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ion, that for almost all boys who learn this A letter from the learned Mr. Abraham Gronovius, tongue, [the Latin) it would be much safer to Secretary to the University of Leyden, to Mr. be taught Latin poesy (as soon, and as far as
Lauder, concerning the Adamus Ersul of Grotius. Chey can need it) from those excellent transla- Clarissimo Viro, Wilhelmo Laudero, Abrahations of David's Psalms, which are given us by
mus Gronovius, S. P. D. Buchanan in the various measures of Horace; and the lower classes had better read Dr. John- POSTQUAM binæ literæ tuæ ad me perlatæ fueston's translation of those Psalms, another elegant runt, duas editiones carminum H. Grotii, viri writer of the Scots nation, instead of Ovid's vere summi, excussi; verùm ab utraque trageEpistles ; for he has turned the same Psalms, diam, quam Adamum Ersulem incripsit, ó távo, perhaps with greater elegancy, into elegiao abesse deprehendi; neque ullum ejusdem exverse, whereof the learned W. Benson, Esq. emplar, quamvis tres * editiones exstare adnotahas lately published a new edition; and I hear veram, ullibi offendere potui, adeo ut spe, quam that these Psalms are honoured with an in vorabam desiderio tuo satisfaciendi, me prorsus creasing use in the schools of Holland and Scot- excidisse existimarem. land. A stanza, or a couplet of those writers, Verùm nuperrime fortè contigit, ut primam would now and then stick upon the minds of Tragadiæ Grotianæ editionem Hagæ, An. 1601. youth, and would furnish them infinitely better publicatam, beneficio amicissimi mihi viri nacwith pious and moral thoughts, and do some- tus fuerim, ejusque decem priores paginas, quithing towards making them good men and bus præter chorum actus primus comprehendiChristians.
tur, 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.
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.
A Second Letter from the same Gentleman to Mr.
Lauder, on the same Subject. At Edinburgh, 13th of November, 1740, post me.
Clarissime atque Eruditissime Vir! ridiem.
PostEAQUAM tandem Jacobus meus residuam A PETITION having been presented to the late partem, quam desiderabas, Tragædia Grotiane General Assembly, by Mr. William Lauder, transcripserat, ut eâ diutius careres, committere Teacher of Humanity in Edinburgh, craving, nolui : quod autem citius illam ad finem perduThat Dr. Arthur Johnston's Latin Paraphrase cere non potuerit, obstiterunt variæ occupationes, on the Psalms of David, and Mr. Robert Boyd, quibus districtus fuit. Nam præter scholastica of Trochrig, his Hecatombe Christiana, may be studia, quibus strenuè incubuit, ipsi componenda recommended to be taught in all grammar- erat oratio, qua rudimenta linguæ Græcæ Laschools ; and the assembly having appointed a tinæque deponeret, eamque, quod vehementer committee of their number to take the desire of lætor, venustè, et quidem stilo ligato, composuit, the foresaid petition into their consideration, et in magna auditorum corona pronuntiavit. and report to the Commission : the said com- Quod autem ad exemplar ipsum, quo Adamus mittee offered their opinion, that the Commis- Ersul comprehenditur, spectat, id lubens, si sion should grant the desire of the said petition, meum foret, ad te perferri curarem, verùm illud and recommend the said Dr, Johnston's Para
a clarissimo possessore tanti æstimatur, ut perphrase to be taught in the lower classes of the
suasum habeam me istud minimè ab ipso impeschools, and Mr. George Buchanan’s Para tratarum : et sanè sacra carmina Grotii aded phrase on the Psalms, together with Mr. Ro- rarò obvia sunt, ut eorundem exemplar apud bert Boyd of Trochrig's Hecatombe Christiana ipsos remonstrantium ecclesiastas frustra quæsiin the higher classes of schools, and Humanity- verim. classes in universities. The Commission having Opus ipsum inscriptum est Henrico Boeheard the said report, unanimously approved thereof, and did, and hereby do, recommend accordingly. Extracted by William GRANT,* Ci. Ecl. Sc.
