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His fame as a scholar, but more his conversation as a man of wit and good nature, soon procured him the friendship and esteem of every person of fortune and understanding; among the rest, Swift, that lover, yet derider of humaa nature, became one of the most inti. mate; and it was by his recommendation that he was introduced to the earl of Peterborough, who made hin his chaplain, and took him, as his companion, on a tour through Europe.
Some time after his return, he was promoted to a deanery, in which situation he wrote his Minute Philo. sopher, one of the most elegant and genteel defences of that religion which he was born to vindicate, both by his virtues and ingenuity. It was at this time also, that he attempted to establish an university for our American colonies, in Bermudas, one of the Suinmer islands. Doctor Depusch, an excellent musician, and some others of great abilities, were engaged in this design, and actually embarked in order to put it in execution ; but the ship being cast away, Berkeley was left to contrive something else to the advantage of his country.
He interested himself deeply in a scheme for improving the English language, by a society of wits and men of genius, established for that purpose, in imitation of the academy of France; in this design Swift, Bolingbroke, and others, were united; but the whole dropt by the death of Queen Anne, and the removal of Harley from the office of prime minister.
His friendship and connections, however, did not, as was the case with Swift and some others, prevent his promotion ; he was made bishop of Cloyne; and sure no clergy man had juster pretensions to the mitre! No man was more assiduous or punctual in his duty, none exacted it more strictly from his inferior clergy, yet no bishop was ever more beloved by them. He spent his time with the utmost chearfulness, innocence, and humanity; the meanest peasant within ten miles of his seat was familiar with him ; those of them that wanted shared his bounty; aud those that did not, had his friendship and advice. The country which was desolate and unimproved, he took the utmost pains to improve, and attempted to set an example of the proper methods of agriculture to the fariner, as he had before of piety and benevolence to the whole kingdom.
Metaphysical studies were still his amusement, and the dispensations of charity he looked upon as his duty
-But the opinions of metaphysicians he, at last, began to contemn, and to doubt of the certainty, not only of every argument upon this subject, but even of the science. He therefore turned his thoughts to more beneficial studies, to politics and medicine, and gave instances in both to what he could have done, had he made either his particular study.
In politics, a pamphlet published by him, intituled, The Querist, is a fine instance of his skill, and was attended with some beneficial circumstances to his native country. His treatise on tar-water rendered him more popular than any of his preceding productions, at the same time that it was the most whimsical of them all. Here he pretends to prove, a priori, the effects of this, sometimes, valuable medicine ; but then he extends them to every, and even opposite disorders.--The public were long undeceived before his lordship, who was the inventor, could be so. He had built an hospital at his own expence near his gate, and to it all the poor were welcome; he attended them himself as physician; dosed them with tar-water, of the virtues of which he was entirely confident. His intention in this particular cannot be applauded, though, perhaps, the success might have answered his expectations. Perhaps he carried his veneration for tar-water to an excess : he drank it abundantly himself and attempted to mend the constitution of his children by the same regimen : this, however, he could never effeet; and, perhaps, his desire of improving their health and their understanding, at which he laboured most assiduously, might have impaired both. But his faults, if we know of any, all proceeded from motives of humanity, benevolence, and good-nature.
He preserved the closest intimacy with the gentlemen of the neighbourhood; and while he cultivated the duties of his station, he was not averse to the innocent amusements of life: music he was particularly fond of, and always kept one or two exquisite performers to amuse his leisure hours.
His income he was entirely contented with ; and when offered by the earl of Chesterfield, then lord lieutenant of Ireland, a bishopric much more beneficial than that he possessed, he declined it, with these words, “ I love the neighbours, and they love me; why then should I begin, in my old days, to form new connections, and tear myself from those friends whose kindness to me is the
greatest happiness I enjoy ?" acting, in this instance, like Plutarch, who being asked, “why he resided in his native city, so obscure and so little ?” “ I stay, said he, lest it should grow less.” But, at length, finding his health and constitution impaired beyond the power of medicine, even of his own tar-water, he removed towards the end of the year 1752, to Oxford, an university he always loved, and at which he received a great part of his education, in hopes of receiving some benefit from the change of air. His principal motive, however, was that he might himself superintend the education of his son, whom he took along with him; and the prospect of enjoying two or three years among the literati of that famous seminary.
