Carlyle, Rev. Joseph Dacre

, B. D. vicar of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, chancellor of Carlisle, professor of Arabic in the university of Cambridge, chaplain to the bishop of Durham, and F. R. S. E. was born at Carlisle in 1759, where his father was a physician, and after receiving | his early education at the grammar-school of his native city, was in 1775 entered of Christ’s-col’ege, Cambridge, whence after two years he removed to Queen’s, took his bachelor’s degree in 1779, and was elected a fellow. Besides an industrious and successful application to the usual branches of study, he entefed upon that of the Arabic language with unusual avidity, availing himself of a very fine collection of Arabic writings in the university library, and assisted by David Zamio, who, Mr. Carlyle informs us, was born at Bagdad, and resided with him some time at Cambridge. Mr. Carlyle, after taking his master’s degree in 1783, left college, married, and obtained some church preferment in his native city. In 1793 he took his degree of B. D. and succeeded Dr. Paley (by resignation) in the chancellorship of Carlisle. In 1794 he was elected Arabic professor in the university of Cambridge.

In 1799, he was appointed chaplain of lord Elgin’s embassy to Constantinople, an office which afforded him an opportunity of inspecting the libraries of that city, and afterwards of travelling through Asia Minor, and through countries generally unknown to Europeans; and before his return he made a tour through the principal parts of Italy, and through Tyrol and part of Germany, and landed in England in Sept. 1801. After his return he was presented by the bishop of Carlisle to the living of Newcastleupon-Tyne, which he did not long enjoy. His health had probably been injured by the fatigues of his travels, and he laboured for a considerable time under a painful and distressing malady, which proved fatal April 12, 1804. He was known to the learned world by, 1. “Maured Allatafet Jemaleddini Filii Togri-^ardii, seu rerum Ægyptiacarum Annales, ab anno Christi 971 usque ad annum 1453. E codice ms Bibliothecae Acad. Cantab.” Arab, et Lat. 4to, 1792, a work which unquestionably evinced a laudable desire in Mr. Carlyle to revive the study of Arabic literature, but in itself contains little information, and throws very little light on a period darkened by ignorance and superstition. 2. “Specimens of Arabic poetry, from the earliest time to the extinction of the Khalifs; with some account of the authors,” 4to. In this too the commendable industry of the author is perhaps more apparent than his success, in persuading his readers to an equal admiration of Arabic poetry. The work, however, is amusing, the accounts of the authors constitute a very useful part, and | the translator’s skill in selection has been allowed by those who are acquainted with the original. Since his death has been published, “Poems, suggested chiefly by scenes in Asia-Minor, Syria, and Greece; with prefaces extracted from the author’s journal, embellished with two views of the source of the Scamander, and the aqueduct over the Simois,1805, 4to. This elegant volume will form a lasting monument of the author’s learning and taste. The poems with which the collection opens are particularly attractive. They relate to striking scenes in the East, and are prefaced by extracts from his journal, which, it has been justly remarked, if further improved by the author’s hand, might have formed such a volume of travels as is rarely seen. The premature death of the author is indeed to be regretted on many accounts. He was, among other important undertakings, engaged in a correct edition of the Arabic Bible, at the request of a society of eminent persons, among whom the present bishop of Durham is one of the most active; and he had likewise projected a complete edition of the New Testament in Greek, which was to contain the various readings collected by Mill, Bengelius, Wetstein, Griesbach, &c. and also those of more than thirty Greek manuscripts, which he had collected during his travels, together with a new and accurate collation of the Syriac and other ancient versions. The loss of such a man at any age will be felt; but in the prime of life is deeply to be regretted. 1

1 Gent, Mag. 1804, Month, Key, and British Critic, &c.