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tions, to sign another testamentary paper, in which her name was not mentioned, yet no redress could be obtained, as the Judge observed, “that it was the business of the Court to determine the cause according to what the testator had done, not according to what he ought to have done.”
Mr. Robertson is said to have been the author [these are his own words] of a useful tract, published in 1781 *, “ On Culinary Poisons.”
In 1782, he published an elegant little volume for the improvement of young people in reading, intituled, " An Introduction to the Study of Polite Literature.” This performance was mentioned as the first volume of an intended series on the same subject; but the second never appeared, owing, as it is supposed to the plagiarism of onef, who reprinted
* In 1781, whilst printing the former Edition of these Anecdotes, I had adopted a letter of Mr. Robertson, from the “ Critical Review,” respecting the edition, then lately published, of “ Bentley on Phalaris” (see p. 251); which produced the following acknowledgement : “ DEAR SIR,
Dec. 15, 1781. “I a
am much obliged to you for the polite notice you have taken of the passage in the Critical Review, and its author. I think you judge very properly, when you call Dr. Salter's inno. vation a whimsical mode of spelling and pointing. I am really astonished at the industry, ingenuity, and abilities of the Editor of the Anecdotes. by this specimen I am convinced, this public, cation will be extremely curious and interesting:-By the second part of the Reliquiæ Galeanæ I find that H. Gale, esq. has adopted the alteration suggested in the Review. Yours, &c. J.R."
About the same time I received the following note from another very eminent Reviewer :
“ Dr. Kippis’s best respects to Mr. Nichols, and looks forward with impatience co a publication which will contain so much useful intelligence, and be so eminently beneficial to himself.”
+ Mr. Archdeacon Paley.---See in Gent. Mag. vol LXII. pp. 322. 324.408, his remonstrance against this literary depredation.
I wished Mr. Robertson to have softened his expressions, but he was inflexibly indignant.
“ DEAR SIR, “ Marlbro' street, Monday, May 7, 1792. “ No apology ever was made, 1tor indeed can be made; and the Archdeacon's insinuation is false. All that ever I heard upon the subject was an accidental and oblique intimation, that he thought it was not necessary to make any acknowledgement--that the book had no name that it was for a charitable purpose, and the original too expensive. The very reasons given by J. O. (Genk
the greatest part of the volume then published in a mean and vulgar tract, for the use of Sunday-schools.
In the same year he revised and published a medical work of his friend Sir Clifton Wintringham, “De Morbis quibusdam Commentarii,” in one volume Svo; to which a second volume was afterwards added in 1791.
In 1785, he published an“Essay on Punctuation, in 12mo. In this treatise he has illustrated a dry and unpromising subject, with a variety of elegant and entertaining examples: a fourth edition of this essay was printed in 1796.
In 1788, Mr. Robertson surprized the learned world by a publication, intituled, “The Parian Chronicle, or the Chronicle of the Arundelian Marbles, with a Dissertation concerning its Authenticity.” The tendency of this work is to shew, that the authenticity of this famous inscription is extremely questionable.
The authors of the “English Review,” in their account of this publication, say, “However the commonly received system of antient chronology may suffer by this discovery, we cannot help giving our tribute of applause to the ingenuity, acuteness, and learning of the author. The reader, who, on opening this volume, expects only to find a discussion of some dry points of antiquity, will find him self agreeably disappointed, when he is introduced into a field of general history and enlarged erudition*."
The learned Compilers of the Encyclopædia Britannica express their opinion of the above-mentioned work in the following terms: “In this dissertation much ingenuity, as well as judgement, and a Mag. LXII. 222.)— Now, to save appearances, he writes a mbderate letter, in his own name; and insults me under the name of J. O. (Ibid. 297.)—a mere flam! I see no occasion for the least alteration. My name is subjoined, and I will answer all objections. Plagiarisms are now risen to a scandalous excess, and ought to be checked. I ain extremely obliged to you for your Bote; and am, dear Sir, your sincere friend, J. ROBERTSON." * English Review for April 1788, p. 275.
great extent of antient learning, are displayed. Some answers have appeared; but none of them calculated to remove the objections, or materially to affect the arguments, which have been stated with 80 much learning and ingenuity against it*."
In 1795, Mr. Robertson published a translation of Telemachus, with notes, and the life of Fenelon, in two volumes 12mo; on which the Reviewer in the Gentleman's Magazine observes, that, “this work bears the marks of that elegance, taste, and learning, for which the translator, or the annotator, is eminently distinguished ."
By a note to the Dissertation on the Parian Chronicle* it appears, that he was concerned in writing the Critical Review “for twenty-one years, from August 1764, to September 1785, inclusive." During this period he was the author of above 2620 articles, on theological, classical, poetical, and miscellaneous publications g.
