LONG (Roger)

, D. D. master of Pembroke hall in Cambridge, Lowndes's professor of astronomy in that university, &c, was author of a well-known and much approved treatise of astronomy, and the inventor of a remarkably curious astronomical machine. This was a hollow sphere, of 18 feet diameter, in which more than 30 persons might sit conveniently. Within side the surface, which represented the heavens, was painted the stars and constellations, with the zodiac, meridians, and axis parallel to the axis of the world, upon which it was easily turned round by a winch. He died, December 16, 1770, at 91 years of age.

A few years before his death, Mr. Jones gave some anecdotes of Dr. Long, as follows: “He is now in the 88th year of his age, and for his years vegete and active. He was lately put in nomination for the office of vice-chancellor: he executed that trust once before, I think in the year 1737. He is a very ingenious person, and sometimes very facetious. At the public Commencement, in the year 1713, Dr. Greene (master of Bennet college, and asterwards bishop of Ely) being then vice-chancellor, Mr. Long was pitched upon for the tripos performance; it was witty and humorous, and has passed through divers editions. Some that remembered the delivery of it, told me, that in addressing the vice-chancellor (whom the university wags usually styled Miss Greene), the tripos-orator, being a native of Norfolk, and assuming the Norfolk dialect, instead of saying, Domine Vice-Cancellarie, archly pronounced the words thus, Domina Vice-Cancellaria; which occasioned a general smile in that great auditory. His friend the late Mr. Bonfoy of Ripton told me this little incident: ‘That he and Dr. Long walking together in Cambridge in a dusky evening, and coming to a short post fixed in the pavement, which Mr. Bonfoy in the midst of chat and inattention, took to be a boy standing in his way, he said in a hurry, ‘Get out of my way, boy!’ ‘That boy, Sir, said the Doctor very calmly and slily, is a post-boy, who turns out of his way for nobody.’ I could recollect several other ingenious repartees if there were occafion. One thing is remarkable, he never was a hale and hearty man, always of a tender and delicate constitution, yet took great care of it: his common drink water; he always dines with the Fellows in the Hall Of late years he has left off eating slesh-meats; in the room thereof, puddings; vegetables, &c; sometimes a glass or two of wine.”

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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* LONG (Roger)