Bage, Robert

, an English writer of considerable talents, was born Feb. 29, 1728, at Darley, a hamlet in the parish of St. Alkmond’s, Derby, where his father was employed on a paper-mill. When put to school, this son made an uncommon progress in such learning as was within his reach, and after remaining there the usual time, he was trained to his father’s business. When he advanced in life, married, and became settled in the business of papermaking, he continued ‘to cultivate his mind, by adding a knowledge of the French and Italian languages, and even the more abstruse branches of mathematics. His conversation and correspondence sparkled with all the wit and information which are expected in men of a literary turn, but he was considerably advanced in life before he tried his powers in any regular composition. A loss sustained in business is said to have first induced him to take up the pen, not as a source of emolument, but to divert his mind from repining reflections. With this view he wrote, and in 1781, published “Mount Heneth,” a novel which became justly popular, from the vivicity of its style and dialogue, and the many well-drawn characters, and apposite reflections on questions of morality and humanity. This was followed by other productions of the same kind, < Barham Downs,“the Fair Syrian,” and “James Wallace,” which were all favourably received by the public, as far superior to the common run of novels. In private life, Mr. Hutton of Birmingham, has celebrated him as a man of most amiable and benevolent character; but we are sorry that he adds, that “he laid no stress upon revelation/’ and was” barely a Christian." There are, indeed, passages in his works which justify this character, and leave us much to regret in the history of a man of stfich excellent talents and personal worth in other respects. Mr. Bage died Sept. 1, 1801, in the 74th year of his age, at Tamworth. 2


Gent. Mag. 1801. —Hutton’s Hist, of Derby.