Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

plundered, ravaged, and laid defolate the world, became, in the iffue the prey of Goths, Vandals, Huns, Lombards, &c.'

The Author proceeds to an enumeration of the various duties that are peculiar to the different ftates and conditions in human life. He addrefies to the confciences of fovereigns and magistrates the folemn detail of their duties and obligations, with all the warmth and vehemence of patriotic enthufiafm; and this gives his ftyle a certain tone of declamation, which juft keeps on this fide of poetry, and is not unpleafing. Among the other orders of civil fociety, he addreffes himself to the clergy; and what is not a little furprifing, he magnifies the dignity of their profeffion with as much eloquence as he admonishes them of the duties that it requires of them. He has even the complaifance to call them Difciples of a God of Peace, whofe kingdom is not of this world, and we are very forry, that any denominations of Chriftians fhould have furnifhed him, by their unguarded expreffions, with a pretext, of which he perfidiously avails himself, for calling the clergy a body, which by their profeffion are imitators of a God, who was born in a fate of poverty. This is fhewing the tip of the ear through the lion's fkin; and, however juft, feasonable, and animated his exhortations to the minifters of the Gospel may be, we cannot help looking upon them as impertinent in his mouth, all things confidered.

The fifth and laft fection, which makes alfo the third and laft part of this work, comprehends in general all the duties of private life, which arife from the particular relations of domeftic fociety, fuch as thofe of husband and wife, fathers, mothers, and children, mafters and fervants, friends and members of the fame family. In this fection alfo the Author expatiates more upon the important fubject of education, than he has done upon any other that is difcuffed in this volume. He attributes much to education, and juftly laments that this point is almost univerfally neglected or ill managed, particularly in the early season of infancy, wherein nevertheless impreffions are received, and habits are formed that influence the moral character in a more advanced period of life. In the period of infancy (fays he) parents generally give up their children to nurfes, who fill them with falfe ideas, chimerical fears, and ftamp upon their tender minds the impreffions of their own follies and vices; afterwards they come into the hands of gaverneffes, where they contract the habits of lying, diffimulation, pufillanimity, gluttony, and effeminacy.' This is a cruel Phillippic against the female Mentors, and we hope for the honour of the fex, that it is chargeable with exaggeration. Female education is certainly on a very bad foot

ing

ing in all countries; and it were greatly to be wifhed that the refpectable groupe of knowing and virtuous ladies that make at prefent fuch a fhining figure in the annals of British literature, and have given the public fuch valuable fpecimens of their tafte, principles, and genius, had influence enough to excite emulation, and thus increase their number. Why might there not be female feminaries, in which a Chapone, a Barbauld, a Carter, a More, might form governeffes, and thus raise a spirit of female improvement, that might recall the moft tender and amiable part of the human fpecies from their prefent extravagancies?-The advantages of the male part of that fpecies, in point of education, are, indeed, fuperior-and yet our Author complains with reafon, of the general neglect that is palpable even here. Lycurgus, fays he, confidered the education of the rifing generation as the most important object that could employ a legislator. Nevertheless, in all countries, this is the object about which government feems to be the leaft concerned. One would think (continues he) that the governors of Nations were totally indifferent about forming good fubjects and useful members of the community: they feem to look upon morality as a fpeculative science, and to confider the practice of it as a matter of no fort of confequence. Nay, ftill more-In corrupt governments, it can neither be the inclination nor intereft of the ruling power or powers to render their fubjects virtuous: virtue is a difagreeable thing to tyrants, or even to defpotic princes, because it has not that yielding and complying spirit, which they require; the fentiments of juftice and humanity, were they prevalent in a people, would difconcert the plans and operations of a corrupt adminiftration, &c.'

