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ableness of behaviour, without which beauty is merely as * painted clay,'
Such are our Authoress's sentiments respecting the qualities which slie wishes to fee predominant in her sex. Milton, in his immortal work, has said,
"Nothing lovelier can be found In woman, than to study household good." But the Ladies of the present day are of a different opinion. They are eager to establish their power in the world of letters, though not 10 rule in it with absolute sway. While, however, to a fondness for literature, they unite the domestic virtues which are so peculiarly graceful in the sex; such virtues, in short, as are discoverable in the ingenious writer * whose production is now before us, we will willingly allow them all they can demand :—May they be distinguished according to their wishes! In a word, may knowledge and virtue contend for empire in them. Thus shall they live respected, admired, and beloved by all!
The history of the progress of letters in France, from their origin until the sixteenth century, and which makes a considerable part of the present work, is at once both curious and interesting. To trace the developements and unfoldings of the human mind,—the gradual advances of a people from a state of barbarism to that of (comparatively speaking) elegance and refinement, is a task to. which the pen of few can be supposed equal. Mademoiselle de'Keralio, however, has acquitted herself in a manner that does her honour. In writing the eulogium of her country, and countrywomen, she unwi)|ingly presents ftus with her own. Her narrative is, for the most part, elegant, concise, and clear.
In giving an account of the language of the ancient Gauls, our Authoress proceeds, on the grounds of Hotoman, and others, in maintaining that it was undoubtedly the Greek. This opinion, which is particularly set forth by sundry writers, is very ably confuted by Pelloutier f in his Hijioire des Celtes; in which work he has likewise fully proved, that the old Celtic, or Gomerian, was the primitive, and, for a considerable (pace of time, the general language of Europe.
• A former publication was inscribed by Madlle de K. to her Father; the present is dedicated to her mother, and in a strain tlsat evinces the excellence of her head, and of her heart.
f As the Gauls are certainly known to have descended from the Celts, it is pity that Mad11' de K. did not take this very ingenious writer for her guide. He has further laboured to (hew, with wonderful accuracy and precision, that all the European nations came originally from the Celts.
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The remarks of Mademoiselle de Keralio on the literary essays of the fifteenth century, at which era the glimmerings of poJite literature may be properly said to have first appeared in F ranee, display an acuteness and talent for criticism, which arc rarely met with in her sex. Her inquiries, likewise, into the particular and comparative excellence of Heloise and Christina, the former pf whom was of the twelfth century, and the latter two hundred years posterior to it; together with the preference which (he very justly gives to the abilities of the wife of Abeilard, notwithstanding the remoteness of the times in which she lived, are so many proofs of the solidity of her judgment, and of the correctness and elegance of her taste.
This Work, which is presented to the public as a pile erected in honour of the genius of the women of France, is to be followed, we are told, by another in memory of the abilities of those of England and Italy. We with success to the ingenious and amiable Projector. Jk > "ft
Ar T. IX.
ftowveaux Memoires de V Academic Roy ale, Sec. i. e. New Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres at Berlin, for the Year 1784; together with the History of the Academy for that Year *. 410. 606 pages. Berlin. 1786.
History Of The Academy.
THIS' part of the volume before us opens with an eloquent discourse of M. Formey, in which that ancient Academician celebrates the eminent qualities of the late Monarch (then alive), and those of Messrs. Daniel Bernouilli, D'' Alembert^ and Euler. This is followed by the prize-questions proposed by the Academy, and the names of the persons to whom the prizes were adjudged.
The article of Astronomy contains extracts of letters received from several eminent men in that line, but no discovery of consequence. The medical, chemical, optical, and meteorological articles, together with the books, manuscripts, and machines, that were presented to the Academy in the year 1784., exhibit nothing either new or peculiarly interesting. Experimental Philosophy.
Mem. I. Experiments made with a View to discover the Proportion in which different Fluids are dilated by different and known Degrees of Heat. By M. Achard. The experiments related in this memoir are ingenious and satisfactory; their results are exhibited in several tables, with great precision and perspicuity.
The fluids that have been brought to trial in this series ofexoe
■' * .' —'—■—
* For our account ot the Berlin Memoirs, for 1783, fee Appendix to our 75 th volume,
riments, rlments, are mercury, distilled water, solutions of sal ammoniac, and decrepitated sea salt in distilled water; spirit of mindererus, the liquor of terra foliata tartari, aqueous spirit of sal ammoniac, caustic spirit of sal ammoniac, spirit of wine highly rectified, Hoffman's mineral anodyne drops, dulcified spirit of nitre, oil of vitriol, concentrated vinegar, saturated solutions of iron in nitrous and marine acids, a solution of mercury in the nitrous acid, saturated solutions of lead and zinc in the fame acid, a saturated solution of zinc in marine acid, saturated solutions of the regulus of antimony and cobalt in aqua regia; the vitriolic, nitrous, and marine ethers; the oils of wax, amber, turpentine, lavender, lemon*rind, anniseed, caraway, mint, olive, sweet almonds, &c.
