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the constitution of the Persian empire he makes the following observations.
* We find that the whole empire was divided into large provinces called fatrapies, each under the superintendency of a great officer intitled fatrap, to whom all governors of towns and imaller districts were reipon fible; but without being dependant on him for their appointment or removal, which were immediate from the monarch. Thus the superior and inferior governors were each a check upon the other. That the atiairs of the empire might be administered with regularity and certain dispatch, and that in formation might conitantly and speedily pass between the capital and the remotest provinces, an establishment was made, imper. fectly resembling the modern poft: the business of government alone was its object, without any regard to commercial intercourse, or the convenience of individuals. This appears, however, to have been the first model of that ini.itution which now, through the liberal system of European politics, and the afcendant which Europe has acquired in the affairs of the world, extends communication so wonderfully over the globe. The Perfian laws were probably few and simple; more in the nature of fundamental maxims than of a finished system of jurisprudence. That inflexible rule that the laws were never in any point to be altered, might thus be a salutary restraint upon despotism, without preventing intirely the adapting of practice to changes of times and circumstances. Darius regulated the revenue of his empire, composed of the richest kingdoms in the world. In apportioning the impofts and directing their collection, he his faid to have shown great abilities and great moderation; yet so difficult is it for rulers to avoid censure whenever private convenience must yield in the least to public necessity, the Persians, forming a comparison of their three first emperors, called Cyrus the father, Cambyses the master, Darius the broker of the empire. Master, it must be observed, among the ancients impiled the relation, not as with us, to hired servants, but to slaves.
* The Persians were by nothing more remarkableor inore honorably distinguished from surrounding nations and particularly from the Greeks, than by their religion. It was beyond the purpose of a Grecian history to inlarge upon the theology of Zoroaster, which, as a most ingenious and indefatigable inquirer has observed, was darkly
comprehended by foreigners, and even by the far greater number of
his disciples. It were equally beyond our object here to discuss the much disputed questions, When Zoroaster lived, and whether he was really the founder of the religion, the author of its sublime precepts and inlarged view of the divine nature, or only the regulator of the Magian worship, and institutor of the innumerable ceremonies with which it was incumbered and disgraced. It may hoivever be proper to advert briefly to the strong contrast between the Persian religion and the Greek, which, as the same able writer remarks, was such that it could not escape the most careless observer. It appears to have struck forcibly the inquisitive mind of Herodotus, who, with all the prejudices of polytheism about him, has in a few words marked it so accurately that, after every subsequent account of ancient authors, and every discussion of modern, very nice distinction is
neceffary to convict him of any error. * Thefe,' says Herodotus, 'I ' have found to be the tenets of the Persians. They hold it unlaw"ful to érect images, temples, and altars, and impute to folly such
practices in others: because as it appears to me, they do not, like • the Greeks, think the gods of the same nature or from the same origin « with men.
The summits of mountains they esteem the places moft proper for sacrifice to the supreme Deity; and the whole circle of • the heavens they call God. They sacrifice besides to the sun, the moon, the earth, fire, water, and the winds. In addressing the deity it is forbidden to petition for bleffings to themfelves indi
vidually; the prayer must extend to the whole Persian nation.' Such are the religious tenets which have always been attributed to the Persians. But the Perfians themselves of every age, as the historian of the Roman empire proceeds to observe, have denied that they extend divine konors beyond the One Supreme Being, and have explained the equivocal conduct which has given occafion to strangers continually to charge them with polytheism: “The elements, and more • particularly Fire, Light, and the Sun, were the objects of their reli
gious reverence, because they considered them as the pureft symbols,
the nobleit productions, and the moft powerful agents of the Divine • Power and Nature.'
Mr. Mitford in his eighth chapter exhibits the history of Greece during the reign of Darius King of Persia. In his ninth chapter he continues his history from the accession of Xerxes to the throne of Persia till the conclusion of the firft campaign of that monarch's expedition against Greece. And in his tenth and concluding chapter, he proceeds from the battle of Salamis to the conclusion of the Persian invasion.
