Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

has hitherto produced. The learned editor Bodoni has, with no common erudition, written "An Essay on the Life, Character, and Death of Anacreon, his Writings, and the Age in which he lived." An equally beautiful edition of "Hefiod" has iffued from the fame prefs, with the excellent Latin verfion of Abbé Zamagna. The Italians, and the learned world in general, are indebted for both to the royal munificence of the arch-duke Ferdinand.

The Abbé Seraffi has published "A Life of Taffo," of which the Italian reviewers fpeak in high terms. "The Phaoniad,” a tranflation of new found hymns and odes of Sappho, from Greek into Italian verfe, has appeared at Naples without a date; the probabilities are, that they are fpurious. M. Offur, one of the literati of Petersburgh, on board a Ruffian veffel in the Egean Sea, arrived at the ancient Leucata, whence, from the top of a rock, the unhappy Sappho is faid to have caft herself. M. Offur was defirous to obferve if any remains of the famous Leucadian Temple of Apollo ftill exifted; his curiofity was completely fatisfied. Among other monuments, he found a fragment with an ancient infcription, importing that Sappho had been buried there. Defirous of farther discoveries, he caufed excavations to be made in the environs, where he had the happiness to find a hollow stone, in which papers were enclofed containing the verses of the prefent tranflation. This appears very apochryphal, yet fuppofes a confiderable fund of Greek erudition in the impoftor, and a refined taste. He pretends the original Greek is now at Petersburgh, among the papers of the late M. Offur, recently dead; the learned would be glad

lished a short work on "Cofmography, and the prefent flate of the World," (meant as a profpectus to an intended large one) which he has executed with method, learning, and intelligence. The Abbé Curiazio, member of the Royal A cademy of Naples, has published a "Memoir on Mulberry Trees and Silk Worms," very ufeful to all concerned in the culture of thofe objects, because the obfervations are made in a country where this culture has been brought to the higheft perfection; it is printed at Rome. The first volume of "Let ters on Meteorology" have been published by Abbé Cavalli at Rome, which form the first part of a complete elementary treatise on that Icience, with directions how to choose the best inftruments, and make obfervations leaft liable to error. At the fame city, the Abbé Marini has published "The Ancient Inferiptions of the Palaces and Country Houses of the Albani Family," with notes; which is faid to be one of the most curious in its kind that has ever appeared, "An Eulogy in honour of Captain Cook," read before the Royal Academy at Florence, has appeared at that city; the author is M. Gianetti. At Faenza, M. Zaccaria has republished, in two volumes, the "Diflertations Sacred and Profane,' ," of the learned Florentine antiquarian, P. Lupi; whofe character is well known. At Florence the fecond volume "On Navigation Laws" has appeared, and the impatience with which those who had read the first waited for this work, is a prefage of its merit and fuccefs. A beautiful edition of "Anacreon, with a Latin verfion, has been given from the royal prefs at Parma, aud is faid to equal any thing which the typographical art

glad they were made public. The fecond and last volume of M. Pagano's Political Eflays" have appeared at Naples, and difcover confiderable acutenefs and knowledge; but perhaps not fufficient attention to the liberties of mankind, which writers on fuch fubjects ought, but dare not always pay.

M. D'Iturriaga having been attacked for dishonouring himfelf, his country, and all mankind, by writing against religious tolerance, has been weak enough to defend himfelf and doctrine, in a new pamphlet iffued from Rome; the original caufe of which was, the celebrated circular letter in favour of toleration by the bishop of Konigfgratz.

The twelfth and laft volume of "The Florentine Law Decifions," have appeared; a work in high eftimation among the Italian lawyers. Dr. Paolini has published at Floence a "Treatife on the Legitimate Freedom of Commerce," written with the best views, and in a fimple and clear ftyle.

