Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Gibbon, Edward, born at Putney, in Surrey, 1737; died, 1794. He wrote the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which still retains its place as the greatest history in the language.

Goldsmith, Oliver, was horn in Roscommon, Ireland, 1729, and died, in London, in 1774. His exquisite genius touched nothing that it did not adorn, and his essays, plays, and poems are among our most charming classics. Besides his plays, his "Deserted Village," his "Traveller," and his " Vicar of Wakefield," are known to all. Personally, he was one of the kindest of human beings.

Gray, Thomas, an English poet, was born in London, 1716; died, 1771. He is now best known by his '' Elegy written in a Country Churchyard."

Gresham, Sir Thomas, born in London, 1519; died, 1579, was a princely merchant in Queen Elizabeth's reign. He erected, at his own expense, the Royal Exchange in London, which was destroyed in the Great Eire of 1666. His own house was converted into a college for the study of the liberal sciences, and he left perpetual salaries for the professors. Though steadily attentive to business, he applied himself in his leisure hours with so much zeal to literature, that he gained well-deserved fame for his learning.

Guy, Thomas, the son of a lighterman in Horselydown, South

wark, was born in 1643; died, 1724. He was apprenticed to a bookseller, and afterwards began the world with ,£200; but by attention to business and extreme frugality, accumulated immense riches. He built Guy's Hospital in the Borough, which cost .£18,793; he left by will .£219,499 to endow it; to Christ's Hospital he bequeathed .£400 a year for ever; and £80,000 (the remainder of his estate), were distributed among those who could claim any affinity to him.

Hale, Sir Matthew, born in Gloucestershire, 1609; died, 1676. He was Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and was famous for his personal and official integrity.

Halley, Edmund, born in London, 1656; died, 1742. A celebrated astronomer. He discovered the great comet of 1680, which bears his nUme. In 1719 he succeeded Flamsteed as as tronomer royal.

Hampden, John, born in London, 1594; died, 1643. Famous as the defender of public liberty against the arbitrary measures of Charles I., being the first to resist the payment of the illegal tax of "ship-money." He was mortally wounded in a skirmish at Chalgrove Field, in Oxfordshire.

Harrison, John, an ingenious mechanic, born at Yorkshire, 1693; died, 1776. He was originally a carpenter, but having a mechanical genius, applied himself to watch and clock making, and ultimately made a chronometer which kept time Bo exactly that ships could find their longitude at sea by its means. For this he received .£20,000, granted by Parliament.

Harvey, William, physician and anatomist, discoverer of the circulation of the blood, was born at Folkestone, in Kent, 1578, and died, 1658. Towards the close of his life, he was chosen president of the College of Physicians, but declined the office from age and infirmities.

Hogarth, William, born in London, 1697; died, 1764. This celebrated painter and engraver long continued in obscurity, till his "Harlot's Progress," "Kake's Progress," and "Marriage ii-la-mode," attracted the public attention. His pictures are marvels of keen humour and moral teaching.

Homnqshed, Ralph, an English chronicler, born in Cheshire, time uncertain; died between 1578 and 1582.

Hume, David, a philosopher and historian, born in Edinburghshire, 1711; died, 1776. He is now best known by his " Treatise on Human Nature," and his "English History."

Hunter, John, brother of the following, was born in 1728; died in 1798. He was at first assistant to his brother, but by his splendid abilities and intense industry he soon became as famous. His museum of ana

tomical preparations is now the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and is a miracle of genius and industry.

Hunter, William, joint founder, with his brother, of scientific anatomy, was born 1718; died, 1783. His lectures and an anatomical museum formed by him, and now at Glasgow, greatly advanced anatomical science and earned him the highest reputation.

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, one of the brightest luminaries of the eighteenth century, was born at Lichfield, in Staffordshire, 1708; died, 1784. Ho was a man of great powers of mind. His "Rambler," "Idler," "English Dictionary," and "Lives of the Poets," are well known.

Jones, Inigo, a celebrated architect, was born in London, of Welsh parents, in 1572; died, 1652. Ho designed many noble edifices, particularly the Banqueting House, Whitehall; and the Church and Piazza of Covcnt Garden. Lincoln's-InnFields was originally planned by him, but his design was notcarried into effect.

Jones, Sir William, born in London, 1748; died, 1794. An indefatigable student, and latterly, a great Orientalist. After practising for some time as a lawyer, in 1783 he was appointed judge of the supreme court of Bengal. He published translations of a number of Persian and Indian poems, &c.

Jonson, Ben, an English poet and dramatic author, born in Westminster, 1574; died, 1637. TTia plays are full of learning, and are also marked by keen knowledge of men, and a high but severe imagination.

Knox, John, born in Haddingtonshire, 1505; died, 1572. He was an eminent Scottish preacher, and one of the chief instruments and promoters of the Reformation. Boldness and intrepidity marked his character.

Latimer, Hugh, Bishop of Worcester, born in Leicestershire, 1470; died, 1554. He resigned his bishopric rather than assent to what he believed wrong, in Henry VIII.'s reign, and was, for the last six years of it, a prisoner in the Tower. Edward VI. released him; but on Mary's accession he was again arrested, and afterwards burnt at the stake.

Locke, John, born in Somersetshire, 1632; died, 1704. He was one of the most celebrated philosophers of his own or of any other age. His chief works are "Letters upon Toleration," and his "Essay upon the Conduct of the Human Understanding."

Marvel, Andrew, born in Yorkshire, 1620; died, 1678. A fine though neglected poet. He was member for Hull (his native town), and a man of incorruptible integrity, in times of the greatest licentiousness and venality.

