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true that the social condition of the workmen
of Britain and Ireland is worse than that of the How is it that whenever people hear of a Parlia- negroes in the West India Islands, why, then, by the mentary Commission, or a Committee of the House memory of the Past, and the hopes of the Future, of Lords, the idea is immediately suggested of a
let them instantly arise, and change, and better it. piece of machinery set agoing to elude, or at least Worse, more degraded, it cannot be. It will, howdelay, a demand for justice ? The humane demand ever, take a few more witnesses, ducal and revethat young children shall not be worked to death, rend, to persuade us of the truth of this favourite or not be kept above ten hours out of the twenty- assertion of the planters ; for, we grieve to say, four, at hard duty in the unwholsesome atmosphere the Protestant Established Clergy. The Rev. J.
are witnesses in favour of slavery even among of a factory, was, we should have thought, not so very unreasonable. The desire that some slender Curtin of Antigua, who has nineteen slaves of his means of subsistence should be secured to the fa- own, believes the negroes the happiest race in the mishing, and consequently infuriate people of world! their proprietors the most generous and ciIreland, from the soil which they cultivate, was no
vilized of mankind. We can spare room for only thing so wonderful in its nature that solemn in
a few instances of the beatitudes of the slaves. quiry must first be instituted into facts that stare What thinks the reader of the following suggesevery one in the face ; but, above all, we had, in tion for an improved whip? " Mr. Edmund Sharp fifty years of horrible experience, acquired as much thinks that switches, which draw blood, but do not information on the evils and enormities of slavery, leave marks,” might be substituted for the cartand the condition of the negro population in our
whip. This substitution of the frying-pan for the Colonies, as might have sanctioned legislation on
fire is strongly illustrative of plantation humanity. this subject, without much longer delay. But here Against the worst accounts that we obtain of the again it was necessary or expedient to interpose a
slave states of America, and we do not conceive committee, and, to mend the matter, a committee those lately given by Mr. Stuart one whit exagof the Lords. The evidence elicited is precisely of gerated, we have to set the fact that the slaves the nature which previous experience led us to an.
there increase their numbers; while, in our islands, ticipate. It is reported in a goodly volume, con
with all the motives to maintain the breed given taining many new, but no strange facts. Unhap-by the abolition of the direct traffic, and the diffipily, the atrocities and horrors of the slave islands culty of finding a supply, the negro population deare but too familiarly known to be longer start
creases. One of the witnesses, the Rev. John Barry, ling. The first witness examined was one equally,
“ Is of opinion, that the slave population decreases from entitled to take precedence from high rank, and be excessive punishment, which is sometimes so severe as
causes connected with slavery ; one of these, he believes to the official station he had held for eighteen years, to occasion death. He detailed several cases of oppression as Governor of Jamaica. This was the Duke of arising out of the power possessed by masters and overseers Manchester, who almost admits that he knows very
to oblige female slaves to submit to their desires. Once, little about the acts and events of his own long when travelling, he was arrested by the shrieks of a woman, administration ; but, at the same time, is perfectly raised from the ground, on which she had been extended, on confident that the treatment of the slaves is humane his coming up, and sent to her work; but she was unable to and excellent, their food and clothing abundant, stand upright, so severely had she been punished. An old their labours light and considerate, their cabins lady in Spanish Town, on being requested to allow one of so many black paradises, and their situation alto- her slaves to meet in religious society, replied, " I certainly
cannot allow her to pray; she is young, and I must keep gether far superior to that of the greater part of her to breed." William Taylor, Esq. states, that he has the labourers of this country. This assurance, known eighteen lashes (inflicted on a young girl) cause a so often, and so pertinaciously and impudently degree of suffering that was dreadful, and called for notice; made, if it be good for anything, furnishes the but the law having allowed thirty-nine, the parties who strongest argument for rebellion at home that rea
sought redress were completely baffled. The overseer set
them all at defiance, by simply pointing to the statute ; son or manliness could listen to. If it be indeed the spirit of which, by-the-by, is evaded by a subsequent
shillings should go towards that, I will add ten more to
There is much good sense and suitable advice in these make up the price of a new one." In every respect, the verses; and they give an additional testimony to the date. Wesleys divided with him, according' to their power : and tic happiness of their author. " I wish," says Dr. Clarks, by his humble and upright conduct in the early part of his “they were in the hands of every newly married couple in life, he repaid their kindness. When he got orders, Mr. the kingdom." Wesley made him his curate in Wroote ; and having on. SUSANNA, afterwards Mrs. Ellison, was born about the gaged Miss Mary's affections, they were married, and Mr. year 1701. She is reported to have been good-natural, pero Wesley gave up to him the living at Wroote. Her sister, facetious, but a little romantic. She married Richard Flj Wright, the most interesting of the Wesley family, com son, Esq., a gentleman of good family, who had a respecta!': posed some lines to her memory, which contain an affecting establishment. But though she bore him several children allusion to her own fate.