M. Seftini, beforementioned, has alfo written "Letters of a Voyage in the Levant, and along the Coast of Afia, oppofite Conftantinople." They contain many curious particulars, more especially a defcription of Mount Clympus, in the 'neighbourhood of Bruffa, a celebrated town of Bythinia. At Colle, in Tufcany, "Memoirs of the Life of Metaftafio, and a Eulogy on Jomelli," by M. Matti, have appeared, which have every appear ance of being a faithful relation of facts. The eulogy contains a hiftorical parallel of the progrefs of theatrical music and poetry. P. Biagi has publifhed two learned works, the one on "Grecian Remains," and the other on "Athenian Decrees," both extracted from the celebrated mufeum of the Na

ni family at Venice, which difplay deep erudition, and elucidate the manners of the ancient Greeks. They are both printed at Rome. The work on "Tufcan Antiquities," is continued at Florence, where volumes XX. and XXI. have lately appeared. P. Ildephonfa is indefatigable in his refearches, and by his knowledge and induftry throws light on fubjects that to perfons lefs erudite would be totally inexplicable. The Abbé Zendrini has printed at Venice, "Reflections on the Origin of the Hebrew Language," tending to prove it was not the language of Adam, but of the Egyptians, in whose country the defcendants of jacob remained four hundred years. At Reme a courfe of philofophy, under the title of "Philofophic Differtations," by the Abbé Lafcaris, is publifhing, the firft and fecond volumes have appeared. The celebrated Abbe Giordani has publifhed "Memoirs of Alexander Sforza," well authenticated, and curious; they are printed at Pefora. Abbé Carli, fecretary of the Royal Society of Mantua, has written two differtations, the one on the "Argonaut Expedition," and the other on "an Antique Baffo Reliero, reprefenting the Medea of Euripides," preferved in the Academy's mufeum. The fourth volume, containing the "Baffo Relievos of the Museum of the Capitol at Rome," has appeared, and is one of the moit magnificent works of the age, for which antiquaries, artists, and cons noiffeurs, have been impatiently waiting thefe thirty years.

From Italian literature, we muft now proceed to the French, which we fhall pafs over as briefly as poffible. Our want of room will not fuffer us to pay all the attention to the numerous works that kingdom

dom has produced which thofe works might merit. The Abbé Proyart has written the "Hiftory of Staniflaus, I. King of Poland." His materials are faid to be good, his ftyle timple and clear; but, from the extracts we have feen, we are mistaken if there is not a fpirit of bigotry in the work, that will prevent its obtaining any great rank in the world of literature. The "Aerollatie Experiments and Memoirs of M. Faujas de Saint Fond," are many of them curious. The enquiries fince the first afcent of balloons, made by the learned, to find if fome fuch experiments or invention had never before taken place, have led to various difcoveries. Among the rest we fhall extract the following as curious in its kind. The experiments made at Lisbon with the Montgolfier-balloon, incited the literati of Portugal to make numerous refearches on the fubject in confequence of which they pretend that the honour of the invention is due to Portugal. They fay that in 1720 a Brazilian Jefuit, named Bartholomew Gufmao, poffeffed of abilities, imagination, and addrefs, by permiffion of John V. fabricated a balloon in a place contiguous to the royal palace, and one day, in prefence of their majefties and an immenfe croud of fpectators, raifed himself, by means of fire lighted in the machine, as high as the cornice of the building; but through the negligence and want of experience of thofe who held the cords, the machine took an oblique direction, and, touching the cornice, burft and fell. The balloon was in the form of a bird with a tail and wings. The inventor propofed to make new experiments, but chagrined at the railleries of the common people, who called him wize

zard, and terrified by the inquifi tion, he took the advice of his friends, burnt his manufcripts, difguifed himself, and fled to Spain, where he foon after died in a hofpital. They added, that feveral learned men, French and English, who had been to Lifbon to verify the fact, had made enquiries in the Carmelite monaftery, where Gusmao had a brother, who had preferved fome of his manufcripts, on the manner of conftructing aeroftatic machines. Various living perfons affirm, they were prefent at the Jefuit's experiment, and that he received the furname of Voader, or the flying man. "The Works of Du Val, Keeper of the Imperial Cabinet of Medals, with his Life and Letters," will invite but few people to read them, who fuppofe that they only treat on medals and antiquities; but the man himself was fo extraordinary, though fo little known, that we imagine his memoirs may pleafe all readers. He was the fon of a poor day-labourer, an orphan at ten years of age, and, for want of work, obliged to leave his country at fourteen. The hardships he underwent to procure food, and acquire knowledge,; were truly aftonifling. He was at laft, however, fo far rewarded, as. to be protected by, and live in the court of the emperor, at Vienna, with whom he was on terms of the utmoft familiarity; yet fo little was he dazzled or delighted by the fplendor of a palace, that one day when the archducheffes paffed by him, their brother, the emperor, afked Du Val if he knew thofe la dies; to which he with naiveté anfwered, No. I am not furprifed you do not, replied the prince, my lif ters are not antiques. His life contains a thousand astonishing and curious particulars. A fmall

