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cellencies; and Directions how to study them to Advantage; with an Essay on the Nature and Use
greatest want of taste and genius, whilst they were unfortunately laborious in endeavouring to point out those excellences in others." Mr. Blackwall, he adds, “ was what is generally called a good scholar; that is, he was grammatically master of the two dead languages, Greek and Latin, and had read over all the antient authors in both; but, not having by nature or acquisition that happy taste of distinguishing beauties, nor a digestion to assimilate the sense of others into his own understanding, his conceptions were as crude as his address and style were unpleasing." Such, and still worse, is the censure thrown on Mr. Blackwall, in the “ Letters on Taste," pp. 119-121. " Mr. Blackwall (Dr. Pegge informs me) corresponded with the Rev. Mr. William Burrow of Chesterfield ; for, when a scholar of the latter, I transcribed a paragraph from J. A. Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. tom. III. by his order for Mr. Blackwall; as Mr. Burrow then told me. This might be about 1720."--In 1722 he was appointed head-master of the free-school at Market-Bosworth in Leicestershire; and, in 1725 appeared, in 4to, his greatest and most celebrated work, " The Sacred Classics defended and illustrated; or, an Essay humbly offered towards proving the Purity, Propriety, and True Eloquence of the Writers of the New Testament. Vol. I. In Two Parts. In the first of which those Divine Writings are vindicated against the Charge of barbarous Language,' false Greek, and Solecisms. In the Second is shown, that all the Excellencies of Style, and Sublime Beauties of Language and genuine Eloquence, do abound in the Sacred Writers of the New Testament. With an Account of their Style and Character, and a Representation of their Superiority, in several Instances, to the best Classics of Greece and Rome. To which are subjoined proper Indexes.” A second edition, corrected, was published in Svo, 1727, with a portrait of the Author, by Vertue, from an original painting. A second volume (completed but a few weeks before his death) was published in 8vo, 1731, under the title of “ The Sacred Classics defended and illustrated, “finished, not without very great labours and pains, though accompanied with pleasures.” The Second and last Volume. In Three Parts. Containing, I. A farther Demonstration of the Propriety, Purity, and sound Eloquence of the Language of the New Testament Writers. II. An Account of the wrong Division of Chapters and Verses, and faulty Translations of the Divine Books, which weaken its Reasonings, and spoil its Eloquence and Native Beauties. III. A Discourse on the various Readings of the New Testament. With a Preface; wherein is shewn the Necessity and Usefulness of a New Version of the Sacred Books. By the late Reverend and Learned A. Blackwall, M. A. Author of the First Volume. To which is annexed a very copious Index." So valuable is this work for its conciseness, and yet so complete for its elearness, it has been asserted, that no book of the K 2
of those emphatical and beautiful Figures which give Strength and Ornament to Writing. Printed ·
same size ever before comprehended such stores of useful learning and sound criticism, or was so well fitted for the edification of a Christian Scholar. (See “The Present State of the Republick of Letters," 1731, vol. VIII. p. 38.) Both volumes were re-printed, in 4to, under the title of “ Antonii Blackwalli, inclyti Magnde Britanniæ Philologi, Auctores Sacri Classici defensi et illustrati; sive Critica Sacra Novi Testamenti. Christophorus Wollius, S.T.B. & Concion. ad D. Nic. Sabbathicus ex Anglico Latine vertit, recensuit, variis Observationibus locupletavit, & Hermeneuticam N. F. Dogmaticam adjunxit, Lipsiæ, 1736." Mr. Blackwall had the felicity to bring up many excellent scholars in his seminaries at Derby and Bosworth; among others, the celebrated Richard Dawes (Author of the “Miscellanea Cri-' tica"), and Sir Henry Atkins, bart. who, being patron of the church of Clapham in Surrey, presented him, Oct. 12, 1726, to that rectory (then supposed to be worth 3001. a year) as a mark of his gratitude and esteem. This happening late in Mr. Blackwall's life, and he having occasion to wait upon his old acquaintance Dr. Gibson (then Bishop of London, but with whom Mr. Blackwall had been intimate whilst he enjoyed the see of Lin-' coln) for ordination, a young chaplain was examining him in the Greek Testament, when the Bishop