1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Langhorne, John

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21963861911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 16 — Langhorne, John

LANGHORNE, JOHN (1735–1779), English poet and translator of Plutarch, was born at Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland. He at first supported himself as a private tutor and schoolmaster, and, having taken orders, was appointed (1766) to the rectory of Blagdon, Somerset, where he died on the 1st of April 1779. His poems (original and translations), and sentimental tales, are now forgotten, but his translation of Plutarch’s Lives (1770), in which he had the co-operation of his elder brother William (1721–1772), is not yet superseded. It is far less vigorous than Sir Thomas North’s version (translated from Amyot) but is free from its inaccuracies. His poems were published in 1804 by his son, J. T. Langhorne, with a memoir of the author; they will also be found in R. Anderson’s Poets of Great Britain, xi. (1794) and A. Chalmers’s English Poets, xvi. (1810), with memoir. Of his poems, The Country Justice, a plea for the neglected poor, and The Fables of Flora, were the most successful; of his prose writings, The Correspondence between Theodosius and Constantia, founded on a well-known story in the Spectator (No. 164).