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order and happinefs among his people, and that his generous intentions be feconded by intelligent, upright, and virtuous minifters." That these two conditions (the difficulty of finding which together we shall not calculate) might have a great and extenfive influence, is not to be denied; but that they would be fufficient to complete the reformation of a people, whose corruption has arifen to a monftrous height upon the foundations of immenfe opulence, engendering a peftilential luxury, and of liberty fpringing up wild into almoft all the forms of licentioufnefs, this is what we would not venture to affirm without a more profound knowledge of men and things than we pretend to poffefs. Our Author is not fo timid. He has found, as he thinks, in his own country (France) a prince to his mind; and he calls upon him to execute the grand project of reformation, in the following dedicatory infcription, blazing in capitals at the head of his book, but which, to fave fpace and paper, we fhall reduce to Italics. To Lewis XVI. King of France and Navarre, a Monarch juft, humane, and beneficent—the Friend of Truth, Virtue, and Simplicity-the Enemy of Flattery, Vice, Pomp, and Tyranny-the Reflorer of Order and Morals-the Father of his People-the Protecter of the Poor; whofe Reign is the Hope of the Good, the Terror of the Wicked, the Confolation of the true Patriot, THIS BOOK is offered, dedicated by a faithful, zealous, respectful Citizen, who speaks the Truth to a Prince who is willing to hear it.
This Author is no less than a moral Hercules; and certain it is, that he has a many-headed Hydra to combat, and a large stable to clean, before the Ethocracy is eftablished. But that is not our bufinefs. We therefore proceed to the book, which is a production of the fame ingenious, eloquent, and perhaps wellmeaning caftle-builder, who was the aerial architect of the Univerfal Morality, of which we delineated the roof and walls (for it had no foundation) in one of our former Reviews*.
The work is comprized in fourteen Chapters. The subject of the firft is, the Union of Morality with Politics. The Author begins it by the maxim of SULLY, the virtuous minister of Henry IV. of France, who faid that good morals and good laws engender each other reciprocally. We think the excellent obfervation of Horace would have been more to his purpofe, quid leges vane proficiunt fine moribus? i. e. What are laws without morals? an empty found. Good laws do not always produce good morals; it is their faithful execution (which prefuppofes good morals) that renders them ufeful to the community, by restraining the paffions of men within the proper bounds, and thus promoting fecurity and peace in civil fociety. Be that as it may, it is
* See Review for Auguft 1776.
certainly true, as our Author obferves, that "national felicity is incompatible with prevailing vice and licentiousness, and can only be promoted by the practice of the duties of focial life, and a refpect for the obligations of virtue." All this has been faid a thousand times; it is one of thofe palpable truths that fcarcely requires any difcuffion, and it has been acknowledged in theory, and neglected in practice, in all periods of the world. If indeed the Author could indicate any new and effectual method of blending together, in an happy union, morality and politics, he would render a very important fervice to virtue and mankind. What he proposes is, that virtuous princes and minifters fhould form all their plans, edicts, laws, regulations, and inftitutions on the principles of juftice, equity, and benevolence, and arm virtue with the influence of power. We heartily wish they would do fo: and we think, with our Author, that the friends of virtue fhould not lofe courage, nor fufpend their remonftrances and efforts through defpair of fuccels; but we have not very clear ideas of the kind of power, (excepting that of exhortation, encouragement, and example) that princes, legiflators, or minifters, can employ in promoting gratitude, fidelity, candour, meekness, equity, and benevolence, whose exercise, by their own nature and that of the human mind, must be left free and unrestrained, and cannot be the object of coercive or penal laws. That fovereigns could do, and that easily, much more toward the reformation of manners and the advancement of national felicity and virtue than they really do, is a melancholy truth. And yet that they have many difficulties to encounter, which plead for fome indulgence, is not to be difguifed; our Author takes notice of those that arise from their unhappy education, from the flattery that intoxicates them, from that peftilential air of courts which blafts the principles of virtue in the bud, and other circumftances too obvious to mention. He, however, omits other obftacles to their reforming influence, which it is much more difficult to overcome, fuch as extent of empire, which prevents the eye and influence of the fovereign from difcerning with perfpicuity, and employing with efficacy, the means of reformation; not to fpeak of the disadvantages that arife in this matter even from the ineftmable bleffing of liberty.
The fecond Chapter contains a compendious View of the fundamental Laws of a good Government. Whatever form of government takes place in a country, its confiftence and prosperity depend on its being founded on the principles of morality. Where the governing power departs from virtue it becomes tyranny, because no authority can be juft but that whofe object and whofe fruits are the public felicity, or in other words,
which maintains the liberty, the property, and the security of each individual. "The annals of the world fhew us (fays Our Author) in every page, that thrones and empires have been overturned, that nations have been funk into mifery and ruin, by violating the great duties and obligations of morality;" and he cenfures and rejects the opinion of Montefquieu, that bonour is the fupport of monarchy, as virtue is that of republican government. His cenfure would have been juft, if Montef quieu had been fpeaking of the happiness of a people; but it is abfurd, when it is confidered that he is only laying down thofe principles which feem more immediately connected with the maintenance of certain forms of government. Montefquieu, who was an excellent man, as well as an admirable writer, did not furely think that any nation could flourish truly, that is, enjoy a permanent ftate of profperity and grandeur, without morals or virtue. Be that as it may, there are several bold truths and juft obfervations in this chapter, relative to the reprefentatives of the fovereign, the courts of juftice, the choice of minifters, the rights of the church, the state and conduct of the clergy, the fpirit of conqueft, and the education of thofe who are called, by their birth, to the government of nations.