Before we submit to our readers a characteristical opinion of the merit of Mr. Mitford, we shall here lay before them another extract from his performance. He thus defcribes the battle of Marathon,
• The Persian generals, guided by Hippias, had chosen their place of debarkation on the eastern coast of Attica, near Marathon. Here on landing they were at once in a plain in which cavalry might act; and the way to Athens, between the mountains Pentelicus and BriJeffus, was lefs difficult than any other across the heights which at fome distance surrounded that city. The intire command which they poffesled of the sea, made it neceffary for Miltiades to wait for intel. figence where they would make their de cent. They had thus debarked their whole force without obstruction, and were already in poffeffion of the plain, when the Athenian' army appeared upon the hills above. But this plain was narrow: pressed between the sca eastward, and the hills westward, and closed at each extremity, on the north by a marsh, on the south by the hills vérging round and meeting the fea. Miltiades, on view of the ground and of the enemy, determined to attack. The first object in ingaging Afiatic armies was to resist or to render ufeless their numerous and excellent" cavalry : the next to prevent them from profiting by their superior skill in the use of miffile weapons. The former might have been obtained by svaiting among the hills : but there the heavy-armed Greeks would
have been hetplefs againit the Persian archers; whose fleet, whose numbers, and whose weapons would enable them to attack on any fide, or on all fides, or, avoiding them intirely, to proceed to Achens. It was in a plain only that they could be forced to that mode of ingagement in which the Greeks had greater practice, and for which their arms were superiorly adapted; and the narrow plain of Marathon was peeuliarly favourable. Confined however as the ground was, the Athenian numbers were still insufficient to forma a line equal to that of the enemy, and at the saine time in all points competently strong. Deciding therefore instantly his choice of difficulties, Miltiades extended his front by weakning his center. Daring valor indeed, guided by a difcernment capable of profiting from every momentary opportunity, could alone balance the
difadvantages of his eircumstances. Finding then his troops animated as he wished, he issued a sudden order to lay aside missile weapons, to advance running down the hill, and ingage at once in close fight. The order was obeyed with the utmost alacrity. The Persians, more accustomed to give than to receive the attack, beheld at first
, with a difpofition to ridícule, this, as it appeared, mad onfet. The effect of the shock however proved the wisdom with which it had been concerted. The Afiatic horse, formidable in champain countries by their rapid evolutions, but in this confined plain incumbered with their own numerous infantry, were at a lofs how to act. Of the infantry that of proper Perfia almoft alone had reputation for close fight. The reft, accustomed chiefly to the use of misfile weapons, was, by the rapidity of the Athenian charge, not less disconcerted than the horse. The contest was however long. The Perlian infantry, succesfors of those troops who, under the great Cyrus, had conquered Asia, being posted in the center of tKeir army, ftood the vehemence of the onset, broke the weak part of the Athenian line, and pursued far into the country, The Athenians, after great efforts, put both the Perfian wings to flight; and had the prudence not to follow. Joining the their divided forces, they met the conquering center of the Persian army returning weary from pursuit ; defeated it, followed to the Thore, and amid the 'confusion of imbarkation made a terrible slaughter. They took seven galleys The Persians loft in all fix thousand four hundred men. Of the Athenians only one hundred and ninetytwo fell; but among them were the polemarch Callimachus, Steli-. leos one of the ten generals, Cynægeirus, brother of the poet Æschylús, and other men of rank who had been earnest to set an example of valour on this trying occasion. The highest praise of valour how-, ever was very equally earned by the whole army, whose just eulogy will perhaps best be estimated from an obfervation of the original hittorian: "The Athenians who fought at Marathon,' says Herodotus, were the firit among the Greeks known to have used running for the purpose of coming at once to close fight; and they were the first who withftood (in the field) eten the light of the Median dress,
and of the men who wear it; for hitherto the very name of Medes 6 and Perfians had been a terror to the Greeks.'
