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admitted as an excuse for this want 1761, having discovered the richness of exertion; for many weeks are as of its gold mines by means of the moderate as a European September, missionaries; a town was erected, and their winter months are generally and a governor appointed. The land so; even during the hot days there is barren, and provisions scarce and are intervals of cool breezes, besides dear. The climate is hot and moist. some hours of every evening and Rio Janeiro has a decided prepondemorning, during which the sun's rance over the other governments, rays have but little force; and the since the discovery of the gold and ground is cool, from the excessive diamond mines, about one hundred dews found within the tropics, and leagues to the N. W.; and the goverparticularly here. nor assumes the style of " Viceroy The inhabitants of Porto Seguro of Brazil." Sir George Staunton, in plume themselves on the circum- his account of the Embassy to China, stances of theirs being the immediate p. 204, says, "that all the provinces spot where Brazil was first discovered are growing fast into opulence and by Pedro Alvares Cabral, who deno- importance. They manufactured of minated the new found country Santa late several of the most necessary arCruz; but the name was afterwards ticles for their own consumption; and altered by King Emanuel to that of their produce was so considerable, Brazil, (i.e. Brasas or Brazas, a that the balance of trade began to be glowing fire or coal) from the tree already in their favour; and remittiripilanza producing a rich glow- tances of bullion were made to them ing red, which was then a great no- from Europe, in return for their overvelty, and has since become of consi- plus of their exports beyond their imderable value in Europe, ports." The same writer mentions, PRODUCTIONS OF BRAZIL. that the Portuguese settlers have The province of Rio Janeiro pro- shewn repeated symptoms of revolt duces chiefly sugar. Bahia is ex- from the parent country. A fearful tremely fertile in cotton, tobacco, piece of intelligence when we consiand sugar. Ilheos produces abun- der, that a fallen prince is gone to dance of Brazil wood. Para, or claim hereditary rights! Mr. LindGrand Para, the most northern pro- ley also has the following paragraph vince, produces great quantities of upon this subject, which is one, that cotton, sugar, vanilla, chocolate, and at this moment becomes highly incoffee; a fleet, laden with these arti- teresting, nay important. cles, sails annually for Lisbon. The "I dined with a friend who has climate is extremely hot; and the his saloon (the name with which they woods abound with precious timber dignify their best rooms) ornamented of great solidity and brilliant colours, with a set of French engravings of and some trees that yield odorous their late victorious generals. It was balsams. The province of Espiritu remarkable with what enthusiasm my Santo is chiefly productive of sugar; Senhor recapitulated their exploits, that of Fernambuco abounds in sugar, and dwelt on their particular merits; cotton, and Brazil wood: Siara pos- deducing, perhaps, not the most libe sesses cotton, sugar, tobacco, and ral inferences on the occasion. This Brazil wood, the usual staples of the partiality for the new republicans and country. Of the interior provinces, their principles I have long observed little is known. Over that of Minas very general both here (Bahia), and Geraes or the General Mines, the in other parts of Brazil among the Portuguese affect to throw great ob- younger branches of society; who scurity, on account of the wealth of have imbibed such notions so effecthe mines. The town of Gojas, or tually, that I should not wonder at Goyaz by the map of La Cruz, is this circumstance eventually causing about lat. 1°. 20, on the parallel of a total change in their political situa the northern frontier of the province tion. They always ridicule their subof Bahia. Matogroso is the most in- jection, and seem to be conscious that land and the most celebrated of these they possess the most desirable counprovinces. According to Alcedo, the try in the world, sufficient of itself to Portuguese first took possession in supply all the wants of man.'
and to bring, in the same vessels, different African articles, such as wax and gold dust, which they obtain in exchange for coarse printed cottons (chiefly of Lisbon manufac ture), aqua ardent, and tobacco. The price of a slave in Bahia is about thirty pounds sterling.
