Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

vantage of the mutual guarantee was on the side of Great Britain; he also adverts to the conduct of France in the year 1717, and inters,

«that the folemn adoption of the whole of both the treaties in that subsisting with the unfortunate Louis, strictly obliged us, at the time of his deposition and imprisonment, to have concurred with the ftipulated force in an attempe for his preservation and relioration, or placing his successor on the throne after he was murdered." ;

On the same ground of the quadruple alliance) the Emperor,

or being obliged to take arms to succour the King on an actual ara tack, the spirit of his obligation called upon him to keep his preparations in the same state of forwardness with those of the conspirators; and he was in full right to form alliances for that purpose.” · Our space will not permit a detail of the arguments by, which this position is supported, and the objections to it refuted.

That objection which arises from ihe conduct of France during the American war is fully discussed, and particular itress is laid, on the folenn renewal of the treaties of 1717 and 1718 by that of 1783, the preliminary articles of which were never, on, that ground, objected 10 by Mr. Fox ; who afterwards ( when Minister) included that guarantee in the definitive treaty. On the conduct of that gentleman, in now attempling to procure a parliamentary declaration contrary to that guarantee, there are some striking, and, to our apprehension, unanswerable remarks., The author also replies at larye to those who orge, that

" the ambition and insidious policy of the Princes of the House of Bourbon furnith the cleareft demonstration, that the interest of Great Britain can never be promoted by their restoration to the mo- , warchy of France.”

· In this pari he shows the strong ground there is for the opi. nion of those who have argued, “That the rulers of the Re.. public have been constantly incapable of maintaining the selations of amity with other states.” This train of argument naturally brings him to an examination of the character and conduct of Bonaparte ; to whom “ the consular conftirution has given an authority, much greater than that of the deposed directory," and whose character will therefore be more fully impressed on the measures pursued by the Republic. The ins ference deduced from this detail is, that

« it is not only defensible, but necessary and right, to call the friends of their country to look with solicitous apprehension to the events of a peace, ligned by the same hand which guaranteed the states of Ve

nice

nice and Genoa, and, almost before the ink of the subscription was dry, subscribed the instruments of their annihilation.”

This topic is enlarged upon with ability, and concludes this ingenious and interesting Letter.

Although we do not, perhaps, go the whole length of Mr. Brand's reasonings on this important question, nor adopt his conclusions to their full extent, yet we think he has Mown, by convincing arguments, that the restoration of the Bourbons, far from being an unjustifiable object to Great Britain, was required both by good faith and sound policy, had it been practic cable; and that a peace with the present government of France, if haftily and incautiously made, inight be attended with ftill greater evils than are likely to arise from the further continue ance of war.

ART. VIII. Maurice's Indian Antiquities. Vol. VII.

. (Concluded from our lajt, p. 117.) AFTER having presented to the view of his readers the pic.

1 iure of the wealth of India, and the magnificence of its kings, before its palaces and pagodas were plundered by Mohammedan usurpers; a picture, justified by the united accounts of ancient writers who have treated concerning that remote segion, and the necessary consequence of the immense commerce carried on with its inhabitants by those of the rich empires that on every side environed it, Mr. Maurice proceeds to give a general view of its Literature, and of the Aris and Sci. ences that flourished among the Indians in those very early periods. Without a considerable advance in scientific attainments, he justly observes, many of the rich manufactures of India, and some of the articles of highest request in commerce could not have been fabricated. The diamond of Golconda could not have received irs polish, nor the gold and ivory of jis splendid maris have been wrought into those elegant forms that gave lustre and beauty to the cabinets of Afiatic Princes; Architecture in India could not have raised her head with such sublime grandeur, as is visible in their pagodas; Geometry could not have formed those vast and regular tanks that every where abound in India ; nor Aftronomy have constructed those amaz. ing cycles which, by trench sceptics, have been so falsely vaunted as subversive of the Mofaic and Chriftian chronology. Un

