« VorigeDoorgaan »
“ A Critical Examination of the Text and Version of the late Edition of the New Testament in
greatest part of his property, the accumulation of industry and @conomy, by the failure of a hanker; but the friendship of the second Earl of Macclesfield, who was then a Teller of the Exchequer, diminished the weight of the loss, by appointing him second-clerk in his oflice (a sinecure of considerable emolument); and afterwards made hin an offer of a more lucrative emplos. ment; which he declined accepting, as it would have imposed upon him the trouble of more official attendance than was compatible with his temper, or his attachment to scientific pursuits. -Mr. Jones was author of “A new Epitome of the Art of Practical Navigation." The plan of another work was formed by this eminent Mathematician, intended to be of the same nature with the “ Synopsis,” but far more copious and diffusive, and to serve as a general Introduction to the Sciences; or, which is the same thing, to the Mathematical and Philosophical Works of Newton, whose name, by the conscat of all Europe, is not so much that of a Man, as of Philosophy itself. A Work of this kind had long heen a desideratum in Literature; and it required a Geometrician of the first class, to sustain the weight of so important an undertaking; for which, as Mr. D'Alembert justly observes, “ the combined force of the greatest Mathematicians would not have been more than suflicient." The ingenious author was conscious how arduous a task he had begun; but his very numerous and respectable acquaintance, and particularly his intimate friend the late Earl of Macclesfield, never ceased importuning and urging him to persist, till be had finished the whole work, the result of his knowledge and experience, through a life of near seventy years, and a standing monument, as he had reason to hope, of his talents and industry. He had scarcely sent the first sheet to the press, when a fital illness obliged him to discontinue the impression; and in 1719, a few days before his death, he intrusted the manuscript, fairly transcribed by an amanuensis, to the care of Lord Macclesfield, who promised to publish it, as well for the honour of the Author', as for the benefit of his family, to whom the property of the book belonged. His large and splendid library Mr. Jones bequeathed to his noble patron; and, till it was sold by auction in London 1801, it filled one whole side of the convenient gallery appropriated to that use in Sherborne Castle; and the original library of the Macclesfield family was placed on the opposite side of the gallery. The Earl survived his friend many vears; but the “ Introduction to the Mathematicks” was forgotten or neglected; and, after his death, the manuscript was not to be found. Which is most to be censured, the destruction or loss of Mr. Jones's MS. or the dispersion of his library from the family of his learned and munificent patron ? Whether it was accidentally destroyed, which is hardly credible, or whether, as hath been suggested, it had been lent to some Geometrician, unworthy to bear the name either of
Greek and English ; wherein the Editor's corrupt Text, false Version, and fallacious Notes, are detected and censured, by Leonard Twells *, Vicar of
a Philosopher or a Man, who has since concealed it, or possihly burned the original for fear of detection, is uncertain. There is no evidence in the memoranda left by Sir William Jones to confirm or disprove the suggestions. This was a considerable loss, not only to Men of Letters, but to the publick in general; since the improvement of Science is a subject, in which their security and their pleasures, their commerce, and consequently their wealth, are deeply concerned ; and, it may be added, tlie glory of the Nation has suffered not a little by the accident; for, if the work of Mr. Jones had been preserved, the Authors of the French Encyclopedia would not have ventured to reproach us, that since the death of Newton, « our advancement in the Mathematicks has not satisfied the expectations of Europe."-At Sherborne castle Mr. Jones became acquainted with Mary, youngest daughter of George Nix, a cabinet-maker in London ; who, though of low extraction, had raised himself to eminence in his profession, and, from the honest and pleasant frankness of his conversation, was admitted to the tables of the great, and to the intimacy of Lord Macclesfield. Mr. Jones married his daughter, and had by her three children; the youngest of which, that splendid luminary in Literature, the late Sir William Jones, was born in London 1746. Three years after his birth, his father died of a disorder', which Dr. Mead discovered to be a polypus in the heart. Mr. Henry Baker afforded his widow important assistance in arranging his shells, fossils, and other curiosities, and disposing of them to the best advantage. The care of her son William devolved on his mother, who in many respects was eminently qualified for it. Her trust made her a sufficient proficient in Algebra ; and, to qualify herself for the office of instructor to her sister's son, who was designed for the sea, she made herself perfect in Trigonometry, and the theory of the Navy. She de. clined the Countess of Macclesfield's solicitations to remain at Sherborne castle, lest it should interfere with her plan for the education of her son. Such of the mathematical works of Mr. Jones as have been published are remarkable for neatness, brevity, and accuracy. A Catalogue of them may be seen in Mr. liutton's “ Philosophical Dictionary.” Some of his letters to Mr. Cotes, and one from Mr. Cotes to him, are printed in Lord Teignmouth's - Life of Sir William Jones." The following posthumous Papers by Mr. Jones are also printed in the Philosophical Transactions : “ A commodious disposition of Equations for exhibiting the Relations of Goniometrical Lines,” vol. XLIV. p. 560; “Of Logarithms," vol. LXI. p. 455; “ Properties of the Conic Sections, deduced by a compendious Method,” vol.
