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habuit, incidente proximis poft Christum natum fæculis migratione gentium a populis borealibus ad meridionales pervenerit, an vero fubfecutis demum temporibus ad horum exemplum in septentrionem introductum fit.
The premium for the person who shall write the best treatise on the above-mentioned subjects will be a gold medal of the value of a hundred Danish crowns. They mult be written either in Latin, French, German, or the Danish tongue, and addressed, poft paid, to Signor Jacobi, perpetual fecretary of the fociety, before the end of June 1790.
Art. XV. Saggio Ragionato sulla Origine ad Esenza dell' Ar
chitettura Civile. Napoli, 1789. ART. XV. Essay on the Origin and Nature of Civil Archite&ture.
Naples, 1789. TN the first part of the work the author treats of the origin of
architecture, and gives us a regular history of the art, beginning from the Egyptians, among whom are found the principles of the beautiful Grecian style of architecture. He then proceeds to the Greeks and Romans ; examines the two different epochs of the Gothic style; places the revival of the art in the 14th and 15th centuries ; mentions the three great Italian luminaries of architecture, Brunneleschi, Bramante, and Palladio; notices the causes of the decline of the art in the 17th century; and, lastly, demonftrates the progress it has made in the 18th. In the second part he establishes the essential principles of architecture, founded on convenience and stability, which are the end and object of the art; determines the propriety of beautiful arthitectonick proportions, as derived from the general beauty of nature, which consists in the threefold combination, grandeur, unity, and variety; applies this theory to the principal constituent parts of architecture; examines the different ornaments that may enter into their compositions; their qualities, end, and the manner in which they may be employed; and concludes with a chain of arguments in oppofition to those who think that there is no essential beauty in the arts, but that all depends on fashion and caprice. This work is worthy of the philofophical age in which we live; since the author, far from being perverted by national prejudices, or those of education, setting himself above all authority, and guided by reason and good sense alone, endeavours to establish the fundamental principles of architecture upon a solid and durable base, proper for all times and all nations, unalterable by caprice, opinion, or fashion. This work seems to fix the taste of architecture, and to serve as a criterion of the art. It ought therefore to be continually in the hands not only of those who belong to fo noble a profession, but of all men of science who interest themselves in the progress of the art.
; MONTHLY CATALOGUE
For JANUARY 1789.
MISCELLANEOus. Art. 16. The Belle Widows; with characterific Sketches of real
Personages, and living Characters. A Novel, infcribed to the Beau Monde; with a Preface by the Editor of the Letters of Charlotte during ber Connexion with Werter. 2 vol. small 8vo. Kerby. London, 1789. THOUGH not a work of genius, the Belle Widows is a tolerable
novel. The characters are not uncommon, but correctly enough drawn; and, excepting a few slips, the language is fufficiently accu. rate. In the character of Crampton, who is intended for an honeft, blunt oddity, the author has not succeeded ; but has had wonderful success in contaminating the language of the book by introducing French expressions almost in every page. Had this been done in the dialogue part of the work, it might have sometimes passed for characteristic, but to introduce this motley jargon into the narrative part is unpardonable. It is rather unlucky, that, with all this oftentatious and absurd display of French, the author should have been ungrammatical in the very title, it should have been “ Belles Widows.”
It may gratify the curiofity of some readers to be informed that the Belle Widows is said to be the production of the celebrated Mrs. Rudd, alias Stewart. While that lady was confined in the FleetPrison in 1787, experiencing the. misery of extreme want, the is said to have written this novel, then called “ Vulgar Prejudice,” to answer a private purpose. It has since been revifed and corrected by the author of « Charlotte's Letters,” The “ Final Farewell,” &c. who has ushered it into the world with a preface. Art. 17. The Cottage of Friendship; a Legendary Pastoral. By Sylviana Pastorella. 12mo. 2s. 6d. sewed. Bew. London, 1788.
