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tinual comparison of the founds with the figns. It is obviously perceived that the different articulate founds are far from being equally numerous with the different fyllables or words in any language; that, the complex articulate founds of words and fyllables, are fufceptible of being analyfed into a few, fimple, primary, elementary founds, the endlessly varied combinations of which, form all the infinite diversities of fpeech. Rude languages confift chiefly of monofyllabic words, or of words which, although long, are made up of fyllables, having each feparately, the powers of a word. In a language of this character, therefore, it is eafily feen, that, there must be many among its monofyllabic words agreeing in found. Nothing can be more natural after this has once been perceived, and after hieroglyphics have begun to be ordinarily referred to words in preference to things, than that it fhould be attempted father to abbreviate thefe hieroglyphics, by ceafing to ufe more than one hieroglyphical fign to denote all thofe words or fyllables which are the fame in enunciation. By this new artifice of abbreviation, the number of the hieroglyphics neceffary for ordinary ufe, is greatly diminished. This is another grand ftep in the progress toward the analyfis of articulate founds, and their written reprefentatives into their ultimate and most general conftituent principles. An exceedingly near approach is now made to actual alphabetical writing.
The very next remarkable change produces alphabetical writing. It is quickly perceived that fyllables are fufceptible of analyfis into principles yet more fimple and more general; and that by this new analyfis of fyllabic founds, the number of the figns requifite to denote language in writing, may be infinitely diminished. Among thofe figns which are at this time in ufe, is found a certain number of Which one has already been applied to Every fimple elementary found in the language; for all the primary, fimpleft, and moft general founds are to be found fubfifting as diftin&t feparate words among the vaft multitude of its monofyllables. The felection of thofe hieroglyphic figns which thus embrace in the words to which they are feparately applicable, all the fimple founds each different found a different word each different word having its peculiar fign; the rejection of all the reft cut of the ufe of writing; the combination of these few primary figns in a manHer correfponding to the combination of
the fimple founds in words and fyllables, at laft complete the invention of alphabetical writing, and hieroglyphics are no
Thefe ideas concerning the use of hieroglyphics and their gradual transition into alphabetical writing, have long been mine. To have detailed that induction of facts on which they are respectively founded, would have been here unfeafonably tedious. I was for a moment afraid that in the communication of them to the public, I had been anticipated by Six George Staunton, in his account of the Embally to China; but he has only thrown out fome valuable hints concerning the manner in which hieroglyphio figns come to be first affociated in the minds of thofe who use them rather with words than with things: I admire his work, as alike masterly in compofition and rich in important and interefting information; but I cannot think that he has exhausted the subject of hieroglyphics. Perhaps my notions concerning them are good for very little.
Edinburgh, Sept. 1798.
DESCRIPTION OF MALTA.
[The following valuable article respecting an Ifland which has always attracted the attention of mankind, and which has lately become a very interefting subject of political fpeculation, has been communicated to us by a gentleman whofe opportunities of collecting original information are confiderable, and who has combined with his own materials thofe of all the writers who have had occafion to defcribe it.]
(Concluded from page 121.)
Tninfula, between these two pofts. Between it and the fea is the celebrated caftle of St. Elmo, accounted the chief fortification in the island; here it was where the Turks, (under Solyman himself, the fame who had driven the knights from the Ile of Rhodes), loft fo many men in their famous fiege: they could not carry this fortrefs till the very laft knight who defended it was flain. It is now far more impregnable than ever. Beyond Valetta, on the land fide, lies what is called the Lower-Town, both it and Valetta being defended by fortifications which appear impregnable; and all of these are, notwithstanding, covered by other works of nearly equal importance, called Florian, from the name of the engineer who conftructed them. This latter fortification, called alfo the Citadel, is, as well as St.
