Vincent, William

, the late learned dean of Westminster, was born in London, Nov. 2, 1739. His father was a citizen of London, in commercial business, first as a packer, and afterwards as a Portugal‘merchant, in which last concern he acquired opulence, but was impoverished by the failures consequent upon the great earthquake at Lisbon, in 1755. He lost also his second son, Giles, in that terrible catastrophe^ He was for twenty-seven years deputy of Lime-street Ward, London. His eldest son, | Francis, continued the business of a packer, and prospered in it; and by him William was assisted in his expenses at college. His school education, excepting a mere infantine initiation at Cavendish, in Suffolk, was received entirely at Westminster; and from fourteen years old, when he entered the school, to the day of his death, he was never unconnected with that seminary, nor long personally absent from its precincts, except for the five years in which he was pursuing his academical studies. Passing through every gradation in the school, and collegiate foundation, he was thence elected scholar of Trinity college, Cam.­bridge, in 1757. In 1761 he took his first degree in arts, and was chosen a fellow of his college j soon after which (1762), he returned to Westminster, as usher, or assistant in the school. In that capacity he proceeded from, the lowest to the highest situation, so justly approved, in all respects, by the patrons of the school, that, on the resignation of Dr. Lloyd, the veteran second master in 1771, he was appointed to that office. In the same year he was nominated one of the chaplains in ordinary to his majesty.

The place of second master at Westminster schoqi is a situation of much labour and responsibility. Besides the daily business of the school, which, if not arduous, is at least fatiguing, the person who holds that office has the whole care and superintendence of the scholars on the foundation when out of school; that is, of forty boys, rapidly growing up into men, and yearly drafted off, by elections of from eight to ten, to the two universities. Yet in this much occupied situation it was, that Mr. Vincent was prosecuting those studies which gradually established his reputation at home as a scholar, and a man of research; and finally extended his celebrity over the whole continent of Europe. What is much to his honour, he studied under a natural disadvantage, which to a less ardent and persevering spirit would have served as an excuse for idleness. From an early period of life h was subject to a weakness of the eyes, attended with pain and inflammation, which never suffered him to read or write with impunity by artificial light. These attacks were so severe, that, to avoid yet more formidable consequences, he found himself compelled altogether to relinquish evening studies. But zeal can always find resources,. As he could not read at night he formed the habit of rising very early. Before the hours of school, in the intervals between morning and evening | attendance, and after both, when the length of the days permitted, he was generally employed in his study. Of exercise, properly so called, he took very little, but his constitution was robust; and of a man who completed seventy-six years, we can hardly say that his days were shortened by his habits of life, of whatever kind they might be.

He had three principal objects of pursuit; theology, classical learning, and history in all its branches. Historical research was his peculiar delight, including geography, navigation, commerce, and even the military art, as illustrating the history of men, and connecting the memorials of remote periods. To this taste, perseveringly indulged, we owe his various works, particularly those on ancient commerce and navigation, on which his reputation chiefly rests. Yet he was no impatient candidate for fame. During the whole period of his being under-master, which was no less than seventeen years, he published nothing that was at all considerable. One small publication was a letter to Dr. Watson, then professor of divinity at Cambridge (afterwards bishop of Llandaff) on the subject of a sermon preached by him in 1780; a production neither then nor afterwards publicly avowedi; though far from being unworthy of his principles or talents, being a very clear and able argument against such theories as tend to overturn governments, and against the spirit of opposition in those times. The, other tract was entitled “Considerations on Parochial Music” (1787); not written as pretending to any knowledge of the science, or talent for it, which he had not; but byway of improving its rational and devotional effects in parish churches. He had then become a parish priest, and it was natural for him to attend to every thing relating to that office.

It was apparently on becoming second master of Westminster, that he thought himself authorised to marry; and obtained the hand of miss Hannah Wyatt of that city. This union proved uniformly happy; and was productive of two sons; the rev. W. St. Andrew Vincent, now rector of Allhallows; and George Giles Vincent, esq. chapter clerk of Westminster; who became his effectual comforters, when their mother was at length taken from him, in 1807. But from his appointment in 1771, he remained without clerical preferment till 1778, when he obtained the vicarage of JLongdon, in Worcestershire, by the gift of the | dean and chapter of Westminster. This living he resigned in about six months, on being collated, by the archbishop of Canterbury, to the rectory of Allhallows the Great and Less, in Thames-street, London.

