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there, he had distinguished himself by the propriety of his moral conduct, and his rapid proficiency in classic erudition.
He had richly improved the golden opportunity of searching into all the storehouses of ancient learning. Though he possessed not the singular and almost incredible industry of a Castell *, who declared * that to be an idle day in which he did not employ sixteen or eighteen hours in the pursuit of his biblical studies, yet his application was truly exemplary. He seems to have had the observation of Horace perpetually before
The youth, who hopes th’ Olympic Prize to gain,
He had repeatedly read the best Latin and Greek authors with a nice and critical discernment. With the incomparable beauties of the three tragedians of Greece he was intimately acquainted. He had indeed attentively examined, and no one to explain, what they
* Dr. Edmund Castell, Arabic Professor in the University of Cambridge. See the Dedication of his incomparable Lexicon to Charles II. Memoirs of him are given by Mr. Nichols, in his very interesting Literary Anecdotes,' IV. 22.
† Qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam,
knew better how taught
In chorus or iambic, teachers best
(Milton's P. R. IV. 264.)
Nor had he neglected the cultivation of his own language, in which he always expressed his ideas in a polished, flowing, and perspicuous stile.
Fully accomplished for the purpose, he undertook the important province of educating youth. His first appointment was at Shipton *, near York, to a school endowed with a yearly stipend of forty pounds. Being now in holy orders, he was presented to the perpetual curacy of NunMonkton, the annual income of which did not at that time exceed sixteen pounds. While he remained in this situation, he married Mrs. Meek, a widow lady and mother of three sons and one daughter, the care of whose education devolved upon him. In 1735, the Mayor and Aldermen of Beverley, in the East-Riding of Yorkshire, nominated him to their grammar-school. All his scholars followed him from Shipton to Beverley, and many accompanied him on his subsequent removal.
* Mrs. Anne Middleton, of the city of York, endowed this school by her will, dated August 24, 1655.
In 1751, he was solicited to accept the mastership of the school at Wakefield, then vacated by the promotion of the Rev. Benjamin Wilson, one of the first Greek scholars of the age, to the vicarage of that town. Of this school it has been remarked, that it is “as famous as any whatsoever in these kingdoms, except those of Westminster, Winchester, and Eaton.”
It is justly celebrated for the education of BENTLEY * and
* Dr. Richard Bentley, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, was born in 1661-2, of very creditable parents, at Oulton, in the parish of Rothwell (otherwise Wrothwell) near Wakefield. He was educated under Mr. John Baskerville, who was elected May 1, 1672, Master of the Free Grammar-School founded by Queen Elizabeth at Wakefield. I have visited the house, where he was born: it is a decent dwelling, healthfully situated, having a small estate attached to it, which had been in his name and family for many years. Wherever learning is respected, the name of Bentley will gain applause. Mr. Toup, the father of Greek literature in the eighteenth century, acknowledged that he learned more from Dr. Bentley, than from all the critics of all the
before.' The reader, who admires the beauties of classical composi. tion, cannot fail of deriving singular pleasure from the perusal of the following lines written by Dr. Bentley. The · Allocutio ad Sepulcrum,' and the little Poem addressed to Lord Halifax, who in the early period of his life had been Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, are held in high estimation. They are not generally known; and, therefore, I deem no apology necessary for presenting them anew to the public. The Verses on the death of Prince George of Denmark, which will recall to the reader's mind the lines upon Charles I. ascribed to the Marquis of Montrose, are extracted from the Epicedium Cantabrigiense, &c. 1708,
ACCIPE communis solatia publica luctús,
Anna, nec alloquiis dulcibus obde fores. Namque ut Martburii percussit nuntius aures,
Dum tibi per Flandras fulminat ense plagas, Oppetiisse tuæ, Regina, animæque torique
Participem, ac morbo succubuisse gravi: “ Non," ait, “ ardentem lacrymis restinguere curam
Nunc opus, aut querulis perdere verba modis. Pro lacrymis refluant hostili sanguine rivi :
Pro quesiu reboënt tympana mixta tubis." Dixit: et attoniti dirá formidine Galli
Bruxellis trepidæ terga dedêre fuge; Objectoque alii tentantes fulmine Martem
De Scaldi in Stygias præcipitantur aquas.
ALLOCUTIO AD SEPULCRUM.
DELUBRA Regnum, prisca Manium domus,
POTTER *, of the learned BINGHAM t, and the
AD NOBILISSIMUM CAROLUM HALIFAXIÆ
Quod tamen assiduè nascitur usque novum ;
Quodque sibi vates dixerat, usque recens ;
Unam fer multis officiosus opem.
Verbaque cum plectro fortia junge gravi:
Dircæusque iterùm nubila tranet olor.
Rı. BENTLEY, S. T. P. Coll. Sanct. Trin. Magister.
* Dr. John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1749, was son of Mr. Thomas Potter, a linen-draper at Wakefield.
+ Mr. John Bingham, usually called the learned Bingham,' the admired author of Origines Ecclesiasticæ,' was born at Wakefield in 1668, and educated at the Grammar School in that place. Notwithstanding his vast erudition, he did not obtain any considerable preferment in the Church. This is intimated in the inscription designed for his Monument.
VÆ SÆCULO MERITORUM IMMEMORI
ET INGRATO !