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The English scheme, of education, which with regard to academical ftudies is more vigorous, and fets literary honours at a higher price than that of any other country, exacts from the youth, who are initiated in our colleges, a degree of philological knowledge, fufficient to qualify them for lectures in philofophy, which are read to them in Latin, and to enable them to proceed in other ftudies without affiftance; fo that it may be conjectured, that Burman, at his entrance into the university, had no fuch skill in languages, nor fuch ability of compofition, as are frequently to be met with in the higher claffes of an English school; nor was perhaps more than moderately fkilled in Latin, and taught the first rudiments in Greek.

In the univerfity he was committed to the care of the learned Grævius, whofe regard for his father inclined him to fuperintend his ftudies with more than common attention, which was foon confirmed and increafed by his difcoveries of the genius of his pupil, and his obfervation of his diligence.

One of the qualities which contributed eminently to qualify Grævius for an inftructor of youth, was the fagacity by which he readily discovered the predominant faculty of each pupil, and the peculiar defignation by which nature had allotted him to any fpecies of literature, and by which he was foon able to determine, that Burman was remarkably adapted to claffical studies, and predict the great advances that he would make, by industriously pursuing the direction of his genius.

Animated by the encouragement of a tutor fo cele brated, he continued the vigour of his application, and, for feveral years, not only attended the lectures of Grævius, but made ufe of every other opportunity of improve

improvement, with fuch diligence, as might justly be expected to produce an uncommon proficiency.

Having thus attained a fufficient degree of claffical knowledge, to qualify him for enquiries into other sciences, he applied himself to the study of the law, and published a differtation, " de Vicefima Hæredita"tum," which he publickly defended, under the profeffor Van Muyden, with fuch learning and eloquence, as procured him great applaufe.

Imagining, then, that the converfation of other men of learning might be of ufe towards his farther improvement, and rightly judging, that notions formed in any fingle feminary are for the greatest part contracted and partial; he went to Leyden, where he studied philosophy for a year, under M. de Volder, whose celebrity was fo great, that the schools affigned to the sciences, which it was his province to teach, were not fufficient, though very fpacious, to contain the audience that crowded his lectures, from all parts of Europe.

Yet he did not fuffer himself to be engroffed by philofophical difquifitions, to the neglect of those studies in which he was more early engaged, and to which he was perhaps by nature better adapted; for he attended at the fame time Ryckius's explanations of Taci tus, and James Gronovius's lectures on the Greek writers, and has often been heard to acknowledge, at an advanced age, the affiftance which he received from them.

Having thus paffed a year at Leyden with great advantage, he returned to Utrecht, and once more applied himself to philological ftudies, by the affiftance of Grævius, whofe early hopes of his genius were now I i2 raised

raised to a full confidence of that excellence at which he afterwards arrived.

At Utrecht, in March 1688, in the twentieth year of his age, he was advanced to the degree of doctor of laws; on which occasion he published a learned differtation, "de Tranfactionibus," and defended it with his ufual eloquence, learning, and fuccefs.

The attainment of this honour was far from having upon Burman that effect which has been too often ob ferved to be produced in others, who, having in their own opinion no higher object of ambition, have elapfed into idleness and fecurity, and spent the reft of their lives in a lazy enjoyment of their academical dignities. Burman afpired to farther improvements, and, not fatiffied with the opportunities of literary converfation which Utrecht afforded, travelled into Switzerland and Germany, where he gained an increafe both of fame and learning.

At his return from this excurfion, he engaged in the practice of the law, and pleaded feveral caufes with fuch reputation, as might be hoped by a man who had joined to his knowledge of the law, the embellishments of polite literature, and the ftrict ratiocination of true philofophy, and who was able to employ on every occafion the graces of eloquence and the power of argu


While Burman was haftening to high reputation in the courts of justice, and to thofe riches and honours which always follow it, he was fummoned in 1691, by the magiftrates of Utrecht, to undertake the charge of collector of the tenths, an office in that place of great honour, and which he accepted therefore as a proof of their confidence and efteem.

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While he was engaged in this employment, he married Eve Clotterboke, a young lady of a good family, and uncommon genius and beauty, by whom he had ten children, of which eight died young; and only two fons, Francis and Cafpar, lived to confole their mother for their father's death.

Neither public bufinefs, nor domeftick cares, detained Burman from the profecution of his literary enquiries; by which he fo much endeared himself to Grævius, that he was recommended by him to the regard of the university of Utrecht, and accordingly, in 1696, was chofen profeffor of eloquence and history, to which was added, after some time, the profefforship of the Greek language, and afterwards that of politicks; fo various did they conceive his abilities, and fo extenfive his knowledge.

At his entrance upon this new province, he pronounced an oration upon eloquence and poetry.

Having now more frequent opportunities of displaying his learning, he arofe, in a fhort time, to a high reputation, of which the great number of his auditors was a fufficient proof, and which the proficiency of his pupils fhewed not to be accidental or undeferved.

In 1714 he formed a refolution of visiting Paris, not only for the fake of conferring in perfon, upon queftions of literature, with the learned men of that place, and of gratifying his curiofity with a more familiar knowledge of thofe writers whofe works he admired, but with a view more important, of visiting the libraries, and making those enquiries which might be of advantage to his darling study.



The vacation of the university allowed him to ftay at Paris but fix weeks, which he employed with fo much dexterity and industry, that he had searched the principal libraries, collated a great number of manufcripts and printed copies, and brought back a great treasure of curious obfervations.

In this vifit to Paris he contracted an acquaintance, among other learned men, with the celebrated father Montfaucon; with whom he converfed, at his firft interview, with no other character than that of a traveller; but, their difcourfe turning upon ancient learning, the ftranger foon gave fuch proofs of his attainments, that Montfaucon declared him a very uncommon traveller; and confeffed his curiofity to know his name; which he no fooner heard, than he rofe from his feat, and, embracing him with the utmost ardour, expressed his fatisfaction at having feen the man whofe productions of various kinds he had fo often praised; and, as a real proof of his regard, offered not only to procure him an immediate admiffion to all the libraries of Paris, but to thofe in remoter provinces, which are not generally open to ftrangers, and undertook to eafe the expences of his journey by procuring him entertainment in all monafteries of his order,

This favour Burman was hindered from accepting, by the neceffity of returning to Utrecht at the ufual time of beginning a new courfe of lectures, to which there was always fo great a concourse of students, as much increased the dignity and fame of the university in which he taught.

He had already extended, to diftant parts, his reputation for knowledge of ancient hiftory by a treatise de Vectigalibus Populi Romani," on the revenues of

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