No man could be better qualified to enjoy and to promote domestic happiness. Easy of access, friendly, social, without any of the reserve of a student, or any of the pride of wisdom, real or assumed, he was always ready to take an active part in the innocent gratifications of society. With the learned, equally ready to inquire and to communicate, but never ostentatious of knowledge; with the ignorant and even the weak, so very indulgent that they hardly suspected their inferiority; certainly were never made to feel it painfully. Never ashamed to ask for information, when he found he wanted it; and most frankly ready to confess ignorance, if consulted upon any subject to which his mind had not been particularly applied. Never, perhaps, was “I know nothing of it,” so often said by one who knew so much. His entire contempt for every species of affectation produced these sometimes too sweeping declarations, in which he was hardly just to himself.

But neither his amusements nor his studies were ever suffered to interfere with his public or professional duties. In the church, in the school^ among his parishioners, or among his boys, he was always active and assiduous: fully prepared for the task of the day, whether to preach or teach; to illustrate the classics, or expound the Scriptures. His mode of instructing the boys on the foundation at Westminster, is admirably described by a well-informed writer in the Gent. Mag. 1815. “The under-master,” he says, “has the care of the college; and in his hands are the preservation of its discipline, the guardianship of its morals, and the charge of its religious instruction. With a steadiness and fidelity rarely equalled Dr. Vincent discharged these difficult functions; but perhaps there never existed a man who rivalled him in the art of attracting from boys attention to his lectures. Four times a year, each week preparatory to receiving the sacrament, Dr. V. explained the nature of that religious rite; its institution, its importance, and its benefits. And we believe, such was his happy mode of imparting instruction, that there never was known an instance of any boy treating the disquisition with levity, or not shewing an eagerness to be present at, and to profit by, the lesson. A clear sonorous voice, a fluent, easy, yet | correct delivery, an expression at once familiar and impressive, rendered him a delightful speaker. These advantages he possessed in common conversation, but he displayed them more especially on. public occasions, and never to greater advantage than in the pulpit.

Never was an eulogium more just. Nor did these serious and habitual occupations of his mind preclude its more lively excursions. In all those instances, at Westminster of periodical occurrence, when the talents of the masters are called frib, to give example and encouragement to the scholars, Pi prologues and epilogues at the plays, exercises and epigrams at the elections, &c. the compositions of Vincent were sure to be distinguished. He had not, indeed, nor did he rlatter himself that he had. that strong and original determination to poetry, which is denominated genius; but he possessed that lively relish for its genuine beauties, which, a-sisted by a familiar and exact knowledge of the best models, will always qualify a strong and versatile iniinl to think poetically, and to express its thoughts, always witn propriety, often with felicity. In many different styles he proved his talent for Latin composition in verse and prose; and what he produced of any kind, it was not easy to surpass. On these multifarious objects was his assiduity employed throughout the seventeen years in which he continued under-master.

At length, on the death of Dr. Smith in 1788, Dr. Vincent (who had taken his doctor’s degree in 1776), was nominated to succeed him r.s head-master an appointment which gave great satisfaction to the friends of the school, though the whole extent and force of his talents were far from being completely known. Particular attention seems to have been first paid to a sermon he preached at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, for a charity-school. This was in 1792, a period of great political turbulence and danger; and this sermon, being remarkable for the clear and powerful statement of principles favourable to social order, and for explaining the necessity of the gradations of rich and poor, was welcomed on its publication by all the zealous friends of the Britisu constitution, and to render it more serviceable, the patriotic association against republicans and levellers obtained leave from the author to reprint the principal part of it, for circulation among the people; and twenty thousand copies were thus distributed in London, and throughout the country, probably with excellent effect. | We have seen already that the first publication of Dr. Vincent, though anonymous, was a defence of sound principles, against factious measures and artifices: and, as that tract was never afterwards owned, there cannot be any possible suspicion that the author wrote it with a view to praise or emolument; or otherwise than from the honest impulse of his heart, and the clear conviction of his mind. The principles which he there discovered, remained unaltered through life; and were felt with particular force when the movements of faction called for opposition. It cannot be floubted, therefore, that he must have felt the liveliest satisfaction in having his discourse thus circulated, in a, more attractive form than a sermon might have borne, for the general instruction of the people.