This whole chapter on education is a keen and warm fatire upon the higher orders in civil fociety, and we wish it were as ill-founded as it is fharply pointed. There are, however, fome things exaggerated, and what deferves notice here, is, that this chapter overturns the Author's whole fyftem, and fhews that his Univerfal Morality is a caftle in the air; for if, as he afferts, there can be no virtue without a good education, and if, as he afferts farther, neither the noble, nor the rich, nor the heads of families in the lower ranks are either inclined to give, or capable of giving a good education to their children, how is his plan of Univerfal Morality to be executed? If (as he acknowledges with a furprifing franknefs) the moft evident Maxims of morality are every moment contradicted and counteracted by examples, cuftoms, inftitutions and laws, and by private intereft which is powerful enough to counterbalance with facility a regard to the general good; if in corrupt and ill-governed nations, all are perpe

L2

tually

tually under the temptations of vice, and none find it their in tereft to do good or to be virtuous,-what is to be done? Oh! fays our Author, we must begin by giving thofe, who govern mankind, a tafte for found morality; we must open their eyes upon their true interests, that they may promote virtue by the laws, rewards, and punishments, of which they are the depofitaries; for it is government alone that can render virtue and good morals prevalent in a state.' Granting this, for a moment, to be true, how shall the change be produced in corrupt governors, and in those who are formed by their influence and example to feparate virtue and happiness, a private and public intereft? What hold is there upon predominant paffions, if the momentous intereft prefented to the mind in a future fcene by religious views, has no influence? Our Author maintains in this chapter, and in a very abfurd one, concerning death, which concludes his work, that the promifes and threatnings of a life to come are too weak, and will always be infufficient to better the hearts and the morals of men. The affertion is rafh and falfe: many are influenced by thefe profpects, and many on whom they do not produce all the happy effects that might be defired and expected from them, are nevertheless reftrained by them in many cafes; and we believe they operate, imperceptibly, in inaumerable inftances, upon the affections of mankind, and prevent unspeakable enormities, that would refult from a fettled, calm, and univerfal perfuafion of the non-existence of a future ftate of reward and punishment.-Upon the whole, this book is the production of a warm-headed dreamer, who fays a great many good things, which wifer heads and more candid hearts may make ufe of with fuccefs, and turn to real profit.

MONTHLY
For

CATALOGUE,

1776.

AUGUST,
MEDICAL.

Art. 13. Obfervations Hiftorical, Critical, and Medical, on the Wines of the Ancients, Ec. By Sir Edward Barry, Baronet, &c. 4to. 1, s. Boards. Cadell.

T

HE Author of the prefent inquiry, as he informs us in his preface, was induced to undertake it, in confequence of the obfcurity which prevails in he dietetic and medical rules of Hippocrates, for the prevention and cure of difeafes; with respect to which, wine, he obferves, is a principal article. He directed his researches therefore into the general nature and principles of wines; in or der that he might be more capable of forming a true judgment of thofe of the ancients, particularly the wines of Greece; and of dif covering in what manner, and for what purpofes, Hippocrates directed the use of them.

The

The Author, however, is far from limiting himself, in this work, to the evident qualities and ufes of the principal Greek and Afiatic wines. He treats largely of the methods purfued by the. ancients in making their different wines, and preferving them afterwards; and dwells pretty largely on the particular nature and preparation of thofe made in the Campania Felix, and other parts of Italy, as well as of thofe of Greece and Afia. He treats likewife of the nature and different qualities of water, as being one of the, conftituent principles of wine; and digreffes into a particular ac-. count of the principles and qualities of the Bath waters. He next, gives a full view of the convivial entertainments of the Greeks and Romans, and particularly of their fuppers: terminating the work with an account of the properties and medical uses of the wines of the ancients; and with a few obfervations on the genuine qualities of the modern wines imported into this country.

Those who wish for information on thefe fubjects will find their curiosity gratified, and will probably receive fome entertainment, from the perufal of the various particulars relative to them, which the Author has collected from the writers of antiquity; on fome of which he has thrown a new light. We cannot, however, fay much for his philofophy, which is rather antiquated.

Art. 14. A Treatise on the Medical Qualities of Mercury, &c. By N. D. Falck, M. D. 12mo. 3 s. 6d. Law.

So much has been written on mercury, by perfons well qualified to difcufs the natural history of that mineral, its various chemical preparations, and their medical qualities; that nothing less than that unbounded philanthropy which Dr. Falck fo conftantly and warmly profeffes in all his publications, could poffibly have blinded him fo far as to convince him of the neceffity, or even the propriety, of giving the world a new treatise on the subject. To benefit mankind, he fays, has been his fole motive for penning this work.'

