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the first section of Dr. Priestley's Introduction to the history of early opinions concerning Jesus Christ; together with strictures on some other parts of the work, and a postscript relating to a late publication of Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, 1787, 8vo. This work was very generally regarded as completely performing all that its title-page promised ; and accordingly the whole edition was soon sold off. A very unsatisfactory answer was, however, attempted by Dr. Priestley, in “ A Letter to Dr. Horne,” &c.
Mr. Parkhurst died at Epsom in Surrey, March 21, 1797. He was a man of very extraordinary independency of mind and firmness of principle. In early life, along with many other men of distinguished learning, it was objected to bim that he was a Hutchinsonian ; and this has been given as a reason for his want of preferment. A better reason, however, may be found in the circumstances of his acquisition of property, which rendered him indepen. dent, and his love of retirement, which was uniform. He always gave less of his time to the ordinary interruptions of life ihan is common. In an hospitable, friendly, and pleasant neighbourhood, he visited little, alleging that such a course of life neither suited his temper, his health, or his studies. Such a man was not likely to crowd the levee of a patron. Yet he was of sociable manners; and his conversation always instructive, often delightful; for his stores of knowledge were so large, that he has often been called a walking library. Like many other men of infirm and sickly frames, he was occasionally irritable and quick, warm and earnest in his resentments, though never unforgiving. Few men, upon the whole, have passed through a long life more at peace with their neighbours, more respected by men of learning, more beloved by their friends, or more honoured by their family.
Of his strict sense of justice, the following has been related as a very striking instance. One of his tenants falling behind-hand in the payment of his rent, which was 500l. per annum, it was represented to his landlord that it was owing to his being over-rented. This being believed to be the case, a new valuation was made; and it was then agreed, that, for the future, the rent should not be more than 450l. Many in his situation would have stopped here, and considered the sacrifice as sufficient. Mr. Parkhurst, however, justly inferring that if the farm was then too dear, it must necessarily have been always too dear,
unasked, and of his own accord, immediately struck off 50l. from the commencement of the lease, and instantly refunded all that he had received more than 450l.
Mr. Parkhurst was in his person rather below the middle size, but remarkably upright, and firm in his gait. He was throughout life of a sickly habit; and his leading a life so remarkably studious and sedentary (it having, for
many years, been his constant practice to rise at five, and, in winter to light his own fire), to the very verge of David's limits of the life of man, is a consolatory proof to men of similar habits, how much, under many disadvantages, may still be effected by strict temperance and a careful regimen.
Mr. Parkhurst's first wife died in 1759, leaving him a daughter, now the widow of the rev. James Altham, and two sons, both since dead. In 1761 he married again Milicent Northey, daughter of Thomas Northey, esq. by whom he had the daughter, Mrs. Thomas, whom we have already mentioned. This lady having received, under the inmediate inspection of her learned and pious father, an education of the first order, acquired a degree of classical knowledge rarely to be met with in the female world. She wrote a very affectionate memorial of her father's worth, which is engraven over his remains in Epsom church. Her mother, the second Mrs. Parkhurst, died in 1800.?
PARKINS (John), one of our early law-writers, was born of a genteel family, and educated at Oxford, but left it without a degree, and became a student of the Inner Temple, where, Wood says, he made wonderful proficiency in the common law. After being called to the bar, he became eminent in his profession, and had great practice as a chamber-counsel. Whether he was ever a reader of his inn, or a bencher, seems doubtful. He died, according to Pits, in 1544, but according to Bale, in 1545, and is supposed to have been buried in the Temple church. He wrote, in Norman French (but Wood gives the title in Latin), “ Perutilis Tractatus; sive explanatio quorundam capitulorum valde necessaria," Lond. 1530, a work which must have answered its character of “ valde necessaria," as it was reprinted in 1532, 1541, 1545, 1567, 1597, 1601, and 1639. There were also two English translations, of 1642 and 1657, all in 8vo. ?
Geñt. Mag: vols. LXVII, LXX.—Dr. Gleig's Supplement to the Encyclop. Brita
2 Tanner, Bale, and Pits.--Ath. Ox, vol. I,
PARKINSON (John), a celebrated old herbalist, was born in 1567, and bred up as a London apothecary, in which profession he became eminent, and was at length appointed apothecary to king James I. King Charles I. afterwards conferred upon him the title of Botanicus Regius Primarius. A great share of his attention, during a long life, was devoted to the study of plants. He had a garden well stored with rarities, and he bestowed equal notice upon the curiosities of the flower-garden, and on the native productions of his own and other countries, embracing their literary history, as well as their practical investigation.