LXIII. p. 340.
* At the time of this publication Mr. Twells (who had been educated at Jesus college, Cambridge; B. A. 1704) had a large Vol. I.
St. Mary's in Marlborough. Part I.-N. B. This is
family, with a very scanty income. He obtained the degree of M.A. by diploma, 1733; and in 1737 was presented to the united rectories of St. Matthew, Friday-street and St. Peter, Cheapside. He was also a prebendary of St. Paul's, and one of the lecturers of St. Dunstan's in the West. His publications were, “A Critical Examination of the late new Text and Version of the New Testament, in Greek and English, &c. in Three Parts ;" “ A Vindication of the Gospel of St. Matthew;" “A Supplement to the Vindication ;" “A Reply to the Defence," &c.; “ An Answer to the Enquiry into the Meaning of Demoniacs in the New Testament, &c. 1737," Svo. But his magnum opus was a publication by subscription, in 1740, of “ The Theological Works of Dr. Pocock,” in two volumes, folio; and the anxieties attendant on this precarious (and in some cases humiliating) mode of publication will be well exemplified in the following extracts from seven years' correspondence of Dr. Twells with Dr. Zachary Grey:
1. London, Nov. 26, 1734. The kind and frequent mention made of me in your conversation with, and letters to, Mr. Hildrop, convinces me that your old Chum has yet a place, not only in your memory, but in your affection. This emboldens me to desire your assistance in promoting the Subscription mentioned in the Proposals herewith transmitted to you, both in Cambridge, and among your neighbours in Bedfordshire. I have made the same request to our worthy Master, Dr. Ashton; and Dr. Waterland has likewise recommended it to some of his friends. With this you will receive 18 Proposals ; 12 of which have indorsed receipts, signed and numbered, for the use of those who shall please to subscribe ; and six more unsigned, for those whom you may think useful in promoting the design. I must farther beg that you would take account not only of the name of each Subscriber, but also of the number of his receipt. My intention is, to commit the Work to the press as soon as a number hare subscribed, sufficient to defray the expence of the edition; and if that should happen by May next, I hope to deliver the books by this time in the next winter. If you, or any of your acquaintance, have letters from or to Dr. Pocock, or other papers that may give light to his history, they would be exceedingly useful and welcome to me. in giving an account of Walton's Polyglott, I shall be under a necessity of mentioning Mr. Whelock, Dr. Castell, and Mr. Thorndike; and I would willingly have something to say of the general history of each of those great men, more than know at present. If, therefore, you have any memoirs of this kind of your own, or could procure me some such from Mr. Baker, or any one else, I should be greatly indebted to you. The letters I have by me of Dr. Walton, Mr. Thorndike, and Dr. Thomas Greaves, &c. will enable me to lay before the world some particulars relating to that noble work, which will not be unacceptable. Was Brian Walton's Life ever published? If it was, where may one meet with it, or obtain the perusal of it? You will pardon the liberty I take on .
not intended against Father Simon's Version lately published. London Evening Post, Dec. 29, 1780.
the first renewal of our old acquaintance; and take it for granted that I shall always be glad to receive whatever commands you shall have for me. How happy shall I be whenever an opportunity offers for our meeting together after a separation of so many years! In the mean time, I hope you will excuse this trouble from your affectionate old Chum and friend,
LEONARD TWELLS." 2. “Fleet-street, July 3, 1735. Dear Friend; I have, besides inany former ones, two fresh favours to thank you for. First, for your last letter, and the additional subscriptions you procured me; and again for the valuable present of your Spirit of Infidelity detected. My subscriptions are now upwards of two hundred. I beg my service to Mrs. Grey, and all friends; and ain forced in haste to add only that I am your very affectionate friend, and thankful humble servant, LEONARD Twells.
