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Hence future ages mark in prospect neat,
Here, yet a youth, and wandering o'er the main,
Here too, to rear his infant-charge he fought,
Historical Memoirs of the Author of the Henriade. With some
Original Pieces. To which are added, Genuine Letters of
Having given an'ample account of these Memoirs, in noti-
* Every reader who knows any thing of the inhabitants of the Hebrides, must have hcard of the propbetic character with which many of them are distinguished; known by the name of the second figbt.. The late ingenious Mr. Guthric observes, of this circumstance (very properly, in the author's opinion), that " it would be equally absurd to attempt to disprove the “ reality of instances of this kind that have been brought by credible au“thors, as to admit all that has been said upon the subject,” Sce his Geographical Grammar, Art. Ísles OF SCOTLAND. But, "be the reader's judgement of this what it may, every man will acknowledge that it dias at lealt a sufficient degree of poetic probability to start here with propriery : and that what the Historian or Geographer relates as well founded, thic-Poct would be inexcufcable to reject as incredible.
readers a sample or two of the letters annexed. These relate tö various subjects; being apparently selected by the author as proofs of the univerfality of his genius. Of course they carry the strongest internal evidence that they are genuine; they are intermixed also with some few letters by other hands written to the author.
“ From Mr. Clairaut to Mr. De Voltaire,
(dated Paris, 16 August, 1759.) "S IR, “ The friendship with which you formerly honoured me is never out of my thoughts, as I look upon it to be one of the most flattering distinctions I ever obtained. If I have long abstained from solliciting new testimonies of it, I beg you will attribute my forbearance only to an apprehenfion of depriving you of the leaft portion of that time with whose value all Europe is acquainted. That apprehension, fo just on all occasions which determine the common run of mankind, would be ill-placed at a time when it is poslible to communicate some reflections on points proper to engage our attention ; and the vast variety of your knowledge prevents you from thinking a correspondence on any literary subject dry or sterile.
“ I therefore imagine that your zeal for the Newtonian system, which you first established in France, by your elegant expofition of its principles, will engage you to catt a look upon my latest attempts to contribute to its advancement.
" What I mean is to fix the return of the Comet predicted by Halley, which I have performed by an application of my general theory of the irregularities in the motions of the celestial bodies, pro. duced by their mutual action upon each other. I here subjoin the memoir upon that subject, which I read at our public meeting last St. Martin's day. As it has been attacked with great acrimony in several journals, I thought it expedient to answer my critics, before - the publication of my whole theory. I have the honour of submitting to your judgement this second memoir, as well as the first. When the whole work is printed, is Thall be presented with the same speed.
“I am, with the highest esteem, and that respect which is its ne. cessary consequence, Sir, Your most humble, and most obedient servant,
CLAIRAUT “ Answer from Mr. de Voltaire, to Mr. Clairaui's Letter. USIR, “ Your letter has given me pleasure equal to the esteem with which I am inspired by your works. Your contest with the Geometricians on the subject of the Comet, seems to me the war of the Gods in Olympus; while upon earth we have a battle between dogs and cars. I am frightened when I reflect upon the immenfity of your labour. I remember that formerly, when I applied to the Newtonian Theory, I never retired from study without finding my health impaired:-my organs cannot bear so much application as jour's
. You was born a
Geometrician, and it was only chance that made me a disciple of Newton. Your last work must certainly do honour to France. It is
impoflible the English should have said every thing. Newton partly founded his laws upon those of Kepler, and you have improved upon those of Newton. 'Tis certainly an admirable discovery, to be able to determine the anomalies caused by the large Planets in the course of the Comets. Our fathers, the Greeks, only knew those stars by their quality of being bairy, according to the etymology of their name, and mischievous, as we know Clodion the hairy, but you have subjected them to calculation equally with the other Planets of the solar fyftem. However, a man must be very hard to please, who would infist upon the return of a Comet being predicted to a minute, in the fame manner as a solar or lunar eclipse. In those immense distances, and in the complication of causes by which the return of a Comet may be accelerated or retarded, we must content ourselves with fome, thing near the truth. Besides, can we know precisely the quantity of • matter in Jupiter and Saturn? To me it appears impossible. I hould think, if you were allowed a month's usance on the return of a comet, as is allowed on bills of Exchange that come from very · remote countries, the favour would not be very great. But when it
is acknowledged, that you do honour to France and to human nature, .. you receive no more than whar is strictly your due. Would to heaven
that our friend Moreau Maupertuis had cultivated his art like you ; that he had confined himself to predict the return of Comets, instead of elevating his soul to prophecy, diflecting the brains of giants to investigate the nature of the foul, incrusting people with robin, in order to cure them of all diseases, persecuting Kunig, and dying in the arms of two Capuchins!
