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and artifice, and concludes by the deftruction of the devoted clan, without exception of age or sex.
The care of the house is the province of the women. Vege tables and flesh are the food of the Hottentots; and both are dreffed over a fire kindled on a large flat ftone before the door of each hut. The vegetables are gathered wild in the forefts, and among thefe, a kind of turnip, refembling a flat onion, is the 'the most esteemed.
Both men and women are clothed with fheep-fkins, of which the wool makes the outfide in fummer, and the infide in winter. Such of the women as are defirous of pleafing, make necklaces of fhells, knot their hair, and rub their faces, breafts, and all the naked parts of their bodies, with mutton-fat, to make them fhine.
The manners of the favages in the interior parts of Africa, differ but little from those of the Hottentots. An opulent Dutch gentleman, with whom the Abbé de la Caille was acquainted, told him that he had advanced above 500 leagues, toward the heart of Africa, going in a canoe from river to river, accompanied with four foldiers and two domeftics. He declared that he had found an entire uniformity in the cuftoms and manners of all the different clans and tribes which he met with. He carried with him fome toys and baubles, which he offered to them as prefents, with geftures expreffive of huma nity; and he was received by them kindly, and treated with all marks of gratitude and benevolence.-It is not a rude and brutal Tar that is the proper perfon to examine or relate the manners and customs of uncivilized nations. The navigators, at least in times paft, generally began their intercourfe with these poor favages, by hunting them out of their habitations, and other acts of violence; and thus excited feelings of refent. ment, and habits of reprifal, which were afterward exercised upon many innocent Europeans, and pafied for marks of favage barbarity, while, in their original principle, they were only acts of precaution or revenge.
Letters concerning Mineralogy, and feveral other Branches of the Natural Hiftory of Italy, by Mr. FERBER. Tranflated into French, from the German, and enriched with Notes and Obfervations made
upon the Spot, by Baron DIETRICHT, Correfpondent of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, &c. &c. at Strafburg and Paris,
Large 8vo. 1776.
N this excellent work the Author and Commentator have
opened a field of knowledge that has been hitherto untrod by the learned. The treafures that Italy unfolds to the hiftorian
and the virtuofo, the revolutions that have happened,
arts which have flourished in that country, the exploits of its heroes, and the mafter-pieces of its painters, poets, and fculptors, its manners and cuftoms, have been fo often defcribed, that thefe interefting fubjects are well nigh exhaufted; but its minerals, which are fo remarkable for their variety and abundance, have not been examined or defcribed with a proper degree of attention. There are, indeed, feveral cabinets of natural hiftory in Italy; and various branches of that Tcience, relative to the animal and vegetable kingdoms, have been treated by Italian authors in a masterly manner; but Mr. Ferber and Baron Dietricht are the firft who have opened an ample and accurate view of the minerals with which that region abounds.
Mr. Ferber was fingularly qualified for this undertaking, by his natural tafte for the fcience of mineralogy, his admiffion to the Royal College of Stockholm, his connexions and correfpondence with the most celebrated naturalifts in Europe, and the obfervations he had made, with indefatigable industry, in the mines of Sweden, England, and Hungary. His work confifts of a series of letters, addreffed to the Chevalier Born, from the month of September 1771 to the fame month of the followlowing year. The notes of Baron Dietricht, who travelled alfo into Italy, and obferved the fame objects that are here described by Mr. Ferber, are ample, instructive, and curious, and render this work a truly claffical book for the lovers of natural science.
It is not poffible for us to enter into a circumftantial detail of the valuable obfervations and difcoveries contained in these excellent letters, nor to pafs in review the various kinds of ftones, marbles, porphyries, granites, bafaltes, &c. which our Authors examine and defcribe, nor their obfervations on the lava, the volcanoes, and other objects of that nature which the bowels of the earth exhibit to the penetration and curiofity of the naturalift. We fhall only felect fome particularities which may prove more entertaining to the generality of our Readers, and refer others for farther fatisfaction to the work itself.
