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that I advanced beyond his speed and measure, he wisely left me to my genius; and the hours of lesson
occupied much time to undeceive and to convince him that it is wrong to subject himself to the practice of a church which he no longer deems infallible; that if even this observance had some utility when instituted, it had none in itself, since it contributed nothing to purity of inanners, and consequently there was nothing either in the institution of the practice, or in the practice itself, which authorised a submission to it; that at present it was a mere affair of money-getting, since with money dispensations to eat meat &c. might always be obtained. In this manner I have restored him to Christian liberty for some weeks past, bui not without considerable trouble. I have requested him to write to you an account of his present sentiments, and the state of his health, and believe that he has done so.
From Mr Gibbon to Mrs Porten.* Dear MADAM, I have at length good news to tell you. I am now good Protestant, and am extremely glad of it. I have in all my etters taken notice of the different mouvements of my mind, entirely Catholic when I came to Lausanne, wavering long time between the two systems, and at last fixed for the Protestant-when that conflict was over, I had stin another difficulty-brought up with all the ideas of the church of England, I could scarce resolve to communion with Presbyterians, as all the people of this country are. I at last got over it, for considering that whatever differ. ence there may be between their churches and ours, in the government and discipline, they still regard us as brethren and profess the same faith as us--determined then in this design, I declared it to the ministers of the town, assem bled at Mr Pavilliard's, who, having examined me, approved of it, and permitted me to receive the communion with them, which I did Christmas day from the hands of Mr Pavilliard, who appeared extremely glad of it. I am
* This letter is curious: as it shews in how sbort a time (not more than a year and a balf) be had adopted the idiom of the French language, and lost that of his own language.
were soon lost in the voluntary labour of the whole morning, and sometimes of the whole day. The so extremely, myself and do assure you, feel a joy extremely pure, and the more so, as I know it to he not only innocent but laudable.
Mr Pavu.LIARD to Mrs Porten.
Lausanne, January 28, 1755. As I have a piece of news extremely interesting to acquaint you with, I cannot any longer defer answering to the letter you honoured me with God has at length blessed my cares, and heard your prayers; I have had the satisfaction of bringing back Mr Gibbon to the bosom of our reformed church; he has communicated with us Christmas day last with devotion : he appears satisfied with what he has done, and I am persuaded is at present as little inclined to the sentiments of the church of Rome as I am myself. I have made use with him neither of rigour nor artifice. I have never hurried him in his decisions, but have always left him the time to reflect on every article; he has been persuaded of the integrity of my intentions, he has heard me as a friend, and I have served him as guide to enter into the road of the truth. God Almighty be blessed for it! I pray that God to strengthen him more and more in the right way, and to make him a faithful member of his church. I ought to render him the justice to say, I never found him obstinate; he has been fixed in his ideas, but, when he has seen the light, he bas rendered himself. His behaviour has been very regular, and has made no slips, except that of gaming twice, and losing much more than I desired. I hope, madam, you will acquaint Mr Gibbon with your satisfaction, and restore him your affection, which, though his errors may have shaken, they have not, I am sure, destroyed. As his father has allowed him but the bare necessaries, but nothing more, I dare beg you to grant him some tokens of your satisfaction. I am convinced he will employ them well, and I even flatter myself he will give me the direction of them, for he has promised me never to play any more games of chance. I wish you, madam, all kinds of prosperity.
desire of prolonging my time gradually confirmed the salutary habit of early rising, to which I have always adhered, with some regard to seasons and situations : but it is happy for my eyes and my health, that my temperate ardour has never been seduced to trespass on the hours of the night. During the last three years of my residence at Lausanne, I may assume the merit of serious and solid application; but I am tempted to distinguish the last eight months of the year 1755 as the period of the most extraordinary diligence and rapid progress. In my French and Latin translations I adopted an excellent method, which, from my own success, I would recommend to the imitation of students. I chose some classic writer, such as Cicero and Vertot, the most approved for purity and elegance of style. I translated, for instance, an epistle of Cicero into French; and after throwing it aside, till the words and phrases were obliterated from my memory, I re-translated my French into such Latin as I could find, and then compared each sentence of my imperfect version with the ease, the grace, the propriety, of the Roman orator.