This little volume is more than an inoffensive production in one view, as it is tolerably written, and has an evident moral tendency; but it is faulty in painting manners which do not exist, and thus communicating to the youthful mind ideas which never can be realised. Art. 18. The Man of Benevolence. 12mo. Printed for the Author,
Hughes and Walh. London, 1789. The hero is an example of virtue, and of virtue which leads to happiness. There is an unaffected ease and fimplicity in this pro. duction; the language is plain and the incidents natural; but much more is requisite to the composition of a good novel, and that much more we Reviewers seldom meet with. Art. 19. Poems on various Subjects. By Mrs. Rowson, author of
the Inquisitor, &c. 8vo. 35. sewed. Robinsons. London, 1788. . Mrs. Rowfon thus speaketh of herself in her poetical Dedication to Mrs. Johnson; " being naturally fond of Fame," &c.
We agree in Opinion with Mrs. R. that she has not yet got half way up the hill; for none of her poems rite above, and most of them fali below, mediocrity. ART. 20. Remarks on the Nature of Pantomime. 12mo. 13. 6d.
Stockdale. London, 1789. The pantomime, it is well known, was a favourite entertainment with the ancients, among whom it appears to have been conducted with a degree of excellence and dramatic utility superior to its ge. neral estimation in modern times. The author of the Remarks has collected several particulars relative to the history of this species of entertainment; and afterwards gives an account of the ballet of Cupid and Psyche, with that of the curious allegory on which it is originally founded. Art. 21. The English Tavern at Berlin ; a Comedy, in Three Aets,
8vo. 1s. 6d. Harlow. London, 1789. This comedy consists of three acts, and has the appearance of being founded upon a domestic incident at the court of Pruflia. We are justified in this conjecture when we find the great Frederic engaged in composing a quarrel between two of his pages, and in attending to the effusions of an eccentric tavern-keeper. Though we cannot entirely approve of the dramatic conduct by which his majesty is brought into such company, yet the dignity of the monarch is supported with propriety, and his humanity is placed not only in an amiable, but an interesting light. Art. 22. French Morality cut short; or, The Chance of attending a
Seat at a Fire-Side : a Moral Dialogue. Translated from the French of
M. D. Crebillon, Fils. izmo. 25. Robinsons. London, 1789. • The work of the younger Crebillon, of which this is a translation, is rich in a vein of polite wit and agreeable vivacity; but being originally calculated to favour sentiments of gallantry inconfittent with the principles of virtue, it is liable to objection in many parts. The translator, therefore, has very properly omitted such passages as were likely to offend the delicacy of an English reader. With these retrenchments the dialogue is much improved in its tendency; and though neither the personages nor the subject of their conversation can prove in any high degree interesting, yet the attention is kept awake through the different scenes by the charm of colloquial Aip. pancy, and it is, in the end, with some regret that we quit the company of the agreeable interlocutors. Art. 23. Zelia in the Defert; or, The Female Crusoe. Translated
from the French. 12mo. 2s.6d, sewed. Forster, London, 1789. Marvellous, dull, and often unintelligible. Art. 24. The Genders of the French Subfiantives alphabetically ar. · ranged, according 10 their Terminations. By B. Arleville. i2mo.
15. od. Philips. London, 1789.
To acquire a thorough knowledge of the genders, is one of the chief difficulties attending the study of the French language. Dif
ferent rules for obviating this inconvenience have been delivered by grammarians ; but besides their being liable to many exceptions, they are oppressive to the memory of learners. This author, therefore, has given a kind of dictionary containing all the terminations; at each of which, after specifying the exceptions, he gives a general rule for the gender of all such words as have the same termi. nation. To render the work more useful, he has added Mr. Bridel's new table of articles, and likewise a table of the simple and compound tenses of verbs. On the whole, we think this manual calculated to facilitate, in a considerable degree, the acquisition of the French language. .
