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In 1783 Mr. Ayscough published a small political pamphlet, entitled “Remarks on the Letters of an American Farmer or, a detection of the errors of Mr. J. Hector

In 1783 Mr. Ayscough published a small political pamphlet, entitled “Remarks on the Letters of an American Farmer or, a detection of the errors of Mr. J. Hector St. John pointing out the pernicious tendency of those letters to Great Britain.” But among his more useful labours must be particularly distinguished his “Catalogue of the Manuscripts preserved in the British Museum, hitherto unclescribed, consisting of five thousand volumes, including the collections of sir Hans Sloane, bart. and the Rev. Thoraas Birch, D. D. and about five hundred volumes bequeathed, presented, or purchased at various times” 2 vqls 1782, 4to. This elaborate catalogue is upon a new plan, for the excellence of which an appeal may safely be made to every visitor of the Museum since the date of its publication. Mr. Ayscough assisted afterwards in the catalogue of printed books, 2 vols. folio, 1787, of which about twothirds were compiled by Dr. Maty and Mr. Harper, and the remainder by Mr. Ayscough. He was also, at the time of his death, employed in preparing* a new catalogue of the printed books, and had completed a catalogue of the ancient charters in the Museum, amounting to about sixteen thousand. As an index-maker his talents are well known by the indexes he made for the Monthly Review, the Gentleman’s Magazine, the British Critic, &c. and especially by a verbal index to Shakspeare, a work of prodigious labour. It remains to be* added, that his knowledge of topographical antiquities was very considerable, and that perhaps no man, in so short a space of time, emerging too from personal difficulties, and contending with many disadvantages, ever acquired so much general knowledge, or knew how to apply it to more useful purposes. The leading facts in this sketch are taken from the Gentleman’s Magazine for December 1804. To that miscellany, we believe, he was a very frequent contributor, and what he wrote was in a style which would not have discredited talents of which the world has a higher opinion.

an American philanthropist, in early life was put apprentice to

, an American philanthropist, in early life was put apprentice to a merchant; but finding commerce opened temptations to a worldly spirit, he left his master, and bound himself apprentice to a cooper. Finding this business too laborious for his constitution, he declined it, and devoted himself to school-keeping; in which useful employment he continued during the greatest part of his life. He was author of “A Caution to Great Britain and her Colonies, in a short representation of the calamitous state of the enslaved negroes in the British dominions,1767, 8vo; “Some historical account of Guinea, with an enquiry into the rise and progress of the Slave Trade, its nature, and lamentable effects,1772, 8vo, and some other tracts on the same subject. He possessed uncommon activity and industry in every thing he undertook. He declared he did every thing as if the words of his Saviour were perpetually sounding in his ears, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” He used to say, “the highest act of charity in the world was to bear with the unreasonableness of mankind.” He generally wore plush clothes; and gave as a reason for it, that after he had worn them for two or three years, they made comfortable and decent garments for the poor. He once informed a young friend, that his memory began to fail him “but this,” said he, “gives me one great advantage over you; for you can find entertainment in reading a good book only once but I enjoy that pleasure as often as I read it; for it is always new to me.” Few men since the days of the apostles ever lived a more disinterested life; and yet upon his death-bed he said, he wished to live a little longer, that “he might bring down self.” The last time he ever walked across his room, was to take from his desk six dollars, which he gave to a poor widow whom he had long assisted to maintain. He died at Philadelphia in 1784. His funeral was attended by persons of all religious denominations, and by many hundred negroes. An officer, who had served in the American army during the late war, in returning from the funeral, pronounced an eulogium upon him. It consisted only of the following words: “I would rather,” said he, “be Anthony Benezet in that coffin, than George Washington with all his fame.

the republic of letters. When the celebrated Dr. Berkeley was engaged in the scheme of establishing an American university in the Summer Islands, Mr. Blackwell was