But the fruits of his long studies were now about to appear in a manner more conspicuous, or at least more conducive to his credit as a scholar, A small tract, in quarto, which he published in 1793, marked him to the learned world as a diligent investigator of historical facts, and an acute, though modest, verbal critic. This publication, which tends to clear up an almost desperate passage in Livy, was, with very good judgment, written in Latin, that it might be submitted not only to domestic but to foreign critics. It is entitled, “De Legione Manlian&, Quicstio ex Livio desumta, et Rei militaris Romanae studiosis proposita.” Subjoined to it is what the author has termed * An Explanatory Translation’ in English. Polybius, in his description of the construction of the Roman legian, has given an account of it, which seems entirely irreconcileable with what Livy has said, in the eighth book of his History, of a manoeuvre of the great general Manlius in the management of his own army against the Latins. As both authors must have been perfectly well acquainted with the subject, the difficulty was to reconcile the difference between them, without supposing a mistake on either side.

In the attempt to do this, neither Lipsius, Fabricius, nor even Drakenborch, the most famous editor of Livy, appeared to have succeeded; and their conjectures for the purpose could not be admitted, without considerable violence to the text. How well Dr. Vincent succeeded appeared by the generous approbation of the illustrious Heyne on the continent, and of the no less acute Porson at home. The few points in which these critics differed from him, the author fairly states in a short preface, and endeavours to answer but leaves the ultimate decision to the reader. | Two successive years produced two publications, the result of our author’s long and careful study of the analysis of languages. The first of these, entitled “The Origination of the Greek Verb, an Hypothesis,” appeared in 1794; and was followed, in 1795, by “The Greek Verb analyzed, an Hypothesis, in which the source and structure of the Greek language in general is considered.” The latter of these was principally a sequel to the first, and an extension of its theory. Sagacity and learning are eminently displayed in both these publications; nor is it easy to say which quality is most conspicuous in them, sagacity in sug* gesting probable reasons for the various inflections of verbs in the Greek, and afterwards in other languages; or learning, in the production of proofs or illustrations in support of every fact assumed. The principal notion is, that such inflections were derived from some simple and very short original verb, signifying to do or to exist, which being afterward subjoined to radicals denoting various actions or modes of being, formed their tenses, modes, and other variations. The idea was happy, and it is astonishing how far it may be pursued; and nothing can more fully prove its foundation in probable conjecture, than that it had occurred, nearly at the same time, to a writer at Edinburgh, who published it in the “Encyclopaedia Britannica:” the time of composition so exactly coincided, that neither author could possibly have seen or heard of the theory of the other. In both it was equally original.

It is observable, that in both these tracts, Dr. Vincent terms his doctrine only “An Hypothesis.A more presumptuous author would have called it a discovery. But it would have been perfectly unlike him to assume a particle of merit more than he had an undoubted right to claim; and the manly passage, in the second of these tracts, in which he repels every charge and suspicion of plagiarism, while it strongly marks the character of the writer, proves also how long the subject had been considered and revolved in his mind. “I have been accused,” he says, “of appropriating to myself the discoveries of others, without due acknowledgment, but I must say, in my defence, that, wherever I was sensible of an obligation, I have owned it. I wished to defraud no writer of his honours; but, in treating a subject, which had long been in contemplation, I could not always say from whence the source of my opinion was derived. In a course of years, I have consulted more | authors than Fean readily enumerate; and I am still, on the other hand, accused of not consulting a sufficient number. There is no end to this; and I am equally indifferent to the charge on either side. If what I have said is true, it will support itself; if otherwise, it cannot be bolstered up by authorities.” The speculations of lord Mon bod-do, and other metaphysicians, at home and abroad, had probably led both Dr. Vincent and the northern grammarian, into this train of investigation.

