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of gravity by that of an etherial fluid, than when he emonstrated that the planets revolve in elipses, and describe round their common focus areas that are proportional to the time. Dr. Clarke was of the same opinion, and has admitted, that a mechanical explanation of gravity would be of great importance in philosophy. Such an attempt is undoubtedly attended with difficulty; and perhaps we are destined to remain for ever ignorant of the cause which produces the phenomena of attraction. There can, however, be no impropriety in endeavouring, while there appear to be two kinds of causes that produce motion, to try to reduce them to one. If this is maintained to be impious, it must be on the same principle that Anaxagoras was charged with irreligion, for affirming that the planets are bodies like the earth. The same mistaken zeal has, in every age, opposed the same obstacles to the advancement of true philosophy.

We had almost forgot to mention the particular drift of Le Sage in the tract on the gravifick atoms, which he calls Lucrece Neutonien. He endeavours to show, that Epicurus, with a little attention to geometry, and the possession of no more physical knowledge than was to be found among some of his contemporaries, might have been led, by the atomical system, to the discovery of gravitation, and of the laws of the planetary motions. The tract is very ingenious and interesting.

The subject of Teleology, or the doctrine of final causes, was one which occupied the thoughts of Le Sage, at intervals, during his whole life. Of his speculations on this subject, we are presented with a few fragments, that are in no small degree curious and interesting. The publication is by M. Reverdil, who had assisted in the composition of the work, and to whom Le Sage, in his will, left the charge of this manuscript. About the year 1740, Le Sage formed the plan of a Theory of the Ends of Nature and of Art. Wolf, who at that time taught the philosophy of Leibnitz in Germany with great reputation, in his treatise on logick, recommended the Theory of Ends to be treated under the name of Teleology; and this term was adopted by Le Sage. M. Reverdil informs us, that Le Sage was confirmed in his design, by finding that some men of great celebrity had, about that time, conspired to combat the doctrine of final causes; some of them on a principle of universal scepticism; others to give weight to the proofs of the existence of God derived from other sources; and many, struck, no doubt, with the weak and childish arguments that had been often maintained on this subject. Le Sage wished to oppose all these, and in particular the latter, by showing that the theory of final causes was not necessarily of the vague and unsatisfactory nature just alluded to.

The greater part of the works, says he, that have made their appearance on this subject, contain principles so vague and unsupported, observations so puerile and detached, and reflections so commonplace and declamatory, that it is not wonderful if they produced an effect the direct opposite of that which was intended. A theory of ENDS, OF FINAL CAUSES, might be given, exempt from these great defects; embracing the objects both of nature and art; furnishing, first, rules of synthesis for the composition of a work, when the ends and means were both given; and, next, rules, of analysis for discovering the intention of an artist, from the examination of his works.

M. Reverdil has given us only a few fragments from the treatise which had been drawn up conformably to this plan. Those that follow will show in what manner Le Sage had endeavoured to avoid the faults which he has reprobated in others.

A wise cause must have respect to the smallest degrees of good; because, if they are not infinitely small, the amount of the whole may be of importance; so that, if they were neglected, a considerable quantity of evil might arise.

There is nothing incongruous, therefore, in supposing the Divine Wisdom exercísed in determining the curvature of the wing of a scarabæus, or in planning the cells of a bee-hive. It may be true, that it imports little to the universe, whether a scarabæus fly with more or less ease, or a bee employ its wax with the greatest possible frugality. It imports much, however, to the scarabæus or the bee, and, on that account, is an object not unworthy of the attention of the Creator. If precision in the structure of the wings or cells of these insects is useful for any purpose, however small that utility, multiplied by the number of all the scarabæi, and all the bees which have been, which are, and which are to be, may become of a considerable amount.

When the execution of any purpose gives rise to inconvenience which admits of remedy, of all the remedies that can be applied, that is the best which rises out of the evil itself; because it is always at hand when wanted, and is sure to possess the necessary strength. Such remedies are sometimes to be met with in the arts. It was thus that a hint of Monsieur the prince of Conti, furnished Réaumur with the means of admitting the necessary quantity of air into his furnaces for hatching chickens, by making the heat of the furnace open the door of a register. The girdiron pendulum of Graham is an instance of the same kind.

In nature, the contraction and dilatation of the pupil of the eye, is a most remarkable instance of an inconvenience corrected by its own operation.

When all the accidents which happen to a work derange it; and when all those that can happen to it have a tendency to do the same, that work is the best possible. For it is evident, that it either cannot be improved, or that the improvement of it is highly improbable.

When all the good of a system can easily be traced to general principles, and when all the evils appear to be exceptions closely connected with some good, the excess being evidently, though perhaps but in a small degree, on the side of good, the contriver must be regarded as beneficent.

