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Earl of Hardwicke. But these I forbear to exhibit till I may be furnished, as I hope to be, with materials for refuting such charges, that the ancidose may attend the poison of malignity, and that I may be able to represent the good qualities of this truly great man without impurity or alloy.'
The APPENDIX, ( containing Proofs, Quotations, and Exfracts, from books and papers relative to and illustrating the ESAY,') will agreeably entertain the reader, by the variety of the quotations from the writings of eminent persons, who fourithed in the latter end of the last, and in the beginning of the present, century.
Art. XVII. Ofervations and Remarks in a Journey through Sicily
and Calabria, in the Year 1791: with a Postscript, containing some Account of the Ceremonies of the latt Holy Week at Rome, and of a fhore Excursion to Tivoli. By the Rev. Brian Hill, A.M. late of Queen's College, Oxford, and Chaplain to the Eari of Leven and Melvill. 8vo.
Boards. Stockdale. 1792. TOTWITHSTANDING the almost innumerable travels, already
published, descriptive of Italy and Sicily, every new writer, endowed with the spirit of observation, proves that the subject is not exhausted. The variable state of those countries, ariling from circumstances in some measure peculiar to themselves,we mean the tremendous earthquakes, by which they are so often agitated, --continually affords matter for new descriptions and new reflections. The recent effects of these dreadful convulsions of nature in Sicily and Calabria are well painted by Mr. Hill; who, we think, has delineated the characteristic features, both physical and moral, of those interesting courtries, as successfully as any preceding traveller. As the gloss of novelty, however, is considerably worn off from the merely descriptive part of the work, we fall insert, as a specimen of Mr. Hill's easy and agreeable manner of writing, part of a letter from Catania, which will probably appear very interesting to many of our readers :
• Mr. Brydone, in the history which he gives of this wonderful mountain, (Atna) infinuates, tbarit is of much greater antiquity than the world itself, according to the Mosaic account. As a proof of this bold conjecture, he obterves, vol. i. p. 124, 125, chat a Itream of lava which flowed two thousand years ago, is “ as yet only covered with a very scanty vegetation;" and concluding that the vegetative process is always similar, dates the age of the mountain according to the various strata of lava and soil that have been discovered. ear a vault (says he) which is now thirty feet below ground, and has probably been a burial place, there is a draw-well, Rev. JULY 1792.
where there are several strata of lavas, wish earth to a considerable thickness over the surface of each ftrarum. Recupero has made use of this as an argument to prove the great antiquity of the eruprions of his mountain : for if it requires two thouland years or upwards to form but a scanty loil on the surface of a lava, there must have been more than that space of time betwixt each of the eruptions which have formed these strata. But what fall we lay of a pit they funk near to laci of a great depth? They pierced through seven diftin&t lavas, one under the other, the furfaces of which were parallel, and most of them co-ered with a thick bed of rich earch. Now (says he) the erupcion which formed the lowest of these lavas, if we may be allowed to reason from analogy, must have flowed from the mountain at lealt fourteen thousand years ago."
“As I have a much greater veneration for the writings of Moses, confirmed by the testimony of the most ancient authors, of Chritt and his apolles, and of the whole body of the Jewish nation, than for the teltimony of one Sicilian author, plausible as his account may appear, I must beg leave to make a few observations against this supposed antiquity of the mighty Etna.