der

der diftin&i heads, the origin and progress of these sciences, as known to the Indians, are successively traced, and their very high antiquity accounted for by supposing that, in this peace, ful and secluded region, long flourished a considerable portion of the wisdom of the Noachidæ, derived from their antediluvian progenitors. Hence no wonder that the arts made fo rapid a progress in India, nor that its original system of jurifprudence, before it was corrupied by the ariful Brahmin in many points, bore so near a reseinblance to that of the Hebrews. Some of these fhall be specified hereafter ; at present, let us at

tend to their progress in Science : and, as a specimen of the - author's method of treating the subje&t, we thall insert what he observes in regard to their Chemistry.

« Those who, from the earliest periods, have been devoted to a sus perftitious veneration of the element of FIRE, those who gave to their pagodas the form of pyramids and cones, to imitate the solar beam. and on whose altars a sacred flame for ever blazed, could scarcely fail of being intimately acquainted with its wonderful properties, which in fact were the source of that admiration and reverence. It was their acquaintance with its active pervading principle and energy which induced them to idolize FIRE as the soul of the material world; its hallowed beam, their physical theology taught them, emaning from the solar orb, first gave animation and motion to universal nature ; and, from some mutilated tradition of a better theology, they regarded fire as the great CHEMIST that was finally to dissolve the universe and re. duce it to ashes. In fact, they conceived the orbs of heaven to be formed of a kind of ætherial fire, and that they floated in a circumambient luminous fluid, which they conlidered as a fifth element, and denominated the Akass. I have had frequent occafion to observe that their fuperftitious veneration for this element probably commenced, during their residence in Chaldæa, with the firft corrupsion of the pure patriarchal theology; and, according to the Indian history, de. vout pilgrims, as well in memorial of their origin as of this their primæval devotion, still resort to Hierapolis in Syria, and pay their devotions at the two JWALA-Muchis, or Springs of Napiba, the one noc far from the banks of the Tigris, the other on the flaming plain of Baka, on the borders of the distant Caspian Sea, where the priests of the sun watched night and day the never.dying flame, supposed to have been kindled by his own ray.

“ Of the powerful agency of FIRE, the Asiatics could scarcely avoid entertaining the most awful conceptions, since its tremendous effects were often too diftinctly visible in that torrid climate, where the broad flashes of the tropical lightning fired their loftieft forests, and the globe of electric flame levelled their proudest temples with the dust. They also saw it in the buriting volcano that shook io the centre their

"* Mr. Wilford on Egypt and the Nile, in Aliacic Researches, vol, iii. p. 2973 •:

mountains mountains of broadeft base, and filled whole provinces with desolation and dismay.

" Observing with anxious and fearful attention the wonderful operacions of nature by the process of frie, in the melted minerals that rolled in torrents down the sides of the flaming mountain, in their ref!!!'s course sweeping away every intervening object, or assimilating, it with its own substance, the ancient inhabitants of Asia endeavoured to imitate her fupreme analyzing power, and very early commenced the practice of chemistry. To what extent, indeed, that primitive sace knew the art of decompounding and combining bodies by means of fire, it is impossible to ascertain ; but, without being considerable adeprs in this science, neither could Tubal Cain,--that Tubal Cain, whole bigh antiquity and whole resembling name plainly mark him for the Vulcan of Pagan mythology ; for, they thought, and one might almost ihink with them, that the inventor of the science of chemistry could scarcely be less than a god, have been the initructor of every artificer in brass or iron; nor the Indian Visvacarma, the active substitute of Agni, the Hindoo god of fire, have forged the arms of the Devatas, ihore missile weapons of fire in the Puranas denomi. nated AGNEE-ASTRA, and made use of in the Satya, or first age of the world. The use of fire-arms, in the earliest periods, opens a wide field for reflection, in many respects, since it proves that the Indians knew how to apply the salt-perre and sulphur vivum, with which their plains abound, to the purposes of war, and formed out of them a compofition which, if not actual gunpowder, was of such a nature as gave to bodies a projectile motion. Mr. Halhed expressly denomi. nates it gunpowder, and gives an interesting account of the invention in his pretace to the Gentoo Code

" A modern author of much celebrity* has very ingeniously attempted to prove that the ancients were actually acquainted, in very early periods, with the chemical process of making gunpowder, and inftances the invention of Salmoneus, with which he is said to have imicated the thunder and lightning of Jupiter, in proof of liis affertion. What is, however, much more to our present purpose, he cites Themiftius, to prove that the Indian Brahmios encountered one another with thunder and lig hining launched from an eminence; and Philoftra. tus, in evidence, that, when attacked by their enemies, they did not leave their walls to fight them, but darted upon them mifiile weapons, in noife and effect refembling πρηστήρας και βροντας, lightning and thunder. By these weapons were evidently meant the fire-shaft, or rocket, described by Mr. Halhed; and to these we may add the artificial thunder and lightning used in their cavern-imitations." P. 671.

In further proof of their metallurgic, as well as astronomical skill, Mr. M. produces the following curious passage froin the Life of Apollonius, by Philostratus. ,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

" Apollonius cum Jarcha Brachmane secreto philosophatus, muneris loce ab eo tulit annulos feptem, TOTIDEM PLANETARUM DICTOS NOMINIBUS, quos fingulos geftaret per subjectos planetis dies ; scout annulum AUREUM grHaret die polis, ARGENTEUM die lunæ, FERREUM die Marris, HIDRARGYRINUM die Mercurii, die Jovis STANNEUM, ÆNEUM die Veneris, et PLUMBE UM die Saidrni, quod fingulis planetis fingulo rjpondeant METALLA." ...

The author now proceeds to adduce other arguments for the Indians having been in very early periods excellent chemists. The medicinal drugs for which they were ever so celebrated, and particularly by those which were antidotes to the venomous bites of the numerous clailes of Indian serpents ; their being able to extract from roots and minerals ihe beautiful dies with which, according in Pliny, ihe productions of the Indian loom were annually, and are to this day, so gaudily impressed; their manufacturies of pottery and.porcelain, painted with colours equally vivid, and especially their vasa murrhina, whatever was the composition*, fo covered by the luxurious Romans; and their immemorial use of the process of distillation, by which they obtained not only the intoxicating liquor called bang, but all those rich oils and fragrant balsams which the vegetable king, dom so abundanıly proluces in that luxurious garden of the greater Asia. With the fubsequent extract, in which he apa peals to the ancient Institutes of Menu for the truth of the existence of these aris among them, twelve hundred years before Christ, the age of that production, we fhall conclude our ítrictures on this pariicular dissertation. Fir These are efTential branches of chemical science; and, that they actually existed at this early period in Hindoftan, every body will be convinced who attentively turns over the pages of Menu's Institutes in the chapters that have reference to their inechanical arts and yet unrivalled manufactures. In those pages we find them, as I have truly ftated in my, Differtation on the Commerce of this ancient peoplet, engraving on ihe hardest itones, and working in the most difficule inetals; giving the most beautiful polish to the diamond, an art fupposed not to be known till the i5th century; enchasing in gold, and working in ivory and ebony, with inimitable clegance. In weaving, spinning, and dying; in all the more ingenious devices appertaining to the respective occupations of the joiner, the cutler, the mason, the potter, and the japanner; in executing the most curious cabinet and filligree work in general; in drawing birds, flowers, and fruits, from the book of nature with exquisite precision; in painting those beauti. ful chintzes annually brought into Europe, chat glow with such a variety of colours, as brilliant as they are lasting ; in che fabrication of

* See note in p. 112 preceding, ist Yol. vi. p. 363."

thofe

« ZurückWeiter »