Dr. Vincent had long been diligently employed upon a much more arduous task, and more connected with the studies, to which he was by preference attached. In 1797, he published the result of those labours r in his celebrated commentary on Arrian’s “Voyage of Nearchus,” which formed the basis of our author’s reputation. On a work so well known, it is not necessary that we should expatiate at any great length. Nearchus’s voyage is related by Arrian of Nicomedia (See Arrian), and is comprised in his “ludica,” or general account of India, and is professedly taken from the journal of Nearchus himself. The authenticity of the narrative had indeed been questioned by some learned men; but it is so victoriously defended by Dr. Vincent, in the concluding section of his preliminary Disquisitions, that Schmieder, the latest editor of Arrian, has translated the whole of his arguments into Latin; and has subjoined them to the objections of Dodwell, as a complete and satisfactory refutation. So strongly was Schmieder himself of the same opinion, that in his preface to the Indica he says, that “they who deny the genuineness of this account are hardly worth refuting.

Two most sagacious and diligent inquirers, M. D’Anville and Major Kennel, had already traced“Nearehus down the Indus, and up the Persian Gulf; but the whole intermediate line, extending through ten degrees of longitude direct, besides the sinuosities of 4he coast, they had, from whatever cause, abandoned altogether; though, as Dr. Vincent observes,” the merit of the commander depends upon the difficulties he surmounted, in this part of his voyage more especially; and the clearing up of the geographical obscurity was an object worthy of the talents of two such masters of the science."

If this obscurity could have been completely removed by any sagacity or patience, it would undoubtedly have yielded to the labours of Dr. Vincent. His researches extended to | every possible source of information, ancient and modern, rist excepting the oral intelligence of individuals who had recently visited those coasts, and whom he was always anxious to see and to consult. Dr. Horsley, then dean of Westminster, a man who had tew if any superiors in learning and sagacity, was often his adviser on difficult points. He admired the zeal and talents of the author, and strongly marked his regard for him and his work, by furnishing uvo very profound dissertations on astronomical subjects. To Mr. Wales he sometimes resorted for similar information; candidly confessing his own want of skill in that branch of knowledge. But his most abundant source of original information was found in the friendly kindness of Mr. Dalrymple, then hydrographer to the admiralty, who opened to him, without reserve, all the stores of his vast geographical collections, and documents of every kind. Of this indulgence he was most happy to avail himself, and often refers to charts and journals, so communicated, to which there were no other means of access.

Dr. Vincent persevered with such vigour, that the first part of “The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, containing an account of the Navigation of the ancients, from the sea of Suez, to the coast of Zanguebar: with dissertations,” was published in 1800, only three complete years after the Nearchus. It cannot be doubted that the chief researches, necessary for this continuation of the author’s great design, were already made, and much of the materials prepared; otherwise, the interval could not have been sufficient, even for a man who had no other occupation, to produce so elaborate a volume. The appendix alone contains more matter of curious information than many bulky works; particularly the copious alphabetical list of Grecian armies of export and import; and the dissertation of the Adulitic inscription: matters collateral to the general inquiry, and illustrative of the whole work.

The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea,” though usually called Adrian’s, is confessedly not the work of the author of the Voyage of Nearchus. This is avowed by Dr. Vincent, in entering upon the subject. It had probably been imputed to Arrian in later times, from his having written the Periplus of the Euxine Sea. Whether ewn i<<e name properly belonged to this writer is altogether uncertain; and the probability is rather against it: but, from the most accurate examination of the work, Dr. Vincent thinks that | the author, whatever was his true name, was a Greek merchant of Alexandria, between the times of the emperors Claudius and Adrian, in the first or second century, and probably by near a century prior to Arrian of Nicornedia. The author was certainly a man who had sailed ora board of a Greek fleet from Egypt to the Gulph of Cambay, if not beyond it. Those who had assigned a different age or character to his author, Dr. Vincent has answered in a manner the most satisfactory.

The “Second Part of the Periplus,” which completes the whole design, appeared in 1805, making a larger volume than the first, furnished with further dissertations, and an additional appendix of commercial articles, thus completing the knowledge of oriental commerce and oriental geography, as they existed among the ancients. Both parts of the Periplus were dedicated to the king. Throughout this work Dr. Vincent followed the same plan which he had formed for his Nearchus: not translating his author, but supplying a continual commentary upon his text, the sections of which are formed by the stations of the navigator, or the geographical divisions of the coast. This plan was here even more necessary than it had been in the former work, since in this the account of each place consists frequently of little more than a mere invoice of the usual exports and imports, very curious when explained, but very unsatisfactory, because unintelligible to a common reader in the original form. He has said, therefore, very properly, in his first disquisition, “of this work no adequate idea could be formed by a translation; but a comparison of its contents with the knowledge of India, which we have obtained, since Gama burst the barrier of discovery, cannot but be acceptable to those who value geography, as a science, or delight in it, as a picture of the world.

