« ElőzőTovább »
fessedly built upon its basis. It must be acknowledged, nevertheless, that he never offends us by ridiculing or satirising rea ligion of any kind ; that his morality is perfectly pure ; and that he has offered every thing which lies in his own way to reconcile man to the evils of life, and fill him with pious resignation and heavenly hope. We have seldom seen the doctrine of a future, and indeed a separate state, so strenuously contended for by an avowed theist. The name of the poet we know not: he appears to have been an intimate friend of Des moustier, who was the author of several fugitive but elegant pieces of poetry, and who hereby acquired no small degree of celebrity :-of these, The. Conciliator, or Amiable Man; Filial Love; and the Gallantry of the Eighteenth Century, have been generally regarded as his best. The notes appended by our author are of no great importance : but we shall add the following extract, as a specimen of his style, with which our article must conclude.
Sweet Religion, the daughter of Hope, opens to the eyes of man his splendid destination; she fills his spirit with her precious promises. He beholds himself attended by a protector, who defends him in the midst of his perils: he perceives that the shades of those he loved still hover around him-shades that give plaudits to his good actions, and that murmur when he listens to the voice of passions or of crimes : she it is who supports him, when tottering and surrounded with precipices, in the midmost darkness of ignorance and error: she it is who comforts the unfortunate inan abandoned by all besides, and expiring on a bed of anguish. When the agents of Destruction load this king of created beings with fetters, and trample upon him in the dust, she breaks his chains; her sublime inspirations elevate him to the Eternal. She exclaims to the insensate wretch, who, hardening himself in his career of crime, asserts the Eternal exists not-there is no Eternity'
Monster of pride and imperfections ! thou abasest the Divinity to thyself, in order to elevate thyself to him! Thou imprisonest him in the narrow circle of thy own thoughts, and thinkest that with him thou hereby enfoldest immensity! Thou makest matter thine idol: and yet what means hast thou of assuring thyself that it exists independently of thy own sensations, that the universe is not a mere perception of thy own soul, as it is one of the ideas of the Eternal ? Thou sayest to thyself “ What occasion have I to fatigue my imagination by the idea of a God who humiliates my pride? ' Matter alone has inherent powers adequate to its own movements ; let us banish this being to the infant brood of fancy.”—No; thou canst not annihilate this superior being; the proofs of his existence are written in letters of fire over the vault of the firmament, in
whose circumference thy spirit is bewildered. What! can man, then, be a marvelous combination of matter guided by intelligence, while the universe, in which he is but an atom, is a production guided alone by Chance? - The idea of the immortality of thy soul, of the existence of a being superior to thyself-is it then too vast, too sublime? Art thou incapable of sustaining the weight of the word ETERNITY? This immortality, is it then more wonderful than the faculty of thinking which thou attributest to matter? Can thy imagination conceive no world peopled with beings superior to thyself? Can it not, elevating itself with a daring flight beyond the circle of beings more intelligent and more perfect still, reach at length the sovereign of such intelligences--the Omnipotent ?'
ART. III.-Mémoires sur l’Egypte, &c. Paris. 1801. Memoirs on Egypt, published during the Years VII, VIII, and IX.
Vol. II. 8vo. Imported by De Boffe. WE reviewed the first volume of this collection in the English translation *; but the many meagre unsatisfactory articles found in it disgusted us, and, we suspect, rendered its reception in this country so cool, as to prevent any attempt to give the subsequent volumes an English dress. Perhaps we expected too much; or the eager haste of our more volatile neighbours, to offer some account of their new conquest, led them to publish before they had attained materials of importance, or properly matured their observations. The second volume is more appropriate to the scene whence the memoirs are derived; and some of the astronomic and geographic observations are peculiarly valuable.
The history of the institute, the first part of this volume, contains only the miscellaneous transactions of each session.
We shall select some passages of interest and importance. In a communication from Bonaparte, it appears that in the city of Cairo, within 100 days, 1067 persons died, including mussulmen only.--The declination of the magnetic needle at Cairo is said to be 121 degrees.-General Reynier sent two specimens of rock, separated from the hill Djebel-nabo, which extends, from east to west, as far as the environs of Belbeys. When examined, they appeared of very different kinds; one was a red calcareous stone, strongly effervescing; the other, a grit formed of particles of transparent quartz, united by a ferrugineous cement, slightly effervescing.-M. Dolomieu seems to have read an interesting memoir on the agriculture of Lower Egypt, which appears to be reported very imperfectly in the history: we trust
* See our 30th Vol. New Arr, p. 31,
In his voyages
that in the future volumes—for two more are promised-we
An officer of engineers, in sinking the ditches of Gyzeh, found, at the depth of five feet, some remains of ancient buildings, which, he thinks, prove that the ground is raised at least in that part. M. Berthollet, in his accounts of the natron lakes, attributes the salt to the sea-salt, decomposed by carbonate of lime. We remember offering the same remark from our analysis of Egyptian natron, in which were some remains of common salt and lime.
