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lively imagination, corrected however by a strong judgment, and guided by the laws of fyftem. Add to thefe, the most retentive memory, an unremitting industry, and the greatest perfeverance in all his purfuits; as is evident from that continued vigour with which he profecuted the defign, that he appears to have formed fo early in life, of totally reforming, and fabricating anew, the whole fcience of natural hiftory: and this fabric he raised, and gave to it a degree of perfection unknown before; and had moreover the uncommon felicity of living to fee his own ftructure rife above all others, notwithstanding every difcouragement its author at first laboured under, and the oppofition it afterwards met with. Neither has any writer more cautiously avoided that common error, of building his own fame on the ruin of another man's. He every where acknowledged the feveral merits of each author's fyftem; and no man appears to have been more fenfible of the partial defects of his own. Thofe anomalies which had principally been the objects of criticism, he well knew every artificial arrangement must abound with; and having laid it down as a firm maxim, that every system fhould finally reft on its intrinfic merit, he willingly commits his own to the judgment of pofterity. Perhaps there is no cir cumftance of LINN AUS's life, which fews him in a more dig. nified light, than his conduct towards his opponents. Disavowing controverfy, and juftly confidering it as an unimportant, and fruitless facrifice of time, he never replied to any, numerous as they were at one feafon.
To all who fee the aid this extraordinary man has brought to natural science, his talents must appear in a very illuftrious point of view; but more efpecially to thofe, who, from fimilarity of tafte, are qualified to fee more diftinétly the vaft extent of his original defign, the greatness of his labour, and the elaborate execution he has given to the whole. He had a happy command of the Latin tongue, which is alone the language of fcience; and no man ever applied it more fuccessfully to his purpofes, or gave to defcription fuch copioufnefs, united with that precifion and concifenefs, which fo eminently characterise his writings.
In the mean time, we are not to learn that it has been ob jected as derogatory to his learning in no fmall degree, that he has introduced a number of terms not authorised by claffical authority. But granting this, it ought to be recollected, that LINNEUS, in the investigation of nature, has difcovered a multitude of relations which were entirely unknown to the ancients; if, therefore, there be any force in the objection, it fhould first be fhewn, that the terms which he has introduced to exprefs thefe relations, are not fairly and analogically deduced from the language, fince it muft furely be granted, that LINNÆUS
LINNEUS could not have spoken the language of natural history, as it is known at this day, in that of Pliny, or of any claffical writer whatever.
• The ardor of LINNAEUS's inclination to the ftudy of nature, from his earliest years, and that uncommon application which he bestowed upon it, gave him a moft comprehenfive view both of its pleasures and usefulnefs, at the fame time that it opened to him a wide field, hitherto but little cultivated, especially in his own country. Hence he was led to regret, that the fludy of natural hiftory, as a public inftitution, had not made its way into the univerfities; in many of which logical difputations, and metaphyfical theories, had too long prevailed, to the exclufion of more ufeful science. Availing himself therefore of the advantages which he derived from a large fhare of eloquence, and an animated ftyle, he never failed to difplay, in a lively and convincing manner, the relation this study had to the public good; to incite the great to countenance and protect it; to encourage and allure youth into its purfuits, by opening its manifold fources of pleasure to their view, and fhewing them how greatly this agreeable employment would add in a variety of inftances, both to their comfort and emolument. His extenfive view of natural hiftory, as connected with almost all the arts of life, did not allow him to confine thefe motives and incitements to thofe only who were defigned for the practice of phyfic: He also laboured to infpire the great and opulent with a tafte for this ftudy; and wifhed particularly that fuch as were devoted to an ecclefiaftic life fhould fhare a portion of natural fcience, not only as a means of fweetening their rural fituation, confined, as many are, perpetually to a country refidence, but as what would almost inevitably lead, in a variety of instances, to difcoveries which only fuch fituations could give rife to, and which the learned in great cities would have no opportunities to make. Not to add, that the mutual communication and enlargement of this kind of knowledge, among people of equal rank in a country fituation, muft prove one of the ftrongeft bonds of union and friendship, and contribute in a much higher degree than the ufual perishing amufements of the age, to the pleasures and advantages of fociety.