, an ingenious and very learned writer of the last century, was born August 4, 1701, in the city of Aberdeen. His father, the rev. Mr. Thomas Blackwell, was minister of Paisley in Renfrewshire, from whence he was removed in 1700 to be one of the ministers of Aberdeen. He was afterwards elected professor of divinity in the Marischal college of that city, and in 1717 was presented by his majesty to be principal of the college, in both which offices he continued until his death in 1728. His mother’s name was Johnston, of a good family near Glasgow, and sister to Dr. Johnston, who was many years professor of medicine in the university of Glasgow. Our author received his grammatical education at the grammarschool of Aberdeen, studied Greek and philosophy in the Marischal college there, and took the degree of master of arts in 1718; which, as he was at that time only seventeen years of age, must be regarded as a considerable testimony of his early proficiency in literature. A farther proof of it was his being presented, on the 28th of November 1723, by his majesty king George the First, to the professorship of Greek, in the college in which he had been educated. He was admitted into this office on the 13th of December in the same year; and after that continued to teach the Greek language with great applause. His knowledge of that language was accurate and extensive, and his manner of communicating it perspicuous and engaging. He had a dignity of address which commanded the attention of the students, a steadiness in exacting the prescribed exercises which enforced application, and an enthusiasm for the beauties of the ancients, and utility of classical learning, which excited an ardour of study, and contributed much to diffuse a spirit for Grecian erudition far superior to what had taken place before he was called to the professorship. Together with his lessons in the Greek tongue, he gave, likewise, lessons on some of the Latin classics, chiefly with a view to infuse a relish for their beauties. To his zeal and diligence in discharging the duties of his station, it is probable that the world was, in part, indebted for such men as Campbell, Gerard, Reid, Beattie, Duncan, and the Fordyces, who have appeared with so much eminence in the republic of letters. When the celebrated Dr. Berkeley was engaged in the scheme of establishing an American university in the Summer Islands, Mr. Blackwell was in treaty with him for going out as one of his young professors; but the negociation did not take effect. In 1735 was published at London, in octavo, without the name of the bookseller, and without his own name, our author’s “Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer” a work, the great ingenuity and learning of which will be acknowledged by all who have perused it. It was embellished with plates, designed by Gravelot, and executed by different engravers. This we apprehend to be the most esteemed, and it is, in our opinion, the most valuable, of Mr. Blackwell’s performances. The second edition appeared in 1736; and, not long after, he published “Proofs of the Enquiry into Homer’s Life and Writings, translated into English being a key to the Enquiry with a curious frontispiece.” This was a translation of the numerous Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian and French notes which had been subjoined to the original work. In 1748, came out, in London, “Letters concerning Mythology,” in a large octavo, but without the bookseller (Andrew Millar’s) name. On the 7th of October, in the same year, our author was appointed by his late majesty, George II. to be principal of the Marischal college in Aberdeen, and was admitted to the office on the 9th of November following. He continued, also, professor of Greek till his death. He is the only layman ever appointed principal of that college, since the patronage came to the crown, by the forfeiture of the Marischal family in 1716 all the other principals having been ministers of the established church of Scotland. When Robert and Andrew Foulis, printers at Glasgow, intended to publish an edition of Plato, Mr. Blackwell proposed to furnish them with several critical notes for it, together with an account of Plato’s Life and Philosophy but the printers not acceding to the terms which he demanded for this assistance, he promised, by a Latin advertisement in 1751, himself to give an edition of Plato. His design, however, was not carried into execution nor did it appear, from any thing found among his papers after his death, that he had made any considerable progress in the undertaking. On the 3d of March, 1752, he took the degree of doctor of Laws. In the following year, appeared the first volume of his “Memoirs of the Court of Augustus,” in 4to. The second volume came out in 1755 and the third, which was posthumous, and left incomplete by the author, was prepared for the press by John Mills, esq. and published in 1764. At the same time, was published the third edition of the two former volumes. This is a proof of the good reception the work met with from the public, though it must be acknowledged that the parade with which it was written, and the peculiarity of the language, exposed it to some severity of censure, particularly to a most acute, and in some respects humourous, criticism by Dr. Johnson, written for the Literary Magazine, and now inserted in Johnson’s works. It cannot be denied that there is a considerable degree of affectation in Dr. Blackwell’s style and manner of composition and, unhappily, this affectation increased in him as he advanced in years. His “Enquiry into the Life of Homer” was not free from it it was still more discernible in his “Letters concerning Mythology” and was most of all apparent in his “Memoirs of the Court of Augustus.” We perceive in his various productions a mixture of pedantry but it is not the sober dull pedantry of the merely recluse scholar. In Dr. Blackwell it assumes a higher form. Together with the display of his erudition, he is ambitious of talking like a man who is not a little acquainted with the world. He is often speaking of life and action, of men and manners; and aims at writing with the freedom and politeness of one who has been much conversant with the public. But; in this he is unsuccessful: for though he was not destitute of genius or fancy, and had a high relish for the beauties of the ancient authors, he never attained that simplicity of taste, which leads to true ease and elegance in composition. It is probable, also, that, like many others at that time, he might be seduced by an injudicious imitation of lord Shaftesbury; a writer, whose faults have been found more easily attainable than his excellences.

