Abbildungen der Seite

nished, were very much embarrassed and retarded in their operations.

Mr. Graham was many years a member of the royal society, to which he communicated several ingenious and important discoveries, viz. from the 31st to the 42d volume of the Philos. Transactions, chiefly on astronomical and philosophical subjects; particularly a kind of horary alteration of the magnetic needle; a quicksilver pendulum, and many curious particulars relating to the true length of the simple pendulum, upon which he continued to make experiments till almost the year of his death, which happened Nov. 20, 1751, at his house in Fleet-street. He was interred in Westminster abbey in the same grave with his predecessor Tompion.

His temper was not less communicative than his genius was penetrating; and his principal view was the advancement of science, and the benefit of mankind. As he was perfectly sincere, he was above suspicion ; as he was above envy, he was candid ; and as he had a relish for true pleasure, he was generous. He frequently lent money, but could never be prevailed upon to take any interest; and for that reason he never placed out any money upon government securities. He had bank-notes, which were thirty years old, in his possession, when he died; and his whole property, except his stock in trade, was found in a strong box, which, though less than would have been heaped by avarice, was yet more than would have remained to prodigality.' · GRAIN (JOHN BAPTIST LE), a French historian, was born in 1565, and, after a liberal education, became counsellor and master of the requests to Mary de Medicis, queen of France. He frequented the court in his youth, and de voted himself to the service of Henry IV. by whom he was much esteemed and trusted. Being a man of probity, and void of ambition, he did not employ his interest with Henry to obtain dignities, but spent the greatest part of his life in literary retirement. Among other works which he composed, are “ The History of Henry IV” and “The

History of Lewis XIII. to the death of the Marshal d'An. · cre,” in 1617; both which were published in folio, under the title of “ Decades.” The former he presented to Lewis XIII. who read it over, and was infinitely charmed

? Gent. Mag. vol. XXI.--Hutchinsop's Hist. of Cumberland,

with the frankness of the author : but the Jesuits, who never were friendly to liberality of sentiment, found means to have this work castrated in several places. They served 6. The History of Lewis XIII.” worse; for, Le Grain haying in that performance spoken advantageously of the prince of Condé, his protector, they had the cunning and malice to suppress those passages, and to insert others, where they made him speak of the prince in very indeco. rous terms. Condé was a dupe to this piece of knavery, till Le Grain had time to vindicate himself, by restoring this as well as his former works to their original purity. He died at Paris in 1643, and ordered in his will, that none of his descendants should ever trust the education of their children to the Jesuits; which clause, it is said, has been punctually observed by his family."

GRAINDORGE (ANDREW), an ingenious Frenchman, was a vative of Caen in the seventeenth century, and the discoverer of the art of making figured diaper. He did not, however, bring it to perfection, for he only wove squares and flowers; but his son Richard Graindorge, living to the age of eighty-two, had leisure to complete what his father bad begun, and found a way to represent all sorts of animals, and other figures. This work he called Hautelice, perhaps because the threads were twisted in the woof. They are now called damasked cloths, from their resemblance to white damask. This ingenious workman also invented the method of weaving table napkins; and his son, Michael, established several manufactures in different parts of France, where these damasked cloths are become very common. The same family has produced several other persons of genius and merit;namong these is JAMES Graindorge, a man of wit and taste, and well skilled in antiquities : he is highly spoken of by M. Huet, who was his intimate friend. His brother ANDREW, also, doctor of physic of the faculty at Montpellier, was a learned philosopher, who followed the principles of Epicurus and Gassendi. He died January 13, 1676, aged sixty. He left, 6 Traité de la Nature du Feu, de la Lumiére, et des Couleurs," 4t0; “ Traité de l'Origine des Macreuses," 1680, 12mo, and other works. M. Huet dedicated his book “ De Interpretatione” to this gentleman.'

3 Moreri.

2 Moreri, Dist. Hist.

· GRAINGER (JAMES), an English poet and physician, was born at Dunse, a small town in the southern part of Scotland, about 1723. His father, a native of Cumberland, and once a man of considerable property, had removed to Duuse, on the failure of some speculations in mining, and there filled a post in the excise. His son, after receiving such education as bis native place afforded, went to Edinburgh, where he was apprenticed to Mr. Lawder, a surgeon, and had an opportunity of studying the various branches of medical science, which were then begun to be taught by the justly celebrated founders of the school of medicine in that city. Having qualified himself for such situations as are attainable by young men whose circumstances do not permit them to wait the slow returns of medical practice at home, he first served as surgeon to lieut.-general Pulteney's regiment of foot, during the rebellion (of 1745) in Scotland, and afterwards went in the same capacity to Germany, where that regiment composed part of the army under the earl of Stair. With the reputation and interest which his skill and learning procured abroad, he came over to England at the peace of Aix-laChapelle, sold his commission, and entered upon practice as a physician in London.