At Bologna Mr. Ferber met with Dr. Vianelli, who is well known in the republic of naturalifts, by a treatife De Noctiluca Marina, in which he proves that this infect is of the fame fpecies with that kind of worm, which, during the night, renders the fea luminous and fparkling, when it is in a state of agitation. For a long time (fays Baron Dietricht) it was thought that this phenomenon was a phofphorical light; and this hypothefis was maintained with a good deal of acuteness by M. de la Coudreniere. As this light never appears but when the feat is in motion, it was natural to imagine that it might have some analogy with the electrical flame, and perhaps arife from that principle; and the new experiments made by Mr. Bajon, phyfi
cian at Cayenne, gave a certain degree of probability to this hypothefis. But the experiments of Dr. Vianelli have entirely cleared up this matter, and afcertained, beyond all doubt, the true caufe of this phenomenon. He filtrated a certain quantity of the luminous fea-water through a piece of linen, and perceived that the linen became luminous, and that the water loft that quality but this was not all-for when he obferved with a glass the fmall luminous points that were vifible on the linen, he found that they were real fea-infects, which'fhone when the water that contained them was fet in motion. The Abbé Nollet and Dicquemare have confirmed this by experiments often repeated.
Mr. Ferber's account of the modern Mofaic, will not be dif agreable to fuch of our Readers as may be unacquainted with the mechanical part of this elegant manner of preferving the productions of eminent painters, by copies that equal the originals, and defy the ruins of time. The ancients (fays our Author) mixed natural ftones with the pieces of glass which they employed in their mosaics: and it is easy to perceive the difference between the mosaic of modern Rome and that which was employed in ancient times, and which is still in ufe at Florence. The Romans, at prefent, employ in their mosaic, only small cubes of glafs, formed out of frits, which are generally made at Venice. Thefe frits are cut with a diamond into little plates, and these are broken into fmall cubes of unequal dimenfions, which exhibit an immenfe variety of fhades, and are kept in feparate boxes. When a figure is to be reprefented by a combination of these cubes, the manner of proceeding is as follows: The artift employs a flat piece of lime-ftone, of a confiderable thickness, and after having polished it on one fide, covers that fide with a cement compofed of quicklime, powder of Travertine, and linfeed oil. This cement is spread over the plate until it forms a furface as thick as the little finger: and when it is dried, the end of each little cube that is to be fixed in the cement, is to be cut into the form of a point or pyramid, that it may pierce with the more eafe into the cement, and may be faftened the better. The cubes are arranged in the ce ment according to the form, colour, and quantity required by the model or plan which the artift has before him. The famous picture of the Transfiguration by Raphael has been lately copied in this manner, with amazing beauty and accuracy.
Mr. Ferber has given, in this work, a lift of the most eminent writers in phyfics and natural history, who do honour, at prefent, to Italy, by their labours, their difcoveries, and their writings. Among the Neapolitans we find Giuffeppe Vairo, Profeffor of Chemistry and Phyfic, the only perfon (fays he) perhaps at Naples (we put in an exception in favour of Sir
William Hamilton) who is perfectly acquainted with the Vefuvius and the Solfatara-Dominic Civillo, an eminent Profeffor of Botany and Phyfic, who has collected a famous herbal, and published in 4to an Abridgment of the Botanic Philofophy of Linnæus-Father Antonio Minafi, of the Dominican Order, who has published obfervations on the different kinds of spiders, on the currents of the Mediterranean fea, on the Pharos of Meffina, and on the causes of the whirlpools of Scylla and Charybdis-Mr. Nicholas Pacifico, a good mathematician, and a famous connoiffeur in plants and infects, who has formed a botanic garden, the only one (which is indeed furprifing) that is to be found in the neighbourhood of Naples-Father J. Maria Della Torre, whofe hiftory of Mount Vefuvius is well known, and who has acquired much reputation by his controverfy with the Abbé Fontana concerning the form of the globules of the blood: to thefe our Author adds, the Abbés GagJiani and Gaetan Bottis, the latter of whom has published, in Italian, two treatifes concerning Mount Vefuvius; Mr. Bovi, author of a Differtation on Corals; Father Paul Moccia, whofe body has the remarkable property of floating upon the surface of water without finking, although that robuft and vigorous ecclefiaftic cannot fwim; Father Antonio Piaggio, inventor of the machine for unfolding the manufcripts of Herculaneum ; and Dominic Cortunnio, Profeffor of Anatomy, famous for his diffections, anatomical treatifes, and his curious difcoveries on the mechanifm of the ear.