Reduced to half-pay at the peace of 1782, he resided at Rochester in Kent (having previously married an American lady, who survives him, but without issue); and on

, judge advocate and historian of the new settlement in South Wales, the son of gen. A. T. Collins, and of Harriet Frazer, of Pack, in the king’s county, Ireland, was born March 3, 1756, and received a liberal education at the grammar-school of Exeter, where his father then resided. In 1770 he was appointed lieutenant in the marines; and, in 1772, was with the late admiral M'Bride, in the Southampton frigate, when the unfortunate Matilda, queen of Denmark, was rescued from the dangers that awaited her by the energy of the British government, and conveyed to a place of safety in the king her brother’s Hanoverian dominions. On that occasion he commanded the guard that received her majesty, and had the honour of kissing her hand. In 1775, he was at the battle of Bunker’s-hill; in which the first battalion of marines, to which he belonged, so signally distinguished itself, having its commanding officer, the gallant major Pitcairne, and a great many officers and men, killed in storming the redoubt, besides a very large proportion of wounded. In 1777, he was adjutant of the Chatham division; and, in 1782, captain of marines on-board the Courageux, of 74 guns, commanded by the late lord Mulgrave, and participated in the partial action that took place with the enemy’s fleet, when lord Howe relieved Gibraltar. Reduced to half-pay at the peace of 1782, he resided at Rochester in Kent (having previously married an American lady, who survives him, but without issue); and on its being determined to found a colony, by sending convicts to Botany Bay, he was appointed judge advocate to the intended settlement, and in that capacity sailed with governor Philip in May 1787 (who also appointed him his secretary), which situation he filled with the greatest credit to himself and advantage to the colony, until his return to England in 1797. The History of the Settlement, which he soon after published, followed by a second volume, is a work abounding with information, highly interesting, and written with the utmost simplicity. The appointment of judge advocate, however, proved eventually injurious to his real interests. While absent, he had been passed over when it came to his turn to be put on full pay; nor was he permitted to return to England to reclaim his rank in the corps; nor could he ever obtain any effectual redress; but was afterwards compelled to come in as junior captain of the corps, though with his proper rank in the army, and died a captain instead of a colonel-commandant, his rank in the army being merely brevet. He had then the mortification of finding that, after ten years’ distinguished service in the infancy of a colony, and the sacrifice of every real comfort, his only reward had been the loss of many years’ rank, a vital injury to an officer. A remark which his wounded feelings wrung from him at the close of the second volume of his History of the Settlement, appears to have awakened the sympathy of those in power; and he was, almost immediately after its publication, offered the government of the projected settlement on Van Diemen’s land, which he accepted, and sailed once more for that quarter of the globe, where he founded his new colony; struggled with great difficulties, which he overcame; and, after remaining there eight years, was enjoying the flourishing state his exertions had produced, when he died suddenly, after a few days’ confinement from a slight cold, on, the 24rth of March, 1810.

an American, was the son of an independent minister in Nova Scotia.