All these volumes are furnished with maps, and other illustrations, from original materials, collected from various sources, by the author’s own researches, or with the aid of friendly communication. One or two charts, in defect of direct authorities, were made out by himself, on the basis of his own reasonings and proofs. For these he has condescended to apologize, as not deeming himself regularly a practical geographer; which others will probably consider as the more meritorious exertion. But his care was, in all cases, not to assume too much to himself, and to err, | if at all, on the opposite side. One important map, that by De la Rochette, he greatly wished to have added, but as the proprietors would neither consent to have it copied, nor accommodate him with a sufficient number for an edition, on such terms as he could prudently accept, he unwillingly gave up the thought. Into a very few copies of Nearchus he inserted it, for the benefit of particular friends, but the public was deprived of the advantage.

Soon after the appearance of the first part of the “Periplus,” Dr. Vincent, being then past sixty, began to feel the effects of constant exertion and confinement in the deteriorated state of his health. He had been, at that time, eleven years head master of Westminster, and thirty-nine years in his various situations in the school, and very naturally began to entertain a wish for retirement; and having been presented in 1801 to a stall in the church of Westminster, he immediately determined to carry hi* wish into effect at a very early period. But he was first to render an essential service, not only to Westminster, but to all dur public schools. These schools, whose plans and regulations have been matured by the practice of ages, had lately been the subject of attack by two very eminent divines, who complained that religion was neglected in the systems and conduct of our publicschools. Dr. Vincent was naturally roused at this alarming accusation unjust as he felt it to be, and unfounded as he immediately undertook to prove it, with respect, at least, to the great school over which he so honourably presided; and for which alone he thought himself responsible. He published almost immediately “A Defence of Public Education,” addressed to a learned prelate, whose attack upon it had ‘been most conspicuous. Confining himself to such facts as he could assert upon his own knowledge, he took little notice of other schools than his own; but his defence was conducted with such manly plainness, and at the same time with such becoming zeal for religion as well as for education, that -its effect was irresistible. It passed through three editionsj in a period surprisingly short, and taught him, for tb first time, what it is to be a popular writer. It was, in fact, the only publication from which he ever derived pecuniary profit; and that profit, as the first fruits of his authorship, he good-huroouredly presented to Mrs. Vincent. Compliments upon his defence were now poured in from various quarters j and he had the gratificatioa afterwards of | knowing that the king, whose judgment rarely erred in matters to which he seriously applied it, was particularly pleased to have his public schools defended, and still more with the spirit and effect of the defence.

But the author was still very far from anticipating the further advantage that he was to derive from it. Among the persons most highly gratified by this tract, was lord Sidmouth, then Mr. Addington, the friend and ornament of another illustrious school, Winchester. It powerfully recalled his attention to the various merits and long public services of the author; and with that promptness and liberality of decision, of which his short administration furnished more instances than many of the longest, he recommended Dr. Vincent to his majesty, as successor to his friend bishop Horsley, in the deanery of Westminster. The king did not fail to express his satisfaction in giving the appointment; and, at a subsequent opportunity, was pleased even to express regret, that the see of Rochester had not. as in many former instances, gone with the deanery. This appointment vacated of course the inferior situations of prebendary and master of the school, the latter of which he left, accompanied by the most gratifying marks of affection from those who had been under his care.

The first use made by the dean of his higher advancement was to obtain the presentation of a living, for a curate who had been his assistant at Allhallows twenty-four years. His own eldest son was then in orders, and totally unbeneficed; but he paid, what he considered as a debt of gratitude, before he would consent to think of his own more immediate concerns. For this forbearance he was soon rewarded; and in the second year after his promotion, the rectory of St. John’s, Westminster, came to his choice, and when he accepted it for himself, he had the satisfaction of obtaining the living of Allhallows for his son. He might have continued to hold it, but he preferred resigning it in that manner. He held St. John’s only about two years, when he exchanged it for the rectory of Islip, in Oxfordshire, which is also in the patronage of the church of Westminster. He was presented to it by the chapter in 1805.

