« AnteriorContinuar »
There is also a pretty large appendix, the first, second, and third numbers of which contain an abstract of the evidence concerning the reading of 1 John v. 17. In this we find an ample and impartial statement of all the copies and authorities which may serve to fix the credit of this long-disputed passage. We are ready to admit the impolicy of bringing forward this questionable paffage, when there are so many others more to the purpose, and wbile we highly approve Dr. Knowles's omission of it, we cannot see very clearly what necessity there was for an elaborate confutation of it in a work intended to answer the doctor.
Number IV. of the appendix contains an historical account of the first introduction of the word Trinity among Christian writers; No. V. a review of the arguments derived from the baptismal form. In the first of these there are a few original thoughts. · The last number is an extract from the works of the author's friend, the late Dr. J. Jebb, on the doctrine of the Trinity, and of worship to Christ.
ART. III. The Life of Scipio Africanus, and of Epaminondas; in
tended as a Supplement to Plutarch's Lives. With Notes and 1: Observations on the Battle of Zama, and Remarks critical and his3. torical on the principal Battles of Epaminondas, by M. de Folard,
To which is prefixed a Dissertation on the Distinction between a
great Man and an illustrious or eminent Man, by the Abbé de St. . Pierre, of the French Academy. Now first translated into English
from the Original French of the Abbé Seran de la Tour, by the Řev. R. Parry, Rector of Kemerton, Gloucestershire. 8vo. 2 vols, 8s. boards. Richardson, London, 1987. .
W HETHER Plutarch ever composed the lives of Scipio
Africanus and Epaminondas, it is impossible now to determine ; but they were subjects highly worthy of being related by that excellent biographer. The former of those illustrious characters ftands alniost unexampled in history for the glorious atchievements which he performed when he scarcely had reached the age of manhood; and the latter for the wonderful abilities which he had long concealed, until at last they were called forth into exertion by the exigencies of his country. Each of them affords a signal example of the extraordinary powers of the human mind, when actuated with vigour and alacrity. The prefent narrative was undertaken by M. de Folard, with the view of supplying the deficiency in the work of Plutarch; and he has collected for the purpose all the information which can be obtained from ancient writers.
Publius • Publius Cornelius Scipio, surnamed Africanus, was born at Rome in the 517th year of the city, and 335 years before thg Christian era: .The Cornelian family, of which he was the head, had ever joined abilities and virtues to the glory of a pedigree, which lost itfeif in antiquity. Publius Cornelius his father, and Cneus his uncle, lost their lives at the head of the armies of the republic. The fequel of this history will show how worthy Scipio was to inherit the name of these heroes, . i .iii
• Scipio was but eighteen when he had the happiness to distinguish himself by one of those fingular actions which do as much honour to the man as the hero.
· Publius Scipio his father permitted him to attend him in the first campaign he made against Hannibal in Italy; the Carthaginian and Roman armies met on the banks of the Tefinus, and the generals immediately joined battle. The Romans gave way on all fides, and nothing could rally them. Scipio, who commanded in quality of consul, in vain attempted every thing that could be expected from an able gentral; he was himself on the point of being made prisoner, when his son, whom he had placed on a neighbouring eminence with a sufficient guard, perceived his situation. The danger his father was in, would not suffer him to obey the injunction he had laid upon him, not to mix in the action ; he rushed down at the head of his guard, whom he obliged to follow him, fell upon the enemy with all the impetuofity of that courage which nothing could refift, got to his father, disengaged him from the hands of the Carthagi nians, and received from him, with embraces of the most lively teni derness, the glorious name of his deliverer... wyni inn oval
• The conful ordered a civic crown to be presented to his son: the young Scipio, sufficiently rewarded by the action itself, refused to receive it. It is on occasion of this refusal that Pliny makes this beautiful reflection on the materials of that crown, which consisted only of oaken branches. Other crowns were, for the most part, says he, either composed of, or enriched with, the most fine and pure gold. The Romans thought it an affront to humanity to offer any other reward than that of glory to a man who faved the life of a man'; they would have blushed at mixing views of intereft with an action so natural. .
W This event was fufficient to souse the ambition which a young Roman patrician would feel, and one of a name which encouraged him to aspire to every thing. It was to Scipio only an incitement to seize every occasion of lignalising shimself, however dangerous:';
The noble conduct of Scipio, in refigning the beautiful Spanish .captive, to her lover Allucio, has been universally cele brated. Allucio, wishing to record his own, gratitude and Scipio's generosity, caused a yotive shield to be made, on which he was represented receiving from the Roman general's hands the princess to whom he was engaged. The biographer informs
us that he has seen this memorial, as remarkable as it is value able, in the French king's cabinet of medals. It had lain almost nineteen hundred years in the river Rhone, where we know that Scipio's baggage was lost on his return from Spain to Italy. This shield contains forty-sıx marks of pure silver, and is twentysix inches in diameter. We are told that the plain uniform taste which reigns through the whole design, in the attitudes and the contours, shews the simplicity of the arts in those days, when they avoided all foreign ornaments to be more attentive to natural beauties.