HE city of Valetta is built on a pe
Elmo, fituated between the two ports; and although the front on the land-fide is thought to be too extenfive, it is reckoned one of the best and most perfect works which the art of defence affords. The access, both to Florian and the Lower Town, is mostly over precipices and steep rocks; befides which, Florian itself is completely overlooked by the city of Valetta, whole batteries effectually prohibit all approach to it. The works of Florian alfo, on the covered ways, are mined and countermined to a confiderable extent; and as this citadel is the only point on which it is poflible to direct an attack on Valetta from the land-fide, it is eafy to -conceive what a number of obftacles muft be furmounted ere an enemy could effect the reduction of the city: and after all, even if Florian were taken, it would be impoffible to keep undisturbed poffeffion of it, on account of its being commanded by Valetta, which must neceffarily be befeged.
It is a fortunate circumftance for the Maltefe, that their island is so difficult of approach, infomuch that (as the Chevalier Folard obferved) 10 or 12,000 men are fufficient to hinder a defcent, although 30,000 would barely fuffice to defend the works alone (in the cities and other parts of the territory); which works, daily augmenting, confequently become weaker, and require more roops to defend them.
If a defcent be once accomplished, the principal dependance of Malta will be in the works which encompass and defend the port. From what has been already obferved, it is evident that nature defigned the execution of each of these works, and that nothing has been neglected by art to improve her advantages. No country in the world, of fuch finall extent, abounds with fo many various works; a thirst for fortification, carried almost to a pitch of extravagance (confidering that they could never fupport a fufficient number of foldiers to maintain them) has conftantly pervaded the Grand Mafters and the whole order; yet thefe very works, if left defenceless, would, in cafe of an attack, only prove fo many intrenchments for their enemies.-The whole territory of Malta is furrounded, as it were, with fortifications, mortars, and cannon. thefe laft there is a vast number; in one place only, the great circumvallation, near Valetta, called La Cotonera, (from the name of the Grand Mafter who built it), there are upwards of 1500, of which 500 are of brafs; yet the Maltefe were continually purchafing or cafting new
ones. All their fhips and gallies likewife were well fupplied with excellent artillery.
Indeed, it must raise the astonishment of a stranger to conceive how this nation has ever been able to execute fuch great and noble undertakings, than which nothing can be bolder, or wrought in a better ftyle; at once fimple and dreadful! Thefe immenfe and truly masterly conftructions are more like the works of a mighty and powerful people, than of fo petty a state. To form, however, a proper idea of them, and give them all. the admiration they deserve,it is abfolutely neceffary to fee and obferve them on the fpot. All the boafted catacombs of Rome and Naples are trifles compared with the immenfe excavations that have been made in this little ifland. Valetta, in particular, is wonderfully strong, both by nature and art, and has certainly been planned in the finest situation imaginable, betwixt two of the finest harbours in the world. The artillery alto which defends their coaft is immenfe. Although the greater part of the works on the ifland have been conftructed or repaired after the manner of Vauban, there are yet fome remaining, which ferve to evince the improvement which the art of fortification has undergone during the laft 200 years.
The city of Valetta, properly fo called, with the citadels of Florian and St. Elmo, require no more than about four or five thoufand men for their defence. If the Maltefe, from various caufes, were compelled to abandon their other works for the defence of these places, it would be an eafy matter for the enemy, being mafters of the island and the fea, to block up the garrifon by land, with a body not much fuperior in number; and by forming entrenchments, fupported at each port, and out of the reach of the cannon, would at length force then to furrender merely før want of provifions,
In thefe forts there are exceedingly good and fpacious magazines hewn in the rocks, fufficient to contain provifions, &c. for three years, and sheltered from all external annoyance; confequently the furrender of the forts can only depend on the quantity of provifions contained in the magazines.
Befides the cifterns which every inhabitant is obliged to have in his houfe, there are water-houfes cut in the rocks, which, when filled, contain fufficiency of water for three years; it is kept very good, and ufed at all times. Little advantage would, therefore, be derived from
cutting or deftroying the aqueduct, which from near the other extremity of the ifland brings water into all the works of Valetta; as the winter rains, being from every where directed to the refervoir, will be found adequate to fupply the deficiency.