The acquisition of this living formed another fortunate epoch in his life. He had always been accustomed to pass his summer holidays in the country; a change quite necessary for his health, while confined to the school; and desirable, when he’had no longer that tie. But hisonly | resource on these occasions had hitherto been in temporary lodgings. He had now a country residence of his own, to which he could at any time retire, and which had the additional recommendation of being in the vicinity of Oxford. At Westminster, the noble fabric of his church was a principal object of his care, and he happily succeeded in effecting great repairs, removing considerable deformities, and promoting the most important improvements. The most remarkable instances were the very effectual and substantial repair, which he caused to be made after the alarming fire in 1803; and that beautiful work, now so far advanced, the restoration of Henry VII. ’s chapel, of which he was the first adviser and most zealous promoter.

But all these various objects could not estrange him from his great pursuit, the investigation of ancient commerce and navigation. He continued assiduous in extending his inquiries; and was most scrupulous in acknowledging and correcting every error which his unremitting diligence could detect. Attentive more especially to the remarks of those wko had visited the places described, he anxiously sought their conversation, as well as their writings, and was highly gratified to learn, that several very intelligent men had carefully compared his books with the situations to vrhich they alluded, and expressed in general extreme surprise, that a recluse scholar, quietly seated in his study, could possibly have arrived at suchaccuracy of conjecture or discovery. When they thought him mistaken, he readily resumed the inquiry, and, weighing all the reasons, quitted it not till he had brought it to a satisfactory result. Truth was his sole object, and whether it was brought to light by himself or others, he was equally ready to embrace it-; abandoning the most favoured opinion, without hesitation, if not without regret, when he discovered its foundations to be unsound. As his materials were thus increased, and his work improved, he prepared for a second edition -, which, with more view to the propriety of the measure, than any hope of advantage from it, was published in 1807.

In the new edition, the three former publications were formed into two handsome and uniform volume*; with the geui-nil title of “The Commerce and Navigation of the Aucieuts in the Indian Ocean, by William Vincent, D. D. dean of Westminster.” Each volume had also a second till the first for the voyage of Nearchus, the second for the Peripius. Gratitude now demanded the introduction | of lord Sidmouth’s name, to whose unsolicited patronage the author owed so much. To him, therefore, the whole work was now dedicated, in. a sincere and manly strain of acknowledgment; retaining, however, the two dedications to the king, which had introduced the two parts of the Periplus. It was afterwards translated into German and French, the latter by M. Billecoq, under the express authority of Buonaparte. At that period of inveterate enmity on his part, it would not have been safe, perhaps, to translate an English work, on any subject, without that sanction. Approbation so undeniably impartial gave the author a pleasure, which he avowed as frankly as he did his other sentiments; and that satisfaction was complete, when, in 1814, a degree from Goitingen, conferred upon him by diploma, was transmitted to him, with the most honourable testimony borne to the merit and value of his works. Though far from anxious for fame, he was much above affecting an insensibility to it, which no man ever felt who was capable of deserving it.

While the second edition of his great work was passing through the press, he suffered a domestic loss, which they only who are equally attached to their home can justly estimate. Mrs. Vincent died early in 1807: and his sense of her merits has been strongly expressed in a Latin inscription, which he wrote to be placed over her grave at Westminster. But the heaviest evils that would otherwise have followed upon this destitution were happily prevented by the interposition of his nearest relatives. His eldest son, with his truly amiable wife, and a growing family, immediately relinquished house-keeping, alid became his constant inmates, both in town and country; omitting no possible attention that duty and affection could suggest, to make his home again delightful to him. They succeeded, as they deserved, to the utmost of their wishes. The dean recovered his spirits, resumed his usual labours and his usual relaxations, and persevered in both, to almost the latest hour of his life.