This is a fample of the care which our Author takes to make us acquainted with the learned Italians, in every city through which he paffed. He alfo takes occafion, from every foundation relative to philofophy or literature, to inform us of the perfons by whom it was erected. More especially speaking of the cabinet of natural hiftory, which does honour to the university of Turin, he from thence takes occafion to give us fome interefting anecdotes concerning the celebrated Vitaliano Donati, author of the Natural Hijlory of the Adriatic Sea. This eminent man, a native of Padua, who was born with a predominant paffion for natural history, was chosen Profeffor of Botany at Turin, and was afterward appointed, by royal authority, to travel into Egypt, from which voyage many important difcoveries were expected. But thefe expectations were difappointed Donati died of a malignant fever in Perfia: the collection of natural curiofities, which he had fent from thence to Turin, were conveyed by the way of Lisbon, where they were kept a long time, not without fome fufpicion of their having been opened, &c.-In fhort, one way or another the collections of this induftrious and ingenious man, as alfo his writings, were loft, or irrecoverably difperfed. If we may depend on the
judgment of Mr. Ferber, Donati was not very remarkable for his botanical knowledge; but he was a firit-rate connoiffeur in petrifications, corals, zoophytes, and, in general, in the knowledge of all marine bodies. His enemies were zealous in their endeavours to blacken his reputation: they affirmed that he was ftill alive in Perfia, where he refided in difguise, and appropriated to his own ufe the remittances that had been granted for the purposes of his voyage. But this our Authors treat as a ridiculous fable.
With refpect to the work now before us, it is certainly recommendable on account of the philofophical fpirit of obfervation which it difcovers, and the accuracy of the defcriptions it contains. An excess of accuracy and detail is, perhaps, its only defect; but it is by defects of this kind that the way to important difcoveries is frequently opened.
An English tranflation of Mr. Ferber's Letters, by Mr. Rafpe, is just published; of which fome account, ferving as a Supplement to the foregoing Article, will be found in our Review for January, 1777; publifhed at the fame time with this Appendix.
A. Ypei A. L. M. Philof. & Med. Do&. Acad. Fran. Botan Lea. S Societ. Scient. Harlem. Socii, Obfervationes Phyfiologica de Motu Mufculorum Voluntario & Vitali.-Phyfiological Obfervations on Mufcular Motion, voluntary and vital. By Adolphus Ypey, M.D. &c. &c. 8vo. Lewarden & Franequer.
HE principal fcope of this treatise, is to refute the opinion maintained by feveral modern phyfiologifts, of note, concerning a vis infita of mufcular fibres, diftinct from, and not dependent upon, nervous influence. The Author attempts, on the contrary, to fhew, that the irritability and action of muscles are derived from the nerves folely; and in pursuit of this intricate and dubious fubject, he offers many ingenious remarks concerning mufcular action in general, and fome remarkable kinds of motion in particular, which appear well worthy the attention of perfons engaged in thefe fpeculations. Some observations concerning the action of opium on the irritable power of the heart, are fubjoined, tending to invalidate the commonly received notion of the ftimulant qualities of this drug; whence the Author, fupported by the practice of Sydenham and Boerhaave, argues in favour of its exhibition in certain inflammatory difeafes.