After a short passage, and a very pleasant journey, he arrived at that famous seat of learning, where he was visited by many of his former friends and admirers : but the certainty there was of speedily losing him, greatly damped the pleasure they would otherwise have had in his company. In a short time after his arrival, he expired, on the 14th of January, 1753, greatly regretted by the poor, whom he loved, and the learned, whom he had improved.
HAIR POWDER. Hair powder was first introduced by ballad singers at the fair of St. Germaine, in the year 1641. In the beginning of the reign of George the First, only two ladies wore powder in their hair, and they were pointed at for their singularity: At the coronation of George II, there was only two hair dressers in London. In the year 1795, it was calculated, that there were in the kingdom of Great Britain, fifty thousand hair-dres, sers ! supposing each of them to use one pound of flour in a day,--this upon an average would amount to 18,250,000 pounds in one year, which would make 5,314,280 quartern loaves, which at only nine-pence each, amounts to one million, one hundred and forty six thousand, four . hundred and twenty pounds British money. This statement does not take in the quantity of flour used by the soldiers, or that which is consumed by those who dress their own hair.
Were such a man as Swift to write a volume of allegorical travels, he might describe the English, as a people who wear three-penny loaves on their heads, by way of ornament.
THE EFFECT OF MUSIC ON DIFFERENT ANIMALS.
Those who pretend that the love of music, and especially instrumental music, is a natural instinct, say that even brute animals are sensible of it.
One day, when I was in the country, I resolved to try if it were true; and while a person played on a trump-inarine properly tuned, I considered with attention the effect on a cat, a dog, a horse, an ass, a doe, some cows, some small birds, and a cock and hens ; all which were in a court-yard, directly uuder a window out of which i leaned.
As for the cat, she did not seem to be at all sensible of the sound of the instrument; and, to judge by her deportment, she would have given all the music in the world for a single mouse: she did not shew the least mark of pleasure, but basked quietly in the sun. The horse stopped short before the window, and lifted up his head now and then, while he was grazing. The dog sat on his backside like a monkey, keeping his eyes fixed all the time on the person who played. He continued in this attitude inore than an hour, and seeined to comprehend what was going forward. The ass gave no token of sensibility, but kept on calmly eating his thistles. The doe raised her large ears, and seemed very attentive. The cows stopped a little, and, after having looked as if to see whether they knew us, went on their way. The small birds, some in an aviary, and others on the trees, seemed as if they would burst themselves with singiug. The cock, solely attentive to the hens, and the hens entirely en ployed", in scratching the ground, gave no indication that they received any pleasure from hearing a trump-marine.
Shakspeare, in the Merchant of Venice, thus describes the etiect of music on horses :
-Do but note a wild and wanten herd,
THE ANCIENT STATE OF LETTERS IN ENGLAND.
There was a time in this kingdom, when letters were so low, that whoever could prove hiinself, in a court of justice, able to read a verse in the New Testament, was vested with the highest privileges ; and a clergy man, who knew any thing of grammar, was looked upon as a prodigy. In those enlightened days, a rector of a parish, as we are told, going to law with his parishioners about paving the church, quoted this authority as from St. Pe
pareant illi, non paveam ego;" which he construed, “ they are to pave the church, not 1:” and this was allowed to be good law by a judge, who was an ecclesiastic too. Alfred the Great complained, towards the end of the ninth century, that “ from the Humber to the Thames there was not a priest, who under-tood the liturgy in his mother-tongue, or who could translate the easiest piece of Latin:" and a correspondent of Abelard. about ihe middle of the twelfth, complimenting him upon a resort of pupils from all countries, says, that even Britain, distant as she was, sent her savages to be instructed by him”-remota Britania sua animalia erudienda destinabat.
If the clergy had then, as they are said to have had, all the learning among themselves, what a blessed state must the laity have been in ? And so indeed it appears, for there is extant an old act of parliament, which provides, that “ a nobleman shall be entitled to the benefit of his clergy, even though he cannot read :” and another law, cited by Judge Rolls in his Abridgement, sets forth, that “ the command of the sheriff to his officer, by word of mouth, and without writing, is good ; for it may be, that neither the sheriff nor his officer can write or read.”, Who can say that such balcyon times may not return? When we contemplate the ignorance and dissipation of the great, whom the little are sure to follow : when we consider their not only neglect, but even contempt, of letters; their gambling, and low amusements ; their luxury; the avarice, meanness, and selfishness, which prevail among them—when we consider all this, and more, can we forbear to exclaim, that “
signs following signs lead on the mighty year?"