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of those sacred writings, and the advantage of an unmixed authoritative system of morals, he was a strenuous assertor.

He distributed many books as encouragements to the proficiency of his scholars. These were many of them very beautiful and of excellent editions; and though possibly the greater part of them fell amongst those who may not make the highest figure in the world, as industry and exertion often move in a less conspicuous sphere, I be→ lieve there are gentlemen now high in public life, one par ticularly, who can remember with pleasure these honourable trophies.

If his knowledge of the world was not remarkable; if it was not his temper to break forth in vivid and pungent sailies of formidable wit; if he wanted some of those exterior advantages of deportment which boys do not usually learn at school, if their master should happen to possess them, and without which, should they never be acquired, society may be enriched with truer and more lasting ornaments; he had simplicity, a composed self-possessing gravity, and in his heart a source of unaffected benevolence, which never failed to attract the love and esteem of those who are touched by the emanations of goodness.

It is an error that the disturbances at Eton were insignificant in the time of his predecessor: one of the greatest that ever happened in my time (and I went from the lowest seat in the school very nearly through it) took place under Dr. Barnard; and Dr. Foster was left in the situation of contending against a settled evil, of which the ferment was hardly suppressed:

incedens per ignes Suppositos cineri doloso.

The high and deserved celebrity of the school, and the re putation of Dr. Barnard, had immensely filled it: and fa milies of the first rank and fortune gave it even more than usual preference. Sons of such families, in the fervour of youth, the pride of expectation, the ebriety of domestic indulgence, could not bear discipline, nor could such circumstances endure either the evil or the remedy. Absurd exceptions respecting his birth and the business of his father (who was a man, as I have heard and could partly judge, of strong natural understanding) were cherished: and as similar prejudices have operated in the highest instances, not to have been born a gentleman was supposed to imply want of liberality of manners. In his Essay on

Greek Accents not only Bentleian acuteness and variety of learning are conspicuous, but justness of composition, elegance with spirit, and ingenuous and exemplary candour. Without the aid of those prejudices (violent in proportion to their absurdity), which might easily (by the vanity of parents and the blind idolatry of the world to birth and fashion) be improved to teach boys a contempt of discipline, the task of public education, faithfully administered, in whatever hands, will, it is to be feared, grow daily more difficult and discouraging, as domestic manners, which must support the influence of public instruction, become generally dissipated.

One circumstance I cannot admit as an advantage to one master, or a prejudice to the other: Dr. Barnard's not having been an assistant, and Dr. Foster's having passed through that customary gradation. The late master of Harrow, Dr. Sumner, so elegantly celebrated by his pupil, Sir William Jones, was an assistant master of Eton. So was the present very learned and able master, who so well sustains the honour of that rising colony. The office of an assistant master of Eton is very improperly called a drudgery: the teachers of the lowest class (though Dr. Foster was from the first a master in the upper school) necessarily instruct, in the intervals between school hours, pupils of the highest; so that the difference is rather in honours and emoluments, than in the abilities required or the liberality of the employment. Nor is passing through subordinate ranks ever thought to diminish the usefulness or authority of those who are to preside, as they may the better acquire experience and a knowledge of the subjects of their future government.

His exertions cost him dear, and certainly exhausted the vigour of his health, and cut short the expectation of a life endeared to literature and solid merit. But I cannot, nor will I, think that the numbers who yet remember him, as having received their education under his auspices, allow that the honour of Eton was degraded, or that her real interests, depending on a right system of education, suffered in his hands. What those scholars of his or any of them may be in a public view, is yet somewhat early to pronounce: nor does this so absolutely depend on the ability of the master. They will be useful and respectable members of society, if instructions and example truly adapted to produce that effect can make them so. But in a great and promiscuous seminary there will be fruits of all kinds: and the lessons of the times too strongly counteract those

of the preceptor. Yet Eton wants not, nor I trust will ever want, wherewith to support an high and general reputation.

I hope, Sir, you will pardon the prolixity of this defence of a man, whom so good a judge of merit as Dr. Barnard, after experiencing his worth as an assistant, established as his successor. Others better informed may do ampler justice to his memory.

1784, March.


XXVIII. Anecdotes of Mr. WILLIAM AYSCOUGH and Dr.



MR. WM. AYSCOUGH, father of Mr. George A. whose death occurs in your last month's obituary, first introduced the art of printing into Nottingham, about the year 1710. He died when his son was almost three years old, leaving a widow, the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Geo. Young, rector of Catwicke, in Holderness. She carried on the business till her son arrived at the age of seventeen, who continued it after her death,* and married, first, Elizabeth Prudom, by whom he had no living issue; and afterwards Edith, only daughter of Benj. Wigley, of Wirksworth, Esq. by whom he has one son and one daughter now living. Mr. A. with Mr. Thos. Willington, druggist, at Nottingham, printed Dr. Deering's History of Nottingham, 1751, 4to. being at the expense of all the plates, except the W. view of Mr. Plumptre's house, given by that gentleman. The late Mr. Ayscough, at his death was in his 69th year.