But though he continued his remarks and additions to the Ancient Commerce, as his further reading enabled him, he had in truth dismissed all thoughts of further publication on that subject. But the opinion of his friend, Mr. archdeacon Nares, after some time prevailed upon him to add a supplemental volume, for the sake of adding to his work the Greek text of Arrian’s Indica, (including the | Journal of Nearchus) with that of the Pseudo-Arrian, which was before too scarce for scholars in general to obtain. This volume concluded the dean’s separate publications. He printed, indeed, afterwards, a letter in French to a M. Barbié (as he chose to write himself, but more probably Barbier) du Bocage, who had very unhandsomely attacked his voyage of Nearchus; but this he never published. It contained a dignified remonstrance, without asperity, with a man whom the writer treats with a respect, little merited by the mode of the attack.

The principal works of Dean Vincent have now been distinctly enumerated; as forming an important part of his history, as a literary man; but he wrote occasionally in periodical works, in which he had no other interest, but such as arose from the general wish to promote the progress of sound literature, both sacred and profane; or to benefit the editors of works whose design was of that nature. His communications to the “Classical Journal” were not many, but va|uable, and regularly signed with his name. They were these 1. On Ancient Commerce No. v. p. 60. 2. On China, as known to Classic Authors No. xiii. p. 32. 3. On Theophilus, an African Bishop No. xiv. p. 382. 4. On the Geography of Susiana; Suppl. to No. xviii. p. 449. 5. Correction of an Error in the Periplus; No. xx. p. 322. The contributions of Dr. Vincent to the “British Critic” commenced at a very early period of that publication, and were never entirely discontinued till the close of the first series. The friendship with which he honoured the original editor of that work, together with his entire approbation of the design and principles, with which it was undertaken and conducted, made him at all times ready to give his aid to it, when his other occupations and studies would permit. As he was always completely a volunteer, so the choice of his subjects, as well as of his opportunities, was left entirely to himself. These communications were not marked with his name, because it was not suitable to the practice of the Review, but he had no particular wish to be concealed, and his biographer has accordingly given a list of his articles, with useful remarks, for which, on account of its length, we must refer to our authority.

He continued to assist in this Review until 1812 or 1813, when the close of his career was more nearly approaching than his friends were willing. to believe, or any | visible decay appeared to indicate. It was not, however* till the Spring of 1815, that the powers of the stomach began to fail, so much as to create alarm. But the apprehensions then excited were soon too fully justified. Imperfect efforts towards recovery were constantly followed by relapses, each more formidable than the former. He remained at Islip, to his usual period of removal in the autumn, when he returned to Westminster, infirm, but not despaired of by the faculty; sound in mind, which he continued to the last, and not materially impaired in his external organs. But he felt within, that his complaints were beyond the reach of medicine, and calmly rejected all attempts to persuade him to rely upon it. At length, with the least possible disturbance from bodily suffering, he placidly obeyed the inevitable call; and died on the 21st of December, 1815, having passed his seventy-sixth year, by rather more than a month.

Of the character and talents of Dr. Vincent,” says his biographer, “a tolerably correct notion may be collected from the foregoing narrative *. That he was benevolent, charitable, generous, and placable, should undoubtedly be added to that view. That which, perhaps, would be least conceived, by those who had no personal knowledge of him, is the ease with which he could, on fit occasions, and without the smallest impropriety, sink the man of learning and research, in the cheerful friend and unassuming companion.

In tracing the steps of dean Vincent’s progress through life, no notice has been taken of those temporary offices, which he held in consequence of his other situations such as being president of Sion-college in 1793, and prolocutor to the Lower house of Convocation in Nov. 1802, and perhaps some others. When such services were required,

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At the request of a learned correspondent, we add the following: “Dr. Vincent was in person above the common size, and had a very dignified and majestic aspect; advantages of no mean importance to the master of a public school. His countenance was a faithful index of his benevolent mind. He was kind to all, but he manifested a particular regard to the members of his own profession, whose useful labours he considered as very inadequately rewarded. He was therefore a liberal and zealous patron of the `Society of Schoolmasters,' instituted for the benefit of decayed members and their families: and although it was established after he had quitted the profession, and begun only by a few masters of private academies, he visited their early meetings unsolicited, and continued to the last year of his life, notwithstanding his age and severe infirmities, to attend their anniversaries, and to promote the success of the institution by his example, his eloquence, and his liberal subscription.

| there can be no doubt that he undertook them readily, and was studious to perform the part allotted to him with punctuality and propriety. 1
1

Communicated by the rev. archdeacon Na/es, to the Classical Journal, f^o*­XXVI and XXVII.