* Journal, December 1755.]—In finishing this year, I must remark how favourable it was to my studies. In the space of eight months, from the beginning of April, I learnt the principles of drawing ; made myself complete inaster of the French and Latin languages, with which I was very superficially acquainted before, and wrote and translated a great deal in both; read Cicero's Epistles ad Familiares, his Brutus, all his Orations, his Dialogues de Amicitiâ and De Senectute; Terence twice; and Pliny's Epistles. In French, Giannone's History of Naples, and l'abbé Bannier's Mythology, and M. De Boehat's Mémoires sur la · Suisse, and wrote a very ample relation of my tour.' I like. wise began to study Greek, and went through the grammar. I began to make very large collections of what I read. But what I esteem most of all, from the perusal and medi. tation of De Crousaz's Logic, I not only understood the principles of that science, but formed my mind to a habit of thinking and reasoning I had no idea of before.
A similar experiment was made on several pages of the Revolutions of Vertot; I turned them into Latin, re-turned them, after a sufficient interval, into my own French, and again scrutinized the resemblance or dissimilitude of the copy and the original. By degrees I was less ashamed, by degrees I was more satisfied with myself; and I persevered in the practice of these double translations, which filled several books, tiH I had acquired the knowledge of both idioms, and the command at least of a correct style. This useful exercise of writing was accompanied and succeeded by the more pleasing occupation of reading the best authors. The perusal of the Roman classics was at once my exercise and reward, Dr Middleton's History, which I then appreciated above its true value, naturally directed me to the writings of Cicero. The most perfect editions that of Olivet, which may adorn the shelves of the rich-that of Ernesti, which should lie on the table of the learned—were not within my reach. For the familiar epistles I used the text and. English commentary of bishop Ross; but my general edition was that of Verburgius, published at Amsterdam in two large volumes in folio, with an indifferent choice of various notes. I read, with application and pleasure, all the epistles, all the orations, and the most important treatises of rhetoric and philosophy; and as I read, I applauded the observation of Quintillian, that every student may judge of his own proficiency by the satisfaction which he receives from the Roman orator. I tasted the beauties of language, I breathed the spirit of freedom, and I imbibed from his precepts and examples the public and private sense of a man. Cicero in Latin, and Xenophon in Greek, are indeed the two ancients whom I would first propose to a liberal scholar; cot only for the merit of their style and sentiments, but for the admirable lessons which may be applied almost to every situation of public and private life, Cicero's Epistles may in particular afford the models of every form of correspondence, from the careless
effusions of tenderness and friendship, to the wellguarded declaration of discreet and dignified resentment. After finishing this great author, a library of eloquence and reason, I formed a more extensive plan of reviewing the Latin classics, * under the four divisions of,-), historians; 2, poets ; 3, oratoru ; and 4, philosophers ; in a chronological series, from the days of Plautus and Sallust to the decline of the language and empire of Rome: and this plan, in the last twenty-seven months of my residence at Lausanne, (January 1756-April 1758) I nearly accomplished. Nor was this review, however rapid, either hasty or superficial. I indulged myself in a second and even a third perusal of Terence, Virgil, Horące, Tacitus, &c. and studied to imbibe the sense and spirit most congenial to my own. I never suffered a difficult or corrupt passage to escape, till I had viewed it in every light of which it was susceptible: though often disappointed, I always consulted the most learned or ingenious commentators,—Torrentius and Dacier on Horace, Catrou and Servius on Virgil, Lipsius on Tacitus, Meziriac on Ovid, &c.; and in the ardour of my inquiries I embraced a large circle of historical and critical erudition. My abstracts of each book were made in the French language : my observations often branched into particular essays; and I can still read, without contempt, a dissertation of eight folio pages on eight lines (287–294) of the fourth Georgic of Virgil. Mr Deyverdun, my friend, whose name will be frequently repeated, had joined with equal zeal, though not with equal perseverance, in the same undertaking. To him every thought, every composition, was in.
* Journal, January 1756.) I determined to read over the Latin authors in order; and read this year Virgil, Sallust, Livy, Velleius Paterculus, Velerius Maximus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Quintus Curtius, Justin, Florus, Plautus, Terence, and Lucretius. I also read and meditated Locke upon the Understanding.