* Though Gronovius here mentions only three edi. tions 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 - This bonourable gentleman is now his Majesty's the years 1601, 1609, and 1635; two having been made, Advocate for Scotland,
one in quarto, the other in octavo, Ando. 1601.
BONIO, Principi CONDÆO ; et forma libri est in many, I was willing to make trial, if the partial quarto, ut nullo pacto literis includi possit. Ce admirers of that author would admit a translation terùm, pro splendidissima et Magnæ Britanniæ of his own words to pass for his sense, or exhibit principe, cui meritò dicata est, digna editione his meaning : which I thought they would not : Psalmorum, ex versione metrica omnium fere nor was I mistaken in my conjecture, forasmuch poëtarum principis JOHNSTONI maximas tibi as several gentlemen, seemingly persons of judggrates habet agitque Jacobus. Utinam illustris- ment and learning, assured me, they humbly simus Bensonus in usum serenissimi principis, conceived I had not proved my point, and that atqne ingeniorum in altiora surgentium, eâdem Milton might have written as he has done supformâ iisdemque typis exarari juberet divinos posing he had never seen these authors, or they illos Ciceronis de Officiis libros, dignos sane, had never existed. Such is the force of prejuquos diurnâ nocturnaque manu versaret prin- dice! This exactly confirms the judicious obserceps, a quo aliquando Britannici regni majestas vation of the excellent moralist and poet : et populi salus pendebunt! Interim tibi, erudi. tissime vir, atque etiam politissimo D. Caveo,
Pravo favore labi mortales solent,
Et pro judicio dum stant erroris sui, pro muneribus literariis, quæ per nobilissimum
Ad poenitendum rebus manifestis agi. Lawsonium * ad me curâstis, magno opere me obstrictum agnosco, eademque summa cum vo- For had I designed (as the vindicator of Milton Juptate a me perlecta sunt.
supposes) to impose a trick on the public, and Filius meus te plurimum salutat.
procure credit to my assertions by an imposture, Vale doctissime vir, meisque verbis D. Ca- I would never have drawn lines from Hog's veum saluta, atque amare perge, Tuum,
translation of Milton, a book common at every ABRAHAMUM GRONOVIUM. sale, I had almost said at every stall, nor ascribed Dabain Leidis, A. D. XIV, KAL.
them to authors so easily attained : I would have Maius, A. D. MDCCXLVII.
gone another way to work, by translating forty or fifty lines, and assigning them to an author, whose works possibly might not be found till
the world expire at the general conflagration. POSTSCRIPT.
My imposing therefore on the public in general,
instead of a few obstinate persons, (for whose And now my character is placed above all sus- sake alone the stratagem was designed) is the picion of fraud by authentic documents, I will only thing culpable ia my conduct, for which make bold at last to pull off the mask, and de-again I most humbly ask pardon : and that this, clare sincerely the true motive that induced me and this only, was, as no other could be, my to interpolate a few lines into some of the au- design, no one I think can doubt, from the thors quoted by me in my Essay on Milton, account I have just now given; and whether which was this : Knowing the prepossession in
that was so criminal, as it has been represented, favour of Milton, how deeply it was rooted in | I shall leave every impartial mind to determine.
AN ACCOUNT OF AN ATTEMPT
ASCERTAIN THE LONGITUDE.
FIRST PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1755.
It is well known to seamen and philosophers, by the extensive commerce of the later ages, that after the numerous improvements produced the great defect in the art of sailing is ignorance of longitude, or of the distance to which the leave upon this country the reproach of unre. ship has passed eastward or westward from any warded diligence. given meridian.
