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that may be made in the polypous excrescences that are formed
-Observations on some Parts of Germany, in the Roman Catholic
neither uninstructive nor unentertaining; yet they would
We fhall not follow our travellers any farther, but terminate this article by an account of the fix letters of the famous Leibnitz to Father Orban. This learned Jesuit was confessor to the Elector of Bavaria; he adorned the college of his society, in the university of Ingolstadt, with rich donations in medals, manuscripts, pictures, machines, books, antiquities, Chinese dreffes, furniture, and curiofities. The Profeffor Gabler permitted our travellers to copy the letters that Leibnitz wrote to. this learned Jesuit, and even consented to their publication,
In the first of these letters, dated 1705, Leibnitz communicates to Father Orban his binary arithmetic, wherein all numbers are expressed by i and o, and by which the mystery of the characters of Fohi, the ancient king and philosopher of China, may be easily explained. Father Bouvet, a missionary in that empire, who also corresponded with Leibnitz, availed himself of this discovery to explain to the Chinese literati the possibility of a creation from nothing, and to engage them to receive that doctrine,
In the second' letter, which is dated in 1912, and treats particularly concerning burning glasses, we learn that a mechanist had brought to Berlin a concave mirrour made of wood, and covered or lined with leaves of polished gold, which reduced metals to fufion in a little time, and which might be employed to light a candle in the fame apartment by placing in its focus a burning coal, and blowing it briskly.
In the third letter, which bears the same date with the preceding, the German philosopher appears in another point of view. At the recommendation of one of the Dukes of Brunswic (Anthony Ulric), he had obtained from the Emperor the dig. nity of Imperial Aulic Counsellor ; but he confesses to Father Orban, that this bare title without any appointments was to him a matter of indifference; and he solicits the Jesuit to employ his credit, if not with the Emperor, at least with his confeffor, to render this honour profitable. The terms in which this solicitation is expreffed do little honour to Leibnitz. He desires Father Orban, to write a lettter which may be shewn to the Emperor, and may let him know, that he, Leibnitz, is the friend of Father Orban, and of the society (the company of Jesus), that he is esteemed by Cardinal Ptolomei, that he had been high in favour with the late Queen of Prussia, and was still on the same footing with the Princess her mother ; that the Elector of Hanover, and the King of Prussia, not only employed him as a man of letters, but also as a man of business, and that he might be of great use to his Imperial Majesty with respect to the administration of justice, the improvement of historical knowledge, and the advancement of the sciences. All this was true, but it was little.
In the fourth letter he offers Father Orban, for the Elector Palatine, a complete copy of the Florentine edicts or diplomas, by which it appears, that the Emperor Charles V. out of his mere favour and Imperial authority, placed Alexander and Cosmo de Medicis at the head of the Republic of Florence, and extended that grant to all their male descendants; and that the Emperor always treated the Florentines as subjects of the empire. — The two following letters, dated in the years 1715 and 17:6, are relative to the political affairs of the times.
X. Ocuvres Complettes de M. Le Febure, &c.—The whole Works of M.
Le FEBURE, Major of the Corps of Engineers of Pruflia, and Ora
2 Vols. 4to.
practical science for those necessary plagues in human fociety, the licensed slaughterers of their fellow-creatures. M. Le Febure is a learned, ingenious, and experienced officer : and as we have not a great number of books of merit upon the subjects that are treated in these volumes, they will be undoubtedly an acceptable present to the public, at a cime when attack and defence are likely to be carried on with vigour,
A Treatise on the Attack and Defence of Places takes up the first volume of the work before us. It is divided into two parts : in the first our Author describes all the operations of the besiegers and the besieged, day by day, from the investing of an ordinary fortified town to its surrender, and confirms all he says on this complicated subject by examples taken from the war of 1741. In the second he treats successively of all the particular works of fortification that are to be met with in the strongest places and the most complete systems, and thews the best manner of attacking and defending them. To his dreadful instructions on this subject, he has subjoined the trials of Belidor's globe of compression, one of which was made at Potsdam in 1754, in the presence of the king of Prussia. It is from that monarch's letter of congratulation to the inventor, that our Author has taken a part of this interesting relation. .
After thewing the respective advantages and defects, that are discernible in the different works of a strong place, M. Le FEBURE proposes some new methods of fortification, which do honour to his sagacity and knowledge in his profeflion ; and he concludes his first volume by a very curious account of the operations of the Pruffian army in the attack of Schweidnitz in the year 1762, at which he was present. He acknowledges, with candour, the faults the Pruffians committed in that fiege, which continued above two months, though an hundred pieces of battering cannon were daily mounted against the town.Nothing is wanting to render this relation complete ; and noihing can be more accurate than the numerous plans that are given to i luftrate it.
