Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

age, having nearly completed his 80th year, the hon. Brownlow North, prelate of the rich see of Winchester for six-andthirty years; but who had been seated on the episcopal bench of England for near forty, has also been gathered to his fathers, leaving behind him a high character, for the mildness, beneficence, and hospitality, with which he filled his dignified station in the church for so long a period of years; and for the talent displayed in several occasional sermons, of which his lordship was the author.

In France, count Volney, the celebrated infidel author of the Ruins of Empires, has also finished his career; dying as he had lived, an enemy of Christianity, and a philosopher of the new school. But science probably, and society certainly, there sustained a heavier loss in the baron de Beauvois, an enterprising traveller, and celebrated botanist, the only European who ever traversed the district of Oware, one of Africa's unhealthiest climes.

From the lower house of the British parliament, one of its most distinguished members has been removed, in the person of the right hon. Henry Grattan; a man as distinguished by his patriotism as his eloquence, in which, at least since the death of Pitt and Fox, he has been unrivalled in the senate of his country. Want of materials to illustrate his private life and character - in our view of the subject, the most valuable part of the biography of a great man, because the most instructive, has alone prevented our introducing a memoir of this distinguished individual into our Work. Should this deficiency be supplied, as we have reason to expect that it will from the pen of his son, we shall, in all probability, give a detailed account of the active life of this illustrious Irishman, (for so dearly did he love his country, that this, we are persuaded, is the name by which he would wish to be remembered) in our pages. Two other individuals, who acted as conspicuous, or even a more conspicuous, part on the political theatre of Europe, though a very different one to that of Grattan,-Fouché, duke of Otranto, the police minister of Buonaparte; and Tallien, the celebrated revolutionist, have been called also to their account an account, we fear, of retribution for the blood which they shed, and the crimes they committed, in the name of liberty, and for the rights of man.

In sir Vicary Gibbs the law lost one of its brightest ornaments in modern times. Eloquent, astute, and learned as an advocate—

firm and fearless in the discharge of his duty in the important, but arduous office of first law officer of the crown; as a judge he was upright, dignified, and polite.

Scotland, in the person of the honourable Fletcher Norton, senior baron of the Exchequer there, has also lost an able and an impartial judge, who had sat on the bench for no shorter a period than forty-four years; and it is rather a singular coincidence, that the very next day another of the cotemporary judges of the same court, during a part of this period, should also have been removed by death, though he had some time previously retired from the bench. Mr. Mac Nally, the intimate friend of Curran, and bis able junior counsel in most of the important state trials which have immortalized his name, has not long survived the great ornament of the Irish bar; leaving behind him, as a proof of his legal knowledge, especially in that walk of his profession to which his practice chiefly was confined, a " Treatise on Evidence in Crown Law," held in considerable repute as a text book, until it was superseded by more recent ones; and also some dramatic pieces, characterized by the humour for which he was remarkable.

Amongst those who distinguished themselves in the military profession, marshal Lefebvre, duke of Dantzic, and marshal Kellerman, duke of Valmy, two of the generals of Buonaparte; and prince Charles of Schwartzenberg, the victor of that mighty conqueror, whilst in the command of the allied army which, entered Paris in triumph, have finished their career; whilst England has lost of its generals, distinguished in active service, sir David Dundas, sir Alexander Maitland, sir Graney Thomas Calcraft, sir Ewan Baillie; and of its naval heroes, admirals sir Home Popbam, and sir Benjamin Caldwell, and vice-admirals sir Richard Grindall, and Edward Oliver Osborn. To these gallant warriors we may also most justly add Spechbacher, the celebrated Tyrolese patriot, who greatly signalized himself in the unequal war of 1809.

During the period to which we have referred, the labours of many of the wise, the learned, the active of the earth, have been brought also to a close ; and it is not a little remarkable, that one and the same year should have deprived two of the principal literary societies of our country of their president; both of them gathered to their fathers, full of honour, and in a good old age. Of the venerable president of the Royal Academy, we have already given an obituary in our first Number; whilst a biographical memoir of his illustrious cotemporary, sir Joseph Banks, will form a part of the present article.

The cause of letters has likewise sustained a loss, more or less severe, in the removal by death of many individuals assiduously devoted to the cultivation of various departments

of literature, and of the arts. The antiquary will deservedly lament the Rev. Rogers Ruding, the learned author of “the Annals of Coinage;" M. Leveque de Pouilly, a French antiquary of great research, and the author of several interesting and valuable works; and John Croft, Esq., F.S.A., author of " a Treatise on Medals," and some lighter essays of a miscellaneous nature the mathematician, major-general Mudge, of whom we have given a brief notice; Thomas Wilkinson, of Curigg, a self-taught genius, and an eminent geometrician; and Mr. John Dawson, of Sedburgh, the successful antagonist of Emerson, Stuart, and Wildbore, on several mathematical points.

The science of medicine has been deprived of any further benefit from the acknowledged skill of Drs. Moseley, Underwood, and James Sims, the last a man as extensively known for his benevolence and philanthropic exertions, as for his medical knowledge, which was great ; John Bell, the celebrated anatomist, and very useful anatomical and surgical writer; Henry Cline, jun., who, at the age of thirty-nine, bade fair to rival the deservedly high reputation of his father ; James Towers, professor of midwifery in the University of Glasgow; and Thomas Baynton, author of the well known treatise on Ulcers, and an eminent surgeon at Bath. Chemistry could, in Great Britain, scarcely have sustained a heavier loss than it did sustain, during the last year, in Dr. John Murray, eminent as a public lecturer in Edinburgh, and as the author of a valuable treatise on the science, wherever that science is studied, as in private life he was amiable, and excellent as a man.

