Newton’s World View

In order to maintain the theory of the crystalline spheres, Aristotle had argued that comets are an atmospheric phenomenon; but once the Aristotelian cosmology was discredited, there was revived the view of the ancient opponents of Aristotle that comets return periodically, moving like the planets, but in eccentric orbits. Since 1665, when it was definitely established that comets move in elliptical orbits around the sun, the study of comets has been based on historical records.

As soon as the Aristotelian view of the solar system collapsed, astronomers began to compile and organize bodies of quotations from ancient texts mentioning comets. No science of comets is possible without the use of these records. It must be observed that many of the critics of Velikovsky have claimed that historical data are irrelevant to astronomical science, but even today every study on comets is based on a collation of the available historical data. In fact, specialists of the theory of comets give particular importance to the Chinese historical records which began to be scrutinized for these very purposes in the age of Newton. Once one started to examine the ancient records one began to pay attention to the texts that mention that catastrophes on Earth were caused by the impact of a comet.

This possibility of a catastrophic impact by a comet on the Earth was a matter of general debate when Newton was a young man. Scholars were discussing whether the conflagration of Phaethon, the flood of Deucalion or Ogyges, or the plagues of Egypt had been caused by a comet. They ooserveci tnat: rne ancient texts mention the impact of the comet Typhon as having caused the flood of Ogyges and the contemporary fire of Phaethon. One began to discuss in relation to this problem the issue of biblical chronology, since the chronologists of Roman times had placed the plagues of Egypt at the time of the flood of Ogyges. It was discussed whether the flood of Noah, the flood of Ogyges and the flood of Deucalion were one and the same event. Astro- nomers became particularly concerned with studies of ancient chronology, since it was essential to determine what was the exact date of these events in order to link them with the periods of various comets. Ancient chronology was used to determine the periods of comets and conversely the cometary periods were used to decide chronological oroblems.

The famous Cometographia (1668) of Johannes Hevelius, a work with which Newton was well conversant, discusses in this context even the mentioned ancient accounts that at the time of the flood of Ogyges the planet Venus changed its course and appearance, and submits several tentative hypotheses that could explain this fact by the action of a comet. One of the hypotheses that is submitted is that a comet could have been mistaken for Venus.

The obvious fact that the probability of a comet hitting the Earth is quite considerable resulted in a great fear of comets, which reached its peak on the occasion of the appearance of the comet of 1680 A.D. Newton was one of those aware of this fear and he followed the track of this comet with great attention. His calculations, together with those of Flamsteed and Halley, who further refined the figure obtained by Newton, permitted to establish that this comet had a period of 575˝ years. One concluded that this must have been the comet that appeared at the time of Caesar’s death, in 44 B.C. By retrojecting its path even further, William Whiston (1667-1752) concluded that it was this comet that had caused the Universal Flood. Whiston, then a fellow of Cambridge University, had become a devoted pupil of Newton in 1694, seven years after the first edition of the Principia, and two years later he submitted to his master the manuscript of a book entitled The New Theory of the Earth. The book was intended to replace the then popular Theory of the Earth (1681) by Thomas Burnet, and dealt with a theme with which Newton had been concerned for more than a score of years. This book contended that the cataclysm described in the Old Testament as the Universal Deluge was caused by the impact of a comet at the end of the third millennium B.C., and that up to the time of the Deluge the solar year had the duration of 360 days only; yet the new calendar of 365 days had to wait to be introduced by Nabonassar (in 747 B.C.). These contentions were based mainly on historical evidence, whereas astronomical considerations were the main ground for suggesting that comets may become planets:

Yet comets by passing through the planetary regions in all planes and directions... seem fit to cause vast mutations in the planets, particularly in bringing on them deluges and conflagrations, according as the planets pass through the atmosphere.... Tho’ indeed they do withal seem at present chaos or worlds in confusion, but capable to orbits nearer circular, and then settling into a state of order and of becoming fit for habitation like the planets; but these conjectures are left to further enquiry, when it pleases the divine providence to afford us more light about them.1
When Whiston submitted this hypothesis, his opinion was discussed as a serious possibility and did not cause any scandal or unusual sensation.

