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from a great depth, has not the bitterness which the water of the surface has; it is only saline :' but, as the particles naturally subside, and accumulate at the bottom, the deepest waters should, on the author's supposition, be the most nauseous, especially as they lie beyond the sphere of the superficial agitation. - P. 215. Mr. Bingley again alludes to

the putrefaction of the immense mass of animal and vegetable substances :' but, in the water, as on the land, are not means ordained for constantly counteracting the tendency to corruption, and do not myriads of animals and animalcules eagerly consume every atom of organized matter that comes within their reach? Do we not find, that even in tracts of fresh water, as in the great lakes of America, no sensible contamination of the fluid takes place from putrid animal or vegetable remains ? — The presence of sulphate of magnesia in. sea-water may suffice to account for its bitter savour. - In the descriptive catalogue of the principal mineral and thermal waters, we expected to have found some short account of those of Barèges, Bagnières, Plombières, &c.

Vol. ii. p. 70. • The earliest introduction of the vine into the western parts of Europe is stated to have been about the year 280, under the immediate sanction of Probus, the Roman Emperor,' &c. This is, doubtless, an anachronism; since the vine appears to have been cultivated in some parts of Gaul when that country was first invaded by the Romans, and to have flourished there in the days of Strabo and of Vespasian. It is moreover recorded that, on account of a famine which occurred in the 92d year of the Christian æra, Domitian caused one half of the vines to be extirpated.-P.7

75 Hock is more accurately deduced from Hocheim, near which the best Rhenish wines are produced, than from Hockstedt in Saxony. — Malmscy, in like manner, is derived not from the name of a Greek island, but from Malvasia, or Maldesia, in the Morea.-P. 142. The common rhubarb, we are told,

grows wild on the mountains of Rhodope, in France, from whence it was first brought into Europe,' &c.-P. 190. The digitalis purpurea is termed a brilliant and a splendid plant: but the mere circumstance of its being tall and sightly scarcely intitles it to such epithets ; especially since, like most poisonous vegetables, it has somewhat of a lurid physiognomy.

-P.202. "The next and most important improvements in the manufacture of cotton were made at Cromford, in the county of Derby, by the present Sir Richard Arkwright, who, in 1768, first introduced the method of spinning cotton by machinery. Now, it so happens that the ingenious Knight here commemorated departed this life nearly twenty-five years ago. L 2


Vol. iii. With the more prominent features of the animal kingdom, Mr. Bingley (in consequence, we may fairly presume, of his former labours,) appears to be more familiar than with those of the mineral and vegetable departments; and in his third volume we meet with many though unavoidable repetitions of facts, or descriptions, that were contained in his other zoological writings. Equally unavoidable, perhaps, was the suppression of many important particulars, the insertion of which would have considerably extended the original design. At page 70., however, he is needlessly careful to inform us that moles, which have been reputed both deaf and blind, possess every requisite organ both for sight and vision.'— P. 215. As gannets and their eggs are a principal support of the inhabitants of St. Kilda throughout the year, they are preserved for this purpose in a frozen state in small pyramidal stone-buildings, covered with turf and ashes.' The ceaseless' nature of our vocation being incompatible with the luxury of an excursion to St. Kilda, we cannot positively disprove such an assertion: but, at the same time, when we reflect that this forlorn island is more assailed by wind and rain than by frost, we can scarcely believe that geese may be preserved congealed on a rock in the Atlantic, as at Moscow or Archangel.-P. 255. • The gill charr are considered in highest perfection, and are caught in greatest numbers, from the end of September until the end of November, and the case charr about the month of May. The latter are seldom taken after April. If this last sentence be meant to apply to the case charr, and we can perceive no other legitimate antecedent, the two statements are obviously at variance.

We would also beg leave to recommend for revision such careless or incorrect expressions as the following: "A slaty strata :'--'the smoke remaining in the gas render its surface visible:'-—' it is only considered inferior to the diamond,' for, it is considered inferior only to the diamond: - preserving the whole of created nature in their proper classes of existence:' the whole are::from hence,''From thence,' and from whence, though too much sanctioned by usage, are not less tautological than to hither, to whither, &c. — The principal use for which camomile flowers are applied:'- eadable, which occurs twice, seems to possess no advantage over eatable, or edible, both of which are already current: are capable of great attachment for those :'-- oily and coagulate parts :'--' as an insigna,' &c.-We have been the more minute in these verbal remarks, because we are desirous that the work to which they refer may be adopted in our seminaries of education; and consequently that, in point of composition, it should be rendered as faultless as it may be.


Art. IV. Lectures on the Philosophy of Modern History, deli

vered in the University of Dublin by George Miller, D.D.
M.R.I.A., Rector of Derryvoylan, and late Fellow of Trinity
College, Dublin, and Lecturer on Modern History. 2 Vols.
pp. 1124


Boards. Printed in Dublin for
Murray, London. 1816.

