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nagement, be very efficacious. When we fay this, we allow all that can be allowed to any application whatever.-We will not even call in queftion his having performed fome extraordinary Cures: - although, when a man boasts of curing a difeafe which is generally deemed incurable; when we hear him ufing the illiberal ftile of making every honeft advantage of his Purchase; we are naturally led to fufpect the validity of his pretenfions; and to require more fatisfactory and more difinterested evidence than his own. What will confirm the expediency of fuch caution, is the conftant obfervation, that the men whofe learning, fkill, and integrity have done moft honour to their profeffion, candidly acknowlege the infufficiency of their art, in certain maladies, which persons the moft weak and illiterate, generally pretend to cure.


Of the Ends of Society. By Fettiplace Bellers, Efq; 4to. 6d. Richardson.


HIS curious little piece is ufhered into the world without any Preface or Advertisement to explain the nature and defign of the work, or to account for its falling into the Editor's hands. There feems no room, however, to doubt its being the genuine production of the ingenious Author whose name it bears; and who is well known to the learn¬ ed, by a former treatise, intitled, A Delineation of Univerfal Law*.

It will not be expected that we should attempt to analyze an Analyfis; but to give our Readers fome general notion of the nature of this treatife, we fhall briefly premise, that the Author treats of his fubject

1. Generally, Wherein he confiders,

1. The Foundations of Society.

2. The moft general Ends of Society, and the most general Maxims which limit and regulate thofe Ends.

2. Particularly, Wherein he examines

The principal or primary Ends, Where, by fuch, he means those which, though first in view, are laft in execution; being those ultimate Ends, for the execution of which the intermediate or lefs principal Ends, as fo many inftruments, are inftituted and they are evidently two.

1. The Determination of Rights.

For an account of this treatife, fee Review, vol. II. page 57.
2. The

2. The Maintenance of them fo determined. The lefs principal or fecondary Ends, which, though laft in view, are the firft in inftitufton, as the means, to perform the other. And they confift in inftituting

1. A Public Treafury, or Finances for public ends. 2. A fupreme Legislature, which is neceffary, becaufe, without it neither what are Rights can be

fettled, nor how those maintained, determined. Our Author pursues his plan through a multitude of divifions and fubdivifions, in which he difcovers great analytical genius and folidity of judgment. His reflections moreover are, in many places, fo extremely fhrewd and liberal, that his very propofitions seem to have the weight of conclufions. For inftance,-treating of the modes in which feveral particular kinds of actions are performed by perfons actually engaged in life, he confiders thofe actions which are the refult

of men's

Intellectual Faculties; where, he says,

In general, it is evident that the particular acts or habits
of ignorance or error in individuals or numbers, can-
not be the object of penal laws, but must be left to
their natural effects on the perfons themselves; to in-
volve men in pofitive punishments for natural incapa-
cities, would be an infringement of the two funda-
mentals of Society, which are the maintenance of
the natural equality and natural inequality of men.
In particular, where he makes a Query;

Whether there be any fpeculative opinions or er rors, whose public profeffion and propagation the State fhould prevent, in confideration of their sonfequences?

Whether the prevention of the propagation of such can be reconciled to the former Maxim, and how? Because to me, (fays he) there feems a wide difference between punishing a man for his private opinion, or preventing the propagation of it.

These reflections, to a thinking mind, open an ample field of fpeculation. To enter into a difquifition of this nature, would carry us beyond our limits: we with our Author had purfued it; but, in few words, we cannot help thinking, that an attempt to prevent the profeffion or propagation of any fpeculative opinion, by means of penal laws, is an infance of narrow minded policy.

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Lettres de M. de Mairan, au R. P. Parrenin, Miffionaire de la Compagnie de Jefus, a Pekin, contenant diverses Questions fur la Chine. 121no. Paris. Defaint. 1759. Or,

Letters from Mr. Mairan, to Father Parrenin, a Jesuit Miffionary at Pekin, containing feveral Enquiries relating to China.


OR the publication of thefe Letters, which have been read at different times before the Academy of Sciences, we are indebted to that of two ingenious pieces lately publifhed; the one on the Phenician Alphabet, by Mr. L'Abbé · Barthelemy; and the other, on the Chinese Characters, by Mr. de Guignes. As the fubject is become alfo a matter of controverfy, we fhall, under this article, give an abstract of what has been advanced by all thefe Gentlemen, on the fide of the Question they have embraced.

It is many years ago fince Mr. Mairan adopted the opinion of Mr. Huet, the celebrated Bifhop of Avranches, refpecting the modern Chinese being defcended from a colony of Egyptians, which firft civilized the Savages of, and peopled, that vaft country: the ftriking fimilitude obfervable in the Characters, Manners, and Customs of the Egyptians and Chinese, being the motive for his embracing that opinion.

