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fore his death, where he was writing without fpectacles by but an indifferent light. That he was then preparing his Chronology for the prefs, and had written the greatest part of it over again for that purpose. He read to the Doctor fome part of the work, on occafion of fome points in chronology which had been mentioned in the converfation. He continued near an hour, reading to him and talking about what he had read, before the dinner was brought up: and what was particular, fpeaking of fome fact, he could not recollect the name of the king, in whofe reign it had happened, and therefore complained of his memory beginning to fail him; but he added immediately, that it was in fuch a year of fuch an Olympiad, naming them both very exactly. The ready mention of fuch chronological dates feemed, fays the Doctor, a greater proof of his memory's not failing him, than the naming of the king would have been."
What coxcomb therefore was it that first published to the world the filly ftory of the decay of Sir Ifaac Newton's faculties before his death? This has been feveral times repeated. His faculties may, indeed, in fome degree, have been impaired, as he had employed them intenfely for, perhaps, seventy years, but if any ruins there were in this great man's powers, there remained ftill far too much ftrength of mind to be called imbecillity A perfifting application, and fuch a mastery over his imagination (and all the circumstances of common life which I mentioned in my former letter), as to keep it up to the point he had in view for a very long time, without fnap ping, was his peculiar talent; and the inftrument with which he did fuch great things, and which his temperance and a conftitution fingularly formed for fuch purposes, enabled him to practice through a long life. His candour and modefty, even to bashfulness, were the graces which made fuch fuperior knowledge not difgufting to his inferiors.
He was not only the Mathematician, but the Hiftorian, the Chronologift, the Chymift, and the Critic: I have never met with any of his chymical manufcripts, but they certainly exift fomewhere. I remember to have heard from the late learned Dr. Kidby, a gentleman well known to many learned men, perhaps still alive, that Sir Ifaac Newton was as great in chemistry as in any other science. It might therefore be an acquifition if thofe chemical papers of his could be found. William Jones, Efq; if L remember right, was fuppofed to have had feveral manufcripts of Sir Ifaac Newton's in his poffeffion; how he came by them, or why he kept them to himself, if he had fuch, I could never rightly learn: I remember to have heard him blamed on that account forty years ago; this is perhaps a groundless charge. I only mention it, that inquiry may be made of Mr. Jones's heirs, or the perfons into whofe hands his papers came after his deceafe, whether any manufcripta of Sir Ifaac Newton's worth notice, exist? And furely if any exift they must have their worth!
Your good nature will excufe the length of this, as it concerns fo great a man. I am, Gentlemen, yours, &c. I. H,
** The Reviewers are authorised by the fon of W. Jones, Efq, Author of the SYNOPSIS MATHESEOS, to affure the Public, that no fuch papers have been found in his father's library; and that the ftory of bis having made an improper ufe of ANY papers belonging to Sir Ifaac New ton, is wholly groundless.
ART. I. Quintilian's Inflitutes of the Orator. In Twelve Books.. Tranflated from the original Latin, according to the Paris Edition of Profeffor Rollin, and illuftrated with critical and explanatory Notes. By J. Patfall, M. A. 8vo. 2 Vols. 12s. Law. 1774. IT is ufual with us, in our review of tranflations from the claffics, to compare them with the originals, rather than to require our Readers to give us credit for general and indifcriminate characters. We fhall obferve the fame method with respect to the work before us, and shall introduce part of the chapter de Scribendo from the tenth book.
I would not have thofe, whofe ftyle is arrived at a certain degree of maturity, harass themselves with the trouble of perpetually finding fault with their compofitions. And indeed, how thall that ora tor acquit himself of his duty to the Public, who fhould waste so much time on each part of a pleading? There are fome, who are never fatisfied with what they do. They would alter, and fay every thing otherwife than it occurs: miftruftful indeed, and deferving ill of their abilities, for thinking that exactnefs, which they make an embarraffment to themselves of in writing. I cannot well fay, which I think more in the wrong, they who are pleased with every thing in their productions, or they who like nothing in them. For it often happens, that even fome young perfons of pregnant parts, fuffer themfelves to be confumed by a ufelefs labour, and at length are obliged to condemn themselves to a fhameful filence, through a defire of doing too well.
