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Edinb. May 22, 1734. THESE are certifying, that Mr. William Lauder past his course at this university, to the general satisfaction of these masters, under whom he studied. That he has applied himself particularly to the study of humanity * ever since. That for several years past, he has taught with success, students in the Humanity Class, who were recommended to him by the professor thereof. And lastly, has taught that class itself, during the indisposition, and since the death of its late professor: and therefore is, in our opinion, a fit person to teach Humanity in any school or college whatever.
J. GOWDIE, S. S. T. P.
* So the Latin tongue is called in Scotland, from the Latin phrase, classis humuniorum literarum, the class or form where that language is taught. VOL. X.
A Letter from the Reverend Mr. Patrick Cuming, one of
the Ministers of Edinburgh, and Regius Professor of Church History in the University there, to the Reverend Mr. Blair, Rector of the Grammar-school at Dundee.
D. B. UPON a public advertisement in the newspapers, of the vacancy of a master's place in your school, Mr. William Lauder, a friend of mine, proposes to set up for a candidate, and goes over for that purpose. He has long taught the Latin with great approbation in this place, and given such proofs of his mastery in that language, that the best judges do upon all occasions recommend him as one who is qualified in the best manner. He has taught young boys and young gentlemen, with great success; nor did I ever hear of any complaint of him from either parents or children. I beg leave to recommend him to you as my friend; what friendship you show him, I will look upon as a very great act of friendship to me, of which he and I will retain the most grateful sense, if he is so happy as to be preferred. I persuade myself, you will find him ready at all times to be advised by you, as I have found him. Indeed if justice had been done him, he should long ago have been advanced for his merit. I ever am,
PATRICK CUMING, Edin. Nov. 13, 1742.
A Letter from Mr. Mac-Laurin, late Professor of Mathematicks in the University of Edinburgh, to the Reverend Mr. George Blair, Rector of the Grammar School at Dundee.
SIR, Though unacquainted, I take the liberty of giving you this trouble, from the desire I have always had to see Mr. Lauder provided in a manner suited to his talent. I know him to have made uncommon progress in classical learning, to have taught it with success, and never heard there could be any complaint against his method of teaching. I am, indeed, a stranger to the reasons of his want of success on former occasions. But after conversing with him, I bave ground to hope, that he will be always advised by you, for whom he professes great esteem, and will be useful under you. I am,
humble servant, College of Edinburgh, Colin Mac-LAURIN.
Nov. 30, 1742.
A Letter from the Authors of the “Universal History,”
to Mr. Lauder.
London, August 12th, 1741. LEARNED SIR, When we so gladly took the first opportunity of reviving the memory and merit of your incomparable Johnston, in the first volume of our Universal History,” our chief aim was to excite some generous Mecenas to favour the world with a new edition of a poem which we had long since beheld with no small concern, buried, as it were, by some unaccountable fatality, into an almost total oblivion; whilst others of that kind, none of them superior, many vastly inferior to it, rode, unjustly, as we thought, triumphant over his silent grave. And it is with great satisfaction that we have seen our endeavours so happily crowned in the edition you soon after gave of it at Edinburgh, in your learned and judicious vindication of your excellent author, and more particularly by the just deference which your learned and pious convocation has been pleased to pay to that admirable version. · We have had since then, the pleasure to see your worthy example followed here, in the several beautiful editions of the honourable Mr. Auditor Benson, with his critical notes upon the work.
It was, indeed, the farthest from our thoughts, to enter into the merit of the controversy between your two great poets, Johnston and Buchanan; neither were we so partial to either as not to see, that each had their shades as well as lights; so that, if the latter has been more happy in the choice and variety of his metre, it is as plain, that he has given his poetic genius such an unlimited scope, as has in many cases quite disfigured the peculiar and inimitable beauty, simplicity, and energy of the original, which the former, by a more close and judicious version, has constantly, and surprisingly displayed. Something like this we ventured to hint in our note upon these two noble versions; to have said more, would have been inconsistent with our designed brevity.
We have likewise since seen what your opponent has writ in praise of the one, and derogation of the other, and think you have sufficiently confuted him, and with respect to us, he has been so far from giving us any cause to retract what we had formerly said, that it has administered an occasion to us of vindicating it, as we have lately done by some critical notes on your excellent Johnston, which we communicated soon after to Mr. A. B. who was pleased to give them a place in his last edition of him, and which we doubt not you have seen long ago. How they have been relished among you we know not, but with us they have been thought sufficient to prove what we have advanced, as well as to direct the attentive reader to discover new instances of your author's exactness and elegance, in every page, if not almost in every line.
We gratefully accept of the books, and kind compliments you were pleased to transmit to us by Mr. Strahan, and had long since returned you our thanks, but for the many avocations which the great work you know us to be engaged in doth of necessity bring upon us ; obliging us, or some at least of our society, to make from time to time an excursion to one or other of our two learned universities, and consulting them upon the best method of carrying on this work to the greatest advantage to the public. This has been some considerable part of our employment for these twelve months past; and we flatter ourselves, that we have, with their assistance and approbation, made such considerable improvements on our original plan, as will scarcely fail of being acceptable to the learned world. They will shortly