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Yet red with gore, whose fury hath confign'd me
That hangs o'er all the race of Oedipas?' Also the conclusion of the tragedy, being the address of the chorus to the inhabitants of Thebes :
• Inhabitants of Thebes, behold your prince,
dark riddle of the monster Sphynx ;
Till death decide, and itamp the name of " happy." This pleasing collection contains several other smaller) pieces, which have their merit. The Roman critic's maxim, ubi plura nitent, &c. we hope always to have in view, in our decifions; but candidly to point out smaller faults is sometimes an office of kindness. Mr. Maurice seems to pay considerable attention to correctness; we would with him to be quite correct. He will, we hope, excuse the hint, that he might derive advantage from avoiding a recurrence of the same thought in different expressions. An instance of this we observed in his verses to the Marquis of Blandford, (p. 13.) where, if the two lines,
But lo! attended by her infant train,
had had been omitted, the circumstance described would have been more beautifully, because more abruptly, introduced by the nineteenth line of the same page :
• But who are there, that fush'd with all the glow-&c.' There are a few blemishes of other kinds, which ftruck us in the course of perufal. In Hero and Leander,
Descending torrents, mix'd with ruddy Aame,
Roar'd to the howling blait in loud accla:18 The later part of the last line is an impropriety committed for the sake of rhyme. The last line of our first quotation from Hinda, we could wish the Author to reconsider
Perhaps the idea of indulging grief is not the most clasically expreffed by
-Sorrow cherish'd an eternal wound. In the same poem, p. 28, 1. 10, there is an elipfis of the preposition to, which does not please,
• While unremitting forrow points the tomb.' Had the epithet, unremitting, been suppressed, SORROW would have been personified, and might with propriety have been said to point, or direct, the unhappy mourner to his tomb.
We muft not take leave of this publication, without doing its Author the justice to remark, that, in this edition, he has much improved some of the poeins which were formerly published, by the omission or alteration of exceptionable passages. Yet we cannot help wishing that he had paid more attention to Hagley, and Netherby, in this republication. These poems, though they contain many excellent lines, ftill appear, in our opinion, to want some curtailing, and much polishing.
ART. XVI. HI
ISTOIRE Naturelle, generale, & particuliere ; contenant les
Epoques de la Nature, &c.- Natural History, general and particular; containing the Epochas of Nature. Supplement. Volume V. of the 4to Edition, and IX. and X, of the 8vo. 1779. Concluded. In the preceding part of our account * of this volume we arrived, in our analysis of this philosophical romance, at the end of the fourth epocha of nature. As the cbief merit of the Author, however extensive his knowledge may be, lies in invention and painting, fo his picture of the state of the earth during this fourth period, when its domain was divided between water and fire, is sublime and terrible, in the highest degree. The objects that enter into this dismal and tremen. * Appendix to the latt volume of our Review (the 6it] p. 543.
dous tablature, are deep lakes, -rapid currents, and whirlpools, earthquakes occafioned by the finking of rocks, the falling in of caverns, and the explosions of volcanos,-general and parti* cular hurricanes-vortices of smoke,-tempests produced by these violent convulsions of earth and fea, -inundations, and impetuous floods and torrents, occasioned by these earthquakes and commotions,-rivers of melted glass, and of bitumen and sulphur, ravaging the mountains, rolling their peftilential streams along the plains, and infecting their waters,-the sun himself darkened, not only by thick, watry clouds, but also by enormous maffes of ashes and stones, ejected from the volcanos : such are the materials that enter into this dreadful display; which is concluded by an unusual strain of piety, and thanks to the Creator, that he did not render man the spectator of these terrible and tumultuous scenes that preceded the birth of intelligent and sensitive natures.