A fmall mythological work has been published at Paris, written by M. de Landine, entitled "The Hell of the Ancients, or, A Hiftory of their Infernal Deities, &c." The apologues and tales of the Abbé Blanchet are known in England, by the beft of them having been already tranflated; they are entitled "Tales, Anecdotes, Apologues, &c." M. Savary's "Letters on Egypt," are now completed in three volumes; they have had the greatest fuccefs in France, which they juftly deferved. The author's knowledge of ancient literature, aided by his travels into the country he defcribes, make his work truly valuable; "The Memoirs of the famous Baron de Tott" have fcarcely found more readers in France, than "The Letters on Egypt." The academic collection of "Select Memoirs of the most celebrated Societies in Europe," printed at Paris, is ftill continued; the VII. VIII. and IXth volumes have appeared. M. Berrenger has given a continuation of his "Letters on Provence;" they are de fcriptive of this part of France and its natural productions. The IIId. and IVth volumes of M. Muftel's "Treatife on the Theory and Practice of Vegetation," are pubfifhed at Rouen and Paris; the work is highly efteemed, and the author's knowledge of agriculture and gardening, have obtained him the refpect of Europe.

The "Philofophic and literary Mifcellanies" of counfellor Gin are the work rather of a labori ous man than a man of genius. France abounds in periodical works at prefent a univerfal collection of memoirs particularly relative to the history of France are coming out monthly at Paris. The French journalists praise the

editors highly for their care, judgment and tafte in the felection.

"Letters on France, England and Italy, by Count H. Chamberlain to his Imperial Majefty," appear from the extracts we have feen, to be written with considerable taste and intelligence. They are published at Geneva and Leige. The Abbé Brizard has given a fmall tract on the love of Henry IV. for literature. It had ufually been fuppofed this favourite mon arch of the French was but little addicted to letters. The Abbé, jealous of the glory of the good king, has endeavoured to rescue his memory from the wrong which he conceives done to it by this opinion. The first, fecond, and third volumes of a historical effay on the Teutonic order of knighthood have appeared at Paris, and contain a fund of hiftorical knowledge, and a multiplicity of interrefting facts but little known. The fecond part of the Memoirs of the academy of Dijon, for the year 1783 contains many valuable mcmoirs. "The Life of Andrea Doria," written by M. Richer, is interefting from its fubject. fame author has written the lives of John Bart, Cornelius Van Tromp, Duguay Trouin, and De Forbin. The famous Marmontel has given the world his "Memoir on Languages," read before the French a. cademy, where it met all the applaufe an author of fuch etablished fame had reafon to expect. We cannot, however, forbear faying, the learn. ed fecretary fucceeds much better when analyzing his own language than thofe of foreign nations; the English efpecially, concerning which we dare affirm he is frequently erroneous. Meffieurs de la Chau and la Blond have prefented the connoiffeurs with their fe cond

printed at Palma, in the island of Majorca. The above are the publications come to our knowledge, befides which there is a "Periodical Journal" published at Madrid monthly, containing meteorolo gical, medical, and chirurgical obfervations; an account of what paffes in the royal academy of Madrid; thefes and other fcholaftic exercises of the universities; a defcription of the feftivals, religious and others; extracts of royal edicts; a lift of theatrical exhibitiens; accounts of fires, new buildings, and other temporary matters; together with a lift of new publications, but without any character of them whatever : fuch are the contents of this journal.


by Don Sempere, contains, as far as it goes, a good account of Spanifh authors and their progrefs in the arts and fciences. "Rudiments of Naval Tactics," by Don Salazar. The Poems of Don Valdez;" "A Volume of New Comedies;' "A Collection of Chronicles, or Memoirs on Spanish Hiftory," many of them from fearce MSS. "Odes" by Leon D'Arroixal. All the above are publifhed at Madrid. "Political, Military, and Moral Inftructions," by Don Copons, printed at Murcia. "A Tract on the Art of making Wine," by Don Jofeph Navaro, Barcelona; "Difcourfes read before the Royal Society of Oviedo," Madrid. "Memoirs of the economical Royal Society of Majorca,"


« PreviousContinue »