Newton was so impressed by Whiston’s work that from that moment he established a close scientific relation with him. The book was highly praised also by other contemporaries, John Locke among them. Two years later the Savillian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, John Keill (1671-1721), dedicated a book to the evaluation of Whiston’s hypotheses in comparison to those of Burnet, in which he expressed the following judgments:

Yet I cannot but acknowledge that Mr. Whiston, the ingenious author of the new Theory of the Earth, has made great discoveries and proceeded on more philosophical principles than all the theorists before him have done. In his theory there are some coincidences which make it indeed probable, that a comet at the time of the Deluge passed by the Earth.2
Keill approved also of the contention that before this upheaval the solar year consisted of 360 days, divided into 12 lunar months of 30 days.

In 1701 Whiston was appointed as a temporary substitute for Newton at Cambridge, and in 1703, when Newton resigned permanently from the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, he recommended Whiston as uniquely worthy to be his successor. By 1713, when the second edition of the Principia was published, Newton’s feelings toward Whiston had changed radically. When in 1720 the astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742) and others proposed Whiston as a member of the Royal Society, Newton threatened that, should the members vote for Whiston’s admission, he would resign from the presidency of the Society. Whiston, who was deeply devoted to Newton, suggested that his candidacy not be pressed; he felt that the aging Newton was so violently disturbed by the issue that he might die.3 Halley, who one year and a half before the publication of Whiston’s New Theory of the Earth had read a paper before the Royal Society in which he had explained the Deluge by the impact of a comet, but had not printed it “lest by some unguarded expression he might incur the censure of the sacred order,” reacted to Newton’s gesture by publishing with thirty years of delay a memoir in the acts of the Society.4 Historians of science gloss over this incident, which is vital for the understanding of the evolution of Newton’s thought. After 1710, when Whiston was dismissed from his teaching position because of heresy and then formally brought to trial before the body of bishops of the Church of England, he assumed more radical positions and came to disagree with Newton who was becoming more and more conservative.

Whiston’s contention was that the creation story told in Genesis should not be interpreted literally, but as referring to a process of progressive creation through several cosmic stages. Newton, who was at first sympathetic to Whiston’s religious and scientific views, came to be shocked by his radicalism, and turned towards a fundamentalist position. The concluding words of Opticks indicate that Newton, like others of his contemporaries, felt that, if the traditional views of cosmic order were abandoned, the foundations of morality would be undermined. Furthermore, Newton felt that Whiston’s hypotheses would end by eliminating what he considered the chief argument for the existence of God, the argument from design, namely, the wise adaptation of the present frame of nature to the needs of living creatures, especially man. In Opticks he rebutted Whiston in these terms:

For it became who created them [the celestial bodies] to set them in order. And if he did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of chaos by the mere laws of nature; though being once form’d, it may continue by those laws for many ages. For while comets move in very excentrick orbs in all manner of positions, blind fate could never make all the planets move one and the same way in orbs concentrick, some inconsiderable irregularities excepted, which may have arisen from the mutual actions of comets and planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this system wants a reformation. Such a wonderful uniformity in the planetary system must be allowed the effect of choice.5
Whereas the first edition of the Principia (1687) is essentially rationalistic in spirit and follows a positivistic method, theological preoccupations dominate the second edition (1713). Newton is bent on proving that the machinery of the world is such a perfectly contrived system that it cannot be the result of “mechanical cause,” but must be the result of an intelligent and consistent plan. In order to support further the story of Genesis that the world was created by a single act, he argued also that the world is stable and has remained unchanged since creation. But he could not prove this point, since he admitted that, according to his own theory, the gravitational pull among the several members of the solar system would tend to modify their orbits; hence, he begged the question and claimed that God in his providence must intervene from time to time to reset the clockwork of the heavens to its original state. This point of Newton’s doctrine is well known, for it was the object of sarcastic comments by Newton’s great rival in the mathematical field, Leibnitz (1646-1716). As the latter observed, Newton cast God not only as a clockmaker, and a poor one at that, but also as a clock-repairman.6

Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774-1862), the chosen pupil of Laplace, agreed with his teacher in considering the second edition of the Principia as highly objectionable. He argued that Newton had ceased to be a creative thinker in 1695 and suggested that this was the result of his mental illness of eighteen months’ duration.7 But in truth Newton was hampered by religious preoccupations and not by mental deterioration. The only external evidence that Biot submits for a psychic collapse is Newton’s “infantile” antics in his dealings with Whiston in 1714. In my opinion, the proof that Newton had become fixated on the religious problem, but had not lost any of his intellectual flexibility, is that the few additions that appear in the third edition of the Principia (1726), disclose that he came to believe that God reveals himself not in the appearance of things but in the ways of mankind.8

Scholars have failed to notice that the refutation of Whiston’s doctrine was of major concern to Newton. In the Principia, he maintained that comets, far from being a disruptive element, contribute to the providential preservation of the original order: since a certain amount of the water of the Earth is steadily consumed by chemical combinations, the seas would not be preserved in their original state unless new water was provided by the exhalations of comets. The notion of the providential purpose of comets was further expanded in Newton’s time: the comets exist also for the purpose of supplying new fuel to the Sun which otherwise would gradually consume itself. One of the important popularizers of Newton’s ideas stresses that comets can perform these providential functions, but at the same time are providentially prevented from Striping the Earth:

In the next place, the reason why the planes of their [comets’] motions are not in the plane of the ecliptic, or any of the planetary orbits, is extremely evident; for had this been the case, it would have been impossible for the Earth to be out of the way of the comets’ tails. Nay, the possibility of an immediate encounter or shock of the body of a comet would have been too frequent; and, considering how great is the velocity of a comet at such a time, the collision of two such bodies must necessarily be destructive to each other; nor perhaps could the inhabitants of planets long survive frequent immersions in the tails of comets, as they would be liable to in such a situation. Not to mention anything of the irregularities and confusion that must happen in the motion of planets and comets, if their orbits were all disposed in the same plane.9
The writer follows here the reasoning of Newton, who argued that the providential order of the universe required that the comets have beneficial characteristics. In reality, the planes of the orbits of some comets are at a small angle with the plane of the ecliptic, and the chance of collision exists.

In the recent past some distinguished historians have pierced part of the veil of secrecy that surrounds Newton by investigating at least the background of the Principia. They have determined that his main interest in life was theology and that he intended to prove that the new science developed from Copernicus and Galileo did not contradict traditional religion. He wanted to return to a medieval conception of the universe. Newton in effect intended to undo the work of Galileo, who in his mecnanics nacl reduced the four Aristotelian causes to two, the material and the efficient. Newton wanted to return to the Aristotelian concept of form. which includes not only the efficient and material, but a-lso T:ne formal and ttie final cause. According to him the solar system is more than an organization of matter in motion: it has being, truth, goodness, and beauty which rest in God, not only virtually, as the source or creative power, but, as Saint Thomas would have said, formaliter eminenter. Newton was also concerned with the fact that the heliocentric theory had downgraded the Earth. Galileo had specifically raises, inc question whether one could say that Divine Providence was particulary concerned with the Earth, if this was nothing but a speck lost in infinity. Newton felt that the conclusion of this way of thinking was to cast doubt on the story of Original Sin, Incarnation and the Second Coming.. Therefore, he tried to prove that the solar system is especially organized in order to make the Earth a specially qualified abode for the creation of man, so that the Earth could be again conceived as the center of the universe, spiritually, if not materially. This is made clear in the Principia to those who read them carefully, but it is made even more clear for those who would not like to see, in the other works he wrote at the same time. Newton saw that the Renaissance stress on the contingency of the universe had undermined the argument from design for the existence of God. The method of Newton was to try to prove that modern empirical science does not contradict traditional religious views; it is in this spirit that he spent a great deal of time and energy in order to prove that historical science confirms that the Old Testament contains prophecies of future events.

Prof. I. Bernard Cohen, the foremost authority on Newton in the United States, sums up his interpretation of Newton by declaring: “Of course, Newton had a real secret, and concerning it he did his best to keep the world in ignorance.” The secret would be that he intended to uphold the theology and cosmology of the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Cohen argues that this medieval synthesis of biblical religion with the philosophy of Aristotle constituted the ideal of Newton. He kept it a secret because he wanted to influence scientific thought without putting the admirers of the new scientific method on the alert. I am willing to agree with Cohen with one proviso, that the secret was not kept by Newton, who put down his thoughts in voluminous writings, but by those who have not published them.