We come now to the fifth EPOCHA, during which elephants, and other animals of the southern climates, inhabited the northern regions. When the earth was still burning-hot toward the south, it was cooling toward the Poles, which enjoyed, during a long space of time, the temperature adapted to the preservation and fublistence of the plants and animals that can only live, now, in the southern regions. Animal or living nature may have commenced its existence on our globe about 36,000 years from its formation, or expulfion from the sun, as its pojar regions, at least, were then so far cooled, that the curious examiner might touch them without burning his fingers. To this living nature the author gives a long lease of existence, (for as the business is all ideal, liberality is easy) even 93,000 years, at the end of which the globe will be colder than ice. But, between these terms, there are intermediate ones, as between the extremities of the thermometer. In the first degrees of refrigeration, when the waters ceased to boil, animals and vegetables may have existed, which were afterwards destroyed (both individuals and species) by the increasing refrigeration of Yucceeding ages, and we find only their remains in calcareous substances : but the classes of organized and animal beings, .that, by their nature, are more affected by intense heat, could only exist and multiply in periods nearer that in which we live. It is about 15,000 years backwards from our time that our Author places, in the North, elephants and other kinds of animals, who, at present, can only live and multiply in the torrid zone. According to him, the quantity of ivory discovered in the northern regions, proves that they once really contained a great number of elephants ; but there are many more plausible accounts given of the existence of these animals in the North, than the wild romance of the epochas, M. DE BUFFON ob
ferves, that while the bones of elephants have been found in North America, no records announce the same discovery in the southern parts of that continent ;-that the same kind of elephant, which actually exists in the ancient continent, is no more to be found in the other,-and that not only the southern parts of the new world exhibit no elephants of this kind, nos any species of the other terrestrial animals which inhabit, at present, the southern regions of our continent, but, moreover, that these animals never existed but in the northern parts of the American continent, and that while they inhabited the parts of ours that lie in the same latitude. From hence our Author concludes that the old and the new continent were not then separated towards the North, and that their separation has been pofterior to the existence of elephants in North America, where that species was probably extinguished. He thinks it also probable that this extinction happened pretty much about the time of the separation of the continents, and that it was occafioned by the impaffable mountains, which hindered the elephants from travelling up towards the equator in quest of warmth, as their brethren and relations had done in Asia and Africa :— so they had a cold death, on our Author's hypothefis. However, it would cost us but little pains to find out an hypothesis, by which we could hoist them over into Africa, when the refrigeration was taking them by the tail : for that there was a continent in times of yore that joined Africa with America,-or at least a cluster of isles, that might serve as steppingstones to the half-reasoning elephants, is, we think, as capable of proof, as that a comet gave the sun a fap in the face, and thus, by a random-blow, formed the solar system.--But let us proceed with our Author to the
Sixth epocha- which contains the feparation of the continents. This separation of Europe from America was effectuated, as our Author imagines, in two places, by two great currents, or ridges of sea, that extend from the northern regions to the most southern parts of the globe. He thinks also, that it happened about ten thousand years ago, much about the time that England was separated from France, Ireland from England, Sicily from Italy, Sardinia from Corsica, and both these latter from the continent of Africa. The discussions of our Author, on thefe objects, are pleasant reading for a young student of philosophical geography; for such are peculiarly fond of invention and conjecture. The falling in of lands, in consequence of volcanos or other causes, has probably separated not only the countries now mentioned from each other, but also Greenland from Scotland and Norway, as, says he, the Orkneys, Shetland, Ferro, Iceland, and Hola, exhibit nothing to our view but the summits of lands that have been submerged. Our
Author thinks farther, that Canada may have been joined to Spain by the banks of Newfoundland, the Azores, and the other islands that are scattered between these two countries. The history of the Atlantis, related by Plato and Diodorus Siculus, can only be applied (says our Author, though his ad. mirer M. Bailli be of a quite different opinion) to a vast district of land, that extended itself far to the west of Spain, and that was inhabited by powerful princes and warlike legions. He thinks, however, that the junction of America with Asia in the days of old (of which we have neither records nor traces) is ftill more probable than its junction with Europe ;--the facts and observations on which he grounds this opinion, are like all the rest of his proofs, vague, forced, and entirely inconclusive; but the detail into which he enters, is, in itself, neither unin. structive nor disagreeable, though it does not amount to evidence. Nevertheless, we cannot comprehend the pleasure which this genius takes in wandering always in the clouds, snuffing up the air of possibilities and hypotheses, and that in matters in which it is of little, often of no consequence, whether we come to a determination or not upon the point in question.
After observations and reasonings of great length on this reparation of the continents,--on the state of the Mediterranean, Euxine, and other feas, before that period, which preceded long, according to our Author, the deluges of Deucalion and Ogyges, and all the other inundations, the memory of which has been preserved among men, M. de BUFFON returns to his hobby-horse, the hypothefis of refrigeration. Among other curious things on this subject, he tells us, that the northern regions, which were formerly warm enough for the propagation of elephapts, being now so far cooled as to be only able to provide for the subfiitence and nourishment of white bears and rein-deers, will, in fome thousands of years, become entirely desert and destitute of inhabitants, by the influence of the cold or refrigeration alone. There are even, in bis opinion, strong reasons for thinking that our polar region, which is yet unknown, will always remain inaccessible ; since it appears that a glacial refrigeration has taken place at the Pole, and extends even to seven or eight degrees ; ail which district is mere ice,perhaps, or probably, as our Author says; and if it be so, then the circumference, and extent of that ice will increase with the refrigeration of the earth. Surposing now that a thoufand years have passed since permanent ice has begun to exist under the very point or extremity of the Pole, our Author calculates, conjectures, and decides, that ninety-nine thousand years must pass before this ice can reign at the Equator, fuppofing the progresfion of glacial or icy cold as uniform as that of the earth's refrigeration. This calculation agrees pretty well with the dura