, an American, was the son of an independent minister in Nova Scotia. Being a man of some genius, and impatient of the strict education he received in that country, he resolved upon coming to England to try if he could not make his fortune by his wits. When he first arrived here, his necessities were extremely urgent; and he was obliged to become gentleman usher to an old independent lady; but he soon grew as weary of that office as he was of the discipline of Nova Scotia. He set himself therefore to writing; and presently made himself so known to the court and the town, that he was nominated by Charles II. to write “The Masque of Calisto.” This nomination was procured him by the earl of Rochester, who designed by that preference to mortify Dryden. Upon the breaking out of the two parties, after the pretended discovery of the popish plot, the favour Crowne was in at court induced him to embrace the tory party; about which time he wrote a comedy called the “City Politics,” in order to expose the whigs. The lord chamberlain, Bennet earl of Arlington, though secretly a papist, was unaccountably a friend to the whigs, from his hatred to the treasurer lord Darnley. Upon various pretences the play was withheld from the stage; at last Crowne had recourse to the king himself, and by his majesty’s absolute command the play was acted. Though Crowne ever retained a most sincere affection to his royal master, he was honest enough to despise the servilities of a court. He solicited the payment of money promised him, which as soon as he obtained he became remiss in his attendance at St. James’s. The duchess of Portsmouth observed this conduct, and acquainted the king with it. The gay monarch only laughed at the accusation, and perhaps in his mind justified Crowne’s sincerity.

an American clergyman of dissenting principles, and known by three

, an American clergyman of dissenting principles, and known by three volumes of sermons, in 8vo, edited by Dr. Gibbons, of London, was born November 3, 1721, in the county of Newcastle in Delaware, in America, and was early designed by his parents for the ministry, in which he became very popular. In 1759 he succeeded Mr. Jonathan Edwards as president of his college of New Jersey, which he held to his death, Feb. 4, 1761. He was succeeded in his post by the rev. Dr. S. Finley, who died on the 17th of July 1766, being the fourth president that filled that chair in the short space of less than nine years. In the sermons above mentioned Mr. Davies deserves little praise for style, and his editor not much for judgment of selection.

te tranquillity and cheerfulness over her manners.” This was an illicit connection with a Mr. Imlay, an American, and we are gravely told, that “she was now arrived

In the French revolution which took place in the following year, and which let loose all kinds of principles and opinions except what had stood the test of experience, Miss Woollstonecraft found much that was congenial with her own ways of thinking, and much which it will appear soon she determined to introduce in her conduct. She was therefore among the first who attempted to answer Mr. Burke’s celebrated “Reflections on the French Revolution,” and displayed a share of ability which made her reputation more general than it had yet been. This was followed by her “Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” in which she unfolded many a wild theory on the duties and character of her sex. How well she was qualified to guide them appeared now in the practical use of her own precepts, of which the first specimen was the formation of a violent attachment for a very eminent artist, which is thus embellished by her biographer “She saw Mr. Fuseli frequently; he amused, delighted, and instructed her. As a painter, it was impossible she should not wish to see his works, and consequently to frequent his house. She visited him; her visits were returned. Notwithstanding the inequality of their years, Mary was not of a temper to live upon terms of so much intimacy with a man of merit and genius, without loving him. The delight she enjoyed in his society, she transferred by association to his person. What she experienced in this respect, was no doubt heightened, by the state of celibacy and restraint in which she had hitherto lived, and to which the rules of polished society condemn an unmarried woman. She conceived a personal and ardent affection for him. Mr. Fuseli was a married man, and his wife the acquaintance of Mary. She readily perceived the restrictions which this circumstance seemed to impose upon her, but she made light of any difficulty that might arise out of them.” Notwithstanding this contempt for difficulties, Mr. Fuseli was not to be won, and in order to get rid of a passion which he would not indulge, she went ever to France in 1792. Here within a few months she found a cure in that “species of connection,” says her biographer, “for which her heart secretly panted, and which had the effect of diffusing an immediate tranquillity and cheerfulness over her manners.” This was an illicit connection with a Mr. Imlay, an American, and we are gravely told, that “she was now arrived at the situation, which, for two or three preceding years, her reason had pointed out to her as affording the most substantial prospect of happiness.” Her reason, however, unfortunately pointed wrong in this instance, as she was afterwards most basely and cruelly abandoned by the object of her affections, whose conduct cannot be mentioned in terms of indignation too strong. She now made two attempts at suicide, on which we shall only remark that they were totally inconsistent with the character given of her by her biographer, as possessing “a firmness of mind, an unconquerable greatness of soul, by which, after a short internal struggle-, she was accustomed to rise above difficulties and suffering.” Having overcome two ardent passions, she formed a third, of which her biographer, Mr. William Godwin, was the object. A period only of six months intervened in this case; but, says Mr. Godwin, with a curious felicity of calculation, although “it was only six months since she had resolutely banished every thought of Mr. Imlay (the former lover), it was at least eighteen that he ought to have been banished, and would have been banished, had it not been for her scrupulous pertinacity in determining to leave no measure untried to regain him.” This connection, likewise, was begun without the nuptial ceremonies; but, after some months, the marriage took place; the principal reason was that she was pregnant, and “unwilling to incur that seclusion from the society of many valuable and excellent individuals, which custom awards in cases of this sort.” But it did not produce the desired effect. Some who visited her, or were visited by her, and who regarded her as the injured object of Mr. Imlay' s indifference, were not pleased to bestow their countenance on one who was so eager to run into the arms of another man, and alike informally. Mr. Godwin takes this opportunity of censuring the prudery of these nice people in terms of severity with what justice our readers may determine. The happiness of this connection, however, was transient. In August 1797, she was delivered of a daughter, and died Sept. 10, of the same year. From the account given of her, by her biographer, in which we must condemn the laboured vindication of principles inconsistent with the delicacy of the female sex, and the welfare of society, Mrs. Godwin appears to have been a woman of strong intellect, which might have elevated her to the highest rank of English female writers, had not her genius run wild for want of cultivation. Her passions were consequently ungovernable, and she accustomed herself to yield to them without scruple, treating female honour and delicacy as vulgar prejudices. She was therefore a voluptuary and sensualist, without that refinement for which she seemed to contend on other subjects. Her history indeed forms entirely a warning, and in no part an example. Singular she was, it must be allowed, for it is not easily to be conceived that such another heroine will ever appear, unless in a novel, where a latitude is given to that extravagance of character which she attempted to bring into real life.