M. Geoffroy read a description of a new species of fish, which is called in Egypt bichio. It is of the genus esox: he adds to the trivial name the appellation of quadrupedes,' from the singular appearance of the anterior and posterior fins. M. Berthollet read some observations on the eudiometric action of alkaline sulphurs, and of phosphorus. Many of the labours of the institute appear to have no immediate relation to Egypt, and might with equal propriety and success have been made on the banks of the Neva, the Seine, or the Ganges. Except in the application, this memoir is equally extraneous. The author treats of the uncertainty of hydrogen and nitrous gas, as eudiometric proofs; and thinks alkaline sulphurs preferable. PhosphoTus, however, is the best; and, as the quantity of azote remaining is a little increased by a solution of the phosphorus, if this be'
allowed for, it is very correct. The quantity of oxygen in the air at Cairo is 0.22, the same as at Paris.
A stone discovered by an officer of engineers at Rosetta has been much spoken of. We expect soon to receive a particular account of this curious remain ; but shall perhaps gratify several readers by the short description of it, in a note to this part of the volume, by M. Marcel. We must premise that the stone is black, and divided into three horizontal bands : the lowest contains several lines in Greek characters, engraven in the reign, as was first supposed, of Ptolemy Philopator; the second inscription is in unknown characters, and the first in hieroglyphics. As it is probable that the meaning is the same, we may, hence, find some clue to this unknown, as well as to the hieroglyphic, language. What follows is from M. Marcel.
· The stone is about three feet high, twenty-seven inches wide, and six in thickness. The hieroglyphic inscription contains fourteen lines; the figures, which in dimension are about half an inch, are ranged from left to right. The second inscription, which was at first said to be Syriac, then Coptic, is composed of thirty-two lines, in the same direction with that of the first, and evidently consists of the running characters of the ancient Egyptian language. I have found the same characters on some rolls of papyrus, and on some bands of cloth which had surrounded mummies. The Greek inscription, which contains fifty-four lines, is particularly remarkable, as it contains many words that are not Greek; particularly Ftå God, which is Egyptian, and shows the æra when, in spite of the efforts of the Ptolemies, the indigenous language of Egypt began to mix with that of the Greeks, their conquerors. This mixture gradually increased till toward the fourth century of the Christian æra (ére vulgaire), when it became the ancient Coptic, of which we have some valuable remains in the modern Coptic.
This stone was engraven about the 157th year before Christ, in the beginning of the reign of Ptolemy Philometor (not Philopator); for the name of the latter, who reigned about the year 195 before Christ, occurs with those of Philadelphus, Euergetes, and Epiphanes, in the enumeration of the Gods, or kings deified--the predecessors of the king whose coronation and inauguration is recorded in this monument. The details preserved on this stone are very interesting, as well as the ceremonies described: they will be the subject of a particular me. moir.'
M. Geoffroy read the first part of a memoir, containing an anatomical and zoological description of a fish, called in Egypt: fachhaca, which some naturalists have called the rayed tetrodon. After showing that two species are confounded under this title,
he describes the organs peculiar to the family of tetrodons; viz.
M. Monge read a memoir -
« The curved surface, considered in the present memoir, is
• The first of these lines is in the surface of the sphere; the second on the surface of the cone ; and the third has, for its unfolding, the intersection of the sphere and cone. These three lines have a common point, which is, for each, a point of return, and, for the surface, a true summit.'
The author, after having deduced from the properties of the surface its equation in finite quantities, and its equation in partial differences, shows the method of passing from this second equation to the first; that is, of integrating the equation with partial differences. He here applies the method, whose principles he has explained in other places; and the surface considered in this memoir offers an interesting example of the general theory proposed to be established in the subsequent memoirs. We have consequently explained it more at large, and chiefly in the author's own words.
A memoir, it is said, has been communicated by M. de Lisle, in which many of Forskal's plants are compared with the Linnæan. We had occasion, some years since, to make this comparison, and found it a very difficult tásk; which we then attri