« ElőzőTovább »
facillty in every thing that he undertook, being | dancing, nor the sports of the field, nor relieved able without premeditation to translate one lan- his studies with any other diversion than that guage into another. He was no imitator, but of walking and conversation. He eat little flesh, struck out new tracts, and formed original sys- and lived almost wholly upon milk, tea, bread, tems. He had a quickness of apprehension, and fruits, and sweetmeats. firmness of memory, which enabled him to read He had great vivacity in his imagination, and with incredible rapidity, and at the same time ardour in his desires, which the easy method of to retain what he read, so as to be able to recol- his education had never repressed ; be therefore lect and apply it. He turned over volumes in conversed among those who had gained his conan instant, and selected what was useful for his fidence with great freedom, but his favourites purpose. He seldom made extracts, except of were not numerous, and to others he was always books which he could not procure when he reserved and silent, without the least inclination might want them a second time, being always to discover his sentiments or display his learning. able to find in any author, with great expedition, He never fixed his choice upon any employment, what he had once read. He read over, in one nor confined his views to any profession, being winter, twenty vast folios; and the catalogue of desirous of nothing but knowledge, and entirely books which he had borrowed, comprised forty- untainted with avarice or ambition. He preone pages in quarto, the writing close, and the served himself always independent, and was titles abridged. He was a constant reader of never known to be guilty of a lie. His constant literary journals.
application to learning suppressed those passions With regard to common life he had some pe- which betray others of his age to irregularities, culiarities. He could not bear music, and if he and excluded all those temptations to which was ever engaged at play could not attend to it. men are exposed by idleness or common amuseHe neither loved wine nor entertainments, nor, ments.
Lewis Morin was born at Mans, on the 11th He was soon master of all his instructor's of July, 1635, of parents eminent for their piety. knowledge, and was obliged to enlarge his acHe was the eldest of sixteen children, a family quaintance with plants, by observing them himto which their estate bore no proportion, and self in the neighbourhood of Mans. Having which, in persons less resigned to Providence, finished his grammatical studies, he was sent to would have caused great uneasiness and anxiety. learn pbilosophy at Paris, whither be travelled
His parents omitted nothing in his education, on foot like a student in botany, and was careful which religion requires, and which their fortune not to lose such an opportunity of improvement. could supply. Botany was the study that ap- When his course of philosophy was completed, peared to have taken possession of his inclina- he was determined, by his love of botany, to tion, as soon as the bent of his genius could be the profession of physic, and from that time endiscovered. A countryman, who supplied the gaged in a course of Life, which was never exapothecaries of the place, was his first master, ceeded either by the ostentation of a philosopher, and was paid by him for his instructions with or the severity of an anchoret; for he contined the little money that he could procure, or that himself to bread and water, and at most allow'ed which was given him to buy something to eat himself no indulgence beyond fruits. By this after dinner. This abstinence and generosity method, he preserved a constant freedom and discovered themselves with his passion for bot- serenity of spirits, always equally proper for any, and the gratification of a desire indifferent study; for his soul had no pretences to complain in itself was procured by the exercise of two of being overwhelmed with matter. virtues.
This regimen, extraordinary as it was, had many advantages; for it preserved his health,
an advantage which very few sufficiently regard; • Translated from an eloge by Fontenelle, and first
it gave him an authority to preach diet and abprioted in the Gentlemau's Magazine for 1741.
stinence to his patients; and it made him rich without the assistance of fortune; rich, not for more easy to him than to any other by his himself, but for the poor, who were the only piety and artless simplicity. Nor did his sinpersons benefited by that artificial affluence, cerity produce any ill consequences to himself; which, of all others, is most difficult to acquire. for the Princess, affected by his zeal, taking a It is easy to imagine, that, while he practised ring from her finger, gave it him as the last in the midst of Paris the severe temperance of a pledge of her affection, and rewarded him still hermit, Paris differed no otherwise, with re- more to his satisfaction, by preparing for death gard to him, from a hermitage, than as it sup- with a true christian piety. She left him by plied him with books and the conversation of will a yearly pension of two thousand livres, learned men.