the marriage, like some others in the Wesley family, 1. “ If blissful spirits condescend to know,
not a happy one. She possessed a mind naturally stron: And hover round what once they loved below;
which was much improved by a good education. His ait. Maria! gentlest excellence! attend
was common, coarse, uncultivated, and too much inclio To her, who glories to have called thee friend! Remo'e in merit, tho' allied in blood,
to despotic sway, which prevented conjugal happiness. I's Unworthy 1, and thou divinely good!
fitness of minds more than circumstances, is what in r
neral mars the marriage union. Where minds are un'ix With business and devotion never cloyed,
means of happiness and coutentment are ever within rezt No moment of thy lite pass'd unemployed; Weil-natured mirth, matured discretion joined,
What little domestic happiness they had, was not ed. Constant attendants of the virtuous mind.
interrupied, but finally destroyed, by a fire which to From earliest dawn of youth, in thee well known, The saint sublime and finished Christian shone.
place in their dwelling-house. What the cause of this » Yet would not grace one grain of pride allow,
was, is not known : but after it took place, Mrs Ele Or cry, “ Stand off, I'm holier than thou."
would never again live with her husband! She wen! A worth so singular since time began, But once surpassed, and He was more than man.
London, and hid herself among some of her children, who When deep immers'd in griefs beyond redress,
were established there, and received also considerable help And friends and kindred heightened by distress,
from her brother John, who, after the death of his brother And with relentless efforts made me prove Pain, grief, despair, and wedlock without love ;
Samuel, became the common almoner of the family. Mi
Ellison used many means to get his wife to return; but ed.
utterly refused either to see him, or to have any further in With such infinitude of pitying grief,
tercourse with him. As he knew her affectionate disprej That all who could not my demerit see,
tion, in order to bring her down into the country, be adie Mistook her wond'rous love for worth in me.
tised an account of his death! When this met her ese, she Anne, afterwards Mrs. Lambert, was married to a gen- immediately set off for Lincolnshire, to pay the last tribe. tleman of the name of John Lambert, a land-surveyor in of respect to his remains : but when she found him Epworth, of whom and their children, if they had any, we alive and well, she returned, and no persuasion could indrs know nothing. Mr. and Mrs. Lambert are probably the her to live with him. It does not appear that she coE. persons meant by Mr. John Wesley in his Journal, under nicated to any person the cause of her aversion; and after date Tuesday, June 8, 1742, where he says :-“ I walked this lapse of time it is in vain to pursue it by conjecture: to Hibaldstone, about ten miles from Epworth, to see my MEHETABEL, afterwards Mrs. Wright, (called abor brother and sister;" but he mentions no name. On Mrs. Hetty, and, by her brother, Samuel, sometimes bicara Lambert's marriage, her brother Samuel presented to her gave, from infancy, such proofs of strong mental pm the following verses :
as led her parents to cultivate them with the utme No fiction fine shall guide my hand,
care. These cxertions were crowned with success; for at But artless truth the verse supply; Which all with ea e may understand,
the early age of eight years, she made such proficient : But none be able to deny.
the learned languages, that she could read the Greek teri Nor, sister, take the care amiss,
She appears to have been the most eminently gifted of the Which I, in giving rules, employ
female branches of the Wesley family. She had a To point the likeliest way to bliss, To cause, as well as wish, you joy.
talent for poetry, and availed herself of the rich, sweet te Let love your reason never blind,
pensive warblings of her lyre, to sooth her spirit under t's To dream of paradise below;
pressure of deep and accumulated calamity. At the take a For sorrows must attend mankind,
her afflictions every feeling heart must sigh. Religion for And pain, and weariness, and wo!
the balm which allayed her anguish; and the sorrows o Though still from mutual love, relief In all conditions may be found,
the moment, now enhance her eternal joy. From her child It cures at once the common griet,
hood she was gay and sprightly ; full of mirth, goud And softens the seveiest wound.