From the fuperior excellence of its harbour, and its advantageous fituation in the very centre of the Mediterranean, Malta feems as if efpecially ordained by nature to favour and protect commerce; and accordingly it is, and ever has been, an emporium and place of refreshment for all the European veffels which trade in the Mediterranean. It may, in fact, be confidered as the key and bulwark of this fea and of the Levant; and, in the hands of the French, or any other maritime power, would certainly become very formidable. The utmost extent of the island is 12 miles in breadth, 20 in length, and nearly 60 in circumference. The population has been conftantly increafing, ever fince the establishment of the order there to this day; from 10 to 50 or 60, or, as fome fay, 90,000 fouls, the islands of Goza and Cumino included.
Cumino, which is very fmall, and in failing by it feems little elfe than a barren rock, cóntains fome inhabitants; and, like Malta and Goza, produces the most exquifite oranges and melons, and like them is covered with citron-trees, datetrees, vines, &c. It derives its name from the cummin it produces, which grows apparently upon the very ftones. Near it is a fmall uninhabited rock, called Cuminotto.
Goza is the higheft of the three iflands, being difcernible at fea at the diftance of thirty miles. Moft of the Maltefe manufactures of cotton (ftockings, coverlids, blankets, and other stuffs) are carried on in this island. The inha bitants are accounted more induftrious than thofe of Malta, being almost entirely fecluded from the world; and they here cultivate the fugar-cane fuccefsfully, though not in any confiderable quantity.
* Either Malta or Goza is fupposed to be the celebrated inland of Calypfo, first called Hyperia, and afterwards Ogygia. According to fable, the Pheacians, giants of whom Homer fpeaks, were the first inhabitants of one or both of thefe iflands. At prefent, however, they contain nothing that refembles the flattering pictures of them to be found in Homer and Fenelon.
Thefe iflands have been famous for many ages for weaving cotton; as we find that Cicero, when pleading against Verres, governor of
Goza is about one-third as large as Malta its capital, of the fame name, is in the centre of the island, although the caftle of Goza is on the fea-fide. Goza is alfo remarkable for a wall, faid to be of Phoenician or Carthaginian workmanship; for a quarry of alabafter, fimilar to that in Afa, and manufactured here, although with little tafte or elegance; and alfo for the fungus rock. The natives of Goza, as well as the other iflands, live principally on fifh, fruits, and leguminous plants. The ftreight between Malta and Goza is about five miles in breadth nearly in its centre ftands the island of Cumino, which thus appears formed, as it were, for the defence of the freight, The breadth of the channel between Sicily and Malta is computed at from 40 to 89 miles, and between Africa and Malta at about 270.
The Phoenicians first fettled in thefe islands, about 1500 years before the chriftian æra; and their colony here, in the fequel, became very flourishing. Seven or eight centuries afterwards, the Greeks, then mafters of Sicily, reduced the island, and gave it the name of Melité, (changed by the Romans to Melitas), on account of the excellent honey found here in abundance. At the end of about two centuries, the Carthaginians, whom the Greeks had fuffered to eftablish themfelves here, made themselves mafters of it; and they loft it themselves to the Romans, on the deftruction of Carthage. On the divifion of the Roman empire, it fell to the eastern part, and afterwards became alternately the prey of the Goths and Vandals. Belifarius drove them away in 533.
The Saracens conquered it from the Greek emperors in 870, and loft it about 200 years afterwards to the Norman princes reigning in Sicily. It then paffed into the hands of the Germans; and at length became fubject, together with the kingdom of Sicily, to the Duke of Anjou, brother of Louis XI. Charles of Anjou yielded it up to the kings of Caftile and Arragon, who fre quently made a grant of it to their fons or favourites, or borrowed money upon it by way of pledge or mortgage. The inhabitants at length purchased their emancipation from this humiliating fervitude, on condition that their ifland fhould become an unalienable fief of Sicily.
