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&t our continents have once been the bottom of a fea, on which its every thing paffed in the same manner, as things pass on the “ prefent bottom of the ocean.”-Among the marine bodies, deposited in the bottom of the sea that is now become our continent, there are several kinds, that only live in the seas, that are far distant from it. " Therefore, the sea, that covered
our continent, did not withdraw from it slowly; for, by such “ a gentle retreat, the marine animals that lived in it would 6 have continued to live in it, and we should find in the waters, “ that are near our coasts, the kinds, whose fragments and car“ cases we discover in the contiguous lands.”-9. We find also, in the earth, even near the fea-coasts, márine, fossile, animal, bodies, of species which we have not as yet discovered living in any sea, --though it would seem, that, did they exist, they would not have cscaped the notice of men. “ There mult, " therefore, have been a cause, which made the lea to with“ draw itself from our present continents ; some circumstances, “ also, which have either destroyed these marine animals, or conko cealed them from our view, or changed their aspect.”—10. If we consider the external form of our continents, we shall not find in the whole, taken together, any thing that denotes the sea's having withdrawn from them in a violent manner. They consist of a great number of hills and plains, composed of strata or layers of land (or other unconnected matters) which have not undergone any confusion. We see no great opening extending itself towards the present ocean, and even the greatest part of the rivers must have formed their own beds in order to arrive at it.-" From hence it follows, according to our Au« thor, that, though it be evident, that the sea has not with« drawn itself from our continents, in a revolution extremely « flow and successive, it appears, nevertheless, on the other " hand, that its removal was not attended with a sudden passage “ of the whole mass of the ocean into a new bed.”-11. We perceive, at the surface of our continents, a prodigious quantity of accumulations different from the preceding, which have been undoubtedly exposed to the action of fire, which is now quite extinguished, and neither history nor the most ancient traditions convey any notice of the time when these mountains were formed. s. Therefore, there is a class of volcanic moun“ tains, whose origin has probably been always unknown.” 12. These mountains have marks, that distinguish them from the volcanos that burn ftill: more particularly, they are often covered with accumulations of distinct substances, which are the work of the sea. “ Therefore the sea has also covered this as particular class of volcanic mountains:" and several circumstances indicated by our Author, shew that these mountains were formed, when our continents were yet the bed of the Nn 2
ocean: for their strata discover alternate marks of the operations of fire and water; and there are examples on record, of such mountains arising from the bottom of the sea.-13. It appears by a variety of phenomena, mentioned by our Author, “ that " the present continents have their primordial base precisely 6. where it was, when it constituted the foundation of the
ancient ocean, and that it is upon this stable and permanent “ bale, that the secondary eminences, produced, some by fire " and others by water, have been raised.” – It appears farther, that when the sea produced its lait accumulations of calcareous matter and fand, upon our continents, it then occupied these continents entirely.–Again-as foils, dikengaged from water, and exposed to the influence of the air, are covered, in process of time, with plants, whole fucceflive generations, left upon the place, produce Itrata of vegetable earth, these trata, when they remain untouched, assist us in calculating, by their progressive growth, the time that a foil has been expofed to the inAuence of the air. Accordingly, by confidering, not the mountains, where, from various causes, vegetation does not follow a uniform rule, but the last strata of land which the sea has spread over extensive districts of our continent; our Author concludes, from a variety of circumstances here specified, that the time elapsed, since these ftrata have been exposed to the influences of the air, is not so considerable as some have imagined, and that all the extent of the base of our continents was thus exposed at one and the same period. An observatica also of the phenomena, that are discernible on the borders of the present ocean, have led our Author to conclude, that the level of the sea undergoes no more alterations, that since it left our continents it discovers no tendency to change its bed, and that the period when it left our continents is not extremely remote.
The result of all these phenomena is reduced, by our Author, to the following propositions.-1. The sea covered formerly our continents, and covers them no more.--2. There existed, at the fame time, other continents, that seem to exist no more.-3. The sea occupies a bed, in which it is permanent, and there is no discernible cause that has a tendeney either to de troy this bed or to form a new one.-4. The revolution that produced this new state of things, must have affected, at the fame time, all the parts of our continents, where the untouched layer of orgetable earth is of the same thickness.-5. The thickness of that layer or fratum is not very considerable, if we attend to the known effects of the cause that produced it. M. De Luc's fyftem may be then exprefied in the following sentence: Ascient continents, which were contemporary with the ancient fea, funk, or fell in below the level of its bed : and the fea, flowing into that hollow space, left dry its ancient bed, which forms, at present, our continents,
The proofs and development of this system ;-the history of the earth since this grand revolution ;-the examination of M. Buffon's epochas, as far as they relate to the origin of the planets, and the refrigeration of the earth ;-a curious analysis of the phenomena of heat ;-a confideration of the Mosaic account of the creation and deluge, and a demonstration of their conformity with the true theory of the earth,-are the interesting subjects that occupy the remainder of this fifth volume:-and we propose to give some account of them in a subsequent Review.