Mem. II. Researches made in order to discover an exacl Method of measuring the relative Quantities of Phlogiston, contained in a given Sort of Air, so as that the Degrees of the Phlogiftication of the Air may be reduced, by that Method, to ju/l and numerical Proportions. By The Same. M. Achard has undertaken to prove, in this memoir, that none of the eudiometers, hitherto in use, are adapted to answer the purposes for which such instruments are designed. The errors which take place, when the degree of salubrity of any portion of air is measured by these instruments, are occasioned by the methods employed to phlogisticate the air which is to be examined. This our Academician endeavours to prove, by shewing the inconveniencies which attend the methods of phlogisticating the air, whose salubrity is to be ascertained by mixing it, in a certain proportion, with nitrous air, as has been done by Dr. Priestley and M. Fontana; or with inflammable air, which is the method of Voita, or with sulphur and filings of iron, which was practised by Scheele. According to our Author, the only way of obtaining a good eudiometer, or of determining with certainty the mephiticism of the air, is to find out a method of saturating it completely with phlogiston, without exposing it to any other alterations, independent on those which the phlogiston produces. M. Achard, after many fruitless attempts to discover such a method, found, at length, that Kunkel's phosphorus has all the qualities that arc requisite for that purpose. _ Its great inflammability, which surpasses, considerably, that of all other bodies, renders it capable of burning in the air, as long as the latter is not totally saturated with the phlogiston; and as this phosphorus contains, excepting the phlogiston, no principle that is volatile, and capable of combining itself with the air, or making it undergo any alteration, its combustion produces in the air no other changes than those which are derived immediately from its combination with the phlogiston, and are totally independent on any other cause.
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Mem. III. Estimate of the Salubrity of the Atmospherical Air, in different Places, within the compass of ib miles. By The Same. No subject in the sphere of natural philosophy is more important than the salubrity of the air. It has been proved by experiments, that the degree of its salubrity depends so much on the degree of its dephlogiflication, that these terms arc considered as synonymous. But, according to our Academician, the attention of philosophers has been too much confined to inquiries on the operations by which air, inclosed within narrow limits, is corrupted or meliorated; and as he thinks it of great consequence to the health of mankind, to extend these researches to the salubrity of the atmosphere, as far :s it depends on particular and local cicumstance.% this is the object which he proposes considering in the present Memoir.
A considerable number of intelligent persons offered their services in collecting the portions of air that were to furnish the materials for M. Achard's experiments; and all possible precautions (here circumstantially described) were used to prevent ambiguous or uncertain results. Air was collected in nineteen different places, eight days successively, and each day at three different and stated times; so that from each place 24 portions of air were obtained ; consequently, from the whole, 456 portions; the examination of which, by two eudiometers, tequired 912 different trials. The results of these trials are exhibited in an accurate and ample table, which facilitates the comparison to the reader.
From the eudiometrical trials of the air of different places, made with nitrous air, some in Summer, the others in Winter, our Academician has drawn a considerable number of interesting conclusions. The principal ones deducible from the trials made in the Summer-season are as follows: 1st, That there is an evident variation in the state of the salubrity of the air, in the same place, at different times:—2. That the hour of the day does not seem to have a particular and constant influence on the quality of the air j—that neither the weather, considered as dusky or clear, dry or ftioist, calm or windy, nor the warmth or different preisure of the atmosphere, seem to have any influence upon the degree of the salubrity of the air;—that, contrary 10 what is generally imagined, the air is the most salubrious in those places which are the most inhabited * ;—that, cteteris partbus,
* When it is considered, on the one hand, that the phlogiilication (and consequently the insalubrity) of the air, is occasioned by the respiration of animals, by the putrefaction of animal and vegetable substances, and by the combustion of bodies, and, on the other, that the air ij considerably meliorated by vegetation, as appears particularly from late discoveries, the results of M. Achard mud
bus, the air is less salubrious at a certain height, than it is when nearer to the surface of the earth;—and lastly, that in parity of other circumstances, the air is the least salubrious in the driest places. Here we have, at least, some novelties.
The results of the experiments made in Winter by our Academician, are, 1 If, That be the cold more or less intense, this difference has no influence on the qualities of the air in one and. the fame place, since the air is of the fame quality in a cold of 3 degrees above, and in one of 10 degrees below 0, and the variations which are perceived between the degrees of salubrity in the air, are in no fixed proportion to the variations of its temperature—2dly, That in Winter there is very little difference between the degrees of the phlogistication of the air in different places, and that this latter is nearly the fame in places where, in the Summer-season, it would exhibit very* considerable variations.—3dly, That in Winter the air is most salubrious in those places that are the least inhabited.—4thly, That in places that are inhabited, the air is not so good in Winter as in Summer, while in those that are uninhabited, or thinly peopled, it is much more salubrious in Winter than in Summer.
Such are the results of the eudiometrieal experiments made with nitrous air; those made with inflammable air led to results not only different from, but totally opposite to these; and the air, which by the former of these tests is proved the fittest, is by the latter pronounced the least fit, for respiration.—The question then is, to which of these eudiometers we are to give credit? M. Achard gives it to the former, and founds his conclusions on the trials made with nitrous air. The reason of this preference, which
at least surprize us. These considerations would naturally lead us to conclude, that in places the most inhabited the air would be the least salubrious, especially in Summer ;—that it would be the purest in those places which abounded most with plants and trees; and that in Winter it must he, generally speaking, purer than in. Summer, both in places inhabited and uninhabited,—in the former, because cold prevents putrefaction, and in the latter, because by the suspension of vegetation, one of the causes of the phlogistication of the atmoipherical air is removed.—Our Academician is aware of these difficulties, and has not disguised them; but they neither remove nor diminish the confidence he places in the multiplicity of his experiments, and the justness of the conclusions drawn from them. He seems to think that Nature has a method of dephlogisticating the atmosphere, which is- as yet totally unknown to us; and that this Operation always accompanies that by which the air charges itself with phlogiston. Several experiments have induced him to conjecture that this operation may be a resorption of the phlogiston, effected by the absorbing vessels of the skin of animals.—He, however, throws out this idea only as a conjecture.