Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

rable, for his profound learning and unaffected piety, and not on account of any celebrity for miraculous and angelic operations.

*28. 1759.-WILLIAM PITT BORN. Some particulars of the early life of Mr. Pitt, as they have been detailed by his tutor, Bishop Tomline, we shall extract from his biography of this great statesman, as peculiarly interesting to all parties, whatever may be their political sentiments. Although Mr. Pitt was little more than fourteen years of age when he went to reside at the university, and had laboured under the disadvantage of frequent ill health, the knowledge wbich he then possessed was very considerable; and, in particular, his proficiency in the learned languages was probably greater than ever was acquired by any other person in such early youth.. In Latin authors he seldom mot with diffi, culty, and it was no uncommon thing for him to read into English six or seven pages of Thucydides, which he had not previously seen, without more than two or three mistakes, and sometimes without even one. : . He was not only soon master of all the ordinary rules of grammar, but, taking great pleasure in the philological disquisitions of critics and commentators, he became deeply versed in the niceties of construction and peculiarities of idiom, both in the Latin and Greek languages. He had also read the first six books of Euclid's Elements, Plane Trigonometry, the elementary parts of Algebra, and the two quarto volumes of Rutherforth's Natural Philosophy, a work then in some degree of repute at Cambridge, but afterwards laid aside. Nor was it in learning only that Mr. Pitt was so much superior to persons of his age. Though a boy in years and appearance, his manners were formed, and his behaviour manly. He mixed in conversation with unaffected vivacity; and delivered his sentiments with perfect ease, equally free from shyness and flippancy, and always

[graphic]

with strict attention to propriety and decorum. Lord Chatham, who could not but be aware of the powers of his son's mind and understanding, had encouraged him to talk without reserve upon every subject, which frequently afforded opportunity for conveying useful information and just notions of persons and things. When his lordship's health would permit, he never suffered a day to pass without giving instruction of some sort to his children; and seldon without reading a chapter of the Bible with them. He must, indeed, be considered as having contributed largely to that fund of knowledge, and to those other advantages, with which Mr. Pitt entered upon his academical life. .

While Mr. Pitt was under-graduate, he never omitted attending chapel morning and evening, or dining in the public hall, except when prevented by indisposition. Nor did he pass a single evening out of the college walls. Towards the latter end of the year 1776, Mr. Pitt began to mix with other young men of his own age and station in life, then resident at Cambridge; and no one was ever more admired and beloved by his acquaintance and friends. He was always the most lively person in company, abounding in playful wit and quick répartee, but never known to excite pain, or to give just ground of offence. Even those, who, from difference in political sentiments, or from any other cause, were not disposed to do him more than justico, could not but allow, that as 'a companion he was unrivalled. Though his society was universally sought, and from the age of seventeen or eighteen he constantly passed his evenings in company, he steadily avoided every species of irregularity; and he continued to pursue his studies with ardent zeal and unremitted diligence, during his whole residence in the university, which was protracted to the unusual length of nearly seven years, but with considerable intervals of absence. At this early period, there was the same firmness of principle, and rectitude of conduct, which marked his character in the more advanced stages of life. It ought, perhaps, to be mentioned, that Mr. Pitt did not construe classical authors in the ordinary way, but read several sentences of the original, and then gave the translation of them; and the almost intuitive quickness, with which he instantly saw the meaning of the most difficult passages of the most difficult writers, made an indelible impression upon the mind of his tutor. He was not less successful in mathematics and natural philosophy, displaying the same acuteness and readiness in acquiring knowledge, with an unexampled skill in applying it to the solution of problems. He was master of every thing usually known by young men who obtain the highest academical honours, and felt a great desire to fathom still farther the depths of pure mathematics; and had it been thought right to indulge this inclination, he would, no doubt, have made a wonderful progress in that abstruse science. There was scarcely any book in the wide circle of Mr. Pitt's reading, from which he derived greater advantage and satisfaction, than from Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding, of which he formed a complete and correct analysis. Amidst these severer studies, the lighter species of literature were by no means omitted; his intimate acquaintance with the historical and political writers of his own country', and his elegant taste for the boautios of tho English poets, ought not to be passed over in silence. To whatever branch of knowledge he applied, or whatever subject he discussed, the superiority of his abilities, and the clearness and comprehensiveness of his mind, were equally