Sicily, inveighed against him, for having, among other extravagancies, procured a robe of cotton to be manufactured at Malta, at an exorbitant price, to prefent to fome favourite female.
Under this laft title, Charles V. became poffeffor of it; and here he established the religious order of St. John of Jerusalem. The knights took poffeffion of the island in 1530, under the grand mafter, Villiers de L'ifle Adam, (having loft Rhodes a few
years before); and remained proprietors, or fovereigns of it, till its late fudden and unexpected furrender to the French General BUONAPARTE *.
In teftimony of the original conceffion of this illand, the Grand Mafter was obliged every year to fend a falcon to the King of Sicily, or his viceroy; and on every new fucceffion, to fwear allegiance to the Sicilian monarch, and to receive from his hands the inveftiture of thefe iflands.
For the Monthly Magazine.
ACCOUNT of EXPERIMENTS made to afcertain the phænomena of GALVANISM, by a committee of the physical and mathematical class of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE of France*,
properly, prefents them, not in the HE report of thefe experiments, very
order in which they were made; but, in a fort of claffification, by means of which their general refults are more easily to be understood.
The procefs for producing the very fingular and extraordinary phænomena of Galvanifin, is now well known to all the phyfiologifts in Europe. It confifts in effecting, by the ufe of the exciting apparatus, a mutual communication between any two points of contact, more or lefs diftant from one another, in a system of nervous and mufcular organs. The fphere of this mutual communication may be regarded as a complete circle, divided into two parts. That part of it which confifts of the organs of the animal under the experiment may be called
tion. They have been tranflated as follows, by the Abbé Barthelemi:
"Abdaflar and Afferemar, fons of Afferemar, fon of Abdaffar, have made this vow to our lord Melerat, titular God of Tyre: may he bless them, after having led them aftray
The Maltese nation has for many ages kept up the spirit for commerce and fpeculation of its Phoenician origin, together with the fame fort of indifference for literature and the fine arts. Of late years, however, they have begun to cultivate the arts with fome fuccefs; and they have now among them musicians, fculptors, and painters, not devoid of merit, About twenty years ago, one of the grand mafters founded a museum, which was to be the property of the order: in this were fome pictures and marble bas-reliefs, (Roman works) found in the country. They have fince added to it a number of fpecimens of fculpture and medals found here, fo that it is now full of curiofities" and antiques; and the palace of the grand mafter abounds with paintings of the most famous Italian mafters: his library alfo contains a number of manufcripts, rare editions, and beautiful defigns. There is alfo a public library here, which is already of fome confequence, and was daily increafing by the additions of the private collections of the knights, &c t.
*The curious reader may find, in the works of the Abbe de Vertot, and in the Modern Univerfal History, interefting details relative to the famous fiege in 1565, under Solyman, and the rest of their history.
+ Some of the copper coins of the Phonicians are still to be found here, which reprefent a female head, and the deities Orus, Is, and Ofiris, upon the reverfe. Carthaginian coins have been alfo found here, 'with Punic infcriptions. The Romans, when in pofleffion of this ifland, ftruck coins with Greek infcriptions on one fide, and Latin on the reverfe. In the mufeum are two monuments highly interesting and curious, on account of their antiquity, viz. two broken pieces of marble candlesticks, with Phoenician infcriptions upon the pedestals in perfect preferva
The fecond infcription is in Greek:Dionyfius and Serapion, of the city of Tyre, fons of Serapion; to Hercules, furnamed Archegetes."