which was always regularly paid him. In 1662, he was admitted doctor of physic. No sooner was the Princess dead, but he Abont that time Dr. Fagon, Dr. Longuet, and freed himself from the incumbrance of his chaDr. Galois, all eminent for their skill in botany, riot, and retired to St. Victor without a serwere employed in drawing up a catalogue of the vant; baving, however, augmented bis daily plants in the Royal Garden, whieh was pub- allowance with a little rice boiled in water. lished in 1665, under the name of Dr. Vallot, Dodart, who had undertaken the charge of then first physician : during the prosecution of being ambitious on his account, procured him, this work, Dr. Morin was often consulted, and at the restoration of the academy in 1699, to from these conversations it was that Dr. Fagon be nominated associate botanist ; not knowing, conceived a particular esteem of him, which he what he would doubtless have been pleased with always continued to retain.
the knowledge of, that he introduced into that After having practised physic some years, he assembly the man that was to succeed him in was admitted Expectant at the Hotel Dieu, his place of Pensionary. where he was regularly to have been made Dr. Morin was not one who had upon his Pensionary physician upon the first vacancy; hands the labour of adapting himself to the dubut mere unassisted merit advances slowly, if, ties of his condition, but always found himself what is not very common, it advances at all. naturally adapted to them. He bad, therefore, Morin bad no acquaintance with the arts ne- no difficulty in being constant at the assemblies cessary to carry on schemes of preferment; the of the academy, notwithstanding the distance moderation of his desires preserved him from of places, while he had strength enough to supthe necessity of studying them, and the pri- port the journey. But his regimen was not vacy of his life debarred him from any oppor- equally effectual to produce vigour as to prevent tunity.
distempers; and being 64 years old at his adAt last, however, justice was done him in mission, he could not continue his assiduity spite of artifice and partiality; but his advance more than a year after the death of Dodart, ment added nothing to his condition, except the whom he succeeded in 1707. power of more extensive charity; for all the When Mr. Tournefort went to pursue his bomoney which he received as a salary, he put tanical inquiries in the Levant, he desired Dr. into the chest of the hospital, always, as he Morin to supply his place of Demonstrator of imagined, without being observed. Not con
the Plants in the Royal Garden, and rewarded tent with serving the poor for nothing, he paid him for the trouble, by inscribing to him a new them for being served.
plant which he brought from the east, by the His reputation rose so high in Paris, that name of Morina Orientalis, as he named others Mademoiselle de Guise vas desirous to make the Dodarto, the Fagonne, the Bignonne, the him her physician; but it was not without dif- Phelipee. These are compliments proper to be ficulty that he was prevailed upon by his friend, made by the botanists, not only to those of their Dr. Dodart, to accept the place. He was by own rank, but to the greatest persons; for a this new advancement laid under the necessity plant is a monument of a more durable nature of keeping a chariot, an equipage very unsuit- than a medal or an obelisk; and yet, as a proof able to his temper; but while he complied with that even these vehicles are not always sufficient those exterior appearances which the public had to transmit to futurity the name conjoined with a right to demand from him, he remitted no- them, the Nicotiana is now scarcely known by thing of his former austerity in the more private any other name than that of tobacco. and essential parts of his life, which he had al- Dr. Morin, advancing far in age, was now ways the power of regulating according to his forced to take a servant, and, what was yet a own disposition.
