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Wretched as the texture of this memoir undoubtedly is, it may not be altogether uninteresting to contemplate its errors, when we consider the place in which it appears. The thing which we have been looking at, is literally the only production on the science of political economy, which the National Institute has deeined worthy of a place in its moral and political volumes, for the last five years, if we except another tract, in the same ityle, and from the hand of the same master. To find such a performance standing fingle among the labours of that body which has succeeded to the academies of France, is indeed me lancholy; and evinces, either that the influence notoriously excrted by the government towards the encouragement of exploded errors in political economy, has extended to the first literary body on the continent, or that there do not exist within the circle of the Institute, the talents and the lights suficient to preserve in their purity the first principles of that science. Nay, it is quite enough that such a paper should be found at all in the Academy's publications. Its existence there, amply proves the degraded itate of political knowledge in the degenerate country of Quesnai, Turgot, and Condorcet. The National Institute, it must always be remembered, do nct, like our Royal Society, decline committing themselves, by giving their opinions as a body on the questions which come before them for discussion. Through the whole of their volumes, we meet with constant evidence, that what is given to the world under the name of their Transactions, contains, if not the opinions of the active members, at least nothing from which they would widely diffent. For proof of this, we refer particularly to the history of the clasles, in which the sentiments of those bodies are expressly stated upon a great variety of detailed points. Thus, their opinions upon the comparative merits of papers are distinctly given. Public events, remotely connected with science, are commented upon. The joy, for example, of the moral and political class, is warmly expressed in the volume now before us, upon the event of General Napoleon Bonaparte, a member of the mathematical class, having been elevated to the head of the governiment. The feelings of this body, upon fome tender subjecis, are also communicated to the world. The class was struck as with a thunderbolt, at the sudden death of the resident member Baudin; and though it will long retain its sorrow, some consolation has been received from the election of Citizen Bigot.' (p: 314.) Nor does the class seem infensible (a: o always as a body, be it remarked) to the tender eflusions of its abfent members. Notices are given of their affectionate letters. Thus, we are told that ' Ctizen Dupont, before letting out for America, wrote froin the retel in which he was to fail, a letter, filled with
expressions of the most touching sensibility, and ending with an attestation, that his last vows on leaving Europe were for the pro-, fperity of the Institute.' The attention of this boy is also, from time to time, directed towards the latter end of all things, if we may judge by no less than two reports of committees appointed to inquire into the proper form of funeral for the members. The Institute orders, that black crape shall be worn round. the left arm, and complains loudly of want of accommodation in the burial ground. In thort, the whole memoirs of this society at : : test, that the members act and think with a certain esprit de corpson and entitle us to conclude, that nothing is published in their volumes which is repugnant to the general opinions of the acting fellows. Had there been any belief in, or concern for the truths of political economy, among those who compose the moral and political class, nothing could have prevented the rejection of the paper which we have described to our readers, by a thort sketch of its contents. The conclusion is inevitable,-that this science is: gone down in the first circles of France. The application is obvious. Let it find a refuge in our free and enlightened country and may we be aflured that its progress will be in proportion to the attention, not the favour, with which every new work is received, and the impartiality with which all new doctrines are scrutinized, by whatever names they may be recommended, or with whatever confidence they may be advanced.
Art. XI. Voyage dans les quatre Principales Iles des Mers d'An frique, fait par ordre du Gouvernement, pendant les années neuf et dix de la Republique (1801 et 1802), avec l'Histoire de la Tra. versée du Capitaine Bandin, jusqu'au Port-Louis de l'Ile Maurice. Par J. B.G. M. Bory de St Vincent, Officier d'Etat Major; Naturaliste en chef sur la Corvette le Naturaliste, dans l'Expédition de Découvertes, commandée par le Capitaine Baudin. une collection de 58 Planches, grand en 4to, dessines sur les lieux par l'Auteur, et gravées en taille-douce. 3 tomes en 8vo.
A Paris. An XIII. (1804.) A TRAVELLER who compasses fea and land,' that he may
sleep on the top of a burning mountain, and finge his great coat on the brink of a crater, may be allowed to dispense with the ordinary formalities of writing. M. Bory, accordingly, takes an early opportunity of asserting his privilege, and boldly inverts the vulgar relationship of book and title-page. The customary, cilice of the latter, it is pretty generally known, is to announce
the subject of the former. But, in the present instance, by one of those fimple and beautiful expedients which bespeak true genius, he has contrived to render all the subsequent pages of the work subservient to the explanation of the first, and thus to keep alive the curiosity and attention of the reader to the very end of his performance. Ladies and country gentlemen have not the names of ' the four principal islands of the African seas' always ready at a call: and even we hoary critics, who recollect to have read in our gazetteers and other oracles of geographical intelligence, that Madagascar is one of the foresaid principal islands, have been fairly at fault in our conjectures concerning this mysterious title. A diligent perufal of the whole narrative, however, warrants us to affert with certainty, that our naturalist never touched at Madagascar, and to conjecture that Teneriffe, the Ide; of France and Bourbon, and our own little rock of St Helena, are probably the iflands in question.
To denominate the same place by the same combination of vowels and consonants, is a practice, no doubt, which has the apology of vulgar example ; but it argues, in our apprehension, great poverty of taste in the writer, and is apt to fatigue the reader, by the tameness and monotony of the repetition. Hence, the compounder of these volumes dexterously rings the change on the isle of France and Alaurice, and on Bourbor, Mafcareign, and the Isle of Reunion.