This puts me in mind of what I heard Julius Secundus fay concerning what had been faid to himself by his uncle. We were both of the fame age and intimate friends, as is well known; and he was a man of furprifing eloquence, though fcrupulously exact. His uncle Julius Florus was the most renowned for eloquence in the province of Gaul, where he had last established himself, and as well by that talent, as in other refpects, was a credit to his family. Secundus ftill remained at school, and he once happening to obferve him melancholy, asked the reafon of his being fo dejected. The youth did VOL. LI. Z
330 Patfall's Tranflation of Quintilian's Inflitutes of the Orater?
not conceal from him, that for three days together he had ineffec tually wreaked his invention to hit upon an exordium to a speech given him to be compofed, which not only afflicted him for the prefent, but made him even defpair for the time to come. At which Florus fmiling faid: "What, child will you do better than you can?" This is the very thing I had to recommend. We must indeed Atrive to do as well as we can, but this must be according to the meafure of our abilities; for it is ftudy and application that will make us proficients, and not difcontent and vexation.
Befides practice, which certainly goes a great way, there is a method to be obferved for acquiring a readinefs in writing. In order to this, we may be advised to decline the indolent posture we affume by looking up at the cieling, and exciting thoughts by muttering, as if chance should throw in our way fomething to our purpose. We might rather in a manner more becoming men apply ourselves to write and meditate, examining what the fubject requires, what decorum ought to be kept in regard to the perfons interested, what are the circumstances of time, and how the judge is likely to be dif pofed: thus nature herfelf will fuggeft what ought to begin, and what ought to follow. The greater part of our matter fo plainly prefents itself, that it flashes in our eyes, unless we shut them against it; and if the illiterate and peasants are not long at a lofs how to begin, what a fhame muft it be that learning fhould create difficulties in doing the fame? Then let us not think, that what lies hid, is always beft: if fo, it were better to be filent, if nothing feemed proper to be faid, but what we do not find.
Others give into a fault different from this, by flightly running over their matter, and writing down extempore whatever may occur amidft the fallies of a heated imagination. This, which they call their foul copy, they afterwards revife, and fettle in better order; but it is the words they correct, and the harmony of the periods they strive to adjuft, whilft the fame levity remains in the things they had fo precipitately heaped together. It will be therefore much more advifable fo to order the work from the beginning, that it may not require to be fabricated anew, but only to be filed and polished. Sometimes, however, we may let the mind indulge its fancy and fenfibility in things, in which heat is commonly happier in its effect, than care and exactness.
From my difapprobation of this careleffnefs in writing, one may judge what I think of the fancy of dictating which fome are fo taken with To writing indeed, how fwift foever it may be, the hand which cannot keep up with the celerity of thought, must give fome delay; but are not the inconveniences of dictating greater? He, to whom we dictate, urges us to proceed; and we are ashamed at times even to doubt, or ftop fhort, or make any alteration, as if afraid of one privy to our incapacity. Whence it comes to pass, that intent chiefly upon connecting one fenfe with another, we let efcape us feveral things, not only fortuitous and shapelefs, but fometimes improper, which neither fhew the exactness of one that writes, nor the fire of one that speaks without preparation. Befides, if the amanuenfis be flow in writing, or commits fome error in reading what has been dictated, then is the flow of thought retarded by this
Patfall's Tranflation of Quintilian's Inflitutes of the Orator. 331 intervening obftruction, and fometimes the whole attention is unhinged by it, as well as by anger, which is natural enough on these occafions.
There are alfo many things accompanying, and in fome measure exciting the tranfports and heat of compofition, as toffing of the hands, diftorting of the features of the face, turning from one fide to the other, and fometimes finding fault, together with other particulars noted by Perfius, where he speaks of the inanity of fome authors, as banging the writing defks, biting the nails, and the like, all which are ridiculous, unless we are alone.
In fine, to obviate what ought to be principally attended to on this head, I may fay, that it cannot be doubted, but that privacy, which is deftroyed by dictating, and the profoundeft filence, fuit beft the reflection that is necessary for him who writes.