* The person here meant was the learned and
consists perfectly well with the knowledge of the worthy Dr. Isaac Lawson, late physician to the
Doctor's brother John Lawson, Esq. counsellor at English army in Flanders : by whom Mr. Gronovius
law; who also had the same thing lately confirmed did me the honour to transmit to me two or three
to him by Mr. Gronovius himself in Holland. acts of the Adamus Ersul of Grotius, trauscribed by + An Account of an attempt to ascertain the his son Mr. James. The truth of this particular Longitude at Sea, by an exact Theory of the Varia
I saw therefore nothing on which I could fix That navigation might at length be set free from with probability of success, but the magnetical this uncertainty, the legislative power of this needle, an instrument easily portable, and little kingdom incited the industry of searchers into subject to accidental injuries, with which the nature, by a large reward proposed to bim who sailor has had a long acquaintance, which he should show a practicable method of finding will willingly study, and can easily consult. the longitude at sea ; and proportionable recom. The magnetic needle from the year 1300, pences to those, who, though they should not fully when it is generally supposed to have been first attain this great end, migbt yet make such ad applied by John Goia, of Amalphi, to the sea. vances and discoveries as should facilitate the man's use, seems to have been long thought to work to those that might succeed them.
point exactly to the north and south by the naBy the splendour of this golden encourage- vigators of those times; who sailing commonly ment many eyes were dazzled, which nature on the calm Mediterranean, or making only never intended to pry into her secrets. By the short voyages, had no need of very accurate obhope of sudden riches many understandings were servations; and who, if they ever transiently şet on work very little proportioned to their observed any deviations from the meridian, strength, among whom whether mine shall be either ascribed them to some extrinsic and accinumbered, must be left to the candour of pos- dental cause, or willingly neglected what it was terity: for I, among others, laid aside the bus- not necessary to understand. iness of my profession, to apply myself to the But when the discovery of the new world study of the longitude, not indeed in expectation turned the attention of mankind upon the naval of the reward due to a complete discovery; yet sciences, and long courses required greater not without hopes, that I might be considered niceties of practice, the variation of the needle as an assistant to some greater genius, and re- soon became observable, and was recorded in ceive from the justice of my country the wages 1500 by Sebastian Cabot, a Portuguese, who, at offered to an honest and not unsuccessful labourer the expense of the king of England, discovered in science.
the northern coasts of America. Considering the various means by which this As the next century was a time of naval adimportant inquiry has been pursued, I foundventures, it might be expected that the variation that the observation of the eclipses, either of the once observed, should have been well studied : primary or secondary planets, being possible but yet it seems to have been little heeded; for it at certain times, could be of no use to the sailor; was supposed to be constant and always the that the motions of the moon had been long same in the same place, till in 1625 Gellibrand attended, however accurately, without any con- noted its changes, and published his observasequence; that other astronomical observations tions. were difficult and uncertain with every advan- From this time the philosophical world had a tage of situation, instruments, and knowledge : new subject of speculation, and the students of and were therefore utterly impracticable to the magnetism employed their researches upon the sailor, tost upon the water, ill provided with gradual changes of the needle's direction, or the instruments, and not very skilful in their ap- variations of the variation, which have hitherto plication.
appeared so desultory and capricious, as to The hope of an accurate clock or time-keeper elude all the schemes which the most fanciful of is more specious. But when I began these stu- the philosophical dreamers could devise for its dies, no movements bad yet been made that explication. Any system that could have united were not evidently inaccurate and uncertain: these tormenting diversities, they seem inclined and even of the mechanical labours which I now to have received, and would have contentedly hear so loudly celebrated, when I consider the numbered the revolutions of a central magnet, obstruction of movements by friction, the waste with very little concern about its existence, of their parts by attrition, the various pressure could they have assigned it any motion, or viof the atmosphere, the effects of different effluvia cissitude of motions, which would have correupon metals, the power of heat and cold upon sponded with the changes of the needle. all matter, the changes of gravitation and the
Yet upon this secret property of magnetism I hazard of concussion, I cannot but fear that they ventured to build my hopes of ascertaining the will supply the world with another instance of longitude at sea. I found it undeniably certain fruitless ingenuity, though I hope they will not that the needle varies its direction in a course
eastward or westward between any assignable
parallels of latitude: and supposing nature to tion of the Magnetical Needle; with a Table of be in this as in all other operations uniform and Variations at the most remarkable cities in Europe, consistent, I doubted not but the variation prefrom the year 1660 to 1860. By Zachariah Williams. ceeded in some established method, though per. haps too abstruse and complicated for human who, though perhaps very learned in their own comprehension.
