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• Now, as I can truly aver, that I have neither retailed,
new-modelled, nor made the labours of my predecessors on this subject the ground-work of mine ; but proceeded as if
no such books had been extant, and I myself had been the « first who wrote on the subject, I leave it to the determina• tion of any competent judge, whether my Geography can admit of any improvement from the labours of former Geo
graphers ? At least when I compared their works with the • description which I had finished, I found nothing to add, ' which was either necessary, or useful to be known. And
if they happen to mention fome circumstances, about which
my helps were filent, I have scrupled to admit such parti'culars into my account, and, I think, with reason reserved them for a future enquiry. This I look upon as the only
means to bring Geography to a greater degree of perfection « than it has hitherto acquired ; and I hope the learned will
allow, that by this method I have laid a good foundation 6 for it.
In describing the various countries in the known world, • I observe the following method. In the first place, I treat
of their polity or civil constitution, in an authentic and concise manner, with impartiality and circumspection. I have, with regard to the constitution or form of government of several countries, had the good fortune, hitherto to
procure important and authentic accounts, and such as · rarely fall into the hands of the learned. Those who are
competent judges of such matters; will find them scattered 6. with no sparing hand in the first volume. I have candidly
pointed out all the advantages which every country en
joys, or at least, such as have come to my knowlege; and • there is not a fingle country on the globe which cannot boast < of some peculiar advantages. I wholly avoid giving the
characters of nations, it being not only a very difficult task
in itself, but such general characters are also, at best, un• certain, and for the most part ill-grounded and partial,
As the extending and increasing of commerce is now one of the principal objects which most nations have in view, I have given an exact account of the present state of trade in
those countries where it flourishes most. The reader will < find this article, with regard to the northern countries, accurately described in the first volume.
• Next to the general account of the polity of states and • kingdoms, follows the particular geographical description of every country, in which I lay down the usual political di
visions into greater and smaller districts as the basis of it, in• cluding, at the same time, the ecclesiastical polity of every ' country. I do not designedly omit one natural or artificial 6 curiosity that deserves notice in any place which I have • described : but touch on it at least, if I cannot give a cir• cumstantial account of it. The principal cities and towns • in every country I describe according to the ichnographi• cal plans we have of them, and that pretty largely, as they • contain several things worthy notice.--I have set down
the probable number of inhabitants in several countries and great cities, or inserted an account of their births and bus
rials from the annual bills of mortality; but this could not • be done for all. In describing others, I have also shewn • how the names of places are properly pronounced: a neces.
fary information in a system of Geography ; but this I • cannot pretend to have done in all in a satisfactory man,
Upon the whole, I must observe, that it is not pof, • fible to describe every country with equal accuracy and • authenticity; the same helps, and vouchers of equal cre• dit, cannot be procured for them all. My descriptions,
however, will be found tolerably uniform and of a piece, . in proportion to the extent and importance of the countries • described ; and what is still wanting in my account of se“ veral places may possibly be supplied hereafter.
« To write a system of GEOGRAPHY, or, in other words, to give a description of the earth, is a very difficult, laborious, and important task, and requires the united efforts
of whole societies : what an arduous undertaking must it • then be for a single person? I doubt, whether any one has • bestowed more pains on the subject, or treated it with
greater application and more unwearied diligence than my: < self; and this is the only merit I assume. Whoever ex
pects a perfect work of this kind, does not understand « wherein the perfection of it consists. Those who are com
petent judges of the subject, will consider whether the whole performance is good in its kind; for errors in some
particulars are unavoidable, when we treat of a subject that « admits of gradual improvement. I hope I may, without
vanity, call my System of Geography new and more per"feet than any book of the kind yet published; but I do not ' pretend to impose it on the public as a work absolutely per"fect in itself, being well apprized, that a great number of " additions and corrections are requisite to render it sạch, and consequently that it falls far short of perfection.' I 4
The preface, from which this extract is taken, is followed by three curious essays, never before published, as far as we know; containing enquiries and conjectures concerning measures of length; concerning the spheroid-figure of the earth, with tables serving to compare observations relating thereto ; and concerning the best form of a geographical map. The public is indebted for these essays, we are told, to the reverend and learned Mr. Murdoch.
To the essays succeeds a short discourse concerning the utility of Geography, wherein Mr. Busching chiefly considers it as serving to promote the knowlege of the great Creator and preserver of all things. And here he takes occasion to recommend to all instructors of youth, what it is greatly to be wifned they would carefully attend to, viz. to labour to inspire their pupils, while they are describing to them the various kingdoms, states, and cities of the world, with an awful conception of that transcendently glorious and infinitely wise Being, of whose immense domain this earth constitutes so inconsiderable a part, and to whom Princes, Kings, and Emperors are all subject.