LINNEUS lived to enjoy the fruit of his own labour in an uncommon degree. Natural hiftory raised itself in Sweden, under his culture, to a state of perfection unknown elsewhere, and was from thence diffeminated through all Europe. His pupils difperfed themselves all over the globe, and, with their master's fame, extended both fcience and their own. More than this, he lived to fee the fovereigns of Europe eftablish feveral public inftitutions in favour of this ftudy, and even Profefforfhips eftablifhed in divers univerfities for the fame purpofe, which do ho
nour to their founders and patrons, and which have excited a curiofity for the fcience, and a fenfe of its worth, that cannot fail to further its progrefs, and in time raife it to that rank, which it is intitled to hold among the pursuits of mankind.'
VOYAGES dans les Alpes: Precedés d'un Essai fur l'Hiftoire Naturelle des Environs de Geneve. i. e. Travels in the Alps: To which is prefixed an Effay on the Natural History of the Environs of Geneva. By HORACE BENEDICT DE SAUSSURE, Profeffor of Philofophy in the Academy of Geneva. Volume I. 4to. Neufchatel. 1779. 550 Pages. As an attentive obfervation of mountains must contribute greatly to our acquiring juft ideas relative to the theory of the earth, the work before us will undoubtedly meet with a favourable reception among the learned. It comes from the pen of a keen, intelligent, and indefatigable obferver of Nature, who, after contemplating her operations in detail, confiders them in their combination, and views, more especially, the mountainous parts of the globe in their totality, connections, and effects. How this excellent Author has acquired the materials this work contains, we learn from a Preliminary Difcourfe, which is, in our opinion, a masterly compofition-pleafing, inftructive, and eloquent. He feems to have been, from his early youth, as paffionate a lover of mountains as M. De Luc; and he defcribes with a glowing pencil the beauties obferved from their fummits, the elevation of mind which the philofopher feels, when he looks down, from thefe fuperior regions on the ambition, the cares, and paflions of men, whofe generations buzz and pass fucceffively in the cities beneath.
In 1758, at the age of 18, M. DE SAUSSURE had frequently vifited the mountains in the neighbourhood of Geneva. In 1760, he went alone, and on foot, to the Glaciers, or Icemountains of Chamouni. Thefe were but fmail beginnings of his philofophical peregrinations: for he travelled fourteen times through the whole ridges of the Alps, by eight different paffages; made fixteen excurfions to the centre of the chain; traversed the Fura, the Fofges, the mountains of Switzerland, Germany, England, Italy, Sicily, and the adjacent ifiands; and visited the ancient volcanos of Auvergne, a part of thofe of the Vivarais, and the principal mountains of Forez, Dauphiny, and Burgundy.
As to the work- it is compofed with the true fpirit of a philofophical oblerver. The materials and facts go before; and then follow, or are to follow, the refults and conclufions that
form the theory, and produce the system. This first volume is divided into Two Parts.
In the 1ft Part, we have a natural hiftory of the district about Geneva, which exhibits a multitude of curious details, and new and interefting obfervations. The branch of Lithology is amply treated in this Effay, on account of its effential relation to the theory of the earth. The Author could not, indeed, give, in a work of this kind, a complete fyftem of chymical Lithology; and yet he could not, on the other hand, avoid entering more ar lefs into analytical researches concerning the origin and formation of earths and ftones. He has therefore obferved a medium: among a multitude of ftones he has particularly defcribed the rolled flints (fo called from their having acquired their round form by being rolled along with the currents of rivers), that are found in the environs of Geneva, and whofe different kinds are analogous to thofe of the Alps. The experiments he made on the fusibility of thefe ftones led him to difcover the primitive bafis or matter of the Lava and the Bafaltes, of which he treats in a large digreffion, and fhews, that this bafis is micacious earth, or what our Author calls, Roche de Corne.
