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DISCOURSE

Concerning the

Confufion of Languages

AT

B A B E L; Proving it to have been miraculous,

from the Essential Difference between them, contrary to the Opinion of Mons. Le Clerc, and others.

With an ENQUIRY into the PRIMITIVE LANGUAGE,

Before that

Wonderful EVENT.

By the late learned WILLIAM WOTTON, D. D.

Now first publish'd from his Original Manuscript.

LONDON: Printed for S. Austen at the Angel and Bible in

St. Paul's Church-Tard; and W. Bowyer, in White-Fryars. MDCCXXX.

[Price One Shilling. ]

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HE News which you tell me, that we shall at last see your noble Collection of Lord's Prayers in more Languages, and more ex

actly copy'd, than any Collection which has yet appeared, is very agreeable: And I cannot but congratulate you for the Applause which you will meer withal from

B

competent

competent Judges upon that Account. I say from competent Judges, for from others you must expect either to be censured for taking a great deal of useless Pains, or not to be regarded, which is almost equally grievous to an ingenuous Mind. The Bulk of Men, as well of those who are, as of those who would pass for Scholars, measure Learning by the immediate and visible Utility which it brings along with it; and tho' it was Ignoramus in the Play who faid he studied only Artes parcas & lucrosas, yet in Truth the Disease spreads a great deal farther, and

you
shall

very rarely see a Scholar that will see a great Value upon any Part of Learning in which he himself has made no Proficiency. The Divine asks the Mathematician, who is drawing Diagrams and making long and intricate Calculations to find out the Powers and Properties of some nameless Curve, cui bono is all this? What good will it do you or any Man else to know the Area of this Superficies, or the Ratio which it bears to another which

you have been describing but just before? Do you think that what you expect to find will answer the Pains, and Study, and Time which you spend about it? The Mathematician asks him in Requital, what good it will do him or any Man else, to know the Opinion of this obscure Father, or that perplexed Schoolman? The Chronologer shall spend Months in fixing the AEra of such a City in Syria, or of fuch a Kingdom in Thrace. or Pontus; and

when

when he has done, scarce a hundred Men

perhaps in Europe will read what he has writ. The Geographer labours to ascertain the Situation and Bounds of a City or Countrey, named two or three Times in fome dark Author, and perhaps no where else in all Antiquity; and when he has done it, how few càre whether there was ever such a City, or such an Author that mentions it? The Astronomer wasts his Health in making Observations in Order to perfect the Catalogue, and determine the Latitude of the fix'd Stars; and tho' it is possible that he may meet with some more Applause than the Gentlemen I last named, yet how very few are there who will, or can profit by his Labours? Those that cannot, will comfort themselves as the Man did, who was told that a certain Performance of his was bald and jejune, and wanted Metaphors and other Ornaments of Rhetoric to set it off, Poffumus vivere fine illis. And the Critic, because he sets up for a better Judgment, or at least for using it to better Purpose than other Men, in determining the true Reading, or explaining the Difficulties which are to be met with in any Paffage of an ancient Author, must expect to be censured (if not derided) by the Generality of his Readers, who are inwardly angry that he should pretend to see farther than themselves into the Sense and Elegancy of the Books they read. The Succus Loliginis, and the Ærugo mera which Horace complains of, the Moth and Rust of

Envy

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