DR. DEERING, alias DOERING, took the degree of M.D. at Leyden. His diploma and the seal of the college were placed by Mr. Ayscough, in a copy of his book of Plants about Nottingham. Soon after he came to London, he was appointed secretary to the British ambassador to Russia.

* On a slab on the floor of the S. aisle of St. Peter's church, Nottingham, is this inscription :

"Here lye the bodies of William Ayscough, printer aud bookseller of this town, and Anue his wife: she was daughter of the Rev. Mr. Young, rector of Catwicke, in the county of York. He died in March 2, 1719; she died Dec. 16, 1732."

On his return he married, but his wife died soon after he went to Nottingham, where he was at first well received; but his unaccountable temper soon alienated his best friends from him, and the capriciousness of his palate made him perpetually find fault with the table at which he boarded. Thus almost reduced to poverty, he applied himself to John Plumptre, Esq. to assist him in compiling a History of Not tingham; and was by him generously assisted and furnished with most of the materials. But as this was a work of time, he died of poverty and a broken heart before it was published. Such was the pride of his spirit, that receiving halfa-guinea from Mrs. Turner, a Lincolnshire lady, who then boarded in Nottingham, by the hands of his landlord, the only reply he made was, "If you had stabbed me to the heart I should have thanked you, but this I cannot bear." He lived but a short time after. Before his last illness his friends bought him an electrical machine, whereby he got a little money; and then he was made an officer in the Not tingham foot, raised on account of the rebellion in 1745 and 1746, but this was only an expense to him. He used to say all his helps hurt him, as being attended with more cost than profit. Though he was master of nine languages, he would observe that every little schoolmaster could maintain himself, which was more than he, with all his knowledge, could do. He died so poor that there was not a suf ficiency to bury him, and the corporation were about to take his few effects for that purpose, when Mr. Ayscough and Mr. Willington administered as his principal creditors, and buried him genteelly in St. Peter's church-yard.

He published" A Catalogue of Plants growing about Nottingham. Nott. 1739," 8vo.; and "An Account of an improved method of treating the Small-Pox; in a short letter to Sir Thomas Parkyns, Bart. Nott. 1737." 8vo. : and wrote a Latin account of the transactions of the Nottinghamshire Horse, which was put up under their colours after their return from Scotland. All these were printed by Mr. Ayscough, who has several small books in MS. of his writing.

1783, Dec.

XXIX. Particulars relative to President BRADSHAW.

THE plan which you have adopted in the lately improved state of the Gentleman's Magazine, of making inquiries

after curious and interesting events, is certainly the best method of rescuing them from the ravages of time, as every person who has an opportunity of gratifying the curious will think it his duty to do it. In this light 1 consider it; and, as long as my correspondence shall be deserving the attention of your readers, I doubt not but you will permit me to add my mole-hill to your mountain of antiquities. S. AYSCOUGH.

IN your Magazine for December last, you make inquiry after the periodical publications during the time of the great civil war. These publications will be found nearly, if not quite, complete in a collection made at the time, and now preserved in the most proper place for public utility, as all persons properly recommended, and who conform to the rules established by the Curators, have a right to consult them I mean, the British Museum.


This collection was purchased by his present majesty, and by him deposited in that immense treasure of books, manuscripts, and curiosities, which was established by the munificence of parliament, and continues to be supported, in the same manner, to the honour of the nation, and the great advantage of literature. This collection consists of all the political tracts and periodical publications, with some of the religious, which were printed from November, 1640, to the Coronation of Charles II. Their number is about thirty thousand, bound up in two thousand volumes, besides about one hundred small political treatises in MS. bound up with them. They appear to have been preserved nearly entire, as only fifteen volumes were wanting when they were brought to the Museum, part of which have been since discovered, bound up with other volumes, to which only one number had been retained. The order in which these books are arranged is periodical, a method (if you can learn when a book was published, or any particular event happened) ertainly the most convenient; but if you know only that it was in the course of such and such years, renders an inquiry troublesome.

I shall give one specimen of the utility of the Museum in general, and of this collection in particular, by collecting some account of President Bradshaw, according to your request.

Har. MS. 1912,* is a very curious volume of Inquisitions

*If there is not a copy of this MS. in the Library at Gray's Inn, it is well worth the attention of the Benchers to have it copied.

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