hey always remained ignorant of the real force under his command: Villeneuve had also been misled by an American, who declared that Nelson could not possibly be with

Lord Nelson did not remain directly off Cadiz with his fleet, or even within sight of the port. His object was to induce the enemy to come out; with this view he stationed his fleet in the following manner. TheEuryalus frigate was within half a mile of the mouth of the harbour to watch the enemy’s movements, and to give the earliest intelligence. At a still greater distance he had seven or eight sail of the line. He himself remained off Cape St. Mary with the rest of the fleet, and a line of frigates extended and communicated between him and the seven or eight sail off Cadiz. The advantage of this plan was, that he could receive ample supplies and reinforcements off Cape St. Mary, without the enemy being informed of it, and thus they always remained ignorant of the real force under his command: Villeneuve had also been misled by an American, who declared that Nelson could not possibly be with the fleet, as he had seen him in London but a few days before. Relying on this, the highest compliment they could pay Nelson, and on their own superiority, they put to sea on the 19th, and on the 21st lord Nelson intercepted them off Cape Trafalgar, about sixty miles east of Cadiz. When his lordship found, that by his manoeuvres, he had placed the enemy in such a situation that they could not avoid an engagement, he displayed much animation, and his usual confidence of victory. “Now,” said he, “they cannot escape us; I think we may make sure of twenty of them; I shall probably lose a leg, but that will be purchasing a victory cheaply.” He appears, however, to have had more gloomy presages, for on this morning he wrote a prayer in his journal, and solemnly bequeathed lady Hamilton, as a legacy, to his king and country. He left also to the beneficence of his country his adopted daughter, desiring that in future she would use his name only. “These,” said he, “are the only favours I ask of my king and country at this moment, when I am going to fight their battle.” He had put on the coat which he always wore in action, and kept for that purpose with a degree of veneration: it bore the insignia of all his orders. “In honour,” said he, “Igained them, and in honour I will die with them.” The last order which his lordship gave, previously to action, was short, but comprehensive, “England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty,” which was received with a shout of applause throughout the whole fleet. “Now,” said the admiral, “I can do no more we must trust to the great Disposer of all events, and the justice of our cause. I thank God for this opportunity of doing my duty.” It had been represented to him so strongly, both by captain Blackwood, and his own captain, Hardy, how advantageous it would be for him to keep out of the action as long as possible, that he consented that the Temeraire, which was then sailing abreast of the Victory, should be ordered to pass a-head, and the Leviathan also. They could not possibly do this if the Victory continued to carry all her sail; and yet so far was Nelson from shortening sail, that he seemed to take pleasure in baffling the advice to which he could not but assent. He had determined himself to fight the Santissima Trinidada; and it is worthy of remark, that he gained the highest honour in grappling with this ship in the action off Cape St. Vincent. She was the largest ship in the world, carried 136 guns, and had four decks. The Victory did not fire a single shot till she was close along-side the Trinidada, and had already lost 50 men in killed and wounded. Lord Nelson ordered his ship to be lashed to his rival, and in this labour the commander of the Trinidada ordered his men also to assist. For four hours the conflict which ensued was tremendous. The Victory ran on board the Redoubtable, which, firing her broad-sides into the English flag-ship, instantly let down her lower deck ports, for fear of being boarded through them. Captain Harvey, in the Temeraire, fell on board the Redoubtable on the other side; another ship, in like manner, was