mour, and keen wit. She appears to have had many suku Through diligence, and well-earned gain, Io growing plenty may you live!
but they were generally of the thoughtless class, and im And each in piety obtain
suited to make her either happy or useful, in a mattino.id Repose that riches cannot give !
life. If children cre should bless the bed,
To some of those proposed matches, in early life, the to. 0! rather let them infants die, Than live to grieve the hoary head,
lowing lines allude, which were found in her father's hea. And make the aged father sigh !
writing, and marked by Mr. John Wesley “ Hetty's lossen Still duteous, let them ne'er conspire
to her Mother."
“ DEAR MOTHER,
“ You were once in the ew'n,
As by us cakes is plainly shewn,
Who else had nie'er coinc aller.
Irny speak a word in time of need,
And with my sour.look'd father plead
For your distressed daughter."
In the spring freshness of youth and hope, her atiec use
were engaged by one vho, in point of abilities and situatim Long may he give thee comfort, long
might have been a suitable husbaud ; some circumstanara As the frail knot of life shall hold!
however, caused a disagreement with her father. This can More than a father when thou'rt young,
terference did not move Heity. She refused to give bien More than a son when waxing old.
lover up ; and had be been faithful to her, the conue 102. The greatest earthly pleasure try,
in all probability, would have issued in marriage ; but Allowed by Providence divine; Be still a husband, blest as I,
whether he was otiended with the opposition le nirt with And Hou a wile as good as ming!
or it proceeded fi om fickleners is not know. He, bowiem
remitted his assiduities, and at last abandoned a woman who ments than have the torment of thinking they agree not would have been an honour to the first man in the land. with yours. You are so good to my spouse and me, as to The matter thus terminating, Helly committed a fatal say, “you shall always think yourself obliged to him for error, which many woman have done in their just, but his civilities to me. I hope he will always continue to use hlind resentment,-she married the first person who offered. me better than I merit from him in one respect. This was a man of the name of Wright, in no desirable “ I think exactly the same of my marriage as I did before rank in life, of coarse mind and manners, inferior to herself it happened ; but though I would have given at least one of in education and intellect, and every way upworthy of a my eyes for the liberly of throwing myself at your fect ben woman, whose equal in all things it would have been dif- fore I was married at all ; yet since it is past, and matrificult to find; for her person was more than commonly monial grievances are usually irreparable, I hope you will pleasing, her disposition gentle and affectionate, her prin- condescend to be so far of my opinion, as to own,—that ciples those which arm the heart either for prosperous or since upon some accounts I am happier than I deserve, it is adverse fortune, her talents remarkable, and her attainments best to say little of things quite past remedy; and endeabeyond what are ordinarily permitted to women, even those vour, as I really do, to make myself more and more conwho are the most highly educated. Duty in her had pro- tented, though things may not be to my wish.” duced so much affection towards the miserable creature whom she had made her husband, that the brutal profligacy Wright had an establishment in Frith Street, Soho, Lonof his conduct alınost broke her heart. He did not know don, where he carried on the business of plumbing and the value of the woman he had espoused ! He associated glazing, and had lead works connected with it. with low, dissolute company, spent his evenings from honie, ployment greatly injured his own health, and materially and became a confirmed drunkard. This marriage is sup- affected that of Mrs. Wright. They had several children, posed to have taken place at the end of the year 1725. all of whom died young; and it was their mother's opinion Mary, of all her sisters, had the courage to counsel her not that the effluvia from the lead-works was the cause of their to marry him.
death. A perplexed and thorny path appears to have been the We extract the following from a MS, letter of Mr. general lot of the sensible and pious danghters of the Rector William Duncombe, to Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, inserted in of Epworth. They were for the most part unsuitably, and Brydges'Censura Literaria,” Vol. vùi. p. 277. It speaks therefore unhappily, married. At a time when Mrs. Wright better of Wright than he deserved. believed and hoped that she should soon be at peace in the “ Yon desire some account of Mrs. Wright. She was grave, she composed this Epitaph for herself :
sister to S. muel, John, and Chirles Wesley. The first “ Destined, while living, to sustain
was an Usher at Westminster, and died master of Tiverton Au equal share of griet' and pain ;
School in Devonshire. John and Charles are eminent
preachers among the Methodists. Her father was a clergy. Without complaint, she learn' to bear,
man, and author of a poem called The Life of Christ. It A living deatli, a long despair;
is a pious book, but bears no character as a Poem. But Till hard oppressed by adverse fate, O'erchargert, she sunk beneath the weight;
we have a voluine of poems by Samuel Wesley, jun., which. And to thi peaceful tomb retired,
are ingenious and entertaining. He had an excellent knack So much esteem'd, so long desired.