more essential alteration, prevailed upon himIn two years and a half the Princess fell sick, self to take an ounce of wine a-day, which he and was despaired of by Morin, who was a measured with the same exactness as a medicine great master of prognostics. At the time when bordering upon poison. He quitted at the same she thought herself in no danger, he pronounced time all his practice in the city, and confined it her death inevitable ; a declaration to the high- to the poor of his neighbourhood, and his visits est degree disagreeable, but which was made to the Hotel Dieu ; but his weakness increas
ing, he was forced to increase his quantity of profession required. This likewise was the wine, which yet he always continued to adjust time he received visits, if any were paid him. by weight. *
He often used this expression, “ Those that At 78, his legs could carry him no longer, come to see me, do me honour; those that and he scarcely left his bed; but bis intellects stay away, do me a favour.” It is easy to concontinued unimpaired, except in the last six ceive that a man of this temper was not months of his life. He expired, or to use a crowded with salutations : there was only now more proper term, went out, on the 1st of and then an Antony that would pay Paul a March, 1714, at the age of 80 years, without visit. any distemper, and merely for want of strength, Among his papers was found a Greek and having enjoyed by the benefit of his regimen Latin index to Hippocrates, more copious and a long and healthy life, and a gentle and easy exact than that of Pini, which he had finished death.
only a year before his death. Such a work reThis extraordinary regimen was but part of quired the assiduity and patience of a hermit. * the daily regulation of his life, of which all the There is likewise a journal of the weather, offices were carried on with a regularity and kept without interruption, for more than forty exactness nearly approaching to that of the years, in which he has accurately set down the planetary motions.
state of the barometer and thermometer, the He went to bed at seven, and rose at two, dryness and moisture of the air, the variations throughout the year. He spent in the morning of the wind in the course of the day, the rain, three hours at his devotions, and went to the the thunders, and even the sudden storms, in a Hotel Dieu in the summer between tive and very commodious and concise method, which six, and in the winter between stx and seven, exhibits in little room, a great train of differhearing mass for the most part at Notre Dame. ent observations. What numbers of such reAfter his return he read the holy scripture, marks had escaped a man less uniform in his dined at eleven, and when it was fair weather life, and whose attention had been extended to walked till two in the royal garden, where he common objects ! examined the new plants, and gratified his ear- All the estate which he left is a collection of liest and strongest passion. For the remaining medals, another of herbs, and a library rated at part of the day, if he had no poor to visit, he two thousand crowns; which make it evident shut himself up, and read books of literature or that he spent much more upon his mind than physic, but chiefly physic, as the duty of his upon his body.
Peter Burman was born at Utrecht, on the produced men of great eminence for piety and 26th day of June, 1668. The family from learning; and his father, who was professor of which he descended has for several generations divinity in the university, and pastor of the city
of Utrecht, was equally celebrated for the
strictness of his life, the efficacy and orthodoxy • The practice of Dr. Morin is forbidden, I believe, of his sermons, and the learning and perspicuby every writer that has left rules for the preserva. ity of his academical lectures. tion of health, and is directly opposite to that of Co.
From the assistance and instruction which Daro, who by his regimen repaired a broken consti
such a father would doubtless have been entution, and protracted his life, without any. painful infirmities, or any decay of his intellectnal abilities,
couraged by the genius of this son not to have more than a hundred years; it is generally agreed, that as men advance in years, they ought to take lighter sustenance, and in less quantities; • This is an instance of the disposition generally and reason secms easily to discover that as the con- found in writers of lives, to exalt every common coctive powers grow weaker, thry ought to labour occurrence and action into wonder, Are not in. less. Orig. Edit.
dexes daily written by men who neither receive + First printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for nor expect any loud applauses for their labours 1712.-N.
omitted, he was unhappily cut off at eleven his father Inclined him to superintend his studies yours of age, being at that time by his father's with more than common attention, which was death thrown entirely under the care of his soon confirmed and increased by his discoveries mother, by whose diligence, piety, and prudence, 1 of the genius of his pupil, and his observation of his education was so regulated, that he had his diligence. scarcely any reason, but filial tenderness, to re- One of the qualities which contributed emigret the loss of his father.
