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fequent improvements. Dr. Monro divides this volume into four parts, namely, an account of fome articles omitted; a fketch of the new fyftem of chemistry; the application of it to the former parts of this work; and a general index to the four volumes.
The principal part of the work confifts of extracts from M. Lavoifier's fyftem, from Mr. Cavendifn's and Dr. Priestley's late papers, from Mr. Kirwan's Eflay on the Conftitution of Acids, befide a number of obfervations by Meffrs. Berthollet, Gadolin, Fourcroy, De la Metherie, and Morveau; which will be extremely useful to those who cannot refort to the original fources.
Dr. Monro has, in general, accurately related the obfervations of thofe authors. He might have obferved, however, the diftinction between the hydrogene and inflammable air, and between the oxigene and pure air, as well as between the azote and impure air: he has mentioned thefe as fynonymous; whereas they are terms that exprefs bafes or fubftances in a concrete ftate, and the compounds of thefe fubftances and heat, when they affume the form of gas or elaftic fluids. In fpeaking of the acid of phosphorus, he says, phosphorus may likewife be converted into phofphoric acid by diftilling it, when mixed either with the nitrous acid, or the oxygenated muriatic acid, from which one would fuppofe the phofphoric acid was diftilled whereas, as he explains, in defcribing the operation, the acid remains in the retort, and decompofed nitrous acid is diftilled from it. The author fhould have noticed the fpecific gravities and quantities of the acid of nitre for making the phofphoric acid, and the specific gravity of it for the phofphorated foda. In the fection p. 253, Dr. Monro fays, the acid (muriatic) as remarkably upon it (quickfilver) in a divided flate; as may be feen by dropping it into a folution of quickfilver in the nitrous acid; when each drop of it lays hold of fome of the diffolved quickfilver, and precipitates with it in form of a white powder.' The metal here does not unite with the acid because it is in a divided ftate, but because it is calcined. Thefe, however, are chiefly inaccuracies of chemical language, and can lead to no material errors, because the general context corrects fuch paffages.
Dr. Monro gives an account of the effects of arfenic in intermittents, and mentions a preparation of the medicine called Taftelefs Ague and Fever Drops. We think he would have gratified many readers by relating the receipt from the fpecification; by which they might judge better whether it be white arfenic combined with alkali of tartar, as Dr. Fowler fuppofes, or fome other preparation. Though Dr. Monro feems to ap
prehend deleterious confequences from its ufe, there have been no decifive inftances of fuch bad effects, notwithstanding its late extenfive exhibition. We do not hesitate to declare, that, in our opinion, the charges against the arfenic have no better foundation than thofe alledged with regard to the Peruvian. bark by Plempius, and againft mercury and antimony by the Galenical phyficians, in oppofition to Valentine and Para
Several valuable and ufeful facts are related in this volume. A furgeon of character informed Dr. Monro that he had removed fmali fteatomatous tumours from the face, by applying to them. the coagulum aluminofum mixed with conferve of rofes, and renewing the application daily for fome time. In page 21, under the article porum, the author mentions its effects in the dropfy About twenty-one or twenty-two years ago, two gentlemen, whom I knew, were freed of the dropfy by taking from one to three table spoonfuls of the juice of leeks, mixed with about a fifth part of gin, two or three times in the day; while they took fome dofes of phyfic at proper intervals; they both remained free of the dropfical complaints for near three years, but then both relapfed, and died of the diforder. A third perfon, foon after their recovery, tried the fame remedy, got well, and is ftill alive.' In Mrs. Tyler's cafe of afcites, this medicine was fuccefsfully exhibited. It operated as a
Dr. Monro takes notice of the very expenfive, unneceffary, and unchemical procefs in the London Pharmacopoeia, for the oleum vini; and on enquiring at Apothecary's Hall, and of Mr. Godfrey and other Chymifts, he was informed that the product of oil of wine obtained by this procefs is fo fmall, as to render it a much dearer medicine than that got by diftilling from the materials which remain after the diftillation of the dulcified fpirit, and that it is not better in quality.'
We with Dr. Monro had explained more clearly the method of preparing the acid of tartar, and had decomposed the tartar by lime; as, by this fubftance, double, the quantity of acid is procured, to that by means of chalk.
* A writer in the year 1665, who had the happiness of endeavouring to fhew that the bark was of a poisonous nature, and that there was no circulation of the blood, as Harvey pretended.
ART. V. Travels into the Interior Parts of Africa, by the Way of the Cape of Good Hope; in the Years 1780, 81, 82, 83, 84, and 85. Tranflated from the French of M. Le Vaillant. Illustrated with twelve elegant Copper Plates. 8vo. 2 Vols. about 400 Pages in each. 12s. Boards. Robinfons.
ART. VI. Travels from the Cape of Good Hope into the Interior Parts of Africa, including many interesting Anecdotes. With elegant Plates, defcriptive of the Country and Inhabitants: infcribed, by Permiffion, to his Grace the (late) Duke of Mon. tagu. Tranflated from the French of Monfieur Vaillant. 8vo. 2 Vols. about 450 Pages in each. 12s. Boards. Lane.
H AVING in our last Appendix, p. 481, given a general idea of M. le Vaillant's character, with a few extracts from his inftructive and amufing travels, we are now to estimate the merits of the above-mentioned two tranflations of them. In language, they are nearly equal, and have each given the mifcellaneous engravings; and fo far either of them might be accepted by the English reader, with one diftinction, which, with fome degree of reluctance, we find it incumbent on us to note: they are not calculated for the fame clafs of readers; the latter may indeed ferve to entertain the general reader, but the former only is faithful enough to fatisfy the curious enquirer into natural hiftory, for whom the work was written. The public have been fo long abufed with mifreprefentations of the natives of this obfcure extremity of Africa, that every remark of an intelligent traveller becomes interefting: we are therefore forry to find the latter of thefe tranflations was undertaken by a female pen, the dedication to the Duke of Montagu being figned Elizabeth Helme.