of telling a tale in verse. I suppose you must have secu The painful mortal contiict's o'er; A broken heart can ble d no more "
“ Mr. Highmore, who knew Mrs. Wright when young, From that illness, however, she recovered, so far as to
told me that she was very handsome. When I saw her linger on for many years, living to find in religion the con. solation she needed, and which nothing else can bestow. beauty, except a lively piercing eye.
she was in a languishing way, and had no remains of
She was very intorThat she was almost compelled by her father to marry tunate, as you will find by her poems, which are written Wright, appears evident from the following letter :
with great delicacy ; but so tender and affecting, they can
“ July 3, 1729. scarcely be read without tears. She had an uncle, a sur. « HONOURED Sın,
geon, with whom she was a favourite. In her bloom, he “Though I was glad, on any terms, of used to take her with him to Bath, Tunbridge, &c.; and the favour of a line from you; yet I was concerned at your she has done justice to his memory in an excellent porm. displeasure on account of the unfortunate paragraph, which “ Mr. Wright, her husband, is my plumber, and lives in you are pleased to say was meant for the flower of my let- this street; an honest, laborious man, but by no many a ter, but which was in reality the only thing I disliked in fit husband for such a woman. He was but a journeyman it before it went. I wish it had not gone, since I perceive when she married him ; but set up with the fortune it gave you some uneasiness.
left her by her uncle. Mrs. Wright has been derd about « But since wbat I said occasioned some queries, which I two years. On iny asking if she had any chill living, she should be glad to speak freely about, were I sure that the replied, "I have had several, but the white lead killed them least I could say would not grieve or oifend you, or were I all!' She had just come from Bristol aud was very weak. so happy as to think like you in everything ; I earnestly • How, madam,' said I, "could your bear the fatigue of so beg that the little I shall say may not be uffensive to you, long a journey ?' We had a coach of our own,' said sh, since I promise to be as little witty as possible, though I and took short stages; besides, I had the King with me! can't help saying, you only accuse me of being too much • The King ; I suppose you mean a person whose name is $0 ; especially these late years past I have been pretty free King.–No; I mean my brother, the King of the Mefrom that scandal.
thodists !' This looked like a piece of lunacy. “ You ask me what hurt matrimony has done me?' “She told me that she had loog ardently wished for and whether I had always so frightful an idea of it as I death ; " and the rather,' said she, because we, the methohave now? Home questions indeed! and I once more beg dists, always die in transports of joy !' I am told that she of you not to be ofteuded at the least I can say to them, it wrote some hymus for the methodists, but have not seen I say any thing.
any of them. “I had not always such noti ns of wedlock as now; but i It affected me to view the ruin of so fine a frame; so I thought where there was a mutua) atfection and desire of made her only three or four visits. Mr. Wright told me pleasing, something near an equality of mind and person ; she had burned many poems, and given some to a beloved either earthly or heavenly wisdom, and any thing to keep sister, which he could never recover. As many as lie could love warm between a young couple, there was a possibility procure, he gave me. I will send them to you speedily. of happiness in a married state : but where all, or most of " I went one day with Wright to hear Mr. Charles Westhese, are wanting, I ever thonght people could not marry ley preach. I find his business is only with the heart and without sinning against God and themselves. I could say affections. As to the, understanding, that must shift for much more ; but would rather cternally stille my senti itself. Most of our clergy are in the contrary extreine, and
switching, as will appear from the following statement of
DR. BIRKBECK. the Reverend Peter Duncan.
