Page images
[ocr errors]


xv. Observations sur la Nature G sur le Traitement de la Rage, suivies

d'un Precis Historique et Critique des divers Remedes, qui ont i empiegés jusqu'ici contre cette Maladie.- Observations concerning the Nature of MADNESS, and the Manner of treating it, &c. By M. PORTAI, Professor in the Royal College of France, Meinber of the Royal Academy of Sciences. 8vo. Paris. 1779. HIS small work is divided into two parts. The first,

which relates to the nature of the disorder, is subdivided into seven articles, which contain the division of madness into its various kinds—the circumstances relative to spontaneous madness---an account of the symptoms of the disorder - some anatomical details concerning the opening of bodies -Obfervations on the different symptoms of the hydrophobia-faits, which throw some light upon the manner in which madness is communicated, and inquiries concerning the seat of the disorder.--- The second part, which relites to the manner of treating this disorder, contains the researches and opinions of M. PORTAL, concerning the local treatment-blood-letting - bathing and potions—the use of mercury-emetics, purgatives, and anti fpafmodics: all which is followed, by observations on the cases of some persons that have been bitten by mad animals, and have experienced the happy effects of M. Por. TAL's method of cure. This work, though not exempt from fome defects, is instructive, and must be uleful.


ART. XVI. Epilogo della Vita del Cavaliere Antonio Raffaello Mongs, &c.-A

Compendious Account of the Lite of the late Chevalier ANTONY RAPHAEL MENG , First Painter to his Catholic Majesty, Mem. ber of the Academies of Rome, Bologna, Flo:ence, Parma, Genoa, &c. By CHARLES JOSEPH Ratti, Director of the Aca.

demy of Genoa, &c. Folio. 1779. THE Abbé IVinkelman, who was, certainly, both in learn

ing and taste, a connoifleur of the first rate, perhaps at the head of that class, never spoke of the late M. MENGS, without a kind of enthusiasm, and called him constantly the modern Raphael. It has, nevertheless, been affirmed, and by some who had it from the mouth of that great artist, that he was not born with a genius for painting, and that he applicd himfelf with diligence to that fine art, rather from a regard to the authority of his father, than from taste and inclination. Be that as it may, his success was illustrious; and his works will place him in the rank of those, whose pencils have been as much under the impulse of genius as under the guidance of art. The gallery of Northumberland House, and the University of


Oxford, exhibit two fublime specimens of the talents and merit of this eminent artist. It was bold, to attempt a copy

of the School of Athens (Pindarum quisquis fludet æmulari, &c.), but it was glorious to execute it in luch a manner, as to prevent our regretting the impossibility of seeing the original in Enga land.

MENGS (according to our Author, who has written his life in an instructive manner, and with a noble fimplicity) was born at Aufsich, a little town in Bohenia, near the confines of Saxony, the 12th of March 1728. His father, Ismael Mengs, was a Dane, a painter allo of note, in miniature and enamel, and died, in the year 1764, Director of the Royal Academy of Dresden. He designed his son for his own profeflion, from the very moment of his birth, and gave him the names of Antony and Raphael, after Corregio, and the grand artist of Urbino; this ftep was not prudent, for had MENGS proved a mean artist, these names would have rendered him ridiculous. But this was not the case: young Mengs made a rapid progress under the care of his father, who was his master ; and his reputation soon spread throughout Europe. He died last year, at Rome, and has not left behind him an highly eminent history painter, either in his own country, or in Italy, France, or Germany. It is with fingular pleasure that we find ourselves authorised to except Britain. Kauffman and Cipriani kindly came to adorn the temple of the arts in our isle: but they found Reynolas, West, and many other distinguished artists, facrificing with fuccels to genius and the graces, and enriching their native land with the noblest productions of the pencil.

The Chevalier Mengs left behind him, a treatise concerning painting, written in German, and a list, in Italian, with ample remarks, of the pictures in the Escurial, which are both pub. lilhed at the end of M. Ratti's work.

ART. XVII. Deux Memoires sur la Fertilité de la Palestine. -Two Memoirs cor

cerning the Fertiliiy of Palestine. By the Abbé GuenEE. HESE two Memoirs, composed by the learned and in

Jews to M. De Voltaire, and not yet published, were read io the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres at Paris, and were communicated to M. De Guignes; and it is to the account given of them by this learned man, that we are indebted for that which we here lay before the public. The subject treated in these Memoirs, is of consequence to the cause of religion; as several infidels, and more especially Voltaire, have drawn from the pretended sterility of the land of Judea, difficulties and objections against the authority of the sacred writings.

In the first of these Memoirs, the Abbé Guense proves, that from the captivity of Babylon to the war of Adrian, Judea was always considered as a rich and fertile country. The positive and multiplied authorities of the writers of that period, Jews, Greeks, and Romans, not only atteft, in general, the fertility of that country, but many of these writers, entering into a particular detail of circumstances, prove ic from the nature of the climate, the qualities of the soil, and the excellence and variety of its productions. These are confirmed by proofs of another kind, and still more respectable and convincing, even those resulting from a great number of medals, struck under the reigns of the kings of Syria, under the kings of Judea, and under the Romans, both by Jews and Pagans, and which all bear the symbols of a rich fertility. Add to all this, a multitude of facts, recorded in the history of the Jews, during this period; the efforts of the neighbouring kings to conquer their country ;-the long and bloody wars that the Jews carried on with vigour, and sometimes with success, against powerful princes and nations ;--the tribute and taxes they paid to the kings of Egypt and Syria, to the Romans, and to their own princes ;-the magnificence of their sovereigns, and among others, of Herod ;-the troops he raised and kept on foot; the temples, fortresses, palaces, and cities, which he built and embellished, not only in his own country, but also in Syria, Asia Minor, and even in Greece ;-the immense fums he lavished among the Romans, the donations he made to his own people, and frequently to his neighbours in time of want, and the vast treasures which he left behind him ;- all these circumftances, which the learned Abbé has illustrated with his usual perfpicuity and erudition, concur in proving the fertility and riches of Palestine, during the epocha now under confideration.