Da Cunba, a Portuguese author, and bishop of Fernambuco, whom we have already quoted, has written a curious work on the commerce of the Portuguese colonies. Yet it contains little that pertains directly to this subject, but is filled with many extraneous details about the slave trade, The distant colonial, or home. and attempts to controvert some opi- trade, of the Bahians, is likewise connions of Montesquieu. Among other siderable and extensive; and that to things the trade in timber is a favou- the southern provinces, Rio Grande, rite object with him; and he prefers in particular, very lucrative. The trade the negatree, the ipe, the guramirim, carried on in the immediate confines and sucupira, which chiefly grow in of the bay, of which a great part is Amazonia, to the strongest and best inland, is astonishing. There are timber in Europe. Our author justly full eight hundred launches and suregards the agriculture as a principal macks of different sizes, daily bringconsideration; and the fertility of ing their tribute of commerce to the Brazil is remarkable. The province capital; tobacco, cotton, and various of Rio Grande might alone supply a drugs from Cachsiera; the greatest great part of Europe with wheat, assortment of common earthenware hemp, and other products. Da Cunha from Jaguaripe; rum and whale oil regards this province as the richest in Brazil. It is to be regretted that the river whence it derives its name is little navigable, on account of the shoals. That the commerce of this country is not in a very flourishing state may be expected; and it was remarked to Mr. Lindley, by a native, that Brazil, considering the number of years it has been colonized, the space it occupies, and the inhabitants it contains, exhibits the greatest deficiency of genius and curiosity perhaps on the globe.
from Itaponca; timber from the province of the Ilheos; farinha and salt fish from Porto Seguro; cotton and maize from the river Real and San Francisco; and sugar, fine wood, and vegetables, from all quarters. Bahia, as well as Fernambuco, has a staple for cotton; and on the importation of this article in the launches and sumacks, the whole is landed at a warehouse appointed for the purpose, where it is weighed, sorted, and pressed; its quality; first, second, or inferior, marked on the bales; and Bahia, indeed, carries on a consi- then it is ready for exportation. In derable commerce, but this is to be this general store it continues till attributed rather to its local advan- disposed of by the owner, at the tages than to the industry of its inha- prices commonly fixed by the staplers. bitants. The chief trade is directly The mode of conducting their with Lisbon and Oporto, in which commerce is by barter, notwithstandabout fifty large vessels are employed ing the abundance of specie in circuthat perform their voyages with great lation, and they credit each other to dispatch. These vessels supply the a great extent. In their dealings, colony with European and Indian a mean and knavish cunning prevails, manufactures, as well as wine, flour, particularly when trading with stranbacalhao, butter, Dutch cheese, salt, gers; of whom they will ask for a and other commodities; and receive commodity double the price they in return cotton, sugar, aqua ardent will take, while they endeavour to (a spirituous distillation from cane undervalue what they are to have juice and molasses, but different in in exchange by every artifice in their flavour from rum), coffee, tobacco, power. lignum vitæ, mahogany, satin and tulip woods, a variety of gums, balsams, and medicinal roots, giving a considerable balance of profit in favour of Lisbon. The Bahians have permission to import their own slaves,
[To be concluded in our next.]
The conclusion of this interesting article will contain the popu lation, laws, manners, and customs of the Brazilians, account of the diamond and gold mines, &c. &c..
CURIOUS CRITIQUE, ADDRESSED To dared to mention my doubts; my BUFFON, AND HIS ANSWER. timidity would not permit me to deN Buffon's Partie Hypothetique of velope them. I said to myself, the
hear me, and
upon the refrigeration of the earth to instruct me, he will resolve even and the planets. This memoir, as difficulties which at present I do not well as all the Partie Hypothetique perceive. I have the honour to be, of the system of the universe and with the most lively gratitude and the theory of the earth, experienced much most respectful esteem, Sir, &c. opposition. Many naturalists endeaSuffer me to remain incognito: voured to refute it; but the greater every thing bids me do it." part of the objections were themselves The author of this letter developed objectionable. But there was one at length the objections which he or critique, and a curious one, addressed she seemed to regard as very impor to Buffon under the name of Madame tant. Buffon replied in the followL. B. D. V. and with the following ing manner:
Sir, or Madam, for your objec
T. E. S. A. V. L. M. O. R. tions betray both the delicacy and This critique was written with all strength of your mind, permit me the deference due to a great man, to observe, 1. That it is not in conseand it received the following answer. quence of attrition that bodies become Previously, however, we shall insert heated, and that your first inference the letter which occasioned it. does not at all follow my principles.