nently to qualify Grævius for an instructor of He was about this time sent to the public youth, was the sagacity by which he readily school of Utrecht to be instructed in the learned discovered the predominant faculty of each pupil, languages; and it will convey no common idea and the peculiar designation by which nature of his capacity and industry to relate, that he had allotted him to any species of literature, and had passed through the classes, and was admitted by which he was soon able to determine, that into the university in his thirteenth year. Burman was remarkably adapted to classical
This account of the rapidity of his progress in studies, and predict the great advances that he the first part of his studies is so stupendous, that would make, by industriously pursuing the dithough it is attested by his friend, Dr. Oster- rection of his genius. dyke, of whom it cannot be reasonably suspected Animated by the encouragement of a tutor so that he is himself deceived, or that he can desire celebrated, he continued the vigour of his applito deceive others, it must be allowed far to ex- cation, and, for several years, not only åttended ceed the limits of probability, if it be considered, the lectures of Grævius, but made use of every with regard to the methods of education prac- other opportunity of improvement, with such tised in our country, where it is not uncommon diligence as might justly be expected to produce for the highest genius, and most comprehensive an uncommon proficiency. capacity, to be entangled for ten years, in those Having thus attained a sufficient degree of thorny paths of literature, which Burman is classical knowledge to qualify him for inquiries represented to bave passed in less than two; and into other sciences, he applied himself to the we must doubtless confess the most skilful of study of the law, and published a dissertation, our masters much excelled by the address of the “ De Vicesimâ Hæreditatum,” which he pubDutch teachers, or the abilities of our greatest licly defended, under the professor Van Muyscholars far surpassed by those of Burman. den, with such learning and elo uence, as pro
But, to reduce this narrative to credibility, it cured him great applause. is necessary that admiration should give place to Imagining, then, that the conversation of inquiry, and that it be discovered what pro- other men of learning, might be of use towards ticiency in literature is expected from a student, his farther improvement, and rightly judging requesting to be admitted into a Dutch univer- that notions formed in any single seminary are sity. It is to be observed that in the universi- for the greatest part contracted and partial; he ties of foreign countries, they have professors of went to Leyden, where he studied philosophy philology, or humanity, whose employment is for a year, under M. de Volder, whose celebrity to instruct the younger classes in grammar, was so great, that the schools assigned to the rhetoric, and languages; nor do they engage in sciences, which it was his province to teach, the study of philosophy, till they have passed were not sufficient, though very spacious, to through a course of philological lectures and ex- contain the audience that crowded his lectures ercises, to which, in some places, two years are from all parts of Europe. commonly allotted.
Yet he did not suffer himself to be engrossed The English scheme of education, which with by philosophical disquisitions, to the neglect of regard to academical studies is more rigorous, those studies in which he was more early enand sets literary honours at a higher price than gaged, and to which he was perhaps by nature that of any other country, exacts from the youth, better adapted ; for he attended at the same time who are initiated in our colleges, a degree of Ryckius's explanations of Tacitus, and James philological knowledge sufficient to qualify them Gronovius's lectures on the Greek writers, and for lectures in philosophy, which are read to has often been beard to acknowledge, at an adthem in Latin, and to enable them to proceed in vanced age, the assistance which he received other studies without assistance; so that it may from them. be conjectured, that Burman, at his entrance Having thus passed a year at Leyden with into the university, had no such skill in lan- great advantage, he returned to Utrecht, and guages, nor such ability of composition, as are once more applied himself to philological studies, frequently to be met with in the bigher classes by the assistance of Grævius, whose early hopes of an English school; nor was perhaps more of his genius were now raised to a full confi. than moderately skilled in Latin, and taught dence of that excellence, at which he afterwards the first rudiments of Greek.
arrived. In the university he was committed to the At Utrecht, in March, 1688, in the twentieth care of the learned Grævius, whose regard for year of his age, he was advanced to the degree of doctor of laws; on which occasion he publish- , upon questions of literature, with the learned ed a learned dissertation, “ De Transactionibus,” men of that place, and of gratifying his curiosity and defended it with his usual eloquence, learn- with a more familiar knowledge of those writers ing, and success.
