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tive of his life, the uncertainty and inefficacy of his method.
About the year 1729, my subscribers explained my pretensions to the Lords of the Admiralty, and the Lord Torrington declared my claim just to the reward assigned in the last clause of the act to those who should make discoveries conducive to the perfection of the art of sailing. This he pressed with so much warmth, that the commissioners agreed to lay my tables before Sir Isaac Newton, who excused himself, by reason of his age, from a regular examination : but when he was informed that I held the variation at London to be still encreasing ; which he and the other philosophers, his pupils, thought to be then stationary, and on the point of regression, he declared that he believed my system visionary. I did not much murmur to be for a time overborne by that mighty name, even when I believed that the name only was against me: and I have lived till I am able to produce, in my favour, the testimony of time, the inflexible enemy of false hypotheses ; the only testimony which it becomes human understanding to oppose to the authority of Newton.
My notions have indeed been since treated with equal superciliousness by those who have not the same title to confidence of decision; men who, though perhaps very learned in their own studies, have had little acquaintance with mine. Yet even this may be borne far better than the petulance of boys whom I have seen shoot up into philosophers by experiments which I have long since made and neglected, and by improvements which I have so long trans
of David, Moses, and other divine poets intermixt with them, (infinitely excelling those of Callimachus, Alcæus, Sappho, Anacreon, and all others) abound in both these virtues, and both your poets are acknowledged to be very happy in paraphrasing them, it is my opinion both of them, without giving the least preference to either, should be read alternately in your schools, as the tutor shall direct. Pardon, learned Sir, this scribble to my age and . weakness, both which are very great, and command me wherein I may serve you, as,
Learned Sir, Your obliged, thankful, and obedient Servant, Spitalfields, Sept. 1741. ROBERT AINSWORTH.
A Letter from the Authors of the “Universal History” to
Mr. Auditor Benson.
SIR, It is with no small pleasure that we see Dr. Johnston's translation of the Psalms revived in so elegant a manner, and adorned with such a just and learned display of its inimitable beauties. As we flatter ourselves that the character we gave it in our first volume of the “Universal History,” did in some measure contribute to it, we hope, that in justice to that great poet, you will permit us to cast the following mites into your treasury of critical notes on his noble version. We always thought the palm by far this author's due, as upon many other accounts,
so especially for two excellencies hitherto not taken notice of by any critic, that we know of, and which we beg leave to transmit to you, and if you think fit, by you to the public, in the following observations. We beg leave to subscribe ourselves,
Dr. Isaac Watts, D. D. in his late Book, entitled, “The
Improvement of the Mind," Lond. 1741, p. 114. UPON the whole survey of things, it is my opinion, that for almost all boys who learn this tongue, [the Latin) it would be much safer to be taught Latin poesy (as soon, and as far as they can need it) from those excellent translations of David's Psalms, which are given us by Buchanan in the various measures of Horace; and the lower classes had better read Dr. Johnston's translation of those Psalms, another elegant writer of the Scots nation, instead of Ovid's Epistles; for he has turned the same Psalms, perhaps with greater elegancy, into elegiac verse, whereof the learned W. Benson, Esq. has lately published a new edition ; and I hear that these Psalms are honoured with an increasing use in the schools of Holland and Scotland. A stanza, or a couplet of those writers would now and then stick upon the minds of youth, and would furnish them infinitely better with pious and moral thoughts, and do something towards making them good men and Christians.
An Act of the Commission of the General Assembly of the
Kirk of Scotland, recommending Dr. Arthur Johnston's Latin Paraphrase of the Psalms of David, &c.
At Edinburgh, 13th of November, 1740. post meridiem.
A Petition having been presented to the late General Assembly, by Mr. William Lauder, Teacher of Humanity in Edinburgh, craving, That Dr. Arthur Johnston's Latin Paraphrase on the Psalms of David, and Mr. Robert Boyd of Trochrig his Hecatombe Christiana, may be recommended to be taught in all grammar-schools; and the assembly having appointed a committee of their number to take the desire of the foresaid petition into their consideration, and report to the Commission : the said committee offered their opinion, that the Commission should grant the desire of the said petition, and recommend the said Dr. Johnston's Paraphrase to be taught in the lower classes of the schools, and Mr. George Buchanan's Paraphrase on the Psalms, together with Mr. Robert Boyd of Trochrig's Hecatombe Christiana in the higher classes of schools, and Humanity-classes in universities. The Commission having heard the said report, unanimously approved thereof, and did, and hereby do recommend accordingly.
WILLIAM GRANT,* Cl. Ecl. Sc.
* This honourable gentleman is now his Majesty's Advocate for Scotland.
A Letter from the learned Mr. Abraham Gronovius, Se
cretary to the University of Leyden, to Mr. Lauder, concerning the Adamus Ersul of Grotius.
Clarissimo Viro, Wilhelmo Laudero, Abrahamus
Gronovius, S. P. D.
Postquam binæ literæ tuæ ad me perlatæ fuerunt, duas editiones carminum H. Grotii, viri vere summi, excussi ; verùm ab utraque tragoediam, quam Adamum Exsulem inscripsit o záv, abesse deprehendi; neque ullum ejusdem exemplar, quamvis tres * editiones exstare adnotaveram, ullibi offendere potui, adeo ut spe, quam vorabam desiderio tuo satisfaciendi, me prorsus excidisse existimarem.
Verum nuperrime fortè contigit, ut primam Tragodice Grotianoe editionem, Hagæ, An. 1601. publicatam, beneficio amicissimi mihi viri nactus fuerim, ejusque decem priores paginas, quibus præter chorum actus primus comprehenditur, a Jacobo meo, optimæ spei adolescente, transcriptas nunc ad te mitto. Vale vir doctissime, meque ut facis amare perge. Dabam Lugd. Bat. A. D. iv. Eid. Sept. A. D. MDCCXLVI.
* Though Gronovius here mentions only three editions of this noble and curious performance, the Adamus Exsul of Grotius ; yet it appears from the catalogue of his works, that no fewer than four have been printed, two in quarto, and two in octavo, in the years 1601, 1608, and 1635; two having been made, one in quarto, the other in octavo, Anno 1601.