Father Parrenin, being one of the Miffionaries in China, entertained, on the contrary, the highest notions of the greater antiquity of that nation; and endeavoured to invalidate the arguments made ufe of by his Correfpondent. This drew from Mr. Mairan the ingenious Parallel, of which Mr. Fontenelle makes mention, in his Hiftory of the Academy; and which is contained in the fecond Letter now publifhed. On reading this piece, it must be confeffed, that the conformity between the two people appears furprizing; and amounts to the greatest probability of their being derived from the fame ftock.

Mr. de Guignes confirms this opinion by different reasons. Having been convinced by Mr. l'Abbé Barthelemy's Memoir on the Phenician Alphabet, that the Chinese Characters were many of them nothing more than a compofition of Phenician Letters, he made ufe of that information as a key to the names of the firft Chinese Emperors; and found that thefe names were also thofe of the first Kings of Thebes;


and that they fucceeded each other in the fame order; from whence he concluded, that China muft formerly have received fome Egyptian colony, who had placed the hiftory of their former country at the head of their prefent one.

But to defcend to particulars. The arguments of Mr. Mairan may be confidered under three heads, viz. thofe refpecting the fimilitude of the manners and cuftoms of the Chinefe and Egyptians. Thofe relating to the Chinese Chronology; and laftly, to what regards the Genius of the Chinefe for arts and science.

As to the firft, both nations, fays he, were remarkable for a variety of fimilar cuftoms, and prejudices: for inftance, a prodigious, and even fuperftitious, veneration for their anceftors, was cominon to both. Each had two kinds of language, one for fpeech, and another for writing. A tafte for buildings of a vaft fize; a particular regard to maintain the fame profeffion in the fame family; an uninterrupted tradition of the arts and sciences, particularly Aftronomy; a long feries of dynafties; an unalterable body of laws, as well religious as political; a ridiculous, tho' conftant, attachment to the dogma of Tranfmigration; a fingular veneration for the figure of a Dragon, and for the bird called Phenix in Egypt, and Tom-hoam in China. Thefe, with many others, are enumerated by Mr. Mairan, as examples of a fimilarity in the notions and customs of both people.

As to their Chronology, indeed, Mr. Mairan thinks, that, tho' the conquefts of Sefoftris, and the fettlement of an Egyptian colony in China, gave entirely a new face to the government and manners of the country, that empire has fubfifted, at leaft, ever fince Yao; i. e. 2357 years before Chrift.

With respect to the third head, the Genius of the Chinese for the arts and fciences, our Author remarks, that tho' this people have always piqued themfelves on the cultivation of the fpeculative fciences, yet hardly any one man has been ever found among them that was even a tolerable proficient therein; the more fimple propofitions in Euclid's Elements, the Sphere of Clavius, and other little elementary treatifes, that have been tranflated into their language, affording them objects of the greateft admiration. Nor were the most learned. among them lefs furprized at the Charts and Globes of the Europeans, by which they were taught that the earth was fpherical; their notion being, that it was fquare, and that the empire of China was fituated in the middle. Nay, fo little genius do they appear to have in this refpect, and so Rev. Dec. 1759.



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little of that curiofity which is infeparable from it, that, tho' the island of Formofa is not more than twenty leagues from the most frequented coafts of China, yet, it does not appear that they knew any thing of it, till about the year of our Lord 1430. Gunpowder, and the art of making it in great perfection, have been known time immemorial among them; and yet, before they were taught by the Europeans, no one amongst them ever thought of a musket or

a cannon.

The Circulation of the Blood was not unknown in China when the Europeans were ignorant of it; and yet, to this day the Chinese Phyficians are unacquainted with the Rationale of it. In matters of Politics and Morality the Chinese are very deficient. The country is extremely fertile, and inhabited by men not idle, and yet famines are very frequent. They are alfo great pretenders to juftice and humanity; affecting a veneration for the dead, and a great antipathy to the effufion of human blood; and this they do, even where capital punishments are due to the most atrocious offenders; while, at the fame time, they expofe the innocent infant to butchery, at the good pleasure of its indolent, or avaricious parents.

Now, from this apparent want of Genius for invention, and weaknefs of understanding, common to the Chinese, Mr. Mairan infers, that, being incapable of making any dif coveries themfelves, they muft have been taught what they know, or they would have known much less than they do; and that the fmattering of fcience, and the unimproved arts, known time out of mind among them, must have been introduced from Egypt.

Such, in brief, is the fum and fubftance of Mr. Mairan's Letters.

Meffieurs Barthelemey and de Guignes take a different route to the fame goal. The Memoir of the former contains the particulars of a discovery which that ingenious Decypherer has made, of the Phenician Alphabet; to which difcovery he was incited, and affifted, by a view of the Plaifter Models of two Marbles, preferved at Malta, bearing each two infcriptions, the one in the Phenician language, and the other in Greek.

These infcriptions Mr. Barthelemey conceived to have the fame meaning; that is, the Phenician the fame as the Greek; and foon fucceeded, by comparing them with the infcriptions on feveral Phenician Medals, in forming a compleat alphabet of the letters of that language.

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