In the 20 Part of this volume, M. DE SAUSSURE gives an ample account of his voyage to Chamouni, and the Glacier of Buet, to which the obfervations and experiments of M. De Luc have given no small degree of celebrity in the records of natural history. The details of a lithological nature, and the defcriptions of mountains, both with refpect to the materials they contain and the positions of their ftrata, which we find here, are minute and circumftantial, but are always relative to our Author's great object, his general plan, of which he never lofes fight. From time to time, he fhews the tendency of the facts he enumerates to illuftrate the fcience of Geology, or phyfical Geography, and to lead to the knowledge of the theory of the earth. The fecond volume, which we have not yet feen, will contain the remaining excurfions of our keen obferver through the Alps. The third, which is to be published about two years hence, will contain the general inferences deducible from our Author's obfervations, and exhibit the refults and confequences pointed out in different places of the preceding volumes, combined, arranged, completed, and alfo confirmed, by new refearches.
The Reader will eafily perceive, in perufing this work, that the ingenious Author has given a peculiar degree of attention to his favourite object, the Primitive Mountains, and more efpecially to thofe of granit, which are the leaft known. In these great maffes, that feem, as it were, contiguous to the origin of things, the procedure of Nature is fo fingularly hidden and myfterious, that even the celebrated PALLAS, whofe travels through
the Ruffian empire contain fuch an inestimable treasure of obfervations and difcoveries, and whofe refearches concerning the formation of mountains are fo juftly esteemed, defpaired of making any difcoveries with refpect to the formation of the mountains of granit, and left that fubject untouched in the courfe of his inquiries. Our Author has neither been difcouraged by this intimidating example, nor by the difficulties of the fubject. An obftinate application to the ftudy (if we may use that expreffion) of the granit mountains, a view of the forms of this kind of mountains in the Alps, and fome new facts, which happy accidents have difcovered to him, have enabled him to acquire fome light with refpect to their origin and structure, that may have efcaped other obfervers.
The views of the mountains, which our Author has annexed to his defcriptions, were drawn upon the fpot by another ingenious Alpine traveller, M. BoURRIT, with an accuracy, as yet rare in undertakings of this kind. The Travels of this excelJent Naturalift in the Pennine and Rhætian Alps, as well as his other productions, have procured him a very confiderable and deferved reputation and we propofe to make our Readers farther acquainted with him on another occafion.
There is a particular phenomenon, relative to the Lake of Geneva, in the first part of this work, which the Author explains by an ingenious hypothefis, not totally different from that of M De Luc; but capable, on the contrary, of an eafy reconciliation with it. The fact is, that upon a bottom of grit, and calcareous earth, the valley of the Lake of Geneva exhibits fragments of granit and primitive rock, which the waters have loofened, carried off, and washed down from the Alps. But where find a torrent, impetuous enough to roll over a space of between twelve and fourteen leagues, fragments, fome of which are feveral cubical fathoms in circumference? Our Author folves this queftion by the following hypothefis, for which he alleges folid proofs.
The waters of the ocean (fays he), in which our mountains were formed, covered ftill a part of these mountains, when a fudden jolt, or violent motion of the globe, opened, in an inftant, great cavities, which were before empty, and occafioned the difruption of a number of rocks. The waters were precipitated towards thefe deeps with an extreme violence, proportioned to the height from which they fell; they excavated deep vallies and carried along with their rapid current immense quantities of earths, fands, and fragments of all kinds of rocks. These aggregations, half liquid, driven forward by the weight of the waters, were accumulated to the height that many of thefe difperfed fragments ftill have. -The waters, which conti nued to flow afterwards, but with a smaller degree of velocity,