MEDICAL Art. 25. The History and Chemical Analysis of the Mineral Water
lately discovered in the City of Gloucester. The various Diseases 10 which it is applicable considered; and the necesary Regulations for drinking it with Success ascertained and prescribed. By John Hem. ming, M. D. 8vo. is. Hookham. London, 1789.
Dr. Hemming seems to have used much judicious precaution in analysing this water; which, according to his experiments, contains fixed air, calcareous earth, magnesia, and iron. He specifies the quantities of these different materials as they were found to exist; and
vice. There appears 10 be a great similitude between it and those situated near the German Spa. But the only satisfactory proof of its virtues will be a fair trial of them ; which, we doubt not, will soon be instituted. Art. 26. An Inquiry into the Copernican System, respecting the Mo
tions of the Heavenly Bodies, wherein it is proved, in the clearest Manner, that the Earth has only her Diurnal Motion, and that the Sun revolves round the World; together with an Attempt to point out the only true Way whereby Mankind can receive any Benefit from the Study of the Heavenly Bodies. By John Cunningham. 8vo. 2s. Parsons. London, 1789.
We had imagined that the truth of the Copernican fystem was so fully established upon the principles of astronomy, and so generally ratified by the concurring afsent of the scientific world, that no attempt would ever more be made to shake the stability of its foundation. Mr. Cunningham, however, has thought proper to revive those
fophy, in which the motion of the sun round the earth is asserted upon the authority of the scriptures, as if it were necessary towards confirming the truth of those divine oracles, that even where they seem only to have accommodated the representation of the phænomena of nature to the common perceptions of mankind, they ought to be interpreted in a literal sense. This incongruous mode of profecuting the knowledge of astronomy has been so often refuted, that it would be superfluous now to enter upon the talk; besides, we must acknowledge that the doctrine of the present author is, in some particulars, unintelligible. He tells us, for instance,' when the sun is in the equinox, to a person on the equator, beholding the fun in the
horizon, his antipode, and two more, one under each pole, these four ' would behold the sun in the horizon at one and the fame instant of time,' According to this theory, the sun ought to be visible at one and the same instant of time in every part of the earth's orbit. Until we receive an explanation of this paradox, we can attend no farther to Mr. Cunningham. ART. 27. Faulkner's Observations on Insanity; with a Plan for the , more speedy and effe&tual Recovery of Insane Persons. 8vo. is. Reynell. London, 1789.
The author of these Observations inveighs against the economy of private madhouses, which he affirms to be, from interested motives, perverted to the purpose of preventing, rather than of accelerating, the cure of the unfortunate persons for the reception of whom they are intended. An act of parliament was passed a few years ago authorifing the royal college of physicians to elect five fellows of that body as commissioners for licensing and inspecting such houses, and imposing a penalty on such commissioners as should, while in office, be interested in keeping any house for the reception of lunatics. This act, however, the present author obferves, has not guarded sufficiently against all the abuses to which these houses are liable; or it would not only have excluded commissioners, while in office, but at all times, from having any interest in such houses; and not only commissioners, but all medical people whatever. He affirms that it would be of great importance to amend this act by the addition of a clause exacting an oath from every physician, surgeon, &c. that he has no interest whatever in recommending a patient to any particular house, and for im.' posing a severe penalty on those who should be found to have such in tereft. As even possible abuses deserve to be guarded against by every check which the legislature can impose, the hints fuggested by this author seem not unworthy of attention. Art. 28, Trial of Mr. Sykes for Crim Con. with Mrs. Parsow. 8vo.
:: 25. Ridgeway. London, 1789. This trial may justly be considered as one of the most remarkable of the kind, in respect both of the particular aggravation of the defendant's guilt, and the importance of the verdict which was given against him. The speech of Mr. Erskine, counsel for the plaintiff, was animated with all the force of fathetic oratory; the charge of the lord chief justice corresponded with the purest sentiments of equity and rectitude; while the jury, by awarding to the plaintiff the whole of the damages which he claimed, have set a salutary example for the future reftraint of such flagrant violations of moral duty.