entered the room, and with great good nature put an end to the examination by asking the chaplain if he knew what he was about. “ Mr. Blackwall, said the Bishop, “understands more of the Greek Testament than you do, or I to help you." This fact is related on the authority of Dr. Johnson, to whom it was told by Mr. Fitzherbert, one of Blackwall's scholars., Another story nearly to the same purport is told of Mr. Blackwall; but it has also been told, and with more probability, of Dr. Bentley ; viz. that being pertly questioned by the chaplain as to the extent of his learning, he replied, “ Boy, I have forgot more than ever you knew." [On this my late friend Dr. Pegge remarks, “ The story is ridiculous as to Bentley, who cannot be supposed to have forgotten any thing when last examined; nor is it agreeable to a person of Mr. Blackwall's modesty. What is said of Bishop Gibson is also improbable, Clapham not being in the diocese of London.]" The Grammar whereby Mr. Blackwall initiated the youth under his care into Latin was of his own composing, and so happily fitted to the purpose, that in 1728 he was prevailed upon to make it public, though his modesty would not permit him to fix his name to it, because he would not be thought to prescribe to other instructors of youth. It is intituled, “ A New Latin Grammar; being a short, clear, and easy Introduction of young Scholars to the Knowledge of the Latin Tongue; containing an exact Account of the two first Parts of Grammar." I have never seen a copy of this work; but am assured by Dr. John- ·
for George Mortlack*; and sold also by W. Cantrel, bookeller in Derby;" 12mo.
“A new System of Anatomy, by James Draketa M. D. ;" second edition, 2 vols. 8vo.
son, the greatest Philologer this country ever produced, that it has not much merit. By endeavouring to make the rules of Grammar more simple than was possible, he has only shewn, that the “ easier any subject is in its own nature, the harder it is to make it more easy by explanation.” Early in 1729 (to accommodate the families of his patrons Sir Wolstan Dixie and Sir Henry Atkins, who were nearly related) he resigned the rectory of Claphan, and returned to Market Bosworth, where he was equally respected for his abilities and conviviality; and died at his school there, April 9, 1730. On a visit to Market-Bosworth, in May 1732, one principal object of my enquiries was the history of Mr. Blackwall: but not the slightest memorial is placed in the church to this ornament of their town. Some faint trace of his having existed was all that I could learn, except that the noble free-school was, under his auspices, attended by upwards of seventy scholars; and that the endowment, originally but 201. a year, was in 1782 so much increased that the master's salary was advanced to at least 100l, besides 301, for an assistant, and 211. for a person to teach writing. Mr. Blackwall was twice married; and by his first wife, Toplis, had one son, Anthony, of Emanuel college, B. A. 1721; who died young. By the second wife, the widow of
Cantrel, his predecessor in Derby-school, he had four sons, 1, Henry, of Emanuel college also, B. A. 1721; M. A. 1725; who died unmarried; 2, Robert, a dragoon; 3, John, an attorney at Stoke, who died July 5, 1762, æt. 56; 4, William, who died young; and one daughter married to Pickering.
**Mr. Mortlack has been Master of the Company of Stationers, and the most indefatigable shop-keeper I have known. He is very exact in trade. He was much assisted by the friendship of the great Doctor Stilling fleet Bishop of Worcester, and printed most of his works. He is now pretty much up in years, speaks slow, but speaks seldom in vain." Dunton, p. 285.
f James Drake was born at Cambridge, and educated at Caius college; M. B. there 1690; M, D. 1694. Removing to London, he practised for some time with reputation, under the auspices of Sir Thomas Millington, and other eminent physicians of that day. He was shortly after elected a fellow of the College, and also of the Royal Society, in whose transactions, XXIII. 1217, is a paper written by him, intituled, “ Some Influence of Respi. ration on the Motion of the Heart, hitherto unobserved." At length, however, mistaking his talents, and neglecting physic, he became, unhappily for himself, a violent party writer, the osten-, sible tool of the Tories. His first serious offence against his opponents was an attack upon William III. in his “ History of the last Parliament," &c. which was so highly resented by the House of Peers, that they directed a prosecution to be instituted