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hence those objects that ought from their nature to afford the moft rational delight, the pleasures of home, are discarded to make room for pastimes that contribute much more to diffipate and confuse the mind, than to give it ease and recreation. ,
• But the worst consequence of this intellectual corruption is that selfish subferviency to power, in the utmost depravity of the meaning, which fettles so deeply as to become the only motive able to excite their activity, in any emergency of a pub. lic nature; and induces them, at the same time, to exert it in the ineanest endeavours to please tyrannic superiors, by every fpecies of adulation and base compliance with their capricious injunctions, in order to preserve that fouting of regard and notice from them, which, in such a government, is absolutely necessary to confer on individuals an air of importance and distinction.
• We are not, therefore, to be surprised that patriotism (that comprehensive benevolence which includes in our own, the welfare of every member of the community) should so rarely be adınitted, if such a phrase may be hazarded, to the privilege of denizen, in a state immersed in that degeneracy of sentiments which excludes, and, in a manner, annihilates the natural efficacy of even the most potent and coercive ties; for how is it poflible that a man who feels not for all that is nearest to him, for all that renders private life desirable, should cherish any concern for the public?
• As republican governinents, for the reasons above arfigned, afford much more numerous instances of matrimonial honour and happiness than others, they are, in consequence, much more fertile in patriots ; the greatest of whom have been produced in republicks, and ever been conspicuously remarkable, at the same time, for the conjugal virtues, which are usually the forerunners or concomitants of all others.
• Socrates, the patriot of mankind, rather than of Greece, was a most excellent husband. The last Brutus, associate of Cassius in afierting the Roman caufe, was a pattern of nuptial tenderness.
• Such were, in modern times, that heroic champion of Swisserland, the celebrated William Tell: the great Barnevelt in Holland : and in France, the last affertor of French liberty against the usurpations of the court, during the minority of Lewis XIV, the illustrious Broustel, whom Voltaire undervalues with so much injustice and impropriety. Such also was in our country, thar mirror of honesty and disinterestedness, as well as of the most splendid abilities, the truly noble Sir William Temple, who retained his integrity in the midst of a court that was in its tiine, the center of diffoluteness and
profligacy, that of our Charles II. a prince more abandoried to voluptuousness than even his cotemporary of France, tlie aforementioned Lewis ; and who strove no less to follow his footsteps in the establishment of despotism in this kingdom.
• From the preceding remarks a reflection obviously arises, which every man who aspires at the title of patriot ought to bear ingraven in his mind, that the more libertinism in the marriage state gains ground in a free nation, the nearer it approaches to the downfall of its liberty; an assertion we need not go further to illustrate by the most glaring proofs, than the last cited æra.
Let any one examine the public and private transactions of that infamous reign; he will find an alarming licentiousness of manners flowing fast from the head to its members. From the king, a man of no principle, to his courtiers, who soon loft theirs. From the court, whence all sense of virtue and decency was almost banished, to the bulk of the people ; ainong whom a visible depravity was daily increasing. We may appeal to the theatrical compositions of that time for an evidence what sort of morals were then countenanced. Compositions which, however replete with wit and fancy, display such a picture of the manners of our ancestors, as it is heartily to be wished their descendants may never afford any cause for a reproduction of on the scene.
• While the nation was thus, after the example of its fo. vereign, running, as it were, the race of debauchery, both he and his minifters were studying how to avail themselves of this fagitious disposition, by endeavouring to bring expeditiously to maturity, the most iniquitous designs against its liberties. And had his successor carried on the attack against these alone, he most probably would have succeeded; as the ininds of men, through a long course of degeneracy, were become lo debased, that nothing but an attempt to overturn their religion (the last thing that human nature will suffer) could have rouzed them from that lethargic indifference for, and oblivion of the com: mon weal, which are ever the sure effects of a vicious, immoral life.
We may conclude this subject of the fashionable infidelity subsisting in France between so many husbands and wives, with observing that notwithstanding some may be apt, in the levity of their heart, to treat it as a matter rather of gaiety and laughter, than as an object demanding the most serious reflections, it can appear no such trifle in the scale of sound reasoning. It is a fashion (if so soft a name is applicable to fo scandalous a vice) pregnant with such infinite mischief to fociety, that it behores every one to lend his allistance in exo VOL. XXIX. April, 1770.
posing posing those equally dangerous and ignominious consequences that necessarily flow from the shameful and criminal connivance, and it may almost be said toleration, it too openly meets with in some countries; where, through the most unaccount. able infatuation, they seem to have forgot that no species of wickedness strikes more directly at the root of all human happiness: that exclusive of its immediate effe&, the destruction of domestic tranquillity, and the introduction of anarchy and confusion into families, it is the source of the most irreconcilable, and often the most fatal enmities, and naturally produces the most dreadful catastrophes in private life. That whenever it gets footing, and grows habitual in any country, it breeds diffidence and suspicion between individuals, and is unquestionably the greatest obstruction to friendship, from the fear and jealousy we are liable to entertain of those who have constant opportunities to abuse the privileges annexed to it. That it banishes all delicacy of sentiment, and utterly extin. guishes that respect for the fair sex which is founded on the opinion of their honour and virtue ; of which, when the vio. lation is no longer reputed disgraceful among men, it seldom remains an object of consequence among the women. That, in short, by extirpating the most effectual motive for reciprocal attachment and regard, it annihilates the essential felicity of love; and by extending our desires and passions, and the hope of gratifying them, indiscriminately to all, it eradicates the noblest refinements that dignify the huinan system, and throws all the received ideas of civilised nature into their primary chaos and confusion.'