studies, have had little acquaintance with mine. This difficulty however was to be encounter. Yet even this may be borne far better than the ed; and by close and steady perseverance of petulance of boys whom I have seen shoot up attention I at last subdued, or thought myself into philosophers by experiments which I have to have subdued, it ; baving formed a regular long since made and neglected, and by imsystem in which all the phenomena seemed to provements wbich I have so long transferred be reconciled; and being able from the varia- into my ordinary practice, that I cannot rememtion in places where it is known to trace it to ber when I was without them. those where it is unknown; or from the past to When Sir Isaac Newton had declined the office predict the future: and consequently knowing assigned him, it was given to Mr. Molineux, one the latitude and variation, to assign the true of the commissioners of the Admiralty, who enlongitude of any place.
gaged in it with no great inclination to favour With this system I came to London, where me; but however thought one of the instruhaving laid my proposals before a number of ments, which, to confirm my own opinion, and ingenious gentlemen, it was agreed that during to confute Mr. Wbiston's, I bad exhibited to the the time required to the completion of my ex- | Admiralty, so curious or useful, that he surperiments, I should be supported by a joint reptitiously copied it on paper, and clandessubscription to be repaid out of the reward, tinely endeavoured to have it imitated by a which they concluded me entitled. Among the workman for his own use. subscribers was Mr. Rowley, the memorable This treatment naturally produced remonconstructor of the orrery; and among my favour- strances and altercations, which indeed did not ers was the Lord Piesley, a title not unknown continue long, for Mr. Molineux died soon afteramong magnetical philosophers. I frequently wards; and my proposals were for a time forshowed upon a globe of brass, experiments by gotten. which my system was confirmed, at the house I will not however accuse him of designing to of Mr. Rowley, where the learned and curious condemn me, without a trial; for he demanded of that time generally assembled.
a portion of my tables to be tried in a voyage At this time great expectations were raised by to America, which I then thought I had reason Mr. Whiston, of ascertaining the longitude by to refuse bim, not yet knowing how difficult it the inclination of the needle, which he supposed was to obtain, on any terms, an actual examito increase or diminish regularly. With this nation. learned man I had many conferences, in which About this time the theory of Dr. Halley was I endeavoured to evince what he has at last con- the chief subject of mathematical conversation; fessed in the narrative of his life, the uncertainty and though I could not but consider him as too and inefficacy of his method.
much a rival to be appealed to as a judge, yet About the year 1729, my subscribers explained his reputation determined me to splicit his acmy pretentions to the Lords of the Admiralty, quaintance and bazard his opinion. I was inand the Lord Torrington declared my claim just troduced to him by Mr. Lowthorp and Dr. Deto the reward assigned in the last clause of the saguliers, and put my tables into his hands ; act to those who should make discoveries con- which, after having had them about twenty days ducive to the perfection of the art of sailing. under consideration, he returned in the presence This he pressed with so much warmth, that the of the learned Mr. Machin, and many other commissioners agreed to lay my tables before skilful men, with an entreaty that I would pub. Sir Isaac Newton, who excused himself, by lish them speedily; for I should do infinite serreason of his age, from a regular examination : vice to mankind. but when he was informed that I held the varia- It is one of the melancholy pleasures of an tion at London to be still increasing, which he old man, to recollect the kindness of friends, and the other pbilosophers, bis pupils, thought whose kindness he shall experience no more. to be then stationary, and on the point of re- I have now none left to favour my studies : and gression, he declared that he believed my system therefore naturally turn my thoughts on those visionary. I did not much murmar to be for a by whom I was favoured in better days : and I time overborne by that mighty dame, even when hope the vanity of age may be forgiven, when I believed that the name only was against me: I declare that I can boast among my friends, and I have lived till I am able to produce, in my almost every name of my time that is now refavour, the testimony of time, the inflexible membered : and that in that great period of maenemy of false hypotheses ; the only testimony thematical competition scarce any man failed to which it becomes human understanding to op- appear as my defender, who did not appear as pose to the authority of Newton.