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

* Middleton's Life of Cicero, and the political and historical works of Lord Bolingbroke, were favourite books with Mr. Pitt in point of style; as were also the works of Hume and Robertson. He was not an admirer of Johnson's style, and still less of Gibbon's. He read Barrow's Sermons, at the desire of Lord Chatham, who thought them admirably calculated to furnish the copia verborum,

- manifest. Mr. Pitt died on the 230 Jan. 1806; see · T. T. for 1817, p. 7..

- 29.-KING CHARLES II RESTORED On the 8th of May, 1660, Charles II was proclaimed in London and Westminster, and afterwards throughout his dominions, with great joy and universal acclamations. In some parts of England it is customary for the common people to wear oak leaves, covered with leaf gold, in their hats, in commemoration of the concealment of Charles II in an oak tree, after the battle of Worcester. An account of the king's escape to France, extracted from his own Narrative, will be found in T. T. for 1815, p. 176. See also a description of his entry into London, in T. T. for 1820, p. 137; and of his coronation, in our last volume, pp. 108-110.

Astronomical Occurrences
...::: In MAY 1822.

SOLAR PAENOMENA. The Sun will enter Gemini at 51 m. past 4 in the afternoon of the 21st of this month; and he rises and sets during the same period as in the following

.... TABLE Of the Sun's Rising and Setting for every fifth Day.

May 1st, Sun rises at 37 m. after 4. Sets at 23 m. after 7

6th, ... 29' • • • • 31 · 7
11th, • •'. 20 • 4 · · 40 · · 7
16th, • : 18 • • 4 - · 47 · -

21st, 1. 6:. 4.. 54 .-7
il 26th,, ... · 59 · · 3 · · 1 · · 8
31st, •:: 54 3. 6 .8

Equation of Time. When apparent time is known from a good sundial, mean time may readily be found by subtracting the following quantities from the time as indicated by the dial; viz.

ANA

54

TABLE.
Wednesday May 1st, from the time by the dial subtract 3
Monday, • 6th, .. . . . . . . 3 35
Saturday, 11th, .

... 3
Thursday, 16th, • . . • i • • . 3 58
Tuesday, - - 21st, • • • • • • • • • 3
Sunday, .. 26th, . ..

. 3 23 25 Friday, · · 31st, , • • • • • • • • • • 2 47

LUNAR PHENOMENA. .

Phases of the Moon.
Full Moon 6th day, at 52 m. after 4 morning
Last Quarter 14th . 28 . 6 - -
New Moon 20th .. 42 . • 11 night
First Quarter 27th ·· 20 · 6 evening. .

Moon's Passage over the Meridian. The Moon will pass the first meridian of this country at the following epochs this month, wbich will be convenient for observation, if the weather prove favourable: viz. .

May 1st, at 56 m. after 8 in the evening

2d, - 37 - - - 9. - - - 3d, - 18 - • • 10 - - - - 4th, 0. . . 11. - . . . 12th, - 43. . . 4 in the morning 13th, - 32 - - 5 - - - 14th, 19. . 6 - - - - 29th, - S6 - - • 7 in the evening 30th, · 17 - - 8. - •'.

31st, - 58 - - . 8. . - .-
PHENOMENA PLANETARUM.

Phases of Venus.
May 1st Illuminated part = 4:67241
way to Dark part = 7.32759

Eclipses of Jupiter's Satellites. None of the eclipses of these satellites will be visible this month, Jupiter being too near the Sun.

Other Phenomena: Jupiter will be in conjunction at half past 5 in the morning of the 4th of this month. Mercury will be in conjunction with Saturn on the same day, when the former planet will be 45' north of the latter. The

« НазадПродовжити »