VII. Observations sur la Musique, & principalement sur la Metaphysique de
l'Art.-Oviervations concerning Music, and more especially the Metaphysical Part of that Art. 8vo. Paris. 1779 HIS is a very ingenious performance. The Author appears
to be both a musician and a philosopher, and his knowledge is accompanied with evident marks of genius and taste. It deserves to be compared with the excellent treatise of Mr. HARRIS, on Music, Painting, and Poetry, in which that very learned and judicious writer allows to the first but a very small degree of perfection, when considered as a mimetic or imitative art, and makes its genuine charm and efficacy confilt in exciting directly by founds, modified in a certain manner, a variety of affections in the mind. Our Author adopes this principle, and illustrates it by a variety of observations and examples, that are curious and entertaining. He thews, that imitation is, by no means, essential to music; and that it is extremely imperfect in this fine art : he confiders mufic, as a natural and univeríal language, entirely distinct from speech, that acts immediately on the senses, though the mind, by reflection and fancy, discovers, in its founds, several relations and analogies to different objects and effects in the natural world. 'He observes, that in the stabat mater, which commonly pafles for a powerful expreffion of grief, there is not a fingle note that imitates the natural or inarticulate cry of pallion.
The object and effect of music is pleasure, and pleasure is felt by the person who fings, even on the most sorrowful occafione. As inarticulate sounds have no precise fignification, they cannot excite any ideas, but such as correspond with certain sensations and affections, and even these they excite in a vague and confused manner, if they are not determined by the union of music with poetry, or speech. Our Author conliders at great length the four principal characters of mufic, viz. the tender--the graceful the chearful--and the bold. He allo treats
of melody and harmony, composition and execution, in a masterly manner. This volume, however, is bat the first parç of his work; and the second will certainly be desired with im. ' patience by those who peruse the first.
A R T.
VIII. Poyage dans les Ners de l'Inde, fait par Ordre du Roi, &c. - An Ac
count of a Voyage made in the Indian Seas, by the king's Order, on occasion of the Passage of Venus over the Sun's D ki the bih of June 1761, and the 3d of June 1769. By M. LE GENTIL, Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences. Vol. 1. 40. 707 pages, with xv Plates. Paris. 1779. Price 13 livies. 105.
HE learned and inquisitive Author of this instructive and
entertaining work did not obtain the principal end he propose to himself by this voyage to the East-Indies. He arrived too late in India for ihe pallage of Venus, that was to take place in 1; 61: and though, with a patience, that seems peculiar to the votaries of astronomy, he waited till the year 1769 for another paffage, an untimely cloud, of a momentary durațion, disappointed his hopes a second time. These philofophical disasters did not, however, render his voyage fruitlets. The ingenious traveller turned his attention toward other objects, that might tend to the improvement of various useful branches of knowledge.' And there are, in effect, several observations relative to natural philofophy, geography, hiftory, civil inftitutions, and manners, in the work betore us, that will be read with pleasure.
This First Volume contains two parts, and a supplement or appendix. In the first part, our Author deleribes the customs, manners, and religion of the Indians, on the coatt of Coromandel, and this description is accompanied with various remarks on the wars and commerce that are carried on in that part of this strange world. This is followed by a view of the astronomical principles of the Brahmins. The Author thews their conformity with the astronomy of the ancient Chaldeans, and endeavours to throw light upon the cloudy chronology of that nation. He makes also several remarks on the confusion that reigns in the denominations frequently given to the inhabitants of the coasts of Malabar and Coromandel, and from which even the geographical maps and charts are not exempted. As to the religious ceremonies and doctrines of the Brahmins, we cannot say that his accounts of them are mafterly. Holwel and Anquetil discover a much more accurate and more ex. tenfive knowledge of these objects. M. LE GENTIL examines the accounts that have been given of the conquests of the Ma. cedonian hero in India, and places them vastly below the exploits and victories of Gengis- Kan, Tamerlane, and Aureng-Zib.
His account of the beauty of the Indian climate, the fertility of the soil, the voluptuous propensity of the inhabitants, and the spirit of sensuality, which reigns in those regions, and diffuses itself through the veins of the Europeans who frequent them, are described in vivid colours by our Author. Even the Indian sparrows do not escape his attention ; and the things he . relates of these lascivious animals, would heighten, with some new and glowing tints, Buffon's lively picture of their indelicate amours. It is very singular, that in such a climate, and amidst the indolence and laziness that nourish the sensual passions, the conjugal fidelity of the Indian women (especially those of more distinguished castes or families) is so remarkable and exemplary, as our Author represents it. Religion, reigning customs, nay, even certain superstitions, which seizing upon the passions, have generally a firmer hold upon the mind, than the pure dictates of a rational religion, may perhaps contribute to this phenomenon. It is, nevertheless, an object of reproach to those wbo live under a more temperate sky, and who are furnished with superior means of knowledge and virtue.
From this object, our Author proceeds to the tyranny which the Moguls exercise over the voluptuous and effeminate Indians, who surpass them in number nearly in the proportion of fifty to one. This oppression is rendered more grievous by the distensions which reign among the Mogul princes, more especially since the time that the Europeans have intermeddled in these distensions. He considers the Europeans as more or less, and sooner or later, the dupes of these princes, who have recourse to them for succour; he condemns the plan of M. Dupleix, who aimed at nothing less than the reduction of India under the French dominion, as a plan of ruin and devastation for the former, and as detrimental even to the true commercial interest of the latter. The only way (says he) to master India, would be to have a flourishing kingdom at Madagascar, which, by its proximity, would not only be empowered to conquer, but also to preserve the conquest. This puts us in mind of the old proverb, When the sky falls we shall catch larks.
We refer the Reader to M. LE Gentil's work for his account of the theology of the Indians, which is rather circumftantial, than remarkable for new discoveries. His descriptions of their sacred edifices, illustrated with plates, are curious. What is most curious of all is his notion, that the Egyptians are descendants of a Chinese colony in India, which is not only turning the tables on M. Des Guignes, but also on the authors of the Religious Ceremonies, who affirm, that the Brahmins desived their origin from an Egyptian colony. We shall be glad to hear, in the following part of our Author's work, upon