my antagonist. My notions have indeed been since treated By these friends I was encouraged to exhibit with equal superciliousness by those who have to the Royal Society, an ocular proof of the not the same title to confidence of decision; men reasonableness of my theory, by a sphere of
iron, on which a small compass moved in vari- , of exciting attention, yet the tables are adjusted ous directions, exbibited no imperfect system of only to longitude and latitude. Thus when I magnetical attraction. The experiment was predict that at Prague, the variation will in the shown by Mr. Hawkesbee, and the explanation year 1800 be 241 W., I intend to say, that it will with which it was accompanied, was read by be such if Prague be, as I have placed it, after Dr. Mortimer. I received the thanks of the the best geographers, in longitude 14 30'. E. lasociety; and was solicited to reposit my theory titude 50 40.; but that this is its true situation, properly sealed and attested among their ar. I cannot be certaid. The latitude of many places chives, for the information of posterity. I am is unknown, and the longitude is known of very informed, that this whole transaction is recorded few; and even those who are unacquainted with in their minutes.
science, will be convinced that it is not easily to After this I withdrew from public notice, be found, when they are told how many degrees and applied myself wholly to the continuation Dr. Halley, and the French mathematicians, of my experiments, the confirmation of my place the Cape of Good Hope distant from each system, and the completion of my tables, with other. no other companion than Mr. Gray, who shared Those who would pursue this inquiry with all my studies and amusements, and used to re- philosophical nicety, must likewise procure betpay my communications of magnetism, with his ter needles than those commonly in use. The discoveries in electricity. Thus I proceeded needle, which after long experience I recomwith incessant diligence; and perhaps in the mend to mariners, must be of pure steel, the zeal of inquiry did not sufficiently reflect on spines and the cap of one piece, the whole the silent encroachments of time, or remember, length three inches, each spine containing four that no man is in more danger of doing little, grains and a half of steel, and the cap thirteen than he who fatters himself with abilities to do grains and a half. all. When I was forced out of my retirement, The common needles are so ill formed, or so I came loaded with the infirmities of age, to unskilfully suspended, that they are affected by struggle with the difficulties of a narrow fortune, many causes besides magnetism ; and among cut off by the blindness of my daughter from other inconveniences have given occasion to the the only assistance which I ever had ; deprived idle dream of a horary variation. by time of my patron and friends, a kind of I doubt not but particular places may produce stranger in a new world, where curiosity is now exceptions to my system. There may be, in diverted to other objects, and where, having no many parts of the earth, bodies which obstruct means of ingratiating my labours, I stand the or intercept the general influence of magnetism; single votary of an obsolete science, the scoff but those interruptions do not infringe the theof puny pupils of puny philosophers.
ory. It is allowed, that water will run down In this state of dereliction and depression, I a declivity, though sometimes a strong wind have bequeathed to posterity the following taile; may force it upwards. It is granted, that the which, if time shall verify my conjectures, will sun gives light at noon, though in certain conshow that the variation was once known; and junctions it may suffer an eclipse. that mankind had once within their reach an These causes, whatever they are, that intereasy method of discovering the longitude. rupt the course of the magnetical powers, are
I will not however engage to maintain, that least likely to be found in the great ocean, when all my numbers are theoretically and minutely the earth, with all its minerals, is secluded from exact; 1 bave not endeavoured at such degrees the compass by the vast body of uniform water. of accuracy as only distract inquiry without So that this method of finding the longitude, benefiting practice. The quantity of the varia- with a happy contrariety to all others, is most tion has been settled partly by instruments, and easy and practicable at sea. partly by computation; instruments must al- This method, therefore, I recommend to the ways partake of the imperfection of the eyes and study and prosecution of the sailor and philohands of those that make, and of those that use sopher; and the appendant specimen I exhibit them; and computation, till it has been recti- to the candid examination of the maritime nafied by experiment, is always in danger of some tions, as a specimen of a general table, showing omission in the premises, or some error in the the variation at all times and places for the deduction.
wbole revolution of the magnetic poles, which I .It must be observed, in use of this table, bave long ago begun, and, with just encourage that though I name particular cities for the sake ment, should have long ago completed.