Hypothetical reasonings, whether concerning final or efficient causes, are susceptible of the highest degree of evidence when two conditions are fulfilled; when the given hypothesis explains many phenomena, and contradicts none; and when every other hypothesis is inconsistent with some of the phenomena.

As it is very rare that one is able to reckon up all the hyphotheses imaginable, in order to show that only one of them can be received. The best philosophers, and the most scrupulous, have contented themselves with less, and have thought it suf ficient if the hypothesis which they adopt explains many phenomena with precision. The more numerous the phenomena, and the greater the degree of precision, with the more confidence do they conclude, that no other supposition will account for the appearances. It is on such a foundation as this, that the theory of gravitation is established.

On the whole, we conceive that this treatise on Teleology is written on more philosophical principles than most of those that have appeared. And we cannot but regret that it has not been given to the publick entire, or with such alterations as the changes in the state of science might seem to require. The date of the MS. is 1756, and, since that time, the discoveries in philosophy must have, no doubt, added considerably to the examples that might be brought to illustrate the doctrine of final causes; a doctrine which we cannot help thinking might be so treated, as to form one of the most beautiful and interesting branches of human knowledge. Indeed, we should be glad to think that more of the works of our learned and ingenious author were destined to see the light. M. Prevost, who, in the biographical sketch before us, has so judiciously consulted the reputation of his friend, and the information of the publick, has it still in his power to render an important service to both.


Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for promoting Agriculture. Containing Communications on various subjects in Husbandry and Rural Affairs. To which is added, a Statistical Account of the Schuylkill Permanent Bridge. 8vo. pp. 331. Philadelphia, 1808.

TO blend the ingenious speculations of theoretical agriculturalists with the judicious observations of practical farmers, promises the highest advantages which the science of agriculture is susceptible of affording. Indeed the union of science and practice is desirable in any pursuit, and ought to be effected in every department of human knowledge. A character that embraces them, in any eminent degree, is alone worthy of the dignified title of philosopher.

Agricultural occupations are of unquestionable importance to society, and immediately involve the general interest the support, and happiness of a great portion of labouring men. This science, in a high degree, requires the aid of rich, intelligent men, whose affluence and talents give them the power, and whose taste and judgment impel them to the pursuit. Such men, when they devote their talents to the subject, merit the highest praise, and it is with regret that we observe they do not always meet their reward in abundant produce or the gratitude of society. Yet many such are to be found, who, isolated in the community, and having no opportunity to improve by the suggestions of others, or to impress upon agricultural experimentalists the utility of their own plans, are left to suffer from the loss of some unsuccessful schemes, without the satisfaction of seeing their valuable improvements imitated by their ignorant neighbours.

The dispersed population of the United States, arising from extent of territory and the generally favourable soils throughout the union, and the cheapness and facility with which extensive tracts of land can be procured, are difficulties in the way of great advancement in rural economy, which nothing but time and a rapid increase of population can effectually surmount. From these causes arise, in a great measure, the slovenly, unproductive, and laborious process of husbandry, so disgusting to an English visitant, and so adverse to the comfort, cleanliness, and happiness of the American farmer. These are the obstacles to the establishment of good husbandry and manufactures. In both, the desideratum should not only be, what is best to be done, but what is the best mode of doing it, at the least expense of time and labour; and as in internal traffick, transportation should ever add, in the least possible degree, to the price of any arti le, so in agriculture, the produce should be obtained at the least possible expense of physical labour.

The organization of plants, and their peculiar, specifick construction, constitutes a pleasant and fascinating study; but when we investigate the wonderful progress which they make from the seed, through their diversified varieties of growth, to decay, with a view to agricultural advantages, we shall find, that the mere, practical farmer knows as little of the principles of vegetation as the tailor does of the human system. Agriculturalists are content with studying a few of the functions of plants. The motion of the sap and of the fluids, their secretion, irritability, nutrition, vegetable transpiration, germination, foliation, fructification, and many more qualities are to be studied, and the climate, soil, situation, treatment, food, &c. peculiar to each, carefully ascertained, that the process of vegetation may proceed in the best possible manner. This knowledge is not within the reach of common farmers, nor can they even conceive the meaning of many of the terms. In order, therefore, that the science of agriculture may be advantageously connected with practical husbandry, nothing can so

essentially contribute, as the establishment of private or publick societies under the sanction and patronage of government. Such companies will possess an inherent influence and exercise a kind of agricultural jurisdiction over the country, which could not be felt by any number of disconnected individuals, however laudable might be their inquiries, or however successful their exertions.

The Philadelphia Society for promoting Agriculture, was formed in 1785, and after a few years of active exertions, it languished and remained inactive, until in 1804 it revived, and now promises a series of useful labours. In 1806, the second list of prize questions was given to the publick, the first having been published in 1791, and the earliest letter contained in this volume is dated June, 1805.