In 1797, Mr. Robertson published “Observations on the Act for augmenting the Salaries of Curates, in four Letters to a friend,” 8voll
. “These letters contain an animated representation of the hardships, which may attend the rigorous application of the Curates' Act, when extended to a living of eighty or a hundred pounds a year; with some just and poignant observations on the little attention and encouragement paid to probity and learning in the present ages." These observations were written in consequence of what the author thought a disproportionate and oppressive inforcement of the Curates' Act, by which the humane and considerate Bishop ******, when the Vicar was above 70 years of age, and in a precari
* Encyclopædia Britannica, articles Arundel and Chronology. + Gent. Mag. vol. LXVI. p. 47.
Parian Chronicle, p. 205. § I have Mr. Robertson's sett of the Critical Review, in which he has particularly marked his own articles, I! Gent. Mag. vol. LXVII. p. 314.
European Magazine, April 1797.
ous state of health, reduced his small living, worth about 401. a year, to less than twenty* !
In 1798, he published “ An Essay on the Education of Young Ladies, addressed to a Person of Distinction, Svo; and the next year, “An Essay on the Nature of English Verse, with Directions for reading Poetry," 12mo.
Mr. Robertson, married in the year_1758, Miss Raikes, the daughter of Mr. Timothy Raikes, apo
* The following character, written by Mr. Robertson, appeared in the Morning Post :
“ Eusebius discovered an early avidity for learning. He acquitted himself at school and the university with singul applause; and, so far from requiring the assistance of others, very frequently composed a dozen exercises, both in prose and verse, for the indolent and ignorant part of his acquaintance. While his brother Jerry was upon a scheme of pleasure, or pursuing the chase, Eusebius was rivetted to a folio, and ranging the fields of science in quest of knowledge. He was no sportsman, no jolly companion, no man of pleasure, and therefore had but few associates. He never sauntered away his time at a coffee-house; he never appeared upon the turf; seldom at a ball, a concert, or any other public entertainment. When he entered into holy orders, he had a deep sense of the sanctity and importance of his office; and discharged his duty for several years with the highest reputation ; but the sudden death of an amiable Prelate, and soon afterwards of a worthy Baronet, to whom his virtues and abilities were well known, frustrated all his hopes of rising in the Church. Some, who pretended to be his friends, professed the warmest regard for his learning and merit; but their endeavours to serve him were feebly exerted, and their recommendations were cold and indifferent. Instead of introducing him to the Prime Minister, or the Diocesan, they recommended him to Providence! Eusebius was not calculated to push himself into preferment; he was, what every Clergyman ought to be, contented, modest, diffident and unassuming. His repeated disappointments brought on him a nervous complaint, which disqualified him from pursuing a laborious or an active life. He had a small estate, of thirty pounds a year, in a distant county; on this small income he lived near fifty years, a retired, regular, studious and exemplary life, and died with perfect resignation, and the satisfaction of having merited that preferment and encouragement in the church which he never obtained. Reader, if thou art rich and powerful, remember, that in such instances as this, Providence not only proves the virtue of the sufferer, but more particularly tries the humanity and beneficence of thyself, and of every man who has it in his power to be a friend, a patron, and protector to merit in distress!"
thecary, in London, by whom he had several children, who died in their infancy. With this lady, who possessed many amiable virtues, he found his house the constant residence of domestic felicity.
[To the foregoing Memoirs, printed literally from Mr. Robertson's hand-writing, I have only to add that he died Jan. 19, 1802, in his 76th year.]
XIV. RALPH GRIFFITHS, ESQ. LL.D.
This gentleman, who was born in the year 1720, was the original institutor of “ The Monthly Review*;" which, with unremitting perseverance, he conducted 54 years, assisted only by his son in the latter period of his life p.
* The First Number of the Review was published in May 1749, at The Dunciad in St. Paul's Church-yard, whence in 1754 the Publisher removed to Paternoster-row, and in 1759 into the Strand, still retaining the sign of the Dunciad. In 1764, the name of Mr. Becket (the present respectable Publisher) first appeared in the title page.
† One of his earliest coadjutors was Dr. Rose, who has the credit of having written the first article in that valuable work. He has already been mentioned, p. 386, as the friend and counsellor of Andrew Millar; and is thus noticed by the Rev. Daniel Lysons:
“ Dr. Rose, a man of amiable manners, and much esteemed in the literary world, had been for about 30 years an inhabitant of Chiswick; where he kept an academy. He was author of a well-known translation of Sallust, and editor of several useful compilations in Latin, French, and English. His able criticisms greatly contributed towards establishing the credit of the Monthly Review, in which he was one of the earliest writers. Dr. Rose was born in the county of Aberdeen; he died the 4th of July, 1786, aged 67. The following lines to his memory, written by Arthur Murphy, Esq. are inscribed upon his tomb:
“ Whoe'er thou art, with silent footsteps tread