The father of Dr. Birkbeck was a merchant and banker "A negro was laid down to be flogged almost under my
of Yorksbire. window, when I resided at Morant Bay—at leakt at no at Settle, a small town in the West Riding grat distance. His master went to the work honse ; he
His family Was Targe, and he was 'te youngest you. He came back with the supervisor, and four work house ne
was born in the year 1776. He discovered, even before he groes came along with the master and supervisor; two of 1 went to school, a strong attachment to mechanical pursuits nem had whips. The negro man was lasu dotyn; eno of an
cotton-mill in the neighbourhood of Settle attracted his the negroes held him down, one at the feet, and the other by the hands; and the negroes who had the whips went
a degree, that he was anxious to be employed among the one to each side of the man thus laid down and stripped. It working children of the place, that he might constands counted either thirty-nine or forty lashes; that was with a
watch its movements, and render himself familiar with its cart-whip-I mean what is called a cart-whip.' This was
more minute and complex parts. The shops in the town in 1821. The negro man received thirty-nine or forty in which articles of mechanism were made, also drew his lashes with the whip. I observed that they still kept him early attention, and rendered him ambitious to handle whatdown, while the two men, the negroes who had been flog- ever tools lay within his reach for the same purpose of ging him, went some little distance, and came back with take no notice ; but in the early days of one so anxious,
these things, in the childhood of ordinary men, we should tamarind switches—they are hard and flexible almost as wire--and then they began upon him again, to flog him amidst the pressing duties of a learned profession, to prowith those tamarind switches. I did not count the strokes
mote the humbler pursuits of mechanical science anong they gave with the switches; but to the best of my know his ingenious and industrious countrymen, they claim at ledge they were as many as had been given before. I ob least a simple mention. served, when the former lashes were inflicted, the 'slave
At eight years of age he was sent to a school at Newton, never uttered any thing more than a deep groan; but, when
a village on the borders of Lancashire, at which he remained he came to be flogged with the tamarind switches, he
about six years, and where he acquired, in addition to the shrieked most dismally. His flesh was first lacerated with full amount of a common education, the rudimeuts of clas. the whip, and then those small switches gave him great the care of a gentleman, whose instructions determined the
gical knowledge. At fourteen his father placed him ander pain. I would observe this is a very common course in Jamaica ; after they have received thirty-nine or forty lashes scientific partialities and pursuits of young Birkbeck. This with the whip, then to use the tamarind switches; the com- gentleman was Mr. Dawson, of Sedburg, well known as one mon expression is, beating out the bruised blood.'
of the first mathematicians of his day. In addition to the “On being asked if he had ever known an instance of scientific advantages to be derived from such an instructor, a hole being dug to enable the driver to place a negro young Birkbeck enjoyed considerable opportunities of ac
woman that was pregnant in the hole to flog her ? _Mr. quiring classical knowledge, by a résidence in the house of - Taylor replied, Yes; I was told that by the head driver
a learned relation, Mr. Foster, of Hebblethwaite-ball. It of Papine; in one instance he had himself inflicted the was at this auspicious period, and with these valuable the punishment. The woman was pregnant, and he told his
sources opened before him, that our industrious subject laid story very clearly. There was an excavation made, and she the foundation of those mathematical and literary acquir. was placed in it, and he flogged her with a whip, and af
ments which he has since matured, and applied to such terwards, Mr. Taylor thought, with the cbony switch. diffusive and beneficial purposes. It has often and justls After giving them the thirty-nine, they switch them.'”
been remarked, that they who are most eager for the early “The Reverend Peter Duncan says, In the year 1823 attainment of knowledge, are generally most ready in after I knew of a slave driver having to flog his mother. In the
life to communicate it;, while, from the zeal of an indivi. year 1927 or 1828 I knew of a married negress having been dual to enlighten his fellow-creatures, may generally be flogged in the presence of her fellow slaves, and I believe inferred the earnestness of his own mind when young to her husband too. I asked her what had kept her from the acquire illumination and enlargement. These remark, chapel. She said, she had been severely flogged ; she looked
were never more vérified than in the example before us very ill; she was scarcely able to walk. I said "What
Already we can imagine those of our readers who know have you done ?' She said she had done nothing, but her what the staple profession of Dr. Birkbeck is, to be antigas overseer had wished hier to come and sleep with him. She also to know how his mechanical and mathematical genita said, " No, Massa; I am a married woman, and I was
came to reconcile itself to the studies necessary to const :married in the Church of England, on the Parade at Kings tute a physician. We will not say “ an enemy did this, ton, and I cannot do any thing of the kind.' Other ne