The Jewish philosopher Maimonides (1135-1204) had tried to reconcile his religion, which commanded him to believe in Creation, with the Aristotelian basic assumption that the Earth with the surrounding seven heavens is uncreated and unchangeable. Maimonides expressly declares that in accepting the story of Creation he disagrees with Aristotle, but that he agrees with Aristotle that, once created, the cosmos is permanent and indestructible. Maimonides maintained that after Creation the world has remained fixed and unchanged. In other words, God created the world in six days and, having rested on the seventh day, has rested ever since. According to Maimonides the world after the seventh day rests in a. perpetual Sabbath. Velikovsky in a conversation, drawing on his knowledge of rabbinical lore, advanced the theory that the fundamental Jewish concern with Sabbath rest is to be explained as sympathetic magic: one does not: move on the Sabbath in order to make sure that God and the world keep the Sabbath, too, and do not change the present order with a new act of creation. For Newton, God and the world are in a perpetual Sabbath, except for God’s watchful eye against any changes caused by mechanical causes. Velikovsky, too, has recognized in Worlds in Collision that through Newton he is fighting Maimonides. In order to reconcile the cosmology of Aristotle with the text of the Old Testament, Maimonides asserted that all the passages that have been understood as referring to cosmic upheavals and to changes in planetary motions, must be understood as metaphors, not as actual accounts. As Velikovsky pointed out in Worlds in Collision, Maimonides re-examined a long series of biblical texts, establishing thereby a new trend in exegesis. Just before the time of Newton this type of exegesis had been made universaly known by Spinoza, who at times follows Maimonides to the letter. If Newton kept a secret, this is not his debt to Maimonides, but the fact that he approached him through the eyes of Spinoza (1632-1677)—for it is recognized that Newton knew well the writings of Spinoza, though he never quoted him. Newton followed the same path, but he had to dispose not only of the evidence for changes in the sky provided by the Old Testament, but also by the body of ancient mythologies—by a new exegesis of Greek and Latin texts and of what was then known of Oriental documents. In his scientific writings Newton tried to prove that natural science does not contradict this exegesis and the corresponding theology.

For Newton it had become essential to prove that there had not been a change in the heavenly motions since the Creation of the present order of the cosmos and the contemporary creation of mankind (or the present mankind). Since, acording to him, this had taken place rather recently, this could be proved by historical research.

Newton broke with Whiston after the publication of the second edition of The New Theory of the Earth in 1708.

In the Latin dedication to Newton of the second edition (1708) of The New Theory of the Earth, Whiston states that his ideas must be in large part credited to Newton:

Exiguum hocce tentaminis Philosophicis spicilegium, e messe NEWTONIANA primitus sublectum; subsidiis, consiliis, auspiciis potissimum NEWTONIANIS acceptum, utipar est, referendum ratus, totumhoc qualecumque sit, NEWTONI nomini.

After this date Newton seems to have reached a new solution for the theological and scientific problem that had been faced by Maimonides. Newton seems to have concluded that by Creation we must understand the creation or ine human race and of a cosmos fit to be its abode. God has shown His providential hand by preventing any shift in the movement of the heavenly bodies. Since Newton had originally accepted the possibility that a comet may hit the Earth, he now used the very fact that a comet had not hit the Earth after the Creation of mankind as evidence for providential order. This explains why he turned so bitterly against Whiston. Those who like to psychoanalyse Newton would say that such a violent hatred is typical of one who turns against the image of a former self.

The turning point of Newton’s thinking seems to have been when he decided that the very fact that a comet had not struck the Earth within the memory of man proved the existence of a providential God watching over the human race. His main intention was to prove the validity of traditional religion in terms of the new astronomical science.

Newton believed that his cosmology, which he had summed up in his famous General Scholium of the second edition of the Principia, could not be accepted unless Whiston was refuted. For this reason, about three months after the appearance of the second edition, he wrote an essay (that lies unpublished in the British Museum) in which he answered the criticism advanced by William Lloyd (1627-1717), an intimate friend ot Whiston, on the ground that the oldest calendars of the ancients are based on a solar year of 360 days. Newton gave a lame answer.10 He argued that if a calendar of 360 days had been in use without a system of intercalation for the five extra days, the official beginning of the seasons would have moved around the full year in a period of 70 years; since there is no trace of this 70-year cycle, this calendar can never nave existed. But inc argument of Whiston and Lloyd was exactly that the solar year was about 360 days long and that therefore no intercalation was needed. Newton was begging the question by assuming that the solar year must have always consisted of 365 days.

