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Concerning the

Confusion os Languages

A T

BABEL;

Proving it to have been miraculous, from the Essential Difference between them, contrary to the Opinion of Mons Le Clerc, and others.

With an ENQ_uIry into the

Primitive Language,

Before that

Wonderful EVENT.

j 4

By the late learned

WILLIAM IVOTTON, D. D.

Now first publish'd srom his Original Manuscript.

LO N DON:

Printed sor S. Austen at the Angel and Bible in St. Paul's Church-Yard; and W. Bowyer, in, White-Friars. MDCCXXX.

[Price One Shilling.]

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DIS COURSE

M

^ Concerning the

$ Confusion os LANGUAGES, fifo

To John Chamberlayne, Esq;

Sir,

H E News which you tell me, that we shall at last see your noble Collection of Lord's Prayers in more Languages, and more exactly copy'd, than any Collection which has yet appeared, is very agreeable: And I cannot but congratulate you for the Applause which you will meet 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 said he studied only Artes parcas & lucrofas, yet in Truth the Disease spreads a great deal farther, and you shall very rarely see a Scholar that will set 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, ox fat 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 such a Kingdom in T'hrace or Pontus; and,

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when when he has done, scarce a hundred Men perhaps in Europe will read what he has writ. The Geographer labours to ascertain the Situa^ tion and Bounds of a City or Countrey, named two or three Times in some dark Author, and perhaps no where else in all Antiquity; and when he has done it, how few care whether there was ever such a City, or such an Author that mentions it? The Astronomer wails 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 prosit 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, Pojsumus vhere Jim Mis. 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 Pasiage 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 Jforace complains of, the Moth and Rust of

B 2 Envy

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