“ I set out for Marlborough to-morrow, where I shall expect the pleasure of hearing from my good Chum. You, and the other gentlemen who have got subscriptions for Dr. Pocock, will oblige me by sending the first payment, names of the subscribers, and numbers of the receipts respective to each subscriber, to Mr. Gosling."
3. “ Fleet-street, March 27, 1736. Dear Chum; I received your last letter, and thank you for your kind proposal of writing to Lord Oxford's chaplain, to prevail for that Nobleman's recommendation of Dr. Pocock's Works to Dean Swift; which I beg you to put in execution as speedily as you can; being assured that Lord Bruce would be difficuitly if at all engaged to speak to Lord Oxford on such an account. I have been in town a fortnight, where I met the agreeable present of your books against Neal and Sir Isaac, for which I return you many thanks. I have been preparing a Corrector for my intended edition of Dr. Pocock, which at my return to this place, about two months hence, I propose to put into the press; and, if the printer deceive me not, the Books will be ready for delivery by this time in the next year. I would be glad first to know my real strength, and therefore must beg to be informed what Mr. Bradshaw has done in my affair, and whether Mr. Chapman and Dr. Williams have had any more success in putting off the receipts that remain in their hands. I hear nothing yet of Dr. Samuel Knight; if you ever see him, please to enquire what he has done. I propose next week for Marlborough, where a letter from Dr. Grey will, as his always are, be exceedingly welcome to his affectionate friend and much obliged humble servant,
LEONARD TWELLS." 4.“ Marlborough, May 8, 1736. Dear Chum; I propose to be in London the week after next, in order to see Pocock into the presg. If therefore you have not already done it, I beg you would please to lose do time in sending the 6 guineas, and what HA 2
"A Discourse of the History, Religion, and
other subscriptions Bedfordshire may have since afforded, to Mr. Gosling; because I shall want it to buy paper, &c. For the same reason, I must intreat you to quicken Mr. Braulshaw of Jesus to do the same; as likewise Mr. Chapman of King's (to whom my hearty service) if he has put off any more. I still want the names of the six subscribers for which he paid Mr. Gosling. You ask in your last, whether I have skill in buying paper? to whiel I answer, that I have none, and therefore nust desire the help of friends in buying my own. But, if you think proper, I will engage their best services for you at the same time. Whether I shall be able to step down to Cambridge from London this summer I cannot tell, till I have been in town some time, and seen some progress in my business. I have a strong desire to see my friends there, and shall reckon it a misfortune to be disappointed. My humble service attends Mrs. Grey, Virs. Moss, and the young ladies; and I am, dear Chun,
Inviolably vours, L. TWELLS. “ Please to know of Dr. Williams, if any more of his friends have paid their subscriptions; he having as yet paid but for four.”
5.“ Marlborough, July 6, 1736. I hope my dear Chum will impute my not answering his last sooner to a hurry of business. intermixed with some indispositions, which at present, I bless God, are at an end. Now to the business of your last; Mr. Bettenham paid me the 6 guineas, for which I heartily thank you, Pocock has been in the press this month, and goes on well. Please to let friends know as much, and particularly Dr. Waterland, to whom my humble service, tell him likewise, that Dr. Gooch promised me to take a subscription of him at Cambridge, which I beg he would offer to him. He promised another for the College-library; but that you procured for me, though I did not then recollect so much. Would not my good friend Mr. Perkins take one? Pray my service to him, with repeated thanks for past good offices to our Bishop, of which I find the fruits every time I wait on his Lordship. Lord Bruce obtained of Lord Oxford to write to Dean Swift on the aitair of Pocock; but he (the Earl) had, when I waited upon him, received no answer. Perhaps you may find an opportunity to know if he has since received any thing from Ireland. It is more than a month since I saw the Earl. I rejoice to hear you are going to the press against theal's third volume; your second, I had the pleasure to hear, was well received by some great men, particularly the Bishop of Oxford [Potter), who is now what London (Gibson) was. The gentlemen at Oxford spoke handsomely likewise of your performance upon Sir Isaac. I mentioned to Mr.Crofts your desire that he would help off some copies of your intended Answer to Neal's third volume, and found him disposed to do you all the service in that respect that lay in his power. If vou will please to send me 6 copies, I think I can dispose of them. However, I will at all adventures be accountable for so many; and if I find room for more, you