• In the first place, Mr. Brydone fupposes Signior Recupero, whom he calls “the historiographer of Erna,” a very competent judge of the circumstances above related, and seems to take upon truit the greater part of what that volcanic philosopher has thought proper to advance. Admitting that gentleman to poffess a very confiderable snare of knowledge, we may yet hazard a conjecture in supposing that his observations have bee: chiefly confined to the regions of Erna, and in that case he mighs possibly mistake other dark ftrata, in the well at laci, of whose nature he was unacquainted, for those of lava *. However, without calling in question either the veracity or the knowledge of the canonic Recupero, Mr. Brydone himself furnithes sufficient matter to refute his own hypothesis. “ Our landlord at Nicolosi, (says he) gave us an account of the fingular fate of the beautiful country near Hybla, at no great distance from herce. It was so celebrated for its fertility, and particularly for its honey, that it was called Mel Pasi, till it was over. whelmed by the lava of Eina; and having then become totally barren, its name was changed by a kind of pun to Mal Palli. In a second eruprion, by a shower of alhes from the mountain, it foon ree afjumed its ancient beauty and fertility, and for many years was called Bel Pafli.” How soon? I apprehend in a much shorter space than two thousand years ; and was Jaci appears to be as near the mountain as Bel Pasli, why may not some of the seven layers be fertilized by the same cause i Again, page 125, speaking of the progress of vegetation, he says, " This progress, I suppose, is oftes greatly accelerated by howers of alhes from the mountain, as I have
Near Viterbo there is a hill that seems to be composed of volcanic matter, though there are no other marks of any volcano in the neighbourhood. Indeed, the appearance of the hill itself, which is a low, long bank, is a fefficient proof that it was neither thrown up nor consists of lava run into that form.' 7
observed in some places the richest soil, to the depth of five or fix feet, and upwards; and still below that nothing but rocks of lava." Speaking of a convent of Benedictine monks, p. 147, he writes, " Their garden is the greatest curiosity: although it be formed on the rugged and barren surface of the lava, it has a variety and neatness feldom to be met with. The walks are broad and paved with finis, and the trees and hedges (which, by the bye, are in a bad taste, and cut into a number of ridiculous shapes) thrive ex. ceedingly. The whole foil must have been brought from a great distance, as the surface of this lava (only one hundred and fifty years old) is as hard and bare as a piece of iron.” Why might not foil have been brought to cover former lavas as well as this? When it is considered how extremely populous these parts were in former ages; it may be easily supposed, that the people would use their utmost industry to refertilize the lands which the lava overflowed. If such an event can happen in fo Mort a space, I see no reason for rejecting the Mofaic register of the world's age.
• But there is another objection yet unanswered, we read, p.189, 190, “ I observed, that this region of Etna, like the former, is composed of lava ; but this is now covered so deep with earth, that it is no where to be seen but in the beds of the torrents. In many of these it is worn down by the water to the depth of fifty or fixiy feet, and in one of them still considerably more. What an idea does not this give of the amazing antiquity of the eruptions of this mountain !" But is it extraordinary, that a country so rent as this is by repeated earthquakes, should abound with deep charms, through which the water would run as the most natural passage, without requiring ages to wear itself away? I did not particularly attend to this circumstance in my road, but I muit have crofied all the streams that flow between the mountain and the sea, and do not remember one deep charm all the way. There is indeed one considerable river that runs through a bed of very ancient lava, which evidently appears to have been worn by the attrition of the water, but it is by no means so deep as to require above ewo or 3000 years for the purpose. All these circumstances taken co ether, I shall remain an infidel to infidelity till stronger evidence against the writings of Moses be brought to light.'
This performance is written, throughout, with perspicuity, and is enlivened with such a portion of simple ornament as suits the epistolary style. Modesty, cheerfulness, philanthropy, and piety, characterize the reflections of this amiable and respectable writer.
ARI. XVIII. An Esay on Archery: describing the Practice of
that Art, in all Ages and Nations. By Walter Michael Moseley, Esq. 8vo. pp. 348. 75. Boards. Robson. 1792.
this writing age, almost every art has its historian. Are
chery, indeed, had not been neglected by the authors of former days; witness the Toxophilus of Ascham, as ancient
as the reign of Henry VIII ; Markham's Art of Archery, published in 1634 ; and Wood's Bowman's Glory, in 1682: but Mr. Moseley takes a far wider range than any of his predecessors; and his work displays learning and taste. It will prove highly acceptable to the antiquary, not useless to the historian, nor unentertaining to the general reader ;-while it cannot fail to delight those who excel in the ingenious art of which it treats.
The author considers his subject under the different heads of Bows, Arrows, Quivers, Butts and Targets, and Crofs-bows; and his account is illustrated by plates. As a specimen of the work, we shall insert part of his observations on arrows, be. cause they may be easily understood without having recourse to the plates.
· The fubftances from which Arrows have been fabricated, bave differed in almost every country. They were frequently made of reeds, as we may inser from the Latin word Arundo, signifying both an arrow and a reed.