The natural hiftorian knows no indecency in his researches, whatever may be the object; when, therefore, an obferving traveller attempts to rectify the mistakes of former writers, and a lady profeffes to give a tranflation of fuch a work, he will naturally be forry to find himfelf defrauded under the plea of female delicacy! This lady afferts indeed, that nothing has been expunged that could be either an aid to fcience, inform the naturalift, or even gratify a laudable curiofity' but there are many who may difpute the right of a tranflator to decide on thefe points: fair dealing at leaft required that this aflumed privilege fhould have been declared in the title page, that the purchafer might have the option of fubmitting to it or not. In a work of information, the paffages, moft open to fuch exceptions, are thofe moft likely to aid fcience, to inform the naturalift, and to gratify laudable curiofity, for all curiofity is laudable in this view. We could point out many inftances 5 where
where the information of the traveller is accommodated to the fcruples of the tranflator; one in particular, where feven or eight pages, in no refpect licentious or ludicrous, are fuppreffed, and one of the plates falfified, to qualify the work for the appearance of her name to it is this fidelity to the writer and juftice to the reader? Befide all this, the tranflator has arbitrarily rejected the author's preface, fubftituted one of her own, and formed a divifion of the whole work into chapters according to her own ideas. If this lady faw that justice to the reader was incompatible with juftice to herself, the prudent line would have been to have declined the task which he could not execute fairly; and not have violated that delicacy to her author and reader, which the claims in her own right. That complaifance, otherwife due to a lady's performance, cannot be extended to her under fuch circumstances.
Mrs. Helme's edition poffeffes a frontispiece to vol. 1. reprefenting the author's attack of a tyger, which is not given in the other tranflation.
ART. VII. A Pilure of England: containing a Defcription of the Laws, Customs, and Manners of England. Interfperfed with curious and interefting Anecdotes, &c. By M. D'Archenholz, formerly a Captain in the Service of the King of Pruffia. Tranf lated from the French. 12mo. 2 vols. about 215 pages in each. 6s. fewed. Jeffery.
HE original publication of M. D'Archenholz was in the German, his native language; and we gave an account of the French tranflation of it, which was the first notice we received of the work, in our Review, vol. lxxx. p. 590. foreign editions include England and Italy, but the English tranflator has only fupplied his countrymen with that part which defcribes their own character. We have acknowleged, and are greatly flattered by, this traveller's partiality to us and our island: but to be impartial ourfelves, it becomes us to pra&tife a little felf-denial, by obferving not only that an eulogium is rarely confined within the ftrict boundaries of truth, because the very defire to extol, imperceptibly tends to exaggeration; but alfo that, by attempting too great minutenefs in defcription, a foreigner is unavoidably expofed to mifapprehenfion, and confequent mifreprefentation.
We have not the leaft wish to depreciate or difcourage a lively, intelligent, and obferving writer, who often fhews great acuteness in his remarks; and yet we must add, to what we have already faid, that he has been led aftray by feriously trufting to an English guide, whofe humourous intentions he was too much a stranger to understand, and from whom he has inaccurately
inaccurately copied, in his account of the building the Man fion houfe at London. Travellers, who undertake to defcribe the characters and manners of the people whom they tranfiently vifit, often greatly mifconceive what they mean to defcribe; and yet may cite facts to fupport their affertions, that cannot be pofitively denied; and by rafhly forming general conclufions from particular inftances, make a work, intended to furnish information, read like an Eaflern tale. Let us produce two or three fhort examples:
No part of Europe exhibits fuch luxury and magnificence as the English difplay within the walls of their dwelling houses. The ftair-cafe, which is covered with the richeft carpets, is fupported by a balustrade of the fineft Indian wood, curioufly conftructed, and lighted by lamps contained in cryftal vafes. The landing-places are adorned with bufts, pictures and medallions; the wainscot and ceilings of the apartments are covered with the finest varnifh, and enriched with gold, bas reliefs, and the most happy attempts in painting and fculpture. The chimneys are of Italian marble, on which flowers and figures, cut in the moft exquifite tile, form the chief ornaments; the locks of the doors are of steel damasked with gold. Carpets which often coft three hundred pounds a-piece, and which one fcruples to touch with his foot, cover all the rooms; the richelt ftuffs from the looms of Afia are employed as window curtains; and the clocks and watches with which the apartments are furnished, aftonifh by their magnificence, and the ingenious complication of their mechanifm.'
If the author had been defcribing the houfes of our nobility. and opulent gentry in the principal fquares, this might have paffed but ftanding in a loofe general manner, it is no better than rhodomontade.
Westminster abby alfo contains the bodies of many fovereigns; among others are the monuments of Henry VII. and Henry VIII. Their fucceffors have not been equally honoured. Elizabeth herfelf has only a fimple epitaph. Instead of fculpture, they have of Jate adopted the fingular and childish custom of placing a portrait in wax over the grave, which becomes hideous at the end of a few years.'
Queen Elizabeth then has no monument! yet Mr. Ralph found one, erected in a style that he feverely condemns, and M. D'Archenholz may fee a print of it in Dart's Antiquities of Westminster, and in Rapin's Hiftory of England. The childifh ftory of the wax dolls, exifts only in his own confufed recollection and imagination.
It is common to fee clergymen fight duels;-I fhall fay nothing of their drunkennefs, and a thousand other fcandalous vices which they practife without fhame. They are often imprisoned for debt;
Vol. i. p. 145. from Critical Obfervations on the Buildings and Improvements of London. See Review, vol. xliv. p. 279.