because the Doctor himself always ranked the individual groes told me that they were present at a part of this con
who caused it among his choicest friends. It was the late versation, and saw Ann flogged, avowedly for that reason,
Dr. Garnett, who had also been a pupil of Mr. Dawson, ar and among the rest her husband; she was very severely with whom young Birkbeck became intimately acquainte
! fogged; I was told sbe got about fifty lashes, and was then
soon after his return to his native town. It is not easy to put into the stocks. After she had remained in the stocks every place to turn the best mechanical genius and the two or three days, the overseer asked her whether she
most promising attainments in general science to a problwould come and sleep with him yet. She said, “No; she able account; nor is it desirable that young men, of the was ready to do her master's duty, but could not do any most commendable habits of research and industry, should thing of that sort.' He brought three or four others, and
be allowed to proceed in an irregular and indefinite course pointed her out by way of scorn, and said, “ This is a holy Mr. Birkbeck, and induce them to advise, and him to ador
Considerationis like these mighỉ weigh with the friends as woman-this is a married woman; she cannot come and sleep with me, because she is a Methodist, and has been
a profession somewhat at variance with the early bent of married in the Church of England. There were a con
his mind. siderable number of negrocs with her at the time I saw
But, however the purpose of making him a phyzjetar. her, who were witnesses to the whole, or part of these
was first formed, it was confirmed and brought into action facts. Though I do not at present recollect any other such by the influence of Dr. Garnett. With him Mr. B. spen: " tiagrant instance of cruelty as that, it was no uncommon
some time, during which the Doctor was engaged in the I thing to me to hear that the young female slaves had been analysis of mineral waters, and in the publication of hi flogged because they would not comply with those wishes of
“ Treatise on the waters of Harrowgate." From his their overseers."
house in that village, Mr B. proceeded to Leeds, for the Those who do not believe that the speediest end
purpose of acquiring a knowledge of pharmacy. Here be which can be put to this system is the best, would cution; and to this circumbentre, en het forum The attainment in se
may be termed the founder of the Mechanics" lesti not believe, though one rose from the dead. by which he is distinguished, has he become an objert of interes? with
remained a short time with Dr. Logan, during which he | Birkbeck underwent the customary examination for taking had frequent opportunities of witnessing the practice of that his first medical degree, and was freely admitted to the gentleman and Dr. Hird in the Leeds Infirmary. Mr. B. honour, having previously delivered and published a Diswas little more than eighteen when he left Leeds for Edin. sertation on Blood. burgh, whither he repaired to prosecute a plan of study, Very soon after his graduation, Dr. Birkbeck quitted which Dr. Garnett had marked out, and strongly recom- Edinburgh for his native country: and on his way he mended. That judicious friend also advised him, on arriv. spent a few days with a friend at Peebles. About this ing in the Scottish metropolis, to unite himself with the time his valuable friend Dr. Garnett was appointed ProRoyal Medical Society, which he did as early as possible, fessor of Natural Philosophy in the Royal Institution of much earlier than he was qualified to take any active share London, and lost no time in nominating him to succeed to in the proceedings of that institution.
the chair of a kindred office, which the Doctor had preDeeming it likely to be of considerable advantage, Mr. viously held at Glasgow. Intelligence to this effect reached Birkbeck, before he became of age, spent one whole winter in him while at the house of his friend at Peebles; and though London. Science was still his object, not pleasure: upon it could not fail to afford him high gratification, his first the gaieties and fascinations of the great city he turned his impressions were unfavourable to the acceptance of tlie tack without difficulty and without regret; while his time proffered honour. He had, it seems, intended to enter on was actively occupied in augmenting the knowledge likely a course of medical practice, in some suitable and promisto raise him to some eminence and utility in the profession ing situation ; while his early age appeared to restrain his he had chosen. For this purpose he entered the school of anticipation of any important official appointment. Very the late Dr. Baillie, and then commenced a friendship with little consideration on his part, and advice on the part that estimable man and excellent physician which ter of his friends, was, however, necessary to place the whole minated only with his life. Anatomy was his chief study subject in directly a contrary light-to render his early in this school, and dissection consequently his chief prac- age a reason for abstaining for the present from settled retice ; but from these he was able to secure intervals of his gular practice, and for availing himself of so favourable an time, which he devoted chiefly to an attendance on the opportunity as that which the removal of Dr. Garnett prechemical lectures of Dr. Pearson, and the more celebrated sented, to acquire additional preparatory knowledge. He lectures of Dr. Fordyce on the practice of physic.