It appears to us, that Mr. Mitford is fufficiently acquainted with all the duties of an historian; and that he has been painfully ftudious to exercise them. His knowledge of the
authors of antiquity is profound ; and he has consulted the. Greek writers with an industry and skill that are very uncommon. His information has every where the claim of exactness; and he has distinguished himself by the seriousness and gravity which become so well the historian. His impartiality and candour are examplary; and his judgment is correct. His book, however, is not to be classed in the nobleft order of historical compositions. His ability is more to be admired than his genius; his learning more than bis penetration. His manner is equal and uniform. His diction, though full and sometimes harmonious, is deficient in dignity; and we no where perceive in it that fplendour which befits occasionally the historic muse. He excels in description, and fights his battles with a propriety that discovers a knowledge in military affairs. Good sense and erudition are his leading and peculiar characteristics; and, while he wants the bold and thining prerogatives of high genius, he is free from their excesses. He has no affectation of paradox, no contempt of religion, no unnatural and faftidious refinement. Anxious for the truth, he has attained it. Laborious, persevering, and intelligent, he is a fagacious and instructive guide. And, it may be affirmed without the fufpicion of flattery, that no author in the English language has yet exhibited a more perfect performance on any topic of the Grecian story. It is to be hoped, accordingly, that he will continue his researches, and complete the undertaking he has begun with so much fucs cess.
ART. III. A Treatise on the Rectilinear Motion and Rotation of
Bodies, &c. By G. Atwood, M. A. F. R. S. Late Fellow of
Trinity College, Cambridge. 8vo. 10s. 64. Boards. Cadell. THE HE Author of this volume is well known and highly
respected in the philosophical world. Mathematicians were flattered a few years ago, with the hopes of receiving from him a complete system of the four branches of Natural Philofophy: Proposals were actually printed, and subscriptions taken in for that purpose. But whether the patronage, necessary for a work of such expence, was not sufficiently ample, or whether the Author was discouraged by the labour and magnitude of fo extensive a performance, we are unable to determine. It feems too true, however, that the intentions which he had then formed concerning this exertion of his faculties, are at present laid aside.
This treatise contains the principles of rectilinear and rotatory motion.' Those parts of it, in which experiments are concerned, were delivered by Mr. Atwood in a much
admired course of lectures, in Trinity-College, Cambridge. The principles of motion have been treated of by many writers, with extent and capacity. Their labours have not, however, rendered the further exertions of men of genius unnecessary. In this volume, whatever has been borrowed front others, claims attention from the clear and precise manner in which it is demonstrated ; and what is new, demands respect from its usefulness and ingenuity.
In the firft and second sections of this volume, are tained the elementary propositions on which the theory of mechanics is founded. In the third section, the rectilineai motion of bodies impelled or resifted by forces which act uniformly, is considered Our Autlior has endeavoured in this and the preceding fection, to remedy that ambiguity which too often attends the doctrine of ratios. He reprefénts each ratio by a fraction, the numerator of which is the antecedent, and the denominator the consequent of the ratio.
The fourth section contains propositions which determine the motion of bodies, produced by forces varying in some ratio of the distances from a fixed point. The theory of refifting forces which vary in a direct duplicate ratio of the velocities, is considered in the fifth section. In the fixth, the principles of rotation are demonstrated. This theory is applied to explain the motion of pendulums which vibrate in circular arcs; to estimate the effects produced by the mecha nic powers, or combinations of them, and to the solution of various problems.
In books of mechanics, Mr. Atwood observes, many experiments have been described by which the equilibrium of the mechanic powers, the composition and resolution of forces, and other statical principles are explained and veri: fied; but no account is to be found of methods by which the principles of motion may be subjected to decisive and satisfactory trials. To supply this deficiency, our Author has attempted in the seventh and eight sections of this treatise. The seventh contains the description of experiments on the rectilinear motion of bodies, both accelerated and retarded ; and the experiments on the principles of rotation, including those which relate to the vibrations of pendulums are inserted in the eighth section. These experiments
. seem to have been made with a degree of minuteness and accuracy, which reflects great credit on the Author's genius and attention.
The purpose of the ninth section, is to detect the fallacy of those hypotheses which ascribe permanent quantities.of motion to bodies moving with given velocities. These, as ENG. Rev. FEB. 1785.