In 1753 he published the result of his experience in some diseases of the army, in a volume written in Latin, entitled “ Historia Febris Anomalæ Batavæ annorum 1746, 1747, 1748," &c. In this work he appears to advantage as an acute obseryer of the phenomena of disease, and as a man of general learning, but what accession he had been able to make to the stock of medical knowledge was unfortunately anticipated in sir John Pringle's recent and very valuable work on the diseases of the army. During his residence in London, his literary talents introduced him to the acquaintance of many men of genius, particularly of Shenstone, Dr. Percy the late bishop of Dromore, Glover, Dr. Johnson, sir Joshua Reynolds, and others, who by Mr. Boswell's comprehensive biography, are now known to have composed Dr. Johnson's society, and it is no small praise that every member of it regarded Dr. Grainger with affection. He was first known as a poet by his “ Ode on Solipide,” which has been universally praised, and never beyond its merits; but professional success is seldom promoted by the reputation of genius. Grainger's practice was insufficient to employ his days or to provide for them, and he is said to have accepted the office of tutor to a young gentleman who settled an annuity upon him; nor did he disdain such literary employment as the booksellers suggested. Smollett, in the course of a controversy which will be noticed hereafter, accuses him of working for bread in the lowest employments of literature, and at the lowest prices. This, if it be not the loose assertion of a calumniator, may perhaps refer to the assistance he gave in preparing the second volume of Maitland's “ History of Scotland,” in which he was employed by Andrew Millar, who has seldom been accused of bargaining with authors for the lowest prices. Maitland had left materials for the volume, and as Grainger's business was to arrange them, and continue the work as nearly as possible in Maitland's manner and style, much fame could not result from his best endeavours.

In 1758 he published a translation of the “ Elegies of Tibullus,” begun during the hours he snatched from business or pleasure when in the army, and finished in London, where he had more leisure, and the aid and encouragement of his literary friends. This work involved him in the unpleasant contest with Smollett, to which we have just referred. Its merits were canvassed in the “ Critical Review” with much severity. The notes are styled “ a huge farrago of learned lumber, jumbled together to very little purpose, seemingly calculated to display the transJator's reading, rather than to illustrate the sense and beauty of the original.” The Life of Tibullus, which the translator prefixed, is said to contain " very little either to inform, interest, or amuse the reader.” With respect to the translation, “ the author has not found it an easy task to preserve the elegance and harmony of the original.” Instances of harshness and inelegance are quoted, as well as of the use of words which are not English, or not used by good writers, as noiseless, redoubtable, feud, &c. The author is likewise accused of deviating not only from the meaning, but from the figures of the original. Of these objections some are groundless, and some are just, yet even the latter are by no means characteristic of the whole work, but exceptions which a critic of more candour would have had a right to state, after he had bestowed the praise due to its general merit. In this review, however, although unqualified censure was all the critic had in view, no personal attack is made on the author, nor are there any allusions to his situation in life.

This appeared in the « Critical Review" for December 1758. In the subsequent number for January 1759, the reviewer takes an opportunity, as if answering a correspondent, to retract his objection against the word noiseless, because it is found in Shakspeare, but observes very fairly, that the authority of Shakspeare or Milton will not justify an author of the present times for introducing harsh or antiquated words. He acknowledges himself likewise to blame in baving omitted to consult the errata subjoined (prefixed) to Dr. Grainger's performance, where some things are corrected which the reviewer mentioned as inaccuracies in the body of the work. But this acknowledgment, so apparently candid, is immediately followed by a wretched attempt at wit, in these words : “ Whereas one of the Owls belonging to the proprietor of the M(on)thly R(evie)w, which answers to the name of Grainger, hath suddenly broke from his mew, where he used to hoot in darkness and peace, and now screeches openly in the face of day, we shall take the first opportunity to chastise this troublesome .owl, and drive him back to his original obscurity." The allusion here is to Dr. Grainger's " Letter to Tobias Smollett, M.D. occasioned by his criticism on a late Translation of Tibullus,” a performance some parts of which every friend to the author must wish had not been published. In this letter, however, Grainger, after quoting a passage from the plan or prospectus of the “ Critical Review,” in which the authors promise to revive the true spirit of criticism, to act without prejudice, &c. &c. endeavours to prove, that they have forfeited their word, by notoriously departing from the spirit of just and candid criticism, and by introducing gross partialities and malevolent censures. And these assertions, which are certainly not without foundation, are intermixed with reflections on Dr. Smollett's loose novels, and insinuations that his partialities arise from causes not very honourable to the character of an independent reviewer.

But whatever truth may be in all this, the letter was an unwise and hasty production, written in the moment of the strongest irritation. The review appeared in December, and the letter in January. There was no time to cool, and perhaps no opportunity of consulting his friends, who could have told him that nothing was to be gained by an exchange of personalities with Smollett. The latter required no great length of time or consideration to prepare an an

« ZurückWeiter »