" To conclude this subject, I am sorry that you diftinguish by the name of Newtonians, those who have seen the truths of Newton's
discoveries: Geometricians might, with as great propriety, be called .: Euclidians. Truth has no party name; error may admit epithets of • raillery: We say Janjenifts, Molinifts, Quietists, Anabaptifts, to de. . fignate the different sorts of the blind. Sects have names, and truth is Truth.
" Heaven bless the Printer, who put the altercations of the Comét, instead of the alterations! He was more in the right thad he was aware: every truth produces altercations.
“ I too, in my turn, have good reason to complain of those who have charged me with being an enemy to my country, because I was the first Frenchman that made a fair transcript of the system Newton, -now Newton was an Englifliman.-But I have received so many favours of the faine kind from other hands, that this escaped me in the croud.
“ At lat I have given over measuring any curves, except those described by my newly invented fowing machines, at the extreinity of their Radi: the result is a little wheat. . But while I was fweating
blood and water at Paris, in compofing Epic Poems, Tragedies, and : Histories, I reaped only tares. The culture of lands is more pleafing than the cultivation of letters: I find more good lense, and much more honeity; in my labourers and vine-drellers, than in the literary pedlars.
« I cultivate the earth;-to that we must return at last. I have produced fome plenty in the most pleafant, and the pooreft country I ever beheld. It is a pretty experiment in the philosophy of nature, to make four ears of corn grow where the gave only two. The academies of Ceres and Pomona are well worth the others.'
Felix qui potuit rerum cognofcere causas
Fortunatus et ille Deos qui novit agreites." We cite thé Sixth Letter as a specimen of the poetical abilities of the translator *. " Answer to the Duke de Bouillon, who wrote a letter in verse to him,
on the edition of Corneille's works, published for the benefit of that great man's granddaughter. ,
“ I see, my Lord, that you itand exactly in the predicament of the Marquis de la Fare, who nearly at your age began to feel his genius for poetry rouse from its flumber"; a time of life when fome more valuable talents were on the point of suffering a little decay, and putting him in mind that there were pleasures different from those he had hitherto enjoyed.
“The theme of his first poem was Love; the Abbé Chalieu was the subject of the second. Your first verses are addressed to me; you was wrong, but I am the more indebted to you. You tell me that I have triumphed over my enemies; but 'tis you that make me triumph.
Aux pieds de mes rochers, aux creux de mes vallons, -
Je suis chanté par un Turenne.
Qu'un fouper est delicieux,
Font une plaisante harmonie!
Un rival facheux & jaloux!
We do not mean by this to commend him, however, as an elegant of correct writer of prose. And yet it is possible the inaccuracies and inclegancics of language, with which this piece abounds, may be in a great meafure owing co the hatte, in which most capillations of popular productions are made. Rev.
On a des ennemis en tout geare, en tout lieux;
Tout mortel combat sur la terre:
Qu'il faut jouir en paix ; & se moquer de tout.
Should I figh for the banks of the Seine ?
Hark, I'm sung by a noble Turenne.
To Bellona and Tragedy's Queen,
Or laugh at their malice and spleen.
To be happy is more than a dream;
That certainly's bliss in extreme.
Gives our fupper additional zest :
Are music that heightens our feaft.
Who has ravish'd his soul with her charms!
And jeft at his jealous alarms.
--By the rules our religion has given ;
"Twixt the Devil and Michael in heaven.
Ac Parnafsus all concord is broke,
For a name, breath, a-vile puff of smoke.
Those bleffings that fortune has lent;
But freely, to laughter give vent: We shall take leave of this article for the present t, with one short letter niore, written to the late Earl of Chesterfield. " To the Earl of Chesterfield.
Ferney, 24 September, 177.!. Of the five senses which fall to our lot, my Lord Huntington cello me that you have lost only one, and that you
have a good stomach, which is well worth a pair of ears.
+ Intending however, to refume it hereafter, these letters being entertaining and interesting to be so foon dismissed, if we could afford