FIRST object, in a critical notice of such a work as the pre

sent, is to give the reader an idea of what is meant by the phrase philosophy of history," and we shall endeavour to do this in the words of Dr. Miller himself; who says, “ My object is to review not so much a series of historical events, as their combinations; to trace in successive transactions those mutual relations which constitute them the parts of a great system, and to discover in them the marks of the government of an all-wise Providence. This is assuredly high matter; calling not only for the

survey of the transactions of a very extensive period, but for the application of a mind deeply conversant with political reasoning on the widest scale. It is therefore much to be regretted that these volumes have not been filled with a more interesting part of history, the materials of Dr. Miller's work being comprized under the following heads :

1. History of the Arabians, from the Birth of Mohammed in the Year 569 to the Year 1258.

2. Italy, from the End of the Western Empire to the Year 1308. 3. France, from the Reign of Clovis to 1303.

4. England, from the Renunciation of the Romans in 409 to the Death of Edward II. in 1307.

5. Germany, from 840 to 1308.
6. Spain, from 472 to 1308.

On looking at this list, we lament that the author did not venture to adopt the hint of a French writer, that the true mode of fixing the attention of the reader was to begin at a recent period and go backward, publishing successive volumes in the way followed by Hume in his History of England. On his present plan, Dr. M. has the disadvantage of appearing before the public with the history of the dark ages, the period of all others least attractive, whether we consider them with reference to the embellishments of poetry or to the serious disquisitions of the investigator of official records; and we have to add the unfortunate circumstance of the narrative being so compressed, as to give it no greater interest than that which is commonly excited by a series of annals. The author passes from one subject to another before the attention can become engaged, and is obliged to drop a distinguished individual exactly at the time at which our curiosity begins to be awakened in his

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These remarks apply to the whole work; and how is it possible that the case can be otherwise in an attempt to give, within the short compass of a couple of octavo volumes, a sketch of the history of the world for nearly a thousand years? The consequence is that, notwithstanding the extensive reading and liberal disposition of the author, the book is by no means likely to obtain the general notice of the public. We turned with particular interest to such passages as the history of the republics of Northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries, in the hope that the importance of the events might have supplied a counterpoise to the very defective plan of the narrative : but here, as in other parts, the reader will find himself exposed to incessant disappointments from the naked and jejune character of the composition. The only favourable qualification that we can make relates to our own country; in which portion (vol. ii. p. 108.) Dr.M. succeeds in giving a certain share of novelty, and even of attraction, to his relation, by passing over the known events of history, and pointing our attention to changes in the civil condition of the nation, particularly to the progressive rise of parliaments.

Let us avoid, therefore, to dwell longer on the narrativedivision of these volumes, and advert to the philosophical department; or, in other words, to the general views of which the study of history is, in Dr. Miller's opinion, susceptible. He expresses a conviction, (vol. i. p. 49.) that while a general prevalence of good, and a general progress of improvement, are discoverable in the history of man, the particular events may be so combined and explained as to constitute one great drama of the Divine government, all the parts of which cooperate to the result.'

· That God is one, and wise, and good, is the conclusion of the philosopher, who surveys the arrangement of the material world. The same would be the conviction of the political enquirer, if he could discover that the agencies of men have been combined like those of physical nature, and that wisdom and goodness alike characterize their combination.'

• The former is indeed less capable of certainty, because the improveable nature of the beings who are its objects, requires that it should be administered by a progressive plan, and therefore it cannot be susceptible of the strict uniforinity, which establishes the principles of physical science. But though we are not able to reduce to precise and invariable rules the conduct of God's moral providence, which is thus essentially progressive, it may, from time to time, discover itself to our understandings in the actual completion of his plans.'

Some progress has already been made towards this highly desirable object by the historians who flourished in the last century:


The philosophical historians of modern times have indeed made preparation for constructing a philosophy of modern history, which without such assistance might have been impracticable. When Voltaire, with the rapid glances of his comprehensive but desultory and unfaithful view, had, in his essay on general history, given a sketch of the various revolutions which had succeeded to the ancient empire, and, in his history of the age of Lewis the Fourteenth, had ascribed to the moral circumstances of society their full share of importance, Robertson, with the cool accuracy of an historian, and with sounder and purer principles, surveyed the earlier progress of society in modern Europe, as introductory to a connected narrative of its most interesting crisis, and Hume, with a philosophical power of mind, which all his partiality for the Stuarts and his lamentable rejection at least of revealed religion were unable to suppress, analysed the history of the noblest of its political consitutions. And though the subject of the history of Gibbon relates to ancient ages, yet as it reaches to the frontier of the modern period, and his excursive genius has frequently wandered beyond the proper limit of his plan, his collections, however, blemished by the tincture of a mind not only sceptical but corrupted, are of considerable utility to the student of a later era, French histories also have been composed of almost every European government, and subject of historical enquiry; and the spirit of philosophizing, which Voltaire had so imperfectly introduced, has been fostered by many of their authors, though with very various success.'

Dr. M., however, is persuaded that we may go much farther, and that it is practicable to present the whole of history as a single though complex object to the reflecting mind. He attempts to exemplify this theory by a variety of references to the most striking facts in antient and modern history. We begin with the following, taken from

Antient History. - In the interior arrangement of Greece, a correspondence may be discovered between its local circumstances and its splendid destination. Numerous and various as were its communities, they may be regarded as constituting but two assem. blages, or rather the others may all be considered as subordinate to the efforts of two distinguished states. The elegant Athenians, to whom, as Cicero has pleaded, the world was indebted for the arts. of life, for learning, laws, religion, and even for humanity itself, and the half-barbarous Spartans, who seem to have been placed at their side, to urge them to continued exertion by the rude violence of merely military habits; these are the objects which attract the notice of the historical enquirer, as they were the ruling powers

of the political combinations of Greece. And, in direct conformity to this distribution of the Grecian states, we find the warlike Spartans enclosed within the Peloponnesus, as the appropriate stage of their military achievements, and political ascendancy; and themselves secured in its southern region by a chain of almost impassable mountains : the Athenians, on the other hand, whose



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