I have written, he afterwards adds, in the language of a friend to mankind.'-His philanthropy too appears to be the more meritorious, as fome of the novelties which it has incited him to publish, are fuch as he forefees must excite the most formidable oppofition. Sometimes, fays he, I have ftartled at the approach of prejudice, heading an enraged multitude, threatening to overwhelm me; but truth and philanthropy infpired me with fresh vigour, and promifed as my reward, the laurel due to the conqueror of vulgar, prejudice and error.'

Under this enraged mnltitude,' the Author may possibly, among others, defign ourselves. Our feelings, however, do not amount to downright rage; but we own that our patience is fairly worn out, and, we find ourfelves in fome degree irritated, by his eternal egotifms, his felf-confequence, and his difgutting profeffions of philanthropy ;-to pafs over his tumid mode of writing, and thofe fmall imperfections of language in this work,' for which he accounts by obferving that a tenfe attention to matters of importance will divert the mind from trifling objects.' We-have no intention of overwhelming' this conqueror of vulgar prejudice and error, or of waging war with truth and philanthropy. We fhall therefore only obferve, that the vulgar prejudices' which he comL 3 bats,

C

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

bats, feem here to be replaced by others more high flown, and peculiar to himself; and that though he fpeaks moft difiefpectfully of learned theory, yet no one theorifes more abundantly, or in more learned phrafeology, than Dr. Falck.

"

With a more than poetic licence, he even deifies the facred drug;'-for fo he prepofterously calls the fubject of his treatise ;and exalts its virtues (which are undoubtedly very extenfive) in cafes where few will venture to put them to the trial. We have no defire, however to use a phrafe of the Author's-of wrangling' either him or ourselves into fame,' by any particular strictures on his performance. His new doctrines are not delivered in fuch a manner, as to infpire the Reader with fuch a degree of confidence in them as will incline him to adopt them; and,-if we may oppose our opinions and experimental knowledge to his-we think that he recommends his favourite in many cases, as a panacea, where we should dread it as a poison.

Art. 15. Three Tracts on Bath water. By R. Charleton, M. D. &c. 8vo. 4 s. boards. Baldwin. 1774.

The first of these tracts contains a chemical analyfis of the Bath Waters; and the fecond, an inquiry into their efficacy in palfies. Both thefe effays have been formerly printed. The third tract contains the cafes of feveral patients admitted into the hofpital at Bath, under the care of the late Dr. Oliver. Some of thefe cafes were formerly published by Dr. Oliver, and others were prepared by him for the prefs. These last are here published for the first time, together with notes, and fome additional cafes, by the prefent Editor, They relate to difeafes of the fkin, rheumatifm, cachexy, and spina ventofa, fciatica, hip cafes, and ftomach difeafes; and are followed by fome useful remarks on the laft mentioned complaint, which were found among Dr. Oliver's papers.-They tend to prove the great efficacy of the Bath Waters in all these diforders.

Art. 16. Elements of the Practice of Midwifry. By Alexander Hamilton, Surgeon, &c. 8vo. 5 s. Murray.

"

This treatife contains the fubftance of the course of lectures on midwifery read to the Author's pupils. It exhibits the prima linta of that art, the principles of which are explained in a fyftematical and concife, yet fatisfactory manner. Though the Author modeftly difclaims laying any claim to any important difcovery or improvement,' his treatife will be of ufe as a guide to the younger practitioner, and as an ufeful remembrancer to the more experienced. Art. 17. A Letter to Lord Cathcart, concerning the Recovery of Perfons drowned, and feemingly dead. By Dr. William Cullen, his Majefty's first Phyfician at Edinburgh. 8vo. I s. 6d. Murray. The repeated accounts we have already given of the views and proceedings of the focieties formed at Amfterdam, Paris, and London, for the recovery of drowned perfons, render it unneceffary for us to fay any thing more of the prefent publication, than that it contains many judicious, and fome new directions relative to the fubject. Of the latter kind is a propofal by Dr. Monro, of blowing air into the patient's lungs, by means of a wooden pipe inferted

it

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »