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MISCELLANTES. Art. 1X. Paris. Mélanges extraits des Manuferits de Mme. Necker.
Miscellanies extracted from the Manuscripts of Mme. Necker. Vol. 1. 8vo. 383 p.6 [1798.]
Mr. Necker, the editor, has prefixed to these miscellanies a character of his late wife, by himfelf, and another by Thomas, both written con amore.
The work itself contains detached thoughts, remarks, and sentiments, from the correspondence and journals of the deceased, and some letters entire. Among the letters are some very interesting ones to Thomas, Schomberg, Buffon, Marmontel, Saussure, Gibbon, and others. There are also fragments of letters to lord Stormont, Diderot, Grimm, Galliani, Chabanon, and St. Lambert: with instructive essays on reading; on the choice of books at different periods of life ; on the manner in which books and authors are judged; on the influence of reading on our happiness ; remarks and characters from common life; on the utility and necessity of examining ourselves with attention; on the difference be. tween wit and genius; on the use of images, fimilitudes, and allufions; and a portrait of Emilia.
Jen. Allg. Lit. Zeit.
Art. x. Ratisbon. Ueber den nächsten Zweck der Erzeibung, &c.
On the immediate Object of Education according to the Principles of Kant. By K. Weiller, Prof. at Munich. 8vo. 216 p. 1798. Though we have already many excellent works on the subject of education, we do not know one, in which juster notions are inculcated in a more impressive manner, than in this of Mr. W. The author employs the expression, ' according to the principles of Kant,' because his system is founded on the nature of the human mind; but the work has not the least trace of obscure phraseology, The object of education, in the opinion of Mr. W., is to give the pupil a capacity of employing his faculties. He observes: if you do not render your pupils ftupid, by endeavouring to make them learned prematurely, they will become intelligent of themselves: if you do not render them wicked, by attempting to make them angels toa foon, they will naturally become good if you do not render them miserable, by your desire to make them happy, they will of themfelves find the way to happiness. Instead of your many arts to benefit them, learn the one greater art, not to injure them; and then nature will do the rest almost without your assistance.' We would willingly gratify our readers with the excellent passage, in which the author endeavours to convince those of their errour, who consider the developement of reason as dangerous; but it would take up too much room.
Jen. Allg. Lit. Zeit.
A GENERAL REVIEW OF DISCOVERIES, INVENTIONS,
At the desire of several correspondents, we are now to give some account of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SCIENCES AND ARTS, at Paris, established by an article in the constitution of the french republic, together with our observations on that plan, for collecting discoveries, and the improvement of arts and sciences. This inititution we mentioned, in a very summary manner, in our last number: but of fo grand and comprehensive a design it is proper, agreeably to the sentiments of our correspondents, that we should, in this paper, take more particular notice.
This establishment belongs to the whole nation. 1. It's obje&t is the advancement of the arts and sciences, by a course of uninterrupted inquiry, and a conitant correspondence with literary and philosophical societies in foreign nations : and particularly to mark and record the litesary and scientific labours, that have for their object not only the general benefit of mankind, but the glory of the republic. II. It is composed of 144 members, resident in Paris, and an equal number of associates dispersed throughout the different provinces of the republic. It's associates in foreign nations are in number twenty-four : being eight for each of the three different classes. 111. The institute is divided into three classes, and each class into different sections; thus:
First class; sciences, physical and mathematical; comprehending, 1. Mathematics ; 2. Mechanical Arts; 3. Aftronomy; 4. Experimental Phyfics; 5. Chymistry; 6. Natural History, and Mineralogy ; 7. Botany, and Vegetation in general: 8. Anatomy and Zoology; 9. Medicine and Surgery ; 10. Rural Economy, and the veterinary Art.
Second class; moral and political sciences; comprehending, 1. The Analysis of Sensations and Ideas; 2. Morals; 3. The Science of the social Order and Legislation ; 4. Political Economy ; 5. Hiftory ; 6. Geography.
Third Class ; Literature and the fine Arts : comprehending, 1. Gram. mar; 2. Ancient Languages; 2. Poetry; 3. Antiquities and Monu
ments; 4. Painting; 5. Sculpture; 7. Architecture; 8. Mufic and Declamation.
There is not any subject in the whole course of human study and contemplation, that can possibly appear, to a cultivated and speculative mind, to sublime, interesting, and advantageous, for the advancement of science and the improvement of human nature, as a juít clasification of the different branches of knowledge : and it may be said, of the grandest scale as well as of particular subjects of investigation, Qui bene dividit bene docet *. This division of the arts and sciences, by the enlightened and excited genius of the french nation, at the present moment, cannot fail to attract the attention of the ingenious and learned. Every one who philosophizes, who speculates on general truth, makes, in his own mind, a classification of the different objects of truth or knowledge, The ancient metaphysicians and logicians, as well as modern philolophers, had their divisions of arts and sciences. But the first treatife that was written formally, as far as we have been informed, and for the fole purpose of marking out a plan of all the branches of learning of which man is capable, was that on the advancement of knowledge, by the immortal Bacon. His plan has been adopted, with very little alteration, by every author that has followed him, and, of late years, by the authors of the french Encyclopædia. These gentlemen, however, acknowledge much embarrassment arising from the circumstance, that, according to the arrangement of Bacon, it is possible to refer the different branches of knowledge either to the beings which they have for their object, or to the different faculties of the Toul: for the greater the latitude of will, the more arbitrary, and less scientific the arrangement. Still, it was this laft method they adopted : a method that involves many disadvantages; as we easily could, and would readily show, if this had not already been done, with great perspicuity of exposition, as well as folidity of judgment, and depth of penetration, by Mn Florian in his Essay on an analytical course of studies : which contains not only the best plan for the liberal education of youth; but is an excellent companion and guide to those, who have made considerable advances, and still pursue the paths of philofophy. It is with great pleasure, that we embrace the present opportunity of doing justice to this learned and ingenious stranger, whom the adverlity of the times, and the iniquity of fortune, have compelled to take shelter in this country +. One brief quotation from Mr. Florian will show the principle and spirit of his reasoning on the subject in question : for a farther illustration of which we must refer to the Effay. • In general, the philosophers who have treated of the origin of human knowledge have reasoned thus We acquire our knowledge by thinking, and therefore we ought, in the first place, to inquire how it is we think.” But the human mind does not appear ordinarily to follow this soute. Our first observations are more naturally made on chofe sensations which we receive from the objects that surround us, than upon the manner itself in which we receive those sensations. In making that our firit ftudy, which affects our senses, we proceed with certainty from that which
* See introduction to this Retrospect, in our number for january, 1797:
* Mr. Florian proposes to carry his plan into execution, in an acadenny, which he is going to open at Bath; and in which we fincerely with biin all success.
we know, to that which we know not: whereas if we begin by researches into the manner in which we receive ideas, and the faculty of acquiring knowledge, we at once find ourselves caft upon a sea of hypotheses, with out rudder or compass to direct us.'
It appears to have been under the fame, or very similar notions, that the enlightened legislature of France, in the formation of the national inftitute, have departed from the arrangements of lord Bacon, and the encyclopædifts; and followed the natural order, in which we, in fact, acquire knowledge, namely, through our sensations. The mind is employed on matter before it is, or can be employed on itself. The national inftitute, therefore, with great propriety, places in the fame, and the first class, the ftudies that are, in part, objects of sensation. It then goes on, in another, and the second clats, to studies in which the mind is em. ployed either on it's own operations or recollections; and lastly, it treats, in another, and third class, of such studies as are either accessary to science, or pleasing in themselves. This classification of studies, or the objects of human knowledge, is judicious, comprehensive, profound, and worthy the moft enlightened nation in the world. Although minerals
form a part of the natural world, it is with perfect propriety, that mineralogy is added in the fixth article of the first class to the general subject of natural history, because it holds both of natural history and chemistry. We notice also the just precision of the seventh article in the fame class, botany and vegetation in general: for besides that there are bodies, which, in the opinion of fome, are organized by a process of vegetation, that do not properly fall under the denomination of herbs, or plants of any kind, the process of vegetation is, to botany, what chemiftry is to mineralogy.
