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stinctions is illustrative of the manners of their times, and may be considered as a criterion of the honours, which were then attached to the literary character.

Pomfret is another poet who flourished in this reign : his biography is obscure, although his poetry appears to have been for a time extremely popular. Destitute of original genius, his penury of thought was rendered more obvious by the vulgarism or corruption of his taste; his numbers have neither smoothness nor strength; his sentiments are coarse and trite; his imagery tame and trivial ; his style feeble and sordid. He wrote a pastoral dirge on the death of queen Mary, replete with mythology and absurdity: his longest poem contains a horrible story of Kirke's cruelty : his most popular was the Choice, in which he has versified many common-place maxims of prudence and economy. This poem is lavishly commended by Dr. Johnson : it is such, however, as, to use his own words on Congreve's novel, most of our contemporaries “ would be better pleased to praise than to

read.”

Science continued to advance, and its progress was no less rapid than fortunate. The institution of the Royal Society was the commencement of an æra unparalleled for the universality of its researches, and the magnitude of its improvements. The spirit of discovery had gone forth, and its operations were illimitable as the powers of nature : nor were its energies indicated alone by sublime theories or comprehensive systems. They were exerted in useful inventions, and the application of mechanical ingenuity: they were not merely directed to the expansion of human intellect, but to the comfort and accommodation of human life. Never, before or șince, have so many illustrious minds been associated in similar views and pursuits. In this scientific confederacy, neither the hostility of party nor the rancour of controversy was permitted to operate :--a noble emulation supplied the place of contention; bigotry and sectarism were banished from a communion, whose supreme object was to diffuse knowledge and elicit truth. In addition to such members of the Royal Society as have been already mentioned, (among

whom

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whom were Newton and Locke,) the names of Grew, Ray, and. Derham, are particularly entitled to notice. Grew was the first who examined botanical subjects with a philosophic eye. In the dedication to his Anatomy of Plants, which was addressed to Charles the second, he observes, “ that there were terræ incognitæ in philosophy as well as geography, and that it was his fortune to have been the first to give a map of that particular country.” Ray published a History of Plants, an Account of Quadrupeds, and a Synopsis of Birds and Fishes: his most popular productions were his Physical and Theological Discourses. Some of his writings were edited by his friend, Dr. Derham, who probably derived from him the radical idea of his own compendious work of PhysicoTheology.

It is curious to observe, that the ingenious men of this age scattered, on various subjects, opinions which have since been developed and matured into particular systems : the activity of their minds overleaped the limits of that world which was submitted to their investigation; after having combined all the facts accumulated by former experience, they recurred to hypothetical deductions; and often, by a sudden illumination of reason, anticipated results, which have since been slowly demonstrated to the cautious inquirer, and finally established on substantial sensible evidence. The perusal of Grew will probably suggest the coincidence of those analogies between vegetables and animals observed by him, and the principles of the great Swedish naturalist, Linnæus. The admirable plan of Derhan's Physico-Theology has been lately unfolded in Paley's Natural Theology. With the exception of chemistry, and the electrical phænomena, the track of science which has been pursued by our contemporaries appears to have been descried, if not explored, by their predecessors. So true is the remark of Brown in his Religio Medici, that no idea arises in any individual mind, but bears some affinity to such as have previously existed in the minds of other men, and no character can be discovered, whose archetype might not be found; “no spirit but hath had its parallel,” however obscured or forgotten, unappreciated or unknowil.- Biograph. Brit. Biog. Dict. Burnet, Temple, Grew, Ray, Wood Oxon. Athena.

BRITISH

BRITISH AND FOREIGN

HISTORY

For the Year 1806.

1806.

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