on board the Temeraire, so that these four ships, in the heat of battle, formed as compact a tier as if they had been moored together, their heads lying all the same way. The lieutenants of the Victory immediately depressed their guns, and fired with a diminished charge, lest the shot should pass through and injure the Temeraire: and because there was danger that the enemy’s ship might take fire from the guns of the lower-deck, whose muzzles touched her side when they were run out, the fireman of each gun stood ready with a bucket of water, which, as soon as the gun was discharged, he dashed at the hole made in her sides by the shot. In the prayer to which we have already alluded, and which Nelson wrote before the action, he desires that humanity, after victory, might distinguish the British fleet. Setting an example himself, he twice gave orders to cease firing upon the Redoubtable, supposing she had struck, because her great guns were silent; and as she carried no flag, there were no means of ascertaining the fact. From this ship, whose destruction was twice delayed by his wish to spare the vanquished, he received his dealt. Captain Hardy, on perceiving frequent showers of musket-balls fired on the Victory’s quarter-deck, requested lord Nelson to take off the insignia by which he was exposed, as a mark, to the sharp shooters placed in the main-round-top of the enemy’s ships. He answered, he would when he had time but paid no farther attention to his safety. In a minute afterwards, his secretary, Mr. Scott, who stood near him, was killed. A musket-ball entered his head, and he fell dead instantly. Captain Adair of the marines endeavoured to remove the mangled body, but it had attracted the notice of the admiral, who said, “Is that poor Scott who is gone?” Afterwards, whilst he was conversing with captain Hardy, on the quarter-deck, during the shower of musket-balls and raking fire that was kept up by the enemy, a doubleheaded shot came across the poop and killed eight of the marines. In a few minutes, a shot struck the fore-bracebits on the quarter-deck, and passing between lord Nelson and captain Hardy, drove some splinters from the bits about them, and bruised captain Hardy’s foot. They mutually looked at each other, when Nelson, whom no danger could affect, smiled and said, “It is too warm work, Hardy, to last.” The Redoubtable had, for some time, commenced a heavy fire of musketry from her tops, which, like those of the enemy’s other ships, were filled with riflemen. The Victory, however, became enveloped in smoke, except at intervals, when it partially dispersed, and, owing to the want of wind, was surrounded with the enemy’s ships.

an American philosopher and mathematician, was born in Pennsylvania

, an American philosopher and mathematician, was born in Pennsylvania in 1732. By the dint of genius and application, he was enabled to mingle the pursuits of science with the active employments of a farmer and watch-maker. The latter of these occupations he filled with unrivalled eminence among his countrymen. In 17t9 he was with others invited by the American Philosophical Society to observe the transit of Venus, when he particularly distinguished himself by his observations and calculations. He afterwards constructed an observatory, where he made such valuable discoveries, as tended to the general diffusion of science. After the American war, as he was a strenuous advocate for independence, he successively filled the offices of treasurer of the state of Pennsylvania, and director of the national mint; in the first of which he manifested incorruptible integrity, and in the last, the rare talent of combining theories in such a way as to produce correct practical effects. He succeeded Dr. Franklin in the office of president of the American Philosophical Society; but towards the close of his days he withdrew from public life, and spent his time in retirement. After a very severe illness, but of no long continuance, he died July 10, 1796, about the age of 64. He had the degree of LL. D. conferred upon him. To the “Transactions” of the American Philosophical Society he contributed several excellent papers, chiefly on astronomical subjects.