From thefe obfervations our Ethocratift proceeds in the twelve following chapters to point out all the happy effects that the enacting and the execution of laws, founded on the pure principles of morality, muft produce upon all the orders of which a ftate or nation is compofed. The details here, though they prefent nothing new, are animated and interefting; but the tone with which he addreffes his precepts and admonitions to the great and the opulent, is as violently fatirical in some places, as it is affecting and pathetic in others. In thefe chapters he paffes in review courtiers, nobles, foldiers, lawyers, the clergy, the men of letters, the poor and rich, the methods of educa tion, the obligations and duties of domeftic life, crimes, vices, and public diforders, and the means of reforming the manners of a nation. Upon the whole, this fpirited, warm, and eloquent Writer is more abundant in telling us what ought to be done, than in fhewing how, what he recommends is to be èffected: there are, nevertheless, excellent things in his book, and it may be read, with utility, by all orders, more especially by princes and their minifters, who are placed at the fountainhead of national felicity.
Obfervations fur les Signes avant coureurs, &c.-Obfervations on the Signs that denote before-hand the rifing or falling of the Mercury in the Barometer. by Mr. Changeux.
T has been remarked by every obferver of nature, that when the mercury is agitated violently in a barometer, the upper furface of the column is concave, when it finks, and convex, when it rifes. The fame thing happens, tho' more imperceptibly, when the motion or ofcillations of the column of mercury are less confiderable.
The action of the Air in the different ftates of the atmosphere, I. e. its different degrees of weight or gravity, make the mercury rife or fink in the barometer with more or lefs velocity. I obferved (fays Mr. Changeux) in a barometer of great mobility, firft, that the concavity and convexity, nay, the less confiderable concavity of the upper furface of the mercurial column, appeared vifibly before the rifing or falling of the fame column, and hence I could foresee the rifing or falling of the column before it happened: 2dly, that the differences in the furface of the mercury were the more fenfible, in proportion as the fucceeding change of weather was more confiderable and permanent.
Thefe preceding figns, being well afcertained, would render the barometer much more useful than it has hitherto been; and this engaged Mr. Changeux to communicate his obfervations to fome eminent Naturalifts, who imagined that they had remarked on feveral occafions, the fame phenomenon. It requires, however, a nice penetration in the vifual organ, and alfo a confirmed habit of obferving, to difcern, at first fight, the exact measure of convexity in the upper furface of the mercury in most of our barometers. A number of experiments convinced Mr. Changeux that all barometers do not exhibit this phenomenon in fuch a ftriking manner as to render it eafily perceivable; and the reason of this he thinks deducible from the different degrees of purity in the quick-filver and to the greater or leffer force of attraction in the glass tube.
Our Author points out two or three methods of difcerning the degrees of the bofs or curvity which is formed on the surface of the mercury in the different ftates of the atmosphere, and what they denote and portend. The first thing to be remarked is the curvature of the mercury when it is in the most entire ftate of reft: The barometer then must be fhaken: After this motion, if the furface of the mercury becomes much more convex in reafcending, this is a fure fign, that not having its mean convexity, it will continue to defcend; but if the furface of the mercury is not become much more convex in reafcending, this is a fign that it has acquired its mean, nay, even its greatest convexity, and it may be concluded from thence, that it will continue to rife, or that it will become stationary.
APP. Rev, Vol. lv.
There is another, and a ftill more eafy method of making thefe obfervations, by conftructing a barometer, with a border of a coloured liquor. This may be done by inferting a small drop of liquor (fuch as fpirit of wine dyed red) above the column of mercury this drop, by occupying a place between the glafs and the mercury, will form a kind of border; and this border (as we fhall fee immediately) will mark the degree of convexity from the top of the column and render the previous figns of the rifing and finking of the mercury in the barometer clearly perceptible.-In effect, it is highly conceivable, that when the mercury is difpofed to rife, the coloured border will occupy the void fpace between it and the glafs: when, on the contrary, it is ready to fink, the coloured border will rife to a level with it, nay, will fometimes get above the furface of the mercury, because the mercury having almoft entirely loft its convexity, will leave no void fpace between it and the glafs which contains it.
But here arifes a question: whence the mercury derives the property of affuming a convex form when it afcends, and a concave one when it defcends? this property is generally fuppofed to depend upon attraction, which indeed accounts for a part of the phenomenon, even the concave form which the mercuryaffumes, when it defcends: and that in the following manner.We may reprefent to ourselves the mercury in the barometer, as attached, in all the points of its external furface, to the internal furface of the glafs tube, in which it is contained. The attractive force of this internal furface acts upon the mercury from the top to the bottom of the column, and in the refervoir where the mercury communicates with the atmosphere.-Let us then (fays our Author) divide, ideally, or in imagination, the column of mercury into as many concentric cylindrical layers as we think proper; it is evident that the firft furface or external layer will be more powerfully attracted, than thofe which don't immedi ately touch the fides of the glafs-tube. In effect, the force of attraction is in an inverfe duplicate proportion of the distances. When therefore the mercury finks in the barometer, the first furface or layer, which is contiguous to the glafs will not yield to the central force which is imprinted on it, until the fecond layer, which is lefs powerfully attracted, has already yielded, not the second, until the third, and fo on, till we come to the center of the column, which will be the center of the concavity.
But if attraction accounts for the concavity of the upper furface of the mercury in its defcending motion, it does not seem to indicate the reafon of the convexity of that furface, when the mercury rifes. The attraction of the glafs may, indeed, in the first moment of afcent, fuffer thofe parts of the mercury that compofe the internal layers of the column, to rife above the level, becaufe thefe layers are lefs attracted, during this first