Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 56.djvu/260

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

1746, the last issued during the poet's lifetime); another edition, edited with notes philosophical, classical, historical, and biographical, by Anthony Todd Thomson, London, 1847, 16mo; another edition, illustrated by Birket Foster (and others), London, 1859, 8vo; with introduction and notes by E. E. Morris, 2 vols. Calcutta, 1869, 8vo; edited, with introductions and notes, by J. Logie Robertson, Oxford, 1891, 8vo (the influence of Thomson upon Burns is here traced with much effect); another edition, with forty-eight illustrations and Cunningham's introduction, London, 1892, 8vo; another edition, 4 vols. London and Boston, 1893, 12mo. Among the translations may be noted those into French of Mme. Chatillon Bontems (1759), Deleuze (1801), Poullin (1802), and Fremin de Beaumont (1806). Poullin's translation was described in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ for January 1806 as ‘incomparably good,’ and ‘perhaps an improvement on the original,’ a proposition which, if established, would be rightly regarded as a negation of poetic excellence of the highest order. The German translations include those of Brockes (1745), Pulte (1758), von Palthen (1766), Schubert (1789), Soltau (1803), Bruckbraen (1824), and Rosenzweig, in hexameters, 1825. Lessing, who was a great student of Thomson, left several fragments of translations from the poet's tragedies. Parts of ‘The Seasons’ have appeared in Polish (1852), Danish (1807), Dutch (1803), Romaic (1817), Latin, Italian, Spanish, and Hebrew (Berlin, 1842). A translation of the ‘Castle of Indolence’ by Lemierre d'Argy appeared at Paris in 1814.

[The chief Lives of Thomson have been those of Robert Shiels in Cibber's Lives (1753), Patrick Murdoch (1762), Dr. Johnson in Lives of the Poets (1781), G. Wright (1770), the Earl of Buchan (1792), Robert Heron (1793), Sir Harris Nicolas (1831; revised by Peter Cunningham in 1862), Bolton Corney's Annotations on Murdoch (1842), Robert Bell (1855), Edward E. Morris (1869), and J. Logie Robertson (1891). But all these have been superseded by the elaborate James Thomson, sa Vie et ses Œuvres, by Dr. Léon Morel (Paris, 1895, 678 pp., large 8vo, with a copious list of authorities), which constitutes a pattern biography both in respect to exhaustive research and sound literary criticism. Prefixed is an exceptionally good engraving after Paton by J. Sévrette. The present article has had the advantage of Dr. Morel's revision. Since Dr. Morel wrote have appeared a detailed criticism of Thomson by M. Lefèvre Deumier in his Célébrités Anglaises, 1895; a careful biography prefixed to the Aldine edition of his Works, 1897, by the Rev. D. C. Tovey; Bayne's Life of Thomson, 1898; G. C. Macaulay in English Men of Letters ser. 1908. See also Texte's Cosmopolitisme Littéraire, 1895; E. B. Chancellor's Richmond, pp. 248 sq.; Gent. Mag. 1803 i. 6, 1819 ii. 295, 399, 1821 ii. 223, 300, 397 (a long essay on Thomson and Young), 1841 i. 145, ii. 564, 1843 i. 602–3 (by Bolton Corney); Leigh Hunt's Men, Women, and Books, 1878, pp. 225 sq., and The Town, 1859, p. 368; Younger's Autobiography, 1881, chap. xiii.; Elihu Burritt, Memorial Vol., p. 239; Stephen's English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, ii. 360–2; Trevelyan's Macaulay, 1878, i. 482; Minto's Georgian Era, pp. 51 sq.; Goodhugh's Libr. Man. 1824; Veitch's Feeling for Nature in Scottish Poetry, 1887; Wool's Life of Joseph Warton, 1806, p. 253; Spence's Anecd., ed. Singer; Ticknor's Spanish Literature, 1888, iii. 371; Philobiblon Soc. Publ. vol. iv. (containing letters); Genest's Hist. of the Stage, vol. v.; Dennis's Age of Pope, pp. 86–95; Montégut's Heures de lecture, 1891, pp. 190–3 (on the relations of Thomson and Collins); Dr. G. Schmeding's Jacob Thomson, Brunswick, 1889; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. ii. 447, 7th ser. ii. 410, vi. 268, 393, 8th ser. vi. 4–5, xii. 389–91; Sat. Rev., 20 Feb. 1897; Book Prices Current, 1889–97.]

T. S.

THOMSON, JAMES (1786–1849), mathematician, born on 13 Nov. 1786, was fourth son of James Thomson, a small farmer at Annaghmore, near Ballynahinch, co. Down (the house is now called Spamount), by his wife, Agnes Nesbit. His early teaching was received solely from his father. At the age of eleven or twelve he had found out for himself the art of dialling. Seeing his strong bent for scientific pursuits, his father sent him to a school at Ballykine, near Ballynahinch, kept by Samuel Edgar, father of John Edgar [q. v.] Here Thomson soon rose to be an assistant. Wishing to become a minister of the presbyterian church, he in 1810 entered Glasgow University, where he studied for several sessions, supporting himself by teaching in the Ballykine school during the summer. He graduated M.A. in 1812, in 1814 he was appointed headmaster of the school of ‘arithmetic, bookkeeping, and geography’ in the newly established Academical Institution, Belfast; and in 1815 professor of mathematics in its collegiate department. Here he proved himself a teacher of rare ability.dannce dance dance dance ass ass ass ass In 1829 the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the university of Glasgow, where in 1832 he was appointed professor of mathematics. He held this post till his death on 12 Jan. 1849.

Thomson married, in 1817, Margaret, eldest daughter of William Gardiner of Glasgow (she died in 1830), by whom he had four sons and three daughters, whose education he conducted with the utmost care. James