Milton, John, was born in London, 1608; died, 1674. He was author of "Paradise Lost," and "Paradise Regained," "Comus," and many poems and political works. His character is best portrayed in Dryden's celebrated verses, written under Milton's picture, which we subjoin :—

"Three poets in three distant ageH horn,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
Tho first in loftiness of thought sur-
passed,

The next in majesty, in both tho last;
The force of nature could no farther go,
To make a third, she joined the former
two."

Moore, General Sir John, born at Glasgow, in 1761; killed at the battle of Corunna, 1809. Entering the army in his youth, he was present at the taking of St. Lucia, in the West Indies; assisted in suppressing the Irish rebellion in 1798; and served in Sweden, Sicily, Egypt, and Holland. By the recommendation of Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington, he was placed at the head of the British Peninsular army, but being ordered on a hopeless campaign, he was obliged to retreat, to avoid losing part of the army, and was killed in the battle of Corunna.

More, Sir Thomas, Chancellor of England, born in London, 1480; died, 1535. He was a man of high genius and perfect culture, but though most amiable in private life, was harsh towards the Reformers. When the divorce between Henry VIII. and Catharine of Arragon was agitated, he resigned the Lord Chancellorship, and upon his refusal to take the oath of supremacy, was committed to the Tower, and beheaded. Napier, Lord John, born in Scotland, 1550; died, 1617. An able mathematician, the forerunner of Newton, and inventor of logarithms, for the use of navigators.

Nelson, Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Duke of Bronte, in Sicily, born in Norfolk, 1758; died, 1805. Bred to the sea, he early showed that prompt decision of character and intrepidity by which he was so eminently distinguished. In 1779 he was appointed post-captain; at Toulon, Bastia, and Calvi, he displayed his courage and conduct. When rear-admiral of the blue, and knight of the bath, he lost his right arm while gallantly signalizing himself at the siege of Santa Cruz, in the isle of Teneriffe. In the battle of the Nile, nine French ships of the line were taken and two burnt. Before Copenhagen, eighteen Danish ships were destroyed, seven of which were of the line. In his last and greatest achievement, the ever-memorable battle of Trafalgar, the combined fleets of France and Spain were defeated, and twenty ships of the line taken and destroyed. He fell towards the close of the engagement.

Nbvill, Bichard, Earl of War

wick, called the king-maker. He fell at the battle of Barnet, 1471, during the civil wars.

Newton, Sir Isaac, the prince of philosophers, born in Lincolnshire, 1642; died, 1726. He made great discoveries in astronomy, optics, and the mathematics. Sir Isaac's private character was truly amiable. Modest and unassuming, he seemed ignorant that his genius raised him far above other men.

Parnell, Dr. Thomas, poet, was born in Dublin, 1676; died, 1718. He was the friend of Swift, Gay, Arbuthnot, and Pope.

Penn, William, a celebrated "Friend;" born in London, 1643; died, 1718. He colonized the province of Pennsylvania, and built the town of Philadelphia.

Percy, Harry (called Hotspur). A brave Englishman, son of the Earl of Northumberland, who lived in the reigns of Henry IV. and Bichard II. He fought against the Scotch, and defeated Earl Douglas; but afterwards, upon some misunderstanding with Henry, took up arms against the king, and was killed at the battle of Shrewsbury, 1403.

Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, born in Wiltshire, 1708; died, 1778. This illustrious statesman was, during a successful administration, the pride of Britain: his eloquence has been compared to a mighty torrent; his genius planned the conquest of Canada; he aided Frederick the G reat to withstand France and Austria, and thus helped to raise Prussia; and he opposed the ruinous American War, which lost the United States to England.

Pitt, William, second son of the above, was born in Kent, 1759; died, 1806. This great statesman was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer when only twenty-three, and continued prime minister, with very little interruption, till his death. Under him the great wars against Napoleon were undertaken, loading the nation with its vast national debt, and long retarding needed reforms.

Pope, Alexander, a celebrated poet, born in London, 1088; died, 1744. He discovered a genius for poetry at a very early period. His " Pastorals" were his first productions, and he afterwards published '' Windsor Forest," the "Essay on Criticism," the "Rape of the Lock," the " Dunciad," and the "Essay on Man;" and also translated the " Iliad" and the '' Odyssey."

Prior, Matthew, poet, was born in London, in 1664; died, 1721. His father was a joiner, and could ill afford to give Prior a liberal education; but the Earl of Dorset patronized his rising merit, and his abilities at length raised him to the office of Secretary of State under Queen Anne.

Baffles, Sir Thomas Stamford, the son of a West India captain,

was born at sea, in 1781, off the harbour of Port Morant, in the island of Jamaica. His early advantages of education were very limited, and at the age of fourteen he was placed as an extra clerk in the India House. Having a great facility in acquiring languages, he employed his leisuro in literary studies, but was attentive to all his official duties. His steady conduet and evident talents soon procuring him patronage, he was sent out as assistant-secretary in an establishment formed at Penang; where he aided in planning the conquest of Java, of which he afterwards became lieutenant - governor. On his return home, he received the honour of knighthood. He was next appointed lieutenant-governor of Bencoolen, 1817. In 1824 his health had greatly declined, and he embarked for England with his family, and ajarge and valuable collection of scientific curiosities, and literary and scientific MSS., live animals, &c. But in the evening of the day in which he sailed, the ship caught fire, and he narrowly escaped with his life. The loss sustained, not only by himself, but by the public, on this occasion, was irreparable. He reached land, embarked in another vessel; but after residing two more years in England, his shattered constitution, at all times delicate, finally gave way, and he breathed his last July 5th, 1826,aged 45.

« AnteriorContinuar »