The second volume contains a Treatise concerning Mines, several pieces and letters relative to the trials of the globe of compression, -A new Treatise on Levelling, dedicated to the king of Prussia, and accompanied with seven plates,- An Ejay on the Manner of composing Topographical Charts, to which are subjoined
two maps composed on the principles of M. Le Febure, the one representing the Eastern part of North-America, and the other the course of the river of St. Lawrence, both bearing date in the year 1762.
There are notes interspersed in several parts of these volumes, and these notes contain, almost always, acute observations or curious anecdotes.-In one of these he observes, that the French, though they are furnished with good engineers, and have acquired reputation by their sieges, are nevertheless remarkable for their blunders in reconnoitring the works of fortified towns. In 1745, at the fiege of Oltend, they did not discern the fort La Plume until the balls from it were pelting them in their trenches; this fort was not even marked in their plan.--But the anecdote relating to Lowendhal at the fiege of Bergen-op-zoom is still more curious, and we shall give it in our Author's own words. • When this general, says he, went, at the head of the principal officers of the artillery, to reconnoitre Bergen-op-zoom, they all thought that they pera ceived distinctly formidable horn-works, just such as were drawn or engraven in their plans of the place. While they were in this illusion, I was bufied in effacing these horn-works in my plan, with a person (N. B.) who held a considerable rank in the city, and had left it fome days before. This man began by telling me (M. Le Febure was then in the French service), that the fortification of the town had been constructed upon a plan entirely new at the beginning of the present century. I drew, in consequence of his information, a new plan, in which all the works were exhibited circumstantially, and specified with all the precision possible at such a time. But in order to be still more fully assured of the truth of the information I had received from this man, I went with my plan as near the town as was possible, and perceived by the observation of several parts of the works the truth of what he had told me. I then presented my plan to Count Lowendhal, who began by looking for the horn-works, which they had perceived in the morning, and not finding it, asked me the reason of this omiflion. I ventured to tell them they had been mistaken, and that there was no horn-work among the fortifications of the town. They told me, that in the ride they had taken, in order to reconnoitre the place, they had perceived distinctly a horn-work near the Antwerp gate. I began to reply, when Count Lowendhal stopped my mouth by saying in a high tone, Well, well, for, whatever it be, be it a toad, or be it a frog, it must spring. It was not until the day after, at the opening of the trenches, that they discovered their error.'
Some of the treatises contained in these volumes have been before published, but were become extremely scarce. They
are all now collected here, and accompanied with new pieces, and thirty-three plates engraved in a masterly manner.
ART. Memoires concernant l'Histoire, les Sciences, les Arts, les Maurs, les
Ulages, &c. des Chinois.- Memoirs concerning the History, Science, Arts, Manners, and Customs of the Chinese. By the Missionaries of Pekin. Vol. IV*. 4to.
Price 12 Livres bound. Paris, 1779 HIS new volume, which is by far more interesting than
the preceding part of the work, contains seven articles, whose contents are curious and instructive: First, an ample account of the ancient and modern doctrine of the Chinese, relative to filial affection, which constitutes the bafis cf their morals and government. Secondly, a memoir or essay on the interest of money in China. Thirdly, a summary of the opinions and notions of the Chinese concerning the small-pox. Fourthly, an account of the Chinese book, called Si-yuer, which contains the method of proceeding used by the ministers of justice to find out murder, and to judge of its causes by the inspection of the dead body. Fifthly, an account of the medical proceedings and the method of healing, employed by the bonzes of Tao-fee. Sixthly, observations relative to Natural Philosophy and Natural History, made by the emperor Kang-hi. Seventhly, a miscellaneous enumeration of several customs and practices observed among the Chinese, lists of animals, &c.
On the first of these articles, the learned missionary has collected all the materials that can contribute to convey a juft idea of filial affection, or (as he calls it) filial piety, among the Chia nere. The historians, philosophers, and poets, are ransacked for this purpose ;-translations and extracts from ancient books present this virtue in all its aspects, fruits, and consequences; and among other things, as the support and bulwark of the Chinese empire, during the long course of thirty-five centuries.-Among thele extracts a particular attention is due to those that are here made from the maxims of Li-ki, which are, generally speaking, excellent, and sometimes sublime. The Li-ki is only the fourth book of the King ; but it contains the most authentic accounts we have of the government, religion, Jaws, manners, and customs, of the ancient inbabitants of China, and it is an excellent commentary on the other books of King, of which it confirms the testimony, illustrates the rela. tions, and clears up the obscurities. It is much to be lamented, that this valuable work of Confucius has not been preserved in
* For an account of the third volume, See Review, Vol. lix. page 521. Appendix.