"March 10, 1776. 2. This attrition arises from the "Have pity on my ignorance, Sir; presence of circulating bodies. This you will laugh at my observations: action of circulating bodies is in a but still they contain doubts which I direct ratio of their bulk and an incannot resolve. They torment me; verse one of their distance.
and I can be satisfied, in a perfect "This is not true; for the action manner, only by yourself. No one of circulating bodies which produces can honour, respect, and love you attrition, is in the ratio of their bulk more than I do; and this is natural, and celerity. Two bodies in repose, for no one has given me so much however near they may be, will never pleasure as yourself, nor is there any be heated, but a body C. round which one to whom I owe so much grati- circulate with great rapidity, other tude. I owe to you, Sir, the desire bodies, will heat in proportion as the of instruction which I feel; that de- circulating bodies are ponderous, nusire was first excited by reading your merous, and rapid. immortal work. The power of your "As all the rest of your paper, genius, which elevates me above my- though very ingenious, rests upon self, which draws me into a career this induction, which itself is not so little adapted to me, has given me true, I imagine that my answer will courage and strength to persevere in be sufficient to one who appears to it. I shall perhaps, shortly, dare to have so much penetration. offer you the first fruits of my labours; but I dare do more at present; I dare mention to you, Sir, This explanation did not satisfy the not only objections, but some difficul- gentleman or lady. A second letter, ties which stop me. Have compas- longer than the first, in which the sion on me; come to my help, sup- principles established by Buffon were port your own work; the daughter of placed by the side of objections supthe eagle, I do not believe myself an posed unanswerable, was written; eaglet; but deign to raise me for an but it remained unreplied to. The instant upon your wings, to behold author published it, as well as the the father of fight. I have seen you first, in the Journal de Phisique for hovering about him, and penetrating the month of Jan. 1777. "I had rehis nature; but I have lost sight of course to my master," said he, in an you. You shall read what it is that enclosed letter to the Abbé Rozier, staggers me: I implore your candour editor of the Journal, "I only dared and your goodness. Hardly have I to mention some of the doubts which
(Signed) DE BUFFON." Montbard, March 1776.
stopped me; he deigned to reply to and convenience united, but as sancme, but his answer was not sufficient tioned by the respect which we owe to instruct me; I wrote again, &c." to their memory and munificence. This was, in fact, the custom of Having premised these general reBuffon. When any objections were marks, I will now endeavour to give addressed to him, or explanations you a more detailed account of the demanded, he replied concisely, say- buildings of Downing College in the ing however, all that he thought ne- state I saw them; but first, let me cessary on the subject; but if they speak of the situation, which is the insisted, he put an end to an episto- most unfavourable that could possibly lary correspondence often indiscreet, have been chosen, and one which and which would have occupied too nothing but the most complete nemuch of his valuable time, by reply- cessity can excuse: it is low, damp, ing in such a manner as to remove the and dirty; it is hemmed in on each possibility of his opponent's returning side by paltry buildings, which preto the charge. I remain, &c. sent their worst parts to it; it is also A. B. between a jail and an hospital. I Leicester, Jan. 4, 1808. need say no more of the judgment or taste of those concerned in its adopMR. BURDON on the New Buildings tion. The master's lodge, and the at Downing College, Cambridge. house for the professor of physic, are AVING lately been on a visit the two only buildings externally to me by long acquaintance, and the plain front of stone looking to the remembrance of past pleasures, I had east: there are some few ornaments, expected a great treat in seeing the but I do not immediately recollect of new buildings at Downing College: what nature. The ground floor is judge, therefore, Mr. Editor, of my elevated about two feet, and has disappointment, when I found them windows of ten feet in height, reachin every thing the reverse of what, to the floor of the apartments; above in my opinion, they ought to be; for there are windows of four feet, nearly though at present in an unconnected square, and above these there is no and unfinished state, they are suffi- thing. The sudden and striking disciently advanced to allow a judgment proportion between these two rows to be formed of the style and mode of windows, is a fault which totally of building which is adopted, and the destroys all external beauty and advantages they will possess when grandeur, for the whole height of the they come to be used as a place of building is not thirty feet at the utresidence. Allow me then to say, most. I am told that the upper apartthat they will neither have external ments are like the rooms of a prison, beauty nor internal convenience, and for the windows are so high from the I will give you my reasons for this floor, that it is almost impossible to seemingly harsh and severe censure. see out of them; and so far from the In the first place, I believe no good ceiling, that it will be impossible to reason can be given why the Grecian cover the space by curtains, cornices, style of architecture has been adopted or any other contrivances which are in preference to that which is vul- usually adopted in the apartments of garly called Gothic; for though the private houses, where the tops of the plea of elegance and covenience may windows generally reach near the be advanced in favour of the former, ceiling, in order to avoid the vastness it is totally destroyed by the affected of public rooms, and to give ideas of simplicity of the external front, and warmth and comfort. the total sacrifice of utility to whim Let me not forget to remark anoand caprice. But in my opinion, the ther singularity in this building, which style of architecture best adapted to by no means adds to its beauty, viz. public buildings in England, is the that the upper windows are not formEnglish style, or that which has been ed by parallel lines, but the two peradopted by our ancestors in their pendicular lines have a slight inclinacastles, churches, and colleges, not tion to each other; this I suppose to only as possessing the greatest beauty have been borrowed from the tomb CNIVERSAL MAG. VOL. IX.