The classification of music with declamation, in the eighth and last article of the third class, will, doubtless, attract attention, and may, perhaps, at first sight, appear affected and whimsical. Nevertheless, on due confideration, the union of music and declamation will appear to be per. fectly accurate, and founded on the nature of things : both being addressed to the human passions. The concord of sweet jounds is common to both: and the most touching part of music is the resemblance between it's various tones and the various expressions of grief, joy, love, and other emotions and passions, in different nations. The power of oratory is somewhere compared to music in the sacred writings ascribed to Sólomon,
• The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
Parad. Loft, Book vill. Indeed the comparison of impressive and pleasing music is quite common, as it is quite natural.
If we might hazard a ftri&ture on any article in an arrangement formed by so accomplished a body, it would be on that of monuments and other antiquities,' in the third class, comprising literature and the fine arts. In our opinion, they would have been more properly placed in the second class, along with hiftory, to whom they are handmaids. The
From the various accents of various nations arise the characters of national music. The irish brogue and howl, and also the scotci propunciation, are nearly akin to the plaintive, though affecting and pleasing Atrains, of both the scotch and irith music
schools, fchools, repositories, rewards, honours, and, in a word, all the various means and inftrumentality for carrying the designs of the french in favour of the arts and sciences into execution, are worthy of so intelli gent, fo active, ardent, and magnificent a nation.
The grand design of the national institute is, to repair the ravages of vandalism committed in the fury of the revolution; to soften and homanize the public mind, by turning the attention and application of generous and sensible spirits to the arts and sciences as the noblest, and only tied (after war, with it's neceflity, shall have ceased) of emulation and glory; to add to the common itock of human knowledge, and multiply the comforts of mankind; and, at the same time, particularly, to search for, and prefirve such works, discoveries, and inventions, as may contribute to the glory of the french republic. * It was inptible, in this paper, to pass by the national inftitute of France, without particular notice. If war shall cease, and the republic be eltablished and composed under wise organical laws, the protection of property, juit representation, and equal taxation; than which nothing is now co be more arden:ly wished for by all the surrounding nations: then may we expect, that this noble institution will advance the arts and sciences, and with these the resources of humankind, in a rapid progreffion; not only by the discoveries, inventions, and compofitions of their own active and fertile minds; but by diffusing from the centre of France, a keener tafte, and a more animated application, to all kinds of improvement.
We have promised to compare the policy of the modern republic of Paris with that of ancient Rome. Before we enter on this subject, it will be proper to attend to the character of the french nation. That of the ancient romans we have all studied at school,
The general character of the french, from the period in which it was described by Cæsar to the present day, has been invariably diftinguished by certain indelible features. Other nations have been moulded and changed by various political revolutions. The french, under every new form of government and religion, retain their characteristic disposition, and genius. They are the most universally and the most fenfibly and suddenly alive to the pallion of the times. Whatever they with they pursue with ardour, and in a body. Supereminence is always their aim, whether in gayety and frivolity, or wisdom and arms. And such is the advantage of their local position in Europe, and such the energy of their action, and influence of their example, that in the midt of convulsion among themselves, they impress their neighbours with the greateft alarm. This national spirit was well underfood by the ableft rulers of France in former times, and managed with much address and wisdom. Henry iv subdued it by his generoficy : Sully governed it by his probity, his economy, and, above all, by his steadiness: Lewis xiv led it to conqueft: and, at a time, when France frequently suffered the fevereit distress in her interiour, he would have overpowered Europe, had not the policy of William jil, and the cooperations of Marlbo. rough and Eugene interposed to check his career. William, though feldom victorious in the field, was yet a hero, and he was great in the