The kindred pursuit of botany has also lost the further researches of Mr. Woodward, the ingenious author of several valuable papers in the Transactions of the Linnæan Society, of which he was an original member, and a material contributor to the Botanical Researches of Dr. Withering, and of those of the Rev. J. Benedict Prevost, professor of philosophy, to the protestant faculty of Montaubon, and author of several valuable memoirs in this and other branches of natural history and philosophy.

In Dr. Thomas Brown, professor of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, the world was deprived of one of the most acute metaphysicians of his age-of a respectable poet, and of a most valuable man, in all the walks of public and of private life. The loss of Arthur Young will also, we doubt not, be severely felt, at a period when the interests of agriculture seem to require the attention and exertions of all its friends, to devise means to extricate it, if possible, from its present depression; and few, we apprehend, could be of

more effectual assistance, in such a crisis, than one who had successfully devoted so much attention to the study, illustration, and improvement of this important science, as he had done. Of his excellencies as a man, an imperfect sketch would have been attempted in this article, but that want of room compels us to defer it. The perseverance with which the Rev. Dr. Richardson, late rector of Clonfleckle, cultivated and urged the cultivation of fiorin grass in the reclaimed bogs of Ireland ; his skill and diligence in the various pursuits of natural history, but above all his philanthropy and his patriotism, render his death also, a loss to his country, and to society at large. Another useful individual, and able writer, was removed in Dr. Patrick Colquhoun, an active magistrate of the metropolis, well known to the world, by his able works on the Police of London, the Resources of the British Empire, and other illustrations of the Statistics and Political Economy of Great Britain. The memory of the Rev. William Tooke, the historian of Russia, and the translator of Zollikoffer's Sermons, and other writings from the German, and of Lucian from the Greek, will long survive in his works, as will that of his excellencies as a man in the memory of the wide circle of his friends. Nor will the long and valuable services of John Hatsell, Esq., as clerk of the House of Commons, be forgotten, whilst his valuable Precedents of the Proceedings in Parliament shall remain in existence.

Few writers of the last half century enjoyed, deservedly or undeservedly we question not here, a more extensive reputation as a poet, than Hayley. We had prepared a short memoir of his life for the present Number of our Work, but the length to which those of the two other celebrated men, with whose biography we had connected his, has unexpectedly extended, compels us reluctantly to defer the publication of our obituary memoir of this amiable man, and popular writer, with the brief critical estimate of his literary merits interwoven with it, to our January Number. In the prime of life, Eaton Stannard Barrat, the author of “ All the Talents,” a satirical poem, which made a greater noise in the world, at the period of its appearance, than its merits deserved that it should do; of “ Woman,” a pleasing production of the Muse; and the “ Heroine,” á novel, with whose merits we pretend not to be acquainted, -was cut off early in the spring, by a rapid decline, brought on by the bursting of a blood vessel. Poetry is confined to no country, or clime, or age; it will not, therefore, be thought surprising, or incongruous, that we should next record the death of

Thorlasken, the venerable Icelandic poet, who translated into his rude native tongue the Paradise Lost of Milton, and the Messiah of Klopstock. Ireland has also lost a patriotic bard in Dr. Drennan, though his patriotism most probably excelled his poetry, which would have been better known, and more highly esteemed, had he written, or at least printed, less of it.

As miscellaneous writers, we must not omit to add to our list of losses, Miss Magnall

, authoress of the well known “ Miscellaneous Questions,” for the instruction of youth ; and of a volume of poems, entitled “ Leisure Hours," highly creditable both to her head and heart;-Mrs, Ellen Devis, authoress of the very useful " English Grammar for Young Ladies," and other school books for her sex; M. Cateau de Calleville, the traveller in, and historian of, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; Jean Thomas Herressant des Carrieres, a French refugee, long domiciled in this country, and well known there as the author, or editor, of some of the most useful elementary books on the grammar of his native tongue, of which he was long a successful teacher; and also for a history of the country which gave him birth ; Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the adventurous tourist in the desert wilds of North America; Mr. Blagden, secretary to the Royal Society, and author of several popular works; the Rev. Samuel Burdy, the biographer of Dr. Skelton, and author of a history of Ireland, less known than from its merit it deserves to be; Dr. M‘Leod, the physician attached to lord Amherst's embassy, of which he published an account; the Rev. John Reeve, a venerable Catholic priest, and the author of several most temperate and judicious pamphlets on what is commonly called the Catholic emancipation question ; Dr. John Trusler, writer of the famous sermons resembling MSS. for the clergy, and too wholesale a compiler of other works to permit the enumeration of any of them; John Bowles, almost as voluminous a writer of pamphlets on the side of government, and, therefore, for the same reason, only named; and the Rev. S. Lyon, for many years an eminent Hebrew teacher in the University of Oxford, and author of a compendious grammar of that language, and of some curious observations on antique medals.

Amongst the lightest of the writers of the day who have died within the year, and, therefore, perhaps the least to be regretted, is major Topham, the eccentric biographer of the eccentric Elwes; and author of other works of an evanescent popularity, if popularity they had any, now not undeservedly forgotten. He was also the proprietor of the World, the

« AnteriorContinuar »