Thefe fragments were difcovered in the Villa-Abela, at the bottom of the great harbour, where formerly a temple of Hercules ftood, of which nothing now remains.-A here, which is highly valued at Malta: it is two feet in height, but has been injuriously handled by the fculptor who retouched it.In the museum are a great number of vafes, lamps, and lachrymatories, which are either Phoenician, or of the pofterior ages, as they do not poffefs the elegance of the Grecian vales. It likewife contains a beautiful glass vafe, found in the island, and exactly refembling thofe difcovered at Pompeii; from which it is fuppofed to be Roman.-Among the Grecian coins, one has been found of the ifland of Goza itself; reprefenting a head of Diana, with a crefcent upon it, and on the reverfe a foldier armed with a fword and buckler, in the very onfet of attack.
marble ftatue of that hero has also been found
* The members of the committee were Citizens Coulomb, Sabatier, Pelletan, Charles, Fourcroy, Vauquelin, Guyton, and Hallé. Citizens Venturi, De Modene, and M. Humboldt, affifted in the experiment
the animal arc; that which is formed of the Galvanic inftruments may be called the excitatory arc. The latter ufually confifts of more pieces than one, of which fome are named fays, braces, &c. others, communicators, from their refpective
In his report of thefe experiments, the writer of it arranges his matter under thefe fix heads: 1ft. Results of the different combinations and difpofitions of the parts of the animal arc. 2d. Account of what has been obferved of the nature and the different difpofitions of the excitatory 3d. Circumstances not entering into the compofition of the Galvanic circle, which, neverthelelefs, by their influence, modify, alter, or entirely prevent the fuccefs of the experiments. 4. Means propofed for varying, diminishing, or reftoring the fenfioility to Galvanifm. 5th. Attempts to compare the phænomena of Galvanifm with thofe of electricity. 6th. Additional experiments, performed by M. HUMBOLDT, in the prefence of the membets of the committee; which have a reference to feveral of the proofs fated in the foregoing articles. I. To the number of twenty experiments were made on the ANIMAL ARC. The first leven of these were directed to afcertain the relations between the nerves and thofe mufcles, over which they are diftributed. In the last thirteen, the nerves were cut asunder, or fubjected to ligatures; the fection or ligature being always between the extremities, of the arc. Nerves taken from different animals, or from different parts of the fame animal, and joined in one and the fame arc, were among the particular fubjects of thefe experiments; as were alfo the folitary nerve, and the folitary mufcle, included between the extremities of the excitatory arc. There were interpofed too, in the courfe of thefe experiments, portions of nerves, and of mufcles, diftin&t from thofe parts. And in fome of the experiments, the animal was without the fkin and the epidermis.
The following are the inferences which have been deduced from thefe experi
5. No diverfity of the parts forming the animal arc, though these be taken from different parts of the fame animal, or even from different animals, will have power to impair its Galvanic fufceptibility, provided only, that these parts be ftill mutually contiguous.
6. If the integrity or Galvanic fufceptibility of the animal arc be fufpended by the feparation of any of its parts, to fome diftance from one another; it may be restored by the interpofition of fome fubftances, not of an animal nature, between the divided parts. Metallic fubftances are in particular fit for this ufe. But the mutual contiguity of all the fubftances entering into the compofition of the arc, must ever be carefully preferved.
7. The mufcular organs which indi cate, by contraction, the presence of the Galvanic influence, are always those in which the nerves of a complete animal arc have their ultimate termination."
From this it follows, that the muscles affected by Galvanifim are always thofe correfponding to that extremity of the arc which is the most remote from the origin of the nerves of which it is compofed.
8. When all the nerves of the animal arc originate towards one of its extremities, then only thofe mufcles which correfpond with the oppofite extremity are fufceptible of Galvanic convulfions.
9. When an animal arc confifts of more than one fyftem of different nerves, which have all their origin about the middle of the arc, then will the mufcles of the fe feveral fyftems of nerves be moved alike at both the extremities of the arc.
10. It feems likewife to appear, from a variety of thefe experiments, that the opinion of thofe is inadmiffible, who alcribe the phænomena of Galvanism to the concurrence of two different and reciprocally correfponding influences, one belonging to the nerve, the other to the muscle, and who compare the relations between the nerve and the mufcle, in thefe phænomena, to thofe between the interior and the exterior coating of the Leyden phial.
11. It appears, laftly, that the cover