A preface, table of contents, the laws of the institution, list of members, outlines of a plan for establishing a state society of agriculture in Pennsylvania, a list of premiums, and a curious lecture, by Dr. Rush, on studying the diseases of animals, form the introduction. The petition for establishing the society was rejected by the legislature; but, upon what grounds, we are unable to discover.

The writer of the preface has taken a very fair and general view of the several objects within the plan of the society, and we agree with him, that "criticism is misapplied and out of place, on such occasions," if the objects of the undertaking are steadily pursued, and the contemplated advantages of the work realized. Accurate and intelligible descriptions, lucid and faithful statements of experiments, and simple, technical language are of the utmost consequence in works of this kind, and we are happy to notice, that this volume contains so large a share of these indispensable requisites, however deficient in style, and literary excellence, it may otherwise appear.

Breeding of sheep has lately occupied the attention of many practical farmers, particularly since the unfortunate interruption of our commerce with Europe; but more especially since the patriotick example already given to the publick by Col. Humphreys. The Merino sheep, brought from Spain by that gentleman, have excited a spirit of inquiry and experiment, which promises great profits to the owner, and affords flattering prospects to the publick. In crossing the breed of animals, an accurate attention is requisite to the character, properties, and shape of the one whose qualities are designed to be preserved, as otherwise no beneficial result can be obtained, and the few individuals of the new kind will degenerate. We should, therefore, introduce the males of the finest species to the females whose breed we intend to improve, because the offspring, though it partakes of the nature of both parents, yet resembles most the character of the male, especially in live stock. We do not intend to give any disquisition upon the subject, but only to express a regret, that the work before us contains so little upon this very interesting department of rural economy. One letter, containing a few desultory remarks upon the expediency of introducing the breeding of sheep into Pennsylvania, on a more extensive scale than hitherto practised, and another letter upon the diseases of that animal, constitutes all the information that can be obtained from the first volume.

As it will not be possible for us to notice particularly all the several papers contained in this work, we shall select only such as, by the manner in which they are treated, and their obvious utility, merit attention. We notice a letter to the society from Mr. Algernon Roberts, upon the expenses and profits of a dairy, which is the only good instance, in the whole


work, where the result of several years practice is stated with accuracy and clearness. This method of describing experiments particularly, will contribute more than any other, to the diffusion of correct information.


Consumed in family the milk of three ditto,

Sucking pigs estimated at,

17 cwt. of pork at $6 per cwt. sustained by dairy,
20 calves at $4 each,

Agreeably to the request of the society, I lay before them an account of the butter I sold from a dairy of twenty cows, during eight years, viz. from 1st of January, 1796, to 31st. December, 1803. The weight amounted to 27,835 pounds, being an annual average of 3479 pounds, or 173 pounds to each cow per year.

Cash received for butter sold from twenty cows in eight

Twenty cows at $30 each is $ 600 at six per cent,
Grain for winter food,

Hay, straw, &c.

A man and woman's wages,

76 times expenses going to market, at 25 cents per time,
Summer keeping of a bull,

Annual expense multiplied by

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In the above estimate, I suppose all the sustenance of the pigs to proceed from the dairy, as any other food their dams had, is supposed not to exceed the amount of pigs used by the family, and of those sold alive; it is likewise supposed that one half the food of the other swine, consisted of the offal of the dairy. The calves were sold on the spot. The item of the family milk is founded on a supposition, that it would take three cows to give milk to a family of ten persons, a considerable proportion of which are children. It is also to be remarked, that in the autumn months of part of the years included in the calculation, there were some persons added to the family, in consequence of the epidemick fever, prevalent in the city of Philadelphia, and who caused a diminution in the quantity of butter sold. It is difficult to estimate the expenses. The interest is founded upon a supposition that each cow costs 30 dollars; and the winter keep is set down as equal to her full value. The dairy is supposed to be managed by a man and woman, who are thought fully equal to the task, and their wages as stated, a full reward. The marketing is supposed to be done by the man, who is allowed eight cents each time, for expenses, exclusive of horse standing at the city stable, ferriage and turnpike toll. Nothing is allowed for the bull, except his summer pasture, as it must be very bad management if he does not sell in the autumn, for more than he cost in the spring. His manure also is to be taken into consideration. The allowance for replacing dairy cattle is thought to be trifling, as they are most frequently sold, with proper manage. ment, when turned off for grazing, for more than their prime cost. Their manure is supposed equivalent to their summer pasture.

The neat profit then is 3810 19 for eight years; this sum divided by 8 gives 476 27; which being again divided by 20 (the number of cows) will give the average per head, viz. twenty three dollars and eighty one cents.

Mr. Richard Peters, the president of the society, has certainly contributed his share to the formation of this volume, and his several letters on the different subjects to which he has turned his attention discover an anxious zeal for the promotion of agricultural knowledge. His letters "On peach trees," "Departure of pine timber," &c. "On the injurious effects of

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