whose works he admired, but with a view more The attainment of this honour was far from important, of visiting the libraries, and making having upon Burman that effect which has been those inquiries which might be of advantage to too often observed to be produced in others, who, his darling study. having in their own opinion no higher object of The vacation of the university allowed him to ambition, have relapsed into idleness and secu- stay at Paris but six weeks, which he employed rity, and spent the rest of their lives in a lazy with so much dexterity and industry, that he enjoyment of their academical dignities. Bur- had searched the principal libraries, collated a man aspired to farther improvements, and, not great nuinber of manuscripts and printed copies, satisfied with the opportunities of literary con- and brought back a great treasure of curious obversation which Utrecht afforded, travelled into servations. Switzerland and Germany, where he gained an
In this visit to Paris he contracted an acincrease both of fame and learning.
quaintance, among other learned men, with the At his return from this excursion, he engaged celebrated Father Montfaucon ; with whom he in the practice of the law, and pleaded several conversed, at his first interview, with no other causes with such reputation, as might be hoped character but that of a traveller ; but their disby a man who had joined to his knowledge of course turning upon ancient learning, the stran. the law, the embellishments of polite literature, ger soon gave such proofs of his attainments, and the strict ratiocination of true philosophy, that Montfaucon declared him a very uncommon and who was able to employ on every occasion traveller, and confessed his curiosity to know his the graces of eloquence and the power of argu- name; which he no sooner heard, than be rose mentation.
from his seat, and embracing him with the utWhile Burman was hastening to high reputa- most ardour, expressed his satisfaction at having tion in the courts of justice, and to those riches seen the man whose productions of various kinds and honours which always follow it, he was he had so often praised ; and, as a real proof of his summoned in 1691, by the magistrates of regard, offered not only to procure him an imUtrecht, to undertake the charge of collector of mediate admission to all the libraries of Paris, but the tenths, an office in that place of great ho- to those in remoter provinces, which are not genour, and which he accepted therefore as a proof perally open to strangers, and undertook to ease of their confidence and esteem.
the expenses of his journey by procuring bim While he was engaged in this employment, he entertainment in all the monasteries of his order. married Eve Clotterboke, a young lady of a This favour Burman was hindered from acgood family, and uncommon genius and beauty, cepting, by the necessity of returning to Utrecht by whom he had ten children, of which eight at the usual time of beginning a new course of died young; and only two sons, Francis and lectures, to which there was always so great a Caspar, lived to console their mother for their concourse of students, as much increased the father's death.
dignity and fame of the university in which he Neither public business nor domestic cares taught. detained Burman from the prosecution of his li- He had already extended, to distant parts, his terary inquiries; by wbich he so much endeared reputation for knowledge of ancient history by a himself to Grævius, that he was recommended treatise " de Vectigalibus Populi Romani,” on by him to the regard of the university of Utrecht, the revenues of the Romans; and for bis skill and accordingly, in 1696, was chosen professor in Greek learning, and in ancient coins, by a of eloquence and history, to which was added, tract called “Jupiter Fulgurator;" and after his after some time, the professorship of the Greek return from Paris, he published “ Phædrus," language, and afterwards that of politics ; so va- first with the notes of various commentators, rious did they conceive his abilities, and so ex- and afterwards with his own. He printed many tensive his knowledge.
many orations upon different subAt his entrance upon this new province, he jects, and procured an impression of the epistles pronounced an oration upon eloquence and poe- of Gulius and Sanavius. try.
While he was thus employed, the prosessorHaving now more frequent opportunities of ships of history, eloquence, and the Greek landisplaying his learning, he arose, in a short time, guage, became vacant at Leyden, by the death of to a high reputation, of which the great number Perizonius, which Burman's reputation incited of his auditors was a sufficient proof, and which the curators of the university to offer him upon the proficiency of his pupils showed not to be very generous terms, and which, after some accidental or undeserved.
struggles with his fonduess for his native place, In 1714 he formed a resolution of visiting Pa- his friends, and his colleagues, he was prevailed ris, not only for the sake of conferring in person, on to accept, finding the solicitations from Ley