The reader is presented, in the next place, with an Introduction to Geography, in the first chapter of which M. Busching gives a short account of the origin and improvement of maps, and the most considerable Geographers, both antient and modern. Mathematical geography is the subject of the second chapter; and here the author gives a short but clear view of the principal things that have been advanced by the best modern writers in relation to the figure, magnitude, and situation of the earth, with a variety of particulars relative to the study of Geography, which are to be met with in almost every book upon the subject. To the third chapter he gives the title of Phyfical Geography; and here he confiders the properties of the surrounding atmosphere; treats briefly of those general classes of kingdoms, into which natural Philosophers divide the external and internal produce of the earth; and makes some obfervations concerning the number of men that may be living at the same time, and the proportion between the yearly births and burials.
Our Author now proceeds to his description of the several European States, and begins with the northern kingdoms, his account of which is by far the most copious, distinct, and satisfactory of any that we are acquainted with. He appears, indeed, through the whole of his work, to be ex
tremely tremely well qualified for the task he has undertaken; his manner of writing is grave and fimple; Kis style perfpicuous and manly; his method juft and accurate. In his choice of the sources from whence he draws his accounts, and likewise in his use of them, he proceeds with great caution and deliberation ; in a word, the reader every where meets with clear proofs of sound judgment and unremitting assiduity; so that we hazard nothing in affirming that his System of Geography is by far the most judicious and accurate that has yet been published.
Before we conclude this article, it is necessary to acquaint our readers, that Mr. Busching has here given us only a description of the European States; we are credibly informed, however, that he intends a compleat System, and that he has made a very considerable progress in the remaining part of his work. In our next number, we shall present our readers with some extracts, which we hope will be agreeable to them, and serve to convey a more adequate idea of this laborious undertaking
The Theory and Practice of Brewing, by Michael Combrune,
Brewer. Printed with Permission of the Master, Wardens, and Court of Alifants of the Worshipful Company of Brewers. 4to. ios. 6 d. sewed. Dodsley, &c.
N Essay on Brewing, by the Author of this treatise, was
noticed in our Review, vol. XX. p. 277. where the total omission of practical rules for brewing was mentioned. In the present work these are supplied; the former essay composing the first part of it under the title of The Theory: to which is now added a second, containing, The Practice of Brewing.
Mr. Combrune's observations on the uncertain exercise of this useful art, evince his intimate knowlege of it.
“ The difference, says he, that appears in the several processes of brewing, though executed with the same materials, by the same persons, and to the same intent, is generally acknowledged. The uneasiness this must occasion to those, who are charged with the directive part of the business, cannot be smalì : and the more desirous they are of well executing the charge incumbent on them, the greater is their disappointment, when frustrated in their hopes. To remove this uncertainty, no method seems preferable to that of experiment, as it is that alone, which can establish this, and any other art, upon a solid foundation. But those, who have the court age, and grudge neither time nor expence, to multiply and to vary their trials, too often acquire the name of idle refiners, and, what is worse, too frequently deserve it. The operations of nature elude superficial enquiries. Where we have few or no principles for our guides, many experiments are made, which tend only to confound or deceive. Effects seen, without a fufficient knowlege of their causes, must often be neglected or viewed in an improper light; those that are remembered are feldom faithfully reported, and, for want of distinguishing the several circumstances that attend them, become the support of old prejudices, or the foundation of new ones.
“ Whoever is attentive to the practical part of brewing will soon be convinced, that heat, or fire, is the principal agent therein, as this element used in a greater ar less degree, and differently applied, is the occasion of the greatest part of the variety we perceive. 'Tis but few years since the thermometer has been found to be an instrument sufficiently accurate for any purposes, where the measure of heat is required. And as it is the only one, with which we are enabled to examine the processes of brewing, and to account for the difference in the effects, a theory of the art founded on practice must be of later date that it."
This may be very true, but it is feared that in brewhoufes where any considerable business is carried on, the introduction of a thermometer to regulate every transaction, will be considered rather as an impediment to their operations, than as the means of affifting and forwarding them.
The principles of the sciences are permanent; and no advances in them are valid, farther than they are warranted by positive data, and established rules. Here, and here only, truth is visible to conviction. The beauty and advantage of proceeding upon certainty, incline the ingenious, to establish the processes of mechanic arts from principles as positive as those of science. But these processes are liable to fuch infinite variations from contingent circumstances, and none more so than those of the Brewery, that no general rules can be universally applicable to them; and particular ones will be too numerous for retention, and for application, confistent with proper dispatch of business. Men impresled with that continual folicitude, in which extensive dealings necessarily involve them, feldom have time or disposition of mind to acquire literary knowlege: but with good natural