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For the Literary Magazine.

literary blunders.

GEOGRAPHICAL errors are
more common in books than any
other kind of errors. This is not
surprising, when we reflect on the
infinite variety and number of par-
ticulars of which geography consists.
On this account, a writer may be
reasonably excused if, on some occa-
sions, he should place an inland
town on the sea-side, or remove a
country a few hundred miles further
from some other country than na-
ture has done. But these errors
will be entitled to less excuse, when
we reflect on the extreme facility
with which every man of books may
make himself acquainted with most
points of geographical knowledge,
whenever he has occasion for this
knowledge. Maps are generally at
hand, or easily procured, and when
we are not certain, it becomes us to
take the trouble to enquire, especi-
ally as that trouble is, in most cases,
extremely small.

These errors are frequently met
with when least expected. An emi-
nent French physician, chief of the
medical department in the army of
St. Domingo, in a treatise on the
yellow-fever, alludes to the history
of that disease at Philadelphia, in
1793, which, he says, originated in
the effluvia of some coffee thrown
carelessly, and suffered to putrify
sur la rivage de la mer: on the sea
shore.

Racine, in his tragedy of Mithra-
dates, has the following passage:


Doutez vous que l'Euxin ne me porte en
    deux jours
Aux lieux où le Danube y voit finit son
    cours.

Strange that the poet should not
have looked at a map before he ven-
tured to describe the Euxine as a
river leading into the Danube.

Boileau displayed as little know-
ledge of astronomy, when he des-
cribed a philosopher making use of
an astrolabe, in order to determine
whether the sun revolves on its axis.

Of all errors the most unaccount-
able is that of the celebrated Salma-
sius, who, in a work printed at Ley-
den, represented our Saviour as
born at Jerusalem.

A translation of Cæsar's Com-
mentaries, by Louis XIV, was pub-
lished in 1751, on which account this
monarch is ranked among the learn-
ed. The justice of his claim may
be determined by his asking cardinal
Fleury, after hearing the word quem-
admodum
repeated several times
in a motet which was performed be-
fore him, who this prince Quemad-
modum
was?


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