His first publication was his “ Paradisi in Sole Paradisus terrestris, or a choice Garden of all sorts of Rarest Flowers, &c.; to which is annexed a Kitchen Garden,” &c. This was printed at London, anno 1629, in a folio of 612 pages. A second edition, “much corrected and enlarged," appeared in 1656, after the decease of the author. Both editions are dedicated to the Queen's most excellent Majesty,” which could hardly have been, as Dr. Pulteney supposed, queen Elizabeth; but rather the queen of Charles I.; and it is to the honour of those who edited the new impression, in 1656, that this dedication was not tben suppressed. About a thousand plants, either species or varieties, are described in this book, of which 780 are figured, in wood cuts, partly copied from Clusius and Lobel, partly original, but all of them coarse and stiff, though sometimes expressive. Numerous remarks are interspersed, respecting the botanical history or medical virtues of the plants, as well as their culture; but the latter subject is, for the most part, given in the introductory chapters, which display no small degree of intelligence. and experience. This book affords a very correct and pleasing idea of the gardens of our ancestors, at the time it was written ; and has been considered, by the learned authors of the “ Hortus Kewensis," unequivocal authority as to the time when any particular species was introduced or cultivated among us. Though our kitchen-gardens bad not arrived at such perfection as they attained in king William's days, and haye since preserved, there is reason to think the science of horticulture declined considerably after the time of Parkinson, previous to its restoration at the end of the seventeenth century. It is no small praise to Parkinson's work, that the late Mr. Curtis held it in parti:
cular estimation, always citing it in his Magazine with peculiar pleasure and respect,
In 1640 our author published his principal, work, the “ Theatrum Botanicum, or Theatre of Plants, or an Herbal of large extent;" &c. a ponderous folio of 1746 pages, with innumerable wooden cuts. This work and the Herbal of Gerarde were the two main pillars of botany in England till the time of Ray; one or other, or both, being the inexhaustible resource of all who had any love for plants, or any interest in inquiring into their qualities. Of these two writers it is justly observed that Parkinson was by far the most original and the most copious, but his cuts being of vastly inferior merit to those admirable ones prepared for Conrad Gesner, with which Gerarde had the means of adorning bis publication, the latter has greatly prevailed in popularity, as a book of reference. It is indeed chiefly for the figures that we now cite these works. Nice distinctions of species, or any discrimination between species and varieties, are not to be expected; still less, any ideas of classification or scientific arrangement, worthy a moment's consideration or comparison. It is not to be wondered at if these great works contain some hundreds of repetitions, when we consider how obscurely many plants had been described, or even figured, by previous authors; insomuch that it was in many cases next to impossible to discover whether a given plant had been described before. Parkinson, however, is entitled to superior praise on this head, having taken all possible pains to avoid such mistakes, by his deep study of synonyms.
Some papers of Lobel are said to have fallen into the hands of Parkinson, after the death of the former, which proved of use to his undertaking ; but it does not appear that he implicitly confided in such, any more than in previously printed authorities, without a due investigation, and therefore they became in some measure his own.
The time of Parkinson's decease is not known, but he appears to have been living when his Herbal was published, in 1640, at which period he was, if Dr. Pulteney's date of his birth be correct, seventy-three years old. Nothing is recorded of his family. Some copies of bis “ Paradisus” have an engraved portrait of the author, done in his sixtysecond year; and there is a small oval one in the title-page of bis « Herbal, or Theatrum Botanicum."
1 Pulteney's Sketches, vol. I.- Rees's Cyclopædia.
PARMENIDES, a philosopher of the Eleatic sect, flourished about the sixty-ninth olympiad, or 504 B. C. Some have supposed he was a pupil of Anaximander. He was, however, at first a man of property and consequence in civil life, until Diochetas, a Pythagorean, introduced him into the recesses of philosophy. Cebes, in his allegorical table, speaks of Parmenides as an eminent pattern of virtue. He wrote the doctrines of his school in verses, of which a few fragments still remain in the collection “ Poesis Philosophica,” by Henry Stephens, Paris, 1573, but insufficient to explain his system of philosophy. Plato, in the dialogue which bears the name of Parmenides, professes to represent his tenets, but confounds them with his own. From the scattered reports of the ancients, Brucker has compiled the following Abstract of the philosophy of Parmenides.
Philosophy is two-fold, that which follows the report of the senses, and that which is according to reason and truth. The former treats of the appearances of sensible objects, the latter considers the abstract nature of things, and inquires into the constitution of the universe. Abstract philosophy teaches that from nothing nothing can proceed. The universe is one, immoveable, immutable, eternal, and of a spherical form. Whatever is not comprehended in the universe, has no real existence. Nothing in nature is either produced or destroyed, but merely appears to be so to the senses. Physical philosophy teaches that the principles of things are heat and cold, or fire and earth, of which the former is the efficient, the latter the material cause; that the earth is spherical, and placed in the center, being exactly balanced by its distance from the heavens, so that there is no cause why it should move one way rather than another; that the first men were produced from mud, by the action of heat upon cold ; that the frame of the world is liable to decay, but the universe itself remains the same; and that the chief seat of the soul is the heart. Brucker adds, that there is a near resemblance between the metaphysical doctrine of Parmenides and Xenophanes, but that Parmenides adhered more strictly to the Pythagorean doctrine. Telesius revived the doctrine of Parmenides in the sixteenth century.'
PARMENTIER (John), a French author and poet, whose works are now scarce, as well as obsolete, was ori
1 Brucker, Fabric. Bibl. Græc, &c.