Because most of Newton’s writings remain unpublished, we remain in the dark on the question of when and how he reached the conviction that religion can be preserved only if it is assumed that the system of heavenly motions is absolutely unchangeable. The relation between his scientific ideas and his religious ideas remains an unexplored area.

In order to understand the thought of Newton, we have to turn to the treatise An Account of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophical Discoveries published by his pupil and collaborator Colin Maclaunin. The last chapter of this thesis is entitled “Of the supreme author and creator of the Universe, the True and Living God”; this chapter forms one line of argument with the preceding chapter which is dedicated to the topic of comets. The line of argument of these two chapters begins by presenting data about comets from which it is argued that they prove that the universe has not existed for eternity. The Sun is kept at a constant level of energy by the supply provided by comets; since the comets are bound to exhaust themselves in a relatively short period of time, the world cannot have existed in the present state for eternity. Next, it is argued that comets “would produce the greatest disorders” except for the providential “precaution” that the comets move in orbits that are “in very different plane” and when not near the Sun they are made to move as much as possible at a great distance from each other. About comets one must conclude: “Thus we always find that what has, at first sight, the appearance of irregularity and confusion in nature is discovered, on further inquiry, to be the best contrivance and the most wise conduct.” Hence, the fact that comets do not cause “the greatest disorders” is the proof or ttie existence of One Almighty and All-Wise Being.

In the conclusion Colin Maclaunin, always speaking in the name of Newton, deals with those who have auoted geological evidence for the linpacT: or comets. He does not question it directly, but to imply that, if there were catastrophes, they took place at very ancient times, before the Creation of Man. In the very last statements he disposes of the possibility that the human race could be destroyed by a comet. He quotes as evidence against it “the desires and passions of men, which appear greatly superior to their present objects.” Man has been made to develop views much higher than the present ones, which will take a very long time. Hence, human nature would be frustrated “if we should suppose man to perish, without ever arriving at a more complete knowledge of nature.”

John Conduit, Newton’s nephew, reports that two years before his death his uncle expressed similar thoughts to him. Conduit’s report of the conversation, the last known general statement by Newton about his cosmology, indicates that Newton did not deny Whiston’s hypothesis that the Flood had been caused by a comet. However, he believed that this encounter was the last and would not be repeated for a very long time because of Providence. Newton was caught between the physical fact that the impact of a comet was possible and his belief that God in His Providence would not allow such an event to happen. Newton continued the conversation by indicating that comets, far from disrupting the cosmic order, were performing a stabilizing function “because the Sun was replenished and recruited by comets dropping into it.” He did not put this opinion into print, but he had put into print the opinion that the level of the seas on Earth was kept at a constant level by the exhalations of comets, as I have mentioned earlier.

The main concern of Newton seems to have been that of proving that mankind had become numerous and had developed a civilization quite recently, after the last catastrophe. The reported conversation with Conduit indicates that he did not contradict Whiston’s theory that the Deluge was caused by the comet of 1680 A.D. However, he tried to reconcile science with theology by assuming that the Earth had been thinly populated at the time of the Flood and that civilization had developed well after that date. Hence if God did not allow a destruction of civilization by a comet in the past (a destruction that Laplace later considered most likely to have occurred) it is credible that He would prevent the repetition of a similar event “for many ages,” as it is said in the quoted passage of Opticks. In a letter to Bentley, Newton assumed that the Earth had been spared the impact of the comet of 1680 because of Divine Providence. In conclusion, what Newton seems to have assumed is that God would keep away comets from the Earth long enough to let the human drama of Original Sin, Redemption, and Final Judgment have its course; this was St Augustine’s concept of history, to which Newton remained faithful. If one were to believe with Laplace that most of the human race and an advanced civilization had once been destroyed by a comet, how could one have confidence in a Providence looking over the destiny of mankind? Newton did not argue that mechanically the comets could not have catastrophic effects, but believed that the Earth would be protected from them long enough to allow the Christian drama of mankind to have its full development, from Creation to Final Judgment.

