where some experiments which were tried with it are recited.
Art. V. Appendix to the Description of a new Electrometer. By the same. Mr. Bennet here explains the construction of his electrometer, as connected with M. Volta's condenser. .
Art. VI. Some Account of an Earthquake felt in the northern Part of England. By Samuel More, Esq. The earthquake occurred on the 11th of August, 1787, about two in the morning. It appears to have extended from Penrith along the banks of Ulswater and Winander Meer to Manchester, where it was slightly perceived.
Art. VII. Determination of the Heliocentric Longitude of the descending Node of Saturn. By Thomas Bugge, Professor of Astronomy in the University of Copenhagen. The culmination of Saturn was observed with a six feet acromatic, transit instrument; and the meridian altitude with a fix feet mural quadrant. From the author's observations made with instruments, he calculates the right ascension and declination, as well as the geocentric longitude and latitude of Saturn. He next compares the calculations with those of Halley and de la Lande, in which he points out several errors. From the calculations of the heliocentric longitude of Saturn, and that of the node, it appears that Saturn's passage through the node happened on the 21st of August, 1784; and that the heliocentric longitude of: his descending node = 95.21° 50' 8",5.