VIII. The Elements of Optics. In four Books. By W. Emerson,
8vo. Pr. 6s. Nourse. THE science of optics, taken properly and simply, relates
only to direct vision ; but when considered in a larger fense, it will be found to contain the whole do&rine of light and colours, and all the phenomena of visible objects : it may therefore justly be called a mathematical science that treats of light in general, and of every thing that is seen with direct rays. When rays of light are considered as refle&ted, that part of optics whereby we are enabled to investigate their laws and properties, is called catoptrics; and when the refraction of rays is considered, and the laws and nature of it explained and demonstrated, it is then called dioptrics ; lo that optics comprehends the whole, of which catoptrics and dioptrics are the two parts, 1.
To this truly noble art we are indebted for the most important and wonderful discoveries that have hitherto been made both in astronomy and natural philosophy; for by the help of glasses, ground into certain figures, and placed in due pofition, we may enlarge the diameters of the heavenly bodies, and all fuch objects to which we are allowed no nearer approach, in what proportion we please, and view them as perfectly and distinctly as if we could summon them before us, and command them to the end of our telefcopes. This has brought us into a perfect knowledge 8f those parts of the creation with which we are allowed no kind of commerce, save that of viewing them through immensity of space from the globe which we inhabit. We can now perceive, by the different phases of the planets, that the sun is the fountain of all their light; and by fixing upon some remarkable spots upon their surfaces, observing their periodic times, and how they shift their position, we determine the motion of these bodies round their axis, and the time in which that revolution is performed. Severe! secondary planets, or satellites, which were too finall for the naked eye, are now discerned to move round Jupiter and Saturn, as the moon round our earth ; and about the last of them is seen the particular phenomenon of an annulus or ring. Nor is the discovery of these satellites merely specula. tive, but of prodigious use and advantage ; for their eclipses have determined the velocity of light, and are so frequent, as to be the most constant appearance the heavens afford us at present for the solution of that great and valuable problem of the longitude. The distances, magnitudes, and motions of all the heavenly bodies, and even the irregularities of the moon, have by this means been so nicely observed, and by the power of numbers reduced within soine few tables for any de. terminate inttant of future time, are now to be predicted as casily, and almost as exactly, as we could wish.
If, on the other hand, we descend to examine the more minute parts of the creation, the microscope will furnish us with a prospect no less amazing than before. By means of this in. ftrument, we discern the admirable range of the conftituent particles of all such bodies as come within our nearer view. The cuticule, or outward skin of the human body, is found to be composed of several strata of scales lying one over another in different numbers, according to its different thick. ness in different places ; between these scales the miliary glands, dispersed over the surface of the whole body, are seen to send out excretory ducts, through which we perspire ; and about one of these scales are observed near five hundred ducts, so very small, that one hundred and twenty five thousand.orifices
of these excretory ducts may be covered by one single grain of fand. ? It is to the invention of the microscope we owe a confirmation of the circulation of the blood, that noble discovery of the great Dr. Harvey, and which is now made visible in the transparent parts of animals ; such as the fins and tails of fishes, and the feet of frogs; and the anastomoses of the ar. teries and veins put beyond all dispute. By the help of this instrument, we can observe the different organization of the lesler species of animals; as the regular armour of the flea, the jagged proboscis of the tick, and the bristles of the mite; and in these animals there also appears a great variety of branchings of the blood-vefsels, the pulse regularly beating in several arteries, and even the peristaltic motion of the intestines may also be dilcovered.
From what has been faid, and many more things that might be said, appears plainly the excellency of the science of optics, and its great use to mankind above all others; and how necessary it is for us to be acquainted with it, to let us into the secrets of nature, not only in regard to the grand fabric of the whole universe, but likewise to the most minute and imperceptible parts of it.
In the work before 'us, which consists of four books, containing simple optics, catoptrics, dioptrics, and optical instruments, the author has (in our opinion) handled the different parts of the science in a short, concise, yet clear, and comprehensive manner; and demonstrated all the principles in a method extremely easy, natural, and plain, which we apprehend the following extract will, in some measure, serve to evince.
• To investigate the proportion of moon light to day light, or the light of the sun, at full moon.
"The moon's radius is to the earth's radius as 1 to 3.65; and since the radius of the moon's orbit is 60 of the earth's radii, therefore the radius of the moon's orbit, or its distance from the earth is 60 X 3.65, or 219 of the moon's radii.
. Now suppose equal spaces at the earth and moon to be equally illuminated ; and that the whole surface of the moon was thus equally illuminated, and the light reflected therefrom all around, so far as the surface of a sphere passing through the earth, described from the moon's center, then all this light is spread upon this surface, and consequently its density will be less in the reciprocal proportion of these surfaces, or reciprocally as the squares of the diameters. That is, the density of the light at the moon (which is supposed the