Page images

In January

marrying, against the statutes of that house, the governors thereof discharged him from that employment, by presenting him to the benefice of Castle Camps in Cambridgeshire. MDCXXIV he was admitted chief master of Merchant Taylors School in London, and in Mdcxxxi chief master of Eton, out of which he was expelled in the time of the Civil Wars ; but, being restored on the return of King Charles II. he died at Eton towards the close of the year MDCLX, and was buried in the Chapel there.

Christopher Wase, fellow of. King's College in Cambridge, and afterwards superior beadle of law in Oxford, published likewise a Latin Dictionary, the second edition of which was printed in MDCLXXV. This is a compendium of Calepine; but “ done with so much judgment,” saith Dr. Littleton in his Latin Preface to his Dictionary, “that one can hardly find any thing in it which savoureth of barbarism.” However, it seemeth to be rather designed for the use of those who have made some proficiency in the Latin tongue, than for such as are only beginning to learn that language.

Francis Gouldman, who was educated in Christ's College in Cambridge, was for some time rector of South Okendon in Essex, and died in MDCLXXXIX, published also a Latin Dictionary in quarto, in MDCLXIV, which was afterwards reprinted several times, and the Cambridge edition in MDCLXXIV much enlarged by William Robertson*. But Gouldman's design, according to the account of Dr. Littleton, his successor in this sort of learning, was “rather to make new editions than to correct the former mistakes," or to throw out the many barbarous Latin words which had crept into the dictionaries then extant. For this reason,

Dr. Adam Littleton undertook to reform it; whose greatest aim,” as he tells the English reader in his

* It was still farther enlarged, in 1678, by Dr. Scattergood:

J. N. Preface, Preface, “ was to carry the purity of the Latin tongue throughout, and not to take things or words upon trust, so as to transcribe others mistakes." This was first published in quarto in London in MDCLXXVIII, and hath met with such a general approbation, that the sixth edition thereof was published but a few months ago. He was a minister's son, of an antient and genteel family at Westcot in Worcestershire, elected student of Christ Church in Oxford in MDCXLVII, was some time an usher in Westminster School, and in MDCLVII became second master of the saine. After the Restoration he was chaplain to King Charles II. rector of Chelsea, and subdean of Westminster. He died in the beginning of July MDCXCIV, and was buried in Chelsea church *.

The Cambridge Dictionary in quarto, printed in MDCXCIII, with the title of

Linguæ Romanæ · Dictionarium luculentum novum,” is an improvement of Littleton, made by several persons whose names have been concealed from public knowledge. What plan the editors of this have proceeded upon may be learnt by their own preface; in which, after a grateful acknowledgment of the great assistance they had by the extraordinary pains of the reverend and learned Dr. Littleton as to the English Latin part, they principally set forth, that they have inserted several whole classes of words, which had been either omitted before, or were very lately introduced into our language; and that they have been more exact, more distinct and full, in noting the various significations of verbs and nouns; that in the Latin classic they began their collection by a careful perusal of several authors, as Lucretius, Terence, Cæsar, Phædrus, Gratian, Petronius, &c. some of whom, they observed, had scarce been named, or if sometimes quoted, often so very little, and sometimes to very bad purposes, in dictionaries of the same volume with theirs ; that the second

* See also an account of Dr. Littleton in vol. II. p. 58. Vol. V.



edition of Robert Stephens's Latin Thesaurus lay always before them, and was constantly consulted by them; that they likewise used a manuscript collection in three large folios, digested into an alphabetical order, made by Mr. John Milton out of all the best and purest-Roman authors; and farther, that the complete indices generally annexed to the Dauphin editions of most of the Roman writers had been very serviceable to them; that they had retrenched many far-fetched etymons in former Dictionaries, had given a larger account of the construction of verbs, had rejected all words and phrases, whose authors were either not to be found, or, when found, appeared in so barbarous and uncouth a dress as made them very unfit company for Tully, Cæsar, &c. And, finally, had distinguished the poetical Latin words by a flower of placed before them. Thus far they. Those who are desirous to have a more particular account of the difference between this Dictionary and that published by Dr. Littleton, as to the English and Latin part, may satisfy their curiosity by the comparison of a few sheets of each; but it is very manifest that these editors have made very large and useful improvements in the letters L, M, N, O, and P, in the Latin classical part, and augmented or corrected what had been done by Littleton (though neither in so large nor careful a manner as under the aforesaid letters) in most of the other parts of the work. The improvements made under the aforesaid letters, as also a large part of their title, as well as the preface, have been inserted in the several editions of Littleton (except the last, which hath a new preface, and hath been otherwise somewhat altered) printed since the publication of this work at Cambridge; but the other parts of Littleton in general remain as they were when first published *.

* See in Mr. Bowyer's Miscellaneous Tracts, 4to, p. 126, "An Essay on the different Ages relating to the Purity of the Latin Tongue."

Elisha Coles published also a Latin and English dictionary in the year MDCLXXVII, designed chiefly for the use of scholars of a lower class. He hath indeed considerably enlarged the English Latin part, which containeth many more English words and phrases than any Latin Dictionary published before his time. But not a few of those words are now intirely obsolete, many of them interpreted in a wrong sense, and worse translated into Latin. And the Latin-English part is very defective, both with regard to the several senses of the Latin words, and the citation of the Roman writers proper to fix their authority. This work, however, being not half the price of Dr. Littleton's, hath gone through twelve impressions; the first whereof was printed in a small quarto, and all the following in octavo. The author of this work was born in Northamptonshire, entered into Magdalen college in Oxford in the year MDCLVIII, taught the languages to foreigners in the parish of Covent Garden in London, and was afterwards for some time an usher in Merchant Taylors School: after which, on some default, being obliged to quit that employment, he went into Ireland, where he continued till his death; but of the precise time thereof I have not been able to get any certain information.


* Of this learned Lexicographer some memoirs will be found in a future page.

[blocks in formation]

No. IX.


(Vol. II. p. 31.) The elder SAMUEL WESLEY, whose labours on Job gave occasion to this memoir, was born at Winterborn Whitchurch in Dorsetshire, where his father (John Wesley) was vicar. He was educated, first at the free-school at Dorchester, and then in a private academy among the Dissenters, whom he soon left, and was admitted a servitor, at the age of 18, of Exeter college, Oxford, 1684. He proceeded B. A. 1688; and, taking orders, was rector of South Ormesby, co. Lincoln; and afterwards obtained the rectory of Epworth, in the Isle of Axholme, in the same county. He was chaplain also to the Marquis of Normanby, afterwards Duke of Buckingham, who recommended him for an Irish Bishoprick.

John Dunton, who was nearly related to Mr. Wesley by marriage, and who in other parts of his multifarious writings enters deeply into their family squabbles, gives him the following character:

“ Mr. Wesley had an early inclination to poetry; but he usually writ too fast to write well. Two hundred couplets a day are too many by two-thirds, to be well-furnished with all the beauties and the graces of that art. He writ very much for me both in verse and prose, though I shall not name over the titles, in regard I am altogether as unwilling to see my name at the bottom of them, as Mr. Wesley would be to subscribe his own. Mr. Wesley had read much, and is well-skilled in the languages. He is generous and good-humoured, and caresses his friend with a great deal of passion, so long as his circumstances are any thing in order, and then he drops him; and I challenge the rector of Ep


« PreviousContinue »