• Pliny informs us, that this substance was in the highest request for the purpose we mention, and the Calamus, another species of seed, says he, haih overcome half the nations of the world, in battle.
• The tree called Cornus, was formerly much celebrated for ArJow-making, and also for the purpose of Bows, as was the Palmtice. But the Calamus, and particularly a fort growing anciently in a river called the Rhine *, was valued for its weight, and the teadiness with which it refilled the currents of wind in flying.-The ancient Scythians used Fir-tree, or Deal, as Strabo relates.
• The modern Arrows from India, are made of cane, which being of a species very fliff, and at the same time of very little weight, they fly with uncommon velocity from the Bow, and are capable of withlanding a levere blow from objects which oppose their motion.
The inhabitants of Guiana use cane for the making of Arrows, and aflix an head of tirm and sharp wood to them. We are told by Pancroft, that these people use Bows about five feet in length, and Arrows of about four feet, which are partly of a cane wiiboue knots. This cane part is usually about a yard long, and in the end of it is fixed a piece of hard wood, about twelve inches. This wood fome. times has a large gobular bead; but if the Arrow be intended to kill, the wood part is either formed into a sharp point, bearded with notches, or is armed with a piece of iron; which metal they ufe since the Europeans have visited the country t.
This siver was not the great Rhine of Germany, but a smaller ore of that name, rising in the Appenines, and howing near Bononia, and is therefore called by Pliny, in the above passage, “ Rbeoo Bononienfi amne.".
't The Arrows used by the inhabitants of Tunda inand, are made of seeds, pointed with hard wood; some of them are bearded; and those for killing birds have two, three, or sometimes four points,' Cooke's Voyage, 1772-1775, vol. ii. p. 82.
• I have
I have in my possesiion some of the kind here (poken of; and although they are of such prodigious length, (lume being more than five feer) they are nevertheless extremely light. I had the curiosity to weigh one of the canes, without the head part, it measured, four feet long, and was half an inch in diameter ihroughour, when it appeared to be only three quarters of an ounce in weight.
Ascham has enumerated fifteen forts of wood, of which Arrows were made in England at the time he lived, viz. “ Brazell, Turkiewoode, Fufticke, Sugerchefte, Hardbeame, Byrche, Ache, Oake, Serviftree, Aulder, Blachthorne, Beche, Elder, Afpe, Salow." Of these, Alpe and Ath were preferred to the reft ; the one for target hooting, the other for war.
• A liniple stick, without any alteration than pointing, was perhaps the first kind of Arrow used by mankind. The hard wood found in some climates was well calculated for the purpose, as it was capable of retaining its point, though forced with violence again it the firmeit bodies. But the use of stones appears to be one of the fiest inventions with respect to pointing, and there are many curious circumstances relating to this practice. The class of inele fubItances principally made use of in all nations, was the Siliceous--as common Flini, Jasper, Agare, &c.'
The reader will find much curious matter under the heads of poisoned arrows, divination by the arrow, fiery arrows, &c. and every good Englishman will peruse, with pleafure, the History of the English Long Bow. The work is agrecably written, easy, natural, and perspicuous; rich without verbofity, and elegant without affcctation.
Art. XIX. A Complete Theory of the Confirullion and Properties of
Vefsels, with practical Conclusions for the Minagement of Ships, made easy to Navigators. Translated from Théorie Complette de la Construction et de la Manæuvre des Vaisseaux, of the celebrated Leonard Euler, by Henry Watson, Liq. New Edition, with the Life of the Translator. 8vo. pp. 291, and Plates. 6s. Boards,
Sewell. 1790. HAVING already given our sentiments, in our 58th volume,
p. 83, of this valuable treatise, we shall here only lay before our readers a brief account of the life of the trandator.
Henry Watson was the son of a grazier ar Holbeach in Lincolnshire, where he was born, in or about the year 1737. When twelve or thirteen years old, he was sent to Gilberton school, where his genius for the mathematics foon made him remarkable: his progress in this study was quick; for, so early as in 1753, he made a conspicuous appearance as a mathematician in the Ladies' Diary. About this tiine, he was patronized by Mr. Whichcot of Harpfwell, one of the members in parliament for Lincolnshire, who procured his admillion into 2 3