In the second Memoir, the Abbé Guenee confiders the state of Palestine, as it was between the time of the emperor Adrian to the caliphate of Omar, which takes in a period of four centuries. He thinks the cause of religion little interested in the fruitfulness or sterility of the Holy Land, during the preceding period, but not at all in the period on which he now enters. “ God,” says he, “ engaged his promise to give the Hebrews “ a fruitful country, but he did not promise them, that this “ country should be always fruitful, even when they ceased to “ be its proprietors.” We do not much relish this method of avoiding the objections of unbelievers ; we think it would do better in the mouth of an attorney (of the pettifogging class) than in that of a candid logician. Nor was this reflexion nsceffary; for the manner in which our Abbé proves the fertlity of Palestine during this second period, and the judicious reafons he gives for the alterations which it may have undergone in later times, are entirely sufficient to remove the dust thac unbelievers have been endeavouring to raise in the face of Revelation, from this quarter.

This second Memoir is divided into two parts : in the first, the learned Abbé collects the principal facts in Jewish history, which tend to Thew, what was the state of Palestine during the period under confideration.

The firit of these facts is, the project formed by Adrían, of rebuilding and embellishing Jerusalem, of forming it into a Roman colony, and giving it his own name; a project, of which he never could have entertained a thought, if Judea, which he had seen and examined with his own eyes, had appeared to him such a barren and wretched country, as it is said to be by some, who have neither seen that country, nor examined the matter with attention and care.

The revolt of the Jews, and the war it drew upon them, is a second circumstance, which furnishes inductions in favour of the riches and resources of the land of Palestine. Dion, an historian, warmly attached to the interests of paganism, tells us, that in this war, 50 of the strong castles of the Jews, and 980 of their largest towns were destroyed, 580,000 of the rebels perished by the sword, without reckoning, says he, the innumerable multitudes, who were consumed by fire, famine, and fickness, and great numbers of others, who, as several writers testify, were sold as slaves at the fairs of Terebinth and Gaza. Our learned Abbé concludes from hence, that there were, at that time, in Judea, near two millions of Jewish inhabitants, besides the Hebrew and Gentile Christians, and the Syrians, Greeks, and Romans, who dwelt in that country, and took no

war Among the historical facts relative to Jerusalem, our Author does not omit the embellishments which that city received from the munificence of Conftantine, when Christianity became the established religion of the Asiatic provinces. These embellishments were carried so far, that Eufebius compared the city in question, to the heavenly Jerusalem foretold by the prophets. Magnificent palaces were erected in it by order of the Emperor and his mother, a prodigious concourse of Christians repaired thither, from different and remote quarters of the globe, to worship in the holy place. The most illustrious personages of Rome settled there, and passed their days in a peaceful retirement, and in acts of beneficence ;-two empresles also fixed their residence in Palestine, where they built churches, erected monasteries, and endowed hospitals. 'The donations alone of the empress Eudoxia amounted to 20,488 pounds of goid.

Under the children of Theodofius, Judea was divided into three provinces. Its ecclefiaftical state was composed of a

patriarch, patriarch, thirty bishops, a great number of priests and clerks, and from twelve to fifteen thousand monks and anchorites. At the head of the civil government, there were two prefects under the orders of a consular governor, who, by the external marks of his dignity, his appointments, his retinue, and the number of his affeffors, feemed to rank with the governors of the most distinguished provinces. The military establishment consisted of between ten and twelve thousand men, cavalry and infantry, under the command of a general officer, whose post must have been both honourable and important, as we see it filled by a king of the Iberians, who was a friend of the Emperors, and whose title was, Duke of the Marches (or frontiers) of Paleftine.

Finally, among the historical facts that compose the first part of this Memoir, our Author relates, after Procopius, the invasion of Corroes, king of Persia, who, allured by the fame that had been spread abroad, of the fertility and opulence of Palestine, marched to Jerusalem, besieged that city, Carried off from thence an immense plunder, and a prodigious number of Christian captives, of which the Jews were rich enough to pure chase 90,000, that they might have the pleasure of cutting their throats. He mentions also the attempts of the Saracens, twenty-three years after Cofroes, to join Judea to the fertile country cf Syria, of which they had finifhed the conqueft.

After giving a compendious view of the history of the Jews, at the period now under consideration, the learned Author thinks it may be concluded, even from a general view of these facts, taken together, that Judea was far from bing such a barren and miserable country, as some have been fond of representing it; that, on the contrary, after all that it had suffered from the desolations of war, both in ancient and later times, it still remained at the period in question, fertile, rich, and populous. This also is the idea, which the writers of the time, Pagan and Christian, as well as Jewilh, have given of Palestine.

In the second part of this Memoir, the learned Author quotes and examines the reports of these writers. The only Jewish writers he quotes are the Talmudists; and he quotes them with such a degree of circumspection and precaution, as their hyperbolical relations render necessary. He does not, for example, give them credit, when they tell us, that in the two tribes of Judab and Simeon there were 900 cities, that the stalks of corn in Judea grew as high as the cedars in Lebanon, and many childish stories still more ridiculous than those : he, however, thinks their testimony is not deftitute of weight, when it is conformable to that of several judicious and respectable writers. Now this is the case, when there doctors celebrate the fertility of the plains of Joppa, Jamnia, Sarone, Jezreel, and of Galilee

« PreviousContinue »