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Aristotle, and which have never been published by themselves, but also those which have been already published by Gale in his Opuscula Mythologica, - a book that is become rare, and, I believe, almost out of print; for be assured you have, in those fragments, the substance of all the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, which certainly came from the Pythagorean school, as certainly as that school came from Egypt, not from Tartary or Siberia, as a late French dreamer, whose book I have seen, would persuade us. You take the true way to restore the ancient philosophy, by publishing such valuable remains of it; for the greatest merit both of Mr. Harris's work and mine, is introducing the young student of philosophy to an acquaintance with such authors. In the publication of them you will find abundance of work for your acumen criticum, as I have shown in some of my notes.
I shall print, with your permission, the account you sent me of the wild boy, by way of Appendix to the volume which I have now in hand; and I shall add something further, in the same Appendix, about the orang-outang, whom I consider as a man of the same kind with Peter, but something more advanced in the arts of civility, therefore more docile, and more intelligent.
I am ever, with great regard and esteem,
Your most faithful and
obedient humble servant,
Edinburgh, Nov. 2. 1783.
HAM. MR. ROBERTS'S DESCRIPTION OF HIS PURSUITS,
ETC. AT OXFORD.
THE preceding pages have placed Mr. Burgess before my readers as an eminent scholar, and as standing deservedly high in the esteem and affection of his contemporaries. They are henceforth to view him as discharging the sacred functions of the clerical office. He was ordained both to deacon's and to priest's orders in the year 1784, by Dr. Cornwall, Bishop of Winchester.
When he was in his seventy-ninth year, circumstances led the author, in the course of an interesting conversation he had with the Bishop on the subject of his ordination, to inquire how far his actuating motives on that occasion corresponded with the high and holy tenor of his ordination vows. This question came home to the feelings of one whose views of the object and end of the Christian ministry were truly elevated; and who, in examining candidates for orders, was in the habit of probing not only their proficiency in learning, but their inspiring motives, and the depth and sincerity of their
personal piety. His reply was to the following effect"At the time to which you refer, I was full of that ambition for literary distinction natural to a young scholar circumstanced as I was; but, after I had taken orders, and turned my attention to sacred studies, I gradually imbibed deep and serious views of Divine Truth." At, or soon after, this time, he devoted himself with much assiduity to the study of Hebrew.
Among his correspondents in 1784 and 1785, was the the Right Honourable William Windham, eminent both as a statesman and a scholar. He delighted in the society and the studies of Oxford, and occasionally spent a few days there. The following letter, referring to his feelings upon the death of Dr. Johnson, will be read with interest:
DEAR SIR, HAVING seen in the Almanack, just now, that the Oxford term ends to-day, I will write you a few lines in haste, rather than increase my risk of being too late by the delay of another post. It is difficult for me to begin a letter to you at this moment, without saying a word on the melancholy event of Dr. Johnson's death, which casts a darker gloom over my mind, than I was prepared for. I must despatch, however, what is the immediate occasion of my writing, and inform you that I have seen, lately, Nicolaides, who is disposed to listen to the overtures I made to him; and upon receiving, at
any time, a summons from you, will come down by way of experiment. Some suspicion has got into my mind, that he is not a pleasant man to deal with; but, even if that should be true, your intercourse with him may be so managed, as that his discontents should affect no one but himself. Should you come to London this vacation, I hope you will let me have the pleasure of seeing you. If you can come by Monday next, you may pay your last tribute to genius and virtue, by attending the mournful train of Dr. Johnson's friends to Westminster Abbey. Pray tell this to Crofts. Yours most sincerely,
Hill Street, Dec. 17. 1784.]
THE SAME TO THE SAME.
YOUR curiosity about Sadler should not have remained so long unsatisfied, so far as it is in my power to satisfy it, if my absence from town for these last two days had not occasioned a delay in the receipt of your letter. Sadler, after working night and day, got his balloon finished a day or two ago, and is to return from Dover to-morrow, whither he has been to make some necessary arrangements to fetch it. I have procured him permission to share with Blanchard the use of Dover Castle; but I conceive it will be more desirable
for him, with the assistance of another letter which I got for him, to provide some private place. After all his exertions, I fear Blanchard will have had too much the start, and the last stroke be added to the disgrace of this country on the subject of balloons, by a foreigner being the first person to cross the Channel. When I have seen him tomorrow, which I expect to do, I will write to you again.
I THOUGHT myself very unlucky on hearing from my servant how nearly I had missed the pleasure of seeing you. The account contained in your letter is a very obliging instance of your attention, and gives me a prospect of executing my friend's wishes in a manner more satisfactory than I could have ventured to promise myself.
I write this from my own house, whither I am come for a fortnight, to enjoy fresh air and leisure; and shall then return to town for about a fortnight longer, previously to a journey I am to make, this summer, to Scotland, in company with Mr. Burke. Should you be passing through London at the time, I hope I may have the good fortune to meet you: I must not promise myself any thing so good, as