The ferocity of the people of Astapa broke forth at this period into, an act of such desperate resolution that we shall give a place to the following account of it from the work now before us:
• Aftapa was a small town, erected on a mountain, without either fortifications or garrison. Lucius Martius, he who acquired such reputation before the arrival of Scipio, and who commanded a separate corps of troops, summoned it to surrender; to which no attention was paid. The inhabitants, accustomed to pillaging, were unwilling to submit to a power, under which they must have lived peaceably and on a good footing with their neighbours, without being allowed to commit any violence or injustice. They held the Romans in abborrence, and funcying themselves sufficiently strong by their hatred alone, resolved to perith rather than surrender. They were not ignorant of the Roman 'usage towards towns taken by assault; they knew that all in them were either put to death or condemned to Slavery, and that the places which they stormed were immediately given up to pillage. They had heaped together at Altapa the plunder of the whole country, and amassed immense riches by rapine and murders. Martius offered them their lives and liberties if they would give up their wealth ; but it was dearer to them than life itself; they therefore refused it at such a price, and could not bring themselves to assent that the fruit of so many years employed in injustice and robbery, should pass into the possession of their mortal enemies. They caused their gold and silver money, and whatever they had of value, to be brought into the market-place; then, with a firmness worthy of a better motive, they placed upon this heap their old people, their wives and children; they enclosed them with a circle of faggots ready to be lighted, and placed a guard of fifty young men, with orders to set the whole on fire, and no: suffer a single person to escape if they were beaten in the fally they were then going to make upon the Romans. - Having taken these fatal precautions, they all devoted themYelves to death by the most horrible imprecations, and swore to kill themselves if they were worsted in the combat, rather than submit Ho the republic, Full of this terrible resolution they briskly fallied out. | Martius, who never thought them capable of this rashness, was surprised; the first posts were carried; they observed no order in the action, but fought with such fury that at first nothing could
withstand them. Martius, towards whose lines they resolutely ada vanced, had time to form a body of veterans, who knew not how to retreat or give way, though death stared them in the face; they at. tacked them like men in despair, and, not being able to conquer, were all killed, so that not a single man remained. ***. The news of this defeat foon reached Aftara, and produced in that town a most cruel tragedy: the fifty young men, being informed of the loss of their fellow-citizens, set fire to the pile, which inclosed all that these wretched men had left that was most dear and valuable, a vast number of women and children, who were rafh enough to subscribe to the barbarous resolution of their husbands and parents, yet had not constancy enough to bear the terrible attacks of the devouring Aame; but the young men had the inhumanity to drive again into the blazing pile their half-burned bodies, and to cut in pieces those they were unable to force back. After so great a carnage, tired of living themselves, as well as of killing their fel. low-citizens, reeking with the blood they had shed, they threw themselves into the midit of the flames' to avoid the Romans. Thus perished the Aftapians, by such an excess of pride and fury as makes humanity shudder at the relation. They shewed, in thus facrificing themselves, the immoderate antipathy they bore to a nation which had loaded all their country with acts of kindness, and the excessive transport the human heart is susceptible of, when inflamed by its paflions.'
M. de Folard's opinion, with respect to the motives which actuated the great Fabius in his opposition to Scipio, is candid and sensible." The conduct of that celebrated commander has been generally ascribed to envy; but our author suggests the possibility of its having proceeded from prudence. He obferves that all the advantages which were gained against Hannibal in battle, only excited Fabius's fears left there should happen a reverse of fortune that might prove dangerous to the republic. Scipio, on the other hand, convinced that the driving of Hannibal out of Italy would afford the Romans nothing more than a temporary respite frorn war, uniformly persevered in recommending to his countrymen the utter extinction of Carthage. • Thus different principles,' says our author, ‘make the greatest (men think and act differently, who yet aim only at the same s object, the good of their country. We acknowledge that, considering the cool temper, and particularly the great age of Fabius, it seems more reasonable to impute his opposition to a conviction of judgment than to personal animosity.
In compiling the life of Epaminondas, as well as that of Scipio, M. de Folard has availed himself of all the information which could be derived from the ancient historians; nor has he omitted any opportunity of rendering the narrative more inteTesting by his own incidental reflections. He seems, however, to have been more ambitious of giving a faithful than an ele
would a convinced therous to the pen a re
gant history, both of the Roman and Theban commanders. His observations on the battle of Zama are judicious, and discover him to have been particularly attentive to the subject. ' In res spect of the translation, it is executed with perspicuity, and we may add with justness : but we cannot avoid mentioning, that, in the perusal of it, a few obfolete English expressions, and a few Gallicisms, have presented themselves to our observation; which an indulgent reader will overlook in so long a work as the lives of Scipio Africanus and of Epaminondas. ... .
ART. IV. Mathematical Essays on several Subjects; containing
new Improvements and Discoveries in the Mathematics. By the · Rev. John Hellins. 4to..75. 6d. Davis. London, 1788. THE first of these Essays has been already published in the
7oth volume of the Philosophical Transactions. It contains some new theorems for the computation of logarithms, in which Mr. Hellins appears to be particularly conversant. The utility of those artificial numbers is established beyond dispute; and therefore every attempt to improve the construction of them is justly entitled to approbation.
The second Essay relates likewise to the computation of loan garithms, containing not only several new theorems for that purpose, but a new method of constructing a table of those arti, ficial numbers. All the series which our author gives converge very swiftly; but some of them about twice as fast as any of the kind hitherto published. The approximations to the values of those feries have different degrees of accuracy, each of which is ascertained; and the method recommended by Mr. Hellins, of computing, examining, or enlarging a table of logarithms, is, we acknowledge, very easy.
The third Esfay treats of the reduction of equations that have two equal roots; and contains an investigation of the common methods, with some remarks. The method advised by our au. thor is different from any other we have seen; and it seems, from its facility, to be well adapted to the capacity of learners.
The fourth Essay is employed on the resolution of equations that have two equal roots; and contains some new theorems for calculating the values of those roots. In the preceding Eliay the author had demonstrated that, when an equation has two equal roots, it may be very easily reduced to a lower dimension. In . that now before us, he shews that such equations are easily re. ducible to any dimension desired, even to a single one. We find that both these Essays are part of a new system of algebra, in which the author's plan is to treat distinctly of equations that "have two, as well as those that have thres, equal roots; and to apply those equations to some new usęs,