of Hero at Agrigentum, in which of this author, and the easy, elegant, there is a door, or rather window, in full, and vigorous manner in which this shape, (vide Wilkins's Magna it is written, with the coarse, incor Græcia.) Though the building is rect, and languid style of his other now, I suppose, considerably ad- pieces, above all his tragedies, one vanced, it would, in my opinion, be would be almost tempted to think, the cheapest mode, cost what it will, that he was gifted with a temporary to pull it down, and build it in the and peculiar inspiration, for the very pure style of British architecture, purpose of writing Metromanie: there such as prevailed in this kingdom is no comparison between this and from the time of Edward I. to his other works; you would scarcely Henry IV. and of which so many believe them to be by the same beautiful specimens now exist: at author; and this singular disproporany rate, if it is suffered to stand, it tion between the different producwill be a lasting monument of the tions of one man is not to be found conceit of the architect, and of the in so striking a manner in any other total want of taste and judgment in author. We cannot designate Volthose who approved his design; for it will resemble a barrack more than a college, and be like any thing but what it ought.
I remain, &c.
taire, Corneille, Racine, Moliere, &c. by one of their works, without committing a sort of injustice towards the rest; for the author of Phidre (Racine) is also the author of Athalie, Iphigenic, &c. The author of Zaire Hartford, near Morpeth, (Voltaire) is also the author of AlJan. 9, 1808. zire, Mahomet, Edipe, Merope, &c. P.S. Permit me, Mr. Editor, in The author of the Misanthrope this place, to remark, that the gentle- (Moliere) is also the author of Tarman who once lived at Morpeth, and tuffe, &c. Piron is the author of the initials of whose signature agree that is a great deal. Not but that Metromanie, and that is all; but with mine, though our residence is different, has been guilty of a mean there is merit in some other of his and paltry disguise, unworthy of any pieces, but that merit is obscured and 'man who professes himself a friend overwhelmed by loads of mediocrity. of truth and free enquiry, by not Le reste ne vaut pas l'honneur d'etre nommé. daring to publish in his own name There may, however, be reckoned what he dares to think on any subject among the productions of Piron some of politics, religion, or literature-let lively tales, and particularly some him come boldly forward against the well-written epigrams; but he is not ranks of his enemies, and not sneak classical in this respect, as Rousseau under the shield of another. It is was. His prose, in his prefaces, is enough for every man to answer for often too epigrammatic.
his own opinions; to father those of The conversation of Piron had a another, is too much to be expected still greater reputation than his from any one. I have never shewn writings. It was full of satire and any fear to express what I think, but epigram: he had the gaiety, malice, I will never suffer any other man, and innocence of a child. There under the cover of my name, to are a thousand witty sayings of his publish sentiments, which, even that are cited, and some are attrithough I should approve, I will not buted to him that do him no credit. be responsible for. I detest anony- His conversation, sparkling with wit, mous writers, and every species of and hence often liable to excite forgery.
alarm, inspired confidence, however, by its gaiety and the simplicity of his character. The day of the first N comparing the Metromanie representation and condemnation of
ANECDOTES OF ALEXIS PIRON.
one of his pieces, he supped with se
veral of the actors of the theatre;
This was a celebrated comedy, and whether it was that be felt the true force of his genius, or whether