Newton was concerned with reconciling the danger of a comet’s impact with Providence. He tried to solve it by an historical argument which I shall discuss in more detail below. The peculiar genius of Newton was such that again and again he formulated hypotheses for theological reasons and these hypotheses proved to be a valid basis for the construction ot valuable scientific theories.

It must never be forgotten that in the last words of the General Scholium of the Principia (in the very section that his admirers quote as evidence that he is the founder of modern scientific positivism), Mewton claims ttit ttie theory of gravitation may give support to an anim-istic conception of the universe:

And now we might add something concerning a certain most subtle spirit which pervades and lies hid in all gross bodies; by the force and action of which spirit the particles of bodies attract one another at near distances, and cohere, if contiguous; and electric bodies operate to greater distances, as well repelling as attracting the neighboring corpuscles; and light is emitted, reflected, refracted, inflected, and heats bodies; and all sensation is excited, and all members of animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely, by the vibrations of this spirit, mutually propagated along the solid filaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explained in few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates.

There is much that we can learn from intellectual giants like Plato Aristotle, Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and Newton, as it was stated by Galileo, but those who profess to uphold the scientific method established by Galileo must be most discriminating in accepting their conclusons.

Now we can understand why scholars have been determined to conceal the true thought of Newton and to call him, at least partially, insane. It must be concealed that without Providence, under our present conceptions, we are in perpetual danger of annihilation by a visitor from outer space. All the furor against Velikovsky springs from the same source that has compelled scientists to claim that the Newtonian system is predicated on the existence of a benevolent heavenly Father. It is significant that the leadership in the fight against Velikovsky’s ideas was taken by Harlow Shapley who has put into print his belief that this is a benevolent universe in which catastrophes will not happen to the Earth. Newton has been called insane when he dealt with the non-scientific reasons for clinging to such a belief, whereas our contemporary scientists consider themselves sane when they cling to such a belief without advancing any reason, scientific or not. Newton, having reached a conclusion tor theological reasons, tried to make it acceptable scientifically by reducing it to a question of empirical evidence. It is the method that he used in order to prove that prophecy can be accepted scientifically. He reduced the entire problem to a question of chronology. It is most significant that Whiston reports that he and Newton came to a conflict not on questions of astronomy, but on questions of chronology. This explains why the last twenty years of Newton’s life, the period that followed his break with Whiston, were taken mostly with historical and chronological research. It appears that the thought of Newton was that if one were to accept that a great part of the human race and an advanced civilization had been destroyed by the effect of a comet, with the concommitant conclusion that this even could repeat itself in the future, man would lose confidence in the existence of Divine Providence.


  1. Quoted from William Whiston, Astronomical Principles of Religion Natural and Reveal’ d (London, 1717), 23. John C. Greene, when he was writing The Death of Adam (Ames, 1959) and was my colleague at the University of Chicago, called to my attention the crucial significance of Whiston’s writings in the development of scientific thought.
  2. An Examination of Dr. Burnet’s Theory of the Earth with Remarks on Mr. Whiston’s New Theory of the Earth (Oxford, 1698), 177-224.
  3. William Whiston, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William Whiston (London, 1760), 1, 293.
  4. Philosophical Transactions XXXIII (1724-25), 118-125.
  5. Op. cit., 4th ed. (London, 1730), 378.
  6. Letter to the Princess of Wales, Nov. 1715, in Correspondence Leibnitz-Clerke presentée d’après les manuscrits originaux, Ed. by André Robinet (Paris, 1957), 22.
  7. “Newton, Isaac,” Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne. Published by L. G. Michaud (Paris, 1821), 127-194; cf. Journal des savants, April 1836, 216.
  8. Cf. “An Historical and Explanatory Appendix” by Cajori to his edition of the Principia.
  9. Bernard Le Boyer Fontenelle, Conversation on the Plurality of the Worlds, Transi. from French, 2nd ed. (London, 1767), 466.
  10. Quoted in Gentleman’s Magazine, XXX (17551. January, p. 3.