It does not, however follow, that we should immediately abide by the counsel of thofe, who believe that woods and groves are the propereft places for recollection and ftudy, becaufe the fiefhness of air and the many engaging charms that reign in these parts, beget an elevation of mind, and a more happy turn of thought. Such a retreat seems to me, rather conducive to pleasure, than an incentive to fludy; as the very things that delight, muft neceffarily divert us from attending to what we are about. In reality, the mind cannot be intent upon many things together, and wherever it looks to, it muft at that inftant at least lofe fight of its main point of view. Wherefore the amenity of woods, and the courfe of rivers, and the breezes blowing about the branches of trees, and the fong of birds, and the freedom of profpect, are all fo many attractions, that the pleasure conceived from them, feems to me rather to flacken thought, than keep it ftretched. Demofthenes was quite right, when in order to study, he shut himself up in a place, where he could neither hear nor fee any thing to diftract him. Thus it was that his eyes could not compel his mind to attend to other matters.
And thus we may judge of the advantage of lucubration, when the filence of the night, a thut up chamber, and one light, keep the mind, collected, as it were, upon its fubject. But this manner of ftudy, much more than any other, requires a good state of health; and in order to preserve that health, it should be used but fparingly, as otherwife we incroach upon nature, by allotting to hard labour a time, which he has granted to us for the rest of our body, and the recruiting of our ftrength. It may be enough to grant to this labour what we can well ipare from fleep; for even fatigue is a great obstacle to the keenness of study; and the day is more than fufficient for him, who is mafter of his time. It is the multiplicity of bufiness that obliges us to ftudy by night; yet is lucubration beft calculated for ftudy, when we fet about it fresh, in good health, and in a good flow of fpirits.
But filence, retreat, and a mind difincumbered of care, though greatly to be wifhed for, cannot always fall to our lot. For which reafon, if any noife or disturbance might happen, we should not immediately defift and deplore the time as loft. Rather let us strive against inconveniencies, and contract a habit of conquering all obBacles by the dint of application, which if we unreservedly direct to
332 Patfall's Translation of Quintilian's Inftitutes of the Orator.
what we are about, nothing of what affects the eyes or ears, will have access to the mind. And if a chance thought fo often fixes the attention, that we do not fee those we meet, and mifs our way, will not the fame happen when we proceed to think with a deliberate intention ?
We must not tamper with the causes of floth; for if we think we ought not to study, but when fresh for it, but when chearful, and devoid of all other care, we shall never want a reafon for selfindulgence. Wherefore in the midft of a croud, on a journey, at a banquet, and even in a tumultuous affembly of the people, we may make a kind of folitude for our thoughts. Otherwife what should become of us, when, in the midft of the Forum, amidst the hearing of fo many causes, amidst broils, contentions, and unexpected clamours, we are often to make extempore fpeeches, if we could find only in folitude the notes we take down in writing. It was for being prepared at all events, that Demofthenes, who had been fo great a lover of privacy, was wont to ftudy his speeches near that part of the fea-fhore, where the waves dafhed with the greatest noise, to prevent his being difmayed by the uproars which often happened in the affemblies of the Athenian people.
Every thing regarding ftudies fhould feem of fome importance, and therefore I fhall not omit giving directions about a fmall concern, which is, that it is best to write on waxen tablets, because we can more easily deface what has been written; unless weakness of fight should rather require the ufe of parchment. It helps indeed the fight, but from the frequent neceffity of dipping the pen in ink, retards the hand, and breaks the flow of thought.
Both fhould have blank pages left in them, to make room for adding whatever might be thought neceffary; for a want of room fometimes makes us loath to correct, or at least confounds the former matter by the interlining of new.
I would not advife procuring wide pages in the tablets, having known a young gentleman accustomed to make long difcourfes, because he measured them by the number of lines. His friends had often endeavoured to correct this fault in him, but to no purpose, till the fize of his tablets was changed.
There ought also a space or margin to be left for noting the things that prefent themselves out of their rank, fuch, I mean, as do not belong to the parts we are actually compofing. For fometimes we chance to hit upon excellent thoughts, which it is neither proper to infert for the prefent, nor fafe to poftpone taking a memorandum of; because otherwise they escape us, or if we keep them in mind, they divert us from other thoughts. It is therefore best to keep them upon record.'
Sometimes the Tranflator, poffibly, from a regard to fingu larity, makes innovations in the received forms of our language, leaving out the infinitive fign, to, after ought, and fubftituting only, for only, one. Sometimes he is harfh and ftiff in his language, which they make an embarraffment to themselves of in writing;' and fometimes he does not do juftice to his origimal, as in the above extract, where Quintilian fays, Accidit