The extraordinary length of the author's own name, and his laud. able fpirit of enterprize, naturally prompted our curiosity to learn some particulars of his history. Those, however, he deals out when and where he pleafes. 'shus, we find some general notices of his early life and conversation, at page ryoth of the third volume, forming an agreeable relief to a long Latin catalogue of plants, and dreary descriptions of volcanic dross.
• Educated,' says he, • for the sciences, by a well informed and ve ry prudent parent, the revolution foon dragged me from those peaceful occupations for which he formed me. Forced into the army, becaule I had attained the marching age, I became a soldier. The greatest obligation which I owe to the education which was bestowed on me, isa certain degree of philosophy, which has always enabled me, as the old adage expresses it, to take courage against fortune. When fairly placed in the ranks, and convinced that I neither could nor ought to quit them, I struggled with all my might for favourable distinction, that I might no longer be blended with the crowd.'
We may observe, in paffing, that we do not perfe&tly comprehend the consistency of this narrative. M. Bory neither could nor Jould quit the ranks : yet he makes every effort to quit them, and Jucceeds
• When the expedition of discovery failed from France, the prospect of approaching peace induced me to convert to my profit and instruction the years of tranquillity which, I then presumed, could not be very numerous. I had the assurance of the ininiser, that, on my return, I Should be permitted to rejoin the army, on producing a certificate that I had not quitted the expedition, and that my time should be counted as service at sea.'
Notwithstanding the eagerness with which he had solicited to be a member of the expedition, it is certain that our author quitted his affociates in the midst of their perils, accepted of some secret miffion from General Magallon to the French government, and returned home in a neutral vessel. He has not condescended to inform us how he was received at the court of Napoleon ; nor whether he still perseveres in his adventurous scheme of visiting Madagascar, India, the Aliatic Inands, and the heart of Africa, (into which he is determined to penetrate, or die), 'wlen France ihall have compelled her enemies to grant her a long and glorious
For other biographical particulars, we must turn to the commencement of the first volume, where we find him under the defignation of chief zoologist, expressing his decided pallion for voyages and travels, and his entire approbation of the details of an equipment fo admirably adapted for the promotion of science. The officers and naturalists with whom he became particularly acquainted at Havre de Grace, and in whose society he was on the eve of exploring foreign countries, were all endued with the requiste talents, professional skill, ar:d perfect urbanity. • A har, mony which time was destined to confirm, soon reigned among us all. I reckon among the most fortunate periods of my life, that in which I formed so many precious connexions.' We know not: how M. Bory can reconcile this charming description with the Atrictures which occur in other parts of his relation, particularly with the want of scientific books, the alleged incapacity and milconduct of his commander, and the insignificance of Petitin, 4 nominal secretary, who deprived Depuch, the mineralogist, of a comfortable bed.
Among the thirty-three persons, who composed the staff of the two corvettes, and who are celebrated as paragons of perfection, we distinguish few of namie. M. Michaux, indeed, the author of travels in Persia and in North America, was on board the Na. turaliste, though only as a passenger. We are sorry that we have not the honour' of being acquainted with M. Peron, who embarked in the capacity of anthropologist to the expedition, and who, being specially charged with the study of man,' ranks at the tail of the zoologists. For the honour of human nature, we trust that M. Peron will assert his claims, to land higher on the
Etat Major, by publishing a few quartos on the anthropology of the Isles of France and Bourbon.
But, to return to the hero of our present lucubrations, it is worthy of remark, that, after duly commemorating the complete appointment of the expedition, he bitterly deplores the paucity and injudicious selection of books. This, again, rather startles us : for, in his preface, he seems to hold books very cheap, and talks of the luxury of quotation,' as suitable only to works of a very different defcription from his own We greatly respect his motto, J'ai vil ;. but few naturalists, zoologists in chief though they be, will do much justice to themselves, or their publications, without consulting the writings of others, especially of the systematists. Indeed, after all this gentleman's high pretensions to, independence, we conceive that he is materially bcholden to various tomes of nomenclature and defcription; and his perforinance would have acquired a more pleasing variety, and additional intereft, from more extenfive reading, both on the principal and collateral matters which he has condescended to discuss. A mindgifted with more than ordinary activity, and equally ready to combat armies, or hunt butterflies, may, unquestionably, achieve much in virtue of its own energies; but no talents, or versatility of difposition, can justify a total disregard of those writers who have preceded us in any department of inquiry. Whether their notices may supply useful hints, or lye open to animadversion, they, have claims on our attention ; and the public expect that we should be equally disposed to profit by their information, and to correct their mistakes.
During the two or three first nights of the passage to Teneriffe, M. Bory became sentimental, and slept ill; not, however, from sea-sicknets, but from thinking of his dear country. To compensate for this ' moral situation, which was truly afflicting,' he enjoyed, during the day, ' a most voracious appetite.' Nor is this the only occasion on which we find a violent desire for food conjoined with delicate emotions and the enthusiasm of science. The exalted company of Peron, the anthropologist, and Bernier, the astronomer, appears not to have reprefied the folvent virtues of the gastric juice. . When we returned to town,' says the journalist (vol.' I. p. 22),' we had a furious appetite. And sorry. we are to add, that, for the sum of five livres, these sous of science could only procure a dinner, which would hardly be tole-, rated, even at the frugal board of a Scotish reviewer. Again, the enchanting lectures of Brouffonnet on the beautiful productions of the forest of Laguna, were instantly deserted, when the voice of .Monsieur Legros fummoned the audience to a comfortable meal. The narrative, moreover, feţs forth (I. 64.), that this