therefore prepared his testimonials, secured the votes of a His honours, in recompense of past industry, and the en- large number of the Glasgow Trustees, and, in a few weeks, couragement of future labours, now commenced. He recommenced a course of lectures on Natural and Experia turned to Edinburgh with more ardour in his purposes and mental Philosophy, and the more interesting parts of Chepursuits than ever; and his fellow-students soon perceived mistry. that he had not visited London in vain. Jealous as the This important change in his prospects and pursuits took Scottish Professors were of the fame of their own city, they, place in the latter end of the year 1739, and contributed, too, were constrained to acknowledge the rapid advances perhaps, more than any other event in his life, to confirm which Mr. B. had made in his studies, and the propriety of his attachment to experiments in mechanical science. his taking a more active part among their pupils than be Retiring for a short vacation to his native country, he fore. Such was the estimation in which his talents were thence issued a prospectus of the lectures he proposed delivheld, that while only twenty, he was raised to the chairs of ering to the “ Mechanics' Class” in the following session. the Society for Natural History, and the Royal Medical When the business of the session commenced, he sent circuSociety, by the unanimous suffrage of their members. lar letters to the various manufactories in Glasgow, request.
In the summer of 1797, a new source of instruction and ing lists of the more sober and intelligent workmen in each, interest was opened before him, of which he availed him with an offer of tickets of admission. The first effect of this self with characteristic eagerness. We allude to Professor liberal communication was an audience of seventy-five meRobison's Lectures on Natural Philosophy. The renown chanics. The next lecture—so deep was the impression on of the lecturer as a profound mathematician, drew around their minds—was attended by two hundred. Three hunhim a large and respectable audience, among whom the dred were present at the third lecture, and five hundred at Professor was particularly attracted and gratified by the the fourth. attention of Mr. Birkbeck. In a very short time he request. Several interesting circumstances connected with these ed his acceptance of a ticket of free admission, and was lectures deserve special notice, as they illustrate the grati. ever afterwards attached to him with the cordiality of a tude and intelligence of individuals of the audience, as well chief and devoted friend. Dr. John Thoníson, Professor of as the impressive and useful tendency of the lectures themMilitary Surgery in the University of Edinburgh, and Mr. selves. One attendant communicated to the lecturer a new John Allen, the celebrated lecturer on the Animal Economy, plan for an air-pump—a second sent him a novel method and now Master of Dulwich College, also became the warm for determining the sun's distance-and the whole united in friends of Mr. Birkbeck about this time, and contributed in the purchase of a bandsome silver cup, on which an approno small degree to augment his stores of knowledge, and priate device and inscription were engraved, and which was to strengthen his ardent mind for fresh pursuits of science delivered to Dr. Birkbeck, on the termination of the course, and usefulness.
by Mr. Robertson, a mechanic of eminence, in the name of We have now reached the third winter of Mr Birkbeck's the whole body. During two more sessions the Doctor conresidence in Edinburgh, during which he acted as clinical tinued his lectures to this worthy class of men, and received elerk of Dr. Rutherford. This office at first appears too from them testimonies of their gratitude and esteem, npon self-denying and retired to afford the least encouragement which he must often look with delight far exceeding the to a mind like Mr. B.'s; but he appears to have considered most costly gifts of those who distribute from their abunit one of the greatest advantages of his early life; not only dance, not always from their hearts.” as it brought him into intimate association and friendship We next find Dr. Birkbeck lecturing to the inhabitants of with a man of such distinction and worth, but also as it Birmingham, Hull, and Liverpool. afforded him a valuable opportunity of acquiring the prac These numerous professional engagements, involving, as tical knowledge of which he stood much in need. Added they must have done, studies and labours which few have to these important advantages, the formation of the Aca- strength or spirits to undergo, did not entirely detach the demy of Physics, at this time, though it did not long con- thoughts of Dr. Birkbeck from the charms of society, and the tinue, introduced him to the friendship of several indivi. anticipations of domestic bliss. In the spring of 1805, he duals of celebrity; among whom were Drs. Brown and Ley- married the youngest daughter of Sampson Lloyd, Esq. of den, the late Mr. Horner, Professor Wallace, and Henry Farm, near Birmingham. A union, every way gratifying Brougham. In another year, we find him elected, for the
to all parties concerned, of course turned the Doctor's a'. second time, President of the Royal Medical Society—a tention to measures preparatory to settling in the practice of circumstance of rare occurrence, and therefore of the greater his chief profession." He settled in London under circumhonour. At the close of the Session of this year, 1798. Mr. stances of great promise, which did not disappoint him,