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hot can be content with, the scanty information he finds here ; and to a common Reader their descriptions must appear down right gibberish.
Taking the firft specimen that presents itself, ANGUIS, or the snake, for example ; instead of informing and amufing the Reader with the general history, habits, &c. of this species of animal, they present him only with a list of fixceen species, diftinguished by as many hard names, and tell him that such an one has 186 scuta on the belly, and 23 on the tail; but that another has 180 fcuta on the belly, and 18 on the tail : and yet this dry and dismal catalogue of 16 snakes, and of their respective fcuta on their bellies and tails, takes up more room than our judicious Compilers have thought fit to allot to lo interesting and important an article as that of Magnetism; a fubject which the reader, after due search, may at length find completely discussed in a solitary paragraph of about 20 lines, occurring in a very unexpected place, the treatise on Mecha nics : to which he is referred at large, under the word MAGNET
Turning over a page or two, we meet with Aphis, and expect that, at least, this extraordinary genus of infects, whose singular mode of propagation has, for a long time palt, confounded all our fine-spun systems of generation t, would have afforded matter for a curious article, interesting to the generality of Readers ; but a Reader, in the first place, who is not a professed Naturalist, will not know, nor do our Lexicographers inform him, that Apbis is the Linnæan generical name of the tribe of infects, of whose fingular mode of generation he has formerly read accounts in Bonnet and other Naturalists, under the titles of Pucerons, Vine-fretters, or Plant-lice; or if he does, will he meet with much fatisfaction from the account here given in eight lines, the whole substance of which is, that the Aphis belongs to the order of Infecta hemiptera, that the roftrum is inflected, the antenna. longer than the thorax, and the feet of the ambulatory kind :--notices which must undoubtedly redound much to his edification and amusement. It is needless to mul. tiply instances; but making one trial more we confult the article Polype, and find the whole history of this curious family of
Among other intances of a fimilarly happy arrangement, we may mention Thermometer, which is treated under Pneumatics. Looking for Pyrometer, no such article occurs : under the article, fire, we find nothing said of it; but in our search after Magnetism, we unexpěctedly pop upon it, thrut into a corner of the treatise of MaC3ANICS, + See our 48th volume. February 1773. page 116. X 2
insects comprised in three lines; but then we have the satisface tion of learning that it belongs to the Genus of the Hydra,
In a new Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, a Reader will naturally expect to meet with some information with regard to the many interesting discoveries or improvements in Philosophy or Art, that distinguish our own times. With’refpe&t however to matters of this kind, our negligent or uninformed Compilers generally observe the most profound filence. We shall close this article with giving a few instances, out of many that have occurred to us, of their ignorance or negligence in this para ticular,
In the first place, no such article as Fixed Air is to be me with in this Dictionary, though a subject certainly entitled to fome confideration in the philofophical or chemical departments of a work of this kind, on account of the confiderable ligfit thrown on several of the inolt interesting parts of natural philos sophy, by ascertaining the existence of this Auid, as a conttituent part of many bodies, and by the discovery of its various properties and relations. Overlooking and excusing their omiffion of the more recent discoveries of philosophers on this fubject, we fall observe that not only those of Dr. Brownrigge, communicated to the publick in 1765, and of Dr. Black, published in 1756, are here passed over unnoticed; but likewise the numerous and interesting experimental investigations of this aerial subfance, published by Dr. Hales above forty years ago, as well as the observations of Boyle, made in the faft century.
Fixed Air not being to be found either in its proper place, or under PNEUMATICS, we turn to the articles Lime, and Magne
fia, or rather to the treatise of CHEMISTRY; to which our Compilers refer us, at these two articles. Here they evidently appear not to have obtained the least glimpse of this element, nor of the important results derived from the complete and copious detection of it in these two fubftances, though effected by their own countryman, Dr. Black, near twenty years ago. We next consult the article MINERAL Waters, where we find them speaking of those of Pyrmont, as constituted of a subtile aqueous fluid, a volatile iron, and a predominating' alcali;' and newing themselves as completely ignorant of this aerial and capital ingredient, to which these and other waters of this kind one their grateful pungency and principal virtues, as if Dr, Brownrigge and others had never discovered or written a fyllable on the subject. In short, after all our searches, we have not been able to find the least hint or symptom, indicating that these Compilers and Digestors of the science of the present age, were conscious that such a principle as fixed air existed in any one corner of the universe.
Under PNEUMATICS (page 490) our Compilers have thought proper to speak of Lightning and Thunder, and repeat the old ftory of fulphureous and nitrous bodies, rising into the atmosphere, fermenting with each other, and taking fire fpontaAcoully; and yet some one of our coofistent associated bookmakers had before given us, under the article ELECTRICITY, a different and just account of the cause of these meteors, while he was transcribing from Dr. Priestley's history of that science.
To proceed only one step further in this unedifying and tirefome investigation :- The refrafting Telefcope is here curforily described in the compass of less than a page, just in the state in which it was delivered down to us from the days of Galileo and Kepler, with all its imperfections on its head.' The same profound silence and secrecy, which our Compilers have observed with regard to the modern Pneumatical discoveries of our countrymen, they religioufly maintain likewise with respect to the improvements made in the above-mentioned branch of Optics, which terminated in the invention of the Achromatic Telescope : one of the most brilliant discoveries of the present age. Not a hiat transpires concerning the theory of this instrument, nor is even the name of it to be found in this New and Complete digest of the Arts and Sciences.
We scarce need to repeat the Apology 'fuggested toward the beginning of this article; which we have been induced to extend to its present length, principally on account of the utility of compilations of this kind, the pretty extenlive demand for them, and the large price of the present work. On the whole, we Thall only further observe with regard to it, that it is formed on an exceptionable plan, injudicioudly, negligently, in fome instances ignorandy, and, upon the whole, we may add, dishoneftly, executed. The expresfion is not too harsh, when we consider the method pursued by our Book-wrights, of manufacturing the bulky parts of their work, or their fyftems, and of adding sheet to sheet, by the prompt expedient of almoft literally transcribing, whole treatises, or detached parts- of creatises; instead of extracting the subftance, and selecting and digesting their most valuable contents : while their fort and meagre articles, in the detached part of it, of which forty or fifty sometimes are included in a single page, render this department of the work a mete Dictionary of Definitions.
, For A PRIL, 1774.
POETICA L. Art. 13. Otaheite: a Poem. 400. I s.
Bathurst. 1774 HÉ fmooth, correct, and flowing style of verse in which this
position. But though his poetry is good, it is, in our opinion, tog general in its descriptions to be interesting; at lealt, such were the sentiments with which the perufal impressed us. What relates partiçularly to Otaheite is conveyed in the following lines :
! But Fancy leads us o'er yon ise to rove,
· Their evening hours fucceflive sports prolong,
• No boding presage haunts them through the night;
• Thus the fileet moments wing their easy way;
Unknown to these soft tribes, with stubborn toil
* Can cruel passions these calm feats infest,
• Ah! see in vain the little fuppliant plead
• On minds which thus untaught thus darkling itray,
How great the triumph!
Dodsley. 1774 St. Thomas's Mount is a beautiful place in India, on the coast of Coromandel. On this account the juvenile Author * had many advantages with respe&t to novelty of scenery, imagery, and objects; and, availing himself of this, he has produced no very contemptible poem. Thus he describes the hunting of the Antelope :
• But mark the beauteous Antelope !-he springs
2.. 6 d.
• This poem, the Author tells us, was written before he had at. tained his zoth year. X 4